Sunday, August 31, 2014

SS: If I was a piece of fabric...

If I were a cut of fabric, THIS is what I would be.

Hot pink with gold polka dots=YUM.

From the Spot On collection by Robert Kaufman.

Now, what to do with this bit of awesome? (Oh, I already have plans.)

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles!

Molli Sparkles

Saturday, August 30, 2014


First, let's talk business. I've joined that cult phenomenon, instagram. (I needed to see what's going on with the #fiercequiltersbee2014, and OMG, my quilt-in-the-making looks so flippin' yummy.) If you have the inkling, you can follow me. Apparently I need to start hashtagging everything? Oh, instagram. I have so much to learn.


Okay, now let's talk placemats. 

Once upon a time, I made some placemats. (You'll never ever ever guess which one is mine.) Four of them in all. With my family's first initials raw edge appliqued on them, conveniently located right where a napkin will lay, they were fun, and I enjoyed making them.

Fast forward two years. My boys are older, they are messier, and another one has been added to the pack. I need a ton of placemats since they only last about three seconds before they are dirty. I decided to make a bunch as one of my Q3 2014 FAL goals.

I finished this one a couple of weeks ago. The goal is to use only scraps for the fronts, and I use unloved fabric to make them. (Unloved fabric=truly uggo stuff that sullies the name of the beautiful fabrics I have lined up in my closet. I have more of it than I'd like to admit and because most of it is putrid, I'm refraining from showing you the backs.)

I started officially homeschooling Banzo a couple of weeks ago, and of course Lito wants in on the action. He points out colors and shapes or does art projects with us. Our color last week was red, and Banzo helped me sort red scraps and design this placemat. (It's my favorite.)

I haven't quilted and finished this one yet, but in true rainbow fashion, our color this week was orange. The owls are leftovers from the orange owl quilt I made last year, and I'm glad I finally found a way to use them.

That red poppy fabric is some of the first fabric I purchased, before I ever started quilting. Let's see, I started quilting in the fall of 2011? And I bought that fabric in the summer of 2007. I can't remember what I planned to use it for--it's not like I had a sewing machine at the time--but I found it in the remnant bin and couldn't say no. The HSTs are leftovers from the red and black X & + quilt I made last year. I'm pretty pleased with the corners on them. This is another one that needs to be quilted and finished.

And I've got a good start on the quilting for this one. I'd like to get at least one more placemat done, but if I can swing it, another three. I'm using them to practice FMQ and different quilting ideas, and while they look a little crazy, I figure that's okay since they're going to be stained and well-loved by my kidlets.

I'm looking forward to getting these done and scratching another item off my list! What are your weekend plans? I'm looking forward to a ton of college football, and maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get some sewing in too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Blocks.

Even with Fava's arrival, I've somehow managed to get some sewing in this month. It feels a bit odd that I'm not sewing every (or almost every) day, but then again, I'm usually so busy that I don't even notice.

First, my August Stash Bee block for Tiffany. I think this is the latest I've ever taken a photo of a bee block before. See that blue countertop? That would be the counter at the post office. (But I got the photo done, folks.)

And my August Gypsy Wife blocks. Eight square in square blocks down, eight kajillion to go. As much as I love this quilt pattern, and I'm sure I'll love the finished quilt, I am soooooo ready to be done with it.

Linking up with the August GW link up at Farm Gal Designs.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

FF: Ikat Quilt Top.

I finished my Ikat quilt top. (Woo!) I modified the pattern from the May/June 2014 issue of Love of Quilting, meaning that instead of a throw size I only used a fraction of the blocks the pattern recommended to make a baby quilt.

This bad boy is a little wild. When I saw the original picture in the magazine, I fell head over heels in love with this quilt, and I knew I wanted to make it in the exact color scheme and spirit of the original. (Yep, blatantly copying. But how could I possibly improve on the original? I couldn't. Unless maybe I made it in pink. But since this is a Team Green quilt, probably not the best option.) But when I finished piecing all of the blocks together, it just seemed a bit too much. Then, I remembered a post from Quilting Jetgirl in which she took a super fun crazy wild orange quilt and reigned it in a bit by adding a thin border of Kona solid around the edge.

So, I did the same. (Thanks Yvonne for your awesome inspiration!) I added a two inch border of Kona black, and yeppers. I love that a whole lot more. I had originally planned to bind the quilt in black, but my backing choice vetoed that option for me, but this enables me to still frame the quilt in black while using another color for binding. It's almost like I plan this stuff, folks. (And do I have a picture of the backing fabric? Of course not. Because that would be too much awesome for one post. Let's just say, there are unicorns on the fabric.)

I have two plans for quilting, and we'll see which one wins out. The safe straight line quilting option or the slightly crazy (for me) FMQ option. It could go either way at this point. I'm glad to have the top done even if I don't have to have this bad boy done until Thanksgiving-ish. And can I just say, it took me 1.5 hours to rip the paper off the back of the blocks? Not awesome. But I'll forgive this quilt since it looks awesome. And really, when you look at the whole, you can barely see the row where my points don't line up, which just makes my little heart happy.

I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by Leanne at The Devoted Quilter. Woo for a finish!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Other Woman.

Most (all?) of you know that I do all of my quilting on a 1953 Model 15-91 Singer I've named Agatha. I adore my Agatha something fierce, especially since she was my husband's grandmother's.

But Friends, there just might be another woman in my life. No, I don't have a new machine. I have a new old machine.

This is Gertrude. You met her some time ago, but she didn't come to live with me until quite recently. I have found out that she is in fact operational, and that she is a Singer Model 99, which is the 3/4 version of the Model 66. I read somewhere that she sold in the UK for a little over 6£ when she was first introduced. Six£. Wow.

When I originally acquired Gertrude more than a year ago (thanks again, Daddy!) I was unable to get her from my home in the southwest to my midwest abode. But during a recent visit from my wonderful father (I'm not just saying that--he really is one of my favorite people EVER) he surprised me because he had brought Gertrude with him! (And then proceeded to cook me a gallon of his famous spaghetti sauce, which is waiting politely in my freezer for me to devour it.)

After having her serviced, I was able to bring her home, where she sat for a couple of weeks untouched because Fava decided to make his appearance, and I was a little preoccupied with mommy stuff. But I decided to take Gertrude out for a photo shoot the other day.

Except, I couldn't get her case opened.'s a pic of the spot where you attach Gertrude's knee lever. I had grand plans for a great reveal, but let's be honest--who knows when that's going to happen?

I think the guy that serviced her accidentally kept the screwdriver I used to open her. And the screwdriver I use for Agatha (a full-size Singer) is too big. I'm going to have Mr. Audrey take a look at it, and if he can't figure it out, I'll have to visit the vacuum/sewing repair shop again. Hopefully I'll have some delicious photos of her soon. And I'd really like to actually sew with her, you know? Not because Agatha can't get the job done--she is practically perfect in my eyes--but because of the novelty. Sewing on a machine from the 20s? Yep, that's pretty freakin' cool.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FF: First Quilt.

I started blogging shortly after I started quilting, so I only have two quilts that I haven't shared on this site. However, I thought it would be fun to get both of them posted, and why not link up with Don't Call Me Betsy's Quilt Flashback Friday while I'm at it? I originally posted my first two quilts at my personal blog, which is now defunct, so I'm going to copy and paste the original text here because that's simpler, but it will also give you an idea of where I was as a quilter.

This first quilt is from December of 2011. (Wow, have I really been quilting almost three years? It doesn't feel that long!)


So, a very very good friend of mine is having a baby boy this spring. (We'll call him Dude Baby.) Since she is a very very good friend, I wanted to do something fantastic and magical for the little Dude, and I knew I wanted to make something for him, and preferably something that would be lasting, you know? 

Switch to quilting--I've been wanting to learn to quilt for YEARS. However, whenever I researched it, it sounded like an expensive hobby to get into, and one that would require personal instruction and the acquisition of a whole new jargon. It was intimidating. Also, for most of those years, I didn't have a sewing machine. 

After having a lengthy discussion with my friend K, I decided to give quilting a go, and just in time to make a quilt for the Dude Baby. Awesome, right? Forty plus hours later, the quilt is done, the Dude Baby's awesome mama has received it, and I'm posting photos this photo for your viewing pleasure.


Friends, this was my first quilt. OMG. It was a little intense. I probably bit off a bit more than I should've been chewing, but I'm glad I did. It was funsies, and I loved making it. The fabrics were sheer craziness, the quilting lines are crooked in a bad bad way, but it all came together in the end. Best of all, the Dude Baby (who is now 2) adores this quilt, carries it everywhere with him, and I get frequent photos of him snuggling it. It makes my heart melt, and it reminds me of why I quilt.

Life after baby #3 is slowly coming together. I haven't sewn much at all, which is to be expected, but I haven't minded not sewing, which is unexpected. I thought I'd be freaking out without my regular Agatha time, but instead, I've been enjoying spending lots of time with my three littles and my husband, who has kindly taken some time off. We've taken a couple of day trips, spent lots of time at the park, gone for ice cream, gone swimming, taught my oldest how to play Mario much goodness. Fava is a delightful baby, and my two older sons cannot stop giving him kisses and snuggles.

Thanks for all of your lovely well wishes!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Last Two Weeks.

Fava is here. He arrived last week, and his arrival brought with it upheaval of order and schedules and systems and normality. We will find a new normal. In the meantime, I'm stoked he's a sweet, snuggly (and sleepy!) baby, and Banzo and Lito adore him. In fact, I have to limit their kisses because otherwise, Fava would never sleep or eat! 

I was working on this post shortly before I went into labor, and I can't imagine I'll be making much progress on any projects in the near future--except my August bee blocks! I will have them done on time!--but I thought I'd post it anyway so you can see where things stand.

First quilt celebratory doughnuts with my first quilt student!
(Yes, they were delicious!)

Work on a baby quilt that was so promising, but apparently the quilt hates me.

Rows 1 and 2? Decent connection points.

Rows 2 and 3? Not awesome. But from afar, you can't see it so much, right?

I do have a fun post that I'd like to get up sometime this week, but that will be if my kidlets provide me the time! I hope y'all are doing well!


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