Sunday, September 30, 2012

fall randomness

Fall is in full swing.  The leaves are turning. 

Another stop at my LQS and I got a picture of Tensley admiring the thread display.  I love her to pieces.

And I met my self-imposed deadline of piecing the half square triangles within a week. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

back to regularly scheduled programming

Yeah, there are a couple other quilts I should be working on, but I *think* this quilt will go together fairly quickly, so I am taking a break from making things for others & making this quilt for "me".  Not that I plan on keeping it for myself, but I don't have a recipient in mind as of now...

Prepare yourself for a bajillion pictures (are you preparing yourself?) :

For this quilt I am using the fabric line 'It's a Hoot' by MoMo.  This line came out in October of 2010, but I found 2 charm packs and a jelly roll online about a year ago!  I love this fabric line.  Love love love.  I am only using the 2 charm packs for this quilt.  I'm not sure what I will make out of the jelly roll, but I am sure I will figure something out.

I am going to go with a chevron pattern for this quilt, so I will be making HSTs (half square triangles).  First I had to choose the background fabric. I went into my LQS thinking I wanted a grey polka dot, but found the one on the right, which is actually a pale green polka dot on a cream background that goes perfectly with the charm squares!

Then I had to decide whether I wanted to work with the charm squares "as is" or if I wanted to cut them into 4 smaller squares.  (By the way, have you seen the new Moda candy?  They are 2.5" squares and they are adorable!  Eeek!)  I ended up deciding that since I wanted this to be a quick quilt, I would just stick with the 5" charm square "as is".  Plus I thought that maybe the smaller triangles would get too busy looking... who knows.

After I cut all of the 5" squares out of the background fabric, I started chain piecing.  I underestimated how boring it is to chain piece.  Extremely efficient, but extremely boring.  Since I have 2 packs of charm squares, I have 84 pairs of squares.  My goal was to piece 28 pairs a night.  The first night I pieced 24 and bored myself nearly to tears.  But the next afternoon at nap time I was rewarded by getting to cut apart and press those into 48 HSTs.  

Yes, I did all the pink fabrics first.  Can you blame me?

And now I just have the giant stack up there in the left hand corner left....  which by my calculations is 60 more pairs.  Anyone think I can get it done in the next week?  That's my goal... we'll see.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

my sister is gonna owe me for this....

It started innocently enough....

My niece, Ava, had a checkup at Children's Hospital in Omaha, so Tensley and I went along for a "girl's weekend".  We had planned on going to the zoo the first day down there, but it was rainy and cold, so we were driving around trying to decide what to do instead.  The girls had fallen asleep in the backseat.  We were coming up to a stoplight, when we looked over and saw a neat looking store.  Since our mom had come with, she offered to sit in the car with the sleeping girls, while my sister, Rachel, and I ran into the store.  It was a quilt shop that also had a very nice, fairly extensive gift section.  While we were browsing, my sister noticed a penny mat on display that she liked.  She asked if I would make one for her to give as a gift.  The lady working at the shop assured me that it was "easy, easy, easy" to make.  We purchased the kit and other needed supplies and we were on our way....

Oh and did I mention that the entire thing needs to be sewn by hand?  The Queen-Of-Not-Sewing-By-Hand (that's me) is supposed to make this for my sister to give as a gift!  I read through the directions and decided right away that while the project might be "easy", it was going to be very time-consuming, especially since it would be my first time hand sewing anything.  So I told Rachel that I would make it, but she better keep it for herself as I was only making one!

The beginning of the project - ironing on the 'Steam A Seam' & cutting the shapes...
Shapes cut out and positioned...

Last Saturday, my sister, 2 of my cousins, and I took a little trip to do some shopping and to visit a nearby winery.  I used the car ride to get started on the embroidery.  Fortunately, my cousin Melissa knows how to embroider, so she taught me the blanket stitch and the French knots.  (Thanks Melissa!)

Progress so far...

The instructions called for 4 French Knots for the mouth, but I thought that looked too busy, so I went with three.  (Either that or only doing 3 French Knots for the mouth saved me from having to do 6 more French Knots.)  I still have to blanket stitch around the inside of the snowmen, blanket stitch around the noses, and stitch snowflakes on the inside.  It is an easy project to work on - especially on car rides - but I think I would rather read a magazine.  The next long-ish car ride I go on, I plan on working on it some more.  I hate to work on it at home when I could be piecing a quilt....

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 21, 2012


This is what happened the last time we were in my LQS (local quilt shop):
(Okay, maybe not thee last time, since I did stop there last night, but that didn't count. cough cough.)
I'm in the blue and grey striped shirt at the very beginning...

Tensley decided she would check out the wares.... Although lately she has been gazing at the thread display.... I need to get a picture of that because it is adorable.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

tensley's doll quilt

I apologize in advance for the lengthy blog entry.... Lots of little details about this project that I want to be able to refer back to in the future...

I finished this doll quilt for my daughter, Tensley, the beginning of this week.  I previously blogged about this little quilt here & and here.

I used a really skinny binding.  I wanted to try doing a narrow binding since this is a small doll quilt.  I cut my strips to 2", which ends up being 3/8" on each side of the quilt.  It was a bit difficult to hold the binding down while stitching and I didn't pin the binding down - I don't know why, maybe for an additional challenge.  The mitered corners were a bit tricky, but overall I think it looks pretty good.  (By the way, I 100% machine stitch my bindings.  First I attach the binding to the back of the quilt, then I wrap it around to the front and machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt.  I set my needle so it is just a few thread widths away from the edge of the binding.  Someday I hope to be able to attach my binding like this, but that may be a ways off.  I don't have anything against hand stitching, I just don't know how to do it and I like that I can bind a quilt in such a short time a nap time.) 

The backing fabric is leftover from Tensley's curtains and crib skirt.  I did all over stipple quilting with my free motion foot.  I practiced beforehand and the hopping motion really annoyed me.  Somehow I came across this blog post, where Leah explains how to modify your free motion foot so it doesn't hop and so it is an open toe foot.  With help from my dad (thanks dad!), we made the modifications and I tested it out on some practice quilt sandwiches.  It works so much better with the modifications.  I can see what I am doing and no annoying hopping motion!  I need to keep working on my stippling as I would like to be able to make it look more random and more wavy.  Oh yeah - and remember I had tension issues the last time we talked?  Well, I found a solution to that as well.  I forgot to put my feed dogs down when I practiced this time & guess what!?  No tension issues!  I also found on Leah's blog that she does not lower her feed dogs when she free motion quilts!

Don't you just love the peach carpet in our rental house? Yeah, me neither.
It was nice to use up the remaining scraps from Ava's quilt and now Tensley can use this to cover up her babies instead of the dish towels that she has been using. 

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

emma grace inspired by lulu's ladder

Remember this quilt top?  (Inspired by this quilt pattern.)  Well, it is finally a finished quilt!

Never mind the propane tank in the background

I quilted it using a cream thread 1/4" from each seam to give an outline effect.  The backing is a pink floral print, the same as the binding.  In hindsight, I wish I had chosen the larger floral print for the backing.  I think it would have added a lot to the quilt.

The quilt measures 64" x 72".  I am happy to have it finished.  I can already tell I am not going to be the type of person who has 10 WIP (work in progress) projects going at any given time.  It just stresses me out.  So having this one complete is like a weight off my shoulders. 

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

kindle cover : custom order

I had a request from a friend for a Kindle cover, and since I wanted a little break from quilting, it worked out perfect.  I chose 'Stitch Petal' from the Michael Miller Citron & Gray fabric line.  I thought about using a complementary fabric for the inside of the cover, but I haven't tried that yet and didn't want to risk messing it up on a custom order.  I think the next one I make I will give that a whirl.  I followed the same tutorial as I used to make my other two covers.  One nice thing about this cover is it only takes 1 fat quarter of fabric (plus a little interfacing & batting).  

And now some pictures (these were taken at my parent's house - or as my husband calls it "the Botanical Gardens"):


And here is the bat that was hanging over my head while I was taking those pictures:

This bat had been hanging around my parent's house (pun intended) for a few days.  Twice we had seen it fly out of the tree, then circle back and go back to hanging upside down.  We weren't sure if it had rabies or what.  Shortly after I finished taking its picture, it flew out of the tree and landed in my parent's pool.  Eeek!  We scooped him out with the pool skimmer and covered him up with a bucket until my dad could "address the issue".  I can't kill an animal.  Even a bat that most likely has rabies.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 10, 2012

baby blanket

A friend recently had a baby boy and I have wanted to try making one of these baby blankets ever since I saw them on Etsy.  They looked so soft & warm & cuddly!  


I found this owl fabric at my local quilt shop and thought it would be perfect for a little boy.  I already had the white dimple dot minky fabric in my stash.  I love dimple dot minky!  I purchased one yard of the owl fabric & pre-washed it prior to making the blanket.  It is a pretty easy blanket to make - you just have to pin A LOT because of the stretchiness of the minky fabric.  After I finished the blanket, I rewashed it just to see how it would wash up.  To my surprise, the cotton owl fabric shrank even more, which caused the minky to roll over the cotton a little.  I was somewhat disappointed by that.  I guess next time I make one I will have to wash and dry my cotton fabric twice and see if that helps.

The blanket measured approximately 32" x 40".  I thought it was a good size for laying on the floor so baby could kick and play and practice rolling over (eventually), and also a good size for the crib when that times comes as well.  It is a bit big for the stroller perhaps, but I think you could tuck it under and around the baby.

After making this blanket, I want to make like 20 more!  Fortunately I know a lot of women who are pregnant right now.  I think my last count was around 25...

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ella's quilt top : complete

Remember this fabric?  Well, a few days ago, it became this quilt top:


In case you forgot, this quilt is going to be Ella's Christmas gift.  Like Ava's quilt, I am going to have my local quilt shop do the quilting with their long arm machine.  I finished this quilt top before the holiday weekend, but didn't get around to taking pictures.  Then today I meant to take pictures outside during Tensley's nap, but realized the monitor was not plugged in in her bedroom.  So I sewed instead.

Tonight, after I laid Tensley down for bedtime, I ran outside to try to get some pictures of the quilt top before the sun went completely under.  I only got one shot that was somewhat decent.  Fortunately, I recently learned about PicMonkey and so that picture got a little fixing up.  I wish I could get a better picture of the entire quilt top, but it just doesn't photograph well with all the white in it and the little details get lost in a far away picture.  If you haven't heard about PicMonkey, you definitely should check it out if you ever need to edit pictures.  It is super easy to use and free!

The following pictures I took inside, where I had better lighting, so I didn't need to edit these with PicMonkey.  Although I did use it to add the re•engineered wording to the lower right hand corner.

I love the 4 little kids playing ring-around-the-rosie.... 

How sweet is the little girl pushing the stroller....

Try to ignore the wrinkles...

And the little girl swinging in the tree...

Ignore these wrinkles too please ;)

I hope Ella likes this quilt as much as I do!

Thanks for reading!


... is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Nearly 4 years ago my niece, Ava, was diagnosed with leukemia...

3 1/2 year old Ava with 6 week old Ella, a few days after Ava's leukemia diagnosis

Now she is a happy, healthy 7 1/2 year old...

Ava & Ella nowadays ;)