Friday, July 29, 2011

The Nine Patch- Wow! Finally!

I just finished putting the binding just a few minutes ago!  I did it! *jumps with joy*  My nine patch quilt is (at last) complete!  I finished this quilt top two years ago!  7-20-2009 to be exact.  You can find my original post here.  I was so excited when I finished this top.  This was my first quilt-a-long with Crazy Mom Quilts and was only my second attempt at quilting.  My first quilt was just a simple strip quilt, so this was my first time making any sort of block and sashing them.  It is a little wonky in places, but whose second quilt isn't a little wonky?

 Poppy thinks I am taking pictures of her and is concerned about the flapping quilt.

The reason I didn't finish this quilt at the time was because I was waiting to take a free motion quilting class.    However, we then ended up moving the next month across country.  So this beauty got put away.  I pulled it out a number of times over the past two years with the intent to finish it, but for some reason it kept getting bumped down the list.  However, I did end up free motion quilting it.  I decided to break out of stippling and try a more "loopy" pattern.  It turned out alright, but I think stippling would have been faster.  This took me about six hours to quilt!    

(*yawn*  Poppy is finding this tiring.)

This is going to be our picnic quilt, so I wanted something a little darker for the back.  I went stash shopping and picked out this solid Kona green and this little floral.  Perfect for hiding grass and dirt spots!

Poppy insists on some play time after that awfully boring "taking pictures of a quilt" session.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for two great patterns by Fishsticks Designs!

I am linking this quilt up to Gen X Quilters Summer Fair!

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair

and Amylouwho's Show and Tell!

Finish It Up- Week Six and a Giveaway!

Week Six!  *whew*  I really knocked a lot of things off my list the first few weeks, and my progress then slowed waaayyy down.  I blame the two awesome quilt-a-longs that I couldn't helping joining.  However, I am soooo close to finishing my nine patch quilt.  I am hoping to come back later today and show you how it turned out!  This is my oldest and biggest unfinished project, so I can't wait to say it is officially done!

Also, I do have an awesome giveaway for you all today!  Bonnie of Fishsticks Designs is offering one reader a chance to win TWO of her PDF patterns! I first came across Bonnie's blog through Made By Rae's first Spring Top Week.  She made beautiful tops, and I have been a regular reader ever since.  

Bonnie is also a talented pattern designer.  Go check out her etsy shop!  She offers several different patterns for both big and little kids.  Lots of fun, comfy knit patterns!  Her blog also has a number of great free tutorials and tips with how to sew with knits!

She offers several patterns for boys! (and good ones can be hard to come by!)

I love this sweet little top pattern for girls.  It just looks so comfy.  It comes in both little and big girls sizes!

A baby layette pattern! (Who could resist this picture?  So sweet.) 

To enter to win two Fishsticks Designs patterns, you have two different chances.  You can choose to do just one or both

1.  Leave a comment letting me know what two patterns you would like!  You can find them here.

2.  Leave a comment letting me know if you finished or made any progress on a project this week!

Please do not forget to leave an email address!  
I will leave this giveaway open until Thursday, August 4th!

Good luck everyone!

So to all you Finish It Uppers? Link up and lets see what progress everyone has made!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mini Red Cross Quilt- Complete!

I completed my little Greek Cross quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap.  I am pleased with how it turned out, and I hope partner will be happy with it as well.  For the binding I used a graph paper fabric.  I was thinking of using red, but I thought it was going to be too bold and went for softer instead.   

When I first posted the top and asked for quilting suggestions, I had a number of people suggest hand quilting.  I really go excited by the idea and even went out and bought some Pearl thread.  However, I sat down to start one night, and I decided against it.  I just wasn't feeling it.  So I took some pretty variegated blue thread and machine quilted around the crosses and diamonds instead.  It is subtle, and I think suits the strong pattern.

I did, however, do some hand stitching around the label.  I used a note book paper fabric for the label and then stamped on my little message.  

Now I just have to wait for the mailing date!  *fingers crossed*

Monday, July 25, 2011

Going through photos...

and I found this one from a few months ago that we took one afternoon while cuddled on the couch.  I have been thinking a lot lately about my kids and how blessed I am to have them.  They are all so unique and have made me a better person.  I am so grateful to be their mother.  I have had so many friends lately asking for prayers for their children because of cancer, illness, or accidents that have happened.  It makes me want to squeeze my three little people so tight.  

I love Juliana's sweet face, Josiah's funny front teeth, and my little Felicity's goofy smile.

Give your kids a hug!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Finish It Up- Week Five

I am ashamed to say I still have not finished my nine patch quilt!  I blame it all on my obsession with finishing my little doll quilt top.  It is now about 1/3 of the way quilted, so *fingers crossed* for this weekend.  Instead, I thought I would share some of the wonderful projects finished that were added to the Flickr group!  Those little pants in the center?  Aren't those the cutest you have ever seen?

Also, the winner of the giveaway from last week was #32- Lucia!  I will be sending you an e-mail, Lucia!  Thank you to all who entered!

So here is my list again even though it hasn't changed.  Now with only three weeks left I am starting to be more realistic with what is going to get finished.  I really want to finish up my bigger projects, so I am hoping to finish both the nine patch and my Fussy Cut Bee quilt.  I also think I can finish the little Sienna dress I already have cut out.  So that is three weeks to finish three things.  It sounds doable, right?

1. Ruffle Clutch- Finished!
2. Inset Clutch- Finished!
3. Coaster Set- Finished!
4. Maxi Dress- Finished!
5. Sienna Dress
6. Swoon Mini Quilt- Finished!
7. Modern Meadow Quilt- Quilt Top Done! Waiting to go to the long arm quilter.
8. 9 Patch Quilt- Basted!
9. Pinwheel Blocks
10. Fussy Cut Bee Blocks- Top in Progress!
11. PJ Bottoms- Scrapped!
12. Men's Shirt

So, how have you been doing?  I hope better than me! ;0p


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quilt Blocks and a Book Recommendation!

I caught up today on all my blocks for the Summer Sampler Series.  Last night I worked on the Flower Garden Path block (the one in the bottom middle).  Kate had two different sets of directions- one using lots of HSTs and one using strips for the inside border.  She said they were about equally hard, and I can see why she said that.  I chose the second method because I liked the clean look, and it did look a little easier to me.  Of all my blocks though it has given me the biggest headache, and it is quite a bit wonky.  It doesn't look so bad when you put them all with the rest!  I might make it again, but for now I am calling it good!

 I also paper pieced for the first time!  I have been wanting to learn, and I was so excited to see Faith's instructions!  She really made it so easy, and my block came out well.  If you are looking to try paper piecing, definitely go take a look at her tutorial!  

I have enjoyed this quilt-a-long so much that I put on hold at the library The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman, which I know these ladies have used for their inspiration.  My husband picked it up for me yesterday and said it looked like the most boring book ever!  Say what?!  He explained there were no beautiful pictures.  True enough.  I explained that it was a history book and full of inspiration. ;0)

Barbara Brackman's book has a lot of different quilt blocks, but it really just shows you the blocks.  So, I thought I would also recommend this book, 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks, for those looking for instructions.  I have owned this book for over a year, and I am constantly browsing this for new ideas!

I like this book because it has color versions of the blocks.  This helps me visualize and see where the pops of color should go.

However, it also has black and white versions of the blocks which is also sometimes helpful in providing more of a blank slate.  It  has instructions for cutting out several different sizes of blocks making this a useful book for those who like to make tiny doll quilts or giant bed quilts.   On some blocks the author will give ideas on switching out colors to change up the look of the block.  The author also provides some templates in the back of the book for certain blocks.  As the title suggests these are all quilt blocks that can be rotary cut.  So, the limitation to this book is there are no curves or paper pieced blocks.  However, it is perfect for those looking to get new inspiration and cutting instructions all in one spot! 

Do you have a quilt block book that you love?  Please share!  I will go put them on hold at the library. ;0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mini Red Cross Quilt

I finished the top for my doll quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap.  I made one block just to test this idea, and once I started there was no going back!  I haven't worked on anything else!  

I had all sorts of ideas going for this swap.  It was driving me crazy.  I was falling asleep thinking of what I should do.  Last week I made the Greek Cross block in the Summer Sampler Series Quilt-a-long.  It was such a fun, easy block, and I loved the big simple cross.  My partner in this swap seems to have a love for crosses, and so finally I had a plan!  

I shrunk this block down to five inches unfinished, so this little quilt should end up about 13 1/2 inches when it is all done!  Teeny.  I had originally planned to have the different red crosses all spread out, but the big red dot crosses stood out so much.  So, I lined them up and was more pleased with this layout.  This little quiltie has a few little quirks too it.  However, my partner strikes me as someone who likes things just a bit "off". 

 So here is where I need help...I don't know how to quilt it!  I don't want to do anything that will distract from the crosses.  So maybe I will just do some outline quilting of the crosses and diamonds?  What do you think?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Piles of Fabric and a New Iron!

So I joined in this round of the Doll Quilt Swap for the first time!  I have watched many rounds go by, and even though I love swaps through Flickr this one has always intimidated me.  There are so many fabulous little quilts that come from this swap.  It just felt like too much pressure!  However, this round they are changing it up a little. The quilts in this round are supposed to be a real "doll quilt", so a mini of what a big quilt would look like.  It sounded fun, so I put my name in the lottery!  I got my partner, and I have been stalking and thinking.  I came up with this combo (I might add a couple others to this.), which I hope she likes!

The husband and I got away a bit this weekend alone for the first time in almost two years!  It was so nice.  He even let me stop into a fabric store.  Fabric Town USA...sounds so...glamorous, right?  There was lots of fun eclectic stuff, and the staff was really fun as well.  I started going through the clearance rack and found some Katie Jump Rope for only $5.99 a yard!  I am thinking these will make great fall pillows.

I also got a new iron!  So exciting...I know.  My old iron was almost seven years old, and it just wasn't cutting it anymore.  This one has been heavenly so far.  I remembered reading this review a couple of years ago at Pink Chalk.  The price was right, so I went for it.  Looking good so far!  I forgot what it felt like to use an iron that actually has steam!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Finish It Up- Week Four

Can you believe it?  We are about half way done with this challenge!  Thank you to all who have joined!  I know I would have lost motivation very quickly, if I didn't have to report back to you all!  Sadly, I don't have any finishes this week.  I did get my nine patch quilt basted last night, so I am ready to start quilting.  This is my oldest unfinished project, and I am pumped to finally finish this off!  I am also working on getting my Fussy Cut Bee Blocks sashed.  Hopefully, I will have something pretty to show you next week!

1. Ruffle Clutch- Finished!
2. Inset Clutch- Finished!
3. Coaster Set- Finished!
4. Maxi Dress- Finished!
5. Sienna Dress
6. Swoon Mini Quilt- Finished!
7. Modern Meadow Quilt- Quilt Top Done! Waiting to go to the long arm quilter.
8. 9 Patch Quilt- Basted!
9. Pinwheel Blocks
10. Fussy Cut Bee Blocks- Top in Progress!
11. PJ Bottoms- Scrapped!
12. Men's Shirt

So how about a little Christmas in July picture instead?  My ruffle clutch was featured in Pink Chalk Fabrics newsletter.  If Kathy decides to feature your project, she sends you a $20 gift certificate to her shop!  Isn't that nice?!  So I picked out these two charm packs to make some Christmas pillows and maybe a table runner later in the fall.

So, this week I am offering a little giveaway!  Two patterns!

This sweet little dog pincushion pattern...

and this fun satchel pattern!

To Enter: 
(I will give you three different ways to enter, feel free to do one or all of them!)
1. Let me know if you finished a project this week.  What was it?
2. Become a follower or let me know if you already are.
3. Link up to the linky party with your Finish It Up! projects.

I will leave this giveaway open through Thursday, July 21st. Don't forget to also give me your e-mail, if it isn't linked to your profile!

So did you finish anything this week?  Lets see those projects!

Giveaway is now closed!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Yesterday was the girls' first day of swim lessons!  Juliana is determined to be the best swimmer ever by the end of the summer.  She was so pumped to hop in that pool.  Felicity, on the other hand, was nervous all the way over.  At the end she said she had FUN!, but she doesn't want to EVER go again.  Hmmm...I wonder what her real feelings are. ;0)  I just love this picture.  It is just too sweet when they hug each other.  Felicity looked at this picture and said, "I am teeny!"  :0)  Juliana prefers the picture I took of just her because you can see her rainbow suit in all its glory.

So, I am plugging away at my kaleidoscope blocks.  Here is what my stack looked like yesterday.  These are hard!  I am struggling to get those points to meet up just right and my blocks not to bubble.  I am slowly getting better with each block.  The first few I put together was at our quilt guild's sew in, and luckily I was sitting by Pam who patiently helped me get these to come out a little better.  There are also lots of helpful tips in the Flickr group!  I have found starch incredibly helpful for these blocks!  I forgot how difficult working with triangles and bias edges is.  I really haven't made anything like this since this Spiderweb pillow

I also made my first block for the Summer Sampler Quilt-a-long. (How do you spell that anyways?  I never know!)  I really like doing individual blocks. I think that is the fun thing about sampler quilts.  You never have to make the same blocks twice!  

Now I just need to find some time to baste my huge 9 patch quilt!  I am going to have to move some furniture around to get enough room!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finish It Up- Week Three

Happy Friday to you all you Finish It Uppers! How are you all doing?  You can see a couple of my finishes from earlier this week at this blog post

When I was organizing my sewing area, I ran into these last few Dream On charms leftover from this quilt.  I know it wasn't on my list, but they were sitting there in my basket taunting me.  So I whipped up a little doll quilt.  I just love this line of fabric.  I love the fresh bright, spring colors.  I think I will save this little quilt and give it to one of my girls for their birthday.

I also made some headway on my Fussy Cut Bee blocks.  A couple of the blocks needed a little more to make them 12.5", and I needed two more to give me twenty.  So I now have all the blocks I need.  On to sashing and finishing the top!  I am hoping to get that done this coming week!

I also put together a backing for my 9 patch quilt.  I have to say if there is a part of quilting I just don't like it is making a backing and basting.  I hate basting!  I love quilting though, and I am eager to finish this one.  I would love it to be a picnic quilt, and no better time for a picnic quilt then the summer, right?

So, I made another decision.  I was looking at my granny pj pants that I wanted to fix, and I just had to admit they were a failure, and I didn't even want to fix them.  So I cut them up and now have some pretty scraps.  It was hard to admit to defeat, but I didn't want to waste any more time thinking about those granny panty pjs! ;0p

So here is how my list is looking!

1. Ruffle Clutch- Finished!
2. Inset Clutch- Finished!
3. Coaster Set- Finished!
4. Maxi Dress- Finished!
5. Sienna Dress
6. Swoon Mini Quilt- Finished!
7. Modern Meadow Quilt- Quilt Top Done!
8. 9 Patch Quilt- Backing Done!
9. Pinwheel Blocks
10. Fussy Cut Bee Blocks- Blocks Finished!
11. PJ Bottoms- Scrapped!
12. Men's Shirt

So how are you doing?  Are you staying focused?  I was reading Pat Sloan's blog, and she says to pick three projects and have a finish date.  So, if you feel like you are losing focus or getting discouraged, maybe that is the right approach for you!  I know some of you are doing that already!

Next week I have a little giveaway planned!  Finish up a project whether it be big or small and leave a comment next Friday letting me know what you finished to enter!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Sewing Area

My baby got his first haircut!  His curls were starting to get a little unruly, so he sat in a little fire engine and got a big boy haircut!  I just love this little guy.  I could eat him up.  Juliana, however, laments over his hair every time she looks at him.  She says she wants his curls back!

This little guy also makes my sewing time a whole lot shorter.  He is in to everything, and I mean everything.  My thread is stored in a drawer on my sewing cabinet, so I headed to Joann's to get a case for my thread because every time I sat down to sew, Josiah sat down to play with my thread.

I started organizing my thread, but then once you start organizing your thread you start to notice everything else that isn't organized.  So I got everything cleaned up and put away, and it felt so good!  My clean and presentable sewing area!  My sewing desk is now in our master bedroom as I had to give up my sewing room to Josiah.  I love my desk..  You can really expand it out or close it all up and not even know what it is.  I got mine here.  I often have the little cabinet pulled out underneath as well  for my serger when I am sewing clothes.  In the back there you can see my (scary) closet of fabric and patterns.  Believe don't want to go in there. ;0p

Monday, July 4, 2011

This n' That

Okay, I am admitting to getting distracted!  Have you seen the Summer Sampler Series quilt-a-long?  I think I am in love with Faith's idea of doing it all in solids.  I just love the mock up.  I want to use what I already have though.  So I am thinking of doing this one in girly colorway of Hope Valley with a few added solids.  

I also caught up this week on the Kaleidoscope quilt-a-long over at Don't Call Me Betsy.  I chose the pink colorway from Modern Meadow, and I can't wait to put these blocks together and see how it comes out.  I was inspired by this version that I saw in the Flickr pool, and so I will be using solids for my triangles.  

Here is what one of the blocks should look like!  

I did finish a couple of my smaller projects on my Finish It Up! list as well.  This a little coaster set from the book "I Love Patchwork".  I used some French General for this little set, and it took me all of ten minutes to finish!

I also finished this Inset Clutch. (You can find the pattern at Keyka Lou.)  I started this one at the same time as the one I made for my partner in The Pretty Little Pouch Swap.  However, when I finished hers I just not motivated to finish this one.  I don't know why I put off things that only take a little bit more effort! Shameful. ;0)

I am in the quilt-y mood, and I am determined to get working on more of the quilts on my list!

Hope everyone has a very happy 4th of July!
God bless America!

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