Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I started a new quilt that is "out of the box" for me. (sorry for the lame pun.) Inspired by this quilt. I cut out a bunch of circles today from a woodland bloom charm pack. The circles are rotary cut using a CD as a template. That has to be the coolest trick ever if you ask me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

my new favorite sashing

A flat twin sheet. From IKEA.

I have been looking for the perfect sashing and I think this is it. This flat sheet (100% cotton) cost about $5.00. I did some math and it is equivalent to 4.25 yards of fabric. That's a GREAT deal and I don't need a coupon when I decide to stock up. I love that it's lighter weight than Kona Cotton or Quilter's Only Cotton (from JoAnn's), but heavier weight than bleached muslin. It's a nice creamy white, which blends well with both white and cream toned fabrics. It's so easy to use and frays very little. I have used sheets to back quilts occasionally, but until now, that was about it. After a test drive using it for sashing, I think I'm hooked!

You can see in the photo the scrap project I worked on to test the fabric. I'm (a little) obsessed with these little stars, which finish at 6" square. Eeek!
I'm curious, what's your favorite sashing?

Monday, September 28, 2009

quilt 71

Yesterday was day 70 of the one a day quilt along (round 2). Were any of you able to catch up this time around?

I've got my blocks done, and I laid them out this morning. I'm not feeling the love yet, so once again, I'm hoping that white sashing does wonders like it's done in the past. There is a very ugly bright yellow and green square (on the bottom right) that I'm not sure will make the cut, but the rest are going to stay. It was my intent to have this quilt top together by day 70, but I know I should just be happy that I have all my blocks done on time. Now, for a ton of sashing. Whee!

You will need about 3.5 yards of fabric for the sashing.
The assembly instructions are here.

Anyone still quilting along with me? How's your progress?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

quilts of valor update

packages received: 52

days left to send your blocks, batting, backing, etc.: 4
(please mail on or before September 30th.)

I'm planning on having a big opening party with my kids on the 30th. When I told my sister about my plan, she said I was a nut case. But we already knew that, right? I am going to have fun on Wednesday!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

i'm stuck

I have had my spiderweb quilt top together for weeks now, but I'm having a hard time settling on a backing. Anything would go on the back of this, and I think that's the problem. It's hard to narrow it down from "anything" to the one perfect fabric.

Originally I was thinking of using a plain creamy white backing, as to not detract from the front. The problem with that is that the white backing is more susceptible to stains, and I want this baby to last a LONG time. At this point I'm planning on red polka dot for the binding but that's not set in stone. Any suggestions on what I should do for the back?
Yesterday many of you asked how I get my quilt fronts lined up with my quilt backs....and it's not that I'm that good...

It's my tile floor.

I just line the pieced back up with the grid on the floor, and it makes lining up the front very, very easy. Did I mention that this was one of the selling points of the house for me? At first I thought it was weird to have tile flooring in a basement-carpet would be much warmer-but tile sure does come in handy for basting quilts. :)

Since I know someone will ask, I have a basting tutorial here.

Oh and one more thing...Tara answers some questions that you may have about the retreat here.

Happy weekend to you! xo

Thursday, September 24, 2009


This quilt is going to be a door prize at the retreat that I will be teaching at in November. (That's in 6 weeks!) It is made from Moda's Nouveau fabric line and Kona cotton (color=bone). It was my first time using Kona cotton for sashing a quilt. It was ok, but I'm not hooked on it like I was afraid I might be.

As I mentioned in my last post, the quilt had a redesign along the way. Originally I was going to configure the blocks like this. But I switched it at the last minute. You gotta listen to what the quilt is telling you, right V? ;)

The quilt measures 63" x 77" after washing. (it was 64" x 80" before quilting and washing.)
Of course, it's two quilts in one. I L-O-V-E the back. I really need to figure out how to design my quilt backs to be quilt fronts. I am determined to figure it out. Soon! Or else it will drive. Me. CRAZY. (and my husband, too.)

I love this busy print for binding. LOVE it!

I'm happy to have this one done. It was challenging, but well worth it. I think my favorite part was playing with fabric that someone else (Tara) had selected.

Now, on to the next...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

work in progress

I have come to accept the fact that every quilt has it's challenges during the assembly process. This one has had more than it's fair share. It was going well until I started cutting my fabric. Don't laugh, I'm serious. I had a mathematical miscalculation caused me to trim down 40 blocks. Ugh. Then there was a change in layout. And a tricky pieced back that barely fit. All that to say, I'm so very happy that I'm finally to the quilting part...and so far so good. I'm hoping it continues. (Sorry about the sneak peek. I hate to do it, but I don't really want to spill the beans now, since I'm so close to finishing the quilt.)

Now, to answer a few questions that have been asked a lot recently:

How do I get a copy of the magazine Sew Hip?

They have a website where you can order single issues. The mystery quilt I designed was featured over 5 different issues and they are Issues 5-9. Each issue has steps in making the quilt. You will need all 5 magazines if you are going to make the quilt.

Will you do a little house tutorial?

There is one here. I did my own thing, but the tutorial will get you started on making your own little houses. They are so much fun!

Lastly, I wanted to thank you all for such sweet comments lately. And for stopping by my little space here and reading what I have to say. It means a lot to me. You guys are wonderful. xo

Monday, September 21, 2009

elia's quilt

elia's quilt-front
This past weekend we had a birthday party to go to for my dear friend's little girl. She turned one. And we went bearing gifts-I mean quilts!

This quilt is really two in one. I shared the tutorial for the front here. It is so easy and quick! I can't wait to try it in a different color scheme.
elia's quilt-back
For the back, I used a crib sheet I picked up at Target. It was on clearance and I loved the print. Since the quilt is 45" x 60", the sheet wasn't quite big enough to cover the entire back, so I added fabrics from my stash to make it larger. I LOVE the results.

Here's a closer view of the fabric in the middle panel.

To finish off the quilt, I bound it in a solid aqua.

To quilt it, I did an all over stipple. After washing and drying, I am happy to say that I love the front and the back. I usually have a favorite, but this time I think I love them both equally.

Also, I just HAD to make her a matching baby doll quilt to go with it. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

hip, hip hurray!

I can tell you, after 9 months of keeping it under wraps, that I am published! I mentioned briefly back in January, that I was working on a quilt pattern. I made two versions of the quilt while writing the pattern (what an awful lot of work THAT was) and Heather tested the pattern for me. (Thanks friend!) The pattern has been published over several issues of the UK based Sew Hip magazine. It is a mystery quilt along, so bits of it were revealed each month. I received the issues yesterday in the mail via the Royal Post. :) How fun to see it all in print! (I still can hardly believe it!) They did such a nice job of presenting my quilt. I couldn't be more pleased.

And I can not believe that I kept it secret for that long without imploding. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

ticker tape

ticker tape
I don't know why, but I'm almost embarrassed about posting this quilt. It seems a little...obsessive. Ok, it seems a lot obsessive.

I started making it about a year ago. It uses the littlest of scraps. Most pieces are about 1" x 2". The quilt measures 35" x 46". I didn't dare count how many scraps I used. A lot.

The binding is a lime green print that I had in my stash. I would have preferred a solid lime green, but I didn't have any on hand. I thought about orange, but that would have looked hideous against my red studio wall, which is where this quilt is going to live. And I've decided that I'm going to stop apologizing for hanging quilts on my walls. :)

For the backing, I used a funky fabric that I picked up at IKEA. I thought it would suit this quilt nicely.

To make this quilt, here's what I did:

I made a quilt sandwich (backing, batting and white muslin for the top), then I pin basted it. For the patches, I picked a fabric snippet, and sewed it onto the quilt sandwich with my walking foot. I removed the basting pins as I added a block. All the fabric edges were left raw. So it was quilted and "pieced" at the same time. I had to shove the quilt though the machine 4 times for each little block that I added. Intense, yes, but I am pleased with the results. Next time, I'd make it doll sized, though.

Since this is hanging on my studio wall, I haven't washed it yet, but it would be fun as a baby quilt. Each washing would just add to the texture of the raw edges-perfect for a wee little one.
Thanks so much for your gracious replies to the quilts of valor call to help. I am working my way though the emails. Hopefully by the end of today you will have received one from me if you left a comment. I'm excited to be undertaking this project with your help! xoxo

Friday, September 11, 2009

quilts of valor

It was one of my goals this year to donate two quilts to the Quilts of Valor. One of my local quilt shops is a drop off site, which makes it easy to donate, and I think it's a great cause. Considering the fact that it is September already...well, I'm kind of running out of time. So I'm wondering if you would like to help. I am looking for 59 of you that would be willing to donate one block to the cause. I will assemble and finish the quilts, then donate them when they are completed.

If you are interested, please read the specifics carefully:

I am requesting that you make a maverick star block. There is a tutorial here.

I would like the blocks to be made from red, white and blue fabrics. (or red and white, or blue and white, or red and get the idea.) If you use white, it doesn't necessarily have to be the background color.

Please Please PLEASE make sure that the final block measures 12.5" unfinished. If the block is not 12.5", I reserve the right to alter the block or to omit the block all together. I'm not trying to be mean here, but I don't want to struggle to assemble the tops with various sizes of blocks. I've been there, done that and nearly pulled my hair out.

I would like the blocks to be mailed back to me by the end of September. I realize that is not a lot of time, but if you are like me, a deadline is good. And a short deadline is even better. :)

Anyone interested? Questions? If so, please leave me a comment which includes your email address. Thanks in advance!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

candy shop quilt

candy shop
This quilt was made especially for scrap reduction. It's all 6" (cut) squares. I'm trying a little experiment with my scrap bucket. Nothing new is going in and I am going to see just how far those scraps go. I may be on this journey for quite some time!

To quilt it, I just "drew" a loopy line over each seam line. This is how I quilted most of my quilts before I learned to stipple. (It was this or stitch in the ditch.) So I did a great plenty of quilts this way. It was nice to revisit this technique after many years. It quilted up really fast.

The binding is one of my favorite parts of this quilt.
candy shop-back
For the back, I pieced it. All from the stash. Again.

I'm trying to figure out why 9 times out of 10 I like the backs of my quilts better than the fronts. Maybe I need to start designing my quilts backwards?
As an aside, I finished the sweet quilt weeks ago but only posted it yesterday due to scheduling on the Moda Bakeshop. I am working on my wips and making great strides, but I'm not working day and night over here. I promise. :) But, as my friend Mary said, with school being back in session, quilt production must be up. And it is! Yipee!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

a sweet quilt

sweet quilt
This is a little quilt that I designed for the Moda Bakeshop.

It measures 45" x 54". I consider that a baby quilt, but it could also be used for a lap quilt.

I like the busy prints all crammed together. And the tumbler shapes make it look complex, but it really is easy peasy. Just the way I like it. :)

The tutorial is here.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


my new bedding set is complete.
i love it. so, so much.

Friday, September 04, 2009

i heart quilt alongs

Thanks a bunch for all the comments on the "where do you buy fabric" debate. I appreciate each and every comment...I read them all, yes, even those after the 200 mark. And don't you doubt it. :) It was so very interesting!

I've been working on several quilt alongs....I seem to be unable pass one up.
Anita at Bloomin' Workshop is hosting a reclaimed clothing quilt along. This is the stack of clothing that I started with.

Instead of donating our used clothing to a thrift shop, I have been slowly collecting fabrics that would be appropriate for quilt making. Yes, I'm trying my hand at making a quilt the old school way. I'm using fabric (of undetermined origin, no less!) for the background that came from my grandma's house.

The solids colored blocks are made from previously worn (sounds better than "old" doesn't it?) pants. The plaids are from shirts that my husband and son wore. The red one was a victim of an unfortunate mustard incident after church during a cook out. But there was still plenty usable fabric left for a few blocks. I am finding great satisfaction in repurposing these clothes.
It's not the easiest to work with the heavier materials. One thing that I have found is that I seem to have better success piecing with my walking foot. It allows me to sew a more exact 1/4" seam than my actual 1/4" piecing foot does. It's just a hair different, but when piecing stars, that hair really matters. Anyway, I have a recipient in mind for this quilt and the fact that it will be an old school quilt will be even better than if it was made from all quilt shop fabric, in his mind. Yay for that!

John is also hosting a wonky log cabin quilt along. He is doing a series of tutorials on his blog...I've learned a few new tips already and we are just getting started. By joining in, it is my goal to try to use up a bunch of my scraps, not to see how many quilts I could start in a year. :) (I had to leave my toes in the shot so I could add it to the toe catchers flickr group.)

I'm admitting defeat in Anina's geese in the forest quilt along. I'm making a very, very small version of it. Better finished than a few blocks floundering in a basket somewhere forever, right?
And finally, my one a day quilt along.
It's day 47. I have made 38 blocks. Gotta catch up!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

i have issues

I think a lot about quilting. Shocking, I know. There is one issue that I have been trying to work out in my mind over the past several weeks. I've read several times in books and on the occasional blog that when quilting, "you should only use the highest quality quilting cottons that are available." Am I the only one that gets a little bit irritated when I read that? Isn't that a far cry from where quilting started out in the first place?

fabric from the Eagle Creek quilt shop in Shakopee, MN

In a perfect world, sure, that would be nice. But so would laundry that cleans and folds itself and a self unloading dishwasher. I do love what I call "quilt shop fabric" but I slum it at JoAnn's fairly regularly and even at Wal-Mart occasionally. I also use vintage fabrics in my quilts, which is another thing that "they" say you shouldn't do. I just looked through my stash and I would estimate that about 60% of it is from quilt shops. That's an all time high for me. I do love quilt shop fabric. It's pretty and well designed and soooooo nice. But then again, I have to be realistic, too. I am a stay at home mom to 3 kids who makes many quilts each year. I don't have an endless quilting budget. And the quilts that I made 9 years ago out of what would be considered less than the "highest quality quilting cottons available" are still holding together nicely. I guess I'm just thinking out loud.

fabric from Cia's Palette

I'm curious to know, what are your thoughts on this subject? What do you do?