Monday, December 20, 2010

2011 Plans and Projects

Elisabeth is hosting a linky party at her blog Don't Call Me Betsy today. The question? What are you planning to do in 2011?

I really want to finish off some projects that have been literally littering my closet:
  1. The 1930's BOM Quilt - this is the quilt that started my quilting journey 9 years ago and I think it is time it got finished. I got stuck on the borders and I am still not sure what I want to do. Some appliqu├ęd vines and flowers would be awesome, but not realistic at this point. I've got to do some thinking.
  2. Scrappy Alternating 9 Patch - I started this 8 years ago and got hung up on trimming the blocks and not knowing how in the world I would quilt it even if I did finish it. I'm not really into the colors, but I know my daughter will like them.
  3. About 7 years ago I bought a whole bunch of Christmas fabric on clearance to make Christmas tree skirts. What a great money maker! Anyway...Now I have a tote of half finished Christmas tree skirts. I want to finish/gift/give away and basically get them out of here.
  4. 6 years ago I made a black and peachy/pink top out of a scrap bag I got at my LQS. Again, I got hung up on the border. I want to finish this and donate it. It is not really my style anymore but is still really pretty.
Wow, that is quite the timeline of ancient projects!
Here are the ones I want to finish from this year:
5. Quilt the Tree Quilt
6. Finish my Brother's Blue Quilt
7. Cousin Presents
8. Anna's Baby Quilt (and make a tutorial for it?)

Cut fabrics for Anna's quilt

Planned new projects:

9. Upholstery log-cabin
10. Kid's Crazy Quilt (quilt along?)
11. Twist on Tradition Bee (that I started!)
12. Finish Bee Improvisational Bee and suggest another round (or join/start another?)
13. Solid Drunk Love inspired lap quilt for the living room in colors inspired by this window. Oh yeah, and finish up those throw pillows too.

Oh yeah, and keep on working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden. I would like to have the top finished by the end of the year.

Hummm...That list is looking a little bit long but a girl has got to dream!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Wrapping Paper

No, I am not saying that one should very, Very, VERY carefully open presents and then fold and reuse the wrapping paper. What I mean is: Have you ever tried wrapping your presents in fabric? So cute, so easy, so reusable. Such a good reason to stash more Christmas fabric. :)
American Jane fabrics

There are three major ways I wrap our presents:
  1. The Tootsie Roll - featured in green. Simply roll your present up and secure each end with ribbons.
  2. The BonBon - red. Place your present in the middle of the fabric and gather all the edges up into a bunch. Secure with ribbon.
  3. The Box Poof - in yellow. Wrap the fabric around your present. Secure fabric to box with tape. Gather the two loose sides up toward the middle of the box. Do a little tucking and arranging to get a great triangular flap of fabric. Secure loose ends in the middle of the box with ribbon. Give the top a poof and you are ready to go.
I keep a bit of wrapping paper on hand for presents that aren't for our family, but all of the presents that stay "in house" get wrapped in fabric. Give it a try!

Christmas Present and Baby Tree Quilt

After the fiasco that was the quilting of my brother's quilt, I decided to make him this little drawstring bag for the sibling exchange. He is planning on serving as a missionary for the LDS (Mormon) Church starting this summer and I wanted to get him something he could use. What does every clean cut missionary need? A shoe shining kit - in the Cutest-Bag-Ever!

Seriously, not to blow my own horn but I couldn't stop ooh-ing and ah-ing over it. If he likes it half as much as I do it will make a good present.

I am finally getting my nephew's baby quilt in the mail. I wanted to get the coordinating Big Tree Quilt mailed with it, but I want Baby Andy to have his before he is two years old. :) I also sent a cute drawstring bag - perfect for carrying around snacks and toys as he gets older.

And which will only load upside down! Ahhh... I'll try again later!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Got Kona?

Yesterday I headed over to Hancock Fabric. Kona cottons are 40% of until Christmas! I felt a bit nerdy with my two Huge piles of fabric waiting to be cut. The nerdiness escalated as I bummed a pen and tape off the ladies, who were patiently making 1/2 yard cuts of my 20 (!) different fabrics, so I could label them.

Goodness knows, I will need to refer to them by name in my blog. :)

Clementine boxes make the best fabric holders!
Hope you have a good weekend.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I Needed:
  1. Masking tape
  2. 2 million safety pins
  3. Another adult to help stretch and tape the quilt
  4. A walking foot
  5. The perfect blue thread

I had:
  1. Blue painter's tape - not so sticky
  2. Only 1 million safety pins
  3. A 18 month old and 3 year old - they weren't destructive, but...
  4. A regular foot with an attachment for making parallel lines
  5. A bit too light blue thread

So I:
  1. Didn't stretch the backing and top as well as I should have
  2. Only pinned 5 inches apart
  3. Looked at it and thought, "Wow, that is a lot of blue. Maybe I should have gone back to the store and got some more navy for section under the squares. Oh, well."
  4. Started quilting free motion squares
  5. Un-picked the free motion squares
  6. Realized that quilting on a ULTRA LARGE expanse of solid in the slightly wrong color of thread doesn't leave a lot of room for mistakes
  7. Took some deep breaths, ate some chocolate, debated how to quilt it
  8. Decided to straight line quilt it - I don't have a walking foot, but I decided that I wouldn't do the lines too close together and it would turn out ok, right?
  9. Started quilting - it started out ok. Then I got a pucker, but one pucker on a twin sized quilt isn't bad, right?
  10. Tried to tell myself it wasn't going to turn out as bad as I thought it was, as I took out pins to ease fabric into place and as the fabric got wavier and wavier as I quilted more and more lines.
  11. Told myself, "It will just look crinkly when it washes, right?" Wrong. Big Fail.
I didn't cry:
  1. While quilting
  2. When my husband came home and I showed it to him
  3. When we went out to dinner with people from work and the subject came up. I did start to get really frustrated when I thought about the quilt and then thought, "These people must think I am crazy. Who sews a quilt? Who gets spitting angry over quilting problems?"
I did shed some tears of frustration as I looked at my thrashed house and wavy fabric-ed quilt. I was so focused on finishing that quilt I had let housework slide and literal mountains of laundry pile up. What was worse, I hadn't given the quilt the time it needed so it was ruined.

Instead of hurrying the project, I needed to have:
  1. Unpicked the lower strip of blue and replaced it with navy.
  2. Bought more pins and tape
  3. Waited until my husband could help me tape it after the kids were in bed (seriously, it was a monster).
  4. Taken the time to practice my free motion quilting on scrap fabric

So today I put it away and I feel much better. I cleaned the house (still have the piles of laundry) and put up some decorations. My brother will not be getting this quilt for Christmas. He won't mind. He probably doesn't know or care that I am making it, but I can't handle giving him a crummy quilt when I can do better. I can't handle stressing myself out over getting it shipped in time for Christmas. The quilt is going in the "after Christmas" pile and I am going to try to not bite off more than I can handle. Maybe after Christmas my husband and I can snuggle under it and unpick over 20 lines of stitching while we watch TV in the evening. Deep breaths...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Not too much happened this last week on the sewing front. EVERYONE - including me - was STILL sick. Thankfully, everyone seems to be getting better now, so expect big things for next week.

New (and finished) Project

I did manage to grab a few minutes here and there to make a stocking for the youngest.

Ongoing Projects
Nothing happened except buying some batting and thread.

To find people who have more Work in their WIP Wednesday, head on over to Freshly Pieced. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Traditionally, the baby doesn't get a real stocking it's first Christmas at our house. Why? Because I just had a baby (!) and I have other things to stress about. :)

So, I finally made Kate her stocking this year. I crazy quilt pieced it on a green foundation and it went together really fast. I have an older Bernina 801 (love it!) that has seven different stitches. I haven't missed having more stitches until this project, but I used what stitches I did have to stitch over a few of the seams.

Everyone loves it - and following tradition, one of the girls decided that she "hates" her stocking and wants this one instead. I think we need some new Christmas traditions. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bee Button

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Work In Progress Wednesday

It has been a little crazy over here with Thanksgiving and the requisite sick kids that go with any holiday, but I was able to sneak downstairs and get some sewing done over the last two weeks.

1. Potholders - Three tops finished, one quilted and bound and the binding pressed for the other two. I need to get some more batting.

2. My brother's quilt - I finished the front and the back!!!! I love making those wonky square-in-a-square blocks. The front is all blue with a stripe of blocks 2/3's of the way down. The back is pieced with 20-ish inch stripes of varied blues and thin stripes of white. Now I just have to baste and quilt this monster. I haven't quilted a twin sized quilt in 7 years - augh!

1. Bee blocks

No work on:
1. Tree quilt - although I did decide to just put a bit more white around the edge and bought some brown for the binding.
2. Throw pillows

Head on over to Freshly Pieced to see what other people are working on!