Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Change of Plan

Last week I showed you the progress on my current art group project. We are making 12" by 12" blocks using the same stash of scraps. This is what I made last week during our meeting.

Read the first post here.  Well ... I changed my mind about what I would make. Instead of making a single quilt block, I decided I'd rather make a composition. I kept the log cabin block I made last week and added to it.

I had a little trouble getting it large enough. After two unsuccessful tries, I just cut off the bottom and added plenty of fabric!

This is currently bigger than I need, FINALLY! I'm going to wait to square it up to 12.5" by 12.5" until we decide what we will do with these.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Work in Progress

I finished quilting the third block in my non-pattern pattern block piece.

And I'm almost finished quilting the fourth!

I need some quilting in the center vertical bit and the pieced horizontal bit in the bottom right. Then I must make a decision about how I will quilt the borders.

Quilting this project is the only sewing I have done in the last few days. On Saturday we just hung out around the house and I went to the garden center and bought some herbs, tomatoes and a few flowers for pots. It has been so windy though that I haven't planted anything yet. It is still windy today and the forecast is calling for a low of 23 F tonight! Tomorrow looks better though so my plan for today is to make sure I get everything I need (potting soil) so I can plant tomorrow.

On Sunday we surprised the boy and took him to a movie. He was given a choice between Kung Fu Panda 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4. I was sure he would choose to see Jack Sparrow since his party last week was pirate themed, but he didn't. Kung Fu Panda was good!

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A New 9 Year Old

My baby boy is 9 today.

He had a pirate theme party yesterday. I made bandanas and sword belts for the attendees. One of the activities they did was to make a beaded dangle for their bandanas with a piece of eight (a washer) on the bottom, just like Jack Sparrow.

Then there were sword fighting lessons.

And a treasure hunt.


I made Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. It was very good but rich.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Art Group 12 by 12

My art group, Sew Silly Sisters, met yesterday. We all brought scraps and pulled fabrics from everyone's piles so that we all have essentially the same group of fabrics to work with. From these fabrics we are each creating a 12" by 12" block using any of the methods we have learned recently. Mine doesn't look like much at the moment.

This is as far as I got yesterday. The log cabin block on the right is going to be the center of a star. I'm making fabric on the left that I will cut up and use for the star points. The pink Kaffe Fassett print in the center of the log cabin block is the first fabric we chose. Our rule is that everyone must use this fabric in their block and at least some of the other fabrics we picked.

We haven't decided exactly how we will finish our blocks. Some ideas are (1) sew them all together into one quilt; (2) everyone quilt and bind their own block but attach them all to the same quilted background; or (3) everyone quilt and bind their own block then display them together but they all remain separate pieces.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Today is the last day of school for my son. I'm never sure when I will be able to sew in the summer time, so posts from me might be more irregular until school starts back in late August.

Currently I'm trying to get my non-pattern pattern quilt quilted. I started by quilting in the ditch to stabilize everything. Now I am going back and filling in. I've got two blocks quilted so far.

In general I have no idea how I will quilt each section. I just pick one to work on and do whatever occurs to me at the moment. For the smaller sections there aren't many options so I usually do those first. Here's what it looks like so far.

I'm still trying to decide on a title for this piece. The last time I asked it was suggested that the title incorporate the word "fractured" in some way. "Fractured landscape", "fractured lives", ... This got me thinking about "fissures." Maybe "fissures of time". I don't know. I'm still cogitating. I've still got many more hours of stitching to do on this project, which also means lots of time left to come up with a title.

Friday, May 20, 2011

UFO Bust Report

Aaaaah! A finish.

This one is called Tutti Frutti. The pattern is by Gail Garber and it was begun in a class Gail taught to my guild in 2004. The original pattern finished as an octagon. I changed it to be square. This finished at 40" square. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it is FINISHED.

I had a heck of a time quilting this thing with the many seams in the star portion. I started out using YLI 40 wt. variegated. When am I going to learn?! Once I switched to Aurifil 50 wt., things went more smoothly. I wonder if the 40 wt. YLI is just too thick for my machine. I tried four different kinds of needles in several sizes and my machine skipped stitches all over the place, and not just over seams. The good news is that this time the YLI thread only shredded and broke once.

I used Aurifil to quilt all the borders. Here are some detail shots of the quilting.

I have my next UFO basted and ready for quilting. This is the one I inherited from my mom. She had the center already done. I added the border and will quilt it.

The binding for this one is already made and ready to be sewn on as soon as I finish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

12 x 12 Mini Quilt Swap

I received my 12 x 12 mini quilt from my partner today! Look how great it is!

Thank you Sherri! I LOVE it! I'm trying to figure out where I will hang it. Right now it is just hanging out on my design wall.

Check out the other goodies Sherri included.

The crocheted items are beautiful! I have recently started using these crocheted cloths for lite cleaning. Sherri's are much nicer than the ones I make. I only know one pattern, the one on the inside of the yarn package. After seeing these and inspecting them up close, I think I need to branch out a bit and try a new pattern.

Thank you again Sherri!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Camping Season Begins

Recently we bought a new-to-us VW Vanagon. My boys decided to take it for an overnighter this weekend to try it out. They have slept in it already, but just parked in the driveway!

I was invited, and I'm sure I'll do some camping with them in this since I won't have to sleep on the ground. However, from my perspective, camping is pay-back for the many weekends all ski season that I was a single parent. I took full advantage and quilted a UFO.

I'll give you a sneak peak today and then hopefully show you the finished project on Friday for my UFO report.

Goldie is testing it out for me to make sure it passes kitty inspection! If I can get her off of it this morning, I'll finish attaching the binding, sleeve and label by machine, then begin the hand work to finish it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry

I am choosing to share my New York Beauty quilt with you for Festival.

Go over to the Festival Page at Amy's Creative Side to go view the other fabulous entries. Scroll to the bottom of the post to see thumbnail images of all the entries. Click on a picture to see a larger image and read about the quilt.

I made this quilt in 2008. I took a class at my LQS to learn how to paper piece without sewing through the paper and this was the class project. I was not really interested in making a New York Beauty quilt, but I really wanted to learn the technique. When I signed up for the class I thought I would make one block, just to learn the technique, then put it in my orphan block bin for later. Well ... I made one block and had such fun I decided that I did need to make a New York Beauty quilt!

I made all 16 blocks the class project called for using only fabrics from my stash. Then I set them my own way. The blocks are 8" finished and the quilt measures 40" square. If you are not familiar with the paper piecing technique I used for this quilt, you can go see my tutorial on the process.

Once I got the top together, I was a bit stumped on how to quilt it. I decided to try several different motifs. You can click on each image to view it larger if you need to.

This was the first quilt I heavily quilted and made the quilting a feature, not just something to hold the layers together. It was a fun quilt to make and not one I ever thought I would make. Pink is not even really a favorite color of mine! I do love circles though and the border fabric was the first fabric I chose. All the other fabrics were chosen based on this one.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Just a Quick Note

I've got a busy day on tap for today so this has to be quick.

First I finished my fourth pin cushion.

Second, I got my non-pattern pattern blocks put together.

And third, a Goldie picture.

This was taken yesterday morning. She was sitting on top of the step ladder surveying the backyard. Of course as soon as I got the camera she jumped down!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Family Post

This is Finals Week so I am busy making out and grading exams. I did get to do a little sewing yesterday, but I will show you that on Friday since it was all UFO progress.

Last night was the Cub Scout graduation ceremony for our local Pack. Here is Dad with our new Weeblo Scout.

Dad surprised him with a Weeblo slide and hat. He was trying to look serious, like a good Scout.

He was really very excited and wanted to put all his new patches and pins on his shirt right away. My response that I didn't bring my sewing machine with me seemed to placate him for the moment. I'm sure I'll be jazzing up that uniform this week though.

Since this is a family post I'll also show you a picture taken recently of Goldie.

We have several ornamental grasses growing in our front yard. Two weekends ago I cut them back and just piled the clippings along the side of the house. The plan was to baggie them up and take them to the yard trash dump. However, Goldie snuggled into them and made herself a little nest. For now the pile is still along the side of the house. Goldie isn't done playing and sleeping in it yet.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Pin Cushions

I'm getting a little carried away with my pin cushion production.

Here are two more prepped and ready for hand stitching.

Here they are finished.

And a picture of the back. I used one of the alphabets on my machine to add my initials.

I've got another one prepped and ready for hand stitching. How many of these am I going to make?

Friday, May 6, 2011

UFO Bust Report - No progress

My progress on UFOs has slowed dramatically with the end of the semester and looming deadlines for other projects. I finished the mermaid tails this week which was the most urgent.

Yesterday was a somewhat "free" day for me, but I had a terrible sinus headache. One of those headaches that lingers for days. It seems to be better this morning, but not completely gone. Anyway, I wanted to sew but with such a bad headache I didn't want to do anything that required a lot of thought.

First I made another Morsbag. Trying to follow their mission of using recycled materials for the bag, I used an old sheet, left over from the mermaid tails, as a foundation and pieced scraps of fabrics left over from other tote bag projects. It took a little longer to make, but I like it.

 Side one

Side Two

If you want to make a Morsbag too, click on the link to go to their homepage , then "make one" on their homepage. The pattern is super simple and makes a nice bag.

Next, I had some scraps left over from my current art group project so I also made a little pin cushion.

It measures about 3.75" square. For my next guild retreat we are going to have a pin cushion exchange. I've been looking through magazines, books and blogs trying to find a cute pin cushion to make. There are tons of great ones, but I think this one says "Lynn" in a way no others will.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Non Pattern Pattern Mini Quilt

I took out the part of the binding that my walking foot leaked oil on (you can read about that incident here) and finished up my mini quilt this morning. I also ordered a new walking foot for my machine.

It measures about 11" by 14". I decided not to square up all of the sides. Opting to go with the more natural wonky edge of the block. I wasn't sure how this would work with traditional straight grain binding, but it turned out fine.

I really like this little quilt and the non pattern pattern block idea. You can read my previous two posts about this quilt here #1 and here #2. Again, this is an original idea from Victoria at The Silly BooDilly. Links to her first post about this idea can be found by following the "here #1" link.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

One of Those Days

I won't bore you with the list of things that have not gone my way lately. I'll just show you one of them that happened today.

Do you remember my first non-pattern pattern block? I finished quilting it and had a few minutes so I thought I'd put some binding on it. Doesn't it look good?!

Check this out though.

What is that!!!? It's oil! My walking foot has been making an awful racket for several months. A few weeks ago it started sticking and not working properly. It would get stuck as I was sewing and cause my machine to stop suddenly. The poor baby would groan and the lights would go out as it was trying to sew but the walking foot would not cooperate. I figured that the walking foot was unusable as it was. Why not try to fix it? So I oiled it. It worked great afterward! Yay for me.

Ummm... not yay now. I don't understand why it leaked oil now. I oiled it 2 weeks ago and then let it sit for several days. Then I sewed with it on scrap fabric until it stopped leaking oil, about 10 or 15 minutes. Before using it today I also sewed on scrap fabric for a few minutes - no oil on the scraps. But as I'm finishing up the fourth corner it leaks. It soaked all the way through to the front of the binding, but did not get on the front of the piece. So all is not lost, but I don't feel like fixing it right now.

*sigh* I need a cup of tea and some chocolate.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mermaid Tails Finished

Whew! I am finally finished with the mermaid tails for my son's class production of The Little Mermaid.

I made eight. This one is for King Triton.

This one is for Ariel.

Then there are six of these for the other mermaids.

These have ties to be tied around the waist of each child. I made them using a sheet as the base fabric and for the ties. I sewed four layers of a plastic tulle-like material to the fabric base. Over this I draped eyelash yarn and attached it along the sides of the tails, on the previous stitching line. I'll be taking these to school with me this afternoon when I volunteer in my son's class. I hope they like them!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


After a very dry, mild winter, today it snows!

The birds are hunkering down in the trees near our feeder. Occasionally venturing over to the feeder.

After much whining, Goldie finally ventured out into the snowy weather. She tried every door in the house to see if maybe the weather was better out a different door! I tried to get a picture of her in the snow, but she didn't stay still long enough for me to focus on her. Currently she is hiding out underneath the neighbors canoe that they keep propped against their garage when not in use. From there she can stay relatively out of the weather and hidden from the view of the squirrels and birds congregating at our feeder.

Looks like a good day to stay inside and sew! I've got to finish up those mermaid tails first. Then we'll see how much more sewing the boy will allow me to get away with. The husband is out of town, again. Not skiing this time though. He is off picking up a camper that he purchased.