Monday, January 30, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

My 18th block:

And a group shot:

Go see Caroll's version of this block at Attic Window Quilt Shop. And the Modern Monday Flickr group has lots of eye candy too.

Brief personal note: My work situation has changed this semester. Without going in details, I have a large volume of work that needs to be done within the next month. The time required for the overwhelming amount of grading that needs to be done has to be taken from somewhere and unfortunately it will have to come out of my sewing time. Less sewing time means fewer blog posts because I won't have anything to show you. So if I am not posting as often, this is why. I still hope to do my Modern Monday block each week but I may not have time for much else.

Thanks for understanding and I hope to be back to my regular routine by the end of February.

Friday, January 27, 2012

To Do List Progress

I've made a few more stars for the Oh My Stars! quilt along this week.

And my second Swoon block.

And that rounds out my week of sewing. Doesn't seem like I accomplished a lot, but all these blocks are time intensive to make I guess. Nothing wrong with that! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I made my first Swoon block yesterday afternoon/evening using some of the Primitiva I purchased recently.

These blocks are big, finished size is 24" square! That is why it only takes 9 of these blocks to make an 80" by 80" quilt. I'm not sure exactly how many of these I will make but at least four. Then I will decide how I want to put them together. I'm planning a large wall hanging for my blocks. I have a 60" by 60" space in my dining room where I like to display a quilt. I'm hoping that these blocks will turn into something I can display there.

My quality control department watched over the construction of my block.

Actually I think this is cat language for "I will not be ignored." Notice that she is partly laying on the Primitiva fabrics. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A Stitch In Color is finally here! Lately I have been buying mostly half yard cuts. There are 40 prints in the A Stitch in Color line and I just couldn't choose. So I bought fat quarter cuts and splurged on the entire line.

I'm not sure what I will do with these yet other than rearrange and pet them. Originally I thought I might make the Swoon pattern with some of them. However, I'm not sure I can cut them up yet. That is why I also bought a fat quarter bundle of Primitiva.

And the Tangerine fat quarter bundle.

I know myself and was worried that I would not be able to cut any of the A Stitch in Color right away. So I may be making the Swoon pattern from the Primitiva and some of the tangerine bundle. Those Swoon blocks look great in just about any fabric! There is a large Swoon Along going on right now with a very active Flickr group.

All fabrics were purchased from my favorite online shop, The Intrepid Thread. My sister gave me a gift certificate for my birthday which paid for one of the last two fat quarter bundles.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Week 17 block.

Someone commented to me that this block doesn't look very "modern." I guess it depends on your definition of "modern." For me, "modern" means using contemporary fabric prints and solids. It can be wonky but doesn't have to be. This one obviously isn't wonky. I do think it is "modern" though because of the fabrics used.

This one did come out about 3/4" smaller than it was suppose to be. I'm not sure how that happened. Obviously I cut something wrong. Oh well! I'm not planning to set these blocks in a grid. I plan to just make some filler pieces and arrange the blocks in some way that is interesting to me.

Be sure to go check out Caroll's block for last week. She is using white, gray and orange - yum!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Unexpected Squishy Mail

My mail carrier brought me a nice surprise this week - this lovely covered notebook!

It was made by Stephanie of Peas in a Pod out of some Kate Spain Good Fortune. Check out the back.

I put it to use immediately. I had just spent half an hour looking for a little notebook that I know I have somewhere to jot down notes to myself and such. I took a break from searching to get the mail and then quit looking for the other notebook. I'll probably find it now since I don't need it anymore!!

Thank you Stephanie!

Friday, January 20, 2012

To Do List Progress

I started my blocks for the Oh My Stars! quilt along this week. There are three sizes of stars - 12", 8" and 4" finished. Here are my blocks so far.

I am taking my time with this one, just enjoying the process. There will be over 100 stars total. I have decided to make my star points out of half square triangles rather than flying geese. I think my half square triangles are more accurate. Those little four inch stars are so cute! Good thing I think so because the pattern calls for a lot of them. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Zippered iPad Cover

My DH got me an iPad for Christmas. Thus, I needed to make a cover for it. I used this tutorial from Fat Quarterly. However, I altered the pattern so that there are no raw edges on the inside. I used the assembly idea from this tutorial on Moda Bake Shop to make the lining separate from the outside so that there are no raw edges inside. I also added a strap using the instructions from the second tutorial.

I used some Wrenly and solid brown for my cover. Below is one side.

And here is the other side. I can't decide which one is the front.

My iPad fits perfectly inside.

However, the opening is a tad small with the cover on.

The tablet will fit inside with the cover on, but you have to wiggle it to get it past the zipper. I may make another one about a quarter to a half inch wider. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winning Wednesday

I've won a few giveaways recently! First I won a book from the ...And Then We Set It On Fire blog. Isn't that a great blog name!!

I was thrilled to win this book! It is one I probably would have purchased eventually.

I also won some hand-dyed thread from Laura Wasilowski.

I'm not sure what I will do with it, but it sure is pretty!

This last one isn't a giveaway win, but it's still exciting. One of the Quilts of Valor I finished recently has been chosen to participate in a traveling show.

This is the one made using the mystery blocks from my guild retreat in October that I assembled and quilted. The quilts will hang at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo over the next few months. They will be in Lakeland, FL in February, then Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland and Worcester, MA. After it is done traveling around it will be donated to a soldier through the Quilts of Valor program.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

House Block

Today is Art Group Day for me! We are all bringing our house blocks to show. These will go into a group quilt in some way. We have not yet decided how we will put them together. Below is mine.

This block is nothing like what I originally planned to do! I was going to do a Victorian house. I even drew out a pattern, but I just couldn't bring myself to go any further. It just didn't excite me. Then I happened across this post over at Eat, Sleep, Quilt. She posted a link to the Wonky House Blocks flickr group. I really liked this house block and got to work right away making my version.

I really like the original block. I'm not so sure about mine. First, it is pretty big. I think it might actually be bigger than the maximum we set for our house blocks. If so, I'll need to make another one. Second, I'm not sure I like my tree. The original had some green triangles pieced into the sky behind the house as trees. I really like that and had planned to do it, but then got side tracked and ended up with what you see. The sky piece with the tree can come off so I can still change it. I'm going to see what my group thinks before making a decision.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Below is last weeks block.

And here are all 16 blocks I've made so far.

I'm just loving this!

Stop by at Caroll's blog to see her block. Jenifer now has a button for the quilt along. I think it's pretty cute.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cover for Bernie

I've been wanting to make a pretty cover for my new Bernina, Bernie, since I got him. Yesterday my friend Susan blogged about making a cover for her machine and posted a link to this tutorial. It was perfect timing! I downloaded the instructions and got right to work. I had a cover made before lunch!

Isn't the fabric cute!! I got a yard of this at Hobby Lobby over the summer when I visited my parents in Alabama. I had no idea what I would do with it, but just couldn't leave without some. It is perfect for Bernie's cover.

What I particularly like about the tutorial is that she gives you a formula so that you can make a cover for any machine. You just have to measure your machine as instructed and plug the numbers into the formula. And the pattern is for a lined cover. I know you can zig zag over raw edges. It will be fine and no one is really ever going to see the inside except me, but I prefer to have all the raw edges hidden.

My fabric is directional so I cut the main piece into two and then pieced them back together. This way on the back the fabric is still right side up. You can see the seam along the top at the back of my machine in the photo below.

The original pattern included pockets on the sides in contrasting fabric. I didn't really want pockets but liked the look of the contrasting fabric on the side. So I used this black with white dots for my side pieces. The lining is just solid black. It looks like binding around the bottom, but it is the lining.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

I made this Sausage and Bean Jambalaya for my family earlier this week. I'm blogging about it so you know it was a hit! I used turkey sausage instead of what the recipe called for because I made the mistake of reading the nutrition labels at the grocery store. I also added some onion because if it doesn't have onion or garlic, why bother!?

I think okra would be a great addition to this recipe. I didn't have any so I didn't use it, but I'll look for some at the grocery store for next time.

The photo is from the Better Homes and Gardens website as is the recipe. It was in the December 2011 issue.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sale Fabrics

Every year Equilter has a big year end sale. This is the second year that I have taken advantage. Usually they have really fast shipping. However, if you order during their end of the year sale be prepared to wait a bit for it. They get a lot of orders because of the deep discounts, but it's worth the wait! I ordered this year on Christmas Day and my fabric came Jan. 10th.

Here is what I got for my stash.

The top two have subtle ovals. The next two are some white on whites which I am low on. The bottom three were just too pretty to resist. All except the top two are 1 yard cuts, which is the minimum required purchase during the sale. The exception is if they don't have a yard left. That is why the top two are less than a yard, but I bought all they had left.

These next 6 fabrics are all 3 yard cuts purchased for backs of charity quilts. Three yards is enough for the back of one lap size quilt, with a little left over. Or it is enough for the back of two baby quilts.

The bottom one is slated to become the back of my Noodle Surprise quilt. I had a $4 per yard limit this year for this sale. I paid between $3.40 and $3.98 a yard for each of these fabrics. All are "quilt shop quality" fabrics.

If you have never ordered from Equilter, I recommend them. They have a nice website that is easy to use. They have a free pattern designer and a free color finder feature. They also have a weekly newsletter that includes all the new fabrics they have in and the weekly sale fabrics. Sign up for the newsletter if you want to get in on the great sales. The newsletter comes out sometime over the weekend. If they have a good sale, shop early because things go fast. They also have a mid-week "creative nudge" newsletter. It usually includes a photograph or some other source of inspiration along with a brief list of what's new in the shop and sales.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Decision Made

Thank you for all your comments on my layout decision. I opted for layout #5.

I chose this one because of the quilting plan I have for it.

However, I will be playing with this block again! I really liked the first and third layouts, but felt that the red stripe was too strong in these layouts. I think it might be better with a different fabric used for the stripe. I also think it might help to have some non-stripe blocks too. I will of course share with you what I come up with.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Yellow Brick Road, revisited

I finished my second Yellow Brick Road quilt over the weekend. My second attempt at the pattern and this time I followed it correctly.

Finished size is 48" by 57" (just like the pattern says it should be). I quilted it with orange thread and did an all over swirl.

I did an all over swirl on the last one too, but I only did swirls on it. This time instead of trying to fill every space with a swirl, I filled odd areas with random shapes. I like both designs but this one is a bit easier for me to do.

For the back I dug out two old fabrics.

These were purchased pre-boy so at least 10 years old. One of them was used on the back of a baby quilt I made for him. I used all of the darker orange for the back but had about 2/3 of a yard of the lighter orange left. Rather than put it back in my stash I cut it up to add to my charity/kid quilt stash of pre-cut pieces.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Layout Options

While piecing my two Yellow Brick Road quilts recently I also pieced blocks for a charity quilt. Yesterday I played with the layout of the blocks.

Layout #1

Layout #2

Layout #3

Layout #4

Layout #5

Layout #4 is how I usually sew these blocks together. I've never really played with their layout before, even though I've done this pattern several times. I'm not sure how these will get sewn together. Do you have a favorite layout?

Friday, January 6, 2012

First Finish of 2012

I had a really nice birthday on Wednesday! I received chocolate and gift certificates, one to my local quilt store and one to The Intrepid Thread. I'm waiting for A Stitch in Color to come out later this month. When it does I will be ordering from The Intrepid Thread. From my LQS, I want the upgraded foot pedal for Bernie. I really miss being able to tap the foot pedal to raise the needle. This is the only feature Lily had that Bernie doesn't that I still miss after several months of using Bernie.

I was also able to finish my first project of 2012 on my birthday. Here is the Road Less Traveled.

This is my first Yellow Brick Road pattern quilt - the one I messed up on. I'm not going to tell you what I did wrong. If you are very familiar with the pattern you may be able to figure out which blocks are wrong. But I think it turned out just fine!

Here is a close up of the quilting. I did an all over swirl.

For the back I used a fitted sheet that had old elastic. It wouldn't stay on my son's mattress anymore but there is nothing wrong with the fabric.

He is still using the flat sheet. I just bought a new plain white fitted sheet to use with it.

Finished Size: 44" by 53"

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday. I hope I get to sew today! I thought I would share with you what I purchased for myself recently.

I bought these from Christine Kangas on EtsyThis link will take you to the listing on Etsy. And they came securely wrapped in this adorable polka dot box!

Generation Q Magazine did a feature on her recently. (I tried to provide the link to the article but could not get it to load for some reason) I checked out her shop as a result of the article and bought the earrings. She has lots of other beautiful jewelry, so go check it out!

She upgraded my earrings to have sterling wire for free. Love that! I had a bad infection in one of my holes about 2 years ago. It took some heavy duty antibiotics to finally cure me. My doctor said to get rid of all my questionable earrings and only buy gold or sterling from now on. She even offered to write me a prescription for new earrings if necessary. How funny is that! I said that wasn't necessary since I was sure my husband wouldn't object to my getting some new earrings. (And he didn't).

If I get anything else "blog worthy" for my birthday I'll be sure to share it with you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yellow Brick Road

Here is the second Yellow Brick Road quilt I've made recently.

The first one I made is sort of a Yellow Brick Road. I read the pattern wrong! I made fun of my friend Stephanie for doing the same thing recently. Here's another thing we have in common Stephanie! I thought I had a picture of it but I don't. It is already basted and waiting to be quilted. I'll get a picture for you later.

I made the first one on New Year's Eve night. I guess I was tired. When I realized what I had done it was too late to rip and retry. I'd already cut stuff. Any of you who have made this pattern know that you use up every last bit of fabric with this pattern. So I rooted around in my stash and found another set of 6 coordinating fat quarters for the quilt shown above. I even had almost a yard of the black kitty fabric for the border. I had about 1/2" of it left after cutting the borders.

One of my goals for this year is to use up fabric I have been hoarding for no apparent reason. I've already got the backing fabric pulled for this quilt. It is an older print I've had for more than 7 years. That is, I bought it before we moved to our current house. For lack of a better measure, this is what I am using to define "older fabric" in my stash. If I bought it before we moved here then I need to find a use for it to make room for the pretty new stuff I'm buying.

Both of these are going into my gift stash. The first one is a boy quilt and this one could go for either I think. I'm also working on another charity quilt. I got all the blocks pieced as a Leader and Ender while making my two Yellow Brick Road quilts.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 15

I need to take a picture of all my blocks so far. I'll add that to my "to do" list for this week.

Be sure to go visit Caroll to see her block. Then make a visit to Jenifer to see what we will be making this week.