Thursday, April 29, 2010

This is how the world went. (and some sewing, of course)

My middle child is almost 6. Here's what he told me the other day:
"Mom, I know how the world went. First there were dinosaurs, then Jesus. Then pyramids, then Indians, and finally electronics."

I tried to tell this to my friend, but I couldn't remember the whole thing. I did remember "first dinosaurs and then Jesus" (how could I forget that?); anyway I asked him to tell it to me again today, and this time he said "I'm going to leave out the pyramids, because they were at the same time as the Indians." So this time, it went: dinosaurs, Jesus, Indians, and then electronics.

This is the same boy who asked, a few weeks ago, "What is this At-um word I keep seeing everywhere?!" We had to explain what an ATM was. I love him so much.

Ok, moving right along... here are a couple of things I've been doing this week. Finally mailed out my April bee blocks, and I also made up some blocks for this project:
Yes I waited until rather close to the deadline. Maybe when I do my project like this (in the fall) I will have a fake deadline and then a real deadline for all the procrastinators.

I am also just about ready to send out my swap quilt for PQS3. Here's a picture of part of the back. I'm almost done sewing the binding down:
The sort of homespun woven green fabric there is from my very first quilt shop fabric purchase, oh so long ago. I'll be able to show the front of the quilt sometime next week, after it makes the trip to my swap partner's house.

I am quilting my Downy quilt now, and thinking about my UFO list and what to do next.

Don't forget to scroll down to the next post for my giveaway, if you're interested! I'll close comments and pick a random winner on Saturday night. Hope you're having a great Thursday!

Oh yeah, I have to share one more thing. This is hilarious--someone linked to it on facebook. You have to go read this, especially if you are a fan of the Mom jeans SNL commercial: Mom jeans and the dreaded long butt. I don't want to ruin it for you, but the section on grandma jeans KILLED ME. So funny.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

spring giveaway

A long time ago, I made this quilt:
And I was new to quilting and had the crazy idea that I might make two of them. Because I kind of went to some trouble to find all those different novelty prints, I guess. So I cut out parts for two quilts.

But I never made the second one, and I don't want to. I still have everything for that second quilt top though, except the rainbow border fabric. I've thought about giving it away for a while, and today I went to my bin of ancient projects and got it out.
There are 24 pairs of novelty prints, a stack of purple rectangles for separating the novelty fabrics, some green strips, 1 1/4 (or so--I didn't measure) yards of the green, and some red/white heart print for binding. I'm sorry about the lack of rainbow border fabric, but glad I used it all up in some other projects. :)

If you want this sort-of quilt top kit, please just leave a comment on this post. I'd love it if you want to tell me your name and where you live and something fun you've made lately. I'll pick a winner sometime on Saturday, May 1.

**Comments are closed now, thanks for entering!**

Monday, April 26, 2010

something to look forward to

Sometimes for fun, I like to visit the "coming soon" section at I'm always interested in what the next Basic Grey line will look like. Over the weekend, I saw a few new things to get a little excited about:
New, fall-ish basic grey line. I am not in a fall colors mood right now, but I think this collection will grow on me.
There is also a new line by Lila Tueller coming out, Spirit:
It's kind of hard to get the feel of how these fabrics look from this small image, so I was glad to see more pictures of these fabrics (some made into various clothing items) on Lila Tueller's blog. I love the rust and deep turquoise colors together. And the brown. And, there's going to be twill.

Oh yeah, there's also a new American Jane line, punctuation: 

I love those tickets!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

PQS3. And more.

I had so much fun making my little quilt for DQS8 that I decided to join in the placemat quilt swap put on by Sarah of house of krom. This one is a one-to-one swap, and my partner is on. the. ball. I got my little quilt from her today:
Isn't it cute! I love the prairie points, I've got to try those one of these times. It was made by Ruth, aka ruthiequilts (link goes to her flickr stream).

So I have been imagining her quilt in my head. I finally pulled fabric for it the other day:
She said she likes romantic pinks and greens, I think I can make something cute with these. (It doesn't have to be mailed until the beginning of May, I still have time!)

In other news, most of my sewing time this week was spent doing this:
The trick to quilting with the walking foot and not having shifting problems, at least for this quilt, was to loosen up my presser foot pressure a bit. There are a few places in this quilt where parts were eased to fit and could have been a problem to quilt, but the quilting went really well and I didn't have the shifting I had on my last quilt. I need to pull out the user manual for my Janome (I used the Viking to quilt this one) and figure out how to adjust the presser foot pressure on it for the next time I do straight line quilting.

I did find time to switch out my walking foot for the quarter inch foot and make my blocks for The Block Swap 2.
I had to add the blue outer strips on the left block because I mis-measured and it came out just a smidge too small. I kind of like it though, and think this might make a cool block even if done on purpose. These blocks will go to Jennie of Sunflower Quilts.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring to Finish

spring to finish big

Yep, Jacquie is at it again. She's heading up another UFO challenge with some prizes to inspire but is also encouraging everyone to plan rewards for themselves.

I am in the middle of finishing the mother of all UFOs at the moment (it needs 27 more lines quilted), I have some other old projects I'd like to get done, some newer things that need to get done, and I'm feeling like I'm making progress.

My reward. Make that multiple, rewards. In my comment on Jacquie's post, I said I would start my 5 year old's monkey quilt. But then I remembered yesterday that I have been telling myself for months that as soon as I finish my watercolor quilt I'm going to start a Dear Jane quilt. And finally, I would really like to make the skirt from Alabama Stitch Book too. So, more projects that will most likely take a while to finish. Oh well, that's part of the fun.

So--I have 8 UFOs. I wonder how many of them I can finish before May 15?

Do you have any unfinished projects? Head on over to Jacquie's and join in the challenge!

p.p.s. Happy Birthday to my Grandpa Taylor, too! He's 94 years old now and probably won't read this. :D

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

sew and tell Friday--quilt top!

I just finished up this quilt top. I really, really like it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet... it isn't for anyone in particular. I could donate it, there are a couple different options that I'm aware of right now for that. Or maybe I'll just keep it. I don't feel like I made much of a dent in my stack of vintage sheet fat quarters, so I think I'm going to try some other ideas with these fabrics soon.

I'm almost ready to start quilting my watercolor quilt--just need to go buy thread. I ended up going with pin basting, what can I say, I was afraid to try something new (spray basting or fusing) with this particular project. I'm going to quilt it with my trusty old Viking, with the presser foot pressure loosened, and hope that I can avoid any obvious shifting.

I'm linking up over at sew -n- tell Friday, go see what everyone's been working on this week! Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, April 12, 2010

4 blocks

I made these blocks from my vintage sheet fat quarters this afternoon. I didn't even know I had that bird fabric... there were only 2 good repeats of it on the piece I had so I had to make a bird block. The next batch will start with my "darker" fabrics in the center and outside. They are going to end up at 12.5" square, I haven't trimmed them yet though.

My deep thoughts about log cabin blocks--every time I make them, especially improvised ones, I think the inner fabric choices are so important and then it turns out that the outer strips really make up so much more of the block than the inner parts. Maybe I need to plan from the outside in one of these times.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday catch-up

I've been on a bit of a computer fast this week; as soon as I decided I was going to really cut down my computer time on Wednesday, my computer stopped working. So. There you go. It has been a good thing but made it harder to post on the blog.

I have been working on a few small things--a friend from church bought the supplies to make a bunch of blankets for Heart to Heart International and asked me to sew them up. I made 3 of them, and gave 3 more to another friend who said she'd help.
This is the first time I've used the satin blanket binding, and it's not too hard, but it takes some time. What I did was trim the two fabric layers, pin the binding on one side, then go sew it. Then I went back and smoothed it out on the living room floor again and pinned the next side. Repeat until done. I did one each day for 3 days.

I also made these blocks for Audrie who is the April gal in the bee beautiful group. These seemed pretty easy at first, but when I put the last seam in the first block, it was a little unfortunate. I had to redo it this morning and it turned out better. The secret is to make sure the pieced sections really are exactly the size of the template before sewing. Anyway, they are done and they didn't take a lot of deep thinking which is good some of the time, you know?

Speaking of online quilting bees... I saw this site on one of the blogs in my reader this afternoon. is a site explaining virtual quilting bees--it has a directory of many of the bees that are going on, explanations of just what a virtual quilting bee is and how to start one, links to block tutorials and more. They also have a flickr group and they are having a big giveaway right now too! I'm looking forward to browsing the quilt blocks in the flickr group and seeing what so many quilters have been up to in their bees.

And finally, just wanted to share a little sneak peek of something I made for someone.
Going to get it in the mail really soon, I hope. I'll show the whole thing soon.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

what to buy in April

Look what I came across the other day... April is supposedly a good month to find deals on fabric. Who knew?

I finished up a new charm pack dress for Lauren today. The fabric is Eden by Lila Tueller.
My charm pack dress tutorial is here, if you're interested. If you do make one of these dresses, I'd love to see a picture!

Friday, April 02, 2010

finally... finished baby quilt!

I finally got the last few inches of binding sewn down on this quilt tonight:
I'm going to wash and dry it, get a label on it, and mail it to its owner right away!
The quilting was done in sort of straight lines, some of them doubled up, in a grid. I thought I (pin) basted pretty well and I used my walking foot, but there were still some issues with the layers shifting as I quilted. I am looking for any suggestions or advice about improving my straight line quilting, because I am hoping to quilt my watercolor quilt next, and I was thinking (hoping) diagonal straight lines would be a good choice.
Here's a better view of the block I put in the back.

I also got some other things done in the last couple days:
Blocks for a charity quilt that the bee beautiful group is collaborating on.
And, jam. I made it with the quick set freezer method. My first time. Strawberries were on sale! I'm going to make another batch, probably in the morning.

Things are working out a bit better here this week and I'm actually going to post my link over at sew -n- tell Friday. Go see what else people are sharing!