Saturday, February 6, 2016

What keeps you company....

what keeps you company when you sew?

of course people have various answers to this question.  from noisy to complete silence.  some like to have a tv show going.  some like to listen to music.  some have a movie playing.  some just enjoy the quiet.  i find that for myself it depends upon my mood as to what if anything keeps me company when i sew.  also it can depend upon what i am working on.  i prefer quiet when i am reading a pattern and figuring out cutting instructions.  once i have my list of what needs to be cut i am good but getting to that point can be messy if i have a distraction.

for me a few things keep me company when i sew and so i thought i would do a blog series on the topic.

first on my list would be Podcasts.

  i can't remember when i came across my first podcast but i have been hooked ever since.  there are podcasts for everything you can imagine.  i listen to sewing/quilting podcasts, NPR podcasts, a podcast from a mixed media artist, business podcasts...  the list is ever evolving and expanding.  here are a few.

Pam hosts this podcast and she is also involved in The Stitch TV Show which is another thing i will listen to when i sew.  they also host a monthly virtual sew-in.  you should check them out.

Katie and her mom Dori host this podcast and they are so fun to listen to.  they talk about lots of hobbies from sewing to food and just about everything in between.  

Sandi hosts this podcast and i really like her style.  for each podcast Sandi has a guest from the crafting industry.  from sewers, authors, fabric designers and more i always enjoy her shows.

Stephanie hosts the Modern Sewciety podcast and every time i listen to one of her shows i find myself talking with a southern accent.  LOL  Stephanie is from/in the south and her southern charm comes through on her shows.

these are just 4 of the sewing/crafty podcasts that i listen too.  all can be found in iTunes or through their websites.  there are several other sewing/quilting podcasts that i listen to as well.  search iTunes or Google sewing/quilting podcasts and you will see options galore.

i also enjoy the NPR podcasts Serial, This American Life and Fresh Air.  mixed media artist Kelly Rae Roberts has a great podcast called The Possibilitarian Podcast.  i love Kelly's work and thought process.  its fun to hear her talk of her process, life and other things.  Tara Swiger is someone i recently came across through Periscope and her podcast Explore Your Enthusiasm is full of information for makers in business.  Tara gives great tips and ideas and also challenges her listeners. While She Naps is another great podcast that touches on business things as well as sewing things.

i highly recommend giving a listen to a podcast or 2 or 5 or 10. 

happy sewing

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Busy Week or Two

it has been a busy couple of weeks for me but not too busy for some sewing.  i finished up the year end commitments at work that i needed to which meant some long days and chaos in my mind at times.  it was worth it because i met my family at the famous little mouse's house in California for a little vacation.

have sewing will travel.  i did some sewing on my Tula Pink Salt Water Hex on the Beach quilt while i waited in the airport for the other's to arrive.  i think i was putting together row 18.  i am almost halfway there.  whoot whoot.

over the past couple weeks i have also made progress on the 10 quilt tops that i have that need to be quilted.  this is the 1st one and i had fun quilting it.  i did an overall loopy pattern.  

i made it to the 2nd quilt.  i did some echo quilting inside of each star with matching thread.  i also used the same thread for the center square of each log cabin and the pink border.  i did a larger overall stipple on the rest of the quilt with a light grey thread.

i have the scraps ready for both quilts to cut up and make the binding for each quilt.  since i sew my binding on with a different machine i will wait until i have a couple more quilts quilted and then bind them all at once.

this is the 3rd quilt that i will be quilting.  it is a mini but it is counted in my 10 tops that need quilted.  i will be using 5 different colors of thread on this one because its Tula and its NEPTUNE.  need i say more?

i have started on it......

i hope to finish the quilting on it this week.  i think that is a reasonable goal given the size of it.  LOL

this was the last day at Disneyland.  we were all tired but we all had a great time.  

i got row 18 together on the trip and so i have started sewing it to row 17.  

happy sewing

Friday, January 15, 2016


i have made a tiny bit of progress on my quilts to be quilted list.  

this is a super quick pattern that i got with a kit and i put it together at the November quilt camp that i went to.  i won't be adding the applique flowers to my quilt top.

this is a fun bright quilt top with some yellow and bright lime green.  i think it will be fun and easy to quilt.  i am thinking of doing an overall stipple in the middle and then something different in each border.  i plan on doing a scrappy binding with the leftover fabric.

i got the backing for it figured out and it is ready to go.  i just need to cut the batting and baste it.  i plan on doing that this evening during a virtual sew in.  if all goes well i will get some quilting done on it as well.

i also have dug back into my Tula Pink Saltwater EPP project.  i have it organized into a system that works well for me and i am currently working on row 17 or 18 - i can't remember.  anyways there are 40 rows total so i am almost to the half way point.  

thanks for stopping by and i hope that you are making progress on whatever it is that you are working on.

happy sewing

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Quilt Tops Galore

wow.....  i am surprised that i even remember how to upload pictures or even do a blog post.  i guess its kind of like riding a bike.....  LOL  i looked and my last post was sometime in February of  last year.  so much has happened in that time frame.  a lifetime of challenges and i am pretty sure i have aged 10 years in the past year.  thank God for quilting.  it has been my escape from reality and always helps me find my center which is good.  i think i have said this about 5 times on here but i will say it again.  i am going to attempt to get back to blogging on a random basis.  i would like to blog a couple times a month which totally seems reasonable.  right?  i will see.....

i really thought i was doing a good job of keeping the number of quilt tops needing quilted in check.  i thought i had it under control and i was WRONG.  i have several quilt tops that need quilted and by several i mean 10!!!!  that might not be a lot for some quilters but for me it is.  i am mildly overwhelmed by that number and so i hope to reduce that number by getting them quilted.

above is a log cabin star quilt on top that i made with a Noteworthy jelly roll.  the middle quilt is a Strip Search quilt that i made with a Salt Air jelly roll.  the bottom quilt is my Single Girl quilt top which once it was put together i discovered a mistake.  i didn't read the instructions for sewing the blocks together and sewed them with a quarter inch seam allowance so my rings don't touch.  i was suppose to sew them together with a half inch seam allowance.  i am 99.8% sure that i will take the top apart and redo the seams so the rings touch.  its a quilt i am keeping and i know it will drive me nuts if i don't fix it.

the quilt on the top came in a kit that i got at a quilt camp a year or so ago.  it went together super quick and it is a throw size.  more then likely this will be a charity quilt.  the quilt on the bottom i just finished.  its my Aviatrix Medallion quilt made with Kona solids and Essex linen.  it will be an epic quilt for me to quilt.  lots of thread changes and custom quilting.  it might be on the 'to be quilted' list for awhile.

now we get to my obsession love of Tula Pink's fabric.  the top quilt is a fat quarter friendly quilt made from Moonshine.  i love the pattern that i used because it has big pieces in it and so it shows off the fabric really well.  the middle quilt is my 100 Good Wishes quilt that i made using Tula's City Sampler book.  the top has been together for some time i just need to get around to quilting it.  i really like this quilt because it uses most all of Tula's fabric lines in it.  on the bottom of the pile is what i am calling my Tula Pink log cabin Beads quilt.  it was a kit that i got from Stash in Walla Walla, WA.  they made the pattern for a magazine and it was on the cover.  

need i say more?  one of my all time favorite Tula lines of fabric.  i thought this mini sewing machine quilt would be a great use for Neptune.  once i get it quilted and finished i plan on hanging on a wall in my sewing room.

the 10th and final quilt that needs quilting is my Tula Pink Prince Charming Dwell quilt.  i have always wanted to do a house quilt and when i saw the Dwell pattern i knew that was it.  originally i was going to use a few of Tula's lines in it but i eventually settled on Prince Charming.  this quilt will join my mini sewing machine quilt in my sewing room when it is finished.

looks like i have better get busy quilting.
thanks for stopping by.

happy sewing

Monday, February 16, 2015

100 Good Wishes Blocks

With life at a simmer and sort of getting back to normal I decided to get out my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt and finish up the last 25 blocks.  I love this book and how Tula put it together.  The blocks are nameless and you the creator get to name each of the 100 blocks.  As I have said in previous posts I have named my quilt The 100 Good Wishes Quilt.  Each block named after a good wish.  I was inspired by a necklace I have that has 100 beads on it for 100 good wishes.


I have done my best to stick as close as possible to the fabric/color choices that Tula did on her cover quilt.  I normally don't do this however I love the rainbow effect the placement of the blocks gives this quilt.

I cut the fabric for the last 25 blocks and put the pieces of fabric in the book with the block that they went with.  I made a huge mess getting out and going through my Tula stash in the process of doing this.  Once I got done cutting I decided to have a mini Tula destash sale over on Instagram which is a whole other topic.  Gesh....

Blocks 1 - 75

I posted pics on IG as I finished.  I needed to keep myself motivated to get to the end.

Good & Positivity
Sing & Cherish
And then the Sewing Angels sang.....

And all 100 Good Wishes blocks were done.  True confession....  I did a touchdown victory dance when I took the last one off my machine.

I knew that I wanted to do the Gridlock layout from Tula's book and I knew that I wanted to use Kona Ash for my setting fabric.  I am not a fan of white in quilts so I looked for something with less of a contrast and landed on Ash.

I decided that I wanted to layout the blocks on my design wall to make sure they all looked good together and that nothing was wonky or stood out.  I must say again.  I freakin love my design wall.  I have no idea how I have lived without one for so long.

I loved it.....  except for one block.

So I remade it and its perfect to me.  Love Love Love It!!!  Can you tell which block I remade?

Prior to cutting the setting fabric I had decided that I did not want my sashing to finish at 2".  I did not want that much space between these blocks.  At first I thought 1 1/2" finished sashing would be nice but.......  that was too much for me.  So I have landed on 1" sashing and 3" finished borders.  In my head it looks amazing and I hope that it sews out to be amazing.

I cut up the setting fabric and took my quilt off the design wall labeling each row.  I tucked everything into a plastic bin where it will remain until quilt retreat the first week of March.  I am super excited to see my 100 Good Wishes Blocks become a Good Wishes quilt.

In other quilting related things.  I have sandwiched my Tula Pink Fox Field Mystery quilt and it is ready to be quilted.  I am really trying to stay on top of my quilting this year by not having a pile up of tops that need to be quilted.  Besides this one I think I have 3 others that need quilting.  I think.  There might be more but I know its no less than 3.  Oh... wait... I just remembered another one so there is at least 4.......

happy sewing

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Creed

I was given the travel mug below as a late Christmas gift.  With life being busy it was awhile before I stopped and read the words printed on the side of it.

Shout out to Dutch Bros. Coffee I love this place.  It doesn't matter which city I am in each location of Dutch Bros. Coffee delivers the same high quality customer service and great coffee.  And, no they did not pay me to say that.

The 'Creed' as Dutch Bros refers to it is what is on the side of my travel mug and it reads as follows....

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness & prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best.  
Work only for the best.  
And expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past & press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry.
To be too noble for anger.
To be too strong for fear 
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

I have kept this creed in mind for the past 7 days as our family has dealt with a great loss.  Several people have said that God doesn't give you more than you can handle and I am a believer of that.  As the past week unfolded I wasn't sure where the strength was going to come from but it did.  I made it through the long days and I was able to help where needed and support my family just as they have supported me in the past. 

I don't have a mantra that I say everyday but I have been reading the side of my travel mug daily and every time the creed has struck a cord with me.  It reminds me to be the best me that I can be and to live the best life that I can live. 

Life is short and we never know how long we have.  Hug your friends and family a little tighter.  Let those that you love know that they are loved.  Look for inspiration in every thing.  Even something as simple as a travel mug.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

16 Patches & Hands2Help Challenge

My friend Sarah who blogs at Confessions Of A Fabric Addict does an amazing charity quilt challenge each year.  Its the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge and this year prior to the start of the challenge she is hosting a quilt along.  For the quilt along Sarah is having us make 16 patch blocks and then over the next several weeks she is showing us different ways to set those blocks in a quilt top.  I (think) that I have always participated in the H2H Charity Quilt Challenge and I have always enjoyed the process and paying it forward with quilts.  So when Sarah announced the quilt along I had to jump on board.

For the 16 patches I went digging through my stash.  Like many quilters out there I am trying to sew from my stash as much as possible this year.  For my first set of blocks I decided to use up some of my pinkish fabrics.  They range from the notorious paper doll fabric to some floral fabric.  LOL

Sarah's instructions for the various methods of constructing the blocks has you using 2 1/2" squares or strips.  The same instructions can be used for any size of squares or strips and so based on my fabric I decided to cut my strips at 4".

These 16 patch blocks go together quickly especially when using the strips of fabric method to construct them.  I made a couple of strip sets cut them up and made some blocks to see what they looked like.

I sort of flew by the seat of my pants putting this one together.  No real plan.  I sewed up some strip sets.  Made some blocks and put them up on the design wall. 

I love my design wall.  I played around with the layout of the blocks.  I don't have the greatest light in my sewing area but it works for an overall layout.

I decided on this for the final layout.  Just putting the blocks together side by side.  Sarah has a layout on her blog using pinwheels.  I love how the 16 patches look with the pinwheels and I think that is what I will do with the fabric below.

I got most of this fabric from a friend who was cleaning out her fabric so its fitting that it ends up in an H2H quilt.  I think that I will cut 2 1/2" strips for this quilt.

I encourage you to hop over to Sarah's blog and check it out.  The 16 patch blocks are fun to make and its for a great cause.  Its also a good way to sew your stash.

Happy Sewing