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

Friday, January 9, 2015

Where I Sew

I sew in a corner in the basement of my mom's house.  After my dad passed away I started staying with my mom and then I sold my house and so for now I live with her.  My sewing area in my old house was the basement family room which gave me a lot of space to spread out.  At my mom's I have a tight compact area but it still gets the job done.

Like I said this is my mom's house.  There is wallpaper on every wall in the house except for a handful.  My mom had wallpaper put up so she didn't have to paint because she doesn't like to paint.  To each their own.  I can live with it.  It just makes for an interesting background in pictures.  As shown below.

So here is my corner.  I brought the main tables from my house and set them up here.  The drafting table I use for cutting and I love it because its higher up and my back doesn't get as tired when I am cutting.  Then I have two 6 foot tables that complete the U shape.  Like I said its tight but it works.

In the far corner of my cutting table I have a couple pin cushions.  One that I use and one that a friend made for me that is too pretty to use but I smile every time I look at it.  The stitches on it are amazing.  

I also keep my cutting tools, small rulers, lint roller and note pads in a basket with tin cups.  I use the striped mini round bin for tiny scraps and such.  I got it from Thirty-One and I love it.  Its portable and it saves me from cleaning up because when I attempt to put tiny scraps into the trash can on the floor they never end up in the trash can.  I am always cleaning up the mess and usually hitting my head on the cutting table.  This little bin has eliminated that.  So yeah!!!

Just a different view point.  I keep my sewing notions, a small cutting mat and usually a small pressing mat to my left.  On the right side of my sewing machine is another cutting mat that just hangs out there.  It travels to quilt retreats with me.  I use the space mainly for projects and fabric sorting/selection.  Under the table is a tote full of scraps sorted by color and another storage container of larger scraps.

I kinda have a thing for owls and these work great to hold a few sewing notions and such.  The one with the Clover clips on it is a chalk board but I am tempted to cover it with a magnet and have it hold pins.  Good idea or no?

My wall decorations in my sewing area.  A mini quilt that I made using Jaybird's Mini Hex N More ruler and one of her patterns.  The 'Simplify' sign I picked up at a quilt retreat last fall and the other sign was a gift from a friend.  I love the quote on it.  Its a great reminder.  

Its not much but it adds a little of me to my sewing area and makes it a little easier to tolerate the wallpaper.  LOL

You might wonder where my 'stash' is.  I store my fabric in a couple bedroom closets.  I am one of those that believes fabric should be kept out of direct light so it doesn't fade or deteriorate.  I have seen this happen and its sad.  I would love to have my fabric out where I could see it.  Sort of display it like I see many people do but I don't use fabric quickly enough for that.  My fabric is treated like really good wine.  It has to age and it has to be the 'right' project for me to cut into it.  Therefore its kept in a dark spot until the time is right.  Just like wine.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my little sewing area.  Where do you sew?  Do you have a room or a corner like me or maybe the dining room table?  I would love to know.

Happy Sewing

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hello 2015

Where in the world did 2014 go?  I feel like I have asked that question for the past couple of years now.  Might be a sign to take and breath and slow down.

some blocks from my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt
A lot of my time the first part of 2014 was spent getting caught up at work and working on estates and learning way too much about the crap that goes along with all of that.  I also focused on getting my legs back underneath myself. Finding my new place in this new chapter of my life.  A word of advice with regards to estates people. Get your crap together, tell the people that need to know about your crap after your gone and put a willing and knowledgeable person in-charge of your crap when your gone.  Life will be hard enough when your gone you don't need to make it any harder.  Seriously it's not fun when the one you have questions for is no longer here or the one in-charge has no idea what to do.  

quilting on my Swoon quilt not done by me
however I am in love with this quilt

It wasn't until the last half of 2014 that I did get back into sewing on a regular basis. That is probably why I only had 8 blog posts last year.  Pathetic. I know.  I do have some finishes that I want to go back and blog about. I need to get pictures and such but that is going on my 'to blog about' list. 

a commission quilt I did 

2014 was a roller-coaster of a ride with some great times scattered in with the challenges.  I got to attend 3 quilt retreats, visit the city of New Orleans to catch a couple of Dave shows, a trip with a friend to Bend to see Dave and hit the quilt shops and I also saw Philip Phillips with my brother and SIL in Boise.  Looking back I have some pretty great memories that make me smile.  I will take the good with the not so good.

Last year I picked the word 'possible' for my word of the year. Last year was a challenging year for me but I did things and worked through things that in all honesty I thought were impossible. With those challenges I learned and I became stronger so I am grateful for that. 

I have a word for 2015 and that is ACTION. Not much can be accomplished without action. So I am looking forward to this year getting things done through taking action. Not sitting watching the world pass me by but instead making things happen by TAKING ACTION.

a coffee bean sack and belt

a Christmas gift made using 

2015 is going to be another year of changes for me but those changes will be (should be) by my own choice. I am looking forward to see where my changes take me and what actions I need to take to make those changes happen. I hope to continue to sew and create things and I also hope to blog more frequently.  Maybe I can beat my 8 times from 2014.  Fingers crossed.

snip snip
Miss Kate rag quilt
 I hope that 2015 is whatever you want it to be.  I hope it brings you happiness and joy along with great success.

Happy Sewing

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Latest Happenings

my life has been creeping back to normal ever so slowly....  or at least my new normal.  i have also been sewing.  which is like therapy for me.  so i am happy, happy, happy.

out in the blogland, instagram, twitter, and other such communities on the internet i came across Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! pattern for her Aviatrix Medallion quilt and she is having a quilt along for it.  i got the pattern from her site which i highly recommend this pattern.  its a stunner.  Elizabeth originally made it using solids - Kona from Robert Kaufman to be exact.

i have never done a quilt out of solids.  i really liked the colors that Elizabeth used in her original quilt but i didn't love them.  then Elizabeth announced that she got to put together some Kona bundles and i fell in love with her Winter one.  the bundles are not out yet but if you go to the Robert Kaufman site it lists the various Kona colors that make up each bundle.  so, i did some shopping and i had the Winter colors and jumped right in.

i love it.  flipping head over heels in love with it.  of course i did not use white as the accent color i took Elizabeth's recommendation and did not use black but i did use Kona Pepper.

i spent a day cutting the fabric for this quilt and grouping it into border sections as suggested by Elizabeth.  you might think 'a whole day' - keep in mind i woke up late, ate some meals, did some laundry, might have watched some tv.  so for focused people it might be a few hours of cutting. 

i used the same Essex yarn-dyed linen as per Elizabeth's suggestion for the background fabric which i have never used before.  i love it as well - it is great to sew with.

this is the center of the quilt.  all on the bias.  lets just say that starch was my friend when i put this together and i am pleased as punch with how it turned out.  

the next border was made using some grey neutral Kona.  again starch was my friend.

trimmings from the first border.  always makes me smile because it means progress.

each border is separated with a strip of the background fabric.

the second border finished and yes i pinned it up to a Santa Clause area rug we have hanging on a wall in our house.  by the way the Christmas tree is still up too.

i learned a great way for marking multiple squares when i worked on border #3 and lots of trimmings to show the progress.

the various units for border #3 ready to go.

3 borders on and 3 more to go.  i am in love with this quilt.  i love the pattern.  i love the fabric selection - thanks to Elizabeth.  i love that i got outside of my comfort zone and tried something with solids.

sewing on border #4 which ends up being 1' finished squares of the grey Kona's then another strip of the background fabric will go on.

time to start on the blocks for border #5.

if you have read this far thanks for taking the time to do so.  i am going to try and be better at blogging more.  i hang out on instagram fairly often so you can always find me there as well.

happy sewing

Friday, June 6, 2014


its time for Hands2Help! hosted by Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  i must confess.  the quilts i am donating this year have come from my stash of quilts.  they haven't seen the light of day for sometime.  somewhere in the process of making them i fell out of love with them.  i like them just fine but don't love them like they deserve to be loved.  so they go to the quilt stash which i pull from as the need arises.  as such is the case with Hands2Help!

i love using my passion for quilting to make others happy.  i think i have participated in Hands2Help! since Sarah first started it.  i might be wrong but....  

anyways, when i saw Sarah's post about it this year i knew that i was going to participate but that the quilts would come from my stash.

this first quilt was a mystery quilt i started 10 years ago.  it has been finished for about 3 or 4 years.  at the time i started it i had never done a mystery quilt and i also did not know i do not like white as a background fabric.  i do now.  i hope that whoever gets this quilt will give it the proper love it deserves.  this quilt will be going to someone who was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

this next quilt has about 8 million pieces in it.  not really.  but when i started it i was sure i would never finish it.  i think that is when i stopped loving it.  yep, right from the start i knew it wasn't meant to be mine.  i finished it anyways.  i am like that.  i rarely get rid of a WIP.  self torture?  maybe.  i just like to finish things.  this quilt will find a new home through Happy Chemo.

true confession on this quilt.  it was a BOM from JoAnn's that was on clearance for almost nothing.  i like to call these BOM quilts 'quilting for dummies' - not insulting anyone at all with that comment - the fabric comes pre-cut and the instructions are fail proof.  

yes there is applique involved and even a little embroidery so its not really 'quilting for dummies' but that is just my name for those things.  i made this quilt thinking i would give it to my oldest niece.  that didn't happen so it went into the quilt stash.  this quilt will meet up with its new owner through Quilts of Compassion Disaster Response Team.

there you have it.  my contribution to this years Hands2Help!
i love the thought that these quilts will bring comfort and warmth to another person during a trying time in their life.

happy sewing

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Modern

me again.
two posts in one day.  don't pass out.  its all ok.

in looking at my previous entries for the Blogger's Quilt Festival i discovered that i had yet to enter one of my favorite quilts.

my Cartwheels quilt
pattern by Tula Pink

i have done blog posts about this quilt before but never for the Festival.  i am entering this in the 'modern' category of the Festival.  

i started this quilt in a class at Sisters taught by Tula.  the class was a blast i took it with a friend of mine.  i used Tula's Prince Charming line for the quilt and a background fabric that reminded me of water.  truth be told i had a whole other background fabric in mind when i started picking fabric.  it was a directional print and matching the repeat would have never happened.  so the night (yes, i said the night) before i was to leave for Sisters i went and found the blue background fabric.

of course i had to include a pic of that day.

i absolutely love how the 'cartwheels' look against the background fabric.  i have had several people tell me they look like life preservers floating in water.  its such a bright and fun quilt.

i fussy cut the frogs in the blocks that i used that fabric in.  i try and do this with other projects.  it so fun seeing them all in a circle.

like most of my quilts i pieced the back of it.  no set plan just get the back big enough for the quilt top.  i quilted it myself on my home machine.  i did a variety of quilting patterns in each Cartwheel.  it was a good quilt to work on for improving my quilting techniques because i was not giving the quilt away.  that whole favorite fabric thing again.  i also used the same color of thread in the top and the bobbin so the quilting almost creates another pattern on the back of the quilt.  at least that is what i tell myself.

 i am very happy with this quilt and i love it.  i pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and i am pleased with the results.  this quilt brings back happy memories of that trip and the class.  when i look at it i can't help but smile.

thanks for stopping by to check out my Cartwheels quilt.  please hop over to Amy's Creative Side and check out all of the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

happy sewing

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Mini

i know its been forever since i have written a blog post.  lots and lots of life going on over here.  selling my house which took 100+ days but is finally done.  packing and putting things in storage with no idea as to how long they will be there.  settling into my new space which is much smaller then my house was.  also dealing will multiple family/life issues and work.  whew.  so that is my story and i hope to be here more often now that things/life are starting to slow a tiny bit.

so when i was reminded about Blogger's Quilt Festival i knew i wanted to enter a quilt or two into it.  i went and checked out Amy's website and saw that there is a Mini Quilt Category.  i knew right away which quilt i wanted to enter into that category.

my Mini Northern Lights quilt
measures 13" x 16 1/2"

i picked up Jaybirds Mini Hex N More ruler and this pattern when i was on a recent trip to North Carolina.

i knew i wanted to use my Tula Pink stash for this quilt.  so i went digging and came up with some Neptune, Salt Water and Nightshade.  i am so funny about my Tula fabrics.  i both love and hate to use them.  silly i know.  i want to keep them forever but i also want to make things with them.  do you all have fabric that you feel that way about?

i reasoned with myself that if i make a mini quilt with it that i can hang it on my wall and enjoy it and not worry (as much) about it wearing out with use.  i know total dork.  quilts are meant to be used and mine do get used.  blah. blah. blah.

i had fun putting the fabrics together and sewing up this quilt.  it was a quick fun mini quilt to make.  now i can see why mini quilts are becoming so popular.

funny story.  my brother and his family were home for a visit while i was working on this quilt and my brother asked me if i bought the rows of the 8 fabrics already sewn together.  when i told him no and that i cut each piece out using the Mini Hex N More ruler and sewed them together my brother told me i was nuts.  LOL

i did single fold binding on this quilt which is something that i have never done before.  i also hand stitched it down which i normally don't do but since there was only 59" to bind i thought i could handle it.  

i even used some Neptune on the back of the quilt.  i quilted this by just following the jagged lines of the seams that the pattern makes.  i really am happy with it.  it shows off the pattern well.

thanks for stopping by to check out my Mini Northern Lights quilt.  please hop over to Amy's Creative Side and check out all of the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

happy sewing