Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Santa... finished!

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Did you guess what it was going to be? It's a shelf scarf. It was intended by the designer, Nancy Halvorsen, to be used on your fireplace mantle. I had a long 60"x6" shelf that I hang quilts and linens on that needed something for Christmas. I cut it to fit my shelf width and had to add one extra Santa. It was relatively fast. The part that took too much time was sewing on the buttons for eyes, between the blocks, and on the holly. And you can see that not all Santas have holly leaves on their hat. They will... eventually.

I couldn't take a pic on the shelf because my light was right in the way so I had to put it on the sofa. (It really is straight across the back.) Really! Now to place it on the shelf with a few of my Christmas cutesies and the kitchen area is dressed up.

Oh, and everything was from my fabric stash. The best kind of project!
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Santa what?

I have a semi-quickie project underway that is almost finished.
This is a portion of it.
It's a decorating item.
Can you guess what it will be? 
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Now off to see if I can find some velcro, 12 buttons for eyes, and to blush up some cheeks. I'd like to finish it up tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why the heck did I do this?

Have you ever gone to the store for just one quick item and come out with something you didn't plan to buy? Hah! What a nutty question. I KNOW you have.

Yesterday, I ran to the quilt shop for just a couple of quarter yard pieces to use for  Santa faces. I was supposed to be at Mom's for dinner in less than one hour so I knew I'd only have 15 or 20 minutes to get in and out. I did it on purpose so I wouldn't look... much. Didn't help. Didn't work. Should have gone straight to the section I needed. In my defense what I needed was way back in the corner. But I erred in my quest and took the long way round past the holiday fabrics.

And what to my wondering eye should appear? A fun retro style holiday fabric I'd been drooling over online right there in non-online reality. How could I resist. I tried. I really did. I hesitated. Then I looked up and saw that holiday fabrics were 25% off.  Then I looked at that sweet little reindeer, the fabulous colors, and felt the flood of memories it conjured up of Christmas's past. It teased me, taunted me, I picked up a fat quarter "just to look a bit closer", then another, and another, and... well you can see where this is headed. Just a few fat quarters I thought.

Then YIKES there wasn't a fat quarter for that sweet little reindeer so I had to grab the bolt. Then I thought what if I don't make something holidayish and these fabrics could be non-holidayish so I had to grab the floral bolt. I wanted this so badly that I didn't even want to set it on the table and put a don't touch my stash card on it for fear someone would. I carried it with me to try to talk myself out of it. Then an employee saw me and said why don't you set them down and put a card on it. They will be okay. Well! Once they were on that table how could I back out? So.....

It's by Sheri Berry Designs.

Now, what to make? What to make? I have time to decide because I'm going to wrap it and put from Santa and stash it under the tree Christmas eve in a paper I use for no other gifts. Then I can keep (innocently) asking who got it for me? Bwaaa ha ha ha. I'll never tell.

Hmmm, think that would work with quilt store gift cards?

p.s. i got this too, but, hey, it was 25% off! and I love Mary Engelbreit too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Not quilt related but I haven't posted in ages. So, I thought I'd put a picture I painted in my journal of my daughter. Well, she really came out looking like an older version of my daughter.

Getting back in the swing and will be back blogging regularly soon I think.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yes, I am pro universal health care - H.R. 676

In college 35 years ago I had an instructor in sociology that opened my eyes to the basic needs of human beings. As a 17 year old I can't say that I actually thought about it before then, but we all need our basic needs met as humans. People seem quite willing to help with the basic needs of food, clothing and housing. I don't understand why so many don't want to give medical care for all. You never know when you could be one of the 47 million people without insurance and in desperate need of care.

Please take a moment to watch this video on HR 676 (click on the link). Also, consider checking out the documentary "Sicko" which can often be found at your library.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beeswax collage

I enjoyed a beeswax collage class at Frenzy Stamper last Saturday given by Michael Putman and Lesley Fisher. You can check them out at or There were many techniques and products included in this class and they will add so much to future projects. Michael and Lesley teach at several locations and everything needed for the project was included in the class fee so give it a try.

It's still somehow odd to me that I can take a few unrelated bits and pieces and turn it into something I want to say. When it comes together so easily and seems like it has to be then I feel strangely satisfied. That's the way I felt about this piece. Do you know what I mean? I feel pleased with the outcome for my first try.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


From the instructions given by Chrysti Hydeck in the Jul/Aug 2009 issue of Somerset Studio. I (finally) had success with transferring text. Coating with a glaze, letting it dry, then using the gel did the trick. It is so hard to be patient and let each layer dry but I forced myself and it paid off. I like the way it turned out.

The color is so much better in real life than this photo. I really want (need) a new camera.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Come out and play - signature block swap

Melissa at Cornbread and Beans is having a block swap using civil war reproduction fabrics. If you'd like to play go to her blog and drop her a comment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

4th of July quilt on the 8th

I'd forgotten about this little quilt I'd made and thought I'd share it since it's still so close to the 4th. It was given to a friend who collects Americana so it has a good home.

It was paper pieced, quilted in the ditch, and has an Uncle Sam panel for the backing. The little blocks were 3" finished so the piece measures around 14x20.

I have a green-red version in my UFO box that I might just have to finish up.

Save those scraps!

Monday, July 6, 2009

fabric collage - playing with something new

A few months back one of the ladies was kind enough to bring in some older Quilting Arts magazines to share. What unique ideas you find in them! In the Oct/Nov 2007 issue an article by Angie Hughes caught my attention. It was on making a textural book wrap. Decided to give the method a try and here is the result.



There is a cotton base made of woven strips and fibers then fused to Wonder Under, then stamped using Staz On ink. Next came a layer of organza and stitching. Should have gone in with a bit of a plan for the stitching and will the next time. Next the organza was burned back and I used water color crayons to give it some orange, green, turquoise highlights. On the back I used leftover chunks of fabrics and stamped it also.

It was different free-motion quilting on the organza. Not difficult, just different. Overall quite interesting and fun to do. I'm sure eyeing my scraps differently now.

Until next time have fun playing and try something new.

Monday, June 22, 2009

a new addiction

Sewing? What's that? Piles of quilts to finish and I've found a new addiction... journaling.

I fully intend to write on these pages someday but mostly I'm just enjoying painting, playing, learning techniques, browsing blogs and websites. Joining a group here and there. I'd forgotten how peaceful it is to paint or draw. I know the day is coming soon where fabric and paper will be combined. Here's a page I've done. I didn't think I was finished with it but maybe I am. (There is a bit of fabric isn't there.)

Speaking of drawing. Here's something quite interesting to try. Click here! or go to I could see quilters using these as quilting designs.

My first zentangle with lots of open spaces:

Hope to post more often but until then... have an artful day doing what you love.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Block of the month kits

There are a couple block of the month programs calling to me. Usually I avoid them because the ones that draw me are usually appliqued. And, while I can hand applique it is not my favorite thing to do. I'm impatient, in a hurry, want it asap. If it can be done on the machine then I want to use the machine. That said, my favorite ways to applique are fusible with machine buttonhole and machine applique that gives a hand done look.

Well, no more! How silly to put off a quilt because of some crazy pre-conceived notion. So, I broke down and signed up for the block of the month to do the Merry Christmas quilt and will do fusible applique with machine buttonhole stitch. I will still hand embroider the bits that need it and add button, bells, bows, etc. after it is quilted. My goal is to have it finished for Christmas 2009.

The first letter, cut out, fused, and buttonholed, is ready to embroider. The fabrics are mostly Moda's Merry and Bright. The block finishes at 10".

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One of the R's ready to be buttonholed.
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Now, have you seen the Happy Hauntings by Verna Mosquera? Oh, how I want that one too!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh, my aching back and a snail's trail quilt

I've not done much sewing or blogging the last few weeks. My back whacked out and sitting for long periods hurt way too much. I've have a worse backache but never one that lasted so long. Went to the OSHA website and read up on ergonomics. I'm going to make some adjustments as the wallet allows and vow to get up and stretch more.

This morning is the first time I was able to get up and not feel throbbing and last night I could turn over and not wake up from the pain. Yay! So back to sewing!!!

Meanwhile, in an effort to put something quilty up, here is a quilt I shared at the bedturning our quilt group had a couple months ago.


It was made for a queen size bed but wasn't quilted until after we had bought a king so it doesn't get used or enjoyed much. It's one of my favorites though and one of these days I'll add a sleeve to hang it up. The snail's trail pattern is very attractive to me and I enjoy making it especially with a large variety of fabrics.

My story which I should attach to the quilt is:
"This quilt was made about 10 years ago in California. We had so many snails that I’d put plants out one day and the next morning they had eaten them to the ground. So I sank bowls in the ground and filled them with beer to attract them. Maybe they died happy. I felt kind of bad killing off so many that I made a snail’s trail quilt and had it quilted with an all over flower pattern in their honor".

Hope to see you around more. Don't forget to take breaks and stretch!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fabric Postcards

I'm taking a Fabric Postcards class with Diane Magarelli next weekend but could not resist playing around a bit with the supplies I picked up yesterday. Fused the flowers on the front, then fused the back. Then I had to peel off the back to do the background quilting and free motion stitching around the flowers (looking for the edges to fray to add dimension). Put the back on again, satin stitched around the outer edges and realized that I forgot to stitch the green thread tendrils I had wanted and the beads for the flower centers. Was able to do the beads with clear thread but it wasn't easy to slip it between the fused layers. Lesson learned.

It looks a little flat but I'm not sure how much you can really add to these and still mail them. Might try to mail it to myself to see what happens when it goes through the postal system.

The front:

The back:
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Now off to a doll show this morning... maybe there will be good embellishments available for postcards.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Two kids - two quilts

It's been Spring break for the kids this week. DD and her friend started a quilt and are currently putting the rows together. They are so excited that they nagged me to death to put a few rows together last night. Mornings are my sewing time if I want things to come out right. My mood is not the best in the evenings but we got through a couple rows. They want to finish up putting the rows together tonight but not sure it will happen. I'm shooting for Sunday. DD wants to quilt it herself maybe with a walking foot and a guide they may be able to do some of it. The biggest issue is for them to handle the bulkiness.

Both are already thinking ahead to their next project (real quilters at heart). They want to make a couple preemie quilts to donate to the hospital. They only wish they could see the babies. :) Dummy me went to the fabric store today and came home with fabrics for them to make a few instead of going through stash. I'm happy dd and her friend are sewing but until today I didn't get a darn thing done this Spring break and that was just playing stuff. Hope it does not go this way during the summer.

They both love horses so that is the focus of their quilts.

DD's quilt layout:
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Her friends quilt layout:
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In My Hallway - Memories

3/15/09 ETA: Ooops. Anyone that reads my blog must have thought I was really whacky. Some days I am but just to clarify I didn't make a first and second quilt for this doll. haha It was made for my daughter. Now you can read the post...

It's warming up, a bit too soon as far as I'm concerned. But as the days lengthen and the sun gets brighter it makes me want to bring out the bright, fun, and funky quilts. So in my hallway for the next few weeks is a bright and cheery quilt just right for Spring. And standing in front of this quilt filled with memories is a sweet little redheaded girl trying to hurry the bunny's arrival along.

Looks Mary Engelbreit-ish, don't you think? I used lightweight fusible interfacing for the baskets, flowers, leaves and machine buttonholing to make her second little quilt. It's held up through lots of cuddling, naptimes, playtimes, and washes.

This quilt began a nature theme for her room when she was a toddler. I painted a mural on one of the walls of a little girl playing under a tree, bees and butterflies flitting, and a gently rolling hill with flowers dotted throughout. Then I used the flower and leaf pattern from this quilt and painted them randomly over the other three walls. I made her a head bumper with bright bluebirds and bumper pad with birds to put around her crib. Even the sheets were made to match. Oh, it looked so sweet as I peeked around the corner to see my little sweetie sound asleep and wrapped in this quilt I'd made for her.

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This was the bumper for the head of her crib.
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And one of the birds from around the shorter bumper. They were in blues and yellows with colorful butterflies flying past them.
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The bumper pads have long been put away. I've thought of cutting into the pads and using them in another quilt but so far have not been able to. Until then I enjoy her little basket quilt and let it take me back to her baby days.

I hope all your quilts bring back a flood of memories.

'Til later...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Square scrap

The little very bright something I've been working on this past week. I think I'm going to add two more borders. A thin white 1" middle border and a 4" to 6" wider outer one in a to-be-determined color (although I have a pretty good idea of what I want - orange!). It's 61x61 so far and will end up at 71" or 75" square. DD picked the turquoise. Maybe more subdued would have been better but it is what it is now.

I love scrap quilts but generally more controlled. Doing this top it was at times hard to just put the fabrics in it whether I liked them or not, to pull them and stitch without thinking about what looks right next to what, and to use fabrics I just did not like but kept keeping them. So now they are mixed in with fabrics that I love and really they don't look too terribly bad. Just think of the yardage that would have gotten thrown out or the money wasted if they were discarded.

I've also worked on the bright string-X quilt blocks and have decided to stop at 64. I'm tired of making them so they either need to get finished up asap or go back in the UFO drawer where they will be likely to sit for the next 10 years.

On a different note, I can't seem to find a spot to take pictures of my larger quilts. They look crooked if you lay them out on the bed for a pic. Maybe I need a clothesline of sorts or maybe I will have to enlist the kids to stand on the low wall out front and hold them. How do you manage pics of your larger quilts?

DD and I are still fighting the crud, mostly headaches and sinus. The pollen levels are high right now and it feels like it. I hate seeing her with a headache. Her eyes get dark with bags under them and she just looks so miserable. And added to that, her asthma seems to be flaring up which it hasn't done in quite a long time. It's definitely a tough allergy season coming on hard.

Back soon...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A little sewing

Down with a bug. DH started it off. DD has it a bit too and missed school today. I had a flu shot this year and had done well until now. It's just enough to feel bad and not want to do anything but not enough to be totally miserable. I'm thankful for that.

I did do a bit of sewing today so maybe something more interesting tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A scrap story

The bin was overflowing.
Started sorting by color.
Got mom to help sort them.
Some colors took two grocery bags, others barely the bottom of the bag.
Started sorting the colors into two types - bright, fun prints and country colors.
Took the two types and sorted the big pieces from the small.
Found another box full of scraps. Ugh. Worked on those.
Decided to make a quilt for dd for Christmas.
Tore through the bags.
Made a mess.
Made a quilt.

Now it's time for another quilt and the brights are coming out to play.

Had 17 of these 7" blocks but no idea where I was originally headed. Made a plan on EQ then made 32 more blocks. Bought the sashing and border fabric (nothing big enough in the stash) and it's ready to put together for a quilt that will measure 72x72 or so. I kind of found it hard to decide on a sashing color with so many colors in the blocks. Had dd help decide so we will see if it works.

While the brights were out I decided to do a string quilt and started cutting strips from widths of 1" to 2 1/2". Here's where they are headed. Funny but these blocks are 7" too. What an odd size.
bright string centers

Possible layout: tilt head to the right or left - it will be set as an X not a +.
bright string X

Possible layout 2: sashing between to define circles. There are only 31 of these so far but there are more scraps to cut. Not sure how big it will be yet - maybe when the scraps run out or I'm out of phonebook pages or I get tired of sewing strings. We'll see.
bright string circle

You can see other String X quilts here . If you scroll down there are more links to other string X quilts. Meanwhile, check out her other scrap quilts and get some inspiration to use yours up.

Even if I don't get around to making a top for a while it is so much nicer to have stacked up blocks instead of bags stuffed with bits and pieces.

Hasta manana.

p.s. I am saving the little itty bitty tiny itsy (you get the point) pieces for another project too. LOL Obsessive, compulsive personality type.