Friday, December 30, 2011

My Pillow

Here is the pillow I received from Jan last night at our meeting. She does not quilt so she does her infamous hand stitching. It is so beautiful and these photos don't do it justice but I did my best.

MQG pillow from Jan 2011

All the pillows were so inspiring. The difference in everyone's ideas and executions were amazing.

MQG  mt pillow from Jan detail
Thanks again Jan, I love it.

I was checking some of the blogs I follow and ran across this quilters poem. It is worth checking it out.

I'm finding that other quilt bloggers are reviewing their 2011 accomplishments. Well I'm not going to do that, maybe next year. I have to learn how to do the mosaic photos first. I call my projects finished when the top is done. It really isn't until it has been quilted but since Mike retired early I'm going to have to get a job to pay to have them quilted. Until then I just stack them up!

See you next year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Modern Quilt Guild Meeting

What a fun meeting. I am finally able to post about what I have been sewing on. We had a pillow exchange for the holiday season. Everyone picked out a fat quarter and gave it to the person that picked their name. Any special instructions were noted on the paper like colors, size etc. Zany Quilter is who I drew and we enjoy each others work so she was easy for me. Here is the pillow I made for her based on one of the fabrics in the pillow.

MQG Pillow Exchange 2011 for Zany Quilter

She wanted one of those 'long' ones so after redesigning numerous times I came up with this. It was fun to make and I am pleased with how it turned out. I put a zipper in it so it can be taken on and off for washing.

Zany Quilter pillow detail

I was a little concerned about the quilting because after about 6 inches it seemed a bit stiff. By the time I quilted the whole pillow it wasn't and I was relieved. I am so insecure about quilting my projects. I am afraid I will ruin my quilt with the quilting if I decide I don't like it.

Tomorrow I will post about the wonderful pillow I received. I want daylight to take photos because it is very detailed and deserves close ups. 

May the new year be filled with lots of fabric therapy and fun projects.

Friday, December 16, 2011

East Coast Project

I am not MIA but you probably think so since my last post was in early November. During this time I went to visit my son and DIL in Fort Collins Colorado and I am now back from my 12 day trip to my sisters in Connecticut. 

We went to Great Barrington Massachusetts to see my nephew. In another road trip we went through Massachusetts and New Hampshire on our way to Kennebunkport Maine. The Kennebunkport Inn was great and the food at the One Dock restaurant was to die for. Also saw the Atlantic Ocean with a full moon shinning above. What a great adventure. The days we were at home we worked on a project that was new to me and exciting. An upcycling project to make a pillow.

Upcycled Pillow December 2011

I was in charge of the sewing while my sister did the cutting. Never did count the pieces.

Hours of sewing pieces together.

Sewing, sewing, sewing, sewing, sewing!

Almost finished!

I spent the entire day sewing and the end result was a really fun pillow. I think it ended up being about 24" x 24".  It is very, very soft as you can tell by the fuzz. 

Being so carefree for the past 2 weeks with no guilt about not doing my projects was much needed but it is now time to get down to business and work on my 'to do' list. 

The family will be together for Christmas which I am always thankful for. Hope all of you will have a great holiday season and until next time, happy sewing. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

MQG Block Party

I purchased this fabric long after it was popular and I have been waiting for the right quilt for it. After I take all the white background fabrics out and add the fat quarters I bought I think there is plenty of variety to do the project I have in mind. Now all I have to do is figure out the easiest way to do this block. The way I figure out how to do it is probably not the way the experienced ladies in our group would do it!

from little things by Sarah Fielke

I think I have figured out how to do my block exchange block. It is different than any of the patterns I have seen because there isn't just one fabric going up the middle with white on the sides. Mine has white on the sides but the seam in the middle 'marries' two completely different strips. More of a scrappy look. 

MQG Block Exchange

I asked Cola at Made by Cola if she knew of any directions for this quilt and she directed me to Elizabeth's tutorial at Don't Call Me Betsy. She shows books but it is the same idea. I will be able to get some directions together in case someone is not familiar with this block.

Going to Fort Collins to see my son and DIL. Keep the machines busy until I return. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hand Applique Project

Cleaning up my studio I came across some old projects that I am interested in finishing. You know how you can spend so much time on a project you put it away and never want to see it again? Well that was the case with this one. These are hand dyed fabrics in the colors I love. I don't remember the pattern I used.

The question now is, do I put a sashing between the blocks and frame or just frame?

Applique Flowers

My method of applique is different than most. After making a few small Hawaiian style pieces I learned a way to help me be more accurate in following the pattern.

Flower applique detail

Our Farmers Wife group meets again on Tuesday, which is always fun. The MQG group met last week and we are doing a pillow exchange for our December meeting. My partner wants modern and funky. That is right up my alley. 

Until next time, happy sewing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lots of Fun

I made this for my sister for her birthday. She is a warm color person that likes browns, tans and greens. Anyone that knows me knows I don't have browns or tans in my stash. I did find this combination that I thought might go with her colors. 

Jaclyn 10/2011

I spent yesterday with someone from my homeroom in high school I haven't even laid eyes on in 40 years. She comes to town every year to see her brother, son, sew and take a class or two. Since our 40th high school class reunion was just held in August (I didn't attend due to my health issues at the time.) she had found me on facebook and saw my quilts. She quilts too.

Shar Yano-west 10/26/2011

We didn't hang together in high school but realized how much we had in common including bright fabric. How cool is that? I made her one of my signature mug rugs to take home. Now I have someone to visit on my trips to Hawaii that quilts.  Always fun to make a new friend and one that sews is a real gift. Thanks Shar for the wonderful day.    

Modern quilt guild meeting tonight. Yea!

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Itty Bitty

Doing the Farmer's Wife blocks has given me the opportunity to use Thangles again. They remind me of paper piecing because your half square triangles turn out perfect. These are 1" half square triangles.

Thangles 1"


If you have never tried using Thangles before to make your half square triangles you might like them. There is no math. The only thing I do different from the directions is cut the fabric a little wider than 1/2". I like to have a little bit of wiggle room. It only adds an extra trim step.

I'm off to California for a week to see my dad. I will take my yo yo's so I don't go through complete withdrawal from sewing. 

Happy sewing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday Score

I found some old cardboard cigar boxes in the garage left over from my fused glass days. I brought them in to see if I could store small projects in them. They stacked nicely and looked very tidy on the shelf. They worked well and I remembered my friends husband smoked cigars. When I asked if she had any boxes she laughed and laughed. This friend is a self proclaimed hoarder of many things, including cigar boxes. No, her house doesn't look like the real hoarders on the TV! They were nicely packed into a big box in the garage. To throw away something this nice and useful would be a crime, even though you don't know exactly what you would use them for. I had no idea they were nice wooden boxes with latches and cool labels on them. 

This label is made of a very thin metal. The detail is incredible. Cigars must be expensive when they come in boxes this nice. It will be so much fun using these for project storage. 

Have a great Sunday and keep enjoying what you do, or is it keep doing what you enjoy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Blog Award!

How surprised was I when I found this notice in my email! Thank you so much Staci at The Confused Quilter. I think it is a very nice way to get new blogs connected.

I am new at blogging and have never seen this award go around so I think it's fun. 

Learning I had to write 7 things about myself was a little scary at first but here goes.

1. I was born in North Carolina and lived there until we moved to Hawaii when I was 13 years old. Culture shock plus!

2. I am a nurse by trade and my favorite area of nursing was rehab. Little did I know I would be needing rehab myself years later.

3. I am an above the knee amputee due to the same bone cancer that Ted Kennedy Jr had at 11 years old. I was 28. I wouldn't change a thing.

4. I love to read.

5. I'm very stubborn - just ask my husband!

6. I have two grown children. 

7. I've been married for 33 year and we LOVE a good laugh. Sorry, that was two. So I did 8. Just don't tell the blog police.

I would like to pass this award on to some people that have been at this awhile and some that have not. It would be great if you visit some of these and leave a comment. I have found some wonderful things on these sites.

Until next time, happy surfing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Having Fun

My DH was very busy last week making me a ruler storage area. I can finally get those things out of the drawer so I know what I have and can use them. They are out of the way and they have their own home. If everything I had had a home I would be much better at returning things to where they belong.

Ruler storage 10/2011

One of the projects I worked on last week was a camera strap for my daughter. I used the tutorial from Simply Modern Mom. Anyone who knows me knows I have a hard time with patterns. The third time was the charm. First too small, then too big, then just right!

Kate's camera strap 10/2011

My pick up sticks quilt is going to be a tag quilt.  I have never made a tag quilt before but doing the same exact thing for 400 blocks is hard for me. So you sneak them in one at a time while doing other things!

I am working on this at the moment. It's a slight change in color for me. I got bored with doing the little squares so I made a BIG one to see what it looked like. I think I am going to make one using all big squares. That would be a very quick quilt. Maybe even a quilt in a day.

Watermelon 10/2011

Going to my Farmers Wife group tonight. Will get lots of laughs in as well as some sewing done. I haven't forgotten about the Thangles and my itty bitty's.

Until next time. Whatever it is you like to do try to do it with a smile. Happy sewing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Two Projects

I am working on so many projects at once and it is so much fun. I told you about the Farmers Wife project that I am doing with a local group. Last week much of my time was spent choosing fabrics for the blocks. I haven't done much traditional block assembly so this is a learning curve for me. They are at least turning out the right size so I am thrilled with that.

Farmers Wife 9/2011

Sparky just has to be in the middle of whatever I do if he is awake.  I find myself leaving my studio when he wants to lay right in the middle of my cutting table. Yes, when I'm trying to cut! When he was younger I made a bed for him I would put near by and he would be satisfied to sit on that. Now, no such luck.

Farmers Wife 9/2011

You might notice I am not using traditional colors. These will be made of only the fabrics I have in my stash. A stash buster it is not because the squares are only 6".

Farmers Wife 9/2011

Just a sample for now. When I finish more blocks I will put them up on my design board and show you all that are done.

Here is the other project that I have been working on since late last week.

Pick-Up Sticks 10/2011

This is on the cover of the latest issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. The fabric is Terrain by Kate Spain for Moda. It is not a stash buster for me because I was looking in my studio for fabrics and couldn't settle on any. I was at one of my local shops for a meeting and lo and behold I was stopped in my tracks when I saw this fabric and knew I had to have it for this project. Unfortunately I now have enough for an over sized king bed thinking this was going to be my next quilt for our bed. My husband saw it on the design board and said he loved the colors but the lines going this way and that was not for him. He didn't know it was going to be our next quilt. He's an engineer, what can I say. Maybe I will stand on the corner and sell it to the highest bidder when it's done.

I'm still working on my itty bitty half square triangles. Will post soon.

Until next time, happy sewing, quilting, whatever you do, do it with a smile!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On the Road Again

I am so glad to be in my sewing room for long stretches of time instead of just a few minutes here and there. I'm not getting near as many books read, but that's a good thing. I feel great!
I signed up to do the Bloggers BOM organized by Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works. I had it on my calendar that the first block would be available yesterday so I was excited to get started. If you don't know about this quilt along, go check it out here. You have a whole month to get the first block finished. This morning I picked out my fabric and I just finished the block. I have to say I was very pleased with the results.

Bloggers BOM September 

I am also doing another project that has taken a lot of my time that I vowed NOT to do. I saw a lot of my blogger friends were doing it and I told myself I was not going to start it. Well, guess who started the Farmers Wife? I am doing it in my brights so they will be different than most. A few friends and I get together twice a month to do Farmers Wife. I have found that if I get the fabrics picked out at home and put them in the sleeve all I have to do when we meet is cut, sew, visit and eat, of course.

Farmers Wife 9/2011

With my blue bag in hand along with my sewing machine I am ready.I only have about 5 blocks finished so after tonight I should have plenty for a post. Stay tuned for Farmers wife, Thangles, and itty bitty half square triangles.

Until next time, happy sewing. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Now I am worried about this fabric scaring the girls or being too busy for them to sleep on. Do they turn into real monsters in the dark? They will be three in November.

Close up of girls pillowcase

If you have any thoughts on these questions I would appreciate your input.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pillowcases Got Me Going

This recovery has been way too slow for me. I needed something I could do and finish quickly. I think that's called instant gratification. 

I haven't seen the twins in about six weeks and that is the longest I have been away from them since they were born. I want to take them something I made, and pillowcases came to mind. I have had this fabric since they were little and hope it isn't too 'young' for them. They are still under three so this should be good. I was so excited to make these, and I had forgotten how easy they are, I think I see a lot of different pillowcases in their future! I'm not usually into holiday prints but I am now on a mission so I will keep my eyes open for happy Halloween fabric.

Pillowcases for the twins. 9/2011
Miranda's favorite color is pink and Sophie's favorite is green. They are alike, but they aren't, just like the girls.

Floralicious fabric line pillowcase  9/2011
This one I made for me just because I LOVE this fabric.

With a 3 day sewing retreat coming up next weekend I need to work up to sewing all day so I won't wuss out and have to come home early. A friend made up a kit so I don't have to worry about having enough fabric cut to sew on for three days. We'll see how well I do. Happy to be back into my sewing world with lots of ideas in my head.

Thanks to all those that sent their positive healing thoughts my way. A person can never have too many friends wishing them the best. Now on with life!

Until next time, happy sewing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the Mend

I've been on quite an adventure since I posted last. At the end of July I went to UCLA Medical Center to have a portion of my kidney removed due to renal cell cancer, by a robot no less. The good news is that it was contained, so no chemo or radiation and an excellent prognosis. The bad news is while I was feeling really good, at exactly two weeks out I had blood in my urine. Not a good sign when you've just had kidney surgery. Another 5 days at UCLA and I'm on the mend. A little slower this time but that's okay. 

Since all I have been sewing is hexies and yo-yo's I have no sewing pictures. I have seen many a bloggers beautiful flowers from their garden so I thought I would share my Las Vegas garden with you.

As I write this it is 108 degrees and our large metal flowers and fish are surviving well.

 The fish don't seem to notice they have no water around them and they are happy with the fake kelp.

The ceramic mushrooms are always happy and full of color.

When it cools off I will go out and uncover, rearrange and clean off the petals of the summer's dust and grime.

I hope to be back in my sewing room in the near future with something to share.

Until then, happy sewing. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm Back

Yes, I am back but I don't know if I am hitting on all cylinders yet. No sewing on my machine but I am getting some hexies made. I've even sewn some together. As small as the piece is because my hexies are only the 1" ones, I am very proud to say it is coming along. 

I wanted to get this posted so you know I am on the mend and will be full speed ahead in no time. Until then, I will continue to grow my little piece using my scraps hoping to make a dent in my stash. 

It will be good to catch up on my many blogs to see all the cool quilts these creative ladies and gentlemen are coming up with. 

Until next time, happy sewing! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Modern Block of the Month - July

Sew, Mama, Sew just started the Modern Block of the Month (BOM) quilt along with Alissa Height Carlton. It will be a very interesting adventure for me because I have a hard time with blocks coming out the proper size unless there is 'trimming' at the end. Like a half square triangle is trimmed after sewing. You can choose to make a whole quilt out of the block shown or make a quilt out of all twelve blocks at the end of the year. Allowing a whole month to do the block is very adequate for me to get it done. Modern Block of the Month posts on flickr will fill up with all the different blocks that the members make. Check it out. It should be great fun and easy with only a block a month. Glad to have my BOM done before my down time starts. Looking forward to seeing the block for August.

I finished my Kona solids challenge but I haven't quilted it yet. I guess I will have to wait until next month to take it to the Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I will show you a picture of it though. I know it is dark but I will have to figure that out later. I'm going to have to work on the photographing of my projects.

I figured out how to do a pillowcase type method, so now I can quilt it and not finish it in the traditional method using binding. I have never made bias binding and I really didn't want to start now! The other method will be just fine. I like this piece but it is totally different than my original idea. Once I started in one direction I had to work with what I had since there were no more color pieces. I have enjoyed working with solids and will do more of it in the future.

Until next time, happy sewing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh No, Hexies!

I am going to be having a lot of down time in my near future. I am caught up on my yo-yo's so I decided that I should pull out my hexies and continue that journey. I had made 70, and for a project of any size I have a long way to go. I put them in another big jug just like the yo-yo's. The yo-yo jug is full and this one is about a half an inch in the bottom. I made another 50 or so last night.

I might as well do something fun in my down time. Between hexies and yo-yo's, I will be productive.

Until next time, happy sewing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not Much Done

The only thing I have made any progress on is additional yo-yo's to my pile. My husband and I went to California to deal with some issues. I made 9 yo-yo's before we stopped for lunch and when I looked for the bag with my finished yo-yo's it was gone. After searching the entire car I figured they fell out of the door compartment where I had stashed the bag. Luckily, I had more fabric of those I lost so I used it to make more to feel better about the ones that were gone. Someone picked up some colorful 'circles' I hope they enjoy. I only got 45 made in the 8 hours of our trip. 

Yo-yo's July 2011 - 602

I thought I would only be able to get 500 in this jug but maybe I can get 700! 

This week I am going to try and finish my Kona challenge, that I am very excited about and the quilting on the Jolt 52" circular piece. This project is a big one.

My sewing time is a little sketchy for the near future but try to hang in there with me and I will return.

Until then, happy sewing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Needed A Change

A couple of days ago I could feel the quilt tops pile getting bigger and bigger. My Dad bought me a Juki last year so I figured I would oil that baby up and jump right in. The last time I tried to use it the tension wasn't right, so I have been a little reluctant to jump back in again. Yesterday when I sat down to test the tension it was beautiful. I decided to quilt my Jolt banner piece that I started 3 years ago. I am still working on it but I have a question. 

Question  When quilting a piece like this, do I use a rust colored and purple thread in areas that aren't black and white? 

I don't have very much experience quilting but it sure is fun when the tension is right. I am also working on the Kona solids challenge due this month at the MQG meeting. I need to make a final decision for my Block Party block too since I've already lost a month. Lots to do and plenty of time to do it in. Back to the Juki.

Any ideas on the quilting thread would be helpful.

Happy sewing, quilting or whatever you're doing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

KIP (Kaleidoscope in Progress)

It wasn't as difficult to sew the blocks together as I thought. There were only a couple that were a bit off. I have not worked with bias cut fabrics that much and next time I think I will starch my fabric before I cut it. Besides handling, the fabric stretches when it is ironed not PRESSED. Overall I was very pleased with the way it turned out. 

Posting these pictures has really helped me see the things that need to change (the blue block) before I get them all sewn together. It didn't work this time because I made last minute changes and didn't photograph it before I began sewing. The things you learn through this process. Learning and having fun, what a concept!

Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts is having a quilt along starting Monday so go on over and check it out. It's for her birthday, so join in.

Until next time, happy sewing.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oh No, More Yo-yo's!

I just finished 40 more yo-yo's for my yo-yo quilt along. Thanks to Penny at sewtakeahike for hosting a QAL. I couldn't believe it when I found out other people love these odd little circles too! And enough to do a quilt along. I'm sure you can join in if you feel so inclined to give it a try, or add to the bag you already started years ago. You have until October to get them all done.Yo-yo's are great fabric therapy as long as you don't stress over how many you make.

I started sewing my Kaleidoscope squares together but the old "now I know what it's going to look like it's time to start the next project" syndrome set in. 
I can't believe some people are doing 6 quilt along projects at one time! I thought 2 was plenty for now.

Photo by Hattie Wilcox

Sparky is sitting in one of the cubbies that was empty when I moved into my new sewing rooms. Of course he has to be right in the middle of everything when I am cutting or sewing. I was making yo-yo's earlier and I use a TV table for my fabric and supplies while making them. He jumps on the table and proceeds to lay down knocking over whatever he has to in order to fit. He's a small cat but not that small! Meow.

Enjoy your holiday weekend. Until next time, happy sewing.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I Think I've Got It

I have been working so hard sewing these blocks together I forgot to post pictures! After a few changes I think this is the final placement of blocks. That star in the center just started happening so I ran with it and I thought it came out rather nice.

I think if I did another one of these quilts I would include a lot more fabrics. I found myself running into the same fabric at every turn. I have over a dozen different ones but when there are two on each square that cuts it down to six. 

I no longer have a fear of templates as long as they are the thick acrylic ones! I don't seem to do well with the ones you cut out of the plastic sheets. Being exact is not my strong suit. Plus they are hard to cut accurately.

I didn't seem to have too much trouble with the seams of the blocks. I hope putting the blocks together is as trouble free as the blocks were. All the blocks don't seem to be created equal! We shall see.

Thanks again Elizabeth for including me in your Kaleidoscope QAL . I am so looking forward to seeing everyone's quilt. 

Until next time, happy sewing everyone.

Monday, June 27, 2011


No sewing on Saturday or Sunday because I was with the girls. Lots of hours at that machine today though. I started out arranging the Kaleidoscope scrappy but soon realized when I had it on my design wall that it was going to take a lot more fabrics. Since I had already cut 10 kaleidoscope pieces of each of the many fabrics I used I would make all the kaleidoscope pieces the same and the corner pieces the opposite in value. I put about 20 blocks on the design wall to check it out and with that decision made all I had to do was sew all 35 blocks.  

Pressing the seams open is a real chore but a necessary one. 

I have never made a quilt in less than a week but I'm on my way to making two in a week starting with the warm cool one! I will have to take time to quilt them soon so they will be completely finished. 

Happy sewing.