Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goals, Motivation, and Finishing What You Start!

I can't remember if I told you all (and I'm too lazy to go searching back) about the goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year.  It was that I couldn't start any new projects until I had my current projects list finished (or at the very least, under control!).  At the time my WIP list was hovering somewhere around 14 quilts. Ridiculous!  As you can imagine it was feeling daunting and overwhelming.  And my sewing room was out-of-control messy.

Blue/Green String Scraps Baby Quilt
Now that we are half way thru the year I thought it'd be fun to do a little progress report to show myself how I am doing.  

I am happy to say that I haven't started a single new project in 2012 (block swaps and bees don't count) that wasn't already in the works!  Can you believe it?  Neither can I!  

Baby "Children at Play"

Seems my normal mode of operation goes a little something like this:  Start a project off with a flurry of excitement and activity, get stuck on one thing (like finding a backing or making the last few blocks, etc...), only to put it aside for "later" and then start another new project. I figured out that my normal turn around time for any given quilt is between 6-9 months.  Seems a little crazy seeing how I sew every day.  Lots of sewing should = Fast turn around, right?

Leftovers from Ashlees' yellow and grey

I am happy to report that so far this year I have completed six bigger quilts (my finishes on the sidebar), with five little baby ones waiting for their bindings. (Yay, me!)  ALL of which where started LAST year.  (Boo, me!)   I still have three more bigger ones to go, but can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  As an added bonus, my sewing room is cleaner and my mind is less cluttered.  Go figure!

Now that my WIP list is under control I am dying to start some new projects.
I've got some ideas... But since I just got my copy of Sunday Morning Quilts I will probably start there.

Here's to finishing what you start!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Vera's Apron Surprise

I've been in cohoots with our friend Kevin for over a month now to surprise his wife, our sweet friend Vera, for her birthday last Saturday.  Kevin has guest posted on our blog previously and asked for some help to make an apron for Vera--because apparently the last one he tried to make for her didn't turn out as he had hoped.  As a trade for the many nice things he's done for us I told him I would make it.

This is me modeling, not Vera.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out.   Kevin picked out all the fun pretty fabric (love the combo) and then I went to work.  I added a few embellishments here and there: like the rick rack trim, bias tape edged hem and the pockets.  No apron should ever come without pockets.  And I have to say that I just love top-stitching.  I think that just makes the project so much polished and professional looking.

Happy (slightly belated) Birthday Vera! 
I am so glad we really were able to surprise you.


  • Used a combination of Simplicity 3752 View A and "Summertime Blues", pg. 98 from A is for Apron.
  • 1 pkg. large rick rack--white.
  • 1 pkg. 1/4" double fold bias tape for the hem--white.
  • Remnant piece of 1/2" wide single fold bias tape--yellow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Inroducing the Amish Buggy Block Swap

I have been intrigued with Amish Quilts for some time now.  They are beautiful in their simplicity, timeless in their design, and all out amazing in my book!

When I came across this quilt I knew I wanted to replicate it.  And what better way than with a block swap.  (You know I love a good block swap!)

So, I am happy to introduce our very first block swap! Yay!

Here's how it will work:

1. Everyone will use their own fabrics.  ~ The only stipulations on fabric are that it MUST be a true solid (NO print on print), NO white,  and nothing too thin (if you can see thru it, don't use it).  Other than that, use whatever you have on hand.  Just remember the golden rule of swapping: Don't swap what you wouldn't want in return!

2. Feel free to send in as many blocks as you want in groups of 5.  So if you want to make some potholders, send in 5 ~ a small wall hanging, send 10 ~ how about a small throw, send in 40.  Whatever number you feel comfortable making.  (I'm aiming for 40 for myself.)

Your blocks CAN ALL be made from the same 2 fabrics.  The variety will come when we swap those with what others have sent in.

3. When your blocks are finished you will mail them to me along with a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.  Shipping Deadline will be July 15th. Please make sure you attach the correct amount of postage to both envelopes you are mailing.  Also please include a card with your name/address and # of blocks you sent so I can keep track of everyone.

4.  Once I receive everyone's blocks I will mix them up and send them back out.  You will get back the same amount of blocks as you sent in. 

Block Directions:  We will be using this tutorial, except that we will be using 2 1/2 inch strips, NOT 2 1/4".  Your block should measure 8.5 inches unfinished.

So, who's in?!
If you are active on flickr you can sign up here.
Not on flickr? Just sign up on this post.  Easy as that.

(I've read and re-read this post a million times, so I have no idea if it even makes sense anymore. Feel free to ask questions if you need clarification...)

*Pictures and directions used with permission from Karen Griska*

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Red + White Progress

I'm so excited! 
My red and white blocks have started to trickle in for my quilt club ladies!!

(Can you guess which ones I've made??)

A little mock up shows how perfectly perfect I think this quilt is going to be!  :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Scrappy Quilt Project Update

O.K. maybe this project isn't going to take me a year like I originally had thought.  I really like making these blocks and I can see where the number of rectangles I've cut may never end....especially as I add a few more here and there as I finish other projects.

I'm about halfway through the 90 blocks needed for this quilt.
Here is a peek at what it is going to look like.

After this scrappy project is complete I want to make Amanda Jean's "Checkerboard Quilt", pg. 128-131, from her book Sunday Morning Quilts.  I'll use 3" squares because I already have LOTS and LOTS of them cut and sorted for my class quilt projects that I've made in the past.

But first...this one.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ashlee's Yellow and Grey

Ashlee's quilt is done!
And it didn't even take me another 9 months to complete.  Thank goodness!

Up Close
 Isn't it pretty?  Ashlee and I make a good team.

 The fabrics are a hodge podge of yellow and grey's she and I found at my LQS.  The main ones are from Joel Dewberry's Aviary line (...I think!)  

The yellow/grey color combo is super popular right now, as you might have noticed!
I have started collecting my own yellows and greys for myself a little quilt. :)


The backing is also by Joel Dewberry (Medallion maybe??), with a yellow gingham I can't remember, and a grey print from Aneela Hoey. How's that for sort of helpful?! :)

On a side rant note:  See how the medallion print design is not straight on the top and bottom edge?  What's up with that??  Seems it was not printed straight on the fabric. I have no idea if that was a mistake on the bolt I got or on all of them, but I was super annoyed and frustrated.  I tried to make it less noticeable and still keep it straight.  This was the best I could do.  So, fabric makers, just a note:  If you are printing such a huge design on fabric please make sure it is straight!  I can understand if a "cheap" print is off a bit, but this one should not have been.  Just saying...

Finished Size 60" by72".
Pattern from an Old Red Barn Quilt Along.
I have made it before. That one is living at our Mom's house.

Quilted by Lynn in an all over loopy design.
Linking up to Fabric Tuesday.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Look who tried paper piecing...and Survived!

This paper pieced flying geese block has been one of my favorites for a long time.  (There are a million beautiful versions of it but this one and this one are personal favs!)  I've just been too busy too chicken to actually try it.  That is one of the great things about joining a virtual quilting bee, though. You are forced to step out of your comfort zone more often than not.  

I was a wee bit scared when Sheetal announced it as her pick for our May Bee Vintage Block.  But I dove in...and I'm happy to report there were no tears, no bad words, and only minimal amounts of seam ripping involved.  Not bad for a first attempt.

I actually made this red + white version as a tester to the vintage sheet one.  I am going to use it in my quilt club anniversary quilt.  I think I've mentioned that I'm asking for red and white blocks for that project.  Won't that be so pretty?  I think so...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Color Blocked T-shirt dress

Once again I've had this pattern (McCall's 4510) for awhile--trying to decide exactly how I wanted to make up this dress.  I was leaning towards a black and white version but then I found some thrifted knit sheets--$3 each for full size.  Brown and orange together--got the O.K. vote from my girls--and so I went for it.

And.....if it didn't turn out exactly how I liked then I wouldn't be out much money or effort.

The beauty of this dress--besides being made from t-shirt fabric and super comfy--is that it can be dressed up, like I did for Church with a pretty necklace and heels.  Or it can be dressed down with some sandals and worn on a summer day to the park with the kids  or out running errands.

I'm really happy with it.
The only change I made on it was to NOT put the little back neck loop/slit closure in.  Instead I just bound the neckline like a regular t-shirt and called it goo.

I REALLY wanted these earrings from Forever21 to go with this dress. 

But, alas, the orange ones were sold out.  Wahhh!
I'm still on the hunt for something similar to wear with this outfit.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Syrup

Last weekend the young women at church had a pancake breakfast fundraiser for girls' camp this summer.  We had quite the assortment of gourmet syrups and toppings.  This recipe was one of the biggest hits.  Most of my kids just put peanut butter on their pancakes anyway--so this was their favorite.  Our friend MaryAnn was more than willing to share her yummy recipe.

Peanut Butter Syrup
2 cups sugar (**half brown sugar and half white sugar is o.k. and even better if just making plain maple syrup)
1 cup water
1 tsp. maple extract

Combine above in a saucepan. 
Stir occasionally and bring to a boil. 
(This maple syrup is great on pancakes and waffles as is.)

Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter (MaryAnn uses Jif). ***I tried it with Peter Pan and the syrup separated.
Stir with a whisk until combined. 
Serve warm. (way better warm than not)

Enjoy your breakfast!
We sure have with this delicious syrup.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Last of the Grandma Quilts

I FINALLY got my Grandma Quilt done over the weekend.  Yea!!
But since we've talked on and on about these quilts over the last year, I can't think of anything more to say about it.  I'll just leave you with a few pics and move on...



Quilts #1-3Renae'sSquares 
I thought it would be fun now that the Grandma Project is completely finished to show a collage with all the quilts we made.  Six in total.  All different and unique, but equally cool in their Grandma Awesomeness!  I'm sure (and I think my sisters would agree) that Grandma would be very happy that we recycled her shirts into such beautiful creations!

Hourglass Inspiration and Tutorial
Backing:  light blue/white striped thrifted sheet from my stash
Linking up to Fabric Tuesday 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quilt Club Blocks for May

For May it's Rochelle's turn to host club.  
She is a lover of blue, more specifically dark blue.
So here's what I came up with for her.
I was going for a sort of "trip around the world" look. 
 The ladies tend to use lots of dark sashing in their quilts, so I thought the white would pop nicely against all the dark.

For this block I was trying to do something different than my usual 2.5 square/postage stamp style block.  If you want to make your own, start with 3 7/8" squares and cut into HST.  Should come out to a 12.5" block like mine.


I also wanted to show you Kae's finished quilt top.
 As you might remember, in March she asked for red/white/blue blocks.  
Well, she was so excited to receive such lovely blocks from everyone that she showed us her finished top at our April meeting. (You can see that even my ugly block made the cut.)  We were all pretty excited to see that it turned out so great. (See? Dark sashing..) More importantly, Kae loved it!!


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