Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Know why I don't clean? When I organized my seeing room last December, I misplaced a year's worth of EPP hexagons sewn into diamonds.


So, a new project has been started.
(thanks to Christie at Describe Happy)


About a three weeks ago now, I purchased a paper copy of Swoon from my formerly-almost-local quilt shop. (It used to be a 40 minute drive. Since we moved, it's nearly 2 hours away, so I only ever stop there when I'm on the way to visit my momma). I ordered Swoon along with 2 pincushion patterns, thinking I'd be able to play with some of the fabric from my Christmas shopping spree in no time.....


I'm still waiting. I love that they've kept in touch with me this whole time, so there is no anger here about the waiting. I just wish the darn supplier would get the 1 pattern not in stock shipped to them, so that they can then ship me my whole order, since I really don't want to negate my coupon by paying for shipping twice! It's the only reason I made the order, anyway! Well, I guess not the only reason, but rather the tipping reason to go ahead and get a few things from my wish list. :)

I picked out my fabrics... well, having picked them out at Christmas, I guess I should say I decided to scrap the original plan and designated these my Swoon fabrics. I think I'm going to use this red as my solid.

I've also been working on more super scrappy log cabin blocks.
 They will eventually be our new bedspread. I'm going to try a quilt-as-you-go method, though, since it will be King-sized when finished.
And, these X and + blocks have been multiplying. I need another project like I need a whole in my head. Why do I keep making them? Don't get me wrong- I love these blocks- but I need to FOCUS.

Made in Cherry is ready to be basted and quilted. My backing has been washed, so perhaps I'll get it laid out tonight. That means vacuuming, though. I dislike vacuuming these days, since the dogs mean I pretty much should vacuum every day. It gets old. I already swept once today, but if I want a quilt back to be semi-clean of dog hair, I need to vacuum again.

I guess I'll heat up some dinner and stare at our sweeper. Maybe I'll turn it on and use it. ANd then maybe I'll get MiC basted so I can start quilting. I'm thinking nice, crisp straight lines. Some kind of echoing. Super simple, i.e. easy for me to do. I want to finish this one by the 10th so I can show my momma next time I visit! And my MIL, too! And I might have to stop by the formerly-almost-local quilt shop while I'm there. :D

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Try #2

Trying to get the blogger app right. At first, it defaulted to the wrong blog.
I followed a series of links this morning and found these, so I made 4. Future pillow, perhaps?

Friday, January 27, 2012

AAAAAND it's a flimsy!

 Laying it out on the bed like that, it's tempting to dream up borders to make it king-sized... but how on earth would I quilt it? I'm sure I could manage, but I think I just want it to be a large throw for me to snuggle under on the couch.

Let's recap: Today, I did 5 loads of laundry, a load of dishes in the machine and a whole counter full and sink full by hand, swept, vacuumed, and finished my Made in Cherry top. I'm calling it Superstitious, too, since I started it on Friday the 13th while laughing my butt off at all the people who believe in silly superstitions. I'm a positive thinker; I only believe in things that are lucky!

Oh, and did I mention I quilted and bound this little wallhanging?
It's made from 2 small hearts from last year's block lotto leftovers, plus I made a pair of large hearts this year which created the second pair of small hearts. Then it was just a matter of playing with the layout, adding scrappy black, letting it sit on my ironing board ready to be quilted for 2 weeks, and then, in today's extended fit of productivity, I finished it! Simple, but fun. And it makes me happy, so quilt police be damned!

I think I'm too tired to be writing anymore... bordering on cranky. Much love to you all, and again, HAPPY WEEKEND!

The great thing about chores

... is that some of them allow you to be productive elsewhere at the same time!
I made great progress on my Made In Cherry QAL, after having been stalled on Wednesday from a massive migraine.
I've been sewing while the dishwasher and washing machine and dryer run. I did vacuum, too, but that caused me to stop sewing for a bit.
Today, I got the 6th point pieced, and then, in my excitement, added the solid grey all around three sides.
Isn't it funny how the color changed in these photos from morning to afternoon?

All that's left are two points and their solid pieces (which are already cut).

I'm using the Denise Schmidt prints I picked up last summer along with a few more recent ones that I picked up this January (wish I had known more were coming out the week after I finished piecing the middle of this, though!), along with Kona slate.

A note for anyone else using Kona cotton: I don't know if it's because I prewash or what, but my solid was not the needed 43" wide that the pattern called for (honestly, when I bought it, I didn't check). No big deal, though- I simply cut 20.5" strips, then used a completed point to guide me kind of like a giant Easy Angle ruler (which I used in the main part of the pattern, anyway, rather than having to use those silly 7/8" measurements). I was able to get 4 HST's from each giant strip, and frankly, it made me pretty darn happy to not have bias edges along the outside like the pattern ends up as written!

I really like this quilt. It is simple, yet has a big impact. And the squares are big enough that I don't feel like I"m losing any of those gorgeous prints. The rate I'm sewing, I need to start thinking about what color for binding, backing, and how I'll quilt it!

I'm becoming more of a fan of patterns lately. While I absolutely adore designing my own quilts, sometimes a certain pattern and a chunk of my stash seem to be destined for each other.
Which is why once this one is done, I'll start Swooning. :D

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time for a new table mat.

I have a small table that I use by the couch for my drinks/snacks/remote for the TV. I've been making seasonal table mats for it, and since Christmas is well over, it was time for a new one. 

Simple quilting, which I'm pretty proud of since I just eyeballed it and still managed to make circles!
 I've been wanting to make a dresden plate for a long time, but a whole quilt seemed a bit much. Maybe some other time.
 The cherries played nicely with the hearts, making it Valentine-y enough without making me gag (I'm not the biggest fan of that holiday, though it has been growing on me since I got married). Part of me wishes they contrasted more, but the other part of me likes the way it's subtle, almost like a flower. Perhaps that's why I ended up choosing a yellow center!

And in the interest of saving space when it gets stored, I figured I'd make it multi-holiday:
I made this side super simple so that it wouldn't really matter how I quilted the dresden plate.

I'm pleased with it. It brings a little cheer to my snack table.

Monday, January 23, 2012

And the winner is..

Out of two who commented... I help out my fists, right side labeled 1, and left side 2, and waited for the dogs to investigate... and they chose #1 !

So congrats to Alannah! I've contacted her already, and am just waiting for her addy so I can mail out the certificate.

What a great way to start the Chinese New Year, eh?

Year of the Dragon. Perhaps I should make some sort of small dragon project today.

Enjoy your week, everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Today would have been my dad's 59th birthday, had he not lost the battle to cancer a little over 2 years ago. It still brings a twinge of pain to think about, but it seems the whole family is beyond the gut-wrenching stage and into the the duller pain, so that's good.

I wanted to do something today to bring me joy. So why not pay forward some of my good fortune to you? As in, a GIVEAWAY? After all, that was something my dad taught me to do: with all the help we received during his battle, he made sure to instill the pay-it-forward gene in my brother and me.

Recently, I received this lovely gift certificate from The Painted Daisy. She's a crafter in Madison, Wisconsin, who has the cutest upcycled skirts, wrist warmers, quilted bags, and more in her shop.

Like this...

And this...

Doesn't that look so cozy?

You can win this $10 gift certificate:

All you have to do (leave ONE comment) is :

1. Visit The Painted Daisy and tell me what item of hers is your favorite (I love the skirts for little girls, even though my only little girl is of the 4-legged variety!).
2. Tell me what you do to feel happy (I exercise/eat to beat the blues. Which means I'm running and baking today).

Make sure I have a way to contact you! A winner will be drawn at random whenever I get up on Monday, which gives you a little over 24 hours. The window is small because I'm going to the post office on Tuesday, and would love to only have to make one trip this week. :)

And, GO!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My little model

I made her another jacket. She's such a poser. I think that face might be Blue Steel.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I had half of a stomach bug (by which I mean I felt sick, had a fever, thought I might puke for about 24 hours but thankfully never did). I was so glad to wake up today feeling better!

My quilt for AAQI is ready to be mailed tomorrow- got my number today. Which means I'll have to brave the snow they didn't predict to get to the post office.

I wish I were a meteorologist! They get paid an awful lot for being wrong all the time!!! Seriously, last time they said 3-6" and we had less than one. Today, it was supposed to be less than one and we have nearly 3" already!

Stay tuned for-- GASP!-- a giveaway!!!! On the 22 of this month, I'll be passing along some of my recent good fortune to one lucky winner.

I'm off to go make some more kitchen cotton dishcloths- I've been converted! Plus, I made 2 yesterday that will be gifted next Christmas. how's that for planning ahead?

Enjoy the weekend! Travel safely if you're getting surprise snow, too!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Very Hungry!

A very hungry wallhanging.
 A friend of my mom contacted me about making a baby quilt and a wallhanging using The Very hungry caterpillar as the theme.

How could I resist? I love Eric Carle's books and artwork! I'm pretty pleased with the way these came out.
 I love the baby quilt. Especially the food fabric (I'm way too happy about having extra bits of the food fabric).
I used the other half of the panel for the back.

I have one more baby quilt to make, but it's not "due" until late summer- however, thinking ahead, I ordered enough of the dots, food fabric, and an extra panel so I can make another very hungry baby quilt! I'll probably change up the color placement, and it will be with different greens/red/yellows, but I love knowing that the design part is done already.

Want to know the BEST part of all?

I used my profits from this quilt and wallhanging to pay for my textbooks so I can start studying to be a personal trainer!!! EEK!

How's that for investing in my future? I can't wait until they arrive on Wednesday!

(The only bad news is that I'm out of spending $ for now... guess that means I'll have to actually use my stash! This could be a good thing!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ch ch ch changes!

I made this last week... I've been waiting for St Paddy's fabric to make another on the other side so it will be a reversible, multi-holiday table mat. I love that it doesn't scream VALENTINE'S DAY like hearts would.

And now, why the title of this post.

Due to recent, and not so recent rejections on the job front, due to over 200 job applications filled out and nothing more than a summer golf course clubhouse job, due to my drive and ambition to DO SOMETHING, I have decided (after mulling it over for almost 2 years in which I submitted those 200+ applications) to become a personal trainer.

I want to help others find the self-love I've found through exercise and activity. I want to help others get healthy, stay healthy, and pass it along to their families.

Frankly, I read every ounce of exercise-related media I can get my hands on anyway. And I'm slightly obsessed with The Biggest Loser. I watch the old episodes on Netflix daily.

It's kind of a big deal. If I succeed in this, I will be my own boss (at least partially). I will be helping others, and myself, to be Fit for Life.

And, I'll be well prepared to fight off quilter's butt for life!!!

Wish me luck. My cousin made this decision when he was 40, and he's opening his own CrossFit gym next month.

This is a reachable goal. Now, I just need to put on foot in front of the other, flip one page after another, and I'll reach it, just like I'll finish my first marathon this fall.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Up, down, all around

It's been a roller coaster of a day.

This morning, I squealed with delight when I found out that I won a charm pack of Domestic Bliss.

This afternoon, I wanted to cry/binge eat all the candy in the house/crawl in bed and sleep for a week when I found out I didn't get yet another job.

And then this evening, I've been giddy with excitement over the cutest quilt. The goal is to piece the backing and quilt  tomorrow so I can share it in all its marvelous, head-exploding cuteness.

Perhaps this up-down-up is why I'm soooooo exhausted now!

At least this weekend brings good news: DH's Biggest Loser-style competition starts, so he'll be back to eating healthy rather than binging on crap to try to pad his starting weight. It makes it easier on me to keep eating right when he's eating well, too.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Word

I've seen One Word posts all over blogland, not just with fabric friends but with runners, readers, and all sorts.

Perhaps, by picking one word, I will have more focus. Perhaps it will shape my year. Perhaps it will help me achieve my goals this year.

Given that I 1) am running my first marathon in September, 2) have a Dear Jane quilt started, 3) am trying to get more of a career than a job this year, I think this is a good word for me:


I will finish what I start. I will follow through. I will not quit.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fabric Tuesday!

Yay, Fabric Tuesday is back over at Quilt Story!!!

It's a fun linky party they hold, of course, on Tuesdays.

So here's what I've been up to:

You already saw my tutorial for this composition notebook cover:
I've started plotting out the year's race schedule, which helps frame my training schedule. I officially signed up for my first full marathon on New Year's Day. This notebook will be one of my tools to help gauge my progress and stay injury-free. I cannot wait to run a full marathon!

And, speaking of marathons, of sorts, my Dear Jane blocks now number 6 total:
One machine appliqued, one paper-pieced, one hand-appliqued, and one simply pieced.

I think this must be the easiest block of the whole book!
 I've been making them in similar color families to the originals, or at least similar values, though obviously not reproductions by any means (See that tea fabric in the first DJ photo? That's right, my DJ has novelty fabric!).
Don't you love that oriental brown with its tiny chrysanthemums? This was one of the FQs my mom gave me for Christmas.
I think this will help with color balance once the whole quilt is assembled. The original looks marvelous when it comes to color balance, so I hope this works!

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I have to run (4 miles today) and then it's off to my sewing room to work on Orca Bay.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last year's scraps

Surprise! A tutorial for you! How to make a fabric notebook cover:

Materials: SCRAPS!!! Enough string to make 2 string blocks, and enough 2.25" binding scraps to measure ~42" total.
All seams are assumed 1/4" unless noted.

Step one: Make 2 8.5" string blocks. There are multiple sources for these; I suggest you google it if you don't know how. There are some fabulous tutorials already out there.

 Stitch your two sting blocks together. Then, stitch a length of unfolded scrap binding RIGHT SIDE TO WRONG SIDE OF BLOCKS:
Do not press that crease, it will help later. Do the same for the other side:
 Normally, right now, you'd be yelling, "ACK!" But don't worry!
 Press the edges of the binding under just less than 1/4", then fold and stitch down. This is why it helps to not press that nice crease out.
 See, I caught just the edge.
Now, trim 1/4" from each non-binding side:
 Take two more pieces of binding, leaving them FOLDED this time, and stitch the raw edge down.
 Press towards the strings, then fold the binding at the crease so none shows on front. Carefully turn the tiniest bit under (Some might want to do this by hand) and stitch a small curved corner.
 And voila! You can cover your composition notebook!
Say hello to my new training log. 

See how last year's scraps can be put to use this year?

Let's hope 2012 brings all the dreams we've dreamt to life!