Monday, September 27, 2010

I started a little collection

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scrappy mug rug

Some of you may know about the Scrappy Mug Rug swap going on in flickr land (I think they're going to do another round for the holidays if you're interested).  (This is the one I made for my partner)

While I was going to town to pick up the car, Mom and I went to a thrift shop... and I found this pretty little cup.

my new pretty cup

I've always known I liked the Pyrexy/milk glass mugs and cups, so I decided to start collecting them (and I might have been given a little encouragement here.)

Of course I had to make my new cup a mug rug.

Scrappy mug rug

If you look closely, you'll notice my cross stitches are uneven, and I switched from embroidery floss to perle cotton (thus the discrepancy in french knot sizes)...but it's folksy, and I like it. 

The inspiration came from the cup (obviously), and Mandy's placemats she made a little while back.

My facebook status on Friday read "I need to finish a quilt this weekend... that is my goal."

I didn't quite get it finished, but considering Mr. Jay was working all weekend (harvest time around these parts), I think it was pretty good to put the last of my basting pins in by 10 pm last night (basting absolutely can't be done while S-man is awake).

You say you want to see a sneak peek?

All right.  But only a little section, not quilted yet, and from a funky angle...

(it's even better in person...and there's one thing almost crossed off the list)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I've made myself a ridiculous list

Pin It ...that I'm not going to take the time to type out here.

Chubby Stars peeps -- nothing new this week because I need to catch up!  Based on the flickr pool, I'd say I'm not the only one. :)

And if you're ahead (Melissa), well, then I'm a little jealous.

Right now on my sewing table/machine is:

- a surprise (not for you all... just for someone I know, but in case they read this, I won't show pics)
- another surprise (this one's for you all).
- some other random stuff
- my chubby stars.

So this post isn't pictureless --

I finished a couple bee blocks.

A couple spiderwebs for Crystal: (these were a first)

Spiderwebs for Crystal

and an abacus block for Carrie (done with the tutorial-ish at Block Party's blog)

Bee Splendid block for Carrie

Oh, and this is what Steiger did when I gave him a time-out yesterday (I think it was for grabbing my glasses off my face... which he knows not to do).

getting a time out

He just stared at me grinning.

Really effective I see.

He's almost 18 months... let's just hope I get this discipline thing figured out before he's 18 years.

I almost forgot!

I've got a number of my Christmas Bee blocks back.

Fabulous, no?

Christmas blocks so far

(sorry I didn't iron)


One more thing!

I don't know what's coming exactly... but AccuQuilt has something in the works! 

(That's also what I'm working on... trying to get my review finished up, so I can have a giveaway!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I have a thing for baby quilts

Pin It What can I say... I'm a sucker for new babies and the quilts that go with them.

Remember this?

It's all washed and crinkly and on its way to its new home now.

Washed and crinkly baby quilt

Its little owner is still cooking, and Audrey's mama, if you're reading this... I need a picture of that newborn sweetness with her quilt. :)

back-lighting the back

A few process notes:

You saw me working out a design... Basically, I laid out some HSTs, and my good online friend (she's not a quilter though -- we met in a mommy forum when we were pregnant -- our babes were born a day apart, and she's got another one set to show up in a month-ish) decided she liked the diamonds better.

These were from a "Lily and Will" charm pack; I pulled the pinks, greens, and most of the browns, and added a Moda Bella Snow square.  

After the top was pieced, I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something missing from the quilt.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any more charm squares, and I didn't feel right about just adding more of the solid for a border.

This is why I love having a stash.

I had added some "natural" chenille to my cart back when it was on sale a few months ago ( I believe)... and it made the perfect finish.

chenille border

The back is a cream flannel from JoAnn's, with Audrey's name appliquéd on... oh, and a little flower from this die.


What I love about this quilt:
  • Can you say soft?
  • all the texture
  • her name looks so cute
  • it's so so so soft in every way... perfect for a new baby
What I don't love:
  • I forgot to put on a label (oops)
  • I worry again that white isn't a great idea for babes (but hey -- it's washable). :)
  • That I didn't miter the borders.
This is one really different from my last one, but equally loved.

Audrey's quilt

I can't wait to see little Audrey with this.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

a little mug rug

Pin It ...all ready to send. :)  For the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap.

scrappy mug rug

I used templates from this magazine, with some of Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks, and some linen.

scrappy mug rug

I'm thinking of resizing it to make a whole quilt. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chubby Stars quilt along -- Step 4 -- make me some X blocks

Pin It We'll be working on the chain blocks this week. :)


chain block

- Go look at this chart, and make half your chain blocks.

Don't forget to plan accordingly for corner and border blocks by putting in just the background fabric.

And yes, I'm completely behind; I have to order more of my star point fabric, but fabric's not in the budget this month (or who knows when).

(You can see a few pics of progress in the flickr group)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tula Pink for Olivia Violet

Pin It This is my Friday Sew & Tell for amylouwho!

When my friend from college, Erin, found out that baby #3 was a girl, I knew I wanted to make her a quilt.

Her shower was last weekend, and though sadly, I didn't get to go, I did get to show her a picture. :)

I promised you all a full process write-up, and here it is (the quilt and the write-up)

tula pink for Olivia Violet

Here's how I did it.

I had a Plume FQ bundle... so I pulled out the pinks, and left them folded as they come (I think I had to iron out a couple of them). 

I put it on the 4 1/2" square section of the die that came with the Go! cutter.

go in action

After wheeling it through...

go in action

...I had a lovely pile of 4 1/2" squares.  

cut with go!

A few of them were a tiny bit off where the fabric folded, but they were close enough, and I didn't have to do any prepping of the fabric (which was nice). :)  Using the pre-folded fat quarters really wasn't technically enough seam allowance, but to save time, I'd probably still do it again, and just adjust my seam allowance if necessary, for the pieces that were folded too small to cover the 4 1/2" die.

While I was making this quilt, I discovered one of my favorite features of the Go!

When cutting, I could fold up one side, and use my cutting mat. (Those are chubby star four-patch strips to the right)

the go in action

And while I was pressing, I folded up the other side to keep it out of the way.

go in action

Very handy.

For my white squares, I had cut 5" x WOF strips, and folded them so they were six layers of fabric deep.  It is a little harder to crank through six strips than four; however not as hard as using the ruler and rotary cutter on the cutting mat.

A couple blog friends had asked me about the accuracy of the squares.  Because I didn't have enough seam allowance for my pinks to give an accurate assessment, I decided to check with the whites, where I did have enough overlap.

I had two of my squares (out of 24) that were 4 3/8" instead of 4 1/2".  All the rest were a perfect 4 1/2" square.  Why those two weren't, I do not know, and should have paid better attention to what position they were in the cutting stack.


The inspiration:
Tula Pink for Olivia Violet

  • This little girl will be named "Olivia Violet Cosette."  So I had to go with Tula Pink... 'cause Pink and purple were always my favorite colors growing up.  Plume, with its little Fleur d' Lis, also emphasized the Parisian in her "Cosette."  (Yes, I was sad that Parisville wasn't available yet)
  • Olivia's room is hot pink and watermelon green... this fabric fit that scheme beautifully.
  • Olivia's mama is a very talented singer and song-writer; I figured her daughter might have a little bit of some glamour was a must.
  • Tula herself gave some of the inspiration, with this quilt design...

To start, I had some simple HSTs (half-square triangles), but wasn't sure how I was going to lay them out.  

Plume WIP

I decided to keep them all the same direction, and I added the little framed section because I wanted to put a piece of art in the middle (off to the side actually).

tula pink for Olivia Violet

I moved it off to the side because to me, it balanced the symmetry of the HSTs by being a bit asymmetrical (that's what I was thinking at least).  

The scalloped edge is that little bit of diva I was talking about.  I did it by putting a glass lid on the edge and tracing the edge in and out.

Olivia's label

For the quilting, I decided on simply echoing the movement of the triangles with long, diagonal straight lines on either side of the triangle seams.  I probably should have quilted some vertical lines too, but I'm happy with this look overall, and I was really excited to finish it.


tula pink for Olivia Violet

What I love about this quilt:
  • All those glorious pinks
  • The way the white anchors the design
  • The interplay of the really strong, masculine triangles, with the grandiose florals, and feminine curve in the border
  • The cute label (done with a couple selvage edges so the name of the fabric line and those cute little Fleur d' Lis could be shown off.)
  • Pretty much everything.

What I don't love about this quilt:
  • I'm not sure how I feel about the backing (it's a hot pink flannel from JoAnn's... it was on sale, and hey -- we're on a budget)
  • I'm also not sure if I made the right binding choice.  I kind of wish I'd have gone with a solid green.  The binding is machine stitched, done on the bias, like in this tutorial.  With the bias binding, it was really easy to get around those curved edges.
  • That's about it. :)

(Oh, and Steiger's usually sleeping while I do my photo shoots, but sometimes he's not.  This is the kind of thing he does on those days). :)

what Steiger does while Mommy takes pictures


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What you're looking at...

Pin It a barrier.


From what we thought were bunnies, but turns out it's squirrels too (we can't completely rule out the bunnies because there was a live one in there the first time we took our car in--they chased it around at the repair shop).

On Sunday, Jay erected this little barrier around the car after Elli, our dog, alerted us to some activity under its hood.

The car was already having trouble starting, and has been scheduled for its third not covered by insurance because of rodent damage repair.

In the mean time, it looks like this.


These are the plywood panels that were waiting to be covered and put up as a make-shift headboard (as soon as I decided which fabric to use).  Now I suppose they serve a nobler purpose.



I've been sharing my tomatoes with the squirrels all summer.  For a few weeks, I wondered why they weren't turning red, until I went out one early morning to take pictures of a quilt in the beautiful morning light, and I saw a squirrel running across the yard with a very ripe and red tomato in its clutches. 

This is what my heirlooms look like when I go to pick them.


We have eight tomato plants, and live in Northern California (perfect tomato weather), and this is the first untouched big tomato I've picked all summer.


I celebrated it with salt, pepper, and a little rice vinegar.

It had a few smaller friends left unspoiled


... so combined with the partly chewed on heirlooms, I made this.

homemade tomato sauce

Don't worry.  After simmering for four hours, I feel confident that all squirrel saliva was boiled off....


In case some of you are as depressed about the squirrels as I am, I'll leave you with some cuter images.

Steiger discovered my color card.

Steiger and the color card

Look at those little hands scooting across the colors.

This black swatch, and the row with mustard in it had to be rescued by Elmer's when he was done, but all is well.

Steiger and the color card

Steiger and the color card

P.S. The above barrier is a temporary solution... though, we're starting harvest next week, so perhaps Mr. Jay will want me to stick with this until they can find something more suitable... but I don't know.  We've also got traps and repellent out.  Please don't laugh at me.  OK, you can laugh a little.  I actually made Jay look at these pictures last night so he could see what I see... we both laughed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bee blocks over the weekend

Pin It First --

Some wonky stars for Karrie and our "Putting the Bee in Christmas" group.

These were my first wonky stars... and they went quite well. :)

wonky stars for Karrie

Since I made my bee members work so hard last month, I decided to make her next one extra special.

wonky stars for Karrie

I also got a couple of my Dresdens done for the Quilting Divas group.  

Jessica wanted aqua, purple, and green

Dresden for Jessica

and Kelly wanted pink, green, and grey on Kona Coal

Dresden for Kelly

I used the 22.5 degree ruler for these, instead of the 18 degree (16 blades vs. 20), and I like this chubbier version so much better.  I really don't want to send these away.... maybe I'll make a scrappy Dresden quilt one day.  

Diva dresdens

Friday, September 10, 2010

might be my favorite baby quilt so far

Pin It If you haven't seen it yet, Amy's featuring me as her Blogger's Quilt Festival Blogger. :)

And Chubby Stars directions for Week 3 are posted here.

Back to my originally scheduled post.

I've done a few baby quilts.

And this one isn't finished yet, but I think it's my favorite one yet.

I'll write a full process post when it's finished, but Steiger took a rock star's nap yesterday (thank you baby!), so I was able to go from


Plume WIP

to this

Baby Olivia's Plume top

to this!

Baby Olivia's Plume WIP

I had so much fun designing and making this (and I did use my Go! cutter to cut the 4" squares that became HSTs).  

I thought I was going to be able to go to the baby shower (that is today), but alas... I can't.  So I sent the mama a picture of this.

The little S-man isn't up yet for today... so I'm going back to quilting!



My bloggy friend, Sarah, is having a giveaway!  I'm hesitant to show you what it is... because I know you'll all go sign up, but here it is... with some other stuff too.

P.P.S. We're selling a bunch of DVDs on ebay cheap, if you want some.  There are some good ones, and some terrible ones in there. :)


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