Thursday, December 25, 2014

Summer for Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!

This past month I've had the honor of sewing a quilt for a coworker for a Christmas gift. He wanted something special for his lovely wife and family to use while cuddling on the couch. They had seen quilts at church and so he had an idea of color and design. Poor Josh got quite a lesson in quilt construction, but he took it like a trooper. He even downloaded my design software at home so he could play with the color choices and layout. Surprisingly, it was very fun to see something take shape that was different from my inclinations.
An Etsy quilt that helped spur ideas plus computer designs.
(final version not shown)

Fabric was ordered online and cutting commenced.
Kona solids were purchased from FreshModernFabric on

Sashing strips made easy.
One of the first decisions Josh made was whether to keep it at 90 degrees or turn the blocks 'on point'. You can see 'on point' won out.
Making good use of my design wall.
It was at this point that I realized the fabric I ordered was running out. Well, no problem. I quickly looked up the same store and ordered what I thought was the orange being used. My mistake was thinking that this orange was tangerine. I waited almost 10 days for the package to arrive and you can imagine my shock when tangerine turned out to be dark orange! The shade I needed was school bus. Well, Robert Kaufmann offers 303 different solids so you can't blame them for getting creative with the naming process! The mix-up didn't take long to fix because Alice Essinger, owner of FreshModernFabric made sure my extra yard of school bus was shipped same day. So nice!
Sewing blocks into strips.
Once the blocks are done you sew them into diagonal strips and then sew the strips together to make the top. I guess some people sew triangles into the edges, but I used a whole block to make sure the right corner color was in place. Josh also requested a satiny border for his little boy to rub between his fingers. It's a soothing action and only a certain satin will do. Luckily we found the right feel and color. I love the 'blanket' look it adds. 
We also talked about backing and batting. There's a lesson to be learned when choosing batting. The lesson is - what comes out of the plastic bag is not what you work with, especially after you've tumbled it in the dryer to remove creases!
Now for backing. If you're going to cuddle under a quilt with the kiddos, do you want anything other than minky dot? The answer is no. The biggest question is - what color?
Color options at JoAnn's, but not every JoAnn's. Josh chose the green
hiding to the right of the yellow. You can clearly see there isn't 4 yards
on that bolt. On a prayer, I made a detour to Edina and found the green
and guess how much was on that bolt? Exactly 4 yards!
I'm glad Josh went with straight line quilting. Meandering or loops would have distracted from his clean simple design. These bisecting lines add a design over the design. Love it!

Here's the final shot of the quilt before handing it off to Josh at work. It snowed that morning and stayed just long enough to get this shot. My brother Gary is credited with tweaking this photo.

Summer for Christmas
Dec 2014

Every quilt get labeled, but this one went on the dust cover.
 Here's hoping Kaleena and kiddos are feeling summery and uplifted during this brown Christmas of 2014!

Friday, December 12, 2014

From Swatches to iPad Case


One of my favorite online fabric shops is on Etsy, FreshModernFabric. I recently ordered a wonderful bundle of Kona solids from Alice and she included a few fun swatches from a new line. These small tidbits were something I probably never would have purchased but they intrigued me nonetheless.
Four swatches with matching solids
It didn't take too long to decide to make an iPad case. I quickly pieced together a front and back and picked out a pop of color for the zipper.
And wallah! This will probably go on the Etsy shop.

Thank you, Alice!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Baby Quilt

Happy Thanksgiving Recovery! By now we're getting back to the routine, but still eating leftovers. At least we are. Today we discovered that lefse can't survive on the counter for 6 days. Booo! Luckily, we still had a package in the fridge.

Did anyone cyber shop for fabric on Monday? I did! And it came today, fastest shipping ever, Winter Creek Cloth! I purchased two bundles, one a fat-eighth of Bridgette Lane and the other is Textures by Angela Walters. Both are not the usual quilting cotton. They're thin and slippery. I have yet to figure out how to know what type of fabric I'm getting, but I love it still.

I've had in the back of my brain the stirring of a baby quilt for a special lady I know from church. She and I share a love of fun, colorful fabric, so I wanted to make sure whatever I made was up to snuff! Then I realized if I mixed the Bridgette Lane with some solids I had what would make the perfect set-up.
For the design I was looking for something fast, given that I'm supposed to be sewing a quilt for a guy at work. What came to mind was Amy Smart's Fabulously Fast Quilts and I just happened to have a copy! Score. I choose the Butterfly Quilt.

She wasn't kidding about it being fast. I sewed strips into banners, sewed them to white strips the same size, cut them into squares and then diagonally and wallah! You have cute blocks that can be arranged anyway you want. I did this bunch in 2 hours flat.

I have Sewn Together quilt club on Friday/Saturday so hopefully I'll finish this little guy. May I say that I'm quite pleased with myself and with Amy?!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday/Goal Achieved

On my Goal page, I noted a design wall was needed. Every quilter knows that having a place to view your designs is essential to any project. It could be a fancy padded wall with grid lines, a DIY ceiling tile wall covered in flannel, or even a clean kitchen floor (like my Mom uses!). In the past, I've used the queen-sized guest bed and then taken pictures from a chair placed at the foot of the bed. There's a funny story about a friend who came to stay and didn't dare ask why a chair was in such a position! Note to self: always put the chair away when company comes over. But now I don't have to worry about mistaken assumptions. I have the best design wall known to quilters everywhere: The plastic tablecloth! I learned about this at last weeks Sewn Together meeting. It has many great qualities:
  1. It's cheap. More money for fabric!
  2. It's stickier than flannel.
  3. You can roll it up with your blocks on it and bring it with you to meetings. Your friends will love this when you show up at dinners with your tablecloth roll.  
  4. You could roll it up like a window shade to hid secret projects.
  5. The color of the front shows through a little so you can imagine different backgrounds. Mine has a light blue tint perfect for the Christmas quilt going up next.
  6. It only takes a few tacks to hold it up so there's way less damage to your walls.

If anybody still is wanting to make a ceiling tile wall, I have tiles up for grabs! One panel is already wrapped in flannel. Also in today's pictorial, you'll notice a DIY zipper holder. I attended the Sewing and Quilt Expo in MN on Saturday and couldn't resist this bag of zippers. Guess how many zippers you can fit in a quart sized ziplock? 49! For only $7. Insane! Notice how I hung them in color order. Jeni Baker would be so proud.

And on the design wall are the Avairy 2 blocks. Which design do you like best for this throw-sized quilt? Consider these rough drafts, of-course.

All the star blocks were made from the awesome tutorial
 series on

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sewn Together - COH Quilt Club!

Tonight was a new experience. My church, Community of Hope Lutheran Church in Rosemount, MN has started a sewing club guessed it, Sewn Together! What a great name, thanks to Tori. We gathered at 5 pm, set up tables, unpacked our totes, and were sewing within minutes. During this time, not only did I complete another paper pieced block, but I got to know four brilliant ladies.
Tori, doing her meandering thing

Julie and Sarah comparing notes
Each of these ladies brought a unique personality and their projects represented them well.

Julie is a tough (marathoner!) grandmother who sticks up for you and sacrifices her own interests for others. This is a BOM quilt that isn't 'quite her style' but she's gifting it to her niece. The Design within a design is stunning!

Sarah brought this great rectangle ironing board that lays right on top of a normal board. Her Dad made this after she got outbid at a quilt auction. Sarah comes from a prestigious sewing family, her mother owned a fabric and quilt shop in central MN. Can you imagine being so lucky?  Hello, Daaaddd!, are you reading this? HINT. HINT.
This wonderful quilt was made with Soho Chic, the most fabulous collection ever! It wasn't until I snapped this picture that we saw the white crosses emerge. In person, the colored blocks are the focus. Sarah's points are dead on as is her advice on all things Quilty!
Tori is our bubbly organizer. Her energy matches her quilts - bright and fun!

This dedicated lady is Tori's mom, Barbara, visiting from down south. Ok, just Iowa, but still. Her warm demeanor made up for her lack of parka (it's single digits, Barb!) and she toiled away all evening without the faintest trace of fatigue. Obviously, Tori's energy and spunk came from the maternal genes.

Tori meandered this with a variegated rainbow thread which looked amazing against the black background. Her lucky brother will stay warm this winter!
Oh, and I just about forgot - here's another paper pieced block. One more to go!
From, Summer Series.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Paper Piecing

Over on my Bucket List page I've been checking Paper Piecing off the list. I had been wanting to try this for months and even took printed sheets with me on my last trip home thinking my mother and I would try it out. Well, that time was spent on other things and it got pushed off. Well, this week I felt inspired to try it out with my fat quarters of Aviary 2. That collection has stretched over many projects!

Whirly Star
I love how that turned out, so tonight I whipped up another star from Faith's Solstice Stars series, This one isn't paper pieced, but it still had techniques that were new to me. You can see my iPad with the series notes from Faith's website. The directions were clear and the dimensions worked perfectly.

Another Star (seriously, that's the name)

Here's the two stars on my Design Wall...well, one section of the DW.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fast Forward to Halloween!

Fall Wall Hanging
This is designed from a Mini-charm pack of The Boo Crew. I knew I wanted a big pumpkin with the orange, but using the other colors was a challenge. I have the black and purple prints for next years Halloween project.

New Content on my Pages!

Whoa! I've gone back many months and uploaded many finished quilted projects and WIPs. Also check out my goals and bucket list items. Maybe I should make a Dashboard Page and tally some metrics! Nah, that's too much like work.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I'll be sorting the sewing space and making room for the DESIGN WALL. In the words of the immortal Mr. Kool-Aid, "oh, yeeeeaaahhhh!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday WIP!

Hello! I'm so glad to be a part of the online communities WIP displays! I have about 25 unfinished projects - I mean - Works In Progress - neatly stored at home. For my 50th birthday my sister-in-law gave me a $100 JoAnn's gift card and I spent it on a multi-colored chest of drawers. It's so pretty and efficient.
So this is one of those projects. A Christmas quilt made from a slice of Figgy Pudding.
For Christmas 2014!

Finally Finished

This is one of the first fabric collections I bought when I first became obsessed with quilting. Now I see what great Christmas vibe it has.
Artful Home (ignore the green/pink FQs)

For some reason, I couldn't get myself to put the binding on even though it was all pieced and quilted. So it sat for over a year. I'm very happy to see it finally finished!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kelly's turn

Last week, Kelly reminded me that I hadn't sewn anything for her. I was looking for a new project so she suggested a Kindle Case. With help from Pinterest, it didn't take long for her to select a design and a color scheme.

One side would have HSTs and the other a bunch of set-in strips, highlighted with gold thread. Before long, it started to take on a nautical look!

I've been accused lately of not finishing anything I start, so I stayed on task and am proud to say that it was finished in a timely manner.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Laptop case with Vintage Vogue

Vintage Vogue has got to be one of my favorite fabric collections. Love it, love it, love it! I bought a fat quarter collection that has been waiting for the right quilt design. But, I thought I'd hardly notice a 2" strip cut down each side! Look at all the fabric that gave me!
Ever since I was given a laptop at work, I've been dying to make a simple case. I love incorporating linen into my projects and this seemed like a good time to do just that.
My other desire was to quilt uneven parallel lines. Surprisingly, it wasn't even that tedious. I definitely need to work on my zipper technique though - this one is not perfect, but it's for me, so I'll put up with it :(.