Fabric Friday

Well the last little bit of Christmas money was spent at the fabric store.... shock of shocks! I really need to go on a fabric diet after last year. More sewing, less purchasing! However I am in the collection stage for the Oregon Patio Quilt I'd like to get to sometime in 2011 so I don't feel too bad picking up a few more greens and grays.

However what I really should've spent the $$ on was getting my serger fixed. Remember when I made my Mom her holiday apron? Yeah, well now my sister wants one too and it's so much faster to use the serger to finish the raw edges then my sewing machine. Ah well. So what I've decided to do is finish making the holiday apron I was going to make for myself and give that one to my sister and then just make an everyday apron for myself. I want to scrap together the main body and make it quilty. I'm using all the fabrics out of my Single Girl Quilt and will coordinate it with these then for the pockets and sashing and such. I don't think I'm going to add any batting between the layers as it'll loose its drape and get too stiff.


Fabric Friday

Slowly but surely collecting for the Oregon Mossy Patio Quilt....one FQ at a time.


WIP Wednesday

So until my serger died I was working on an apron for myself at the same time as I was making one for my mom... see previous post to see the one I finished for her. Anyway, here's the pile of would-be cute apron I now don't have time to make. Foo. The pattern is Indigo Junction's The Ruffled Chef.

I also sit in the coffee shop on Monday afternoons and quilt while Snookie is in school for a few hours. There is a group of spinners and knitters who I usually sit with and one of them made this lovely pumpkin cowl. I bought it off her and just need to add buttons. I had the big coat button which I think goes in such a nice way. I needed two more buttons and it's taken me a while to remember to pick them up. I have them now and just need the ten minutes to sit down and attach them all.

The thing that's been really keeping me busy is my sister's quilt. OH the trouble this quilt has given me! Sheesh.

Now, as a disclaimer before I became a SAHM I used to quilt by check (yay for having extra $$ from being employed) of course I can't afford that now so I've been left up to my own devices. Fortunately before I quit my last job I had enough forethought when buying my sewing machine to get a stitch regulator with it. I've been using it to quilt with for the past few years. So while I've been piecing for a long time, the whole quilting aspect is rather new to me. I admit the SR is a bit of a crutch.

Now back to the problem of my sister's quilt. For whatever reason the SR is not happy when I sew over seams while also having a flannel back. I love flannel on the back of a quilt... it makes it so warm and cosy. My friend Heather has been encouraging me to let go of the SR and learn to self regulate. Well I had the thread bread six times while trying to quilt just one of the 12" motifs. I knew then that there was no way I could make it all the way though all the quilting I had to do if it was going to keep going that way. So I let the SR go. It wasn't as hard as I imagined it would be! How wonderful that she had more faith in me then I did in myself. Thanks Heather! See? My stitches are pretty even and small. Yay! Of course I still have a long way to go and need loads more practice but it's a start.

I also was planning on using two different thread colors for this quilt. I stitched up four of the 12" motifs before I realized that the dark teal color looked ghastly. I had done a wee bit of the border in a cream thread and decided it was loads better.... SO last night I started picking out all the thread and starting those sections all over. Maybe you can see the difference in this picture... the light triangle block in the lower right has the cream thread while the light triangle block in the upper left is using the dark teal thread... yack. I still have to pick that one out and redo it.

So all that to say there's no way I'll be done with this quilt in time for Christmas... so I broke the news to my sis this morning and happily she was cool with it. Thankfully her BD is in late January which *should be* just enough time to actually get it done. ^^


Happy Holidays!

Yeah, I know I should be working on my sister's quilt but I just really needed a break from it so I whipped up a holiday apron for my Mom this past weekend. I gave it to her yesterday. She adored it. ^^ Nothing like making something and have it be appreciated. Yay. Might have to make one for myself here soon too. I wonder when I'm gonna find the time?




Well, I've managed to get my sister's top finally all pulled together. I swear some quilts just go smooth as silk and others burden you with so much grief. Can you guess what kind this one is?! Grief is all I've gotten from this thing! I wasn't paying attention when building my blocks originally and did half of them wrong so I had to rip them and remake them. Then I planned out a border that I realized I've have to buy three extra yards of fabric just to make it all fit and return the queen size batting for a king, so I redesigned it but now I've got extra fabric I didn't need to buy, etc. etc. etc. Even pinning tonight I ran out of my curved basting pins (this AFTER buying an extra pack of 100 before I started). I have a gut feeling that the quilting itself isn't going to go smoothly either but I'm putting it off till tomorrow because I'm just tired tonight. I will make the long trip to the one fabric shop tomorrow I know has machine needles that my sewing machine adores - hopefully that will stave off any difficulties I might get while trying to quilt over seams (which is where my machine gets cranky). It's a large queen size... I think it's 90" x 100 and something. I'll have to measure when it's all done. Sorry the lighting is terrible on both these pictures... it's dark in the house and there isn't an overhead light source in the living room.

Also thought I'd share an update on the hexi hand project. It's coming along slowly but surely. It takes a while but I really enjoy it. I left the iron in the frame just so you could get an idea of scale.


Copyright Law

Well if I was ever confused about copyright law before this really spun my head. Without understanding legalese and reading it all for myself it's hard to know who's in the right, though I tend to lean toward the rebuttal since they at least support their arguments by pointing directly to portions of the law whereas the magazine's author waves her hand around in big general sweeping motions. I did find the whole thing totally fascinating however, and if you have the time, it's completely worth the read.


Peppermint Mocha

I should mention that I foolishly drank a peppermint mocha around 7 pm this evening and even though it was decaf I am WIDE AWAKE right now, which might explain my barrage of posts. Heh. It was delicious however and got me though some of my Christmas shopping so I can't complain. Anywhoodle....

This is another NU I'm in love with. It'll be a year or more before I can get to it. I'm planning on it being my "take with me hand work" (since it's applique) however I want to finish my hexagon quilt before I start any other hand piecing projects. There's some interesting information on the pattern that can be found here and here. Would you ever guess that this pattern may have originated as early as the 1890's? I think I'd like to tackle this in no way that I've seen done as of yet by using the same method I did on my Colorwork Charm Quilt. Of course I'll have to play with it to see if I can get it to flow properly but it would be cool if I can get a near enough effect.


Curlicue Crush

I really, really should just keep my eyes shut. I was on a trail of clicked links, you know, when you see something interesting and it leads you to a page that leads you to another page until you run into something you just can't live without? Yeah, well, it lead me to this lovely pattern, Curlicue Crush. I can see this done in lime green and red and white Christmas fabrics. It reminds me of ornaments. I probably won't be making this anytime soon but I do just adore it.



Strip Poker!

This past summer one of the guilds I belong to played a game of strip poker. It was loads of fun and we all had a good laugh. Of course I lost my shirt but then again I've never been good at this sort of thing. ^^ It was still fun though.

I was telling a friend of mine about it and she asked for the rules so that her guild could play but I couldn't for the life of me remember where I'd put them. Well, wouldn't you know it? I tucked them into a book I was intending to read way back in July... I just picked it up and out they fell. So since I was typing them all up for her anyway, I thought I share with you too. Enjoy!

  • Each table should have 9 or 10 players but absolutely no more then 10
  • Each player should have 12 charm strips 2.5" x 45" (or width of fabric)
  • Be sure the JOKERS are taken OUT of the deck. Shuffle the cards thoroughly!
  • To begin, each player must ante one strip into the pot
  • The dealer gives each player a card (face up), if the card is a diamond, club or spade, the player must put one of their strips into the pot, but if the card is a heart, the player gets to take two strips out of the pot. If ther are no more strips in the pot, the player who gets a heard loses the opportunity to take strips out of the pot, however, the player who gets a diamond, club or spade must put a strip into the pot.
  • Repeat above step until all the players have five cards. The winner of the pot is the player who has the most duplicates (5's or kings or 9's, etc) of the highest card value (Ace is high, 2 is low). NO OTHER standard poker hands are valid. If two or more players have the same duplicates, the face value of the next highest card in the hands determines the winner. For example K-K-Q beats K-K-J because the Q is higher then the J.

Two of a kind
Two sets of two of a kind
Three of a kind
Four of a kind


Fabric Fix

Well I made it to the fabric store and managed to only find one of the former cream fabrics that I was using before. I found a second one in the same pattern but a slightly different colorway. There are so few blocks left and they'll still be intermingled in with the other lighter blocks that use the older creams, so I don't think it'll be overly noticeable. I also have just enough of the dark teal pieces left to finish the inner part of the quilt. Whew~ I also found a beautiful fabric for the outer 7" border.

I got a few minutes to work on it tonight. It was so nice to sit and sew with Snookie (who's just turned five). We hit up a craft store this afternoon and I got her a beading kit. She LURVED it! She made little necklaces for her cousins for Christmas while I sewed. She also wanted to listen to Harry Potter audio books. Sweet! So we hung out together being all crafty and geeky. I love that my little babe is turning into such an awesome kid. ^^

Oh and I think I've finally figured out what quilting I'm going to do once I get it all basted together. While I really wish I had a long arm (saving, saving, saving!) I'm still shoving all my quilts through the Bernina which is a bit more challenging then putting it on a frame but I'm hoping for help from a few quilting stencils. It feels kinda like cheating but then again, not. Heh.

And just so this post is not totally devoid of pictures I'd like to share a lovely little quilt that I might have to stick in NU list. This fun little jem is from Barbara Brackman's Blog. I believe she refers to it as Fireball. In my head though I like to call it Dots and Diamonds. I'd love to make it in a bunch of really bright whimsical fabrics and colors. Maybe the strips a collection of dots on white/light ground? The big dots hot pinks and the diamonds in... blacks with dots? That's just my off-the-cuff idea for it.




So *sometimes* I don't really plan out the quilts I make but just sort of start making them. This is lovely most of the time and works out if it doesn't really need to be a specific size or if it's really scrappy (have I mentioned I like scrappy?) so I can just chunk in fabric or two if I run short. Well... this time? Not working out so well. Ug.

I promised my sister I'd make her a quilt so back in June, so I bought some fabric, picked a pattern and off I went thinking I'd just add a bit more if I hadn't bought quite enough. Well... then I was working on it and you saw the picture from the last post. I finished more then half of it and (foolishly) sewed together what I'd done. Now I realize that I don't have enough to make all the dark squares. I'm a dozen shy of finishing it and thought I *must* have some of the left over cream colored fabrics somewhere. I ripped apart my sewing room looking for them yesterday afternoon. Alas, I either don't have them or can't find them. With a limited amount of space and lack of planning I'm thinking I just ran out. I was able to find a few scraps of them in my scraps bin but nothing substantial.

So last night I ran off to Fabric Depot to see if I could find any of the original fabrics from the cream set I'd bought in June. HA! Fat chance.
Inside of Fabric Depot
I was really surprised to actually find one. Their turnover is amazing (being the largest fabric/quilt shop in Oregon and possibly the US) they bus people in to shop there. So yeah. I had to buy more fabric than I probably needed just to get the variety of scrappiness. I guess there's always a need for light/cream colored fabrics in blocks so it probably won't go to waste.

Anyway now my beef is I'm going to have a whole new set of creams to mix in - which would be lovely, except to say that I've already sewed up so much of the quilt. Gah. I've got four rows of seven blocks left. I guess I can sew two to the top of the five rows I've already sewn and two to the bottom. I just really do NOT want to have to rip seams to get a better mix. Meh. I just really, really hope I have enough of the dark teal fabrics left to finish the dark blocks.... It's gonna be close. Guess I need to go count triangles.

Next time I am SO pre-planning! lol



Making progress on my sister's quilt for Christmas...

I have about half the inner part of the top pieced.

Still am not entirely sure how I'll quilt it - always the hardest part for me.


Celtic Knot-Work Quilt

I might have mentioned I've been tossing a few original quilt designs around in my head. This would be one of them...
I've always been very partial to celtic knot-work and Ireland (having been more then a few times) so it seems appropriate. However I'm a bit stuck on color and texture ideas. I don't know that I want to go so cliche and make it in off whites and greens, however appropriate. I want to somehow modernize it, use scraps and lots of colors but still make it work as obvious knot-work. It would be easy to make scrappy as it's basic unit is a 2" block, everything is based on that and comprised of half-square and quarter-square triangles. Guess I'll have to think about it some more.

I need to win the lottery

I love all the fabric bundles from fabricworm... too many quilts, too much beautiful fabric, not enough time!


Another NU

Yeah, I forgot one, ha! I actually have had the magazine with the pattern for this quilt laying around for a number of months and I've been drooling over the idea of making it. However, Cherri from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild beat me to it. Not that I mind. I absolutely love her version!



Well since I've been on vacation I haven't done any machine sewing in the past two weeks. I have however been working on the hexagon quilt steadily since it's all hand pieced and I was able to take it with me. However, it was worth giving up any and all other crafti-time to take Snookie to Disneyland for her fifth birthday though. She had a BLAST... actually so did DH and I. ^^ We took a long drive down into California and hit loads of fun places along the way (Monterey Bay Aquarium, Winchester Mystery House, San Diego Zoo, etc). It was super fun but now I need a vacation from my vacation! Heh.

This is us at a coffee shop in San Diego having a mellow afternoon.

In the meantime however, you know I was busy thinking up new quilts to make! Yeah, sick disease it is... the lure of the NEW. Since I'm always adding to the NU (Next Up's) tab but not sure that anyone ever checks it (besides me). I thought I'd share the latest entries. I think going forward I'll make a brief post about each one before adding it to the ever growing list. In a way it's satisfying to just have the list even if a good majority of them never get made.

Without further adieu...

    I bought a little bag of stringy scraps from a single line for another project that I actually only needed very little of the fabric for. Now I have this lovely little pile of fabric that needs a project. For once the fabric will dictate the pattern! (I usually decide on a pattern first then find the fabric to fit it.) Anyway I was rather inspired by Andie's quilt and I think it would be the perfect match of pattern and fabric. Isn't her quilt adorable? Now I just need someone to have a baby to give the quilt to! (Oh wait! I need to make it first! lol)
    Similar to a signature quilt but obviously with family names and dates... maybe a brief pictorial history of some kind? No idea really. This is something that's way on the back burner and I just wanted to mention it here so I can remember to think more about it. I like the fan lay out for showing names but not sure that would work as a quilt. I could do a traditional tree image but I feel like that's been done to death. I want something visually interesting but simple and dynamic.
    I started a Dear Jane Quilt a few years ago with the idea that I would actually finish it. Heh. I did about twenty blocks but lost steam on it. It's one of those projects that I was feeling really guilty about not finishing and was considering letting it go. Now however I think I'll make a very modern version of a Dear Jane with the blocks I did finish. The idea is to create a strip out of the blocks and place them on a large solid ground at about horizon level. I'd like it to be seamless but I'll have to play with it a little before I decide.



Haha! DONE! Woo!

This is the X-Rated Schnibbles pattern. The fabric is a line from Free Spirit called Home. They were giving out free salesman sample strike off packs at the July(?) guild meeting. Anyway, there was enough to make this quilt with the addition of the dark espresso colored solid I used. It's about 72" square I think. I haven't measured it but I think that's what the pattern said it'd turn out to be. Anywhoodle - it's done! (Except for the label but I want to experiment with a new process so if it doesn't make it on there right away I'm not worried)

Since I went back to using Warm and Natural batting and a lot of straight stitching with the walking foot the quilting on this one was much more pleasent then the last quilt I worked on. I also used pink flannel for the backing which makes it extra snuggly.

My stitching is still so far from perfect though I'm always slightly disappointed. I know this is both a point of, I need more practice and that I know I have trouble dragging my quilts though my machine and would have smoother lines if I could use a long arm.

Ah well. None of that however will stop me from making quilts I adore.


I'm in love!

I do realize I don't need to actually start any new quilts with my UFO and WIP list being so long but that doesn't mean I can't look, right? This beauty was blogged about over on Quilt Granny's Blog. Maybe someday when I finish a few of my own stack I'll start one like this. I adore it!



My So Called Creative Life

I've been designing quilts lately. It feels really good, just allowing myself the freedom to commit the idea to paper without ever really worrying (at the moment) if I'll make them or not. I think up to this time I've been so concerned that if I designed one, that I'd then have to commit to making it, it had scared me off of designing them at all. What a relief it is just to create!


The Process Pledge

I have made a process pledge. The goal of the process pledge is to create a new sensibility in quilting blogs where we don’t just show finishes or occasionally confess about our moments of indecision, but chat openly and often about our works in progress, our inspirations, and our moments of decision. I know that many of us are already posting about our thinking on quilts and the processes involved from start to finish, let's do more! And let's post about quilts as we work on them. I want to see more half-done quilts, not just the finished thing with a journal entry about the process.

The Process Pledge

I think part of the reason I really like the blogs from quilting bees is because a lot of the process gets documented...from original concept, to raw materials, to each block in turn, and often a few drafts of the final layout. It's awesome!

So, without further ado. Here's the process pledge. Take it, shake it, make it yours.

of http://r0ssie.blogspot.com

I, Just Jenn, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.


A Work in Progress

I managed to get this one pin basted today. ^^ (Which is always so much more then just basting... First I have to pick up kid junk off the living room floor, roll up the throw rug, sweep and steam mop, let the floor dry, lay the backing down, iron it then tape it to the floor to keep from shifting, lay down the batting, iron & tape, the top... iron and tape. THEN I can start pinning! lol Still, I listened to books on tape while working and it went by quickly.)
And after all the crazed excessive free-motion quilting of the last quilt, I'm going to go with *very* simple straight line quilting for this one, except for the border which I'm still not sure exactly how I'm going to manage. Should I just continue the quilting from the inner part off into the border creating X's across the piano keys?


Another pincushion

I had a Bento Box Block laying around that I thought would make for a really cute pin cushion... I'll probably offer this one up for the PMQG Pincushion Swap in October.



Round Robin

I started this quilt in 2008 with a group of women on-line. The idea is that you start a center block that you make yourself, which I did.

Round Robin Center Block

Once complete, you send your block to another person in the group and they add a border, then they send it to another person, who adds another border, etc. until it comes back to you a finished top. This top went around for months and finally came back to me in 2009. It's pretty much just sat in my sewing room for a year.


I was feeling pretty glum about it and in general bemoaning the large stack of UFO's that needed to be completed when I was approached by another on-line friend to start a UFO Club that would run for three months at a shot. The idea was that if you finished a UFO people would send you fat quarters. I'm a sucker for fabric, squee mail and the occasional kudos, so of course I was in. Heh. Well, this is the end of the that first session and lo and behold, it worked! I actually finished a top! Woo! Apparently I work better if I have deadlines and something at stake.

Of course nothing comes easy. I had more trouble with this quilt and my machine not getting along. First off I deviated from Warm and Natural Cotton Batting. I used a high loft poly instead because I thought it would be nice and light for my kiddo (for whom the quilt was being made). Uh yeah, FAIL. I had been using one brand of needle and when I ran out and I switched it to another brand and it started skipping stitches every time I went over a seam. There are a lot of seams in the quilt. Consequently there was a lot of cursing going on as well. Yes, I was making sailors blush. I finally googled to see if there was anything I could do to fix the problem (besides drive the two hours to the store where I'd originally bought the other brand of "working" needle) and a top stitching needle was recommended. I gave it a try and it did improve the situation but most certainly didn't make it go away. It was enough however to get the job done.

Also? Because I love to torture myself, in the areas with the sunburst blocks (not sure what their official name is, though I'm pretty sure that's not it) I'd quilted a pattern on all four blocks and decided once I was nearly done with all the other quilting that I hated it so much and it would drive me nuts every time I looked at it unless I fixed it, I ripped it all out. (How's that for a run-on sentence?! lol) Yeah, I re-quilted that whole part of the quilt putting in pebbles in the back ground. I'm so happy with it now! It's much better. Live and learn.

The other thing I'm kinda of surprised at is how busy it turned out once the quilting was complete. I still like it though and the most important thing? My kiddo is all snuggled up with it tonight and was completely *delighted* with it. So, win-win. =)


This is Snookie rolling around on it after I told her it was *finally* all done.


Wonky Houses

Here are my blocks for September's Block Lotto. I really didn't want to miss out on this round but I've been so busy with other swaps and craft group deadlines I barely had time to make these. I'd love to do a whole quilt of wonky houses someday so I had to be sure to get them done and at least have a shot at winning a few more. I love to make them though, they're so fun. ^^



Pincushions and Purses

Well, it's been forever since I've made a pincushion but the PMQG is having a swap next month and I thought I'd revisit it. While rummaging through scrap fabric at the NW Quilt Guild meeting I came across a lone 6.5" block that I threw in the pile having no idea what I'd do with it... well, now it's a pin cushion. I cut out the corners to make the side seams and then sewed together those little pieces to make the bottom of the pin cushion, all filled now with a bit of rice.


I like it well enough but it's a bit big (3" square) and not very modern though it was fun to put together. I have a lone little bento box block that'll make a nice pin cushion too.... it's half made already so no pictures of that, sorry.

Then I was thinking about my hexi's I adore so much and realized that I actually needed a small pincushion for my traveling hexi sewing kit... so naturally, it too had to be a hexagon shape! The fabrics were also donations from an earlier PMQG meeting. It's bright and cheery, I like it.


Lastly this is a bag I crocheted for a swap I'm in...


The theme was based on magical creatures. I could've hooked up a dragon or something but I guess I'm more practical then that so I put together a fat bottomed bag and lined it with mermaid fabric. I don't particularly care for pink but I am kinda of fond of this one and will be sad to see it go!



Quilts in Action

Thanks Joan for taking such a nice shot!

I really like this picture that was captured of my quilt top as I was folding it up after the PMQG meeting. It's so clear and dynamic. It was fun to get to show it off a bit. Still have no idea how I'm actually going to quilt it though. Please, anyone have any suggestions?



While this doesn't really have anything to do with quilting I thought I'd share a picture of Miss Fancy Pants trying on new school clothes because she looked so darn cute. (IMHO) Hee


And now for the real kid. ;^)


Making myself work on UFO's

Sometimes I have a hard time working on old projects. So last night in a fit of desperation (ha!) I hit up Modern Domestic for a sewing session. I brought only *one* UFO. I paid $10 to sew there for three hours. There were no other projects to "escape" to! And I didn't leave early because paying to sew when I have a perfectly good sewing space seems *crazy* to me... so it was best I used the full allotted time. Anyway, I didn't get nearly as much done as I would've at home in those same three hours because there were a lot of other women there from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and so I was easily distracted by a lot of chattiness and show and tell. Not to say it wasn't fun and I didn't have a great time, cause surely I did! but not sure how conducive it was to working. lol... Still I made some progress and had some "girlie" me-time too - woo!


Backing for the X quilt

I found the most perfect backing flannel. Oh I can hardly wait to get this one done!


Top is done...

...now just to find the time to actually quilt it. Also, I need backing fabric... hum. Flannel maybe? Binding will be the same dark brown and the background squares.


Finished the X-Rated top.... pictures to come shortly.
Now to get to work on wrapping up a few UFO's!


I've not been on-line in the evenings because I just want to sew and have been like a fiend. It's good. I think I finally found a rhythm that works for me. Work a little bit on a lot of quilts for a short amount of time. I've been putting together blocks for my sister's quilt, and working on the 30's repo quilt that I'd already half assembled a few years ago, hated, ripped this past winter and now I'm sewing all the pieces together again in a different pattern that I like so much better. In fact there's a kinda funny story about it.

My BFF had come up to visit a few years ago and she'd picked a pattern and bought fabric for this quilt (you know the one, the one we just finished this past weekend in one day!):
So she was asking to see all my UFO's and I popped open a box I'd completely forgotten about, the one with my own set of 30's repo pieces in it. Guess what? I'd chosen the same pattern and mocked up four blocks about six months ago. Great minds and all that... lulz.

Also thought I'd give you a little peek at the hexagon quilt I've been working on. It's nice to have a traveling piece.

I took it out while at my daughter's Tae Kwon Do class and my BFF thought it was such a nice take-a-long project that we had to run right off to the fabric store after the class finished up so she could put together her own little kit. I love the fabrics she chose. I can hardly wait to see her make some progress on it.

I might have mentioned that they gave out a bunch of salesman sample strike offs (headers) of quilt fabric at last month's guild meeting (PMQG) that someone had picked up (yay! whoever you were!) from some conference or other. I got a bundle before they were gone and the little stack has been staring me in the face since. Tempting me.

I don't know why but I'm completely fascinated with them and well you know me, I love a new project! So in between working on everything else I've been cutting fabric and sticking it to my design wall.... If I can just keep working in the evenings I can easily see finishing up this quilt in a few weeks. (Pattern is Schnibbles X-Rated quilt - it'll finish at about 60" x 60" I think)