• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me

Sewing Olympics: GOLD!

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Even before the closing ceremonies of the real Olympics started I had finished my flannel string quilt top!  I had doubted that I could do it, but it was a lot of fun meeting my goal.

First, THANKS! for all the votes — B & C were definitely the popular options. I ultimately decided I didn’t want to buy any fabric for making this quilt and thus C won out!  Finished quilt measures 48×60.  Perfect snuggle on the couch size.

Oh, wait, you want a better picture of the quilt??  The my-gosh-it’s-windy-today action shot doesn’t quite do it for you?  Ahhh, here you go!

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That’s the Official Olympic Do-Not-Fly-Away Feet-on-the-Quilt Stance.

It was quite a windy day (hopefully it’ll be this windy next weekend for the Zilker Kite Festival!), so it is hard to tell exactly, but this quilt did give me some problems. I took out all the paper foundations before I sewed the blocks together (which, OMGosh, took HOURS – luckily, the Olympics were on to pass the time, imagine that!) and think that might have been a mistake. I think all those stretchy bias edges wreaked havoc, and there’s at least a 0.75″ difference in the measurements from top to bottom.

Guess I’ll be working on stretching it uniformly when I baste it. Yikes! But I went ahead and stay-stitched the ends to hopefully prevent it from falling apart and/or getting any larger before I baste it!

Anyone else reading make a string quilt?  When did you take out the foundations??

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Loving this!  Man, I love color.  But wait! What’s that behind the string quilt?  Was there more completed during the Sewing Olympics???

YES!

First, the leftovers from this quilt were used to make a doll quilt.  My children LOVE playing “go to bed” lately.  Really.  Wish they were half as good at really going to bed as they are at playing going to bed.  But anyway, this baby-sized woogie will get lots of use by the girls:
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Elena suggested though that we give it to her brand new cousin since it’s the perfect size for a little baby.  This little quilt measures @ 18×24.

AND, while I was busy looking through fabric for potential borders and backings for the above flannel string quilt, I ran across yet another baggy filled with flannel scraps! And thus, another quilt was quickly born while I was waiting for the setting votes to be tallied and my decision to be made:

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This quilt is definitely going to be for a baby boy some day. It measures 40×48, and I also already sewed together a flannel back for it! Yay!  (The backing doesn’t match exactly, but close enough to work IMHO.)  It is just awesome, if I do say so myself, and really only took one night of cutting and one night of sewing.

SO, I think I might actually deserve a gold, silver and bronze for all this work!  Thanks again to the insatiable need blog for hosting these Sewing Olympics and getting me to start and finish 3 separate quilt tops!  (We’ll just worry about the actual quilting of these tops later.)

Sewing Olympics: Blocks Done! Now What?

I have finished all the blocks! I have 40 warm blocks and 52 cool blocks, all measuring 6.5″ (6″ finished).

BUT, now what do I do with them? I spent yesterday taking pictures of several mock-ups and would love some help deciding what to do.

A. Two individual quilts. A warm quilt measuring 30″x40″ and a cool quilt measuring 36″x48″. These are obviously very small and would be baby quilts to be gifted at some point in time.  (not arranged to proper sizes in these photos, but you get the idea.)
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The kitties.  I have 2.  You would think I had 20 when I’m laying down quilts and trying to take pictures!

B. A double-sided quilt: one warm side and one cool side. I *love* this idea but would need to add borders to make it a usable size. I definitely like the look without borders, but with borders isn’t bad or anything. Here is the warm quilt mocked up with a border. The yellow inner border is a flannel that I own and would be great, but the red is just regular fabric. I would have to buy some red flannel. (Thanks to Wanda for this idea!) I would try to get the double-sided quilt to @ 40×50 — a somewhat usable lap-quilt size.
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C. Cool center surrounded by warm, measuring 54×60.
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D. Warm center surrounded by cool, measuring 54×60. Although I think I would take off the extra blue rows/border on the sides and instead make this 42×60.
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E. Alternating blocks, measuring 54×60. My mom was a definite no to this setting last time I showed it, but I figured I ought to do a mock-up with all the blocks anyway.
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Others I have already nixed, including a radiating out style that really didn’t work in either variation, and a …red blobs in midst of the blue field variation, which just, well, you can see.
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Yep, just not enough blocks for these to work.
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Why hello there, red blobs! Not quite the “flowers on a cool background” I was going for!

Any favorites? Or any other ideas? My goal is still to finish the top(s) before the Olympics end so need to get crackin’!

And just an extra shot for the fun of it:
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Um, Julia? Mommy’s working on that quilt on the floor right now…

We Interrupt these Sewing Olympics

…to bring you other crafting!

My sister’s baby shower was this weekend, and while I already joined in on getting her her baby’s bedding, I couldn’t very well go to the party empty-handed!

And what does every new little girl need but hairbows and a place to store them?? And so, my hairbow frame is born:

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I had actually made a hairbow holder for myself over a year ago.  I did it in the french memo board style after I saw one at a hair salon.  I thought it was a great idea, and so much more attractive than my putting them all over my daughter’s lampshade (which was kind of cute, but, you know…)!

My french memo board style hairbow holder is cute, but done with things around the house and not as cute as the one I made my sister.  And it admittedly falls apart constantly:
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So I recently ran across a tutorial along the same lines, but using a picture frame and straight ribbon lines. (I’d give a link but I can’t find it. I didn’t save it since it was so simple.) And doesn’t this look just so much more professional?!

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SO going to redo my own in this same style.  Just need to get another coupon so I can get a frame cheap again!

My quick and dirty how to (with no pictures — I did it in less than an hour the night before the baby shower):

Materials Needed:

1.  Picture frame.  Mine had a 12″x16″ opening and was bought at Joann’s, with a 50% off coupon, for $10.

2.  Ribbon.  Bought one spool, again at Joann’s, with a 40% off coupon for $1.50.

3.  Fat Quarter (was in my stash).

4.  Fat quarter sized piece of batting.

5.  Tape.  Lots of tape.

Directions:

A.  Wrap the batting and fabric around the glass inside the picture frame, taping it onto the back of the glass.

B.  Measure and place 5 pieces of ribbon on top of the fabric, taping them secure on back of the glass again.

C.  Place glass with attached batting, fabric and ribbons into frame and put the back of the picture frame on as normal.

D.  Hang and enjoy!

Sewing Olympics Update

WOOHOO! I am going strong on the Sewing Olympics and I’m loving how it’s looking! I was a little uncertain when I first started but once I laid them out yesterday I knew I was going in the right direction.

When starting the project I quickly decided not to mix up the warms and cools within each block. I thought it might get too muddled otherwise. I have actually used up ALL my warms, finishing with a total of 40 blocks! Just look at them!

Why hello there, Pokey.  Do you like my quilt?

And the best part of this? I really did throw out the little left over scraps!

I have a bad tendency to keep even the tiniest slivers of fabric because “I might be able to use it *some* day.” It has been extremely frustrating because I finish up a project and it seems I never make even the smallest dent in my stash. In fact, the stash just seems to grow! Case in point: finishing the “For the Boys” rag quilts that were done to use up these same flannel scraps in the first place.  I made 2 quilts yet still had a pile of scraps I couldn’t just throw out!  I really had to say no to my hoarding tendencies.  I*really* don’t want to be featured on that A&E show in future years.  BUT LOOK, the scraps are IN. THE. TRASH.

I am still working on the cool blocks, and have 10 finished so far. I think I have more cool fabrics than warm, so I’m expecting to get more than 40 blocks of these.

Totally liking the red zingers in these blocks.

And then I’ll have to decide *how* I’m going to put these all together. Separate warm and cool quilts? OR how about a quilt combining them all? Here’s one idea:

Or something like this?

Hmmm, decisions decisions…  Must get back to sewing so I have more to play with!

Sewing Olympics 2010

The challenge begins!

From what I understand, there was originally a knitting Olympics, but I am most definitely not a knitter.  This Sewing Olympics hosted by the insatiable need blog though is right up my alley.  The rules are simple:

1. Start your sewing project during opening ceremonies (February 12).

2. Finish your sewing project before closing ceremonies conclude (February 28).

3. Pick a sewing project that is difficult for you, but attainable in sixteen days. You are supposed to be challenged, but don’t set yourself up for failure, or let it take over your life! That being said, sixteen days is a long time to work on one project…make it something good!

Everyone gets a gold medal if they finish.

So what am I doing???  I am going to make my first ever string quilt!  I really want to make one out of my Kaffe Fassett fabrics, but instead I’m going to use up the bag of flannel scraps from my “For the Boys” rag quilts.  I really want a practice run before cutting into my fave fabrics.  Here is my cast of characters for this project:

I’ve been in training the last couple days for these Sewing Olympics, which I understand is perfectly acceptable.  I have been simply ironing the fabric and crafting my plan of attack.

My goal is simply to have a top done by the end of the Olympics.  That will be completed project enough for now.

What, doesn’t everyone have a weight set and toys in their sewing room?

I’m really not worried about piecing a string quilt — I think the sew and flip method will be easy to do.  What I want to figure out with this project is a system for doing it.  As you can see, I have some very long strips.  To make them easier to work with, I’d love to cut them down, BUT I know if I do that then I’m liable to make more short unusable pieces than I would otherwise.

SO, anyone out there reading that has done some string quilts?  What was your method to the madness?

The Wool Quilt

In honor of the cold weather sweeping the nation, I thought I’d show off my wool quilt.

Way back when, my Mom had a pattern company.  One of her patterns had little wool hearts, and my Mom included the wool fabric for the hearts with the pattern.

When I was fairly new in my quilting adventures I took all of her leftover wool and made two quilts.  Here is the one I kept, and one of my brothers has the other.  I had to take 1/2″ seams since the wool had a strong tendency to unravel.

These are WARM quilts.  Wool on top and a soft flannel for the binding and back.  Perfect for cuddling on these cold nights.  Well, perfect if  you only let the flannel touch the skin.  That wool is itchy!

The quilt was made in the “brown paper bag” tradition.  All the pieces were placed in a brown paper bag, and as long as what I pulled out weren’t exact matches, they got sewn together.  I then quilted it in the ditch on a regular sewing machine.  Which was no easy feat considering it is 73″x98″, and did I mention made of wool, batting and flannel?!?

Ten on Tuesday

1.  My new niece was born, and is cute as a button!  YAY!!!  My sister lasted until 34 weeks – a week after breaking her water – and all the pain and suffering was just absolutely and completely worth it to welcome Morgan Elizabeth into the world!

2.  Alright, I couldn’t be that mean.  Here is a picture of our newest member of the family:

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3.  My sister is going home from the hospital today, without little Morgan.  Ugh.  Even though Morgan weighed in at 6 pounds, she’s still a preemie by 6-weeks and still in NICU although seems to be doing fine.

4.  Elena is not satisfied with just pictures of her new cousin.  She proclaimed today that “I want to see the REAL baby Morgan!  NOT. JUST. PICTURES!”

5.  Julia will not give up her ‘baby’ status to her cousin.  I asked her today if she was my big girl.  She said, “NO, Daddy’s baby!”  Taken aback, I asked if she were *my* baby.  Even more emphatically, “NO! DADDY’S BABY!”

6.  I borrowed my mom’s circle cutter while in Houston and will have a new Valentine’s craft to show soon!

7.  My mom handed over the circle cutter, yet made the point to tell me that she’s just lending it to me, *not* giving it to me.  And not in the same fashion as she lent me her Pfaff sewing machine.  That sewing machine?  It has been in my possession for over 2 years now.  Every once in a while I politely ask if she wants it back, but then make a point to tell her about all the sewing I’ve been doing with it lately.  And thus it is still mine.  😛

8.  I’ll have more sledding pictures to show eventually, but had to show that we went to the zoo again in Colorado.  The bears were extremely playful, fighting like puppies and then one came in to the water and showed off with a ball and stick.  He really was Right. There.

9.  What cracks me up about this next picture is pretty obvious:  Elena’s eyes!  You can just see her thinking “O.M.G.  That bear is Right.Here.Next.To.Me.  And BIG.”

10.  I took the obligatory picture in front of the bear statue, but the girls only cared about the snow.  Julia kept picking up snow and then crying when it melted and thus was all gone.  She was heartbroken when we drove off and she couldn’t get more snow when her snow inevitably melted yet again.