Monday, September 27, 2010

Halloween Hexies

I miss my sewing machine! I haven't even unpacked her from my retreat. With husband out of town last week and coming home sick, I've not had a chance to sit and sew. Last night I just had to get my hands on some fabric and get something accomplished. 

I chose a few charms from Haunted Mansion by Moda and made a simple flower. I then hand appliqued the flower onto a kitchen towel I picked up at Target. It felt great to start and finish something in one night.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Little Houses

I made these little houses for Tia's quilt along. I started them Friday night at my retreat and finished them up by lunch time on Saturday. When I made the last one, I swore I'd never make another! But now I'm looking at them again and they are kind of cute. I think my frustration stemmed from knowing I brought so much I wanted to work on and these were taking me much longer than I anticipated. Tia said she whipped her's out in 45 minutes!

There was definitely a learning curve with estimating how much a seam allowance would shrink the size and remembering not to put the roof on before I sewed on the air around the walls of the house. The doors, windows and a chimney are raw edge applique.

I think I might try ONE of these again for a small project when I can focus on lots of cuteness and when I feel like I have a little extra time to spend.

I cut the pieces with scissors, very free form, estimating sizes I'd need.

I tried a mushroom shape but the curved piecing wasn't working out, even though I pinned it like crazy!
This one might be my favorite. Any idea what tall item is beside the house? I'm still trying to figure it out!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Winner!

Thanks everyone for your comments! It was fun to check out the fabrics you love. Katrina's our winner! Be looking for an email and we'll make arrangements to get the pattern to you.

I had my helper do a random selection from a little leaf bowl she insisted we buy at the grocery store yesterday. I'm ready to do a little fall decorating so I'm going to fill it with pine cones and light some candles while I clean tonight. I've been on the run for about a week with a quilt retreat this weekend, preparing for meetings and taking family members to appointments. My house was neglected but feeling ready to get things back in order.

My plan is to make some progress on my to-do list while I listen to an audio book (The Middle Place). Then I can breathe and enjoy some sewing. I had fun sewing wonky house blocks and cutting out fabric for a couple of quilts at the retreat. I'm hoping to share some photos tomorrow.

I just glanced at the photo above. How cute is that dress fabric?! I'm thinking I need to recycle it when the time comes in a sewing project. I keep saying I don't really love orange, and there it is again. Perfect paired with the right colors!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The 7 Minute Shopping Trip & a Giveaway

Last summer I was exploring Estes Park, CO with my family and we needed to stop for gas before he headed up into the park. As my husband pulled into the gas station, I noticed a little quilt shop in the strip mall next door. I told him I'd be back in a minute and sprinted across the parking lot to take a peek. 

I calculated how much gas was already in the car and how long it would take to fill it. I knew I had to move fast. I have a very patient husband but waiting at a quilt shop when mountains are within sight would be just to much to ask!
I opened the door to the little shop and was immediately blown away. Wonderland by Momo is like nothing I'd ever seen before and I was so excited. I did a quick scan of the all the fabric in the store and kept coming back to Wonderland. I knew i didn't have time to pick out the prints I loved the most (I take a looonnnng time choosing fabric). I did notice they had a quilt made up and you could get a kit. I swooped it up, hustled to the counter and was out the door in 7 minutes.

Well, that pattern and kit have been sitting in my closet for over a year now. I'm evaluating my stash and projects to see what's holding me up and I think I finally figured this one out. 

I love quilts with lots of different fabrics. This one has charm size options to cut out. I love the whimsical red fabric with the little animal silhouettes. Red is one of my favorite colors. I love the polka dots.The pattern is darling. Can't wait to use rickrack on a project. 
But when it comes down to it, I've made a little quilt with a similar pattern (big middle square of fabric with little squares surrounding it - still unfinished by the way).  And while i love that red woodland fabric with the animals, I can't picture using it in the middle for the flowers. I like the fabric and the pattern but not the choices someone else made for me on how to put it all together.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm taking the kit apart, cutting apart the little charms and mixing it into my stash. I think I'll have a much better chance of using it that way. I already have an idea of where to use a few of the pieces. 

And since I've made a quilt top similar to this pattern, I'm going to pass this one along to one of you! Leave a comment telling me about a fabric you love but haven't cut into yet and why. What's holding you up? I'll choose a comment at random on Tuesday afternoon, Sept 21 to receive the pattern.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hunky Dory Hexies and a Stalled Quilt

I refilled my little hexie kit with a bit of Hunky Dory. What a beautiful color combination! I'm not certain what I'll make with them yet. Contemplating a small tablecloth but I can picture using these in a quilt block or runner. 
 So far, I've stitched these in a McDonald's Playland, during a library storytime, at a friends house, and on the road to Kansas City to visit a dinosaur exhibit at Union Station. I'm loving having them on hand for a few quick stitches when I can.
Earlier this year, I was anticipating the appearance of Blush by Basic Grey. I fell in love with the prints when they were printed as scrapbook paper. I knew I would make something for myself with this line. I decided on using charm packs so that I could have all of the prints and planned on using this pattern with a little modification.

I got started on cutting and sewing a few pieces towards the end of my retreat in March. After I returned home I started worrying about all of the red I was including. I don't usually prewash but I got nervous about bleeding. I wasn't sure about all of those charm pieces either. I was worried they would just shred in the washing machine. So I put it in my closet and stayed there until today. 

My next retreat is coming up and I want to use this quilt as a leader/ender quilt. Time to make a decision and take action! I prewashed the yardage in the washing machine and hand washed the charms, both with Retayne.  It's all now drying on a guest bed. Lots of ironing is in my future before I can start cutting!

*ETA: I received a lovely email from Dorothy in Oz and she said she has washed Blush before and it didn't bleed and that none of her Moda reds have ever bled. Good to know! Thank you!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fabric for Projects

I certainly have enough projects to keep me busy for a while. I've been on the hunt for fabric to applique my hexagons to. I chose a Kona solid in Robins Egg. I think the polka dots will go on the back and the middle fabric will work for the binding. I'm excited to start stitching those hexies down!

This little bag is for a couple of quilts that I haven't started yet. Can you tell who designed all of these fabrics? The darker colors are for a Christmas quilt and the pinks are for Jenna's quilt. I finally decided which quilt I want to make with a jelly roll I have and needed backing to go with it. I may have changed my mind though. I'm considering another quilt along and using my jelly roll for this quilt.

I was reading the Freckled Whimsy blog today and KarrieLyne posted about a beautiful quilt she received in a swap. You must take a look! Even more beautiful is the story behind the quilt. Angela from Cut to Pieces very eloquently writes how her quilt illustrates the journey through years of infertility. It's a story that tugs at my heart because I've also made that journey. It reminds me of the hope and pain and countless other emotions that were impossible to express even to my closest friends. Happily, both of our stories end in beautiful miracles. I'm enjoying reading through her blog and I hope you'll visit too.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Is it wrong....

to love a fabric because of the selvage?
 I had a 4 year old helper at Sarah's Fabrics the other day who made her own choices in fabric.

How could I say no with such adorable selvage? 

Win Win purchase!

I can't wait to see what Tula Pink's selvage for her new Parisville line will look like. My bet is on the mouse/rat in her logo. 

I'd love to hear what your favorit selvage is.

And if you have a clue as to where I've misplaced my camera I'd love some hints. It's driving me insane!


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