Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tiny House

Last week, I had the immense pleasure of participating in the Tiny Homes workshop by Laura Wasilowski and then listening to her speak at Mad City Quilt Guild's evening meeting.  Let's talk about the talk first--- I was dying of laughter!!! I don't think I've ever been to a quilt talk that was this funny!! We laughed. We cried. We sang!!  If you ever get a chance to see Laura-- DO IT!   =)

Here are some photos of her work that she brought to share.  There was a slideshow that accompanied her talk that was full of her mini-quilts.  They were so much fun and rich with detail:

Laura and her wares

The hand dyed fabrics were incredibly vibrant! 
(this photo doesn't do them justice)
These pretties came home with me!
This is my project!  It needs the embroidery to make it sing. =)

I was loving the improvisational, no-rules style of the workshop. It was rather freeing to play with fabric in this way.  I wish we could have had multiple days to explore all of the techniques she presented, because the time went way too quickly.


Linking up with Molli Sparkles - Sunday Stash and Sew Fresh Quilts - Let's be Social

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Zippity Doo Dah!

I haven't had a lot of free time to sew lately, but I have managed to work on a few zippy pouches.  I do have that new 100 pack of 9" zippers!!

For the first time ever, I joined an online swap.  These type of things make me a bit nervous.  I want to make something F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S. and I worry that I won't get things done in time for the swap.  One of my friends mentioned they were joining a zippy pouch swap and I thought--hmmmm, that is something I feel comfortable with.  The coordinator is Heather Valentine and she has a website, "Scrappy Girls Club", along with a Facebook group.  To join, we fill out a form with what types of colors we like or dislike, our sewing skill level and whether or not we want to swap within the US or internationally.

My partner is from Texas and likes Reds/Blacks/Oranges/Browns/Greens/Yellows (pretty much everything but blues!!).  I wanted to try something new, so I scoured Pinterest and the interwebs and came up with all kinds of inspiration.

The first thing I made was a vinyl front medium sized pouch.  Several years ago, I did a few things with vinyl and found it to be difficult-- but, that was the time before clover clips existed!!  What a difference those make!!!  Overall, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, but the machine stitched binding was tricky (It's not perfect), so this will stay with me!

Next up was a cutie pie pouch with a bow.  The process to make this was ---painful---.  I followed a free online tutorial and it was not good.  =(  I love the style and creativity of this pouch, but it was so frustrating to follow along, that I was rather crabby by the time I completed it.  After giving myself some distance, I came around and thought it was totes adorbs.  So much that I gave it to Heather for her birthday! =)

Well-- I'm 2 pouches in and I don't have anything for my swap partner! Back to the drawing board!  I found this pattern at the Polka Dot Chair.  The original size was 8 x 12 and that was a bit bigger that I was interested in, so I scaled it down to 6 x 9 (I think?).  It turned out fantastic and I sent it off to my partner, along with some goodies!

All in all, this was a fun swap to join and I might try another one someday!  I'm wondering how many of the 100 zips I've used so far? =)


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Eternal Paper Piecing Projects

I have a tendency to start projects without a plan.  Things that don't have patterns, but are interesting. And I'm ok with this!  For me, quilting is more about the process than the final result.  A few years ago, there was a talk at our knitting guild that discussed how people either are either focused on having results or feel satisfied merely by the doing.  I'm a process quilter!

Yesterday I pulled out all kinds of my 'Eternal Paper Piecing Projects'.  I don't know what motivated me, but I was ready to 'move the needle' (a phrase people use at my work!) on a few things. I was working on 5 different projects at once!! Bananas! But as long as I was paper piecing one project, might as work on others.  It's hard to alternate between 'regular' stitching and paper piecing, because it is too much to change the stitch length back and forth.

At my January retreat, I started a project that makes me question my sanity.  It's a log cabin diamond pattern from "Little Bits".  I've done 2 other patterns by them and really loved the results.  The diamond shape definitely adds a bit more difficulty! I decided to use the scraps from the many yellow and grey quilts that I've made in the last 2 years.  In the picture below, the middle diamond is from January and I started the other 2 yesterday.  There are 24 diamonds in the final pattern! I don't know what I have gotten myself into!! =O

Another project I worked on yesterday was my 'Little Ladies'.  I'm not sure exactly when I started this? 2008? (yes! I looked in my blog history!) The little ladies went missing for a bit after my move last summer. They turned up in a box that hadn't been unpacked yet.  I thought it would be fun to put them up on the design wall and see how they have progressed. I have a few more light background than I do dark, so I decided to work on a another dark background yesterday.  They look animated and fun when they are in their parts waiting for the final block assembly! =)

I've had these trees for a while.  Some of them were not 100% completed, so I finished those up.  I have patterns for quite a few more, but I don't have very much of the grey in large pieces (but I have a ton of little chunks from trimming up another quilt).  What to do?  I could try and order more of the Moda Bella that I used? I know the dye might not match up perfectly? I could make more with black? I saw a cool pattern on Pinterest that might be a fun layout, where the trees are spaced far apart with quite a bit of negative space.  For now I will let them age!

And the last eternal paper pieced project I'll share today is my micro-itty-bitty pineapples.  Of course I can't seem to find a photo of the other colors I've made.  I have quite a few others completed- 10? There was a purple and I'm pretty sure it committed suicide by falling off my design wall into the garbage!! =O  The grey has been sitting half finished for quite a long time (notice a trend!!).  This photo is still not complete-- It needs another piece on each corner. The clover clip and foot are there for an idea of scale.  These guys are super tiny!

Linking up with Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Elna Supermatic!

Yesterday, I convinced a few friends to join me in a road trip across Wisconsin.  I called it "Thelma and Louise Trip". There were four of us (Kimberly, Heather and Sarah).  We stopped a quilt shop in Endeavor (Homespun Fabrics) that I have wanted to visit for years. It was a cozy place with a wood stove and a big classroom. I bought a few small pieces of fabric, including a quarter yard of the Hoffman Challenge fabric-- we'll see if I complete something in time to enter!!

Homespun Fabrics
After Endeavor, we pointed the car towards Princeton.  Our destination was "Huser Daddy Antiques"!! They advertised a 1957 Elna on Craigslist.  Before we could find that place, we got distracted by this beautiful old victorian house.  It was an antique shop, too!  As it turns out, Princeton is a gold mine of antique shops!! The old homes all along the way (Portage, Montello and Princeton) were very cool- I love to daydream about living in something like this! =P  Princeton would be a great spot for a girls weekend, there were all kinds of stores to explore and apparently they have a massive flea market every weekend in the summer.

After the victorian house, we found the shop we were looking for and...

TaDaaaaa!!!  Here is the Elna:

I'm hoping to find a true grasshopper someday.  They were made from 1940-1952.  This one is a Supermatic and came with a bazillion 'discs' to switch out for decorative stitches. This machine is probably a better fit for me, because I don't currently have anything that does zig zag stitching.  I confirmed that it runs, but haven't figured out how to thread it and actually sew with it!  This brings my total machine count to 3 (Featherweight, Singer 66 and now the Supermatic!).

I just looked through my blog for info on my Singer 66 and I never wrote a post!! Here is a short story-- I was fortunate to find the machine for sale on Craigslist. $15 and 2 miles from my home.  Someone was looking to liquidate their stuff prior to moving.  The cabinet was a little rough, but had potential.  The machine is a crinkle coat. Once I knew it's model year, but I can't remember right now-- it's WWII era.

I spent a few days with my mom, stripping and staining the cabinet and lubing the machine.  It runs well, but I haven't sewn anything on it. =(  I do love the cabinet and it currently serves as a cat bed pedestal for Finn.

Linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, Let's Bee Social!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fannie's Fleece Jacket

 Yesterday I made the cutest little fleece jacket for my furbaby, Fannie.  She has zero need for a jacket.  She loves the snow and doesn't mind the cold at all.  Her favorite thing to do is to make snow angels by rolling around and when she is done with that, she eats the snow.  Kind of crazy!!  We have had another difficult cold snap this week.  The wind chill factors were well below zero for our walks. I'm hoping that spring weather is not too far away!!  But in the meantime, she can look adorable when I take her to daycare! =)

The pattern is from Simplicity.  The title said "It's so easy" and it was!!! I might be tempted to make a few more.

In other sewing news-- I made another zippy pouch.  This one is from Lazy Girl Designs, the Sweetpea Pods.  The pattern was well written, but I'm not totally in love with it.  It's ok.  Maybe I'll keep my clover clips in it? 


Sunday, February 7, 2016


A few years ago I developed a small obsession with making zipper pouches and other zippy accessories.  I bought a bundle of zippers from ZipIt on Etsy and made all kinds of gifts.  My supply was starting to run low, so I placed another order this week.  They had 9" zippers on sale, so i bought an assortment of 100 for $30!  Woo-hoo!!!  Let the frenzy begin!! =O

Two weeks ago, I bought the pattern Sweetpea Pod from Lazy Girl Designs and was hoping to use my new zips to make some of these cute pouches--- Ooops!  I really should have read the pattern before placing my order!!  I need a 16" zipper to make the pattern and you use half of the zipper and it folds around both sides.  =(  Perhaps I need to place another order from ZipIt?

Yesterday, I tried a tutorial from A Spoonful of Sugar for a patchwork triangle zippy case.  I used 2" squares that were already cut for my leader/ender project and made the pouch a bit bigger than the pattern.  I like it, but I am already planning on making another and changing the dimensions.  I think making it rectangular will be a bit more functional.  After finishing this, I found that they have a Pencil Case tutorial, too.  Maybe that will be my next project?  Or another earbud case?

In addition to the zippy pouch, yesterday I made a '1 hour basket'.  This is my second one and because the tutorial includes time in the title, I had to time myself to see how close I was to 1 hour.  1:28!  That isn't bad in my book.  Once I made a 1 hour girl's skirt and I think it took me 6 hours!!

Can't wait to get back in my sewing room and create more goodies!


Linking up with Molli Sparkles and Sew Fresh Quilts -  Let's Bee Social

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lutherdale Retreat 2016

Last weekend I went to my annual retreat at Lutherdale Camp.  It's 5 days of non-stop sewing-- well, we stop for meals, but we don't have to cook them!!  I didn't have a large project that I wanted to devote time to, so I worked on completing some UFO's, making smaller projects and started one new project.  It was a fun time (as usual!) and just like other years, I didn't want to leave!

The first project I started with was to make a new sewing tool caddy.  I made one of these many years ago and it was officially worn out! I used a Kim Shaefer fat quarter and added a binding to the top edge of the vinyl.

The next project was to make up a few scissor cozies and an earbud case.  These are gifts for friends and take a deceptively long time to make. =)

Next up was adding sashing and borders to this baby quilt. I stitched the stripey/blue parts together as a leader ender last fall.  (The original post about it is here.)  I plan to donate this to Project Linus when it's complete.

Next up was to "finish" Mail Sack, a tote bag that I thought I had started a few years ago.  Well-- I hadn't started it at all!!  I just had the fabric and the pattern! I first made one for my mother in 2013 (I'm unable to find finished photos of it, but I know they exist!).  This took me nearly an entire day!! There is an inset zipper pocket and some other pockets.  Mad skills!

On Friday night, we had a drawing for raffle items.  One member of the group solicited prizes from different companies and we were able to buy tickets with the proceeds going to the camp.  I made out quite well!!!  

The last project that I worked on was a new quilt!  Woot!  The pattern is Cluck Cluck Sew's Pow Pow and I'm using a fat quarter bundle of Kim Shaefer fabrics and Kona Coal for the background.  I'm having some technical difficulties with this-- I won't go into the details right now.

Well-- this was part of the technical difficulties:

My 1/4" foot broke and the needle got lodged into the foot!  Yucky!!  I had another foot, but it had the "knife edge" and it isn't something I'm accustomed to using.

This is a long post with lots of pictures!  I'll wrap up with some photos of others at the retreat with their quilt tops.

Anna and her jelly roll quilt


Mary and 2 tops she completed

I'm practically counting down the days until next year's retreat!!! =)