Monday, March 31, 2014

Sew much going on...

Sew little time to blog about it...

I've had a lot of quilty things going on lately, but I've struggled to turn them into blog posts.  Last Monday, the Mad City Quilt Guild had a workshop scheduled with Jacquie Gering, but unfortunately, she had an emergency and couldn't make it from Chicago to Madison. In addition to the workshop, she was going to speak at our evening guild meeting.  We needed a last minute replacement, so I volunteered!

In January, I was scheduled to present a paper piecing demo, but our meeting was cancelled due to the Polar Vortex. This worked out pretty well, because I had a lot of the prep still handy from a few months ago.  The talk was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed sharing one of my favorite techniques.  I don't have any nice photos to share of the evening (I was a bit busy!), but I can include a few pics of things I shared in the trunk show portion of the talk:

My first paper piecing project (I use them as coasters!)

Some fun pumpkin wall hangings:

A Mariner's Compass wallhanging (still needs to be quilted)

One of many trees I've been making with no real purpose:

A Christmas Tree I drafted last year (not yet quilted)

My Circle of Geese:

WIP: Cartwheels

My Featherweight wall hanging (I don't have a 'final' picture handy, but it's done!)

A baby quilt for Little Leah:

And a baby quilt for Amelie (Kaffe Fassett's pattern)

But wait, I have more to share!!  I'll keep it brief and maybe post more on this later...

Last Saturday the Mad Mod Quilt Guild had a Sew Day at The Electric Needle.  I was able to join in for a few hours and made an adorable little gnome.  I was a bit distracted and didn't get any pics!! Maybe tomorrow?

And finally-- tomorrow is a big day.  I have the day off from work, so I can attend the Prairie Heritage Quilt Show in Sun Prairie.  I entered 2 quilts.  AND-- this coincides nicely with the afternoon meeting of the Mad City Quilt Guild.  Hooray!!  See?  Sew much going on!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Stash

I haven't had much free time for sewing this week.  I have made up for it with shopping!! And attending guild meetings.  J
  • Monday : Madison Knitters Guild
  • Thursday : Madison Modern Quilt Guild
  • Friday : An Evening with Franklin Habit
  • Saturday : Knit-In (shopping only for me)
It's a pity that yesterday was National Quilting Day and I didn't sew a stitch.

I have plenty of additions to report to my fabric and yarn stashes:

These purchases were made at Stitcher's Crossing on Thursday.  One of the fat quarters is a Safari Moon print. 

Here are my pretties from Knit-in.  Caution-- I splurged!

This is from Hidden Valley Farm near Valders, WI. 
It is wool roving wrapped in silk.  The sample swatch was really different and intriguing! 
This yarn is from Shady Haven and is at least my 3rd purchase from them, if not my fourth?
They are located near Howards Grove, WI-- only about 10 miles from where I grew up!
The fiber is 100% alpaca and it is so incredibly soft!! I tried a colorway that is a little different for me.  I'm normally drawn to earth tones.

Lastly, is this Mohair from Bleating Heart Haven to go with the other skeins I won at my knitting guild meeting earlier this week.  I might make a color block shawl with them?
I did purchase a cute yarn ball/needles ornament and a scarf pattern, but I don't have photos.  I can't wait to dig into all of this knitting!  J

Linking up with Molli Sparkles and Sunday Stash.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Knitty News

This past Monday was the March meeting of my knitting guild (Madison Knitters Guild). I had a lovely time, as usual, but tonight was extra special--  I was one of four lucky people to win a door prize!! There are over 500 members in our guild! It is one of the largest in the country. Competition is stiff for the prizes.

A big, BIG thank you to Bleating Heart Haven for gifting me with 3 luscious skeins of MOHAIR!!! wow. 

Also, this is the weekend of Knit-In. My guild organizes a weekend of classes, talks and shopping in Madison. I didn't register for any classes, but I did attend "An Evening with Franklin Habit" last night. It was so much fun! He spoke about Victorian Era handcrafts and there are a lot of absurdities!
Weldon's Practical Needlework was the main focus of discussion and he had a few samples of their patterns, included a 'Child's Harness' and men's swimming trunks. The names they gave to patterns were hysterical: 'Houseboots for Invalids' and 'Cheap Shawl for the Poor'!! I wasn't able to buy a book, because they sold out before I made my way to the book signing. Instead, I had my picture taken with Franklin and his wool swimsuit. Priceless!!

I'll end with some of my recent knitting. A few weeks ago, I finally finished the world's cutest baby tank top.  This is for Baby Audrey who will be 1 in April.  I only cast on last September. =O

There is a baby mini-explosion at work and I'm trying to make sure each one has a hat. Two are done and two more to go.  =)

Did you know Eleanor Roosevelt was a knitter??  Love!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lazy-ish Saturday

The way things are in my life/schedule right now, I can pretty much only sew on Saturdays.  I had grand ambitions to sew tons and tons of X's for my Goodnight Irene quilt this week.  The way my Saturday unfolded, it wasn't looking too promising...

First thing on Saturday morning, I tackled some chores.  I couldn't avoid it!

Then at 10 am, I went to an awesome local indie craft show - "Ritz Crafters".  This is the 2nd time attending and it didn't disappoint! 

I did my best to support the artists. =)

This mug is made by my fellow Mad Modder, Nicky Ross of N*Star Studio!  I can't wait to use it!

After shopping, brunch was in order.  Lazy Jane's!! Yum!
And this brings me to the laziest part of the day.  When I got home, I didn't feel revved up to start sewing, I instead needed to nap.

You see, it was March 1st.  We've had a particularly brutal winter in Wisconsin.  I'm rather tired of it.  And Mother Nature decided to give us another snow storm.  This picture doesn't capture my view as well as I would like it to.  But this snow was very 'snow-globey'. 

After some much needed lounge time, I finally made my way into the sewing room.  At this point, it was after 4 pm!  The outlook for several X's wasn't looking good...

But I persevered and made a bunch more.  The quilt is starting to take shape!

In addition to the Irene X's, I finished the 4th X O block lotto block that was in the works.  I think this is officially a new UFO and can't be called a block lotto (the drawing was last month)!  I'll call the quilt 'X O' for now.  It might change to something like Ring Ding? Ring Toss?  Who knows.
Linking up with Judy's Design Wall at Patchwork Times and Lily's Small Blog Meet Up

Monday, February 24, 2014

Goodnight Irene!!

I've seen this pattern before, but never knew it's name, Goodnight Irene!  I love it!  What fun!

A few weeks ago, I had an a-ha moment and knew this was the pattern I would use with the leader/ender 4 patch brights I've been accumulating for ages.  Immediately, I started putting the 4 patches together into 16 patches. I had several yards of different solids in my stash. After a bit of auditioning, I selected a bright royal-y blue.

This weekend, I was able to start on the 'X' Blocks.  It took some experimenting with scraps to find out the X-blocks are made using the same size square as my 4 patch!  Did I mention I'm not using a pattern?  For some reason, I thought I would need to add 1/8 of an inch to the corner pieces (like when making 1/2 square triangles).  Nope!  This is a big win, because I bought a Go Baby! cutter specifically to make cutting 2" squares easier. 

This cutter is fantastic and it makes cutting up my scraps a breeze!  It's been a little while since I've cut my scraps into squares, so I spent some time making squares yesterday.  It's super fun!  I would never say that about cutting with a ruler!

Terry is doing a QAL for Goodnight Irene. I'm just a tad bit late to the party. Fashionably late!!

Also, I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday with Judy at Patchwork Times. I'm hoping to have many more X's for next week's link up.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winner, winner!

You know all those giveaways in the blogosphere?  You know how 5 million people leave comments and the chance of winning seems tiny?  Well-- I was a winner this week!  Hooray!

Details?  I won this new book:  Quilting with a Modern Slant by  Rachel May

Big, big thanks to Jeni Baker of In Color Order for the giveaway and to Storey Publishing for their generous donation.  I can't wait to read it!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sew many things!

I was fortunate to be able to spend some time sewing yesterday and last Saturday.  Fortunate?-- I (once again) postponed many chores (haircut, grocery shopping, housecleaning, etc) to quilt.  Who needs a stocked pantry, clean bedroom or trimmed hair?  But my hair is getting out of control!

Last Saturday, I did a bit of garment sewing and made flannel jammie pants.  My limited experience sewing clothes hasn't been enjoyable, but my friend Amy was a fantastic tutor!  They turned out pretty good!  One modification that I'll be making is to add a drawstring to the waistband.  The elastic isn't quite snug enough.

Yesterday, I worked on a lot of things I wanted to have finished for last Thursday's Mad Mod meeting.  I had grand ambitions to enter 4 blocks for the block lotto and didn't have time to get them done.  Now I'm wondering if I should consider this a new project and make enough for an entire quilt?  I kinda like the pattern and color scheme...  So far, I have 3 blocks complete and the fourth is just waiting for 1 more half square triangle.

One of the charity blocks Mad Mod is working on is a wonky log cabin super hero block.  They are about 14" blocks (huge!). Many people had theirs complete for this week's meeting.  Mine will have to wait for next month.

My 2 blocks:

Here are the guild's charity blocks at last Thursday's meeting:

Exciting news--

(well, not that exciting) I have decided on a setting for the leader/ender 4 patches that I've been accumulating for ages.  I've seen this pattern before, but the light bulb clicked when I saw Tanya in Colorado's version.  I'm 99% certain that the backgroud is going to be a royal-ish blue. Very vibrant!  I've been focusing on sewing my 4 patches into 16 patches.  I can't wait to cut some of the blue and see how it will work together!

Here's a picture of my entire design wall.  It's looking a little (ok, A LOT) ADD right now.

To wrap up, I'll share a little stash acquisition I did when I was at Stitcher's Crossing for the Mad Mod Meeting and link up with the Fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash:


Thursday, February 6, 2014

An Evening with Nancy!

In Wisconsin, we are fortunate to have many, many talented quilters.  I think its the long, cold winters?  And this winter is killing me!! There was another winter weather advisory this morning: wind chills as low as -30!  Yuck!

Back to the talented people from Wisonsin part...Nancy Zieman of Sewing with Nancy and Nancy's Notions and Quilt Expo has written an autobiography, "Seams Unlikely".  Tonight, she was speaking at the Lodi Library.  Several of us from the Mad Mod Quilt Guild drove the 30 minutes north to see her.  

Her story was amazing!  She felt the need to tell it after stumbling across common google searches on 'Nancy Zieman stroke', 'Nancy Zieman crooked face', etc.  Clearly people wanted to know more about her.  She shared with us many stories of her childhood in rural Wisconsin and introduction to sewing in 4-H.  She then described the beginnings of her business and where things are today.  It is an incredible journey!  

After the talk, she signed books.  I could have talked for ages!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Quilty Weekend

I've had a pretty good quilty weekend!  It started right after work on Friday night.  Gael from Mad Mod is generously letting members use her luxe longarm to quilt charity quilts.  I was a little nervous about using a different machine and of all the negative space on the quilt, so I decided to do a panto.  Good call, because I didn't have to invest much mental energy into the design.  It turned out v. cute (if I do say so myself!).

On Saturday morning I attended a board meeting for the Mad City Quilt Guild.  I'm very thankful to be involved with such wonderful people.  They are respectful, open to new ideas, intelligent and very generous with their time. Until I had a conversation with somebody recently, I took this for granted.  Go, Mad City Quilters!  You rock!

After the meeting, I swung by Stitcher's Crossing.  I requested them to carry Essex Linen in 'Steel' and they called me on Friday to let me know it came in.  Woot!!!  I have no idea what I'm going to use it for, but I can't wait!  I went on a bit of a shopping spree... 2 yds Essex Linen in Steel, 1 yd in Taupe, a bunch of fat quarters and other bolt ends.

My plans were to go home and fire up my machine.  Unfortunately, I was wiped out and couldn't muster much energy.  A napped fixed that!  But then I spent 2 hours trying to understand my new camera-- I'm getting there!  I managed to make the quadrants for the last 2 cartwheel blocks and pull some fabrics for February Block Lotto blocks.

All in all, a great quilty weekend!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash!

Monday, January 27, 2014


Unfortunately tonight's Mad City Quilt Guild was cancelled due to dangerously cold temperatures.

Major bummer. No paper piecing demo for me. I can't wait for our cold snap to break, because this weather is unbearable. :/

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday Sewing Solitary Style

Last week, after spending 5 days at retreat sewing with 40 ladies, I took a little time on Saturday to be by myself. It was almost like my own personal retreat, because I didn't really do anything else all day except create.  

The most important project of the day was to prep for a paper piecing demo I am doing on Monday night for the Mad City Quilt Guild.  We are having a 'Schoolhouse' night.  Four people are presenting on different topics.  The members divide into 4 groups and rotate through each presenter's station.  I only have 15 minutes to explain paper piecing!  Gulp!  This is going to be hard!  My plan is to display a string of flying geese at each step of the process.

Over 1 year ago, I made a Circle of Geese mini quilt.  It was done except for having the binding hand stitched.  It's a great sample for my presentation, so I took the time to finish it.  Hmm.  The chalk marks are showing up in this picture?

Next up was to work on using up scraps in Rainbow String Blocks.  My scrap bins are overflowing, so I thought this quilt would help tame them.  Four blue blocks later and there isn't a visible difference. =(  I was thinking I would make 12 diamonds and donate it to charity.

Last up was to work on my Cartwheel quilt.  I got the quadrants complete on block number 10.  Only 2 more blocks after that!  Yay!

And that is when I was too tired to sew any more.  What a great day!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Retreat extras

On my last post, I had so many projects to share, there wasn't room for all kinds of other things that happened at Retreat.  Here are some photos of other people and their projects:

Mary treated us to Danish Pancakes on Thursdy morning.  DELICIOUS!!!

Chris had the ultimate quilting ensemble: t-shirt, earrings, necklace, 'stole'

Heather got straight to work and was cranking out lots of great stuff!

I spent some time working with Gena and Betty on how to paper piece.  They loved it!!

Chris was working on using some blocks that were given to her.  They look fantastic in her setting!

Fabric Bowls became a virus that spread around the room  Several people made one.  FUN!

Here is a photo of the retreat room bustling with activity:

This is a panorama of our show and tell on Saturday night:

I already can't wait for next year!!