Sunday, December 18, 2016

My oldest UFO --> Quilted!

Very early this year, I declared that it was the year of the UFO.  Lately I was thinking how I haven't been as productive with finishing up projects this year and found time to quilt my oldest UFO.  It's "My Bed Quilt".

As it turns out, I haven't been as bad as I thought! Of the 5 tops I listed that needed quilting (Maize Maze, Cartwheels, Elephant Parade, Civil War Throw and My Bed Quilt), two were already complete and now my bed quilt is quilted!  I've exceeded 50%!  Hooray!

I named my bed quilt 'Swallow's Flight', because the shape of the burgundy pieces reminded me of a swallow diving.
According to the dates on the in progress photos, I started this in 2007! I saw the pattern at a wonderful shop in Fitchburg that has since closed-- "Going Quilting".  That shop was fantastic and I'm still missing it today (even though it's been ages since closing -2008?).

I had been quilting for about 8 years when I bought the fabrics and had done one other queen sized quilt before this.  Otherwise all my quilts were crib and throw sized.

My records are a little fuzzy (this top pre-dates my blog (2008)!), but I sewed the blocks together pretty quickly and might have even sewn the rows together right away.  But those borders-- yuck!  I don't enjoy long seams and really don't enjoy calculating borders.  It took until 2012 for me to sew the borders on! =O  Then I let it age more!  Quilting-- How to quilt it??!!??  After all that time, I used a pantograph.  It needed to be quilted and I wasn't going to deliberate any longer.

Maybe I should name this "Like a fine wine or cheese" due to all the aging?  My bedroom has literally gone through multiple redesigns in the time I've been working on this.  Of course these fabrics were selected to match the bedroom from 2007!  Oh well-- I love burgundy very much and I will be THRILLED to put this on my bed.  Especially with the wool batting I used!  I can't wait to snuggle under it!  After I get the binding done, I'll do a proper photo shoot and share the official results.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Barn Quilt + Lion progress

Last week I took a Barn Quilt class at Ardyth's Sewing in Baraboo and it was all kinds of fun!  We picked our pattern in advance and they drafted the block for us before class.  All I needed to do was show up and paint! My design is 'Whirling Star',

My Lion Quilt is coming together quite nicely!  The bottom section is complete and just needs a few long seams sewn together.  I'm actually a bit further along than this, but don't have the latest photo. =(  I'm still a bit obsessed and would rather be sewing on this than doing practically anything else!  The perspective in the photo is a bit deceiving.  This finishes at 60" x 60"  It will be pretty big!

Linking up with Patchwork Times - Design Wall Monday and Sew Fresh Quilts - Let's Be Sewcial


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Maize Maze - Complete!

Happy to report a finish!  (It's actually been complete for a while!).  This is a quilt I made for my brother and was hoping to send it to him for Christmas last year.  I couldn't quite make that deadline and just planned to send it as soon as it was done.  Wellllll-- when I finished it in February, it was so close to the Sun Prairie Quilt Show... I decided to enter it!

At this point, I thought that I might as well hold on to it and send it for his birthday. (In October!!)  =O  This was a mistake, because I became attached to it.  It was in my living room for a while to remind me to take the hanging sleeve off and it looked mighty good there!

Start Date - October 2015
Finish Date - February 2016
Fabric: A bundle of Moda (Nocturne) from Pincushion Boutique supplemented by some taupes + indigos from The Sewcial Lounge (RIP) and a mustard from Stitchers Crossing (RIP).
Pattern: Marcie's Maze from Craftsy

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Fridays

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Lion Quilt

Now that fall is here, I'm able to find more time to sew.  I did some crafting over the summer, but didn't get to blogging it.  Hopefully I can do some catch up posts!

Last Saturday, I started a version of Violet Craft's Lion Quilt.  It's part of a Jungle Abstractions series.  I bought the pattern last winter and thought I might have lost my mind when I looked at it.  So I let the pattern age (like a fine wine!).  I thought maybe it would be a good project for my January retreat, when I have several uninterrupted days to work on it.  I started ordering fabric with the plan of holding off until January.  Well-- that didn't happen!!  I've become obsessed with working on this quilt!

The fabrics are all Moda Bella Solids and (if it's not obvious) it is paper pieced.  I love paper piecing and have done many projects using that technique.  This is different, because the scale is so much bigger than what I normally do.  And usually I'm using scraps, but that would be quite hard with this pattern!

Most quilts have a block repeated many times, which can be tedious and this one is so organic and different.  I think I'm motivated by wanting to see more and more!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Steamy Saturday Sewing

This weekend was stormy, but only during nighttime hours. Saturday was very hot and muggy and just perfect weather to stay indoors!  I finished the sashing on the strawberry quilt and only have some borders to add before it is ready to be quilted. Woo-hoo!  In other strawberry news, I picked the first strawberry from my garden-- it is super tiny, but oh, so adorable!

I started on a semi-secret zippy pouch.  Actually, I started on a pincushion, but it was turning out too big, so it magically transformed into a zippy pouch! =O  If only I had more free time to sew.  Despite ignoring the housework that needed to be done, I did not have enough time yesterday to finish this. =/


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Stormy Saturday Sewing

Yesterday was a windy, stormy day and it was perfect weather to stay inside and sew!  Unfortunately, before I could start on anything, I needed clean!  My sewing room was a mess!  I tidied for a while and the room is functional again.  I could probably clean and organize for a full day to get it where it needs to be, but I wanted to create!!

The first thing I worked on was re-grouping on an old, old, old project.  It's Goodnight Irene.  This has been a leader ender project for me since the beginning of time.  Well, Ok, February 2014.  I've been making the 4 patches for much longer than that, but in 2014, I started turning them into this pattern.  The end is in sight!  The number of completed blocks is growing and the number of blank 'X' blocks is dwindling.  I prepped a bunch of this to be handy as leader enders and freshened up my supply of 2" squares (they get stale, you know!).

Next up was to make another zippy earbud case to gift to a co-worker.  She did a random act of kindness for me and I have been wanting to surprise her with this as a small thank you.

After that, I pulled out the Strawberries that I started at the Lutherdale Gala weekend.  The blocks were all complete, but the sashing and borders weren't yet cut.  So cut them I did! And sash them!  By the time I got to the longer pieces, the natural light was fading and I didn't feel up to cutting and measuring them.  One thing I would like to do for my sewing room is improve the lighting-- especially at my cutting table.  

The last thing for me was to start another 'Little Lady'.  Doesn't this navy make the most adorable dress!!??!!

All in all, this was a very fun day!  Oh-- and I got my toes done, too.  They match my strawberry quilt!!

I need more stormy Saturdays!! 

Linking up with Patchwork Times and Sew Fresh Quilts

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lutherdale Gala Quilt 2016

I swear that every year that passes moves faster than the year before! It does not seem like very long ago and I was attending my first Lutherdale Gala Luncheon, but it has been an entire year!  This event is to thank the people that make and donate quilts to the August auction fundraiser. Like last year, I spoke to the group of approximately 150 people and explained this year's block.  Then they send the blocks to the camp and a few of us get together and assemble them.  

Janet selected the pattern this year and it is Bonnie Hunter's "Spoolin' Around". We pre-cut the fabrics for each person and had them kitted up. The center went together very quickly, but the borders were tedious!  The math didn't always work out, but we were able to 'make it work!'.

In addition to the 'Gala Quilt', we worked on 2 other quilts: "Prairie Petals" and "Strawberry Fields".  I found the strawberry pattern in McCall's Quilting magazine and thought it would be fun to work on as a group (and it was!!).  I like it so much, I might make another one! This one still needs to be sashed, but it was quick and fun and a great use for pinks from my stash!

Lutherdale Gala Luncheon

Gala Quilt assembly weekend
(l to r, Me, Janet, Heather, Janine, Jim)


Linking up with Patchwork Times and Let's be Social

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!!! =)