Friday, February 26, 2010

Breaking Form

Hi. I'm going to break form from Fabric Friday here because it's been over a week since I've blogged when typically a post goes up daily during the week. We are in the midst of a family medical situation that sort of took the blogging mo-jo out of me. Even this post feels like a slog...

Getting into the details of the medial situation would be inappropriate in this forum. What I can is that I'm okay as are my daughter and husband. The person affected, a blood relative within my immediate family, has Hodgkin's lymphoma. We found out last weekend... The diagnosis was sudden and very unexpected. This whole week my mind has never been far from those directly impacted.

There's a Mat Kearney song called Closer to Love where he sings, "I guess we're all one phone call from our knees." This is how I have felt over the last several days. One phone call, one moment changed everything...

The positives - the silver lining - are there and surprisingly not difficult to see. The outpouring of affection and concern from the community has overwhelmed my family. The goodness in people as they circle the wagons around my family has been awesome to see.

Personally, my outlook completely changed, and I took action to do some things this week I've been just talking about lately.

First, I signed up for ballet lessons. It's been 10 years since my last class, but I've always wanted to go back. What better time than now? I start next Wednesday. Buying my shoes tomorrow.

Then, I have seriously started the process for creating my own podcast. This has been a goal of mine for over a year but I kept delaying because I was afraid I wouldn't know how to use use the software or that no one would like me. Now, neither of those concern me. I will post my first on Sunday.

Finally, I have talked about buying a long-arm machine since I realized my $200 Singer does not like to stipple. With my husbands help, we've found an affordable option that will allow me to not only quilt my own projects but open a little side business to quilt others' as well. Owning my own business has always been something I've wanted to do. Now I'm taking actionable steps to get there.

It's unfortunate that we need tragedies to bring out the good in us and force us to spring into action - to help us get unstuck. The reminder that life is short and seizing the day, cliched as they may be, are never more clear than when faced with the unimaginable.

Sorry for the heavy post. I'll keep you updated on the podcast and long arm situations. I'm excited to begin these new adventures and for the community that may be created at this very site because of it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Almost Finished!

Not much time to blog this morning... need to be at work early. Here is a peak at my almost-finished pillow for the Pillow Talk {Swap}. All that's left to be done is sew on the envelope back!

Also, I found a great new podcast called Sew ~ Stitch ~ Create. Well, it's not new, but it's new to me. Check out the blog here!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nine-Patch Lattice

Before graduating to making a queen-sized quilt for my bed, I thought it wise to attempt a twin size for my daughter's. Oh, Fransson! has done it again with a cleaver pattern that I am going to size up to 72" x 108". (This is one of my absolute favorite quilting blogs - never fails to put good quality content out for our benefit.)

The pattern is called Nine-Patch Lattice. The pattern makes a baby-quilt size at 38" x 53". Instead of making the pattern 5 blocks across, I will make 9. For the length, instead of 7 blocks down I will make 14 blocks.

As far as fabric goes, I plan to use up the Nicey Jane I bought for the Pillow Talk {Swap}. The original pattern calls for 9 fat quarters. I only bought 7, so I need to purchase two more prints from the collection and an additional fat quarter of each since I'm approximately doubling the size. Maybe I'll go ahead and get half yards...

Anyway, here are some pics of the start of the cutting process. I'm really excited about this quilt - it seems like it will come together quickly in time for a fresh spring look for my little girl's room!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ravelympics - Ready, Set, Go!

The Ravelympics began in tandem with the lighting of the Olympic flame on Friday. What I thought I was going to work on for the next two weeks is no longer; to Roo sweater is not going to fit my daughter. That's what happens when you start a sweater in July for a two-year-old and think you're going to finish it in February. What a shame.

I literally threw the whole thing out. Didn't rip. Didn't try to salvage. I know. A waste. Not environmentally friendly - but mentally friendly. Just couldn't keep the thing around.

Instead, I am finishing my Ishbel. Here are pics of the WIP. I have completed sections A and B and repeated A. Last night, I began working on Section C and am about half way finished. All that is left is section D, which is around 8 row (of more than 200 stitches!), and E, which is the finishing edge. Finishing by the end of the Olympics should be no problem.

We got another round of snow last night... seriously sick of winter! In rebellion, I picked up this cute little springish decoration at a local thrift shop this weekend and put it out.

I'm also working on a spring-time table runner out of the rest of my Happy Camper plaid. Just backed with white and am doing cross-hatch quilting along the design lines.

Stay warm out there!

Friday, February 12, 2010

If I Were Buying Fabric...

I would totally buy Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet. This line strikes a delicate balance of sweet and sophisticated easily transferable to garments and quilts. 

Sandi Henderson is the amazing woman behind the Portabello Pixie patterns, which I blogged about yesterday. This line would make a beautiful Analise...

Almost over this nasty cold... Looking forward to a great weekend, including sewing my Pillow Talk {Swap} pillow and starting Ravelympics! Hope you have a great crafty weekend too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


How adorable is this pattern, Analise, from Portabello Pixie

Finally finished this week, I'm semi-pleased with the results only because of operator error. I am a challenged by garments. Even though my mother is an excellent seamstress, I did not take advantage of learning and practicing with her as a young girl. Now, I'm playing catch up. With each finished item, I get a little better. Progress.

The fabric used is Park Slope by Erin McMorris, which I bought at The Mason Jar. The prints are so sweet - especially the birdie one used for the bodice lining. Maybe I should practice with less expensive fabrics... 

Next, I'm going to tackle Portabello Pixie's ruffled pants. Cross my fingers, they come out decently!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sneaky Peaky

Here's my sneaky peaky for the Pillow Talk {Swap}. It's coming a long nicely, don't you think?

In other crafty news, Lovely Little Handmades is celebrating her 100th blog post with a give away of fantastic fabrics - the ones I blogged about last Friday (her Etsy shop is Sew Deerly Loved)! Check out her blog for the details. Basically, all you have to do is enter comments up to three times answering pre-determined questions/requests. Check it out, and you'll see what I mean. Here's a sampling of what she's giving away!

Have a great day, lovelies! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm a Happy Camper

On this blustery, blizzardy morning, I woke up at my usual time (4:00 a.m. ish) to work on this baby quilt. It's out of Moda's Happy Camper

I blogged about the fabric purchase here.

I can't decide if I want to arrange the blocks this way with the yellows on the diagonals... (pic not totally in focus... sorry)

Or like this with stripes of red, yellow, and blue. This is the one I'm leaning towards. What do you think?

I'm in the middle of fussy cutting the borders - these cute alphabet and number motifs. Sashing will be out of the green plaid also slotted for the backing. Love!

The Pillow Talk {Swap} project is coming along nicely as well. Can't give too much away yet... My goal is to shop for the pillow insert this weekend - 18" square.

Stay warm and safe in the snow my midwestern and east coast friends!

Monday, February 8, 2010


I was bad this weekend. Really, really bad. (See evidence below.)

My friend and I went to The Fabric Shack. It doesn't sound like much of a place, but trust me when I tell you it is the Mecca of all fabric stores (or at least in South West Ohio). 

I bought Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane. Look at it in all of its gorgeousness. *Swoon*

... Backing, binding, and border fabric for a baby blanket in Moda Happy Campers. More info on this to come. 

.... Dug through the scrap bin ($2.98/yd regardless of brand) and found Joel Dewberry, Heather Bailey, and Anna Griffin along with some great flax and charcoal solids. 

In my defense, Nicey Jane and Happy Camper purchases are to finish a work in progress making them well within my rules. Now, I admit I did cheat buying from the scrap bin but did really try to stick to selecting prints and solids to add toward existing fabric collections in my stash. 

Anyway, it felt so good to buy new fabric, and I realized how much I've been hating some of the stuff I've been working with. Because of this, I'm toying with the idea of donating all the fabric I no longer love and only working with what I do. What do you think? Should I stay the course of eliminating 50% of my stash, sewing for the sake of it, or should I purge and start fresh?

Friday, February 5, 2010

If I Were Buying Fabric...

I would totally buy... Sew Deerly Loved's ensemble of red and aqua fabrics. 

The set comes with 12 different fat quarters. 

Each is a Japanese and designer prints. Don't you just love the kitchy-ness of Japanese fabrics?

This is what you get for $32.50 - a great value for the quality and the fact that a quilting expert paired them for you already:

Patty Young, Mezzanine, Clover Dots in aqua
Cosmo Cricket, Snorkel, red and aqua dots 
Patty Young, Flora and Fauna, Blossoms in turquoise
Japanese, Sweet Mix on Red
Lizzy House, Red Letter Day, White circles on turquoise
Michael Miller, Quarter Dots in red
Paula Prass, Flight of Fancy, Garden Trellis in aqua
Paula Prass, Flight of Fancy, Petit Garden in summer
Japanese, Hedgehogs and Flowers in aqua
Robert Kaufman, Mingle Circles in red
Patty Young, Flora and Fauna, Dandelions in turquoise
Japanese, Little Lambs on red

You can also request larger cuts. Contact Sew Deerly Loved on her Etsy site for more info. Her shop is worth a good browse - and certainly a buy. She makes lovely choices on the lines she carries and styles them in the most delicious ways!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

As Promised...

Here are pics of my finished cathedral pillow cover. Really, the pattern is not as complicated as it looks. Have some dedicated alone time so you can concentrate, and you should be able to pull it off. 
Mine has some issues - seams not totally closing, circles not being perfect - but who cares? The overall looks is fairly impressive.
 Again, the tutorial I used is here
In other sewing news, I started a charity quilt for Margaret's Hope Chest. I did some quilting and binding for them around Christmas, but this time I'm working on the project from start to finish - piecing, quilting, binding. The fabric I'm using is from stash and is not anything close to designer. In fact, the piece is going to look a bit, well, scrappy. Maybe it won't be beautiful or high class, but it will keep someone warm this winter. Pics to follow.
Another project that is almost complete is a Portabello Pixie top for my 2-year-old. Pictured here is the bodice and skirt which need to be sewn together. 
I'm using Erin McMorris' Park Slope line and also plan to make the ruffled pants to go with the top. Super-boutique chic!

Side note: I accidentally pictured the bodice with the lining out. The birds will be the lining and the pink the exterior. Oops! 

Happy hump day every one!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

First Finished Quilt of 2010!

I'm feeling a little down these days, but a bright spot was finishing this quilt! I've blogged about it several times before. The pattern, Mod Sampler Quilt, is from Oh, Fransson's lovely blog. In fact, I so enjoyed making this pattern that I'm seriously considering purchasing her Mixed Tape pattern from her Etsy store and making it in the Nicey Jane fabric I blogged about on Friday. The Mixed Tape pattern can be made in a wide variety of sizes, including queen, which is something I'd like to tackle this year. 

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the results of the Mod Sampler Quilt. The back is just as cute as the front, don't you think?
Love how the fabric crinkles up around the stippling...
This is my favorite fabric combination in the whole quilt... It's the one I was worried wouldn't work.
And, again, the back is just darling - an extra delight in an already delightful pattern!

Tomorrow, I will show you pics of my finished cathedral quilt pillow and give you a sneak peak into my next quilt project!

Monday, February 1, 2010

No Time for Pictures

I did a lot of finishing this weekend but did not photograph my projects. Will work on that tonight.
In the meantime, here are some flickr photos inspiring me. Happy sewing, knitting, crafting!
pillow with crochet trim by house on hill road
(p.s. the fabric shopper did a great piece on Rose Hip's crochet-edge pillow covers that got me intrigued with this technique.)

Midwest Modern Quilt by Mrs. Quilts a Lot

Anna Maria Horner Pincushion by Insanely Crafty