Friday, April 30, 2010

New Yummy Yarn

My dear friend was in San Fransico last weekend and thought of litte 'ole me when at an amazing fabric and yarn store, Britex Fabrics, bringing back an amazing skein of yarn from Trendsetter Yarns called Cha Cha. Britex is a four story building of nothing but crafty goodness. Sounds like the kind of place I could spend hours - and hundreds of dollars! Said friend bought some of the most coveted lines of fabric now - Liberty of London. *Sigh* I will admire from afar...

Cha Cha is 47% wool, 47% acrylic, 6% polyamide, 65 yards, and is made in Italy. My friend brought back a pattern to support the yarn as well, which will make two chic ruffle scarves - one for her and one for me. The pattern calls for size 9 needles and 12 stitches across. This should be a fast-moving project!

Instead of having a traditional twist, this lovely soft yarn reminds me of ribbon with dropped stitches in between each edge.

According to Trendsetter's website, they recommend knitting "through the top edge of each open box to create ruffles."

I did a quick search on Flickr to get some ideas of what this might look like knit up.

Image by Sultry.

Pretty cute, huh? I need to finish up at least one of my on going projects before casting this on. But it will be hard to resist.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Perfect Scant Quarter Inch Seams Tutorial

As promised in episode 4 of my podcast, here is Just Plain Jane Quilt's tutorial for perfect scant quarter inch seams. Check out Jannie's blog for more great ideas and tutorials.

The block is 9 inches square.

Photo 1 & 2: Drawing/drafting on the back of the fabric.

Photo 3: Place pins where the horizontal and vertical lines cross (center lines is a cut line).

Photo 4: Stitch lines should be where the drawn lines were.

Photo 5: Notice the center 9-patch block is within the measurements.

Photo 6: Continue adding to the center block.

Photo 7: Completed block.

Photo 8: Notice the block is 9 inches wide with the quarter inch seam allowances!

Thanks again, Jannie, for sharing this information with us!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stash Resolution Episode 4

Episode 4 Show Notes
Blip.TV Embedded Player Link (not sure if this is going to work!?)

What I'm Working On

Elsebeth Lavold Yarn
Pic of Spring Birdie Quilt to Come!

email me at if you're interested in joining.

Tips and Techniques
Watch for a separate post this week featuring Just Plain Jane Quilt's squaring up tutorial!

All pics below were taken at the quilt show.

Dresden Plate
Home Sweet Home
(above) Grandma's Flower Garden

(below) Ohio Star Flower

Trip Around the World


Grandma's Flower Garden

Grandma's Flower Garden

Eight Pointed Circle Star

Grandma's Flower Garden

Valley Quilts 30's Repro Charm Pack

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pleased as Punch

This has been a good mail week.

Oh, yes. Good things come in little - and very big - packages. Promptly after seeing this blog post from Anna Maria Horner, I splurged for one of her rugs. Somehow - totally by accident - a teeny-tiny bit of fabric was added to my shopping cart too. How did that happen?

I'm in LOVE with my new rug. It's so soft and textur-y. This picture doesn't do it justice, but the pattern is actually textured with raised areas.

It's about 4"x6" and fits perfectly in our foyer.

I've been on the market for a new rug for some time, and have been looking for the perfect one - a balance of modern and tradition. As soon as I saw this one, I knew it was the one. Had to have it.

See the bench in the upper right corner of this picture? I'm going to use the fabric to make coordinating pillow covers.

Six lovely fat quarters came in the fabric bundle, all in AMH's Garden Party collection.

I'm quite pleased with my purchases. Next, I need to decide what pillow cover patterns to make.

On my list now is:
Dresden Plate
English Paper Pieced Hexagons
String Quilt Block

I'd like to buy linen to use as the background fabric... Where is a good place to buy linen? Would love your suggestions!

Have a great rest of the week. I plan to podcast this weekend, so look for a new episode early next week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amazing Gracie

After several starts and sobbing stops, I have conquered Gracie - my Mini Pinnie Gracie, that is. And, I have to say, the results are amazing.

Getting the quilt loaded took a little while. First, the back has to be loaded onto the top front bar. Logically, this is tricky. One might think the top should go on the top bar. My husband - what a sweet boy - had to help me think through this.

Then, the top is loaded on the bottom front bar, and the batting is pulled through the top and bottom front bar. Both the back and batting are attached to the take-up bar.

Finally, the quilt top is pulled over the batting and also secured to the take-up bar, pinning all layers so that the back and batting are longer than the top. In other words, the back of the quilt should extend beyond the top of the quilt by several inches. Nothing would be more heart breaking than to realize the layers weren't lined up...

Now it's time to quilt!

I did a meandering pattern on this quilt.

Now, I'd be lying if I said there were no bumps on the quilty road. I did have some tension issues - but evidence remains on the back of the quilt. The name of the game is to make sure tenion is between 3 and 4. A couple of times, it was bumped or shimmied out of place and before I knew it the back of my quilt was a mess of thread. Ugh...

But, all in all, I'm very happy with my quilt. It's lap size (not sure on exact dimensions) and it took me a couple of hours to quilt from start to finish. MUCH faster than using a traditional domestic machine. Plus, there were no gapping or puckering issues because of the nice even tension the rack provides.

So, if you're thinking about investing in some kind of quilting system, this is a nice option. I'm still perfecting and getting to know it, but I think Gracie and I will be very good friends some day.

I am hand attaching the binding to this quilt and will show pics when it is complete!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

i *heart* ishbel

Finished my Ishbel scarf - FINALY... I started it mid-August last summer. Guess I get distracted easily!?

Pattern was super easy to follow and would have gone faster if I had focused - or been monogamous to knitting.

I plan to give it to my grandma for Mothers Day.

What are you doing with your weekend? We spent most of the day outside. This evening, I'm working on my {Urban} HOME Goods swap and getting a new quilt ready to load onto my quilt rack, squeezing in crafting where ever possible.

This week was a busy one. Sorry for the silence on the blog after posting show notes... Next week will be better. Promise. :-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stash Resolution Episode 3

What's Going On
Over the Rhine

What I'm Working On
Nine Patch Lattice Quilt
Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along
Fabric Shack
{Urban} HOME Goods Swap
Sew Deerly Loved
McCalls 5797
McCalls 5084

Ishbel Shawl
Woolen Mill St Yarns

Tips & Techniques

Product Reviews
Sew Liberated

Email me at for an invitation to join the Big Tent Quiltcast Super Group. It's free to join but an invitation is required. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Big Tent

Thursday, April 8, 2010


What a week this has been... I've barely had a chance to keep up on a minimum level with blogging - reading and writing - not to mention Flickr. It's been challenging with so much going on... and the weekend is just as busy. We're booked solid Friday night and Saturday. Hoping for a reprieve Sunday so I can get some stitching in.

I did finish up a little top for my daughter (McCalls 5084 pattern) out of Alexander Henry fabric. The back has a couple ruffle panels, one of which is in a contrasting pink and white polka dot. The bodice is lined, and the top is held up with a halter strap that ties. I'm pleased with the results. It was a very simple, straightforward pattern to follow and came together in a couple of hours.

Some lovely fibery goodness also came in the mail last Friday. I finally caught a little daylight to snap some photos to share with you.

I stack of fat quarters from Sew Deerly Loved...

Which included Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow...

Heather Bailey's Pop Garden...

And Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley

I think that is what this week has been for me. Hope. Valley. Even in the darkness and confusion of a low time, there is good and joy... At least I am hopeful of this.