Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wanted:

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...our smiling, chatty, happy girl back!

This picture was this past Saturday night when she was baptized at church. Sunday night was a different picture because her mouth/tongue pain had returned. :(

Two ER visits at two different hospitals in the span of 12 hours + Steve out of town = a very tear-filled conversation for all three of us this evening.

I often debate sharing details here that aren't sewing related. However, I always want to be "me" here even if that "me" is frazzled, sleep-deprived, and at my breaking point because my 6 year old has reached the end of her rope when she shouldn't even have a rope to start with...

Thankfully, I think we are FINALLY on the road to getting some answers. We are trying a new medication and while she is still in terrible pain, I'm holding on to hope that we are about to turn a corner.

As for quilting, I'll share some pictures later of good reasons not to quilt when you are stressed and have only had 3 hours of sleep. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Progress!

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Can I just tell you all that I love this quilt?!?

Sometimes I feel like I say that about all my quilts and I guess I do... But that's a good thing! I make quilts that I enjoy because I don't think I could really get into creating a quilt that I didn't like. It's that whole quilting without obligation thing. ;)



I'm free motion quilting this quilt with a meandering pattern and all those curves are looking great against the straight lines of the quilt design. And BTW, vintage sheets quilt so nicely; I don't know if it's because they are so soft but I do know that this is going to be a very soft quilt!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 27, 2010

You know...

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... it's gone too far


when you get a Flickr mail regarding this dress...

... offering to buy it from me for an un-Godly amount and not because it's an adorable handmade dress.  Instead the reason was to cut it up for the Amy Butler fabrics {Temple Flowers & Pink Coriander}. 

Now, I adore beautiful fabric just as much as the next quilter but seriously!

My wishful, hypothetical response:

You may buy it when you are able to pry it out of my 6 year old daughter's tiny, white-knuckled hands that have specific Judo training to ward off women who would like to cut her favorite dress to pieces for the fabric...

*backspace...delete...delete...*

My real response:

Thanks for your message but unfortunately I made this dress for my daughter and it is not for sale.

Happy Friday to all my bloggy friends!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Joy of Destashing

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Destashing has its perks!!

Look what I found at Fabricworm....

I've been craving {can you really crave fabric?} calming blues and grays lately.


And this Saffron Craig...

Hand screened!

I've been drooling over this fabric for awhile now.

Thank you all for helping me destash!  There's still some great fabric left  and I will still give free shipping to my blog readers. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Binding Hexagons

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...the tutorial


Don't be scared of those points and corners!

I was and I searched for a tutorial and didn't find one. 

So I did the work for you and I documented my process {with minimal swearing} so finishing your hexie project won't be so daunting. :)

Here goes...


After you finish quilting, trim your batting and backing square with your top.  Then stitch super close to the edge of your quilt, table runner, etc.  This will hold down your edges and make stitching the binding on a little easier.

Prepare your binding strips.  You will definitely want to cut them on the bias to make manipulating the strips around the corners much easier.  Here is a great tutorial on making a bias binding.  I made my strips 2 inches wide because I like a narrow binding {it also cuts down on the bulk in the corners and on the points}.


Once you have your binding ready, here's one of the most important parts {and probably the scariest too!}  Take your scissors and snip a slit in each corner of where your hexies meet.  This is key to making your corners look nice!

Be careful not to snip more than 1/4" into the hexies...

After you do this in every corner, you are ready to stitch your binding to the front of your quilt.

Start in the middle of a hexie {not a point or a corner}.  Begin stitching the binding down with a 1/4" seam allowance. 


When you are to your first corner, put your needle down and raise your presser foot.  Turn your project slightly and with your left hand pull your project away from the needle to make a straight line {instead of the corner}.  With your hexies still in a straight line, turn your project a little more and lay your binding down on that line.  Drop your presser foot and begin stitching again towards your next point.

I know these instructions sound strange but if you will follow along as you sew, I promise it will all make sense!  If not, you can send me hate mail or ask all the questions you want. :)



Now the easy part... stitch to your point, stopping right before you reach the point.  Backstitch and cut your threads.  Remove your work and fold your binding up and then down following the angle of your point just like you do when you bind a "normal" quilt corner.


Once you have your fold, continue stitching in the new direction towards your next corner {or point}.  And again, send me hate mail or questions if this doesn't make sense.

Continue this madness all the way around your project until your ends meet.  Secure your ends with your favorite method and thank me for telling you to start away from a point or a corner.

Success!  You are done stitching your biding to the front and it's down hill from here.  Watch for part two in a few days where I will show you how to hand stitch your binding to the back while keeping your points and corners all pretty.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Destash!

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In an attempt to make room for some of my new favorite fabrics, I have some of my old favorite fabrics from my stash listed in my Etsy shop.

Katie Jump Rope, Echino Scooters, a Wonderland by MoMo honeybun  SOLD!, Jay McCarroll fabrics...

...Heather Ross Bicyles  SOLD!

...even some classic Amy Butler French Wallpaper in Duck Egg {1 yard SOLD} 1/2 a yard left... go take a look!

And just added... 1 FQ of Amy Butler Pink Corriander!

For all my blogging friends, if you make a purchase, type *blog* in the notes to seller and I will refund your shipping.  :D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hexagon Table Runner

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It's finally done!  I put off the binding forever which was silly because it wasn't that bad.



These are 1.5" hexagons and the fabric is a mix of Amy Butler Belle, Lotus and Midwest Modern.  These were some of the first fabrics I ever purchased when I started quilting and these hexagons are the end of the stash.  Kinda makes me sad but also happy that this runner is now living on my coffee table in our family room. :) 


I hand quilted the outline of each hexagon with purl cotton and I love the result.


The backing is Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party {another favorite} and it is also a fabric sadly dwindling from my stash.

I vastly underestimated the amount of binding fabric it would take due to all the points and corners so no, your eyes do not deceive you; there are two colors of binding.  I'm in a "make due" mode right now and I'm surprisingly please with how the Kona Charcoal and the Kona Caribbean look together.  My hubby even approves!

Have a great weekend!  We will be for sure... today is hubby's birthday so this is an entire weekend of celebration... :)
 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

do. Good Stitches

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I was invited by Rachel to join this bee a few months ago and I jumped at the chance because of its purpose.  The blocks made in this group are made into a quilt and it is donated to either a specific charity or a selected deserving individual.  What a great idea!

There are Quilters and then there are Stitchers in the group.  The Quilters each take a turn and plan a month.  They decide on a design, colors, block size, etc and also stitch two blocks of their own.  Added: you don't have to be a longarm quilter; I quilt with my home machine.  New and experienced quilters are welcome!

The Stitchers make two blocks in the design for the month out of their own stash and mail them to the Quilter.  From there the Quilter has 30 days to piece the top, quilt, bind the quilt, and then send it to the selected charity {or person}.

This month the blocks are 12" blocks that are red & aqua.  The blocks are beautiful!  This is going to be an amazing quilt that will be going to Wrap Them in Love.

There are two other circles {Hope & Faith} within this bee that have Stitchers but are in need of Quilters.  If there is any way that a few of my quilting friends could consider joining this bee, please do!  You only have to finish one quilt and then the rest of the months you just contribute your two blocks.

PS! Look what showed up on Craft Gossip last night...  I'm pretty excited. : D

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Word-full Wednesday

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This might be my favorite time of year.  Supposedly kids go back to school in the fall but I can't really call it that when we are working on 20 consecutive days of 100+ degree heat.  But whatever season this is, I love it.

We went school supply shopping already and this weekend we will be following our annual tradition of buying new Vans {love those shoes!} in multiple colors to match new school outfits.  And BTW, these new clothes are looking less and less little girl and more and more like a cool first grade kid... *sniff*

I'm coaching my daughter's softball team this fall and we had the coaches meeting last night.  The team color?  Green... lime green... some of you who know me well enough know that this is not my favorite color.  But despite the color, I am SO excited about the season.  Practices start next week so wish me luck teaching softball to 10 five and six year old girls!

On the sewing front, I get my machine back today!  I have kept myself busy this week by hand-sewing the binding on my hexagon table runner which was quite the task with all those corners and angles.  It was a lot of work but it turned out beautifully and the runner has already found its place on my coffee table.  Look for a tutorial on binding hexagons very soon... ;)

PS: I'm taking suggestions for the softball team name... I liked the Grasshoppers but I was informed by Chaney that it wasn't "girly" enough. LOL

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Block {and a drink}

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{Make Life... Bee block}
... but not at the same time.  I'm pretty sure that most of us know that drinking and sewing doesn't mix well. ;)

First, my daughter is doing much better.  Thanks again for all your kind thoughts and prayers.  We still don't have any definitive answers but for now I'm just very thankful that she's feeling better.

{The remnants of a Mambo Taxi...}
Steve and I had date night Friday night and we had a wonderful evening.  It was so nice to reconnect after a long and stressful week.  He's just the best...

I got some sewing done but all I managed was a block for my Fresh Modern Bee.  My machine is now back in the shop {grrrr...} so I'm back to hand-sewing for the next few days.  But anyways, don't you just love the block?  The request was for half square triangles in a 16.5" block.  And BTW, that is a huge block!  I love the Make Life line of fabric so I was happy to oblige.  I'm pretty pleased with my HST's and yes, those around the border are that tiny!

I hope ya'lls week is off to a great start!  Mine sure is... :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Frazzled Friday

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Can you tell by the title of my post that I'm glad it's Friday?  If you had any doubts... I am SO glad that it's Friday!

This week has been one of those weeks.  Late meetings, more 100+ degree heat, our fire alarm chirping at 1 AM for no good reason, and my daughter is sick again.  We had blood tests done yesterday so I'm really hoping and praying that we can get to the bottom of what ever this is soon.

I've done minimal sewing.  Two nights this week I actually went into my studio, cut some fabric and walked back out thirty minutes later because I was too tired to think straight.  I did get caught up on bee blocks but because it's been one of those weeks, I have no pictures.

With this weekend comes the prospect of getting some rest and maybe even getting some quilting done. :)  And here's where I need your input...


I have sadly had this top done for months but because I have no idea how I want to quilt it, it keeps moving to the bottom of the pile.  Stippling is always an option but I would also like to capture the tide pools and water features of the quilt.  I love this top and I really want to finish it so I would love some input!

PS... I've been slow responding to comments and emails this week but I promise that I'll be catching up this weekend... :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

When All Else Fails...

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... do. Good. 


These are blocks for my do. Good Stitches charity bee.  There's something healing in focusing on someone else less fortunate and doing something kind for them.


And after doing good...


... curl up with a quilt and a dog {or two}

I'm working on feeling better.  Thank you all for your kind thoughts, words and prayers.  Sometimes just what you need is to know that you aren't alone. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Stash {In action}

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Lots of cutting...


For a secret project... ;)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blah...

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I don't know what it is, perhaps the post-vacation blues, but I've been pretty blah all week. Un-inspired... un-interested... un-motivated...

Un-everything!

Work is great and I have managed to meet my gym goals so I'm pleased about that but it feels like most everything else is piling up around me. Maybe it's the impending school year fast approaching... I just don't know but I get anxious when I start to feel like this.

I've blabbed about everything else on this blog so I might as well blab about the fact that I struggle with depression and I have since college. Most of the time I'm good but there are times that I feel like I'm starting to slip and it normally starts with that familiar blah feeling. Awesome stuff but I bet I'm not the only one around here who struggles like this...

So this weekend I'm going to slow down and take a break. I'm going to sew when I want to and not just because I feel like I have to. Maybe I'll create something new or even pull out something old and work on it just for fun.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and here's to a new week ahead that is a lot more...



Beautiful... inspired... motivated... colorful... :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Will Work for Quilts...

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I always seem to stick to things better when I write them out so here goes...

Steve and I joined a gym this past weekend because apparently the treadmill in our bedroom and the two fitness centers in our neighborhood aren't convenient enough. ;)  But really, there's something to paying for something that seems to keep you committed; or at least it's that way for me.

So this week has been a transition... an early-morning-4:40am-type transition.  UGH!  But I'm doing it and so far, it feels relatively good.  I'm hoping to make this a habit before school starts and I know the best way to do that is to set goals and have some small rewards in place.

Steve and I are going to reward ourselves with a beach vacation in January if we've reached our collective goal but I need some short term motivation as well. 

Here's what I'm thinking... for every hour that I work out, I get to quilt.  No work out = no quilting.  I'm not going to put a time limit on the amount that I quilt because it's usually crammed into the evening or weekend amidst all the other activities. 

Sound good?  I think so. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bohemian Forest Quilt

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This might be one of my all time favorite quilts.  It was fun to make, the pattern {Kate Conklin} was awesome, I  love the colors, and I can't help but feel like the quilting is something unique.
  

When I posted about the quilt top, I got several comments about the colors and me being unafraid of color.  In this quilt I simply picked my focus fabric {Anna Maria Horner Good Folks} for the panels and used those colors as inspiration for the rest of the quilt.  In picking fabrics for your quilt, when in doubt, follow the designers for color combinations and inspiration... they are designers after all! ;)




My inspiration for the wood grain quilting?  A lonely charm square sitting on my sewing table.  This method of quilting was a lot of fun and mentally more interesting than line after line of straight line quilting because I get bored easily and this quilting kept me engaged.  And the texture... love it!
  

I pieced the binding with fabrics left over from the quilt.  I used more of the Patty Young yellow because I really like the bees, the honeycomb and the color.  I used Gutterman {my favorite} bone thread and it blended nicely with all the colors.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with the quilt!  We are overflowing with quilts at our house these days... :)  I figured it out... it's in my shop!
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