Monday, November 22, 2010


The only problem with sewing when you can't sleep is that by the time morning comes around you spend a lot of time with your buddy the seam ripper. Saturday night I just couldn't sleep so after finishing piecing a project a can't show you just yet (don't you hate reading that on blogs) I decided to start in on the next thing on the list. After all Christmas is now only 5 weeks away and quickly approaching. I know you don't need that reminder any more than I do. With the goal of giving more Homemade gifts this year the hubs and I agreed a while back that I would make a quilt for his dad and his girlfriend (yes the dads girlfriend, not my husbands). I knew when I first saw the Pure line that it would be a near perfect choice as it would match the colors used to decorate their house. I was unsettled on a pattern until I saw this one over at Moda Bakeshop. It looked easy enough and so I ordered the materials made a few changes and had all the pieces cut. Saturday I sat down matched up the squares to make into half square triangles and then trimmed them all down after saying I was going to bed. Didn't stop there and I added the small rectangle to the blocks. Pretty proud of myself I finally went to bed at 3am. Wide awake by 8:30 on Sunday I sat down and added the side piece and squared up all my blocks again. Which left me with this good looking pile of progress.

Only then when I went to layout the quilt did I realize that the half square triangles were directional. Who would have thought. I only had to rip apart 16 of them which took most of the day Sunday but before calling it a day again at midnight last night I managed to get the first 2 of the larger blocks sewn together. I'm pretty happy with how things are looking so far and I'm ready to get rolling on the rest of the blocks and the boarders.

I even have a plan for the back so the goal is to have the top and back pieced by Thursday so I can rope my dad into helping me baste it while my mom is busy basting the turkey. Love that teamwork.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trying Something New

For October in the Modern Tradition Bee, Sandra, asked us to make a log cabin block with strips from a Verna Jelly Roll she was sending. Here's the catch, she wanted us to pick an applique pattern and use fabrics from our stash to make a little magic in the middle of the block. Let me start by saying that up until I made that goldfish block a few days ago I have never appliqued anything in my life. Obviously I was a little nervous when the fabric reach more doorstep a few days before I left for Texas. Turns out there really wasn't anything to be scared of. I really like the over all look of this block and it gave me the chance to try out somethings I had been wanting to do for awhile. I got my applique pattern here. The last flower on the log cabin logs isn't attached. I wasn't sure if Sandra would like it there so I am sending it back to her along with the finished block so she can decide, but I thought it was cute.

Ever since seeing this pillow my friend Cory made I knew I had to try out those birds. I wrote her and asked how she did it and then filed her response in my, if I ever get that brave bucket, and went on about my business. I love the look of Cory's black outline on her birds because it makes them look like a little sketch. I however used the same pink variegated thread I used for the applique. I'm wondering now if this was a good choice but I think it's kind of cute. So for me I'm considering it a win. Here's a close up of my bird. Not perfect, but not bad for a first try and well I kind of look that he looks like his feathers are ruffled because I've been feeling a lot of that lately so it suits me.

Finally I managed to finish the third goldfish block today. Nope, still not a fan of paper piecing. I don't think it looks horrible but it's far from being great at the same time. I hate sending something to a bee mate that I'm not totally proud of so I hope my extra block will make up for some of the imperfections. I can't believe the year is coming to an end already and that most of my bees will be wrapping up soon. I'm glad that I'll be getting some sewing time back for things other than bee blocks but it's a little bittersweet as well. To be honest I look forward to seeing those little packages each month and wondering what's next.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Two Stinkin Fish

You know those days where nothing goes according to plan? That was me today! I think I remember telling you all yesterday that it is only 6 weeks until Christmas and I have a ton of things to do. Well none of them got done today. I have been in my sewing room most of the day and once again my seam ripper has been my best friend. Remember when I told you guys I don't do paper piecing, well lets just let it stand that I still don't! This month for Bee Stitched, Mary sent along two paper pieced patterns and asked that we make of each block as she will be alternating them in the quilt. Last night I managed to make the first one and get started on the second. This morning when I got up the pieces for the second block just weren't right so I started over. All day I have spent in my sewing room (with the exception of a few interruptions) and still I have only managed to make 2 out of the 4 fish necessary for this block. I don't know what it is about this that I am finding so hard but I keep making mistakes. And not the same one over and over but I find new ways to mess it up every time I try to make the next fish. So at the end of the day all I have are two stinkin fish.

The first block turned out okay but when I look at it in detail I can still see a few mistakes. Hopefully they are all in the seam allowance or will be covered up by the quilting. I hate sending bee blocks to someone if I don't think they are great. But at the same time I have to admit that paper piecing is not easy to me and even though it's my best I'm sure someone else could do it better. What do you think, can you find the mistakes?

Finally I decided I was going to make a peace offering square. You know an extra block so a I could tell myself today hasn't been a total waste and b just in case I never get the two other fish right. I mean after all I would hate to not do my part for this bee. I am the bee mama after all. But get this just now when I was snapping a photo of that peace offering block I realized I made it 12 1/2 inches. Why, well because that tends to be the size block I make all the time for bees. Only when I went to put it with the other paper pieced block did I realize that the paper pieced blocks are only 8 1/2 inches. Oy! Hopefully she will still be able to use him. I'm calling it a him because I think of goldfish that way for some reason. Maybe on the back she will be able to find a place for him. It was my first time doing an appliqued block and I have to admit it wasn't that easy but the end result I think looks pretty good if I do say so myself. And it was good practice for the next bee block I have to make which is also an appliqued middle.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


You know when you want to title a blog post with something cute and sort of smart to grab every one's attention and get them to read what you have to say, well lets just pretend I did that here okay. After what felt like a whirlwind trip to Texas and back I have locked myself in my sewing room today, did you know it's only 6 weeks until Christmas. Yikes I better get busy if I'm going to have everything done in time. Maybe I should start with those "almost" finished gifts from last year that I haven't worked on since giving up on them making it under the tree in time. But I have so many new ideas that I want to try and get done, why can't we have 26 hours in a day instead of 24? If we stopped messing with the clocks eventually we would gain time, right?

So while I have been busy today I still don't have much to show for it. I have one project sans boarders but I can't show you that because it's a surprise. Hah Hah, I laugh because everyone who knows me knows I am horrible at keeping secrets especially ones that involve gifts of the homemade variety. I'll just put it out there that sometime between now and Christmas it is bound to end up on the blog. Enough about that though here's what I can show you. I finished up this second improv block for Nicole for November in the Circuit Bee, it's hard to believe but that bee has 11 months of bee blocks down and only one more to go (well I technically still have 2 because I have to do the ones for a month I sorta skipped). It was a little ironic that Nicole asked for improv blocks because I did the same back in August because I just had no idea how to go about putting together my husbands UNC quilt when he asked for something simple with straight lines. But here is a look at my two blocks together.

After that I moved on to the November blocks for my Spider Web Bee. I'm not sure how many more months there are in that bee because we have skipped a few times and moved them to the end of the original time frame. I love the bright blue kites with the fabrics that were sent. Most of the strips are Bliss but there are a few others thrown in there including that great polka dot. The original instructions didn't request the white around the blue so I had one almost done before I saw that request in the discussion thread. I think one of each will be fine though because there were some overachievers who finished their blocks before it came up in the discussion.

I did run out of fabric and the only Bliss I have is in the form of a charm pack so I added some scraps of Hunky Dory I had left. I'm thinking this color combo would make a great Christmas quilt. Maybe just because I'm in the holiday spirit (it is in 6 weeks) or maybe because my tree is blue and silver, or maybe just because I realized that those reds and greens look like they would make some great Christmas decorations. I already made a mental note to myself to be sure and pick up some yardage of a few of the prints for some holiday decor. Well Bertha and I have a date to get at least one more thing checked off the to do list tonight so until next time I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Manic Monday

I really love that song and it about sums up my day. Did you know November is some sort of something about blogging everyday during the month? I have no disillusions about pulling that off but it looks pretty neat and you can win some cool prizes. If you have time to blog everyday this month go check it out. I will be in Texas next week making some long overdue visits all because my aunt (Hi Aunt Fran) was smart enough to ask me on her birthday when I was coming to visit and wasn't happy when my answer was next July. So I got to talking with my mom and dad and what do you know it worked out that not only are my mom and dad going but so is my brother and sister in law. I actually don't think all 6 of us have ever been there all at the same time. Okay I could talk about how excited I am to finally get to see these people for a long time so I'll spare you the details and move on to quilt like stuff.

I am busy trying to make sure all of my bee commitments are up to date before I leave because I know when I get back I will be making that mad dash to get Christmas gifts done before the holidays. So for the past week or so I have had mini log cabins in my head. I couldn't remember why. I received fabric today from Nicole for the November blocks for the Circuit Bee. One of the photos in her inspiration mosaic showed small log cabins. She asked for improv style blocks using the Glenn Bee style. I'll admit I'm not really all that familiar so I just looked at her inspiration photos. I got busy sewing along on these 3 mini log cabin blocks. When I finished the three little log cabins and was moving fabrics around to fill in the rest I moved another package on my sewing table. Bingo! Now I remember where the mini log cabins were coming from. November in the Fussy Cut Bee. For that bee there was a theme of mini log cabins in the inspiration board. So it looks like I'll be doing more mini log cabins tomorrow. I was hoping to get the two blocks done for Nicole tonight but it's been a long crazy day and so I am heading off to bed. Hoping tomorrow will bring some new inspiration and happy sewing.