Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quilting hold

My quilting has been put on hold; it's been so long I decided to put away my machine. I can actually see most of my kitchen table!I think I will pick it up again in a month. I will have off between Christmas and New Years and I hope that entire time will not be spent purging my closets. If I don't do any quilting, I don't know what my family will get. Still unsure anyway. 
This is my current excitement. I finally got my ring:
This was made with my Grandma's earring and the wedding band will have diamonds from her wedding band.

(and I just added some pictures to my last post of my old wrinkly quilted blankets)

Friday, November 12, 2010

So much to do, so little time

(I started this 3 days ago with the intention to add pics. Maybe this weekend...)
I think the problem with that phrase is the "to do" part. So often in life we put way too much on our plates. Sometimes it's necessary, and other times, we just think it is. Work is unfortunately one of the necessary, and most time consuming, "to dos." And with all I need to be doing here (besides typing my thoughts), it can be overwhelming. It's good everything now and then to get my mind away - and clear. 

Yesterday I took a sick day. I was just tired from a long weekend. And I hadn't done any chores, so I got a bunch of that done.  I can actually see my kitchen table now. The fabric and drawings and patterns are all in a nice neat pile. That was the extent of anything quilt related I have done. (I tried on wedding dresses for 8 hours Saturday and went engagement/wedding ring shopping Sunday.) 

However, yesterday I also pulled out a bag of baby blankets of mine. They had meaning to me, and so I have kept them, stored nicely in a zippered blanket bag. When I looked at them yesterday, I am so thankful I have treated them so well. Since I have started quilting, I have learned that quilts are quite a variety of blankets, and I have come to appreciate them so much more than I would have had I never put the time and labor into my own. 

Some quilts are simple, with just one piece in front and one piece in back. (This was my favorite as a child.)

 Others contain applique that makes a cute design or picture. (I always thought of this one more as a decoration than a blanket as it was kind of stiff.)

Others have the classical piecing. (This was made for me by my great aunt as a doll blanket.)

and one more...
Red work. This quilt was given me by my great aunt, for ___ in ___. Although I haven't always had a place to hang it, this has always been a favorite.
(I don't know where this is, and I'm about to look for it now.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Le Petite Back

Not wanting to lose momentum and actually finish my quilt, I laid the pieces out for the back. It's my first back to be pieced. And some appliqué - so I can fit the whole alphabet on there. It will reversible I suppose.  (I'm going to trim the red off the individual letters)

Just a quick iphone pic:

Updated photos: (this came together quick)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Schnibbles Paganini

It was close, down to the wire. I'm not talking about the football game, although I hear that was the case. No, I am talking about completing my quilt top for the Le Petite Projects.

When I entered the group, I was working full-time and had plenty of free-time to quilt. Which often meant it would run into my free time for cleaning and exercising. But at the beginning of the month, just when I would be getting started with my first project, my life changed. I got engaged! So I have been spending much of my free time wedding planning. It's more exciting than quilting, but just as time-consuming. So I have been doing little bits of my Le Petite quilt here and there. I was determined however, to finish the quilt top in time for the parade. And with 20 minutes of October left to spare, I did it.

 Here it is:

This quilt was a learning experience. There were a lot of edges that didn't line up from my angles. But I just ignored that and lined up from the middles. So I am not sure how smooth my finished quilt is, and I didn't iron all the angles the way it instructed, but that's okay. It's done and I am happy with it. I think it will make a very cute play mat. When I get the back done, it is going to have the alphabet panel on it. Hooray, big step done, and it's fun and worth the work.

On a continuing note, I have the supplies for one other quilt that I would like to gift a supportive co-worker, but then it is just quilting for Christmas presents and creating wedding decorations. (It's so tempting to make a quilt for that.)

Draped over my dining room table/quilting room sewing table/storage room:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quick pic

I just laid out my pieces and am excited to begin piecing - this looks better than I hoped. Worth the work... let's hope they line up well. 
(It looks awfully blurry now that's bigger than my phone's screen. Oh well, it's just so I know how to put it together anyway)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I just spent over an hour pressing squares. And they are finally done. Whew!
The next step is to piece them - and then I suppose press again - and I will have a completed quilt top. At this point, that's all I want.

I bought a new ironing board this week. Now I can stand up and iron, rather than iron on my knees on the floor. I think it is good for my back, and hey- one burns more calories standing than sitting.

So you can see the print.

Monday, October 25, 2010

One Week Challenge

Jenn - October 18, 2010 - 4:53 pm
I need to buy, cut, and sew snowball corners on the 64 HST I made. I have gotten stuck on my latest quilt – I have plenty of excuses too.

This is what I said I would do last week for the challenge on Amy's Creative Side blog. Let me say this - I am sooo happy I did not commit to pressing them. I was thinking that I would be getting ready to piece them, but that didn't happen.  However I do have a nice pile of half square triangles with snowball corners; although, they look rather odd unpressed.
Part 1- buy. I ended up buying a different backing instead and using what I planned as a back to be the front. It was the best choice.
Part 2- cut. Although it is a simple thing to cut squares, I really prefer pre-cut fabric. 128 2 inch squares is a lot - and then I had to draw sew lines on them...
Part 3- I broke this up into pieces. I did some wedding planning and got to spend quality time with my finance. Wasn't really home much this weekend - church Sat and Sun morning. Strawberry Shortcake themed birthday party for a 3 year old Saturday afternoon and a bridal bizarre Sunday afternoon.

So, did I make it.... not really. I think I have about 20-30 little seams left to sew.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Challenging Challenge

I decided to join a sewing challenge. Last night I was sitting at home, watching tv, reading a book, going online (once again) thinking how much I would really be working on my quilt. However it was too late to go to the store, and when I drove past that freeway exit I wasn't thinking of sewing, just getting home in the rain safely. I did try to go to the quilt shop Friday; but I was 45 minutes too late - they close at 5! So hopefully it will not be raining after work today and get over there. This challenge is turning out to be more challenging than I expected. 
However, I have secured a venue, coordinator and photographer all this week, so I can reward myself with some quilty time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Petite progress

I now have 4 inch squares. Time to get fabric for the snowball corners.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Petite pickle

I am making my Le Petite project in Punctuation. When I got my fabric, I didn't know I needed two charm packs. So I ordered a second one along with another order. I went ahead and began the quilt, making 32 half square triangle blocks.
I got my second charm pack today so that I can make another set of matching triangles for my quilt.  Problem: the fabric doesn't match. That is to say 5 of my 16 pairs are impossible to make. I got a different pattern of the ticket fabric. I had color background with white flowers. Now I have white background with colored basket weave - nothing alike.
I guess I will just have to make it with what I have, but I think it is going to look rather odd. 
(I was going with version 1)

The current state of my living room floor:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My exciting news

I did look at fabric yesterday. And realized that the "petite" project requires two of the same charm packs. That's not the deal I was hoping for. Oh well (that's where the b-day money went). I know I want to make 2 quilts (to gift) that are pre-coordinated and then I will do scrappy for the others. 

But I am not sure how long I will be able to keep up. Perhaps longer than I expect if I find quilting is a nice relief from wedding planning! I got engaged Sunday (happy birthday to me that day!) and we called my parents last night. So now that the family knows, I am even more excited. My mom (parents) are gifting me half of my grandma's diamonds, so now I also look forward to ring shopping! 

Here is a pic of us after he proposed. I don't like how I look, but think it's a great picture of Jerry. He looks so happy!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Completed pillow

I love the way my pillow turned out. It was fun to quilt it crazy and all over.

Close up of the quilting.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Christmas blocks

I have two blocks (of 4) completed, and I love them. I wish I was making something bigger than a 24 inch pillow (or two).

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I have mentioned I love charm packs? Yesterday I began made progress on a Christmas pillow. I am using the Charm Pack Quilt Along pattern/square that I spotted partly into, and way before I knew what a quilt along is. [I know, it should be obvious.] I have been planning this idea out for months, partly eager to get started, and partly wondering if it would be too difficult.

First- What I have learned: When you plan a quilt, know what you have to work with. SPECIFICALLY. Just knowing the colors you have is not good enough. You need [why am I saying you?] I need to know how many of each color I have.

Second - I made a lot of progress yesterday. I had already put the squares together [why are the solid Snow squares larger than the Fruitcake squares?] and drawn my guide lines. So yesterday I pieced, cut and pressed. I then paired up the rectangles. I would have sewn them too, but I wanted to prep for sleep.
It's great that all I have to do is piece my pieces. I feel like I'm almost done. That was the easy part. trying to turn it into a wreath was not. I expect my second [for me] and third [for mom] pillows to go the same way - rocky start, easy finish.

I don't have any related pictures to share, but here's a shot of a pillow I made for my friend a while back. I babysat her almost 3-yr old daughter Monday. It was so odd to walk in and see this - I forgot about it. What I loved the most was that it was obviously washed. It looked softer (but not washed out like it does in the pic).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grocery bag

I took this quick and easy tutorial for The Dandy Bag from Dandelion Quilts and made a bag this evening. I left out the fleecing, mostly because I didn't have any, but also because I wanted to finish it tonight. I am giving it away with some groceries and it's more for utility. =) I used fabric from my suitcase of fabric and a little leftover I had too. It turned out much cuter than I thought when I first picked out the fabric. The inside is the same green as the accent piece.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I began a skirt before I left on vacation. I didn't buy enough fabric for the circle skirt. I thought I only needed 1 yard. I was wrong. However, it seemed like enough fabric to make a skirt with, so I improvised. (I can't remember what line this fabric is.)

Tonight I thought I would try to finish it. All in all, it's wearable, but not great. I didn't taper the fabric in the skirt, and so where it's gathered, which hits right at my hips, is wider than me. Thankfully my matching tank is long and helps hold it down a little. 

I am also thankful for the tank, because while I thought I did taper the top piece, apparently it wasn't enough. I could use some darts. So it's a little bulky, but the gap between my skirt and my skin is hidden by my top.

I still need to finish hemming it; currently there is just basting at the bottom. It was quite long - past my knees. And I have long legs. The length did not help with the poofy hip problem. So my hem is 5.25 inches at the moment. Some trimming is definitely in order.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From the heart

[heads up: this post is not about quilting. I would normally write this on a different blog I keep on things of my heart.]
I have done no sewing. My priorities these last couple weeks have been different. I have been spending a lot of time in worship, in heart to heart conversation, and visiting with people. I threw a last minute birthday party for Jerry Sunday. (which meant Saturday was spent catching up on chores, post-vacation) I haven't really gotten any routine back (like I really had one), but I desire my life to be more centered around people. So I don't want any routine I had. I do want to be productive, and I do want to take care of myself, but first I want to pursue time loving the people I love. So my focus is less about doing dishes and going to the gym, but preparing my heart. I know that when I am filled with God and his love, that is what will pour out of me. But I can't give what I don't have. So I am continually seeking more of God in my life.
Here is a praise and example of how we are desiring to have ministry be part of our daily life. Before we had company Sunday, we prayed for God's presence to come and be felt by the family that was going to arrive. The evening went well, and I know at least one sister felt God here. She simply said, "I like it here." And she said that she would like to come back. Praise God, we have been reaching out to her, providing encouragement, and reminding her that our Father is full of unconditional and perfect love and gives good gifts to His children. I hope that she and her children are able to return this Sunday, because as her 3-year daughter excitedly told Jerry when they were leaving, "Jenn said we get to come back."

Jerry and I on vacation:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

40 lbs of fabric

I don't really have 40 lbs of fabric...but close to it. The suitcase was about 45 lbs at the airport, minus the weight of the suitcase, a pair of running shoes, and the 7 lb box of 9mm rounds of ammo (not mine btw- I was helping out someone at the airport. They say over the speakers that it's okay to do that right?) the fabric is probably somewhere closer to 30-35 lbs. 

I came home from Northern California with a bunch of fabric from my mom and aunt. Mostly mom's. 
(I only kept about one-third of my aunt's fabric. It was very dated; not in a cute old fashion way, but an ugly 1970's retro way.) 
I got a good bit of solids, lots of flannel, a few memories... I have lots to experiment with. I plan to participate in Le Petite Projects so this will be some great fabric to try new things with.
I also took a completed quilt from my mom. It's only about 24 inches square and has fall leaves on it. My great aunt made it for her, and embroidered a leaf on the back with names and date. A nice addition to my little collection of fall decor, and allows me the will power to pass up the tempting sale on fall fabric I saw this morning. 

The reason I ended up with all this fabric...people get old. And sadly that means changing living situations to accommodate their needs. It's good in some respects (closets get cleaned out), but I know this is going to be an added burden on my mom as she moves her dad into a rented house with her and my dad. I'm glad to hear she has plans to take care of herself in some ways too, and hope she follows through. My mom is one of the nicest people you would meet, and has a big heart for caring for others.

I had a fun weekend away at the other end of the state. Enjoyed time with family, old friends, enjoyed the blue sky and sunshine. It was a beautiful day on the lake Monday; we had a wonder time of extended worship at church Sunday night. I didn't want it to end - just wanted to move my bed up north. It is our (my bf Jerry's and myself) prayer to be able to move up to Redding and be part of the church next September.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Should I wash my quilt before I give it to my friend? It's pretty stiff (it does have a lot of starch). I don't know how she will use it... decoration or tummy time mat. =)

quick iphone pic

I said "take a picture of just the bag" - this is what I got.  It's a matching zippered "diaper bag." And no lining, just followed the pattern as terribly as I could. =)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weekend plans

This weekend we are traveling north to visit my parents. I am looking forward to a fun time, visiting my friend Allison from college who will receive the Modern Baby quilt I made, and going out on Shasta Lake. (I'll wave hello when I drive by Tracey.) We fly up Friday night and back Tuesday and will be spending Sunday and Monday in Redding.

While we are still at my parents' house, my mom is planning on a BBQ with some of our family from San Francisco. (they haven't met my bf yet, so ...) My aunt is coming over with a, let's call it, mystery stack of fabric. Her mom had/has a closet full of (what she called nice) fabric that my aunt is trying to get rid of. So when she heard I was quilting, she offered to bring me some. I am taking her up on the offer, and when asked what I want, I said girly fabric so I can make my (not quite) nieces little purses for Christmas. I also said I like bright colors. So I don't know what I am going to get, and am excited and nervous about it.

As for my works in progress, I made some continuous bias binding as Tracey's tutorial explained. I apparently don't cut well with scissors (at least in a loop; I can cut wrapping paper just fine!). I have what I need (I hope) but it is a good thing the edges are getting tucked under - they're ugly. The length is going to be close; I just used what I had left in my solid purple. I was surprised at how much I did get out of that little piece of fabric though. I am expecting to get my quilted quilt back in the mail tomorrow or Friday. I am really hoping it arrives tomorrow so that I have time to get the binding on at home.

on a completely unrelated note, it's time for a hair cut again. I've been enjoying it when it's freshly cut (sounds like produce), but it is still long enough in the front that it's not long after my haircut until I can pull it up. And with thick hair and summer days, blow drying isn't fun - so it is up most of the time. But I have a hair appointment tonight and haven't told anyone - so I am sharing here. Tonight I am looking forward to surprising the bf. He loves it when I come back from the salon because I can never get it as nice as my stylist. (I think it's mostly a matter of time and effort) So he is working at the Sbucks nearest my apartment tonight and I am going to stop by on my way home. I look forward to his reaction. (oh, while I'm talking about him I want to brag on him too. He cleaned my refrigerator yesterday and did an amazing job. I'm so impressed and excited about it.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I am so excited. I got to see pictures of the quilting on my Modern Baby Quilt that I finished here. Natalia from PieceNQuilt designed the pattern, and so I had to have her quilt it too. From the pictures it looks like she did a wonderful job, and I can't wait to see it (and feel it) in person and then share it with my friend this weekend. I better get the binding made and ready to go on! (See her site for pictures)

Speaking of quilting, I got my little blanky quilted this weekend too. It's not perfect, but turned out better than my first blanket (which I would link to if the page would appear). 1- straight lines, not so straight (from following "ditch") 2- only a couple pinches, at end of quilted area, so not much I could at that point. 3- I really want to take my extra fabric at the ends and roll them over instead of binding. I tried it on one side with a basting zig zag. It looks cute on the front, but I don't trust my quilting stitches to stay in the back; and it will look kinda funny. But with no certain recipient, this is going to be put aside for the week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Today's Projects

Last night I finished piecing the blankie I was making, although I'm not sure who it is going to now. Maybe I will make it a Christmas gift. Anyway, here's the top.

All I have to do is quilt and bind it; which at it's size doesn't seem so intimidating. I need to go to the store for some matching thread. Not sure if I want natural or brown. The back is mostly natural with brown strips down the sides. I plan to walk up there this morning, stopping for coffee along the way. Ah Saturday!
(here's another shot - I don't know why I like the fabric with words so much.)

In addition to quilting this blankie, I plan today to ride my bike and get started on another project. (I'm so happy I don't have a pile of dishes today. My bf got my kitchen cleaned up yesterday. He's so great.) I thought for the other baby blanket I made that I would make some other matching items. After looking into patterns for baby dresses and slings, I have decided that neither are going to happen. It seems I would need to measure mom (who is still pregnant, shaped nothing like me...and at the other end of the state) and baby. So.... what I don't need sizes for: a bag. Every mom could use a bag to carry stuff in. I'm not sure what it will look like yet... I have no pattern, and think I will just make it up as I go. Here's the fabric, including a couple scraps. Some of this I should use for binding too...

So I am going to be busy having fun today. Off to the shower for me - I'm ready for today.

I ended up buying a pattern for a bag. Better safe than sorry...and a skirt pattern too. I have been thinking some fabrics I have seen would make a cute skirt. So now I have a pattern for when I allow myself to buy more fabric. Also got a place for my thread. Was "just going to look" but it was 50% off.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boy Blanky

I think charm packs are my current favorite fabric choice.

They're pre-cut into small enough squares to be cute and make a blanket look quilt-like, but not so small as to drive one crazy with the number of pieces.

(The thought of 2 inch squares over a 24 inch pillow still makes me think ugh)

I now have 7 strips of 6 blocks that only took a short amount of time to piece. They are in Pure by Moda.

(Isn't it fun to have a little banner of squares after strip piecing?)

I also have enough fabric in my stash (which is rather small, but at least existent) that I will be able to make a back for this little blanket. If I had more coordinating fabric, I would probably do something like this blanket I saw at the Moda Bake Shop.

(I am so happy I am able to make this without buying any new fabric)

It will be for a baby - and being as I am only using the charm pack for the front, it will be the kind he can drag around rather than cuddle up in. So it's okay that it's small. It will be, as my little brother used to call his, a "blanky."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

baby quilt is pieced

Hooray, I put together my quilt top. I don't know what is going on with the picture... there is way more contrast than in real life.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

sew busy

I went to a local quilt store.
(Rosie's Calico Cupboard)

They have lots of fabric. However, they didn't have the Moda Bella Solids I was looking for... but they have a huge selection of Robert Kauffman solids. So I found one that works for my stems and leaves.
...They also had some yardage of the Eden line I am making my baby quilt with....
I got some.
I am going to make the mommy and baby some matching items. I think this dress for the baby and a sling for the mom.)

...And I also found some yardage of the Freebird collection from which I have attempted to make pillows for myself. I got it and made a simple non-quilted cover. I have been using the pillow without a cover and yesterday it got little hairs all over it from a post-haircut nap.

oh.. I am about halfway done with the applique... I suppose. It's turning out really cute. I especially like the natural thread I used against the green. And since I shouldn't post without a picture, here's a shot I took with my phone when I laid it out and before I started to applique.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baby Quilt

I am so happy I finally have something to write about. I have made some serious progress on my baby quilt. I plan to stop by a quilting store on the way home today to get some green fabric to make stems and leaves... and then I get starch and press more (my iron smells like starch when it gets hot now) so I can applique my heart away. I think I am going to be pretty good at it by the time I am done.

I do have an issue - my pieces do not match up. The block with the flower could be shorter and wider. I could shrink the squares block, but then they won't be all squares. As a math person sending this quilt to another math person, I'm not so excited about that idea. So, I think I will take the green and make a flower in between and then put grass at the bottom/top to make up for the length. I think it will look intentional and even more my own (since I've doodled flowers and leaves since I was a kid).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fabric Delivery

I got some fabric in the mail today to make a baby quilt for my friend Allison from college. I like the fabric even more in person. I think it is going to be beautiful. I'm going to use this "Modern Baby Quilt" pattern I saw at Piece N Quilt. No crazy angles, but plenty of detail. I still need to get some green fabric; they didn't have any where I ordered.

Oh, and here's some Christmas fabric I got a while ago to make pillows. I am still trying to complete the non-Christmas pillows for myself first. And in the corner is some fabric for the Cherish Nature pillows I am "working on."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I've been on the edge of this quilting blog world, but I'm taking another step in today. I am entering a giveaway for a fat quarter bundle for some really cute fabric. It would be great to win since I need some girly fabric for a baby quilt, and don't want to spend a lot of money. I have already got sucked in enough.
(Thanks Tracey for your entry and blog on it)

Link to giveaway

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pillow Case #1

I was having so much fun making pillows that on my last fabric order I couldn't pass up some fabric for an idea I had. This is just one of at least half a dozen similar pillow cases I am going to make and put for sell.
(Took a break from my pillow to do an easy one)
It's a 16 inch square with the Cherish Nature fabric line. The blue color has actually much more green in it (its a dark teal) than it photographed.
I need to wash it because quilting straight (and evenly spaced) lines is much more difficult than I expected and I had to draw lines on it. This will be the first project I'll wash.
I also quilted around the frame of the patterned piece and free-stitched around the egg, bee's wings, and butterfly. Also along the stem of the leaf and feather.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Plan 358

I didn't think I was going to have anything to blog about today. It was a long weekend, filled with couple time, and I didn't touch any quilting supplies. Then today I woke up dizzy, congested, and fought a migraine most of the day; so no work, and lots of relaxing. It wasn't until this evening I was able to even think of patterns.
I thought I had designed a fun pattern with birds, but didn't like it enough to experiment. I had looked at other designs, but then decided those were too busy; I needed to mix up my fabric choices. So after drawing out and coloring in 3 patterns, and figuring out the measurements, I settled on my pattern. It is much more simple than what I began with - too many seams - this is supposed to be a comfy lounge pillow.
So I cut a stack of squares from my jelly strips.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Spontaneous project

I have been a busy bee today. My apartment hasn't looked this good in a long time. I suppose I could be packing for my flight tomorrow, but I will get to that later. =) Now I am working on a computer bag for my work laptop. I am taking my laptop on my trip, and the bag I have is huge. I need a little bag for carrying the computer around campus. This one is going to be a perfect fit. I intend to take it tomorrow, so I better get back at it soon. The quilting I am doing is time consuming - ovals. I have 3 of 12 rows done. But I want to see how it is going to come together, so I did some pinning. I am so excited - it will be perfect!