Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer BOM #7

Holy cow am I late with this one!  This is the seventh block from Fat Quarter Shop's Mystery Designer of the Month BOM.  It's December 29...although I did finish the block on the 26th, that's still a lot later than my usual 15th or 16 of the month.  

This block is by Sandy Gervais (of Pieces From My Heart), and is called "Moonlight Serenade".  I absolutely love that she only chose three prints from the line.  This block is simple and very elegant looking to me.

This was the first block that when I finished, was actually the 12 1/2" size that it was supposed to be, with reasonably straight edges.  Only seven months, but I'm improving for sure!

I am working on a Holiday in London Duffle Bag now for my daughter.  I can't WAIT to show you pictures of that when it's finished.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nite Owl Quilting Christmas Tree Skirt - It's a Christmas Miracle!

It's a Christmas miracle!! I finished the tree skirt BEFORE Christmas!  I bought this pattern months and months ago, when my aunt gave me an older fat quarter set of Chloe's Christmas from Red Rooster Fabrics.  The pattern is the Hexagon Tree Skirt by Nite Owl Quilting.

The pattern uses 6 fat quarters and a lot of solid (back, sashing and binding).  I spent a lot of time making sure that the green, red and whites alternated and I liked the way the fabrics laid next to each other.  Here is my finished skirt!

My sashing came out well, and the binding looks nice and smooth on the straight sides...

But, my OH MY, my center binding is just a mess.  The back actually looks much smoother and flatter than the front.  I tried, I swear I tried to make it neat, but this is what I came out with...not impressive at all.  If you have a tutorial for round edge (concave) binding...I would LOVE to see it!

My corner seams looked very nice, and aligned, until the last one...then, well, they sort of not so aligned.  This shape was much more difficult than it looked!

This is the back, where the quilting shows better.  Nice and simple.  This I managed to do ok.  It was a lot of binding though, for what felt like not a very big tree skirt.

My final thought, now that the skirt is at the base of our tree...The hole is only large enough for the actual tree trunk.  Not anything close to the monster of a tree stand that we have the tree in.  The pattern suggested that you either put ties on the back seam, or hooks and eyes.  I made put on ties, because the hooks and eyes would just make the whole thing too tight.

Overall, I love the way my skirt came out.  And let's be honest...I'm giving myself crazy bonus points for finishing BEFORE Christmas.  I do think the pattern is for at the least and intermediate quilter.  The sewing was easy...the shaped sashing and binding...not so much.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Upcycled Sweater Baby Blanket

A friend of mine at work is having a baby.  Yes, it's the same one I made the Seven Seas quilt for.  But every baby needs a stroller blanket right??

I made this from repurposed sweaters, both wool and cashmere.  I added some vintage trims for texture.  And this time, I added some basic quilting, stitch-in-the-ditch style, so that it would hold it's shape when it got washed.

What's your favorite baby gift to make?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Mystery BOM #6 - 1st Half Recap

It arrived on Thursday.  The Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM, block number 6.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  There is something about these blocks that makes me HAVE to cut it out and sew it up within a few days.  I actually finished the block yesterday but didn't have time to take my bad photo and post it.

This block is called "Town Square" and is designed by Kate Spain.  It's the third block where you have to cut one of the fabrics two different ways to make the block come out correctly.  I'm seeing blocks quite differently now that I know about this.

Because this is block 6 of 12, I thought I would put them together so far to get an idea of what the variety of blocks looks like.  

I think my favorite so far is block three.  Which one is your favorite?

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Place to Find my Patterns!

I have some great news to share!  My patterns are now available for download at!

Jane Dandy - a quilt made from repurposed sheets

And Jim Dandy - my favorite re-purposed project ever...a quilt made from pre-loved denim jeans.

I'm thrilled that there are so many places you can find my first two patterns.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you make with them!

Friday, November 9, 2012

New! Cloth Napkins made from Vintage Christmas Tablecloths

The last set of Christmas cloth napkins I had in my Etsy shop sold last week.  I happened to have two other vintage tablecloths that had seen better days, so I made some more napkins!  Both sets are available in my Etsy Shop.

The poinsettia ones are large, 15" square, and there are four of them.

The candle, garland ones are 12" and there are SIX of those!

Making these is like therapy for me.  I get to make something new out of something that might otherwise never see the light of day again.  It was a great way to start thinking about the holidays!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Finished Apple Cobbler Baby Quilt

Just thought I would share pics of the quilted and bound Apple Cobbler baby quilt.  It was sent off to PA on Monday to meet baby Hensley.

I did simple straight line machine quilting on my machine, and I'm really pleased with the finished look.  Again, I used organic fabric, which was a bit stiff, but washed up to make a nice wrinkled look.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Indygo Junction Girly Gored Skirt #2

Just wanted to quickly share the my second version of Indygo Junction's Girly Gored Skirt.

I made this one entirely from Jennifer Paganelli Queen Street fabrics.  (Which by the way...are TO DIE FOR).

This one came together even faster.  Now I have two friends whose girls are in school together who get to twirl the day away.  Can't say enough good stuff about this pattern.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My first two quilt patterns - where to find them!

I have been working on these two patterns and the samples for almost a year.  I'm sure it's not supposed to take that long, but I am so very happy to finally have them to show you!

The first pattern is made using vintage or re-purposed sheets.  It's named Jane Dandy, and comes with directions for two sizes, baby and twin.  It also comes with fabric requirements in case you want to make it with new fabric.

The second pattern is very close to my heart.  It's made from old jeans, and I am just so thrilled with the way it came out.  I used at least 15 pairs of jeans, so that I could incorporate lots of different colors, and lots of friends contributed their old jeans to the cause!  The directions are for having a quilt that comes out just like the cover, but you can, of course, use the directions as a guide and make your own, one of a kind quilt.

You must be thinking to yourself, "Where can I get these great patterns?"  There are currently two places

If I get a good response, or requests for it, I will have them printed.  Right now they are in the form of PDF downloads.  While I love PDFs, and have purchased many patterns that way, I know some people still prefer printed patterns.

I am so happy to share this exciting news with you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Apple Cobbler Pattern Review - another baby quilt

I'm getting them done as fast as I can...these babies...they just keep coming.  And coming EARLY.

This is Apple Cobbler, by Carlene Westberg Designs.  I got the pattern as a PDF download, from Fat Quarter Shop.  The fabric I used was a fat quarter bundle of Safari Sweet by Alysssa Thomas (Penquin & Fish).  This is from Clothworks' Organic Elements line.  

One side note...I do find the organic fabrics a bit stiffer to sew with, but they wash just beautifully and come out very soft.  Funny, it seems if I wash it first, then sew on it, it's still pretty stiff...but the end result is always soft, and I'm pleased with it.

The pattern was super simple.  You cut three size rectangles from fat quarters.  My only beef was that it said "works well with large and small scale prints".  I didn't really think about the fact that I had stripes, and that they may need to get cut in two different directions out of the fat quarter.  It would have been nice if that was noted, but that having been said, I think the mix and match of the stripe directions actually looks really cute.

I also quilted and bound my second Square Dance quilt.  I used a cotton from the same line, and an orange houndstooth (Denyse Schmidt) for the binding.  I am over the moon with the results.  This may become my go-to baby quilt pattern.

I love the brightness of the blue for the back, and blue and orange are one of my favorite color combinations.

Look at all those critters!  Dragonflies, ladybugs, turtles, salamanders...just perfect for little eyes to focus on.

Next up is a big reveal for me...I have been working on these two projects for over a year.  It will be a big exciting day for me, and I can't wait to share it with you all.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer BOM #5 - Quilting Crack

I have decided that these Mystery Designer BOM's from Fat Quarter Shop are worse than any sweets that I might be drawn to.  And I LIKE sweets.  When these arrive in my mailbox, I literally think about them obsessively until I finish them.  This month was no exception.

It arrived on Saturday, late afternoon, and I finished it first thing this morning.

What I like the most about this block, is that while I was making it, I didn't even SEE the lighter shaded square in the center.  I was so focused on the flying geese that I didn't notice the subtler "internal" shapes.  It really shows up nicely in the picture.

I'm going to have to ask Santa for the finishing kit and the backing.  I should have finished block 8 by then!

I am working on two other projects now that both got pushed aside for this block.  I'm finishing up the quilting and binding on the second Square Dance quilt, and I'm piecing the top for ANOTHER baby quilt.  An additional challenge is that BOTH babies arrived early, and are now here on Earth, live and in person, and neither of their quilts are finished yet!  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Indygo Junction Girly Gored Skirt - Review

Right out of the box, I'm going to say I LOVED this pattern.  The directions were fairly basic, but that's all they needed to be.  The whole thing, start to finish, took me around an hour.

The number of panels you cut is determined by the size skirt you're making.  There are three length and gore size variations.  I made this skirt for the big sister of the baby I made the Seven Seas Quilt for.  When the new baby comes, I wanted her to have something new, too.

The skirt is very simple.  I made the smallest size, which called for 9 panels, so I chose three fabrics so there would be an even number of each one.  I also turned up the bottom and hemmed it...the pattern showed a simple serged bottom, but my cutting wasn't neat enough for that.

This will make a fantastic twirly skirt.  My daughter's already picking out fabric for hers.

Overall I would give the pattern and "A".  Simple directions, lots of sizes to choose from, options on how to finish it, and a spectacular finished product!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Flannel Meadow Friends Square Dance Baby Quilt

I've never made the same quilt pattern twice.  But I was so very happy with the Seven Seas Square Dance quilt that I decided to make another one.  The whole process was much quicker this time, and I think my total sewing time for the whole top was maybe 2 1/2 hours.

I used flannel Meadow Friends by Deb Strain.  When I bought this I really felt like it was gender neutral.  I decided to leave the pinks out, because the baby this is for is arriving in November, and I thought it would look fall-ish.  Now I'm it to masculine?  I love the orange and white.  What do you think??

There are all of these adorable frogs and dragonflies, that you can only see up close.  There were some prints in the cotton line that I didn't get in my flannel bundle, but I'm using one of the cottons with a lot of the creatures for the backing.

I have to say that it is SO encouraging to be able to put together a quilt top so quickly now.  Our side fence is my favorite picture location for quilts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012 - More Fun Than People Should be Allowed to Have

So if you follow my blog, you know that I started running last December. I've been slowly progressing, and have run a number of 5ks. I try to sign up for races that will motivate me and be fun, not just grueling. I don't know who suggested it originally, but I signed up for the Warrior Dash early this summer.

For those of you who may not know, the Warrior Dash is a 5k, with an obstacle course built into the middle of it. It is known for mud, and racers getting completely covered and filthy. It is a huge national race that is held in many cities, all over the country, with the proceeds benefitting the St. Jude foundation. Good cause to get dirty for, right??

The race was this Saturday, and my cousin Amy drove from New York to join us. Here we are at the beginning of the race...clean. (I'm on the far right).

The waves of runners started every 1/2 hour. The race started out easy enough...3/4 mile of normal running...but then...the first obstacle.

It was a sea of old tires on the ground, leading up to a row of junked cars. You had to maneuver through the tires, and up over the cars. Tricky, but fun.

Then came the climbing. The walls were high...some as high as 20 feet. With just a rope, a few foot holds and your friends cheering behind you. We army crawled under barbed wire. We clambered up sand hills, and through mucky, smelly water in the woods. We jumped over rows of fire. And then...came the mud.

The last obstacle was a 15 yard crawl through soupy, thick mud. But there was that darn barbed wire again above you, so you had to get on your hands and knees, and wade through it.

Here we are at the end. Not looking quite the same are we??

It really was a lot of fun. Fantastic ego boost. Wonderful way to support and encourage friends to push through things they think they can't do. I loved it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer BOM #4 - LOVE

I don't know what it is about these...but I cannot WAIT to put them together when they arrive in the mail. I got mine on Thursday, so this is probably the longest I've taken to finish my block.

This month's Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer BOM is designed by the wonderfully talented Aneela Hoey.

This is my favorite block so far. I know it's a little thing, but I love that the red pattern is cut both ways so that it's always facing the same way when the block is finished.

Besides doing this block this weekend, I ran in the Warrior Dash. I can't wait to share about that next!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pony Saddle Pad For My Little Equestrian

Ever since my daughter started taking riding lessons a year ago, I've been wanting to make her a pony saddle pad. I clarify "pony" because she is so little (maybe 45 lbs soaking wet) that she rides ponies only so far. But lots of the girls at the barn bring their own saddle pads with them, and I thought "I can MAKE that". Of course, I've been hoarding Heather Ross' West Hill fabric for just such an occasion.

I will admit, I did use a pattern. The pattern overall, I was NOT happy with, so I will be making my own pattern for the next version. The shape is too boxy and the directions were awful. And once my daughter sees this, I'm sure I'll be making MANY more. For the back I used Sis Boom (Jennifer Paganelli) Poodle.

It's a simple shape, with simple quilting. The most challenging part is using webbed binding. It's a tiny bit slippery, and I was using vintage stuff I had on hand. You really need to use webbed because of the crazy wear and tear it takes. Overall, though, really, it looks fantastic I think.

Here she is last winter winning her first ever blue ribbon. Now wouldn't this picture be cuter with her Heather Ross Saddle Pad?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Amazing Square Dance Baby Quilt using Seven Seas Fabric

This is my favorite quilt to date. Seriously. I made it for a friend who is having a baby, and was SO happy to have an excuse to buy and use Seven Seas fabric designed by Michele Brummer Everett for Cloud 9 Fabrics. The whimsy is just perfect and the characters just make me smile. I bought the fabric at Hawthorne Threads online.

I did the back with one continuous piece because I didn't get to use this fabric in the front. The pattern I got at Fat Quarter Shop and is called Square Dance by Bits 'n Pieces. It uses 8 fat quarters and it's a great, quick pattern and is the perfect size for a baby quilt.

Look how cute these guys are peeking out of the binding!!

My favorite print in the line is Laddies and Poppets. The use of white with all of the primary colors is just perfect.

I quilted this myself, which I am very proud of. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it came out. It took me 10-12 hours total to make. What do you think?

Monday, September 3, 2012

1, 2, 3 Quilt Pattern Test - Fun Two-Sided Game Mat

I realize it's been a long time since I last posted. I've been working on not one but TWO super double top secret projects. But I have been told that I can give a sneaky little peek at one of them.

I am a huge Twitter lover, and saw a call for pattern testers by author Ellen Baker, (of 1, 2, 3 Sew fame). She is working on a new book and needed testers, so up flew my hand, wating around like that annoying kid in the front row of grammar school.

The pattern I got to test is an adorable reversible (better said, two-sided) game mat. The pattern was pretty straightforward, but it definitely would give a newer sewer or quilter a chance to work on a number of basic skills in a less stressful, smaller format.

The directions were nice and clear, and the finished product is just adorable. I am glad I didn't have to send it in because my kids will for sure be using it. I used some hoarded Castle Peeps by Lizzy House. It has just the perfect amount of whimsy and the blue colorway is perfect to use for younger boys.

I'm sure the book will be full of wonderful projects if this one is any indication.

I've had a super busy summer, and a glorious Labor Day weekend. I hope you did too!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer BOM #3

This is the third block for the Fat Quarter Shop's Mystery Designer Block of the Month club. I get so excited when these blocks come. There is such immediate gratification when I get one completed. This one took me about an hour and 15 minutes total, cutting, sewing and trimming.

The block is called Weather Vane by Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me and My Sister Designs. Another great HST skill builder.

Clearly my cutting was a little sloppy on this block, my lines were only so-so.

I realize my blog has been quiet...we had friends here from Colorado (the ones we visited in March) and spent time with them for a few days. It was supposed to rain so we planned a day at Mystic Seaport and then Mystic Aquarium so that we could be mostly indoors. It ended up being a really ok day weather-wise.

Their son is the same age as our daughter...and clearly...they get along really well.

I'm working on some baby quilts that I am MADLY in love with. The thing is, I have to give them to the moms-to-be first, then I can post pictures. Don't want to give away any of the goodness!