Monday, December 7, 2009

Quiting Progress

The Christmas rush is here. I have been busy making sure all my promised quilts get done. My quilting schedule has been very limited this year due to my kids being in more activities. These are my most recent finishes. I also finished a beautiful redwork quilt, but I haven't taken any pictures of it yet. It is all trimmed and folded so nothing can happen to it.

The first quilt is a queen size yellow brick road pattern. I love how the feathers make it look more intricate.

The second quilt is a small quilt with applique mittens. I think it turned out very well. I just love the border fabric. It makes me wish I had bought some myself. Then I have to remember that it would just lay on the shelves with the rest of my fabric.

The third quilt is a free pattern from the internet (one of the fabric companies). It was well put together and nice and straight. I love that kind!! I did freehand water on it. I think it makes it look more like a rainforest. I hope the customer is pleased. It was tought to pick a thread color on this one. I went with a variegated thread by YLI. This is the one thread that I have problems running on my machine. This time it behaved well and I only had a few pesky knots to contend with.

Last but not least is a beautiful art quilt that is over 90" long. The customer brought metallic thread for me to use. This is my first attempt with this type of thread. So far it is behaving well. I stabilized the entire quilt first by stitching in the ditch all the sections. So far I have 4 of the rays quilted with the metallic thread. My instructions were to have fun with it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Last night while in a shopping frenzy, I couldn't find the crucial ingredient to my cranberry sauce recipe. After much searching (what did I do before the internet), I discovered that the company is out of business. How could that be? I thought the nice grocery store stocking man was mistaken. I scoured the internet for the recipe. I found a recipe, so I am going to give it a try. This recipe is untested without the Indian Trail sauce, but I am confident it will taste the same. I am often asked for this recipe, so I am passing it along:
Cranberry Salad
Orange Cranberry Relish: Grind with with food grinder (food processor would work also)
1 pound fresh cranberries (or one bag)
2 oranges quartered with seeds removed (with peel)
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
Let drain; refrigerate or freeze (this makes enough for 4 batches)
In large bowl Dissolve 1 large box Cherry Jello (Raspberry or Strawberry will work also) with 2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup Orange Cranberry Relish (formerly my friend Indian Trail)
2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
1 can mandarin oranges
1 to 2 cubed apples
1 cup seedless grapes halved
1 can crushed pineapple drained (20 oz)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Pour into trifle bowl to look extra pretty or a 9X13 container and let set overnight. My kids like to have this year round. I am not a cranberry lover, but I love this recipe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Selvage Obsession

I think I am starting to have a selvage obsession. I was at a friends yesterday and I started digging in her trash to pull out selvages. I am always looking for new ways to organize mine. What is your best method? I have mine sorted by color and strung like fish on a thread. Is this nuts or what?? I found out yesterday that I didn't have any pink selvages. I actually thought really hard about running to my stash and cutting some. Thank goodness I came to my senses before that happened! I can't post pictures of my most recent creations yet, because they are Christmas gifts. Have you started saving selvages yet?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Humble Studio

Subee asked me some time ago to post pictures of my studio. I felt even more compelled to do so after she revealed all the bolts of fabric she had in her possession. I hope you enjoy the tour. I did clean up before the pictures, but It still has that lived in look. This is the view as you enter my studio. The room is approx. 16' x 28'. I love having the glass doors to let in additional light from the main part of the basement. This is the view to the right of the doors as you are looking in. You can see that my large design wall is full and inviting me to finish a few things. The pink and red pattern is a mystery pattern that Bonnie Hunter hosted. I kept up with the mystery (2 or so years ago), but the quilt has been in rows ever since. The larger portion of my studio houses a second design wall a cutting mat, my Accucut, and the every important "resource center". It is a walkout basement, so I do get natural light. The last picture is what I have stored under my Gammill. All the drawers are labeled and sorted with various projects and lots of "scraps"

This is about as clean as it gets. I can never seem to manage to get all the piles organized at once. If you have any questions or design suggestions please let me know. The flooring is a remnant of carpet from another room. I am still undecided after 5 years on what I want for my flooring.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Great Givaway

Click on over and check out the great giveaway at Canton Village Quiltworks. I haven't won anything on a giveaway yet, so this would be a great time to start. She has some great quilt market photos to view while you are there.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scraps, Scraps, Scraps

While talking with Subee, she mentioned that she has all her bolts of fabric from before scrap quilting. I began to think about whether I would ever emerge from scrap quilts. It all started when I found Bonnie many years ago. I don't know if I can go back!! At first it was a goal to use up all the fabric that I had organized in my scrap bins. Well folks, I have been sewing with only scraps now for about 5 years. I don't see my scraps depleting any and I am OK with that. When I look at planned quilts, they generally don't appeal to me. I may emerge from this at some point, but I don't think it will be any time soon.

I have been pondering something Bonnie said about keeping the scrap bin "fresh". I was failing miserably at this one. There were some real "ugly" fabrics in there that I never seem to grab when making a quilt. These were mostly from my pre-quilting days and before I discovered the wonderful feel of quilt shop fabric. I decided it was time to purge. My children already took care of purging my 1 1/2" bin, so I moved on to the 2" bin.
This is what my 2" strip bin looked like before I started. It was organized, but it was full. It was full of fabrics that were given to me a very long time ago. There were also a lot of fabrics from my rescue mission that I blogged about some time back.

This is the bin after I went through and pulled out all the "what was I thinking fabrics" and "gee where did this come from" and the"wow I don't think I can cut this small enough to be pretty" It is hard to see a reduction even after I pulled out the "not so pretties". Does it look any emptier?

Next I went to my tub of fabrics that I had pulled from my stash.
These were leftover fabrics from previous charity quilts, fabric purchases from before I really knew what I was doing, and perhaps some clearance items that didn't work out so well. I know everyone has these whether they want to admit it or not!

I took this yardage to the cutter and cut it all into 2" strips. Have I mentioned how much I love my Studio cutter!! There was at least 10 yards in this pile. It is amazing how things add up. I decide to make a toothbrush rug with my 2" strips to replace the rug in my kitchen that is starting to show some serious wear. I don't know how far these 20 yards of fabric will take me, but they weren't doing me any good cluttering up my scrap bin. I like to have something portable to do when I am playing taxi mom (currently 6 days a week). At some point this rug will be too large to be portable, but I have it started! Sydney commented that she thought I was going to make a "pretty" rug. Her idea of pretty is color coordinated. Maybe I will be able to convert her someday! I think it will look fabulous in my kitchen. Here is the start. It may take me a year or so to get it completed, but the one I made with my 1 1/2" strips went really fast. I don't want my rug as large as the current kitchen rug. This rug was given to me by my sister when she remodeled her kitchen many years ago. It has had a long and good life.
One 40" strip does about 6" of length on the rug. I'm not sure how far this yardage will take me, but I am sure I can find more to cut up. If I was buying yardage for this rug, it would be quite expensive.
I feel confident that everything in my 2" bin is now usable.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm glad it's Friday

Even the dog is ready for Friday! He is guarding the monkey hoping that someone will come after it and initiate a chase.

I don't know about you, but this week has been really long for me. I think it was the lack of sun that made me tired. My blog has been really boring lately because I haven't found the time (or energy) to turn on the sewing machine. I did try a really good and semi-nutritious smoothie for lunch. My daughter brought the recipe home from school.

Pumpkin Yogurt Cheesecake Shake

1 14-ounce can pumpkin chilled
3 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (I used regular)
1 6 or 8 ounce container low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
graham cracker crumbs to sprinkle on the top!

Dump everything into the blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs . (It would be tasty with whipped cream added before the crumbs, but that sort of defeats the nutritional value)

Plenty of vitamin A, Calcium, protein, and Fiber. It was a big hit with all the little people at my house today. I will be making these again. Let me know if you try these. I am curious what you think!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Interesting Blog

Well I happened upon another great blog that I thought I would pass along. If you browse around you will find some nice tutorials and a daily shopping special. Take a look and see what you think. If you need some more fabric, check out the daily special they post on the deal a day button.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I spy a retreat...

I know I mostly have local followers of my blog, so I thought I would post this. Hop on over to this blog and check out the retreat that is being planned for next October (yes, 2010). What could be more fun than a retreat in Shipshe. If you go to the hotel webpage, there is a cool slideshow that shows the accomodations well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lovely Log Cabin

I am delivering this quilt to my customer today. I had a terrible time with the thread. I used YLI on the top and Aurifil on the bottom. I have used YLI before with success, so I don't know what the problem was. I thought maybe it was a tired check spring, but I quilted 2 more quilts after this one with no problem. It will remain a mystery.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Finish!

I have to say, I worked my tail off on this one. Ok, I know, I had the shirts for several years, but when I really decided to do the quilt, I got it done quickly. It took soooo long to trim the shirts and get the logos centered that I hope I never do another one of these. I have to thank my non-blogging friend Char for suggesting that I map the quilt out on graph paper before I started the project. That was a big help, and it helped me to keep things on track. My other non-blogging friend Eleanor hand sewed the binding for me in one day (or I never would have met my deadline). I picked the solid colors from a spool of ribbon my oldest DD insisted I purchase. This was given as a wedding gift to my niece. I thought I would at least get a shocked call, but I was mistaken. I quilted it with a medium stipple. I was nervous that the thread would break or I would have tension problems. Some of the shirts had really thick paint. The quilting fairy was by my side - I had perfect tension and not a single thread break

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Day of School

Summer has officially ended for the kids. I think they are ready to go back (at least for a week or so). This will be my last year with 4 children at the same school.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fat Quarter Fun

Here are the pictures from our day of quilt shopping. We did not empty the boat at a little bit of Lolly's fat quarter sale. We were told there were over 6000 fat quarters in the boat. The boat was a lot lighter when we left. I consider it a rescue mission. The boat may not sink now because we removed a lot of weight. Guess who bought the most? It was so much fun that I think we should make it an annual event. I'm glad none of the pictures showed the total on the cash register.

Sunday Stash Report

Since I haven't posted in a while, I am just going to give the total since the first of the year.

Incoming YTD: 211.95 Yards
Outgoing YTD: 169.71 Yards
Net Gain this Year: 42.24 Yards

Unfortunately I am currently going in the wrong direction. I hope to do some sewing soon to get into the negatives again.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Damages from Shopping with Friends.

Sorry I have been absent from blogging for quite sometime. I guess summer and kids have gotten in the way. I haven't been doing much sewing to report this summer. I had a delightful and entertaining shopping day with friends yesterday. I thought I would post the damages of the shopping experience. I was NOT the big winner as far as purchases are concerned. I will update my stash report on Sunday. It will not be pretty, but my purchases are.
Don't ley look beautiful all lined up!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

I haven't had time for much sewing lately. I have been consumed with taxes. That day seems to creep up on me every year. I don't have much to report, but it is a loss

  • Incoming this week: 1 yard (3 - 1/3 yards pieces of shirting for the mystery quilt)
  • Outgoing: -10.5
  • YTD Incoming: 81.454
  • YTD Outgoing: 89.182
  • Net Loss: -7.729

Finally I am going in the right direction. It would be great if I could get my weight going in that same direction as well. Almost 8 yards down- that means roughly 42 yards to go. That's ONLY 3 bolts!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Title is annoying me!

OK, I have tried and tried to figure out how to make my picture go all the way across the title bar. It's the best it is going to get for now. If anyone has suggestions, please jump right in.

Art Quilt

It seams like I have been quilting this quilt forever. I am now half way done with it. I like the look of the straight lines close together. The lines are 1/4" apart. This is Ellen's quilt and she does a beautiful job at dying all her fabric and putting the colors together. The circles are all pieced.

This weeks projects are to finish this quilt and write the instructions for step 2 of the mystery. Several people have asked what my color choices were for the mystery. I am using my scrap box of reproduction prints and shirting fat quarters that I had in my stash.

Sunday Stash Report

A little late, but I was still busting last night. Most of the fabric busted was shirting fat quarters for the mystery quilt. I also gifted several pieces of fabric this week that I knew I would never use.

  • Incoming this week: 0
  • Outgoing this week: 5.5 yards
  • Ytd Incoming: 80.454
  • YTD Outgoing: 78.682
  • Net Gain: 1.771 Yards

I am almost back to the big goose egg. It is hard to believe how many yard of fabric I have recorded so far (both in and out)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A customer finish

It occured to me that I didn't post a picture of the finished baby quilt that I posted a while ago. It was delivered to the customer yesterday. I am very pleased with how the quilting looks. I put Moda snuggle on the back (just like minkee), and it quilted very nice.

There is a great wool tote givaway on Here is another great giveaway for a jellyroll and a pattern.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

Well I didn't make any additions this week. The only sewing I did this week is what I posted in yesterday's post. This marks the end of the first quarter, and I am not doing so well with my goal of busting 50 yards. I still have 3 quarters to get it together. I am not going to Paducah this year, so I won't have that temptation. This weeks numbers are:

Incoming Yardage: 0
Outgoing Yardage: 7.11
Total Stash Busted YTD date: 7.27

I am still not at a deficit, but maybe this week.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tumbler Sample is done

I have been patiently (ok, I am never patient) waiting to make something with the tumbler die from my Accucut machine. Having the pieces die cut really made everything line up nicely. Each tumbler is 6" finished tall. I would like to make up some kits to sell. I have some leftover fabrics from previous projects of quilt group that would make beautiful quilts. If you're interested in a specific size, please let me know.

I finished piecing the backing for the purple quilt in the previous post. I am working hard to get back to zero on the stashbusting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

I have been keeping track of my fabric purchases, I just haven't posted the damages. These totals include everything since my last post. I have a purpose for most of the items I purchased (except the great bolt of brown). I have some kits made up using the tumbler block pattern. I hope to have my sample finished for the April ISE meeting.

  • Outgoing Yardage : -42.06
  • Incoming Yardage: 67.75
  • YTD Stash Busting: 14.381

Yes, I am aware that my numbers are going the wrong direction. I guess I am personally trying to stimulate the economy. As Mark Lipinski said, "creating an Obamano" effect.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's a topper!

Well the top is done. You all know how long it takes me to get things quilted. I hope this one is quicker than most. It turned out much better than I expected. I hope it brings a little sunshine and a lot of memories back to the recipiant. The white fabric with the purple and green flowers was cut from a dress that I found in the pile of fabrics I rescued. The rest of the fabric is going to be donated through Quilt N' Gifts in Bluffton to the Warren Methodist Home. The wood in the background is my girls new dance floor. It was a bowling alley in it's previous life. They enjoy clogging on it and performing shows.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Making some progress

I can't believe how nice this looks. Even my daughter commented that the ugly fabrics didn't look bad together. This is a little over a 1/3 of the quilt. I am putting it together in 4 patches instead of rows. I like how it goes together like this, but it does take a little planning to get all the seams going in the correct direction. I am not taking the time to pin (especially since most of the materials have some poly in then), so some seams aren't lining up exactly. It is a give for an elderly garment sewer. She won't notice where my seams didn't match.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rescued Scraps

I wanted to make a quilt out of the scraps from my rescue mission. I hope the recipient remembers some of the material. Most of the materials are not to my liking, and almost all of them have some poly in them. Last week I sewed the squares into 2 patch units, and Monday I ironed them while my girls were dancing. I organized them last night, and to my surprise (more like shock) they don't look too bad. I MUST finish this quilt as I can't add another project to my unfinished pile. This picture is for Sharon who thinks I need to add my dog to my blog. His collar actually matches the quilt. Since he is sleeping, I guess he approves.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Ok, I know I said I would never do a selvage project. I borrowed the book "Quilts from the Selvage Edge" from the library, and some of the project were really cool. I still didn't feel these projects were for me. I guess my advice is - never say never. I found some really great links and tutorials at . It is a great place to look for inspiration. I took the plunge when I read this tutorial at A checkbook cover! I actually needed one of these! Since I never keep the selvages, I actually had to cut the selvages off of fabric from stash to get enough. I am very pleased with how my project turned out. I think I may venture to pincushions or a zipper coin purse next.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

Well I busted my purchases this week. I managed to get the baby quilt quilted and the binding on- I still need to do the hand stitching. I also cut the binding kits for quilt group.

  • Incoming Yardage this week: 0
  • Outgoing Yardage this week: 12.1
  • Total stash Busted YTD: 11.3

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby Quilt Progress

Here is where I used my purchases. I haven't appliqued the circles yet. Do you think I need more or less circles? This is a commissioned quilt that is modeled after a Pottery Barn quilt. If your wondering, that is my Orange Crush (mystery quilt from hanging behind it. It is there as a gentle reminder to me to get going on it.

Sunday Stash Report

The busting didn't go so well this week (it actually brings my YTD to a gain). All the purchases were for a project I am working on, so they will go away by the end of the month. I actually have the top pieced, but I haven't added the yardage yet. I find it interesting how quickly those little bits that are brought home one at a time add up. I would not have guessed that my small purchased made at 4 stops added up to 8 yards.
  • Outgoing Yardage : 0
  • Incoming Yardage: 8.19
  • YTD Stash Busting: -.792

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Who would have thought...

I would have never thought to turn the quilt 90 degrees. Today I learned that a King size bed is wider than it is long. I am still feeling the amazement of this. I have decided to put another border on this quilt to make it go to the bottom of my pillowtop mattress. The plan (not that this quilt has ever had a good plan) is to repeat the white/color/white border and then add some more 4 patches. I only need 6 more inches on each side to reach the bottom of the mattress. I don't want the white on the edge because it will show the dirt in no time flat. I'm sorry the sun was shining in the window and I didn't get a great picture.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Borders are finally On!!

This quilt has been about 8 years in the making. The borders have a story all of their own. I like the way it turned out, but I wish I would have made the center a bit larger. It fits a queen bed (which I don't have). My DH thinks I should add one more border. I personally think it has enough borders. I didn't ruin my reputation of being the border queen on this quilt. I put it back away at this stage to decide if I want another border. What do you think?

Sunday Stash Report

I didn't get much sewing done this week. It was another busy week working on the science fair.

  • Outgoing Yardage : 5.67
  • Incoming Yardage: 0
  • YTD Stash Busting: 7.40 Yards

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coolest Trick

Sorry about the crazy layout of the pictures, but I can't seem to get them to go how I want them. I will have to read more on this subject. This is the coolest trick that I learned from watching a free video at Sharon Schamber's website. You needle will never come off the thread again!

  1. Make a loop with the short tail of the thread. She recommends never to use more than 12" (maybe that's my problem)

  2. Take your needle and pull it thru this loop (take notice of which thread is on top)

  3. Pull gently on the long tail of thread creating a slip knot

  4. Snug up the slip knot

This was an amazing thing for me. I can't tell you how many times I have to re-thread my needle when doing applique, or when my girls are doing yo-yo's. I tried this and you can't even feel it when you sew. I probably would have kissed Sharon if she had been standing next to me when I saw this.

The reasoning with the 12" - when the thread goes through the fabric multiple times, it wears the thread compromising the quality. This may be a contributing factor to my bindings breaking. I have a habit of making my thread an arms length.

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Just Can't say NO!

I offered to help my SIL clean out craft/fabrics for her 91 year old neighbor. I hope to be that active when I am 91! The van was full when I left. It took me most of today to sort things and get them in order. My goal is to find a good home for her treasures. I would also like to make a twin quilt for her bed with some of the fabric. There were 6 tatting shuttles, a dress nearly finished (just needed the zipper), DMC floss, and lots of crochet cotton, and multiple other items. The girls were excited to find 2 vintage aprons to put in with their dress-up clothes.

I am making some progress on my basket BOM. I have the snowman and the leaves to attach still. I am enjoying the hand stitching so far. I think I will at least make it to block 2.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

As posted earlier, I made a small purchase this week. I didn't do much sewing this week to offset the damages. The kids had a busy homework schedule. I did manage to knit a scarf during basketball on Saturday.

Sunday Stash Report:

  • Outgoing Yardage 0

  • Incoming Yardage 2.239

  • Total Stash Busted (YTD) 1.731

I stumbled across a free applique (yes, the "A" word) via Randi's blog at ( I really enjoy small project that I can pick up and go with while I am waiting for my children. I cut the pieces for the first block last night. It is one block a month. I may not make it past the first month, but it is a darn cute block.

I am doing the starch and press method of applique on the first block. Those darn small leaves are giving me a few problems. I may use wool for those.

Here is the link if you are interested in joining:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Who could resist?

While the girls were clogging, I felt the need for a little fabric therapy. There is a quilt shop about 10 minutes from the dance studio. I received an email from that quilt shop (Quilt n' Gifts) requesting donations of fabric for a local senior group that needed supplies. Considering I had a Gateway computer box full of fabric I was donating, I think I returned home FAR less than I donated. I didn't want to leave empty handed, so I purchased 2 charm packs(on sale), 2 fat quarters (on clearance), and 1/2 yard of City Girl to go with the other prints that I have. I am pleased to move that box of fabric on to a home where it will be used instead of stored.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Stash Report

Each Sunday I will post if I have been naughty or nice. I am keeping a running total of the fabric I have purchased and used this year. I have a goal to have a 50 yard deficit at the end of the year. That number seems like a lot to me, but I think it is achievable.

Since this is my first post, I will make it retro to Jan 1.

  • Outgoing Yardage 6.245
  • Incoming Yardage 2.125
  • Total Stash Busted (YTD) 4.12

The majority of the stash busted was for a backing and the binding on the Christmas quilt I posted earlier. Roughly 4 yards downs and 46 to go. How long do you think I can stay on the wagon? Whenever I fall, I fall REALLY hard.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flu has left the building!

I wasn't sure if I was going to make it thru. It took over a week before all of us caught the virus and recovered. The weather has been extremely snowy and cold here.

Here is a picture of my first finish of the year. These were the remnants of a large quilt a made a few years ago. I sewed the bining on completely by machine and I am pleased with how it looks. I haven't tried this in several years and I can tell I have really improved. I think the key was to pin the binding all the way around the edge before I started.

I also managed to get the binding sewn on the front of a Christmas quilt that used up some of my "uglies". These fabrics had been hanging around for way too long. I love how the red binding brings it all together. Hopefully I can get the handstitching done before Christmas. I won't move it to finished until the binding is stitched down. I will post a better picture when it is completed. I love how the sun shining thru the window shows off the quilting (even with the shadows).

During the sickness, I did manage to quilt one customer quilt. It is a cute panel quilt, and I am pleased with how it came to life with the quilting. Oh yes, and behind the customer quilt is the infamous bow tie quilt. It is on my list of quilts to finish this year as well. Perhaps someone will chime in with a great quilting plan for me. I have the FINAL border on the design wall so I can stitch the squares together.