Quilts 2011

17 March 2015

Stitch That Stash Bee

I love quilting.  And as soon as I saw this quilt from Quiltycat, I knew I had to make something similar when it came my month for the Stitch that Stash Quilt Bee and for the Lake Superior Modern Quilt Guild Bee.  March is my month for both Bees, so bring on the LOVE!
I'm totally digging the idea of expressing my love of quilting through a LOVE Quilt! 

Get ready for some liberated, wonky letters!
This is the general
idea of what the blocks will look like. Check out Quiltycat for other ideas for how the blocks can look.

Here's a tutorial I put together after I started playing with the sample blocks.  It's based off my trial and errors as I played with the letters.  Hope it is helpful to my beemates!

14 February 2014

Charming Low Volume Swap!

I know I've got lots of catching up to do, but I had to share...

I'm hosting my first charm swap!

low volume

You know you want to join... all you have to do is click HERE and comment in the sign up thread!

There are 56 spots available (you can sign up for more than one spot). 

Here's the "low" down...Buy a yard of MODERN, QUILT SHOP QUALITY low volume fabric, post a picture in the Flickr group (try not to duplicate fabrics!), follow the cutting directions, send me your stack of charms with return postage, and I'll sort all of them out and you'll get 56 charms back, one from each different fabric.  What a great way to add some variety to your stash!

Looking for some ideas on how to use your new charms?

Check out these awesome ways to use low volume charms...

Dimensions for low volume charm plus block
Flickr photo from Rachel (wooden spoon)

for a quilt that looks like this
My quilt, with blocks made from my Stitch that Stash Bee mates!

Or how about this?
From Bijou Lovely Designs

Or this cool block - what a scrapbuster!
Stash Bee Jan block #1- Hive 6
Made by my friend Sue for the Stash Bee - Hive 6

24 August 2013

Summer Fun

Some of what we have been up to this summer...

Cousins at the farm

Time behind the sewing machine has been few and far between it seems these last couple of months. Due to this I haven't kept up too well with the Patchwork, Please Sew Along.


But this week's project was a simple one that I could squeeze in to life! It was the Happy Hexagon Trivet.


Ta-da! I used a combo of special fabrics... Some Japanese fabric and some fabric that my grandma gave me from her stash. I love using them... Makes me feel connected to her and her passion of sewing.


I also got my bee blocks all put together

The mint green plus in the middle column in the second from the bottom row is mo longer there. It is a block I made and on its own it worked but putting it all together it is too close in value to the background, which became evident in this photo. Some careful unsewing allowed me to replace the plus without having to pull rows off the quilt. Now to get it quilted!

I also got my August block done for Stitch that Stash. Kris from Duke Says Sew What requested a skateboard block in bright colors, which fits her personality and her family's passion to a "T"!

I forgot! I also recovered the cushions on two sets of couches we have on our backyard patio earlier this summer. I had the fabric for 2 years and got inspired one night when I couldn't sleep. At least insomnia was productive for me that night!

Once school starts (after Labor Day here) my Mondays are me alone at home... A regular date with my sewing machine! Yay!


25 June 2013

Patchwork, Please: Week Four

I am loving making the fun projects from Patchwork, Please by Ayumi Takahashi. And I'm loving being a part of the sew along... Check out what everyone is working on Flickr.


This week's project is The Polka-Dot-Café Apron.


I started out yesterday making the patchwork


It was fun fussy cutting the centers. I also got to play with some vintage scraps I picked up at the Minnesota Quilt Show (they are the little squares in the second and third blocks). The yellow gingham in the third block is fabric my grandma gave me from her stash.


When it came time to put together the apron I found some canvas like material in my stash to use. Plus some more gingham for the ties. All done!


Or so I thought.


This more I looked at it, the less happy I was. While I posted the above picture on Flickr and Instagram and received such sweet comments, I wasn't completely happy with my workmanship. The canvas felt stiff. The ties weren't originally long enough to wrap around to the front to tie like I wanted them to - I cut them shorter than I was suppose to so I added to the ties which looked sloppy. And then my points on the patchwork were not looking to pointy in spots as my seam allowances were a little off. This also resulted in a wavey bottom where I was trying to hit those points.


My own worse critic, I suppose, but I wasn't too excited about wearing it because of these things. After the time put into the patchwork and loving that part I decided to rip it down to the three blocks and rebuild it.

Here's the after...


Here's what I did in the re-do...

A trip to Hobby Lobby today to find twill was the first step.


Then I added a 1.5" strip of fabric to the bottom of the patchwork so I could finagle a bit more to get the points without the pocket looking all wavey on the bottom.

And for the ties, I ended up having enough gingham left to cut new pieces and encasing the top of the apron in it to add a fun element to the top of the apron. Plus they are long enough to wrap around to the front and tie!

An extra - while at Hobby Lobby I found some measuring tape ribbon in the scrap booking section, so a piece of that was added for another fun element!

It was a lot of unsewing but I'm loving the final product! Worth the time and effort.

Now I'm afraid to use it in - don't want it getting dirty! :)



19 June 2013

WIP Wednesday

The summer is off to a whirlwind start! The sewing has come in bursts with distance in between sessions. Getting ready for Vacation Bible School at our church sucked up all my regular work hours and a bulk of my free time. I had to choose between blogging and sewing when I did get a few moments and sewing (or a nap!) won!

Here's May's Stitch That Stash blocks for Krista, a variation of the St. Louis 16 Patch. Love her self-described cheeseburger color scheme she's got going on!

Then it was time to break out my Patchwork, Please book by Aand make a Prettified Pincushion! (I always read Prettified as Petrified! Can you imagine some future civilization unearthing a petrified pincushion?!)

I very rarely buy patterns, and even less frequently books but decided I wanted to play along with Zakka 2.0 Sew Along. I'm so glad I got this book! Love the projects in here and have already made a few.

Here's a fun garage sale find! I'm sure some sewing notions will find a new home in here at some point!

Another Patchwork, Please project. This time a boxy zippered pouch, using some fun fabric gifts from my Stitch That Stash buddies! Thanks, ladies!

And then my baby turned 10. And he requested I make him a bow tie so he could wear it when we go out for pizza on his big day! He picked the fabric from my stash, I found a pattern online, sewed it up and then used Google to figure out how to tie the bugger! He looked so stinkin' adorable wearing it! Happy Birthday, kiddo!  Gah, where has the time gone and how can by baby be over 5 feet tall and wearing adult sized shoes?!

I found some time to sew up some more of my Stitch that Stash blocks and I laid them all out. I love, love, love them!

The first official project of the Patchwork, Please Sew Along, Bell Pepper Coaster which found its way to a new home with Krista's Bee Blocks. "Because even a beverage needs a quilt!"

Then my sister hinted that she could use a new purse so I made her a 241 Tote (Pattern by Anna). I picked up a painting canvas at Menards (the Midwest version of Lowes/Home Depot) and used that for the bag! It is sturdy and pretty darn cheap! I love the texture! Variations on the pattern - I made the strap longer because she wanted a cross body bag to make her hands free to keep up with her not quite 2 year old.  I also only put one zipper on the front instead of two.

Then came the actual week of VBS and my sewing machine was neglected, poor thing! But quilting was still on the brain as the Minnesota Quilt Show was in town! And there was a special trunk show with Victoria Findlay Wolfe being hosted by my favorite LQS, Hannah Johnson Fabric! Two friends joined me and we found her to speaking and quilts to be very inspiring! Love her idea of 15 minutes of play each day and "made fabric". I wanted to go home and sew, sew, sew but I had to get things ready for the next day of VBS!  Darn obligations getting in the way of creativity!

Her quilts are amazing to look at up close! Pictures don't do them justice!

One of my dear friends bought me Victoria's book, 15 Minutes of Play, which she autographed. While talking to her we learned she used to live in Duluth and only 2 blocks from where we live! A fun "small world" moment.

The next day was my birthday.  It was spent at VBS, then the quilt show for a couple of hours, dinner with family, and then my sweet husband surprised me with a gathering of friends at a new brewery tap room that some people we know opened in Duluth, Bent Paddle Brewery.  A good cold beer after a long week, surround by friends was a the perfect way to end my brithday!

Then it was the weekend and we took off to Minneapolis for some grad parties, some time at Mall of America, for the boy - Sky Zone (an indoor trampoline park), and of course a fabric store! SR Harris was my choice. It is a big warehouse and they have EVERYTHING. And a lot of it. Fabric of all types - cotton, wool, decorator fabrics, knits, dancewear!, trims, leather, etc all sold for 50% off.   It is piled high to the ceilings.  The place is insane and overwhelming.  And I only had 45 minutes.
With the time crunch, I began scanning the piles and these are some of the treasures I came across. Not bad!

Then came Monday. My day off. Son is at a summer program. Husband at work. VBS is now a distant memory. I had a date with my sewing machine!  Whoop!  Whoop!

I had been thinking about Victoria Findlay Wolfe's quilts, made fabric, and a Swedish Bloom quilt in Patchwork, Please. Time to start playing with my red/pink scraps, sewing a bunch together and cutting the paper pieces from this new made fabric.
There's no plan for this... Making it up as I go. When I got to the second border I decided to make the paper pieced leaves that we're in the book, but scaled down to fit. Figured out what size they needed to be, then drew up a new piece based off the book's pattern. Some used green "made fabric". It has been fun to see my ideas change as it comes together and running off in a new direction as an idea pops in my mind. Very liberating!

Can't wait to see where it leads me next!

25 April 2013


As it was snowing for the umpteenth time a couple days ago and wondering if spring will ever reach Northern Minnesota, I read that our first snowfall for this season happened on September 22, the earliest in 17 years.

You do the math... That makes 7 months of snow.

Add to it that in April we have gotten over 50" of snow, breaking the record for the snowiest April ever in our city, and you can understand why everyone is grumbling.

Narnia Duluth - where it is always winter but never Christmas.

It sure is pretty when it looks like this. In December.

In April, it isn't appreciated too much.

Last week schools were closed Monday and Friday due to the awful road conditions. The week before that the would have missed a day and a half due to weather like neighboring districts except our district was on "spring" break.
We are all kind of wondering why we live here. Including the robins. "We flew back here why?!"

Last Friday some friends shoveled out of the latest foot of snow we had received and we met up in our church fellowship hall for another Crafty Weekend. It was a good distraction from plotting how I might stow away in a friend's suitcase on her family's trip to the land of palm trees and Disney World.

I channeled my winter rage into sewing and I was quite productive (there was a lot of rage to channel)...

My first Quarter 2 finish! Anna Maria Horner voile Plus Quilt, backed with flannel, no batting. I feel like Linus his blanket - I find myself carrying this from the bed to the couch and back. This will be a nice weight summer cover up (if we ever get summer!)

Next up, I made 2 lunch bags from this Pink Penguin tutorial. I had made two more earlier in the week.

The red one was a birthday present for my sister, coffee pots are for me, the brown was just because I could! And the fourth one I gave to a friend before I got a decent picture of it! They are fun and easy to make, using up a bunch of cotton duck leftovers from other projects. I lined the inside with some oil cloth/vinyl I picked up at Hobby Lobby, making it easy to wipe up spills.


Then I made four of these cuties, the Puffy Pouch, another Pink Penguin tutorial. The plan was to make one for a friend's birthday and one for myself. Then two friends that were crafting hinted strongly that they would each love one.
I used a metal tape measure (thank you, Dollar Tree!) to do the closure instead of a "real" closure or Velcro as suggested by the pattern . While I love how they look, the tutorial is fantastic, and it was fun to make one, making four was not as fun! They are putsy with the pleats and they took longer than the lunch bags! I will probably make more in the future, but never more than one at a time!
Other things I've been working on during my days off and snow days...
Pieced together these random blocks. A top finish!
This baby blanket will be for an upcoming quilt silent auction. Just have to finish hand stitching the binding for another Quarter 2 finish!
This weekend we may get up to 60F! What a difference a few days can make! Looking forward to sun and melting snow! Dare we say Spring has arrived?!
This little guy will appreciate the warmer temps as he's been a tad chilly in his brand new spring haircut!



15 April 2013

Snow, snow, and more snow

This past week was our son's spring break. Or should I say, "spring" break. We started out Monday with rain/snow mix, then all that melted. But on Thursday Mother Nature played the ultimate joke. 40 mph winds with gusts into 60+mph and a foot of snow by the time it finally quit. Husband's job sent everyone home early that day and stayed closed into Friday. Yesterday wasn't nice, but it wasn't snowing. Until this afternoon. The wind is still howling and it is snowing again. We could get 8 inches. Good grief. Enough already!

Here's our yard at 10am Thursday and again at 1:30pm. It fell hard and fast. And so did my hopes of Spring.

{I fell asleep before I finished this post last night... Our kids got a bonus day of spring break as the closed school today due to the snow and poor road conditions. My son put on shorts and kept them on when he put his snow pants on and went out to play! Way to protest winter, kiddo!}


With the unexpected snow days it has meant some time around the sewing machine. I pulled out a pile of random blocks and other UFOs that I've made over the years and decided it was time to take inventory. And what a better way to hold myself accountable and get stuff done by signing up for Quarter 2 of the Finish-A-Long!

she can quilt


Here's what I want off the shelf and into use:


Random blocks using Tufted Tweets
A baby blanket

A baby blanket that was one of my first projects after discovering modern fabric. Look at those fold lines!


A voile plus quilt that I started on New Years Day 2012

Plus there's a low volume quilt that I have squares it for, and some of Sarah Watts' Timber and Leaf mixed with some other stuff that I'm not quite sure what it will become!

So that is 6 quilts... Hmmmm... Wonder how many I can knock out this quarter. A few more snow days and I might have them done!