Thursday, December 8, 2016


This quilt has been in the planning stages for a while, as it was specifically for one of my friends. Pieces were cut to size. And it sat in a bin. At the beginning of this month though I decided to shift it from a birthday present to a Christmas present, and then panicked a bit. The pattern I used was called a quick herringbone quilt and thankfully it really was, even with me multiplying the size to make a throw for a grown up rather than a baby.

It was fun to put this one together. The main fabric I started with was the Mendocino mermaid, adding a lot of other favorites (and a few random ones that showed up in a mystery bag order). It was as easy as a standard patchwork but looks way more interesting.

After I pieced the top I realized I hadn't planned a backing yet and didn't see anything on my shelf that would work. I also noticed the shelf was a mess though, and after a break to reorganize the larger pieces, I found a flannel for the back!

It has now been given away, and with the recent drop in temperatures, it got used immediately.  So far that is the one thing I like about this sudden cold weather. I can use my quilts. All of them, layered up deep.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Smaller projects

Not only did I try a few smaller quilts for a break, but I also tried sewing something completely different--pouches. These seemed like a great gift as well as a fast way to use up some fabric. After commenting on pouches in a previous post, a reader commented and sent me some links for two styles of pouches. I love free tutorials!

After buying a bunch of zippers, I started with the one that seemed easiest and designated this first pouch for my daughter. The tutorial for this one was for Noodlehead's open wide zippered pouch.

I used the interfacing I had on hand, the lightweight kind I use for backing t-shirts for quilts. After this pouch, I decided to go buy a bit of the kind recommended on the tutorial, hoping for something a little less floppy. I made some adjustment on the zipper install after this one as well, looking more closely at the tutorial instructions and pics.

I started in on the next set. These are the three that have been given away already.
I used a contrasting fabric for the lining and zipper pull end for each of them--didn't like that picture of gaping open pouches.

Then I tried the other tutorial. It was a bit of a different style of pouch, and I like this one because it used up smaller scraps. Both styles could, perhaps some rows of patchwork, but this pouch would use up lots of random bits. This pouch used the Pink Stitches Boxy Pouch tutorial. And as in the last set, the first try was for my daughter:
The lining is the same fabric as the handle. I plan to make one of these for myself, and maybe one more as a gift (not Christmas).

These were a great break from quilts and a great way to use up fabric scraps, both little bits and the larger pieces, while still making something useful. The boxy pouch also uses up those scraps of batting which also seem to multiple in the cabinet!

 . . . and then of course I turned around and made a quilt, but that is for another post.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

brownie - another little November quilt

With some of the last bits of brown in the scrap bin, I pieced together some rail fence blocks. Little ones, maybe 3-1/2". At first I ended to do something else with them, like maybe a larger sawtooth star block, but in the end I stuck with the brown rail fence blocks all lined up in alternating alignment. I think I finished it up last weekend. The last three days are a bit of a blur with church/work events so I know it was before then.

It ended up at about 19" x 25" after washing. I was able to use even more of the brown scraps for the binding, and was super glad I hadn't cut everything up in little strips for the blocks! I am not so found of brown but I think it ended up cute. To keep with the neutrals, I used a couple of fabrics that I've had forever in my bin for the back. I separated them with a cream polka dot, but as I look at it now I would probably make a different choice if I were to start over.

Next up are a few little pouches and probably a lot of "therapy" sewing to decompress from the last three days! And that whole holiday thing. Happy thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2016

November quilt 2 -- an itty bitty one--and more

The week has been a full one, both at work and at home. My daughter and I had Sunday afternoon free so we finally started some of our fabric dyeing projects. Our first project was to dye some white patterned fabrics. The dye adheres to the fabric but not the printed pattern. I had purchased a few half yards when they were super cheap a month or so ago and cut them into fat quarters so we could each have a set.

And our final fabrics (arranged by my daughter):

We also started on some "wax resist" using gel glue. Hot wax is scary and the cleanup even more so. Gel glue not so much.
We used the two methods we had read about, using the bottle directly to draw on the fabric and stamping the glue. We used dish towels for these. I think I was the only one who ended up stamping the glue. It took a full day to dry, so a couple of days later we squeezed in one more quick dye session.

We both loved how these turned out.

Next time we will find some natural items to use as our dye, which should be fun in the gathering and as we see the colors.

Meanwhile on Monday I finished up the itty bitty doll quilt. It ended up about 13" x 16" or so.

I had a short visit with the friend who asked for this doll quilt that day and ended up thinking a lot about making other things besides quilts. Things I have been a bit leery to try like little stuffed animals and zipper pouches and all of those things in my quilt books and magazines that I skip over. And so now my sewing area looks like this

with the same amount of stacks and piles on the nearby bench and floor. At least I might have some fun Christmas gifts to give out of this new sewing craziness!

Friday, November 11, 2016

November quilt - Zig

Another one done. Baby quilts definitely take less time to quilt.

I found a large scale leaf in the clearance section with great colors and snagged some of it for the backing.

Another plus for a baby quilt this size--I don't have to piece the back unless I just want to.

My sewing room is now a bit of a mess. I am working on two scrap quilt projects, which always mean scrap bins are out as I rummage through to find what I want to use.

One project is a tiny doll quilt for a friend's project. The squares are cut to 1 1/2", so it is making good use of some awkwardly sized scraps I couldn't use otherwise.

The other one started because I discovered how many brown scraps I had in the bin. I don't think any of my scrap quilts included brown. I've been cutting those into 1 1/2" strips, and then making little 3- 1/2" rail fence blocks, but I'm not sure where it's headed past that.

 . . . and now I'm off to look at the settings on my camera because these last three pictures seem a bit off somehow.

Monday, November 7, 2016

end of the season

Both of my children finished up the fall soccer season this weekend. My daughter played with a new team this year and really enjoyed her new coach and teammates.
They struggled a bit at the beginning but finished the season with a string of wins. They are looking forward to next season! Grace played defender but did venture up field a bit in this last game. It seemed like her soccer brain switched on, with some powerful down field kicks, goal kicks, and few more chances to dribble the ball up the field than in previous games.

It was colder, so that may have helped her want to move around a bit more.

After her game we headed to Isaac's tournament in Edmond. That game ended in a loss but as the day ended, they learned they had made it to the semi-finals on Sunday.

I let Grace take some pictures. She was fascinated with trying to catch the ball in the air.
It looks like it is going into outer space. There were also some interesting pictures. Hers typically were a bit slanted but she got some interesting scenes:

Isaac typically plays defender but they shifted to a 4-4-2 formation in some of the tourney games, so he also played midfield.

And here he is as tall as the water tower.

This game ended at 1-0. I was not at the final game so no game pics. After overtime and penalty kicks, they won! This picture was taken by one of the team dads:

An exciting, exhausting, and thrilling end to another soccer season.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

a little scrappy one

I've made a bit of progress on a baby quilt I've been making from the scraps of the dotty quilt plus a charm pack of Enchanted fabric by Alisse Courter. I started with a nine patch block.

After I finished about half of the blocks, I noticed that the diagonal pattern in the quilt would be more pronounced if I switched out the top left square on the block. This would also give me back some of the Kona Bone squares I needed and maybe wouldn't need to go buy any more to finish this.

So I changed all of the blocks except the top row and finished up the rest.

I have a backing for it--and know who I want to give it to--so I hope to finish it up this week.

And here is a peek of my two trick or treaters:

Both of them are finishing up the soccer season today, so expect some soccer pictures soon.