Saturday, June 26, 2010

Signing off for a couple of weeks

First a picture of Em enjoying the sand

I love this picture - of course, I love all her pictures :)

I'm not going to be posting much after this weekend because I'm having surgery to remove a giant cell tumor from my finger - it is really bothering me and I'm looking forward to having it taken out.  I was hoping it was something that could have been taken care of in the doctor's office, but unfortunately it's a real surgery thing (what a bummer...anesthesia and I do not generally get along well).

Ew!  I'll be glad to get rid of this...

Lastly, a peek at some binding work I've been up to

Happy quilting!  I'll be back as soon as I can...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Sewfest Results

First up...a pillowcase dress for Em for her birthday (I think I must also make one for Myrtle - her Mommy's cabbage patch doll that is now Em's).  My daughter sent me a picture of one of these dresses and asked me if I could make one for Em, so I looked around and found these instructions

When I looked down at the selvage and noticed the "Love U" printed on it,  I had to make a little taggie for the side of the dress (Lower right side of the picture - you'll have to click on the picture and zoom in to see it really well).  I wish I had taken my camera to Sewfest because a couple of the other ladies made pillowcase dresses too using a yellow fabric with red ladybugs.  They gathered the lower part of their dresses - oh how cute!  I think there are more of these dresses in Em's future :)

Next, I finished binding the other Odyssea Filmstrip quilt.  It was quilted using the same rippling water and fish pattern as this one, however I backed and bound this one in Moda's Bistro by Deb Strain - what a great fabric!  I found it on sale and bought every bit of it. 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A few pictures

Since I had no quilting-related pictures yesterday.  Here are a few.

First a finish

This is the first of two Odyssea Filmstrip Quilts

Here's a close-up of the quilting - it is done with rippling water and fish pattern.
The white solid background on the front of the quilt is Kona Snow, and the backing is Kona Ice Frappe.

You can read more about this quilt by following the links below:

If you would like to know how to make one of these, visit this link:

A couple of goodies to help along a Sew Fest weekend.  Chocolate Butter Crunch (a.k.a. "Crack") and a Key Lime Pound Cake (sure to add at least a pound - lol)

There are several projects in the works - more pics to come by the end of the weekend :o)  Happy Quilting!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not your run of the mill 'mater plant...

Hmmm - looks like an ordinary tomato plant, right?

I've been amazed watching this plant grow because it wasn't ever "planted"

Evidently, one of the seeds from a piece of tomato that got tossed into the compost bin decided to take root and grow right out of the side of the bin...there's a smaller one growing out of one of the holes on the other side of the bin.

There's a lot of action happening on the quilting front, but I don't have any pictures to share tonight.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Isn't it always the case?

I get the blocks all sewn together and find the perfect border fabric (shown at the top of the picture), but all I have is a fat quarter.  So, I went shopping online for more, and as luck would have it I also found the perfect coordinating fabric for the binding while I was at it...see?

Now for a process-related note:  unless you don't mind your directional fabrics going every which way, the Snapshot and Happy Hours patterns are better suited to non-directional fabric.  Since I wanted all the elephants and birds upright, I had a more difficult time distributing the blocks in a pleasing way.

I love the quilts shown in this book and can't wait to make another one.  I like the Second Hand Strips pattern a lot, especially as the book shows it done in batiks.  Kelly has a picture of it on her blog.  The best part is that you can use leftover blocks from another quilt in the book, called Triple Treat to make it.

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Project

I've had the Atkinson Designs Happy Hour pattern book for about three years and have wanted to make one all of the quilts out of it ever since.  One of my daughter's friends is having a baby boy in July and she is using blues, browns, and greens in the nursery.  In (yet another) weak moment I picked up a Robert Kaufman Playday fat quarter bundle from Fabricworm which was just perfect for this project.  The quilt is called Snapshots (a scaled down version of the Happy Hour quilt on the front cover of the book).  Last night I pressed the fats and tonight I cut :)

I've also been  piddling around with those twenty square in a square blocks left over from the Odyssea filmstrip quilts...

I sliced some of the square in a square blocks into quarters and played around with different layouts.  This will be a burp pad and provided me with a chance to practice some echo quilting

These left over blocks are going to be a changing pad (or any other kind of pad for that matter).  I may practice some free motion quilting on this piece.

Happy quilting!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Here's the finished bag.

I have to say that there are some things I changed and others I wish I'd changed in the construction of this bag.

The first thing I changed was that I eliminated a vertical center seam on the bag front and back.  This seam wouldn't have added anything to this bag, and serves no purpose other than a decorative one. 

The next thing I changed was the construction of the handles.  I like the handles to be a little stiffer, so I cut my handle fabrics 5" wide x 30" long.  Then I laid a 2 1/2" wide strip of fusible batting, cut 1" shorter than the fabric, lengthwise down the center of each fabric strip and wrapped each side of fabric toward the center. I fused each edge not quite all the way to the center - to avoid hitting the fusible batting with the iron.  I then folded each handle strip in half and pressed it so that the raw fabric edges were enclosed in the center and there was a double thickness of batting in each handle, and topstitched each edge.

In my opinion, the worst part of the bag's construction as designed, is that the instructions have you make the bag, line it and then add the handles and flap afterward by folding the ends over and sewing them along the outside of the bag.  When you do this, the stitching shows in the lining.  In all fairness, the instructions do tell you that the stitching shows, but I don't like this at all.  Having the stitches show through in the lining just looks tacky (especially since my lining was striped - I couldn't have avoided this problem no matter what color thread I used).

It would make more sense to sew the flap and handles into the seam that connects the lining to the bag and then stitch them down before the lining is sewn together.  The modifications would entail cutting the batting about 1" shorter than the fabric strips for the handles.  Then centering the batting, leaving 1/2" on each end of the handles without batting.  In this way, the handles could be sewn into the seam without adding extra bulk.  It would involve cutting the batting for the flap 1/2" shorter as well for the same reason, and sewing it into the seam between the lining and the cover along with the ends of the handles.  It would be so much neater and easier to do this.  I'll definitely try this modification next time. 

It's a nice lightweight small bag - I'll definitely make another one.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Quandary

I was up until 2:30 a.m. working on the bag, and this is where I stopped and went to bed.

I'm happy with it so far, but...

If I had followed the instructions, the flap and handles would have been the same green as the bag bottom.  Since I really, really love the stripe, I didn't want to limit its use to just the lining.  Now, however, my quandary is what to use for the handles.  I took pictures of my three options and put them side by side.  I'm leaning toward using the orange batik because the green just doesn't seem to fit, and the stripe looks like overkill.  What do you think?

Progress :)

I did a lot of running around this morning and didn't get home until around 2:00 pm.  I dropped three quilts off at the quilter so I've temporarily cleared the dining room table and one of the beds :)

I got right to work quilting the fabric for the bottom of the bag.  I thought a lot about how to quilt it so that the quilting would "go" with the top, but still be different.  I decided on just random wavy lines going horizontally.  Below is a picture showing a bag front and another showing the batting side where you can see the quilting a little better.
Hmmm...It's looking a little University of Miami-ish right now (the UM Hurricanes' colors are green and orange), but I'm going to fix that.  Just wait and see :)

I will say that I modified the pattern to eliminate the vertical seam in the middle of the bag front and back - I think that one seam is enough.  Adding a vertical seam just for the sake of putting a seam in the middle of the bag just didn't appeal to me.  You can see what the "as designed" bag looks like here

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A New Project

I had a really great day today taking a free motion quilting class at our local quilt shop.  It was a lot of fun, and although my attempts were pretty rough looking, I at least feel like with a lot of practice I can do this :)

I have been eyeing this particular batik fabric every time I have gone into the shop, and today I couldn't resist it any longer (just like a moth to a flame *sigh*).  I thought about making a really cute insulated lunch bag using it, but after I went leafing through my patterns, I realized that I haven't yet made this Mini Miranda Bag by Lazy Girl Designs.  Fortunately, I bought extra fabric (I can hear all surprised and shocked gasps at this revelation...ha ha).'s a sneak peek at the main body fabric.

I decided to quilt the fabric by loosely mimicing the curves of the leaf stems using a dark reddish orange thread so the stitching doesn't stand out.  It blends in nicely, don't you think?  Here's a shot of the quilting from the batting side.

By the way, you'll notice a new link on the top right side of the blog that I took the process pledge on R0ssie's blog.  If you get a chance, go on over and check it out.  I really like the idea of delving more into the process of quilting rather than just showing finished projects.  This is an interesting concept and will require examining my thoughts (pretty scary - lol!) in order to put the process into writing.

Happy quilting!