Friday, March 30, 2012

the best kind of mail!

Today I received the best kind of mail - Fabric mail!

12 FQs of Sugar Hill by Tanya Whelan!  And the name suits them, they are so sugary sweet & pretty :)

I won these in a giveaway over at Confessions of a Faric Addict as part of the Hands2Help charity quilt drive Sarah is running.  {thank-you Sarah!} Head over to see how you can get involved!  There is still plenty of time, and lots of great prizes up for grabs :) 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

this, that, & the other thing

So far this week, an overflowing bowl of trimmings is all I have to show for my puttering.

But did you see that selvedge?  I cut into my jealously hoarded Meadowsweet yardage!!! {finally}

Love cutting into my favorite fabrics, it makes me happy :)

These are going to be a tote bag.  I've had the pattern for a year at least.  The main reason I've put off making it for so long is because I'm totally confused by interfacings & stabilizers & all the mysterious white stuff that all looks the same on the bolt to me but apparently do different wonderful things inside bags & purses which I don't understand & I can never find the one the pattern in my hand is calling for & what the heck does it do anyway so how do I know if I can substitute any of these fine looking white things or if I'll ruin my beautiful fabric if I don't use the right stuff and did I mention what the heck is the difference between interfacing & stabilizer anyway and why do some patterns call for both?!? 


Am I over thinking this a bit? 

Yeah, I thought so, too. 

So I decided to just jump in & skip the mysterious white stuff.  What's the worst that can happen?  {don't answer that.  I prefer blissful ignorance.}  I know my Mom has all the answers to my interfacing/stabilizer dilemma.  One of these days I need to bring her to Joanns so she can explain the mysteries of those white bolts to me.

Anywho, even after my breakthrough interfacing decision I've been dragging my feet, hesitant to start sewing.  The thread issue was bothering me, and it took a couple days to come up with a solution I can live with.

You see, there will be some topstitching on each of the five different fabrics I will be using.  I don't have any coordinating colors, and I'd have to buy a different color for each fabric.  Very little of each would be used, with the remainder destined to sit around unused for who knows how long.

I have plenty of white thread, but I really felt it would show up too bright/starkly, since there isn't any white in the fabric.  It is more of a cream.  {does that make sense?}

I don't have cream or off-white thread.  I don't have the time to drive an hour both ways to Joanns for decent thread.  But I couldn't bring myself to use the white.  I really think it would ruin the bag.

Today I rummaged through my thread collection & found a tan thread.  On the spool, it doesn't look like a good candidate, but a single thread seemed to almost disappear when I laid it across the fabrics. 

Finally, a thread I can live with!   

Now I can start sewing :)

(are you beginning to see why it takes me so long to work through some of my projects? hehehe)

Well, I had 'this' 'that' & 'the other thing' I wanted to post about, but this is already a bit wordy and I've only worked my way through 'this', so I think 'that' & 'the other thing' will have to wait for another post :)

Do you have some favorite fabrics you have been hoarding?  What are they?

Thursday Think Tank

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday at the Table

I did some cooking today!  I haven't been doing alot of that lately, well except boxed pasta and the like. 

I roasted a turkey!

and I baked two loaves of bread!! {wow, that first one disappeared fast!}  I made the dough last weekend, put it in the fridge, and today I pulled it out and baked it.  go here for details & the recipe.

I was going to tell you about the red flannel hash I made this week, but we ate it before I got any pictures.  I am curious though, do any of you make red flannel hash with your pot roast leftovers? 

I'm linking up to Tuesday at the Table!

Friday, March 23, 2012

quick & easy finnish

Yesterday I made a laundry bag from a thrifted pillowcase, using this tutorial from In Color Order.

Because I can never leave well enough alone, I did a couple things differently.  For one, I used a ribbon instead of making a string from fabric.

I made my stitch lines slightly lower than in the middle of the hemmed end of the pillowcase, so that it would have more of a ruffle when pulled closed.

I didn't mark sewing lines all around the fabric, either.  Instead, I used a pencil to make two marks 1" apart on the seamline.  I put the pillowcase under my machine, with the needle down so it wouldn't shift, and marked the machine by the edge of the pillowcase with a removeable tape.  Confused?  Not to worry, I took pictures :)

Can you see the pencil marks & the pink ape?  All I had to do was keep the pillowcase in line with that tape as I sewed :)  I did the same thing for the next stitching line...

just a different color tape :)  the strips came of my machine cleanly, no sticky left behind!

Omnigrid Glow-Line Tape - there were three colors in the package, but I find the yellow and pink to be more visable.

So quick & easy, it took longer to clear my sewing table than it did to make the bag!

That's one bag closer to being ready for my quilting retreat in a few weeks! Yay!
What have you sewn this week?
I'm linking up to some parties again - go check out everyones great finishes!
Crazy Mom Quilts & TGIFF @ Don't Tell Quilts

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Somewhere, over the Rainbow...

Thursday morning a friend called and invited me & my boys to go on a picnic by the ocean on Monday {of course I said yes!}.  Thursday evening I thought 'wait, I don't have a picnic blanket!'  so I pulled out a Wizard of Oz kit my Aunt gave me and started cutting, very happy to think I would have a picnic blanket by Monday.

Fussy cutting the panel didn't go to well, but other than that the piecing was easy enough.  Then Saturday, just as I was sewing on the last border strip, I remembered I was out of batting.  {sigh}

At least the top and backing is ready to go when I get the batting.

the top folded on top of the backing fabric:
main border:
this is the best pic I have of the top:
My boys were nice enough to put aside their drawing to hold this up for me, and they were so proud of themselves for helping, I didn't have the heart to tell them it came out awful & ask them for a do-over.  I'll get a better pic after it is quilted.  :)

PS - if you haven't already, go check out the Stale Fabric Swap. there's lots of fabric fun to be had :)
Charm About You

Stale Fabric Swap

Charm About You

I like rules.  I always read the rules.  I'm a rule-follower by nature.  It bugs me when people don't follow the rules.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I'm about to break the rules. 

I'm so sorry Lucy & Krista! Feel free to delete my linky if you want to, I understand :)

See, if you read the rules too, you know we are supposed to offer FQs for swapping, but the fabric I want to get rid of to swap is 1 yard.  It is a Robert Kaufman print called Home Improvement, and I bought it with a specific person in mind, who hated it, and I'd really like to get it gone. Here it is:

The fabric says things like 'what a stud' 'sweat equity' & 'work horse'.  The background is a darker blue than the photo shows, I had trouble getting a good picture.

Wait a minute, 1 yard is 4 FQs, right?  So really, I've got 4 identical FQs to swap.  And I really don't have a problem swapping them to different places, but the FQs do.  they are clinging together for dear life.  And I always listen to my fabric, because no one likes sewing with ticked off fabric, right?  {you really wouldn't get enough intact signs in a FQ sized piece to make it worthwhile anyway}

I'm not necesarily looking for 4 FQs in return; I'm the one who is rule-challenged today, not all of you.  Let me know if you'd like this fabric, and what you'd like to swap for it.

And by the way, I'd trade my right arm for some henna garden in pumpkin.  So if you have pumpkin henna garden but what you'd really like is a third arm, let me know.  Or I could look around here for some fabric you might like, if you prefer that :)
{obviously, I'm joking about the arm.  mostly.}
{I'd even take scraps of pumpkin henna garden if you don't have a full FQ.  Oops, more rule-breaking.  Sorry Lucy & Krista!}

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Mail Day

Yesterday was a happy mail day - want to see what the postman brought me?
I won a giveaway on the Stitched in Color blog, sponsored by JAQS fabrics! I love these four colors together, I think I'm going to leave them nicely bundled until I decide what to make with them :)
These were in the package, too:
a JAQS scrap bundle! these were all nicely tied with twill tape, too, but I tore that off faster than my kids can tear wrapping paper off a cordboard box on Christmas morning :)  I wasn't waiting for pictures to dig in!

These aren't tiny scraps, either.  See that black, white, & pink floral up there? it is a fat quarter!
these are my favs:
The Princess & frog print is so cute! I think it is a linen/linen blend - I've never sewn with linen so I'm not really sure.  The piece is about 9" x WOF!  I think I'm going to make a zippered pouch with it :)  And those little muchrooms?  My favorite print & colorway from the Walk in the Woods collection!

Thank-you Rachel & Q! I love each fabric! :)
& my postman has excellent timing - there is nothing like fabric mail to take the sting out of car repairs {yuck}

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Done! IT'S DONE!!!

My Drunkard's Path Quilt is DONE!  And you better believe I'm doing some serious celebrating!

I took it out for pictures, just like I promised :)

That's my Mom, modeling the quilt for me at the beach :)
Here it is crumpled up & loved, like a quilt should be:

it measured 60"x60" when the blocks were pieced together, and I was conserned that might be too small for cuddling under, so I added a 3" border of Kona Coal all around, bringing it up to 66" square.  That boarder is the main reason I didn't go with the striped layout I had been considering - I thought it would look odd beside the end stripe with the Coal background. 

The fabrics are Happy Mochi Yum Yum {so much more awesome than my photos show} & Kona Coal.  Some blocks have repeating fabrics like that one up there, and some don't.  I was trying to create some visual interest, similar to an antique scrap quilt, with only six fabrics and the background grey.  I think it worked well, if I do say so myself :)

I quilted with a light grey thread in random straight lines.  I'm not in love with the quilting, but it meant I didn't have to mark the top first, which was a big plus.  I ran out of spray halfway through basting {again} and I just wanted this up off my kitchen floor.  As much as I love my quilts, after 24 hours on the floor, they start to get in the way ;)

The backing is to die for.  A flannel shirting from Joann's, it is so soft I can't stop stroking it!  this quilt may have even gone to church with me.  ahem.
I started this quilt as part of a QAL with Needle and Spatula & OCD.  If a DP is on your list, but you haven't taken the plunge yet, you really should go check out their instructions.

Oh, and I've even made a lable this time! {usually when I finish a quilt, I'm so ready to be done I don't make a lable} I used a leftover DP unit and 'embroidered' {i'm using that term lightly, since I have no skills in this area whatsoever} the date & my initials in the grey.  It hasn't found it's way onto the quilt yet, but soon ;)

I'll be linking this baby up at:
Sew Modern MondayManic Monay, Quilt Story, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Whoop Whoop Friday, TGIFF @ The Niffty Stitcher,  Crazy Mom Quilts, & A Stitch In Time March Finishes
Whew! thats alot of partying, but I think this quilt is worth it ;)  {did I mention this is the first quilt I've made for ME? this babys not going anywhere! haha}
Go check out what everyone is sewing :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Think Tank

I'm going on a four-day quilting retreat!  Whoo Hoo!  Ok, it isn't for a couple months, but I so rarely get away, this is a huge deal & I'm soooooo ready to go right now!  :)

Except I have nothing to pack.  Last year, after I packed the kiddos to stay with relatives, there were no bags left for me.  (obviously, big family trips don't happen much over here.  I wasn't aware of the shortage until the day before leaving)

This year, I've vowed to be traveling in handmade-style :)

The book is Easy to Make Totes with Zippers by Cindy Taylor Oates.  The fabric is DS picnic & fairgrounds.  I know I have more of it around here somewhere...

My plan  is to make the large duffle (shown in yellow floral), the small red duffle next to it, and the red floral hand bag, in the DS fabrics.

I'd also like to make a pillowcase laundry bag & one of these drawstring bags.

I may add some other stuff to the list.  Then again, maybe I'll get caught up in some other sewing projects, scrap the list, and buy some bags.  I'm a bit non-commital lately, sewing whatever I feel like at the moment.  I'm not interested in trying to hold myself to any big goals.  This spring is already shaping up to be stressful and busy, and my sewing is supposed to be my escape, not more stress.  Sometimes, I end up giving myself more stress by having too many expectations of  myself to produce more stuff faster.  So the only commitment I'm making is a commitment not to commit.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I'm going to go cut up some of my Meadowsweet now.  :)

Thursday Think Tank

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Fresh Sewing Day & Small Blog Meet-Up

Lily's Quilts

This winter has been surprisingly snow-free over here in New Hampshire, so we are celebrating March 1st with our biggest snow storm since October! I'm excited at the possibility of getting out on my snowshoes finally!

Want to see what I spent February sewing?

I put my Happy Mochi DP blocks together and added a 3" border of Kona Coal to stretch this quilt a little bit bigger.  I scrubbed my kitchen floor Cinderella style and laid out the whole sha-bang to baste it.  That's when I noticed the backing was too small.  Who would have thought flannel shirting would shrink in the wash? (pretty much everyone but me)  A frantic trip to Joann's later, I had the last bit of this flannel off the bolt, just enough to fix my backing.  Whew!

Every step of this quilt is taking far longer than I expect it to - it's only 66" square(ish) {seriously, does anyone out there ever actually end up with square quilts? On second thought, I don't want to know the answer to that :) }


The Curious Quilter is hosting a Postage Stamp Quilt 2012 event.  I made a February goal of sewing 50 pairs of squares toghether, which I did (yay!)  My Dad firmly believes quilts should be scrappy, so I'm making this one for him with 2.5" squares, and each fabric used no more than twice.  My goal is to make it bed sized, but if I need to modify that to finish sometime this century, I will  :)

I also made a tote bag for my Mom this month,

and a Pink Penguin fabric basket that my Mom was seriously hinting should be hers. 

She doesn't know it yet, but it will be hers eventually.  But that is part of a surprise I'm working on...
So that is what I've been sewing this February, how about you?
P.S. - when I finally finish my DP I promise to take it outside for some proper pictures, instead of the rotten indoors-at-night-pictures I keep making you all suffer through.