Tuesday, October 30, 2012

a little red & green

On my desk:

Coasters.  Tomorrow I will finish turning these two charm packs into coasters, too.
Fabrics are Dear Mr. Claus by Cosmo Cricket & Joy by Kate Spain.
The grocery bag holders are done, too, {well, except for the one I put the ribbon hanger in the wrong end and need to unsew} but I didn't get a photo.

Linking to Fabric Tuesday, Freemotion by the River, WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, A Stitch in Time October linky Party, TGIFF @ What a Hoot!
& Sending up prayers for those affected by Sandy

Sunday, October 28, 2012

taking care of business

Handmade by Heidi
Well, my FNSI wasn't as productive as I hoped it would be.  Still, I did sew some.  And I have new fabric to show.
These are nearly-done plastic grocery bag holders.  They were nearly-done before FNSI, but now they are a little bit more nearly-done.
Charm packs of Dear Mr. Claus by Cosmo Cricket & Joy by Kate Spain.  Squishy fabric mail makes me so happy, I had the package opened, and the first charm pack too, before I thought about pictures.  The fabrics in both of these are lovely, but I am a bit disappointed the Cosmo Cricket didn't include squares of the Santa Claus print that is part of this collection.  Sorry for the Icky night time photo.
Here are the charm squares, all opened up
and ironed in halves.  I'll be back to tell you more about what I'm up to, but right now I need to go finish getting ready for the hurricane/tropical storm that is going to hit us tomorrow.  Power outages are expected, I just hope my road doesn't wash away {that has happened a couple times, both above us and below us, leaving us housebound for a few days}
Happy sewing everybody, and stay safe in whatever weather you are experiencing! :)
I'm linking up to Sunday Stash

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival - Cowboy Up!

Whoo Hoo for Friday! I started my day with a homemade pumpkin spice latte, because today just needed it.  How about you?  What gets you going in the morning?

If you are here as part of the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, welcome!  The quilt I have to show you all hasn't been on my blog before, so this is new for my regular readers, too {I heart my followers!}

I am a huge enthusiast of The Deerfield Fair.  I went to my first one when I was 2 weeks old, and have only missed it once in my life.  {I had sick Little People, and it was cold & raining that year.  O, the depths of a Mother's love, right?}  ;)

Anyway, since my kids share my love of the Fair, Son #2 would really love it if I entered the quilt I made for him.  The only problem is, he would have to give it up for about a week, and that just isn't something he is willing to do.  He is thrilled to have it entered in the Festival - this way his quilt can be shown off and he doesn't have to part with it; and that is why I'm showing you a Golden Oldie today  {He asked me to make sure you know this is his quilt, all for him.  It makes me so happy that my kids appreciate handmade} :)

Son #2 wanted a cowboy quilt; a red cowboy quilt.  At that time, cowboy prints were not the 'in' thing, and the ones I did find were not red.  I can't remember how many years ago I made this quilt {4 or 5? more?} but it was before I discovered Etsy, or online fabric shopping.  It took months to chase down suitable fabrics.  I went to shops all over NH, ME, and even one or two in MA.  My mother brought two or three prints home from Florida.

I fussy-cut squares of large scale cowboy prints on point, then put delectable mountain blocks on each side of the squares.  I love the secondary pattern that gives the look of flying geese units when the blocks are put together.  I did use a pattern - I can't remember the name or designer, but I wouldn't recommend it anyway because it had a couple significant errors.  Like listing yardage and cutting directions for half of the background pieces really needed.  Not a fun thing to notice months after you have already bought the fabric :(  {this experience is a big reason why I always over buy}

My Mom quilted this on a longarm.

Can you see the different patterns she used in each section of the design?

The binding is extra wide, which I think is a great complement to the 'rustic' theme.  If you want to make your binding wider, after quilting just don't trim your batting and backing fabric to the edge of your top.  Stitch your binding strips a 1/4" away from the top's edge a usual, fold around to the back and stitch down as usual.  Don't forget to cut your binding wide enough to accommodate the extra width.

I hunted all over for a red bandanna fabric for the binding; this paisley was the closest I could find.  Don't you just know, once this quilt was done cowboy fabrics apparently 'came back'.  Red ones, too.  And bandanna fabrics.  :)

The backing is a flannel buffalo print - I was so excited to find that fabric :)
Even though I pre-washed everything, with all the reds, this quilt bled like a stuck pig in the wash.  I was heartbroken, because I had put so much into this quilt and was so proud of it and it was for my son.  Son #2 couldn't have cared less - it's all about perspective, right? :)

This quilt lives on my son's bed, no matter what the weather.  So much so, that his older brother just looked at the photos and said  'wow, I didn't know it looked like that!'  lol

This quilt has been snuggled with, dragged around the house, used to build bunkers for various war re-enactments, thrown up on, washed a ton, and generally loved hard continuously since the last stitch was made.  And it has just gotten softer and better with use. {I use cotton batting, either Warm & Natural or Warm & White in all my quilts, if you wanted to know}

The leaves were deliberately left on the ground in the backyard to add character to the pictures. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  {cough}

Thank-you Kris for coming over just to hold up a quilt!

The important details:
measurements - 66" x 82"
quilted by - my mother, a professional long-armer  :)
best category - Favorite bed quilt or Favorite professionally quilted quilt

Amy's Creative Side
I'm taking son #2's quilt over to the Blogger's Quilt Festival to show it off & check out the other fabulous quilts.  You should head over there, too. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

a public service announcement

there are two events starting tomorrow I thought you might like to know about, if you don't already

Handmade by Heidi
I always seem to miss FNSI, so I'm glad to be able to participate tomorrow night.  Basicaly, head over & link up your blog now if you want to join the fun.  Then get comfy and sew, sew, sew!  On Saturday, link up what you worked on.  There might be a prize involved.  I'm going to bribe my kids with a movie so they will let me sew :)
Amy's Creative Side
The quilt I'm taking to Festival isn't a new finish, but it has never been on my blog.  Stop by tomorrow to check it out :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

a question about pinking shears

Pinking shears have been on my wishlist for years, for no particular reason other than I just love the ricracish edges they create. 

Recently, I found a use for them that I could reasonable stretch into a need for pinking shears.  When they went on sale for 50% off, I could have sqealed!  Obviously, this was a sign it was time to treat myself to a pair :)

In the picture up there are {left to right} my Gingher shears, my Fiskars shears, and the new Gingher pinking shears. 

Now, my Fiskars are nice and I  love them because those orange handles remind me of the ones my mother always sewed with when I was growing up {the ones we were never allowed to touch, under penalty of death} but my Ginghers are my favorites.   The Fiskars have a slight grinding resistance during use.  The Ginghers on the other hand have a wonderfully smooth and effortless action, and cut crisply and easily. 

I have tendonitis problems in my right hand, and that smooth & easy action means I can do more cutting and hit the pain meds and ice packs less.  I was expecting that same perfomance from my Gingher pinking shears.

Far from it.  There is enough resitance that even when I'm not actually cutting fabric, the action is difficult and slightly jerky.  My wrist hurt with the very first cut into fabric.  I was so disappointed :(

To those of you in the know, is this tougher action typical of pinking shears?  Is there a brand you would recommend? 

I'm considering bringing these back and asking to try out a different pair.  Perhaps this pair is just a fluke.

I would really appreciate any thoughts/advice you could share on pinking shears.  Thanks for putting up with a more dreary post.  I promise to be back soon with pretty fabric pictures :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday, Penguin edition

The penguin quilt is coming along nicely.  I have sewn a bunch of WOF strips into pairs lengthwise.  These are just some of them spread out on my ironing board.  I plan to sew pairs of the pairs together lengthwise and then cut them into units width wise.  Then I'll sew those units into long strips of scrappy goodness.  Make sense? 

The quilt in my mind {which hopefully I can recreate in fabric} is inspired by this quilt made by Rachel over at Stitched in Color.  I'm going to space larger pieces of penguin fabric throughout the quilt.

I'm linking up today with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced and WOW at Esther's Blog
Happy Wednesday everybody!

Friday, October 12, 2012

a patchwork finish

I'm so happy to finally finish this patchwork quilt!  I decided to go with stitching the binding down by hand, which is why it has taken so long.  Well, to be honest, I haven't been diligently sewing on it all this time.  Every few days I would take it out and sew a little more.  I can't tell you how much I really wanted to push this aside and cut into something new, but I needed to finish this quilt.  Crossing it off the list has done a lot to free up my brain for calmer, creative thoughts on my other projects.  Does anyone else feel that way when a too long WIP list is made a little smaller?

The quilt measures approximately 75 inches by 90 inches, and is made entirely out of scraps and fabric from abandoned WIPs {I decided I won't feel guilty about letting go of WIPs I truly don't want to finish as long as the fabric gets used for something else}

I'm estimating this quilt represents 11.25 yards of fabric liberated from my closet :)

The back is pieced from two different blues, both from abandoned projects.
Swim, Bike, Quilt
I started this quilt during last year's 100 quilts for kids, and have just finished in time for this year's quilt drive.  Better late than never, right?
Knight's Quilt Shop is one of my LQSes. {basicly, if I can drive there and back in one day, I consider it an LQS} They collect quilts to donate to the Barbara Bush Pediatric ICU at Maine Medical Center.
When I first started this quilt, I had asked about size requirements.  At that time they didn't have any, but it looks like they do now.  I hope they still want it!

Edited to say: I called before bringing the quilt to Knight's Quilt Shop.  It is a good thing, they couldn't accept it.  They can't take quilts that will hang over the mattresses and interfere with any medical equipment.  I plan to make them another quilt better suited to the PICU's needs this winter.  Never fear, this quilt found a loving home, though :)  I donated it to a silent auction our church was having for the youth group.  It sparked a small biding war :)
I'm going to party like crazy and link this {giant} bit of happy patchwork up all over blogland! :)
You can find me at these fine parties {I may update the list as I do more linking}:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

random 10/11/12

The other day I took my boys to the park, and all the lamp posts had knit cozies on them!?


I just had to share the strangeness with you :)
I have one more picture to share from the Deerfield Fair.  See that pumpkin with the trophy next to it?  It weighed 1843.5 pounds, a world record acording to the sign. {!}
And the cooler fall temps were made a little nicer this week by the first eggnog and cranberries of the year :)
I'm linking up to Really Random Thursday
Go ahead and share some randomness from your own life in the comments if you like :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


So far, this is what I have for my son's penguin quilt.  Top left are two log cabin blocks.  There are two more partial blocks I didn't put in the photo.  I've given up on the log cabin blocks, for a bunch of mundane reasons I won't bore you with, but now that I see these two again, I really like them a lot.  Maybe they will become pillows.  Because I need to add to my WIP list, it is far too short.  Yeah.

On the top right is part of the panel that started it all.  It was one of those quick kits - just cut in two, back & bind for two small and cute wall hangings.  That was the plan.  Until my son had a conniption at the thought of putting a hanging sleeve on his penguins. {what was I thinking!}  He wanted to snuggle his penguins.  I really should have seen that coming, he has always been my snuggler :)

I've got a ton of strips, in all different sizes and shades of blue.  There are snowflakes, stripes, plaids, solids, and others.  This isn't all of them.  Plus larger pieces of penguin fabrics. 

All my cutting is done; I just need to sit down and sew.  Except for one thing.  I'm not sure what I want to make out of all this chaos.  Suggestions?

I'm bringing the penguins over to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday to check out what everyone else is doing :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

the Fair has come & gone again :)

So, are you all wondering which way I finally hung my little 'plus' wall hanging?  :)
Well, I decided I wanted to hang it so the long side was horizontal, but that still left two options, so I just turned it over & sewed on the sleeve.  I honestly don't remember which way it ended up.  It was late on the last night I had to sew before my iteams had to go to the fair, so it was a 'get it done or forget it' moment.  A whole year of indesicion lead up to a just do it moment - I guess the lesson here is stop obsessing and make a decision already, hehe.

And after all that, this is how it was displayed at the Fair,

laid on a counter with other stuff partly on top of it.  Which doesn't bother me, I'm happy there are so many quilting entries that space is a bit cramped.  But I am now officially done sewing on hanging sleeves for the fair.  They don't use them to display the quilts, even though it is supposed to be a requirement. 

I didn't put a sleeve on my Happy Mochi DP, and it didn't seem to be a problem.

BTW, there is a blue ribbon on both my quilts!  I love hunting through the fair displays to see if I have won a ribbon :)

I wasn't the only one in the family to earn ribbons!  This pumpkin was painted by my youngest, and won a blue :)  It is supposed to be Mike from Monsters Inc.

Son #2 painted a pumpkin self portrait, with a mushtache & beard :)  He also won a blue ribbon :)

My oldest entered two photos, and won a third place and a second place ribbon :)

I also got an Honorable Mention for a jar of strawberry jam, my first time canning :)  Last June, my Mom came over to teach me how.  I hope I'll be able to make some apple jelly this fall - that is, if the rain ever stops so we can go pick some apples.

Add in some fried oreos, apple crisp, lots of animals, and a pony ride & it was a good trip to the Fair, even if it did rain all day :)  In a way, I'm glad it did.  My boys were so well behaved and never complained about the cold and damp - I'm so proud of them!  If it had been sunny & perfect, I wouldn't have had this chance to see how they are growing up into mature young men :)

Then of course, we went home and promptly got sick.  Oh well :)

This was the mystery prize that made it's way to Cindy of Tops to Treasures.  It is four prints on one yard of fabric, with handy-dandy dotted lines to cut them apart on.  In blue and grey.  I'm gravitating toward these colors lately, not sure why, I just feel the need to stash them.  And spread them around, aparently. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

quick, before the penguins are replaced!

I did a little more stashing recently :)   the two prints on the left are my favs from Aneela Hoey's Sew Stitchy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find them in a LQS.

The penguin fabric is from Joanns, and is for a penguin quilt for my youngest.  It has been a WIP for a little too long.  The other day he announced that he is thinking of changing his favorite animal from penguins to sea cucumbers.  This quilt needs to be finished before he loses interest.

I am not making a sea cucumber quilt.

{fyi, sea cucumbers spit out their guts when bothered by a predator, which then eats the guts and leaves the sea cucumber alone to grow new guts.  I'm fairly certain this explains his fascination with sea cucumbers.}

Linking up to Sunday Stash @ Finding Fifth :)