Monday, December 16, 2013


It was a very productive weekend for me.  It was a bit snowy and icy here this weekend, so tons of cookies werebaked (mostly my ginger/molasses white chocolate chip cookies, but also a few pans of Matzo toffee) and I also got a lot of quilting and quilting prep done.

First up, a fabric box done with Penn State fabric for a friend of mine.  She's a knitter and was asking for a small container to hold a ball of yarn inside one of her project bags.  I think she'll like this.

I used a tutorial I found on Seaside Stitches and had it done within an hour.

I then tried making my first box bag.  Not as big of a success -- as I think I did something incredibly stupid and put the zipper on the long side of the fabric rather than long, so I ended up with a rather long, skinny bag :-)  But it still looks cute and I think I'll just set it aside for my own use as it is not really "gift" quality.

I finished up with getting the material cut out for three baby quilts I am making using the Triplet pattern, by Norma Campbell.  You end up getting three quilts and can vary the layout.  I have one to do for a little boy and one for a little girl, so I decided to use both blue and pink and then yellow.  Then I'll have an extra baby quilt the next time I need a shower present!


Another item that arrived this weekend was my Oliso TG-1050 iTouch iron.

Oliso Smart Iron TG1050 1600W Ultra-Premium Soleplate Pressing System
Love, love, love it!  I'd seen this iron in use on several quilting YouTube videos and was intrigued. Then I saw the price and was flabbergasted.  I stuck it on my Amazon Wishlist, but didn't hold out much hope unless some millionaire stumbled upon my list and felt sorry for me.

Fortunately, on Black Friday, Joane's had it on sale for almost half price.  Of course I didn't get to my local store in near enough time to fine one on the self, but they were on sale online as well, and I snatched one up!


The Kona Solids that I will be using in the upcoming Wake Up to Kona blog hop that I'm participating in arrived this weekend from Canton Village Quilt Works. They have a really nice selection and I even got the yardage on sale!

Amethyst, Artichoke, and White.  Can't wait to get cutting and putting this quilt together!

Friday, December 13, 2013


Found a really neat tutorial for a scrappy placemat (or even a mug rug, with a bit of alteration) at
Pink Penquin.

The tutorial and clear and concise and the pictures are great for following along.

You can find it HERE!


The tutorial shows more spring fabrics, but you could easily sub in some holiday fabrics and sew up some quick placements for a gift for your kid's teacher or a coworker.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I'm signed up to participate in the She Who Sews Blog Hop in brand new year!

Once I found out I was on the list, I scoured the web for the She Who Sews fabric line by Janet Wrecker at Quilting Treasures ( and finally found the two fabrics I was looking for at
A great site, with a wonderful selection and great service was wonderful!
And here are the two focus fabrics I will be using for this adventure!

I just adore the red tomato pin cushion and button fabrics, so much fun.  I haven't quite decided what to make yet (it has to be something for my sewing room) but I have tons of ideas.  Just need to narrow them down.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Got a package in the mail today -- a yummy jelly roll of orange fabric  

I plan on using this for this for the pattern I picked up on Black Friday, the Patchwork Pumpkin Table Runner pattern that ordered from Annie's Crafts on Black Friday

I'll also be linking up to the party for the Cushion for Christmas Blog Hop at Ms Midge when it opens on Saturday, December 14th -- Before then, make sure to run over and check out all the incredible cushions!

         Ms Midge

Saturday, November 30, 2013


Finished with a Santa Mug Rug!

Linked at Making Christmas 2013-Day 8 over at Miss Mac Creations

Updated TO DO list:

Finish the batik jelly roll quilt that has been stalled for three months
Knitting Project Bags - five of them! - finished 2
Dog collars for puppy presents - 3 of them!
Quilted boxes as office gifts - 4 of them
Mug Rugs - 1

Friday, November 29, 2013


Ran across this fantastic quilt tutorial by Melissa Corry at her blog Happy Quilting, and just had to share it.

It uses Angela Walters fabric collection, Legacy, from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Please make sure to check out the beautiful quilting that Melissa work HOURs on.  It was well worth the time, for sure!

Go visit now, you won't be sorry. and probably really inspired

And just when you think it's as good as it gets, Melissa is offering a give away at Art Gallery Fabrics.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


With all the holiday projects that I have started (and not finished), today I go and pick up an old project I haven't worked on in months.  A bug inspired quilt for one of my grand nephews.  Don't ask me why, but the project just called to me from the corner of quilt studio and I gave in. 

Have added a few more rows and am very close to have the top finished.  I'd thought to send it to a long arm quilter to finish up, but now I'm thinking of quilting it myself on my faithful Pfaff.

It would be nice if I got this done before he heads off for college, heh?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I finished up a breast cancer quilt that I am donating for a raffle to raise money for some walkers in the next Komen 3-Day in Washington, DC.  I had some of the original Quilt for the Cure fabric left (I was nutso and bought about 8 yards when I found some in a tiny quilt shop in North Caroline a few years ago), along with a green-based breast cancer fabric.  The pinks in the main portion of the quilt are all different, some breast cancer fabrics, most not.  I really like how it turned out.


Monday, November 25, 2013


Love the little triangle zipper pouch I made.  I'm taking off an extra day and starting Wednesday plan to be quilting every day to catch up on holiday presents.  Definitely going to make a few more of these of various sizes!
I followed a free tutorial on Robin Quilts, Etc blog. which you can find here.


Cruising the web for all things Christmas, I came across this beautiful pattern at Laugh Yourself Into Stitches.  Think I might get started on this after the new year for the 2014 holiday season!

You can buy it at her Craftsy site here or on her Etsy site here.

Stars for every Season by Karen M Walker

Friday, November 15, 2013


Whilst wandering the web today, I found a "cosmic block" pattern at Traceyjay Quilts

Tracey Jacobson is the designer and also a fantastic blogger.  Her blog is bright and cheerful and informative. I spent a lot of time looking at the tutorials she has up, as well as pictures of her glorious quilts!  I'd definitely urge you take a moment and go visit her site!

Also, while I have never done a block tutorial, I have watched and followed many and Quilt Story has a link-up that has close to 90 block tutorials.  Check them out and if you have a block tutorial that you yourself have done, link-up!

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, November 11, 2013


Found this wonderful Holiday Tutorial Series over at Quilt Story -- lots of wonderful guest bloggers with some very creative idea for the holiday season.  Has inspired me to pull out all my holiday fabric!

Quilt Story


Updating my Making Christmas 2013 list and am a little disappointed in myself.  Even though I did spend most of the weekend attending the Quilters Quest, I did expect to get more sewing done than I actually did.


So far the list hasn't changed much

Finish the batik jelly roll quilt that has been stalled for three months -- finished cutting all the fabric
Knitting Project Bags - five of them! -- completed one (picture below)
Dog collars for puppy presents - 3 of them! -- bought hardware and fabric
Quilted boxes as office gifts - 4 of them -- bought fabric


Spent the Saturday on a bus full of other quilting nerds taking part in Quilter's Quest 2013 -- my local quilt shop hop.  I wasn't able to do the entire Quest this year, as I couldn't get off work to make the first day of the bus trip and, frankly, doing even half the Quest on my own is not something I'd call fun.

Too much driving time, not enough shoping time.

However, I was able to get in five of the ten shops that were taking part this year  -- and two of them were shops I'd never been to before.  All in all it was great time and I met some thoroughly wonderful women on the bus who, while many of them had done this trip before, together, made me feel very welcome.  I also got some wonderful suggestion for local guilds to join and some retreats that really sound fun.

In the next few days, I'll be sharing pictures from each of the shops and the goodies I bought at each one. I always start these type of adventures intending to merely buy each shop's charm pack and pattern, but usually end up filling a suitcase with fabric.  This year was no different.

First up, Patches Quilt Shop in Mt. Airy, Maryland.

This shop is actually one of the closest to my home, although I don't get here often enough.  It really is a lovely shop and in the forty-five minutes we spent there, I managed to purchase some really great fabric.

Grabbed a few yards each of two different Virginia Tech fabrics and a matching orange tone on tone.  I know a few Tech grads that would love to have something made from these, as well as maybe doing up some knitting project bags to sell on Esty.

I also found two fabrics for my bestie, a knitting fabric and a beer fabric -- and then a wonderful blue crab fabric that I know the locals will love.

Friday, November 1, 2013


As was mentioned recently by a very kind commenter (Kim, of QT Quilters), it seems deadlines actually work for me.  Hmmm, who knew.

So, based on this info, I've decided to take part in:


Janine, of Rainbow Hare Quilts and Rebecca, of Making Rebecca Lynne have made it incredibly easy to take part -- all I need to do is make a list of projects that I'd like to finish before Christmas.  They don't even have to be "Christmassy" things (which is good, you know with whole agnostic, pagan thing) -- as long as the projects are handmade and finished no later than December 25th of 2013.

So there it is.  My deadline. The deadline I will meet, come hell or high water.  

And here, is my list of project I hope to will finish by December 25th, 2013:

Finish the batik jelly roll quilt that has been stalled for three months
Knitting Project Bags - five of them!
Dog collars for puppy presents - 3 of them!
Quilted boxes as office gifts - 4 of them
Mug Rugs - 1

Soooooooo, I have my work (and lots of fabric) cut out for me.  Wish me luck.  I will report back as I start crossing things off that list!

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Found this beautiful quilt and tutorial as I was meandering through other quilt blogs this afternoon.

Inspiring Creations: Fair-and-Square Free Pattern and Video Tutorial

When I started quilting I was very traditional, but the more I know about the quilting, the more I quilt, the more I move toward the modern quilt patterns.  This one is really beautiful and colors are simply yummy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I recently finished a quilt for a friend who was retiring.  I've know this person for ages and ages and really wanted to do something special for him.  He's very big into astronomy, being an astrophysicist (no lie), so when I saw my local quilt shop advertise a class for a spiral quilt, I plunked my money down.

A little background here.  I've taken dozens of classes at my local quilt shop.  I have never finish a single one of them.  Not sure why.  I start off gang-busters and do great during class (I'm even one of those annoying people that actually comes to class as instructed, with fabric already cut), but then the urgency seems to fade away after I leave.  Napping always has an urgency, you see, so the half made quilt usually gets shuffled to the UFO pile and forgotten.  Usually for years.

But this time was different.  I had a deadline.  A looming deadline.  One of those deadlines that wakes you up in the middle of night and niggles at the back of you brain when you are trying to do Suduko.  And I made my deadline; finished the quilt early, in fact and got the entire crew at my friend's office to sign the back.

I'm quite pleased with myself, because not only did I finish a class project for the very first time, but I also put a big smile on the face of my friend who was truly surprised and touched by the gift.

And here is the photo he sent me later, saying that the universe must have been my muse.

I really, really love my friends.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I decided the first post in my brand spanking new blog would be about something that isn't controversial.  No politics to be found, just the timeless question:

To wash or not to wash?

Well, maybe the topic is "slightly" controversial.  But let's get serious here, it's not like this is rocket science or deciding between dark and milk chocolate.

Okay, to get things started, there a really nice article about the pros and cons of pre-washing quilt fabric at Craftsy.  Go read it and I'll wait......

Now, I'll tell you that I have prewashed my quilt fabric exactly ONE time.  Yes, one time.  It only took me that once to realized that I'm far too lazy and impatient for pre-washing and it was either giving up quilting or just quilting with fabric that hadn't been prewashed.  I guess you can all guess which choice I made.

In all honesty, I really haven't noticed a big difference.  I don't make quilts that are going to be passed down through the generations (for one thing, dogs just don't get into the whole handing down of a legacy thing).  However, I'm sure if I did make such quilts, then I'd absolutely prewash my fabrics.

Okay, that's a lie.  I still wouldn't.  BUT, I might pay someone to wash them for me.

Yes, I'm that lazy.

I also happen to like the "look" of quilts whose fabrics were not prewashed.  The way the fabric and stitching all kind of shrink together.  For me, washing a quilt after piecing it lends itself to a really "cozy" looking quilt. 

Don't look at me that way.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Now, I will admit that I am in the minority.  There is a large contingency of quilters who, it would seem, would rather rotary cut with a dull blade than not prewash their fabric.  They're the ones in quilt class that give you the evil stink eye when you mention you don't prewash, and then whisper about you with the instructor during break.

I could take a really cheap shot and state that lots of people SAY they prewash their fabric, but, well, really?  I don't think so.  I refuse to believe that there are that many people who have that much time and energy on their hands.  Makes me tired just thinking about it.

The bottom line is, there really isn't a right or wrong answer.  Unless, like me, you're a lazy lump, in which case prewashing is the wrong answer.  Or, if you're an anal-retentive, perfectionistic, showoff, who is compelled to make sure their great, great, grandchildren get a quilt that looks like it was just pulled off the long-arm frame, then, prewashing is the right answer.  Prewash and press, and hell, throw some starch on that quilting fabric, you little overachiever.  Just keep your stink eye to yourself.

So, if you decide to follow the herd and prewash your fabric (and I won't think less of you if you do, although I might be a tad bitter) here is a really nice how-to video by Leah Day.

Of course you can totally solve the problem by   quilting with pre-cuts that are already prewashed.    But that's kind of like cheating, isn't it?