Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Time out for Halloween!

We finally had a bit of money to get my little guy a costume. I made little brother's costume last year, but he really didn't understand nor want to wear it last year. Now he's totally into Halloween and it still fits, so we'll try it out. I got a cute Butterick pattern that makes cats/lions/leopards depending on your fabric and trim, a bunny, a monkey, and a bear. I made Little brother's bear with bright yellow fleece, then put on a plain red t-shirt: instant Winnie-the-Pooh!
I went to Walmart on Monday to see what I could find for big brother for school, and couldn't find anything he would like. So I planned ahead and had the pattern with me, and went straight to the fabric section to get stuff to make him Kung Fu Panda Po!
I spent all afternoon/evening Monday, cutting out the pieces. Then I spent all afternoon yesterday sewing. It was made a bit harder because my serger didn't like the thick fleece layers, and kept skipping stitches, so I had to go over parts of seams with my sewing machine. I nearly finished when I had to stop for dinner and go to work.

I pulled in from work at 02:15 and went straight to the sewing room. I had to top stitch the hood, stitch the Velcro on the hood, and hand stitch the hood lining opening together. Oh yeah, and slip stitch the tail and tail stay together. I just didn't have time to make pants, so I dug his khaki shorts out of his drawer and pinned the tail to his shorts. I finished at 3 am! The bus came at 7:30.
You should have seen his dazzling smile when I took his picture this morning, because he loves Kung Fu Panda.
Ugh, I went back to bed after I put him on the bus!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quilt U Be Mine round robin

Hi everyone!
I'm so excited to participate in the Quilt U Be Mine Mystery Round Robin, hosted by Michele from !
I can't wait to see what my group and I decide to add to our blocks as we go.
I can't wait to get to know new quilting friends, too.

Here is my center block. I think it's named Hearts Around or something similar.
1--I traced and cut out the hearts.
2--To appliqué, I sewed the hearts, right sides together, with a piece of very lightweight fusible interfacing, in a 1/4 seam allowance.
3--Then I clipped all the curves, then cut a slit in the interfacing to turn the hearts right side out. Use something pointy to gently smooth and shape the seams. Use a warm iron on delicate setting to gently press the seam allowance.
4--Fold and spot-press the background piece to mark your centers and diagonals. Arrange your hearts where you'd like, using the marks to help you center them on the background. Pin in place, and turn up the iron to the hot setting recommended for the interfacing. Place a press cloth over the hearts, and press in place.
4--Then you can hand-appliqué in place with a stitch of your choice, or use the machine, like I did. I used the blind stitch, but flip-flopped it, and reduced the width of the zigzag. Then I carefully stitched around the outside. It is helpful to stitch with your needle set to always stop in the "down" position, so that you can pivot your piece slightly as you go. I found about every 3-4 stitches is a good time to pivot for my machine, to be able to hug the curves.
And here's a cute label I made to match. I hope my group members will sign my label as they complete their parts!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend accomplishments

Hmmmm...time for a recap of the week.
1--finished four blocks for my Patriotic Sampler "Sylvia's Shooting Star" It's nice to take out four blocks at once. These will be the corner blocks of my sampler. I'm going to turn the stars so they're shooting toward the quilt center, in picture 2.
Patriotic Sampler block count: 34/42 ! Getting closer!

2--Got the Design Builder panel baby quilt stabilized and straight line quilted. Ok Rachell, don't be a chicken and just go for the FMQ!

3--hand-pieced a bit more of the Glorified Nine Patch patriotic block.

4--planned and cut pieces for my Quilt U Be Mine center block. More to do tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Soup in a mug

Fall is in the air, on the trees, and everywhere! I took my kids to a pumpkin patch last night, and our jackets sure didn't feel like enough warmth. We were glad to get home by the time it was dark and get warm baths for bedtime. It was down to freezing last night!
By the time I went to bed, I was getting a bad sore throat. Today I don't feel better-just worse. So I'll share a quick recipe for soup in a mug for one, that I came up with a few months ago.

1 mug
1 small can V-8 juice (5.5 oz)
I tsp bouillon powder (chicken or beef, you choose)

Pour the juice and bouillon into the mug. Fill the rest of the mug with water. Heat in the microwave until desired temp, and stir well. Enjoy!

Warms you right up on a chilly day, has a serving of veggies, and is good with a sandwich for lunch, or by itself for a warmup before bed. Savory and Yummy!

Friday, October 12, 2012


In September, I entered a quilt and a quilt project in contests. Those didn't win.
But I must have had a small lucky streak anyway, because I won something from each of three of my favorite quilting magazines in September!

The first one you saw already: a stack of Christmas fat quarters and a copy of Quilters Newsletter's Best Christmas Quilts 2012.

The next one was a copy of Mccall's "America Quilts Together" and it made me want to try an exchange or round robin sometime!

The next one was from Quiltmaker, and included a Project Linus Charlie Brown fat eighth bundle and a few Christmas prints from Robert Kaufman. Cute, and gorgeous!

Thank you, thank you! It's fun to add to my teeny quilting stash.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Top finished!

The yellow/gray quilt top is finished! I need some batting and something for the backing. For the backing, I'm thinking more of that darling paisley! I'm in love with that print. It's a brand-new Keepsake Calico from Joann Fabric.
What do you think?
I think anything very dark won't look good behind all that cheery yellow, don't you?
Oh yeah, and this is a gift, so no telling, ok?

This quilt is called Diamond Daze, in the brand new "Quilts from 100 Blocks Volume 2" by Quiltmaker Magazine. Love it!

The next quilt is a preprinted panel by Renae Allen of It is her Design Builder panel. I had the good fortune that she lives in Utah, and taught a class at LQS--my local Bernina store, Dave's Bernina. She teaches this class, plus her original two SkillBuilder series classes, which are also preprinted panels. Both have companion booklets. The SkillBuilder has quilting lines preprinted, to get you accustomed to FMQ. The DesignBuilder only has the quilt "blocks" printed, so it's purpose is to help you choose your quilting designs, set the mood of your quilt with designs, and teach you about transferring designs to the quilt top. There really wasn't time, nor did the class really teach, the quilting skills or techniques--that's the Skillbuilder's job. It was very fun to take the class from Renae herself, hear her knowledge and tips, and learn that she pieces and quilts almost all her own quilts on her Bernina domestic machine! And doesn't usually use the Bernina Stitch Regulator!

As you can tell, I've already started pin-basting the layers. This panel will be another baby gift.

I've got to get them done pretty quickly and soon!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'd rather be quilting

and not mending. I had a pile of mending tonight: my husband's shorts, his uniform job shirt, and patching knees in little jeans. I sandwiched that pile in between finishing two blocks, and putting together the units for the yellow/gray quilt.
I broke a needle, switched between an 80 needle and a 90 needle, switched thread colors 5 times, and filled a bobbin. Re-threading my machine is easy-peasy, but I guess it's one of my hang ups. I hate stopping what I'm doing to change colors.

I'm so happy I did the two LeMoyne blocks together: the Silver and Gold, and the Liberty Star/Tennessee. It was a lot of set-in seams all at once, but assembly-lining all those units wasn't so bad. And look at them- so very worth it!

And we took a family drive up the canyon mountain loop, which we do every fall, and admire all the amazing colors! More ideas for the fall quilt I want to make sometime. It would be stunning to have brightly colored leaf blocks, with dark greens in pine tree blocks--just like our mountains. And probably gray rock or light rust red for backgrounds, for the red dirt we have all over the state and up our mountains. It really is stunning! Someday I will get it out of my head and into fabric.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Clean your iron......


This afternoon, I made the smoke alarm in my basement sewing room go off. It scared my little guy and sent my firefighter husband calling down the stairs: "what did you do?!!!!"

You know those center circles for my Dresdens, and all the triangles I cut out yesterday? I've been using starch to set the circles and the squares, because of so much bias while cutting the triangles. After bonding patches to knees in pants, I decided to clean my iron before I work on any more cream-colored sampler blocks!
I use the Dritz Hot Iron Cleaner and stacked squares of scrap muslin. I was not prepared for how much starch can smoke as it is being "burned" and wiped off the iron! Hence the smoke alarm! At least my ironing board is right under the window---but I think this is the first time I've opened the window since we moved in--it is a window well and we've killed black widows in the well before!

So note to self--cleaning a starch iron should be done by an open window with a fan on---or probably outside, like my husband would want me to do!


Look what I did tonight: I cut out almost an entire quilt! Whee!
I'm just missing one giant square, then i need to cut that square into 4 triangles. Ok, granted, this quilt is just a lot of big half-square and quarter-square triangles. But I feel like I got a lot done. And I really love the colors; some I had leftovers from other quilts, and I bought this beautiful new yellow and gray paisley and the cute yellow daisies! It's going to be a gift.