Saturday, March 30, 2013


We had originally planned on a trip to Arizona for Spring Break.  That was before I did the taxes and discovered that the IRS wanted my trip money.

When the weather was cold, I was able to finish the quilting and binding on Heart's Infatuation.  I did a pre-soak in the machine with cold water to get out the marking pen, but threw in a color catcher when I noticed the water wasn't too clear.  Being reasonably paranoid, I threw 2 more in when I added the soap.  One came out bright pink and the other 2 pale pink.  Money well spent.

We drove about 40 miles North to Horseshoe Bend to have lunch and find interesting things to use as a back drop.    Good thing my hubby is tall as he made a perfect quilt hanger.

Evidently, I need a remedial lesson in "Staycation" as we drove nearly 600 miles round trip to take my mom out to dinner Tuesday night.  Met up with 2 other friends while we were there and were back 30 hours later.  My new car was deemed to be both fun and comfortable for road trips.

I am nearly finished with the FMQ on the Sun and Stars quilt.

It's quilted in yellow, grey and black.  My darning foot broke as I was finishing the section with the bubbles and lines on the right, so there's some weird random loops of thread...we'll call it a design feature.   The squares on the right need some fill then I'll be done.

And I would have gone out an bought a new darning foot, but the weather turned nice so we went riding.

140 miles to get to where we had lunch...a town that's really only 20 miles from our house.

The winding road ends near the winery region.

Unfortunately, the parking lot of the winery we stopped at is gravel and at a steep slope.  I ride better than I park.

While my hubby spent a day trying to fix the damage to my highway bars from dropping the bike, I bundled up batik squares to mail to the winners of my give away.  The Traveling Stash Box is on it's way to Marianne.

The cat, who was apparently very lonely decided to help me at the cutting mat.

I made some progress on the Puce 'Treuse Goose quilt.

The week I was obsessed with Puce & Chartreuse, one of my coworkers wore this!  

Unfortunately, with this comparison, you can see that the fabric I found is really more mauve than puce.  Oh well.  Close enough.

Last, but not least, I have pulled out one of my many UFOs.  This is a hand pieced red & white quilt that for years was the purse project.  I made half square triangles in waiting rooms, continuing education events and staff meetings.  The red is the leftovers from the USA quilt that is also still a UFO.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hearts Infatuation Finished!

She is finally done.  Hand Applique. Hand Quilted.  Bound.  Washed.  Taken on a road trip for photographs.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Traveling Stash

Recently I won a  Traveling Stash box.  If you aren't familiar with what this is, there are several large flate rate boxes wandering around the USA.  They are absolutely PACKED with fabric, patterns and notions.  The idea is to take what you want and replace it with an equivalent amount of goodies then pass it on to someone else.. 

Here's what I decided to keep:
A retro needle threader and book of needles.  Check out that picture - looks like late 40's, early 50's art.  I had to have it.  I haven't owned any Kaffe Fasset, so the charm squares stay as well.  The fat quarter with the Jacobean inspired chinz flowers I grabbed for my BFF Anna.  I've never used water soluble stabilizer so I decided this was a chance to try something new.  And I can never have too much thread, especially now that I'm trying to do some FMQ.

My replacements include little square things.  There's a huge stack of 2.5" squares that I had been saving to do a Tokyo Subway quilt.  The stack is nearly 3" high and has well over 100 squares.

I had some paper piecing templates that I'm not using, and even included a finished daffodil.

Who can resist a tape measure with tea cups and a little tea pot pull?

I thought the stash lacked something with a really modern vibe so I'm giving up this 1/2 yard of cool dots.  The colors gradate from teal at the selvedge to  yellow at the center fold.  This view is half width.

And I had to put in something batik right?

Wondering if this stash is right for you?
There is an AMAZING collection of novelty fabrics.  This would be ideal for anyone working on an I Spy or Polaroid quilt.

Perhaps you are an apiarist or live in Utah.
There are a couple yards worth of these cute Debbie Mumm coordinates.

 Into retro?  I really wanted to keep the Sewing Susan needle case but decided to be nice and share.   This totally makes me want to embroider a  50's style apron.

There are some great applique patterns.
Isn't that dog the greatest!!!

And if you have a weakness for bags, these are some of the cutest patterns I've seen.

For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post.  I'll be picking a winner sometime Monday March 25th.

The rules are simple and listed below:

Want to win the Traveling Stash? Here are the rules.

  1. Be an active blogger. Post about receiving and the giveaway on your blog in a timely manner.
  2. There is a note in the box that logs where the box has been. Please add your info and place the note back in the box.
  3. There is a list of Rules and Guidelines in the box. Please read and follow these and return the list to the box.
  4. You may take anything you like from the box. Just replace every item with comparable quilt shop quality items equal to the amount taken. See guidelines below.
  5. Ship the box to the next person in a reasonable amount of time.
  6. Due to the amount of postage shipping is only within the USA

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blog Hop Prize Winners

As promised there are 2 grand prize winners and some unannounced runner up thank you gifts.  

The random generator came up with lucky #13 for my "random" winner.  I was secretly delighted since 1) 13 is considered to be unlucky and 2) #13 was Julie Fukuda who is a long term follower of mine and frequently leaves me nice comments. 

My favorite suggestion prize goes to Erin who suggested Eternity Knot.  The link takes you to a source for paper piecing patterns for this design.  I plan to do it with regular strip piecing and expanding the design larger into a single woven design.

 I was bemused by some of the comments that were left.  People who left suggestions for quilts that are "quick" and "easy" clearly have never paid attention to my quilting style.  I'm drawn to annoyingly difficult.   In fact, my very first quilt project (pictured here) was a very complicated star.

But I did get some very good ideas both for strips (which is what I asked for) and others that will work far better with the 5" charm square collection.  I'm going to send 12 squares each of  of my runners up as a thank you.

Many people listed Jelly Roll race, but Janet offered a suggestion using narrow strips.  I can see using any leftover strips from other projects, cut in half to 1.25" strips.

Alessandra suggested a Braided Irish Chain pattern.  What I like about it is that it's a variation of Irish Chain that I hadn't seen before and quite like..

Nita suggested Island Chain.  I really like the interlocking squares and it reminds me a lot of the winning design.

Gateway to Paradise  seems like a great way to really showcase strips rather than cutting them into little pieces.

This designer also has the pattern available for sale for those of you who actually follow patterns.

Amanda's variation of a Lawn Chair quilt is quite nice as well. 

jmniffer suggested Cross-Terrain

I can see using my 5" charms to make Swoon as suggested by Who-lee-uh

Finally,  Marj at Marjorie's Busy Corner really knows me as she suggested using the batiks for a Dahlia.  I can cut those odd shaped pieces from the stash I have set aside for applique.
Thanks for all the ideas.....time to pull out the batik charm stash and start stuffing envelopes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Puce 'treuse Goose

 The best thing about being easily amused, is that I just spent half an hour giggling about how funny it would be to make a quilt of flying geese out of Puce and Chartreuse,  if only for the purpose of naming it  "The Puce 'treuse Goose".

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Big Star Flimsy Finish

I have another flimsy finished for my Stash-Busting-Niece/Nephew project.  The goal is to get 6 utilitarian quilts finished by November.  I have been trying to get quilts done for everyone for about 5 years but trying to super personalize what I made really slows down progress worrying about if it's "right".  I'm changing strategies and will have quilts ready at a family gathering and they can either pick one of them they like, or wait for the next time I have something to choose from.
I made this from a stack of Joel Dewberry fat quarters that Anna gave me last year for my birthday.  When I was little, orange was my favorite color.  Working with these fabrics reminds me that I still like it.

Thanks to Ella from Throw a Wrench in the Works who suggested this pattern in response to an earlier post.  The inspiration post is from

It was not without it's challenges.  I did manage to find the remnants of the IKEA apple green sheet in the garage to use as sashings.  I took the remaining 9" pieces to make this framing 1" strip of the design fabrics. I'm really happy I did as it pulls the whole quilt together.   Despite my efforts to calculate carefully, I came up a bit short.

I cut a 1.5" strip off one of the remaining 9" blocks, then added some yellow from the stash.  No one will ever notice that this corner doesn't have the same 2.5" blocks of the rest of the border.  Shhhh!

While digging around in the large yardage bins in the garage, I found this print that I bought last year on deep clearance.  It was cheap because the color is a terrible shade of baby poop.  Kind of green...kind of tan, but not really either.  But I liked the print and thought it might work on the back of something I was working on that was chartreuse (it didn't).  Turns out it's the same designer as the new fat quarters - Joel Dewberry.  I had only a little over 1 length of the fabric to work with, so had to add some cream colored muslin.

Unfortunately, when I started working on the back this morning, I had not remembered the correct measurement of the finished front.  I was thinking it was 72" square and knowing that I had limited fabric thought I'd squeak it out with a 73" back.  Turns out the front was 73.5".  Now there are some interesting design features on one side of the backing. (I don't make mistakes...I just make clever design changes as I go. Ha ha!)

Front and back finished.  100% stash.

I will FMQ following the designs of the fabric in the stars then do the fill on the green in something linear...maybe radiating out from the center.

The only thing left is this one piece 7"x10" piece of poo colored fabric.   It doesn't match anything at my house.  Would you like to save it?  Maybe you have it's siblings.  Or have a thing for poo colored fabric.   I'm willing to spend $0.46 to mail it to someone in the U.S.  First reply wins.

Addendum:  Poo color fabric has a new home.  You are safe making comments now.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blog Hop Batiks

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways If you're just here for the chance for free stuff, here's the scoop:

I'm giving away 2 packets of 5" charm squares from my very cool stash of beautiful batiks to 2 lucky winners. Actual count TBA.
To play, leave a comment with a link of your favorite quilt pattern that uses 2.5" "jelly roll" strips. I'd love to see something that you made, but any link is OK.  To increase your odds of winning, spend some time looking over my blog and suggest something that you think that I would like.  Something that's "my" style.   One winner will be selected using a random number generator, and the other winner will be the suggestion that I like the best.

The give-away addicts may be excused now.

As for the the appliquers, quilters and piecers, here's the rest of the story.

Because I love to applique, I frequently have designs that need little bits of lots of beautiful fabrics.  Once upon a time, I used to buy 1/8 yard cuts for that reason.  Because I "collect" fabric while I'm traveling, I discovered that 1) many shops will not cut 1/8 yards and 2) those who do have differing opinions about what an 1/8 yard is.  Technically, it is 4.5".  When I returned from one cross country trip, I discovered pieces ranging from 4 to 6".

There were also times I wished that I could buy just at 5" charm square.  Just enough for a flower or a leaf.

Which triggered an new strategy.  I started to buy 1/3 yard cuts.  When I got home, I'd cut a 5" strip into charms, cut a 2.5" jelly roll strip, then save the remaining 1/8 yard for applique.

3 years later, I've amassed somewhere over 150 different batiks.

 And the only thing that I've really made from any of them was this jelly roll dress.

If you're still reading, then you get an extra clue....
I have mostly dark/bright fabrics, but about 20% are light.  I am not inclined to buy anything extra to use the batiks I have so the winning pattern will either be all strips, or strips with something made with 5" charms.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Big Orange Stars

Monday I was pondering what to do with this set of fat quarters that I got for a gift, but lack anything in my stash to go with it.

As I prepped them I remember that the reason Anna bought them was because she was at an event where Joel Dewberry presented - these are his design.

I sent out a plea for ideas that would show off the large scale prints.  These HST are made with 9" squares since that size matches the fat quarters (4 blocks per FQ).   My blog friends sent great ideas.

Turns out that I couldn't find the white fabric I thought I had, and realized the fabric is really a cream anyway.  Apple green to the rescue.

These stars will finish at 30" and the plan is to put 4 of them together with an outer border of some sort (assuming I don't run out of green).
Since my usual thing is to do insanely difficult piecing, this has been a blast.  I got this cut out and the 8" squares finished in a couple hours.  Tonight I need to trim all the blocks, arrange for color and sew.  A couple hours and I'll have another flimsy finished giving me 2 of the 6 quilts I need by November.

Thus I present yet another WIP on Wed that does nothing to shorten my UFO list.