Monday, December 29, 2014

Pickle Dish

I had some grand sewing plans for the 3 days of vacation I took when the decision was made to close the office Wed-Fri for Christmas.

In reality, I ate too much, drank too much, read 3 novels and took an unplanned 600 mile road trip.

A midst all that, I managed to start a paper piecing project.  The pattern is listed as Pickle Dish, Eyelashes as well as a Wedding Ring variation.

I am still auditioning fabrics for the center as well as the outside.  I have some red/black fabrics in the drier right now.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mr Snaggit

Meet Mr Snaggit
He suffers from lipodystrophy and scars.

He is BFF with Mr Taggit.  

Earlier this evening Mr Snaggit nearly underwent a sex change.  

I had decided that the nap of the fabric on the lower jaw was important to be continuously in the same direction of the plushie.  This means that my scrap is just a wee bit too small.
I spliced on some fabric for the upper spikes.  I was thinking that I might have to hide this with a giant attached "hair bow". 

Thankfully, the creases at that point hide the seam and if you look at the top picture, you can see that other spikes look more seamed than the ones that are.  

His name is related to the pocket behind that questionable dentition.  He might actually be better identified as Mr Snackit.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Out Of Control Creativity

I have a serious problem.  It is pathological creativity.  Once that idea kicks in, I can't stop.
No.  Really.

So I was hanging out with my favorite 1 year old twins this weekend and discovered that my darling Jamie is obsessed with tags.  The tag on a commercial blanket.  Flipping over the throw rug to find the tag.  This girl loves tags.  Who am I to judge?

I had seen some mini-quilts on line focused on the idea that lots of babies like tags.  And the concept of Mr Taggit was born.

I cannot say Mr Taggit without throwing in a Northern Midwestern accent. (throw in a y before the a and drag it out the"a" a bit?)

This is a police sketch of Mr Taggit.

I searched through my stash and found a piece of yellow minkie fleece from a project one of my daughters made and a remnant of flannel in a  yellow/orange floral that I bought at a second hand store for $3.

The color scheme was set.

I found a little bit of gold satin ribbon in the stash, and about a yard of some glorious silk green/brown.  My sole investment in this project was 2 rolls of wide yellow satin and gold grograin ribbon (half price).  I threw in 1.5 yards of the wide ric-rac since I thought the texture would be great.

FYI, the final tag count is 77.
Is Mr Taggit eating something to the left? Or running away toward the right?


I spent some time over the weekend with my favorite 1 year old twins.  It was the first time we had lunched together.  I was inspired to make some extra long bibs as a surprise Christmas gift.  A quick search resulted in this free toddler bib pattern.  The original uses oil canvas and bias tape.  The link has a great tutorial along with it.  

Changes from the original included using a single piece of fabric, folded on the upper age for the pocket. 

There were a couple scraps that were too small.  I spliced on another piece of fabric and top stitched it in place.  
The backing was left from the quilt I finished yesterday.  It was a cotton sheet from Ikea.  I found a small hole right in the center of one of back layers. 
I found a piece of white fabric that had some fusible on the back already, and stitched on a secret flower. 
Then I sewed a front to the back with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving an opening on a straight side section.  After turning and pressing, top stitched right on the edge.

With all the unexpected adaptations I had to make, it was still under 3 hours for 4 bibs.

A nice change of pace from quilting.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Finally Finished

I finally finished the quilt top that I pieced back in April.  I borrowed the idea from Raewyn but messed up on some math and ended up with a different pattern.  She had designed it for paper piecing, which would eliminate all the bias issues that I had that resulted in some wonky, asymmetrical sections.
It is all machine quilted.  The long, straight sections done with the walking foot.  The fill is FMQ.  The white is quilted with Gutermann 50 wt cotton.  I used a new to me thread for the black.  It's Coats & Clark Cotton "Machine quilting & crafts".  Strangely, it claims to be 30 wt.  I say strangely because if anything, it seems thinner than the Gutermann.  I bought this thread once years ago and gave it away as the 1200 yard spool wouldn't feed on my vertical thread spindle.  It works fine on my new machine which has a horizontal spindle.  I find this to be good news as it's $7.50 locally and I can consistently buy it for 50% off or BOGO at JoAnns.
I did free motion on this section.  Fortunately, the bamboo batting/ shrinkage hides how non-parallel those lines were.  And it adds nice texture.

When I started the pebbling, I ended up with a bobbin tension issue I didn't notice until I'd done 3 of these 5" squares.  There is a lot of swearing involved with unstiching that much pebbling.   (This is the re-do, it's the poor lighting that makes the upper one look wonky).
I'm actually getting to the point I looked forward to doing feathers.  Hard to imagine.

Another UFO off the list and the gift finished with over a week to spare!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Biggs Catch Up

I've been sidetracked by other projects.  This weekend I did finish the center of the September block.
Did the center of the weird October block.  It was, however fun using the large prints with a bit of fussy cutting to highlight designs.
And I got started on the November Block.
I swore that I wouldn't wait and do the corner applique on multiple blocks again.  Guess I was wrong.

My task for today, however, is to get started on the quilting of this quilt as the wedding is now only 3 weeks away.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I've been distracted from quilting.  I spent the past couple weeks re-doing this chair as a gift for a friend.  A Wine Thrown for her to sit on while in the Man Cave.  Oh, and I discovered that a winery a couple miles from my house sells wine "growlers", refillable containers with wine on tap.  Life is good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


The needle turn applique is finished except for some circle details on the ends of the sword handles.  
I will be adding panels left and right of this center panel.  Then it's on to drawing out the quilting ideas I have to scale.  I have about 4 variations in mind, none of which seem to work now that the lettering is done.  Sigh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quick Update

I am nearly done with the fussy part of this applique.  Five more feathers and a banner below the shield and I can move on to the lettering.

This project has been made far more difficult by my decision to use a black background, preventing me from using my usual techniques and relying on ones that are annoying and take more time. My goal on this section was to create as much contrast as possible with a grey logo.  Up close, I don't like a lot of the color details, but the result is the contrast I was looking for.  And the good news is that of all the things that I considered re-doing, I don't mind terribly at this distance, so I'm leaving them for character.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Logo Quilt

The background fabric arrived.  After washing it, I pressed some registration marks (centers both ways and another line 14" up from center), then I hand basted those lines in light thread.  For the wings, I decided to try some "front basting".  I copied the design onto template practice with marker, then used that with a "light box" (dining room window) to trace the feathers on to the front of the fabric using pencil. I then trimmed that to a reasonable size.  This is me positioning that onto the background using the plastic template.

I basted on the pencil line then trimmed.  The feathers will be slightly further apart than the original, even with the narrowest seam allowance I could muster.

I will be machine quilting this quilt.  I was testing some concepts on some practice panels.

The organization is comprised of police, fire fighters and emergency response.

My FMQ is getting better.  Trying a couple variations of filled logo vs open logo with filled background was informative.

There are still about 3 different variations of background designs I'm sorting through in my head.  Once the applique is finished, I think it will be easier to determine which will work best since the issue is largely a matter of scale.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


I am absolutely in love with my newest project.  

It is the shield  portion of the logo for our motorcycle club.  I have been planning this for about 2 years, with the outline taped behind my sewing machine for over a year. 

The scale on this is pretty small so the boar was pretty fussy to stitch.  And since it blended into the background, I also had to add a row of dark grey embroidery to make it pop.  The other tusk, mouth, cheek and ear will be quilted following the pencil lines there.  

I have absolutely loved this part of the project. 

So now I am moving on to the hate part of the post.   Because I am putting this on a black background, I am not going to be able to do my usual back basting technique.  I've tried dozens of marking pens and pencils on black and have not found one yet that holds up for the job.  

So I am doing freezer paper w/ starch method.  Which I find extremely tedious and time consuming. 

Oh well.  I have time.  Since the club requires American Made motorcycles, I thought it was the perfect excuse to try the new American Made Fabric line.  Unfortunately, it's not carried by any of my LQS, so it's on order from The Fat Quarter Shop. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I can't seem to finish anything lately. Here is 1/2 finished center of my newest applique project.
And half of the September Benjamin Biggs block.

Plus this scrap quilt that is nearly half quilted.

On the bright side, my "Nadine" quilt has a new owner.  "Papa Stumpy" just had heart bypass surgery and I thought he needed a constant hug.  The challenge is convincing him it's a quilt to use, not one just for looks.

This weekend is supposed to be cool and 50% chance of rain.
 Looks like quilting season kick-off weekend for me. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saddle Bags

And now for something entirely different....
Hubby and I bought new baggers last week.  I spent much of the 940 mile break in rides designing custom inserts in my head for the hard saddle bags.  The Road King came with an open-topped bag that fits into the hard bags.  The concept being that you can pull the bag out and carry it into a hotel when you do an over-nighter.

Can you look at those Victory bags and not think of the Jetson's cartoons from the '60s?

I started my morning templating the inside of the bag with cardstock.  As you can see, there were several challenges including a 1.5 inch difference from the bottom of the bag to the area flush with the lid, some weird angles, and a 2"x 3" block for some type of equipment that sticks up in the bottom corner of the bag.

After a couple hours and too much coffee, I have a paper mock-up of what will become the rear bag on the left side.  It will hold the things I always keep in the bag like sun screen, first aid supplies, etc.  The front half bag with be the over-nighter hotel bag.

Having done this part, I am now completely re-thinking how I am going to divide this bag up.

I better go take a ride and give it more thought.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LE Flowers 3

I continue to make very slow progress on the flowers.

I opted for a mix of methods for this section.  I am using a bias strip method for the stems, but back basting for the flowers and leaves.

I had abandoned this project earlier finding that it was too busy of a pattern for my taste.  I also don't like making the same thing multiple times, so I have opted to make each of the corner floral designs different, blending flowers from the provided designs for #3 & 4.  I also changed the shape of the vase.

I'm afraid I'm losing momentum again, so another post may be after American football starts and I have something else to distract me while I stitch.

Monday, August 18, 2014

LE Flowers 2

I'm not sure whey this loaded upside down.  Here's a better view of the flowers in day light.
Time to baste some more leaves.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

LE Flowers

So..I thought my last project was fussy.  Here' the Love Entwined flowers that I did decide to do.  The details on the center flower are so wonderful.  I will do a follow up post with the scale.  That center chartreuse center is less than 1/4".

More Leftovers

When I was cleaning the sewing room, I discovered that I still had tons of scraps from Persian Rug quilt.  Remember that I have already made 3 quilts with the remains.  There was enough of these fabrics that I couldn't bear to throw them out.   They are not a color-way that I usually use so saving them for something else was not an option.   I cut some 1" strips and started crazy piecing as a mosic variation.   This was the photo after the first session.

A second sewing session and things looked like this.

I failed to take photos of round 3, but it involved taping the basic size of the strip I wanted to end up with.

This morning was session 4.  I have 2 sections about 19" wide with a goal to make the strip about 60" long.  I am imagining this offset with some wide, solid sections, probably dark blue since I have some in the stash.

But I can't stay interested in this for very I'm moving on to some applique.  Or maybe a different pieced project inspired by this Geometric Gradation Quilt by Geta Grama