Thursday, March 24, 2011

Staying Done

I've been reading Camille Roskelley's book, Simplify and among the gorgeous fabric and the inspiring quilts there is a quote that has really stuck with me. She says in the dedication, "I would also like to dedicate this to every other mom out there who wants to make something that just stays done."

Amongst the laundry, the dishes, the cooking and the cleaning... my blocks are done and thankfully they will stay done.

They're part of a challenge for the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild.  We shared fat quarters from Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow.  Then we had to make any kind of square block using the fat quarters and stash fabric.  I got the center fabric and the navy herringbone.  I picked blues and greens from my stash that would go with the other Modern Meadow fabrics.  Speaking of Joel Dewberry... did you see that Aviary 2 is starting to arrive in stores?  Hooray!  It is at the top of my wishlist.

Are you working on something that stays done this week?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Precious

A little stack of happiness arrived from Kaelin of The Plaid Scottie. I really like reading Kaelin's blog. She inspires me, she makes me smile and sometimes... she makes me hungry. There is always something fun going on. Last week she was celebrating her blogiversary and I lucked out with this fat quarter stack of Katie Jump Rope. Woo-hooo!!!

Hop on over to see what she has in store the the Doll Quilt Swap.  It's going to be so cute!

Monday, March 21, 2011

On the Design Wall: Sprinkles

Hi.  Happy Monday!  Did you have a good weekend?  

I dreamed of cupcakes. Yummy rainbow cupcakes from my daughter's birthday which was in December... but never mind that part. Take a closer look. Do you see a quilt idea hiding in there? Look at the tippy top. Look at the sprinkles. 

Photo by Robin Ove

The nine patches for my Kona challenge quilt didn't work out. When I stood back and looked at the pieces on the wall there was nothing holding it together. Which caused me to sit and stare at the wall, unsure of where to go next. I realized it was the squares that were bothering me.

I got out some paper and started brainstorming ways to break up their blockiness. I would finish a sketch and declare to DH, "I could do this! Or this, what about this?" "Uh-hmm," he says each time. Big hugs to him for letting me spin my wheels so noisily. Finally I had an idea that felt right. Then in a burst of productivity I cut and sewed all weekend.

Introducing Sprinkles...

It's definitely a work in progress. This is more or less the top half. I have even more colors to add. I'm not sure about the leftover squares. Maybe a border? Maybe just extras... they measure 1"x3.5". Yikes! I'm also thinking ahead about binding and quilting options.  I would love a stripe. Do you know of any that would work with these colors? Or maybe white. I've never done a white binding.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quilt Along with Freshly Pieced?

Why yes, I think I will!  : )

My friend Lee is hosting her first quilt along based on her super cool Supernova quilt!  Come join us!!  Read all about it here on her blog, Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Template Trouble

Notice anything wrong with exhibit a ?  The U looks like a U, but what about the line underneath?  Warning!  Warning!  Template trouble!!

Last night I was happily working on my single girl quilt.  This pattern has no less than 31 templates.  I traced all of my pieces and set it aside to cut out today.  In the light of morning I noticed that something was not right.  I traced a handful of templates upside down!!  Luckily I noticed this before I cut my fabric, but still.  Arggggh!

I went outside, got some fresh air, checked on the garden...

Deep breath.  Ok, now I'm ready to try again.  

How do I avoid this in the future? Either stop tracing templates at night while watching tv... or place a small dot in the top left of each template. When you lay your template down to trace if the dot is not on the left it's not the right way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another Use For Lizard Litter

Bean Bags!!!

After reading my title you probably had one of two reactions. Either...Yes! What?  or What the heck is lizard litter?

Lizard litter is crushed walnut shells sold in pet stores.  It makes for a wonderful pincushion filling.  I was first introduced to it during the Scrappy Pincushion Swap.  The only problem is it's sold in big bags and even after making several pincushions I have more.  I've been trying to think of ways to use it up.

The walnut shell pieces are teeny tiny.

Enter the humble bean bag.  My son and I picked out a handful of leftover charm squares, sewed them up, and filled them with the lizard litter.  They're great!  Not as heavy as sand, not at lumpy as dried beans and peas.  There is a little bit of a dust factor to start with but it goes away quickly.  You can see we share a love for American Jane fabric!!  : )


1) Shorten the stitch length on your sewing machine.  This will keep the filling from leaking out the sides of your bean bags.

2) I prefer the Zilla brand sold at Pet Smart.  It is crushed finer than the other brands.

3) I use a candy making squeeze bottle.   This is much easier than using a funnel or a spoon.  I bought mine at Michael's Craft Store.  Cut off the tip to make the hole bigger.  Store it inside your bag of lizard litter when you're done.
4) Work over a plate to contain the mess.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Possibilities, A Kona Challenge

Kona by Robert Kaufman, Dusty Palette

Last month at the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild meeting we were happily surprised by these gorgeous bundles of fabric from Robert Kaufman.  

Our challenge is to make a name tag and a quilt.  Anything goes...  I'm having fun stacking, piling and rearranging all these colors.  While I'm really drawn to the greens, some of the others have me puzzled.  I'm challenging myself to try to use them all.

I like the idea of a simple nine patch to feature the interaction of color.  The balance of warm and the cool.  It's surprising how much I like some of these combinations.  Like this berry, blue-gray and marigold along the top row.

And the cornflower, orange and taupe along the left of this grouping.  

Oh the possibilities!  My plan is to cut the squares down and use 2.5" squares.  All of the centers will be the cream.  Cream sashing around all the blocks would be nice too.  It will give each nine patch room to breathe.  What do you think?  Do any of these colors catch your eye?


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Featured on Quilt Story

Pssst....  I'm so excited and honored.  Today my LOVE quilt is featured on Quilt Story.  Check it out here!!  Thank you Heather and Megan.  : )

You can read more about LOVE here, here and here.  For inquiring minds... this quilt now resides on my daughter's bed.  She calls it "the polka dot one" and it's her favorite.

Project Piles

So far this week I've only managed to make piles on my ironing board.  I've got a hexagon pile, a to be mailed pile, a single girl pile, a scraps to be put away pile, and a strips to be sewn pile.  So far no sewing for me this week.  I can't seem to get off the computer.  It's only Wednesday so maybe there is still hope for me.  Are you piling or sewing this week?

Meanwhile... look at what I designed for our local modern quilt guild... I LOVE it.  I think I need a tote bag or a mug or something.  Or a quilt!  Wouldn't it make a great quilt?  : )


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