Sunday, November 28, 2010

Less Talk, More Sewing

Even though I promised myself to keep up with my blog a little more regularly, I've been doing so much sewing lately that I haven't had time to say much! Lately, I've been making lots of tumbler quilts -- I spent a couple of evenings cutting like crazy, and then it was time to play and arrange the blocks.

Here's the "shrapnel" left over from cutting up a bunch of Dr. Seuss fabrics. Doesn't the pile look pretty?Of course, the finished quilt looks much cuter than the leftover scraps:I cut a ton of tumblers from these fabrics, so I have a kit listed in my shop.
I also finished the Nicey Jane quilt shown in my previous post. (It's not actually large enough to fit a full-size bed, but it looked so pretty across my mom's bed that I had to take the picture):
Finally, I've been dying to sew something with Amy Butler's Love fabrics ever since they were released last year. I cut enough blocks for two quilts, so the second set is listed as a kit in my etsy shop. These fabrics are just so beautiful-- now I can't wait for her new line Soul Blossoms to be in stores (hopefully by mid-December!).

More pictures of all my tumbler quilts and kits are available in my Etsy shop.

Now its on to more sewing -- this week, I'm "playing" with Tula Pink's "Hushabye", Momo's "It's a Hoot", Oliver & S's "City Weekend", and Sandy Gervais' brand new line "Giddy". Hopefully, I'll have some more pictures to share soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stolen Moments

I usually feel like a day just isn't right if I haven't sewn a stitch! However, I sometimes forget just how much can be accomplished in just a few stolen moments here and there. I will admit that I'm not an early riser by choice, but last week I decided to get up a few minutes earlier so I could squeeze in some stitching before work. I started with two layer cakes: a new Dream On layer cake (by Urban Chiks for Moda Fabrics) and a Moda Bella Solid in snow.

After a few days of "stolen" sewing moments, I had a bigger pile of squares:

Half of those squares became this quilt: (the other half are still waiting!)

And then, a few days later, the binding was finished! (I love the green stripe!)
Even though I had a lot of school work and house work to accomplish last week, these stolen sewing moments gave me a sense of accomplishment that kept me going on the other, less exciting tasks (a quilt can be finished -- does laundry EVER get finished?). Give yourself a few moments of sewing playtime every day -- you deserve it! Everything else will still be waiting for you when you're done! (I mean, I eventually HAD to fold the laundry in my living room so I had enough space to lay out the blocks for the quilt, right?!)

The quilt, and more pictures, are in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why I Love My Accuquilt

(Disclaimer -- I'm not affiliated with Accuquilt in any way -- just a happy customer!)

7:31 PM: Exhibit A. Stack of 9 half yard cuts of pink, yellow and white Heather Bailey Nicey Jane fabrics (For my tumbler lap quilts, I like to start with 9 or 10 half yard cuts -- this gives me a nice variety to work with in the final layout, and I can get 14 tumblers plus some usuable scrap pieces out of each half yard.

7:34 PM: Exhibit B. Stack of 7 1/2 width of fabric strips cut from the half yards shown in Exhibit A. This is why I purchase half yards. I can get two strips from 15 inches, and have a 3 inch strip left over for scrappy projects. Third yard cuts (12 inches) would be too small.

7:51 PM: Exhibit C. Stack of 126 tumblers ready for sewing. Not only are these cut AMAZINGLY fast, they have pre-trimmed corners that makes sewing them together incredibly easy. You don't have to worry about off-setting the blocks to account for the angle of the seam -- just match up the sides and sew. I lay these out in 10 rows of 12 blocks, which gives me a really nice size lap quilt (approximately 48 x 55).

So for those of you doing the math, that's 20 minutes of cutting. That's why I love my Accuquilt Go. Now, they're not the cheapest investment, but I did some research last year on price comparisons and decided it would be the perfect thing to put on my Christmas list! My husband bought it for me, and I asked other family members to give me some dies to "play" with (and I do admit that I was like a kid with a new toy on Christmas morning, cutting everything in sight!). The dies I use the most are my tumbler die and applique dies. I do have some of the squares and triangles, but unless I'm cutting up uneven bits and pieces of scraps, I don't think these dies are the most efficient way to cut the basic shapes -- they waste quite a bit of fabric if you're cutting them from yardage. However, cutting tumblers from the 7 1/2 inch strips wastes very little fabric (as you flip the strips after each cut to match the angle of the next cut). The next dies on my list are the soon-to-be released mini tumbler (3 1/2 inches) and equilateral triangles (with precut corners!). I highly recommend the Accuquilt for cutting anything that would normally require a template and precision cutting! In addition to the new dies, they are releasing a smaller version of the Go Cutter (Go Baby) which will be even less expensive than the Go! (just make sure all the dies that you're interested in purchasing will fit in the smaller version).

So that's my take on the Go! Cutter. Now I've got to order some backing fabric, because these tumblers will be a quilt top very soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Excuses and Eye Candy

I have been neglecting my fledgling blog, and here's why:
1. Finished out the school year (my day job!)
2. Went to California for a month to visit family
3. Sewed quilt tops like a maniac with the sewing machine I had sent to California
4. Quilted the quilt tops I sewed like a maniac (actually, still working on this one!)
5. Started the new school year.
6. Realized it was already mid October.
7. Had to reset my blog password -- it had been so long since my last post that I couldn't remember how to sign in.
Anyway, the new school year is always like a New Year's resolution time for me, so I'll add to my list a pledge to post on my blog a little more often than once every three months!

Well, those were the excuses -- here's the eye candy.

First, some projects I can't wait to get started on:
1. Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane fabrics in pinks and yellows (I purchased these in San Diego and have been drooling over them since July) -- destined to become a tumbler quilt.

2. Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley fabrics (I have admired these for so long that I finally broke down and purchased some!

3. Anna Maria Horner's brand-new line "Innocent Crush" (not sure what these will become, but I'm happy to admire them while I ponder the possibilities).

Projects I'm in the midst of:

Tula Pink Neptune stroller blanket with floral applique

Dream On by Urban Chiks

And finally, projects I just listed in my Etsy shop:
Nicey Jane tumbler quilt in blues, greens and yellows

Lap/baby quilt in Riley Blake fabrics (Wheels and All-Star)

Hopefully, I'll be back with fewer excuses and more eye candy soon!

Monday, May 17, 2010


The baby quilts were set aside this evening so I could complete an entirely different type of project -- 24 felt pirate beards for my elementary school musical. (They look much cuter when they're on faces, trust me!). The rainbow of colors is due to the fact that the pirates' names are Blackbeard, Bluebeard, Yellowbeard, Redbeard, get the idea. I found the beard tutorial here (isn't it great when people share their creative ideas and spare the rest of us from trying to reinvent the wheel?!). The pattern was easy, but by Beard # 24, I had lost the will to live. Needless to say, they got progressively less perfect, and none of them will win any sewing awards. However, they are DONE and I'm sure no one in the audience will notice my crooked stitches.
I did manage to finish quilting the Adirondack baby quilt last night. All that remains is to hand sew the bindings on both baby quilts -- tomorrow!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Baby Quilt Progress!

My family will certainly vouch for the fact that I have a tendency to, when faced with a deadline, add unnecessary items to increase the stress level. For example, since I needed to complete two baby quilts by Wednesday, why not add a third baby quilt to the mix? In my defense, cutting and sewing multiple identical projects appeals to my love of efficiency. (I'm also the type of person that would just as soon make 3 lasagnas or a triple batch of brownies if I'm going to bother getting out the ingredients and tools!)

The two originally planned baby quilts were an Adirondack-themed quilt for a boy, and a Moda Blush (by Basic Grey) quilt for a girl. I had enough scraps leftover from a previous Adirondack project to complete the first quilt, but needed to purchase some Blush fabrics for the second quilt. Since the fat quarters I bought yielded enough pieces for two quilts, I figured I might as well make a third quilt for my Etsy store.
So, here's the progress so far. The girl baby shower quilt needs the binding hand-sewn to the back (pic above shows pink binding in progress). The second Blush quilt is completed and listed in my Etsy shop (I used aqua binding on this one). The Adirondack quilt finally has the borders on and is ready for loading on the quilting machine. With any luck, I'll have most of it quilted before bedtime! The folded quilt in the third picture is the one listed in my shop. By the way, my 11-year old niece wrote me a lovely letter which I have not yet answered, and one of the questions she asked was "How do you fold the quilts for the pictures in your shop?" The answer is "I have no idea!" I can never get them folded the same way twice!

The final picture explains why I've had time to accomplish so much this weekend -- UNFOLDED laundry being guarded by our cat, Hunter.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Welcome to My Blog!

For the past year, I've been "hovering in blogosphere", reading other people's blogs, being inspired by their quilting projects, and enjoying their anecdotes on everyday life. Today, I've decided to take my first baby steps toward being a "blogger"! Since my blog will focus mainly on my quilting life, and since I'm also a David Letterman fan, here's a top ten list to start things off!

Top Ten Signs That You're Addicted to Quilting:

(I'm sure there are a lot of versions of these on the web, but I decided to use my own personal examples!)

10. Even though all of your clothes are wash and wear, you own a very expensive iron, and your ironing board is almost always out.
9. When your daughter sees an iron in the hotel room closet, she says "Look, Mom -- you could sew here!"
8. Your 11 year old son can correctly define "WIP" and "fat quarter" , and knows who Alex Anderson is.
7. When you fly back and forth across the country to visit family, you bring a Singer Featherweight in your carry-on luggage.
6. You own 5 sewing machines, one of which is located 3,000 miles away (in order to avoid #7!)
5. You've considered legally changing your children's names to Kaffe and Amy (just kidding -- this is too over-the-top, even for me!)
4. When you say "It's in the sewing room", the follow-up question is always "Which one?"
3. Your husband's co-workers are constantly picking thread off his clothes.
2. Everyone in your house has had a pin stuck in his/her toe at some point.
And the number one answer...
1. Even though you have known for months that 2 co-workers were pregnant, you wait until the weekend before the baby shower to finish their quilts (see photo-- quilt # 1 still needs binding and quilt #2 hasn't even made it to the quilting machine yet!).

So, there -- you know a little about me and my obsession with quilting. Now it's time to order a pizza so I can get the baby quilts finished!