Monday, December 26, 2011

Wow, I can't believe it's December 26th already.  December 26!  Where did the month go?  (I guess I'd better finish up that Christmas shopping!)  I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday!  I know I've enjoyed having a few days away from work and the unusually sunny weather this month.  

I also finally found the time to replenish my hot pad supply - a project that's been on my list for way too long.  (I might have also gone a little overboard - so if you know me, one of them might just find its way into your kitchen).

Given my new-found love for wonky stars, I thought this would be the perfect project to try them out on. I chose the center fabric first and pulled coordinating fabrics for the points.  My background squares are muslin - maybe not the best choice for something that will be used in the kitchen, but I like the way the lighter color sets off the stars. 

They're fairly quick and easy as long as you don't do this:

(which is what happens when I sew while distracted! Oops!)  

I experimented with different bindings on these, and I have to say, for best overall results, my favorite is still a double fold machine binding.  The self-binding was definitely quickest, and has a certain appeal, but on the reverse double-fold binding I found that with three layers of batting the front-side edges ended up a little too puffy. 

A few rogue 16-patch pot holders snuck into the mix, using a mini-charm pack from Malka Dubrasky's upcoming line, A Stitch in Color, and an improv log cabin, made from scraps.

If all goes well, I'll put up a quick tutorial for the stars over at the annex later this week.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend! Between feasting with friends and raking leaves, I managed to find time to play with some fabric. Stay tuned.....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

And we have a winner!

The random number generator has picked Dawn!
Congratulations, Dawn! Please send me a note via the contact link in the shop with your mailing address and I'll get your goodies off to you ASAP.

Thanks to all for playing along!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sneak Peak + Giveaway.
Take a look at some of the fabric goodness coming to the shop over the next few months!
fresh cut 2011.  heather bailey.  February

modern whimsy.  laurie wisbrun.  january
echo.  lotta Jansdotter.  january.
flea market fancy.  denyse schmidt.  february.

And for a little giveaway.
A bit of swag from the AQMS (after-quilt-market-show):
A Fat-Eighth Bundle of Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker for Moda fabrics.
Salt Air mini-charm pack. Cosmo Cricket for Moda.
And charm squares of Garden Party. Jane Dixon for Andover Fabrics.

Leave a comment by Wednesday November 16th to be entered to win!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sorry. I couldn't resist.
I also couldn't resist the google eyes. Even though I suspect they'll have a life expectancy of about 3 minutes once in the hands paws of a cat. Next time I'll be more practical and use felt or fabric paint. This particular guy was made for a friend's new kitten, but considering that Finn was practically scaling the bookcase to get to it, I'm sure there will be more in my future.
I made it up as I went using a small scrap of home dec fabric and velcro at the top closure so more catnip could be added, or the feather replaced as needed. It can't get much simpler than that!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Still at it.
 I'm trying hard not to feel like a failure at my first quilt along - I have been injured after all - but, I kind-of feel like failure. At least in terms of being able to stay on schedule.
I have been slowly working away on them when I'm able, and am quite pleased to say that I'm down to my last one! I finished up block 12 today (too late to photograph) and now all that's left is block 7. (I know, out of order, but all those equilateral triangles have me a bit freaked out!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Snack Attack:  The best snack bag ever:  a tutorial.
That's right.  The BEST.

While there are several great tutorials out there for reusable cloth snack/lunch bags, as well as ones for sale, I'm a bit picky.

You see, in my mind, velcro and crumbs just don't go well together.  Zippers are too bulky and time consuming to use for snacks that might need to be eaten right away.  And exposed seams on the inside?  Not my thing.

It left me only one option:  design my own.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit how long it took me to figure out something so simple, (and how long it has taken me since to put together a tutorial), but getting everything so it flipped right-side out the right way with all seams concealed was challenging.  Perhaps I thought about it too much?   Once I started sewing, it made much more sense, and these little pouches came together very quickly.

I used standard cotton for the outside - both as full pieces and some with patchwork/applique for a little added fun.  On the inside, I tried to use organic cotton.  It just felt better, although I think once washed, standard would be fine.  An average size bag uses a little less than a quarter yard of fabric - and is perfect for those largish scraps lurking around the sewing room.

Full tutorial can be found here - just in time for back to school (or work) lunches!  Happy snacking!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thanks to everyone that took the time to post a comment.  I really appreciate it, and was quite relieved to see that I am not the only one to be a bit "birth-date" challenged!

After several failed attempts to embed a random number generator into this post, I've given up and hope that you will take my word for it.   The RGN widget I originally posted allowed visitors to click the "winner" button and change the results!  Oops!    (I'm not sure how others have gotten this to work unless they run it off-line, take a screen shot, and crop the image down for post - which is what I've done previously - and just not in the mood for at this point.  If anyone knows a better way, please let me know!) 

At any rate, the number that came up the very first time the button was clicked was 4, which corresponds to Marilee's post, who was so kind to wish me the "best birthday ever".
Thank you Marilee!  - please send me a note via the "contact" form in the shop and let me know where to mail your fabric!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hey! It's my birthday!

To celebrate, I'm taking the day off work, meeting up with some friends for dinner, and having a little giveaway! (Oh, and going to DMV to renew my driver's license. How's that for waiting 'til the last minute?)

For the giveaway.... how about this sweet little stack of 10 fat quarters from Sandi Henderson's latest collection Secret Garden? To enter, leave a comment (by Sept 1 at noon) wishing me happy birthday, of course, and sharing a silly birthday story of your own.

Here's mine:
A few years back, my good friend Kristina, who was going to Grad School in Iowa at the time, called to wish me a happy birthday. (It was early morning, but not THAT early.) I quickly interrupted her to say that it wasn't my birthday, my birthday wasn't until the next day. She replied that it was indeed my birthday - her phone had told her so, and after thinking about it for a minute, I realized she was right! And it wasn't just that I had the day's date confused, I actually had my birthday wrong. Unbelievable! I guess that's what happens when my standard reply to "when's your birthday?" was "at the end of August." for so long. Never again, though.

Today's the day!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

feeding frenzy.
Not long ago, I went on a bit of a favorite-ing binge on Flickr. The results were both predictable and surprising. 
 I like Pinwheels and Improv Log Cabins (predictable). But also zig-zags and wonky stars. Wonky Stars. Who knew? There were also quite a few string quilts that made the cut and some ticker-tapes.
I seem to prefer either very busy and bold quilts or ones that are quite minimal with a lot of blank space. (Quilt backs were sometimes favored over fronts). 
For whatever reason, quilts that used exclusively prints from one fabric collection didn't seem to find their way into my favorites very often.  The exception was Heather Ross's Far Far Away. A surprise.  I had never been particularly compelled to purchase the fabrics and didn't have any in my stash. (Which was quickly remedied, I should add.)
Favorite color combos - when not totally random - orange and green, and aqua and yellow.
All in all, quite the feast!

Image from left to right, top to bottom:
1. charbronico 2. {brooke} april two eighty 3. Ann StewArt 4. Annamal Quilts 5. Blue Elephant Stitches 6. CampFollowerBagLady 7. dspaz_12 8. Elsie'sGirl 9. filminthefridge 10.flossyblossy 11. Handpicked 12. Insung from NAMOO 13. modernquiltrelish 14. oh-cherry-so 15.One Green Apple  16. Pikku-Kettu  17. r0ssie  18. s.o.t.a.k handmade  19.  Spotted Stone Studio   20. SunaStudio  21. susan weinroth 22. Sweet Baby Jamie 23. syko Kajsa 24. teaginny   25. verykerryberry

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I managed to get these blocks done this morning after a two week break from sewing (and pretty much everything else) due to a problem shoulder. Both used paper piecing and went fairly quickly, thankfully, as I'm still a little achy. I'm finding that I have very little yellow in my stash and resorted to using some light orange/aqua prints from Joel Dewberry's new Heirloom collection. I think they make a nice addition to the mix.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Block 4. Phew.
My dad has a saying: "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." I think it should be revised to add "and quilting". My seam ripper got some serious action on this one. I finally had to say "close enough" or it would have never gotten finished.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I need one more project like I need, well, more fabric. (Which, by the way, is both not at all and definitely!) But after successfully resisting the temptation to join the Farmer's Wife Quilt-along, I succumbed to the Summer Sampler Quilt Along.  12 blocks in 4 weeks.  Seems reasonable, right?  I thought so.  (Although Block 4 might just do me in - I'm still working on it.)  I was also hoping the law of inertia might kick in and once at my sewing machine, I'd tend to stay at my sewing machine.  Thus far, it's held and I've managed to make significant progress on my remaining solid log cabin blocks!
As for the Summer Sampler Blocks, I'm using all fabrics from my stash, including some of my most coveted scraps - like the aqua turtle print.  I have no idea who the manufacturer or designer of this print was, but I do love it so!  I've also raided a bin of aqua and red prints that I've been collecting for a pinwheel quilt.  I don't think they'll be too terribly missed and I'm just not feeling the aqua/red love right now.  My plan is to keep the predominant colors aqua and light green with splashes of color here and there.
So far, so good, I think.  It's looking very summer-ish!
I will say that the precise patchwork is testing my patience a bit, and my seam ripper had to make an appearance on Block 3, but overall I'm having fun, and learning a few new skills.
And now, to finish up block 4!
Block 3

Block 1

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nine down. Six to go. I started these blocks this spring with the intent of donating them to the Quilts for Quake Survivors fundraiser - unfortunately I think I've missed every deadline - but hope to finish up this quilt for another charity focused effort.
It's not so much that I sew slowly, but rather finding one-on-one time with the sewing machine can be challenging. I did manage to sort through the rest of my solids and pick out fabrics for the remaining six blocks though. That should count for something!

I have a tendency to start projects without having them fully planned out (which is probably part of the problem, but I can't believe I'm the only one!) I get a general idea and then just dive in. For these blocks, I cut a whole lotta strips and started sewing, choosing colors as I went. After about five or six blocks, a color scheme for the entire quilt emerged, and I went back to my stash to pull together the fabrics for the remaining blocks. There were two blocks that didn't make the final cut, and I wish I had stuck with either off-white or white, not both, but in the end I think it will work out just fine.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

If ever there was a fabric that made my heart go pitter-pat, this is it.
Wildfield in Cherry from Valori Well's new Wrenly collection. You wouldn't believe all the things I want to make with this fabric.
(Available in the shop - for now that is - I might just decide to keep it all for myself!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

An itty bitty pile o' scraps. That's my loot from last night's PMQG meeting's scrap swap. I have to say I'm very pleased I came home with MUCH less than I took. Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did steal one of my own scraps back. What can I say? I just wasn't ready to let it go after all. For as little as they are, I've got BIG plans for these scraps. Stay tuned....

Oh...and here's a little kitty cuteness for you:
Seriously, this is typical. This cat is unbelievably cute.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Broken Pinwheels.
In the end, I opted for pinwheels, and I'm so glad I did. They're a great match for these colorful Modern Workshop prints. I also decided to forgo my typical striped sashing (like this quilt), and I especially like the 'bonus' fifth pinwheel that's created where four blocks come together.
I have to confess that I messed up stitching the individual pinwheels together and when laying them out discovered that approximately half were spinning the opposite direction! At the time there was no way I was ripping them out, so I created the center with the "correct" blocks and started adding borders to get the quilt up to size. Ultimately, I did rip them out (go figure!) to create the saw tooth for the outer border as anything else just looked too heavy.
Finished size is roughly 36" x 40". Quilted with diagonal stitching to either side of the pinwheels' center seams.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Although I could have just as easily drawn numbers from a hat, I decided to be all official and use a random number generator found online. Since this is my first-ever giveaway, and I'm not a consistent blogger to begin with, I'm not too surprised about the low turnout - and it gave all who left a comment a 33% chance of winning. Pretty good odds!
The lucky winner is VeronicaMade who said:
"I remember how my mom was always sewing matching outfits for me and my sisters when we were kids. We didn't appreciate them at the time, but now it means so much to me. My favorite designer is Denyse Schmidt."
While I don't have any Denyse Schmidt in my inventory to offer, I will find some other lovely fat quarters to include with the pattern magazine. Congrats Veronica! I'll be sending you an email soon to get your mailing address!
Thanks to all for playing!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Day giveaway. I recently received a copy of the magazine "Perfect for Precuts; Quilts from Fat Quarters, Strips, and Squares" - filled with a variety of quilting projects. Considering that I have enough on my "to-sew" list to last a lifetime, I figured it was a bit selfish to keep this for myself. I'll even throw in a few fat quarters as well to get you started! Leave a comment noting something special about your mom and/or your favorite fabric designer or collection to be entered to win. Comments will close on Tuesday at 7 pm PST and I'll choose a name at random shortly thereafter! (PS. Visit the shop to see my current inventory for some help in choosing a favorite...hint, hint.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taxday2011. A little coupon code for the shop: 10% off today only, good on all fabrics, regular price and sale! If you missed this one, check back for future coupons!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nevermind that I have about a gazillion other things to get done, I was feeling inspired to sew some blocks for the quilts for quake survivors fundraiser.  I decided to tackle my formidable stash of solids for some ultra-mod picture frame log cabin blocks.  These four are my favorites thus far, but I still have a stack of 2" strips and 3" squares, so I'm sure there will be more blocks to come.

Now, don't try this at home. Unless of course you like the adrenaline rush that comes from say walking down the stairs with a bowl of egss balanced on your head, because I'm guessing that's kinda what it was like. I laid out scraps of solids on my cutting mat in a 3x3 grid and aligning my ruler with the grid lines, cut through the whole row at once! And then oh so carefully without daring to breathe, lifted up the ruler, moved it over and did it again, and again and again, rotated the mat and repeated.  Phew.
Yes, maybe I could've stacked them together in a few individual piles, but I'm not very skilled at cutting through more than just a few layers at a time (most were double if not triple layered already).  And this was just so much more exciting!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's taken me longer that I had hoped to get around to this post, but I suppose that's normal for me. (Except for shipping, I ship fabric out lickity split!)  If you've been at all paying attention, you've most likely noticed a new link on the side bar, and my news isn't really new anymore, but here goes:
First off, name change.  This has been in the works for awhile now, and once my business registration came up for renewal last month I made the change official.  Hopefully this one sticks.   It's simple, which is a good sign.  I'm still working on the graphics...  I guess I should probably put on a bird on it somewhere.  I do live in Portland after all, and everything looks better with a bird on it, or so I hear!
Secondly, with all this weird uncomfortable social networking stuff going on over at etsy, I felt it was time to branch out and try my hand at a stand-alone storefront.  Also a work-in-progress, but I currently have about 100 fabrics listed and will be adding more over the next month.  The big, no I mean HUGE advantage for customers is that I can offer multiple yards in half yard increments on the spot, with inventory info visible on the product page.  So cool! I'll also be able to fully customize the look and interface. (Once I learn a little html, that is. )  I'll maintain a presence on etsy for the time being - mostly with fat quarter and yard bundles - as a safety net, but I'm pretty excited.   

Sunday, February 27, 2011

LOOK! I can sew. Part 2.
half square triangles.
I realize it’s not a completed project, but it is sewing nonetheless. The fabric is from a charm pack of the upcoming Modern Workshop collection from Oliver + S (due in April), and paired with a white Bella solid. Beautiful bright colors and a good balance of large and small scale prints.
They were made using the full square method shown here. Basically, stack your two squares RST and sew ¼ inch around all sides. Cut in half diagonally, keep fabric in place, and cut again on the opposite diagonal. Press open and VOILA! Four half square triangles. Much easier in my opinion than marking the diagonal and sewing to either side, or (gasp!) cutting first on the diagonal and sewing on the bias. Especially great because I can use my quarter inch guide foot which means as close to perfect seams as I could ever hope to get. I also used my rotating cutting mat, which makes cutting the diagonals a breeze. I would lay three to four squares out at once, cut one direction, rotate the mat, cut the other direction. In the video, it shows sewing one complete square at a time, but I made mine by chain piecing, sewing one seam of the whole batch, then the next, and so on.  (Can you tell that I'm all about stream-lining the process?)

Now that they’re done, I just need to figure out what to do with them! So many options…

Which one is your favorite?

Friday, February 11, 2011

The stack. 
 I like beautiful books as much as the next person, and if they're about architecture or quilting, even better! This is the stack that's been frequenting my bedside table lately, for that last minute inspiration before I drift off to sleep. The book on top is my latest acquisition -  Quilting Line + Color by Yoshiko Jinzenji.  AMAZING!  I pre-ordered it a few months back from Amazon based on the title and cover alone, and was not disappointed. Very fresh, and all that white!  It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books, Landscape Painted with Tea by Milorad Pavic: 
".... because it matters what kind of emptyness is left behind by people and things." 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Big changes are coming.  I tell ya.  BIG changes.  Just wait.  (but don't hold your breath)

Finn. He doesn't care so much. He's too dang cute to care. and he's also a cat.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Improv owl zip. This is the first of what may or may not be more posts in a “Look! I can sew!” series. For those of you (including myself) that were beginning to wonder if I really know how to sew, or if it was all just a ruse to support my fabric habit.... YES! I do know how to sew.
This little zip was one of several I made for the PAHM in Bellingham; and the only one not to find a new home. I may or may not list it in the shop this next week. Ah, so decisive of me, eh? These zips are fun to make and a great way to use up scraps but can be rather time-consuming if you’re like me and fuss over the fabric selections. Too bad I can’t just sew blind-folded!
I fussy-cut the owls and then added to them in an impov log cabin style, until they measured a bit over 9”, trimmed to square, and completed the zip as normal.
Maybe next time, I’ll take some in process pics. Maybe. But I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.