Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Hi everyone!  Thanks for stopping by!  The next projects I tackled were some cute little fabric baskets.  I wanted a couple of sort of "hostess" gifts and thought these would be perfect.  I used one of my favorite tutorials - it's by Ayumi at Pink Penguin, click here for the link.

For the first basket, I wanted a sort of colonial America feel to it.  Here are the pieces I started with:


I love these fabrics - I made a table runner with them for a friend several years ago that I just loved!

It was together before I knew it:


I have a cute, coordinating blue, but she's more of a green person, so I went with that for the lining and a few of the patchwork pieces.  I'm very happy with how it came out!

For the next one, I wanted something sort of rustic. I chose denim and homespun, and decided not to do the patchwork along the top.


Here's a look inside:


I'm hoping the person it is intended for will appreciate the recycled aspect of the denim parts!

I think they're both cute and hopefully the recipients will think so, too!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Quilting Christmas In The City

Hi everyone!  Thanks for being here!  Once I had my retro Christmas In The City Quilt pieced, it was time to come up with a backing! I had only made a dent in Donna's "scraps" (honestly, the most generous "scraps" EVER!!!), so I took a look at what I had in that group. There was plenty of the dark green I'd used in the Shoo Fly blocks -- and there were some large squares of some awesome fabrics I hadn't even used! Here's what I came up with:


I put my extra "ornament" on there, too.  Why not, right?  And more of the city map fabric!

Next, I chose a binding. I had all kinds of crazy ideas, from the green to using all scraps, then decided I really wanted to just use the map fabric:


It's a good fit!

On to the quilting thread! I ran this photo past my friends:


The general consensus was to go with the silver/grey. Excellent choice -- it's Canaan, by King Tut.  Actually all the threads are by King Tut -- all hail the King!  I think any of the above would have worked, but the silver/grey was perfect for the quilting design I had in mind!


That's a shot of the back. Remember those old tin icicle ornaments? I wanted to suggest those, or twisted ribbons. I remember seeing a lot of those ornaments in the 60s or 70s. I thought it was a good fit!


I think it's just enough, without taking anything away from the quilt!

I winged it with my walking foot and was done in no time!


I decided to do the binding by hand, so that might take a while. The machine part is done; now I need some hand-sewing time!

Thank you so much for reading!

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Girls Beat Me To It

Hi everyone!  Thanks for stopping by!  My girls actually beat me to posting about this new project over on the Ao4 Digest, so I figured I better get off the stick and blog it as well!

Years ago ... we don't have to talk about how many ... my friend Donna sent me what she called "scraps" -- leftovers from a Christmas project she had wrapped up.  WOW!  Not only was it very kind of her, but ohmyword, I LOVE the fabrics!!!  And there were TONS!!!  Time to put them to use!  ... finally.

It started with one innocent block:


Tell me those aren't the coolest, hippest, swinging-est fabrics!!!  So totally retro-Christmas!!!  I paired everything with an awesome city map fabric I recently purchased.

The block sprung out of one of Jenny's tutorials over at Missouri Star Quilt Company -- it's the Beach Balls quilt.  I thought the beach balls could also look like Christmas ornaments -- right?!?

I kept marching:


I wanted each ball, each ornament to be different, so I kept dealt my fabric pieces out, then Wonder Clipped them together.  I knew they'd get all mixed up otherwise.

I had lots of help along the way:


Such wonderful company!

There were an awful lot of flippy squares involved:


When I trim the excess fabric off, I like to use my "Add A Quarter" ruler.  It's really for paper foundation piecing, but I've found that the ridge lines up nicely on my seam line, then I can just zip the flips off with my rotary cutter.

I also sashed with the map fabric.  I couldn't wait to see what it would look like:


Part of Jenny's design that I really liked was that her sashing and cornerstones made little Shoo Fly blocks.  I love sub-pattern play like that!  For the triangles in the Shoo Fly, you actually make flippy squares on top of flippy squares!


Donna had used a dark green sort of marbled print in with her retro Christmas fabrics.  I thought that would be perfect for the Churn Dashes!

Here it is, laid out on my "design wall" (OK, a piece of batting tacked up above my closet door):


You can get the general idea there.  Some of the flippy squares look flipped up, but ... you know.

I liked the layout (horizontal, vertical, repeat, repeat; vertical, horizontal, repeat, repeat -- and on), then set about sashing them all together:


I totally dig the fabrics!  How can you look at them and not be happy?!?

Here it is, once I got it all together, complete with border:


How I went from my perfect layout to the above, I do not know.  Somehow I got the rows out of order ... but I really don't care.  I could not love this more than I do!

The fabs from Donna feel so 1960s to me, and bring me back to my childhood.  The map fabric - it's some made up city, I think - but paired with these fabrics, it's like Christmas In The City!!!  We spent many Christmases at my Grandparents' houses in Pittsburgh, PA.  I remember going downtown to look at the lights and the pretty Christmas window displays!  I especially remember Macy's, for some reason.  I also remember the smell of city bus exhausts -- for some reason, it's a pleasant memory!  That's all what this quilt brings to mind for me, hence the name Christmas In The City.  Many, many thanks to Donna for her "leftovers"!!!

Tune in tomorrow for a look at the quilting!

Thanks so much for reading!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Fun With Fusing

Hi everyone!  Sorry it's been a while!  I've been doing a lot of quilting and other small projects, so let's just jump right in!

One of the "quick and fun" projects was a little storage bin made from fused plastic bags:


I have to say, Wonder Clips are fabulous when dealing with plastic! They hold the layers together without leaving holes. Just perfect!

Oh! You can see my Australian Floor Tiles Quilt hanging on the wall facing my machine. Doesn't it look wonderful there? And this was too funny! We were dialing around on the TV the other day, and I think an episode of Fixer Upper was on HGTV. I grabbed my iPhone and took a quick shot -- check out the floor tiles:


How cool is that?!?  It's the exact pattern/layout as my quilt!

OK, back to the little fused project!

I really love the bags that come with new appliances. Any kind of fabric (even fused plastic) with the writing on it always intrigues me.


I think I have the request at the bottom of this bag covered:


Making them can be a bit addictive!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Another UFO

Hi everyone!  In the quilting world, "UFO" stands for "unfinished object" - those quilts you set aside and mean to get back to ... and as you know, mine have been mounting up!  I mean, there are so many UFOs in my Studio, it's like the Area 51 of the quilt world.  I am working to change that, though!

That's what brought me to this quilt top:


It's a folk art quilt - album style.  I did the appliqué by hand, using a blanket stitch.  I really used to enjoy doing that!  Apparently what I did not enjoy was ear-marking fabric for the binding.  ACK!!!  I would have loved to use the same blue as in that first super-thin border, but no luck.  I didn't have the right red, either - though I think red would have looked really nice.  So ... my top three choices are up above on the right.  I ended up going with the blue on the bottom - many thanks to my friends who weighed in on that!

OK!  On to the quilting!  I used King Tut Sands of Time - it's variegated beiges and would be perfect for the "aged" look of the quilt.  I wanted to quilt it as they would have in the 19th century and wanted to quilt the living daylights out of it, so I chose to do diagonal lines, set about 1/2 and inch apart.  Yikes!  Straight lines are a challenge for me, but I thought they would really enhance the quilt.


I marked with my Frixion pens - wow, I love those things!

I also like my new Regi's Grip Quilting Gloves from Quilting Is My Therapy.  They are so much more comfortable than my old quilting gloves!  I confess, though, I sent the pair I'm wearing in that photo to a friend and bought a new pair for myself.  They were too long in the fingers for me, and I came very close to sewing right through the fingertips a few times.  The new ones are perfect - and hopefully the longer ones will work for my friend!

The girls were excellent company as I quilted - playing with toys, napping, and ... well, please click here.  She is such a riot!

After working a couple hours a day for a few days, I was finished with the quilting!!!


I really couldn't believe I quilted it so fast!  Granted, it's only about 40 square inches, but still!  YAY!!!

Here are a couple favorite blocks:

Hands to work, hearts to God!
Woman and child, with flying animal overhead

I really wish I could remember where this pattern came from!  It's not anywhere in my library.  If it was, I might be able to tell you if that's a flying dog, cat, horse, or something else.  Some of my friends speculated that it could be the cow jumping over the moon - and he's on the descent.  That could work!

Here's a look at the back:


I love the texture!!!

And here it is, after I sewed the binding on:


I just washed and dried it this morning, and love it even more:


It shrunk up just a touch, just enough to give it a bit of an aged look.  

I'm so happy I went back and finished this one.  It's really special to me.  Another UFO, all wrapped up!!!

Thanks so much for reading!

Friday, August 16, 2019

The First Cut Is The ... Hardest

Hi everyone!  Today, I'd like to tell you about a project that no, I didn't start 100 years ago like some of the others, but I did get the featured fabrics quite a while ago!

In exchange for making her a bag (either this one or this one ... my memory is failing me!), my friend Trace sent me some glorious fabrics from Australia!  I love them -- I mean REALLY love them.  And I get afraid to cut into fabrics I love that much.  Is that odd?  I wanted the perfect quilt pattern to show off the beautiful prints and just couldn't find it.

Enter Pinterest.  I started seeing a few things I really liked, then was able to redesign a pattern into one I thought would be perfect!  I took the first step:


As I wrote on Instagram, "Cover me, I'm going in!" I was about to cut. Truly the hardest part - cutting into that awesome fabric!

I love map fabric anyway, but teamed up with cool vintage cars is over the top! Oh, hey, look!!!


That's where Trace lives! Can you see her?!?

My pattern called for careful color placement and lots of flippy squares!


I was pretty far along in the process when I realized I should have sewn two seams 1/2 an inch apart on the squares so I'd have extra half-square triangles. I decided to remedy that by piecing those leftover triangles together:


Waste not, etc.

To get my fabs exactly where I wanted them, for the look I wanted, I started in the center and worked my way out.


The project grew swiftly!


I mean, seriously. Once I was willing to cut into the fabric, it was all a breeze from there!


I love the layout! I quilted with King Tut Sands of Time - a simple wavy grid. I didn't want to detract from the fabs or the design:


Quilting wavy lines is one of my happy places, I've decided. It pleases me.

Next up, piece the binding together:


And stitch that on!


Here's a look at the finished quilt:


And here it is, hanging in its place of honor in my Studio:


It hangs directly across from my Bernina! I've called it Australian Floor Tiles - hopefully, you can see why!

Many, many thanks to Trace for the awesome fabs! I do have a plan for the others and for the leftovers from this project - that will be implemented soon!

And thank you for reading!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

More Updating!

Hi everyone!  Another "finish" to show you today, and a quick project I did a couple weeks ago!

Do you remember the Christmas string quilt I pieced and quilted in April?  I finished putting the binding on that and thought I'd show you how it came out!

Christmas String Quilt 2

I'm really pretty pleased with how it came out! I think it makes a darling table runner!

Here's a look at the back:


It feels good to FINISH things! 😀

We bought a new vacuum (yay!) and it came with tons of plastic bags to hold all the various parts - you know the ones with all the recycling codes, warning labels in more languages than you can count, etc? I love the writing all over those bags!  I cut them apart, did some fusing, and decided to make a little basket for our chargers.


Maggie helped, as you can see!

Since any pins will leave a permanent hole in the plastic, those little Wonder Clips really come in handy!

It came together in no time:


I used my wooden press to flatten the seams - obviously, hitting it with a hot iron wouldn't be a good idea.  The press does a good job on this kind of "fabric".

Never let it be said that quilters don't recycle!

Thanks for reading!