Thursday, February 28, 2013

sweet surprises

i really wanted to attend quiltcon.  troy is working crazy hours right now, only one day off a week.  i tried to arrange childcare, found a roomie, and *almost* booked a flight. but in the end, it was too precarious - if one thing went wrong, it would all fall apart. the kids had been sick, flu and strep was still going around. so i made the choice to skip this time, vowing to go in 2015. it's a good thing i did - i'm sure my flight would have been cancelled due to the snow. 

instead, i stalked my instagram feed the entire weekend - and you can too! just search #quiltcon and there are over 4000 photos!

photo by nurseli1 on instagram

the payoff was finding my quiltcon block in its new home, a charity quilt for austin's children's shelter. mine is in the quilt on the right - the flying geese towards the top. all of the charity quilts are totally amazing. it was so cool to see what layouts and background fabrics each guild chose.

but the best moment of the entire weekend was seeing these photos on facebook.  my friend patty had volunteered to take a flat stanley to quiltcon for my daughter.  what i didn't know is she had also schemed this up!

Jacquie Gering and me!

flat denyse & I are BFFs.
i laughed so hard seeing these pictures. and i may have even teared up a little that she would do something so nice.

Tammy of Marmalade! (and her amazing quilted booth sign)

we visited some guild friends running the Marmalade Fabrics booth!

and she found my quilt so i could get my picture taken with it in the bakeshop booth.  seriously, this made my weekend.  i still grin every time i think of it.  you are a rock star patty! thanks a million!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

that's it.

i am officially breaking up with winter. in the last week, i've left the house exactly once, on monday. that evening we got a bunch more snow and we are housebound again - only this time, we lost power for 26 hours! thank goodness for our wood stove and our generator. we were able to keep the fridge running and watch movies. the power finally came back on late this morning.

the kids love it though! they have built snow forts, had snowball fights, gone sledding, and enjoyed being off of school.

troy has spent the whole day trying to get the driveway cleared - no small feat as we live quite aways off the road. he's still working on it, and if we can ever get out we're planning to celebrate by going to town for mexican food. i love living in the country, but it sure has its challenges!

with all of that going on, i haven't shared some of the latest!  i did a guest post over at pink castle fabrics, where you can take a little tour of my crafty space!  head on over and take a peek!  they have lots of great fabrics, so do a little shopping from the warmth of your home while you're there.

i do have something else to share, but it will have to wait for tomorrow.  oh, the suspense!

Friday, February 22, 2013

friday fun!

jenifer of 42 quilts is at quiltcon right now and snapped a picture of my charm crossing quilt! it's hanging in the moda bakeshop booth. thanks jenifer, wish i were there with you!

in other news, i am guest posting today at Nap Time Crafters for her Dressing Up Dolly series. come by and see all the fun ideas for making doll clothes!

look! we're snowed in and i couldn't be happier! the kids are so excited. we're getting ready to watch a movie and i am going to work on some quilt blocks.  then this afternoon, sledding! enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

chopped up charms, revisited

i'm having fun playing with this twist on my chopped up charms tutorial!

after making a four patch of 5 inch charms from my vintage sheets, i laid it on a square of kona white and stitched all around the outside edges. slice across both diagonals, and you have 4 scrappy HST. 

you could do pinwheels...

or chevrons!

i made blue ones today, but i'm thinking about doing a row of pink, a row of yellow... we'll see where this goes. maybe i'll use this for my bee vintage block!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

happy mail

a while back i participated in two anna maria horner charm swaps, and now i have this stack of deliciousness waiting to be made into something amazing. 

and then. then.
one afternoon not long after, i got a card in the mail, and though hmm, who could this be from?

look! she sent everyone in the swap an autographed charm! isn't that awesome?! and she spelled my name right. as if i didn't love her enough. 

what would you make with these lovelies?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

saturday stitching

one of the cool things about sewing with vintage sheets is that a lot of the prints are done on a larger scale than most quilting cottons. this means that cutting your fabric into 2 1/2 inch squares results in a bunch of squares that are completely different but still match. does that make sense?

here's an example, a lady of the lake block. this is for linda in bee vintage. look at the variations in all the HST! it makes for really scrappy blocks. i love the colors in this sheet. and won't it be a pretty quilt? hope she likes it!

and liz asked for a granny square. i am going to make her another one too. i'm not happy about the one solidish blue square on the left. wish i'd noticed it before i finished. that's the flip side of the scrappiness i mentioned. sometimes it works, other times - not so much. we all agreed to keep them untrimmed so she can ensure they're all the same size.

and i did one of the inspire blocks for march. i love making scrappy trip along blocks!

and since i hadn't shared it yet, here's a snap of my finished simply color chevron top! i'm hoping to take a better one tomorrow, when i have someone to help me :) to refresh, it's the patchwork chevron pattern by jeni baker for moda bakeshop, and simply color by v & co for moda. (by the way, have you seen her new collection, simply style?! swoon.) it's so bright and happy! it's a perfect fit for our guest room bed, which is an old iron bed from troy's grandma. can't wait to get it quilted. i'd love to see some angela walter style feathers running in those white zigzags - hmm... what would you do?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

swap report!

well, i'm at home with one confirmed case of influenza b (the 5yo) and a toddler who's sick too. the older kids weren't feeling swell, so i picked them up from school. i hate when my littles are sick! luckily, no one feels that awful - low fevers, some tummy troubles, a few runny noses. but - touch wood - no puking.

speaking of, i finally watched pitch perfect, and loved it! the kids kept coming upstairs and asking me how i knew all the songs! (i may have been singing loudly along with the Bellas) it made me kind of nostalgic for college. it seems like 20 years ago yesterday.

so, what to do when you're stuck at home with the sickies? play with fabric, of course!

i got my fabrics cut and mailed for the text swap at plum patchwork. i sent a bunch of sunkissed texts and a few random pieces from my stash.

rachel just started the amy butler charm swap, so of course i joined that one. there's still room to sign up so if you're interested, read the rules here.
edited to add: pink castle fabrics has several amy butler prints for only $5 a yard!  if you want to join the swap but didn't have much in your stash, now's the time!

and i forgot to mention another swap i joined! the KC Rainbow Layer Cake Swap! we are swapping 10" layer cake squares, and each participant is to purchase 1.5 yards of fabric in 2 assigned colors.

how about you? any great swaps i need to know about?  any interest in another swap a rainbow? i'd be happy to host if there's enough interest, just leave me a comment to let me know!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


last thursday night at KCMQG was the madrona road challenge reveal. i'm always blown away seeing the different projects people make starting with the same exact fabrics. i loved how a few people added in unexpected colors like turquoise, red, and green.  and others dyed their own fabrics to use! if you'd like to see the rest of the quilts, jan took great photos (including the one above) and posted them to flickr - here's a link. prepare to be amazed :)

our guild is full of amazing stitchers, but so many of them are hilarious too! i laughed so much during show & tell! it was fun hearing all of the stories behind the quilts.  i'm always nervous about getting up in front of everyone and didn't say half of what i had planned to about my quilt. ah well. maybe i'll get better with more practice? i guess that means i need to complete some more quilts for show & tell!

i was making quick progress on my patchwork chevron until i ran out of kona white. i swear i just bought 7 yards but i'm thinking i may need to purchase a bolt to keep on hand.  i have lots of scraps but the pattern calls for 14" squares. i stopped at joann's yesterday to replenish so i'm hoping to get it finished this weekend.  only 5 blocks to go! i finally broke into my simply color layer cake that i won at last year's spring market MQG meetup.

well, i better head off to my son's wrestling tournament. maybe i should break out some of my NW high wrestling cheers? pin him flat, clap! clap! to the mat, clap! clap!  sigh. why didn't anyone tell us how silly we were? :)  enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

madrona road challenge

i finished the quilting and binding on my madrona road challenge quilt this weekend! i am so happy to be done on time for guild this thursday. this is the first challenge i've completed. they gave us a fat eighth bundle and we could add in solids. our guild's rules were to use a traditional pieced block as inspiration, and you had to include the block somewhere on the quilt.

mine is the big patchwork star on the back. inspired by in color order's giant vintage star pattern, i made mine smaller to fit the front. i used oh, fransson's sparkle punch pattern there, sizing it down a bit. i used 3 inch squares, so i could get more cuts out of my fat eighths. and i had already bought some of this line from i don't do dishes, so i added in that too.

my solids were kona white and pepper, moda bella charcoal, cotton couture in straw (which is fabulous, so soft), the blue is moda - i think - and a purple grunge by basic gray. i don't know it's name. it's got hints of blue in it, and the back is a deep eggplant color. i love how it turned out.  i wanted the quilting to be reversible, so i went with a straight vertical line.  well, somewhat straight.  i didn't mark it, just lined up the edge of my foot with the piecing lines and shoved the quilt across the machine. i just let the walking foot guide it forward and it went so fast.

i finally tried out my aurifil thread! i used a light gray to piece and quilt the entire thing. the spool was new, and there's still a lot left! i like that thread. my machine didn't act up once during the whole project - which is huge. no tension issues, just pretty stitches.

another thing i tried for the first time was machine stitching the binding. cluck cluck sew has a good tutorial, and there are several other methods you can try. one important thing is that since your stitching shows on the front of the quilt, your thread is going to show up.

but on this, it's barely noticeable, and even the spots where i stitched onto the binding kind of disappear.

now, if i could just figure out the basting step! i feel like the only person who can't do that.  mine takes at least three tries, i'll get it smoothed out and pinned, flip it over and the back is a bunchy mess. (and don't even mention the one time i tried spray basting. what a mess.)

this time i tried using the board method, another first. i thought i had my fabric rolled tightly but it wasn't very smooth when i finished. plus, i didn't have my top centered correctly, so i had to start over. twice. it felt like a method that could work though, i'll be trying it again.  i ended up pinning one side,and flipping it, and smoothing it out and pinning, then flipping it, repeat. the whole time thinking to myself, there is an easier way. there has to be a better method. so what is it?!! if you know, please share.

so, there she is. sparkle punch meets madrona road. madrona punch? sparkle road?

and i decided that from now on, all of my quilt photos will be of quilts blowing in the kansas wind.

or blowing away...

guess what?

my charm crossing quilt is on it's way to quiltcon!  they might display in the moda bakeshop booth.  if you're going, i'd love it if you took a picture of it for me.  or of you next to it. or with it photobombing in the background while you schmooze with the bakeshop folks. lucky.

i don't remember if i told you, but sawyer drew on the back of it with a black marker? and it mostly came out, except for on that pink hourglass? i'm hoping they can still display the front. he also wrote across the back of our couch. luckily it all came out.

and when he's so funny, it's hard to be mad at him. this is him sporting pj pants i made out of a pair of troy's old pants. so easy, you reuse the hems and side seam and trace a pair of pants that fit them well. and so cute to see a little mini troy running around.


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