Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pluses to the perimeter

I fully expected to post sooner than this, but when your air conditioning goes out, it's not a great idea to add heat to the room with your computer. I'm popping in quickly to share a few things, though! Our AC should be fixed today, or tomorrow at the latest!

First up, thanks to everyone that entered the giveaway! The winner is commenter #90, Mimi! She said, "I like a bundle with 8 to 10!! Your selection is great !! Thanks for the chance!!

I've emailed Mimi about her win.

It was really interesting to read all of your comments, and it sounds like a bundle with 8-12 is ideal.

I have a finished SWOON quilt to share with you, but no pictures yet! There's also a little cross-stitch and knitting to share.

Today, I want to share a pillow I recently made for a dear friend.

Rhonda was interested in a plus pillow after seeing the pillow I made for Kate.


I pulled a variety of greens from the stash (always the best part).

Plus pillow top

Every time I make plus blocks, I want to make more!

FO: Green Pluses to the Perimeter

I really didn't want to give this pillow away, but since Rhonda's a pretty awesome chick, I did. She seems to love it!

My favorite part is the covered zipper:

FO: Green Pluses to the Perimeter

I installed this zipper using the Sew, Mama, Sew tutorial.

I'll be back soon with some more finishes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Practice, practice, practice

Thanks for all of the comments so far on the giveaway! I've really been enjoying seeing the answers!

Yesterday, I got motivated to give free motion quilting another try. I first attempted it at Sewing Summit last year and have done a little pebbling as well.


I made a few swatches yesterday to give it another go. I read this again to refresh my memory. I went to the library to check out Angela Walters' book, but it's not available yet. I may buy it as a reference, but for now, I'll just do what I can! I'm taking a class on FMQ at QuiltCon in February, too!

FMQ practice

My swatch on the right is a little funky, but I'm getting better!

I've decided to take the plunge and free motion my Swoon quilt!

Delayed progress

Once Olias moves, I'll keep going, but I've got a couple of lines done so far!

I'm really excited about this, and I hope I can do a good job. Jeni has assured me that FMQ is never perfect, and that my mistakes will be concealed by the crinkle. I hope so! And I'm using a gift from Nicke (from months ago!). She sent me a pair of Machingers gloves, and they are definitely helping me grip the quilt as I move it about.

Does anyone have tips to share for free motion success?
I can offer one tip, based on a mistake I made last night. Definitely make sure you lower your presser foot! I forgot to do that, and I had lots of lovely extra thread on the back. I spent some time picking out all of that thread with my trusty tweezers.

Swoon will definitely be my focus for the next few days. I'm so PUMPED to finish this one!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giveaway: Stash Fabric Bundle

it's always fun to dig around in the stash and pick out a bundle of fabric for your next project. And luckily, Beth over at Stash Fabric allowed me to sort through her shelves (figuratively speaking!) and make a little bundle. It was so much fun, and I really love the resulting collection.

Stash Fabric Blogger bundle

I hope you agree!
There's a little bit of Chicopee, the Birds and the Bees, Field Study, Lilly Belle, Ombre Dots, Grand Hotel and Painter's Canvas.

Would you like to win one?

If so, leave a comment here and tell us:
How many fabrics do you like to see in a bundle?
This bundle has eight fat quarters, and for me, that's a good number. Although it's difficult to limit myself sometimes!

Please, just one entry per person, and if you are a no-reply blogger, be sure to leave a way to contact you! This post will be open until Thursday evening, and we'll announce a winner Friday.

Thanks for playing! And especially, thank you, Beth, and Stash Fabric!
If you don't win, you can find the bundle here!

Comments are now closed. Thanks for entering!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In the works

My brain can't seem to focus this week.

Wonky Bee Round 3

I've been thinking about this pile of fabrics, which I've pulled together for Round 3 of the Wonky Bee. The wonky girls have decided to do a traveling bee for this round, partially inspired by the Traveling Quilts group.
I think it will be lots of fun, and I've gotten to know these girls so well over the past few years!
I'm still not sure what my "plan" (I use that term loosely) will be for the quilt, but I know my fabric will be in good hands. I'm supposed to get the quilt started before passing it on to the first person, which is Amanda!

This will be a fairly relaxed bee, with two months for each portion of the quilt, and next fall, we'll all have finished quilt tops to share!


I've also been steady trimming these little half-square triangles. These are being made from Swoon and Which Way leftovers (both of which are still NOT FINISHED). I find it relaxing to trim up a pile every new and then, when I need a break from sewing.

I also used the last of a gift certificate (I tend to savor those gift certificates; this one was from Christmas!) during Pink Castle's labor day sale.

New text prints

I got a few new text prints.

New stash

And this fun pile as well!

I'm working to finish up this plus pillow for my friend Rhonda today.
After that, who knows??

What are you working on?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You know what I love?

Ara Jane and her amazing style. And the fact that this is how she starts each blog post. Telling you something she loves. How positive is that?

I met Ara Jane earlier this summer at our retreat and got lucky enough to have her draw my name in our recent swap as part of the do.Good Stitches Love circle.

Ara Jane professed in her card that she might have gone a little overboard, and she did, in the best way! Not only did she send me some of her delicious granola (we had this on the retreat and I have yet to try the recipe for myself) and some Theo chocolate bars (oh, the hazelnut one is my favorite so far!), but she also sent me some lovely green yarn.

And of course, there are handmades:

From Ara Jane

There's this embroidered hoop featuring the ever-awesome Treat Yo Self phrase (Monica's blog post has the video if you need a Parks & Rec fix). Ara Jane's embroidery is beautiful, and I actually have no hoops adorning my walls. So, yay for that!!

And the pillow.
Oh, the pillow.

From Ara Jane

I love the geese.
I love the colors.
I love the fabrics (this is my first dose of in-real-life Chicopee, and I must get that black voltage dot!).
I love her hand-stitching.

I love that Ara Jane's personality really shines through in these gifts.

Thank you again, Ara Jane!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

House stuff, some x & + blocks

I mentioned there was a hot water leak in our place a few weeks back. The townhome association decided to reroute the plumbing line through our ceiling, and so there are a few holes.

House stuff

Downstairs bath

See that wire that is running over the stud (between the two hideous light fixtures)?
Yeah, that shouldn't be there.

An electrician came to fix that yesterday. And while we were at it, we asked him to take those fixtures away and we got a new ceiling-mounted one that will be installed once there is a ceiling again.

House stuff


Here, you can see our newly painted hallway (asparagus!), with our new pipe.

Next week, drywall repairs will begin.
The very bright side is that since this was the association's decision, they will be paying for the repairs (except the electrician). And I am glad I was already off of work, so that neither of us had to keep taking vacation days to be here for repairs.

So. On to happier things, yes??

& x blocks

I have decided I need a x & + quilt of my own, after making blocks for Ara Jane in do.Good Stitches.

And of course, seeing Jessica's amazing quilt top on the retreat influenced me as well.

I've been enjoying the scrap bin these past few days (although I haven't gotten much sewing done, since I've been sick).

And one tiny enabler alert for you: Kokka fabrics are on sale today at Pink Castle. You can get a 25% discount using the coupon code KOKKA25.
Just sayin'.

And last, but not least, I thought you might like to see a picture of Olias bath time.

Olias bath

I just love those little white feet.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Hello, friends. It seems I've caught some sort of head cold, and I've been taking it easy the past couple of days. I feel worse today, but hopefully, I"ll kick this before too long.

I do have a couple of things to share. The do.Good Stitches Love circle did a little swap, and I drew Blue Crab, Elizabeth as my partner. She was very specific in asking for potholders, which I really appreciated. And she loves Innocent Crush!

IC Potholders

I made her two potholders. The left, in log cabin style, and the right, using Elizabeth Hartman's Mod Mosaic technique. They were fun to make, and I made them without binding.
Do you prefer to make/use potholders with or without binding? Just curious.
I like both methods of making and using.

I included some Innocent Crush scraps for Elizabeth as well.

FO: Echino Tote

I also just finished this Echino tote bag. I just love the stag prints they printed.

FO: Echino Tote

It holds lots of yarn, too!

I have other things to share, including my received Love circle swap items (!!!!), and a semi-fail skirt.


I'm also playing in the scrap bin, a la C.

Oh, one last thing! Amanda shared the cutest pouch tutorial on Sew Mama Sew! Check it out!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wonky pinwheels

Natalie wrote the coolest tutorial this week! For her month in do.Good Stitches, she's asked us to use her Wonky Pinwheel tutorial along with a fall palette of fabrics. I jumped on the chance to make some of these blocks, and I think I'll find an excuse to make more very soon!

Wonky pinwheels

I've been thinking about a few ongoing scrappy projects, and I think this will be one of them.

I highly encourage you to give this block a try for yourself!

It is a little difficult to think about fall in Houston, though, since it doesn't really exist here!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


I'm enjoying a rainy Saturday afternoon today. There's a few things I'd like to share.


First up, I recently left my job. After working in the same field for eight years, I decided to make a clean break. It was never my passion. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring is scary, but I'm optimistic. This is the reason for my recent etsy endeavor. I thought dabbling with a shop might be a good thing to try. I also hope to share more tutorials in the upcoming months. And most importantly, I feel so grateful to E. He is such an amazing partner.

Timing is a funny thing, and during this past week (my first at home), we experienced a hot water leak at our townhome. There have been plumbers in and out for the past few days. There are something like six holes in the drywall in our living room walls/ceiling, but hopefully, this will all be past us after another week or two. I'm glad I was home to help arrange the work, though!

Earlier this week, I took this stack of lovely green fabrics, and now I've got this:

Plus pillow top

I'll be turning it into a pillow for my buddy, Rhonda.

It's making me want to make an entire plus quilt, though. Each time I make this type of block, I enjoy it so much!


Before that happens though, I've got two quilts waiting to be basted and quilted. The basting will happen today, and I hope to get lots of quilting hours in this weekend.

Brenda is having a storewide sale this weekend, using the coupon code LABOR20.
If you are in the US, I wish you a happy Labor Day, and for the rest of you, happy weekend!

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