Wednesday, June 30, 2010


PMQG is going to do a presentation on hexagons at our next meeting so I figured I'd get a little head start and at least start doing some cutting. I'll probably hold off on any sewing but I can't make any promises.

How cute is that little guy with the flowers? And check out the awesome little hexie template set from tabslot. One for the fabric and one for the papers. My friend Jill and her husband make these (and many other fabulous templates and rulers for rotary cutting). Go check out her new etsy shop and see other hexie sizes too!
It really was inevitable. The hexies are just too cute.

Monday, June 28, 2010

True confessions

Apparently there's something in my genetic makeup that compels me to acquire fabric. New fabric. Vintage linens. Fabric swapped with others. Fabric from my LQS. Fabric from awesome online sources. It's becoming a problem.

Case in point:
Found these at my local thrift store over the weekend. Do I need them? No. Am I currently in a vintage sheet swap that has 84 fat quarters coming to my house next month? Yes. But when you see something like that crazy awesome purple flower print, are you supposed to just leave it there? You can see my dilemma.

And the chunky pastel stripes? Coming soon to a stripey binding near you!

And since it's true confessions time...I'm also awaiting some Castle Peeps that should come in the mail this week. Sigh. I may need an intervention.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New tricks

Lots of firsts to report today.

I joined my very first quilting bee over on flickr. Bee Vintage. It's an offshoot of the vintage sheet swap, which I'm also doing for the first time. For our first month, Sarah sent us some kona grass and asked for paper pieced string blocks following this tutorial. So, feeling like a complete and utter newbie I made my first paper pieced block, first string block and first time actually getting in there and using my collection of vintage sheets to make my first block for my first quilting bee. Whew!
I think it turned out okay! The main reason I joined the bee was to get out of my own little box and pick up some new skills making blocks and patterns I might not choose on my own.

And while we're on the subject of new skills....this is Owen's newest. Pretty much every time I try to take his picture now this is what he does. I thought he might be distracted by the chocolate frosted cupcakes we made for Father's Day, but apparently not.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Look at me!

This is a phrase heard often around here as the kiddos try to outdo one another in their exploits. But now it's MY turn to shout from the rooftops: LOOK! I did me some stippling!

I cannot believe I actually did it! And while I was nervous at first - completely sure I was going to ruin my little Retro Wave quilt - it ended up being really really fun.

There it is all stippled up and ready to go in the wash. There are more "mistakes" in the quilting than I care to mention but since it's the very first time I've ever attempted this, I'm very satisfied with the end result.
And here it is out of the dryer and all crinkly and cozy! My daughter has already claimed this as her own though the quilt is pretty small. I figure she'll drag it around and curl up with it while watching cartoons.
The back is a really cute tiny print that goes with all the other 30's repro fabrics on the front.

So happy to have the first one under my belt because I KNOW I'll be doing more stipple quilting in the future.

***Pattern is New Wave from Oh, Fransson with some modifications. I used a dresden ruler so had thinner, shorter waves than you would get if following the pattern exactly. ***

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

What do you like best about this photo? Is it the pretty purple flowers my husband brought home on Friday to kick off my birthday weekend? Or is it the folded up quilt, ready to go visit the PMQG meeting this week? Perhaps it's the overflowing laundry basket - yes, I did two loads of laundry on my birthday. My favorite thing is the big plastic dump truck lurking at the bottom of the stairs just waiting to injure some unsuspecting person. Ah, life with kiddos!

But all laundry and injurious toys aside, just LOOK at what came in the mail today! I'm telling you, it really WAS a happy birthday!

And best of all (even better than the Tufted Tweets, which is saying a LOT), I got to spend the day with my family - always the best present!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Went to Cool Cottons yesterday for the first time - super yum! It's probably a good thing I don't live any closer because I would be in there all. the. time.

I only went to look for some nice yellow/gray for a quilt I'm planning but you know how that goes. Still, I think I did well to leave with only three quarter yard cuts. And, of course, Michael Miller's Dysfunctional Family because as soon as I saw it I was cracking up.

I mean, she's quilting and everything! How awesome is that?

I'm not entirely sure what I'll make with this but I have no doubt it will be fun and will always make me laugh.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prints Charming

Here is the quilt I made using charms from the swap we did a Portland Modern Quilt Guild last month.

After the charm swap I went home and looked through all my pretty little squares, stacking and re-stacking them, laying them out and looking at all the beautiful fabrics. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this sort of thing.) I tried to imagine what kind of projects I could do with this great variety but only very small amounts of each print. I realized that it sort of represented to me the process of making new friends and that the only thing they needed to have in common was that I liked them all.

There were a few charms that I couldn't bear to cut into so they ended up in the square panel at the bottom, along with the three charm fabric patterns that I contributed to the swap. I kept thinking "Make new friends, but keep the old" as I was working on this so it seemed appropriate to include them.

The quilt measures about 60 inches square and represents a lot of 'firsts' for me. First time doing any kind of improvisational piecing. I didn't measure any of the charms, just cut them into two or three pieces and then put them all in a paper bag. Drew them out one by one and made the borders. First time using so much solid fabric and leaving so much negative space. First time using bed sheets for the solids and the binding (100% cotton, from IKEA, I like the finished quilt but the sheets are kind of annoying to work with).

Here you can see the solid that makes up the back of the quilt. And aren't all those little fabric bits just fabulous? Kind of like all the new quilty people I'm meeting!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Another Bag.

I told you it might become a problem. Making bags is kind of awesome. And when you're have a NEW BAG! This one is the Margaret Bag (free downloadable pattern from Oh, Fransson!). More IKEA fabric and I'm kinda loving the orange lining.

Last night was the Portland Modern Quilt Guild's sewing night at Modern Domestic. Most awesome place ever. It doesn't get much better than three hours of sewing time interrupted only by chatting with new quilty friends Jill and Jen and other members of the Guild.

This shows the double button thingy. The white button was the right size but lacked the pizzaz of the orange button so I just stacked 'em up and sewed 'em on.

I love my new summer bag! Now, if only summer would arrive.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Is it really June?

Because the weather seems to think it's March. I'm beginning to wonder if our fair city will EVER seem summery. My poor kiddos are going absolutely mad being inside all the time and dashing outside to play for five minutes then running back inside to wait out a rain shower that lasts for half an hour is getting kind of old.

So today we baked bread. Bailey loves to watch the mixer go round and round and round. I mean, she LOVES it. Gets transfixed. It's hilarious.

She also likes to stick her nose into the bowl and take a big sniff. "Mmmmm...Mommy. Smells like dough." And then she runs amok with all my measuring cups and spoons, shrieking with delight. Sigh. At least we get to eat this with our "sgabetti and neatballs" tonight.

And the best part is that the whole house smells like a bakery. I love that.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Marching Onward

I've been able to get a little bit of time in my sewing space (which also happens to be the guest bedroom, which also happens to be where I usually end up at night when there's a sick kiddo in the house, which is why I've spent the last several nights there with a hacking coughing Bailey....anywho). I have almost everything cut out for another bag - this may become a problem - and I'm working on morphing my big pile of vintage sheets into little piles of vintage sheet fat quarters for this swap.

I've also pin basted two quilts. I love how the little pins are like an army marching across the fabric - taking very seriously their sworn duty to hold my quilt sandwich together without puckering!

This one is made from charm squares that I received recently in a swap with the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. More info when I show the whole thing once it's finished!

And this one is my Retro Wave quilt which I think will be my first attempt at all over free-motion stippling. I hope I don't chicken out from the fear of screwing it all up.

March on little safety pins - march on!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Fab Bag

Remember this pile o' fabric? Well, it was magically transformed into this completely fabulous new tote bag, which is HUGE enough to handle all the daily stuff I seem destined to carry around. Who knew that having a couple of kiddos was going to make me Chief in Charge of Everyone's Stuff? At least now I can carry it all in style.

The print fabric is from IKEA and the bottom is some linen that I already had. The orange lining is also from IKEA. The pattern is from McCall's I think, and I've had it forever even though this is the first time I've ever used it. This is the first bag I've ever made (other than tiny little tote bags for my kids crayons and stuff). It's also the first time I ever made a fabric covered button, which could become a problem because it was so fun and easy. Now I want to cover millions of buttons and sew them on to everything.

So, if you see a momma and her two cute kiddos around town and she's toting this awesome fab bag, be sure to say hi!