Saturday, January 31, 2009

Frogging and Other Wanderings

Argh! - I've just sewn 14 pairs of light and dark strips together with my needle moved the wrong way.

Earlier this evening I decided that instead of 12 blocks for the Strip Twist quilt, I wanted to make 20 blocks. So, I dug my fabrics out again and cut more strips. About half way though the pile, I realized that my needle looked funny. Yep, I moved it over one notch, but forgot to mirror image the move so instead of a 'scant' quarter inch I've a 'plump' quarter inch. So, I've got frogging to do (rip it, rip it).

I'm also questioning one of my fabrics. It was not in my original selection because it tends to look light against dark fabrics and dark against the lights. But since I needed more strips, I declared it 'light', but I've almost sewn it to the light fabric twice. It's the button fabric in the pic.

Here in the photo it definately looks light, so I guess I'll keep it, but make certain it between two darks and not on the outside.

As for the wandering portion of this post, I went to a new to me quilt shop -- Fran's Fabrics in Bonner Springs, Kansas. A group of six of us went, and I almost made it out of the shop without any impulse buys, but I made another pass while my friends were getting their fabric cut and I found this brown fabric.

It is In My Own Backyard ... Becky Eme for Fabri-Quilt. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. It reminds me of the 'perfect' brown fabric I used to have and used in the border of Which Way Is Up. I started with a FQ to make reindeer (which still haven't been done), the decided it was the perfect border, bought what I needed, and a girlfriend bought the rest of the bolt. She no longer has what was left, because it was the 'perfect brown' for something else I was doing.

Which Way Is Up?

Well, off to frog.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Strip Twist Progress

Last night I cut 2 1/2" strips from my black & white FQs. As it turns out, I have more light B&W than dark B&W fabrics. Then there are those great medium B&Ws that just won't work for this (at least in my opinion). I guestimated that I had enough lights cut, but would be short a few darks (may be 4 or 5 strips?)

Tonight I started sewing them in pairs. Yep, short 16 or 17(?!) dark strips -- . Since I already had cut 4 strips from each dark FQ, I dug into the MUSIC STASH. Just as I finished sewing the last of dark music strips, I turned around and hidden behind the box with my OTR, are the rest of the dark strips! Now I'm short light strips.

I could go back into the music stash, but there's not a whole lot of light B&W music there - at least not where I could get an 18" strip. So, into the CAT STASH.

A red letter day for sure -- breaking into two of my largest stashes of fabrics.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Superbowl Twist?

I've been good so far this year. Finished 3 UFOs and the one new project I started I compeleted. Well, I'm about to start a new project. Bonnie Hunnter's Strip Twist on Super Bowl Sunday.

Last night I pulled out the 2 1/2" strip box and black and white strips jumped out at me, so to speak. So, I think I'm going to do this in Black and White. There is no way I've got enough strips in the box for the whole quilt, but I do have a stack of black and white FQs. So, I'm off to cut strips. I need something mindless for a bit.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

UFO # 3 for 2009

I finished up this hand appliqué top Sunday evening. It was early enough that I could have sandwiched it and started quilting it. But what to use for the backing and batting? Most of my batting is Warm and Natural, but I wanted white batting for this quilt. As for the backing, I had no idea, so I left the top hanging on my shelves.

This evening I came into my sewing room with the intention of piecing something. But the little quilt top keep calling to me. After all it’s only 26” square, how long can it possibly take to quilt it? I still had to figure out what to use for the batting and backing.

I dug through my stash. Most of it’s FQs. I thought about piecing the backing from my pink stash, but I like those pink fabrics and don’t want to ‘waste’ them on the back of a wall hanging. Finally, I decided to dig though my novelty prints. Found a 2 yard piece of a bright yellow I originally bought to use for a swap and decided against using. Perfect. Who says the backing needs to match the front of the quilt?

Oh, and the batting? I have some fusible batting I bought to make some bags and didn’t use.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mardi Gras Frogs

Yes, the little guys are wearing beads. And funny hats. And apparently are doing a take on the three wise monkeys (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil). I'm not certain what that's about.


Stash Report Week #4

This week I quilted and bound the mystery quilt that I'm presenting at a retreat in April. I also made 5 blocks for a BOM quilt. 3 will be used in the store sample, the other 2 were in 'test fabrics'. On the other hand yesterday my quilting buddies and I went to several shops. The primary reason was to sign up for the Kansas Trouble Stash Society -- that's not going to help me bust stash -- oh well. Anyway, I only came home with two patterns, a package of appliqué needles and 2 yards of fabric - Mardi Gras frogs. I'm going to use that for backing on my Old Tobacco Road Quilt which I'm doing in yellow, green & purple.

Fabric Added This Week: 2.0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 12 yards

Fabric Used This Week: 2 ⅞ yards
Fabric Used to Date: 6 ⅞ yards

Net Stash: +5 ⅛


Did Someone Say Appliqué?

I love the look of hand appliqué. I like to get things done fast (ok, so I'm going on 20 years with my DWR) so I can finish them (ignore the fact that I've counted 33 Projects in the works). Bottom line, these two things don't mix, so each time I've seen an appliqué project that I think will be neat to do I start chanting the following:

I don't do appliqué, I don't do appliqué, I don't do appliqué.

Ususally it works, occassionally, it results in me buying an appliqué book - you've got to have eye candy for inspiration, right?

Even my LQS owner will say "Pam, there's appliqué in that quilt" to remind me that I don't do appliqué.

I'm not certain what happened. I ended up in a hand appliqué class. A three week long class this past May. Nine different preparation methods - some I liked better than others.

Tonight (ok, this morning as it's after midnight) I finished the last of the appliqué.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Corns and Beans

My local quilt shop, Heritage Fine Fabrics is using the book Kansas Spirit and Kansas Troubles fabrics for a Block of the Month. I'm making the store sample blocks. The first 3 blocks were made in October or November and this week I'm working on the second 3 blocks.

The first two this week went together really well. Which was good, as it was late. I decided to go to bed before working on the 3rd block. This morning I discovered it was Corn and Beans. Oh, I am so glad I didn't decide to work on this block while I was tired.

Blocks cut with 7/8s mesaurements, squares cut on the diagonal and flying geese made with a large square and 4 small squares - a technique I've only read about. Deciding I didn't want to use 'real' fabric, I pulled fabrics for a test block. Recently one one of the many lists I'm on, it was suggested that when making sample blocks, use a collection of fabrics so at some point down the line you'll have enough blocks to make a quilt top. It seems like a good idea, so I pulled fabrics which together read 'Christmas' to me. I've got a Christmas sampler in progress (going on 4 or 5 years now) that I want to make bigger than the pattern, so I'll toss this block into the mix.

Anyway, the block is done. It's definately 'fiddly'. Friday we'll make a decision if we are going to use this block or pick one of the others in the book -- an option since we are only doing 12 and there are 15 in the book.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Another UFO Finish for 2009

I've just put the final stitches in my latest UFO, moving to the Completed List. Alas, I can't show a picture here, as it's the mystery quilt for a retreat in April.

Back to piecing now. Probably blocks from Kansas Spirit.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Finished UFO of 2009

I've finished my first UFO of the year. This baby quilt is headed to my manager and her 8th month old. Now to figure out what to work on next. It's not like I don't have a ton of quilt tops needing to be quilted, or tops that needed to be completed.


Weekly Stash Report

If my goal is to reduce my stash, I seem to be going backwards. I only used ¼ yard on the sweatshirt. There was another ¼ yard pulled for a narrow border on a baby quilt, and the 1 ½ yards for the backing and binding. The quilt is quilted and the binding is made. I should be able to get it in the mail on Tuesday.

There were two fabric purchases this week. Last Sunday I purchased a few FQs to round out a bundle I got at Thanksgiving. I also picked up some dragon fly fabric that I had been looking for. Then today, I stopped in at Heritage Fine Fabrics and spotted two things. The first is the pattern Sunset by Sunflower Hill Designs the second is Kona Bay Print in the pic.

Needless to say I thought the two would work well together and started pulling Fairy Frost FQs to go with it. I still need the background and will probably use a Moda Marbles for the background.

Fabric Added This Week: 8.5 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 10 yards

Fabric Used This Week: 2 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 4 yards

Net Stash: +6


Friday, January 16, 2009

First Finish of 2009


About 11:45 this evening I finished the sweatshirt for my friend C. I’ll give it to her tomorrow night.

Next up, quilting a baby quilt that should have been done months ago.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009



I know I’m in trouble when I start watching the evening news, cook dinner, seriously start thinking about cleaning the house and actually READ a book instead of listening to it on CDs Either the house is a disaster even in my eyes (and it takes a lot to get to that point), or I’m putting off something.

Although I love to read, I’ve taken to listening to books on CDs so I can continue sewing. Lately, I pick up books at the library and then read them in a hurry right before they are due because I’ve been quilting. Not this time. Friday before leaving town I picked up two books: Old Maid’s Puzzle by Terri Thayer. and The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts. I started on Old Maid’s Puzzle on the trip, finishing up Sunday morning and then read The Pagan Stone Sunday and Monday evenings. I enjoyed both of them.

So what I have been procrastinating about? The Lone Star Sweatshirt. There are two pieces to making this shirt which I’m not overly fond of. One is ripping out the neckline – I hate the thread – but I can do it while I “watch” TV and the other thing is turning the edges under so I can appliqué it to the shirt. My original desired date was January 2nd (of this year), but I missed that. So, I’ve adjusted my ‘due’ date to this Friday. See, I’m improving, in the past, it would go into the UFO pile and I’d work on something else. Since I had previously decided I wanted to finish this before working on anything else (ok, I did cut out charm squares, but there was no sewing), I made a deal with myself this evening. If I got the edges turned under by 9 CST, I could watch Leverage while I ripped out the neckband. I had 3 hours, surely I could do that.

Well, the good news is I was able to get it done, even though I stopped to watch the local news and pet Seven who hopped up on my lap without me calling her. I even ripped out the neckband so I could start sewing it to the shirt before I stopped to watch the show.

However now, I’ve got to rip. I’m not sure what happened, but my sewing machine kept sewing after I took my foot off the pedal. My thread matches so it’s nearly impossible to see. I’ve got to wait until morning to work for better light. I think it’s time to go to bed.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Beginning Steps on Tin Lizzie

There was no piecing for me this past weekend. I was quilting – as in stitching to hold 3 layers together. Ok, it was nothing more than two lengths of off white fabric, but I did stitch them together.

Some of my quilting buddies and I I drove down to Southwest Missouri and met Heidi of Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow. When the day started Heidi was our instructor, but by the end of the day we called her our friend.

Heidi, led us through loading the quilt, basic maintenance of the Tin Lizzie and simple exercises to get us started. As you can see by the pictures, I’m clearly not ready to quilt for real, but now I’m better equipped, when I pop over to my friend S’s to work on her Tin Lizzie. Not bad for a day's work.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stash Report

Not a whole lot of quilting was done this week. However I did cut 6" charms from my music fabric collection to send to Tammy for her son's graduation quilt. But then this weekend I hit two quilt stores with friends while out of town. Fortunately most of the fabric was bought TODAY so, I have work to do this week.

Fabric Added This Week: 1 1/2 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 1 1/2 yards

Fabric Used This Week: 1 1/2 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 2 yards


Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Stash

Earlier this week I said I know where all my stash is. Most of it is on the shelves in the picture of that post. In addition to those shelves, I have a chest of drawers that houses miscellanous stuff, including two drawers full of music fabric.

Four or five years ago when I started quilting in earnest, I picked up a couple of music themed FQs. My thought was someday I would make a music quilt for my DH who is an instrumental music educator. He suggested that I cut a single repeat from each fabric and sew it together for the top. The quilter in me wanted a piecing challenge and dismissed the idea. Besides, I only had a couple of FQs.

Now I've got 2 drawers full. The some of the blue fabric I raided for the Blue Applecore quilt I made for my DH. So there's less than a FQ, some pieces are 2 yards. Most are FQs or 1/2 yard pieces. But how much fabric do I NEED for a single quilt.

Blue Charm Applecore

Since I couldn't fit another piece of fabric into the two drawers, it was time to design a quilt. Now DH's idea that I dismissed sounded really good, but I had over 150 pieces of fabric, not including repeats bought by mistake. I still wanted to 'piece', but didn't have a clue what I was going to do.

On the Quilt in a Day forum ( someone posted a picture of a floral quilt. She had used 100+ different floral fabrics (5" or 6") and then sashed them with pieced sashing which formed a star with the cornerstones. The quilt design was set. That's when I discovered I needed another 8 music designs. That was another 2 yards of fabric to the stash.

I've got part of the quilt done. --- All the charms are cut -- but that's only 3 1/2 yards. The backing will take another 7 or so (yes, I'll piece it from the music stash when I get that far.) But my guess is I will still have two drawers full of music fabric when I'm done.

part of quilt

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time Management

I tend to be overly optimistic on how much I can get accomplished in a sewing session. Last week with the New Year's Day holiday, I thought I could easily get the Lone Star Sweatshirt completed for my friend. Little did I know I wouldn't have the entire day to sew. And that's where my time management runs into trouble. I neglect to account for the unexpected.

That in turn turns into UFOs. Either the calendar deadline --birthday, or holiday --or my self imposed deadline passes without me finishing the project and then I'm off to the next project with a deadline. As a result, I have 32 projects in various stages which were started prior to Jan 1st. That doesn't include the 32 quilt tops that need quilting.

So, in theory, I'm going to work on one project until I get it done -- or at least to the next stage -- can't expect miracles.

The lone star is ready for me to turn the edges. Once I get them all turned, I remove the neck band on the store bought sweatshirt, I'll applique it to the shirt and add a bit of quilting, before putting the neckband back on.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stash Report

I have no idea how much stash I have, although I do know where it all is. This picture was taken several months ago. There is a bit more on the shelves now. About all I completed was 2 12" Flying Dutchmen blocks for a block lotto.

So, this weeks report is as follows

Fabric Added This Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 0 yards

Fabric Used This Week: 1/2 yard
Fabric Used to Date: 1/2 yard


New to Blogging

Well, this is my first real blogging post. Knowing nothing about blogging, I had previously been searching for a free PDF host site. If found out I can't host PDFs here. I did find one which was working for my purposes at

I love to quilt, although lately it seems it's been more piecing. At the begining of 2009 I have way to many projects in the works. So I'm going to work on getting them done this year, along with not buying speculation fabric - or even fabric that I'm not ready to use immediately. That doesn't mean I won't buy fabric, just that I'll pay better attention to what and when I buy it.

Eventually, I may get a pretty side bar to list out the top 10 projects I'm working on, or my tops to be quilted, or projects in the works, but for now, here's a simple accounting of them.

As of 1/1/09:

UFOs/WIP: 33
Tops: 31
PIGS: 16

I guess that's all for now.