Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Mostly for My Mom

Attention Interwebs! I need input, mostly from my mom because this is going to be her quilt, but feel free to chime in since today is the last day to enter the Giveaway Extravaganza!

So, here are two sets of four pineapple blocks that I'm using for my mom's quilt.  I am not sure which set I like best for the front of the quilt, but there will be 40 of these blocks total on the front, with one panel of the print fabric in the middle.
Oh wait. There's a little something on the fabric. A little something I call Six Pounds of Fury! *rimshot*  Apparently today at Helper Cat Labs they are working on reinforcing gravity.

So, Mom, which do you like better? Left (with more prints in the light values) or Right (with all solid Sand colors for the light)?  Whichever one you don't pick I'll put in the back of the quilt.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Weary World Rejoices

I finished re-framing the nativity cross-stitch I talked about in Episode 43.  As it turns out I had 16x20" frame where the glass broke, and it was the perfect size for this finished piece.  Since I didn't want to quilt over the cross-stitch, I think framing it is the best bet.
The quilted portion fits exactly in the frame, but without glass there's a danger of the edges poking out (I can see it happening a bit at the top). I will probably go in an add 1" strips of fabric along the edge of the piece that I can wrap around and tape down on the back of the matboard inside the frame.

The star at the top is the Guiding Star paper pieced pattern from Quilters Cache- I reduced the size 50% so it's 3" square - that's crazy small to paper piece.  The quote at the bottom is from "O Holy Night", my favorite Christmas carol. I cry EVERY TIME I hear it, which makes it near impossible to listen to the Christmas carol station on the radio when I drive because I never know when it'll come on.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Hip to be a Square - Episode 44

I talk about finishing two quilts this week, re-arranging my sewing room, hand sewing, and loving Excel.

The giveaway will close 8/31, midnight whatever time zone you're in.  I'll draw the winner on Thursday and announce on next Friday's podcast.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Mystery Plaid Quilt - Done!

This is a Christmas gift for someone who I don't think reads the blog or listens to the podcast, so I'm going to go ahead and post it.  I used the same pattern as I did for our niece's quilt last year, but instead of feathers for the quilting, I did straight line quilting.  It seemed to work better with the plaids.  All these plaids came as a FQ bundle from the bulk purchase I made from craigslist last year, and they were just neat to throw together.  The finished quilt measures 65x80"(ish).

For the back I used leftover scraps from the front, and some green and ivory plaids I had from that same craigslist purchase.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Hip to be a Square - Episode 43

I give a retreat recap, some hand-sewing news, a quilt shop review, and a book review of "Happy Villages" by Karen Eckmeier.  Karen's website (with more examples of the happy villages and her landscape quilt patterns and techniques) can be found at

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Robot Bag

I'm a little wiped out from our all-day retreat yesterday for the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild, but I did finish a couple projects this morning.  I get a little demo/pep talk about making bags at the retreat; one of which is the market bag that's part of the Giveaway Extravaganza, and the other is this little bag from the Phoebe Bag pattern from Artsy Crafty Babe.

I picked up this robot panel from a shop near my parent's house last year but hadn't done anything with it yet.  I seem to have collected a lot of juvenile prints without a lot of juveniles around, so I've been looking for other uses for them. Granted, I'll probably end up using most of them for Project Linus or another charity, but I did like this robot panel. So I made a bag!  And... I can't really thing of anything else to say about it. Must go pack for my impending trip!

Giveaway Extravaganza!

So, finally, the prize is revealed! As a reminder, you can enter to win by commenting on any post on this blog during the month of August. That means regardless of when I posted the entry, so theoretically you could comment on all 90 posts and be entered 90 times. Knock yourself out!

Here's what in the giveaway:
  • A market bag (from the Bijou Lovely tutorial) made of VIBRANT floral and green fabric. It's lightly interfaced, so rather scrunchy.
  • A mug rug in teals with orange binding.  I was practicing FMQ with a scallopy pattern and thought this would be a dandy addition. Alternately, it could be used as a ferret quilt. Or a tiny hat (for you, not a ferret).
  • A copy of the AQS American Quilter magazine I picked up in Knoxville.  This particular issue has 77 winning quilts from various AQS shows. It's great for inspiration! Keep it in that place you like your alone time, like your sewing room. Or bathroom. I don't judge.
  • A new set of thread snips from Creative Notions. This actually started the giveaway, because I ordered one for me, the company accidentally sent me two, and when I called to let them know, they said to just keep the second set since the processing cost of the return would be greater than the value of the product. So I'm kind of in love with Ken's Sewing Center. (close-up of the snips and magazine below)
  • The navy and purple floral bag on the lower left is, honestly, a Bag of Corn. I don't know the official name, and I know that sounds like a horrible thing to give someone. But! This is dried corn, and the same sort of thing as creating a microwave rice bag. You pop it in the microwave for 1:30-2:00 minutes on high, and when it's nice and warm you put it on your shoulder, knee, or wherever you need some heat. I have one that I got from my SIL for Christmas that I use frequently on my shoulders during long sewing stretches.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Hip to be a Square - Episode 42

Lots of stuff getting done this week! Houses Sampler block, hand-sewing prep, finishing the B9P quilt and Kaufman Challenge quilt, and little nagging projects.

Here are all my batiks drying in the sun (I had to add more purple to the mix, just to keep up the tradition of trying to get purple in every room of my house):

Blooming Nine Patch: Done!

Finished!  I like using the extra nine patches as the border - perhaps I could have done another solid border, but since I don't have an immediate purpose for this quilt I didn't want to add extra fabric to it that wouldn't suit some imaginary future purpose.

I will say that it did drive me a bit nuts that the width was such that it took 12 blocks for the border one way, and 14 2/3rds of a block for the other way. Having an even number of blocks meant that it's not quite centered the way I want. Alas.

I straight line quilted it after 3 false starts to FMQ it (that's the universe taunting me for giving a lecture on how to FMQ to the AMQG and talking about it in the podcast). Those nine patches have sooooo many seams and my thread and needle was just not having it.

The back is incredibly scrappy (as is the binding). I used the rest of the nine patches and then whatever large pieces I had in addition. I like this fabric line, but I'm glad to not have it sitting in my stash asking me to be used for something.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Houses Sampler Block 8

This is supposed to be a beach house. In the middle of a village. I'm going to let that sit with you a minute. The shop did provide a tan-ish strip to mimic sand, but I'm keeping all the block bottoms black so it didn't work out.

Before I knew it was a beach house, I thought it was another apartment with a shack beside it. It's a cat shack!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Hip to be a Square - Episode 41

I talk about getting back on the sewing/quilting horse again this week and discuss some tips for free-motion quilting. Also, the August Giveaway Extravaganza is this month!  Comment on any post on this blog during the month of August and I'll enter you into a giveaway.

Here's the Cat Nap Mats I made for Good Mews - both are about 18x22"

First day of school!

My Leader & Ender organizer.

My Blooming Nine Patch center.  It's not as subtle as the traditional B9P, but it's not so pixelated as others I've seen. I think the key is using busy prints.