Monthly Archives: October 2012

WIP Wednesday: Halloweenie

I love the feeling of finishing a project, and staring at the pile of things to be started and imagining anything is possible! I could quilt the world! Warmth for everyone! And then reality comes crashing down and I remember I have to sew some white fleece on a black shirt to be a kitty tummy for my daughter’s Halloween costume. Boring.

I’m still working on the Sugar & Spice blocks for the Project Linus quilt, and planning to quilt Grandma’s Garden. I’m thinking I’ll work on the Star Wars quilt next, piecing-wise.

I’ve been industrious this week as I got a donation box with some supplies to make nap mats for Good Mews, so I’ve prepped a giant pile using fabrics from my own stash to make about 20.  Jett is playing Vanna for me next to the stack - it’s about 20 nap mats-worth of fabric (each is the size of a fat quarter):

Also included in the box were some pillowcases to donate to ConKerr, so that inspired me to whip up 8 more of my own. As a result I’ve got a nice pile to put in the donation box at the quilt shop at our guild meeting on Sunday.

Gamequilt: Finished! Sort of.

Well, I still need to finish the game pieces (yo-yo’s), but the quilt itself is done. Please pardon the wind:

Clockwise from top left, the games are checkers, slide ring (I think that was made up for this quilt just to do a double wedding ring block!), mancala, tic-tac-toe, and a “Big Arc” game, which is sort of like Candy Land.

I think I’m going to give it as a Christmas present to one of my grand-nephews instead of the big brother gift, since that will save me buying a Christmas gift this year.  It will also save me from making giant dice to go with this since the recipient is 3 1/2. I will figure out something else for the Big Brother gift, which won’t be needed until March or so of next year.

Bonus picture of Morelli helpering with the basting. Just after this picture was taken, Jett skidded into the room and smushed it up so I had to start over.

The finished quilt is 55 x 61″.  It uses a lot of piecing on interfacing, and using interfacing to make those arcs and double wedding ring blocks. It was interesting, but not sure it’ll be something I’ll repeat.

I’m also entering this in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival (in the baby quilt category)! Go check out other awesome entries!

Sunday Stash: W(h)iney

Well, one finish in the books this week and a couple more poised to go soon. Mildly sidetracked by kittens and baseball post season, but hopeful to wrap up the Gamequilt this coming week.

  • Used this Week: 10.5 yards
    • 1.5 yards fleece for 3 pet scrap bed covers
    • 9 yards for the W(h)ine Country quilt
  • Used year to Date: 396 yards
  • Added this Week: 0 yards
    • Woohoo!
  • Net Used for 2012: 114.5 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 133.25 yards (34% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 101

W(h)ine Country: Finished!

Oh, hey. Finished another Christmas present! I present W(h)ine Country:
W(h)ine Country measures 61×79″ and is a Spa Quilt. For those not familiar with the concept, a Spa Quilt is a quilt you get under when you need to take a chill break and everyone else needs to leave you alone: your own personal spa moment in your own home. With this one, the colors conveniently hide both white and red wine spills, so double bonus!
I had clipped this pattern out of a magazine from 2005, so it’s rather old. If I’m having an honest Tim Gunn moment about it, I would put my glasses on the end of my nose and say “I’m concerned”. The pattern works up pretty quick, but is slightly over-designed. The designer fully admitted that she’s a big fan of pinwheels and puts them in wherever she can.  I think it could have used a simpler border where that slanted piano key border is - even a plain piano key border would simplify it a bit.
I like that you get a different look by varying the values in the center blocks and keeping the same pattern, but you do need to stay organized to make it work. 
I pulled the colors from the grape fabric in the outer border, and it’s completely from my stash. I forgot to get a picture of the back, but it’s primarily the purple plaid fabric with some smaller pieces of the other purples in the front. I don’t think I have a lot more Christmas presents to make, but it’s nice to make a dent in some projects.
Bonus picture of pink Nina toes as she helped hold it down for me while I was trying to quilt it:

WIP Wednesday: Lessons Learned

Nina has since learned this is not a good place to lay. No one was injured except the needle that got broken, but the loud noise reinforced what I’d been saying - kittens shouldn’t lay that close to the machinery when I’m at the sewing machine. Jett & Morelli were wisely napping elsewhere. Or dislodging the vent hose behind the dryer again.
I did finish W(h)ine Country, and will post pictures shortly, but here’s what I’m working on now. Well, part of it anyway.
On the left is the picture of “Gamequilt”, which is a toddler-sized quilt with a couple different board games on it - tic tac toe, checkers, mandala. I’m making it as a “big brother” present to accompany a baby quilt to be delivered early next year. It’s using up lots of scraps in different sizes.  On the right are parts for the Sugar blocks for the Sugar & Spice quilt, also using scraps.  I’m using those blocks as leaders and enders for constructing the Gamequilt, so making two quilts at once!  The Sugar & Spice quilt will be baby sized, and a donation for Project Linus.
Once I finish these two small quilts, it’ll be time to work on a big quilt, probably my son’s Christmas quilt, or finish Grandma’s Garden.

Sunday Stash: Poised for Greatness

I have a lot poised to finish, but not a lot actually finished this week. I spent most of today puttering in the sewing room - got a decent start on quilting the Raisin’ Heck quilt and put together kits for 20 nap mats for Good Mews. I also think I have a plan for the Grandma’s Garden quilt
  • Used this Week: 1.5 yards
    • 0.5 yards for a doggie coat for my dog-in-law (my FIL’s dog).
    • 1 yards of UGA scraps returned to my MIL after making said doggie coat.
  • Used year to Date: 385.5 yards
  • Added this Week: 8 yards
    • 8 yards various batiks for the Labrynth Walk quilt for my son
  • Net Used for 2012: 104 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 131.75 yards (34% of total used)
See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 100!

It’s the special Jazz Hands edition as I hit 100 episodes and 2 years of podcasting! I give a book review on ScrapTherapy Cut the Scraps!, a Veteran’s Day Google Hangout, a review of a recipe for Spaghetti con Burro e Pomopori, and talk about a concurrent scrap project for Project Linus and the Raisin’ Heck quilt.


WIP Wednesday: Scrapping

I spent my sewing time at the beginning of this week cleaning out the basket of bits of fabric on my cutting table that is reserved for “fabric to be cut into scraps”. Because my system, as you know, is to have 2″, 3 1/2″, 5″ and 10″ squares, 2 1/2″x WOF strips, or random 2 1/4″ strips (since I got rid of strings I will keep 2 1/4″ wide strings to use for scrappy bindings).  The key factor to this system, however, is keeping up with cutting leftover fabrics brings into these sizes. Sure, I should cut as I go, but sometimes I’m on a roll, so I just keep a basket on the cutting table to throw fabric bits into that need to be cut.  Anyway, here’s my scrap cutting yield from that overflowing basket.
Having finished the top of the giant scrappy quilt, I’ve moved on to a mix of projects. I’m working on blocks for a quilt I’m calling “Raisin’ Heck”, as well as a scrappy Sugar & Spice quilt from some of those pre-cut scraps seen above (in yellows, reds, and oranges). On top of that, there are smaller projects like Halloween costume accessories and various pet accessories.
I’m still stumped on how to quilt Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  Here’s the shop picture of the finished top - mine is similar in layout but with slightly different colors. Any ideas on what to do for quilting?


Since I buy my batting by the roll (usually in 25-30 yard lengths of 90″ wide), I end up with various odd sizes of batting leftover from projects that aren’t quite that big. And I’m also stubborn (and lazy) enough that I don’t want to pull out the gianormous roll of batting to cut off just a little bit for a small project like a wallhanging or tablerunner. Enter the Frankenbatting.

In my cutting table, one of the big drawers is reserved for batting scraps. It might be long skinny pieces leftover from trimming a quilt after it’s quilted, odd rectangles, or pieces big enough for a baby quilt. At one point they were folded nicely, but I believe now I am living by the “shove and pray” method of storing my batting scraps.

When the time comes for a small project to be quilted, I’ll paw around in the scraps until I find pieces that fit together to make the size I need.  For this example, I was piecing together scraps to quilt one of the recent tabletoppers, which is a rough octagon (think of a rectangle with the corners cut off, like all the paper in Battlestar Galactica). I butt the pieces of batting together for the layout - not overlapping, but edges touching.

I made some hashmarks with a Frixon pen. Since the quilt top and back is dark colored, the marks could have stayed on the batting, but I like that they’ll disappear with heat with that pen. Those blue arrows point to my hashmarks, and I make them about every 6 inches on both pieces of batting. This gives you a way to make sure you won’t have one piece of batting feeding faster than the other when you join them, ending up with a wavy humpy piece of batting for your quilt. You can imagine how I discovered that could happen.
To join the pieces together, I used the biggest, widest zig zag stitch on my machine. This is also an excellent opportunity to use the ugly thread that doesn’t match anything in your stash since this thread won’t be seen inside the quilt.  Once you get all your pieces marked and zig-zagged, voila! Frankenbatting.