Monthly Archives: December 2012

Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve

A small collection of things I’ve been working on.

Alien Poop Trifle! This is a dessert I make for the Christmas celebration with my in-laws, which happens the Saturday after Christmas. It’s chocolate cake soaked with Bailey’s Irish Creamer layered with chocolate pudding and Cool Whip with Andes mints on top. At our white elephant gift exchange, the naughty patriot potholders were a hit.

I’m also all caught up on Easy Street, and waiting for clue 8, the final clue to come out tomorrow.

Morelli has a passion for modeling, and he appeared in several photos I took. I ran out of time and patience (and eventually sunlight) to get one without him in it somewhere of Step 7.  Knowing the center is 86×86″, I’m contemplating border designs to bring it up to  112×112″, so I’ll need 13 inches of border.  Hmm.

I’ve also been working on Salty Eyed, and got all the blocks done yesterday and today:

I should get these pieced into a top tonight, and get it ready for quilting tomorrow.

And while I’ve been piecing Easy Street and Salty Eyed, I’ve been making up these little 2-patches for another scrappy quilt.  I need enough to make 160 4-patches, and each of these stacks is 10 units. Only eleventy frillion to go!

Join us on twitter tomorrow for the New Year’s Sew-In! Hashtag #NYSI.


Sunday Stash: Piffle

Out with a whimper! I barely finished anything this week, which is perfectly fine and expected given our travel schedule for the holidays. I’ll post pictures of both projects this week once I find my camera cord (again- this happens every time I travel!)

  • Used this Week: 1 yard
    • 0.5 yd for backing for Autumn Glory tablerunner
    • 0.5 yd for gifties for friends
  • Used year to Date: 550 yards
  • Added this Week: 0 yards
    • I have ordered some fabric but it hasn’t arrived yet so that just means I’ll start 2013 in the hole. Ha!
  • Net Used for 2012: 236 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 157.75 yards (29% of total used)

HtbaS - Episode 110

A jam-packed episode full of Christmas cheer, ER visits (we’re all good now, thank you), lost teeth, and puppies. Fred says hi, but he’s the strong silent type so you can’t hear him. I also talk with my friend Lynn about organizing her scraps and a bit of a Podcasting 101 primer.


WIP Wednesday: Salt Gets in Your Eye

As this is posted, I will ideally be hurtling down the road en route to my house. It’s been a good visit, but it’s always nice to be home.  Before we left I started sewing the bits from Salt Air into a quilt using the Starry Eyed tutorial on Moda Bake Shop.
This will be my official minky-backed quilt, and I can’t wait to snuggle under it!

2013 Quilty Resolutions

Although I am entering into Sandy’s Resolution contest over on her site, I wanted to expand a bit on the ideas she’s asking about over here.  I’ll talk about these on the next episode, which will be a bit of a “year in review” episode.

Looking Back at 2012

The things I am happiest about doing in my sewing this year are organizing my scraps into usable sizes, learning a good applique technique, and making some good looking king-size quilts.  Without the applique technique, I never could have made the Star Wars quilts like I wanted.


The king sized quilts mean that I get to sleep under a quilt I made, FINALLY. I’m looking forward to making a king-size Christmas quilt next year. Well, two, honestly- one for me, and one for my in-laws.


And without that scrap organization (and subsequent leaders and enders), I wouldn’t have made nearly as many quilts for Project Linus as I did.  I believe my final tally is 8 quilts for Project Linus (baby size), and 3 for Good Mews (lap size or larger).

Looking Forward to 2013

In 2012 I spent of lot of time focused on numbers. Number of quilts made, yardage used, etc.  This part of my personality isn’t going to change all that much, despite whatever I might want to decree about “taking things slow” and “enjoying the process”. I’m built to accomplish and finish things, and it’s true what they say in business school: you manage what you measure. However, I do want to feel like I’m enjoying what I’m working on most of the time, so I’m going to try to shift my philosophy a bit.

What I Want to Accomplish

  1. My McKenna Ryan Beachwalk Quilt. I bought the kit for this over a year ago and haven’t touched it since. I’d like to make the quilt by the time we go to the beach in May.
  2. Launch my pattern business. I’m doing this with a partner, and we really just need to get off our duffs to make this happen.
  3. Christmas quilts for my daughter, me, and my in-laws. Technically this is three things all on its own, but since they are all Christmas quilts, I’m lumping them together.

What I Want to Learn

I pretty well know how to do most things I want to do in my quilting right now, so I want to learn to be a better teacher. I am HORRIBLE at teaching other people, because I feel like if I just show you how to do it, you should be able to and if you don’t clearly there is something wrong with you because it couldn’t possibly be my fault. You can imagine how awesome this approach to teaching is for my kids. So, since my daughter is getting a sewing machine for Christmas (from my parents - spoiler alert!), I figure I should get better at this. And it will help my podcast and benefit my guild, too.

What I Want to Experience Through Quilting

Delight. I felt so many times this year that I wasn’t necessarily enjoying the process of making quilts as I was joyfully entering numbers in a spreadsheet. I want to be de-goddamn-lighted by what I’m sewing. Granted, if I have to repair a pair of pants, I can’t imagine how delightful that will be, but I want to avoid the trap of feeling like I have to beat this year’s numbers.  I don’t have to, and in fact my only yardage goal for 2013 is to be net negative in usage so I have more going out than coming in.

My Guiding Word


Sunday Stash: Warm and Bright

I managed to squeeze in a few projects this week, including some the very night before our road trip.  I’m glad I did, because one of them was a knit/minky combo wrap I made myself from this Urban Threads tutorial which has come in handy for snuggling at my parents’ house (although there are no shortage of quilts here!).

I also finished up a hexie pincushion for myself, doing the hand sewing in the car and stuffing this morning.  I’m working through the last stitches on my Autumn Gathering wool tablerunner, and will probably get that finished before we get back home. I forgot the thread and fusible to work on the next wool topper I brought with me, so I guess that will be it for the sewing on this trip!

  • Used this Week: 12.25 yards
    • 5.5 yd for Patchwork Weekender
    • 0.5 yd for travel pillowcases - two fat quarters used for the kids’ travel pillows
    • 0.25 yd for stocking tags
    • 4.5 yd for minky wrap - 2.5 yd of purchased minky, and a 2yd piece of knit from my stash
    • 1.25 yd for marker/composition book holder - part of my daughter’s Christmas gift (pics after she opens it)
    • 0.25 yd for pincushion - hand sewn on the road trip to my parent’s house
  • Used year to Date: 549 yards
  • Added this Week: 7.25 yards
    • 4 yd minky for Salty Eyed quilt back
    • 2.5 yd minky for wrap
    • 0.75 yd for charm pack of Noteworthy
  • Net Used for 2012: 235 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 157.75 yards (29% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!

Patchwork Weekender: Finished!

After much cursing (had to fit all that in before my resolution to curse less in 2013!) and pricking of fingers, I finished the patchwork Weekender bag for my mom!

She picked out that floral fabric as the main fabric, and along with some others she bought I sorted through my stash for the rest to make the patchwork.  I like the little butterflies that peek out occasionally.

I think when I make the third and final bag (for me!), I’ll leave off the side pockets, or make them differently so there is not as much bulk in those bottom corners. I did hand-baste that area together which helped immensely, but there’s still a TON of layers to stitch through and I ended up using a top-stitching needle to make it work (after many skipped stitches in a regular heavy duty and denim needle).

This main zipper is the least assy zipper I’ve ever put in. I credit that to ludicrous amounts of pressing of the quilted panels for the top.

So far I’ve stuffed it full of peanut brittle, ornaments, and whatever else I need to shove in there to take up to my parent’s house this weekend. This bag counts as part of her birthday present in January, so perhaps I’ll stick a birthday card in there too.

Last Minute Finishes

A variety of things I’ve finished recently!

First, here are the pillows for my living room from the Juggling Summer line by Zen Chic. I like that the fabric line includes mossy green, dark orange, and purple, which are all my favorite colors right now.  The piping is actually a velour piping that used to be on my old comforter, and the color just happened to work out.

And here’s a little banner I made for a friend to hang in her sewing room since she just moved. I used buttons and some wooden spools from a craft kit to space the letters.

Here’s something I didn’t sew AT ALL - it’s all Ultra Heat ‘n Bond, baby! New stocking tags for our stockings. I used to have felt letters on there with no reinforcement, so they just looked like felt strings that got wadded up. I pinked the edges, and stitched it onto the loop on the stocking with a snowflake button topper. Okay, so there was a smidge of sewing.

And finally, step 5 of Easy Street! I whipped these out earlier today while doing the last load of laundry before packing.

Check out Bonnie’s linky to see more Easy Street progress!

HtbaS - Episode 109

Short and distracted this week as kittens run amok and I’ve only worked on one project this week! So instead, join me for the New Year’s Sew-In on twitter! Hashtag #NYSI (thanks to Darla for the logo, which is from last year!). The flickr pool from last year is still up, so go join and prepare for awesomeness!

nysiI cannot believe I just used that many exclamation marks in this post. Yowza.


WIP Wednesday: Weekendery

As usual, my sewing machine is a hotbed of activity.

And when I do manage to shoo the kittens away long enough to sew something, I’m turning this pile of fabric…

… into a Weekender bag for my mom.  I am making pretty good progress - so far I have all the panels patchworked and am starting assembly.  I was super excited until…

I noticed that I forgot to sew the handles on the main body panels before attaching the pocket and lining. Alas! Easily rectified since it’s all long basting stitches, but still. Poo.