Monthly Archives: January 2013

Announcing the #SBSI Sew-In!

Inspiration struck this morning when Valerie asked if there was going to be a sew-in this weekend for the big game. Well, I know all about big games since I was in high school band so I decided to tie together an #SBSI twitter sew-in and the giveaway for my 25thish iTunes review!

There is nothing worse than feeling left out of large social and cultural events. I mean, sure, sports are hard and who can keep track of all those nit-picky facts like runs and side-outs and points. The only points we care about are those on a pinwheel or flying geese unit, amiright ladies?

So, shed those tacky polyester jerseys, slap on some soft pants and join me for the SportsBall Sew-In this weekend!


I asked on my last podcast episode for suggestions for a giveaway and since I got one, and it was a good one, I’m going to give away a zipper bag. I don’t have it finished yet, but I drew a reasonable facsimile of it:

It may not be blue. It may be blue. I honestly don’t know because I haven’t made it yet. In fact I’m going to make TWO so I can give one away here on the blog and one on twitter the official day of the Sportsball Match!

To give a rough idea of size, it’ll be smaller than a sportsball.
SBSI ball

I’ll have a special post go up on Saturday evening my time for the giveaway on the blog. Hopefully it will have a picture of the zipper pouch on it. Or I’ll draw a new picture. I want it up there so people in other timezones can still have a chance to win. The twitter giveaway will happen Sunday evening Eastern time.

Hope to talk to you all on twitter then!

WIP Wednesday: Radio Silence

We’ve been getting used to the new normal around here after my husband’s shoulder surgery last week. The surgery went fine and he’s on the road to recovery but he’s in some pain and having difficulty sleeping on top of the frustration of not being able to do normal things like wear pants (not all that bad actually) or do dishes (bummer for me). So as I’ve been taking care of him and the pets and the kids and the house on my own, honestly by the time all the kids are in bed and pets are fed and walked I just feel like going to bed so I haven’t spent much time in my sewing room since last week. Except for when I’m working at my actual job, which has also gone a bit insane this month as well.

But I did finish a sheep in the waiting room while he was getting operated on.

I’ve started on the next piece of the nativity - the Baby Jesus. So far his swaddling clothes are in shades of white and honky. Here the sheep with some perspective on his size.

I did manage to finish all the blocks for the signature quilt (upper left) and piece the borders for it (bottom). The blocks are 6″ unfinished, and the border has 2 1/2″ finished HSTs.  I’ll be setting this aside until all the blocks are signed, which I’m giving a month or so.

I’ve got a couple small projects to whip out this week to get my mojo back, and then I’m going to tackle a baby quilt. I’ve got 4 more blocks to make for the rainbow 16-patch before I can piece those together into a top, and I’ve got to design the baby quilt for my niece - whichever of those happens first is up the fates at this point.

Recent Giftie Finishes

Since these gifties have made their way to the various recipients, I can finally post pictures!

Craft aprons for some friends.

The first items are a set of aprons I made to share with some friends; I kept one for myself to wear when I’m sewing and wearing soft pants with no pockets as it’s handy for holding scissors and iPods and whatnot.

I got the idea from this blog post, and have a couple extra canvas apron bases in case I need to whip up a couple more on the spur of the moment.

Luggage tags for my mom

Next I have a set of luggage tags.  I made a set of 2 for my mom, and a set for a friend, both of whom are fans of Elvis.  I saw this on a recent Sewing with Nancy episode and it reminded me of Grama Eddie, who always used to put a yard tassel on her suitcase to pick out easily which was hers on the baggage carousel.

You do need a small piece of clear vinyl to make the pocket for the card to go in, and since I don’t have a teflon presser foot I just used strips of tissue paper on top of the vinyl to move it smoothly through the feed dogs. I provided an explanation for my friend of what they were, but forgot to include that in my mom’s birthday present.  So I got a kind of confused thank you email and then offered this picture to explain:

I do want to make a set for me, but haven’t decided what fabric to use yet.

Boxy Pouch for my mom

And to round out the travel theme for mom’s birthday (remember the Weekender bag I made her?), I made her a couple zip pouches.

For the boxy pouch, I used this tutorial to make it fully lined no visible seam allowances on the inside.

For the Elvis one, I just winged it and tried a recessed zipper.

HtbaS - Episode 114

I talk about working on signature blocks, 16-patches, cross-stitching and cooking yellow squash. Short and sweet since both Jett’s and my husband’s surgeries this week mean I haven’t done a ton of sewing! Jett pops in to say “hi!” and sneeze a lot during the episode.



When I put a sewing machine on my daughter Bloomer’s wish list for Christmas, it was more of a “gee wouldn’t that be fun… someday” sort of thing. She likes to make things and draw things and generally very crafty, but hadn’t shown a lot of consistent interest in sewing herself. So imagine my delight when I asked if she wanted to make a card for my mom’s birthday (which is tomorrow, the 25th), and she said she wanted to make her a quilt instead.

The benefit of having my scraps already cut out and organized means that she can go in the box and pick out squares that are ready to go. She picked out four squares for a simple four patch, and off we went!  Once we got the 4 patch top put together, she picked out a 10″ square for the back and sandwiched it. To keep it easy, we just straight line quilted it with a couple lines on each square.  I did the binding on my machine since it’s kind of a tough thing to master.

She’s a big fan of using the foot pedal and the reverse switch on her machine. She’s not quite to the point of guiding the fabric herself under the presser foot, and is relying on my to tell her when to start and stop stitching, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

Well, after riding the high of finishing her first quilt, she wanted to make a second one for my dad. We went with the same design as the first one to keep it easy.

We wrapped these up and sent them to my parents in the “birthday box” for my mom, and they’ve put them in the Fancy Cabinet of Doodads.  The thing on top of them is a box my aunt made out of plastic canvas - it’s kind of cool.

Well, having all those victories under her belt, I asked if she wanted to make a doll quilt for a friend of hers who is having a birthday party this weekend. She said no, but that she wanted to make her a stuffed animal instead.

Bloomer has a pink fleece owl I made her when she was two and needed something for “O” week at daycare, so she asked to make an owl. We cut out the the owl shape from pink fleece, and she picked out the fabric from the scrap bin for the belly and inside of the wings. This was a bit trickier to sew because of the curves, and she got introduced to our friend: the seam ripper.

She got a “My First Sewing Kit” for her birthday last weekend with some hand sewing projects in it, so I’m hopeful she’ll want to work on those in the coming weeks to learn more about hand construction techniques.  The important thing, I think, is letter her guide what she wants to work on so she stays interested, and not put pressure on her. It’s difficult for me to not to guide her completely in how I would do things, so we’re both learning.

WIP Wednesday: Scrappy Happy

It’s another Poor Quality Photo Theatre post!

The “big” or “slow” project I’m working on is the signature quilt for my daughter’s teacher, who is retiring at the end of this year.  I’m using a mix of 6″ square background fabrics - Kona Ivory and a piece of pale beige with a parchment like pattern on it - and sewing 3 1/2″ squares from my scraps on opposite corners.  I’m not sure of the final layout of all the blocks yet, but I’m planning a 10×11 block layer for the 110 blocks I’m sewing.  It’s going to be all kinds of scrappy, and I’m saving the trimmings from sewing the 3 1/2″ squares on to make a HST border around it (in the green bowl in the picture).  The center will be 55″ x 60 1/2″, and I think those HSTs are finishing at 2″ so I’ll work out some math around inner borders and whatnot.  Once I get the blocks done they’ll go to the school for a while for the staff to sign them, so I won’t touch this for about a month or so after that hand-off.

As part of sewing these blocks, I’m making some more leader and ender 16-patches to make a baby quilt for Project Linus. These are the ones I have done so far, and I think I need about 11 more to make it a decent size. I’m aiming for more greens, blues, and purples to rainbow it out since there’s a bunch of red already.

I’m trying to balance working on a big quilt project with some smaller quick finishes so I get my “hit” of finishing a project without sacrificing taking my time and enjoying a big project. I’ve got some small projects on my Finish-Along Goals page, but not sure what I want to tackle this week. It might be some of the cat nap mats, which I want to use as my samples for the Angela Walters FMQ class on Craftsy.

Tricky Stars - Finished!

Tricky Stars

I am quite excited to present: Tricky Stars!

She finishes at 66×80″, with lots of Star Wars fabric. No, there are no seekrit Death Stars on this quilt; I had been collecting greys to make a Star Wars quilt for quite some time. And even after finishing THREE Star Wars quilts, I still had a bunch left over.

The pattern is the Cathedral Stars tutorial from Bonnie Hunter, and I’ve been working on and off on this for a couple months, with the lime and white patches as leaders and enders on a couple different projects. Once those were done it was time to power through the rest of the elements and make a top!

I did an overall meander in the center with white thread, and black thread on the setting triangles. I love that dragonfly fabric, and still remember who gave it to me, so I’ll be sure to let her know it’s going to good use!  I finished quilting with straight lines in lime green in the inner and outer borders.

It’s terribly scrappy, but I love it to pieces.  Once I know for sure whether it’s going in a raffle or an auction, I’ll let you all know in case you want a chance to win it to benefit either Good Mews or Ahimsa House, both of which are excellent animal charities.

Bonus picture of the wool felt project I FINALLY put the final stitch on; I thought I’d have this done within a few days of getting back from the Christmas trip to my parents’ house. Obvious missed that one, eh?

At least now I have my pumpkins ready for spring.

My new hand project is a cross-stitch project that will probably only take me a million years. I’m working on a sheep and already want to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick.


I forgot how annoying it is when doing a semi-realistic cross-stitch and you have a bazillion shades of the same color: white, off-white, whitest-white, honky, light beige, and ultra white. GAH.


Sunday Stash Report: Birfday!

Today is my daughter’s 7th birthday, and that doesn’t really impact this stash report in any way other than to say “Happy Birthday!” to her.

I made some lovely progress on charitable projects this week (Tricky Stars, pouches, and the brown/teal top), and will have pictures of Tricky Stars later today once the light is good outside.

  • Used this Week: 15 yards
  • Used year to Date: 27.5 yards
  • Added this Week: 0 yards
    • Woo!
  • Net Used for 2012: 17.25 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 14.5 yards (53% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!

Pre-Weekend Finish-y Type Things

I did some stuff, and here it is!

Eloquence, thy muse is blogging.

As mentioned on episode 113, I finished 8 toiletry bags for the girls in the Wellspring Living recovery program, AND found the picture I took of them.

I used some of my leftover Habitat fabric, because honestly, when else I was going to get a chance to use those two 7″ peach zippers for something? An 80’s peach pegged pant revival?

Hells no.

Also, this happened. A LOT.

Brown/Teal TopAnd I finished this top, which is going to Jenny for her church’s prayer group. I actually like it better now that I look at it in the harsh fluorescent light of my kitchen. Which might not be all that much of a recommendation, now that I reflect back on it.

It still feels like it needs something.

Ah yes. Put a dog on it.



HtbaS - Episode 113