Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Grumpy Goldfish - Finished!

I’m throwing together a collection of my quilts to show tomorrow at the Artists’ Career Day at my kids’ school.  I think I’m the only quilter, and although I don’t do it professionally (although have taken commissions here and there), I’m happy to talk about it and the joy of making something with your own two hands.

The Angry Goldfish - Original PaintingA lot of my quilts are blanket-type things to be used on beds or to cuddle with on the couch, but I wanted to up the representation of more art-y type quilts.  I had been eying this painting my daughter did in her first art class a couple months ago (she does art in school, but we added an extra one outside of school because she enjoys it, and doesn’t do any sports like her brother).

I have a lot of respect for a fish that can maintain that level of anger while swimming in a peaceful ocean amongst the kelp fronds. That’s a real commitment to an emotion. So I did my own take on it as a small art quilt:

The Angry GoldfishI used a piece of blue batik for the base, and fused a piece of fusible interfacing on top of it. I then sprinkled small snippets of various blue batiks to give a little more texture to the water.  The fronds and fish are backed are fusible applique pieces as well, and the entire piece is covered with a single layer of tulle to hold it together while stitching.

The Angry GoldfishYou can see the tulle at this angle a little better.  Some of the stitching on the fish and plants was done only on the background as thread painting, but I did additional stitching after adding a layer of batting and muslin backing for more dimension.  The center stems of the fronds are actually on top of the tulle.

I threw in some Angelina fibers for good measure as I thought the grumpy fish needed a little more flash.

My ultimate goal is to get the original painting and the quilt mounted next to each other, but I’m not quite sure how to do that yet. In the mean time, I’m going to enjoy his commitment to anger at my desk!

Road Trip - Finished!

Road TripWell, technically I finished this a looooong time ago, but can only just now share pictures.  This is a birthday present for my niece, who turned one this month, and finally got to open her presents! The road/town fabric is in quilt shops now, but I can’t remember the designer or the manufacturer, of course.

The red border print is a coordinating  fabric from the same line, and I used some black and white polka dot cornerstones from my own stash.

I paired it with a set of wooden vehicles from Melissa & Doug, which are okay for kids under three. My sister tells me my niece is  off-roading it a bit with the cars, but perhaps soon the family traits will manifest and she will do everything in the appropriate lines?

Road Trip - I Spy Backing!I’d love to give my niece some Matchbox cars, but ALAS, two years to go due to choking hazards! My kids still play with the racecars my sister and I played with as kids. A lot of them are pink, or had to do with horses or hunky firemen, I think.

Because it didn’t require a lot of piecing on the “front”, I decided to mix it up a bit on the back and pull in a lot of charm squares from my stash in bright funky colors and prints.  As well as Star Wars, Georgia Tech, and even some football fabric.  You know, in case she gets into sportsball like her dad or Granpa.

For now, she’ll have to settle for being adorable. 🙂

My sister also told me my other niece (a teenager) “borrowed” the quilt after the baby went to bed. I told her at least the humans got to claim a quilt instead of the cats!

Sunday Stash - Getting My Fix

Owly ImagesNo logged usage this week, although there has been progress on a couple things.  I’ve got all  9 of the Swoon blocks pieced, with no small thanks to Jett who held them down for me in between stitching.*

*Very small thanks, indeed.

I also put together a little art piece to show at the Arts Festival I’m presenting at Thursday at my kids’ school, but no pics of that until it’s done. It needs thread painting and stitching, and right now just looks like a blob. Or a couple blobs.

I had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket, so I went ahead and spent it on some fabric for the quilt for the Good Mews auction this year. I found a cute cat print to use as a border and some coordinating FQs

  • Used this Week: 0 yards
    • Sad trombone!
  • Used year to Date: 142 yards
  • Added this Week: 6 yards
    • 6 yd for charity quilt
  • Net Used for 2014: 78.25 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 42.25 yards (30% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 177

WIP Wednesday: Swooning Again

Swoon BlockHaving finished Scrapideux (pictures up later now that the sun has returned!), I’m starting on another gift quilt as well as another Quilt of Valor.

I’ve got the units done for the gift quilt using the Swoon pattern, and I picked shades of blues, teals, browns, and grays.  To further mix it up, each block has a batik and a print or solid fabric in it.  The colors are slightly masculine, but the teals and blues really soften it up, and I think it will turn out great (and less eyeball searing that Scrapideux!).

I’m using the pieces for my second Quilt of Valor as leaders & enders to piece the Swoon quilt, so it will come together slowly but surely.  On top of that, we just got our Twilter round robin assignments and I need to pick a focus fabric to go with my center block (which is, of course, completely scrappy) to send along.  I think it’s going to require the purchase of some yardage, so hooray for an excuse to buy fabric!

Sunday Stash - Scrapidoodle-doo!

Well, Scrapideux is done, and it is QUITE bright.  Here it is in during basting:

Owly Images


I have a special plan for it, a bit different than I talked about during the podcast. I’ve gotten started on a replacement for the gift quilt I originally planned this one for that’s a little more subdued (well, a LOT more subdued) and more appropriate for the intended recipient.

  • Used this Week: 10.25 yards
    • 10.25 yd for Scrapideux quilt
  • Used year to Date: 142 yards
  • Added this Week: 0 yards
    • Woohoo!
  • Net Used for 2014: 84.25 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 42.25 yards (30% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!

HtbaS - Episode 176

WIP Wednesday: Testing the Limits

Scrapideux blocksThis week I am wondering if there such as a thing as “too scrappy”.  I blame this partly on my own control-freak tendencies, and partly on the fact that this is a gift for someone and I’d hate for them to think it’s ugly. I don’t think it’s quite ugly, but it certainly is busy!

I did introduce a little control by using one consistent background fabric - a cream with white polka dots.  Not only was that a nod to my inner control freak, but also a time-saving-during cutting technique!

I’ve got all the blocks done, and am in the process of piecing the top together. If you’d like to make your own version of Scrapitude, check out all the steps on Sandy’s blog.

I’m also planning on putting together the rest of the blades from my Bitty Broken Star (in the cool colors to complete the Roy G Biv experience!)


No Fabric Left Behind - Finished!

This quilt is currently en route to my parents’ house, and I sincerely hope it’s large enough! I was pushing the limits of the 120″ square batting while quilting it, and pieced in an additional strip of fabric (same as the border print) into the wide-back fabric we purchased.

I solved the problem of mitered corners on the border by not even going there and using cornerstones instead.

The quilt is too big for my usual photography on the clothesline on the back deck, so I tried to be Fancy and use the fence.  I think I’ll stick to quilting and not photography for a hobby!  For what it’s worth, Bunnywind Downs is what we nicknamed our backyard after we fenced it in.  We say Fred the dog runs “like the bunnywind”, as his rear end goes hippity-hop when he gets up to speed.

The quilt was inspired by this one, which has been floating around Pinterest and Flickr for a while.

The center is made of 576 of a unit which I can remember the name of, but it looks like an HST within an HST (the Inception unit?), which I put together into blocks of 6×6 units. It makes a cool secondary pattern with the alternate diamonds formed (the “hollow” diamond in the center top of this photo).

My mom requested two pillowcovers to coordinate, so I used the leftover bits and pieces and strips to free form some in the size she needed.

I hope they enjoy it, and the cats enjoy their new tent. 🙂

Sunday Stash - Junk in the Trunk

Seat cushionJust a smidge of usage logged this week as I only finished a small project: a cushion for my office/sewing chair.  I used this tutorial for “Junk in the Trunk” seat cushions from Sew Sweetness as a general guide for putting the extra cushy “biscuits” together for the top, and then winged the rest based on experience and gumption. And the amount of scrap foam I had on hand.

It’s not my finest upholstery work, but then again, it’s something that my butt will touch every day (as I use this chair to either work or sew every day).

Lone star center

I also had a class on the Quiltsmart Lone Star technique this afternoon, and managed to finish 8 out of 32 “blades” in the class.  I’m doing a broken Lone Star design, so there will be a ring of blades outside this center star as well. To pick my colors, I’m channeling my inner Lisa Frank/Rainbow Bright, the outside blades will go from chartreuse to purple, as below.  I toyed with the idea of the text print for the background fabric, but ultimately decided that trying to get the text to align and all face the same way might drive me batty.  I’m going with a solid brown for the background instead, which made the colors pop when I held it up next to the center blades in class.

Owly Images

  • Used this Week: 1.5 yards
    • 1.5 yd for the seat cushion
  • Used year to Date: 131.75 yards
  • Added this Week: 0 yards
    • Woohoo!
  • Net Used for 2014: 74 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 42.25 yards (32% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!