Monday, October 31, 2016

Finishing Mini Mini WIP's :: And Thank You!

How often do you dread something so much that you put it off as often and as long as you can?  I do it all the time.  Stick my head in the sand and maybe it will go away.  But it doesn't.  We end up having to deal with it only to find that it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be!  

That would be me getting my wisdom teeth out!  The anticipation, the unknown, the stress...was...all...for...nothing!  The procedure took about 20 minutes from start to finish. The pain hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought it would be and seriously, I only got one milk shake out of the deal!  

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who wished me well and made the entire process a little less distasteful!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Since I wasn't as out of it as I thought I would be, I decided to finish a couple little projects that have been hanging around waiting for my undivided attention.  

6" X 6"
When I say little, I really mean Mini Mini!  This version of my 'Star Thistle' block finished at 6" square.  It needed quilting and of course dot to dot was the way to go.  

I've been without my big machine for just over a week, as it's in for a long over due deep cleaning.  It's usually the one I use for quilting, but with little pieces like this I can use my small machine.  

It does an acceptable job and I'm so glad I have a back up machine!

Another mini block that has 'hung' around on the old design wall is this little heart.

4 3/4" 
The apricot/cantaloupe/orange/tangerine/peach colors are pretty scraps that should always be used juicy good!

Grid quilting is always amazing, but tiny, tiny grid quilting is a amazing plus one!

Up close and personal quilt porn...which I haven't explored in what seems like a very, very long time!

Can you believe it's the end of October already?  Yikes!  You know what that means, don't you?!  Power gift making starts for those of us who put it off until the last minute!  What's on your list to make...I might be looking for ideas!

And...I have an idea!  But I can't really say anything about it just'll be'll be for you!  I love the Holidays!


Friday, October 28, 2016

Gettin' My Fix

Here I go again!  More pot holders!  I tend take things to the edge and then back away when it gets too much to take.  Whether it's pot holders, fabrics, a certain color combination or new technique.  I like to explore every possibility and then use every last scrap...and then I'm done and can move on.
Feed Sack Pot Holders
8 1/4" x 8 1/4"
While looking through my feed sack stash for another project, I came across a pile of strips. Long and short, varying widths from 3/4" to 1 1/2".  It was time to either use them or toss them.

This set of pot holders are made up of 4" squares.  I randomly stitched strips until it was 5" or so and trimmed to the desired size.  The more feed sack prints and colors, the better!

Feed Sack Pot Holders
8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
I didn't realize I had so many strips, so I made two more sets!  One set with a yellow center and one with a red center.

The strip squares are 3" separated with a 3/4" white sashing and finished with a 1" border. 

They bring me back to my Grandma's kitchen!  You know...the good old days!

Last set, I promise!!

Feed Sack Pot Holders
8 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Eventually I'll share the real reason why these fabrics made it out of the closet!  Like I thing leads to another!

I don't think I'm the only one who has to work there way through a stack of fabric until every piece is gone.  Am I?!  I might be a little obsessive sometimes!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Back To Hand Quilting

I've about hit my limit on hand stitching bindings on pot holders.  So, its time to get back to a little hand quilting.  The weather is becoming crisp in the evenings, the leaves are turning and falling by the bucket loads and snuggling up under a quilt with a small hand quilting project is calling my name.  

When I found this piece tucked away in my closet, I knew then and there it would be a fun project to hand quilt.

The possibilities were there!  I just needed the time and a free evening to get started with it.

The goal is not to go overboard and quilt it in to submission, just quilt it enough to enhance what is already there.  

I started with the mountains using the usual big stitch.  I often think one day I will try a new stitch...the same thing I say when I FMQ...until then, this is my stitch of choice!

Texture Happens!!  The further you get into it, the more stitches you do, the more the texture shows itself.

Hand quilting doesn't have to be perfect.  The stitches can vary.  Size isn't important. Perfection isn't the goal.  The end results are what matters.

That last part is how I think about hand quilting!  I don't know what the 'gold standard' is, I only know what I like.  It's more about the process.  


The back stitching I've heard, is suppose to look just like the front.  I try!  It never quite hits that mark!

I'm hoping to work on this more over the next couple days, maybe even finish it?!  Since I'll be laid up a couple days...  

Today I'm getting my wisdom teeth out.  Yes, it's true!  All four will be yoinked from my mouth today and frankly I'm not looking forward to it at all.  It seems a bit unfair that after all these years (and years and years) I have to part with them now!  There's a shift of power in my mouth...that is not going my way!  Hopefully once they are gone I'll finally be able to chew again, stop grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw.  Bring on the pain meds!  


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Stuffed & Stashed

I haven't bought fabric in a long time!  This time I couldn't resist or refuse or hold back. 

I was shocked and excited when my quilt "Raw I" was picked for Viewer's Choice during The Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.  And then I was gobsmacked when it came in second!  So, let me thank all who voted during the festival and especially thank you for voting for my quilt!  It was so unexpected!  

Which brings me to the reason I bought fabric.  I was lucky enough to receive a gift certificate from Quilt Kit Market.  When I was finally able to sit and shop, I was naturally drawn to the solids.  It seemed like Christmas when I discovered there was an October Sale going on!  How could I pass up solids and a sale?!  Couldn't and wouldn't and didn't happen!

I've missed getting mail, missed the excitement of tracking my package, watching for the mailman and then ripping open the package as soon as I get my hot little hands on it! 

All the solids at the Quilt Kit Market are Moda Bella Solids.  At $3.99 per yard, my only regret is I didn't get more!!  But 22 yards was probably much more than I needed!

These three are the only substantial yardage of the batch.  Weighing in at 3 yards apiece and the perfect neutrals for me, I landed an upper cut with Bella Zen Grey, Porcelain and Bleached White.

How about some color?!  It was time to round out my stash, fill in around the edges.  The only sadness I feel about seeing this array...I didn't get purple anything!  That might be the one color I sorely am lacking in my fabric.  Do you have a color that never seems to make it in your stash?

These one yard cuts are: Amelia's Pink, Christmas Red, Amelia's Apricot, Peach, Saffron, Sunflower, Citrine, Pond, Mist, Horizon and Seafoam.  Welcome fabric!

The last two pieces are Grunge Basics.  I've had an idea brewing for a while and think these two pieces might be just the ticket!  Grunge Vanilla and Cream.  Sounds good enough to eat!  

The other frivolous, fantastic and fun purchase was from Mass Drop.  Not my normal place to shop, but sometimes there is something that peaks my interest.  Like this!

I don't know about you, but my thread can be a hot mess.  I have a couple racks hanging in my closet full of thread and bobbins.  Most of the time when I'm looking for something a spool will fall off or a bobbin with go flying.  Then there are times when I can't remember which spool a bobbin belongs with.  Confusion, frustration and dismay!


Alas, I've found my solution!  Bobbinis!  Now I can be organized and secure!  The neon colors are a bonus in my opinion.  

The soft rubber easily slides in to the top of spools and each bobbin pops on to the 'post'. It was worth the investment to stop the flying bobbins!  With shipping each bobbini ended up being .60 cents, which isn't too bad.

This ends my shopping spree.  My irresponsible, self indulging, splurge of happiness!  


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nearing The End :: Epic BOM :: Finale

What a year of paper piecing!  I'll admit that I didn't realize when i committed myself to doing the Epic Sampler BOM that there would be so much paper piecing involved.  I would say 3/4 or more was just that.  Mind you, I'm not complaining.  I've come to love paper piecing, enough that I've even started to make my own!

If you have been following along, every time I finish a month I share my finished blocks and add them to my quilt template that shows my progress.  Some months I may only do the three blocks or sometimes if I get behind I do six at a time.    This month was the final three blocks. 

When I saw this block I was a bit overwhelmed.  I didn't want to do looked like too much trouble.  But I put aside my hesitation and started to cut the pieces and plan it out. One thing I love  about @ Don't Call Me Betsy and her Epic Sampler BOM, she gives you a chart with fabric measurements for each section of the block.  It makes is much easier than having to guess and actually inspired me to use the same method for my first paper pieced block pattern.

That being said, this block was much easier and faster than I ever would have thought it would be!  The hardest or longest amount of time was removing the paper!

Basketweave Star
12" Paper Pieced
This next block went together quickly as well.  It reminds me of a really creepy spider, but don't let that scare you away!  We all see things differently!

I needed to use mostly yellow in the last two blocks to bring my quilt concept together. You'll see what I mean at the end!

HRT Star
12" Paper Pieced
The final, final, final 'block' was not really a block at all!  Instead it was a strip of Isosceles Triangles.  It was the last piece that was going to tie it all together.  The viola moment, the last piece of the puzzle, the cherry on top!

I'm hoping it will bridge the three color combinations together.  Violet/purple, teal and blues. 

Isosceles Triangle Strip
So, ready for my filled in quilt chart?!  There are a total of 39 blocks that have been completed in 13 months.  13!!!  I still can't believe I actually finished this BOM.  Technically, I can't say it's finished yet...I still have to piece them all together and then there is that part about quilting...and on and on!
Imagine if you can...this monster finished?!!!  Which will hopefully be about 60" x 72".  My rainbow concept.  My attempt at trying to get the motion of the ocean flow right!  

The layout might change ever so slightly from this, but it's pretty well set in stone now!  I spent my football Sunday carefully taking out all the paper.  It was a pretty mindless process and wasn't as bad you might think.

My next step will be to press the blocks before I piece the blocks together.  I'm looking forward to revisiting each block.  Do I like this one, not so much that one, love this color combination, I wanna make that one again.  

Thirteen months is a long time to make a quilt, something I'm not use to at all.  It helps when you love the process of each block and love the quilt!

It's also time to think about quilting.  It may sit for another thirteen months until that decision is made!  

What do you think of sampler quilts?  Have you made one...from start to finish?  And how do you tackle the difficult decision of quilting one?


Friday, October 14, 2016

Pot Holders :: Your Culinary Partner

I was surprised to see my tote of pot holders had dwindled down to three sets!  What?!  How the heck did that happen?!  Making pot holders seems daunting at times, and then I get going and find my groove.

Making a small morsel (pot holder) to compliment your culinary pleasures ends up being a joyful creative day!

Do you label your totes with what's inside?  Some totes I definitely know, others can be a trip down memory lane!

When I make my pot holders, I think of them a mini pieces of art.  Small, unique and nearly each one is one-of-a-kind.  I may make a few using blues or greens.  I may  make several that are improv.  Or half a dozen that are curves or waves. 

For these small pieces I can use some of my scraps.  Sometimes the amount of one color will dictate what color of pot holders are made.  It also allows me to throw caution in the wind and put together some pretty interesting (weird, strange, different) color combinations.

Right now I'm in the final stretch of sewing on the bindings.  It feels so good to have a stack waiting for the final step!  

I don't think pot holders have to be boring.  They can be gorgeous and functional all at the same time. Right?!  They can be bold, funky and crazy, as well as protect your table from heat.  

These are a few of my favorites.  Teal improv or autumn waves, classic black and red or totally funky green!

The pastel set is really off the deep end for me!  But I kind of like them, probably because they are not my normal colors.  

I always use a layer of Insul-Bright and a layer of batting in between.  And I'll admit...I never add loops!  I know they are pretty standard, but frankly I never leave pot holders sitting (or hanging) out!  After a meal, they go straight back to their drawer!  What's your preference? Hang or not?


This one will be first on the binding list tonight!  Black and white, the speck of red...I like it!

I even went 'traditional'?  I often use reproduction feed sack prints for this simple design. The squares are 1", the perfect size for the small prints.  

The one on the right was my first disappearing nine patch!  I know, I've never done that before! There were a few added pieces after the first cut, but I think it still counts!  

Do you make pot holders?  Are you a 'loopy' person?  By that I mean....loops!  

So now, with my pile of hot pads standing high...I can take a break from them!  


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Art With Fabric :: Blog Hop

I can't remember when I signed up for the Art With Fabric Blog Hop hosted by Alinda @Tweety Loves Quilting but it was something I was looking forward to exploring. 

The basic idea of the Art In Fabric Blog Hop is to pick a piece of art and let it inspire you to create a quilted piece.  There is a lot of inspiration in the world of art.  I thought about exploring Mark Rothko, Joseph Albers, Harold Krisel, Frank Stella and Howard Kleiner, all amazing artists and full of inspiration.  However, I decided to go a different route.
20 1/2" x 20 1/2"
When my daughter was in college she took a few art classes and would occasionally bring her pieces home.  One piece she left with me has always intrigued me and I always said how cool it would be as a quilt.  I kept it sitting on top of the bookcase for years with that thought in the back of my mind.   

With the Art in Fabric challenge I decided it was now or never!  I didn't really change anything from the original because to me, it was perfect as is.  The colors are right, the shapes are interesting.  Why mess with a good thing.  Plus, it is a good lesson in color harmonies.  

I started with designing two paper pieced patterns.  That way I was sure I could get the shapes needed.  What I totally forgot was that the block would be opposite the pattern!  

Let's start with the first block.    
Radial Symmetry - Complimentary Colors
This block explores Complimentary Colors on the color wheel.  Complimentary colors are opposite from each other on the color wheel.  The blue-green and red-orange represent this very well.  

The design is Radial Symmetry, which means similar sections that start around the center.  

I had to make the paper pieced pattern for this one in order to keep symmetry and plus, it's just a cool design.  

Symmetrical - Split Complimentary
This Symmetrical block is the ever popular Log Cabin in the world of quilting!  Symmetrical meaning sides or halves that are the same.

The colors are what is referred to as Split Complimentary.  Using the complimentary colors and adding adjacent colors.  

I didn't plan this one very well!  I ended up adding additional stripes in order to increase the size of the block.  

Asymmetrical - Triadic Color 
I have to say, I love these colors!  Vibrant and bold!  Another paper pieced design in order to keep the asymmetry.  Asymmetrical is two sides that are not the same, not symmetrical.

The Triadic Color scheme are colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel.  

In the case of this block, I used Kona Lipstick, Kona Pickle and Kona Regal.  Slightly off from the wheel. 

Asymmetrical - Analogous
Here's another Asymmetrical version.  I considered using the six-minute circle for this one, but with the block being only 8" it would prove to be too crazy for me.  Instead I pulled out the Steam-A-Seam and did some simple applique.  Layering the pieces on top of each other.  

The last color lesson is Analogous.  Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

I have never been one to pay much attention to the color wheel.  I tend to grab what ever moves me at the moment.  The only reason I am talking about the color wheel is because that was the lesson which resulted in the piece of Art I wanted to use.

Enough of all that, let's get to the fun part!!  Quilting and finishing!  I used Kona White for the sashing.  It was sure to make each block stand out and frankly...that's how my inspiration art is!  The center sashing is 1 1/4" and the border ended up being 1 3/4". 


I was looking forward to quilting this one!  I love the quilting...geometric straight lines and a block full of pebbles.  I did coordinate thread colors with the fabric.  I wanted the texture, but didn't want it to glare back at me!  The back...oh my favorite!

But first this!  Gotta love that crinkle!

Looking at the back, I'm going to pretend this is my first whole cloth quilt!  That might be pushing it, but it sure was fun and it sure makes me happy looking at it. 

What would a quilt of mine be without a little pieced binding?  (at least on my recent finishes!)  It didn't turn out exactly as planned, but I'm not going to complain either!

I'm so excited for Britt to see this in person.  I think she will be blown away that I took her art and in my opinion...did it justice!  

The Art in Fabric Blog Hop really lit a fire under me!  And not because my time was running out and I was behind.  I had to dig deep!  Except for the Log Cabin block, the other three I had to start from scratch and make it work.  

I hope you will check out the other blogs that are participating in the 'Art With Fabric' blog hop.  This week is full of inspiration and full of art!   

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 
Carol @ quiltedfabricart (
Janis @ turtlemoonimpressions (
Jennifer @ inquiringquilter (

Jayne @ twiggyandopal (  (ME)