Tuesday, December 28, 2010

year end activities

So, I thought I was not getting anything accomplished. Then I realized just how much I am doing (which still seems to be small).

I made some pillowcases for my niece and nephew for Christmas. (No pictures they are finished, wrapped, and in use currently!)

I made a dog bed for my puppies. They love it and so does the cat! I filled it with left over batting scraps.

I also basted this project to quilt. This is my sister’s graduation quilt. She graduated November 2007, technically, and had a ceremony May 2008. No rush to finish this, right? It is like a ray of spring during these dark winter days.

I also started the binding for my Jewelry Box quilt. You know the quilt that I machine quilted. It has been in use on my bed, with out the binding. So, I am busy.

Also, we got a white Christmas! If you live in Alabama you know it is a big deal to get the white stuff, and an event if you get it on Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Semester Over!!

This semester finally ended last Friday!! It has been the most difficult thus far. The classes were not the difficult part. It was finding the time to do the school work. I could hardly keep up with doctor visits, add college and work to the mix, and something had to give.

So, my house ended up a MESS. Thankfully, my husband was getting better and has been building his strength by cleaning! He overloads the washing machine and under loads the dishwasher, but  do I care? Nope! Things are getting clean, and he is getting better!

Monday, December 20, 2010

MHC-Wrapped In Hope List: 2011 Wrapped in Hope List

So, I decided to take on a quilting project! MHC-Wrapped In Hope List: 2011 Wrapped in Hope List: "'Wrapped in Hope' is a quilt-giving program run by Margaret's Hope Chest. MHC matches children who have at least one parent in prison ..." and I am making a quilt for a young man on that list!!

His birthday is the same as my wedding aniversary! Well, a couple of years off.

He likes basketball and Syracuse. So, I went searching for Syracuse fabric and quilts. What luck, I found zero Syracuse fabric, and about four quilts.

Here are the ones I found:





Yes, two of those are from zanyquilter, and yes, they are great! I asked her for some pointers, and she was super nice! Check her out. She is very talented and funny!

Back to the Scyracuse quilt.

I am unsure what pattern to use. I thought about a snowball with Syracuse fabric as the snowball, or a panel of Syracuse fabric with borders, but with zero luck with Syracuse fabric, those ideas are scratched.

This is going to be a challenge!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

machine quilting update.

Well over Thanksgiving instead of working on school work (I couldn't concentrate anyway) I quilted the Jewelry Box quilt (well almost). I would have it finished now if it were not for coming back to reality on the school work and my husband going back into the hospital.
It is not the best looking thing, but it is my first machine quilting. I should have started small, but why not finish something that I will use on my own bed instead. Besides this quilt needed to be finished. I have had this top for about 10 years so about time right!
Pictures soon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Machine Quilting Lesson

Well, quilting a full size quilt is not easy! It is not finished. I will work on it more when I have more time!

It was not what I expected (understatement). I have learned a couple of things through what I have done.

1. My machine does not appear to have a needle down mode (at least I haven't found it), so that means I will not be doing free motion quilting until I figure that one out.
2. A full size quilt is really big for a small machine.
3. Straight line quilting is not too bad especially for this quilt.
4. The table I have it on is not going to work, because the faster I go the move the table vibrates.
5. It really hurts my shoulders.

I am sure there is a lot more that I learned but for now that will do.

I am going to have to make arrangements on a different table for this project, but for now priorities are sick husband and school work over quilts.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


Have you missed me? "Where have you been?" you may be asking. Well, I have been on a ride called life.

Trying to finish school, work full-time, and continual life as a wife was hard to do, but then my husband got sick.

I mean hospital stay sick. 3 separate occasions he has spent 5-14 days in the hospital. He is much better and is going home today!

In the mean time I have been getting a quilt top ready for machine quilting!

I made a machine quilting test of a scrap, and it went well enough to try a full size quilt! Not perfect, but well enought to go bigger.


Friday, July 16, 2010

machine quilting progress1

Well, after buying batting and backing for a quilt top and waiting for them to wash, dry, and iron I thought perhaps I was jumping in just a little to fast. I though, "Maybe I should practice a little first! Yes, it looks easy, but so do a lot of things."

Practice I did. I got a couple of similar sized scraps together and a piece of batting. Then I tried to put my feed dogs down. Down you dogs, down! Then I tried to attach the darning foot, which proved to be difficult. Darn darning foot! Finally, I read the directions. Then I got out the screwdriver! With my darning foot finally attached and feed dogs down, I was ready for practice and glad it was just practice.

Here is my practice piece.


and back.

Not to bad for a crazy town creator!

There was one little problem that could be bad. I folded a portion of the backing which was quilted down. Potential future craziness.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

machine quilting

OK, I know what I said about hand quilting and machine quilting, but after the last post I went looking for machine quilting techniques (more like stumbled on them). I found a few great ones. So, I am going to try machine quilting! After all I have several UFOs that need to be finished, and I really don't have the time to hand quilt anything. You know since I am now a full-time student (not sure how that happened), full-time employee (35 hrs a week fall and spring semesters), and wife (never ending). With those hats as well as several others; I find it hard to find time to quilt.

I am not going to stop hand quilting! I love it to much. I am just going to try out machine quilting and see how it goes. I will keep you posted. Now I am off to the quilt store for batting and backing!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Quilting on a quilt can make a big difference in a quilt. If there is to little the quilt looks naked and boring. I am of the opinion that there is never to much quilting, but I am sure that there is a quilt somewhere that has to much quilting.

When quilting myself I prefer to hand quilt.

For one thing I have not learned how to machine quilt. I do not want to just start without someone guiding me. What if I put a quilt under the needle and the bobbin explodes on the back or something disastrous happens! I just don't want to put a lot of work into a quilt to mess it up machine quilting. Also, I do not want to hire someone to quilt it for me. I am sure that they all do a wonderful job (I have seen some wonderful machine quilting), but that would mean that I did not do the entire thing myself.

Hand quilting is one of my favorite parts of completing a quilt. My hands like to be a part of the work. That may sound strange but when machine sewing my hands guide they do not do the work. There is just something about making something by hand. It relaxes me.

Quilting is not for everyone. It takes time and patience. Quilting a baby quilt depending on the amount of quilting I am doing can take me (if you put all of the free time I find together) anywhere between a week and a month continuously quilting. It often takes me longer because I quilt in my free time, usually while watching TV.

Many people want something now. For these people machine quilting is probably the best. You can have a quilt finished in a weekend.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


A tutorial on how to make the pinwheel block

I made two quilts the summer of 2007 for two little boys who were born two months and four stares apart. To save time I made both of the quilts using the same pattern and same material. The quilts are scrappy and different in arrangement/ placement of blocks with other slight differences including different backings.
My inspiration for this quilt came from Quilt Almanac 2007 pgs 54-56.

You need 4 squares the same size of two different colors (most of the time the directions will tell you what size to cut the squares. I usually round it up to the closest ¼ inch so that I can trim it down to the size I want).

On the back of the light colored square draw a diagonal cut line from corner to corner (not pictured) and a ¼ of an inch sew line on either side of the cut line (I used this nifty tool I found at the quilt store that already has the sew lines measured).

Sew on the lines

Cut on the cut line (or from corner to corner)

Press open, press toward the dark fabric, and trim

Arrange new half square triangles into blocks
Sew together in couples
Press open, press toward the dark fabric. It is ok that there is an area between the points and the edge of the fabric. This is the seam allowance and will meet together to make the points.
Sew the pair together

Press open. I like to remove the top two or three stitches and press the center open like a fan to distribute bulk. If you do this you will notice a mini pinwheel on the back.

There you have it a finished block. Make different color combinations and sew together.
Have fun!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Raspberries and Mint Butterflies

Recent work? I am working on several quilts.

The latest quilt top completion is for a little girl who was born this afternoon. Welcome to the world precious little gift. The pattern is called Butterfliers by Mary Cain and was found in the recent magazine Small Quilts Summer 2010 pgs. 10-13.

It is a super easy quilt to make, and I had a lot of fun making it. If you know how to make a 4-patch than this is a snap. You sew it just like a 4-patch with an added piece of fabric inbetween.

For some reason this quilt reminds me of raspberries and mint!

I will only show you how to make one block. I like scrap quilts and try to make quilts as scrappy as possible. You can make this quilt as big as you want with however many blocks as you wish.

You will need 4 squares the same size and same print and 2 squares 1/2 inch smaller than the other 4 in a coordinating color. (4 same size color 2 same size color 1/2 inch smaller)

Iron the smaller squares diagonally and place raw edges to the outside of one larger square and then place the second square on top, all right sides touching.

Sew together using 1/4 of an inch seam allowance.

Press open and place the units together with the triangles to the insides, matching seams. Sew along the edges of triangles.

Press open (I like to take the two or three stiches out and press the center in a fan to distribute the bulk). Turn over and you have a quilt block. Repeat as many times as you like until you have a quilt top. Sew those blocks together, add borders, and quilt.

Congratulations. You now have a 3D quilt! You can put your fingers under the butterflies!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bandana Pants Tutorial

Bandana Pants
While researching bandana pants I came across this tutorial.


I use elastic instead of twill tape.

To replace with elastic: measure the waist of the child. Add an inch, cut that measurement from elastic.

Thread the elastic through with a safety pin.

When reaching the other end overlap the elastic by an inch and sew together on both sides using a zigzag.

Pull the elastic so that it goes into the waist and sew the waist closed (I only have two hands and one was used to take the picture. You would use both hands to pull on the waist so that the elastic would pull in.)

And there you have it, a quick pair of pants that take about 15 minutes to make and cost (with elastic) around $2.25 a pair. I added rick-rack to make it girly for my niece. Adds a nice touch doesn't it?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bandana Pants

This summer I have been on a sewing spree. I have been making bandana pants instead of studying like I should. (haha!)

Last summer I saw a girl wearing a pair of bandana pants, and in May I got curious. I researched how to make bandana pants and then went looking for bandanas. I was visiting my sister in TN and bought around 40 bandanas (2 are needed per pair of pants). There were all sorts of colors and then different patterns. I went crazy! This was going to be so much fun!

I started making the pants for my niece and nephew (4 & 3), who could wear these pants for play time without worry since they only cost about 2 dollars each and 15 minutes to make. I made about 5 without elastic not knowing their waist size.

My sister-in-law was overjoyed about them when she saw them. I measured my niece’s waist and finished the pants for her. I hear reports that she, my niece, loves them. Reports are that she would not take them off one day, and another is that she said her aunt Brittany made them and she loves them. She loves clothes anyways, but these are special!

After this response I made more including finishing the one for my nephew, a dress for my youngest niece and two dress/tops for my little clothes lover.