Thursday, December 1, 2011



Have you ever worked on a project and it didn't work out the way you wanted?  Putting a lot of work and creativity into it and having nothing to show for it?  At least not the initial result I was wanting...

Let me explain. 

I was working on project that was to be entered into a on-line contest.  The prizes were impressive, so I diligently picked fabrics that I thought would fit in perfectly into the official rules.  I tried to make my entry original, to attract the attention of the judges, so I spend a lot of my time (in between basketball practices and games, Cub Scout meetings...) on it.  It turned out very cute and I am proud with the finished product.  I had taken the photos and then tried to upload them into the website to officially enter them into the contest...

And that is where the trouble began.  It seemed at the last step of entering the contest, the screen just went blank.  Nothing.  I tried at different times of the day with the same result.  I was still trying to upload the photos right up to the deadline time.  Still nothing.  My photos never appeared in the photo gallery of the other entrants' projects.  

Now I have a project that I'm not sure what to do with.  Since I wasn't able to vie for the prizes that I was hoping to win, I just want to complain and moan about it!  I know that I have several quilts that I've never finished because it didn't turn out like the vision that I had in my head.  But this seems different.

I had emailed the website with the problem I had and I'm hoping (hope, hope, hope...) to still be able to enter.  That is the reason why I'm not going to show a photo of it.  I'll just tease you with this one. 

But once I know for sure that it is too late and they are unable to do anything for me, I may just have to have a giveaway.  Passing it on the you just might make it all better.

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed although I have a feeling that my heart will be broken in the end.  Once I know that the first round of judging has passed and I haven't recieved some resolution from the e-mail I sent them, I'll post some photos.  And perhaps you all can help me figure out what I should do with it!

Boo hoo hoo...whimper, whimper, whimper...

Jane   <3

Monday, November 7, 2011

Excitement with Elm Creek

Now that the Halloween costumes are past me, I have the opportunity to work on my Runaway quilt.  With Elm Creek's next book now out, it has inspired me to finish the quilt-top from one of my favorite Elm Creek books, The Lost Quilter

Excerpt from The Lost Quilter: One night she finished her Birds in the Air quilt--large triangles and small, each pointing north to freedom.  In whispers after the other slaves had fallen asleep, Joanna traced the quilted images with her fingertip and told Hannah their secret meanings...

And I have been thinking of making Sarah's first quilt that she had made, with Sylvia's instruction, from The Quilter's Apprentice.  But I promised myself that I CANNOT start anymore new quilts, so it will be placed in my "to be made later" stack, which is getting bigger and bigger!

The Runaway quilt is piecing together fairly quickly.  I've overcome the hurdle of making the points of the triangles near perfect.  Soon, I'll have to chose a border fabric that will fit with civil war era prints. 

But once this quilt-top is finished, what to work on next?  Hmmm...

Jane  <3

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Charity Project

Yesterday, I participated in a charity project at our local library.  Me and five other lovely ladies, including our wonderful library director, helped make chemotherapy caps.

We had made a total of 60 caps which will be delivered to cancer patients at the local hospital.  I was able to make 11 in the time that we had allotted.  Here are some photos with examples:

I had enjoyed this experience very much, to sew items that will help other people.  I had met some new people and I was surprised to find out that some that I did all ready knew, also knew how to so.  I was under the impression that a very few people knew how to sew or use a sewing machine. 

I'm looking forward to the next "Sew-In."

Jane  <3

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Costumes Done!

I had finally finished my younger son's Halloween costume Friday morning.  His school was having their Halloween party on Friday, October 28, and I hated to know that he wouldn't be in costume because I didn't get it finished.  So I stayed up ALL NIGHT, imaging myself in an episode of Project Runway, to make sure he would have it.

And here he is...

Goku from Dragon Ball Z Kai!

Although Dragon Ball is a favorite with my two boys, I'm not that familiar with the cartoon series.  But Goku (a main hero) was who my son wanted to be.  This was the illustration that I used for the costume.  There was no pattern so I had to use an old pattern that I had used two years ago.  By altering the size a little larger, I was able to make a costume that he was happy with.

I used my applique skills to place a symbol on the back and a smaller version on the front.  Just to prove to you that I'm not familiar with Goku, I had sewn the symbol on the wrong side.  Both neither son noticed until I had shown them.

So now, I have some relief that the all the costumes are done and promise myself that I will start earlier next year.  They are already thinking of new costumes for 2012.  Until then, I can dive back into my quilting!

Jane  <3

Friday, October 28, 2011

Yummy Mummies

I had made these treat holders for our Cub Scouts recently.  They were made from Pringles canisters (the smaller version).  I wrapped them with gauze (painted the canister white prior to wrapping because the graphics were peeking out) and glue two googly eyes.  So simple!! 

Jane  <3

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pre-Halloween Success

I thought I was a good idea to give each of my son's friends their costume before Halloween.  In doing so, all three had worn them to school the last two days!  Their plan is to wear them everyday until it is officially Halloween.  I guess they like them!!

I was able to get a quick photo of them today.

Gotta get back to stitching!

Jane  <3

New Elm Creek Is Drawing Near

I had recently read that the next Elm Creek quilt book, "The Wedding Quilt," is coming out soon!  That's just one week away!

Jennifer Chiaverini posted on Facebook:

"If you are a Elm Creek reader who is curious about:
1.   Whether Sarah and Matt had 2 boys, 2 girls, or one of each,
2.   What happens to the love triangle of Summer, Jeremy, and Anna,
3.   How Bonnie and Hinano's long-distance relationship unfolds,
4.   What becomes of the Civil War landmark Union Hall in the present day and/or
5.   If the villainous Gregory Krolich (who wanted to tear down Elm Creek Manor in
      THE QUILTER'S APPRENTICE) ever get his comeuppance.
...then you'll want to pick up a hot-off-the-presses copy of THE WEDDING QUILT on November 1st!"

Isn't that enough to make you want to drop everything you're doing and start reading!!

It has been some time since I had read a book from this series, so I had been trying to do some catching up on the story line.  I've had to familiarize myself with the characters again, mainly the new ones that had been added to the quilt camp crew.

Although the new book seems to be based in modern time, the first book I picked up was "The Runaway Quilt."  I know this book is based in the past, but it is my favorite book out of the series!

I am done with my older son's costume(s), and I'm slowly progressing with the younger son's.  Since there isn't a pattern to help make his costume, it can be quite frustrating.  So I took a quick break to rest my brain.  I pulled out an old project - my Runaway Quilt, like the one that was featured in the book. 

I worked on it for a while, just enough to get myself excited for next week.  But I've got to set it aside before I get too distracted from the important job I have to do.  My baby will be so upset with me if his Halloween costume remains unfinished!

Now I've got to get back to costume making!  Hope to have some photos soon.

Jane  <3

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Is Just Around the Corner

I have been wanting to post another entry but I'm been diligently working on...


This year, I've got to make four costumes.

My older son had an idea that involves two of his friends and here is a hint on their costumes.

My younger son has an outrageous costume idea that does not come with a pattern.  I am having to manipulate another pattern and I hope it ends up pretty close to the character he is wanting.

I'll have the boys pose for photos as soon as the costumes are done.

Jane  <3

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Documenting My Quilts

...or at least a way of helping me remember just how many UFOs I have!

All of you quilters or fiber lovers out there - there is a website you need to visit.

Just as is for knitters and crocheters, is for us who love fabric (especially quilters like me!). It is a place where we can track and share our projects with other quilters and sewers.

By taking advantage of the site, I had started to enter my quilts into my "sewing room."  Before long, I had quite a collection.  I enjoyed seeing my quilts grouped together.  As I continued gathering my list, I noticed that there were more unfinished quilts than finished quilts.  And the unfinished group kept growing larger and larger!  And I still had the UFOs in boxes in the garage that were unaccounted for.

This was a wake-up call.  I knew I had a lot of unfinished quilts but I didn't know it was to this extent. 

Along with the quilts in my "sewing room," I am going to start a new blog to help document my quilts.  It will be a companion blog that will connected to this blog.

I need something to show me exactly how many unfinished projects I have.  By seeing the huge number of unfinished quilts, I hope it inhibits me to start any new projects.  And as I finish a quilt, I will be able to add it to the "finished" list. 

Yet, I may be too embarrassed to share my gloom.  I may have to keep it private, just for my eyes only.  Only time will tell.

I am currently constructing the blog and I hope to be able to share with it with you soon.

Jane   <3

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Can't Add to My UFO Dilemna

I am the first one to admit that I DO NOT need to start any more new quilts.  But there is a great surge of excitement when I start a new quilt!  I think it's similar to a drug, consuming my every thought.  The search for the fabrics is spell bounding.  The tedious chore of cutting out the pieces is enjoyable.  Piecing them together is gratifying because you know the quilt is on it's way to being completed. 

But somewhere along this journey, I get disinterested.  I get tired of looking and working on the same project.  That when a new idea creeps into my head and I HAVE to start another quilt!

I think that where my UFO problem started.  I have no self control.  And now I am having to hold back on all new quilt ideas until I can get this pile down to a controllable level.

An idea that I'm having to hold back on is optical illusion quilts.  I would love to find out if the illusion will translate the same way on a larger scale. 

My quilt, False Impression, was started when I helped my son with a Cub Scout project. 

The illusion is that the center square is the largest square and the others gradually get smaller out toward the edge.

I am not quite satisfied with the result of the illusion.  I think if I hadn't placed the smaller squares so close to the seam, it may have worked out better.  But I'm not going to redo or make another one anytime soon.

And I have more ideas to try.

Another optical illusion I'd like to try is another black and white quilt. 

You may have to click the image above so
that illusion will work on a larger size

You need to stare at a white circle on the quilt and, in your peripheral vision, the surrounding circles will have a black dot in the center on them.

Another idea is more complicated illusion, from the book "Op-Art Quilts" by Marilyn Doheny.


I'm not quite finished designing this one.  I am trying to make it look like an undulating nine patch quilt.  I think that I may putting too much into it.  Less may be more in this example.  It 's not working the way I am wanting it to.

These are just a couple of ideas that I am stashing away in my idea file.  I hope to be able to experiment with these to see if they actually work one day!!

Jane  <3

Friday, October 7, 2011

My gift from Gail Pan

My giveaway prize from Gail Pan arrived today!  They are so adorable.  They're small and compact.  The packaging size is even cute!

They are both perfect projects that I can take with me on the go.  Something different from quilting, when I need that break from it.

I wish her patterns were readily available here in my area.  I wouldn't be able to resist purchasing all her patterns.

I'm looking forward to searching for the perfect fabrics and getting started!  Thank you Gail!!

Jane  <3

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So Sorry for Delay

I was wanting to post another entry a lot sooner than this.  I had started a new medication and it is draining all my energy - leaving me with no motivation to get anything done.  It's hard to pick up some quilting when all I want to lay down. 

But I've been using the meds for a while now and I am becoming comfortable with the fatigue.  I just had adjust my daily routine - having to keep busy, start drinking coffee again, use exercise bike earlier in the day (well, maybe not)...

I have finally put the borders on my Henrietta Whiskers quilt.  I think it finished off really cute.  I still have to place some crow and star appliques to the borders and then I can call it a completed quilt-top.

In my exhaustion, I had made a few mistakes when I was putting it together.

I had cut the top and bottom rows a little too short...

I had to match the lines to help make it look seamless (I hope it worked).

I had done the same thing to the side borders...

I matched the print so it will look like it's one piece from a distance.

I'll have to remember: NO cutting when I'm tired!

While I was being lazy this last week, I did come up with some more ideas for future posts.  So I can only hope, more posts coming soon!

Jane  <3

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Dance!

The day started out pretty good!

Got out of bed...
Woke up the boys...
Got them ready and drove them to school...
Checked blogs...
Did the happy dance!

I had visited Gail Pan's blog at and found out that I had just won her latest giveaway!!

Go ahead and visit her blog and you will see just how talented she is.  I think I've fallen in love with every quilt patern she's came out with.  And I love to do handwork, so all the embroidery that her work includes makes me want to purchase everyone!  But now she has given me that opportunity to work on her petite projects!

I can't wait until it arrives!

Jane   <3

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tedium is My Medium

 I've going through my unfinished projects.  Some of them have been so long ago that I don't remember precisely how I was going to finish them. 

This is my sunflower sampler quilt that I think I'll call Sunflower Daze. I have appliqued 52 sunflowers on it.  At the time, I had given myself a headache and was so relieved when I stitched that last sunflower.  And guess what?!  After looking at it again, about 4 months later, I have decided to add about 50 more sunflower!

I don't know why I do this to myself!  I guess it's just the quilt addict in me.  I just can't help myself!  I have cut so many flower petals and centers and now the tedious chore of appliqueing them to the quilt top!!

I'm still working on the Henrietta Whiskers applique.  It is taking me a little longer than I wanted because I am also cutting out the borders.  It's close to being done so it should happen soon.

Now back to more appliqueing!

Jane   <3

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quilt Reteat Fantasy

To start with, I want to let everyone know that this is only a FANTASY.  I don't ever see this ever becoming reality, but it's fun to daydream, right?! 

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Over this last Labor Day weekend, we had visited the mother-in-law's new house.  It is located in a small community in Kentucky so it was very peaceful and relaxing.

I wanted to give a small tour:

Outside view  
(photo from my niece)

Just inside the front door

The living room

Kitchen and dining area

View of loft on second floor

Due to my job as a stay-at-home-mom, I'm too busy to attend a quilt class or to join a quilt guild.  And I have never participated in a quilt retreat (though I hope to some day).  I could envision my mother-in-law's log home as perfect location for a quilt retreat.   

There are three very large bedrooms, one downstairs and two upstairs, large enough to fit three twin beds or two full\queen size beds.  Each bedroom is accompanied with it's own full bathroom.  And there is a loft area upstairs where there is some cozy seating for some hand-work can be done.

Downstairs, there is plenty of room to set up some tables for sewing machines and still have room for a couch to relax on.  There was even electrical outlets in the floor, so it was as if the room was made for this!

View from back porch

View of the back of the house
(photo from my niece)

Although I have no idea about running a retreat, I could envision 6 quilters staying for a weekend.  Just need a couple of people to take care of the meals and a couple of people for housekeeping.  The only downfall is that there is not a local quilt shop nearby.

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Now back to reality!

Trust me, I will be returning.  My husband and boys will be anticipating the next opportunity to ride the ATVs, but for me, I'll be packing as many of my UFOs as I can and I'll take advantage of the peace and quiet of the country-side and tackle a lot of my quilting projects!  Or, if I'm lucky, I might be able to get away by myself for my own private quilting paradise!

Jane   <3

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Holiday Weekend Yo-yos

We had great Labor Day weekend!  We visited my mother-in-law's new log home in Kentucky (which was fabulous) and all three of my boys (my husband and two sons) had a phenomenal time riding around on ATVs on their property.

(I will have photos of the new log home and some ideas I have in a future post).

Since I had most of the applique work done on my two quilts, I needed a project to take with me on this trip (it was a 4 hour drive!).  I decided to make yo-yos for a quilt that was on the cover a past issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

I'd gotten a lot of yo-yos made but it is still only a fourth of what I need to make for the whole quilt.

Another item I took was another new read, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I had finished the book today and I'm looking forward to see the motion picture at the movie theater (although I think I waited too long, the movie is no longer at our local theater).

I loved the story.  Athough it had a happy ending, I had expected some twist and turns in the storyline that didn't happen. And every time I think about Mae Mobley saying "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." to Aibileen, it brings tears to my eyes.  I hope the movie will be just as moving as the book was.

The last block of Henrietta Whiskers had just come out, so I'll be anxiously finishing Block Nine and I hope to get the rest of the quilt put together by this weekend (I'll keep my fingers crossed!).

More to come later.

Jane   <3

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Quilt Top Finished

 During our busy weekend, I was still able to finish a quilt top. 

I'm not sure just how happy I am with it.  In my opinion, it didn't quite duplicate the drawing that I had made for it.

I haven't forgotten about the scalloped border.  Not sure what color the binding should be- match the pink in the border or white, blue, green...?

I'm not going to be able to quilt it for awhile.  So by that time, I hope that I'll see it differently.

So what to work on next?  I have so many UFO's that it isn't a problem in finding a project.  I think I'll look for some more quilts that still need their borders attached.  And hopefully some quick finishes!

Jane   <3

Monday, August 29, 2011

Busy Weekend

I knew this was going to happen as soon as school started.  I thought I was busy with one child with extra curricular activities.  Now I have two boys who will be playing basketball this year (older son has already started) and the younger one will start his first year of Cub Scouts.  I was lucky last year because they both were in the same school so I was able to attend school functions for both of them at the same time (holiday parties, Christmas program, book sale...).  Now the older son is in middle school so I am having to juggle my time and try not prioritize one event over another.

And it happened this last weekend.  One son had basketball and the other had Cub Scouts.

Speaking of Cub Scouts, my younger son had his first Cub Scout event.  He raced in the Raingutter Regatta!  More info at the bottom of this post.

Despite the running around we did, I was able to work on some of my quilts.

I had finished piecing the last sashing strip.  Wheww!  So glad that's done!

I should have been more careful when I was sewing it to the blocks.  So anxious to get the top together, I should have taken the seam intersections (am I using the right terms?) slower so that I'd sure that the points came out perfect.

Example: these points don't even meet.

I still have the boarders to applique, but I think I'll set it aside for a little while so I don't get too burnt out on it.


Back to my baby's Raingutter Regatta.

The Raingutter Regatta is a racing event that is sailboat equivalent to the Cub Scout's Pinewood Derby.  A sailboat kit is required and the Scout with his parent are to assemble, paint, and decorate their boat as they choose.

Then, the boats are raced in a standard raingutter that is 10 feet long, placed on saw horses, and filled to the top with water.  The boats are propelled by blowing into the sail.  The boat cannot be touch by the hands.The first boat to reach the end of the gutter is the winner.

He said that he wanted a Darth Vader boat.  So we found some scrap booking paper with Darth Vader and fussy cut it to fit the sail.  He had painted it black (and he didn't make too much of a mess) and I sealed it with a high gloss clear coat.

And what a great outcome from his very first event as a Tiger Scout.  Something for him to proudly remember and to help keep his excitement for Scouting!


I've finished another top this weekend.  It is my Spring Bloomers quilt made with one of Susan Branch's fabric line.

I'll post those photos tomorrow...I promise!

Jane   <3

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Time Out from Sashing Work

 I have been diligently trying to finish the last sashing strip for my Reminiscence quilt.  But it seems such grueling work when I'm this close to being finished with the top.  I've had to set it aside for a short while.

I had recently looked over my Sunflower Sampler quilt.  I still love the applique sunflowers I had put on it, but I still feel that something is missing (besides the borders)...?

upper illustration: quilt as it is currently
lower illustration: added more sunflowers

I had drawn up the quilt on my computer so I could experiment when the layout once again. Will adding more sunflower solve the problem but it that TOO MUCH!? 

This what I ended up with.  Borders and binding included.  I'll let it stew a while since I have to go back and finish with that sashing.  Can't you tell that I ready to move on?

Please leave a comment or some suggestions on what else I may try!!

Jane  <3