Friday, January 28, 2011

A Drunkard's Path Reviewed

My little guy was home with me today. He was running a fever last night and he had stayed home from school. Even with him home, I was still able to work on my quilts.

I've gotten some of the blocks pieces of a Drunkard's Path quilt together to give me an idea of what the quilt top would look like once it was done.

A version of another Drunkard's Path quilt.

Once I had the Spring Bloomers quilt on the floor for viewing, I wasn't satisfied with how the colors are working together.

I had purchased the fabric first and then had designed the quilt for them. I knew that I had groups of red, yellow. green, blue, and pink fabrics but I didn't realize that there was such a difference in tones (light-to-darkness) among each color. The drawing really doesn't match the quilt too well. It looks mismatched and not cohesive.

I have an option of making another quilt with colors that are more carefully picked... but really, let's be realistic. I would love to make a quilt that would match the drawing but I'll just have another unfinished quilt to add to my pile. I'll continue to finish this one and hopefully it will grow on my and I'll change my mind.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two Drunkard's Path Quilts

Even though is seems slow going, I've been trying to get these UFO's finished and out of the way. I need to get them to a quilt-top stage. I feel that they are no longer UFO's when they are that close to being quilted.

I've been working on my Round the Block quilt and I remembered that I also had another Drunkard's Path design quilt stashed away.

Round the Block is machine-pieced and arranged in the traditional setting. It's made as a two color-way in red and white.

Spring Bloomers (it's preliminary name so far) is hand-pieced (applique) and set in a floral-like setting (or at least that was how I was wanting it to look like). It is made with Susan Branch's fabric named Tea Party.

To compare the two methods of construction, machine-pieced and hand-applique, I enjoy both.

Machine-piecing seems to go a lot faster but I can get bored with all the chain-stitching. I can't stand doing the same thing over and over and over again.

With hand-appliqueing, I like the idea that I have some hand work while I'm watching TV. Although I am still repeating the same step over and over again (applique, applique, applique...), I seem to tolerate it a lot better than sitting at the sewing machine.

If time permits, I'll have some more piecing done and some photos taken of them.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Problem Solved!

I feel so proud of myself today!

I had sat down on the couch, after taking the boys to school, to work on some hand-applique. I was working with my magnetic pin cushion and I really didn't have a place to keep my needle. I usually just stick the needle in the sticker/paper covering the top of the spool. But eventually, there are so many needle pricks that it either falls into the spool or the paper shreds to pieces.

I couldn't place my needle into my magnetic pin cushion because it would become lost with all the pins.

I had to make a needle cushion - something that can hold the needle I was using and keep it near the spool of thread.

Ta Da!! It was so easy to make!

One problem solved and it's so cute to look at, too!

I have seen these before and I have wanted to make one for a long time. It's made with a golf tee so it can fit in the spool.

I have another quilt that I'm having to applique two different colors of squares onto. I'm going to make two more for working on that quilt. Maybe I'll use some pretty ribbon for that petal for a different look.


Fabric Searching- Can You Help?

I was hoping you can help me find some fabric. I'm needing some fabric from Red Rooster's Canterbury line. I'm have started the quilt a little late and it is very hard to find the last fabrics. I'm wanting to make mine identical to the sample shown in the instructions, if possible.

I am needing:
1/2 yard of "Dark pink flower swirl" (#18176-RED1)
1/2 yard of "Light pink flower swirl" (#18176-PIN1)
1/2 yard of "Gold flower swirl" (#18176-YEL1)

example of "flower swirl"

1/2 yard of "Dark pink lattice weave" (#18173-RED1)

example of "lattice weave"

1 1/2 yards of "Pink paisley" (#18174-PIN1)

example of "paisley"


1/2 yard of "Blue scrolls print" (#18175-BLU1)

1/2 yard of "Green scrolls print" (#18175-GRE1)

example of "scrolls print"
If you can help, please email me at justplainjanequilts at frontier dot com. I would love to be able to buy it from you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Heartache Generates Some Creativity

I'm feeling a lot better now about the tournament result. My son is taking it a lot better than my husband. Instead of grieving about it like a little baby, I had to steer my feelings into another direction.

All of the boys' families usually purchase shirts (basketball themed with school's name) to wear at the games. I had an idea a few months ago to make a jacket with the owl (school's mascot) on the back of it. I came up with this drawing.

I never got it on the back of a jacket and I soon just ran out of time. But I could make a wall hanging out of it! I thought it would be the perfect outlet to get my feelings out on!

I initially had drawn it on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, so I had to enlarge it.

And keeping the basketball theme, I thought I'd add a basketball in the background. I'm wanting to make it subtle. I'd like to make the background white with a beige or cream ball.

It kind of gives you an idea of what it will look like. I had thought of making another one to donate to the school. It could have the coaches and players names on it and perhaps they could sign their names on it. But that's two that I will make to make! And I'd have to make it before the end of the school year!

Not sure exactly when I'll actually get the fabric for it. Will I really make it? I may not, but I really enjoyed drawing it up.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dream of Championship Shattered

I apologize for this unquilt related post. I admit that I am the furthest example of a sports fanatic, but I had to put in my opinion...

We (specifically my son) had our school's basketball tournament. Our boys and their families and friends were walking in with the taste of victory already in our mouths.

Our team had won our first game and we were looking forward to playing the winning team from the prior game. Our boys and coaches were on confident since we have an undefeated record this year (12-0).

During this last game, which was going to determine the Champion and Second place winners, it was looking good at half time. We were up 9-19. We knew that we were playing against a pretty good team because we had never had such a low score at half time. But we were still holding on strong.

Then it was, as is, a switch was flipped in the fourth quarter. All the phenomenal baskets that were made earlier just wasn't happening anymore. I felt our defense was strong but that doesn't matter if the ball can't seem to go through the basket. With 3 minutes left, we were up 22-27. At 36 seconds, 26-27. We were finally defeated at the very end at 28-27.

This is how I feel about this:

I agree with competitiveness, teamwork, and sportsmanship when it comes to our children. Every team who plays has an opportunity to win or to lose. But the team we played against in the championship was from another school district and county. We never had played them during our season. And now they are taking the Championship trophy with them to who knows where. I would have felt better if one of our schools (district or county) had taken the trophy, but I'm having a hard time knowing this team came from ???.
We did acquire the second place trophy and I understand that my opinion is very biased. I am proud of our school and I love our boys. But perhaps I just don't understand how the teams are picked for tournament or just how the whole organization works. And it's more that just "if they weren't here, we would have won." At this competitive level, that Championship trophy should have stayed in our area and the boys who had cut down that basketball net after the win, should have been the boys who worked, practiced, and played at those same nets.

But that's how I feel about that!

I promise more quilty goodness to come!


Friday, January 21, 2011

BOM Revisited

After I had printed out the first month's instructions for Henietta Whiskers BOM quilt (from Bunny Hill Designs), I hadn't realized that I had forgotten to finish printing out the last three months of her 2010's BOM quilt, Snowbound. And it sparked my interest again.

I had to find my instructions to see where I had left off and then I started to play with the fabric.... you know where I'm going with this don't you??!! I just had to work on some piecing on the non-applique blocks. I can still call it progress, right?

Rural Jardin from Moda fabrics

drawing out the sewing and cutting lines

pinning the strips prior to sewing

layout for the block

center nine-patch block

progressing along

almost done

1,2,3..... 13 finished blocks!

I'm not sure when I'll start on the applique blocks. Perhaps I'll try machine-applique since I've very used it on a full size quilt. And perhaps it may go along quicker than hand-appliqueing it.


More Snow

We've just had another snow storm blow through yesterday. Just when the snow from the last storm had finally melted away, we were blanketed with a new coat. The schools are closed for today and tomorrow, and there is another chance of snow early next week. The last day of school has already been pushed back two days into Summer Break!
My older son is scheduled to have his basketball tournament this weekend and there is a chance of a postponement because of the snow.
I'm so proud of my son and his team. They have done so well this year! They are undefeated after playing the surrounding schools and this tournament will proclaim the Champion! Our boys are very proud of their own achievements and confident of our next tournament game. And we're looking forward to watching an exciting game!
GOOD LUCK my buddy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Snow Day

We were stuck at home today. The boys were home from school, again, due to the wintry weather. And I was determined to get something accomplished.

We had a movie day. They seemed to be content and occupied watching their DVD's. And it was perfect for me to do some mindless quilt marking.

Although my Round the Block quilt is coming along well, I still need to add more rows to it. During the movie, I could sit with my boys, watch/listen to the movie, and mark-out the quilt pieces for the blocks. Once they are marked, I'll cut them out, pin them together, and get them to the sewing machine sometime in the near future.

It's pretty simple work. I'm using my handy dandy plastic margarine lid templates, again! I just marked the fabric with square grids for the templates to be marked in. Both parts of the block are marked in each square. It was the best layout, with the least waste, that that I could think of.

Even though winter has pretty much just started, I am already sick of it. I'm ready for the approaching warm weather... I can look forward to that in about three more months. Three months of wishful thinking! Oh, boo who. I'm just so pitiful!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No More Snow Days!!

Here in southern Indiana, we've had another snow storm. Nothing tremendous, but enough to slip and slide along the roads and the kids had to stay home from school.

I had just a little time to myself today. With both of them home, I've had to make sure they were busy with something, otherwise they will find each other and start pestering one another. I just don't know if it's the age difference (the older thinks the younger is a big baby, the younger thinks the older is bossy- both are right!) or if that's the way brothers are.

But wouldn't you know, it was announced that we have another school cancellation for tomorrow. I think we will do something productive, such as cleaning their room, sweeping the floor, so I can feel like I'm actually getting something done tomorrow!

I'm really going to try to fit in some quilt-work for tomorrow, one way or another. Just breathe, just breathe!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Love My Followers

I enjoy visiting other blogs. To see what they are working on, the photos of their projects... I have a long list of my favorites and I feel as if they were my close quilty friends.

And so I'm very flattered to see that I actually followers that actually visit my blog. To think that someone is enjoying seeing what I am up to.

Recently, I had noticed that I had a new person added to my followers list. WOW!! YAY!!! I had noticed that she was a crocheter. Now, I've have been doing a little bit of crocheting lately- I repeat "a little bit." I was feeling a little stressed. I was going to be a big disappointment to this new follower- I'm a quilter!

After all the worrying, I found out that the new follower was just my sister! She is on the process of starting her own blog and I'll be visiting hers also. I'll be her biggest fan!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Show and Tell

I had started crocheting a little bit here lately. It's a great break from my quilting when it becomes mundane. I can still be creative, keep my hands busy, and have a finished product in the end.

My sister, who is a crocheter, had gifted me a crochet book for Christmas. How tempting!!! It is "Crochet It. Love It. Wear It." from the Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky.

I love the cardigans shown in this book. They would be very useful in this cold weather now! And there is a pattern for a "little black dress." I can't believe a crocheted dress could be so sleek and stylish! There is also a pattern for a baby doll shirt that I can really see myself in! Now, I really don't how long it would take me the actually finish a large project like these. I have to be realistic and start small.

I love vests. I have made several quilted versions but I have never made a crocheted one. I think I may have to start with this one. Not sure on the color or the yarn, yet. Perhaps a nubby sage green or a flannel-like grey????

I can get myself all enthusiastic about this project until I sew the difficulty level.
(definition- projects using a variety of techniques, such as basic lace patterns, mid-level shaping and finishing).
I'm pretty sure I'm not quite there yet, or perhaps my sister has great confidence in me!! But when have I really done anything easy. I love a challenge! I'm just going to have to familiarize myself on all the crochet abbreviations and terminology so I can follow the pattern.
Thank you so much, Sis!! I have already started researching other wearable crochet items. With her help, my yarn stash will be growing larger pretty quickly!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Block of the Month Obsession

I just can't resist a good Block of the Month pattern... especially when it's free. What could be better, a new block every month!

It's only the first of January and I had already found two that I just fell in love with!

The first one is from Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs ( She has done other BOM's in the past: 2010's Snowbound (great for fans of snowmen) and 2009's A Tisket A Tasket (just for basket lovers). This year's BOM is named Henrietta Whiskers.

It features a cute little squirrel. I just love Anne's design style and her applique work. This is her third free BOM that I have printed out and I'm sure this year will surely be equally impressive.

The next one is from the The Quilt Show ( Now, I apologize. The Quilt Show is a membership site. You have to pay a fee to access special aeras in the site (such as this BOM) but there is still a lot to see even if your not a member (I love their Daily Blog!).

2011's Ruffled Roses is The Quilt Show's fifth BOM. Sue Garman has been the designer for each one (looovvve her work!). I've printed out their 2008's Bouquets for a New Day and 2009's Stars for a New Day and I even I even attempted to start Stars for a New Day. I have most of the fabric purchased but there is just one fabric that I cannot locate. I didn't start this quilt right away, so a lot of the fabrics that were used in the quilt has vanished by that time.

I'm not sure when I'll start either one of these quilts. I love the start of a new quilt project (the fabric searching, fabric cutting, the piecing...) but I've got to get those UFO's out of the way!!!! For now, I'll just print out the patterns each month and stash them away for later- maybe get some fabric from time to time ;p!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just Testing

I've been testing out some quilting designs for my Square- Or Is It? quilt. I thought it would be pretty easy because its blocks are a simple square shape. But some of them have one or two smaller squares appliqued to them and I had to figure how to work around them.

With a little bit of experimenting, I came up with this:

Just test driving it a while to see how I like it. What do you think?

I found it very easy to trace the image from behind the light fabric, but it was very difficult to see through the dark fabric. Even with a bright light behind it. So devised a template that can be traced from the top of the fabric.

I had used my handy-dandy plastic margarine container lid. Once I had traced the pattern on the lid, I cut out an approx. 1/8th inch slit where the pencil marking was. It is in these slits that I'm going to mark my fabric.

I'll try it out for a while and once the quilt-top id finished, I'll have to mark each and every 225 square blocks!!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

I'm back!

It seems like forever since I've been here!! I mean, it was last year since I last posted! But seriously, it has been just over a week and 2011 is now upon us. It is this time of year that I make my resolutions.... here's just a few...
  • Take better care of myself. I'm sure I'm not the only one - I tend to care for everyone else and I forget about ME. So I'm planning to exercise (yoga) and do some light-weight training 3 times a week. Drink more milk. Take my vitamins like I'm suppose to.
  • In connection to the above resolution, to get myself back into shape so that I may recuperate quickly from my next knee surgery. I'm scared to death and I've been postponing the surgery. I need to get it over with.
  • Be more patient with my boys (and that includes the hubby!). I need to let them act like "brothers" sometimes (but not all the time!) and just let a little chaos happen.
  • Get myself more organized. Not sure exactly how I will start this. Working on it a little everyday, it may be a year long endeavor.
  • And I need to get these quilts finished!
I can't just give them up. I look at them and I can still see the masterpiece that I saw when I first started them. And now that the quilt shop will enable me to used their quilting machine, I'm hoping to quilting process will go a lot more quickly. I've got about 4 to 5 packages of batting ready to go.

My Square- Or Is It? quilt is almost done. Will need to figure out the quilting design to use on the square blocks and I still need to purchase the backing fabric. I'm envisioning a curvy-swirly print.

I'm also trying to get my Round the Block quilt completed. I already know how I want it quilted and I'm wanting to use a check fabric for the back. If I can get it done pretty quickly, I can get it on the quilting machine once they are ready.

Now back to work to better myself and working on these quilts!!