Monday, December 31, 2012

Snowed In

It is the end of December.  It will be the new year soon and I can't believe how fast 2012 had flown by.  And to top the year off, my part of the country was hit by a huge winter storm.  It didn't arrive until the day after Christmas.  We had received about 7 inches of snow and about 4 more inches two days later. Now, it is New Years Eve, the last day of 2012, and we are expecting another 1 to 2 more inches tonight! You could say that I've been snowed in for about a week.

Since I've got all this time, I thought I would be a good opportunity to update all the going-ons around here.  I've got a big adventure underway for the new year, which is the reason for my MIA this month.  With my time being occupied with the preparations of my new adventure, I had started a few posts but never been able to finish them.

Here is the first of about a handful of them: 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
With my boys' basketball schedules, I've been taking my project bag along with me.   That way I have something to do while sitting in during practices or waiting in the parking lot for the boys to be released.  I feel I would be wasting my minutes if I don't have something keeping my hands busy.  I can still watch my son's amazing skills while hand-stitching a few quilt blocks, can't I?
I had an idea to make a few zippered pouches to carry different items in my project bag; one for my scissors, thread, pins, another for the fabric pieces...  I had the jovial notion to make them coordinate with the bag I was using (which I haven't finished yet, but hope to have photos soon).
So I made the trip to the quilt shop.  To explain my reason for wanting to make the pouches, I had brought along a few some projects I had made while at those practices.  I admit, I was wanting to show them off to the shop owner, and to my surprise, she loved them and showed them off to the small class that was taking place there that day.
One of the ladies in the class wanted me to make five of the pincushions and...

 five of my sewing needle-cushions. She was wanting to give them as Christmas gifts for her teen daughters and her mother.

I was so thrilled that they so fond of my work!  And made a little bit of Christmas shopping money for myself as well!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I had better get this published before the new year arrives. 
I wish everyone the best in 2013 and I'm looking forward to what the new year will bring my way!
We will meet again in 2013!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Owl Update

My son had presented his baby owls at school last Wednesday.  The three owls had turned to five.  One for me and him, Ms. Secretary with the additions for Ms. Teacher and Mr. Principal.  I had to put a stop to it when he wanted one for the sixth grade teacher also.  I had to tell him that we would have to give her one once he was in her class.

And I added three more owls to my new owl family.

I have seen a photo in a magazine recently, but I haven't been able to locate it again.  I had to create these three from what I could remember.  I couldn't resist the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" theme.

I'm still thinking of more "owl" themed items I could make, but I'm getting off course.  I need to stay on path and get some of my own projects done.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Saturday Morning Sew-in

We had another Saturday Morning Sew-in this weekend.   In my own way, I participated using any excuse to do some sewing.

Lately, I have been finding owl projects so interesting.  I've been wanting to make an owl pillow or an owl plush softie for an while now.  So I thought a small owl pincushion would be a perfect project for the sew-in.

I had made the first one and had to show it to my son.  Since his school's mascot is the Mighty Owl, he asked if I would make one for his school's secretary.  I agreed, but then he batted his eyes at me and said "Can you make one for me too?"

So now we have three baby owls- one for Ms. Secretary, one for my son, and one for me!

They are so cute, I decided to make more for myself.  I'm using different fabrics and I'm trying to locate something I could use as a nest for them.  The new baby owls will have a little something different with them.

As soon as I'm done, I'll post photos.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Prolonged Sew-in

I'm a little late in posting about... or you can say I couldn't stop... a Saturday Morning Sew-in from last weekend.  This last Saturday, Brye from Sew~Stitch~Create ( hosted a dedicated time to be at our machines.  Although I'm not active with Twitter, I still wanted to be a part of it.

Then, low and behold, we got news that my older son's basketball team was to participate in a tournament that same Saturday morning.  Although my sew-in time at my machine was nix, I could still take something with me to sew at the basketball games.

We started early-early in the morning and endured the one hour drive.  Our team had played very well, which led us to the championship game.  The game would be played in the evening, so we were there all day.  I had a lot accomplished with my hand sewing on my Kaleidoscope quilt. 

But I couldn't stop.  As of yesterday, I had continued with my own personal sew-in.  I had finished the tedious clean-up work at the game Saturday but I had added the border and edge-work.  I thought I'm going to need to see if my ideas will work, might as well try it out.


I think I'll use (try to envision) black as the binding...

Or should I applique the scalloped border to a black background?

What do you think?


At the long day of basketball, one of my son's teammate's little sister was there also, with their family.  I had caught her attention with my sewing and soon she was helping me out.  She was snipping the thread at the of its knot, and she seemed to the interested when I was explaining what I was trying to do with my quilt.
So, to help her keep her busy during those long basketball games that her older brother has to play, I thought I would make her a little bag and fill it up with some sewing things.  Hopefully, she and I will be sewing away together.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Reveal Part 2

Happy Halloween!

 And here is the costume with its accessories.

He has a large snake around his body, a monkey wrapped around his arm, and he is holding his tiger cub.  Now that's what I call an animal lover!

A surprise message came to me from my friendly librarian.  Her library had just received the newest Elm Creek Quilt book, The Giving Quilt, and asked me if I wanted her to reserve it for me.  Well, yes!!  This was on October 29, the day before its release date.  You could imagine how excited I was when I went in the next morning to pick it up and started reading.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Reveal

Although Halloween is only 6 days away, I am having to finish up my son's costume today.  His school is having their "Halloween Walk" tomorrow morning.  The school faculty takes the students, in their costumes, into town to visit local businesses and receive candy.  He will have tons of candy for me to chose from after school.

Every year, I make my kids' costumes.  I'm hoping to create memories for my boys and I love the challenge of constructing a costume from scratch. 

This year, my son came up with a pretty cool idea.  With the help of a favorite movie and his love of animals, he wanted to be a zookeeper.

I think he was inspired by the movie "Zookeeper."  And with his love of tigers, he has expressed to me how he wanted to save them from extinction.  I believe he realizes that a career in zoology may be the route to take.

I had used two patterns to make the safari shirt and pants. 

I had added the epaulettes on the shoulders and pockets to the sleeves.  I had to opt out on the shorts due to the weather tomorrow.  It's gonna be chilly in the morning!

The costume is finished but it is no yet complete.  There will be more added to it.  You'll understand why when post another photo sometime tomorrow. 

And where's my older son's costume, you may ask?  Well, he may be a little too big to be trick-or-treating, but his basketball practices have replaced his free-time.  Darn it!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Extracurricular Sewing

It's that time again!  After making, what I feel like, good progress with my Kaleidoscope quilt, I am needing a break from it.  I still love the quilt and I will continue working on it, after a short break.  I'm planning on it being the next competition quilt.  I just need to have my fingers working on something different - but NOT another quilt.  I don't need to add to that pile!

So I made a bag!  I had used some fabric I had purchased a year ago.  I still hadn't made any plans for it so I thought a bag would be a great excuse to use up some of my stash.

This bag is from a magazine I had purchased a while back.

And here's my version:

I wanted to make a bag that I wanted when I'm carrying around my quilting/sewing project.  It's a small bag, just big enough to carry an applique block or two, a zippered pouch, and a sewing needle case.

You can forget your supplies: thread, scissors, pin caddy, seam ripper, and needle case.


And ta-da! The extra of this tote is that it is reversible!

The only problem:
I don't do pink.

After raising two boys, pink has pretty much been erased from my house.  If I'm not going to use it, I'm guessing that someone I know may be getting a handmade Christmas gift this year!

And now that it is the time of the year when young ones will be masquerading in their Halloween costumes, I'll soon be showing what my son had chosen to dress up as.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Angry Birds Strikes at Home

The Angry Bird  craze has hit our home.  The boys have downloaded the latest game to play and I'm on the verge of decorating their room in the Angry Bird theme.

It was a while ago ago but my Cub Scout son had entered a Angry Bird catamaran boat into the Raingutter Regatta recently.

Once again, he got First place in his den!  Notice his Angry Birds attire?!

And as the quilt geek that I am, I was thinking of how an Angry Birds quilt would look like.  It would be pretty interesting to design one.

It was recently, I had found a Angry Birds quilts on Pinterest.  This quilt could not be cuter and my boys would just flip (in a good way) if I was able to present one for them.  This quilt was made by Dee from  If I hadn't so many thing already on the back burner, I'd be going out and picking fabric for it.  I'm going to have to add it to my "to do-wish list."


Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Quilt Persistance

My Cub Scout son and I had a busy weekend selling Cub Scout popcorn.  You all may have noticed all the scouts in storefronts with their tables full of yummy popcorn around your neighborhoods.

I still found time to squeeze in a little hand-piecing between sales.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Working On My PhD

I usually call my unfinshed quilts "UFO's" (UnFinished Objects)."

I had recently had seen it referred to as "PhD's" (Projects Half Done).   And I love the new name!  Calling it a PhD makes me feel less ashamed about them.  In a way, the more PhD's you have, the prouder I should be.  Right?

I'm still working on my Kaleidoscope quilt.

Anybody got any catchy names for it?  A few names I've come up with:
            Organized Chaos
            Coming Out of the Dark
            Rainbows in the Dark  

I'm sorry to say that SeamUp, the online community for quilters and crafters, had to say "goodbye."  After two years, the developers, Brye, Allison, and Jennifer, had only part-time to devote to a project that needed full-time effort. Although I am sadden by the news, I am looking forward to hearing and seeing more of Brye, Allison, and Jennifer on their blogs and/or podcasts.  I really have missed them!!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Sew In

During the Labor Day weekend, Seamed UP (click here-->, they had a Labor Day Sew In.  Since I don't have a twitter account, I couldn't officially participate.  I still felt the urge to take advantage of the three-day weekend.

I had worked on my Kaleidoscope quilt (I still need to have a catchy name for this one).  It will be completely hand pieced and I had pieced about two more rows.

Having to make new blocks, I had to draft more black triangles... lots and lots of triangles.

To give you an idea of how many triangles will be in this quilt, I'm planning 31 blocks across and 31 blocks down (making it a square quilt).  With 12 pieces in each block, that will make it about 11,500 triangles total!

I'm going to have to set this quilt aside for a little while.  My Cub Scout will be participating in his Pack's Raingutter Regatta next weekend.  He has selected the theme for his boat (his latest obsession) and we will have to decide the paint job.  Oh, the excitement!!!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Irresistible Creations

When I was ordering the fabric for the Sunflower quilt, I had seen these fabrics.  I just loved the colors.

For some reason, they reminded me of muffins.

So, I purchased them.  It was very impulsive. I'm not proud of myself.  But they do make me smile!!

So I thought they would make great pincushions shaped like muffins.  I don't know just how quickly I'll get to start on them.  I still have to make a pattern for them.

I hate it sometimes that I get so many ideas in my head.  If there were just more hours in the day!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back In Black

I'm finally feeling that I'm accomplishing some progress in my UFO's.  No quilts are finished but I feeling I have been moving forward, at least.

I had decided to work on two different UFO's.  You had seen the Sunflower quilt from the last post.  I have appliqued all the sunflower on the body of the quilt.  I have just received the fabrics for the borders and once they are sewn on, I can continue with the appliqueing.

I've got a pile of sunflowers ready.

One good reason not to leave your UFO's unfinished for a long period of time is that it becomes difficult to find the same fabrics you may have used.  I've had to substitute the black fabric in the border for a solid black because I was unable to find it anywhere online or at my local quilts shops.

And you know that I can't work on just one quilt.  I have been avoiding this quilt for a while.  Although I still love this quilt, it is a very complex and tedious one.  But I think it will be all worth it once it is done.  Here's a sneak peak!

I hadn't planned it, but black is predominate in both of these quilts.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Working On The Next Quilt

After setting the hexagon quilt aside, I pulled out my Sunflower quilt to work on.

Once I had gotten to a point in this quilt, I was thinking that it missing something.  Nothing said "wow" to me.  So I had decided to add more sunflowers to it.

Here is a photo from about a years ago

                                                                     Here is the same quilt from today

Do you notice the additional flowers that were added to the cornerstones?  I'll be adding more along the border once they are placed.

I'm having to make about 40 more flowers for the borders.  That make makes 360 petals to be cut out and appliqued.   Whew!!

Jane  <3 p="p">

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Catching Up on the Red and White

Little by little, I'm catching up on my Just Takes 2 BOM quilt.  I can't believe that we're up to block # 59!

I had finished a lot of blocks before we left for our family vacation.  We had  taken the boys to  Kings Island.  My younger son is finally tall enough to ride the BIG roller coasters.  When he was smaller, he would hear about them from Daddy and big brother and get a little upset because he was unable to ride them too.  He surprised all of us.  He was able to ride everything (within his height limit) without any problems.  I believe I have another roller coaster geek.  Me, on the other hand, after not riding on coasters for about 10 years, I've realized that my body doesn't react the same as it had in the past.  I find it very sad because I used to ride a lot of the them before the kids.  I guess I have to slowly work my way back up to that level again!

Now back to quilting...

I'm still a little behind, but I think I'm accomplishing a lot.  Here's a few of them.

I have to reorganize the blocks I have finished and will have more photos soon.

Jane  <3 p="p">

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Quilt Burn Out


That's how I'm feeling about this quilt.

This is not unusual for me.  I love the feeling of starting a new quilt.  About halfway through the process, I start getting very bored doing what seems like the same thing over and over again.  In this case, making the hexagons.  But once that is a finished, I will have to construct about 400 flowers out of them.

I'm going to have to set this quilt away for a while and pull out another UFO.

Before I can set it aside, I had to sew some of the hexagons together.  A sneak a peek of what it would look like once I have it done.

Now, what to decide to work on next?

Jane  <3 p="p">

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Call Me Pinhead

And no, I'm not referring to the character from the Hellraiser movie series.

I was wondering how I was going through my pins so fast.  I always have several big piles of pins (I use magnetic pin caddies) but yet, I really could use a new package of pin right about now.

But I should have known.  I use them for everything!

I use my pins to hold the fabric so that they don't 
shuffle under the presser foot.  I'm a 
stickler for precise seams.

And, of course, I use my pins to hold 
my applique in place.

And I also use pins to hold my seams in place 
once the block or quilt-top 
is completed.

Once the quilt-top is folded to be put away, the pins keep the seams from flopping over to the other direction.

I have a bad habit of setting projects aside and not getting back to them for a longgggg time.  Usually because I'm starting another new project.  This is what I refer to as my "Quilt ADHD."  This disorder is at fault for my large UFO pile.

But I also use my pins to mark the rows and columns for my quilt block placement.  Take for instance my Sunflower quilt.  It consists of thirteen pieced blocks and twelve appliqued.  It was hard to remember where each block belonged.

By strategically placing the pins (pinned onto a small square piece of paper so that it will be easily visible), vertical for rows and horizontal for columns, I know exactly where each block belongs.

For example:  
     One pin across means top row.  
     Two pins down means second column.

A more complicated example:
     Four pins across means four rows down.
     Three pins down means third column.

I've used this method in several quilts.  It is very helpful when I put out a quilt that I may not have seen for a couple of years and know exactly the order the quilts blocks are to be placed. find some order to tackle my UFO pile!!

Jane  <3