Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lighthouse Baby Quilt WIP

Making progress this week! 

I have been trimmy-trim-trimming the pieces for my Lighthouse baby quilt (started about a year ago using the Quilt-Along over at Fresh Lemons Quilts). 

This is my first paper-pieced project. Faith's directions on the blog are super clear and easy to follow - perfect for a beginner. Things should move quickly now all the trimming is done. :) 

However, I also just finished watching Elizabeth Dackson's class on Craftsy, Start Foundation Paper Piecing, and I am SUPER excited to try more!

Just gotta finish this...and a few *ahem* other...projects first. 

Linking up with Lee

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Stash #8

As I mentioned on my giveaway post, I won something I couple weeks ago from Rachel at P.S. I Quilt

I was SO excited!!! I'd not won anything from any of the online giveaways previously,and it was a pretty great prize - some Cotton + Steel fqs from the Fat Quarter Shop. Yay!

I wasn't sure which color bundle I was receiving, so that was a fun surprise. Blue is my favorite color, and I love navy best of all. I already own close to 2 yards of the navy XOXO fabric and continue to find projects for which it is perfect. Needless to say, this little bundle will be put to good use rather quickly :) 

Linking up with Molli

Saturday, December 13, 2014

SMS Giveaway Winner

And the winner is....

Congratulations, Margaret!! I sent you an E-mail. 

Thanks everyone for entering! There are so many of you who are winners, I was very surprised. You are lucky, indeed. Those of you who said you haven't won, I hope this weekend proves you wrong. :) 

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8th Giveaway Day!!

Who doesn't love a good giveaway?! 

I have to admit, I have entered a lot of these over the past few years and have only won once (I'll share what I won next week for Sunday Stash). I was feeling pretty down about that, until I realized I've been a no-reply blogger all this time. Whoops! 

Please - before entering any giveaways this week, check your status (great tutorial here) or make sure to leave your E-mail address in the comment. 

Here's what I'm offering today: 

One lucky reader will win these 2 half-yard cuts from Cotton + Steel's Mustang collection. 

To enter, just leave a comment below and tell me: Have you ever won anything from an online giveaway? What's the best thing you've won?

**Giveaway is now closed.**

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Stash #7

I have been dying to make a christmas quilt for a couple months now. 

**Yes...I realize we are now less than 3 weeks away from Christmas, and there is NO WAY I'm getting this project finished by then. Not with work and my sister's wedding in just under 2 weeks.** 

This same thing happened to me last year, when I decided I need to be surrounded by Christmas spirit at the very last possible second. It's a problem...

Anyway...I have been trolling some of my favorite fabric haunts for a while, and just haven't found the right thing. The color schemes of current collections are either too bright (I'm looking at you Solstice and Folk Art Holiday) or too dark/traditional for what I have in mind.

Honestly, I don't really have the budget for new fabric right now I started sifting through my stash. 

Look what I found!

HOW did I not realize that April Showers (plus some stash additions) is PERFECT for a Christmas quilt?!! Other than background fabric, this quilt will come entirely from my stash! You gotta know, the hubby practically did a back flip when I told him. 

I was also gifted an early Christmas present last week - a new smartphone - which finally brings me into this century. Yes!! 

I signed up for an Instagram account right away (I have felt super left out, people), and quickly found an informal quilt along scheduled to start in January - #norwayquiltalong. Since Norway is the pattern I was planning on using for this fabric pull anyway, it feels like fate that I join. :) 

Linking up with Molli

P.S. Come back tomorrow for a chance to win some Cotton+Steel during the Giveaway Day event at Sew Mama Sew

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Star Light Star Bright WIP

Are you recovered from your tryptophan-induced Thanksgiving coma yet? I'm still half asleep as I write this...

My Star Light Star Bright quilt is moving right along! I finished the blocks yesterday! Yay! 

I just need to add sashing, and the top will be done! 

It's kind of a tie between this last block, and the second one above for my favorites (the one that is mostly grey). I am LOVING the fussy-cut ships. I hope the intended recipient finds them to be just as charming as I do. 

Linking up with Lee

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Stash #6

I picked up bundle of low-volume, texty goodness from Pink Castle Fabrics a while back. They have a similar bundle still available here

Aren't these great?! I am totally dying over quilts made using low-volume black/white or grey/white fabrics as background. I am swooning over this X and + quilt I found over at Bijou Lovely the other day while web-surfing. From the texty binding to the velveteen backing...omg...I heart every thing about that quilt. I may need to make something similar in the near future. :) 

Linking up with Molli. 

Molli Sparkles

Friday, November 21, 2014

Star Light Star Bright Block Centers

I spent all week stitching away every spare second I had (almost), and I finished the block centers for my Star Light Star Bright quilt-a-long quilt!! 


Yes, I know I'm way behind. I certainly didn't get it finished when the quilt-a-long was actually happening. This quilt was, in fact, intended as a present for a friend who had a baby...months and months ago. Whoops!! 

However, the fact that I am making some visible progress has me super excited! 

I got my fabrics all cut out a couple weeks ago. And finished stitching up all of the block centers yesterday before work. Hurray!

*Sorry about the lighting on these later gets dark so early now!*

I'm very happy with these blocks. Are they perfect? No. But it's my first real attempt at precision piecing and I'm learning lots! Not too shabby now, and I can only get better with practice, right?! 

I also discovered, rather quickly, that this pattern is fairly directional-fabric-friendly. I didn't realize I had picked ALL directional fabrics until I started cutting. I spent a decent amount of time thinking about things (read...turning fabric squares around and around) before sewing up my half-square triangles, but I think it paid off!! 

This quilt is going to be SO cute!!! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Last 8 Months...

So...remember that time I took an eight-month break from the blog...?

Sorry about that. 

Honestly, I needed it. Kinda a lot. 

I was working hard on trying to make this blog would be something it's not, and it was stressing me out. I wasn't enjoying sewing, I was just worrying about it. I wasn't working at my own pace, but trying to match the pace of others. Others who stay at home or do this for a living. 

I decided I just really needed some time. Time to focus on work, on my life, on my husband, and NOT worry one bit about the blog, or sewing at all, for that matter. Time to purposefully NOT sew, and see if I could be okay (which has a lot to do with the reason I started sewing, and is something I hope to have the guts to share with you some day...)

So what HAVE I been up to? Well, besides putting some time into projects at work...

Brian and I traveled to San Francisco for a whole week. Our first major vacation in a couple years, and it was so worth it. It was our first time there, so we did a ton of sight seeing. 

What my happens to my hair in humidity...

Yeah...let's not talk about that...


I have to say...I have never met such a traveler-friendly or more photographic city in my life. It was lovely, and I can't wait to go back someday. 

As far as sewing goes...the last month or so, I've picked it back up. :) 

Now, I sew when I have time. I work on things at my pace. I continue to buy and swoon over many lovely fabrics, and daydream about the days when it will be stitched up into something super awesome. I also do my best not to stress about my ever-growing number of WIPs. 

Honestly, I'm happier working this way. I guess that makes me the epitome of the currently popular "slow-sewing" movement. 

And I'm okay with that. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sunday Stash #5

I broke a promise to myself and went fabric shopping while I was in Boise. 

Don't tell the hubby...but I found some great stuff! 

I visited a little shop on Chinden Road called Quilt Expressions. I wasn't a quilter when I lived there, so it was kind of a fun new find. They have a ton of stuff. If you're ever in town - I recommend stopping by. 

They had a couple people quilting on long-arm machines on one side of the building while I was there. I stopped to admire in awe for a while, before I remembered there were shelves upon shelves of glorious fabric that needed some attention. 

They had some individual fat quarters arranged by color. I picked a few of my favorites in blue, orange, and gray.  

Michael Miller - Stitch Square 
Art Gallery - Floral Elements
Happy Go Lucky - Penny Dot
Legacy - Geneology 

Scrumptious - Bias Stripe
- Something Moda - not sure what...
Lotta Jansdotter - Moira

Happy Go Lucky - Skip
Squared Elements - Gray
- No selvedge so I'm really not sure...
Urban Mod - Pointelle 

There were also a couple lovely bins of discounted fabric (likely bolt ends). Each of these is between 1 and 1.5 yrds. Not sure what I'll do with these yet, but they were just so pretty! (If you have any good ideas, feel free to speak up!) 

Robert Kaufman - Playday - Screen Print
Mama Said Sew - Text Words Dictionary
Henry Glass - Deck the Halls dot
Scrumptious Dot - Aqua
Dear Stella - Sari

And guess what? I ran into an old acquaintance while I was there - my sophomore English teacher from high school. And she remembered my name. Seriously?! I recognized her too, but couldn't remember how. Sophomore year was over 10 years ago...amazing!! I am terrible with names, so I really admire that talent in others. 

I'd say the shopping trip was a success! Pretty new fabric and ran into an old friend. :)  

I hope, before long, to have enough variety in my stash that it will be workable, and then maybe get up the courage to join a quilting bee. Any suggestions for a relatively new quilter? I've looked into a couple, but I'm open to your ideas. 

Linking up with Molli Sparkles

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yellow Brick Road Finish!

Hey guys! Did you miss me? I missed you!! 

I spent a week in Idaho visiting my mom. It was lovely to be just the two of us girls (well the four of us if you count the dogs). I really enjoyed it. Until I caught the nasty head cold that's been going around. Ugh. That took me out of commission for a while. 

(I think the dogs were concerned...)

But now I'm back, and guess what?!

Yellow Brick Road is officially finished!!!

I LOVE this quilt. It was started last October during a quilting class, which taught me a lot. I feel like - from beginning to end - this quilt is more technically sound than my previous two. I also found the process to be more enjoyable and less frustrating than the others. I seriously learned so much! 

I have to admit, when my instructor suggested I use minky instead of cotton as backing...I was terrified. I had never sewn with minky. I imagined it to be super slippery, and worried it might get stuck in the feed dogs. 

All my worry was for naught. It was so much easier than I had imagined. 

Seriously. If I can do it, anyone can. 

I did some research first, of course.'s blog has some very helpful pointers here. Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew has some tips here as well. As suggested by Allison, I decided to go with a double-sided minky, purchased here during a sale. 

Overall, I think the combination of basting spray, pins, and a walking foot helped a lot. I did have a couple spots where the quilt top felt a bit baggy and bunched while quilting, resulting in some waviness and occasionally small pleats. Also, I found the minky to be a fair amount heavier than quilting cotton, and had to fight more drag while quilting.

I left the batting out of this project, to help with the weight, which I think was good. And the double-sided minky provides a decent amount of "fluff." This quilt doesn't feel too thin or too light, by any means. 

I had some uneven stitches (partially due to the heaviness of the quilt with the minky, and partially due to my malfunctioning walking foot). They were hardly noticeable, so I left them. The small amounts of waviness and pleating that occurred during quilting, has mostly disappeared in the crinkle of the cotton after washing.  

I am really subscribing to the idea that every project is about learning to quilt than learning to use my seam ripper. This quilt is likely full of beginner mistakes, BUT I have decided that, in general, small and non-fatal mistakes stay put. 

So, all in all - I'm really very happy with this quilt! It doesn't hurt that, in a couple months, I'll be mailing it to my sister in North Carolina for her birthday (shh...don't tell her it's a secret...). 

It almost feels like sending her this handmade quilt is the perfect way of sending her a long-distance hug. 

I think Sadie wanted a handmade hug too. 

Or maybe she just wanted to play...

Okay - gotta go! If I don't throw that ball for her soon, she's going to get pretty bossy! 

Quilt stats:
size: 60" x 80"
pattern: Yellow Brick Road
fabric: Modern Meadow and Quilter's Linen in Chartreuse 
backing: double sided minky in navy
quilting: me
binding: Herringbone in Pond 

Linking up to: Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFFLink-A-Finish Friday, and A Picture...A Moment