More Monkey Business

September 29th, 2015

Yes, this happened.

The back folded over and got stitched with a wrinkle in it. See the dots out of line and a bit of the batting? Sigh. I’ll be ripping that mess out tonight.  Hmmm. Need to work on the tension too. It was fine until I changed the thread. It has been one of those days where things go wrong. Aurifil worked wonderfully, Mettler not so much as it kept breaking.

I thought this quilt was ready for binding. Nope, not with that fold on the back!  I did straight line quilting in the background. Monkeys stitched around edges with blanket stitch, a little heart on their chests, and wiggles in the border.

Friday my order of batting arrived. The next day I got an email from the company saying the batting had been shipped. Well, yes, I guess so, since it was already at my house! A little shopping at a local quilt shop, and I bought the back for the t-shirt quilt, but not the borders. I’ll try again this weekend at another shop. The monkeys are all cut out for the next baby quilt. … I forgot to look for backing! If I don’t make a list, things just don’t happen.  The pumpkin table runner is still waiting for my attention.

So, be truthful, have you ever been happily FMQ along just to turn over the quilt and go ‘arrrgh!’ because you caught a wrinkle in the quilting? That was definitely me today.

I’m linking up to Linky Tuesday and To-Do Tuesday. Go check them out to see what other quilters have been creating this week.

This week I will continue to sandwich and quilt baby quilt tops.


T-Shirts and Paper Piecing

September 22nd, 2015

My little Monkey Business quilt top was featured over at Connie’s Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday Blog! That put a smile on my face! Thank you Connie! I bought fabric to make a second Monkey Business quilt, but have to finish a few other things before starting a new quilt.

One of those other things was the t-shirt quilt. The shirts have been cut apart, fusible interfacing applied, blocks cut down to size, and sewn together. I have calculated out yardage for borders, back, and binding, which means a shopping trip is in my near future!

How do you make a t-shirt quilt you ask?

First step is to prepare the shirts. Cut in half –  up the sides separating front from back, and cut off the sleeves & neckband.

Then, using Pellon fusible interfacing P44F, fuse the interfacing to the inside of the t-shirt. Cut Pellon a bit larger than desired finish block size to give wiggle room for squaring up the motif on the t-shirt.

To fuse the Pellon to the shirts, I use a hot dry iron and a wet scrap of muslin large enough to cover the t-shirt. On my ironing board, I layer a teflon craft sheet, t-shirt face down, the Pellon glue side down on shirt, top with the wet muslin. Then press with the hot iron to adhere the Pellon to the shirt. The Pellon gives stability to the knit t-shirt fabric making it easier to sew seams. A walking foot or dual feed foot help with piecing.

Next, trim the shirt down to the desired size.

My customer had predetermined the layout she wanted. We talked about settings and she liked the idea of the shirts sewn right next to each other without any sashing or piecing. I’m used to a little creative play with piecing and sashing, but I think this layout is looking nice. The plan for this quilt is for t-shirts to cover the top of a queen size mattress with borders draping over the sides of the mattress.

My next project was the paper pieced blocks from Christa Quilts. I played with several layouts and decided on a setting that I think is very modern. The quilt is going to a little girl who loves pink. I have a cute pink bird print by Valori Wells “Mamma Birds” for the back, the binding will be a bright pink.

I ordered a bolt of white Warm N Natural batting, when it arrives, the monkey quilt and paper pieced quilt will be first up for some free motion and walking foot quilting.

I’m wondering, have you ever made a t-shirt quilt? What about paper piecing? Do you have a favorite hint for either, making t-shrit quilts or paper piecing? I’d love to hear!

I’m linking to Linky Tuesday, go check Connie’s linky party where over 40 some crafters link up. It’s fun to see what other quilters and crafters are working on week to week. I’m also linking up to To-Do Tuesday with Christine of Stitch All The Things. The purpose of her linky party is motivation! List what you plan on working on Tuesday to Tuesday, then the next week weigh in on how well you accomplished your list! I like that I have a list to refer back to each week. And again, it is fun to see everyones creativity.

This week’s To-Do list:  Buy fabrics for borders, back, & binding for t-shirt quilt.  Sandwich baby quilts if batting arrives. Work on a pumpkin table runner. Then I can start the next monkey quilt!



Progress in the Sewing Room

September 15th, 2015

Progress! On a few WIP (works in progress), first up is this adorable Monkey quilt.

Reminds me of the toy from my childhood, A Barrel of Monkeys. I just needed to appliqué the monkeys in place, which I did this past week. And it is ready to sandwich and quilt. The pattern is modified from Monkey Business by Blue Meadow Designs.

Next top finished is the Tree Fern Sashiko Kit, all hand stitched. Now I have to decide if I will frame or finish as a quilted wall hanging. I’m pleased with how it turned out as it is my first Sashiko stitched project.

Way back in May – July, Christa of Christa Quilts hosted a paper pieced quilt along. I finally got around to working on the blocks. I like how they are coming together, but need to run to the local quilt shop for more pinks.

And of course I would add a new project when I still have a long list of WIP already underway! I got a call from gal wanting a Harley Davidson T-shirt quilt. Here are the shirts, all in order as she would like them in the quilt. No sashing, but borders will be added.

I’m linking up to Linky Tuesday and To-Do Tuesday.

My List for this week is: sandwich  baby quilt, buy more pinks and keep paper piecing, start cutting apart t-shirts.


Baby Girl Quilt

September 8th, 2015

Finally, a finish! I had intended this to be a Christmas gift last year.

That didn’t happen, and I can’t even remember why. But this summer I finished the top and sent it to a friend to quilt. I like how she did swirls in the swirly fabric, and back & forth lines on the black background, with no quilting in the gray sashing. Very modern. I did a Flat Felled Binding. And see that little teal strip at the binding? I randomly added 5 of those along the edge for a little more pop of color. And I wrote little notes to my daughter on the back side of the teal strips. I’m calling them ‘label strips’ as I added ‘date’ and ‘made by’ on one of them.

Daughter and I shopped for the backing fabric. We found that cool print at Crimson Tate. Daughter and I love how the berries on the back coordinate with the little set stones on the front. And then I didn’t have enough fabric for the back, so used the rest of the set stone fabric on the back, and it just adds to the whole modern look of the quilt. Oh, and the fabric used for the gray sashing and binding is a linen from Crimson Tate. The pattern is an adapted Sew Kind of Wonderful design Two-Step Topper. I enlarged it from 30″ x 30″ to twin size and broke up the block by adding the white sashing and teal set stones.

Can you tell that Daughter is super happy with her quilt!? I’m happy that she is happy!

The Sashiko Tree Fern is getting there.

I’m happy with how it is coming along.

I’m linking to Linky Tuesday, To-Do Tuesday, UFO Busting.

My list this week is machine quilt several baby quilts. I need to count how many I have made, find backs, sandwich and get my machine set up for some Walking Foot quilting. And finish the Sashiko Tree Fern!

Summer 2015, part 2

September 1st, 2015

Quilt Shops! in Hawaii!

While vacationing for 2 weeks on Oahu and The Big Island, I visited 6 quilt shops. My favorite were Quilt Passions in Kailua-Kona and Kilauea Kreations II in Hilo.  Above are the Row by Row Experience 2015 Kits I bought from my 2 favorite shops.

There are so many lovely flowers in Hawaii! Plumeria was blooming in many different colors! I was happy to find a local quilt designer had created many lovely appliqué and Sashiko stitched patterns inspired by the many plants found on the Hawaiian Islands. I bought the Plumeria Kit. 

And also bought the Tree Fern Sashiko Panel. The Tree Fern was one of my husband’s favorite plants. Once finished, I plan on giving this to him to hang in his office at work.

Another kit I could not resist, was the Tropical Snowball in Batiks from Quilt Passions. I do love circle quilts!

More fun! Another local artist with hand dyed fabric and a traditional Hawaiian Appliqué. This is just pillow size, so I figure I’ll give it a whirl. The fabric in the background was designed by Quilt Passions and depicts common scenes on the Big Island.

Of course I had to pick up a few goodies to share with my quilting friends! Thursday we are having a quilting day at my house, and I’m eager to see if my friends like what I have purchased for them!

These lovelies came from my Daughter-in-law and her mother as they traveled through Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. They stopped at 12 shops to pick up Row by Row Experience Patterns and also bought some Fat Quarters for me! How sweet!

Once home from Hawaii, I had a few days before heading to the hospital for a planned surgery. While recovering, I read lots of library books including Threads of Change and Threads of Home by Jodi Barrows. Plus a week ago, I got to go to a Jodi Barrows lecture and trunk show. And finally back to sewing, I jumped right in and tried my hand at Jodi’s Square in a Square method of block construction making a Liz’s Gift block. Yep, I jumped right in with an advanced block. I need to back up to the basic units to get all those measurements and points right!

I’m linking up to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.

My To-Do list for this week is

1. finish the hand stitching on Tree Fern

2. enjoy Thursday with my quilting friends

3. continue healing from surgery


Summer 2015, part 1

September 1st, 2015

Part of July and August my husband and I traveled to Oahu Hawaii. It was a great trip. We stayed with my sister and brother-in-law. And were also treated to a trip by them to the Big Island.

This is Lanikai Beach, Kailua with the Mokes behind us. Look at the turquoise water! So lovely!
Hubs being silly. Ready for some sight seeing!
My sister, Lauren, and I on her lanai. Mountains in the background, turn to the right and you could see Kailua Bay just one block away!
Fresh papayas for breakfast from my sister’s tree!
One of my favorite days was when we found a beach along the North Shore where sea turtles were feeding on the algae. We counted 30 Honu!
The Big Island! Mauna Kea Sunset. It was in the 40s on top of the mountain. Brrr, after a day in the upper 80s along the shore line.
Akaka Falls.
Carl Smith Park, Hilo. We needed another day to have time to swim in the tide pools.
The volcano at night, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The reason for the trip to the Big Island was for the HCRA State Canoe Championship 2015. My sister paddled in the Mixed Race, 3 men 3 women.
The team (my sister on the right), coach in light blue in back.
And yes! I did make it to several quit shops! I bought two Row by Row Experience 2015 kits from Kilauea Kreations II in Hilo and from Quilt Passions in Kailua Kona. I visited several other shops: Fabric Impressions in Hilo, Kilauea Kreations in Volcano, and Fabric & Quilting Delights in Kailua Kona. I didn’t make it to Topstitch in Kampala or H. Kimura, Inc. in Kealakekua.  On Oahu, I only fit in one quilt shop visit to Calico Cat in Honolulu. So many more quilt shops and islands to visit! Maybe we will make it back one fine day!
continued in Summer 2015, part 2

Cast Iron Cooking

July 14th, 2015

This past week I stumbled across a Cast Iron Cooking Facebook group. I’ve been hanging out there a bit reading recipes which inspired me to pull out my long neglected cast iron and give a few of the recipes a try. Up to this point, I really only used the 10″ skillet and scone pan for cornbread. I dusted off the dutch oven & roasted up a rather tasty chicken on a bed of herbed rice. And that scone pan? Actually used it for blueberry scones that turned out wonderful! Family raved!

I forgot to take a picture of the scones until after my son and I had each eaten one of them! Yummy!

Thursday, a few friends are coming over for a sewing day. I’ll be making another batch of the scones to share. Can’t wait!

I’ve not gotten to any quilting this past week, but Thursday I plan to make progress on my Paradiso paper pieced blocks. I did play around with a shoulder bag design using a t-shirt and yardage. Not finished yet, so photos next time!

This coming week I want to: Finish up the shoulder bag. Work on some Paradiso blocks. Pack for a trip hubs and I will be taking once his summer session ends later next week.

Are any of you Cast Iron Cooks? Do you have a favorite piece or recipe? Hope you have a good week!

A Little Bit of Garment Sewing and Linky Parties!

July 7th, 2015

First up, the cutie grand baby is just about crawling! She is adorable, if I say so myself! She and her parents came for a visit on the 4th of July, Independence Day here in the USA.

You think I should try and get that toy?


Got it!

I did a little garment sewing this week. I hemmed a bridesmaid dress for my daughter. Hope she likes it. And I took apart a favorite t-shirt to use as a pattern to make a new one for myself. It is ok, considering I didn’t have pattern instructions to follow. I did a lot of guessing and practicing on fabric scraps.

With both of these projects complete, I think I’ll stay away from knits for a while and stick to woven cottons! Something like a little paper piecing with Kate Spain’s Paradiso fabric line.

How about you? Do you like garment sewing?

This week I hope to continue working on the Paradiso quilt. Plus meeting a customer who wants some hobo bags made out of some clothing that is sentimental to her. I spent time today looking for hobo bag patterns and have 3 to show her later this week when we meet up.

I’m linking to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.

News Flash! I just went over to Connie’s to grab the link to her Linky Tuesday and am pleasantly surprised that she has shared my Mr. Juggler from last week’s link up! Thank you Connie! I am honored!


UFO Busting Link Up

July 4th, 2015

Oh where has this year gone!? Such good intentions, and not much progress on my personal quilts. Here is hoping for a better quarter this time around. I’m actually going to make a list. I’ve continued to clean out the sewing space and in doing so I’ve found some projects I must get cracking on. Some I have avoided, and some I have forgotten.

Here is my new idea: hang WIP and UFOs on hangers in my new sewing space so I can actually see them. That way, I’ll see them instead of them getting buried under each other. Seeing them will motivate me to complete them, right? That is that plan, anyway!

# Projects In Process: 8 – from a quick look around the room. Plus 6 baby quilts that are actually now toddler quilts – yes, I’m that far behind. They have been hiding in my old sewing room. And a pile of pillowcases (18?) completed, laundered but need pressing and turned into the charity. And, 3 charity quilts taunting me all sandwiched in need of quilting and binding. 

# Projects Completed: 1 top and back complete and ready to send to quilter

# New projects started: sigh, why do I start new projects before finishing old? 3

# UFOs trashed: 0 Should I reconsider?

# projects in process June 30: Let’s say 17

Linking to UFO Busting with Vicki Welsh

“J” is for Juggler, part 2

June 30th, 2015

Here is my Mr. Juggler all stitched up.

I’m having just a bit of an issue with my new Janome for free motion quilting. My stitches are a bit jerky. You can see how they are out of whack on the back of this piece:

I’ve got to fiddle with the machine’s tension, maybe get a Supreme Slider, and practice! Even so, I do love Mr. Juggler. He is an illustration by Pam Holland used in the workshop I took from her June 21st at Cotton Corner in Shipshewanna, IN. He might be turning in to a pillow, not sure yet. I’m thinking prairie points and pompoms would suit him.

Last week’s quilt show in Shipshewanna was a blast! What a fun get away with several friends!

This week I have to get to that bridesmaid dress and hem for my daughter. That, and playing with some new purchases from the quilt show is all I’m putting on my To-Do Tuesday list.

I’m linking to To-Do Tuesday and Linky Tuesday.