Weight Loss through Quilting!

Or, at least offset some of the weight I’m likely to gain by sitting at a machine for too long!

I gathered up my Yo Yo supplies and found a neat stackable set of bins that was perfect.  I can fit my full size scissors and lay my charm squares flat inside.  Got this during Joann’s sale last week at almost no cost given the discount and coupons I had for the sale!

Stacker Trays

So, my weight loss tip is to pack a lunch and eat at my desk instead of going out for fast food or really anything that would be obtained in a restaurant.  Come to think of it … Quilting helps me save MONEY too!!  You can NOT beat that!

Here’s my progress on the Yo Yos in Tapestry that I’m making for the Yoyoville quilt (pattern by Bunny Hill Designs).

Yo Yo Progress 10-10-2012

I love these colors!!  And finally, a shot of the trays all stacked and snapped together:

Cute, huh?  Will be perfect for any hexagon project I may want to tackle later, after the Yo Yos are done.

Also wanted to show a few gratuitous pictures of the kids from last weekend when we went to a combination pumpkin patch, petting farm, etc… ranch here in Houston (Halter, Inc.).  They are open each weekend during October.  They also have a playground area for kids, haunted trail, pony rides, pony cart rides, face painting available and sell home made goods along with snacks, drinks and hot dogs/hamburgers.

Oliver with Goat

Nora with Goat

You can really tell better from this picture in the pumpkin patch that is was quite warm on this Saturday (probably in the upper 90s).  And of course we were there in the middle of the afternoon.  Luckily, fall weater rolled through the next day and it has been really beautiful lately!

Pumpkin Patch

Also received my backing fabric yesterday for my MIL Stars and Stripes quilt.  It will be just right!  But, I think I need to finish the baby quilt I made for a friend, since the baby is now two months old!  How fast time flies when you have to work, cook, clean, bathe, take care of family, maybe sleep, commute, eat, ….

 Happy Quilting!


A late Friday finish and other WIP

Lovely weekend, much better weather today than Saturday.  Perfect weather actually – about to take the kids for a walk in the neighborhood.  We enjoyed a pumpkin patch yesterday, along with a hay ride, chicken wire maze, pony ride, pony cart rides, petting animals and picking out some pumpkins.

Here’s my late Friday night finish, hence the poor photograph quality…

MIL Stars and Stripes Flimsy Finish!

I have located the perfect backing fabric, but it won’t arrive for a couple more days – so I can move on to something else!  Yippee!

I persisted on my Away From Home Block 1 and actually completed one of the two women applique figures.  It was tedious, I won’t lie.  I’m looking forward to the pieced blocks which will start on Week 4.  I just got Week 2 yesterday, which are the two birds and scrolly looking heart figure above the factory.  Week 3 will be the two trees…

Here’s my personal model, Nora, showing my progress on Block 1.

Nora holding Block 1 WIP

And a little closer image…

Hope you have a great week… I’ll link up to BOM Rehab tomorrow!  See you there!


Happy October and Welcome Cooler Weather!

Beautiful day to start off October.  I left the house this morning and the car was showing 61 degrees outside.  Perfect!

Two updates … first, I cut out the pieces I needed for the corner units of the MIL Stars and Stripes quilt.  All that is left is to assemble them and add in the two borders.

Stars and Stripes Corner Units Cut Out

Second, I made a LOT of progress on my Away From Home BOM.  This is all part of Block 1.  I feel so good about it, I’m going to link up to Sinta’s BOM Rehab for today and show it off.  I realized that I am very happy with my decision to machine applique instead of needle turn these pieces.  I may do needle turn on the women figures due to their complexity, but who knows?  I really like how this turned out.

Away From Home Block 1 Applique WIP

Here’s a closeup of the different pieces and you can see where I am sewing just inside the edge of the fabric.  I think this is acceptable – yes?  It should hold fine in a wash – yes?

Block 1 Machine Applique Closeup

So, here’s the plan now.  I’m taking a break from this particular block and going to open up my Mill Girls BOM for which I have blocks 1 and 2 already.  These are pieced blocks, so I hope they go quickly.  I have been waiting a long time to start this quilt.  I think it will be beautiful!

Mill Girls Quilt by Nancy Rink

Happy quilting this week!


Friday Progress Report

 I got Stewart to hold up my MIL quilt to show the center portion that is now completed.  I will probably go ahead and add the borders and try to quilt it myself before Christmas, since her birthday is this weekend and there’s no way it will happen before our next trip to see her.

MIL Stars and Stripes – Center Portion

What do you think?  It will look better with the borders.  Right now, it looks a little too much like a flag for me.

Finished up my Tapestry yo yo charm pack so I now have 38 made for the Yoyoville quilt.  I didn’t use the two cream colored squares, because that will likely be my background fabric for the quilt.

Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and face my fear of applique and get moving on my Away From Home BOM…  This is still part of Block 1.  I used the starch and freezer paper method as described in Joanna’s books and newsletters.  It is pretty easy to do, so I don’t know why I can’t remember that.  Here are some snap shots of my factory roof and chimneys.  I had collected little vintage eye bath cups for my Dad (he’s an Optometrist) and managed to keep one for myself and it turns out it is PERFECT for holding my spray starch for this method.

Starch Applique Tools with Rooftop Section done

Roof with Freezer Paper backing and pressed

Rooftop with Paper Removed

Block 1 Applique Template Layout Diagram

Fabric Only layout on Diagram

I can do this!  Of course, these are all very straight and clear cut.  I’ll do the moon and sun next and then have to tackle those two women figures with all the itty bitty pieces.  But no need to worry about it now.  Have a wonderful weekend!Jennifer

Well, hell-yo there!

Sorry, pretty corny I know.  Not a long post right now…  I’m at work but wanted to share a picture of my growing yo yo collection.  I have around 29 made so far out of my first charm pack of Tapestry.  I’ll be cutting up my layer cake next to get the rest of them started.  I have two nagging concerns with this process… the seamingly wastefullness of the scraps that I have to cut off to make the circle from the 5″ square and the thread that isn’t quite long enough to make it around the circle again.  I’m saving the scraps for the possible use in the applique portion of the quilt (little houses on the outside border), but I haven’t decided to be frugal enough to save the thread for other projects.  Maybe I should.  I wonder if others would save series of 12″ long thread pieces…

Anyway – here is the snap of my little quilt tin with my finished yo yos and the remaining charm pack and Clover Large Yo Yo tool.

Yo Yo ‘Kit To Go’

And here is my favorite yo yo so far.  The Tapestry fabric collection is so beautiful.  I’m having a hard time deciding which fabric to use for backing because I really love looking at so many of them!  Guess I’ll just have to make a lot of quilts with the fabric so I can get them all in…

Favorite Yo Yo – Tapestry

I did finish the center portion of my MIL stars and stripes quilt.  Now I’m deciding whether to try and quilt it in sections (as described by Marti Michell in her book, Machine Quilting in Sections) or adding on the borders and doing it traditionally.  Not sure yet.  Also still thinking about the quilt design to use on it.  Whether to quilt in the negative space or quilt on the ‘flag’ sections.  I’ll post again with the picture tomorrow and see if I get any feedback.

Have a wonderful day – it’s almost Friday!!


BOM Rehab – Early Start

Linking up to Sinta’s at Pink Pincushion for her weekly BOM Rehab.  I completed Block 11 of the Birdie Stitches group by Little Miss Shabby.  That only leaves two blocks.  December and a replacement for June with a unique block that may or may not feature Hello Kitty eating playing with a little Birdie.

Birdie Stitches Block 11

I’ll have the MIL stars and stripes blocks connected into rows by tonight, so I’ll post tomorrow with an update on that and a picture of my growing yo yo collection in Tapestry.

See you then and thanks for stopping by,


Manic mode this week

I think the changing seasons is getting me into a manic hyper drive mode.  I have lots of projects I want to start and finish and I find that I enjoy having several going at the same time on my tables.  Variety is always good and I can easily pick up something and get a few minutes done until ‘they’ discover I’m gone from their immediate vicinity.  “They” being my 4 and 5 year olds.

So – what’s new?  Well,… thanks to Sinta and her blog post from yesterday … I went on a hunt for a pattern called Yoyoville by Bunny Hill Designs.  Sinta is making hers from Whimsy fabric (Fig Tree).  I love the picture in the photo on the pattern (made with Simple Abundance by Bonnie & Camille)

… but I thought it would look great in Tapestry!  So … I have never made a yoyo before and the pattern strongly suggests that you get the Clover large yoyo tool.  So, with a coupon and a few dollars in hand, I picked one up on the way home yesterday from Jo Ann’s fabric store.  My only reservation is that I hate to see that extra corner fabric fall away and know I can’t really use it.  But the tool is perfect for charm packs, which I happen to have one of Tapestry already.  I’ll probaby bring in some Mill House and Patiesserie to make it extra scrappy.  First I’ll see if I can get all of these made before I buy the pattern and coordinating fabric (although I’m sure I can find some already in my house).  These little gems shrink down to 1 3/4″ in diameter when you are done.  The pattern calls for about 120 of them.

While I was at Jo Ann’s, I thought – … I wonder if I can crochet?  There is a Fusion Crochet thing happening on some blogs and I thought that it would be interesting to try one or two blocks to see how I like it.  I figured that it would be easy to do, but I haven’t learned that craft before.  I had a crochet needle, just needed some yarn, … and a book.  You can see my attempt to practice the single crochet and slip stitch on my little sample in the picture below.

I’m not sure I’m ready to start this yet.  I may have to do something like 3×3 charm blocks and join those larger ones together with crochet instead of the individual 5″ blocks.  To be determined…

Finally, a progress report on my Away From Home BOM, using Mill Girls fabric.  Still on the first block and finally got the main factory building done.  It was reverse applique to make the fabric appear like windows in the building.  That took me a VERY long time I think, compared to traditional piecing.  I had not really tried needle turn applique before and I’ll probably try converting to machine applique before I’m done with this block.  But – I’m proud of my results so far and ready to finish the factory building and do the sun and moon shape.

So – there you have it for this week.  Working on Birdie Stitches #11 (November/Thanksgiving theme) and worked a little more on the MIL stars and stripes quilt.  Really looking forward to a weekend at home with no duties or places to go.  Wish everyone a wonderful Thursday!


Busy, busy, busy!

Lots of WIP and more started since last post.  I don’t know what I’m thinking … but I hope I’ll have this breakthrough moment when, after working a little bit on all of my projects each week, I’ll have several completed at once!

Here’s a look at what’s on my work surfaces right now:


1)  10 Little Things Baby Quilt – ready to pin baste and FMQ (free motion quilt)


2)  Birdie Stitches Quilt – As of today, I have 9 blocks completed and one in progress.  I haven’t decided on the setting for this quilt yet.Image

3)  Forget Me Not Sew Along (hosted by Pam Buda).  This is where I am today.  We have the instructions for two more blocks as of last Friday, but I haven’t gotten to them yet.  Goal is to get those done before this Friday, when the last two block instructions will be provided.  I can do this!


4)  The ever present quilt for Nora.  I finished putting on the inner border, but I need to cut out and piece the last border and get it attached.  Then it will be ready for quilting!


5)  Away From Home BOM – just starting this in September.  The first few blocks will be all applique, which is new for me.  Going very slowly to try and make it look as good as possible.  So far, only half way through the reverse applique step of the mill factory rectangle with all the windows.


6)  Other works in process… lots going on in this picture:

My MIL quilt – Stars and Stripes.  Almost done with the inner blocks and will piece them together, then just a couple of borders with four cornerstone star blocks.  I would say it has gone really fast, but I don’t sit down long enough at one time and work on it to get it done.  Hoping it might be possible to do it by the end of the month before we visit again.

The October Birdie Stitch block is shown here in process.

The latest Forget Me Not instructions are printed out and ready for cutting the fabric.

My nano needs to be charged and connected to speakers again that went missing (wonder who?)…

Coupon that came in the mail from Jo Ann’s Fabric.  I’m sure I’ll have a use for it soon.  Need some matching applique thread for the Away From Home BOM.


So – that’s it!  I’ll show more details of each as they are near completion.  Have a great week!


Vacation week is over!

My boss officially returned from his vacation today.  Therefore, my vacation is over as well.  Back to the grindstone!  Actually, he’s really easy to work with and is the best boss I have had in my career so far.  Not complaining a bit.

The munchkins are enjoying their last day of summer.  Tomorrow officially starts ‘school’ days and Oliver will be in Kindergarten!  I will share pictures tomorrow night or Wednesday morning for this monumentous event.  And a picture of his cracked/chipped tooth from trying to separate his Legos with his teeth.  That boy!!

I’m staying up with my sew a-long project from  Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts.  This weekend I completed blocks #5 & #6.  Here’s a picture of #4 that you missed last week and the new ones, and a group shot.  This brings me to the halfway point on the blocks for the sew a-long!

Forget Me Not Sew A-Long Block 4

Forget Me Not Sew A-Long Block Group 1-6