Tag Archive | Tools

New Trend – Go BIG!

I want to officially take credit for any future trend that starts in the near future where the designers go BIG instead of mini.  At least, in my mind, I’ll take the credit.


I have finished the main block for the back of my Great Granny squared quilt.  This measures roughly 68 1/2″ square.  I LOVE IT!  I think that truly this will now be a reversible quilt.  I will love the back as much as the front…

Large GGS


Those are 25 layer cake squares (10″) and 3 yards of backing.  I found a perfect compliment fabric for this backing.  It is by Dear Stella and is from the Paloma collection.  I got these three yards on a chance, and on a 50% off sale, from FQS.  They are now since sold out, which is sad – because I definitely want more of it.  My lighting wasn’t so great.  All of those orange squares are prints except one.  A lot of them look like solids, but they aren’t.  Also, this backing is a true light gray and clean white.  Not off-white like it looks.  Here is a closeup of the backing:

Paloma Closeup


I am asking Linh to mimic the paisely motif designs in the quilting when I send it to her.  It feels so great to already know how I want it quilted too.

Now, my decision is to order more of this same fabric to complete the entire backing (I need a few inches on either side and about 12″ on top and bottom), or use a similar print, but in High Street HOT PINK to finish it up (which I already have in my stash).  I think I know what I want, but I’ll do my final reveal when it is quilted.

Also, I had some good luck with eBay auctions in the past week as well.  Lots of ‘vintage’ bundles from one seller, who apparently is a Fat Quarter Shop fan as well.  I am gathering different collections from American Jane fabrics.  I was able to get a charm pack of Cherries Jubilee and a fat quarter pack of Building Blocks (from 2007).

I also bid on this adorable sewing tin and won it for only $15!  I don’t think the other bidders read closely in the description or looked at all the pictures, because it was full of so many goodies!

Sewing Tin


Love the decorative pins – can add those to my collection as well.  Another ‘vintage’ charm pack of Notting Hill , labels, buttons, needles, scissors, magnets, thread, ribbons, and some hexagon paper piecing templates.  I was thrilled to win it.


Sewing Tin Contents

And, today wouldn’t be complete without sharing some kitten pictures with you.  I hope you have a great week ahead!

Kittens GGS 2 Sparkle ggs



FQS DM BOM Block 7 Done!

I have actually gotten through several tasks this weekend, enough to fill two posts – but I’m breaking it up into two.

The first activity I did was to complete Block 7 of the 2013 FQS DM BOM.  It is a house block and went together really quick.  I used my new Alphabitties notion from FQS and I liked them!  I will continue to use them on these patterns for sure – take a look below at my pieces all labeled and ready:

FQS DM Block 7 pieces

I didn’t even have to think twice before I grabbed my parts according to the pattern and ran them through the machine.  And for some reason, they cling a little to the fabric due to static electricity I think, so they don’t slide off as easily as I thought they would.  The tiles are printed the same on both sides also.

After a short amount of time – I had Block 7 done!

FQS DM Block 7

And, as per my routine, I was able to make two blocks from the one package:

FQS DM Block 7 twice

This was probably the highest residual month so far.  Look at all of these leftovers for my stash, even after making TWO blocks!

FQS DM Block 7 leftovers

Yes, I made a few HSTs from the trimmings, but I’ll just hang on to them and see how I can use them later.  They are 2″ unfinished.

LOVE these bright colors … BUT … because I LOVE variety also – here is my change of pace project that I also started this weekend.

Remember back late last year, I blogged here about a new magazine quilt pattern called REACH FOR THE STARS?  It is being published in the Quilters Newsletter magazine over 7 volumes.  I have the first two magazines so far, and I have the center block almost completed (pattern in first month).

RFTS Cover Quilt

I fell in love with the neutral color scheme and fussy cutting and wanted to try and match it as closely as possible.  I started with American Gothic from Pam Buda and never stopped!  I had added bits and pieces here and there from other collections and designers – but this is just a teaser for my next post!  I’ll show you my fabric selections and the center block next time!  I hope you will come back and see!  Perhaps sew along?  There are at least two other ladies that I know of that have started on this quilt also.

Until then – thanks for visiting and have a great remainder of the weekend!




New tool – or Scrabble anyone?

Last week… Fat Quarter Shop offered a weekly Facebook sale that I COULD NOT RESIST.  I have been doing really well in my new fabric purchases … but last week they offered all of their Fig Tree fabric at 50% off!!  I usually buy 1/2 or 1 yard of each fabric in Fig Tree collections, but I had not done Honeysweet yet.  That was all I needed!  While I was in my shopping ‘high’, and in my burst of BOM activity, I decided to throw into my shopping cart the Alphabitties notion from FQS.

I’m also preparing Block 7 of FQS 2013 Designer Mystery BOM.  It is a cute house block, but it has a lot of pieces to it.  However, they mostly seem to be straight cut piecing.  And Block 8 is due in my mailbox any day now. so I better get started… 🙂

FQS BOM Block 7

The Alphabitties notion seems self explanatory – but just in case, Kimberly Jolly of FQS has a tutorial on YouTube that I’ll watch tonight to see if there are some secrets (I hope that copied link works, if not click here to go to the FQS website for this notion and follow their link).  Or I could start a Scrabble game with my kids…


These are brightly colored, hard plastic squares (but not completely inflexible) that help you label your little piles of pieces.  Specifically when you are working on patterns that are drawn up by “It’s Sew Emma”.  The FQS DM BOM also seem to be a good fit because they also put the fabric cuts into letter order… see below (blurry I know).  Each cut of fabric will be assigned a unique letter, which you can then place your Alphabittie tile on to keep you from remeasuring the pieces when you go to put it all together.  If you have done any of their patterns or these BOM projects, you know what I mean:

FQS BOM Instructions

so – that’s my plan for today/tomorrow/Friday.  I’ll let you know if I enjoyed using these new tiles.

Hope you are having a great hump day!


Must exert self control!!

Ok … I went to my local quilt shop this week to take advantage of their last sale day of 25 – 50% off Moda precuts and yardage.  Got Vintage Modern at 50% off, and some selections of Chateau Rogue, Mama Said Sew and a variety of mini charms to satisfy my cravings.  Then, since I was childless this day and in no rush to leave (like usual) … I took a first step towards a cliff…

For the first time, I asked to demo a new sewing machine.  My LQS, It’s A Stitch, is a dealer of Bernina machines.  I have been sewing on a basic Singer model for about 20 years.  I have only had it serviced once for cleaning, and that was about 3 years ago.  No problems.  And nothing fancy.

Oh… no ….  I need this new machine and I must find a way to afford it.  The Bernina 750 QE with optional Embroidery Module.


Even more comfortable quilting

  • Extra-Long Freearm
  • BERNINA Stich Regulator (BSR)
  • Color touch screen
  • BERNINA Dual Feed
  • BERNINA 9 Hook


I don’t even have to buy the embroidery module to start with, but I can add it on at any time later.  That is the long extension piece to the left side.  It’s almost an 11″ throat too!

I’ve been searching the internet for reviews on this machine and they all seem positive.  Now, it’s time to start my savings account 🙂  The shop has a special that you can trade in a non-Bernina machine and get 10% off … but I think I am too sentimentally attached to my Singer to do that.

I would be greatly interested if anyone who reads my blog has experience with this series of machines.

For those of you in the USA, or just a fan of ours, have a great 4th of July holiday tomorrow!



Rally Along!

I made progress this past week on my Rah Rah Rally quilt.  I couldn’t wait to see how they would look connected, so I took my four blocks and made a single larger block.  Here’s my model, Nora, showing it off:


This is a fairly forgiving pattern.  It’s amazing how hard it is for me to sew all these straight lines and have it all come out square.  My husband said this looks more like a lawn chair than a quilt.  I prefer maroon, white and grey – but these are UCLA colors and should be perfect.

Notice how neat and tidy the sewing table is?  I finally sent off not one, not TWO, but THREE quilt tops to LiMa Sews.  Then I took my newly purchased project boxes and got a little more organized.  Here is a picture of my sewing corner from a distance.  This is as clean as it gets.  My stash boxes are part of the permanent fixtures in my room.  Along with my stacks of magazines, books and patterns.


Another great buy I made on Friday from Joann Fabrics is my new Ott Lite lamp.  First, they had them more than half off (half off is fairly common for them, if you wait awhile).  Then, since I went shopping last weekend, I got a special coupon for 25% my total purchase – including sale items (which is more rare).  Therefore, I got a $275 lamp for $75.  It was too good a deal to pass up.  Especially since I do so much of my sewing really late at night.


You can also see on my wall, a mounted magazine rack which I bought specifically for my long rulers.  It works out great!

I also worked on my Robin’s Nest applique, but I’m only halfway through the block.  I’ll show it off when I’ve got it completely attached.  I’m not sure how well I’m doing on it.  It looks a little …. messy?

Finally – a gratuitous picture of the kittens.  Hope you had a great weekend!


Thanks for stopping by!


New BOM Spoiler Alert!

Forewarning!  I received my first shipment from FQS for the 2013 Designer Mystery BOM yesterday, and I couldn’t wait to open it!

Before I do, I’ll give you a chance to avert your eyes and come back later if you are waiting on your own shipment and want to see the first block as a surprise.

I opened up my Robin’s Nest block 2 package, and pressed out the background fabric needed for the center applique.  Once my center is done, then a little fussy cutting and applique of the round of scalloped border.

Robins Nest Block 2

After this step, it will be some piecing for the next border round.

Ok … now – are you ready?  I got Block 1:

2013 FQS DM BOM 1

And another picture:

2013 FQS DM BOM 1b

Although I never started 2012 DM BOM, I wasn’t going to let this one get away from me.  I have already cut out the pieces for Block 1.  One thing with FQS exclusive BOM programs – they give you LOTS of fabric.  I am going to cut out two sets of blocks from each month’s delivery.  Here are my pieces for this month:


I have plenty for two blocks and I put the left over fabric back in the clear envelope.  Can’t wait to get this pieced later today.

Also decided it was time for new rotary blades.  Joann’s is having a ‘firefly’ sale and most everything I was interested in is half off.  So, I got this 5 pack of blades for only $18, which is a great price.  Plus their storage containers are also half off.  Here’s my loot:


Project wish list as of today (no particular order):

  • Block 1 FQS DM BOM
  • Block 2 Robin’s Nest
  • Special quilt for a new high school graduate
  • Blocks 9-12 Blogger Girls BOM
  • AYOS for June – Dulcinea Schnibbles
  • Quilt my own tops – 10 Little Things, Hat Trick
  • Away From Home – Tree Block #2

How’s your summer wish list shaping up?

Thanks for visiting,


Happy Saturday

Having a great Saturday so far.  Just keeping it relaxed – no pressure.

Finished cutting out all of the tumblers from my fat quarter stack:


I think I have around 1000, which will be enough for the border and an added row as part of my pieced backing as well.  I’m going to try this idea I found on a blog last week to make my ‘random’ selection for putting together the rows.  I can NOT remember whose blog I saw this on – was it yours?  I’m going to throw my pieces into the dryer for a few minutes, lowest air only setting, and then scoop them out into a basket for my retrieval during the sewing stage.  Of course, no two same will be next to each other, but I’ll try to keep it random other than that.

Here’s Nora making up our shopping list for today.  All the essentials.

Notice her memo board.  This has turned out to be my favorite ruler, and I have a LOT of rulers..  It is an 8×14 Fons & Porter Omnigrid ruler, purchased at Joann Fabrics.

Nora Making List

And the shopping list:

Shopping List

I started helping with the spelling halfway into the list.  And I added the “meat” word.  Can you decipher the first three items?

Finally, today’s cat picture.  They are getting more and more cuddly.  And courageous.  But not at this particular moment:

Kitties 06-08-2013

Have a great weekend!  Thanks for visiting!


(Final note, as I was completing this entry – the cats pooped in the bed because I moved their litter box earlier in the day.  Daddy was not pleased at ALL.  I did show them that I moved it – but they are just babies – right?  Going to do some laundry now!)

Decision made, possibly

Clue to my border question for Swoon:


Yep – that’s a Crumbler tool by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company.  I still had it intact, in the package, when I looked in my ruler drawer for ideas on the Swoon border.  I really do love borders.  It would be so hard for me personally to make one of those quilts that have patchwork blocks right up to the edge of the binding.  I find myself thinking of the borders as almost a second quilt in itself.

I am going to put in the white 2 1/2″ strip inner border, then a row of tumbler (excuse me … “Crumbler”) blocks and a final 2 1/2″ white outer border.  The tumbler size I am making is the largest for this tool – cut from 5 1/2″ strips and adding 5″ to the finished border width.  With the other two strips added, I should be close to my 100×100 size that I originally wanted for a king size bed.

Here is a pic of my preview for this border row:


I was playing with the idea of two rows of tumblers, and I may still do that – depends on how many I get cut from my remaining fat quarters and scraps of Happy Go Lucky.  You can cut 18 of this size tumblers from a single fat quarter.  They go together really fast.  If I can use up my leftovers, then that would be perfect.  I’m not likely to sew again soon with this collection, since I have so many other projects I want to work on.

Do you like?

Cat update:  Daughter asked “Where did the kitties sleep last night?”…

I replied “They slept on top of Daddy.”

Daughter said “The kitties can sleep wherever they want – because they are our special guests.”

I replied “Yes dear.  You will find that the kitties will always do whatever they want.  That is what kitties do.”

Did I mention that I’m actually allergic to cats, and so is my husband?  Waiting to see how the kids are affected.

Thanks for stopping by today!


Building the Nest

A few progress pictures to share today.  I made it through Block 1 of the Robin’s Nest quilt by Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork (in Australia – very exotic!).  In her latest post, there is SERIOUS EYE CANDY if you love hexagons or fussy cutting or kaleidoscope blocks or beautiful fabric.  GO and look at it now.  I will wait.  Go.  Now.  Link is above.  I have now officially added a Ring of Roses quilt to my bucket list in a red/white colorway.

Continuing …

I obtained my pattern and templates from Somerset, but opted to get the monthly fabric delivery for this quilt from Homestead Hearth (postage costs and such).  I think I just received Block 6 last week, so you could say I’m a bit behind!  I don’t see Robins Nest on their site right now, so I don’t know if they sold out or what.  However, if you do go and browse – take a look at the Merrimack quilt that is coming this summer.  It is another pattern by Karen Styles that they are offering.  Love it too!

I finished the ring of blue stars that will encircle the center medallion of the hexagon applique and six red stars that I showcased in this blog post.

RM Blue Star Ring

Here’s a couple of closeups of the blue stars:

RN Blue Stars Closeup 2

And another:

RN Blue Stars Closeup

For the 3 1/2″ finished stars, I used the Mini Fit to Be Geese tool by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts.  Although the matrix of instructions didn’t specifically give me cutting instructions for a 2 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ unit, I winged it by cutting my background into 2″ squares, and cutting diagonally once.  And then cutting my blue fabric into 1 3/4″ squares and cutting them diagonally once as well.  Then paired them up like any other unit with this tool and there were guide lines there to make them perfect.  Much easier for me than cutting the exact template shape for each fabric piece.

Here’s a picture of the pattern cover for Block #1.  Karen produces top notch, quality patterns with clear steps:

RB Block 1 Pattern Pic

And here are my two pieces, overlaid for now on my design wall in this picture:

RN Block 1 Overlay 2


It’s really getting me excited to see it take shape.  After I took the pictures last night for this blog post, I couldn’t help but stay up late enough to sew these two pieces together – so I’m DONE WITH BLOCK 1!!  My own little rehab success.

The next step, for Block 2, is to applique this to a large square of background fabric and then fussy cut this scallop print fabric such that I applique it around the square to form a larger block.  I will do some show and tell on that block next time.

Thanks for stopping in today! 


So Far, So Good

My lovely husband went out on a limb at Christmas and took some wild guesses at what I might like for my quilting hobby.  He’s been there to see the streams of packages arrive from FQS and eBay sellers, and has witnessed my late night sewing sessions this past year as I really got back into the love of quilting.

He did well.  He got me two boxes of the Clover Wonder Clips, a couple of jelly rolls, a Fons & Porter large hexagon template/ruler, and a package of Marti Mitchell templates.  Amazingly – I did not have any of the items he got me and I’m thrilled with all of them!

I was able to put to use the Wonder Clips last night.


Clover Wonder Clips

They worked really well for holding the binding strip in place as I attached it by machine.  I did like them better than the hair barette type clips that I have and the Wonder Clips just have a good weight and feel about them.  They are pricey, so I had never taken the plunge to invest in them before.  But that’s what Christmas gifts are good for – right?

In a prior post, I had said that I was making my grandmother a quilted shawl.  I thought I was going to use the Swoon pattern, but I changed my mind and went with Flower Girl instead (both by Camille Roskelley).  I was able to make the shawl in time, but I didn’t get the binding on before Christmas.  I am borrowing it back now to finish it up and will get it back to my grandmother this weekend, all done and ready to party!

Shawl Binding Prep 2


Shawl Binding Prep

Notice on the ends of the quilt, the two pockets.  They are very oversized, and I think I may whip stitch them closed a little to keep them from gaping open.  The intent is for my grandmother to wrap this around her shoulders and be able to keep remote, tissues, etc.. in the pockets while she’s watching TV in bed or her recliner.  I can also see this as a bed runner with handy pockets for the same purpose, as long as it is on a queen size bed.

This was the first time I had worked with flannel fabric and the minky backing.  The backing did fine, although I now want to try the Snuggles (?) fabric from Moda to see the difference.  The flannel fabric is not my favorite.  My piecing accuracy went waaaaay down on these blocks and luckily, they were large blocks so you can’t tell the flaws as easily.  I probably won’t do flannel again anytime soon, unless it is a whole piece for a backing.  I’m glad I tried it though!

So, I have still done something quilty each day this year and blogged about it.  So far, so good.

Have a great weekend!