Thursday, January 29, 2015


I didn't want January to get away from me, without even attempting to keep my New Year's Resolution of quilting two completed tops a month.  I can say that my excuse for not getting even close to that is the flu that took me out for almost two weeks.  

Okay, moving on, I pulled out a very simple top that I did about 7 years ago that I discovered while sorting through some storage places in the sewing room.  I have been attempting to sort through all my storage of projects and fabric to catalog and work up a project sheet for everything I have in my vast stash.  

I picked this completed top to work on today, because it is a nice size, the backing was already pieced, and it is a simple top that would just need a simple quilt design.  The pattern is called "Pieces of Eight", and consists of 8" blocks, using 8 different prints sewn on the diagonal.   It's size is a nice throw quilt of approximately 52" X 67".  

This fabric is called "Seaside Rose" by 3 Sisters from Moda fabrics.  These prints meet all of my favorites.  Pink and light green, roses, and pastel shabby chic look.  This is one of my top 5 favorite lines from Moda, and I have some more of this line in my stash!

Here is a close up of this yummy fabric.  I just love how this blends into pure sweetness that will be so wonderful to wrap yourself into!

I'll be back with the finished project in about two weeks, as we have to travel out of state all next week.  So take note, the blog will probably be fairly quiet.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Checked off the List

Today, I once again felt like I could be a part of the human race!  I am one of the fortunate ones with this flu, as I was only out of commission for about 10 days.  I have heard some people going on three weeks of being sick!  The only thing I did that I thought helped was spend 12 -14 hours in bed actually sleeping.  The body needs rest to recuperate, and rest I gave it.

Because, I got behind on my custom order that was last on my outstanding list, I jumped right into my sewing room and worked on the purse.

Spending about 4 hours, I managed to finish this purse, and have sent combinations to the client for payment and shipping information.

This bag is identical to the other one I made last year.  I am not a fan of making something over again, identical in every detail.  Very boring!  But, the saving grace about these purses, is I am getting paid for the end product.

Please note, I will not be taking any more requests to make this purse, as it is just to labor intensive to make any profit.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Out of Sorts

Wondering where I have been?  In bed, for 10 day with this awful flu that has swept the country!  Today is the first day I feel human again.  The only thing that I have worked on for an hour or two, has been the custom order Browning purse.  Hopefully, I will be back in a couple of days with a finished product.  Thanks for letting me whine share!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Progress

I bet you have been wondering about that Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt, you know the one that I spent so much time working on and posting about in December?  Well as you know my sewing business kinda got in the way of working on the things I personally have in the queue.

Today, I was finally able to take a few minutes to get the top blocks sewn together for the main part of the quilt.

The picture above is before putting on the two borders.  The solid gold one and the scrappy one that came from clue #5.  This is a queen size bed in my spare room, just to give you an idea of how big it is so far.  

This next picture is a closer view of all the pieced units from clues 1 - 4.

I be back with more posts, as I get this one to the finish line!  If you are interested in making this now or in the future, you can visit Bonnie Hunter's site at Quiltville, and down load all the clues.  She only leaves them up on her site for a short time, then she takes them down and incorporates the pattern into a future book.  


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Runaround Bag

One of the many custom orders that I received this month, includes one of these "mini bags" that I sell on my Etsy site.  A customer saw one that I had for sale using a college team fabric, and asked if I would make one using Dallas Cowboys print.  Since I had just made a quilt for my son using Dallas Cowboys print, I had a few scraps left over that I used to make the first one.

The pattern that I use is from Lazy Girl Designs called the Runaround Bag.  Ever since I made the first bag, I have also made a "mini key fob" to go with the "mini hipster".  This is a fat quarter friendly pattern, and there is enough fabric left over to make a fob.  Perfect two mini's to go together.

I had to run to Joann's this morning for some fleece and yarn to make some team baby blankets that are also on my Etsy site.  While there, I came across a different pattern in the Dallas Cowboys, so I picked up some and made an alternative one so the customer could have a choice.  This is the one that they happened to choose.

These bags are fully lined, with a back open pocket, measures 10" X 5", zipper closure to the main body of the bag, and a strap approximately 40 inches.  I can cut and sew one, including the key fob, in less than an hour.  One of the easiest bag pattern with a zipper that I have ever done.  Actually the pattern calls for two fat quarters, but you can get two bags out of the focal print if you get a little extra of the contrasting print.  The strap is long enough to carry the bag across the body.  

Now onto the next custom order.  This one is a bag/purse I have already done, you can read all about it here.  I sold it shortly after putting it on my Etsy site, and apparently someone found it on Pinterest, and wants one exactly like it.  This is a labor extensive bag to make, so it will take more than a few days to get done.    I call it the "Browning Bag".


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Red PJ's

Just thought I would pop in and tell you that I finished the second pair of the custom order PJ's.

Again, the lighting wasn't helpful in making good pictures.

Here are the two sets, packaged and ready to ship!


Custom Ordered PJ's

Before I got into quilting, I was a seamstress, sewing for a meager living when I was raising my children.  I mostly did alterations, but would get an occasional wedding party bridesmaids dresses, or the rodeo riders show outfits, including colored leather chaps.  I quit because, I went to a job outside of the home once the children were in full-time school.

There for awhile, people didn't seek out custom made items, especially clothing, but I have seen a resurgence of that market.  This is a perfect example of that resurgence.  

A great-grandmother, who cannot sew any longer, wanted her great-grandson to have a couple of special hand made PJ's.  This customer is the mother of another customer that I have been doing custom work for, and was asked if I would do this project for them.  

Here is the first set done and ready to ship.  The neckline is done with knit ribbing, and the body of the PJ's is flannel.

A big apology for the lighting of the pictures, the day was heavy overcast, and the room lighting wasn't working for me.

The other pair will be red flannel, with the blue trim neck, and I should have them done today at the latest tomorrow, making them ready for shipping.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Leaders and Enders

While doing the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt, I learned about a technique Bonnie Hunter calls Leaders and Enders.  You can read all about it here, if interested.

I hope I can explain how I plan on doing this different technique.  Basically, if you need to make the same unit over and over again for either a whole quilt or for a portion of a quilt, it can get really boring making the same unit piece over and over and over again.  For instance, the Primrose Prairie quilt needs 244 of these units to make the sashing between the main blocks.    Each unit has 7 pieces, which becomes tedious in the making one after another.

But, putting her technique in to practice, if you do a unit before (leader) and after (ender) other projects, eventually the leaders and enders become a finished project themselves.

For example, while I was making the last five blocks for the Patchwork Party 2007, at the beginning of each block, I would make one of these units, and after making the a block, I would make another one of these blocks.  TaDah, I now have 10 units complete and it went quick.  I know this way may take a little longer, but I think I might be able to stay on task of getting the Primrose Prairie done by staying on target using this leaders and enders technique!

Now, I also needed a way to keep all the pieces by my sewing machine, all readily available, so I can just pick up a set and sew away.  I took one of my "famous" cardboard trays and set up all the pieces in it and set it by my sewing machine.  Now, I have the ability to sew a unit whenever I can fit one in before or after a block or project.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Patchwork Party 2007 Blocks

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about this UFO project I found while cleaning my sewing room.  I said I would be back showing you all the of finished blocks as soon as I had them completed.

I tried my hand at making a collage, because there would be too many pictures if I did them separately.

Here is one of the blocks I did to finish up the 12 blocks.  I think they are so soft and pretty!  I am so looking forward in completing this quilt.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Custom Ordered Tablecloth

I am not a sports fan, but living in the state of Oregon, there are just gobs of Oregon Ducks fans.  Especially now that they have made it to the first ever championship game.  It is kinda like a "Super Bowl" for college teams, and this is the first time college football is having such a championship game.  So it is no surprise that the fans here are a little excited.  No, they are crazy excited.  Again, not my thing, but it does bring in the customers for specialized "Duck" items.

This customer wanted a tablecloth for a rather large banquet table made with "Duck" fabric.  All the tablecloths we could find were the vinyl ones, and they were not big enough.  She wanted it done only if they won the Rose Bowl (which they did) for the Championship Game on January 12th.  The last couple of days, I have worked on getting this done for her.

The measurements are 66" X 84" that includes a 14" overhang.  See what I mean about a big table?

I did a flange/mitered corner border all around the table cloth to give it some weight and character, rather than just plain old printed fabric.

This is the same customer that I made this potholder set for awhile back, and fortunately I had enough of both fabrics to make the tablecloth to match.

Now onto the next custom order.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Quilting Acronyms and Glossary

Many of you who might be new to the quilting world, might appreciate the largest amassed listing of the quilting acronyms and glossary that I have come across all in one place.  I don't know much about this blogger, but over at SLIKStitches, they have put together what I would call a complete list of quilting acronyms and glossary.  The direct link is here.  It is worth the time to click on the link and read through all of them.  I even discovered quite a few that I had only seen once or twice, and didn't really know what they meant until I read this list.  I will bookmark the page for future reference in reading quilt blogs, and to use them in writing of my future posts.

On another note, I was working on a UFO that I found while doing inventory of my sewing room.  I am sure many of you have seen patterns by Bareroots, and I happen to have purchased this one back in 2005 or so.

I couldn't believe it, I had already did all the embroidery of the center square and all the little squares.  For the life of me, I cannot remember buying this (it came as a kit), or even doing any of the embroidery work.  Hmmm.  Anyways, it was a nice surprise to see that I had it done to that point.  So, I sat down this evening and put it all together.

I was puzzled as to why I had embroidered the squares, but not the border.  My first assumption was that I either got bored and put the project away (yes, I do it all the time) or we moved and I had to pack it away (for a period of 4 years, we moved 4 times).  But after getting it put together last night, the instructions said to sew on the linen border and then trace the design and then embroider it because the vines travel around the corners.  No I understand why that border didn't get embroidered!  Fortunately, I packed the embroidery thread that I used on the squared with the kit, so I can just sit down and start stitching.  This might have to wait until the middle of February, because I gotten three custom sewing orders, three trade shows, a 9 day out of town trip, and a 3 day trip doing out annual Quilt Run 101.  I am stacked up busy, and will be trying to get a few personal things done, including getting the embroidery done around the edge of this project.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Final Reveal of the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt

Grand Illusion

New Year's eve at midnight, Bonnie Hunter revealed what the final quilt will look like and how to assemble all the clues.  Here is the layout of the block in my Thimbleberries color way.

This is a picture of the block with the sashings between each block.

There is the fervor all over Facebook is about how the participants are not happy with the way my colors are working when the do their first block.  A lot of disappointment is circulating with the participants.  But, you need to look at the quilt as a whole with all the blocks sewn together.  Not just focus on one block.  Visit Bonnie's site here to see the whole quilt done in her colors and you can see the blocks taking on a spinning motion and the quilt looks like it is moving.  It really is a fun kind of quilt!  Some participants are even changing up the block by switching out the center four-patch with a solid color matching the star points (so if I would be doing this, my center block would be red).  But, I really like the movement in Bonnie's quilt, so I am going to stick with the original pattern, and I already have the center four-patches made anyway.

I will be linking up with Quiltville's post this coming Monday, and hopefully have more to show in finished blocks and maybe a finished quilt top.

Thanks for following along this amazing mystery journey with me!


Friday, January 2, 2015


As you know, if you have read my last couple of posts, I have been cleaning up my sewing room, and I posted about finding some kits on a bottom shelf that were in different stages of progress.  Some were brand new, not started yet, some were in progress, and some were completed quilt tops.

This discovery is from 2007, from a online round robin kind of party, called Patchwork Party Spring 2007 (you can see the Patchwork Party Fall 2014 here).  I participated in a couple of these parties, and this one that I discovered uses one of my favorite lines of fabric, Sanctuary by 3 Sisters from Moda.

 This is one of the seven blocks I have completed.  The fabric line is full of roses in so many color ways, and has a romance cottage feel to it.  I just love this line.

The bagged material is the finishing kit that will encompass the 12 blocks, and the pink tone on tone fabric is the matching backing fabric from this line that is 108" wide.  

Patchwork Party gives you twelve options in finishing the quilt, and the twelve shops that participate in selling the 12 blocks also sell their own design in the finishing of the quilt.  The finishing kit I chose to use in finishing my blocks includes 6 additional appliquéd flower blocks.

And then to further finish this quilt, it uses one of my favorite patterns, log cabin.  I tried to find a colored picture of the finished quilt, but no avail.  So you will have to look at the black and white pattern that I have for reference in my finishing kit.  If you enlarge it, you can see where the patchwork blocks are placed, where the appliquéd blocks are placed and where the log cabin blocks will be placed. 

The kits that I purchased, all the pieces of each block were cut using Marti Mitchell templates sets.  I purchased all of them, and I will say, if you take the time to cut your pieces using her templates, the block sews together like a dream.   It does take longer initially in cutting out the pieces, but the end result is so perfect!  Now the block kits have pre-cut laser pieces, and all you have to is sew them when your receive them in the mail.  I can't afford to participate anymore, but I have a couple that I can finish and say that at some point I did get to participate.

I will post all the blocks as soon as I have finished the last five blocks.

This is what keeps me from getting so bored, I do several projects at once.  This year will be a year of finishing what I have started, and putting closure on the past!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Clean-Up

So, I am back today to show you the pictures of the whirlwind going on in my sewing room:

This corner area is the worst, I mean, I have lost floor space and the whole length of the desk table area is piled high with left over fabric from the Christmas projects, and several UFO projects that I am currently working on or going to be working on.  Yuck!

Here, a clear tub of completed items that I have listed on my ETSY site sits in front of my nice bookcase, and it is piled high of either completed projects or completed tops that need to be quilted.  I've got to figure out a better way of displaying my wall hangings and full sized quilts around the house.  Something to ponder this coming year.  Hmmmm......

Under my cutting table, I have a 24 inch wide bookcase that stores my thread, sewing feet, interfacing, bag hardware, embroidery supplies, and then the bottom shelf holds some quilt kits that I have acquired over the past years.  the three packages sitting on top of that pile are kits that I had sewn the tops, and now needs quilting.  

I have to continue to work on clearing up the floor area, and the closet.  I am trying to get an inventory of all my projects and the material I have so that I can get a little organized and prioritize what I want to be working on and completing this next year.

Let me take a minute here and give you some background of all this acquisition in my sewing room and garage.  I worked for a company that moved me four time in seven years.  The last year I worked there, I was only home for 20 days out of that year.  I spent many nights in the hotel room surfing the web visiting all kinds of quilt shops, doing online shop hops, and participating in many programs.  I made really good money, so I didn't go into any debt purchasing all this material(s), and it allowed me to keep my toes in the water so to speak of the hobby I so dearly love.  

Then, BOOM, the recession happened, my company did a big layoff of all middle management, me included.  We had only been in the newest place my company had moved me to for 9 months when I was laid off, and I had only spent a few actual days there.  We were away from friends, family and virtually no network of acquaintances.  By this time in my life, I am in my late 40's, no job prospects available in my narrow niche of speciality, I felt I had a very dim view of life.  I went into a very dark place.  I sewed for hours every day for almost 18 months.  I moved from project to project, using the sewing to escape from the harsh reality I was facing.

So, here I am seven years later, with a room and garage full of materials to continue to sew and create, without having to spend any money.  I call it an investment for early retirement.  In sorting through the lower shelf and finding a few already completed tops, I for the life of me, could not recall  the purchase of the kit, nor making the kit.  That is how dark it really must of been during that time.  

I am in a so much better place now, perfectly content to stay home, saving money gardening, canning, making things from scratch, and doing without things that I really don't need or really want.  I look forward to finishing these projects from my "dark period".  I will be closure to this time, and will allow a feeling of satisfaction of accomplishment.  

I writing about this, because I know many people go through dark periods in their lives, and having a hobby or a passion about something can really go a long way in getting through it with some comfort.

While my hobby helped a lot, it was also my faith in Jesus my Savior that did most of the work and progress in getting out of the dark hole.  But, I also know that God can use all avenues to help us in our time of need.