Thursday, July 26, 2012

Scrap Attack

I'm still working on getting through my many many piles of stuff. The disorganization has slowed me down a bit, but it's getting taken care of little by little.

This massive pile

has been cleaned up, folded up and reorganized into my stash.

Well, most of it anyway. Some of it's going back in the scrap bin, but a much smaller one once I get one. Maybe if I have a scrap bucket the size of a shoebox, instead of a huge rubbermaid tote, I might keep them organized better!

While digging through the scraps, I found a ziploc bag full of tiny little triangles. They were the leftovers from the Supernova quilt. During the trimming process I ended up with all these little triangles, perfectly paired up, a print with a solid. 

So, I started sewing

and then sewing some more

Until I ended up with this

Random question: When you use starch, does it wrinkle up your fabrics at the seams too? Am I doing something wrong?

I have no clue what I'm going to do with this. It finished at about 18" square. I have a few ideas though so I'm going to just stew on it a bit. At least it's something besides a ton of little triangles though, right?

Oh, and let me tell you about my handy little tool. I bought a That Purple Thang after hearing that "Every quilter/crafter/seamstress needs one". I was having a dickens of a time opening up all of those little triangles to press them. So I grabbed the Purple Thang and voila!

I just rubbed the tip up against the fabric with one hand and I grabbed the top fabric with the other and it opened right up! Made things go a lot smoother, let me tell you. 

And just so you don't think I've been slacking off elsewhere, here's my current progress on the Prince Charming Single Wedding Ring quilt.

Yes, that's another Instagram pic, sorry about that. I told myself I would always take pictures with the real camera for the blog but part of it is off of the wall right now because of a basting fiasco. See my bed right there at the bottom left corner of the picture? I use my bed to baste quilts and every time I moved around and flopped the fabric around the blocks would fall off the wall! So I took them down for now, and it's almost midnight, so I promise a better picture another time. I'll tell you the story of the basting fiasco of The Demon Quilt too. That would be the one made with this stack.

Very fitting colors for such a name, don't you think? 

And one last pic, of my little helper this time. He just loves to climb up behind my sewing machine and play with it while I sew.

Yes, he was eyeballing those scissors. And YES, mama was keeping a VERY close eye on him.  No babies were harmed in the making of this post, pinky swear.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Did You Notice?

We added a couple of new buttons over there on the sidebar


We're slowly but surely catching up with the times and joining some other social networking sites. 

We've been on Facebook for a little while now but now you can follow us individually on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr if you should feel so inclined. 

You might see some things happening there that don't always make it to the blog!

Check back every so often for new buttons. We're adding them as we become acquainted with the various sites.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Plan of Attack-Pile 1

I actually did have a purpose for sorting my scraps the other night. You know, other than "I just felt like making a mess and discombobulating myself". 

I've been dying to make this

Maple Leaf Rag from Material Obsession 2

My plan while sorting the scraps was to find all of those tiny pieces that I've been hoarding, that I couldn't bear to throw away, and the strips. 

Pile #1 

is so far being transformed into some crazy quilting pieces

They need to be large enough to cut the pattern template out of. Which I of course sent to work with my husband with instructions to cut a piece from the acrylic sheet I bought.

I so didn't need to start another project right now but I figured this one is going to be like the string quilt I made, tedious and repetitive. So I thought I'd keep that little scrap bin handy and when I had a lull in the day, or only a few minutes to sew something together, I can whip up a few of these and just tackle it a little at a time. 

And as if the table wasn't overcrowded enough, the UPS man added to it yesterday

This is for a commission job, the rest of it will be here tomorrow and I can get to work. It will be a queen size quilt, but a fairly easy one. I'm hoping to be able to knock it out pretty fast. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Suddenly Feeling a Little Overwhelmed

I got a wild hair to clean out my scrap bin last night, which led to cleaning off my shelves and trying to organize my brain to the point that I actually know what I have in progress or what I want to start on. 

And now I have this

Not pictured are my Farmer's Wife blocks or my double wedding ring pieces. Those are tucked safely away, out of sight out of mind for a bit. Oh, and that dang denim quilt is still locked up in the closet. It will come out when it decides to behave itself. 

Oh yeah, and there's another project up on the design wall.

Now I can't figure out where to start!

I have piles upon piles of STUFF. I have ideas, I have inspiration, I have plans.

Now to find the time....

In other news, I attended an all day sew-a-thon with my Modern Quilt Guild group yesterday, it was tons of fun. I made another Black Apple Doll, and sewed together three more blocks for the Prince Charming quilt, in 7 hours. Can you guess how much talking I did too?

Here's Bug's doll, Silly Willy

Yes, I said Silly Willy. She calls Moose's doll Silly Billy and was calling this one the same. We told her she needed a different name and her daddy suggested Silly Milly. She said Silly Willy. She is such a goofball! She has been asking for a doll ever since I made Half Square Triangle girl for Bree so I took the opportunity to get on it. She said she wanted a pink one. Her reaction when I got home:

"You made a pink one for me!?"

"I love her!"

Total win in my book.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Testers Wanted!

Update: We have all the testers we need, thanks so much for the great response!! If you are still interested in pattern testing, keep your eyes peeled because we'll be releasing more patterns soon!

Hey guys, it's Julie here. I've got an exciting announcement to make!

Bree and I have both written our very first paid patterns!!

We've done a lot of freebies, both here on the blog and in Bree's case with Riley Blake Cutting Corners College, but we're ready to branch out and try to make a little money with this craft of ours. 

Now we need your help, we need some pattern testers! 

I'm going to tell you a bit about my pattern first and then I'll let Bree take over and tell you about hers. Remember in the last post when I said you'll see just how much we think alike?  Well, check these patterns out. 

First up is mine, and I have named it

Mod Pop

Mod Pop uses the traditional drunkard's path block to create this fun and modern design. It can be made scrappy, two-toned or with an entire fabric collection. It is both scrap and fat quarter friendly, which is something I tend to look for in quilt patterns. 

The pattern has instructions and fabric requirements for four different sizes, from baby to queen. It utilizes templates for the drunkard's path blocks, which are included in the pattern.

As a tester I will need you to be comfortable with attempting the curved piecing. You can make any size you desire from the pattern and all I will need is a completed quilt top to get your feedback.

I will also need honest, constructive feedback so that I can fine tune the pattern if needed to make it easy to read and follow. I will need the testing to be completed and feedback received no later than August 15th.

If you are interested in testing just leave a comment here letting me know that you are and I'll get back to you. If you have a no-reply account then please leave a way for me to contact you in your comment. 

Ok Bree, your turn!!

Hey guys! I drag around my graphing paper with me everywhere I go and try to find inspiration in everyday things. In this case, the neat and organized design of latticework paired with the freeing, fanciful feelings of bright, modern fabric. I present to you:

Gypsy Dance

Gypsy Dance is a pattern designed for a confident beginner or intermediate quilter. It includes piecing instructions for two sizes - a crib size and a twin size. Piecing is all straight, on grain and bias. Additional blocks can be added to create more rows for sizes in-between or above. This pattern is scrap and yardage friendly. 

As is the case with Julie's, you can make any size you desire from the pattern and all I will need is a completed quilt top to get your feedback.

I will also need honest, constructive feedback so that I can fine tune the pattern if needed to make it easy to read and follow. I will need the testing to be completed and feedback received no later than August 15th. 

If you are interested in testing just leave a comment here letting me know that you are and I'll get back to you. If you have a no-reply account then please leave a way for me to contact you in your comment. 

Thank you guys so so much for your support - it means the world to us!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Of Cabbages and Kings

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things"...

First and foremost, thank you all so much for all of the prayers and well wishes for my Grandpa. I was able to talk to him a few days ago and he is in really good spirits. He really appreciates all of the love and support he is receiving and asked me to pass on his thanks as well. It means so much to me to have you all in his corner too, so thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

So has summer hit you all hard too? It is SO hot here. The kids don't even want to go outside and play. Today I took them to Burger King to play on the play place there. They needed to get that energy out somehow and it's air conditioned! We've been keeping pretty busy though, even if we're not getting out of the house. 

I've been working on lots of different things, some little stuff here and there and one big thing that I'm still not quite finished with yet so I'm not ready to share pics of. I'll tell you more about it in a bit.

Mom's birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't figure out what to do for her. Mom is really hard to get gifts for. I made her a quilt for her last birthday, so now what? I went digging through one of my magazines for inspiration and came across this cool potholder pattern by Kaelin. I thought to myself, who doesn't use potholders? 
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Mom's kitchen decor is red so I dug through my stash and found a bunch of fun prints to play with. She liked it, yay! And the hubby wants to know when I'm going to make one for us :)

I sat down one day and decided to work on all the little stuff that had been hanging around, waiting for me to  do something with. You know, the clothes that need mending, the small projects that have been sitting around for over a year, like this guy:

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I bought a "Make Your Own Stupid Sock Creature" kit over a year ago with the intention of making this guy for Moose. It came with all of the materials to make him except for the buttons for the eyes, I just never got around to it. I finally knocked him out that day, Bug is not very happy that he's not for her. So now I'm on the hunt for another pair of toe socks. 

Bree organized a little swap between a few friends, a Black Apple Doll Swap. We set it up for a secret drawing through Have you ever used that site? We use it for secret drawings every time we do swaps, it draws the names for you and nobody knows who has who. It's really cool. Anyway, I drew Bree's name, which totally made me giggle.

We always joke that Bree sews with a superhero cape on so the idea for her alter-ego was born. 

Meet Half Square Triangle Girl!

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With her scissors mask and ruler belt, she is ready to magically trim those half square triangles for you!

I received my package and couldn't be happier. Our friend Dede drew my name, this is the second time she has drawn me in a swap and she doesn't disappoint. I asked for a doll that made me think of Moose when I looked at it. I also said that Moose is fascinated with the alphabet and would love for that to be incorporated somehow. 

This little guy arrived today

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Isn't he cute? Moose likes him and got straight to work reading the letters on his shirt

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And on his blanket

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She also sent me a pay it forward package! I signed up under her Facebook pay it forward and have been waiting as patiently as I can for this. Dede is always so creative so I've been very anxious to see what she came up with for me. 

She sent me a sewing kit. The pouch has a cucumber and dill embroidered on it, get it? Cucumber and dill? Her embroidery work is gorgeous! And the pincushion is going to be the first of my collection of decorative pincushions. I can't bear to use it. 

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See the bees? Those are the pins and she MADE them, out of shrinky dinks. How clever is that?!

Inside was a needle book, it's a jar of pickles!

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Check out the pickle pages, I love them!

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Remember the Prince Charming quilt I started on months ago? I made tons of progress on it before putting it away to start on my special project.


I don't normally like making quilts that involve making the same block over and over again but these little suckers are addictive!  It's ready to go back on the design wall and I'm anxious to get back to work on it.

Ok, I've held your attention long enough. It's just been ages since I posted anything sewing related, I had lots to share! 

My special project is almost done. Bree mentioned a few days ago that I was working on a quilt pattern, we both are actually. You're going to see just how much alike we think when we finally get around to revealing them. Anyway, we're putting the finishing touches on the quilts, I think hers just needs a binding, mine is partially quilted. The patterns are almost completed, we're going to be looking for testers soon so keep your eyes peeled if your interested. 

That's it for now, I'll try not to be such a stranger!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Christmas In July: A Countdown Chain Tutorial

Hey guys -
Over at Riley Blake again today with a fun Christmas in July tutorial... you remember those countdown chains we had as kids, right? Made from construction paper? Well, this is cuter, better constructed, and reusable!
Hop over to RBD and check out the full tutorial.

Getting Heavy

I've thought long and hard about posting tonight. About 4 hours ago I started typing up a blog post and then stopped and deleted the whole thing. I don't normally get very personal on here. Sure, you've heard me talk about Bug, my sister and my mom. But did you know that Bug isn't my only kid, that I have 3 others? And my sister isn't my only, I have one more sister and two brothers as well? I worry a lot about putting too much out there.

But tonight, tonight I feel the need to talk. I got dealt a pretty hard blow a few days ago. My mom called to tell me that my grandpa is sick, really sick. I don't know a lot of details yet, she has flown out to be with him today and I'm supposed to call her tomorrow to find out more. What I do know is that the kind of sick he is is bad and we may not have much time left with him. I just don't get it though. I mean, he's a healthy guy. He's always taken such wonderful care of himself, he's not supposed to get sick. He's active, he's a world traveler, he's an all around wonderful guy.

I keep seeing him posting on Facebook, commenting on our pictures and status updates and I just want to reach through the screen and give him a great big hug and have him hug me back and tell me it's going to be ok. I have this idea in my head that when I talk to my mom tomorrow that she's going to tell me it was all a ruse to get her and her sister's out to visit him and that he's really ok.

I'm doing everything I can to stay busy and try to keep my mind off of things. I'm sewing, trying to work on things that require brain power. If I have time to think then I think about him and get upset all over again. I'm watching movies, listening to an audiobook, anything to keep my mind occupied. Sleep is eluding me though. The nights have become my enemy, it's too quiet.

I don't know why I'm putting this out there tonight. Maybe I think that if I talk about it it will help me cope? All I know is it's making me think about him more and I'm upset all over again. It's late, I'm going to attempt some sleep, tonight I'm armed with Excedrin PM.

This is my Grandpa

If you're the praying kind, please say a prayer for him tonight. It would mean a lot to me.