Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


Who knew?

I signed up to partake in the National Pincushion Swap that the Modern Quilt Guild organized in honor of QuiltCon.  I was very excited about doing it but a little wary of the “modern aesthetic” reference in the guidelines.  That “modern aesthetic” guideline has plagued every decision I’ve made in my attempts to make a FABULOUS pincushion.  I mean really, I don’t want to be the dork that just makes a wonky cross block because I’ve seen what some people have done.  Someone posted a beautiful cathedral windows cushion so I knew I didn’t want to do that since it had already been done (and ahem, a bit out of my technical/patience level).

I saw a cute little turtle pincushion pattern that also doubled as a sewing caddy for needles, spool of thread and small scissors–I was never able to actually download the pattern though.  I finally decided that it wasn’t modern.  Next I decided I should do something with a hexagon.  Thus the below attempts–which I decided just weren’t up to par.

Scrappy hexagons

Cute but just not pincushion worthy

I then decided I wanted to do something with linen.  I’ve ever sewn with linen before but I’ve heard it’s slippery.  My machine did not like sewing this fabric–not sure if it was just bad quality or the inherent nature of linen but it was a struggle to just get what you see below.  I was thinking of trying a cute little house out of linen–I may give it another go–we shall see.

Linen with stripe block

Just ho hum – not worth the effort it took to get it completed.

You can probably see where this is going.  I next decided that I would just sew put a block together and be done with it.  The green and blue one was completed and it was okay…if it was for me.  Next, I decided to just sew 2 of my hexagon flowers together and stuff it–the problem with that was the sand was too fine and I didn’t want to put a muslin insert inside to hold the sand so I tried stuffing it with rice but there were still little areas in the corners of the hexagons where the rice was falling out.  Next, I got the bright idea that I should use the Anna Marie Horner feather pattern for a pincushion.  I didn’t want it as big though so I reduced it to 25% of its size and ended up with such tiny pieces that my machine just would not sew together and I doubted that I could get my hand stitches small enough for those pieces.  Thus, 8 hours later, I left for my guild meeting –without a pincushion –resigned that I would not do one.

Hexagon flower

the rice leaked out of these..

Green and blue pieced block
this might have worked if I had had some cute fussy cut owl fabric left from Mr. H’s quilt


this might have worked if I had time to plan it out

Feather block

Failed attempt at miniature Anna Marie Horner feather block. I had to cut the tip off of the feather because my machine had shredded it up.

So anyways, my fellow guild members had some amazing pincushions (as I had expected) so I was glad that I didn’t bring my pathetic attempts.  I was informed though that I still had until November 10 to submit a pincushion if I needed more time.  If I do so, it will have to be even more fabulous than I had previously planned (I mean whenever you turn in the assignment after everyone else, you have to step up your game, right).  So do I make another attempt or forget it?


Look what I won

Map Tree Print

Print I won from Stella Violet

I won the above print a few weeks ago on Facebook from Loretta Grayson of Stella Violet  you can find her blog here .  She is also on Facebook (she is having another giveaway when she reaches 700 likes) and she has an Etsy shop.   She has some absolutely gorgeous pieces.  This particular print is the Map Tree print made from vintage maps–isn’t it gorgeous–I love it.  She sent it wrapped in a map and included the cute little origami crane you see too (my son immediately took that over).  You should check out her work and her blog.

She is the perfect inspiration for the modern quilter–in fact, that’s how I first stumbled upon her blog.  Another woman in my quilt guild blogged about her work and actually made a quilt based on one of her pictures.


Sometimes it’s best to just walk away

The robot star quilt and I were having quite a battle when it came to the actual machine quilting.  (The next quilt is definitely going to be hand quilted).  I finally had to set it aside for a week and forget about it.  I was just getting stressed over it and I don’t sew to be stressed out–I sew to rid myself of stress.  I have enough stressors in life without my hobby becoming one too.  I finally came back to it.  I even learned by myself how to do continuous bias binding and once I figured it out, it seemed very easy.

So time for the final reveal of the quilt–I would have liked to do a little more quilting to make it crinkly but it wasn’t to be this time.

Robot Star quilt based on Jeni Baker's Vintage Star pattern.

Back of the Robot Star Quilt

And the label –since the green fabric on the front has robots, I put a robot on my t-shirt in the label.

Robot Star Quilt Label

Pattern:  Vintage Star Tutorial by Jeni Baker of In Color Order

Thread:  Varigated yellow, blue, and green threads by Guttermann and an orange thread by Guttermann

Fabrics: Blue Kona, Caleb Gray’s Robot Factory, Betz White’s Stitch(the chevron stripe), Robert Kaufman Stripe and some assorted fat quarters that didn’t have a selvage.

Binding:  Robert Kaufman stripe.

Now I’m off to work on a pincushion for the Modern Quilt Guild’s national pincushion swap,

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A little break from the Robot Star Quilt

So needless to say, I was little frustrated in quilting the Robot Star and finally put it aside for a bit.  I’ve caught up on Downton Abbey, worked on that darn t-shirt quilt for my husband (ugh, I can only do a t-shirt quilt for someone I love because ironing interfacing to t-shirts is EXCRUCIATINGLY boring), and took part in a flash mob with my girls–what fun even if I am terribly uncoordinated!

I also have been piecing together some hexies.

One little hexie

I’ve been hand piecing these while my daughter is in play practice–something simple and totable that keeps me quiet during rehearsals.  I’ve completed 3 hexies now.

3 of ? hexies needed

I’m kind of pleased with how they are turning out.  I don’t plan on doing an entire hexagon qulit–just some hexagons within a large (I mean LARGE) expanse of negative space.  I’m in no hurry though.  The fabric is cheap fabric that I got on clearance–that I bought on a whim just to try things–I liked the colors.  Maybe if it goes really well, I’ll actually purchase nice fabric and try it again.

The flash mob that we took part in last night was during Riley Days, a local craft festival, and we did some browsing of the antique store on Main Street.  I found this quilt block which I think is probably out of feed sacks but to tell you the truth I wouldn’t know if it was made out of fabric from 10 years ago.

Antique block

I love it.  There were two lonely blocks, I don’t know if they were extras or perhaps a trial of something new which didn’t work out.  I thought maybe it was an original pattern but I found the real pattern online -I would add a link her but I’m not that tech savvy–It’s a Fourth of July block.  I think the person that did this block probably struggled with it–the pattern I found online has the navy section out of HSTs and the person that did this block did diamonds so it doesn’t really fit quite right–so obviously I felt a kinship with this person and had to have this block.  I may try to do one in some modern fabrics because I think it has a modern feel to it.  did you notice that the two navy sections on the bottom aren’t the same fabric–it took me a while to notice that.

So does anyone know how to tell if these fabrics are really feed sacks?