Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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Starting the year out right

Project Endeavor 2014 is starting off well.  Of course, snowpocalypse is partially the reason I am getting so much done right now.  I finished my hubby’s pillow and my friend’s water bottle carrier (yes, they were late for Christmas but I finished them instead of putting them away for next Christmas).  First – the leg lamp pillow:

My version of the Leg Lamp pillow designed by Sarah Bailey of Sew What Sherlock.

My version of the Leg Lamp pillow designed by Sarah Bailey of Sew What Sherlock.

When I first saw that Sarah Bailey at Sew What Sherlock was designing a leg lamp pillow, I was giddy.  My husband has threatened to buy a leg lamp for years and now he has one that has my stamp of quilty approval.  I used Kona for everything except the shoe and garter belt which was a lacy print from Moda’s Little Black Dress.  I even added cheap nylon netting over the leg Kona like Sarah suggested.  This pattern is Awesome–go get her free pattern here.  As some of you may know by now, I kind of decide to do awesome things at the last minute (like this pillow) and then realize that I’m in over my head.  I only had a few paper piecing mishaps–not using a big enough fabric piece  here and there which I ended up patching in as another piece and mistakenly layering the netting in the wrong order when I sewed the leg –but I was able to get it all pieced in an evening.  (I added the “Fragile” to the side using scrapbook letter stencils to cut letters out of fabric which I glued on and then stitched around when I quilted the pillow.)  In fact, if I hadn’t completely forgotten to buy matching threads to quilt it, my husband may have actually received this pillow on Christmas Day.  Ok, maybe not because it did take me some time to figure out how to sew this zipper in the back of the pillow too–I found a great tutorial for that here.  I suggest that if you make this pattern into a pillow, put some sashing around the entire block so you can actually see the shoe.

The second project was a water bottle carrier that I made for a friend at work.  When I saw this boston terrier voile fabric by Kokka, I knew I had to buy it and make Staci something.  The easy answer would have been to make a cute voile scarf but Staci isn’t a scarf wearing kind of girl.  Staci has recently started volunteering with an animal rescue organization and devotes a lot of time on the weekend going to Pet Smart and trying to get abandoned pets with good families.  Staci is also a pretty thrifty person too so I know she takes her own water with her and since she’s kind of a germ freak, I know she’s not setting that bottle down just anywhere–thus, the perfect gift which she can use while volunteering and walking her own BT dog, Preston.  I used the pattern from Kathy Mack at Pink Chalk Fabrics which you can find here.  This pattern is super easy until you get to the part where you have to sew the circle in at the bottom–that was a bear.

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I have also finally finished piecing all my Skillbuilder blocks and have borders on all of them now.  I may be optimistic in thinking I can get that done by Jan. 19 since I still have 17 blocks to fmq, and borders to make/quilt for it and I am waiting for 4 more yards of background fabric  to get here ( don’t you hate it when you buy a unique color of Kona at JoAnn Fabrics and they don’t order another bolt just in case you run out?–perhaps I should re-think my aversion to using Kona white).  I’m not counting on the fabric getting here until next week since over half the state is still under lockdown due to the snow.  I’ll save the Skillbuilder for it’s own post since it pretty much consumed my entire year-but here’s a glance at the most recent fmq attempt–not great but at least it’s not full of eyelashes on the back.  I still need to tie in some threads and quilt the dotty fabric–I think Alyssa did pebbles but I think a nice feather would look good…

My loops aren't even on every side but since this is really the first time I've done anything other than a stipple since June, I'm okay with that.

My loops aren’t even on every side but since this is really the first time I’ve done anything other than a stipple since June, I’m okay with that.

Goodness, a week in and 2 finishes–Project Endeavor may be just what I needed.

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I think I need a craftervention

(Revised.) While I have loved doing the Skillbuilder BOM, it’s always been looming over my head and I’ve felt like that’s all I’ve done all year (mystery quilt and baby quilt aside).  Plus,  I’ve been watching all these fabulous bee blocks everyone has been doing and I really want to do one so I signed up for next year’s Stash Bee.  Also, last week, my traditional guild decided that next year we will do a charm swap every month and make a block.

Cue the 3 BOM e-mails I’ve received in the past week.  I don’t know if I can resist.   First is the Sugar Cube Block 2014 by Amy Gibson .  I have to say that I  have loved seeing all the sugar cube blocks spread all over the internet this year.  Amy’s BOM for 2014 is going to be a mystery though I’m sure it will be super-cute.  I don’t think I’ve seen her do anything that wasn’t cute since I started following her.  Even her children are adorable.  Then there’s Kristy at Quiet Play.  Have you seen the paper- pieced quilt that she designed?  How cute is that?  It doesn’t even have to be a quilt – wouldn’t these be awesome potholders to hang on your kitchen wall!  Gah, the cuteness…. (Actually, I know that I’m going to definitely do Kristy’s –I have to – just look at how cute that Sew Kitschy button looks on my sidebar).  Finally, Alyssa over at Pile O’Fabric has another fab BOM planned for next year It’s a sewing theme – I don’t know about you but I have been coveting sewing themed blocks ever since the Sew Out Loud QAL 2 years ago   sew out loud quilt along.  Seriously, I know I can’t handle 5 blocks a month on top of the to-do list of quilts that I want to do but these all sound so great. Maybe I should just do Kristy’s and hope for a couple adorable potholders.

By the way, did I mention that I started a honey cowl; yep after 3 hours of knitting, I have exactly one row to show for it.  It has been relegated to the after Christmas (maybe) pile.  I’m also seriously tempted to use my blue and orange DS Quilts fabrics to participate in the APQ quilt-along that’s gearing up.  Uh yeah, about that craftervention.

Wow!  look at that progress….

Wow! look at that progress….

I did manage to catch up on 2 more blocks for the Skillbuilder BOM-only 2 more to go and I can do all the fmq that I haven’t done since the first set of blocks…

Confession by finished, I mean it's fused.  I wussed out on the piecelique and I'm just doing raw edge appliqué.

Confession -by finished, I mean it’s fused. I wussed out on the piecelique and I’m just doing raw edge appliqué.

So do you have an elf on the shelf or a variation thereof?  Our “elf” took selfies the other night while riding on the broken airplane in our office and made a slide show.  Lil Bee was thrilled to tell her friends about it.  What does your elf typically do during December?

Flying elf


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I Feel Good

I knew that I would now.  Just pretend that’s Jackson Brown singing in the background (and not me).  I finished my the top for my Jinxed quilt.  This quilt and I have been through so much in the last 10 months that I literally feel like it’s one of my kids.  Not one of the good kids but the kid that constantly defies you at every turn and makes you dissolve into tears.  I still love it though.  As promised, here are a couple pics that I took.  Lil Bee was very excited to be in photograph assistant.  Hopefully once I get it quilted and bound, I’ll have better lighting for the finished shots.

JinxedOf course the finish wasn’t without it’s mishaps.  I marked all my blocks with a Frixion pen so that I wouldn’t sew them together wrong and thus far, the marks have stayed.  I’ve been assured on Instagram that these marks will fade once I wash it though.

Should I just quilt arrows all over just in case the Frixion pen doesn't wash out?

Should I just quilt arrows all over just in case the Frixion pen doesn’t wash out?

Can you believe that I bought most of these fat quarters of Art Gallery fabrics on sale 50% off.    My LQS has some crazy good sales sometimes:).   So any thoughts batting and quilting?  Should I buy black batting?  I’m not planning on using it for display and I’m kind of worried that it will make the lavender and cream fabrics look muddy.  If you have any experiences with black batting, I would love your input.  I’m think I’m going to hand quilt this one just because my fmq needs a lot of work and I don’t want to do straight lines with the walking foot.

One last photo–it’s my favorite one,

Lil Bee and Jinxed


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A weekend of progress

I don’t know if it was the fact that I was following all the sewing summit posts on Instagram or if it’s because I have 2 quilt guild meetings this week but I feel like I did more this week than I have in a while.  I probably still won’t have anything to show at the guild meeting since I seemed to jump around on projects but at least I am progressing forward.

So I am still working diligently on the my 3rd(4th?) attempt at the Diamond Carat.  Seriously, this block is kicking my butt.  I am just hand piecing it now and that seems to be working better than the attempts at EPP and paper piecing it (the directions called for EPP).  Hand sewing is a nice thing to have for the evening since I can do it in front of the tv with the rest of the family; I don’t feel as guilty doing that as I do running off to my sewing machine in the evening.  I have decided this pass at the block is going to have to be gold because I am not doing it again.  I think Alyssa was prepared for that instance since one of the blocks (that I haven’t made yet–did I mention that I’m a bit behind) actually ends up making an extra that Alyssa sweetly suggests we could turn into a pillow.

I, or rather TweezerGirl and I, finished my Broken Arrow Block.  Can I get a WOOT, WOOT?

I'm a little in love with this block.

I’m a little in love with this block.

Isn’t TweezerGirl cute?

Tweezergirl has it all together!

Tweezergirl has it all together!

After all the picking of freezer paper, she still looks happy and composed.  So with TweezerGirl’s help I am now ready to move onto Blocks Lesson 7.   Uh yeah, the group started Block 9 last week.  I haven’t even logged onto Flickr to see just how many people are actually keeping up.  I still have to quilt mine before I can actually say that I am caught up.

I worked a little on the “Jinxed” quilt.  I am so close to the end with this quilt, I really just need to finish.  True to form with this quilt, I realized that I cut a whole bunch of triangles down that should not have been cut down:-\   Fortunately I bought my black Kona with a coupon at Joann’s and told them just to give me the whole bolt (so I don’t have to worry about matching dye lots or anything).   I’ve started sewing blocks into rows and then got tired of pressing so worked on sewing the piano key border together.  Cross your fingers for me, I may just have a finished top by Thursday’s guild meeting.

My ten year old son has decided that he no longer wants his “baby” furniture in his room (actually he decided that about 2 years ago but we’ve been stalling because it was hard enough to paint over the mural of Thomas the Train back then).  We finally decided we would paint over it because It needed some serious cleaning if we wanted to sell it.  So today, I sanded and put the first coat of black paint over this…

It just broke my heart to cover this cute design up.

It just broke my heart to cover this cute design up.

This little dresser served as a changing table for all 3 of my children and I just have to face it, I don’t have any babies anymore.

Watched Mr. H. play his last football game of the season on Saturday.

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They lost.  Poor guys, they were doing so well in the first half and then it just all fell apart.  I’m going to miss seeing this little guy in his jersey and orange pants every weekend.

And lastly, I blogged.  I hope you all had a productive weekend too.


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I’m just giddy with this idea

Last week on IG (note that I’ve now become completely addicted to Instagram), I saw a teaser for making your own text fabric by Latifah of the Quilt Engineer blog.  My first thought was “cool, I don’t have to search all over for the perfect text print”.  But this weekend, I had one of those lightbulb moments that well, just made me giddy.  It’s what I love about quilting–that feeling that you have just come up with the most amazing idea. Do you feel that way too?

My idea involves Lil Bee.

Her eyes light up over paint.

Her eyes light up over paint.

She loves to make art and she does so in large doses.  Note the 6 paintings above that were done in probably 30 minutes.  I love that she wants to create things-it makes my heart warm and fuzzy.  That being said, I’m constantly finding art littered all over the house.  A few weeks ago, I finally convinced her that we couldn’t keep it all (I know, I felt like the biggest ogre but I honestly don’t want to be on a episode of hoarders a couple years from now).  So we went through and picked her favorites that we would definitely keep and hang up in the toy room like

She put this one in the school art show--it's called Crazy...

She put this one in the school art show–it’s called Crazy…

The rest we took pictures of so that we could burn them to a CD or perhaps make a book on Shutterfly.

So anyways, I so want to encourage her creativity and nurture her interest in all crafts.  She so wants to be involved in my quilting/sewing and Latifah’s idea of making your own text fabric got me to thinking.  I could have Bee draw her own pictures on fabric with fabric paint/fabric markers and we could work together to sash all her masterpieces into quilts and give them as gifts to her grandmothers for Christmas.  Heck, it doesn’t even have to be an entire quilt, we could make coasters, hot pads, or placemats with her artwork.  I’m really excited about this idea and so is Bee.  I think it will be a great way to ease her into sewing.

So what do you think?  Stay tuned to see how this works.


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More blocks for the SKillbuilder BOM (almost) finished and a recipe

They still need borders and fmq but I’m calling it a finish for now.  As noted in previous posts, my sewing machine and I have been butting heads when it comes to FMQ.  So, I am concentrating on the blocks for now and will get to the quilting once I’m caught up.  Yes, I’m still working myself up to tackle the EPP block again.  I like paper piecing but I’m definitely having issues  with having enough fabric for a 1/4 inch seam allowance for the finished block–does anyone else have this problem?  I’m going to have the fix the Geoswirl for just that reason–I needed a 1/4 inch around the entire block so added 2 strips but forgot to account for the fact that my biscuit strip needed to be longer.  I may just take those 2 strips off and make my border strips bigger to account for the 1/4 inch-I haven’t decided.

GeoswirlHere is the GeoSwitz

Not sure how I feel about this block.  I may have gone overboard with the orange!

Not sure how I feel about this block. I may have gone overboard with the orange!

So the next blocks that Alyssa is going to have us do are the broken chevrons and broken arrow.   The broken arrow looks fun; I think the chevrons will be time consuming but not so much as the woven chevron was.

So I promised a recipe.  I made these last night (I did not take a picture of it)–Oven baked onion rings.  They were delicious!  I sliced up a vidalia onion and dipped it in egg and the dredged it in a mixture of Parmesan cheese and some cajun spice.  I put them on a baking sheet coated with olive oil and baked them for 40 minutes at 450 (turning them over at 20 minutes).  The kids actually ate them.  I don’t know about you but that is a constant struggle at our house –finding something remotely healthy that all 3 kids like.  It was SO nice to have a peaceful dinner full of yummy remarks rather than whining (it almost made up for my day at work).  Another plus, this fit into the recent sugar reductions that I have made with my diet.  So far, I have gone 5 days with no sugar and/or sweeteners passing my lips.

This is completely off-topic but Janice Zeller Ryan’s post here about Instagram convinced me to give it another try.  I had it on my old phone but I felt at the time it was eating up my battery (may have just been my lousy phone) and I felt a little weird about some of the bloggers I was following (I felt like I was spying on them)-but hey, I guess if they want to put it out there for everyone, why should I feel uncomfortable about it.  So anyway, I’m giving it another try–I am sffquilter and most of my stuff will be quilty/sewing.  I put most of my family stuff on my personal Facebook page and a few things here on the blog that I want to document in more than a sentence.  So what are your thoughts about Instagram?


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My obsession with the Hexagon

Ever since I started quilting, I’ve had a bit of an obsession with the Hexagon.  At my first modern quilt guild meeting, I took hexagons to piece by machine.  I remember one of the guild members being very curious about my plans for my little hexagons that I had painstakingly cut out.  I think she was just a little disappointed when I shrugged my shoulders and said I was just experimenting with cheap fabric and if it didn’t work out, so be it.  My machine piecing then got as far as joining hexagons into pairs and then they sat for a very long while.  Eventually, I pulled them out and decided that I would hand piece them into flowers while I waited for my daughter at her play practices.

3 of ? hexies needed

3 of ? hexies needed

I’ve finished maybe five hexagon flowers and tried to make an unsuccessful pincushion out of two and put them aside again.  But this month, Alyssa’s blocks for the skill builder Block of the Month had hexagons which we were going to paper piece.  I tried the paper piecing and ended up going with a machine piecing hexagon tutorial that I found on the blog of Kati Spencer at From the Blue Chair.   All in all, it went fairly well.  It got easier as I went along.  I definitely think that it would be a lot easier if I was piecing hexagons that are bigger that 2.5 inches.  The hardest part was pressing all those seams flat.

Eight rows of hexies

The Hexagon Chevron

The Hexagon Chevron

It’s a little wrinkled in spots but I’m sure that will quilt out.

 

Next up is the paper pieced Diamond Carat.  Here’s the layout (at least I thought it was the layout, I definitely don’t want the sunset pink dots right next to each other, that will need to be moved)-

Don't you just love those Michael Miller Disco Ball dots?

Don’t you just love those Michael Miller Disco Ball dots?

Wish me luck-this may take a while!