Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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A little bit of this and a little bit of 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.

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.

In addition to working on my bee block, I have been trying to get my SkillBuilder quilt completed.  I was hoping to get it done by the Jan. 19 deadline but I still have 16 blocks left to quilt and  borders and sashing to piece.  Although it is very tempting to just stipple everything so I can finish, this quit is more about the journey and actually learning skills so I am not going to rush it.  With that in mind, I went a little eclectic in my fmq of the em-dash block:

Pebble practice

Pebble practice

More pebbles

Loopy pebbles

Some loops which I obviously need to practice because they aren't symmetrical at all

Some loops which I obviously need to practice because they aren’t symmetrical at all and I haven’t tucked in my loose ends yet.

I thought I had taken a picture of the feather I did–half of it looks pretty good; I realized after doing one side of the feather that I needed to put the presser foot down (ooops) so there will be ripping.  I think I will try a flower in the peach.  The quilting is going so much better than it was in June–apparently working with the right tools (bobbin washers, thread holder, pink teflon thing, gloves, extension table) makes a big difference!  You should really check out the group on Flickr–there are some people that have  amazing talent.

Last weekend, I also made my first block of the Sew Kitschy BOM (designed by Kristy @ Quiet Play).  I used the orange and blue DS Quilts fabric that I have been collecting.    I think I need to buy some varied shades of solid orange and blue fabrics to break up some of the prints  as this turned out a little busier that I wanted it to be.

Potholder and oven mitt in DS Quilts fabric

Potholder and oven mitt in DS Quilts fabric

I was going to make it in aqua and red but realized that I have barely any red.  I have maybe 5 reds and none of them coordinate.  This is beyond incomprehensible — my favorite color is red.  How is it that I have not been buying red?  Obviously,  I NEED to make buying red fabric a high priority.  Any suggestions on some awesome red fabrics that I should purchase?

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Trying to catch up on my BOM blocks

I finally took a break from the Mystery Quilt or as I affectionately call it “Jinxed”.  I decided I was rushing and making too many mistakes.  As much as I would like to finish something, I want to be happy with it too so I’ve decided to catch up on my Skillbuilder blocks. –I’m a tad behind.

So here is the Shattered Chevron–it took me way longer than it should have.  That happens when you have to re-do just about every seam you sew.  The only part of this block that worked for me was making the HST’s 8 at a time–the only way to make HSTs IMHO.  I love the look of HSTs but trying to get my machine to sew over all those seams, that’s another story.  Surprise!  I made a mistake on this one too and I’m not fixing it.  I know that sounds like a poor attitude but I kind of like the triangle effect in the bottom row so I’m keeping it.

The "modified" Shattered Chevron from Pile O'Fabric's Skillbuilder BOM.

The “modified” Shattered Chevron from Pile O’Fabric’s Skillbuilder BOM.

So, you know how you look at the back of some people’s quilts and they have those perfectly pressed seams?  Mine never look like that–I pin, I press every seam and starch the heck out of it but still it’s not pretty.  What am I doing wrong?

Next up is the Broken Arrow block.  It’s an improv block so I’m sure that I will enjoy it a lot more.    Hopefully, it won’t take me as long to catch up on these next blocks.  I hope your sewing time has been more productive.


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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?

Finally – some sewing

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2013-04-28_20-25-26_695

2013-04-28_20-25-10_470 I’ve finally managed to get in a little bit of sewing time.  I finished piecing my March blocks for the Skillbuilder BOM.  Even though I have yet to quilt these or the February blocks, I choose to think of myself as caught up now.  I’m currently trying to piece my hexagon chevron for the April blocks and once I get the April blocks done, I intend to have an FMQ party and do all the blocks and the baby quilt that I basted last weekend.  I may be a little over ambitious but it would be so great if I had a finish to take to my MQG meeting in 2 weeks.  In fact, it’s a requirement (not the guild’s but mine).  I haven’t been to a meeting this year because I felt a little silly going to meetings when I didn’t have a “finish” to show so I told myself that this year, I was only going to meetings if I had a finish to show.  (I do let myself go to my local quilt group’s monthly meeting though because I’m fine just showing a block that I completed there).  I haven’t quite figured out why I feel that way because it’s not like anyone has said you have to have a finish – it’s just another one of my weird expectation for myself , I guess.  Does anyone else feel like that?

I have also been trying to put together a flag to send in for Boston.  Since my husband has run in the Boston marathon before and really wanted to do so this year and the fact that I have a friend (from my Philly paralegal school days) that lives in Boston, I feel compelled to do something.  My husband even had friends that were in the race that had jus finished or close to finishing when the bomb went off so I know he was very affected by the event.  I had big plans for the flag until I realized just how little space there is in 6.5 inches across.  So I may do a couple and string them together.  The white paper is my template for a dove; I wanted to see if it would look okay before I went to get white fabric.  The dove is going to be from the Michael Miller mirror balls in white;; I think it has a nice luminosity to it.  I had originally planned to do two doves with a heart formed between them but I don’t think I can freehand 2 doves small enough that will look right.

Boston peace dove in progress

Boston peace dove in progress

Once I’m finished with the flag(s), I’ll start some blocks for the Boston Modern quilt guild’s call for blocks–probably just some simple improv piecing.


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Mystery Quilt block 1

I put together the first test block for the Mystery Quilt.  It’s a 54-40 or Fight block.  At first glance, I thought it looked fairly simple but actually it was somewhat challenging.  I can see that I am going to have to be extra careful in cutting my tri-recs.  I’ve already encountered problems with this quilt since the directions are based on the Tri-Rec ruler.  I went to Joann’s and bought the Wonder Triangles ruler (I had a 40% coupon and the rulers are supposed to be similar).  I was not present at the meeting where they discussed the fact that the markings are different on these 2 rulers:/  While it would have been ideal if I had realized that after I cut the first triangle out of my background fabric, I did at least realize that there was a problem before I started cutting into my lovely Rock & Romance fabric by Art Gallery (yes, I admit it.  I’m a little in love with this fabric).  Thus, I jumped ahead to step 2 and put together a test block before I cut a whole bunch of strips from R&R.

I finished this block 2 days ago and did not notice until tonight that the 4 patches in the bottom row are wrong.

I finished this block 2 days ago and did not notice until tonight that the 4 patches in the bottom row are wrong.

That’s what a test block is for–right?  I’m going to have to be very careful cutting my tri-rec portions because I was really stretching those star point blocks to make my seams meet.  I cropped the photo so you don’t see just how unshapely the outside of my block is.  Hopefully, the next blocks will go smoother.

In re:  PileOFabric’s Skillbuilder BOM, I uploaded the photos of my fabrics to Flickr.  I’m going with pink, brown, yellow and orange.  I struggled and struggled with fabric selection–I wanted to use teals but the only teals I was finding were rather country looking and that’s really not me.  I’m probably a little heavy with the pinks.  I was trying to work with my current stash as much as possible so this is what I’ve come up with –

My fabrics for Alyssa's BOMI’m still not sure about that yellow.  Yellow is a hard color to find in different values too.  Anyways, I’m ready to start.  Both my mother and sister will be participating as well.