Sew Frou Frou Quilter

Spreading warm wishes one quilt at a time…


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Kona White, white clothes and white shoes

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

I avoid having and using all 3 of these things.  I don’t like buying anything white.  It will get dirty.  Whenever I do buy something white, it inevitably gets something on it by the end of the day and it’s not that I’m more careless or messier than the next person, but I can’t keep white things nice.  It doesn’t help that I live in the rust belt/limestone belt of the nation either.  Anyways, as any good phobic person, I try to stay away from bright white (except for my brief delusion that white kitchen cabinets would be divine with 3 kids).   I will buy  cream, Kona Snow, and off-white items though.   So imagine my dismay when the first block asked for by our Stash Bee hive mama, Heather,  called for a bright white background (ugh).  I can do this, I thought.  It’s just one block-I’ll do it real quick, ship it off and  everything will be fine….

The block is a paper pieced Kite/Mill and Stars block.  It’s really nice.  I unfortunately used a glue stick to keep the fabric on my paper and then scorched the glue when I was giving it a final press.  I’ve dabbed it with water but I can still see the scorched glue so I will be making a second block and not using glue this time–wish me luck or I’m going to have to go buy more white Kona.


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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.

IMG_0508

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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That’s me the eternal optimist…

I must be delusional to think that I can whip something easy up quickly.  I seem to do this to myself every other project.  (I apparently read too many sewing blogs where everything turns out beautiful.)

I started quilting the robot star quilt–it’s not going well.  Here it is basted

Basted robot star

So far so good.

It went downhill after that.  I spent 2 hours machine quilting with a cream-colored thread.  I had originally envisioned doing something different in each triangle and doing some echo quilting in the blue Kona sections.  It was horrid.  I’m fine if I use my presser foot as my guide but when I try to use the seam guide to quilt in wider swaths, things just go askew.

Horrid quilting 1  So I spent 4 hours and ripping out the unfortunate quilting and posted it on my local modern quilt guild’s site to ask for suggestions since these women are super talented and everything I’ve seen them do is exceptional.  So many wonderful suggestions–most involving FMQ (cue scary music) which I’ve never attempted.  I do need to try FMQ but I’m not ready to do that on a baby quilt that I want to give as a gift soon (–um like last week soon).  At the rate I’m going, I should have just hand quilted it.  I would have had better control at least.

So last night, I went back to the drawing board.  I’ve got 3 echo lines done inside the star with a blue variegated thread–I’m ripping out the inner outline because I just couldn’t keep my seam guide where I wanted it.  Once I get that line of thread ripped out, I guess I’ll draw all my lines on and go back to using my presser foot as my guide since that’s what works for me.  On the upside, I’ve finally figured out how to pull my top thread to the top so that I don’t get a big nest on the back.:)

I did an embroidered label for this quilt too and it’s ready to go as soon as the quilting is done.

The label-I put a robot on my t-shirt for this one.

I’m still trying to decide what to do for the binding.  I toyed with the idea of doing continuous prairie points around the entire quilt but I think maybe I should do that another time after I practice it on something little first (seeing as how the quilting has delayed me).  Which fabric would you choose for the binding?  I pretty much have plenty of each except for the orange  argyle and the brown with blue dots.  I have a lot of the striped fabric (an organic cotton from Robert Kaufman that I got on sale at Crimson Tate)–this fabric is so soft -perfect for a baby quilt.

Well, off to seam ripping…


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Robot Star Quilt

Some good friends of my husband just had another baby -their second boy.  I was thrilled that they had a boy because that meant I finally have a use for the Caleb Gray robot fabric that my son did not want for his quilt.    I love this fabric and have been anxious to use it. (I was ready to make a girl quilt though with some Walk in the Woods fabric by Aneela Hooey though if I had to.)

I used the Vintage Star Tutorial by Jeni Baker of In Color Order.  I followed it loosely –I made my blocks 10 inches and I just went on my own with colors and just used what I had that went together.  This was my first time doing HST’s.  I think the top went together pretty quickly all things considered.  (Does anyone else hate actually cutting their fabric?  I’m always worried that I’m going to mess up and I never find that my squares look even after the first cut.  There’s definitely something to be said for pre-cuts.)  I now recognize why some people press their seams open.  I did press the seams open for the HST’s but pressed the seams within the rows to the side thinking it would be easier to nest my seams–so needless to say, I have some very bulky points in the middle of the star.Star layout

Lil Bee was very excited about this quilt and has many “better” ideas for the next robot quilt that I make.  I’ll show you the finished top in my next post.


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My son’s quilt

Hi, again.  I am almost finished piecing the top for the quilt my son requested.  Of course, this morning he told me he wanted a blanket puppet that he saw on tv :(.  When I said that I was going to have his quilt done soon, his response was “but it can’t turn into a puppet”.

Anyways… I better get it done soon so I can move onto the ten other projects that I have waiting in the wings.  (I just bought fabric at a fantastic sale at the French Seam to make Lil Bee, my daughter, a quilt for her bed and I am contemplating making something for the EZ Dresden Challenge)

He want this cute little owl fabric, Forest Fun, by Amy Schimler for Robert Kaufman.  I decided to fussy cut the owl fabric and do strip piecing around it.  I made 2 test blocks–one that is all precise and even and one that is wonky.

Test block 1

Test Block 2

I decided to go with block 2–the wonky block.  It was less stressful.  This is my first improv project and I really like it.  I have finished 6 blocks and plan to do 3 more (my son told me he just wanted it the size of his Pooh Bear blanket–small is good:).  I’m going to put test block 1 on the back.  I’ve made the center owl block a different size for each block to compound the wonkiness/improv feel of the blanket.  I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out.  I am trying to decide whether I should sash it–I bought some bright blue Kona for the back and have plenty.  I think I want to use that crayon scribble fabric for the binding.  What do you think?