It’s a good thing I’m not doing a stash busting challenge

Because seriously?

I’d lose.

This weekend, we went to Branson, MO. Naturally, I had to hit up the one fabric-y quilt shop in town. (Tons of quilt-y quilt stores.) Lots of great patterns, lots and lots of fabric, not a lot of pre-cuts, and some really cool panels I haven’t seen before – especially the Thomas Kinkade Disney ones. And Maisy. The Dude is already clamoring for the Maisy one.

When I got home, I had the Popcorn Bear fabric in the mail, and the jelly roll and layer cake of Fruitcake. Those came from my newest weakness, Stitch Steals. Evil website. New deal every day, get it while it’s hot! My pre-cut collection is growing suddenly and rapidly.

But, Popcorn has already been attached as borders and one twinnie quilt is basted. The Fruitcake is for a table runner and placemats for my mom’s birthday. The blue sky is for my new nephew, which is next in line on the project list. So hopefully some of this stash will disappear before it really has a chance to settle in.

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Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I Know What Boys Like – Tops

Despite the “assistance” from the cats, I finished up the tops of these and finally decided on the borders and backing. It took me a long time to find the actual fabric I decided on, Quilting Treasures’ discontinued Popcorn Bear line. The key word being “discontinued.”

I finally found it at Bernina World of Sewing and spent a tense weekend waiting to see if they still had it in stock. Which they did! The fabric arrived today, borders will go on next week and I’ll be quilting soon. And the twins aren’t even born yet!

Twin A’s

Twin B’s

Notice the change? There’s a Z of monkey faces in white now. I discovered when ironing…

…something isn’t quite 100% cotton. And kind of melty.

And I have two yards of it. Yippee.

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Charm Pack Quilt-Along – HST Done!

A week behind on the Quilt-Along, but I was running these through the machine between strips for the I Know What Boys Like Quilt and pressing seams during Buffy episodes. I love streaming Netflix.

Also, I like this ruler. Not quite love, but close. I had a coupon for “buy two, get one free” templates at Prairie Quilt’s Fat Quarter Frenzy. (Not discussing how many FQs I bought.) I bought a 4.5×8.5 ruler (that I do love) and a set of triangles that I plan on using for Cinderelly. Grabbed this one figuring if worse came to worst, I could use it to square up 6.5″ blocks.

It works fairly well, once you figure out how to line it up properly. It’s nice to have the smaller size and fewer markings – my other square is a full 12.5″ with markings all over it. However, it is slippery as all get out, so I need to borrow Freckled Whimsy’s tip and rubber-cement it. The instructions claim you can square it before pressing, but I’m not brave enough to try that. Not on this project, at least!

Ahhh… So glad that’s over with!

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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I Know What Boys Like – Cats

Wedge thinks Tycho has been getting too much blog exposure.

There’s a huge inherent problem with using the floor as your design wall when you have cats.

This took them about a minute.

“Wow, Mom, this is like a puzzle! We just, uh, wanted you to have fun putting it together again.”

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Shirr, why not?

I’ve been a little afraid to try shirring. I have no idea why. It’s so freaking easy! And with long straps and a Mommy who can hem, I can make the Gator a dress that will last a couple of summers.

I wound the elastic thread by machine, because I’m lazy. On the slowest setting, it wound nicely – not too loose, not too tight.

It was harder to get used to sewing on the right side of the fabric!

Two rows down and it was already starting to bunch up nicely. I used the gathering stitch on my machine and straightened the rows out only about five inches ahead and a couple of inches behind while I stitched.

After ten rows, my hands were starting to hurt, so I decided that was plenty of rows.

The finished back. That lovely shirring hasn’t even been steamed (that feature broke on my iron a long, long time ago.) It’s a bit long so that my sister can let down the hem next summer, and the summer after, and…

And don’t call me Shirley!

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Five Pounds…

…of tomatoes…

…leads to…

…leads to…

…the most awesome roasted tomato base. Half will become sauce, half will become soup. (The peppers on the side of the basket did not go in the base. Super hot salsa in this house!)

I’m picking another five pounds about twice a week now, all San Marzano and Roma. I got about three Rutgers off six plants, and there’s not a single tomato left nor a flower blooming. So disappointing to this Jersey Girl!

Peppers are doing spectacular – California Bell, Jalapeno, and Habanero. Peas and beans never came in for some reason. I might plant a couple more seeds when I plant some fall crops, if it’s ever cool enough outside to plant! Right now we’re outside for a total of five minutes to pick tomatoes. I’m not a fan of this over-100º weather. Neither is the Dude. He’s less tan now than he was in June.

I also have one carrot that my friendly bunny never ate. Bunny ate the weeds right next to the carrot, though! Bunny is awesome. I’ve tried taking his picture, but somehow it never works with the Dude right next to me yelling, “It’s a BUNNY!!”

And all the herbs are growing massive. Luckily, Alton Brown just did an episode on drying herbs, so I’ll be picking up a box fan and some air filters soon. Because AB told me to.

Published in: on August 4, 2010 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I Know What Boys Like Quilt – Stripping

Ha, got your attention there, didn’t I?

My cousin is having twins. I bought a jelly roll and two panels of Frolic, figuring at least ONE of them had to be a girl, and the boy would just get a little more blue in his.

They’re both boys.

So, new plan! I got scraps from my mother, my sister, and my own, and I decided on zig-zags of all the things little boys like. The quilts will be similar; a lot of the fabrics will be the same but in different positions. It’s made with 2.5×4.5″ strips. I could have sewn some together and then cut, especially in the middle, but I really didn’t have a plan so I cut and then laid out and then sewed.

BTW, a jelly roll strip will yield nine pieces. A fat quarter will yield between 28-30 depending on how well it was cut. A regular quarter yard, IF it’s straight (or someone generously cuts an extra inch), will yield 34.

My EQ design had 10×10 blocks, but I laid out 10×9 for some reason. By the time I realized it, everything was FINALLY perfectly laid out, so I wasn’t about to mess around with it again. I’ll let it be my Amish mistake. Or, um, I need that block space for the border. Yeah, that’s it!

While I was laying out the various pieces, someone decided my empty spaces looked like landing strips.

My cousin has been calling the boys her “cubs” so I’ve been looking for backing fabric with bears. Cartoony, not wildlife. Hopefully in a pattern that has two different color backgrounds so they will each be different but yet the same. Haven’t found anything just yet, but I have another month to hunt.

Published in: on July 31, 2010 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Welcome to the Jungle Quilt – Finished!

While I was in New Jersey, I got to meet my cousins’ babies, who are not babies any more but still got baby quilts.

Tried taking a picture of the finished quilt outside for the natural lighting and such. I think it came out better than my usual photos, at least.

Inside, same time of day. I guess I can see why people prefer to take pictures outside.

I quilted in wonky lines. Some are, um, less straight than others.

I ended up hand-stitching the binding instead of using rick-rack. Maybe on the next one… I just really love the way hand-stitched looks, even though it’s a pain to do sometimes.

I think he likes it!

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 10:29 am  Comments (1)  
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Charm Pack Quilt-Along

At Web Fabrics, I bought a couple charm packs of Love U by Deb Strain. I’ve been in serious love with this fabric since it came out, but for some reason, I haven’t bought anything but the panel and ABC book panel. Maybe because my quilt shop doesn’t tend to carry pre-cuts of the kiddie fabrics, and I never had a quilt in mind? But at $6.95 for TWO charm packs, I couldn’t resist. And then I came home to find out KarrieLyne is having a charm pack quilt-along!
Freckled Whimsy

Sweet! I have a bunch of leftover white from the pinwheels on the fairy quilt, so minus buying another charm pack and a couple yards to go with the panel on the back, I’m set!

I’m totally sold on the first design on the right in her layout post.

So my goal has been to get 10 charms into HST every day. It’s slowly coming along.

I don’t know where it’s going in the end. I’m thinking with the butterflies, probably to the Gator. Then I can make the ABC book and give it to her brother. Or maybe I’ll sell both the quilt and the book at the craft show this November. Or maybe I’ll keep it for myself despite the kiddie fabric. Because I really, really like the Love U fabric.

Published in: on July 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Exploring the feet of my machine

Specifically, overedge and blind hem.

Ooh, look at that! Professional!

(Though she, of course, posted it about a week after I finally figured it out, the Scientific Seamstress has the best tutorial I’ve seen on blind hems. I hope she does rolled hems next…)

Followed by the gathering stitch on the machine. I would kill for a ruffler foot. (Hint, hint, moms that read the blog.) I adore my machine. I just push the screen to the task I want to do, and it tells me the correct foot and sets the tension and such automatically. Coming from a very basic Brother, it’s magic!

A summer dress and two bloomers for my niece, A. We’re going to the beach with them in a few months and I can’t wait to see the ruffles on her butt! I have enough leftover fabric to make another top, one of my favorites that I stole from my mother. (In fact, that top is the reason I went hunting through her patterns in the first place.)

This dress and bloomers was Simplicity 4243. Not difficult at all, although I wasn’t thrilled with finishing the collar and armholes with single-fold. My mother-in-law made the same top and finished it with pinked fabric, and I think it looks nicer. Love the pleats, though! (Hey, a ruffler foot does pleats, too…)

Published in: on July 22, 2010 at 10:21 am  Comments (1)  
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