Tuesday, March 30, 2010

little things

sheet score

Sheets for a swap, fresh from the dryer, ready to cut.  Top, bottom, and 2 cases, all for three bucks.

A partner for another swap.  And wondering: who has me?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the coolest birthday gift of All Time

do a dots

A great friend, who was first a freshman-year-in-college next-door-neighbor, then sorority sister and next-door-neighbor-again, then after-college-roommate, then bridesmaid, then bride-who-had-me-as-a-bridesmaid,

(let me interrupt here to say that I was never a bridesmaid until after my own wedding--not sure what if anything this says about me)

has a daughter who's turning four.

We brought her this.

pouch & tinkerbell

Filled with these.

To use with this book, to make really delightful thumbprint creatures.  Ed Emberley is some kind of genius.

The awesome idea of pairing do-a-dots EE's book belongs to Amy from Let's Explore--she has some links to do-a-dot printables in her post--throw in a Sharpie and you're golden.  Do you ever get a pop-in-your-head idea, though, that you just can't let go?  I had one at about 7 o'clock last night...

pouch quilting & button

The pouch (clutch? bag?  not sure what to call it) is just fabric & batting sandwiched HouseonHillRoadCoffeeCozy-style, quilted TallgrassPrairieStudioUrbanGarden-style then sewn up the sides.  I tacked the flaps down, because they were flipping up like a part time job.

The exterior is a fat quarter from Connecting Threads (not so crazy about the quality of these fabrics in the long-term sense--anyone else have thoughts?), and the lining is almost the last piece of my all-time favorite thrift store shirt (which also made an appearance here).

pouch open

Kind of Hope Valley with the violet, don't you think?  It even coordinated with the Tinkerbell wrapping paper.

I don't kid myself that the do-a-dots will stay inside permanently, but I'm sure she'll be able to think of plenty of four-year-old-type things to put inside.

Please feel free to copy this idea (it's not mine, after all--my m.o. of late), unless you're planning to be invited to any parties-in-common with me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

my 15 seconds of fame

Remember this?

flying geese chair

It's a bee block that I made for Claire for TBK...and it's part of the masthead for the new Quilting Bee Blocks blog, an offshoot of the awesome flickr group of the same name.

Have I mentioned how much I love flickr?  It is the most ingenious website on the internet.  Where else can this and this and this coexist happily?

Anyway, of course, the credit for the block belongs to Claire...the idea for the blocks was hers--all I did was arrange the colors.  Still, it's kinda neat to see something I made up there in lights!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



From his room after lights out:

Daddy!?!  Why do octopuses have a lot of arms?

Friday, March 19, 2010

under the wire

Now it really is finished, without a second to spare.  I literally took it out of the dryer and got into the car to take it to the auction.  It was one of those situations where I really wish I'd had (or really taken better advantage of) ten more minutes.  The rush meant that Alex didn't have enough time to acclimate to the busy and the noise.   

There are so many kids here.  Some tears. 

His wonderful teacher held him for the beginning of the sing ("Danny Boy" + "Toora Loora Loora"--he whispered along) and by the time they were ready for his specialty ("Michael Finnegan"), he was back in business.

This wonderful teacher is part of our wonderful preschool, where the classrooms are painted (and named) yellow, green, and blue, hence the fabrics.  The top is modeled after this beautiful quilt, though the fabrics are from a variety of lines.

picnic quilt front

I cut the 16 fat quarters that made the team (I smiled when I saw this collection, because three of the fabrics I used appear there as well--which I'm wrangling into some sort of personal fabric selection validation, since I really love all of Rashida's work) into 17 inch squares, and arranged and rearranged for a good while.  I do wish I could swap one of the dark blues for one of the greens in the upper right corner, but every switch necessitated another, like dominoes, and so I finally drew the line and sewed them together.

The backing is mainly some (soft!) chambray that I already had, along with some scrappy patchwork from the prints.  I really had almost nothing left, but I'm so glad to have used what I did for something I'm keeping because I love this combination of fabrics.  A lot.

picnic quilt back

I quilted it in thread to match the binding, a risk I'm really glad I took, with imperfect (Jacquie calls them organic) lines about an inch apart--this took forever with a capital F.  I finally found a speed that my walking foot could handle without the process stealing years of my life.  It's bound in the teal-on-teal dots, along with some Kona everglade.

picnic quilt detail 2

It's home for the weekend so I could photograph it and go over the binding, and then back to school on Monday it goes, to meet its owner.  Next up is Alex's quilt (while I was working on this one, he kept asking, "Is that for me?")--but this one is hard enough to let go that I can see its cousin somewhere off in the future.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

when it's 60 degrees in March...

lunch on the porch

you might decide to eat lunch on the porch.  You'll wear a sombrero, and bring Curious George along to enjoy the sunshine.  You'll share a little bit of that delicious mango, but not too much.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


vgm mini quilt flat 2

It's finished!

Just kidding.  This is just a mini-quilt (even though it's not Monday) that I made from scraps to test out quilting design and thread color.

The real thing (check it out in the background...) is actually almost finished, and it'd better be totally finished by tomorrow at 11:15 a.m., because that's when the very-much-anticipated preschool St. Patrick's Day all-school sing and potluck and benefit auction (whew!) will be held.  Have you ever heard a preschooler practicing Michael Finnegan?  I have now, and it's cute.

Friday, March 05, 2010

it's not her, it's me.

These blocks are making me crazy.  Sewing is making me crazy!

The coolest idea from Debbie at Esch House Quilts for her Bee's Knees blocks--positive/negative versions of houses, swapping out a black-on-white and a white-on-black for the "sky" and the house itself, and colorful doors from our own stashes.  She offset them in the table runner she made to test out the block (which she designed herself)--it looks great.  So clever!  I can only hope to come up with something so neat for my month.

house pink door

Anyway, I had a little time this afternoon while Alex napped (the same child who, at 9:22 p.m., has just called for someone to fluff his pillow.  Goodness.) and thought I'd get a head start for the month.  I measured perfectly, sewed my seams at turtle speed, and instead of being 8 1/2 inches, they're more like 8 3/8.  Maybe 8 7/16 after pressing them with every drop of glycogen in my biceps, and I know she'll be able to work with them, but it's the principle.  This is not a new problem for me--I just don't know what I'm going to do about it, other than always make quilts where the blocks require serious squaring at the end.  I really wish I could interview (or watch in action) some of the notoriously accurate piecers out there--including Debbie herself, actually...check this out!  Can you even tell they're fabric?  Perfectly smooth, and flat, and probably the right size to boot!--just tell me what to do so that my blocks aren't too small, and I'll do it!

house green door

Anyway again, they're done, they're cute, and I hope Debbie likes them.

Thanks for indulging my vent.  On to the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

sewing a bit of spring

Just a quick project I made for my women's club fundraiser--this tutorial from House on Hill Road, with five bucks to Starbuck's inside.

coffee sleeve 1

Not sure how I feel about the button (it matches, but there's just something I'm not crazy about)...

coffee sleeve 2

but the fabric (and lining) sure felt like spring.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

on your mark, get set...

I've got two weeks to turn this into a quilt.
vgm stack

(Give It a) Go.

Monday, March 01, 2010


spider bee couch

This is March to me: mostly shadows, a little sun.  Not quite spring, but getting there.

In March, I suppose we should be looking toward shedding winter gear, but the hat I just needed to finish is finished.

tweedish, monster style

For now, we're calling this particular model the Monsters, Inc. Cap, but the "pattern" is called Tweedish because that's just how it looks to me.  I'm planning to write up a tutorial one of these days, because it's kind of a cool technique, and a good way to use up scraps of different yarns.

Interest really started to develop when I got out the pompon maker,

pompon maker

in an effort to work a little bit during playtime, and it actually went pretty well.  I am now a devotee of this tool (I actually bought a bunch of sizes with coupons and another project in mind), and once we noticed that the colors matched favorite characters Mike & Sulley,

monster hat happiness

he's barely taken it off.

spider bee 1

spider bee 2

These blocks are for ASB--mailed off to the UK this afternoon.  Very springy, even if the weather's not.  This quilt is going to be gorgeous.