Thursday, September 29, 2011


Do you ever have those days, weeks, or months where you feel like a failure?  I have these goals that I want to accomplish when it comes to my quilting, my sewing, hey my life; I feel like I am going no where with them.  And so I iron fabric.

What?! Yeah, I sit at the table and iron scraps, fat quarters, and yardage.  I watch episodes of "Castle" while I drink copious amounts of water and wait for my body to expel my latest of kidney stones.  I want to create, sew, envision, mastermind...chose a word that fits, but most of all I want to accomplish.  I have some items that people have asked me to make, I have prizes to finish for my winners, I have half-finished quilts and I have dreams.  I do not ever expect to be famous for my crafting, but I want to accomplish, well, something.  So what can I do?

I am not sure, but I am going to iron more fabric...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And the Winner is....

Thank you Andrea and Stacy for entering my contest!

I have picked a winner from

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-09-18 21:16:17 UTC

The winner is: Stacy who said, " I don't have a lot of fabric, but if I did....I think the boxes you have are I would divide by color, pattern or plain, and then by size...large pieces, small squares, and jelly roll pieces..that is how I would start :)

Thank you both for entering! I will show everyone what was won in a couple days when the project is finished!

Friday, September 16, 2011

WIP: The Cutting Floor

Welcome to Friday!  I had promised you a tutorial on finishing the quilt top from last Friday's tutorial, but I had to put it to the side for a more important project that I will be telling you about in the next couple of weeks.  I promise I will come back to it and I think in the end you will understand.  In the meantime I have taken pictures of several projects that currently in the works, you have have had glimpses of them in the past.

This is called a 3-yard quilt for the obvious reason that it uses 3 yards of fabric for the quilt top!   I don't usually use a bought pattern but I am trying out different color combinations and thought this would be a great pattern to try.  The print has so many colors in it and is such a fun find last fall that I have been wishing that I had bought more than 2.5 yards! 

This is actually the blocks and parts for two quilt tops, the pattern is developing as I play with these wonderful colors from the "Origins" line that came out last year from Moda.  I am trying two different ideas out as I play with the blocks!

This project can be one or two quilt tops with fabric from another Moda fabric as well as solid colored Charm squares from their "Bella Solids" line.  I plan for this one to be a lap quilt size, therefore I wanted to make sure I have enough blocks.  I have more to say about this project another day when I can share the whole story, but needless to say I am super excited about this project.
So this is just a taste of what I have on my table today!  I will show you next Friday if I am able to advance in these projects or if I have foolishly added more projects to my pile.  The yellow and black fabric I showed you yesterday is taunting me, trying to get me to work on these projects so we can start playing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quilting Confession Is Good For The Soul!

Recently I came across a badge on the side bar of another quilting site.  I cannot tell you which one exactly because I was in my indulging time of clicking randomly from one site to another based upon the links or stories on those blogs.  I like to plan for a hour of random clicking twice a week.  I have come across some silly things, wonderful project ideas and some of my favorite blogs for return visits.  This time however I found the side bar badge which brought me to Rossie Blog where she wrote an article on The Process Pledge and now you can see I have made the pledge as well (and put a badge on my side bar as well).  I don't know how many times I have been surfing the web when I first started quilting, wondering how I was ever going to understand how these ladies (and guys quilt too!) make these wonderful projects.  I had so much more inspiration than abilities in the beginning.

Now I definitely believe that people should give credit when they use a tutorial from another designer, but I have found it amazing how many people unrelated/unconnected can really come up with the same ideas!  My favorite sites are the ones that share knowledge.  So, it is my hope that I can blog more honestly about my quilting processes, my feelings, even my frustrations.  One friend told me that she likes my quilts, but she could never do anything complicated like them.  I realized that I had failed to share the process, to her I had made it look like it was easy for me, so when she tried something it was complicated and frustrating.  She was discouraged to try more.  I hope through being more honest in my blogging she will be inspired to give things a try; hey I have lots of failures, and I will show when those can happen on a project.

And speaking of confessions, I have to tell you that I did the unthinkable, I bought more fabric.  I took some babysitting money to the new Super Walmart that opened up about 7-15 minutes from me (depending on traffic) and bought some of the "Creative Cuts" pre-cut fabrics.  I have been curious how they compare to the designer fabrics I usually buy.  When I saw these prints, it was just too much to resist because I have been wanting to do a black and yellow quilt that won't look too much like a bubble bee!  I will be posting tomorrow to tell you about my WIP for the week.  I am using the new fabric as an incentive to finish all my other projects I am in the middle of currently, and then the cutting will begin!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fabric Stash-The Ugly Truth Contest

I have written or at least alluded to the fact that I had collected a tiny, itty bitty stash of fabric...and now that I have practiced a little irony for the day, I will express just how much I am over my head.  In the containers on the back of the wall in the photo I started to organize and iron my fat quarters in color order.  In typical fashion I got distracted in this process and started adding yardage or whatever fabric I came across besides the tiny scraps which have their own little place.  Not sure where I was exactly in the process, I pulled them all out today, realizing that only a portion of my fabric is organized, and then promptly felt overwhelmed!

The fabric piled up on the table in front of the containers is just a a few piles I grabbed from other parts of the craft room.  There is a rubbermaid tote full, a couple milk crates full, and honestly that pile from my mother that I washed (30 times) is still piled on the floor waiting to be ironed and designated for use.  We are going to ignore the Decorating fabric tubes taking up a corner of my bedroom closet for the simple fact that I do not use a lot of it in my craft making (It mostly goes towards new international students need for curtains here in the married dorms).  There are several bolts of fabric tucked through out the room that makes me truly look like I should open my own shop.  There is a shelf half-filled with random wools, seasonal scraps, and costume fabric behind my front door (behind the curtain).  And finally, every other surface area in my craft room has little piles of fabric, fabric separated for project uses, baskets (several) of strips from scrap bags, and random scraps everywhere.

My goal:  to figure out how much yardage I currently have, use as much said yardage as possible, and not to acquire too much more fabric!

Problem:  Fabric is not organized, I basically have no idea what I have, and some fabrics are not appropriate for the way I am quilting (not cotton).

Solutions:  ???  This is what I need from you!

Contest:  Do you have ideas of how I could organize my fabric more effectively?  Do you have ideas of how I could use my stash of fabrics in projects?  Please share with me in the comments to this post!  If you are a follower and are not a "no-reply blogger"(click HERE to find out how you can fix this) I will pick a person randomly to win a prize!  I will draw the winner on Sunday, September 18th so comments will close on Saturday night.  I will make the prize a good one!

UPDATED: Comments closed, winner will be announced tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Tumbler Quilt Top Tutorial

A tumbler quilt can be a quilt quick project that gives you a little more variety than a simple square-to-square quilt.  You can purchase a special ruler that you can use to cut your pieces, but I will also show you how you can make your own template.
Tools needed for this project:  an iron, an ironing surface,  hand-sewing needles, machine needles, thread, bobbins, scissors, rotary cutter, a rotary cutting mat, a cutting ruler, a pen/pencil, cardboard measuring 5 in. X 5 in., fabric in proportions listed for this project, binding clips (optional), and sewing gloves (optional).
Fabric needed for this project:

1.  1 (42-pieced) charm pack-prints or various prints cut to measure 5in. X 5 in. (41 blocks needed in all).

2.  1 (40 or 42-pieced) charm pack-solid or 3/4 yard of a solid or small print fabric for Main blocks.  (Note: Directions for cutting fabric yardage will be listed in project details).

3.  1/2 yard of coordinating fabric for Binding

4.  1 1/2 yards of fabric for Back

Note:  2 3/4 yards of fabric total for Main blocks, Binding, and Back fabrics if you would like to use the same fabric.

5.  3/4 yards of fabric for the Sashing; this fabric should be different than the other fabrics to show a nice contrast and frame the patterned blocks.

6.  A package of crib-sized batting or a piece of batting measuring 45 in. X 55 in.

Preparing the template:

Step 1:  Mark the pre-measured and cut piece of cardboard 1 inch from the left side inwards.
Make the same mark 1 inch from the right edge.

Step 2:  Make a line with a pen or pencil from the left bottom corner to the  mark one inch from the left top corner.  Connect the right bottom corner to the mark 1 inch from the right top corner.

Step 3:  Your template should be marked in this way, if it does not look like this picture start your template over. Cut along the marked lines to complete the making of your template for this project.
Using your template: 

Step 4:  From your charm pack or precut fabrics (cut into 5 in. X 5 in. squares) choose 1-4 squares stacked.  Placing the template on the squares, line your ruler up on the edge.  Careful not to cut the template, use the rotary cutter to cut through the fabrics.  Repeat this step on the other side.

Step 4b:  This is what your cut charm squares or mixed prints should look like.

Step 5:  To cut your pieces from the solid or small print fabric for the main print in this quilt You must first prepare the fabric.  Iron your fabric so that the salvage edges meet, then take the center fold to the salvage edges, iron it again.  This will make it easier to fit your fabric on a cutting mat and allow you to cut multiple pieces at once.  Once you have cut 5 inch wide strips from the quartered fabric, use your template and ruler alternately as pictured here to cut your pieces.  You will need 40 pieces cut from the fabric to complete this project.
Step 6:  Starting with a "mixed print" tumbler piece alternate blocks until you have 9 rows with 9 blocks each for a total of 41 "mixed prints" blocks and 40 "main print/solid" blocks.  The important step is to get the blocks down; you can then take time to rearrange to suit your liking.
Construction of Rows:

Step 7:  With right sides together you line up the sides of the blocks, making sure that they do not overlap on the ends.  Iron all seams towards the "main print/solid."  You can sew several pairs together one right after the other, snip threads between pairs and iron without having to stop and start after each pair.  It is sort of like a factory's assembly line.  This will cut some time off your project!

Step 8:  With rights sides together, aline the pairs so they can be sewn together.  Continue this until the whole row is complete.  Move onto the next row until you have 9 complete rows.

Step 9:  Now it is time to connect the rows together!  With right sides together, pin in place the two rows, if you have ironed all seams to the "main print/solid" the rows should nest into one another.  Even so, it is wise to pin them together so they do not shift in the sewing process.

Step 9b:  This is what your quilt top should look like once you have assembled all 9 rows together.

Step 10:  Folding the quilt top in half with the flat ends together, lay it on your cutting mat.  Place you ruler where each narrow part of the tumbler meets.

Step 10b:  Using your rotary cutter, cut along the ruler to form a straight edge.  Repeat this on the other side of the existing quilt top.

Step 11:  Prepare your sashing and binding fabrics as described in Step 5 of this tutorial.  For the sashing fabric you will want to cut 4 pieces of fabric measuring 5 in. X WOF (Width Of Fabric)

Step 11b:  This would be a great time to also cut your binding fabric.  I will explain the different binding cuts and techniques in "Finishing a Quilt Tutorial" that I will work on next.

Step 12:  First, trim the salvage from one end of a sashing strip. It is very important that you attach the sashing to the longer side first!  With right sides, pin the long side to a sashing strip; pinning will help the seams to stay put while attaching.

Step 12b:  There will be a little bit of excess fabric on the end.  You can use a rotary cutter or a pair of scissors to trim this off, just make sure it is straight.  Iron the seams towards the sashing.

Step 12c:  This is what your quilt top will look like after you have attached the sashing to the two longer sides.

Step 13:  Attaching the sashing to the ends of the quilt top will repeat Steps 12a & 12b.    The reason for attaching the longer sides' sashing first is so that all the measurements and pieces form a quilt with a full back (for a regular sized piece of fabric).  If you would like a bigger quilt you can play around with the sizes and perhaps cut your sashing pieces vertically instead of horizontally.  You may need to cut and add blocks to your existing number if that is the direction you would like to go.  You may also need to make the quilt backing from several pieces; next week's tutorial will explain.

Completed:  One quilt top measuring about 41 in. X 50 1/2 In.

The neutral version in green, teal, light blue and a touch of Red

The feminine version in pinks, purples, lime green & peach

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Monday, September 5, 2011

A Slight Delay

The tutorial will be posted tomorrow Wednesday instead.  I have run out of power in my camera so I stopped sewing for the day; I will pick it back up tomorrow Wednesday after my hair cut!  This will be a great quilt to sew up in a day or at least a weekend.  See you tomorrow Wednesday!

Updated 09/06/2011:  A great friend loan me some batteries this afternoon which has allowed me to finish taking pictures as I finished the tumbler quilt top.  I have most of the pictures loaded into the post, but I will need more time to finish the explanation of the steps. I will post Wednesday morning before I leave the apartment.  Thank you so much for your patience! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WIP: Baby girl Tumbler Quilt

Well my thoughts about blogging three times a week has dwindled to 1.5 times a week!  It is going to take a week or so to get my fabric ironed, measured, organized, and put away in the right location, so I am going to delay posting a stash report for a couple of weeks, and then I plan to post weekly about sewing through my fabric collection!

This week I have focused on a quilt for my brother, Nick's, new daughter.  I am hoping to figure out a way to incorporate her name or initials at least into the design.  I will write up the directions for this quilt on Monday; you can use a little scrap material up or to make it quicker you can use a pre-cut charm pack.  I am hoping to have this project completed by Sunday, but it takes the time it will take!

On another note:  Nugget is starting to move around at a particular time!  Right now its between 8PM-9PM and he/she is very active.  I am debating on fabric choices for a quilt for Nugget as much as we are discussing names.  We still do not know the gender and we are not sure that we will share that until they are born; after all, I was supposed to be a boy all the way up until I was born!  For those of you that have asked about tummy pictures, I may post one this next week.  See you all next week!