Friday, December 30, 2011

TGIFF/TW: "The 12 Days Of Christmas..."

It's Sew Good To Be Back!
[I snuck back on a day early :-D] To say that I missed you all would be putting it mildly; blogging has organized my life and enticed me to finished more projects than you can imagine!  By Thursday last week I could not figure out even what day of the week it was and I was itching to get back into my craft room.  Feeling quite a bit more rested, I begun spending small pockets of time trying to work on some of the little things still plaguing me and of course I started a couple little projects...<laughter>  I have also been working on some pre-apology sweets for the nurses/hospital staff for when I go into labor; one bucket of goodness for each shift!  So far I have made cake balls, chocolate cream cheese truffles, and I am thinking of maybe cookies as well; any ideas??

How was your Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holiday celebrations?  As Anglicans our family is learning more about the 12 Day of Christmas; it amazes me how many celebrations happen all around the world this time year!  Before next Advent season, I am hoping to make a liturgical Advent calendar, but first I am so excited that I finished my first regular [wonky] Advent Calendar top (backing fabric is in the mail, I am eagerly waiting for delivery)!  So on to the complete finishes for the past two weeks!
1 Mug Rug 5.75" X 8.5" (14 cm X 21.5 cm) in sage green/mustard yellow/coral
Flared girl's top in black/brights with Lime Green accents (Size 2 child)
QAYG baby quilt in Pastels with Bright Yellow print backing (40"X 40")
And along came some WIP/UFO's...Yes, once again I have unearthed more random unfinished projects hidden in storage boxes!  Even if I do not get them all completed, at least I will have them all together before our next move (I think/hope).  I am waiting to make decisions on claiming some of the projects I found, but for now, here are 4 more to add to my list<sigh>
I can't remember what these are for, but I am thinking of making them into place-mats...
The fate of these 3 Projects:  currently waiting for me to claim them
I was also able to sandwich & quilt the Modern Pinwheel Twist Quilt; the binding has been attached as well.  I just need to hand-sew the binding to the front and I can deliver it to the winners of our Baby Name guessing Contest.  I will be wrapping up 2011 in my post tomorrow and announcing my own small giveaway on Sunday (I need to clear out more fabric to make way for Ziona)!

Linking up this week to:
TGIFF hosted this week by Jess @Life Under Quilts,
& This Week hosted by Sunni @Love Affair With My Brother!
Also check out Laura's (of Quokka Quilts) Fabric Giveaway!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm In A Bind...

Once you have basted the three layers together it is time to choose your quilting process, please consider checking out The Free Motion Quilting Project , which has literally hundreds of different stitches that she has shared with others.  A great idea is to make a solid square quilt with different stitches chosen from her collection!  It's on my some day list to do as well.
[Edited 01/03/2012:  Leah added a Quilt-a-long, can be found HERE]

How to make binding:

1.  Carolina Fair Designs How to make 4 yards of bias tape from 1 fat quarter
2.  Crazy Quilt Mom How to use a jelly roll to make binding
3.  Cotton Creek Sewing Bias tape binding I would like to try.
4.  Jaybird Quilts One of my favorite quilt bloggers has several tutorials on bindings, her tutorials also include instructions for attaching the binding to your quilt or even curved pieces, brilliant!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Basting Day: "I'm Stuck Like Glue..."

Welcome to Basting Day!  I am a woman of the modern century  who enjoys every short cut to my projects I can muster without sacrificing quality, so I have fully embraced the spray basting process.  However, I will also walk you through the old fashion process as well, with hopefully a few tips that might help in the process.

Items to have on hand before beginning:
1.  A basting spray
2.  Breathing mask
3.  Blue painter's tape
4.  A Lint roller (clean surface of fuzz)
5.  Goo-be-gone (clean off stickiness)
6.  Empty cardboard tube or fabric bolt cardboard (makes for a smoother transfer)
7.  Batting cut one inch bigger than project
8.  Backing fabric cut 3 inches bigger than project, even if pieced together
9.  Curved safety pins (optional)

There are several ways you can go through this process.  In the picture I chose to first add my batting to my top, then after rolling it back onto the cardboard tubing I added my top/batting to the backing fabric.  You can pick up these cardboard tubes for fabric stores that sell home decor fabric--often for free.

Learn from my fail:  I would like to tell you several pitfalls to this method so that you can have a happy harmonious basting day (or at least a better one than my started out to be before I thought to use tape)!  First, you will notice that nothing is taped down. That is a very important thing to note because as you will see in the second example of basting a little bit later, this stops your backing fabric to avoid the dangers of shifting while you are adding fabric and spraying.  Secondly, the thicker the item is on the cardboard that you are applying, the slower you will need to go to smooth out the fabric and to constantly watch to make sure your application of said project is even.

I want to cover more step to Step details with the next installment,where I am going to continue by showing a step by step of how I prepare every thing before hand.  So gather your items and meet back up with me tomorrow.

In honor of Basting day (part 1) I have a video to share!  A friend showed this one to me; I love how the video interprets the song a whole different way...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SR-W51: Time to take a Break...

Last week was exhausting, and although these days I have a good excuse with my pregnancy, I mainly just sat there last week entering comments for the Giveaway Day posts.  A Lot of time was spent on that, and one cannot help but feel a little discouraged when they don't win anything.  Oh I expected that I would not, but there is so much hope and anticipation that kept me going.  I will be sending out the packages for my two Giveaway Day winners tomorrow.

Then I shall be taking a couple weeks off from the blogoshere to work on some things around the house in anticipation to the best Prize anyone can get, the coming of my daughter!  I may work on a  few things, but the World Wide Web will have to be content without me until Friday, December 30th when I post for TGIFF and Finish it Up Friday.  The next day I shall have a wrap-up for the year, posting my goals for the new year.  I have decided to host a giveaway sometime in January, it may be the first week, or a little later, I'll let you know that on my Wrap-up Post!  Thank you all for your encouragement, your comments, and your visits.

May you Have a wonderful Christmas time, celebrating with those you love!

I leave you with my last stash report of the year!
Busted this Week:                  07.00 yards (Including the giveaway day Prizes)
Busted from 08/01/2011:       222.50 yards
Stashed this Week:                00.00 yards
Stashed from 08/01/2011:       95.5 yards
Net Busted for 2011 (from 08/01/2011):  127.00

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday Night Sew-in & Giveaway Day Results!!

Friday Night Sew-In

Thank you for your patience in waiting for my Friday Night Sew-In post!  I was hoping to hear from my Giveaway Day winners before this post hit the blogosphere!

I had high hopes for competing a lot of projects, but it was not to be.  However I am very glad to have gotten much further on a WIP/UFO started 3 years ago!  I added the foggy effects to the picture because that is about how I was feeling towards the end!  I have 5 rows with 5 blocks each, some still need a little top-stitching.  I have two rows sewn together, 2 rows pinned, and 1 row just hanging out.  The hardest aspect of this project is that I had every pin basted.  I totally forgot what it is like to quilt on something that shifts so much!  I had thought about not spray basting because of costs, but if I have to give that up I think I will give up quilting as well!

I think I made great headway on my Valentine's tea cart topper/table runner by ironing on adhesive and cutting all the heart pieces out.  I am not a person who likes pink (at all), but I am wanting to start decorating our place for holidays, seasons, and well just to feel homey.  I am thinking our baby girl will enjoy the colors changing out when she comes along!  This topper might be done by next Friday's TGIFF or I may have to devote all of next Saturday to sewing to get my WIP's done before they turn into UFO's at the stroke of Midnight New Year's Eve!  The very project I showed you yesterday, telling you that I was going to work on only got a few squares sewn together.  It will need different amount of squares for each placemat, so I am trying to plan that out before I have to seam-rip (I would rather go to the dentist).

GiveAway Day

The 1st winner chosen by the best comment is:
Marcia W who said,"As your child grows, they will start exploring and pulling things out. Suggestion: Invest in a storage unit that has drawers on the bottom and open shelves on the top. Then, use clear plastic containers with lids of the size that fits your unit. My mother's sewing area was in a deep closet with shelves, the machine cabinet in the middle, good lighting, and louvered bifold doors that closed to hid the mess. All her craft and sewing supplies were in clear boxes on sturdy deep shelves on each side of the closet, making use of that area on the fixed end of the doors. There was separate closet for clothes. This was in my bedroom, and it worked! Thanks for the giveaway. "

The reason I chose her comment was because I realized after reading her comment we had such furniture already;  My husband's Executive desk, Credenza, Filing cabinet, And matching book case.  I had never considered asking him to use it, but when I asked, he said it is mine for the new apartment!  This will allow everything to be locked away on the bottom, open on the top and in the common area so I can work there at any time of day or night!  Thank you Marcia!

2nd Winner was chosen by Mr. Random Generator is:

Cat who said," Ha! I am the worst person to ask this question to. I live in a tiny apartment so my crafting stuff is stuffed into every crevice and hole I can find!"


Thank you for all those you participated in my first Giveaway Day!  I am sorry if you did not win, I wish I could have given many of you prizes.  I am planning on having another giveaway over the first week of the new year; please check back!  I am now in anticipation of attending Ziona's first baby shower!  I am so excited that other people want to celebrate her with me, I can't begin to say what it means to me...Tomorrow is Stash Report & maybe a picture from the shower!

Friday, December 16, 2011

TGIFF7: Free Motion Joy and a Whole lot of Scrappiness!

I finished a Christmas mini-quilt and hung it on my new mini-quilt table holder (with optional tree header) that I was able to pick up from Connecting Threads for $16 USD.  It's the only sign of Christmas in the whole apartment right now unfortunately, but perhaps I will get the Advent Calendar tonight for the Friday Night Sew-In!  I cut out the letters which was ironed onto fusible web and then did my own sort of free-motion tree around the words.  It was kind of fun, but it makes me look forward to all the FMQ stitch practice I will be doing this next year, it definitely is needed!

I think I listed and featured most of my finished projects on my WIP posting this week, please take a gander/peek if you wish!

I do not know if I will get to the Advent Calendar, but I can tell you a couple of the items I am hoping to tackle tonight!  The first being these placements on the left that I have been working on since the Spring! I think I have finally figured out how I will be adding the word art that has been flummoxing me for many months.  

The next item on my list is to do some planning with my overflowing collecting of scrap bag strips!  This container on the right is not quite all of them even, so I must get something planned with them.  I have been using them for baby bibs and burp cloths for baby shower gifts, but I am thinking of making some lap quilts with several of the lines I have here.

New projects (since last Friday)- 6
In process - 18
Finishes (Since last Friday)- 15

Linking up this week to:
TGIFF hosted this week by Lucy @Charm about you,
Finish It Up Friday hosted by Amanda Jean@Crazy Mom Quilts!
Also check out Laura's  QAYG-FMQ-QAL for 2012!

Giveaway day-My winners have been picked, notified, and now I am waiting to hear back from them before I announce the winners either Saturday or Sunday (American Central Time)!  Tomorrow night I attend my first baby shower for my own little girl, Ziona!  I am rather nervous actually!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIP: The Sore Fingers Edition...

Welcome Blogland!  Are your fingers as tired as mine are?  I have had to take a few extra naps to recover from "giveaway day" so far!  How are you faring?  Anything you think I must take a look at?  If so, add a link to it in the comments section and I will check it out!  I have truly enjoyed reading and responding to comments, but my heart is sadden that I had so many "NO Reply Bloggers" out there with truly fantastic ideas that can't win my give-a-ways!

And now on to our regularly scheduled last-minute-edition of WIP's!  Last Thursday, Friday And Saturday I participated in the "Occupy Sewing Room" Challenge ( I had to do the spread out version on account of baby girl cooking).  So consequently I have quite a few more items both cleared off and added to my Progress list!

11 burp cloths, 2 Christmas potholders
Melting Rainbows
A Christmas Pot-holder 
I also finished one of the projects I am writing a tutorial about.  I hope to post a set of tutorials over January thru April on Tuesdays.  It's a way I can still participate in my lovely blogging community while having a baby, recovering from said baby, adjusting to life with said baby, and moving with said baby (when she is 9-12 weeks)!

Added over the past week:
Two Quilt tops in Yellow, Grey, White & Black

Modern Pinwheel Twist quilt top won by our "Baby naming contest" winner who correctly guessed the name of our little girl!  Check out "Giveaway Day" blog post to win the materials to make your own quilt top!

Right in the middle of working on my secret project, my husband begs me to make him a gift for his secret Santa!  Then he said , "Oh it's too nice to give away, I'll find something else!"  I love that man!
 Among my two additions for this week is a Valentine's table runner (circles in the picture on the lower right) and a secret project involving the fabrics from the picture on the left!  Some projects have been taken off my WIP list permanently because I gave them over to someone else to finish!

I have pretty much stuck to bed rest since Monday, we will probably not have much turned out for TGIFF, hosted over at Lucy's Charm About You this week.  I am hoping to be able to participate in my first "Friday Night Sew-In" this coming Friday, but we will see!

So my WIP's this week are:
New projects -6
In process - 19
Finishes - 16

Linking up to:

Well, no where really, everyone is on break! lol.

Monday, December 12, 2011


"Modern Pinwheel Twist" quilt top measures about 60"X 60"
Welcome to Giveaway day!  Last year I was down with Meningitis so I spent the 3 days trying to comment on as many links as I could and yet still did not make it though the entire list!  I decided that this year I wanted to give something away as well!  I found so many new blogs to follow and was connected to so many people around the world.  Be sure to check out the master linky party at our super hostess Sew Mama Sew!  I have two winners to chose today!

So What am I giving away?
First person chosen will receive :
Enough fabric to complete the "Modern Pinwheel Twist" quilt top above!
1- "Oh My!" Moda Charm pack
1- Bella Black Moda Charm pack
0.75 yard of yellow fabric
1.5 yards of black fabric
1- 24"X 24" Red Square to cut out your square to fit
("Lil' Twister" tool not included)

Second person chosen will receive:
1 "Just Wing It" Moda Charm pack
1 "Crazy for Dots & Stripes" RJR Charm Pack

What you must do to be in the drawing?
I have plans to move in the spring, therefore I will have to set up my crafting area anew!  This time though I will have to take a small child into mind (Our baby girl is due in January/February!)  Make a comment below giving me a craft room organization tip or things to keep in mind when planning the organization of my crafting area.  What has helped you the most?  What has hindered you from completing projects?  You are welcome to become a follower however it is not required to be considered, nor will it increase your chance of winning.  I did not like the hoops some blogs required last year, so I certainly will not do that to you!

I am so sorry that I am not able to ship internationally this year (meaning I cannot drive currently because of my pregnancy, but I can walk to the US post office 1/2 a block a way.) so, this time the giveaway is only open to US residents who have a way for me to contact them (meaning you are not a no-reply blogger).

When will the winner be chosen?
The comment section will close on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5p.m. PST.  I will chose the first winner from the best comment/advice I receive! The second winner will be chosen by (you may only win one prize).  I will contact the winners no later than Sunday, December 18, 2011.  I will announce the winners when I have received a response from the email indicating the person has won.  If there is no way to contact a winner, another winner will be chosen.  Thank you for entering my give-away!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

SR-W50: "Occupy Sewing Room" Challenge

I cannot believe how completely tickled I am by my progress through the "Occupy Your Sewing Room" Challenge!  Neither my WIP list nor my Stash Report ever looked so good!  I did end up having to spread out my time a little bit because of my pregnancy I get quite tired these days.  My husband helped me rearrange my sewing room a little bit to make it easier to put a big comfy chair in there.

Things Finished:

1 secret project (I will show in a few weeks along with a tutorial) and...

11 burp cloths completed, 2 hour-glass pot holders (experiment w/ loop placement)
"Melting Rainbows" Wall Hanging
Christmas Colors- Wonky block pot holder

Quilt tops finished, but projects not completed:
2 quilt tops in yellow/grey/white/black should measure about 50'X 55"
Quilt top with a modern try at the pinwheel twist Should measure about 60"X 60"

So here's the much, much happier verdict this week:

Busted this Week:                  08.75 yards (not counting the quilt tops yet)
Busted from 08/01/2011:       215.50 yards
Stashed this Week:                00.00 yards
Stashed from 08/01/2011:       95.5 yards
Net Busted for 2011 (from 08/01/2011):  120.00

Friday, December 9, 2011

TGIFF6: At the End of the Rainbow...

It's Friday again!  And I finally am finished with my "Melting Rainbows" wall hanging!  I was asked by several people how I was able to add the pieces to the wall hanging.

 1.  Cut parchment paper the same size of the fabric pieces (which have already been ironed to fusible web, with the paper back still on, check out picture on this POST)
2.  Place paper cut-out roughly where you want to put the piece.
3.  Sketch roughly around the other pieces
4.  You then cut along those lines, sketch again & cut paper until it fits the area you woud like to fill.
5.  Place paper on the fabric piece, cutting along the one side first (which ever side has more items to fit the piece around).
6.  Place in the area you are wanting to fill, adjust piece just in case it does not fit correctly
7.  If the other side is open (not filled with other pieces) you can cut however you would like, be creative.
8.  When piece is as you would like, pull the backing off and iron in place.  Move onto the next piece you would like to add.

The black background is two pieces of Kona solid black fabric spray-basted with a layer of Warm & Natural cotton batting between.  I cannot tell you how to go through this process sanely with pin-basting since every can shift around and cause possible bubbles so I spray-baste.  It was finished off with zig-zagging around each piece and then a little FMQ on the outside edges, then bound with a black print with grey pebbles.

I postponed my "Occupy Sewing Room" challenge to do all day tomorrow (I wasn't feeling well so crafting did not go long today).  You should click on the button on the right side to find out all about it.  I will post what I accomplish on Sunday.  Also we have announced the winner & the name of our little girl:  "Ziona Katriel"  You can find out more about what that means reading my Husband's POST!

Don't forget to also check out the link for Giveaway Day.  I may be busy checking other links, but I am also giving some things away!

My Friend Katie also has some great Christmas giveaways on her blog, Shades of Grey, go check it out!

I am linking up this week to:
TGIFF being hosted by M-R at Quilt Matters
& Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A jar, a haircut, a Challenge and a Last minute potholder...

So with everything I have put on my plate, I threw together a last minute item!  One of my friends, sent me a thank you card thanking me for the "potholder."  I was suddenly terrified that she meant the mug rug I gave her for Christmas, I texted her the next day.  Turned out she did not have any official pot-holders, so I thought I could make one up in a couple hours.

Now, I tried to think back if I have ever actually made one; certainly those yarn weaving ones when I was a child, but not a quilted one.  I used 1 layer backing, 1 layer of cotton batting, 1 layer of pant material, 1 more layer of cotton batting, and then the top.  It was randomly quilted across in straight lines angling just like I did with the Mug rugs.  Made a wonky block for one and two others in an hourglass block (I wasn't sure which way I wanted to go).  It was finished off with some green binding I already had left over from another project. [I procured a new jar for my ever increasing pile of left-over bindings yesterday!]

The one below was completed before I ran off to get my haircut, so I slipped it into my purse for a quick delivery afterward.  Then I had a fun treat; a friend came by and spent the rest of the day with me.  We talked and talked forever; in fact I may be losing my voice today!  Another friend is coming for a visit today, bringing her mother who is visiting her from back home (Alaska).  So I am off to do a little vanity cleaning, we shall see if I get anything else completed for TGIFF tomorrow hosted at M-R's Quilt Matters.  Stop by her place/blog, even if you don't hear a peep out of me until Saturday!

I plan to participate in the "occupy your sewing room" challenge.  You spend one full day in your craft room finishing up projects (click on the button here or the button on my sidebar for more information).  We are moving a comfy chair in there later tonight to ready the room for me to do crafty all day tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WIP: Countdown...

Today I am feeling a little behind.  I sort of dreaded Wednesday coming this week because I haven't completed much lately.  Yeah, I know I am technically supposed to be resting, but since I lost 11 lbs of extra water I was carrying around last week, I am feeling pretty good in comparison!  For those concerned, I am laying down for most of the day...well, most of it.

In less than 2 weeks I have my first baby shower for Nugette (hopefully someone will have guessed her name by then)!  In 3 weeks my husband's parents (and maybe Grandma!!!) will be coming for a visit for a couple of days so we can celebrate Christmas together.  And so the countdown begins...7-13 weeks from now I will have a precious baby girl to put somewhere...sigh.  It's not beginning to look like Christmas here in our household or outside.  We might get another freak snow storm in January/February just in time for baby girl, we might even have to turn the heat on this year (just for her, mind you).

So, with so much to do, (as my husband incredulously noted) I started another project...or 2 or 3, errrr rather 4...Yes I did.  I am working on the "Melting Rainbows" which has about half of the zig-zagging down, but I needed something I could work on sitting on a mountain of pillows or standing for a few minutes.  It also wasn't really going well with the swollen hands.

I have a series of tutorials that I have been working on for a couple of months to put up when baby girl comes home.  In part so I don't feel disconnected, in part so I feel like I am accomplishing something.  Yes I know, feeding and caring for my little girl will be quite the job!  I have plans to fill up my Quilt top basket (I replaced it with a bigger basket with a handle).

My goals for this week/month:
1.  Finish and save my hopelessly unaligned "Advent Calendar"
2.  Finish another tutorial project and write up the post on it.
3.  Finish "Melting Rainbows" by next Friday
4.  Purge through my WIP's by the end of the month.  (Am I really ever going to finish that project?)
5.  Get practice squares ready for the FMQ challenge, Laura's FMQ-QAL & practicing other stitches from Leah Day's FMQ Project (seeing a trend for 2012?)

Project Stats for this week:
New Projects:     4      
In Process:       31
UFO's:               0 (WIP's left at year's end)
Finishes:           4

I am linking up to Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday!

Lee from Freshly Pieced is taking a break from WIP Wednesday until the beginning of the year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

SR-W49: A Very Small Showing

This year I will be entering Giveaway day hosted by Sew Mama Sew!  And I will be giving some items away in the "sewing Supplies" category!  Last year I won some beautiful fabric from one of the stores that posted items for giveaway and so I thought that this year I might give something away myself.  Please stay tuned for December 12th when the giveaways start!

This week I was a very, very good girl in comparison to last week that is!  I did not buy any fabric, but I was able to get a few little lingering projects done off my WIP list!  The next week I am hoping to have the "Melting Rainbows" wall hanging completed, continue working on the Cowboy table runner and the advent calendar, sadly enough, still hasn't been touched since I had my meltdown moment with it.  We will be packing up some items from my craft room and reorganizing it in the next couple of weeks.  We plan to use part of it for storage to make more room elsewhere for the baby and to start staging our boxes for moving in April/May/June!  And I will continue to rest some  Have a wonderful week and happy crafting!

so here's the happier verdict this week:

Busted this Week:                  00.50 yards
Busted from 08/01/2011:       206.75 yards
Stashed this Week:                00.00 yards
Stashed from 08/01/2011:       95.5 yards
Net Busted for 2011(from 08/01/2011):  111.25