I often claim to have a Quilting "Hobby" in attempts to hide my obsession with fabric and color.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quilting? At Christmas time.

Once again I have fallen behind on my goal to blog daily, or even weekly. But I have a GOOD reason right now. I don't have time! Whew....I said it. I mean really? Christmas time....the tree, the decorations, the (LATE)cards, the cookies, the shopping, the wrapping, and in my case, the SECRET keeping!!! No wonder I need naps.

If you know me, you know I can keep a life altering secret. I can keep those things told in confidence to myself. But presents? OMG.....I blab like a kid on santas lap. And not because I can't shut up. Just because I'm so excited to see how excited the recipient will be.

So I have this project I started. Another WIP that I couldn't tell you exactly when it began. I was inspired by a beautiful quilt at this summers big quilt fair. Purples and bright lime greens. And nestled in black trimming to bring it all together. Then I saw this pattern. Only problem was it was made with Civil War reproductions. Nice, but not my thing. So, one idea messed with another, and I came up with this:

It's going to be big. It's up on the design wall. 

So of the prints are a bit loud, but as it comes together, the quiet ones call down the hyper ones.

One thing I like about this quilt is that after an initial burst of crazy cut,sew,press,repeat it's now going together in rows. I lay out an entire row, sew, press, and attach.

oh, I almost forgot......My "new" year started a little earlier than expected this month when I left my job of 2 1/2 years to start focusing on what I really love....Quilting and Fabric. I am currently building my website, and hope to be ready to launch My Quilt Corner store in late January 2012.  I will keep my blog as a way to reach out to family,. friends, and new clients. So keep coming back for updates.
On that note, I wish everyone a happy Holiday Season. I hope that 2012 brings good health and many memorable moments.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Becca's Quilt

I decided that in the spirit of the Holiday's, and the end of the year quickly approaching, it was a good incentive to get some more WIP's knocked off the list.

Some time back, I mentioned that I am the lucky recipient to my mother's "cast offs". I get all her scraps and oops fabrics. After making a deliciously gorgeous stained glass quilt in batiks, she gave me all her drops. They sat in my draw teasing me, and just begging for a quilt of their own. I found a lovely little pattern in one of my strip books and thought, well, that will work. So with a little tweaking, poof! A quilt for Becca was born. And since I decided to hand quilt the silly thing, it got bumped to  the bottom of the to do list.

 But now it is in her room, or on the living room floor, or the roof of the latest couch fort. The quillting is a concentric circles pattern that helps to make the blocks almost look warbled.

 Made with multiple batik scraps, hand quilted with a high volume cotton thread, backed in snuggley flannel, and bound with my left overs from other quilts, it's perfect for a 6yo! And it only took a year and multiple other projects to finish it.....sigh.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thoughts on EQ 7?

I know this seems like a filler blog post, but I am genuinely curious what other quilters think of EQ 7 and it's companion softwares.

Years ago when I started really getting into quilting, I got EQ4 and the Stash companion. I am computer savvy, but the combination of new quilter/new to design software, I crashed and burned. I was overwhelmed, and confused.

Jump ahead 15 years and I am curious again. And braver. I see so many patterns in the magazines and on other beautiful blogs, and I obsess over fabric enough, doodling ideas, etc.

So my simple question is: Is it worth the investment? Is it user friendly?  The two must haves I seek is a yardage tool, and a cutting guide. I HATE to waste fabric with bad drops and poorly planned cuts. HATE IT!!!!

Please please please pipe up! I want to know what other quilters think!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I decided that today I was going to try something new with this blog. I want to see if it can actually help me in my moment of "unfocused motivation".
I noticed that I have had a lot more visitors to my blogs, thanks to Crazy Mom Quilts. I posted one of my Finished WIP on her Friday blog. So now I am hoping to catch someone'e eye, and maybe even start a movement, literally of FABRIC!!! Yes.

I have many blogs I follow, many being stash or scrap busting blogs (Thank you Bonnie Hunter@ QUILTVILLE). I have always had a compulsion to hold onto fabric drops (aka scraps). It seems like such a waste given the cost and beauty of fabric. But sometimes, my intentions are better than my motivation. Just because I once used it, or saved it, doesn't mean I like it anymore, or want to use it again. And like a lot of quilters, my fabric preferences have changed over the years, as has my quality of fabric. I started out with classic calicos bought at big-box-stores, and over the years discovered designers or styles I liked. And Batiks...let's not even go there!
So here is what I am proposing. Does anyone want to swap some scraps? By color, by size, by weight even? I know from years of getting my mom's " cast offs" I have discovered I like fabric I would have never picked out on my own in a store....cost, too crazy a color or print, but once it was in my hands, ooooh, it was like Christmas in July! I have fabrics going back to the early 90s. I have Moda drops from this past years collections, and every thing in between. It might be fun to see what other people use. To see what you could make with some fabric someone else is tired of looking at. Is anyone game?
I have lots of 1/2 and 1 yard cuts, and as you seen, a BIN full of scraps ranging from 1.5 inch strips up to who knows what. But bottom line, is anyone willing or interested in doing this with me? If you want a better idea of the type of fabrics I have, look at my past finished quilts....chances are I have fabric from EVERY ONE of them left over.

 Be brave and don't be picky. I will send it first! Send me an email with your address and if you want to swap by color, size, print (calico, batik...) rough weight and I will see if I can match your request and send you something. And you can send something back when you get my "present".  Let's move this fabric around, and get inspired!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Zen Rose Quilt DONE!

In the spirit of Finish it Fridays (thank you Crazy Mom Quilts!!!), I got my butt in gear and finished another quilt!!! Let me just say, I was just content as could be making quilt tops and stacking them in my closet for that "day" down the road, but now that I have discovered the fun of machine quilting, watch out!!!!

~Here's my pathetic backstory~
One day in 2009, I got an email that this fabric line was on sale at Fabric.com. Not my usual choice, but I had just seen a pattern in a magazine, and it was like Karma was screaming at me. "You can do it, you can totally justify this one, you know you want to" the fabric chanted off the screen at me. So, ok, I did it. And I put my new catch in the to do drawer with the pattern. And then I moved on. Chickens, so many chickens!

Maggie likes it!
Now, jump forward to that new gorgeous machine I bought myself....and poof, I'm making quilt tops. You know it. So out comes the fabric, the pattern, and it's made. And in the new pile in the closet. Because it will take me forever to hand quilt all the quilts I have started. ~end of excuse


I pulled it out, I hemmed and hawed over how to quilt it. I tried several designs and either hated the thread choice, or couldn't see the markings because it had both light and dark fabrics. I debated refolding it, and then decided that I could do a nice Stitch-in-the-Ditch on the diagonals. Yeah. My version should really be called "TRY-tostayinthe-Ditch Stitch". But in following with another great hint I read, I used an incredibly busy fabric for the backing, so it isn't easy to spot the mistakes, and the front is so colorful, the pattern is the focus, not my stitching (thank god!).

The last attempt at creativity for this poor quilt was my binding. I had leftover backing so I cut bias strips on the diagonal so I would get a stripy effect. I made
it a 2" instead of my usual 2.5", but it gave it a very nice corded look.

 Not bad for a cloudy day on the couch quilt!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another WIP Finished!

As I get more into blogging (well, reading other's blogs) I become inspired to better my abilities as a quilter. And one that I think most quilters admit to needing help with is the dreaded WIP (work in process) pile. I swear I DON'T have ADHD. I have just have sooooo many projects I want to do, try, attempt, and hey, a girl has to justify that latest fabric purchase somehow!

So, in the spirit of so many other bloggers out there, I decided that while it is hopeless to think I won't start another project before finishing the one I'm on, I should at least TRY to finish as many as I start. I just haven't decided if that should be a monthly or annual goal. sigh. But, hey, I finished another quilt today! And this one is one I started over the summer. I can say that the time to finish (TTF) was cut down drastically by the decision to make this my sacrificial victim for my first attempt at machine quilting.

And I am most proud of myself. I think it turned out just wonderful, and I don't want to give it up. I can't decide what the deal breaker was though. Was it the fear of ruining a gorgeous quilt??? Or the new awesome machine??? Or the patience and desire to learn that my last birthday granted me (yeah, no.) I think it is a lot of reading on fellow bloggers, books, and realizing that I can only better myself and my hobby by trying new things. And honestly, taking a month to hand quilt is just so ugh.....
I posted this quilt in a previous blog. It's the one I decided to use as a progressive post. When I found the backing fabric I wanted, I thought about how so often the back gets over looked or is just a place for the stitching to show. I had some extra blocks and had seen others put something on the backing to tie into the beautiful fabrics used on the fronts, hence the strip between the panels.

It was a lot of fun to quilt, and the quilting sort of came to me by accident. As I was looking through a book, I saw a neat method of using a double needle to stitch a parallel stitch. So, I took it one step further and put my stitch-the-ditch foot on, straddled the needles over the guard, loaded up this pretty embroidery floss and poof!, off I went! On the boarders I decided to go with a pretty little stencil and then free hand the geese blocks with a single stitch method, but using the same thread. Now I just need to snips my tails and decide where it will "live" in the house!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lone Star (done for now)

Here it is! The Mom and Me Lone Star (as I call it) TOP is done.

And for extra measure, I decided to learn on the fly how to miter borders. What an adventure. Mark, pin, sew. Curse. Seam rip, re-mark, re-pin, re-sew, sigh, decide it is handmade and should have flaws to make it more personable.

I have learned that sewing at a 3.0 stitch length is the smartest idea in the world. It makes pulling stitches out sooooo much easier. And so does having a drink on hand. Just kidding. After the first corner I just Miterelle'd it. (If I can make up words, I can make up new methods too!)

Ultimately, I am really pleased with how it turned out. The fabric choice is great and the seams all lined up. I think the person that wrote the directions was a little loopy when it came to counting, but I have learned over the years that directions=suggestions.

And as you can see, it is all Lilly approved too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Another NON Quilt post.

Yes, I am quilting. Sort of. As most of my family and close friends know, October is the month of insanity. Seems only fitting it should end with Halloween. I have pieced the Lone Star together and will post the finished front later.

But now, the reason for today's post.

My sweet Aerik is officially a teenager today!!! 13!!! He made it, who knew??? This is the child that came barging into the world on his own agenda, all 9.5 lbs of him! Crawled at 6 months, Jumped off his first piece of furniture at 8 months, Walked at 9 months. And the talking. OMG, the talking. I can't remember the day silence became extinct.

Aerik (or JJ as we call him) has been a force to reckon with since 12:34 pm, October 12  1998.
My muffin man, Jabber Jaws (hence the name JJ), sweet boy, OHMYGODDAMNITWHATISTHAT,  has graced my life with adventure, tears, laughter, and wonder on so many occasions.

Happy Birthday my lovely man-to-be. And if your future wife is out there reading this, I have some stories for you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Continuation of the Lone Star

Autumn has come to Vermont, but the pollen hasn't left yet. This means I am in super sloth mode....too tired to function at any speed, and too miserable to sleep. Oh, wait...I have 3 kids. Who was I kidding about sleep?

Anyways, in the spirit of the blog and the quilt that I am focused on right now, I have several pictures to share. Here is 7 of the 8 finished sections on the original backing fabric my mom and I picked out:
The colors of the quilt are in the background, but once it's all "together", it feels busy, and a little conflicted. So, not needing any excuse or encouragement, I went off to a new store I discovered and found this:
The main distinction is that PRINT 1 is a batik with a repetitive print and a slightly varied background. 
PRINT 2 is a hand-dyed batik with all the colors in the quilt as marbled ribbons of colors.

But now, I look at them, and I cant decide. I have often heard of crafters that take pictures of their Works in Progress when they are stuck so they can see it in a "different" light. Me, well, I think my brain is just having a wishy washy time deciding on something. Any comments or thoughts? I would LOVE the feedback on this one!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mom and Me Lone Star

As I posted in my last (pathetic) blog, my mom came for her first visit to Vermont since the wedding. Because it was a quick trip last time, and SNOWING, my mom didn't get to see where I call home. So this time, she came for a week, and we had a blast.
The idea of the trip all started when I mentioned that for a college educated quilter, I felt sub-stupid when it came to Paper Piecing. Now, keep in mind, I have NEVER taken a sewing class (unless you consider my failed attempt at Home Sciences in 7th grade) and all the quilting I have done has been trial and error on my own with books, magazines, and patient friends. Last year, my mother sent me two stuffed priority boxes full of Batiks and two paper piecing patterns. I read the directions, and figured it would be a cold day somewhere before I figured that out. In the drawer they went. So when she sent ANOTHER kit up, this time a fusable pieced one, I owned up to being too stupid for any of it. And poof! She had ticket to Vermont!!!!!
In true addict style, I scooped her up from the airport, and we made a straight shot to our local quality quilt shop. And picked out the fabrics for the "Lone Star" pattern she sent me.

Now, besides basting, I consider the other evil of sewing to be cutting the fabric. And I discovered after all these years, that my mother LOVES to cut fabric. Tedious, boring, repetitive....but she loves it, so I gave her the fabric, cutting mat, cutter, pattern, and off she went.
At this point I am feeling like I really made out. And then the fun began. Did I forget to mention that she also brought up with her some scraps, and paper piecing leftovers and while she cut, I learned how to do paper piecing. Not bad, not hard. But like cutting, it's tedious, boring, and VERY repetitive. But the outcome is stunning, and well worth it. I realize now that if one is going to submit to a paper piecing project, junky movies or tv is a MUST for background noise.

Back to the project. After trying my hand at this new concept of fusable piecing, I came to see how nice and much faster than paper it is.
 And I think my mother was a bit bored.  Or worried I wasn't having fun. Or both. And when it was time to take off for my afternoon run, she made a kind offer to keep working on it. It was then that I realized how cool it would be to do a quilt WITH my mother. One I could keep and cherish for years. Forgetting how crazy good this woman is at sewing, I got back two short hours later to a whole section done and trimmed.

It's my job to finish this thing on my own....I will post more as I progress.

And now my momma has gone home, after an amazing trip with many distractions, time with the grandkids, and grandkitties. Tours down to Burlington waterfront, Middlebury, and around town. 
The dogs are spoiled and a little fatter, and Greta already wonders where the crazy lady is hiding....is it that box over there?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mom's coming, mom's coming!

I made myself a promise that I would make a real effort to stay with this whole blogging thing. But, it's HARD!!! I follow many great quilting blogs, a few (sarcastic) mom blogs, and I don't know how they do it. To post every day, or even a few times every week is hard work. Right now, I could list my WIP's (7 and counting), my future projects (can't count that high), all the patterns in magazines that are tagged to make, and let's not even talk about the books....
But, my momma is coming to visit! This will be the first time in 3 years, and the first time ever to my house in Vermont! I can't wait. She is coming up to VISIT of course, but she claims it's so she can show in person once and for all how to Paper Piece!!! And to launch it, we are making a Lone Star with that interfacing trick. Yeah, don't ask me....I have no idea. But it means MORE FABRIC!!!!
I shall post the adventure and share with oodles of pictures. I know that a week of visit will be worth many blogs.....till then, here's looking at you! Happy Quilting!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Flying Geese Top

After dawdling, procrastinating, and messing around with 400 little have square drops, I decided to finish this quilt. I have always loved the look of Flying Geese quilts, but never knew just what I wanted to do with it. Then I saw a great line on Bonnie Hunters site (quiltville.blogspot.com) that said that ANY ugly fabric looks better if it's cut small enough....and if it's still ugly, it isn't small enough. So...I dug out all some of my "uglies" in my fat quarter drawer and started cutting.  I haven't done much with White background fabrics; I tend to veer towards beige or off white.  But, here it is! 
200 Flying Geese Units, and 340 half-square units.
Lilly approved!

Another shot of the quilt (and Lilly).  Approx 66x70
Now I have to think about how to quilt it. I am thinking of a darker red backing to make the front colors pop. With the last 1/2 square units I am going to make a sash across the back to tie in the theme of the front. Any suggestions for quilt patterns? Stitch the ditch, shadow, stipple????

Friday, August 26, 2011


Well, I have been working, a bit slowly, on my first attempt at a flying geese pattern quilt. The major distraction has been those darn little triangles that you cut off to make the blocks. I couldn't just let them go to waste. So, I matched them up, sewed and pressed them, and then started chain stitching them together thinking they could make a nice border, or a cut backing embellishment. After realizing I had almost 400 units, I thought it might make a nice little quilt. Mean while, the main quilt sat on my cutting board in various stages of done, silently wishing I would stop ignoring it.

Now my Dad and his wife are here for a visit.  This weekend is the start of our beloved Champlain Valley Fair. The kids are stoked, the tickets are bought, the ride bands are waiting for wrists to hug....and Irene is threatening to ruin it all. And what I say to all this is....BRING IT IRENE....BRING IT!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Take 20" Quilts

Back to why I started this blog!

I decided it would be fun to show 3 variations of the same quilt. The pattern is called "Take 20" and it's just that. You take 20 fat quarters, make 5 simple cuts, mix them up and, poof! You have a generous lap/twin size quilt. And the best part is how many different ways you can make it.

The first time I made this quilt, I used a Thimbleberries Fat Quarter collection in a Red/Green/Gold that was a perfect match for the living room. Used beige muslin for the back and a simple stitch the ditch.

Then I made one in Blue and Orange prints (with a few fun novelty kid prints) for Aerik...the boy who LOVES orange! Again, beige muslin and a stitch the ditch quilting.

And finally, I decided to make a smaller Crib sized version in Becca's colors. Hot pink, soft orange, and a few pastel greens. White muslin backing, with a hand stitched 5 loop flower design. 

I'm finding it's a lot of fun to find a pattern you like and then see how many different looks you can get from fabric combinations and quilting techniques!  (And let's face it, it's a great cover for "having" to buy more fabric......)