Monday, April 29, 2013

Batting Scraps {Organization}

Let's talk about this mess.

I have had the habit over the years to just stuff the usable scraps right back into the bag.  It was REALLY starting to drive me crazy recently because I like to use them for small projects. Tablerunners, placemats, mug rugs, purses, name it.  Sometimes even piece them together to make a decent size quilt.  

 I end up digging all of them out and trying to find the right size I need.  

Now that I have a huge roll that measures 90 inches across?
 I have some significant pieces leftover when I do smaller baby/toddler quilts. know my organizing soul.  
I sat and measured all the large pieces.

Folded them nicely and pinned the measurements to them.

Tucked them in a drawer.

I still need to address the smaller pieces. Folding seems silly.   Maybe rolling and tying them up in bundles?

Any suggestions?   What do you do with your batting scraps?  What is your requirement for "keeping" a batting scrap?  What is "too small" or unusable to you?

I am desperate to know!!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Calm After the Storm {Longarm Quilting}

I know it is backwards because the calm is supposed to be before the storm, but I am praying for some calm after the storm.

Boy, what a storm it has been since I last posted on WIP Wednesday last week.  I am actually in shock when I look at the calendar.   Bronchitis.  Croup.  Ear Infections.  Sinusitis. 
A scrapbook retreat in between!

It was a war zone!

We also knew Button was due for surgery for ear tubes and adenoid removal this past Friday.   But he was bumped unexpectedly to Thursday!  Which really messed up all of my plans for this action quilt.

I was supposed to be quilting all day Thursday.  
Instead?  I had to manage it while Button was still in recovery mode on Friday.
 Fun. Times.

I know! I know!  If you have been with me awhile, you might remember that I swore off all future school auction quilts!

Not my finest quilting job, I will be perfectly honest, but it was done and finished for the mom that made the top!   I am really only sharing it because I think it is a really great idea for a school auction project! 

She and her mom pieced the quilt top together.  It was really neat to hear her talk about how her mom dusted off her machine and might start get back into quilting again!

Instead of stumping a bunch of third graders and asking them to draw something for the derby theme "Run for the Roses"?  She printed off coloring pages for her classroom, had them color them, scanned them,  and printed them off on fabric.  

She did mention that she wishes she had printed just the coloring book images and let them color with the crayons directly onto the fabric.

My job?  Quilt!  I simply did a meander/stipple quilting in black thread on the sashing and border.  I didn't capture it in the photos, but you get the idea, right?

At first, I tried a few different things for the blocks, but finally settled for invisible thread.

I made the binding and attached it for her too.  I have to admit, she considered it a favor...I considered it awesome because I love doing binding.  Am I the only one that could bind quilts all day long?

The good thing about the whole thing? 

I am back in the quilting saddle.  Lots of sew-jo going on around here. 

Keep your eye out on Instagram or Facebook and here!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present day society:
 to retreat ahead of it.

The gorgeous view at the house we stayed at!

This spring's scrapbook retreat was at a new location.  I am not sure if you can tell but those trees in the distance are in water.    Sure, it's a swamp, but nice to look at all the same!

I was not really prepared for this retreat due to all the illness in our house.  I was still recovering from bronchitis and Button woke up last Friday morning with a horrible croupy cough.  And an ear infection.  I arrived late to the retreat so I could take him to the doctor and get him all fixed up for daddy duty!

I did MORE resting than scrapping at this retreat. They had couches IN the scrapping room!  I could grab my Tumbleweed quilt and curl up and take a nap or just rest and listen to the chatter!

  I was able to work on this year's album and am officially done with our family albums from 2008 through mid-April 2013!  No need to remind me that I have '96-'07.  And vacation albums.  And three of the five baby books.

A few of my scrapping friends and I bought a few t-shirts from Two Chicks Design.  I also picked up a few quilting shirts too.  I am not usually into these types of shirts and PROMISED hubby that they were retreat/home only shirts.

I don't want to become one of "those" scrapbookers!

Now, my next goal? 
To try to find a group of girls to go on a quilt retreat with!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ain't Nooobody Got Time For That

It's been a rough week.

I managed to score a trip to my asthma/allergist yesterday to find out I have bronchitis.  I've been fighting allergies for over a month and a horrible cough for over a week now and they won.
Why did I fight so long?
  Frankly, to quote Sweet Brown,
"Ain't nobody got time for that!"

It figures.  I finally was cruising and things have to come to a standstill.  Again.  But progress.  Enough progress for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

At the Cutting Table:

Blush and Bashful Quilt

My aunt's quilt pieces are all cut out.  

Including the color with the dreadful name, Pale Flesh.  Not Kona's finest moment.  But I have to admit, it is a GREAT color for dolls like my Not So Raggedy Ann.

I felt like Hannibal Lecter cutting into it.  I also was watching Snow White and the Huntsman at the time.  All the talk about cutting out her heart and eating it will forever be burned in my mind!

But I am pleased with the choice now that I have committed to it.  I think it will bring a soft feminine touch to the deep browns and reds that are in the prints.

At the Sewing Machine:

Cat in the Hat

I finished cutting out all the pieces and have made significant progress piecing it.

 I am getting really close to the layout process!

On the Design Board:

Stars and Stripes Quilt

The star hexi panel is 95% complete.  I finished piecing it, but need to address the falling stars.  

I posted on Facebook my feelings about it.  I finished it while riveted to the Boston Marathon coverage on television.  Irony or destiny that the last stitches were made when the doctors came out to update on all the victims statuses?  I'm not sure, but it was perfect timing.  I had looked down sad and dejected.  My view? This on my lap.  And suddenly, I couldn't help think about the history of our flag in this country.  I had the image from my childhood memories.  A cartoon of a lady in a rocking chair, stitching the original Stars and Stripes while a war for freedom raged.  I know our nation is still in it's infancy, in many respects, and I know that we are feisty and strong.  We will endure.

The red, white/black hexies demanded to be started right away.  Layout commenced Sunday night, so two full rows have already been completed by the time I closed my eyes last night.

 See? Feisty and strong.

I am actually getting more and more excited about this project because Mr. Boss and I have decided that it will be a wall hanging, not a throw like my plan.   

Oh, and clarification...this is NOT my own design.  It is from the book HexaGoGo

On the Long Arm:

I have my first "customer" quilt ready and willing to be sandwiched by me!  But first, I have to get better so I can stand at long enough increments.  In the meantime, I am making final decisions about thread color and quilt design!

But. Like always.  It will all have to halt soon. My second scrapbook retreat of the year approaches and I am not ready for it.  I need to select, edit, and print February through now.  As long as I am done coughing up a lung by Friday, that is.

What is everyone else up to?  Anything stopping you from using up your sew-jo?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP: Missing in Action

I have been terrible about sharing my in progress projects lately!  I have been jumping in with finishes, which isn't really what I like to do around here.  However, two separate Spring breaks spanning the month of March about dug me in a grave!  I love my boys being home.  I love a break from homework.

  But the house gets slightly VERY chaotic around here!!

Finishes (since my last visit to WIP Wednesday)

Tumbleweed Quilt

Going from recent to oldest.  I just finished my Rodeo quilt this past weekend!  

The quilt that is a nod to our Houston Rodeo that I love and adore every year.  
This quilt has been stolen from me.  You HAVE to go see by whom.

Primarily Sean's Quilt

Finished this right in time for an Easter visit from my sister and her gang!

Whether I would finish it WELL was a shaky at one point, but I am pretty darn happy with the finish and I still loved his name foundation pieced on the back HERE.

Spiders and Webs, part deux

My second go round with my Spiders and Webs tutorial.  

It is staying home.  Two of the three quilts in March are mine, mine, mine....or *cough* "ours".

Snowflake Row

 I have to admit, I was asked if I'd like to join the Winter Wonderland Round Robin when I was under the influence of pain killers in December.

When I came back to my normal lucid? 
I was thinking, "What did I sign up for?  A tutorial?  For a whole ROW!?!?? Not a block?"

But it all worked out.  It even got me to finish fixing my EPP tutorial from last November.
 I am pretty excited about finishing the other rows in the Round Robin.
  Not too late to join in!!!

In Progress
Do. Good Stitches 

Scrappy Feather Block

I'm late.  March blocks.
One down, one to go

Cat in the Hat

My other nephew's quilt is in the cutting stage. 
He is my godson, so I have to do this one perfectly this time! 

When I started cutting, I started to get concerned about the massive EXCESSIVE amounts of fabric I had ordered. ( not order fabric under the influence either, okay?) I was a bit intimidated at the thought of making a bunch of Dr. Seuss quilts for my Etsy shop.  I REALLY didn't want to do that many quilts with this fabric.  Luckily, a good friend has given me an idea...but it is top secret since my sister already knows about the quilt.  Some things must remain sacred around here!

Blush Quilt

I have finally had some time to dive in on the quilt I am making for my aunt that was diagnosed with breast cancer this past summer.  She is still fighting, so I want to send this too her ASAP.

I have made my block fabric choices and am still auditioning background fabrics.

 From Left to Right:  Stone, Pale Flesh (ewww for the name, right?), Snow
 Getting ready to cut out.  Which one do you like?

Stars and Stripes

This hexie quilt is clipping along at a decent pace.  I have almost all of my blue/white rows sewn together.  Not only the rows themselves, but rows together.  Just three more left to make the rectangle. 

Layout phase

I have had to take out the cardstock as I have been working because it was getting so large and difficult to take along with me.

Action shot.  Watching a movie.  My lap is fully covered!

  I am also getting excited because I now have a plan on what I am going to do with it and now can go back to the original design with the borders from the pattern (I was leaving them out before).  

New Project

Look what came in the mail two weeks ago.  

Hex on the Beach with Tula Pink!

Can you say?
However, I have laid down the law.  I am not allowed to start basting those sweet little hexies until Stars and Stripes is done.  There.  I said it.  It's in writing.  

Linking up with Lee

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Did I tire you out after this post? 
I tired myself out!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tumbleweed Quilt

My first April finish (because I am secretly hoping for more this month)

My rodeo quilt!!

I have to admit.  
I had reservations if I could make this into a quilt I love.  I am am still not exactly over the moon about all the fabric.  But free fabric?  FREE fabric?

It'll do!  
I think I mentioned it before, but I won a bundle of cowboy/cowboy inspired fabric last year on Carla's blog, Lollyquiltz.  I guessed her least favorite color!  Magenta

I am really happy with the tumbler pattern layout. It really showcases the more novelty prints.

Cowboy hats!

 Horseshoes with loops

 More loops with....horseshoes.

Last but not least, boots....with spurs.  Cute no?

All of the above quilting was freehand by tracing pencil on paper, over and over, the images I pulled from the internet.

Except for the boots.  
 I needed a little guide for the first few to get a rhythm. 
 The toe/shoe angle was tough for me to get right on my own.

My trick?  I moved my laser for pantographs to the front and traced the boot off to the side.  You might have noticed I ran over loops in the image above because I was busy trying to race the pattern the first time!  But I finally got the hang of it and didn't need it anymore.

 Side note: I love the pattern so much that it is on my wish list for the next batch of pantographs I plan to buy soon!  I am sure that I will need it for a few Texas clients!

I did not have enough of the free fabric for a backing so I chose this brown fabric.  

The flowers reminded me of Texas bluebonnets.
 I am pretending the roses are some sort of Texas rose too! 
Don't burst my bubble, okay?

I had enough of the scraps to do a binding, but I really liked this print when I saw it at the LQS. 

I definitely used it to bring interest to the backing.

I had intended to just put the label in a random corner, but I just didn't like the way it was glaringly popping out.

 I decided to piece some scraps at an angle and then needle-turned it to the center of the strip where I had a large expanse anyway.

Worked out brilliantly.


Quilt Stats:
Measures: 54" x 63"
Pattern: Tumblers (end to end horizontally)
Fabric:  Various floral and cowboy motif fabrics from 
Moda and other high quality quilting fabric lines
Quilt Pattern: Loops with Rodeo motifs by myself.

I have to laugh because as I was editing the pictures I noticed a stray thread from my EPP project on the left of the backing strip a few photos above!
Proof that I have already snuggled under this with Button!

Who has somehow managed to steal MY rodeo quilt and renamed it from my awesome name of Tumbleweed quilt to

Little Horsey's quilt.
Nothing is sacred in this house.


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