Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cruising Along {WIP Wednesday}

I have been working hard on my Christmas Countdown List!  I have ALL of Son #1's diamonds done.  Making significant progress on the side hexie rows!

I also quilted my mom's quilt this past week.

Even with a major tension problem. 

Nothing more frustrating than unpicking quilting that looks pretty good on top, but railroad tracks on the back.  I didn't notice a problem until I started working on that bottom right corner section.

But I muscled on, and nine hours later, the binding was on!  It just needs to be finished handsewn on. As most of my quilty friends know, this is my favorite part.  But because of time constraints, I need to get some more quilts done before I sit down!

I set aside my mom's and immediately tackled my dad's.  After a pattern change and a new direction, I am on my way.  

An entire top is piece...sorry, no photo yet, I was too busy to stop and take one.  Quilting needs to be finished by Wednesday late morning before he shows up for Thanksgiving.  Can't be good to be caught in the act like this guy was the other day.

Signing off...have to go quilt and have been sprucing up some of my home decorations, including new window treatments for the dining room!  I predict a lot of FINISHED posts this month!

grab a button

I will have to work on hand projects (non-binding ones, that is) while the family is in town!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013


I will confess that I did not pick the winner on Saturday.  
It was my birthday and just plain forgot.

And entry #7 is:

Guess who has this coming her way?!??!?!

Along with the code to a free class!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Secret Swaps and more {WIP Wednesday}

I love secret swaps, but I hate that I can't share very much until the big reveal.  

It seems like it is a great big tease for those around me!

I have been having fun designing this idea for my swap partner.  My only worry is that it just won't work out!  It has been fun seeing what the other gals are doing in our Imagine Circle @ Do. Good Stitches!  I would be happy with ANY of the items I have seen so far.  I'm also glad I stayed strong through most of the year and waited for the perfect swap event, since I only allotted one swap to myself this year!


My Christmas countdown list hasn't been getting any smaller than the day I announced my long list.  I have been going back and striking them out and everytime I view it, I don't feel any better!

I blame my kids.  Seriously?  How dare they need me to take them to basketball tryouts, practices, and games!

Lucky for them, they had nothing Tuesday, so I was able to make some progress on one of my Christmas gifts. I still feel like I am just biding my time so I can panic and rush it all in December!

I just realized that I have a lot of handsewing in my near future....

What is everyone else doing?  
Are you a busy bee or are you just hanging out...waiting for the holiday rush?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stars and Stripes Wallhanging

Fitting that this was hung just in time for the Veteran's holiday?

I'd be lying if I didn't say that I love that this quilt will be up every single day in our home!

I'd also be lying if I told you that I wasn't worried about it dominating the wall we had chosen for it.  However, you don't even notice it until are approaching the room entryway.

We think it seems to just fit right in the room!  Especially with the Pennants I made into a window treatment several years ago.   We sing the National Anthem at every sporting event we go to.  Even at the Little League games our sons played in.  We definitely need a flag in here, right?

How did I hang it?
I went simple.  Made sleeves for the top and the bottom edge.  I made them about 1.5 inches short on each side, so I could slide my lattice board piece in the sleeve and then I simple attached to directly to the wall with a drywall screw.

The quilt was so long that I was worried about sagging, so I snipped a hole in the sleeve and screwed in a eye-hook screw into both the top and bottom wood strips.  I then attached the eye-hook to the wall using the screw through the hole.

What am I most excited about?  
The boys reactions.

Josh (16):  "Wow, mom!  You hung up the quilt? It looks great!  I love it!"
Jake (14): "Awesome!"
JJ (11):  "That is siiiiick" (translation: awesome)
James (2.5):  "Oh momma, that so coool"

So there it is.  A quilt that means so much to our family that is full of military history
I think it will be up on the wall for a very long time!



Friday, November 8, 2013

My Secret {Giveaway}

Okay.  Here it is.  I am putting it all out there today.  Well not aaaaalll, but a secret that I have been storing inside the last few years.

It's called ENVY and JEALOUSY.

No, I promise, this isn't a mean spirited post!  I just want to admit that I am extremely envious and jealous of what I personally call, the "New Wave" quilters.  Not necessarily modern quilters, but the ones that have started quilting just in the recent years.  

 What am I jealous of? 

The internet.  The possibilities.  The accessibility.  The ease.  The community.  All of the things I never had when I started quilting 17 years ago.  Yup.  I said it.  SEVENTEEN years.  Hey!  All of you followers that are young whipper-snappers, I see running away now!  But don't!

  I am not mad, just so amazed every single day at the ability for a newbie quilter to just jump right in on quilting. When I first started quilting, all I had was the Singer Quilting Bible and the selection of fabrics at Big Js (my new name for Joann's).  I TRUDGED my way through magazines and books to learn. I waited patiently every morning for my favorite quilt show on HGTV...which is completely gone now. This was in regards to crafts too.  I would catch Martha Stewart on Oprah (before she had her own show) and hope that there was a new Carol Duvall episode on.

And the SNEERS of the older women at the counter at me.  No help.  No suggestions. Nothing.

Now?  A new quilter can purchase fabric online.  Can find at least 1000 tutorials on BINDING.  Where was this when I was binding my first quilt?!?!?  Not to mention community.  I have "met" more quilters online than I ever have in real life, not to mention more welcoming.  I love that I can learn new techniques that I feared before.

Enter, the giveaway.  The reason that spurred by secret confession!


A pretty cool website.  I have had already tried a class on another online instruction site and enjoyed it very much.  It actually changed the way I approached quilting my works.  
When I visited this site, I wasn't disappointed.

Clean. Attractive. Simple to navigate.  
My kind of website!

The quilting page had the option to browse by quick thumbnails or you can use the headings on the left to look for skills you are wanting to learn or hone.  Or a tool that you didn't know about that could make all your troubles and worries disappear.

When you open a class, you see the video at the top and a class description underneath.

I decided that I wanted to try out the String Piecing class since I felt like it would appeal the most to my followers. The ranges are definitely beginner to advanced, and I didn't want to leave anyone out.  They start out showing how to strip piece on foundation and basics, but then they go through a few ways to make a complete block/project.

Why was I worried about you?  Well, because I can offer one follower this ANY class FOR FREE!

But wait! There's more (feeling like an infomercial now!)  I didn't want to leave you without any supplies to make a project.  This is a tough one for me to let go.  But I have decided to start a little early with my Make A Pledge

One design roll of Chicoppee by Denyse Schmidt from my stash.

To enter the giveaway:
I'm asking you to go check out Daily Crafts and check out the site. Then come back and tell me what class you think you would be interested in!
If you are feeling like you like one chance isn't enough? 
Become a new follower, or tell me you have always been following (leave a comment) for an extra entry.  However, not necessary to win!

Giveaway Details
Winner will be chosen randomly
Winner will receive free access to the String Piecing 7 Ways correction:
One free class (any available)
 and design roll.
Open until Friday, November 15th at 11:59pm.
Winner will be notified via email (and here) no later than Sunday, November 17th.
 (psst...if you are no-reply commenter...please make sure you leave me your email)
 Item will be shipped no later than Friday, November 22nd.
(Yes! Will ship internationally!)

So there you have it.  You know my secret.  I'm envious and jealous.  Admitting it is the first step of the problem. 
I think a giveaway to the "New Wave" quilters and my beloved "Old Skool" quilters on the internet is maybe step 9?!?!?


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Make the Pledge

 I stumbled on this post today via a friend.

I actually don't find this too difficult.  I took a look back at my year this year and can honestly say that all new fabric was for either a commissioned quilt, backing, or a planned project.  I bought four destashes and a few small bundles to beef up my fat quarter collection for bee quilts. 
At the beginning of the year I said this.
 Do you remember?
  I did not jump on a SINGLE new band wagon.  No new quilt alongs.  I gave myself permission to join ONE swap.  And I did.  It is actually due this month and with my bee partners.  I am SO glad I have stuck to it!  I was able to use the money I earned on my quilts this year on tools for my longarm and some books.
I can report that I am very happy and very relieved that I stuck by it.  If I could make this awesome quilt out of all of my stash and scraps (only had to buy the backing)?
Stars and Stripes Quilt
I can EASILY do it again, right?
Back to the issue.  My stash is still pretty remarkable, however, I still say not too shabby for a gal that has been quilting/sewing for about 17 years.
 So I am pledging that I will stick to the Fabricholis Anonymous rules:
GOALS: (Taken from the original rules)

- To use the Stash I already have!
- Finish UFOs without distraction by shifting to other new beautiful fabric.
- Stop the insanity of constantly buying the latest and greatest fabric.
- Save the $$ I spend on stashing. MY EDIT:  Use the money I save to purchase more tools and accessories for my longarm. LONG TERM GOAL: Computer for my long arm.
- Destash the fabrics that I realize I am never going to use.

1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.   
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete them!
4) Exceptions
  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible.  However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable.
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric.  Notions acceptable too.
  • Swap Mama Fabric: if hosting a swap you are permitted to by fabric to execute swap duties, but you may not join a swap simply for the sake of being able to buy fabric!
  • MY EDIT:  No swap fabric, but this is my "just in case" clause. Background fabric.  Like backings, I know I do not have the yardage for some patterns in my future this year!
  • Quilts for Publication: if you are making a quilt for a publication and need certain fabric to execute it correctly then that is a major exception - who can blame you?
Ironically, I just bought my last bundle for a planned family quilt next year.
And I will admit, I am going to see what I can get my hands on during Black Friday.  
Otherwise, my pledge might start sooner than January.
 Do you wanna join me? 

Next? {WIP Wednesday}

First, I'd like to share my big finish since last WIP Wednesday!

 I posted on my guest post in January over at Freshly Pieced the beginnings of this quilt. 

And think it is fitting to share it today!
I've entered it to the Bloggers Quilt Festival in Wall Hangings (pssst #73 if you feel like voting).
 I really love all the pictures on the Stars and Stripes post and would share again.  But I will resist. But if you like yumminess and details...go take a peek!

I can prove that it is actually a wall hanging, because I hung it today.
But will have to share later. My camera battery decided to go on strike at the very moment I cleaned up the boys' game room.  I have some really dreary looking camera photos on my Instagram feed if you can't stand the suspense.


In the meantime. I've been taking a hard look at my project planner and am terrified that Christmas will come and my quilts won't be finished. I already feel myself settling on the ones I won't get done. 
The good news is that one top is on the longarm machine. And two have patterns with plans and fabric choices. 

Here is the latest one that I hashed out last night. My apologies to my Instagram peeps that got a glimpse into my indecisive head!

I plan on skipping the border, but I think I am solid with these fabric pulls!
Good start?  

P.S.  Giveaway coming soon.  I don't do them very often, but I think this one is going to be good!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Starstrip Block {Tutorial}

It's my turn again for Imagine @ Do. Good Stitches Bee!
 This is large block based off of a jelly roll block, however, I've adapted it to use up some of those strips and leftover jelly rolls you have in your scrap stash!

However, if you don't have a stash that you can pull from, you can easily cut some strips off from any of your WOF pieces or fat quarter pieces!



Strips/jelly roll cuts at least 36" long. However, 18" long pieces would work also.
Center star fabric measuring 6.5" x 8"
Ruler with 30 degree measurement or Template A 
Template B (both downloadable templates HERE)


Gather enough strips to stack up to 8.5 inches after piecing with 1/4" seam allowance.   

Stack and piece so that you have a rectangle that is at least 8.5" high by 36" 
or TWO rectangles measuring 8.5" by 18".  You can stack higher and trim the height back if you are one of those quilters that like a little breathing room.

Cut four 8.5 x 8.5 blocks from the rectangle (s).

Cut a 6.5" x 8" rectangle from low volume stash.  I chose one with dark and light blues in it.

Cut into four triangles that measure approx 3.75" wide and 6.5" high.

Using your ruler or triangle template A.

 Cut a 30 degree angle to create the first triangle, then 90 degree cut to cut the second. Another 30 degree cut for the third, and then a 90 degree to complete the set of 4. 
You will have a bit of strip leftover. 

Cut the bottom right block using the 30 degree ruler.  Line up the 30 degree mark along the bottom and have it cross at the 3.5" point from the bottom left.  
You can also use the template triangle B (.pdf here) as a guide.

Line up your low volume triangle along the cut edge. 

Be sure you have some overhang on both ends.

Piece and press and trim any excess so the block is 8.5" square.

Repeat three more times.  The corner will always be the right bottom.

Flip and arrange using the photo above to get the "star" in the middle.  

I think this will be a lot of fun! 
 I have a few mock ups of what this could potentially look like if you do ROYGBIV colors.

or use a ton of low volume and have the centers as colors! 

  Full scrappy could be a lot of fun too!
A LARGE block at 16.5" that can make up a full quilt pretty quickly!


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