Friday, March 25, 2011

Not enough hours in the day!

Wow, did I really neglect my poor blog for this long? It's crazy what long work days and a new puppy can do to you. Here's Belle demonstrating both at once!

But my blog isn't the only thing suffering. I don't have much to report on quilt progress: still working at the footballs. And that 'deadline' is looming on the horizon...

Hopefully I have some more progress to share soon. Have a great weekend!!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Sometimes, quilting makes me reflect on simpler times -- when things were done slowly, and by hand. My Mamaw (southern for 'Grandmother'!) has this old hexagon quilt that I had never thought much of. It was done in yellows, had some crazy patterns (pandas??), and wasn't the prettiest thing. I used to use it to lay out to tan: it was worn, needed some repair, and the quilting on it wasn't perfect. Then I asked her about it... That quilt was made by her mother and aunts, hand-pieced and quilting-bee'd together as a family. Just thinking about how long that quilt took to make, how much love went into it, and how much fun those ladies must have had sitting around a quilt frame really changed my perspective on that quilt. I wish I had a picture of it!

So I've decided to make my own -- completely hand-pieced, and it will be completely hand-quilted. I'm not giving myself any type of 'deadline' with this one. I'm just taking my sweet time, working on it here and there, and making sure that I'm enjoying every little bit of the process.

I'm using the leftover fabric from the blue Double Wedding Ring quilt that I made for the fiance's parents. Ideally, I'd like to give this one to my mother someday -- how cool would that be, to have two quilts of the same fabric given to our parents?

The pale yellow centers are a 'tribute' to my Mamaw's hexagon quilt -- it really reminds me of the color scheme.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I don't know why, but I've always loved Moleskines! They're my guilty pleasure... I have tons of them. Even a recipe-book Moleskine!

So of course, I do my quilting sketching in one. I'm a visual person; I need to sketch out and see what I'm doing and how it's going to look. It also helps with counting how many pieces I'll need.

And I've made some slow progress on the footballs...

Slow progress is still progress, though!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


So I'm on vacation this week -- my first ever as a real working-girl! But instead of going somewhere else, I'm just holed up at home enjoying the new pup and putting off everything that I need to do, of course. Motivation (quilting and otherwise) is a little hard to find when you have a little wagging ball of fur that needs training...

Today was the first dry, sunny day this week, so I dragged the pups out to the woods.

What kind of crazy person am I -- I work in the woods, then go to them on my time off? Well... I don't get to stare at waterfalls all day!

Now I just need to sit down and make myself get stuff done... Quilting programming to resume soon!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tiny Plastic Babies

Every year for Mardi Gras, I make a King Cake! If you have no clue what I'm talking about, read up on it here.

Since I just moved to the west coast, I thought I'd treat some co-workers (many of whom have never heard of it!) to this tasty treat. Hence the large and small King Cakes... my poor fiance and I ate way too much of our little cake.

These take some time to make, but are definitely worth it! Happy Mardi Gras to you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Precision and 'Football' Piecing

So I've been slowly pinning away at the brown and green DWR quilt, though not as fast as I'd like to. I did get all of the arches pieced and ironed, though!

You can see the two different 'directions' that the colors are going on the arches, so that the rings overlap and it has the depth I talked about in a prior DWR post. The next thing I did was cut out all of the center pieces for the footballs. I chose an off-white color, since it went better with the brown and green and won't show as much dirt due to the quilt testers...

Now here's where I have a quilting confession to make: I don't cut out templates or anything accounting for seam allowance. I just don't do it, even though I know it's a sewing and quilting no-no. I have to have exact lines! You can see on the cream footballs where I've traced and marked the center:

I then fold the arcs and cut a center mark to match up to the cream football's center mark.

It really makes it easier to match up the centers when pinning.

Being exact is very important with this pattern; if you're off the slightest, you're going to have bulges, believe me. Gotta love curved sewing!

The lines that I trace make it easy for me to see where exactly to sew, which is hard with a curved line like on these footballs. I basically use the pins to line me up:

Then it's all downhill from there!

And I'm always sure to back-track on everything, of course!

New quilt tester!

Let me introduce you to my newest quilt tester...

Belle! She'll be helping Beau with quality control from now on. :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I've come across Steotch, and they're basically my new favorite sampler site. Not that I've even looked at any other sampler sites, but these are just cool. Check out one of my favorites:

I could see some of their work hanging on my wall! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

More aspirations...

Not much progress to report on my quilting - I picked out a nice cream background fabric for my DWR quilt (instead of white... we have a dog!) so I guess that's a step forward... :) Wedding planning is taking over my life. I like making invites and decorations, but I do miss just being able to focus on quilting.

Despite not working on my quilt as much as I'd like to, I still like to look at what I could be doing when I do have the time to do other quilts (i.e., after the wedding!). I've really fallen in love with cathedral window quilts!

This blog has a great tutorial on how to make them. They look so difficult and intricate, but it's actually easy! I know what I'm going to be using some of my scraps on... someday...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another one bites the dust

In addition to quilting, I also crochet and knit... which makes it hard to finish projects sometimes! But I did get this one done this week:

Yes - Granny squares! They're so easy to make, but I hate those typical granny square blankets that everyone has. You know, the black borders with bright orange and yellow... Yuck.

I actually started this one a few years ago and packed it away while I was in college. I just found it a few months ago and decided to finally finish it! Unfortunately, I've been introduced to the world of yarn-snobbery, so I'm hating the fact that it's acrylic. I'm just going to gift it so I can make one for myself out of a nice wool... maybe fisherman's, and in a brown gingham pattern. But it'll have to wait until I get some of these other projects out of the way!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quality Control

I've seen lots of pictures of quilter's cats rolling in fabric, so I thought I'd share my furball situation. This is my quilt tester:

Beau has a dog bed. However, he prefers to lay on piles of clothes. And piles of sheets. And piles of fabric. Pretty much anything that is in a pile.

So imagine his confusion when I yelled at him for laying on the DWR quilt; the nice pile of soft, cuddly fabric right at my feet. You see, Beau goes to the woods with me just about every day for work, so this could cause some problems with white fabric...

Compare this photo with the one above. Yes, it's the same dog. Granted, this isn't as dirty as he gets every day, but he still gets a bit muddy. Did I mention he likes to chew rawhides and dirty toys on the aforementioned piles?

So he is the reason that there are a few tiny mud/slobber/who-knows-what marks on the underside of the blue DWR quilt. He just couldn't resist his task of making sure that it was the nicest, softest pile of quilt to be sent to his 'grandparents,' so I can't be completely mad at him. And I think they'll understand -- they have two dogs of their own that I'm sure will charge themselves with breaking it in. :)

Beau and I are relaxing after a short trip to the woods for work this morning. Happy Sunday to you!

Ahhh.... DONE!

Finally... here it is!

(Sorry about the picture quality; it's not too sunny here, so natural light is hard to come by!)

I finished up the blue DWR quilt last night... and boy, did I let out a sigh of relief! It's a bit late for the anniversary, but I'm sure they'll understand why it took so long. :)

This is my first completely machine-quilted quilt; definitely a different experience! There were a lot of things that I wasn't expecting -- despite over-pinning it, it still bunched in a few areas in the back -- but it was a small price to pay for getting it done so fast.

This was also the first time I've done a 'proper' binding using bias tape. I found a few tutorials online about how to get those corners just right, and everything turned out great in that aspect.

I learned a lot about the DWR and machine quilting by doing this quilt, and I'm really glad I got to do a 'practice' one before starting our wedding DWR -- there were a lot of things that I didn't see coming when I was working on this one.

I will admit that I like the machine quilting for the speed, clean lines, and durability -- however, I don't feel like I had as much control as when I was hand quilting. Maybe I just need more practice!

...and now I can't wait to take this baby to the post office!