Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Quilts, Pillows, Seedlings and Vintage Sewing Machines!

Remember I wrote last time about how I was thinking of taking a break from the blog and the whole Lottery? Well, it seems as though I just needed a break from the Daisy Chain quilt. I got it all quilted and have buried the threads on the front but still need to bury threads in the back.

It has been sitting on my pink wingback for the past 10 days or so, unused, unloved and unfinished.

Just taking up space and a visual reminder of what I need to finish constantly in my face!

The back of the quilt looks super cool to me!

I really needed a break from the gargantuan task that was quilting this bad boy. During my little break I decided to make  a pillow for living room for summertime. I was inspired by @daisycottagequilting on Instagram. She posted a picture of a pillow she made and I was immediately smitten. I recreated it a couple of days after I saw hers.
My version
I had a 5" charm pack of "Fresh Flowers" by Deb Strain that has been calling my name since I bought it last summer. I knew when I saw Sharon's pillow I would be using that charm pack to make my own. The yellow gingham I bought at a thrift store (they were curtains) and the red border is "Vroom" by Avlyn Inc. I loved how my turned out! 

During my quilt break I also got real serious about my garden outside. I built an 8' x 6' raised garden (and am going to build another this week) and dug out all the garden fabric that was under where I wanted to place it. Here are some of the plants I will be putting out soon!

Cucumbers, zucchini, butternut squash!

I've realized that I am trying to live out my childhood fantasy of being Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now all I have to do is get my mom to make me a sunbonnet and I will be set!

I also may have made a tiny purchase:

I got this little guy from a thrift store (desk included) for only $18. Granted, who knows how much I am going to have to sink into it in order to get it work (Oh yes, I'm going to restore a sewing machine!) but it will make me so happy when I do! More info on the sewing machine later!

It's a new month and I hope to get a few things finished before Mom comes to visit next month and we head off to the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop. I am already planning our route!

What do you want to get finished this month??

Happy Sewing!


Don't forget: you can always join in on more fun by following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Random Update


I haven't got that much done on anything lately.

Although I did make these Cherry Heart Mini Pies, so I have accomplished something this past week.

And, yes, this is the last one. 

OK, and I have worked a little bit on my son's Christmas stocking:

I'm pretty sure that brown underneath the cat is not the right color....

I'm going to be really honest with you: I've been toying with the idea of shutting this whole thing down-maybe a hiatus for the summer? Maybe permanent?

Since the move, I have been driving about 34 miles each way so the kids could finish out the school year at their old school. I love this little school they are in and don't regret the decision, but it means that for about five hours every day, I'm not home. That's five hours of not getting chores done, of working on meals, of working to make our vegetable garden happen.  I feel like even though we moved back in November, I still haven't moved completely in: things still feel all strewn all over the place, there are a couple of boxes I can't find to save my life, and the whole house just doesn't feel settled to me.

The worst part is I haven't found a great place for my sewing stuff. The place where it is now doesn't have great light, and it feels even more dark and cold down there in the evenings when I do most of my work. Having my sewing machine on my dining room table, while really accessible and in the most light-filled place in the house, isn't exactly practical.

So, I feel a little lost.

Plus, maybe I need to re-think my whole premise of this blog.  I think what has happened is I have painted myself into a corner of "having" to do certain projects before I start other ones and sewing, quilting and crafting has now become a chore, rather than fun.

So, what do you do when you are in a slump? Chuck it all? Take a step back? Keep pushing forward?

I'm going to sit on this for a little bit and I will let you know what I come up with; in the mean time, feel free to chime in your ideas!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Quilting the Daisy Chain

Hi Friends!

Confession time: I have two, maybe weird but I think totally normal, habits.

The first is, if I really want to sew but there is something that is more important to get done (for example, taxes) I won't sew anything until I get the more important task done.

Second, if I do have a big task in front of me (like, say, quilting) I have a hard time doing it until I have wrapped my head around how I am going to get it done.

Both of those little quirks dominated this past week.

We were on Spring Break and I was pretty determined to get at least two things done (while our roof was being replaced): finish our taxes and quilt my Daisy Chain quilt.

The taxes got done without many problems (thank you, 2009 self, for keeping the closing documents from the house we bought-life was so much easier because of that!), and I wasn't going to start quilting until it got done. The only problem was I couldn't figure out the particulars about actually quilting my Daisy Chain.

For those of you who are non-quilters, all the work I have done up to this point has just been piecing all the fabric together into a pattern-this particular pattern is called Daisy Chain; the quilting part doesn't start until the quilt top is completed and it is layered with a bottom piece of fabric and batting in between the two. The quilting is the design that you sew to attach all three layers together and form a nice little quilt.

You can see all three layers here: the bottom layer of fabric (wrong side up), the batting, and the quilt top. 

Getting to the actual quilting part requires pinning all three layers together and, frankly, it's my least favorite step. I suppose if I was doing a small quilt it wouldn't be a big deal, but I have to lay everything down on my floor of my living room and get down on my hands and knees to pin the whole thing.

To be honest, I was putting off the pinning part; instead, I worked on my son's Christmas stocking for a few days. It was actually kind of nice to take a break from the sewing machine and focus on my first love, counted cross stitch.
Where I am at now.
Where I was the last time I wrote about the stocking.

But soon, I got back to the quilt. I decided to do a cross hatch design which is a pretty fancy way of saying I'm going to put diagonal lines all over it. It's taken me about three days to do the first half of all the diagonals which I think is pretty good time. I'm going to bury all my threads and then start on the second half of the quilting.

I decided to not quilt the crosses in the Daisy Chain, but I am thinking of doing a stitch-in-the-ditch (or "outlining" them) to make them pop. I'll see how it looks when I am done. 

Any questions you have about making a quilt?

Happy Sewing!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Daisy Chain (part 3)

Hello Friends!

I just returned home earlier this week from two weeks in AZ with my family. We had so much fun: the kids were able to play with their cousins, we went to parks, we saw plays, we rode trains and carousels! Whew! I am beat! We left 95 degree weather and it is about 50 degrees right now and I am loving it (albeit, I have a couple of sweaters on today!).

I had the good sense to bring my Daisy Chain blocks with me and Mom watched the kids for me while I just put my nose to the grindstone and pieced all the blocks together. She sews with a Pfaff Quilt Expressions 2048 and it was a DREAM to use!

The quilt top came out great! I laid it out on a twin bed and decided not to add additional borders and will go ahead and quilt as is.

Mom also let me go through her fabric stash which was pretty much like Christmas for me! I almost borrowed another bag from her so I could take more fabric.

Oh happy day!

We also went to a few quilting stores and we tried out the BabyLock: Sashiko machine. It only does one stitch but that stitch makes your quilt look hand quilted. It was so easy to use and did beautiful work! Mom and I were very impressed but, sadly, I was unable to walk away with one. Totally bummed.

All in all, we had a great trip! Next week is Spring Break and I am hoping to get this Daisy Chain quilted during the week!

Happy Sewing!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Daisy Chain part 2


It's Monday! We don't have school today and it's been kind of awesome. I've been sewing my tail off these past few days (it helped that it rained cats and dogs yesterday), trying to get all the blocks done for the Daisy Chain quilt.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook , you may have seen the more day-to-day stuff I have been doing.
A single block

Four blocks together

About 1/3 of the way done

Half way done

I just got all 48 blocks done this afternoon and was able to lay them out while the kiddos were "napping" (laying in their beds doing their best not to sleep). 

All laid out and nowhere to go!

Once I have the blocks sewn together I'm going to lay it out on my nieces bed to see if it is big enough and how much, if any, of a border I need to put around it. I'm hoping that if it hangs well, I can just leave it "as is" and bind it with a scrappy binding. I think that would give it a nice, modern finish.

I'm already starting to think about how I am going to quilt it (I'm thinking cross hatch) and what I am going to do for a back. 

With all of these blocks and having to lay them out on my living room floor I am starting to think I need to make a design wall for my sewing room. Anybody have one that was easy to make and not super expensive? I'd love to hear what all of you quilters use! 

I hope your week goes well!