Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WIP it good.


It is a beautiful sunny day here in the PNW! I've had three cups of coffee (it's only 10 AM) and I'm ready to go!

Have I gotten a ton of sewing done lately? Absolutely not! :) I did, however, scrap my idea for all the flowers in the window frame and I think I have come up with something better. Don't worry: I didn't toss the flowers---they will be used for another project; I can't let all that work just go to waste.

What I have been working on is my son's Christmas stocking. I realized that 2015 is more than half way over and I want this stocking done by this Christmas, so I've been plugging away at it in the evenings once the kids have gone to bed.

Now that I've finished the fireplace, it's moving pretty fast and it is fun to see it come together.

What are you doing today? Working on something new or plugging away on a project?

If you'd like to see other WIPs, check out Lee over at Freshly Pieced and there are lots of ideas there to inspire you!

Happy Wednesday!


Don't forget: you can always follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Quiet Summer

Hi Friends!

It's been a quiet summer over here and, if I am to be perfectly honest, it's been kind of a tough summer.  I'm not going to go into too much detail but June and July were really difficult for our family. August is looking much better and I know we are through the worst of it! This did mean, however, that I was sapped creatively for the last few weeks; if I had a free moment all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and just sit in quiet and so I didn't do much of anything.

As things have started to look up, I started to get an inkling of an idea. I had gotten my hands on an old, old window and had it sitting in my sewing room.

It needs a little love....

I decided I wanted to make six flowers to go in the panes of each of the windows. I took measurements, made my own patterns, and used scrap fabric to execute this idea (before I used my really good fabric!).

The result was pretty good and I was going to spend this month starting to put together the real thing. Then I went to my guild meeting for the month and we had Kathy McNeil ( as a speaker. Kathy is an internationally award winning quilt artist, pattern designer, teacher and judge. The quilts she brought with her were mainly landscape appliqué quilts and they were truly amazing. She talked about using various simple techniques in order to make truly memorable quilts. But for me, what really shone through was how passionate she was about what she was doing and how she wanted to make sure each of her quilts was the best that she could do and she pushed herself to try new things. I came out of there very inspired. 

I came out of her talk champing at the bit to tear apart the flowers I had already made for my window frame. There are a couple of issues that I need to sort out--how to make sure my points aren't lost in the tulips and I and I'm going to scrap the circle flower all together, they just aren't working for me. 

Looks pretty good taped behind the frame.

My plan is to put it in my living room above the couch. I was thinking I could make ornaments at Christmas time, hearts for Valentine's Day, apples or pumpkins for the Autumn, the possibilities are endless. But then I got it in my head I needed to paint the living room/dining room before I could hang the frame; it just wouldn't look good with old, ugly beige behind it. 

You know you hate the color of your walls when you really like just the primed wall before any paint has been added (left).

Well, that's what I'm working on for now. 

How was your summer? Finish anything amazing? Work on something new? Share your projects!

Happy Sewing!


Don't forget, you an always find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Monday, June 29, 2015

Welcome Garden Pillow


I hope you are all handling Summer ok. Here in Seattle it is just so hot. I know, I know. It's only in the upper 80's and low 90's but for this Arizona girl, I am uncomfortably hot. It must be the humidity....

Anyway, with the advent of Summer comes the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop and Mom and I took full advantage of it last week. We visited 16 stores and I was continually amazed at how at each store there was always something new; fabric we had never seen, a different take on a quilting motif, fun little gadgets to make sewing and quilting easier. It was both overwhelming and inspiring to the imagination.

One of the great things about the Shop Hop is there is fabric made just for it and each participating quilt store makes a block; when you visit during Shop Hop, they give you all the pieces to make that block. Sometimes the fabric isn't my favorite but this year, it's kinda nice and I think will look lovely in Autumn.

I walked away with 16 block patterns, some fat quarters and the Farm Girl Vintage quilt book. I'm a  little in love with Lori Holt's book but I will get to that in another post!

In the midst of all this Shop Hopping, I was able to finish my Garden Welcome sign to completion! I started it last year and finished the cross stitch part back in September but with the move to the new house, I wasn't able to do anything with it. 

I decided to make a little happy pillow out of it with the idea if I ever wanted to frame it later, I probably could. 

The green fabric came from my stash and the mustard-y polka dot fabric is an older Moda fabric; someone had made napkins out of it, decided they didn't want it anymore and gave them to me and I put a couple to good use! 

What do you plan on finishing this week? I hope you are able to stay cool while doing it!

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thoughts on my 2015 Goals at Six Months

Back in January I wrote about how I wanted to focus on improving my craft and to pay finer attention to details, especially finishing details. In many ways, I feel I have gotten better at taking my time (I tend to rush through things) and to enjoy the process.  Honestly, I think the denim quilt is awesome and I'm really proud of the quilting I did on the Daisy Chain. I think if I had rushed through both of those projects, they wouldn't have been so nice.

However, somewhere along the line my thought process became "I couldn't work on anything  except for the project at hand."  This was all well and good until three-quarters of the way through the Daisy Chain Quilt, I just hated it. All my energy was being focused on quilting straight lines and I was bored. But I didn't want to work on anything else less I put down the Daisy Chain quilt and not pick it up again for a year (or more!). So I forged ahead and made some small mistakes I might have caught if I had taken a day or two or a week off just to re-focus my energies and come back to the quilting with a fresh eye.

I also realized that living and dying by the Lottery isn't feasible in many ways. Last week I decided to make a pillowcase to match the Daisy Chain quilt; that was nowhere on The List and if I had put it there it could be months or years until it got picked!

Or what about on Mother's Day weekend, when my oldest daughter asked if we could make a rainbow pillow together. I told her to draw a concept pillow, had her pick out all the fabrics and then she sat on my lap while we sewed it together. I would have missed out on an awesome moment with her if I and said, "Sorry, honey, I'll put that on the list and you can hope it gets picked soon!" That would have been ridiculous!

Or even the Star Wars blanket I made for my son for his birthday (admittedly, it only took an hour)? He loves that blanket!

Or these cute pillowcases? I was so inspired by the picture on Instagram, I knew I had to make them immediately. And then again for my mom! And I'll probably make one for my sister as well! They are just too cute.

So what does this mean for my 2015 challenge?  Honestly, I'm going to keep it. I like the idea of not starting new projects until I have completed the ones I started but I do have to be easier on myself and allow for small projects to get done; I've found these small projects drive my creativity and challenge my skills. Plus, I've completed more than 10 projects so far this year. That's pretty good for me!

I'm gonna keep on plugging' away and I hope you are too!

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wonky Stars

Well, hello! I've kinda had a big uptick in readership this past week thanks to Crazy Mom Quilts (btw, if you haven't checked out her site, go now. She makes some just amazing stuff and, without her knowledge, has really inspired me)!

If you are new here, welcome! I'm Kate. A little background: I started this site a few years ago in order to document all the projects I had going and to force myself to finish projects I had started and never finished. This past January, I challenged myself further by not allowing myself to work on anything new until I had completed all the projects I had either promised other people or I had started and never finished. After six months of that challenge, I have definite thoughts on how well it's going but I'm going to write about that in Thursday's post.

The next item that was chosen from The List, was to do something, anything, with these wonky stars. A few years ago I took my second quilting class and made this sampler quilt. The nice thing about this quilt was if your squares weren't perfect (and mine definitely weren't), you could adjust the sashing (the orange fabric) to make up for less than stellar cutting/sewing. As you can see, I used a lot of sashing in some areas.

These stars were originally supposed to go in the corners of the quilt but, for whatever reason, they never made it. I held onto them and figured I would do something with them and a few weeks ago I decided to start making my sewing area look nicer and thought I would hang these around me!

I quilted just inside and outside each star, made a little holder for a small dowel and practiced my hand binding technique.

Someone insisted on having her picture taken while I was taking pics of the stars. How could I say no?
I did learn, though, no matter the size of the project, using binding clips helps enormously. I think the binding would have come out much nicer on one of them if I had used my binding clips.

Here they are in all their glory! The walls in my sewing area are lined with real wood and it kind of feels like a cabin, so I feel like these stars fit right in with the decor! It's nice to have my handiwork on the walls as well. :)

Another project finished, which always feels nice! 

Next up: thoughts on my 2015 challenge to myself and adjusting my attitude! 

Happy Sewing!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Daisy Chain Comleted


I know, I know. I haven't been around much. I have all the excuses in the world but mainly I have been sewing my little heart out and just didn't have the inspiration to blog.

I finished the Daisy Chain quilt and I am pretty happy with it. More than happy; I'm kind of sad to give it away but I know that my niece will enjoy it.

I decided against putting borders on it; I can't remember why I originally made that decision (sheer laziness?) but am ultimately glad I did. I also took a little bit of a risk in binding it in black. I think it gives it a nice framing effect.

Now, lots of photos!

The piecing and the quilting were done by me. If I was to do it again the only thing I would change would be to do a stitch in the ditch of the all the crosses in the middle but I do like how they kind of blend into the rest of the fabric. 

To date, this is probably one of the biggest quilts I have done and I'm proud of myself. 

I have finished quite a few other projects on The List but I will be sharing them over the next couple of weeks. I challenged myself in the past six weeks and have set up some goals for the summer but I will talk about that in later posts. 

What are you planning on getting done with summer? 

Have a great week of sewing!


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! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Daisy Chain Quilt

Hi Friends!

I'm gonna be honest with you: I am having a hard time sitting down and blogging. It's not that I'm not doing any sewing/crafting (I've been working furiously on this latest quilt), I just feel like everything I write is so boring! Hopefully, that is just me. I'll work on blogging more and posting more pics on social media.

The next pick in the Lottery was to make my niece a quilt for her bed. In 2103, I made her sister one and now it is her turn.  When she came and visited me last summer, I had two jelly rolls of fabric she could choose from; either a '30's reproduction fabric or another roll with lots of cherries, blues and greens. I was almost certain she was going to choose the cherry roll but she opted for the 1930's reproduction and I'm glad she did. I was able to use the cherry roll to make my first charity quilt and while I have been sorting through this roll for her and picking sewing the pieces together to make the blocks I realized this is probably more suited for her.  She's going to be 10 soon and while this fabric still has a "little girl" feel to it, with the addition of the black and mustard yellow fabrics I feel that it is still going to be cool for her as she becomes a teenager and not feel like a "baby" quilt.

Lots of happy colors and prints!

I also had her pick what kind of pattern she wanted and she chose the same Daisy Chain pattern I used to make my daughter's quilt for her bed (also with 30's reproduction fabric). It's not often that I do the same pattern twice (for quilting or cross stitch) but I remember having fun making this quilt originally and am happy to be doing it again.

I'm using the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott again. I've made about three of their patterns and I really like how they lay out the directions to the quilt, use lots of pictures and give multiple fabric ideas for the same pattern. I also thought it was pretty cool when I emailed them a question they emailed me back within a day or two. I highly recommend this book!

So at this point I have all the pieces ready to make blocks!

Go do your craft, I'm gonna!


Remember, you can always join in on more fun by following me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Another WIP Done!

Hi Friends!

Just a quick update. I crossed another item off of my List this weekend. What's sad is that I thought I had crossed this item off the List last Fall but I didn't do a good job and had to re-do my work. So sad.

I fixed my son's quilt (I've talked about it here and here). I was down at the West Seattle Fabric Company last week with my mom and found this adorable panel of animals that I thought I could use to make bigger patches on Ben's quilt. Did I take a picture of that panel before I cut it all up? Of course not!

Anyway, I used a polar bear, owl and penguin to cover a lot of the gaps in the fabric and then added some extra fish, star and whale appliqués  for holes that were all by themselves. This time I blanket stitched around all of them so they don't come out when I put it in the wash (which may have happened last time).

I had the kiddos help me take pictures by holding the quilt while it hung over the deck.

I've already started on the next project to cross off my list. When I get a little farther along, I'll post my progress!

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Finished Denim Quilt!

Hi! How are ya? Miss me?

Sorry. My folks were in town and when they are here I try to spend as much time with them as possible.

I finished the Denim Quilt and attached it to the back of the Ugly Quilt and somehow they are both just absolutely beautiful together. It's unreal.

Here it is, all finished.

As you can see, I added a few details of my own; I patched some of the holes in the jeans with some scraps and was even able to fussy cut out one of the back pockets to add into the overall pattern. I also added the pink half-square triangle border.  It was originally on the ugly quilt:

But I wanted the the quilt top to be larger, so I added it to the denim side and I think it's a pretty addition.

I could have spent maybe 10 more minutes lining up the borders so all the triangles kind of matched at the corners but....let's face it, I'm lazy. 

so lazy

I'm not sure what kind of witchcraft occurred, but somehow the back doesn't look so bad anymore.

If you would like to make this denim quilt, remember you can get the pattern from Alicia over at Lucy's Quilts

This quilt was close to 10 years old and I'm glad to have it out of my laundry basket of WIPs!! I'm already looking forward to my next project!

Happy Sewing!


Don't forget, you can always follow along (and hear about how I keep on stabbing myself underneath my thumbnail) on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter