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!


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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!


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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!