Thursday, February 25, 2010

February's Package

Last weekend I hand delivered my mom's February package.  (For an explanation of these packages see here).  She'd gotten a couple of things earlier in the month, but this was the bulk of it.  And now that she has it, I can finally share some pictures with you.

First of all are the flannel pillowcases for her bed.  I pre-washed the fabric in very hot water and it made them so soft.  And of course she loves snowmen.

And I also gave her both March and April's mini wall hangings.  I posted a tutorial on how to make them here.  (I wish I'd learned how to make a photo collage before doing the tutorial though...)

I've also already shared with you the stack of fabric's I split with her to make Barbie doll clothes.  Last weekend, we each managed to complete an outfit using this fabric.  I made a special occasion silk dress that took almost 2.5 hours to sew!  Shouldn't such small items be quick?  My mom completed a skirt and top outfit.

I also gave her a bunch of patterns for clothes for both Barbie dolls and 18" dolls.  (I think we'll end up making  more of the 18" clothes because the bigger scale is easier to sew.)  And of course you need a model to try clothes on, so I included this beach barbie.  She came in very handy when sewing.

Finally, I included block #2 of the Imperial Splendor BOM, another spool of Aurifil thread, a quilt magazine, the instructions for making the pillowcases and a pair of hemostats.

I've already got lots of ideas for March's package.  I'd really like to include more hand-made items and I have a bunch of quilt tops already made for her.  But it's always the quilting of the tops that seems to take me so long.

Until later...

Stash Report #8

February 19 - 25, 2010

Well, this was another week where I added to my stash, but almost all of it was for specific projects.  (Does it sound like I'm trying to justify my purchases?)

As I mentioned in my last post, I bought a Blush jelly roll and 3 yards of coordinating fabric for a Paintbox quilt I'm planning to make.  I also bought 3 yards of Kona cotton on sale to go with it.  That's a total of 9 yards - but I expect to get at least two quilts out of it.

I also bought a lot at JoAnn's this week.  I had a bunch of 40 and 50 percent off coupons plus another coupon for 20% off my entire purchase.  (Aren't coupons wonderful?)  I bought 5 yards of fabric for a special someone but I can't share what until later.  I also bought 8 yards of the Legacy Studio Ravendale Collection in 5 different prints.

Most of this will go towards making a sampler quilt that Jan and Janet will be teaching this next year.  However, I have enough left over to frame a John 3:16 panel I have. Aren't they pretty?  I've really been gravitating towards these colors lately.

And my last purchase was 3 yards of a very bright, metallic leaf print.  I could easily design a whole quilt around this fabric.  It was my impulse buy and I would have skipped it if not for all the coupons...

I think the pattern in this fabric would also make a great quilting motif.

This brings my purchase total to 25 yards!  Yikes!  I guess it's a good thing I ended up not going to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.

Now for what I got accomplished this week.  Hmmm...  I have to think about it.  The only thing I can think of is the 18 pillowcases I made for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  That used about 20.25 yards of fabric. ( I also made some barbie clothes while visiting my mom, but we used her fabric not mine.) I've got another 26 cut out and ready to sew and I will have used the bulk of the children's prints and flannels in my stash.

Although I've still used more than I've bought, I need to stay out of the fabric stores.  I have enough projects to work on without adding new ones.  Having said that, I do want to get one more coordinating Ravendale print for the sampler that starts next week.

So the totals are:
Purchased-this-week: 25 yards
Used-this-week: 20.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 56.25 yards
Used-to-date: 98.25 yards
Net used: 42 yards

Until later...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fabric purchases...

I have to admit that my fabric stash has grown a little bigger in the last couple of weeks.  Most of it was planned purchases, but not all.  I've been taking pictures so I can better keep track of what I've bought.

First of all, I bought the rest of the fabric that Jan and I needed to make a Boston Commons quilt.  She found a neat pattern last year whereby 2 people work on it at the same time - one cuts and presses and the other one sews.  When it's done, each of us will have our own quilt!  Jan is fortunate to have a very extensive fabric stash and we were able to pick out a lot of the fabrics from it.  But not all.  We took a trip a couple of weeks ago to find the rest.  We were very fortunate and found everything we needed pretty quickly.

All the fabrics are now washed and pressed.  Now we just need to find time to start working on it. (These are just half of the fabrics we're going to use.  Jan has the other half at her house.)

That same afternoon, I stopped by JoAnn's to pick up some John Deere fabric.  I wanted to make this gift bag to hold my dad's birthday present.

I really liked how it turned out and so apparently did David...


While I was at JoAnns, I saw that they were having all their clearance fabric an additional 50% off.  I've been planning to make my niece some Barbie doll clothes and so jumped at the chance to get some fabrics at such low prices.  And because the outfits are tiny, I didn't need much.  In fact, I cut everything I bought in half and gave them to my mom who is also making the clothes. (As of today, we've each finished one outfit.)

Gracie should have some very well dressed Barbie's come her birthday!

And finally this past Friday, I found the perfect fabric to make a Paintbox quilt out of. (I recommend checking out her blog.  She has a great tutorial on making the blocks.) The fabric line I chose is Blush by Basic Grey and it's gorgeous.  I'm going to pair it with some Kona cotton Snow and I think I'll end up with a very soft and beautiful quilt.

I'm not planning to make my quilt as big as hers so I expect I'll have enough of the jelly roll leftover to make a couple of other small projects.  I'm looking forward to working on this one.

Until later...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My little troublemaker...

Mr QuiltingBug and I went out of town this past weekend and we took Gabriel along for the trip.  But it's the first time in the 6+ months since David joined us that we left him alone overnight.

I'll admit we were very anxious.  Every time we turn around he's done something else.  I realize he's a growing boy and has lots of energy, but it's more than that.  Genetically he must be part daredevil.  And he particularly loves heights. 

I snapped this picture about a week ago when I walked in the kitchen and saw him on top of our upper cabinets.  I figure the ceilings in there are about 10 feet high at that point.  Do you see the box at the top of the picture?  That's our skylights!  We've caught him on top of our shower door, our bathroom upper cabinets, our bedroom armoire and even on top of our flat panel TV.  And you know how thin those things are!

We used to panic when he would do stuff like this.  Now we keep an eye on him, but don't bother to enact a rescue.  Somehow he manages to escape from every scrape he's gotten into.

Nevertheless, we were nervous at the thought of leaving him alone in the house for a full 24 hours.  On the drive back, we kept wondering what mischief he might have gotten into.  But when we walked in the house, all looked well.  That is until we walked in the sun room to find this...

At first glance, I thought he'd broken the back door.  But no, he just knocked a huge painting off the wall.  Here's where it used to be...

I don't understand what he was doing that would not only knock it off the wall but also for it to land where it did.  And yes, we have 3 other cats, but I know David is the culprit.  It's just such a Davidy thing for him to do.

Well, Mr. QuiltingBug managed to put it all back together and in it's rightful place.

(As I typed this entire post, David has been lying in my lap with his head resting over my wrist.  He's a troublemaker, but so darn cute!)

Until later...

Lots and lots of pillowcases...

I have been busy lately making more pillowcases.  They are such a great project.  They're so easy to make and are a small investment of both time and money.  Plus they look great.

I've been making them for my family as well as to donate to the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  To start, I made two pillowcases for my mom's February package out of flannel.  As I've mentioned before, she loves snowmen.  And the flannel made them so soft.

Then I made my sister, niece and nephew each one.  I used the focus fabric in my sister's quilt to make hers.  (I knew she would love it because she picked it out.)  I made my niece's out of a bright flannel with flowers and my nephew's out of cub scouts fabric.

And finally, I finished 18 more pillowcases (again out of flannel) to donate to charity.  All of our local quilt shops are accepting donations and giving them to those in need.

It felt really good to focus on others today.

Until later...

Monday, February 22, 2010


I've finally finished my Crayola Challenge quilt (aka Wild Strawberry).  I've been working on it for what seems like quite a long time.  It ended up being 71" x 94" - big enough for a twin size bed.  Here she is in all her bright pinkness...

(My dear sweet husband hung the curtain rod for me recently so I can hang up my quilts to take pictures.)

This is the third UFO I can mark off my list and one I was very glad to finish. 

I've already mailed it to Thearica who is in charge of the raffle.  Check out her blog to see pictures of all the quilts that will be raffled off.  The money raised will go to the Ronald McDonald House.  Not only is it a worthy cause, but the quilts are all beautiful.

If you'd like to buy tickets, let me know.  They are 1 for $2 or 3 for $5.  You can win one of over 30 quilts!  The drawing will be held on 9/11/10.

Until later...

Stash Report #7 corrected

I had a feeling when I was typing it up that I was forgetting something.  It was only this morning that I remembered a couple more items.

I made my mom a couple of snowman pillowcases as part of her package.  That used 2 yards and I also made a pillowcase for my sister from stash.  So that's another 3 yards used that I hadn't accounted for. 

And that brings my totals to:
Purchased-this-week: 13.25
Used-this-week: 15.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 31.25 yards
Used-to-date: 78 yards
Net used: 46.75 yards

Until later...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stash Report #7

February 12-18, 2010

(I'm late on posting this, but if you follow my blog, you know I'm having a tough time lately.  I'm just taking it day by day.)

Well, I bought fabric this week, but I had planned on purchasing some of it.  I've taken pictures of both the fabric and a few completed projects.  Maybe I'll get around to posting about them this week.  Then again, I'm planning on going to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival Thursday and Friday so I might not have time.

I bought  5.25 yards for a quilt I'm planning on doing with Jan.  We spent Friday looking for fabrics that would work for it.  We needed 15 different fabrics not including the borders!  I think we have all the fabric, but now we need to find time to get together and start on it.

I also bought another 2 yards to make pillowcases for my niece and nephew.  Those came together really quickly.  And I bought a bunch of clearance remnants at Jo-Anns to make Barbie doll clothes.  I gave half of them to my mom in her February package.

I almost forgot I bought a yard of John Deere fabric and made a reusable gift bag for my dad's birthday.

That brings my purchase total to 13.25 yards for week 7!

And how much did I use?  Well, I finally finished the Crayola Challenge quilt.  I figure that took another 6.75 yards for backing and binding.  I also used all of the fabric I purchased for pillowcases - 2 yards.  And I gave away half of the Barbie Doll fabric I bought or 2.5 yards.  Finally, add in the John Deere fabric.  That's a grand total of 12.25 yards.  Almost enough to break even for the week.

So the totals are:Purchased-this-week: 13.25
Used-this-week: 12.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 31.25 yards
Used-to-date: 75 yards
Net used: 43.75 yards

Until later...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Goodbye sweet Michael

 August 14, 1996 - February 15, 2010
I know we'll see each other again one day.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Calendar Quilt Tutorial

Well, here's my first tutorial.  I hope you find it both helpful and easy to understand.  This is what we'll be making...

We'll be turning a hand-stitched embroidery into a mini quilt.  The embroideries I used just happen to be from the Camelot Snowman patterns.  I made both March and April at the same time and took lots of pictures along the way.  But you could also substitute a quilt block or anything else for the center.  Just so you know, the finished dimensions of the center are 5.5" x 7.5".  The finished size of the quilt is 8.5" x 10.5" (not including the tabs).

So let's get started...


  • 8" x 10" piece of Kona cotton or Bella solid (for your embroidery)
  • 1 Fat Quarter (18" x 20") for your border
  • 8.5" x 10.5" piece of batting
  • 7.5" wall hanger to display your quilt
  • 2 buttons
  • 3/4" x 2" piece of velcro (I used FabricFusion)
  • 1/4"  x 6"  piece of fusible webbing (like Steam-a-Seam 2) (*optional)
(Although I show the pictures for 2 quilts, the materials list is only for 1.)

1.  Stitch your design on the 8" x 10" background.  Your design must be smaller than 5.5" x 7.5".  ( The larger size of the background allows for some shrinkage when stitching.)
2.  Place your stitched background face down on a towel and then iron.  (The towel will make sure that your fabric doesn't wrinkle around your stitching.)
3.  Trim your background down to 6" x 8".

4.  From your fat quarter, cut 2 strips 2" x 8" for your side borders.  Cut 2 more strips 2" x 9" for your top and bottom border.

5.  Sew a 2" x 8" strip to each side of your background using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press your seams towards the outside.

6.  Now sew a 2" x 9" strip to the top and bottom.  Again press your seams to the outside.

7.  From your fat quarter, cut your backing the same dimensions as your quilt top.  (Your quilt top should measure 9" x 11".)
8.   From the remainder of your fat quarter, cut 4 strips 2" x 5".  These are your tabs.
9.  Using a ruler, draw a horizontal line down the wrong side of the center of two of your tabs.

10.  Using the line as a placement guide, place the 45 degree mark of your ruler on this center line and draw a line on either end creating an arrow.

This will give you your stitching line to create the point of your tab.

11.   Match each tab that you marked with an unmarked tab placing right sides together.  You should now have two sets of tabs.
12.  Using a 1/4" seam allowance, start sewing down the long side of one tab.  Be sure to lock your stitches when you begin sewing.  When you reach the start of your arrow, stop with your needle down and pivot the tab.
13.  Continue sewing on the line until you reach the point.  Take one stitch horizontally across the point before continuing up the other side.  (This extra stitch will allow you to get a sharper point.)
14.  Finish sewing the other side of the tab, remembering to lock your stitches when you've finished.
15.  Repeat for the second tab.
16.  Trim the excess fabric from each side of your tab as shown below.  This will reduce bulk when you turn them inside out.
17.  Turn both tabs inside out and press.  A tube turner will make quick work of this if you have one.

Take your time pressing these tabs.  It will make a difference in your finished quilt.  Your tabs should finish 1.5" x 4.75" or so.  Just make sure both tabs are the same height.

18.  Place your backing fabric right side up.  Put a tab 3/4" in from each side aligning the raw edges.

19.  Lay your quilt top right side down on top of this and pin.

20.  Sew this quilt sandwich together but leave a 6" opening at the bottom for turning.  Turn right side out and press.
21.  This step is optional.  Iron your fusible webbing to the inside seam allowance at the bottom of your quilt.  This will allow you to fuse this opening closed after you've inserted the batting.

22.  Now it's time to insert your 8.5" x 10.5" piece of batting.  This should be the exact size of your quilt.  I fold the two long sides of the batting towards the center before sliding it in to the opening.  I can then smooth out the folds to both sides.  Make sure you have batting in each corner.

23.  If you used the fusible webbing in step 21, now is the time to remove the paper backing and iron your opening closed.  Otherwise, you can stitch it closed by hand.

24.  Quilt 1/4" inside the outside edge of your quilt using a coordinating thread.  This will keep your batting in place.  Then quilt the remainder of your top as desired.  Because this is such a small quilt, even just stitching in the ditch between your embroidery and border is enough to keep it together.  I did some additional quilting on the March block including cross-hatching in the border and outlining some of the embroidery.  It's all a matter of personal taste.

25. Following the manufacturer's instructions, attach a 3/4" x 1" piece of velcro to both tabs and the top of your quilt as shown.  (If you round the corners of your velcro pieces, they're less likely to pull off.)

26.  Finally, sew a button to the back side of each tab by hand.

Voila!  You have a mini quilt top that was quick to make and easy to change out by month or season.

Please let me know if you have any questions!  I'd also love some feedback as this is my first tutorial.

Until later...