Thursday, December 31, 2009

December Totals

I had three finishes this month, so I'm pretty stoked. First of all, I finished Joey's Brown Bear Quilt. He's enjoying it on his bed!

Then, I finished Mom's Mitten Quilt. This was a definite UFO from circa 2007. I know that some of you have quilts that date back much farther than that, but this is one of my oldest ones.

Then, I finished Two Baby Twister quilts that I'll be sending to Quilts for Kids today (I'm hoping to get to the post office today first thing this morning to get some things sent off).

I'm also sending a top to Mary Johnson (another baby Twister quilt) and some backing fabric as well.

2009 Goals Finished

When I started quilting again after a long hiatus, I decided that I wanted to get 12 donation quilts before the end of the year...and I did it! Woo Hoo.

I sent off the last four quilts this afternoon...I'm a procrastinator at heart, but in my defense, I have had them done a few days.

I cannot wait for the New Year as I'm really excited to see what I'll do.

Hope you're all making plans.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Accountability Challenge

Woo Hoo!

Bari from My Crazy Quilting Life has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged us all to form an accountability group. I'M IN!

I have SO many projects that I want to get done this year, so I'm going to join in.

She's going to have a Mister Linky up on Wednesdays where those of us who are blogging and post and then go to each other's blogs to spur each other on...which I think is a GREAT idea.

So........I'm going to start a list of the UFO (unfinished objects), WIMM (works in my mind), WISP (works in slow progress), PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) etc that I have. Should be interesting.

Hope you all have a quilty day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another Finish!

Yeah! I finished another baby quilt.

I just finished the binding. Instead of using separate binding, I just used the backing and brought it around.

I had been wondering about that technique and just how one goes about it and lo and behold, there was an article about it in the Quick Quilts I got today in the mail!

I'll be sending these two quilts along with the Quilts for Kids quilt that I made with the fabric they sent.

Hope you all had a quilty day!

Design Wall Monday, Dec 28

Well, on my design wall this morning are these blocks that I cut out for my Java Jive quilt. I just LOVE them!

I cut several extra ones because I want to make the quilt bigger plus I want to make more than one.

We'll see how it goes.

Here are a couple of the blocks close up.

I can't wait to get to work on this quilt!

You should hop over to Judy's blog to see what everyone else is up to this week.


OK. This quilt is one of the best examples I have come across of a quilt that you REALLY should make a sample block before cutting out the entire quilt.

First of all, there are two different free patterns floating around on the internet. One has you cut out 3 1/2" strips, sew them on to your coffee cup blocks and then cut them down. If you do that, you waste and INCREDIBLE amount of fabric!

The other pattern has you cut out 2 1/2" strips, but when you sew them on, you still have lots of fabric waste.

Anyway, I have decided to kind of do it "my way." This is how the first few blocks are turning out. They're not exactly the size that they're supposed to be, but since you cut sashing for the block in the next step of the quilt, I'll just cut the sashing the size that I need.

Hope you all have a quilty day!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I got two quilts finished this weekend. YEAH ME!

First of all, I FINALLY finished the binding on this quilt for my mom. This is my first attempt at applique. I liked it, but it's not something that I think I'll be doing a LOT of...although I do have a kit that is basically all applique and I want to finish it up in 2010.

This was a quilt that I did with my guild and it was done (except for the binding) TWO years ago!!! I got it out in late September and I've been slowly sewing on the binding. Did I mention I was S-L-O-W-L-Y sewing on the binding? I finally finished it tonight while watching the Cowboys beat the Redskins...GO COWBOYS!

I also finished a baby quilt.

Here's the back and a picture of my quilting.

The quilting isn't too exciting, but it's done. I need the practice.

I'm sending this quilt in to Quilts for Kids along with another of the Twister quilts and also the quilt that I finished from the fabric they sent.

The second Twister quilt is almost done. I have a little bit more quilting to do and then the binding and it will be done. I should finish it in the next few days and get those three quilts sent off before the New Year.

I wanted to leave you with this photo of the beautiful North Dakota sunset this evening.

Hope you all had a quilty weekend!

Week 52 Stash Report

Well, this is the last Stash Report for the year. This week, I busted 8 yds 9" in Mimi's bed quilt. I basted it on Friday night.

I had 5 3/4 yards in, though. I bought some extra fabric for this Java Jive quilt. I LOVE this quilt and I actually want to make at least two of them and I want to make them bigger, so I bought some extra components and I'm going to see what I can do with it.

So: 8.25 out/5.75 in/net 2.5 out...Woo Hoo!

Pop on over to Judy's to see what everyone else is up to.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snow-Bound Saturday

Well, we're into the third day of blizzard conditions here in the Northern Plains! I just checked the radar and there's another round of snow coming for my area (I live in South Central North Dakota). I hate the feeling of being snow-bound, but I will just hunker down and sew!

Last night, I basted my daughter's quilt, but I don't have the thread to quilt it. She chose a cute piece of flannel print that I had in my stash for the backing. It doesn't really go with the quilt, but it's what she wanted.

And wouldn't you know it? there was JUST enough for the backing. I was REALLY happy about that.

So, it's basted and waiting for me to get some thread on Monday if we're dug out by then.

Thankfully, the temperatures have been moderate!

So, I'm going to start work on a new quilt today, and I'm going to baste my sister's quilt, and any time I sit down, I'm going to work on the binding on my Mom's quilt. I shouldn't have to cook much since we have left-overs from yesterday.

And, the only time I'll be venturing out in the weather is to periodically check on the chickens and goats. If we were any closer to kidding time, I would be worried that they would all kid while we have this horrible storm, but they shouldn't start kidding for three weeks yet.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wind-Up for the Weekend 12/25/09

Even thought it's Christmas Day, I thought I would start today and see if I get any "bites."

I know that you all are enjoying time with your families, but maybe some of you, like me, are planning on getting some quilting done this weekend.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I'll be working on this weekend!

Last night finished the flimsy for my daughter. I'm SO excited about it because I think it just turned out so cute.

It's almost 100% from my stash, but I did buy a few prints especially for this quilt (I'm sorry I don't know the name of the line of fabrics). I felt like I needed some large scale prints to balance out all the small prints common in 1930s quilts.

Here's a few of them...

And here's a few of my favorite prints that went into the quilt...

As I said, I'm not sure what I'm going to be working on this weekend, but I think that I'll be starting a new quilt. We're snowed in and under a blizzard warning for the next few days, so the only time I'll be venturing outside is to check on animals.

I'm just thankful that the ambient temperatures aren't very low because with the winds, it would be MANY degrees below zero if the ambient temps were lower. As it is, the temps with the wind chill factor are only hovering around -10° F.


I found out the name of the large prints that I used. They're called Aunt Grace Ties One On II. I don't know if that means that Aunt Grace is a lush, or what???

Here's a place that still has a few prints. They're phasing out.

I can't believe how quickly fabric lines come and go!

Wind-Up for the Weekend

I'm creating a Mister Linky for all of us to visit! My plan is to call it Wind-Up for the Weekend and I'll post it every Friday.

My plan is for you all to write a post about what you're planning on accomplishing in the upcoming weekend in your studio.

Are you planning on starting a new quilt? finishing up an old UFO? quilting a flimsy? getting that binding sewn down? Inquiring minds want to know!

Come play along and let us know what you're planning on doing this weekend!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Marching Along Just Beautifully

Well, things are going along just fine on Lizzy's Parade.

As I said before, the instructions were REALLY bad, so when I sewed the triangles together, I just halved them and matched the half-way point then sewed them together. After I finished sewing most of the blocks together, it dawned on me that the point where the 1/4" seam intersected was at a different point at each of the two ends of the triangle, so they should have been matched up differently.

Oh and learn. I don't fact I'm quite certain...that no one at Fons & Porter bothered to make a sample of the quilt. There were no instructions at all. I had actually contacted Cherri of Cherry House Quilts and she said that she had no input on the writing of the instructions, so that explains a lot.

Here's what I have so far...

Isn't it just adorable???? (Sorry for the tooting of my own horn. I just think it's going to be so cute!)

I'm a little bummed that the points are all messed up, but I decided that I'm just going to have to let it go. What's that saying? "If you can't see the mistake on the back of a horse as you're galloping past, it's not worth worrying about!"

Plus, my daughter certainly doesn't care. She's just excited that Mommy is making her a big girl quilt.

She has a quilt that I made her when she was a baby...which she still sleeps with every night.

But, this one is going to be a small twin-sized quilt, so it will fit on her new bed in her new room.

On another note, I'm thinking about putting up a Mr Linky for everyone to blog about what they are planning to work on over the weekend. Would anyone be interested?

Judy's so good to give us a Stash Report on Sunday and a Design Wall Monday. I thought maybe we needed something to blog about on Fridays.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Design Wall Monday, Dec 21

Well, here's what's on my design wall today.

I started a new quilt. This one is for my daughter's bed. It's based on the pattern Lizzy's Parade which I saw in the in Fons & Porter's Easy Quilts, Winter 2009 edition. But, the instructions on how to cut out the triangle were woefully inadequate, so I just kinda figured it out for myself.

It seems to be coming together okay. Here are some of the blocks on my design "chair."

Just a few more weeks and I'll have an actual design wall! Woo Hoo! The basement is coming along really nicely, so we should be able to move in right after the first of the year.

Hope everyone has their Christmas sewing done. I am a procrastinator, so I don't. I have a few more aprons to make. Plus, I have shopping to do for some nieces and nephews, but my oldest daughter is going to help me with that today.

My free motion foot hasn't come in yet for my new Janome, so I won't be able to get the quilt done for my sister which is a big disappointment.

She lives in Kansas and we'll be leaving on Wednesday to see her and the rest of my family.

I want to be able to see her face when she sees the quilt for the first time and I probably won't see her again face-to-face until next Christmas!

So, my options are:
1) Show her the top so I can see her face when she sees that. Then bring it back home and quilt it and send it to her.

2) Wait until it's all finished and then send it to her.

3) Wait until I see her next time to give it to her.


Hope you're having a great holiday.

Have a quilty day and don't forget to pop over to Judy's website and see what everyone else is up to.

Stash Report

OK, well. Now's the time where I have to decide exactly what the "rules" are for my stashbusting. Can I count it busted when the flimsies are done, or does it have to be quilted and bound before I can count it busted.

First of all, I finished two pillowcases this week, so that's two yards done.

Secondly, I finished three flimsies...and since I'm sending them to Mary Johnson and Heart Strings to be quilted, I think I'm going to count those. That's five yards used.


I got a package with 12 fat quarters in, so three yards in.

Seven out and three in. I can live with that.

Also, I'm sending out some of my older fabric to be used in backings for Heart Strings quilts, but I don't think I'll count that (mostly because I don't want to go through it and add it all up, lol).

To see what everyone else is up to, make sure you visit Judy's blog.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My New Baby and Flimsies

I was finally able to get out my new machine and set it up. I don't have the free motion foot yet. I cannot WAIT to get it and try it out.

Here she is: my new Janome 1600P.

The 1600 is a professional straight stitch only machine that can sew as many as 1600 stitches per minute. The big thing that I'm interested in is the throat space. ALMOST NINE INCHES (officially 8 7/8")...WOO HOO!

My Bernina only has about six inches of quilting space...and let me tell you, that's not much when you're doing a full sized quilt! (I haven't even tried a queen yet.)

It has a thread cutter.

Now, how does that thing work? I cut the threads, and then when I sew again, the machine just starts sewing without bringing up the bobbin thread. It's really strange!

I can wind the bobbin without unthreading the machine...I can even wind the bobbin WHILE I'm sewing. Also needle up/down feature.

So, I've had fun sewing on the new machine.

I finished two more quilt tops.

This larger one...

And one the same size as the one that I did in the tutorial.

I had a quilty day. I hope you did, too.

Border Tutorial

I want to do a border tutorial because I think that borders are often overlooked or not done as carefully as they should be. Putting on borders is the last step to the quilt top, and it can be somewhat of a bother, but it's important.

I found that even when making a small little baby quilt, the edges can be inch or two longer than they should have been.

In order to determine the length of your borders, you'll need to measure the width (or length depending on which border you're doing) of your quilt through the middle. I usually measure along a seam line and I make a couple of measurements. I've really never had the measurements be that much off from one part of the quilt to the other, but if I did, I would average the measurements and then use the average.

Once you have cut the borders, you'll need to add them to your quilt.

Step 1: Fold your quilt in half and pinch it

This will leave a crease in your fabric.

Put a pin in it.

Step 2: Bring the ends of the quilt (one at a time) to the middle, pinch, crease, and pin it.

Step 3: Do the same thing to your border.

Step 4: Match the pins. Make sure to pin it with the quilt on the bottom and the border on the top. Your quilt is most likely going to be a little larger and if the quilt is on the bottom, the feed dogs will help you ease the quilt into the border.

Step 5: Now you have the middle, 1/4, and 3/4 spots pinned together. Pin between your existing pins. The more difference between your quilt and the border, the more you need to pin.

Sew the border and quilt together making sure that you ease the quilt evenly with the border.

Now you have a nice squared quilt.

I hope this helps you to finish your next quilt top with the same care and precision that you use for the middle.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not a Big Santa Fan

OK, so I'm not a big Santa fan, but I am a big "win a give-away" fan, lol.

Dear Santa,

I would REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like Delft Remix. Leah Day is the one to blame for my covetousness! I would maybe never have seen it had it not been for her blog, lol.

I was thinking I could use it to start my Quilted Diamonds quilt (another of my MANY projects that I have planned for 2010).

I won't say that I've been nice this year, but I will say that I'm constantly striving to become more that good enough?

Here's hoping!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stash Report

I decided that since I'm going to be doing this in the new year, I would practice for a couple of weeks.

First of all, NOTHING IN! Woo Hoo!

The last few days, I've been concentrating on Christmas presents, so I finished four pillowcases. Two of them, I had bought the fabric for, but two of them were from stash!

I also (almost finished) two aprons that used up 1.5 yards. Here's the tutorial I used. SUPER WONDERFUL! I'll post pics when I get them finished later today.

So, that's three and a half yards out! Woo Hoo!

Pop on over to Judy's blog to see what everyone else is up to.


Here are the two aprons I started yesterday and finished today. I would have had them finished earlier, but I have sick kiddos, so they needed some "Momma love."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One of the Reasons I Quilt

I think sometimes, my hubby wonders why I quilt...why I spent so much time and energy and effort...OK...and money, lol.

Well, there's a couple of reasons.

First of all, God created man/woman to be creative. God is creative and He created man in His image. Men build things; women decorate them. OK. I hope no one takes offense to that. I KNOW it's a GROSS over-generalization, but there is some truth to it.

Be that as it may, there's another reason that I quilt...and it's a big one.

I quilt because of the way that people feel when they receive a quilt. I quilt because giving someone a quilt is a way to give away a piece of myself.

I have made several dozen charity quilts since I started quilting and most times, I never saw the recipient of that quilt. I'll never have the opportunity to meet that person...never see their face when they receive that quilt. And that's okay with me because I do get to see some faces.

This is a picture of Alyssa wrapped in the Purple 1930s quilt that I was able to send her. She has a little sister who is ill, and since Alyssa was feeling a little left out, I felt compelled to send her a quilt. I was SO glad that I had just finished one!

Enjoy your quilt, Alyssa! And let that face be an encouragement to those of us who make charity quilts. This is what those faces look like when they're wrapped in the quilts that you all toil to make!

Life is good! Have a quilty day!


Well, I woke up early this morning...2AM. I couldn't get back to sleep, so I finally got up at 2:30 and decided to sew.

I got a couple of pillowcases done. I think they turned out great. They're for two of my nephews.

Here's the pillowcase for Landon, who's a big hockey player/fan.

And here's the pillowcase for little Ethan.

They were pretty easy, and I used French seams, so there won't be raggedy seams after a few washes.

If I decide to do this for some of the other nieces and nephews, I still have quite a few to go, but now that I've done these two and see how easy they are, it should be easy. I'm thinking of doing a photo tutorial. We'll see.

Hope you have a quilty day!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bismarck, Bismarck, Bismarck

I have been running to Bismarck every day this week!

I don't usually go to Bismarck more than once a week...sometimes not even that, lol. But, this week, I've been getting things for the basement.

The basement is framed now, and Dana has been working on the wiring. We're SO fortunate that my hubby knows all about wiring! He taught it to high school kids, so he knows it well. So, we don't have to pay and electrician to work in the basement.

The exciting thing is, I got my Janome. Also, the girls picked out their light fixture, so that's fun for them.

No pics for now since things are so up-in-the-air right now.

I would like to do some sewing tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday Plans

Well, yesterday was Bismarck day! Olivia and I had our violin lessons and we did our errands.

They came yesterday to start framing the basement. I haven't really talked much about what's happening in our basement, but we're having it totally redone, so that's exciting. The MOST exciting part of this is that I get my own sewing area!


I've decided on something new for my new sewing area. I'm going to buy a machine especially for FMQ (free motion quilting).

I think I've settled on a Janome 1600P-QC. It's a straight-stitch only professional machine that sews 1600 stitches per minute, and there's a wonderful little table that this machine fits in. Also, the throat is almost nine inches! Woo Hoo!

I'm really excited and I'm looking forward to being able to get better at FMQ with this machine. I really enjoy the process of manipulating the quilt and I don't really want a huge frame in my house (and neither does my husband).

Today, I'm going to try and get the backing done for my Carolina Crossroads quilt. I want to get that quilt basted so that I can start working on it the moment that I get my new machine!

Hope everyone has a quilty day!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Well, I said there'd be no photos, but I got them on in a round-about way. Good thing I'm a little computer literate...just enough to make me dangerous.

So, here's my "design wall." I don't have an official one if you remember, but it's coming. The workers are here this week working on the basement! YEAH!!!!

I'm piecing these blocks as a leader/ender project. If you don't know what that is, pop over to Bonnie's website and check it out. I try to ALWAYS have one going.

This is going to be a Chicklets Quilt, although I am thinking I'm going to modify the pattern a bit.

The girls went to their sewing class on Saturday and they made these adorable Christmas stockings and little lined bags. Being a homeschool mom, I am SO thankful for an opportunity for the girls to learn from other teachers.

To see what everyone else is up to, make sure and check out Linda's website.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Finish!

Well, a few things to blog about...

First of all, my laptop went kaput. That was kind of a kick in the pants, so I'm relegated to the "kids' computer" which is quite a bit older, etc. I'll get my laptop back on Tuesday, so I don't think there'll be photos until then.


I did finish Joey's Brown Bear Quilt! Woo Hoo! He was very excited to sleep under it on Friday night when I finished it.

Yesterday, the girls and I went to their sewing class in Valley City. I took that opportunity to finish tucking in all the threads on Joey's quilt (OK, so maybe it wasn't ALLLLL the way finished on Friday night, lol) and also work on the binding on my Mom's quilt. Just about finished there.

I would REALLY LOVE to get my Carolina Crossroads quilt done, but I'm paralyzed because I just don't know how I'm going to quilt it.

In the back of my mind, I would really love to hand quilt it, but on the other hand, I REALLY want to give it to my sister for Christmas...decisions, decisions.

Hope everyone has a quilty day!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Well, we had our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday and it was wonderful. The kids had a BLAST!

We watched football all afternoon (and into the night!) and did our normal Sunday stuff.

I worked on getting borders on one of my 1930s 4 Patch quilts.

I made these two quilts from Mary's patterns: Easy Double 4 Patch, and Double 4 Patch. It's funny, you can't really tell them apart except that I know they're different, so I know the secret is that there are two slightly different set of blocks in them.

Easy Double 4 Patch

Double 4 Patch

Now that I have the borders on one, I'm going to try and get borders on the other and then one of them will be quilted for my daughter. I think the other will go to charity.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Twister Quilt Tutorial

This tutorial is for a quick baby quilt called Twister Quilt. I'm using stash, so it's geared toward that, but I will give you directions for using a purchased layer cake as well.

First of all, you'll need 12 10" squares for a baby quilt.  I also make a large lap quilt using 42 10" squares. If you're like me, and you're out to do a little stash busting, this is a great project.

I pressed a bunch of KP kids fat quarters that I had and I cut two 10" squares from each fat quarter. Then, I cut a 6" strip from the remainder (I cut on the cross grain, so my 6" strips were 6" X 22"). There's not much left of a fat quarter when you do that. Keep the 6" strip and I'll show you what to do with that later.

When you have your 12 squares, sew them together this:

Next, use a piece of yardage (3/4 yard) to cut a 6" border.

Cut four 6" WOF (width of fabric, so they should be roughly 42") strips and then cut two 6" X 38 1/2" and two 6" X 40" inch pieces and attach to your quilt. I attached the sides and then the top and bottom, but you can do it either way. If you decide to do it the other way, you'll need to measure and fit your borders accordingly.

Here's a picture with the borders on:

Whose piggy toes are those?????

Next comes the fun part. You'll need this ruler:

It's called The Twister.

This ruler has been one of the best investments I every made! It's been a HUGE stashbuster! If you'd like to see another picture of what this quilt looks like when it's finished, pop over to Mary's blog. She just quilted one up that I sent her last fall.

There are actually two sizes of The Twister. The one I'm showing here starts with 10" squares (think Layer Cakes, or major STASHBUSTING!) and then you cut 8" squares which, of course, finish at 7 1/2". There's a smaller size that starts with 5" squares. I haven't used it yet.

You'll need lots of room to cut this quilt...especially if you make a large one. This one is just a baby quilt, so it's not that bad.

Place the ruler so the black lines are on the seam so:

Here's what it looks like with that first block cut out.

Then, you march down the row like this, cutting each block:

Last block cut.

Now, you need to lay your blocks all straight and get ready to sew them together.

I like to cut each row and then sew it together, but you can cut out the entire quilt and then sew. You just need to be careful that you know which block goes where. This is where a design wall comes in handy, but I find that the floor works just fine!

A note about directional fabrics...You can use directional fabrics in this quilt. You just need to realize that they will be tipped a bit.

Here's my first row all sewn together.

Now is the time to talk about bias edges.

Because these blocks are cut at an angle, the edges are all bias, so handle with care. This isn't a quilt that you can start and then stuff in the back of your closet to be rifled through seven or eight times before you finish it.

If you need to put it away, try to stop after you have your border on your 10" squares and not after you've cut out a bunch of the bias edge blocks.

Be careful when you're pressing and if you have to rip out seams, be EXTRA CAREFUL.

Keep cutting rows and sewing them. After the first row, you'll get these little bonus squares. I keep them and cut them down to 4" to use in other scrap quilts (keep in mind that they have bias edges as well). You'll get ten bonus squares with this baby quilt.

You can also use them in the border, but I'm doing the border a bit differently this time.

This is what the quilt looks like when the middle is finished...Cute, huh?

Ready for the final border?

Remember those 6" strips that you cut from your fat quarter? Go get eight of those and sew them all together. Cut them into four borders: two measuring 38" and two measuring 41 1/2". Add the side borders, then the top borders. Your quilt should look something like this:

It finishes at 41" X 48 1/2".

Once you've done one of these quilts, it goes together really quickly. And as I said, it's a real stashbuster. I used around 1 1/3 yards on the front of this quilt.

Goodness...Doing this tutorial REALLY makes me appreciate all the tutorials that are online! It takes a lot of thought and preparation!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will consider The Twister ruler. It's fun, fast and a GREAT stashbuster.

Have a quilty day!


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