Monday, November 29, 2010

Apparently My Math Isn't So Good

How did this happen? I am so frustrated right now I could scream. And the worst part is I got too cocky and didn't follow my own advice. There was a little voice in my head that said "make the last row of white thicker than in the instructions so if you're off you'll have a cushion to cut the block down to size." That would be so much easier than trying to "fatten" the block up to size. Ugh.

Sewing on the last round, getting cocky...

Last month was my month as a quilter in the do. Good Stitches Bee and I asked the group to make Stash Buster Blocks from Little Miss Shabby's awesome tutorial found here. I waited until all the blocks from the other members in the group came in before making my own blocks so I could see if we needed to balance anything out in the quilt.

Beautiful little 1/4" seams. I'm not crazy.

Murel made a beautiful block using the Stash Buster #2 tutorial for one of her blocks and I decided that I wanted to showcase it on the back of the quilt so I needed to make three blocks to round out the quilt top. I cut my strips and squares based on the measurements in the tutorial and started putting the blocks together. I considered cutting the strips on the outside layer a little fat, just in case my seams were slightly off, that way I could cut it down to size. But when it came time to sew the outer strips on the block, I measured and got cocky. Okay math is not my strong suit, but I swear that according to my math I should have been okay with the correct sized strips.

How am I 1.75" too short?!

I was very wrong. My block turned out to measure 10.75" instead of the desired 12.5". That's 1.75" difference! Arugh! I shouldn't have gotten cocky. So it's back to ripping stitches. The most frustrating part is when I measured my seams they were all measuring out at 1/4". And I used my trusty 1/4" foot on all the seams so I don't know where I went wrong and SOOOO grossly wrong.

This time I added 3" boarders and cut them down to size.

So here is my Tip of the Day: When in doubt, always make your last row thicker than you think. It's so much easier to trim a block down to size than it is to try and bulk it up to size.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kona Color Card

Lookie what I got!


The Kona Color Cards are finally back in stock over at Pink Chalk Fabrics. I have been waiting and waiting for this! Yippee! Now I can finally figure out what color this is...


This handy little tool is going to make my life a thousand times easier when I got to match Kona solids to my projects and make purchases online. Computer screens are never true to color but now I've got the whole line in my real life. Woot!



And very, very soon I'll be hosting a giveaway right here for my 100th blog post. Keep watching!

Friday, November 19, 2010

do. Good Stitches November Blocks

Check one more thing off the list! Last night I was able to piece the last few rows onto my second block for the do. Good Stitches {Hope} Circle. This month Emily of This Little Life of Mine, asked us to make two yellow and white blocks. The blocks could be any style we wanted but the primary colors should be yellow and white. Surprisingly I found I didn't have very much yellow in my stash at all. In fact, other than some scraps from other bees I am in, I only had some Monaco and two Kona yellows - banana and canary. But I thought using Monaco in both blocks would help tie everything together.

As I was searching for pillow inspiration, I stumbled upon this Evening Star on Flickr, complete with a link to a tutorial. Something about it spoke to me and I decided I wanted to try it for my first block. I finished it with a row of Monaco and a row of white to get it to 12.5" square and I like the way it turned out. Only one little mistake. Can you see it? One of the points in the center is slightly off.

My second block, for some unknown reason, I decided to do 2" squares. The initial concept was to cascade down from yellow to white but as soon as I pieced my first row I realized that my math was slightly off (surprise, surprise) so instead of 7 rows or 7 I needed 9 rows or 9. I cut more squares and laid it all out and only after I squared up my block to 12.5" did I see my mistake. See those two rows of white squares? Yeah, they're supposed to be on the bottom of the block, not the top. Since I had already cut the block down I decide to just go with it. Oh well.

So the To Do List is definitely getting smaller and I'm also quickly approaching my 100th post. I can hardly believe it! Thanks for sticking with me. And Amy finally got her linky working for this week's Sew and Tell Friday so I'm linking up! Come and join the party.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's a very good day!

I have been stealing a precious few sewing moments in the morning for the past two days. Yesterday I woke up at 5 am because my mind was working overtime. All good things, in fact it turned out to be a VERY good thing. I was just offered a new show and a huge promotion and since I don't have an agent I knew I would have to negotiate the contract myself yesterday and I hate to negotiate contracts. I am so bad at it. I am too nice. But since I was up early and I couldn't shut off the brain I decided to start working on my second block for my monthly commitment in the do. Good Stitches Bee. I went with 2" squares that cascade from yellow to white and initially I cut too few squares but before I had to leave for work I was able to get all 9 rows of squares pieced together.

This morning I got up at a reasonable hour now that the next gig is in line and the contracts have been negotiated. The life of a freelancer. But I ended up with a few spare moments so I started working on piecing the rows together. I didn't have enough time to finish the block completely but it's about 75% of the way there and I should be able to finish it up tonight or tomorrow morning. I've found that any day that starts off with a little sewing can't turn out bad.

And stay tuned because in 5 more posts I'll be hosting a giveaway to celebrate my 100th post!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Making a Dent

I made a dent on my To Do List this weekend. It wasn't a huge dent but at least I got a couple things out of the way. Saturday night wonderful and amazing fiance went to a hockey game with his friend and I opted to stay in and sew.


Cross the November Blocks for the Red & Aqua 2 Bee off the list. Rebecca asked for Pinwheel Inspired blocks and let us run with it. I came up with these two blocks. I would have made a third but I rand out of the white fabric she sent and, frankly, I have a lot on my plate this month so two was all I could come up with this time. I hope she likes them.


I was also able to get one of my blocks made for the do. Good Stitches Bee so I only have one more to go there. And I realized that there was one thing I forgot to add to my "Need" To Do list. I have been working on a cross stitch table cloth for probably 12 years now. I gave it to my mom for her birthday in July but there were a few finishing touches and some input from her I needed before I could officially be done with it. Since my mom is coming into town this Saturday I want to have it completed and ready for her to take home. So last night on the couch I made a little more progress on that. Hopefully it should be done by Saturday.

Friday, November 12, 2010

November To Do List

I have quite a To Do list in my head of things I need or would like to finish before the end of the month. I know there is still a lot of time left in November but as I look at my calendar it seems all of my precious weekend sewing time is being eaten up by life this month. It seems as though this will be my last free weekend for a while.

Next weekend I'm probably going to have to work on Saturday and then my mom, grandmother and sister are flying in Saturday night because my incredible friend Candice is throwing me a bridal shower on Sunday - even though we're eloping. How incredibly sweet and thoughtful is that? My mom will stay on through the week and my dad will join us on Wednesday because that Thursday is American Thanksgiving. My wonderful and amazing fiance and I are hosting both sides of the family this year (minus my sister) for the first time. And guess who's doing all the cooking? They'll stay on through the weekend. And that brings us to December. Can you believe it? Phew.

But I don't want to slack on any of my commitments so this weekend (and then in any spare evening following) I need to make a dent in my To Do List.

1) November Bee Blocks for the Red and Aqua 2 Bee
2) November Bee Blocks for do. Good Stitches Bee
3) Stockings for the November project in A Dozen Quilters Bee
4) Modern Swappers: I have my secret partner's fabrics already. And I know exactly what I'm making. I even have the fabric picked out. I am just working on my prototype then I'll get to cutting into the Heather Ross I picked up just for this project. I wanted to prototype it with linen first so I didn't ruin the Heather Ross. I also have a plan for the decoration for my partner but it keeps changing.

This will hopefully turn into something really cool for my secret partner.

5) Bee Blocks for October's do. Good Stitches quilt. (Yes, October. But October was my month to quilt and I wanted to get all of the blocks in before I made my own blocks in case I needed to balance the quilt out and I'm waiting on two last blocks to come in.)
6) Quilt and send the October do. Good Stitches quilt.
7) Danita's Quilt (our friends Dan and Anita are having a boy sometime this month so I need to get cracking!)
Yikes! Those are all the NEED to do. I haven't even gotten to the WANT to do.

1) Finish Marc's Quilt. I am still waiting for two more blocks to come in and then I can finally get started on layout and piecing this quilt top together.
2) Jill's Bag. I started this and I need to finish it but I realized I laid out one of the panels incorrectly so I need to find the remaining fabric and re-cut a piece before I can continue.
3) Pillows for the couch. I have that fab Echino and City Weekend calling my name.

City Weekend just waiting to be used!

3) Apron. I would really like to make myself an apron.
4) Ironing board cover. Again, just a little side project to brighten up my sewing space.
5) Organize my sewing room. I am getting there, slowly, but still working primarily from the dining room at the moment.

My wants will have to wait. I need more hours in the day. Anyone know how I can swing that one?

I do have a bit of exciting information. You know those pillows by Anna Maria Horner I was "crushing" on yesterday? Well, Natalie had a brilliant idea: Why not just email AMH herself and ask her about the pattern. That possibility never even crossed my mind. So, last night I emailed AMH and she actually wrote me back! Turns out she is working on a larger version of that pattern and is planning on releasing it (for free) sometime soon! Yippee! And how sweet is she for responding to me personally? I can't wait!

One last thing, I want you all to know that I read each and every comment and I love hearing back from readers. I do my best to respond to every comment but lately I've had some "No Reply" comments that I haven't been able to answer. And I do my best to do some detective work and try and track down the "No Reply" commenters through their own blogs, etc. So if you haven't had a response from me, that's probably why. Keep the comments coming! I love reading them!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sewn Together November Blocks


Last night I was able to get a little sewing done. I decided to tackle my Sewn Together bee blocks for Anna. She asked for two wonky star blocks and gave us this awesome French themed black and white fabric. This was my first attempt at making wonky stars. She had us follow a great tutorial from the Silly BooDilly. I think I ended up with a little too munch wonk in my block (I had to rip a seam or two... Shhhh!) but I am pleased with the end result. So pleased that I'm linking up to Sew and Tell Friday's over at Amylouwho's blog.


My wonderful and amazing fiance even commented on these blocks. He really liked Anna's fabric choices and even liked the wonky star pattern, which is good to know because it's really tough to get him to settle on a design aesthetic that he likes sometimes.


Speaking of which... Yes, I am a bit obsessed with City Weekend at the moment and I really want to make a pillow for our couch out of my City Weekend stash but I'm trying to find a pattern that said wonderful and amazing fiance and I can agree on. We've settled on a couple different patterns that we both love.

M's Faves

The problem is we both really, really love Anna Maria Horner's 16 point star pillows (top left) and I can't find a pattern for a 16 point star anywhere and I KNOW I will need to paper piece something like that. Anyone out there know where I could find a pattern like that?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good Mail Day

Lucky me! I participated in my first Friday Night Sew In last month and I ended up winning their giveaway. I didn't even realize that there were potential prizes for participating. (How's that for alliteration?) So when Heidi contacted me to tell me I won something, imagine my surprise! So how excited was I when this little package arrived in my mailbox the other day?

I can't wait to dive into this "Happy" charm pack. It's going to make a really cute little baby quilt don't you think? And the scrap basket is going to come in so handy. I can't wait to put it into use. That's what I call a great mail day.


In other news I also finished binding my quilt for A Dozen Quilters bee last weekend. I'm washing it tonight and sending it off to my local Project Linus chapter tomorrow. Here's a sneak peek...


Have a great Wednesday everyone! If everything goes well and I get out of the office at a decent hour I'm sewing tonight! Yea! And keep your eyes peeled because I'm quickly approaching 100 posts and I'll be hosting another giveaway in conjunction with post number 100!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quilters Needed

If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I am passionate about sewing for charity. I think it's a great way to give back on both a local and a global level. Also, there are only so many quilts I can make for our house or friend's babies so making quilts and crafts for charity keeps me working and maintains my spirit of volunteerism that I cultivated at an early age.

I am currently involved in two charitable bees. I know you have heard me talk a lot about do. Good Stitches that was founded by Rachel of Stitched in Color. We are currently looking for more Quilters to join by the end of the year so we can launch at least two new circles. If you're interested in being a Quilter (the Sewers waiting list is long) please run over there and sign up.

I also joined another charity bee in October called A Dozen Quilters. It's run similar to a traditional virtual quilting bee. Each month a different person hosts and the rest of the bee creates. The difference with this bee is the host each month picks a different charity project for the group and then the group sews whatever is being asked and then sends off their creations either to the host that month or directly to the charity that month. In October we were asked to each make a baby quilt to be donated to Project Linus. This month we're each making a stocking and sending it to the host for November. She is collecting the stockings and sending them to St. PJ's Children's Home in San Antonio, Texas. The stocking will be filled and given to the children at Christmas so each child in the home has their very own stocking. Unfortunately, one of the members of our bee had to leave the group so we are looking for someone to fill her spot. If you're interested please message me asap and I'll send you more details to get you set up.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Fabric Finds

The countdown has begun... Five more (grueling) weeks to go on this show and then I'm done and that means 37 days from today we're leaving for Thailand! I cannot wait!

I know I shouldn't be spending money on fabric right now. I should be saving it for our weddingmoon, but my wonderful and amazing fiance and I were out in Silverlake yesterday and he was sweet enough to let me stop into check out Sew LA. I've heard great things about this little fabric shop but I've never had the chance to visit because it's all the way on the other side of town. It's a cute, cozy little shop full of some beautiful quilting fabrics, notions and hip patterns. They teach classes and the staff is friendly and welcoming.


I didn't really go too crazy but I did splurge a little and bought some Echino. We need some new pillows on the couch and my wonderful and amazing fiance really liked two of the Echino prints. I think they can stand on their own so as soon as I have a moment they'll be turned into some new pillows for the living room.

I also couldn't resist picking up a yard of "Free to Grow" and I saw a half yardage of solid silver discounted in the remnant pile so that came home with me too.

I got a half yard of the bird fabric and I'm thinking that might turn into a cute rectangular pillow, while the purple african animal print is going to be showcased in a nice square pillow in all it's glory. My only regret is that I think I should have picked up some of the Echino purple solids they had for piping. Or what do you think about selvedge piping? Would that work? What do you think?

Also what am I going to start calling said wonderful and amazing fiance six weeks from today? Because we're getting married SIX WEEKS FROM TODAY! How can that be?! Our wedding is right around the corner!

Friday, November 5, 2010

We Have A Winner!

I want to thank everyone who entered my very first giveaway. I had so much fun with it! In fact I'm thinking that I will have to host another giveaway sometime soon. And thank you to all of my followers, old and new. You don't know how much I appreciate each and every one of you. I do hope you enjoy it over here in my little corner of the blogosphere. You guys rock!

And now without further ado we have a winner!

Congratulations to Hillary who said: "I would get a rachel ray skillet.

" Check your email Hillary. Your gift certificate is on it's way to you.

Honestly this has been the bright spot in a very trying work week. But at least last night I got home by 9:30 and was able to crawl into bed and work on binding my Project Linus quilt with my little buddy. He's cute isn't he?

Moment of Zen

And that's my moment of zen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stash Swap

If you're looking for the giveaway it's here and open until tomorrow morning at 10 AM Pacific.


I participated in a stash swap hosted by Aoife over at Little Pink Room. We were each paired up with another swapper and we communicated about our likes and dislikes then we had until the end of October to send our partner three fat quarters from our stash. I was paired with Jocelyn over at Wide Eyed Window. We had two things in common...

1) Both of us were very open as to what types of fabrics we wanted.

2) We both had a crazy month and sent our packages out at the last minute. At least she was good and got hers in the mail to me before the deadline.

I was the bad swapper in this case as I didn't get hers in the mail until November 2nd. Ugh. But I did send it 2 to 3 day express so it gets to her sooner.


I love the fabrics Jocelyn picked out for me. Aren't they great? I can't wait to use them. And she was even kind enough to add in an extra fat quarter. How sweet is she? I hope she likes what I sent her. I'm not going to show it here until I know she received it because I want her to be surprised. Thanks again Jocelyn! You're an amazing swap partner!

One more thing... Not one but TWO new circles will be opening up soon in the do. Good Stitches Bee. This amazing bee already has three circles making quilts for children in need. Each circle benefits a charity and each month the members of the bee make two blocks from their stash under the direction of that month's Quilter. Everyone sends their blocks to the Quilter by the end of the month and then the Quilter has one more month to piece, quilt, bind and send the quilt off to the charity. We are looking for a few {Good} Quilters for the two new circles. Sewers commit to making two blocks a month. Quilters also make two blocks a month but rotate months with the other Quilters to finish the project for the circle. I have been working with some absolutely amazing people in this bee and it's one of the most wonderful ways that I can think of to give back to children in need. If you're interested in joining us please head on over to our Flickr group and sign up today! I hope to see you over there.

And if you get a chance check out my friend A.J.'s blog Harriet the Homemaker Strikes Again. She's hosting a giveaway over there until next Wendesday!

Blogger's Quilt Festival


I know I am dreadfully late to the game, but I am finally participating in my very first Bloggers Quilt Festival that Amy is hosting over at Amy's Creative Side. I wasn't prepared to show anything the last time around, but I am now.


I am new to quilting. I made my very first quilt in late January of this year. Since then I have really discovered a passion for the art of quilting, and while I don't have a ton of time to devote to the craft any spare moment I can find is spent sewing. Since January I have completed five quilts (I have 4 more in progress), joined four bees (including two for charity), and participated in several swaps. You can safely say that I've caught the bug!


I don't have many quilts under my belt yet, but I'd love to share the Ruthie's quilt with you. If you're a regular follower of my blog you've seen this quilt before. I love making baby blankets for my friends. Before I started quilting I would crochet baby afghans as gifts when my friends were expecting. Now that I'm a quilter my friends are getting quilts.


I actually met Mike and Ruthie when I was in college. Mike ran a local political non-profit with my roommate Patsy. I wasn't really friends with them. They were Patsy's colleagues, but we always had an open door policy at our apartment and we would occasionally have visiting campaigners crash on our couch or we would host a Pirg Party at our place and that's where I first met Mike and Ruthie. Cut to ten years later when I started dating my wonderful and amazing fiance. He started introducing me to his friends, including his best friend, Ruthie. I thought she and Mike looked familiar but it took a visit from my old college roommate, Patsy, to connect the dots. It's a small world! And the rest is history.


So when Ruthie and Mike announced that they were excepting their second child in September there was no doubt in my mind that I needed to make them a quilt and it needed to be special. They didn't know what they were having, so I needed to make something gender neutral. Initially I thought I would make something with teals and oranges but as I was searching for fabrics in my favorite little quilt shop I found a jelly roll of the Hello Betty line and it called out to me. I already had my heart set on the design. Over the summer I fell in love with the Crazy Mom Quilts quilt-a-long but I was traveling for work all of June and July so I was away from my sewing machine, but I thought that it would make the perfect quilt for Ruthie. And by the way, this was my first time using pre-cuts and I must say I am sold! Love me some pre-cuts! Woot!


I picked out the yellows and greens from the Hello Betty line and thought the softness of the colors would be perfect for the baby. I kept the back simple, using just one panel of fabric. I was going to piece the back but I really fell in love with the backing fabric and wanted to let it speak for itself. But when it came to binding my blogging friend Natalie had an excellent idea. She suggested yellow fabric with white polka dots. And I do love me some polka dots! I searched high and low for yellow fabric with white polka dots and came up short so I settled on Kona Banana for the binding. And wouldn't you know we found some yellow and white polka dot fabric AFTER it was bound!


The best part of this quilt story happened well after it was gifted to Mike and Ruthie. We stopped by a few days after they took their new little guy home. (Yep, they had another boy!) Their older son pointed at me and said you're the one who made me the blanket and then took me by the hand to show me the blanket I had crocheted for him when he was born and put it together with the quilt I made for his little brother. I hope this little quilt makes his brother just as happy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Very First Giveaway!

I have some exciting news for all of you. I’m hosting my very first giveaway! Do the Happy Dance! CSN Stores has graciously offered to give one of my readers a $35 gift card to any of their over 200 online stores! Woo Hoo! That means one of you can go shopping for a few of my favorite items like, that new leather briefcase I’ve been eyeing to take on my honeymoon in December...

The Le Creuset Braiser (it even comes in a delicious purple) for all those meals I love to cook at home...

Or even a new hammock for the backyard because ours just broke and we’re dying for a new one.

So you wanna know how to enter? It’s easy, simply head on over to any CSN store and take a look around. Then come back here and let me know how you’d spend that $35 gift Card.

For an extra entry become a follower of my blog. Leave me a separate comment telling me that you are a follower and how you follow me--blogger, google reader, etc. (If you are already a follower, just leave me a comment saying that you are already a follower and how you follow me).

That’s it! The giveaway closes at 10 AM Pacific Time on Friday 11/5, and I will post the winner by Monday 11/6. Good luck everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Catching up on October

I can't believe I've been away from my blog for over a week! Last weekend we headed up to Ashland, Oregon for a wedding and then all last week was jam packed, crazy at work. I didn't have any time to sew at all! But I sure made up for it this weekend. I was jonesing for a little alone time with my Janome. My wonderful and amazing fiance had friends in town for the USC game, so I had the house to myself for a good portion of Saturday.

I honestly don't know where this month has gone. October flew by so I spent Saturday playing catch up on my bee an swap commitments. I have never been late in a bee or a swap before and I am embarrassed to say that this is the first time I am going to be late in two!


I am participating in a fat quarter swap hosted by Aofie and I have the fat quarters picked out and ready to go to my partner but I am trying to get them dressed up and pretty and on their way out to my partner. I swear they will be in the mail tomorrow. I am so sorry Jocelyn! I swear you will have it soon!

And I have been sprinting to finish my quilt for October in A Dozen Quilters Bee. This month each quilter will be donating a quilt to Project Linus. I finished the layout of the quilt and quilted it on Saturday. Yesterday I attached the binding and started binding the quilt, so this little quilt is almost ready to get out the door. I am hoping to finish the hand binding on Tuesday night and pop it in the mail to my local Project Linus Chapter on Wednesday - just three days late. But since the quilt top is finished, at least, I'm linking that up to Fabric Tuesday! Check out all the great happenings over there this week.


This is so not me. I am the type who is always on time and usually a little early. Please forgive me ladies! October was insane. Sadly, I don't see November or December being much better as I prepare to get married in December! Yikes! It's just around the corner. I am so excited! The tickets are booked and we have appointments at the Embassy so we make sure our elopement is legal. The countdown has begun!