Hexagons, half square triangles and housekeeping

During the previous quarter of the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee on Flickr, I was a part of the hexagon group. I made my Multiples of 3 block (top center of the picture below) in the color schemes of my hive-mates, and received in return, 5 different hexagon blocks in my chosen colors of lime, tangerine and lemon yellow on a gray background. These will be fun to incorporate into the finished sampler quilt, which will one day become a fun, fresh, summer picnic blanket.


During the most recent quarter, I chose a classic half square triangle block and made five for my hive-mates and one for myself. This would really be great as a scrappy quilt, and I’m sure it’s been done. I’ll definitely keep it in mind when my scrap draws begin to get really unruly.


My favorite color combinations of this group were the scrappy rainbow (no surprise there),


and this one: green, gray and navy. I was surprised by how much I like these colors together because I usually tend toward brighter fabrics when it comes to quilting.


And the housekeeping part. As you are no doubt aware, Google is dropping Google Reader this summer. (sniff, sniff) I’ve been trying out Feedly and it has been working well, but for comparison sake, I thought I would give Bloglovin a go as well.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Big things, small things and finally a winner

Eight weeks post baby, I was sure I would be back on my A game. I must have blocked this stage from my memory or something. You see, I seem to makes babies whom are affectionately termed “high needs.” I call them “high maintenance.” They are all good until you set them down. Then they do this:

Think I’m kidding? I’m not. Every read every book … er … in the book, but the solution to avoiding this poor, sad little face is: hold the baby. All. The. Time. Usually, the holding occurs in the form of a baby carrier so I can at least have my hands free. However, having a human attached to you makes sewing difficult. Not impossible, but definitely more challenging than usual. If she is sound asleep and I set her down, she wakes up. Sometimes within minutes, sometimes within the half hour, very occasionally, I might get a full hour. We co-sleep because it’s the only way anyone will get any sleep. She must be touching another human or she lets you know about it! I’m confident that this daughter will grow into a confident, independent child as her older sisters have, but for now, progress in the sewing room is slow.

Add to that we’re suddenly moving half way across the country. In three and a half weeks! Needless to say, I have a lot on my mind right now.

But hey, I have a winner from the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day! Send me your address, quick, so I can mail this to you before I pack!

Giveaway Day winner

When I do get a moment or two to sew, I’m working on my project for Moda Bake Shop. The motivation is there, the means are not. Little by little, I’ll get there.

Moda Bake Shop Wonky Diamonds

Presently, I am still hoping/planning to lead the Road Trip Quilt Along next month. In light of my new life situation, though, I may have to postpone it. I’m going to try the quilt in all solids, the colors inspired by this dress my daughter wore for some recent family photos.

IMG_1556 Colors for RTQA13

And! I got Brian’s quilt back from my friend who long-armed it for me. She did an all-over leaf pattern, which fits perfectly with the nature-inspired colored scheme.

Leaf quilting

Now I just have to bind it. I was going to go with something more subdued, but I really like how this bright green (at the top of the photo below) looked.

Turning twenty again for brian

So, that’s what’s going on with me. What are you working on in your sewing space? Do you have any awesome packing and moving tips you’d like to share?


The Road Trip Ends (Finally!)

I am beyond thrilled to finally have finished this quilt. For awhile there, I was convinced I would never finish it. The process was long. Though only a twin sized, this is the largest quilt I have quilted on my home machine and I was using this project to learn free motion quilting, so I was definitely taking baby steps toward the finish.


Since this is the quilt from my Road Trip Quilt Along, each block represents a state, so I quilted the state names below each block (can you see it?).


This is one of my favorite quilted blocks. I love the look of the flowers and half flowers, and I feel like I was finally getting a grasp on free motion quilting by the time I quilted this block, so it looks nice and even as well.

IMG_6714 IMG_6715

The back is pieced and includes a lot of my scraps from working on the Quilt Along blocks, as well as a couple of rejected blocks.


I did a nice back and forth loop on the border (inspired by Amylouwho on instagram) with flowers in the corner. I love the stripe-y yellow and gray binding.


I am so proud of this quilt and the fact that I used it to learn free motion quilting. It’s reassuring to see my physical progress. I definitely need lots more practice, but you can see how far I’ve come. Below, you can see some pebbling I did in one of the first blocks I quilted on the left, and on the right, the same pattern in one of my later blocks.


This quilt has taken residence in the living room, and in addition to a quilt, it has already been an elevator, the ocean, a hideout, and an animal home. I am sure it will be well-loved by our family!



More fun finishes from the quilting world at Crazy Mom Quilts and Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday.

A lovely year of finishes: for Brian

I have been meaning to play along with A Lovely Year of Finishes, and here we are, month #3 month #4 (I really did write month #3 first. shit. where has the time gone?!) of 2013 and this is my first goal post (that’s goal setting blog post, not the goal post from the end zone). Though, if one finishes a goal for the month, it’s kind of like a touchdown, isn’t it? I’ll go with yes!


I started a quilt for Brian ages ago. I wanted to be finished with it before baby girl #3 arrived. Well, she’s here, so that didn’t happen! I wanted to be finished before Brian moved into his new house. He moved in this week, so that didn’t happen either.

Brian's quilt top: turning twenty again

However, the top is finished. And so is the back. And the whole quilt sandwich is off visiting a friend with a long arm who has offered to quilt it for me. So, assuming I get the quilt back in time my March APRIL! (I did it again) goal is to bind it and mail it off to Brian.

Brian's quilt top: turning twenty again

The question remains: to hand sew the binding or to machine sew the binding? What do you think??

Paper pieced book pattern update + Giveaway winner

Last Friday, I had a giveaway for my Nancy Drew tote bag and I promised you a pattern for the paper pieced book I drafted for the tote.

paper pieced book


I know I said it would be up this week, but I opened my file to tweak the seam allowances a little bit and discovered a much easier way to do the layout. The original had nine separate sections that then had to be sewn together. The new one has just three. More pieces in each section, but fewer sections. Anyway, I ended up re-doing the entire pattern. Now I feel like I should probably make one first to make sure it works out okay. I’ll try to have it up by early next week, okay?

Also, the giveaway winner is Judith. Nancy Drew Giveaway winner

She said:

Love your Nancy Drew bag! Great tutorial to follow. Thank you for sharing today.
Judith, Texas


Congratulations, Judith. I hope you enjoy your library tote; it will be in the mail next week!

This WILL be finished!

I am finally seeing the end in sight for Brian’s quilt.

My friend Brian, whom I’ve known for practically my entire life, lost his home in the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs last summer. Devastating, for sure, but there really wan’t much I could do to help him out from 1600 miles away.

What I can offer, though, is a new a quilt to give him something warm and snuggly from a friend for his new home. My goal was to have the quilt finished before his house was rebuilt (who knew it would take me just as long to make a quilt as it would to build an entire house). I made about half the blocks myself, and others came from friends from (literally) around the world.

Brian's quilt top: turning twenty again

When I asked for help from an online quilt group, I actually received more blocks than I needed for the quilt, so I used the extras in a pieced back (should have taken a picture of that!).

Brian's quilt top: turning twenty again

I had a friend offer to quilt this for me on her long arm (thank goodness, at 96 inches x 96 inches, this would have been bear to quilt on my home machine!) and she said she would probably be able to get to it this week! Last I checked, Brian’s move-in date was April 2nd, so there’s a chance this will actually be finished before then!

Brian's quilt top: turning twenty again

4×5 Bee Hexagon Blocks

I was late to the sign up for the 4×5 Quilt Bee this quarter, so the group filled. However, I managed to be first on the waiting list, and so when a spot opened up in Hexagon group (block must incorporate a hexagon in some way) I knew that my Multiples of 3 block would be a good fit.

4x5 Bee: Multiples of 3 Blocks

The mailing deadline is today, so I’m thrilled to have these finished to send off to their new homes.

Pink, green, and gray with white background for Tsoniki.

4x5 Bee: Multiples of 3 Blocks

Aqua, lime and brown with cream background for Melissa.

4x5 Bee: Multiples of 3 Blocks

Purple, green and gray with gray background for Hannah.

4x5 Bee: Multiples of 3 Blocks

Pink, green and navy with white background Jenn.

4x5 Bee: Multiples of 3 Blocks

Turquoise, iris and apple green with white background for Rhonda.

4x5 Bee: Multiples of 3 Blocks

I hope these ladies enjoy their blocks, and I’m looking forward to some happy mail soon with block in lime, tangerine, and lemon yellow. I eventually plan to make a picnic blanket that folds up into its own pocket with these blocks.

I’m linking up with Finish It Up Friday (even though it’s Saturday!).

I’ve got sunshine!

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day! And it came in the form of fabric in my mailbox! I am so excited about this that I could pee myself. Not really.

However, this fabric was delivered to me by Moda Fabrics to use in completing the projected I submitted for Moda Bake Shop. I was super excited that my project submission was accepted, but even more thrilled when I learned that I could submit a fabric request to complete the project!

I gave several possibilities, so I wasn’t sure which one would appear in my mailbox. It was Snap Pop by Sandy Gervais!
Snap Pop charm packs

Seriously, don’t the fabulous colors just make you joyful?!

Snap Pop charm packs

And now, the real work begins. Because of course I designed a project composed of 520 2-inch squares. Let’s see if I can finish this before the baby comes! Go!


Prepping for a Road Trip

Last summer, my family traveled through 16 states over the course of 2 months away from home.  That trip inspired me to host the Road Trip Quilt Along.  Each week, beginning in June, I posted a tutorial for a state quilt block representing one of the states we traveled through.  By the middle of September, I had posted 16 block tutorials and was able to put together a sampler quilt (it’s still not finished; but the quilting is in progress!).

This summer, we will NOT be taking a road trip of that magnitude.  However, when summer rolls around, I will still host a summer Road Trip Quilt along.  The states represent an imaginary road trip that one could actually travel if inspired to do so.  My long term plan is to continue to host a summer Road Trip Quilt Along until I have covered all states in the United States.

Like last year, I will begin again in Virginia, and travel north through Maryland.

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: VA - Virginia Reel Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: MD - Maryland Beauty

Then it is on to Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: Delaware Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: New Jersey Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: New York

We will continue through New England with Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: Connecticut Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: Rhode Island Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: Massachusetts Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: New Hampshire Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: Maine

The return trip will come back across the northern states and finish with Vermont and Pennsylvania.

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: Vermont Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: PA-Wyoming Valley

There will be twelve 12-inch finished state quilt blocks in this Road Trip Quilt Along, rather than 16 like last year, and with borders, the finished quilt will be 56 inches x 70 inches.  Or, you could hang onto your blocks until next year and make a larger quilt.  Three states will repeat from last year, but since there are often several blocks that represent a states, no blocks will repeat.

I have spent way too many hours over the last few days researching various state blocks, drawing them out, and then creating the graphics you see above.  Before the road trip this summer, I hope to learn how to make printable templates for the paper pieced blocks so that you can you simply print them off, rather than following my directions to make your own.

Mark your calendar.  The road trip will begin Friday, June 7th, 2013.  Will you join me?

Road Trip Quilt Along sampler quilt 2013

What to do when your quilt is attacked by a toddler wielding a dry erase marker

I had just finished my mini quilt for the Bee a {Modern} Swapper swap.

Patchwork and birds mini quilt

I had solved my conundrum over what to do about quilting around the bird in the middle of the quilt.


I had finished the quilting around the rest of the quilt.


The only think I had left to do was to attach the binding and send the quilt off to its new home.  I was pleased to be finished, so I brought the quilt downstairs to take a photo.  Before I could return my pretty mini quilt to the sewing room to add the finishing touches, disaster struck in the form of a 2-year-old who had gotten her hands on a dry erase marker.

The horror!!

Here’s a tip: dry erase marker is more or less permanent on fabric.  Do not ever allow a child to unleash her “creative additions” on your quilting project with dry erase marker.  At least give her a washable marker or an ink pen.  I’m sure those would come out easier than this, which, did not come out at all!

In case you were curious, here is the list of various cleaners and chemicals I used on the marker in an attempt to remove it.  Oxiclean MaxForce laundry stain remover, Resolve carpet cleaner, extended soak in oxyclean, Mr. Clean magic eraser, extra concentrated oxyclean, nail polish remover, pure acetone, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, bleach pen, mineral spirits, and Greased Lightning cleaner.  Hmmm … I think that’s all.  I received several other suggestions that I did not try (Murphy’s oil soap, hairspray, rotten milk), but really, I think I covered the spectrum of chemical reaction that could have removed it.

When it became clear that I would not be able to remove the marker, I made a plan to cover it.  I traced the edges of the various sections of the quilt and marked where the damage was.  When I had finished that, I drew out an appliqué pattern to cover it.

Then it was just a matter of creating the actual fabric appliqué.  To keep with the style I had already started in the center of my quilt and have a piece large enough to cover all the damage, I ended doing raw edge appliqué on two dozen little leaves, a large tree, a bird, and three flowers.  Phew!

But we’ll call it a success.

IMG_5507 There is one bit of marker left that I could have covered with a different arrangement of the leaves, but I’m leaving it uncovered as a remind of what I went through with this project.

IMG_5509I finished it off with some aqua Ta Dots for the binding.

IMG_5511You can see on the back where I added the appliqué after the quilt was already together, but since this is a wall hanging, you’ll never even notice.