Sunday, January 24, 2016

One Trip Around the Sun : Project Quilting Challenge #2

It's Project Quilting time again! My goals for this year are to beef up my free motion quilting skills, use fabric I already have and to push myself creatively. Challenge #2  is "Seasons" and although my intent was to stretch a little, I kept coming back to the predictable. So, here is "One Trip Around the Sun".

The center is foundation paper piecing with New York Beauty patterns found here. All the fabric was from my stash including many batiks and hand dyes. The diameter is 21 inches.

Winter is quilted with tiny mittens and snowflakes. Lori at The Inbox Jaunt has the cutest quilting motif tutorials.

Spring has a leafy vine.

Summer is quilted with a chain of flowers.

Fall is a beautiful orange batik and quilted with little apples in honor of our brave leader, Kim Lapacek, whose family owns an apple orchard.

And a peek at the back...busting the stash!

Thanks for reading! I'm linking to Project Quilting Season 7, Whoop Whoop Friday at Sarah's and Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Let's dust this thing off...

Hello there! It looks like the old blog needs some updating, but for now, meet the new man in my life. He's so cute, he needs his own portrait quilt, right?

Since my last post (over two years ago...what a slacker!) we've acquired a new son-in-law, bought a house and were blessed with a grandson. I sorta like him.

We moved into our house about a month ago and I now have the space to resume a more normal sewing life. It's downright palatial compared to the RV we've lived in for the last three years! In celebration, I'm participating in Project Quilting again. (Thanks Kim!)

The first challenge is "Confetti". Our daughter and son-in-law revealed the gender of this cutie patootie by putting blue confetti inside black balloons and the grandparents-to-be and assorted others popped the balloons. Seemed like a logical inspiration for this challenge.

This little portrait started with a posterized photo printed on fabric.

An easy way to print on fabric is to use full sheet shipping labels like these:

Just press the label to your fabric, trim to size and send it through the printer.

That gives a nice foundation to lay out thousands of tiny pieces of fabric. Okay, maybe hundreds...a lot anyway.  It's similar to paint by number which is cool when you're not an artist. (Is that cheating?) I used a light coat of spray adhesive to adhere the fabric "confetti" and quilted it free motion style with clear thread both top and bottom. The whole process was actually much easier than I thought it would be which translates into more fun for me! Yay!

The link up for Project Quilting is here. Lots of nifty things to see. 

Thanks for reading this's good to be back!

I'm linking to Whoop Whoop Friday at Sarah's blog and Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Notre Dame quilt top tutorial

A special welcome to anyone who is here from Craftsy! This quilt was a gift for my son-in-law and since I posted it, there have been a few requests for a tutorial. Because I didn’t take any notes during the construction, this will be a simple summary.  Take your best guess on fabric requirements! Before we get started and to honor copyright, I won’t be sharing or selling a pattern for this quilt or the logo. I will share my process, which can be used for just about any quilt of this type.  Okay, here we go!

notre dame

In addition to the fabric and general sewing supplies you will also need a paper backed fusible for the logo appliqué.  My preference is Wonder Under because it’s lightweight and doesn’t add any bulk.

You will also need a stabilizer for the back of your appliqué piece.

Let’s start with the center logo:

Find an image online or from another source to enlarge.  I searched Google for “Notre Dame logo” and then chose “images”. 




Save the image to your computer and enlarge it in your preferred photo editor. In Microsoft Paint I was able to use a fill tool to whiten everything but the outline for a little printer ink savings. Something like this:NotreDame

At this point, I’ll direct you to this tutorial for printing from Paint to multiple pages. Play around with it to get the appropriate size or use whatever method works for you.  I think mine was 24 inches across. Print, tape the pages together and cut out the pattern.

Cut a piece of fabric big enough for the logo and apply the fusible to the back of it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  REVERSE the pattern you made, trace around it onto the paper side of the fusible. You can also lay your pattern face up and put the fused fabric piece on top of it face up. Then flip the whole thing over to trace. Just make sure it’s going to be right when you cut it out!

Remove the paper packing and carefully position the logo on the background fabric. When you’re happy with the placement, fuse it down. Place the stabilizer under the piece and use your favorite method of stitching to cover the edges of your logo. I used a fairly tight machine blanket stitch. When you’ve finished stitching, cut or tear away the excess stabilizer.

Add a border to this center piece referring to my photo. I believe mine was cut 2.5 inches wide.

For the letters I drew a diagram like this for each one:


I used strips of fabric 2 inches wide for the letter color (if I remember correctly) and the background pieces are whatever size needed to fill it in.

The sewing order is alphabetical…sew A to B, add C, D and E. Trim this block to the appropriate size. Add piece F and trim again. Piece G is the space between letters and you’ll need to determine the width for your layout.

Here’s the rough layout that shows the basic shapes of the pieces. Make them smaller or larger to customize. This includes a border of about 3 inches. 


Notre Dame layoutnotre dame

That’s about it! If I left some vital part out or if anything is unclear, feel free to leave a comment or send an email and I’ll try to help.

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Last year…

this was the view in our front yard in Tennessee. Beautiful, isn’t it?

bradford pear tree

Currently, in South Dakota, we have this. Equally beautiful in my opinion!

April 10 201313 See our house on wheels down there?

April 10 2013b The moisture is wonderful and none of us are complaining. Not much, anyway:)

In the midst of all that white stuff, I got my color fix in the form of new pincushion.

pincushion pincushion2 Other things I’ve been sewing are pillow covers to put in one of my Etsy shops, soon to be listed.


I bought some cotton yarn to see how it would dye, so a crocheted market bag was born from this pattern. My color taste usually run toward the brights when dyeing, but I think this one will get a more subtle treatment. marketbag

I’ve done a little dyeing for my new Etsy shop. purpleombre

Ombre hand dyed blue infinity scarf

The scarf market is not exactly hopping at the moment, so I’m considering some different items to put it that shop. It’s been a long time since I’ve sewn with knits, but my Brother has a great stretch stitch and makes it very easy. The serger’s been dusted off and warmed up, too.

Amber’s been playing with her iMovie app, so I’ll leave you with this little nugget. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

20,390,400 seconds..

…since I last blogged. Let me give you the highlights of the last few months.

Our house went on the market in mid November.  We have accepted an offer and the sale is pending!

The first week of December was our permanent relocation from Tennessee to South Dakota. It was, thankfully, an uneventful drive. We are happily tucked into our fifth wheel camper at Mr. DJ’s parents. The week after we arrived the temperatures bottomed out in the single digits for highs, but the little furnace kept us toasty.  McGas Propane (yes, you read it right) delivered a 250 gallon propane tank to make life easier. We have full use of the facilities in the house, so it’s not like we’re really roughing it.


We were able to spend Christmas with family!!! Had a great New Year with dear friends, too.

I haven’t seen my complete fabric stash for months. I do know where it is and how to get to it quickly in an emergency.

There’s a space to sew in the basement of my in-laws home. It’s fine for small projects, but probably not large quilts and that’s okay.

I started a new Etsy shop and had a brief sewing frenzy when it was featured on the Front Page.

My knitting skills have improved and I thoroughly enjoy it.

knitted scarves

That’s about it. It was a long road to get back home, but we’re here and life will continue to be an adventure as we make decisions about our next housing move.

I have two tutorials in the works for projects I’ve posted on Craftsy, so I will be back in something less than 20, 390, 400 seconds.

So, because…image

this is where I’ll be today.





Friday, June 08, 2012

Odds and ends

Do you use Color Catchers?

Color Catcher In-Wash Sheets

I don’t pre-wash fabrics when making quilts, so I like to have a way to protect from bleeding dyes when I wash them, at least for the first time. I washed these separately and threw a Color Catcher sheet in with each one.


The one on the left looks pretty much as it did before washing, but the right one collected quite a bit of dye.


Did you guess which one was from which quilt? Not too surprising that the red was the bleeder.


I also use Color Catchers when washing my hand dyed fabrics for the first time, too. Great product!

We arrived back in Tennessee from South Dakota late Sunday night. (I’m still worn out!) Usually we load up, put the pedal down and don’t stop except for the necessary things, but this time we decided to take a loop through the Badlands. See the one highlighted in blue? Badlands Map

Here’s a larger map to show where it is in the state. (The area we are moving to is north of Rapid City.)


The sky was so brilliantly blue that day…amazing!




I’d love to be there at sunset to capture some of the colors in a different light. Might be a nice day trip once we get moved.

My stash is packed, but my quilting fabrics and some other supplies aren’t going anywhere until I do! I consider them to be survival supplies…right up there with food and coffee.


Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 01, 2012

H2H and Blockapalooza finish!

Greetings from the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota! (Did I tell you I love it here?)

The quilts I made for H2H and the Sullivan Hills Quilt Auction are finished except for the crinkling! Please ignore the stray threads and “Yeller” hairs…they’ll get a good wash when I get back to Tennessee.

Confessions of a Fabric Addict

First of all, thanks to Sarah for spending so much time organizing this challenge. I’ll be linking up to her H2H “Show Off Your Quilts” post and you really should go see all the great quilts that have been donated. While you’re there, check out Sarah’s blog…you will be amazed at all this lady accomplishes!

I hope some little guy in New Orleans will like this. Since the original flimsy was pretty small, I added a border. 


My second finish is for the Sullivan Hills Quilt Auction. Sullivan Hills is a Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries church camp. The camp is located just a couple of miles from where I grew up and my mom and I would drive through the pasture to visit the lady who lived there. My brother and his wife, who now live on our old farm place, are the property managers for the camp.

 Sullivan Hills 2

When the owners of the farm passed away, their family donated the property to Lutheran Outdoors. We’ve witnessed the transformation from farm to this beautiful camp over the last several years. The little building (I think it was the milk house) is the only original structure left.

I finished the Block-a-Palooza quilt for my contribution to the auction. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out! There is more about this quilt here.


What is it with cats and quilts? Yeller, the cat that adopted my in-laws a few months ago, was sure the quilts were meant for him.


Thanks for stopping by!