Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tie One (apron) On Tuesday - Donut Apron

Look at what I got for Christmas!

My younger daughter made this fun donut apron for me for Christmas! She used my apron book

The Perfect Apron: 35 Fun and Flirty Designs for You to Make
to make it.

This fabric is part of the Timeless Treasures line, called Got the Munchies?

I think this is just the most fun fabric! We are listing this donut fabric, along with other fabrics from this line

in our Etsy shop. And there are other great food fabrics, as well:


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Picture This quilt from the Happy Hour book is done!

I never showed you my completed Picture This quilt, from the Happy Hour book, did I?

You might remember me showing you this picture below, in which I rented time on a long arm quilting machine at a local quilt shop, and I did the quilting myself. It is virtually impossible to see, but it is a meandering pattern; it is probably a bit too large to be called stippling.

The quilt is huge; it can just about fit our king size bed. The pictures don't really show just how lovely this quilt is.
I think I'll be trying this out with other fabrics and colors. I really like this pattern.

Since I am determined not to be on this computer tomorrow, I want to take the time today to wish you a Merry Christmas! Now, you, too, get off the 'puter, and go spend time with those you love. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tie One (apron) On Tuesday - Turkey Apron

As we approach Christmas, let's talk about a...turkey apron??!!

It just occurred to me, I forgot to show you the aprons we made for Thanksgiving! We found some apron panels reduced at our local fabric superstore, so we bought three (one for each of us girls). The panels are nice; they make it easy to cut out the pieces and assemble them.

Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving, um, Christmas season. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009


A little earlier this month, I received a gift of scraps from a new quilting friend, E. She has been quilting for decades, so she has several large bins full of nothing but scraps. She brought one out to me, and I filled an entire tote bag, without even making a noticeable dent in the contents of her bin.

Once I sorted the scraps, I counted over 137 different fabrics. It took three shots to get all of the fabric in; it filled up my entire dining room table!

Now, here's the thing: All of these "scraps" were not exactly what I would call scraps. They were sizeable pieces; some were as large as a fat quarter. I asked E what she defined as a "scrap." She said anything up to the size of a fat quarter, and that she throws away anything smaller than 2 inches. Wow. I think my definition of "scrap"

may need to be redefined.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tie One (apron) On Tuesday - Sweets Apron

We love the gathered half apron style around here.

Can you see the two little pink strawberries on the pocket?


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yellow Brick Road quilt: Finished!

By the way, I never showed you pix of the Yellow Brick Road quilt that I finished:

For this view, tilt your head 90 degrees to the left. :)

It came out really bright and cheery. I have gotten SO many compliments on this quilt.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I won a fabric bundle!

Guess what? I won a bundle of fabric!

photo source: Hawthorne Threads

I never win anything, but I won this!

It all started when I was looking at some pictures of Houston 2009 Quilt Market, and drooling over some of the new fabric lines. Among many beautiful ones, this one caught my eye:

What a stunning quilt!

So, now that I am coveting the Paula Prass Woodland fabrics, I am visiting all sorts of blogs that make mention of this line. One of the places, Hawthorne Threads, is having a giveaway for a bundle of the fabric. So, not really expecting anything, I entered.

And I won!

Go run over to the nice people at Hawthorne Threads to see it for yourself; there are three great colorways for this line of fabric. Woot!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tie One (apron) On Tuesday - Peppermint Candy Apron

Here is my Peppermint Candy apron! What do you think?

Angry Chicken had an open invitation for anyone who might be interested to join her in creating a Peppermint Candy apron. Here are photos of all of the aprons that were created for this. They are just adorable!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mini Quilt Monday: A red heart applique quilt

In my early quilting days, I attempted a mini quilt for my husband for Valentine's Day. It was appropriately red, and had four hearts. This was a lesson for me in may ways, in a variety of different techniques and issues.

I learned about applique. I did not do it the traditional way, but I have seen this method used in quilting books stressing quick applique techniques. I sewed a heart to fusible interfacing, cut a slit in the interfacing, and turned the heart right side out. I fused it to the backing fabric, and then I used a zigzag stitch with coordinating thread to sew it down. Slightly unorthodox, but it works.

I also learned about sashing and the window effect. I sewed strips to the tops/bottoms of the heart squares, and then sewed these columns to more strips.

I discovered the visual appeal of multiple borders. Even though these are rather narrow, this mini quilt has two borders, in addition to the sashing.

Instead of binding the edge, I turned the backing fabric forward, then turned it again and sewed it down. I mitered the corners.

I discovered the fun of choosing coordinating fabrics, and I learned about color values and contrast.

Now, if I had only put a label on the back to date it (it was created sometime between 1997 and 2001)…

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The importance of supporting your local quilt shop

It is of the utmost importance that you support your local quilt shop (LQS).

Yes, I am aware of the fact that your LQS fabric is usually more expensive than the fabric that you can purchase at your local fabric superstore. Also, your LQS will not be open for as many hours during the day, or as many days during the week. If you are not able to do your shopping or run your errands during the week and during the day, sometimes it is virtually impossible to get to your LQS. The variety of fabrics, notions and tools, books, etc. will be more limited at your LQS. Your local fabric store looks more and more attractive, in light of the reasons mentioned above, and probably even more.

Yet let’s discuss the importance of your LQS. Take a look at fabric, for example. While your local fabric store may have more affordable fabrics, either off-the-bolt or in fat quarter cuts, they will not always be of the same quality and caliber. While fabrics at both may say 100% cotton, we all know that not all cottons are created equal. Consider all cotton sheets, and Egyptian cotton sheets. Enough said, yes? Think of the fabric at your LQS to be the Egyptian cotton sheets, and the fabric at your local fabric store to be the common, 200-thread count variety. As with sheets, the fabrics show their quality by the way they feel and how long they last.

Another reason that you should support your LQS is because of the level of expertise that you will find. The salespersons at your local fabric store may not even sew, let alone quilt, let alone be able to answer your specific questions. The LQS employees, who are sometimes the shopowners, can answer all of your questions and even offer very helpful advice. After all, they are, almost without exception, always quilters themselves. Case in point: I ran into my local fabric superstore one day (out of sheer desparation) and asked if they had any layer cakes or jelly rolls. The salesperson said, “go down the street to the grocery store.” Need I say more?

I believe that the most important reason that you should support your LQS is because of the sense of community, camraderie, and belonging which they create. When I enter my LQS, I am not just a customer. I’m greeted by name, and I’m invited to have coffee, tea or juice. I’m asked how my latest project is going; did I make any progress with either of those two patterns I purchased the last time I was in the shop? Patterns, I might add, which are sold almost exclusively at local quilt shops. Long arm quilting services are frequently offered at your LQS. When I bring in a completed project, I’m properly oohed and aahed. There is always a list of classes, trunk shows, fabric previews, etc. being offered. Past and future quilt show trips (i.e, Houston) are frequently discussed. Color combinations are debated, and fabric designers are regarded as good friends (have you seen the latest Amy Butler fabrics?).

It is of the utmost importance that you patronize the hardworking, underpaid owners of local quilt shops, even if only for some of your fabric. The difference that you might pay in fabric prices is more than worth it, for what you will get in return. Perhaps it helps to think about it this way: What would you do if there was not a LQS within 100 miles of your home? Or, if you live in a rural area, within a four-hour drive? Hopefully, this is a question you will never have to ask yourself. Save up if you must to pay the difference in price, but know that you will be investing it in higher quality, longer lasting fabric. And relationships.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A fresh start

My blog, http://how-to-quilt.org, has been compromised one too many times. It is down even now as I type this.

I'm done.

I'm starting over with a clean slate. I will import blog entries one by one (sigh), postdating as necessary, until they are all here.

More to come.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fall craft show wares

Today we had the opportunity to be vendors at a craft show.

This was our first opportunity to do this (I have been a vendor for other things before), and I am pretty clueless as to how to make our booth beautiful. As you can see in the photos, I attempted to use a lot of color to draw the eye, but I wonder if I didn’t overdo it somehow. As my younger daughter was the main co-contributor to the wares that we sold, she received the profits for this. My older daughter is just fine with that; she is not nearly as enamored with sewing and quilting, and she has another way of earning extra money from time to time.

There was not a lot of traffic, so sales were just so-so for all vendors. But we had a great time. My younger daughter seems to have been bitten by the vendor bug! I think she wants to do this again. (Oh my.) In the meantime, I will list the remaining items in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tie One (apron) On Tuesdays!

I have been on an apron kick here recently. But I'm not alone; aprons seem to be making a serious comeback these days:

I have been on an apron kick of sorts recently. I read a really great post about aprons, then I read a good many blogs about aprons, and visited several sites which featured cute aprons, and…you know how it goes. I’m sure it has happened to you, too. I talk more about this on my other site.

On one of the sites that I visited, there was a reference to “tying one on.” There’s even a national Tie One On Day coming up!

And that’s when I decided to make Tuesdays (or at least, this Tuesday) a Tie One On day for me. Remember my last blog entry, where I admitted my need for clearly defined days, if I hoped to accomplish anything at all? I thought this would be a good solution to feed my apron habit. So, this apron is this week’s experiment. I may just take it with us on Saturday; we will be vendors at a holiday bazaar of sorts, and this would look great on the table. I’m also seeing if I like the look of this apron enough to use this pattern in Amy’s Peppermint Candy apron thingie.

What’s funny is, I had been searching and searching and searching for a cute apron that would not make me look fat. I’m certain you’ve noticed how an apron visually adds, oh, about 50 pounds? So, I looked high and low…

Until I realized that, unless the wearer of the apron is slim and trim, the apron is not going to perform any miracles. Oh, well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mini Quilt Monday: A lighthouse quilt

I saw this great idea on another quilter's blog, called Mini Quilt Monday, that she'd gotten from someone else. The idea is to create a small quilt in one day (namely Monday). So, with fabric in hand, I created a quilt for a friend which is about 41" or so square (small for me), with very little patchworking needed.

Here it is:

This is a simple quilt, with a really nice lighthouse fabric. I made this for a friend who loves lighthouses.

The quilt is basically one panel of the lighthouse fabric, with two borders. Doncha just love that inner striped border?

I needed to finish this quickly, so I tied it. Can you see the red thread (well, embroidery floss, really) in the lighthouse below? Hint: It is in the middle of the picture, and it towards the top of the lighthouse.
Here is the back of the quilt. I pieced it, so as to use up every piece of the fabric that I used on the front. No sense in saving it, right?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A new quilt! And a Blogaversary!

O my goodness! So much to celebrate!

I finished a new quilt, and I didn't even tell you about it while it was in progress! Here is my version of it; it's called High Light:

And here is the original version of it, as it appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Quilts and More:

The two photos above are a closer picture of one block (19"--yes, they are huge!) and a bit more detail.

Above is the back; I am really liking pieced backings (amandajean does a TON of these over on her blog), so when I run out of larger pieces, I incorporate piecing into the backing of other fabrics, usually used on the front. Waste not, want not. I also quilted this at the same nearby quilt shop where I rented time on their long arm for some of my other quilts (I blogged about it earlier).

When I finished the quilt, I used Lisa's idea:

I made a pincushion with the scraps, using a pattern I found in this book:

Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts

And I have blogging about quilting for a year now! Wow!

A new quilting guild!

Today we got together to create what we hope will become a new quilting guild in our area; you can hop on over to our new blog to find out more about it!

Many thanks to Carol, who worked hard to bring this together, and who also gave each of us TWO fat quarters! We will each create a 12.5" block (or two) to put into a group quilt (or two):

The girls and I will each create two blocks, so that is why you see three sets of fat quarters. We'll keep you posted!
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