Saturday, December 25, 2010

Bad, bad poetry. Just awful.

If you're into amateurs writing bad poetry, check out this posting from the Hawthorne Threads blog.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Only one broken ornament

Our Chrismas tree is cut, placed, & trimmed.  It looks a little small compared to other years, but no new scrapes on the ceiling, swearing by the DH, or general grumpiness ensued, AND that thing is TOTALLY STRAIGHT.  We've gotten away from our formerly traditional Xmas tree fight, wherein I insist on a tree that inevitably turns out to be too large for our small space.  He wised up last year, and now brings a tape measure with us on our tree expedition.  I tried to pick a fight last year anyway, just to be in the spirit of things, but it didn't work.

I made a tree mat on Friday night. I can't call it a tree skirt, because I was too rushed to plan out the skirt part, so just have a needle-catcher-thingie, also known as a mat.  But man, I love that Alexander Henry holiday fabric.  Reminds me of the work of Margaret Bloy Graham, children's book illustrator.
Those are blocks of wood under the tree, not presents.  I really cannot explain why they are there.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Going to Cape Town

This little quilt is heading to a sweetie pie in Cape Town, South Africa.  I hope it gets there fast, because Miss Aryanna is super tall at 5 months old.  Wait - can a baby be tall before she can stand up?  The quilt front pattern is 'Charm Squares Baby Quilt' (a Hunky Dory charm pack) by Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson!, and I got it from the Sew Mama Sew! website.  I am a big fan of both of these websites, especially the tutorials.  I especially look forward to the publication of Elizabeth's book this fall, "The Practical Guide to Patchwork".  

Cara's giveaway

Ok, I really don't understand WHY she's giving away this gorgeous fabric, but she IS!  Clearly, she is a better woman than I, I who would be crouched over this lovely little stack, rubbing my hands together and chortling in a disconcertingly greedy way.  I lust after every single one of these fabrics.  You can enter the giveaway, too, but if you get the prize instead of me, I'll weep bitter tears.  Seriously, this is such a nice giveaway - check it out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My week

Killer strep throat, killer malware, computer killed, MIRACULOUSLY brought back to temporary life, husband's back thrown out, job interview. Geez, these are first world problems.  But I made a bunch of stuff.  I should take some pictures and post them, right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


A work in progress...what I need to finish is the binding.  My first plan isn't working, so I'm going to try a scrappy binding.  The quilt top is a pattern from Elizabeth at "Oh, Fransson!".  Look familiar?  I posted a photo of the top in May, and lots of people have done their own version of this.  This size uses 12 fat quarters, plus fabric for sashing, back, and binding.  I loved putting the colors and patterns together so much, that I'll try a larger version sometime.  The back is my own design, with the fox applique modified from a piece of clip art.  I did the wonky scrappy strip & the fox, but it felt unfinished.  Last week I hacked apart the back, adding in the two fabric strips.  I'm much happier with the finished result.

I used a combination of zigzag and straight stitches in 3 thread colors.  Why don't people use a zigzag when machine quilting?  I thought it was a nice little twist.  There's probably some huge reason why this is bad, like it will bring on the zombie apocalypse or similar. 

Lint much?  I hope the little guy cleans up all right.

Monday, June 21, 2010

An unexpected day

What choice did I have, with my family out of town and no car pool to work?  I made a quilt for my nephew Will, who is about to turn 1.  Still have to do the binding...
I bought this monkey fabric a while ago, thinking it would be great for a baby boy quilt.  Love that retro 70's print (it's from the Riley Collection by Anna Griffin, Windham fabrics).  The wavy blue is from the same collection.  I don't know what the green is, but the stripes and dots are Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane.  The back is Kona solid Charcoal.  Overall pattern is modified just a bit from a "Fun Quilts" free pattern.  The applique initials are my own design.  Simple straight line quilting made a bit wonky.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Sometimes things don't go so well. Sometimes I have a couple of hours to sew, and nothing works. I cut fabric incorrectly. I can't figure out a pattern. I sew and nothing lines up. Nothing is finished. I want fabric I don't have. Bleah.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome Spring quilt (design by Cherri House for Moda Bake Shop)

This pattern was a freebie from Moda Bake Shop (LOADS of free patterns there), designed by the talented Cherri House.  I used Moda's Hunky Dory fabrics by Chez Moi for the front, and the back is wide sheeting fabric I purchased from jackrabbit fabrics on Etsy.  This pattern was really fast, and I love the end result.  The snail applique is my own design, with a scrap of Anna Maria Horner Good Folks fabric.

Quilts at Rest Rock

Susannah, Isabelle, Caleb, and Morgan on the dock at Rest Rock

I spent the weekend over at my extended family's camp at Lake George, New York.  Lots of kids, good food and drink, water, and sunshine.  Since I started quilting last November, I've completed a total of six quilts, with several more in the works.  Five out of six quilts were together this weekend, along with their very cute owners.  I love that all of these are being used and loved...taken on car trips and to camp, cuddled up in for movie nights and brought outside for picnics.

The front of Susannah's quilt and Seahorse applique detail on the back of Sus's quilt
(seahorse pattern courtesy Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson!)

Susannah - my sweet girl

Isabelle on her quilt, and a look at the back. She was sad to leave the lake. I know just how she feels.
Caleb, his quilt, and his gorgeous mama LizO

Here is the first quilt I made, as modelled by Matt

Morgan and Rylie with Morgan's birthday quilt
This is the first quilt I did with a pieced binding. I really like the look, but don't think you can see it well here.

Morgan's nickname is Snail

AccuQuilt give away over at Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

The AccuQuilt fabric cutter is in the "maybe some day, like after I win the lottery" category, but it would be a seriously sweet piece of equipment.  Check out the link in order to enter a very cool giveaway over at, and while you're there, have a look at what she's been doing with her AccuQuilt.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Caroline's Christmas quilt, finished just in time for Easter

Yes, this quilt is indeed over 3 months late.  It's been sitting in my sewing room, complete except for hand sewing the back of the binding.  Way to procrastinate!  Geez, the poor kid waited long enough.

New Wave quilt

Oh, Fransson's New Wave quilt pattern - top is done. You can access the pattern & lots of info about it here:

Mom's quilt (top)

My mom's favorite colors are sunny, bright, and summery.  Lots of yellow, green, blue, red - all bright, no muddy colors.  She definitely shows her Scandinavian heritage through her color preferences.  So for this quilt, I used a lot of Heather Bailey fabrics, along with a smattering of Amy Butler and Paula Prass for Michael Miller.  I'm working on some pieced squares for the back.  I'm not sure the colors really show well in these pictures, so I may attempt another photo shoot.  The pattern is Turning Twenty, which uses 20 fat quarters.  I've read about people sewing this quilt pattern as a break from more complicated projects.  It's true that it's very easy, and it made me happy to use big pieces of these pretty fabrics.

Susannah's quilt

I have several works in progress, and at the top of the list to FINISH NOW is Susannah's quilt.  "Why are working on that other thing, Mom?  Why aren't you finishing MY quilt?"  It's the largest quilt I've done so far, so the thought of pinning the quilt sandwich is intimidating.  Plus, I wanted to do some free motion quilting on it, maybe in a wave pattern.  But...I've never done any free motion quilting.  Looks like a couple of doll quilts are in my immediate future.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've been making various small things, and giving them away before I remember to take a bad photograph.  In frog news, the tank is sparkling clean.  No photo of that, either.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh my

Marjorie is back with Bob, and this morning I accidentally saw them in amplexus in a semi-private corner of the tank.  Marjorie looked unbearably smug, and Bob...well, Bob just looked dazed and a bit winded.  We may have a bunch of little frog princes and princesses in our future.

Valentine's Day project

Once again, I shoved aside my current project list in favor of something new.  Now I need to make the cards to fill these fabric envelopes.  Here's the tutorial by Jennifer Casa on the Sew Mama Sew! blog.  Yep, I had fun, except for the bits of hand sewing I was forced into.  It was a great way to use up some linen-look fabric I had lying around for, oh, 15 years or so.  The envelope lining is from a new Moda line:  "Oz" by Sanae.  I pre-ordered this from Over the Rainbow a while ago.  The layer cake cut (10" x 10") is exactly the right size for this project.

For Susannah

I haven't finished Susannah's quilt, so I made her a pillow case to tide her through these winter days.  I'm sure the quilt will be finished just in time for a summer heat wave.  I love Heather Ross fabrics.  Not just because of her designs (which are super easy to love - you'd have to have a heart of stone to NOT love them), but because of the way the fabric feels.  This is a line from Free Spirit.  It's exactly the kind of material you want to sleep on.  Disclaimer:  In addition to my notoriously amateur photography, the wrinkles are from Susannah's cute little sleeping head.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

winter weekend relaxation

Winding up a weekend of sewing and cooking, two of my favorite things.  Simple sewing, simple cooking.  I made a quilt top using the turning twenty pattern and Heather Bailey's Pop Garden fabrics.  This one is for my mom - lots of yellow and green with splashes of bright red and blue.  Pictures to follow when I can get someone to hold it up outside.  I'm planning the back now, and need one more special piece of fabric for this - I'm going to use a strip of the yellow Bird Seed (Alexander Henry fabric).  Falling behind on other projects!  I need another week home alone with the sewing machine.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thanks to True Up

Wow, one of my favorite fabric/sewing sites,, gave me a gift certificate to for blogging about my favorite fabrics of 2009.  Kim at True Up had a bunch of gift certs to give away on this one, and I am utterly charmed at the way she matched gift certs with random winners, taking into account our comments and tastes.  By the way, if you want a chance at some free fabric-y goodness THERE IS STILL TIME TO BLOG OR POST YOUR 'BEST OF 2009' - this giveaway doesn't close until Friday.

Now, should I put my winnings toward a fat quarter stack of this or wait until this hits the market?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quilt #3 - Caleb's Forest, finished December 2009

I made this one for my friend Caleb, who loves animals and walking in the woods.  The animal and green prints are "Frolic" by Wendy Slotboom for In the Beginning Fabrics, and the back is from "Full Moon Forest" by Tula Pink for Moda, and the backings for the rough applique pieces are from "Flutterby", Tula Pink.  I used a nameless red solid for the front strips, and the red with white polka dot binding is "Housework Whenever", In the Beginning Fabrics.  The red strips and the little animals on the back are all meant to fray at the edges after a couple of washings.

Quilt #2 - Springtime for Isabelle, finished December 2009

I made this quilt for Isabelle.  The colors don't look very good in this photo, unfortunately.  Info for fellow fabric freaks: on the front I used various Amy Butler prints and "Wildwood" by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit, and the front strips and the binding are Jennifer Paganelli from the "Bell Bottom" line for Free Spirit.  The back has a piece of "Leanika" by Dena Fishbein for Free Spirit (love those lovebirds),  "Par Avion" by Paula Prass for Michael Miller, another print from "Wildwood", and Kona solids.  I can't remember what the pink floral is.

December project #4 (out of order)

I used the scraps from my first quilt to make this throw pillow cover.  This is a simple envelope-style cover.  I would have done it differently if I had started from scratch, but the scraps were already sewn together.  Quilting thriftiness.  This went to my mother-in-law, who requested a quilt similar to my first one.

My new hobby

I started quilting at the end of fall 2009.  Here are some photos of my first completed quilt, finished in November.  New Year's resolution: get better at photography.  I used a jelly roll of "Arcadia" by Sanae for Moda.  The sashing and backing is Moda Muslin Mates, and I used the wrong side for a softer tonal effect.  I can't remember what the orange floral binding is.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 favorite fabrics

Kim at True Up is having a 2009 fabric round up, where people are blogging about fabric "best of 2009", plus she's having a lovely give away.  So as brandy-new fabric aficionado here are my thoughts for best of 2009 (and I totally took advantage of True Up's fabric round up - thanks, Kim!).

Favorite Juvenile Print: Wendy Slotboom "Frolic" for In the Beginning Fabrics
Favorite Trend (Motifs): leaves or sprouts on vines in a stripe pattern, a la Orla Kiely (see Taxi Trio, Bloom and Grow, and the Sunny Tender Sprouts pattern in Art Gallery Fabric's new "Filigree" line)
Favorite Trend (Motifs):  Runner Up - Owls - love all those owl fabrics
Fabric Motif Trend Prediction: Foxes (this has nothing to do with anything in the True Up categories, though)
Favorite New Designer:  Laura Gunn "Lantern Bloom" for Michael Miller
Favorite Quilting Weight Cotton Collection:  a tie - Art Gallery Fabrics' "Revive" line (I think it's 2009, let me know if I'm wrong) and Sanae "Arcadia" for Moda
Favorite Fabric Shop (bricks and mortar) - Franklin Mill Store in Franklin, Massachusetts (luckily for me, my in-laws live a short drive away)
Favorite Under the Radar/Sleeper Collection - Sanae "Arcadia" for Moda
Favorite New Fabric Worked With - double gauze, even though it frays fiercely if you're not careful
Favorite Print From Country of Choice - Heather Ross "Far, Far, Away" for Kokka (Japan) - yes, even though she's an American designer.  Second choice - Asuka "Girly and Bitter" double gauze for Nina's Sewing Factory (Japan)
Favorite Overall Designer - Anna Maria Horner, because of the colors, the designs, and most of all, because of the variety of fabrics.  Quilting weight cotton, cotton voile, textured voile/dobby, home dec weight, oilcloth, and flannel - come on, how can you not LOVE IT  LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!
Wild Card Category - Favorite Fabrics from 2008 I'm still working with and loving: "Lush" by Erin Michael, "Mendocino" by Heather Ross

Character spotlight on: Ernst

Ernst possesses the soul of a dark and tortured poet.  Often acting the part of a quiet loner, he tends to stick to his own lilypad.

Favorite drink:  Glenlilliepadh, an obscure single malt scotch, served with dram of pond water.