Friday, April 22, 2016


While going through some old fabrics and cleaning out my sewing room I came across a panel that my mom bought me maybe a decade ago.  It’s cute, but I don’t really sew up panels much.  It’s just not that interesting to me.  But I’ve got a couple of kids who have been playing with their trains and trucks lately, so I thought this would be a great little mat to sew up for them.  Plus, it’s portable.  This week I went to a book club and needed to bring my two year old.  We took some books and some little trains, but I was thinking that this mat (had I finished it) would be perfect for him.  Oh well, next month.  

I used some fabric for the backing that I’ve had on hand.  I bought lots of it, and I think it’s really cute stuff, but haven’t found myself reaching for it.   I cut binding strips from the leftover backing and bound it by machine.  I finished it yesterday and Miles especially seems to be enjoying it.  

My mom also bought some border fabric for the panel with trains and cars.  I tried it out with the panel, but rejected it because it was so busy.  The fabric is cute though so I thought I’d try out some napkins.  I can make 16 little napkins out of the fabric, which would be fun.  I’m not sure what else to do with it.  16 is a lot of these napkins.  Maybe some little bags?  Any ideas would be welcome.  

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday on Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Indian Blanket Top

After many weeks on my wall, my “Indian Blanket” top is finally complete.  I like it, but this design has never really put off an "Indian" vibe for me.  It doesn't matter, but it is interesting that I completely miss the feel of the design, but enjoy it nonetheless...

I played with the idea of making it a few rows longer to use as another quilt on my daughter’s bed.  When I mentioned this to her she reminded me that she had “like 5 quilts to choose from already” and didn’t really need another.  She said it nicely, not all snotty, but still, message received.  Actually, it's kind of a good thing as I was really struggling to find fabric for the last few rows that worked for me.  I did cut a few different ideas, put them up and ultimately reject them.  My trouble in this area was a big part of the reason it took so long to complete this top.  So, in that way, it is best that it doesn't need to be any longer. 

To finish this top I’m going to order some flannel for the back, maybe try out a new free motion quilting design, and use it on the couch in the evenings.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Courthouse Steps

I’m not finished with log cabins.  I have decided to make a variation on a log cabin with leftover stripes from my nephew’s star baby quilt.  I thought I was going to make a pillowcase out of the butterflies, but I like this idea better…

Friday, April 8, 2016

The pot holders that I started over the weekend are finished now.  They’re now in their new home.  

The YUM holder finished better than the teacup because I quilted it very heavily, which made it simple to attach the binding.  The teacup has very sparse quilting which was a bit of a nightmare when attaching the binding.  I will be much more aware of that in future, with the extra layer of Insul-Bright that goes into a pot holder.  

All in all it was a fun project that I will do again.  I think I’d like to try a pot holder with a pocket in the back for hands.  That would make it them easier to use, and I bet it isn't overly difficult, although it does add another layer to the project.   It would also be fun to make a miniature pair for my sons’ play kitchen.   

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Work In Progress: Hotpads

This week is my mom’s birthday, so today I’m working on a project for her.  A few days ago she saw a potholder I made while experimenting with and mentioned that she liked it.  

She’s been talking about doing some work on her kitchen cabinets lately and I asked her if she could use a new potholder.  She said she could.  She likes bright colors, like yellow and orange, and blue.  

Initially I saw a potholder on A Quilt is Nice that I thought was really cute.  There’s an easy tutorial for it too, on Freda’s Hive, but I have really been wanting to try Kaffe Fassett’s very simple “African Huts” from his book, Quilt Road.  So I made a block that I thought would be great.

Actually, I was so confident, I made two.  

But I think they’re pretty dark.  They don't sing "Happy House" to me.  I think I’m going to finish them up anyway.  I may like them more later.  I find that often happens if I just stick with it.  

Then I moved on to another idea.  I’ve had a book called Quilt Talk, which has a paper pieced alphabet I’ve wanted to try for awhile.  I ended up needing smaller letters, though, so I just drafted the letters to my size using the patterns.  

There was one other quilt in Quilt Road I thought would also make a great potholder called “A Cup of Tea for Kaffe”.  I chose to try it, but I just drew the pattern from the picture onto some graph paper, so mine looks a little bit wonky.  I found some Lite Steam-A-Seam 2, which I haven’t used in forever, and didn’t even know that I had, and used it for the applique pieces.  

So I have two, maybe three, potholders started for my mom.  I quilted them and rounded the edges, like in the tutorials, but haven’t yet added the binding.  That will have to wait until tonight.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Log Cabin Quilt: A FINISH

This week I finished a log cabin quilt that I found in partially finished blocks while digging through a stash of abandoned WIPs.  First I had to finish the blocks, but there wasn't too much work left on them.  I arranged them in a straight furrows setting, which works, I think, because the design is simple and clear.  Since I chose to use so much yellow and orange, the blue strips have to work pretty hard.  

I decided it was a great project for experimental quilting, since I don’t have an emotional attachment to this quilt.  I did a freehand fan/ flower doodle on the orange side of the block and straight lines in a stair down the blue side.  I thought about drawing more of a feather arrangement, but it seemed a little formal for this.  What I ended up with is extremely informal, but it is sweet and was fun to do.  Clearly I need to work on my stitch length because they are not always even as I come off the curves.    

I’d like to do a few more log cabins, because they are so versatile.  I’m also interested in log cabin variations.  I’m thinking about trying to quilt a big flower freehand, so maybe in some blooming spring colors?  

This guy is pretty small, measuring about 40"x40".  On the back I used fabric my sister gave me several years ago from her Junior Year Abroad in Senegal.  I have some more that I mean to make into a quilt for her sometime, but I haven't received the inspiration yet.  

I think this quilt will probably head to the Midwest to be a spare blanket for my nieces and nephew.