Friday, June 22, 2018

Fat Quarter Snowballs Quilt

 Welcome! Every now and then I get an email from the Fat Quarter Shop seeking volunteers for their sew alongs--the spots fill quickly, so I usually miss out, but I was able to snag a spot for their Fat Quarters Snowballs Quilt--it is part of their Shortcut Quilt Series. You can find the free pattern here:
The snowball blocks are cut at six inches and the blocks on point are a little smaller, so the blocks really lend themselves to larger prints. I selected a fat quarter bundle called Puppy Love by Riley Blake. It has adorable puppies, bones, tennis balls, and other dog related prints and I picked a blue solid for my background. You can purchase the Puppy Love bundle here:
I added in some greens from my stash and a couple of white background prints for a scrappier look. I followed the pattern exactly and the quilt measures 50" x 55.5"--it would be really easy to enlarge this quilt or make it smaller. I think it will be a lovely baby quilt.
Since I plan on gifting it as a baby quilt, I used a luscious red tufted minky backing. I used my built in wavy stitch which is 9 millimeters wide and 32 millimeters long and quilted in the middle of the blocks and in the ditch. I recommend using your walking foot and if you are using minky you must over pin!
I usually hand sew my binding down, but I thought if I used my wavy stitch to sew it down it would finish off the quilting nicely. I cut this binding a little wider at 2.75" and I love how it came out!

Thank you Fat Quarter Shop for the opportunity to make this awesome quilt!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Spelling Bee Top

It is my summer vacation and despite the fact that I am still coughing and sniffling, I spent some quality time in my sewing room since my daughter went back to college on Wednesday. I have been diligently sewing along with the Spelling Bee Sew Along. I realized the only two blocks I was missing were the telephone and the typewriter, so I made them up. I had already worked ahead on the punctuation blocks.
 I went retro mint green with the telephone.
The typewriter has so many tiny pieces!
Here is another picture I snapped of all the blocks together this morning. It is windy and hot here, so my pictures did not come out great. I used a teal polka dot from my stash for the borders. I bought 10 yards of it from Connecting Threads for $2 a yard years ago. I may end up using it for the backing as well. I need to add all of my embroidery details--I prefer to embroider in the larger quilt instead of the individual blocks. I think I will have this one quilted with a simple overall design, so the focus stays on the blocks.
Since it is Sunday, I woke up and watched the French Open final and worked on binding this quilt for my friend and my Slow Sunday Stitching:
Her long arm quilting machine has arrived and is scheduled to be assembled this week! I anticipate some more bindings coming my way and some of my quilts going her way for quilting. I need to prep some backings, so I am ready!


Friday, June 1, 2018

Kona Kaleidoscope Stars Top

 My summer vacation began a week ago, but I was sick in bed for the entire week! This always happens to me--I can never get deathly ill during the school year--it is always during my vacations. I have loads of sick days banked--like half a school year's worth, but instead my body burns up my summer vacation literally. I had a cough, fever, aches, and chills--paid $60 to go to urgent care to be told I have a "virus" and keep doing what I was doing already staying in bed, guzzling water, and popping ibuprofen like candy. Of course this happens when my daughter is home from college and we could be doing fun stuff--walking our dogs, cooking together, going to the hot springs, etc. She has less than a week left and we need to make up for lost time!
I sewed all of my Kona Kaleidoscope Star blocks together before I got sick. I added an outer white border yesterday and snapped a couple of pictures. Right now, it is 60 inches square and I am not sure if I will add another border or call it good...This is a free pattern you can find here:

I have some secret sewing I have worked on the last couple of days--I got everything cut and the blocks sewn--it is a Shortcut Quilt. I have lots of left over fabrics and will probably make another quilt out them. This sewing is for the Fat Quarter Shop and will be revealed on June 15th.
My June OMG (One Monthly Goal) is to finish up my Postcard from Sweden top--it needs to be quilted and bound. I already have my label embroidered and the backing and binding purchased.

I know Blogger is no longer notifying people via email about the comments, so it is harder to respond to them. This is a total pain and I hope they figure out the privacy issues/laws soon.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Clementine Quilt Along Month 5

 Happy May 25th--these are the Clementine Blocks for month 5. You can find the pattern here:
Don't forget this quilt along benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
This week I received these fabulous fabrics for some more secret sewing for the Fat Quarter Shop--stay tuned to see what they will turn into...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Royal Wedding 2018

Image result for meghan and harry's wedding

So I make a big deal out of royal weddings--I think it stems back to my own childhood when I watched Princess Diana marry Prince Charles. When Kate and William got married back in 2011. it was during the week, so my daughter and I took the day off school to watch it live. We made scones, drank tea, wore crowns, and celebrated a real fairy tale. We did the same thing yesterday for Meghan and Harry's wedding. Although, I am not really a morning person, I had no problem jumping out of bed at 4:30am to witness their nuptials live!
 We cheated a little using this mix from Walmart for our chocolate chip scones. I am going to keep this on hand at all times--because it was so easy and delicious!
They came out perfectly and were AMAZING!
We loved her dress and the ceremony was quite charming and less formal which we really enjoyed! I worked on binding this baby quilt for my friend, Rachel, while we watched. I got it half finished and should finish it today for Slow Sunday Stitching:
After the ceremony and running some errands, I worked on my Clementine Blocks for month 5. They are done and will be posted here on the 25th when I am allowed to reveal them. #clementinequiltalong #stjude

This week I also got to order some fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop for a secret sewing project for them--another fabulous quilt along. It should arrive tomorrow--it will be a fun and adorable project to start for the beginning of my summer vacation because my last day of work is Thursday!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

 I got the best Mother's Day present--my daughter made it home for a visit from college before she starts her summer research position! We have had a great day--breakfast burritos at our favorite taco shop, a Target run, a stop by my mom's, and we are going to the drive in tonight to see "I Feel Pretty" in her convertible Mustang. We also spent some time in my sewing room watching trash TV while I made these punctuation blocks for my Spelling Bee Quilt.
I made these picture blocks yesterday and used the magenta color in honor of my new Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2.
 I also made this throw pillow for a retiring friend out of some of his mother's old shirts.
I used the stretchy shirts for the envelope backing. I also whipped up three more pencil pouches for a few new fifth graders. We are starting our last full week of school tomorrow and I am definitely ready for summer and of course the royal wedding on Saturday!

Happy Mother's Day and have a great week!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

May is Underway

I have had a pretty productive sewing week! I finished piecing 55 of these blocks--I only need 49 of them for the quilt, but I may end up using some of the extra blocks on the backing...I finished binding the queen sized quilt I was commissioned to bind--it helped having Friday off!
 I made the Home Block for Spelling Bee Sew Along today--I am all caught up with those blocks! I am looking forward to putting this on all together soon. #summersewing
We have a bus driver that is retiring at the end of this school year--he is 85! He is "Bob the Bus Driver" and I think he needs a school bus quilt. I pieced together a large school bus block using Lori Holt's pattern and I think I am going to use her Spelling Bee book to make letters that say "Bob the Bus Driver." I think I will have his kids sign the quilt--stay tuned to see what I come up with! Our last day of school is May 23, so I need to put a rush on this one. This will be my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for May

I also need to make a pillow with some shirts from my friend's mom who passed away. I think I will embroider a quote and use the shirts to frame it and for the back.

What are you up to this week?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

April DrEAMi & OMG

Despite my machine dying this month, I still managed to have a Drop Everything and Make It (DrEAMi) project. My School of Fish Baby Quilt was started in April and delivered to the proud grandma before the month was over--definitely obsessed with it!

The School of Fish Baby Quilt is about 55 inches square and is a free tutorial you can find here:

Check out other DrEAMi projects here:
 My April One Monthly Goal (OMG) was to make these pencil zip pouches for all of my fifth graders as end of the year gifts.
 I spent all day Saturday cranking them out! It was a good chance to get used to my new sewing machine--the automatic presser foot lift and thread cutter made it so much easier. Those are definitely luxury features I am thrilled my new machine has!
Today for Slow Sunday Stitching, I need to finish embroidering this label.
I also picked up the queen sized quilt to bind, so I need to attach that and get it started. I want to spend some time piecing on the new machine, so I am off to my sewing room to play!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Clementine Month 4

This month has kind of been shot for me as far as sewing with my main machine in for repair the first part of April and the pronounced dead on arrival in mid-April. I did not want to get behind on the Fat Quarter Shop's  Clementine Quilt Along, so I sewed the month four blocks on my Singer Featherweight. You can find this month's pattern here:
Don't forget this is an amazing way to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Back in Business!

This week was hectic! I met my daughter in Denver for a day. Her university sent her out to recruit at an accepted students reception, but she needed to be back in time for her sorority's formal last night. She is in the pink dress--which we found shopping on Friday. She was going for the Barbie look which she definitely nailed! It was a delight to see her in action at the reception and spend time with her--she will be home in three weeks for a few weeks before she goes back to school for a paid research position the rest of the summer. Then, she is off to London for her semester abroad in the fall...she is living the life!
I used the time before she arrived in Denver to go look at sewing machines. I decided to replace my worn out machine with a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2. It has some new features my other Pfaff did not including:
a built in thread cutter
10 inches of throat space--it is much larger
more speed
large foot pedal
9 mm wide stitches
automatic tie off
automatic presser foot lift
electronic knee lift
automatic thread tension
As I explained to my daughter, I went from a VW to a BMW. It is a $2600 machine, but they were offering a special this week, so it was $1950. I can upgrade it within a year for the Janome if I decide to. That decision will probably hinge on the local service availability--there is a new Pfaff dealer in Grand Junction, but I am not sure it will last.
 I quilted my School of Fish today on my new machine. I have to say, I used so much less thread because of the thread cutter and there will not be thread tails all over the house anymore!
The wavy stitch is fabulous and the dual feed made this a breeze. This quilt is almost 55 inches square, but with all that throat space there wasn't any rolling or wrestling it through the machine.
I just put the binding on and plan on working on that this evening. 
As most of you know, I love to bind and I bind for both my local quilt shop and a friend--we are trading long arm quilting and a 20% shop discount. A lady was referred to me for my binding services, she has a queen sized quilt she needs bound by June. I don't have any idea how much to charge. I did a little internet research and it sounds like $80 is the going rate to attach by machine and hand sew the binding down. That seems pretty steep to me--I was thinking of telling her $50. What do you all think? The money I make can go toward my machine purchase...I spent so much in Denver my credit card company contacted me to see if it had been stolen! OMG!


Sunday, April 15, 2018

School of Fish Top

 I made all these fish last weekend--the quilt has 120, but I made some extras. I spent a couple of nights sewing the rows together. They were all stitched on my 1961 Singer Featherweight. It is about 55 inches square. I have the link to the tutorial a couple of posts back, if you are interested!
 Today, I have been working on the Clementine Quilt Along Month 4 Blocks. They are all cut and ready to assemble and will be revealed on April 25th when the instructions post for the public. #stjude There is a link on my right hand sidebar.
If you did not see my post earlier this week, I received terrible news that I have worn out my Pfaff Ambition 1.5. It lasted 7 years and I paid $1100 for it. My local sewing machine shop has closed, so the nearest sewing machine dealers are a little more than an hour away. My mom and I ventured up there yesterday to see what they had that would meet my needs. The only thing I found was this Janome $2800 (more with tax and bobbins)--I liked the machine very much, but not the price. I tried a couple less expensive Janomes, but they lacked a wavy stitch. I looked at a used Bernina, but was not really impressed with it--its wavy stitch was not very pretty and the bobbin loads from the bottom which is a pain when your machine is in a cabinet like mine. They also had a used Janome of this model, but it is older and did not have my required wavy stitch. Otherwise, I would have bought it! 

We also went to a new quilt shop and Viking/Pfaff dealer. I was not impressed. The only Pfaff she had was used and is a model, Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2, I am interested in, but she did not know how to thread it and we could not get the feed dogs to move--they had been lowered for free motion quilting. Obviously, I am not interested in that one. I also am wary about if she will be in business long for servicing! My next options are Denver 5+ hours away which sucks for servicing.

My daughter asked if I could meet her over in Denver next week. Her college wants to send her to an accepted students reception on Friday night. Of course, I will drive 5+ hours each way to hang out with her basically for a day! She will arrive on Thursday night and leave early Saturday morning to be back in time for her sorority formal. 

I will probably spend Thursday afternoon and Saturday sewing machine shopping. I am going to look at a couple of Pfaff models and some Jukis. The shop I am going to carries everything (Pfaff, Bernina, Juki, Janome, Viking, etc.) and has a program where you can trade in a machine within a year. I am thinking, I can buy the low end Pfaff like I had for $1100 or a Juki for $1000 and then save money all year and trade up to the Janome next year...Thoughts?

Not having my machine for nearly two weeks now has really made me frazzled, I have to get a new one soon! I have my Postcard from Sweden to quilt and the School of Fish, not to mention 20 zip pouches that all need to be done before April is over. This is my Postcard from Sweden top. The link up for that quilt along can be found here:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


No person died, but my Pfaff Ambition 1.5 is worn out according to the repair shop. I bought it in July 2011 to replace the Bernina 830 Record I used for 15 years--I wore that one out too!

Now, I need to decide if I replace it with an equivalent machine in the $1200 range or go to the next level the $2500 range? Or do I really go all in with a $5000 Bernina?

I am a very practical and financially responsible person which is why I bought this model to start with! I chose between the $1200 model and the $2500 model last time and did not even look at Berninas. 

Here are my bare necessities in a machine:
a minimum 700 stitches per minute
a good buttonhole stitch for appliqué
a built in wavy stitch (one of my favorites for machine quilting)
dual feed
easy change feet
feed dogs that can lower for free motion quilting
speed adjustments
needle up/down
good throat space for machine quilting
local service in Grand Junction, CO

At this point, I am considering Janomes, Pfaffs, and Berninas. Brothers are not being considered because I do not care for the local retailer/repair.

My busy sewing season, summer,  is about six weeks away, but I hope to make a decision and purchase before that. 

PLEASE SHARE YOUR ADVICE! I am really struggling with this decision!


Sunday, April 8, 2018

One Fish, Two Fish, 120+ Fish

I got a text on Friday morning from my friend Linda with news that her first grandchild had arrived! The baby's sex was only revealed at birth, so I did not make a baby quilt ahead of time. The baby is a boy and of course I have no boy quilts currently ready. I asked her if she had a theme in mind and she said fish or deer...A quick trip onto Pinterest helped me locate this snowball fish tutorial.
I love a scrappy quilt, so I think this is fabulous. I thought about using a medium gray I had in my stash for the background, but my hubby thought is was a little too dark. Off to the fabric store I went and bought a light gray solid. I spent the rest of the day Friday cutting out fish fabrics and squares for the corners. There are 120 fish in the quilt which means there are 720 corner squares and there were 720 corner squares to mark. I made some extra fish and now it is time to play with their layout. You can find the tutorial to make snowball fish here:
Earlier in the week, I had been working on these stars with my Kona leftovers from my Postcard from Sweden Quilt. I have all of my half square triangles sewn into the patches and I am ready to assemble all of the blocks, but those can wait until the fish top is done. Here is the tutorial for this quilt:
 Since it was my spring break, I signed up for a walking foot machine quilting class on Monday and Tuesday. I have not taken a quilting class in years and have never taken one at Hi Fashion Sewing Machines in Grand Junction. Here is their website, if you are interested:
It is an hour plus drive each way, but it was worth it! We sewed 16+ samples to try a variety of techniques.
Our teacher, Angie, was an excellent instructor and the hostess with the mostest! There were 8 of us, and she was very attentive. The book we used WALK: Master Machine Quilting with Your asking Foot by Jacquie Gering is excellent and has many other designs I look forward to trying. You can get it from Amazon here:
My machine was long overdue for a tune up because we have been without a Pfaff repair for a couple of years. It was acting up a bit, so I left it there for a tune up and it won't be done for at least 10-12 days. In the mean time, I sewed the fish and star blocks on my Singer Featherweight. I am hoping my machine will be ready for pick up by Friday, so I can use my wavy stitch to machine quilt the fish quilt!


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Welcome April

March has ended and I accomplished my March OMG (One Monthly Goal) to finish this Hideaway Baby Quilt that Fat Quarter Shop provided me with. Unfortunately, I did not link up in time, but it is more about setting goals and getting things finished!
For April, my OMG is to make 20 pencil pouches for my 5th graders as end of the year presents. I finished pulling all of the fabrics this morning and placed an order with Zipit Zippers on Etsy--they have great prices, reasonable shipping rates, and quick delivery. My fabrics are cut at 5.5" x 10.5" and I use nine inch zippers. Here is the link, if you want to join in:
Most of what I worked on for March were sew alongs, but I did have one Drop Everything And Make It (DrEAMi). I had some leftover half square triangles from the Clementine Sew Along, so I made this little zip pouch for a friend. Check out what everyone else was tempted with here:
Yesterday for Spelling Bee Saturday, we were supposed to make our "T" blocks. I did get those completed and moved onto the remaining letter blocks.
I am trying to make my Spelling Bee Quilt really scrappy with none of the letter fabrics repeated.
I think the rainbow of colors in the quilt will be amazing!
On the home front, it is my Spring Break. I am taking a walking foot quilting class tomorrow and Tuesday. I have to go to Grand Junction for it which is an hour plus each way, so I hope it is worth it!

My hubby is putting a new roof on our shop--the shop is 1200 square feet so it is a big job, but needs to be done. There goes our tax refund!