Friday, February 28, 2014

Friendship Bag Swap Received & ALYOF February Finishes

I came home from work today to awesome mail! I am participating in the Friendship Bag Swap Round 3 on Flickr. My amazingly quick partner, Jan Roberts, had sent me this adorable, bright house (I love house blocks) bag stuffed with amazing goodies. The bags don't even need to be mailed until March 15th. Thank goodness because I am in the process of making mine for my partner!

This precious needle book made from colorful selvages. I had not hopped on the selvage bandwagon until today. Seeing this made me certainly reconsider that selvages are trash...

The needle book is big enough to hold a spool of hand quilting thread. I love the scissor fabric! She also used it to line the bag.

This small bag could be attached to a key chain or tote bag and looks like the perfect size for a lipstick. This pretty little decorative pin was inside. Now, I am certainly inspired to get working on the projects I need to make for my partner. Thank you Jan!!!
I set some lofty goals for February ALYOF, maybe more like unrealistic considering it is a short month and really busy at work!
Goal #1 get caught up on my 10 Goodnight Irene Blocks---done
Goal #2 make my Triple-Zip Pouch for my partner---done and she loved it!
Goal #3 piece, hand quilt, and finish my elephant baby quilt- done and gorgeous!
Goal #4 make the house blocks for the quilt along with done
Goal #5 finish my perpetual calendar---not done, but working on it!
I did not meet Goal #5, but I did make 4 Survival Bag tote bags for my sister's family (her hubby had brain surgery on Wednesday and is already out of the hospital today!) and finished up my Country Threads 2013 BOM Sampler. I think I need to tone down my March goals!!!
It is supposed to be a rainy weekend here in western Colorado, so I will be quilting and putting the crock pot to good use.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Country Threads BOM Sampler 2013

For 2013, I participated in two BOM samplers. One from Country Threads and the other from Joined at the Hip. This is the Country Threads Sampler done! The only fabric I purchsed for it was the back and binding. Each month we made two blocks, one 12 inch and one 6 inch. I kept up with it and sewed it all together in December. I took it down to my mom's house a couple of weekends ago with the intention of long arm quilting it myself. We just sat hand stitching and chatting instead. She asked if she could show our friends that we (me only in the summer) quilt with on Mondays. I said of course.
Well they all decided that this sampler was too pretty for just my simple quilting loops. My mom took it to one of her amazing long arm quilter friends, Gail Smith of Montrose, Colorado, and she completely custom quilted it. Talk about and a stunning surprise!

She quilted each block differently. Now I wish I hadn't picked a busy backing. I always pick a busy backing to hide my own atrocious quilting. The detailed quilting is exquisite!

Look how she made a swirl in each 2 inch border square all by free hand.

The pictures just don't do the quilting justice!. Thank you to Country Threads for their free sampler pattern (they have a new design going by the way- I have not started it yet!) and a special thank you to my mom, you are too sweet!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fast Fabricating Saturday & Slow Sunday Stitching

I spent Saturday morning grocery shopping and Survival Bag shopping. My daughter and I have had a joke since she was probably three years old about having our Survival Bags with us. A Survival Bag is a bag with items that will help you make it through a day if you get stuck somewhere (airport, car repair shop, hospital, etc.)! My Survival Bag must have a hand work sewing project with a small sewing kit, a book, EOS lip balm, and my iPod. I usually keep a Survival Bag in my car at the ready and you would not believe how often it gets used! I made these tote bags as Survival Bags for my sister and her family.

My sister's husband has a brain tumor that was only diagnosed a couple of weeks ago. They rushed from their little town in Nevada over to Denver. They only had a day to close up their house and pack for a 2-3 month stay in Denver while he has surgery and rehabilitation. Needless to say, this is a difficult situation! Instead of sending flowers, I decided to make each of them a Survival Bag. I used the letter patterns from Moda's Spell It With Fabric for each of their initials. I had to improvise with the R block because that pattern will not be out until next week. I combined the top of the B block with the bottom of the K block and I think it came out just fine. The T block improvisation was a piece of cake.

I made these tote bags using kitchen towels as the base fabric. They are durable and inexpensive, plus I have a whole tub of them on hand, so the hardest part was selecting the colors and fabrics from my stash! I made up a pattern for these tote bags years ago, but I think I will make a tutorial for my blog...Would you be interested?

I have stuffed the bags full of goodies for each of them. Card games, drawing books, jump ropes, craft items, and snacks for the kids. EOS lip balm, breath mints, crossword puzzle books, and snacks for the adults plus some more personalized items. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday and my mom and dad are going over to help with the kids (they are 8 and 9 years old) for at least 10 days. I will send the Survival Bags with them and hope they offer a little comfort!

This is my Triple-Zip Pouch all stuffed with goodies for my partner. The rules stated that all the goodies must fit inside the pouch, but they said nothing about it closing! It was such fun to think of goodies for my partner. It should arrive tomorrow.
This is the pouch unstuffed! I hope no one minds that it was not zipped up. It is tucked in a Ziplock bag, bubble wrapped, and in a box. These swaps are quite fun. Here is a link to another one that I am signing up for

Today for Slow Sunday Stitching, I will work on this perpetual calendar from and get binding on a quilt. My mom surprised me by having one of my sampler quilts beautifully quilted by one of her amazing long arm quilter friends! I had just dropped it off at mom's house with the intention of practicing my long arm skills on it myself. I will share some pictures once I get it bound!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February Goal Check 2

Check off February Goal #3! It was to get the fabric, piece, and hand quilt my elephant baby quilt. I just love, love, love how it turned out!!! I quilted it with the pink perle cotton that the elephants are embroidered in. I quilted around the elephant blocks and cross-hatched the nine patches and the border. This is more hand quilting than I was planning, but I was really enjoying it and making good time, so what the heck I went for it!

The pink backing was a steal and ties it all together. I used Kelly's label tutorial and it says: Elegant Elephants Handmade by Tanya Fredrick February 2014. Here is the link to her tutorial:

The quilt was washed last night, so it is crinkly and ready to be wrapped up!

This door banner was not one of my February goals, but it should have been. My OCD hubby removed my Valentines Day door hanger today while I was at work, telling me the holiday was over. Good thing I finished quilting this one last night. I bound it this afternoon and hung it up. I certainly don't want a "naked" front door. I am trying to have a different door hanger for each month...I need to dig around in my spring quilts bin and see if I already have an Easter one. I can't remember! If not that will be a March goal!

These houses were February Goal #4 for Kim's quilt along that started this month. Goal #2 was my triple-zip pouch and it is ready to be mailed off to my swap partner on Friday...

All that leaves me for my February goals is my perpetual calendar, but that is a biggie as I need to start on the base and finish up my green numbers and March embroidery blocks. Good thing I have 10 days left!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

I was planning on Slow Stitching today because it is Sunday and I have made it a habit to join in with Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday, but I was also hoping to rock in my sewing room and work on some other stuff too. I felt a stuffy nose coming on last night and woke up with a full blown cold. What a pain!

A couple nights ago, I decided to do some more hand quilting on my Elegant Elephants quilt. I am cross-hatching the borders with my chunky perle cotton stitches. I will sit in my chair flipping between the Olympics and murder shows and hand quilting.

I also need to finish outling the letters on my door hanger for March and bind it. I have tomorrow off from work, so hopefully I will be able to accomplish some more!

Check out Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday here

Saturday, February 15, 2014

GYB Winner and Houses

Today is the day I was supposed to draw my winner for the GYB giveaway. I had my teenager select a number between 1-39 and the lucky winner is #7 Sophie. Congratulations! I will send you an email to get your mailing information.

I am participating in the Country Homecoming Quilt Along with Kim at We are making two blocks a month and here are my first month's. I am digging into my stash of brushed cottons. They are cute and quick to make. I had the day off yesterday and whipped up one and did the other this morning, nothing like down to the wire!

I am still hand quilting my Elegant Elephants baby quilt. I am enjoying it so much that I am quilting it far more than I intended to, but it is so small I should still get it done by the end of this month. I am heading over to my mom's to spend some time with her and practice on the long arm machine this afternoon. I have Monday off from work and I hope to post a couple of finishes from this weekend, so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Elegant Elephants

Sorry the pictures aren't great, but I am too lazy to trudge outside in the snow for better ones! I started embroidering a dozen pink elephants for a baby quilt last month. My co-worker's nursery is pink, gray, and white with elephants. The elephants have been done for a couple of weeks and I finally found some pink and gray fabrics.

It is 38 inches square. I have a feeling she will use it as a wall hanging or on the back of the rocking chair.
I embroider with perle cotton #8 and Warm and Natural batting behind my fabric. The batting adds stability and helps to hide the knots and stitches on the back of the embroidery. I trim the blocks with their backing of batting down to the correct size and just piece as usual. Then, I place another full sized piece of Warm and Natural batting behind the whole quilt top and on top the backing fabric, pin and quilt. It is slightly thicker behind the embroideries, but probably only noticeable to me when I quilt through it.

The elephants are embroidered in pink and I plan on quilting it with the same pink perle cotton.
I have a fun pink fabric for the backing, I am just going to whip up a label and pin it all together for hand quilting during the Olympics this evening. I am calling this quilt "Elegant Elephants." I am linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Swap Crazy & Projects

I got up this morning and could not get into my sewing room without risking waking my teenager, and I certainly did not want to do that. Well of course I spent time blog hopping. I came across sign ups for another swap. I am in the middle of one and having so much fun with it, I decided to join another!

This swap is for this darling little Friendship Bag obviously filled with goodies. It is tiny and easily made from scraps. As soon as the teenager emerged from her lair, I dashed into my sewing room and grabbed my tub of Robyn Pandolph scraps that has lots on 1 1/2 inch strips which is what this pattern called for.

I thought pinks and browns were good and I had larger pieces in my tub for the bottom and lining. I whipped this bag up in nothing flat and cut double the amount of fabric for another while I was at it...These will make good goodie bags for Christmas or to donate for the bag silent auction coming up in May.
Here is the tutorial for the bag. It is super easy to follow with good pictures.

If you are interested in signing up for the Friendship Bag Swap, here is the link:

Sign ups are open until Feb. 14th. The pictures of the bags from previous swaps are irresistible.
My teenager is loving driving and it was actually not snowing and a rather warm 48 degrees, so she drove me up to a fabric store a couple of towns away where I picked up what I needed for my Baby Elephant quilt.
The pink at the top of the picture was a $4 a yard flat fold. They had 1 1/2 yards just enough for the back. The dark gray is for the border and the other pink and light gray will be nine patches between my 12 embroidered pink elephants. I am planning on the quilt being square. I hope to get it pieced this afternoon because I want to start hand quilting it with perle cotton asap. 
I also picked up this gorgeous navy Moda fabric for $5 a yard and could not restrain myself and bought 5 yards. I saw it there several weeks ago and have not been able to stop thinking about it!
I ordered this Jan Patek Valentine's pattern. It took 2 1/2 weeks to get here, so it will not be done in time for Valentine's day...There is always next year! I want to make it bigger and think a border of this navy floral will be perfect.
I also picked up a couple of neutrals for my perpetual calendar that I am working on and a gray and white strip for my sewing machine cover from Lori Holt's book. Most of what I bought was $5 or less a yard, so I was not too extravagant and I need this fabric to finish these pending projects. At least that is my story and I am sticking to it!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Night With Friends February 2014

Woo hoo it's Friday! I survived this hectic week at work and have one more to go before a four day weekend. I am participating in the Triple-Zip Pouch Swap. It is my first swap and I am very excited. I decided to make a practice pouch before I attempt one for my swap partner. I used some gorgeous Scrumptious fat quarters from Bonnie and Camille. It is very cute, but much smaller than I thought! I wonder if I should make my partner's pouch  a little bigger, so I can fit more goodies inside. What do you all in blog land think? I am linking up with the blog world for Friday Night With Friends.

If I don't keep this pouch for myself, I will put it in my stash of little small Christmas gifts. I will not be unprepared for December 2014! I plan on getting lots of quilting in this weekend since we are expecting more snow, but I hope to get to the fabric store between storms. I hope to update my progress on Sunday!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Goal 1 Check

Here are my 10 Goodnight Irene blocks for the quilt along over at Terry's Treasures I did my five blocks for January and my five blocks for February. I cut all the fabric required for all the other blocks and I accidentally made an extra X block, so I am ahead for March. This is Goal #1 for ALYOF February. 1 goal down and 4 more to go. I used 2 charm packs of Potluck by American Jane from Moda and fabrics I had in my stash. I like how it looks. I plan on using this as a tablecloth for my kitchen table. I have a rainbow of Fiestaware, so I think my dishes will look good on this.
Despite the fact that the Broncos were terrible with a capital "T" in the Super Bowl we had fun eating and watching the half time show. I am always sad with the end of the football season because it is big entertainment for my hubby and me. It also helps entertain us all when it is cold. Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and their fans! 
We got 10 inches of snow on Friday, so it definitely seems like winter will stay around longer. The good news is winter weather is quilting weather! I hope to start on my triple zip pouches this week and make progress on my perpetual calendar. What are your plans?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 2014 Goals

I can't believe February is already here! I feel like it is still mid-January. February is a hectic month for me at work especially the first two weeks, so I don't know if I will get that much time in the sewing room! I have a couple of sew alongs I wanted to participate in this year and swaps. I felt like I needed some new fabric. Here are my splurgs. I got 4 charm packs of Moda's Potluck fabric to use for the Goodnight Irene quilt along over at Terry's Treasures My fabric did not arrive until yesterday and then I went to my LQS for the background this afternoon. I hope to get 10 blocks done tomorrow morning. My goals are for this month's ALYOF Challenge. Goal #1 get caught up on my 10 Goodnight Irene blocks.

I also got some fat quarters at my LQS and zippers at Joann's to try making Triple-Zip Pouches. Goal #2 get my Triple-Zip pouch completed by February 17th.

I was not satisfied with a pink and a gray fabric for my embroidered elephants baby quilt I need to make. Hopefully, I can make it up to the fabric store a couple of towns away and find something there within the next week. I will need to piece and hand quilt it by March, so I really need to get going on it!  Goal #3 piece and hand quilt elephants quilt.

Kim over at is hosting a quilt along for this quilt, Country Homecoming from Primitive Gatherings by Terry Burkhart and Rozan Meacham. I could not restrain myself because I already own the book and  I know I have enough fabric in my stash to make all the house blocks. I probably have something that would work for the back too, I will probably just need a border fabric. Goal #4 piece 2 house blocks by February 15th.

One of the charm packs shown above is Wishes by Moda. I think it will be perfect for the How Time Flies Perpetual Calendar from Crabapple Hill Studio This will be my Sunday Slow Stitching during the Super Bowl. I will color in the numbers with a green crayon and make the March calendar pieces. I will also get the background quilt made. Goal #5 have my perpetual calendar hanging in my sewing room by March 1st. Then I will make all the other months as BOM projects.I hope to get more done in February, but these are my projects that have quick deadlines.

We are all ready for the Super Bowl here at my house. We got a 60 inch flat screen for our 19th anniversary and Christmas of course we bought it in October to enjoy all football season! My hubby has invited a couple of his buddies over to watch and I planned a very easy menu labor wise. I did my grocery shopping, my paperwork for my job, and made homemade salsa and caramel dip today. I will make a big pot of chili in the morning and slice up my veggies then spend the rest of the day in my sewing room. Once it is game time I will root for the Broncos, stuff my face, laugh at the funny commercials, and dance to Bruno Mars. I might get some handwork in too. GO BRONCOS!!!!