Friday, January 29, 2010

A brilliant method....

Well, of course it's not mine. It's someone else's. Actually, I saw this on Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day TV show (yes, I DVR this...) and I went to youtube to see if I could find that clip. I couldn't, but I did find this clip of a woman demonstrating the same method. Now, it's in Italian, I think. But it's a nice demonstration even if you can't understand what she's saying.

Brilliant, right?

Wendy cleans out...

Friends, I'm cleaning out.

I'm using up scraps for my string quilt, and I've made a discovery:
there is a pile of scraps that I don't want to use in the string quilt.
And if I'm not using them in the string quilt, I probably am not going to use them.

So I'm giving them away.
Here's a picture.
And a closeup.

I can offer absolutely no details except there's quite a pile here. I'm pretty certain that there are no designer prints here. I can't even say for sure that they are all 100% cotton, but I think that they are.

So here's the deal. If you want them, comment. Make sure I have a way to contact you.
First person gets them.

For this one, I'm only going to ship in the lower 48 states. I can't afford to ship this pile internationally right now -- so sorry about that!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

more strings...

I'm in love with string quilts. So I got started on them here and that helped me get a feel for what I could do with that method. And so....
next one is a baby quilt! Love it. It's going to be a charity quilt for this group who has a major fundraiser in April.
And here's a detail shot. I'm going to bind it in the pink solid.
And here's the best's scraps!!

So here's the question -- what color to quilt it in?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's EASY being green!

I've committed to cleaning out my scraps. I'm gonna get there. I have an embarassing amount of fabric.... and I realized that I was treating scraps kind of like my china -- I was waiting for the perfect way to use them, and so I found myself never using them!

But times, they are a changin' in the Wendy City.... I'm using my scraps up.
I'll work on using the china issue later...
So here's a quilt I finished over the weekend. Love it! It also used most of my green scrap box.
It's a birthday present for a friend. She's Irish, and her favorite holiday is St. Patrick's Day.
A close up...
I bound it in a green check....
And I'm kind of in love with the back. Dig those shamrocks. And almost all that green check got used! Hooray!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hanging by a string?

String quilt, that is!

So I have a new project. I was really bummed about needing to make friends with my seam ripper to fix this one. I decided that even though I'm usually a "go with it" person, I really had a vision in mind for this quilt, and I didn't want to let go of that, even though I think the "go with it" version would be very nice. So I have a pile to rip out.

I realized that I often sew because I'm stressed. And that *can* make me more likely to make a mistake that involves a seam ripper.... but I have found a solution for this: string quilts!

They involve no matching seams, or colors, or trying to make a 1/4" seam, or measuring whatsoever.
Here's what I have put together so far. So fun!
I have thoroughly enjoyed this project.
I got the idea from Stephanie over at Loft Creations. She's having a challenge. And she included a nifty tutorial on how to create these cool blocks.
It's a fantastic way to plow through those scrap boxes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sometimes I'm a doofus.

I planned on making something awesome for my dad's birthday.
And then, you see, Christmas just happens to fall right before his birthday.
So last week I started in on getting a quilt for him made.
I figured I could get it good and started and if necessary, finish it after his birthday.

But my mom didn't think he'd use a quilt. And she suggested I make him a heating pad cover.
No problem, much more attainable.....

Daddy has worked on hot air balloon crews many times over the last 10 years, and it's something he really enjoys. And I had a small hot air balloon that I thought I could use.
And then I tried to get fancy... I thought I'd take my blue scraps, and create a patchwork sky out of them. And then applique the hot air balloon on top.
But when I did that, it looked like the hot air balloon was about to crash into a giant blue brick wall. All I need is to quilt in some worried passengers to complete the look!

So I trashed that idea. Like I said, sometimes I'm a doofus.

So then I decided to just use some lovely blue solid I had in my stash.
{Two thoughts here: why didn't this idea occur to me in the first place, and why do I have an obnoxious amount of fabric in my stash?? Yikes!}
So I created a hot air balloon out of some scraps.
I didn't have any Wonder Under to fuse it on, but I had some basting spray. Turns out it worked almost as well, and it didn't add that pesky layer of bulk. Good to know, right?
So I satin stitched around the parts of the balloon, then I added some clouds with my free-motion foot. Turns out that quilting clouds is really fun!
And I decided to use the blue brick wall as the back -- fortunately I didn't attach the hot air balloon to it. I'll post pictures when it's all assembled and finished!

Monday, January 11, 2010

hey.... wait a minute... oh no!!

So.... last night I decided it would be a good idea to see how things were going to look on the quilt for my bed. I've gotten all 56 blocks made, started in on the sashing, and making good progress.... so here's the first 2 rows... and my shoe.
And then I put down the third row.... and thought "oh, it's upside down!"
So I turned it over. And thought "what the...?"
Yep, that's right. I put the sashing on sideways. On about... 16 blocks. Well, crap.

So now I have to answer the question---make it work or rip it out?

Here's basically what making it work (or "going with the mistake" as we would call it) would look like. Either way, I'll be adding more of the black sashing vertically between the columns.
Or if I go back and rip it out, the finished quilt will look more like this. Will still have vertical sashing added.
so what do you think? Go with it, or get out the seam ripper?

Monday, January 4, 2010

quilting socks!

My dad got these for me. I think they are so cute. And he also put in something for fabric shopping. my dad rocks!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thanks.... and chain piecing

I can't thank you guys enough for your kind comments on my last post. It means so much to me!

And I wanted to properly answer a question on my last tutorial. I talked about chain-piecing, and there were some questions on what that meant.

Chain piecing is SO AWESOME!! It's right behind "using a rotary cutter" in terms of making quilting easier and more efficient.

So here's a good description, and here's a nice video tutorial I found on youtube -- the first couple of minutes show someone chain piecing:

Friday, January 1, 2010

100th post!

Wow, I can't believe that I'm already at 100!
There's a lot of words in this post, so I'm going to put in some pictures of quilts from 2009. If you don't want to read the words, just look at the pictures.....
Since I've made it to 100, I'd really like to share with you why I created this blog.
You see, I love to sew. But there's more to it.
I started this in May after my 2nd child was born in March. She was premature and had some health problems. She spent weeks in the NICU, and she came home on a monitor that sounded off like a fire alarm every time she stopped breathing or her heart stopped beating. She was on it for 6 months. When she was 5 months old, it only went off 88 times in a month and we were elated. She had colic and acid reflux and she was super-sensitive. The meds she was on made her extremely cranky. She couldn't travel in a car for a few months because it made her stop breathing, so we were confined to the house.
So when I started this blog, I was in the middle of some pretty dark days.
Through this, sewing was a constant. I couldn't do anything for my daughter to make her better. But I could sew for her.
Sewing was the thing that made me feel better. Somehow the fact that I still had the ability to create something beautiful gave me hope that the dark days were going to turn around. But I was stuck here. So creating a blog gave me a way to share what I was doing with others, and that made me happy. I always wondered if anyone would want to read anything I wrote, but that was ok either way.
Little by little, my baby got better. We got her problems worked out, and miraculously we all survived.
And my little blog kept going. I loved that it was a way for people to build on each others' ideas. That maybe some little project I did would be an idea for someone else to take and use and add to and transform as their own. Or that someone might be inspired to sew themselves. And you guys were so sweet. You read my jumbled words and said nice things about my creations.
So I am so grateful to every one of you guys out there! Your kind words have helped me through a rough year. And I'm looking forward to sewing up a wonderful 2010 with you!
And so to celebrate my 100th post, I'm doing a giveaway. It will be a couple of cuts of my stash. At least 3 fat quarters, if not more. I'm working on de-stashing.... you see, one of my new year's resolutions is to be a better housekeeper.
So to enter, just post a comment.
And Happy New Year's to you!