Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Impromptu picnic

This is an old quilt my great grandmother Nell made. I'm using it for a picnic quilt until I can manage to bind the batik one I made.

The boys played in the front yard (a very rare occurrence because I'm paranoid about them getting out of sight or going onto the street) while I worked in my badly neglected flower beds.

Wyatt found some yarn in the garage & had the best time unwinding it, getting tangled up & stringing it around trees, posts & the house.

It was so nice to cool off on a soft quilt in the shade & watch the kids play. We got some snuggle time in, too.

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Quake Quilt for Nikki

In June, I'll be kicking off Round 2 of the KC Scrappy Bee. Want a sneak peek of what I have in mind?

I don't know about you, but I've got scraps coming out of my ears. I'm determined to chop them all into strips & use them to make scrappy quilts. I'm trying very hard to shop less & stop hoarding my fabric so much. This quilt is an attempt towards using what I've got.

My friend Ali in the lovely linen bee made a tutorial for this quake quilt. I fell in love with the process & end product, so I've decided to enlist my KC Scrappy Bee friends to help in making a quake quilt of my own.

To test it out, I've made a baby quilt for my cousin in Mississippi who is expecting baby boy #2 in a couple months.

I'm a little undecided on the layout of this baby quilt, though. Which looks best to you all?

Option 1:

Or option 2:

Let me know soon... I'd like to get it quilted & finished this week. I'm planning on bringing it to the next kc modern quilt guild meeting. Gotta hurry!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Sick kids

My kiddos are sick & my hubby has been out of town for almost a week. Ugh.

Here's how I am coping...

Woodburg chicken


Cinnamon rolls

I've been out of wine. Must remedy that tomorrow!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reese's quilt

My mother-in-law had machine problems & was trying to finish up a quilt for her great nephew, Reese. He lives in Texas and she just left today to go there for a visit. She made an I spy quilt with fun piano keys on the backing.

Naturally, I didn't get a good picture of it. She brought it over halfway quilted & I finished the quilting and sewed the binding on. You can't quite tell, but in this picture, Owen is sitting on my shoulders while I quilt. Not ideal, but fun, nonetheless.

Didn't last long...

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Mary Lou's Quilt of Valor

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Commission for Amber

4 blocks down, 20 to go.

This is what it will look like when it's finished.

All denim made from jeans that belong to people in their family. Will back it with flannel & tie it.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tornado Shelter

Here's how we spent an hour this morning. Tornados a couple miles from us. Such is life in Kansas. All clear now.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend Sewing

Got together with some of my kcmqg peeps saturday at our favorite lqs for 5 hours of sewing. I was on a mission to complete as much as possible.

Got one baby quilt top made for my Etsy shop. I used a lollipop charm pack and a moda Bella solids one. Turned out to be a good size, I think.

And I had some of this together, but completed about half of this top made of kona snow and polka dotted charm squares I've been collecting over the past couple years.

This one will be for sale in my shop, too.

On another note, the weather here was wicked last night. Check out this lightning pic I took outside Owen's window...

Freaky, right!?! Tornado sirens were going off, but luckily the tornado broke apart b4 it came to my town.

More storms tonight.

Here's a pic of my guys when we went for a walk tonight.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Down to the Wire

I just got the machine part of the binding sewn onto Ms. Mary's red necktie quilt.  The black wool she gave me to use is as soft as cashmere.  Cutting and sewing with it was just like butter.  I am in love.

Tomorrow, I'm going to do my very best to hand stitch the binding to the back side of the quilt & finish it by my 7 pm KCMQG meeting.  Wanting to take it for show and tell.

It will feel really good to have a finish!  And it will feel even better to ship this quilt to Mary.  She is a special lady.  Will post more about her and the story of her necktie quilt soon... and I'll include pictures of the finished product, too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's a Hoot Quilt

Worked during naps on this baby quilt for my Etsy shop.

Still need to sew the rows together & trim it, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. Not sure what backing I'll use yet.

And here's a picture of Owen, just for fun...

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Monday, May 16, 2011


I've decided to make some things to sell in an Etsy shop. It will be a good way to clear out some of the fabric I've been collecting (hoarding) plus I can use profits to save up for new machines. I want to buy a featherweight in the next 2-3 months. Down the road, I'll want a nicer Bernina...

I started a couple of projects tonight that will either go in my shop or be given as baby gifts. I have a decent collection of charm squares, so I've started with them. On the left, I've paired up a hoot charm pack with a moda Bella solid pack. I think I got these almost a year ago. Fun to have a whole collection, but in retrospect, hoot isn't my favorite line. It will make a nice sized baby quilt or perhaps a throw.

On the right side, I'm using my polka dotted charm square stash. I have a lot more squares, so I'm toying with the notion of making a larger scrappy quilt. I used some kona snow that was in my stash to go with it & calm it down a bit. I thought about sashing, but I think I like it better without it.

I'm probably going to take on a couple of commissions that have come my way, too.

What sorts of things do you think would sell in an Etsy shop? Bags? Pouches? Bibs? Burp cloths? I am also toying with the notion of cloth diapers. I'd love more ideas...

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ms. Mary's UFO

Basting & tying, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

These blocks were pieced by Mary, who is an elderly long-time friend of my family. They have been sitting collecting dust for many years. I rescued them recently when I went to visit Mary, who has been ill for several months. I promised her I'd return them to her this summer in a completed quilt. The red border is fabric she bought on a trip to Cairo, Egypt many years ago and the backing is a really nice wool she bought in Oregon. I'm going to bind it with some great black wool. Instead of quilting it, I've started tying it with perle cotton #8. It's going pretty quickly! I'm hopeful that I can finish it in time to take it for show and tell this Thursday night at the KC Modern Quilt Guild meeting. Tomorrow I'll have a couple of hours to kill while taking one of my kiddos to an appointment. Maybe I can make a lot of headway with tying it tomorrow. I still have to cut, piece and iron the binding, but I'm really motivated to get it finished. I'd love to ship it to her in the next week. She would be so surprised because I told her I'd bring it when I come to visit in June. Hopefully having this luxurious quilt to snuggle under will help her recuperate more quickly. She is a lovely lady and I know she will enjoy having this UFO marked off of her list.

Organizing myself to be ready to make x blocks with my scraps

I know I have talked about trying to finish up my UFOs, but I couldn't resist the idea of making one of those X Block quilts like Carla and Jackie are making in my sewing bees.

I spent a little bit of time this weekend with some of my scraps. I chopped them into various widths of 3.5 or larger scraps. I also cut some phone book pages up into the correct size (3.5 x 10.5 if memory serves) so that I can foundation piece them in my spare time. I'll keep this next to my sewing machine and hopefully this quilt will come together in the next few months. I am committed to using only the fabric in my stash for the top of this quilt. I'll likely buy fabric for the backing and binding, but I'm trying really hard to use what I've got. This pattern really lends itself to scrappiness.

My loot from mqs

My loot from mqs, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

i promise to share some pictures of the MANY magnificent quilts I saw at the Machine Quilters' Showcase this weekend but until then, you'll have to be entertained by seeing my loot.

I am trying REALLY hard to not spend on my sewing hobby right now, but I couldn't resist these purchases. I have a new obsession/collection of King Tut thread. I really love the variegated choices they have.

A couple of local stores carry it, so I don't have to order online, really... But won't it be nice to have these handy color cards available in my sewing room to help me match up the colors I need before leaving home. I can even call ahead to see if they have my color and if they're out, I can have them order it. :)

I also got these special needles that they recommend using with their thread. It's a 40 wt, so it's a little thicker than the thread I use for piecing.

I am a big fan of cotton thread. I have a few spools of polyester, but I'm trying to focus on transitioning to all cotton.

These color cards were only $3 each! Score!

Pretty Little Pouch Swap... Finished!

So I have been procrastinating my Pretty Little Pouch item. When I signed up, I envisioned a little pouch, meaning maybe 5 inches or less. My partner wanted something larger and was pretty specific about what she wanted to use her pouch for. Also, my partner has a love for Japanese fabric and most Japanese fabric doesn't really appeal to me, PLUS it's crazy expensive. I big the bullet and drove out to Sarah's a few weeks ago. Bought a half yard of this fun print and some shot cotton for the lining. It took some time to get enough courage to cut into this fabric.

I've never made anything like this and was really intimidated by the prospect of making a boxy bag. I found a great tutorial on the Plaid Scottie's blog. Around step 13 or so, I was confused for a bit, but was able to figure out where I'd gone wrong and I didn't have to start all over. I was amazed that I was able to complete this on my first attempt!

If I had it to do over again, I'd use a heavier interfacing. I used what I had since I'd already spent so much on fabric. It doesn't hold it's boxy shape as well as it would have if I'd gotten stiffer interfacing.

I'll make more of these in the future. They'd be fun to give to my sisters and brother-in-laws to hold some toiletries or jewelry or chocolates or card games or little bottles of tequila, depending on the recipient... ;)

But I've decided to back off on the swaps for a while. I'm in 3 bees, which is a manageable amount for me. One of the bees will be over this summer, so I'm going to step away and just have 2 bees. I really am enjoying the remaining two bees (The Lovely Linen Bee and the KC Scrappy Bee).

I'm going to try very hard to work on my UFOs and buy less fabric. I have a nice stash and should be able to create some beautiful things with what I have on hand.

I'm also going to start using some thrifted or repurposed items to make bags and other gifts. I think this will give them more charm, don't you?


A great way to organize the gems I find on the net. From tutorials to quilting ideas to my birthday wish list. Great visual ways to link to good ideas & inspiration.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

For Heather in Bee Vintage

For Heather in Bee Vintage, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

i have been working for some time on these two blocks for Heather. She's in charge of my Vintage Sheet Bee and made an extra block for me when it was my month, so I decided to make an extra block for her.

These squares are 2 inches unfinished. 100 squares per block.

Feels good to have these finished. I love the method of construction. She sent fusible interfacing that had a grid printed onto it. Made placing and stabilizing squares easy and ensured perfect points.

I've used this method before on 1 inch squares and I like it. With the vintage sheets, it made them easier to work with. They tend to be really thin and they unravel.

This will be a fun quilt!

For Parthena in the KC Scrappy Bee

These are so much fun to make!

Rising Costs of Fabric

Here's a link to an article about how and why the costs of cotton have risen and continue to rise.

How will rising fabric costs impact your quilting/sewing life?

I will be shopping from my stash much more.  My current plan is to buy one or two fabrics to coordinate with scraps from my stash for projects in my immediate future.  I'll also be trying to work on my (multitudes) of UFOs.

What's Up With Me

I'm sitting in my bedroom during the kids' nap time, catching up on a little Mommy TV while I work on some bee blocks.  The rain is hitting the window next to me and the skylight in the next room.  One of my favorite sounds.

I'm trying to get a few of my sewing obligations finished this week.  I did two blocks for my Lovely Linen Bee last night.  Today, I'm finishing up two blocks for my Vintage Sheet Bee.  They each have 100 vintage sheet 2 inch squares.  A lot of cutting, but it was really not too bad once that was done.

I've been procrastinating the Pretty Little Pouch Swap.  The deadline to mail is in 7 days or so.  I bought some expensive fabric and am afraid to cut into it without a better plan.  I need to just bite the bullet and get started.

I also need to finish sewing on the last of a border on a necktie quilt that I'm finishing for a friend and then I'll have to sandwich, tie and bind it.  This one I'd like to have completely finished by next Thursday so that I can take it to KCMQG.

I've had a batik picnic quilt that's been almost ready for a WHILE now.  I need to buy a yard of batik fabric and bind it.  Would be fabulous if I had that done by next Thursday, too, but I'm not holding my breath.

For Jackie in the Lovely Linen Bee- Block #2

I made a couple of these blocks for Jackie. I've made them before for Carla in the KC Scrappy Bee. I am sorely tempted to ask everyone to make them for me in the KC Scrappy Bee in our next round... I want a quilt like this so badly!

The yellows really make things pop. I've seen a couple done with more red and it makes them so rich. Not sure, but I think I'll do mine really scrappy and may use a couple of shades of blue or gray in place of the black/white solids.  Ooh!  Maybe I should use shot cottons!  They are my new addiction.

I think this sort of block could be addictive.

For Jackie in the Lovely Linen Bee- Block #1

Here's the other block I made. Just used scraps from the basket next to my cutting table.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Qov top we are working on

A Qov top we are working on, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

I have a group of quilters that work together to make quilts for wounded soldiers and veterans.

This is one that we have in progress. Pretty modern, eh?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

My new haircut!

My new haircut!, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

Here's another view...

My New Haircut

My New Haircut, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

What do you think?

I love it.