Grabbing 2013 by the Horns

1 01 2013

So, as is my wont, I disappeared for while. My oh-so-fickle sewing mojo took an extended holiday, and decided to return only this past Sunday evening… I’ve been stymied not only creatively, but by supplies, particularly on those projects that I wanted to finish.

For instance, the Botanical BOM, which I left off on 11/4/2012, having finished off the fourth and final tree block. I tried twice, to finish the thing, but discovered that I had misplaced or used the ‘extra’ yardage for the white on white print that is used in the majority of this particular project. Sunday, in a serendipitous trip to Joann’s, I found that they had that print back in stock.

Needless to say, I bought three yards.

This spurred a yen – nay, a need to be productive. By the time we wrapped our annual Nilbog New Year’s Get Together – yes, we watch Troll 2, eat green food, and drink alcohol – I had gotten this far:

Getting There...

Well, obviously, I couldn’t leave it half done, could I? Especially with having today off? Of course not!

In a marathon of sewing this afternoon, during which I stabbed myself with pins five freaking times, I got the top done:

OMGYes, that is my living room floor…

I had to stand on the couch to get this shot, and as you can see from the upper left corner, I couldn’t even spread it out all the way.

But, hot damn, it’s done! At least this stage of it.

Now I just have to figure out how to quilt 110″ X 110″ inches of fabric.


On A Roll…

5 11 2012

I got through three and a half blocks this weekend… I’d have had a Partial Seams Tutorial to post as well, but I fell asleep with the kiddo, and didn’t wake up until 11 PM this evening, which was the time I’d mentally slotted to write and photograph it.

Luckily, I’m done with work early on Monday – kiddo’s teacher requested an IEP meeting, so I should have time in the evening after dinner.

Japanese PoppyJapanese Poppy

Japanese Poppy will be the center block in this quilt. Every time I step back and look at it, I wish I’d used a more patterned fabric for the yellow. However, I know that I won’t notice it when I get it in to the quilt top, so I’m refusing to break down and remake it. It was kind of a pain in the rear – I had to paper piece most of it, as the angles in the block weren’t easy to rotary cut.

Prickly PearPrickly Pear, Round 2

I pieced this block once before, but decided that I wasn’t really happy with it. One of the fabrics wasn’t as crisp a printing as I would have liked, especially in comparison to all of the other fabrics that I’ve been using. Also, I needed another block with aqua in it, and this block was a good candidate for adding in a third fabric wihtout having it look too cluttered.

Tree of ParadiseTree of Paradise

The final tree  block! I believe I pulled this particular pattern out of The Quilt I.D. Book by Judy Rehmel as well. I’m actually very tempted to buy a copy of this book off Amazon… I found it incredibly useful.

That leaves one more block to piece for the Botanical BOM, which is the 1/2 block I’ve gotten done this weekend. This one is called Lily Wreath, and was in the EQ7 block library. Once that, and the tutorial are done, I can move on to piecing all of the setting blocks from the BOM’s design layout.

And Yet More Piecing

28 10 2012

I completed two more Botanical BOM blocks yesterday, bringing my total for the weekend to six:

George Washington's Birthday TreeSourced from The Quilt I.D. Book by Judy Rehmel.
This is actually a variation on the block in the book, as the book shows this block with an appliqued base.

Tree of TemptationAlso from The Quilt I.D. Book by Judy Rehmel.

I picked these two tree blocks due to their similarities in design, and emphasized that similarity by using the same fabric for the trunks. Also, I broke down the piecing in the trunks on both, in order to make them more machine piecing friendly.

Re-counting the blocks put me at thirteen, so I’m getting really close to the end of the blocks. After that, tons and tons of chain piecing, as I complete the setting blocks for the quilt top.

Botanical BOM - Final Layout

I selected the final block to make, and finalized my quilt top layout. Due to the previous blocks, I limited myself to selecting blocks that have four quadrants to them, at least for the twelve blocks forming the diamond. I also selectively added aqua to some of the blocks, in order to encourage movement in the top. I chose to go with four tree blocks for the corners.

Time to log off for the evening! I might try to piece another block before I head to bed.

Vacation Piecing

27 10 2012

I’m on day four of five days off of primary job… I requested the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off, to make it a super long weekend. Unfortunately, my request off just happened to coincide with Parent/Teacher conferences, meaning that my son was off school for my extended weekend.

Visions of unimpeded time to commune with my sewing machine… *poof*

At any rate, I’ve managed to complete four more blocks for the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Botanical BOM this weekend. My top design still calls for seventeen blocks. I discarded a couple, due to my perfectionist tendencies, and made four more, bringing my total to ten blocks. Seven more, three of which are tree blocks, and I’ll be all caught up to where I want to be.

I’d really like to have the top done for this November’s Stich ‘n’ Bitch. We’ll see what happens. *shrugs* I’m not trying to rush. I’d like to just put something in the mostly done pile. If the blocks get to a completed top stage, at least I’ll have relieved some of the personal pressure on myself.

Straw FlowerSourced from The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, page 146, #9.

Posy ChainSourced from

Magnolia BudI’m actually not sure where I sourced this particular block from at the moment.
It was probably The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns.

Dutch RoseSourced from

I’m very happy with my selection of aqua as the zinger fabric for this quilt top. I probably could have included it in a few more blocks, but I’m not going to stress it. There’s four more blocks that the aqua can go into.

October Stitch ‘N’ Bitch

17 10 2012

October’s Stitch ‘N’ Bitch happened on the thirteenth this month – the weather was pretty ‘meh’, and there was just a small group of us this month.

This actually worked out well for me – I got three blocks done for the Botanical BOM:

Centennial TreeCentennial Tree

I was initially a little intimidated by this block, but then I stopped and really looked at it, breaking it down into its components. This is actually a really easy block to put together. It’s just the lower right hand corner that makes it look complicated.

Corn and BeansCorn and Beans

I love the yellow print I used in this block and the next. I’ll be more than a little sad when it’s all gone…

I’ve made a lot of sampler blocks lately (hello Farmer’s Wife), but I’ve rarely had to make blocks that are duplicated from project to project. Corn and Beans in a duplicate, though this is a slightly different variation from the one used in the Farmer’s Wife.

Jack in the PulpitJack in the Pulpit

This was a super easy block to put together – I haven’t trimmed it down yet, but I’m not going to worry about it just yet.

These three blocks put me at nine – my quilt plan needs seventeen blocks… Yay, halfway there! Now just to increase my production speed. I’m going to have to get lots of batting in the near future…

BOM Quilt Design

30 05 2012

I’m an overachiever.

I’m an overachiever, and I like to take the less-beaten path.


Yes, I am insane.


Insanity, this time, led me to being determined to come up with a unique setting for the Botanical BOM blocks I’m making with the Stitch ‘N’ Bitch group.

Much easier said than done, obviously, as my mind regarded the blocks with a kind of blank pseudo-interest that said, “I’ll make you. You’re pretty,” and left the blocks in pile in the corner of my mind, nary a quilt top design to be seen. In fact, my mind then went skipping off into making scrappy blocks, no matter how much I tried to rein it in.

And then a light shone in the darkness!

The mail carrier brought me latest Hancock’s of Paducah fabric catalog! For a few days, my mental self crouched in a corner clutching the catalog, stroking each page, muttering, “My preciouses…”

I’m pretty sure had I looked into a mirror, I would have been balding and grey, with saucer discs for eyes better suited to a cave-dwelling lemur.

As I stared at the pages, an image advertising a quilt top/kit caught my (saucer) eye. The Women of Courage BOM quilt top made me stop and think.

And then I reached for my laptop.

Botanical BOM Complete Quilt Ver 2

I still need to find two more botanical themed blocks for the lower corners. I also am playing around with the idea of changing out the blocks that comprised that central ‘plus sign’. However, I’m sticking with that pop of aqua. The quilt definitely needs it.

We’ll see how much this design evolves as I stare at it!

More BOM Blocks

27 05 2012

I wanted to get as many of these blocks done as as I could this weekend. Why? Because I have a design in mind! And I want to see it come to fruition. However, I felt scummy all Saturday, and spent most of the day napping.

I got a grand total of two blocks done, and one of those was a remake, so I really only ended up one block ahead of where I was. Still, I have tomorrow off!

Shasta Daisy, Version Two and still too small!

Yup, that’s right. My second attempt  at Shasta Daisy was undersized. It came out too big the first time because I used my other sewing machine, which automatically sews a scant quarter inch seam. So, using that sewing machine, with the ’rounded up’ directions from EQ7 resulted in a block that was too big. This second attempt was using my normal machine, which sews an exact quarter inch seam, using the ’rounded down’ directions from EQ7. Yeah, ’nuff said, right?

I’ll go back tonight and make the correctly sized version tonight.

Moss Rose

Once again, all prints are from Joann’s. I love the whimsy of this particular gray print. Slightly undersized, because of the needle-placement versus instructions snafu, but I made enough adjustments while cutting to cover it.

And, of course, once I’d completed this block, I happened across a stash of about six gray and yellow prints that I’d purchased earlier in the year. Now I really want to piece more blocks, to get more variety into this top.

Catching Up

25 05 2012

Earlier this year, the Stitch ‘N’ Bitch group started a new block of the month, designed by Sandi of Piecemeal Quilts. This year’s theme is ‘botanical’, meaning the twelve blocks we make for it will all relate to flora.

I’ve been collecting fabrics that have black, yellow, gray and white in them for about two years, spurred on by the Eclipse fabric line by Exclusively Quilters. This particular BOM seemed like the project to finally use them.

I forget how far we’re actually in – we didn’t get started right away with the New Year, but I chugged ahead in a rush and got five blocks done. Well, four, really, because I have to re-do one.


The yellow fabric is from Eclipse. The gray is a print I picked up at Joann’s.

Tangled Briars

All three prints in this block are from Eclipse.

Prickly Pear

Both prints are from Walmart. They’re not as crisp as the other prints, but they’ll blend in the final product.


The gray stripe is from Joann’s, and the yellow print is from the Eclipse line.

Shasta Daisy

This is the one I have to re-make. It’s (somehow) one inch too big all around, and I didn’t rotate the white and black nine-patch sub-units correctly. All fabrics a re from Joann’s.

I’ve also (finally) decided on a setting that I want to use, but it provides setting places for a total of seventeen blocks. This is cool. I just need to pick and choose those five more botanical  themed blocks. Also, I ordered Stash Spring 2010, because the Eclipse line is in that EQ7 collection, and it was on sale. So, very soon, I’ll be able to color in my design with my actual fabric.


And, yes, I know that I could have scanned the fabrics in, and made my own previews. I always have issues with large scale prints when I do that. So there 😉