February Swap Blocks

2 02 2013

February is Helen’s month. She requested Patchwork Square in a Square Blocks from The Sometimes Crafter blog. This is a nice simple block, especially since I’ve a bunch of my scraps pre-cut into 2.5″ squares, so I was determined to finish this early this month. I want to get all of my blocks sent out, since I’m woefully behind on that.

Helen asked us to pick at least one 2.5″ square of fabric that we felt symbolized us, and to tell the rest of the group why we chose the square and what the fabric meant to us.

Patchwork Square in a Square 1

In this block, I included a couple of very favorite fabrics that I just had to have. The pink and white fabric in the top row is a Day of the Dead print by Alexander Henry. The fabric in the lower right corner of the inner square  is another fabric that I couldn’t live without.

Patchwork Square in a Square 2

Here, I added a couple of patches from the Eclipse line by Exclusively Quilters. This was the first (and last) fabric line that made me buy nearly all of the fabrics in it. This was a major learning experience for me, as I sat on the fabric for the better part of two years, because I just didn’t know what to do with it. I would look at the fabrics together, and just feel my creativity so limited by the matchy-matchiness of the fabrics. It was only by collecting several grey and yellow fabrics for the Botanical BOM that I was able to break free of my mental block.

It’s a good start to February, to be able to check off an item of my to-do list. Tonight, I’ll package all of the swap blocks to be sent out, and that’ll be another item off the list. I’m also hoping to plan the next row in the Farmer’s Wife sampler, or perhaps work on the Test Your Skills Sampler. It all depends on kiddo and how easily he hits the hay at bedtime.

Not-So-Lean, Mean Sewing Machine

5 01 2013

There is the risk of TMI to follow, folks…

Who am I kidding? There is too much info following, but I ain’t deleting. To my male readers, my apologies. To my female readers, we need to create a chocolate support network..

Hubby and I have been seriously discussing attempting to become parents to a second bundle of joy. Thus, this past week, when I had my obligatory exam with the gynecologist, I had my IUD removed, and will be making the transition to the pill while we continue to debate our options and finances.

An unfortunate side effect of having removed the IUD is having my first period in five years. Right now, I crave chocolate like the undead, zombie hordes crave brains. I’d forgotten the joy (ha!) of tampons, though I constantly kept a stash on hand. I’m endlessly hungry, too, which makes me irritable, after getting on the scale at the doctor’s office, and realizing that all of my dieting efforts have resulted in a net gain of five pounds.

Fuck you, anatomy.

However, my menstrual crabbiness is resulting in an explosion of sewing, as I’d much rather spend time with my fabric than people right now. I’ve caught up completely on Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Blocks. This is both a boon and a curse. A boon, because I’m finally caught up. A curse, because I’ll have to ship them all out and pay the mailing fees.

But, I win! (The race against myself.)



Two thirty-six patch blocks for Deborah, aka MissLuella. These pretty much epitomize my stash. Bold, strong color, which dominates my fabric stash, because color-shy I am not. A smaller portion of my stash is dedicated to neutrals and decidedly elegant prints.

String Web 01

String Web 02

Two unassembled scrappy, string Spiderweb blocks for Christiane, aka Caillean Z. She’s hoping to get 12.5″ spiderweb blocks out of these, and requested that we not assemble the four quadrants, so that she can mix and match upon receipt.

My paper piecing templates came out too large, but I left them over-sized, rather than trim down and make a mistake. I included some pieced strings – I save a lot of scraps, especially if I can easily include them in a string project like this.

A Little Carried Away…

3 01 2013

I took today off because I had a gynecologist’s exam this morning, and I really didn’t want to go in and deal with tech problems after having my bits poked and prodded at. Good news – everything was where it was supposed to be. Just have to wait for the results of the pap smear now.

My goal, this afternoon after the doctor, was to catch up on Scrappy Sew Bee It! Swap blocks. I even picked up a little bit of fabric to extend out what I had on hand in the way of neutrals. I even got home, had some lunch, and got to sewing.

Just like I planned.

I did not plan on getting carried away and making six blocks for one individual. I meant to make two blocks for this individual, and move on, since I’m, oh… four months behind.

At least I got one month out of the way?

Neutral Cabin 01

Neutral Cabin 02

Neutral Cabin 03

Neutral Cabin 04

Neutral Cabin 05

Neutral Cabin 06

October Swap Blocks

19 10 2012


October is Lucy’s month in the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Swap. Lucy requested feather blocks, as featured in Anna Maria Horner’s Feather Bed pattern.

She requested black (or dark grey) be used as the spine. I didn’t have any solid black that wasn’t earmarked for another project, so I pulled an Asian print from my stash with a very minimalist design for both feathers. The scrappy sides of the feathers came out of my scrap baskets, while the single fabric sides came from stash, as did the neutral background fabrics.

Piecing the first feather was a little trying – I attempted to make the template for the large chunks of background, and realized too late that the template plastic was too short to make it a single, contiguous template. I also (foolishly) cut the template for the background fabric just above the tip-top of the feather.

The second time piecing went much more smoothly. I simply cut the background fabric of the block in too-big chunks and trimmed down – made it so much easier. There was a little more waste this way, but I rarely use creams in my quilts anymore and have a fairly large stash of them, so wasn’t not too much of a hardship… I’m happier having used these fabrics, instead of them hiding in my stash for a project that might never materialize.

Lucy also requested a signature block, and I think I have one pre-made for this – I just have to find it. I’m pretty sure I know which drawer it’s in!

Overall, having made a couple of these feathers, it’s a little tempting to make more… It’s a nice, different way to use up more of my smaller scraps, and I find I like the idea of the mixture of low volume neutrals in the background. Still, it won’t be a project that I focus on. I have enough WIPs to keep me busy through at least the end of the year, and that’s just in PIECING tops! I might convince myself to make a couple more feathers for Lucy, though, and go completely scrappy with them this time!

September Swap Blocks

16 10 2012

Yeah, I’m behind. I just couldn’t get the ‘oomph’ going before this. I was also going to make October’s blocks tonight, but I forgot to print the pattern.

Carla requested x and + blocks, from the tutorial by Amy at Badskirt. I found the tutorial to be very well written and illustrated, and putting the block together was very simple.



I almost freaked out, when pulling fabrics for these. I have lots of gray – that’s never a problem. I knew I’d have to reach a little for enough teals, but I never expected to have a hard time finding oranges! I had to resist the urge to go running for the fabric store, cash in hand, to rectify this problem.

However, I reined myself in, and dug a little deeper. I have oranges, just not the selection that I’m used to. My orange collection of fabrics just hasn’t recovered from the Double Wedding Ring in progress.

It’s getting super late, so I’ll be signing off. However, I do have BOM blocks to share – three of them! I’ve definitely got a groove going on, and it’s awesome! Now, I just need to keep this production level up, and I might actually get something done.

Fresh Sewing Day, July Edition / Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Month

2 07 2012

I’m a day late (for a couple of things). Weekends are just never very good times for me to get caught up on writing. I tend to spend my limited time on the weekends doing things like sewing, cooking, and working at my second job. This weekend, I made Belgian waffles with strawberry compote for breakfast on Saturday morning. For that day’s dinner, I made Southern-style chicken and dumplings from scratch. Sunday was spent keeping kiddo entertained while hubby took the mother-in-law to the emergency room because she’d been dizzy all morning, and then I worked the second job all day. Writing (here and elsewhere) fell by the wayside.

Anyway – last month was a productive month! I made a lot of Farmer’s Wife Blocks, completing the blocks  in the book. I made a swap block, and a block for the Botanical BOM.

1. #033 Farmer’s Puzzle, 2. #057 Morning, 3. #058 Mother’s Dream, 4. #060 Noon and Light, 5. #074 Ribbons, 6. #079 Silver Lane, 7. #059 Night and Day, 8. #066 Periwinkle, 9. #086 Squash Blossom, 10. #094 Tall Pine Tree, 11. #077 Seasons, 12. #065 Peaceful Hours, 13. #082 Spider Legs, 14. #078 Shooting Star, 15. #083 Spiderweb, 16. #047 Homemaker, 17. #097 Waste Not, 18. #099 W.C.T.U., 19. #108 Windmill, 20. #096 Tulip, 21. #032 Farmer’s Daughter, 22. #088 Star of Hope, 23. #035 Flower Basket, 24. #073 Rainbow Flowers Redux, 25. june_log_cabin, 26. Palm Leaf, 27. #100 Weathervane, 28. #024 Country Path, 29. #090 Storm Signal, 30. #036 Flower Garden Path, 31. #110 Wood Lily, 32. #017 Cats and Mice, 33. #019 Checkerboard, 34. #037 Flower Pot, 35. #104 Wild Geese, 36. #008 Bouquet

Photobucket1. #011 Broken Dishes, 2. #016 Calico Puzzle, 3. #021 Contrary Wife, 4. #043 Garden Path, 5. #022 Corn and Beans

Linking up to Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily’s Quilts:

Lily's Quilts

Speaking of swaps… It’s my month for the Scrappy? Sew Bee It! Swap. I’ve been debating practically since signing up for the swap about what to have made for me. I didn’t want to make it an overly difficult block, but I also didn’t necessarily want to simply end up sashing all the blocks I got and call it a day. I also wanted to keep the block simpler, as we have quilters of all skills levels and experiences in this group, but I  didn’t want to sacrifice visual interest.

Yeah, I don’t expect a lot out of myself, do I?

Then I saw a photo for a pattern on Nancy’s blog,  Blogging Near Philadelphia:


Isn’t that pretty? And fun? I thought so.

So I decided to use that as my jumping off point. Hopefully, this won’t be too whacky a request and will make sense to everyone.

My goal is to end up with several 12″ (finished) blocks that all work along the same theme, though they probably won’t be identical. I want my (eventual) quilt to be pretty big, so the blocks I get will be supplemented by more blocks made by me.

I’m picturing receiving  several fairly simple, very scrappy blocks, each with a gray fabric for the background:

All Examples

The gray fabrics don’t have to be the same – I think I’d actually prefer if I had multiple grays in the quilt. My only ‘must have’ is that at least one colored square in each block be on the outer edge of the block, so that I can ‘link’ it to  another block. Also, the scrappier, the better in this block. I love color!

Make sense? Am I crazy? The more variety I get in these, the happier I’ll be. If someone gets stuck, feel free to use one of the example designs. I made up a PDF with a blank grid for the first page for folks to plan their block.

I Finally Sewed Something!

24 05 2012

I’ve been on a small sewing hiatus. I started a new creative writing venture that has pretty much eaten my brain since the beginning of the month. However, I’m ready to take a step back from that brain spawn and get back to quilting and patchwork.

Also, the flash on my camera decided to randomly start working. *shrugs* Whatever. Just so long as I can take photos to post here. That’s all I care about.

So, anyway, I sewed, and actually have a few more items to show off, but wasn’t taking any more photos at 3:00 AM this morning (I’ve been suffering from insomnia lately). I joined a scrappy bee:

Our first recipient is May, of Confessions of a Fabraholic. Being the sleepless overachiever that I am, I made two versions of her block:

Stargazing 1
Version 1
Stargazing 2
Version 2 – In which the photo is blurry, but I refused to re-take it at 3:00 AM >.<

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not big on the whole wonky thing, but these blocks are cute. I think my first attempt came out way better than attempt two, but they’re both going in the mail!

O.o I have to decide what to do for my month. My brain is just not coming up with a plan. However, I can at least get a bit ahead on blocks. I’ve a three day weekend coming up, and a lot of sewing I want to do.

I’m hoping to get at least one more post in today… I want to show off my Stitch ‘n’ Bitch BOM blocks.