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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Embrace the Bold

I made a second wonky house block and changed the door/window positions.
I am much happier with the house now that it looks like a house.  So I made another one. I set them out to get a feel for the overall look.

I don't like them. I have decided the brown edges that I used to tone them down need to go.  Perhaps wonky blocks should not be toned down.

I embraced the boldness and came up with this one:

Now that is more like what I had in mind!   I really hate to waste my time and effort, so I decided to change the fabric edges on the other three blocks so they would be useable. I did not even remove the brown edges...just sewed right over them with a scant larger seam allowance so no brown shows along the sewn edge.
In case anyone is interested the pattern for this block in from 101 Log Cabin Blocks by Linda Causee. It's number 85. I have mentioned this book before. It's full of great log cabin blocks for foundation piecing.

The flowers on my 'Roses are Red' quilt came from the same book.
You would never think those flowers were a log cabin variation, would you?  Here is a close up of a flower to show you that it's made with wonkly log blocks.
There are two different flowers on the quilt. This one is a rose.

With all the fun, new quilt patterns out there, I still love the log cabin pattern.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I won! I won! and a new Wonky House Block

Recently I entered a contest on Heather's blog, Books and Quilts.  It was a publisher's give-a-way for two books from the Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo.  I remember coming across Kathy's blog over a year ago, but I did not even realize that she was an author. Since Heather posted these books, I have googled a bit and found out she is indeed the same crafty chica that I found months ago.

 I was totally surprised and thrilled to get an email a week ago that I had won these books.

Today I received the two books. Aren't they beautiful? I just love that glitter.

I am excited to find an author who centers her novels around the lives of women with a passion to create.

Very soon I will set my sewing machine aside and begin reading about these sassy craft divas.

I am expecting some light entertainment—along the same lines of the culinary mystery novels I love to read.

Thank you, again, Heather, for the opportunity to discover Kathy Cano-Murillo’s books!  I am really looking forward to getting hooked on craft genre fiction.

I just made a wonky house block.

hmmmm...I think it's too wonky for me!  That door is way too big and the shutter is too long.....I guess that's why it's wonky...

I was planning to keep the brown last border the same on all the blocks to provide an anchor. I think I will make four blocks to make sure I don't like it.  It's pretty difficult to really make a decision with just one block.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Surprises in my Cedar Chest

It's been months since I have been able to open this chest because all winter long, I have had sewing projects piled on top of it.  After a sewing room cleaning last week, I was able to open it today. I was surprised to find some of the items on top!

Like my sewing machine manual. I was looking for this last month.

Dig a few inches down and I find a gazillion patterns for curtains, pillows and valances...

The next layer reveals this chicken denim block. I don't even remember making it!
I remember making other chicken blocks from this pattern, but not this one in denim.

Ah, there is that Christopher Lowe pattern for a round table! 
I really could have used it this winter when I brought my big round coffee table up from the basement.

On second thought,  I guess it's a good thing the pattern was hidden as I am planning to change the color scheme in the family room this year, so if I had made a table cover, it probably would no longer match.

 Sometimes things work out for the best.

I was looking for an apron pattern. I know I have purchased at least three apron patterns and never used them.  I am thinking the applique poodle pattern I showed a few posts ago would be cute on an apron.

I have only dug down about 4 inches and all of this was revealed. So who knows what I will find when I dig deeper--that apron pattern may be down there somewhere!

It's like finding hidden treasures. What fun!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cupcake Table Runner is Finished

In honor of the occasion, I made some cupcakes.
Here it is on the floor, so you can see the ends.

Now it's time to clean up my sewing room and then think of my next project so I can dirty it all up again!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sushi for Your Tootsies

Now this is a unique give-a-way!
Heather, from Books and Quilts, is giving away a pair of sushi socks! You can enter by going to this post and leaving a sushi-related comment. Heather publishes a lot of good book reviews, so while you are there, you may want to look around the blog to see if you can find some new reading material.

Have fun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cupcake Table Runner - continued

I had about 20 minutes to spare before leaving for work this morning. I made good use of the time by sewing on the ends of my cupcake runner.
If you have been reading my blog, you know that I like my runners to end with a triangle.  I used the six-inch block above and added light yellow triangles to each side to make it fit my 12-inch block.

I cut off the dog ears, sewed it on and let it sit until I got home from work this afternoon.

After getting home and changing into comfortable clothing (jammies), I ironed the muslin backing,  sandwiched the runner, changed to a brand new needle and began outline quilting.

Good did I get that small pucker! ARRRGGGG....I can never seem to quilt something without at least one pucker.  Well, at least the stitches look good.  So far I am happy.  I should be able to show you the completed project this weekend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Free Poodle Pattern

Is this not the cutest thing ever?

I got my email newsletter from The Quilt Show today and found this adorable poodle pattern offered for free, so I went and downloaded it.  Wouldn't this make the cutest quilt for a little girl's bedroom?  Unfortunately I have no little girls, so I don't know what I will do with this. 

Here's the write up from the newsletter:

Get Free Applique Patterns

We know that you who have watched Episode 806 with Verna Mosquera were charmed by her delightful designs. Verna graciously sent TQS the templates for the poodle and purse featured in her newest quilt "Paris". Check out the Projects page for the downloadable templates, so that you can make your own charming block into a pillow, purse, or mini wall hanging. You can check it out at

I think you have to be a member, but you can get a free membership.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Cupcake Quilt Block should Look Chocolatey--Don't you think?

What a pleasant surprise to get home today and find that Anne and Dandelion and Daisy are new followers. Welcome. I hope I live up to your expectations!

I was away most of the weekend, so I did not do much sewing. Before I left early Saturday morning, I did make a couple of new cupcake star blocks.  I changed the four double-point blocks to something wider and added a dark chocolate color for the center point.  I like this better.
On the next star, I changed the center cupcake block. I used the dull polka-dot fabric for the smaller inside square and then made the large square in the same dark chocolate swirl fabric.

This one has my favorite cupcake. I love the cherry on top.

I do need three 12-inch cupcake stars for the table runner.  I tried the striped cupcake block (the one that Patti correctly identified as for the "younger at heart", which I took to mean more whimsical). 

I like the whimsy, but it just won't go with this runner, so I will have to make another cupcake center.  I think I will be able to use the skinner points as I want the center block to be different than the other two.  I plan to use a bit of the dark chocolate to tie the center block in with the two ends.

 I decided to finish the 5 four-inch sections needed to complete the center before I post this.  I am watching 'Cupcake Wars' on FoodTV as I sew. How appropriate is that? LOL.

Here is the new center:

 Now I will put in even more of the chocolate brown with the last four sections:
Much better!  I am  happy that I could salvage the double point blocks as they take a little more time to make.

So here are all the sections (not yet sewn together) as well as as the beginning of a  YUM banner:
I feel pretty good about getting this much done today!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cupcake Star Block

First of all, let me welcome my latest follower -- Jeannie. Thanks so much for following me, Jeannie. I would send a personal email, but I can't figure out just how to do that. I don't have hundreds of followers, like many blogs I read, but I really appreciate the few I have! Thanks to all of you who follow me.
Here is my first cupcake star. I can't decide if it's a tad too blah. My initial thought is that the center polka dot fabric is too dull, but the more I look at it, the more I think maybe it's just fine.  The pink & brown dots are perfect colors for the cupcake, but their background might be a bit off.  Most of the cupcakes have a green background (see below), so I like the green points.

 I am happy that I used the thin strips from the wasted cupcake blocks for the skinny star points.  In order to have a quarter-inch seam allowance, every other row (see the section I am holding)  is wasted..................
make that, was wasted until I found a use for them with the skinny star points.

I decided to try one with this striped fabric:
This morning when I made this one, I liked it best. But now I wonder if it may be a tad too bright.  I have not made the rest of the star yet.  As I write this post, I think I am liking the top colors better. 

What do you think?  I would love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Block Reveal

I completed the block I hinted at yesterday.

I started with a dresden plate block - actually a partial dresden block that I attached to a 14-inch background square.  Any idea from this picture what it is?
 #2 - I added the brown circle.
 #3 - Ah, here is that free hand piece I showed yesterday. This may give you a better of idea of what it will be.
 #4 - some facial features--now I bet you know what it is.
 #5 - some big yellow feet.
 #6  - a hat
 and the finished Thanksgiving turkey block. I think he is just adorable! What do you think?
I will be making another one and then turning them both into a table runner.

This was so much fun!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Have an Outhouse Hanging in My Kitchen

Yesterday morning I hung a couple of wonky house pot holders on my kitchen glass cabinet. I call this one an outhouse because of the tall skinny shape.
I love using my painted wooden kitchen utensils to display the pot holders.
I added another wonky house on a wooden fork below the first one.

Then I went to my sewing room and I started a new project.  I chain pieced a bunch of these:
I free handed this:
and a few other patterns to use on this block.  I bet you are wondering what the heck I could be making with these rather primitive-looking patterns.  Well, I will show that later in the week when I get the block finished.  It's really a fun project!

Sunday morning I went to Joanne's and I bought 1/2 yd of this cupcake fabric:

You know how I have been into cupcake projects lately.  I could not resist these little  cupcake squares.  I am planning to use them for the center of some star blocks--I will have to waste six cupcakes to get one cupcake with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. I do not have a real project in mind just yet, but I will probably putter around a bit this week and see what happens.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Tropical Love Birds are Finished

This is definitely not a beginner's block!

 I had quite a few little problems with fabric placement on this block. Some I just left incorrect because the greens are only a shade apart anyway, some I gel-penned over, like this yellow that should be green  and I ripped out a couple of sections and redid them.  I was afraid I would have to throw this out after all the hours I had put into in.  But I think it looks OK now.

I am not sure what I will do with it.

For the past week or so I have been having a problem with thumbnails not showing up for my posts. I have discovered that the first image of my post must be put in under the "Edit HTML" tab.  It seems Blogger is having some problems.   I inserted the first image under the "compose" mode and nothing was showing up.  After I inserted the same image while in "Edit HTML", it works.  I decided to amend this post with this info in case anybody else is having the same problem.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tropical Love Birds

Two days ago I got my monthly email from SILVER LININGS ORIGINALS, a website with great paper-piecing patterns. If you sign up for the newsletter, she sends a free pattern every month for this year's quilt called, TREASURES FROM THE RAINFOREST.

I love the colors in this quilt - vibrant greens/blues. 

Shes uses colors instead of numbers to identify which color to sew in which space. So the first thing I did was tape pieces of fabric to the color guide. I am still not quite used to seeing a pink square which really means to sew green. My patterns usually have Gr1, Gr2, Gr3, etc.  So far I have only made three blocks. I am sure I will get used to the color chart as I continue on.

If you look up in the left corner of the color guide, you will see what the finished block will look like.  I am thinking of trying that yellow/black fabric for the breast....still not positive on that. I will see how it looks when I get that far.

I think this will be a fun series.
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