Monday, February 28, 2011

Sleep Sack Pattern Review

Over the weekend, I managed to sew up an adorable sleep sack pattern by Favorite Things called Hushabye Baby.
 I've been saving a yard of Spotted Owl by Alexander Henry for something really special and this little number seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Soft light-weight fleece, that I also had on hand, was used for the lining. I interlined the sack with some scraps of quilt batting to make it extra cozy. 
 My daughter loves to use sleep sacks at night to keep the covers from coming off of the baby while she sleeps. I've made several in the past using fleece and a zipper up the front. This side zipper version with Velcro shoulder straps will be even easier to use when changing diapers in the middle of the night. And using cute cotton fabric on the outside makes the whole thing like something right out of a baby boutique!
 I found the pattern very quick and easy, after tracing the pieces onto tissue paper. (I never enjoy that part.) There are only 4 pieces to the pattern including the accent strip. A separating zipper is used for the side opening. It couldn't have been easier to sew in and turned out very nicely. The pattern instructions are very brief. For instance, there is no mention of using a zipper foot, which might have been helpful in the construction for someone new to the process. A little more clarification of where to clip the seam at the bottom of the zipper would  have been nice as well. I found one mistake and that was in the sizing. On the outside of the pattern, it lists the sizes as S, M, L, XL. However, the inside pattern itself is sized XS, S, M. L. I wanted to make the 3-6 month size which would have been M on the outside. I decided to go with the S on the actual pattern and it seemed accurate. At $14.00, the pattern is not cheap, so better editing before production seems reasonable. Hopefully, future patterns will be corrected.
 All and all, I love this pattern with it's side zipper and roomy coziness.  It would be just as nice with a cotton lining for summer. I think I've found a new go-to shower gift for all the future babies in my life! I recommend it, if you want something a little bit different.
Best of all, Jane seems to like it too!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"I Spy" Giveaway

   Serendipity is finally complete and oh, so pretty! I love the richness of this quilt's coloring!  The pattern design is by Jennifer of That Girl...That Quilt.
 It's a beautiful sunny day...great for some pictures....and I took a lot, so come back tomorrow to see more, including some close ups. In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to play a little game of I Spy! 
Look closely at these two pictures of Serendipity made with Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush fabrics primarily. Besides the solid background fabric, there are two prints that are not Innocent Crush. The first person to correctly identify them both by designer and collection, wins two fat quarters of Innocent Crush. Please be sure that you have an email address attached to your profile so that I can contact you, otherwise I'll have to choose the second correct guess.
 Are you good at this game? Here's the prize......
**Well, that game took about 15 minutes to play!  Congats to Cristina for not only being the first person to guess but to guess correctly! You all know your fabrics!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In the News!

Good news!  The Kansas City chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild made the front page of the HOME section of the Kansas City Star today!  How exciting!
 Yep! A full page picture of one of Jacquie Gering's lovely quilts was right on the front. Of course, it was the section of the paper that I read  first this morning. It was a very nice article highlighting the modern quilting movement. According to the article, the KC guild is the largest Modern Quilt guild with 96 members! You can read all the details here.
So, being the good guild member that I am, I spent some time today finishing up the blocks for my entry in the "No Prints Allowed" challenge next month. I still have some trimming to do and then I will be ready to set the blocks together.
 The weather was almost springlike today....a record high of 70 degrees! After a little hike with my son and his family, I finished all the quilting on the Serendipity quilt. Hopefully, I'll have a finish to show you very soon!
I hear winter returns tomorrow; a great day to do some hand sewing on the binding.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh My!

Oh My! The UPS truck stopped at my house today! 
The package was a little beaten up...........
Oh My! 
Thankfully, everything inside was in tip top shape!
I've been expectantly waiting for this collection of Oh My by Saneo to arrive from....
Oh My! I can't say really.
I wish that I could tell you all about the plans I have.....
But, Oh My! It's a Secret!
 You won't be seeing any more than this until the quilt is finished....
I've got a deadline kind of, so it won't be too long, I promise.
Oh My! I'm so excited!!
Enjoy your weekend! Hope you get to sew something fun!
(Don't you just hate secrets!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Up Close And Personal

Have you seen the Parisville collection by Tula Pink? I don't mean, just on line, although that is certainly lovely enough. No, I'm talking about Up-Close-And-Personal seen it? If not, then you are missing out on some real color therapy for the winter doldrums, my friends! 
 I joined a new virtual quilting bee for 2011 called One Block Over. Michelle has the month of February and chose these beautiful prints  and a scrappy block to use them on.
 Using the strips that she mailed us and squares of muslin, we were to create four foundation blocks, and then join them to make a large 18.5 inch square. The center of the big block was purposely left with just the muslin foundation, onto which we were to raw edge applique the main featured fabric. What fascinating and imaginative fabric this is!
Here is the tutorial for making this fun block if you'd like to make one for yourself.
 Michelle thought it would look nice if we used some pretty stitching for the applique. Admittedly, I had to dust off the fancy stitch button on my Bernina as it is a little neglected! Somehow, I have amassed quite a collection of purple thread. Weird, because I seldom even buy purple fabric. The spools were all waving their hands and shouting "Choose me!" 
The one named Violet got to come out and play!
Okay, so now that I have actually touched these pretties and they have tempted me thoroughly, I'm going to be wanting to add a few to my stash. 
One of the benefits of joining a quilting bee is getting to play with fabrics that we might not own ourselves. 
Yet, anyway!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Easy Peasy Binding for a Mug Rug

Happy Valentine's Day!
 Because I'm crazy about you, I want to give you a little present........ 
It's called the gift of time.
 Admittedly, it's not a lot of time. But, a little here and a little there adds up, right!   
This is a little mug rug that I recently mailed to a good friend. I used a lone quilt block that I found in the drawer, some selvage and a scrap of batting. Here's where the "time" comes in....see the binding? Isn't it pretty? Now look at the back of the mug rug. 
See? It's not really traditional binding at all! But from the front, who can tell? 
So FAST and easy! It takes hardly any time at all! 
Let me show you how.

First, of course, you need to make a mug rug. A little quilt. 
I make mine 6 in. X 8 in. approximately. Layer the quilt, the batting and backing, which is one inch larger on all sides. 
 Quilt as desired. Then, trim the backing to 3/4 inch larger on all sides.
 Press the backing edge in half on all four sides.
 Open out the corners and trim across, leaving 3/8 inch beyond the corner of the quilt.
 Fold the backing corners in half and press.
 Fold the backing around to the front of the quilt and pin in place. At the corners, fold in at an angle to make a mitered corner. (Sorry for the fuzzy picture.) Machine stitch the "fake" binding down on all four sides, being sure to catch the corners. 
 Make a cup of tea, grab a heart cookie, relax and enjoy that extra time saved!
Who knows, you might even have time to make another mug rug in the time it would have taken to add real binding. And since you'll only be looking at the top side when you use your 
little mug rug...who will know?
Have a sweet day, friends.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Follow Through

I might ramble a bit today. I'm having some thoughts about " follow through". You know...finishing what you start....commitment. Now, I have my share of UFO's, that's for sure....more than my share, truth be told. Here's one that I handed off to a fabulous machine quilter at KCMQG last night, Angela Walters. (I wanted to have her quilt something for me before she got SO famous that I'd have to wait years just to get on the list!)
No, I'm not talking about letting ourselves down by not following through, but rather letting others down when we sign up to do something....and then don't. That's a horse of a different color, I think. It's something rarely talked about among friendly Blogland. But it happens.

You sign up for a Bee or exchange on Flickr and are sooooo excited. You make your block, or whatever, send it off only to wait....and wait....and wait.... and then maybe never have the joy of recieving something in return. Fortunately, it doesn't happen often because most quilters are as good as their word, I've found. only has to happen once...or twice to make you consider NOT joining in another round of a  Quilting Bee again.

 Sometimes, there are good excuses, like illness or tragedy, that make life crazy and things have to be put on hold. But other times, over commitment is the real culprit............ overcommitment to joining too many sewing Bees that damages the reputation of a quilter and the whole fun Bee Exchange in general. Quilters need to step back and really decide if they have the time to "follow through" before joining every Bee that looks tempting!!
Okay, I'm done fuming! Thanks for listening!

On the positive side, I have been a part of a great flickr group called the 3x6 Bee for a year.  I worked with 24 different quilters during that time. Only during the last quarter of 2010 did just one quilter not follow through. One was 2 months late without explanation, but she finally sent her blocks. Here are the last 5 blocks that have been sent my way....the 6th one is still pending. The top left block was made by me as a sample.
Thank you Marlyn from UT, Jenifer from CO, Melinda from WI, Solidia from IN, and Julie from CA for "following through"! You keep me wanting to trust that quilters really can be depended on! I  do love the whole Block Party concept.

Speaking of Block Party............Our speaker for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild last night was none other than Allissa, one of the founders of the whole MQG movement and author of a book called Block Party, due out in April. Her blog, Handmade by Alissa,  is very inspirational and her quilts were even better in person than in pictures (of course!).
 Alissa brought some of her first quilts and some new ones that couldn't be photographed because they are "top secret" until her latest book exploring minimalism is published.
 Solid fabrics and lovely color are some of Alissa's favorite themes at this point in her quilt journey.
Here's the cover quilt for the Block Party book!
 We had lots of fun hearing about her life in LA and her quilting experience. But, then, we always have a lot of fun at the Modern Quilt Guild in Kansas City!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kleenex Box Quilt Progress

Twenty-four seemed about the right amount of Kleenex box blocks, so I stopped. Now I'm trying out a layout and background fabrics. The dark fabric is actually a very dark purple. My other choice would be white, like the tablecloth background the blocks are laying on.
 My helpers thought that I had something else in mind when I asked their opinion of the layout! 
Do you have a preference?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


It snowed again.  Did you get some too? Ya, I'm tired of this global warming, aren't you? Today I'm snug in my hideaway surrounded by snow covered trees. 
It's so pretty......and white! I don't know about you, but I need some color, people!!
 Oh, look. I see a pretty blue bird!
And there's a red one!
That helps. A lot.  
This helps too...................
 Playing with pretty fabric! I made the February block for the Calendar of Houses Bee.
Hope you like it, Emily. It's kind of valentinesy without a lot of hearts. That's good, I think.
 A little hideaway made in my Hideaway. 
Wish one of you could come over for coffee and a cookie. We could sew too!  It's always more fun to hang out with a matter what the weather!!
While you are waiting for the snow to melt, hop on over to Flourishing Palms and enter Linda's giveaway of some nice drunkard's path acrylic templates.