Friday, August 31, 2012

Dimestore, DONE!

For years I've been wanting a fall table topper.  One look at this month's Schnibbles pattern, Dimetore, told me this would be my year!  All I needed was two fall themed charm packs, thank you Sandy Gervais!

 The pattern has a 4 x 4 block layout, for a total of 16 blocks.

I thought a 5 x 3 layout would work better for my kitchen table.

When I put the finished top my on my table, it just didn't look as good as I thought it would.

Then I thought maybe I would stick with the 16 blocks called for in the original pattern, but go with a
 2 x 8 block layout.

That's exactly what I had in mind, for my kitchen island.

I had purchased enough background fabric for an outer border, but I decided I liked it just like this better.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 94.
The pattern is Dimestore by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
The print fabric is Phenomenal Fall by Sandy Gervais for Moda.
The background fabric is Great Harvest by Debbie Mum for South Sea Imports.
This project finished at 18" x 64" and has  approximately 381 pieces.

I'm eager to see Sinta and Sherri's Dimestore parade, but more eager to find out what our September project will be, Miss Rosie just released a whole new line of patterns, Little Bites, I sure hope we get to take a little bite!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spools-Along Sew-Along . . . .

The Spools projects keep rolling in!

Sinta at Pink Pincushion finished her Spools with a flair, adding a checked inner border and floral outer border.  I love it and wish I would have thought to do something similar.

Sally at Chocolate Chip Addict has doubled her Spools production.

I think they all look wonderful.

When Nicole, Lisa, and I talked about asking folks to join in our Spools-Along, we figured we would wrap things up the end of Summer, around Labor Day.  Well we still have some folks working away so we've decided to extend the Spools-Along until later in September, there's still time to join in the fun if you've not started!

Hey, thanks for all the great wool comments, links, suggestions, and tips!  As with most things I'm finding out the more I learn the more I find out I don't know!

It's looking good that my Dimestore will be in the Schnibbles Parade, stop by tomorrow for a look at my finish.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Working with wool . . .

So last week I was in Spokane, Washington attending a retreat sponsored by the nice folks at the Buggy Barn.  When Nicole and I decided to attend the retreat we knew we would attend the two Paula Barnes classes, we also knew we wanted a day to hit the local quilt shops and another day to attend the quilt show.  That left one open day, we decided to fill the day taking a wool appliqué class.  The only thing Nicole and I knew about working with wool was that we liked some of the finished projects we saw online, and if the class was a bust, oh well, it's always fun to try new things.

This was the project we selected.

This pattern is called 7 Snowmen and is by Bonnie Sullivan of All Through the Night Designs.

Here are a few other patterns designed by Bonnie.

This is Boo Kitty on Parade.

Who doesn't love a Halloween cat wearing a polka-dot sweater!

Here are some more amazing patterns by Bonnie.

Bonnie must have brought at least 50 pieces from her collection, all equally amazing.

Stacy of Buttermilk Basin was also teaching some wool classes.  Here are a couple of her patterns.

This pattern is September of a year long BOM, one for each month.  I just love the quilt block paired with a little wool pattern.

She also designed these large Christmas Ornaments.

Nicole and I were like sponges, peppering Bonnie with questions all day long.  She was great about answering all our questions and giving us a great start on our projects.

Here's what I accomplished in class!  I've got aways to go but I'm very happy with what I've finished so far.

 One of the things I learned is that wool appliqué is a very expensive hobby, I won't complain about the cost of cotton fabric ever again.

Bonnie had us use a little bit of glue to hold each cut piece in place while we stitched our pieces down, Stacy had her class use fusible web to attach their pieces.  I'm very curious about using the fusible method, it seems it would make the pieces easier to stitch and the project more portable.  Do you have a preference?  

I also learned that I have a whole lot more to learn about wool appliqué! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Back . . . .

This is the Buggy Barn! 

The Buggy Barn is "a unique quilt shop in the country", run by Pam Soliday and Janet Nesbitt in Reardan, Washington.  They are also fabric and pattern designers.  I spent last week at an amazing retreat organized by these two wonderfully sweet and talented ladies.

This was the 16th year for this retreat, it was nothing but fun, I can't believe I missed the first 15!

I'll blog more about my week of classes, the wonderful food, and the quilt show later this week.  Since this is my normal Tools Tuesday slot, and since I got so many questions about it, today I'm going to blog about  my sewing machine travel bag.

I'm happy to report that I checked my sewing machine and it made it to the show and back home just fine, it even changed planes in Minneapolis!

This bag is made by Omni-Glide.  It's a lightweight, hard case bag on wheels with a great pop up handle for easy maneuverability.  It comes in several sizes but I needed the X-Large for  my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0.  I added the pink daisies to the outside of the case and every single daisy also made it back home!

Inside the hard lined case is a padded bag for the machine,

with a padded top.

That bag is then attached to the inside of the case with clips to keep it in place.  Just to make sure my machine didn't move around at all, I also added the following in the case with the machine.

At one of my first classes at a quilt show, on the list of class requirements,  was listed a padded seat cushion.  I brought one to that class and have brought one to every class I've had since.  I placed that cushion on one side of my machine and around the top, the cords were also on the outside of the padded liner.  My Omnigrid cutting/pressing mat went on the other side of the machine.  I then used fabric for my class to pad each end.  The fabric in the picture above was used to pad the sides on the way home, it's Lucy's Crab Shack by Sweetwater for Moda and it's going to be my new sewing machine cover.

Anyway, with all that stuff stuffed in that case, my machine didn't move at all.

The TSAs took a look inside the bag on the way to and from the retreat.

I had it locked with one of the TSA approved locks, nothing was amiss and the sewing machine made it so I guess it passed inspection.

I spent no time last week looking at blogs or reading my email but I hope to get caught up this week.

I also hope to finish this, Dimestore, the August Schnibbles of the month, the parade is just a few days away!

For those who asked, the background fabric I'm using is Great Harvest by Debbie Mum for South Sea Imports and it's a perfect match for that Phenomenal Fall line by Sandy Gervais.  Plus it has dots, who doesn't love dots!

In addition to the two Paula Barnes classes I attended last week, I also attended a wool class, my first, and I'm hooked!  Stop back tomorrow for a look at my project. 

Nicole, from Sister's Choice Quilts blog,  met me in Washington and we attended the classes together.  Stop by her blog for her posts regarding our week of fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On the road . . . .

I'm a huge fan of Paula Barnes of Red Crinoline Quilts, formerly known as Bonnie Blue Quilts.

I've made two of her quilts, Lifetime Quilt Number 73, James River Blues and Number 66, Belle Meade.

I also have several of her patterns on my To Do list.

This week I'm going to meet Paula Barnes and take a couple of her classes.  I almost feel like I know her already, even though I wouldn't recognize her on site.  I'm looking forward to a wonderfully fun experience.

My sewing machine is too big for the overhead bins of a plane so I'll be checking my baby!  Keep your fingers crossed we both make it back home in one piece!

I'm sure I'll have so much to share next week, be sure to stop back by!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Schedule ?

So I got this wild idea about going back and reading my Summer of Fun goals blog to see how I was doing.  I have been having a summer of fun, maybe a little too much fun, there are quite a few things on that list that haven't happened, and with less than 2 weeks left until Labor Day (my official end of summer) several things that aren't going to happen.

But here are a few things that I hope will happen.

Yo Yo Update.

I'm up to 27!  Yes, I've added 6 since my last update, which was over a month ago! (me, hanging my head in shame)  I have enjoyed making the 27 yoyos that are in that vase, and let me tell ya', they're perfect!   The center is pulled tight with hardly any hole, the edges all align, the ridges all swirl the same direction. If there was a yoyo making contest I could give any one of those to the judge and just dare her to find a fault!  That being said, I'm no where close to filling that vase by the end of summer, and there is not a yoyo judging contest in my neck of the woods, but I hope to add a few more.  And yes, I think it's looking good for Amy who guessed 128.

I've kept up with Sherri and Sinta's Schnibbles sew along with Leap Year in June and Hubble/Hubbel for July.  For August the pattern is Dimestore and I'm using these Phenomenal Fall charm packs by Sandy Gervais for Moda. The dot fabric is my background fabric.  

I'm going to finally have a fall table topper for my kitchen table!

I've got the pieces now I just need to put it all together,

summer is not over until I have Northern Lights done.

Same goes for this sewing machine cover, even if I have to stay up 48 hours straight Labor Day weekend, I'm not facing September 4th without this cover on my machine!

Dawn at First Light Designs has a great start on hers, and it makes we want to make mine all the more.

So with two weeks left, what's on you Summer of Fun To Do List, you better get hoppin'!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Terrific Tools Tuesday . . . . .

No Terrible Tools Tuesday today, I thought I would change things up and blog about a tool that I bought, use, and LOVE!

Meet The Strip Stick by Babb Enterprises.  I picked these up from a vendor at the AQS Show in Paducah, Ky.  I know, I know, I'm doing Tools Tuesday just because of all the demonstrations I've seen at quilt shows where I always buy what's being demonstrated then don't use, or don't remember how to use.  But after all those misses, this one is a hit!

These bars are used for pressing seams.  I guess you could use them for any type of sewing but they are  perfect for quilters.  The last few years I've started pressing my seams open.  Sometimes seams need to be pressed a certain way, but if there's not a reason for a seam to be pressed a certain way, I press open.

If you press your seams open also, I'm sure you've experienced the same problem I had, pressing one seam open is a breeze, pressing one seam open in a pieced block, without pressing other seams closed is sometimes a trial.

This tools changes all that.

You lay the block that is to be pressed across the middle of the stick, which I think is some sort of wood that doesn't warp, with a flat bottom and a curved top, covered in batting.  It's the curved top that makes this tool so wonderful.

So after the block is in place you press the seam open.  And yes I use steam, that's how I know it doesn't warp!

The thing that's wonderful is that your iron is only pressing the seam running down the middle of the bar, the other seams fall to the side.  In addition to only pressing the seam you want to press, this bar keeps the strip, block or border from becoming distorted.

Here's a picture from the The Strip Stick's website that shows how easy it is to press strip sets.

See how the other strips just fall out of the way!

I've been using this strip for 4 months now and love it.  You can also use this stick for pressing seams to one side, but I don't bother, I've never had any trouble pressing seams to one side.

The sticks come in two sizes, an 18 inch stick, which I keep on my ironing board at all times, and a 45 inch stick, which is great for pressing those long seams where you've connected your rows or added your border.

The 18 inch stick is $8.99 and the 45 inch stick is $15.99.  You can order them from their website.  The website also has a tutorial, testimonials and lists shops that carry their products and upcoming shows where they'll be selling their sticks.  It's

For full disclosure, I'll make a dollar off of every stick you buy from them, hahaha, just kidding, you know me better than that, Babb Enterprises has no idea who I am, I'm just one of the hundreds of customers that bought and carried these sticks all over the Paducah Quilt Show, then came home, used it, and fell in love with it.

If you've used this stick or one like it, leave a comment, good or bad.  Sometimes it takes up an hour or two of my time to do a Tools Tuesday post, and I love it that other folks either learn something new or have something to add to each post, but I love it even more when I learn something from the comments.

Last week, several folks left comments that they used and loved that Quilt in a Day ruler, and I was so glad they did.  I find it interesting the way we can do things differently, or do what works best for us, and still get great results.  

I hope you have a terrific Tuesday to go with this Tools Tuesday post!

Monday, August 20, 2012

BOM Rehab . . . .

It's BOM Rehab reporting day!  I'm not the only one working away on BOMs, check out Sinta's blog to see how other quilters are also making some progress on their projects.  

This week's block was easy.

As a matter of fact, it was so fast and easy I made another one!

This is block 7, the final main block!  Now for the real fun, putting everything all together.

I can hardly wait to see it finished, not to just have something off my To Do list, but I'm just so darn curious too see what this quilt is going to look like, it's such a dramatic change of pace for me.  Do you think I'll be able to finish the whole thing without adding a smidgen of red?  So far I've not been tempted in the least to add any color, I could not be happier with these blocks.

For those stopping by for the first time, this is Northern Lights by Marti Michell.  Select Northern Lights from my "Categories" list to see all the finished blocks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spools-Along Sew-Along Updates . . .

First we've got another Spools-Along Sew-Along finish, 

I started making blocks and couldn't stop so my Spools has an extra row of spools.

Then I thought it needed a little something more, so I played around with some little spools blocks and threw a few of those in for fun.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 92
The print fabric is Bliss and Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
The background fabric is Moda Bella Solid Number 9900-97, Bleached White
The quilt finished at 59" X 66"
It has approximately 891 pieces.

And next I have an update, from Sinta.

When Sinta was finished connecting all her spools she thought it  needed a little something something too, but instead of changing the inside of the quilt she decided to work on the outside of the quilt.  She's added this little inner border and is not done yet.  But I LOVE where she's going.  I think she could quilt right now and have an adorable finish.  I can hardly wait to see what else she adds!

There's still plenty of time to join the fun, I bet you could whip out the small wallhanging, 16 block project, this weekend!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Temecula Quilt Co . . . .

It's not very often I get to visit a quilt shop, but while I was in California I got to not only visit a quilt shop, I got to visit THIS quilt shop!

The Temecula Quilt Co.

I've been following the goings on at this shop for ages through their blog, Diary of a Quilt Store, it was a real thrill to get to visit the shop in person.  

This shop had so many beautiful quilts on display I just wandered around and round, taking them all in.

I was thrilled when I asked permission to take a few pictures for my blog and they said "take as many as you want"!

It was their Red and White Tribute quilt promotion that motivated me to make my Red and White Tribute Quilt.

Most of the quilts and fabric that I see, I see online.  Getting to see these patterns made up in person was just wonderful.

I know what you're thinking, with me visiting such an amazing shop, "I can hardly wait to see what Thelma bought".

Nothing!  I didn't spend a nickel!  They didn't have any kits and I was just so overwhelmed with the whole experience I just couldn't focus on buying yardage.  Fabric shopping doesn't come easy to me, it's unusual for me to buy fabric that doesn't have a purpose, I'm weird that way!  But it was still worth the stop.