Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's A Very Special Day . . . .

Happy Leap Day!

I'm making the most of my extra day by spending the entire day in my sewing room, wearing pjs, and not cooking, but I do plan to eat! If you can't spend the entire day doing exactly as you wish, I hope you'll at least take the time to do something to make this day special. You won't be getting another extra day for four more years!

I've heard from a few folks that Joe Wood of ThimbleCreek Quilts mentioned in a newsletter that I was working on his pattern French Vintage, I figured I better post an update on that project to give those folks and you something to look at.

Here's the next border of blocks, all ready for their sashing. I think you can see the slight difference between the background fabric for the inner blocks and the background fabric for the next set of blocks. Next up, more checkerboard sashing for those outer blocks.

It's also Leap Day Superior Thread Giveaway Day!!

Elizabeth, at Occasional Piece Quilt, read my earlier post about wanting to do something special in my sewing room on Leap Day and asked if I would be willing to participate in a thread giveaway with some other folks on February 29th. Who would turn down free thread? So the deal was that I could pick any 4 spools of Superior Thread, I could keep one and giveaway three.

Up until this giveaway came along I never gave any thought to my thread. I use a brand of thread that someone recommended to me when I first started sewing. I've never had any problems with that brand of thread and I never took the time to research other brands of thread.

I have now learned that Superior Threads makes all kinds of thread in all kinds of amazing colors,plus they make silk thread, glitter thread, rainbow thread, vanishing thread, and NiteLite extra glow thread! There is thread for quilting and thread for piecing. They even make thread that is white indoors but changes color when outdoors!

Given all these fabulous choices what do you think I picked . . .

Master Piece thread by Alex Anderson.
I know, given all those wild and crazy options why did I pick something so generic? I wanted to try something that I thought I would use, and I thought I would use this thread.

Here's the skinny on Master Piece thread:
it's #50 / 3-ply extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton
comes in 600 yd spools
comes in 75 colors
is ideal for piecing, appliqué, lacework, bobbin, and fine quilting
is also available in hand appliqué thread packs and 2,500 yd cones.

Besides wanting a thread that just does its job, I thought it would be interesting to see how much lint this thread produced.

Here's my sewing machine all clean.

Here's my sewing machine after going through one full bobbin of thread. Some lint, not tons, but less would be better. I'm going to sew with my new thread and then report back.

If you would like to win those three spools of thread just leave a comment on this post relating to thread. What thread you use, is thread important you, anything will do. You have until Saturday, March 3rd to leave a comment. If the post office delivers to your address you're eligible. I'll announce the winner on Sunday along with the results of my lint test.

Several other bloggers are also participating in this giveaway, and may be giving away more exciting thread than what I picked, go check them out!

Lee from Freshly Pieced
Sherri from A Quilting Life
Leanne from She Can Quilt
Jeni from In Color Order
Carla from Lollyquiltz
Jennifer from That Girl, That Quilt
Terri from Sewfantastic

For more information on Superior Threads or to learn about their products, Superior University, and their Thread of the Month Club, or to receive their newsletter, check out their website here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oh No . . HaHaHa . . . Aaaaaah

Several very observant, kind and thoughtful bloggers noticed a little problem with my February Memories of Provence block . . . .

See that piece in the lower right hand column......OH NO, it's not right!! I can't believe I didn't notice that!

I'm not sure I ever would have noticed, thanks goodness you folks pointed it out before it was in the middle of the top, all done and quilted.

As soon as I read the comments about his block I immediately fixed it! All is right with the world now! What a difference that makes!

Not only do I appreciate the comments about the problem with my block, I really appreciate how nice you were when you pointed it out, like you were almost sorry to tell me! Thank you also much!

On another note, did you happen to catch Nicole at Sister's Choice posts regarding mail order fabric?

If not, go read them, and the comments, it's a nice discussion. Click here and here.

I thought I would share a package I recently received from Country Sampler quilt shop in Spring Green, Wisconsin. I was needing 22 quarter yard cuts of some medium toned background fabric so I called the shop and asked if they could send what I needed. Not only were they happy to do my shopping for me, this is how they folded my order.



The downside, I can't bear to untie that bow and use that fabric, oh well, I've got other patterns I can work on.

Tomorrow I'll have a Leap Year Superior Thread Giveaway, stop back by!

Monday, February 27, 2012

February Finishes . . . .

I'm happy to report that I'm back on track with my Evening Bloom goal of one block a month! Here is block number seven!!!

My favorite block so far!!

These blocks are so big I can't fit more than 6 on my design wall,

so between the two pictures you can see my seven finished blocks, only two more to go.

I also finished block two of my Memories of Province BOM this month.

I only made one change, I used the red floral print that I didn't use in block one instead of the dot print that I did use.

I'm behind on this BOM, I got a late start and should really do one a week instead of one of month, maybe in March.

I'm still planning on using my extra day this year for a day of sewing, a whole day of sewing, a whole day of sewing and no cooking, a whole day of sewing, no cooking and pjs. The fine folks at Superior Threads are sponsoring a giveaway to go along with my extra day plans, be sure to stop back by Wednesday, February 29th.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quiltiness . . . .

Two more quilts home from the quilter . . . .

Welcome Home Baby Swoon!

I just love how the quilting really brings this top to life.

The intricate quilting around these big block pieces really adds interest to this quilt.

I'm sorry to say goodbye to this quilt but it's going to a good home . . . . . sometime.

For more information on this quilt see Lifetime Quilt Number 76.

Here's the other quilt that's home,

Mocha Trails, Lifetime Quilt Number 63.

When I finished piecing this quilt I loved the 9 patch blocks and the red rectangle pattern but didn't think much of the star blocks. I just didn't think they added anything to the quilt.

The quilting really brings the star blocks to life, I just love those star blocks now.

The quilting has a really nice flow, several different designs, but they all go together nicely.

This feather design flows through the red rectangles.

I'm still not tired of that Maison de Garance fabric by French General.

Another winner for the red couch!

These quilts were quilted by Linda at the Quilted Pineapple. She's only had her longarm machine a little over year, you wouldn't know it by looking at these quilts. Thanks Linda, I 'm thrilled to have my quilts home and couldn't be happier with your work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More French Vintage . . . .

Hello, are you ready for a little more French Vintage....and by little I mean little, but here goes!

Four inner blocks all done.

Four inner blocks with sashing,

all done!

Here's a peek at the background fabric for the next set of blocks.

Just a hint darker, I hope it's noticeable!

For those stopping by for the first time, I'm working on French Vintage by ThimbleCreek Quilts . . . .and loving it!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

French Vintage Baby Steps . . .

I was so excited to read that several of you had French Vintage on your To Do List! The Country Sampler introduced me to this pattern. They have it kitted as a scrappy French Vintage, some kits are still available if you are interested. (click here)

I liked the looks of the version put together by the Country Sampler but preferred the quilt on the pattern cover a little better. As I mentioned, the Country Sample did their quilt using scrappy background fabric. The pattern calls for three background fabrics, a light background fabric for the center 4 blocks, a twinge darker background for the twelve middle blocks and a little darker still background for the outer twenty blocks.

Here's my inspiration block.

The quilt on the cover of the pattern was made using French General's first line of fabric, and would work great with their latest line of fabric, Rounneries Deux. For my version I only used a couple of French General fabrics. My lightest background fabric, shown above, is from Lilly and Will by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda. My inner background fabric is Puzzle Pieces by Moda, and my outer background fabric is Panier de Fleurs by French General for Moda.

My reds are an assortment from several lines and my grays are mainly Bunny Hill Designs, more Lilly and Will plus some Puttin' on the Ritz.

If you look at the center of the quilt on the cover, you can see the subtle change in the background fabric. I really like how the center seems to "light up".

I'm using my trusty Easy Angle to make my half square triangles.

Here are my strips, ready for the borders.

I always make my pieces bigger and square them up,

I think the scraps give you a great idea of what the finished quilt will look like, I like what I see so far!

I'm thrilled so many folks were interested in my Countdown to Christmas scraps and I loved hearing what everyone was working on. Random number generator selected number 10, Gloria, as the winner. Congratulations Gloria.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Only fans of Downton Abbey will appreciate this Valentine, but Happy Valentines Day to you all!

This Valentine was created by, for more or to download your own Downton Abbey Valentine click here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Done Count'n . . . . . .

I've really enjoyed working with that Countdown to Christmas fabric by Sweetwater for Moda. I've enjoyed it so much that one quilt, one wallhanging, and three pillows was not enough. Nope, I had to make one more thing, a pincushion.

I'm sure hoping Sweetwater has a Christmas fabric for 2012. I keep checking the Moda Coming Soon page, the designers that have their Christmas fabric coming out this summer are listed, but so far, nothing listed for Sweetwater. I think Countdown to Christmas came out in August last year so maybe their next line will be out in August this year. The Coming Soon fabric page at Moda only goes through July.

So after one quilt, one wall hanging, three pillows, and one pincushion I still have some fabric left.

There's some pieces from a layer cake, some pieces from a charm pack, some yardage and some scraps. I think there's enough fabric here to make something, and they are yours for the asking. If you've been hoping to get to some of this lovely fabric, but haven't gotten around to it, here's your chance.

Just leave a comment by the end of day Tuesday, February 14th. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday. I'll mail to any address my post office will accept, so this offer is not restricted to the US. If you can't leave a comment just send an email to me at

In your comment, let me know what you're working on now or what's up next, I just love to know what folks are working on in their sewing rooms. Do you ever check out the Top Sellers page at the Fat Quarter Shop? It's a nice look into what folks are buying for their sewing rooms.

Here's my what's up next,

French Vintage by Joe Wood for ThimbleCreek Quilts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pillow Talk . . . .

Look what I made, PILLOWS!!

Some Countdown to Christmas pillows to go with my Countdown to Christmas quilt and Countdown to Christmas wall hanging.

I've been wanting to make some pillows to go with some of my quilts ever since I picked up this book. (still available, click here)

This is "Shams with Style" by Heather Mulder Peterson and Deb Mulder. I bought this book almost two years ago; and every time I finish a quilt I think, "I need to make some matching pillows". But I'm usually in a hurry to move on to the next project on my To Do list and tell myself, "I'll make them after I get the top quilted" or "I'll make them when I'm ready to put the quilt on the bed". Well that has yet to happen so this time I decided to make the pillows now, so when Christmas rolls around and I get my quilt out, I'll have the pillows ready to go.

I recommend the book, it has several patterns (no zippers required, yeah!), provides different size requirements for different bed sizes, and the instructions are well written with great illustrations.

I decided to go with 3 pillows to stretch across the headboard. Several of the techniques required to make the pillows were new to me so I decided to make one pillow start to finish, then tackle the other two pillows.

I had a free afternoon and figured I could whip out one pillow in a couple of hours.


This was the first time I had ever quilted anything bigger than a mug rug, and only the second time I had ever attached binding to a project.

I did use this foot for the first time and it worked great. See that guide in the middle of that foot? All I had to do was line up that foot on my quilt pattern and sew. It took 2 hours to quilt both sides of the pillow!! Who knew machine quilting was so time consuming!!

Here's a closeup of the quilting and the ties.

I used white quilting thread on one side of the pillow and red on the other. I made all three pillows that way. I'm not sure which side I prefer, but it gives me the option to go all white, all red, two white one red, or one red two white.

Yes, ties! no zipper required.

It took me over 3 days to make these three pillows but I think it was well worth the time.

Not counting the shopping, decorating, cooking, and partying that comes with Christmas, I'm all ready!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First of Many . . . .

Here's Block One of my Memories of Provence block of the month by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts.

The blocks are 12 inch blocks. A nice size for the amount of pieces in each block.

I made it exactly as the pattern instructed,

except I substituted the center fabric with the red viney for the green viney, used the black fabric in the outer portion of the star instead of around the red viney block, used the red dot fabric for the area that was supposed to be the black print and used a green print for the outer star points instead of a red floral. That's it, other than that it's exactly the same!! ( I have a fat quarter bundle of this family of fabric which will allow me to make a few changes as I go.)

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed a nice block of the month. I think I like the challenge of making a new block as much as I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when it's finished.

So only 11 more focus blocks and 20 more setting blocks to go. I can hardly wait for block 2.

The last time I blogged about this project I received a few inquiries about the possibility of signing up. There are several stores online offering this block of the month, I'm using Craft Town Fabrics from Pekin, Indiana. I called the shop on Friday and they still have some spaces available if you would like to join in the fun.

The next pattern for Sherri and Sinta's "Another Year of Schnibbles" is i.s.t.h.

I like this pattern, I like stars and I like checkerboards.

But I went through my "stash", which really isn't much of a stash, and came up empty handed, none of my fabric really shouted, "pick me, pick me". The only fabric that I have that's not a kit that's available for this pattern is some Bliss, a hodgepodge of civil war reproduction fabric, some batiks, some Kansas Troubles, some Fig Tree and some French General....that's it. Maybe when I see some finished projects pop up in blogland I'll get inspired. Right now all I have is the pattern.

I got some interesting feedback regarding my February 29th day. Some folks mentioned that they work and can't stay home in their pajamas with no makeup eating cupcakes and sewing all day, that's a pity. But someone mentioned that an extra day means 24 hours, and why not take an hour or two throughout the year, I think that's a great idea, maybe that would work better for you. If I'm sleeping for 7 hours of my extra day, maybe I need to stretch it out for two days!