Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jersey Girl to California Girl . . .

When my favorite daughter was home for Christmas (I'm always amazed when parents say they don't have a favorite child, my California daughter is my favorite child by far) in addition to going home with   her Christmas haul and my French Vintage quilt (LQ#80 ) she also tried to talk me out of my Chicken Feed quilt (LQ#119).  I was having no part of that, Chicken Feed looks too perfect on the red couch to be moving to California.  While my daughter did love the bright American Jane colors of Chicken Feed, I think what she liked best was its size, which is 45" x 45".  She said it was just the perfect size to have on her lap.  So when Sherri and Sinta selected Jersey Girl for the January Schnibbles sew-along I immediately thought that it had the potential to be a perfect lap quilt for my daughter.  

Turns out it does make a perfect lap size quilt!

Carrie's pattern finished at 36" x 36" so I made my version a tad bigger to be closer in size to the Chicken Feed quilt my daughter liked.  I added a half inch to each block in the pattern, bumped up the sashing a smidgen, and added an inner border to get a quilt that finished at 50" x 50".

Since this quilt is going to be living with my daughter at her house I've renamed my top California Girl.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 124.
The pattern is Jersey Girl by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
It finished at 50" x  50"
The majority of the fabric is Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
It has approximately 525 pieces.

Sinta and Sherri are extending the January sew along date to February 3rd, so if you've not made your Jersey Girl yet get your pattern (click here) and get to it.   You can easily make this pattern in a weekend, what else do you have to do while waiting for the Super Bowl to start!

My California Girl looks mighty fine on the red couch too, I hope it finds its way to California!

Housekeeping Items:

I got a few questions about my pattern binders, I blogged about them here.  Although at that time I only had 4 binders, it appears as if I add a binder a year, but you get the general idea on my set up.

There's a Gypsy Kisses Instagram sew-along in the works and I'm hoping to join in, several folks left comments about wanting to make a pickle dish quilt so I thought I would pass the information on to you.  Follow Jennifer Fortuna at jennfortuna if you want to follow along or join in the fun.

One last thing, I only have one child, but I just know if I had more than one she would be my favorite!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 Goals

So I shared my UFO's and Finishes from 2013, now it's time to talk about what I would like to work on in 2014.

I don't keep a strict To Do list, but I do like to have a general idea of what I would like to accomplish each year.  Last year my list was pretty short, it had 4 items and they weren't even all that specific; "dot quilt, churn dash, pineapple and two color".   That's exactly what I had on my list.  I did start a dot quilt and continue to work on it, I call it Clown Pants.  I did start a mini churn dash quilt, it's a UFO.  Pineapple, another UFO.  At least I started and finished my two color quilt, Blue and White, Lifetime Quilt # 112.

The reason my actual list isn't more extensive is because I also keep an "Up Next" binder.  I use binders  to store my patterns and I'm up to seven binders now; Up Next, two binders for patterns of projects that are finished, a giant catch all binder, a binder for all my Miss Rosie, Schnibbles and Little Bites patterns, a binder for my Primitive Gatherings, Red Crinoline and other civil war/primitive quilt patterns, and a binder for holiday themed projects and quilts.   I should really take the patterns in the catch all binder and make 4 smaller ones, I have enough star patterns and 9 block/square patterns to fill two separate binders.  Maybe that should be on my To Do list, organize quilt pattern binders.

Sorry I digress, so the first thing I do each year is go through the Up Next binder and take out what's not going to be up next and add patterns that are.  Some patterns get to stay in the binder, I'll talk about those first.

I love basket quilts, I want to make a new basket quilt each year.

I thought I would make either Sweet Caroline or Petit Fours, both by Fig Tree, in 2013, but Canasta beat them out. I'm guessing I'll add a basket quilt to my Lifetime Quilt List in 2014, hopefully one of these.

This is Papillon, also by Fig Tree, this pattern has been in my Up Next binder for at least two years.  

I still love that quilt and want to make it. I've come close a couple of times, but honestly, I'm worried about the way this quilt is assembled and am afraid my blocks won't line up nice and neat like in the pattern cover, maybe this is the year I at least give this block a try.  I love the bow tie blocks and I love how the background changes but the blocks do not.  If you've made this quilt would you please let me know if you had any problems getting everything to match up correctly?

Debonaire, another pattern that has been in my Up Next binder for more than one year.

This pattern was released in 2011!  Where does time go.  It's my very favorite Sew Emma pattern.  It was designed by Rachel Griffith.  Initially it was the red and beige combo that caught  my fancy, but now I think I would enjoy this quilt even more made with a different combination of colors.

Toulouse, by Miss Rosie Quilt Co., is one of my top ten all time favorite quilts that I've finished.

I love this pattern and goose in the pond is my all time favorite block.  My Toulouse is a Christmas quilt, so one of my all time favorite quilts is only out for one month a year.  I would love to make another Toulouse from fabric that is not holiday themed so I could enjoy it every month except December.  Then I would have a Toulouse for every month of the year!  With so many wonderful patterns filling 7 binders, let alone a book shelf full of pattern books,  it's hard to think about making the same pattern twice, except in this case.  I keep hoping someone will start a sew along for me to join, you know how I like a good sew-along.  I think this quilt pattern is perfect for all quilters and if I was teaching a beginner class, I would teach this pattern.  It covers all the basics, hsts, 9 patches, split rails and flying geese blocks.  Simple blocks put together in a way that makes them look amazing.

These Miss Rosie Quilt Co. patterns have been in my Up Next binder for a couple of years too,

Due South, Brown-Eyed Girl, Scarlett Queen and Opening Day.  And they are staying in there.  I will get to them, sometime.

Madder Stars.

This is the last of the patterns that were in my binder and are staying.  This pattern is in the Elegant Quilts, Country Charm book by Leonie Bateman and Deirdre Bond-Abel.  Even though my tastes are leaning towards more modern and lighter and brighter quilts, I still love this pattern and want to make this quilt.

Here are some patterns that I added to my Up Next binder:

Some geometrical designs by American Jane.  Right now I couldn't even pick one out of the three, I love them all.

Hook, by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

I'll make this top whether Sinta and Sherri pick it for their Schnibbles sew-along or not, but I'm hoping they do!

I am intrigued by this Urban 9 Patch block from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

I've seen some amazing color combinations and variations of this block.  I've got the ruler, I just need to spend an afternoon playing around with it.  I think once I do I'll be hooked.


This pattern is in the Hand Quilted with Love book by Sarah Fielke.  I loved this pattern when I first bought the book and fell a little harder when I saw Cindy's version at Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  (click here)  One thing worrying me is the Y-seams, but Cindy tackled them with no problems, and while I'm not as experienced as Cindy, I think every quilter should try a pattern that requires Y-seams at least once, hopefully this one will be my once this year.

Can anyone have too many red and white quilts?

I don't think so, A Red Letter Day and Red Prelude by Roxie and Joe Wood for ThimbleCreek Quilts  are on my list.

This pattern is from the Material Obsession 2 book by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.

It's called Playground and I love it.  I'm not sure if it's the colors or the big blocks, this quilt finishes at 78" x 91", a little bigger than my desired size of 75" x75", but if I go with 4 rows of 4 blocks I think I'll still have a good look and be closer to my perfect size. 

For several years now I've been thinking I needed to make either a wedding ring or pickle dish quilt, a right of passage quilt for all quilters. This last year several pickle dish quilts have caught my attention and 2014 will be the year I start one, I've caught the pickle dish fever.

There are several different ways to piece a pickle dish quilt so my first order of business is to pick a pattern.  

This one is by Kaffe Fassett and finishes at 67" x 67".

This one is called Gypsy Kisses,

and is by Kathy Doughty from the Material Obsession 2 book.  It finishes at 92" x 103". Besides deciding on a pattern I need to find the perfect focus fabric.  I can't imagine spending all that time piecing this quilt to end up with an ugly quilt when you're done!!

Cindy at Hyacinth is working on a pickle dish quilt using April Showers by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  (click here)  And Jessica at Twin Fibers made a Gypsy Kisses using Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. (click here)  I'm head over heals in love with both versions and would love to copy them, but I'll come up with something else for my quilt, I want mine to be different.  This is another quilt that I think would make a good sew-along project.

So besides ALL these ideas I also plan to participate in Sinta and Sherri's  Schnibbles sew-along and have started the January project, Jersey Girl.  My general goal is one finish a month, that's 12 projects, I may have some carry overs for 2015! But that's OK, if I finish half the quilts on my list, 2014 will be an amazing and productive quilting year.  I hope the same for you.

On an entirely different subject, if you want to see what's going on in my sewing room on a daily basis, I usually post something to Instagram daily, follow me, Thelmacupcake, if you're interested.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

First Finish for 2014 . . .

Starlight is done! 

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 123
The pattern Starlight is by Camille Roskelley for Thimble Blossoms (click here for pattern)
It finished at 66" x 70"
The large floral triangles are by Liberty of London
The rest of the fabric is random prints from my stash
It has approximately 781 pieces.

You may remember that I had a little trouble with this quilt when I didn't follow the instructions on my triangle ruler for cutting those large floral triangles.  A friend passed this along, "a quilt so nice you'll make it twice", and I did, and it was worth it. 

Some quilts look good with inner and outer borders and some quilts don't.  One of my favorite things about this pattern is how the design runs off the sides, like it's going to infinity and beyond.

Not only is this my first finish for 2014, it's a project off  my UFO list, now I'm down to 5 of them, what a way to start the year.  I hope your year is off to a great start too.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dresden Doilies Update . . . .

Before . . .

And after!

I tried using a simple embroidery hoop for appliquéing my dresden blocks to my top and it's working out great.  I'm careful not to stretch the fabric and blocks already appliquéd, and only leave the hoop on while I'm stitching, not hours on end or overnight.  The center blocks will be the hardest I think because they have the most bulk around them.  I have to admit that each block is getting easier, all I  needed was something I could hold on to.

I plan to add one border at a time, appliqué the blocks, then go on to the next border, again, to cut down on the bulk.  Right now I'm thinking this project won't be a UFO for long.  

Just in case you've forgotten, the pattern is Dresden Doilies by Gerri Robinson and was in the September/October 2011 issue of McCall's Quilting. 

Besides working on this hand project I've been thinking about what I want to work on this year.  I'm going through patterns and pattern books coming up with my list.   I like to have some sort of plan in place, even if it changes as the year progresses, because you know what they say, "a goal without a plan is just a wish"!  I hope to share my action plan with you later this week.  I'm also piecing quilt backs and binding and getting some quilts out the door to quilters.  So there's some quilting activity going on at my house, just not much to show for it, or nothing you would enjoy seeing, right now!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a great week!

Friday, January 10, 2014

2013 Summary

I finished 23 quilt tops in 2013.  I like to average one finish a month and I sure exceeded that goal, but last year I made more smaller projects than ever before, which I think is a good thing, more opportunities to experiment and play.

I have an eclectic mix of finishes, I can't say that I really have a style, but I love them all, the traditional prints and patterns, the traditional patterns made from more modern fabric, and all the bright colors that really spoke to me this year.

I won't talk about all 23 finishes, but if you're  curious just go to "My Second 100 Quilts" tab, I started the year with 100 and finished with 122.

Something else that I made, that is not on my official list, is my bag.  Yes, I made my first bag in 2013.

I keep patterns, quilt books, and quilt magazines that I want to read in this bag and leave it hanging on the doorknob on my sewing room door.  Anytime I'm heading someplace where I may have a spare minute, like the beauty shop or dentist office, I grab this purse, throw in my iPad, and I'm good to go.  I carry it somewhere at least once a week.  I've gotten several compliments on it and I'm pleased with the handles, they're showing no signs of wear.

Out of my 23 finishes I made pattern changes to 12 of them and created my own pattern for 4.  That leaves 7 finishes that are exactly like the pattern.

While I do enjoy changing a pattern, to  make it more mine, sometimes it's just hard to improve on perfection, I feel that way about these quilts in particular.

Carolina Lily

and Coastal Lily.

Additionally, of the 23 quilts I finished, twelve were sew-alongs, more than half.  I love sewing along with other quilters and really got into the spirit of it in 2013.  Here are a few of my favorite sew along quilts.

Autumn in my Garden

Summer Wind


Christmas Round and Round

Shower Shuffle.

I pieced my first quit using a black background last year and loved it.

Morning Joe

Of the quilts that I designed myself, these are my favorites, 

Happy HST 

and Hocuspocusville.

Although for Hocuspocusville, I have several reasons to love this quilt besides its design, the stitched blocks were a gift from a friend and it's very different from any other quilt I have.  The only downside to this quilt is that it's a seasonal quilt and not out on display year round.

Of quilts that I changed the pattern on, these are a couple of  my favorites, 


where I added the geese and pinwheel stems, 
and Canasta, 

where I changed the center of the blocks and made a few extras, the "bikini basket block" is still my favorite.

So on my last post I talked about how I started but didn't finish 6 projects last year.  When I started reviewing my blog, and counting the projects that I did finish in 2013, I didn't feel so bad about not finishing 6.

And now for the numbers of 2013.  My finished quilts had a total of approximately 21,849 pieces and if you connected all the quilts you would have a top that finished at 1,363" x 1,446".  If you lined them up on a football field you would almost get to the 40 yard line.

Of all the the things that I remember from my 2013 quilting year, the thing I remember the most, I had a fun year, who could ask for more than that.  That's what I'm shooting for this year too, because as I have frequently said, it's not my job, it's my hobby.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chicken Feed . . .

When I was looking at the quilts I had finished during 2013, I realized that I had forgotten to blog about one, this one!

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 119
The pattern is Chicken Feed by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co
The fabric is Potluck by Jane Klop for American Jane by Moda
This quilt finished at 43" x 43"
It has approximately 397 pieces.

The top was quilted by Diane Tricka.  I'm crazy about the quilting in general,  but in particular love the design in those snowball blocks.

My favorite thing about this pattern, other than the fact that I made it out of my Morning Joe scraps, it took two days to piece, start to finish, and its size, are that the star points float!  I just love it when a designer floats the point of a star because try as I might, I cut the tip off at least one star point per project, usually more.  You don't lose any star points with this pattern.

You can buy and download this Schnibbles pattern now, click here.  

I've got this quilt out on my red couch,

I'm really enjoying how it brightens up my red couch, the room, and my spirits these gray days of January.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Carry Over . . .

Before I write my year in review blog post showing everything I accomplished in 2013, I thought I should blog about what I didn't accomplish in 2013!  I'm a start it then finish it quilter.  And if I start it and don't like it, I dump it.  So it's very unusual for me to have any UFO's, but more shocking still, right now I have SIX!!

First up, Dresden Doilies.  

I had no problem piecing the blocks or machine appliquéing the large blocks into place, but I wasn't happy with how my smaller blocks looked when I machine appliquéd them into place.  All the blocks are pieced, they just need to be hand appliquéd on.

I have limited hand appliqué experience and am struggling with the bulk of hand appliquéing those smaller blocks onto this big piece of fabric. I really need to just sit down and get to it.

Looking at the pattern finish is really motivating me to get this project done.

Second, Clown Pants.

I love hand appliquéing these dot blocks, they're easy, they're portable, and they go fast.

This is what I'm shooting for and I have a long way to go. 

I usually spend my evenings doing hand work, but between bindings and these two projects and life in general, I'm falling further and further behind.   I maybe need to think about dedicating one of my normal week day sewing room days into a hand appliqué day until I'm caught up.

Temecula Quilt Co mini basket project

I started this project in July.  The Temecula Quilt shop did this fun little sew along for the month of July.  And I hung in there the whole month and made my basket blocks.

Then came the end of the sew along and I decided I liked this setting for my mini blocks, which needs twice as many blocks as I pieced, I'm planning to work on this project again this July and finish it up.

Pineapple Quilt
 I started this project last April.  It's not the kind of project I want to sit down and work on all the time,  but I didn't seem to have much luck at working on it every now and then either.  I want a 100 block quilt, I'm not even half way there.

Mini churn dash blocks

I have no big plan for this project and started it on a whim.  I thought this would be a fun project to squeeze in between other projects.  Maybe I'm just not a squeeze in between kind of gal!

And finally, the heartbreaker, also known as Starlight.

I was going to town on this project until I cut all those large floral triangles the wrong size, requiring me to un-sew all my pieced sections.

It's just sitting on my work shelf in my sewing studio, waiting for me to fall back in love with it, and I think I will.

So that's what I need to work on in 2014, and I'm fairly confident all of these projects will be on my accomplished list this time next year!  Make that very confident, I can and will do it!