Friday, July 31, 2015

And the winner of the Island Batik strips is...

Barbara Jackson said...
Great use of a small space! Lots of creativity!

Thanks for your comment, Barbara!

For everyone who didn't win, make sure you stick around - I am planning more giveaway fun next month - not only am I part of Island Batik Summer in the Country Blog Hop, but it's also my birthday month and I am ready to celebrate!

I'll be announcing the first one tomorrow, and I think you will like it!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Last Day of Our Favorite Things

This is the last day of the Island Batik Ambassadors blog hop!  Happy Cottage Quilter is our last stop on the tour.

I will be drawing the winner for my post tomorrow, so make sure to go comment if you haven't yet!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Baxter's Rainbow Bridge Art Quilt

Earlier this month I was contacted about quilting an art quilt, and after seeing the top accepted the job.  When I received the top I was very pleased at how pretty it was and was very happy to see how nicely made and perfectly flat it was (sometimes art quilts can be pretty lumpy and bumpy!)  I have enjoyed getting to know the maker of this quilt top as we have chatted back and forth about how to quilt it and have so much enjoyed getting to know Kay!

I took a picture of the quilt top and printed it up to do some doodling on it.  Kay was interested in a greek key type design and when I doodled it on the quilt it definitely looked like a great design.  We also decided to just stitch in the ditch around the solid borders - quilting those just seemed too busy.

 It's pretty subtle, but when you look closely this quilt is delightfully wonky!  The strips aren't all the same same size, and there are some subtle angles going on in the rows of strips.  It really is a quilt that pulls you in and makes you want to look closer.
 The outside border is quilted with a hook and loop design, you can't really see it, but it softens the angles of the inside a bit and adds a nice bit of texture.
 I matched the thread to the strips for the stitch in the ditch portions as well as the outer border, but for the greek key design chose a peacock blue!  So pretty!  I think it adds just the right amount of contrast without being too bold.
The best part of quiting this was when I cast off my concern about making the greek keys perfect.  It was really better for them to be more uneven because it accents the way the strips are uneven as well!  As you can see, I got to try it out in several different sizes.  I have to say, it looks great in any size, and I will definitely add this design to my list of border and sashing designs for future quilts.

Kay was inspired by another blogger to make this quilt, so if you like this quilt, Exuberant Color will really inspire you as well!

I will be binding this quilt today and getting it ready to return to it's owner.  She made this in memory of her dog, Baxter, and I am sure it will be a comfort to her.  Not only have I enjoyed working on her quilt, but I feel I have made a new friend.  Funny how quilting does that!

Speaking of friends, my fellow Island Batik Embassadors feel like friends as well, especially after seeing their sewing areas!  Just a few more to go - stop by and visit Patti at Lemon Tree Snippets

Don't forget to comment on my studio post to enter the drawing for the Island Batik strip bundle I am giving away on my post as well - I will be drawing for that on Friday, July 31!

I also linked this post to Sew Fresh Quilts Let's Bee Social link up - join in on the fun!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Travel Themed Baby Quilt 2

This is the second travel themed baby quilt - the border fabric in this one is so cute!

As you can see, this one is a bit brighter!  I thought the yellow was a perfect accent for it.  Some of the fabrics in the center are from the Riley Blake detour line.  I got a charm pack of that and split it between the two quilts.  I am trying to find out who makes the border print because it is so adorable - I know that there are some of you who would love to have some of it!

 I tried to keep the fabrics a little more bright and cheery on this version of the quilt.  I used my Baby Nines pattern for this one as well.  It's super easy and fast to make!  Plus I love playing with charm squares for a scrappy look.

Make sure you take a look at Connie's Our Favorite Things blog post today - her sewing space is so charming!  And if you haven't already, go back and look at mine - comment to be in a drawing to win a strip bundle of Island Batik fabric!  I will draw on Friday, so please make sure you get your name in for the drawing.  Also look for an announcement of the plans I have for August - another blog hop and some birthday fun coming up!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Studio - Our Favorite Things Blog Hop

It's my turn to show you around my sewing room!  Welcome!  I've been enjoying looking at the other Island Batik Embassador's rooms and am excited to show mine as well.  I have the worst time ranking things and can rarely choose one favorite anything, so I have a lot of favorite things about my room to share with you all.  My dad always says I love clutter and I guess it is true, but I am truly happy surrounded by all the things in my room.  Sometimes it gets a little out of control, but a little cleaning up and it's back to sewing again!

My room is my daughter Tracy's former bedroom that I took over when she left home after high school.  When she came back for Christmas a few months later she was rather sad that I had taken it over so soon, but I was so excited to have my own room.  Truthfully, this is the only room I have ever had to myself in my whole life - I went straight from living with my parents to being married!  So my room is definitely filled to the brim with all of my favorite things!  I left it in the same blue and yellow that my daughter chose because I love those colors.  This room is about 10 x 11 feet, so it is a pretty average size bedroom.  
My room has two closets.  This is the large one.  I added an entertainment center to provide shelves under the clothing bar and it houses patterns, large cuts of fabric, pillow forms, batting, various projects and all of my shipping supplies for my Etsy shop.

I had my ironing board tucked in there as well when I took this picture.  If you look close you can see me in my bathrobe taking the photo - whoopsie!  The mirror is there because another hat I wear in this room is doing alterations on clothing - have to have a mirror so my clients can see themselves.  Above the curtains I've hung some of the ribbons I've won at my local quilt show.  There are a couple of purple ribbons that I am particularly pleased with!

The dress hanging there is a project that I need to get finished - I just need to add some buttons and buttonholes, then hem it.  It is a dress that was given to me, so it hasn't been on the top of my list.

The second closet is a smaller one with bi-fold doors.  One of my daughters got that cute plaque that says it like it is!  Very appropriate to hang over my fabric storage closet!  Above that is a darling ceramic Mary Engelbreit clock I found at a garage sale.  This definitely counts as one of my favorite things!  I have a whiteboard/corkboard to put my to-do list as well as place inspirational bits and pieces.  The hook on the left holds my aprons.  The top one is the one I received when I completed the process to be Moda Certified!  Love wearing it to keep threads off me when I am dressed up, but mostly I forget...and am full of stray threads.
Inside the closet there are shelves and I have recently added baskets to store my fabric.  I like this so much better than the piles of fabric falling all over the place!  There is a little space between the baskets where I can pile the fabrics that need to be sorted back where they belong.  This way it doesn't get too messy, but it lets me put the fabric near where it needs to be stored quickly.

On the wall to the right, on the other side of the door is my design wall (a large piece of fleece hung up with thumbtacks) and some storage units.  Behind the design wall you can see the outlines of the door which goes to my laundry room.  I don't use this door, so I've just covered it up! 

 The black unit on the left is a tv stand that I bought at Wal-mart.  It has a couple shelves and rolls, which makes it nice for rearranging my room on occasion.  On top of this (under the bright batik quilt) is a basket that I use to hold the odds and ends that I need to work on for other people.  This keeps me a little more organized and I can see what needs to be done at any time.  The batik quilt is one I am custom quilting.  In one of the plastic drawers I have a drawer for tote bag fabrics, a drawer for completed tops that are waiting to be quilted and a drawer for fabric for specific projects that I want to keep together.  The other has art quilt supplies, novelty fabrics, and coordinating fabric for the quilted journal covers I enjoy making.

See that pretty blue block on my design wall?  Island Batik - a sample block for the quilt I am working on for next month's blog hop!

This large, south facing window is definitely one of my favorite things about my room!  Glorious light on most days.  Today was a bit overcast, but you can see I still get nice light.  In the corner I have a couple plastic bins of Etsy inventory, and lots of other containers that have projects stored in them.  I have my cutting table here, which has worked out really well.  It gets a bit too bright to have my sewing machine table here, but it works out well to cut in this spot.  I do cover my rotary mat when the sun is shining in, but it hasn't been too bad since the sun only comes down that far south in the winter when it is mostly overcast!  On the right of my cutting table are two more sets of storage drawers which contain pre-cuts and the strips I cut into different sizes for scrap projects.
Continuing to the right I have a chest of drawers that stores my collection of rulers, and other equipment.  One drawer is full of supplies for bridal alterations!  You wouldn't believe how many shades of white there are - so I like to keep stocked up.  The large round tin on the floor on the right holds scrap fabric.  Time to process it all, it's starting to overflow!
I use the shelves my daughter and I put in the room to hold useful and decorative items.  I have some memorabilia from my trip to Paris on the top shelf, as well as fun and pretty items that I have received as gifts.  The small trunk on the top of the dresser holds my collection of Paris themed fabrics, which I love!  I have some pretty bowls, and various other treasures that make me smile when I see them.  I have a little alarm clock/cd player for music.  It's kind of cluttered, but I like it!  I have a couple of thread holders that hold my sewing threads.  Quilting threads are stored in other spots.  

I have a large table that I can use for various purposes.  Mostly it gets things piled on it.  You can see my sewing table on the right - it is a corner desk, but I hate looking into a corner, luckily it fits right up against the large table.  Works great for quilting!  I set up my "little brother" machine on the large table and switch it out with my serger when I need it to (the serger is under the blue and yellow toile cover on the corner of the table).  The pink jewelry box in the center of the table holds quilting thread - this was a gift from a friend and it's the perfect size for this!  The round thing in front of that is a folding lamp.  I rarely use it, so I think I need to find a better spot to store it.  The letter holder on the right organizes patterns, coupons, and my scissors are stored in the bins on the back of it.  Hmm...I spy a pile of Island Batiks on the left side of the table.  They are waiting for me to do some serious cutting and sewing!

This is a better look at the whole wall.  This is the only wall in my room that does not have a window or door!  The high shelf on the right has tins that hold my handquilting supplies, buttons, and notions.  I have a calendar above my sewing chair to help organize me.  The hanging in the center is a dish towel that a friend purchased at a garage sale for me.  It fits in perfectly!
This is the best view in my room!  My Juki is definitely on my list of favorite things.  This is my second - I used my first one for 10 years.  I bought this one used, and I hope it will last me just as long, unless I decide to upgrade to a newer one.  You can see my kindle propped up in the background - Amazon Prime is amazing!  I am currently going through Star Trek Next Generation.  I love it for helping me through lots of mindless sewing!  My office chair is slipcovered in selvages and is another favorite thing (see how I did it here).  I like the corner desk because it has a small drawer on the right that is perfect for snippers, needles, and other small items, and several drawers on the left that I use for office supplies and ribbon.

Here is the view out my door.  (Whoops, it's a bit messy out there!)  Just one more funny note about my room.  One night my husband was checking the doors and windows before bed and told me I needed to go see if there was something plugged in that needed turned off because it smelled funny.  I walked in and laughed.  It just had it's normal "fabric" smell - I love it!  I thought it was totally hilarious that the normal "good" smell of my sewing room that makes me happy smelled like something else to him!  

Thanks for joining me on this tour of my room.  It truly is my happy place, and I love to spend time in here.  I have spent a lot of years sewing on the Dining room table, or on a desk in the corner of a living room or bedroom, so I really appreciate having my own space finally.  I like to rearrange it every once in a while, so next time it may look quite different.  I have seen some really neat ideas for closets, so I have been thinking about that - some lighting and lower shelving and I could make a really nifty pressing station in there!

To thank you for stopping by, I am going to give away one of the sets of sample strips I got from Island Batik!  Just leave a comment and I will do a random drawing at the end of our blog hop!

Don't forget to check out the other Island Batik Embassador's blogs, too - lots of great sewing spaces!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Travel Theme Baby Quilt

I love getting custom order requests, and baby quilts are the most fun of all!  This request was for a travel themed quilt.  I do have some fun Paris fabrics, but needed more international landmarks for my quilt so I got to go shopping for fabric - woohoo!  I found a couple of prints that I thought would work for the feature fabric so I bought a yard each of them.  I ended up making two quilts because I couldn't decide which one I liked best!

Here is the first one.  I thought this one looked more earth toned.  It is supposed to be gender neutral, so I think I hit the mark on this one for sure!  I just did my usual Baby Nines - very simple, but a fun way to use a variety of fabrics.

I remembered to add one of my tags to the corner this time.  I've seen some really cute ones you can order, but I made these using printable fabric with a bit of fray-check on the sides.  I have quite a few more to use up.  I think next time I will order some cute ones, but these work for now!

I think it turned out lovely!  The machine quilting is loops in a gold Auriful 50 weight thread.  Just a bit less than 2 bobbins worth for this size, so the quilting doesn't take too long.

Today I will quilt the other quilt and you will see how different it looks even though I've used many of the same fabrics.

Today is Christine's turn on the Our Favorite Things blog hop - she does a great job making use of the limited space she has for quilting!  Here is Christine's post.  She also has a Juki, and says it is fast and furious - that's why I love mine!  I guess I'd better go do some fast and furious quiting and finish up that second baby quilt now, have a great day and make sure to hop on over to Christine's blog - she is having a giveaway as well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday at home

It's rarely that I get to spend Wednesday at home because it is usually my day to work at Threads That Bind.  It feels a bit strange, to tell you the truth!  It's been a busy week, I've got several quilts prepped for quilting, so it should be a fun few days before we leave to go help with the grandkids.  I need to get off my lazy rear and go take some pictures with my real camera as the iphone pictures leave a lot to be desired.

I do have pictures of a finished project for you, though.  In the better late than never category!  This quilt is made using the blocks I designed for a short block of the month program for my local quilt shop.  I made one block for display and a second block for the finished table runner.  When I wrote the pattern I intended to make the sample blocks into a table topper or wallhanging, but they have been sitting in one of the piles I keep shuffling around my sewing room for over a year now.  On the Fourth of July they kept taunting me to finish them - after all, it is a red, white, and blue project!  So I did!

This was really an easy project to finish, just had to sew the sashing and borders, quilt and bind!  I quilted it in stars and looks.  I can't believe how easy that is for me to quilt now.  I remember the first quilt I did with stars and loops, I had such a hard time keeping my rhythm when stitching the stars - they were really odd looking.  Now I have done it enough that I don't even have to really think of it!  I was helping my grandson Cole draw stars on our last visit, and he was feeling frustrated, and I remember telling him that he just needed to practice, and that after a while it would be so easy he wouldn't even need to try to think about how to do it.  That definitely applies to machine quilting as well.  Practice, practice, practice!

Love the blue stars for sashing!  Thanks to my facebooks peeps for helping me to pick this out earlier this year - love being able to bounce my ideas off you :)

And here is a peek at the backside...more stars and a nice chunk of fabric out of my stash!  Didn't that flag fabric make a neat binding?    I love it!  The finished quilt measures 33 x 33 inches.  It is available in my Etsy shop, and if you would like to make one of your own you can buy the pattern in my Craftsy Pattern shop.  It is an enjoyable quilt to make, I love working with triangles and getting the points to come out just right!

Don't forget to keep up with the My Favorite Things block hop - today was MaryEllen's day and her post is here, she is also offering a little giveaway, so be sure to leave a comment!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

"Our Favorite Things" Blog Hop starts Tomorrow!

I am excited for the Blog Hop that all the Island Batik embassadors are starting tomorrow.  I'm also a little nervouse because it's my very first official blog hop!  It's going to be great, each of us is going to share a look into our sewing space and share something special about it.  This is a great bunch of quilters, so I know it's going to be a lot of fun and very inspirational.  Luckily my turn isn't until later so I don't have to have my sewing room ship shape quite yet, but I better not procrastinate much longer!

July 13
July 14
July 15
July 16
July 17
July 18
July 19
July 20
July 21
July 22
July 23
July 24
July 25
July 26
July 27
July 28
July 29

I hope you'll join us for a visit!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


Just to let you know, lots of fun stuff coming up soon around here!  I am signed up for a couple of blog hops centered around my role as an Island Batik Embassador.  I am excited about both!  The July hop is to introduce my fellow embassadors -

Join us for looks at the embassador's sewing rooms and just maybe a sneak peek at what we are working on for the August Blog Hop - Summer in the Country -
We are all looking forward to sharing recipes, giveaways, and gorgeous projects made with beautiful Island Batik fabrics!

I am also participating in the Game of Quilts challenge -

As you can see, it's going to be a fun summer!  I haven't bothered making any written goals for July.  Summer is just too unpredicable and I want to enjoy and not be stressed.   That said, I really want to get my Grand Illusion quilted.  I basted it last week and got lots of oohs and ahs over it as I was working on it at the quilt shop (large tables = less pain in my back from basting).  I think I will be going with the pink thread for the quilting on this, and I am planning on loops and hearts for this one as well.  It just fits and is easy to do!  And I am pretty sure that the one spool of Aurifil will do the job since it is smaller than the Origins quilt.

I'm also going to keep plugging away at Joy.  Maybe I can get it done before the Coos Sand 'N Sea Quilters show.  I hope so!

Hope your summer is going well and you are having lots of fun, quilting or otherwise!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Origins Quilt

This quilt was made as a wedding quilt for my number 4 daughter, Tracy and her husband, Mark - I love how it came out.  I gave them a lifetime warranty on this, if it ever gets damaged or they get tired of it they can return it for a replacement at no charge!

I bought an Origins fat quarter bundle right before their wedding four years ago and have spent the past few years shuffling it around my sewing room while looking for just the right pattern!  The funny thing is that when I got several of the blocks sewn I realized that I had sewn them wrong - I did a quick poll on facebook and decided to leave them as they were and make it a unique design.

I added a couple extra rows of blocks to make this a king size quilt, it took a bit of math skills, and I ended up doing all the figuring twice because I let too much time pass betwen the planning stage and the sewing stage.   I bought a nice traditional looking light brown paisley extra wide fabric for the backing.  I had to move my dining room table out of the room to make enough space to lay this out for basting.  The batting is Warm and Natural.   After going through my thread choices I decided to order a spool of Aurifil 50 weight in light lemon to use for the quilting.

It took me over a week to do all the quilting.  I realized I was running low on thread about halfway through and ordered a second spool.  Good thing!  There are over 13 bobbins of thread in this one (and the matching amount for the top thread, of course!)

I've never needed more than one spool of Aurifil to quilt a quilt before, so I know this is a large one!  I was so excited to finally give it to them - luckily they came to visit for their 10 year high school reunion so I got to give it to them in person.  I laid it on the bed in the guest room and had them come up to see "something".  They were very excited to see it - and it was such a happy moment to know that they were just as delighted with this quilt as I was!  I am so glad I got to make this beautiful quilt for them and know it will be loved and cherished.  It was well worth every moment of the making!


2208 pieces
40 fat quarters (20 dark and 20 light)
Yardage for pinwheels and borders
3 Yards of 120 wide backing
Warm and Natural batting
Finished size - 92 x 110
Over 1 spool of Aurifil 50 wt thread for quilting (hearts and loops)

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

So sorry for the ghastly picture, just wanted to share the project that I conquered today.  This was a pile of four blocks with a piece of yardage for the sashing and a fat quarter for the binding.  Now it is a finished quilt, and I will share a better picture tomorrow!  I hope your day was as pleasant as mine was, a little cooking, a lot of eating and a bit of quilting - a pleasant day all around!