Down in the dumps

It’s been a rough few weeks for me. I was trying REALLY hard to finish my Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge quilt for this year.. and as I was moving into probably my last half hour of FMQ, my machine.. broke.

Just, broke.

There was some smoke, a horrible smell.. and I knew that I probably blew out the motor and it would probably cost me just as much to repair the machine as I spent on the actual machine about ten years ago.

My boyfriend likes to tinker, and he was itching to get his hands on it. After I’d called a few sewing machine places and got an idea of how much it would cost to replace a motor and diagnose the machine, I let him take a crack at it. It just wouldn’t be worth it to fix it.

An hour later and he’d ripped out all its guts and I sat staring at the quilt I was almost done with, the day before it was due, next to my naked, junked machine.

I have to admit I was quite depressed for a couple of days.

I did buy a new machine a couple of days later. 😀  We’re still getting acquainted, but it’s going well so far. It’s the same brand as my last one, so there’s very little learning curve.. except it’s 10 years newer and a much better model.

As one of our first  projects together, I rushed to get a baby blanket done for a coworker (who is adorable and just about the sweetest woman at work..) for a baby shower I didn’t know was happening.

I managed to get it done in a few days and I was super happy with the way it turned out.

You can see my boyfriend’s sweet Ninja Turtle pjs..

I pulled out all the pink/purple Brambleberry Ridge that I had leftover and did some HSTs. I clearly wasn’t done binding in this picture, but I did barely finish it the night before the baby shower.


See? I promise I finished it. The backing I got at Wal-Mart of all places. It’s this really wonderful texture. It’s labelled as an “ultra-cuddle fleece” but it really acts a lot like a minky… shedding and all.


You can kinda see some of the texture in it. Other than the really standard dots, I haven’t seen any of these with this kind of texture. It’s really cool.

Gotta love those metallic fabrics. 

I did some really basic straight-line quilting, used up almost all of my white-on-whites and some of my favorite low-volume prints. It ended up being something like 3.5 x 4.5 feet. The mom-to-be is pretty small and she loves it. 🙂 She said it might end up being just for her. As long as she likes it, I don’t care what she does with it. 🙂

Happy Crafting everyone!


Down in the dumps

Finish it up Mother’s Day!

I have a couple of things to share this week. The first one is a couple of pixie baskets made from the Fabric Mutt tutorial.
My boyfriend had his mother over and my grandma came over. We went out to eat and I made a sandcastle cake… aaand my dog (Eevee) ate it. It was really cute though. Just trust me. So my boyfriend made homemade turtles. Chocolate, pecan, caramel piles of goodness. I figured they needed some cute receptacles.


The one on the left is for his mom, the right for my grandma. I had him pick out the fabrics for hers. The tabs on hers are a twill tape I found at Joann’s that says “made with love.”

I mentioned this on my blog before, but  my aunt and uncle adopted 3 kids recently, and they have two other sons in their 20’s. So I figured this would be a pretty special Mother’s Day for her. I wanted to celebrate it so I got some fabric pens and had all the kids make a block for their mom. I sent 6 with my uncle thinking there’d be an extra one but my uncle surprised me by making one himself, which was a super delight to find.

So then I decided to do custom quilting on all of the blocks too!

I racked my brain for days trying to find fabrics that would go with the colors that the kids picked, but then I figured, hell with it, we’ll make this an all-out kid’s quilt. So I ended up going with a handful of fabrics from the Wee Wander collection and I love it. I think it ended up super cute. IMG_20160513_150227052_HDR
The finished size was somewhere in the vicinity of 60″ x 72″. Definitely big enough to snuggle under with some little ones. I did some random cornerstones around the edge and did scrappy sashing with some of the lower volume prints in the collection.

Also I found this great fleece backing at Joann’s that goes with the front really well.

The kids really enjoyed point out the blocks they made and Mom was really thrilled, so all-in-all it was a win. 🙂

Happy crafting!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Finish it up Mother’s Day!

Doll Bed Finish

My aunt and uncle (who are in their early fifties) recently adopted 3 siblings that are all under 10! What?! Crazy. Just crazy. They’re some of the most generous, warm-hearted people I know and I’m really excited that we have little kids back in the family since all my other cousins are grown now.

The oldest is a girl who – after being passed around to 8 different foster homes in A YEAR – has a hard time expressing a lot of joy. However, she recently got an American Girl doll that she loves and her birthday is coming up. So, as a quilter, I immediately think, “Oh, doll quilt. Duh.” But then I asked my aunt what her doll was currently sleeping in, and she told me a shoe box. UNACCEPTABLE! So, of course, doll quilt turned into doll BED. So I got this sweet $30 canopy bed on Amazon that fits an 18″ doll (..because the American Girl stuff is expeeensiiive. No really, like $300 for a tiny bed) and made bedding and a quilt and little curtains.. I am SUPER PUMPED about this bed!


My aunt told me that my new cousin loves pink and teal and lime green so I got some of the new Tula Pink Chipper and a couple of prints from the Bonnie Christie Succulence line. The bed came with a little mattress and little pillow but they were very sad, so I stitched a couple layers of batting onto the mattress and made it lime green and made a pillow case for the pillow.


But, because I was SO PUMPED about doing this, I of course had to make another side to the pillow case.. Because.. What if the doll wasn’t feeling like chipmunks that day?


Right? So now she has options.

Little pillows! Woo! Also, really quick stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. I didn’t think she’d care too much about my feathering skill .. moderate ability.

Oh god, I didn’t realize you could see my dandelions in this picture.. 

For the actual quilt, I did an economy block using this tutorial  from Red Pepper Quilts. I didn’t LOVE it. The points looked great on each block, but then I had some issues lining them up when I put the rows together. I’ll probably paper piece if I ever do it again, but it totally worked for a doll quilt, and I loved fussy-cutting the chipmunks.

I went stupid-simple on the curtains and just finished the edges on big white pieces of fabric and sewed some ribbon on, wrapped it over the edge, and tied it to the posts. If I’d had more time planned ahead I would have done real curtains, but whatever, it works.

My aunt text me the next day and said that my cousin kept tucking her doll back in bed, getting her up, and making the little bed over and over. 🙂 I loved hearing that.

Happy crafting, everyone!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

Doll Bed Finish

More Friday Finishes

Dear Internet,
I’ve been a terrible blogger again.
Kinda. I’ve had pneumonia. If you’ve never had it, it’s very painful. And it makes me extra sad because one of my best friends just had a baby and I can’t go visit! So frustrating.

However, I did finish up her baby blanket in time for the shower and I didn’t get sick until right after. So, with out further rambling, baby quilt time.


I didn’t take any pictures pre-wash, and I’m a little bummed because you can’t see the details too well of the insane amount of super-last-minute quilting that I did. But yay for pixelated heart. It turned out better than I thought it would.


Quilty bits in the heart. I like the way the variegated thread looks. It blends and then pops up. Also grasshopper.
I hid little hearts throughout the feathering. There’s an upside down one right in the middle. I probably did about 30 of them. I didn’t count. And I love the frogs in this old line. 
You KNOW you love someone when you cut up a bunch of your Heather Ross for them.

I did a bunch of feathering throughout the heart and stippling around the white parts… which you can’t see well, because I’m bad at finishing quilts on time and I took these pictures as I was running out the door. There’s turtles, and ladybugs, and unicorns, and frogs. All the things! There’s a few different Heather Ross fabrics and some stuff I’d had stashed around and some extras I picked up from Joann’s, like some really cute white-on-whites.


I also used a Heather Ross knit for the back and some extra minky because I apparently had not anticipated making a 40″x40″ baby quilt.But the puckering! Oh my word the puckering! I love the knit on the back because it made it soft without being fleece- or minky-hot, but it would pucker in the WEIRDEST places. I’d be going down the middle of a feather again and if I wasn’t RIGHT on top of the other thread, it would make a tiny little pucker the width of the thread. I probably notice it a lot more than anyone else would have, but it happened soooo much and I was very distraught until I sat myself down and had a talk that went something like this:

Me: It’s fine. It’s very small puckers.
Other me: But it’s so much!
Me: No one on earth is going to notice but you.
Other me: But, but.. I could take it all out!
Me: The baby shower is in less than a week. And babies love texture! It’s fine. It’s fine.

Also there might have been wine involved.

I’d definitely use a knit back again if I was doing a less dense quilting, and it worked out fine for the stippling – but on the feathers? Fuhgettaboutit. Awful, awful puckers. And I basted so well! Live and learn, live and learn.
Anyway, the proud new mama is very happy with it and has sent me a number of pictures already cuddling with it and her baby.

I’ll have another finish in a day or so that I’m REALLY pumped about. Until then, happy crafting, internet friends.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

More Friday Finishes

Friday Finish! (Finally)

This post is quite picture and text heavy. You’ve been warned.

Oh man I’ve had a busy week of sewing this week. It was spring break for my school, and I had most of the week off from work. It was a happy coincidence and I barely left my sewing table. So, I have THREE WHOLE FINISHES (Well, two and a half) to share with you.

One of my grandma’s best friends has been battling mouth cancer for years and years now and she was told recently that she has probably less than a year left. It’s been pretty hard on the family. She’s also a fellow quilter so I thought I’d send a little love her way with a hugs and kisses pillow.IMG_20160316_094224993_HDR

I did a quick needle turn applique from the back. All of the colored fabrics were from my Pink Castle Cotton + Steel monthly club and it felt good to use some of my stash. I love the monthly clubs, but they do tend to stack up.

Part of the newsprint is about the moon landing, and I got a text from her after my grandma delivered it saying that the moon landing actually happened on her 22nd birthday and it was a lovely reminder for her. How’s that for serendipity?

My second finish was a quick flimsy that I threw together. My grandma went to an estate sale a couple months ago and brought back an enormous hoard of fabric. At last count, I’d culled it down to 4 40-gallon totes.

She bought it from the family of a woman that was a quilter that had died and I’ve found all kinds of incredible and old fabrics. I also found a couple blocks that she put together here and there, so I set them aside and discovered she’d made quite a few indeed. So I got the itch to sew something one afternoon and put together a flimsy.


I love this picture because you can see the care she went to making these blocks. She even did a zig-zag stitch on every fabric end to make sure they didn’t fray.

These were a few of my favorite pictures. Look at that old Mickey! Just adorable.


Here’s the whole flimsy, or as much as I could get in the shot. There were a few blocks missing so I added the patchwork print in which was also from her fabrics. There’s one in the top middle and bottom right. It’s certainly not my usual aesthetic, but it’s a happy mess and the more I look at it, the more I like it.

My third finish was this mammoth wedding quilt that I blogged about earlier.



It’s huge! It’s so big! Also there’s a billion over a hundred different fabrics in it. Random newsprint/low volume backgrounds, some easily identified Cotton + Steel, various Art Gallery fabrics, a number of different solids, and a few things that I picked up from Joann’s here and there. What. A. Pain. But I’m so glad I did it.

More of the quilting and such. The finished size was 106″x106″. Even after washing. That’s right, almost 9ft x 9ft, my friends. It’s a miracle I didn’t rip my shoulders out of socket quilting it at home. I bound it with an Ikea print that I bought an entire bolt of on clearance a few years ago. I wanted to do a blue or a green, but I wasn’t sure I had enough to make over 36 feet of binding with anything else I had. I really loved doing the ripple quilting though. It went by really fast with only minor complications.

Another thing that saved a lot of time: wideback fabric.


After putting that top together, I couldn’t even bring myself to think about piecing a back together. I bought this Michael Miller print on super duper sale that was juuuuust big enough to cover the back. Thank God.

On the plus side, my cousin and his wife were THRILLED. They had a lot of fun looking at all the different fabrics, and I pointed a few out to them that I’d picked out with them in mind. Stags and hearts and whatnot.

It’s been quilt the millstone around my neck, though, as far as sewing goes. I hugged my boyfriend when I got home and told him, “I’m so glad they like it and it’s done.. but I’m even happier that that quilt is out of my fucking house.” Hah!

Do any of you ever feel that way about a particular project? What do you do? Do you walk away from it or just keep going?

Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

Friday Finish! (Finally)