Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Scottie for Plaid Scottie!

My good friend Kaelin, The Plaid Scottie, has recently been unable to sew due to some neck pain (I say that lightly...but it's a pretty big deal). So a few of us got together virtually to throw together a care package for her. She's a little obsessed with a new color scheme of navy and pink...love it! So we all decided to color coordinate our gifts to her in those colors. (I love being a girl sometimes and that other people want to color coordinate! lol)

Being that Kaelin is admittedly a bit partial to scottie dogs (hi Whiskers!) hence her blog name, I decided to make her a scottie dog pin cushion. I'm sort of into pincushions and this was too cute an idea to pass up. I used the DS pattern from her site and just sized it down SMALLER. (ironic how I made the word smaller bigger isn't it?)

I used a cute little Japanese fabric that I think I got from Ayumi and just a smidge of AMH...because that makes everything better! And stuffed this fella with crushed walnut shells.

Scottie Dog Pincushion

He was such a pain in the #$%^! to make with all of those corners and at this tiny size. Only for Kaelin would I do this! Well, I'd probably do it for other people, but she's the only one who would want the scottie. I was super tempted to keep it for myself when I finished but I packed it up with some new pins for her new pincushion and sent it off!

Scottie Dog Pincushion

I did tell her not to use it as a voodoo doll for her dog whiskers ;) She is in New Orleans after all. Which turned out to be good advice because the darn dog tried to run off with this pretty pincushion the minute her back was turned.

 Jealous Whiskers? You should be. This pincushion is fabulous.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Painbox Quilt Top - Completed after a LONG time

Well I guess I've been on a mission to finish off my UFOs. When I started working on them I didn't think that I was going to focus on them so much...I just wanted to motivate myself to get a couple off of my plate. But now that I've started, I can't stop!

I keep procrastinating on making my last swoon block (I did actually make a ton of progress on it the other day but it got put on the back burner again) and so I pulled out a totally random UFO from 2.5 years ago I think! In fact when I posted pictures, one of my friends laughed and said she thought I had finished it over a year ago. Nope. It's been nearly done since then...but not.

What project you ask? Why, my paintbox quilt. Talk about a blast from the past. A couple of years ago when Quilt alongs were few and far between, Elizabeth Hartman was the driving force behind most of them and this was one of hers. But I of course being me couldn't do things the way everyone else was doing it. What's the fun in that? ;)

Paint Box Quilt Blocks

So I made these blocks eventually and settled on a sashing (yellow grunge!) and sewed my blocks into rows to prevent more of THIS happening. This was the cat, not the baby. lol

paintbox quilt after

And labeled and partially constructed, this quilt top sat, whispering at me from the bottom of the box it was in. I successfully ignored the quilt for another year or so... but then this past week I pulled it out and decided that it must be finished!

Channeled my inner Kelly and finished this top!

You might have to look a little more closely to see my rainbow, but it is there running diagonally across the quilt. One jelly roll and some yardage of the print I used created a heck of a lot of piecing!

It was a picture like this that Elizabeth posted originally of her top that inspired me to start this quilt along to begin with. So I was determined to get this shot. You can see the insane amount of small squares and strips there are. I don't quite remember but I know that a lot of those were about an 1 1/2" wide.

Paint Box Quilt Top Finished

Paint Box Quilt

Paint Box Quilt

I never get tired of the stain glass look of a quilt top against the light. So pretty.

So I'm officially finished with this project as far as I'm concerned. I told my friend Kelly that I was channeling her and trying to just finish it. You see she has amazing powers of speedy quilting and would have finished this years ago! Plus it's a rainbow and squares...all things that make me think of her. Long story short, I'm giving the top to Kelly and letting her complete and keep it. I told her if I had to quilt it then I would keep it...but she was welcome to the top. And she wanted it! So I'm thrilled to send it off to her and can't wait to see her finish it in a day or so. ;) It will soon be basking in sun with her in Florida!

Paint Box Quilt

I'm proud of myself for finishing it. Honestly I wasn't sure I would. But my motivation held through and I have one more long term outstanding project finished.

And after all that work to get the window shot, it turns out that this is really my favorite picture of the quilt top.

Paint Box Quilt

Anyone else have an unfinished paintbox quilt and can feel my pain? lol This was a more involved project than I anticipated when I started. Again, Project UFO has been great and supportive and I can't wait to share some of their finishes with you all. Everyone seems a little embarrassed by the number of UFOs that they have. But all I can say is that you are in good company...I have MANY more to go...and they just get bigger and more unfinished. lol

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas - Finished!

Okay, every since I posted about the idea of project UFO, a little group that helps motivate each other to finish those projects we have laying around, I've been on a roll. I've been soooo good about not starting new projects and it is HARD! I've been forcing myself to finish up the projects that are soooo close (or even not so close) to being complete. You've already seen my reindeer embroidery wall hangings that I FINALLY finished. Well I've tackled a couple others too...but just one for today...

Finally Finished!  Oliver & S Pajamas

Ever since I saw Sarah Jane's Children at play line of fabric, I knew that I wanted/needed to work with it. And the flannel is just yummy! I also wanted to try out the Oliver + S patterns that everyone is always raving about. So sleepover pajamas became my goal! I made these for Caitlyn in the size 2 and it's definitely a little big on her. If you remember from when I finished the pants, my model is not always so cooperative...so I didn't even try to get a pic of her in the whole thing. Sorry!

Oliver & S Sleepover Pajama Pants

I put off finishing the top for a couple months because I was a little more intimidated by it. Let's admit, the buttons, the collar facing, the sleeves...everything that makes garment sewing JUST a little more difficult. But I knew I could do it. I was sewing clothes LONG before I ever sewed a quilt, so I pulled out my memory and set to work.

The top and pants!

Just imagine that chair is my daughter and the pajamas fit her perfectly. ;) I even remembered to properly sew on my tags (that I got at the sewing summit in my swag bag!) so that they are not seen from the outside of the garment! And I'll admit that I'm a little bit in love with the simple coral buttons that I sewed on with some contrasting bright turquoise thread.

I even remembered the labels!

True confessions. I completely messed up the top but in an acceptable way. If you look at the pattern, the coral polka dot that I have on the top facing is meant to be seen from the OUTSIDE of the garment. The way that I put it on places it in the inside...which is still technically a proper way to make the garment but I'm going to admit that I did not do it on purpose. But I didn't realize until I had already spent 45 minutes sewing it on, notching it, trimming the seam allowance, sewing on the labels, and top stitching the facing in place. And I made myself just move on and say "oh well". It still looks good, but in the spirit of honesty here...

Whoops!  Accidentally sewed the contrasting fabric on the inside...oh well!

And even more honesty. I made these for Caitlyn, but I really want them for myself!!! I LOVE them and she isn't invested in them yet. Too bad they're not my size. lol

If anyone wants to join in our little group on flickr, Project UFO, you are more than welcome!  We give each other a good kick in the pants when needed and help each other figure out what we should spend our time on.  I'm going to show you some of the great finishes others have done in the next couple of days.  We're rocking!

Oh and just so you know that my daughter is still as cute as can be, here she is at a wedding we went to this weekend with her best little pal Gloria (Caitlyn is on the right and Gloria on the left).  Oh they were killing me with their poofy dresses and cuteness!

Caitlyn & Gloria

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

I'm finished with my most recent mini that I've decided should be entitled "Dream a Little Dream". It all started with an inspirational sketch and post by designer Sarah Jane. This mini is part of a swap over at flickr and my partner doesn't know this is for her yet. So I can't tell you a heck of a lot about her. But I will say that I identified with my partner (and also Sarah Jane) on the need to de-stress this year. Life gets in the way quickly and it is easy to become overwhelmed by our own particular circumstances. So I thought my partner would appreciate the simplicity yet emotional nature of this quilt. And so Dream a Little Dream was begun.

Dream a Little Dream - Complete

The girl in my mini is completely inspired by Sarah Jane's illustration...but I'm quite pleased with how she turned into fabric and thread. I did this all with raw edge applique, a steady hand, and a lot of thread changes.

Dream a Little Dream - Dreamer

Her dreams are made up of all things lovely, sweet, and fantastic. Which just so happens to coincide with my love for Heather Ross fabrics. There's definitely a reason I'm drawn to her designs. You will see that they appear often. And don't mind me when I start waxing poetic and pulling out my love of Disney when I say " A Dream is a wish your Heart makes".

Dream a Little Dream - heart

I also did a little stamping on this quilt. My very first time stamping on fabric! I did just a subtle (read: I didn't want to mess up) stamping along the quilt with the title. The free motion quilting is also supposed to be dream like... flowing, relaxing, and wavy.

Dream a Little Dream

The details are big in this mini, but I think the overall effect is Simplicity. I worked to keep things a little less overworked and I hope that it "works".

Dream a Little Dream - Detail

So, dear partner, I hope that you love this mini as much as I do. She's been peaceful and joyful for me...just what I think you will enjoy about her. I've loved having her finished for a while and getting to her enjoy her on my design wall. I don't always get to spend much time with the items I make for a swap and I feel lucky to have had her for a bit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Reindeer Embroidery - FINISHED!

Yay! I'm super excited because I finished my reindeer embroidery wall hangings. I started these back in September I think with my very first embroidery patterns...the reindeer.

You can find the info on the embroidery patterns from my previous post HERE.

Trio of Reindeer Wallhangings

I did a simple quilting pattern around the perimeter of the wall hangings because I didn't want to distract from the embroidery. Then I bound each with a combo of lime green fabrics. I'm one of those crazy people who loves to hand sew my bindings. And then I added two grommets at the top of each wall hanging to help hang them.

Trio of Reindeer Wallhangings

The plan is to hang these in the staircase of my new house next Christmas season. I'm sure we'll actually be in the house by then. lol (oh that kind of hurts to even joke like that!)

Trio of Reindeer Wallhangings

Here they are on my design wall with a couple of my swoon blocks...boy those swoon blocks are huge!

Trio of Reindeer Wallhangings

Each one is a fun time! And gosh darn if it isn't just fun to have them finished! ;)

Trio of Reindeer WallhangingsTrio of Reindeer WallhangingsTrio of Reindeer Wallhangings

Monday, February 13, 2012

My latest obsession

So you may laugh, but I've always been one of those people who "wanted" to collect something but couldn't stand the thought of it as well. I hate to be burdened by something such as a large overwhelming collection but I love the idea of having something special that I would always love to get.

I had an aunt who used to collect turtle objects and I liked that you could always find something for her...but on the other hand, I didn't like that she most likely got all kinds of turtle junk that wasn't important or special.

But I think I've found my true love. And I'm probably way behind the times and you'll all say "Angela, EVERYONE loves that." But ah well..I've just fallen head over heals....

and what is it? Cathrineholm Enamelware. LOVE. I don't have any of my own, so I have to steal these photos from other people...

Collection of Cathrineholm 'Lotus' enamelware

(photo by H is for Home)

Imagine and You Shall Receive, Cathrineholm

(photo by Sew Katie Did)

Day 37 - 11/28/2011

(photo by lolie jane)

Oh I could go on and on... I'm completely in love. And I don't have a thing!

So here's my question for you all...have you heard of this? Have you found some? Do you have some that you want to send me? ;) How should I find it? There are some up on Ebay and Etsy but the prices scare me!! I don't want to me to be taken for a fool. And I don't have the need (right now) to own the REALLY rare pieces...plus I want a SMALL collection.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Doing some Free Motion Quilting

I've been doing some free motion quilting lately.  Just a little bit.  You see I wanted to do something kind of fun for my quilt for the Fab Little Quilt Swap...the one with the girl.

I'm not horrible at free motion quilting, but I'm certainly no expert.  And I need inspiration for quilting ideas as much as I do for piecing ideas.  So I scoured my favorites and searched online looking for free motion quilting ideas that I thought I could reasonably accomplish.  (always the trick right?)

I knew I would need to practice before I attacked my precious little quilt (eek!  scary!), so I made myself a little quilt sandwich and practiced some ideas I had floating around in my head.

practicing my free motion quilting

It was about 1 AM when I finished with these and I made the very WISE choice NOT to start quilting my mini right at that point.

Practicing my free motion quilting

Practicing is huge for me.  If I feel comfortable I know that I can make it work.  And you always have to remind yourself with free motion quilting (or any quilting really) that it is about the overall effect and not about any one spot.  No one will find that little place where you zigged instead of zagged.

Ironically, in the end, I quilted my mini with a completely different style free motion than all those practice types.  But I needed to go with something that worked for me and for the spirit that I want the quilt to have.  So I wanted more movement with the quilting than I was getting with my practice ideas.

A little peak....

Quilting - Sneak Peak

The quilt is almost done now... I just need to put the binding on it and make a label.  I'm making myself not overwork this.   I personally think I tend to do that with minis and I like the less is more approach.  I'll show off the whole thing to you all next week when it's my day in Jennifer's Blog hop for minis!  You'll have to wait until then!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Arkansas Traveler - It's been a journey

I am in one bee this year (Yay for self control!), the Stash Trad Bee. Stash stands for the fact that we are all supplying our own fabric for each block from our personal stash (which also gives you a lovely opportunity to do some shopping, especially for background fabrics!). The Trad is short for traditional. All of our block choices have a traditional feel to them...we've been doing a lot of half square triangles lately and learning to love them. right? right.

This is one of the bees that helped me create the blocks for my cracker scraps quilt (which I will soon ship off to Krista to be quilted). I've decided that I like being number one in a bee...meaning I have the first month. I just realized how that sounded. lol

Well we are a few months into the bee and I've been pretty successful with my blocks. I was nutso and decided to make Lynne her blocks with 64 or so pieces using FFA double gauze, so that was a bit of a headache...
but other than that I've been floating along.

And then came the Arkansas Traveler. This is a beautiful block that I've been wanting to try that Lee(or Fresh Lee as I like to call her) designed and used in her Summer Sampler Series. I was busing moving across the country and all that so I couldn't participate then and I was thrilled to have an excuse to make the block now.

Beachy colors were Lee's request and I have those a plenty! I happily set off on the block, all the while complimenting myself on what a good job I was doing...how this was sooo much easier than one of the swoon blocks (which I had done the night before). And it was pretty. Really it was.

Trash Block

But this particular block ended up in the trash.

People. Never tell yourself that something is sooo much easier....it's bound to jinx you and set you back another night's work. Because that block looks pretty but it's literally disintegrating at the seams. I didn't cut the diamonds correctly or I didn't sew them correctly or I don't know what. But here you can see that there was just a bit of a problem.

Disintegrating Seam

The original instructions give a combo of regular but angled piecing followed by some paper piecing. I can do both usually. But my mojo was OFF. I tried desperately to make this block work but as I pulled away the paper, the seams just fell apart because there was not enough holding them together.

FAIL. And right after a big swoon battle. Sigh.

So I put the block aside. Thought about how I should make it so that I wouldn't mess up again and decided that I need to paper piece as much as possible. In the end, I sort of used part of the paper piecing section as a template for the diamonds to make sure that they were plenty large and it worked like a charm. When I had the energy to tackle this again, everything ended up great...and happily Lee has the block now. She says she likes it. ;)

Arkansas Traveler for Lee

So there you go. Another trial...definite error...and eventual conquering. No pattern will conquer me!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blogger Help?!

* Alright....I'm fooling around with things. It looks like I've managed to get the new embedded comments on my blog and I can now see all of the comments. Now to make things function a little better and possibly get numbered comments back. I will conquer you blogger!* I know I can't be the only one out there with this problem...something has changed with blogger and I'm no longer able to see comments past the first 200 (the number that they will show on one page at one time). Previously, they have simply directed you to another page of comments...no problem. Now that link doesn't exist and I can't get to the comments. Can any of you?

Has anyone had this problem and been able to fix it? I've searched online and asked for blogger help but all I find is people who are having the same problem.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pincushion Tutorial

Pincushion Tutorial

I have a special valentine's project for you! A Heart Shaped Pincushion! But part of the beauty of this tutorial is that you will be able make any size or shape pincushion because it is all based on a cookie cutter.

Note: Be sure to read all the written instructions as well as the instructions with the picture mosaics.



• one charm pack (really I just use a few charms for this...so a whole charm pack isn't necessary)

• cookie cutter (clearly I used a heart shaped one...size is your preference)

• Hot Glue gun

• One sheet of fun foam (the stuff in the kid's craft aisle)

• One sheet of a thin floral foam / Styrofoam (can be found in the floral aisle)

• One bag of Zilla brand lizard litter - crushed walnut shells (one bag will last a LONG time)


Cutting Fabric for the Pincushion

• Pick out your favorite charms and if necessary piece them together to create a large enough piece of fabric for your cookie cutter plus 3" around. Then follow the directions in the mosaic below.

Cutting fabric for pincushion

Cutting Foam for the Pincushion

• Use your cookie cutters to cut out the floral foam to fit exactly inside the cookie cutter. Depending on the foam you use and how sharp your cookie cutters are, you may need a little help from a kitchen knife. Then trace around the cookie cutter onto the fun foam and cut out the exact shape of the cookie cutter for the bottom of the pincushion.

Cut out foam using cookie cutters

My creation

Fitting the Fabric to the Cookie Cutter

• Pull your running stitch slightly to start gathering the fabric and fit it to the shape of the cookie cutter. You will want to shape it so that a small "bowl" is formed on the topside of the cookie cutter/pincushion. Use your hot glue gun and glue the fabric to the inside of the cookie cutter around the whole perimeter.

Fitting fabric to the cookie cutter

Filling the Pincushion

• Use the crushed walnut shells to fill the pincushion. Crushed shells create a great weight to the pin cushion and they help keep your pins sharp. The type I used was like a coarse sand. The amount you need will depend on the size of your cookie cutter but I used about a cup for the large one. You will want to hold up your cookie cutter while filling it to make sure that you put enough in to round out what will be the top of the pincushion...that "bowl".

filling the pincushion

Putting the Bottom on the Pincushion

• With the charm glued firmly in place, there should be no chance of any filling escaping. But we have two more layers to add to the bottom to make it completely finished and polished. First add the floral foam and hot glue in place. I found that the hot glue actually melted my foam a bit, so I used that to my advantage and created a perfect seal around the perimeter. Then I used hot glue on the fun foam and attached it firmly to the floral foam.

adding the backing

Finishing Details

• You may find you have a bit of a gap now at the bottom of your pincushion or things are not as tidy as you might like. So make it all beautiful again by hot gluing a bit of ribbon or trim around the perimeter of the base.

use ribbon along the bottom edge to decoratively cover the gap between the foam and cookie cutter

• Fill with pins and use often! Make them in all shapes and sizes. I made a smaller one for my needles as well. (Although I'm thinking of putting some felt on that one)

Pincushion Tutorial

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and are inspired to make a pincushion for every season. I've already bought more cookie cutters to make more!


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