Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Looking back at 2013, I think it was a continuation for me of 2012 where most of my projects were about trying new things and skill building.  I completed only one large quilt for myself and other larger quilts were completed for charity.

Since I am a self taught sewist, it was nice to attend classes at Quiltcon, the Houston International Festival, and thru Craftsy.  It was so much fun, I really hope to attend more classes in 2014.
I also participated in the monthly challenge projects at Le Challenge, which I think have been tough.  But, I have really enjoyed these challenges.

My goals for 2014:
  • Attend more quilt classes
  • Practice more machine quilting so I can feel more comfortable when I quilt.  (I still feel hesitant to start, with a feeling that that I might ruin the quilt).
  • Use up some of my gorgeous stash and not be so afraid to cut into it
  • Push the envelope and get out of my comfort zone.
  • And lastly, finish what I started.  I need to get serious about tackling the UFO's (un-finished objects) that have taken over my sewing area.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Le Challenge - Precious

I have been away for a bit, and I just got home.  I won't tell you where I went, but here is a hint.....

The theme this month in Le Challenge is "precious".  I have completed each month's challenge so far, but this time I really thought I might not make it.  This theme was tough.
I searched my stash thinking about what is precious and ended up with "love".  I used a scrap of heart fabric and some beads and created this Love mini measuring 10 x 10.

This is the first time I tried quilting loops and I had a tough time.  The project kept slipping and getting away from me.  I think I know what to ask Santa for Christmas - a pair of quilting gloves with some grippers.
I think it turned out kinda cute and I guess I got a head start a Valentine's project.
Please check out the other "precious" entries in this month Le Challenge.  I hope you can join us with the next challenge.  I think it's so interesting to see the variations on a theme.

Le Challenge

Monday, November 18, 2013

Design Wall Monday - Fifty Shades of Groovy

On my design wall today is my quilt from a class that I took at the recent Houston International Quilt Festival.  There were not many modern quilting classes at all, but I register for "Fifty Shades of Groovy" taught by Leslie Tucker Jenison.
I really had a good time in class.  I learned a lot from the instructor about design, color, and planning your quilts.  Often, I love to get started on a new project and just jump in.  I don't think I plan too much, maybe I need to think things out more.

The class materials called for a layer cake of material in bold, graphic prints.  I thought that my stash of Echo worked well.

I just put these blocks on the wall.  They're in no final order just yet.  Not sure how big this will be and I have some extra blocks.

I thought the instructor's quilts were very bold and the quilting was fabulous.

During lunch and after class, I was able to go to through the quilt show and shop.  I can say that at the end of the day, I was worn out.

This picture was taken at the end of the day.  There was no way the aisles looked this way during lunch!  The place was packed.
Linking today to Design Wall Monday.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Le Challenge - Stripes

The theme this month for Le Challenge is "Stripes".  I thought that this would be easy, but then I discovered that my rather large fabric stash had about 4 striped fabrics.  Ooops.

I found a plain pink stripe that seemed to be awkwardly hanging out in the stash.  Its been there so long,  I think it was gifted to me many, many years ago.  I challenged myself to find a way to use it.  After looking at it a bit, I thought that I would make a tree skirt for my mini-feather tree.
I used my Dresden ruler to make the simple skirt.  It seemed liked it needed something extra, so I added some pom-pom trim left over from another project.
Super simple, and finished in one evening (and no, it was not finished last evening).  This month I have had a bunch of non-quilty obligations, so I wanted a quick project that was not a quilt.  Just for fun I thought I would show you my other possible stripe project.

The pink striped fabric was in the same storage box as these blocks that I totally forgot I had.  They were created in an Improv class that I had taken at Quiltcon.  We were to start working with a traditional block and then apply some improve techniques.  The bottom left is the "Roman Stripe" traditional block that I started with.  I decided not to use them for this challenge because I felt I needed more time to come up with a plan.
I hope that you check out the other "Stripes" inspired challenge projects at Le Challenge.  I love this challenge because you can interpret the theme in any way you wish, and you can use any medium that you want.  The only requirement is that you show a completed project.
I wonder what next month's theme will be?
Le Challenge

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Penny Patch QAL Progress

I have enjoyed working on the simple Penny Patch block in the QAL at Stitched in Color.  My color choices are orange and teal with a pop color of mustard.

I am ahead a bit on this QAL, as I am trying to stay focused with the holidays coming soon.  This quilt will be made entirely from stash scraps. 

I was getting a bit nervous because everything was looking so "messed up".  The more I moved and rearranged the squares, the more crazy I got.  So, I just decided to stop rearranging and started to put the top together.  Once the squares were sewn together, I started to like it more.

Today is the link up to review our progress.  Its always so interesting to look at other's color combinations.  I hope you join along.
Penny Patch button

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MSBHQAL - Its Ready!

I have loved being involved with all of the sparkly goodness at the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt-A-Long. 

I cut into my Denyse Schmidt fabric stash and learned the Broken Herringbone block.  The top is finished and ready to be quilted.  I am still trying to figure the quilting out, but I am sure that I will come up with something soon.  I just love the fabrics working so well together and I think this will make a really nice Christmas present for someone. 
Christmas!  Did I just say that!  Yikes, it will be here before you know it.
Please check out the other entries in the MSBHQAL.  I just love seeing how everyone can take the same block and make it into their own project.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Design Wall Monday - Many Projects

I am excited!  Today at lunch, I took a little field trip from my office.  I put on my sneakers and caught the free green downtown bus to the George R Brown Convention center.  I thought that my family vacation would cause me to miss the International Quilt Festival this year, but the trip was delayed.  Now I can go to the show - yeah!
Since I had such a great time in my Quiltcon classes, I decided that I would try and get a class at the festival.  I missed the deadline to register online, so I went in person today to sign-up.  There were very few modern classes offered, but I chose "Fifty Shades of Groovy".  Now I am off to search my stash for supplies.  I need bold fabrics that look good with grays.
Until the class on Saturday, I do have other projects on-going.
I started some scrappy Dresden's.
I have my Broken Herringbone basted as part of the MSBHQAL.  Honestly, I haven't found the mojo to get the quilting started.
Penny Patch Quilt-Along
I have pulled my fabrics for the Penny Patch QAL at Stitched in Color (which I believe starts this week).
Le Challenge

And, I started thinking about this month's Le Challenge theme of "stripes".  I thought this would be simple, but I have very few stripes in my stash.  Maybe, I'll just have to find some at the Quilt Festival this weekend.
Linking today to Design Wall Monday.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2013

It's that wonderful time of the year - yes, its time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  So much quilty inspiration!
My entry for this fall is my Spider Web quilt.

It was very easy to make using a tutorial at Quiltville, and best of all - it made a major dent in my scrap boxes!  If you have an overflowing scrap pile, then I suggest this pattern.

I hand quilted this in about 2 weeks which is kinda fast for me, but I set a goal that I wanted to see this quilt done and on my bed.  The spider webs are quilted with white thread and the red areas are quilted with red thread.
(Thanks Little Guy, for adding a set of little paws to the photo.  Its good to know that my quilts are protected from attack squirrels and ninja cats.)

I think you can tell that I have made a lot of kid quilts by looking at all the pinks and bright colored scraps.  It is rare for me to keep a quilt.  The few that I have are put away and not used.

At first, I really didn't like the look of it on my bed.  It was so bold and bright!  But then, it really grew on me and I get a smile every morning waking up to my bright quilt.  I love the feeling of actually using my quilts.
Please check out all the other quilts during the Blogger's Quilt Festival and I hope that you join us in all this fun.

Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Le Challenge - Thriller

Hello all.  This month's theme for the Le Challenge craft challenge is - Thriller.  I knew that I had a project that I was making as part of a Craftsy course that would work great.
This is "Love Bug" and it is a baby quilt or small lap quilt at 53 X 53 made as part of the Pattern Free Quilt Making course.  I was in a mood to just sew with no goal in mind.  I used a stack of 5 inch blocks that were left over from a project (please do not ask me how, because I do not know how I managed to cut SO many extra squares).  I searched my scrap box and pulled all the pink strings. 
My thought was that I would create pink sticks and form some kind of circle to create a love nest.  I replaced the middle white squares with a solid pink square and turned the pink sticks a bit.  So my "love nest" became a "love bug" (although I guess it could also be a piƱata).
I had no idea when I started out sewing and playing that this would become a project.  I only stopped because I ran out of fabric and I thought a bug would work with a "thriller" theme.
Please check out all of the other entries at this month's Le Challenge.  The next month's theme will be announced tomorrow.
Le Challenge

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Marcelle Medallion QAL

I just found that a quilt along has started at Penny Poppleton for the Marcelle Medallion Quilt.  This is such great timing because mine has been on my WIP list for long enough.

It has been sitting on my sewing table with the 60 degree triangles cut and needing to be sewn into a row.  For someone who hates (I mean - hates) working with triangles, I am proud of the way they came out so far.
I suppose I better give this WIP a fresh press with the iron and then get to work so I can catch up to the QAL.  Please check out the other Marcelle Medallions.  I find it so interesting to see other quilter's colors and fabric choices.
Also linking today to WIP Wednesday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Craft Book Month

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

With September being Craft Book month, I thought I would link up my latest finish.

Do Good Anyway was inspired by the poem of the same name and created using the book Word Play Quilts.  It was very easy to make using some red scraps.  Next time, I will pay more attention to adding the seam allowance to my letters.  When I put the words together, the seams cut into the letters a bit.

 Please check out all of the projects created from craft books at Craft Buds.

Also, linking today to Finish it Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Le Challenge - Heroes

The Le Challenge theme for September is "Heroes" and I found that there were many ways I could work with this theme. 
I wanted to use my red scraps to make poppies, but I couldn't quite get them to work like I imagined.  So, I was staring at the scraps and wondering what else I could do when I saw my book "Word Play Quilts".  I then got an idea that I would create some words.

I chose "Do Good Anyway" taken from a poem that I keep with me.  The poem was made famous by Mother Theresa, a great hero, and written by Kent M Keith.  The mini measures 15x17 and went together easier than I thought.  But next time, I will add more seam allowance to the letters.
Do Good Anyway

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Please check out all the other Heroes themed entries this month.  Next month's challenge theme is - "Thriller".

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


This past weekend, my family and I participated in the 9/11 Heroes Run at Ellington Field in Houston.  I jogged and walked the 5K (OK, mostly walked).

Two years ago at this run it was very hot.  This time, it rained on us about half way through the race.
It stopped raining briefly, and I was able to take a nice flag photo while walking under the American flag.


 We made it to the finish line before the rain returned and we hope to be back next year.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Work in Progress - Broken Herringbone QAL

I guess I have been silent lately as I sorted my stash and WIPs, and rearranged my sewing area.  I know I said I would focus more on the stack of WIPs but I got tired bored with machine quilting and decided to join in the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone QAL party.

This is my first block made in aqua.  I used the excellent tutorial at Play Crafts.  There are step by step pictures to create the block and I even learned to use the 45 degree angle on my ruler.  It looks much more complicated that it is and I thought that the hardest part was choosing fabric.  I will definitely be making more of these!
Linking up today to WIP Wednesday.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Design Wall Monday - Heroes

This month, the Le Challenge theme is "Heroes".  Link-ups are September 15th so I still have a bit of time, but I think its time for me to get moving.

As an Army brat, when I think of heroes, I imagine something military or patriotic themed.  This would give me the chance to maybe work on making something with an old uniform, but I thought I would also shop my stash for a bit of inspiration. 

I think that there will be some entries based on comic book heroes.  Last year, I bought a scrap piece of comic fabric and quilted it as a "whole cloth" mini.  I liked the graphics on the print and did not wish to cut into it.  I have thought that I could applique in comic font a large "POW" or "BAM" onto it.

Another possibility is to make a new mini using this Star Trek material from the original series.

I could also work with the first responders fabric that I have.  The red Robert Kaufman Dalmatians is some of my favorite fabric that I have been unable to cut into yet.

This FQ from Spoonflower is based on the "Sherlock" TV series and I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan (any type - books, TV, movies).  Maybe this could work as an iPad case or a pouch.

There are always the heroes that fight against illness and I think these pinks would work well for a pink ribbon mini. 
Any thoughts on a "Hero" themed challenge?  What would you make?  I hope you join me with this monthly challenge.  The theme can be interpreted quite liberally and can be produced in any sort of craft project (knit, crochet, painting, jewelry, etc.).  The only requirement is that the piece must be finished.
Linking today to Design Wall Monday.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Finish it Friday - String Diamonds

Hello all.  I have been working on sorting my projects and organizing the stash (which of course included time to pet my fabrics and dream).
Somehow, I found a large box of strings and scraps so I have been working on getting these put together in quilt tops. 
I have started with making some string tops after watching a Scrap Quilting class on Craftsy.  This was planned to be in a streak of lightning set, but I got some of the blocks turned around and put the colors on the wrong side.  I wasn't sure how to resolve this so I changed the setting to diamonds and I think it works. 
Working with my stash has been perfect timing for the upcoming You've Lost That Loving Feeling party.  Its a combo of 2 linky parties on August 24th. 
  • The Fugly party returns at Charm About You.  This is where you can re-home any fabric that you may consider fugly or just have fallen out of love with. 
  • Quokka Quilts is having a party where you can re-home some of your WIPs.  You know those projects where you start off strong, but the mojo just ends and then your off to start work on another new project (or does this just happen to me?)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pets on Quilts Show 2013

Hey all.....we're back......Yes, its that time of the year when us quilt dogs get to do the talking here.  We have taken over once again for the Pets on Quilts Show 2013. 

Last year, we had a lot of fun meeting everyone and my dog owner even used our picture in her blog header.  I am the sharp looking little guy and my cousin is the taller "beautiful" one that always gets all the attention.
Yeah, I like getting attention too....and this year.....well...I have been using a new trick.  You see, we dogs aren't allowed on quilts.  So we have to sneak it when we can.
Mainly the idea goes like this.  Whenever my dog owner tries to take a picture of a quilt, I just walk right into the picture.  Yup, its that simple.  See that picture above, I just walked right on it.  I even smiled when I did it.

Sometimes, just before I walk onto the quilt, my dog owner says "FREEZE".  She thinks shes so smart, but I fooled her.  I wait till after I get on a quilt and then I freeze. Heehee, its just like "playing dead".
Once again, just like last year, my dog cousin is just too quick to get caught on a quilt.  So there is no photo evidence.  Oh well, her loss I say.  I mean, now I get to get all the attention!
Please check out all of the entries in this year's show.  I personally think there are way too many cat entries.  More dogs are needed!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Design Wall Monday - Hexie Pillow

Its Design Wall Monday and I haven't posted new projects lately because I have been trying to focus on finishing my WIPs (and there are many).  But, I have some travel coming up soon and decided I needed a new project to take along with me.
Awhile back, I made a hexie pillow using Amy Butler's Cameo fabric and really liked the look of the project that used many patterns.  I decided to make another pillow using my Denyse Schmidt scraps.  Now, I just need to get to work cutting all those hexies.
Check out all the other projects today on Design Wall Monday.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Finish It Friday - QAYG Pillowcase

July must be my month because I have gotten several projects finished.  This is my Quilt As You Go (QAYG) pillowcase inspired by the QAYG Bags class at Craftsy.

I really like the look and texture of this technique, but was a bit hesitant to start with a tote bag.  I thought I would try making a pillowcase using my Denyse Schmidt scraps.  The whole thing goes together quite easy and it makes for a very strong fabric.  I could easily see myself using this technique to make floor pillows.

I started by making a large piece of QAYG fabric.

Then, I sewed on the pillow lining by stitching in the ditch.  You can see from this photo just how much I love to pin baste....not!

I sewed 2 sides together, being sure to enclose the seams so there is no fraying.  Lastly, I sewed on the binding.

I loved the way this turned out.  Now I just need to find other projects to make using QAYG.

Linking today to Finish it Fridays and to Whoop Whoop Fridays.