Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Where 4 days in a car will take you

This was the grand trip! Lucky for us google over estimated the time and instead of 34 hours it was more like 28 hours. Since it was hubby, me, two pre-teen girls and a small dog.... I am glad we took our time. I think I am in withdraws because all my pictures make me think of quilts... the mountains remind me of a zig zag pattern, the fields with lava flows reminded me of a 4 patch square, and field rows with layers of clouds above made me think of a wonky fence rail.

We arrived safe and sound and now I am ready to spend a wonderful holiday with friends and family and wish the same to you all.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Another Friday has arrived and with it the Sew and Tell. This week I have a set of wine bags that I made up this week for hubby's work. I assembled the same of the bags I shared last week, using a 18x16 rectangle and attached ribbon 5 inches down. This made the bag very generous, if done again I will reduce the height by 2 inches and the width by 1 inch.

With these done, I am getting rid of some of the Christmas fabric I have been working with this year so be sure to comment on my 12/16 entry to enter the give away.

We are taking off today on a 35 hour driving trip (yes we are crazy- yes that in one way) including a stop at the Grand Canyon. I may be popping in here and there, but have no plans to post till the end of the year so this is my last chance to wish all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quilt along progress and a scrap-a-palooza give away

I had some free time today while waiting for an appliance repair man and cut out my quilt along blocks. This is a 3x5 block segment layed out on my cutting table. I found that the wonky angle is not as exaggerated when the blocks are together, so if I do one again I may go for more exaggerations. I don't think I will be able to sew the blocks together till the new years (unless I sneak in tonight) but I already have some accent blocks for the backing planned using some leftover 3 to 6 inch strip segments.

Now that I am done with Christmas sewing I gathered up my scraps and leftovers and came up with the following pile that I am, to tell the truth, sick of! I overworked some of these with the goodie bags, the table runners, and just having them out looking at me every day for the last 2 months.

If you would like an early start on your projects for next year and any of these appeal to you, I'm giving them away. There are a couple 'fat 1/8' (18" x10") but most are more like 5x10.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you like traditional (deep green and burgundy)or bright Christmas fabric and if the pile gets big enough I will divide into two.

Who knows, maybe you are all tired of looking at Christmas fabric to, but I will take the comments I have and send out what I have gathered to an interested party after the first of the year.

(give away completed - Pokey won!)

I am going to try to get a Friday post in, but that will be it till after New Year's so Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sew & Tell Friday!

Its Friday! This week for Sew and Tell I have some little gifts that I made for a variety of uses. Hubby is giving wine to some people at work but the couple of people that don't enjoy wine will get one of these with a Starbucks card. The girls may take these for a couple of teachers, the youngest will be taking some of the bags w/o mugs for her lunch buddies. I am thinking these will be nice to just have around the next couple weeks as things come up.

I made 12 of the bags this morning in 3 different colorways. I used this pattern/instruction though I don't plan to fill any with the molten lava cake. They are filled with a variety of holiday candy I picked up at Target. I found these mugs at wal-mart and knew that I had the fabric at home to match. I took inventory of my remaining fabric and and am going to buy some contrast to make the wine bags too!

Be sure to check out the other great projects on Amy's site today! I am excited to get started looking because every week there is such great inspiration!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Progress on not one, but two projects!

I have snuck into my sewing room here and there in between band concerts, Christmas shopping, dentist appointments, ortho (dd1 broke her new retainer after having it THREE days!!)... yes that is why I have been sneaking into the sewing room :)...

My squares for the baby quilt are done and all trimmed. I got a rotating mat and it made the trim job a breeze! I always hated having to reposition the blocks and truth be told, often skimped on the task, but this thing is great because you position the block, cut and rotate to cut another side.

I got the thing because I thought it would be handy on the wonky strip quilt... I finally made fabric decisions, cut and got the strips sewen and pressed... ready to cut. That center strip is the County Fair that had me tied in knots because it is almost a light canvas, but I think it is working great. The seams pressed well and it does not stand out from the other materials.

After the progress on these, I am hating to leave the house for anything. I want to just lock myself in my little room, but.... a visit to the post office and the auto shop are in my future today. We are fortunate that the weather is just cold, no ice or snow. A beautiful crisp winter day!
Everyone stay warm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Last of them?

Time will only tell if this will be the last of the table runners for the season.

These have been hanging out in the sewing room for awhile waiting to get binding completed, and now they will get mailed off to my MIL and SIL. Hope they are happy in their new homes!

And this little snowman arrived yesterday to a home happy to have him! Carrie at A Passion for Applique sent this wonderful package with the door hanger, a FG and some chocolates! Love the vintage look tag as well! Thanks Carrie!

To Carrie and all who have welcomed me to the blog world.. thanks so much! Little did I know what fun I was missing out on 3 months ago when I started toying with the idea of having a blog to share my pursuits in sewing. It is so encouraging to have the feedback and to gather inspiration from others!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Back in the swing of things

Wow, it seems like forever since I posted! After coming back from vacation I helped with a women's event at church and that was pretty much my whole week.

Since I have not sewn anything in over two weeks (and I just figured out that I left the camera battery charger at the lodging over vacation) I thought I would share a picture from vacation. My husband wanted to visit this town since our last name is Elmendorf!

I did have some time to cruise some blogs and entered Mary's giveaway day at QuiltyGoodnesss and won a bag and fq! Great way to start the week! Thanks Mary!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cook & Tell .. & .. Quilt Tree

Today Amy's Sew and Tell Friday has included cook and tell for thanksgiving!

This thanksgiving we went to the Hill Country for the week and decided that everyone would make a dish for the meal and my youngest decided to make pretzel jello salad. As far as I can tell, if you are from the south you know of this dish, but otherwise you are scratching your head as was I the first time I heard of this. It was even discussed on The View this week as a dish that Elizabeth was making and Barbara asked if the pretzels got soggy. The answer is no, they don't, but the secret is in sealing the cream cheese layer so the jello does not reach the pretzels. I didn't take a picture of the dish, but wanted to give her credit, so here she is making Blueberry muffins this summer!

Speaking of blueberries, well of the color purple... today I received a Purple Tree Quilt letter in the mail. This is the classic pyramid chain letter, but with 6 inch squares! I got 2 squares and need to send two squares to the name of the letter and invite 4 more people to participate sending them both the letter and 2 squares.... if all works out in a couple weeks I have 32 different purple squares sent to me!

Want to play? If you want to be one of the 4 people that I send 2 squares to (you then have to send a total of 10 squares yourself) let me know either in a comment or email me your address!

These are the square I got! Aren't they pretty!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Day one of vacation and I already have the project I brought with me done. Hubby had some work to do and kids did homework, so I kept myself busy. This is going to be a baby quilt for some friends.... all cut ready to sew. I had my Necchi out to bring with me, but decided not to. Now I kinda regret it.... but... I did find a fab store the other day and bought fabric and found another to visit as well :)

Do you take projects to work on when you go on vacation?

Friday, November 20, 2009


It Friday! And I have another set of table runners done! This is a Christmas gift that is being sent out today so that it will be enjoyed through the season. The topper is 25" sq and the matching runner is 16" x 48". The pinwheels are made from 5" squares of a stash holiday holly print and unbleached muslin which is also the backing. The binding is a matching red swirly print with gold metallic accents.

I have three more runners that just need the binding sewn on and I think that might be it as the gift list will be satisfied. If I get up and go finish them I will add them here :)

Penny's wonderful blog celebrating Flea Market Fancy (or as I like to call it after seeing the prices being asked on etsy and ebay... FREE market) is hosting a great giveaway. Love her little button!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

wonky fence rail - continued

Thanks so much for the input on where you get your fabrics!

A couple of weeks ago I showed my first cut of fabrics for Cheryl at Naptime Quilter's quilt along. Cheryl had to put the project on pause but now is back at it again so I need to commit!

I keep wanting to put my new county fair prints in here (gold and brown) as well as the Dewberry (3rd from top), but these are heavier fabrics ... The fabric info on the web sites for the line says it is appropriate for quilts, but I am wondering if I should wait till I gather enough to make one exclusively of the heavier rather than mixing with lighter weights?

Anyone have experience, good or bad, in mixing these light weight designer decorator fabrics with quilting fabrics?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where do you buy fabric?

This is not the holy war of quilting question.... Joanne Fabrics vs 100% designer fancies.... This question is when you are ready to buy a lovely Amy Butler print or a piece or two of Katie Jump Rope, where do you go? Do you have a local quilt store that you go to or do you buy fabric on-line?

I have shared my fortune in finding some outlets that carry wonderful fabrics at bargain prices. I have been lucky enough to find some of my favorites there but sometimes I see a print in one of your creations that I really want. Such was the case yesterday when I had a very unfortunate experience at the LQS and will now try my darnedest to not return there... (they shut off the lights in the store very much on purpose at 4:59 when I had fabric in hand ready to be cut... not the first time I have left this store seething).

My option is to travel about 20 miles further, which is not bad but a hike, or enter the world of online purchasing. So far I have only purchased pre-cuts from Missouri Quilt Company (LOVE the deal of the day). I just received the Snippets turnover yesterday from them ... deal of the day on Friday this was FREE! I found the other in a dark corner in a interior design outlet yesterday and thought they matched nicely.

Do you buy fabric lengths on-line? Do you use Etsy, Ebay or an e-store? Whats your favorite?

Monday, November 16, 2009


Have you been following the Cross Country Christmas blog hop? I have and have been enjoying the great projects and stories from these designers from around the country. Yesterday I found more to enjoy! I was notified that I was the winner of the 100 Quilt Block magazine from Pat Sloan's site!

This fabric is just eye candy at this point, gathered for a project that I vetoed. (executive decisions in a management chain of 1?) I am sure you will see these turn up again in the new year.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

yard sale anyone?

After my recent fabric shopping sprees in the warehouse districts I decided I really had enough random stash and need to limit my fabric purchases to things required for a specific project if and only if I was unable to meet that need from said stash.

Well, that all sounds good, till you meet up with a yard sale while taking the kids to school that has BOXES of fabric.... 25 cents a piece (not yard), holiday for 50 cents, and notions for 5 cents!

This is my haul... nothing smaller than 2 yards...there is 8 yards of the holly print ... 5 yards of the Santa.. the small green flower is a backing and is super wide, and there is 4 yards... so all this fabric was $3.50.... total! And I got 20 of the vintage rick rack for me ($1 total) and 18 mixed with bias tape to send to my mom. So much for good intentions!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday? Already?

Already another Friday in November? Really?

For today's Sew 'n' Tell Friday I have the Amy Butler Birdie Sling (rt) that I just completed and is much larger than expected, even though every pattern review said... its large.

One of the things that inspired me to unpack the sewing was seeing some of the great bags people were making and wanting to try it myself so I browsed online and found a couple patterns. The Birdie sling is hanging with a couple of my other bags from the LickitySplit pattern that I made this summer.

My youngest snagged the Phoebe bag that I made from Oakland Raiders fabric and carries it with pride and a bit of fear since we live in Cowboy country.

I also made up some little zipper bags with left over fabrics and some scraps I found. I am planning to make a couple more, fill with a lip gloss, makeup brush, ect for my girls to give as presents for Christmas to their friends.

Be sure to check out the other Friday finishes over at Amy's site.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

County Fair

I warned him! I told my husband that the reason we did not have coffee was that Sam's Club, where I get the Starbucks, is too close to the freeway for me to not be tempted to jump on and be at the fabric discount stores 15 min later... but he wanted coffee and this is some of the goodness I also came home with .... only a yard of the pear but 4 yds of the raisin! Did I mention it was $3 a yard?

This is the 54" 'canvas'. It is about the weight of Kona cotton, so not really heavy. What should I do with it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UFO sighting

Have you seen Jacquie of Tall Grass Studios Joy in the New Year challenge? Its everywhere! I signed up last week but kept forgetting to post about it then I decided to wait till I completed at least one of the outstanding project for the challenge.

So, here it is! This is a UFO's that I carted in from CA. I think I was doing scrap reduction and practicing quick sew 9 patch... I think... but the top was done and I found a backing I am happy with as well as binding from my stash. Glad to have it done and it will be going to Margaret's Hope Chest.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Less than Perfect .. and Quilt Bingo?

You may recognize the blue print as one from the recent stash pile. This actually is not for stash augmentation, but has a planned purpose. Don't you love it when you find the exact fabric you need? This Irish chain was in the box I unpacked from CA, so its been sitting for 6 years, and my recollection is that it was sitting a long time before that waiting for the perfect backing... well the wait is over! I saw this print and knew that it was what I was waiting for. I am so glad I did not settle for something else that was just not right!

Ok... I know about quilt alongs, and swaps, and bees, but Bingo? While visiting Jane's site today I found out about Quilt Bingo and I'm in!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New stash ... machines fixed!

My vintage sewing machines are back and running like a dream!
And, I got to visit my fabric nirvana as well. Thanks to those who weighed in on determining how much to buy when encountering wonderful prices!

These are my new purchases made at the warehouses I discovered. The top selections were is a big pile marked $2 yd, must buy whole piece. The lower rt piece is 2yds and is a Kaufman print. I think it will be added to the wonky fence rail selections.

As happy as the $2's made me... these are the ones that put me over the moon! I spotted the Sandi Henderson prints in a pile of swatches by the desk and asked about them since they were not on the floor. When I asked the manager said to go get those from the back for me :) :) :) all $5 yd. This was where your advise on yardage helped! Thanks!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sew & Tell Friday!

Happy Friday!

I got three table runners competed this week ... yea! These are all gifts so I am happy to have gotten a good start on them. Of course while working on them the left overs morphed into new ideas and I have two more that are now in the works that were not really planned for, but the more the merrier!

I wanted to thank those that gave an opinion on the borders for my new French Generals throw quilt. With my face up next to the fabrics I liked the lighter one but once I got the perspective of the digital picture the darker fabric was the obvious choice... as you all responded! Thanks!! I think the lighter will end up as part of the backing.

This week I am joining the Sew & Tell Friday
hosted by Amylouwho.
I love hopping around on these blogs that allow us to reach out to see more great projects!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More French General

Well, my stash of the French General did not last too long. While working on the table runner, which is a gift, hubby was saying how much he liked that color in our living room.... so, new project in progress is a couch throw in the lovely red and taupe.

So, help me out, I pulled both these fabrics from my stash as potential for the border. The tan is Kona Cotton in Sand and I like the solid because some of the FG is busy and I think it frames the blocks well.
Which do you like, the darker or the lighter print? I have to say the trick of snapping a pic on the digital really works. I had a favorite, but now that I see the pictures I have totally reversed my opinion.

Linky to coupon this weekend for 20% at Joannes... included sale prices, and they are having a holiday sale this weekend on notions. I plan to stock up on needles.

My sewing machines are done! Yea! You know what that means? Fabric shopping!!! And thanks to those that validated my more is better theory on fabric shopping!

Wonky Fence Rail

Nap Time Quilter is doing a tutorial and quilt along for her Gratitude Quilt which she showcased in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.
Just a note, if you have not checked out the Festival, it is time well spent. I try to look at 10-15 a day and may be done before the spring Fest is upon us as there are 683 entries!
Sorry, back on topic... this is my preliminary pull for the quilt along, what do you think? I know it is similar to her example, but I have a hard time thinking out of the box till I get a feel for a quilt. First time for me on a pattern is about mechanics, and this will be my first try at wonky, at least on purpose :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stash Augmentation

On my trip into Dallas last week to see the sewing machine doctor I had a chance to again peruse the fabric shops in the import district. There are about 6 of them that are in loading dock warehouses and one that is a store front. This time I asked a few questions to find out exactly what these shops were. The bolt ends had some good names on them, but... I know they sell cheap knock off hand bags in the area and I did not want to be taken in by forgery Dewberry. What I found is that these are distributors and in one case they had racks of fabric still in plastic that had just come back for the Houston show. I didn't see any cotton fabric over $5 yard. The ones I got were all $3-5. I cant wait for next week when my sewing machines are fixed and I have an excuse to go back!

So, when you find a deal and are augmenting your stash, what quantities do you buy in? I got a couple 1/2 yards, but mostly full yards, and 2 yards of the grey and the off white (a Joel Dewberry print) because they were only $3. I got a yard of the green damask the first trip and bought the remaining 1 3/4 they had when I went back again :) I see it as borders on a bright quilt and maybe backing for a baby quilt. I need a strategy for my trip next week.... lots of little 1/2 yards, or bigger cuts of those that I love?

Monday, November 2, 2009

We have a winner & 6 years w/o sewing

Lets start out the week with a winner!

I am sure there is a better way to do this, but, I pulled all the comments, made into a word doc, numbered them and then used my personal random number generator (my youngest daughter) who chose 35 which matched the following:

Stephanie (A Ditchin' Time Quilts) said...
Diane, thanks for commenting on my horse quilt. If you hadn't I would have never found you. I love the rick rack on the table runner you posted. A giveaway already? WOW! I love the fabric. Looking forward to viewing your other posts. I have only been posting for about a month now myself so good luck with your new blog! Have fun and enjoy. Stephanie
October 29, 2009 7:23 AM

I will be contacting Stephanie today to get contact info to get her prize in the mail. I decided to throw in a yard of brown jumbo rick rack as well and a fat quarter of some Moda fabric that I got at (gasp) a yard sale for $1 a yard! (she had it bagged in 3 yard increments and silly me, I only got 6 yards!)

Thanks everyone for playing and for leaving such nice newbie bloggy love!

One of the comments left regarded my 6 year laps in sewing so I thought I would explain a bit about that. We moved to TX 6 years ago from CA where I was born and raised. It was on the 5 year plan, and we never expected to stay here so I never worked up the energy to unpack the sewing and craft stuff.

Ended up that the family has thrived here. My husband just got another promotion, we have a great church, and my two daughters are excelling in the schools here, so, despite the 5 year plan to return to family and friends, we are still here.

This spring I decided to take over the 'play room' and convert into my studio. While unpacking my sewing I found the requisite UFO's, including this one which were blocks from a 6 month mystery quilt project by Truckee Fabrics.... from the old days where you got the instructions each month in the mail. I can't believe these blocks sat for 6 years waiting to be put together! It is all flannel and I need to chose a backing and decide if I want to try to quilt myself or send it out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Door hanger I made inspired by ScrapFreak August Class.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Fun!

Happy Friday!

Yesterday I got two runners quilted. I concentrated on trying to keep the stitching a little tighter and think its improving....so, I got ambitious and decided to try silver metallic thread on the next one. It did not join the completed pile because I spent most of the night taking all those little meandering stitches back out. All the tutorials I read/watched on free motion said to check the back often to see whats happening there... and now I know why! The silver was pulling and breaking on the back and was a MESS! I was going to include a picture of
the rats nest of thread that I pulled out, but, my darling daughter threw it away and it already had leftover spaghetti and coffee grinds dumped on it... figured you could do without that sight!

Today I am going to take my new babies to the sewing machine doctor for a check up. I got these two beauties at the local Goodwill over the last couple months. The green one is in a cabinet that is in great shape and I paid $15. It does not have a belt or a bobbin casing, but the motor runs and the mechanism works using the hand wheel so I don't expect major issues. From what I have found, this is made in Japan post WW2 and is a Singer clone, probably 15-81. Its so pretty!

This white one is a Necchi, made in Italy in the early 1950's and I picked it up for under $30 (didn't want to wait for the markdown and chance it being gone). I have plugged it in and it works great and it came with a carrying case. Online the rap on these is that found machines have tend to have gunked up and require lots of oil and TLC to get moving, but this sweetie runs like butter, but... I want to get a general tune up as I have this fear of sewing on it and having something dramatic like gooo leaking on my project :)

It is pure coincidence that the sewing machine doctor I am taking these to is located in the store in the industrial area I went to earlier in the week.... if they happen to still have some of the lime damask left, I think it will be coming home with me :) I also might find my way over to Goodwill and see if there is anything worthy of my small but growing mid century sewing machine collection :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

French General progress

No surprise, since I had shared that my 5 WIP were all runners, well, its another table runner. I got a charm pack of these beautiful reds and taupes, then had to get another to match the triangles... then I ended up with 2 packs of 30 left, so got ANOTHER pack so I will be sure to have enough to make something else :) anyone else do that? end up with more in the leftover pile than you actually used on a project?

This makes 4 runners that are ready to be quilted so I am going to set up my acrylic table thingy and swap on the darning foot and free motion the day away! Since the rain just moved in, this will be a good to to just hunker down, me and the machine till I pick up the kiddos.

Hope you all have a great day!... and don't forget to comment to be entered in the fist 50 comments giveaway!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Speaking of givaways!

Another givaway !!! while entering my givaway, you can also pop over to Pumpkin Patch Primitives and enter thiers as well!

Good luck and remember to comment here on our way to the first 50 comments givaway.

A Givaway .... and its only day 3

Yep, that's right. It is only day 3 of my blog and I am going to give stuff away!

I explained in the last couple of posts that although table runners are working great for me to get in the groove and to practice my free motion, I am in a rut. I have 5 runners in progress now and when I complete them I want to move on. To remove the temptation, I am going to give away a 'charm pack' from the set of runners I made. I made the bottom runner from a pattern on Moda bake shop and the others are inspired by the original.

Here is how this will work.

I will draw random from the the first 50 comments made on this site.

Comments can be on any post, till we meet 50.

You will be entered once for every blog post you comment on, so if you comment on each post prior to and including this one, that's 4 entries.

The winner will receive this pack of 42 5x5 squares.

edit: We have reached 50 comments! Yea! I will anounce the winner on Monday, 11/2, gather shipping info and ship away! Thanks everyone for the warm welcome to blogland!

WIP and adding to the stash pile

I may be getting carried away with the table runner phase of the program. These are the 5 projects that I am actively working on, all of which are table runners.

I think I am in a rut!

While out running errands yesterday I decided to go hit the Goodwill store. Then since I was so close to the freeway, why not head to that quilt store in the next town I had only been to once. Then, since I was already on the freeway and it was only a little way further, why not head to the fabric liquidator store in the industrial/import area. Ever do that? Head to the dry cleaners and 2 hours later your heading home with stuff that was not on the list? Lucky for me this little detour is only about 30 miles out of the way, but not in the normal flight path for this suburban mom.

Here are my finds. None are slated for a purpose yet other than to join my stash pile.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another table runner

This is a table runner I made and shipped to my sister last week.

Table runners make great projects for me right now because they are quick and they are small enough to practice free motion with out worrying about tug and pulling through the machine.

I have just unpacked my machine and supplies after having them in storage for about 6 years and am loving getting back in the groove of planning, cutting, sewing, and now adding actual quilting as well.

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Post

Wow, my first post! Well lets start this out by sharing a table runner I made and sent to my mom last week! This was made with 5" squares and jumbo rick-rack. It was my first attempt at free motion quilting and I think it turned out pretty good for a newbie but I am not sure you can even see from this picture....

So, two things to work on for next post... better picture to show details and figure out how to put in signature block.

Thanks for looking!