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.