Thursday, December 20, 2012

Good thing I prepared

I am blessed to have electricity, heat and internet right now. There are homes around town right now who are out. I also don't have to be at work. 

I woke up to this.

We got a foot of snow overnight and this afternoon we have high winds to create blizzard conditions. We even got thundersnow last night. I am glad to be home. My door decoration flew off. I will need to retrieve it after things have died down. 

I knew the storm was coming so I stocked up. Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations was doing the same thing. I got to meet here this weekend. I was up in Decorah for a wedding and stopped at the LQS. I thought I recognized her, but to be sure I kept staring. I am pretty sure they noticed my staring. I mentioned to my friend that it was a blogger, but wasn't sure if I should say something. Well I did and I'm glad I did. It was nice to meet her in person after reading so much on her blog. 

I have today to work on my cross stitch. I won't make it for Christmas but that is ok because season 3 starts on January 6th. I HAVE to have it done by then.Yes, I know I sing that song a lot. 

My plan is for 2013 to be the year of 'not buying and finishing'. I am little burned out on quilting. Over stimulated and burned out. Does that make sense. It seems like I see something and everybody has it and I want it. It is also an expensive hobby. I'm going back to my general crafting and cross stitch roots. I signed up for The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery 2013 Sampler. I lurked last year on flickr so this time I decided to join. It is on sale right now so check it out.

The fabric they suggested was tea dyed linen. I do not like linen; I am sticking with aida. I picked oatmeal because it was the darkest before beige. Beige seemed a bit too dark and flat. I hope the light colours show up. From looking at the picture it should be ok. 

OK, off to cross stitch. May have an update later tonight.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Make a demo

If you are making a gift for someone, make a demo. I found out the hard way. There was much unpicking and redoing for this project.

It is a baby height chart. I picked up the idea from this post. The link to the tutorial had been broken. Anyway, here are some pictures of my version. There is a wonk to it and  my first attempt at machine binding did not go well. Now the whole world sees my mis-mitered corners. The back though looks fantastic! I used the Frixon pens for the straight lines at inch increments and really like them. I would make this again. . . now that I've done it once.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas, Christmas time is near

The Chipmunks Christmas song has to be the most annoying song ever, but it is catchy! I find myself wanting a hula hoop every time I hear it.

Christmas time is near and I have been cross stitching like crazy. I HAVE TO GET THIS DONE. I am terrible about keeping project/gift deadlines. I figure it is because my work life is run by deadlines so what do I care about my hobby deadlines. This time though I do care and I WILL get this done.

So I still have to add the people in and I haven't done that yet because I would have to keep looking at the pattern. I have been schlepping it around everywhere for the last week. I have cross stitched in several different libraries as I kill time for wherever I need to be that evening. Does it look three dimensional? I am worried now that the contrast isn't working well enough to make it look 3D.

I have started doing some Christmas decorating. I used an idea from Pinterest to make my door hanger. I love the stitched ribbon. Is there a term for that? I have a pair of shoes that are black and the stitching shows. I really like that look. The pine cones came from Emily's yard. I'd had them for a year in my garage, but then realized that they may have been full of bugs so I washed and baked them. The smell in my kitchen was lovely. True woodsy smell. Speaking of Emily, she has done a ton on her deer. I don't have pictures; I keep forgetting my camera.

Last weekend I was at Home Ec in Iowa City. Cute store. Very eclectic for lack of a better word. One of the sales staff had a cute scarf and she said she had made it from fabric in the store. Very cute fabric, but it is jersey. I bought some and want to make an infinity scarf out of it. I have never sewn jersey before. A friend of mine said I probably have some hand sewing in my future. I anticipate that as well. The fabric is from somebody up in Minneapolis called Ten14 Textiles. It is organic, blah blah. I don't care about organic. I just thought the pattern was nice.

I thought my last picture of the yarn didn't do it justice, so I took another one. I think this one turned out better. As you can tell, I still haven't started on the scarf. I will get there. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Late night

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I am worn out, but I am staying up to shop online. How sad am I?! I just need to make it to midnight Eastern. At least I hope that is when the online sales kick in. I am not sure if I could make it for an hour and a half. This last half hour is killing me.

Thought I would post a couple pictures since my last post didn't have any. I'm making decent progress on my Downton cross stitch.

This is the yarn I bought last weekend. I really do love it. The picture doesn't do the colours justice. I took both pictures while sitting on the couch.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Community sewing

Emily and I have been hanging out a lot lately and sewing. The accountability has been good for us. We are actually making progress; Emily more than me. The cross stitching has proved contagious and I am working on a project right now. It combines my love for Masterpiece Theatre and cross stitch. How awesome is this?!

I bought the pattern off Craftsy. It is a super simple pattern and well written. I am going to drop the 'I'm down with'  and possibly the 'Downtown Abbey' part as well. I think it is going to end up being a throw pillow. I wanted to turn it into a wood box top to store tea, but those things are crazy expensive. It is supposed to be a gift so I really need to stay on pace. I have finished up the windows (just the darkened panes) and working on the rest of the house. I will post pictures in my next post.

Emily has made much progress with her deer. It may not look so but she has. She is trying to figure out the boundaries so she keeps moving in different directions to see how bit it truly is going to be. More like how much do I have to fill in, in my opinion.

I did get distracted from quilting with another purchase. Winterset has a lovely yarn store called Heartland Fiber.They had an open house this weekend and had a trunk show for Esther Purl Fibers. I bought some yarn. It is pretty! The sheep were raised locally and it is hand painted. All the colours have different people names and are specific sheep varieties. Mine is from a California Red sheep. I plan on crocheting a scarf. Let's see when I start on that! I bought beautiful alpaca almost 10 years ago that I still haven't touched. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Had to share. . .Ode to the Seam Ripper

From Jill at Simple.Frugal.Quilts

Seam ripper, seam ripper.  Where have you gone? 
I need you! I need you!  For that sewing machine has done me wrong.

Oh you darn machine!  You stitched this block all wrong!
My points do not point. My stripes are all wrong.  Come to think of it, so is my tension.

Seam ripper, seam ripper. Where have you gone?
I need you! I need you!  Show yourself now.  Before that darn machine makes me bang my poor head.

Oh you darn machine!  How you frustrate me to no end!
I clean you, oil you. I cover you.  And you treat me so bad.

Seam ripper, seam ripper.  Where have you gone?
I clean you not. Your cover is forever gone.  And yet.  You still help me out of a jam. So I take back those evil thoughts in my head.

Oh you darn machine.  Will you ever learn?
I am the boss.  I am! I am!

Seam ripper, seam ripper.  You are my friend.  You judge me not.
Unlike that darn machine.  Who torments me to no end.

Yes seam ripper.  You have helped me time and time again.
For you dear seam ripper understand.  I am better at stitching then what that darn machine says I am.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mug Rug Madness

I LOVE my mug rug! Janora pegged me perfectly.

This side is technically the 'reverse', but it coordinates with my coffee mug.

This the correct side. A pinwheel, stacked rectangles. It is perfect. The blue looks like denim and the stitching is in the goldy type of thread that you see on jeans. It really is very me.

Janora and I ended up swapping. This is what I made for her. Just to be clear- It is supposed to be wonky. It isn't bad stitching. She was very gracious in her acceptance. I hope she gets to use it.

Here are more pictures from the swap. This has been a great experience for my first time swap and I think I may do another one. If anybody is in the central Iowa area, please come to the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild. It is very fun and the group is super creative.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Block 2 on its way

I had to think about 'its' in the title. I mix 'its' and 'it's' up all the time.

Yellow this time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Love it!

I used the spun silk left over from my sisters's table linens. The silk was a bit squirmy so I used a light weight stabilizer. There are 3 more pitchers in Anne Marie's line and right now she has a giveaway. Now, do I wait to see if I won the giveaway or do I just go ahead and order the next one in the series? Me thinks order.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Updates with pictures

Here is the promised picture of the Giant Granny Block. I think it turned out well. It calls for a sashing border, but I think I am going to leave it as is. I think I may quilt it myself.

I finished my mug rug for the quilt guild swap. I am really nervous. I am a beginner quilter and so I veered off on a couple occasions. I also hope I interpreted my partner's likes appropriately.

Yesterday Emily and I hung out and did some cross stitching again. She has made progress on her project. I never knew I was filled with wisdom, but my tip about stitching the borders of a solid section and then stitching in the 'filling'. The last picture I have is from September 2011. It is fun to see the progress that has been made and more importantly, to be made.

I have tomorrow off again so I may have more pictures at the end of the day. I need to try the paper piecing again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

No pictures, but randomness

I hadn't blogged, but I have been keeping up with sewing hobbies. Emily has come over one evening for the last two weeks to work on her cross stitch. We both work crazy hard during the summer so we are milking the cooler, less busy fall. I worked on my Last Supper cross stitch. Last weekend was the AQS show and I went to that with a fellow quilter. That made for a fun (EXHAUSTING) day. I picked up some dupioni silk and Fassett fabrics. The tide is starting to turn in the main stream quilting community in my opinion. I noticed a few more modern fabric vendors and a couple more negative space/minimalist quilts.

I took today off and had a 'Karen Day'. Lounged and did some sewing. I finished up the Giant Granny Square Quilt Along top. I ordered the kit using Flea Market Fancy. I wasn't sold on the line when it was re-released and when my kit arrived I wasn't sure. It grows on you and I like the way the top turned out. I will take pictures tomorrow and post.

This evening I worked on some paper piecing. I took a class last fall, but had never worked on anything. It took some trial and error, but my block was coming along nicely until I had to tear away the paper. I hadn't shortened my stitch length so the stitching came apart. Oops. Tomorrow I will try again.

I was catching up on my blog reading and caught this. Robert Kaufman is coming out with precut hexies. Last month at the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild meeting, Emily V presented about English Paper Piecing. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

One more thing- Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery is having a winter themed calendar of sorts. I haven't decided if I am going to or not. It may be too cutesy for my liking.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Road trip

I went to Indiana this weekend and hit up two quilt shops along the way. Quilt shops should really advertise on the interstate. I found one just by seeing a sign on I-80. I stopped at Expressions in Thread in Le Claire, IA. It is a really nice store. While browsing the shelves I saw this tshirt. I laughed and laughed. I am sure they thought I was crazy.

I picked up a Cotton Way pattern because I will beat flying geese. I'd go back. It is nicely located too- not too far from the interstate and a nice view of the river.

I then hit up Always in Stitches in Noblesville, IN. This store was huge! They had yarn and cross stitch supplies in addition to fabrics. They had the new Moda Candy so I picked up one in Tapestry. If you're in the area of either shops, I would recommend a visit.

Here are a couple pictures of the quilt I sent Becky. I didn't take any before I mailed it out, so I took some this weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cross stitch taking over the world

First needlepoint shows up on the runway and now cross stitch has shown up on a royal. I am a HUGE fan of the Royal family. Emily came over to watch the Will and Kate's wedding at one in the morning. I even baked scones and we had a champagne toast. I've been following the Royal Tour of Southeast Asia, especially to see what Kate has been wearing. That lead me to the perfect side called, What Kate Wore! This is a really wonderful site. There is brand information and cost, as well as substitution ideas.

I am a cross stitcher at heart and I love this idea of cross stitch in fashion.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I won! I won!

This is me:

Karen said-
This would be the next step in improving my piecing skills. Working with smaller starting pieces and best part? No cutting of the starting pieces! They are 'real' quilt patterns. Carrie doesn't short change.

Moda has come out with 2.5 inch squares called Candy and Carrie Nelson from Miss Rosie has patterns to go along. I won a give away on the Moda Blog of the new patterns called Little Bites. 

Now to go buy some candy!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My heart aches

Wednesday I found out my college roommate has cancer. Her name is Rebekah, but we call her Becky. She is 34 years old and she is scheduled for surgery on Friday. My heart aches.

I felt so helpless to be there for her because of distance. I did the first thing that popped into my heart. I made a quilt. I ran to the quilt store on Wednesday night and picked up a layer cake. I needed to get this done quickly so I went with a pre-cut. I wish I lived near the Fabric Shack which has a large selection of pre-cuts. There were 3 layer cakes to choose from, so I went with Serenade by Kate Spain. It had a lot of repeats so I did a bit of 'symmetry' in fabric layout with the Quartered Nines pattern. I put it together in 4 hours.

Quilters are the nicest people! I can't say that enough. I went to quilt guild on Thursday evening and mentioned I wanted a quilter to do an emergency weekend quilt job. Veronica called a friend and left a message to see if she could do it and Janorah offered to do it herself. I dropped the quilt off with Janorah last night and she said she would have it done this weekend.

Please pray for my friend.

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:13-18

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I didn't realize people actually read this!

I've actually had a couple people 'complain' that I haven't posted in a while.Summers always get REALLY crazy with work and this year has been no exception. I love my job, but I don't have a life during the summer. The drought has added to that because that has meant more hours to work outside without a reprieve of rain days.

Things have slowed down considerably so I was able to take a day off and go to the Iowa State Fair. I love the fair! When I first moved to Iowa I thought I was too good for the fair, but I went and I was hooked. There is so much to see and so much to eat. I ate a lot on Friday and on Friday night I did not feel good.

I went with my friends Emily and Brian. We stopped at the State Fair Sew In and for an hour I worked in a sweatshop while I had two bosses telling me to hurry! We had to pick out 12 strips and sew them together. They picked the fabrics and I sewed. It is an UGLY quilt. So very, very ugly. I feel for the poor child who gets this. Ladybugs, spiders, corn and fish. Brian said it was for a child who has an interest in entomology and marine biology. We are science nerds. The cool thing about the system is you can do just one thing and walk away. I love to piece so I pieced and I left. Piece out! I couldn't resist. I am so funny.

So here are a couple pictures of us. They are cell phone pics so they are terrible. I am not sure why I am blurry but the other two look OK. Those two had way too much fun. I was sure we were going to get kicked out. We were loud. Emily dropped her lemonade on the floor. And all we had to show for in the end was a very ugly quilt top.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What a difference a (new) blade makes

I have yet to make a Schnibbles deadline, but I am determined to finish up this month's project. I changed my blade before I started yesterday. HUGE difference. On Friday I was at a friend's house doing some cutting and my blade was dull, so she gave me a Harbor Freight blade. I had read about using Harbor Freight blades instead of Olfa blades because of the lower price. My friend hadn't tried them before so we were both pretty excited about the option of cheaper blades. She opened up a package of 2 blades; the first blade was all gunked up so she gave me the second one. It didn't work. It kept skipping so I don't think I am going to get any. I will stick with the Olfa blades when they come on sale. That being said, Joann's is having a huge sale right now with 50% off thread, cutters, matters and replacement blades.

I am using Salt Air from Cosmo Cricket for Summer Day. I love this line. It is cheery and fun. I am switching the pattern up a little by having solid navy for the 'bars' instead of more charm squares.

I am a shortcut quilter and with cutting so many charm squares to the same size, I attached tape to my ruler to make the process easier. The yellow tape shows the first cuts and the blue the final size. I used a couple other things to make the process easier, but I think I am going to save that for a 12 minute tips at the Des Modern Quilt Guild. Next meeting is Thursday (April 19th) 6:30 pm at the Waukee Arts Center. Do come if you are in the Des Moines area. It is a very fun time. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'm it!

I was tagged! By Linda at Flourishing Palms. I met Linda through the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild. Apart from being a very accomplished quilter, she has a very caring spirit. She leads Stitchin' Mission, where she teaches quilting while serving different organizations.

So as part of being tagged, I have to answer questions:

Where is one place in the world you haven't yet visited, but would like to?
Hhmm. . . Vietnam. I've always wanted to go to Vietnam.

What's your favorite quiltmaking gadget?
My seam ripper! Really. Or my purple thang.

How often do you oil your sewing machine?
*sheepish smile* I haven't. I have two machines and I haven't ever taken them in or oiled them. I have removed the plates and removed lint.

What's your favorite perfume?
I don't wear perfume, but I love the smell of Miss Dior.

Machine-piecing/applique or hand-piecing/applique?
Machine piecing! When I want to do hand work, I cross stitch.

What's your favorite dessert?
Tie between cheesecake and pie.

Who's your favorite author?
Jane Austen. Yes, I am one of 'those' women.

What quilting technique would you like to learn more about?
I took a beginner paper piecing class and I would like to explore that avenue more. I would also like to learn how to sew curves. The combination of that would be New York Beauty. There is a New York Beauty quilt along going on right now, but I had to forgo. I have been stalking the flickr group.

What dish do you cook/bake that is considered your best?
I am a dessert person, but I wouldn't say I have a signature dish. I guess one I do make repeatedly is Gingerbread Pear Trifle. It is exactly what it sounds like. VERY good!

Machine-sewn binding or hand-sewn binding?
Hand sewn :( I hate binding. I would like to start a movement to make no-binding quilts popular.

So I am tagging Jenny at Down to Sew. Jenny rescues my quilts by doing wonderful long arm quilting. Apart from being a talented quilter, she is a lovely person.

My questions are:
1. If you took on a new hobby, what would it be?

2. Do you have a hard time gifting quilts? I often wonder about this, because some people are very generous with their quilts and I am not (sometimes).

3. Raw Edge or Needleturn Applique?

4. What colour continually shows up in your quilts, but you deny 'liking' it?

5. Favourite band from the '90s?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BOM Rehab

I signed up last year for the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month. It started in June! It is now almost April. April is Block ELEVEN. I have done ONE block. There are NINE blocks still in their clear plastic bags. All the numbers are making this post sound like Sesame Street

Anyway, Sinta over at Pink Pincushion is hosting a BOM Rehab. This is the same Sinta who co-hosts Another Year of Schnibbles. The goal is to finish blocks over the weekend and then post a blog post on Monday. Every post is an entry into a giveaway drawing for the month. I am going to give it a shot. It is an uphill battle though because even if I do keep up and finish a block a week, I have THREE months worth of work ahead of me.

This post was brought to you by the numbers 11, 1, 9 and 3. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blah blogging

Is it just me or does it seem like the usual bloggers have been laying low lately? I know several are having babies, but it seems like there has been a sort of quiet on the blogging front. I do still have plenty of blogs to read.

Does anybody know anything about Karrie Lyne from Freckled Whimsy? I really enjoyed her blog and tutorials.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Super fun evening and end to a LONG week

I have a tendency to sign up for a lot of stuff and some times all those things come due at the same time. I believe in keeping my commitments so I burn the candle at both ends to get everything done. This week was one of those weeks. Daylight Savings did NOT help. Work got busy all of a sudden and I had ministries at church I had serve. Six dozen cookies and two mangled mini quilts later, I am here to say I survived!

Last night I spoke at the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild. This is such a wonderful group of creative, talented and all round wonderful ladies. The title of my presentation was "Traditional Design in Modern Quilting". It was part educational, part show and tell. More than anything, I enjoyed just sharing about my culture, growing up and my last trip.

So if you are in the Des Moines area, please join us. You WILL enjoy yourself. We meet on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30. The website has additional information.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bad sewers are very creative

That is so-er not su-er. I will explain. I watched "A Year of Schnibbles" from afar, but this year I decided to participate in "Another Year of Schibbles". I said I wanted to improve my piecing skills. 

Right!! The pieces are small. They wiggle and when sewing triangles the corners get chewed up. I started the January pattern, Full House, in January, but finished it today. Well, not quite. I need a second opinion. In my defense I was traveling for half the month of January and half the month of February. I had to skip February for that reason. Even with the leap day I knew I wouldn't be able to get it done. I did order and have received the pattern for March. 

So where do I begin. I learned that 'scant 1/4 inch seam' means not a full 1/4 inch seam. I thought it wouldn't make a difference. Each not a difference added up to a difference. Nothing matched up!!! Edges were hanging off. The points were all off. I was sewing on the edge. I just ploughed through because I just wanted it DONE! The worst bit was my sashing strips. I have no idea what I did but I ended up with two strips that were a good three quarter inch too short. This one I couldn't wiggle out of. So I ripped it out a couple inches and then attached more fabric. Hey, I signed the Process Pledge, so full disclosure. Pictures below. 

I love the fabric and the pattern is cute. Since the pattern is called "Full House" and the fabric is "Flora", I am calling this "Hothouse". I wanted it to look like tropical greenhouses, so the gray is supposed to be steel like.

The pattern calls for a border which would be my gray. I don't want it to be too dull so I haven't sewed it on. Should I put the border on? 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Super secret project

I've always wanted to say that. It isn't 'super' or really 'secret'. I am just holding out on information for my presentation for the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild. I am presenting "Traditional Indian Design in Modern Quilting" on March 15th (6:30pm) at the Waukee Area Arts Council Center at 405 Maple, Waukee 50263. Apart from working on the presentation, I am whipping up a quilt top to show. 

If you are in the Des Moines area, please come! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I'm baacck! I was traveling for work and have been gone for a LONG time. I haven't done any sewing and just been tired in general. I wanted to participate in Another Year of Schnibbles but I missed the January 31st deadline (sitting on the ironing board) and came home too late to start February's pattern. I am going to try again with March. That being said, that may not happen because I have another project I HAVE to do.

I should turn this into a quilt and travel blog. "Where is my seam ripper and passport?"

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blog header

I have a brand new, customized blog header!
Jennisa at Once Upon a Blog did it for me. Isn't it cute? Even with all the crazy in my head, she was able to figure out what I was describing. See, the seams don't match so they need to be ripped out? Get it?! If you need a blog header go check out Jennisa's site. She also does buttons and signatures.
I really like it. It really perks up the blog, doesn't it?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Caught between the moon and New York City

Well, not quite. I am caught between modern and traditional. Does anybody else have this problem?

I am a member of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild and I love clean lines, but I dislike Kona Ash. What a waste of a colour. Medium Gray or Charcoal is so much better. I don't like novelty prints. They are cheesy in my opinion and some of them creep me out. I also am not a fan of trends. Seems like you see one and then you see a million copy cats with designs. Example: hexagons. Seemed like there were a million hexagons out there last year. 

I am not a traditional quilter either because I just wing it most of the time. I don't applique and probably never will. I don't really square up my fabric and I add borders and then cut. I do like pretty though- I love floral fabrics. Soft pastel florals. I also love traditional block patterns- straight up blocks.

I think this stems from an adolescence of reading Jane Austen and watching MTV at the same time.