Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Month In Review

Here it is, the end of the month already. It hasn't been the greatest of months, quilting wise, but I am certainly not going to complain. I got some things checked off the list and made some things that weren't even on the list. Let's recap:

April's List

1. Finish Ashley's quilt...why does that one sound so familiar? lol I could try to offer up an excuse, but nothing is plausible

2. Work on dazzling dogs...I can promise you this will carry over into May Carry over is right

3. Hawaiian log cabin...Again, I am pretty sure this will carry over into May Ditto

4. Christmas stocking...This too will carry over into May Again, ditto

5. Donna's table topper Finally, something on the list FINISHED!

6. Paper pieced pins Nada

7. Reindeer table runner...this is an ongoing project This did get worked on

8. A secret project for my quilt guild...more on this later FINISHED

9. Matthew's bibs...finished 10, but he can always use more 2 FINISHED

10. Handmade cards FINISHED

11. A baby shower gift FINISHED

Technically, only 2 projects didn't get finished this month. Ashley's quilt and the paper pieced pins. The other projects I knew were going to be carryovers before the month even began.

Now, on to the distractions. Here are a few things that got done that didn't even make the list:

1. Fabric postcards (4) for the Children's Miracle Network

2. Burp cloths (2)

3. Baby shower sock corsage

4. 60 nametags, cut and fused (they still need decorative stitching around the edges)

5. 30 purse-sized tissue holders

May's to-do list will be posted tomorrow.
By the way, the blue borders in the above picture look wrinkled. The picture was taken before the final press. It is now as flat as a pancake.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Tail's Draggin'

Today was a slow day in the studio. I made 10 of the purse sized tissue holders for the shower. I just couldn't seem to work up any enthusiasm for anything. Basically, my tail is draggin'. Must have been all that housework yesterday...tee hee. I did finish the quilting on the table topper though and I am very satisfied with it. I spent the evening surfing around The Quilt Show website. There is always something interesting to peruse over there. And lastly, to my dear friend Sue, I wish you the happiest of birthdays!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Quilting Forever, Housework Whenever

Another good sewing day. Not as good as the weekend, mind you, but good. My excuse is I had a lot of laundry, dishes, changing of sheets, making dinner, etc. That really puts a damper on my progress. I did get most of the quilting on the table topper done. I still have a bit to finish up. Maybe tomorrow. Then tonight I had to deliver my secret project to the program coordinator. I also had to do some returns to JoAnns and I stopped to visit my son and his fiancee. By the time I got back home most of the evening was gone. I did start to rework my Goddaughter's pillowcase, but didn't get very far. If you want to know why I am reworking it, go back to my post of March 27 for the explanation. You're gonna love it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything

Yet another productive day. I'm lovin' it. I made Matthew another bib. Yes, those are ants. Doesn't that print remind you of a picnic?
These are the purse sized tissue holders that I am making for the wedding shower. I finished 5 of the lt. blue/green ones today. I already have made 15 of the brown/turquoise ones.

And finally, this is a table topper (only the top) that I have been meaning to make for a friend for a very long time. Won't she be surprised? It was supposed to be a housewarming gift, but perhaps it will qualify as a mortgage burning am hoping to get to the sandwiching/quilting tomorrow.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Full Day

My husband was gone most of the day today. That meant no cooking and no responsibilities. Oh how I love those kind of days. I started off the day by finishing up my monthly cards and getting them addressed and ready to mail. Then I finished my secret project. Next, I began and completed a bib for Matthew. And finally, I cut out 15 more purse-sized tissue holders for the shower. It's getting close to the end of the month and I still have a lot of things that need to get done. I am pushing for a big finish. Wish me luck.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Going Green

This afternoon I started my monthly cards. Let me just state up front that I always have "big" ideas. Actually bringing them to fruition is another matter. So, naturally, I screw up the first card. It helps me work out the bugs right from the get-go. Suddenly, I realize that the card I chose to make will require more paper than I have. Time for a paper run. Of course the store doesn't have the same paper anymore. No problem, I will pick another print. And, bonus, I find ribbon to match. I pay the cashier, head for the door and it is pouring rain outside. There I stand with my paper bag with paper inside. Hmm. I ask the gal at the checkout if she has another bag (as in plastic)...nope. Okay, someone please explain this to me. How does a store that sells paper, envelopes, paper products not have plastic? Oh yeah, I am SURE they are going green...yeah, that's it. Sheesh.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Workin' Like A Dog

Yes, I am. Today I spent close to 5 hours in the studio. The first part of the day was spent squeezing every inch of fabric I had to make name tags. Lo and behold, not only did I get my 60 name tags, but I may just get a few more. The front and back is fused to the buckram ready to have the decorative stitching done around the edges. That will have to wait for another day. The second part of the day was spent cutting and sewing purse sized tissue holders for the wedding shower. I got 15 of them done. Speaking of the wedding, Mike and Ashley's engagement announcement appeared in today's NEW section of the newspaper. And now, I am headed upstairs to do some finishing touches on my "secret project".

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shopping Trip

This afternoon my quilty girlfriends stopped over and I had a chance to work on my reindeer table runner. Between all the gabbing, I did get some work done, but not a whole heck of a lot! Tonight I took a ride to Racine. My first stop was a quilt shop. I know, big surprise. I picked up some fabrics to start making tissue holders for Ashley's bridal shower. I need some door prizes for Ashley's bridal shower. Tell me, what woman doesn't need tissue in her purse? I also bought a new log cabin book by Judy Martin. Now there's something I HAD to have. My second stop was JoAnn Fabrics for more buckram and Wonder Under for those 35 remaining name tags. I did have to put on the blinders though when I passed Hobby Lobby. My last stop was Kohls Department Store. They are having their "lowest prices of the year" sale. Now there's incentive. I picked up some towels, also for the bridal shower. I found an article about how you can make a wedding cake from rolled towels. My crafty side is rearing its ugly head again. I am now ready to put my feet up and call it a day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today I started the name tags needed for my guild's quilt show in October. Normally I wouldn't start this early in the year, but after I finish assembling them and decorative stitching around the edges, another gal will take over. She will finish them by adding names and Swarovski crystals. We need at least 60 of them. I started measuring the fabric and I am hoping I will be able to squeak out the 60 we need. I am going to be close, that is for sure. Tonight I completed 25 of the 60. I probably could have done more. Unfortunately, I ran out of buckram and I am running low on Wonder Under. The remainder will have to wait until I can get to Joann's for more supplies.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Get Back To Work!

Okay, so today I was back in the studio. I was working on "the secret project" that was due last Tuesday. I am sure I blogged this story once before, but will paraphrase it quickly. My quilt guild has a potluck dinner in May. Normally we don't have a speaker. The program coordinator tries to come up with a form of entertainment. She decided to issue a challenge. Each member was asked to make something, anything not larger than 24" square. You were then supposed to bring it to the April meeting in a brown paper bag. Your name needed to be inside the bag. You were to tell no one what you made. In May she will hand out sheets of paper with the names of members who made something. She will hold up each item from a bag and you will need to write down which member you think made it. Door prizes will be given for the person with the most correct answers. The April meeting was last Tuesday. I did tell the coordinator that I was working on something and it would be done asap. It should be done by tomorrow. I would love to show you a picture, but that just wouldn't be fair. You will have to wait like everyone else!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Day of Rest

Well, the shower was today and the Mom-to-be loved the wall hanging. It is funny when you make something, suddenly you get introduced to all the other sewers/crafters in the room. You kibitz about how you did it, what you used, then they ask for advice, like you are suddenly an Mom-to-be also loved the baby sock corsage. It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I came home and decided to leave the studio door shut. Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Say Bye

The Beep Beep wall hanging is DONE. Today I stitched the bottom shut and signed the back. Tomorrow is the baby shower and the wall hanging will have a new home.

Today was a Super Saturday for my quilt guild. I worked on cutting and sewing a couple of burp cloths. I found some vague directions on the internet and had to improvise a pattern on my own. But, all things considered, the shape turned out pretty well. I used two pieces of flannel with fleece batting in between. I still have to sew the openings closed and topstitch around the edges. I am going to see if I have a decorative stitch on my Pfaff that will look cute around the edges. I was hoping to get them done for tomorrow's shower, but that isn't going to happen. I will save them for when the baby is born.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Always Learning

The Beep Beep wall hanging is almost done. However, there was a change in plans. Today I decided to forego the sandwiching, pinning and binding. I opted to instead "birth" as Eleanor Burns calls it. This refers to the technique where you put your batting down first, place your backing next (right side up) and then place your top, front side down. You then sew around your top, leaving a portion of a side open so that you can turn the project inside out. It worked wonderfully. I did a line of stitching 1/4 inch from the outside and another one 1/4 of an inch from the inside border. I also shadow quilted around the entire figure.

Okay, so here is what I learned, because frankly, I am always learning. If I ever do this project again, I would change my stitch length. When doing small pieces like the hands, the stitching almost overpowered the piece. I also need to find a better stabilizer. I used Stitch 'N Tear. This would have been okay if I had been satin stitching, but I was using a blanket stitch. It was a bear to remove without distorting the stitches. Also, I used my zipper foot to shadow stitch around the entire applique piece. It worked great! It gave me just the right look. I used monofilament thread.

One more thing that came to my attention. While at the quilt show in Chicago last weekend, my girlfriend and I stopped in the Superior Threads booth. They have this gorgeous line of threads called Rainbows. It is this yummy varigated thread with the most beautiful combinations of colors. However, my Pfaff HATES this thread. I have used it in the past with horrible consequences. So, I decide to discuss it with the Superior thread man. He tells me it's not my Pfaff, but the needle I am using. He shows me on the spool how it says "use topstitch 90 needle". I tell him, "I don't remember seeing that on my other spools". Guess what? It isn't on my other spools. I checked tonight. And, the quilt store that I bought these from has only been in business for 3 years, so the threads are rather current. Gotta wonder if the company had a few complaints. In any case, I did use the topstitch 90 needle and it worked like a charm! Thank goodness because I have a drawer full of this

All that is left is to hand sew the opening closed on the bottom and sign my name on the back. YIPPEE!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Getting Closer

I am getting closer to the end of this project. Today the borders went on and the embroidery was done. It looks so much nicer now that the little boy actually has a face! My hope was to get more done today, but I am happy with my progress so far. I still have two full days to finish.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Get It Done

Today I spent about 5 hours in the studio working on the Beep Beep wall hanging. The applique is done. The nameplate is on. The stabilizer is off. Tomorrow's plan is to cut and attach the borders. I also hope to embroider the face. AND I would like to get it sandwiched and pinned. I feel like I am in a race. The shower is Sunday. I live for stress

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quilt Guild Meeting

Tonight was our quilt guild's monthly meeting. Our speaker was Nancy Kimpel, a quilt artist from New Berlin. Nancy does these absolutely gorgeous pictorials. See had an entire series depicting the skyline of some of Milwaukee's most famous buildings. She captured their true essence in fabric, from cream city bricks to stained glass windows. She hand dyes some of her fabrics and paints on others to get just the right colors and textures. Her pictorials are so realistic, you feel like you are there. What a great artist!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chef's Series

Tonight I attended another Gilda's Club Chef's Series. The chef and his sous chef were from Kil@wat restaurant located in downtown Milwaukee. They prepared three delicious selections. The first one was a cold pea soup. It was this beautiful lime green color and tasted as good as it looked. The second dish was a pan roasted striped bass with tabbouleh, chickpea puree and tatziki sauce. To finish off these divine dishes, we enjoyed a soft centered chocolate cake with berry sauce. It never ceases to amaze me how giving these chefs are. They supply the food, haul all their equipment and bend over backward to please. They are a real asset to our community. I hope they know how much enjoyment they bring to all of us.

Remember The Cozy Coupe?

This is a wall hanging that I am working on. I am blanket stitching around the applique pieces. Doesn't this remind you of the Cozy Coupe by Little Tykes? Or, maybe even a "spud", which is what we used to call the Volkswagon beetles. In any case, isn't it just the cutest? I am about half done with the stitching. I still need embroider the details for the little boy's face. The pattern is an old one, aptly named "Beep Beep". Only one piece is missing. There is a license plate that still has to be appliqued on. I am going to be embroidering the recipient's name on it and fusing it on last.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Today my girlfriend Linda and I went to the IQF (International Quilt Festival). The festival is held in Rosemont, IL, just outside of Chicago. We got there around 11am this morning and got home around 10:10pm tonight. Oh my achin' feet. Our first order of business was to check out all the gorgeous quilts. These are truly the best of the best. There are so many different techniques and embellishments. The free motion quilting on most quilts was phenomenal. So many things to aspire to. I did buy a few things. My largest purchase was a light that you stick to the side of your sewing machine. It is very tiny and has a wonderful, true white light to it. I has a long goose neck that you can bend, so that the light can shine exactly where you want it. We stayed until the show closed at 7pm and still didn't make it through all the vendors. My feet are killing me, but oh what a fun day it was!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ooh Baby

Today's project was a baby shower corsage. I found directions, with pictures, through a Google search of "baby sock corsage". I have seen these in the past at showers and they are so cute. You roll up baby socks to form roses. Like with most things, I have been putting it off. The shower is next Sunday, so it was time to stop procrastinating. I took me about 2 hours total, just because I wasn't sure what I was doing...yes, even with directions. Then there is the tweaking. Pull a little here, bend a little get the idea. I've got to admit, I am really satisfied with the way it turned out. They know the baby is a boy. In fact, they already have the name picked out. The beads are his initials!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Love That Glitzy Thread

Well, today was an extremely productive day. My girlfriend came over to work on her postcards for the CMN fundraiser. While she was doing that, I was working on my crazy patch Christmas stocking. The more I work on it, the better I like it. I used another one of those glitzy specialty threads on one of the seams. Unfortunately, the seam I chose was very short. There were 3 parts to this particular embroidery stitch. I used rayon floss in different colors on two of the stitches. The third stitch is where I used the glitzy thread. Well let me tell you, it looked so gorgeous that I am ripping it out! This stitch really needs to be showcased. I am looking for a longer seam so that I can show off it's true beauty. That's the great thing about embroidery. It is always a surprise depending on the thread, floss, color, texture and stitch that you choose.

Then tonight I went into the studio and finished up tracing and fusing the parts for an applique wall hanging. They are sitting on the teflon sheet ready to be fused to the background fabric asap. I will post a picture of it as soon as it is stabilized on the background.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

CMN Postcards Done

Today I finished up the donation postcards for the Children's Miracle Network fundraiser. One of the three that I created last Friday got tossed. I wasn't happy with it, so out it went. I made two new cards this afternoon. Tonight I stitched around the appliques with clear monofilament thread. Monofilament is always forgiving because it can barely be seen. By the way, you can click on the picture for a better view, but no scrutinizing! I tried to vary the border treatments by using rayon thread, varigated thread and yarn. These were soooo much fun.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Tonight I revisited my new support group. Our speaker spoke about colors and the mood they can invoke. It was very interesting how each color of the rainbow can set a specific mood. I have to admit though, if I want a certain color in a particular room, I am not going to worry about what kind of mood it will conjure up. Then again, I don't put much faith in feng shui either (I can hear the gasping already). I guess I march to my own drummer. I make quilts the same way. I choose colors that appeal to me, whether someone else likes them or not. And, most often than not, they are LOUD...just like appropriate!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Embroidery Stitches

I spent some time this afternoon trying to pick out a few embroidery stitches to finish up the seams on my Christmas stocking. The choices are mind-boggling. I have a book that I bought years ago. It has over 100 stitches to choose from. Then there is the choice of thread. Rayon floss, perle cotton, specialty thread or something else? You can also mix threads in a combined stitch. So many choices! I haven't even gotten to the beads yet...(giggle). Since it is a Christmas stocking, I started a row of pine trees in an olive green rayon floss. Rayon floss has a lovely sheen to it and catches the light beautifully. The only drawback to this project is the fact that you need to do a lot of marking in order to make sure your stitches are even, sometimes marking both horizontally and vertically. Tomorrow, back to the pine trees.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sun Prairie

What a great day for a drive! The temperature was in the 60's and the sun was shining. A girlfriend and I drove to Sun Prairie for a quilt show. It was a terrific show. Totally worth the 1.5 hour drive. The great thing about this quilt show is the fact that a lot of the quilts are from towns further north, which means they haven't been shown at shows in my area. We finished up at the quilt show and then drove west for lunch. There is this really neat restaurant called Ella's Deli in the Madison area. They have a full sized carousel in front of the restaurant, and in the warmer months you can actually ride on it. The inside of Ella's is filled with wonderful animated displays. You will see everything from Bart Simpson on a wire scooting back and forth across the ceiling to a miniature band playing their instruments. No matter where you look, there is always something amazing. Most of the tables have glass tops with collections inside. A few of the tables are interactive with things like a real train or pinball machines. And, when it comes time to pay your bill, you can peruse their array of old fashioned candy at the checkout. If you are ever in the Madison area, this is one great stop!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Christmas Revisited

Today I worked on two projects. I started the morning by tracing pieces on fusible for an applique project. I got about half of the appliques cut out. They are now arranged on my teflon sheet awaiting the rest of the pieces. I then took a break and went to the quilt store to look for some fabric. I needed flannel for some burp cloths that I want to make for an upcoming baby shower. I also found a few other pieces of fabric to go with the above mentioned applique wall hanging. Later on in the afternoon, I revisited my crazy patch Christmas stocking that I started a couple of years ago. I had embroidered a beautiful snowflake with frosty white metallic thread over one of the seams. But upon further inspection, I didn't like where I had placed it. The fabrics I had embroidered over were very light and didn't show off the threads' sheen. I decided to rip it out and move it to a seam where there were two darker colors. Much better. I am anxious to get the thread work on this stocking done so that I can move onto the beading. I have high hopes that this piece might be worthy of entry into the State Fair.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Charity Postcards

Tonight my girlfriends and I worked on fabric postcards. Someone from one of my Yahoo Groups sent me a notice that the Children's Miracle Network was looking for people to make fabric postcards for their charity. They plan to sell these postcards for a $25.00 donation during one of their fundraisers. I finished the fronts of 3 cards and will post a picture when I get the backings on and the edges satin stitched. It was fun to watch everyone create and we had a great time, while helping a worthy cause.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Looking Ahead

It's a new month and time for a fresh start. I plan on working hard this month because the closer it gets to the wedding, the less time I will have. Here we go:

April's List

1. Finish Ashley's quilt...why does that one sound so familiar? lol
2. Work on dazzling dogs...I can promise you this will carry over into May
3. Hawaiian log cabin...Again, I am pretty sure this will carry over into May
4. Christmas stocking...This too will carry over into May
5. Donna's table topper
6. Paper pieced pins
7. Reindeer table runner...this is an ongoing project
8. A secret project for my quilt guild...more on this later
9. Matthew's bibs...finished 10, but he can always use more
10. Handmade cards
11. A baby shower gift

I know, it looks overwhelming. There are a couple of reasons for that. A lot of the projects are already started and can't possibly be finished in one month ergo the carryover. I am a person who is easily bored if I work too long on the same project. I like to change things up to keep it interesting. Remember, most of these projects are UFO's, so they have been hanging around for quite a while. The secret project for my guild can't be revealed since it is for a contest in May. No one is supposed to know what you are making and I know a few people from my guild read this blog (you know who you are).

Okay, now you know what my list consists of, what's on yours?