Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finish-A-Long Third Quarter Finishes

The Finish-A-Long sponsored by Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap is never far from my mind. Which is good, as it keeps me going on wips in the midst of frequently finding new projects to start! 

This third round, I had 4 projects on my list. A year in the making was the 
4x5 modern Quilt Bee quilt. I had blocks from 3 rounds of the bee, and just needed to pull them all together.
After much debate, I ended up framing all the blocks in Kona Tangerine, then finished with a border in Kona Charcoal. In the end, it was a pretty traditional finish for these modern blocks, now known as G.O. Modern
There's a pretty photo-heavy post here if you want to read more about this project, and a run-down of my adventure in quilting it here. Major accomplishment for me, this one.

Marmalade "Storytime Squares" baby quilt was up next. I had the piecing of this baby quilt well under way.
So A Taste of Marmalade was a pretty sweet finish.

A QWERTY variation kind of loomed in the background for a while. This "re-do" of the original QWERTY was for my bookkeeper friend, who had given me a focus fabric to work with.
Once I actually faced this stack on my sewing table, Digits came together without much fuss.

What I haven't gotten done is my Christmas lap quilt to coordinate with the non-traditional tree skirt I made last December.
Wonderland tree skirt complete
I do have some blocks pieced, and this one is definitely going right back on the list for the fourth quarter!
Stay tuned - those greens and browns in the tree skirt photo will still be making an appearance!

2012 Finish-A-Long

I'll be linking my finished projects up to the Finish-A-Long Third Quarter Linky Party! Also linking up with Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up.

Friday, September 28, 2012

More Sightings!

Here I've barely sewed a stitch the last week or so, but I've been entertained by more Triple-Zip sightings! You may be sick and tired of hearing about these, but for posterity {or whatever!} I feel compelled to tally them up here on the blog.

The tutorial itself has been spotted at Tipnut and Make: Craft. And Maria of Mia's Creations made a second triple-zip.

And then, yesterday I got several emails from bloggy friends telling me about seeing triple-zips over at How About Orange. I hurried on over and yup, there were two! Made from Jessica Jones' own Outside Oslo, they were actually made by Jessica's mom, Grandma G, from A Photo's Worth!

You can read all about them from Jessica and Grandma G here and here. And as if that wasn't enough for one week, Grandma G made another one today!
It's a pretty nice compliment when folks make one pouch from your tutorial, let alone more. But when they say things like, "They may just be the most fun sewing item I've ever made." Well that's just plain cool.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some Randomness and A Table Winner

There was a feature last Friday that I haven't mentioned yet! My Triple-Zip Pouch was listed as one of the 4 Favorites 4 Friday on the Sewing Summit website. It was an honor to be among such lovely projects.

If you want to read an insightful article about taking better blog photos, check this out by Bijou Lovely. I found it really helpful.

TWO of my blog buddies have recently opened etsy shops! 

First was knotted thread by Jennifer, who blogs by the same name. She has some quilts and other handsewn items as well as a bunch of Riley Blake chevrons and dots.

Then there's Winding Bobbins by Heather of Crafting..., who has some quilted items in her shop.

Consider supporting both of these new shops as they begin their new ventures!

And about that September Tuesday at the Table winner!
That would be Katy of The Littlest Thistle and The South Beach Pinterest Project. Congrats, Katy, and thanks for sharing your new recipe adventures this month! I'll be emailing you so I can send that Chicopee bundle your way!

Speaking of Pinterest, thanks for all who pinned my bundle from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics earlier in the week. You may have heard that there was a bit of a snafu, much to the disappointment of many. I can see how things got out of hand, and will just be putting this little incident behind me and moving on. Thanks though for your support! Hope you have a great day!

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

Time in the sewing room have been pretty slim this last week, but that doesn't mean W.i.P. Wednesday doesn't show up right on schedule!

Completed projects
September bee blocks are back in the mail, along with some Snowball blocks for a special charity project.

Polaroid block project - This little bag got its own post, and still makes me smile when I see it on my sewing table. I'm anxious to play with more Polaroid blocks, but it may be a while.

Ongoing projects
Caught by a nasty virus this last week, I honestly didn't have much energy to sew, so what little I did do was flit between projects.

Modern Crosses quilt - Blocks are all cut out now and three more stitched together.

Mod Pop Quiltalong - All my cutting is done(!) and I had great success using my templates and smallest rotary cutter. I couldn't help but piece just enough curves to test a block up on the design wall. Promising!

Christmas quilt - This probably doesn't look like much just yet, but I do have a plan, and these are the 9 center blocks of it, and yes, it's what I had in my mind's eye. More to tell as I get more blocks done.

Dresden project - no progress.

Upcoming projects
* nametag for Sewing Summit
* scrappy Metrolink - who knows when, but I still really want to!
* another frame purse
* use Polaroid blocks
* placemats
* Binary quilt using blocks from Modern Blocks Bee
* Sew Lux Challenge project NEW
* UR Priceless Blog Hop project NEW

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Tuesday at the Table

We're still getting some sunny days here in the Pacific Northwest, but the mornings and evenings - they are definitely autumn. And I know it's true because I've begun to have some cool-weather cravings. The first being chili.

Now I have a fancy chili recipe I really love, and I know everyone has their favs - not to mention definitions of what chili IS. But the one I've been craving is a simple, simple one. From my childhood, and quite possibly one of the first meals I managed to cook by myself.

recipe from the back of a seasoning packet loooong ago

1 lb ground beef
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (28 oz.) kidney beans, undrained
1 Chili Seasoning mix

Brown hamburger and drain. Add in the seasoning mix, tomatoes, and beans. Cook in pot until hot, stirring several times. Serve with grated cheese and sour cream...and ALWAYS serve with corn muffins . . .

About those corn muffins. Occasionally I'll switch it up and make cornbread,
but usually, it's these muffins with chili.

Corn Muffins
recipe from Muffin Mania by Cathy Prange & Joan Pauli

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 cube)
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients. Melt butter. Add milk and egg and combine well.
Add to dry ingredients; combine till just moistened. Divide among 12 greased
muffin cups. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Always served with chili . . .
What's your first craving of the season?

Last link up of September {here} - a random winner will be chosen 
Thursday morning!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pin It to WIn It - Really?

Usually when something sounds too good to be true, it just might be. But Fresh Squeezed Fabrics is offering quite a deal, and I'm willing to give it a shot! Just choose your favorite fat quarter stack from their shop, and pin it onto one of your Pinterest boards. IF you get as many repins as the dollar amount of your bundle, you win it! I played it a tad safe and chose a smallish bundle, but these Ombre Dots by Riley Blake would be a welcome addition to my stash! So if you feel so inclined - just repin my pin!

Source: via Debbie on Pinterest

And if you want me to repin yours, post in the comments! Good luck!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Craft Book Month

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

The last few weeks, it's been fun to hear fellow bloggers talk about their favorite craft books and share project from them. There's been quite the expansive blog hop as part of the celebration of "all things craft book". In all honestly, there are about 10 stacked at the foot of my ironing board, 3 or 4 of which I've gone back to repeatedly over the last year for inspiration. One of my favorites is Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen.

I love that though this book has projects you can do, it strongly encourages you to let the techniques inspire you to create your own unique designs. So it's very conducive to newcomers to improv as well as those that want to move in their own direction.

Though I'd dabbled in improv quilting a few times before, it was a whole different thing to actually take a class with one of the Quilting Modern authors. To put it simply, we practiced every technique in the book, ending the day with an odd little assortment of pieced blocks, and a wad of Katie's scraps to finish whatever.

I decided to make a sampler quilt of sorts with my blocks, and felt full license to put them together however I felt moved. And I started by taping a grid up on the wall of my sewing room, and 'building' each panel, as described in the book. 
Here's my finished quilt, loosed based on the book's "mod tv quilt".
I used the same panel technique as I pieced the remaining class blocks into a backing.
This quilt was a fun foray deeper into improv, with a book that I know will continue to inspire me.

Linking up with Craft Buds.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

All Sorts of Random

There's several odds and ends to share from the last week or so, the first being that {Sew} Modern Monday is back! Visit Canoe Ridge Creations each Monday to share your latest modern finish!

There's also a couple of fun bits coming up this fall. First, I was invited to participate in the Sew Lux Design Challenge, and my project will be up towards the end of October. Fabric just arrived, so now . . . what to do??

And in November, A Quilter's Table will be one of the stops on the UR Priceless blog hop. I'm really looking forward to putting my touch on this little pouch! (I hear there are still blog hop openings - if you are interested, contact Katherine at Sew Me Something Good.)

I really appreciated this article by badskirt this week, all about checking the accuracy of your cutting mats and rulers. Really, it's worth checking out!          

It's always a please to see one of FAITH Circle's do.Good Stitches quilts completed, and this week Rachel posted about the finished Scattered Gems quilt we made blocks for in July. The blocks I contributed, made with this tutorial, looked like this:
You can see my blocks in the top and bottom 'rows'.
Scattered Gems for Faith circle
Lastly, I was really pleased to see my Zakka mosaic included in Rashida's wrap-up post on the sew-along! And of course it was pretty cool to see my little Triple-Zip Pouch being listed as one of 4 Favorites 4 Friday on the Sewing Summit blog!    

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oh, those Polaroids!

Just look at these pillows made by Sewmama123! The second photo below is actually the back of the large pillow in the top photo. What a lovely use of Polaroid blocks, isn't it?
1. <a href="">Perfect Polaroid Picture pillows</a>, 2. <a href="">Envelope back</a>

And I had to try just a small project myself . . .
A drawstring Snack Bag using Jeni's pattern, with a little Polaroid pieced into the front panel. Honestly, I need more practice with bordering and trimming the blocks - I had intended on this little block being wonky, but trimmed everything wrong. And too close. So I'll be perfecting my technique, but for a first try, I'm quite happy with it. Fabric-wise, I used Essex Linen for the main bag, Michael Miller dots for the accent, and Painter's Canvas for the lime lining.

There's lots more sewing fun in store for all of us who swapped Polaroids, but meanwhile let's give away those six packs of blocks. According to the random generator, the winners are:

#49 ~ Karen of

#21 ~ Candice of Sunshine, Handmade

#19 ~ Yzo of Chez Roo

#45 ~ Jayme of finding sweetland

#50 ~ Jennie of Jennie's Threads

#37 ~ Teje of Nero's Post and Patch

Congrats to you winners - I am emailing you all! And thanks again to everyone who participated and made the *Picture-Perfect* Polaroid Swap a rousing success!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September Bee Blocks

Time and energy for sewing this last week has been very slim, but in brief fits of productivity, I did get this month's bee blocks done.

First were a rainbow of butterflies for ~Me1issa and the FAITH circle of do.Good Stitches, using this tutorialI really like the layout she's planning on using!

For the Modern Blocks Bee, Leanne/shecanquilt asked for Stonehenge blocks made up in Tula Pink's new  The Birds and the Bees.  The pattern is by Amy Ellis and was very straightforward to cut and piece together. I'm anxious to see blocks made up in the other fabrics in the line.

And then, the most challenging bee blocks of all, two New York Beauty blocks for Watch Meesh Run in the Always Bee Learning bee. And yes, I gulped when I saw her thread on flickr about this month's "assignment". But in reality, I had done enough paper-piecing that these weren't half as difficult as they look! I was assigned block patterns #9 and #4 from Sew Sweetness' New York Beauty quilt along earlier this year.

So it's good to have these taken care of so I can focus on the quilts in the line up!

Linking up with TNT Thursday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

W.i.P. Wednesday seems to find us where we are, doesn't it? And it finds me barely gearing up again with some new projects. 

Completed projects
Zakka Style Sew-Along project #24: Nested Boxes - This project wrapped up the sew along; there's a full post here about them and a farewell to Zakka here.

FAITH Circle Butterfly blocks and Always Bee Learning New York Beauty blocks - one more bee block for September and I'll share about them all together.

Ongoing projects
Modern Crosses quilt - My curio by basicgrey arrived this week, along with the background and backing fabrics. Just to figure things out, I did get one block made. I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.

Mod Pop Quiltalong - Fabric squares are cut, and templates arrived!

Christmas quilt - nothing to share yet, but I did find inspiration for this one finally and have begun cutting fabric.

Dresden project - same as above - inspiration found and some trimming done, but no real progress.

Upcoming projects
* Modern Blocks Bee Stonehenge block NEW
* nametag for Sewing Summit NEW
* scrappy Metrolink
* another frame purse - another sew-in, or shall I tempt fate with a glue-in?
* use Polaroid blocks NEW
* placemats? NEW
* Binary quilt using blocks from Modern Blocks Bee NEW

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday at the Table

After a week's vacation, returning to a busy work week, and then being down with a nasty cold for several days . . . well very little sewing has gotten done, and very nearly zero cooking. Especially the days I was home not feeling well, hubby thankfully took charge in the kitchen, which is so not his norm. But he did a fine job providing appropriate comfort food, including grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, eggs, an occasional sweet, and plenty and varied fluids. In short, today's post will be short and sweet.

While on vacation, we stayed at B&B's for a few nights, and it was a real treat waking up to gourmet breakfasts each morning. I'm an odd one, and took photos of the menus with my phone.

Luckily, I was able to find the recipe for one of my favorite breakfast entrees online! It's that French Toast Avignon up on the first menu. Find it here. (Ours was crispy on top and I'm wondering if they sprinkled them with sugar before flipping to cook that side - ?) I'll be trying that recipe out on my family one of these days, to be sure.

Every breakfast was super tasty, but I also really loved seeing our hostess press fresh tortillas for the Huevos Rancheros - oh my!

Anyway, I also wanted to share that I finally put together a little linky give-away for this month - a short fat-quarter stack of Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee.
I confess I chose my favorite colors and prints from the line, but sure hope you like them too!

What do you have to share from your table?? Link up here!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Goodbye Zakka

Zakka Style Sew Along

You know how you do something on a whim some times and it turns out to be a really cool thing? Well that's what the Zakka Style Sew Along has been for me. Just having finished the final project in the book brings the sew along to a close, and I couldn't help but do a little look back.

Of the 24 projects, 8 have already been gifted. Another 8 I have put to frequent use in my home or office. So another 8 are waiting to be gifted or are just hanging out until they find a new home.

Now I have done oodles of crafts in my day, started sewing in 7th grade, earned a degree in Home Economics, and have been a quilter for two decades. But just look at the list below of 'firsts' that I have experienced by doing this sew along.
That in itself has been more than worth it - the deadlines, the inaccuracies, the scramble for supplies, the occasional frustration. Above all, I've been reminded to trust my instincts, and that when something doesn't suit me, to change it up and make it my own. And seriously, don't be afraid to try something new!

Thank you so much to Lindsey and Amy for organizing the sew along, providing fantastic prize incentives, and just plain keeping it fun. Thanks to all my bloggy friends who chattered about the projects as we helped each other through the weeks, oohing and aahing at a new finish. Thanks to friends and family who saw my latest project and said, "Oh I love it!". And thanks to my readers, for letting me share the Zakka journey each week. It's truly been a pleasure.