Monday, December 30, 2013

Fabric Stash!

For Christmas, I managed to add lots of fabrics to my growing stash. You will see from the photos below that I have a tendency to go for light or dark values and ignore the middle values. I have to work on that. These are beautiful fabrics though! Some are hard to find now because I got them all at the end of year sale from a LQS in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Great shop with lovely fabrics and fabulous customer service. I suggest dropping by if you are ever in the Hot Springs area.

The Complete Christmas Sale Fabric Haul
If you are interested in these fabrics, I found Noteworthy charm packs/layer cakes and some yardage at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I've order from them and had great service! Jenny Doan also has fabulous tutorials that are teaching me how to quilt. I've also ordered fabric from SewLoveFabrics on Etsy. Great service from them too. None of these fabrics there, but lots of other lovely material! has the Funky Monkey fabric, but I haven't ordered from them, so don't know anything about their service. If you have ordered from, please leave a comment and let me know how it was.

Noteworthy by Sweetwater for Moda
I really wanted the "Bucket List" fabric in gray, but no luck. I still love the yellow though. This fabric may be part of a quilt destined for my bed. Love the birds on the line also.

Dots by Erin Michael for Moda
 I can see this as a pop of color for any project.

Wrens & Friends by Gina Martin for Moda
 Beautiful fabric that may be destined for totes.

Funky Monkey by Erin Michael for Moda

 I don't know what I am going to use this for, but I just couldn't resist the sock monkeys!

Simple Marks by Malka Dubrawsky for Moda
This fabric jumped out and said, "I would be lovely as handles and lining for a bright tote bag."

Finally, a variety of fabrics I am using for an owl quilt for a little girl. Lovely fabrics from a LQS in Jackson, TN. I love visiting local quilts shops when I am in a new town.
Fresh Fallen Snow by Kris Lammers & Maywood Studio
Hand Picked 4140607, Jackie Studios, Camelot Fabrics (brown)
Hand Picked, 4140105, Jackie Studios, Camelot Fabrics (feathers)
Ta Dot, Michael Miller (pink polka dot)
Green - name cut off
I have a lot of quilting to do!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Placemats: Binding finally figured out??

Below are reversible placemats I made for my nephew and his wife. I cannot tell you how many seams I ripped out because I kept twisting the binding at the end. Of course, this might be because I refused to quit until I finished and it was about 1 a.m. However, it could just be simply because I am math impaired. It feels like geometry to me when finishing up the binding!

I also learned that I don't have to pull the binding to the edge of the quilt from a Craftsy video. Instead, I should put front of the binding on the 1/4 seam that I used to sew the binding to the quilt. I swear I learned in a f2f class that I should pull the binding to the edge. However, that was probably me misunderstanding the instructor.  My bindings were always womper-jawed--one side wider than the other. Now, I didn't figure this out until the 4th placemat, so 3 of the placemats have wider margins on one side. Since you only show one side at a time, I am okay with that.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quarter Seams: Mission Impossible

Good god! I swear to you on my grandmother's grave that I watch the pesky quarter inch mark on my sewing machine. No crossed fingers, no exaggeration. Why, oh why do my seams NEVER EVER match??

I read that I should put electric tape on my machine to help my lines stay straight. Am I focusing too much on the 1/4 in mark near the foot? With my "oldish" eyes the mark is not all that easy to see. How do quilter's do it? I see these gorgeous quilts with points and matched seams and start thinking that I have a quilting defect! Of course, my aversion to using my seam ripper might have something to do with it. I cannot quite see ripping out a seam that is just so almost right! I don't think I see any quilting ribbons in my future.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

100 Days?

I don't know if any of you have seen or heard of the video blogging site "Give It 100 Days." Actually a cool site, where a woman who quit a high tech job gave herself 100 days to learn to dance and video-blogged it every day. She has now created the site above where you can video blog your own 100 days.

Well, I cannot quite see video-blogging my quilting, but I am in my own 100 days of practice and I am slowly improving. I am not sure I will EVER piece accurately since it takes precise cutting and 1/4" seams that don't meander around a little.  In the close-up, you can see what I mean. A little seam meandering led to a corner that is off kilter (and that is not the only one).

But, I am currently living by the "if I cannot see it from 10 paces, it is okay" rule. My quilt top at 10 paces looks okay to me!

The quilt is my take on Elizabeth Hartman's Scattered Squares quilt from her Craftsy class. I am pretending that I did not hear her say that modern quilts don't have borders. I am also pretending that I "like" the stripes that go across because I was too lazy to measure and piece the gray and gray/pink alphabet print side pieces.

My quilt turned out this way because I just couldn't see my brother and his wife hanging the small interior section on one of their walls, but I could see them using it as a throw. Hence adding the extra borders. Of course, now I have to quilt a bigger quilt in my tiny-throated, but absolutely lovely Bernina 350. The 10 paces rule works really well then!

I hope you enjoy part of my 100 day journey by blog (and without the dedication to blogging daily). Maybe I will get better at blogging also!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Scattered Squares

After being snowed in DC for an extra two days, I am seriously behind on my Christmas presents. I managed to get three rows of my scattered squares quilt done before work, but that was it. Curses!

However, that is not going to be enough! I like the pattern, but in the photo notice that my green element is definitely not a huge part of the top three rows. Hmmm...I used my design wall to set it up. Thank you for the tips from the Craftsy class (Inspired Modern Quilts) on using a vinyl tablecloth with a cotton backing! I will get better, but for now, I am happy.

Monday, December 2, 2013


My paternal grandmother quilted. But, because I didn't think quilting would ever be "my thing," I never learned to quilt from her. I was left with one impression though--machine quilting is bad. Hand quilting is the ONLY way to go.

So, now I am in my late 50s and decided I wanted to try sewing and have discovered an absolute LOVE of quilting--machine quilting that is. As a cousin told me: "Your granny would turn over in her grave." I think she is just happy that I am quilting.

I am still learning, so my quilts are flawed, but it is calming to make your cuts precise, then piece and sew--as long as I don't have to do points. I find points fiddly. Maybe some day they will be relaxing also, but I'm not there yet.

My first completed quilt is the background for this blog. I really like it--flaws and all. I LOVE the colors, which led me to the title of my blog: Sweet Succotash.

Thanks to the Cathy and Carolyn at the Bernina Sewing Station in Brentwood, Tennessee for helping me choose fabric and the class that helped me start this quilt.