Friday, March 29, 2013


Spring is slowly coming to East Texas.  Oh how I wish it would hurry up.  We had one nice week where the temps were in the high 70's but then it went back down to freezing at night and 50's during the day.  Plus it's WINDY.
My Redbud tree in the backyard.
I love this time of year because I love watching the flowers bloom, the trees bud and the azalea and butterfly bushes pop out.  But at the same time, cold weather is heck on someone with an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia.  I'm so tired of feeling crummy.  I just want it to be summer already.

Sorry for the whine. 
Also, I would like to say that May 10 is Fibromyalgia awareness day and May 12 is Lupus awareness day.  If you know someone with either/both of these illnesses, please keep them in your thoughts.  I had no idea how much my life would change - it's been a year and a half since I got really sick and 5 months since I was diagnosed.  I'm still learning to live with it and every day is a struggle.

Here is a positive note.  Look at my baseball man.

Doesn't he look cute? 
He isn't very sports minded but it was totally his idea to play baseball the past 2 years.  This year he has really good coaches and he's learned a lot and has greatly improved.  Baseball season is almost over for his middle school.  Only 1 more week.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

First Quilt - Finished!

It has happened.  I have completely finished my first ever real quilt.  And it didn't even take me years to complete - which is what I thought would happen.

I got the instructions for my quilt from the tutorials of Cluck Cluck Sew which is one of my favorite quilting blogs.  She calls it her Strip and Flip Quilt.  It caught my eye because I think it's clever, modern and cool.  Also, I knew I could sew strips together so I had a pretty good chance of being able to complete the quilt top.  ;)

I started it around the first of February and completed the quilting and binding last week - so that's about 7 weeks which I think is pretty good for a beginner especially since I quilted and did the binding myself.

I used Simply Color by V and Co. for Moda (in jelly roll format) to do the strips which made it even easier since I didn't have to cut all those strips myself.  I had also bought a layer cake of the same fabric because I loved this fabric so much.  It's modern and fun but also bright and happy.  So, when it came time to decide what to do for the backing, I decided to cut some of the layer cake squares in half (they come as 10 inch squares) and sew them into strips.  I used the same white fabric on the back as I used for the vertical white strips on the front which was Moda Bella Solids in white.  I love the way the back turned out and to be honest, I think I might like it better than the front.

This quilt is meant to be used and used well.  It's going on my sofa so it will be used by me and my son on a regular basis to snuggle up when we are watching TV.  That means it has to hold up to being washed in the washing machine regularly.  I knew I needed to quilt it well in order for it to be able to do it's job.  I wanted to do vertical stripes because I thought that would look so cool since the quilt has horizontal stripes.  But, it was harder than I thought it would be.

When I first started, I used a ruler and Frixion pen to mark straight lines that I could follow but that didn't last long.  Mostly because when you have this big wad of fabric in your lap and on your table and your trying to run it through the sewing machine in a straight line, it just doesn't work.  Or at least it didn't work for me since this was my first quilt and I wasn't really prepared for how physical the quilting process is even though I had read blog after blog that told me it was physical and exhausting.  Duh! 
So, I basically gave up on the straight line idea.  Instead, my lines are sorta straight but a little wonky.  I think it's charming (that's my story and I'm sticking with it).  If you look at the quilting up close, you can see that some of the lines stray off a bit.  Some are mostly straight and some aren't even close to straight.  I also gave up on the idea of my lines being the same width apart.  It looks a lot cooler for them to be more random - also it was easier ;)

For the binding, I had planned to have a scrappy binding using the layer cake fabric cut into 2.5 inch strips and sewn end to end.  My husband suggested the white binding because he felt the scrappy binding would be "too much" and would take away from the quilt instead of adding to it.  I think he was right, so I went ahead and used the white.
It blends so well with the backing fabric that it looks like part of it.
So that's it.  My first quilt.  I am in love with it.  It has gotten me even more excited about quilting.  Now, all I want to do is cut little pieces of fabric up and sew them back together.  I'll be taking this to my beginners quilting class that I am taking at my LQS for show and tell.  I really hope they like it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Lucky Day

A couple of weeks ago, The Cottage Home blog held a fat quarter giveaway in conjunction with Riley Blake Fabrics.  The prize was a fat quarter bundle from the fabric line Little Matryoshka by Carly Griffith. 

Well, I don't enter a lot of blog giveaways because sometimes it can be a lot of trouble but this fabric was just so cute that I had to.  And guess what?  I won.  Can you believe it?  It's like winning the lottery because so many people enter to win.

Any who, Riley Blake Designs contacted me promptly and sent me this lovely fabric. 

I dont' have a clue what I'm going to do with it but for now I just like looking at it.

I'd like to make something for my MIL because purple is her favorite color but she's not always receptive to gifts.
I couldn't get my lighting right when I took these pics so some of them make the fabric look washed out but it's not.  Some of the colors are soft such as lilac and pale aqua but others are very bright like the dark purple and orange.  It goes so well together and would look great in a quilt. 

So now I just have to decide what to make with it.  Any suggestions?

And a special THANK YOU to Lindsay at The Cottage Home and to Riley Blake Fabrics for sponsoring this give away.  You guys rock!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Quilt Sandwich

How to make a quilt sandwich.

Tape backing fabric to the floor. 

Layer batting.

Top with quilt top.

Use basting spray and pins to cement it all together.

Add one cat bathing herself.
 She's really dirty, apparently.


Can I get a little privacy please?

P.S.  I finished quilting it today.  My first ever quilt!!  YAY!!
Now for the binding.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February Lucky Stars BOM and Saturday Sampler Block

I know it's already March so I'm a bit behind posting pics of my Lucky Star BOM for February.  I did get them posted to the Flicker group though, so yay!

For February, I made 2 blocks.  One with the 6 inch template and one with the 12 inch.  I used the tye-dyed fabrics that I bought at the Houston Quilt Festival for the 12 inch block.  I'm slowly using this fabric on blocks that I think are really cool with the hopes that they will all "go together" at some point so that I can make my son a cool quilt/wall hanging for his room.  But we'll see what happens.

The six inch block is made with Moda's Eat Your Fruits and Veggies fabric just as January's block was.  I think this will make a really cool and bright quilt when all the blocks are finished.

Ok.  Now I'm going to show you my February block for the Saturday Sampler I'm doing with my LQS.  It's called Spinner and it's suppose to look like a pinwheel.  It's an old pattern that's been around forever and I did an absolutely perfect job cutting out each piece.   It came together perfectly and I was so proud of my block.   I think it's the most exact cutting job I've ever done.  I'm using bright Batik fabrics with a white background.

BUT, once I finished the block and went to take the picture, I looked through the camera lens and that's when I saw it.  A swastika.  When you look at it in person, it looks like a pinwheel but through the camera, it looks like a swastika. 
I was so upset.  And, I was also afraid to post a pic because I don't want to get hate mail about it or anything.  I think if the color palette were different, it would look different but instead the batiks are very similar in color.
What do you think?  Am I just imagining things?  I mean this pattern has been around forever so you would think someone else would have noticed it by now.  Please tell me I'm nuts.
And don't send me hate mail.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sick Dog

This is what a sick dog looks like.  Isn't he pitiful?  Bless his heart. 
He is laying on the cushion I have in my sewing room.  He NEVER comes into my sewing room to lay on this cushion.  The only time he ever comes in, is when he needs to go outside and no one is paying attention to his backdoor pacing.

But this particular Saturday, his allergies were going crazy.  His right eye was swollen shut and all teary and he felt yucky.  So, I had to increase him to 2 pills a day for a while.  But doesn't he look sad (and cute)?