Tuesday, July 31, 2012


 My day today:
                 cut two rectangles of background fabric, 3 x 8
                 slice diagonally, corner to corner
                  arrange around a midget block as shown
                  sew two side
                  press and trim
                  sew the other two sides
                  square up to 6.5 inches
Repeat for 100 midget blocks
I'm slowly working my way through the Midgets, getting them sashed and arranged.  I have about 100 blocks done and have been working on them almost two years.  It is time to decide how many there should be and think about putting them together into a quilt.  Friday will be the two year mark.  I am trying to get them all arranged on the wall to have a big anniversary post. 

Tiny Tuesday - Four of Hearts

 This is another extra applique block from the Midget series.  It is block number 7, and should be the 94th block I have completed for this quilt.  I am getting close to the century mark, and also close to my 2 year anniversary.  I will easily have averaged one a week by the time the big day arrives. 
I've really started to enjoy freezer paper on the front and glue stick for applique prep.  As long as they are ready to go, the stitching part is a nice relaxing way to pass time.  It is amazing how much time is spent waiting, sitting and otherwise hanging out. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Last Quilts

So first thing this morning I trimmed up the t-shirt quilt and made some binding to finish it off.  I got the machine sewing part done, and Meisje wants to do the handwork, so that one is done. 
Lizzie wanted to help with the Little Monkey blocks, I've had lots of helpers for this one. 
I decided on a green border for this one.  I think it brightens the quilt up quite a bit.  This one is done being quilted and just needs binding.  I've got a nice green and yellow stripe that will be just right.  First though, I am going to get cleaned up and go out with Meisje for dinner and drinks.  I'll deliver the quilt to her and have one last night out before school starts again.  Everything right now is all about one last whatever before school starts again. 

Design Wall Monday - July 30, 2012

With just two more days before teachers are back at school, I am trying hard to cross a few projects off the list.  This is a baby quilt for a relative who is going to have a blue, green and yellow nursery with farm animals.  I could not find any farm animal fabric, so I just found fabrics with the right colors. Everything was already in my strip bins except for the yellow which I thought made a nice background.  The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville and is called Little Monkey.  Isn't is just the sweetest pattern for a baby quilt?  Sydney gave it her seal of approval, so all that remains is to sew the blocks together and get it quilted up before the baby arrives. Be sure you head over to Patchworktimes to see what everyone has been up to over the weekend. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Handwork Sunday - Slowpoke Edtion

 Here are the next two Dear Jane Blocks.  We have all been enjoying the Olympics as a family in the evenings during which I have done lots of hand sewing of binding.  I'll do a final photo shoot on those quilts  as they are finished. Be sure to visit Kathy to see what others are up to on hand work Sunday
Today though, I am trying to get these little monkey blocks together.  I'm about a third done so far. The girls wanted to go shopping for back to school clothes this morning, and then while the boys are off playing Dungeons and Dragons this afternoon, they have asked to see a movie.  In between though, I'll be working my way through more of these little guys. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Miscellany

Today I had lots of quilting fun.  First, my friend Meisje came over to quilt her sons t-shirt quilt.  She wasn't so sure she was qualified to use the quilting machine, but she did a great job on a loop-de-loop pattern.  I keep trying to turn her into a quilter, but so far she isn't a fan. 

While she was quilting, I got a few Little Monkey blocks put together.  Aren't they cute?  The finish at just 5 inches, so the are definitely on the petite side.  I have 30 blocks prepped and ready as soon as I can get back to the machine. 
Tonight we are having appetizers for dinner and watching the Olympics together as a family.  So far we have seen rowing, archery and handball.  Sydney is cheering for USA while Kurt and Ryan are discussing the physics involved in each sport.  I think I'll go find a quilt that needs binding sewn down.  I think there are still a couple (or maybe 7) in the stack. 

Scraphappy Saturday - Last Blue Day

Just four more days in July.  How many more blue scraps can you use up before the month is done?  My blue scrap bin is like the clown car of containers.  I just keep pulling out partially finished bit/s that could turn into something.  These crumb blocks already have a lattice strip sewn to one side, and I'm pretty sure I will find some cornerstones if I just dig a little deeper.  What are your plans for today?  Is anyone going to play with some blue scraps while watching Olympic swimming? Use the linky below to share your last hurrah of blue. 

Opening Ceromonies

We tried to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics as a family.  Sydney was asleep by Cameroon, Ryan nodded off around France, and Kurt gave up and turned in sometime after Monaco.  The festivities are just finishing up now.  While enjoying all of that, I got all the bits cut out for Little Monkey.  This was a request for my mom's husband's daughter's new baby who is due in October.   Sir Paul McCartney has just finished with Hey Jude and I am off to call it a night.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Odds and Ends

The Wonky Xmas Logs have been a miss-mash from start to finish.  Not to change anything at the end, I got creative on the back.  Everything that was remotely holiday looking got pulled out and thrown into a pile.  Though I thought about just sewing it all together randomly, I decided instead to cut everything into 10 inch squares.  As soon as those are sewn together, there will be another quilt ready for the frame.  The t-shirt quilt is there now, I am sewing a row or two when I get up or need a break. 

Last Hurrah

It is the LAST weekend of summer vacation and I am going to spend as much time as possible sewing.  The blocks to Kyle's t-shirt quilt are now together.  I've got fabric to get the back pieced together and then I will think about what is next.  My friend Meisje asked me to make this for her son, and she wants to come over and help with the quilting,  I've got the Christmas quilt ready to go as well, I guess I can start making a backing for that.  After that it is either work on borders (gasp!) or sew some blocks together.  In any case, the sewing machine and I will have some quality time together. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I was going to a housewarming luncheon today and didn't want to show up empty handed.  It didn't take long to whip up this little mug rug with a house block from my rainbow scrap challenge bin.  It was a very nice gathering hosted by my next door teacher from school.  Teachers are back next Wednesday, so I am trying to soak up the last little bits of summer. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - Pineapple

 This is the 4th block in the Midget Applique series.  It is called Pineapple and it has 4 pieces. I am love with the yellow fabric that I found for the pineapple.  There was a tiny little bit leftover from a paper piecing project of long ago.  I can see why applique fans save every little bit of fabric, the right one can really make a block pop. 
I used silk thread for the first time on this block and it really hides itself nicely.  I will definitely be using it for applique in the future. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday - July 23, 2012

The wall was empty again and I wasn't quite sure what to put up. I went to the stack of works in progress and thought about what to do next. There are a lot of requests on my list right now for other people. I need to finish up the t-shirt quilt for my friend Meisje. Aunt Brenda wants me to make a quilt for Aunt Barb to handquilt for her guest bedroom. My mother's husbands daughter is having a baby and Mom promised her a baby quilt. So with a big list of to work through before school starts again in two weeks, I'm off to teacher a teacher workshop today and I'll let all that simmer.
I couldn't let the design wall sit empty on a Monday though, so I pulled out the project that is next on my "want to" instead of my "need to" list.  Maybe seeing this waiting patiently will get me moving on all the rest. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Handwork Sunday - Dear Jane 1st 2 Blocks

Dear Jane is in the hoop and I have taken a few stitches on it this week after dinner and before bed.  The first two blocks are done, along with the sashing between and around them.  One of the nice things about hand quilting is that it goes slow enough that you can make decisions one by one.  The first block has parallel lines a quarter of an inch apart in alternating directions done with white thread.  The second has diagonal lines through each square done in dark blue thread.  There is no rush to finish this quilt, it has been in the works for a very long time.  As long as it is done in by the time the Midgets are ready for quilting I will be a happy camper. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Scraphappy Saturday - True Blue

Just two more blue Saturdays remain.  These blue pinhweels were bonus triangles from a Pineapple Blossom that I mad for my nephew Zac when he was born.  He is four now, so it is time to turn them into something.  How about y'all?  Still working slowly through a mountain of blue bits?  Use the linky below to share your progress.

Friday, July 20, 2012


It is a certain stage of desperate avoidance that has me sewing borders instead of putting blocks together.  All the rows got picked up and pinned together and Thursday, which is housecleaning day.  They are happily hanging by the machine now, wanting to be sewn together.  I'm not sure why I am finding it so tedious, but I was in search of something else.  Anything else. 

So here I am putting the borders on the Wonky Christmas quilt.  Borders, my nemesis.  Who would have thought?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


 I've been meaning to start running again for a while now.  Every once in a while I go out and run with no particular plan in mind.  Being a somewhat goal oriented person, without a specific goal to shoot for, I wasn't making much progress.  So today, I went out and bought some new shoes.  Aren't they cute?
There is always a marathon/half marathon on Thanksgiving weekend.  It was my first marathon, and I've done the half a couple of times.  So with that in mind, I went out and found a plan to follow.  I've always been a fan of the Galloway method.  It is a run/walk plan that is not too stressful.  Then, because I have a plan, and therefore I should, I went out and ran.  I've got a running tab at the top so I can keep track.  Anyone else have goals and plans?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not Quite a Flimsy and a Milestone

I spent a bit of the afternoon finishing up the setting squares for teal crumbs and starting to but the blocks together.  Diagonal rows are so much more tedious to get together than straight ones, but I am  chipping away at it from either corner, working in and pressing the rows as I go. 
When I finished the last few necessary blocks I started to think about doing a nice tidy up, because crumbs can be messy.  Along the way I found the stack of Midget blocks finished off on our last long car trip.  I went ahead and got those photographed and scheduled Tiny Tuesday posts to go up for each.  I am worked ahead to the middle of September in case things get too busy at school and I miss a week or two along the way.  While organizing, I realized that I have made 101 miniature blocks! I need to do one more to reach the goal of 1 block per week for the last two years.  August 3 is my second anniversary of starting on this quilt, so I will do a big group photo shoot and shout hurray!  I wonder if I can finish the rest before Christmas? 

Crumbly Fun

Today was a beach day.  It has been rainy all week so it was nice to finally make it out.  We have swapped children for the week with my sister in Georgia.  She kept the girls and we brought Austin home with us.  He and Ryan have been having a blast.  So after we got back and all showered up, I started laying out the crumb blocks.  I still need to cut some more alternate squares, but the general idea is starting to appear. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Crumb Fun

Last night while watching TV, I sorted Amy's crumbs into cute little color coordinated piles.  One pile was mixed colors, either because the pieces were already sewn to another color, or because the fabric was multicolored and wouldn't fit into another group. 
I started that group first and worked those into my pipeline of crumb blocks.  How cute are they?  My favorite bits so far were lots of little end pieces from string block trimmings.  Don't they look like little Chinese Coin blocks.  I have more than enough blocks for the quilt now, but I think I'll keep going until the ones in the works get finished up. They will save nicely for another crumb quilt someday soon. 

Tiny Tuesday - Mexican Star

 This is midget block number 69.  It was paper pieced in 9 sections with 29 pieces. 
Getting the nine sections to puzzle together properly was bit tricky.  I tried placing all the sections on top of the original pattern, but somehow that didn't work.  The pattern also shows a background fabric of light pink in all but the middle most portion, but I kept a consistent color in the background and I like it just fine. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Crumb Christmas

When we got back from being out of town, the mail was conspicuously missing from our box.  I was sure one of our neighbors had collected it while we were gone, though both of the friends I usually ask to do that task were also out of town, so I didn't make any special arrangements.  Kurt couldn't figure out why I was so anxious, but I was waiting for two extra special packages.  This evening, while I was getting dinner on the table, the bell rang, and a friendly neighbor brought a big stack of envelopes, included among them was a HUGE package of crumbs from Amy!  Look at all that fabric fun! I can't wait to dig in and start playing with all the bits and pieces.  Thanks Amy!  I promise they will all go to good use.  I have 88 crumb blocks done so far and will need just 29 more for the twin sized quilt I have in mind. Now I have to think of something fun to send to Amy in "exchange".  Isn't blogging fun?  Especially when it comes with fun squishies in the mail!  

Design Wall Monday July 16, 2012

It is so good to be home again.  After a week away there are a million things that need to be done.  I did take just a few minutes to cut some of the setting blocks for teal crumbs though.  The box isn't quite empty yet, so the quilt will get a bit bigger, but for now, I wanted to know how it was going to look.  Now, off to start the laundry and pick up the dog from the kennel.  The list for today begins. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Home Sweet Home

As much fun as vacation is, nothing feels quite as nice as being home again.
There was plenty of hand work time in the car. After finishing the last two Midgets, I still had an hour left for quilting on Dear Jane
I'm headed over to Kathy's blog to see what other handwork has gotten done before catching up on e- mail. I guess I'd better empty the car too. So good to be home again!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fishing on Lake Lure

The sun has finally come out! We fed worms to the fish yesterday after zip lining down the mountain. Today we hiked ourselves silly at Chimney Rock State Park. Lots of car time tomorrow. I'll finish all the prepped midgets, but I've also got Dear Jane for lots of quality hand quilting. If there is any wifi along the way I'll post an update for handwork Sunday.

Scraphappy Saturday Still Blue

There was a big stack of partial crumb and string blocks hanging out in the bin.  I am determined to get them finished and squared up.  What are your plans for scrappy sewing this weekend?  Use the linky below to share your projects. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

White Water Rafting

I didn't take a camera on the river. Dan, our guide, did take photos for us which we will look at when we have a computer again. This was everybody at the end of the trip. Though it was cold and overcast, the water was perfectly nice and we even stopped to swim along the way.
Internet is really spotty here, so I might not be able to keep in touch so well until we get back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lake lure

It is a rainy day at the mountain resort. We are headed out for white water rafting this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Theme Park

Yesterday was a big theme park day. Ryan is now tall enough to ride the big roller coasters and enjoyed every one the park had to offer. Sydney could only ride the second level, but she got such a kick out of it! Every time a ride ended, she started asking to go again and again. The were all ready to fall asleep during dinner, but are up and ready to go today.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tiny Tuesday - Mosaic

 This is midget block number 68.  It is called Mosaic and is paper pieced in 5 simple sections with 37 pieces.  It looks like a bear paw block to me, but the center section is a square in a square block instead of 4 separate squares.  I think it gives the block a jaunty air, don't you?

Anna and her friend Allie were kind enough to pose for me.
I've been sewing away at my appliqué blocks on a long car ride yesterday. I've gotten through 4 of the blocks prepped Sunday. Some of them are super cute! I'll do a mass photo shoot at the end, for now you'll just have to trust me;) I am trying to post one block a week, even when I work ahead. My two year midget anniversary is coming soon. I wonder how far I can get?!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday - July 9th 2012

Crumb blocks are so relaxing to sew.  I am determined to empty my last drawer of mixed crumbs.  These represent the "bright" portion.  There is still another bag of shirting crumbs and one of pastels.  One bin at a time is all I can sew though, so here is the first batch.  There is another darker teal for setting triangles that will form a border around the edges. Not sure yet about the size, it will depend on how many blocks I can make from whatever is left in the stack. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Handwork Preparation

The biggest hurdle to keeping handwork moving along is having something prepared and ready to sew.  I like to spend a few hours sporadically getting a bunch of blocks ready to go.  Most of these  are from the Midget Applique series available at Sentimental Stitches.  The rest are from the Dear Jane sight and are part of the 2010 BOM series.  I'll finish up the prep work this afternoon using the glue-stick method explained at Fabric therapy.  I ordered some new silk thread that I am looking forward to trying out as soon as these little guys are ready to go.  Thanks to Kathy at Kathy's Quilts for hosting a handwork link on Sundays, such a great reminder to take some time to end the week on a relaxing note. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Kid Stuff

 Check out the cool zebra curtain and matching valance.  I still need to add a bit of teal trim on the bottom and paint the brackets, but other than that, it is done.  I'll have to go up and put all the outlet covers back and clean up the debris after dinner.  I really hope it doesn't give Sydney strange safari nightmares.
While I was putting the bedroom accessories together Anna and her friend Alli decided they wanted to make quilts.,  They rummaged through the 5 inch square drawer, sewed them together and quilted them all up with minimal supervision from me.  Aren't they cute?  The next generation of quilters has begun.