Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fresh Squeezed

Remember last week, when I said I'd have my BasicGrey Kissing Booth Quilt in a different color way. Well, better late (and bound) than never.

Here you go!

I measures about 50" x 50". I made it one row shorter than the Kissing Booth quilt. A simple cross hatch for the quilting. Now what to do with it. Maybe into the shop.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Kissing Booth Quilt on the BasicGrey Blog!

I'm so excited!! I have my first tutorial on the BasicGrey Blog today!  Hope you like it!

Come back tomorrow to see it done up in a different color way!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Self Quilting

I learned a new phrase last week ~ self gifting. Basically, when you're out there shopping for others, you pick up a little somethin' somethin' for yourself.

Although I didn't do any self gifting this weekend, I did indulge in a little self quilting ~ which basically means that while I should be finishing up (starting?!) Christmas gifts, I made one for myself!  I've had this little project on my list for forever. Time to finally do something about it. I hauled out my basket of selvages that I've been collecting since I found out that you're supposed to save them and make something awesome like this. (That is never gonna happen. And I'm pretty much over the whole selvage saving  thing, too.)

Anyway, I made Amy's pincushion/armrest/sewing center. I really like it! And it will definitely come in handy when it's time to sew down all the bindings/casings/openings of all the gifts that I hope to get finished. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jay McCarroll at BMQG!

I feel like this happened ages ago! In reality, just a few weeks. After months of planning, a little organizing and more worrying than necessary, the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild hosted our first guest speaker: Jay McCarroll.

I first met Jay at the Lancaster Quilt show, where we literally bumped into him in the lobby of the hotel. He was so sweet, funny and gracious. He gave us sneak peeks of his upcoming line (which is now out: Center City.) I invited him to come speak at our guild. 8 months later, we made it work (said in my best Tim Gunn voice!)
With the bag that Amy made!

Wearing the mini quilt Dawn made!

Jay spent the day with us, talking about his childhood, his early designing years, life in Europe and New York. And yes, he dished on all the Project Runway stuff. It's so interesting, though, because to hear his whole story, PR was such a small portion. Yes, it launched him into the international fashion spotlight ~ not necessarily a good thing ~ but it's so far from what he is now. He was very honest, very funny and at times a little naughty. (There were a couple of pre-teens in the audience who may have learned a new phrase or two!) He spoke for three hours. I think many of us could have listened to his stories for a few more.

Towards the end of the afternoon, he got into his latest projects. He showed us samples of his upcoming line (no photography, please!) and gave us a little tour of his latest offerings: scarves, socks,  skirts, magnets, cards, etc. All available at Jay McCarroll Online (oh, and he's having a little Cyber Monday sale now, too!)

He finished up with lots of autograph signing and picture taking, before heading back to Philadelphia.

Thanks, Jay for a great afternoon! We'll see you again soon!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Christmas Bunting Ornament

This is the third year I'm participating in the Trim the Tree Ornament Swap on flickr, and the first year that I'm not scrambling at the end to finish!

I really adore the little embroidery hoop ornaments, and wanted to try for myself. I made one. It came out cute. Katie approved. So I made more, and decided to do a little tutorial for you.

 First, the fabric. I chose 3 greens and three reds. Make sure they're a small scale print.

I cut approximately 3 " sections and fused them to some heat n bond.

 Cut strips of fused fabric 3/4" wide. I only used one strip of green and one of red to make 6 ornaments. Free hand cut the bunting triangles (approximately a 60 degree angle ~ I tried using a ruler and rotary cutter. Scissors is much easier!)

You'll also need some background fabric. I used osnaburg. Linen would be great. I fused some light weight interfacing to the back for a little stability. And the hoops! These are 3" hoops. I picked them up at JoAnns. They came in bundles of three.

 With a pencil, lightly trace around the outer circle. This will help you keep everything contained!


 With a water soluble pen, freehand draw a little "swag". This will be your registration line to place your bunting.

 Fuse your triangles, following the line you just drew.

 Stitch in place. I shortened my stitch length to 1.8. Start with the triangles, then pivot and stitch the top to connect them. Pull loose thread to the back.

 Now, the scary part. Switch to your free motion foot and free motion embroider the word JOY. (Take a few practice runs. It's not that hard!) Or, if you'd like, you could embroider something here. Maybe stamp it. For me, much quicker to use my machine!

Cut out ornaments, a bit outside of the drawn pencil line, and fit into hoops.

See that little bump at the top of the ornament? Put a dab of hot glue in there and mash it down.
Tighten up your screws.

Trim off any bits sticking out. I used a razor blade. Some small, sharp snips will do.

Cut pieces of felt a bit larger than the hoops. Hot glue to the back then trim excess.

Add a ribbon and you're done!

Happy Joyous Holidays!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


October is Anniversary month for The Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild! A few years ago, knowing I was going to move to Baltimore soon, I joined the DC Modern Quilt Guild (there wasn't a Baltimore chapter at the time.) I didn't understand at the time that for Baltimore drivers, the "45 minutes to an hour" it takes to get to DC is really more like 2 hours. I never made it to a meeting. But, to share a favorite quote of mine by Geri Weitzman: sometimes you gotta create what you want to be a part of. And so I did. I created the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild. (and by "create", I mean I put a tiny message out there on flickr and put together a free website with .) I was so excited when, in less that two hours, there was another member! (Hi Jenn!) We were on our way.

That was two years ago. We've come a long way. We now have over 80 members. We've done bees, round robins, swaps, boms, charity projects, parties, picnics, and are getting ready to host our first guest speaker, Jay McCarroll! (If you're in the area and want to join us in November, send me an email!)

For our anniversary, our Vice Presidents of fun stuff, Maria and Daniella, chose a challenge fabric. Our job: use some, or all of it to make a pillow. This is the fabric they chose:

 At least, this is what I have left of it. And at first, let's just say I didn't love it. But, to quote another wise person, if you don't like your fabric, you haven't cut it small enough! (good advice from my friend Tonya)

So, I cut it up into small dresden blades and made this: Kind of fun, right?

We'll share these at our meeting next week. And we have a choice: we can either keep our own pillow, or swap it for another. Not sure which way I'm going on this one yet. I have a feeling I'll keep it. But...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Swoon and mini swoon

Well, I only got one swoon done over the weekend (my boy came home for a visit, so that trumps sewing time!)

I did, however, sew up a couple of mini swoons. The pattern has quite a few large-ish flying geese, which makes for some nice leftover triangles. I sewed these up into smaller blocks. So, ideally, when my big swoon is finished, I'll have a mini swoon wall hanging as well.

I also got some bee block finished, both for Bee Vintage.

Jodie asked for a string block. I love how this worked up. It's a large block, 16". I could definitely see it as a pillow (maybe even a bit bigger at 20".)

Colleen asked for a zig zag. They're subtle, but there!

Can't believe it's the final month of the bee. We went with a 6 month format this time, which I much prefer. I hope to start another round in January.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I'm really fortunate to have several of my grandmother's quilts, and, most importantly, her sewing machine. When I was young, maybe 10 or so, long before I started sewing, she would always tell me that it would be mine some day. Every summer, when we'd visit her on the farm, my brother and I would spend many happy hours with the treadle, trying to make it go as fast as it can. (Okay, maybe not hours, but definitely minutes!)

The modern table runner is made with Authentic by Sweetwater. The setting represents two generations of quilters: my grandmother, an authentic modern quilter for her time, and me, an authentic modern quilter of my time.. And the dog biscuits? Just for fun. (Animal loving also skipped a generation ~ and I like the way they look in the apothecary jar!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Remember a few years ago

When Liberty of London hit Target? And everything sold out in about an hour? Yeah, I totally missed out.

So I was super excited to find this at my Good Will store!

It makes me happy just looking at it. Definitely going in my sewing room. Now, what to put in it....

Friday, September 28, 2012

It has been brought to my attention

That I haven't blogged in, like, forever.

This is true.

I shall not bore you with excuses, nor with a long catch up post.

This is what I'm working on now:


I've wanted to make this quilt forever. Pulled the fabric for it months and months ago. Changed my mind on the fabric 2 months ago, and finally made my first block. If you haven't made a Swoon yet, let me tell you, these blocks are ginormous! 24" square each. Good thing is, you only need 9 to make the quilt.

I'm making mine with some Amy Butler Soul Blossoms, and the center is Moda cross weave. The first block went together really easily. I changed up some of the cutting in the pattern to make it easier (larger hsts, then trimmed them, eliminated one seam to make better use of large scale prints.) It seems like I haven't had to do any precision sewing in a long time. It felt good. My points are perfect (well, not quilt show perfect, but perfect enough.) I hope to have this done to give to Katie for a Christmas present. My plan is to make at least 2 more blocks this weekend. Those who have made this say they can get a block done in under two hours. I'm not quite up to that speed, but sewing fast has never been a goal of mine. See you Sunday afternoon with some progress.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Quilty Note Cards

I'm always on the lookout for cute quilt-related things on line. I found these little note cards (turned into needle books!) today.

You can find them here at Wild Olive. Mollie has so much great stuff on her blog. Take a few minutes (or a lot longer if you're like me!) and look around. Aren't these the perfect thing to tuck into a swap package or share at a guild meeting. Which reminds me, I have a swap package to get together and a Baltimore MQG meeting to plan. Later!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Quilting Part of Quilting

Flickr is all abuzz lately about Angela Walter's new book Free-Motion Quilting and with good reason! The book is pretty and more important, practical. 

The quilting part of quilting is my least favorite part. By the time I get to the quilting, I'm usually so over the quilt, that I really don't want to work on it anymore ~ which must count for the 4 quilt tops stacked nicely in my sewing room. And then there's the dilemma of how to quilt it. I need ideas (kind of like when it's 5 o'clock and I have nothing planned for dinner.) Angela's book gives lots of ideas, and shows exactly how to achieve her look.

I've played with a few of her designs. I'm not quite ready to show them off yet. It's all about the practice! In this post on the Sew Mama Sew! blog, Angela shares about her journey as a quilter, and even shows examples of her earlier work. It gives me hope!

Another book on quilting:

This one, by Joanie Zeier Poole, takes a more traditional approach, using templates, stencils and different types of marking tools. I think in my heart, I'm more of a free motion gal, but this is a great book for your library, giving a solid basics for this step of the process. Even some cute projects in the last chapter.

Two new books on quilting. Now to actually do it!

How do you feel about quilting? Love it? Hate it? Are you a machine quilter, hand quilter or cash quilter (you know, send it out to the long arm-er, lol!) Any great tips to share? I want to hear 'em!