Saturday, December 21, 2013

SPOILER ALERT! Chain of Stars Mystery Quilt top done

I've been slowly working away on the Chain of Stars Mystery Quilt I signed up for on Craftsy. The quilt came in different sizes and first I picked the 64" x 64", but then I changed my mind and made the 48" x 48" layout. I like the result a lot. I had a little booboo that I had to correct which resulted in multiple attempts to fix the problem. I think I had to take the top apart twice before I could put it back together the right way. Then I took pictures of it to post it on the blog, and after editing the first one I realized I still had a turn in it that I had to take it apart again. I think I'll name this one 3rd time is the charm :))
I think I will put borders on the top and bottom to make it a rectangle, I don't know why I like them better than being square. Maybe because our bed is a rectangle? Who knows!

Top #1:


Top#3, the final result:

Of course by the time I got to photograph it it became cloudy outside so the colors are truest on the second picture. I didn't want to edit the photos too much.

'Til we blog again! :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Post card swap

I signed up to swap fabric holiday cards with some of my twitter friends. Sandi @quiltcabana arranged the swap and signed the partners. My partner was Kim, who I don't know I never talked to so it was a little hard to think of what should I make. I tried to research some ideas, but to be honest, not too many are out there that are using fabric. I was lucky Sandi linked a few websites to look up how to make them. I decided with a window look and pine trees background. I finished the edges with binding from pure lazyness. I didn't feel like taking my sewing machine out to do decorative stitching. I figured it's a lot faster and easier just make a binding and call it done. I did some free motion quilting on the fabrics to give it texture. I outlined the pine tree and did pebbles in the background. Also took the fabric as a guide to draw the pine branches that were printed on one of the fabrics.
I really enjoyed the process, got to practice my handwriting with free motion quilting. My practice piece looked really good, but when it came down quilting the real thing I guess I got sloppy. I had to pick out the first stitching line and start over. It doesn't look as good as the original one, but it'll do. That's the best I can do for now at least.
After quilting I ironed the white fabric on timtex and ironed heat'n'bond on the timtex to hold the front and back of the card together. I sewed the binding on the front and hand stitched down on the back. I used a fine line fabric marking pen to write the address and sender. The final size is 5"x7". I don't mind paying extra at the post office, but I didn't want to make such a small card. The writing would've been really difficult to do by machine.
It was a really fun project, I'll look up more designs now I know how to make it. Hope you'll try it, I enjoyed the process a lot!

Here's the card I made:

And here's the one I received from Kim just yesterday:

It's such a cute picture with Santa and the reindeer :))) I'm really glad I participated in the swap! Thank you so much Kim for taking the time and put this gorgeous postcard together!

'Til we blog again! :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Welcome back Dear Readers!


It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival again, hosted by the super Amy Ellis This year I'm entering the Dresden Quilt I made for my friend's daughter's 1st Birthday. It's made with pink and white fabrics so I will enter it in the two color quilts category. If you really like the quilt I'd appreciate your nomination :)
I finished the quilt in August, 2012. It was machine pieced, hand appliqued, and machine quilted by me. The little cute pinwheels in the corners are 3-D which I'm really proud of :) I really loved making this quilt and even did a tutorial how to do the Dresden plates block and a perfect circle. The blocks are 12" finished, there are 2" sashings with cornerstones, and the borders measure 4". The finished size of the quilt is 48" x 60".

Here are the pictures I took, enjoy!

I had some "blades" leftover which I pieced into the backing

Close-up of the quilting on the back

The 3-D pinwheel in the corner

Thank you so much for looking and hope I'll see you quilt in there, too!

'Til we blog again! :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

All caught up

Yes, that's right! With my yesterday afternoon marathon sewing I am all caught up with the Lucky Stars BOM 2013. Hurray! :)

The block for October is Chaos Star:

Uh-huh, the name says it all. When I printed the pattern and looked at the fabric requirements my eyes just popped out :) 9 different fabrics for each section. That means 72 pieces in this 1 block. It took me a while, but it was all worth it. I had all the fabrics picked and cut out to shapes on Saturday, so all that was left was sewing for yesterday. I'm glad I'm caught up so I can move on to other projects, like finishing quilting and assembling my Christmas quilt, and I'd like to start the Chain of Stars mystery quilt I signed up on Craftsy. I'd watched a few lessons and selected the fabrics I wanted to use already, but have not cut anything just yet.

What are you working on?

Hope you're having as nice a day as we do here in the Northeast!

I'm linking up with  Marelize at Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Monday.
stitch by stitch

'Til we blog again! :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

September - Windmill Star

Hey everyone,

Since my last post I finished another block for the Lucky Stars BOM. If you're interested in joining Elizabeth has next year's BOM up on her website already and you can join 2013 and 2014 for a discounted price. I really like her designs, sometimes change the colors when I don't have the fabrics She's using in her sample.

The star of September is the Windmill Star

I had a busy week so it took me a few nights since I could only work on it minutes at the time. It's finished, and that's what counts :) I'll be picking out the fabrics for the October block and then I'll be starting a new quilt top. The boys are fishing this afternoon and I will have a few hours of sewing time before they return.

Since last week I also finished 2 books. The first one is The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys. The story is set in 1941 in England while WVII is going on. I have to admit the story was a bit slow (specially after those mystery stories I was reading lately) and I was eager to find out what happens with the lady it is about. I really liked reading about restoring gardens, it took me to a different place while I was reading.
The other one was a quilting novel called The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. What a lovely story! Loving hand piecing myself I really enjoyed how things went along. I only read one other book written by her, but I will buy all the Elm Creek Novels in sequence this time :) This story is set in modern days and has flashbacks about a quilter's life. I can highly recommend it to any quilter who enjoys reading. 
Since I'm on a roll I will be reading the last book in the Chet and Bernie series I mentioned last time. It's called To Fetch a Thief.

Now I'm off to pick those fabrics while I can!

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ahhh,so good to be back!

I am finally back after a long hiatus and it feels great! 
As some of you know I had computer problems and finally my laptop died (R.I.P). I tried to keep up with reading the blogs I follow on my tablet, but it didn't always work. It gets frustrating after a while when you're trying to leave a comment and make a mistake, try to go back to correct it and then you pull the page down too much and your comment disappears when it goes back to the previous page. I couldn't sync my camera with the tablet so uploading photos was out of the picture. And what is a blog post without photos, right? I had a friend tweeting her confession which said She doesn't always read the blog posts when they have no pictures. Boo-hoo :))
I used my computer-less time for reading some books which I really enjoyed. I started a series of books by accident when I was watching my friend's house while they were on vacation and I found a book where the title was Thereby hangs a tail... There's a dog on the cover and I know She loves dogs. I gave it a try and it was a nice surprise. Specially when I found out that it was a series of mysteries. Since then I bought the rest of the series and been reading all of them. Of course out of order, because that's how I roll :)) The stories are not building on each other so each book makes sense on its own. If you like mystery and humor from a dog point of view I can highly recommend them. They were written by Spencer Quinn.
I was not sewing terribly too much, but made progress here and there.
I was catching up on my Lucky Star BOM blocks, I made a few of them in about 2 days. They're all paper pieced and take quiet a while to make.

Here's my May block called Spotlight Star

The one for June is Sunlight Star

And July is Dulcet Star

Finally here's August which is called Pinwheel Star

Note:The spots that look like dirt are glue underneath which will come off once I removed the paper which is after the blocks are connected into a quilt top.
I also finished piecing the top for my Easy Street quilt. I have not found a name for it yet. It was funny when I wanted to start piecing the rest of the blocks together and my machine didn't want to wind the bobbin. I haven't used that machine since maybe Spring so it wasn't surprising how it resented me. I gave it a VERY good cleaning and it was working perfectly again. 
I know I will be quilting it and bought a special wool batting for it which I can't wait to try since I've never worked with wool. I just need a big enough space to spread it out for basting. Someone suggested to go down to the local church, but I'm not sure how they would receive my request since I don't belong to any of them. We're not big on church in this house. Do you think it's not too embarrassing to ask? I would appreciate any feedback on that.

I'm also planning on making the September and October paper pieced blocks so those pictures are going to be coming soon. Right now I'm working on the binding on Easy Street which you can guess what color it's gonna be :))

Oh, and I was asked to make some baby blankets for a local co-op where the blanket maker moved away and they don't have anybody to take her place. I ordered these super cute fabrics from the Fatquarter shop and they were here in 2 days. I am really happy with how they look. What would be a good backing besides flannel? I'm just making the simple pillowcase style where they're sewn right sides together and then turned inside out and stitched on the edge with maybe a zigzag or some kind of decorative stitch.

That's all for now, I'll be back soon with the September block.

'Til we blog again! :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Inspirations and food

While I was away from the blog I kind of didn't feel like sewing, but was reading instead. I made progress on my Game of Thrones series (still on book 4, but hit 65% which is a big step) and read Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick. I really loved the book, it made me cry several times. I mostly read at home so it was not a problem. At least the kitties didn't complain :))) It had such a huge impact on me that days later I was still thinking about it.

I made a new recipe for Memorial Day weekend, it's a cheddar-chive scone, recipe provided by (What you can see on the picture is 1 batch.)

It is a super easy recipe to make, I made a double batch, taking half to the party, and left half of it at home. I even put some in the freezer, they freeze very well. The salad on the left is called Fiesta quinoa salad. If you need the recipe for that let me know and I can email it to you.

I also whipped up a shopping bag from plain duck cloth and thinking about decorating it with some embroidery. I went to the local quilt show a month ago and saw a quilt that I'm still thinking about. It had a nice pattern with lazy daisy stitches (?) and I really liked that. Here's what it looked like:

And the bag itself:

Last weekend we visited the Flea Market which we decided will do regularly, and I mean about once a month. It was the hottest day of the season with a whopping 91F for the highest so we finished fairly quickly. No worries, I was wearing plenty of sunscreen and didn't get any sunburn. Regretted not wearing a baseball cap at least, but there's always next time, right? 
There were a few things we looked at, and right at the beginning I found and African person selling African textiles and my Fiance pointed out he had wooden stamps. I was pumped. He wanted $5 for each, or $20 for 5 of them which option I took. I started to dig into the basket and my hands were black by the time I made up my mind. There were so many to chose from and I tried to limit my selection to the ones that were not damaged at the carvings. 

I selected these and I'm really pleased with my choice:

I also spotted a marvelous embroidered sun umbrella at a booth which about took my breath away. Fiance was kind of ahead of me already, but I just had to stop to snap a picture from up-close and personal :) I only had my phone, but I think it gives back the inspiration that I just had with all the colors and texture.
Isn't it stunning? The only mistake I made was not asking for the price. Maybe next time it'll still be there! There's always hope...

My sewing room needs a serious clean up because I just can't get myself working on anything right now. I wrote down my project on post-it notes and stuck it on the box in front of me so I can see them every day when I sit down to my computer. I need to start working on stuff to get them done so I can do the things I want to do. Hard isn't it?

I'm saying goodbye for now and I'll be blogging soon with updates. Hopefully :))

'Til we blog again! :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring, 2013

Welcome to the Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring, 2013! The Festival is hosted by Amy @Amy's Creative Side every year while the real Quilt Festival is going on, this Spring in Portland, Oregon.
My entry is N Blu, a baby quilt I made recently with the blocks I sewed while taking the Craftsy Block of the month 2012 class.

This quilt is 44" square, quilted by me on a Singer 201-2 vintage sewing machine after taking Leah Day's Free motion quilting a sampler Craftsy class. 
If you like this quilt a lot please nominate it for Favorite baby quilt here. Thank you so much for looking and hope you entered one of your quilts for others to see!
Thank you so much Amy for organizing this wonderful event!

'Til we blog again! :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I'm a winner!

Yes, you read it right! And no, I didn't run the race I was planning to just in case you were wondering :))
BUT! Sandy @Quilting...for the rest of us had her third Podcast-a-versary this March so She was hosting a giveaway. She had 5 packs of Aurifil thread samples to give to 5 lucky people, and one of them was me :)) I was really happy when I got the email from her with the good news. If you're not a listener you must download her podcast, it's so much fun and full of information about quilting and creativity.

So here's the pack and I'll say below what's inside:
Sorry for the yellow pic, but it's raining outside and super dark inside :(

From left to right the pack includes:
Mako 12wt variagated  (3840)
Mako 28wt red (2265)
Mako 40wt aqua (5006)
Mako 50wt gray (5004)
Wool 12wt dark beige? (8324)

I'll probably use them to free motion quilt some pot holders or other small projects. I've never worked with threads other than 40 or 50 weight so it should be an interesting experience :)

Thank you so much for the giveaway, Sandy!

As far as my WIP-s go I'm marching along Easy Street again, started to make the 3.5" units for the blocks I'm missing. I'm making good progress, I have all the 4 patches and brick units done, and the pink/purple part of the flying geese. I'm making the purple/black&white flying geese today and then join the 2 kinds together.
I also have to make the May block for the Lucky Star BOM, but since I need black and white fabric for the background I have to finish the Easy Street units first to make sure I have enough b&w fabrics. I don't want to use up what I have for the BOM just to find out later I didn't have enough b&w for Easy Street. Does it make sense? Hope it does!

'Til we blog again! :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Black Hole Star in a different arrangement

After finishing my Black Hole Star yesterday I uploaded my images to some websites. Looking at the Flickr group pictures I realized there's another arrangement to sew the star in so I decided to make a second one in different colors. The last few blocks I made I wasn't happy with the color choices and decided to use more orange in the future blocks. I'm really happy the way this one turned out.

Which color arrangement do YOU like better? Please leave a comment to let me know!

'Til we blog again! :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Black hole star done!

Seeing all the blogs yesterday evening I was thinking if I should post about WIP Wednesday, but I was so close to finishing my block and I decided against it. Instead I'm writing the post this morning :)

My new dry iron came on Tuesday and of course I had to break it in! I actually like it. A lot! First it was strange that it wasn't gliding on the fabric as my nonstick irons used to, but I got used to it. It presses very nicely, I'm really glad I got this type! The only thing that could be a down side is it's smaller in size and the plate does not cover as large of an area as the regular irons.

While we were at Home Depot to buy the plants and flowers for the garden I stumbled upon an energy saver light bulb which gives daylight. What a difference! I could take the photo of the block last night after 11 PM.

With no further ado here's the finished block in all its glory!

I keep catching up, now I only have the May block to make and can start working on the other projects I have on the side.

'Til we blog again! :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Making star progress and some Spring garden pictures

After the iron setback this weekend I decided to take action. Went down to Target again and bought a $24.99 iron I thought would be perfect for a temporary replacement until my new one arrives. When I got it out of the box I couldn't believe my eyes. It was the plate I was looking for!

Voila! The plate without grooves or indentations:

I have no idea why the manufacturers don't put pictures of the plate on the box, but it was a nice surprise. I'd opened several irons at the store last time I was there just to be disappointed. This was one that I didn't open. I sould've. Guess it's too late now. Or not. I'm in love with this iron :) It has an extra long cord and the iron stays on for a relatively long time before it shuts off automatically.
I happily sat down to finish the block I started a week ago. I found an easier way to "pin" the blocks together without using actual pins. I don't know about you, but the paper or fabric often moves as the pins go through all the layers. I figured I'll try to hold them together with yes, paper clips!

It worked fine and I didn't have to fiddle with bending pins and such.
As I was sewing the segments together before pressing I was checking if everything was alright and had an Oh, CRAP! moment. The blue flower fabric didn't quiet go down to the corner the meet the others. In 2 of the units.

Yes, that's about a half an inch too short!

I called my BFF and started to rip the stitches out.
After the tedious process I used Carol Doak's tip to put the opaque scotch tape on the sewing line of the paper on the blocks I was going to reuse again to save the paper that was ripped already. It worked like a charm! Didn't melt under the iron and held my paper together like it was new. Had no problem stitching over it after I re-made the 2 parts I needed.

The end result of the Ninja Star for March:

Yesterday we were at the flea market and picked up some lettuce plants that I planted after we got home.

The petunias I planted on the street front(last week's picture):

We bought these 3 colors:

She thinks this is her new bathroom... Zucchinis and cucumbers:

Strawberries full of fruits already:

Tomatoes, hot banana peppers, and more strawberries:

Tomatoes, sweet banana peppers, and rosemary:


Green beans:

And now the lettuce addition next to the strawberries:

And the front yard turned into a violet field in the past week:

That's all for now, I keep working on my Lucky Stars block, and probably by the time I finish it the new one will come out on May 1st. So much for catching up... :)

'Til we blog again! :)