Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Year-at-a-Glance in a Year and a Half


It’s time for a celebration!  I finally finished my Year-at-a-Glance quilt tonight!  That’s right, finished!

Year-at-a-Glance Quilt 

The fabric and pattern were a gift for my birthday back in the summer of 2009.  (Remember this post?  or this post?)  Tonight, I finally tacked down the last two feet of binding. I rarely ever finish anything this big, and  I had to pinch myself to relinquish my disbelief.  Now, I just wish I had somewhere better than the bedroom curtains to prominently display it.

Calendar Quilt 

With every beautiful quilt, there’s a beast.  Not to be nit picky, but the appliqué patterns were all backwards.  And as adorable as this quilt is, this takes the cake and makes this pattern a solid D.  The sashing measurements were all off!  I had to calculate them and re-cut all the pieces.  That includes the outer square border, folks.  Pain in the …

My favorite month: May

I was forced to conquer a new technique on this quilt: hand embroidery.  I treated myself to a crash course in embroidering techniques via the internet, and with great success, I do think my lazy daises turned out perfectly.  That’s why the May block is my favorite!

Three Down, Ten to Go!

Where's My Rotary Cutter?

Monday, November 15, 2010

1 Block Down, 13 to Go

Jill Upside Down   

Everything is on hiatus until I finish this quilt top!

Pinwheel Block

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It’s a snap!

Jill, trying to keep the glare from her computer off her glasses.

I got a new toy, I mean, tool last week and finally took it out of the packaging for a test drive.  It’s my very own Dritz Pliers!  You know, for adding snaps to all my craft projects, in a snap, of course!


my snap pliers

Many thanks goes to Annie Rose’s online tutorial from Cowgirl Snaps for helping me avoid any frustration that these pliers would have encumbered upon me.  After carefully reading, and re-reading the tutorial, I’m feeling confident that I can snap together anything!

My first snap! Now you can tell it's a little bent...

I smartly practiced my new tool on some scrap fabric first. My first (half) snap came out a little wonky.  I persisted, re-read the tutorial, and went a little more slowly with the second snap.

A much better snap.

That one came out much better; however, I realized I could go back to my original snap, ply again, and get it to straighten out a little bit.   Actually, enough to look good!

Snaps in a snap! 

The little nubby part of the snap (the other half) went in perfectly.  Third time’s a charm!  I can’t wait to order some snaps from Cowgirl Snaps on Etsy and add snaps to everything!  <evil laugh>

Monday, November 8, 2010

Seeing Double

Double Jills

Some nights, I look forward to piddling away at my sewing machine, working on my own little projects that never seem to get finished.  Other nights, orders pile up and my embroidery machine beckons.  Was it merely coincidence, that as I prepared myself to make two onesies this evening, I opened up my email and found not one, but two adorable babies staring back at me wearing the cutest little onesies?  As if Providence knew exactly the right amount of motivation to get me through this evening’s chore. I love seeing the finished onesies, especially when adorned by a baby, and I remember why it’s so much fun to take the time to make them!

happy baby

baby gift

custom embroidered onesie

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gimme More Sugar


Yesterday, I enjoyed another journey to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival in Oaks, PA joined by MrBeans.  For those of you faithful Rotary Cutter followers, you may recall my post on last year’s finds.  This year, I remained focused on holiday gift giving, and didn’t actually buy anything for myself.  (Shocker!)  …Except this little guy:

"Kirby, " a mug from Tom Phelp's Studio.

MrBeans and I met in Southwestern Virginia.  While walking through a street festival one summer, we came up these hysterical mugs created at Tom Phelps Studio, a local pottery studio in Floyd, Virginia.  Since we were poor college students at the time, we didn’t buy one, but I did snag a picture of MrBeans holding two of these mugs while giving his best impersonation of them.  When we walked into TPS’s booth and saw those funny faces again, I was reminded of that beautiful day in the mountains of Virginia, and I knew we had to get one!  So meet Kirby, my new coffee pal.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Soho Baby Bibs

Jill getting sleepy late at night.

I would be remiss if I never mentioned my favorite fabric shop on my quilty/crafty blog.  My one weekly “spam” email that I always look forward to reading comes not only with the latest and greatest must have fabrics and kits, but also with style, grace, and at least one project that immediately sends me daydreaming of me at my sewing machine, far far away from the computer holding the email, surrounded by work and cubicles.   Purl Soho is this little girl’s New York City dream!  One day, I’ll make it there, and shop my heart out!  …Until then, I’ll just have to shop online.

Now, You can only imagine my excitement when I returned home from work on Friday to find a package on my front porch sporting the words “Purl Soho!”  I dove right into the first project I pulled out of the box, and promised myself something to be proud of by the end of the night.

  Bibs in progress!

When I first saw the project for Liberty Baby Bibs on Purl’s blog, the Purl Bee,they looked too cute; then, when I went to check out the price of their kits, they already were sold out!!  If they were that popular, I had to have one.  I patiently waited for them to come back in stock. (FYI, I just got my kit yesterday and they’re already sold out of the “yellow” colorway.)  The kit comes with every thing you need to make four sweet little baby bibs, and if you’re not A.D.D. like me, it will take you no time at all to finish some adorable baby gifts.

One bib, finished!

Here’s the scoop:  I love this project.  Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn line of fabric is the silkiest cotton I have ever felt, and the colors are beautiful.  Purl provided an easy pattern to follow, and for those of you that don’t want to purchase a kit, you can download it online!    I’m thinking about creating my own pattern, and selling a customizable version in my shop.  Wouldn’t that be fun!? 

Now here’s my tip:  Use a heavy duty thread when sewing on the snap.  I used hand quilting thread.  It’s a large, sew-on snap, and the cotton thread that came with my kit broke on me while sewing the first half of the snap on. 

Clearly, I need a real baby for the full effect.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boarder Crossing

Jill in the leaves.

My sewing machine whirled and hummed away tonight; so, I’m back to blogland with the results, just as I had promised myself!

Fat Quarter Quilt

I can’t believe I finally finished this quilt top!  (All I had left was to cut out and sew on the outer boarder…I’m 99% positive the center of it has been done for a year.)  I think I’m going to call it my Wonderland Quilt because of the bright colors and varied floral patterns.  It seems very curious to me. 

One thing I discovered tonight is that it’s very difficult to photograph a large quilt.  It’s tough to get the whole quilt in one frame, with the right lighting, not on a skewed angle and keeping the cat off it all at the same time.

Polly was looking for attention.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Hallow-vember-lection Day

Jill & Laptop

So, I’ve been a little MIA recently.  My sew machine went in for a tune-up and production slowed to a near halt.  That was two weeks ago and I still haven’t taken it for a test drive.  I did dress up as a bridesmaid for Halloween and made my first wedding cake.  (How’s that for crafty?!?)  Having embarked upon the 11th month of 2010, I voted yesterday.  Tomorrow, I think I’ll get back to sewing…

Pretty much the best redneck wedding cake ever.