Sunday, April 29, 2012

Traveling Stash Giveaway

At the beginning of the month, I won the Leap Year Traveling Stash! Here's a peek of what's inside:

Let me just say, I'm sending along a VERY different box than what I received. Be excited!

To enter, please leave one comment on this post. will choose a winner on May 1. Sorry, I will not be shipping internationally. Winner must be an active blogger and willing to send it on after a giveaway post on the 29th of your month. If you'd like further details, just ask!

If you're stuck for a comment topic, tell me the name of a favorite quilt block, or possibly where to find a tutorial on it. The usual no-reply blogger exclusion applies.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Orange Log Cabin Tote

Inevitably, those things we use most...

... start to show it.

My Rescued Threads tote handle has seen better days (and I won't show you the threadbare back pocket or the safety pin holding it together). She's been a good girl, gotten me through the first two semesters of work in the lab, had coffee and lunches leaked in her, kept up with keys and research papers, survived being stuffed with yarn and quilt pieces... But I thought it time to retire the gal while she still has legs left to stand on.

Also, I wanted to make one of these for myself!

Thankfully, my friend's lighting engineer husband had provided plenty of grey denim for my tote. Orange corduroy came from another friend's stash, and lining is from Curio by Moda to match my zipper pocket book.

I added two interior pockets to help me stay extra organized. Thus far, I always know where my lab keys are kept! The ever-important and prone-to-disappear ink pens populate the other pocket. (Go ahead, try that last phrase... your tongue is eager to be twisted!)

I intentionally mismatched the sides. I wanted the emphasis to be orange, but by adding in grey strips, the log cabin pattern shows through.

Needless to say, I love my new tote. It's even more ideal than its predecessor, and the longer, sturdier handles make it more comfortable as I walk to and from work each day. I don't think I'll need to make another for awhile! This one's a keeper.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fat Quarter Kitchen Towels

A little while ago, Sew, Mama, Sew! sent out a call for fat quarter projects. I'd had this thought in mind for a bit, but it wasn't until I sat down to sew them that I considered linking with SMS. Alas, the deadline was passed, and truth be told, I'm not sure the idea was quirky enough for their readership. Nevertheless, I give you a quick tutorial for kitchen towels. Why? Because, for me, tutorials are more about making my mind bend into clear communication of my creative process. Also, this fabric screams my best friend and her husband, and I thought they'd like an early anniversary gift. These towels are not lined, so they dry quickly draped over an oven door handle or hung beside a sink.

For a set of four kitchen towels, you will need:

  • Four (4) fat quarters
  • One (1) yard of fabric cut into four (4) fat quarters
  • About sixteen (16) inches of twill tape (I used leftovers from fat quarter bundles)

1) Cut your twill tape into pieces about four (4) inches long.

2) Angle the tape across one corner of one of your one-yard prints, right side up.

3) Align one fat quarter on top of the tape, right sides together. Pin in place.

As you can see, my fat quarters didn't match precisely with my one-yard cuts. For me, this was a quick project, so I didn't go through the trouble, but you may want to make sure your fat quarters and cuts are of equal size before you begin.

4) Sew a seam around three (3) sides. I used a quarter inch seam (1/4) but you could make it as wide as you choose. Trim seams and turn right side out.

5) Decide what length to make your towels, then iron the appropriate length of fabric to the interior, making sure raw edges are to the inside. Because my one-yard cuts were different sizes, I ironed down different amounts of fabric for each towel.

6) Topstitch about 1/8 to 1/4 inch around the outside of each towel, backstitching over the twill tape.

7) Enjoy!

P.S. She loved 'em!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Liebster... A Blog Award

And thus, I have my first blog award. Thank you, dear Annaliese! (Find her fabulous blog here.)

So this award is given to worthy blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.
  5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.
Here are my five:

A) Shana of Fiber of All Sorts (lovely friend I encountered via my first bee! And she IS quite the busy bee...)

B) Debbie of Jerusalem Notes:  Fiberwork By Debbie (one of the first bloggers I admired when beginning this adventure)

C) Shawn of Creative Inspiraciones (another bee friend and co-conspirator in quilty goodness)

D) Linda at Fiber Fabrications (first encountered via an interest in alpaca roving, she certainly spins a good yarn... sorry, couldn't resist)

E) Rene' of Rene' Creates (another early-era blogger I've enjoyed following)

Hope y'all enjoy these lovely ladies as much as I do!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dwarves in the Shire

 Dwalin and Balin, Fili and Kili...

Bifur and Bofur, Oin and Gloin...

Dori, Nori, Ori and Bombur...

And "the great Thorin Oakenshield himself!"

In case it wasn't clear, I've decided to stitch green blocks inspired by my favorite Tolkien novels! I'm calling it my Shire Quilt. Each block represents a character, place, or event that has to do with The Shire from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books.

While playing with block design for the Sew Blues Bee, I realized I had twelve bow ties and one important-looking ring. The blocks felt rather dwarvish, so the thirteen dwarves from The Hobbit are now represented in my Shire Quilt! I'll add these to the "Mallorn leaves" (representing the three Elven ring bearers) and four-patch friendship star (representing the four hobbits of The Fellowship of the Ring) begun on St. Patrick's Day and finished later.

Although I just finished piecing a bow tie quilt, I'd been wanting to make one for myself even before bride-friend got engaged. I really like the modification of the central diamonds. Rendered in blue, I think I'll call it "Blue Diamond Ring". I'm also enjoying the play of contrasting fabrics in a single color. Though my original idea was for a neutral background, these blocks have me pondering tone-on-tone for the bee. I'm open to suggestions--any thoughts?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Stacks and Stashes

Blues for the newly-minted Sew Blues Bee...

Charms in stacks for a nine-patch...

Wrought Iron binding...

Frances (Sew Happy Geek) Quilt binding...

Frances (Sew Happy Geek) backing...

Wrought Iron label arranging...

Giveaway Day winning (thanks, Miss Luella!)

and Leap Year Traveling Stash winning...

I think it's time I stop photographing my stacks and start sewing them up! Check back here on April 29th for the Traveling Stash Giveaway!

Friday, April 6, 2012


Amy's Creative Side

Earlier in the week I received an email from Amy at Amy's Creative Side that I'd been nominated to be featured on her blog! I was quite surprised and honored. Her questions were an opportunity to share my voice as a quilter and as a member of this artistic community. For the full feature, click here. Oh, and thanks to whomever nominated me!

Happy Good Friday and Chag Sameach to those celebrating this day/evening! And to those who don't, may your weekend be full of joy nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


When this happens...

This is inevitable...

If that bottom looks odd, it's because I used two-sided fusible interfacing between the layers. I think that strip at the bottom is where the lining seam allowance fused. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have a new pocket book, and that Curio print was perfect for the job!

Tutorial found here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Through the Wardrobe and Into Yarnia

This is the door on the wardrobe that sometimes--one can never be sure when--leads to Yarnia.

Those who have been to Yarnia know things there are not the same as in our world...

Once you've been, you're never the same!

Happy April! I hope you've enjoyed my first Yarn Bomb as much as I have!