Nothing Like Free Fabric!

In January I entered this pillow in Rachel's Pillow Party.  To my utter shock, my pillow was chosen!!  And, the prize was a half yard bundle of Innocent Crush in the Swept Away palette, from Sew Love Fabrics!  This delicious bundle arrived at my doorstep yesterday, packaged up so beautifully.

Great big thanks to Rachel for organizing the Blogger's Pillow Party (the second round will be judged this week), to Anna of Noodlehead for choosing my pillow, and Sew Love Fabrics for the generous prize!

How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?

Just another simple baby quilt.  I was inspired by a quilt in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. (I used the last of my Christmas gift money and bought this book.  I love it)  I think it's my favorite quilt in the book, but have rarely if ever seen it mentioned online.  Anyway, I didn't follow the pattern at all, but was inspired by the idea of one big square full of random piecing, plunked off centre on a big hunk of solid.

That big happy square was so much fun to make!  Once it was done, I had a hard time deciding what to use for a solid.  I'll admit that white was my first choice, but I kept thinking about a little boy dragging his blankie around... Nope, we're not doing white.  I liked the thought of aqua, but then it would have blended completely with the square.  I finally settled on the gray Robert Kaufman Quilters Linen.  This Quilter's Linen is a relatively new fabric line.  It's a regular quilting cotton with a subtle printed crosshatch design to give it some texture.  Ok, it's supposed to look like linen, but it doesn't in the least!

I bought a piece in this darkish gray to try it out, and at first was disappointed in it.  If you're purchasing it to take the place of linen, forget it.  But, read on for some more positive thoughts about it.

This backing comes from my local fabric shop.  I used it for one of my class samples and loved it so much I went back and bought some more.  (and now I'm tempted to go back and buy some MORE!)  It's a woven fabric, the color works with so many quilts, and it washes up so soft, yet won't pill or fade nearly as much as flannel.

And no, I don't know the brand, etc.  cause these woven don't have printed selvedge, but I'm thinking many woven fabrics would wash up soft like this.

Now back to the Quilter's Linen.  I've changed my mind after pulling this quilt out of the dryer.   It's a great solid with a bit of interesting texture.  In this gray, it gives a sophisticated look.  So now I may need to order a few other colors.

Note:  Different ones of you have asked specific questions in the past, but when I go to answer them, I find your status set to no-reply blogger.  This means I can't easily reply to you, so if you'd like a reply, just check your settings.

Wednesday Sewing Room Report

I finally started in on my long term selvedge project.  I've been saving them for a while and had a little metal tin stuffed full.  Amazingly I used them all up on this big star block.  This block is huge, like 24" or so.

I always thought I'd do a spiderweb design, but when I saw this, I knew that was the answer for me.  But Y-seams?  Scary!!

This one didn't turn out so great...

Aaaahhh... much better.

I made up my own template by using my six inch ruler for width and then drawing 45 degree angles.  But there are plenty of free patterns for this, like here.  And Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio has a great little tutorial on how to sew with selvedges.

This is one quilt that I plan on eventually making into a BiG quilt.  Once my little tin tub is full of selvedges again, I'll make another block.  I've always wanted to have a few long term projects on the go that I could get out and work on when I had a few moments here or there, (hahahaha, that's what life is mostly made up of right?)

Another currently abandoned project...

A monthly block for the Fresh Modern Bee.

Two blocks for the do. Good Stitches bee.

My month to make the quilt in this bee was January.  I have the top all sewed together and am currently working on the back.  I'll show you soon.  It's one bright and happy quilt!

Class Time!

I'm off to teach my first quilting class this morning!  Sorry for the long silence.  I'll be back soon...

Teacup Mini

I joined my first ever Flickr swap, Spicing Up the Kitchen.  Each person is given a partner, and then you stalk them and try to figure out what they'd like.  This swap was all about kitchen items.  Pictured here is the last minute little extra that I added to my package.  I made a set of placemats and an oven mitt, so this little guy is just for fun, since he has no real practical purpose.

I find myself loving the look of selvedges, and have started a 'long-term' quilt with all the selvedge strips I save.  It's going be star shaped like this one, but maybe each star will have a different background color.  That was one of my goals this year:  To have a few larger quilts on the go that I could pull out and work on here and there.  I tend to make lots of smaller quilts, and work at them till they're finished, simply because I'm so impatient and want to see the finished quilt.  Now, mostly that's a good thing right?  I don't have so many things on the go at once.  But sometimes I'd like to slow down and just enjoy the process.  And maybe I'll end up with a few bigger quilts if I take them one step at a time.

If you hadn't noticed, this yellow-gold fabric (Early Bird by Cosmo Cricket)  is my current favorite, and finds it's way into many of my latest projects.

As relating the the quilty-bloggy world, this post is SO much like me.  (Except for the part about no infants or toddlers, since I have two.  And the part about hating shopping, I still kinda like it:)  But a lot of what she said is so true for me.

Setting the Record

This is the largest quilt I've ever made.  It's a generous twin size at 74"x90".  (See that toque poking out above the quilt?  HaHa, makes me smile:)  This was for a custom order.  I used an entire fat quarter bundle of Hope Valley.

I used up every last piece on the back, together with Essex Linen blend in natural.    Love the back of this quilt SO much.


Some stitching time since the winter colds (as in virus, not temperature) have said goodbye.  The kids are in good spirits again, and I'm happy to get working on a few more projects from the pile.

For larger quilts I always bring my sewing machine up to the dining room table, so that I have lots of room to maneuver.  I often wait till I have a few quilts basted, and then quilt them all at once.

Here's part of the back for the Hope Valley custom quilt I'm working on.  It's my largest quilt so far.  (a generous twin size)  I'm a real sucker for colorwheel quilts, and there's something about the Hope Valley fabrics arranged in this way...  I have worked with this fabric a fair bit and I'm still not tired of it!