Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Fibers

I never revealed my finished Tufted Tweets mini quilt. Do you want to see it? Drum roll please....

I added a hanging sleeve to this one so it can be used as a wall hanging or a doll quilt. This mini quilt and the others are now or will soon be available on my Etsy shop.

The other thing I've been working on lately is sewing bags. I used to make and sell many bags, but ever since my third child arrived it's felt more like a task than a pleasure. Here are the first bags I've made since July.  Believe it or not, I'm anxious to get started on a few more! The owl and bird bag have both been purchased but the little acorn bag and the bear bag are still available.

Finally, for those of you who live in the Twin Cities, I just took a bunch of children's napkin sets over to The Linden Tree in Minneapolis.

You'll also see two of my lap/toddler quilts at The Linden Tree. Remember these?

Please check out the store if you're in the neighborhood. Melissa, the owner, carries lots of fabric and beautiful handmade items by local artists and crafters.

Wishing you very happy holidays,


Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland or Siberian Labor Camp?

I had big plans for the weekend. My quilts and napkins were for sale at a holiday boutique.  I was hoping to stop in at the monthly Quilt-in to do some hand sewing. Bags were cut out and ready to sew.  Mother Nature had other ideas, though. Namely, a massive snow storm that left 17.2" of snow on the ground.

High winds caused drifting and packed the snow which made it very hard to clear off sidewalks and driveways - let alone streets.  Our city was brought to a standstill. Cars were stuck everywhere. Some people just gave up and left their vehicles in the middle of the street!

It took over an hour for this guy to get his car out of the middle of the street. He parked it in the wrong direction and left it. One of many.

I bet I shoveled for at least 4 hours this weekend plus about another 2-3 hours for my husband. The sad thing is, we're still not done as the mini van remains covered.

The kids had a blast playing outside, though. And now our backyard (which was previously flat as a pancake) has multiple sledding hills!  And I must admit that I enjoyed helping people push their cars out of our snow-packed intersection.

School was canceled today which never happens in Minneapolis/Minnesota, especially for a storm that stopped on Saturday night. Maybe I'll put the kids to work shoveling...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Evolution of a Quilt

The evolution of a quilt in photos.

Started out as a wee bundle of fabric

Big print = big blocks

A sashing we will go, a sashing we will go...
The binding makes the quilt

My baby is all grown up

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mini Quilts Revealed

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did you get lots of sewing and crafting done?

We loaded up the mini van (despite the promise of an ice storm which made for slow and scary travel) and headed to Nebraska to visit the in laws for Turkey Day.  The kids love seeing their many aunts and uncles and cousins. I love having so many helping hands. It was a WARM and relaxing weekend. My lovely sister in law even helped me with my holiday sewing. Score!

During those many hours of football I managed to finish hand sewing the binding on the 4 finished mini quilts. Ready for the reveal?? Notice how my model (my oldest son, Alex) starts out enthusiastic but quickly becomes bored with his duties.









While in Lincoln, I checked out the famous Cosmic Cow quilt shop. Is it really famous? Not sure, but every time I'm in Nebraska somebody tells me I need to check it out. So, I finally took the pilgrimage and Holy Cow - what a shop. I've never seen such a small space so packed with fabric but also so amazingly organized. Why didn't I take photos?? I was too busy having heart palpitations, complete with tunnel vision. I bought a bunch of Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope.  Photo to come.

FYI: my mini quilts will be for sale next Friday and Saturday at the Art on Garfield holiday boutique.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Number Five

Here's the last of my 5 mini (doll) quilts in 5 days (which turned out to be 8 days, but who's counting??).

Should have been Friday

Hmm. Not exactly sure how I feel about this one. I've never worked with gray sashing before and it seems to overwhelm the prints. I may rip all the sashing out and start again. Then again, I may chalk this mini quilt up to a learning experience and move on.  What would you do?

This weekend I was supposed to attend a monthly quilting gathering but illness, schedules, and an ice storm provided quite a road block. I did manage to get there for a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Enough time to machine quilt the 4 other mini quilts I made last week. Now for binding.  Stay tuned for my next post when I reveal the finished products. In the meantime, here's a recap of the week. I like the first one the best. Figures!






Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mission Not Accomplish

I didn't make my goal of making 5 mini quilts in 5 days.  The stomach bug of Fall 2010 finally caught up with me yesterday. Two of my three little ones were sick this week. I thought I would escape it, but no. I could hardly get out of bed yesterday let alone sew anything.

Here's Thursday's mini quilt, though. I used up some leftovers from a Riley Blake Bloom & Grow charm pack.


I started Friday's quilt on Thursday but I didn't get very far. Let's just say Tufted Tweets are involved.  I hope to get it done today barring no barfing.

Ugh. Happy crafting and stay well!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Yesterday was Day 3 of my week of mini quilts. I feel a little sheepish about even showing this one because it's so simple. My almost 2 year old daughter came down with an intestinal bug yesterday which she kindly caught from her 5 year old brother. I figure this gives me an excuse...


Now I'm off to start working on today's quilt. Can't waste the nap!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Red and Green

Greetings! Long time no blog. I've been busy with sick kids, school stuff, and of course mountains of sewing.

I finished machine quilting my Hello Betty Retro (by Moda) quilt recently. This is the largest quilt I've made to date and I couldn't believe how challenging it was to sew nice straight lines. Now I understand why quilters choose to "send out" their quilts to be quilted by a professional with a long arm. Keep in mind that this thing is roughly the size of a twin. That should put my whining into perspective.

Instead of jumping right in to hand sewing the binding on my Hello Betty quilt, I decided to throw together an easy quilt top with one of the Kokka fabrics I purchased at Sample Spree at the Spring Quilt Market here in Minneapolis. It's crazy bright, but I love it anyway.  A full photo of the finished top is forthcoming. Here it is in progress:

I had so much fun piecing the red and green quilt that I decided to go totally crazy and piece one mini quilt (or doll quilt) each day this week! Here are two quilts in two days (just the tops, though):



Please post a comment if you'd be interested in a tutorial on either the bright red and green quilt (sort of a throw/large baby quilt size) or any of the mini quilts. They're super easy and would be great for beginners.

Stay tuned this week for photos of three more mini quilts. Happy sewing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Yes, the holiday season is just around the corner. This is the time of year when we crafters start freaking out about inventory. On October 1st I received an e-mail from one of my retailers indicating that all holiday inventory must be delivered by October 21st. What?? I needed that e-mail two months ago! I should be spending every waking hour working on totes and cosmetic bags, but between you and me, all I can think about it quilting.

I'm smitten. I feel like I'm having a sewing affair. All these years of sewing home dec, accessories, and clothing mean nothing to me now. I just want to piece and free motion.

Here are some photos from my illicit affair.

This is the doll quilt I put together using freebies from the Robert Kaufman booth at Spring 2010 Quilt Market. This line is called "Betty Dear" by Darlene Zimmerman. I even salvaged the batting from a garbage can on the last day of Market. The backing is orange Carolina Gingham also by Robert Kaufman and the binding is a Moda Bella solid. Just in case you were wondering...

Here's the finished baby quilt that I blogged about eons ago. I used a charm pack of Riley Blake Design's Bloom and Grow collection (sadly out of print now). The sashing is Kaufman's Essex linen/cotton blend that's just a delight to work with.

The wonderful ladies at Glad Creations Quilt Block here in Minneapolis helped me pick out the backing. My seven year old son gave final approval. When the woman told him that he has excellent taste in fabric he absolutely beamed! It was so sweet. Anyway, it's from the Hunky Dory line by Chez Moi for Moda. Here he is helping me photograph the quilt and the top of his head.

Finally, here's a sneak peak of a quilt I'll finish today - just 3" of binding to hand sew. Don't you just love Alexander Henry's 2D Zoo? I'm delighted to report that this is my first for sale and SOLD quilt.  I didn't even have to put it on my Etsy shop (three cheers for fabulous neighbors).

A new walking foot for my sewing machine should be arriving via UPS today. Yes, I'm obsessed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Vacation

I think it's fair to say that I've taken a summer vacation from my blog. It's been a busy summer - much of which was spent in the car driving my oldest child (7) from one sports camp to the next. We took a family trip to Portland, Oregon then I had my 20 year high school reunion just days after we returned. We've had family visiting, etcetera, etcetera. No doubt you know how it goes. Besides having little time to sew, let alone blog, it's been quite hot this summer. While we have a few window air conditioners in this 102 year old house, my sewing space stays unconditioned and can get quite hot.  Sweat and sew or take the summer off. What would you do?

Here's a photo I took the other day of my sewing room. It was a hot day - in the 90's and ridiculously humid. The afternoon light was so lovely, though. The room looks inviting but don't be fooled!

That's a mini quilt/doll quilt in the foreground. The fabric is by Robert Kaufman. On the last day of Quilt Market I made one final purchase at their booth and they gave me a huge stack of 3" squares. Most of the fabrics were absolutely not my style, but there were a few goodies. I've scoured the RK web site looking for photos and the name of this line, but with no luck. Let me know if you recognize it. I'll post a better photo of the finished product soon. Mini quilts could be addictive.

Speaking of small things, what I have been working on lately is cloth napkins. Dinner napkins, hors d'oeuvres napkins, kids' napkins in various sizes. What fun to pair fabrics and to get a finished product in a short amount of time. I'm slowly but surely getting my Minimushroom Etsy shop stocked, but I have a feeling a little back to school trunk show would be more fun and more successful.  Here are some photos of napkin mania.


Photography is always a struggle for me. Seems crazy given that I loved the class in college, but photographing your work is different from just trying to get the occasional "artsy" shot. I need to capture the item AND try to convince you that you need to buy it. I have a profound respect for sellers on Etsy with great photography, and certainly professional photogs who bring us adverts, billboards, etc. It's not just about aperture and f-stop. You need a good eye, good lighting, a good angle, and of course styling/props. Practice makes perfect - I hope. If you're in a similar conundrum, check out this post on the Etsy forums about taking great photos. Good stuff!

School starts here on August 30th. While I'm going to miss my little boys while they're at school, I'm excited to have some time to finish the millions of things I have in progress - like several quilts of my own designs. And then there are more skirts. So much to sew, so little time. On that note, here's my most recent skirt - finished just one hour before my friend wore it to a wedding. There's nothing like working in heat and under pressure.