Sunday, November 28, 2010

Road Trip! (aka as Knitting in the dark)

Am I am a quilter that loves to knit or a knitter that loves to quilt?

First, the knitting.....

We returned last night around 10pm from a Thanksgiving visit to NJ.  The drive up from NC on Tuesday took us about 11 hours (traffic, ugh!) and the drive home around 10 hours.  My husband does all the driving so it gives me time to pass out snacks to the kids as well as read or knit.  I started a sock on the way up and made reasonable progress on the cuff in daylight:

The cuff pattern (3k, 1p) was very easy so I attempted to knit in the dark.  Turned out this wasn't a good idea.  I would do one round just fine and then realize something was off on the pattern.  I would have to wait until we stopped for gas or perhaps in traffic to turn on a light and repair the damage.  I would then give it another try.... only to repeat.   Finally I put it aside and picked it up again on the drive home.  This time, we left a bit earlier so I had enough daylight to turn the heal and a bit more.

Now the quilting....

My dad has restored a VW bug and just loves the car.  He will only take it out for a drive on sunny, warm days.   I decided to make him a quilt with a VW theme.    There was no fabric to be found so I made my own using Spoonflower. and created my own custom fabric using a edited photo of his actual car.  (My daughter did the editing for me on her computer.)   

The quilt itself was quit fun to make.  I used Awesome by Sandy Gervais and tried out various ways to best highlight the car.  This is what I ended up with and my dad just loved it!   I backed it with flannel and Cathy Kirk quilted a collection of cars and loops all over the quilt.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Building the stash

Visited two local quilt stores Friday and Saturday looking for some a couple of fat quarters of holiday fabric.  I came home with that as well as these goodies.

From Plain & Simple in Apex, NC:  A couple of tea themed fabrics that I really like and then one filled with sewing notions.  There were plenty of tempting fabric in the store.

From Wish Upon a Quilt in Raleigh, NC.  This was my first time to visit this store which is also an online retailer. Plenty of wonderful fabrics so I did more damage to my wallet there.   I've seen Castle Peeps on the web and was thrilled to get my hands on a few fat quarters.

I also purchased this gripper which has already helped the accuracy of my cutting.

I am greatly enjoying my first 2 weeks of active blogging and have already met new friends.  I was quite excited to read all the nice comments from my entry into the SewGalCal's Holiday quilt tour including a comment from Kate herself!  

Finally, found another giveaway.  Check it out. 

Happy Stitching.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All 8 bags complete!

I've made a nice dent in my Christmas gift crafting with the completion of my 8 bags made for my sisters - I've 6 of them - my mom and my sister-in-law.  (Still have to make one more just for me!)

I see the family at Thanksgiving so try to get as much done as possible so I can hand deliver the box clearly marked do not open until Christmas!

This one is my favorite combination of them all:

Happy stitching!  (Now onto the next item on the list ......)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I love Christmas.  I love the preparing for Christmas (really I do!).  I love the decorating.  I love the baking.  And most of all, I love the quilting.

This year, I fell in love with Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas fabric and purchased a layer cake.  After experimenting a bit and looking over other quilts I have made for block inspiration, I got started.

I am just thrilled with the results!

The photos don't quite do justice to the quilting.   Cathy Kirk does my long arm work and did a wonderful collection of snowflakes across the whole quilt.

I choose a warm flannel for the back - the same green as the other border.   (Still need to bind this and will do this in the green flannel.)

This will surely be a quilt to cuddle under, glass of wine (or cup of tea) in hand and just enjoy the Christmas tree.


Other beautiful quilts to see at the Christmas Quilt Show 2010..

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bag tutorial

To make these bags, I used strips from Pure by Sweetwater.   Each 3 strips will make 2 bags.  I am making 8 bags as Christmas gifts so I have an assemble line going!

Step 1:  Cut your jelly roll strips in half (roughly 22 inches long) and put together combinations that you find pleasing.  I made each bag so the top strip had the words.

Step 2: For each bag, sew together 3 of the 22 inch strips. Then cut in half to form the front and back of the back.  Each piece is now roughly 6 1/2 in by 11 inch.   Press.   Layer for quilting.  I used solids for the back which will become the inside of the bag.

Step 3: Quilt!   I did loops on some, basic stipple on the other.  These make for good free motion practice opportunities so have some fun!  Trim excess.

Step 4: Prepare the zipper.  You could choose to connect the zipper directly but I decided to make a casing for the zipper to make the finished bag look more professional.   To do this, I cut another jelly roll strip in half lengthwise and then sewed a 1 1/4 in x 7 in strip of fabric (right sides together) to the zipper sides

When that was done, I sewed a small rectangle to the top and the bottom.  See my pretty stack of zippers!

Step 5: Attach the zipper to each side of the bag by sewing right sides together.   Shown below is a front and back view.  

Step 6: Right sides together, lining up the seams of your 3 strips, sew around the bag on 3 sides.  Important tip- OPEN THE ZIPPER a bit before you sew the 3 sides!    I finish off the edges with a zigzag stitch all around.  

One bag all done - only 7 more to go!!!

I am making these as holiday gifts for each of my sisters and sister in law.

I'd love to hear from you - please comment and let me know what you think of my very first tutorial.  I also posted this at Sew and Tell.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flying Geese

I love flying geese.

This is just one of many little quilts I've made with full of flying geese.  My high school son participated in a international exchange program with a school in Austria.  The Austrian student visited with us a year ago for 3 weeks and then my son went to visit with their family for 3 weeks this past May.  I made the family a quilt (36x36 in) as a thank you gift.  (I forgot to take a picture of that quilt.)   This quilt was made from the leftover pieces and hangs in my kitchen to remind us of that other family in Austria.

My son took many pictures while he was there.  The family he stayed with lived on a farm so he needed to take a train every day to go to school.