Thursday, June 9, 2016


Thanks so much for the encouragement about my row for the Row By Row Experience.  I'm feeling much better about everything.  Now I just have to prep kits - in other words, cut, Cut, CUT!!  I admit to feeling a bit intimidated when faced by this 30 yard pile of fabric (and that's only to make 50 kits!),

so I sewed instead.  First, I pieced the May block for the Westering Women BOM by Barbara Brackman, The Platte River.

Then, when I got home after an 11 hour day at work, I treated myself to an hour of sewing at home!  I have a slight addiction to making these blocks that our Guild is making for our Comfort Quilt effort.

I haven't really liked how they look together, though, so I started playing with alternate layouts.  Perhaps some interlocking wonky stars?

We'll see.  In the meantime, I have some cutting to do.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Do you Row by Row?

I'll be honest - I've been a nervous wreck.  Upon the recommendation of a fellow shopkeeper who also has a yarn/fabric shop, I am participating in the Row by Row Experience this year.  It's been a bit of work getting ready:

1) I had to design a row based on this year's theme, Home Sweet Home, and write instructions for it.  My row is Blue Ridge Sunset, depicting the view from my front porch - the sunsets, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the dogwoods in bloom. (To be honest, the sun COMES UP on the Blue Ridge Mountains and SETS on the Appalachian Mountains when you are at my house, but I really wanted blue mountains so I hope no one will take umbrage at the liberties I took.)

It's one thing to make something for yourself or a friend, but something else completely to make it for public consumption (and critique).  I'm nervous about what visitors will have to say about my row this summer.  I hope they like it, but I plan to wear my "big girl panties" to work each day and just deal with it if they don't.

2) I had to decide whether or not to order fabric license plates, and if so, which to get.  I'm happy with my final selection, two of which are also appropriate for the knitters/crocheters who visit the shop, and I'm having fun thinking up projects to make with them, like this drawstring project tote bag.

It turns out this was probably a good investment as I've already had people call and order the fabric plates from me.

3) I'm most nervous about the fact that I am more of a YARN shop than a QUILT shop.  I'm worried that folks will come in and see my paltry selection of fat quarters and Kona Solids bolts and be disappointed that they scheduled a stop.  The only criteria for shops was that you have all the necessary accoutrements for making a quilt - the fabric, the batting, the notions, etc - and I do, I just don't have a lot of any of it.  But, I guess that if they come, they are really coming for the row pattern and I shouldn't sweat it.  There are probably lots of quilters who also knit or crochet, right?  Breathe in, breathe out, and stop worrying about it, Erin!

4) I still haven't kitted up my row, although I have written the instructions as well as a spreadsheet that tells me how much of each fabric I need for each kit.  The hard part is done - all that remains is cutting and packaging.  I'll start that next week.

On top of all that, I have two weeks of kids'  summer camp starting on Monday.  Next week we are making Molas, the week after is Crochet Camp.  Those will be some long days - fun, but long.

So last night, I put aside my worries over the Row by Row and summer camp and just went to the sewing room to SEW.  My Strippy Scrappy Flippy Happy quilt needs just one more column of blocks to make it 5x7, then I'm adding borders and calling it done.  You would think my scrap bins would seem more depleted by now, but no.

I also put together 3 more of these colorful blocks for our Guild's comfort quilts project this month.  Since I can't stay at the meeting to make blocks with everyone else, I'm hoping to have a bunch of blocks to donate - or even a completed top - by next weekend.  I just can't quite figure out how I want to lay them out...

On the agenda for today is making a mini mola pincushion, working on my Westering Women block for last month, and making a couple more comfort quilt blocks.  Plenty of time to stress over Row by Row in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lounging & creating!

This was my the first weekend in about two months that I didn't have company.  While I LOVE having company, especially my family, I think it is considered poor form to hang out on the computer or in the sewing room when they are here, so I haven't had much time for either sewing or blogging.  But this weekend...

The view from my porch yesterday.  It was a glorious day, warm with a nice breeze, and I stayed put out there for hours, sometimes at the cast iron cafe table, but more often lying down on one of the wicker loveseats!
I spent yesterday on my porch: snacking, reading, knitting, counting my blessings.

Then, when the sun went down, I moved down to the sewing room and got to work.  I've been working on blocks for my guild's Comfort Quilts program - they are quite easy and addicting to make.

I'm also finding these strippy flippy scrappy happy blocks quite addicting, too!  I think I'll finish this row and then add one more full column.  After that, I'm thinking a thin, orange inner border and a scrappy piano keys border.

Look at all the violets that have arrived in the mail from my Block Lotto winnings!

And finally, I never jumped on the Granny Square Quilt Block wagon, but I've been wanting to try one ever since I first saw them.  Of course, I didn't want to have to cut all those individual squares, so this was my first attempt, playing around with sewing strips together and subcutting.  I still need to tweak my process, but I think there is a Granny Square quilt in my future.
It's been a wonderful couple of creative days!  I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap! and Monday Making.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quick Comfort Quilt Block

I've had lots of company lately, which means loads of fun but not much sewing.  Today, during a quiet moment in the shop, I couldn't stand it anymore - I just HAD to sew!  My quilt guild is doing a Comfort Quilt workshop in June, and while I can't attend, I figure I can at least sew up some blocks to donate.  I'm not sure what this block is called, but it is a super way to use up my precut 5" squares from scraps (cut down into 2.5" x 4.5" bricks).

Eight 5" squares plus 15 to 20 minutes equals two scrappy 8.5" blocks.  I bet I can whip up 2 a day of these most days, no problem!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Orphan Quilt Blocks Adoption Lottery Results

Thanks to everyone who showed interest in my quilty adoption projects.  You have really helped me clear out some projects that don't speak to me so there is more space and time for projects that do.

I interrupted my son's Spring Break plans to have him pull names from my favorite bowl.
 The winners are:

A: Carole W
B: Cheryl
C: Lisa Marie
D: Lisa C
E: Anita

I'll be emailing each of you for your mailing address and I'll get these into the mail right away.  Happy sewing, all!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Endings

While preparing for the Quilty Orphan Adoption Event, I pulled out a set of 21 blue rail fence blocks that had been donated to me years ago.  No two blocks were the same size.  None of the blocks had been squared up, but some had been sewn together anyway.  In my eyes, it was a wonky disaster, and I was prepared to toss it.  My mom, however, who was here helping me out, saw past the imprecise construction and saw the quilt it could be.  At her urging, I separated the blocks that had already been sewn together, squared them all up to the same size (ignoring the uneven seams within the blocks), and sewed them back together again.  The resulting 44" x 55" top was better than I expected,

but my mom wanted borders, so I dug into my stash to find fabrics that would work.

I didn't have enough of the dark blue, so I pieced similarly dark blue scraps to make two of the sides, which, of course, made my scrappy heart happy.  So, in one day, this project went from "headed to the circular file" to a finished quilt top which I will teach my mom to tie.  The final quilt is 65" x 76".  I completely busted 5 fabrics out of my stash to make the borders.  I love happy endings!

I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Quilty Orphans Up For Adoption!!

Cynthia from Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework is hosting a Quilty Orphan Adoption Event, and just in time for me and my spring equinox scrap purge deadline.  I have pulled out 5 sets of blocks that I know I'll never do anything with, hoping that someone out there in the blogosphere will be inspired to give them a new home and pull them together into a completed project.

If you live in the US (so sorry international friends!) and are interested in adopting a project(s) below (A thru E), please leave a comment by 9 AM EST on Tuesday, March 22 letting me know which project(s) interests you and your email address.  If more than one person is interested in adopting a project, I will have my kids pull a name from a hat.  There is no cost to adopt - I will ship the project to you free of charge.  There are no stipulations on how the project is used - make something for charity or for yourself or for someone else. My goal is to mail all projects by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 22 - I'm motivated to move things out of my space.

OK, here goes:

A:  Bountiful Blessings by Laurel Burch HSTs & scraps

These 14 4.5" HSTs along with 22 5" squares and assorted scraps up to fat quarter size were included in some fabric that was gifted to me.  I love the fabric, but I know I'll never use it - it isn't scrappy enough for me.

B: Block Lotto Steps Variation Blocks

I won these 9.5" x 6.5" Steps Variation blocks in Block Lotto in March 2014.  Unfortunately, it was probably my least favorite block that we made that year, so the winnings didn't excite me.  I've struggled to come up with a setting that pleases me.  I made about 9 of these blocks, but the rest were made by others, and you know what that means - there is some variation in size and precision of construction.

C: Neutral Strings Blocks

I don't know what these blocks are called - these, too, were included in a fabric donation.  There are 57 of these 5.5" string blocks, mostly creams/beiges and browns with some greens and reds.  None of the blocks have been trimmed.

D: Orange and Blue Sports Friendship Star Blocks

These 10 blocks and fabrics were donated to me as well - I get A LOT of donations.  I thought I might do something with this since I have two sports loving boys, but it has been YEARS and I haven't touched it, so it has to go.  The squares are 12" and there are scraps of both the orange and the blue, but not the white.

E: Blue and Red Indian Hatchet Blocks

This was one of my earliest quilting projects, thinking I'd make a simple quilt for my son.  Early on I realized I lose interest quickly if there aren't enough different fabrics involved, so this has languished for over a decade, I think.  There are 29 5.5" blocks and a 64" x WOF chunk of that blue basketball fabric.

I'm linking up with Cynthia's post - check it out for other adoption opportunities!