Aiming for Accuracy Fabric Selection & Block #1

Quilt AlongMy choice of fabric for this quilt-along is Lucy's Crab Shack by Sweetwater.  I've had the fat quarter bundle and layer cake since last year and this looks like a great place to use them. I also have a very large stash of Kona white so I don't even have to shop for anything to get started. I will need more thread sometime in the near future but at least I don't have to run out just for that.

I like to go to the fabric store with a list of the necessary stuff to finish things.  It makes the trip to the store worth while.  Not to mention, if it means I will get more than one thing completed, that is definitely a bonus. 
Quilt Along

I completed the first block and the lesson I learned is how great starch is to use.  My block was so easy to iron and it is nice and crisp. The seams on the back lay down perfectly. There was no chance that they would end up in a glob of flipped over seams.  I am so glad I joined this quilt-along. I already learned something new.


Aiming for Accuracy Quilt-Along

I have decided to join another quilt-along. I love how they keep me on task with a project. This one is called Aiming for Accuracy and we will make 30 pieced blocks. It requires 24 fat quarters and I am certain I can just pull them all from my stash. That is the first fun challenge. You just never know what kinds of tips and tricks you can learn along the way, not to mention, there's prizes too. The link to the quilt-along is here.

On a separate note, I went to ScrapFest at the local quilt shop, Patched Works.  They sell all their leftovers by the pound.  I love this sale, I just grab all the chunks that I like, with no plans in mind for using them and consider it an exercise in replenishing my stash. 

So here's what 7 pounds of fabric looks like:


Quilted Growth Chart Completed

Quilted Wall Hanging
My daughter, Bailee made this adorable growth chart for her girls.  I quilted it and attached the binding for her.  I also put a sleeve on the back so she could easily hang it from a rod. She doesn't know about that so it will be a nice surprise.

It is so cute. I hope she likes how it turned out. I can imagine her either embroidering the girls' height measurements on it or even using a cute pins or buttons to mark their progress.  There's a lot of ways she can go with that. I can't wait to hand it over to her later today.  It will look great in Chloe and Avery's room.

Sadly, I got it a little dirty while trying to take this photo.  It rained all night last night so when I hung it on my clothesline, it dragged to the ground - the ropes are so waterlogged, it will take a while for them to dry out.  So I used the hanger that the bird feeders are on.  Unfortunately, there was a little mud that must have splashed up from the ground onto the pole, so now there is a little mud mark on the bottom part of the binding on the back.  I hope I can quickly wipe it off without much notice.  At least it's on the back!


Oilcloth and Pet Screen Tote and ReUsable Snack Bags

At this month's Quilts for Kids meeting, Patty, one of the volunteers brought along this bag she made.  I just loved it and I asked her if I could take a photo of it and draw out some instructions.  So I measured and wrote down everything as best as I could.  Since we met at Bigsby's, I headed into the store to purchase the canvas to make it when she told me she bought a roll of pet screen from the hardware store.  You got more and it was so much cheaper. 

Since it is a good idea to support the people who allow us to meet here, I bought a yard of oilcloth for the bag instead.  The oilcloth was from a fabric line called "Man Caves".  It reminded me of something that would be fun to have at a tailgate party at Miller Park or up at Lambeau, with all the cool beer bottles on the fabric.

On my next trip to the Menard's, I picked up the pet screen and the lady from the QFK meeting was so very right.  A 36" x 84" roll was $13.99 as opposed to $21/yard at the fabric store. 
Following my little drawing, I measured out the pet screen and cut one large piece; then I cut two pieces of oilcloth and two pieces of kona cotton, 1-inch larger than the oilcloth.  I sewed the top and bottom, right sides together.  When turning the pieces right-side out, you can see that it formed a yellow strip across the top since the yellow piece was larger. 

I sewed the straps down which automatically formed pockets on the bag.  Then I sewed in the side seams and finished them with a strip of oilcloth so when reaching into the bag, I wouldn't snag anything. Then I made gussets in the bottom to make the bad sit squarely on the table.  Once completed, I had more than a half-yard of oilcloth left.  So I purchased some nylon and made a large and medium-sized snack bag with zipper closures.  I envision using one for buns or snack chips and the other for sliced limes and celery for Bloody Marys. 
Let the tailgating begin!


IQS Quilt Exhibit

Quilt Exhibit
Here is a collage of the photos I took from the Chicago International Quilt Show.  There were so many pretty ones I couldn't take photos of them all.


International Quilt Show

Yesterday I spent the day at the International Quilt Show in Chicago. It was an easy drive from Oak Creek to the Rosemont...or Donald E Stephens Convention Center.  We left the house at 7:45, stopped for breakfast and still got to the convention center by a few minutes after 10.  It was perfect timing.  I tried to check into the hotel, but it was a bit early so we just left our bags in the car and headed over to the show.

I really did not know what to expect.  I did hope that it was somewhat like the Quilt Markets that the designers go to.  I read about those all the time.  It turns out it's not really like that at all.  There were vendors, quilt shops and stores from all around the country.  But I wanted to see people like Sweetwater, Jaybird Quilts, Moda, etc.

There were lots of shops represented, all the longarm companies as well as the sewing machine companies.  So we shopped.  I didn't really stop at any of the fabric shops that carried the usual stuff. And that's why - it was the usual stuff I've seen both online and at the local quilt shops. I wasn't really interested at stopping at the area's quilt shops so I didn't go to any of the vendors from Wisconsin.

My first stop was a quilt shop from Hawaii.  They had lots of Japanese fabrics and they handed me a bucket to load my fabric choices in. It was fun to pick ut the pretty greys and oranges.  Then I found a shop that had a bundle with the yellow fabric I needed to finish Bailee's quilted growth chart so I bought the bundle.  After that I found a woman from Louisiana who made her own patterns as well as designed her own fabrics.  So I bought a bundle and they threw in some patterns. 

The best thing was getting to see the people from Country Threads.  I have always loved them.  However, over the years, I've also grown to love modern quilting and Country Threads really had no representation in that market.  So I've moved away from their work and started to follow Jaybird Quilts.  So now here I was, in the Country Threads booth that displayed many modern quilts as well as their traditional line.  It was the best of both worlds.  So I am back in love with Country Threads.

My husband bought me one of their kits and some of the fabrics in it is very modern.  I cannot wait to put it together.


Open Sesame Fabric Doorstop

In summer we really need a doorstop. When the patio door is open in the kitchen and the front door is open as well it creates a nice breeze.  However, the breeze will blow the front door shut or at least make it move so it becomes and obstacle when coming down the steps. 
Completed Door Stop
I did what I usually do in these situations; I googled 'free doorstop patterns to sew'.  I clicked on the images option because I believe that a picture says a 1,000 words and I came across this love pattern by Wolf and Willow

The pattern is called Open Sesame Fabric Doorstop and you can find the downloadible pattern and instructions here. It was easy to make and didn't take up much fabric although I did use a lot more rice to fill it than the instructions state. As crazy as it sounds, I bought a giant sack of rice from our local warehouse store (Sam's Club) last year when I made some boo-boo bags.  So I had plenty of leftovers for this project.  Rice is pretty cheap so it wasn't a big deal to use a bunch of it.

I absolutely love how it turned out.
Open Sesame Fabric Doorstop in action


Quilted Growth Chart

Bailee made this growth chart for her little girls and she wanted me to quilt it.  She used muslin on the back which makes sense because no one is going to ever see the back.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to quilt with muslin, it moves and puckers and stretches easily.  So I got a few puckers and just left them. 

I used variegated yellow thread and just stitched random rows with no real pattern or symmetry.  I'm not sure if she wants me to bind it or of she is going to so maybe I will post more photos if I end up finishing it. I also think it needs a sleeve to hang it properly. 


Sewing Table Progress

The weather here in Wisconsin is unusually cold for June. Normally I would spend all my spare time outdoors this time of year.  But since it isn't all that warm, I thought I would take the opportunity to finally urethane my sewing table. It's been without knobs or all the extra doo-dads I want to incorporate on the massive table because I have not put the finish on it.  So I took the doors and drawers out to the garage and set up a covered workspace that looks a little like Dexter's workroom (the plastic sheets cover the floor as well as the table and sawhorses because I am lazy with a drippy paintbrush). It took me an entire week to put on 3 coats of urethane with the standard sanding and wiping down between each coat. 

After the doors and drawers were completed I headed up to the sewing room where we used chunks of 4x4 posts to lift that giant sucker off the ground.  I laid out my painting tarps and proceeded to get three coats of urethane on that as well.  It may not have been warm enough to stay outdoors, but it was warm enough (in the 60s) to open all the windows for both ventilation and help with drying. 
So now that it's all nice and protected with a satiny shine,  we got all the handles and bars screwed on.  The only thing left to do is stain/finish the top.  And the only reason that isn't done is because I haven't decided whether I want to stain it, paint it, or stencil a fancy border on it.  Funny how when the sky is the limit, it's almost too much to comprehend.  The other hang-up on not getting it done is that we need to figure out how to raise/lower the machine into the top.  I think we will get some ideas from the International Quilt Show next week in Chicago. 

I am thrilled that I can finally fill the cabinets and the drawers now.