10-Minute Table Runner Test

I picked up a 10-minute table runner kit from the quilt shop's clearance bin and I thought I would test it out. Does it really take just 10 minutes? I was going to find out. 

I felt a little like I was cheating because the fabrics were already cut in the kit. I did remeasure to make sure they were correct so I guess that could count towards the time I saved by using these precut pieces. 

The first step was to sew the pieces together to make a long tube. Then flip it right side out and press so that the feature fabric was in the center.

Then I had to trim the uneven edges off, fold the runner in half and stitch along the cut edge.

Then I had to iron the seam flat.

Once flipped over after pressing the seam the runner looked like this.

At this point the instructions suggest an embellishment to hold the fabric down once folded over. I didn't do that. I think I would like it better if I did some free motion quilting on it which I will do another time. (I don't like to put the free motion foot on my machine until I have more than once project to quilt.)

According to the clock this project took a total of 14 minutes. I guess I will have to work faster next time.


What's on the design board?

I finished my Button Collection quilt top and it's currently on the longarmer. I don't know when I will quilt it - hopefully soon but I'm just not motivated to do it today. I decided to take the leftover jelly roll strips from that quilt and make a second quilt. This one is called Pencil Line. It just happens to use the same amount of 2 and a half inch strips that I have left. I guess it was meant to be haha.

I have all the prints sewn together and I am working on the background now. I don't have enough fabric for the background so I will have to pick up some more next time I'm at the shop. But I will get as far as I can with what I have. 

I am enjoying the beginning of fall so I thought I would take photos from around the yard as it is today. The flowers are too pretty to compost so I won't be doing any fall decorating this week. Maybe after the first frost when everything wilts.


September Client Quilts


Big Charmer by Tula Pink
The only projects I quilted for others this month are these two shop samples. 

The first one is a Tula Pink quilt. The pattern is called Big Charmer and it is free from Free Spirit Fabrics. You can download it here

I used an all-over pantograph called Rhythm that gives it a nice effect.

The second one uses a fabric collection called All Hallows' Eve by Moda. The pattern is a sampler called Witches Night Out by It's Sew Emma and Fig

Witches Night Out by It's Sew Emma

Tree & Co. It is gorgeous. I used a modern pumpkin pantograph called Pumpkin Patch for the quilting


Fall Fest at Hillside Coffee House

My friend Rose owns a coffee shop here in Oak Creek and she decided to have a fall fest on Saturday, September 26th. She asked me if I wanted to set up a booth with my quilts at the event and I said yes.  This was my very first outdoor event and although I attended indoor craft fairs in the past, this one made me nervous since I did not have an outdoor tent and I don't usually sell quilts, just small crafts.

Instead of borrowing a tent from a friend or relative, I decided to purchase a commercial tent like the ones I see at our local farmers' market. Since I was setting up the day before the event I wanted to make sure the tent had 4 sidewalls to close up overnight. Once it was delivered, I set it up to make sure I knew how and to figure out a layout. 

It was bigger than I had anticipated which was nice. I guess I was thinking about the 8x8 foot indoor spaces without considering that these were 10x10-what a difference!  I asked my husband to build me a portable quilt rack and he whipped one up in an afternoon. It's so nice to have a handyman around. I wish I would have taken a photo of his finished work but I did not. I was a lot less nervous once I finished my mock set-up. 

Now all I have to worry about is making some items to sell - haha!

The day of the fair was amazing. The weather was perfect, there were so many people that there were times when I actually had a line of customers waiting to check out. What a successful day! My homemade quilt rack is on the left side of the tent, I hung 6 quilts on it safely where people could yank on them and/or easily take them off to view without injury - thank goodness. I also whipped up a Sunshine Sews sign. It was fun to make.

I had an amazing time and hope that Rose will do this kind of thing again. I loved every minute of it. 


Prepping For an Art Fair

I've been pretty busy getting ready for my first outdoor art fair. I've ordered a commercial pop-up canopy and I've we've been going to antique sales to find props for by booth. So far, I've purchased a stainless steel egg crate and a metal shopping cart. I can't wait to see if I can make them into anything fun.

I've been trying to make some extra table runners to sell so I thought I would try to efficiently load them on the longarmer. I sewed 5 different backings together and loaded them on the machine. 

Then I cut the batting to size for the first table runner and quilted it onto the backing. I just rolled the finished table runner around the quilt frame bar until I got to the second backing. I quilted each table runner this way using a different quilting design for each one. It was so fun and worked out great. 

All that was left to do after they were quilted was to cut them apart and bind them. It was easy peasy. 

I think I will use this technique again with Christmas table runners. 

Ribbon Star Quilt

I finished the Ribbon Star Quilt today. I planned on making this quilt top at my monthly church group sew days that happen the second Saturday of each month - except for a pandemic got in the way of that. I let the unfinished quilt sit in my travel bag for months with the hope that we would get together sometime soon. After 6 months of letting it sit, I couldn't stand it anymore. I just had to finish it. 

The pattern is from Missouri Star. I have to admit, I am not a fan of their patterns. The instructions are vague - I wish they would tell you what size to square blocks up to and which direction to press seams but they don't. You would think by now I could figure those things out myself but no.

I used a jelly roll from my stash and some white fabric for the background. The tricky part was that I had no matching border or backing fabrics. So I found something close at the shop and I think it worked out pretty well. 


What's on the design board?

This is how my design board looks. There's not much progress from last month. There's just too much summer going on, haha. The Button Collection is progressing as I expected.

It's been raining like crazy here so the creek looks like this.

Isn't it pretty? I love my backyard.

I've been experimenting with new cocktails all summer long. Since the pandemic, we don't go out to dinner anymore so I've had to become my own bartender. I've discovered a cocktail I really like. It's called the Pink Seniorita and it is delicious. 

Here is the recipe: 

Lemon wedge, for rimming glasses
Coarse salt, for rimming glasses
2 cups ice (I use crushed ice)
2 1/4 cups pink lemonade
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup triple sec
1 cup tequila
4 lemon slices, for garnish

Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of 4 glasses, then dip rim into the salt.
In a pitcher, add 1 cup of the ice, pink lemonade, lemon juice, triple sec, and tequila. Stir to combine.
Pour the cocktail mixture over ice in each glass.
Serve with a lemon slice for the garnish.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. It's a refreshing summer treat.


August Client Quilts

I met with my friend Cindy to pick up her quilting projects to longarm. It was nice to meet up with her and get caught up on each others' lives. She had a baby quilt for me to longarm that she needed for a baby shower in a few weeks and she had a charity quilt that she was donating to the PKD fund raiser that she is involved in every September. I've quilted her PKD quilts for her over that last few years. This one was really big and very pretty. These were the first quilts I've done in a while that had a real deadline.

I also quilted a project for the shop. This one is a table topper and matching placemats. They will be shown at the fall preview party next week. 

I also quilted a little girl's quilt for a client who plans on gifting it to one of her nieces. 

That's it for August quilting. We are planning a big end of summer vacation/birthday bash for our granddaughter, Avery since we can't take her to Disney World. I would rather have a quilting deadline than a party planning deadline - haha!


Giant Hexagon Quilt

I finished the hexagon quilt today. I'm not sure what I will do with it now. It might become a charity quilt for church since I don't think it is cute enough for Quilts for Kids. Isn't this a great photo of the quilt via the pergola - ok it's really a great shot of just the pergola - haha!

I don't know what it is about the colors in this quilt, but I can't take a photo that does it justice. So I just want to mention that the free tutorial I used to make it is called the Giant Hexagon Quilt tutorial and you can find it here.

I brought my scroll saw up from the basement so I could cut out a dinosaur from a piece of wood we got at the Makers' Faire last year. There was a guy who had a full sized set up of Owen's Jeep from Jurassic World and he was dressed like Owen. My granddaughter is crazy in love with everything Jurassic World so it was fun to see her reaction to the display. The man was impressed with Chloe's extreme interest in everything he was saying so he gave her the wood with the dinosaur template on it. 

I cut the dinosaur out and hopefully I can convince her to get involved by sanding and painting it however she would like. Maybe she can draw more dinosaurs and we can cut them out together - that would be fun.


Who has time to sew?

The garden is flourishing and I can't seem to keep up with all the vegetables. But it's not for the lack of trying. 

This week I:

Canned 2 cases of salsa.

Froze many spring rolls.

Made stewed tomatoes.

Made a pitcher of fresh squeezed lemonade.

I wouldn't change a thing.

But I am sewing these:

It's making my partner tired.


Sewing Machine Sale

Working at the quilt shop, I see some things close up that I would've never noticed before. Like how desperate people are to have a sewing machine these days. Since the pandemic, more people are sewing masks and they are dragging out old machines from attics and basements. The quilt shop is very behind in sewing machine repair because of all these machines. And reasonably priced machines are hard to come by. They are sold out everywhere. 

With that in mind, I decided to sell my Janome Jem Platinum. I've had it for about 5 years and it just sits in a travel bag. I bought it to take to retreats and discovered I wasn't that fond of the machine. It is very lightweight which is good for travel but for use, I like a heavy duty machine. So I rarely used the machine. It is in perfect condition and I feel like I can get it to someone who really needs a machine. 

I listed the machine on Craig's List and on Facebook Marketplace. In less than 5 minutes I had 6 offers to purchase. I made arrangements to meet my buyer at a local farmers' market held at Milaeger's garden center. As I waited to make the sale, I perused the discounted patio furniture. Since it's the end of season the prices were very good - even for high end furniture like the stuff found here. 

Wouldn't you know it? I found a perfect table at a perfect price. I took a photo and sent it to my husband while I waited. We have 4 iron chairs that we picked up at the Habitat for Humanity store and we really needed a table. This was exactly what we needed.

Once I made the sale, I turned around and purchased the table. What luck! It was a perfect day to be at Milaeger's and I hope I made someone happy who needed a sewing machine. 


What's on the design board?

I started a quilt called Button Collection. I fell in love with the quilt on the cover of Quilts & More Magazine and I knew I had to make one. I chose Tula Pink's True Colors fabric collection to use in this quilt. I know August will be very busy with vegetable harvesting happening all month so I won't overestimate the amount of time I will spend working on it. No pressure, haha!

Here are the first few completed blocks. So far so good, right?

I made a few more masks last week. I swore I wouldn't make more but now that school is going to start up in a month there seems to be a greater need again. I sure hope this won't continue for much longer. 


July Client Quilts

This month's quilting for clients includes a second Minion quilt - I had quilted a different one for the same person a while back. I did make sure not to use the same quilting design so they each had their own personality. 

The other items I quilted included 3 table runners. 

My husband had his own project to complete. The quilt shop is getting an new look. Karin, the manager decided to buy many white Billy bookcases from Ikea to replace the old brown shelves in the shop. The Billy comes with 6 shelves and you can only use 4 in order to accommodate the height of the fabric bolts. So Karin went to Home Depot and purchased white laminated wood pieces that were 6 feet long to use as bookcase sides. She needed someone to take the leftover Ikea Billy shelves and attach them to the Home Depot pieces and make more bookcases. My husband completed 6 of them over the course of a weekend. He really enjoyed making them.