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Vintage Heaven

It’s finished! The bed in my sewing room is currently sporting a gorgeous quilt made of vintage sheets that I have collected, thrifted and received as gifts over the past two years. I love it and the springlike, feminine look it brings to the sewing room. I am calling this one “Romantical” which is how one loyal reader described it when I posted last week. What a cute word.

yellow picture edited

Quilting this  went so fast since I did straight line quilting on both diagonals of the quilt. Because I was stitching across seven inch squares, it was not a problem to just eyeball it. No marking made for very fast stitching. For a short time I considered quilting only one of the diagonals. But it was finished so fast and quickly became evident that it really wanted to be quilted in both directions.
After receiving such helpful input on selecting the binding via comments on last week’s post, I went with the pink striped binding. I debated cutting the binding strips on the bias since I had enough fabric to do so. But that would have created some waste so I decided against it. Look at it though! It looks great, especially next to the squares of the same fabric. I had another one of those fortunate occurrences when the fabrics line up just so, as though I worked diligently to make it happen. But you and I both know me better than that. Happy coincidence!

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Do you see the sweet backing I used? It was a queen size flat sheet that was brand new. The little floral is so pretty and works well with the binding too.

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My quilt model and I went outside to take some photos. It was mid-afternoon and the sun was a bit too bright. The pictures are fun even though the colors of the quilt look a bit washed out.


My model was in rare form so I took advantage.


This was such a simple and satisfying project. Having a quick finish like this has left me in the mood to tackle something that takes a bit more thought. My nephew is getting married in September so I think a quilt is in order for him and his bride. I have a couple of months to work on it which is plenty of time. I have two stacks of fabric pulled and I keep deliberating between them. I’ll show you the pull once I make some decisions.

Thanks to all who left comments on yesterday’s post about social media. It made for good discussion. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Linking today with my favorites, Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Links to both can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.


oops (1)

Hi Everyone –

This morning a post that I had written earlier was accidentally published. It was a tutorial for reusable lunch bags. I wrote the post and then did some research and found out that the cloth I used for the bags was NOT food safe. So I unscheduled the post because I was working to find a different fabric to use. I planned to update the post with new photos and the new information but somehow it published early this morning. I am not sure how that happened but to my surprise, there it was first thing this morning!  Darn it. 🙁

At any rate, do not use oil cloth for this type of project. It is NOT food safe. I am on the hunt for fabric that will work but it is a challenge. I know it exists but I don’t know that it is available for retail sale. If anyone know of any, I would hugely appreciate it if you left a comment with the information.

Thanks for your understanding. I apologize for the accidental post!



It’s Our Special Day!


Because it just isn’t enough that we celebrate quilting on a daily basis with our online community, we honor it today with National Quilting Day!  I hope you are finding a few minutes to sew or, at the very least, take some time to curl up with a quilt today!

2015 Wrap Up

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday. Christmas was lovely. The weather forecast called for a white Christmas and we were all excited – it’s been years since we had snow for Christmas. However, the forecast missed the mark and all we got was a lot of hail and ice. Oh well….  maybe next year.

Now that things are calmer, it is a good time to look back at the year and celebrate quilting achievements and successes. As usual, at this time of year, it is amazing how the year flew by. Recording projects and events via this blog makes it so easy to remember the course of the year. It is satisfying to take a peek back and see all that was actually accomplished.


For example, I made:

  •  Five mini quilts, from start to finish, including my first fabric challenge project and my first swap on Instagram.
  • Two tablerunners and three pillows.
  • Finished four quilt tops that I pieced in 2014.
  • Pieced and finished two baby quilts.
  • Pieced and finished three lap size quilts.
  • Pieced two quilt tops, a baby quilt and the Kaffe Fassett strip quilt, both of which need to be completed.
  • All of the rows for my Classic BOM quilt – they are not yet sashed and pieced into a top though.
  • Numerous small projects that were intended to give me areas on which to practice my FMQ skills.
  • One very, very, very fluffy yellow bathrobe!
  • 14-ish (?) little handmade Christmas gifts this year (which I will post more about in a few days.)
  • I also had 80 Etsy sales, of which approximately 65 of those were handmade items.

My sewing machine was well attended this year! Most importantly, I enjoyed just about every minute of it. Spending so much time in the sewing room improved my skills. Specifically, my accuracy in piecing and my efficiency over all. I did a lot of chain piecing which was surprisingly helpful. This is not to say I didn’t have my fair share of fails either. But who wants to dwell on the negative?? As long as I learn from the mistake and don’t repeat it… very often!

In addition to all of the sewing, I spent a fair amount of time at the computer blogging. In fact, this post is my 99th post for 2015 (and due to my fondness of round numbers, I will definitely post again this week to even it out to 100 for the year!!) Looking back at the posts I wrote, I have a short list of favorites. I am fond of these posts either because of the quilty project they recorded, the discussion that resulted, or the event that is represented.

A Finish with a Flange; This post shows the quilt I made for my sister Patti to wrap her up and support her while she endured chemo for breast cancer.

Love and Good Luck Rolled Up in a Quilt;   This post tells the story of two amazing people who journeyed to India to have their baby, via a surrogate mom. I am so happy for them and I loved making a little quilt for their child. It was also one of the first times that I used thread sketching on a project which was very satisfying!

No Easy Solution;  This was a discussion about and their ability to sell for lower prices, shopping online vs in brick and mortar shops, and Craftsy’s decision to sell their own fabric line.  While it wasn’t an earth-shaking piece of writing, I completely enjoyed hearing the input everyone left in the comments.

Finally, New Quilt Blogger Bloghop; This one was more about the experience than the actual post. Being relatively new to the blogging arena, joining this group last summer was a great experience. I met many great bloggers and we all supported each other as we worked to improve our blogging skills. Led by four awesome bloggers, I learned a great deal. There were opportunities to participate in other projects that our leaders put together which made for a very rich experience.

Yes, 2015 was a productive year in which I learned so much. I am looking forward to the new year and hope to work out a plan of what I hope to accomplish during 2016. I would love to hear what you most enjoyed sewing in 2015. What is your favorite accomplishment? What new skill did you work on? Share in the comments!

Linking to Meadow Mist Designs today. Cheryl is hosting a ‘Best of’ link party for bloggers to share some of their favorite posts from 2015. Hop over and take a peak. I certainly plan to. 🙂


10 Quilty Secrets

I have had a lot of fun reading through the posts that are cropping up in the quilty blog world titled 10 Quilty Secrets.  It is so funny to read everyone’s true confessions.  Here are my deepest, darkest quilty secrets. secrets badge 1. I have absolutely no interest in hand quilting any of my projects. Or hand piecing for that matter.

2. I am not a fan of hexagons and don’t see myself using them in any quilts.

3. I am afraid of paper piecing.  My brain just doesn’t really get it.  I read the directions and think, “what??” (I need to force myself to work on this because I like so many of the paper pieced projects that I see out there.)

4. Quilt math scares me. Like I wouldn’t want to rely on my math to actually buy yardage for a project.  Isn’t that why there are computer programs to do that though??

5. I have pinned more than a lifetime’s worth of quilting projects on Pinterest and I cannot stop.  CANNOT.

6. What is the deal with Liberty Fabrics?  Am I missing something because I just don’t love them like the rest of the world does.

7. My stash is predominantly shades of green. Lots and lots of green.

8. I always thought I would only work on one project at a time. (I secretly scoffed those who have 29 million WIPS in their sewing room.) I no longer scoff.

9. A year ago I had no idea what low volume and high volume fabrics were.

10. I try to like wonky piecing but honest and truly, I just don’t like it.  I think I am supposed to but it isn’t working for me.

11.  Bonus confession:  I am my own worst critic (that isn’t unusual though.) I always find fault with my work so I never enter it in any sort of competition.  Cannot stand the idea of some judge picking it apart.  It is bad enough that I pick it apart!!

And now you know it all! I feel so relieved to have gotten this out into the open. Linking to 13 Spools as she is the start of all of this!

Guest Post

Today I had the honor of hosting Sew Cute Tuesday for Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts.  She is taking a little time with her kiddos this week and wanted some help.  Check it out here.  If you want to link up your work, this is such a fun, supportive place to do that on Tuesdays!  Take a look at all of the gorgeous work that is shared at Sew Cute Tuesday.


A gift to cherish

I received a really special gift in the mail a few weeks ago.  It was from my middle child, Kyle, who now lives in Chicago.  We had been talking and emailing about the idea of my starting this blog.  I had explained what I wanted to do with it and had told him the name. He liked the story of how NeedleandFoot came about (which was blogged here).

Kyle has been teaching himself to carve over the past year or so.  He has made some pretty amazing items. He lives in a 4th floor apartment near the University of Chicago and has relegated a small corner of his living room to be his workshop. After talking about the story behind NeedleandFoot, he decided to carve something to commemorate the beginning of this blog.  He called me on Mother’s Day and told me that he was working on something and it would be mailed out shortly. I was thrilled to receive this handmade pincushion in the mail about a week later.


shoe pic 3

The shoe is reminds me of the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker. He carved it out of basswood and it looks just like an old fashioned shoe.  I love the details such as the heel and the look of the boot having been worn and conformed to the foot. He then made a pincushion out of a really heavy muslin.  (He hand sewed it since he doesn’t have a machine.) He lettered the name of my blog on the cushion. I believe he is in the hopes that I will use it as it is intended rather than tossing pins all over the floor for my wonderful husband to step on.  This was such a cool gift. So far it hasn’t migrated into my messy sewing room yet and I have yet to stick one pin into it.  It sits in the living room where it can be admired by others. I will treasure it always.


Linkin up to Anything Goes Monday at Stitch by Stitch and Show and Tell Tuesday at The Ties That Bind as well as Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.

First a little story….

I have a quick story to tell.  On Saturday I had to go to our hospital lab for a routine blood draw.  I had to fast so I was there first thing in the morning (I’m not big on fasting). I got in and out of the lab with relative speed and was just leaving the parking lot when something caught my eye.  There was a mama quail leading her six chicks across a parking space.  If you haven’t ever seen quail chicks, they are very tiny.  Here is a photo that I found here to show you how tiny the chicks are. This is the size of the covey that I saw.


When the mama got to the curb, she jumped up to the sidewalk to lead them to a bush (for safety I would imagine.)  The chicks just stayed put on the road.  She looked back at them as though calling them to her.  None of them moved.  They couldn’t yet fly and couldn’t jump the curb as she did.  Here is the amazing part. (I wish I had taken pictures but I didn’t want to get out of the car and get close, they were already having enough difficulty without my scaring them).  The mama jumped back down and went back to her chicks.  She then led them to a nearby speedbump which they all walked up to the top of.  From there they were up high enough and could jump the curb and follow her to safety under the bushes.  It was amazing and so sweet to watch.  I love witnessing little parts of nature like this.

And on to the subject at hand…. This quilting obsession has come over me in a slightly overwhelming fashion. My evenings are now spent reading quilting blogs (there are so many incredibly talented quilters out there that have wonderful blogs), cruising around Pinterest pinning myriad quilts, tutorials, quilt blocks, inspirational art quilts, quilt backs and borders, free motion patterns and tips. The wealth of quilting information to be found through Pinterest is never-ending. (Follow me here.) If I am not on my iPad reading about quilting, I am at the sewing machine working on something. I didn’t use to be this way. I used to have balance in my life! This quilty obsession sneaks up on a person, takes over slowly and before you know it, you’re hooked. Here’s how I remember it:
About three years ago I was wandering around our small downtown area in the Sierra Foothills town of Grass Valley. My daughter and I were window shopping and I walked by a little fabric store (sadly it is no longer open – it was a great shop.) In front of the store there was a small display of about 20 bolts of fabric that were on sale. A set of fabrics in various shades of turquoise and browns caught my eye. We kept walking but when I got home I kept thinking of that fabric. (It all comes down to the fabrics, right?) It was on sale, couldn’t do too much harm to go back and purchase some, could it? (I had no idea!) I got it into my head to make a quilt for my queen size bed. I had made a few quilts way back when (another story for another post) and thought maybe it would be fun to try making one again. I drew a basic design with six inch squares, a border, and some binding. With limited knowledge (no pattern, no knowledge of all the blogs and tutorials that could have helped me) I began. I bought the fabric, estimating what I needed as best I could. No surprise that I had too much of some and not enough of other prints.
I started to cut my squares. No rotary cutter, no mat, no ruler. Yikes. I had a t-square, scissors and a pencil. I sat on the floor at the coffee table and hacked away at that fabric. Surprisingly, the squares were consistent for the most part. I sewed the top together; that was the easy part. I had no idea what to do next. I made my very first trip to our LQS and was immediately befriended by the owner. She said to “stitch in the ditch”. She explained how to make a quilt sandwich and how to roll the sides up so I could quilt it on my home sewing machine and off I went. Quilting it was arduous and frustrating. Stuffing that queen sized quilt through the small throat on my Janome was not easy. But I finished it. I was so proud of it.


Once I finished that quilt I kept thinking about how fun it was and that I wanted to do more, to learn something more than “stitching in the ditch”. I saw a post on the website of our LQS advertising a beginner’s free motion quilting class. I signed up. Looking at the supply list, I realized that I was somewhat out of my comfort zone. Listed as necessary were a darning foot and a walking foot for the sewing machine. I had no idea what these were; I only knew I didn’t own either one. After googling both of them I was able to order the items. I showed up for class and had so much fun. My machine was less than cooperative as were my hands. It was awkwardly reminiscent of being in 3rd grade and trying to learn to write in cursive. One of the hand-outs that I received in this class included a list of internet quilting resources. (Now that I consider it, this list was really the beginning of the craze.)
As I started checking out each of the sites that were listed, one thing led to another. This whole new quilting language became a part of my daily reading. Fat quarters? Charm squares? Block of the month? Half square triangles, paper piecing, and flying geese? Low volume, high volume and blenders? Quilt alongs? Blog hops, shop hops, giveaways? Quilting styles, both traditional and modern; especially the clean lines of the modern quilts!! It was madness and I loved all of it. Looking at the gorgeous quilts posted on Flickr was (and still is) inspirational. I have absolutely become obsessed with the process, the fabrics, the design and the resulting quilt. It is a blast.
It is my goal to use this blog to journal my progress as a quilter, share information I have found useful, and to make some friends in the quilting world. Hope you’ll enjoy my blog and will come back to visit!

Needle and How the name came to be.

Several weeks ago my oldest son and daughter-in-law were here for a weekend visit. They live in Delaware so we don’t see too much of them.  I treasure the times when my kids are at home. Anyway, we were talking about my quilting craze and started discussing the idea of a website to be used to journal my quilting projects.  Andrew is my go-to guy for technical help and he was willing to help me get something going. As we talked, we were trying to think of names for my proposed site.  Andrew was looking up our ideas to see if the domain was available.  My husband joined the conversation and said, “you ought to call it Needle In Foot”, with more than a bit of sarcasm in his voice.

Why is it that if there is a pin or needle on the ground, he is the one to step on it and get that surprising poke in the foot? I am in my sewing room on a daily basis. I have never stepped on a pin.  He comes in now and then to see how I am doing in there.  If a pin is on the floor, he is the one to step on it.  This also happened when I was a teenager sewing at my childhood home.  At that time, the sewing machine was kept in my parents’ bedroom.  I am one of six girls and most of us were interested in sewing.  There was always someone on that machine. Again, sooo many pins on the floor.  It never failed that my father would be the one to step on a pin and get that poke in the foot.

At any rate, I laughed when he suggested the name.  But the more I said it, the more I liked it.  ‘Needle In Foot’ soon became Needle & Foot. I love the reference to the presser foot on the machine as well as my foot that is constantly keeping the needle in motion.  The picture on the banner of the website shows the presser foot and needle on an antique sewing machine that I have.  It belonged to my boys’ great-grandmother, Ada. It is in beautiful shape and still sews a straight seam.  Andrew took the picture for me and I love it.

That’s the history of the site thus far! I am looking forward to journaling the projects I am working on and sharing them with other quilters.