Just a few quick things to share with you this morning. First of all, I drew the names of the winners for the Autumn Abundance giveaway. I have to say, it was so nice to read about all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes and traditions. Everyone has something special about the day, ranging from candied yams to Szechuan turkey (which I had not heard of), to mac and cheese and all sorts of pie. Traditions run strong in families and it makes the holidays that much more special. Thanks for sharing some of yours!
Here are the giveaway winners:
Kim of Lily Patch Quilts won the fat quarter bundle of Into the Woods fabric. Lucky girl!
Donna won the pair of scrappy leaf shaped pot holders.
Linda won the charm squares with a spool of Aurifil thread.
All three prizes are being mailed to the lucky winners. Thanks so much for participating in the blog hop. It was a lot of fun and I very much enjoyed looking at all of the projects made with the gorgeous fabrics that Paint Brush Studios provided, making our event possible. Thanks so much to Paint Brush Studios!!
Next, I wanted to let you know that C&T Publishers (of which Stash Books is a division) has supplied me with a wonderful coupon code for readers. Between now and Monday, November 7th, just use the code SECRET35 to receive 35% off your entire order. It’s November already – maybe time to do a little holiday shopping?
There are several new books being released in November, two of which have caught my eye.
I Love Precut Quilts has loads of ideas for projects that use charm squares, jelly rolls and layer cakes.
Another new release is Appli-Quilting. I think this book has some cool ideas about incorporating applique with an assembled quilt sandwich and sewing the applique down as a part of the quilting. Click through on the link for some interesting pictures of projects in this book.
Over the weekend I started a fun project. After reading a few posts at Crazy Mom Quilts, I decided to try and make a rag rug using scrappy strings. I have a huge tub of strings, many of which were given to me a couple of years ago by my wonderful neighbor, Reta, just before she moved. I have used this bag of strips so often, yet it seems to remain full. I think they just multiply in there when I am not looking! I am enjoying this and think it will be really sweet when I get it finished.
Today I am heading out to the long arm shop to (finally!) quilt the Harmony quilt for my nephew and his bride. I will be back to show you the results later this week. I am crossing my fingers that it quilts up nicely.
Have a wonderful week!
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.
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!
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.
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.
We are winding up our summer vacation in Maine. The boys left yesterday so they could be ready to get back to their work routines on Monday. We stayed for another couple of days and fly back tomorrow. I feel like we got a good taste of Maine while we were here. We saw a great deal of the southern coastline, spent time in Portland which was very pretty and today we walked Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport. Luckily we took our walk nice and early before the traffic got to be an issue. While walking the coastal road in Kennebunkport we passed St. Anne’s Chapel. It was just breathtaking. (We also saw the Bush compound which was pretty, but not as much as the Chapel.)
Tonight we plan to finish up the trip seeing the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory. Julia and I feel this is an appropriate choice considering we are on a beach vacation.
While we made our way up and down the costal highways I noticed a couple of things that one doesn’t see in California.
First of all, there are many road signs along the highway advertising what are fairly small businesses at the upcoming exits. We saw signs for little antique shops, one sign that advertised ‘used bookshop, next exit’, tons of signs advertising small art studios (especially pottery studios) along the way. California is huge and even when touring back roads and smaller towns, one doesn’t find signs like these. It felt welcoming to me – more personal.
Several times as we drove through neighborhoods, we saw signs that said ‘Deaf Person Area’ and one that said ‘Autism Child Area’. This was really interesting. I haven’t ever seen signs like this anywhere else. It certainly makes sense to let drivers know. (Do any of you have this sort of signage in your area?)
Another difference with highway travel here, as compared to California, is that the signs on the highway showed the distance to the next exit in miles and kilometers. No need for that on the west coast as we don’t really know what a kilometer equals in distance. ?
A warning sign for ‘Moose Crossing’ made me smile. I only saw the one and I was driving at the time so I didn’t get a picture of it. I wish a moose would have peeked out from the trees though. That would have been a treat.
Driving along the highway, some speed limit signs showed both the maximum limit and a minimum. That struck me as odd. ‘Speed limit of 70 mph and minimum speed of 45 mph.’
There were a few times that we drove through areas where road work was being done. In California there would be a bajillion orange cones delineating the work area, starting far from the actual work area. When one approaches the area, there would be guys managing the traffic with walkies, letting cars go through very systematically. It b comes such a production. Much the opposite here, there might be a sign saying road work ahead with a few cones nearby. It seemed so loosely managed (and maybe not quite as safe?) Where California goes overboard, the road work areas in Maine might be too far to the other extreme.
During our travels I had the good fortune to visit a couple of quilt shops. The personality of one shop was quite different from the next. I mentioned the Portsmouth Quilt shop in last week’s post. After that, I went to Whipper Snappers in Hallowell, Maine with my quilty friend Mari but I still haven’t taken pictures of the treasures that I picked up there so I will save that for another post. The third shop was called Attic Heirlooms, located in Damariscotta. This shop was exquisite. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with the owner and the woman she worked with. The emphasis was wool; for quilting, needle punch, knitting, felting, and embroidery. With regard to quilting, her expertise is with appliqué. She dyes quite a bit of the wool and felts it before putting it in the shop for sale.
Did you notice the ceiling? It was so pretty. Also, that amazing selection of buttons. Yikes! I have not done any qulting with wool before but I felt like something with an Americana look would be a fun project to remind me of our trip to Maine. I didn’t want to do a full quilt using wool appliqué but then I saw this shop’s Row by Row project for this summer. (It was actually the third Row by Row project I had seen during our trip and, as with the quilt shops, each row had a very different feel to it.) I bought the pattern and kit for the Attic Heirlooms row which I will use as a runner or a small wall quilt for the winter months. (I don’t think I have ever bought a kit before. It was sort of fun to have everything picked out and put together for me.)
The fabrics are very traditional. I love the log cabin blocks that flank the appliqued house in the center. My very first quilt was a log cabin and I haven’t made one since then. This project will be a quick one to piece but I do plan to spend a bit of time doing some hand work on it. I took advantage of an amazing selection of Perle cotton and bought a few that work with this project. Aren’t these gorgeous?
While I was there I saw a selection of Christmas ornament kits. We almost always buy an ornament for our tree when we travel. This year I will make our souvenir ornament.
The owner of Attic Heirlooms has an ornament of the month kit that can be purchased in the shop or online. She had a handful of leftover kits from previous months in 2015 that could be purchased. This one was from May, 2015. The bird looks like a nuthatch which we see on our feeders at home quite frequently so I chose him. (I made a tiny art quilt featuring a nuthatch some time ago.) This project will have a very rustic feel to it and, luckily, the Pearle cottons I bought will work on this as well as the row by row project.
Finally, I want to share these amazing miniatures that were for sale in the shop. Made by a local woman, they are paper pieced and measure about 1.5 inches finished. My jaw dropped when I looked at them.
Check out the pattern on the back.
I can’t even imagine. They were very, very small and ever so precise. Judging by the many on display in this shop, the artist is quite prolific.
Let’s leave the talk about the other two quilt shops for another post. I don’t want to overwhelm you with quilt shop excitement! ? As much as I have enjoyed our vacation, it will be good to head back to California tomorrow to our home sweet home!
Linking to a few of my usuals. Please check out some of the links found at the top of the page, under Link Ups!
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!
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!
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 Craftsy.com 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. 🙂
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. 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!