One Fabulous Finish!

I’m so excited to finally have this one done.  It’s one of the most challenging quilts I’ve ever made and the most rewarding.  Project list down 1!


Advanced Saturday Sampler

Sampler Magic: A Sampler Quilt by Lori Smith

Here is a close-up of the quilting:

Quilting on Ad SSS



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Don’t like a shirt?….make it a cardigan!

So today I was getting ready to put laundry away, and I picked up a shirt to hang in the closet.  “I really hate this shirt, I should probably give it away.  I wish it was a cardigan, then I’d like it…..well, why not??”  Thus began another sewing adventure!

First, I started by pinning the side seams at the neck and waist together so that I could get a straight cut up the front of the shirt.  I ironed the fold this made to make cutting easier and more accurate.  Then I just cut right on the ironed line.

After cutting, I then folded over 1/4″ of the edge on each side and ironed them flat.


Then I folded over that fold (just like hemming something!) and ironed again.


I secured the ironed edge with wonder clips.  I probably should have used the small ones I just got in my SewSampler box.


Then I sewed just on the edge of the fold and about 1/8″ away from the edge.


After securing threads, I have a wonderful new cardigan to wear to work!  The best part is, unlike store bought ones, it’s not see-through or lace!!  Thus, as a teacher, I can use one of these and be able to wear some of my dressier tank tops to work and still look professional and appropriate.

I ended up making three, and plans for a few more are in the works.

After all of this fun, I finally finished my Advanced Second Saturday Sampler by putting on the label tonight.  Will do a post tomorrow with pictures!


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Oh how time flies….

Is it really August already?!?!  My how summer has flown.  Life has been busy here with working on spring cleaning, visiting family, and other tasks.  I’ve gotten a little sewing done as well.

First, I’ve finished the quilting on the Advanced Sampler, Yay!!  It’s about 7/8 done with hand-stitching the binding down.  Since I got that done, I decided to start quilting the next one, Constellation by Deb Tucker.  Ended up making some “Frakenbatting” as some would call it.  Can’t believe how nicely it sewed together.  I used a 4.0 stitch width and 2.0 stitch length (zig-zag, of course).  I think the key was trimming the sides of the strips straight using a ruler and my rotary cutter.


I also decided to try to make some of those clothesline coasters.  I bought 100ft of cotton clothesline from True Value and just cut up an old sheet into 2 1/2″ strips.  I followed the basic steps that Man Sewing sets up in their tutorial, found here.

Here’s what I came up with:

The biggest issue I had was fitting the coil under my presser foot.  There was NO WAY it was going under the normal one so I decided to use my adjustable FMQ foot and see if it would work.  I had to raise it as high as it would go and use the 1/4″ echoing foot with it.  The nice part about the echoing foot was that it “smashed” the coil down as it went.

July also brought me my first Sew Sampler box!  I was pretty excited to get it and was a little sad when it took over a week to get here after it shipped.  Apparently FQS had tried a new shipping method that obviously did not work.  I’m looking forward to seeing what comes in August.

That’s all for now, happy quilting!

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Some progress is better than no progress!

Another beautiful summer day here and I’m very tempted to skip the sewing room and get out in the sunshine.  Here’s my progress over the last week or so:

Moda Blockheads:

I skipped Block 10 for now and I did make a pieced version for Block 7, but forgot to take a picture.

365 Challenge:

These blocks are for April 18th-30th.  I was hoping to catch up on these faster.  However, with the larger block size now and all of the tiny pieces, finishing more than one block in a day is becoming challenging.

Scrap Storage:

Still working on cutting up my scraps.  Though I have made it through 4 baskets now!  5 to go (3 with large pieces that will pry not need to be cut). I was cutting up leftover triangles into squares–which was taking forever!  Then, I realized that I could cut the triangles to size and make scrappy 1/2 square triangles.  So, here I am using my Tucker Trimmer tool to do just that.


Still sewing away on the advanced sampler.  I’ve got one whole side out to the edge of the quilt.  Not sure I’m liking my design choices right now, but we will see when I’m all done.  Definitely not liking the roller method for sandwiching the quilt–there are so many folds/creases/etc on the back of this quilt and I found them too late for me to want to rip out my stitches.


Happy Quilting!

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One step forward and two steps back…

My time flies when you are having fun!!  Really enjoying my summer and my time to do what I want.  I’ve been working on cutting up my scraps, all sorts of projects, FMQing the sampler quilt, and just generally enjoying myself.

Here is my latest completed quilt:

Perfectly Seasoned

I call it Perfectly Seasoned after the fabric line it is made with (border and binding are different).  The pattern is the Super Easy Hourglass by M*.  Pretty happy to check another one off….

…..until I found two more hanging out in the closet!!! GRRRRRR  They are baby quilt projects I started with my students this year in Geometry class.  We learn about tessellations near the end of the year and we use quilting to further explore them.  Each group of students was given 4 basic quilt blocks.  They then could use as many of them as they wanted to design a 4 x 4 block quilt.  We then expanded the quilts to 8 x 8 blocks.  The students have already sewn most of the blocks; I just need to put them together, quilt, and bind them.

So, my work at lowering my project count continues…

Happy Quilting!!

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Yay!  The UFO count gets to go down by 2!

The first quilt is a Turning Twenty designed by Tricia Cribbs.  This quilt was originally started for someone else who is no longer a part of my life.  Haven’t decided what to do with this one yet.







One thing I did learn–I will never do binding without using Wonder Clips again.  It goes so much faster and my left hand isn’t as sore. Already working on the 3rd finish–binding another quilt.


The second one is a Halloween table runner using the Zig Zag Charm Pack pattern from M* (Missouri Star Quilt Company).  Find the M* YouTube video here or you can visit the M* Tutorial website.  This one’s been sitting in the projects pile just waiting for ends to be buried!

20170620_120219 Happy Quilting!!

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More Scraps!

So, the other day I was thinking, “I should clean up my sewing room a bit.”  Well, that always leads to me re-organizing the sewing room.  This time, that led me to finding the many places I am currently storing scraps.  I found fabrics I didn’t even remember I had!  Which started a plan to organize all of my scraps.  First, I am cutting down all of the smaller and odd-shaped scraps into quickly usable pieces of the following sizes.

  • 1″
  • 1 1/2″
  • 2″
  • 2 1/2″
  • 3″
  • 3 1/2″
  • 4″
  • 4 1/2″
  • 5″
  • 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″

Small baskets for easy sorting during the cutting process.

All of these scraps are then going into plastic tubs labeled with the appropriate size.


Any pieces that are strips longer than 12″ are getting rolled and tied with scrap fabric.  I have one basket for 2 1/2″ strips and one for any other size strip.  I figure the 2 1/2″ strips will be great for a scrap binding someday or even binding for smaller projects.  Most of them are, in fact, leftover binding strips.

Any pieces big enough to get a couple of 6 1/2″ squares out of or fabrics I just don’t want to cut into smaller pieces are getting placed in a 3-drawer wheeled cart.  The fabric is split into small, medium, and large pieces.  I have no size rules for this, I’m just going by what I think is best.

Hopefully, this will make scrap quilting easier and keep me from having several baskets full of unruly scraps throughout the sewing room.  Speaking of which….I still have 4 baskets left….better get busy!



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Progress 6/14/17

Hello Readers!

I’ve been busy sewing away the days of summer vacation.  It is SOOOOO nice!  Don’t worry, I’m still making time to get out as well!

First, I’ve been working on catching up on Moda Blockheads.  I decided the day before I started this blog to start those.  So, here are blocks 1-5, as well as alt 4.  #modablockheads


Click here to go to the Facebook group for Moda Blockheads to get the patterns.  Also, be sure to check out all of the designer’s websites.

I’ve also been working on my 365 Challenge.  I’m currently on April 20th.  I started last year…..I’ll catch up eventually!  Since I took so long, I’m only 2 months behind now!  😀

Here’s the link to the 365 Challenge homepage.


Next, sashing strips for my Plain & Fancy quilt, designed by Wendy Sheppard.


Also working on making blocks for my Second Saturday Sampler BOM from 14-15.  This is one huge quilt!  There are alternate blocks that look different from these Triple Irish Chain ones.  I have two other quilts made from the same base blocks to get working on.  They are presents however, so I won’t show them here until they are gifted.


Finally, still working on FMQing the sampler quilt and have two quilts waiting for me to hand-stitch the binding down.  So, hopefully sometime next week the UFO count will go down!

Until then, happy quilting everyone!





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Learning a new basting method

It’s been a busy week of sewing here.  I’ve worked on several projects and made progress on many of them.  In doing so, I happened to uncover another UFO.  A block I was hand sewing just to see how it worked, so UFO count up to 45.

I also spent some time on YouTube this week and found this awesome basting idea.  You can watch the video here.  In the video Jeanne Harrison explains how she’s used PVC pipe and pipe insulation to create rollers to baste her quilt.  I decided to try out her idea, but with some modifications.

She uses 1′ pieces of PVC with 3′ sections of pipe insulation.  I was worried that when I tried to roll the quilt up the PVC & insulation would bend at all the join points.  So, I bought 6–3′ PVC sections and 3–4′ PVC sections.  The pipe insulation did not come in a package at my hardware store, so I had to buy 6′ tubes and cut them myself.

I put 3′ sections of insulation on each 4′ PVC pipe with 6″ of pipe showing on each side.  Then I put 3′ sections of insulation on each 3′ PVC pipe with 6″ of pipe showing on one side and 6″ of empty insulation on the other.  This made a total of 9 rollers.  Then, I joined one 4′ roller with a 3′ roller to make a 7′ roller.  I made 3 of them.  Then I used two extra 3′ rollers to make a 6′ roller.  (The three extra 3′ rollers are meant to be extensions if I ever need 10′ for a quilt.)



This is actually after I finished basting, but you can see the rollers best here.  I used the 4th roller on the other side to roll up the already pinned quilt.


After that, I followed what the video said.  I rolled my backing, batting, and quilt top on separate rollers.  The line on the pipe insulation is, in fact, very useful for keeping things straight.  Everything went smoothly until I had to roll the backing.  I ended up rolling it about 6-7 times before I could get it to roll evenly.



Rolling and pinning the batting.


Then basting went rather smoothly, though it felt like it took forever!



Just getting started.


In fact, it took just a little over 2 hours to get it pin basted.



Almost finished!


The back looked slightly more wrinkled than it normally does when I use masking tape to tape the backing to the kitchen floor.  For next time, I think I’m going to by some wooden dowels to put inside the PVC pipe to keep the joints from bending.  They did, just like I thought they would.


Then, I finally got to put it on the machine and get to FMQing!


The quilt pictured is Sampler Magic: A Sampler Quilt by Lori Smith.

Happy quilting!  I’d love to hear if you try this out and how it works for you.



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Six Years of Scraps

After seeing a bean bag cube project online at The Ochre Elephant, I decided to make one of my own.  I’ve been thinking it would be cool for years to make something like this for my classroom as my students love to sit in random places around the room.  I’ve been saving scraps pretty much since I began quilting for just this purpose.  So, I happily started working on making the cube.


I modified the sizes from the one on The Ochre Elephant.  My cube is 15″ x 15″ x 15″ as I wanted it to be tall enough for an adult to comfortably sit on it.  Also, I only had a 9″ zipper available so the two side pieces are to make the 6th square with the zipper in the middle.

I was pretty proud of myself when I started, that I remembered how to place tabs on the end of the zipper.


Then I realized that I probably should have made those tabs long enough to match the 16″ side……

I made it work in the end!20170609_161743

I was nervous about sewing the sides, but then realized it was very similar to doing a self-binding receiving blanket.  After that, it went very smoothly.  After adding the top, I very excitedly turned the cube inside out and started stuffing it with scraps.  I added bag after bag after bag of scraps…………


All to come to the conclusion that six years of scraps from quilting is NOT enough to fill my cube. 😦  Good excuse for some more quilting!!  I guess my classroom will be waiting to have more than one of these!

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