Monday, December 16, 2013

Final Sea Stars!

I recently finished up my final (I think) Sea Star / Lucky Star BOM.

Here they are all together!

I'm hoping that after the holiday season, I can sew them up into a quilt top!

I'm contemplating making another star to replace the hot pink one.  We'll see...

Friday, December 13, 2013


It has truly been so much fun to read all of the comments this week for the wool pouch I'm giving away.  I wish I could give one to all of you!  I had 114 entries!!  I think that's got to be a record number of comments for my blog!  Thanks to all of you!

The winner, as selected by a number program, is Tasha.  Her comment really cracked me up:

"This is fabulous! I'd use it to store emergency please-stop-throwing-a-fit-in-public items. Okay, I mean candy."


Monday, December 9, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Give Away Day: Wool Pouch, Made With Pendleton Wool

This week, Sew Mama Sew's blog is hosting their annual "Give Away Day"!  It's a chance to enter to win many supplies and hand made items, and to find new blogger friends!

I'm giving away one of my wool zipper pouches, made with Pendleton Wool, made right here in town!

The case is about 8 by 5 inches, and would be great for storing chargers, or cosmetics.

They are made by me, and are also currently on sale in my Etsy shop.

All you have to do is to leave a comment below telling me what you'd use one for!

You'll need to enter by Dec. 13th, by 5pm PST.  I'll draw a name that night, and get it in the mail by the following Monday.  Please have a way to get in touch with you, and good luck! I'll be accepting International entries as well.

Be sure to click over to Sew Mama Sew's blog to see all of the other goodies that people are giving away.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cloth Napkin Tutorial

Over the week-end, I made up a batch of new cloth napkins for our family.  They were really quite easy to make, so I thought I'd write up a quick tutorial.

I personally like my napkins on the bigger side, so I started by cutting out the main fabric into 15 x 15 inch squares.

I had some shot cotton in my fabric stash that is a bit thinner than regular quilting cotton, and cut out 1 inch strips of this, joining them all together at the ends to make a continuous strip of the 1 inch wide fabric.I'm sure you could also use regular cotton for the edging, or even linen.

Once again,

15" x 15" main napkin fabric

continuous 1" narrow strips of "binding" or edge fabric.

On the back side of the main napkin fabric, I sewed the 1 inch strip all along the edge.

The corners, I treat as you would a quilt binding, stopping a quarter inch from the end, leaving the end of the needle in the fabric (or not), folding the corner up creating a 45 degree fold, then sewing down the other edge.

Then I flipped the napkin over, and folded the edge of the binding edge over to meet the edge of the seam, then the whole thing over to the front, or a double fold hem that encloses the raw edges.

Then it was just a matter of stitching a decorative stitch with a contrasting thread color onto the top!
Here's how I mitered the corners on the front:

And finally, here's what the back looks like.  It's actually more of a facing than a binding.  I think it's much easier.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stray into Crochet

I have always admired hand crochet and knit work, but my multiple attempts at knitting never got very far.  I recently started one of Craftsy's classes, the "Crochet Lab", and I think this is finally sticking!!

Best yet, crochet, unlike knitting, doesn't seem to aggravate my wrists and hands.  I plan to take it easy, but I'm thrilled to finally have found something to do with my hands while I watch TV, or wait for kids in school parking lots or dentist offices!

A knitter friend of mine recently told me about Portuguese Knitting, which is supposed to be gentler on your wrists and hands.  I may have to give that a try too.  Has anyone here ever tried it?

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving, and are enjoying the season!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Few More Sea Stars

It's hard for me to go very long without doing something quilt-related.

I took some time last week to get caught up on my Lucky Star BOM quilt.  I call them Sea Stars, since I'm making them mostly from Tula Pink's Salt Water fabric line.

I now have 11 of these finished, and plan on stopping at 12.  There is a new Lucky Star BOM round next year, but this will be it for me. I'm looking forward to getting this quilt finished, and to getting back to the City Sampler Quilt Blocks, which have been put on the back burner for a while...

What have you been up to? Have you ever done any paper piecing?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life's Mountains Quilt

I can finally share with you a special quilt that I finished in October, for a special friend of mine.

We've been friends for many years, and met while we and our husbands were all working at the BLM.  All but my husband worked doing wildlife biology.  We both have 2 boys, about the same age as well, so shared baby clothes and gear, and went to each others baby showers.  Our husbands still hunt together when they can.

During the summer of 2000, when we were both in our early 30's, she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, a very aggressive, malignant brain tumor, and given less than a year to live by her doctors, when her boys were just toddlers.

Miraculously, now, over 13 years later, she's had multiple surgeries, and been through years of various treatment therapies, and is still fighting hard, despite the very grim prognosis. In 2004, she climbed Mt Shasta (elevation 14,167 ft), and wrote a book, called "Life's Mountains" about her experience.

Her last surgery was in the Spring.  We found out that her most recent MRI did not come back clean, and we're all hoping that the next one, in just a few days, will show no growth in the suspicious "spot".

Watching this wonderful, strong, amazing woman go through this journey over the last several years has taught me so much about what's important in life.  Her spirit, knowledge, hope, courage and determination is a guide for many.  I made this simply to show I care, and to help give her warmth and comfort in the months and years to come.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lots and Lots of Zipper Pouches

After making my Pendleton Wool knitting caddy, I had some scraps that were left over.  I made a little zippered pouch for myself, and one thing led to another. I had some Japanese Echino fabric in my stash, and decided to make a few more out of this, as well as another piece of wool that I bought at our local blanket mill.
When I posted picture of them on my personal Facebook page, I had requests for 6.  Our local art center said they'd take some too.
So... I've been busy making lots and lots of zipper pouches.  I have some in my Etsy shop, and hope to continue making more and more at least through the holiday season!  If they don't sell, guess what my family will be getting for Christmas LOL!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Repurposed Pendleton Wool Knitting Caddy

My friends at the Pendleton Center for the Arts came up with this idea, as well as the vintage yard sale knitting caddy.

It's no surprise, that in a town famous for it's wool, there are more than a few knitters.  One of these knitting friends had re-purposed a knitting caddy for herself, and had a few extra yard sale finds, but decided that she'd rather knit than sew, so she handed them over to me.

A trip to the Pendleton Wool Mill led to the purchase of this beautiful fabric. It was so hard to make that first cut, but after careful measurement, I deconstructed this "dated" bag, and used it to make the new pattern to reconstruct a new one.

I wish I had taken a few more pictures.  The hardest part was taking apart the wooden frame to thread the new bag back onto.

One of the best things about these woven wool fabrics and patterns is that there is a "mirrored" image on the back.  It's 2-sided.  I decided to show this off on the other side of the bag.

Because I'm not a knitter, I decided to list this in the Art Center's gift shop.  If it sells, maybe I'll make some more!

With Christmas right around the corner, and not only the wool scraps, but some outgrown, worn out kids' blue jeans laying around, I further re-purposed these into a Christmas ornament.  I'll be making more of these to sell too.

On another note, I did finish a wonderful quilt for a special friend for my October "A Lovely Year of Finishes", but want to keep it secret until my friend receives it, which will be in a few weeks.  Since she's on the Internet, I don't want to take a chance by posting it here, but will in a week or 2.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Mom's Music Quilt

That's right!  It's Blogger's Quilt Festival Time!  If you're new to my site, welcome!  
One of my first introductions into the world of quilt bloggers was through one of Amy's link up festivals.  I'm adding 2 of my quilts to this fall's festival, which is going on now. My 2 color quilt entry is the one I recently made for my mom.

Each August, for the last 3 years, my mom flies out here to Eastern Oregon from hot muggy Dallas, TX to see us and to escape the heat.  It's becoming a tradition to take her to see snow in August.  She loves to camp and this is also an opportunity for us to camp and travel with her.  We've been to Glacier National Park, Mt Rainier, and this year, Mt Hood.

Last time I visited her, I took a good inventory of the colors and decor of her bedroom, and started scheming out a queen-sized bed quilt to make for her to send back with her to Dallas.The blue and white color scheme, by coincidence, also matches the snow and blue sky that we see every summer.

I saw a similar quilt / pattern at our local quilt show in May, and used my EQ7 program to design it.  I used my "Tri-Recs" ruler that I won last year to make the triangle blocks.

My mom's passion is music and gardening, so I found some cream batik fabric with music notes on it, and some blue botanical fabric to match her room decor.  I also added a musical "touch" to the quilting.

I used my new "go-to" method of labeling via the binding, and even added a quote to the back binding.

I had a panel of batik snowflakes in my fabric stash that matched the quilt perfectly, and used other stash and non-stash fabric to piece together the back.

She loved it!

Be sure to head over to Amy's blog to see all of the other wonderful quilts!