Color studies

First off, I want to say thank you for the extra patience that was sent this way the past few days.  Ben gets home tomorrow night.  I think there are 30-ish hours left.

I still don't have a lot to say, but I've been stitching one inch hexies to keep my sanity.  I thought I'd share some color shots with you.




Gotta run. I think there is a dinosaur roaring in the next room, but I'll be stitching again after his bedtime.

Short on words

Today's picture is not my sewing.  I am blessed to receive these blocks from the ladies in the Pastiche Bee.  If you click the link you can look through all of the bee's blocks and see which block belongs to each quilter.  The produce we have featured left to right and top to bottom are leeks, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, chard, pumpkin, flowers, eggplant, cabbage, honey and a pear.  Mmmmm...

farmers market theme

Lastly, Ben is out of town visiting his folks this week so it is just Henry and me.  If you have any extra patience laying around, could you send a bit this way?  Henry shows how much he misses daddy with extra tantrums.   And we still need to make it until late Friday night.

Knitting Tiny Things

Do you ever yearn to knit something little but interesting?  Do you have a lot of sock yarn leftovers?  Do you have a young friend that loves handknit garments for her dolls?  If so, you must go see all of the Barbie clothes patterns on this site.

knitted Barbie dress
The site is in Swedish, but the patterns come as PDF files and can be downloaded in English.  There are over 1000 patterns on there.  This purple dress is #288.  If I knit it again I'd make the skirt longer and use a larger needle for the bodice because my stitches were too tight there. 

knitted Barbie dress
This dress pattern is #99.  Again I'd make the skirt longer if I knit it again.  I wonder if the designs were made for vintage dolls that had different measurements than today's dolls.  With a little tweaking, some size 0 needles and some quality yarn, these patterns turn out really cute. 

I had no idea that I'd have this much fun knitting tiny tiny clothes.  But, if you get inspired to try it out, too, let me know. 

Sweetie Peach Quilt

My friend has a baby girl that smiles from ear to ear all of the time.  And now she's even cuter because she has her bottom center teeth and the top 3rd and 4th teeth but not the top center ones.  She's a smiley little milk and yogurt vampire.  I started a quilt for Catalina when her mom was pregnant, but I finally finished it this week (she's 13 or 14 months now).

Sweetie Peach Quilt

I started with the color scheme of a favorite vintage sheet (the red, pink and yellow pansies) and then I grabbed lots of other scraps and coordinating fabrics and just cut and sewed, added and subtracted until it was 50" square. 

sweetie peach quilt

I used my walking foot with the arm and quilted concentric circles.  This was my first attempt at it so it isn't perfect.  But Miss Catalina gave it a huge grin and nuzzled it with her nose and then hugged it close right before she fell asleep under it.  I think it is a hit.

This kind of random scrappy quilt is my favorite to make.  I think I don't do it more because I'm afraid to cut up favorite fabrics that aren't vintage sheets.  I'll cut into them just a little bit to make little blocks like the Farmer's Wife blocks, but that's about it.  Now I need a new challenge to do the same with a favorite Japanese fabric or something equally rare.

Quilt As You Go (and then quilt more later)

I've always wanted to use Penny's tutorial (parts one and two) to make a QAYG block.  The plan behind the tutorial is to sew the block together with the batting on all at once.  Then you can make lots of blocks and then just attach them at the end and make one huge quilt. 

QAYG block

Well, I was only making one block...and I was am still in my hand quilting everything in sight phase.

QAYG block

QAYG block

QAYG block

QAYG block

QAYG block

I recommend checking out the tutorial and trying it at least once.  It is a super fun way to use some favorite scraps.

Trying my best to finish some UFO's

I've been working for hours every single day this week to finish some old UnFinshed Objects. 

I finally have some ideas for how to finish the edges on my 1" hexies quilt.

UFO's in progress

I'm excited to pass this on to one special girl with the biggest smile in the universe.

UFO's in progress

And my mom saw this on her last visit and now the batiks will have a home instead of gathering dust in the back of my craft closet. 

UFO's in progress

I'm so excited to finish all three of these that I'm flitting from one to the other very happily.  My house is a disaster with piles of supplies for three projects spread out everywhere, but I'm a happy, happy crafter.

Friendship Quilts Blog Hop

Diane of from blank pages... asked me to join in her blog hop.

The theme is to make any sewing or quilted item that looked like a friendship bracelet design.

So, I made this potholder for my friend, Tina.

friendship quilts blog hop

I met Tina in college, when I was far past my friendship bracelet stage.  She is the type of friend that you can bring a "big question" to and she'll hear you out without giving any opinion.  She'll listen, ask clarifying questions and then, when you ask what she thinks, she'll quote what you said right back at you.  Do you have a friend like that?  I hope so, because someone with that skill is so valuable.  Tina doesn't push any agenda on me.  She leaves me to make my own decisions.  She makes me giggle at silly decisions I made in the past.  But the biggest thing is that she listens so well that I can hear myself think.

friendship quilts blog hop

So, I made her this potholder.  She moved into her house last year and I made her a house potholder.  I guess I'm a single potholder kind of gal.  I just don't bother making the same design twice.  This time I used nearly all of the same fabrics as her first potholder and then I turned it into a friendship bracelet design.  Friendship bracelets are just lines and lines of pretty knots, so  I wanted that reflected in my block design.  each "knot" block on this potholder is 1x1.5".  I think the design would work better in a larger quilt project, so you may see this again.

friendship quilts blog hop

friendship quilts blog hop

But something you won't see again on this blog?

80's photo

A picture of me from the 80's.  Diane specially requested photos as a throwback to the age of friendship bracelets.  How about the huge glasses and the pale pink henley sweater.  It makes me shudder....

To see more fun projects, stories of friends and 80's photos, check out the rest of the blog hop:

3: Friendship Quilts Kick Off! at from blank pages...
4: Diane of from blank pages...
5: Whitney of The Peacock Tree
6: January T of Sew Sew Go
7: Melinda of Quirky Granola Girl

10: Courtney of Mon Petit Lyons
11: Jill of Made with Moxie
12: Danielle of Fresh off the Spool
13: Kelsey of Kelsey Sews
14: Kristy of Quiet Play

17: Marika of Live, Laugh, Love... Sew
18: Karen of Sew Well Maid
19: Rachael of imagine gnats
20: Katie of There & Back
21: Lori of Lori H. Designs

24: A SURPRISE LINKY PARTY OPENS!!! (You do NOT want to miss this one!)
25: Secret
26: Secret
27: Secret
28: Link up closes for projects
30: Suprise Linky closes

October 1st: at from blank pages...  Judges picks and random drawing for the rest of the prizes,

Bee blocks update

Leila, in the Ringo Pie Bee, asked for the block theme of Favorites for the month of September.  She was adding these blocks to her sampler quilt of 6" blocks, so, of course, I thought of my favorite Farmer's Wife block pattern, #53 Jackknife.

jackknife for Leila

I also made her the block that I did the recent tutorial for, my Farming Duo block.

farming duo block tutorial

Kylie, in the Cocorico Bee, asked for the block them of Best of the British for September.  I immediately knew I wanted to make a London phone booth block.

london phone booth for Kylie

I'm still working on some blocks with themes of Gypsy/Bohemian, Grocery Store and Magnum P.I. So stay tuned.

By the way, what is the craziest quilt theme that you've ever made a block for?  (Magnum P.I. has to be my choice, but I know that Tamiko is going to rock that quilt.)

Farming Duo Block Tutorial

farming duo block tutorial

When I was making my Farmer's Wife blocks, I would cut the fabric for a number of blocks for a week or more, and then I'd sit down and sew a few at a time.  One night I managed to sew the pieces of one block wrong and (I think) I invented a new block.  It seems about time to share a tutorial for it.

This tutorial will make a 6" finished Farming Duo block.
  • Choose 3 fabrics for your block.  Cut (four) 2 x 3½" rectangles of two fabrics and (four) 2 x 2" squares of the third fabric and one of the first two fabrics.
 duo 1

  • Draw a corner to corner line on the back of all of the 2 x 2" squares.
duo 2

  • Arrange the rectangles in an alternating pattern.
 duo 3

  • Arrange the squares on the rectangles (right side to right side) with the drawn lines making a diamond shape in the center of 4 rectangles.
duo 4

  • Pin all of the square-rectangle pairs.
 duo 5

  • Sew directly on the diagonal lines.
duo 6

  • Trim a 1/4" away from the sewn diagonal seams.
duo 7

  • Press seams.
duo 8

  • Match rectangles in pairs and sew.  Then sew two pairs together, and lastly, sew the final center seam.
duo 9

  • Press all seams and trim the final block to 6½". 
duo final

I hope you like it!
Please let me know if you make a block with this tutorial.  I'd love to see it.

Now I've dragged my mom into my obsession

On Mother's Day weekend (yes, way back in May) I went on a fabulous sewing retreat taught by Amanda.  I talked my mom into joining in. 
Retreat group

She was so excited about it.  We would talk for hours on the phone about what supplies to bring and what she should practice beforehand and what she planned to do with her retreat quilt.

Amanda at the Juki 

 (Here is a bonus picture of Amanda at her beloved Juki.  She hates having her picture taken so she is refusing to look at me--the annoying woman with the camera.)

Since the retreat, my mom has been plugging away at her quilt squares.  I don't have a picture of hers, but Angela took this picture of one of my quilt squares from the retreat.  (The poor thing is sitting in a pile with the others feeling neglected in my sewing room.)
melinda's seaweed

So, back to the story, my mom has started planning her next quilt.  She keeps getting more fabric and then calling me and trying to explain a print and color scheme over the phone.  She came to visit a few days ago and asked me if I thought that she could do some piecing to make some quilt squares. 

Of course!
I gave her a lesson in making HST's.  Then I showed her tricks for sewing together a 4 patch and a 9 patch.  I scribbled up a bunch of notes for her to take home, and then she asked what kind of blocks she should make.  The only block resource I have is my Farmer's Wife book, so I got that out.  From there we picked out 20-some blocks for her to try, decided on block size and then drew two possible layouts for the finished quilt.

We traipsed down to the basement sewing room and came up with 3 giant stacks of my stash to pick through so she could practice a block or two while she was here.  I did some quilt math for her to make 12" finished blocks.  She spent time sewing these two beauties while I cut fabrics for her to make 10 more blocks at home. 

mom block 1

mom block 2

I still have the fabric for five more blocks to cut and mail out to her. And now I have a mess of her fabric piles to put away. But it is totally worth it.  She was beaming from ear to ear and had to hold her blocks in the car for the three hour trip home.

I'm so proud of her!

My Precious, again.

I swear that I'm not trying to be obnoxious with repetitious pictures of my Farmer's Wife quilt.  But, it is the project that is on my mind all of the time lately.

First half of FW, backlit

Kelly of kelbysews is doing another My Precious link up and I wanted to link to updated photos of my most precious project.  Also, I have a thing for backlit quilt top photos.  I love how they look like stained glass.

First half of FW, backlit

These pictures include three of my recently remade blocks, too.  I'll do a specific post later with a few blocks to give away.   But you get a sneak peek now. 

First half of FW, backlit

Thank you for your patience as I near completion of the biggest quilt project I've ever done.