I'm getting caught up in Ringo Pie bee blocks.  This one is for Charise's Paris theme.

Ringo Pie block for Charise--Paris theme.  Gave it to her in person when I was in Seattle.

This one is for Marit in Ringo Pie with her butterfly theme. (Inspired by Anna at Life Sew Crafty)

Butterfly block for Marit

I took a picture of the bee blocks I've received from my Ringo Pie bee friends.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!  These will end up in a very special quilt for Henry. (Blocks left to right starting with the top row are by Amber, Penny, Leila, Charise, Anna and Kerry)

Ringo Pie guitar blocks so far

And, lastly, here is a picture of Charise and me from my recent visit to Seattle.  It was so much fun to hand off her block in person and it was even more fun to go fabric shopping with her.   I guess I have no shame when it comes to fabric.  I bought 48 fabric cuts!  Thank goodness that a lot of those were 1/4 and 1/8 yard cuts.  

i met Charise!!!

So, there is a lot of little bits of progress over here. Well, except for any stash minimizing. I can't seem to manage that at all.

The State of the Hexies

I worked on my blue hexies while on vacation. 


And then I ran across this picture from two years ago and I thought it might be useful to see an update of all of my colors of hexies.

sewing together

My red, pink, purple, orange and yellow hexies went into the hexie quilt. But the cool and neutral ones are still in progress.


white cream gray


Hand stitching can be too slow for blogging sometimes, but doing an update every year or two makes it look like I'm getting somewhere.

Do you have any hand stitching projects that you've been plugging away at for a year or more?  Do you have a harder time sharing them on your blog because they are so slow moving?

Nearly wordless

I love this bag, but I have to run out to the car to leave town on vacation.  It is by Sew Demented and it is the Sew Together bag pattern on etsy Craftsy. (Sorry about the mistake. I wrote this post on less than four hours sleep.)

Sew it all bag by @sewdemented on craftsy

Sew it all bag by @sewdemented on craftsy


Super scrappy on the inside #sewtogetherbag

It is packed to the brim with hand sewing projects for the week!

I swear I'm not all that productive

Yes, I have another quilt finished this week...but I solemnly swear that I'm a slow sewist.


This Habitat Triangles top was finished awhile ago, and then I finished Ben's quilt top. I basted them both within a week. I did most of the quilting on this quilt, then did all of Ben's quilt and then came back to Habitat Triangles for the last touches. And then I bound both of them in the same week. Ben's birthday was my deadline for his quilt (June 1st, but I was late, of course.) and we get to visit my niece this weekend out near Seattle, so I had to finish hers before the trip. So, I was just working two quilts in tandem the whole time.

a couple of weeks ago

The quilt uses the fat eighths from Jay McCarroll's Habitat line from the MQG challenge from fall of 2011.  I got my challenge fabrics and I got stuck, stuck, stuck.  The only idea I could come up with was for a modern, dark city scape with a few lights in the windows and graffiti everywhere.  The idea in my head was pretty cool, but I just couldn't figure out how to execute it.  So I put it down for a l-o-n-g time.  And then I found the little stack a couple of months ago.  I had some Kona cerise out on my sewing table and when I saw the two together it finally clicked for me.  I dug through my solids bin for dark and bright colors and just stuck with simple HST's. 

quilting detail

The border fabric is Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in mushroom. 


The backing and binding fabric is Moda Bella Solid in prune.  That sounds like an unappealing color name, so I'm assuming it is an old color by them.  If anyone is up on the current shades of Moda Bella solids, you can feel free to correct me.  Anyway, it is very hard to photograph well.  Just know that the back is deep, deep purple and the stitching on front and back are the same cerise color as the fabric you see on the front of the quilt.


So, two large twin quilts finished in one week, but I'm not not trying to be obnoxious. Big quilts take a lot of time and effort--sometimes months, sometimes years.  I get such big ideas when I read blogs and then I get a complex when I can't finish things as fast as it seems that other people do.

And even though I finished two this week, I was kind of grumpy about it.  I do not have the skills to do machine binding in anyway that isn't ugly.  So I felt stuck to my couch tacking the binding down by hand.  And I really, really wanted to start some other things.  So, now that the deadlines are over, I get to give a pretty quilt to my niece.  And then I get to move on to other projects and other ideas.  I hope to show some cool things here soon. 

But I can't leave this post tempting new ideas and grumping about sewing binding, so instead I'll leave with pictures from Henry's birthday.  I haven't posted pics of him in some time.  We took him to a gluten free cafe in Baltimore so he could pick out his own birthday cupcake.  

He woke up in time for a GF cupcake at Sweet 27 in Baltimore.

I think he liked it.  Now he keeps saying, "We could do birthday for Baltimore!!"

Open a...little...bit...wider!

Monster Photo Post

Sometimes I make something and I'm kind of shy and I only post two or three photos because they capture the piece enough and I don't want to be obnoxious.

And sometimes I can't help myself.


When I make a quilt, I strive to mix fabrics in a way that makes each block and then the quilt as a whole...sparkle.  That sounds terribly girly and immodest.  Maybe shine is a better word.  I want each block to get its own time with the eye.  I want the finished quilt to make your eyes move around the entire thing.  The human brain is fickle and impatient and makes snap judgements.  Some quilts can easily be summed up by the brain as two or three colors/shades--one pattern--symmetry--light--dark--okay, I get it--I'm moving on to look at something else. 


I want my quilts to make the brain do a double take.  What?--I don't get it--Why would you add that color, too?-And what is with that pattern next to that one?--And how many freakin' shades of one color do you really think you can get away with here?


I can't really judge if I achieved that here.  I'm still too close to it.  I can tell you that I am not a good enough photographer nor do I have a good enough camera to truly capture the colors and the values in this quilt.



But I did try...much to Ben's chagrin.  I can't even count the number of grumpy-husband-with-sore-arms photos vs. annoyed-and-sick-of-orders-from-bossy-camera-lady pictures I deleted.  This one is probably the best of the bunch.

quilt photography

And this is the second best.  See?  Annoyed...by holding up his own darned quilt.

quilt photography

I guess I am a pain in the butt with the camera.  
Oh well, here is the back.  I used one of my favorite DS Quilts manly prints on the left, a green IKEA sheet on the right and some ash gray solid and KF shot cotton.


The labels are kind of schmoopy.  "to lovebug from indigo bunting" comes from the inscriptions on the inside of our wedding bands.  I think it is healthy to remember the old nicknames as we are married longer.  It softens the annoyed looks and bossy lady moments.  "I think I like you" is the name of the quilt and I blurred out our last name on the final label.

back, labels

Some of the other designers and fabrics used in this quilt are listed below.  (There are a handful of fabrics that I just can't recall where I bought them, let alone designers and lines.)

Martha Negley, Farmington, Feathers, Twig Branches, Tree Rings
Anna Maria Horner, Innocent Crush, Bubble Burst and Woodcut
Anna Maria Horner, Field Study, Fine Feathered
Carolyn Friedlander, Achitextures, Ledger, Blueprint and Scribble Notes
Denyse Schmidt, Hope Valley, Prairie Rose, Diamond Dandy and Cactus Calico
3 Sisters, Etchings, Antique Architecture
Erin Michaels, Lush, Wood grain and Painter's Palette
Parson Gray, Curious Nature, Starcomb
DS Quilts, Richmond, Plaid and Tiny Berry
Sweetwater, Hometown, Small Text and Marketplace Floral
Timeless Treasures, Sketch Basics
Joel Dewberry, Modern Meadow, Herringbone
Suzuko Koseki, Kitchen and Arts Crafts prints
Melissa Averinos, Dazzle, Basketweave
Violet Craft, Madrona Road, Memoir
Art Gallery Oval Elements
Sarah Watts, Timber and Leaf, Tree Rings
Cori Dantini, Beauty is You, Tiny Seeds
Dear Stella Honeycrisp


If you made it all the way to the end of this post, thank you for your patience.  I think you can tell that I'm happy with how this one turned out.

I hope your sewing projects shine, too.

Quilting up a storm

I'm quilting Ben's quilt,


I'm quilting one for my niece,


And I'm hand quilting my Americana quilt with black perle cotton and adding some xx's in with the regular stitches.


This is how it looks on the back.  I'm making the diagonal stitches through the layers so you can't see them.

i love the back!!

Once I finish binding the first two quilts, I'll probably put down the hand quilting for awhile. I really feel the need to piece something soon.

How about you? Do you ever get stuck in one stage or another of the process? Are you in a dreaming, cutting, piecing, quilting or binding phase? Or maybe that is just me..

My first shirt!

Apparel sewing and have not mixed well in the past.  I tried when I was a teenager to make a super cool jumpsuit-type outfit (it was the early 90's).  It did not fit at. all.  Then and there I swore I would only make flat things--quilts.

After Henry was born I did venture into a little bit of sewing with knits...but that was short lived.  The flat sewing continued...

Then, two months ago, super cool Anna from the DCMQG showed off the Wiksten tank she made and asked if anyone else wanted to make a Washi dress.  We chose a date and I made a top with some vintage sheet fabric.  The only picture I have of it is not appropriate for public consumption.  I have some sort of deformity where I have two extra inches of chest height in the front but not the back.  No issues with the bust, waistline or hip line height.  I just have long front armpits??  Or something like that.  Anyway, I got discouraged.  If I change the height of the shoulder of the garment, then the armholes don't work and the sleeves don't work and the facings don't work...etc.

Enter the fabulous Nicole of Finch Studio.  She and I met two weeks ago to work on my personal version of the Washi top.  I started over with another vintage sheet.

My second washi attempt (the first was not appropriate for pics) this time I had help from @finchsewingstudio for pattern adjustments. For my third try I won't do the notch and I'll take the shoulder straps in a bit.

This is my initial IG photo from over a week ago.  The sleeves were too stiff and made me look like a linebacker (not the fault of the pattern.  I was using a stiffer fabric and I already have wide shoulders) and we initially added 3" of front chest height and 1" of back chest height.  The shoulders kept falling down and the dip in the neckline was nearly obscene.  So...I had the opportunity to take out 5 seams on each shoulder to fix it....  But I finally felt like I could fix it myself!!

Here is the finished product:

finished washi

All of the apparel sewing blog posts I've read say that the finished details on the inside make the garment.  I couldn't agree more.  I used French seams on the sides (please ignore the skipped stitches on the hem.  I needed a new needle for the hem but was too stubborn to get up to get one.  I'll fix that soon).
side french seams, hem

The inside of the facing stitched down:
inside facing, stitched down

The outside of the facing stitched down and the armhole bias tape stitched down:
front of stitched down facing

The ruching on the back waist:

It took a lot of trial and error, but I'm pretty pleased with it.  In fact, I've worn it three times this week.  I'm giving it a rest today so the neighbors don't start to wonder if I bathe.

And now I'm dreaming about all sorts of other clothing I can make myself....