Friday, December 28, 2012

Kwik Krazy

The blocks are finished and sewn together.  All it needs is borders!
As I mentioned before, this pattern is called Kwik Krazy Quilt and comes from Two Kwik Quilters.  I love the organized way they have set up the construction ... 12 blocks of fabric with a freezer paper pattern fused to the top square.  All of the pieces are cut at one time and then shuffled for variety.  Although 12 fabrics are used, only 9 appear in any one block.  This is the size of a baby quilt.  To make larger quilt tops, the process is repeated with more sets of 12 fabric squares.  Two Kwik Quilters have other patterns featuring this method, too - hearts, stars, log cabin.

One Block
Sewing time will be in short supply today.  Our last holiday visitor will be arriving soon and I'm also in the midst of preparing for the store's NEW YEAR'S DAY OPEN HOUSE.  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Progress on Two Fronts

It's the last day at the shop before Christmas vacation begins.  Last night I finished the binding on the challenge quilt and took a look at some possible embellishments.
I'm thinking about adding some lines of stitching by hand to add extra detail.  My friends know that there just have to be a few buttons, too!  I am not so sure that the needle felted flower will find it's way into the final product.
Today I had a chance to work with the fabrics I selected last week.
I'm making Kwik Krazy Quilt, not my own design, but I sure enjoyed the fabric selection process.  It's a pattern that I've made before from Two Kwik Quilters.  This will be a new shop sample and a new shop class.  Think of it, an organized way to make a crazy quilt!  I can't wait to get back and finish putting the blocks together.
Wishing everyone a very, merry Christmas!  I found a cute Christmas pup that you just might enjoy ...
 Ho Ho Ho!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The March Challenge

I have made MAJOR progress on the challenge due in March.  It began with a bag containing an odd assortment of fabric and embellishments.  I was quite put off for a while, because the first thing I pulled out was an ancient JoAnn's panel intended to make a tie-dyed looking circle skirt.  Ick.  Then I had a talk with myself and realized that that's what a challenge is all about.  If I had been given "pretty" things, I would have tried to make a pretty quilt.  What I had instead was a very disparate grouping of odds and ends, including one needle felted flower and several black or red sewn and turned shapes.  It made me think of recycling, so that's the direction that I took.

Way back in May, I played around and began the quilt top.  Here's what I had on the design wall.
I was feeling pretty good about the progress I had made and I put the project away for a while.  Now, suddenly the first weekend in March is getting closer and it's time to get serious.  I finished the top last night and basted it.  This morning I machine quilted it.  
Close-up of quilting.
I made good use of the remains of the panel, using it for backing.
Those are my basting stitches that you see.  They will come out and I will add some embellishments by hand.  Here's the binding cut and a few of the goodies I may use.

Today is December 18, a special day!
I'm wishing Keith Richards a very happy 69th birthday!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crafts Galore

These are not quilts.  Ha ha ha.  I've fallen off the wagon again!  There is always another cute craft idea right around the corner.  The key ring on the left is the one I bought.  The one on the right is the one that I made.  More to come!  

Back to work on another challenge tonight, this one due in March.  Most of the top is pieced.  I just haven't had time to work on it for a while.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


On Monday, the store received a delivery that included these four prints from P&B Textiles.  I commented at the time that I wanted to think up a project that included them.
Today the brainstorm arrived.  I will be killing two birds with one stone:  making a new store sample and having an excuse to play with the new fabric.  This project requires twelve different prints, so I had even more fun mixing and matching.  I'll reveal the pattern soon.
Yes, I am still working on the hand quilting on the strippy feed sack quilt! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Woven Stars

As promised, here is how to make the woven stars shown yesterday.  I made these YEARS ago with basket reed and we called them "Carolina Snowflakes".  I don't know what the original source was then or now.

First, use your favorite fusible product to fuse fabric front and back to card stock.  Make the pieces approximately 6 1/2" square, so you have room to trim to a perfect 6" square after fusing.  Next, cut the 6" square into twelve strips 1/2" wide.  I have one rotary cutter that is marked and only used for paper and crafts - don't use your best cutter!
Next, begin a front and back by weaving 3 x 3 strips.  Leave about 1/8" space between each strip and glue (ordinary white glue) all the intersections.  Wait for this step to dry.
This next step is where I got confused.  I had to look up woven stars on "Google" images to see which way to make the twist.  You'll need to clip these twisted corners to keep them in place until they are dry.  I used my new Wonder Clips.  Once again, wait until the glue is dry.
Now you have two identical pieces.  Place them back to back with the center bowed out.  Slip a straight end through a glued point and glue it in place.  Clip to hold.  Repeat all the way around, four on one side and four on the other side.  Almost done.

 When everything is dry, go back and trim the points.  Add a hanging string.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Too Many Ideas

I was trying to be good, I really was!  Instead of basting the spiral, I decided that I should work on finishing the feedsack quilt.  And I have been working on it.
There are intersections between blocks where 12 pieces are coming together and they don't look as neat as I'd like.  I plan on sewing a vintage button on each of these spots when I finish.
Yesterday I took the time to make 4 "comfort bags" for the TRPQG (Tar River Piecemakers Quilters Guild).  They prepare these bags, complete with 12" quilted comfort square, colored pencils, coloring book and a small stuffed animal for law enforcement officers to carry in their cars to give to children in crisis situations.  Apparently, we have plenty of STUFF to fill bags, but not enough bags.  I'll make more.

Last week, Sally, Ruth and I made these stars, not without a few bumps in the road.  I'll take more pictures and explain the process tomorrow.
Remember "trying to be good"?  Some new fabric arrived in the store on Monday and I'd love to cook up an idea for some of it!
Guess I'm a hopeless case.  I had a brainstorm in the car the other day while listening to a little Lou Reed and that may be what I HAVE TO work on today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spiral No. 3 Ready to Quilt

Here it is, the new spiral with sides and corners attached.  I admit that I cheated and cropped the picture so that the uneven outside edges don't show!  I'm going to layer it and quilt with big stitch, probably adding some buttons and beads in the process.  I won't clean up the edges until I'm ready for to finish it - maybe a traditional binding or maybe I'll add a facing.  Time will tell.  I'm totally out of all the fabrics that I used, except for small scraps.  I was getting a little nervous as I approached the point where I needed to add the larger corner triangles! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Spiral Interrupted

September and October were full of quilt shows (4).  November and December had the craft shows (3 - the last one is this weekend).  This week I sent the SECRET SHOP HOP QUILT TOP to the machine quilter and finished the guild Christmas Challenge.  My family exchanged Christmas gifts at Thanksgiving.

With so many things checked off my TO-DO list, I decided to have a little fun and pull out the spiral project that I started way, way back at the beginning of October.  Here's what it looked like when I started.

Now I've gone just about as far as I can with it because I'm running out of fabric.  It's time to figure out how to end it!  I have a cute green dotted fabric standing by to fill in the sides and corners where necessary.  Here it is this morning, pinned up to a cork board strip on the wall.  It's about 20" at it's widest point.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Christmas Challenge is FINISHED!

Finished this morning.
There is a whole week left before the deadline of Dec. 8.  Wow!

To refresh everyone's memories ... this is a challenge in the Tar River Piecemakers Quilters Guild (TRPQG), due at our Christmas party.  We exchanged 36 Christmas charm squares and were allowed to add one more fabric, either muslin or a white.  (There was also a zinger - a single charm square of a bright print that looked like coral).  I was SO LUCKY to come across this idea at the exact right time on another blog that I follow "The Way I Sew It".   She even had a tutorial to make it easy for me.  I guess it was just meant to be.

The finished size is 25" square.  It will be gracing the center of my dining room table after it has been to the party.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Challenge Progress

I put my Christmas challenge blocks together and added a 2 1/2" border of the white tone-on-tone.  I had almost forgotten an idea I'd had earlier ... adding a little stenciling.
I marked guide lines on freezer paper, then drew simple block letters.  I cut the letters out VERY CAREFULLY with a single edge razor blade.  One side at a time I ironed the stencil on and applied the paint with a regular stencil brush.  The red acrylic paint was mixed 50-50 with fabric medium.
Next, the quilting!  I've chosen a dull medium green.  That's what I'll work on tonight.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Christmas Challenge

Thanksgiving took me away from the sewing machine for more than a week!  I should have taken a picture of all of the food I cooked.

Now, I'm back at work on the Christmas challenge.  Participants cut and exchanged 5" squares of Christmas fabric.  Then the guild furnished ONE MORE FABRIC ...
Rules are simple:  Make a quilt up to 30" square, using the Christmas charms, challenge charm shown above, and one other fabric, either muslin or white on white.  The challenge fabric must be shown in a large enough piece to be seen!  Actually, it didn't pose any problem at all, since this scrappy project has such a variety of bright prints.  Can you find it?  One strip appears in each block.
I finished my four large blocks tonight.  They still need to be trimmed before sewing them together.  Since the challenge is due in two weeks, it will definitely be a machine quilting project.  I'm thinking ahead and wonder if it will be considered cheating if I use another colored fabric for my binding.  I don't want white binding! 

I always give credit to my sources.  See the blog "The Way I Sew It" for a tutorial about how to make these blocks using charm squares.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Scraps

This year, I got a LOT of mileage out of the box in the closet marked "Christmas".  It contained a lot of fat quarters and large scraps.  First I made two different kinds of table or candle mats.  Then last week I offered a class and nobody signed up.  Pooh!  The class was for making simple rectangular ornaments with a pocket on the back for gift cards.  I made a bunch anyway.
They'll be making their next appearance at the Annual Holiday Arts at Crafts Show at the Washington Civic Center on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.  For more information, call 252-946-2504.  The Civic Center is located at 110 N. Gladden Street, Washington, NC 27889.

I sewed and sewed last night.  Here are the units I've constructed so far.  They will need the smaller corner triangles added after I trim the corners that are sticking out.
Here's the basic plan, along with the smaller triangles ready to go and, OOPS, all of the little strips that I had left over.
Stay tuned ... I've actually cut and sewn enough to make a square with four big X blocks, so time will tell whether it will turn out to be a runner or a big square.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where's Lori?

Back in the shop after all of the quilt shows, it was kind of hard to get back on track.  I am happy to announce that the SECRET shop hop quilt top is ready to go to the quilter.  That was a major item checked off my "to do" list.

Next, I offered a couple of quick Christmas classes at the shop.  Last week we made candle mats. 
Today we made pot holders.
Can you read the fine print?  I actually found the original of a hand-out that I made in 1995!  Obviously it was pre-computer.  But it works. 

I've got a Christmas challenge due in a couple of weeks.  Thanks to P, on her blog "The Way I Sew It", I found something that should work with the charms squares I received last weekend.  I've got things cut and plan to spend the evening sewing.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Sorry, I just couldn't resist this.  Once again, go to if you want to see more funny dog pictures.
My key rings are finished!  Here's a reminder of step 1.
Step 2.
Ta da!
Among all of my millions of projects, there is a large quilt under construction.  I've mentioned our February shop hop before.  The quilt and it's pattern will be a mystery until the hop starts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quilt for Sale

Unpacking  from the quilt shows and putting things away, I realize how many extra quilts and quilt tops I have.  Some are left over from classes, others once had kits accompanying them.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with them, but they don't have the same sentimental attachment that the quilts I designed or hand quilted have.  Some of them would be better off going to new homes.
This quilt is called "Stepping Stones".  The pattern was featured in the June/July 2008 issue of "Quilt" magazine.  I placed a wholesale order for about a dozen of the magazines and packed them up with a fabric kit to make the quilt.  All of the beautiful fabric, with the exception of the lightest off-white, is from KONA BAY.  I pieced the quilt top and my good friend Lilly machine quilted it.

Needless to say, the kits are long gone and the fabric is long gone.  Please contact me if you might be interested in purchasing this quilt (email me at  $250.00 including shipping if within the continental US.  It measures 66" x 86".  Here is a close-up of one corner:
 And here is the pattern in the magazine.
I want to emphasize that I bought copies of the magazine to be included in each kit.  It is important to respect copyright laws.

Now for something completely different.  Sometimes I check out the booth of odds and ends at the quilt shows.  Wow, did I hit pay dirt at the last one!  My friends will laugh (or maybe groan).  Look at all of the buttons!  And what a great price!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bee by the River

"Bee by the River" was the name of the quilt show we attended in New Bern, NC, hosted by the Twin Rivers Quilters Guild.  Hurricane Sandy was threatening so our attendance was down a little on the second day.  We haven't been able to unload yet because of the storm-related wind and rain, so I'll just have to content myself with sewing and blogging!

I was fascinated with a miniature scene, in a box not much bigger than a shoe box.  This little quilter's sewing room is full of interesting things to see....

I saw many wonderful quilts but I'm in sensory overload after attending three quilt shows in three weeks.  I took a few pictures, but not as many as last week.  Here are the top prize winners.
OK, blogging is done, so on to the sewing machine!.  As far as the storm goes, so far so good.  Power is on, Internet is on.  More tomorrow.