Sep 26, 2015


I've been working on my nested churn dash quilt and when I finished this block I put it up on the design wall with the others. I stepped back to look at my work and enjoy the bright, cheerful fabrics. My smile faded fast when I found my mistake-way back at the beginning of the block :(  Don't you just hate it when that happens? It only took about 20 minutes to correct the mistake, but you can bet that I will be checking my work more closely from now on.

Sep 25, 2015

Sew Together Bags

The Sew Together Bag is undeniably cute. I keep seeing it everywhere-blogs, Pinterest, and in quilt shops. I decided it would be the perfect gift to make for my friends for our trip to Chattanooga. In hindsight--I needed to have made this decision more than five days ahead of time! 

First I bought the digital pattern and downloaded it from Craftsy. The pattern says that the skill level is "beginner" and I beg to differ. I have been clothing and craft sewing and following a pattern for 50 years. (Yes, I'm that stinking old!!) I do not consider myself a beginner by any stretch of the imagination. But I must admit that these instructions are not well written and some photos or diagrams along the way would really simplify things!! My saving grace was the Sew-A-Long I found on Quilt Barn's blog. Here is the link to her FABULOUS step by step instructions complete with pictures. If you decide to give this pattern a go, do yourself a favor and visit Quilt Barn's blog!

I wanted to make each bag to fit the personality and likes of the recipient. Judy loves very modern quilts and solid fabrics. Anne has a new found love for Tula Pink. And Pam is totally over the moon for French General, scrappy and anything with buttons. Easy Peasy. 

A trip to my favorite quilt shop yielded fabrics for Judy and Anne and a stop at JoAnn's for zippers, thread and buttons and I was all set. 

Making the oustide of the bags was the most fun. That was where the creativity came out. Colorblocking for Judy's bag with coordinating stitching lines in various widths gave it the modern look I was going for.

I wanted to give Anne's bag a tailored look and showcase the diamond fabric. I followed the diamond shape to quilt it.

For Pam's bag I raided my French General stash, cutting 2 1/2" squares. A simple quilting on the diagonal and three buttons finished it off nicely.

Lots of whining and ripping later I had all three bags to this stage--

The night before we left I finished Pam's and Judy's, but at 1:00am, I still had the final zipper to go for Anne's bag. We were leaving at 6:30 and I had just 5 1/2 hours iron, pack, shower and get a little shut eye, so I had to call it a night. :(  Anne was spending the night with me and she had given me "permission" to finish hers on Friday, when we returned from the show. I took her up on it!

That's why two bags are finished and the third one lacks a zipper here--

Here are close ups of each of the bags. Judy's first. I do not have a picture with the pockets open-but the zipper color is a hint to the fabric color on the inside. 

This is Anne's-finally finished! The polka dot fabric on the inside of the pockets is a Kaffe Fassett.

Pam's was scrappy enough on the outside that I kept the inside pretty simple. One fabric for the lining and another for inside the pockets. 

I wanted to mention that if you want to make a bag like this, but the Sew Together Bag isn't big enough for your needs, I ran across this pattern on Craftsy too. I know nothing about the instructions or construction methods, but it is a lot larger and might work well for carrying your quilting supplies to a class or retreat because it is big enough for you to pack a ruler in too. 

If you decide to make a Sew Together Bag, be bold and have fun with your fabric choices. The sky is the limit when you are making the outside of the bag-let your imagination run free. I googled "Sew Together Bag" and looked at "images" for inspiration. Mine are hardly original ideas, but my friends loved them and that's all that matters to me. 

Sep 24, 2015

Gift Exchange

My BFF's and I don't live near each other and when we get together, it's always so fun. We giggle like schoolgirls and enjoy each other's company so much. We also like to treat each other with a little gift. Our Chattanooga get together was no exception. 

Judy made each of us adorable hot pads in our favorite color. She also gave us a tissue cover for our purse and a cute little magnetic box. I'm going to keep my applique pins in mine.

Pam made us each a wool pumpkin pincushion. She included lots of other goodies too-socks, soap, thread, and a charm pack of Civil War fabric. 

Anne treated us to really cute Fall decorations! I love my new metal pumpkin candleholder. She also gave us an assortment of Fall scented tea candles to go in it. I already have mine sitting out. And the notecards with seasonal colored leaves were perfect for writing thank you notes!

I made something for my friends too. Unfortunately, I bit off more than I could chew and made something that took more time than I had and I didn't get Anne's finished before we went to Chattanooga. I'll show you more about these bags tomorrow. Cheers!

Sep 23, 2015

Chattanooga Shopping

I had a great time in Chattanooga, at the quilt show and shopping at Spool. I didn't buy a lot-mostly just added some fat quarters to my new "brights" stash for some future scrappy quilts.

These are mostly Lily Ashbury and Bonnie and Camile-both by Moda. My new favorite colors these days are orange, yellow and lime green. It's a far cry from Civil War reproduction fabrics, but I love them! I picked up these FQs at Spool.

At the show I bought these ten FQs of Block Party by Sandy Gervais. Again, I am loving these brights and only need small amounts for the scrap quilts I have in mind.

On our way home we stopped at Intown Quilters in Decatur and I picked up these three fabrics. The middle and right ones are Tula Pink's new line, Eden. I'm not sure what the other fabric is. 

At the show I also got 20 needles for my HQ Sweet 16 and two chalk pencils for marking quilts and a sharpener. At Spool I picked up the cute bag pattern, a luggage tag and license plate.

This is the least amount of money I have ever spent at a quilt show. And I'm good with that.  I have everything I could possibly need, so anything I pick up is just icing on the cake.

Doing the happy dance 'cause I was having fun with friends!

Sep 22, 2015

Chattanooga Quilt Show

Last week was the AQS Quilt Show in Chattanooga. Pam, Anne, Judy and I made the trip and spent two fun-filled days---shopping, looking at quilts, having show-and-tell, eating out, and laughing. It is always so good for my soul to get away with girlfriends for a few days--and if it involves fabric too, even better!!

I thought you might like to see some of the quilts in the show, if you weren't able to make it. The quilts definitely leaned to the more modern side-there were only a handful of traditional quilts. So, most of my pictures are of bright, modern quilts. I hope you enjoy them.

 The bird on the right is beautifully appliqued-the bird on the left was just as beautifully quilted. It was titled Me and My Shadow.

This was my favorite quilt! It was entitled A Slice of Pi. She even quilted "Pi" in the borders-3.141592....... I love a quilter with a sense of humor :)

Here we are with the Best Of Show quilt.

This was an interesting exhibit. Cherrywood Fabrics sponsored a challenge based on Wicked. There were a lot of terrific quilts-and we each got to vote for our favorite. 

I hope you enjoyed a little peek at the show. Tomorrow I'll show you what I bought. 

Sep 17, 2015


Yesterday morning I left home with two friends, headed to Chattanooga to meet up with another friend for the AQS Quilt Show. Our first stop just HAD to be Spool-home of the BadAss Quilter's Society. Maddie was in the house and we had a blast shopping and laughing. If you've never been to Spool and you are near Chattanooga, you really need to go. Of course, we had to take a picture with Maddie to earmark the  occasion. Here we are.....

Anne, Pam, me, Judy and Maddie

Sep 11, 2015

2015 Swap Blocks-August

Here are our August swap blocks. Anne did three with dark centers this month, Karen did an extra light block, and Pam did two extra blocks. My four are the bottom row. 

Only three more months. I guess I better hurry up and get last year's blocks sewn up!! 

Sep 10, 2015

Nested Churn Dash

Last year lots of quilters were making Nested Churn Dash quilts and posting the pictures on their blogs, Instagram and Flicker. I am always a day late and a dollar short, so I am finally getting around to making one now. I guess, better late than never??

I have a new love for bright fabrics so that is what I'm using for my NCD quilt. These are my first thought-I may change one or two, here or there.

Those fabrics are really busy, but I didn't want to use a solid white with them, so I picked polka dots! I found three that I needed at my favorite quilt shop and the other three on line.

Here is my first block! I love it and I am so excited about making this quilt!! This block is a whopping 24" square so it's only going to take 9 blocks and a little sashing to make a big quilt. 

I found all the information I needed to get started here at Quilt Jane's Nested Churn Dash quilt along. Just in case you missed it last year too.  :)

Happy Quilting!!

Sep 9, 2015

I Spy....and a Bug Jar

I have been cutting up fabrics and making "quilt kits" to sew on. Cutting a quilt seems to take me forever and when I am ready to start sewing on a project, I want to dig in and sew.  I don't want to spend time cutting. Those times when I have 15 minutes and could be stitching on something, these projects will be ready. It's gratifying to knock out a few simple blocks in short order. 

So, the other day, when I was in the mood to cut-I did!! I cut...and cut...and cut. 

First I cut over 250  3 1/2" squares and have them ready to stitch for an I Spy Quilt! (I have been collecting and swapping for many years.)

Some of my squares are cut on point and I'm going to sew triangles in the corners to square them up.

I cut others into squares and I'm going to put borders around them so they are the same size as the other blocks.

I've started collecting solids to use for the corners and borders. 

My grandkids aren't getting any younger, so it's now or never, if I'm going to make an I Spy quilt!

I decided while I was in the mood to cut that it was a good time to dig into the bug fabric collection too. My grandson, Oliver, is 2 1/2 now and I'm thinking he is just the right age for a bug jar quilt. I bought this pattern about 12 years ago-just knowing some day I would have a grandson. After SIX girls, we finally had a boy and I am thrilled to finally be able to make this quilt!

I have 30 "jars" cut, and even made my lid units. I already have my backing fabric, too. This should make up pretty darn quick.

Now, when I have just a few minutes to sit and stitch, I'm ready.