Friday, June 24, 2011


It has been kind of a slow week crafting-wise. My stitching efforts have been focused on my Once 'Round the Country commitment and getting that done in time for the July 1st send-off. I'd show you my progress, but (frankly) it's not very exciting looking at this point. It's going to be a close call, but I'm hopeful that I'll get it done on time.

I'm also hopeful that I'll somehow be able to squeeze in another project: the Teardrop Bag for this month's Style Stitches challenge. I've only gotten so far as picking fabrics, but for me that's nearly half the battle!

Teardrop Bag fabric picks
This project is my personal favorite in the book, so I'm really excited about working on it.

Also going on right now is the 2011 Western Washington Shop Hop. This year, instead of attempting a family shop hop adventure with my 14-month-old and 4-year-old sons, I opted for taking a bus tour with 40 other quilt-obsessed ladies. We hopped on the bus bright and early on Wednesday morning and visited 12 shops over the course of the day. I made some new friends, actually got time to browse in every shop, and had a really good time. I even came home with a few goodies:

Western Washington Shop Hop 2011 loot!
I have plans for most of the fabric, but not all. Considering all of the enabling going on, I feel like I stayed fairly strong and curbed the majority of my fabric-acquisition impulses.

And then last night...

my new hairdo
I got a new 'do! It's pretty different for me-- but I'm diggin' the purple. Fun!

Hope y'all have some happy and crafty weekends!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hop to It: "Rose of Sharon Wreath"

I'm a little bit behind on my Hop to It project, so it feels extra good to actually finish a block. Hopefully next month I'll have time to make two blocks and get myself caught up again.

It's so strange... whenever I'm picking fabrics for my blocks, I feel like I'm picking a nice array (varying scales, a range of light to dark, different colors)-- but then I finish the blocks and they end up feeling kind of dark. Don't get me wrong. I still think they are very pretty, just darker than I expected. That's okay though. At least I'm consistent so the blocks all go well together. It was just a kind of weird realization.

Anyway, this was a fun block to work on. I was a little worried about getting the curves to all work together and look similar, but tracing a very light line on my background fabric in pencil to use as a placement guide worked well.

I also came to a decision on this block. This quilt has a number of blocks wherein there are a number of symmetrical elements. This block kind of had that in the repeating motif around the wreath, but in other blocks it is even more pronounced. With this in mind, I was kind of thinking it would be good to do some prep work to make sure all of the like pieces stayed exactly alike. This put me in a dilemma because what I really enjoy doing is needleturn, which I've learned, for me, is not conducive to exactitude. Then while working on this block, it occurred to me that there is nothing wrong with imperfect symmetry. It is okay to have a more organic look to my blocks if that's what I'm into. And I am into that. So that's what I'm going to do.

It's cheesy, but I kind of felt like a little weight had been lifted off my shoulders concerning this project and that made working on this block even more fun. Now I'm really looking forward to tackling the next block and seeing how it comes together.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A couple of blocks...

I just realized I haven't posted my most recent guild block exchange efforts.

SL's block
This was my assignment for May. She included a plethora of different batiks to choose from, and I really enjoyed getting to pick out which ones to use.

MR's block exchange blocks
This was my block exchange assignment for June. Easy peasy flannel nine patches (she even had all of the fabrics pre-cut). Her plan is to use the blocks to create a baby quilt or two for Eastside Baby Corner.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby shower!

Last night I attended a quadruple baby shower for four pregnant mamas in Big Bear's preschool class. Our hostess provided a big basket for each expectant mama and the guests filled them up with gifts. I decided to make little tag blankets for the new babies:

four happy little tag blankets
Super quick and easy, and nice little stashbusters.

alphabet print blankie
They gave me a fun excuse to go out and buy lots of ribbons!

farm print blankie
Each blanket is about 18" square-- just right for a little hands.

airplane print blankie
Three of the mamas are expecting boys, and one is a surprise (fun!).

zoo animal print blankie
It was a lot of fun getting to watch the mamas unwrap the blankets and see their big smiles. Hopefully, the babies will like their new blankets too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fresh picked!

I'm still catching up with my Shabby Fabrics Pincushion Club offerings. In April, they sent a super cute kit that included the "Picked Daily" pattern from Susie C. Shore Designs and enough fabric to make three pincushions.

happy little flower pincushions
These were quick and easy, so I made all three! Nothing tricky with these at all-- the pattern was clear and straightforward. Though it instructs you to use a glue gun at a couple of points (which I did), the project is definitely do-able without any special tools. A needle and thread would work just as well as glue (though it would go more slowly).

wrist pincushion
The kit only included what was needed for three regular pincushions. But since I had the additional supplies (a bit of elastic and a 2-1/2" strip of fabric) in my stash, I went ahead and turned one of the flowers into a wrist pincushion.

If you're interested, I noticed that Shabby Fabrics still has some kits available.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meet Bitty Bunny

This last weekend was a really productive one for me. Somehow I found myself getting lots of time in the quilt mines. Yay! One of the things I worked on was getting caught up on my Shabby Fabrics Pincushion Club kits.

Meet Bitty Bunny:

Bitty Bunny!
This cute little fellow is from Bunny Hill Designs.

Bitty Bunny, side view
Shabby Fabrics put together a great little kit that included everything but the stuffing (they even included the little thimble). The pattern instructions were clear and easy to follow and he was surprisingly quick to put together. Though I will say that turning those tiny little limbs right-side-out and stuffing them was kind of challenging. Sewing the limbs on was kind of hard too. Since I didn't have any long doll needles, I had to make due with my short, stumpy ones, which involved lots of finger jabbing (and a couple of broken needles)... not so fun. I also got to refamiliarize myself with my hot glue gun to attach the fabric to the thimble and then the thimble to the bunny paws. Glue is messy. But-- Bitty Bunny seems to have survived the process.

Bitty Bunny, front view
So cute!