A Little Duffle Do It Pouch with Sew Yummy Fabric

As I am busily trying to finish my quilt for the Micheal Miller Challenge at Sewtopia (due Nov 6th…ahhhhh!) I have a friend who is new to quilting and wanted me to come over for a sewing date. Well, who am I to say no to someone who needs as much encouragement as I can give her….since she is the only friend I have that is interested in sewing. The problem was that I couldn’t pack up my Janome and all it’s quilting accouterments to continue with my Sewtopia challenge. So I quickly cut and fused some “Sew Yummy” fabric to make the “A Little Duffle Do It” zipper pouch. I’ve been meaning to try the pattern but a few steps looked a little bit intimidating, big girl scissors and Singer sewing machine in hand I sallied forth.

P1020135And whalla! Not too shabby if I do say so myself….Wait! Wait! you must see this


I even finished off all the edges inside in a neat and tidy kind of way, I can’t hardly believe it myself…I’m verklempt…talk amongst yourselves.



Posted in Little Sewing Projects, zippered pouch | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Zippered Pouch for a Friend

I have a friend who is starting her first quilting class and is very excited about it. This in turn makes me very excited because I don’t really have any close friends who are quilters…or even sewists of any kind for that matter. As you may remember I had been working on this pouch idea

P1020039I liked the idea of the little leftover economy blocks going to good use and I wanted to play with the idea of adding piping.

Fortunately I had a little extra time at the retreat I went to weekend after last and I finished it!


P1020128For once I even finished the edges on the inside with binding

P1020130I didn’t have any binding clips with me so I winged it but it came out pretty well for a first attempt at zippered pouch, internal, binding.

In the end I wrapped it up in a pretty fat quarter and left it at the quilt shop for my friend to get before her first class. A win win 🙂

FYI: The economy blocks were made with a line called “Hello Tokyo” by Robert Kaufman. I believe it is still out there to purchase if you’re interested. I know I bought plenty, so more of something made out of that fabric will be popping up again in my future.




Posted in Finished!, Little Sewing Projects, zippered pouch | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

WIP Wednesday with Snowmen

Once again I am linking my WIP Wednesday to the Freshly Pieced blog where many many of us post and share progress on any Wednesday we can make it 🙂

This last weekend I went to a sewing retreat at my local quilt shop Rosie’s Calico Cupboard. It lasted for two and a half days starting on Friday night where we set up our space (everyone gets a whole table!) and have a potluck, then we come back Saturday and Sunday for full days of sewing. At the retreat we have sewing choices, either you can work on the class project or you can work on your own thing. This time I chose the class project…and I was the only one who did, you just never know. The pattern is called Snow Day…Sew Day by Amy Bradley. Below is our class sample.


example snowman quiltActually it usually looked something like this during class (see below)

snowmen with foodit was the backdrop for the food table 🙂

I started my journey with this quilt at home the weekend before where I spent a whole day cutting and fusing the pieces.

fusing snowmenHaving never done this technic it took a little while to get the hang of it.

snowmen pre-stitchingBy the end of the night I had ten little guys waiting for the weekend.

my snowman retreat spaceThis is basically what my space looked like all weekend long. I chose to go over the dark blue sections first with a dark blue thread. Unfortunately…or fortunately….it didn’t really show up. On the one hand I don’t want my snowmen to read too “country” so too much blanket stitch may be a bad thing. On the other hand the blanket stitch does add another layer of cuteness, so I’m a bit torn. Although the dark blue is my most busy fabric and I’d hate for the blanket stitch to fight with the pattern so I guess I’m good. I’m going to try a darker thread for the light blue areas and the bird nest snowman…

P1020123that started like this (above), and has ended up with bold stitching and a little machine embroidery

bird nest snowmen with embroideryIt’s coming along.

Unfortunately I have to put this project away for a little while because I have to concentrate on the Sewtopia challenge quilt I’m making. That little sucker has to be completed upon arrival at the retreat in Salt Lake City on November 6th. I am not known for my speedy finishing skills (remember my sisters quilt did take 23 years to make and more recently my sister-in-law’s quilt took me about 6 months…or more). So I need to buckle down. It’s only about 50″x50″ so I should be able to handle it…we’ll see. I foresee binding on the plane or even worse binding at the hotel, refusing to go to registration until I finish. Fun fun fun.

As for the sprout quilt, that one is on hold as well. In fact that one may have to wait until the snowmen are complete. You see, my husband likes him some Christmas all over the house and I don’t have much to accommodate with. Usually we go away for the holidays and visit his relatives so our house is not an issue but this year we’ll be staying home. I can definitely borrow from my mom’s stash but I think some holiday quilts are for sure in order and luckily he’s fallen in love with this one.

Apollo has fallen in love with the sprouts quilt (I know the quality of the pic is pretty poor but it was dark and we didn’t want to disturb the little guy).Apollo on Sprouts




Posted in Christmas Quilt, Sewtopia, snow man quilt, Work-in-Progress | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Challenge Accepted!

In November I’ll be attending Sewtopia in Salt Lake City with my mom. About a week and a half ago I got a package in the mail from them

P1020114Yup! I got fabric for a challenge. At first I was rather surprised, as I didn’t sign up for the challenge…I’ll have to ask my mom if she got the random fabric because I know she didn’t sign up for it either. However, after having a bit of a think about it I decided, why not? I’ve never taken part in a challenge before and heck, I went to art school (majored in theatrical lighting design, but there were art classes in there).

Part of the rules are that you can ONLY use Michael Miller fabric so the first thing I did was raid my stash and read all the little salvages to see what Michael Miller fabric I owned. Not too much. Robert Kaufman, no problem. Moda, I have plenty. So I took what little I had and began looking through books of blocks and quilts. After some back and forth I found a pattern out of a block book and decided this would be the perfect time to try out my new Electric Quilt software (EQ7). That software is not the most intuitive from the outside, sheesh. Let’s just say after finally getting the block drafted I was able to figure out how to import the fabrics I’ll be using (after racking up a big ‘ol fabric.com bill buying those fabrics). I colored in blocks, moved blocks around, recolored…eventually I had a design I was happy with and I’ve been sewing ever since, that would be about 3 days now.

I’d love to show you progress but I am going to keep it under wraps until I go to Sewtopia.

In the meantime take a look at this

P1020118Someone on Twitter, or maybe Instagram mentioned that they use this tool to square up their quilts! Brilliant. It shoots out two lasers to make a 90 degree angle. My wonderful husband bought it for me as soon as I said I wanted it. One click on Amazon, too easy. I can’t wait to use it on my Sprouts quilt (I need a better name for that one) whose top I have now completed by the way, but it has taken a back seat to the Sewtopia Challenge for now.


Posted in Fabric Challenge, Sewtopia, Tools | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

WIP Wednesday with Sprouts!

For once I am going to actually be part of Freshly Pieced Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesday. You can go here to see all the amazing posts.

So last weeks sprouts that looked like this


Has now changed to this

P1020108Now you may be wondering what the big deal is but those six paper pieced flowers on top were none too easy to make (and I am a foundation piecing queen, one of my guild mates said so after my demo). Also, if you look carefully there are rows and rows of cream squares being added in between each stalk.

The flowers come from a book by Carol Doak (I would give you the title but it is on my bookshelf, conveniently located behind my make-shift design wall). In the book they were only 12″ wide and I needed 13.5″ so I went to my local Office Depot and had them enlarge it. No trouble, it was great! They look like this before

foundation flowerand this after

P1020110It was interesting, I have been making those teeny tiny foundation pieced cranes and yet I found these 13.5 inch foundation flowers harder to make. Really big wonky sized pieces are not to be discounted.

If I was really good I’d have this top together before my guild meeting on Sunday but me thinks that’s a little too ambitious, they may have to wait until it’s fully finished. Don’t think I won’t be passing around my phone to show off pictures though!



Posted in Foundation Piecing, Paper Piecing, Work-in-Progress | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Home Again Home Again

So I had the time of my life in Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Dresden, Budapest and Prague!

Ali at a "love lock" bridge in Paris

Ali at a “love lock” bridge in Paris

I can’t say which place I liked best…too hard

Ali (me) in front of Parliament in Budapest

Ali (me) in front of Parliament in Budapest

Not that sewing did not get done

EPP being done on a train

EPP being done on a train

the picture above is from a train, not a plane, those wonderful stork scissors got taken from me by TSA in Prague…seriously…too dangerous. I had actually planned on storing them in my checked bag but forgot. Bye Bye Stork Scissors.

Holiday Table Runner WIPIn happier news my English Paper Piecing Table Runner now looks like this!

Holiday Table Runner WIP                                                    Here’s a close-up.

Now that I am home I am starting to put together the scrappy sprouts quilt

P1020038 I had my husband help me put up my “design wall”, which is a big piece of flannel attached to the bookcase in the living room, but it works…as long as I pin everything to it. I am liking the rainbow-ishness of it. I am now paper piecing scrappy flowers for the top of each stalk (more on that to come).

Lastly I wanted to do something with my economy blocks so I thought I’d make a pouch out of two of them

P1020039I’ve gotten this far. It took a while to make the piping…yeah, that’s my excuse…It will be quite a bit bigger than I had expected (pre-planning, sheesh I say!) so I bought a big fat white zipper for the top, hopefully that will help the scale. We’ll see.

Lastly, I made my bee block for guild

P1020037She chose the colors and basically told us to go to town on any modern block we wanted. I, having a piecing problem, chose this block, which I love love love. I never thought I’d like this color combination but I really do…hmmmm.

With any luck I’ll get some more done over the long weekend. I hope all is well with you 🙂


Posted in Bee Blocks, English Paper Piecing, Travels, Work-in-Progress | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Zippy Strippy Pattern Pouch, Done and Done!

Before I pack up and leave for my 3 week vacation in Europe (that’s right, I said it…where? Oh let me tell you…Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Dresden, Budapest and Prague…I know!) I thought I’d share two zippered pouches I made with the Atkinson Design Zippy Strippy Pattern.


This one I am going to send off to my aunt. It’s Laurel Burch cat fabric and it just has my aunt written all over it. I even made my own piping. You know, that is so easy I will never buy premade piping again.


Then there is this one that I made for my mom. Guess who is coming with me to Europe?

I’ll be taking my English Paper Piecing table runner with me for all the planes and trains. It has gotten wider in order to fit my dining room table, so there is a lot more work to be done there.

Maybe I’ll be able to post progress pics from the road…maybe I show off my progress in three weeks. We’ll see 🙂

Posted in Finished!, Little Sewing Projects, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Some Economy Blocks (aka Square in a Square)

At the last meeting of the San Diego Modern Quilters Guild I gave a demo on Foundation Piecing (also known as Paper Piecing, not to be confused with English Paper Piecing…yeesh). I started with a demo of the easiest block I could find on foundation, the square in a square or economy block.


I got my block from Alex Anderson’s Paper Piecing book but there are plenty of free ones available online. I liked my little demo pieces so much I decided to make more

P1010679and I’m not done yet. The question is; What to do with them? I am going to take two of them and design a pouch, I guess if it works out I can make them all into pouches and give them away….save for Christmas?

P1010681They’re just so darned cute and easy to make. A little bit addicting actually.

Main Fabric: Hello Tokyo by Robert Kaufman (getting a little hard to come by these days).

Posted in Paper Piecing, Work-in-Progress | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

“Home Sweet Home” the Finished SIL Quilt

I did it! 6 months later the civil war era fabric quilt is done. Yahoooooo!

P1010670I made the label with my NEW Janome 7700 (more to come on that in another post).

I don’t know much about free motion quilting yet so I stuck with stencils.

P1010671I used this one on the border, with a chalk rolling tool.

P1010669Which I think came out rather well.

And I used this one intermittently within the quilt using a wash away marker (which washed out perfectly, huzzah).

P1010673Which looked like this after washing

P1010667I also did “stitch in the ditch” around all of the triangles and parts of the 8 section stars. The pattern itself came from a McCall’s quilting book from back in October 2013 called “Pinwheel Pinache”.

P1010666 In the end mine looks like this 🙂 It’s about double bed size, hopefully not too big to cuddle with. I also used wool batting (she lives in North Carolina). It’s a little lofty but hopefully still good on the couch.

Posted in Finished! | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Super Tote For My Sister-In-Law

Sooooo, I’ve been making this quilt for my SIL

SIL's quilt getting basted on the garage floor..it's super clean, really!

SIL’s quilt getting basted on the garage floor..it’s super clean, really!

….and she’s been waiting a long time. Okay, not as long as my sister waited for hers but about 6 months anyway. In the meantime I went to a little weekend retreat at my local quilt shop. Not being able to bring to my SIL’s double bed size quilt with me for quilting at the retreat (I didn’t want to spill into my neighbors spaces) I decided to create a gift to reward my SIL for her patients and to help me get rid of some of that extra fabric (I always get too much, but I am sure you wouldn’t understand that problem 🙂 ).

Enter the Super Tote!

P1010646…I know, picture quality is an issue this post, my apologies.

I bought the pattern when I was in Los Angeles for the final defense of my dissertation. I went up early and had time to stop by Sew Modern quilt shop. It is called The Super Tote by Noodlehead. If you haven’t checked out her website you really should, it is full of great patterns that go viral in our crafty world, or so it seems.

My bag has …

P1010640magnetic snaps on both outside pockets

P1010639a recessed zipper

P1010642inside pockets


and side gussets!

All of the fabric was from the quilt except for the green, I needed to add that for the whole place-for-the-eye-to-rest thing, it was a little busy otherwise.

Now if I could just get around to sending it to her.




Posted in Finished!, hand made bags, Little Sewing Projects | Tagged , , | Leave a comment