Category Archives: Charity

I’m wearing my party dress, so where’s the party?

SO!  Just when I was about to join the fun, Amanda Jean decided to stop hosting the “Finish it up Friday” party.

Was it something I said?

Well, just because she isn’t asking people to post their finishes on her blog doesn’t mean that I can’t post MY finishes on my blog, right?  Right.  And if anyone is so inclined they can post THEIR finishes today too.  I’m going to call this TGIF, or Thank Goodness it’s Finished.  Feel free to have yours with or without the cocktail hour.  Let’s go!

My finishes for the week include this little number:

Little zippered pouch*

It’s my first zippered bag (first time making anything with a zipper) and I made it using this tutorial.  It seemed so complicated while I was reading it through (and reading and reading) but now that it’s done I realize it wasn’t so bad really.  It certainly isn’t something I would give away, but it’s perfectly serviceable as a little makeup bag for my purse.  I need a lot of practice because we’re having a zippered pouch swap for the Faith Circle of do. Good Stitches.  Although the deadline has been extended, I don’t want to put it off until the last minute.

A couple of notes on construction:  I think the fabric I used was thinner than what’s in my usual stash.  I also used very thin interfacing for both the lining and the outer fabric.  I think the next bag will have thin interfacing for the lining but thicker interfacing for the outer fabric.  I want it to have a good cushy feel.  Although Ms. Teacakes said the interfacing is optional, she strongly encouraged using it and I’m really glad I did.  It wouldn’t have had any substance at all without it.  She said the bag would wobble like blancmange without interfacing, and I had to look up that word in the dictionary.  I have to say I totally agree.  And I’m looking forward to making more.

I forgot to post on WIP Wednesday that I also finished 4 pillow cases that were donated to our local Ronald McDonald house through the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild.  I do like making pillowcases.  Pardon the crummy cell phone pic.  The fourth pillowcase (not pictured) is the reverse of the pillow case on the far left.

Of course, I stippled my first quilt this week too.  That felt like a really big accomplishment.  It was nice to receive supportive comments from my friends.  I love Nellie’s idea of listening to peppy music while quilting.  Usually I listen to books on my iPod (listening now to Casino Royale – oh, how anachronistic it sounds!), but I might just have to put something really fun on the iHome and crank it up.

So, what did you finish?

*it wasn’t my idea to put “aviary” on the picture.  Aviary is the online photo editing software I used.  Why would I want their name on my photo?  If there’s no way to remove it, that’s the last time I’ll use it.



Filed under Charity, Milwaukee_Modern Quilt Guild

WIP Wednesday

Well, hello there!

I didn’t mean to miss another whole month of blogging but, you know, I’m a busy gal.  I know you get it.

I have been doing some sewing, but generally, if I’m not blogging I’m not usually sewing much either.

On the completed pile:

I finished proofreading the latest issue of Fat Quarterly:  Kids.  Some of my favorite projects from this issue are Springtime Hues by Elizabeth Dackson, Scrappy Squares by Amber Carrillo, and Who’s Peeking by Brioni Greenberg.  The team also did a great job of highlighting many of the great kid prints on the market.  There’s so much goodness in this issue, you just have to check it out!

I also completed a FOURTH quilt in 4 months.  Big yay!  I didn’t do this one start to finish in 2012, but I did finish it (in April), so it counts!  This is actually one of the first quilt tops I ever made, so it’s been completed for a few years now.  I created the layout, such as it is: a bunch of 5″ squares from a charm pack plus a couple of extra prints thrown in.  Of course, they’re sashed in white because I love quilts sashed in white.  I read in Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison that quilts aren’t considered “modern” when they have a border.  Huh.  Who knew?  So it’s not very modern, but it IS very completed!  I even sewed a label on it. 🙂  I am donating this to Quilts For Kids.

Quilts for Kids

And of course, I also free-motion quilted it.  See?

Q4K closeup

I have never, ever done that on a quilt.  Boy were my shoulders sore after I was done!  The quilt is just 36″ square, but I quilted it in one sitting and when I was done I just sat there with my shoulders hugging my ears and tried to will away the pain.  Oy!  Let’s hope that gets better with practice.  And maybe wine.  Definitely wine.

The quilt is made primarily of prints from Santorini by Lila Tueller.  Start date (approximately) 1/2010, completed 4/29/12.

Also completed, blocks for 2 bees:

Pink zigzag HST strip (28 half square triangle/HST blocks) for Alecia in the April do. Good Stitches bee.  Truthfully, I doubt I will ever make this again.  I hate to say it, but I did not enjoy making this block.  I think it will be really pretty when added to the rest of the zigs from the bee, but because I have ongoing issues with my 1/4″ foot, and  because I had to make it the right size to match the rest of the bee’s strips, I had to rip and re-sew the whole thing.  Every.single.block.  AFTER I had already assembled it.  Sigh.  I do love the crispness of the pink and the white though.  Perhaps it will grow on me… 🙂

This little number is from the book 99 Quilt Blocks from your Favorite Designers.  Pardon my crummy mobile phone pic:

Missing Your Kiss

The block is called Missing Your Kiss and boy, it’s scrappy!  Amy was deliberate in wanting us all to step out of our comfort zone.  Everything came from her scrap bin and, although most of the prints were by Amy Butler, none of them “matched.”  Of course, I had to remake mine (again, note the theme here) because I was off by a little more than 1/8″ when I measured the final product.  Amy gave me extra fabric at last weekend’s sew day and she ordered me to NOT measure it (I think she was disappointed that I’d re-sew a block that was off 1/8″, but it mattered to me!!)

Next up:

May do. Good Stitches blocks for Kelsey

May MMQG bee blocks for Cindy

do. Good Stitches zippered pouch swap.  I am SO nervous about this one!  I’ve never made a pouch, never made anything with a zipper.  And the deadline for mailing is 5/12 (update:  5/19).  Gulp.

Linking up to Lee’s WIP Wednesday!


Filed under Charity, do. Good Stitches bee, Quilting, WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday

I am very, very happy to be completely finished with my Scrap Attack quilt.  Although I wasn’t awarded a single prize (and I can’t pretend I didn’t wish Mr. Random Number Generator would have chosen my entry), I sure feel like a winner with my 3rd completion this year.  Yep, I finished it on March 31.  That’s 3 quilts in 3 months.  One might say I’m on a kaiser (I’m on a roll, get it?  Kaiser?)

Scrap Attack Quilt. Done.


I like the back too – you can see the quilting better.  It disappears on the front.

The quilt was made almost entirely from scraps.  I purchased only the solid (Kona Azure) for the random aqua blocks and the binding.  All the other fabric came from my scrap bins.  Each block is 3 1/2″ square and the finished quilt is 60″ x 72″.  The backing was an old Ralph Lauren sheet I had purchased years ago and never used.  It’s twin was used for the back of M’s Christmas quilt.

Start date:  2/24/12; finish date 3/31/12.

I also completed 4 blocks for the Faith Circle of do. Good Stitches bee.  Des asked for 4 butterfly blocks (using this tutorial) in fresh, pretty girl colors.  After I took this picture, I measured and they were just a bit shy of 6 1/2″ so I had to take them apart and re-stitch the middle.  I admit I’m struggling with a 1/4″ seam on my new machine.  I have to move the needle quite far to the right to get the seam allowance more accurate.

March do. Good Stitches blocks

I worked on another block for the MMQG bee where I had seam allowance issues.  That block is “Missing your kiss” from the Modern Blocks book.  I had to completely disassemble it and that’s as far as I got.  One block of the 9 patch is just a bit smaller than 4″ square so I hope I can get more fabric to remake it.  Grrr.

Finally, I took a leap and free motion quilted my first quilt.  This is also one of the earliest quilt tops I made and it’s my own creation.  Nothing fancy about it.  It’s going to Quilts for Kids as soon as I bind it.  The fabric is primarily Santorini by Lila Tueller.

First FMQ quilt

In progress:

MMQG March bee block

MMQG April bee block

Faith Circle – do. Good Stitches April block

Baby blanket for Quilts for Kids

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!


Filed under Charity, do. Good Stitches bee, Milwaukee_Modern Quilt Guild, Quilting, Scrap Attack, WIP Wednesday

April do. Good Stitches

I made two blocks for April’s do. Good Stitches bee (Faith Circle).  I was able to squeeze in a few hours of sewing at my guild’s sewing day yesterday.  I had about 3 hours between my boys’ soccer and baseball games and made just a little progress on these blocks.  I finished up late last night.

Rachel asked us to make 2 blocks of any size using saturated rainbow colors.  Check out the Flickr pool for do. Good Stitches.  The other members’ blocks are just incredible.

I’m sure this block has a name; I had a few choice names for it yesterday as I spent quality time with my seam ripper, though not because the seams were a mess (they weren’t), it’s because I suck at putting together colors and my first combination, um, sucked.  And that white square in the middle?  Why, oh why, was that so hard for me to figure out?  But once I did, it was an “aha!” moment.

Block 1

The second one went together like a dream, but I struggled figuring out how long to make each piece.  And math should, technically, be my strong suit.  It just doesn’t come to me when I’m trying to figure out what the seam allowance means to the overall size of the thing.

I bet there’s an app for that.

Block 2

I think they turned out just fine, though I wish I wouldn’t have procrastinated getting them done.  So what else is new?

I learned that I wish I had a lot more of all the fabrics.  I think these bright colors are happy.

I also learned that my machine is BADLY in need of a tune up; in fact, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish the blocks, and I was pre-emptively super annoyed with myself because not finishing meant explaining why they weren’t finished and why I left them to the last minute (there is no good reason).  This bee is big on deadlines!

Anyway, I’ll get them in the mail on Monday and they’ll be there in time.  It will be fine.


Filed under Charity, do. Good Stitches bee

January do. Good Stitches

This the only sewing I’ve done since finishing the Quilts for Kids blanket:

They are the January blocks for the do. Good Stitches bee.  They’re called X string blocks.  They’re so pretty with the white, in my opinion, but they weren’t exactly easy.  I think it’s just me though.  I wonder how long it would take to make an entire quilt of these blocks?  For me, A LONG TIME.

I’m always in doubt about my color choices.  The person creating the quilt is going for a nautical look and asked for fabrics in navy and blue with splashes of yellow and red.  The samples of blue fabric she provided included dusty blue, navy, and royal as far as I could tell.  This is what I had available in my stash.  I sure hope they work.  [FYI Mom, if you’re reading this, the dark blue fabric with the dots came from your stash – you made a dress for me out of that fabric when I was about 16.]

Here’s a gratuitous shot of my dog taken with my new camera.  My old camera (a Kodak) cannot compare to the new (a Nikon), even though they’re both just point and shoot types.  Love it.  It better represents the light when I’m taking the picture than the Kodak did.  I really struggled with that before.

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Filed under Charity, do. Good Stitches bee, Stash

A note about New Year’s Traditions

New Year’s Traditions?  I don’t have any.

OK, I take that back, our family has two but they’re New Year’s EVE traditions.  Other than that, we don’t really do anything to mark the new year and I’m not good at sticking to resolutions so I don’t usually make those either.

OK, I take that back too.  I make the same new year’s resolution every year and every year I break it within a week:  no library fines.  Generally simple and attainable, right?  Yeah, not for me, though I don’t feel bad when I do inevitably break the resolution because I’m supporting a good cause.

I hope this one doesn’t become a tradition for our family:

That’s my husband on new year’s day plunging into Lake Michigan.  The temperature outside was 18 F; there were ice chunks on the beach where he entered the water; there was a furious wind whipping the sand and the surf; AND, it doesn’t count unless you go totally under.  He wasn’t alone though, oh no.  The local paper reported hundreds of nutters went in and, in fact, a good family friend went in with my husband.  Here’s a crowd scene:

See that line of messy fencing in the foreground?  That’s SNOW FENCING.  Yeah, for the inevitable Wisconsin snow.  Here’s a closeup of what the more sane people were wearing:

Oh wait, that’s my husband and our friend, never mind.   It had been nearly 20 years since he last went in but he surprised me when our son asked how many times he had been in and replied, “more than 5”. Seriously?  More than 5.  Wow.  Even I didn’t know that.  Since it was so packed at the lakefront we had to park pretty far from the beach which also means it was a long long walk with frozen hair.   Despite the fact that I didn’t go in, I had to confess that my butt was frozen. It really was.

We finished the morning with our friend and kids at Starbucks.  I treated.  I figured they earned it.

On another note, I finished a quilt already.  Yea!!  I started it back in May but had yet to quilt and bind it.  I quilted it on Saturday and finished the binding Sunday afternoon.  It’s for Quilts for Kids so they have strict requirements about the quilting (must be heavily quilted to stand up to hospital washing) and binding.  There is concern that it will get snagged on an IV line so they recommend “pillowcasing” it or folding the back to the front to make the binding or traditional binding.  I chose to do a semi-traditional binding with the only difference that I didn’t hand sew it at the end:  I zigzag stitched it.  It actually didn’t look too bad though that wouldn’t be my chosen method if I was giving it as a gift.  And I think I learned how to sew it more neatly next time so the zigzag stays closer to the binding on the back AND the front.  I hope to get it in the mail this week.  Isn’t it a happy print?  All the fabric except for the binding was provided by Quilts for Kids.

I think that’s a pretty good start to the new year.


Filed under Charity, Family, Learning Curve, Quilting

Sewing Goodness

Now that the kids are back at school and summer is officially winding down AND the temperature is coming down, I’ve been able to get back to a wee bit of sewing.  I’ve finished these:

And I’ve joined these:

And I’m really itching to do this:

Of course, this is in addition to baseball, football, and soccer practices and games with a few baseball tryouts thrown in for good measure, and my usual volunteering.

Spare time?  What spare time?

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Filed under Charity, Fresh Comfort Two, Quilting, Quilting bee, Stash