Category Archives: Friday Night Sew-In

FNSI February 2012

So I have only blogged this year after FNSI. Ah well…at least I’m getting at some projects.

My youngest had a friend sleep over last night and my oldest went camping with the boy scouts, so I took the opportunity to work on some bee blocks.

February’s do. Good Stitches blocks are the retro-mod Granny Square blocks I’m seeing all over the Internet right now. We’re so cutting edge ;).  I believe it’s an original pattern and while I don’t actually see the granny square-ness of a crochet block, I do appreciate how pretty these are when they’re sewn together so the designer can call them whatever she wants.

Many of the bee members, myself included, struggled with these blocks, because, though beautiful, they’re tricky little buggers. The key I found out after 2 failed attempts is to sew with a scant 1/4″. That’s hard. The result if you sew with a solid 1/4″ is that they’re a solid 9″ (or as I kept repeating last night, “shit! they’re short”).  They’re supposed to be 9 1/8″.

So I made 2 lovely but unusable blocks. Actually, they’re not lovely at all and as my husband pointed out, they’re off-center.

See those notches on the left and bottom? In addition to the block being just too small, those nips are too big to hide in the seam allowance. So a too small block + big nips = total reject.

Apparently the other block was too embarrassed to be photographed so I can’t show it to you.

I did manage to make two that are actually good, the right size with minimal nips (small nips are apparently unavoidable, even by the designer).  These can be hidden in the seam allowance.  I measured to be sure.

Kristen from the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild asked us to make log cabin blocks framing the sweet Little Apples fabric.  So cute.

OK, full disclosure because my guilty conscience won’t let me get away with anything else:  I was too clever by half and decided to trim the light pink strip to 2″ because I thought all of Kristen’s strips were the same width (2 1/2″) and I didn’t want them all the same width and I thought in the end it would be more than big enough to trim the block down to 12 1/2″.  Wrong.  The strips weren’t all the same width and the dark pink strips were already only 2″ (remember the old quilters’ adage measure twice cut once?  Remember it!!) thus my block was SHY of 12 1/2″.  Ugh.  I’m going to have to rip the dark pink and sew it back with a scant 1/4″.  Are you seeing a theme here?

The biggest news of my night was that I did (almost) all of this with my new sewing machine!  I’m so excited to have something so nice.  I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what this gal can do and I can’t wait to do more than just piece on it!!

I’ve been sewing with a very old and very basic Singer since I started quilting.  It was a hand-me-down from my sister and I really made it work for me.  I darn near burned it out making Christmas quilts for my boys in December.  It works OK to piece (and apparently sews a very fine scant 1/4″ seam) but it was toast for actually quilting or doing anything that required my walking foot.  Plus, it only had 5 stitches and one of them is a non functioning buttonhole stitch.   While I’m sure I won’t use all of the 60+ stitches on this one, I will use more than 5 for sure and I SO look forward to creating new things with it.



Filed under Friday Night Sew-In, Milwaukee_Modern Quilt Guild, Quilting, Quilting bee

FNSI January 2012

So much to do, so little time.  This is the story of my life.

I did take a little time last night to work on my youngest son’s Christmas present (ahem).  You see, when I realized that his quilt wasn’t going to get done for Christmas, I boxed and wrapped it and presented it to him with the promise that I would get it done soon.  All that was left was the binding.  My sewing machine pretty much keeled over from exhaustion while I was making his (and his older brother’s) Christmas present and I barely finished quilting it.  Getting the binding on one side was a real challenge.  I could bore you with the details but hopefully I’ll soon be able to show you a new sewing machine instead.  Anyway…

Today I present my progress from last night’s Friday Night Sew In.  This is all I have left of the binding:

Can you see the white in the upper right corner?  That’s actually a mistake that I can’t quite figure out to fix (the backing slipped down from the end when I was quilting it), but you can see where the red binding ends on the right and the left.  Once that’s sewn down I’m done!

So, just a sneak peek for now.  I can’t wait to show the whole thing wrapped around his little body once it’s done.

Note to self:  change the header already!!


Filed under Friday Night Sew-In, Gifts, Quilting

March FNSI

Last night was the March Friday Night Sew-In (FNSI).  I had big hopes for finishing a pair of pjs for me (!) but only succeeded in cutting them out.  Then I crashed on the couch while the kids and my husband watched a movie.  That’s kind of a typical Friday night for me.

While I got very little done last night,  I QUILTED my Kitchen Windows quilt today!  Pics to come tomorrow.  I’m so excited to be (almost) done with it.  It’s turning out really great.

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Filed under Friday Night Sew-In, Quilting

FNSI – February, 2011

I had one completion this week for FNSI and I’m OK with that.  I have been wanting to make a quilt I saw in the Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  I thought the simplicity of the design would make it a quick quilt.  Well, although the design is simple, it requires a lot of quilting.  And I found out that I really don’t like quilting.  Don’t get me wrong, I love selecting fabrics, piecing, and binding.  It’s the quilting that I suck at.  It makes my back and neck ache, and I generally get annoyed doing it.  That said, I like how the quilting, or stippling, turned out in this piece.

OF COURSE I didn’t finish a quilt for FNSI, that’s ridiculous.  I did finish a pillow though.  My circles leave a lot to be desired, and for sure, that’s the focus of the piece.  I noticed afterword that the circles in the original quilt are actually a continuous loop and mine have a definite starting and stopping point.  I ripped and sewed each of the circles twice because I wasn’t happy with them.  Ultimately, I had to leave them because I ripped and re-quilted after I had stippled with the red thread.  There is some puckering but it’s not too bad.  However, I am satisfied with my stippling overall.  I made a simple envelope-style closure for the back and used one of my throw pillows from the couch for the form.  I bound it like a quilt with the same Kona red.  Here it is, modeled by Rex:

And a closer view

I might actually like the quilting process in the future if I can get a more comfortable chair/table setup.  I think that’s why my back and neck ache when I do it.   Here is the quilt in the book:

Mine looks reasonably like the original, right?  Minus the messy ends in the circles.  Well, minus the messy circles themselves.

I also mailed off my blocks for February’s do. Good Stitches quilt.  We’re supporting a young lady in Australia whose home has been devastated by the flooding and I think this quilt is going to be really beautiful.  I think all the do.  Good Stitches quilters have done a really wonderful job picking the blocks and making the quilts for worthy recipients.  Kristy’s design is no exception.

Here are my blocks:

She asked for a disappearing 9 patch in Spring colors.  I think I got the “value” wrong in these – Kristy’s colors are more pale – but I think they’re very Spring like.  I hope they work well with the other blocks.  This block was so simple and rewarding.  I might have to try it again.  I like how these turned out.


Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Friday Night Sew-In, Quilting, Quilting bee

Friday Night Sew-In, December Edition

For the latest edition of FNSI:  All I wanted to complete was one pair of pjs for my youngest for Christmas.  I almost succeeded.  I had an issue with the elastic and need to purchase some that’s thinner; otherwise, they went together really nicely.  Yes, that’s New England Patriots fabric, not Green Bay Packers as one from Wisconsin should wear.  But that’s what he asked for and I aim to please.  Tomorrow I’ll knock out a pillow case from the yards of extra Patriots fabric I bought.

The hem looks a bit crooked in this picture but I did check it and all is fine 🙂

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Filed under Family, Friday Night Sew-In