Category Archives: Milwaukee_Modern Quilt Guild

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

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

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

Question #6 from Milwaukee-Madison Modern Quilt Guild

Our Milwaukee-Madison Modern Quilt Guild poses a question every week.  This week they asked about our other hobbies and interests.

In addition to quilting, my interests include anything my boys are doing.  At this stage of our lives, this IS my life.  They play sports:  football, soccer, and baseball; they play video games (about the only one of their interests that I’m NOT interested in); they are in scouts; they love watching sports; they play guitar; they take swim lessons; they tap dance.  Consequently, I’m the treasurer of their baseball league as well as the uniform chair, and I am the awards coordinator for the cub scouts.  I also volunteer in their school when I can, though as they get older that need gets less and less.  I mean the school’s need for me is less, not my need to be involved in their school 🙂  I volunteer in their library every other week.  I also work full time (almost) at my favorite job ever.  So my desire to sew and do things with my hands is severely outweighed by the number of hours in the day.  There simply aren’t enough hours to do the things I like to do and still sleep, cook, clean, work, etc.  I think that would be seconded by most people, no?

OK, the other thing I do, though not enough (there’s a theme here) is crochet.  My grandma and my mom taught me to crochet when I was 6, so I’ve been doing that for a while.  I’m constantly scouring the Internet for new patterns (I found a fun one for, of all things, a washable Swiffer cover!).  But I find myself crocheting mostly in the cold months because I can’t stand the thought of having a heavy blanket of yarn on my lap when it’s 90 degrees outside!  I guess the good thing about that is that we have more cold months here in Wisconsin than we have warm months (though Mother Nature didn’t get that memo this year – luckily).

One more thing that I like to do, and actually make time for, usually, is read.  Right now I’m reading “Little Bee” for the book group that I’ve been with since about 1990.  I’m tempted to get a Kindle because of the portability factor, but mostly I check out books from the library and so far that’s been good enough for me.

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Filed under Family, Milwaukee_Modern Quilt Guild