Monthly Archives: July 2014


This is my A Lovely Year of Finishes July finish. Since I have a complete inability to have just one goal, I set a primary goal and bonus goals.

The Primary (and ALYoF) Goal

Okay, so it wasn't done by the 4th of July. But it was done in July. And I'm all set for 4th of July 2015! Moreover this completed project was from a UFO that was many years old and abandoned. I had to make two additional blocks from kits I had and piece it together to make the table runner. I haven't free motion quilted anything since April, so it was a nice size project to get back to that. And I'm feeling brilliant for saving myself some time by recording the settings on my machine for FMQ so I turned some dials and was ready to go without any trial and error needed.


So naming quilts stresses me out. I have quilts named "My First Quilt" and "The Purple Quilt." Yep. Awesome, huh? I decided I'd ask for some help.

Me: You know what I'm bad at? I'm bad at naming quilts. Will you help me?

The Husband: I don't know what quilts are named.

Me: Anything… okay, go! (I show him a picture of the 4th of July table runner top)

The Husband: Frieda!

I laugh hysterically. For many minutes.

Then I show him examples of other named quilts, Western Kaliedescope and Shattered Rainbow.

He points out that he didn't know that quilts were named things like that and then declares, "I think you gave me a crazy task that I had no idea how to do it and I BSed my way out of it."

It gets better.

Then a few nights later when I was quilting it, The Husband and I were talking and I said something about it being a 4th of July table runner. "Oh! Then that's perfect, Frieda... like Freedom!" he declared. Um... wasn't that what you were thinking originally. "No, it was just the first name I thought of." More hysterics.

By the way, when I showed him the quilt label, he was entertained that I'm actually using the name Frieda. Speaking of the label. I made a cute label using Kelly's Cute and Easy Quilt Labels tutorial. It's awesome. I love it. All my future quilts will have adorable quilt labels. And fun names.

Frieda quilt label

For the binding step, I've switched in the past year to machine binding. This was the first time that I used the tube method of making bias binding. I used this binding calculator as a guide. I think the pro of not needing to stitch a million 3 inch bias seams exceeded the con of needing to cut the length of the binding with scissors after stitching. I'm using a 2 1/4" double bias binding... I prefer the look of a 2", but I find that the extra width is helpful for machine attaching the binding.

Frieda frontthe back of FriedaFrieda detail


The Bonus Goals

  • Make party outfits for the kiddos to wear at The Boy's 4th birthday party. Check. The Boy and The Girl were well dressed in their airplane and helicopter attire for the celebration.
  • Create a mug rug (or four) using turned edge machine applique. Ever so slight progress. I cut the fabric for the fronts and backs of these. The applique is intimidating me.
  • Complete step 13 of the mystery quilt. Check. And step 14. And step 15. And step 16. The latest progress on this project can be seen in this post (as well as a peek at a new project).
  • Quilt blocks 3 and 4 from the Building Blocks Quilt Along. Not so much. But I did FMQ some other stuff, so I'm back on the horse, so to say.
  • Wash fabric for use in the Farm to Fabric Challenge. Check. It's washed. Now I need to make haste to make it into a completed quilt that looks vaguely like what I'm picturing in my head.
  • Start visiting quilt shops participating in the Row by Row Experience. Check. Technically, I started. I went to The Intrepid Thread in Milpitas. Their pattern is lovely. Then life got in the way and I haven't been to another participating quilt shop this month. Oops. I have another month to collect rows. We'll see how that goes.

I'm linking up on the July ALYoF Finishes Party and to TGIFF at Quokka Quilts.

I'm linking up to Finish Along Quarter 3 Finish Party. Here is my full list of Q3 Finish Along Goals.


I don't remember how I first ran across this, but I thought it was so neat that NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg did some quilting in space! A challenge was created for quilters to submit their own star blocks to be combined with hers to create a quilt that will be displayed at the 2014 International Quilt Festival in Houston. I like a challenge. The Astronomical Quilts! Block Challenge went on my to do list. The challenge was to create a star-themed 9.5" unfinished block.

Wonky Star Astronomical Quilt Block

I like a deadline, because I'm a procrastinator. If I could have found that August 1st was a postmark deadline, I'd still be procrastinating. But last night I did the math and decided I needed to get that block sent off priority mail today to make sure it arrives by the 1st. So today while The Boy was at Summer Camp and The Girl amused herself, I cranked out a block to submit.

A couple weeks ago, I saw Terri Faust's post about her Astronomical Block. It's beautiful! And her lovely background fabric inspired me... it reminded me of a fabric from my stash. Then today when I pre-washed my fabric I made my friend Amber decide what my second fabric should be. Yay! The hard decisions were made! I knew I didn't have time for anything too intricate, so I decided on a wonky star block. Once the fabrics were chosen, washed and ironed, it took me about a half hour to cut and piece the block. It was my first wonky star block and I really liked the process.

I cut all my pieces. Nine 3.5" squares of the background (one unused) and five 3.5" squares of the star fabric, 4 of which were cut into HSTs.
I cut all my pieces: nine 3.5" squares of the background (one unused) and five 3.5" squares of the star fabric, 4 of which were cut into HSTs.
Decided on angles to attach blocks... stitch 1/4" from triangle edge.
Decided on random angles to attach blocks... stitched 1/4" from triangle edge.
Trim square to 1/4" seam allowance after sewing.
Trimmed background to 1/4" seam allowance after sewing.
Press the seams open.
Pressed the seams open.
Square up the blocks.
Squared up the blocks.
Add the second set of wonky points.
Added the second set of wonky points.
Press them open again after sewing and trimming.
Press them open again after sewing, then trim.
Then decide on a layout before piecing the 9-patch together.
Then decided on a layout before piecing the 9-patch together.

I'm very happy with how it came out. I might have been more sad to mail it away just three hours after finishing it if I didn't have 2-3 yards of each of these fabrics left in my stash. I think a new project is making it's way into my queue.

Update: See my lap quilt, Stellar Wind, that was inspired by this block.

I'm linking up on Freemotion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts.


Just 100 sewing days left until Halloween! Are you making your kids' (or your own) costumes this year? What do you have planned?

I like the kiddos to coordinate for Halloween. Ya know, at least for now when I have a bit of influence. For Halloween 2012 The Boy decided he'd wear his airplane costume again. So that left me thinking about what The Girl could be. On Halloween she was going to be 5 months old. I decided the perfect pairing to the airplane would be a bag of airline peanuts. I found this image online of a bag of Southwest Dry Roasted Peanuts and went to work.


I bought a blue pillowcase, thinking I would cut neck and arm holes and slip it over her. Then I decided since I normally wore her in the baby carrier that I could just wear her and pin it on around her. I used some fabric paint and spent a few nights painting the pillowcase in the likeness of the example. (I left off the "byte-sized fares" part simply due to time.) Here's the final result.

bag o peanuts costume for baby carrier

I'm linked up to Bernie's Handmade Halloween at Needle and Foot.