Monthly Archives: August 2016


I'm one full week into the kids being back in school. I'm enjoying the time to catch up with friends, and to tackle some projects around the house, but also the longer stretches of uninterrupted time in my sewing room.

Getting Organized

Since the kids are back in school I have a lot more flexibility in my schedule. It's the time of year when I reassess what my priorities are in all avenues of life. I've spent some of the last week organizing my sewing room. Since I work on multiple projects at once, organization is key and the room can get cluttered very quickly. I also have some new fabric acquisitions, from shopping while on vacations this summer, and a couple online orders. I prewash my fabric before it gets shelved so it will be ready to go when I am. But this creates homework right when the fabric comes into the house. I machine wash and dry, and as long as I pay attention and remove promptly from the dryer I don't generally feel the need to press it before folding. The task isn't too bad when I actually do it. Looking at the pile can be daunting though. So I've been working on my pre-washing pile. It's a little out of hand at the moment.

Last week, I shared my index cards that I'll be using to help me stay focused on my sewing and quilting priorities. I don't just work on one project at a time, start to finish, so I have lots of projects all going at the same time. Once I titled an index card for each current project (WIP and upcoming) I got a little overwhelmed. (There are over 30. I didn't count.) And it's not like there's a simple order of what is first, second, and third. The system is a work in progress, but here's what I've got so far.

I pulled all the cards for completed quilt tops. They are hanging together roughly in priority order.

I like having projects in a variety of stages to choose from, so as I flipped through the rest of my cards and pulled out those I'd consider a priority (or which I wanted to make a priority) due to deadline or interest. I grouped them into similar stages, which determined my categories: Designing, Cutting and Piecing. Nothing too profound here, but for instance, being reminded of all the projects I needed to do cutting for meant I could easily pull one project after another to cut fabric while I was focusing on that particular task. Hard to see, but the cards have a due date, if applicable, on the bottom right corner. Things change, but these can be easily moved around since I just have them pinned to the top of my design wall.

So far, it's helping. I moved the Race Car Quilt from Piecing to Quilting, I've made quite a bit of cutting progress, and I was able to focus one one of my design tasks while I was out with my sketchbook at the beginning of the week. I'll need to revisit my full deck of projects from time to time to fill in as projects progress and to check for upcoming deadlines.


Just Keep Cutting...

I'm in the middle of marathon cutting. I've precut all my fabric for my paper pieced Heather Ross Mini Swap, as well as cut out the fabric for 3 bee blocks (not shown). And I've begun the cutting for the Meadow Mystery quilt. This one is a little last minute since the first sewing step comes out tomorrow. (No idea what's going on with that top piece of dark grey fabric. Something must have been casting a strange light on it during my quick photo during sunrise this morning.)


Placemats for School

It took me five late night sewing sessions (procrastinator mode) to finish them, but here are the five cloth napkins that my son will be using as placemats at school (a requirement now that he's in first grade). The fabrics all came from his stash, but it seems the owl fabric made it in there unwashed, because there was substantial shrinkage when I washed it the first time. It doesn't really make a difference to the "set" but the owl napkin is about 1/4" shorter in one direction and 1/2" shorter in the other direction than the rest of the stack.


Finished Quilt Tops

I finished my Star Light Star Dark quilt top. Next up, I'll decide what I'm going to do for backing fabric and start considering quilting options. There's a linkup with prizes September 19 - October 3, so there's still time for you to join in the QAL even if you haven't started. It goes together so quickly!


I just love bright colors and this adorable race car fabric! I designed the quilt with the race car fabric in mind, to make the best use of it without chopping it up too small. I'm excited to get this done and love how quickly it went together.


The Kids

My son is down to one long seam on his twin sized quilt. Maybe that will get done during the three day weekend.

My daughter has already made plans for her next quilt. She's chosen fabrics from her stash (we all did a little fabric shopping while in Portland this summer). She told me this morning that what she's most looking forward to today is sewing after school. (She's also excited to pick up her new glasses, which should be ready today as well.) Here's her fabric pull:


Thanks for visiting!


It's Back to School this week for my household. My son went back Monday and my daughter returns tomorrow. This is why, as you may have realized, that it's nearly Thursday... though technically still Wednesday here. Today kind of snuck up on me. I'm hoping that with the kids back in school I can get into a better routine where I can keep track of what day of the week it is, among other things. :-)

As I pulled together all of what I've been working on in the past week I realized that this Back to School week has been very kid-centric in my sewing as well!

Cloth Napkins for School

I send cloth napkins in my kids' lunches. We have a couple dozen 10" solid napkins that I use for that. This year in first grade my son is required to bring a 12" cloth napkin each day as well, to use as a placemat. I had him choose five fabrics from his fabric stash so I could make these placemat napkins and followed this tutorial for Mitered Corner Napkins by Erin at Sewbon. I cut mine 14 1/2" square to finish at 12". True to procrastinator form, I've been sewing one each evening since Sunday. I keep meaning to finish the others the next day, but well... I haven't even done today's yet and it's 10pm. Here's the first one I finished. I just love his tiger fabric and wonder what he'll use the rest of it for.


My Son's Twin Sized Quilt

My son is working on his fourth quilt, a twin sized bed quilt for his sister. He's two seams away from the quilt top being finished and I think we've decided that I will be quilting it for him. Here's a glimpse of his project. We had to scramble a bit to add an additional row and column, since it ended up smaller than twin. He pulled all his fabrics from my stash. I just had to order a bit more of the solid greens.


My Daughter's First Quilt

And while I'm on this subject of helping my kids with their projects, my daughter finished her first quilt this week. More on her big finish soon, but she's already sleeping under it.


To Do Cards

With two quilt finishes in a week (I count my daughter's since I'm a full time assistant), it's time to regroup and figure out what my sewing priorities are. Unless you're new here, you probably know that I'm a "lots of WIPs" kind of gal. I'm pretty organized, but I'm still overwhelmed sometimes. Right now I'm looking at a couple upcoming swap deadlines, plus some challenge quilts. I decided that I needed a system to be able to see what my priorities are. My planner is great, but it's just not in my face enough. So, I decided to use index cards for each project. I'll be adding the deadlines (self-imposed or non) for the ones that are time sensitive, and that will help me focus my time on the "right" project. The advantage of the cards is that I'll be able to pin them up on my design wall, so there's no forgetting what I should be working on. I'll let you know how it goes. So far I've listed out all the projects.


Secret Sewing

Back to the kid related sewing, I've got a secret project in the works, here's a peak at just one of my fabrics. Everything is cut out on this one as of this evening.


Race Car Quilt

I'm also getting to work on this race car quilt. I've had to rework my design a bit since my backing fabric is a bit smaller than I need it to be. I added the yellow fabric tonight and my cutting list is all ready to go so I hope to get this one cut out tomorrow.


Upcoming Blog Hop

The last thing on my mind at the moment is the upcoming New Block Blog Hop. I'm not sure yet if I'll use one of the designs in my sketchbook or if I'll come up with something new... but it's getting close to crunch time. I love the colors and can't wait to see what people come up with.

2016 New Quilt Bloggers

Thanks for visiting!

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday.


Yesterday, about seven hours before my brother arrived for his birthday dinner, I finished his quilt. I finished his quilt that I started for him in 2004. Let's just take a second to put that in perspective. That was before I lived in this house. In fact, it was two homes ago. It was before I had kids. It was before I was married. It was before I had even met my husband. Yeah, basically, I was a completely different person back then. The single, middle school math teacher, who really didn't have much time for her newish quilting hobby.

baseball quilt

Oh, and by the way, I actually gave my brother this quilt as a Christmas present in 2004 (photo above). I think that was his Junior year of high school. I wrapped up about eight finished blocks for his gift and then "was going to finish it up for him." See, he even tried them on. And fake slept. ;-) Well, here we are, twelve years later. I know there are people with WIPs older than mine, but come on. They are snowball blocks. I've completed over 40 quilts (granted, many of them mini quilts) since I started his. Sheesh!

I'm thrilled to have finally finished this gift for him. I'm also relieved to not have the weight of a twelve-year-old WIP on me. I haven't yet determined what my next oldest WIP is, the quilt that will now fill that taunting role in my life. It's just better not to know. ;-)

While I was working to quilt it in the last few days, my son came in and asked me what I was doing. Now, he's a quilter. He knew I was quilting the quilt. I was confused. It turns out, what he wanted to know was what patterns I was quilting. He said he thought I would be quilting baseball players and baseballs and stuff. (The kid clearly thinks my free motion skills are beyond where they are.) So together we joked that maybe we could find some parts that looked like players in my meandering quilting. Here's what he, my sister and I came up with:

Player fielding a ground ball:





The back is simple. I used up the last of my baseball mitt fabric. (The last of the red baseball fabric went on the back of my daughter's first quilt.) and I snuck in some of the red fabric that I used when I made my kids' baseball clothes.


Here's the 58" x 83" quilt all washed and crinkly, just in time to give to Chris.



My son excitedly helped deliver the gift.

I named this quilt Finally. I'm glad that got a chuckle from Chris when he received it. He also appreciated that my label has washing instructions on it. :-)

Happy 28th Birthday, Chris!

I'm linking up to the Q3 Finish Along finishes party. See all my Q3 WIPs in my goal post.