Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday - Aurifil Test and a new project!

I finished my latest baby quilt, and I quilted this one with white Aurifil 50 cotton thread.  This is the nicest thread I've used - it's thin but strong, has a nice soft sheen, and best of all - hardly any lint!  My machine loves it and so do I.  I'll be using Aurifil thread regularly now.

After sewing a multi-colored striped binding on this quilt, I decided I didn't like it and ripped out all the stitches and removed it.  It's in my scrap bin for some other quilt some day.  I'm much happier with this green one that has little dragonflies flitting all around.
(Etsy listing coming soon  DONE! click here to view)

Now I'm working on a new project - a quilt for my grandson.  My DIL bought a bundle of "Foxy Trails" by Riley Blake fat quarters and a pattern called "Scatter Patch" by Carlene Westburg, and had every intention of making this quilt herself, but like most busy moms, found herself running short of time, so she asked if I'd like to make it for them.  Of course!  When would I turn down a chance to make a quilt - especially for a special little boy!  This is such a happy collection of fabrics - you just can't help but smile when working with them!  :)
I chose Kona Ash as the solid because it goes PERFECTLY with this collection.  And it's simple piecing so this should go together pretty quickly.
I hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday - An almost-finished baby quilt...

I've finished quilting the baby quilt that I showed you in my previous post and I've come to the conclusion that white quilts are extremely difficult to photograph.  It's hard to get the white and the colors to all look natural - either one or the other is always a little off, no matter how much editing I do.  I'm learning every day though, so maybe I'll eventually get it figured out.  Like quilting, I guess photography is all about practice, practice, practice also...
 I stitched in the ditch of the patchwork strips and extended those lines all the way out to the edge of the quilt in both directions.  As much as I like free-motion quilting, there's still something about the look of row after row of straight neat stitches.  I guess it's my drafting background, again...
I used one of the P&B Modern Shadows fabrics that I bought a couple of weeks ago for the back, but only had one yard of it, so I added a band of one of the fabrics that I used in the patchwork strips on the front.  There's a little bit of the same gray in it, so the two go together perfectly.  I haven't done many pieced backs before, but I love how this one went together.
Now it's time to bind it and write the description for my Cotton Cellar listing...


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Progress Report

This is the time of year that I'm grateful to be sewing in the basement - it's so much cooler down there!  We're in a heat wave here, so I've been down there most of the day, but I just came up for a cool drink (details of that next...) and thought I'd share my latest project with you.
I designed this baby quilt months ago on EQ, but set it aside while I worked on higher priority projects.  Today I was just in the mood to start something new, so that's exactly what I did.  My blocks are done, and I just have to cut my sashing and borders then put it all together.

The patchwork strips are leftover from the big custom order of Fabric Covered Journals that I did a few months ago.  I'm setting them in a background of white, but it's not quite solid.  It's a subtle tone-on-tone of snow white with a modern circle design printed on it.  I hope you can see the details in the next picture, but it's so hard to photograph white on white.
Now for the drink details...  I'm on a juice smoothie kick these days, and it's especially refreshing on a scorcher like today.  I threw together some frozen grapes (I keep a bag of these in the freezer), frozen mango, fresh pineapple, and a sprinkling of frozen chopped spinach.  Added some water, then blended it all up with my handy-dandy new Ninja Pulse.
DEE-LICIOUS!   Cold and super refreshing!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday

Hot Hot Hot...  That's what's going on this week in this part of the country.  At least my Cotton Cellar stays a little cooler than the rest of the house, so I'll be spending as much time as possible down there the next few days.

In an attempt to stay cool, I made this Neck Cooling Wrap for my husband.  The store-bought one he's been using for the last few years sprung a leak, and while looking for a replacement on-line, I discovered this "make-your-own" tuturial.  Turns out I had all the materials on hand, so I didn't have to buy a thing.  And it only took a few minutes to make!  Much cheaper than buying on-line and paying shipping on top of that!
If you've never seen these before, it's simply a cotton tube with divisions sewn in, and Moisture Crystals in each division.  You soak it in a bowl of cool water for an hour or two so the crystals can absorb the water, then wring it out (gently) and wear it around your neck like a bandana.  It cools by evaporation and works great!  My husband always wears his while mowing the lawn in hot weather.

I only put 1/4 teaspoon of crystals in each section, and this is what it looks like after soaking overnight.  Good thing I didn't use more crystals - it might have burst!  The tutorial calls for 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, so if you use 1/2 teaspoon don't soak it for more than an hour or two.

Update:  Since readers are asking, here's a link to the Moisture Crystals that I used.

After finishing this one, I made another pair of them for friends who were working in their garden in this heat yesterday.  Now they can stay cool too!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Eyeglass Pouches

Just finished up a custom order for some Flex-Frame Eyeglass Pouches.  The order was only for four (all shown on the left), but I figured that it would be more efficient to make a couple more at the same time, so I made six.  I only had one left in stock in my Etsy shop, so I needed some more anyway.  I hope to get these two extra ones (the two on the right) listed in the next couple of days.

Speaking of Etsy - a little while ago they made some changes to the way our Etsy shops look, and I love what they did.  The information is presented much more clearly to the viewer now, and the placement of everything makes so much more sense than it did before.

They also gave us the opportunity to publish an "About" page for our shops, giving the viewer a chance to get a glimpse into our studios and learn a little bit about what we do, and how we do it.  I've been rolling ideas around in my head for the last few months, trying to decide how to present mine.  I don't know about you, but I find it really difficult to write about myself, let alone pick a profile picture that I like!  I know - we're our own worst critic when it comes to pictures of ourselves.

So anyway, I spent several hours yesterday working on my About page, and finally published it.  Done!  It's not perfect, but I'm happy, and now I can get back to my sewing...

If you're interested and want to take a peek, here's a link.  And please, don't be afraid to point out any typos, or anything that doesn't make sense, etc.  Feedback is always appreciated!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday - Paint Box Baby Quilts

I'm trying something new on Etsy.  I'm introducing a line of "Paint Box" Baby Quilts that will give buyers a choice of color palettes to pick from.  The quilts will all be the same, simple patchwork design, but the color palette will vary.  These first two are Pastel Batiks and I have a third one cut out and ready to sew.
I hope to offer two or three of each color palette, but change the backing and binding colors, so they would make nice gifts for twins or triplets as well as individual babies or toddlers.
Once again, I did all the basting STANDING UPRIGHT - thanks to my basting wall - so much easier on this old body than working on the floor.
(Click here if you want to read more about how I do this.)

I hope to have these Pastel Quilts listed in my Cotton Cellar shop at Etsy.com sometime tomorrow...
Update:   They're listed here...

I'm already digging through my stash - pulling fabrics and cutting squares for several other color palettes, like this super-bright one...

My work table looks like a bomb went off, with fabrics everywhere, but the process of selecting fabrics - pressing, then cutting - is almost like therapy for me... so calming and enjoyable.

I also finished the Challenge Quilt I mentioned a few weeks ago!  The deadline was originally July 1st, so I was all prepared to share pictures with you after all the entries were in, but the day after I submitted my entry, I found out the the deadline was being extended until August 1st.  So now you'll have to wait till then to see my quilt.  The challenge only required that the top be pieced by the deadline, but since sending in my entry, I continued on and finished quilting it as well, just so it wouldn't end up in my UFO basket.  I'm terrible that way - if I don't finish a project right away, I loose my focus and get too easily distracted by new projects, then never get back to finish it.  I'm sure I'm not alone here...  :)

Hope you're having a great summer!


Monday, July 8, 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Trying out Bloglovin, now that Google Reader is gone. We'll see how this works...
Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Break Time

Enjoying a quick break from my sewing.  Our lilies are in full bloom...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tasting Table Tuesday - Inspiration

Like most of you, I have more fabric in my stash than I'll ever use.  I keep telling myself that I won't buy any more until I use up more of what I already have.  But lately, every time I go into my local quilt shop, this particular collection has been whispering in my ear.  "Buy me - Buy me!".  OK - so maybe it's been just a tad louder than a whisper...  Anyway, I've been promising myself that I would resist buying it until I had a project in mind...

On Saturday, I dropped in to deliver my latest handbag sample and Tracy said "by the way - I just got in some new books on Modern Quilting!".  (Bear in mind that Needles Quilt Shop primarily caters to the traditional quilters, but a few of us have been encouraging Tracy to start stocking some modern fabrics and patterns, so she has started ordering a little bit to see how it goes.  Yeah Tracy!)

Of course, I had to look...  and a look lead to a purchase...
The book I chose is called "Modern BABY - Easy, Fresh, and Fun Quilt Designs" and it's full of great ideas and inspiration.  But when I saw this zig zag chevron quilt in gray, black & white, I knew it was time to buy these fabrics!  The pattern is called "Daddy's Little Girl" by Melissa Cory.  I don't plan on making this exact quilt, but it certainly has inspired me enough to buy these fabrics and see what I can come up with.  Now maybe they'll quit yelling at me when I walk by, and I can shop in peace.
The fabrics are from the "Modern Shadows" collection by P&B, except for the floral one in the center - it's called "Shades of Black" by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda.

And just for smiles, my neighbor had some little visitors in her backyard.  Mama was close by keeping an eye on them.