Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rag Rows Completed

I decided to sew all the rows of the rag quilt out first to make sure I didn't mess up the design layout.  I'm so used to putting the whole quilt together and somewhere finding that one block is backwards.  This time, no out of order blocks!  I laid out all the rows on the living room floor and it looks great.  Of course, the photo has a lot of distortion since the quilt is larger to photograph.  It's going the be a pretty big quilt.  Now, just have to sew the rows together and I'm done. 

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Trish's Tools - Sidewinder Now Deluxe too

A friend of mine was kind enough to send me her bobbin thread spools that she was not going to use.  I just recently finished using the two regular size spools and all I had left were the cones of bobbin thread.  I really like this bobbin thread.  It just seems stronger to me.  Since I had to use the cones, of course they did not fit on my regular Sidewinder bobbin winder.

I have been thinking of getting one of the "Deluxe" sidewinder bobbin winders.  But, could not bring myself to pay for another sidewinder.  Today, it just dawned on me that I have a cone holder that I just started using with my sewing machine.  I finally realized I should use it with my sidewinder too and it worked like a dream.  Now I can wind bobbins using the cones of thread I have.  I'm pretty excited about that. It's always great to save some money!!
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Jury is Still Out - Rag Quilt Progress - Slow and Steady

I managed to finish sewing all the flannel block sandwiches for the rag quilt. I chose the second pattern option as the quilt design.  Is was the one with the bulls eye design. I have another rag quilt in the diagonals so I thought this would make a great change. 

So far I have assembled two rows and just finished joining the rows.  I think the jury is still out whether using the AccuQuilt Go dies are a time saver or not.  What time I previously spent on snipping the seams is now spent on making sure all the little fringes are setting properly as it goes under the needle.  But, slow and steady I'm making progress. 

This is going to be a bigger quilt for me.  It will probably cover a queen bed comfortably.  I did have one issue where some of the original UFO blocks had batting all the way to the fringe edges where the new ones did not. I spend some time meticulously snipping the batting out of the block fringes.  I gave up after just 1/4 of the blocks.  I'll come back after it is finished and see how obvious it is.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Layout Options

Finally all my rag quilt blocks are assembled and quilted with the X's. I might actually complete a UFO. Now, I've been trying to figure out a layout for the blocks that I have.  I have approximately 22 of each color and a few odd floral blocks that I will probably use as cornerstones.  So, my goal this weekend is to decided on the layout and assemble the quilt so that I can go to the laundromat sometime next week to try and fluff the seams up.  In the image below, I didn't try to match the fabrics to what I have.  I just chose any fabric in a similar tone as what I have. 

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Batting Squares for Rag Quilt

I'm making progress on completing a Rag quilt using UFO blocks and additional new blocks using the remaining fabric purchased.  Even with the AccuQuilt Go, it's time consuming.  I ended up cutting 64 new blocks so I needed to cut the matching batting squares.  Since I used the AccuQuilt Go to cut the rag squares, I wanted to use it again for the batting squares.  

I used my bags of scrap batting.  You know, the long scraps cut off of a quilt. I cut two squares per run through the cutter.  In no time, I was completed cutting my batting squares.  I even managed to quilt (sewn x's) on all but one set of colors.

All that is left is to sew the last set of 16 block sandwiches and then assemble the quilt.  I plan on taking this one and the original rag quilt using these fabric to the laundromat.  I can't wait to see it fringe up from the dryer!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Go Rag Quilt

Amazing what a little inspiration can do for motivation.  I finally made some progress and spent the day sending UFO rag quilt blocks through the rag quilt die for the AccuQuilt Go.  This is soo much easier then having to snip cut the quilt when it is completed.  I managed to die cut all the UFO blocks and then cut out several new blocks.  Now, all that is left to complete is to cut some of the batting squares and sew them all together.  I'm happy with the progress.  However, the cleanup from sending flannel fabric through the cutter is tedious.

On a side note, we had some great news Tuesday.  The surgeon advised they are not 100% sure the areas that glowed on dh's scan are a return of the disease.  They will not know for sure until a biopsy is completed next week.  So, I'm hanging on to hope that maybe the glows are something else!  Just changes my whole outlook knowing it's not a definite just yet.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week of Whats and Whys

It's been a long week.  One of so many whys.  Some health related, some personal, some really petty but all were time consuming of my thoughts.  It amazes me how we all cope with things when bad news is presented.  Some don't skip a beat where others become consumed.  I've always been one that didn't skip a beat in the past.  Bad news, OK, we can get through this as well.  However, this last time, it has not been as easy as in the past.  What a funk I'm in.  Maybe it's because everything is really unknown.  We know the bad news that hubby is probably no longer in remission and that the nasty little cells have probably moved onto a new site.  What we don't know is, what's next?  Are they sure?  What's the next steps? what is the treatment? how will he handle it? Questions, Questions, Questions.

We won't learn anythings until this next week when we meet with the new specialist.  We've had to wait 2 weeks since learning of the news.  So I am left with this overwhelming desire to clean and pitch things.  I mean really pitch the things that I was keeping for "someday" that I was going to use in crafts.  I guess it's the one thing I have control over for now.  I'm hoping the crafting bug will come back and occupy my time.  For now, I'll try and keep my allthingscrafty blog just for crafting when I get back to it.  You can meet my better half here and follow our progress as he fights such a nasty disease.  If you hunt real hard, you may just see a photo of me as well :-) 
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not Always as it Seems

I spent some time today working on a new pretty pink collar for our smallest yorkie to keep my mind occupied.  I used a scrap piece of a honey bun strip that started out about 16".  I used my folding pen (still love this item) and folded the sides in on the strip and then folded the strip in half  (image inset) and sew the strip closed.

Then I got her original collar and used it as an example to figure out where all the pieces go.  I didn't do very well with sewing the the pieces together.  There were some tight spaces.  Maybe because I had the wrong foot on the sewing machine.  I never changed my walking foot.  

 At first glance of the collar photo, it looks great. 

But, when you look closer, you see it's not as it seems.  It's not put together very well.  Strings are everywhere and not so sure about it's strength and durability.

If anyone has any hints as to how you sew tiny strips together without making a mess, please pass them along.   

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Unfulfilled Wish

I only asked for one Christmas wish.  We had hoped we were free and clear but there were other nasty little things in the works for us.  So, I'm not sure what that means for crafting.  I know I will need some type of outlet for the energy so who knows.  I may be sporadic with my posts but I may go full steam ahead and post even more.  In any case, I wanted to let my friends/followers know what is going on with the blog postings. 
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Valentine Dog Bone in Moda Blush

My first craft project for 2011 turned out to be a Dog Bone.  My dogs love to rip apart their toys and go for the "squeaky" part.  At the end of last year, I purchased a bag of "squeakies" to make dog toys someday. Today was someday.  I made the bone as big as a piece of paper for the template using some simple circles and straight lines and erasing the center parts.

I had a few extra layer cake slices of Moda Blush left so I thought it would be fun to use the blush fabric with hearts on it and create a Valentine themed dog bone.  After printing the template, I cut out the dog bones (1).  I sewed around the three edges leaving the center bone part open for stuffing.  I snipped around the edges of the circle parts for easier turning (2).  Once I turned the bone right side out, I then started stuffing both ends leaving the center part open for now (3).  My dogs are so fast at opening toys to get to the squeaky, I thought I would add another layer of protection by using scrap batting to encase the squeaky (4).  Then placed it in the center part of the bone and continued stuffing with the pillow stuffing.  I hand stitched the opening closed. (5)  The whole time I completed this step, my dogs were on either side of the table just waiting to play.

I finished up and gave it the dog play test.  Dog approved, see for yourself.  Now, this is Mindy or as we affectionately call her "Moo", the bigger of our two yorkies and she doesn't like to share with sissy.  Guess I'll need to make another one for Mandy to play with as well.  I was watching Percy Jackson movie in the background so you may hear that as well.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Eiffel Obsession

It was a trip of a lifetime approximately 10 years ago.  A friend and I were talking how we would love to visit London and Harrods department store.  I always try to do things while I can and after checking with hubby, he said go...go have a good time.

Off we went to London for a week of sightseeing, theatre and shopping.  It was perfect weather and a great time.  We saw in the hotel lobby that there was an upcoming trip to Paris for the day.  It wasn't something we planned and it was a little on the expensive side.  However, the thoughts of having the chance to ride the Eurostar high speed train under the English Channel was a big seller.  Wouldn't you know it, the train stopped for about an hour under the channel.  It was not fun.  However we got a free one way train ticket.

Ever since I spent that one day (8 hours) in Paris, I have been in love with the Eiffel tower.  We took a double decker bus ride all around the city to see the major sites.  It was fantastic.  Recently, while cleaning a closet, I found a picture of me at the Eiffel tower.  I forgot that I ever had one taken. It's not the best photo but it's validation I was there.  I even tried to scan it but it's still not clear.  You can tell by the sky it was a beautiful day!  It just renewed my obsession and sent me looking for Eiffel tower fabric to hopefully make something.  I found several Eiffel fabrics at and can't wait to see them in person and make something fun!  Of course there are many other Eiffel Tower "things" in my home.  Maybe in the future I'll share them.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Favorite Lesson - What's yours?

First, Happy New Year!   As I was cleaning out my email inbox and "organizing" this first day of the new year, I came across an email that told me about "Life's Lessons" written by a 90 year old.  They were really great and peaked my interest to research more.

Turned out they were written by a 50 year old (love how the email aged her) but they used her real name.   It was Regina Brett who is a columnist for  These were great little life's lessons published a couple years ago and ones that I would love to post here but I thought I would just provide the link to the column below since it is copyrighted material.  However, I did want to share my two favorite lessons from her column.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

I hope you enjoy the column as much as I did.  Happy New Year!! 

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on

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