Friday, December 30, 2011

Project Runway - Dress #2

I finished the second block for my Pretty Dresses quilt. 

The pink rosebud print is one of my all-time favorites.  It is part of the Paris Flea Market line by 3 Sisters for Moda and is about five years old.  I still have a little bit of that line hoarded away in my stash.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Portable Project

I 'm working on two projects now:  one is the school auction quilt for 2012 and the other is my portable project.  A little visit to my mother-in-law was the perfect time for some handwork, and voila, here is dress #1.

I'm using this group of fabric from my stash

to make this pattern, called Pretty Dresses.  I'm using the needle-turn applique method, which is not as difficult as I thought it might be (at least for this shape).

I'll be doing some traveling in January so my next step is to prep the rest of the blocks so they are ready to go when I'm on the go!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where Did The Time Go?

I did not fall off the face of the earth nor did I slide down a rabbit hole!  I've been finishing up year-end projects at work, decorating for Christmas, wrapping presents, going to holiday parties...and not quilting.  I had grand plans to make another Christmas themed quilt during the month of December; did not happen! 

While I've missed quilting, I have been doing some fun things.  Miss Main Street and I spent a day Christmas shopping in NYC.  I recomend the Christmas Shops at Union Square Park.  However, they close at 5:00 pm today so you will have to wait until next year.  I definitely plan to go back in 2012.

As of now, all Christmas preparations have been made, the gifts are wrapped and the dough for tomorrow morning's cinnamon buns is rising.  And I got some cutting done.  This is my next project.  The basket contains approximately 400 quarter-square-triangle blocks in the making.  You can call me crazy!

 I'll be back to show off progress on this quilt but for now, I wish you a Very Merry Christmas!  

Have a wonderful day!

Cathy at Quilting On Main Street

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Decking The Halls

I've got most of my Christmas quilts out as part of my holiday decorating.  This is Holiday Spirit.  I think the pattern I used was a Miss Rosie's Quilt Company pattern but I don't remember the name and can't find the pattern now.

This log cabin was one of early efforts.

And here is Christmas Ribbons, my most recent Christmas quilt.

I have two wooden curtain rods hanging on the wall on the landing area at the top of the stairs leading to the second floor bedrooms. Usually, these rods hold a collection of mostly pastel bed quilts.  My goal is to gradually make enough red, white, and green Christmasy quilts to fill this display at holiday time. 

I figure if I can add one or two a year, I'll get there in another couple of years. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Decking the Halls

I picked up my Wooly Wreath from the framer today and hung it up in our living room.

The local framer I had been using closed a couple of years ago so I had this framed at Michael's.  I'm very pleased with the work they did.  It looks great hanging on the wall. 

Hand applique using wool was a new-to-me technique this year.  I enjoyed it and am very happy with the end result of my project.  I will probably do another little wool something but piecing quilts is still #1 in my craft repertoire.

If you are a new reader and want to know more about this project, I blogged about it here and here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Button Wreath

I've shown this wreath on my blog before but thought I'd show it again as it is the season.

It is about 10" in diameter and completely covered with vintage white buttons.  I made it by sewing the buttons to white ribbon (3/8" wide) then wrapping the ribbon around a styrofoam wreath form.  I used a few sharp straight pins to secure the button covered ribbon in place (the pins are hidden under the buttons), then tied a ribbon at the top to serve as a hanger.

I keep this wreath up year 'round, hanging from the handle of the door leading to our third floor/attic. 

I've seen some smaller versions made as Christmas tree decorations.  You could also try glue-gunning the buttons onto the wreath form.  Ebay is a good source for buttons in bulk.

How are you decorating for Christmas?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Theme Song For Today

A Song for Early December
(Sung to the tune of "Let It Snow")

Oh the shopping outside is frightful
But the fabric is so delightful!

And until this Log Cabin is built -
Let me quilt!  Let me quilt!  Let me quilt!

My frog stitch is loudly ripping
But I've plenty of florals for stripping,
Just don't make me cut up my kilt!
Let me quilt! Let me quilt! Let me quilt!

When I finally bind the edge
How I'll hate going back to my chores,
But if you'll take a cooking pledge
I can embellish some more!

My machine is slowly dying
and my 505 Spray is drying
But my Log Cabin's been rebuilt...
Let me quilt! Let me quilt! Let me quilt!

(Sourced from EQuilter's newsletter.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My New Portable Project

Remember this pile of fabric?

It is the process of becoming this...

...and will eventually become something like this.

My new portable project is Pretty Dresses, from the book Quilting With My Sister, by Barbara Brandeburg and Teri Christopherson.  The directions are written for fusible applique but I am trying my hand at needle turn applique.  So far, I have most of the dress forms finished and will begin adding the dresses.  I have the dress fabrics selected and several different pieces set aside for possible border selections. 

I will be traveling in January and think this will be a good take-along project. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Quilt Show 2011

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is time to decorate for Christmas.  And Christmas decorating means Christmas quilts in this house!  SewCalGal is having a Christmas Quilt Show so I decided to show off one of mine.

I call this quilt Christmas Ribbons.  I used a pattern called Ruby's Ribbon Box.  The pattern calls for a layer cake but I used scraps and leftovers for my version. 

It is all red and green Christmas prints, with a little black thrown in for good measure. 

Go visit SewCalGal; her links will take you to other quilts in the show.

Long Weekend Spent Sewing

I spent quite some time in my sewing room over the long weekend.  I made some pillowcases, using fabric from the recent Christmas line from Me And My Sister.  The line includes a turquoise-blue color that is perfect in Miss Main Street's bedroom. 

Reggie, our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, approves.  (Please disregard the demonic looking eyes.)

I also made another pair of boxers for Miss Main Street, using fabric printed with the Eiffel Tower. When I finished the sewing, I went to Target to get a white cami or tank top to go with them, figuring I would not be able to match the turquoise or red color.  Happily, I found this exact match red cami on sale for only $4 - what a bargain.   (So I got a white one too!)  This will be a little Christmas present for Miss, to go with the big present she already knows about (going on her school's trip to India).   

I cleaned and re-organized the sewing space and figured out some upcoming projects.  More real quilting later this week.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cyber Deals For Quilters

Quilting book junkies, today is your day!  Martingale is having a sale at their website, with all books and other items 50% off, plus free shipping if you purchase three or more books.  The deals are here.

And if you need fabric (ha ha), the Fat Quarter Shop is having a Black Friday Blowout Sale, here.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Four Day Weekend! Yippee!

Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving!

That's me in the apron! 

Ha, ha, I'd rather be sewing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Next Up

I had big plans for this past weekend, plans that included lots of time in the sewing room.  It was not to be!  Nothing bad happened, just real life got in the way.  On a positive note, I did get some Christmas shopping done.

And I got my materials gathered for what will be my next project.  I'll be using the fabrics in this picture, all from stash.

More on this when I'm a little further along and have something interesting to show.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Patchwork Among Friends - The Winner

The winner of a copy of Patchwork Among Friends is commentor #7, Sue!

Your comments about the quilt patterns that you are smitten with right now are very interesting.  Clearly, the Swoon pattern is aptly named.  A number of bloggers have shown their own versions; it is defintely a design to fall in love with.  Among the other mentions were Dresden plates (which I'm also very attracted to right now), anything scrappy, redwork, and the work of Kim Diehl.    

Your comments came at a good time.  I've spent the past few evenings straightening up my sewing space, reviewing my stored patterns and quilting magazines, and basically lining up my next few projects.  I have some interesting projects (well, interesting to me) lined up.  But more about that in a later post. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ruby's Ribbon Box Quilt

My version of Ruby's Ribbon Box - I'm calling it Christmas Ribbons - is quilted, bound, labeled, and ready for Christmas decorating!

Here is Christmas Ribbons on the window seat in our living room.  I made it out of a few fatquarters and leftovers but the pattern is written for use with a layer cake (10" squares).  Karen Thompson did the machine quilting, using an all-over swirling design. 

I especially like the way the border echoes the block and I managed to retain all the points when attaching the binding.

I used this fabric from In The Beginning (from the Wintergraphix line)  for the backing.  It looks like swirling ribbons to me. 

There's still a few hours remaining to enter my giveaway for a copy of Patchwork Among Friends.  Go here to leave a comment and get your name in the drawing. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

At Home

I finished piecing the "background" for my applique block and here is the completed flimsy.  Mr. Main Street obliged by holding it up for photography.

Lynn Wilder, who designed the pattern I used for the applique block, likes to use what she calls a "flange" to set off blocks.  A flange is a narrow strip of fabric inserted into the seam so just about an 1/8" shows, something like piping but flat.  I used the raisin colored ticking stripe for the flange around the applique block.

For the pieced blocks around the applique, I departed from the pattern (The House on Edgewood Lane) because I wanted my finished quilt to be smaller.  I plan to use it as a wall hanging in my kitchen.  I used fabric from a fat quarter pack of a line from Moda called Beach House (came out several years ago).  I used Beach House for the applique block as well, augmented by a more intense red and a darker green for the vine.

The next step is quilting.  I'm giving serious thought to hand quilting this one.  I'm thinking some special quilting in the applique center to emphasis the house and vine, with something simple across the pieced background.  Not sure exactly what yet, though.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Patchwork Among Friends

I saved the best book for last:  Patchwork Among Friends, by Judy Martin. 

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to add it to my quilting library.  I have one of Judy Martin's earlier works, called Stellar Quilts, and it is fabulous.  And it turns out, Patchwork Among Friends is similarly impressive. 

The book includes 10 quilt patterns, with directions for multiple sizes as well as diagrams showing alternative color combinations and/or block setting ideas.  It also includes recipes and ideas for get-togethers with quilting friends, such as a Reveal Party or Block Exchange.

I'm smitten with the cover quilts.  I can see the one in the upper left in the new Etchings collection from Moda while the curved log cabin in the lower right is one of those patterns that lends itself to just about any fabric choice. 

Judy's designs tend to fall into the "complicated but worth it" category.  They are not the kind of quilt you can run up in a weekend.  Most require extra attention to accuracy and may include partial seams and/or Y seams.  But the effects are spectacular.

Friends Forever may be the easiest quilt in the book.  Still, the aughor notes it "requires the full participation of your brain" because of the staggered arrangement.  The cutting directions are ingenius, making use of just about every inch of the fatquarters required. 

State Fair Star looks particularly complicated - nine feathered stars!  But I would love to make one of the star blocks and use it in a medallion setting.  One of these days...

Patchwork Among Friends seems the perfect book to share with my blogging friends.  So I'm having a giveaway.  To enter the drawing for a copy of Patchwork Among Friends, leave a comment telling me about a quilt pattern or book you are currently smitten with.  On the evening of Thursday, November 17, I'll draw a winner from among those who comment here. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sew The Perfect Gift - A Book Review

It was love at first sight when I saw the pincushion on the cover of this book!

Could it be any more darling!

Sew The Perfect Gift is a compilation of smaller items to make, all designed by different craftspeople, and all suitable for gift-giving.  You will recognize many of the names:  Kim Diehl, Kim Brackett, Vanessa Christenson, and other names your will know from their blogs, books, and patterns. 

In the quilting section, there is a candle mat, table topper, table runner, and a small wall hanging.  But anyone with quilting skills will be able to tackle other projects, such as the pincushion, gardener's apron, pillows, and various bags.  There are even a few Christmas themed items as well as cool things made from recycled fabric such as the wristlet made from an old sweater.  This would make a good case for holding an ipod or cell phone.

If you like to make gift items and are looking for some new ideas, check out Sew The Perfect Gift. 

I have a few sewing gifts planned but I haven't even started yet.  There are only 45 days left until Christmas so I need to get cracking!   What am I making, you ask?  Pillowcases and boxer shorts pajamas using novelty fabric. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quilts Using 30's Reproduction Fabric

Did you visit Amy's Creative Side for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival?  I enjoy seeing what other quilters make. Some people are so talented!

This year, it got a little expensive because as I clicked through to look at the Festival entry quilts, I had to read the whole blog so I saw lots of quilts that intrigued me and before I quite knew what was what, I had ordered four books from

The books arrived already (love two-day shipping!) and I'll show you the first two today. They are both by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine, with quilts in the style of the 30's using reproduction fabric.  I have quite a bit of this fabric in my stash so when I was attracted to some quilts that used it, I realized I could easily justify buying the books (not that I find it hard to justify buying quilting books).

In Fancy To Frugal, it was the cover quilt that initially caught my eye.  I like the Dresden Plate block made up in just about anything but this variation using both the rounded and pointed shapes as well as the unusual center is very appealing.  Below is a picture of the full quilt.  I like the unusual border/edge detail too.  The quilt is named Fancy Dish.

(Sorry for the fuzziness of some of these shots.  I was holding the camera with just one hand while holding the book open and flat with the other; in fact, you may even see my fingers.)

This quilt is called Starlight.  The yellow center of each block is a small sawtooth star.  There is a lot I like about it and while I like it in 30's repros, I can see making it in more modern fabric as well.

The second book is Link To The 30's and there are a number of quilt designs I like here, including the cover quilt. 

I bought it for this pattern, called Chain Link.  I love the design and a prairie point edge finish has long been on my quilting bucket list. 

And look at this one, called Star Flower!  Very impressive with the pieced border, but not for the timid, having both curved seams and set-in seams. 

Back soon with the remaining books!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rail Fence Blocks

Using more of the Beach House fat quarter bundle, I'm working on the blocks that will surround the applique center piece.  These blocks will finish at 3.75" - a peculiar size I know but what I need to fit the applique center block. 

Have you visited the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy's Creative Side?  If not you need to get over there.  There are over 500 quilts "exhibited" in the Festival - what a source of inspiration!  Go take a look!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Last Stitch

I put the last stitch in my house applique block.  Yes, it is finished!

my block

If you look carefully, you will see a modfication from Lynn's original.  It involves the flowers at the lower corners of the house.  I repeated the flowers from the vines, just using a darker red, instead of the second style of flower included in the pattern.

I'm very happy with the way it turned out and truly enjoyed the process.  I need to continue to improve on rounded edges and am thinking of a design using the reel block for my next applique project.  But before I start anything else, I need to finish this project.  I've started cutting fabric for the background blocks.  They should go together fairly quickly.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival - Stargazing

My entry in the Festival is Stargazing, a quilt I made this year using a fat bundle of French General's Rural Jardin line from Moda and the pattern Ginger Belle from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.  It is about 86" square.

The quilt design is basically a variation on the Irish Chain, but with a pieced star in what is usually the open block.  There is a lot of piecing with this pattern, beginning with the four-patch blocks that are the basis of the larger blocks.

The process of making Stargazing was extremely satisfying because both the fabric and the pattern were lovely to work with.  I was so happy with the finished flimsy.  I sent  that to Linda of The Quilted Pineapple to longarm quilt for me.  I was blown away when I received the quilt back because Linda's quilting made a good quilt top so much better.  Well, they all improve with quilting but quilting made this quilt!   Linda quilted a wreath around each star and a simple design in the chain blocks.

It was my first time using flannel on the back of a quilt.  Wow, does it make for a snuggly quilt!

Linda has even better photos of the quilting on her blog.

You can see lots more quilts in Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival.