I am addicted to books. There is something about the feel of paper, the weight of the book… No matter how hard I try, I can’t fully switch to electronic documents.

As I am quilting more and more, I keep adding to my collection. My newest acquisition  is Quilt Lab by Alexandra Winston of a2(w). I was sold once I saw the different versions of Aperture Science.

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Besides this quilt, I am also madly in love with Molecular. I can’t wait to make both. I just got the book today so still flipping through and making plans…..

I have a bunch of other books wishlisted as hints for my husband, but he is a bit slow to the uptake.  A few I am hoping to acquire soon are Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts, John Q. Adam’s Beyond Neutral and Vintage Quilt Revival.

Looking over my book wishlist makes me finally admit I am a modern quilter.

Do you have any book recommendations?

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Pirate Camp

A friend invited us to join him at his camp*  along the shores of Lake Huron for Memorial Day Weekend. Since we had plans to join the local Memorial Day service on Monday, we went up for Saturday and Sunday.

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Not sure who would turn down a view like this. The camp has a large sandy frontage before a frog/turtle pond and then Lake Huron.  We spent a lot of time watching birds land in the grasses and the turtles sun themselves, while also counting freighters on the lake.

The area my friend’s camp is in has a lot of history. We stopped in a few of the museums and were delighted to find vintage quilts among the displays. Birdie was really excited to find sewing rooms set up as she was fascinated by the older sewing supplies.

 

 

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The middle picture is actually a collage of wooden yard sticks. I would love to recreate the look in my own home. 

The quilt in the bottom left has signatures in the white, including the original home owners. I was able to get really close to all these quilts and it is inspiring to see the quality of work in a quilt from 1880 or so. Without all the notions and toys we have now, they could still create amazing work. 

Although we were on a mini vacation, I brought my “What I did on summer vacation” and finally got a flower sewn on correctly. For whatever reason, I had previously sewn it on incorrectly…twice. 

ImageProgress on this has slowed down a bit with all the other projects in the mix but as we come into summer, I anticipate this being a more regular project. It travels well when camping and roadtripping.

I also have to share a new book my daughter got – Gabby Quilts for Friends. Birdie loves it as she sees herself in Gabby and the fact it came with a quilt pattern just blows her mind. We are going to be looking online for a layer cake she can make this with.

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* or what people in Michigan call a “cottage”. 

 

And although my sewing this week was light, I was inspired by vintage and a young sewer. Some days that is all the SewJo you need. Linking into My Go-Go Life’s SewJo. I really recommend you go and check out the other projects featured. 

Happy Sewing!

Melissa

WIP Wednesday

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I made a bunch of progress on my son’s Starburst by Sukie quilt. I have to cut the green pieces out for the next row before continuing on.  BUT I took the top row off after this picture. I decided the word prints is just a but toooo much so am replacing those pieces with solid white. I think I will do a stripe of words down the backing instead. 

My son is pressing me hard to finish his quilt but neither he or his sister are helping the process by going to bed nicely. There simply hasn’t been a night recently without a bedtime war. 

Once I can spend some time focusing on this, it will knock out quick. The next big struggle will be whether I quilt this at home or have it long armed. I want to quilt it at home but am still having problems with my bobbin side tension when FMQ. Any one have tricks for that?

Melissa

A little spree

Last year, a blogger spilled the beans on finding Riley Blake fabrics at her local Tuesday Morning. A stop at the one close to me resulted in a couple Riley Blake prints being added to my stash. Since then, I periodically stopped in to see what might have arrived. I regularly find quilt books to add to my collection so it is usually worth the stop. This weekend, we hit a mini jackpot! Riley Blakes were back.

My son immediately claimed the Riley Blake Cruiser Blvd prints I found.

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I scored some Tasha Noel, a quirky birdhouse fat quarter set and two new quilt books.

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Birdie found some dots, flowers and a book for her. She has a project in the works that the dots will be a perfect addition too

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I may wander to another store to see what other options I can find.

I also swapped the Little Azaleas remnants with another sewer. I had her surprise me with scraps and I am very happy with the mix!

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All this new fabric breaks the rules but my husband decided that the savings were worth it, especially after our son walked around with his claimed fabric and asked me to make him something now!

What is your favorite unusual spot to find sewing supplies?

 

Happy Sewing!

Keeping the SewJo

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A few weekends back, my SewJo link was selected for a fun giveaway from Kim at My Go-Go Life. I received my package in the mail the other day and the packaging alone brought a smile to my face. The idea to wrap sewing goodies in pattern paper is brilliant and one I am stating here and now that I will be stealing.

Not sure what the fabric will be used in, but I am sure it will become a quilt sooner than later.

On a sewing note, it appears Friday nights are my go-to sewing night. While the kids watched a movie with Dad, I was able to sew up the current assigned blocks for Pile o’ Fabric Skillbuilder.  This round we are still utilizing piece-lique to make the button block and base for embroidery hoop.  I definitely found working with the round shape easier than the jar.

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This quilt will be for Birdie when it is finished and one thing she essentially hates is buttons. She claims they smell funny and won’t wear clothing with them without one heck of a fight. Randomly she picked the Ikea Button rug for her bedroom and loves it.  I decided the button block needed to be fun. I used the Simplicity Pattern Ladies as a back to one of the other blocks and the remaining piece just jumped out at me. Birdie picked out the blue inner holes and is happy about this block.  For the most part, the skillbuilder quilt is solids, with a small amount of low volume mixed in and a low volume sashing.  This block will add just a bit of random and quirk to the quilt.

This Saturday, Birdie asked to join an early version of a volunteer event I run in June, so we are volunteering in the morning, checking on a grant project immediately after and then celebrating a friend’s 60th birthday in the evening.  Hoping Sunday allows for sewing!

Happy Sewing!

Melissa

Puffin has a bed

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A little silver spray paint combined with a couple hours of free time allowed me to finish this contest entry. I had tried to find a bigger crate but apparently cutie crates are not as readily available as they used to be. The log cabin quilt turned out super cute. It is a bit bigger than the crate itself, but I figure it will be separated from the crate portion fairly quickly.

I think the little pillow is my favorite part.

The prints still do nothing for me so I am happily trading them with someone in one of my online groups who loves the fabric. Tee hee!

My goal now is to pay attention to the voting for this round of the contest. I missed it last time so didn’t end up letting my friends now to vote. Oops!  A guild sister won the last round so I was not too disappointed.

A partial finish

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After going to bed with a plan to do a patchwork mini quilt using 2 in squares, I woke up hating the idea. I contemplated the options on my drive to work and landed on a log cabin concept. Last night, I knocked the quilt and the pillow for the project out. Using an inch and a half binding was my hardest part. Today I hope to make the mattress and paint the cutie box I am using.

While working on this, I thought it might be fun to share my sewing space too. We live in what is considered small by modern standards house. After working on the kitchen table for months, I decided to reorganize the basement and stake a claim. It can be messy and dark, but it is cool and usually quiet.

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Under the white table is my totes and containers of fabric and projects. My great grandmother’s hutch serves as the central storage point when I want to get things off the cutting table. The shelves are great for the small items to be placed and easily found. My growing collection of quilt books help brighten the space with a basket of mostly uncut clothing patterns. Have I mentioned I keep trying at clothes making but really don’t enjoy it.  

This past week, Birdie asked for her own more permanent set-up. A little reorganizing and I fit a space in for her.

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A side table is the perfect working height for her and works well with a chair from a child set we have. She has her own tote of fabric to the right and is using the top of an old shoe rack for her notion box and active project. The lower shelves have my stash box (the green one), a box of penguin fabric (Birdie is obsessed with penguins) and my binder for the Skill builder project. This allows easy access for both of us to our stuff. Not a bad set-up for a five year old, huh?

And since today is Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a sewing notion that my mother, Birdie and I all have. 

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Too adorable…

My friend, Kate, made my mom one of these pincushions, which I threatened to hold hostage unless I got one. Birdie asked for one for her birthday, which Kate happily made. Kate and I are craft buddies – our husbands probably roll their eyes at the amount of fabric and projects that go between us. We are constantly trading scraps and other things. We never pay attention to the value or if it is “balanced” as we know it is constantly rebalancing. Aren’t craft friends amazing?

Happy sewing on this Mother’s Day!

Melissa

Miniature

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One of the local quilt show is having a second fabric contest requiring the use of a selected fat quarter series. These are the four fabrics at the bottom of the photo. They don’t speak to me but I decided to use them to make a doll quilt using the orange crate tutorial that Zaaberry featured in January. The blue print will be the “sheet” and the other three will be the quilt and pillow. I started laying out the quilt using 2in squares. This is the smallest I have worked with not using EPP.

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I added another row on both the top and bottom to make it longer but I think I may also add a border of either a solid or the pink print. Open to suggestions…

 

The other fabrics featured in the collage up top are my Mother’s Day treat to myself. The four blue/green will probably be used in a triangle quilt I want to make. The hex print will be used in something for me. The other two I simply just liked.

Hope your week has been more productive…

Happy Sewing!

Melissa

A birthday party and some FMQ

Yesterday we  celebrated Birdie’s fifth birthday. Like every other child in the world. she is obsessed with Frozen.  I spent Friday evening cutting out Frozen crowns for the kids.

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I had also made her little brother an Olaf shirt using hexies.

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And per her request, I made an Olaf in the tub cake.

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Her party was a huge success and even featured a visit from Elsa. Of course, this meant Saturday would not be a sewing day for me. I had taken Friday off to prep for the party so factored in some sewing time into my schedule.

I was able to continue working on FMQ. I started on my test blocks since my tension is still a bit off. After I got a speed that seemed to work well, I moved on to working on my Pile o’ Fabric Skillbuilder blocks. I got three more done. These were fun and have made me like the blocks more.

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I have one more block to do and then I am caught up in the course. I would say it was a successful SEWjo week for me.

And don’t forget to go check out the other SEWjo projects at My Go-Go Life. I find participating in SEWjo helps keep me motivated.