Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Current projects and a GIveaway!

I thought I would show you the progress I am making on my two elongated star baby quilts.

Here is the first quilt finished.  I blogged about it here.  This was a great project for using up some 90's stash with a few modern prints thrown in.

I made a label on my BL Sofia.  I love my new machine!!!
For the next quilt let me show you how I made it.

  I layered about twenty different prints in a rainbow of colors.  I tried to stick to prints that 'read' as a solid color. I whacked them into 3" squares. 
 The I grabbed every off white print on print muslin I had and whacked them all into 6.5 inch squares. 

Then you sew a small square onto opposite corners of a muslin square. 

You trim off the corners and then press them into this.

Whats great is if you feed those corners immediately into your sewing machine you end up with a basket full of half square triangle squares.  (is that right?) My future doll quilt maybe?

I trimmed up the second cat block and then all of the blocks. 

I must have been off on my seams, I think its that new foot because I had to trim them to 6.25".  Oh well it all comes out in the end.

Here are all the trimmings for the scrap bag.  Don't worry I'm one of those who never wastes ANYTHING.  So when the bag (an old laundry bag from my grandma's made of old feed sacks) gets full I pass the scraps, all cut up to a friend who makes dog beds for dogs trained by prisoners.  Whew!  That was a mouthful! 

I love this IKEA fabric I picked out last Dec.  There was enough on the mini bolt to back  both quilts and turn it to the front to make the binding.  I wish I had more of this fabric as it would look great on back of my future, as yet to be decided what, Bliss quilt.

 Now I just have to piece the second one that is currently on my design wall and then quilt it.  BTW I machine quilted on my Sofia for the first time.  After trial and error with thread and some ripping I finally got it figured out.  Luckily the quilting foot from my Kenmore fit so I didn't need to buy a new one.
So would you like to make your own elongated star quilt?  You could put your own block in the middle or none at all.  To help you start I am giving away this stack of 20 prints left over from both quilts. 

There is anywhere from about an 1/8 of a yard to almost a fat quarter or more of each.  To win leave one comment for each of the following.  Every comment gives you an extra chance.  If I get more than 100 comments on this post I will add another giveaway or two of my 90's fabric.
1.  Leave a comment telling me your favorite scrap quilt to make.
2.  Be a follower and let me know you are.
3.   Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment telling me you did.

The giveaway will be open  until 5pm on Wednesday, September 7. 
 I will pick a winner or winners then.

That's it!  Good luck!
Keep dreaming...Colleen

Yeah!  My Scrappy Mug Rug Haiku from Snailexpress on flickr. 
My prince has come! And look at the cute purse!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Foto finish-favorite places

Gull Lake, Ontario Canada.  My favorite place on earth.  This is the morning we left after spending our vacation there just two weeks ago.  It is my place of fun, my place of renewal, my place of wildness, my place of memories, my place of peace. And yes this is where when I die I want my ashes spread. 

 Keep dreaming...Colleen
My favorite activity on Gull Lake is kayaking the back creeks and bays.

new modern meets old traditional

I showed a blurry photo of this baby quilt as it was coming together in an earlier post.

  I thought as neither cousin who is having the babies (I am making two quilts!) knows what they are having I would make it scrappy.  I love this modern pattern.  It is quick and easy. 
This fabric is what I am thinking of using for the backing.  It is a great fabric I picked up cheap at IKEA.

The center block is a hand appliqued cat, embroidered around the edge and for the face by my Grandma.  She also use to make dog blocks.  These were used in quilts for the second generation of grandchildren.  My generation received charm square quilts.  Here is the first one she gave me when I was about 3 or 4.
I still love to sleep under it.  It is very heavy.

Here is the second one she gave me when I was around 12 or 13. 
I love to put this on my bed in the summer.  I love the shirting fabrics she used from fabric sample cards. 

I love them both.  I need to get a photo of my sisters cat quilt.  It had about 12 blocks in it.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

The first real quilt I made was for my grandmother and here I am giving it to her for her birthday.  It lived with her for ten years in the nursing home where she suffered from Alzheimer's.  I have it back and after 10 years of bleach through the wash it does not quite look like this anymore.  The yo yos made hyacinths I always loved to smell in her garden.  The red fabric for the ribbon came from her house when we cleaned it out to sell.  It is totally faded and washed out.  Except for the black sharpie ink where they wrote her name on the back.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Im having a love affair with my new Baby Lock Sofia and its embroidery function.  I need to take the new owners class so I can expand on my meager knowledge.  I blogged here about two mug rugs I made with it.

The last two days I worked on this set.  Two placemats with napkins, a set of 4 coasters, and a dish towel all monogramed.  I made them for my Mom and Dad's 43rd anniversary to use in their rolling vacation home fifth wheel.  I used 5 prints from a line of fabric I found at Joann's.  They fabrics are all aquas, light greens, browns, and whites and  has a bit of an Amish feel.  Notice the clever applique on the towel done in a lacey frame.  Ok so I bent a needle when tryng to embroider Dad's name and put a hole in the towel.  Aren't most beautiful things the products of happy accidents?  Necessity is the mother of invention or innovation.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

A slightly blurry picture of a baby quilt I am working on.
One of two Im making where the center block was made by my late Grandma. 
I am using up some of my 90s stash for these quilts

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Just before two o'clock today I was sitting in my office in the library.  All of a sudden I heard this crunching sound above me in the ceiling and then I realized that a rolling motion was going through the office!  I raced to the outer hallway door of the library waiting for it to stop!  It was a little scary.  Las summer I felt one a little stronger in Canada.  I even have a shirt that says I survived the 4.0 Ottawa quake.  This one wasy centered farther away in northern Virgina and was supposedly a 5.9.  Wow!

Keep Dreaming...Colleen

Mug Rugs Galore

So I finished my mug rug for the scrappy mug rug haiku swap on flickr.  We had to write a haiku and include it on our mug rug.  I had a lot of fun with this as I LOVE writing haiku.  I did a modified 557 scheme.
My partner likes rainbow colors and linen.
I designed it on the computer and then

cut it apart to paper piece.

I used scraps in a rainbow of colors

and bound it in  green scraps leftover.

The haiku matches my partner to a tee!  And I had a blast using my new Babylock Sofia to embroider.

And I even made the label on the back .

Then I got mug rug fever and whipped up a couple of mug rugs for the new school year.

One for my assistant,

And one for me using scraps from Karen Gray's store.  I love her scrap bags!  As you can see I played with Sofia again.  Do you get the literary reference?  I am a teacher librarian.

Kids come back on Thursday...I hope I survive.

Keep dreaming...Colleen
My cousins Pete and Scotty the pilot in training.

Pete, Amy, Jackson and Micheal and some  dog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Foto Finish-Things in the city

Underground train stations
Two summers ago I was in Munich Germany for a month on a study abroad.  Trains were wonderful!  You could go anywhere and you were able to walk within blocks of a stop. 

Here is the train arriving.

Here is the escalator up to the ground level.  So tall and notice how everyone is to the side.  If you ride you stay to the side as many will walk up and they dont tolerate you taking the whole space.

They even have some colorful and cool grafiti.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

Book marks and retractable badge holders to sell at Flaunt!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pets on Quilts Show

Today is the start of another great quilt show!
I love the idea that you can show your pet quilts or your pets on quilts!  I have two very special cats I would like to share with you today.

First up is the late Opus the penguin. 

He was my baby for 14.5 years.  He was my sewing partner, computer partner, roll around on the carpet partner.  He was also the inspiration for the name and logo I sell under. 

As you can see he loved being in the center of my quilting action.  If you notice I came into my studio one day to find him laying on the Christmas cat fabric I was ironing on the ironing board.  Behind him on my design wall was a wall hanging made of cat heads.  Also two 12" cat blocks from a swap I was participating in.  Oh and a couple of 12" Star Trek swap blocks.  Opus would also lay across my shoulders on the back of my sewing chair and bat at the needle as it went up and down on the sewing machine.  He also loved to walk across the computer keyboard as I emailed my internet quilt group.  I miss him still.

My current kitty is Kalli.  She is not as brave and fearless as Opus was. She is only just now warming up to the sewing machine noise.  Before she would not even stay in the same room with it.  But she is a quilt kitty!

I won this Christmas mix tape quilt from fiesty eily and laid it on the floor to photograph it.  Kalli walked right up and laid down on it.

And then she started rolling around on it like it was covered in catnip.  Whenever I get this quilt out she always rolls her self up in it. 

Kalli also loves to walk on the back of the sofa and hide behind the quilt hanging on the wall.  Sometimes I look all over the house calling her and then remember to look there.  I think she thinks she is invisible behind there.

Keep dreaming...Colleen

On Gull Lake in Canada, Dad would carry me and my kayak
some where and drop me off to paddle.