Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mini Mini Quilts!

Here is the mini I sent to Leah for the Bonnie & Camille Christmas Barn Quilt Mini swap.  I found it amusing that she made mine last round and I made her one this time.  I found the pattern challenging.  It is just so difficult to get the point intersections to match up.  At least I tried.


I was excited when I got my mail and saw the return address on my swap package because I knew I was going to have something good.  And I did!  Angie made me this cute mini and included such a sweet note and a mini charm pack of my current favorite line too!






I made my Instagram friend Rebecca this little coffee cup mini as a surprise.  Hopefully it brightened her day a bit!  I used a free pattern available on Craftsy.  It's called That Red Cup.  Fabrics are various Bonnie & Camille lines, along with a selvage from one of the fabrics.





Sunday, November 27, 2016

365 Challenge Week 47

My pictures really don't do justice to the colors of these blocks.  They're so much prettier in real life.  I'm three behind because I've been trying to get caught up on the Fig Tree Mystery BOM--I'm close, but a bit to go.  These are all 6" blocks.
November 21
November 22--my son picked this color combo.
November 24
November 24 bonus--to replace the 23rd, which I skipped.
November 25





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Let's Talk Rotary Cutters

When I started quilting over 20 years ago,  I remember picking out a cutting mat/rotary cutter set as a  Christmas gift for someone to give me, probably my mom or sister.  It was a small Fiskars mat and the classic gray rotary cutter.  I soon graduated to a larger mat and got actual rotary cutting rulers, but I loved the cutter and kept it.  

Flash forward to January 2016--my faithful cutter's blade closing button broke off.  I was quite sad since I'd used it exclusively for 20 years.  But I'd seen a cute color variation of the Fiskars and had stashed it in case of something like this.

The replacement cutter is the same style, with the exception of the piece that tightens the blade; it is now a cute flower shape.  And it is in my very favorite shade of pink.  What's not to love?

Apparently, a lot.  From the start, the cute little flower piece did not hold, so the blade would suddenly become really wobbly and loose.  So I checked it every time I cut (which, since doing the 365 Challenge this year, is A SUPER LOT!) and tightened it back up as necessary.

The blade doesn't seem to stay sharp as long, but then again, I have been doing a lot more  cutting than normal this year, so not sure if it's a coincidence or not.

The thing that finally killed it for me is that the blade started snapping shut randomly while I was cutting.  I thought maybe I just needed to replace the blade, but that did not fix the problem.  I read online reviews of the cutters and saw many comments from people who had similar issues, going back as far as five years.  Unfortunately, I also saw comments that they'd contacted Fiskars and gotten zero response.  This is in line with past experiences I'd had with Fiskars when I was seeking guidance to resolve issues with other products--I either got no response or an unhelpful, suck-it-up-type response.  

This is just so disappointing to me.  I LOVED my old cutter and it lasted a really long time.  I haven't even used this pink one for a full year yet.  As much as I love how this one looks, it is just not a quality piece of equipment.  I cannot be cutting and have the blade continually snapping shut.  Sooner or later it's going to cause an accident.

Comparison of my rotary cutters.
So I went back to Jo-Ann Friday and got the aqua Olfa cutter.  The grip is not as comfortable for me, but the blade feels so much sturdier and it doesn't snap shut.  I resisted buying an Olfa for years for two reasons--one, I loved my old cutter, and two, I HATE the shade of yellow they use.  Yellow is probably my least favorite color, especially as it goes from school bus yellow into the mustard shades.  This new cutter does have some yellow, which I do not love, but at least the rest is a pretty aqua shade.  

Olfa, if you are out there reading, please, please, please make some cutters with no yellow.  If you made a bright pink and white one, I'd be right there buying at least one.  And maybe make some cutting mats that aren't chalkboard green.  Thank you so much!

In other news, I decided to measure and label my leftover batting pieces.  The stack looks neat and tidy now, but unfortunately the sizes are not very useful.  They are all really long and skinny. I suppose I could make a "Frankenbatting" but the thought does not appeal.

I sent out my mini for the B & C Christmas Barn Quilt swap and it was delivered yesterday, but the recipient hasn't acknowledged it yet, so I guess that will be revealed next week.  I haven't received mine yet.  I also made a surprise gift for an IG friend as a pick-me-up and mailed that this morning, so I'll share it next week as well.

I really need to get into my holiday sewing.  And more doll clothes things.  I need to catch up on the 365 blocks yet again (is it the end of the year yet?!), catch up on the Fig Tree Mystery Sampler (again), and get a bunch of stuff quilted. The weather has turned decidedly winterish and it makes me so cold and LAZY!  I also need a money tree, so if you find one, send it my way! 
Sunday, November 20, 2016

365 Challenge Week 46

I got most of the blocks assigned this week done.  I haven't done today's yet, nor have I started assembling the dark borders.  You can only do two of the four at the moment, so I'm not in any rush.  I've been feeling lazy and somewhat apathetic towards this project.   There are 41 more days in this year, so I should have 41 or less blocks to do!  I'm looking forward to having this one done!  

There are a mix of three and six inch blocks this week.  For several of the days there were  bonus blocks.  At first I was going to make them all, but then I decided to just pick enough to get the number I needed.  So if there were miters, 16ths of an inch, or the block just looked hard, I skipped it.  I guess we now only have 6" blocks left to do, along with one more 12" corner block.


November 13--6.5"
November 14--6.5"
November 15--3.5"
November 16--3.5"
Bonus November 17--3.5"
Bonus November 18--3.5"
November 19--6.5"
November 20--6.5"

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FLL & a Few Quilt Updates

Our FLL qualifying tournament was over the weekend.  Both of our teams did well enough to qualify for the state tournament in January.  We're taking a few much-needed weeks off, and then it's back to weekly practices.  

I went to a quilt guild retreat over the weekend too.  It was my first one.  While I enjoy being with my friends, I think I'm more of an at-home sewing person.  I did finally finish my Fat Quarter Shop 2013 Mystery Block of the Month top while I was there.  This was the only thing I worked on.  It took me much longer than I expected.  Sorry for the lousy photo.  I don't have enough open floor space at the moment to get a decent shot.
It's almost time to mail my #bcchristmasbarnquiltmini.  I was struggling on what binding to use. My original thought was it needed to be green, but my green Bonnie & Camille stash is pretty limited.  So I pulled four different fabrics and asked Instagram.  Luckily the correct person chimed in!  I now know which fabric to use, but I'm keeping it a secret until it is received.  

Here is the quilted top.  The pattern is a free paper pieced block I found at Wombat Quilts.  It is called Which Way North and I printed it at 50% in order to have a 6" finished block.
Sunday, November 13, 2016

365 Challenge Week 45

I'm two behind, but they are easy and my schedule is a lot more free for the next few weeks, so I should be caught up soon.
November 8
November 9
November 2
November 10
November 11
November 12


Friday, November 11, 2016
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's a Sad Day

I'm feeling very disillusioned and disappointed in my country and state today.  I just keep thinking of Sheldon on Big Bang Theory flipping their fridge flag upside down.  Anyway,  we've been devoting hours upon hours to our FLL teams in the last week (actually the last month) and the tournament is this weekend.  I'm also going on my first overnight quilt retreat with my friends this weekend, so that should be interesting.  Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I've been spending most of my time prepping for those events, along with catching up on all the 365 blocks I was behind on.

I did finally finish binding the blue and green quilt.  I noticed I nipped a small hole in the backing at some point.  Ugh.  I'm not sure how I'm going to fix that.
I made this quilt top.  It didn't turn out how I envisioned.  Sigh.  Rethinking the gifting of that one.

Check back Friday for a funny picture.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

365 Challenge Week 44

I'm almost caught up again.  Whew!  This has been a lot of work.  I have one block left to do, which is the November 2 block.  It's one of the large 12" corner blocks.  But here's the rest.  My accuracy is definitely better when I'm only doing one at a time.  Oh well.  These are mostly 3" blocks with a few 6" mixed in.

October 25
October 26
October 27 
October 28--6" block
October 29
October 30
October 31--this was more trick than treat--6".
November 1
November 3
November 4 
November 5
November 6
November 7

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My New cpm Pattern & Some Changes

I've been busy working on a new cutie pie & me pattern--the Baby Ruffle Sleeve Shirt & Skirt.  The skirt has long been requested as a pattern and I am happy to announce that I published it this morning in my Etsy shop.  I moved all my previously published patterns into my shop as well.  They will now be available solely from me.  (So if you find them posted for sale or download elsewhere, those are illegal copies--please let me know.)

I am very open to pattern or outfit requests.  I will sew any brand of pattern for you.  I will not, however, copy others' published patterns.  I draft all my own pattern pieces.  You can contact me here using the contact form on the right, through my Etsy shop, or on my Facebook page.  I generally will respond within the day.  Right now I only sew and design for American Girl™, Bitty Baby® and Bitty Twin®, WellieWisher™ and Fisher-Price™ My Friend dolls.  I am not affiliated with any of these brands.  No endorsement is implied.  I just like these dolls and their quality.  :)

Additionally, I have two free patterns--the knitted blanket and the ribbon headband--that are available as downloads here on my blog.  Just click on the "Free Patterns" tab at the top and click the links.