Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Belated Merry Christmas

I had so many plans for this past week.  I had lists, and schedules, and I had it down to the minute.  Everything would get done and be done just in time, and then I got the call. I had no idea when I wrote the post about missing my grandma that my 90-year-old grandmother who was still here wouldn't see Christmas.  And so all my plans and schedules went out the window so we could attend her funeral.

When we returned home I did what I always do when I'm stressed or sad, I locked myself in my sewing room and worked.  I had planned on quilting "Hanging Around" from Simply Modern Christmas this week anyway, but I had more motivation to try what I had planned on doing with the quilting and not worry about how it turned out.  I now have a request to make this bed sized and quilt it exactly the same way.  We will have to see about that! ;)

We spent the Christmas holiday alone as many are ill with the influenza in our family, and for this year that was an okay change.  It kept it quiet and simple which is what we needed.  We have fresh snow and sunshine today (after not having seen the sun for weeks), so I'm ready to get back to work and enjoy this beautiful day with needle in hand.  Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, December 14, 2014

One Never Knows...

I tend to drive my family nuts with my project lists and project bags.  They often wonder what I am going to pull out and work on and where it will come from.  When my son found a forgotten "to go" bag last week and in it was this Moda embroidery project half finished, I knew it needed to be completed, and why not, it was over half stitched already.

I know my grandmother would have had a towel that looked just like this when I was a little girl, and I miss her a lot during the Christmas season. This reindeer reminds me of past Christmases spent with her and makes me smile.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mystery Part Two Complete

I actually finished the second set of instructions for the Quiltville Mystery on Sunday, but for some reason I was so exhausted when I finished I didn't get my photos posted.   :)

I love this setting for the 100 4-1/2 inch blocks I made, but that is the exciting part of the mystery...

You just never really know how they are going to be used.  It will be fun to see what comes of all of this work, and hopefully I can continue to keep up! :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Time to Sew!

For the last month I've been cleaning, organizing, and donating things that we as a family have outgrown.  It seems these things sneak up on you and suddenly you realize the time has come to let them go.  Once that was done, I figured I should get the Christmas decorating done.  This time of year always seems to have plenty of sew alongs and I'm always so busy I miss out.  Not this year!  I've started sewing again, and I am ready to make some new quilts.


Yes I started the Quiltville Mystery Quilt.  I've actually started the mystery each year for the last three years and never got the first set of instructions finished.  This year I am bound and determined to finish.  I don't know that the blocks will end up being stars, but it was fun to lay them out this way.

I have all 100 broken dishes blocks finished and I am ready to start the second set of instructions.

I also spent some time making a super soft baby blanket and some knit hats for my soon to arrive niece.  There is nothing better than getting to snuggle with a new baby (I cannot wait!).  I'm off to find my instructions for the second and third sew alongs I want to should be a fun sewing filled month.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I always think it is fun to use scraps or leftover blocks to make pillows.  I had just enough scraps left from the Touchdown quilt using the Cluck Cluck Sew pattern and kit from Stitchin' It Up Quilt Shop (who just happens to have free shipping this month).  The blocks were 11 x 15 inches and they seem to be the perfect size for my guys.

Our team is the Minnesota Vikings, who are the most frustrating team to cheer for.  When they are on, they are on and fun to watch, but the majority of the time they aren't.  We were hoping for a good season this year, but with a record of 2-5 these pillows may just go flying on Sunday afternoons.  ;)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I finally figured out how to cut those charms

So first of all, I did get out right away and photograph this quilt.  It was a beautiful day and not windy...

And then I realized I should probably share a few things I learned while making this quilt.  First of all, if you ever decide to use the Moda Bake Shop instructions for the petals...cut your background squares at 5-1/2, center your petal, stitch it down, and then square up your block.  There isn't enough fabric if you for some reason miss on centering your petal with a 5 inch block...and honestly, a 1/2 inch isn't something to worry about as far as waste goes.

Next, yes you can add a small strip of fabric to a 27-1/2 inch quilt to make it 28-1/2 which is much easier to divide by 2-1/2 inches, and leads me to my discovery.

I love charm squares, I love the fact that every single color of a line of fabric is in there, I love that I feel like I get a huge amount of fabric for not a lot of money when I purchase one or two; what I hate about them is those pinked edges!  I don't know why I never realized this before, but if you do these few things with your charm squares when cutting them, they come out perfect every time!

I've used the lines on my cutting mat before to cut angles, but I guess I never paid attention to the 1-inch lines on there.  If you line the charm up perfectly using five of the 1-inch lines you don't have to worry about those pinked edges.  

You can just line up the marks on your ruler with the lines on your mat and cut.  Many of you probably already knew this, but for me it was one of those "oh my gosh, this is so easy and my cuts are straight" moments.  I had my 2-1/2 inch squares cut in no time, sewn together, and on the quilt.  I seriously think this is one of the reasons I get so far with a quilt using charms and I quit working on it as cutting the charms and getting them straight has always been frustrating to me.  Well, not anymore!!  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back In The Sewing Room Again

My son had a few extra days off of school this weekend and for some reason that meant that I got to do something fun!  We decided as a family that we would just do things that we never have time to do and enjoy it.  We watched movies, sporting events, played games, and I got to do some sewing.  Not that it was all fun and no work (I did turn on the washing machine and dishwasher once)!  It was wonderful, and of course I worked until after dark and didn't get any good photos, but I will in the coming days because the weather is supposed to be spectacular this week.

I feel like I'm getting back to my normal happy self.  We've had some tragedies the last few months that have been difficult, but I think we are finally getting through them.  I cannot wait for the sun to be out tomorrow and get these photographed.  I hope you enjoyed your where did I put the backings for these???  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy Fall!!!

We are almost a month into fall and for some reason it has been the busiest I've ever known.  My family celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, and I ended up with a virus that lasted one day short of three weeks.  A sore throat that lasts over two weeks is almost enough to drive a person insane.  The sun is shining again after two days of rain, and I'm feeling like I'm going to live.  I also started working with a personal trainer and running again which I would love to blame for my illness, but they are both very good for me and necessary, so I won't.

I started appliqueing these petals over a month ago.  I love the way applique looks, I love the smooth rounded curves and I spent plenty of time researching how to make them that way.  I used starch, a paint brush, and an iron to get those curves just right.  For the most part it worked.  I'm not sure that applique is my thing though.  I had read somewhere that they should take about 10 minutes a leaf to stitch down.  I'm here today to say it takes a lot longer than that!  All the blocks are squared up and ready to be sewn together...finally!

I used the pattern  Orange Peel  from Moda Bake Shop.  I'm not going to use the same placement as that pattern, but I did use the petals.

I've also been working on this free pattern from Red Brolly.  I am using DMC threads instead of the Cosmo suggested on the pattern.  I will list the colors I am using once I finish this piece (which will hopefully be soon)!  I guess the family is waiting for me to go work out so I'm off.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Monday, September 15, 2014

See You In September Blog Hop

It is the final day of the See You in September Blog Hop and I'm still fighting with Windows 8.  It seems when I try to leave comments on blogs my computer does not like that...and then I get messages in my email saying that I was unable to leave a comment.  Progress right?  I beg to differ at times.

I've been busy all summer stitching things up and sharing them.  I couldn't wait to show my work, but I decided I would save a few for now, and I'm so glad I did.  As the weather cools down I'm looking forward to the holidays more than I was back in June when I was sewing away in the heat.

This punch needle snowman was made from a pattern by The Talking Crow.  It was such a fun pattern to make, and of course I chose the hottest day of the summer to do it.  I'm so excited to put him on display for the winter season.

This embroidery pattern is by Once Upon a Vine.  I added french knots to the sheep and the star and I decided to finish it so it accented the stable outline.  My husband LOVED the idea, especially when he was cutting the matte board for it.  Seven or eight tries later we had it.  I think it will make a lovely addition to our Christmas tree this year.

Finally, is there anything more fun than using the many colors of Riley Blake gingham?  I think not!  I added a little Riley Blake pink (which matches the large gingham on the back) and I have a happy summery pillow.  I know it will bring a smile to my face when it finds its way to my couch next spring.

Thank you once again Madame Samm for the wonderfully fun and creative blog hop.  I have enjoyed seeing what everyone has been working on, even though I am unable to leave a comment.  Here are today's participants:

Tuesday, September 16

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Sewing

If you have been following along with the Moda Love Blog Hop you have seen this pattern used by a variety of different designers.  The free pattern was offered and I took them up on it, using a Layer Cake, a couple of fat quarters, and a background fabric.

It took me an hour of cutting and sewing half square triangles last evening and a couple of hours this afternoon to piece this.  I added a 3-1/2 inch border to make it bed sized.

I thought it would be fun to use to a "fall" background, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  The fabrics are from the One for You, One For Me fabric line by Pat Sloan.  Now to figure out which fabric to use for the backing and binding.  I'd love to have this finished by the end of this week, the weather has gotten chilly and perfect for a new warm quilt!  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Metro Lattice Is Finished!!

Life got hectic and I was not planning on being gone this long.  My son turned 14 and a new school year has started.  I set up our new computer, which has Windows 8 and is something fun, exciting, and frustrating all in and of itself.  I have a new insulin pump which I am getting used to for my type I diabetes, and with all the new technology, I think I just needed a break.  With the time away I realized just how much I missed my quilting, and today I finished my Metro Lattice!!!

I quilted it in a 1-1/2 inch grid which was fun and taught me a few things about quilting straight lines. This quilt took me to the outer limits of my quilting experience, it tested me beyond testing, and it made me realize that if I put my mind to it, I can do it!  I needed a little break away from it, but I am so excited to use it to take a well deserved nap.  I am linking up to the Sew Kind of Wonderful Link Up AND I am going to participate in their Curve It Up Challenge.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I've Been Missing in Action

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I have been missing for a few weeks, but I am working on some projects that I will be able to show soon (within the next couple of days).  While I'm working on those, I wanted to let you know about a terrific sale at Craftsy...this is the time when I will purchase classes.  Remember, they are yours to watch forever, whenever.  :)  Don't miss Craftsy's Dog Days of Summer Sale happening now! Enjoy up to 50% off ALL online classes. Take advantage of big savings today. Hurry, offer expires August 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop now and save!


I will be back soon with some fun projects to share with you!!  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


My Metro Lattice is finally all in one piece.  It needs a major pressing and then to be quilted.  Wow am I glad I am this far!!

This quilt exhausted me.  I have always wanted to make a double wedding ring quilt, and this one is close, although the arcs aren't pieced, the centers are.  There is a lot of bulk at the corners when you sew the rows together which makes them hard to sew and even more difficult to press.  I think a restful evening will give new excitement tomorrow for the finishing.  I have my backing and batting, and I am really ready to start quilting.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

FNSI--Metro Lattice

Another Friday night of sewing fun!  

More Metro Lattice progress!  The connectors on the bottom, they still need to be trimmed.  

I realized that if I trimmed them after sewing them rather than trimming them before, I could get my points to match up!  Sometimes we have to make adjustments to patterns to make them work for us.  This, of course, may also be the reason I cannot sew clothing. :)  

Here is how they looked when I trimmed them before sewing them together.  As you can see, the middle, top, and bottom points were way off, and this is after taking it apart numerous times.  There are only a few left to sew, and I'm thinking it is time to start taking all these pieces and putting them together.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Metro Lattice Update

Whew, it's been a long week spent on this quilt not without struggles.  However, I refused to give up and I am so happy I did.

I finished 22 of 30 blocks this weekend.  The good news is that once you get the hang of the curves they get somewhat easier to sew!  I haven't taken the time yet to lay them all out to see how they look, and I think I will wait until they are all done to do that.

These connector blocks are what gave me trouble this week.  I have sewn, resewn, and recut the fabric.  I could not get them to match points in the centers and on the top and bottom with the cutting instructions, I did it my way and they worked out!  There are only 15 of 98 of these completed, so obviously I still have quite a bit of sewing to do.  I'm at the point now where I don't want to leave the sewing machine because I cannot wait to see them together!  Make sure to check out Cupcakes 'n' Daisies to see the progress of others.  Happy Stitching!!  Kristen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Metro Lattice Update

I was working fast and furious on my Metro Lattice last week and then I came to a screeching halt.  I cut something completely wrong and thought it might just be time to step back and take a day off.  I decided that I should probably make all my four patches and get them cut and ready to sew before I moved on, which is exactly what I did.

I finished cutting them in the wee hours this morning and am ready to start sewing again.  I was outside with the sunrise today and there is something about the colors of this quilt and the early morning sun.  Don't forget to check out Thelma's progress, I cannot wait to see how far she got this past week.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Two Down, Twenty-Eight or More To Go

A long time ago I tried sewing curves.  I used templates (that is how long ago it was) to cut my pieces out and I pinned, and pinned, and pinned those curves to the point that there wasn't much room to sew in between pins.  They did not look so good when they were finished either.  As a matter of fact the block was never finished, it was thrown.

I'm actually very impressed with the way these are turning out.  I never dreamed I could sew these together and have them look like this with an obvious 1/4" seam allowance.

AND, they measure 9-1/2" square!!!  I do have to say that I have to take my time sewing them, but it honestly does not take as long as I thought it would.

If they were that bad to sew together I would not have purchased this book.  The QCR ruler is amazing!  Seriously, where have I been that I didn't know about this?  :)  I am truly enjoying this project and can't wait to see how the rows look put together...which means I had better get to the sewing machine.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Friday, June 27, 2014

I Can't Wait to Get Started!!!

Thelma over at Cupcakes and Daisies is having a sew along, and when I saw what they were working on, I just had to jump in.  I ordered the Metro Lattice pattern which I could download, the Quick Curve Ruler, and some Hubba Hubba fabric from Stitchin' It Up Quilt Shop.  The fabric arrived today, and I cannot wait to get started cutting it up.

There is still time to join us, or feel free to cheer us on.  The easy part is the cutting and sewing in the beginning...I'm curious to see how easy all those curved pieces go together.  :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Monday, June 23, 2014

Design Wall Monday

The last time I shared this mini medallion I was more than a little upset with it.  Now that I let it sit for a bit it all worked out well and I am happy with it.  I have found that when I'm struggling I do better to put the project aside for awhile, and when I come back things usually work out a lot better.

This quilt is actually on my design wall and all the borders are added.  I'm trying to figure out how to quilt it.  The evening is still early (kind of) and there are other projects that need attention (that list is never ending).

Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June Handmade Christmas Challenge

The Handmade Christmas Challenge is still going on at Sew Cal Gal, and although I wasn't sure I could actually pledge to make something each month for Christmas in May, June is looking a lot more promising.  There is still time to sign up and take the pledge, and you can also see what others are making so they are ready for Christmas this year here.

The Holly & Berries Table Mat pattern by Primitive Gatherings was shown done with black wool for the background.  I used a cream colored wool instead and love the way it lightens it up.

Instead of cutting a lot of little red berries out of wool and them maybe or maybe not being circles,  I decided to use buttons.  I wish I could tell you where I got the buttons, but after a fiasco with ordering some on line I ended up shopping a lot of different stores collecting packages of these little buttons to use.  I'm so glad I didn't give up because they really were much easier to sew on then those tiny wool circles.  I know when December rolls around I will be so happy I took the pledge to finish a Christmas project a month.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen


Saturday, June 21, 2014

First Day Of Summer

I think I can safely say that every person who lives near me is rejoicing that the first day of summer is finally here.  It was a beautiful day, and I am still enjoying the sunshine and the warmth.  I spent this past week traveling with my son for a basketball camp which gave me some much needed rest as well as some welcomed time to work on a few hand projects.

My first finished project is this pincushion "September Apples" by Purple Thread Designs.  It is the first day of summer and I'm finishing an autumn pincushion.  Finally, I'm somewhat ahead of the game and not working at the last minute!  There are more finishes to share, and I will be back tomorrow.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Fun

I guess I have been missing in action for a few weeks.  School ended, the warm summer sun has arrived, and after being cooped up all winter I've been spending time outdoors.  We have flowers in the window boxes and pumpkins that are growing like weeks.  It may be hard to keep me inside to sew after the horribly long and cold winter we had.

I started this beast after finding it on the SewMamaSew website about a month ago.  I guess when I saw "miniature medallion" I didn't really get that it was a minature with a million tiny pieces.  :)  I still have another border to attach (it has been removed twice already), and after fighting with it I decided it just needed some time to itself to think about how it was acting. :)  I'm almost ready to finish it, but I've been so busy planting, running, and just enjoying the great outdoors it may spend a little more time alone.  I do have to say the last pieced border just needs to be maybe.  A couple "to go" bags have been packed as I will have many hours to spend waiting next week.  I am hoping to do some of that hand work that I do not seem able to sit still for lately.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Handmade Christmas Challenge

SewCalGal is having a Handmade Christmas Challenge and for once I am bound and determined to get some of these projects done early so I can enjoy the holiday and not stress trying to finish them.  I know I will still be working on some of them, but to even have one ready is exciting.

This quilt pattern was in the Fons and Porter November 2009 issue and was called "Holiday Cheer."  Now that I have my sewing cabinet finished I've been taking advantage of the extended top on it and trying some new quilting stitches.  I have also been spending some time watching Craftsy quilting classes and learning a lot.  Funny how studying can be so much fun when it is something that you love doing.

I am expanding my horizons with my walking foot...What a difference the 1/2" straight lines make around the center block.  In my experimenting I did realize something...if the quilt isn't moving freely, it may mean there is a problem on the underside of the quilt.  I ended up unsewing all the stippling I did in the outer border and redoing it because of the big loops on the bottom.  It was worth it though, and I am looking forward to the day in November when I hang this quilt for the holiday season.  Not to say I wouldn't enjoy a lot of warm, sunny days before then.  ;)

For some reason I made an extra corner star block so I decided to quilt that too and make it into a mug rug.  For more Christmas inspiration the other projects can be seen here.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Blogger's Quilt Festival

It takes me a while, but I'm not too late to enter a quilt into the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  There is nothing like a quilt show to inspire creativity.  I've been looking at the quilts that are already entered, and I have a long list of possible new quilts to make.  

I just finished this quilt and my son is in love with it.  In fact, he asked me when the next one will be done.  I think completed quilts inspire new quilts to be finished.  This one is from the Touchdown pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  I quilted it on my home sewing machine and love the fact that it is ready for the upcoming football season a few months in advance (anyone who knows me knows that I am usually working up until the last minute on everything).  If you are visiting from the Blogger's Quilt Festival welcome, you can read more about this quilt here...and if you are a regular visitor of mine, check out the festival here...there are so many wonderful quilts on display!  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and a New Quilt!!! ---The Winner Is....

When Merrilee at Stitchin' It Up Quilt Shop asked me if would be interested in making her new quilt kit using the Touchdown pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew I was in.  I figured it would be the perfect new quilt for my son who is an avid football fan, and the bright, fun colors were too good to pass up.

What I did not expect was the number of people asking if I would make them one too when they saw it. The pattern was a great one to work with.  The instructions were very clear and making the football strings was easy and fun.

Since it is Giveaway Day (week) at Sew Mama Sew I thought I would give you a chance to win a gift certificate of $25 to Stitchin' It Up Quilt Shop which you can use toward the purchase of this kit or anything else you would like.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment letting me know who your favorite sport's team doesn't have to be a football team or a professional team for that matter (I love watching my son's basketball and soccer teams).  If you are not a sports fan of any kind you can let me know that too.  For another chance to win, leave a second comment letting me know you follow my blog and how.  The winner will be announced here on May 18, at 5 p.m. CST and is open worldwide.
Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

The winner of the gift certificate is barb said...
i am a happy follower via bloglovin. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Design Wall Monday and a Realization

A person would think after having finally gotten my sewing cabinet in the sewing room and all set up I would be doing nothing but quilting.  I did not mention when I brought the cabinet in I removed everything else from the room forcing myself to go through it all before it came back in.  What a process this ended up being. 

I full well knew that refolding the fabric would be a huge job, and I had planned on getting rid of the things that I would never in this lifetime use.  What I didn't plan on was the realization that some things I really, really thought at one time I would make are now becoming things that if I keep them I will just be storing them, and what good is that?  Instead of it being a quick clean up and sort through, I'm donating, throwing away, and selling things.  As I organize and clean out I'm finding that creative drive is coming back.  I have also decided that in the future if it isn't a project I love, I am going to pass.  By doing this I think the true satisfaction of finishing a project will return, and I won't be making something just because everyone else is.  There is also plenty of room to bring in new finds. :)

We will see how long that decision lasts...but I did finally put something on my newly found design wall.  It is a block from the Morning Joe pattern by Carrie Nelson using the Lovely fabric line by RJR.  I love my clean, organized space and can't wait to get back at it!  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen