Thursday, November 10, 2011

NYC and purl soho

I was in NYC for work recently and I stopped by purl soho for the first time. I love visiting fabric shops when I'm traveling! I LOVE to visit City Quilter when I'm in New York (they've expanded the store this past year!) but this was my first visit to purl soho, a shop that features all kinds of textiles. (There were a lot of knitters when I was there.) And bonus, Soho is my second favorite NYC district (after Chelsea, of course).

While at purl soho, I decided I must by some fabric and was instantly drawn to a bundle of half yard prints in yellows and grays that I knew I had to have. I don't follow fabric lines so I didn't realize my purchase is from the hottest line of the season, Echo by Lotta Jansdotter. Many of the quilt bloggers I follow are talking about Lotta's first line, including Rachel from Stitched in Color.

I'm feeling like one of the cool kids in quilt class today!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quinn's Quilt

It seems I've taken to naming quilts after their recipients and I certainly had continue the tradition with Baby Quinn. (Who doesn't love an opportunity to use alliteration, especially with Q words?) Quinn is expected to arrive around December 3. Luckily, I finished his quilt in time! Here is a photo of me with Quinn's mama, my cousin Bri.

Bri requested something to match Quinn's Dr. Seuss room. I struggled a bit but I'm happy with the outcome.

Another foray in to machine binding. I'm getting better! For my next quilt, I might try a zig zag stitch for binding.

I have two more friends who are expecting. I asked one what she'd like in terms of color and style and she told me to do whatever I want - as long as it's bright. Oh the possibilities!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


One of the advantages to having a new house is having a sewing room all to myself. When we built the house, we knew we weren't going to use the formal living room so the Polack convinced me to turn it in to my sewing room. I had other ideas for sewing space and I didn't like that the room was right off the foyer and very visible from the front door. This means I feel like I have to keep the room picked up. But the advantage is that it's spacious and has plenty of room for all my stuff. (And really, how can I complain about having my husband dedicate a whole room to my quilting?)

My sewing room is currently outfitted with old furniture, made of MFD and some on it's last leg. I'll get new furniture some day and I'll organize things in a cool, fashionable way. (I have a whole "organization" board on Pinterest!) But for now, I have to settle with what I have. But that doesn't mean I can't make things colorful to help pique the inspiration.

I bought a set of these circle containers from IKEA several years ago. I didn't have a plan for them but I loved the colors.

One day, I had the idea of hanging the lids on the wall above my cutting table. It's an easy and cheap way of adding color to the white walls of the room. (Painting will happen. Some day.)

I hope to add some paper lanterns to hang from the ceiling and of course, I need to add some quilts to the wall. in the meantime, I love looking at my circles.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ryleigh's Quilt

I'm waa-aay behind on my flowers. I have two ready to photograph but haven't made it outside to take the photos. I also need to finish my flower from last week and start this week. It's been a busy fall! I have managed to work on some quilts though. My latest has been finished for several weeks and I'm finally getting around to mailing it to the recipient. This is going to baby Ryleigh, the daughter of some friends.

Here was the inspiration for the quilt. This is part of the bedding in Ryleigh's room.

I'm not sure why I used 4.5 inch squares. They were so small! I kept making squares, and making squares and sewing and sewing. Then I'd lay out the quilt and it was teeny tiny. But I loved working with the colors so I kepts at it.

It was windy when I took photos of the quilt.

A close-up... I quilted flowers in the quilt, a free motion pattern I love but don't get to use very much.

Here is my third attempt at machine binding. It's not perfect but I'm getting better!

I'm mailing the quilt today and I know it will be well loved.

I'm finishing another baby quilt that I've been working on since I finished Ryleigh's project. It will be given to the recipient at a baby shower on Sunday and all that's left to do is the binding so I should be able to finish it. I'll post photos next week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 40

No outside photo today but I have things bloomington inside. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 38 and Week 39

It seems like all I'm doing anymore is making GFG flowers. Looks can be decieving though! I have been working on a baby quilt for some friends. The top is finished and it's layered. Now I just have to find some time to quilt it. I can't wait to finish and send it off to Baby Ryleigh and then post photos for you to enjoy. I love how it turned out! In the meantime, enjoy my latest two flowers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 36

Another flower for the week. I'm a bit behind in posting though so I didn't join One Flower Wednesday.This photo was taken outside a hospital. My mom had knee surgery and I spent three days with her. (Which is why I didn't get my flower posted in time.) I was able to finish another flower after this one but I'm waiting to post that next week since I have a very busy couple of days coming up.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Week 35

It's One Flower Wednesday! I didn't have time to go outside to photograph this week (plus it's been overcast for the last four days!) so I placed the flower among the stars. Really, it's on top of my Dancing Star quilt. It's a pretty good background, if I do say so myself. Check out the link to Karen's blog to see other hexagon flowers.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week 34

It's One Flower Wednesday time again! Head over to Karen's blog, Journey of a Quilter, to see more beautiful flowers.

I think this flower looks nice against the color of the grass. The photo was taken just outside my office. I thought about using my own grass as a the setting but since I don't really have grass yet - just weeds - I held off. I want the flower to look pretty, not grungy!

We're headed to the Lake for the weekend. Hopefully I'll do some sewing during the 3 hour car ride because I plan to read, lay in the sun, take pontoon rides, and hang out in the water while we're there. I have the petals completed for my next flower. Now I just need to sew them together.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weeks 32 and 33

Somehow, I've messed up my flower posting. I posted one flower twice and found a few flowers that were never posted. This is all happened during our move to the new house and week and half of vacation. I think I'm finally on track again!

This photo was taken among the PETUNIA's on campus.

As a quilter, I draw inspiration from all around me. I keep a notebook of ideas, color schemes and patterns as the come to mind. I seem to especially be inspired by floors. As in carpet and tiles. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the often simple patterns? Anyway, while I was using the ladies room at the student union the other day, I fell in love with this awesome floor.

Those hexagons are so small! This section of the student union was built in 1931 so I'm guessing that's how old the tiles are? (I don't know enough about preservation to confirm this.) In any case, seeing them certainly brings the "They don't make 'em like they used to" thought up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Week 31

I'm excited to be participating in One Flower Wednesday again. I took a few weeks off due to vacations and moving and back to school tasks. Fortunately, I kept sewing my weekly flowers so I'm not behind on my year long goal of 52 flowers in 52 weeks.

This photo was taken on campus. I wanted to photograph the impatiens but had trouble finding a bunch that wasn't wilted. (It is very unusual to see neglected flowers on campus!) Luckily there was a beautiful pot of them near the entrance to the bookstore.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week 30

This picture doesn't do justice to the colors of this flower. It's much more beautiful in person. The photo was taken at my families home on Lake George, Indiana. Anyone know the name of these flowers? They are perennials, right?

I love that my own flower garden is growing!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


No more finishes to report - actually I have a finish but I haven't taken it's photo yet - but I do have some updates. I started a new quilt. (I know, surprise, surprise.) After moving in to the new house and setting up my sewing room, I was trying to figure out which one of my many unfinished projects to work on. (I had no idea the UNO list was so big!) I asked my mom her thoughts and she gave me some suggestions. Then I asked the Polack and he reminded me that I had promised a baby quilt to our friends who are expecting. And due in AUGUST. Oops, I forgot about that project. So everything else was put on hold. The couple asked for something to match their nursery colors.

I love the colors! I didn't have a particular pattern in mind so I'm doing a square within in a square. My finished blocks are only 4.5 inches so the piecing is taking a while. I'm not sure why I went so small with everything but I know the recipients will love it.

While my in laws were visiting this week, my mother in law laid out all of my beautiful flowers.

Halfway through the year and it's not nearly as big as I hoped. (Isn't that always the case?) She suggested adding the garden rows and the Polack thinks so too. I sent a photo to Christy and she disagrees. She loves the modern look of the flowers all placed next to each other. I'm not sure what I think and I don't have to decide anything right now so I'm going to wait and mull over both ideas.

Pink Chalk Studio is hosting a Wear I Sew feature this month. I don't have photos of my sewing space so I won't be adding to it but I love looking through all the posts to see how my fellow quilters have set up their working area. I'm definitely getting some ideas on purchases that I want to make to complete my room.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Week 29

I love my oranges, though I'm not thrilled with them next to the golds. I'm a little meh about this flower but I knew right away that I had to take a photo of it with some tiger lilies, the Polack's favorite flower. We plan to plant tiger lilies in front of our porch to the new house.

Quick memory... Growing up, I lived out in the country. Our three acres had a creek running through the back of it. I used to ride my bike down the road to the bridge that went over the creek. I would play with the rocks under that bridge for hours, playing house or reading a book. Tiger lilies grew wild next to the bridge and I always wondered what kind of flowers they were. I've had an attraction to them ever since.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Unsolved Mystery

We're all moved in to the new house. Finally! This means I have my own sewing room. No more pulling everything out of the closet and putting it back after a few hours. Yay! While my mom I were organizing the room, I found a few quilts that were almost finished, including this one.

This was a Mystery Quilt that I participated in when I was at Camp Tecumseh Quilt Camp in October. I finished the top then, I quilted it at camp in January, and my mom helped me finish the binding this weekend. The original pattern had another row of mountains around the border. I didn't like it as much as I left off the mountains (and made those into another quilt.)

Here's a picture of mom holding the quilt. Hi Momma! My yard is a big dirt pile right now and I didn't have anything pretty outside to display the quilt for a photo. So I just used the front porch which unfortunately makes the photos look darker than they should be. At least you can see mom mom's smiling face.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Week 28

My latest One Flower Wednesday post...

What a pretty flower! If I were name it, I'd call it cotton candy. Like last week, this photo was taken in the Arboretum on campus. Have wonderful rest of the week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week 27

Here is my recent flower. I took this picture while riding in the car. I was using the pillow as a sort of desk when I realized that the flowers on it were appropriate for my project.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 26

Week 26 - I'm halfway through the year. Yay for me!

This week's photo was taken at Bryan Park, during Seeger's baseball game.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Week 25

It's One Flower Wednesday time! This picture was taken at the local Kroger. They had so many pretty flowers sitting out in front, I was inspired to pull out my flower and phone to take a picture. The Polack was with me and I thought maybe he'd scurt away so as to no be embarrased. But he stayed with me as I took a few shots. He always enjoys seeing the finished flowers and I think he likes the idea of the flower in the flowers photo shoot.

I love black with color fabrics. I only have a few fat quarters so I don't really do anything with them. I also love teal, though I've never really made a teal quilt. I'll add those two ideas to the wish list.

This is the last post in June which means I'm half-way through the year of flowers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Week 24

Whew - I'm on a roll with these flowers. My production started to peter out a few weeks ago. I was bored with the project. I was scraping the bottom of the barrel with the scraps I had for the flowers. I didn't like the colors I had left and I thought several of the scraps were ugly. My face would scrunch up when I thought about sewing more hexagons. To get out of my funk, I threw away several scraps (I just heard a horrified gasp from Christy) and cut in to some of my favorite fabrics from my stash. Viola! The sewing picked up some speed.

Lesson learned.

Here is my latest flower - another photo shoot on campus. This was taken near the Indiana Memorial Union, just next to my alma mater's building, Journalism.

Someone commented on my scrappy flowers. Traditional flowers use the same fabric for each row of petals. I'm so used to using scraps that I didn't even think about doing the traditional method. It would have been smarter - sometimes it's hard to find 12 of the same color for those outer rows - but hopefully when everything is put together, I'll have a quilt that is very unique. (Or very Polish as some would say!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I have another finish for 2011. Woo hoo! (It's been a slow year so far.) This quilt has been in process for some time. It started with an idea and discussion during Quilt Camp in January of 2010 when several of us decided to do a block swap. Each month was assigned to a specific person who would decide what she wanted the blocks of her month to look like. One person chose Christmas colors, another gave us fabric and asked us to incorporate it, someone else wanted bright blocks, someone else wanted stars. Then each person made a block for that month. All blocks had to be 12.5 inches.

I happened to be the first person. I asked for blue and lime green blocks with black and white incorporated. It was so much fun to get the different blocks and see each quilters personality come through with them. I carried those blocks to several camps but never got around to putting them together until quilt camp in January. I added the block borders and sashing, put them together and got the top sewn together with their borders. I also made the back for it.

Fast forward a few months and I finally got around to layering the quilt. I wasn't sure how to quilt it but I knew I definitely wanted to show off each block. I remembered someone on a quilting blog using painters tape as a guide for doing straight line stitching. I couldn't remember the site, or blog, or much about it but I thought I'd give it a try. HA! It didn't go well. I used two different width painters tape and made several - probably 50 - 60 - lines going all different directions of the quilt. Here is a picture of it. I was really proud of myself until I started sewing along the first line and came to a cross line of tape for another line. I knew I couldn't sew through it because then I wouldn't be able to get the tape off - it would be sewn onto the quilt. So I had to the cut the cross tape, continue sewing my line, then try to stick the cross tape back in place. Imagine doing that 500 times. It sucked. Plus all the maneuvering of the quilt and cutting the tape made several spots of tape become unstuck to the quilt. So then I had to pin the tape down. So my easy project ended up being really hard.

But in the end, I love how it turned out. I will definitely do the technique again except I'll only do a few tape lines at time and I'll make sure they don't cross. This will also allow me to hopefully use each piece of tape more than once. I like the idea of being able to conserve the tape! Here is a close up of the quilting.

I was able to get all the blocks in the photo. There are 12 blocks from 12 different quilters.
The top row from left to right are from Cheryl, Pam, and Carol.
The second row blocks are from Kathy, Laura, and Celeste.
The third row blocks are from Christy, Cherry, and Elizabeth.
The fourth row blocks are from Bobbie, Nancy, and Betty.

This quilt measures 91X73 and gives me 13,286 for the stashbusting contest.

Week 23

Now that I'm participating in the One Flower Wednesday group, I thought I'd display my photos like some of the others - my flower immersed in to the scenery with other flowers. I feel so grown up!

Because I live in an apartment, I don't have any flowers surrounding me. And once I move in to the new house, it will take a few months before I can afford landscaping. Luckily I work on a college campus that boasts about it's beauty. It rivels some of the best in the country which means lots of flowers for me to take advantage of.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Week 22

When I started making my hexagon flowers, my personal goal was to complete one per week. Apparently, I'm not the only one! Karen from Journey of a Quilter has started a flower garden party. I've decided to join so that I can see what other flowers look like as well as have some incentive to keep going with mine own flowers. This means I'll start posting my flowers on Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weeks 20 and 21

Once again, I apologize for the bad picture. It looks like it will be awhile before I get a new camera. Light fixtures, appliances, a family cruise, and new tires for the car have sucked up all extra money.

At least I'm currently all caught up!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Eek, I've missed my Monday flower deadline. In fact, I haven't even started SEWING it together. I'm behind, yes I know. However, all the finished quilts - real quilts -that I've posted about should make it okay. I know I've only posted two of them but I have another one that just needs it's binding attached and then it will be ready.

I'll be at the Lake all weekend so either A) I will get all caught up and then some on the flowers or B) I won't do anything sewing related which means I'll be even further behind.

I'm pretty much okay with either option.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Purpled Bliss

My cousin Marci is getting married in June. Family weddings give my mom and I an excuse to get together and make a quilt so we decided early this year that we better get planning. Marci met with my mom to see a sample of some previous quilts. She decided she likes squares and she wanted lots of white with a little bit of purple.

We worked together to make and piece the blocks and borders. I quilted it and my mom did the binding. In the borders, I quilted Marci and Nick and June 4, 2011.

Here's a close up of the quilting. Most of the quilt is an overall stipple.

We gave the quilt to Marci during her wedding shower this weekend. She LOVES it and it received a good amount of oh's and ah's. Yay! It will go in her living room which is painted purple. She painted the other rooms in her house lime green and mustard yellow. A girl after my own heart!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

I made this quilt in 2009 and posted about it on my other blog. (This was before I separated my quilting blog from my family blog.) But I never had a picture of it finished. It currently resides with my mom who loves all that is pink. When I was at her house this weekend, we took pictures of several finished quilts. iPhone photos aren't the best -- I'm definitely missing my camera.

Week 20

Here's my latest Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt block. I apologize for the background of my kitchen table. It's a bit distracting, I know.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Painters Tape

I'm trying a new quilting technique.

Unfortunately, it's not going well. I'll tell the tale when I finish it up. I need to stay positive!!

Alaina's Quilt

I finished Alaina the Intern's quilt Thursday, washed it Friday, and wrapped it up in time to bring it to her graduation party on Saturday. I always work best under pressure! I think I mentioned that I received a gorgeous pack of animal print fabric from a colleague as a thank you for speaking to her fundraising class. Alaina had taken her class a previous semester so she tagged a long to give her input. Alaina loved the fabric so I immediately decided to make her a quilt with it. It was the perfect set up.

Unfortunately, I'm still without camera which means I only had my phone to take these photos. I had hoped for a sunny day for natural lighting but the rain prevented it. Please excuse the blurry, out of focus photos. I will regret not having a good photo of this quilt.

I machine stitched the binding for this quilt - a new technique for me. I had viewed a couple of tutorials and I think it turned out really well. At least the blurry photo will convince you of the same.

Jay McCarroll fabric! I love loved Jay in Project Runway so I bought a few cuts of his fabric when it was on the discount shelf of Shiisa Quilts. I haven't had a project to use his Garden Friends in Rust fabric until now.

My dryer hasn't been working very well lately (camera, dryer, see a pattern here?) so I washed and dried it at the local laundromat. I loved watching it spin!

I made Alaina open her present before I left her party. I wanted to see her reaction. She knew I was making the quilt but had no idea what it was going to look like. She loved it and insisted we show it off to everyone else who was there.

I forgot to mention that the pattern is Gumdrops from Blue Underground Studios. I wanted the blocks a bit bigger than what's called for so I cut 3 inch strips instead of 2.5 inch.