Sunday, August 13, 2006

6th Quilt Block

This one just makes me laugh. I missed the class on how to do it, and the instructions that I picked up were not complete. I thought that I could fake it, and I sorta did ... except that when I was done, the block is 11 1/4" square instead of 12 1/2" square. LOL Oh well .... guess I'll not be using this one in the quilt. LOL

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Finished Quilt

I'm amazed at how long it's been since I posted anything here. I went back to work the end of May, and obviously I haven't had much time for anything but that. However, I DID manage to finally complete the binding on my quilt and it's even been through the washer and dryer to soften it up. Any evening that's a little cool, you can find me curled up under it on the couch.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

5th Quilt Block

Another square for the block a month quilt. This makes 5. I tossed this one together in a hurry. And it shows. Oh well. What the heck. :) I'm a working girl now. I'm just happy to have it done in time for class Thursday night.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My First Quilt - back from the quilter

My quilt is back from the quilters. Wish I had a better camera or was a better photographer, but this will give you an idea what it looks like. I still need to put the binding on.

A little closer up, to give you a better idea of what the quilter did. She used a varigated thread.

Here's a close up of what she did in the group of 4 small, light squares. You can see on the other photo what she did in the small, single light squares.

And a close look at the boarder. She used feathers here and I'm really happy with it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

4th Quilt Block

4 down, 8 to go. The blue and white is finally growing on me and I'm starting to see the possibilities of a quilt finally being made from these blocks. This block went together much easier than last months, and I notice that I'm becoming more confident of my ability to put a block together.

The little squares, that have 4 triangles in them, are 3" squares. So you can see that those little triangles are 3" by 1-1/2" deep, pretty darned small to be working with. I learned a great technique for sewing those together and cutting on the diagonal that made them very easy to work with.

Friday, April 14, 2006

3rd Quilt Block

I learned a valuable lesson on April's Block of the Month: never leave it for the last minute. I was frantically sewing this block together yesterday and then rushed out the door to class with it. My points are off and the seams on the back are not pressed in the right direction. I'm tempted to take it apart and begin again. But I'm also tempted to just leave it as is and say "good enough" again.
The fabrics continue to be blue and white, so it looks like the only way that I'm going to get more colors in it is to make more blocks with different fabrics and mix them all together with multi colored sashing and borders. Actually, that sounds like a fun thing to do.
I have the fabric and pattern for May's block and I'm going to do it in the next couple of days before I forget everything she taught us about it. This next one has some very small triangles and looks difficult. I definately need to take my time on it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

First Quilter Experience

Well, I took my first quilt to the quilter yesterday. Bobby, the owner and quilter, at Riverside Quilting couldn't have been more helpful and understanding of my inexperience. I needed to choose thread and the quilting pattern, and I didn't know what to choose. I finally agreed to pay a certain amount of money that gave her some flexibility in the pattern and I chose a green variegated thread. That may change when she actually gets ready to quilt it. I have about a 7-8 week wait until I get it back. This will sure test my patience, huh? We decided on some feathering for the quilting and I assume there will be some other pattern in there as well.

Quilting is certainly a learning experience and I learn more with each thing that I do.

On my way home from the quilter, I stopped at a fabric store and bought some cute baby flannel for a quilt for a great niece. It has little booties and blocks and butterflies on it, along with lots of other cute baby things. It will be fun to work on.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Flannel Quilt is Complete

After spending a total of about 10 hours sewing yesterday and the day before, my Johnny and Buck quilt is complete. I learned a lot doing this, and would hate to add up how many stitches that I ripped out and redid. I finally had to say "good enough" and just finish it, because it has to go in the mail on Monday so that it will be in Nebraska in time for the baby shower.

I love the feel of this quilt. I made it with Moda flannel fabric, the print is Johnny and Buck, a retro cowboy and indians print collection. For the batting I used 100% cotton (Warm and Natural), and although not thick, I am hoping it will provide the warmth needed on those cold winter Nebraska days and nights.

For the quilting I used a natural color thread in a diagonal pattern through the corners of the squares. It was simple and quick, just what I needed, since I haven't taken a machine quilting class yet. I struggled with the stitch length and thread tension when I began, but eventually figured it out.
I can't wait to see my new great-grandson all wrapped up in this.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Looking for Quilting Pattern

I have been searching for quilting patterns for my quilt. For this first quilt, I want to keep the cost down, and I'm a little confused as to what I get for the basic fee. But what I have in mind is something like these. It would be an all-over, edge to edge pattern. I do prefer the top one to the bottom one, but I don't know if it would be more expensive. I am hoping I will understand it all better once I have met with the quilter.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My First Quilt still in progress

I have an appointment to take my quilt top and backing to the quilter on April 11th. Then it will take about a month to get it back. At that point, I will have to put on the binding and it will finally be done. Melli mentioned a quilt pattern she saw with X's and O's, so I snapped a photo of my waiting quilt top. Do you see X's and O's here? I do!! This is an Irish Chain variation, and we noticed in class, when laying it out, that you can make X's and O's with it.

We've had some cool evenings lately, and I've sure wished this quilt was done so I could curl up in it while watching TV. It's new home will be the back of my couch, just for that purpose.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Flannel Quilt Progress

My flannel quilt is coming along nicely. I completed sewing all the squares and strips together a couple of days ago, and today I pin basted it all together. I chose Warm and Natural batting and I'm excited to begin quilting now. I'm also nervous to begin. I guess I'm afraid that I'll mess it up. I plan to make a little sandwich of the fabric and batting to try out the quilting stitch before I begin. That way I can be sure that I have the stitch length and thread tension correct. I bought some of the red horseshoe fabric today for the binding. I think that will make all the red "pop" and be pretty cute.

Nothing to do with sewing: Seattle Mariner's opening day baseball game is Monday at 2:05pm. I have tickets in hand and cant wait to be there. Hooooray!! It's time for baseball once again.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Flannel Quilt - Retro 1950's Cowboy and Indian Print "Johnny and Buck"

Yesterday I finally cut out the second half of the squares for the flannel quilt. Once cut, I couldn't help but lay them out in order to be sewn. As one thing usually leads to another, next I had to sew a strip together to see how it was going to look. Six strips later, I couldn't resist sewing the strips together to see even better how things were shaping up. A break for dinner and then there I was in front of the sewing machine again. This time sewing the other six strips. They went together quickly, because the flannel sort of stuck to it's self and there was no slipping and sliding of the fabric as I was sewing. I love sewing on flannel!! There are 20 different fabrics in this quilt, the photo only shows 11.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Applique Class Project

Working on my applique homework today for class on Saturday. I woke this morning and realized that I haven't done a thing on it all week, so lots to do today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Churn Dash Quilt Fabric

I was on my way to play Bingo today, and made a side trip to the The Calico Cat quilt shop in Auburn (Washington). I didn't allow enough time to look around as much as I would have liked, so I'll go back soon. But I did pick up 3 more fat quarters for my "Dash to the Finish" quilt, and now I have all 20 that I need. (I posted a pic of the pattern down a few posts) I'm really anxous to get started on this one, but I need to finish the Johnny and Buck quilt first.

Here's how far I am on the Johnny and Buck quilt. It's flannel and I have half the squares cut. Baby is due the end of May. I'd better get busy, don't cha think?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My First Applique

I took my first class for Beginner Applique yesterday. There's another class next week. I knew nothing about applique going in, and I can't believe how much I learned in 3 hours.

The flower in the center of this block is applique - the fabric was hand sewn on top of the fabric. I love doing hand work, so I really enjoyed doing this. The little flower was just a practice piece on some inexpensive muslin, to learn the technique. But I couldn't just toss it aside when I was done. After all, it's my first and I want to save it - so I designed a little quickie block using the same fabrics and sewed it up this afternoon.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Picking Threads, etc.

Yesterday, I spent about an hour picking and clipping loose threads from the back of my quilt, getting it ready to go to the quilter. I'm only half done. I can honestly say this is my least favorite part of making a quilt. Very tedious. But, once done, it's ready to go. I cut and seamed the backing yesterday, so now all I need to do is make the drive north to drop it off at the quilter. While cutting the backing, I went ahead and cut the strips for the binding too, so I'll be ready with that when I get it back.

Today I have my block of the month class, and I'm looking forward to seeing what our next block looks like. I have my fingers crossed for a new color of fabric.

Also today, I am planning to pre-wash some fabric for the hand applique class that I'm taking Saturday. I've never done any applique, so this should be a real learning experience for me.

The squares for Baby Jones' quilt are still only half cut. I need to get busy on that or he will be born before it's done. I'm making it out of retro print flannel and the colors are soft and sweet. It makes me smile to work on it. :) note: Baby Jones is my great-grandson, due to be born the first of June.

I bought a quilt pattern yesterday that I will use for the fat quarters I began collecting at Expo. I picked up 5 more the other day while at the fabric store, and need to find 7 more that I like. Then I will have the 20 that I need. Here's the pattern:

It's a Debbie's Creative Moments pattern, "A Dash to the Finish". Finished size is 57" x 68". The fabrics that I'm using are mostly Moda, with lots of greens, and some pink and rust. I may add some blue with my next choices. Most of the prints are florals.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Finished Apron!

Mom's reversible apron is finished. It wasn't as easy as I expected, but I had fun with it anyway. I even managed to sew the ties on correctly the first time, so that they matched the side of the fabric they were sewn to.

Here's a close up of the fabric. It's Champaigne Gardens (Cream Small Calico & Calico Stripe) by Faye Burgos for Marcus Brothers. The pattern is Mary Mulari's Reversible Apron (

Friday, March 10, 2006

Continuing on with the apron

I'm going slow but sure on Mom's apron. I wanted to use one of the decorative stitches on my new machine, so I tried a few on scraps and picked the one I liked the best. Instead of the usual top stitch around the edge of the pockets, I used a stitch that overlapped from the edge of the pocket onto the fabric of the apron. It left a cute decorative stitch and the edge sewn down flat against the apron. Very cute!

This is the stitch that I used. I have never taken any classes on machine applique, but I have a feeling that it's probably done very much like this.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

An Apron and a Rag Basket

I spent the morning cutting out a reversible apron that I'm making for my mom. It's pink and lavendar with tiny little rosebuds. I'm going to Oregon for a week, so I'll probably take my sewing machine with me and work on the apron and some piece work for a quilt project I started a few days ago.

This is a rag basket I made a few years back. It sits in my sewing room, holding a Christmas cactus. I've made several of these baskets and given them away to friends and relatives. The strips are torn so that the edges are ragged, and then the fabric is wound around cotton rope in such a way that it all ties together, with a fabric stitch from current row to previous row. These are fun and fast to make, although not inexpensive. They use a lot of fabric.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My Sewing Room

This is the area in the guest room that I've set up for my sewing. It's pretty bare bones at this point. I'd love to have one of those Koala sewing cabinets. And a cutting table. But all in good time.
I keep the ironing board set up at the end of the bed, but when company comes and uses the guest room, I hide it away in the closet to give them more room.
The opposite wall holds a chest of drawers and chair for guest use. At the moment I'm pulling the wood chair over to the sewing table, but I'll be shopping for an adjustable sewing chair soon.

Sew Expo

Having spent a total of 10 hours in 2 days at Sew Expo this past Friday and Sunday, I can't let it slip by without sharing about it here. This was my first time to attend, although it takes place right here in my own back yard (Puyallup, Washington) and is 24 years old. Now that I'm back into sewing and enjoying it so much, I was encouraged by friends to attend Expo and I'm so glad that I did. With over 80 seminars & workshops and 200+ vendors, there is too much for one person to see all of, but certainly more than enough to keep you busy for many many hours. Because almost everything was new to me, there wasn't a vendor booth there that I didn't find something interesting in.

I experienced a number of 'firsts' for myself. I bought my first piece of fabric with absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it, but it was just too pretty not to own. (I've been told yes, that's the way to play the game *smile*) I bought my first 'fat quarters' (I just recently learned that they are not a quarter yard cut off the bolt, as I had assumed, but a half yard cut that has been cut down the middle to make a piece about 18" x 22".) And I bought my first batiks.

I also began my 'stash'. I've just come to realize what that term means in quilting. Once the quilting bug has bit you, you fall in love with color and design, and when you see a fabric that you love, you just have to have it. And so it goes on the shelf, waiting for that perfect project to be used in. These piles of waiting fabric are called a quilters stash. Mine is very tiny, but a start. I have seen photos of quilt rooms where the stash is 8 bookcases full of fabric!! I don't plan to ever get that carried away with it all, but I expect that my stash will grow with each trip to the fabric store. Here's my bookcase in my sewing room as of this morning.

And a close up of that beginning stash. Some of these fabrics are for a specific project, but some is just because I had to have it. And I'll think of how I'll use it later.

If you've hung in here this far with me, thanks for sharing my interest with me. I'm just having so much fun with all this. First thing out of bed this morning, I found myself in my sewing room folding fat quarters that I purchased yesterday. Who'd a thunk it! *grin*

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Knitting and Dishcloths

I love to knit. I taught myself how, with some help from my mom, when I was about 14. I've tried a few sweaters, and baby stuff, but I'm never happy with the way I sew it together, so I pretty much stick to simple things. Here's a pic of a dish cloth that I made recently. And the beginning of one I just started. I like to work on these while I watch TV.

First Quilt Top

This is the upper corner of the quilt top that I made during my beginning quilt class. It's my first quilt and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. If I had it to do over, I would choose a different highlight fabric (the light green squares) so that it included more of the colors within the border. But, again, this is all about learning at this point, and that's just what I did with this quilt top: learned a lot. My points turned out fairly well, and I'm happy with that. The backing will be the plum color of the small border before the 8" border. (note: the green in the pieced portion of the quilt really does match the border well, but for some reason the camera distorted the colors.)

Friday, February 24, 2006

... and then there were two. 2nd quilt block

oh my gosh this one was more difficult than the first. But I got it done. The instructor of the class says that by the time that we are finished we should have about 40 different fabrics in this quilt. I'm getting bored with the blue and white. The flowers on this one have little yellow centers, so I'm hoping for some yellow fabric to come. I have a new best friend: my seam ripper.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Block-a-month Quilt

This is my first block for my block-a-month quilt. After just completing my first quilt top of 4 and 2 inch squares, these little triangles were quite the challenge for me. Matter of fact, I threw the first one away and started over! This one turned out better and I learned a lot. And that's what it's all about at this point: learning. I have no idea what the other 11 blocks will look like. I show up each month and get the next one. ~ I'm really loving my new hobby!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Small Squares Becoming Large Blocks

In case you didn't hear, yes I finally made a choice and bought a sewing machine. I had buyers remorse for a couple of days, because I really wasn't as informed as I should have been when I bought it, and I was afraid I'd bought the wrong one. However, it's working fine for me, and each time I use it I like it more. My quilt top is coming along. The piece work is a total of 48 blocks, each block made up of 10 little squares. Then a couple of borders will go around the outside of those. As of last night, I have 24 blocks completed and sewn together. This is SO fun! :) Creativity in color and shape ... hey .... a lot like PSP. :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Buying a Sewing Machine

You know, buying a sewing machine shouldn't be so tuff. After two trips to the shop, and about three hours, I came away feeling like I was being conned by a used car salesman. None of the machines had a price tag on them. I had to ask the price of each. The top of the line that she spent tons of time telling me about and getting me all excited about ... was only $9000!!!! Can you believe that? Good grief!! I said "very nice, but WAY out of my budget. What cha got for under a thousand?" She showed me a nice machine that does what I need and more. "How much?" I ask. She says "I'll have to go check". Why does that ring of "I'll have to go show this to my manager" at the car lot? sheeeeeeesh She comes back and says $699. Well, still more than I had in mind, but I guess I could make a few payments. Still not sure, so she says she'll write the info down for me, so I have it when I come back. The slip says regular price $1499, sale price $799. Now wait. You said $699. Ohhhh that was the old sale price that's not in effect now. hmmmmm okay this still looks like a pretty good deal. I go online, at home, to compare prices. Another road block. I'm finding lots about sewing machines, but no prices. I go to the Pfaff site. There's the machine I want. No prices. Is this a conspiracy? Do I even know how to spell conspiracy, yet alone recognize one when I see it? I find my model a couple of places on the internet that say MRSP is $999. Crud. I really really reaaaalllly feel like I'm getting ripped off here. So .... no new machine for me until I figure out how this all works. LIke I said ... it just shouldn't be this tuff to buy a sewing machine.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mission Statement

Welcome to Small Ripples in the Pond. It's my intention to keep a record here of the projects that I am currently working on, and to share anything to do with the creative process. I've recently returned to quilting, which I barely began about 15 years ago. Having taken a beginning quilting class at that time, I became discouraged when I tried to hand quilt my project, and it ended up on the shelf for 15 years, with the intent of someday finishing it. I also dabble in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and card making.