Monday, July 28, 2008

More DBJs

I've spent the last couple of days trying to catch up on my Dear Baby Jane Blocks. I am very, very far behind (like 15 out of 40 something), but I made a lot of progress this weekend. I really enjoy the paper piecing ones, but the appliqué has been giving me a really hard time. The great thing about this quilt is that it really helps you practice all sorts of techniques and I have been learning little by little. I also followed this tutorial by Anina to make my own little quilt picture and I am in love with doing it. It's so fun to see my progress. Also, it'll help me plan a little better. I wasn't really keeping track of which colors I was using for each block and as a consequence I have a lot of groupings of colors. Also, I was wondering if anyone had any more red or aqua fabrics to swap. I have plenty of fabrics to swap, or some vintage sheets. E-mail me if you're interested . Now, I'm off to order some more background fabric. I definitely didn't get enough!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thank you

Hi Friends,

It's been a rough couple of days, but we're doing o.k. over here. The laughs and smiles have not faded completely, and I know that these will get us through the rough times ahead. I, of course, wanted to thank you for all your support and prayers. They really do mean a lot to John and I, and I have read each several times. I wanted to share with you John's page. He is planning on keeping it up to date, but will be dependent on how well he is feeling once he starts treatment. You can go here and read it if you are interested.

I also wanted to mention that I have added some new things to my sidebar. There are some new widgets (what a weird word), from amazon and goolge Adsense. I never considering adding these before, but with this round of treatment, John will be taking leave from work and I am trying to make a little money here and there. I am only mentioning it because I don't want any of my readers to be upset or offended that I am adding it. Once John is back to work, I will in most likelihood remove it. I am not even sure if it'll even amount to anything, but we'll see.

Anyway, again thank you for everything. I'll be returning with some crafty things this week. I swear nothing cures the soul better than sewing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Right now I can't even think of the right words to express how I'm feeling. Today, John had his 6 month check-up and after having such a good report last time, we found out that the tumor is growing again. There will be more chemo followed by radiation treatment. The doctors are optimistic in treating it this way, so we feel very positive about that. Tomorrow he will have a biopsy on the tumor, followed by several other tests next week. He'll start chemo at the end of next week. Last time, he had 6 treatments, this time he will have either 2 or 3 (followed by the radiation). It is unimaginable that this is happening again, but these are the cards we have been dealt and I plan to help John fight this in any way I can. So, if I am sparse around these parts, this is reason. Although John has ordered me to continue to sew and he understands it as therapy for me. I think John is planning to document this round on a separate blog of his own, and I will be sure to share it with you when he starts it. I know many of you will offer kind words of support and prayers and I just want to thank you all in advance. You all had a part in us healing last time and I know this time will be no different. Thank you, friends.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doll Quilt Swap sneak peek and advice needed

Between finishing my zig-zag quilt and working on my Doll Quilt Swap quilt, I have quilting on the brain. I have a lot of old quilting books and there are so many ideas floating through my head. I started on my doll quilt a few nights ago after finally narrowing down my options. I ended up choosing a kaleidescope pattern which was inspired by an old quilt I had seen called a "strip circle." I really love how these blocks came out, but now I'm not sure if I want to remove the white corners and replace it with all black.

What do you think? I keep going back and forth and I just can't decide. I think the black makes the colors pop, but I also like the contrast the white brings.

It's really a sewing dilemma. Hopefully you guys will have some insight. I need it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Zig-Zag Quilt

Sewing on my new machine has been nothing but amazing. I really love how smooth it is and its nice even stitches, both something my old machine was lacking. I had started this quilt at the beginning of July, hoping that I'd be able to finish it in time for my SILs 30th birthday. I greatly overestimated how fast I could put it all together and add that to broken sewing machine situation, and it sat out for a while before I bought my new Bernina. I finally finished it this morning and I have to say I wish that I weren't giving it as a gift. But, I know she'll really enjoy it so it is worth it in the end. The pattern, the zig-zag quilt, is from Denyse Schmidt's book, but I think it's a pretty standard pattern.

It's obvious that I didn't sew the seam allowance exactly because there are absolutely not points in the zig-zags. Oh well, I still really love how it came out. And for some reason, I really thought quilting zig-zags would be really easy, but let me assure you, having to stop and start at all those points was a pain in the butt.

I decided to use the cream for the rest of the quilt because I ran out of the chocolate brown solid. I was hoping that they would have the same color at Joann's, but they didn't, so cream was the next best option. I actually like this a lot because it makes the binding stand out. This was also my first time using bamboo batting and I can only say good things about it. It is soft but not too fluffy and gives the blanket a really nice feel. I haven't washed it yet, so I suppose that'll be the final test.

There are some more pictures on my flickr, if you're interested. There will be a lot more sewing posts this week. My sewing machine and I have been busy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sheet Goodness

I've been waiting patiently all week for this box to arrive on my doorstep. I could hardly contain my excitement when I went to check to the mail today and it was there! These are the FQs I received from the Vintage Sheet Patchwork Swap.

I'm not sure how many exactly there are, but there's probably about 40. I can't remember how many I sent. Anyway, I can't wait to put these to good use. Any ideas on what to make? I'm thinking there might be a quilt, but I'm not sure what else. And didn't Elizabeth do such a cute job of packing these up? She was quite the hostess, there were 72 swappers and over 2,300 FQs for her to sort through. Crazy, right? Thank you, Elizabeth!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tonight's Plan

Finishing up this super late birthday present

and gearing up for a new season of Project Runway. Could the night get any better?!?!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Yesterday I took a trip to G-Street Fabrics and met up with a very bad influence, Stephanie. It took me a while to decide, but I ended up coming home with a brand new sewing machine!! I was nervous to bring it home to John, but he was nothing but supportive of my new baby.

It was a great deal too, 35% off (originally $1099, on sale for $699). I think the only stipulation of me keeping it, is that I have to sew my little butt off. I still am feeling a little guilt for spending so much money, but it was such a good deal that I couldn't pass it up. It is really nice to have a new machine and I am just dying to hone my free motion quilting skills. Stephanie and I tried to yesterday at the store and it was a lot harder than it looked! I worked on a very belated gift for my SIL today and I have to say that I really like sewing on this.

A little side note : if you are participating in the swap, I sent out e-mails today. If you didn't get one, please send me an e-mail at

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sweet Finds

A few weeks ago, I discovered a new thrift store near my house. I knew it existed, but since I avoid driving on the beltway, I waited until the perfect opportunity arose to explore. My parents and sister came to visit, and they're just the type of people that appreciate such places (unlike some, John...) To my surprise, we found that it is not one, but two thrift stores together, in the same building. What a find! I didn't pick up much, as I'm trying to limit the amount of crap treasures I'm bringing into the house. Anyway, I was very excited to find a huge bag of vintage fabrics. Usually I have to question what the people are putting together in the bags. More often than not, I end up bringing home 5 ugly pieces for just 1 good piece of fabric. But this bag was different. It was filled with all these fabrics, most of them more than likely being vintage. Only one has something printed on the selvedge, which I'm having a hard time reading. This bunch is my favorite. I'm hoping to use these for my doll quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap.

And don't forget. There's still time to sign-up for the fabric/sheet swap. You never know, you might get one of these vintage fabircs ;)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just a reminder...

Sign-ups for the Vintage Sheet & Fabric Square Swap end tomorrow. If you're interested in participating, please e-mail me at . I'll be back tomorrow to show off some thrifted, vintage finds!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Vintage Sheet/Fabric Charm Square Swap Sign-Ups

It looks like enough of you are interested in a swap, so here are the details :

You will be put together in groups of 11, with one person being the swap mama. Each of you will choose 20 different fabrics and cut 10 6" squares from each fabric. These 200 squares will be sent to your swap mama, who will organize all the squares and send them back out to the members of the group. You will also enclose return postage for the box back to you. For this swap, you may choose to send vintage sheets or fabric squares. If you have a major preference over which one, please note that in your sign-up and I will try to organize the groups accordingly however best I can.

Sign-ups will end July 11th. Send outs will be by August 18th.

If you'd like to join, please send an e-mail to with the following:

preference for sheets or fabric