And Then it was Quilting Weather...

Wow! I did not realize how long it's been since my last post! My apologies...I have been a little busier than I thought!

It is finally cooling off here in Texas...woohoo! I really do enjoy quilting in cooler weather. The summers can be pretty toasty here, so piecing together tops is a better summer activity and quilting is better for winter.

Grand babies are T minus 2 months now...Due in January! The baby sewing is in full swing at my house. My daughter's baby shower is this Saturday and I am not finished sewing everything! My weekend was marathon sewing and quilting, and it looks like my evenings will be the same thing all week. Then next month is my daughter in law's baby shower...yikes! I had better push my needle speed to full speed!! 

Baby Quilt Front
Back of Baby Quilt

I finished the one baby quilt I was working on (see photos), and decided to keep that one for my house. Since it was sort of a "practice" quilt after many months of not quilting, it is rather special to me now. But not to worry, I am finishing up the baby quilt for my daughter...she actually sewed the top together, under my instruction, and did a very nice job! Now if I can just finish the binding by Saturday...! The quilting came out very nicely on it...photos will be posted soon, I promise. 

For my daughter in law, there is a quilt in progress. It's kind of a surprise, so I can't go into much detail right now. She is having a girl, so any guesses as to the color? :) I will divulge that I am using one of my favorite blocks...the Snowball block...in the quilt! Making Snowball blocks makes me really happy...as crazy as that might sound! If you have never made Snowball blocks, try it and see if they make you happy too. They are super easy and make such a nice design when put together. Here is a quick online tutorial http://www.straw.com/quilting/articles/snowball1.html.
Snowball block

Hmmm...Snowball block...sort of appropriate for winter weather, don't you think?! 

That's it for now folks! More updates to follow. Oh and, sorry to say that I did not make it to the International Quilt Show in Houston this past weekend, but go to the website to see the winning quilts, they are beautiful. I absolutely love the top winning quilt...and I happen to have a very similar photo! Check it out at http://www.quilts.org/winners.html

Happy Quilting and Sewing!


Quilting as Therapy

Why do you quilt? What do you get out of quilting? Quilting is certainly not an inexpensive hobby...at least not anymore. So why do you quilt? 

I was thinking back to the reasons why I started quilting, and there were several, but mainly relaxation. Yes, quilting, with all of its frustrations, is very relaxing to me and great therapy! My aunt was a fiber artist for most of her life, and she was a very gentle and relaxed soul. I believe it was because she worked with textiles and took great comfort in the feel of fabric. Have I mentioned lately that I love fabric?! :) 

Since I started quilting again after my husband's death, I am finding that relaxation factor, but it is also quite energizing. It gets my mind going and I start designing quilts in my head. I get a feeling of accomplishment and the sense that I am doing something positive in my life. Even just sewing something as simple as a baby burp cloth gives me great satisfaction and relaxation. Most of us work at jobs that, well let's face it, are not terribly exciting, so having a hobby that is fulfilling and relaxing at the same time is priceless. And, as I have discussed here before, quilting and sewing can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be, because you can recycle/re-purpose fabric from old clothes, sheets, blankets and a variety of things. Buying quilt fabric from a quilt shop is a lot of fun...but that's where quilting and sewing gets expensive. Shopping for fabric yardage at a thrift store is fun and challenging...not to mention more cost effective and "green". So, why do you quilt?

And now for a change of subject...Embroidery

I'm so excited! I ordered some embroidery transfer patterns from one of my favorite quilt sites http://www.sublimestitching.com/ and got them in the mail yesterday! They were having a 1/2 off embroidery pattern sale, so I took full advantage! Here is a pic of what I got!

Embroidery Patterns

Baby Quilt

I am making progress on the baby quilt...the quilting is nearly finished and I can't wait to start on the binding! I am posting photos, so you can see the back and binding fabric I chose for this quilt. The back is a black polka dot print...and normally I wouldn't use a black back for a baby quilt, but for this quilt I challenged myself to use fabric, thread and batting that I already have and buy nothing new. So far, so good! This quilt is all from my stash! I believe I will be able to finish it without having to buy anything for it. BTW...my stash got smaller when I moved, but my sewing room is still too full! Oh...and also, I had a piece of Fusi Boo batting (http://www.fairfieldworld.com/product/51) large enough for the quilt, so I saved myself a lot of baste pinning and time!
Yellow is the binding; Black is the back

Quilted top
This weekend I will start on a crib skirt for my daughter's nursery...she is having a baby boy, and wants a crib skirt, quilt and matching pillows. Then I will make all of that for my daughter in law, who is having another baby girl! Yes, I have my work cut out for me...and I couldn't be more excited!

More later...
Happy Sewing and Quilting!


Best of Both Worlds

It's a Boy and a Girl!!

Pink AND Blue!

Blue Rag Edge Burp Cloth

Lavender/Pink Rag Edge Burp Cloth

Baby Quilt Project
 Okay everyone...the Gender Reveal party for my upcoming grandbabies was Friday night and...It's a Boy...and a Girl! That's right, one of each...the best of both worlds! My daughter and her husband are expecting a boy and my stepson and his wife (parents of my granddaughter) are expecting another baby girl. Very exciting! So, now that we know the genders of both little ones, that means it's fabric shopping time!! :)  We had a great time at the party...check out the photos!

Today I tested the burp cloth pattern that I posted the link for last week http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/2008/01/burp-cloth-tutorial.html. I thought they turned out really great, but here are the photos, so judge for yourself. They were fairly simple to make, however, I did figure out that I really need to get my scissors sharpened! They are dull, dull, dull and cutting flannel with dull scissors wasn't much fun at all! I am also so used to using my rotary cutter to cut fabric, that going back to scissor cutting was a bit tedious. That being said, each burp cloth took only about 10 minutes or so to cut out and sew up...then I just had to cut around the edges and throw in the washer for that frayed edge look. I made a blue one and a lavender/pink one...in honor of my upcoming new grandson and granddaughter! I do believe I will make some more of these kinds of burp cloths, as well as the old standbys that I make using cloth diapers. It's nice to try something new!

Next weekend is a 3 day weekend for me, so I plan on getting some more sewing done. I am posting a a pic of the baby quilt top that I am working on. Perhaps I will get that finished next weekend! Oh, and I have a wedding to go to on Saturday! I bought the wedding gift yesterday, so I think I am set!

Lots to do this week...work...get a personal trainer...get my hair done...wedding...sewing...quilting!! What are you working on this week or over the 3 day weekend??

Happy Sewing and Quilting!!


Stay Tuned...Gender Reveal Tonight!

Well folks, tonight is the night we find out the gender of both of my upcoming grand babies!! I am so excited, and will finally know what color fabric to buy! 

It's been a busy week, so this post will be short and sweet. Since I have been going 900 miles an hour, no sewing this week, but this weekend I plan on sewing for babies! Quilt Country http://www.quiltcountry.com/, our local quilt shop, is having a Starbucks event tomorrow morning and some other things, so I will run over there in the morning! Might just have to pick up some fabric while I'm there! 

So...I will post again after I find out baby genders!! In the meantime, Happy Sewing and Quilting!!


Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope you had a good weekend! Mine was spent running errands, organizing and cleaning...and fighting with my really old computer to work! I really really meant to sew...but, by the time I got everything else done, the weekend was pretty much shot. Oh well...I will try again next weekend!

So, as you know, I am expecting 2 more grand babies in January...very exciting! Of course, that means sewing lots of baby items, like nursery sets, bibs, baby quilts and burp cloths. Speaking of burp cloths, I have a method of making burp cloths, which I have mastered over the past several years, but I was looking for a bit of a different style to make for the new babies. I found this really cute raggy edge pattern that I want to try. It's over here at http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/2008/01/burp-cloth-tutorial.html. After I finally got my computer working again yesterday, I printed out the pattern and will attempt to make it this week. I will post photos of the finished beta test product. 

We are having a gender reveal party Friday night for both my daughter and daughter-in-law. I'm very excited to be finding out the gender of both babies on the same night! Back in the day, we didn't have gender reveal parties for babies, or even half the time know what the gender was! With my girls, the doctors got it wrong on both accounts. I was told they were both going to be boys...um..nope! Well, I guess there is a 50/50 chance!

Oh, in my shopping spree...I mean running errands chore...this weekend, I bought a swaddling pattern that is so cute! http://www.simplicity.com/p-7471-babies-swaddling-sacks.aspx. I plan on making at least one for each baby! If you don't want to buy a swaddling pattern, just Google free ones. There are several out there that are pretty cute!

Well, that's it for today! I'll be back later this week. In the meantime...

Happy Sewing & Quilting

I will leave you with a cute parting photo of my granddaughter Miss L and her daddy! 


I wanted to thank you all for your love and support. I am truly blessed to have family, good friends and dear readers! 

My thoughts these days are running off in all directions, but mainly in the baby direction! I am so looking forward to 2 new grand babies...and at the SAME time! WOW! I was over at my oldest daughter's house last night and she is getting her nursery fixed up. I just can't believe my girl is having a baby!! Anyway, she has selected blue, gray and yellow for the nursery...and if it's a girl she will add a coral color. Very calming colors and I am excited to start making nursery things. My daughter-in-law...also expecting...does not have colors picked out yet, so her nursery may be a little more eclectic, which is fun too!

What is your favorite thing to make for a nursery? I ask because typically I sew burp cloths, baby blankets with Minkee and baby quilts. My daughter has requested a crib bed skirt, baby quilt, curtains, et al., so I had better get cracking...er...sewing! I have already purchased a dozen cloth diapers to make burp cloths out of. I have a fast easy technique that I will share with you in another post (after I have photos). It takes about 15-20 minutes to make one...start to finish! So, I can make a dozen in no time at all! Time to go through my fabric stash and select the fabric for everything!

Later friends...Happy Sewing and Quilting!

P.S. -- I wanted to share a photo of my new house...I call it my little doll house! It's tiny but it's mine and just right for me, 2 kitties and a grandchild or 2...or 3! :)

My Little Doll House!


Time and Unforeseen Occurrence...

My Dear Sweet Husband, Wally

Dear friends and fellow quilters, 
It has been more than a year since I posted here, and not because I quit posting, but "...time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all..." --Ecclesiastes 9:11. The past 18 months have been the most difficult of my entire life due to the untimely and very sudden death of my dear beloved husband, Wally. He was my best friend and love of my life and I have been truly devastated by his loss. So please, I beg of you, to bear with me as I restart my life and begin to quilt again. I had stopped quilting for a long time, but am so happy to report that I am back to it! My husband was my biggest quilting supporter, so when I thought about quilting or tried to go back into my sewing room, it was just too difficult for me. But, I bought myself a little house (my doll house) near my children and granddaughter and am restarting my life! I have a new job also...a lot of "new things" in my life. 

And while these past 18 months have been most difficult, there have been some very happy moments for me. My oldest daughter got married! The wedding was beautiful and I was so proud and happy for her. Of course, it was 6 weeks after my husband passed, so I was just a little out of it for the wedding! But I enjoyed it very much. I am also happy to report that the happy couple is expecting their first child in January!! We don't know the gender yet, but I am sorting through both pink and blue fabric! 

My granddaughter is nearly 4 years old now! Yes, she is getting so big! I am also happy to report that her mother (my daughter-in-law) is also expecting in January! That will make me a grandmother of 3!! And so is the cycle of life...endings and beginnings. We will find out the gender of both expected babies in 2 weeks...so stay tuned for that announcement!!

In the coming weeks, I will start writing my blog again and posting photos of quilts, sewing, embroidery...oh, and my granddaughter! I have a couple of new embroidery projects I am working on that I am excited about. And of course, some baby quilts in the works! My granddaughter has requested that I make her poor doll, with only one dress, some more clothes, so stay tuned for doll dress making! I may have a few tips on that! I hope you will follow along on my journey of healing and restarting my life through fabric arts.

I wish you much peace and happiness. Hug your families and treasure the time you have with them.

Until next time, Happy Sewing and Quilting!

The Happy Couple

My Granddaughter, Miss L (as I like to call her!)