Monday, January 31, 2011


I'm feeling better now.
My husband brought me some horrible tasting but most wonderfully working medicine Saturday night. After 30 minutes I knew it was helping.
By yesterday afternoon I almost felt like myself again.
I started sewing a little.
And then I saw this:

Don't you hate it when that happens?
I wish I could blame it on being sick. But honestly, I've done it so many times when I've been well.

At least I hadn't sewn the blocks together yet!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A good laugh

I have a cold.

A bad cold.

I've been on my deathbed for 2 days.

This morning I saw this.

It made me laugh.

I needed a good laugh.

I'm going to rest over the weekend.

See you on monday.

Hope your weekend is filled with laughter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Twete, Twete

Have you heard of:

They are a brand new company that makes NON-SLIP headbands. And when I say NON-SLIP, I mean NON-SLIP!
You know know you have a drawer full of headbands that don't work. And everytime you see one in the store you think "Oh, maybe this one will actually stay put and keep my hair back" so you buy it only to find... it doesn't work either.
I'm not a huge headband wearer. I use it to hold my hair back when I wash my face (and when I actually work out). But my daughter HATES when I comb her hair. So I started buying her headbands. Except she'll put one on and 10 minutes later it's laying on the floor because it keeps slipping.
These headbands were designed by runners who were tired of having drawers full of hair-ties that didn't work to keep their hair back while they ran. Serious runners. Marathon runners. They mean business.
So they designed this headband and I bought one.
Oh. My. Gosh.
I LOVE this headband. And guess what? My daughter wears them too. She's 5. And she doesn't even mess with it once it's in. That's because you never know it's there. Once you have it on it doesn't move and it does the job and best of all- THEY'RE CUTE! Lot's of designs to choose from. (I have the "Abby")
Ok, so it may seem like a silly little thing to promote- but I. LOVE. THIS. HEADBAND.!
If I was Oprah it would be on my favorite things show. (hmmm.... maybe I should do a favorite things post....)
I just started back into my work-out routine and my Twete Bird headband is with me everytime.
You should check it out.
I'm just sayin'! :o)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who want's to fuse!?

Alrighty. I successfully posted my first tutorial on fusible applique. The feedback was good. I hope it helps some of you overcome your fear of the fuse. :o) But enough about that, let's pick a winner from last weeks Steam-A-Seam contest.

Number 15 is GILL!
Gill said " I've enjoy applique, but always used bondaweb (I think you call it wonder-under!) Is this better or just different??"
Well Gill, you're about to find out! :o)
In other news, today is my cancer-versary. One year ago today I got that phone call that changed my life. Even though thyroid cancer is "the cancer to have", it hasn't been an easy road. At this point I feel it changed my life in a good way because I have become much more greatful for the blessings in my life. So, celebrate with me today by doing something you love! :o)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fusible Applique

OK. You'll all have to bear with me- I've never done an official tutorial before. But I figure how hard can it be!? All I have to do is walk you through step-by-step, right!? And remember, most of the advice I share has been learned from experience. Lots of mistakes make yous kind of an expert! :o)

Well, let's get to it.

To start you need 2 pieces of fabric. Contrasting prints work best to see the design of the applique. I'm going to use the pink lattice from Sweetwater as my applique fabric and the floral from Momo as the background.

You will also need enough Steam-a-Seam for your applique shape(s). I just had a scrap layinga round so that's what I used. Also, you'll need a pencil, and iron, and some SHARP scissors.

Below I've shown a picture of the 2 paper backing pieces with the fusible product between. Figure out which side peels off the easiest. This is going to be facing down (against the template) when you're tracing. You want the side that stays on the fusible product to be the one that you trace onto. Does that make sense? If you mess up, no biggie. I've done that before. It still will work just fine- but it's EASIER if you do it the way I described.

Place your Steam-A-Seam (easy peel away side DOWN) on top of you template.

REMEMBER: your template needs to be reversed. So if you're appliqueing letters remember that so you don't cut a ton of backwards print for your quilt! :o) (been there, done that too!)

The Steam-a-Seam is transparent enough to see your image through. I use a regular pencil to trace. I've used many different writing utensils and I like that best.

NOTE: If using light colored fabrics make sure you wipe your hands off because sometimes pencils smudges can get on your fingers and transfer to fabric. No one likes grey smudges on their Kona snow.

After you've traced your image, roughly cut out around it. If I'm tracing and cutting out lots of images I will try and get them as close to eachother as possible on the Steam-a-Seam so there's less waste.

Next, peel away the EASY side from the back of the traced image. See, the traced part is still attached to the fusible product. YIPEE!

Now, lay it fusible side down on the WRONG side of your applique fabric. Again, I usually place it as close to the fabric edge as possible so I'm not wasting fabric. Oh yeah, and don't forget to press this fabric first so it's nice and flat. Again, just speaking from (lazy) experience here.

Here's the cool part- you can finger press it on here and cut it out right away. But to be honest, I usually run my iron over it really quick. I'm talking "One, one thousand" good! Really quick. I don't want to melt all that steam-a-seam goodness right now- just enough to give a slightly better bond than finger pressing.

The reason I do this is to eliminate finger smudges :o) and I get a very crisp edge when I cut it out.
Next you cut. Now I'm not kidding when I say SHARP scissors. None of this borrowing from the kids' craft bucket. I mean, if we wanted raggy edge applique there's a whole other technique. You want VERY SHARP scissors. I like smaller blades because they're easier to handle. Just cut on the lines kindergarten style and you're set to go.
To peel the backing off, I usually fold a tiny edge onto itself so I get a little crease in the paper and it starts coming away from the fusible stuff. Then gently peel the rest away.

Place the applique image onto your background. Do you like it? If not, move it. I have a design wall and I LOVE Steam-a-Seam for this reason. I can put all my pieces on the wall and see how they look before fusing them. They stay in place and I can move them around until I like where they are.

Once you're pleased with the placement- FUSE! Yes, with the iron. Ok, not I actually iron (verb) and have learned to PRESS. Up and down, not side to side. You want a good bond here but it's not necessary to scorch your fabric to get it. A few second and I'm good. I also turn my background fabric over and press the wrong side where the applique is, just to ensure a good bond.

Um, that's it! See, not so bad. Now who's going to try? I hope everyone will. Once you do it, you'll love it. It's fast and easy.
I updated my 'PATTERNS' on the right with an 'Applique' section so you can see all the different quilts I've designed using fusible applique.

In all of my patterns I mention techniques for "ensuring permanancy" for your applique pieces because let's face it, these pieces won't stay forever just fused on. Especially through laundering. So let's talk about that for a moment.

Below if my FAVORITE- blanket stitching. I used to do all mine by machine until my beloved machine sewed it's last stitch. This is what a machine blanket-stitch looks like.

Another technique I enjoy for certain projects is a simple top-stitch. I usually do this while I'm quilting but you can do it before. I use my free-motion foot to go around just inside the applique piece. We're talking 1/8" or less here. After it's washed there is a very slight fraying (not raggy) of the edge- just enought to soften the edges.

Just recently I started zig-zagging the edges of some applique. Not all machines have a blanket-stitch but they all should have a zig-zag. I'm actually becoming very fond of this method. On side of the stitch zigs just at the edge of the applique and zags further inside the piece. You want a rather small sig zag and slightly close together to do this. However, a satin stitch (very close zig-zag) is beautiful too.

Just a couple more thoughts:

I have NEVER used a stabilizer with quilting (1oo% cotton) fabric. The Steam-a-Seam gives enough stability to my fabric that when adding the finish stitching I don't get any puckering. You're machine or fabric may be different so you'll want to adjust accordingly.
Also, I was afraid of the "stiffness" of fusible applique for a long time too. However, I don't find Steam-a-Seam too stiff to snuggle with. Steam-a-Seam makes a 'lite' product also, but it doesn't have both paper backings. It's still works great for fuse-ability, but I like the ease of the regular best.

I hope I've helped a few of you feel a little more confident with your applique and would LOVE to hear your feedback.

Thanks! :o)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why I love....

Since I'm getting ready to post my tutorial (monday!) I thought I would do a little product review for you all and tell you exactly why I LOVE this stuff.

If you fuse- you should be using Steam-A-Seam. I have used several, if not ALL the alternatives out there and none compare to this product. You can get it in packages of sheets 8 1/2 x 11. Or you can purchase it by the yard 12", 18", or 24" wide. I used to buy my by the yard until I started ordering a whole roll.

1.) The main reason that I LOVE Steam-a-Seam is because there are 2 backing sheets. You know the wax paper-y backing. Well on Steam-a-Seam there's a sheet on both sides of the the product. One peels off easier than the other. This is great because after you've traced your image onto one side you simply slide the backing off the other side and Steam-a-seam has a tiny bit of stick to keep your piece attached to the fabric. You can cut out your image and everything because it already sticks to your fabric. This mean you don't have to press twice. ALSO, you have the ability to place lots of pieces onto you foundation fabric and get them in place before finally commiting to setting them by iron. This may be a small thing to some- but when you're doing applique as much as me it saves a TON of time.

2.) The other thing about Steam-a-Seam is it really STICKS. Once it's set by iron it's stuck. Now, I ALWAYS top stitch (I'll show this in my tut.) in some way to ensure it stays permanent after repeated washings but I'm even refering to prior to that. I have used alternative products and I don't even have time to get them all top-stitched and the image is already peeling away from the foundation. GRRR! I hate that! With Steam-A-Seam I don't have that problem. Once it's set, it's SET!

3.) The last reason I LOVE Steam-a-Seam is those two backing papers- well, they keep the fusible product in place. Have you even been un-rolling or tracing and the product keeps slipping away from the paper backing. ARGH! It's so frustrating. Or even worse- you get it over to the ironing board for your initial press to the back of the applique fabric (again, you can skip this step w/ Steam-a-Seam) andthe product slips out a bit and because it's nearly transparent you get fusible web ALL OVER your iron! Even if you decide to press first with Steam-A-Seam, it sticks to the backing paper so you don't have this problem. No stitcky, gross mess on your iron and no sticky smudges on your beautiful fabric!

OK. I know without pictures some of you might not know what I'm talking about. But I'll go over it again in my tut. Also, there may be people out there that don't have a problem with other products but this is my blog so I get to talk about whatever I want! :o) And lastly, I do not get ANY compensation for my support and promotion of this product. Nope, not even FREE Steam-A-Seam....althought I wouldn't complain if I did. :o)

And because I LOVE it so much I am giving away some! I would LOVE to give it to someone who has NEVER tried it before, but I'm not narrowing it down to that. Even if you use it and LOVE it as much as I do, or if you've never tried it and are dying to now that I've told you how wonderful it is- LEAVE ME A COMMENT! On Tuesday I will announce the winner and send you a 1yard x 18" piece of Steam-A-Seam for you very own! :o)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the trend is...


Every single one of my new patterns has applique as a major part of the design. Now I'm no stranger to applique and many of my other patterns have applique too. But I have NEVER designed so many and released so many at one time. Hence my discussion about applique a couple of weeks ago.

I wanted to get feedback from my general blog reading public about your thoughts on applique. Because, well, how do I say this? I LOVE IT!

In my mind there are two basic types of applique: Fusible or hand.
And with hand applique there are countless techniques. I have tried hand applique and I'm not too great at it. I have a couple of friends who are AMAZING. Cori over at Chitter Chatter is a master at hand applique and she manages to wrangle 6 kids as well! Whew! My other talented friend is Jill from Jillily Studios. This woman is so good she's developed and sells hew own special appliglue.

At this point in time I want instant gratification. I want a project done TODAY! (ok, sometimes it's tomorrow. but I'm always pushing for today). And that's why I choose fusible applique.

With that I am working on my FIRST tutorial. Yep, you know what I'm saying. For all you that are too timid to try it I'm going to walk you through fusible applique step-by-step. And for all you that swear by hand applique- well, there's no changing your minds :o) I'm hoping to have it up by the end of the week. (fingers crossed)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fleur De France

Oh, I just love this quilt. My little girl is named Paris and I've had the idea in my head for over a year now. I've been waiting for the perfect fabric to use so I can decorate her room. I used Oasis by 3 Sisters for Moda and I LOVE the variety of colors in it. The best part is I don't even have to re-paint her room!

The Fleur de lis are pieced and then appliqued! I love the difference it makes than just having a solid color.

Have you noticed a trend in ALL my new patterns?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flower Power

Ok, so I know the name is not-so-original, but it fits this quilt so well.


I used the aqua, green, brown colors from Moda's new line 'Sugar Pop'. I've had this idea in my little brain for a while but wasn't sure how it would carry. I finally decided that I didn't care and I was going to do it anyway. I would love to hear what you think.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

NEW listings in the Etsy shop

I just added a few FAVORITE titles to my Etsy shop:

Most of the fabric lines featured in these patterns are just now hitting the stores!
Happy Shopping!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Patchwork Picnic

The moment I saw this fabric (La Petite Ecole by French General for Moda) it spoke to me in 'Americana'. I tried to resist. I was "so over" that phase as of at least 5 years ago. But it kept nagging. And boy am I glad it did!


I love the simplicity and asymmetry of this pattern. I am currently working on a new version of this pattern using something more spring-y and floral-y (without the applique, of course). Because, as we all know, just because it's in 'Americana' on the cover doesn't mean we can't make it in something entirely different, right!? I'll let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Easter Parade

I just can't wait for SPRING! We've had such cold temeratures around here lately. This quilt is just sweet and cute.

All those little babies and the beautiful spring colors are getting me so excited for warmer weather. That Joanna has done it again with her newest line for Moda- BUTTERCUP. Mmmm, so much Fig Tree goodness just begging to be used in this quilt.

Monday, January 10, 2011


It's that time again. All week I'll be featuring my NEW patterns! The first one is


Remember a hundred years ago when I posted this asking for name suggestions? Well I almost didn't. When finally got around to writing the pattern and thought "Hm, I think I'll name it 'Love Counts'". Then a couple says ago remembered that I needed to see who planted the name in my subconcious. :o)

BARB from Spokane, WA wins a free copy of the pattern for giving me the idea of 'Love Counts'. There were lots of great ideas and I called it several different names throughout the creating process but it's gone to print and 'Love Counts' is on the cover. :o)

Do you have any favorite Valentine traditions that you do in your home? Please share.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Color of the year!

Just thought I'd let you all know that Pantone has picked their color of the year! (I'm sure this is old news to some). I know of at least ONE person that is going to be very glad that the aqua/teal/turquoise color of last year is no longer "on top". (Although I personally don't think we've seen the last of it.)

So here it is- Honeysuckle.

Now I'm sure depending on your computer this color is going to look a little different. But variations are always welcome anyway. It's already been seen on the runways of spring fashion and I'm certain will be coming to quilting fabric VERY SOON.

On another note: I'll be revisiting my 'APPLIQUE' topic starting next week. :o)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Out with the Old...

In with the New! Isn't that the way the saying goes? Well I didn't want to take it LITERALLY.

My Iron has been on the fritz for the last several months. It cycles on and off and it's just rediculous. It's never ON when I need it to be. And, well, the dial is broken so it's stuck on super hot. Also my light dims and my machine slows when it cycles on. Is that normal? Anyway, I decided to finally get a replacement. After talking to a few gals at my LQS I decided that going cheap wasn't such a bad idea. Afterall, my last iron (the one acting all crazy) was a pretty penny.
I wandered into my local JoAnn store the other day and found a sale and picked up a cute little Sunbeam for aroun $20. Not too shabby.

But that isn't the big news. The big news is this: My beloved machine has gone to another place.

Yes, that is a heavenly picture of my machine. And although I'm not too happy at the moment it definately went someone in the clouds because it sure has sewn a TON for me the past 7 years I've had it.

My machine is/was a Kenmore and I LOVED IT! I'm thinking about replacing it with the same model (except they go for anywhere from $50 to $75 more than I originally paid for mine. Inflation. Humpf!) But I am doing plenty of shopping around before I FINALLY get another.

Some may not think Kenmore's are that great. But I think they're a pretty dang good machine for what you pay. I'm just not ready to dump a fortune into a machine. So for around $200-$250 I can get this beauty.

Why do i love Kenmore's? You might ask. Well, my first machine (all mine- not my Mom's) was a Kenmore my Hub's bought me when we were first married. I still have that machine TODAY and it works like a charm (everything on it is manual- except of course the power to keep it running) and I do ALL my machine quilting on it. doesn't blanket stitch. If it did, there would be no need to replace the other.

How did the newer one die? Well, I was just finishing up some blanket stitching on one of my latest patterns and it started moving really slow. And, I kid you now, as I stitched that last stitch it just stopped. Would not go anymore. I went upstairs to finish on my older machine and my oldest son asked "Mom, are you making divinity?" He asked this because the downstairs smelled like when I burned up my hand mixer making divinity once. Hmmm, not good. Took it into the shop this morning and was called an hour later with the news. "Ma'am, we did all we could, but we lost her."

Isn't that a sad story for the first of the year? :o(

I'll let you know when I get a replacement and what I decide on.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Are you excited for a new year? I sure am!

My kids went back to school today and I couldn't be more thrilled. Oh I love those little munchkins but it is so hard to get things done when they're home. And I have TONS to get done.

As I was getting ready for my day today I started thinking about APPLIQUE. I recently heard it referred to as the "A" word. So I started wondering what your thoughts on applique were.

Do you Applique?
What method do you use?

If you don't applique, why?
What are your fears/concerns/trepidations of applique?

I'm just looking to hear what others think. So don't be shy. Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! :o)