Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jenny's Pick Of The Week - A California Girl Quilt for Emma

I've come to the very sensible, sane and reasonable decision that each of my pets needs a quilt of their own.  I honestly don't know why it took me so long to come to this conclusion and how I could have let them be quilt-less for so many years.  Or perhaps this is just a ridiculous excuse to add more projects to my "Must Make" list.  Which reminds me......I totally forgot to do "Work In Progress Wednesday" yesterday.  But my stats are completely unchanged so I really didn't miss much.  Anyway......I have an idea for what I think will be the perfect quilt for my quilt-less Princess Emma.  Doesn't she look miserable and despondent without a quilt of her very own.....
Sew Fabulous Quilt Shop Mascot 
So here's the plan for EJMB (that's short for Emma Jane Monkey Butt in case you were wondering).  I'll use a California Girl Charm Pack (or maybe two.....probably two).....
California Girl by Fig Tree for Moda Fabrics
And do alternating squares with Riley Blake Solids Vintage White (my favorite soft white fabric EVER).....
Fabric by Joanne Figueroa
And have a thin inner border of Coral Bermuda Ticking and a wide outer border of Boardwalk Blueberry Twig......
Fabric by Fig Tree & Co for Moda Fabrics
It will be simple and sweet.  And I think it's already received the Puppers Seal Of Approval......
A dog and her quilt
Have you made anything with the California Girl Collection?  Or what would you like to make with it?  And more importantly, have you ever made a quilt for one of your pets? 

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  The California Girl Collection is by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. for Moda Fabrics.

P.P.S.S.  I'm thinking I'll grab 2 Charm Packs, about 2 yards of Vintage White, about 3/4 yard of Coral Bermuda Ticking and 2 yards of Boardwalk Blueberry Twig and I'll see how far that gets me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jenny's Pick Of The Week - Multi Tasker Tote

Dandy Damask and Riley Blake Chevron Fabric
Hello there!  I've decided to revive the old "Jenny's Pick Of The Week" feature.......which was Emma's Pick Of The Week before that......but Emma went on strike and refused to pose for more photos.  But I'll try to get her back on board and bribe her with dog cookies to make occasional appearances!  Anyway, this will kind of be a pick of the week, I've got an idea, I wish I could drop everything and make this new project this weekend kind of thing!  Since I'm surrounded by fabric and patterns all day I end up with a million and one different ideas of things to make but there just aren't enough hours in the day to make all of them.   But that doesn't mean that I can't share all of these "light bulb over my head" ideas with you.  And hope that I find a way to function on no sleep so I can make all of the things that I want to make....

My inspiration this week came from the new Chevron prints by Riley Blake.  They just arrived last week and my mind has been swirling with ideas of what to do with them.  And then the light bulb turned on!  Imagine this.....a Multi-Tasker Tote with Black Dandy Damask as the main fabric and the Black Chevron as the accent fabric on the sides.  And then it gets even better....imagine it with a red lining.....or maybe a lime green lining.....or maybe a yellow lining......or maybe an aqua lining.....or just line it in whatever your favorite color is and it will be fabulous!  Can't you just hear this perfect autumn purse calling your name......

What do you want to make with the Chevron prints?  I'd love to hear all about your bright ideas!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  Thank you for all your sweet comments about my Hooterville quilt in my last post.  You are all obviously very intelligent people with impeccable taste!

P.S. #2 - Someone left a comment on my last post asking what my "Ready To Go" and "Must Make" lists mean on my Work In Progress Wednesday reports.  But they were a no-reply blogger so I couldn't answer them by e-mail - oh no!  Anyway, the "Ready To Go" are the projects where I have the pattern and all the fabrics neatly arranged in a box and they're ready for me to get started on at any time.  The "Must Make" are the ones that I want to make/I have to make but I haven't started gathering supplies yet.

P.S. #3 - You may be a no-reply blogger and not even know it.  Here's a great tutorial on how to figure out if you are and how to fix it!  Bloggers won't be able to answer your questions if you're a no-reply blogger.

P.S. #4 - Mom - don't worry about trying to figure this out.  I know where to find you if I need to respond to one of your comments. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Hooterville Is Off To The Quilter!

So here it is!  My Hooterville top is completely pieced and ready to go the quilter......well......almost ready.......there's one small detail that still needs to be finished.....
Pink and Green owl quilt
Do you SEE what the problem is......
Preppy pink and green owl quilt
Yeah......I almost forgot to do the little French knot eyes!  Oops! 

This will actually be my FIRST time taking a quilt to a quilter!  I normally feel like I'm cheating if I don't do every last little part of my quilt myself.  But my quilting skills begin and end with the ability to do straight line quilting.  If I try anything else more complex I want to start pulling my hair out.  And my hair is really thin so that would be bad.  Anyway......since this quilt has so much plain, white background space I thought it would be fun to let someone work their "magic" on those negative spaces. 

And do you wanna see the super awesome and totally perfect background fabric I picked out?  Of course you do......
lecien pink flower sugar fabric
I had originally planned on recovering my office chair in that fabric (so I obviously have lots of it!) but I thought it might be a little loud as a chair and just overwhelm any other decorations I put in the room.  But I'm sure I won't have any problems finding other ways to use it!

And I'm now 3/4 of the way done with those dang ties on the Living Room Quilt.  So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to add another one to the finished column next week!  Wouldn't that be crazy?!  I'm really beginning to worry that I'm becoming a more efficient and responsible person who finishes what she starts.  My friends and family will think I've been abducted by aliens and replaced with a new Jenny.

Sooooo.....non-alien Jenny will now report in with this weeks stats:

Finished Projects: The Hooterville Top is DONE!  I know this doesn't really count as One for the Finished Column until the binding is on.....but I still feel like I reached a big milestone so it should go in some sort of "Kind Of Finished" column.
Active WIPs:  5  - That number is unchanged from last week!
-Living Room Quilt:  Almost 3/4 of the way done with the ties!
-Hooterville:  Top is pieced.  Owls just need French knot eyes.  Then it's off to the quilter!

-Dollhouse:  No Progress.  Maybe I should quit reporting on this one as I think the dollhouse is going to be one of those projects that goes on for years and years.....kind of like a real's just NEVER done.  But I did find an artist who makes awesome, realistic looking dollhouse sized dogs from photos of your own dog!  My unfinished house NEEDS a mini Emma to "guard" it.
-Teeny, Tiny Hexie Project:  Almost Done!
-Zelda's Fancy Witch Hat :  No progress.  Seriously.....I finished the Hooterville top last week.  A girl can only get so much done at once!

Next In Line:  Vintage Valentine!  Currently covering the dining room table.
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  22 - That number is unchanged from last week!
Must Make:  10 - That number is unchanged from last week!
New Projects:  ZERO! 

Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  Didn't find any last week - Yay!

Happy Sewing,
P.S.  Thank you so much for all your sweet comments on my last two posts about the Granny Square quilt and the chaotic Hooterville border.  You guys are awesome!  Big hugs from me!!!  And sloppy puppers kisses from Emma Jane for those that are interested!

P.P.S.S.  And for those that are interested we have lots of Hooterville patterns in the shop.  I think there will be a riot if the manufacturer ever quits making them!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Granny Square Quilt -The Grand Finale!

So here she Granny Square all her pretty, scrappy, pastel glory!
Bailey the cat and quiltEmma the Sew Fabulous Quilt Shop mascot on quilt
Next up......another Granny Square Quilt using fabric from the Going Coastal Collection.  Lots of fussy cutting of the Bottlecaps print is in my future.......

Happy Sewing,

P.S.   You can find the tutorial for this incredibly addictive quilt here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Chaos In Hooterville

Even though I spent a lot of the last week basking in the glory of finishing my Granny Square Quilt I didn't just rest on my laurels.....I went full steam ahead on Hooterville and the Living Room Quilt.  I was so excited to start planning the layout of my Hooterville blocks and once I started trying to arrange everything the violins came to a screeching halt......This just doesn't look right.......
Lakehouse Owl Applique Quilt
Something is wrong here.  Very wrong.  All those little X-blocks in between the trees and owls just look chaotic.  Dizzying.  Out of place.   There's nowhere for your eye to focus or rest.

But for some reason the multi-colored X-blocks look great on the quilt on the cover of the pattern, don't they?  What's up with that?  Why do hers look so good and mine look so weird?
Owl Applique Quilt Pattern
I don't know if it's because I'm just using two colors instead of a more varied palette like in the designers quilt.  Or if it's because of the strong contrast between pink and green.  But looking at my quilt was giving me the same feeling you get after stepping off one of those spinning rides at an amusement park.  And you'll just have to trust me on this but it looked WAY worse in real life.  The picture isn't capturing the full horribleness of the ick factor.

My first instinct was to stick all the blocks into a cardboard box and shove it in the back of a closet and just forget that I ever started this quilt.  But then a little inner voice reminded me that I'm trying to become one of those people who actually finishes things.  Darn it.  It's tough to be good.

So I started trying some other things and came up with the idea to use a single fabric for the inner border.  After auditioning several fabrics I laid out these green polka dots and the angels sang.....
Owl Quilt in Lakehouse Fabrics
Ooooohhhhh......squeal........I LOVE it!  No more chaos.  No more ick factor.  Just total cuteness.  And I'm going to use the Green Plaid (the one I used in the upper left tree) for the outer border.  That'll just double the cute factor!

Soooo....a word to the wise......If you're one of the many, many people making a Hooterville Quilt you may want to consider a single fabric for the inner border before you make 28 X-Blocks that you now have no purpose for......
Hooterville Quilt Blocks
Hmmm.......perhaps these could become a preppy, little tote bag.  Or maybe a little quilt where I alternate X-Blocks and solid blocks.  I dunno......All I know is that I just can't stand the thought of letting them go to waste!

So my stats are completely unchanged this week.

Finished Projects:  The Granny Square Quilt is still done!  Remember....I'm still basking in the glory! 
Active WIPs:  5  - That number is unchanged from last week!

-Living Room Quilt:  Almost 3/4 of the way done with the ties!
-Hooterville:  Piecing the top together.  Almost ready to go to the quilter!

-Dollhouse:  No Progress
-Teeny, Tiny Hexie Project:  Almost Done!
-Zelda's Fancy Witch Hat :  No progress. 

Next In Line:  Vintage Valentine!  It's not really next in line anymore.....I've already started making applique templates.
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  22 - That number is unchanged from last week!
Must Make:  10 - That number is unchanged from last week!
New Projects:  ZERO!  Or is it One?  I've got all those abandoned unused X-Blocks that I have to do something with.

Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  Didn't find any last week - Yay!

Happy Sewing,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - My Reign Is Over!

I.  Finished.  Something!!! Queen Of Unfinished Projects......actually finished something.  I will have to hand over my tiara to a new Queen of Unfinished Projects as my reign is now over. 

Once I realized that the quilt was really and truly done I just kind of stared at it in befuddled amazement......I kept looking at it thinking "surely I missed something.......there has to be a block that isn't quilted the binding really attached everywhere......"  but all I found were a few spots of blood (quilting is dangerous business folks) and a completely finished quilt. Wow.  Just wow......

And of course I wanted to show you a bunch of fabulous pictures of the whole quilt today but Mr. Sew Fab is out of town and it's a two person job to get those photos.  Soooooo.....I just draped the quilt over our big chair hoping that I'd be able to get a semi decent photo to show you today.......and I managed to take ONE photo before Emma Jane appeared......

Doesn't she seem stunned that I was actually trying to take a picture that doesn't have her in it?  Why would I do such a thing???
Granny Square Quilt with Emma the dog
Emma quickly demonstrated that she was more than happy to model in this photo shoot.  I call this her "don't hate me because I'm beautiful" look.
Emma Jane the dog with quilt
But she quickly grew bored of her modeling duties and settled in for a nap.  Models are so fickle....
Emma the Sew Fabulous Mascot
Once Mr. Sew Fab gets home I'll have much better photos to show you.  I'm actually going to do a whole "start to finish" blog post showing how my little baby that started as a pile of wee little scraps is all grown up now.

Annnndddddd.......I'm almost done with Hooterville.  The beaks and feet are done.  The applique is done.  I just need to decide on the layout and piece the top.  And pick a border fabric.....there will probably be a "Help Me Pick A Border" blog post coming soon!  I'm actually wondering if I'm starting to become one of those people that actually gets things done in a timely fashion!  Dare to dream.....

Sooooo.....for the first time in my "Work In Progress Wednesday" history I'm proud to report that I can ADD ONE to the "Finished" column.  Go me!

Finished Projects:  ONE!  Seriously!!!  The Scrappy Granny Square Quilt is D.O.N.E!!! 
Active WIPs:  5  - That number was 6 last week!
-Living Room Quilt:  Almost half way done with those ties
-Hooterville:  Applique is done.  Beaks and feet are done.  It's time to piece the top together!
-Dollhouse:  No Progress
-Teeny, Tiny Hexie Project:  Almost Done!

-Zelda's Fancy Witch Hat
:  No progress.  I just found it.....we'll need time to get reacquainted.
Next In Line:  Vintage Valentine!  I'm chomping at the bit to get started on this one!
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  22 - That number was 12 last week!
Must Make:  10 - That number was 6 last week!
New Projects:  ZERO!  Aren't you proud of me?!
Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  Didn't find any last week - Yay!

Happy Sewing,
Jenny (The Former Queen)

P.S.  I'm loving all your comments on my Ginger Bliss/Amy Butler Giveaway post about how you organize your stash.  Want to know why I love them???  Because most of you have a completely disorganized stash like me! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Giveaway - Vintage Amy Butler!!!

 We Have A Winner!  
The winner is B Greene who really cracked me up with her comment.  Her organizational system sounds as fancy as mine is.  Here's what she said about her stash.....
"Mine is a wreck! Well, part of it anyway. I have a bin of 5-inch charm squares; a couple of bins of 2.5-inch strips. I also have a bin just for 2.5-inch squares that are soon to become a scrap vomit quilt. But then, I have bins of "good" scraps and "really good" scraps and lesser-quality scraps. I have a bag of strings. There are snippets somehwere and FQs everywhere. Just a wonderful, beautiful mess.

BUT - all my FQ bundles abd precuts are nicely stored and waiting patiently for their time to shine! Thanks for the chance to add this wonderful bundle to the mix!"
Sew Fabulous Quilt Shop Fabric Giveaway
 Happy August!  I can't believe it's already August, can you?!  I feel like once we reach August the year is pretty much over....August will fly by because it's the last unofficial month of summer and back to school time....September is just a filler month....and then October is the beginning of the whirlwind of holiday months that will catapult us into the new year.  So the year is pretty much over in my book.

Anyway, you may have already read in my last few posts that I've been going through my very disorganized fabric stash during the last couple weeks frantically looking for the right fabrics for my next project - Vintage Valentine.  I finally got so sick of the mess and chaos and fabric shoved in 10 different cardboard boxes in every room of the house that I decided to do something really wild.....I've started sorting my stash and organizing it by color all in ONE PLACE!  Isn't that a wild idea?  I've also realized that my fabric stash isn't quit as vast as I thought it was.  I found so many gorgeous fabrics in my stash that are totally my style and my favorite colors but I only have 1/2 yard of them.  What's up with that???!!!  Why did I do that to myself???!!! new rule is that if I like a fabric (even if I have no idea what I'm going to do with it!) I'm going to take at least a yard of it.....or better yet two yards....or possibly five if I really, really like it! I was doing all of this sorting and organizing I found this bundle of "vintage" Amy Butler fabrics from the Ginger Bliss Collection.  This collection is very out of print, very hard to find and very sought after.  And I'm going to give this bundle of 10 fat quarters to one of you! 

Just leave a comment to be entered to win....I'd love to hear how you organize your fabric stash.  I need some ideas on how to get mine all sorted out.  Or, I'd love to hear how your stash is as messy as mine used to be.  Or what is your dream plan to organize your fabric?  Please leave your comment by midnight on Monday, August 13.  I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.

Good Luck and Happy Sewing,

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment on my last post telling me it was o.k. to abandon a project!  I thought I was going to be scolded for not finishing what I started - LOL!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - The List Grows

My list of UFO's continues to grow at an astronomical rate.....

Here's what happened.....

I was going through every nook and cranny of the house where I have fabric stashed searching for more and more fabrics for my Vintage Valentine Quilt.  And during this frantic search I came across two abandoned/forgotten about projects.  Uh oh.....

The first one I found was  Zelda's Fancy Witch Hat by Crabapple Hill Designs.....
Crabapple Hill halloween embroidery
 It's supposed to look like this eventually......
Crabapple Hill halloween embroidery
And as you can see......I'm actually almost done with it.  I think this one might get promoted up to the Official Work In Progress Category (we'll just skip the Back Burner category) because I actually have a chance of getting it done by Halloween.

And the other one I found is this Gift  From The Sea Quilt that I think I started about 7-8 years ago.
Quilt Pattern by Verna Mosquera for the Vintage Spool
I didn't take any pictures of my actual blocks because they look So. Darn. Bad.  This was the first complicated applique pattern I've ever tried and it basically ended up being an experiment in testing out every applique method that exists.  It's worse than one of my "Monet Projects" actually looks like a mess close up AND far away!

I kind of don't know what to do about this one.  It's halfway done.....but I'm not sure I want to finish it.  I almost want to make an entirely new one using entirely different colors (oranges, aquas, lime greens) that match our current decor.  (The first one that I'm halfway through is the exact colors and fabrics in the original quilt seen above).  What do you think?  Have you ever completely abandoned a project when it's halfway done?

And the other thing that happened during this frantic fabric stash search was that I became convinced that I was going to run out of fabric one day and run out of quilting projects one day.  I know.....don't rational mind does realize that if I spent the next 20 years sewing for 8 hours a day I probably wouldn't be able to finish all the projects that I already have on my list.  And my rational mind also realizes that two of the three bedrooms of our house are basically FULL of fabric.  But rational thought doesn't apply when you're looking for fabric.  And I came up with ideas for about a zillion more projects that I just HAVE to make as I was searching through all of my fabric.  And I started making more of my little "Ready To Go" boxes full of fabric for some of them.  Double Uh Oh!
And if you saw my post the other day you know that I've actually made some progress in Hooterville and I started machine appliqueing the beaks and feet.  And I'm also more than halfway through the hand quilting on my Granny Square quilt!  But all progress came to a screeching halt yesterday when I woke up with a horrible knot/spasm/angry muscle thing in between my shoulder blades.  It's one of those knots where I can't turn my neck to look at something....I have to turn my whole body.  But an hour and a half long massage tomorrow morning and a four day Staycation that starts tomorrow ought to make that knot run for the hills! are this weeks stats.....

Finished Projects:  ZERO! 
Active WIPs:  6  - That number was 5 last week!
-Living Room Quilt:  No Progress
-Granny Square Quilt:  More than halfway done!
-Hooterville:  Started blanket stitching the beaks and feet!  Yay!
-Dollhouse:  No Progress
-Teeny, Tiny Hexie Project:  Almost Done!

-Zelda's Fancy Witch Hat
Next In Line:  Vintage Valentine!
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  22 - That number was 12 last week!
Must Make:  10 - That number was 6 last week!
New Projects:  Umm.....this involves math.  I think I added 16 new projects to the list.  Do the long lost projects that I just found count as new projects?  If they do the number is now 18.  I think I need an intervention!
Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  Hmmmm....what will I find hidden in the nooks and crannies next week???

Happy Sewing,