Fabrics Specs

Friday, January 28, 2011
I got a few questions about the fabrics I used for the peacocks in my last post.

I used the one on the left for the center peacock feather. It is Michael Miller fabric designed by Patty Young. I wish I had the other colorways to make all of the peacock feathers this way. In fact I may just have to order some and re-make those feathers.

The print on the right was used for the peacock wings. I fussy cut the blue leaf so it looked like feathers (at least it did to me.) I got this fabric when I won a FQ bundle from Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works. It is a Free Spirit fabric designed by Jill Gordon.

... and here is a picture of the peacocks taken in natural light. This is more true to the color of the Kona Charcoal which a lot of people where thinking was black.

~ Norma


Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I'm so in love with the "My Tweets" BOM that I just couldn't resist working it today. I even re-made the templates using the stitch and wash just so that everything would have the same "treatment" so that when it comes time to wash the quilt there will be no unintended surprises.

1-26 Block 1

It took me quite a while to get all the pieces made for the peacocks but you have to remember that this is my first applique project. The thing that gave me the most trouble was those little top knots on the peacock heads. Oh and I lost the little beaks in the construction process, so I'll have to make more of those tomorrow. I pretty much worked on these two birds from lunch time until 8pm. Of course I have my share of distractions with kids that need to be fed, Lego creations that have to be admired, art work that needs to be praised, and bathroom breaks! The hardest thing for me is picking out fabrics. It seems like I auditioned 5-6 fabrics for each section of the bird. I have a stack of about 35-40 fabrics sitting on my desk right now and only 6 fabrics where used. I may go crazy by the time block 3 rolls around!


I can't decide which background fabric I want to use. The one on the left is Kona Charcoal and the one on the right is Kona Snow. I'll have to take another look at it tomorrow in some nice natural daylight. I think the Charcoal may be too dark but maybe Kona Coal or Med. Gray would be nice. What do you think?

~ Norma

I Couldn't Resist

I've gone and added another project to my list for 2011. Can you really blame me for falling in love with this awesomeness?

And that's only the middle block of Erin Russek's "My Tweets" BOM.


I don't even remember how I cam across Erin's blog but I'm glad I did. She has a wealth of information on applique, lots of eye candy, and lots of free patterns. Did I mention that she is offering up "My Tweets" for FREE? Well, you do have to buy the middle block from her etsy shop for a mere $10, but blocks 1-12 will be offered on her blog absolutely free! How can you not join in? Her amazing patterns would easily be sold for $10 a piece putting you at $130 just for the patterns. How can you pass up this great quilt pattern for only $10?

Erin already has block 1 up and ready for download.

I already cut out all of my freezer paper pieces for the left bird but right after I did I realized I didn't reverse the image. doh! Luckily the birds are pretty much the same size so I'll be using the the pieces for the right bird. I'm not very good at handwork, well actually I'm pretty good at it but it takes me forever and I usually loose interest midway into a project. So I'll be doing invisible machine applique to speed me up. This morning I realized that I should really be using the washable fusible I got for the Joseph's Coat quilt to make things easier. Good thing I realized this at block 1 and not at block 10!

1-24 Samples

This will be my first BOM and applique project. Hopefully I won't loose steam because this is going to be a lovely quilt.


All "My Tweets" images are copyright Erin Russek and were used with permission.

Decisions, Decisions...

Monday, January 24, 2011
I've been saving up my pennies to purchase a stitch regulator for my Brother 1300. This would be a huge step towards goal #10 (see bottom left sidebar.) I finally have enough pennies saved up, especially since the stitch regulator is on sale for $50 off the regular price. I was so ready to click the "check out" button over on Kathy Quilts when I decided to look around first.

Well... Kathy quilts has an amazing price on the queen size Start Right Frame for only $400! This is pretty much what I paid for my Sturdy-lite frame which you can kind of see in this picture here:

If I where looking at getting a frame for the first time I would buy the Start Right in a heart beat especially at $400 (50% off!) Now before you all run out and buy one here's a little bit more info, and a few things you should know:
  • It doesn't get smaller or bigger, if you buy the crib size you can't make it bigger. The queen size won't become smaller but you CAN quilt smaller quilts on it. 
  • The biggest quilt you can quilt on the queen size frame is a queen size (about 90" wide)
  • You need either a stitch regulator ($500) or a speed control ($70+) for your machine, as this frame does not have a place for a foot pedal and handles that activate your foot pedal.
  • You need a machine that is compatible with either the stitch regulator or speed control.
  • The maximum throat space of a machine that will work on here is 13" so you can't put anything bigger than that on here.
So my thought was to sell my current frame and upgrade to the steel frame and then save up some more pennies for the stitch regulator. My husband thinks I should buy the stitch regulator first since this will get me to my goal right now and hope that the steel frame is still available at this price in a few months. What would you do? The one thing that I should mention is that I will not go into debt, not even a little bit for anything (been there done that and I like being debt free much better.) So everything has to be paid cash. At the moment there are only enough pennies to do one or the other. If it was your choice what would you do and why? I'd love to hear your opinions!

~ Norma


Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Now that the quilt top for my friend is done the next step is usually for me to figure out how in the world I'm going to quilt the finished top. I like to bring in a picture of the finished top into Photoshop so I can hash out the details.

1-18 Planning

Ok so for this particular quilt I didn't have a good picture of the finished quilt top. What can I say, it's cold, and I was already cozy in bed. Instead of going down to the freezing cold basement that is now my sewing room and taking a picture like I should have, I chose to dig through my computer for the best picture I could find.

It's a very rough outline especially since it was done with a computer mouse {I really should invest in a drawing tablet.} You get the idea right? I put to use the skills I learned from an online class I took a while ago taught by the very talented Carla Barret. I highly recommend her class.

Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions.

Quilt Top Finished

Saturday, January 15, 2011
Yesterday I finished up the quilt top for my friend's quilt. I have received a few questions as to the fabrics in the quilt. Some of you may remember this post. This is a memory quilt for that same friend. The fabrics are all from her husband's shirts.
Time is such a fickle thing, sometimes crawling along and other times speeding by. It seems like it was only such a short time ago that Phil passed away, yet on paper you can flip through the calendar and in a few short weeks it will have been a year. My heart still aches for my dear friend and wish I were closer to be there for her. These two amazing friends of mine embody every word of one of my favorite Hymns, "Each Life that Touches Ours for Good" (you can listen to it by clicking on the link and then clicking "words and music" at the top left before clicking play {my kids must think I'm nuts 'cause I'm sitting here with happy tears.}

1-14 Top Finished

As much as I would have liked to spend today quilting it I couldn't because I don't have a piece of batting large enough. So I'm waiting until Monday in hopes of a 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon. I did find the perfect backing for it though.  I still have to figure out how I want to quilt it. I spent much of today lying around because of a migraine so I wouldn't have worked on it even if I had the batting. {I think some Dr. Pepper might be in order.}

I actually researched ordering the batting wholesale (see #10 in my goal list, bottom left.) Did you know that cotton prices are going up this year? Probably pretty soon. You can read more about it here. Basically there is less cotton than what the world uses so you can bet all of our cotton products are going to go up in price. That means our hobby will become that much more expensive! Maybe those stash diets I've seen popping up over the New Year might not be such a bad idea.

 I started a fun little feature over on my left sidebar. My SIL has a "Reality Check" on her blog and I love reading it. So I decided to do my own version but it will only list the latest 7 things I add to the list. Mine is titled "The Nut Shell" because it's basically my life in a nut shell and sometimes I feel like a nut. Here you will catch glimpses of my very ordinary life as a mom of two, but as any of us with kids know life with kids can be anything but ordinary.

Anyway, hug your loved ones because you never know what life will bring. A couple of months ago my daughter and I could have been in a terrible accident with a semi truck that ran a red light at 50mph. It was our turn to go, we were first in line. Luckily my Heavenly Father decided it wasn't our time and so we weren't in that intersection. It sure made me think about whether or not my family knows I love them each and every day.

~ Norma

Snowed In

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We've been "snowed in" since Sunday afternoon. 3 inches in Alabama was enough to bring our little city to a grinding halt. School has been shut down since Monday and tomorrow will be the third day of no school for the kids. Mr. PD was lucky enough to get today and yesterday off too! It's been nice to have a babysitter around 24/7. Sometimes it's nice to live in a town that doesn't have a snow plow.

1-10 Improv Sledding

 The roads make for fun sledding when they're completely covered in ice. Who needs a real sled when you've got a super ingenious husband? Some rope, a piece of counter top, and a few minutes in the shop and, wala, a one of a kind sled!

... and sometimes it's not cool. I was working on a quilt #1 from my to do list (bottom left.) I was on a really good streak making really good progress...

1-9 WIP

I had all the blocks squared up and I was cutting up the sashings when I ran  out of the Kona Bone I was using. I couldn't run out and get some because every road in the city was officially closed. So I waited until today in the late morning when the roads were melted and I had Mr. PD drive me to Hobby Lobby.

Once there I had a moment of stupidity. Instead of buying Kona Bone, I came home with Kona Snow! I didn't even realize it until I had cut up the sashings and was about to start sewing them together. Ugh. Lucky for me Mr. PD was willing to drive me back to Hobby Lobby, I think it was the cabin fever talking. Hopefully tomorrow, since we once again will be "snowed in" I'll be able to finish the top.

Have you ever done anything silly like that?

~ Norma


Saturday, January 8, 2011
No that's not a misspelling, didn't you know that the plural of "stuff" is stuffs? :)

I know, super creative right? I just couldn't think of another title for "random" ... maybe I should pull out the Thesaurus. {Do kids these days even know what a Thesaurus is or do they just think it's an extinct dinosaur? ... wait, all dinosaur's are extinct... Do kids even own hard copies of dictionaries anymore?... ok getting sidetracked.} Anywhoo there are a couple of things I wanted to share with you.

First, I updated my sidebar (bottom left) with my "quilting" goal list for 2011. I have personal goals too, but those are personal. Actually they really aren't that personal but I didn't think you'd be interested in knowing that I want to do better about reading my scriptures, holding family home evening, not yelling at my kids, and doing my dishes more often! Cause you didn't want to know that right?

Right now there are 10 things on my list but I'm sure more will be added through out the year. Most of the things on the list are things I didn't get around to last year, but some things are new. Did you read #10? I'm so excited about this one and I think I can make this happen in the next month or two! Oh, and did you notice that numbers 5, 6 and 9 have patterns associated with them?

Second, I'm doing Project 365 again this year. I actually did really good last year, except you wouldn't know that because I was awful about uploading my pictures. I was going strong until about October and when the holidays hit I just fizzled. This year I'm trying again but I'm cutting myself some slack and I'm not going to try and "make up" a missed picture. I'd rather get a good meaningful picture rather than taking pictures of my toes because it's 10 pm and I didn't get a picture of the day! {Besides I'm a little self conscious of my toes, I don't need the whole world to see my toes.} I learned a lot last year and became really comfortable with my camera's Aperture Priority mode. This year I'm boldly taking my camera where it's never gone before ... dun dun duh ... that's right it's going to Manual Mode land.  The thought is actually kind of terrifying but I'm hoping to get a DSLR in a few months and there is no way I'm going to shell out that kind of dough to use it on automatic.

Lastly, did you see that I already crossed of #3 on my to do list? Earlier tonight I finished up all 12 of my 3.5" red-work block for The Bitty Block Committee swap. Here are the little birdie blocks:

1-8 Finished

I made four of each design. I think they turned out pretty darned cute. I was kicking myself by about block 8 wondering why in the world I picked something so complicated and curvy to fit into 3.25" inches of fabric {you have to have a 1/4" seam allowance all the way around.} Well, lesson learned!

~ Norma

The Bitty Block Committee

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I have joined my first swap of 2011. I love joining swaps because it forces me to get things done. I'm one of those people that is more motivated by a deadline than anything else.

So I joined in The Bitty Block Committee on Flickr. This is a monthly swap group where you create 12 3.5"x3.5" unfinished blocks based on a theme. You then send out 11 of your blocks (you get to keep one) and in return you get 11 blocks made by other people. I thought the small scale of the swap and blocks would be the perfect way to break in the swapping year.

I joined the redwork group and so far I've come up with 2 blocks. I'm thinking of doing 3 designs x 4 of each just to break up the monotony. You can click on the picture to be taken to Flickr page for more info (size, design etc.)

1-4 Bitty Block #1

1-4b Bitty Block #2

I've also signed up for the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr (DQS10)  I love the DQS and all of the creativity that comes from this very active Flickr group. I can't wait to get my partner and start making another small treasure. Doll quilts are a great way to feel like you've accomplished something! The small size makes it easy to actually complete the quilt. Don't be fooled though, doll quilts aren't necessarily easier to make. Just take a look at the DQS Flickr pool and see how much effort and creativity goes into each little quilt.

Are you joining any online swaps or bees? What do you like or dislike about them?

~ Norma

MTQB October Block

Sunday, January 2, 2011
Yesterday night I sat down for my first sewing adventure of 2011. Nothing like sewing on the first day of the year especially when its 1/1/11! I just had to start the year off right. I did have grand plans of also having a morning run but it was storming all day long in Alabama.

Here is my block for Lady Docker.

1-2 Bee Block

She sent us some Verna Jelly roll strips and requested a log cabin style block with a floral applique in the middle. She left the applique up to us. I made this flower which reminds me of the flowers on Mario Bros. Can you tell I've been playing too much Wii? I saw this flower here which was inspired this flower here.

Hopefully my enthusiasm for sewing and exercising will be off the charts this year. I feel like 2011 wasn't as productive as it could have been. But looking back at my to do list for 2011 I guess I did quite a bit, just not all sewing related.

I think I made this list around June so it doesn't account for the first half of the year!
Ongoing Projects:
- Jacob's Coat Quilt: 36 of 637 petals made (only 601 to go!)
So I fizzled on the Jacob's Coat petal making saga
- DQS9 (top,quilted, bound, sent)
- MTQB blocks: April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
I only need to make November's block!
1. Modify Tradition Swap
2. Quilts for Kids (pieced top, quilted, bound)
3. Scrappy {Hoops} Swap
4. Friendship Quilt (quilt, bound) Didn't make any progress here
5. H's Quilt (cut, blocks pieced, top made, quilted, bound) This one is in progress and is up on my design wall
6. E's Quilt (cut, pieced, quilted, bound) I've only cut the fabric, no piecing yet
7. Tulip Patch Quilt (cut, blocks pieced, top made, quilted, bound) This one is started, just have to make it into a top
8. Love Birds Quilt No progress here

I really liked having my list on my side bar and I'll be posting my new list soon.

~ Norma
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