Tall Tales Block, it’s not you, it’s me….

Paper piecing, right? One of the things I did a lot of at the beginning of my quilting story (yes, pun intended!). Carol Doak was my hero as she taught me through books and whenever I could catch her on Simply Quilts. 

But people, it’s been a while. So now that I’m multi social media minded, I discover the Tall Tales block. It’s a BOOK! It’s got to be the most adorable thing I’ve seen in ages.  And yes, it’s paper pieced. As we are avid book readers, I really wanted to give it a try.

My first one:

Not bad for a first. And yes, those are the same fabrics from two recent projects. When I decided to jump in, I didn’t want to use something I cared about in case things went badly. Since I had these pieces laying around (they were about 12″ x 14) they would do to be my sample book blocks. 

When I make a bunch of the same block, whether it’s paper pieced or regular, I make one to see how it goes. See if there are quirks in the pattern, or if I miscut I’ve only done so for one block. This works for me. I like to have a little assembly line set up, so once the “sample” is done, I can go to town.

I am nowhere near town, friends.

These are most of my supplies, and block parts. Once I make a book block without having to unsew, I will assembly line the rest. I’m on block five. Geez. One at a time going on here……

As I’ve struggled along, I’ve remembered tips from long ago. The postcard trick (I’m using a bookmark), the add a quarter and add an eighth rulers that help with trimming.  Yes, now that I have only four blocks to go, I’m almost with the program.

Even though it’s been a bit of a challenge today, I like the blocks. A lot. Maybe things will go smoother tomorrow. 

I recently finished what I hope is my last tshirt quilt. At least for a while. A long while.

Have a great Sunday, friends.


Why can’t I just save it?

Seriously people, what is wrong with me? I started a project the other day, my Circle quilt. I used a set of fat quarters that I had taken apart sometime last year. I made the binding for it yesterday and half-heartedly planned to layer and bind it today.

But I didn’t.

The leftovers from making a pieced binding, along with the bits from cutting the “Circle” blades were just staring me in the face with their odd shapes and crooked sides. 


So I cut them into ten inch squares, kind of making my very own layer cake…..

Then I cut them some more! And I made this!

I know it’s oddly shaped, I like it that way. This will be for a baby girl, sometime….

But I still had leftovers! Oh my goodness. I had cut all the ten inch pieces into the thimble shape, so what to do with the six I had leftover? 

Geez, I did this.

It’ll be a table runner. 

So I am left with really weirdly shaped pieces, especially after cutting out 2 1/2″ tumblers.

Yeah, I did. 

Now I’m pretty sure I can’t get much else out of the bits that are left. I will use them as starters and stoppers while I’m sewing, but I think that’s about all they’re good for.

Does anyone else just “use it up” so you don’t have to put it away? I feel somewhat ridiculous today. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this sort of thing. 

I will keep strips of fabric 1″ wide, leftover scraps that I can at least get a 2 1/2″ square from, leftover bindings and canvas-like ribbon (for gift wrap bows) that’s on charm packs or FQ bundles. And selveges, if they’re cute, colorful or funny.

No wonder my sewing space becomes a disaster zone so quickly.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Circle Time

Since the tshirt quilt top is complete, I thought I’d put my new “Ten degree tool” to use. It was delivered on Sunday and I’ve been so excited to give it a try. It’s almost as long as a fat quarter, so I wanted to be sure to use a FQ set, thus not so much matching and choosing. JUST LOTS OF CUTTING AND SEWING! 

It was much like cutting out fans for a Dresden block, but they were quite a bit longer, see? I did not seam the tips, as I want  a round quilt.

How about that! The hole in the center is larger than I thought it’d be, but I guess I can make a circle to appliquĆ© (šŸ˜) in any size, right?

 I will also need bias binding, so that’s another thing I usually avoid like the plague. But I think it’s pretty cute. Here’s a shot of my fave section….

Love the polka dots! Even the leftover scraps are cute.

I’m tellin’ ya! 

Mostly since the tshirt top is assembled I wanted to try something different. And cute and fun. And round! Oy, what have I gotten myself into? Bias binding? AppliquĆ© circles? Next thing you know I’ll be sewing curves!



The First ProjectsĀ 

Needless to say, I was very anxious to sew something (ANYTHING!!!!) in my new sewing room! Just couple of small things, to get a “feel” for the area and set up.  The first thing I completed was a baby girl quilt, for a friend’s daughter’s baby.

This was a top for  a couple years, and now it will be at the shower this weekend, then handy for the baby in April. I quilted it with swirls because the design is so very straight lined.  I hope it softens up and is super cozy for the baby when she’s born.

It was during the quilting that I noticed a problem with the new set up. The machine bounced around like crazy when I’d sew fast! I mean, crazy rodeo bouncing! Since then the husband came up with a velcro strap to keep the machine solidly in place. I don’t know what I’d do without that man.

The next project is a boy baby quilt. This one has been just a top for a couple years too. I loved the fabrics but nothing seemed to “go” with it, for borders or finishing. Until I made it happen. The stars seem to match just enough to make it work. The dark navy and silvery stars fabric was given to me a while ago by a friend who decided not to quilt anymore. She will be happy to know it was well used.

A comment about the carpet squares in my sewing room. Threads, batting fuzz and anything else I drop seems to stick like it’s been glued to the floor. You know how you run the vacuum over and over a spot, and nothing seems to be happening? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. 

The last project was started right after I made the super long table runner for the furniture holding the new tv. There were a whole mess of HST’s that I just couldn’t throw away. So I sewed them together. Then I thought it’d be nice to make something to use in the living room, where the tv is. We have an ottoman we’ve always kept a quilt on, because the dogs nails would snag the fabric, so that’s what I decided to make.

I got lucky when it came to the math to figure out how many larger HST’s to make….booya! But one row around wasn’t quite large enough, so I added another. 

The husband chose the binding fabric, since he was in the room while I was deciding. I quilted this with the organic lines, mostly because it was fast and easy. I do love the look though.

I used this fabric from 2002 for the back. I have about 4 inches left of it, so that’s nice. I wanted something that wouldn’t be busy or overwhelm the front. The front really is busy enough on its own. 

So now that I’ve done a couple of small projects, I’ve got a short list of what else needs to get done. The first is sewing the binding on a quilt my MIL made last year. That won’t take long. The second is a tshirt quilt for a lovely young lady who has been very patiently waiting for it. After those two things are done, I want to work on a couple more things that are hanging in the closet….

That’s my plan, anyway.


The Big Reveal

It has been soooooo difficult to NOT share the baby steps of the completion of my sewing room! It’s been mostly done for over a week, but there was still wood on my counter! And sawdust on the floor and tools all over the place! Until this afternoon. Ha! Since I took the Christmas tree down today (don’t judge) I thought I’d clean up in the new room too. 

This first pic was taken from the doorway. This room is humongous now! Eleven by eighteen feet, to be somewhat exact. On the right is the cutting table, which still needs some of the trim so I don’t jab myself in the hip when I walk by. The chair is my spare chair. For now, it will be there, away from the sewing counter. A small bookshelf with a few books, baskets and stuff for ironing. And a picture of the amazing husband who made it all happen. My ironing board with its new cover is conveniently behind the sewing area. I love the cd rack full of charm packs, a couple jelly rolls and my fave piggies top it off.

The next pic is my sewing area. 

I know, right! So. Much. Room.

Husband still has a couple things to do regarding wood, stain and nails. But for the most part, I have a stinking TON of space! Those magazines have been gone thru and aren’t there anymore! I’ve got two sets of bright pink drawers, pretty much full of the stuff they used to hold. But I did dump all of the thread into one drawer instead of the wall thread racks. I’m not sure if I’ll use them again, I figured I’d see how it goes like this for a while.

A close up of my personal space.

The walls seem really empty, don’t they? I’m guessing that will change. I sewed a little bit today, just to see how it all flows…. it’s awesome.

I love my chair. My daughter and I painted both chairs pink many years ago. I had gotten them at a garage sale. Then we decorated them as we saw fit. Like I said, I love my chair.

Guess what I finally get to use!

Ta da! I’ve had this for years and years but the counter was always so high, it just was absurd trying to make it work. I’d have to lift my foot way off the ground to do it. Now the whole counter is the perfect height for me to utilize this awesome accessory. Booya!

I’m still trying to figure out the best place for my calendar and clock. 

Maybe on that weird spot I never noticed until I saw this picture. I figure I’ll get them up in the next couple weeks. 

The view from the sewing area.

There’s the chair my daughter painted, cute, huh? I love the carpet squares. We got them at a very reasonable price and laid them out so the stripes alternate direction. I was so happy that they’re dark, dark gray and not some goofy color. I’ve got the extra sewing machine under the cutting area for now, so that’s fun. All of my BLOCK magazines (which are more like books because there are no ads) are in the bookshelf that supports the cutting counter. I like to keep them handy. The binders in the other bookshelf are where I put lots of patterns from the magazines I went thru last year. Another favorite organizational tool I use is the piece of wood that is holding my rulers. So handy dandy.

See that rope basket (for lack of a better word) on the floor? I got that at Target for $5 and I wish I had gotten more! It’s pretty, it’s soft and it’s being used for a garbage can! I need something right by the cutting table and for now it works. I got the floor mat at Costco and it is really nice. I’ve never had the space for one before and I think I’m really going to like it. (The sides of the cutting table are where the trim still needs to go. I bumped into the corners about 4 times this afternoon.)

The cedar closet is still pretty much the same.

It’s still got a bunch of stuff in it that I need to find a place for…..like the mini design wall. Not sure if I’ll put that up again or not. The floor is so spacious, I may just use it. Maybe. I was going to move the shelf units from the cedar closet to the far wall, but I think I won’t. I like the open space and I think I’ll be able to baste in here on the floor, instead of just outside the sewing room in the basement. 

My previous space….

I know! What a difference! I am so thrilled with my new space! I got a lot done in the old space, a lot! I’ve made quilts for family and friends. I’ve made just about whatever the husband can dream up, and believe me, he can dream up some doozies. I taught my MIL to quilt in that tiny room. The makeover still just amazes me.

Years ago I mentioned to the husband that we could knock down the office wall…… He didn’t go for it for about 11 years. Then suddenly he’s asking me what I’d like and what I’m thinking. So I made my little mock-up and showed him. AND HE MADE IT HAPPEN! He didn’t even freak out when I chose the paint color. I love love love the colors in there. 

But I LOVE LOVE LOVE him more.

Thank you, my dear man.