Sunday, February 22, 2015

My New Obsession: Trash to Treasure Blocks

Earlier this month, I found out my block had been accepted into the May issue of Quiltmaker 100 Blocks.  I'm so excited!  This time I wanted to try to make something up to send in for the gallery, using my block.  So I made four of the blocks and turned them into a small quilt.. ..and wound up with lots of scraps in the floor under my machine. (along with the ones that were already there.) :)

 I hate to throw any of them away so I thought I'd try to make a block. 

The Trash to Treasure Block was born.

I cut a 6" square of white, and just started sewing the scrap pieces to the outer edges of it. If the pieces were too small, I sewed them together with other smaller pieces until I had a piece big enough to apply. When I had enough of a scrap edge, I trimmed it down to an 8-ish inch square (no matter the size, just make sure it's square). But if your trimmed block ends up being smaller than that, just make up for it in the border.  Just put a wide enough border on to trim it to 9.5" square in the end.  So all the blocks will end up about 9" finished. 

But before putting on the border, I sliced it into quarters, turned the outside corners to the inside and sewed it back together. To form a sort of wonky improv 8-ish inch cross. 

Apply the border, and trim to 9.5" .. It was so much fun I made two. :) I ran out of yellow dots so I used some yellow gingham. Even the borders will end up scrappy.

You can see that the second one wasn't exactly the same size. The cross section was smaller. But the border makes up for it.  I like that kind of irregular look since the crosses are improv-y. One of my goals this year is to make one of these blocks every time I clean enough scraps from the floor until I have a whole Trash to Treasure quilt. An entire quilt made from little pieces destined for the trash bin. 

I had fun using the leftover scraps from my small quilt (that may or may not return to me with a great big rejection notice-ha!) Most of the scraps were fabrics I had used in the blocks or border, and some from the binding. But some of the others had just been languishing in the floor for an embarrassing amount of time.  Woops. I am MESSY. :)

If you try a Trash to Treasure block, tag me, I'd love to see!

Happy Weekend! Have a great week!

linking up: Let's Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, WOW-WIP on Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, whip it up wednesday, Needle&Thread Thursday

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mason Jar Mug Rug

Way back in September of last year, (in some ways it seems like just yesterday and in some ways forever ago) I joined in a mug rug swap for the first time ever to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund over at my friend Beth's. She runs it every year. (September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.) Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics was a sponsor for the swap in 2014 and donated different colors of teal swatches, and each participant received a swatch that had to be included in the mug rug.

It was such a busy month dealing with the cancer situation in our own family, that although I eventually blogged about the one I received, I realized that I never blogged about the mug rug that I made for it. I had been toying with the idea for a while of a decorated jar, and the 6" x 9" size of the mug rug seemed to fit perfect. So I worked on it, and here's how it turned out.

I kind of wish I'd used more contrasting fabrics for the jar and lid.  I used a selvage for the lid.  And then decided it needed some embellishing. So out came the felt buttons, and the moda tape (does anyone else save that from your precuts?)  

Small things are fun to practice 
FMQ-ing on, too. :) Easy to maneuver around and if you have to pick any of it out, it's a small area.

It was a fun, quick project that was scrap friendly. :)  If you'd like to make a Mason Jar Mug Rug, I've written up how I did it and you can view it here:

Mason Jar Mug Rug PDF

Happy Sewing!

linking up:  TGIFF, show-off friday

Friday, January 23, 2015

...aftermath.. and a pin cushion or three...

Belated Happy New Year!!

I feel like I've been MIA for forever!!  It's been a crazy few months.

(I used the gelatin recipe found here)

My MIL's celebration of life party finally took place a couple of weekends ago.  It was beautiful and just as she wanted it. The only hiccup was that my FIL was in the HOSPITAL with a bleeding ulcer.  He is fine now.. I think it was just all of the stress. He was sorry to miss it but wanted it to go on as planned. It has been three months since she passed now. We have had the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and New Year, and her first birthday without her.  Although we still miss her, she is always with us.  A memory or a wink (more on that in a minute) away.  

We remembered her leading up to her celebration by making bird seed cookies as favors for her "party". (She didn't want a traditional funeral.)  Her first initial was D. So each cookie had a tag with a "d" on one side and one of these other stamps on the other side. 

A. helped with the stamping of the cards. 

It was a fun, crafty, therapeutic project for us, and we ended up being buried in birdseed for about a week and a half, as we needed to make over 120 and each batch only made about 12-14 (and needed to dry overnight). They turned out really cute though. I think we'll make some more just for fun to hang out in the spring. We made them on the red 1950's table that her parents bought new in 1951.. next to a special piece of yoyo patchwork that she had told us about for years.. how she used to make the circles with her mom and wanted us to have it. She had given it to us on one of the last occasions we saw her before she passed. So we felt her presence all around us. 

But, as life has gone on, as often seems to happen after a death in the family, esp. with a large extended family, the passing of my MIL has been followed by a certain amount of drama re: outside opinions on various things. As a result of one such instance, we no longer have the yoyo patchwork pictured above as an extended family member felt they deserved it more than we did. :( But we move on.. 

And for 2015 I've decided to resurrect this button from my archives to place in the sidebar over there on the left.. it's a good motto..

.. and to remind myself this year to do my best to steer clear of being sucked into the dramas of others, although sometimes we have no warning ahead of time and don't see it coming until we're right in the middle of it. 

However, the blinders are off in some respects and we will avoid it with all we have in 2015! (feel free to grab it and enjoy a drama free rest of the year with me!) :) 

I know my MIL wouldn't want us to be upset for too long over the actions of others. The advice she gave, somewhat prophetically when she first found out she had cancer was that should/when hurtful moments/remarks occur in the future, just picture her smiling and winking.. so that's what we do as we move on. 

We're all human after all, and I think that a certain amount of drama is probably common in most families when faced with grief. Esp. large families. Esp. when emotions are stressed and running high. Everyone handles grief differently. So we forgive, pick ourselves up, and carry on. However, I do think that we are all responsible for our own mental health, and if we need to, must establish boundaries.

Finally.. about the *winking*...

the other day, when I was feeling particularly blue and sad, I looked up and saw a little bird hovering up and down and in a circle against the glass of our sliding glass door, as though it was trying to look in or get inside. Just for a few moments, then it flitted off. It felt like a little *wink* from my MIL for sure.. We rarely see birds that small in our yard. And have NEVER seen one trying to look inside! ;) It was the strangest, sweetest thing with just the most perfect timing!! :)

This might seem like kind of a bummer post but really, it's not. Just processing what's been going on for the last couple of weeks, and the last few months.  Life is hard sometimes.  Just keepin' it real. I want every post to ooze happiness but I don't want to be "fake" happy. :) Life doesn't always ooze happiness.  I pinned this on pinterest a long time ago, and just saw it again earlier. It's so fitting! Balance, for sure!

The last few months of 2014 exploded in our face,(the month after my MIL passed away, my FIL's only living brother passed away, and the weekend of his memorial, MY uncle-my dad's youngest brother passed away) and we are now just scraping it off and finding the new normal. There has hardly been a stitch sewn on my poor sewing machine since September! But the dark cloud is dissipating and I feel my mojo coming back! I did make these pin cushions this week.. plus a couple of four inch blocks for the tiny block quilt I had started in the summer.

More on those next time! :) And some other happy sewing/newsy things ahead in 2015!

Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me for the last few months! It's been a wild ride. Happy 2015! I can't wait to get sewing again..

I love this (I think I posted it before!).. it puts it all in perspective.

Look for the winks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


A few months ago, I made a quilt out of this fabric line called On Our Way from RBD. Perfect for little boys, or the engine loving little girl. ;)  Or a VW bus/transportation/peace-love-sunshine fan of any age. It was a big hit with my son and his friends (and their moms).  

 I just hadn't had a chance to blog about it. We've had so much death in the family lately.  Blah! A few weeks after my MIL passed, my FIL's last living brother passed as well. And then a couple of weeks ago, my uncle, my dad's youngest brother passed away. :(

Anyway..trying to press on and get my mojo back.

Here it is all done.  I finally uploaded the pattern into my Craftsy shop. And someone is making it already! I can't wait to see! And she is making it for her daughter so I can't wait to see her fabric choices and how it turns out. :)

I used the large print for the cornerstones and had just enough fabric left to piece a scrappy backing. I used the leftover stripes for the binding.

RBD took this one to hang in their booth in the fall so Pat quilted it for me, and look what she did.. I feel like such a loser quilter when I see the stuff she does!  

And it always fits the theme of the quilt, too!  Little peace signs and hippie flowers, my favorite flower design!

And I don't know if you can see it, but she quilted "peace and love" into the license plate!!

 Here's a photo of my mom friends holding it up at one of their houses so I could take a pic of it. (every mom needs a mom posse-ha!) :) It was a hit with the little boys, but my son has already staked a claim on this one. He will never let me give it away!  But it is super easy to make and I will get these ladies hooked on sewing one of these days!

Happy Tuesday! :)