Saturday, July 2, 2011

Last day of vacation. Stopped at the race track on our way to the airport. Won $8.10 on this race

And that will likely be it!!!!

Back to sewing tomorrow or Monday hopefully - should have my do. Good stitches blocks to start laying out when I get back.

Sew Sane Jane
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 30, 2011

An even better hiades

So I still haven't been crafting much. This time for an even warmer reason ....

This is our view from our back door- not too shabby huh!?! Can't exactly tell in the pic, but that is the Gulf of Mexico just beyond the sea wall.

Back to reality, fabric, and sewing machines in a couple days.

Sew Sane Jane

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pieced "trunks"

I saw a post that linked to a post about fancy pieced backs of quilts (I immediately thought of junk in the trunk when I heard "back" because I am nerdy and apparently immature - hence the post name.

I realized that I haven't really shown off many of the backs of my quilts - maybe a small shot here and there, but not full shots.

Here they are. Some I like, one I HATE!!! But was tired enough of dealing with it that I didn't take it apart and redo it.

Back of the "learn my shapes" playmat

Yucky picture of the back of the zigzag quilt

Below is the one I just regret. Didn't turn out how I thought it would when I thought of it. It looks too inconsistent and chopped up. The quilting pattern though makes it look decent if you don't focus on the entire back at once.

Back of the Hunky Dory quilt that I am trying to finish up the binding on this week.

Apparently I don't always take picture of the backs of my quilts - oops. I love the idea of a pieced back. It is the same sort of smile that I get when you see an adorable baby outfit only to turn it around to see it has something cute on the tush!

-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sew time

SOOOO, I am not at home. Every year (for the past 5), I head out of town to grade AP exams. - you know, those exams the the smarty-pants kids who are in high school but trying to take a high school class for college credit have to take to get the credits to count at college take - yea, the Psychology ones of those. About 400 of us get hired by the testing company to sit in a room and grade 8 hours a day for 7 days straight. We are half-way through!! Well with the days at least. We had 199,000 test to grade this year and have about 48% done last I heard.

So since I was going to be gone, my machine went in for it's yearly physical exam - and I am stuck in a hotel room without a machine. Not wanting to waste time, I sewed a binding to the front of a quilt right before I left and brought it with me to work on hand sewing it to the back.

My night stand adornments for the week...

It has been going fairly well, after staring at some of the most atrocious handwriting during the day, it is nice to work on something that gives my eyes a break. (yes, that is how awful the handwriting is, staring at tiny stitches makes my eyes feel BETTER!!)

Making progress, but only about half done. My goal was to be finished by today - I guess I will give myself an extension.

Sew Sane Jane

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's done, it's done!

So I started this "sparkling gemstones" quilt from a book I borrowed from the library last Summer! Eee, I would work on it a little, get bored, unmotivated, or frustrated and put it away - repeat. In November I thought I would force the motivation by making this a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. That motivation lasted about 3 weeks - we decided NOT to do presents (which was great as we always felt bad as our family was in a better position to do so and they always felt guilty for not buying as much - problem solved - celebrate family and religion instead of material goods!)

So I pushed back finishing it as I figured I had till March for her Birthday (no longer motivated right around Christmas, but I did work on it a bit more then and again in January). I had it all pieced together by March, and had Two lines doneStarted quilting it. Ooops, this was right as we were getting more work done on our basement and I just could not get motivated to try to get that darn thing through my little machine (hence my NEED, not Want for a LAQ) :)

Needless to say, March came and went without a finished quilt. I did show it to her and tell her, "Happy Birthday, I'm not done yet!"

Last week I sent another quilt I had pieced back in November to a lady who has a long arm Quilter, which got me more motivated to just get my Mother-in-law's done!
Side note: this is the quilt i had quilted - Isn't the design cute - she called the pattern "cotton candy." More on this quilt once I get the binding on.

I shoved that thing through my little machine with only a little groaning from the machine. I had pieced the binding back in December, so I quick sewed that to the front and have spent the last 3 days hand sewing the rest on. FINALLY, VOILA, it's done!!!

I ended up straight line quilting it around each of the "picture frames.". I wasn't really liking that until I got done and saw all of those little frames inter-connected on the back - I actually think that was a better choice than a random all-over pattern for this quilt. (but would have been easier to make this same shape using a machine with a larger throat capacity!)

And my favorite - I laugh every time I hide it when workers come to work on the basement - I don't want them to take it thinking it is their construction tool....

I use a huge T - square that I got from Lowe's to help me square up my quilts.

-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Trial and .... Success!!

Thought I would share with you a couple of little projects I have been spending my time on (rather than getting done the big projects that have a due date of course!)

So I was reading my blogroll the other day and saw this fantastic tutorial by Lee over at Freshly Pieced. I have seen the concept before in pictures, but it always looked difficult. Lee gave a great tutorial that made this a simple process!

I whipped this together in 1 morning. Now that might not seem impressive to you, but that is pretty good for me. Saw it, found fabric, cut, laid out, and pieced it together all in 1 morning - yea me!

Now if I would have just found a back, quilted, and bound I would be set!

Not exactly sure where I will use this, these are some of my favorite fabrics, but they do not really go with anything in my house. In hindsight, I guess I should have adjusted the size to make a couple mug rugs - not that I would use them anymore than a placemat. Maybe I will just HAVE to make a few more to make a "set." :)

I also bought a little fabric flower kit from a local craft store last weekend. I was a bit skeptical (those little patterns have a history of turning out Very second-grader-ish on me), but I think it turned out great!

The little patterns shows how to fold and where to cut to make a petal-ish piece, then how to string together to make it look like a flower pin that I would actually wear! I am addicted! I cannot quit making them! I even posted some on my Etsy shop in case you'd rather buy than make your own ;)

I'm sure I'll end up putting them on EVERYTHING! purse (check), hair (check), shirt (check), hmmmmm wonder what I will think of next!

-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

Friday, May 27, 2011


So I am getting ready to paint my living/dining/kitchen area in another week or so. No, I don't need help with the paint color (well, I do, but that could go horribly wrong using photos!). I think I have decided on a color (marked in one of the photos).

What I need HELP with, it deciding if my "blanket rack" looks silly. I have had a mental picture for about two months now of what it would look like if I hung my blankets on the wall. It did not turn out exactly like my mental picture, and I am not sure that I like it. I don't know if it is the concept, the hooks, or the blankets.

I think I like the idea of having my blankets hung up as right now I have them folded on part of the sectional we rarely use or throw them in a closet when people come. However, not sure if the execution is right just yet (I have the blankets hung that we mostly use in the living room - the outside ones are made for me by my grandmothers and the middle is a cheap, store bought one that I got years ago before I began quilting - so maybe it is the blanket choices?)

What do you think? Does it look nice enough to keep? Keep in mind that the blotching paint will be fixed soon - I figured I should try this out BEFORE the room is painted as I will have to fill in all the holes anyway - and this way if I don't like it I won't have to re-pain to touch up.

I have them hung on a partial wall. To the Right of it is the cabinet that is tucked in a small corner and to the left is about 4" of knee wall (over looks the basement stairs) and just further to the left of that is a huge opening to the dinning/kitchen areas.

Thanks for the help!

-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Turn

Yea, Ahhh, Oooo, Eeee....Apparently I have mixed emotions about being the "quilter" in charge of this month's quilt in the do. Good stitches bee. One of my jobs as the quilter is to tell the other sewers what pattern and color scheme to make their blocks out of this month. They will complete the blocks, then send them to me - at which time I will piece the various blocks together, add batting and a back, quilt, and Voila - send it off to our local Project Linus chapter.

Inspiration quilt: a cross between This beauty that became a pillow front from AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts and these amazing triangles from Julie at Jaybird Quilts
Inspiration fabrics: (am I crazy for doing this...) ANYTHING modern. Try to stay away from whites though - as that will be the sashing.

I was thinking of the same methodology for piecing as in the Crazy Mom Quilts post, but using a different size triangle. (bigger - rather than the itsy, bitsy 3.5" ones as I drove myself half crazy completing 6 - yes 6 is all I made - earlier this month). *see notation below for alternate piecing method depending on your preferences.

After much consideration on triangle shape (apparently there are 6 different triangles) and size, I think it might be easiest to make a right triangle (2 sides as 12" each, and according to the Pythagorean theorem, that makes the hypotenuse 17") ... okay, I don't remember much about math. Here is what I used to come up with my plan...
my 12.5" square ruler. To get your paper pattern, I took a random sheet of 12" scrapbook paper, lined up the middle cross angle line with the edge of the paper, traced the edge to make a diagonal line down the center (my ruler was not long enough, so I went as far as I could in 1 direction, then turned the paper to finish the line), cut and Voila - (2) templates for a 12x12x17" right triangle.

Once you have your template, use the tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts to piece the triangle together. I do NOT have a preference for how wide the scrappy pieces are - just that there be at least 3 fabrics per triangle. Example below of sewing onto the paper for the first piecing.

*The other option would be to make a 12" square of scrappy pieced fabrics, THEN cut using the template making procedure as described above - either seems like it should work for me.

I'd love to see pics if you give this a shot.

Good luck! Can't wait to see what everyone else from our do. Good Stitches group chooses for fabrics.

- Sew Sane Jane

Monday, May 23, 2011

May bee blocks

So I have been participating in the do. Good Stitches online bee for two months now. It is an online bee where a "circle" of us - a group of sewers who signed up about the same time - make (2) blocks each and send them to that month's quilter. This month, the quilter asked us to make a "square in square" inspired block using "adolescent boy" color theme.

After much tribulation (further explanation below), these are the blocks that I sent off.

I struggled with color choices - I find that I often gravitate towards girly colors and prints. I had a few different prints picked out, but decided that the blue "buttons" were not too girly. I had a different green accent picked out, but decided that it made the combo too girly, so i changed to this green that makes me think "camo" without actually being camo.

I have seen postage stamp style patterns pop up on various blogs that I read. I decided to give it a shot. I cut fabric into 1.5" strips, then cut those into 1.5" squares. I made the 9 patch block that is the center of the above block first. Thought it turned out pretty good, so I thought I would make a much bigger section of it for the second block.

Eeeek does making these seem tedious. I ended up getting about 10 items wide and made 4 rows. Then I decided that I would just take chunks of that overall rectangle I made and make a block around it. I didn't want to keep it as a rectangle as the quilter said "square in square" inspiration. So, I cut it into a 4x4 block. I thought I would have 2 in the block to change it up from the first block I made.

As I laid it out, I wanted more of the blue fabric, so I started to add it to each side. I thought it was looking a bit too similar to the first block, so I thought I would only add the blue to two sides of the squares and try something else to connect the two patches. I laid it out on my 12.5" square ruler (since that is our goal size) and my conception seemed to work. So I added the white stripe and then a 6" patch of green. AFTER I cut and sewed the 4 patches together, it was too Little! it was only about 12" long instead of 12.5. So, I took the green off and made it longer as I thought that would fix it. IT DIDN'T! Now the block was 12.5" by 12.25. What went wrong - I still have not figured out. But this is the failed block. GRRRR

So, I put that away, where I couldn't see it as I am annoyed with myself! I decided on a completely different idea. Green with 1" squares more sporadically placed rather than the block of the postage squares.

I cut green (good thing I chronically get WAY more fabric that I need for a project) fabric into 1.5" strips and randomly cut those into various lengths. I randomly sewed some leftover 1.5" squares of the blue and white stripe fabric to the green, sewed the strips together, and Voila. A totally different block that Actually measures 12.5"

I liked these blocks and am thinking about doing a big quilt using the above block idea on a larger scale. (likely different colors)

I thought the two blocks went together pretty well - all said and done.

Not sure if the random placement squares is my favorite or the cute little random placement of the postage squares in the border of the first block. (apparently I like the "random" look today) :)

Are you in any online bee's?? What is your favorite experience - how about your most horrific??

-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

iPad cover

So I have been hanging out at my mom's house as has my sewing machine. I took my machine over as I thought I would help her get going on a quilt for my soon-to-be niece (yet unnamed last I heard). Baby no-name should be here in the next 3 weeks! (my machine is - in my opinion- in nicer shape, quieter, and has a 1/4" piecing foot and I thought that would get her to actually start/finish more quickly.)

I encouraged my mom to pick the fantastic Houndstooth quilt pattern from V and Co.. It is so cute! She also saw a cute "bohemian" poppy appliqué / 3-d thing on another site and thought of that for the back. Pics to follow.

In the mean time, I squeezed in a bit of sewing while my mom was napping between bits of sewing. One of my husband's co-workers asked for an IPad cover - she has an iPad2 and one of those fancy smart covers, but she wanted a little case so she could throw it in her bag with more confidence. She wanted it back and white with a surprise of color on the inside. I threw something together out of scraps to see if the idea I had in my mind matched hers. I thought it turned out pretty cute!

She like the shape and idea, but didn't want the metal clasp. Additionally, I knew she had wanted black and white and not white and black fabric, but this was what I had on hand. She liked it but was also thinking heavier weight fabric.

I got this fabric.... From JoAnn's (I know some of you might not like their fabric, but for sturdy home dec fabric they have a big selection).

And this fabric.... For the surprise color of the lining. I got it at a cute local quilt shop - and I of course forgot to write down what the fabric was (or even what company- and because I got a smaller cut, no printing on the selvege that I got).

Used Velcro as closure (note to self, just use one long strip of Velcro next time instead of the cute dot stuff - it was too hard to line up just right.)

So I ended up having enough fabric to make two. The extras are ip on my Etsy site - one is the black/white/yellow one and the other is the white/black/red with the metal clasp closure.

Yea for getting some sewing done, it's been great!

Edit: both covers have been added to my Etsy site
-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Been on a bit of a sewing hiatus

It's been a bit since I have gotten to sit in front of my machine! I have had a family member at the hospital with a Heath scare and thus wasn't getting to sew (hanging out at the hospital instead). That family member is headed back home now - so while I likely won't be at MY house much, I am supposed to bring over my machine to help get her motivated to make a baby quilt for my sister.

Hopefully, this means that I will work on a few things of my own during this time and back to feeling creative. Need to finish all sorts of things such as

Which is all ready to be sandwiched and quilted, or

Which I started quilting and really need to finish

And I have a couple bee blocks to work on for this month, a new quilt pattern idea that I want to try out, a new pattern that I haven't used yet......
And on and on my list goes. Can't wait to get back into it a bit.

-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Too much swap freedom = headache

I signed up to participate in a mug rug swap. It was a no-holds-bar sort of a thing. I liked that idea, although having that much freedom for creativity seemed to turn mine off :)
I asked my swap partner what colors she did NOT like or wanted me to stay away from, and that was basically my only restriction. Jenna, if you are reading this, stop, close your eyes, and exit this post if you want to be surprised.

So, I tried a few different ideas for this mug rug. I wanted to try out some new piecing designs that I have seen on other great blogs....not all of them went well!

My first attempt was a pieced-in circle. I had read Angela's (of Cut to Pieces) Tutorial
On which she made it look easy peasy!! I think I should have started with a bigger diameter circle for my first attempt! It ended up rather puckered even with the snipped notches

Okay, truthfully, my first attempt at this was even sillier than that. Angela even said Right in her Tutorial, make sure to cut the circle .5" bigger than the exterior square - so of course, I forgot to adjust my circle size. Instead of wasting it, I thought I would try to zig-zag topstitched the two together. Also puckered a bit - GRRRRRRRRR. SCRAP THAT IDEA FOR NOW AND MOVE ON! I finally did.

I moved on to a cute scrappy triangle, paper pieced concept. Tutorial by AmandaJean over at Crazy Mom Quilts had a tutorial

Wow, does making each of these take some time for as little as they are! I cannot imagine making the like hundred of these that she must have made for her cute pillow! I'll likely make these again sometime as it would be a good scrap buster.

I actually liked this mini top, except when I got done I decided the execution had a bit to be desired. Plus, I remember afterward that the ONLY color she did not particularly want was yellow, of which there is quite a bit of for "pop" Ooops.

So, I decided to try yet another idea that i have been seeing around blogland instead. I didn't have a pattern or anything since I needed such a small scale, so I decided to wing-it. I think this it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. I had several stupid Quilter moments, but I survived as did my seam ripper (which was my friend as the binding fought with me every step of the way - no seriously, cut wrong, tried to "splice," cut wrong Again, tried to re-patch further back, puckered, took off the entire binding, THREW IT IN THE TRASH, re-cut a binding, and attached it without issue. Really, i'm not sureif I was more annoyed at the one that would not cooperate for an hour or that the next went on in 5 minutes!)

SIGH OF RELIEF, first swap project complete and in the mail. While I was frustrated at times, I will so do another swap! Hope my partner likes it as I LOVED the one she sent me.

Isn't it fantastic?!? SO cute! Go see Jenna's other work at Sew Happy Geek

-Sew Sane Jane
(Posted using BlogPress from my iPad)

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