Solids For My Stash

I allowed myself some freedom to shop recently when I took a trip to a local quilt shop with a good friend. I went in search of solids or low volume fabrics, especially if I could find a good deal on them.

I did come home with a grey charm pack and two layer cakes by Jen Kingwell, and all at a discounted price. I picked these sets because they felt like great filler sets. Some simple, small polka dots and some neutral colored fabrics.

Recently I shared some tips in a Youtube for beginning quilters. One of the tips was to document the fabric or patterns you are working with so that if you ever lose sight of a project, you have pictures or posts to go back and look at for reference. I noticed on the back of the Moda sets, they list ID numbers for the colors and even some suggestions for cutting the fabric to get the most out of it.

I figured it was good to listen to my own advice and take a picture of it so that I have it documented somewhere in case something gets thrown away or lost over time.

This behind the scenes layer cake is simple and neutral. I look forward to using it with some of my other, more colorful fabrics.

The Just A Speck set is simple and colorful. Lots of variety to play with and match up.

I went out looking with my Cotton and Steel box set in mind. It’s been sitting there for two years and I’d like to play with it but needed something to balance the colors already included in the box.

So far I think these sets will work well with the fabrics in the box as you can see below.

I’m looking forward to trying something new as soon as I wrap up the few quilts I have already started.

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Stitch It Up!

It’s been almost thirty years, and I can still hear it now….

The unique sound of dial-up on my new computer and those infamous words…YOU’VE GOT MAIL!

Our first foray into the realm of the Internet was through AOL.  The whole family would gather around, excitedly waiting for our Dell computer to connect….and voila! we were in uncharted, wonderful, scary waters.  Through that simple connection, I found a wealth of information relating to my then obsession, counted cross stitch.

I made a new friend, who guided me to chat rooms and message boards relating to all sorts of needlework.  She introduced me to a whole new level of stitched art, called “band samplers”.  Worked usually on linen over two threads, the band sampler consists of rows or “bands” of intricate stitches that often included beads, cotton, silk or perle cotton thread, and various other textures like braided metallic threads.


Photo Courtesy of Joanne Perry of Serendipitous Stitching

Fabulous, yes?

I was also encouraged to buy a reference book called “The Proper Stitch” by Darlene O’Steen.  Ms. O’Steen gives the long and rich history of samplermaking which she documents back to the 1500’s, as well as detailed instructions on each stitch. She concludes with two stunning sampler charts, The Proper Stitch Sampler and Our English Heritage Sampler. I have yet to choose which one I’m going to stitch….I need to practice the various stitches first!


Thanks to my friend Lori a.k.a. mrskvlca on Instagram, I now have a HUGE stash of linen, Lugana and Aida fabric, silk and cotton threads, and beads to choose from. Having a standing frame to work on also lends to the creative and authentic setting.


And finally, for your viewing pleasure, a video from YouTube that gives you an idea of what a band sampler is. This one is unique….the bands are normally stitched in horizontal rows. The rows on this video, are diagonal! Thus, this sampler is called a Twisted Band Sampler.    

Do you have any experience with this type of stitching?  I’d love to know!



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TGIFF: Easy Peasy Jelly Roll Quilt!

Happy Friday!  I’m finally making a dent in my rather extensive WIP pile of quilts.  I finished my Jelly Roll quilt, and just love the Fall look of the colors.

I used a Moda jelly roll called Sunflower Song by Kansas Troubles Quilters.  I love these fabrics so much, I ordered a second jelly roll to use in a different quilt top!


IMG_5826.jpgThe tutorial I used came from (surprise!) Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Though Jenny Doan says you can complete this quilt top in 45 minutes to an hour, I confess it took me more like three hours.  With practice, I’m sure I can better that time!

Because this was a quick make, I made the choice to quilt it by stitching in the ditch with Isacord (which I LOVE), and instead of hand sewing the binding, I did it all by machine.  I also chose not to include any borders. This is the part of quilting I find so fascinating…the learning curve is HUGE, and finding my personal preferences is constant.  After finishing this quilt, I am convinced that hand binding is my thing.  I really enjoy the process and the look.  Live and learn!


I used my binding tool to join the final seam of the binding.  It wasn’t as clean as I would like, so I’m thinking I have a bit more practice ahead of me in order to make my binding smooth and wrinkle free.

Have a wonderful weekend, and remember….be crafty, be creative!



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WIP Wednesday: Jelly Roll Quilt

I needed a quick and satisfying project to get me back in the swing of creating yesterday.   I quickly went through my jelly roll drawer, and searched for the fabric that made my heart race the most.

I kept coming back to this Moda jelly roll called Sunflower Song.  Yup!  That was it! Civil War type prints in rich browns, greens, cream prints, blues and deep reds, was the ticket! 

I rewatched Missouri Star Quilt Co.’s YouTube tutorial Jelly roll race and then sat down at my machine and started stitching.  It took me more than the hour the video claimed it would take (I’m persnickety), but the basic top is done!  Yay!  I’m considering adding one border before I sandwich it and quilt it.

 I also saw the opportunity to take this finished top and cut it up into a completely different design if I wanted to take it further.  I could use my 60 degree equilateral triangle ruler (demonstrated here) or one of Crafty Gemini’s projects using her 10″ slicer ruler found in her YouTube tutorial here.  So many ideas!

For now, I’m itching to finish this simple quilt!  I’m deciding if I want to do a fun over-all free motion design, or a quick and easy stitch-in-the-ditch with my walking foot.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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The Splendid Sampler: Block 1 Hearts Aflutter

I had a crazy thought for 2016: I would seek out ways to improve my quilting/sewing skills. I mean, I have already job, a home to run, a 10 year old to get to and from football/soccer/theater/music lessons on any given day, not to mention my own visits to the gym and other social engagements we have as a family. So, my dance card is pretty full.

Like I said…crazy, I say. CRAZY!

I’ve never claimed to be super smart but it should come as no shock that I went ahead and joined a HUGE sew-along that promises 2 block patterns a week, 100 blocks total, and for a whole year.

Did I mention I am a bit crazy?!

Well you heard me right. I’ve joined up with many, many quilters from beginners to seasoned veterans to follow along with Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson’s Splendid Sampler sew along.


Every Sunday and Thursday a new block is posted as you are allowed to do as you please. Use something from your stash to build the block or buy fabric as you see fit. Do the whole project in one night or spread it out over days. Collect them all and finish at your leisure. It’s up to you!


The first block was posted Sunday, Valentine’s day, and it was appropriately a heart shaped appliqué on a simple four square background block with different corner fabrics. I was thrilled to see a fairly simple block was I was worried that I would not be able to keep up if the blocks were way outside my comfort zone.

IMG_8990 2

I originally went with a cream and maroon/wine colored mix and some stripes. I was really draw to this set of fabrics but I actually planned ensuing my Dragonfly Summer set by Holly Taylor. You can check out my Periscope broadcast where I show off my fabric choices that ended up getting ditched…

Not long after I set my mind on my fabrics, I found a fat quarter set in our stash I HAD to use.


Hello, Little Black Dress 2!!! How beautiful are you!?! I love this French, shabby chic look and decided to ditch my original block and start over.


But first, lemme show off my beautiful center points. Look how precise those are!!! Amazing, am I right!?


I kept the original plan for the block (cream and maroon/wine) and left my appliqué heart as it was but decided to do my corners over again, this time using  a complementary fabric from Little Black Dress 2.


A few things I did differently with the idea that I’m here to learn so to learn I must do things I normally wouldn’t.

  1. I used pins. YES, I pinned!
  2. I pressed my seams open.
  3. I also used a fabric pencil to mark my corners so I could get the most accurate angle possible.
  4. I also trimmed my block once it was done so that it was squared up the moment it was completed.
  5. I also (hold on for it) PRACTICED! Yes, I did a few practice runs with the appliquéing before hitting the official block.


When it came time to appliqué, I went round and round on how I was going to machine stitch this down. I tried a few decorative stitches and none hit me with a WOW feeling. I also played with colors and while I wanted to use black to frame the heart (my favorite color to appliqué with) I ended up finding a shiny red thread that worked well with my color scheme. I stuck with a stitch I knew and went for it.


And voila!! My first block is done! Now to wait impatiently for the second block pattern to arrive to my email box!!

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Mini Hexi Barn Quilt

I’m never one to turn away from a challenge, especially a crafty one. So when Terri Ann from Mini Barn Quilts and Childlike Fascination reached out to me asking if I’d like to try a mini barn quilt project, I was thrilled to give it a go! I picked a simple one to attempt so that I could focus on the techniques used to create my own little wooden quilt and then share my experiences.

Along with the kit for a hexi flower, which included the bamboo backplate etched with the quilt design, the wooden pieces, and a the hardware to hang our little project once it’s finished, I had on hand some wood glue, a sponge applicator, and some mod podge.

I’ve been using the fabric left over from the fourth of July runner I made for some family members because I just adore this blue flower pattern. So I went again with a very patriotic theme for this barn quilt.

Now mod podge and I have a mixed history of both good and bad. I’ve had some minor successes but I’ve also had some huge fails. I knew I would need to use it for this project so I had to get over any issues I had with mod podge in the past.

Armed with everything I would need, I began the process of applying mod podge to the wooden quilt pieces. Well, I tried to apply it neatly and without much mess but…

Mod podge must have remembered me and decided to throw up all over my hand and the floor and any surface within reach. It somehow knew I had spoken badly about it and decided to get me back. Crafty karma…

Once I cleaned up the mess, I got down to finishing what I started. I applied a thick coat of mod podge to the right side of the fabric so that I would seep through and onto the wooden pieces. I had a layer already applied between the wood and the wrong side of the fabric so they would stick together. Applying a couple of coats to the top would ensure that they would not budge.

While that settled, I got the idea from my Periscope chat to paint the wooden backplate. But instead of paint, I mixed a little glitter with the mod podge and applied that all over.

I felt that this would add a little pizzazz to my mini quilt and make it really shimmer.


After everything dried and the fabric no longer felt tacky to the touch, I pulled out an X-Acto knife and trimmed the excess fabric from each quilt piece.

Look how great they came out!!!!

I did notice a little lifting around the edges so I took a healthy amount of mod podge and wiped down each edge to seal the fabric onto the wood.

Once I felt that everything was well secured and dry, I began to work with the wood glue to apply the pieces directly to the baseplate. There is a piece of paper attached to the back of each piece so I made sure to remove them before I started applying the wood glue. I think I may have missed ONE piece but as far as I can tell, nothing is falling off or struggling to stay attached.

I wiped a clean layer of glue onto the baseplate and also a small amount to the back of the wood pieces. I let it sit for a moment so that they would become tacky. Then, using the etched outline on the baseplate, I lined up my piece and pressed down.

I had on hand some toothpicks to help clean up the space between each piece when the glue pressed up between them. I wanted a real clean look so I made sure no glue dried visibly.

And there you have it!!! My very own mini hexi barn quilt!!

I think the glittery back is adorable and jazzes it up just a bit. This project was quick and satisfying! It came together easily and I love the end result.

There are multiple options on the Mini Barn Quilt site so you can choose your very own quilt pattern to make.

Thanks to Terri Ann for contacting me. She’s easy to reach and answers any questions regarding her adorable little wooden quilts. If you want to take your quilting in a whole different direction, I highly recommend visiting her shop and ordering your own mini barn quilt!

Joyeux Noel! 

Thanksgiving is finally over. The turkey had been eaten, thanks have been given, and our tryptophan comas are wearing off.

You know what that means?

It’s time for Christmas!

Yes, Christmas. Winter. The next big celebration with family and friends and lots of food. Along with all the bright lights and tightly wrapped presents, my mom and I have been drooling over some lovely fabrics.

Especially this joyful and beautiful set of fat quarters by Moda called Joyeux Noel!

The stack is nicely organized with patterns and solids in each set and each set ranging from deep cheery reds to light creams and greys.

I broke into this bad boy and took a look at all the lovely fabrics we can play with!

I loved the addition of the grey to this set of traditional holiday colors. It brings in a feeling of winter to an otherwise normal Christmas set.

And the combination of the grey and cream with the little tones of red really give us a lot of options.

And then the stash flips entirely from reds with a hint of grey to grey with a hint of red and it’s still just as lovely.

It’s hard to tell but there is a hint of red running through one of these fabrics, it’s just not visible here in this set. But even these muted greys are lovely.

Now for the hard part…picking a project to make with them!

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Sew Along Week 3: Borders, Backing, and Quilting Galore!

A day late but never fear, we are here!!!

This week both of us had company in from out of town plus a lot of events going on so it was a weekend without sewing…EEKK!!!

That also meant no podcast this week and our Sew Along is a day late. BUT, we have an update and our next steps to begin wrapping up our table runners for Halloween.

Before going ahead, check out Week 1 and Week 2 first to see our process from the very beginning.

Don’t forget to check out our past podcast episodes if you haven’t already. We talk about all our hobbies and then some!

For week 2 we focused on our appliquéing. Our tops were done and we had an idea for our appliqué images but we both had very different ideas on placement and design. Which is what makes this whole project awesome. We each have similar  goals but will end up with different results.


We initially went with the original size from the link but realized as we went along that it’s actually a bit too small. So we amped up the size and made it bigger! Due to this being my first attempt at appliquéing I decided to leave out some of the smaller details and simply added a second leaf to my pumpkin. I also attached it to the center of my runner.

My mom chose to make TWO pumpkins, one on each end. Her thought is that she tends to place her decor right in the center of her runner so having the images on the ends would keep them visible and the table runner usable. Makes sense!

As you can see from our fabric choices below , we have some similar thoughts about fabric and color but we are VERY different. While we both chose to go with three colors and range from orange to yellow, I went with a deeper orange and made a wide jump to a lemony yellow at the center. My mom stayed closer in tone with her colors and her change from the darkest shade to lightest has less of a jump and more of a flow.

Mine (left) and my mom’s (right)

Test run

To make sure I didn’t screw up my whole runner, I was smart and took my time making a smaller pumpkin to do a test run with.  I was really happy with the outcome! I used a black thread and a blanket stitch to give my design a Frankenstein like appearance and I think it worked out well!

My finished project!

While I think overall I did a pretty good job, my tight corners and smaller spaces need some work! I couldn’t remember where the needle would land with the stitch so I would pivot incorrectly and it got a bit jumbled up on my leaves.

For my mom, she went a completely different direction. Using the same stitch, she actually changed out her thread and used a different color for each piece. She went with yellows and oranges that matched her fabric. So not only did she do TWO pumpkin, but she also had to change out her thread for each new fabric!

She even has a nice green for all of the smaller details and the leaves. Fabulous!

Now it’s time to start wrapping things up. Time for our week 3 steps!

Week 3 Instructions

  • Using your choice of multiple fabrics, cut 1 1/2 inch strips from one and 2 1/2 inch strips from another. Then, attach the smaller strips to the patchwork top followed by the larger strips around the outside.
  • Press and trim where needed.
  • Layer using the top with the borders attached, batting, then a backing of a new fabric or a previously used fabric. For a fold over binding that matches your backing fabric, make sure to leave 2-3 inches or more of the backing fabric extended beyond the end of your runner.
  • With basting pins or spray, adhere the three layers together, smoothing out as you go.
  • Quilt with your choice of pattern. Have a blast designing as you wish!

Week 4 we’ll trim the layers and get to binding. How we will bind our runners hasn’t been discussed but for now we’ll focus on layering everything together and getting that quilting finished.

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TGIFF: The Spring Bouquet Appliqué

I’m pretty proud of my mom. Ever since I brought her on here at Hobbies Up To Here, she’s taken off running without looking back. She’s stepped out of her comfort zone and tried so many new crafty things. Not only is she trying new things but she’s also doing them very well. Her progress has been impressive and she’s learning new lessons daily.


This week she finished her first appliqué square. She picked up her Spring Bouquet kit from Laundry Basket Quilts and knocked it out of the park with style. My dad helped, our course. He helped her built her light table and then even went so far as to help attach the appliqué pieces.

They worked together as a team to set up the square and then my mom sewed the whole thing together using her new machine.

Using an invisible monofilament thread up top and a matching cotton thread on the bottom, she sewed down each piece creating an exquisite spring picture with birds and flowers.


Enough of my chatting, check out the picture below to see what I’m fussing about! Really, words don’t do it justice and neither do the pictures. They barely capture the beauty and precision in which she sewed this square together. I can’t wait to see the rest of her quilt come together!

A pretty birdy!

The whole square.


So much color and texture in those fabrics.


Look at those perfect stitches!


Super proud of you mom!!!IMG_0123

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WIP: Sewing Together Wonky Blocks

My son has always been interested in my sewing hobby. He’ll stand next to me and watch the machine whirl away, laying down neat little stitches. When he was younger he liked to push the pedal down and “help”. As he got older, the mechanics of the machine interested him more and he would ask questions and open up my old machine, Shelby, just to see how she ticked.

Then he took an interest in fabric and colors and patterns. He’s very creative and loves to put things together, Legos being his favorite medium. Using the colorful blocks to build ships and rockets and towns helped him see how fabrics could be used in a similar fashion to build using color and texture. So he’d help me arrange blocks and pick out fabrics to finish off my projects.

One day I bought a cheap fat quarter set of some bright chevron patterns and gave it to him to do with it however he wanted. It was his project and I would only sit by to help.

Jake calls these

Jake calls these “zebra stripes!

I gave him some tips on how to cut with a rotary cutter (a little tough for my southpaw) and then let him sit at the machine himself to sew.

Let's sew!

Let’s sew!

He enjoyed the time together and really got a kick out of creating something himself.


Ahhh, look at how little he was! This was back in May of 2014. He’s now grown so much, cut his hair, and he doesn’t look like a little boy any more. He’s more grown and looking more… adult. Sigh…


So grown! He started 4th grade this past week and it’s amazing how time has flown. He’s still super creative and loves to build. This past weekend, while we had some downtime, we brought out his project again and this time he got to sew on the big Elna!


This time he was fascinated not only with the mechanics of the new machine but also the technology on Elna. His favorite: the button that allows him to cut the thread with one push! He even had a few suggestions for improvements!


Taking off from his starting point over a year ago, he sewed together strips and then paired them together to make groupings of four. With some help from me, we cut the strips on an angle and made Wonky Blocks. After, we put our heads together to create a block using what we had cut.


TADA! A diamond Wonky Block made from four smaller blocks. He was very proud of all his work, including his ironing. The end result is a bit crazy and colorful but he loves it!

We don’t quite know what the end game is yet for his first project but there are a lot of options: placemat, table runner, mug rug even.

Check out our vlog as we put our heads together and work on his Wonky Blocks.

Check out our side bar for some great link ups around the internet! This is linked up with Sew Cute TuesdayWIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social!


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