Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Bag from H-E Double Hockey Sticks

or in other words, my favorite class of the weekend.
This bag was HARD to make.
We did a lot of prep work at home before arriving at Sew South. I think I spent about 6-8 hours piecing the outside of the bag, making the quilt sandwich, straight line quilting, making binding and prepping the pockets.
I started with 2 charm packs of Comma. I just love Brigitte's new line for Moda. I laid them out in a random pattern and made a simple patchwork quilt.

I used the yellow asterisks for the lining and quilted it with a medium grey thread.

We were all sent the pattern design by StudioCherie which can be found here on Craftsy. The key to making this Travel Duffle was having Lindsey LRStitched as our fabulous teacher. She made the bag at home and ironed out all the bugs in it. 
Lindsey also designed an inner elastic pocket that is brilliant and redesigned the handles so we could take advantage of Pellon's generous offer to sponsor the interfacing we used in the handles. Without Lindsey, I am not sure I could have followed this pattern.

I arrived at Sew South with my large quilted piece, 2 quilted end pieces, an inner elastic pocket, 2 zippers and some double fold binding.

This class started after lunch, we sewed until our dinner break and then most were in the sewing room until well after midnight. We broke a gazzillion needles, many swear words were muttered and some people were in tears (me). But when each of us finished, all the others in the room broke out in a cheer. What a feeling of accomplishment to finally finish this bag!

our pile of finished Travel Duffle bags

Lindsey and Jennifer 
So here is my bag, the end with the zipper pocket.

The side with the small pocket, perfect for a boarding pass or a cell phone.

The inside, elastic pocket.

This photo gives you an idea of the size of the bag. You could pack everything you need for a weekend away and still have room to bring home some extra fabric souvenirs.

I really did not even want to make a duffle bag when I received the class schedule and now I cannot wait until I can make another one. I want to down size the pattern and make one as a purse, and maybe another one for my granddaughter. I love it. I really can't stop looking at it and keep admiring it as it sits in my sewing studio. I haven't put it away yet. It reminds me of my fabulous time at Sew South.

Did I tell you this was my favorite class?
Day one of Sew South ended, but there is still more to share about my experience at the retreat.
to be continued...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sew South, the first class

For our first class at Sew South, Jennifer taught foundation paper piecing. Now some of you think this is easy but for someone who is slightly dyslexic and already thinks backwards, to purposely have to think backwards is hard for me. 
I can never remember which way to flip the fabric and as you can see my color wheel ended up going in a counter clockwise direction. But, I have to say Jennifer really knows her stuff and shared with us her little trick of trimming each section before you sew the next piece of fabric to it. This is where that 1/4" ruler really comes in handy.

My confidence grew and I am willing and able to try something a bit more difficult now in the paper piecing department.
Thanks to Jennifer for a fun class.
Next chapter will be the duffle bag from hell which ended up being my favorite project!


I am suffering from Post Sew South Withdrawl. I had the most amazing time and met so many inspirational and talented women. I have decided to blog about it in baby steps to make my memories last longer.
...and so it all began on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. My alarm woke me at an ungodly hour and I was soon on a plane to Charlotte, via Atlanta. As soon as I arrived, I texted Dana Old Red Barn and she said that she and Susannah Kate were the first ones to arrive. I did a quick freshen up and we were on our way to dinner...just the three of us. We had decided to try the highly recommended Cowfish Restaurant, but in the elevator we met Ginny, and then in the lobby we met Holli and soon Karen came walking in holding a new sewing machine, followed by Amy. So our group was now a party of 7 and we had a blast. Instant friends and great food and drink with non-stop talking. I highly recommend Cowfish if you are ever in the Charlotte area. It is a fusion restaurant of sushi and burger choices. Great prices and delicious food. Although these photos were taken under horrible lighting, they do show what a great group we had.

After a good nights rest it was time to get ready for our bus trip to shop at We're Sew Creative, a great brick and mortar shop with lots of modern fabrics and a wonderful, helpful staff. After shopping for an hour we all headed to Ikea to do some more retail therapy and eat lunch. The entire weekend was filled with lots of giveaways. I won a huge bag of scraps on the bus trip. I also bought some backing fabrics at IKEA and some PB&J for a quilt designed by Cluck Cluck Sew.

Thursday night was cocktail party night where we were able to meet and introduce ourselves to each other. Then it was time for another dinner group. This time our group included Valerie, me, Amy, our fearless leader, Jennifer, Susannah Kate, Lindsey and Bianca.

So much fun and the sewing hadn't even started yet.
To be continued...

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm Featured at Quilt Story Today

My Pezzy Churn Dash Picnic Quilt is featured at Quilt Story today.
It couldn't be better timing because I am coming off of the high of Sew South and want to tell you all about it. Give me a day or two to get organized and I promise to share.
Meanwhile, hop over to Quilt Story and check out their blog.
And since every post needs a photo, this is one of the quilts that was created by all the house blocks Jennifer collected made by the talented women attending Sew South.Once quilted, they will hang at the Charlotte Ronald McDonald House for all the guests to admire. I am so honored to be included...that's my block bottom row, center.

Sew South is so fun

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Weekend Re-Cap

In the last few days over the weekend we saw a basketball game...

Attended an ice skating birthday party...

the birthday boy gets advise from his hockey goalie playing Uncle Kyle

and T gets a skating lesson from Uncle Evan who still plays hockey

I made a clutch for a bride...

with gold lining...

My pattern for the clutch can be purchased on Craftsy.
I finished the solid blocks for the Virtual Quilting Bee that Amy is hosting...

and we prepared the soil and planted our tomato plants.
Here's a list of the tomato plants that we are going to grow this year.
1. Giant Belgium Heirloom Pink
2. Missouri Pink Love Apple Heirloom
3. Soldaki Pink Heirloom...because everyone needs a Polish tomato in their garden
4. Martino's Roma Heirloom
5. Big Beef Beefsteak Hybrid
6. Carmelo French Hybrid Red
7. Yellow Perfection Heirloom
8. Emerald Apple Heirloom Yellow/Green
9. Green Zebra Heirloom Yellow/Green
10. Black Krim Heirloom Dark Red/Black
11. Kellogs Breakfast Heirloom Orange {the nursery man said if you grow only one tomato, try this one. This will be a first for us}
12. Black Seaman Heirloom Dark Red/Black
13. Sweet Olive Hybrid Red grape tomato

I'll be keeping the stats for the garden, just like I did last year. We still have lots more to get ready and plant but our local nursery had their tomato extravaganza last weekend so I bought the starter plants when the selection was the best.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just in Time

This quilt was a long time in the making. I fell in love with Leila's quilt when I first saw it on her blog in June of 2011. I knew I wanted to make a x and plus quilt but didn't have enough scraps at the time.
When it was my month in January 2012 to choose a block and send out fabric to my New Bee on the Block bee mates I asked them to make the x and plus block. 
x and plus quilt
I also joined a few swaps for these blocks and received a total of 30 more blocks in two separate swaps.
On the fence
Then all the blocks sat in a box until the x and plus along started up on Instagram last month. It was just the incentive I needed to make another 30 blocks and get this quilt finished.

I added a thin red border and then a wider black border (thanks Katy for your suggestions) to get the quilt up to the size I wanted and give all these blocks a nice frame.

Next I backed it with what I think is the perfect fabric, seeing that these blocks came from all different postmarks in the world. It's called Postmarks and it is part of the Air Mail 1930's collection by Karen Roti for Clothworks. You can find it at and on Etsy from several different shops.
I just love the striped binding

This quilt will be going to the Sew South Retreat with me this week. I am going to wrap it around my sewing machine and put it in my carry-on luggage. Hopefully it will keep the old Bernina safe as we travel and keep me warm and cozy in the hotel.
I quilted it with a serpentine stitch going through each plus row and then with a straight line of quilting on either side of each seam where the blocks were joined, both vertically and horizontally. I attempted to quilt it with Aurifil 40 wt. thread, but after several thread breaks and not even 1/4 of the quilt done, I switched to 50 wt. thread and had no more problems.


The final touch was the Lecien black and white stripe for the binding.


This is my fifth quilt finish of the year. Too bad it's not on my Finish-Along list. I need to get working on that list when I return from retreat.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Scrappy X and Plus Quilt
Fabric: Scraps from me, swaps and bee mates
Backing: Postmarks by Karen Roti for Clothworks
Binding: Lecien Black and White stripe
Quilted by: Me, with straight lines and Serpentine stitch using a walking foot
Thread: Pieced  with Aurifil 50 wt. (and whatever the others used)
Batting: Warm and White
Quilted with Auriful 40 wt. thread color 2000 and 50 wt. thread color 2310
Size: 68.5"x 83.5"

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

With all the talk of Google Reader being discontinued I just wanted to make sure you can all still follow my blog.
I have been using Bloglovin for over a year now to follow your blogs, so I thought I'd put a quick link here for you to try it too.
You can also follow by clicking on the blue plus icon on the right sidebar.

I am getting ready for Sew South and have so much to do before I leave.
But, I wanted to enter Julie's contest at The Intrepid Thread. You need to post a photo and a color palette using Play-Crafts palette maker. So this photo is always good for a laugh and it has some nice colors, so I am using it again. If my palette is chosen I win the fabric that they match with it. 


Friday, March 15, 2013


It's that time of year when every few weeks we are celebrating another birthday in our family.
Today it is Corbin's seventh birthday.

It's hard to believe that this guy is already growing so fast and changing every time we see him.
He is kind and smart and gives the best hugs.
And he happened to hit a home run at his baseball game this week.
That sure was exciting!

Yep, we are pretty happy to have him as our grandson.
Happy Birthday, Corbin.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's All Amy's Fault...

Virtual Quilting Bee

My friend, Amy, has started a Virtual Quilting Bee and I am not one to say "no" when there is a little mystery involved.
I took out my stack of Tula Pink's Prince Charming fabrics and made the first block. It will be fun to see what the designers and bloggers come up with. There will be 16 blocks, but I will probably make a few of each to get a nice sized quilt out of it. Or maybe I'll just make a baby quilt.
Here's my first block.
I'm using this acid green as my background fabric. I wish I would have written down the name of it when I ordered it so long ago.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rainy Day Fun

It's been raining off and on all day.
It even hailed quite a bit.
Rain and hail are pretty exciting news around here.

Yesterday I used my Go Cutter to cut the equilateral triangles and add the next border to the  Marcelle Medallion quilt. The Go Cutter made quick work of those triangles and I didn't have to use the template pattern. Lucky me!

Today, after adding another row to this quilt, I took this dark photo (remember it's been raining all day).

Then I took a nap.
It was a perfect day.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Re-Joining the Human Race

The flu was here and it is still lingering, but I have managed to do a little sewing to help keep my sanity.
I decided to make my friend, Jennifer's, quick and easy design for the Siblings Together quilt.
Made with 2 charm packs of Summerville.
I changed the background fabric from using one color to using 4 different colors to make a really colorful quilt for a child.

This quilt top came together really fast. I think I had it layed out and sewn together in a little over 2 hours.

Now I just need to piece a backing and I can quilt this baby. But, it will have to wait until after the Sew South Retreat. I have way too much to get ready to go to North Carolina...and I just might try to make a Weekender bag, but I'm not promising myself that it will be finished in time. I have bought the fabric for it and would love some company if anyone wants to sew along with me.

I'm linking with Angie on her Book Challenge Post. The book I used is Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Ten years ago, today, this handsome boy was born to our eldest son and daughter-in-law.

Happy Birthday, Jack. 
You make your parents proud and you are a joy 
to your Bubbi and Papa.

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Fresh Sewing Day

Last month had two big finishes, the year long Half Square Triangle quilt and the Pezzy Churn Dash quilt.

Also completed in February
The center medallion for a new quilt-along, Marcelle Medallion
Churn Dash Blocks for Susan in the Modern Stitching bee.
Sample swap clutch bags for Sew South Retreat.
A clutch to use to demonstrate how to attach the purse to the frame at Sew South.
A secret block for Annabella in the Stitch Tease Bee.
A triple zip cross body bag.
Anna Noodlehead's divided fabric basket.
4 blocks for examples of flying geese for my month in the Modern Stitching Bee.
Probably, the project I am most excited about finishing is my cutting station for my sewing room.

Linking to Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day.

Lily's Quilts

Mr. R and I have the flu, so please forgive me if I don't respond to your comments. I put this post together before I was ill.