…and keep it company


Anyone who lived through the 1970s in America probably remembers the coca-cola commercial with the theme song “I’d like to buy the World a Coke, and keep it company…”, originally aired in 1971 (when I was 2, but I remember it well so it obviously stuck around for a while– here’s a refresher of the Christmas version:

I kept humming this song while I made this mug rug for Jill, in October’s Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Swap:

Jill doesn’t drink coffee or tea, Diet Coke is her liquid of choice.  And she happens to be a big fan of foundation paper piecing.  I started by sketching the Diet Coke logo, and then free-hand, hand embroidering it:

Then I drew up the bottle, transformed it into a paper pieced foundation and got to piecing.  I tweaked it as I went, it’s not perfect, but it looks pretty good.  Then I cut into a Munki Munki coca-cola nightshirt I’ve had stuffed in my closet for a few years, and started piecing patchwork around the fussy-cut double decker bus:

The back:

Giving this to Jill was such a joy.  She made me this fabulous pillow in our last Guild swap, so I wanted to really wow her with something made especially for her.

FREE PAPER PIECING & EMBROIDERY PATTERN for the Diet Coke bottle Coming Soon!!


Pillow Talk

Our Modern Quilt Guild Chapter just completed a pillow swap, based on the format and rules of the Pillow Talk Swap. We had two months to make our pillow, after being assigned a member, given a list of their likes and dislikes (fabrics, colors, etc.), and having a mosaic they created to use as inspiration.

I’ve been trying to sew more with scraps of late, so I started with my box of white/beige/cream scraps and made a bunch oh wonky four-patches…Pieced them together randomly, adding strips to fill in where needed…Until I ended up with a 17″ square, which I added an envelope back to, sewed it into a 14″ pillow size, with an outer flange, quilted, and then added a fabric ruffle flower to for interest:Emma, the member I made this for really likes fabric flowers, as a matter of fact, she presented a program to our guild in January about how to make origami style fabric flowers.

The flower is made from scraps of bindings leftover from other quilt projects, sewed into one long strip, ruffled, sewed to the pillow in a circle with a quilted, trapunto style flower center appliqued on:I made the entire pillow on my Featherweight, including the quilting (because my Janome is set up with a quilt that is partially free-motion quilted and I didn’t want to change the settings):Quilting on a Featherweight…it’s possible! Actually, it worked quite well for this small project.

The pillow Jill made for me was SPOT ON as far as my likes/dislikes, my colors, and my studio decor (where the pillow will live)…I practically jumped up and down when I found out this was mine!

If you’d like to see the rest of the pillows that were swapped Thursday night, visit our flickr swap group. And go tell Jill how fabulous her/my pillow is!

January 2012 Sew-In

Our group at Sew-In by artistdoris
Our group at Sew-In, a photo by artistdoris on Flickr. 
(Back l-r; Emily, Sherry, Jill M, Penny, Doris, Jill G, Linda H–front l-r; Crystal, Marny, Beth)

Friday evening and Saturday I spent with these lovely ladies at our first Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Sew-In/Retreat.  We found a converted 1918 Church building that now serves as the Waukee Arts Center to house our two days of sewing; great lighting and lots of space:

We had a few more registered to come that couldn’t make it, but ten of us got together to haul in a few tables, ironing boards and irons, and a design wall, and just spend an evening and a day sewing, collaborating, learning from each other, and most importantly, getting to know each other better!  What a talented and fun group…

Jill M made two baby quilts, start to finish and sent them off to her sister on Monday via FedEx!  TWO BABY QUILTS in ONE weekend!  

This pick Jill took on her swing set at home, borrowed from her blog

Jill G and Marny, of Modern Quilt Relish fame, made a new version of their “Bowtie Pasta with a Twist” pattern.  It was fun to watch them work together and chat with them while we sewed.  

Linda worked on these fabulous paper pieced Circle of Geese blocks, check out her post for her layout!

Linda gave us all (even those of us who have quilted for YEARS) a lesson on how to row piece by creating a web and then sewing your rows into columns (unbelievably easy, and yet, none of us had ever tried it!!!)

New-ish quilters Emily and Crystal were fast learners and each finished baby quilt tops using her method.

There was a lot of chain piecing, lots of rearranging on the design wall, a trip out for lunch, lots of sharing, laughing, and planning.  Overall, a relaxing and fun time!

Here is a shot of what I worked on (not quite finished here), and I’m going to write up a pattern for it, so stay tuned to this space for more on that…
Readers, you know how I love a retreat– now only 25 more days until my next sewing retreat!!!

Happy sewing,

I Must"ache" You a Question

What our dear Emily asked her husband when he came home from work yesterday, using the prop she whipped up for Show & Tell at last night’s Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Meeting….

Too cute!  It was a fun meeting, we revealed the items we made from our One-Fourth Ugly Fabric Swap.  The rules: bring at least 1/4 yard of “ugly” fabric in a paper bag, grab someone else’s bag (not knowing what you’re gonna get!) and in two months time, make something for yourself utilizing the ugly fabric.  This was the fabric in the bag I grabbed:

c. 1970s brown and orange floral, an odd shaped remnant left over from someone’s handmade garment.  Not something I would buy, but not that ugly either… it could have been much worse.  I made yet another wristlet!

used some Urban Chicks, American Jane and Amy Butler to jazz it up, even stuck some “carrot” fabric from my scrap bin in there, and some linen… and lined it with my “ugly” fabric as well:

I rather like it!  Might even keep this one for myself.  Leila’s skirt she made for her daughter:

Her fabric was those candy colored elliptical shapes (also not so very ugly…)  Linda’s quilt, I only got a photo of the back.  Her ugly fabric was much bigger than a 1/4 of a yard, so she made a good sized quilt from it… and it was really not ugly!

Sherry was the first to reveal her quilt, her ugly fabric was a sunset colored batik (certainly NOT ugly), and it inspired her to create this amazing art quilt she titled “The Repentant Sinner” with the crosses of Calvaryon it.  She decided to experiment with quilting stitches from Leah’s site,

Which made her back as impressive as the front!

We had a Holiday Swap, too, we each made something to gift to another member in a seasonal or holiday theme.  The UGLY fabric I took to the meeting in September was SO ugly (I took this challenge to heart!–sorry, Lola!), that Lola had to use it as unseen lining in her Holiday Swap Pillow!

It was an older Moda fabric with a cream background and the logos of their then designers printed all over it.  Seriously, I don’t even know how it ever got into my stash in the first place!!!

Our swap made it very clear that Beauty is definitely in the Eye of the Beholder.  So my question to you is. what fabric/colors/prints/styles are ugly to you?

More pics from our meeting, including some of our Holiday Swap items here.

I threw my hat in

Meaning “Throw your Hat in the Ring”

To make or take up a challenge, or demonstrate one’s willingness to join an enterprise…. (The ring in question here is a boxing ring. These, of course used to be circular spaces in a crowd of onlookers, rather than the square, roped ‘rings’ of today.  Anyone who fancied his chances in a bout would throw in his hat – rather than try shouting over the noise of the crowd.  The expression dates from at least the early 19th century.)
Like many Modern Quilt Guild members, I threw my hat in for the Jay McCarroll Habitat Challenge, and tonight is the reveal at the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild of our completed challenge quilts/pillows, etc.   The parameters our guild set were a finished quilted item with a perimeter of at least 60 linear inches and no more than 120 linear inches.  Every fabric from our fat eighth bundle had to appear somewhere on the quilt top/front.  I had six of the fabrics in the photo above to work with, the peach polka dot in the background, and the five pieces at the center of the line-up.  I was particularly inspired by the fabric with the large, dark, polka dots against the soft floral background, the second from the left in the photo.  The soft floral aspects in a few pieces of this collection contrast greatly with the dark, bold, and in-your-face colors and graphics in the other prints.  I wanted to capture the softer side of the collection.
Here is what I came up with:

It measures 24″ x 24″, I used Kona Charcoal, Navy, Teal Blue and a Burgundy solid in the pieced ring, and Kona Aqua as the main background fabric.  The back of the quilt is a pink Kona cotton, scraps I had leftover from the edges of a large quilt back.

The flowers are made from long strips of three different pieces of the Habitat fabrics, and the petals are also three-dimensional, made from the peach polka dot.

I made the pieced color strips first, and envisioned this as a long narrow table runner, with flowers splashed across if diagonally.  But then at the last minute, I cut the strips in half lengthwise, to create the square ring, and used little scraps to free-piece log cabin “flowers” for the cornerstones. 

Colors and fabrics I wouldn’t normally pick out (other than the aqua blue!), which is what truly made this a CHALLENGE.  But in the end, I really like this little quilt…. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else created!  
Are you participating in this challenge?  What did you make?

Slice and Dice, and Sew Fun

Made these three fun and fast blocks for Linda last night, for One Block Over.  Her inspiration FQ is at the top, we were to pick three scraps from our stash to use with the grey solid.  I think this took me about 45 minutes, including reading the directions.  She has a great tutorial over here.

Can’t wait to see her quilt!  In other news, I’ve done a LOT of sewing on a project I can only show you sneak peeks of… some drawing… some editing… some raw edge applique…


More to come in the next month–promise!

I don’t usually purchase pre-cuts, I’m more of a pick and choose which pieces of a collection I like kind of girl.  But with this new Hometown fabric, I could not resist:

Now to decide on a pattern or a design…

Our Steering Committee (Executive Board) for the Des Moines, Iowa, Modern Quilt Guild got together for dinner last night to go over our bylaws and finalize the draft that will be presented at our meeting next week.  If you are in the central Iowa area, join us Thursday, September 15th, at 6:30 p.m.–More details on our website:  www.dsmmqg.webs.com (or click on the link in my right sidebar!)  I best get busy and finish up my Habitat Challenge quilt!

and I’m helping Madame Samm with the new Ghastlies blog–exciting things to come with our Blog-Hop!!!  It plays right into my Halloween obsession and my October plans for this blog–