10 May 2014

Soul Blossoms: Caille's own

After Caille finished Armando's quilt, she had just enough time left in her spring break to sew up a quilt top for her very own quilt. I (slowly) finished it off by doing the back, the quilting and the binding. 

This is my first attempt at "the baptist fan" quilt-stitching (the pattern the quilting stitches make). 

This is made from Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms fabric collection, Moda solid white and Warm & Natural cotton batting.

16 March 2014

Jelly roll race II with a split

My husband, Mike, and I have been living in Houston since May. He has Acute Myeloid Leukemia and is being treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Caille came to spend her spring break with us last week and we got busy with a sewing project.

Armando and his family are friends of Mike's from his high school days back in Miami. In some strange synchronicity, he happened to be getting a stem cell transplant here about two weeks behind Mike's. He is still inpatient and going through a very difficult phase of the process right now. Caille and I decided we'd make a quilt for him.

We started with this Jelly Roll Race II quilt explained so well in this video tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company:

We were inspired by an episode of Fons & Porter, called "Stitch and Slice Quilt."

We used World Tour jelly roll (https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/13265/free-spirit-fabrics/parson-gray/world-tour-jelly-roll), plus less than a two-yard cut of Barcelona Tin from that same collection (https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/13192/free-spirit-fabrics/parson-gray/world-tour-barcelona-tin-yardage) for border and a backing treatment.

Ending up with this:

Then, horizontal to the strip seams, we ironed on paper-backed fusible. We marked a zig-zag pattern on the paper, then sliced it apart. It was a bit scary, slicing right through a perfectly good quilt! This is what it looked like on the wrong side:

And this is what it looked like on the right side:

Next, we removed the paper from the fusible and ironed a piece of white cotton fabric down the middle of the split. It was a little fussy getting the stips to line up across the white piece, but worth it to get it right. Wouldn't want a wonky quilt, would we?

Then we used a blanket stitch along those edges to make sure it would hold securely and to add a bit of a decorative touch.

We made the border out of the Barcelona Tin yardage. 

Rather than have a plain white backing, we cut one 2.5-inch strip horizontally from the edge of the quilt top (basically yielding a strip of 2-inch blocks) sewed it between two 4.5-inch strips of Barcelona Tin, and then offset it between white. 

We quilted with the walking foot, folowing the zig-zag pattern in the zig-zag, then jus stitching in the ditch every other strip for the rest of the quilt.

For the binding, we used alternating white and Barcelona tin. I hand sew my bindings.

Finished quilt top:

Finished quilt back:

A gift for Armando:

16 February 2014


     Any old wine bottles laying around (because every crafter should slowly gain a pig stye of potential projects)? Soda bottles, Snapple bottles, etcetera, etcetera...

Paint them.
Glitter them.
Crack them and fill the cracks with liquid gold because in some old cultures things were considered beautiful after being broken because that was added to fix things up.
Who cares, do whatever you want.

     I had been on Pinterest a long while ago and I've wanted to do this since, but I don't drink wine. So, after asking around I gathered a good amount, and with no particular design in mind, I started painting. Of course, you could do some kind of design of your own, but I wanted to do it so bad I just started painting as soon as they were acquired. :)

     Now, they are on my bookshelf serving as additions to my progressively unique dwelling.

26 July 2013


Ever since my dog, Dory, chewed the cord on my iron, I've had to put all of my projects on hold, and I am really missing my machine. So, to keep myself busy, and to not go insane, I've been cutting up old shirts, jeans, fabric scraps, etc. and sewing them together.

12 June 2013

Leukemia sucks. I'll see you on the other side.

I haven't been posting because my husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (with complex cytogenetics) on May 3. He was at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple for his first round of chemo. It was unsuccessful. He has been moved to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and is currently in his second round of chemo, which is part of a clinical trial.

I won't be posting much about sewing for a while. I have taken family medical leave from work and am doing my best to work part-time remotely from his hospital room in Houston. No time for sewing. No heart for creativity. 

I am adding my lovely and crafty 13-year old granddaughter, Caille, as an author on this blog. You've already seen her work in many of my past posts. She will keep y'all company while I am tending to my sick hubby.

Prayers and/or positive thoughts appreciated. See you all on the other side.


13 April 2013

Pieces coming together

A quick progress snapshot of the paper foundation pieced quilt I'm making for Mike.

Anyone out there share my challenge? Working 60-65 hours per week leaves little time for sewing, which makes really big, long projects seem even bigger and longer.

Ah, well. At least it's fun, no matter how long it takes to finish!

09 April 2013

Official teenager: halter tops from old t-shirts

It's official! Caille turned 13 today!

While I've been busy making Mike's quilt here in Waco, she's been in San Antonio, transforming old tees into halter tops for the summer.

30 March 2013

One way to learn paper foundation piecing?

What's one way to learn paper foundation piecing? Watch a video on the Fons & Porter website and then try it.

95 blocks later, you'll be a master.

It's always a satisfying feeling to get to some major milestone in a project that spans several weeks. Today, I finished the final blocks for Mike's new quilt.

29 March 2013

Linking In, Tweeting Up, Creating Interactivity

After updating the research data and some of the examples, I gave my social media presentation three times in two days this week.

On Wednesday, I spoke to two sections of Advanced PR classes at Baylor. In general, young adults know all about how to use social media... for personal reasons. Most don't quite grasp how to use it for business purposes. I appreciate my professor friends who invite me to their classrooms and I enjoy doing it.

On Thursday, I spoke to the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Almost all of these folks were strangers to me, but they were a warm bunch and eager to listen. Several followed up with me later in the day to ask for more advice about their organization needs.

Most rewarding: one person sent me a message detailing a Facebook crisis that happened as soon as she returned to the office -- that she handled it just as I had advised such a situation should be handled -- and that the result was she turned a negative "troll" into a positive "trumpeter" and received accolades for it from higher-ups. Nicely done! Made my day.

17 March 2013

She's gone wild in the sewing studio

Apparently, Caille's art teacher loves giraffes. Caille found this fabric in the clearance section at the Joann's store, added a punch of lime green from my stash, an adorable appliqué embellishment and personalized it with her teacher's name in embroidery.

The perfect apron for her art teacher!

It is amazing what Caille has accomplished in the last week!

Mustaches and color blocking during spring break

Color blocking can add dramatic impact to a garment. Caille loved Alaexander Henry's Where's My Stash fabric, so I ordered some for us to make something over spring break. She cut some of the pieces from black to break up the mustaches.

Pillowcase dresses

Caille has been busy this week working on her first commissioned sewing project... Pillowcase dresses for my friend, Brodie.