Archive | May, 2011

Bernina Makeover Contest

19 May

Recently on Facebook, I entered a photo of my sewing room to win a makeover. There is a bit of a back story to my sewing room. Let me tell you about it.

When we first bought this house, we had the basement set up as our family room. It was great. The room was big enough to have our big sectional sofa, our entertainment center, and a big corner just for my sewing area. I was completely fine with that set-up. Then, a couple of years ago we had a bunch of snow. And then torrential rain immediately following the snow. We live on a hill, literally. My yard has a fairly large slope starting at the back and going way down in the front. Add all the melting snow and rain, on a hill, and no sump pump and you get a flood. Granted, it was a small flood. We only got 2 inches of water on the floor. It took quite awhile to clean up and we had to rip up all the carpeting. We thought that was the end of it.

It smelled really mildewy down there for a long time. We had paneling up on the walls and one day my husband decided to take the paneling down. To our surprise, the drywall behind the paneling was covered with mold more than halfway up the wall. Apparently, the water had seeped up into the drywall and we never noticed it because it was covered by the paneling.

My husband knows absolutely nothing about drywall (although he thinks he does). He tore all of the old stuff down and put up new drywall. This is the point where he had to stop. You see, after drywall, you have to tape and mud the seams. And then you have to texture it. He has no clue how to do this and make it look normal.

We have since moved all of our furniture upstairs and the basement is now my sewing space which I also share with some exercise equipment. Since you can’t hang shelves or anything on bare drywall, all of my things are in rubbermaid totes or cardboard boxes and shoved under tables.

Winning this contest would be so wonderful. I could have a nice, organized place to sew and a space for my kids to sit and hang out with me while I work. I miss having them down there to talk to, but for some reason they don’t like sitting on the floor…

Here are some photos of my sewing space as it looks now:

Here is the link to vote for my room if you would like to help me out

I love sewing and quilting so much, that my dream is to make a career out of it. Having a disorganized mess like this to work in makes it difficult. I am meeting with a fabric shop owner today to discuss making sample quilts for her shop. I’d like to have a nicer space to work in, where my kids can spend time with me as well since it seems that I may be spending a lot more time in here.

If I had the finances to fix it myself right now, believe me, I certainly would. Bernina is partnering with Home Depot and the winner of this contest will get $2500 from Home Depot to spend or remodeling and $2500 from Bernina to go toward a new sewing machine.

You can vote once a day unit closes on May 25th. The 10 rooms with the most votes will make it into a final round. Every vote helps! Thank you!



Royal Garden and Bloggers Quilt Festival

18 May

Woo! I’m skidding in here just in time for the bloggers quilt festival. I’ve been working on this quilt for quite some time and when I saw that this festival was going on, it motivated me to kick my butt into high gear and finish it.

Amy over at is hosting this festival for quilting bloggers and it looked like a lot of fun. There are over 500 blogs linked up for this event. What fun!!!

The quilt I’d like to show off is called Royal Garden. I literally just finished it today. It was quite a challenge for me as I usually make big block, patchwork type quilts. I’m not one for matching points and all that nonsense. I saw the quilt pictured in my connecting threads catalog a very long time ago and I just fell in love with it. I didn’t really care that it looked way beyond my skill level. After I got all of the fabrics home I started cutting. That’s when I realized I may have bitten off more than I could chew.

This is the daunting pile I ended up with. It actually scared me to think of having to sew all those pieces together and try to make them all line up. I’d never made a flying geese block before and this pattern required me to do about 6,256 of them (I’m exaggerating, of course, but it felt like that many!)

This was the block I ended up with.The points aren’t perfect, but they are much better than I thought I’d do! One down, 15 to go.

There were also 15 snowball blocks that were needed for this quilt. And a whole bunch more flying geese for the border.

This is the quilt top I ended up with. And after all that work, guess what I did? I folded it up and put it away. The thought of quilting it was more than I could bear. One of my worst fears whenever I make something is that my quilting will completely ruin it. I was so proud I’d gotten as far as I did and now I didn’t want to screw it up.

About a month ago – after this top had collected plenty of dust and cobwebs – I decided to pull it out and have a go at it. Here’s what she looks like now:

I’m very happy with the way it turned out and I’m glad I finally got up the courage to finish it. Getting this done has taught me to not be afraid to do anything. As long as I put my mind to it, I can make whatever I want. Even if it’s difficult I will no longer tell myself I have to pass up a pretty quilt because I could never have the talent required to make it.

Lizze is trying to encourage me to enter into this years fair. It isn’t perfect, by any means, and I’m certain there are no awards to be had for this one. But it might be fun to try it once and see what happens.

So that’s my contribution to this years Bloggers Quilt Festival. I hope you like it. Please be sure to visit the other blogs linked up too! There sure are some gorgeous quilts to be seen. Here’s the link again for you to hop on over to Amy’s blog to check out all the lovelies over there:

Thanks for stopping by!


Are you going to quilt market? Yeah, me neither.

12 May

For those of you who don’t know, I am an avid twitter user. I have “met” some really great people there. Many of these really great people (henceforth referred to as “tweeps”) are headed to Salt Lake City in Utah right now. They get to spend the weekend schmoozing and drooling over beautiful new lines of fabric that are not yet available to the rest of us. This event is called Quilt Market and it happens twice a year. One in the spring where the location changes from year to year, and one in the fall which is always in Houston, TX.

Sadly, I am not going. I love that I get to “see” it live though. It’s like I have a special V.I.P. backstage pass to quilt market. I’ve gone on the journey and felt the excitement for the tweeps packing their suitcases, heading to the airport, and boarding their planes. Or, in the case of one, driving an SUV with a 12 foot trailer and feeling invincible for it! I would feel that way too! What a wonderful and exciting time for those who get to go and experience it in real life. But for now, I am content to live vicariously through all of them through photos and 140 character updates. Someday soon, I hope to be able to board a plane with an empty suitcase (to fill with new fabric, of course), and super comfy shoes.

Royal Garden Quilt

I’ll be working on quilting this over the weekend. Maybe I’ll have a finished quilt to show off when market is over!

And before I forget… update on the Mother’s Day post: Lizze won 2nd place in the quilting gallery contest for her Mother’s day quilt! Congratulations, Lizze!


P.S. If anyone going to market is reading this, feel free to pick up some new Aneela Hoey’s “Little Apples” and TulaPink’s Prince Charming for me. I’m good for it, I promise!

A word about Mother’s Day

6 May

I sure do love The Quilting Gallery!  It’s a wonderful site for quilters that links to blogs from all around the world! (Including ours!)  They often host swaps and host a weekly themed Quilt Contest.  I have entered before (I have made a few quilts, occasionally the meet theme criteria) and have entered again this week!  I’d love to give you a little back story on my quilt this week:

Every June for the past 13 years, Western Washington is taken over by traveling quilters!  For four days, quilters caravan around to participating independent quilt shops for the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop!  If you plan to visit all the stores, you really need all four days!  They range from near the Canadian border to near the Oregon border, from the eastside all the way to the ocean and the peninsula!  It’s a good time and you get a block kit from each store, designed by that store, all in that years themed fabric.

Selina and me doing last years Shop Hop

It’s a good excuse for friends to get together and have a great time shopping for fabric!

Sometimes you can make projects!

Last year Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue had a set up to make little bags for free!  (And demo Berninas…so tempting!) I use my bag to keep my shop hop blocks and fabric in!  It’s such a great time!

When I was new to quilting, I had never heard of shop hop.  I happened to be shopping and saw the store’s block for the year.  It was rainbow triangles with an umbrella charm with this as the focus fabric:

Shop Hop fabric 2006

If you knew my mom, you would know that that just speaks of her! I decided then and there to participate.  I was seven months pregnant and had a two year old, I knew I had better do it now before the kids got to be too big and wouldn’t allow me to go in the future!  I shopped and I hopped (more like waddled), dragging the little one and a husband around.  It was an exciting road trip, and I was able to get quite a few blocks!  Over the next few months I worked on the blocks with no particular finishing project in mind.  I decided to finish the project for mother’s day (I already missed her birthday in October, but I had just had the baby in August!  DON’T JUDGE!) but I would need to add elements to make it bigger. I remembered seeing a pattern while on shop hop at Undercover Quilts in the Pike Place Market of a stained glass (quilt) Orca mom and baby.  I chose the Orca mom and baby because I had babies on the brain, but also because my mom lives on Puget Sound.  It just felt right.  I free cut Mt Rainier and fused it to the sky background, and fused some free cut trees to hide my seam!  I ended up with this:

Northwest Family Quilt for mom

Yes, it’s busy, but that’s the nature  of shop hop quilts!  And she loves it enough to hang above her bed, so what more could I have asked for?  When I held it up to give to her, she gasped and said “My God.”  Which is kind of a big reaction from my mom.  I knew she liked it and that means a lot to me.  I bordered and backed it in tulips for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (another favorite of hers)  and free motion quilted appropriately for each block, as well as waves in the water.

Should you wish to vote for my quilt this weekend, You can find the contest HERE!  Thanks again, and happy Mother’s Day, mom!


We Have a Winner!!

4 May

Thank you to everyone that participated in our Giveaway this past week!  It sure was a lot of fun!   With the help of an old fashioned pencil and paper (to list everyone from, Facebook, Twitter and here on the blog who entered) and, a winner was chosen!  More on that in a moment.  (This is my Ryan Seacrest moment…suspense, y’all, suspense!!)

I wanted to follow up on an earlier blog that Selina had done about a Quilt Along.  I was very excited when she posted this because I have charm packs that need to be used.  One I received was from Stitchin’ Heaven.  They had a fabulous Twitter party on New Years Eve, and I won!  (The winning never ends around here!!)  It was a beautiful charm pack from Kate Spain called Fandango.  As pretty as it was, it did not have any immediate plans for it.  Selina’s blog came up, and sure enough, a project was born!! It came together fairly quickly (even if I did have to make a *tiny* trip to the fabric store that ended up costing more than I intended…what can I say, I’m a sucker! AND, my daughter’s birthday is coming up! PLUS I needed binding fabric! Why am I justifying buying fabric to you?  You totally get it, I’m sure.) and I completed it within a week and a half!

  I did a stipple design in the center, and curies with random flowers in the borders.  It is also backed in a Moda polka dot that I happened to have on hand.  (this is where my stash hoarding comes in handy!!)

Here is Selina’s beautiful quilt:

Baby Bliss

Her quilting is beautiful, don’t you think?! Anyway, we had a lot of fun making these sweet little quilts, it was really great being able to complete something so quickly again!

Anyway, here it is. The moment of truth.  The moment you’ve all been waiting for…our winner is…#17: Heather, who commented here on the blog!  Congratulations, and thanks to ALL who entered! You really made this week fun!  Until next time!