Sunday, July 31, 2011

New York Beauty Quilt Block Tote

Another project from Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique by Eileen Roche. This s a variation I made from the New York Beauty Quilt. I brought the block from the book's DVD into my Bernina V6 software and added a couple of border outlines. I hooped the yellow fabric and then added the other fabrics in the correct sequence. This was the practice stitch-out. I had planned to sew directly on the black tote (btw, got this tote at Walmart - really a low price and very well made). But, after the practice piece was done, I decided I liked it well enough just to sew this on the tote and move on to a new project. All the applique is raw edge applique, and that is something I need to get used to. A few ravely edges here and there...I guess that is what it is supposed to look like. My photos lately have been awful, but in real life, the tote is pretty cute. There are several more projects in the book I want to try. It is fun changing it around a bit to make it uniquely my own. Jerilynn

Friday, July 29, 2011

First Two Farmer's Wife Quilt Blocks

Lots of things have been happening lately, and I have been a bit busy...but isn't everyone always busy? Anyway, instead of doing the five things I should have been doing, I decided to make the first two blocks in The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book. I first printed off all the templates from a pdf that was talked about here. I am so used to making quilt blocks using a rotary cutter, that using templates is something a bit foreign to me, but fun. I used a heavy presentation paper to print out all the templates - some of them are used quite often. The very first block in the book is on the left - it is the Attic Window. Block number 2 is Autumn Tints. I decided not to decide too much on a color theme. I will just use fabrics and hope for a fun scrappy look. My template piecing wasn't as exact as my piecing blocks using a rotary cutter. I guess the author of the book, Lauri Aaron Hird, hand pieced all of her blocks. That is just crazy. Jerilynn

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Does This Look Like A Shower Curtain to You?

Super fun new book...Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique by Eileen Roche. It comes with a DVD that shows the machine embroidery techniques and includes all the files to stitch blocks out. The book has comments and tips by Nancy Zieman and great pictures and step-by-steps. I made this quick Lady Liberty block and added a layer of the heat resistant batting to turn the 11" x 11" block into a trivet. I learned some things along the way, but one thing I learned was that this was something I wanted to do more of! I used the hand-dyed fabrics that I got at the Ricky Timms Super Seminar back in May. I had been "saving" the wonderful fabrics for something special...this might not be in that category, but the colors were just perfect for a project such as this and I decided to enjoy the great colors by actually cutting into them and using them. Such a concept. I suppose most sewists have fabrics that are "too good" to use. I know that some people collect Hummels or bells or spoons. I am sure that a piece of fabric or two that don't get used isn't all that crazy. It did feel good, though, to bring out those hand-dyes and cut a few squares. I hope to tackle a few more of the projects in the book. Bathroom curtains and a shower curtain and a promised living room curtain for a friend, however, are calling my name. Jerilynn

Monday, July 25, 2011

'Nuff Said

Thanks for the comments on the wine bottle holder. I love it when I get them! This is a Bird House Thread Keep, or, Nichoir a' Couture! It is from the book, Cinnamon Inspirations by Marianne Byrne-Goarin and is in both French and English. The measurements for the woolfelt pieces were in cm, so now my quest is to find some rotary rules in metric. I converted, but it hurt my brain too much. It is easier just to plop the ruler down, find the right measurement, and cut away. The little saying was embroidered using the Bernina V6 software and a true-type font. It is made to hold a small pair of scissors. Under the roof that lifts up is a place to store needles and pins. There are other fun projects in this book that I just may have to try. Once I find a metric ruler. Jerilynn

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wine Bag II

Today's wine bag (Will there be a tomorrow wine bag?? Don't know) takes advantage of the great soft and stable properties of byAnnie's Soft and Stable. I put it between the outer fabric and the lining fabric and it has a great protective feel around the bottle of wine. I added the big grommets in the top for some modernness and for an easy and quick way to grab the bottle and tote it somewhere. Obviously a great hostess gift. This is one of those projects you need to see in person to appreciate. Bring your own wine glass and come on over. Jerilynn

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wine Bag

The snowflakes on the wine bottle bag were digitized with the Bernina V6 Cross Stitch software. They were stitched with red thread on a natural colored osnaburg fabric. I put three rows of pintucking on each side and on top of the motifs. The lining is some leftover red snowflake fabric from my Christmas quilt. Pretty cute. I am working on another wine bottle holder that has the Soft and Stable inside as a padding. It is turning out pretty good so far. Jerilynn

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So Whimsical!

I bought this quilt kit a few months ago and it seemed as if it may be destined to be a project that I would get to whenever I could. After all, it was a Christmas quilt and I was sweating like crazy!!! Not the time to think about it. Well, then I saw that Sew Complete got some of the fabrics in, and the pattern. It is Down Winterberry Lane by Terri Degenkolb of Whimisicals. I was once called whimsical by a very dear friend that is no longer with us. It was during a very hard time in my life and she wrote me the nicest note and called me whimsical! I was feeling anything but. However, that lifted my spirits so much, and, obviously, to this day, I still remember her kind words. Anyway, I like Terry Degenkolb's company name, Whimsicals, but that is not why I bought the pattern and kit. I really don't know what grabbed my attention about this. The colors are a bit more muted than I normally like, but I had so much fun piecing the various components of the quilt. And putting them together was somewhat puzzle-like, in a good way. Her instructions were very good and clear. As I said, I saw the fabrics at Sew Complete and felt it was an omen: finish the Christmas quilt project and enjoy getting one step ahead for holiday decorating. The top is done. Now I need an omen to make me finish the quilting. Jerilynn

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


That is shortcut for Farmer's Wife Quilt A-long that you can read about here. I read a lot of blogs, and the quilty/sewing blogs say much the same thing that I am saying to myself about this....I am very busy, have tons of things/projects that need to be done...this is the LAST thing I need to have on my plate. So, I have seen some of the blocks that people are doing and it was starting to look interesting. Then I thought about my older teaching days when I taught the "Block of the Month Club" and loved making all sorts of different blocks. It didn't get boring. Add that on top of the see-through wire drawers that show me exactly how much fabric I have that should find a project home. So, I went ahead and ordered the book from Amazon, and decided to do the "quilt a-long", but not sure if I am officially going to sign up or if I am just going to do some blocks now and then. The latter approach sounds much better and won't add another layer of to-dos to my list. Jerilynn P.S. Haven't decided if I am going to go with a color plan for the blocks or just keep choosing colors for the blocks as I go along according to my whim. I vote whim.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


We picked my sister, who lives in Arizona where it is REALLY hot, on Saturday. She arrived in fresh, cool, Northern Wisconsin....oops, wait a minute. It is REALLY hot here! And REALLY humid! I hope the cooler weather I ordered arrives pretty soon. I think I used Paypal for the order. Anyway, we had to go to Ikea before we picked her up and look what we bought! Isn't it cool? Not too hard to put together and it is holding a lot of stuff. I am not happy how my thread boxes fit, but until I come up with a better solution, this is how they are going to be. I also managed (well, Carl managed) to get a few more of the sewing room cabinets in the Honda to bring to the cabin. It is starting to look and function quite well. Did I tell you about my Craftsman red tool cabinet? I bought a top drawer unit at my dad's estate sale. I was so thrilled! I have loved those red cabinets forever and think they would make perfect sewing cabinets. Anyway, we bought a bottom drawer unit, on wheels, to go under the one I had. Put it all together, hauled them up to the third floor. Admired them. Next day went to fill drawers of new cabinet...locked. Ooops. Keys inside? Not good. Called Sears. Replacement keys only $2.00. Shipping is $10.00. Non-refundable, non-returnable. Okay. Next day went to put something away in new red Ikea drawers and...yep, the keys. Sooo, now I have lots of keys for the Craftsman drawers. Can't believe that men can figure this out and I can't. Jerilynn

Friday, July 15, 2011

Um, Haven't This Quilt Been Shown ALOT??!!!

Yes, indeed it has. BUT, the reason that I am showing this again is to show you my good idea! I got the label embroidered, and stitched to the back of the quilt, then started to think about what type of sleeve I wanted to sew on the back to hang it on the wall. I hate sewing on sleeves. Then, kaboom, I had the good idea to mount a curtain rod on the wall and CLIP the quilt to it. The curtain rod can be stretched out to hang bigger things, too. Easy, peasy. I have a couple of other quilts to hang up (neither have a rod pocket sleeve) so I think I better go get another curtain rod. Hope I don't overdo this look. You never can tell about me. I also got 14 corn bags sewn for Peter and his brother in law. I know, I needed to make 16 - 8 for each, but I ran out of corn. Also accomplished was a potholder made from some string pieced squares that are a bit off-kilter. On the cabin front, most of the windows on the original first floor were replaced today. They look good and nice and weather tight. While the curtains were down I thought I should throw them in the wash to freshen. They are looking a bit faded from the sun. I suppose I should add new kitchen curtains to my to-do list. In the meantime, I will put the old ones up and enjoy their clean scent. Jerilynn

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Too Hip to be Square

Quilt is all done! I still need to make a label for the back. I must confess I have been a bit lazy about labeling my projects lately. I forget how fun it is to look at a quilt and turn it over and see when it was made. I brought my embroidery machine up to the cabin studio yesterday so now I have no excuse about making a label. I also need to sew a sleeve on the back for hanging. I used various dot strips for the binding, and I again made it a single fold binding. Love those. So simple and crisp. For the quilting I used a primary colored variegated Isacord thread in the top and bobbin - the back is a reddish fabric with yellowish polka dots and the multi colored thread looks good. I decided to use my Bernina Stitch Regulator to do a wobbly free-motion "square swirl". I am enjoying the BSR quite a bit! My stitches still aren't completely perfect, but much, much more even with the Regulator. I find the quilting quite relaxing and enjoy just seeing the quilting unfold before my eyes. I will definitely explore this type of piecing and quilting again. There are a couple of small projects in Fresh Quilting (Malka Dubrawsky) that I may throw together tomorrow. I also brought up all my battings and stabilizers,so the batting for potholders is handy for use. Do you remember the previous picture of the empty drawers? Well, there are only three empty ones now. :) Jerilynn

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jerisew, Are Those Empty Fabric Drawers???

Why, yes, they appear to be empty! I guess I better go back home for a bit to get more fabric up here, especially the Woolfelt! I have been going through a Woolfelt withdrawal lately. These are storage units we picked up at Ikea the last time we were there. Seriously, that store is just my favorite. Years ago, I had a home business, Buttons and Rainbows. I made appliqued clothing to sell to stores. Most of the appliques were out of small dot fabrics and I stored them in wire drawers, which, at that time, were found in most all big box stores. Nowadays, those wire storage drawers can be found in expensive container stores, but only plastic drawers can be readily found elsewhere. When I saw these at Ikea, I knew that was what I needed for the studio. We were going to build a closet on the wall to close in the fabrics, but I may just leave it open for a while. I am enjoying the "loft look" of it for now. Plus, it is going to be easy to find what I need. I feel a serious de-stashing happening. Either through lots of scrap quilting projects or through fabric give-a-ways. The second shot, although not a good shot, is one from my current sewing machine loction out the window. It doesn't do it justice. The water and sun were straight out of a Hamm's Beer Commercial. I would love to get my hands on one of those old beer signs that move. Weren't they just fascinating to watch? Jerilynn

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hmmm, the Blocks are Not Straight!

Now, you have to remember that this quote came from a man who has spent the last two months, non-stop, nailing boards and installing counters and shelves, and laying floor - ALL of which has to be straight! He knew, of course, that I intended these blocks to be crooked. This is a project also from the book, Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky. I had never tried "improvisational" piecing before, and, let me tell you, fun, fun, fun, fun! No rotary cutting, just whack off strips of fabric with scissors and sew away. If something is a bit too big, cut a chunk off. To little? Add another piece! Very liberating and I love the movement. The book calls this a baby quilt, and how fun is it for a baby! I am not sure what this will turn out to be, but I sure will let you know. We put together four stacks of wire drawer units with ten drawers each. I have about a third of the drawers full. I am heading back to our home this week and will bring back to the cabin much more sewing stuff. The drawer units were going to be in a closet, but I am enjoying the color and easy access. I will try to take cabin update pictures for you very soon. So much has gotten done!!! Jerilynn

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Got to Sew Today!!!

Two fun projects!! Yesterday I had the chance to clean and organize the new studio here at the cabin so when I came up to sew today, everything was ready to go! Unfortunately, in my cleaning frenzy, I managed to throw out the instructions that I wrote up for the Ipad pouch I made two days ago. Duh! I figured it out again, and made a cream and navy pouch for my Ipad. The main fabric is a natural colored Osnaburg and needed a little something. I added three rows of decorative machine stitches and that seemed to help. I also extended the pocket higher in the back - it will be good to tuck some papers inside (Ipad pouch instructions, perhaps?). I got a comment from Annie, the creator of the Soft and Stable and she said that the white color is in stock and now shipping...looks like some internet shopping is in store tomorrow! I bought the book, Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky a few months ago. I love her approach to design and color - quite fun and playful. She is the designer of the round potholders I made a few months back. The project for the sewing machine cover has been on my "want to sew list" for a while now, and I decided today was the day. I used Kona Cottoms Bright Colors Roll-ups. They are strips cut into 2.5" widths. I combines those solids with a solid black sashing. The back print, which I failed to photograph, is a bold, wild sewing print. A little cream and black dot is the binding. I made the cover smaller than the one in the book, because I keep the machine in the sewing table most of the time. Instead of 84 blocks, I only had to make 56. Such a deal. I decided against a free-motion swirly quilting design in favor of a stitch in the ditch quilting. I felt that simple quilting preserved the blocky look of the patchwork. It only took a few hours...a great afternoon project! Jerilynn

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ipad Pouch

Our oldest granddaughter, Courtney, bought her mother the pink Ipad pouch for Mother's Day. Problem is, the color wasn't really quite what was desired. Courtney asked me if I could duplicate the pouch when they came up for the Fourth. Courtney picked out the green fabrics to match her mother's Ipad skin. I used Byannie's Soft and Stable for the padding. It is a great product the is perfect for this type of application. I have the original black color and I just noticed on her website that starting in July it will come in white! It is also great for bags of all kinds. I added hook and loop tape instead of the snap, and the pocket (in front and back) is lined and has an interfacing added for body. Next one I make I will make the pocket go up farther in the back to hold a cord or some notes. The flower trim on the flap is just for fun - no function. I also extending the padding a bit to cover both ends of the Ipad when the flap is closed - extra protection! I see all kinds of ways to personalize this pattern - applique, embroidery, buttons, patchwork. The new pouch is going back home tomorrow, but Courtney says I can still keep the original pink one. I will show you new versions as they happen. Jerilynn

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Quite a busy few days around here. 12 to 14 people sleeping in various rooms and beds - fishing, swimming, eating, eating, eating, watching fireworks, making a campfire, eating. Everything went smoothly and I think most everyone had enough room to spread out. Today was the military funeral for Grandpa Jim at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in St. Paul. We all got up and going pretty early and met a few other family members at the line-up site. The ceremony was very well done and impressive. We had a great lunch afterward in St. Paul, Tim and Aaron left for Appleton, Grandma McDonough left for Florida, and Cindy and Jonah left for Idaho. One bunch went on to Mall of America, and Carl and I tackled Ikea. The red dressers I have been eyeing for a while came home with us! So, my creation for today was my assembly of the first dresser. Carl helped a bit with the final touches. Love the color and the size...very roomy. I will show you what else we got on another post! Hope your 4th was good, too. Jerilynn

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grandkids...Love Em!

All that was created today was some pretty wonderful memories. Weather was perfect, food was delicious, and the beverages were tasty. A great day. Jerilynn

Friday, July 1, 2011

Studio Bath Done in Time for Holiday Party!

Good thing the studio bath is done. Judy, Nick, Briana, Barb, Tim, Courtney, Aaron, Cindy, Jonah, Eleanor, Carl and I are all here. We actually have a couple of beds left over! It was crazy hot outside today and there was a lot of jumping-in-the-lake activity. Now we have severe thunderstorms coming through which adds to the party excitement! I am showing you a couple of shots of the bathroom, and how I turned some old spools into a toilet paper holder and some wall hooks. At the window - a quilt I made quite a few years ago that has mostly garden and bug fabrics. The quilting is a loopy meander with some of the loops forming little ladybugs and bumblebees. Tomorrow is Courtney's graduation party and the weather should be much cooler. Jerilynn