Month: March 2011

My Monochromatic Quilt for the Mondern Quilt Guild Challenge

Project Modern 2: Monochromatic ChallengeSince I’m fairly new to quilting, only about 2 1/2 years in, I knew I wanted to design something different from my normal style for Project Modern’s 2nd Challenge, a monochromatic challenge –I wanted to step out of my comfort zone as a means to widen my skills base.  I’ve always wanted to try diamonds, and so I made that my theme. I was intrigued by the idea of light areas growing into dark, and dark growing into light.  Also, I knew I didn’t want my quilt to have a set pattern, rather I wanted it to be random.

Project Modern 2: Monochromatic ChallengeThis quilt was quite a challenge, for numerous reasons, and I feel like I learned a lot while making it.  For starters, when piecing this quilt, there were no seams to butt up against, like all the other quilts I’ve worked with; instead, all the pieces were matched up blindly.  Along with that, 45 degree angles are just more difficult to piece than 90 degree angles.  These two factors made it difficult when I was trying to line things up perfectly.  I’ve also learned that diamonds are very flexible, they like to stretch out of place sometimes when sewn.  Lastly, when I cut the thin borders for the outside of the diamonds, some of the strips were almost 3 yards long.  I cut these strips length of fabric so I wouldn’t have unnecessary seams.  In the future, I would cut these cross grain I think, so that the strips and the diamonds have the same give.  Now that I have some experience, working this crazy design of mine, I want to make this quilt in every color, I’m just so happy with the results.

Project Modern 2: Monochromatic Challenge

The quilt ended up being 62″ x 86″ in size.  That will most likely shrink down about 5% after the first washing.  I used the following Kona Solids, from the purple family, for my monochromatic theme: orchid, mulberry, petunia, violet, magenta, pansy, crocus, and hibiscus.  I bound the quilt by hand, and quilted it on my normal home machine.  For the quilting, I used an invisible thread for the top, and basically stitched in the ditch making long diagonal double lines, along the entire length of the quilt.

Project Modern 2: Monochromatic ChallengeFor the most part, I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  And now that it’s done, I’ll have to thank my little helper for all her support 😉

Picnics and Barbecues

machine applique picnic quilt

I am craving summer in a serious way: long warm days, fresh tomatoes from the garden, picnics at the park, and barbecues in the backyard.  This weekend I’m hosting a dinner party and I’m making a home-style, summer, picnic-like meal.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

picnic meal

Whole Chicken on the Grill

picnic meal

Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

picnic meal

German Potato Salad

picnic meal

Creamy Cole Slaw

My guests are bringing desserts, and side salads –and while we won’t yet have fresh cut tomatoes from the garden, I still think this menu will spark my summer taste buds.

What is your favorite summer dish?


Machine Applique Picnic Quilt, Vintage Basket, Cherry Cloth Napkins and Ceramic Dishes for sale at The Artists’ House

Making a House a Home: Getting Organized

getting organized around the home

When it comes to the art of making a house a home, getting organized is key.  Whether it be office supplies, money, coupons, ideas, events, or stuff, you need to take things and put them in their places.  Here are a few items that could help you with getting organized around your home:

  1. Patchwork House Little Storage Organizers
  2. Everything In Its Right Place Print
  3. Chalkboard Surface Piggy Bank Organizer
  4. Get Organized Rectangle Vinyl Chalkboard Labels
  5. Coupon Organizer Wallet
  6. Honey Do List Organizer
  7. Up-cycled Vintage Organizer
  8. Perpetual Organizer Calendar


Special Deal:  chalkoholics is offering my readers an exclusive deal.  Get 10% off everything in her shop with the coupon code “ARTISTSHOUSE”

Forest Friends Fabric Line for Project Selvage

Forest Friends Here are a few pictures of the fabric designs I have been working on for Project Selvage.


Contest participants are expected to design a baby boy print.

Final_forest_FriendWhat do you think?

Caring for Baby Chicks and an Urban Garden

caring for baby chicksMy family roots tie me to farmers, yet I find myself drawn to wanting to live in the city– I sometimes feel like I’m living a double life.  My backyard, while very small, is a garden haven in the summer.  Most of the yard is filled with raised beds where we grow various vegetables.  In the spring, we cover the raised beds with green house covers so that we can have a cold crop before we plant the summer crop around Mother’s Day.  We also compost.  And now, as thought our little city garden wasn’t enough, we have added chickens to the mix.

caring for baby chicks

caring for baby chicks

I can not tell you the joy these little chicks have brought to my home.  About 10 times a day, my little daughter says, “Mommy, lets go see the chickens”, and to be honest, I think I would visit them just as often, even without my daughters prompts.

cold crop plants and green houseAlong with that, my husband, daughter, and I have spent a ton of time in the garden.  Along with sewing, gardening is therapy to my soul.  So soothing and rewarding.  My moment for this week came when I realized that my daughter honestly loves gardening as much as I do.  Often, on nice days, we don’t even get out of our pajamas, instead we head straight outside to play in the dirt.  I wonder, is there a garden gene, do family roots run that deep?  Just like I use to sit with my grandmother and “help” in the garden, Monet now does the same with me.

Because people, smiles and laughter, more than anything else, is truly what makes a house a home, I hope you enjoyed this weeks “moment”…


om [one moment] meet upOM is *one moment* and is a meetup designed to notice & relish a moment in everyday life. The meetup idea was created by Linda at her blog, a la mode stuff.  If you’d like to participate in OM, just click the button and you’ll be taken to Linda’s post explaining it all.

Contrasting Handmade Quilts

custom made handmade machine applique quilts

custom made handmade machine applique quilts

I’m currently working on two contrasting handmade quilts, and I need to have them finished by the end of March.  One of the quilts is a custom order, and the other is for a competition.  One of the handmade quilts is made with solids, and the other handmade quilt is made with prints.  One has applique, and the other has none.  One is made up of 90 degree angles, while the other is made of 45 degree angles.  And finally, one is full of many colors, while the other has a monochromatic theme.

custom handmade quilts

Yet, while these quilts are completely different, I know both will be beautiful, both will be loved, and both will truly be one-of-a-kind.  That’s what’s so great about handmade quilts.

My little helper has just informed me that it is time to get back to work.

Check out Collecting Color over at River Dog Prints to share your colorful works with others.

Happy day, to you and yours.

Don’t Throw it Out, Fix it: Kids’ Velcro Shoes and Snap Fasteners

Instead of buying new all the time, throwing out the old or the broken, try fixing things instead.

Last April, I participated in an event called, April Stash Bust.  The idea behind this event was to use what you had, instead of buying new, for the entire month of April, in honor of Earth Day.  I gladly participated in this event because I believe in being a wise consumers for the sake of our planet.  Here is a fun example of where I re-purposed an old mini-skirt into a reversible bag.

Just this week, instead of going out and buying Monet a new pair of shoes, I fixed her old shoes.  These shoes were hand-be-downs from my sisters two girls.  They are adorable, but they would never stay on Monet’s feet because the velcro was worn out.  Along with that, it seems Monet always wants to taker her velcro shoes off and I wanted these babies to stay on, so when I went to fix them, I used snap fasteners instead of velcro.

Here are the shoes beforehand:

Don't Throw it Out, Fix it: Kids' Velcro Shoes and Snap Fasteners

First, I removed the old velcro.

Don't Throw it Out, Fix it: Kids' Velcro Shoes and Snap Fasteners

Then, I followed the directions on the back of the  Dritz Snap Fastener Easy Attachment Kit box.

Don't Throw it Out, Fix it: Kids' Velcro Shoes and Snap Fasteners

Presto, the shoes are fixed.  They now stay on my daughters feet, and are her favorite shoes and are our favorite shoes.

Don't Throw it Out, Fix it: Kids' Velcro Shoes and Snap Fasteners

Don't Throw it Out, Fix it: Kids' Velcro Shoes and Snap Fasteners

So remember, instead of buying new all the time, throwing out the old or the broken, try fixing things instead.

Making a House a Home: Sewing Tutorials

sewing tutorials

When it comes to the art of making a house a home, I believe it’s important for some of the items in your home to be made by hand –I’m not talking about items just for your home, but items used by loved ones in your home as well.  Here are a few sewing tutorials that I hope inspire you to create something special for your space, and the people you love who live in it:

  1. Pleated Tote Bag Tutorial by U-Handbag
  2. Cathedral Windows Pillow Tutorial by House of a la Mode
  3. Headband Tutorial by JezzePrints
  4. Spider Web Quilt Block Tutorial by House of a la Mode
  5. Diamond Quilt Top Tutorial by Urban Patchwork
  6. Add a Zipper to your Pillow on Sew, Mama, Sew!

Dreams Can Come True

project selvage

Look what I stumbled on today, while reading Diary of a Quilter.  What an amazing opportunity!  You can read more about this competition over at Project Selvage.  So what do you think?  Are you going to enter?  I know I am.  Wish me luck.

Machine Applique Mixed Media Wall Art

custom machine applique mixed media fiber wall art

I finished a custom, machine applique, mixed-media, fiber wall art piece this past week.  This piece was made for a nice lady in the UK; she runs a website called Mums Rock.  The computer is essentially a picture frame, so different photos can be traded in and out.

custom machine applique mixed media fiber wall art

What do you think?

I think it’s a good reminder of all the computer work I need to get done today.  So, on that note, I’m signing off, and wishing you a productive  work day.