Saturday, August 22, 2015

Test Blocks with a Plan

So, I am starting a new project, which I will share at a later date. I am using the X and + block. Badskirt has a nice little tutorial but her block was too small for my project. While scanning for fabric placement ideas I came across a beautiful finished version by Bijou Lovely. She provided a link to cutting instructions by Conoe Ridge Designs. I was set.

This is a project that requires a test block since I am mashing up information from two sites before I start chopping up my lovely stack of Japanese fabrics.

At this point I usually pull out my Baggie of traditional and not so lovely fabrics and make a test block that will be donated to my traditional guild's orphan block stash. But being fresh off making a Genny & Ruth block for Elizabeth Hartman's Rhoda Ruth Challenge, I decided to grab the brightest solid scraps out of my scrap bin.

Here's the Genny & Ruth:

And here's my test x and +:

Wow, you really need sunglasses for this one.

I hung it on my design wall next to the Genny and Ruth and that gave me a great idea. Instead of making my test blocks out of my "not my style" fabrics and passing them on to the guild, I am going to make them out of solid scraps and save them for an eye poppingly bright solid sampler quilt. I have two blocks already so I am off to a good start!

As you can see, the Badskirt/Bijou block was a complete success despite the fact that I flaked and messed up my corner square placement. I have moved on to cutting the actual quilt in confidence.

That's it. I am on my decrepit iPad 2 which makes blogging almost impossible. iMac gets his 15 minutes with a Genius tomorrow. I just hope they can at least extract my data.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mini-Cooper, Dog Gone Cute & Pets On Quilts Show

When I first saw Lily Pad's Pets On Quilts Show hop I planned to post this photo of Cooper on a pillow that I made for him using the Nested Churn Dash block when it was all the craze.

He looks pretty cute but guess what, he despises that pillow. He will only lay on it out of desperation. 

On top of that, his housemate, Son #2's White German Shepherd Dog Evora, chewed the corner off of it the same day I finished it!

But now another option has popped up and none too soon. I absolutely fell in love with Lorna at sewfreshquilts' latest Quilt-Along. I may have been the first to sign on in the Comments. I was, you can go check HERE. While you're there you may just fall in love with her Dog Gone Cute pattern and down load a copy. I dare you to resist.

So, pattern in hand, or more specifically, sitting on my iBooks shelf, I decided to get an early start by creating my own fabric Cooper. I mean really, how could I pass up the opportunity to immortalize that little fuzzy muzzle in fabric.

Hey, that looks like me!
As cute as all of Lorna's pups were, not one was exactly a Cooper so I had to make a few minor changes. It was so easy, I just added a few more HSTs and used more fabric options to capture his tri-color face. I even gave fabric Cooper a freckled ear just like the real deal. 

Who wants a pink poodle when you can have a cute Jack Russell Terrier? 
I made good use of one of those "what was I thinking" fabrics in my stash. That mottled brown only comes out for "special" occasions. 

She made a sandwich out of me and she says she's going to feed me to the Juki! 
What the heck's a "Juki?"

Cooper quickly decided that the Mini-Cooper was better than the Churn Dash Pillow. Don't tell him that he won't be cuddling with it when it's done. The Mini-Cooper is destined to hang above the Bose in my sewing room. He will be the first mini to grace the wall in my new space. Yeah, I am calling it the Mini-Cooper.

What are the neighbors up to?

So now it is on to quilting. I took the Juki off the Grace to do a little FMQ. I'm a bit rusty so it will be a few days before I can reveal the finished Mini-Cooper.

On another subject, I had to finish this post on my work computer because I found my iMac stuck in the blue screen of death today. I fiddled and failed so I packed him up in his box and now I have to make an appointment to take him to the Apple Store. Not a fan of that place. 

My postings will be spare and infrequent until I get the iMac back. If you want to see updates of my progress and quilty adventures, please visit me on Instagram. I'm pedalsewlightly there and you can find a link in my upper right column.

Thanks for the visit!

I'm entering Cooper in the Dog or Pup on Quilt Category.

Click above to see all the adorable entries!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Finish it Up Friday - Suits, Girls, Dogs and More

My most ambitious finish for the week was finally posting a tutorial for my Cute Quilted Dish Drying Mat. If you missed it you can find it HERE.
I finished the Flimsy and Backing for my Pieceful Hearts Challenge Quilt. They are hanging on the catwalk waiting for their turn at quilting.

It reminds me of a man's suit and tie with its bold angular colors against the crisp gray Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen. I think I might title it "The Suit" since it is being made specifically to be judged in the guild challenge. This is new territory for me, competition and putting names to my quilts. I think "The Suit" thinks Granny is pretty cute.

I finally finished ripping apart a shirt I bought over a year ago at a garage sale. It's made out of a cute Michael Miller novelty fabric and I wanted to make sure it went to a home that would appreciate it, mine. I am in the process of fussy cutting some of the beauties out for a future project.

So pretty and chic! I love that little white spotted dog!

I finished one of two blocks for my August Nurture Circle assignment. This month we are to make two red and white star themed blocks. Love, love, love the red and white. Reminds me that I need to get my Tree Pants out to finish before it slips from WIP to UFO status. There's definitely room on the cat walk for more company.

This block was pieced traditionally as per the pattern cutting suggestions. If I were going to make an entire quilt I would recalculate cutting and use time saving techniques for all those HSTs and FGs. Plus I'd want to leave room to trim and square. This block wanted to go wonky and it is a couple threads under 12.5" unfinished. 

I signed up for my second Mini Swap and I haven't even completed my first! It's Schnitzel & Boo's latest offering. How could I pass it up? These events are like a rite of passage in the swap world.

Kristi is trying to break the Round Three record of 965 participants. At last count she was up to 868 so hop on over and get in on the fun by signing up. LINK HERE. Sign up ends at midnight!

And last, but definitely not least, I signed on for a quilt along. This is also a first for me. I'm a bit of a lone wolf and "joining" does not come easy for me. It's a trait I share with the Hubs. But Lorna, at sewfreshquilts, came up with one that I could not pass up, dogonit!

Here's why:


 Um, I'm waiting for you to throw that tennis ball.

I love camping. Getting there is half the fun!

If I can see it, I can get it, even if I have to do a back flip.

Did you pack any snow with that?

I signed up for the Dog Gone Cute Quilt Along and I am so excited to get started! 

I have my pattern in hand and it is even better than I expected. You can find it HERE.

Lorna has created a pattern with so many variables that I will be able to make a pup to represent every Jack Russell Terrier I have been privileged to have in my family. That would be eight counting four puppies who went to new homes. We only have Cooper now and at 10 he is still a handful. The other three have gone on to that big doghouse in the sky. One we lost as a very senior JRT and two succumbed to the dangers inherent in country living. Cars and coyotes.  

I'm planning two projects. A more color correct mini of just Cooper for show-off and a larger project to coincide with the Dog Gone Cute Quilt Along schedule.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tutorial - Cute Quilted Dish Drying Pad

The following is the tutorial for my Dish Drying Pads.

I am trying to figure out how to add a down-loadable PDF to my blog but as a newish blogger it seems to be above my skill level. If anyone would like to share how they do it I would really appreciate the help! Thanks

Pedal Sew Lightly’s Cute Quilted Dish Drying Pad
Skill Level: EASY

A little history:
My pots and pans cannot go in the dishwasher and I always seemed to have a dishtowel on my counter with pans air-drying on it. It was quite unsightly. When I first saw the dish drying pads for sale at the big box stores I thought it was the best idea ever but I could never get myself to buy one because, well because they are so dorky and unsightly, at least in my opinion.

So, one day it just hit me … I sew … I can make a cute dish-drying pad that would be an attractive addition to my kitchen!

So, how to make one that would hold up to daily use and not hold moisture and get all yucky?

I devised a plan, made one, tested it, tweaked it a tiny bit and then made some for my family to test along side of me. After more than a year of testing my dish drying pads are ready for prime time.

Materials List:

·      - Bar Mops (Towels)
I use these because they are not too thick and they have channels that allow air to circulate under the mat. I purchase mine at Target by the dishtowels and they are very inexpensive.

·      - Cotton batting scrap just larger than your Bar Mop (around 16”x18”)

·      - Cotton quilting fabric. I use quilt store quality brands
                  Scraps or cuts to equal about 16”x18” and about 70” of binding

·       -Cotton Thread for sewing and quilting
                  I quilt with a thread that compliments the front and blends with the back.

·       -Basting Spray

The Bar Mops come in multi-pack bundles. They are standard Target products but the badging will change over time as they use their different logos.

Step One:
Wash your Bar Mops
                  Once if your fabric in NOT prewashed
                  Twice if your fabric IS prewashed

Step Two:
Iron your Bar Mop.

Step Three:
Trim the folded hem off all four sides of the Bar Mop. Trim as close to the hem as possible while squaring up as you go.

Optional Step A: shown in photo.

Serge or zigzag edge for added durability. 

Step Four:
Measure your Bar Mop to determine layout for the pieced top.
These Bar Mops don’t seem to be very uniform, and I since I try to maintain as much size as I can out of each towel, all my dish mats seem to vary in size by miniscule amounts.

Step Five:
Piece your top using standard piecing techniques.

Here are some that I have made:
I keep it simple but you can get as fancy as you please!

UPDATE: I have been making a lot of my mats using Quilt-As-You-Go techniques.
Usually a simple stripe on a diagonal but sometimes I get fancy with a Log Cabin.

When using QAYG I spray baste the batting to the bar towel and then layer and sew each piece of fabric individually. Elizabeth Hartman has a great QAYG tutorial that she created for making bag panels.

Here is one I made for a young man in the Air Force.

Sometimes I still add a little quilting over the whole piece if I use larger fabric pieces and it is a bit too floppy.

Step Six:
Sandwich your mat with a layer of cotton batting between the pieced top and the Bar Mop just like a mini quilt. Use spray basting between the layers.  Smooth the Bar Mop side as square as possible.

Step Seven:
Iron your little quilt sandwich continuing to square the Bar Mop.

Step Eight:
Quilt your dish pad.

Here are some samples of my work.

Step Nine:
Trim and Square your mat taking note of how it lines up with both sides since the Bar Mops have a linear design.

Optional Step B:
Serge or zigzag the raw edges using a stitch width that will be hidden under a narrow binding.

Step Nine:
Bind your mat in your desired technique.
Since this is a “Small”, I like to use either a 2” or 2-1/4” binding width. I also do a lateral seam instead of a diagonal since it is easier on a small piece.

Now enjoy the way your little mat brightens up your kitchen counter!

Special Note:

This Dish Drying Mat is designed to look pleasing on your counter while being handy for small, daily hand wash chores only. You will need something more substantial for major dish washing.

I'd love feedback on the tutorial process or the functionality of the piece if you make my dish drying pad.

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Stash and Wedding Mosaics

Sunday Stash:
I added this Pink Castle Fabrics Limited Edition F8 Flower Sugar Bundle to my stash in late June. It was waiting on my doorstep when we returned home from the wedding.

Speaking of the wedding, here are a few mosaics. These photos were taken by my fabulous Little SIL and she has quite the touch with an iPhone.

She took some nice shots of my table decorations.

She made sure she had a great seat at the ceremony.

And, if you weren't planning on on using Ephesians Farm for your next event, you will after seeing her beautiful shots. They have such a quaint magical ambiance.

More post ceremony and reception shots.

Steel City Pops, games, guests, Micro-Stamps ring pillow, good-bye and goofy Son #2. (photographer SIL in orange dress)

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sewing Space Goes Full Circle

I've been working in my new sewing space for just short of a month now and I love it. Here is a series of post about how my space has moved and evolved since I started quilting in December of 2012.

First try-Guest Room.
Second try-Bonus Room
Giving up the Dining Room, sort of.

I spent the longest stretch in my dining room and I'm going to run down the list of negative attributes it possessed for housing a quilting studio. Be warned, I'm going to sound like a spoiled brat because almost every one of my gripes would fit nicely on a dream dining room wish list.

It has four large windows:
Eats up wall space
They are shaded by an expansive wraparound porch

Large doorway open to foyer and living room:
Eats up wall space
My machine noise disrupts conversation and TV viewing
Clutter on view for all to see

Deep green walls that get tons of compliments:
Light suckers

It's a dedicated dining room:
But only for one week a year when we rent our home for the Master's Golf Tournament and I have to keep a large table, 6 chairs, hutch and sideboard in the room itself or spread all over the house in goofy places.
Huge dining room table facilitates collecting clutter
I can't hang anything on the walls to facilitate quilting.

Isn't that a petty list of peeves!

So, when my son moved his bedroom furniture to his new home with his wife (Love that!) we moved the guest room to his old room and I moved my sewing back to square one, the guest room.

Check this out, I actually have sewing things hanging on the walls!

These Ikea ledges are working great for my go-to ruler collection.

My little thread collection.

Temporary design wall.

The design wall will be replaced with two sheets of flannel covered Homasote but we have to special order it. Homasote used to be a regularly stocked item but it has been replaced with styrofoam sheathing. 

My main sewing station.

The room size is perfect for working efficiently but small enough that I don't let it get cluttered. That was an issue when I could spread out on my dining room table in my old space. Plus, my new storage is easier to use than pulling out and opening storage boxes. 

My cutting station.

My cutting table is a new/old addition to my space. My husband made this drafting table just after we moved into the first home we built in 1987. He has used it through the years to draw up plans for four more homes and it has had several stints as Son #1's desk. I thought the pencil ledge would bother me but after seeing Quilting Jetgirl's cut layout just before I made the move I was put at ease. It hasn't been a problem.

I also moved in that nifty bar stool. The three guys in the house hate that thing for some reason. The negative feelings are so strong that it was in storage until I could utilize it in a space that I don't share with them. I love it. It has become my thinking/planning chair at the drafting table.

Lois under my Juki's cover.

Lois, my other 301 is kitty-corner from my main sewing station. She sits next to my fabulous new fabric storage!

Fabric storage in new Ikea Billy.

I no longer have to keep my fabric hidden in easy to move storage boxes! It is all protected from the floating dog hair that liberally sheds off Son #2's White German Shepherd Dog by the doors. She rarely stays in my space now since she gets distracted by her cozy space in Son #2's room and feels close enough just having me upstairs with her. I love being able to see my little growing stash.

Large cuts and yardage.

I keep my yardage, some extra tools, batting scraps and other non-quilting fabrics in this vintage dresser. Hub's grandmother gave it to him when he was a bachelor and it is the only piece we own with family history. It was covered in darkened shellac and not very attractive so I painted it in the 1980's. It looked awful but stayed that way for years until I stripped in about five years ago. Now I love its adorable fresh look.

Ironing station.

I use it as my ironing station. My two-foot by four-foot pad fits nicely on it. Beside it sits a cast-off Ikea nightstand from my new DIL.

Viking station.

I think this little setup is a bit nautical. My two Viking/Husqvarna machines live between my door and closet on my little tanker table. I'd like to get an aluminum Navy chair or stool to complete this.

The Bose has moved to the Expedit/Kallax shelf now. When I turned it on the first time in my new space it was on WBBQ. Not my favorite station but they changed their format to "All 80s with a little of the current stuff thrown in." Since I was born in 1960 and spent my 20s in the 80s I couldn't resist it for a few weeks. I was dancing around and I had this strong urge to gel my hair, cut off my t-shirt sleeves and watch Mollie Ringwald movies. It was getting a bit distracting so I changed it to my favorite channel, Air1

I love my new space. It has great natural light with its three large windows. I put three new 60 watt daylight bulbs in the ceiling fixture and light bounces off my lighter walls. Plenty of wall space to hang tools and I am so excited that I will be able to hang minis in my space. I have joined my first swap! I also have a free wall for a giant design wall.

The size of the room is perfect for holding everything but my Grace frame and Juki. We gave Son #1 and DIL some of the bonus room furniture so it is more spacious up there for our workout equipment and the quilting frame. I have a pretty sweet setup in the bonus room and I like to have TV in the background when I use the Grace so I am happy with this setup. I'll piggyback some photos in another quilting post.

The downside list is very short. 
I have carpet now. 
It is more isolated and removed from family. Hubs does come visit. He likes the black chair at the Lois station.
Since the room is directly above the master bedroom I can't quilt into the night because the floor squeaks. 

Now, about Master's Week rental. It still needs to be used as a bedroom. I will move a few things out, fold up the sewing cabinets and put a twin bed in the room. It will not be as critical for the room to look like a true bedroom as it was for the dining room to look like a true dining room. We may have to drop our rental fee but I'm thinking its about time for a raise anyway.

Here's a peek at my design wall today:

This is the first quilt I have made specifically to be entered in a quilt show.

Thanks for visiting my new space!

Linky Parties:

Updated 8/19/15 Amy's Free Motion Adventure

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Barn Dance

We had a major family event this summer, a wedding! My oldest son got married and we finally have another girl in the family! And as an added bonus, the newly weds moved from Birmingham, AL to Atlanta, GA as soon as they got home from their honeymoon. 

Here are some mosaics of the rehearsal made by the Mother of the Bride. She is much better at photography and social media than myself. She had these posted before we even got back to the hotel!

Father of the Bride / Parents of the Groom / Family of the Groom / L-Bride & R-Friend

Bride and Groom practicing the worship song for the wedding / Flower Girl & Ring Bearer / Hubs, nephew, my Big Sis and her her Hubs / Brother of the Bride & FOB / Bride & Maid of Honor / Bride, Groom & Groomsmen

The Rehearsal Dinner

That cake is from Edgar's Bakery and it was reminiscent of the cakes my Grandma Penny used to make when I was a little girl in the early 1960s. We had the food catered by the Urban Cookhouse and it was excellent. We also accommodated our gluten-free guests with Orange Rolls and Pies from the Funky Muffin. Their rolls may have been the meal favorite. These are all establishments that are based in Alabama and Birmingham.

The day of the rehearsal was oppressively hot but we were blessed with a significantly lower temperature and a mild breeze on the wedding day. We even had a refreshing sprinkle right at the beginning of the ceremony. So light it didn't affect hair or even dampen the chairs but it cooled the air.


Bride and her Mother

Bride and Groom in prayer before the ceremony.


 Waiting for the Bride (Son #1)

Mother & Father of the Groom (Pedal & Hubs)

Brides Maid & Groomsman (Son #2)

The Kiss

The ceremony was a beautiful worship service with personalized vows and the new couple leading the guests in worship as their first act as Husband and Wife. It was very powerful.


The Wedding Party.

Bride & Groom with the Flower Girl & Ring Bearer. (Big Sis' grands) 
You can see my Micro-Stamps pillow in action


In lieu of the traditional wedding cake, the kids brought in a Steel City Pops cart with a variety of gourmet pop cycles. 
They are another Birmingham-born establishment and they were a big hit!

They also had a variety of games. The star of the show was a Corn Hole tournament. 
(Emir on far right)

The guest were invited to to sign up and they played single elimination while the post-ceremony photo shoot was happening in the background. The winning team got to duke it out with the Bride & Groom. Emir & Jeff (in photo) got that honor and in the end became the Grand Champs. 

There was never any guest-down-time because the games, BBQ dinner and Steel City Pops were available as soon as the ceremony ended while the wedding party was in photo mode. 

Then we moved inside for music and dancing.

We had the semi-traditional FOB & MOG dances. 

Groom and his Rapping Groomsman, Mike, provided some entertainment. 
Mike busted out a hilarious impromptu performance and Groom sang a goofy song he wrote that had apparently become a regular event with his college social circle. It was very special for me because I remember the day he called downstairs, "Hey Mom, come listen to this" and getting serenaded with his guitar and Garage Band backup for the premier performance of said song.

And then, bam, just like that, they were rushing off in Son #1s old Acura...Leave and Cleave.

Now, you must all be wondering about that fabulous barn and beautiful altar. The wedding was held at Ephesians Farm. Ken and Shari were the most gracious hosts, always ready to assist in any way possible to make the day special. If you are anywhere near Oneonta, AL or Birmingham, AL, and you need a venue, you really should give them a call. They catered the BBQ for the reception and it was over-the-top-good. And we know our BBQ here in the South!

The accommodations and settings are beautiful. They provide tables, chairs, table covers, lanterns and lovely vignettes around the property. The Bride and Groom areas are quaint and address the specific needs of each group. Huge mirrors and comfy seating for the Bride and Ping Pong, game tables and manly seating for the Groom. And that rustic iron work and stone altar is just beautiful.

On to sewing and quilting:

Just before we left for the wedding I finished a little house warming gift for the couple our construction firm is building a house for.

It's one of my dish drying mats. The home is on the Savannah river and it has a mountain rustic exterior and a modern country interior. Peggy and Jerry have been such a blessing to work with and we bonded as true friends during the build. I wish all jobs could end like this! But I guess that's not really possible since almost all of our projects are commercial. 

Todays WIP:

I am cutting into this stack of Alison Glass, plus some Robert Kaufman's Quilters Linen and finally getting started on my Pieceful Hearts Challenge Quilt for our show in November.

Now I'll leave you with a preview of my next post. Here's Cooper in my new sewing space. He loves it because it is like one big dog bed. Carpet! At least somebody like the plush floor.

Thanks for visiting!