On my studio’s design wall is a colorful baby quilt in progress for a special baby who lives in Portland, Oregon, who has recently joined us on earth (new Earthling!)
As Spring is sort of here (at least it is teasing us in the Denver metro area with periodic snow vs. 60+ degrees F days) I decided not to make a flannel quilt with flannel backing quilt like I did with the previous baby quilt. Instead I searched through my ridiculous collection of jelly rolls and found this colorful jelly roll from Maywood Studios:
In case you are not a quilter, “jelly rolls” are collections of 40 precut 2.5 inch strips that run about 42 – 44 inches long, are color coordinated (usually from the same fabric line) and can be used to make a small to larger quilt (if you add additional fabrics).
For a while, in my earlier quilting days, I was obsessed with jelly rolls and amassed quite the collection. I also had a collection of quilting books with quilt patterns using jelly rolls.
I only have one of those books left from those days – Jelly Roll Quilts: The Perfect Guide to Making the Most of the Latest Strip Rolls by Pam and Nicky Lintott, and used this book for the pattern for the baby quilt.
Besides using a jelly roll to make a quilt which I have not done in years, I made “strata” (sewing strips together to then cut into sections) to create the pattern for the quilt – something I have not done since the early 2000s when I first began quilting.
I felt like I was in my early days of quilting as I pressed each section of strata and it felt kind of nostalgic and sweet!
I have the center of the quilt assembled now and I am going to put a lightweight denim colored fabric as the border and use the extra blocks as cornerstones.
I’ll have some better photos to share after I get it all assembled and quilted.
Before I get into this post, which is a continuation of my ongoing series, The Library Stack (in which I share my stacks of borrowed books from my local public library), I would like to say thank you to the very talented Mariss @ Fabricationsfor also nominating me for an Outstanding Blogger Award. In the Postscript section of this post I will answer the questions she posed to her nominees.
It’s been a while (November 2020) since I shared my latest “Library Stack” and I thought I would just catch you up on several stacks over the past several months.
And here are the previous library stacks that I have not shared before:
As you can see there appears to be a limited number of general themes of the types books I borrow from the local library – home decor and crafting. These are my fabric subjects for a book browsing over a pot of tea!
You might have noticed that I have The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland in two different stacks – if I really enjoy a home decor or crafting book I just borrow it again and again!
I’ve been reading a lot (well “a lot” for me) of fiction books but those I am reading from my home library (see post Curating a Home Library) or library borrowed audiobooks; and I might share some reviews in a future post. You can follow me on Goodreads@tierneycreates if you’d like to see what I’ve been reading fiction wise and read my reviews.
Tierney here, writing to you from the “Snowpocalypse” in Colorado, buried under quite a bit of snow.
Any of my blogging friends live in Florida or anywhere warm? May I move in with you?
I’ve spent the weekend inside working on a new quilt, which I will share in a future post. For this post I wanted to thanks Helen @crawcraftsbeasties for nominating me for the Outstanding Blogger Award, get the questions answered that come with the nomination, and throw a couple nominations out there myself.
Helen the maker of Beasties, like my tierneycreates Beastie, had her Beasties Paddy and Plunkett answer the questions for her Outstanding Blogger Award nomination and so I thought I would let my tierneycreates Beastie answer the questions for me.
Outstanding (Beastie) Blogger Award
Hello, my name is tierneycreates Beastie and I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. I was made by Helen of CrawCrafts Beasties in Dublin, Ireland. You can read my story at I’m A Monster!!!. You can also check out the other posts I’ve had to guest blog on (i.e. when the human Tierney falls off the blogging-wagon and I have to help) in the series of posts: Beastie Adventures.
Right now I am holed up in the house with Tierney during our “Snowpocalypse” in Colorado. I did go outside today to look around and here is what I saw:
Snow, snow and more snow. I had Tierney take a photo of me on the front porch as I nearly froze to death (I kept my dog Mikelet inside as it was way too cold for him):
I think it is appropriate for Tierney to let me handle the questions for the Outstanding (Beastie) Blogger Award nomination since I am sure it is my guest blogger posts on her blog that got her this nomination. Thanks to my maker, Helen @crawcraftsbeasties for recognizing my excellence as a Beastie blogger!
My answers to the questions Helen posed:
Coffee or tea? (Or no hot beverages at all?) TEA OF COURSE, ALWAYS TEA.
Where in the world would you most like to visit, and why? TIERNEY WANTS TO GO TO NEW ZEALAND, BUT I WANT TO GO TO IRELAND AND SEE WHERE I WAS BORN/MADE AGAIN
What is the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten, and where did you have it? THE PLATE OF SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS MADE BY MY FIANCE JOHN BEASTIE (see post Guest Blog Post: Mail Order Groom).
What have you made that you’re most proud of, and why? I AM STILL LEARNING TO SEW ON MY NEW “BEASTNINA” THAT HELEN MADE ME, BUT I THINK TIERNEY IS PRETTY PROUD OF THE QUILT SHE DISCUSSES IN THIS POST – The Lesson and The Equation.
What’s your plan for today? STAY WARM AND NOT GO OUTSIDE AGAIN UNTIL THE SNOW MELTS!
Speaking of staying warm, when Tierney helped me back inside after I nearly froze to death in the blizzard. However when she helped me back to my new home on the storage unit in her studio (more in a future post), she neglected to remove the snow from my shoes!
Luckily I caught her as she was leaving the studio so she could help me remove the snow and I would not get frostbite!
If you choose to participate, here are a couple of questions for you to answer:
What has blogging added to your life?
Share the link for one of your favorite blog posts that you have written.
If you were stuck in the house for the entire weekend due to a snowstorm, what would you do with your time?
What household chore do you most enjoy, and what do you least enjoy?
What did you learn from surviving 2020?
We’ll close this post with a picture of Mike (big Mike as opposed to Mikelet, the Beastie dog which is a “miniature” Miniature Schnauzer) who actually went out in the Snowpocalypse today and played ball in the backyard, running around in the trench/”racetrack” that human John created for him.
Here he is in a quilt, trying to get warm after being outside.
I was not going to give up, zipper foot issues be darned, I re-attempted making the Devon Pouch by s.o.t.a.k. handmade last night, and made a second one this morning.
This time I kept my dastardly zipper foot tucked away and just used my normal sewing foot.
Here is the first pouch redone with different center fabric:
I was so pleased with it, compared to my first attempt, I gave it its own section in my studio!
Sort of an homage to trying again and not giving up (smile).
This morning I decided to make the second one as my friend Dana had sent me enough supplies to make two:
In the third image above you will see there are trains at the bottom of the pouch. I plan to take this pouch with me when I do one of my “Bucket List” items in the future and take the transcontinental train across Canada (someday when they allow us Americans with cooties back into Canada…).
I am so happy with my two pouches! They are not perfect of course but they are MUCH better than my first attempt!
Oh and thanks to everyone who provided kind comments on the post of my first attempt as well as resources for learning how to use a zipper foot.
My friends Cody and Cici are expecting their first baby. They are two adventurers and world travelers, and many of their adventures involve traveling around the U.S. in their awesome Sprinter van which they customized for travel.
For their wedding gift in 2019 I gave them one of my late husband Terry’s flannel fishing and outdoor adventure themed quilts (see post A Quilt for the Road…) to keep them warm while adventuring in their van.
So I figured their baby is going to need their own flannel blanket for adventures!
Cody and Cici live in the Pacific Northwest and I made a Pacific NW themed outdoor adventure baby quilt from flannel scraps and fat quarters I had in my stash:
I put flannel fish themed fabric on the back as the new baby’s father is an avid flyfisherman.
Here it is all packaged up and ready to be sent off (they have since received it):
In case you are curious I used one of the patterns from the booklet – Three Times the Charm!-7 Quilt Patterns by Me and My Sister Designs Using Precut Charm Packs (2011).
My friend Judy (who got me into quilting) introduced this book to me years ago at a quilt retreat. It is a great book for quick small quilts made out of charm (5″) square packs, like baby quilts! I modified one of the patterns to make it work for how I wanted to design this quilt.
I pre-washed the quilt after I quilted it. I usually do that for baby quilts so the parents know the quilt is easily machine washable and should not be treated like some “precious thing”. It is not an heirloom – it is a utility quilt meant to be (hopefully) heavily used.
I am hoping the quilt I made them will get lots of use, go on many adventures, and get many washings in the future!
A humorous blurb on Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (though it was not immediately humorous at the moment it happened):
Last weekend we had Starbucks for breakfast one morning (my partner John went and picked it up for us). Starbucks gave John the wrong hot beverage for me (a Chai Tea instead of a Green Tea Latte) and he went back to our local Starbucks to exchange it.
While he was doing that I left half my breakfast sandwich on the coffee table to check on something. When I returned my sandwich was missing and a very guilty looking miniature schnauzer was staring at me.
When I exclaimed: “Mike did you eat my sandwich!??!” He immediately put himself in a “time out” in the corner of the room! I laughed so hard I could not be mad and any longer, grabbed my phone and took this photo below.
He stayed in the “time out” for a couple minutes until I summoned him out for a cuddle (his cuteness led to instant forgiveness for stealing 1/2 my sandwich!).
John had some errands to run (he bought a new bike in Fort Collins and had to go pick it up) so he left me unsupervised for an hour at a quilt shop!
Here are some images from my leisurely wander about the shop:
It has been a long time since I wandered around a quilt shop, I cannot begin to tell you how delicious an experience it was! They shop also had a friendly staff and I enjoyed chatting with quilt shop staff.
While wandering I came across a quilt I absolutely wanted to make. The image does not do it justice but it is an awesome relatively simple pattern with a panel in the center:
I could not control myself and bought most of the fabrics (and the panel) as well as the pattern card:
I also bought a couple extra items like a some cool canvas fabric with Edison-style light bulbs; some random Cotton + Steel fabric yardage; a random fat quarter on sale; and a fat quarter set (that I absolutely did not need!).
The Fig Leaf Quilt Shop is also a furniture store! I guess they went with a multipurpose shop concept!
We did more than visit a quilt shop while visiting Fort Collins for the weekend, we also went new bike for John (who is an avid cyclist), visited some of the awesome craft breweries, visited some thrift shops (I love thrifting, see my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures), and we had some wonderful meals.
One of the most memorable restaurant visits while in Fort Collins was to The Farmhouse at Jessup Farms. I love farm-to-table restaurants and this one was wonderful. In addition to the main restaurant (and farm of course), they also had an onsite brewery, smaller eatery areas, and gift shops.
Here are some photos from the complex and our delicious meal at the main restaurant (which included pork belly on grits which was 1000 times more delicious than it sounds!):
*Note – Dana is one of those people who can merely look at an image of a handmade item on Pinterest and figure out how to make it from the image…and then make it perfectly!
So when she talked her daughter, me, and our mutual friend Kathy into working on an Instagram based “bag of the month” project to build our bag making skills I was excited. For February the bag was the Devon Pouch by s.o.t.a.k. handmade. You make the pouch and then post the image to Instagram.
If you go to the hashtag #devonpouch on on Instagram you will see some GORGEOUS versions of the pouch:
I was like: “Wow! I want to make this pouch!”. Sure I have not made very many things with zippers but I can follow a pattern; and the designer has a time lapsed YouTube video of her making the bag so you can see all the steps demonstrated in addition to have the pattern.
So I thought I was safe.
Plus Dana was so sweet and sent me cute fabric from her stash and some zippers to make 2 of the pouches. So what could go wrong….?
Excited to get started, this past Saturday I cut out the pattern pieces, applied the interfacing and prepared to make two pouches:
I put on some yummy music (my favorite Denver radio station KUVO which is also a streamable Public Radio Station from kuvo.org), opened my laptop to the video of the designer making the pouch, sat down at my sewing machine and got to work.
In addition to materials to make the pouch, my friend Dana had also sent me scraps from when she made me a quilt (see post Mind Blowing Mail) and I incorporated some of these scraps into the front zipper pocket for my first pouch that I worked on.
I was feeling very clever.
A couple hours later, I was not feeling so clever.
The written pattern stated to change to a “zipper foot” whenever you were working on the two zippers in the pouch. I found the zipper foot to my Bernina, which I’ve only used once before and I think that was in 2006 in a class when I first bough my Bernina sewing machine.
The pattern told me to switch between my regular foot and my zipper foot. Problem: I am very inexperienced using a zipper foot. Wait let’s just say it plainly: I did not know what the heck I was doing.
I will spare you the full saga, but my seams were off and once multiple seams are off in a pattern you know you are in the middle of a serious freaking sewing misadventure!
Here is my quite ugly version of the finished pouch:
Here’s an even better image that might make you suspect I was under the influence of mind altering drugs while sewing (Nope, the bottom of the pouch is NOT supposed to look like that):
Please look away if the image above is too grotesque. My version of the pouch does not appear to even be remotely related to the examples of the beautiful pouches on #devonpouch that I shared earlier in this post.
I did post the completed bag to Instagram and people were very kind but I was quite embarrassed over how lopsided and poorly constructed it was (the photo actually does not do justice to the sewing abomination!)
As a bonus, I accidentally stuck myself with pin (yay, that is always so pleasant) during final construction and bled on the back of the bag. I did not catch the spot of blood of course until I pressed/ironed in the blood (is this pouch doomed or what?):
At first I decided to just keep the pouch and use it to store the fabric scraps Dana sent me:
But finally I decided to un-assemble it and salvage the nice zippers that Dana sent me; and reuse the zippers in my next attempt.
So when I feel up to it, I am going to start over again and make my first pouch again, before moving on to the second one. I am going to stay away from the zipper foot this time as I discovered towards the end I could sew the zipper just fine with a standard foot.
In more successful crafting news, Mr. Woodworker (my partner John) recently finished a remodel of one of our basement closets to become an entertaining supply storage closet with cabinet and coordinating shelves:
This was the first real cabinetry he’s made. He also made a butcher block style counter top of the cabinet!
Oh and John is going to take the advice several of you left in the comment section of the post Handmade Spools, and make more wooden spools for me to sell on either my Etsy shop (if I ever get it reopened) or a craft fair or something.