Constellation Quilt in the Making

Basted and ready to quiltThis is a quilt in progress… actually perhaps in prep stage may be more accurate.  I have absolutely no business working on this right now because there are far too many projects ahead of it, not to mention the Christmas projects I should be working on.  But I couldn’t help myself, I had to at least get it ready to go.

This is inspired by a quilt at Haptic Labs.   If you follow that link, you will see a New Orleans map that is calling my name.  My daughter mentioned that her better half would really like the constellation quilt.  Of course, I thought it needed more detail (because I’m stupid that way) which initiated a search on the internet for another image.   I like that this one has the center and outer circle, the blue ‘grid’ lines (that remind me of parish/county lines), as well as the constellations themselves.

I then changed the image size to approx 30″ x 30″, saved the image to a PDF file and printed as a tiled image.   The print settings would be “Poster”, “Tiled”, and check “cut marks” to allow for easy match ups.  I wanted a thin paper I could quilt through and tear away once complete.  I bought tracing paper (the most transparent block shown in the image), a lightweight vellum, and the inexpensive lined 3-ring binder paper (the lightweight almost newsprint version, not the crisp white version).  The vellum felt too stiff in comparison, and the tracing paper had the most blurred image.  The loose-leaf lined paper printed well and should tear away relatively easily so that is what I went with.

  • I spray basted this quilt which was new to me.  This is approximately 44″ x 44″. and spray basting worked well.  I’m using Kona cotton in Nightfall top and bottom, with Quilter’s Dream cotton batting.
  • Next, starting at the center, I laid out the constellation map matching the ‘cut marks’.  I pinned these with straight pins as I went.
  • Once all pieces were in place, I loaded water soluble thread in the top of my machine and a cotton bobbin thread in a color contrasting to the fabric.  I quilted in a grid where the pages met using a long stitch length.

Ursa Minor Polaris shows paper joinsMy plan is to dissolve that top thread once all quilting is done.  The bottom thread should come loose except where quilting crosses.   It’s hard to tell by this photo, but those intersections aren’t as many as you would expect.

You can see a few of the paper joins here.  It will be interesting to see how well this process works and I bet I will come back with a lot of ‘what not to do’ warnings!  We’ll see how it goes.  I keep telling myself this is an after Christmas project.  (I SO want to start it now!)  It is now rolled away so I can’t look at it.

A friend of mine started the world map by Haptic Labs and you can see a photo of the template laid out on her fabric here.  I am really interested to see how it comes out.  She is hand quilting which I think is so pretty on this type of quilt.  Not to mention, she does a truly lovely job on everything she attempts.

I have another map quilt in the works as well which is inspired by Shwin and Shwin, but that will have to wait for another day.

I certainly hope you are being more productive than I am with regards to Christmas presents.  There are so many on my sewing list!  Do you have any good ideas?  What are your favorite Christmas gifts to make??    I need to find some quick and easy, “wow, I love that!” gifts.  Not asking for much, yeah?

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!




Quilts for the South

Quilts for the South

I saw this post on Bonnie Hunter’s site, Quiltville’s Quips and Snips, and wanted to share with my quilty friends.  This is a call for quilts to be distributed to those affected by the recent tornadoes.  Please see the link for more information.

I’m thinking through my WIP’s to think what I can finish and add to the effort.  Hope you can join me. 

What Weekend?!!!


I have really loved sewing garments lately.  Not that I have a lot to show for it!  But I have also really missed quilting.  This weekend, I played around with a few quilting projects.  I finished a camera strap and camera pouch (fits a point and shoot camera), made a scrap vomit block a la Katy Jones (see inspiration here), quilted my ‘B’ block from the Adventures of the Amazing Alphabet, and finally made up a scrappy bag perfect for my sewing tools.  All in all, a fun weekend.

This bag pattern is called Sew Together Bag and I’ve wanted to make it since I first found it.  Then I let it sit in my stash, of course!


I purchased this pattern when it was just released and what I love (besides the awesome design) is that every time it is updated, I’m notified to download the new version.  I don’t know if that’s a Craftsy thing or a Sew Demented thing.  (That’s the pattern designer by the way.  Don’t you love the name!?)

There have been some great versions showing up on the internet.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Crazy Mom Quilts
Crazy Mom Quilts

s.o.t.a.k : Used for English paper piecing. Love it.

I’m really glad I finally took the plunge and got this done.   Mine is totally scrappy and I’m glad about that.  I can now see what goes where and will be able to plan fabric placement next time around.  I started this Sunday morning before Sunday School.  After church we had our two young grandsons till almost 4:00 and then I got back on the bag.  Finished it that night about 8:00.  Not bad, I don’t think.  Now that I can ‘see’ the placement, it will go much quicker next time.

The pattern site on Craftsy lists the fabric and notions needed for the pattern, but somehow that got left out of the main pattern.  Since I was going scrappy, that wasn’t an issue for me except for the zipper sizes.  I read through the pattern to find those, so it wasn’t a major problem.  I’ve noticed that the author of this pattern has revised this a couple times and has tried to address previous makers’ comments.  It’s a very nice looking pattern and I enjoyed working with it.

The bag appears much like a pencil pouch and I was surprised how roomy this pouch is.  It’s great for a rotary cutter, scissors, a couple small rulers, and various other sewing tools.  I think I’m going to LOVE this bag!.

Our modern quilt guild, NELA (Northeast Louisiana) MQG, is holding a retreat on the last weekend of March and I had decided I needed this bag for that.  So glad I got it done.

Now to finish that Aeroplane bag that is in mid construction!!  My Bernina needs something to ride in.

Since I felt guilty for my unfinished slacks and jacket, I got up this morning and worked a bit on my slacks.  Should finish those this week.

Hope you’re working on something fun!


Linking up with Le Challenge.   The theme is Order.  You should see some of the wonderful projects that have been linked.  Post can be found here.

2013 in Review – part 2

My favorites from 2013:

Made sewing table for Bernina 820 for quilting:


Finally found a Singer Featherweight in my price range!  Yay!

Singer Featherweight 221
Singer Featherweight 221

Just this month won a Gammill Charm.  It should come in mid-January.  I’m really excited, but REALLY need to make space for it.

Craftsy courses taken in 2013:

Wow!  Those are just the courses I have taken this year.  I have a few that I recently bought that are waiting to be viewed.  In review, I can honestly say it is money well spent.   As you can tell, I really focused on sewing and fit this year.  If you love learning new techniques and haven’t tried Craftsy, Do It!  You will love their class format.

So now it’s ‘out with the old, and in with the new.”  I wish you all a Happy New Year!

2013 in Review .. part 1

One of the main reasons I began blogging was to document my sewing and quilting progress.  I quickly forget things I have made once I give them away!  As I look back at 2013, I realize I need to do a better job of organizing my final photos.  So there’s one small resolution for 2014.  I did manage to document quite a few of my sewing and quilting projects.  My bragging board goes something like this….

2013 Quilts 1 Collage

BabyQuilt.Hayes These are a few of my quilt finishes.   There are a few quilts missing.  One resolution is to improve my documentation of finishes.  I may have to create a separate ‘file folder’ for year end photos.BetsyBrasiliaCollage

The Brasilian Dress by Rachal at House of Pinheiro.   You should visit her blog for the free pattern.


My Bostonian Bag.  I’m loving this and need to make another.

I have an Aeroplane Bag in progress.  Maybe that will by my next favorite.

Works in Progress:

The French Jacket
Hand pieced “Oriental Star”. This project began as practice to improve my hand piecing. I’m loving these blocks and have about a dozen or more. This will be an ongoing project until I have enough for a quilt top.
I made it half way through the Star Surround QAL. I have most of the main blocks together and still have quite a bit of piecing to do to finish this one.
See for her next QAL starting January 2014
Bring Me Flowers BOM by Jen Kingswell
Bring Me Flowers BOM by Jen Kingswell
I’m way behind on this one and need to get back on track. This may be a 2015 finish for me. (Yeah, I do mean 2015!)




Black Friday at Craftsy!

I just opened my email and found this!

I am a total Craftsy fan and find their classes well worth the cost.  But at $20 each?  That’s a fantastic deal.   If you haven’t tried their classes yet, now is the time.  They have classes on sewing, quilting, knitting, cooking, jewelry making, even photography.  I’ve really been impressed with the teachers and the quality programs they put together.  And I LOVE that I can go back and watch them as often as I want.  I have a few that are a total resource for me.

This is what my cart currently looks like!  I’m trying to decide if I can whittle it down a bit, but what to cut??!

Craftsy Sale

I wish you all a great ‘Black Friday’ and hope you find that something special you have been looking for.

Don’t spend too much!

On my to-do list …

thanksgiving-mums-graphicsfairy003bIt’s approaching Thanksgiving with all the cleaning and cooking prior to all the family chaos and great food.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love that fall and cooler weather has come (hopefully…  in Louisiana it’s always dicey).   I love holidays that let family come together without the pressure of presents.  It’s one of those mandatory holidays where everyone shows up unless they are working.  Prep can be stressful though.  I’ve already been to the grocery once and I’m going back again today.  The menu is taking shape.  I know I will be cooking all day tomorrow.

Pecan pies are a must!  I may have to share my version of the recipe.  I’ll try to do that tomorrow.   As much as I love pecan pie, I prefer a filling closer to custard than syrup and so I cut the sugars way back.  It’s yummy, if I say so myself.  Then there are the sweet potato pies…my hubby’s favorite.  My mother’s dressing, turkey, and maybe some duck gumbo if hubby shoots straight today.  And Cranberry Sauce!  So very yummy!

And in the back of my mind are all the things on my to-do list:

  • I really, REALLY wanted to do a few quilts for Christmas, particularly for my son-in-law.  There’s a chance I may make it if I will get serious about it.
  • There’s the Little French Jacket in progress.  At the risk of TMI, I’m working to get approval from my insurance for a breast reduction.  Not sure it’s going to get approved, but if it does, I will definitely need to recut the front of that jacket.  So I’ve stopped working on it until I hear back.
  • For my youngest, there is denim cut for NamedClothing’s Jamie Jean pattern.
  • A pair of Anna Maria Horner’s Knick Knack Knickers for my youngest grandson.
  • An Airplane Bag that is in the middle of construction.  (And going to look awesome, I think.  Very excited about it.)
  • Not to mention the PJ bottoms I want for myself or the ‘smaller’ things I wanted to make for Christmas for my girls.

Hmmm.  That list looks so much more intimidating in writing!

Oh well, back to Thanksgiving for now.  I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and hope you are able to spend the day with friends and family.  Even if it isn’t a holiday celebrated in your country, I wish you an awesome day anyway.

We’ve had a debate at work today about the perfect Thanksgiving side dish.  I’ve heard a lot of Mac n Cheese, and mashed potatoes and have to admit those have never been on our menu.  We’ve done a lot of vegetable casseroles like corn, sweet potato or green bean.  This year we’re going to be doing some roasted vegetables.  So help me out here, what do you consider the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving?


Make the Clothes that Make the Woman

I just tripped over this post at PatternVault and had to share. Love this vintage look and how the basic pattern lines are shown. Hope you enjoy, Ramona.


The slogan for McCall’s Patterns in the mid-1950s was “Make the clothes that make the woman.” The advertising campaign with this slogan shows two identical women, one dressed in McCall’s pattern pieces, the other in the finished garment. It’s a charming campaign from the Golden Age of Advertising. Here’s a selection, in roughly chronological order:

This ad from 1956 shows the model enjoying a fresh strawberry at a party. (Could it be a strawberry social?) The pattern is McCall’s 3562:

The September ad shows Dovima on a trip to Paris, before a mustachioed gendarme. The pattern is McCall’s 3785 by Givenchy:

Another travel-themed ad shows McCall’s 3790 with some whimsically stacked luggage:

This 1957 ad featuring McCall’s 3952 shows a well-dressed tug-of-war:

This Valentine’s Day-themed ad appeared in Vogue’s March 1957 issue. (The pattern is McCall’s 3967.) The model is Suzy Parker:

This spring ad shows McCall’s 4046 by…

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Marcelle Medallion and Textures (Angela Walters)

Marcelle Medallion and Textures (Angela Walters)

Marcelle Medallion center. I will be using Textures by Angela Walters along with plum/rose accent fabrics. Remaining borders are going to get scrappy.

For more info on the Marcelle Medallion QAL hosted by Penny Poppleton see