Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Cool" Project

Ok, I clearly don't have enough WIPs right now...NOT! But, here's one more.  A Christmas present for a very sweet friend of mine.  I saw a picture of a pillow similar to this and I decided I HAD to make one.  It's going to be for a 16" pillow.  I have completed the FMQ. Now I just have to attach the buttons on the face and put the actual piilow together with the zipper and flap and all. I will post again when it's finished, hopefully soon! 

Linking with Lee at Freshly Pieced!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Mug Rug

Cross it off the WIP list!  Here's my Mug Rug for the swap for the next meeting of the RMQG.  So cute!  The penguin is a paper pieced pattern from Sewhooked.  I don't usually buy patterns, but I was lucky enough to win this one in a contest.  I just love how cheerful he is.  The quilting is FMQ.  It's really hard to see in this picture, but I actually used metallic silver thread for the quilting; I love it.  I wouldn't quilt a lot with it, but in small doses it's pretty sweet.  I also pleased with the binding; I'm getting much better at corners!

I signed the back with a permanent marker.

Hope you are all enjoying getting gear up for Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Fun Finishes

November seems to be birthday month for me! I have had so much fun making birthday gifts (:  Today I finished up some adorable presents for 2 nurse that I work with.  One turning 24 and the other 25.  I enjoyed using some bright colors!

First is another quilted throw pillow.  I FMQ loose loops on this in a bright pink color; you really can't see it in the picture at all. The front is flannel and the back and binding is Kona in Punch.  I installed a zipper with a flap cover over back. The cover fits a 12"x16" pillow.

Next are 2 coordinating accessory pouches with zippers in bright orange and teal.  The orange is Kona in Torch- love it!  I FMQ one pouch and the other pouch with vinyl is Amanda Jean's tutorial that I keep linking to...I love this pattern! The joint birthday outing is tonight; I hope the girls love their gifts!

Linking with Sarah and Amanda Jean!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday #3

Welcome to WIP Wednesday #3!  I hope everyone had a great month and got lots done!  I am going to try to be a little less verbose this month; I can be a little long-winded and I don't want to bore you!  If you read my recent post on the latest meeting of the RMQG, you'll know that I am combining my WIPW here at SGQ with a several month UFO challenge at the guild, but as I mentioned above, I am going to try to be less wordy (:

If you remember, my current WIPs that I posted about last month are the PoD, the diamond quilt, and an unannounced quilt that I had just finished cutting last month.  My UFO challenge projects are the unannounced quilt mentioned above (due in Dec.), a Valentine's themed throw pillow - not started yet (due in Feb.), "Foxy Tumblers" quilt (due in April), and a blue quilt for my boyfriend, Shain - also not started yet (due in June).  One last WIP to add to this (giant) list is a mug rug for the guild holiday party/meeting.  Quite a list! Let's get started!

The PoD:
 2 more blocks completed puts me at 15/30 blocks pieced: 1/2 way done!

The Diamond Quilt:
32 blocks completed.  Please note the adorable Noteworthy by Sweetwater block above, as well as 2 more fabrics I've picked up along the way to add in....ooppps!

 The 'Unannounced' Quilt:
The unannounced quilt from last WIPW will henceforth be known as Pixelated Heart.  It was just a stack of 5" squares last month, primarily Cuzco by Kate Spain for Moda.  This is my December UFO challenge item and I plan on giving it as a Christmas present.  Hopefully I can get the borders on this week and load it on to the Innova.  I am having a hard time deciding what color to use for the quilting.  The back is going to be orange flannel.  Any suggestions?

 "Foxy Tumblers"
April UFO item.  Probably going to be a baby quilt.  I have some tumblers cut out but no real progress on this yet. 

 Mug Rug:
I hate to ruin the surprise, but I think I am going to incorporate this paper-pieced guy in to my mug rug for the swap; how fun and festive with out being too "Christmas-y".

That's all for this edition of WIPW.  I hope I didn't bore you too much!  See you 12/18/13 for the next installment...wish me luck getting things done!  If I do complete things before 12/18, I AM going to post them early to share them with you guys and to attempt to slim down next month's post.  Please post a comment below with a link to your WIPs; I would love to see them!  I'm linking with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Keep WIPin'


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quilting the Insane Geese Quilt

I am about 60% of the way to the bottom of this cute flying geese quilt.  I decided on a meander for the blocks due to the plentiful seams and ribbon candy in the sashing.  There are small daisies in the cornerstones.  I am using Signature thread on top and Superior So Fine in the bobbin.  My Innova is not fussy...great tension all the time!   Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced ...

From Italy with Love...

It seems just like Christmas here today with a delivery from Aurifil!  I have been waiting (forever it seems)  for delivery of thread samples.  I am already in love with the 50 weight thread for piecing and quilting.  And my Innova loves it too!  Although it is expensive, the quality is there so I don't mind the price too much. 

Yippeee!  Four (count them) large cones!  And three of them are in useful neutral colors that I am certain to use.  The varigated is also beautiful!  I have never used the 40 wt or 28 wt so I am happy to have samples to try before placing an order.

Thank you Aurifil!

Studio update - new Harman pellet stove and ginormous design wall!

Yesterday my new Harman XXV arrived! It is a gorgeous deep blue color and heats the studio like a charm!  It arrived just in time since we are starting to feel winter here in the northeast.  My studio will be a cozy haven for all things creative!  We still have some insulation to finish on the west end and the interior of the barn wall (since the adjacent space is not heated).   I just visited the studio with the code inspector and was pleased to note the temperature at a steady 70 degrees - just how Ilike it!  I will  be more impatient than usual to finish work at my day job and head to the barn this evening.

My very handy and loving husband has also started the design wall for me.  I mentioned a few times how much I was missing my design wall in the house when I am at the studio.  Even though we have several pressing priorities, he took the time Sunday afternoon to start the wall.  It is a whopping 96"+ tall and 16 feet long!  I don't often work on a  project that big but I want to have the option.    Now I need to get some batting to cover.  I have been in touch with Quilters Dream and they can cut me a custom length so I am just trying to decide if I want to add some extra bats to the box since I will be paying the same shipping; box full or box partially full.

The design wall will be finished off with oak corner molding to further secure the batting after stapling  and to cover the edges.  I am going to stain the oak molding so that it will have the same pickled finish as the mop boards and floor.

We are far from finished but every task moves us a bit closer!

Stop by for visit if you are in my neighborhood :)

Monday, November 18, 2013


Hi all,

As the title of this post implies, we at SGQ are live on Etsy! You can find our one of a kind, handmade with love items at my shop: FromFrancesca

Hope to see you there!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Small, Sweet Projects

I have spent several pleasant evenings in the past few weeks making some very small, sweet projects.  I love quilts as much as the next girl, but I also LOVE finishing projects, which is why smaller is sometimes better.  This particular set of small projects are in the true Swink Girl style: hand made with love.  One of my most wonderful friends, Judy, is turning 50 this week, so I made these quilted, coordinated gifts for her, I really hope she loves them!

First, a sweet throw pillow, 12"x16".  The back is solid gray with a covered purple zipper.  The case is fully lined, no raw edges!  And I love, Love, LOVE binding on throw pillows!

Also, I used my new FMQ foot on all these projects, and I a decidedly better at it, yay!

You may recognize this sweet zipper bag; I've made several now from this tutorial at Crazy Mom Quilts.  This pattern is really simple and turns out so nice, plus people are really impressed when they see the vinyl, like "wow, you made that?"

 A shot from the back, just to show you just how matchy-matchy this set is.

 I love making these little, quilted zip bags.  Kimberly taught me how, although she goes the extra (LONG) mile and makes linings for hers.  There are some raw edges in here, but I overcast them and they don't bother me. I mean, how fancy does a bag to shove your deodorant in really have to be?

It's kind of hard to demonstrate what this one is.  Its a little slip case to put your reading glasses in.  I wanted to take a picture with a pair of glasses tucked in there and peeking out the end, but I don't have any!  Kimberly assures me it is the correct size.  I forgot to mention: with the exception of the bag with the vinyl, NO PATTERNS WERE USED TO MAKE THESE GIFTS.  I am getting to be a REAL sewer!

 This is a bigger version of the zipper bag above.  Roomy enough to fit a brush, hair dryer, large makeup kit, whatever.  I had some cotton webbing strap laying around that I dyed purple to match.

As you can see above, I also made a full size pillow case. I love my pillow case pattern (that Kimberly taught me) as I make them with a French seam and they just seem so polished, I have literally made dozens.  The pillow case was a last minute idea (and the reason I had to order more of the boysenberry fabric).  We are celebrating Judy's birthday by going out of town and will be spending the night at a hotel.  I thought to myself, 'I am making all these little accessories, why not call it a hotel survival kit?'  A nice fresh pillowcase, throw pillow, bags to stay organized; all coordinated in fabulous, purple, quilted glory!

And here's a picture of all the gifts tucked in to the bigger zipper bag (the pillowcase is obviously removed from the pillow and folded up), how tidy!

I really enjoyed making these gifts, especially since most of them took only one or two nights to finish.  I am proud of what I have created with out patterns and pleased with my increased skill at FMQ and hand sewing binding.  I really hope Judy loves them!


Edit: Linking with Amanda Jean, Sarah and Audrey!

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Life at Sea - quilting complete

I love my Innova!

I had fun quilting this with swirls.  It is supposed to be suggestive of the ocean.  I am not sure whether I met the mark but I think the end result is pleasing.  I used Aurifil thread - 50 wt in a lovely aqua color.  The binding is attached and ready for hand sewing.  This quilt will be done in time to deliver at  Christmas to my Uncle Tom, a retired navy man. 

Looking forward to finishing up the east wall of my new quilting studio this weekend.  We have some trim work to do and more painting.  The wall needs to be done because on Monday, my new pellet stove arrives.  Yay!!!!  I can't wait since the temps here (in the Northeast) have been dipping below freezing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A small project and BIG plans

Last night Kimberly and I attended our 2nd meeting of the Rochester Modern Quilt Guild.  We had a great time.  I shared a few small projects I have been working on lately (more on that Saturday) including this name tag I made to wear:

This name tag is so "me".  Even if it didn't have my name on it you would know it's mine.  I dyed the fabric myself, it was originally Moda white.  I then used discharge paste to bleach out my name.  I used a zigzag and mattress (I think? the one that's l_l_l_l ) stitch in white over the letters and then FMQ in purple around my name.  I used the same dyed fabric for the binding and attached some pretty pink ribbon to wear the name tag around my neck.  Now everyone at the guild meetings will know who I am (:

The other thing I wanted to share with you guys from the meetings last night has to do with the guild's UFO challenge.  I am going to tie my participation in the UFO challenge directly in with WIPW (work in progress Wednesday) to DOUBLE my motivation!  I will attempt to describe the UFO challenge as concisely as possible, but you know concise is not my forte.  Basically, you pick 4 UFOs you want to work on (I picked one WIP and 3 IIP ((ideas in progress?))).  You jot them down on a piece of paper and hand in $4.  You don't have to do 4, you can do less and hand in the corresponding $.  We handed these in at the meeting in October (or last night).  In December, February, April and June, we must present the finished UFO or photographic evidence of it's completion (in the case that is has already been given away.)  If you meet the challenge for that month, you get $1 back, a certificate of completion and your name is entered into the drawing for the kitty.  If you do not meet the challenge, you get words of encouragement, and forfeit your $1 to the kitty. Sounds fun right?  Well, Kimberly did not want to play, she has enough stress already, I'd say.  I told her "they don't have to be quilts, you could make 4 small things, right?"  So what did I put down for my challenge? 

Quilt, throw pillow, quilt, quilt.  Smooth, Francesca, real smooth.  At least the Pixelated Heart quilt is started (more on that on WIPW 11/20/13).  The throw pillow won't be too bad, I have some cute Valentine-y charm squares somewhere.  The Foxy Tumblers is coalescing in my mind and will most likely be a baby quilt.  The last one, for my man Shainer, well, let's say I'm going to need the double motivation (and possibly a small miracle) on that one (:

That's all for tonight.  Look for a really sweet post on Saturday, and then WIPW next week.

Happy sewing!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On the long arm and on the design wall...

Although busy this past weekend with a landscaping project I did have time yesterday to cut out some pieces for the next quilt.  The fabric is from a collection called Nordika.  I just love it!  I am really looking forward to how this one comes together!

Last week I was able to spend some time working on the simply woven quilt ("My Life at Sea" is the tentative name).  The quilting is FMQ swirls.  I am about 2/3 of the way to the bottom.  I would like to finish it up this week altho  that may not happen since I have committments tonight and also tomorrow nioght (maybe Thursday?).

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Doggie Couture

Not exactly quilted, I know. But a simple project this evening. A prototype for a doggie jacket.  I bought the owl print fleece as a remnant at Joann's with no purpose in mind, but voilĂ , perfect amount for a doggie coat.
Not to brag or anything, but I whipped this up tonight as I have everything that I promised for WIPW (work in progress Wednesday) done! I'm not going to post WIPW early so be prepared to see more progress than I promised on Nov. 20th :)
Just keep stitchin'

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hello, my name is Francesca, and I am addicted...

 ...TO FABRIC! I got another order from fabricworm last week than I haven't posted yet as I have been super busy, but since I am making some things from said fabric that I am going to be posting soon, I figured I should show you the loot!

I really wanted to get some COLOR in my stash so I grabbed a few fat quarter bundles.

This one and the next are both from Robert Kauffman's Dazzle line.  Above is Streamers and below is Sparkle. I am seriously LOVING these fabrics, the colors are extremely rich and the simple, fresh patterns make these a great alternative to solids. I actually purchased 2 additional yards of the fabric all the way to the right in the picture above. A great purple called Boysenberry. I am working on a really cool birthday present with this fabric and I will post pictures after the birthday girl gets her gifts!

I also snagged some prints.  Far left was only $6 a yard!  The other 2 are Swallow Study by Joel Dewberry.  Couldn't resist them.

And, of course, some solids.  These are Robert Kauffman Kona solids. I LOVE the names of solids these days.  There is one (not pictured) called zucchini that is EXACTLY the color of the inside of a zucchini, crazy!  From the left : magenta, canary, punch, persimmon, jade, ash, snow and torch.  The torch and the fox print were thrown in free of charge due to a small goof with my order, sweet!

 And just in case you were wondering, yes, I do sew, occasionally.  Here are the blocks I promised Kimberly for her do.Good stitches bee:

Keep stichin' friends!


A unique block for my Uncle

I am moving along with the 'Simply Woven' quilt destined to go live with Uncle in California.  He is a retired Captain US Navy and enjoys a unique hobby operating a 'speeder' on various railroad adventures.  He asked for a Navy/train related quilt.  Since I am not much for 'theme quilts' or novelty fabrics I chose to interpret this very loosely and just made a quilt top in a pattern I was itching to make!  To be truthful, the colors are sea related and I am going to give it a sea-related name.  I was thinking of 'Restless Sea" but I want the quilt to be enjoyed tranquilly so I think a  more peaceful name is in order.  My current top pick is 'My Life at Sea.'  We shall see if it sticks until such time as I need to make the label!

I asked for a photo of the train speeder and then worked to re-create it in a block for the back of the quilt.  This will personalize the quilt for sure!  I think it came out great and has just enough detail that it will be instantly recognized as the speeder.  I plan to put a sparkly button in the middle of the windows since that black circle is suppposed to be a headlight.    The backing is complete now that this block has been added so the quilt is ready to be loaded on the Innova after work tonite.

My goal is for him to have it by Christmas and it looks like that will happen!

Do. Good Stitches - Hope Circle - November

November blocks follow the 'Urban Chicken' pattern and the quilter requested warm colors (orange, yellow, pink, etc).  This might be the earliest time in the month that I have ever completed bee blocks!  With Christmas coming, it is nice to to have this task crossed off the list.

Francesca finished the two geese blocks that she graciously agreed to make since I lacked four blocks from the bee stitchers to complete the August quilt.  I am thinking they need to be sashed so I will get on that and try to move that project forward.