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The Traveling Quilts Bee

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

I’m in a bee. Seriously! My first bee (I’m SUCH a bee-newbie that I still have that new bee smell), and wow… what a bee to be in!  I’m thrilled and terrified at the same time. Not only are my fellow Traveling Quilts bee’rs AMAZING quilters, but this bee is a round robin and on the last rotation the person quilts and binds their person’s quilt. Oh sure, no pressure - I only have to quilt Dan Freaking Rouse’s quilt! It’s like building a car for Lamborghini or decorating Martha Stewart’s house.  Nooooooo sweat (beads of sweat dribble off my face and on to my keyboard).  But as scared as I am, I’m also thrilled and honored, and honestly - quite giddy to be the person who gets to quilt Dan’s quilt.
My block's fabrics for the Traveling Quilts bee

The premise of the bee is really simple, we all start with a “seedling”, which can be a block, a cluster of blocks, or whateva. It then travels from house to house, and everyone builds upon what the last person added.  I made “boarding pass” buttons for everyone in the bee - but I accidentally put us all in the same seat. I guess we’ll be needing that seat belt extender.
TTQ button for me

My block is a modified version of my You Are Here block (now it’s become my You Are Home block), and the center house block is a modified schoolhouse block from Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine.    I only did one chimney so it looks more like a home than a schoolhouse, and I also reduced the size so it would finish at 4.5″. Lots of trial, error and wishful thinking on the printing.  I’m not sure what the final % was, I just got lucky.  I’m going to take advantage of my supersize shot, because from here on out I can only show sneak peek pics. And some people think I’m neat, tidy and organized. Bwhahahaha.
The Traveling Quilts bee

I made up a little saying for my block and embroidered it to the bottom. Actually, I embroidered it twice. Because four nights of embroidering it wrong is how I roll. Oh well, I wasn’t feeling the love for the font on the first one, anyway.
The Traveling Quilts bee

Now all I need to do is write in my journal and off it’ll go to Dan’s house.  And by write I mean that I’ll scribble something in my journal and include a legible (typed and printed) errata to go with it.
The Traveling Quilts bee
I’ll be sending my quilt-seedling to Dan in California, and then so on and so forth to –> Penny in Colorado to –> Jacquie in Illinois to –> Faith in Illinois to –> Ashley in Vermont to –> John in North Carolina to –> Amber in Hawaii to –> Alissa in California to –> Elizabeth in Oregon to –> Heather in Oregon to –> me in Oregon and then back to Dan with a finished quilt!

As much as I want to hand deliver to each month’s package… ohhh, I danno… like a meet-up at Amber’s house (I wonder if Hawaiian Airlines will accept our boarding passes?), we’re going to have to rely on the planes, trains and trucks of delivery services.  This is gonna be so fun!  Deeeeeeeeep breath…. wish me luck.  Or rather, wish my partners good luck!

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Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

My friend Jane recently asked me to participate in her Desperate Housewife’s Quilt project. 50 of Jane’s blocks, 50 from guest bloggers, and all over a period of 50 weeks - holy S-balls, that’s a 100 blocks!  I did not even hesitate to give her a big, fat yes.   Plus it got me off my bum and working on my modified Wrench block I did last summer in the Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-long.

I’ve asked around, I’ve google’d… and I still have no clear idea what the difference is between a Churn Dash block and Wrench/Monkey Wrench block. Oh well, it’s a good excuse to give my version it’s own name, Funky Wrench.
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

A very dear friend of mine sent me the most amazing gift - a bundle of Moda’s Half Moon Modern by MoMo. I love my friend and this fabric so much I weep little hearts from my eyes.
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

All my favorite colors in whole world. So crisp, so clean and so happy.
Moda Fabics - Half Moon Modern by MoMo

I had shaky hands when I untied the twill tape and released the loveliness from it’s bundled pillar of happiness.
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

I don’t know that I’ll ever tire of red and aqua. Both red & aqua and orange & aqua are so vintage + so modern. My favorite thing now is to have these combos have a ménage à trois with grey. [fanning myself feverishly]
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Composing myself. Ok. I love charms. Love, love, LOVE them. And Funky Wrench uses four (5″) charms plus some white from a 3″ strip to make one Nut and one Bolt block. Two blocks, I love that! It’s like getting a free box of cereal inside a box of cereal.
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Layout is key, and working in a 9-patch is a must. All seams are a ¼”. Starting with the Nut block:
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Join units into rows, then join rows:
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Next, the Bolt block:
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Join units into rows, then join rows:
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Sometimes you feel like a Nut
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Sometimes you Bolt
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Turns out all the blocks in Jane’s series are 8″ finished. Mine are 6″ finished. Whoops. But hey, if you put Nut and Bolt together I think I may have over-achieved a little on the square inch-age. Maybe I can redeem myself and give bonus measurements. If I wasn’t so lazy I’d give yardage measurements too. But I’m too lazy.
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

Bam! Bonus Half Moon Modern shot.
Funky Wrench - Nuts & Bolts (blocks)

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Winner, winner!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Winner, winner! The fat quarter bundle of HMYY give-away has now ended. Thank you all for joining in on the give-away! Using random.org for comments 1-551, the winner of the bundle is: #415 (which ironically is the area code for San Francisco) - yay Robyn!

Thank you everyone for your kinds words (and making me hungry for candy!) and playing along with Lori and me.  And thank you most of all to Ayumi - sweet, sweet Ayumi, for sharing her beautiful pattern with us. I got a lot of comments about the Botan Rice Candy, and I don’t know if this is a West Coast thing - but you can find it in the Asian section of your local grocery store.  Even in my teenie little Scandinavian town of Astoria - I can find it at my local Safeway and Fred Meyer.  Oh Lewis & Clark, you came 200 years too soon and missed out.

Hello, my name is Luggage

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

I’ve either made a super mini-quilt or I’ve made a super-colossal, gargantuan nametag. Lots of nametag making going on at guild (Portland Modern Quilt Guild) and I couldn’t wait to get started on one myself.  Ever since I saw Faith’s nametag on her flickr and part of her Mini Quilt Monday series - I knew I wanted one too. I love everything Faith does and makes.  Faith pretty much could have quilted a little “Dentist appointment, 9:45 on Monday” tag and I would have loved it - she’s THAT rockem sockem brilliant.

I started on mine - and what started out to be nametag size…
Super mini-quilt (aka my super colossal gargantuan nametag WIP)

… has now grown to cafeteria tray size. How did that happen?!
Super mini-quilt (aka my super colossal gargantuan nametag)

I’ve added a zippered pocket to my nametag’s back… now I’ve practically made luggage.
Super mini-quilt (aka my super colossal gargantuan nametag)

Oh well, at least it makes my butt look smaller than a regular nametag.  Diet tip:  Surround yourself with over-sized objects.

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Friendship + Sewing + Giveaway + Tutorial!

Friday, February 17th, 2012

A while back ago I saw my friend Megan sporting the cuuuuuu-test little bag she made. And when I say saw - I mean I was formulating a plan on how to swipe it from her.  But it turns out, Meg tells me - is my friend Ayumi of Pink Penguin has a tutorial for the Lunchbox bag and I could make one myself. So excited to be able to make one too, though I still toyed with The Great Lunchbox Bag Heist of 2010.

>>> fast forward sound >>>

So I’m putzing around Pinterest. And when I say putzing, I mean I’m on Pinterest for my 3rd or 4th time that day… and I spot a Lunchbox bag made by Erin and immediately show Lori (or maybe Lori saw my pin or I tagged her on the pin, I can’t remember - it was all very exciting + plus I’m forgetful), and the next thing we know we’re swapping fabric! Lori sends me some of her Sew Cherry, and I send her some of my Happy Mochi Yum Yum.  And then I GO TO TOWN and start on a Lunchbox bag making frenzy!  Lori, in Utah, and I in Oregon - we were sewing together via our iPhones - texting each other and sending pics as we’re sewing.  It was the next best thing to being actually together.  Sometimes I marvel at how technology, in all it’s high techness - can be all about friendship, and goodness, and being the closest we can get to beaming ourselves places.
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!

Lori and I said we’d send each other 5 fat quarters, but she went all Oprah on me and sent me a package-full-o-goodies! Sew Cherry fat quarters, an apron kit with her Sew Cherry and apron pattern, a tomato pincushion kit (her tutorial here) and one of her signature Big Cherry candies… it was all so weepy cute and generous.
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!

Lori even made me a needlebook!
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!

The lunchbox bag in Lori’s Sew Cherry fabric:
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!

In Denyse Schmidt’s fabric (for Joann’s). One thing Lori and I did different from Ayumi’s pattern was to do our straps in one fabric vs two. A bee flew in my bonnet, and I got an idea to put the twill tape that’s wrapped around the Moda pre-cuts inside my handles to make them beefy.  I LOVE my handles with the twill tape inside!  Now all my bags will have a little Moda happiness inside each bag.  I have been saving this twill tape over the years and have amassed quite a large volume of it. Which is scary to think I’ve used, acquired and bought that much fabric Yay, good for me that I’ve sewn so much!
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!

Here’s one in Pam Kitty Morning fabric. Turns out Lori and I made the same one! Probably because we love Pam so much and we were channeling her.  I did make my PKM bag a little smaller - I was playing around with different sizes.  Because I love to nest stuff - my self diagnosed Matryoshka-itis.
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!

Here’s one in my Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric.  So to drag everyone into our web of Lunchbox bag making frenzy goodness - Lori and I are both doing a giveaway of a 5pk fat quarter bundle (plenty to make a Lunchbox bag), plus I’ve added my new signature candy - a box of Botan Rice Candy (mochi candy) and a pack of Doublemint gum (WTH?).
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!
I’ve loved Botan Rice Candy ever since I was kid (our class had gone on a field trip to San Francisco’s Japan Town for the day), especially since you can eat the “Saran Wrap” paper wrapper that’s outside the candy. There’s also a pack of Doublmint gum - you can hop over to Lori’s blog and read about it’s meaning.
Sew Cherry + Happy Mochi Yum Yum lunch bagfest!

To enter, leave a comment (maybe you’d like to share what your signature candy is?) just before Midnight-ish Monday (2/20/12 PST), and I’ll announce the winner Tuesday morning. And by morning I mean around lunch-time. Be sure to hop over to Lori’s blog for a chance to win a Sew Cherry bundle (and candy) from her!  Happy Lunchboxing!!

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February 21, 2012 Edited in:
Winner, winner! The fat quarter bundle of HMYY give-away has now ended. Thank you all for joining in on the give-away! Using random.org for comments 1-551, the winner of the bundle is: #415 (which ironically is the area code for San Francisco) - Robyn!

Thank you everyone for your kinds words (and making me hungry for candy!) and playing along with Lori and me. And thank you most of all to Ayumi - sweet, sweet Ayumi, for sharing her beautiful pattern with us. I got a lot of comments about the Botan Rice Candy, and I don’t know if this is a West Coast thing - but you can find it in the Asian section of your local grocery store. Even in my teenie little Scandinavian town of Astoria - I can find it at my local Safeway and Fred Meyer. Oh Lewis & Clark, you came 200 years too soon and missed out.

100 Days of OhMyGoshing!

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Oh. My. Gosh. I love the Modern Quilt Guild’s out of this world 100 Days of Modern Quilting epic event!  I’ve never been so excited about a blog series as I have the 100DoMG.  It’s so good I almost want to print out each day and make a little book out of it.  My life has been full of life recently - but there’s been one constant… I check the MQG’s blog every day for the day’s posting of the 100DoMG.

And if that’s not enough - they asked ME if they could feature MY quilt on one of days during the 100 Days - Week of Blocks!  ME… Featured Quilt 6!  Did I mention ME?!  Did I mention MY “Make Me Happy” Farmer’s Wife Quilt-a-long quilt?
my Make Me Happy quilt

The money shot: I love how skinny my quilt makes me look.
Make Me Happy quilt

I’m also thrilled the MQG asked me - because I chop-chopped and got off the pot and quilted my quilt.  I still can’t get over that I’m machine quilting.  Not the best quilting, and I never thought I’d be able to do machine quilting.   Ever.
Make Me Happy quilt

And not that I’ll give up hand quilting - but it sure is liberating to do it by machine, and to know I did it, and to have it done in only a few days.  In a weird way, I’m kinda proud of my crappy quilting… it gives it that home made love look to me.  I feel like when I was a kid, and I’d help my mom stir something on the stove and I got to say “I helped make…”.   My machine quilting feels the same way, but now I actually get to say, “I made that!”.   Of course if my quilting was like a meal… I’d be offering Tums and extra napkins to go with it.
Make Me Happy quilt

Side note - my husband is always, always, always very supportive of my quilting, my friends time, blogging/tweeting/pinteresting, and he even stands in and plays quilt model for me. Though sometimes he just doesn’t get photographing quilts and my whole The Walking Quilted obsession and taking photos in places where photos SHOULD be taken. In this case, dear Hub’s was not thrilled about this farm shot. His words, “we can’t do that… it’s someone’s driveway!”. Poor guy, he’s learning.
Make Me Happy quilt

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New Year’s Resolution #1…

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

… sew more.  Sew lots, lots more.  Less iMac and more iSew.  And boy have I been true to my resolutions.  Resolution.   The key keeping to resolutions is to set the bar low.  Or really, not to even have a bar.

Helping me in my resolution is Lori, and clearly some Sew Cherry cuteness is involved (and having such fun playing with Happy Mochi Yum Yum)!
A sew fun resloution!

Some PKM cuteness from Pam is also on my iSew New Year’s resolution!
A sew fun resolution!

My sewing machine’s foot peddle is starting to get cold - back to sewing I go (and Pinterest - I never said anything about cutting back on that, expecially since Pinterest was the catapult for this latest project-o-fun!) so I can show more of what we’ve (did I say “we”?) been up to.

Merry Everything!

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

To all my awesome friends who come to my blog, tweet me on twitter, pin with me on Pinterest, photo with me on Flickr - my heartfelt and warm mushy holiday greeting and wishes for a joyous holiday season to you. Thank you for your kindness and laughs, good cheer and lovin’s - thank you for being a part of my life.
Zombie Zack

May you be surrounded and squeezed with hugs by the ones you love, with family and friends, goodness and kindness.  If your family is far away (like mine are) - may you feel their love from the much too many miles between you.  Knock, knock, Santa… jet packs, please.
Zombie Zack

May your holiday be filled with the childlike joy and good friends who foster it.
Zombie Zack

May your New Year be filled with kept resolutions and achievable goals.  Mine is to stop gosling’ing. I promise.
Zombie Zack


(Big thanks to QuiltDad for sending me the Zombie Zack!!)

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Hey girl

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Hey girl - you can never be too rich, or too thin, or have enough access to Photoshop or have too much Ryan Gosling in your life. So I’m jumping on Ryan on the Hey Girl Train.

ryan gosling bobbin winding

ryan gosling fabric shopping

ryan gosling cooking

(I feel bad for not giving a photo credit to the original photos of Ryan that I swiped used to make my “hey girl” memes from, but the original Ryan Gosling shots are all over the internet and I have no idea who the photographers are. So what I’m trying to say is, is that if I’m arrested for defacing someone’s photos - please send me a cake with a knife in it Ryan pics to decorate my cell with.)

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Sew,Mama,Sew! Giveaway Day!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

I love Sew,Mama,Sew’s Giveaway Day! LOVE it. I love giving a giveaway goodie and I love going to all the giveaways. In the years past, I’ve met and made some really good friends through SMSGD.  Not to mention discovering a bunch of great new blogs.  Sometimes the best gifts are hiding behind other gifts (it’s how I discovered my friend Krista) - so be sure and go back to all the sites you fell in love with that you discovered through Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day!

I’m giving away a 3″ jelly roll of my Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric (29 fabrics in all). Leave a comment - maybe you’d like to comment on what your favorite sweet treat is at the moment or what you’re craving?  I’m CRAVING my late Omi’s tapioca pudding - and eating it with her in her kitchen in Germany.  Right before dinner.  She was that cool - dessert before dinner! 
Sew,Mama,Sew!  Giveaway Day!

Drawing for the HMYY jelly roll is open to domestic and international commenters, and ends on Dec 16th at 5pm-ish PST. I’ll use Random.org to draw a lucky comment number.
Sew,Mama,Sew! Giveaway Day!

December 17, 2011 Edited in:
Giveaway Day has ended and we have a winner, winner, Happy Mochi Yum Yum jelly roll dinner (aaaand, exhale)!  Thank you all for joining in on the giveaway.  The comments were so fun, and came  from such amazing and wonderful people.  Everyone’s comments were so kind, interesting, YUMMY, touching and poignant (and some cracked my ess up!).   I would LOVE to go all Oprah and say, “e v e r y o n e - l o o k - u n d e r - y o u r - s e a t…” and I’d have a prezzy for everyone.  But I’m only me, with crazy fantasies… so I thought I’d add an extra winner and draw two numbers.  Using random.org for comments 1-972, the winners are #24 Cindy and #810 Jo… please look under your seats!

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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