Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pretty {little} Pouch swap - round 3

Somehow, with the munchkin back at school yesterday, I managed to not only find the inspiration for my pouch for the third round of Pretty {little} Pouch swap, but I also managed to finish it!  I'm really happy with how it turned out and super excited to get it to my partner, who I'm pretty sure is going to adore it.

I was on a bit of pouch roll yesterday morning, wrapping up the pouches I'm making for The Sewing Summit, and I decided on a long rectangle pouch with a half dresden on each side of the pouch.  I pulled some aqua, yellow, green, and pink scraps from my stash for the petals and a green polka for the dresden center, but I was unsure what kind of background fabric I wanted.

Do you like where this is going, partner?

I initially wanted to use natural linen, but I couldn't find mine (more on that later), so I used a gray quilter's linen, which created a nice contrast that I wasn't expecting.  I think I even like it better than had I used the natural linen!  I decided I wanted to box the corners for the pouch, to make it able to stand on its own, which worked out really nicely.

PLP - Done!!

I really love how this pouch turned out, and I have to say, I'm a bit jealous!  I kind of love it too much!!  But I will give it to my partner, no worries.  I just might find myself making another pouch for me at some point :)

Three overflowing scrap bins

So that's one thing checked off the To Sew list before The Sewing Summit next up is quilting the munchkin's guy quilt, which is all basted and ready to quilt!  The other thing I really need to tackle is the mess that is my sewing room - remember how I couldn't find my natural linen?  I found it this morning, when I was looking for my stack of fat quarters for the swap at The Sewing Summit - which I still haven't found, by the way. I don't like being messy in my sewing room, but the messes seem to be a byproduct of getting stuff done these days. My scrap bins are positively overflowing, so I see some kind of scrap project coming soon, otherwise I'm going to have to make a sign for my sewing room - Scraplandia, population 7 billion scraps!!!  Maybe I'll try to sort through the bins tonight while watching some "Grey's Anatomy."  What are you working on today?

Holy mess, Batman!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WiP Wednesday #45

Another week gone already?  Wow!  Somehow it never ceases to amaze me how quickly Wednesday comes every week.   Between gearing up for the Sewing Summit next week (eek!!!!) and dealing with a sick kiddo, things have been nonstop busy this week.  Thankfully, the kiddo is back off to school today, fever free, and I'm planning to really start checking things off my list this week, with just over a week to go before I get on an airplane!

100 Quilts for Kids

Calming Seas quilt - finished!

Nikki Tote for the Sewing Summit - I went with the purple, thanks for the feedback!


Baking - Stay tuned for more on this one soon, but here's a sneak peek!

Sneakity peek

Angel package for the For the Love of Solids swap - We unfortunately had to work up two angel packages in the swap, but I just wrapped mine up and Megan's close to finishing hers as well.  I'm sending this lovely tote and zippy pouch out today!

Still going:
Ryan's guy quilt - This bad boy is getting basted tonight so it will be ready to quilt, but Ryan's been sick the last few days, and home from preschool, so there's been lots of snuggling on the couch and not so much sewing, but I will definitely finish this off before I head to the Sewing Summit - which will be the first time in his entire life that he will be without me overnight.  At least he'll be able to have his quilt, hopefully that will help...

Sewing Summit swaps - I am almost finished with these lovely things, but because I want them to be a surprise, I need to keep them under wraps for now...but here's a sneak peek!

Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along - I took this last week off from the quilt-along, but hope to hop back in the saddle...soon-ish...

Pillow Talk swap - I have zero resistance when it comes to this swap.  I love quilted pillows and I adore the amount of talent in this swap, so naturally, when round 6 was announced, I was all for it.  Here's my mosaic, and I'm starting to sketch some ideas for my partner this week, though I suspect I won't start sewing until after the Sewing Summit...

PTS Round 6 Inspiration Mosaic

Pretty Little Pouch swap - I also adore a good cute pouch, so I signed up for another round of the Pretty Little Pouch swap.  I had a lot of fun in the first round of this swap, missed the second round because I was busy at the time, so I'm happy to join in again here.  I've got a fabulous partner, who just happens to be going to the Sewing Summit, and I've pulled some awesome fabrics for her.  I'm looking forward to sketching this one out and getting started soon.  I might even try to finish this one up to hand off in person at the Summit next week, we'll see!

Pretty Little Pouch round 3 mosaic!

My first pattern - Now I've received the fabric from my favorite fabric fairy, I'm officially working on my first real quilt pattern.  I'm working on writing the instructions this week, and hopefully starting to iron and cut the fabrics before I head out for the Sewing Summit next week.  I can't wait to get started on this, I'm really excited about the design, and I can't wait to share it with you all!!!


WiP Wednesday #45 Recap
Finished: 3
Last week's total: 6
New this week: 3
This week's total: 6

What are you waiting for?  Hop on over to Lee's to link up your progress this week and check out her super gorgeous 4x5 Bee blocks!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Congratulations BaileyGirl5!!!

Thank you everyone for all of your awesome comments on my blogiversary post.  Each and every one of them made me smile and I appreciate all of the great feedback you all shared as well.  I will definitely keep it in mind as I plan future posts!

And now for our winner of the awesome Circa 1934 layer cake...

Comment #28, BaileyGirl5, who said...

BaileyGirl5 said...

Happy Blogiversary! I'm always excited when I see you pop up in my reader and look forward to seeing what you're up to now. I love your quilt a longs and am hand quilting my kaleidoscope quilt as we speak. I may win the award for the latest finish but I'm chugging along. I would have never made such an intricate quilt (well, me for ....) without your guidance and the support of your peeps. Thanks for encouraging others to push past their barriers. I love you!!

Congratulations to BaileyGirl5, I can't wait to see how you use your new layer cake.  I'll be in touch with you today for your address information.

Thanks again to you all, and because I can't have a post without a photo, take a look at my finished tote for the Sewing Summit...well, it's almost finished - it still needs some buttons on the straps, but I'm debating between two different buttons.  Tell me what you think...wood (on the left) or purple (on the right)??

So which do you like best?  See you tomorrow for WiP Wednesday!
Monday, September 26, 2011

Calming Seas quilt finish!

Looking for my blogiversary giveaway?  It's right over here...

I finished up my quilt for the 100 Quilts for Kids campaign this weekend!

Swim, Bike, Quilt

This quilt will be donated locally within my area, to my local Ronald McDonald House charity, who provides a home away from home for families of pediatric patients in area hospitals.  This is the second quilt I've made to give away, and I have to say, it feels good (the first was donated via Margaret's Hope Chest earlier this year).


Do you have a quilty bucket list?  I sort of do, though it's entirely in my head.  There's lots of quilt blocks that I love and want to make, and the classic bow-tie block was on that list.  I used a half-yard bundle I've had in my stash pretty much since the dawn of my stash, and I'm really glad I finally used it.  In using it, I fell in love with it again, which was a nice surprise.  For the binding, I used Kona Regatta, one of my current favorite blues.


It's been a while since I finished off a baby quilt - I forgot how quickly they can be quilted and bound!  Not to mention how quickly they can be basted :)  This is the first quilt in a long time that I basted without my husband's help, which I think he was quite relieved about.  Given some of the other things I was working on this weekend, I didn't expect to finish this quilt, so it was a happy surprise.


Quilt Stats
Name: Calming Seas
Size: 48" square
Fabrics: MoMo Odyssea prints
Quilting: All-over meandering stipple by me
Binding: Kona Regatta, machined on
Pattern: My own personal chicken-scratch, but Megan wrote an awesome bow-tie quilt block tute for do.Good.Stitches that I highly recommend!

In other news, I finished another quilt this weekend, but you're going to have to be patient to see more of it!  Trust me, it will be worth the wait :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes of me

Holy cow, I cannot believe it is officially my first blogiversary today.  It doesn't feel like an entire year has passed since I created this little blog, but the day has indeed come.  I actually almost forgot - I happened to click the "oldest" button on the Edit Posts page in Blogger, and saw the date of my first post, and just about fell off my chair.  Really?   Has it been a year???

It's been a wild first year, but I have to say, I can't imagine my life without this blog now.  I've "met" so many wonderful people through my blog, learned so many new things, and enjoyed every minute of it.  I feel like I've grown so much over this last year and tackled so many things I never thought I'd be able to do, from making 28 quilts to writing tutorials to hosting two quilt-alongs to participating in super cool Flickr swaps.  Thank you to everyone who visits my blog, leaves me comments, and all of you who have inspired me over this last year in this virtual world of quilting.  I am having so much fun!  Here's a few of my favorite highlights over this last year:

1. Finished warm/cool quilt - the fence shot, 2. Kaleidoscope quilt - front view, 3. Finished another bookshelf mini - for a tutorial!, 4. Finished Modern Crosses Baby quilt, 5. Hooty Supernova - finished!, 6. Tristan's quilt, 7. A blue block for Angela, 8. do.Good.Stitches September Bliss blocks, 9. For Jules, 10. String Me Along - Beth's block, 11. Megan's Mini - Rainbow Crossing, 12. Cathedral Windows UGH Pillow, 13. Finished PTS pillow!, 14. Pretty {little} Pouch - finished! #1, 15. A trio of holiday pillows, 16. Modern Crosses baby finished back, 17. MHC Drunk Love quilt - finished, 18. Megan's X block for {Sew} Beautiful, 19. Summer Sampler: Kansas Dust Bowl block, 20. My first arty quilt shot, 21. Off to the airport we go!, 22. Bottled Rainbows top - complete!, 23. Stringy Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend, 24. Mom's birthday pillow, 25. A Legion of Dots quilt - front angle, 26. Circle of Friendship pillow - 2, 27. Sewing Summit nametag - done!, 28. Finished January Block - {Sew} Beautiful Bee, 29. Finished Tetris-inspired mug rug, 30. DSCN5693, 31. 100 Quilts for Kids quilt top, 32. A finished diamond pillow!, 33. Finished Summer Sampler blocks!, 34. Stained glass HSTs, 35. Spiderweb close-up #2, 36. Hooty Supernova - Plus back

And what's an anniversary without a present???  To thank you all for being a part of my blog over this last year, I've got a lovely Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934 layer cake up for grabs, thanks to the lovely Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics who is generously celebrating with me today.  Isn't it adorable?  I love Cosmo Cricket, and Circa 1934 is a super unique new line for Moda.  Personally, I'm a big fan of the reds in this collection, and the black prints are super fun, too.

To enter, simply leave me a comment, tell me what you'd like to see on my blog over the next year.  Another quilt-along?  More patterns?  More process posts?   Talk to me!  :)   I will draw a winner with Mr. Random's help on Monday night, 9/26/11, at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Good luck and have an awesome weekend!

NOTE: This giveaway is now closed.
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting my social on

Do you tweet?  I'm trying to, and given Facebook's recent update, I'm really enjoying Twitter.  It's so consistent.  :)  You can find me on Twitter right here.  Come say hi!

I also created a new Flickr group for people to post photos of things they've made from my tutes or quilt-alongs or inspired by my work.  I'd love to see what you've sewn up, you can pop over to the group right here.

Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy. Get yours at
On the plus side, getting my social on like this is good practice for making conversation at Sewing Summit.  On the down side, I can get lost on Twitter for an hour and not realize that sixty minutes have passed!  Oh well, it's fun getting to know people more there :)  Only two weeks until meeting so many of them in person!

I've got a good bit of stitching planned for the day, after a trip to our local science museum with the munchkin.  Have an awesome day!  
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WiP Wednesday #45

I kind of promised myself I wouldn't start any new projects before the Sewing Summit, figuring that I'll get all inspired and want to sew new things when I get home...but I couldn't help myself this week.  I finished a boatload of things on my To Sew list, and it was looking a little barren, so I added a few new things to the mix.

Finished this week:
Weekender bag
Off to the airport we go!

Laptop bag for Sewing Summit

A new laptop case for the trip!

My Sewing Summit nametag!

Sewing Summit nametag - done!

String Me Along bee block

String Me Along September block

{Sew} Beautiful bee block

{Sew} Beautiful block for AnneMarie

do.Good.Stitches bee blocks

do.Good.Stitches September Bliss blocks

Tetris Mug Rug tute

Finished Tetris-inspired mug rug

Other ongoing projects:
Farmer's Wife QAL - Officially 34 blocks finished now...but block #35 requires needle-turn applique, which is not exactly on the top of my To Do list...

FW - 34 blocks in

Sewing Summit swaps - I've got all my plans sketched out for the various zippy pouches I'm putting together for some Sewing Summit pals, and my fabric is in lovely little stacks now.  I'm looking forward to digging into this one this week

Stack o' fabrics for some zippy pouches

100 Quilts for Kids quilt - All quilted, just need to bind it now.

Ryan's Guy quilt - Oh yes, it's still sitting in my sewing room, all folded up nicely, on top of the backing I made, with the binding fabric on top.  As soon as I can get over this newfound bag addiction, I am hoping to wrap this one up.

New this week:
A little baking - I'm cooking up a super yummy solids project, stay tuned for more!

Baking in progress...

Tote bag - After finishing off that Weekender, I felt the itch to make another bag, something less labor-intensive, but still pretty, so I picked up Michelle's awesome Nikki tote pattern and I'm looking forward to having a cute everyday bag to use!

Nikki bag in progress!

WiP Wednesday #45 recap:
Finished this week: 7
New this week: 2
Still going: 4
This week's total: 6

This week, Lee's swamped with fabric design, so we're not linking up our WiP Wednesday posts, but feel free to hop over to Lee's blog anyway to wish her luck.  I know her fabric designs are going to rock and I'm super excited for her!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Farmer's Wife QAL Week #10 :The one where I start to dread block #35

I really haven't forgotten about the farmer, it's just been busy around my sewing room, getting ready for the Sewing Summit, meeting some behind-the-scenes deadlines, and so this is my first Farmer's Wife update this month.  I'm now 34 blocks into this quilt, and I still really enjoy the hour or so I spend on two blocks a week.

FW - 34 blocks in

This week's blocks were a test in random fabric selection, and a bit of an epic fail.  I attempted the brown paper bag method of fabric selection, as I was feeling a little blocked, trying to figure out what the quilt needed more of.  I forgot to follow my usual mantra with fabric selection for this quilt - use what inspires me, use what I'm drawn to.  The paper bag experiment was fun, in a way, but I'll definitely be going back to the old way next week.

FW Block 33: Farmer's Puzzle

Block #33: Farmer's Puzzle
This block used some of my least favorite templates - the parallelograms.  I like squares.  I like rectangles.  I even like triangles.  But a rectangle that's got angled sides?  Not a fan.  I know, it's weird, I dislike a shape, but there you have it.  I'm pretty sure this isn't the first odd thing you've learned about me ;)  Anyway, this is the block that worked out pretty well as far as the fabrics are concerned.  There's a good bit of contrast here, which is what makes this block work well, and I'm happy with how it turned out.

FW Block 34: Flock

Block #34: Flock
I kind of felt like I'd already done this block, but it's really a variation on another block I did a while back, the watermelon-esque one, Birds in the Air.  This one was easy enough to put together, but this is the block where the random fabric selection just plain didn't work.  There needed to be a bit more contrast between the two fabrics in the larger HSTs, but oh well.  I think it gives the overall quilt some character, maybe a place to rest your eyes amongst all the bright colors in the quilt.

So...just another 77 blocks to go now!  It's starting to really look like a quilt!  If only block #35 didn't involved needle-turn's quite possible I may skip that block, at least for now.  Maybe at the Sewing Summit, someone will teach me how to do needle-turn applique.  I can't really see why I need to have two different basket blocks for this quilt, anyway...

And check it out, I was interviewed by Angie at Stitching by Starlight for her 10 for 10 series.  She's got a super yummy stack of fabric up for grabs, too, so hop on over!

Featured Blogger
Monday, September 19, 2011

Me vs. The Weekender Bag: The Final Round

My finished Weekender travel bag!!

The final score? Me: 1, Weekender: 0

Victory is mine!!!   I finished off my Weekender bag yesterday afternoon/evening, and I couldn't be happier about it.  I love how it turned out, although there were definitely plenty of bumps along the way.  I will probably never ever make another Weekender, but I'm really proud to have finished this bag.

Ready for some travel

Adding the zipper wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Once I sat down and truly read the directions, without a three-year-old tugging on me or asking me his thousandth question of the day, it made perfect sense.

During evil step #11, I seriously considered giving up a few times, but Megan saved the day when she texted me a handy dandy tip - use clothespins instead of pins or binder clips. That worked infinitely better while trying to sew through multiple layers of Peltex, and I was able to keep going through to the finish line.

Evil step 11

Rather than slipstiching the lining by hand, I chose to basically topstitch the lining top panel to the exterior top panel, which worked beautifully for me.  I feel like this will be much sturdier in the long run, given that I feel my hand-stitching skills are pretty weak.

Ready to be stuffed full!

This bag is all ready and set to go to the Sewing Summit now!  Only problem is, now I'm thinking about making a handy-dandy laptop case to go with it!  I'm linking up with Sew Modern Monday today, hop on over to find more modern finishes!

Off to the airport we go!
Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mug Rug Madness: Tetris Mug Rug

Thanks, Erin, for asking me to participate in Mug Rug Madness holiday edition!  I'm super excited to share my little holiday mug rug with you guys today.

I think mug rugs are a super fun way to work on new techniques and try out different things with quilting, in a small, practically no commitment needed kind of way.  When Erin first asked me to join in, I was completely idea-less.  Until one fateful day at Wal-Mart, when I came across a copy of Nintendo Power magazine in their magazine section.  I had no idea they were even still publishing that magazine, but I hadn't seen one since I was a kid.  Naturally, given that I hardly play video games these days, it reminded me of the good old days of video games, back when the Nintendo NES system was the coolest thing on the block.

I was the last kid I knew to get a Nintendo, but from having played at my friends' houses, I'd gotten pretty good at several games.  I loved playing the Mario games, especially Super Mario 3, but my most favorite game was Tetris.  From the music to the colorful blocks to the way the game was like an interactive puzzle, I loved every minute of it.  My mother would sit and watch, and kind of act like a sportscaster behind me, narrating what I was doing and interjecting her two cents as to where I should put a block or how I should flip it.  I spent many hours of my childhood with that game, and quilting has always kind of reminded me of Tetris.

At first, I thought about using my Tetris idea in the For the Love of Solids swap, but my partner didn't seem to enthused about it.  No problem, I transferred the idea over to Mug Rug Madness, and an adorable little mug rug was born.


This mug rug is super easy to put together, and if you were as big of a fan of Tetris as I was, you'll be able to come up with your own interpretation, using the basic blocks of Tetris.  Here's a super simple way to make one just like mine.

Tetris Mug Rug
You'll need:
Scraps of 10 different fabrics
~ 36" of binding
6" x 9" scrap of batting
6" x 9" fabric scrap for backing

1. Cut four 1.5" squares from each of your fabrics.  Each Tetris block is made from four smaller blocks, arranged in a certain way.

2. Layout your squares in a way to match the diagram below.


3. Stitch your squares together row by row, left to right, in pairs, until each row is complete, using a scant 1/4" seam.  Press your seams open.


4. Seam your rows together, again using a scant 1/4" seam, and pinning as necessary to ensure your blocks line up.

5. Press all seams open.  Back, quilt, and bind as desired.  Ta da!

Tetris inspired mug rug for Mug Rug Madness

Thanks so much again, Erin, and thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for providing us with these fabulous holiday fabrics.  Holiday fabrics are so much fun, and they have a boatload of them at Fat Quarter Shop in their amazing Christmas Cloth Store.  Their Coming Soon section is also lots of fun to browse, but be sure to have a napkin or tissue handy, because it's quite drool-worthy!  You can find even FQS on FB and Twitter now!

Do you like prizes?  I know you do:)  Erin's got you covered over on her blog, where our lovely sponsor, Fat Quarter Shop, has some fantastic items up for grabs.  You will also have the chance to win this fabulous mug rug as well as the other mug rugs from this round of Mug Rug Madness.  Good luck!

If you happen to make this mug rug, or anything else from my tutorials, please make sure to share it over at my new Flickr group, Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy!  I'd love to see what you make!
Friday, September 16, 2011

September Bee Blocks

Phew, all caught up on my bee blocks for the month, that feels good.  Now maybe I can find some time to clean up my sewing room - looks like a hurricane came through there!!!

do.Good.Stitches September Bliss blocks

Carol is our quilter is month in the Bliss circle, and requested some string-pieced log cabin blocks.  I put off these blocks for a little while, thinking they would time-consuming, but they really weren't.  I made a big piece of string-pieced fabric to cut log cabin strips from, and it went really smoothly.  These blocks will be really interesting when they're all put together.  The color scheme is inspired by Cherri House's City Park quilt.

{Sew} Beautiful block for AnneMarie

{Sew} Beautiful
AnneMarie is our queen bee this month, and she sent out a fabulous assortment of Bonnie & Camille's Ruby and Bliss collections to make a Dutch Pinwheel block for her.  I'm not normally a big fan of muted soft colors like these, but this block really looks lovely.  The tutorial is also super easy to follow, I definitely recommend it!

String Me Along September block

String Me Along
A while back, Sharon was lucky enough to win my SMS Giveaway Day drawing for a collection of Soul Blossoms fat-eights, and she chose to send those out, along with some white fabric, for an HST block.  Yes, I know I said I was done with HSTs, after my monstrous HST warm/cool quilt, but I didn't mind having two bee blocks this month with HSTs, really.  I went with a simple diamond layout, much like my warm/cool quilt, and I hope Sharon will dig it.

Now all I need to do is pack these babies up and get them out in the mail.  I think it's quite possible that I might just find the motivation to go back to working on my Weekender bag now!  What about you?  What are you stitching up this weekend?

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a mood teen boy and a chatty six-year-old girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
The Epic Sampler BOM Club kicks off Oct 1st
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