New Blog

Hey all, I have a really short attention span. Lately, it’s been focused a lot on nail art and other beauty stuff. So I started another blog called Elsie’s Nails. I’d love it if you stopped by!

I’m sure I’ll be back to textile crafts at some point, but life is short so I’m going where my passion is at the moment.

For now, best wishes to you all in your crafty endeavors and in life!

– Elsie

Finish: Armadillo Pillow

Once upon a time, I cut a bunch of fabric for a quilt, but didn’t have enough space in my apartment to see the project through. Several years later, I saw Quilting on the Go and got sucked back into the quilting vortex. Luckily, I now have enough space to finish things.

This was a Christmas gift for my sister, who likes armadillos. So, I tracked down some armadillo fabric and some coordinating fabrics, and started hand-basting hexagons. Some of the fabrics have designs related to some of her interests: playing guitar, camping, photography. I hand-quilted the top using a waxed quilting cotton. The pattern suggested using pearl cotton, which in retrospect may have looked nicer.

I learned a ton of new skills on this project. It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty happy. Most importantly, my sister loves it!

Linking up to New to Me and TGIFF.

Sunday Stash

Since I’m pretty new to quilting, I have an excuse to buy fabric. I need to build up my stash! Who could argue with that, right?

So here are the latest and greatest:

Moda 2wenty-Thr3e (tickets) and Lori Holt for Riley Blake – Polka Dot Stitches Collection – Doily in Grey

Road 15 in the “green pickle” colorway


linen labels and some cute freebies

I had to chuckle when I opened my package from China, and it contained a Chinese newspaper with an American basketball player on it.

poppy print from Jo Ann’s (out of print, I think) and linen Paris print

My mom jokingly threatened to steal the poppy print, so that will probably become part of a gift project for her.

more linen: French script, sweet kitties, shoes

I want to use the shoe print to make a mat for guests to put their shoes on. We don’t wear shoes in the house, and when people come over they always ask where to put their shoes. So, this would be the perfect spot.

Dowry charm pack

And my current favorite, Dowry. I want to make something that I can carry around at all times, so that I can look at that gorgeousness on demand!

Phew! I don’t need to buy any more for awhile. (At least until the next good sale….)

Linking up to Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth.

WIP Wednesday – It’s All Good News

I finished all my little penny patches. Here are a few:

penny patches

But then I had some trouble matching up points when sewing blocks together.

trouble matching points


I tried double pinning the seams, but my sewing machine seemed to be pushing the layers of fabric forward at slightly different speeds. Since I’m going to need a walking foot for quilting anyway, I went ahead and ordered one. After a few minutes trying to attach it to the machine, I tried it and it works very well.

hamutaro block


And there was more good news! Rachel kindly sent me a very cute fabric basket that she had made. It’s the perfect size to put all of my sharp sewing stuff in, so that I can put it on a high shelf that my cats can’t reach. Thanks, Rachel! I received it after a bit of rough day, and it made my evening.

fabric basket

Random Thursday

Tuesday night, I accidentally joined the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild.

I know next to nothing about quilting. But when I saw how well organized the group was, and how skilled and talented the members were, suddenly I was filling out the sign-up form. As amazing as well-made quilts look online, seeing them in person is even more impressive.

I’m not officially a member until 2014, but I already got free stuff! Three Riley Blake fat eighths, left over from a guild challenge. Of course, my cat had to inspect the merchandise.

Inspector Ashton, on the job.

Hopefully I won’t annoy the guild members with my newbie-ness. But, I’m sure to learn a lot.

Linking to Really Random Thursday.

WIP Week Four: More Penny Patch Progress

Got a little further on my Penny Patch quilt this week. Not as far as I would like, but I’m enjoying the process and learning a lot.

cutting a penny patch

For example, I’m learning that if my prints are directional, and I point them in the wrong direction, I may have to get out the seam ripper!

quilt block

Nobody likes an upside-down tree.

I accidentally had some very cute fabric sent to the wrong address! When the post office returned it to Klinko (no affiliation), she put it right back in the mail to me. I got it just in time to use it instead of another pink fabric, and I’m loving the adorable hamsters. (Yes, I’m 36, and yes, this quilt is for me …)

hamster block

Is anyone planning to do the Gen X Quilters Vice Versa BOM next year? I really like it, but am trying to decrease my number of WIPs. Help me find a good excuse. 😉

WIP, Week Three

I can’t believe another week has gone by already. I’ve been pretty busy with work, but here’s what I managed to do:

  1. Super-secret English Paper Piecing (EPP) project – Cut bias binding for the first time. Sewed on a button.
  2. Tiny Sewing Kit (pattern from Jessica Alexandrakis‘s EPP book, Quilting on the Go) – Finished basting all of the hexagons. This project will have to be on hold for a bit, since I’m behind on my other two main projects.
  3. Penny Patch quilt from a beginner’s quilt-along – I’m a little more than halfway through cutting the fabric. Hopefully I will have some time to catch up this weekend.

Linking to WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday

Here’s what I did since last week.

  1. Super-secret English Paper Piecing (EPP) project – Quilted! Ironed! And I actually used a sewing machine for the first time in years. That was fun, once I figured out/remembered how to thread it.
  2. Tiny Sewing Kit (pattern from Jessica Alexandrakis‘s EPP book, Quilting on the Go) – Cut the rest of the hexagon templates and basted some more 2×2″ squares onto them.

    My cat provides moral support during the basting process.

  3. Penny Patch quilt from a beginner’s quilt-along – gathered all of the fabrics and pinked the edges. I followed the suggestions on fat quarter selection for the throw size quilt:

    Four pink fat quarters

    Four orange

    Accent (green) and mid-tone neutral (gray)

    10 low volume

And … I have a WIP that I forgot to list last week. I have two knitted hand towels that need the ends woven in.

Linking to WIP Wednesday.

Works in Progress

Here’s what is currently in progress! I seem to have inadvertently listed them in descending order of enthusiasm. Linking to WIP Wednesday and the EPP Link Party.

  1. Super-secret English Paper Piecing (EPP) project
  2. Tiny Sewing Kit (pattern from Jessica Alexandrakis‘s EPP book, Quilting on the Go) – I don’t have a sewing kit or a pincushion! So this is fairly urgent to prevent sewing-needle-related injuries. Next step is to cut some more hexagon templates so that I can baste squares to them.
  3. Penny Patch quilt from a beginner’s quilt-along – I’m gathering fabrics for this project (my first quilt).
  4. Monk Cowl – knitted hood, which is about half an hour from being done. This is a stand-alone hood, because to my dismay, some coats don’t come with hoods attached!
  5. Dreambird shawl – I was working on this one night and thought I might have made a mistake. I put it down since I was tired, and haven’t gotten back to it since. The yarn I’m using doesn’t frog well. I need to take a fresh look at this and see if I can figure out where I left off.
  6. Sampler afghan – Started this project forever ago. Want to stitch together the blocks I have, and then probably donate the blanket to an animal shelter.
  7. Sock yarn blanket – Not sure whether to keep working on this or not.
  8. Cross stitch sampler – long way to go on this.

I’m hoping to get total WIPs down to five. Anything more than that starts to feel overwhelming. But, it seems like cute project ideas are everywhere!