Denyse Schmidt Quilt-Alongers, I haven’t forgotten you! It seems like progress for some of the people who have already started their quilts has been a little slow, but I really can relate lately. Of those coasters I mentioned last time I posted, I have ONE finished.

One Lonely Coaster

I do love the first one though! I think the set will be very cute when I get it finished.
Not everyone is as pokey as me though. Allison (also a friend of mine who comes to my sewing group!) has finished her Zigzag Bag!
Allison's Zigzag Bag

I really like the projects from the book that include vinyl, but since I don’t have a Teflon foot yet, I haven’t tried any of them. Allison said she used her walking foot to sew the vinyl for her bag, and it worked just fine.
Also to mention, Cassie and Karen have joined the quilt-along. New Quilt-Alongers are always welcome!

Squished Marshmallows Bag

I totally think this canvas print looks like squished multi-colored marshmallows. Anyone else? I also think that this bag proves that if I take longer than an hour to think out and make a small project, it really can turn out good.
My friend Alice gave me this fabric before she moved earlier this year, and I knew right away that I wanted to make a bag with it. It’s just perfect bag making fabric! I didn’t want to make as hastily as I do some of my other things though. There’s not really anything different about this bag as compared to my last round (other than some pockets) but taking my time and paying attention to details really made it a lot nicer than others I’ve made.
Inside The Squished Marshmallow

I’m in the process of opening an Etsy shop, and the squished marshmallow bag will be for sale there, hopefully by later this afternoon!

I’ve been debating for about a week on which quilt pattern I’m going to do for the Denyse Schmidt quilt-along, and I really can’t decide. I’ve decided to start small. The first project from the book that I’m going to do is the Mix-It-Up Cocktail Coasters.


I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end up making one of the quilts for my friend Kate, but she won’t be able to pick which one she wants me to do until she visits me in September. So for the time being, I’m going to start with small projects! I’d also like to try some of the Dis-cards and the Step Lively Slippers. I see good ideas for Christmas presents here!
So far, both Chawne and Jessica have decided to do Drunk Love 2-Tone. Jessica has hit up Hancock’s of Paducah for their Kona solids, after Denyse left some advice on her blog about where to find a wide variety of solid fabric. If you’re planning on using solids in your projects, they’re a great bargain and they come in every color possible.
I’m off to make my coasters!

Yummy Cookies!

Look at all the goodness our new kitchen has produced! I made these yesterday for my sewing group and I don’t think anything I’ve ever baked has turned out this good. (I’m a terrible cook!) Mmmm.
We’re just about finished with the renovation. There’s still trim to be put up, I have to make a curtain for the slider door, and in place of our old pantry we still have to install two cabinets and a countertop for a mail cubby that we’re planning on putting in. But overall, we’re so excited to have a working kitchen again that’s not only functioning again, but also pleasing to be in.
Here’s a look at the before and afters of the room:
East Wall, Before
Before: East Wall of Kitchen

East Wall, After
East Wall, After

North Wall, Before
North Wall, Before

North Wall, After
North Wall, After

Southwest Corner, Before
Southwest Corner, Before

Southwest Corner, After
Southwest Corner, After

I’m still kind of in awe when I walk in and see everything. I was starting to get used to that panneling. (HAHA!)

With just over a week to go before I go back to work, I’m starting to notice that I’m in a little bit of a frenzy to get as much quilting as possible done before next Wednesday. To most people, that would probably mean working on the projects that I’ve already started and committed myself to (like finishing Laura and Steve’s wedding quilt, basting the Modern Quilt-Along Quilt, making a final decision on which Denyse Schmidt pattern I’m going to do for the quilt along) but apparently, I just can’t do that. Instead I decided that I wanted to try something else, without a patten. I came up with this:

Blue and Yellow Blocks

I’m really happy with what they’re turning out like. No two blocks are the same yet, which I think is good. I figure I’ll make as many blocks as I can until I either run out of the fabric, or I have enough to make a quilt. I’m thinking I’ll also add a cream colored muslin sashing between the blocks. We’ll see.

Second New Bag In Less Than a Day

I said I was making more! This one is also a bandana I found (cool bandanas, aren’t they?) and I quilted it in spirals. Here’s a little bit better of a look at that:
Close Up

Sometimes it’s important for me to take a break from my bigger projects and do something I can get done in a few hours. I’m ready to get back to my other projects now.

New Bag

Gosh, I love bags! I picked up a patchwork bandana today, and decided that I’d make it into a new lunch bag for work. It only took me a few hours and for a first try, I’m pretty pleased with it. (I love projects that only take a few hours to do!) I have collected a few other bandanas (not the patchwork kind like this one though) so I think I’ll make some more. Maybe my sewing skills will get better with the next one.

I just finished piecing the top of my Love Beads quilt for the Modern Quilt-Along. Wheeee! I’m happy with how it turned out.

Love Beads Top

I really wish I could take some better pictures. Part of the issue is that I still need to give it a good ironing before it will look better. After that, I’ll need to sqaure it up and trim the edges (the last two circles on each side will end up looking like they’re moving off the quilt) and the top will all be done.
I’ve been debating trying machine quilting for finishing this, but I think I’m going to end up hand quilting it after all. I just like the look of it so much. I do have a different strategy for going at the quilting though. I’m going for close quilting to give the effect of a lot of texture. It’s such a visually stimulating pattern that I think I need to continue that with the quilting too.
I’m so excited to have this part done!

I’m officially starting up the Denyse Schmidt Quilt Along! Like I mentioned before, the plan is to pick either a quilt or a project (you can do more than one if you want!) from the new Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Paterns book. I’ll be writing about the quilt-along at least once a week to keep everyone up to date on other quilter’s progress, too.
If you want, take a button with you, and link it to this page.
Denyse Schmidt Quilt Along
When you get started, you might want to take some time to read the section about color and fabrics in the beginning of the book. If you’re planning to make a quilt or project similar in style to the Denyse Schmidt Quilts, she suggests using 70 percent solid color fabrics and 30 percent prints. She says that it’s okay to not worry about color combination rules, and to chose combinations that give you an emotional response instead. If that overwhelms you, another suggestion is to put possible fabric choices in a paper bag, shake it up, and pull out random pieces to use!
Remember, even if you don’t have a lot of sewing experince, you can still try your hand at smaller projects from the book. There’s no due date, so don’t feel like you can’t join in, even if you don’t have the time to start right away. Just leave me a comment or an email and I’ll add you to the list! Happy Quilt-Alonging!
UPDATE! I’ve added links to everyone who has contacted me to participate in the Quilt-Along so far. If you don’t see your name there, I’m sorry! Just leave me a quick comment or e-mail and I’ll get you added to the list. I’ve also put folks who told me they were tentatively interested in joining in earlier. If you aren’t interested in doing it anymore, let me know and I’ll take your name down. But remember, nothing is due, so you have no pressure to make something right away!

Quilts on Display

My Wedding Spectaularrr Quilt ended up with a 3rd place ribbon at our fair. I was pretty disappointed, honestly. We thought my quilt was much better than the 2nd place winner (the one above mine). There was very little actual quiling on it, and I thought my stitches looked a lot cleaner. I’m not even really sure if they’re judged by a quilter though. Oh well. It’s not what I had hoped for, but at least I won a ribbon.
(Special note: I came in 3rd and 4th in the hand-quilted, pieced division. There were only 4 quilts entered into that category!)