Put your sunglasses on — and delight in my first attempt at a string quilt:
I swear to God I think it took me two years to finish it. Of course that is not due to degree of difficulty and certainly not the quilt’s fault. We all know whose fault it is — WORK, specifically my JOB, that seems to interfere on a regular basis with my awesome creativity. So other than just the time consumption, there were a lot of things I loved about the process I went through to get this thing done. For the first time, I used the paper piecing technique — and I am just about in LOVE with paper piecing because it is so exact and perfect. I started with an 8X8 square, and used a glue stick to position the center strip:
As you add each string (it’s really a strip) to each side, set your sewing machine stitch width to almost nothing . . . I don’t know the exact term or number for that, my machine and I communicate through telepathy. After you trim the block using the paper as your guide, this will ensure that when you go to remove the paper from the back, it is almost perfectly perforated to tear right off without ripping your square from hell to breakfast. Then you are left with something like this:
I could have just sewn all the pieces together as they were, but why would I do that when I could go completely overboard and sew a border around each block? What was another year of my life anyway? Plus without the borders it was burnin’ my eyes a little. Here are a couple of close ups:
I fell in love with a duvet cover once. Then I realized what an huge pain in my brain it was to deal with a duvet cover. I am still not exactly sure how it was supposed to work, but it made a great back for my quilt:
Quilted by the fabulous Cowtown Quilter, bound by hand. And most importantly, FINISHED!
Just a quick post to show off some blocks for another Aunt Jan Quilt. My sister requested this to give to a friend for her birthday, and then both of us forgot about until, oh, about a week before. So even though it’s not finished, we were able to snap some quick pics so she could wrap those up as a present to let her see the glory to come. And upon opening said package, the receipient practically burst into tears. Which is exactly how you should receive a hand made gift! Tears and lots of fuss over how wonderful it is.
I can’t believe I signed on to do another one as it uses A LOT of fabric and involves A LOT of ironing, but I love the way this turns out and it’s worth all my fabric and time.
Don’t even get me started on how obsessed I am with those little flamingos!
I’ll post up the final product when I get it finished. Happy Birthday to Rhonda!
Finito! The first quilt I ever made and it only took me six years to get this little project wrapped up . . .
Mine all mine!
Some of you may remember the “before” picture:
I have to give all the credit to my friend Kendall, who was the first to show me how to guide my obsession for fabric in a positive direction. I’ve hoarded fabric for years and then I discovered a little habit that would not only demand lots of fabric, but would require me to go out and buy MORE. How perfect.
I have lots of excuses as to why this took so long, most of them are flat out lies but a couple are actually applicable. One issue was that once I got the fever, I made everyone else in my life a quilt and this poor thing got pushed aside time after time. Another issue is that I’M BUSY. And then I think I had another baby in the midst of all this . . . yes, I’m pretty sure I did. So I got all kinds of crazy determined one weekend and fixed all my little split seams, designed a back for it, and actually drove it to the quilter’s place.
It’s just a simple strip quilt, starting with a fussy cut square in the middle, with strips sewn on clockwise until it was big enough for me to curl up in.
LOVE that center square!
Back was just a gathering of scraps I had:
I would like to point out two things about this quilt. First, this ADORABLE fabric that I fell in love with. I don’t even remember where I got it but it’s so cute — little Mommies and Daughters all dolled up and looking like I picture myself and my daughter, even though we’ll never, ever be this cute or coordinated. Way more likely that we will get caught by the paparazzi running around in t-shirts that should have been thrown out years ago, cutoffs and flip flops.
Only in my Pretend World
And second and most important, this quilt is MINE for me to keep and love forever and ever. The first quilt I ever made and the first quilt I’ve ever kept!
Let me preface my post like this: someone has probably done this before. If they haven’t, then somebody call MENSA, I’m a genius.
Yes, I actually only had room for 6 and then because of my unbelievable problem-solving skills, I balanced the other two on TOP of the muffin pan.
The munchkins that keep calling me Mommy sometimes get hungry and want food (I know! Bottomless pits of wants and needs!) This Monday morning I managed to spy a can of jumbo sized buttermilk biscuits on the bottom rack of the fridge. Then I spied the one and only cookie sheet I own in the sink which I guess means someone used it. So I rummaged around the cabinet for something that wouldn’t catch fire in the oven and found a mint condition muffin pan that I doubt I knew was in there. After a brief (very brief) brainstorm, I opened the biscuits and squished one into each muffin thing. I set the timer for a little longer than it said and BAM! These babies came out fantastic.
When they were finished I used a knife (or ballpoint pen, whatever) to poke a sink hole in the top of each one, slapped some butter in there, and topped it with jelly. They were seriously good – each one slightly crunchy on the outside and so soft and fluffy on the inside.
I saved the leftovers for toasting the next day and they were even better.
Served them up like we were having Breakfast at Tiffany’s and walked out the door like I’d just slayed a dragon.
Let’s just be honest. People who quilt in their designated Quilting Rooms with their perfectly organized by color and texture fabrics, with cutesy little shelves and peg boards for threads, and pincushions with actual pins in them . . . they are figments of your imagination. They are all just a part of your hot sewing fantasy. I took this picture because as I walked by my dining room table and saw this awesome quilt stuffed under that machine with that poor needle hanging on for dear life . . . it made me happy. This is just a sneak peek at a post to come in the next few days. It is actually the very first quilt I ever made and I started it SIX YEARS AGO. I got so caught up with everything quilting that I moved from quilt to quilt, starting and stopping a million quilts in between, and I have finally, finally finished this extremely crooked, scrappy, unmatched, strip quilt that I get to keep for myself and smother with love every day.
My God, is that an Easy Bake Oven in the background with my taxes laying next to it? LOVE IT!
The First Annual War of the Roses is over! The votes are in and it’s official: The Winner and Queen of the Roses is WAVA MCCULLOUGH! Her photo of this bloom on her Seven Sisters bush in Cross Timbers, Texas took a few breaths away and we have crowned her our Queen. The fact that her name is W-A-V-A certainly didn’t hurt her in the polls either.
Our Queen wins a custom Queen of the Roses Hoecakes and Hemlines t-shirt. Be jealous; they’re awesome.
Since we at Hoecakes and Hemlines are, in general, amazing and wonderful people, we have decided to give ALL of our contestants an official Hoecakes and Hemlines t-shirt. We loved running this contest and we loved your beautiful photos.
To our contestants, please email your t-shirt size to us at firstname.lastname@example.org along with an address for shipping, and we will have those on the way in the next week or so.
See you next year!
*Addendum: I totally forgot to say thank you or even kiss my grits to my sister, Heather Harrison, for helping me obsess over this contest and keep track of the submissions. Thank yoooooou Heatheroo!