Showing Posts From: Quilting

25 Apr, 2018

How to Make the Ironing Board of Your Dreams

/ posted in: Quilting

I am lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing room in my basement.  When we moved in I wanted to get some storage built.  The husband found someone to do it.  The plan was brilliant if I do say so myself.  I wanted two floor to ceiling cabinets with a huge ironing board overtop of stacks of drawers.  The idea was to be able to lay out a whole quilt top and iron the longest seams.

I got the two cabinets fairly quickly.  Then, crickets.  He never came back to do the drawers.  Never.  The husband would see him around and ask and it was clear that part two of the project was never going to happen.

Fast forward to now.  I was trying to figure out how to make it myself.  I thought about getting dressers or stock cabinets or something.  Then, we ended up breaking down Z’s room since she is not able to come back here anymore.  She has a dresser.  It was only 4 feet long so it didn’t fill the whole space but it was available and free.  I cleared out the plastic tubs I was using to store my smaller pieces of fabric by color.  The fabric lives in the dresser now.  We put the dresser in that space on furniture sliders so I can move it around fairly easily.  Ideally, I wanted it on wheels because the ironing surface needs to be a bit away from the wall so you can drop the already pressed area down behind the board.  Since there will be a gap, I know I will drop other stuff.  I wanted to be able to move it so stuff wouldn’t be lost forever.

I went to Lowe’s and got a very sturdy piece of plywood.  I had them cut it to 2 feet by 8 feet.


I placed it on the dresser.  I had some thick batting.  I put one layer on the board and stapled it in place.



I bought 3 yards of Kona Steel for the cover.  I stapled that in place making sure to pull it tight.


I moved the dresser back into place and centered the board on it. I had brackets to put on the side of the dresser to support the edges of the board but I forgot that the dresser had a fancy lip on it. The brackets won’t lay flat. The board I chose is very sturdy so for now I’m leaving it alone. If it starts to bow later I’ll find some way to fix it.

I added a flat wall plug extension cord to the plug behind the dresser. I used a command hook to keep the cord in reach. My iron doesn’t have an off button. If it is plugged in, it is on. I keep the iron to the left because I am left handed.

I still had the issue of the dresser not reaching all the way across the space. I wanted it to look more finished so I bought some tension rods and the cheapest curtains on Amazon to hide my scrap bin.


The whole project cost under $100 (not counting the initial purchase price of the dresser) and took less than an hour to complete. I have one unintended consequence though.


Now hanging out in the sewing room with Mommy is more comfortable. Soon after this picture he was sprawled out full length. He doesn’t understand why he can’t play with the iron though. I may need to find a way to wall mount the iron so this fool doesn’t burn himself.


09 Aug, 2017

WIP Wednesday

/ posted in: Quilting

Look! I’m sewing. I mean, sure, I list quilting as one of my major hobbies but I hadn’t been doing much of it.

Recently I started working on two projects out of the gazillion I have in pieces in my sewing room.

De La Prominade by Quilt Fusion

I saw this pattern on Instagram when they were testing it. I had to have it even though it was completely impractical. It is a bed sized quilt when done, which I don’t need. I can make it a bit smaller by leaving off the outer borders. If I hang it, it would need to go horizontal and I don’t think I have a big enough spot. I still don’t care. I love it.

This is the center block. You trace the pattern pieces onto paper backed fusible web. Then you cut out all the pieces and build it.


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This block sits above the carousel block. This is designed to be quilt as you go. That’s nice because you don’t need to maneuver a big quilt through the machine. After I made the block I spray basted it to batting. Then I free motion quilt around all the pieces. Once the whole thing is together and quilted you add the backing fabric and quilt around the blocks to hold it all together.


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This is the block below the carousel.


I also started on a snail quilt that I’ve had the pattern for for a while. The husband, who thinks he’s funny said, “That sounds like a slow project.” It turns out to be pretty quick though. I made all the bodies in one sitting. Then I’ve been making a few shells at a time. The finished lap sized quilt has 60 snails.


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10 Aug, 2016

Preppy the Whale Baby Quilt

/ posted in: Quilting

I finished another quilt.

That’s 2 in less than 30 days.  I know, I’m shocked too.

Of course this one had a hard deadline or it wouldn’t have happened so fast.


The pattern for the whales is Preppy the Whale from Oh Fransson.  It is a hard pattern to design with if you don’t want to make a zillion whales because it is long and narrow.  I added the black and white checked stripes because the top was too boring without something else.

I used the last of my Tula Pink yardage for the back.  I couldn’t pass up the thematic opportunity to put the octopi on the back of the whale quilt.

27 Jul, 2016

I Made a Quilt!

/ posted in: Quilting

I actually finished a quilt. I know, I was amazed too.

I have hardly been doing any quilting this year. I decided to make a quilt for my OTSP Secret Sister. Of course my quilt timeline went like this:


I’m going to make a simple purple quilt because she said she likes purple. Here’s a plan and I’ll cut out some of the blocks. I need it by July. No problem.

February – May



July is getting close. I should start thinking about this. I’ll finish the blocks all up. I still have plenty of time.


Ok, I’m mailing this before I leave in 2 weeks. I have a strict schedule of what needs done each day. Nothing else happens until this quilt is done.

It always works the same way for me. I have a quilt that needs done in August. It is only a vague plan in my mind right now.

My #socks match my #quilt. My life is so together right now. #quilting

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

I made the quilt pose with me on Instagram. It also advertised books.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

Most of the quilting was straight lines but I am pretty proud of this.

I got my Secret Sister’s name quilted on there freehand.

I should really start thinking about that August quilt.

13 Jan, 2016

WIP Wednesday

/ posted in: Quilting

I actually made some progress on my Raspberry Kiss blocks. Are you shocked? I know I am. I’m not one for follow-through in my quilting.

I got a few hours of sewing in this week and now have this many blocks.

These are the four center fabrics I’ve worked with so far. I’m liking the way it looks with the beige corners around the brighter centers. It feels very peaceful to me.

06 Jan, 2016

Quilting 2016

/ posted in: Quilting

I was a complete quilting slacker in 2015. Thank god for people having babies (words which have never before been uttered on this blog and will probably never be heard again) or I’d have never gotten anything made.

This was a baby quilt for a coworker in the spring.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

Another one in the fall.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

I did finish up my Hedgehog wall hanging at the last possible minute to include it with winter decorations.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

Seeing the theme yet? They ended up being all Oh Fransson patterns.

Other than that, I managed to finish up my Spaghetti Junction quilt and get it basted.

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

Not quilted yet of course

So in the spirit of turning over a new leaf and all that, I started a new project – because I don’t already have a room full of abandoned projects – shut up! I did something revolutionary with this project though. Something scary.

I’m Using My Special Fabric

You know the fabric.  You bought the bundle because you loved it and then you put it aside for something special and there it sits.  You can’t quite bring yourself to cut into it because you are waiting for the perfect project.

I’m using it.


First up was this FQ bundle of Birds of a Feather. I bought it for a specific pattern. When it got here I realized that it wasn’t going to work at all for the pattern I had picked. Mind you, I don’t remember what that pattern was because I never got around to picking any other fabric and making it. This has been sitting on my shelf for a while. It is going to be the center crosses in these Raspberry Kisses blocks.

I’m using scrap white on white for the rest of the center and then doing low volume on the corners. This one actually hurt.

The fabric on the left I special ordered because I liked other fabric from that line. It was really hard to find. I haven’t used an inch of it.  The next three are from a bundle I ordered because I loved the line.  I have it in two colorways.  Never been touched.  I had to give myself a firm talking to in order to open up the package and pull those out.  The one with the cameras came from another bundle that I have that wasn’t open.

I’m even using thread that at first I thought, “I should keep this and maybe quilt with it.”  Then I thought, nope.  Use it up.  They make more.

I’m making two sizes of blocks – 8.5″ and 4.5″.  I’m going to keep going until I either run out of cross fabric or it gets big enough.

09 Dec, 2015

The Hedgehogs are Done

/ posted in: Quilting

You are about to see something that you hardly ever see on this blog – a finished quilt.


Hedgehog quilt finally hanging up. #hedgehog #quilt #ohfransson

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I’m so happy with this one. I liked it as I was making it but it looks amazing hanging up. It is right next to a brick fireplace so it really makes the red stand out against the green wall.

The hedgehogs are a Oh Fransson design.

I quilted free form triangles in the sashing and then filled in every other one. I consider that proof that I’ve been reading Free Motion Friday at Kathleen Quilts too much! She always fills in her shapes.

Now it is time to get back to quilting my Spaghetti Junction quilt.


02 Dec, 2015

WIP Wednesday

/ posted in: Quilting

It has been forever since I did a quilting post – mainly because it has been forever since I’ve done any quilting.

Remember how in the spring I decided I was going to make a sparkly hedgehog quilt to hang up during the winter?  Remember how I thought that was a good idea since it was so far away that it was no problem to get it done?

Yeah, I hardly remember it either.

I made 2 of 4 hedgehog blocks all year.  Then I made the other two the day after Thanksgiving.

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Yeah, procrastination is fun. Now they are sashed and getting a quick echo of the hedgehogs. The sashing is quilted with triangles to mimic the spikiness of the hedgehog spines. I’m quilting one hedgehog a day so then I can bind it on my next day off and have it hanging by this weekend.

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24 Jun, 2015

Actually Sewing

/ posted in: Quilting

Prepare to be shocked.

I’ve actually done some sewing.

I’ve made a few hedgehog faces for my Christmas quilt.

My mother gave me a bunch of my grandmother’s fabric. I want to make a quilt for my mother with her mother’s fabric. The problem is that it is all horribly ugly and some kind of cotton blend that is really rough. I’m thinking that it make it work I need to cut it up into really small pieces. I’m playing around with some small 9 patches. These finish at 3 inches. I’m thinking of setting them with alternating white squares. I’m not sure if I like it enough it commit to it yet though.

I just received a big box with a rainbow of solid fabrics.

I never use solids because I think they are boring and flat but I have an idea for a quilt that would require them. That’s why I need to stock up. Now I just have to map out the quilt design. I’m hoping I have enough here to make two quilts – one for me and one to give away. This project is everything I don’t do.

  • Solids
  • Working with a strict design
  • Making multiples of a design
  • Making a quilt for me

I don’t know what’s come over me.

I’ve even sewn a little more on my hexy quilt.  Hand sewing still really hurts my hand so I only let myself do a little a few times a week.  Someone who lives in this house recently inquired about the likelihood of this quilt being done by the time we are 50.  It might happen.

That’s row 4 of 10 being attached.

27 Mar, 2015

Preppy the Whale Quilt Finish

/ posted in: Quilting

I finished a quilt! I’m a starter and not a finisher but this had a hard deadline so I was motivated to get it done. I gave it to a coworker during our little baby shower for her yesterday.

Side note – I gave a baby quilt to another person who was there. He talked all about how useful it was and how the baby slept on it and all kinds of nice stuff. He said they got a few quilts so they could wash and rotate. It was very nice. Then he showed me a picture of her using my quilt. That was also nice but it wasn’t my quilt. I just giggled to myself and didn’t say anything.

This is Preppy the Whale by Elizabeth Hartman. The theme was underwater so I made the whales. Then I added borders to get it up to 36″ square. I quilted waves in the blue and seaweed in the pink vertical borders.

From Quilts

Linking to – Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Link a Finish Friday

18 Mar, 2015

Almost a whole quilt

/ posted in: Quilting

Preppy the Whale has found some friends and turned into this.

#preppythewhale Needs one more border to get it to the size I want. #quilt

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

I’ve order some light pink tone on tone to add another border and then will bind it in the blue. I’m running out of the blue or I’d just make the final border from that.

I’m thinking of quilting some seaweed into it on the pink vertical border strips. Whatever I do I have to give this away next Thursday so I better get a move on.

04 Mar, 2015

Actual Quilting Happened

/ posted in: Quilting

I managed to get a little bit of sewing done this week.

My hexie quilt is progressing slowly. Here’s one example of why this quilt is taking years.

The biggest helper ever in the history of #quilting! #cat #epp

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In the picture it looks like he is getting stabbed by the needle. He never did but he came close a few times as he flung himself upside down across the quilt repeatedly.

I’m also starting a new baby quilt. It is supposed to have an underwater theme so I’m going with Preppy the Whale from Elizabeth Hartman.

This is the first of four whales and then there will be a pieced border.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

disney cruise fish extender
18 Feb, 2015

Bad Attitude Sewing

/ posted in: Quilting

It is no secret that I hate Disney stuff.  Before 2008 I was mainly just not that interested but since then I’ve been dealing with an autistic child whose obsessions are always Disney and something else.  The something else varies but Disney stays the same.  That means at any given time she only has two topics of conversation and she talks nonstop.  I want to scream, “Please, for the love of all that is holy, shut the $%# up about Disney!!” but that is considered rude.  For the last year she has been obsessing about Disney cruises to the point that she knows the layout of all the ships and the number of bars.  She gave me a whole monologue this weekend about how I have failed her father because I am holding him back from going on a Disney cruise.  Explaining that her father thinks going on a Disney cruise would be a new level of hell that Dante hadn’t even imagined didn’t work.

The child and her mother are going on a Disney cruise in June.  This weekend when I went to pick up the child, the mother held out a bag and said, “We were wondering if you could make this up this weekend.  I mean, if you can’t we can do it with Grandma.”  Note the lack of a please, thank you, or question in there.  The child explained that I needed to make something for them for their cruise.  The level of stabby was high before this project even started.

Apparently, on Disney cruises you need something called a fish extender.  There is a fish decoration on the door and you hang pockets from it and people give you presents.

They provided me with fleece and a nasty crunchy fabric with glitter that dulled my blade and needle.  I decided to make it fancy and then threatened to sign it so they had to think of me every time they saw it.

I cut two pieces of fleece 8″ x 24″. I layered them with batting in between.


I sewed 1/4″ along the long sides to hold them together.

I cut the pocket fabric 6″ x 11″. That was suggested on other sites I read in order to make pleated pockets. I folded over the top and bottom and topstitched the top so it wouldn’t fray. I didn’t stitch the bottom. I figured it will get sewn down when it gets sewn on the background.

Of course I had to get fancy and fussy cut the Tinkerbells. Pin the sides, center the design, and then fold the pleats. I just eyeballed this.

I did a double row of stitching across the bottom to reinforce that weight bearing seam and to make sure I caught the folded edge. I started with the first pocket at the bottom and then put two inches between the pockets. I bound the edges with the Tinkerbell fabric.

I put a fleece hanging pocket on the back for a dowel rod.

One finished fish extender (what a stupid name!). The husband has helpfully pointed out that there was no thank you forthcoming from either of them. I just love making projects for hateful people!

In happier sewing news, I started sewing the fourth row onto my hexie quilt.

14 Feb, 2015

Lima Company Memorial

/ posted in: PhotosQuilting

Yesterday I went to the State Capitol to set up a Quilts of Valor display.

Ohio Statehouse Rotunda

A photo posted by @dvmheather on

It is set up with the Lima Company Memorial, which is a traveling exhibit featuring some soldiers who died in Iraq.
This is a few of the panels.

I just set up a table for people to pick up information and then we will be back next week to do presentations at the closing ceremony.

The floor is very quiltable.

11 Feb, 2015

Quilting This Week

/ posted in: Quilting

Last Saturday was Quilts of Valor’s National Sew Day.  I sewed together this quilt that has been stuck on my design wall since last May.

I got the first block done for my Christmas Hedgehog quilt.

I have the fabric picked out for the other three too. They are all going to have the same face with different bodies and spines. All the fabrics have a little metallic thread in them.

I also finished the quilting on this giant star quilt. It has a lot of stops and starts so I have lots of thread ends to get rid of. There is one small section in the center that needs removed and redone because the tension went wonky.

04 Feb, 2015

The Tale of a UFO

/ posted in: Quilting

A long, long time ago I made a quilt top.  I didn’t make it for anything in particular.  I was doing it mostly to use up some really strange and ugly fabrics that I had.  It was a Scrappy Trips top.  Quilters might remember that a year or two ago this became a cool top to make.  Everyone was doing it.  I had a total hipster moment as I watched all the pictures of it pop up while I thought, “I did that before it was cool.”

I don’t remember exactly what year I made the top.  I know where I was living at the time.  The top moved houses with us once.  It got put aside because I tried to free motion quilt spirals into it and the tension was wonky.  It got put in time out to think about its poor behavior and it stayed there.

When I got to my new job a coworker said that she liked quilts that didn’t match.  I told her that I had just the top for her and that I would finish it and give it to her.  That was vague.  I need deadlines.  I have made a few quilts for other people having babies in the office since then.  Each time I mention a quilt she half-jokingly asks where her quilt is.

So I decided to make it for her birthday.  Her birthday is in February.  Last July that sounded like a good idea.

In October I thought that maybe I should think about working on it.  I thought about it in November and December too.  Somewhere along the way it had gotten half quilted with an all over pattern.  How hard was that going to be to finish up?  Plenty of time.

In January I thought I really should get serious.  I looked up her birthday hoping it was the 28th.  It was the 3rd.  I absolutely had to finish the quilting on January 30.  I didn’t even start.  I got up early before work on the 31st and knocked out a lot of it.  I talked to other another coworker that day about party plans.  (This is the birthday of the coworker that plans the birthday parties for everyone else in the year so we have to step up.)  I said that the birthday was Monday.  She told me it was Tuesday.  My brain said, “Plenty of time!” because my brain is stupid and forgets I work all day Monday.   I forced myself to get it finished on Sunday.

So many years and 2 days later, I have a finish.

One totally unmatching quilt ready to go.

Please tell me that someone else does this too or is every other quilter out there good at finishing projects before the moment they are due?

Coming up

This Saturday is National Sew Day for Quilts of Valor.  I’m planning on sewing together the quilt that’s been on my design wall since last May. It was part of a huge push we did for a Memorial Day presentation. When I realized we had enough without it, it sat.

I’m also going to join the Hazel the Hedgehog quilt a long hosted by Gnome Angel. I bought the pattern in December intending to get a Christmas wall hanging done by December 2015.  As I’ve confessed in this post, I need a deadline.  I will finish the top by the end of the quilt a long.

Hazel Hedgehog QAL on
28 Dec, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

/ posted in: FamilyQuilting

I finished the fourth row of my hexagon quilt this week.

I was especially excited about this because the whole time I was sewing it together I thought it was the third row. What a pleasant surprise!

My stepdaughter wanted a sewing machine for Christmas. She wanted to make fashion. No one in her life actually believes that she is going to like sewing. She is unable to handle any frustration. It is one of her major triggers. Sewing is a mixture of tedium and frustration at times. I’m not dealing with her going off into a rage in my sewing room. But then it occurred to me that her mother wanted us to keep the machine here. It would only be polite to keep it set up for her. She’s only here every other weekend. If I set up my machine for quilting and maybe just did a bit of piecing on hers, that would just be a logical use of resources. The husband got her a cheap little machine but it will work fine for piecing. Yay! I have two machines!

For the record, she didn’t ask once about the sewing machine after she unwrapped it.

Linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday.

17 Dec, 2014


/ posted in: Quilting

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

That is an actual finished quilt. Try to contain your shock.

That is Orca Bay, the 2011 mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. Yep, 2011. I actually worked hard at it and pretty much kept up with the clues. I had it done on schedule. I even made the pieced borders and then decided I didn’t like them and left them off. I had it quilted. This was all done by early 2012.

And then it sat. It didn’t just sit actually. It moved houses with us and then it sat again. I finally decided that this was stupid and it needed to be finished. It took me two weeks of procrastinating and then about 2 hours to bind it. Done!

I don’t really know what to do with a quilt that I am planning on keeping. I guess we put it in the living room and stare at it and then the dog lays on it on the couch. I usually give all my quilts away.


For my next project I’m going to make a Christmas quilt. I’m not a big Christmas fan so I’ve never wanted a Christmas quilt but I found one for me. I’m going to make Hazel by Elizabeth Hartman.

Photo from the pattern page. Click here for the link.

I’m going to make 4 hedgehogs in Christmas colors for a Christmas wallhanging. Maybe it will be done for next Christmas?

20 Nov, 2014

How To Aggravate A Quilter

/ posted in: Quilting

Step 1:  Announce that you are having a girl child that is due in the middle of December.  This gives the quilter ample time to procrastinate.  Quilters generally like that.

Step 2:  Announce at the end of October that the child will be coming early.  Say that they will induce your wife in the third week of November.  Because you are not a quilter you will not notice said quilter go a bit pale and start swearing under her breath.

Step 3:  In mid-November, announce that your wife will be induced on next Tuesday.  Say your last day in will be Monday.  Since the quilter has gone into work mode with a projected due date now in mid-November she will calculate and know that she can get that quilt done for Monday.  No problems.

Step 4:  Text to let us know that your wife went into labor early on Saturday.  You won’t be in next week at all.  This is a problem because quilters are motivated by deadlines.  Now the quilter can’t tell if she missed the deadline or if you just gave her another week.

Step 5:  Quilter forces herself to finish quilt for this Monday anyway so she won’t be frantically trying to finish it next Sunday night.  This is unusual behavior that she is proud of.

Step 6:  It is the first snowfall of the year.  Quilt flat out refuses to dry in the dryer anyway so quilter puts it in the snow for a nice picture.  Quilter shows the picture at work.

Other  coworker – “What is that?”

Quilter – “A baby quilt”

Other coworker – “Oh, I thought it might be a grill cover.”

Linking to TGIFF at What a Hoot! and since finishing anything is quite odd for me I’m linking here and here  too.


09 Nov, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

/ posted in: Quilting

Don’t you just hate it when you are happily sewing along, minding your own business, and all of a sudden you realize you’ve done this?

There is nothing like hand sewing a hexagon to the wrong place to crush your spirit. I haven’t had the mental strength to fix it yet.

At this point the husband asked how my quilt was going. I told him to come over and look at it to see how it was going. He came over, looked at it, and said, “Oh. Not good.”

Then he asked me something that I have a feeling may be been bugging him for a bit. “So, um, this quilt? It doesn’t seem like it is going to be very nice when it is finished.”

Tip – Do not say that to a quilter who is in her third year of working on this hand pieced quilt.

I managed to ask him why he thought that and he said, “Well, it isn’t like a real quilt. It seems really stiff.”

That’s when I took the time to explain that all the paper in this quilt top comes out before it is finished.

Slow Sunday Stitching