Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday #11.

Today's flimsy for Work in Progress Wednesday features this adorable woodland critter panel cut apart and sewn together with sashing and nine-patch cornerstones. 

The woodland critters are too cute for words; they make me go squeee

I also really like how we (mom sewed it, but we designed the top together) used the vine print for the sashing and the nine-patch corner stones. To me, it has a bit of a nature vibe that ties in well with the cute little woodland creatures motif. It's neutral enough that it ties in well with the colors in panel without distracting, but it's also not too plain and boring. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Momcat Monday-Cut Up and Quilt!

I was so excited last fall to discover a relatively new quilt store in Council Bluffs, Iowa, called Cut Up and Quilt! 

Becky Ingraham and Kim Scott opened their store on September 2012 and have been going strong, supported by the quilting community in the area.

My favorite "class" - CUAQ Therapy.  My first exposure to CUAQ Therapy in November was a great experience: new products and fabrics were shown, patterns distributed and show and tell by anyone who attended. It's amazing to see the creativity and pride shown by all who bravely show what they have accomplished. Drawings for prizes and treats are also included. The December meeting was cancelled; I can't wait to attend more sessions this spring!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Work in Project Wednesday-Manuscript Magic!

It's been pretty quiet over on the blog front here, and in part that is due to receiving this lovely package in the mail from our editor at the American Quilters's Society!

As we've said already, there has been A LOT of learning about how the publishing industry works as we've gone through this process. The papers on the left are the actual text of the book, and the stack on the right are the photographs and diagrams that will be inserted at various points throughout. We're just about ready to send it back to AQS with our corrections and edits. 

Next up will be the final (eek!) proof!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Welcome to Caturday. Where we bring you ridiculous pictures of cats "helping" their humans quilt, sew, and craft.  

This week's Caturday photo shows what happens when both parts of Prairie Sewn Studios are out crafting and leave the helper cats in charge! Catcat needed a place to take her regular 8:30 pm nap and curled up on my brother Bill! This is even more exciting as it's the first time Catcat has EVER done this with him! 

See that little paw hanging out off his shoulder? Classic Catcat sprawl.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday #10

Today's WIP is another one of Mom's, this time from a mystery quilt she worked on! This rooster batik was the original inspiration fabric for this quilt and will also be the backing. 

Mom really likes working on mystery quilts because they help her use a fabric in a way she never would have otherwise. For this mystery quilt the rooster fabric had a great mix of complimentary colors that she was able to pull in with other fabrics.

The colors in this are a little outside of Mom's comfort zone, but I think it turned out great! Now just to finish it up with some quilting!

Do you like working on mystery quilts? 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Create Your Design Wall

Today we're taking another peek inside of Mom's sewing studio, this time at her design wall. To make the board she went to a home improvement store and got 2" foam insulation board that measures about 4 feet x 7 feet.

She covered it with  a flannel sheet wrapped to the back and held in place with pins. This makes it super easy to remove and wash it if necessary, but still holds the fabric taunt against the insulation board. The flannel makes it easy to view and rearrange blocks, and since it's on the insulation it's also easy to use a couple of pins when i'm putting up a larger and heavier section of a quilt. 

A note about the color of the flannel she uses. A few years ago at one of the AQS Paducah shows we attended a lecture by Kaffe Fasset in which he talked at length about how he uses a design wall. One thing (amongst other tidbits of quilty knowledge!) that we took away was the concept of using a flannel sheet that was a neutral color but was NOT white! And he's right! It's so much easier to see blocks and colors on a neutral like this olive drab.

What do you use for a design wall? 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Momcat Monday-My New Sewing Machine!

My Christmas present this year from my loving husband:  a used Bernina 440!

I was thrilled to receive this machine with embroidery attachment.  I have sewn on it - sews like a dream - and did some lace embroidery for Christmas.

My goal in January is to make a stitch library, using all the stitches available on the machine as well as changing each stitch in length and width.  This library should be useful is selecting different stitches for  quilting my many pieced tops.

Guess that means I will be improving my machine quilting!

Monday, January 6, 2014

DADcat Monday!

Today we deviate from our usual "Momcat Monday" schedule to bring you a few words from the other side of the fabric stash, Dad. 

Take it away, Dad!

Living With a Quilter

As you may have read, Linda and I have season tickets to the University of Nebraska-Omaha hockey team (Go MAVS!). On a past Saturday I was working in the yard and came into the house to have supper and get ready to go to the game. Linda said to me, “Would you like a Reuben sandwich for supper?” I said, “That sounds good.”, thinking how nice it was for her to offer to make it for me. Then, the light bulb went off over my head. I turned to her and said, “Uh?” And she responded by saying, “That’s right. I’ve got fabric  to cut out!”

She did buy me refreshments.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Welcome to Caturday. Where we bring you ridiculous pictures of cats "helping" their humans quilt, sew, and craft.  

Friday the cat says "Why yes, human, I'm helping you test this fabric for softness. We wouldn't want you to make a quilt that wasn't soft enough, now would we?"

Friday, January 3, 2014

Festive for Friday

1. Discovering the Huffington Post article talking about the coldest colleges in the U.S. I went to Luther College, listed at #14. I'm starting to wonder if this is why I now live in California (predicted high temp in SF today-68 F). 

2. It's the new year! Not only do I LOVE setting resolutions, but Prairie Sewn Studios is gearing up to have a stellar year with our book coming out (hopefully) this month! 

3. Being re-united with my helper cats! They were on "vacation" at Mom and Dad's house while I got settled in SF, and it sure is nice to have them back, even if I'd forgotten quite how "helpful" they could be! I'm sure I'll have PLENTY of good pictures for Caturday! Although Mom misses having them around, I think she's also a little bit excited to have cat-free sewing surfaces again! 

4. Quilty and crafty Pinterest boards! Here are a few of my favorites to browse through: 
5. The Washington Post listing "nerdy quilts" as the top DIY gift for 2013! Woohoo quilts! 

What made your week festive? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Storage Solution-Scissors and Rotary Cutters

So Mom has always had a large (and ever-growing!) collection of scissors and rotary cutters. Growing up, the number one rule was that NO ONE (not even Dad) touched Mom's fabric scissors without permission. I didn't really understand why she needed so many scissors and rotary cutters until I started quilting much more regularly. Turns out, different sized tools do different jobs! Duh!

Her storage solution for these scissors and rotary cutters has varied over the years, but now she uses this jewelry rack that she picked up cheaply at TJ Maxx. Conveniently, she also got me one but in pink! The top circle with the hooks rotates, so it's easy to spin and pick up the tool that you  need. For tools that have small handles or just a hole in the handle (rotary cutters), she uses a small carabiner to hang the tool with. 

I definitely like storing my tools this way. The jewelry rack is pretty stable and the tools look rather cute hanging from it, not to mention it's super easy to find and grab what I need!

How do you store your scissors and rotary cutters? 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday-A Variation

This week I'm sharing photographic evidence of why all of the Work in Progress Wednesdays have been a project from Mom. No, it's not because I'm an amazing (and mythical!) quilter who doesn't have ANY WIPs, but it's just that my sewing room is still unpacked and is an absolute disaster! 

I took this photo using the panoramic feature on my iphone, so while it makes the room look a lot bigger than it really is, I think it does a fairly good job capturing the essence of the chaos. It's taking a long time to get unpacked in part because I'm now living in earthquake country! That means that tall objects such as bookcases and the like need to be firmly attached to the walls to prevent them from falling over and potentially landing on a human (or cat!) in the event of an earthquake. My apartment is carpeted, and so while my bookcases are fine temporarily, that cabinet on the far right of the picture has glass doors and is SUPER front heavy so I can't even get it to stand up without falling over. I have all the supplies to get it bolted into the wall, and hope to finish that this weekend so I can unpack my fabric!

I did FIND the box with some of my WIPs in it, though, and managed to get them unpacked into their place. That counts as progress, right?

What have you been working on lately?