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Preview: Pottery and Everything Else

Pottery and Everything Else

Updated: 2014-10-03T03:07:39.444-05:00




Little E's Finished Robot Costume

As promised, here is Little E (and me) in his finished robot costume. I thought that I was going to have to convince him to try it on for me, but he got so excited when he saw me with the costume.

He bounced around and was saying, "Cheese..." so daddy and Uncle Dave could take his picture. After the pictures, I went to take the costume off and he started to get mad. We negotiated that he could wear the boots for a while.  

Hopefully the weather will hold out so we can take him to a couple of houses in the neighborhood on Halloween.


He is two now and in the "No" phase of his life. But he still loves to give me smoochies and hugs, so the "Nos" don't seem so bad ;) What a joy it is to share my life with such a great little guy!



It has been awhile! I just wanted to let you all know I am loving mommy hood! This blog unfortunately is a casualty to this new found joy. BUT, I am actually getting back to my sewing and wanted to share with you all my progress on Little E's 2012 Halloween costume.Here is my sketch using the fabulous iPad application called Paper by FiftyThree:He didn't state he wanted to be a robot exactly, but he has some jammies and a new sheet set with them on it. So I thought I would attempt a robot costume this year.First I deconstructed a pair of his regular elastic waist pants using the wonderful Kid Basic Pant tutorial by Dana over on the MADE blog ( I used standard quilting cotton material for the main pants, but before I sewed up the inseam and the outer seams, I top stitched down a strip of basic yellow felt across the pant at the knees. I trimmed the extra bulk of the felt inside the pant after sewing up the seams. I hand sewed the round knob on the outside of the knee using the same felt material. The diameter of the circle is between 1" - 1.5". I attached to that circle a 1" strip of the felt to make a knob raised off the pant's surface. I also stuffed it with a little polyfill to give it a little structure.Next came the body piece. I wanted basically a sleeveless t-shirt shape. So I just used one of his t-shirts and traced the main trunk/bodice of the t-shirt for my pattern. I left one side open and attached velcro to make it easier to get it on and off of Little E. Felt doesn't stretch to well and I was afraid it would be a struggle to get it on over his head with both sides sewn.I used a protractor as a template to trace the half circle dial on the front of the body piece. The dial hand and tick marks are black embroidery thread. Since taking the pictures below, I added the three knobs in the red and grey box at the bottom of the body piece. They are similar to the ones pictured on the back of the body piece.The back red box is raised up from the surface using one flat square of red felt. I cut out squares at the corners and sewed them up like you would do a box corner. I top stitched a ridge around the edge and added a second yellow rectangle of felt. I used some plastic canvas to give it some stability as well as stuffed it with polyfil to give it some height off the surface of the body piece.The knobs were made in the same fashion as the knobs at his pant knees, but I added white embroidery thread to make them look like they have markings like dials you would see on a stereo, tuner, or old TV. Next came his hat. I used a fleece hat pattern to get the basic shape. The pattern has you cut out for pieces to make the hat. You sew up two sets and you get the front and back of the hat. I added the extra stitching at these seams to have the felt seams inside the hat lay flat, but I think they kinda add to the costume; almost like seams for where the metal of the robot come together :)Before I stitched together the front and back halves of the hat. I top stitched a rectangle for the eye opening as well as the rectangle for the nose. I hand stitched the black felt for the pupils because I wanted them to look more integrated with the yellow felt of the eye opening. Once again the white thread on the pupils is embroidery thread (hand sewn).I made a small wire frame for the antenna. Then traced around the wire frame to get the shape for the yellow felt. I used my machine to sew all the way around the oval, but left an opening where I could turn it out and insert the wire frame into the felt pocket. The black stem is also felt I rolled into a cylinder. I closed the side of it by top stitching down the side of it with my machine. The stem of the wire frame slide inside the cylinder easily. I still need to permanently attach the antenna to the hat and the yellow oval to the top of the antenna. I also cut out some felt circles and strips to make the bolts that are on the side of the head of the robot (see sketch above).My final three items to sew are stripes of grey fabric I am addin[...]

Kaleidoscope Quilt



This is the finish kaleidoscope quilt, with this pattern from bee beautiful, for my Bee Addicted 2 online quilting bee.

The quilting was done by a friend of mine: TL Kennedy Longarm Quilting. Tracy did a wonderful job maneuvering around those tough points where all the piecing met.


We agreed to leave the kaleidoscope parts not quilted. Just quilting the white background really made that part pop out nicely.

This little beauty went to my co-worker, Penny, who was pregnant with her daughter the same time I was with Little E. We even were in the same birthing class together. Her daughter is such a cutie patootie :) I couldn't resist making this quilt for her.

Vintage Magazines and Pattern Books



I picked these up at the AAUW annual used book sale. The two on the right are from the late seventies. They are in excellent shape for their age. The heart pattern one is cool. They take and dress up the heart block with using log cabin strips and also one pattern looks like the heart is laced with a ribbon. Not usually my cup of tea, but I thought it had possibilities.

The crochet snowflake pattern book also has this cool pattern to make a crocheted ball ornament. I hadn't seen anything like that before. My family may be getting these for Christmas this year :)

Nittany Block Party April Block



For Ms. Tracy :) HSTs are my nemesis I tell you! Curses, darn those meddling kids...

Our May block also uses HSTs. I sewed together 28 3" blocks this morning. After work it will be making the second seam on them and then cut, press and put the blocks together.

Me & the Watch Me Grow Chart


I used the Watch Me Grow pattern on Moda Bake Shop by Vanessa Wilson, a.k.a- Crafty Gemini.

As you can see from the close-up I have already marked out my Little E's birth, 4 month and 6 month heights (21", 27", and 29"). The ruler numbers and slashes were not in the pattern. I used my measuring tape to make the tick marks. Then slid the tape measure under the cream fabric and traced the numbers. I used the archival ink pens to fill in and outline the numbers.

The height of this finished at about 79" x 11".

Finished New Wave Quilt Top


Using the New Wave quilt pattern by Oh Frasson. Now all I need to do is make a quilt sandwich since I have the back completed too.

I think I will just outline the waves for this one. Maybe a quilting line down the center of the wave too. Nothing overly complex as I do not wish to take away from the design and the fabric on this one.

**Edited: The finished top is 48.5" X 56". I had to trim a half inch off the bottom of the wedges when I messed up aligning the border fabric. It all worked out in the end :) The mess up was totally my fault for not reading the instructions properly :)

First three vertical rows complete



I have finished five vertical rows for the new wave quilt. From the picture you can see that four of those have been sewn together for the top. The fifth is for the two I am placing on the back. Only four more to go :)

You can also see my stacks of wedges with the sashing sewn on them for the remaining columns on my cutting table.

This is really piecing together quickly!

Oh Frasson's New Wave Quilt



Using this pattern I purchased from Oh Frasson's blogsite. The pattern and the expanded instructions are wonderful (full of good photos for illustrating the steps). I also purchased the plastic template she recommended as well. It made cutting the wedges super easy.

I was able to quickly cut out the shapes by stacking my fat quarters in sets of three. I am making the lap size, but cut enough wedges to make two vertical columns of the wedges on the back of the quilt too. Six wedges per fat quarter.

Nittany Block Party November 2010 Quilt Top



For my month in the Nittany Block Party bee, I had my fellow bee babes make a zig-zag block. Here is the top on my design wall. It looks odd because I had to rotate the picture so it would bee the correct orientation :)

I want to thank each and everyone of the babes for their help. I think it is going to be beautiful.

Zig Zag Path block from Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs. Maggie credits Susan Dague with this block circa 1999.

Making improv trees


Tammy has us making improv trees for her month (December) in the Nittany Block Party bee. My cutting table is always a mess when I make improv blocks. This is actually pretty clean for me during this process.

I try to layout the block on the table and add to it as I build. The brown strips will be the trunks of the trees, but not as thick. I will be adding the grey background to either side of the strips. Then addition grey at the top of the trees.

I finished another block for Tammy over the weekend. I will have to post it when I finish this one too.

Christmas Prezzies From My Honey



I checked out the book, Grandma's Best Full Size Quilt Blocks from my library recently. It has a lot of nice traditional blocks as well as the history of the patterns and the authentic fabrics for the time period. It has an excellent spiral binding too to make it easier to leave open while you work from it. Justin found this one for me on Amazon.

My other gift was a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. I purchased the flying geese template, fabric and pattern from there. AND I still have more money to spend on my gift card :)

Nittany Block Party January


It is my month to send out fabric, so I chose ModifyTradition's Magic Cross tutorial for my block.
I used my Bliss Fat Quarters, yeah!

Monster Christmas Ornament



I had some fur fabric in my stash that I was experimenting with. I have seen some cute softie monsters recently and wanted to try one of my own ;)

Magic Cross Diagram



Nittany Block Party 2011 – January

We will be using the Modify Tradition Magic Cross tutorial this month for my block. I am sending Bliss fabric to the group.

Awkward Family Pet Photos


(image) Gotta love a pair of cats that would actually sit still long enough to get this picture taken :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Charity Quilts


I finally finished theses lap sized quilts that my friend, Tracy from TL Kennedy Longarm Quilting, quilted for me last January. I donated it to a local group for a charity raffle. I used a couple sets of charm squares I picked up at JoAnne's a couple of years ago. I think they turned out well. I like how simple they are. The colors and the bold prints help carry the tops.


An awesome close up of the great swirl quilting Tracy did for me. You can't tell from this photo, but the thread is a lovely mossy green.


I kept the backs simple to using left overs and some yardage from my stash. My goal was to not go out and purchase any addition fabric for the two quilts.

Sorry about the poor picture on this one. It was last minute and in my office at work right before I delivered the quilts for the raffle.

Another awesome close up of the quilting. This quilt had a lovely red thread for the quilting. It was very striking contrast on the black fabric.

Another simple back using up yardage from my stash.

Snowflake Ornaments



I made some crochet snowflake ornaments for my son's teachers. I was finally able to starch and block them last night. They were all nice and stiff this morning. I really like how they turned out.

Courage to be You Charity Blocks


Jennifer over on the 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee is making quilts for Courage to be You. It is an organization that helps exploited children. I was happy to use my sewing skills to contribute to this worthy cause. Hop on over an pledge a block or two too.Windmill LiberatedI used Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking II book for this block. She called it a Windmill block.Jacks Block LiberatedI used Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking II book for this block. She called it a Jacks block.MinimalMint ChocolateThis was made from some stips that I still had after making this quilt.A little bit of loveAmy Butler's, Love fabric line.Improve BlockSoire'e #2Lila Tueller Designs, Soire'e fabric line from a charm pack.Soire'e #1Lila Tueller Designs, Soire'e fabric line from a charm pack.[...]

Spider Web Quilt for Baby Elliott



Look what the lovely ladies of my Spider Web bee made me :)

I wasn't able to send out fabric in August to the group because of Little E. So they got together and made me blocks from their stashes.

How great is that! We are gonna be able to do I Spy with this quilt. It's gonna be great.

Thanks again everyone. We love it!

Pressing Seams


I tried out a new quilt block this weekend called the Capital T Block.


I always get confused about how to press the seams on new blocks. Pressing to the side works for some things but open seems to work better for others. With the end goal being that the seams do not become overly bulky making it hard to quilt through them.

Do you have a set of rules you follow for pressing seams? Like:
- HST are open
- Geese are always to the side

Zig Zag Path Block


Is it really November already? Boy, time files when your quilting with your online friends :) Here is the tutorial I whipped up for my Nittany Block Party quilting bee for the Zig Zag Path block from Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs. Maggie credits Susan Dague with this block circa 1999.Fabric(3) 5.5” x 5.5” Dark Grey Background Fabric(3) 5.5” x 5.5” Orange Swirly Fabric(3) 5.5” x 5.5” Blue or Green Thyme Fabric**Edit 12/14/2010**If you want to make a 12.5" finished block use the following measurements:(3) 5" X 5" Background Fabric (3) 5" x 5" Orange Fabric (A)(3) 5" x 5" Blue or Green FabricThis will give you wiggle room when you square up your half-square triangles to 4.5". Additional instructions for making a 12.5" finished square are in italics below.Making Half-Square TrianglesOne of the grey background squares set aside for the middle square of this nine-patch block. Then take the remaining (8) 5.5” squares and create the following pairs (right-sides of the fabric facing one another.(2) green and orange(1) green and grey(1) orange and grey*Note: The green, blue and orange fabrics are directional prints. We want to make sure they are going in the same direction when we place the right sides facing. Take a look at the folded over edges in the photo above. The green fabric’s print is going up and down with the bulb part at the top. The orange print’s swirls are also going up and down with the fatter part of the swirl at the top.Now take you ruler and marking pencil and create a diagonal line down the centers of the squares. This is a 45-degree line down the center of the square.You will be sewing 1/4" seams on either side of this line. Start off by placing your first paired square underneath your sewing machine’s foot. Align the guideline mark to the right where it touches the 1/4” guide on the foot.Sew from one corner of the square along the guideline to the other corner. Now, you might normally pull off the finished square and add the second one. During which you would have to cut the thread to remove the square completely from the sewing machine.Let us chain piece these squares instead. Chain piecing is where you keep feeding your squares or pieces of paired fabric though the foot of your machine. It creates this long line of stitched pieces. It speeds up piecing because you are not stopping to cut away each individual piece after you sew it together.Now back to your freshly sewn squares sitting just past your foot. Pull slightly on the finished square to pull it a little away from the needle and foot area. This will give you a little slack in the thread between your first sewn set of squares and the next.Then lift up your foot slightly and slide in the second set of squares to be sewn under the foot. You align the guideline to the right of the foot at the 1/4” again. Now slowly start to sew.Repeat these steps for the third and fourth sets of squares.In the end, you have all four sets sewn connected to one another by small sections of thread.Now before you take that last square off, you can cut it away from the rest of the chain and continue to chain the squares through to sew the other seam for the Half Square Triangles.Leaving the fourth set of squares under your foot. Cut the threads between the three sets still on the chain.Pull slightly on the squares still under your foot a little away from the needle and foot area. This will give you a little slack in the thread between your last set of sewn squares and the next.[...]

Summer Bees


Make you feel fineBlowing through the jasmine of my mind-ind :) - Seals and Crofts (1972)Just a little eye candy for you all. These are all the quilting bee blocks that I have finished over the summer.1. Bee Addicted 2 September Block 3, 2. Bee Addicted 2 September Block 1, 3. Bee Addicted 2 September Block 2, 4. Bee Addicted August Block 1, 5. Circuit Block Party Block 1 August, 6. Circuit Block Party Block 2 August, 7. Scraptastic Bee September Block 1, 8. Scraptastic Bee September Block 2, 9. Scraptastic Bee August Block 1, 10. Scraptastic Bee August Block 2, 11. Spider Bee July 1, 12. Circuit Block Party July 1, 13. Circuit Block Party July 2, 14. Pinwheel Star for Beatnik Bee July, 15. Half Log Cabin for Nittany Block Party July, 16. Asterisk Blocks for Bee Addicted 2 July, 17. Wonky Star for July Scraptastic Bee, 18. Spider Bee June 3, 19. Bee Liberated: July, 20. Nittany Block Party: June, 21. Bee Liberated: June, 22. Bee Liberated: June #2, 23. Beatnik Bee: June, 24. Bee Addicted 2: June Extras, 25. Bee Addicted 2: June, 26. Bee Addicted 2: June, 27. Scraptastic Bee: June, 28. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Michellesews, 29. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Daveandsusi, 30. 3 X 6 Bee Block for funkygoodstuff, 31. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Quiltedoma, 32. 3 X 6 Bee Block for Chmihen, 33. 3 X 6 Bee Block for NeetermoAnd just so you all are not worrying, I delivered our son without complications in early August. We have been limiting where we are posting pictures and detailed information about our son to only those places that are secure. We are trying to be careful. Thanks for understanding :)  In case it takes me a little while to get back here to post, have an excellent fall![...]

9 Months




Well, here I am at 9 months with Little E! We went to the PSU Arboretum to get some photos taken by our friend Dave. He is a really good photographer. Check out his Flickr photos...

Oh and to top things off the kitchen remodel is going swimmingly :) Here's a sneeky-peek into how it looks:





Not much else going on here except getting ready to have Little E. I am hoping to get to some sewing this week and weekend. Let's see if Little E cooperates and gives me enough energy to do that ;)

Free Knitting eBook from Interweave's Knitting Daily Blog


For all of you who like your eBooks, Interweave has a free download of a knitting book by Kathleen Cubley, "Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting". So hop on over get your free book.