Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 ...

Goodbye 2011
... And what a wonderful and creative year it was!

Just a few of my favorites!

To all of my dear readers,
Wherever you may be,

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy
and Creative 2012!


Friday, December 23, 2011


Behind The News (BTN) at RPQ ~ Snippets of my everday ...

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Tumble in the Woods ~ A Finished Quilt

The last quilt for 2011!  
A Tumble in the Woods (thank you for naming my quilt Aneela!)

All of Aneela's fabric collections for Moda have been such a pleasure to work with, and combining all three fabric collections ~ Sherbet Pips, Little Apples and A Walk in the Woods ~  was effortless and went without a hiccup.

For the quilt back I have used one of my favorite prints from the Sherbet Pips collection ~ Scooters in Vanilla Ice.  The images (above and below) clearly show the quilting grid created by outlining the seam lines, some multiple times.

Zig-zagging along all of the vertical seam lines was more work than envisioned, but contributes to the finished look of the quilt, and compliments the patchwork tumbler blocks.  I wouldn't hesitate doing so again.

For the binding fabric I have used a black and white stripe fabric ~ Michael Miller - Clown Stripe, although this one is a little wider than my standard black/white pin stripe fabric.  Love it!

I have updated my Etsy Store and you can find the listing for this quilt here:


And that concludes my sewing journey for 2011.  I am looking forward to spending the next week or so unwinding with family and friends.  Of course I will be stopping by here ...  (who knows, I may even sew a little something), and have some rather fun things scheduled here for all of my readers to celebrate Christmas/Holidays, and to welcome the New Year!  

You won't want to miss out ..

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Walk in The Woods ~ Quilt Top

No Mondayitis here. I have made an early start this week, and have not allowed Monday slip by in a blur, as is often the case. 

Of course it helps that the school/Summer holidays are now in full swing, and that the teens consider themselves independent, and enjoy a fair amount of freedom; all of which leaves me plenty of time to spend with my fabric stash, rotary cutter, and sewing machine.  I am not complaining.

As promised I have cut right into my Fat Eight bundle of A Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hoey (Moda) (See Sunday Stash #123).  Unfortunately the tumbler block design only allowed for three such blocks to be cut from each fat eight piece of fabric, however it also meant that I have had to delve back into my fabric stash to add a little extra to the quilt top.

I couldn't think of an easier way to extend my small collection of A Walk in the Woods than by adding fabrics from the Sherbet Pips and Little Apples collections, both also designed by Aneela Hoey.  These fabric collections compliment each other and combine delightfully.

In addition to Aneela's fabric collections (Sherbet Pips, Little Apples, and A Walk in the Woods), I have also used (see above image):

      I am now preparing the quilt backing, and getting myself organized to start quilting.

      Thank you for stopping by,

      Sunday, December 18, 2011

      Sunday Stash #123

      A Walk in The Woods by Aneely Hoey for Moda!

      This Fat Eights bundle of A Walk in The Woods has been sitting around my sewing area for about a week or so.  It has been moved about and admired from every angle awaiting a photography session, all while I poked and prodded at it to get a better glimpse of the adorable prints.

      Aneela!!  You've really outdone yourself with this new collection, it is so very sweet! I love the color palette, and the teeny tiny detailed prints on the fabrics including ribbons and bows, toadstools, red riding hood, and the big bad wolf are adorable.  (There are even several dot/spot prints!).

      A Walk in the Woods pre-cuts are available from and/or yardage coming soon to:
      Pink Castle Fabrics@ Etsy
      Yardage coming soon:
      The rotary cutter is poised and ready to cut into this pretty stash!

      Enjoy Sunday!

      Friday, December 16, 2011

      Crossroads Mark II ~ A Finished Quilt

      Ok.  I am back again for the second time this week, channeling my inner Nancy Crow.  I hope you will put up with me as I get this Crossroads phase out of my system.

      I just had to have another go as this quilting grid, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke that both the piecing with long strips of fabric, and the gridded quilting, had worked out so well the first time around. 

      The piecing process, in particular the selection of fabric and the color play, was so much harder this time around.  I may have spent too much time (over) thinking about the colors and their interactions, rather than just doing; and I think it may show.

      The quilting, on the other hand, proved to be no problem.  I started the quilting grid by first stitching either side of all horizontal seams, and then the vertical quilting lines were stitched, starting at one of the vertical seam line and slowly working my way out to the quilt edges.

      I so wish you would feel the texture created by the quilting grid; the quilt is light and soft, and has a lovely drape which I don't think is conveyed well via the screen.

      As usual I have updated my Etsy Store.

      You can find the listings for both Crossroads quilts here: Crossroads I and Crossroads II - SOLD

      I am now ready to leave my Crossroads phase behind.  For the time being.


      Crossroads Quilt Mark I

      Pin It!

      Tuesday, December 13, 2011

      Crossroads ~ A Finished Quilt

      Warning!  A heavy duty picture post follows as well as a small tribute to Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons:

      Not everything is always smooth sailing, however this quilt simply unfolded and came together like it was always meant to be.   The actual rotary cutting and piecing didn't take all that long, although the same cannot be said for the quilting.

      I love the quilting! It has added so much character and texture to the finished quilt.  Without it this quilt, although otherwise graphically striking, has no soul, no personality, no zing factor.

      And the back: ~ No tucks, no puckering; it's all in the basting.  I am still a pin baster, taping the layers to the floor and crawling around on hands and knees to pin, pin, pin.  There isn't a whole lot of fun in the process but it consistently produces the best results for me.  And so, it will continue.

      I really wanted to bind this quilt with a printed fabric, however I quickly came to the conclusion that a black solid fabric was warranted and the only suitable option to frame this quilt.

      I have listed this quilt in my Etsy Store Red Pepper Quilts @ Etsy - SOLD

      You can find the listing here:  Crossroads Quilt @ Etsy

      Thank you for stopping by,


      When I am in my "in between projects" phase, and not sure where to start next (and according to my family just a tad annoying ~ Surely not!), I have been known to turn to my collection of quilting books for inspiration.
      On Sunday I picked up my copy of Crossroads by Nancy Crow; this book accompanied the 2007 exhibit of 25 quilts by Nancy Crow at the Snyderman Gallery in Philadelphia, PA.  It is a catalog of beautiful photographs that capture the colors and textures of Nancy's graphic and bold quilts, and also the starting point for my next quilt.

      Out with the rotary cutter and ruler, as well as my stash of solid fabrics; all Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons.   It wasn't long before numerous strips of fabric were cut in an array of bright and bold colors.  Sewing together long narrow strips of fabric hasn't always provided me with much joy, but rather than avoid doing so altogether, the time had come to face the challenge.

      And honestly, once I started sewing the strips together ~ first into pairs and then joining pairs of strips together, etc ~ and was overly careful when pressing the strips/seams not to stretch and distort, the whole thing came together quickly and without too much use of the trusty spray starch.

      Absolutely everything just fell into place ~ the sewing machine played nice and I was able to enjoy quite some sewing time in order to finish the quilt top.  The less pleasant task of basting followed thereafter, and I have even started quilting.

      I will leave you with just a snippet of the quilting grid:  Crossroads.  Although the quilting will take some time to complete,  the added texture truly compliments this quilt.

      Sunday, December 11, 2011

      Sunday Stash #122 ~ Robert Kaufman Pure Organic Cottons

      If you've been stopping by here for a while, you will already be familiar with my love for solid fabrics, ... and color, and even the occasional use of organic cotton prints and solids.

      It should therefore not come as a surprise that when I saw this colorful Fat Quarter Bundle of solids there was a sharp intake of breath, and the rest is history.

      Colors (above) from top to bottom:
      Pink, Bright Pink, Cherry, Red, Orange, Marigold, Maize, Pear, Chartreuse, Aqua, Teal, Navy, Black, Steel, Grey, Chocolate, Hazelnut, Ivory, Ecru, White.

      Robert Kaufman
      Pure Organic Kona Cotton Solids
      100% certified organic cotton and printed with low impact dyes.

      Robert Kaufman Kona Pure Organic Kona Cotton available from:

      Enjoy Sunday!

      Friday, December 9, 2011

      A Set of Four Pillows

      Without further ado:

      These four pillows are a Christmas gift for my mother and are custom made to fit rush covered kitchen chairs.   

      The pillows measure 16 inches x 16 inches  ~  each pieced from 49 squares measuring 2.75" x 2.75" including seam allowances ~ and include a invisible zip inserted in the side seam so that the covers can be removed and washed with ease.

      For the back of the pillows I have used a cotton/linen blend home decorator fabric for extra durability; it has been in my stash for some time awaiting the "right" project.  I love how it has a Christmas feel about it without it actually being a Christmas print.

      Ready for the wrapping fairy ... I am not a huge fan of the wrapping paper and sticky tape.

      Thank you for stopping by,

      Thursday, December 8, 2011

      More Christmas Sewing

      The weeks leading up to Christmas seem to pass by even more quickly than usual, and as I still have a considerable amount of present sewing (and knitting) to do, I am starting to feel a little panicky.

      My mother is on top of the list of gift making and has asked for some cushions for her traditional dutch colonial kitchen chairs with woven rush (cane) seating.  These chairs have been in our family for close to 40 years and the rush covering is just starting to show a little wear.

      And so I've spent some time sorting and choosing fabric (even pulling some pieces from the scrap bin), cutting small squares, and patchwork piecing. I think you will again recognize many of these prints ~ lots of Katie Jump Rope and Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt, tossed together with the usual dots and stripes.

      Four kitchen chairs, means making four chair cushions.  After some thought I decided to make all four chair pillow/covers in the same color scheme ~ green, blue and brown.  Sorting through my stash I was reminded that I have very few brown prints in my stash; you see almost all of my brown fabric stash in these patchwork blocks.

      It is time to start quilting these blocks and then turn them into cushion covers.

      More soon.