Sunday, September 25, 2011


Well, a decision has been made and it is now official......after trying to maintain two blogs (and not succeeding), I have decided to combine them into one.  About a year ago, two fellow quilters and myself opened an Etsy shop called Urban Spools.  We had big plans, but life came along and while we had steady progress it wasn't earth shattering.  It was also a little challenging trying to run an online shop with the three of us in different parts of the city.  One of the gals had a baby last fall and the other is about to deliver her first child in a few weeks.  So, Urban Spools is now  The Etsy shop is still open and I plan to offer quilting services too.  But, I am moving the blog to the Urban Spools blog and that is where you will find me from now on.  If you follow this blog through and RSS feed, you will need to update your reader to the new address.

I hope to see you over will be lonely with out all my bloggy friends.  And it's no fun talking to myself. (even though I do it a lot!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I have been playing a lot on my new HandiQuilter.  Have I mentioned that I love her????  All that room, there are no words....Here is just a bit of what I have been trying out.

I'm hooked, I tell you....HOOKED.  I could sit and do this all day every day.  So many patterns to try.

It is a very busy season at my day job and I am working long hours under high stress.  I think I would need medication to cope if I weren't able to come home and cut fabric up and sew it back together and then stitch pretty patterns on top of it.  It truly is like therapy.  Or Valium.  Or a bottle of wine.  But way better.  No hangover.  Wish I could say it was cheaper than therapy, but with the fabric addiction I think therapy might be cheaper.  But not nearly as fun!

I have also been doing some major work on a new website and blog.  There are going to be some changes coming up, but I'm not ready to reveal them yet...stay tuned.

I have been invited to do a Modern Quilting demonstration at CityArts on Saturday, May 28th at Fair Park!  I am so excited and so honored.  The festival goes on all weekend and has over 200 artists displaying their work.  Check it out here:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Road Trip

This past weekend, G and decided to take a little road trip.  The Quilt Mercantile was having a "book signing" party because they were featured in the Quilt Sampler Spring/Summer Issue.  We decided to drive out for the celebration.  They are located in Celeste, TX and they are the lovely shop that I purchased my HQ Sweet Sixteen from.  I was able to pick up a copy of the magazine before it hits the shelves and Vickey and Jennifer even signed my copy! And,they carry Finca Perle Cotton!  My favorite! I had to stock up on a few skeins.

 G asked me to drive so he could get some work done and as we are driving along, I look over and see this:
Yep, he's got his iPad sitting on top of his laptop!  and I think his cell phone is probably in the other hand!  I guess you can never have too many Apple devices in use at one time......I don't want to hear a word about my sewing machines....

We had such a fun day exploring little towns in east Texas.  (This is the only state I have ever lived that divides itself into quadrants...when you meet someone here they tell you which quadrant of the state they are from.  You just don't get that in other states...I'm just sayin')  I had thrown a couple of my finished quilts in the car so I could get some good shots of them while we were out and about.  G. took all of the photos, and he is amazing with his camera!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Class, A Finish and a Little Something Different

I have been gone awhile, but I have been quite busy creating.  What have I been working on, you ask?  Well, a lot of things!  I have a dear friend whose brother was diagnosed with cancer (he's very young and they have two children, last year his wife battled breast cancer!)  So, I put a call for blocks out to my Modern Quilt Guild members and they were all so generous with their time and stash!  In a very short time, I had more than enough blocks to create the quilt!  (Thanks Dallas Modern Quilt Guild!)  I quilted it on my new HQ Sweet Sixteen!  I love that machine!!!!

A couple of months ago, G bought something for himself and now it has become a little obsession.....It is a 1957 Lambretta Scooter!  It is SO cute.  Her name is Lola and you can take a look at her here.  So, then he buys a tool kit so he can keep her all tuned up.  But, he doesn't like the bag the tools came in.  He asked if I could help him out and I cannot say no to the man.  So, I came up with this little number

He's really happy with it and I had a blast designing it.

I'm teaching a new class at Bernina of Dallas next Monday evening.  It is this pincushion from Sew Take a Hike.  I am so excited to be teaching this class.  I had so much fun making mine and when I took it to Bernina for show and tell, they loved it too.  I contacted Penny about the possibility of teaching it as a class and she was great to work with.  I can't wait to see how everyone's turns out!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

I went to the Quilters Guild of Dallas annual show about ten days ago.  I went with a group of friends from the DMQG.  We picked up Melanie who had come over from Fort Worth on the TRE line and headed off to Mama's Daughters Diner for breakfast....I had eggs over easy, biscuits and gravy and grits....YUM!  I mean really, YUM!!!  It was so good, but I didn't get hungry again until 3:00 that afternoon!  We saw lots of goodies at the show and I picked up a few fat quarters and another market basket.  I have three of these baskets now and I really adore them.  They are so versatile and I am always finding a another use for them.  I like that by buying them, I am helping a woman in Ghana be self sufficient and independent.  I saw some quilts that really got my creative ideas flowing.  They were not my color choices, but I loved the design or sometimes the concept of a design.
I love the graphic feel of this quilt.  

And this one is just stunning!  All those triangles!
But, the most exciting thing that happened for me at the show was I got one of these!  And it arrived at my house today.  O.M.G.
I have been researching this little baby for months now.  I absolutely love my Bernina (Stella) and her BSR, but her "throat space" always leaves me frustrated.  So, I started looking at options.  I knew I did not want a long arm machine.  I don't have the space for one and I have spent the last ten years doing free-motion on my domestic machine.  What that means is that I have totally trained my brain to move the quilt in order to draw quilting designs on it.  I don't think my brain could make a switch at this stage to moving the machine over the quilt to create the designs.  Plus,  I really like sitting down to do my quilting.  So, I read and read and watched videos and joined Yahoo groups and after all of that research, I had not seen any negative reviews of this little baby.  Handi Quilter had a great "show special" going on, so I pulled the trigger.  I took G back to the show with me on Sunday and he liked her almost as much as I did.  (I cannot tell you how lucky and blessed I feel to have a husband that supports me so fully in my craft!)  Here she is in all her glory sitting in my studio.
Truth be told, I love quilting the quilts more than any other part of the process.  I enjoy the other steps, selecting the fabric, selecting a design, cutting (maybe not so much) and piecing.  But, I adore the actual quilting process.  It is soothing and relaxing to me.  I feel I am truly creating something at that stage.  I got her all set up in the sewing studio and played a little while this evening, but I can't wait to actually get started quilting something!  

Happy, Happy, Happy over here at the Kitto home.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Workshop in Progress - 3/9

I went on retreat a couple of weeks ago with seven of my closest friends.  And it was....amazing, awesome, productive, refreshing, renewing and so much more.  I grew up as a bit of a tomboy and as a result had always had very few women friends.  As a kid and young adult, I related to more traditionally male interests than female.  I don't care a lot about makeup, fashion, jewelry, things like that.  I love cars, power tools, sports.  But somehow, over the last few years (coinciding with my quilting interest....)I began to develop friendships with women.  Amazing women, caring women, funny (okay hilarious) women.  And it's a wonderful thing.  The four days I spent with these seven women were just what I needed.  I laughed until I was crying several times over the long weekend.  And I got a lot of sewing done.  A lot!  We stayed at a very cute little place we have gone to several times now.  It's called The 1890's House and it's very close to DFW, making it a perfect getaway.  Everything you might need is very close by, but yet you feel as if you are way out in the country.

I spent most of the weekend working on my Mariners Compass Quilt.  Its a Kaffe Fasset quilt from his book Museum Quilts.  The quilt went from this stage to this:
It's already huge and I still need to put one more border on it.  All in all, I think I got a lot done in four days.  I posted about this quilt a few weeks ago on the Workshop in Progress and was debating whether or not to try and quilt it myself.  Well, I'm about 99% sure that I am going to quilt it here on my Bernina.  I have put so much work into this, that I just want to see it through to the end and I want it to be all my work.  I have some ideas in my head about a pattern to quilt it with, but am very undecided on that aspect of it right now.  Thoughts?  It's pretty busy, so I think the quilting will be secondary and won't really need anything very elaborate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Workshop in Progress -2/16

I'm sad to say I missed a couple of Workshop's in Progress.  I didn't mean to, I just got so busy that I didn't have time to post.  And I was actually working on some things.  I do have a question this week, though.  I have been hand quilting my Nicey Jane Quilt and I love the way it's coming along.  (wish I could be working on it, but see yesterday's post for why I can't).  I outlined each pinwheel 1/4" from the edge with Pearl Cotton #8
and then I came back in to each square and did a series of four circles, each 1" larger than the previous.
My question is this:  What should I do in the borders?  I'm thinking of doing a fan or maybe some feathers. But I'm just not sure.  I'm totally open to suggestions.  This border is four inches wide and I had cut the strips too short and had to come up with that funny little wedge in the corner since I didn't have enough of the blue fabric to cut new borders.  It doesn't show up too much in this picture.

So, what would you guys do?