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?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Too Much

Well, I admit it...I can occasionally become obsessed with things.  And I've done it recently with my Nicey Jane Quilt I told you about here.  I have had the top layered up for awhile, but became obsessed with that crewel pillow I bought on Ebay.  A few weeks ago, I got the quilt back out and started hand quilting it with Pearl Cotton #8 in white.  It's fun to do and I had forgotten how much I enjoy hand quilting.  It gives me a project to work on while G and I watch TV at night.  But....I think I may have gone overboard, cause this is what my finger looks like right now.

See how red and swollen that knuckle is?  The finger won't even bend very far.  It's been like that for days and I still keep coming home and quilting every night.  What is wrong with me?  I have decided to let the finger rest for a few days (sob) and see if it gets better.  I'm thinking I can still work on my hexagon project while I waiting, right?

G and I had a quiet Valentines day at home.  I picked up a wonderful salad with fresh grilled flank steak on the way home and we watched the latest Masterpiece Theater.  It was really good.  It's called Any Human Heart.  We just finished watching the last Masterpiece Theater series; Downton Abbey.  Also really good and they say they are in production for a second season of that one.  It was so beautifully shot, gorgeous scenery, beautiful costumes.  And then this is what I made for desert.  Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato with my homemade hot fudge sauce and chopped walnuts.  YUM!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Workshop in Progress - 2/2

Okay, week two of the commitment and here I am posting again!  I am SO impressed with myself....well, we will see how I am doing three months from now!  I started the next border on the quilt I posted last week.  This border has curved seams and when I first started on the quilt a couple of years ago, I thought I would hand piece this one because of the curved seams.  But, I found these cool templates.  Then I treated myself to that rotary cutting mat that spins.  I waited for the 50% off sale at JoAnn's and bought it then.  I LOVE it.  It really makes the job easy when you are cutting all the way around a template.  Usually, I just try and contort my arms around the whole thing and then I end up with the piece way out of kilter.

So, check out my first attempt at this tiny curved seam....
I only have to make 109 more of these for Border No 5 in this quilt.  I don't really have a question for this week's workshop, just posting progress on a quilt I started on five years ago!

I also signed up for the Create! A Project a Day that Scrap Studio is hosting.  She issued a challenge to do something creative every day in February.  I signed up because I thought it might "unblock" me.  I certainly could use a jumpstart these days.  So, on Day 1 I sewed up the completed crewel into a pillow.  I didn't have the correct sized pillow insert but I wanted to shoot a pic for the blog so I put the next size down into it.
As soon as the ice melts, I'll run out and get a bigger pillow form.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A little crewel

Sometime last year I was over at some quilter friend's hanging out and she was working on this beautiful crewel pillow.  When I questioned her about it, she told me she got it off of Ebay and that it was from the 70's.  Guess what I did the minute I got home?  Yep, did an Ebay search and bought myself a couple of crewel pillow kits!  I love these older kits from the 60's & 70's.   And I really am amazed at the quality of materials in them.  Unfortunately, that is not the case with most kits you find today.  The linen on this pillow kit is thick and soft and a nice weave.  The yarn is pure wool and the zipper has a heavy cotton twill tape and metal teeth!  It came with some lovely velvet piping for the edge of the pillow.  I gave you all a brief glimpse of this kit in this post.  I had only done a few of the flowers on the pillow top.  Here is what it looks like now

I love how it came out!  I can't wait to see this pillow on my sofa.  I hope to be able to get it finished this week. The colors make me feel all happy inside.  
And considering that we are supposed to drop to 25 degrees over the next 24 hours and have ice on the roads tomorrow, I think this pillow will really brighten up the winter days.  Now, on to the next project......

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Workshop In Progress - 1/26

I signed up for the Workshop in Progress over at Naptime Quilter's blog.  I did this a couple of weeks ago in an effort to spur myself back into blogging.  And then, I didn't post anything the past two weeks!  Typical me....what can I say?  I have put this on my list of things to work on for 2011.  Follow through, doing what you say you will do.  So, I am throwing it out there to you all.  Now, you know a deep dark secret about me.  I start a lot of things and don't finish them.  I sign up for stuff and then don't do it.  Eck, I don't like that about myself.  So, I'm going to think long and hard before I sign up for stuff or say yes to a request for my time.  And when I do sign up or say yes, I'm going to do it.

So even though I missed the first couple of weeks, I'm jumping in now to Workshop in Progress Wednesdays.  This is a project I started almost two years ago.  It was a kit I bought at the Houston International Quilt Show in 2005!  It's on my list of quilts to complete this year.  G. absolutely loves this quilt and I am going to finish it this year and put it on our bed.
It's a medallion quilt that starts with a center block and then borders are added around and around.  It will be an extremely large quilt when it's done.  And it is extremely detailed!  That last border took hours and hours.  First, cutting all of those pieces and then they are sewn together using y-seams.  Very tedious....
The center was paper pieced.
There are three more borders and then I have to decide how I'm going to quilt it.  And if I will attempt to quilt it myself or send it off to a long arm quilter.  I have always thought that if I bothered to piece a top, I needed to quilt it myself or else it wasn't truly my quilt.  But, queen sized quilts are quite challenging to quilt on a domestic sewing machine.  What do you guys think?


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Unplanned Break

Without really meaning to, I seem to have taken an almost 6 week break from blogging.  Not sure what happened, life I guess.....I sort of lost my creative vibe for several weeks and with it went any desire to blog.  Go figure.  Tonight, I was hand quilting the Nicey Jane quilt and watching Julie & Julia and G asked me what my challenge was going to be for this year.  And a few of you have written asking what happened to me.  So, here I am, back in the saddle again.  I've actually been thinking quite a bit about what I wanted to set as goals for this year.  Still haven't come to a concrete decision yet, but I'm working on it.  I'll be posting about that soon.

For now, I thought I'd tell you a little more about my New York trip.  It truly was such a magical trip.  G & I had an absolute blast the entire trip.  So, where did I leave off?  Oh yeah, the World Trade Center site.  From there, we headed back into Soho.  We found ourselves at Purl Soho (okay, I planned to whole thing, no WAY was I going to be in NY and not go to Purl Soho.)  Can you tell how excited I was?

I bought a cool little coin purse frame and G bought me that gorgeous stack of Liberty of London that Purl put together for the Color Wheel Quilt.  I swear, I think that has to be my next project.  After I soaked up all of PS, it was off to Shoegasm.  (Best name for a shoe store I ever hear of!!!!)

Those adorable little boots on my feet?  Got them at Shoegasm! We another fantastic meal, this time at Asia De Cuba.  The food was amazing and it was such a cool space.  If you are in New York, I highly recommend this place.  We started off with a crispy duck appetiser and for the entree we had a seared ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes.  YUM!  I was so excited about the food, I forgot to get a pic of our plate, but it was gorgeous.
And that was the end of day two of my Christmas in New York trip.  I'll wrap up the trip next post.

Can I just say, it's really good to be back in blogland.  I missed you guys!