wip wednesday

Wow, it's been far too long since I've posted one of these. I guess that's a good thing, though, since I had a flurry of finishes over Christmas break. Believe it or not, I still have two quilts to show you! I don't yet have pictures, but that's what happens when you go into work at o'dark-thirty and leave again at o'dark-thirty. Maybe this weekend.

Grad-school is back in full swing and the stress has already skyrocketed.  I'm hoping it's just typical re-entry stress and that it will be gone in a week or so.  In the meantime, lots of chocolate....

Study aids.  :o)

In-Progress:  Oh My Stars and Bethlehem Star quilts.

I haven't touched the Bethlehem Star quilt and have only managed one star in the Oh My Star's Quilt Along.  One.  So sad.

One down...110 to go.  (yikes!)

Only 110 to go. *sigh*  I have the others in this "set" cut and the flying geese parts together.  Maybe I can get the blocks formed this weekend.

New Projects: Knitting and Sewing Room Makeover

I can't remember if I've shared this or not, but I started a beginners class with a friend Thursday before last and it's so fun.  Next class is tomorrow.  I'm supposed to have 10-inches done on my scarf and I have about two.  Guess what I'm doing tonight?  *cough*

Beginning knitting class

first stitches (mine is the blue)

On the sewing room front, a friend of mine came over last Saturday and helped me get the ball rolling.  I'll be using Terrain as my inspiration fabric - there's a surprise.  The walls will be a light aqua/teal and we're re-purposing some old office furniture that was in our storage room (that used to be a home-office).   Next up: Cleaning out the room so I can paint.

Well, ok... next step is actually buying paint.  :)


I did manage to finish my latest iPad case and I've gotten an incredible amount of comments on it.  Once again, if you haven't checked out Faith's website you should check it out.  Fabulous tutorials for just about anything you can imagine.

iPad case - for me this time!  :)

And finally, thanks so much to everyone who voted for me in the Quilting Gallery contest last week and left such wonderful comments.  Jane's Black and White Quilt took first place!...y'all really know how to make a girl feel good.  :)

I'm working at Karen Gray's this weekend for one of her famously huge sales.  I hope all the locals will stop by.  I enjoy working for her and am actually in process of setting up my first teaching class there.  Woot!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced...for the first time in what seems like forever.  Hope you'll hop over there and do the same!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy Wednesday!


please vote for me!

Hi everyone!

Do you remember Jane's Black and White Quilt from earlier this fall?

black and white quilt 2

Well - I've entered it in a contest over at Quilting Gallery and I would love your vote!

Ballots are down at the bottom of the page.

By the way - be sure to click "Jane's Black and White Quilt".   There is also one called "Jane's Quilt," but it isn't mine.  Of course, you can vote for that one, too, as you are allowed up to three votes.  (And how funny that there are two quilts for ladies named Jane!)

Thanks in advance to all those who vote.  Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!


sweet sixteen

My niece turned 16 this past Saturday. Sixteen. She was born just a couple weeks after my husband and I first met.  I still remember the two year-old who called me "NaNangie" instead of aunt Angie.  Now she's driving.  Oh, where does the time go?!

She and her family live in Nebraska, so we don't get to see each other very often, but we have tons of fun when we are together. They stayed with us a bit over the holidays in 2010, and that's when she picked out fabrics for this quilt...


She's got a good eye, doesn't she?  (And... incidentally, is my first finish of 2012!)

The quilt pattern I used is "Alice" by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts.  I added a second row of alternating color and white squares at each end, as Sierra is a bit taller than me (as are most people!), but that's the only change I made.  The pattern was wonderful and the quilt came together quite easily.


I hadn't intended so long to make the quilt, but it worked out well since 16 is such a monumental birthday.

I also pieced the back, which was quite interesting.  I wanted the quilt to have a true modern feel.  My niece is young, beautiful, fashionable, and trendy and this quilt needed to match.


This was my first "true" piecing for a back and it was quite the exercise.  I laid the top face down on the floor and put the five large pink fabric squares where I wanted them.  Then I slowly figured out how to cut and sew the backing fabric to fit.

First try at a "real" pieced back.  :)

I liked the way it looked and will probably do it again - though I hope to have a design wall for the next attempt.

I also hand-stitched the label for this quilt using DMC floss to match the fabric colors.  Until now, I've only used printable fabric and markers.  I was out of the printable, and learned the hard way on my dad's quilt that Sharpies aren't fabric safe.   No way I was chancing it on this one.

quilt label

I also used a couple of Color Catchers when I washed this quilt, and I am quite impressed.  I was nervous with all the pinks and reds on the white.  The catchers came out with a little pink, but not much.


All in all, I'm super excited about how this quilt turned out. I just wish I could have been there to see her open her gift.  But I know she'll love it... after all, what 16 year-old girl doesn't like hot pink?!  :)

Quilt Stats

Pattern: Alice by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts
Size: approx. 40" x 52" 
Quilt Top Fabric: Tonal Berry Bundle by Fabricworm
Backing: Bubblegum Mixmasters Fizz
Binding: Soiree
Pieced and Quilted by: Angie Kimel (me!)

Click on my Linky Party page to see where I link up. :)


something new

It's so nice to be finished with *almost* all of my quilts - I finished FOUR over my holiday break.  FOUR!!  Ok, ok, one is still in binding mode, but it will be done in the next day or so, well before classes start.  However, in reviewing them as well as those I made last year, I noticed something.

2011 quilts - 12011 quilts - 2

Do you see it????   They're all SQUARES!!

Except for the pinwheel in the black-and-white quilt, all of the quilt blocks are squares or some variation on a square.  Oy!  Same is true for the three quilts I've just finished but haven't shown you yet.  Yup.  Squares.

As you can imagine, I'm ready for something different, so I've decided to join the Oh My Stars! Quilt Along over at Thought and Found.  I've been eying it for a while, trying to decide what to do and I've finally decided to jump in.  I can't stop thinking about it so, if I can't beat 'em, I should join 'em, right?

Oh My Stars! (A Quilt-Along)

I'll be using my Terrain (gasp!) fat-eighth bundle with a few coordinating solids peppered throughout.


I purchased this chunk of gorgeousness way back in October and have spent quite a bit of time admiring it.  I did break down and use an inch or two of one of the purple fabrics for a zipper pouch, but otherwise it still sits, all bundled up in a beautiful little stack.

Now, I will say up front that I won't be going at the same clip as the others in the QAL.  Second semester classes start up next week, so I'm not committing to any big projects.  I've turned down swaps, bees, and even my church group on new projects.  I just can't do it. 

My goal is one star set a week (a star set is one 12", two 8" and four 4" stars) and if I miss a week then I miss a week.  Not beating myself up over this one.  No deadline.  No rush.  No worries.  It gets done when it gets done.  This project is intended to be a stress reliever and a (hopeful) reward to finishing surviving the Spring semester.   The quilt is for me, the time to build it will be for me and, likewise, I'll be going at my own little pace.  :) 

The only other thing I'm trying to do is dedicate Sundays to my Bethlehem Star quilt.  My father-in-law came over last night with a train table for my boys, handmade to our specifications.  Now they have an awesome place to build their tracks and a little scenery without messing up their toy area.  If you remember, he also made my cutting table (which I adore!) and the quilt is a thank you to him.  I must finish this.  Goal is October for this one.  The quilt is more tedious than I ever imagined, so I need a deadline to keep me on it.  Prayers welcome.  ;o)

I'll try to keep y'all posted as I go with some WIP updates on both quilts.  Please don't worry too much if I get quiet.  I was really stressed out last semester, so I'm trying to learn from my mistakes.  Shortening my to-do list will help immensely. 

Oh - and I still have three finished quilts to show you.  Eep!


my best friend's quilt

Do you have a best friend? You know, one of those people who no matter what will always, always be there? Whether it's 10 am or 2 am, when in need, she'll come running? I have one.  Her name is Ashley and she turned - well, let's just say she hit a birthday milestone - last month.

So, what does a quilter make for her best friend? You guessed it...a quilt!!


Ashley and I have been friends since 8th grade...25 years, plus.  We've known each other longer than just about anyone else.  Longer than college buddies, longer than husbands.  Longer than most everyone but our own families.  Nuts if you think about it, really.  Ashley is the kind of person that everyone needs as a friend.  Positive, devoted, fun, dependable, loving, outgoing, and so on and so on. I really could go on forever.

She's seen me through good and bad.  From mistake-laden high school boyfriends (really, what *was* I thinking?) to the birth of my kids and everything in between.  No matter what I'm freaking out about, she calms me down.  And trust me, she's had plenty of experience in that department!


We were maid/matron of honor at each others weddings...where I nearly dropped Donnie's ring...and even had our second children three days apart.  (Ok, so the last one wasn't planned - she has her kids early, while mine, like me, tend to be late.)


We've pretty much grown up together, but in many ways have never changed.  Bon Jovi and Def Leppard in high school, and again this past year.  Track meets when we were juniors, half marathons in our late thirties.  And she's a quilter, too. :)

OBX 2010
Jane, Ashley, Julie, me
Ashley lives in Chapel Hill, which is only about an hour-and-a-half away, but still isn't close enough for my taste.  Between them and all the friends we've met through them, I can't tell you how many times we've considered moving there. 


Despite the distance, we get together whenever we can.  Beach trips, lake weekends, vacations in the mountains (the quilt pics are at her mountain house) and as many sleepovers as we can manage.  We're so absolutely blessed that our families get along so well.  Our husbands are great friends - despite the years it took for us to get them together so they'd figure it out - and the kids are constantly asking when they get to see each other again and always include each other in their lists of "best friends".  Makes me smile.  I hope with all my heart that they'll be friends forever, too.

Lifetime friendships in the making.

So, happy birthday, Ash. I love you more than you know and I'll never be able to thank you enough for all you've done for me.  I wish you all the best now and forever - and here's to many more years as best friends!
(photo by Shelly Bainter, via Facebook)

Quilt Stats

Pattern: Lemon Squares by Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts
Size: approx. 60" x 70"
Quilt Top Fabric
Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Navy and Quilter's Linen Straw
Sandi Henderson Secret Garden; Modern Meadow, Garden Tapestry and Picnic Flowers Midnight
Simon + Kabuki Juicy Blossoms, Mini Stargazer Teal and Sprigs Pewter
Kona Solid Sage
Michael Miller Dumb Dot;  Gray and Beige
Backing: Adornit Long Live Vintage, Curly Motif Grey
Binding: Sandi Henderson - Secret Garden Vintage Ironwork Midnight
Pieced and Quilted by: Angie Kimel (me!)

Click on my Linky Party page to see where I link up. :)


Happy 2012!

As I sit here this afternoon catching up on blogs, I can't help but think back and, at the same time, wonder about the future.  One of my favorite things about this time of year has always been watching the recaps and year-in-review programs.  In fact, it's one of the few times I actually turn on news channels.  It's nice to be reminded about what happened...taking account.

To go along with that, I've always liked the notion of New Year's Resolutions.  Not that there is anything magical about January 1, but it just seems like a good, fresh time to make new goals.  I'm doing a bit of that this year, too. 

First, I must say that 2011 was quite a year for me in quilting.  One of my struggles with being active online is seeing how much everyone else is doing.  The productivity out there is amazing...and sometimes overwhelming.  I'm constantly feeling inferior in that realm, but with a full-time job, grad school, and family, I can only do so much, right?

I ended up finishing nine quilts this year.  That's *almost* one a month!  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty tickled with that.  Maybe double-digits next year?  I'm already ahead of the game with two ready to quilt tomorrow.  :)

2011 quilts - 1

2011 quilts - 2

I haven't blogged about my two most recent finishes, though one of them is pictured in block-form in the top mosaic.  I finished a quilt for my best friend and one for my dad in December.  The former for a birthday, latter for Christmas.  I still don't have pictures loaded yet, but they're coming.  :)

Of course, top that off with three online Bees, multiple swaps, including the post-Summit pouch swap, several Christmas gifts including pouches and iPad cases, and dozens of mug rugs and other small items.  I think I've been quite productive, all things considered.  :)

Of course, the best part about looking back is to see how much I grew in my quilting skills this year.  I've gone from being very nervous and unsure about color, fabrics, and patterns to being very confident and even being able to help others.  I've gone from strictly using fabric collections to branching out on my own color combinations.  I'm even working on two quilt patterns right now.  Both are still in the paper stage, but I hope to share them soon.

So what about 2012???

1) Blogging versus sewing...more sewing, less blogging and less worrying. I've spent days and nights fretting about how many followers I have, how to drive in more traffic and how to please everyone and, well... I'm done with that.  It's amazing how easy it is to fall into what I call the popularity trap and constantly compare myself with other bloggers.  My plan?  Focus on sewing and sharing my projects.  I've met so many new people thanks to this blog and that is what I want to continue.  So, I guess this first goal is really an attitude shift.  More about people, less about numbers.  I'm good with that.

2) Host a quilt-along.  Despite how #1 may have sounded, I have no intention of neglecting this blog.  One specific thing I want to do here is host a quilt-along.  I've participated in two of these and am getting ready to start my third.  I just love them and would like to host one of my own.  Still not sure of all the details, but those will work out eventually.  (BTW - if you have an suggestion, be sure to share it!)

3) Projects for my home.  Ever since I dusted off my sewing machine, I've wanted to make some placemats.  Yes, placemats.  I know it sounds silly, but I think they dress up a table beautifully.  I still haven't done any.  Not one.  2012 will see at least one set of placemats.   Of course, I'd also like some other things, like fabric baskets and organizers, and maybe even some curtains.  I love making things for other people, but my house needs a bit of attention. 

4) Family Quilts.  Each of my boys (hubby included) now has a quilt to call his own.  I want to add a couple - or maybe even three - quilts that are just family quilts.  They will hang out in the living room or on the couch in the basement, ready for any impromptu snuggling that may come about.  Oh yeah, and one more for me.  :)

5) A raincoat.  I want to make my own raincoat out of laminated fabrics.  A class will be needed, for sure, as I've never sewn a garment.  I just think having a raincoat that I made myself would be the coolest thing ever.  (Wow - how old did that sound?)

6) Knitting.  I learned to crochet in elementary school and sort-of taught myself how to knit a couple years ago.  But I couldn't tell you how to cast on to save my life right now and I never got beyond a simple knit stitch.  Time to move forward.

7) Cross-stitching.  My first crafty love.  My mom taught me in fourth grade and it's time to go back.  I have Amanda to thank for my rekindled interest.  She's made what I thought was an outdated craft  fun again.  I've thoroughly enjoyed digging through my old DMC floss and I can't wait to keep going.  Plus this (with the knitting) will get my butt back out of the sewing room and into the living room with my family. 

8) Crochet.  My second crafty-love.  My grandma taught me this one and I've let it slip.  I recently stumbled across amigurumi and I am intrigued.  I'd like to make a couple of cute little animals to have on my desk at work.  And at least one for grandma.  I think she'd like that.

OK - so, wow.  That's a big list.  Not sure how many I will hit, but it will be fun trying.  I hope you'll stick around and see how I do.  :)

Happy 2012!!