Thursday, December 20, 2012

holiday sewing mojo

I don't know if its the holidays, or if I am actually getting back my sewing mojo, but I have been on a roll lately. Yesterday, I finished an Innotab case for my niece using a tutorial from the pink stitches blog. Loved the tutorial, but I didn't realize until I had finished the project that the Innotab is about an inch bigger all around than the LeapPad. Oh, well - I improvised, and it works! Not perfect, but at least I know this if I ever have to make another one!

H loves Hello Kitty, so I had to use some of the left over Hello Kitty fabric I had from the quilt I made her.

I also finished stockings for my nieces and mom and dad. I used this tutorial, from the vanilla joy blog, only I left out the interfacing/batting and used fleece for the lining and cuff.

Sorry for the poor quality - I was too lazy to get out the real camera!

And, I have made some major headway on the Steelers quilt. Pictures to come. Luckily for me and the quilt, we are postponing Christmas celebration with my brother-in-law until we can see them in January...which means more time to finish!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

baby on board!

Pretty much zero quilting or sewing going on around the hinkenhook household lately. We do, however, have some pretty big news.

Yep. A baby!

That has put an even bigger pause in the crafting lately since I've been feeling like royal crap. So, in an effort to gain back some craftiness, the hubs and I made these little baby name decision chalkboards.

We're pretty split on picking baby names, so we decided to put up these boards, and as we get company, we will have them vote on their favorites. I'm not sure how seriously we'll take the end results, but it'll be fun anyway :)

Here's to new adventures! This is certainly going to be a big one!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

geno for heisman...

Well, I may not be quilting. But I sure am getting my fill of football. The QB at my Alma Mater is a strong Heisman candidate, and if he wins, it would be the first time in SCHOOL HISTORY.

Image from CBS Sports

That would be epic.

Crossing fingers and toes...

Friday, July 27, 2012

anyone seen my mojo?

There's been a lot of nothing going on around here.  Somewhere between the super heat wave here in the northeast, the wicked storms followed by days without power I've totally lost my quilt mojo. At least the one thing I've actually managed to scrape together is a big project - the Country Cracked Quilt.

Several of my points didn't come together correctly due to my impatient (and rather unprecise) cutting and piecing. But, overall, I love it. The pattern is just so cool! I am excited to get to quilting this...but I may have to scavenge some more mojo before I start that project!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

wip - tumbling tumblers

Plugging away at the baby tumbler quilt with Storyboek by Birch Fabrics. Loving how this is coming together.

I think it's missing something though. I am going to have to consider adding another color, I think? Or maybe taking out some of the darker colors, gray and green - are they too dark? Any input?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

am I too late??!!

I've been trying to decide whether or not to enter a quilt into Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival. All the entries are so amazing - I am not sure I can compete, but it looks fun, so what the heck, right? So, I am entering my Second (Halloween) Wedding Anniversary Quilt!!

quilt front

My husband and I got married on Halloween (the whole reason I got into this blogger world!) and we had a blast at the wedding. (We still are having a blast, by the way :)). So, for our second wedding anniversary, I made him this quilt.

quilt back

my favorite block

I let him pick the fabrics (Jason Yenter Hallographix) and he purchased a quilting class (my first) from Capital Quilts so that I could learn more about my favorite hobby. The class was a 'Basics of Quilting' type class and convered everything from color choice, to rotary cutting, to basting and binding. I learned A LOT during this class and while making this quilt! Most importantly, the quilt has become a treasured item in our house and has spent many nights on the couch with me, my hubby, our pup, and a bowl of popcorn :).

personalized block

Hope you enjoy!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

finished baby blankets!

It took me a minute to get the mitered corners on these self binding baby blankets - I'm not going to lie.

But once I got the hang of it, I fell in love with making these!

They are so quick and simple! And the finished product is just adorable!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

wip - little monograms

I am trying my hand at some self binding baby blankets from Piece N Quilt's this tutorial. And some monograms. Here is what I have so far...

This will be a gift for a friend's newborn girl. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

finished quilt top!

Don't ask me who I made this for - I have no idea. I just got the itch to try a design that has been floating around in my head with all the other junk. I am pretty pleased with it and VERY happy that my measurements came out right. There were some 1 7/8" cuts in there...I was worried about that!

Some of the bias cuts (in conjunction with my impatience) made the seams not line up perfectly (yucky bias seams, blah!). So I will have to fix that. I think I will use it to enter kelybysews giveaway contest! Riley Blake Scoot is not my favorite fabric, but it's certainly in the top 10! Definitely an adorable line worth hoarding for a little boy's project!

Monday, May 14, 2012

fluffy sheep quilting - A NEW SHOP and GIVEAWAY!

I am blogging about a giveaway from fluffy sheep quilting! Cindy at Fluffy Sheep just opened a new fabric shop...and they carry Monaluna and Birch Fabrics - two of my favorite designers!

You can enter the giveaway here, here, here and here.

wip - trying something new

Trying something of my own design today. Crossing my fingers it turns out well!

Using Scoot by Riley Blake Designs.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

my first tumbler

Anyone else out there completely smitten with the Storyboek line from Birch Fabrics?

Well, I certainly am. I bought some a while back and have decided to try a tumbler quilt.

Really looking forward to this finish! Also, I've been coveting some other Birch Fabrics lines...

Set Sail (coming soon)
Mod Basics

Some of the CUTEST fabrics ever. Seriously.

Monday, May 7, 2012

finally, some progress

I had a pretty productive weekend...surprisingly.

I finally gathered enough mojo to start back up on the Crackle quilt.

Officially, I have 57 blocks finished - pieced, pressed and trimmed. Some of them came out a little smaller than nine inches, but what can you expect with all of those crazy seams! Also, I decided to cut down the number of blocks and make the border bigger. To save my sanity. A necessary measure, trust me!

So, only 45 more blocks to go! More than half way there, yay!

Updates on the rest of my WIPs from last weekend coming up next...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

revisiting the quillow project

I posted about my neices 4th birthday present, a hellow kitty quillow a while back, but I didn't post about what happened after I washed it. (Ahem, I didn't take any pictures of the post wash disaster. I was too ashamed).

It frayed. :(

I used the tutorial from a cuppa and a catch-up. The tutorial even mentions using generous seam allowances, especially for the 'pillow' part. I followed these instructions and made sure to have a generous seam allowance. But, alas, there was much fray. So I topstiched (a LOT), and hand sewed. Which was fine, but I would really like to know WHAT HAPPENED?! I have had little teensy frays before, but never one on this scale! I just can't imagine what I did wrong. I have resolved to blame it on the Hello Kitty fabric, although I have a feeling that can't be the issue. Has anyone ever run into this type of problem? Any advice or experience would be much appreciated!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

seuss advice

I've long been an admirer of Dr. Seuss's life advice. You know - 'sometimes the answer is complicated and the question is simple'...things like that? That combined with my love of fabric led me to this...

I plan on adding some hand embroidery along with more machine embroidery to add more quotes and make it into a twin size quilt. For my kids...when I have them...

No, I'm not crazy, thank you, I'm just planning ahead ;).

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I finally did it. I finally cut into my Sweetwater Reunion stack.

IMG_6165 by hinkenhook
IMG_6165, a photo by hinkenhook on Flickr.

Once I did...I couldn't stop...

I finished this quilt in a weekend. Most importantly...I ABSOLUTLELY LOVE IT!!!

These fabrics are so SOFT (not to my credit, mind you), and the pattern is just simple and perfect for me. I am so smitten I could squeal. A perfect first quilt made for me!! Yay!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

a match made in...almost heaven...

I love West Virginia. I love the University, the mountains, the people (nicest on the planet, I tell ya!), the seclusion – I just love it. It’s where my heart lies and where my feet would guide me if I let them. Down those country roads...

So, tickle me pink - I found a Modern Quilt Guild in West Virginia! I am so excited! They're also on Facebook here and Flickr here. I can't wait to get started!

Monday, April 2, 2012

eeny, meeny, miny...

And there’s no MOE in sight, folks.

As decision makers go, I am one of the worst. Let me tell you, I am lucky I have a patient husband! He stands in store aisles with me for more than any man should have to when I’m on one of my non-decision-making binges. And restaurant menus…oi. The man deserves a medal.

I have been mulling over what to do with my not-so-recently acquired fat quarter bundle of Reunion by Sweetwater (I could swoon over at Sweetwater all day long). This is the one quilt I wanted to make for myself this year. I literally have FOUR solid pages of notes, drawings, ideas, comments, opinions…you get the idea. And I still haven’t decided.

The problem is, I LOVE this line. Probably my favorite fabric line out there right now. And I am terrified. Scared silly that I will pick some stupid pattern that doesn’t go with the fabric collection, and cut all the fabrics, and put it together and it will completely suck.

A bit dramatic, I know.

Anybody else go through this madness with a fave fabric line? Silly, isn’t it? How do you make your decision?

I guess I just have to bite the bullet and go for it. I’ve at least narrowed it down to a handful of choices…

1. A tumbler quilt with raw edges – similar to this one from Riley Blake.
2. Corner dresdens – like this from nanaCompany (love this, but I don’t think the fabrics are right)
3. A chevron with a gray background
4. Or a scrappy quilt with a ‘crazy quilt’ type twist to it. This one has been forming in my head most recently.

Any input would be appreciated. Although, I probably still won’t make a decision until mid-July or so…
of next year.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

remember buggy

It’s been 11 years and I find something new I miss about her everyday. Most recently…her cynical sense of humor.

- cbq -

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

black and white and yellow all over

I have a love hate relationship with our home. I think most homeowners do, right? We are frugal, so we bought a cute little townhome that was way under our limit. But we’re paying for it now…in space that is.

This is our main living space. See how cramped we are?! Big husband (not being rude here, he really is – he gets asked if he is in the marines on a regular basis), big weimeraner, and me - all three of us on that little couch (because of course the dog is way too spoiled to lie on the floor).

Anyway, we painted this room, along with our kitchen, yellow not too long ago. I thought it might brighten it up and make it a more enjoyable space. In reality, it’s just made it hard to decorate. With the tan couch (now ruined due to doggy drool), the horrid recliner that neither hubs nor I can part with and the hodge podge of other bits of furniture in this room, it’s impossible to make it look ‘pretty’.

I did make an attempt, though. My idea was to have yellow, white and hints of black in this room (that will never happen), so that is why I bought this fabric. Really, hubs picked it out. I’m not sure what I would have gone with if I’d have had free reign, but it probably wouldn’t have been this.

Either way, I’ve finally started putting together the curtains. I did my own version of a ‘tab-top’ curtain, which I’ve decided is my favorite type of curtain. I haven’t tried making curtains with grommets – I think that will be my next domestic sewing project (for our master bathroom).

Hopefully, these are not making the tiny space even busier…I have a feeling with the three of us in there, it’s busy already!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

hitting a steel curtain...

I have been planning a Steelers Quilt for quite some time now (it is even on my finish-it-in-2012 list). I picked a sad week to do so, as my all time favorite Steeler Hines Ward announced his retirement in a very tear-envoking press conference on Tuesday. Better to see him retire in Black & Gold than play for another team, but I do wish he could have done so on his own terms. I will definitely miss his ever present smile!

Enough of that now…there’s no crying in quilting! Yeah, I think that’s how that goes…

Anyway, the cathedral window quilt pattern has long been one of my favorite traditional patterns. I had planned to use the Steelers quilt to give the cathedral window a try…after all you can definitely see a resemblance to the franchise logo.

Perfect plan, right? I thought so.

There are two ‘methods’ out there in webland that I was able to find for completing the cathedral window. A method that uses a template for folding over the edges to make the ‘window’ and a method that involves sewing the ‘frame’ part of the window together in an enclosed square and turning it right side out. (I’m sure these methods have names…no idea what they are. Sorry). After searching for a while, I decided on the using-a-template-to-fold-the-edges-over method and found that this tutorial made the most sense to me. Now for the next challenge in the Saga of the Steeler Cathedral Window…size.

For my quilt design, I needed approximately 11” stars in the window (from point to point). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a conversion factor, as most instructions and tutorials for this quilt pattern allow for 2.5” windows (~3.5” from point to point) using a ~9.5” block for the ‘frame’ part of the quilt square. So I got to do math again – Pythagoras and all (yay!) and decided I would use a 22” square for my frame.

After all that calculating and measuring and ironing (I hate ironing…cw require a LOT of ironing) and some machine embroidery, too, I came up with this.

Not quite finished, but, beautiful, right? Looks perfect. And then I got to thinking…

That’s a lot of extra fabric I just used to make something that I could have just as easily pieced together…

Maybe I should take it apart…

But, I put so much work into it!

But, I will be saving $ and fabric if I take it apart…and it will look just as good right?

And so, out with the seam ripper. Bye, bye cathedral window.

Luckily, I found a great (free) curved piecing pattern for the same effect. And it was even the right size – I used the same yellow, red, and blue fabric squares that I had already cut! I couldn’t have happened upon a more perfect solution for my blunder.

And there’s my silver lining, folks. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

um, how have i missed this!?!

Yeah. So, I just discovered nanaCompany's blog. WOW. I absolutely love EVERYTHING on her blog!! Especially this!!

From her flikr pool here. How sweet!

I definitely think I found my new favorite blog!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

pleasantly surprised

I mentioned that I'm trying the Aneela Hoey Crackle pattern a while back. I was becoming a bit discouraged with undertaking this project. Until I put it up on the design board.

Then I changed my mind. It's still a tedious pattern, but I am really enjoying it now that I've seen a peek of the potential finished product! Yay! Looking forward to the finished product, although I am sure it will be a slow process.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

going out in style...

We've shipped up to Boston to see the Dropkick's for St. Paddy's. Hubs and I have been wanting to do this for years - one of our fav bands. So in honor of my first trip to Boston, and St. Paddy's, here's the unofficial anthem of St. Patrick's Day.

Have a lucky one.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

a squared + b squared...

One of the things I LOVE about quilting...

the math.

Yep. I said it. Getting out a calculator, finding the right equation, and calculating measurements for fabric sends my little nerdy brain to a happy place. So when I set out to make a quilt for my neice's fourth birthday, I was excited when (after lots of planning and asking hubs his opinion), I decided on this design for a Hello Kitty quilt to go with Haidyn's Hello Kitty bag. AND, I got to use the Pythagorean Theorem (yay!).

Aren't hubbies great for holding quilts up for pictures!? :)

I also decided to try and make this a quillow using this tutorial from a cuppa and a catchup (GREAT tutorial by the way). Since I was using a panel for the front instead of blocks, it made it a little more difficult to follow the directions, but it folds up just fine! I put the pillow pocket in the back of the quilt instead of the front.

This was my first time working with minky fabric (quilt backing), and I learned a few things. First, I wish I would have spray basted. The backing fabric was definitely slipping a little as I was sewing and the basting pins just didn't hold it together. Luckily the quilting is sparse so there isn't to much pinching. I was savvy enough to use a walking foot anytime I was sewing on the minky, and that helped a little, but I did get some stretching on the backing.

Overall, a very quick and simple project that I really enjoyed. I will definitely be making another quillow!! Now let's hope Haidyn likes it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

we raced the sunset and we almost won...

Well, not REALLY. Those are some favorite lyrics from hubs and I's favorite band. But, we did have a darn good time in Northern California a couple weeks ago. (PS, so glad NorthernCal is so different from SouthernCal...I like it much better!!).

Anyway, as part of our outdoor enthusiasm and our National Park Project, we visited Redwoods State and National Parks, made a quick stop (too quick if you ask me) in San Francisco, and finished our trip in the amazingly beautiful Big Sur. Here are the highlights!

We started the trip by camping in Elk Prairie Creek Campground in Prairie Creek Redwoods SP, which was an amazing campground. There are several sites 'in the woods' near the creek that are just adorable. But, it was pretty chilly when we were there (26 degrees F at one point!) and we thought it might be warmer if we stayed in the 'prairie' part of the campground...and I'm glad we did!

It turns out that a herd of 8 bull elk were using our campground as their own little bachelor pad.  They even came to visit the campground host!


They were pretty playful with each other, which was amazing to watch.  And they really didn't mind us being there.  We kept our distance, of course, but they basically walked through our little campsite.  Definitely a highlight of the trip!

The first morning, we woke up to a frosty 26 degrees (that is, frosty inside the tent!).   

 So we set out in the car to warm up a little.

Made a quick stop to view our new friends...

We landed at Gold Bluff Beach.  Very beautiful, and peaceful.

By the time we returned to the campsite, it had warmed up enough to take a few hikes.  We did most of the James Irvine Trail, the Foothills Trail and the Cathedral Trees Trail.  All very close to our home campsite.

James Irvine Trail

After a hard day of hiking, we returned for some R&R...and elk watching.  Yep, they were still there.

(Left) Never had a tangerine wheat before. This was pretty good! - From Lost Coast Brewing. (Right) 
We stopped at this place (Redwood Curtain) in Arcata, CA.  Low key and good beer. 
Below - a Stellar's Jay.

My hubs and the beautiful night sky.

Our next and last day, we traveled through Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the Avenue of the Giants which was amazing.  Kind of wish we would have gotten to spend more time there.

We did the Founders Trail, which was beautiful.

This tree was believed to be the tallest tree until it fell recently.

That ends our trip to Redwoods.  From here, we stopped quickly in San Francisco.  We stayed at the Hilton San Francisco Wharf, which I really liked.  In walking distance to the wharf; where we spent most of our time.


Hubs REALLY wanted to see Alcatraz.  So off we went.

Beautiful landscaping on the island.

Does someone have a key...cause I'd really like to lock him in here ;)

 We spent the evening after Alcatraz exploring the Wharf, eating the clam chowder bread bowl at Boudin Bakery (amazing!!) and at Scoma's, which was okay for a pricier meal.  The next day, we were off to Big Sur.


We camped at Kirk Creek Campground.  This is probably the most beautiful campsite I have ever seen.  On a bluff about 8 stories above the ocean, with ocean views and sounds.  Just amazing.

Our first (and my favorite) stop once we got to Big Sur was to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and McWay Falls.  This place is the definition of picturesque and amazingly beautiful.  I could have sat and stared at the beauty of this place all day.  I was a little bummed that the sun didn't cooperate for a better picture, but this definitely makes my top ten list of beautiful places!

 There is an interesting amount of history that goes along with this place. 

Below, some of the beautiful shoreline that Big Sur is so overrun with and the historic Bixby Bridge. 

We stopped to have breakfast at the Big Sur Inn which was as quaint as can be.  I had the raspberry cream cheese stuffed sourdough french toast.  Heavenly.

This definitely was one of my favorite trips just because we were so isolated and detached from the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we strive so hard to get away from.  No cell phone reception and only the noise of the nature around us.  The perfect get-away for this outdoor loving couple.

Hope you enjoy!