In My Life, I've Loved Them All

28 Quilts & Astronomical Block Challenge with Karen Nyberg

I saw the NASA booth at the 39th International Quilt Festival in Nov 2013, and this video of Astronaut Karen Nyberg asking for quilt squares to add to the one she made while on the International Space Station.

So I figured 10 months to make an 9.5” quilt block would be a piece of cake! Of course, I left everything to the last minute and Priority Mailed my block in the week of the deadline.

astro quilt block

I thought all of the blocks would be made into one super record-breaking quilt! But when I arrived at the International Quilt Festival 2014, I found that the 2,200+ blocks were assembled into 28 72”x90” quilts. Makes sense, and made for a much more manageable way to display the work of Quilters from around the world.

It was a beautiful exhibit to walk through… but my heart began to sink when I realized there were 4 huge notebooks of quilt squares to flip though. Squares that were not the correct dimensions or were received after the deadline. Did I measure right!? Was my block mailed in time?!

Luckily, I found my block on the 26th quilt I looked at! It was on the bottom row of the quilt, so I sat on the floor to get a picture with it.

Found my #star #block! #AstroBlockChallenge #quiltfestival

A photo posted by Cindy (@inmylife99) on

HUGE BONUS: I found out in-route to the Festival that Astronaut Karen Nyberg was going to make an appearance! Had I known in advance, I would have worn a nicer shirt. Being able to meet here really completed this entire experience!


I made sure to take a picture off all 28 of the Star themed quilts… in thoughts to mash them together into a photo of one SUPER QUILT like I had originally thought it would be.

Now I am realizing that 1) Many of the 2,200 contributors could not make it to Houston to see the Display in person and 2) Professional photos of the quilts are not available online quite yet. I thought they be posted as soon as the festival started… but now it may be a week or 2 until gets the online. And that is an eternity to the Quilters who want to see their block!

So to help out, here are the pictures I took of the Astronomical Quilts. They are taken with a point-and-shoot camera, but hopefully are clear enough for quilters to find their blocks!


** click on photos to enlarge **

AstroQuilt1  AstroQuilt2

astroquilt3  astroquilt4

astroquilt5  AstroQuilt6

AstroQuilt7  astroquilt8

astroquilt9  AstroBlock10


AstroQuilt11  astroquilt12

astroquilt13  astroquilt14

astroquilt15  AstroQuilt16

AstroQuilt17  AstroQuilt18

astroquilt19  astroquilt20

astroquilt21  astroquilt22

astroquilt23  astroquilt24

astroquilt25  astroquilt26

astroquilt27  astroquilt28


[National Sewing Month] Diaper & Wipes Pouch

Did you know that September has been “National Sewing Month” since 1982? It started with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan, declaring September as National Sewing Month “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.”

What a great opportunity to share one of my more recent home-sewing creations (beyond my typical quilts).

DIY Diaper and Wipes Pouch

There are fairly easy to follow instructions (and downloadable pattern) from Crazy Little Projects.

I was able to purchase 2 coordinating “Fat Quarters” of fabric and the matching Velcro at Wal-Mart. The only other supplies you’d really need are thread, fabric scissors and a sewing machine. A small quilting ruler can be used to check that all of your seams are consistent.

DIY Wipes Pouch Front & Back

Crazy Little Projects has some great step-by-step photos. They came in handy when I was inspecting my finished project. The arrows below show some little bunch parts where the top flaps meet the body of they pouch. Since I am a crazy perfectionist, it bothered me that they were not laying completely flat.

Minor bunches- Diaper and Wipes Pouch
But then I closely examined the original tutorial, and her example seemed to have little bunches  too.  So I stopped worrying and happily gave to to my cousin as a very-belated baby shower gift!  I’ve been told it is very handy size and nicer than ones you see in the stores.  Which makes me happy!  Even if they are just being polite!

BONUS: After baby is out of the diaper/wipes stage, it will still make a nifty carrier for various essentials… like pens and pencils… or coupons… or snacks. :D

I am chalking this up to a Pinterest WIN!  (You can follow all my Boards here)

A Stash Busting Quilt Story

This Quilt top is quite incredible.

Because it was made completely from fabric I ALREADY OWNED.

Yes, over 30 fabrics from my stash, including a randomly large amount of light purple.

I  really wanted to make a “practice” quilt.  Especially after several friends and co-workers asked me sew a t-shirt quilt for them.  I still feel like I’m at an advanced beginner level when it come to quilts.  And the only way to get better at something is to practice, practice, PRACTICE!

Flower Quilt Top
For me, it is just as impressive that this quilt top went from an idea in my head to a finished top in under a month.  (My T shirt Quilt blocks remained un-assembled for a YEAR-ish… but in my defense I was desperately searching for just the right shade of blue for the border).

June 23, 2013:

  • Thinks “I have some free time alone, why don’t I re-organize my fabric stash.”  Organized just by color isn’t good enough?

  • Lifts 2 huge boxes and several shopping bags of fabric (<--- workout for the day)

  • Hours later, sits amongst piles sorted by sizes ranging from 3 yards to little squares the size of a matchbook, wondering why I though this would be a good idea.  Granted, I was watching a movie at the same time.

  • Knew that, if I could find enough scraps big enough, I could make a quilt like I saw in Quilters World magazine (like this one), though it might wind up looking very chaotic.

  • Noticed pile-o-big-scraps had a lot of floral prints.

  • Leaves piles of fabric on the (sheet covered) floor and goes to sleep.  Hopes dog doesn’t pee on them in the night.

June 24, 2013:

  • Pick out all of the floral pieces.  Measure them against 4.5”x8.5” template made out of a cranker box to see if they’d work.

  • Cut rectangles out of florals, creating yet another pile of big scraps.

  • Re-count floral rectangles way to many times to make sure there are 35 total.

  • Pack small scraps into plastic boxes.  Bag larger pieces and strips.  Leave on the ground because I got distracted doing something else.

Work for 8 days straight.  I rarely get anything done during the work week.

July 3, 2013:

  • Wash, dry, iron purple fabric.

  • Celebrate 4th of July with the neighborhood.  Snow cones, watermelon and fireworks!

  • Cut purple fabric into 8.5” strips.

  • Realize the last strip cut was 7.5”  Curse silently to self.

  • Do mental math and careful cutting to get correct number of pieces from remaining strips.

July 4, 2013:


  • Sew purple pieces to floral pieces.

  • Realize some floral pieces are 1/4” too short.  Dig though piles to find coordinating scrap to attach to end.  No one will ever know

  • Completes 35 blocks.  Knows one should measure each block and trim them to the size of the smallest block.

  • Does not measure the blocks.  Decides to wing it.

Goes back to work for 1 day.  Seriously.  A 1 day work week!

July 6, 2013:

Reference for assembling Quilt Top

  • Puts floor fabric bags in large plastic totes.

  • After rest of the family goes to sleep, decides to lay out squares and decide placement.

  • Too lazy to change the channel on the TV.  A cat “whisperer” show is on Animal Planet.  I am not a cat person.

  • Lay blocks 5×7.  Photograph.  Analyze color placement and rearranges.

  • Repeat 5 times.

  • Start attaching some blocks together.

  • Gets tired, and sick of watching miss-behaving cats.  Stacks blocks and goes to bed.

July 7, 2013

  • Lay out quilt again.  Continue assembling blocks.

  • Remembers why you’re supposed to trim all blocks to the same size.  Some 1/4”  seam are more like 1/8” seems.

  • But I must go on.

  • Stitch, Reverse, Stitch again over the smaller seems.  For strength.  I hope.

  • Again, too lazy to change the TV channel.  Watches end of Terminator 3, Resident Evil (3?), and the beginning of a Star Trek TNG movie.  Thanks SiFi Network.

  • FINISHES quilt top!  Relieved wonky seams will be trapped inside the quilt sandwich.  NO ONE WILL KNOW!

And that is my quilt top adventure!  Ever quilt is a learning experience.  This one definitely taught me the importance of accurate measuring, both when cutting fabric and when comparing blocks.

This is also a sentimental quilt for me.  Most of the fabrics in my collection were given to me by my late Grandma.  She had a lot of scraps donated to her over the years.  I am so happy to finally be putting them to good use.


Quilts for Boston

Ribbon for BostonAll 4 blocks IMG_0004

Quilts for Boston
Heart and Soul of BostonBlock for BostonFor BostonBlocks for Quilts for Boston

chevron quilt squareAfter the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon in April 2013, I was heart broken and immediately wondered what can I do to help.  If I were anywhere in the vicinity I would have loved to volunteer in some type of relief effort or fund raiser…. but I was so far away.

One day, as I perused my Facebook News Feed, I saw a post from Fresh Modern Fabics (an ETSY shop I’ve ordered fabric from).  The photo of beautiful “modern” quilting fabric was a call to action from the Boston Modern Quilt Guild.  Anyone who wanted to could send in a quilt squares, and the Guild would assemble them into finished quilts to donate to those affected by the bombings.


Another day, another trunk full! #quiltsforbostonThe Modern Quilt Guild in Boston started receiving quilt blocks from around the world! The requirements were simple (use blues yellows white and grey and make a block 12 1/2” tall). This left a lot of room for creative people to quilt their hearts out. One guild member told me “the most interesting block we have received is one with a large pair of hands holding a unicorn head :)” Oh my!
I sent in 2 (at the last minute, of course). I definitely needed the practice piecing blocks, and it was all for a good cause, which made the [time consuming] process very satisfying.

There is a Flikr Group set up for people to post their squares. It’s very inspiring for anyone looking for a new/modern block to add to their next quilting project.

It is also heart warming to see all of the blocks come together into unique quilts to donate. A true reminder that shared tragedy can bring out the best in people.

On the long arm at quilters way! #quiltsforboston

Don’t let Pinterest get you down!


My response to the “stress” Pinterest is causing. 

Seriouly people. 

Calm down. 

It will be ok.


Meme by Cindy Campbell

‘Pinterest stress’ afflicts nearly half of moms, survey says

Making Peace with Pinterst

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