Sew is a Verb

If there is one thing that makes my eyes twitch, it’s blatant misuse of the English language. And if there’s one thing that quilters apparently love, it’s replacing the word ‘so’ with the word ‘sew,’ especially when it comes to quilt stores.


(Yes, I’m Rarity. She’s fabulous and she sews. #spiritpony)

I’m willing to bet you’ve run across these stores:

Sew Many Friends (I don’t think my friends would like that)

Sew Unique (No. No you’re not)

Sew Amazing. Sew Special. SEW FREAKING AWESOME! (I made that one up, I’ve never seen it)

Sew Much More gets a pass because you can actually sew much more.

I mean, if you’ve got great fabric, I’m going to go there and shop. But every time I have to say the name of your store I’m likely to make a face like this:


I just noticed how much Kristen’s boob is hanging out in this gif. Oh well. It’s there, I’m leaving it.

I’ve also run across people online who think that just because a conversation is about sewing they must replace ‘so’ with ‘sew.’

“Oh, that is sew cute!” “You did sew good!”

Major eye twitch right there. Two, actually.

I mean, I know there are worse things, like replacing the C in Country with a K so you can name your restaurant Kountry Kitchen. Or not knowing the difference between their, there, and they’re. Txting lik dis. Uniquely spelled baby names. Using good instead of well. Moths.

But this is a sewing blog. Maybe we’ll get to those later.

I guess I don’t really have much more to say about this. My point is just this: Sew is a verb. You can sew. You can’t so. So is an adverb. It’s used to describe verbs. You sew so well.


So there.








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I’m a part of the Handmade Birthday Club going on on Instagram. My birthday is in December though, so I can’t share anything awesome that I’ve received… but I can share something awesome that I’ve made.

Kelly Bowser of Kelby Sews just randomly mentioned on a picture that she doesn’t like cats, but she wouldn’t mind a UniKitty mini quilt. (UniKitty is from the Lego Movie. I haven’t seen it.) Her birthday is in March and so I knew what my mission was.

I went over to the block design tool at and made up a template. I knew I’d have to paper piece, since some of the pieces would have to be tiny. What I ended up doing was printing out my template four times and cutting out the pieces I needed.


Yeah, so picture! I only have the one I stole from Kelly’s Instagram, since I can’t find my camera…


UniKitty Mini made by Melissa of Tension Issues for Kelbysews

UniKitty Mini made by Melissa of Tension Issues for Kelbysews


I used felt and embroidery thread for her face. She’s about 9x 12, but I can’t remember.

Anyway! Kelly and I both had a ton of people asking for the pattern. I was going to offer it on craftsy for free, but I cannot for the life of me figure out my illustrator program. So you’ll have to be low tech like me. Here’s the template…



You should be able to just grab that picture from here and make it whatever size you want.

And here’s where I cut.


One sheet for the ears, (cut a quarter inch away from the lines) one for the horn (in blue), one for the middle of the horn (in pink) and one more for the bottom of the horn (in yellow). For the face and outline I didn’t paper piece I just measured out what I needed. I wish I had templates for the face pieces, but I was late for Kelly’s birthday and I didn’t make copies. Sorry. But they’re mostly circles and if I can do it, so can you!


I hope this helps all those people who wanted to make a UniKitty! Tag me on instagram @tensionissues if you make one.


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Echino Giveaway!

I’ve been wanting to do a giveaway for a long time, but I have a problem. I don’t have an extra fat quarter bundle of a brand new, not yet released line laying around. I don’t have a sponsor to give me one. I’m pretty broke, so I’m not buying you one. (sorry) So I’ve been trying to figure out what I could give away from my stash.

I’ve been saving up Echino for a while to make a QAYG Sophia bag. I’ve bought a few fat quarters, and I have some large pieces left over from a quilt I’m making my daughter. I don’t need big pieces for the bag, so I decided to give away some charms and a pouch I made! Everyone loves a good pouch, right?

(Edit – I’ve been told that that sounded a bit like I’m just offering my leftovers. I’m sorry. I’m not. I can think of plenty of uses for the fabric I’m not going to use for the bag. I just know that I have something that quilters love and wanted to share. I also I’m not trying to drum up sympathy for myself. I hope to have sponsors in the future, and I’d love to be one of the lucky few bloggers who get sneak peaks at everything, and I know that that takes a lot of work. I’m working at it. If I could go back to school to be a quilter I would, but there is no school, there’s just doing it. I’m trying to do it, and this is my thank you to those of you who are supporting me.)

Echino Giveaway IMG_3647

Alrighty! All you need to do is leave a comment here telling me what your favorite Thanksgiving food is. Mine’s stuffing.

For another entry, like me on Facebook.

Leave another comment telling me you did.

And if you really want to, follow my blog and I’ll just really like you for it.

Captain Random Generator, DDS will draw a winner at noon on Monday.

Open to US entries only, sorry!



Winner winner, turkey dinner!


Dinah Barnes, you’ve got it! I’ll send you an email to get your address. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered!


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WIP Wednesday – Baby Quilt and a pillow

I have three baby girl quilts that need made. One is going to a friend who is having her second daughter in February, the other two will be for a friend who is pregnant with twins. (!) I want to say she’s due in April.

I got the top for the singleton done this weekend (as my instagram followers know) and I’ve been contemplating how to quilt it ever since. I don’t think I want to do an all-over design. Rather, I think I may do something in each diamond. I was doodling over a picture of it last night. Speaking of pictures, here’s the top!


Hopefully that shows up. I’m writing this on my cell phone.

I was doodling around, toying with an idea I had about chevrons when it occurred to me to do a string quilt. I used instructions from Elizabeth Hartman’s “Practical Guide to Patchwork” but made the blocks smaller.
If you don’t have that book, Film in the Fridge has a good tutorial. I’m going to have a really hard time letting this quilt go. I’m probably going to have to make a queen sized replica.

For the other two quilts I think I’m going to do something simple, like the strip quilt from Tula Pink’s latest market booth.

I also started a pillow yesterday, made with flying geese scraps.


I started quilting it, and got the lighter part done, but when I switched threads for the dark part my machine started skipping stitches, majorly. (my phone says majorly isn’t a word. Psh, whatever.) So, I’ve got to rip those out and either try again or go get another color of thread. I’ll probably give it another go first. Sometimes letting my machine rest over night helps. I understand its need.

Here’s the pillow before I started on the dark quilting.


I hope I can get it worked out today and up in the shop soon.

(Btw, I opened an Etsy shop. Check it out. Link over there —> )


Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced


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“Diamonds and Bowties”

I love Joel Dewberry.

This year for Christmas I got an gift card from my in-laws. I was thrilled when I found a fat quarter pack of Joel Dewberry’s Notting Hill on Amazon for sixty bucks. Of course, I bought it. But it sat unused (un-opened, even!) for months while I looked for the perfect pattern. I didn’t want to cut it up too small, since there were so many awesome big prints. I finally saw a pattern that I knew I could replicate, but by the time I got around to sketching it out I got it all wrong and came up with this:

"Diamonds and Bowties" by Melissa of Tension Issues

I can’t wait to quilt it. I plan on incorporating the diamonds and bowties thing into the negative space and trying out some fun stuff on the prints.

"Diamonds and Bowties" by Melissa of Tension Issues

I’ve also got quite a bit leftover, so I’m thinking I’ll need to make a matching pillow or mini.

What do you think? Have you ever risked a line you loved on your own pattern?


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September 9, 2013 · 10:58 am

“Eat Pork” Quilt

Occasionally, I’m brilliant.

Some friends of ours recently got married, and their reception is today. They do competition BBQ. They’re really good at it, check them out.

So anyway, of course we needed a gift. Luckily, I can make things. I had the idea to turn this:  Pork-Chart_Article-668x419

Into this:

"Eat Pork" Quilt by Melissa of Tension Issues

I love it. I know that usually people wait til they get home to open wedding gifts, but I’m making them open it right there, as soon as I give it to them. I can’t wait. I’m also going to make one for myself. I’ll probably end up making a chicken and cow one as well.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I quilted the background. It was tedious, and I won’t do it again. But I did get to use that little line marking tool. I thought it was a seam presser until I saw a picture on Instagram of one. It worked really well. I kept my lines straight, and I didn’t have to erase anything after.


Then I took the image above, of the pig, enlarged it, printed it out, and cut it up.


Next, I fused Wonder Under onto my fabric and cut out the shapes.


After I fused them onto the background, I free motion quilted around each piece and between them all.

"Eat Pork" Quilt by Melissa of Tension Issues

I also added a little ‘eat pork’ detail, and quilted the tail on. I thought about using rick rack for the tail, but I thought that might be too cutesy.



I think the back looks pretty cool too. I forgot to take the picture before I sewed the sleeve on.


There you go! I’m insanely happy about it. Tickled pink, you might say. Happier than a pig in… well, you know.

I hope the happy couple loves it as much as me.

Thanks for reading!


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