Monday, December 29, 2014

holiday sewing

Catching my breath from the holiday hustle to share a few December sewing projects.

Mitten tree hot pads for Michigan hostesses.  I made the blocks with the modern trees pattern from Christa Quilts and In From the Cold fabric by Kate Spain.  Each one is quilted slightly differently.  24 corners equals lots of good mitered corner binding practice!

I also made this mini for our family Yankee gift exchange.  We are historic Cleveland Browns fans.  My sister chose the package and fell in love with it.  No one dared steal it from her!  The football block is from the Touchdown pattern by Cluck, Cluck, Sew.
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and finding time to breath!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


I've been participating in another quilt along.  This one hosted by Bloomerie Fabrics.  We've been working on the Wallflowers pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew and sharing our progress on Instagram.

We started six weeks ago by selecting our fabric.  I've been hoarding this beautiful stack of Modern Solids II for almost a year now.  I decided to use them for my flowers and Newsprint from the Paint collection by Carrie Bloomston for my background.  

We had two weeks to sew our blocks.  I decided to make a full dozen flowers for a twin size quilt.  Here are the first six.  Notice the dampness on the pavers?  The entire time I've been working on this quilt we have not had a sunny day for photographing.  And yet the flowers continued to multiply!

I finished my blocks and got them all put together, quilted and bound and still the sun did not shine.  Oh well.  At least the flowers are bright!  Here's a close up of some of the quilting before I washed it.  A simple flower in each of the corner blocks and a dragonfly on each of the flowers.  Meandering everywhere else.
I got all caught up in the "painting wallflowers" theme so used Brushes and Swatches, also from the Paint collection, on the back.

Here's the finished quilt...another dreary day but these bright and cheerful colors will not be dulled!

Here are just a few of the inspiring messages in the Newsprint:
  • "And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin
  • "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." - Rumi
  • "Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul." - Matisse
  • "My friends are my estate." - Emily Dickinson
It's been pure joy spending days with these beautiful colors and messages.
A big thank you to Bloomerie Fabrics for hosing this fun quilt along.

Edit December 5th:  Yay!  My quilt was a winner!

An end of the week link up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Friday, November 7, 2014

here & there

I was asked if I would be interested in donating a quilt for a community fund raising auction.  I accepted the challenge.  Yes, it was a challenge as I had only one week to complete it.  

I chose the Here & There pattern by Denyse Schmidt.  

I actually won the pattern along with these other goodies when contributing to this fund raiser last summer.  I decided to use my prize and "pay it forward".  So this quilt for this auction is first!

The herringbone, or tire tread pattern, is made up of Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee fabric (available here).  The solid is Kona in bone.

I altered the size of the pattern to make a throw quilt.  It measures about 57" x 70".  I used a few of the extra pieces on the back.  I like pieced backs.  They make it sorta like getting two quilts in one!  I also like striped bindings.

I wanted to put a bit of Alissa Haight Carlton in this quilt as well.  She hosted the Action Kivu fundraiser last summer.  Quilters may be shocked to learn that I had no idea who she was at the time.  Since then I have learned about her dedication to the modern quilting community.  So I quilted this with a pattern she suggested for her Cobblestones quilt in her book Modern Minimal.

So a tire tread on cobblestones if you will.  Here & There around town.  Paying it forward.

Another Finish it up Friday link with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, October 24, 2014


I've been wanting to play around with textures, both in fabric and quilting.  When I received an invitation to a baby shower I figured I'd jump in with both feet.

The front is Essex yarn dyed (a linen-cotton blend) with a block from Vintage Quilt Revival made up in Kona cottons.  

The back is a single piece of organic cotton flannel from Cloud 9.  The flannel is super soft and thick and cozy.  (The printed elephants don't march in line with the grain of the fabric.)

I've been practicing my free motion quilting and am determined to move beyond the basic meander.  I've been studying Angela Walters' books (this one and this one) and she is right, these circles make great texture!  While quilting this I was deciding maybe I should just head to the baby registry.  All I could see were the mistakes.  Angela stresses to not waste too much time unpicking quilting stitches.  Each quilt is a sample of where your skill is at that moment in time.  

She is also right about mistakes getting lost when you take a step back.  Hanging outside in the sun most some of the mistakes just kinda disappear.  (Okay, not that big one that almost turned into a rectangle.)

Then I washed it and they really got lost!  Flattened actually.  This is the first time I've liked a quilt better before washing.  But this is for a baby and washing is a must.  With more and more washings it will just get softer and softer. Soft is a good texture for babies!

All rolled and ready for wrapping.

Linking up again this week with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Friday, October 17, 2014

a chicopee basket case

 Another Basket Case quilt from the pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  This one by request.  

There is a bit of each print from Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee line.  I tried to not use all perfect matches in each block.  But, if you ask me, they all go together perfectly.

I used Kona Ash for the background in a few of the blocks.

I quilted each square with a geometric design.  You can see it better on the (un-
pressed) back.  

I used Quilter's Dream (select loft) cotton batting.  It drapes beautifully - even before washing.
Can you see the argyle print on the binding?  Love it!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It Up Friday.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

quarterly block sharing

Phew, it's been a whirlwind month of weddings.  We've been traveling near, far and in between and I must say that after hosting two for our daughters, it is a pleasure (and an honour) to be a guest!  Congratulations to Chris & Abby, Julie & Jonathon, and Mark & Lisa!

Now for some sewing fun - here are a few of the blocks I've been working this quarter:

This is Hazel Hedgehog by Elizabeth Hartman.  I used scraps of Peppered Cottons (my favorite fabric) for this trial block.  I am in love!!!

This is from a class I took in July with Andie Johnson.  I like where it's going I just haven't had time to make more blocks...yet.

Here are the next three blocks for the Aurifil Block of the Month quilt.  Honestly, I'm getting tired of these fabrics and wish I'd chosen a different color scheme.  But now that I've won the thread I'm feeling obligated to finish.

 I think this one for September has more seams than are in some quilts! 

Finally, a few blocks in honor of our amazing sons-in-law:

These are from the Touchdown pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew

I used this free tutorial by MolliSparkles for this proportionally accurate Union Jack.  

The footballs and Union Jack are too cute to not use somewhere, I'll keep you posted!

Friday, August 29, 2014

a modern churn dash

I started this in April as part of a We All Sew quilt along hosted by Amy Smart.  
The first week was all about choosing fabrics.  After the l o n g winter we had I was in the mood for a bright springtime palette.  Most of these fabrics came from my growing (!) stash.

In this post I shared the finished blocks with you and the nested churn dash I used on the back.
Because this quilt is so bright and sunny I decided to use a thinner batting.  I experienced lots of tension issues and twice spent considerable time picking out quilting stitches.  Finally I decided to copy Amy.  I used my walking foot and quilted straight lines with an expanded zigzag style stitch.  
It was smooth sailing from then on.

All the frustration of quilting came out in the wash.  Now it's all soft and crinkly and a perfect summer weight.

And looking pretty in a field of early fall sunflowers!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

open wide pouches

I made pouches!  These are open wide zippered pouches from Noodlehead.  Find her excellent tutorial here.

I'm planning to make her Cargo Duffel soon so decided to practice with something simpler.  Good thing.  I learned newer sewing machines come with new fancy accessories.

The foot on the left is a new zipper foot.  While you can move the needle to either side based on which side of the zipper you're sewing, I couldn't seem to manage getting the zipper under the foot to continue sewing.  For the second bag, I used my old fashioned machine with it's old fashioned zipper foot (on the right).  With this attachment one can actually move the foot (along the bar at the top) to the other side of the needle and out of the way of the zipper.  This also allows you to sew closer to the zipper teeth.  It was much neater and required much less sweat and anxiety.

A great lesson because I love my new pouches and am not afraid to tackle more. 

This is making an excellent binding bag.  It holds everything I need: wonder clips, needle, thread, covered scissors, and a thimble!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

a shooting star mini

A mini post for a mini quilt...
This is a pattern from Freshly Pieced.  I ordered it as a kit from Drygoods Design.  It was good paper piecing practice. 

I chose a different backing than came with the kit.  This is my first attempt at quilting swirls.  I think I read somewhere they are all supposed to be swirling in the same direction but I just couldn't work that out.  The winds around here swirl in all different directions.

Do you wish on shooting stars?


Thursday, July 31, 2014


These two quilts have been a year in the making.
Last summer I was inspired by this post from Twin Fibers.  So I started making bowtie blocks.  I learned a little about chain piecing and a lot about pressing, mostly by trial and error.  When I had two blocks of each print I decided that was enough and last fall put one of each into each quilt top.

The backs are (imitation) Minky.  (Note:  The orange from Hobby Lobby is much softer than the pink from Joann's.)

I quilted them last winter.  One with an all-over loop, the other with meandering.

This spring I finally got the bindings on.  I used this multi-color, odd-shaped stripe for both.  And just this week I finished sewing down the binding (with my new Aurifil twisting...yay!) 

Lots of trial and error went on in making these.  Originally I had intended to give them away.  But they are not worthy so I'm going to keep them as a reminder of how far I've come.

With still so far to go... 

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I learned to never say never many years ago.  Here's an example of why... 

I won the Aurifil Designer Block of the Month giveaway hosted by Pat Sloan!!!  I know, I can't believe it either!  Aren't they beautiful?  Seriously, this is the best thread and the greatest giveaway ever.  It took a few weeks for the thread to get here because it came from Italy.  I mean really...does it get any better than that?

I'm actually using the thread, not hoarding it, and just made this block to donate to Anna from Life Sew Crafty.  She's collecting pink blocks For Pinks Sakes.  (This block looks purple on my screen but it's pink.  I promise!)  You can read all about it here.  If you'd like to help her you have until August 2nd to donate a block.

I've been busy cutting this week as well.  I finally have a plan for this Tula Pink fabric. 
 Stay tuned!