Wednesday, September 19, 2018

august improv

Yes, another baby quilt!  This is the first of three I'm gifting this fall.
For this one I pushed myself and went improv which is completely outside my comfort zone.  I used this quilt by Ashley at Film in the Fridge as my inspiration.  I love everything Ashley makes.  

My blocks finish at 8 inches, like Ashley's, but since my quilt is baby sized I probably should have made them smaller so there would be more blocks.  Oh well, next time...

These prints are all from an original Cotton and Steel collection called August.  
I free-motion quilted this with randomly spaced somewhat straight lines.  I started going horizontal on the white background blocks and vertical on the print blocks.  I got a little bored with that so kinda changed it up in a few of the blocks - improv style!

The backing is double gauze - it's so cozy!
I used Quilter's Dream cotton Request loft batting so it's super light weight.  

The binding is from a newer Cotton and Steel collection.  I love this print and wish I had bought more of it.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  

I'll be linking up with 

Friday, June 22, 2018

tall tales

This quilt!
I had more fun making this quilt than any other.  And that's saying something!
This baby's parents are book worms.  For the shower they asked only for books.  Not just baby books but to please bring your favorite book.  They started a lifetime library before they met their little one.

There are several fun book related quilt patterns out there but when I saw a few Tall Tales blocks popping up on my Instagram feed I went straight to Kate Basti's Craftsy shop and downloaded her free pattern.

Then I rummaged through my scrap bins finding fabrics that related to favorite books of mine and classics that everyone loves.  (Baby's initials are on Little Red Riding Hood.)

Some of these books I can't think of an actual title to match but maybe they can.  Or perhaps one hasn't been written yet but will be in Baby's lifetime.  (Oh look, a Scouting Handbook!)

Can you read my quilting?
I thought long and hard about how to quilt these books.  I originally decided to challenge myself and quilt classic first lines.  I spent an evening Googling "first lines" and quickly realized determining spacing would overwhelm me.  

In that search I was reminded of this perfect poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  

I divided Invitation into 10 lines and quilted 2 lines per row.  
I was going for a subtle look but I may have taken that a little too far.  The quilting looks more like loops and lines than words but I'm okay with it.  My quilting cursive didn't ruin the overall project (and I didn't have to un-sew any of it!)

These glasses have been sitting in my stash for a few years now.  Aren't they perfect here?  The binding is from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley collection.  I picked it up in someone's destash awhile ago. I used Quilter's Dream Cotton Request loft batting and Aurifil 2021 50wt thread for piecing and quilting.

Here are just a few favorites from my book shelves.  I'd love for you to leave a comment telling me yours!

Linking up this Finish with:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

sewtopia slc

I took my first trip ever to Salt Lake City for Sewtopia in April.  
That means I'm 2 months late with this post but who's counting?😉  What a beautiful city!  I traveled with a friend and we arrived a half day early leaving us a little touring time.  After a quick meal and a yummy gelato we walked the few blocks to Temple Square.  You don't have to be a Mormon to appreciate the awe of this first glance.
Several wedding photographers were busy within the square.  Can you spot the two here?

We returned the following evening for the Tabernacle Choir rehearsal - with full orchestra!  It was awesome!  This was not on my bucket list but it should have been.  I will never forget it.

Now, onto the sewing...
This was my 3rd time attending Sewtopia.  Michael Miller Fabrics always sponsors a challenge and this year's "Space Kids" fabric was my favorite.  
I have 3 grandchildren, 1 girl and 2 boys, and our family is all about space so I had a blast making this fun two-sided pillow!
It was not a challenge winner but the children love using it so it's a win for me!  

My first class was with Jacquie Gering.  She taught her improv mid-century modern house blocks.  It was a very fun and inspiring class.  I used scraps I had left over from the first Sewtopia that was held in Chicago.  These are all from Denyse Schmidt's Florence collection.

I added a few improv trees and turned my houses into a mini neighborhood.

The second day was with Libs Elliot.  She introduced and taught her new Heartbreaker pattern.  These are English Paper Pieced.  Hand sewing, other than quilt bindings, is always a challenge for me but I persevered.
Libs was invited by Absolute Vodka to design a label celebrating Canada's 150th.  A friend visited Canada last year and found one for me.  Look how perfectly it goes with my finish!  Even down to the lemon/lime binding!

Earlier I shared the pin cushion I made for the swap.  In exchange I received this beautiful covered note pad, including instructions where I can find refills.  I love it!

And here's a photo of all the swag I brought home!  Amazing!!!  Thank you to all the sponsors, especially Michael Miller Fabrics for that HUGE bundle of Everglades!

Sewtopia has just announced the teachers scheduled for next spring are Karen Lewis and Sherri Lynn Woods.  Tickets go on sale July 31st.   I've marked my calendar!  

Friday, April 6, 2018


Welcome to my stop on the Postcard Parade.

When I saw on Instagram that Elm Street Quilts was hosting a postcard swap I became intrigued.  I've been seeing quilted postcards popping up here and there and decided to join in and give one a try.  Postcards are only 4x6 inches - I have time for that!

When we signed up for the swap we were asked to give a one word prompt for what we'd like to receive.  Then we received an email with a swap partners name, address, and her request.  My partner's prompt was CAT.

There are several cat patterns out there but I went straight to one a guild friend, Pam, created, the Cheddar Cat I downsized Pam's pattern by 1/2 to make it fit the 4x6 size.  

There are 28 pieces in this block!

That makes the back worth taking a photo of!  (I over-sized the borders here and didn't trim to the final 4x6 size till after it was quilted.)

I read through my partner's blog and found she was traveling and had made a stop at what turned into a very interesting museum.  It reminded me of a family vacation we took years ago so gave me a perfect "postcard" note to send.

I don't have a fabric marker and even if I did I would be afraid to use it but I have had success several times running freezer paper backed fabric through my printer so went with that method for the back.  

I read through several tutorials before starting my postcard, including Patty's.  Ultimately, here's what I did:
  • made a 4x6 block
  • quilted it with a scrap of batting
  • trimmed it to 4x6"
  • printed the back
  • layered one piece of very stiff interfacing between the front and back
  • zig-zag stitched it all together using a stitch width of 5 and length of 4 (next time I'll go shorter.)
Super fun little project!

Wondering what I received in return?  
When I signed up for the swap I was completely focused on my Kaleidoscope quilt for the Modern Plus Sign Quilts book hop. prompt was PLUS.  Sarah in Texas made me a plus of pluses!

More of a mini-quilt, really, she even bound it!  

And it appears that she, too, was afraid to write on the back! 

So she sent a sweet note instead.  Thank you Sarah.  Love the Alison Glass fabrics, too!

Now hop along to check out the other postcards that have been exchanged.

Denise @ DottieDoodle
Karen @ Run Sew Fun  ←You are here!
Laura @ LC's Cottage
Michelle @ Creative Blonde
Paige @ Quilted Blooms
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Susan @ California Fiber and Music

Thanks so much to Patty for a very well organized swap.

I'll also be linking up with: 
Sew Fresh Quilts - Let's Bee Social
Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Monday, April 2, 2018

sewtopia swap

I'm excited to be attending Sewtopia this year and made this Carry-All Pincushion for the swap.
The pattern is from Handmade Style by Anna Graham.
I'm including a few of my favorite notions:  wonder clips, Aurifil thread, a FUN tape measure, and a hera marker.

 All the fabrics are Cotton and Steel.  

I fussy cut UTAH for the strap because Sewtopia will be held in Salt Lake City this time.

And I'm wrapping it all up in a drawstring bag I made using this free tutorial by Jeni Baker.  I had to alter the dimensions so the oversized pincushion would fit!

I'm also participating in Sewtopia's Michael Miller Challenge.  Here's a sneak peek at my project.  My family is all about space and I had a blast using these fun prints!  I'll share full photos of this soon.

Thanks for stopping by.  
I hope you're working on a fun project this week.  

I'll be linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts Let's Bee Social.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

modern plus sign quilts - kaleidoscope plus

I'm honored to have been invited to participate in the Modern Plus Sign Quilts blog hop and I'm excited to share my Kaleidoscope Plus quilt with you today.

Photo credit: C&T Publications
When we received a copy of the book we each had a few days to choose which quilt we would like to make.  There are 16 interesting and exciting patterns and this Kaleidoscope Plus quilt really intrigued me.  I have always thought color with kaleidoscopes so I wanted to try this pattern using colors.

This quilt is made with both foundation pieced and traditionally pieced blocks.  I re-created the blocks with my EQ8 software then started playing around with bright solid colors.  There are infinite options.  Ultimately, I decided to use up some blue, orange, and green print scraps and went with this placement.  It was fun!  And it wasn't too hard to keep track of how many of each color block I needed.
The background, the pluses, and the stars around each plus are all Cotton and Steel prints.  The stars are a metallic basic but between my limited photography skills and the bright sun at the frozen beach I can't help you to see the sparkle.  Sorry about that.

For the back I used this print I had stashed away from the Ansonia collection by Denyse Schmidt.  The blues and yellow-greens are a perfect match with the scraps on the front.

The wind is really helping to show off the binding!  I love how this Dottie print, another Cotton and Steel basic, wraps around the edge.  There's a little sparkle in those dots, too. Along with being colorful, kaleidoscopes sparkle in my mind!

I free motion quilted this with all over jagged lines.  I used Aurifil 2021 (my favorite!) 50wt thread for all the piecing and quilting.

 Quilter's Dream cotton select loft batting always gives such a beautiful drape.  

I'm super pleased with my quilt and excited to attempt a few more of the Modern Plus Sign patterns.  I think next up will be a Postage Plus quilt using my hoarded bits of Liberty.  Doesn't that sound luxurious?  

The book is available on Amazon or from C&T Publishing.  Or better yet, you can get a signed copy from either Cheryl or Paige.  

Here are all the you can hop along and hopefully be inspired to make your own Modern Plus Sign Quilt!  

Signature Plus
Kitty @ Night Quilter

Tribal Plus
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod

Plus Surround
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Abigail @ Cut & Alter

Kaleidoscope Plus
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun    ←Me!

Postage Plus
Bernie @ Needle and Foot

Rick Rack Runner
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

Row Addition

Transparency Chains
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Faceted Rings
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter

Petal Plus
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Message in a Bottle
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood

Cute as a Button
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Anja @ Anja Quilts

Pinwheel Plus


Bear Claw Plus
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Finally, there's a daily giveaway!!!  
You can participate using the rafflecopter on either Cheryl's or Paige's blog.  

Thanks so much for stopping by.  

Along with participating in the book's Blog Hop, I'll be linking up this post with 
Sew Fresh Quilts Let's Bee Socia
Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

i spy economy blocks

Another fun baby quilt.  This time I was pretending to be Rita!
I used her Economy block tutorial to make these.  I adjusted the size so my blocks finish at 8" square.  That means my center squares are cut at 4.5"  Digging through my stash to fussy cut these was a blast!  I was surprised that I had no problem finding 30 different things to "spy".
Here are a few close ups so you can spy some things, too.

Quilted with organic straight lines about 1/2" apart.  This time I did things like Rita. I started by ditch stitching all the horizontal and vertical block seam lines.  Then I filled in with 16 vertical lines within each block.  Yes, it's time consuming, but I do love the texture of straight lines.  And by golly, Rita is right, those initial stabilizing lines really help keep things lined up.

Quilter's Dream cotton request loft batting and this darling (black & white!) alphabet print on the back.  Baby can spy his letters as he gets older!
Do you notice the binding is a little wider?  I used directions from Lynn Harris' book Every Last Piece to make this single fold 1/2" binding.

Not the same black and white stripe that's Rita's signature but this fabric was in my stash.  I spent a few extra minutes and lined up the print when I was sewing the strips together.  So worth it!!!  I couldn't be happier with how this finished up. 

Just in time for gifting!

Thanks for stopping by.