Friday, January 15, 2021

cargo duffle 2

My first finish of 2021 is a Cargo Duffle.
Pattern by Anna Graham and available for free on the Robert Kaufman website.
This is my second time making this pattern.  You can see the first one here.

I sewed from my stash for this.  I had just enough of these Laura Gunn butterflies for a front and back, and even eked out a small zip pouch!

The arrows are an original Cotton and Steel print by Melody Miller.  When the selvage reads this good, I use it!  Leap and the net will appear.  
Look closely, can you spot the Hello Kitty I found for a zipper pull?  

I made this for my granddaughter who just turned 5.  (Those are the planets and sun on her cake.)  

Now she's all set for sleepovers with Nonna! πŸ’–

Happy New Year!

Monday, November 30, 2020

moroccan tile

I made this quilt top years ago.  It's been hanging in a closet waiting to be quilted.  Finally, I made time to get it done. 

This is the Moroccan Tile pattern from Amy Smart's Fabulously Fast Quilts.  I used Denyse Schmidt's Ansonia line for the tiles and Essex yarn dyed linen blend for the background.

I was lucky to find this backing fabric, also from the Ansonia line, on Etsy for a super sale price.  Who doesn't love a great deal when buying yardage?!

I free-motion quilted a simple design in each of the colorful tiles, which is really hard to see, then got out my walking foot for all the straight lines.  

It's great to have a finish!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

a roald dahl proverb

Years ago I won a package from Denyse Schmidt and it included her Proverbial Quilt pattern.  I studied it then but it overwhelmed me.  Early this year Denyse announced an online Proverbial quilt-along.  I signed up immediately.  I knew exactly what my quilt would say as I had previously chosen this ↑ Roald Dahl quote from The Twits.

Then Covid and lock-downs and quarantines hit.  The quilt-along took on a whole new life.  So many fantastic quilts resulted from the emotions of the changes going on around the world.  I considered altering my plan for about 2 seconds, but no, I needed to stay positive and keep moving forward.

I dove right in and made 85 scrappy letters.  Some improv, some following the pattern precisely.  I still can't believe there is only one R in the whole quilt!  

I combined my letters into 20 words, 

and then used spacers to created the 8 rows.

I added a few extras; 4 hearts for my 4 grandchildren and...sunbeams!  (These 5 blocks took me an entire day 😜)

When the entire top was complete I took it outside for a "stained glass" photo.  So many pieces!

I used fun letters for the backing fabric and that stashed 1/2 yard of oval elements for the binding.  It was a perfect match for the blue strips between the word lines.

There were several categories to enter our final quilts in.  I chose "Quilts in the Wild" and got this shot under my favorite redbud tree.  I hadn't been anywhere for the month prior so this back corner of our lot was like wilderness!

After these photos were taken I added Roald Dahl's name to the quilt.  Now it's complete!

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but 
if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”


Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've been well and are keeping good thoughts! 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

liquid gold!

So this month was supposed to be all about quick posts and baby quilts but...

We've been making maple syrup! 🍁
We've lived in this house for almost 30 years.  There are several sugar maple trees on the property.  I've always wanted to tap one and finally, this was the year.  

It's so simple:  drill a hole at a slight angle, insert the tap, hang a bucket on the tap's hook...

and watch the sap flow!  (I lined our old bucket with a zip-lock because it's cleaner and easier to empty.)

We just tapped one tree this first year.  I cannot believe how much sap has dripped in less than a week.  I empty the bag at least 3 times a day.

I've been boiling it down in small batches on my stovetop.  This very wide Calphalon pan I purchased at an outlet store years ago has been perfect for this task.  

It takes about 1.5 hours to boil down to 2 cups which I then filter through a coffee filter.

When I've boiled down 3 pans (so I have about 6 cups) I put it in a smaller pan and boil it down some more.  Actually, now it's like making candy, I cook it till it's 219 degrees F.   

This year, I'm putting it in small canning jars.  I turn the jars over while the syrup is still hot and let them cool that way.  The jars seal themselves!  
Next year I'll plan ahead and be ready with cute maple leaf shaped jars to store it in. 
Have you ever turned sap to syrup?  

Having something new and fun to focus on has really helped me thru this week.  
Stay healthy!  

Thursday, March 12, 2020


How cute are these koalas?

The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman and available here!

In January, Elizabeth offered to donate 100% of her proceeds of this PDF download to WIRES, a wildlife rescue in Australia.  In less than 24 hours she sold out of the available downloads and donated $19,638.79 AUD to WIRES!!!  How amazing is that?  

The back is a cozy gray crosshatch flannel.
Hoping lots of babies are cuddling with Koalas in 2020!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

meadowland night hike

I've made several baby quilts this past year that I've not yet shared here so I'm hoping to catch up with short weekly posts this month.  

Last year there was an online quilt along using this Meadowland pattern by Then Came June.  I did not participate but I sure was inspired.  Every quilt was prettier than the last.  This pattern seems to work with any fabric.  These prints are from Heather Given's Night Hike collection.

I picked up the fabric while shopping Small Business Saturday sales at Crimson Tate last November.  What a cute shop!  I even won one of the hourly door prizes!  Thanks again, Heather 😊

The selvage reads so good I had to include it!  
The backing is super soft Cuddle from Shannon Fabrics. 

Baby quilts are such fun to make and give.  Have a great week!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

holiday gifting and swapping

I haven't been sharing much lately because all of my recent makes have been gifts.  Now that they've all been gifted, here we go...

Market Bags
First up:  2 market bags for 2 dear friends.  Pattern by Anna Graham and available in her book Handmade Style. I used Essex linen/cotton blend, Denyse Schmidt prints πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™and LEATHER!
This was my first time working with leather.  I purchased unfinished straps from a local Tandy Leather shop and dyed them myself.  The dying was much easier than I was anticipating.  
It went on smooth and even.  When I sprayed on the sealer some of that even tone disappeared.  I was disappointed at first, but actually, it just looks a little worn in now and hopefully will just improve with use and age.
I used heavy weight polyester thread and a leather needle in my Juki TL2010 to sew the handles on  v e r y  s l o w l y.  It worked beautifully!  Now I want to switch up the handles on my own market bag!

Sew Together Bags
I finally made my first Sew Together Bag at a guild sew-in.  As per usual, I don't know what took me so long.  I LOVE this pattern by Sew Demented.
I've made three more since then and another is in the works.  Fun to make and fun to give!

My mom has a kitchen towel that hangs on her cabinet.  She bought it years ago in France.  It's seen better days and she requested a new one.  Basically, a 24" diameter circle of terrycloth with a binding and hanging loop (which I oversized in case she wants to hang it over a door knob). She loved it - well, she said she did.  Hey, she's a mom!

Guild fun!
This year the Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild decided we would all make a byAnnie Easy Does It bag and have a Yankee swap with them for our holiday meeting.
First, I made the one on top.  Not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed that all the hard work of that binding is hidden on the inside of the bag.  

When I got word that we weren't supposed to use holiday fabric I made another.  This time I used AnnMaria Horner fabric and changed it up by sewing the binding on the outside of the bag.  Bottom right is the sweet bag I received in the swap.  It was made by our incoming president Jenny Draeger, @jfodraeger on Instagram.  Thanks Jenny!

The AnnArbor Modern Quilt Guild had a notions swap.  I gave an add-a-quarter ruler and gingher snips wrapped up in a Jeni Baker drawstring bag that I adjusted the size of to fit the gifts.  Unfortunately, I forgot to get a photo of it.

Here's what I received!  This was made by the super talented @emmmylizzzy.  She was inspired by Making It on NBC.  It has already found its spot on my sewing room wall!

I hope all your hand made gifts were finished in time and as well received as each of these!