Monday, November 6, 2017

a pillow

A big, scrappy pillow!
THE Amanda Jean Nyberg came to town to teach and share her quilts from No Scrap Left Behind.  I was able to attend the trunk show on Friday evening and an all-day class on Saturday with other members of our guild.  For the class, everyone was able to choose any quilt in the book and Amanda wandered the room helping, suggesting, and cheering us on.  She is an absolute delight and if you get the chance to meet her you should.

I spent the week before the class devouring the book and deciding which quilt I would work on.  I was all set until the trunk show when she unfolded her Mini Nines quilt.  I quickly changed my plan and re-sorted my scrap box in preparation for the next day.

I made all my mini 9-patches with bright solids and bordered half with colorful prints and half with a white on white solid. 
I had a 24" feather pillow form packed away so I made 49 mini 9's and am pleased to have a finished project in one week!  

For the back I chose this canvas Cotton and Steel print that was in my stash.  I love the dark contrast with the brights on the front.

My only purchase for this project was an invisible zipper.  I really resisted heading to JoAnn's on a Saturday afternoon but it had to be done.  I really wanted the zipper in the seam so when people use this I can tell them to "use the dark side" and there won't be a zipper in their way.
I must admit I haven't installed an invisible zipper since making my wedding dress.  While not really invisible, this navy one does just kinda disappear.  Really easy to do, too.

Super fun project and super fun memories of a super fun day!

Of course I'll be linking up this finish with CRAZY MOM QUILTS!
I'll also be linking this sewcial fun project with Let's Bee Social.

Go buy the book and start sewing your scraps!

Friday, October 13, 2017

zebra stripes

I had so much success with my giraffe quilt that I decided to make one with a zebra theme.  I started by making a few Zany Zebra blocks.  Unfortunately, mine weren't nearly as cute as Lorna's so I went another route.
Simple and modern!

I paired a wavy black and white stripe from the Follie collection by Lotta Jansdotter and a bold solid to make a row of 9 blocks. Then I added a top and bottom and started quilting.  

I used Quilter's Dream wool for the poof factor and this organic grid to create some fun texture.

For the binding I wanted the stripes to wrap around the quilt so I had to cut my strips with the length of grain.  No stretch or give in the fabric created some new challenges for me. These edges don't lie completely flat.  Hopefully the baby won't mind! 😜
Soft cozy flannel zebras for the backing!

Here's to fun tummy time!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday and Let's Bee Social

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


My dear friend is all about giraffes.  I'm not sure why but she is.  She is expecting her first grandson soon so when I saw Lorna introduce her Giraffes In A Row pattern I knew immediately what I would make the baby.

I choose solids from my stash for the giraffes and Andover chambray in black for the background. 
Reminder:  when you use a fabric where the warp and weft threads are different you need to pay attention to which way you place the fabric.  I may have had to re-do a few of those ears to keep everything going the same direction...worth it!

I adjusted the heights of my giraffes to make a long narrow crib sized quilt.  This one finishes at 39" wide by 50" tall.  Super easy to adjust this darling pattern.

I used a thin Hobbs cotton batting that I found at a sweet quilt shop when we made a quick stop while traveling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Their Row by Row license plate reads I Pine to Quilt.  If you've ever traveled through the UP you'd totally get it and would probably have bought one too!
Back to the batting - it quilted beautifully and I will definitely be using it again.

I quilted this with what I'm now calling jagged little lines.  It's time consuming but not hard and I really love the texture and look it produces.  

For the backing I used this alphabet print from the Baby Jungle collection also by Andover.  
I didn't have enough of any of the solids I used in the giraffes for the binding and couldn't find anything in my stash I liked for both sides so returned to this tutorial for a two sided binding.  Again, the extra effort was worth it.

One of my favorite finishes ever!

Linking up with:

Monday, September 11, 2017

two tangos

In January I decided 2017 would be a "sew my stash" year.  I've been quilting and growing my stash for 3 years and it was time to finally cut up some hoarded bundles and play with them.  With a new grand baby due before the 4th of July I decided I'd make each grandchild their own boat quilt.  It was January...I had plenty of time!

So, I untied several Cotton & Steel bundles I purchased with a gift certificate I won while participating in the Wallflowers QAL hosted by Bloomerie Fabrics, and started cutting.  I chose the Tango pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  Allison's patterns are easy to follow - you can count on a successful finish.

I just matched fabrics and made blocks.  These were all about playing with fabric.  Cotton and Steel fabrics really do all go together.  You just can't miss.

I made 84 blocks and then divided them into two piles.  42 for one quilt that leans green/blue/teal/turquoise...

...and 42 for one quilt that leans pink.  
I finished all the blocks and put the quilt tops together during one long January weekend.
Then I hung them neatly in a closet with several other quilt tops that need quilting.

In June I decided remembered I needed to get back to them.  
I chose Cotton & Steel double gauze for the backings.  It quilted beautifully and is of course super soft.  Bloomerie still has some available here.

I used the thin Quilter's Dream request loft for these summer quilts.  You can't tell here but the pink quilt is quilted with straight lines on the diagonal.  It completely distorted the quilt and this is the first time I ever blocked a quilt.  (Sorry, no photos.)  It's a lot better now but still not perfect.  Oh well, my granddaughter doesn't care.

Here's how they look in use!

This little guy really loves an evening cruise!

Thanks for stopping by.

Linking up with:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

lots and lots of blocks

For almost 2 months now I've been participating in the #100days100blocks quilt along with Angie @gnomeangel.  We're using Tula Pink's City Sampler book to make and post one modern block each day for 100 days.  That's a quilt along marathon!  This week we hit the half-way point with block 50 so I thought I'd join Lorna's Let's Bee Social linky party and share the blocks I've made so far.
Tula sorted the blocks by their make up.  Here are all the crosses, blocks 1-15.  I'm using all Carolyn Friedlander fabrics.  Several of the other participants are as well.  We've created our own hashtag so we don't miss each other's posts. 

Blocks 16-30 are all rectangles.  I've been saving every bit of fabric I cut. Some of these pieces are very small and I'm finding a place for all my scraps.  Yay!

And here's the entire triangle section.  I've been working ahead and got two of my blocks mixed up in the daily postings.  Can you tell which two?  Hint:  I'm working to vary the colors day by day.  

Now that I'm more than 1/2 way through I'm starting to plan for how I'll put them all together.  

I hope you're finding something fun to work on this week.

Friday, May 26, 2017

a geometric slide

Last week I shared the first of two gender neutral baby quilts I've made for sisters due within weeks of each other.  I wanted to make each quilt individual and completely different from the other.  Here's the second quilt...

This baby's parents are both engineers and I wanted an organized pattern of form and color so I made a Geometric Slide.  Pattern by Faith Jones and available in her book Vintage Quilt Revival.   I altered the pattern to make this baby sized.

Who doesn't love squared up blocks and a pretty pile of trimmings?  

Since I was using only one print for each color I chose to alter the starting point of the slide as well.  I didn't want the colors all lined up like in Faith's beautiful scrappy version.

How perfect is this backing?  After lots of searching I found this Wooden Blocks print online at Stash Fabrics.  It's by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics so I knew it would be super soft.  I had never seen this before and wasn't sure how true my computer monitor was showing the colors but I was running out of time so I crossed my fingers and placed the order.  After a short delay by the USPS my order finally arrived and matched absolutely perfectly.  Yay for happy endings!  
I had originally planned to use one of the prints in the blocks for a binding but was so happy with the backing fabric that I decided to use it for the binding as well.  I like it!

I free-motion quilted this to death with tons of jagged lines and shapes.  Have you seen those labels you can buy that say, "This took me for-ev-er"?  This was worthy of one of those! 😉

You can see the quilting a little better on the white.  For me the challenge is keeping all the quilting similar sized - easier on the white background than the colorful blocks.  It's so hard for me to ignore the shape of a block and keep things random.

I used Quilter's Dream Cotton Select loft batting.  

Doesn't it make a nice backdrop for these adorable hats my daughter knit for the cousins!

So for this second gender neutral quilt I switched up grays and neutrals for bright colors, a timeless block for something modern, and straight line quilting for dense free-motion.  Rest assured, however, that equal amounts of love have been sewn into each. 

And everything has been gifted with lots of prayers for healthy, happy babies!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, May 19, 2017


2017 is proving to be quite a prolific year!  Today I'm sharing the first of two baby quilts I gifted at a double baby shower last week.  Two sisters due within 6 weeks of each other! 

Both mamas are waiting to be surprised which is a challenge for a quilt maker.  There are so many cute fabric lines for babies but they are all so gender specific.  Enter Lizzy House's Whisper Palette, five neutrals from my stash, and a timeless hour-glass block.

I purchased a bundle from Lady Belle Fabrics.  (She was hosting an extremely generous giveaway on Red Pepper Quits blog and I wanted to help support her.)  There are 21 prints in the collection and pairing each with a neutral gave me 42 blocks.  That made deciding how big to make this easy - 7 rows of 6 blocks.

A few close up shots to zoom in on the sweet prints.  This fabric is so soft and I wonder if it's because the prints are so calm.  

I used the super thin Request loft cotton batting from Quilter's Dream and my walking foot to quilt along each of the seam lines:  vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.  I like the "star" it made at each point.

The back and binding are both prints from the collection.  How cute are these mice on bikes?  Daddy is quite a bike rider so this was an easy pick!

Neutrals, grays, and randomly placed classic blocks for one sister.  Check back next week to see how I changed it up for the other!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, May 12, 2017


This much fun!

If you are a Star Wars fan you will recognize BB-8, the droid introduced in The Force Awakens.  I first spotted this pattern by Hunter Design Studio when Sam hosted a quilt along for her The Droid is Not For Sale quilt.  I wasn't able to participate then.  But now my daughter, a huge fan, is pregnant and calling her little guy BB-8 so I just had to make the individual droid portion.  The pattern is well written and easy to follow.  It's all basic piecing and goes together quickly.  

Quilting decisions always challenge me and this quilt was no exception.  I reviewed studied the various choices made by some during the quilt along.  

Here are a few zoomed in photos so you can see my choices.

I quilted this with my Handiquilter and it was my first time using a ruler.  It wasn't as hard as I thought and now I wish I'd tried it sooner.  Oh well.

The backing is cozy Shannon Cuddle 3 fabric I found at Curly Girl Fabric on Etsy.

I just love how you can still see BB-8 on the back.

This past winter I jumped on a chance to pattern test for Sam's newest Star Wars pixel pattern, General Organa.  The pattern is now available complete with a few different options for finishing.  Sam lists both the General Organa and Rey and BB-8 patterns as  "pay what you can".  She donates all proceeds to Chick-Tech which she explains is "a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce, and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers."

Originally I thought I would somehow combine this grown up Princess Leia with BB-8 but I couldn't work it out.  I'll save her for something else.  In the meantime she's hanging out on the design wall in my sewing room.  My granddaughter loves waving to her every time she makes her way into the room.  It's so sweet - so on the wall she stays!

 May the Force be with you!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

cortellini star

Hmmm...what to make?  The new mama was a soccer star... Daddy's a musician... 
I went searching, through blogs and Pinterest, and suddenly - BAM!
When I spotted this post  I knew what I would make for this newest little Cortellini - a star!

Katie doesn't offer a pattern for this or mention what colors she used.  So I just used her quilt as a guide and chose from my stash.  I counted up the different combos of half square triangles and was able to get started cutting and sewing right away.  That's always fun!
My original plan was to copy Katie's quilting, too, but at the last minute I spun my thinking to a spiral.  I did a Google search on spiral quilting and found some great tips.  I'm always amazed by how much free information is available from this amazing community.

On Very Kerry Berry's blog I found this template to get started.  It creates a 1" spiral.  I wanted tighter quilting so I printed it at 37% to get a 3/8" seam and be able to use my walking foot as a guide beyond the template.  I carefully pinned my template to my quilt sandwich and carefully dropped my needle in the center of it all.

Then I took a deep breath and a patience pill and followed some great tips from Flourishing Palms.  I set my stitch length very small and used my hand-wheel to take one stitch at a time, picking up the presser foot and moving the quilt with each stitch.  Again and again.  Finally being able to take two stitches, then three, very slowly, till finally I was moving right along.  I lengthened my stitch as I moved further out, constantly turning the quilt.  It was a good right arm work-out for me.  Advil helped!

On the back I used the popular Newspaper print by Carrie Bloomston.  I had to add a little to the width and there are no worries on matching the print with this one.  Yay!

Quilt stats:
42" square
RJR and Kona solids
Quilter's Dream Cotton Request Loft batting
Aurifil Dove Gray (2600) 50wt for piecing & 40wt for quilting

Ready to roll, around and around...

We're enjoying early spring over here.  Did you notice the wild forsythia in the background?  It hasn't bloomed like this in years.  Love it!

I'll be linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.