Friday, November 30, 2018

tis the season...

for a finish!
I started these festive blocks in February of 2017.   Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts was hosting a Jolly Christmas quilt along.  I couldn't keep up with it last year but I didn't give up and I'm happy to have it finished now - only one year late!
I've been following Lorna since the Elephant Parade.  I'm always blown away by her darling patterns.  I've made several now.  (Here, here, and here!)  Her instructions are always easy to follow and, while some of the blocks challenge me, I'm always pleased with the results.

All the prints are from my Cotton and Steel stash.  Some were just bits from my scrap bin and some pieces were cut from full fat quarters.  These prints are so fun to play with.  The background is Essex yarn dyed in flax - a staple in my sewing room.
I framed each of my blocks and made my borders larger than Lorna suggested.  I'm always so afraid to challenge myself with quilting, especially when I've spent so much time on piecing blocks, but Angela Walters has been hosting a series on dot-to-dot quilting and I wanted to give it a try.  

I made my borders to finish at 3" wide.  I spent lots of time with my washable blue pen marking my quilt with dots and got much more comfortable using a ruler while free-motion quilting.  (Is it still called free-motion if you use a ruler?)

The backing is a map of London.  I needed more than one width of fabric so added this fun, colorful print to each side.  I like the colors and houses and think it looks like neighborhoods and life around the city.

Can you pick a favorite block?  

Personally, I love the mittens!  They were the first block I made.  We live in Michigan, the mitten state, so I'm a little obsessed with them!  
The sweater was especially fun to make.  It's from a prior year's QAL that I didn't participate in.  But again, I live in Michigan and my Christmas quilt had to include a ski sweater!

This poor little guy landed in the top corner so often gets out shown by those blocks on the bottom but I absolutely adore him.  

I hope you're enjoying your holiday prep and that your projects are finishes soon!
Thank you so much for stopping by.

I'll be linking up with:
and, of course, with 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


This one is for Piper's little brother.  If you know a Peppa Pig 🐷fan you'll understand the title. 😜
A simple rail fence block made with Riley Blake's Fossil Rim prints and Essex yarn-dyed cotton/linen blend.

I cut my fabric in strips both horizontally and vertically so all the dinosaurs would be oriented the same way.  I think because there's only one directional print here it would have really bothered me to have the dinosaurs going every which way.

The dinosaurs on the back are from the same line - I just love them. 

I used Lynn Harris' single fold 1/2" binding method from her book Every Last Piece.  I really do love how soft the binding finishes with this method.

So glad I took these photos when I finished it last summer, and not this month when it was finally gifted, because...sunshine!

I hope the sun shines on you this week.  Thanks for stopping by.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social

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.