Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wonky stars, always

Wonky stars. They make me happy. They are simple and scrappy.

This week, I decided to pull out a WIP that started back in April 2013, at the first Stash Bash. The color palette is understated (which is different for me; I like bold). I've thought of this project often since I started it, and I included it in my 2014 goals.

Here's where the project stood at the beginning of the year, and although I didn't make a ton of progress this week, I enjoyed sewing little bits together. And that's really what matters. It's so easy to get caught up in goals and deadlines and expectations, whether they are your own, or from external sources.

So, I'll keep sewing bits together, adding elements as I please.

Here's to a bright 2015. I hope you shine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

For Jessica

Jessica commissioned me to make her some Christmas decorations this year. I was happy to oblige her, and had fun with these projects over the past few months.

There were napkins, each with a red side and a green side.

There's a tree skirt, modified from Modern Handcraft's fun tutorial.

And my favorite, a table runner and placemats. The table runner is made of scrappy strips (some from the napkins, some from stash), and the placemats are all different.

The table runner and placemats are also reversible, with a side that could be used after the holidays are over.

It makes me happy to think that Jessica and her family will be enjoying these decorations for years to come.

I hope you all have a peaceful end of 2014. I'll be back next week to share some goals and end-of-year thoughts!

Tutorials you might like!
Happy Trees Mini Quilt
Gift Tags
Hexagon Tree Skirt
Scrappy Stocking

Monday, December 22, 2014

FO: Citadel

I love this hat.

I love knitted hats in general, but this is one of my two favorite hat patterns that I've tried over the past seven years (the other is Facets). The texture is beautiful, and in this Colour Adventures Stunning DK, a semi-solid single-ply merino (very similar to Malabrigo, but less pilling so far), it's so happy. The pattern is Citadel, by Hedgehog Fibres (free!).

My awesome sister took some pictures over Thanksgiving. I love the touch of fall you can see in this one, and how it compliments the hat. I've been wearing this one constantly.

I also started a sweater back in September, which is getting most of my knitting attention these days. It's Backshore, by Alicia Plummer, but as you can see, I'm modifying the stripe width as I go. I thought some skinnier stripes would be more flattering, and I decided to add a second stripe color, because why not?
I hope to finish the body of this by the end of the year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

WIP: Strippy Strings

I finished this quilt top at a retreat last month. It's comprised of skinny strips from my scrap pile.

It was so much fun assembling this, and surprisingly (or maybe not), my scrap pile has not lost elevation.

Monday, December 1, 2014

FO: A tale of two fences

I find it strange that the second baby quilt I make for my first best friend (FBF) Jessica is this Chain + Link finish. You see, when Jessica had her first baby back in 2012, I made her a rail fence quilt.

It wasn't intentional, but it's fitting. As I was trying to decide what to make for Jessica this time, I remembered the test blocks I made for Elizabeth for the Chain + Link pattern, and knew they would be fun for this.

I used one of the Andover textured solids for the remainder of the quilt top. I love the looser weave and the color, especially.

It's backed with the new Figures big number print (love love!).

Jessica and I don't live in the same state anymore, but I hope her boys get lots of use out of these quilts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FO: Adelaide

A few months back, I had a quilt pattern published in Quilt Now.
This was such an exciting achievement for me, and I really have no excuse as to why I'm just now sharing it here.

It's a fun and bright nine-patch quilt, and I used some very favorite prints to make a scrappy, happy quilt.

I quilted it in a simple crosshatch, and used my top-three favorite Joel Dewberry herringbone in navy for the binding.

It's backed in other stash favorites; I just love a scrappy quilt back.

Have a lovely week, friends!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

FO: Orchid Thief

If you're not a knitter, you may not know this: a shawl isn't finished until it has been blocked. Before blocking, a shawl is just an undefined blob. But with blocking, there's magic.

The pattern emerges.

It becomes airy and delicate.

And it only took me 8 months after knitting to "finish" this one.

Why is that?

Details here on ravelry.

Monday, November 17, 2014

FO: Strings

I'm embarrassed to say that this one lingered. Back in April, I shared my plan for simple string blocks with my do.Good Stitches circle.

The blocks are fun and fast to make. However, I didn't get the top assembled right away, but I really love it.

It's full of bright colors and happiness. At least, I hope so.

Although, a black and white version would be pretty amazing.

I attended a local retreat this weekend, which is where the cabin photos were taken!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


You may have already seen the new Handcrafted line from Alison Glass. If you haven't, take a look:

I'm in love. These fabrics are so rich and are lovely to work with.

I made a Datura blouse, using Petal in Eggplant and Andover Chambray.
For those of you keeping count, that's my fourth Datura.
I sort of love that pattern.

I helped Alison at quilt market this past weekend, and I learned a lot from her on booth building and other topics.

She's the sweetest. Her booth was full of color and inspiration. I can't wait to see what Alison creates next, and I can't wait to cut into these fabrics!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Colorful bits

(My kitty mini quilt, which went to Felice!)

Color makes me happy.

(My second, and only successful attempt at crochet, encouraged by Sara!)

Really. It's that simple.

(my now finished do.Good Stitches string quilt and Bella!)

Whether we're talking fabric scraps, yarny things, nature, food, whatever.

(Amsterdam blocks, from Holly's pattern, made for Maureen!)

Color is everything.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kitty mini quilt swap

I never shared this, but I have been participating in a fun swap! It's the kitty mini quilt swap, hosted by Felice. I've just finished up my mini, and am sending it off to my partner. Here's a picture of the top before I quilted it:

I want to keep it, which is always a good indication of success! And check out the goods I received, from what the bobbin!

Grumpy cat mini!

She sent me an amazing grumpy cat mini, from the paper-pieced pattern by sew what sherlock, and so many fun extras! I especially adore the little pins and pincushion. Those pins!

It's been awhile since I've participated in a swap like this, but it's been really fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fi and her twins

My friend Fi is amazing. I met her through the Houston MQG, and I just adore her. When she shared that she was pregnant with twins, I wanted to do something special for her. During her shower, I asked guests to sign fabric squares, and I added them to another pile of 8" squares, cut from Fi's favorite colors (which she used to decorate the nursery).

It's a simple quilt, and it's big enough for the family to share as the girls grow.

The back is scrappy as per my usual. I really love making quilt backs (I can't believe I just said that). I don't entirely love sewing long seams, but I do love choosing fabrics to match the front. That counts, I guess.

I also gave Fi two knitted sweaters for her girls. You already saw Hoot, and I finished a Yoked Cardigan last week.

The pattern is by Knitbot, and I knit the 6 month size on smaller needles. I'm hoping the girls can wear them at least a few times before they grow.

They are super adorable little ones. I know I will love them as much as I love Fi.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I have a lot to say. Honest.

I keep writing posts in my head, or making notes of posts I want to write. It doesn't always happen, obviously. It's my month to plan the quilt in my do.Good Stitches circle again. I pinned this a few months ago, and thought it would make a great group quilt, so that's what we'll be doing. These blocks are such a good use of triangle scraps, which always seem to accumulate in my sewing room.

I've picked out some scraps in orange, yellow, blue and green, and I cut 5.5" squares in various neutral solid fabrics. I haven't decided if I'll use them as Amber did in that pinned photo, or if I'll lay them out like this instead:

I've got several other triangle-scrapped WIPs happening around here as well.
{Mental note: photograph those WIPs and share them}
I have shamefully not finished my last do.Good Stitches quilt yet, but it's basted and sitting by my machine, so....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Around the World

You might have already seen Around the World posts in the blogosphere. I was invited by both Jessica and Elizabeth to join in (I'm a few days early for Elizabeth's tag, but I'm just going to post once!). Thanks for inviting me, friends! So, I'll jump right in with a few thoughts on sewing, and some photos that make me happy.

1. What quilting/sewing thing am I working on?

So, you may already know that I have many projects going on at the same time. I've tried to be monogamous, or monogamish, as C would say. I do tend to focus on a project with my whole head and heart, once I hit a certain point. Currently, the sewing project that has (most of) my attention is this curvy number.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

If I had to choose one word to describe my style, it would be scrappy. If I could pick a second word, I'd pick vibrant. I've been told that my pairing of colors or prints is unexpected, which I take as a compliment.

I think some people are afraid of making a daring choice, whether it be a print or color.

But quilting, as with any craft, should be about fun and expression. I like trying new blocks, new techniques, and new patterns. I like using every last bit of a fabric. Sorting scraps or pulling fabrics is lots of fun. Of course, having a well-rounded stash is part of that last bit.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Creating gives me such a sense of confidence.

No matter how crappy a day is, if I can get a little sewing or knitting in, it's not so bad. I never imagined crafting would provide me with so much calm.

And I love giving handmade gifts. making something special for a friend or family member warms my heart.

I tag: Claudia, Amanda-My Sewcial Hour and Amanda-The Craft Junky. I met all three of these wonderful ladies at sewing summit. Claudia lives in Germany, and I'm dying to make her star plus quilt, which she's about to release as a pattern.
Amanda-My Sewcial Hour lives just a few hours from me, and I've had the pleasure of spending long hours with her at retreats, soaking up her amazingness. And Amanda-The Craft Junky, well, I'm amazed by her drive. She recently sold her screenprinted wares at two conventions. I don't know how she pulled that off, but she is awesome. I love talking to her about current and future projects.

So, that's it! Claudia and the two Amandas will post next week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Quilter's Mixology

Come visit Sara's blog today to read about my newest WIP, from Angela's A Quilter's Mixology!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Paper piecing is my favorite

I mean, I have a lot of favorites. Paper piecing is definitely in my top three. It's so satisfying.

Yesterday, I pieced this fancy little dress. The ">pattern is by Charise Creates, and it was really fun to piece. I previously used her apron pattern, but I still haven't decided how I want to finish it. The oh-so-feminine fabric is Cherie by Frances Newcombe. I really love this line, and I think it is perfect for little dresses, or real dresses, for that matter! I have plans for this block already, and I hope to execute that plan soon!

I'm also working on some shirts, from Carolyn Friedlander's fun pattern. Lee has hosted two previous rounds of the All Shirts Swap, and I finally joined in for round three. I've got about seven weeks left before I have to ship my shirts, so I hope to make lots more of these little guys! if you'd like to join in, you can find the details here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FO: Spun pillow

When I spotted Maritza's Spun paper-piecing pattern, I instantly clicked the buy button.

The pattern, along with a pile of orange, pink, yellow and neutral fabrics, turned into Nicke's birthday pillow! Paper piecing is so fun and gratifying, and I especially loved piecing this, with alternating neutral and bright fabrics.
Lots of favorites in this one!

And since Nicke is a major fan of all things "hearts", I added some hearts into the larger neutral triangles. I minimally quilted the center section, since there are a lot of seams.

I added more hearts on the back, because why not? I used my very favorite zipper, (tutorial is here), although I now install it with glue instead of the fusible tape.

I have a feeling there will be another Spun in my future soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

FO: Hoot

Oh, this sweater is cute.

I mean, aren't all baby sweaters? I think the owls make it extra cute, though. I can count four friends who have babies in the oven, so I decided to knit a few wee sweaters. Here's the first:

Olias is shown for scale (and added cuteness).

I knit the free Hoot Cardigan by Brenda Lotar, and used some stash KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (color is Iris Heather). I knit the 3 month size, and although ravelry tells me it took 3 months, the knitting went pretty quickly; I just procrastinated on the sleeves. Yes, even baby sleeves are boring to knit.

Up next, the Yoked Cardigan, by Knitbot.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A few bits

Here's a few things I've been working on recently:

Scrappy log cabin blocks for Natalie

The first (of many) Lucky Stars BOM paper pieced star. This is a collection of patterns that Don't Call Me Betsy designed. The block shown is from January 2013.
Clearly, I'm a little behind.

My Scrappy Hue Shift blanket is growing. I'm at thirty squares now. I've thoroughly enjoyed each square. My newest bundle of scraps is from Rue, which I've already started to use.

I've got a local retreat this weekend, and have been prepping a few projects to work on, so I'll have more to share on that shortly.


Lisa Marie is the winner of the Emma's Garden fabric. I sent you an email!

Thanks to all who entered, and for your kind comments on the Datura blouse.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

FO: Emma's Garden Datura

You wouldn't know (because there is little photographic evidence), but this is my third Datura blouse.
It took Patty asking me to make one from her new Emma's Garden fabric line (for Michael Miller) to get some pictures. There's no good excuse, because the pattern is lovely and wearable. But truth be told, this version may be my favorite.

I love the colors Patty used in this line, and I had trouble choosing two prints that I loved best. I thought Patty's bold colors and graphic elements would work well for garments, and Hilary made this beautiful dress for the tour as well.

So, a few thoughts on the Datura:
On all three versions I've made, I sewed up the back button panel, so that it's just a decorative element.

But I do love the buttons, from my grandmother's stash!
I didn't do a collar on this one, and it's such a a nice, simple look.

I also LOVE this ribbon I found in my grandmother's stash, which I used to finish the hem.

If you'd like to make your own Datura blouse, or something similar, Patty is sharing a little free fabric today!

You can win 2 yards of your favorite prints (two one-yard cuts, or one two-yard cut)!

Just leave a comment (only one!), and tell us your favorite ice cream flavor.
You can also tell us which print (or prints) you would pick! The link to the prints is here.
As always, if you are a no-reply commenter, please leave an email address for me to contact you! I'll pick a winner on Tuesday!

I'm near the end of the blog tour, but you should check out the other posts! You can still enter giveaways on some of them!

8/7 - Michael Miller's website
8/8 - Hilary - youngtexanmama
8/9 - Karri - karriofberries
8/10 - Felice - sewscatterbrained
8/11 - Sally - sallysangelworks
8/12 - Liz - www.fatchickquilts
8/13 - Julia - starsandsunshine
8/14 - Jacey - jaceycraft.blogspot
8/15 - Sophie of C'est LaVie - lescrapdesoph
8/16 - Pam - pamquiltaholic
8/17 - Patty  beckandlundy

Thank you again, Patty, for inviting me to be a part of your party!

Comments are now closed.

Monday, August 11, 2014

FO: A quilt for Mom

If you don't follow me on Instagram, this quilt is new to you.

I haven't shared it here or on flickr, because my mom wanted to be surprised with this gift. She knew I was making her a quilt (I started earlier this year), but didn't want to know anything about it. No sneak peeks! I took pictures along the way, though, so I could share them here.

I gifted it to my mom this weekend, and she loves it. She's a purple lover, to the max. She's been patiently waiting for a quilt, and I wanted to make her something really special. I love a good log cabin, but I have never made a light and dark or "lights and furrows" version. It was fun to limit myself to just two colors on this project, and yet, it is still very scrappy.

Working with several eggplant and light gray fabrics from the stash (with a few additions over the months), I started making blocks.

I finished the top (approximately 60" square) in June and it sat for a few weeks while I contemplated quilting.

I finally decided to quilt it with two threads: a dark eggplant and a light gray. Quilting with two threads allowed me to maintain the contrast of the quilt blocks.
I love the density of the quilting, too.

I used a variety of purples for the back. My mom said she loves the back just as much as the front, so it worked out well. A scrappy back is always happy!

And even though there were no tears (a mark of a good mom gift), I know she truly loves it. And I love her.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FO: Brickless

While at Stash Bash, several of us knitters decided to knit Brickless. I loved knitting it, and I finished in less than a month, but then, of course, it sat in the closet for two months before I blocked it. Yesterday. It happens.

Blocking isn't difficult, but I always seem to put it off. I think the cats are the real reason I avoid it; they love to sit on things, including wet, pinned knitting.

I used a skein of Kinfolk Yarn and Fibre MCN High Twist, in Western Sky. It was a Christmas gift from E, and I was happy to use it so quickly. The leftovers went towards my Scrappy Hue Shift (and I sent some to other blanket knitters as well).

I have one more finished shawl in the blocking pile, and one mystery shawl that is unfinished....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Geranium in Grenada

While in Grenada, I got the chance to photograph Adelaide in her Geranium dress that I made last year.

I made the 12-18 month size, and at 18 months, she is still getting lots of wear out of it. Seeing her in it made my heart sing. She's such a sweet kiddo.

In other Geranium news, Alison Glass has featured several projects made with her new Field Day fabric, including the Geranium dress I made for spring market. You should check out the post, as she's giving away a fat quarter bundle and an Aurifil box!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FO: Mustang apron

Thanks for your kind words on my Grenada photos. I'm sure I'll share a few more in the next few weeks. I whipped up a quick project this weekend, when my Cotton + Steel preorder arrived from Pink Castle. I decided to immediately cut into it. I've got a lot of projects in the works, so a larger project just isn't possible right now. But this apron gave me the gratification I needed!

It's a gift for Amanda, since she's vending at both LeakyCon and DragonCon very soon. You may remember this one I made for myself when I participated in a craft fair. The pattern is from Ruby Star Wrapping. For Amanda's, I used two Cotton + Steel prints, and I included the selvage:

I thought the message that Melody Miller used was very fitting for Amanda. I know she will be successful at her conventions!

Monday, July 21, 2014

FO: Poolside Tote (and some Grenada photos)

Isn't it strange to come home from vacation? I feel like our Grenada trip was a long time ago, even though it's only been a week. I guess it's easy to re-immerse yourself in everyday life. We stayed a week with Elliott's sister and family in their new home. We saw some beautiful sights and a different way of life. I was surprised by the variety of terrain on such a (relatively) small island. Grenada is about 130 square miles, but elevation reaches 2,700 feet at the highest point. Here's a handful of landscapes we experienced on our trip:

Morne Rouge Beach

Hiking to St. Margaret's waterfall

St. Margaret's

Atlantic, near Fort Jeudy

The garden

From the glass bottom boat, which was my favorite thing. Check out the underwater sculpture garden, which we were able to see from the boat!

I made Anna's Poolside Tote for the trip, and it was such a great choice. It served as my carry-on bag, and I toted it along each day, with my camera, a towel, and other essentials. I am planning to make a few more as gifts in the next few months. Honestly, I think it's my favorite of Anna's patterns. The size is nice, and I love the durability of those straps.

Next time, I have a few more pictures to share of the trip, including Oliver and Adelaide!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FO: Scrappy Trip

Hello! I got back into town a few days ago from visiting E's sister and family in Granada. I have thoughts and pictures to share from that adventure, but first, I want to show you my scrappy trip around the world.

I finished this up and photographed it before we left, and I really love it. I won't lie; the process of making this quilt was a little boring to me. I started the quilt over a year ago, and stalled out with just a block or two made before January.

I took it to the Stash Bash, and was able to finish a few more blocks.

When I was planning my projects for round two of Madison, WI (I went last month, and I don't think I shared that here!), I knew that this quilt would be goal number one.

I managed to finish the top while I was there, and immediately quilted it when I got home.

I quilted in a simple crosshatch through each square, which really didn't take very long at all.

Oh, and the backing is two similar prints from the stash: (Alison Glass Bike Path in grass and Patty Young Circle Stitch in Olive. I bound with an eternal favorite: Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Herringbone in Lake.

This quilt reminds me of our wedding, because many of the strips I used are leftovers from the wedding souvenir napkins I made.

On the Madison trip, I kept insisting that this would be only scrappy trip quilt ever, and Jeni teased that I would change my mind on that. As much as I love it, I really don't see myself making another, but who knows?

ETA: Check out Holly's recap for more retreat photos, including some of the finished scrappy trip top!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tula 100 Progress

I just realized that it's been awhile since I posted on the Tula 100 project. This is an ongoing WIP, that I started back in February. I've been making the blocks in book order, and I finished the 25th block last week.

Here are all 25 blocks together. I'm loving them! I tend to cut for several blocks at once, which helps me see progress on a project like this.

I'm taking a little blogging break, but I've got a finished scrappy trip along to share when I return!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Almost wordless Wednesday: All I want to do is knit

I'm in serious knitting mode these days. The blanket is slowly growing, and I started a little sweater last week. It's normal to feel an ebb and flow of crafting, especially when you love to craft in various ways.

I'm fourteen squares in, and truly loving every stitch. Yahaira and Jesse both shared scraps with me, and I'm enjoying adding those bits into the mix.

And just because, here's Olias and I.

Friday, June 20, 2014

FO: Spinning Plates

It's finished. I love it.

It started with a lovely pile of Nordika fabrics by Jeni, and some other stashed prints for good measure. I added a mix of Kona grays and started making blocks:


It grew over time, and ten months later, it's finished.

I love the mix of colors, the mix of grays, the simple quilting (less dense than my norm), the fun shapes, I love it all. I love that it makes me think of two friends, Jeni, and Natalie, who wrote the wonky pinwheel tutorial.

I named it after a favorite Radiohead, because I love the movement of the shapes (although I know they are not specifically plate-shaped). I completely, totally love this.

A good friend asked me to make a quilt for her to give to her almost-born niece, and as much as it pains me, she is getting this one.

So maybe, I'll have to make another someday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FO: A Study in Blue

I have been pretty obsessed with the BBC Sherlock series. I haven't finished it yet, but I've been rewatching the older episodes in preparation. Additionally, I just read "A Study in Scarlet" for the first time. It was fun to compare the episode and story as it was originally written. It popped into my brain when I was coming up with a name for this project.

I just sent Amanda her Wonky Bee swap package. A few years back, we had plans to each make this mini quilt, from the Purl Bee Golden Wreath tutorial.

Of course, we got distracted, and I sort of forgot about it. When I was planning my package for Amanda, I thought it would be a nice treat for her.

I used a variety of blues, predominately Kona Cotton, and I used a favorite light grey Alison Glass Sun Print for the background and binding. Elizabeth suggested using the same fabric for the binding and background, and I'm so glad I took her advice!

I used several blue threads to quilt it, with converging lines in the center. I chose to do this in a random way, to match the scrappy wedges.

I used one of Amanda's favorites, from Lizzy House's Constellations, for the back. Oh, and I used Jeni's machine binding tutorial. As much as I LOVE to hand bind, I chose to machine bind, since my wrist has been giving me fits lately.

Honestly, it was hard to give this one away, but I know it will have a good home with Amanda, and she deserves it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My newest addiction

I've always been inspired by C's amazing blankets. Just LOOK. Completely amazing and saturated in color, but a blanket always seemed like a behemoth of a project. I don't know what made me change my mind, although Jesse's newest project certainly played a role, but I now have a blanket on the needles.

It's directly inspired by Jesse's version in the post I linked to, and I'm using the Hue Shift pattern. I'm using up sock yarn scraps, and have also purchased some fun mini skeins from various yarny sources. I swapped some mini skeins with Jesse, and plan to do so with Amanda as well!

I'm starting my eighth square (with a total goal of 144), and I've enjoyed every stitch!

My only complaint is that I have to take breaks from knitting (I fell on some ice in New Mexico last winter, and my right wrist has been intermittently tender). But I guess that's okay, since I have plenty of other projects to work on. I know this will be a long-term WIP, but it is fun and eventually, I'll have a blanket!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A little of this

I'm way behind on sharing projects, but here's a few recent happy makes:

I made this pillow as part of a birthday club. I made some similar ones a few years back. I'm thinking of making another one for my etsy shop. I love the simple patchwork and linen look.

I missed you, embroidery! I stitched this teatowel (using a Sublime Stitching pattern) up for Sara in the wonky bee swap. P.S. She's selling amazing naturally hand-dyed yarns now! Gorgeous.

I'm crazy in love with these paper-pieced treasures. I'm not sure what I will do with them, but I will be making more bits, no question. The apron is by Charise Creates and the mixing bowl is Ayumi's for Superbuzzy.

Here's to a crafty week, friends!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Field Day Geranium Dress

Alison was kind enough to send me some of her upcoming Field Day fabric and asked that I make another little Geranium dress for her booth. She also sent some Andover Chambray (the skirt fabric). This is my second time using the chambray and it is so lovely for garments. Side note: I also recently bought a cut of the Textured Solids, and I'm excited to use it!

I used Aurifil 1148, which I especially like on the heathered purple chambray.

I don't think I'll ever run out of buttons, thanks to my grandmother. I found these little yellow buttons in a box of her treasures (and I'm thankful she instilled me with a love for sewing!).

I love the little pocket and the tiny gathers, too. There are lots of great details in this dress.

I know I've said it before, but the Geranium Dress is such a great gift, and easy to stitch.

Monday, May 5, 2014

FO: Wonky Bee Traveling Quilt

I love every square inch of this quilt. And I love the wonky bee girls (Nicke, Sara, Melissa, Jessica and Amanda) that helped stitch it.

The patchwork is eclectic and improvisational. The colors are bold and happy.

THe quilting is dense and in yellow thread.

I'm not sure how I could love this more.

You can read more about this quilt here and here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It was inevitable.

It really was. I even said so at the end of this post. I started a new x & + quilt. I'm just two blocks in, and have cut for more. My scraps need thinning, and I can't think of a better way to do so.

I'm binding the wonky bee traveling quilt, so I'll be back soon to share it!

Monday, April 14, 2014


For months, probably about six, if I'm being honest, I've been contemplating how to quilt this.
The lovely wonky bee girls, Nicke, Sara, Amanda, Melissa and Jessica, just rock my socks.
Truly. This quilt is the happiest combination of color and patchwork.

Hence, my quilting dilemma. I have felt overwhelmed, because I felt like I could easily ruin it with my quilting. But, I decided to bite the bullet this weekend.

I'm three bobbins in, and close to the halfway mark. I'm taking my time, and letting the patchwork guide my quilting.

I'm really proud of my free-motion progress. In my latest attempts, I've worked to stretch myself. Although, I still love my first FMQ quilt dearly.

Slow and steady. Loving every minute.

I hope to finish the quilting this week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A winner and some Geraniums

First thing is first! The winner of the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids fat quarter bundle is, #18, Amy!

Congrats, and thanks to everyone that entered!

I'm not sure if you've tried the Geranium dress pattern by Rae, but you should if you have a little girl to sew for. I've made several of these dresses, and I recently finished a few more. My friend, Rue, just had her second child. I thought her oldest, lovingly referred to as Tadpole, might like a dress.

I used this favorite Garden Party print, with a fun orange print for the yoke lining.

My grandmother has shared a collection of buttons with me, and I found these in her stash.

I also made a few that were intended for a craft show last fall. I wasn't able to participate, but decided to add the dresses to my etsy shop.

This is such a great pattern for baby shower gifts, and for big sisters, too!

Monday, March 31, 2014

String blocks - a few tips

Is it really April 1 tomorrow? That seems impossible, but it's true. April means lots of good things. Tomorrow, my grandmother turns 89, and later in the month, we celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. And a wedding anniversary. And the second annual Stash Bash. It's also my month to plan the Love circle quilt for do.Good Stitches!

It's been awhile since I've made string blocks. I don't know about you, but I always seem to have a pile of string scraps lying around.

Last week, I divided them into two piles based on length, and made a bunch of blocks.

Here's a few tips that might help, if you've never made a string block before.
-Working with a foundation is best for string blocks, and I prefer paper. As Jeni pointed out, using a fabric foundation (even muslin) adds bulk, whereas the paper can be ripped away when you're finished.
-If you have graph paper or an old telephone book, this works better than printer paper, but that will work, too!
-Start with your center strip, and glue-baste this piece to make sure it stays in place!

-To create a cohesive look, you can use a single color and width for your center strings. Or, you can mix it up to your heart's content!
-The most important thing is to make sure you keep a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.
-Make sure your strips are at least 1" wide.
-With all paper piecing, it's best to leave the paper on until you've sewn your blocks together. It helps to minimize bias.
-Setting your stitch length to 1.5 or 1.6 will make ripping that paper a little easier, too.
-When pressing any paper-piecing, use a dry iron (no steam!).

-Oh, and little triangle scraps are great for the end pieces!

Any other tips? Did I leave anything out?

Specifically for do.Good Stitches bee blocks this month, I'm asking for 8.5" blocks (so you can just cut a 2.5" strip off a sheet of paper to create that template!). For the center strings, I'd like 1" strips of any blue solid, and then the rest of the strings can be any width and any color. I'd love to see a mix of solids and prints.

As you can see, these are addictive to sew! And my pile of strips doesn't seem any smaller.

Friday, March 28, 2014

RJR solids

I'm so excited to share these pillows with you. Are you familiar with RJR Cotton Supreme Solids ? Thanks to Brenda and the RJR team, I was able to try them out, and I found them to be an excellent line of solids.

The range of colors is immense, and the fabric has a lovely hand.

I felt a little overwhelmed when I was choosing colors, but I decided to go outside of my comfort zone. I started with Night-290 (which is less purple than the link), and promptly added Flamingo-338, Seafoam Green-301, Just Peachy-278, Cove-294, Denim-106, Arabian Nights-160, and Cinnamon-196.

I was in the mood for some half-square triangles (I used my favorite method. Using the leftover strips I cut to make the HSTs, I made a second simple pillow, which allowed for some free-motion quilting practice.

I really love how these pillows turned out, and they've made a nice addition to our bedroom window seat!

And we have a little giveaway, thanks to RJR Fabrics! You can win a fat quarter bundle of the eight solids I chose.

Just leave a comment here
(and please make sure you leave an email address, if you are a no-reply commenter!) and tell me about your current patchwork obsession. I've been wanting to make a lone star quilt for about a year now; maybe someday soon!

I'll pick a winner Monday morning.
Thanks for entering!

And if you're on facebook, check out this page, where you can easily follow along with the blog hop. There are lots of fun projects being made with the Supreme Solids!

Comments are now closed. Thanks!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kahlan's quilt

My cousin, Maclaine, is having her second baby in just a few weeks. I jumped at the chance to make her new girl, Kahlan, a quilt. When we discussed her preferences, I showed Maclaine a wonky log cabin, in Ellen's 1-2-3 Quilt book, which I highly recommend! It was fun to select stashed fabrics in Maclaine's chosen colors, primary with some neutrals thrown in.

And I love the back, possibly more than the front.

That's probably because I'm a fan of off-center designs. Whatever the reason, both the front and back are happy, bright and were made with love for my cousins.

Here's a close-up of the quilting. This seems to be my favorite free-motion stitch of the moment. To me, it feels more organic than a meander.

For the binding, I chose a favorite Color Me Retro print by Jeni. I wanted a print, but something minimal, and this worked perfectly.

I was able to gift the quilt in person to Maclaine and her husband, and I think they love it, too.

Hopefully, Kahlan will arrive soon!

P.S. Thanks to Amy for help with the pictures!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

(Nearly) wordless Wednesday: new cat edition

Fitzgerald has been with us for about ten weeks.

I finally got non-phone photos of her, with Swoon in the background.

The other two?

They are slowly adjusting. And highly suspicious.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A backlog of knits

I haven't shared knitting here in months, even though there's been lots of knitting.

Most recently, I finished an Elis cowl, a free pattern using a new-to-me stitch, Indian cross stitch. It's very simple (although it took a little getting used to), and I think it's lovely in this semi-solid Madeline Tosh Sport.

I've also been working on the Ysolda mystery shawl, Follow your arrow. I'm nearly finished (although those last rows seem to take ages to complete! I have this and another shawl still on the back burner.

I knit this fingering-weight hat, the Serpentine, and promptly gifted it to a sweet friend.

I kept this one (Facets for myself, though. It's gotten lots of wear in the last few months!

This three-year-old pair of socks finally got finished. I really want to be a sock knitter. But they just drag for me.

Finally, I knit Andi's Iz cowl. And I actually got good use of it this winter. Note: this picture was not taken in Houston, but in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with actual snow!

This year, I made a goal for myself to stash LESS. Note I'm not saying NONE! My rule is that I can purchase one skein for each three that I use. So far, there have been no yarn purchases for the year. I've used enough (and destashed a few) to buy, but I'm really attempting to use the yarn I have, which is abundant. It's been a great incentive to knit more often!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Chain + Link

I recently tested a pattern for Elizabeth of Don't Call me Betsy, and today it's available! It's called Chain + Link, and it's a fun paper pieced pattern. Several months ago, I purchased a Pink Castle bundle curated by Anna, and I thought this would be a great excuse to cut into it!

My first block, nearly finished.

These blocks are pretty large, so four make a nice baby quilt top. I'm considering how I want to finish this, but I really enjoyed making these blocks.

And if you're considering the pattern for yourself, it's on sale this week only, for $6 here!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

FO: Rain or Shine

I've learned a few things about my quilty personality. For instance? I'm not a sasher. When a quilt calls for sashing, I'm most likely to skip it. Don't get me wrong. I think a sashed quilt can look really lovely. I'm just not likely to finish it if there is sashing involved. Back in May of 2011, I started these blocks, from Elizabeth Hartman's first book. The pattern is Rain or Shine.

I chose happy prints in red, aqua, black and white.

But here's where I stalled out. I sashed the first row with this lovely aqua solid, and then, nothing. Two years of hibernation. After talking with Jeni when she visited last fall, she encouraged me to eliminate the sashing and stick with what works for me.

And so I did. No sashing. A smaller quilt, but I love it.

I used two favorites for the back (Lizzy House Jewels and Alison Glass Party Streamers). This is a wee baby quilt at 36" square.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This week

February do.Good Stitches blocks for Natalie. It was lots of fun sorting through scrap mountain to make these.

Two boxy pouches, from Bonnie's tutorial. The front pouch is entirely from scraps and the back pouch was made form a favorite and long OOP Echino cheater print.

Slowly working my way through a social tote. Pattern is by Carolyn Friedlander w/ Noodlehead. I'm enjoying the process!

I pulled this stack of fabrics to use for 100 Modern Quilt Blocks, and I'm sewing along with Jeni and Amanda (and possibly a few other friends!).

First three blocks!

Bella is still constantly looking out for the third kitty. It's been a little over six weeks since Fitzgerald moved in. Things are getting easier and calmer, slowly.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

FO: Meow quilt

You could definitely describe me as a cat lover. I know. Shocking, right? Well, when I saw Aneela's Meow Quilt last summer, I knew I needed to make one.

I assembled this fun pile of fabric for the occasion. Kind of like pink lemonade (or maybe a strawberry basil margarita, if you prefer).

Each block was fun to sew, and a way to use lots of favorite prints.

The resulting quilt is bright, fun and happy.

The back features some more favorite prints. I love a pieced quilt back!

I decided to quilt it with a straight-line grid bordering the blocks, and then added a single crosshacth grid (sort of like whiskers?).

As much I wanted to keep it, I'm giving to a very good friend, who takes care of my kitties when I'm gone. And by the way, we have a third kitty now. E's sister moved out of the country recently, and we have given their kitty, Fitzgerald, a new home. I'll share pictures soon!

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