Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ansley's Swell

So, a few months back I was feeling very meh about all of my projects and honestly, a little bogged down by sewing in general. Just totally uninspired. For days. I was getting a bit sick of it so I decided to start a baby quilt. I pulled a stack together and waited. Then, one of my closest friends growing up had a baby. Her third, and this time a sweet little girl named Ansley.

I decided that I really needed to get my act together so I fell back on a pattern I've made before, Swell by Camille Roskelley. I enlarged the pattern a bit so that the blocks ended up at 15" instead of 12". Nine blocks later I had a quilt top. Super easy!

We were headed to visit my parents the next week so I just decided to wait and quilt it at my mom's. I think I took three quilts but this is the only one I ended up getting quilted. I used this flowery swirl that is pretty fun to do. I finally got it mailed this week, only two months after the baby was born. That's not too bad, right?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jewel Boxes

My farmer/quilt holder got rained out of the fields long enough to help with a few pics. Finally!! #imaginecircle #dogoodstitches

"Jewel Boxes" is my latest finish for the Imagine Circle of do.Good Stitches.  Back in January I asked our group to make 21" square-in-square blocks, starting with a 6" center block and adding three rounds of 3" strips. We used this palette from Design Seeds as our color inspiration:

After I received all the blocks, I simply quartered them, then sewed them back together to make the Bento box-like design. Easy! I had one too many blocks for the front so I incorporated it into the design of the backing.

And the back... #imaginecircle #dogoodstitches

I quilted this on my mom's longarm machine and ended up being pretty happy with how it turned out. Most of the time as I'm stitching I think that it looks terrible but after I step away from it for a while it turns out to not bother me as much. Here's a close up of the floral-ish design I was going for:

Up close. Last one!! #imaginecircle #dogoodstitches

Not perfect by any means, but better than it looked while I was stitching. Here is a tutorial for the basic design, though her's look much more like flowers than mine!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Quilt for Meesh

Michonne's quilt

You know how as soon as you find out that a friend is expecting a baby, you immediately start designing a quilt in your head? Maybe that's just me? Anyway, my sweet friend Michonne is expecting a much-anticipated little girl in just a few weeks. I met Michonne, or Meesh as many people know her, through Flickr and have been lucky enough to be in a few different bees with her. She is so friendly and supportive and is always quick to offer a positive comment.

I asked the ladies of That Stash Bee if they would like to help make a quilt for Michonne's baby, and of course everyone agreed.  I was pretty loose on what I was looking for...I shared three color palettes that I liked and just requested stars, any size, with a low-volume background. I knew that my talented friends would send some fabulous blocks, but I'll be honest..after the first half of the blocks arrived, I was a little nervous that I would wreck everyone's work when I started puzzling them together.  But I shouldn't have worried. My beemates sent such awesome blocks that they look fabulous together! I did have to shrink two of them so I hope those ladies don't mind!


I was so happy to discover that I had enough of these light pink jewels by Lizzy House to use for the binding. I think they go really well with the low-volume girliness of the quilt. I was also really excited to find this Khristian Howell print for the backing. I used some of it in Jill's quilt and thought it would be fun to use it for Michonne's baby's quilt, too.

The online quilting community is such a fun and inviting place. I have made some really awesome friends and am so grateful for my That Stash Bee ladies for their help on this quilt. I absolutely cannot wait to see Meesh's little Cupcake all stretched out on her new quilt!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I've been making some good progress lately and thought I would share a few pics.

I added a few more blocks to my Crown of Thorns quilt and finished the top yesterday morning. The lovely ladies from That Stash Bee helped me with this one, and I love it! Now to decide on a backing. I'm also trying to decide if I want to quilt this on my machine or wait and take it to my mom's and use her longarm. It is about 75" square, so I'm not really looking forward to wrangling it through mine. But, I don't think we are going back to Iowa until this summer and I don't want to wait that long, either. What a problem to have, right?

The spiderweb blocks that I chose for my month in Always Bee Learning have been rolling in and surprisingly, I have done a pretty good job at keeping up on this one. This is what I've gotten so far and I'm still waiting on three more people. I love this Riley Blake La Creme Swiss Dot that I am using for the background. My plan is to add another row or two of the spiderweb blocks, then put this panel off-center and add more of the dots on either side. Sound good?

I also finished the quilting on my second Star Flare. It is actually hanging upstairs in the playroom right now, without binding. I didn't want to just fold it back up while I waited to bind it, so I thought the playroom could use a little brightening.

Now I've got stacks pulled for a friend's gender-neutral baby quilt and another custom order all while waiting for blocks to finish two more quilts. I guess I like to keep things moving!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Diamond Ripples

It's finally done! 
The Modern Blocks Bee was the first online quilting bee that I ever joined. It was based on the book Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers, with each member of our bee choosing a block from the book for everyone else to make and send back to them. I chose Lara Finlayson's block Diamond Ripples way back in November 2012. I sent each member a pack of blue, green, and yellow scraps along with Kona Snow and hoped for the best. I honestly hadn't thought too much about the block, I just needed something that was easy and had simple cutting instructions! We were in the process of moving at the time, along with working on our harvest, all of course with four small kids so simple was key!

Boy, am I glad I chose this block! It really does make an interesting design when multiple blocks are put together. As my friend and bee-mate Deb said in a Flickr comment, "I really underestimated this block!" and I couldn't agree more! I was quite indecisive about the quilting, but ended up choosing to quilt 1/4" apart in the white spaces and left the colorful parts unquilted. 

For the backing I just used a few blue prints from my stash. I thought that having a colorful binding on the quilt would be a little distracting so instead I made my first faced binding using this tutorial from Victoria of SillyBooDilly. It was really easy, but since you have to hand-stitch the facing to the quilt it took me nearly a week to finish it. There is a good reason I machine stitch my bindings! Now the quilt is hanging upstairs adding a little color to the kids' playroom.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Random Thursday

How about a little randomness today?

Anyone remember this block? I made a few odd-sized quilt-as-you Log Cabin blocks last year but never really did anything with them. So yesterday I was doing a little rearranging in my sewing area and came across them again. Rather than find another place to store them, I decided it would be really easy to just turn this one into a pillow. It was an 18" block and I knew that I had a few of that sized pillow forms laying around, so I cut out a few backing pieces and got it done. Check! Now Jill has a fun pillow to brighten up the ugly brown recliner in her room.

A few nights ago I finally decided to start another cross-stitch project. I made a semi-valiant effort at the Woodland Sampler last year but only made it to April.  That one was supposed to be stitched on linen, and while I really like the look of it, my eyes do not appreciate stitching into that tiny weave. Aida cloth is much easier! When I saw that Corey was doing a sew-along for her Quilty Stitches pattern I jumped in. I'm really not sure how often she is posting each new block, but so far I'm ahead of schedule which is unusual with my stitching projects! I started stitching the sashing last night and it looks like I wasn't paying very good attention. My stitches are pretty sloppy! 

Yesterday afternoon when Wyatt came home from school he was telling me about how they were supposed to have melted down their old crayons and made new ones but ran out of time. He really wanted to do it, so I helped him peel off those dang wrappers and let him pick out a couple of my cookie cutters to use. Well, someone got a little distracted after she put them in the oven and this is what happened! I had to open the door and windows in the kitchen to let some of the hot crayon smell escape!

Source: Threading Hope
The dGS Circle that I am in sends our quilts to an organization called Threading Hope which then distributes them to families in under-developed countries. We were just informed that our 2013 quilts were taken to Costa Rica, and I was so excited to see a picture of our Gathered Geese quilt as it was given to it's recipient. I love seeing pictures of quilts in action! 


Today I have been playing with my Chicopee scraps. Not sure where this project is headed, but it has been fun to just sit and sew! I have been keeping the scraps from certain projects segregated from my other scraps for a while, but I want to use that space for something else.  So I've decided to either make something new or into the regular scraps they go!  As it stands, I need a new scrap system anyway. My bags are overflowing! Which really, isn't as dire as it sounds, since my largest bag is only a gallon-sized ziplock.

Check out other fun randomness today with Cindy at Live a Colorful Life...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicopee Crosses

Chicopee Crosses

Good morning, friends!

Can I tell you how much I love this quilt? That may not be the most modest thing to say, but seriously, it's one of my favorites. Which is great, because I made it for one of my favorite people. As soon as I get the nerve to venture out into this arctic weather, this baby will be shipped off to Tennessee to live with my best friend from high school. One day she asked me on IG what I did with all the quilts I make. When I told her that I end up giving most of them away, she jokingly suggested that I send one her way. That was all the push I needed to start a quilt for my sweet friend!

I had been itching to use my leftover Chicopee that I had stashed away after making this quilt and settled on the design after being inspired by this quilt by Angela of Fussy Cut. I used Essex linen in Natural for the crosses. I believe my blocks were 9.5". The block pattern is pretty easy to figure out, but if you would like a tutorial, Kelly from KelbySews has one for a 14" block. Interestingly enough, Kelly was inspired by my quilt after seeing it on Pinterest and made one very similar. Isn't it funny how things work out? 

The quilting was done on my mom's longarm in the swirly loop design that seems to be the only pattern I do. For the backing, I used a strip of the paisley print and added Kona Pepper to bring it up to size. The binding is either Alexander Henry's Heath in black or Timeless Treasure's Sketch in black. I can honestly never remember which is which!

I really wish I could see the look on my friend's face when she opens this. She has a much more sophisticated style than I do so I hope she likes it! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I'm trying to make an effort to clear out some of my WIPs. My shelves are looking messy and frankly, I just don't like having unfinished projects laying around! Here's what I'm trying to work on this week:

Yesterday I finally sat down and quilted my Diamond Ripples. This quilt started back in 2012 with my month in the Modern Blocks Bee. I'd say it's about time this one was finished! I'm stitching on a facing instead of binding, so that's a new experience for me. 

This one is next on the list. I actually basted it last summer/fall sometime, then rolled it up and put it away. I un-basted it to take to my mom's but never had time to quilt it while we were there. So now it is sitting at the end of my hallway, quietly shaming me. Hope to re-baste it during nap time today.

If the kids sleep well, I might even get this one basted, too! This is an awful picture of it, but if I remember correctly that outermost color is actually Kona Cactus. It's a bright one.


I've gotten all of my Crown of Thorns blocks back from my That Stash Bee ladies so I've been playing around a little with the layout. I still need to make a couple more. I've also been thinking of setting them on point, but I'm really not sure what I would do in the setting triangles. Thoughts?

I've also been working on a baby quilt for a friend. It is a collaborative effort, so I'm waiting for a couple more blocks to arrive then I can start putting them all together. I'm excited about this one! I didn't specify a block size, just asked for stars, so it should be fun puzzling them all together! 

And just for fun, I made another Castle Block. Still no set plan for these, but I'm having a great time choosing fabrics for each block. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jill's Briar Rose Quilt

A few months ago I started another quilt for Jill. 
Well, when I started it I actually didn't have a plan for it. I just didn't like seeing my pretty stack of Briar Rose (and coordinating solids) from Amanda's shop just sitting on my shelf. I'm not a hoarder.

Jill's Briar Rose quilt 

 It didn't take me long to decide that some kind of square-in-square block was what I wanted to use, and since I had just made some Lemon Squares blocks for a bee-mate I went ahead and used a slightly modified version of that pattern for Jill's quilt.

I actually bought this pink Minkee when I was pregnant with Jill with the intention of making her something with it before she was born. Obviously that didn't happen, but at the same time I also bought that pretty yellow gingham I used for the binding. I did get a crib sheet made out of it before Jill was born so I wasn't a total slacker. I think the gingham looks perfect here with the sweet Briar Rose prints. 

This is another quilt that I quilted on my mom's longarm while there for Thanksgiving. I'm actually really happy with my quilting on this one, except for the way that darn Minkee was pulled through with the stitches. I use a Microtex needle on my home machine when I quilt with Minkee and rarely have that issue. I used the thinnest needle mom had but it wasn't enough I guess. It really doesn't bother me that much, and I'm hoping that maybe after it goes through the wash it will settle back in a bit. 

The quilt finishes at roughly 48" square. A good size for Jill to use in her crib and for the next couple years. I did use a layer of white flannel as batting in this one so it will definitely keep my sweet girl warm!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Castle Blocks

When I saw the Super-Size Castle Block tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew the other day I knew I had to make it. A lot of times, I pin quilt ideas and think that I want to make them in the near future, but never has one block stood out to me so much and practically screamed for me to make it. 

Super-size Castle block

I am a huge fan of Amy Gunson who writes at Badskirt. She is very deliberate in her fabric choices and always makes such perfect projects.  She did an excellent job on this tutorial as well. I've sewn Y-seams before but never anything to this extent and I truly enjoyed it. I know lots of people are nervous about tackling projects with Y-seams but really, once it clicks with you they are so simple.

Super-Size Castle Block 1

So far I have only made these two blocks but I intend to make many more! I haven't added the corner triangles to these because I just can't decide what I want to do there yet. Maybe some type of Essex linen or one of those new Mochi Dots?

What are you working on today?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Recent Makes

Hey there! Happy New Year! Only what, about 10 days late? 
With all the snow and freezing temps here lately our Christmas Break was extended by an extra week. I've actually really enjoyed it, but it is definitely time to get back on some kind of schedule. 

Since we've really only left the house twice in the last week I've been able to get my January Bee blocks done...and even mailed! I'm usually pretty good about getting them done quickly, but always seem to wait too long on the mailing part. 

In That Stash Bee, Nicole asked us to make Kaleidoscope blocks in her favorite color scheme of oranges, pinks, and a touch of red. Isn't she going to have an awesome quilt? The tutorial can be found at Quilter's Cache and is an easy paper-pieced pattern. 

January, Bee Purposeful

We had an easy block this month in Bee{Purposeful} making a yellow and grey Not Quite Sawtooth Star using Corey's tutorial. Her mom is actually the quilter this month and has a fun medallion-style quilt in mind.

January is my month in Always Bee Learning. My goal this year is to have Christmas quilts on all the kids' beds by December 1st, so I've asked my ladies to make Spiderweb blocks using this tutorial by Heather of A la Mode. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed making these blocks. Can't say that I enjoyed cutting the strips to send to everyone, but I'll definitely appreciate their help! 

I also agreed to take January in our do.Good Stitches circle. I always have so many ideas but then when it rolls around to my month as quilter none of them seem quite right. Anyway, I chose this beautiful "Color Taste" palette from Design-Seeds as inspiration and asked everyone to make one 21" Square-in-Square block. 

I'm not really even sure what the next step is with these blocks. I've always wanted to make a Bento Box style quilt so I may take that route, or a quartered Log Cabin, or maybe even something like Erica's Stacked Squares. Who knows?!?