Thursday, February 26, 2015

her first quilt

My five year old has been asking for a sewing machine for a while now, and this past Christmas we finally made it happen. 

(For the record, I think she is a little young for it.  I can't plug her into the machine and let her sew, while I do my own thing.  I pretty much sit with her and walk her through almost every seam she sews.  It's tedious, and definitely takes a lot of patience, but I think it is a good thing.  I probably need to spend more time with my kids individually, so this is a start.)
But, we finished her first quilt and she is so proud of herself.  She told me that I no longer need to make quilts for her, she can make them herself.  
She really only made the quilt top, but she feels like she did the whole thing herself.  I let her pick whatever fabric she wanted...(this is such a hard thing to do.  I soooooo badly want to give suggestions, but I try to keep my opinions to myself).  Of course kids pick the cute fabrics, and what appeals to them at that very moment (not what necessarily matches), and we end up with a quilt salad--a little bit of everything.  And it ends up looking great!  
We (I) cut the squares out at 15inches (the biggest square ruler I have), so we could make a quilt that was big enough but not completely overwhelming for her.  She sewed the whole top together in one sitting!  It was perfect for her.  I think if she had to walk away from it, she might've become discouraged or lost interest.
 She picked the backing too.  Purple and red.  Red=her favorite color and purple=her brothers favorite color.  I was so happy to use up that purple fabric.  I bought it to line a halloween witch cape for my daughter, but she wanted nothing to do with a cape after I had already purchased the fabric, of course.  I don't know if I'd have ever used it otherwise.  It's really bright.
 For the binding, she wanted scrappy.  (I don't know when I first started sewing the remains of my bindings together to make scrappy binding, but it's such a great way to make scrappy binding, and it's perpetually...virtually never ends.)  I think it adds to the quilt salad perfectly.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

economy block quilt

I finished up my economy block quilt earlier this week, and it's been keeping us warm.  The weather turned COLD again this week.

I started making the blocks a year ago, and didn't want to stop (tutorial here).  They are a great scrap buster and pretty much anything goes.  I love that you can highlight those cute prints that we tend to collect.  My quilt ended up being rather large.  Each block is 5 inches square, and my quilt is 14 blocks x 16 blocks.  The quilt finishes at about 70in x 80in.
The backing was a happy surprise, it started out with various blue pieces from my stash (still trying to use my stash up), but I didn't like it.  The blues clashed and it just didn't feel light enough for this quilt top.  I almost went ahead with it anyway, but decided I didn't want to hate this quilt, I really wanted to like it because it has so many fun fabrics on it.  So, I scrapped the blues and went with Sarah Jane (can't go wrong there) and Orange.  I love the backing now and it makes me love the quilt even more.  
Using a border print on the back is a little tricky, especially when you use it on top and bottom.  You can see, I barely made it work...the selvage is pretty much showing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Heart Quilt

It's the perfect week to post this quilt.  After I made my heart pillow, using this tutorial, I was contacted to make a baby size quilt.  Of course I said yes, these hearts are really fun to make.  And I still love the black and white.  We made the hearts 8 inches finished.
 We used this polka dot (by Lotta Jansdotter) for the backing and black and white stripes for the binding.  

to add some interest my customer wanted one polka dot heart on the front.  I love it.  
 (that black fabric is tricky.  It's hard to keep all the threads and tiny scraps off of it.).
Happy Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Twilight and Out to Sea Quilts

I feel like I can make this zigzag quilt in my sleep.  I have made a lot of them!  (pattern here) But I still like it.  It's a really easy, straight forward pattern that lets me sew and watch a movie without thinking.  Also a great way to showcase a particular fabric collection.
Both of these quilts were custom orders for my customers two little girls.  
They both turned out really cute, but I particularly love this wee wander one with the dark blue and mint and aqua.  We used the prints from the twilight color way.

 I love these stripes from Sarah Jane's Out to Sea line for binding.   They just perfect, and the colors have worked for so many quilts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I have needed new throw pillows for years and years, and just finally got around to making them.  I guess I kept thinking I'd just buy some, but never did.  I suppose it's because I knew I could make something I'd really like.  
So, the past month I've made 4 pillows, and I need one more to completely get rid of the boring pillows that came with my couch (they match my brown couches).  

I kept them pretty simple, both design and color.  I love the black and white trend right now, and almost made all of them black and white, but decided to change them up a little with grey and pink.  I used Alison's heart block pattern for the heart pillow.  I love how it turned out.  The hearts are 4.5 inches and I added a 1 inch sashing between the hearts.  
One downside of black and white is that your quilting will often show, either on the black or the white--depending on the color thread you use.  For my hear pillow I quilted the sashing.  I like how it turned out.

All the pillows are 20 inches, except the cross pillow and I think it is 18 inches.  The cover is a little baggy, so I need to fix that.  I like my pillows plump and fat, so I usually make my cover the exact size of the pillow.  My heart pillow was 20 inches before I sewed on the closure (envelope), so with seam allowance it's probably closer to 19+ inches.  I don't know the best place to buy pillow forms, I have looked at IKEA, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby and have been unhappy with them, I feel like they are too flimsy and will be pancakes after a month of my family using them (that includes jumping on them), so I buy throw pillows at Costco.  They usually come in a 2 pack and cost $12-$15 for the pair.  I think it's a decent price, but honestly I haven't shopped around much.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bonne Maman Quilt

I'm just getting around to showing some of my Christmas projects.  This was a Christmas quilt I made for my brothers family for Christmas.  I grew up in a big family, so we have always rotated who we give gifts to.  I'm starting to feel a little unoriginal giving quilts.  I guess as long as I'm not disappointing anyone, I'm okay with unoriginal.  
I cannot remember where I first saw this pattern, but I loved it.   It's called Bonne Maman, which means grandma in French--(I just learned that).  It was inspired by the crocheted granny squares.  
I was going for a Christmas quilt, but I wasn't sure if it was totally clear, so I used this cute tree print to  make sure there was no confusion.

I quilted with loopy cursive e's or l's.  I do like quilting this pattern, it's pretty easy and flows so well.  Plus, you end up with a pretty soft and crinkly quilt once it's washed.

Candy cane stripe binding also makes it more Christmas-y.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


The holidays are long gone, but I still wanted to share some of the potholders I made to give away to friends and neighbors and teachers this year.  I told myself I wasn't going to make things to give away this year--I'm not sure why I thought that was a good plan, I'd rather spend time at my sewing machine than cooking and shopping.(Most of the time anyway).  
I used a couple blocks from Lori Holts book, Quilty Fun (such a great book), and then did a plus pattern.  I can't pick a favorite.
I'm not sure how many I ended up making, but there were several times I swore this batch (I make them in batches of 4-5) would be the last, and then I needed just one I'd make another batch.
 finished size is about 8.5x10.5
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