Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Plans for 2017


as 2016 comes to a close (thank goodness!) i've been reflecting on this year and what i've done. i started teaching at one of my local quilt shops, designed my own paper pieced pattern, finished countless quilty projects, and started making my own clothes. now it is time to start thinking about what i want to accomplish in 2017!

one of my big goals for 2017 is finishing off my WiP list that i have been working on the last month or so.
  • Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt
  • Christmas Pillows
  • Orphan Rainbow Block mini quilt
  • Curve it Up Sample
  • Tilted Stars quilt
  • Orphan block sewing machine cover
  • Checkered blocks from my bee
  • Modern HST sampler
the Curve it Up Sampler and Tilted Stars are both quilt tops and ready for quilting. i'm still working on my Checkered blocks and i need to finish the last two blocks from the Modern HST sampler once i order more background fabric. i am trying to finish up these projects before i move onto a new shiny project. i'm so glad to have my Quilter's Planner to help keep me on track with my projects!

new quilts/craft projects i want to work on in 2017
  • Epic Lizzy House Quilt
  • Cotton+Steel Christmas Quilt
  • Modern Maples Quilt
  • Cut, Sew, Press, Quilt mini quilts for my sewing studio
  • Gilmore Girls cross stitch
  • Star Wars cross stitch
  • Handmade spring/summer wardrobe
personal goals for 2017
    • read 52 books
    • commit to running 2 times a week and yoga 3 times a week
    • blog at least 4 times a month
    • HAVE FUN!
    and as always i'm sure there will be new projects and new dreams to follow, but this will be a nice starting point for 2017. 

    Linking up with Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl for the #2017planningparty


    Thursday, December 15, 2016

    Buffalo Plaid Quilt : A Finished Quilt


    my last big Christmas gift is done! this year i wanted to make my BIL and SIL quilts, as i've made quilts for the kiddos, i figured it was their turn for a quilt. well i needed one more masculine quilt and i've always wanted to make a buffalo plaid quilt so this was perfect!

    at first i was not looking forward to making this one, with all of the cutting and putting the small squares together. but after some thinking i decided i would strip piece and streamline the process. i was able to piece the top together in one day as opposed to multiple days if i would have cut individual squares.

    i love this quilt, of course i now want to make one for myself, but that will be for another time.

    Quilt Stats
    Pattern: designed by me, inspired by buffalo plaid scarves and quilts
    Dimensions: 61.5 inches x 74.5 inches
    Quilting: Straight line echo
    Fabric: Moda Bella solids, Black, Gray, Bleached White, and Marigold for the binding

    Happy Sewing!

    Love the Blues Pillow Cover: A Finished Quilt


    every year since i got back into sewing, i say i'm just going to sew up a few gifts. then as time goes, i end up making handmade gifts for everyone. this year is no different. so far this year i've made 4 quilts, a pillow cover, and i'm making a ninja throwing stars game for my nieces and nephews. so i thought i was done, but then decided i would make another pillow cover for a quick gift for another family member.

    i was looking through my quilting books, looking for inspiration. when i came upon this pillow cover in Fresh Family Traditions by Sherri McConnell. i thought it would be perfect and i would be able to pull all the fabric from my stash.


    i had pulled this fabric for a small quilt, which i still have enough to make said quilt. i love how the blue and greens mix with the Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim. i love the foxes, so glad i had enough for this pillow.


    for my pillow covers i love a zipper enclosure. whenever i make an envelope closure it never seems to stay closed, that's why i love zipper closures.

    now hopefully i'm done with my Christmas sewing, but probably not i may end up finishing one or two more quilts. i guess we'll see how my weekend goes.

    Quilt Stats
    Pattern: Sugar Pine Pillow by Sherri McConnell
    Dimensions : 16 inches square
    Quilting: Straight line echo
    Fabric: Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim, Blueberry Park, Fox and the Houndstooth, Carolyn Friendlander, Amy Butler, and Basic Gray.

    Happy Sewing!

    Saturday, December 10, 2016

    Geometric Death Star Pillow Cover : A Finished Quilt

    for awhile now, i have had grand plans to sew up Quiet Play's various paper pieced patterns. well i have quilters ADD and leap from one project to another. thus my pile of WiP's that i'm trying to finish (though i know i probably won't have them fully complete by 2017). so i just never got around to actually sewing up one of her patterns. that has finally changed.


    i decided to add one last minute Christmas gift to my list. and since the recipient is a big Star Wars fan, particularly Darth Vader i decided a Geometric Death Star pillow was in order for him.

    i love how fast this come together. i was able to sew this during one of the girl's nap times. and a project that i can start and finish during nap time is a win win in my book. i saved the quilting for the next day!


    i wanted to keep the quilting minimal, but also reinforce the paper piecing. so i went with a diagonal grid, with a bit of hand stitching to define the superlaser focus lens. i really hope he enjoys it and now i of course need to make one for myself!


    of course while i was trying to take pictures, Nora decided that she needed to pose with Nemo and the Death Star pillow. i have a sneaking suspicion that if this pillow cover wasn't a Christmas gift, this one would be trying to claim it as her own, since she is becoming quite the Star Wars fan herself.

    Quit Stats
    Pattern: Geometric Death Star by Quiet Play
    Dimensions: roughly 15.5 inches square
    Quilting: diagonal grid, with detail hand stitching
    Fabrics: various black and gray scraps (Uppercase & Cotton+Steel to name a few), with a low volume background

    Happy Sewing!

    Monday, December 5, 2016

    Quilting To-Do List

    so this week is about finishing up some of those WiP's that have been hanging around and finishing up a Christmas gift.

    first off, i have been working on a gingham/buffalo plaid quilt. oh my word do i love this quilt. i am seriously contemplating making a queen size for my bed, like i need another quilt project.


    and thanks to strip piecing, i had all of the blocks pieced this morning and have begun sewing them into rows. by tomorrow i should have a finished quilt top. i am really hoping to have this finished by the end of the week, so i can work on my last Christmas gift next week.

    i finished putting together my Tilted Stars quilt from my WiP list. now i'm trying to find enough fabric in my stash to piece a back together. since i would love to have this and my sampler done before the end of the year (or darn close)


    i love how all of the blocks from my bee mates work together. i have a few ideas of quilting, but i'm still thinking. i have plenty of negative space to play around with!

    time to get sewing!

    Sunday, December 4, 2016

    Silent Sunday : Week in Review








    a good week for the most part. the first snow, decorating for Christmas, an early Christmas present, and plenty of sewing. ready for a fresh week and hopefully getting into the Christmas spirit a little more.

    Saturday, December 3, 2016

    Finishing WiP's : Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt

    currently i'm working my way through my current list of WiP's in an effort to have a clean start for 2017! this is my list:
    • Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt
    • Christmas Pillows
    • Orphan Rainbow Block mini quilt
    • Curve it Up Sample
    • Tilted Stars quilt
    • Orphan block sewing machine cover
    • Checkered blocks from my bee
    • Modern HST sampler


    and another WiP is DONE! all i have left now are two quilt tops that are pieced together, just not quilted and some blocks from bee and the Modern HST sampler. i am really hoping to finish off my two quilt tops and have just the blocks left by the end of 2016.

    i love how the little quilt turned out. i had a Hello Darling Layer Cake that i had no idea what to make, so i decided to finally make and Easy Bake Quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew. i love the process of putting a quilt top together, but sometimes it is just nice to be able to make a quilt top in an afternoon.

    so while i finished this top in an afternoon, it sat for about month or two before i finally got around to basting and quilting. for the quilting i did my stand by of serpentine stitch with an accent of offset serpentine stitch. I love the look and feel of this quilt.


    Quilt Stats
    Pattern: Easy Bake by Cluck Cluck Sew
    Dimensions: 55 x 64 inches
    Quilting: Serpentine Stitch
    Fabric: Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille

    Happy Sewing!

    Friday, December 2, 2016

    Hello December, a Day Late

    can i just say, how is it December already?! this year in generally has been going fast, but the last few months have been flying by. but i'm okay with 2016 coming to an end soon.

    so even though this month in particular is busy, i'm going to make an effort to blog here everyday. same with my exercise, if i put my mind to it, i can accomplish anything. so why not blogging more often. not all posts will be quilting or evening sewing related, but just writing will help keep me grounded during this time of the year.


    Thursday, December 1, 2016

    Finishing WiP's : Christmas Pillows

    currently i'm working my way through my current list of WiP's in an effort to have a clean start for 2017! this is my list:
    • Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt
    • Christmas Pillows
    • Orphan Rainbow Block mini quilt
    • Curve it Up Sample
    • Tilted Stars quilt
    • Orphan block sewing machine cover
    • Checkered blocks from my bee
    • Modern HST sampler
    i finished a set of Christmas pillow covers just in time for me to use them this year! that NEVER happens!

    this particular fabric has been in my stash for quite awhile, so when i was playing with my Mini Quick Curve Ruler. i decided to make up a few blocks and sew up a cushion cover.



    i love how this cushion turned out. plus with the benefit of using some long stashed fabric! and now my chair in the great room is a little more festive for the holiday!


    i made this cushion cover from the leftover squares from the Christmas Star Cushion cover. and Nora claimed it straight away.

    now I have another project off of my WiP list!! time to finish up my last few projects and I just might start 2017 with a fairly clean slate, project wise.

    Friday, November 11, 2016

    Finishing WiP's : Sewing Machine Cover & Rainbow Mini Quilt

    the other day, i made up a list of all my current WiP's. and it has gotten out of control for me. currently i have 8 quilts/projects that are in various stages of completeness.
    • Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt
    • Christmas Pillows
    • Orphan Rainbow Block mini quilt
    • Curve it Up Sample
    • Tilted Stars quilt
    • Orphan block sewing machine cover
    • Checkered blocks from my bee
    • Modern HST sampler
    so it was time to start working through it.

    first up i took the orphan blocks from the Moda Sampler Shuffler and turned them into a much needed sewing machine cover.


    i thought about making it a little bigger, this cover finishes at 20 x 20 inches, but i was trying to just use what i had on hand and the border fabric was perfect. i just didn't have a ton of it left. still does the job of protecting my machine from dust. and it keeps little fingers from trying to touch my machine when not in use. now if only i had a way to keep little fingers from pushing buttons on my machine when i'm sewing on it.

    next i found a rainbow block that i decided to turn into a mini mini quilt.


    this block started as a scrap project, that i have since changed the direction i'm going in. so it made the perfect little mini mini quilt for my sewing room.

    so these two projects brings me down to six WiP's, well five as i'm done with my Christmas pillows i just haven't blogged about them yet.

    Happy Sewing!

    Linking up with Amanda from Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

    Thursday, November 10, 2016

    Geometric Captain America Shield : Free Pattern


    so a couple of months ago, i signed up for the MARVELous Craft Swap through Instagram hosted by @justjoshinkids. what i love about swaps is the chance to try something new.

    for this swap i wanted to try and design a paper pieced pattern based on Captain America's Shield. and taking my inspiration from @quietplay i made the pattern geometric, so i could make the shield more scrappy in nature.

    i used the free quilt design program called QuiltAssistant to design my pattern. after figuring out what the heck i was doing, i finally landed on a pattern that worked. with a few minor tweaks here and there, i am happy how it turned out.

    the pattern finishes at 13 inches square, but i slightly oversized it, so i could trim the edges down to 12.5 inches, to finish at 12 inches.



    I loved designing this pattern and have a few more in the works that I hope to release as well. You can find this pattern on Craftsy. This pattern is for personal, not for profit use only. If you do make a block, tag it with #geometriccaptainamerica so I can find your creations!

    Quilt Stats:
    Pattern: Geometric Captain America, designed by me (find the pattern here)
    Dimensions: 12 inches square
    Quilting: Straight line
    Fabric: various designers

    Happy Sewing!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    My Handmade Wardrobe : Relaxed Raglan

    after reading Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline, i wanted a mostly handmade wardrobe. first off i can't stand most ready to wear (RTW) clothing, it is so cheaply made, and never seems to fit my post two kids body very well.

    after preparing myself, mostly mentally that i could sew my own clothes. i started giving it a serious go this year. i began with woven garments, since as a quilter i am most comfortable working with them. well woven garments are nice, but nothing compares to the versatility of knits. after a different attempts that were okay. i discovered Patterns for Pirates and my knit sewing game has certainly stepped up.


    as a mom with little kiddos, having clothing that lets me be comfortable is key! i never know how the day is going to shape up. so while i love sewing up woven garments, right now those are perfect for church or the occasional date night with the hubby. but my knit garments are perfect for day to day wear and i can dress them up too.

    i picked up the Relaxed Raglan to give knit sewing a try again. i LOVE this pattern. Judy does a fabulous job of walking you through cutting and sewing up your raglan. and since it is raglan sleeves this is an ideal pattern for beginner seamstress. i have since sewed up 2 and have one more ready to go! and my oldest daughter is asking for a few shirts for herself.

    the pattern comes with lots of ways to customize your shirt: long, elbow, or short sleeves; shirt or tunic length, curved hem or banded hem; and with the add on pack you can make yourself a hoodie or other cozy shirt.

    time to sew up a few more shirts, now to just work up the courage to try pants!

    Happy Sewing!

    *some links are affiliate links, I'll receive a small percentage of your purchase. I only have affiliate links to websites that I really love and enjoy.

    Sunday, October 16, 2016

    Simply Love : A Finished Quilt



    coffee and quilts go hand in hand. my hubby and i are big coffee drinkers. all of the baristas at our local Biggby know us and our girls pretty well. during the week, the girls and i spend a bit of time in the morning hanging out at BB (as Nora tends to call it). well the manager of our store is getting married this coming weekend. and since my girls love her and she loves on my girls, i decided to search through my stash and make her a quilt.

    i had a couple Simply Colorful II charm packs that i knew would be perfect for her since she loves blue and purple. so i had my charm packs, now what to make as I was trying to keep to what i had in my stash. as i'm trying to keep to a pretty light fabric budget as of late. finally after searching for a few days i landed on a disappearing nine patch after watching the video tutorial from Missouri Star.

    i love a quilt pattern that takes time, but i'll tell you what, when i can make a quilt top in just one afternoon of the girls napping and playing that makes for one happy mama! after i pieced my blocks together i knew i was going to have to purchase some fabric for borders. but i'm happy to say that is the only fabric i needed to purchase for this quilt. besides the borders, everything came from my stash!

    i kept the quilting simple, with a serpentine stitch and one accent set of stitching. i am finding that i enjoy the piecing and i like simple quilting. at this point i just don't have the time to do some of the detailed quilting that i admire, maybe one day.

    here are a few outtakes from shooting this quilt. Nora loves to try and get into all of the photos. as you can see from the first pictures she had to help daddy hold the quilt.


    Enna had to join the fun as well. the gloomy day made for difficult pictures, but i wanted to get the pictures takes, since we are giving her the quilt when we visit Biggby on Monday.


    silly kiddo!

    Quilt Stats
    Pattern: Disappearing Nine Patch
    Dimensions: roughly 56 inches x 56 inches
    Quilting: Serpentine stitch
    Fabric:  Simply Colorful ll by Vanessa Chistenson of V & Co. for Moda, inner border Moda Essential Dots

    Happy Sewing!

    Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Friday!

    Sunday, September 18, 2016

    Silent Sunday : Staycation Edition





    a nice week with the hubby at home. plenty of fun with the girls. making progress with house projects. now to enjoy our last day of our staycation.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    WiP Wednesday : Disappearing Nine Patch and some Curves


    so my girls favorite barista at our local Biggby is getting married in about a month. so being a quilter, i went digging through my stash and found two Simply Colorful II charm packs that were just the perfect colors. i settled on a disappearing nine patch and with a couple of borders this turned out to be a pretty nice quilt top. i just finished piecing the back together, now to just pick up some batting and it's quilting time!


    i can't wait to surprise her with a quilt! now i just have to convince Nora not to tell her the next time we see her at the coffee shop.


    in addition to my nine patch quilt, i played around with my mini QCR. since Christmas will be here before too long, i found some Christmas fabric in my stash and figured it was time to use it!

    first up a cute curved star block that will be turned into a cushion cover.


    next with my leftover squares, i made up a small cushion, that i just know the girls are going to be fighting over. i love that i'm starting to accumulate a nice collection of handmade Christmas decorations for my home. maybe one of this years, i'll finally make a tree skirt or some stockings.

    now if only the weather would cool off, i'm ready for fall!

    happy sewing!

    linking up with Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social

    Monday, September 12, 2016

    How I Find Time to Sew with Kids at Home

    my current scrap project from leftover charm squares

    whenever i tell someone that i quilt, the next thing that comes is how do i find the time with two young kiddos at home.

    to be honest, this is still a work in progress, since every single day is different. one important thing that i have learned is to just roll with the punches and working in those precious minutes that my kiddos are happy playing.

    for me, it is all about working in short bursts! without it i wouldn't be able to get any sewing, or lets face it cleaning done if i didn't do my work in short bursts.

    i have found that 15 to 20 minutes is a good amount of time for my kiddos. i have the mentality with my kiddos that i am not here to entertain you 24/7, so now is as good a time to learn to how to occupy your time. right now my girls are pretty good for about 20 minutes of playing either by themselves or together. it just depends on the day. These 15 to 20 minutes are good for me and for my kiddos. they allow me to step away for a little bit of time, which is good on stressful days, but it is also necessary to help manage my anxiety. i can always tell and my hubby can tell days when i haven't had much time in my sewing studio. my anxiety gets the best of me and i will sneak away once my hubby is home from work so i can get my anxiety back under control. plus my kiddos learn that it's okay if mom is not right next to them all the time.

    so working in 20 minute bursts i try to have a few projects that i'm working on, so i can always have something to do during my creative time. i try to have my projects in various stages since some days i can have happy kiddos and i can chain piece until my heart contends. then other days i'll work on a fabric pull for a project since i know it is going to be a day that i'm going to have to keep stopping and starting. if i don't have any projects i usually go back to working on scrap management, for example right now i'm working on a scrap quilt from leftover charm squares.

    an ideal day i have 20 minutes in the morning, nap time (anywhere from and 1.5 to 3 hours), another 20 minutes in the afternoon, and maybe another hour after the girls are in bed. unless i am working on a project with a deadline, i try not to sew after my hubby gets home as that is family time.

    i use this idea for cleaning as well. it is amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time. plus those little times of getting things done, especially sewing helps me to be a better mom. 

    of course some days my 20 minutes are 5 minutes here 5 minutes there, but i've found that the more i practice letting my girls learn to occupy their time, they are getting better at it. though they do know my weakness, if they come to me with a book i will stop whatever i'm doing and read to them; regardless if i'm sewing, cleaning, or cooking (if i know i'm not going to burn it). And of course as they get older, i will be able to spend more time sewing, but for now those 20 minutes really help me while i'm in the trenches of motherhood.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016

    Morning Light : A Finished Mini Quilt



    it feels so great to have another project done from my 3rd quarter finish-a-long list!!

    i started this project during a retreat. i had it all cut out and started piecing. But like most quilters i have Project ADD and started another quilt before i finished this one. well at the beginning of the summer i finally finished the piecing and again it sat. finally last week i decided it was time to tackle the quilting.


    i had just finished my Two at a Time quilt so my machine was primed for quilting and went for it. i tried to match the thread as best to the solids as possible. the quilting to simple, a straight line echo around the half hexagons and filled in the yellow. i used Dream Wool batting and with the echo quilting it really made the un-quilted areas pop.


    you can really see the quilting from the back. which i love almost as much as the front. this was a great little project to finish up and it is just so nice to have another project done!


    now maybe when i can find some time, i can create this mini again, but this time in cool or evening colors.

    Quilt Stats:
    Pattern: Mini Northern Lights by Jaybird Quilts
    Dimensions: 13 inches x 16 inches
    Quilting: Straight line echo
    Fabric: Moda Bella Solids, binding; Grunge Basic by Basic Grey for Moda

    Happy Sewing!

    Linking up with Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Amanda from Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    Two at a Time : A Finished Quilt



    earlier this summer i was asked if i would like to lead one of the block of the month programs when they started back up in the fall. of course i said that i would love too!

    so i started looking right away at what pattern would be a good BOM. well needless to say I kept coming back to AnneMarie Chany's book Sister Sampler Quilts. i particularly loved the Vice Versa quilt. i love taking traditional blocks and setting them in a modern way. plus i have really enjoyed half-square triangles from the modern half-square sampler from Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts.

    i chose to follow AnneMarie and make my sample quilt up in solids. i have only recently started to enjoy working with solids and well this quilt really raised my love of solids. i used all Moda Bella solids and chose bright saturated colors with the addition of the dark gray. the lighter gray for the background and sashing allow the blocks to really shine.


    for the quilting, i decided on straight (straight-ish) lines. in the center my quilting lines are unevenly spaced, then in the sections I broke up with the quadrants I evenly spaced my quilting lines either by an inch or inch and a half. plus with the straight line quilting, the blocks really become the stars as then should be in a sampler quilt.

    i loved working on this project. it was nice to have a deadline to get a sample made up. i really had to push myself a bit to keep on schedule. thank goodness for an understanding hubby who kept the girls occupied if i need to work on this quilt. honestly i couldn't do most of my quilting without him helping out in the evenings. he really is the best hubby and father!


    now i can drop my quilt off at my LQS and i can't wait to see it hanging in the shop!

    Quilt Stats:
    Pattern: Vice Versa from Sister Sampler Quilts by AnneMarie Chany
    Dimensions: 73 inches square roughly
    Quilting: Straight line
    Fabric: Moda Bella Solids

    Happy Sewing!

    Linking up with Amanda from Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday

    Monday, August 15, 2016

    Doctor Who Tiles Quilt : A Finished Quilt

    Another quilt is off of my third quarter finish-a-long! I sewed up the quilt top during a retreat in May and it has sat in my wip pile since. I finally found some backing fabric and set to work.

    Most of the Doctor Who fabric was leftover from my first Doctor Who quilt that I made for my husband last Christmas. So this was great quilt to use up some small scraps and will a few blenders added in, this makes a great guy quilt.

    I used Jeni Baker's Honeydew quilt pattern and I love how fast it come together. After a day of sewing at an all day retreat I had a finished top! Plus this is a great pattern for using up scrap squares with some yardage a perfect combination in my book!


    For the quilting, I did vertical straight lines down the middle of the columns and then straight lines across the rows. I used Aurifil #2610 for the quilting and I love how it just blends in with the Kona gray and the Doctor Who fabric.

    Quilt Stats:
    Pattern: Honeydew by Jeni Baker
    Dimensions: 64 x 74 inches
    Quilting: Straight line
    Fabric: Doctor Who, few blenders, and Kona gray

    Happy Sewing!

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

    Sunday, August 14, 2016

    When I'm not Quilting : A Picture Post








    This summer has been a blast! We have spent plenty of time at the beach, playing in the water and sand. Looking forward to the rest of the summer and plenty of adventures this fall.