Friday, May 12, 2017

Finishing WiP's : Rainbow Tilted Stars Quilt

currently i'm working my way through my current list of WiP's to clean out projects before starting any new projects! this is my list:
  • Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt
  • Christmas Pillows
  • Orphan Rainbow Block mini quilt
  • Curve it Up Sampler
  • Tilted Stars quilt
  • Orphan block sewing machine cover
  • Checkered blocks from my bee
  • Modern HST sampler

feels so good to have the list down to just 1 WiP, and that one is still a WiP since i will be sending this one out for quilting (just too big and simply don't want to quilt it on my domestic).

this quilt was created in my Vintage Quilt Revival Quilt Bee hosted by Stitched Studio (one of my LQS). i chose to have my bee-mates create the tilted star. for each member i gave them the center square, requested the gray background and a rainbow for the star points.



for the layout, i knew i wanted to keep with a modern feel and just use the blocks created. so i sketched out a few ideas on paper and come up with this layout. the slanted top to bottom is a favorite layout of mine, it easily creates movement in the quilt and only using 11 blocks meant i had plenty of negative space to play with some quilting.


in the end i decided to have fun with some straight line quilting. and i love how it turned out. plus after washing and drying, the crinkle is just perfect! now i feel like i can work on my other projects without feeling overwhelmed with WiP's.

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Tilted Star Block from Vintage Quilt Revival, in my own setting
Dimensions: roughly 60 inches square
Quilting: Straight line
Fabric: various fabrics from my bee mates, with Moda Zen Gray as the back ground

Friday, April 21, 2017

Sewing Box Modern Hexies | A Finished Mini Quilt



during the end of last week, i came down with an awful stomach bug, and i didn't sew for 3 whole days. needless to say by Saturday, i needed to do a little stitching.

well earlier in the week i had gotten this mini all prepped and ready for quilting. so all i had to do was sit down at my machine and start quilting. and after feeling like crap and sleeping away most of the day, it was nice to sit behind my machine again.


plus it was nice to finally use these hexies for something. i basted these last summer and have since just sat in a pouch waiting for me to do something. these hexies helped kick start my love of english paper piecing.

i made these hexies using Sewing Box by Gina Martin for Moda Fabrics. i picked up a mini charm pack ages ago so it is nice to finally see them out and on display in my sewing room.


my love of epp has been officially sealed. this is just the perfect project for the summer months when my girls want to live outside. now i just need to prep my next project!

do you enjoy epp and if so what has been your favorite project, i need some ideas of what to do!

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Modern Hexies
Dimensions: 7 inches x 21 inches
Quilting: Straight line
Fabric: Sewing Box by Gina Martin, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen

Friday, April 14, 2017

Quilt the Book | Hopscotch and Ribbons


i finished the third quilt in my Quilt the Book series. i'm using the book Quilts Made with Love by Rachel Griffith, this quilt pattern is called Hopscotch and Ribbons, but since i decided to make it boy fabrics, i'm calling it Mr. Fox Floating Squares. as my goal with Quilt the Book is that all quilts will be donated or gifted, this one is looking for a recipient. but for now i will just build up a stash of ready to donate and gift quilts.

i was able to make this quilt top entirely from my stash! and so i could make from my stash, i change the solid ribbon border to a pieced ribbon border.

i kept the quilting simple, straight lines spaced out about an inch apart. and i just love the crinkle after a wash and dry cycle.


for the back, i pieced the backing to add a little interest. plus this was a great way to use up more of my scraps from the front!

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Hopscotch and Ribbons
Dimensions: 36 inches x 45 inches
Quilting: Straight line
Fabrics: Dapper Foxes, a little Alison Glass, Blueberry Park,  and Carolyn Friedlander

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WiP | Blooming Tulips Quilt


i love when inspiration strikes! a few weeks ago i was browsing Pinterest (like we do) when i found this quilt. a tulip quilt has been on my list for awhile now, especially since I live in Holland, Michigan, home of Tulip Time.

so i started sketching out a design from my inspiration quilt, but I decided to make my flower and stems curved to be more representative of the iconic flower.

i laid my blocks like a field of tulips, for a nice size wall quilt. now to just figure out how the quilting!?

i'm linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and The Inquiring Quilter for Wednesday Wait Loss

Monday, April 10, 2017

2017 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop


for the last several weeks i have been participating in the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, hosted by Yvonne (Quilting Jet Girl), Beth (Cooking Up Quilts), and Leanne (She Can Quilt). while i have been blogging for a little while, this blog hop has been great to hone my blogging skills and meet other quilt bloggers.

i have been crafty most of my life, i even learned to sew when i was younger. but it didn't really stick. after college i was living in Iowa and on a whim i bought a cheap sewing machine and began a back and forth with sewing. fast forward a few years, i got married and pulled that sewing machine out again and this time actually made a quilt top (that sat for at least 3 years before i quilted it). sewing again was pushed to the side as i was finishing my master's program and job hunting. 

well after landing a job, moving, looking for a house. we found out we were expecting. though it was not to be and i miscarried in march 2011. during the next year sewing became my lifeline and helped me with the grieving process.  i started mostly with bags, but quickly moved to quilts. and after my first daughter was born in december 2012, the quilting bug had taken hold.

not long after having my first i developed postpartum anxiety (PPA) a relative to postpartum depression. thanks to my hubby who searched for answers, we were able to discuss my anxiety with my doctor and get me started on medication to help combat the symptoms. there is no shame in getting help for anxiety or depression, between my medication and quilting i have been able to manage my anxiety pretty well.

sewing and quilting really has become my therapy. i can tell when i have not sat down behind my machine or cut fabric, or just done anything creative as i can feel the anxiety trying to creep in. now i can't imagine life without quilting and through quilting i have met some amazing people both in my local area and online!

in such a short amount of time i have made quite a few quilts. many have been gifted to family and friends and it has become one of the highlights of some of the showers to see what i have made this time.  


my Cotton+Steel Modern HST Sampler is my favorite quilt as of right now. i love how all of the colors play and work together. if you are interesting in learning more about this quilt, click here!


i really love making mini quilts, either to decorate my family room or sewing room. i just love their small size and i can play with different patterns that i may not want to make into a full size quilt.


i hope in the future to write more patterns, in addition to the free pattern i've created. i just hope to share my love of quilting with the quilting world at large.

my blog name as evolved over the last two years. first i was Sew Simple Sew Jess, well that name was too long for most social media so i just started using Sew Jess for my handle. so when i started to get a little more serious about blogging i decided to just use Sew Jess and added the handmade to include my other sewing adventures.

My Tips and Tricks for Blogging

one of my biggest tip for a new blogger, try and set a loose schedule, even if it is only once a week. then you have something to work on and having a loose schedule will help you to have posts scheduled so you can proof before posting!

Make sure to visit my other blog hop mates and the hosts for a chance to enter some amazing prizes!

*April 10th*
Jess of Sew Jess Handmade
Rachel of Making a Beautiful Life
Amanda of Quiltologie
Abigail of Cut & Alter
Rose of Something Rose Made

*April 17th*
Jan of Cocoa Quilts
Sarah of 9658 Textiles
Yanicka of Finding Myself as an Artist
Vanda of Quilt in Piece
Abbie of Sparkle On

*May 1*
Sherry of Powered by Quilting
Diane of Cwilt
Liz of Savor Every Stitch
Sandra of Sandra Healy Designs

*May 8*
Sue of Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Jennifer of Dizzy Quilter
Tara of Quiltersstash
Paige of Quilted Blooms

Monday, March 27, 2017

Garden Snail Quilt : Update 3

this quilt is going to be awesome! these are my snail blocks i made during March.





all of my snail shells are made with various Lizzy House prints and the snail bodies are constructed with prints and solids that coordinate nicely. this has been a great stash busting project with the added bonus of using my favorite designers collections that i have been hoarding.

for more information about this snail paced sew along check out Gnome Angel for more details!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Finishing WiP's : Cotton + Steel Modern HST Sampler

currently i'm working my way through my current list of WiP's to clean out projects before starting any new projects! this is my list:
  • Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt
  • Christmas Pillows
  • Orphan Rainbow Block mini quilt
  • Curve it Up Sampler
  • Tilted Stars quilt
  • Orphan block sewing machine cover
  • Checkered blocks from my bee
  • Modern HST sampler


i am in LOVE with this quilt!! last year i participated in the Modern HST Sampler hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts. plus this brings my WiP's down to just 2!!


for this quilt i used my Cotton + Steel stash with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black for the background. the final effect with the bright Cotton + Steel fabrics is perfect, but working with the linen did present some challenges. (the linen liked to stretch) but it was a good challenge to work through.


i did not feel like adding sashing to this quilt, but i did want to make it a little bigger. so i added the scrappy 4-patch border, made with the scraps from the blocks. i think it helps to bring everything together. i decided to keep the quilting fairly simple. just a serpentine stitch that i have on my machine. and after washing the texture is just perfect. just the right amount of crinkle!


for the backing i used a big print from the Black and White collection that i just didn't want to cut up.

i'm so happy that i participated in the QAL, this quilt is defiantly one of my favorites i've made. 

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Modern HST Sampler designed by Blossom Heart Quilts
Dimensions: roughly 56 inches x 80 inches
Quilting: Straight line using a decorative serpentine stitch
Fabrics: Cotton + Steel, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in black


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garden Snail Quilt : Update 2

well i had great intentions of keeping up with my blocks for the Garden Snail Quilt-a-long, but life and well, i just plain forgot a few weeks. so here are the blocks for the rest of January and February.







i have enjoyed working with my Lizzy House stash and pairing it with some of my other favorite prints for the snail body. i've found it very useful to make 2 blocks at a time and i have very little waste from my background prints.

and since i'm caught back up and even ahead a little bit, i will share my March blocks at the end of the month!

if you are interested in joining the Snail Paced Slow-along-Sew-along, check out this post from Gnome Angel.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sewing Room Mini Quilts


so two years ago, i made the "SEW" mini from the Moda Spell it with Fabric patterns, reduced by 50%. my original plan was to create a series for my sewing room of "CUT", "PRESS", and "QUILT". well that didn't happen and the idea has been on the back burner ever since.

so when my modern quilt group organized a UFO to CEO program, i signed up and made my list with the few remaining items from my WIP pile and some projects that i've had the fabric for but just never got around to creating.


after working on some of my other WIP's this was a nice palette cleanser. A simple and straight forward, that came together quickly. since i wanted to word and fabric choices to be the stars, i kept the quilting simple with organic straight lines, my favorite for a fast finish!

i love knocking out WIP's. so far i have been pretty good and not starting any major projects without making progress on my list of WIP's first, only 3 major WIP's to go!

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Spell it with Fabric by Moda, reduced by 50%
Dimensions: vary
Quilting: organic straight lines
Fabric: Plenty of Tula Pink, Alison Glass, and many more.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Geometric Millennium Falcon : A Finished Mini Quilt


the second quilt for our wall of geekdom is finished!

i love decorating my house with mini quilts that i have made or have received from swaps. so in my family room, there is a blank wall behind one of our couches. so i decided it was the perfect spot to display some of our favorite fandoms.

i love using up small scraps! Quiet Play patterns are great for using those small scraps. for my Millennium Falcom i used a wide variety of low volume scraps. for the background kept it simple with a solid black.


for the quilting, i decided on organic straight lines after a failed free motion quilting fail. while i was upset after the fail, i recovered nicely and went back to my tried and true straight lines and i'm glad i did! i love the texture that the organic lines create.


for the back, i found this awesome Millennium Falcon print from JoAnn. time to start working on my next mini for our wall of geekdom!

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Geometric Millennium Falcon by Quiet Play
Dimensions: 12 inches x 12 inches
Quilting: organic straight line
Fabrics: various low volume fabrics, Kona Black, Gray Moda Grunge.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Finishing up WiP's : Curve it Up Sampler

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currently i'm working my way through my current list of WiP's to clean out projects before starting any new projects! this is my list:
  • Hello Darling Easy Bake Quilt
  • Christmas Pillows
  • Orphan Rainbow Block mini quilt
  • Curve it Up Sampler
  • Tilted Stars quilt
  • Orphan block sewing machine cover
  • Checkered blocks from my bee
  • Modern HST sampler

according to Instagram, i finished my Curve it Up Sampler on June 11! well at least it didn't take me a year to finally finish it, close by not quite.


this was a Block of the Month (BOM) through my local quilt shop and it was just the push i needed to conquer my fear of curves. needless to say, i've conquered them and then some. i actually love curves now.



this quilt was my first that is entirely made of solids. normally i am a prints kinda gal, but lately solids have been growing on me. with that i don't believe i will be making another solids quilt for a little while. but i am not going to rule out another solids quilt, it will just have to be the right quilt.


normally when i get to the quilting, i'm usually rushed. but this time i could take as much time as i needed. so i marked out my lines and when to work. i am not much for free motion quilting, but i'm in love with forward motion quilting (quilting with my walking foot)! so i decided to use this quilt to really stretch my straight line quilting. plus with the help of WALK : Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering, (review to come) i think i am becoming more comfortable with quilting that is not edge-to-edge!



i just love the way this quilt turned out. and with the quilting i love the texture of this quilt. 

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Curve it Up Sampler from Sew Kind of Wonderful
Dimensions: 48.5 inches x 64.5 inches
Quilting: Straight line
Fabrics: Moda Bella Solids


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

No Scrap Left Behind : A Finished Mini Quilt


hi, my name is Jess and i LOVE Lizzy House and her fabrics! so every little scrap is precious and i must use as much as possible. so hence this No Scrap Left Behind Mini.

i have been cutting up my scraps for a scrappy Lizzy House Quilt and some cushions. and these were left. so i decided they needed to become a little rainbow mini quilt. plus i love my binding, i used the teeny tiny scraps and it just might be my favorite part.

as for the quilting, i love straight line quilting. so lately i have been playing around with various straight line quilting designs.

i just love this little mini and it is just the perfect addition to my mini quilt gallery in my sewing room.

Quilt Stats
Pattern: designed by me
Dimensions: 11 inches x 7 inches
Quilting: Straight line
Fabrics: Lizzy House Mini Pearl Bracelets and Moda Bella Solids in Zen Grey

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WiP : Cotton + Steel Modern HST Sampler



i am SO excited to have this quilt top done! last year i participated in the Modern HST Sampler hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts. 

i used my Cotton+Steel stash with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen for the background. i love the final effect but working with the linen was a little difficult. but it was a nice challenge.

i added a scrappy 4-patch border to finish off the top and i love how it has turned out. right now i'm working on the backing and i can't wait to get this one quilted up.

this was such a fun project to work on throughout last year. i enjoyed just making one block at a time, i was able to enjoy the process and take it slow. which is something that i don't always do, so this was a nice change of pace.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Garden Snail Quilt

i decided to join the Garden Snail Quilt Snail Paced Slow-Along Sew-Along hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel. this sew-along goes until November 5, 2017. we are making one and posting one snail block every Sunday on Instagram.

i have decided to also share my blocks here, and i think i will be posting them once a month.

for my fabrics, i am going to be using my collection of Lizzy House prints for the snail shells and the Lizzy House Whisper Palette prints for the background.



i am loving my first two blocks. and i'm enjoying the process, most of the time i try to just get through piecing in a quick fashion. so this snail paced sew-a-long is perfect for enjoying the process of making! can't wait to share more snails over the coming year!

happy sewing!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, January 13, 2017

Geometric Death Star : A Finished Mini Quilt


my first finish of 2017!

so after i made my Geometric Death Star Pillow Cover as a Christmas gift, i knew i was going to want my very own mini quilt. well with the holidays i didn't finish my until now. and this is the perfect start for my t.v and film mini quilt gallery in our family room.

i really do love how fast this block comes together. i had this top put together in just a few hours, while the girls were in quiet/nap time.


plus this is just perfect to use up scraps. this block was a nice change of pace after piecing 44 Checkered block for my new bed quilt.


for the quilting i decided to have a little fun with straight line quilting. i mixed 30, 45, and 90 degree lines and love the look.

now it's time to start on my Millennium Falcon mini quilt and decide on what to make for my gallery wall.

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Geometric Death Star by Quiet Play
Dimensions: roughly 16 inches square
Quilting: Straight line quilting
Fabrics: gray & black scraps, with a low volume background.