Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mid-Century Modern Quilt

Back in 2012, when I was a relatively new quilter, I created a quilt for my cousin who was having a tough time.  After I finished the quilt, I put all the remaining fabric together in a bag, thinking there was probably enough to make a second quilt.

I finally pulled that bag out last month and made that 2nd quilt.  There was just enough fabric left ...

I've grown a lot as a quilter since I pulled together the first version.  And although the new version really doesn't look that much different, I know the process this time was more thoughtful and the quilting more deliberate.

This version has struck me as more mid-century modern ... taking me back to the cover the Highlights magazine we used to read when I was in elementary school. 

I ended up doing 1" straight-line quilting at a slight angle, which I was quite happy with.  I would have liked to have gone a little denser, but have been using a bent paper clip taped to my walking foot as a guide and didn't feel it was sturdy enough to stand up to tighter quilting. 

Note:  I have just purchased a guide to go with my Juki walking foot ... so hopefully this won't be an issue going forward.  I will let you know.

The prints were Lotta Jansdotter.  When I thought I didn't have enough, I looked on line and found a single yard for $80 ... yup, there are people out there ready to gouge you ... because they can.  In the end, I went with one less column, my OCD really wanted another one to make it balanced ... but I am good.

I'm glad I got this one finished ... I have some ideas on new color ways that I believe will bring out the mid-century vibe and am looking forward to giving that a shot.

At 68"x50" it's a generously sized lap quilt. 

Hope you all have a great weekend.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Patchwork effort

I call it an "effort" ... as I don't actually view it as a success. 

The objective was to echo the quilting in the squares in the white borders ... it might have worked had I used a dark border with a lighter thread ... but it didn't work with the white.  And it's basically a rather blah quilt. 

I should have tried it on a mini quilt first ...

That's how we learn ... right?

Now I am trying to figure out if I put it in the shop on SALE to move it ... or give it to GOODWILL and someone will be able to get hand-crafted for cheap ...

Which would you do?


Sunday, September 16, 2018

A few pillows for me ...

Yikes!  It has actually been 7 months since I lasted posted ... trust me, it has not been for a lack of creativity going on in the studio! 

Yesterday was dedicated to making a couple of things for my home (which often seems a bit of a rarity). 

Lumbar pillows ... I know ... not a super exciting topic, but these guys are cute and REALLY helpful for me to have around with a lower back issue that lingers too long (that's a different story for a different day).

Living in the middle of nowhere ... I am pretty much required to do most of my shopping online, which sometimes means that when the fabric arrives, I am in for a surprise!  These two fabrics arrived about a month ago ... I actually thought the oranges would coordinate a bit better ... but in their individual applications, there are just fine.

The first set are for my living room chairs.  These chairs came with small lumbar pillows, which were good for sitting, but they didn't add much to the decor and they were a tad small. 

I definitely think the new pillows add a bit of pizazz ... I also splurged on some new down pillow forms from Garnet Hill.  While I prefer to buy on sale, I didn't think that $12 was actually that bad for down, given the poly inserts were $14 at JoAnns.  But I will wait for a sale to purchase any additional ones.  (Last year I did get a really good price on some 18x18 pillow forms at Garnet Hill, which I used to make a few Christmas presents).

Never a fan of envelope pillow covers and loath to do zippers on a pillow, I found a zipper tutorial on SewMamaSew that makes it SOOOO easy to add a zipper!  On this set, I covered the zipper in a contrasting fabric.

Overall, I am pleased with the splash of color they add to the room (so hard to photograph this room when it is bright outside) and the down inserts make it super easy to get comfy when sitting in these chairs. 

For the second set, I initially thought the color would be slightly different and was going to make some 18"x18"s for the sofa.  Instead, I ended up making lumbar pillows for the den.

Our den is just off the living room and it is a den, guest room, library and office.  

We can't put much furniture in here, as this is also a guest room (there is a queen-size murphy bed behind the closet doors).  So we need lightweight but comfortable chairs for reading, that can easily be moved out of the way (or room) when we have guests. 

With these two pillows, I used the same tutorial for the zipper, but I made the zipper flap out of the same fabric, instead of a contrasting one (bottom pillow).

This room is also used as our office ...

And our library ...

The addition of these pillows + getting a few pictures hung (we did move out here permanently 3+ years ago ... sigh) has made spruced it up a little in my eyes.  It's interesting how just a couple of tiny things can make a difference.

Pillow forms from Garnet Hill -- used 12"x16" forms on this project

Hope you are having a productive weekend!


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Patchworks 2X

I made a patchwork as a quick pull-together for a sick friend a couple of weeks ago ...

I had forgotten how much I actually like a patchwork and this got me back in the patchwork swing ...

So I made two last week (actually, several weeks ago, but had to wait for fabric to arrive for the backing to finish them).

The finished squares are 6" (6/5" uncut) and 8 columns x 10 rows makes a generously sized lap quilt at 4'x5'.

For the backs ... I had read a post from Emily @ QuiltyLove about using flannel sheets for quilt backing.  That caused me to google the subject of sheet backs for quilts (something I had read was a no no when I had first started quilting).  Lo and behold ... it is possible ... and I am really happy with how my first effort came out.

I didn't go with flannel, as I couldn't really find anything that I liked, but kinda had visions of a bold, dramatic back for the blue version.  So I looked on Target and found a nice tomato-soup color king size flat sheet $18.99.  It had a thread count of 300 (which was the highest that I read you should go).

I like the punch it gives the quilt and it does a great job of letting the quilting itself shine through on the back.  (Now if I could just get consistent color from my camera -- different issue for a different day).

For the green quilt version, I didn't see a solid that excited me, but ran into some 108" Amy Butler fabric that I knew would be perfect for the already completed quilt top.

I think that was just what the quilt was asking for ... don't you?

As for quilting, I have been trying to step out of my "meandering" phase and get a little more creative.  I had a great afternoon with Katie @ SewKatieDid taking her Walk the Line workshop last October.  And I purchased the book WALK from Jacquie Gering to help increase my knowledge and confidence.

For the blue version, I used Jacquie's Orange Peel pattern and then filled in a bit by doing horizontal and vertical stitching across the quilt in the middle of the blocks.

For the green version, I had completed half of the Orange Peel and when I laid it on the floor to mark the other direction, my eye saw a different approach and I filled in with the same pattern I had just used, but offset it by half a block.  I actually prefer this version to the previous one.  

In either event, I am happy that I have started to venture out with the quilting and am pleased with the results ... at least for these (I did have a failure that I will likely blog about at another time).

For now, these two quilts are now listed in my Etsy shop and I have started on a custom order for a friend which I know will stretch my skills!

Hope all is well out there.

All the best,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Quick quilt needed ...

We've all had them ... a need to pull together a quick quilt ...

This time ... it's for a high school friend that is waging a major battle with colon cancer ... he's been weak and fell and landed back in the hospital ... not where you want to be when you want to wage a major battle ...

I wanted something quick, masculine and vibrant ... I am pleased how the traditional patchwork filled all three requirements ...

I quilted the 6" blocks with the Orange Peel design from Jacquie Gering's quilting book Walk.  I followed the instructions in the book, but felt it left a little too much open space in the blocks, so I also quilted straight lines down the middle of the blocks, in both directions.  This shored it up a little and gave it a little more of the crinkle look I like ...

It's been too many years to mention since we were together in high school ... but I do hope that the quilt puts a smile on his face, at least for a few minutes as he opens it and knows that there are people out here who are truly rooting for him ...

Have a good weekend.

All the best,

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A lesson

Yes ... it has been a lesson ...

I have a former colleague (from my working days) who I had made a baby quilt for a few years back ... she was thrilled ... she's from Atlanta and said that simply wasn't the tradition back where she came from (we live in the pacific northwest).

Late last year she asked if I could make twin quilts for her two young boys who share a room with bunk beds.  She sent me a link to some Google photos of their amazing camping adventure last summer.  I gave it some thought and then sent her a price.  She agreed and I started on them last month.

I thought through, and ordered fabric, that I thought would be perfect!

But ... after a few attempts ... it was clear they were too busy and that my first attempt was not going to work.

I turned those options into potholders ...


But then I had to get down to the actual quilts I had committed ;-).

Eventually, I landed on my Corner Block Tutorial for this round ... I had indicated that one of the quilts would prioritize blue (from the sky pics of their trip) and the other golds (from the prairies).

I am now in the quilting phase ...

I am clearly way in over what I had given to her as a price ... but am now invested and am very excited to see where they end up!

All the best,

Thursday, December 21, 2017


I love making Christmas presents for the family!  Last year it was placemats and potholders and this year it's pillows!

I had the opportunity to take a quilting class with Katie in October and really liked the pillow forms that she was using ... she shared that she buys them at Garnet Hill.  Waiting patiently, I was able to pick them up some of the 18" x 18" down-filled pillows on sale for $13.50 each (25% off their list price of $18). 

She also introduced me to the beauty of Essex Linen ... which by-the-way ... I LOVE!!!  And set out to design some pillow covers that didn't look "home made".

The first pillow was light on quilting but had some geometric chops (my favorite!). 

Then, delighted to find a zipper tutorial that has to be the easiest zipper install EVER ... the backs of the pillows got a little visual punch with a contrasting strip that covers the zipper. 

I then created a few different neutral versions with just enough quilting to give them a finished look, but not too much to make it look to crafty.

But then ... I got another idea ... why not make some additional pillow covers?

Holiday Pillow Covers Front

Settling on the holiday theme (they are Christmas presents after all) Rudolph (with his red nose) and Christmas Trees seemed appropriate.  I was able to pick up a reindeer silhouette on Etsy for $2.35 that I printed out at 140% to create the template for the cut out for the pillows. The Christmas tree was inspired by this Instagram post.  The backs were made with the same zipper tutorial as the fronts.

Holiday Pillow Covers Back
I shipped the pillows to their recipients with the Holiday covers on them ... and then in a separate package that will go under the tree, I included the folded up covers that they will be able to use the other 11 months out of the year.

In addition to using high-quality down pillow inserts that are super comfortable, I am really happy with the decor pillow covers!

The elf shop is closed for the season and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

All the best


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