Friday, May 3, 2024

Christmas in the Keys

This is another one I pushed myself to finish up before we leave.  When it became obvious I wasn't going to finish my Bats table topper in time for the holiday I started thinking about Christmas.  I fell in love with this Christmas in the City collection and immediately started dreaming of all the things I could make with it.  

To get warmed up I decided to start with another version of the Christmas Baubles.  For those keeping count this will be my 3rd go at this pattern.  I'm not sure why I keep making it, it's fairly tedious with lots of small pieces.  Rather than marking all those 1 1/2" squares I used the diagonal seam tape method.  It's not as accurate as drawing all those lines but it's much speedier. 

But there's still all that trimming and pressing.  Eventually I finished the blocks and got them together but by then that holiday had also passed.  

I was on a roll after quilting my Bats quilt so I quickly basted this and got quilting.  It felt a bit silly to be quilting snowflakes in Florida but you've got to go with what works.  At least it'll be all ready when Christmas rolls around again.

The local quilt guild here hosts a weekly sew-in at the library so I took this with me to bind while I made new quilt friends.  They're a lovely group and I hope to get more involved when we come back in the fall.  

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 20" x 26"
Pattern: Christmas Baubles by Jen Daley for Moda Bake Shop.
Fabrics: Christmas in the City and Pure Solids in White Linen by Art Gallery Fabrics.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in SilverWhite (2309).

Friday, April 26, 2024

Something Spooktacular

Now that we're getting ready to head back up north I've been making a push to finish up all my WIPs.

I've slowly been getting my Sewjo back and as Halloween approached I realized I didn't have any of my Ghastlies to put out.  I'd picked up this cute little bundle of Art Gallery fabrics at Portsmouth Fabric Co. and thought it would be perfect to whip up something spooky for the holiday and when I saw Prairie Quilt Co.'s Nocturna block for the Soul-a-long hosted by Mija Handmade it sealed the deal.  

It was an ambitious choice given that I'd barely set up my quilt space and I have almost none of my quilting tools.  If I did it again I'd definitely get a log cabin ruler, this is a bit wonkier than I'd hoped.  The blocks are basically just a courthouse steps block with some pieced logs.  I found it easiest to piece all my logs and then assemble the blocks.

It also was a mental challenge to cut and piece the inverse blocks where I swapped the colors.  Having these block buddies definitely helped me keep my sanity!  Thank you Aimee!!!

I originally planned this as a table runner but after playing with a few different layouts I decided to make it a square.  For the quilting I started by just doing a stitch in the ditch around the bats but then I went a little wild and did these FMQ bats.  Some are definitely better than others and it helps that they're very subtle on the busy background but I love the effect!

I just love to relax and hand tack my bindings.  It's such a nice way to slow down and appreciate all the little details.  I can't wait for Halloween to roll around again so I can put it in action!

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 24" x 24"
Pattern: Nocturna by Prairie Quilt Co. for the for the Soul-a-long hosted by Mija Handmade.
Fabrics: Assorted prints from Spooky n' Witchy and Sweet n' Spookier by Art Gallery Fabrics
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: Aurifil 50wt in Blossom Pink (2530) and Pale Pink (2410)

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Pining To Sew

I have a slight pineapple obsession and a huge love for Tula Pink so obviously I was going to buy the Pining for You kit that came out with Daydreamer.  I'm not usually one for kits but with all the transitions happening in my life this was the perfect project for grab and go.  I don't have access to my stash right now so having all the fabrics I needed pre-assembled made this feasible though with 50 different fabrics I might have underestimated.  

The blocks are just challenging enough to be interesting but go together quickly and easily.  They are also fairly basic without a lot of points to match.  I did find it best to press the snowball blocks toward the center rectangle and the crown strips towards the triangles.  That way the seams would nest when I sewed them together.  I also found it useful to square up the snowball blocks and the top flying geese crown block.  Doing that made my borders line up best.  There are definitely a few wonky crowns but in the spirit of going with the flow I decided I could live with that.

I did them in sets of 4 as the pattern is laid out.  I could do a set in about 3 hours which is a reasonable block of sewing time to carve out in a day.

It was definitely an adjustment setting up a workspace at our home in Maine.  I was really missing my studio but I made it work and was able to get all of the blocks made before we left for the season.  

Once we got settled again I squared up all my blocks and got to sewing them together.  Buying a 15 1/2" square ruler definitely made the process easier.

And in almost no time I had a finished flimsy.  I decided to make it a little bigger and added a border so it should fit on a king sized bed.  Now to figure out how to get this quilted so I can put it in action.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Preppy Forever

I haven't made a quilt in forever but friends of ours from the sailing club are having a baby and I couldn't resist making something special for them.  I was looking for something quick and easy that I could pull together in my makeshift studio with the limited supply of fabrics I had on hand.  This one was so good the first time I decided to do it again.

I changed it up a bit this time and made the stripes 8 1/2" wide but otherwise it's the same construction as Murray.  The backing is a plaid seersucker I had in my stash and it gives this quilt such a fun texture and makes it a feel a bit more nautical.  It quilted up nicely so I'll definitely be checking my stack of seersuckers when pulling backings.  

He's just so adorable and the 12 wt. Aurifil really makes the quilting pop.

He made quite a splash at the baby shower.  We can't wait to meet our newest little sailor!

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 42" x 56"
Pattern: Based on Preppy the Whale by the fabulous Elizabeth Hartman.
Fabrics: FSDS Winter White and Navy.  
Backing and Binding: Red, white and blue plaid from stash.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton
Thread: Aurifil  50wt and 12wt in White (2024) and Midnight (2745)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Endless Summer

I totally kept this one under the radar.  I finished it in the spring but really wanted to give it a proper beach photo shoot.  The opportunity finally presented itself when we dropped Dex off at college and stayed for an empty nester-moon in Mystic.  Note to self, photographing quilts on the beach takes way more patience than my family possess.  Between the bright light, ocean breezes and other beach goers it's definitely a challenge but I managed to get a few shots I liked.

I knew I was going to have to make something special the minute I saw Heather Ross' Malibu collection.  After playing with a couple of other ideas I totally copied Stephanie at S-Renee Designs.  She considers herself a fabric collector rather than a quilter but I beg to differ.  Her work is amazing and you should definitely check it out!!!  The original pattern is Joyful but it was Stephanie's idea to upgrade the center square.  I used this fabulous Economy Block Tutorial by Amy Smart at Diary of a Quilter.

While this pattern is very comprehensive and easy to follow after making a test block I was able to streamline the process with some shortcut techniques.  For the flying geese I used this 4 at a time flying geese tutorial by Modernly Morgan (and this one by Suzy Quilts here).  This also has the benefit of correctly orienting the directional prints.  

I also streamlined making the corner HST units using this 8 at a time technique by Suzy Quilts.  

This was another one I entrusted to my amazing friend Rebecca and asked her to do a traditional Baptist fan design to mimic ocean waves.  As always she totally delivered and it is exactly how I envisioned it.  

Also, that plaid backing!!!  

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 70"x70"
Pattern: Joyful by Tasha Noel
Fabrics: Malibu by Heather Ross, Ruby + Bee Solids, MMCC Soft White
Batting: Quilters Dream Bamboo
Binding:  Ruby + Bee Solids Aquamarine
Quilting: Baptist Fan pantograph by Rebecca Loren

Friday, June 24, 2022

Wedded Bliss

I love a modern take on a traditional quilt design!  Tara Faughnan's innovative approach for making the oldie goldie Double Wedding Ring goes together easily using freezer paper piecing and she has tons of great tips for handling the curved piecing as well.  I started this in a Zoom workshop with her and it was honestly one of the best classes I've ever taken.

As usual this lingered in the TBQ pile for a while but over the winter I pulled it out and quilted it in fits and starts while binging on Inventing Anna and The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window.  I used Jacquie Gering's masking tape hack to straight-line quilt the centers.  If you haven't checked out her book Walk: Master Machine Quilting with your Walking Foot, do it.  She has so many great suggestions for great results with less effort.  

I'd outline stitched all the arcs but it still felt a bit sparsely quilted so I taught myself a new skill and did these ribbon candy swirls in the arcs.

With several college visit road trips looming I pushed myself to get this finished up so I'd have something to occupy myself in the car.  Accepted students days at 5 schools in 5 weeks was intense.  (Go Camels!)

I'm a sucker for a perfectly mitered striped binding corner shot!

I had just enough of this fabulous Beauty Queen print for the backing.  One of my all-time faves!

We spent Father's Day at a friend's house so I took advantage of her beautiful landscaping and tall son to change things up for my photo shoot.  I love this spot and want to use it for all my quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 72"x 72"
Pattern: Double Wedding Ring by Tara Faughnan
Fabrics: Bella Solids Bleached White, RJR Supreme Solids Shell Pink, Michael Miller Cotton Couture: Berry, Indigo, Khaki, Essex Metallic: Oyster, Peony.
Backing Letty from the Beauty Queen collection by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit.
Batting: Quilters Dream Cotton
Binding: Dear Stella Stripe
Thread: Aurifil Natural White (2021) and Pale Pink (2410)

Thursday, March 17, 2022


Last year around this time my BQF Aimee convinced me to join the Irish Chain Sewical hosted by Amanda at  A Craft Fox.  

This was a great pandemic project.  The sewing itself was mostly mindless strip piecing but there are a lot of squares in this quilt and at times it was a challenge to keep everything straight.

So many strip sets!!!

This was perfect for binge watching Bridgerton.

Given that state of things this had to be made 100% from stash.  I was surprised by how thin my selection of low volume fabrics was but I made myself stretch to find enough fabrics to make it work.

This turned out a bit bigger than I'm comfortable quilting on my home machine and since I already had a pile going to my good friend Rebecca I added this one for her to longarm.  I told her of my vague concept for a swirly meander with shamrocks but gave her carte blanche to work her magic.  

Obviously she understood the assignment- the quilting totally makes this one!

And now my foyer is ready for St. Patrick's Day.  May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door!

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 66"x 86"
Pattern: Limerick by A Crafty Fox
Fabrics: Stash
Batting: Quilters Dream Bamboo
Binding:  Happier by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs
Quilting: Free Motion Quilting by the amazing Rebecca Loren.
Thread: Aurifil Natural White (2021)