Friday, May 22, 2015

catching up on bee blocks

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

This week I caught up on my bee block commitments. While it's not a big finish, it still feels pretty darn good! I know I said this before, but seriously, how do the months fly by so fast?!?!
These X and plus blocks are for Doris. She has a great tutorial here for making a 15" finished block. I didn't rush the fabric selection, so making the block took me awhile. I think that it paid off in the end...I'm quite happy with how it turned out! Selecting fabric with significant contrast is crucial.
Since I was/am so late, I decided to make another one...for penance sake. :) This one came together much more quickly than the first. I can see why these blocks are so popular...they are so fun to make! I am very relieved, though, that I don't feel the need to make a whole quilt of them. You know?
This block is for Michelle, who is making a friendship quilt. She gave us free reign to make any block that we wanted to...something that is special to us. I'm still crushing on pineapple blocks (and they lend themselves to scrappy so well) so it was an easy choice for me. I used my pineapple block tutorial, which you can find here. This was very fun to make, too! This block will finish at 12" square.

So, that's all I've got for this week! I hope you had a successful week finishing something...anything! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday! For those of you in the States, have a safe and great Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

parachute quilts

The parachute quilt has been finished for quite awhile now...but I wasn't sure if I was going to write a pattern for it or what to do with it. Turns out that Robert Kaufman is offering it as a free pattern on their website! It is made from a variety of strips from 5 different Kona Roll ups, but you could easily use solids from your stash. It was really fun to make!
The inspiration for this quilt came to me one evening while I was watching a TV show with my husband. (Over 3 years ago!) I was inspired by the stripes on a man's button down shirt. Random, right? I quickly sketched the idea on the front of an envelope and it floated around in a stack of paper for years. Eventually, it got taped into my sketchbook. (I'm still a little surprised by that!) Not all ideas get translated into fabric...but it's pretty neat to see what happens when they do!
This is the first quilt that I ever sent to a long arm quilter. It was a struggle for me to give up control (a common theme in my life) but I am so pleased that I overcame that mental block. Steffani (from Country Fabrics in Brainerd) did an amazing job on the quilting. It makes the quilt! And it saved me a week and a half of quilt wrestling. :)
For the backing, I used an old (but oh-so-good) Anna Maria Horner fabric. I love the bold floral on the back. It's a perfect match! I've been using this quilt as my 3rd layer on my bed these past few weeks. It's so cozy!
I made a smaller version, too! This is the baby parachute quilt, which uses the same proportions, but skinny strips, which are cut 1 1/2" wide. The palettes were picked by Elizabeth Hartman and Rita Hodge. I love how the colors all work together. It's easy, fun and colorful....just like I like it! This one is available as a free pattern as well.

It's so fun to be able to share these, at last!

Monday, May 18, 2015

happy to be home

I'm home from quilt market and I get to stay put for a few weeks. I'm so thankful! It's been a crazy few months and I'm completely beat. My main objectives for the next several days are to rest and clean...because that makes sense, right?!?
My craft room is looking quite "worked in" and I need to clean it up before my husband evicts all my stuff. He's a patient man, but even he has his limits! I plan to post some after photos if/when I see this cleaning project through. It might not look THAT bad, but that's the beauty of photography vs. real life. Ha!
I got a copy of Sew Organized for the Busy Girl by Heidi Staples at market over the weekend. I LOVE the cover....I would have bought the book just for that! I started reading through it this morning and I have a feeling that it is going to help spur on my craft room cleaning. Hurray for perfect timing! It was great to meet Heidi, too. She's super sweet!
I came down with a nasty cold, so I pulled out some old hand work projects in an effort to stay put on the couch for a few hours. I can't relax unless my hands are busy, so I'll be splitting my time between knitting a giant rag rug (tutorial here) and...
hopefully I'll get some hand quilting done on this baby, too! This is the one time that it's handy to have a lot of works in progress. :) All in all, not a bad way to spend a blustery Monday!
For all of you who were asking questions about pin cushion construction in the last post, I can certainly do a post about it at some point soon. Stay tuned!
Happy Monday to YOU!

Friday, May 15, 2015

good neighbors scrap happy purse

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
Quilt market is in Minneapolis this weekend, and since it's so close to home, it was an easy decision to attend. I needed a new bag, of course, so I sewed up a scrap happy purse using my good neighbors fabric! (Thanks for the wonderful suggestion, Susan Holman!) At first I thought it was going to be difficult to chop up the fabric, but actually, it was pretty fun! Hurray for that!
Sewing on the handles is a pain (literally and figuratively), but totally worth it! I sewed these on while I was visiting my sister, which made the task so much better. The pre-made handles are Inazuma 40 cm handles in black. I buy them at my local quilt shop, but I'm sure that you can find them on-line. I like the semi-professional look that the handles give to the purse--they hold up pretty well, too. I carried my last purse 1 1/2 years before the handles cracked. That's pretty good, if you ask me!
It's been awhile since I added to my pin cushion collection. I finished 3 this week--I love them all! The pin cushion on the right was made from the trimmings from making the gusset in my purse. The other two are just scraps that I pieced and quilted. Each of the pin cushions are filled with crushed walnut shells, which are sold at pet stores as lizard litter. (Weird, but it works!)
My bowl is looking pretty happy! They remind me of teeny tiny pillows. No wonder I'm obsessed!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

making quilt along plans

I am working on another scrap vortex quilt. You know, because I need two quilts that nearly cover my house just won't do! Ha!
Actually, I'm planning to make an easy-to-replicate layout, so I can host a scrap vortex quilt along this summer. Wouldn't that be fun? If you'd like to join me, start saving your scraps! The more the better!
I hope that I never tire of scrap quilting. I think it's a gift, in a lot of ways, to love scraps as much as I do. It's so practical and's so satisfying to use it all! The end product is pretty great, too!
Aren't those little ninjas cute??? I'm fairly certain that it's going to be one of my very favorite parts of the quilt!

Monday, May 11, 2015

yellow quilt

I've been thinking of sharing this quilt for awhile humble as it may be. This one been dubbed "yellow quilt" by my kids, and it was finished in either 2001 or 2002. This was my first queen size quilt and it was made back in the day when I tied my quilts. It is made entirely from fabrics from JoAnn's. The quilt is faded and it has a few stains, but despite that (or perhaps because of that?) this quilt is THE favorite at my house! In fact, about a month ago, we played bingo to see who would get to sleep under the quilt for the next several weeks. (We like to do fun and crazy things like that at our house.)
The quilt has two layers of batting inside it, thanks to the suggestion of my husband, so it's nice and toasty! Wrapping up in it feels like a giant hug and I'm pretty sure that it makes one of the best quilt forts in all the land. :) I love seeing how my tastes have changed over the years, but some things still remain the same...I still love a patchwork quilt and I will always love a good gingham!
I love that this quilt is a favorite despite it's imperfections. I strive for perfection in almost everything, but it's reassuring to know that things DO NOT need to be perfect. What a relief!!! This quilt also shows me that I've come a long way in learning the skill of quilting. I love that even though it's been around awhile, it's actually getting better with age. (I can only hope the same for me, as a person!!!)
Why share this now? A lot of times I feel like I want the guarantee that things will be perfect BEFORE I even give it a try. How silly is that? So silly. But that's exactly what happens! I made this quilt before I knew how to miter binding correctly, so the corners are slightly rounded. But do you know what? That's the best that I could do at that time. I like that it didn't stop me from trying...I just did it and I learned to do better the next time around. I wanted to share this with you to encourage you--especially if you are newer to quilting or if you are just beginning in your quilting journey--to keep at it! Most things get easier and better as you practice. You never know what quilt will become a favorite! And, perfection is overrated. :)

Happy Monday to you!

Saturday, May 09, 2015


Thanks to all of you who entered my giveaways this week. That was fun! I HOPE to do more scrap giveaways's good to keep a constant rotation, right? :)


The winner of the Fig Tree scraps is doodlebugmom.

The winner of the 5 PDF patterns is Frederique.

The winner of Every Last Piece is Aliceart.

Thanks for playing along! Hope you are having a GREAT weekend!

Friday, May 08, 2015

shoo fly pillow and a BIG finish

Welcome to finish it up Friday! Thanks for joining me each week for the link up party...I sure appreciate it!
It's been awhile since I made a pillow....and I love, love, LOVE this one! It's made up of 4 shoo fly blocks, quilted with straight lines 1" apart and it has a lovely red and white polka dot envelope backing. Isn't it so happy? I especially love the text in the one square that says, "make a pillow". That couldn't be more perfect! It finishes at about 18" square.
I have more big news to share...this week I was out in Denver filming a Craftsy class! I'm super excited that I get to cross off a BIG goal from this year's list! It was quite a stretch for me (understatement) and I'm so glad/amazed/surprised that I got through the process without a single cold sore! :) I'll be sharing more about the class, the process and the release date as it gets closer. But for now, I'm so glad the prep and filming is DONE! Woo-hoo!

Last week, fabric strike offs. This week, Craftsy. Next week, I need to NAP!!! (That's no joke!) I'm beyond grateful that I have the love and support of my family and friends, because I certainly couldn't do this without them....they are pretty awesome!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Every Last Piece

Lynn Harris wrote a wonderful scrap quilt book called Every Last Piece. I was anxiously awaiting the release of her book, knowing that she loves scraps at least, if not more, than I do. She did a great job on her many quilts (with tiny pieces) that I would like to make!
I'm still working my way through reading the book (I'm taking my time) but I've enjoyed it so far. Lynn shares how she sorts her scraps (always an interesting topic to me!) and the quilt gallery where she shares quilts she has made over the years is very inspiring!
I love Lynn's quilts because they are scrappy, of course, but they are also authentic and timeless. She does beautiful work!

Here are a few of my favorites:

This one has to be at the top of my list. I literally laughed out loud when I read the caption next to the quilt. Lynn admits that if she had read the directions for the quilt beforehand, she probably would have never started the quilt. I love that!

Every Last Piece is published by Interweave and is available on Amazon, of course! If you would like to win a copy of the book, please leave a comment on this post. In your comment, I would like to hear what is the smallest size of scrap you save! (You can see my answer here. Please don't judge! :) )

The giveaway is open to both international and US readers alike. Please, only one comment per person. I plan to pick a winner on Saturday!

Monday, May 04, 2015

fig tree scrap giveaway

First off, thanks for all the fabric love in my last post! I'm so excited about it and I appreciate your kind response and excitement more than I can say!

Well, believe it or not, I THINK I have too many scraps! I can almost hear a collective "What??!"
As much as I would like to be able to sew them all, it's just not realistic. My craft room is getting crowded, so I'm putting these up for adoption. Most, if not all, of these scraps are from various lines by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda. If you would like a chance to win these scraps, please leave me a comment in this post. In your comment, I'd love to hear what is on the top of your bucket list (quilted or non-quilt related is great!) OR what is one thing that you would do if you knew you wouldn't fail? (I'm turning 40 later this year, thus the introspective questions!) It's so much fun to read your responses!

The scrap drawing will be open to the US only, due to shipping costs. Since I don't want to leave out my international readers, this will be a dual giveaway. For the international readers, I will pick one winner as well. For that winner, I'd be happy to send any 5 (of my) PDF patterns of their choice.

I'll pick winners later this week!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, May 01, 2015

good neighbors fabric in hand

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
This has to rank right up there as one of my favorite finishes. Ever!
I received strike offs (a sample printing) of my good neighbor's fabric this week!!!! I still can't believe this is happening!!!
I found the box on my front step on Tuesday and I squealed a little bit. (Just a little. ha!) It took me an hour and 15 minutes to work up the nerve to open the box....because there is only one moment in your life when you get to see your very first line of fabric in person! I was not disappointed in the least! The colors are so vibrant and so much better than I had hoped for. I've been staring at these on the computer screen for so long--it is such a treat to see finally see them come to life in fabric form!
It was a year ago (almost exactly!) that Connecting Threads and I started discussing the idea of me designing a fabric line for them. I'm so glad that I had the chance and that I didn't chicken out. I set out to design a line of fabric that I would like to sew with. I think I did it!!!
Last night I took a little time (while I was cooking dinner!) to sew up a little pin cushion using the red dot from the's got to be one of my favorites! I thought it would be hard to cut into my fabric, but it was a delight!
Good Neighbors will be available exclusively through Connecting Threads and will be released sometime this fall.

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

trendy triangles...a work in progress

This is probably one of the trendiest quilts I will ever make. Normally I don't aspire to make trendy quilts, but sometimes it happens anyway. It all started with Cotton and Steel scraps that I received from Holly last June. I thought I was using them quickly, but it turns out I've had them for almost a year already! I guess that's still a quick turn around for me. Ha! :)
I decided to add low volume borders to each center triangle. I love how the centers sparkle! It's very interesting to see how much color there is, even in the scope of a low volume palette. I'm using Cheryl's Nap Like an Egyptian pattern from Sunday Morning Quilts. The strips are cut 2 1/2" wide.
I have a wide variety of colors for the centers to choose from. I'm not sure if I'm going to limit the color palette or not....but that's the fun of making quilts. I enjoy jumping right in and seeing where I end up!
I'm certain I will be adding more orange blocks...and those scissors! It was hard to cut into them, but they will make the quilt so much better! I'm always on the quest to stop stashing and start sewing. I THINK it's getting just a little bit easier! Now if I could just finish my WIPs a little bit faster, I'd be all set!