Category Archives: Projects

One for Spring

Melee the quilt is finished! I have, however, changed the name to “Vibrance” which is much more positive. This was made from blocks I had put away for some time. The blocks were cut up in varying shapes and sizes and put on the design wall with a minimal plan.

The center of this quilt was definitely planned.
The two ends of the quilt had the full triangles as a border.

It was back from the long arm quilter last week and I couldn’t wait to add the binding. Yes, there were extra “corners,” but they were easy. This quilt definitely has the colors and vibrance of spring. And I have been SO craving spring!

After auditioning several solid fabrics, I chose this bright blue for binding- it accentuates some of the colors of the quilt. The few extras of the blocks are on the back so no leftovers. A real win! The polka dot backing fabric adds to the fun of the quilt.

This quilt is going to live in my living room for a while. It will be a bright spot until the real Spring arrives. Do you have a favorite season? Do you display quilts that reflect that season?

Twelve Days of Christmas

Brrr and Good Morning from chilly North Carolina! The poor sea of daffodils are all weeping from this cold! Of course, for me, this means a day of sewing!

Two years ago I cam across a Twelve Days of Christmas ornament series made from felt. It was love at first site! Uncharacteristically, I ordered the full set of patterns (from Larissa Holland, mmmCrafts). At first the pattern set seemed pricey, but oh the detail, exquisite design and excellent instructions made it so worth it. I even ordered the set of felt to make them with. I printed the patterns out, organized all in a notebook and that’s as far as I got until the last couple of months. The time just seemed right to forge ahead. Here are a handful that I have completed.

The Partridge and Pear – an exciting start! I haven’t added the hangars yet as I haven’t decided what I’ll use. That can wait until the end.

The Turtle Dove. Choosing the felt colors and threads are part of the fun.

The French Hen. Seeing this one come to life was a lot of fun!

The Colly Bird now more commonly known as “Calling Bird.”

Five Golden Rings. I did struggle a bit with this one. Putting it together was not intuitive as the others were, but thankfully the instructions are excellent.

The Best Part – My daughter visited and when I showed her the finished ornaments, she was in awe. “Mom, these are family heirlooms!” Music to a mother’s ear.

The Plan – To finish one set by December and hang the set on a small separate tree that will be covered in little white lights. I then hope to make a second set and eventually give each of my children a full set.

Cutting Out Another Quilt

This one may very well do me in! Several years ago, after seeing a friend’s finished quilt “Jolly Tartan Quilt”, I was in love. Having scoured the internet, I found one last kit available and scooped it up. I’m finally in a good place to commit to this project. There are thirty (30) different fabrics – oh my! I’ve gone about this very methodically. The kit was put together beautifully. Each fabric was labeled with a letter to correspond with the instructions.

First, I made an enlarged copy of the cutting instructions for each fabric and then cut each out separately. Each fabric with its corresponding cutting instructions went into these nifty plastic zip lock envelopes.

The cutting has begun! I’m working slowly and intentionally. Mistakes cannot be made as it won’t be easy to find more of these specific fabrics. After cutting each fabric, I’m putting the cuts back into the envelope with its instructions inserted into the outside.

The leftover of each fabric is going into a separate bag together with it’s selvedge.

Once it’s all cut, I will use the paper plate technique for the sewing steps. Hopefully, by the end of next week, I’ll be at that point.

And yesI began this project with a nice fresh blade in my cutter. Whew!

Hint of Spring

Prepping for Retreats

This April I’ll be heading to two quilt retreats. Not having any works in progress to take with me, I got busy prepping for the first retreat. Two charity quilts were prepped – baby quilts, 36 inches by 36 inches using 3″ finished squares. I even have the backings and bindings ready to travel. It would be a hoot to come home with two completely finished projects!

My next endeavor is for the quilt pattern “Snipits.” I raided my batik bins – oh so many, many batiks. I don’t usually prewash my quilt fabrics, but I do with batiks. It softens them and it’s amazing to see the color catchers at the end of the wash.

There were 1280 pieces to cut for this quilt, varying lengths, 1 1/2″ wide. Not as bad as it sounds – I pulled out my studio cutter and went to work cutting strips, then subcutting by hand.

I like using these clear zip envelopes. The pieces are kept separated and tidy and then all in a project box.

I’m really excited about these projects and am fighting the temptation to begin while still at home. April seems forever away! Next I’ll prep a long awaited kit for the second retreat. The cutting is a bit more complex for that one, so it will probably take me a couple of days.

I’m sure I’ll find plenty more to do to keep me busy in the studio after that. Also, we’re expecting some glorious weather so maybe I’ll get to some long awaited and much needed yard work!

Ready to Go!!

Snow Day Sewing

The North Carolina Piedmont has snow! Unfortunately, it soon turned to sleet. And then snow again. So confusing! What it means for me and hubby is a day (plus more) of not venturing out of the house, and a crock pot full of chicken and goodness! For me, it also equals sewing!

Some time ago I pulled a bunch of fabrics in preparation of making a bookcase quilt. I have seen so many on the internet and have wanted to make one for a person who is a great lover of books.

For some of the books I inserted a piece of selvedge as a book title. For a few, I just used a plain piece of fabric. I really like the look of both! There are three shelves of books put together and trimmed – one to go which is in the process of piecing. I have some “wood” fabric that will be added as the shelves.

The goal on this snow day is to finish the top and then it’s off to the longarm quilter later this week. As for putting all that fabric away – Ugh!

I hope you are having a safe, warm and enjoyable day.

This One’s for ME!

It’s been a while and am glad to be back. I was out of town for several weeks and blogging was just not on the list.

Blue batiks, green batiks and a few white thrown in and what do you get? A string quilt! The blocks were positioned to make diamond shapes. This was a LOT of sewing but so worth it! I have found that fleece is a wonderfully warm backing for quilts, and batting is not necessary. So, I went with a dark blue backing and straight line stitching.

I’m really happy with this design and decided I’m keeping this one for me. Kitty and I will probably have to fight for it this winter, although I will give her a corner to snuggle in. The quilt is on the back of my living room sofa and I got one of the best compliments ever. Sitting across from it, out of the blue, hubby said “I love that quilt.” How awesome is that!

A name? Well, the diamonds are big so I was reminded of the very old method of cutting diamonds – mine cut diamonds. So, this beauty is “Mine Diamond.” So good to finally have another finish!

Sewing Therapy and More

I found myself floundering the past week as I was working through emotions on the loss of my sister. She had been sick for a while and although her passing was imminent, it somehow doesn’t seem real when it actually happens. To help clear my mind, I went to my 2 1/2″ strip box and began to sew. Mindless sewing can be so very therapeutic!

A few hours of sewing resulted in this scrappy Hospice quilt. I cut a backing from a pretty printed fleece and hung both in my flimsy closet to be quilted another time. Of course, there’s many more strips to sew together for many more quilts!

Cooking is also therapeutic for me. After sewing, I made a batch of dough for a pizza. We are spoiled with homemade pizza and no longer order out for it. It was yummy and some is in the freezer for a quick fix dinner another night! That is always a win.

In the garden the red spider lilies were popping up in several places – so pretty and such joy!

I’ll be retreating this coming week in Blowing Rock and am so looking forward to it. Those coming are always such a joy. We sew, laugh, share and laugh some more. Lucky me.

Note: The 2021 retreats are full. You may put your name on a wait list.

Gifting a Quilt & Gifting a Fish (?)

Lots and lots of quilts reside in my home. They’re on quilt racks, beds, sofas, a cupboard and a few walls. It’s not wall to wall quilts, but it does seem wasteful to me that they are not giving warmth somewhere. I have gifted many, many quilts and now it’s time to gift more!

A long time neighbor of 30 years is moving to a town north of here. We’re very happy for this new chapter in her life, but she has been an excellent neighbor and friend and will miss her. Yes, I’m going to send her off with a quilt!

It brings me great delight to see a quilt move on to another home, rather than sitting my my quilt cupboard, aging without purpose.

My current project is a big stuffed fish! I made this for my kids when they were little and they wore it out completely. There were three more made as gifts many years ago. Now that I have a great-great niece, it’s time to make another. Glad I saved this pattern, although the poor envelope is quite worn. I’ll be doing this out of bright and pretty home dec fabrics. Let the cutting begin!

I also purchased Poly-fil for the stuffing. Haven’t used this in a lot of years. It will, however, take more than these two bags – I will need about 4 more! Hope to show some progress next week.

Off to Give Comfort

One of my favorite things to do with quilts – take a pic of them hanging on the line together before they get sent off! There are eight quilts this time round, all going to Hospice. All are lap quilts, varying sizes and one is a wheelchair quilt. There are five Hospice flimsies with backings hanging in the closet. Not sure when I’ll get them quilted – just waiting for inspiration to hit!

The list of Works in Progress is still doable for me. I no longer want 20 projects in the wings that are half sewn. There was a time I actually loved that, but my focus has changed. I’ve also been keeping my quilting expenditures down. Let’s see what I can do between now and my next update posting!

Two More Quilt “Kits” to go

Last week I shared the flannel rag quilt kit I prepared for a week long retreat I’ll be attending. Of course one isn’t enough, so I now have two more ready to go!

First up is a string block kit. I pulled from some beloved batik greens and blues and one almost white and cut into varying strip widths. The plan is to sew them onto paper piecing paper doing a diamond design. I love to do string quilts! For me its both fun and therapeutic sewing. Sewing this quilt will also be perfect for a retreat as it doesn’t require much concentration. And again, I planned, made notes, and saved them in the kit box.

The second kit I prepared this week isn’t really planned out. When diving in a bin of blocks and miscellany, I came across these triangles cut from sewn very colorful strips. I barely remember these!

And then there were cuts randomly sewn into blocks. That was it! I’ll bring these to retreat , cut them randomly, sew and put together however the mood strikes at the moment. This will be fun play!

I am really so excited for this get away. I have a retreat checklist that I prepared years ago and having been going through it and putting everything in a guest room ready to pack. Good thing I’m traveling alone – it’s a lot!