Three quilts in one post

Three quilts in one post

Last time I popped by, I had a pile of quilts to bind, a dorm quilt to finish and the end of summer to savor. I am happy to report success on all fronts! (Still working on those bee blocks, though. Sigh.)

Three of the quilts in the aforementioned pile were donated to the girls’ elementary school for their annual summer carnival. At the two-day event, there is a quilt booth where you buy chances on a wheel. Once all the chances are sold, the wheel is spun and the winning number gets to choose which quilt they would like to take home! This process repeats until all the quilts are spoken for or the carnival comes to an end. I donate to this event every year and just love hearing afterwards who took my quilts home.

This is the Libby Quilt which I had the pleasure of testing for Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting. It is a very fun quilt to make. The cutting and the piecing take very little time and I love that it works well with large and small scale prints. For my version, I chose to use Heather Ross’s Sugar Plum line – it definitely has a Christmas vibe to it! I quilted it with different motifs on the stripes and a swirly thing in the background pieces. I had a hard time parting with it, but you can only have so many Christmas quilts and we are at our max here. It makes me happy knowing it ended up in a great place, with a sweet little girl who will love it for her own.

And speaking of Erica, I used one of her big block patterns (February!) to make this next quilt. I bought a fat quarter bundle of this Robert Kaufman lawn, Woodland Clearing by Liesl Gibson (out of print), last summer while traveling in Michigan. Paired with Kona cotton in Grass (one of my favorites!), these 36″ blocks really shine! I free motioned a double orange peel design for the quilting and I really like how it turned out. The backing is a lawn floral print from the same line with all the front colors in it. You’ll just have to trust me that it is beautiful because I forgot to take photos of the back!

The final quilt in the donated trio was also made from the same fat quarter stack as the one above. This quilt is entirely made of lawn, including the backing fabric (it’s a solid aqua). I cut the fat quarters into 18″ squares and then made half square triangles. It’s a good reminder that simple shapes on a large scale pack a punch and really give you the opportunity to show off the fabric, play with value and scale. I quilted this with my very favorite loops on the long arm at Quilted Joy (where I quilted the other two as well!). I don’t think I will ever tire of this pattern. It just works well with so many different quilt tops and is easy to achieve.

Back soon with the dorm quilt! Pinky swear.

Summer Studio

Summer Studio

The way I work in the summer is extremely different than during the school year. Nine months of the year, you can find me in my studio for a block of time while Fatty is at work and the girls at school during the week. The exact hours may vary, but they generally happen most days. During summer, though, there is no predictable pattern as to when I can work or how much I can get accomplished. It’s important to me that I am available for the girls when they need me or want to do something. I used to get extremely frustrated if I wasn’t able to get a sizable amount of work accomplished. A few years ago, I realized that I was setting myself up for failure and decided that I would take the summers off. It’s worked really well for me. Anything that gets finished is a bonus and the time away from deadlines allows me to recharge creatively. Blair wrote some interesting thoughts about her experience with stepping back a bit this summer that I enjoyed reading. It seems like maybe we all need a break now and again.

That said, I am still getting stuff done this summer. Funny how lowering my expectations allows me to make more! In my last post I mentioned that I had 6 quilt tops and backings ready to go. I rented time on a long arm over a few different days and quilted all six quilts. This past weekend, I squared them all up and made the bindings. My goal is to have them all bound by this weekend. Don’t freak out – I’m definitely machine binding them all! While I love to hand bind, most of these are slated for donation and my deadline for those is next week. Most of my sewing these days is accomplished in 10- to 60-minute windows between other tasks and even while dinner is cooking. Those small blocks of time really add up quickly!

I’m also working on the Jane’s dorm quilt. I cut strips, threw them all in a bag and pulled them out in pairs to sew together. Once the pairs were sewn, I made groups of four and then groups of eight. Next up is figuring out a layout. That’s my favorite part, really. I love to see all the pieces come together. Backing has been purchased and I will be scheduling long arm time soon. Time is really flying by and I know mid-August will be here before I know it. I am so, so happy that I got a good start on this early enough in the summer to enjoy the process instead of panic sewing at the last minute.

Since I cleared the decks of many of my works in progress, I’m jumping in and quilting-along with Pattern Drop. I just love the bee version of this month’s quilt. The firefly option is super cute, too. If you are interested, it’s not too late to join. All the details are on the Pattern Drop blog.

That’s what is currently happening in my studio. How about you? What are you working on this summer?

Another day, another quilt

Another day, another quilt

I recently did a mini clean up in the studio and at the end I had six quilt tops (with their backs!) waiting for quilting. There are also two quilts that just need to have the blocks sewn together. Honestly, I have no business starting another quilt top until some of the unfinished become finished. But a quick look at the calendar tells me that time is flying fast and there is one quilt on my to-make list that has a firm deadline.

Two months from today, Fatty and I will move Jane into her college dorm room.

Let that sink in.

Of course, I am cutting into that pile of fabric. She gave me a color scheme and I pulled the prints. I showed her some ideas and we came up with a loose plan that I will execute improvisationally. I am going to savor every cut and every stitch of this one. I know that keeping my hands busy helps me when I am anxious and excited and heals my heart when I am sad. I need to make this just as much for me as I do for her. I plan on pouring all of my love into this quilt so she can take a small piece of me with her when she goes.

Wish me luck.

Summer Sewing

Summer Sewing

Hello there! Hope your summer is off to a good start. I’ve got loads of sewing projects lined up – mostly quilts, but maybe some clothing, too. I’ve had a lot of these roaming around in my head for awhile and now that Jane’s graduation has come and gone (sniff), I finally feel as if I have some time to devote to them.

One of these quilts is one that I have made twice before, but I wasn’t really pleased with some parts of it. I knew that there had to be a better way. I woke up on Monday morning and my sleeping brain had figured it out. I love it when that happens! I quickly pulled the stack of fabrics above so they would be ready for cutting as soon as I had a chance. And yesterday was the day. I took my rotary cutter, ruler and the fabrics down to the family room for a cutting session in front of the TV. I pulled my extra cutting mat out from under the couch (I keep one there for moments like this!) and set up a little ironing and cutting station. I had forgotten that working somewhere other than the studio can be super energizing. It worked – I got an entire twin quilt cut out, the math bits figured out for the pattern and the pattern written up. I haven’t been that productive work-wise since I don’t know when.

Can we talk about these fabrics for a quick second? I am just smitten with this palette – purples, pinks, oranges, golds. It’s not my normal go-to (no green! no blue!), but they are calling to me so I am running with it. These are all Anna Maria Horner prints, from her latest line, Sweet Dreams. That lady does color like no other! Like the shift in my work space for yesterday, the shift in the colors I am working with is energizing me. I am excited to start sewing this afternoon!

Finally, as a bit of an aside, if you follow me on Bloglovin’, you have missed a number of my latest posts. So sorry! Apparently, when the blog was moved to the new platform, the feed changed ever-so-slightly and it took a little time for the situation to get corrected. Anyhow, if you did miss something, it was mostly about my new PDF pattern, Rinse and Repeat, that I launched last week. You can read those posts here, here and here. The pattern in available in my shop.

 

Rinse and Repeat Quilt Pattern Now Available!

Rinse and Repeat Quilt Pattern Now Available!

I am very excited to release the Rinse and Repeat quilt pattern today! This quilt is a fun make and perfect for showcasing your favorite fabrics. It works well with a curated palette of prints, treasured scraps, and even all solids. I’m sure it would be equally as stunning in a monochromatic color scheme as it would in all the colors of the rainbow. No matter which fabrics you choose for the blocks, they all POP! when surrounded by the wide bands of negative space.

The pattern includes four sizes (baby, throw, twin and full/queen) and is rotary cut and machine pieced. It’s good for any quilter that considers themselves a confident beginner (a few projects completed) and above. My latest version, above, is a twin size and is ready for quilting. I’ve made it three times now and have plans for a fourth version. If there is enough interest, I might even host a sew-along later this summer. Would you all like that?

Photo by Dan Collins

You can pick up your copy of the Rinse and Repeat quilt pattern in my shop. It’s a downloadable PDF that is available immediately after checkout. If you would like to be inspired by other versions of the #rinseandrepeat quilt, including those made by my awesome pattern testers, check out the hashtag on Instagram. And, please tag your photos, too! I can’t wait to see what you all make.

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