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?

Make Your Own Medallion: Centerpiece

Make Your Own Medallion: Centerpiece

Hey there! For those of you going to QuiltCon, I will have a book signing for Make Your Own Medallion at the Lucky Spool booth TOMORROW (Thursday, February 22nd) at 1:30 pm. Come by and say hello! I will be walking the floor on Thursday and Friday with Fatty (yes,...

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Make Your Own Medallion: Studio Window

Make Your Own Medallion: Studio Window

As I was thinking about what order to showcase the quilts from my new book, Make Your Own Medallion, it seemed fitting to start at the beginning. Studio Window started as a 12'' block that I drew with a pencil and ruler on a piece of copy paper. After I had finished...

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Make Your Own Medallion: Available NOW

Make Your Own Medallion: Available NOW

My newest book, Make Your Own Medallion: Mix and Match Borders to Build Your Quilt from the Center Out, is available now. This book has been a long time coming and I am beyond thrilled that it is finally out in the world for you all to hold, see and use. The idea for...

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And it’s January

And it’s January

I looked up this week and it is January. How did that happen? December whizzed on by like no one's business. Logically, I know that this is how it works. That time between Thanksgiving and the new year is jam-packed with holiday things, end-of-year things, school...

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Quick handmade gift idea: Neckties

Quick handmade gift idea: Neckties

Have I mentioned that I teach eighth graders to sew? I do! I go in once a week in the fall and the spring and, along with a friend, teach a group of 12 or so kids how to use a sewing machine. We start simple and work up to some more difficult projects. This fall, our...

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Yes, I knit, too.

Yes, I knit, too.

Hey there! I have so much to share with you all. I arrived home Monday from Quilt Market in Houston (and finally got to hold my book in my hands!!!) and am slowly getting myself back into the groove this week. I have spent a total of 30 minutes in the studio, making a...

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Some of the quilts I made on my summer vacation

Some of the quilts I made on my summer vacation

For the past few years, I have made and donated a quilt or three to our church and school's summer picnic. To win one of these quilts, you buy a chance on a wheel. When all of the chances on the wheel are sold, the wheel is spun and the winner gets to choose the quilt...

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What I did on my summer vacation, vol. 1

What I did on my summer vacation, vol. 1

Oh, September. It seems like you just started. I had good intentions to be back in this space weeks ago, because in my mind, Labor Day marks the end of summer. Never mind that summer officially ends tomorrow or that, for us, it ended mid-August when the girls started...

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The Fussy Cut Sampler Week One

A few weeks ago, my copy of The Fussy Cut Sampler by Nichole Ramirez and Elisabeth Woo arrived on my doorstep. It is such a beautiful book with 48 great quilt blocks that made me want to cut up some fabric right away. Nichole and Elisabeth walk the reader through all...

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