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?

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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Make Your Own Medallion

You guys! Today is a great day. It's my 46th birthday AND this is my new book! I am so excited to announce that Make Your Own Medallion, published by Lucky Spool Media, will be available in November 2017. I am enamored with medallion quilts and have so much fun...

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Color Crush

I have a major crush on a color combination. I cannot get it out of my mind and find myself thinking of all the quilts I could make with fabrics in these hues. Are you ready? Orange, caramel, lilac, berry-red, plum and cream. As a die-hard lover of the color green and...

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Let’s talk socks

Let's start with the obvious: I'm on a bit of a sock knitting bender. Eight pairs since July, with the ninth on the needles right now, almost finished. Despite the tiny needles (size 1! Officially crazy!) and the thread like yarn (fingering weight, I'm...

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Hello again.

Hey there. I am still here. I spent the first three months of this year, head down, working. It was the good kind of work - exciting, challenging, at moments frustrating, but in the end rewarding. The result? A book. I promise to share more soon. Soon! I think (and...

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Violet’s Quilt

I made one gift this past Christmas - a quilt for my niece Violet. She was born in July and I really can't think of a better gift for a baby than a quilt. I stumbled upon this darling print by Kim Kight from her Penny Arcade line for Cotton + Steel. I just love...

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I was up early for a Saturday morning. Jane took the ACT (how is that possible?!?) and I wanted to make sure that she had everything she needed plus a decent breakfast. I had set the alarm for 6:12 and then reset it for 6:30. I could have slept much longer, the result...

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Free Christmas Quilt Tutorial

I've been wanting to make a Christmas quilt for awhile and last week, I decided that it was about time. In a matter of a couple of days, I had cut all the pieces for this Super-Sized Ohio Star quilt and pieced the entire top! Then, I decided to make a second one....

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Kona Color of the Year Mini Quilt

A little while back, the great people at Robert Kaufman asked me to make a 20" mini quilt celebrating Highlight, the Kona Cotton Color of the Year. They sent me a curated stack of gorgeous Kona solids and minimum direction - 20" square, make Highlight the...

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