My latest project is actually a remake of a very old one.  This was a quilt I made just under ten years ago, way before I knew anything about machine quilting or the online quilting world (did it even exist back then?).  Anyhow, it has been looking a little sad because I never quite finished the quilting like I had hoped.


I purchased these bright bandanas from Walmart for $1 each, and I thought they’d make a great beach blanket.  I was heading to Florida for college spring break with some friends, so I sewed the top and basted it and then hand quilted it in the car on the way down.  However, I only quilted along the seams.  These bandanas are about 20” square, so that leaves a lot of open unquilted area.  I had always intended to go back and do more quilting, but it just never happened.


It’s just a little too floppy for my tastes.  I also didn’t really know how to bind back then, so I did a flange type binding with mitered corners (don’t ask me how I came up with that method—I was self-taught), and they just weren’t holding up all that well.

I purchased a 31 outdoor blanket that folds up with a handle, and we tried it the other night when we went to the park—it’s TINY!!  Basically, it would only seat me and the baby.  My husband and 3 year old were kind of out of luck.  So, since this was our outdoor blanket before, I’ve decided to make a few modifications to make it just as handy with a handle/strap as the 31 blanket, but big enough to fit our whole family.  It’s a full size, about 80” square, so it’s great for a park/picnic blanket.


I’ve ripped out all the hand quilting, so I have all the pieces.  It only took me a couple of hours—much easier than ripping out machine stitches.  Now I just have to press everything and requilt it (on the machine this time!).  I’ll keep you posted so you can see how it turns out.

Chevron Quilt


I recently finished a custom chevron quilt like the baby blanket in my etsy shop.  My client requested her son’s name appliqued on the front.  She sent me paint chips of the colors in his room, and I used my Kona color card to match them—what did I ever do before I bought the color card?  Anyhow, I’m really happy with how it turned out, and my customer (she received it yesterday) loves it, too.



She chose the Les Amis gray woodgrain print for the back.  I just love this fabric, so I bought a little extra for myself as well.  It’s a great complement to the colors on the front—very calm and peaceful, great for a bedroom.



So, I packaged it all up and sent it on its way.  I rolled the quilt to save space since it was traveling all the way to Canada, but I think I might do this in the future for all my quilts—it looks nice as well as keeps the package compact.


This is the first custom quilt I’ve made for someone so far away, and although my client was wonderful to work with, I must admit it was a nerve-wracking experience.  Since she wasn’t able to choose the colors in person or give feedback in person, I was so nervous that I had made the wrong decisions.  It’s much easier on my nerves to make a quilt and then list it.  Still, I will most likely do this again if/when the opportunity arises.  I’m just glad it made it there safely and that she likes it!

Friday “Finish”

It’s good to be back to blogging after a long absence due to computer issues.  They seem to be fixed and, thankfully, without having to buy a new laptop (yea!).  However, despite my grandest plans for the summer and getting more things accomplished, etc., it just hasn’t happened.  My summer days have seemed to fill up with all kinds of stuff, but not much sewing to speak of.


I have, however, managed to finish the quilt I’m working on for a client—or at least I’m 98% finished.  I still have almost two sides of binding left to go (I’m doing that by hand, so it’s taking some time), but the quilting is finished, so I’m counting it!


The pattern on top is a basic chevron, and I just followed the fabric, quilting in the ditch.  I love the pattern it creates on the back.  My client is hoping for this quilt to be reversible for when her little boy grows up, and I think this definitely fits the bill.  I love the backing fabric she chose.

I’m off now to finish up the binding, wash it, and I hope to be able to take pictures of it tomorrow before it’s shipped to its new home on Monday!

Sew Sew Modern Swap Received


This is the swap package I received from my partner in the Sew Sew Modern Swap.  I have another beautiful pillow to add to the window seat in my sunroom.  She did an awesome job with this—pretty colors and some gorgeous hand stitching.  She used some nice text fabric and some French travel fabric, which I love.  I like anything with foreign languages on it.


It also has the above print on the back, which I’m just in love with.  I bought some of it myself a while back, but it’s hard to figure out a way to use it to advantage since it’s not something that would look good cut up in a quilt.  A pillow back is perfect!


I was also super excited about the extras she sent.  I’ve been wanting this Anna Maria Horner bag pattern for a while now, but I don’t often buy myself patterns, especially if they’re not downloadable.  I think it’s because I’m too cheap to pay for shipping!  Anyhow, I’m still looking for a good diaper bag, and I thought this might work.  If not, it looks like it would make a great sewing bag.  It’s called the Art Student Tote, so there are pockets and slots for all kinds of stuff.  I could have really used this when I was taking all those art classes in college when I spent a semester as an Interior Design major.  It didn’t last (kind of like a couple of my other majors!), but I did love the art classes I got to take.

Anyhow, I’m anxious to look this pattern over well.  It has an extendable top that’s not pictured as well as the pattern for the smaller bag shown.  Anyhow, I was so excited when I opened my swap box—my partner really did a great job “stalking” me and finding out what I liked!

Mallory’s Quilt


I finally have another quilt finish for 2013!  I’ve been doing so many swaps lately that actual quilts have been put on the back burner for a while.  This quilt was commissioned by the mother of the little girl I babysit after school during the week.  They’re moving this summer, which means she gets a new room and can choose new colors.  She chose teal and orange, and her mother had her choose the quilt pattern as well as the fabrics.

The pattern comes from a fairly new book, Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe’ target=_blank>Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe , I bought a few months ago.  I really liked several quilts in this book, so I think it was a good investment.  I love how fast and easy this quilt was.  It really was fun to make, and it gives a more complex look even though the blocks were really simple to put together.  They’re a lot like a Bento Box block but a bit more organized.


While we were looking on Pinterest for quilt patterns, Mallory also saw a baby quilt with an appliqued name on it.  She loved it and wanted to know if I could put it on the back.  She wanted the quilt to basically be reversible, so if she did turn it over, the name would be at the foot of her bed.  I think it came out well, though I made a mistake in basting, and then name was significantly off center.  So, I unpinned everything and started over.  Somehow I ironed the name on too far to the right, despite double checking the center—no clue how that happened.  At least it was salvageable, though, because there is no way to get that name off without doing some serious damage.  I just had to cut it super close instead of leaving myself room for shifting when quilting.  Luckily nothing shifted.


I skipped labeling the quilt since she wanted it to be reversible.  If I had those cool little woven labels that can be sewn into a seam, I would have put one of those in the binding, but since I don’t, I settled for putting my initials and the date very small in the quilting in the lower right corner. 


For the quilting, Mallory just wanted “squiggly lines.”  She has seen me stipple before and thought the “crazy quilting” was really cool.  It was to stipple again since I’ve been avoiding it since the first of the year in an effort to branch out into new techniques.  This was nice and simple and quilted up in less than two hours.

This quilt is a twin size, and it was my first time pin-basting since the very first quilt I quilted on a machine.  On the first one, I had a few issues with pleating on the backing, but this time I made sure to stretch my fabric with painter’s tape, and it worked quite well, and there are no pleats at all.  However, I must say that I really do prefer spray basting.  It’s SOOOO much easier.  It’s easier and faster to baste, to quilt, and there is much less chance of puckering/pleating as you quilt.  The only drawbacks are that it’s expensive, and of course it puts chemicals on your blanket.  The latter doesn’t bother me too much, though, because I don’t imagine it’s any worse than what’s already on the fabric from the manufacturing processes.

Anyway, pin basting worked this time, but it was a pain to stitch around the pins or stop to pull them out.  I would have sprayed, but I didn’t have it on hand and didn’t want to run to the store.  In the end, it was a good thing since I had to re-baste to center the name.  I could have pulled it apart if I had sprayed, but then I would have wasted a can for nothing.  So, I might use the pin method in the future on small projects, but I doubt it will ever become my preferred method!

WIP Wednesday


This week I have lots of projects in the works.  First up is a huge cushion cover for my new storage bench in our sunroom.  My husband and I built this last weekend, and we’ve finally finished all the construction parts of the sunroom, so now it’s on to decorating.  I’m planning to do a full post about the sunroom as soon as it’s finished.  The short version is that my husband started with this:


And has turned it into this:


He did everything except the tile—I’m so proud of him.  Anyway, this is the cushion I’m covering.  It’s almost 11 feet long, so there’s quite a long zipper to install.  All I have left is to make the piping and then sew it all together.


I’m also working on a Noodlehead Super Tote for myself (the chevron fabric is my curtains, not part or the bag).  I’m hoping this tote can turn into a nice summer bag that I can carry as a diaper bag.  It’s hard to tell if it will be big enough since it’s not completely constructed yet, but I should know soon.  I’m still waiting on an order of zippers from etsy.


My final project is the biggest.  I’ve been asked to make a custom quilt like my chevron baby quilt that’s for sale in my etsy shop.  This one is going to be a full size bed quilt, though.  The chevrons will be in the pale blue and off-white fabrics with the backing in the gray and the binding in the dark teal.  I’m just loving these colors together—so calming.  It’s for a toddler boy, and I think these fabrics could take him well into adulthood without looking babyish.  The gray fabric is Patty Sloniger’s from Les Amis, one of my favorites lately, so I was really excited when my customer chose this.

Anyway, I’m hoping to get the smaller two projects out of the way quickly so I can move ahead to the bed quilt.  I quoted her a 4-6 week time frame, so I better get moving! 


Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Pillow Talk Swap Received


Boy, did I hit the jackpot on this swap! This is what my partner, Pam (Sewmama123), made for me.  She even sent a second little pillow along with it!  I wrote on my sign-up form that I was planning to put pillows along a really long window seat in my sunroom and that my colors in there were gray and yellow but that it didn’t have to match since I’m mixing all sorts of pillows there.

Still, the colors she chose match quite well.  She also used one of my favorite fabric lines, Flea Market Fancy (the yellow bouquet print on the back is a fabric from that line).


Her hand stitching work is just amazing.  I think that’s my favorite part.  It’s just gorgeous, and it’s even better in person.  I’m a real sucker for hand quilting and hand stitches—they just add a really special touch, I think.


The backs are almost as pretty as the front.  She sewed in a covered zipper behind the gray print.  I really love the leaves in the gray.  If it’s still for sale somewhere, I might have to track some down to buy for my stash.

I had heard before that this was a really great swap group, and there’s nothing in the group photo pool that I wouldn’t be happy to have.   However, this was one of my favorites along the way, and the little pillow is just so adorable!  My bench doesn’t actually have a cushion cover yet, but I’m getting there, and as soon as it does, I’ll be posting a picture with my pillow lineup!

Modern She Made Swap Received


This package arrived in my mail from my Modern She Made Swap partner.  It came all the way from Scotland, and I was really excited to see what was inside.


It was a new diaper bag and little drawstring pouch…and some chocolate!


The bag has cute little fussy cut pictures inside stars on the front and the back of the bag as well as on the side pockets, which are perfect on a diaper bag.


Inside she put a divider pocket and some elasticized pockets.  I don’t use bottles, but they’ll be handy for sippy cups or random little things.


The little drawstring bag is so cute, too.  It’s very well made and super cute!  I really like swapping.  It’s like getting a gift in the mail, and I so seldom get anything handmade for me that it’s really exciting when the swaps come!


FEather Pillow


This is my swap pillow for this round of the Pillow Talk Swap (cute name, huh?).  This swap group is one of the ones I was drooling over when I first discovered swapping.  There are some seriously gorgeous pillows that come out of this swap.  A couple months ago, I got really brave and asked to join…and I was accepted (yea!).


I had to bring my A-game to this swap, and my partner said she liked feathers on her sign-up form, so I went with these.  I would have loved to use the Anna Maria Horner feather block pattern, but it was just way too big (and difficult to shrink), so I made up my own paper piecing pattern.  It went “okay.”  The piecing isn’t perfect, but it’s decent, and now that it’s quilted, you’d never know there were any issues.  Honestly, I think what threw things off was the stretching on the strings that make up the bodies of the feathers.

When it came time to quilt, I had no idea what to do and ended up settling on wavy “organic” lines.  The feathers seem kind of hippie and  all natural to me, so I thought it was a nice fit.  I used Kona cotton in “natural” for the background and accented it with Essex linen in denim.  I think it tempers all the bright colors well.


For the back, I used this natural colored fabric with a white flower print.  It’s the same as the border on the front.  I really like this fabric, and I thought it provided a nice calm background to the bolder feathers.  I bound the pillow this time, instead of sewing the edges and turning, because I wanted more of the denim on the pillow.

Overall, I’m really happy with it, and it was the first time in my swapping experience where I really kind of wanted to keep my swap item!  My partner was very quiet this round, so I do hope she likes what I chose to make her.  I’ll know soon—I finished this just under the wire, which is very unusual for me.  Cutting it so close has been seriously stressing me out.  I don’t plan to make a habit of procrastinating on my swap items!

Mother’s Day Tote Bag


I realize that it has been quite some time since Mother’s Day, but my mother-in-law reads my blog, so I had to make sure she received this in the mail before I posted a picture.  This tote bag was her Mother’s Day gift.  She loves the beach and Florida, and I had this palm tree block from my month in Stash Bee when I requested trees.  One of the members sent me this palm tree block.  It’s very well made and really cute, but once I saw it, I thought of Tammie, so I made it into a beach bag sized tote for her.


There’s one large interior pocket.  She goes to Florida every year, so I thought this would make a nice beach bag for the trip.  The inside lining is a blue Denyse Schmidt print, but the curvy lines reminded me of ocean waves.