A bunch of May flowers

So I’ve been collecting Liberty of London fabrics for as long as I can remember in my quilting life. I fell in love with them early, loving the vintage floral vibe not to mention the buttery softness of their famous Tana Lawn substrate. But I did just that for what felt like forever - collected them. Never used them, not even a tiny scrap here or there. Just collected and collected, and moved them from sewing room to sewing room in the many moves our family has been through the last nine years. Until a few weeks ago…


I decided it was time. My friend Colleen was fooling around with a teeny tiny pineapple block and I thought hey, that is my Liberty project right there. Not tiny, of course, because these florals need a bit more room to sing, but pineapple blocks always reminded me of kaleidoscopes, and that was exactly what I wanted.


I set to work, chopping up my hoarded Liberty fabrics into strips. Pressing and cutting them was especially enjoyable, in a way that I can’t recall experiencing while pressing and cutting for other projects. Then again, that smooth softness of the lawn is highly delightful. Naturally, I’m paper piecing these pineapples, because I’m me, and it would be crazy for me not to. And they’re addictive. As soon as I finish one, I’m pulling strips for the next one because I can’t wait to piece the next one. It feels like this supremely simple project is restoring the sewjo that has been missing for quite some time for me. It feels amazing. Here’s to more May flowers outside - and inside my sewing room.


Apparently I only make warm/cool quilts for my bed

As I carried the two halves that I have going so far for my epic Anna Maria Horner patchwork quilt up the stairs to my bedroom to take some progress photos yesterday afternoon, I realized that apparently I only make warm/cool quilts of my bed. My other bed quilt, made some eons ago, is a warm/cool HST quilt, and this new quilt is a simple charm quilt set on point and sorted into warms and cools. I had myself a good chuckle over it for a few minutes before setting about to laying out my work so far on the sheet to see how things were looking, now that my progress doesn't fit on my design wall.

That's the thing about making big quilts for me - it's hard to really get a good sense of how they're looking in my sewing room right now with the way things are laid out. I really need a full wall of design wall. That would be superb. But that would mean giving up a lot of storage space, which isn't really doable with the current state of my stash, so unless I downsize my stash massively, this method of laying things out sometimes in my bed will just have to do. Make it work, as Tim Gunn says, and he says it so enthusiastically and convincingly that he's got me believing.

I'm really, really, really excited about how things are looking so far. Super excited. Wish I could sew, sew, sew and finish the whole thing off today excited. But life rules, and there are kids to care for, and QuiltCon to work on, and dogs to walk, and real life waits for no one. But come next weekend, here's hoping there's at least another row or two added onto this bad boy. I think there's ten more to go total to get it large enough to have enough size to be able to tug back and forth between me and my husband and for it to hang down to where I want it to hang to. Ten more. I can do that. Eventually. Here's hoping you all had a great stitchy weekend too!

Sewing by the seat of my pants

These little blocks are totally making my day these days. Whenever I pop into my sewing room for a few minutes, I can cut a few squares for the next block or sew a few seams - it's the perfect project for a few stolen moments here and there, and it's starting to actually look like something. So far, what I'm doing is making four blocks per color and then arranging them from light to dark into these big diamonds...

And I know I have more diamonds to make, I'm just not sure how many exactly...at least one more big cool diamond and one more big warm diamond, but likely more than that, to make a quilt big enough for our bed. I think I'll likely employ an alternate grid of some kind to make the blocks float and have a more varied, interesting layout, but I haven't quite gotten that far yet.

For now, I'm going to keep enjoying the process of making these little blocks and not worry too much about the final result. Sew by the seat of my pants, if you will. We'll see how long my Type A personality can tolerate that! Have a great week everyone :)

If you're scrap happy and you know it, clap your hands...

Baby songs are all up in my head these days. While Lorelei is still quite little to appreciate songs and stories, I still spend time with her each day singing those familiar tunes and reading a story or two. Her smiles are becoming more frequent, which makes the days where the crying stretches on for what feels like eons a bit more bearable. And playing with my scraps this weekend also helps soothe this tired mom.

I've been wanting to make a new quilt for our bed for probably two years now, and after many different ideas that just didn't quite feel perfect, I think I've stumbled on one that is. These simple little patchwork blocks, sorted into warms and cools. They're crazy easy to stitch up, super fast, and let me play with all the little bits and bobs of leftover fabrics in my scrap bin. Perfect for naptime sewing.

Here's hoping I manage to sneak in some more sewing time this week! Have a fab week everyone :)

Weekend sewing...and a winner

How is it that Monday creeps up so quickly these days? And how is it possible that there's less than  month left of my munchkin's kindergarten school year? The days are flying by around here, and that's certainly in part to a good bit of secret sewing going on in my neck of the woods, and I'm sure the other part contributing to the fast pace of time is just life. It's amazing to me that it's already May, it feels like it was January just five minutes ago!

In any case, this past weekend was a good one, filled with some quality time with the kiddo and a fair bit of sewing as well, in spite of the horse fly that invaded my sewing room Friday night. Thankfully I was able to shoo the fly (no quilty pun intended!) and get some nice sewing done in peace. This little house block is heading off to Quiltmaker headquarters for a fun project they're putting together, and you can find the pattern in Volume 8 of their 100 Blocks series, block #783 designed by Lori Holt.

Home Sweet Home block for Quiltmaker

I even managed to do a little bit of selfish sewing this weekend, which was so nice. I started on this quilt back at The Stash Bash - I had decided before I left that the time had come for me to make a KJR (Katie Jump Rope) quilt. Making the first cut was a teeny bit painful, but it felt good to finally start using something I had loved and hoarded for so long. I decided that a simple block would be best, so I could have large chunks of the prints I love so much, and so that's how I wound up with this work in progress. I think I've made somewhere around 50-something blocks now, so I think I'll wrap it up and sew them together this week. For now, it's fun to play around with the layout.

Katie Jump Rope quilt in progress

And I owe you all a winner - the winner of Volume 9 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks issue is Michele! Congratulations, Michele, I'll be emailing you shortly to get your mailing info. Have a wonderful day today everyone :)

Welcome to the Rainbow Dance Party

Psst - Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for a great giveaway!!

Who doesn't love a fabric rainbow?! When RJR Fabrics got in touch with me about being part of their blog hop to celebrate their solids collection, I had the perfect project in mind, something that required a beautiful rainbow of solids...

Rainbow Dance Party quilt top

There's nothing like a cheery fabric rainbow to make you smile, am I right? I had a lot of fun cutting into these solids and sewing them together. I've used a lot of different solids since I've been quilting, ranging from rough fabrics that are nearly impossible to press to super smooth almost silky solids, and the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids are a good middle grade solid - not so smooth that they're slippery but not rough and sandpaper-y either. They're quite soft and drape nicely, and they don't require loads of Best Press to get the wrinkles out. They press quite nicely and I enjoyed working them, and sewing up them up into  quilt top.

Rainbow Dance Party quilt top - the artsy view

I'm calling it the Rainbow Dance Party quilt, thanks to some valuable feedback from a friend. How fun is this top?! I'm really looking forward to quilting it up, using a bunch of coordinating Aurifil threads. I'm just waiting for my orange to arrive and then I'll be getting started on the quilting.

RJR Cotton Supreme Solids

I used the following colors from RJR's Cotton Supreme Solids collection:
49 - Chili Pepper
140 - Ochre
182 - Lemon Chiffon
249 - Sprout
251 - Anemone
331 - Pink Orchid
110 - Red Wagon
276 - Tangerine Dream
92 - Goldenrod
349 - Aloe Verde
296 - Electric Blue
286 - Ruby Slippers
34 - Black
You can find many of these colors in stock at Pink Castle Fabrics.

Do you love a good fabric rainbow too? Then you're in luck, because RJR is generously giving away a bundle of these fabrics to one lucky reader. All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below! Tell me about an all solids quilt you've sewn up, and if you haven't sewn up a solids quilt before, tell me why. This giveaway will end next Thursday, March 6th, at 11:59 PM, and a winner will be announced on Friday, March 7th.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at RJR for providing me with the fab solids for this quilt top and for the fantastic giveaway! Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A tale of a pillow cover: part one

Once upon a time, there was a super fun swap called Sew Sew Modern. I watched from the sidelines for the first two rounds, and jumped in on the third round, and had a lot of fun. I made something I really loved, received something fantastic that I adore, and promptly signed up for the fourth round when sign-ups opened. Then, I got crazy busy, and lost track of the swap deadline. Fast forward to last week, and I realized I need to get the lead out and get my items made for my partner!

SewSew Modern - getting started

The good news is that my secret partner has very specific taste, so it was easy to think up something that I think she'll enjoy. For once, I feel pretty confident that she's going to like what I'm making, which is a refreshingly wonderful feeling in a swap! The next-best news is that I'm having fun making her items so far, and moving right along and should finish just in the nick of time.

SewSew Modern sip

So far, I'm working on a pillow top with a medallion design, using some Lucky Stars blocks from 2013 (the bonus block and the December block), in miniature form, in a color palette completely and utterly inspired by the movie Frozen. Ha! My sewing time has been limited to the darkness lately, so I've mostly shared the progress of this pillow top on Instagram so far, but I managed to get a few decent pictures in the daylight yesterday in between the mountains of work I've got this week.

SewSew Modern project in progress

This is going to be a hard pillow cover to give away, but I always love that feeling of giving away something that you truly love and are proud of having made, so I suppose that means that this is going to be another successful round of Sew Sew Modern for me. Next up is another border and then some quilting, and then a simple back, so I'm in the home stretch, I think! Stay tuned for a finish on this one real soon, I hope. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

A little Vintage Quilt Revival block

Just a quick little note this morning to share a block I made recently from the fabulous new book, Vintage Quilt Revival, by three super-talented ladies I'm happy to call my friends: Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt, Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced and Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts. If you haven't picked it up yet, I strongly suggest you do, because you'll get sound design advice, beautiful photography, and gorgeous patterns. You won't regret it!

This block is the Exploding Star pattern, which you'll find on page 106 of the book. I almost always use super bright colors in my blocks, so I wanted to try a different kind of color scheme for me, so I went with some really beautiful soft blues from Sweetwater's Noteworthy Collection paired with a bold gray Dear Stella print and my ever trusty Kona Snow. This block, and many others made by several other uber-talented quilty peeps, will be compiled together into sampler quilts for charity by Katie, Lee and Faith later this month. Stay tuned for more info on those, I can't wait to see how they come together!

I'm away this week on a trip to Denver, and will be back next week, so the blog will be a bit quiet this week. Have a fantastic week while I'm away, and if you need something wonderful to read while I'm gone, check out the rest of the stops on the Vintage Quilt Revival Blog Hop below:

January 13th (Monday):
Crazy Mom Quilts - Amanda Jean
Don’t Call Me Betsy - Elizabeth
Film in the Fridge - Ashley
Happy Quilting - Melissa
Noodlehead - Anna

January 14th (Tuesday):
I’m A Ginger Monkey - Katy
Quilting Is My Therapy - Angela
A Quilting Life - Sherri
Sew Mama Sew - Kristin
Tall Grass Prairie Studio - Jacquie

January 15th (Wednesday):
Christa Quilts - Christa
Diary of a Quilter - Amy
Quilting Gallery - Michele
Sew Take a Hike - Penny
V and Co. - Vanessa
West Coast Crafty - Susan

January 16th (Thursday):
Bijou Lovely - Holly
Don’t You Know Who I Am - Sukie
Lily’s Quilts - Lynne
One Shabby Chick - Amber

January 17th (Friday):
Swim, Bike, Quilt - Katie
Freshly Pieced - Lee
Fresh Lemons Quilts - Faith

Nothing has the same healing power as awesome fabric - plus a winner

My ever-growing Wonderland stash - thank you swapping friends!!!

It's been a long week. A nagging cold has turned into a super fun case of laryngitis, so I've spent most of the last week wildly gesturing like a not-so-masterful charades player and trying (mostly in vain!) not to talk. My voice is starting to make a comeback, ever so slowly, and I'm attributing most of that comeback to the healing power of fabric! Hopped up on cold medicine, I managed to cut into my stash of MoMo's Wonderland at long last this weekend!

Ack! I've cut into my Wonderland!!! But it feels good :)

I've chopped up some of my fat eighths, along with some various solids I've pulled together that surprisingly coordinate nicely with Wonderland, and I'm making a Garden Lattice quilt from Cindy Lammon's Simply Modern Christmas book, which is a really fun holiday sewing book I've been enjoying recently.

Latticing it up!

One of the things that awesome about Cindy's Garden Lattice pattern is how quick it is to stitch up! I pulled these blocks together pretty quickly, in just an hour or so after loads of pressing and cutting. I've got an idea for putting a little twist on these blocks that I'm hoping will make this quilt even better, but we'll see how that turns out.

A little bit of piecing with my prized Wonderland stash

And I haven't forgotten - today, I get to share the winner of the copy of Electric Quilt! Welcome Christine Sherman to the EQ Club, I'll be in touch with you via email today! Have a great day :)

Less is More Quilt, Sun Prints Style - and a giveaway!

If you haven't yet heard about Alison Glass's epic Sun Prints collection, chock full of stash must-haves in rainbow colors, prepare your wallet right now, because this is a must-have collection! Alison is a supremely talented fabric designer, whose first collection Lucky Penny featured the wonderful Bike Path print that I used in my Sew Positive quilt last year. Fast forward to this year, and Alison is in the process of releasing her Sun Prints collection, print by print, in multiple colors each month. So far, there's been the Feathers print, the Party Streamer, the amazing Text print, and there's still several more prints coming! Alison sent me a sampling of all of the prints to put together a quilt with, and it was so much fun working with this collection.

My stack of Sun Prints

I turned to my book, Becoming a Confident Quilter, for a pattern that would work well for an assortment of fabrics, and I chose to make my Less is More pattern. It's one of my favorites in the book, and it comes together very quickly. I sorted my fabrics by color, and then got to work, chopping them up.

Sun Prints Less is More - close up

As I sewed, I had a good feeling about this quilt top. I had a feeling I was going to love it, and as I placed the blocks up on my design wall, I couldn't help but grin. The blocks were fantastic. The prints shined through the piecing really beautifully, and the rich, saturated colors popped from my background fabric, which is a new shade of Kona called Silver, which I am loving right now!

Sun Prints Less is More

And if you are salivating over these fabrics, then you need to make sure scroll to the bottom of this post to enter a giveaway to win a stack of 10 Sun Prints fat quarters and a copy of her new Color Plus pattern! One lucky winner will be drawn on Monday morning.

Giving away a lovely stack of 10 Sun Prints fat quarters on the blog today!! Giving away this lovely new Alison Glass pattern on my blog today!

And that's not all! You simply must go visit Alison's blog to enter the amazing giveaway she's running right now. She's giving away a fat quarter stack of all 74 Sun Prints!

Alison Glass's big Fabric Giveaway - win fat quarters of all 74 Sun Prints!

There's been a great group of bloggers that have been sharing their creations with Sun Prints, and still a few more left to go, so make sure to check them out!

Group 1 - Feathers, Text, Party Streamer
8.21.13 - One Shabby Chick
8.23.13 - Silly Mama Quilts
8.26.13 - Threadbias
8.28.13 - KD Quilts
8.30.13 - April Rhodes
Group 2 - Feathers Quilt Pattern
9.2.13 - The ADD Crafter
9.4.13 - Sew Sweetness
9.13.13 - Imagine Gnats
Group 3 - Clover Sunshine
9.16.13 - Crafty Fox
9.18.13 - One Girl Circus
9.20.13 - Sew Sweetness
9.23.13 - There and Back
9.25.13 - J.M.B.
9.27.13 - Modern Maven
Group 4 - Corsage, Bike Path, X & +
9.30.13 - Gen X Quilters
10.7.13 - Jacey Craft
10.9.13 - Bijou Lovely 
10.11.13 - Fresh Lemons Quilts

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rain, rain, go away...

It's been a rainy start to the week in my neck of the woods. A soaker, really. Thankfully, it's nothing tropical, but steady, all-day rain is very un-Florida. Nothing but gray skies and the drip-drip-drip of raindrops, so it's been a sluggish start to the week for me. I need a good cup of coffee to get my juices flowing and get my week chugging along!

Trunk Show @ Sarasota MQG
me and my Less is More quilt, from Becoming a Confident Quilter
photo by Jodi Gustafson, SMQG

My trunk show at the Sarasota MQG
the line-up of quilts I brought to the trunk show
photo by Jodi Gustafson, SMQG

I had such a great time over the weekend at my trunk show in Sarasota. Thank you so much for having me, Sarasota Modern Quilt Guild! It was a lot of fun to talk through a bunch of my quilts and share them with other sewists.

Minion eye!

In my sewing room, I'm making good progress on my little minion quilt - I've got the bulk of the patchwork for the center sewn together now, just need to start adding the outer white borders, then the pixelated border. If only I could decide on what color(s) to use for the pixelated border. :) I did manage to cut up all the white squares, just need to start sewing them together. I think that's in the forecast for today, after I venture out to the grocery store in today's rain. Here's hoping I don't manage to get stuck in a downpour! And I absolutely must remember to put a new cone of Aurifil on the machine today, too! I think I've got mere inches left to spare. Have a great Tuesday!

Nearing the end of the line!

A happy dance in my sewing room

My weekend consisted of loads of errands and chores, but I carved out a bit of sewing time for myself, too. I managed to finally cut into the towering stack of fabric I pulled together for my munchkin's minion quilt.

Squares for pixel piecing

A zillion and twelve 2.5" squares later, I started playing around with the layout on my design wall, and I'm in love. This project is so much fun to work on. I found myself wanting to do a little happy dance when it suddenly stopped looking like a bunch of squares and started looking like a minion.

A minion coming together!

Now I just have to start sewing these rows together and keep the munchkin out of my sewing room in the meantime. Wish me luck! Happy Monday to you :)

Sewing my way to Quilt Market

Quilt Market is coming up again in just over a month, and I'm going to be doing a schoolhouse and book signing during my stay in Houston. Eek! I'm both excited and frightened by the prospect of this. First off, can I actually talk for 30 minutes coherently about my book? I hope so. I need to write myself some talking points to keep me from veering off-topic and spending 22 minutes talking about my love for Denyse Schmidt's fabrics or something related and oh-so-not-related all at the same time. Secondly, I'm going to need to work on practicing my signature. Seriously! I have the signature of a seventeen year old boy who's going to grow up to be a doctor - sloppy, mostly illegible and not at all what you would call pretty.

Polaris mini in progress

Now thirdly, I have something to finish preparing that's way more fun for Market, and pretty, too - a mini-quilt that I plan to give away to one lucky attendee of my schoolhouse! I had a terrible time trying to decide which quilt I wanted to do in a mini, and after a ton of deliberation, I decided I wanted to do Polaris, a really fun, scrappy Ohio star quilt that focuses on teaching sewing quarter-square triangle units and making them as easy as possible.

Polaris quilt from my new book - Becoming a Confident Quilter
Polaris quilt from my book, Becoming a Confident Quilter
photo courtesy of Martingale & Co

For my mini, I made four blocks, so it came together quite quickly over the weekend. I started with a color palette that I was really digging, pulled some scraps and fat quarters based on it, and got to pressing and cutting. It felt good to just have some fun with fabric and some good tunes.

A little bit of scrappy fun

The best part was that I had good company while I was digging through my scraps - my munchkin loves to play in my scrap bins, and put random combinations up on my design wall. Yesterday he actually wanted to mimic what I was piecing, which was fun. He kept asking me to cut more triangles for him so he could create new patterns. I loved the way he kept trying to sing along with the songs on my playlist, that was adorable.

Polaris mini

I'm definitely planning to sew up some more minis, pillows, and quilts from my book soon, and I cannot believe that it starts shipping tomorrow. I'm hoping to get my first box of books soon so I can fulfill the pre-orders that many of you placed at my Pattern Shop. If you still want to pre-order a copy, you can do so right here or at Amazon - or you can pick up the latest issue of Quilt Sampler and take the $10 Martingale rebate form found inside on page 121 to your local quilt shop to pick up my book and get a great deal at the same time!

Stay tuned tomorrow for more book pictures, I'm so excited to finally be sharing them! Have a great day today :)

Reunited...and it feels so good!

Oh, how I've missed sewing these last few weeks! I've been doing some part-time work at home that I'm enjoying immensely, but I sure have missed the hum of my Juki. This week, things have calmed down a bit with work, and I feel like I'm starting to get into a solid groove at last, with the munchkin off at kindergarten for most of the day. Just the other day, I found myself with a bunch of unscheduled moments where I could just sew. It was absolutely wonderful :)

Paper piecing makes me happy :)

I've been waffling about what to sew up for my partner in the Sew Sew Modern swap for the last few weeks. I think our tastes are quite different, and that's part of why I've been so unsure what to sew for her that she'd appreciate, but I finally got a great idea last week - to make her a Lucky Stars mini quilt, in the colors and fabrics that she would love. They might not be the fabrics I would pick to make one for myself, but to each his own, right? I'm really liking how this is coming together, and I hope she's going to love it too!

SewSew Modern mini quilt top - just need to quilt it!

In other news, I'm being featured over at Gable House & Co today, for a fun interview - pop on over to check it out! Happy Friday, I hope you have a great weekend!

Making friends with a featherweight

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a Singer featherweight machine in a neat antique and consignment shop I found in my new neighborhood. A typical afternoon Florida storm was about to roll in and I left the shop without the machine, not knowing whether or not it worked and aiming to head back at some point to check it out. I wound up going back the very next day, plugging the machine in, and bringing it home when I discovered that it was still functional. I had absolutely no need for another sewing machine, but I couldn't pass up the deal.

My featherweight, all tuned up and piecing

Fast forward a few weeks, and the machine sat in its' case in my sewing room closet, while I tried to unpack and get settled into the new house. I pulled the featherweight out of the closet yesterday, when I had a good friend over to sew. Olivia has a featherweight of her own and helped me tune the old girl up, give her a good oiling, fix the hand wheel, and get her into optimal running condition. Thanks to a tip from Katie, I looked up the serial to find out how old the machine is, and it looks like it was made in February of 1946, so she's going on 70! I did a bit of piecing on her yesterday, putting her through the motions and I was really pleased with how well it sewed.

Tearing apart the cord

That is, until my husband came home. He'd been away all day, and when he came home, I asked him to help me tape up a spot on the electrical cord that was uncovered. He put his foot down, and said the cord needed to be replaced, that tape was not an acceptable fix. Being the hands on guy he is, he attempted to fix the cord himself, but when he started to open up the cord to repair it, it disintegrated in his hands. He prescribed a new cord, and thanks to Ebay, one is now on its way to me.

The featherweight's blocks so far

I totally didn't need another sewing machine, but I have to say, this little sewing machine was just too cute to pass up. I love how quiet and smooth it sews, and I'm looking forward to getting it back up and running. In the meantime, I'll just admire the blocks I've put together with it so far - which are from one of the patterns I'm working on finishing up, Sew Positive. And turn on one of my other machines when I have some more time to sew ;). Have a great Monday!

Settling in and unpacking an old project

It's been a long couple of weeks, but we're officially moved into the new house! Yay! Now the settling in has begun, from unpacking to organizing to decorating. I know I've still got a long way to go, but it's going pretty well so far, especially now that I've started to work on my new sewing space.

Going from a mess o' thread to nice organized thread

I'm totally loving the new neighborhood and house, and I'm loving all of the light in my new sewing room! I haven't spent as much time as I'd like in there yet, getting things set up, but yesterday after organizing the closet and hanging my bulletin board, design wall, and a few favorite minis, I decided it was time to turn on the sewing machine. It felt like it'd been eons since I've sewn - so I was definitely jonesing to make something. I wanted to sew something small, something that wouldn't take too long, but that would help me get just a little bit of my sanity back!

Bulletin Board and Minis in my new sewing space

So, I turned to a project I haven't worked on in almost two years: the Farmer's Wife Sampler. AnneMarie busted hers out earlier this summer, which put the idea in my head. I really hadn't given the project much thought since I set it aside, but breaking it out of the box really put a smile on my face. I had forgotten just how many blocks I'd made so far - 37 out of 111! So, I think over the next couple of weeks as I finish up this whole settling in business, I might just make a few more of these guys. They were crazy quick to put together, and awfully satisfying.

Farming away

The first block I worked on was block #37, Flower Pot. I didn't really notice at first that the block required Y-seams, but I didn't let that stop me when I was piecing, I just kept on trucking and they turned out just fine. I forgot how quick even the more involved Farmer's Wife blocks are! That's the beautiful thing about 6" blocks, they're great for little bursts of sewing time, even if they have challenging bits.

Flower Pot - FW Block #37

I couldn't resist putting together a second block after the first one came together so quickly. I chose the Friendship Star, block #41, knowing it would be really easy to sew up. I used one of my favorite, classic color combos: red and aqua. I like the way that not only the colors contrast one another, but the prints are somewhat contrasting as well, with the red print being much more harsh and geometric than the softer aqua print.

Friendship Star - FW Block #41

As I stepped outside to take pictures of my finished blocks, I happened to catch a deer family in the backyard. It's been such fun to see all the wildlife in the conservation that our new house backs up to. I get positively giddy when I see these beautiful deer!

Mama deer and her littlest baby

I hope you're all having a great week! Where did the week go? It's going to be August next week, can you believe it? Just a few short weeks before school starts back up around here! Have a great weekend :)

And because I don't have enough to do...

I've started toying with the idea of making a new pixelated quilt once we get moved into the new house and I get unpacked. We're decorating the kiddo's room with his new favorite thing, minions from Despicable Me, and I thought it might be really cool to make him a new quilt to go with his new room's theme. Enter the pixelated minion...

Call me crazy, but this might be the first thing I work on when I unpack!

I've been fooling with this little guy the last couple of nights after the kiddo heads off to bed, when I'm too tired to pack another box, and trying to slow my mile-a-minute brain for the day. My minion started out too tall, and kind of odd, so I've shortened him up, changed the straps of his overalls, and I think he's looking awfully cute now. If my fabric wasn't packed up in a zillion bins and boxes, I'd totally be cutting into some fabric right now to start on this, because a simple patchwork project sounds amazingly fun right now. As if I need another work-in-progress! Then again, my local MQG's Sew Day is tomorrow at Inspire, so maybe I'll find some new fabrics for this project and get started anyway. I hope you have a great weekend!

A little sewing break

The packing is going surprisingly well this week and so is the purging. It's truly amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you live somewhere for a long time. After I packed up my fabric yardage, I decided to take a little sewing break and start on a project I cut out a while back that I then immediately misplaced, as I'm pretty well known to do. See, we called my dad "the Mad Mover" - he was constantly tidying things up and putting things in strange places. And I clearly got the Mad Mover gene, because I do the same thing, all the time. I'm constantly hunting for things I've misplaced, and I often give up, figuring that the missing item will turn up eventually, and that's exactly what happened with this stack of fabric...

The taller stack is a stack of aqua and teal solids from my stash, some Kona, Art Gallery, Michael Miller, and Bella solids. The smaller stack is various low volume prints, in larger squares and then also in smaller squares. I had an idea for the Negative Space Challenge that my local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild is working on finishing up this month, cut the fabric out, then put it somewhere strange and never saw it again until now. I suppose it's good timing, since it's a smaller project, and having a little something I can work on sewing in between packing duty is nice.

Little star

I'm really digging these stars, and the way they're coming together. I love the pixelated background and the depth it gives the negative space, I think it makes the negative space almost sparkle. And all of these aquas and teals together just make me happy. Such a calming, soothing group of colors, don't you think?

Big star

Do you lose things in your sewing space like I do? Or is your craft room always neat and tidy? I often wish I could be tidier, but sometimes finding things that have been lost for a while can be a fun, forgotten surprise, so I almost enjoy being a Mad Mover! Have a great day :)

Hope Valley Progress!

Thank you all so much for all of your well wishes on my book news. I'm still pinching myself over the whole thing! I'm so touched by the things you guys have said to me, I really appreciate all the support. As soon as it's listed for pre-order, I will be sure to let you guys all know! In the meantime, I've got some good news to share on my Hope Valley improv quilt today: I finished the quilt top. Yay! It's officially big enough to fit on my queen-sized bed, and because of that, it's nearly impossible to photograph. But, I love it so far. :) You can read a little more about my work on this quilt right here.

Hope Valley Improv - sneak peek #2

The bad news? Now I have to baste the darned thing! Yikes. My weekend clearly is going to include a heck of a lot of quality time with my 505. And I need to shop for some Aurifil thread to match the yarn-dyed Essex to quilt it with - thankfully my MQG meeting is tomorrow at Inspire Quilting & Sewing, where they stock boatloads of Aurifil! Hope you have a great weekend!

Hope Valley improv - sneak peek #1

Slicing and dicing

It was a pretty busy weekend in my neck of the woods, but I did manage to find a bit of time to do some sewing. I'm really starting to make some progress on my Hope Valley improv quilt, it's actually starting to look like something, which is exciting. Especially after the initial dread I felt after chopping it up into pieces. Do you have a fabric collection that you can't bear to cut into? Hope Valley is one of those lines for me, I've been hoarding it, just waiting for the perfect project for it, until I decided that I just wanted to use it. I wanted something made out of it that I can enjoy, rather than walking by where it sits on my fabric shelves and eyeing it longingly.

Picking the solids

So I chopped it up. Eek! I'm using a pattern in Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen, one of my favorite quilting books. This pattern is found in the modern crazy piecing section, which is the section of the book where I want to make every single quilt! This one is called Winter Windows, and is done up in beautiful muted blues and grays in the book, so I'm hoping that my bright color scheme won't totally ruin this quilt.

The pattern

I'm happy with how it's working out so far. I've gotten to the point now where I'm starting to assembly the crazy pieced strips with background fabric and then with the accent solids. I'm loving these solids together - I think I might just have to do another project with this color scheme at some point!

My background fabric is Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax. I had initially intended to do a mix of fabrics for the background, subbing in some Essex Linen in Natural and maybe another light colored chambray, but I didn't like how they looked together ultimately. The colors are quite similar, but the other linens just don't sparkle the way the yarn-dyed one does, so I'm sticking with it.

Starting to look like something

I'm nearly halfway through putting the two swaths of crazy pieces together, so that means hopefully that I'll have a quilt top to share soon! Stay tuned! I hope you all had a great weekend, and have a wonderful Monday :)