Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival ~ Menagerie

I’m so nervous!!  I am entering two quilts in the Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival over on Amy’s Creative Side.  If you are visiting me here for the first time because of your interest in the festival, “Welcome!”  You can find much more of my work and thoughts over on Instagram.  The link is there on the right.  

 The first quilt I am entering will be in the LARGE QUILT category.  It measures 93″ square, 372″ around.  My friend Anna aka @HootnHaller and I challengecd ourselves to actually make some things out of the many quilt books on our shelves.  This is my first finish and I couldnt’ be happier.  I call it “Menagerie” because of all of the animal prints throughout the top and back of the quilt.  It is made up of entirely all Cotton + Steel fabrics.  Of course I used 50 weight Aurifil thread to piece it and to sew the binding down.  I finished piecing it last week.  After piecing the back, I delivered it to my local long arm quilter, JoAnn Sholtz, and had her use a beautiful turquoise colored thread to quilt the dense “Deb Swirl” pattern all over it.  I was so excited to pick it up from her yesterday, Monday, that I ran right home, made up the binding, machine stitched it onto the top and then spent 4.25 hours hand stitching the binding to the back whole watching The Voice & DVR’d The Bachelorette.  And then… I slept under it!  Hubby and I just love it and were amazed at how nicely it fit on our king sized bed.   
   The pattern is called “Breaking Tide” by April Rosenthal.  It’s the second pattern in her book, “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced” from Lucky Spool.  I designed the back of the quilt using 10″ quarter square triangles to reflect the quilt top, and used two color ways of the coyote and rabbit print from Cotton + Steel’s “Mesa” collection.  I honestly don’t know which side I like the best!   

 Well, thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my quilt.  To those of you who have also entered the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, good luck!   Thank you to Amy of Amy’s Creative Side for providing such a fun platform to share quilts in.  


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The Quilt Book Project – “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”

While my friend Anna aka @HootnHaller was here last month, we decided to challenge each other to actually make things out of the many quilt books that we both own.  I know, what a concept!  LOL!  I love quilt books and have a hard time not buying them, therefore, I have a lovely collection of quilt books in my studio.  Problem is, I haven’t made much out of them.  I spend plenty of time reading them and drooling over the pictures of beautiful projects, but I haven’t taken the time to make many of them.

I decided to make a quilt out of April Rosenthal’s book, “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”.  It’s one of the wonderful titles that has been published by LUCKY SPOOL and has a cool theme.  “5 styles, 10 patterns, 50 quilts.” April has designed ten fun and beautiful quilts that range in skill level from fairly easy patchwork to approachable, yet challenging paper piecing.  April has then taken the book a step further by showing how different decorating styles can completely change the look of these ten quilts.  She even has a fun “Style Quiz” for the reader to take to narrow down what their home dec style is.  (Like April states in the beginning of her book, she loves personality quizzes on Facebook and so do I, so this was really fun.)  According to the quiz my style is “Farmhouse” style.

I chose to make the second quilt in the book, “Breaking Tide”.  I have surprised myself by picking this one because it is simple and easy to put together, consisting of 12.5″ quarter square triangles.  I always feel like I have to make things that are a bit challenging or complicated with lots of pieces creating one block.  Once I started making the forty-nine blocks I sure was glad the construction was so fun and simple.  Of course I started over thinking fabric combinations.  I chose to make this quilt out of Cotton + Steel fabrics only.  I have a great selection of C+S fabrics I have been collecting for a little while now, including cuts of all twelve prints in their Black & White line.  When things started to feel hard as I was creating fabric combos, I stepped back and decided to stop what I usually do, and let the fabrics speak for themselves.  I ended up using a lot of fabrics with animals on them.  It turned out to be the way to go because this quilt is for Hubby and me and he really loved all the animals when I showed him the final layout of blocks.

I still have to sew all the blocks into rows, then all the rows together and then put the border on but I am really loving how it’s turning out.  April’s instructions are well written and the measurements are accurate, providing plenty of squaring up room.  I look forward to making more quilts out of “Bedroom Style, Perfectly Pieced”.

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Never Say Never!

I am a Modern Tratitional Quilter.  I love to play with fabric, design patterns or sew up an already established pattern, create and make quilts and pillows of all shapes and sizes.  My friends know I don’t sew other things.  Well, this past weekend I stepped way outside of my comfort zone and made not one but THREE purses.  And guess what?  I enjoyed it!  

Let me start from the beginning.  My dear friend, Anna @hottnhaller on Instagram, flew out to visit me from Pennsylvania this past weekend.  We originally met on Instagram, then eventually in real life.  She’s inspirational and experienced in the art of quilt, bag and garment making as well as knitting.  She’s a wonderful person and intellegent and fun too.  I trust her so shen she propsed that I make something outside of my comfort zone, I was game.  With that, we went on an epic shop hop of our own, visiting Birch Fabric aka Fabricworm in Paso Robles, CA, Quiltin’ Cousins in Pismo Beach, CA and Picking Daisies in San Luis Obispo, CA and later in the weekend we visited the shop I work at in Fresno, CA, Authorized Vac & Sew.  With our arsenal of fabrics in hand, Anna led me through my patterns.  I had chosen the 241 Tote Bag and Large Envelope Clutch by Noodlehead Designs.  

Noodle-Head Designs‘ patterns are great!  I had never made a bag before and I feel confident that I will be able to make these two bags on my own, without Anna’s guidance.  Of course the most fun part of making anything, in my opinion, is selecting the fabrics for the project.  Honestly, I had only planned on making one of each pattern but I was inspired by one of my fabrics in my stash, the tea colorway of one of the beautiful lady prints from Alexander Henry Fabrics, and I had to make a second 241 Tote.  Sometimes I am surprised how fabrics from different manufactures can compliment each other so beautifully.  I selected a Cotton + Steel Basic, Art Gallery Fabric and an Amy Butler print from Free Spirit/Westminster Fabrics along with that Alexander Henry print.  For the first 241 Tote I used Robert Kaufman’s Essex Linen in navy, a print from Carolyn Friendlander’s popular DOE collection and Art Gallery Fabrics’ Prism Elements.  For the Envelope Clutch I used a stunning red and white graphic floral print from Alexander Henry Fabrics paired with the black and white ARCHITECTURES print by Carolyn Friendlander and a cool black and white print from Michael Miller Fabrics.  I love how all three purses turned out.  


I hope that you will step outside your sewing comfort zone and try to make something new to you too.  You might not like doing it int he end but you just might.  You won’t know until you try.  I don’t know that making bags will become a regular part of my sewing project docket but I will make one occassionaly so I don’t forget the different skills and techniques I learned with Anna, like piping, sewing with a 3/8′ seam and basic bag construction.  

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Looking back on a productive 2014

2014 went so fast that I’m still recovering from whiplash. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way though. When I look back at my Instagram posts I am reminded that though the year flew by, I didn’t just sit around and not blog. LOL! I had 62 finishes of quilty goodness in 2014!! There may have been a project here and there that I didn’t record on Instagram, therefore I don’t really remember them, but 62 is impressive enough in my opinion. Hubby couldn’t believe it when I told him and my sister admitted to shedding a tear when she saw my Flipgram of my projects. What I did learn in 2014 is to remember to not just take pics of the progress of making things. I must remember to always take a pic of the finished product and IG it.
So far in 2015, I have made two pillows for my sister, three pillows for my own couches and a table runner for our dining room table. I have also completed the first two months of the “Threads of Time BOM” from Fat Quarter Shop and the last three months of blocks for Stitchery Dickory Dock’s “Sugar Block Club 2014”.
My goals for 2015 are to finish the PhD’s (Projects Half Done) that are haunting me from the corners of my studio, work at designing and developing my own patterns and blog more. If I can do the first two things successfully then I will call that a successful year!
Below are pics of the pillows and table runner I have made this month.




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Handmade Birthday Club 2014 – August

The last couple of weeks have found me busy plotting, designing , sewing and quilting. I participate in an online birthday swap group and the August birthday in my group listed she liked turquoise, orange and grey so I pulled some fun fabrics from my healthy fabric stash. I picked soft yet vibrant turquoise and orange/peach fabrics and auditioned them against different grey fabrics. I picked a light grey Bella Solid by Moda Fabrics because I liked the way the colors popped against it.

After looking through my quilt book library, I narrowed down the pattern choices to CHURNED from Modern One Block Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting because I just love a Churn Dash Block. I didn’t make the quilt size in the pattern, but instead made six blocks and picked the layout of six blocks together from the pattern that I liked best. The pattern came together rather quickly and very easily. This is the first pattern I have made out of this book but I love the book.

When it came to quilting this project, I knew I needed to fill in all that negative space but my free motion quilting repertoire isn’t too extensive and I didn’t necessarily want to do straight lined quilting. I’ve always loved the look of pebbling but had only done it once before. After a practice run on some scraps I found the rhythm I liked and size that would work for this piece. I ended up doing some swirls along side the pebbles throughout the quilt and I think it turned out pretty cool.

Filing in the centers of the churn dashes was fun and after putting the binding on it, I was done and extremely pleased with how this turned out. Now I just have to get some little presents to go along with it and get it in the mail to the August birthday girl.


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The 8 Point Star Made Easy Peasy

Last night Brian Williams introduced a medical report that at least five minutes of jogging/fast walking can reduce one’s risk of cardiovascular disease by 45%. So this morning I turned off the TV, set my iPad up on our treadmill and I did some hiking for twenty-five minutes aka #sweatnsew while watching the Fat Quarter Shop YouTube Channel. Through the sweat dripping in my eyes, I watched Kimberly Jolly and Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts go through a tutorial for a “beginner’s eight point star”. My jaw dropped! Could Y-seams really be THAT easy? Edyta was adorably sweet and funny as she guided Kimberly through the tutorial and shared her secret tips.

I was so excited about learning a new technique that I finished up my “hike”, showered and high tailed it into my studio. After selecting some fabrics, the next thing I did was take note of the cutting measurements. I did as Edyta advised and prepped my fabric with starch to give it some body and stiffness. After cutting my fabrics I settled at my sewing machine and continued to watch the lesson again and perform each step as instructed.


All in all the block came together easily and quickly. I did heed Edyta’s words and took my time and enjoyed the process. I am always reminding friends and students to do the same because it’s so fun and care should always be taken.



I am using my blog to review things like this tutorial. I was extremely impressed with Edyta Sitar’s instruction and tips. She made a challenging block full of Y-seams very doable by all skill levels in my opinion. Fat Quarter Shop didn’t take shortcuts in their editing of the video and showed each step in real time (minus three prepped units at one point) and made me excited about learning a new way of sewing Y-seams with my machine.

I hope you will check out the FQS Tutorial for yourself and try Edyta Sitar’s approach to the Eight Point Star. Click HERE to go to the link.
Rating ~ 5 out of 5 stars

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