This was a long time in the making. I started piecing it in 2009, my first patchwork quilt ever! It had been sitting, basted, in a drawer. I was hesitant to finish it because I have grown so much since then! All the fabric is super cheap, and the hand-piecing is awkward. I think the quilt even predates my use of rotary cutters!

   
   
Everything was so awkward I couldn’t imagine wrangling it under a machine to any success, so I turned to an old standby – hand-tying!

I don’t keep much cheap fabric around these days, but I had scraps of an old sheet that made a perfect binding.

   
 
Long ago this was meant to be a crib quilt. Our baby doesn’t actually sleep in a crib, though, so maybe it will be a floor mat? Those ties will be fun for Baby to grab during tummy time! I was being cheeky, too, with the dollar bills print, imagining I’d teach our children that money does grow on trees! Ha!

Quilt stats:

  • 39×58 inches
  • Hand-pieced
  • Hand-tied
  • Machine bound
  • Begun 2009, completed 2016

I love finishing something because I get so excited about the next things on my list! Can’t wait for the next finish!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish-it-up Friday!

I am not typically one to blog fabric purchases, mostly because they are so few and far-between, but I am so chuffed with the bits I got during a few end-of-the-year sales that I decided to break from the norm.

 First a bit of Anna Maria Horner and Cotton + Steel joy from Southern Fabric! I’m slow to join the train for these well-known designers, and it’s not often I find pieces I like that also match my budget, but thanks to the kind folks at S. F., this time I did!

 Second are a few slices of Denyse Schmidt and a bit of Utopia from the Fat Quarter Shop. I restrained myself here, but I had specific projects in mind, and I really like what I chose. Even better, my husband genuinely ooh’ed when he saw these – always a good sign! Looking forward to putting them to work soon! (“Soon” is a much more relative term now I’m raising a Squish. Babies is hard, y’all!)

Linking up to Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash!

This one was just for me.

   
   
As I was scouting quilt blocks for Christmas gifts, I found that the Temecula Quilt Company was hosting a mini quilt-along during the first 12 days of December. I joined up, using a single fat quarter of a print I chose on our honeymoon. It was a skill building exercise, and I am pleased with the results – although the setting triangles didn’t turn out quite to plan. I think the wavy quilting goes nicely with the marbled print and offsets the precision (and lack thereof) nicely. I like it well enough to display on the mantle – a sweet reminder of the payoff of time and effort, even embracing imperfections as we grow. Hooray!

This year, I want it to be the Year of Completions! There are a very few quilts I have mentally set aside to create, but other than those, I want to minimize new endeavors and focus on finishing works-in-progress.
Quilts in progress:

 

Accidental Quilt

 
Quilts to begin:

Other sewing:

  • Baby gift for English friend
  • Cushion covers for sofa
  • Baby birthday sewing (whatever that means)

This list may change, of course, but it’s a start! I can’t wait to pull out these “old friends ” and finally give them the TLC they deserve!

P.S. I realize this list is way longer than I can accomplish I’m the first quarter of the year, but I’m counting this as my post for the 2016 Finish-A-Long. Anything I don’t complete can roll over!

  

There is a wonderful woman I met a few years ago, right as I was about to make the biggest transition of my life and move countries. Her name is Jayne, and right from the beginning, she inspired me. I really hope one of these fabric manufacturers finds her the way Food Network found Giada – she is a star in the quilting world, and I admire her attitude and approach!

I gush. But it has a purpose! A few months ago, I began seeing “mini-mini” quilts come up in her Instagram feed. Impressed, and always looking for a little side project to keep chain piecing going, I decided to make a few of my own!
   
    
   

Each is smaller than 5 inches, most closer to 4. I played with piecing and quilting, though I could have been much more detailed on each. Each is self-bound with the backing, and this influenced my decisions on how to quilt each piece. It was a fun experience and so rewarding seeing them come together! I’ve never been one for perfection, but on a small scale, I feel motivated to grow my skills. Thanks, Jayne, for the inspiration!

This year I decided to go mini! Every sibling or couple got an 18-inch mini-quilt – with an envelope back to cover a pillow!  

I had fun coming up with ideas for my husband’s and my siblings! Among them we have a crazy cat couple (block from Elizabeth Hartman), a family of five (letters from Temecula Quilt Co., hearts from Cluck, Cluck, Sew) , a member of the Air Force, and a world-traveling fashion aficionado. 

   
 
For the 3 sets of parents, I chose this fair isle pattern and tried to capture everyone’s styles. My husband really loved how they turned out, so I may be creating some for us in the future.

  
I still had 2 to finish after Christmas, but with some friends, that’s ok. It ended up being just right for my friends who received the wacky little houses. Why? Because just at Christmas, these friends learned that their landlord put their home up for sale. This little quilt is a promise of provision!

   
   

As of yet, there is one gift left to give. My fellow quilter and close friend will get a little homage to her cat Luna. Starry quilting nods at the cat’s name, and the scrappy quilt reflects both my style and hers. The design is a modified version of this Fat Quarter Shop block. I can’t wait to deliver it and be done with Christmas once and for all!

Linking up with the 2015 Finish-A-Long!

I am behind in posting my Christmas makes, but then again, I only finished them yesterday! This year, at the last minute I decided my child needed something handmade for his first Christmas. He is only 4 months old and already cutting teeth, so it needed to be approachable to his growing abilities and slobberiness.

   
 

Each is different. One is “plain”, one has jingle bells inside, one has tags, and one is filled with scraps of crinkley Insul-Brite. Baby enjoys squishing them, but he is still too small to stack them. However, they are wonderfully soft so if they get under him when he rolls, he is still smiley! I call that a successful make!

This will be my husband’s and my second Christmas together. Last year, we chose paper as our theme, and this year, in keeping with the list of anniversaries, we chose cotton. With the baby around, I am particularly glad we settled on something so easy (for me!) Most of our decorations were sourced from my stash!

   
    
    
   
The only thing I bought was a pair of green sheets from Goodwill, which I shredded and turned into “yarn” for the greenery. The rest – doily “snowflakes”, crocheted and patchwork garland, fabric scraps for bunting, an embroidery hoop base for the wreath, even the birdie ornaments – all came from my sewing wardrobe, and most of that was kept from our wedding decor!

 The tree itself was a collaborative effort. My husband conceived the cone shape and went on a quest for branches. The draping and dressing of the tree was mine, though he insisted on layers of nested greens and wonderful peeking lights. Our son is not yet mobile, but even if he were, all is soft enough for him to be unharmed. Further, I have plans for the “tree” when the holidays are over:  the wood can be chopped for kindling, and the “yarn” will make a great hearth rug! For now, the baby loves looking at the lights, and the dangling snowflakes with their lacy shadows make even this warm Southern winter feel cozy and bright!

Linking up with the 2015 Finish-A-Long!

My Grandmother came for a Christmas visit. Her house is filled with things we grandchildren have made – from childhood artwork to patchwork pillows and a free-motion quilt. This year, I was inspired by her mother, my Great Granny, who, if I remember correctly, loved cardinals in wintertime.  

   
I made a few quick sketches, then used scraps from the stockings I sewed this year and embroidered their faces. They don’t match exactly because the design evolved, but I think both are sweet. One went to my Grandmother, and the other to my mother (as I expected she would appreciate one, too!) We had an early celebration with some extended family, and Grandmother was pleased with her pin. Hopefully she can enjoy it all winter – something festive and cheerful, not overtly Christmassy but not out of place, either, and definitely one-of-a-kind, which may be her favorite part. That, or the ability to say, “Oh, this? Just a little something my granddaughter made for me.” :-)

My mothers’ group had a Christmas party and asked that we bring a white elephant gift to bless another mom. Nothing tacky or silly – the idea was to treat ourselves since we all know how hard mothering can be. Of course, rather than shop for a $10 gift, I made one! (Since they were a first attempt, we will pretend only $10 worth of material and time went into them.)

   
    
(I had to try them on… I was so tempted to keep them!)

 
Quilted spa slippers, anyone? I used a pair of mukluks for a sole template, then free-handed the upper out of paper until I figured out a nice shape. The sole has two layers of batting and a layer of stiff stabilizer between the denim and solid cotton. I made bias binding and glue basted underneath with white school glue. That spared me much frustration as I sewed through all the layers.

Usually I don’t go through so much trouble to match things perfectly, but I really wanted the girl who got these to feel special. Sure enough, they went to a new friend who’d been wanting slippers for Christmas! In fact, everyone walked away with something they liked. I received a beautiful scarf and new colors of nail polish – two things that are very much me, which I can never have too many of, and well worth the exchange! The best part was knowing what I made was not only wanted and appreciated but an actual Christmas wish!

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