Oh, this one was long in the making.

  
I began cutting early last year.

  
It was my in-between project, something to do just a bit on as I stitched other, more pressing pieces.

   
 
I didn’t bother calculating the hours or the amount of fabric used.

  
I just went with my guts, and more and more meaning came to be as I worked.

  
Even the final detail – going back through and hand-tying each block – was important, solidifying. (Photo is blown out on purpose – it’s so hard to see the black-on-black otherwise!)

  
The back has as much significance as the front. It references adventures together, cities and firsts-of-its-kind, extravagance of hard-to-find hoarded yards (yep, that’s Jay McCarroll in there!), colors of rust and fire and hipsterrific flesh tones. 

  
That’s 80 blocks total, finishing at 60×75 inches post-wash. I love every bit of it, and even more the friend who owns it now.

Although she and I used to run in the same circles, hopping the Pond together on more than one occasion, it is harder and harder for our lives to intersect in person. Thus, when we finally found time to get out in the woods together, I knew I had to finish in time. I asked her to help me hold the quilt while I took pictures. It wasn’t until I asked her to find the dedication did she realize it was for her!

  
And it just happened to be National Quilting Day! Such a precious, unforgettable way to celebrate!

This quilt is entitled “Ex –> Plus / Inheritance” because it is a directive over her life:  every place that has been an “ex” is being transformed into something positive, every place someone has judged her or cut her off or used her badly is turning into beauty that is firm and lasting. And this is the inheritance she is building for future generations. I am so thankful to be part of her story, so glad she has not only a tangible representation of my love for her but of the Great Love, in whom we live and move and have our beings, who orders our steps and redeems even the greatest pains.

I’m a bit behind on my blogging as this was finished on St. Patrick’s Day!   

    
   
I had such fun with #QuiltNon2016 that I went ahead and finished my piece with my sampler blocks (thanks again, Julie!)! At first I was planning on stitching in the ditch, but that quickly became too cumbersome. So I decided to pull out the darning foot and try something I hadn’t attempted in years – good ol’ free motion! It took me awhile to get the hang of it, but the piece was just perfect – not too wide, and I could roll and unroll to a new section as I wiggled and waggled through a meander. I finished the red block last, and I’m happy to see improvement as I progressed. I even had a #QuiltNon2016-inspired backing – my “what was I thinking” fabric!

I love little projects that finish quickly! It’s a nice reward in the midst of bigger endeavors. Right now this rainbow is hanging among other minis, but I could easily see it as a table runner one day when we have a table big enough!

Oh, this is a special one.

  

It began with redemption and forgiveness, with the belief that truth ultimately wins, but in the meantime, there’s no reason to be idle.

  
It became a gift of love, as quilts always are, but this time the hours really were countless, combining handwork and machine like I’ve rarely done before.

   
The quilting is somewhat spontaneous, a Kraken-like creature with movement and energy.

 
And the top, well, I love it’s frenetic, imperfect sponteneity. 

During the last 3 months of my pregnancy, I unexpectedly had some extra time on my hands. I used it to hand-cut and -piece 16 Farmer’s Wife blocks. Later, I combined them with extra elements into a baby quilt for some of our dearest friends’ first child. It finished at 37×39 inches, and I added a second layer of batting scraps to give it extra tummy-time softness. For the first time, I quilted the entire thing with my regular foot – and it did great! 

It is rare for me to work in all solids. These particular colors remind me of graphic novels – superheroes and anti-heroes and bold, grim realities in need of justice. Not coincidentally, our friends are comic fans, and artists, too. “Pow!” seemed like an apt title to reflect this, as well as the power and vigor of new baby life.

The little one was born a few days ago, so I hustled to get done. They live too far for us to visit easily, but this package is now on its way, carrying our love and joy with it! Looking forward to the day when we can all be together again – baby boys in tow!

After hoarding my stack of Alison Glass Handcrafted prints for a year or two, I finally cut into them. Ultimately, there is a twin-sized quilt in the works, but I couldn’t help making something lovely with the scraps! 

   
    
 
It started out as a chance to play with curved piecing and evolved from there. The colors remind me of a sunset over the ocean, and the white IKEA print roughly evokes the shore. I have a friend that quilts without using any special feet, so I thought I’d give it a go and see what came about. Interestingly, it was much easier than using my walking foot! I had fun experimenting with quilting designs, particularly McTavishing, which I only recently learned about. It creates such a sense of movement! The colorful side’s quilting reminds me of stingray egg sacs, or maybe stylized crab claws. When it came to binding, I realized there were no straight lines anywhere in the quilt. But that’s just like the natural world! So I made sure to apply the binding in an ever-so-slight wave. I used a scrap of batik from who-knows-where, and unintentionally, the more solid bits edged the more colorful part of the quilt. Altogether, I love my little experiment! She finishes at roughly 14×26 inches and hangs proudly among other favorite artworks.

A friend of mine is about to cross the Pond and meet up with folks I interned under in England! We have kept in touch, so of course I am sending a few handmade happies to them!

  
There’s nothing like the first grandbaby in a family, and one little such lady is due in a few months. What could be sweeter than a proper teacup or two? I pieced a pair of bibs and backed them in terry cloth with batting between. From the leftover terry I made wash clothes because you can never have too many bits of cloth around to mop up baby leakage!

   
    
 
For other friends, I put together some Open Wide zipper pouches! This is my first time to follow Anna’s tutorial, and I must say, it will be my go-to for future zipper pouches. They lie so flat and are beautifully practical, and compared to others I’ve made in the past, they were a cinch to sew – none of that bulk around the zipper ends to gum up smooth stitching! Plus, they pack easily, and I can fill them with letters, artwork, or other treats that are hard to find over there (fajita spices, creole seasoning, cornbread mix perhaps!) Long ago I made up the HST units, and this little project was a great way to use a few of them. I am sending the others along as well to make a baby quilt, if my friend so chooses – sort of a collaboration between us, despite the distance! One day I will go back, but for now I’ll send my heart in my handwork.

Recently Instagram made a change that allows users to toggle between accounts. Thus I finally created an account exclusively for my makings – WalkingWithFeathers!

  
Timing was perfect, too, as QuiltCon just occurred in Pasadena, California, this past weekend. Rather than wallow in envy over those able to attend, Julie over at the Intrepid Thread organized a series of events, complete with “classes”, giveaways, and other “events”! I had so much fun participating, encountering other quilters, and surprisingly even finding the time sew along with the tutorials!

   
   
I really had fun putting these little 6-inch blocks together! One of them was supposed to be paper-pieced, but without a printer, I almost didn’t make the attempt. Now I am glad I did – all that math and geometry meant I have the full Roy G. Biv! I can’t wait to put them together into a mini quilt!

  
Speaking of mini, I also followed a QuiltNon tutorial for this adorable little “pixie basket“! I used fabrics from CraftSouth as they were represented at QuiltCon, and the twill tape I saved from my purchase made sweet little handles. It is the perfect size to collect scraps-for-sorting!

Thanks again, Julie, for organizing such a fun weekend, and thanks to everyone who donated time and expertise into crafting the tutorials!

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!

  

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