First 2021 Finish – a Tula Pink Quilt!

Grab a cup of coffee because this post will be longer than usual with a few more pictures! I’m so happy to cross off my first official quilty finish of 2021 by completing a WIP that started its journey in 2018.

In 2018, I signed up to do a 100 blocks in 100 days project, hosted by @gnomeangel on Instagram. The goal was to make each block from the book, Tula Pink’s City Sampler Book: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. Each day, starting in July 2018, and for 100 days in a row, we posted the designated block for that day. We could make the blocks in advance, but we had to post the blocks in order on the specified day.

Here’s a look at my first and last blocks (on little design boards). You can find all my blocks by searching the hashtag #nwquiltedcat100blocks on Instagram.

Once I finished all 100 blocks, I put the project aside for awhile. In January 2020, I was lucky enough to secure a spot in a Tula Pink class set for July of 2020 at the Quilter’s Affair event, which takes place the week before the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Little did we know that a pandemic was looming!

In February 2020, I decided to pull out all the blocks, arrange them, and decide on a setting layout.

Each of my blocks stuffed into the book!

I decided to use all 100 blocks with Kona White and Kona Lighthouse for the sashing. I started piecing in March 2020 and finished in April 2020, still with the hope that I would be attending Tula’s class in July.

100 Modern Quilt blocks layout, light gray and white sashing with quilt inspector, Romeo
100 Modern Quilt Blocks, the quilt grows while quilt inspector, Romeo, approves!

Of course, we all know that all quilting shows and events did get canceled for the rest of 2020. Once I had finished piecing the top, I lost my enthusiasm for the project as I knew I wouldn’t be able to ask Tula to sign my quilt in July. However, most of the instructors, including Tula, agreed to postpone their classes for July 2021! Yeah, hope renewed my ambition to get this quilt finished.

This is a large quilt, maybe queen size plus, but not quite king size. I had to piece the backing so I used a beautiful Neptunia Von Black portrait (from the Nightshade line) backing from I Heart Tula Pink at 54″ x 72″. I then added some of Tula’s 108″ backing from her Linework line called Sketchyer Paper along with some Fairy Dust in Whisper from her True Colors line. My label is a scrap of Kona White fabric, pieced directly into the backing. I left a large open space on the label where I hope to get Tula’s autograph eventually.

In December of 2020, I decided to quilt it using Glide thread in Bone and a hand-guided pantograph called Modern Twist by Urban Elementz on my HQ Avante. I selected this simple panto to keep the quilting in the background and the focus on the blocks.

Finally, I was ready to bind this giant quilt! I went with the same Fairy Dust in Whisper that I used on the backing. It picks up all the colors in the quilt without detracting from any of the blocks.

This past weekend, we took the completed quilt for a little photoshoot to Battery Russell at Ft. Stevens State Park at the Oregon coast. My hubby and son held the quilt while I took the photos. Our dog, Pepper, helped too!

Unfolding the quilt for pictures, January 2021
100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt front at Battery Russell, January 2021
100 Modern Quilts Blocks back at Battery Russell, January 2021
A close-up view of my 100 Modern Quilt Blocks quilt at Battery Russell, January 2021
A close-up view of my pieced backing at Battery Russell, January 2021

I love this quilt! It is so bright and cheerful, and the backing is just as fun as the front. With a little luck, we’ll be able to have in-person quilt events this summer, and I just might get to take my class with Tula and show her this completed quilt.

I’ll leave you with one last picture from our day trip. We also stop to visit the Peter Iredale shipwreck when we visit Ft. Stevens. It is ever so slowly eroding away and, with this visit, we really noticed that a larger piece of the bow had disappeared since our last visit. I really need to dig up some of the pictures of this ship when I visited as a little kid to compare the differences.

Now I’m on to my next WIP, which is my Sea Glass BOM by Fig Tree. I will post an update soon!

Happy quilting,

~Jen

Welcome 2021!

On New Year’s Eve, my family and I stayed home as we usually do, played board games, and made homemade pizza for dinner. We stayed up until midnight to celebrate the official kicking of 2020 to the curb. We saw fireworks light up the sky as neighbors welcomed the new year. I feel positive that this year will turn things around for everyone, and that we’ll finally see Covid lose its grip as the months go by. I want my son to be able to enjoy some normal high school times and make memories.

I have a few goals for this year, not time-specific. The first is to spend more time in nature. We did quite a bit of hiking last year, and I want to continue doing so.

Here’s a picture from Ecola State Park with Haystack Rock in the background at Cannon Beach (aka “The Goonies” beach) in Oregon just days before the new year. We took the dog and had a lovely short hike and picnic lunch.

My second goal is to release and let go of stuff. I have way too much stuff in the house so I’m committing to reducing and donating items each week.

My third goal is to sew a little each day, even 5 minutes. I want to finish WIPs that have been languishing for far too long! The first one in the queue is to add the binding to my Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks quilt. The second one is to finish my Seaglass BOM, which I just received the final blocks and setting layout this week.

My word for the year is serenity. I want to live it, breath it, be it.

Do you have any goals, quilting related or otherwise?

Happy quilting,

~Jen

Sea Glass BOM, Month 10

Hi everyone,

I’m playing a bit of catch-up on my Sea Glass block-of-the-month project. I finished the block for month 10 several weeks ago, but haven’t had a chance to blog about it. If you are new to my blog, this BOM is by Fig Tree & Co, and sign-ups were last year. I don’t know if this BOM will run again in the future or if the pattern will be available to everyone at the end.

I continue to really enjoy working with this soothing color palette each month, and I’m a bit sad that we only have 2 months to go! I’m not sure if month 12 will contain finishing instructions only or if that month will also include blocks.

For month 10, our block is called Water Lily. This block stitched together very quickly!

Seaglass BOM, Month 10

We’re getting very close to the end of the program, and I just received my fabrics and pattern for month 11. I will stitch those blocks up this weekend as well as catch up on my flying geese for the sawtooth border.

Happy sewing!

Jen

A Ghastlie Reveal!

Hi everyone,

Two years ago, I attended a quilt retreat with my sister and some friends. We decided to do a Ghastlie themed round robin, where we would each create our own center block. We determine a round robin order, and then send our centers to the next person. We had 4 total members and had no restrictions other than using Ghastlies fabrics with blenders.

The Ghastlies is a line of fabric by Alexander Henry, featuring a splendidly creepy family including a cat! It is unusual, whimsical, and funny fabric, and definitely outside of traditional quilting.

For my quilt, I really wanted my theme to be Sebastian, the Ghaslie cat. I used a foundation paper pieced pattern by Linda Hibbert of Silver Linings Originals called Miss Teree. I don’t see the pattern on her website, but you may be able to email her if you are interested in the pattern.

Here’s what my center looked like in December 2018:

Sebastian, my center block

Coincidentally, the other 3 members of our round robin all selected the same Ghastlie fabric for their center block, but added personalized details:

All the Ghastlie center blocks for the round robin

Aren’t they fun? From 2018 to 2020, we added rounds and mailed them to the next person. The last round finished up this September, and we each received our completed tops in October.

Here are the completed Ghastlie quilt flimsies!

Kimberly’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy
Shannon’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy
Jody’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy
Jen’s Ghastlie quilt flimsy

Our plan is to quilt them and enter them into a quilt show in fall 2021,and we’re hoping for the COVID crisis to be lessened by then so that we can have in person quilt shows again.

We had so much fun with this round robin, and we’re planning another one. The next round robin will be different. Instead of complete quilt flimsies, we are thinking about a Ghastlie themed block swap.

Happy quilting!

Jen

Baskets in the Woods

Remember my post about making fabric baskets? Well, I couldn’t stop with just one, and so I made 4 similar baskets for a group of quilting friends.

I wanted to get a picture of the baskets all together in an outdoor setting. So, my family and I took a weekend drive to a beautiful little lake, with falls colors beginning to emerge.

I placed all 4 baskets into a plastic bag, and I took them with me on the very short hike. It was only 1 mile around the little lake, with a some heavy brush in a few sections.

How cute are these baskets all lined up on a log with the lake in the background?

Fabric baskets on log

We had a great time, having this little lake all to ourselves. It wasn’t chilly, but there was a beautiful cloud hovering over the lake surface and providing a misty backdrop to our time here. The foliage was quite wet, and so our pants became soaked as we walked around the lake, but we didn’t mind at all.

The maples were starting to turn color, with many trees displaying vibrant yellow leaves and a few turning towards orange and red.

Cloud hugging Daly Lake
Wooden bridge
Fall foliage

I hope my friends like their fabric baskets! Getting out in nature is one of my favorite things to do, and it really helps me deal with times of stress. I can’t wait to go again!

Take care,

-Jen

Tula Nova EPP Progress

Hi everyone,

This summer, I started an English paper piecing (EPP) project so I could have some handwork to do while waiting in parking lots due to Covid restrictions. I blogged about starting the Tula Nova quilt here.

I’ve had a bunch of time in the past few weeks due to my son’s taekwondo classes and surgery follow-up appointments for my dog. We used to be able to go inside, now we must wait in the car. I’m not sure what will happen will we start getting below freezing, lol!

I’ve added some more rounds to my cat themed Tula Nova. I’m using as much of the “Tabby Road” line as possible, but I don’t have many of the coordinating prints so I’ve been trading with people on Instagram for different pieces. I’m also using fabrics from the True Colors line, such as the mineral prints, hexy rainbows, and fairy dust.

Do you see the cute cans of cat food in the star blocks?

Once I complete each round, I audition fabrics from my stash. It’s quite a messy process! I have fat quarters and half yards scattered about the room, until I decide on something.

The next round has 10 stars and 20 medium hexagon shapes. I decided on some purple stars to pull out the purple in the center of the quilt.

I fussy cut a striped print from the “Chipper” fabric line so that the dark purple fabric was more or less in the middle of the star points with some green on each side. I had just enough of the cat eyes print from “Tabby Road” to make enough small hexagon centers for the 10 stars needed.

“♪ ♪ ♪ I always feel like someone is watching me . . . ♪ ♪ ♪”

After I finished hand piecing these 10 stars, I placed them next to the my Tula Nova to decide what color I wanted for the medium hexagons in between each star.

Well, my quilt inspector had a strong preference, which I will reveal in a future blog post! He is really loving this cat themed quilt, and loves to help me “arrange” fabrics.

This is a bright and cheerful quilt, and I’m so happy that I started learning how to EPP.

Happy quilting!

Jen

Making a Fabric Basket (or Tub)

Hi everyone!

Recently, I came across a fun sew along on Instagram where the participants were making fabric baskets, also called tubs. I was intrigued by them, by I knew that I didn’t have time to complete one within the sew along timeframe. I purchased the pattern called “Tub Family” from RosieTaylorCrafts on Etsy, and set it aside for a couple of days.

Then, several weekends ago, I had a few hours to try my hand at making one. The pattern comes with 3 sizes of fabric baskets, and I opted to make the largest one. I have some of the beautiful Homemade fabric by Tula Pink, which I think is absolutely perfect to make all sorts of things for my sewing room.

The pattern walks you through the construction steps pretty well, but I have a few pointers if you decide to make one.

Once you have your main basket panel, liner, and foam all ready for quilting, I do recommend using the straight-line quilting as mentioned in the pattern. I tried doing an all over swirly type quilting on my test basket, but I had a much harder time attaching the bottom and getting the basket to sit properly. It’s just kinda floppy!

On my “real” basket, I did straight-line quilting using a beautiful Aurifil bright green thread with a seam guide on my Bernina. In the picture below, you can see my seam guide helped to give me perfect 1-inch quilting lines.

After quilting at 1-inch and .5-inch intervals, I had my finished main panel, ready for my quilt inspector. I used some fun Tula Pink ribbon along either side of the fussy cut sewing machine in the center of the panel. This pattern is so flexible that you could make baskets out of scraps, a single piece of fabric, or several large chunks like I did.

My finished main body panel with quilt inspector

After trimming the main panel to the correct size, I started to attach the base to the body. This step is the hardest part of the whole pattern because the base really needs to be eased in using clips or pins.

I used Clover clips to secure my base rather than pins. No blood! If the base is still too large after easing it, you may need to trim it down slightly.

Using Clover clips to attach the base

The pattern does have you hand stitch the base to the body before using your sewing machine to help with puckers. I highly recommend doing this step. You can remove the clips after hand basting, and then use your machine to slowly and carefully stitch the base to the body.

I did my binding a bit different from the pattern by pressing one side in 1/4-inch so that I’d have a nice finished edge to work with when sewing the second long edge to the inside of the basket.

Getting the binding ready

I did completely machine stitch my binding rather than hand sewing the inside, just for lack of time. I used the same color thread as the quilting, and I think it looks fine.

Here’s a look at my completed fabric basket, filled with some EPP supplies:

My finished basket!

These baskets are addictive to make, and I want to try making the medium and small sized ones soon. Maybe Christmas themed ones as well!

There are many examples of completed baskets using the #tubfamily hashtag on Instagram.

Enjoy and happy sewing!

-Jen

Sea Glass BOM, Months 8 and 9

Hi everyone,

I’ve caught up with my Sea Glass block of the month program by Fig Tree & Co!

In September, we got the fabric pack and pattern for month 8, which instructed us to make 24 setting blocks instead of the regular 2 focus blocks that we usually make. At first, I thought that 24 blocks would take a long time, but the setting blocks come together very quickly with chain piecing.

We only used solid fabrics in these blocks, alternating the colors in small squares between a light aqua and a light green.

Month 8 setting blocks

For this month’s block, we returned to the standard format of 2 focus blocks. The block this month did not come with a name, as they usually do, so I’m sure that we just a small oversight. I really love the block this month, and how the blue color really pops!

Month 9 blocks

We have 3 more months to go left on this wonderful BOM. I have all the blocks up on my design wall in my sewing room, and I just love the soothing color palette. I can’t wait to see how it will all come together in the final month!

Take care and happy quilting!

Jen

How to Make a Trumpet Bell Cover

Recently, my son’s high school band received permission to begin in person outdoor rehearsals. They are limited to 10 students per rehearsal time, and they need to have a bell cover and wear a mask.

I decided to make bell covers for all the trumpets in his group so that they wouldn’t have to wait for an online order, which could take weeks. There are 7 trumpets in his cohort group, and each bell cover takes about 10 minutes to make.

7 trumpet bell covers!

Supplies Needed

  • Stretchy material (polyester/spandex blend). I purchased some athletic apparel fabric from my local fabric store in blue, which matches one of the school’s colors.
  • 3/8″ elastic
  • Safety pin
  • Thread to match
  • Paper and pencil for template
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies

Instructions

  1. Trace the trumpet bell onto a piece of paper.
  2. Enlarge the bell shape by about 1.25 inches to create your pattern. I used a school compass for this step or you could eyeball it. I found that a 1″ enlargement was a bit too small to fit over the bell comfortably. If you use cotton fabric instead of the poly/spandex blend, you’ll likely want to cut it 1.5 inches larger.
  3. Cut (2) circles from the fabric.
  4. Place the circles right sides together (RST), pin or clip together, and stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave a small area open for turning right sides out and backstitch at the start and end of your stitching.

    Sew a 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening for turning

    Opening in the bell cover before turning

  5. Turn right sides out.
  6. Stitch another seam about 5/8″ from the edge of the circle to create the casing for the elastic. Stitch around the entire circle and backstitch. You do not need an opening for this second seam.
  7. Cut a piece of elastic about 11.25 inches long.
  8. Place a safety pin on one of the short edges of the elastic to help you insert the elastic into the casing. Be sure to hang onto the other end so that it doesn’t get sucked into the casing.

    Inserting the elastic into the casing

  9. Overlap both ends of the elastic about 1/2″ and sew together securely. I removed the pin before stitching.

    Overlap the elastic about 1/2-inch and sew

  10. Sew the opening closed.

    Sew the opening

  11. Ease the elastic around the casing so that it is more or less evenly dispersed.

    Inside of trumpet bell cover

  12. Place the bell cover on your trumpet and play!

Trumpet standing with bell cover

Trumpet bell cover

My quilt inspector supervised me very closely during this process. Maybe he thought I was making him a shower cap? Ha, ha!

Is it a cat shower cap?

I hope to make my son a reusable face mask with a little slot or flap for the trumpet mouth piece next. Until then, the band members have to cut a little slot into disposable face masks in order to play. They are also social distancing during practice. 

It’s a strange new world in so many unexpected ways!

Take care and happy sewing!

Jen

Scrappy Summer Sew Along + Update on Pepper

Hi everyone,

I posted about joining a scrappy summer sew along a few weeks ago here. This quilt uses your scrap bin to make a 9-patch blocks for a scrappy finish!

I used a bunch of yellows plus pinks/reds to make a “Raspberry Lemonade” scrappy quilt. I started sewing my 9-patch blocks as leaders/enders while working on other projects. Then, a bunch of crazy life stuff happened, and I had to stop sewing for a couple of weeks.

Here’s a look at some of my 9-patch blocks, with sunlight filtering in through a side window:

Scrappy 9-patch blocks

Sunday was the last day to post our finished top on Instagram as part of the sew along. I pulled out the 9-patch blocks that I had completed, and I had just enough for a baby sized quilt. My quilt inspector helped me to sort the blocks into rows and columns.

Romeo inspects the
9-patch blocks

I enjoyed sewing these little blocks together as a sort of meditative time for myself. We had beautiful weather here yesterday so I was able to get a picture of the quilt flimsy, fluttering in the breeze, on a nearby little bridge.

Scrappy Summer Sew Along Flimsy – Raspberry Lemonade!

I’m going to back this little quilt with some soft, cuddly Minky fabric and likely donate it.

You can find other participants and fun quilts from this sew along by searching on the hashtag #scrappysummersal2020 on Instagram.

One of the life events that happened recently is a major (and expensive) surgery for our girl, Pepper. She had the surgery one week ago today, and she is doing pretty well with her recovery. We’re hoping that she’ll be back to hiking with us later this winter or next spring. She needs a full 8-10 weeks for recovery plus multiple physical therapy sessions.

If you’d like to help, I started a GoFundMe to offset some of the cost of the surgery and physical therapy.

Here’s a look at Pepper post-op with her poor, furless leg and incision:

Pepper, resting after knee surgery

Each day, she is getting stronger! We just have to keep this very active dog from running or jumping for 8 weeks. Whew!

Happy quilting!

Jen