In 2017, I joined a block-of-the-month program through a local quilt store. In this program, we made all of the blocks from Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book over the course of a year. I kept up each month, made the blocks, and then set them aside because I couldn’t decide on a quilt layout.
Later on, I made a few more blocks from Lori’s second book, Farm Girl Vintage 2, because the new animal blocks were so cute! I couldn’t decide which blocks to keep so I decided to combine all of my blocks into a quilt layout. I also couldn’t resist adding the little dog from her book, Spelling Bee, because what is a farm without a dog?
Here are a few of my blocks going up on my design wall. Hmm, what layout should I use?
I played with a few layouts, turning blocks this way and that way. Then, I decided to sew more blocks!!
My little farm needed a scarecrow out in the fields with the tractor. The Mr. Scarecrow block is from the Farm Girl Vintage 2 book, and is a fun addition to my quilt.
Look at all the pieces! I kept them organized by using Alphabitties, which are little plastic squares that you use to label block components.
I use Clover Clips to attach the Alphabitties to the fabric pieces so that I don’t lose them in the chaos of my cutting table.
Here’s a look at my assembled Mr. Scarecrow block:
Hmm, I thought that Mr. Scarecrow could use a little friend so I made him one!
I will hand embroider Mr. Scarecrow’s facial features before I start the quilting. I plan to add this block in front of the tractor in my final layout.
This quilt is so bright and cheerful, and I’m having a blast figuring out how to assemble it into a unique layout. Stay tuned to see how I finish this quilt.
I recently made the Take A Stand bag from ByAnnie patterns, and I blogged about it here. I then decided to create the companion tool organizer called Running with Scissors using similar fabrics from Tula Pink.
Isn’t the name fun? This organizer is really a clever zipped tote that you can use to carry your quilting tools to a class or a retreat or use it at home to save space on your sewing table.
I used Tula Pink’s Pinkerville line with its beautiful unicorn as my front pocket centerpieces. This organizer has 2 large quilted fabric pockets with zippers on the outside. You’ll find smaller inside pockets made out of mesh, vinyl, and quilted fabric, all sized nicely to fit a variety of tools.
Here’s a look at the organizer once I had sewn on the outer pockets and the inner pockets, but before I added the center facing to the inside.
For me, one of the tricky parts is attaching the outer zipper and binding. When you purchase this pattern, it comes with a $5 off coupon for the accompanying video from Annie, making it free. I highly recommend the video, and I watched it while attaching the binding so I could pause and re-watch as needed. I also use Clover Clips rather than pins to avoid poking myself and because they are just so much easier to use.
The inside center facing uses clever elastic loops to hold a variety of items from sewing machine feet to bobbins to thread. I had 2 colors of elastic on hand so I decided to use both colors by alternating them on the facing.
Once I had sewn the inside center facing, then I just needed a few finishing details such as zipper pulls to complete my Running with Scissors tool case!
Here’s a look at the front of the completed case:
I decided to do a little photo shoot with my 2 new ByAnnie bags, along with my foster kitty, Gracie. She provided excellent inspection services!
In the picture where Gracie is sitting next to the bags, you can see my new Running with Scissors tool case folded over my Take A Stand bag. I’m going to use these 2 bags together at my sewing table to keep frequently used tools close at hand.
Another pic of both bags together;
I now have more confidence to tackle a bigger bag project! On my to-do list is the A Place for Everything 2.0 bag from ByAnnie. It’s a great bag to hold English paper piecing projects and supplies. I haven’t decided which fabric to use yet so stay tuned!
Do you follow me on Instagram (@nwquiltedcat)? I’m very close to reaching 2,000 followers. I’m going to do a little giveaway once I reach that milestone, and it will most likely feature Tula Pink products. Come follow me if you don’t already!
I had some really pretty unicorn fabric by Tula Pink in my stash that I’ve wanted to use for a special project. I didn’t want to make quilt, but I wanted to make something more portable. How about a bag?
Yep, I decided to tackle a bag! I’m mostly a quilt maker and rarely make bags because I struggle sometimes with 3D objects. I had a By Annie pattern on hand called “Take A Stand” that I wanted to try.
For the front and back pockets of the bag, I decided to fussy cut the unicorn. It’s from Tula’s Pinkerville line, and it’s called Imaginarium in Cotton Candy. It’s out-of-print but you may be able to find pieces out in the wild at local quilt shops. These pockets sit on the outside of the bag and are sewn to the main body of the bag. I used a different print for the main bag body called Fairy Dust in Daydream, which is a beautiful purple color with little multi-colored birds, stars, and dots sprinkled all over.
I really like the contrast of the unicorn against the purple bag body. I quilted both pieces using my Bernina and some lovely purple thread in a diagonal cross-hatch pattern. For these little quilt sandwiches, I do use this Soft and Stable foam stabilizer because it just works so well.
For a contrasting pocket detail, I used some green fabric from the Pinkerville line called Serenity Frolic. I used the pink moth from Pinkerville for the entire interior, but the binding is pink stripe from a different Tula Pink line.
The pink mesh is from By Annie in lipstick and the shiny pink material that you see below is foldover elastic from By Annie, also in lipstick.
Once I had all the pieces cut and quilted, I was ready to tackle the bag assembly! First up, the exterior pockets with zippers. These zippers actually went in pretty well. At least, until I noticed on the second pocket that the zipper head had actually fallen off! I just couldn’t get the zipper head back on and so I asked my sister for help. Of course, she was able to reattach it in about 2 seconds.
I love the rainbow teeth on this zipper! It’s from Sew Quirky from Australia, but I was able to find it online at a US retailer for cheaper shipping. The package contained enough zipper tape and zipper heads that I can make another project with the left overs.
The side pieces of the bag went in pretty easily! I definitely recommend using these Wonder Clips by Clover to help keep the pieces in place without worrying about pins poking you.
Once I had finished sewing the sides, I took a break before tackling the binding. The instructions are very text heavy so I did watch the accompanying videos from By Annie to make sure that I knew what to do. When you order the pattern, you get a $5 coupon for the video, making it free. I highly recommend the video, especially if you aren’t an expert bag maker.
Here’s a look at my finished “Take A Stand” bag in the smaller size, which is approximately 8-3/4″ tall x 12″ wide x 6-1/2″D. I took it with me to a local nursery and took some pictures with flowers.
I love it, and now I want to make the companion “Running with Scissors” tool case to go with it. The tool case folds over the top of the “Take a Stand” bag, which is very handy at your sewing machine or to take to quilt classes.
I took my completed Sea Glass quilt to the ocean for a few pictures several weekends ago. It was beautiful weather, although the wind made it pretty tricky to get good pictures. We rented a yurt for camping and had a great time! We were so glad to be in a yurt instead of our tent because it did get below freezing at night. Brrr!
I did free-motion quilting using Glide thread in Cool Mint. I used large, open swirls that reminded me of the beach. For the backing, I used Luxe Cuddle in Seal Aqua Sea. My HQ Avante handled the cuddle backing perfectly!
For binding, I opted to use a fabric that wasn’t part of the BOM. I had some Zuma High Tides in Aquamarine by Tula Pink in my stash that complements the blues and turquoises in the quilt. I think it really accents and frames the quilt very nicely. Those little anchors are too cute!
I did machine stitch the binding to both the front and the back because it is pretty difficult to hand sew through the cuddle fabric. I knew that this quilt was going on a bed so I also liked the extra durability of machine stitching.
Here’s a look at the completed quilt with the Pacific Ocean in the background:
We found some interesting cliffs a little farther down the coast so I asked my hubby and son climb up on a log to hold the quilt for a picture. It really helps having a teen who is now taller than me!
I have a full size futon bed in my guest room so this quilt will make a nice covering. The luxe cuddle backing is so soft and feels so good against your skin. I’m sure my guest (aka my sister) will love sleeping under this quilt during a future visit.
This Sea Glass quilt finish is the result of a year long block-of-the-month program through Fig Tree & Co. Although the BOM program is over, you may be able to purchase a pattern on their website.
I really enjoyed making a quilt with this soothing color palette, and I’m really glad to have another WIP completed!
Happy spring, everyone! The days are getting a little longer, bulbs are blooming, and birds are singing. I’m very happy that we’re heading into the warmer spring days because it means more hiking and gardening.
For Christmas last year, my sister sent me the Cheetah Abstractions pattern by Violet Craft. This is a foundation paper pieced pattern that usually finishes at 48 inches by 60 inches, but I decided to shrink it down to 75%. I like to print my foundations using Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper because it is really easy to remove after sewing.
I challenged myself to use only fabrics from my stash. The fabric audition process can take a few days and, for this quilt, my hardest decision was the background. I knew that I’d need about a 2 yard piece in a solid or mostly solid color with enough contrast to make the cheetah body pop. I auditioned creams, grays, grunges, and others until I came across a mottled light aqua fabric. Perfect! It reminded me of a partly overcast day.
Once I had the background fabric, I pulled different solids and lightly patterned fabrics to audition for the cheetah body. I like to use Violet’s included color palette to tape small swatches of my fabrics so that I remember which fabric goes with which symbol while paper piecing.
I started with the cheetah face first. I was just so eager to see it come to life in fabric! The head section is the most complicated, especially at just 75% size. If you’re new to paper piecing, just go slow and remember to reduce your stitch length. Here’s the start of the cheetah with the pattern for scale.
Over the next few days, I tackled sections of the cheetah body. I sewed the smaller sections and laid them out before joining sections together. It is much easier to fix mistakes this way! Isn’t her expression great? Her gaze is so intense and focused.
I pieced my cheetah fairly quickly in just a few weeks. I put all my other projects (mostly) on hold. Once pieced, I thought about how to quilt her for a week or two. I didn’t want the quilting to detract from the magnificent cheetah mama.
I decided to do some straight-line quilting all over the cheetah face and body using Glide thread in Sand Dune. For the background, I did some free-motion leaves using Glide thread in Cool Mint. I also used 2 layers of Quilter’s Dream Poly Select batting for extra texture!
The double batting does make this small quilt heavy, but I plan to hang it on a wall rather than using it as a lap quilt. For the binding, I used a dark brown fabric for three-quarters of the quilt and then used a piece of the backing for the remaining one-quarter to accent some of the colors from the cheetah.
The backing fabric is called Kenyan Cats by Alexander Henry Fabrics, which I thought worked so well with the cheetah theme.
I really love how this fierce mama cheetah quilt turned out, and I can’t wait to display her on a wall behind my work desk at home.
One of my favorite modern quilt shops, The Confident Stitch in Missoula, Montana, has recently updated their swatch service. In the past, this quarterly subscription came with a folded brochure and small pieces of the featured fabrics. Beginning with Spring 2021, the swatch service now comes with at least 20 pieces of 5×5 inch fabric swatches and a pattern!
Let’s take a look at what you’ll get in the Spring 2021 quilting cotton swatch packet!
When you sign up for the swatch service, you’ll receive this cute wrapped package in the mail. The card on the front gives you a glimpse of the yummy fabrics contained inside. On the back of the card, you’ll find a brief description of the swatch contents plus a special discount code for swatch subscribers only.
When you unwrap the package, you’ll get the following goodies:
5×5 inch swatches, labeled with the fabric name and pricing. These swatches can be a combination of prints and solids.
A packet containing instructions for 2 projects: the Scrappy Diamonds Pillow and the Primavera Pinwheels Lap Quilt. You may need additional supplies to complete some of the projects.
Discount code for swatch fabrics.
Directions for accessing a companion YouTube video.
The subscription costs $13 per quarter, and you can choose to join the quarterly program where the swatches are mailed to you automatically or you can choose to buy just one swatch service. In addition to the quilting cotton swatch service, the store also has a garment fabric swatch service in warm tones or cool tones.
I think this swatch service is a great value, and I love these larger swatches. I enjoy being able to touch these fabrics, to see the scale of the patterns, and to match actual colors in the swatches to fabrics that I already have in my stash.
I plan on using my swatches on a project soon so stay tuned! Let me know if you join the swatch service, and I’d love to see the projects that you make.
Recently, I participated in a Tula Pink themed postcard swap. The only restriction was that we could only use Tula Pink fabrics. We could use any fabric technique to make the card.
Postcard swaps are really fun to join because they are such quick and easy projects, and you don’t have a long turn around time like you do with a mini quilt swap.
I decided to make a Tabby Road themed postcard for my secret partner, using a mix of foundation paper piecing, traditional piecing, and applique.
I made the kitty applique using 2 pieces of Tabby Road in different colorways and sewing them together. It was a technique that I wanted to try, and I think it added some pizazz to the postcard.
Under the striped fabric in the background, I did stitch in a piece of the selvage from Tabby Road, fluffiness included!
I made a little quilt sandwich, using the postcard top and a stabilizer in the middle. I quilted around the kitty and in the background before attaching the backing.
I used a satin-stitch to go around the postcard two times to secure it completely to the inner stabilizer as well as the light-colored fabric on the back. You can learn more about my postcard technique by reading my free Fabric Postcard Tutorial.
In return, I received a wonderful EPP postcard from Maureen (@sewhappyquilting), filled with a rainbow of Tula Pink fabrics. These hexies are tiny, just 1/2 inches! I really love it.
Maureen mailed this postcard as-is with a stamp on the back through the USPS, and it arrived just fine. If this method makes you nervous, you can always send your postcard in an envelope. It may cost an extra stamp, but it will also be less likely to get damaged.
These bright postcards are a sure way to brighten up someone’s day. I think I’ll make a few more to mail out as random surprises! I’m also thinking of hosting a fabric postcard swap sometime this year?? Would you be interested??
Happy March, everyone! We are seeing glimmers of spring everywhere around us after our ice storm several weeks ago. I have crocus and some early daffodils blooming and birds are joyfully singing!
A few weeks ago, I attended QuiltCon Together, which was a virtual quilt show this year due to the pandemic. Normally, QuiltCon, which features modern quilts in many categories, is held in person and alternates between west coast venues and east coast venues.
This year, I entered a quilt in the “Floral & Vine Fabric Challenge” category and, for the first time ever, I got a quilt juried into QuiltCon!! In this category, participants received 4 fat-eighths of specific fabric prints to use in the construction of a modern quilt. We could only use these prints plus any number of solid fabrics. We could buy extra quantities of the specified prints, but I decided to challenge myself by using only the provided fat eighth pack. I used 3 of the 4 prints plus a white solid in my quilt. The binding is a gray solid.
I drafted my pattern using paper and pencil initially. I wanted my quilt to express my hope that we will soon be able to gather together in person, and that this weird situation that we are currently living through will not last forever.
I came up with a design and then used EQ8 to create my foundation paper pieced templates and curved traditionally pieced templates. I then calculated my setting triangles to complete the design. I called my quilt, Concourse.
Here’s a picture of Concourse:
Although QuiltCon Together is now over, the images below show what my quilt looked like displayed virtually. Quilt show attendees could zoom in on individual quilts and even listen to a short audio clip from the quilt makers.
I was very pleased to have my quilt selected as one of the entrants in this challenge fabric category. Although I did not win a ribbon, I’m just so happy to have had a quilt in the show.
I took a screen cap of the other quilts in the category so that you could see the variety of modern quilts that used just these 4 prints plus solids. Quite impressive!
QuiltCon 2022 is scheduled to be an in-person quilt show in Phoenix in February. I’m very hopeful that we’ll be returning to in-person events later this year. I hope to enter a quilt into that show and maybe (just maybe), I might get to attend it with my sister!
P.S. I added a new page to my blog with recommended quilting supplies and notions. Go check it out!
In Oregon, we had a pretty wild Valentine’s Day weekend with an historic ice storm for some people and snow for others. At my house, we didn’t receive much snow, maybe 1/4 of an inch, but we were hit hard with the ice storm.
We had about 1-1/2 inches of ice accumulating over a short period of time, which caused major power disruptions and tons of damage to trees in the area.
During the ice storm, we heard the cracking, creaking, and falling of tree limbs and whole trees constantly over several days. We saw tree branches explode, just literally fall to pieces in front of us. With other trees, it looked like the ice covered limbs shrank back into themselves before cracking and falling under the weight. The eerie popping noises spooked our dog and kept us nervously looking out the window to see if one of our trees or a neighbor’s tree fell.
We lost 2 large trees in our front yard and one flowering plum tree in the backyard. One of the front yard trees dropped a large limb on our car. Fortunately, the thick ice spared the car major damage, and we saw just minor denting after the ice melted.
Our large maple in the backyard took heavy damage and will need an arborist to remove it later this year. We had a decorative juniper bush, about 20 feet tall, topple over. We cut the top 10 feet off and replanted it, hoping that the roots will take to the earth again.
After a few hours of ice, this is what our front street looked like:
Many of the trees in the photo above took severe damage and either fell over during the storm or had to be removed. One branch fell on the neighbor’s house and punctured the roof.
In our backyard, my beautiful flowering plum tree took heavy damage. Most of the major limbs snapped and fell during the storm.
Limbs continued to snap and break for a few days after the freezing rain stopped falling. I will replant something beautiful where the plum once stood.
The ice was very beautiful, in its own way. It made beautiful patterns and shapes in the bushes, grass, and objects on my patio.
I wouldn’t want to sit in this chair during my lunch break. Brrrr!!
Before the COVID pandemic, my sister gave me a fun garden decoration for Christmas. It is a rooster made from metal scraps. He’s now become the recipient of many jokes and curses in the past year, including this ice storm. Let’s all blame him, ha, ha!
I didn’t get any sewing accomplished in the past two weeks, outside from a little English paper piecing. Now that the ice is melted and we’ve cleaned up most of the fallen debris, I plan to get back to some quilting.