Category Archives: Crafts

Little Quilts SAL Round Up – January

LittleQuilts.LTWe are hosting a sew along over on Threadbias in 2015! Members of the group will be sewing from the Little Quilts book by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsinger. Feel free to join us any time – if you are not a member of Threadbias yet, go ahead and sign up (it’s free!) and then find the Little Quilts group and click the “join” button. That’s it! Hope to see you there!

We chose to sew the mini quilt Drawn Together for January – which proved to be quite popular. Drawn Together uses paper piecing to create a beautiful star within a star pattern. Members of the group put together some gorgeous quilts – and depending on the fabrics they chose, each one had a different “look” to it.

Check out these lovely finishes – be sure to click through to each member’s project page to see more detail for each quilt:



Katie and Mary chose beautiful soft colors for sweet versions of this quilt.

DrawnTogether.CathieCathie’s quilt also had a tranquil feel to it.



Both Kirsten and Margaret chose to make pillows from their mini quilts.



Audrey and Erica and gave us bright, fiery colors for a bold statement.



Nicole and Carol also made strong statements with their use of black prints (Nicole) and solids (Carol)





Pink and red were favorite colors for many participants, including Valerie, Candice, Marsha, and Margaret.

DrawnTogether.GardencrafterGardencrafter’s quilt was inspired by the colors lilac and turquoise.



Whereas Karen and Cynthia‘s quilts had a more scrappy feel to them.

DrawnTogether.WendyI also tried my hand at this one and was inspired by the print in the outer triangles.

Stay tuned for more little quilts each month!

A Doll Quilt for Holly

*Click on any photo in this post to enjoy a larger view

DwellDollQuilt.with bed010001My great niece, Holly, just turned four years old. She has American Girl Doll Emily who did not have her own bed. So for Christmas, I ordered a cute white bed with roses on the headboard and footboard, then used Camille Roskelley’s mini dwell pattern to make a quilt for the bed using a charm pack and some yardage from Aneela Hoey‘s Hello Petal collection.

DwellDollQuilt.closeupdetail0001I enlarged the borders just a bit so it would fit correctly on the bed.

This darling bed came with some simple white pillows, which I covered with more fabric from the Hello Petal collection.

DwellDollQuilt.closeup010001The back is a simple flower pattern from the same Aneela Hoey collection.

DwellDollQuilt.backreveal0001The weekend after Christmas, Holly and her mom and dad came up for a visit and Holly got to open her gift! She loved it (as you can see from that happy smile!).

DwellDollQuilt.Holly0001I think Emily also is enjoying her new bed and quilt!


Sweet Sixteen – A Traditional Quilt for Mom

*Click on any photo in this post to enjoy a larger viewSweetSixteen.front010001My mom has long desired a quilt for her bed and so my sister, Paula, and I decided to make her one for Christmas.

SweetSixteen.Draped010001My mother is a bit of a traditionalist and loves the colors of china blue and rose/raspberry. This quilt used a Jelly roll and a Charm pack of LeBouquet Francais by French General for Moda, plus Bella bleached white PFD for the solid squares. We mostly followed the pattern for Sweet Sixteen in the book Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott…but added a scrappy border to increase the size slightly.

SweetSixteen.Binding0001At 75″ square this quilt fits perfectly on my mother’s double bed.

SweetSixteen.MomsbedFor the back, Paula and I chose a large cut of one of the blue patterned fabrics from the French General collection.

SweetSixteen.BackReveal020001We used a lightweight Tuscany 100% batting and I free motion quilted it with loops, spirals and stippling. We decided to keep the quilting tight because of all the negative space…so this is a really wrinkly quilt but is quite soft and drapey due to the batting used.


The quilt is bound with a solid red – again from the French General collection. And the label is machine embroidered and then hand stitched to the back of the quilt.

SweetSixteen.Label020001I think this one is one of my favorite quilts ever. I loved collaborating and sewing with my sister to make a super special quilt!


Pillow Pop Round-Up: December and a New Sew Along for 2015

BlogButtonThe Pillow Pop 2014 Sew Along wrapped up in December. This was such a fun group which produced a huge amount of gorgeous pillows. The administrators of the group (me, Valerie and Margaret) had so much fun that we decided to do another Sew Along in 2015. Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more!

We’ll be keeping the Pillow Pop group open since it has such great reference material (although I expect things to be quiet over there)…so it is not too late to sew a few pillows.

We chose  Snowflake (Challenging) and Fair Feathered Friends (Easy) as the pillows for December. Maybe Snowflake felt a bit too challenging in the midst of holiday celebrations because no one chose that one this month! But we did get some awesome pillows using the Fair Feathered Friends pattern.

Here are the wonderful finishes with links back to each sewist’s project page. I hope you will click through to see the entire projects as the backs and quilting on each pillow are also fabulous.

Fair Feathered Friends – This beginner friendly pattern uses fun prints to create a colorful, versatile pillow.

Gardencrafter made her nieces, Sophie and Sarah, each a pillow using this pattern:

FairFeathered.Gardencrafter01Sarah’s pillow is hip and celebrates her love of volleyball with some cute fabric on the back.

FairFeathered.Gardencrafter02Sophie’s love of batiks is celebrated in her version of the pillow.

FairFeathered.MargaretMargaret used some beautiful Kate Spain fabric to create a festive, Christmas pillow with a red flannel backing.

So that wraps up Pillow Pop!

Want to join another Sew Along in 2015??!?

We’re hosting the Little Quilts Sew Along over on Threadbias. Joining Threadbias is free and allows you to create your own project pages, join a variety of groups, and meet other like minded sewists!

LittleQuilts.LTWe’ll be sewing 12 projects from Little Quilts by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger. The projects are all mini quilts and range from easy to challenging. You’ll learn how to reverse applique, paper piece, sew wonky, hand quilt, and more. Most of the projects are “scrap friendly.”

Members are required to purchase the book as we won’t be supplying pattern information due to copyright law. But we will supply lots of motivation, conversation, general tips and inspiration. We’ll also be hosting a swap later in the year, as well as a challenge. I hope you’ll join us!


Garden Pillows for My Sister


*Click on any photo in this post to enjoy a larger view

My sister, Donna, wanted pillows for her home and I decided to make her two for Christmas. One is 20″ square, the other is 16″ and they are made to coordinate with each other.

The larger pillow uses the Photogenic pattern in Pillow Pop:

Donna.PhotogenicPillowFront10001I used a variety of coordinating fabrics to highlight that beautiful bird and butterflies. The back is pieced with a hidden zipper:

Donna.PhotogenicPillowBack10001The smaller pillow is one I designed myself. That blue dot fabric is Mochi Dot – a beautiful linen blend that is great for pillows as it has more of a home decor weight. I also pieced the back of this one and included a hidden zipper:Donna.GardenPillowFront10001

Donna.GardenPillowBack0001I kept the quilting simple – mostly echoing the patch design.

I love that my sister can get four different looks out of the two pillows if she likes.

Fronts together:

Donna.Pillowstogether.Front10001Front of one with back of the other:

Donna.Pillowstogether.Front.Back20001Donna.Pillowstogether.Front.Back10001And backs together:

Donna.Pillowstogether.Backs10001My goal was to create pillows that had a little bit of traditional flavor with a modern flare…and my sister had requested using some sage green in there too. She has a beautiful sun porch and I can just see these perched on her wicker furniture out there.

Happily, I saw Donna in New England recently and decided I wanted her to open these early…she loved them!

Pillow Pop Round-Up: November

BlogButtonThe Pillow Pop group is a really fun sew along over on Threadbias. We’re making pillows from the fabulous book Pillow Pop all year long.

To learn more about the group, visit this post.

We have one more month of making pillows and would  love to have you join us. If you’re not already a member at Threadbias, why not join – it’s free, and it is a great community of sewists.

We chose  Graphic Juxtaposition (Easy) and Satellite (Challenging) as the pillows for November. It must be this busy time of year, because everyone who completed a pillow this month went for the easy one!

Here are the wonderful finishes with links back to each sewist’s project page. I hope you will click through to see the entire projects as the backs and quilting on each pillow are also fabulous.

Graphic Juxtaposition: A super simple design allows for a combination of a fun print with a textured fabric (the book suggested felted wool, but our participants chose a variety of fabrics).

GraphicJuxtaposition.KarenKaren’s adorable pillow used fabric from Cloud 9’s “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus” and some wide wale corduroy.

GraphicJuxtaposition.CathieCathie chose some fun camping inspired fabric to decorate her family’s trailer.

GraphicJuxtaposition.MargaretAnd Marget gave her pillow a stylish graphic appeal with this terrific fox print and some velvet.

I hope you’ll drop by in the early part of January to see the final round up of Pillow Pop projects!


Pillow Pop Round-Up: October

BlogButtonThe Pillow Pop group is a really fun sew along over on Threadbias. We’re making pillows from the fabulous book Pillow Pop all year long.

To learn more about the group, visit this post.

We’d love to have you join us. If you’re not already a member at Threadbias, why not join – it’s free, and it is a great community of sewists.

We chose A Bunch of Crosses (Easy) and Violet Cathedral (Challenging) as the pillows for October. Additionally, participants were encouraged to challenge themselves by re-working the Love Notes pillow – creating their own heartfelt message to a friend, family member or someone special. These pillows were entered in a contest and voted on by members of the group.

Here are the wonderful finishes with links back to each sewist’s project page. I hope you will click through to see the entire projects as the backs and quilting on each pillow are also fabulous.

A Bunch of Crosses: Simple 2.5″ squares create a bold statement in this thoroughly modern pillow.

BunchofCrosses.CathieCathie raided her scrap bin and created a wonderful pillow in hues of gray, pink and red.

BunchofCrosses.EricaErica chose soft turquoise and some low volume prints for a gorgeous interpretation.

BunchofCrosses.WendyMy pillow was inspired by Halloween and used a mini charm pack of the Comma collection by Zen Chic.

BunchofCrosses.CapetownGirlCapetown Girl’s pillow celebrates text prints and pops of red – don’t you just love those homemade tassels?

BunchofCrosses.SueSue’s pillow is a cheerful, fun pillow that uses fabrics from Lori Holt.

BunchofCross.GardencrafterGardencrafter chose some sweet solids and coordinated them with Kaffe Fassett prints to create a stunning pillow.

Violet Cathedral: Inspired by stained glass windows, this pillow adds sophistication and interest to any room.

VioletCathedral.MargaretMargaret chose a festive blue and gray palette that reminds us winter is on its way!

Love Note: A sweet way to tell someone you love how special they are – crafted with hand cut letters, this is a pillow that really sends a message.

LoveNotes.SueSue’s cheerful pillow borrowed inspiration from a well-known Beatles song

LoveNotes.CathieCathie got a little help from her grandchildren to send a sentimental message to her husband.

LoveNotes.CarolCarol honored her mother (and best friend)

LoveNotes.GardencrafterGardencrafter’s fun pillow reminds us that those we love do not have to be human!

LoveNotes.SippeSippe suggests we “give peace a chance” with her 70’s inspired pillow.

LoveNotes.WendyMy pillow reminds my sister, that although distance separates us, she is always in my heart.

All the Love Note pillows are winners in my view…but the one that garnered the most votes in the contest was:

The chicken pillow by Gardencrafter!!!!

LoveNoteCloseup.Gardencrafter…and the back is just as wonderful as the front:



Slowing Things Down


*Click on any photo to enjoy a larger view

MyFunnyValentine.front0001Recently I signed up to take Sarah Fielke’s Big Techniques from Small Scraps class on Craftsy. I love Sarah Fielke’s sense of color and design…and something about learning to needle turn applique just appealed to me right now.

Life goes past in a blur. There are weeks I can hardly remember where the hours went, especially now that the days are growing shorter. Sometimes it is just nice to slow things down.

MyFunnyValentine.detail0001I had fun pulling fabrics for this small project and I really enjoyed the hand work of applique. I also, for the first time, tried a little hand quilting (which I didn’t enjoy quite so much, but was glad I tried it).

MyFunnyValentine.detail20001I used a pretty piece of fabric for the back – something that popped with a burst of red.

MyFunnyValentine.backreveal0001This piece is far from perfect, but I finished it up with a sense of satisfaction. I’ve decided I need to do more of this kind of slow sewing. And so I made myself a little drawstring bag from this tutorial, so I have a place to carry my hand applique with threads, thimble, and scissors. Seems like the perfect thing right now…


Feeling Thankful

LabelCrew.OctoberPillow.labeldetail0001I love the transition from summer into autumn – the days get a little shorter, the air has a nip to it, clouds skid across blue skies and colors deepen. As October winds down into November, I start thinking about the holidays approaching. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It is a time to reflect on the good things, the things that make us thankful.

LabelCrew.OctoberPillow.detail0001I am thankful for the strong friendships I’ve forged this year with women who have found joy in piecing together bits of fabric and making beautiful quilts, table runners, and pillows. I am always thankful for the love of my family and the steady presence of my husband and comfort of my fur babies.

The other day I received a little package from Sweetwater with my subscription for their label crew and it seemed like the perfect thing to sew on a cold, rainy day.

LabelCrew.OctoberPillow.frontdetail0001I used a small mini charm pack of Basic Grey’s Persimmon collection (and some other scraps from my scrap bin) which combines soft oranges and golds with a touch of taupe and deep blue for a decidedly autumn feel. A natural linen fabric gives this 16″ square pillow a little texture.

The quilting is simple, using some orange thread to add a little fun.

The back is pieced with some of Basic Grey’s PB&J collection and sports a hidden zipper.

LabelCrew.OctoberPillow.back0001As I put the finishing touches on my pillow, I remembered to be thankful for the simple things – a warm, dry home…good health…the comfort of a fire in the wood stove…the cry of a redtail hawk…rain after months of drought. As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, I am determined to spend a little time each day to appreciate the things I normally take for granted.

LabelCrew.OctoberPillow.Frontwithleaves020001What about you? What are YOU thankful for this month?

Busy as a Bee

*Click on any image to enjoy a larger view

I belong to two sewing bee groups – one on Flickr (which sews quilts for charity) and a private group on Threadbias. Each month I make a total of three blocks for these groups . I thought it would be fun to share some of these with you!

ThreadDivas.Marsha.July0001Marsha (Quilterinmotion) requested an Interrupted Star block with colors which would match her Snails Tails blocks…and she also asked for a tone on tone ecru for background.

Divas.Terry.August010001Terry (Terryt1955) requested a red and white “donut” block. She is going to have an amazing red and white quilt.

Divas.Sept.Conni0001Conni (Conniharns) asked for a scrappy star…this was fun to do! I raided my scrap bins and found some vibrant fabrics in reds, pinks, blues, and oranges.

Divas.OctBlock1.20001Erica (Skynme) wanted a really cool block with Northern Lights colors in the center and black for the points with a low volume, antique like fabric for the background. I made two blocks – one with turquoise/teal (a Kokopelli patterned fabric that felt native American to me), and one with hot pinks (I liked the swirly nature of the pattern as it reminded me of Northern Lights swirling). The background fabric is from Tom Holt’s Eclectic Elements collection and the black tone on tone is Dit Dot by Jason Yenter for In the Beginning Fabrics.

Divas.Novemberblock0001For November, Cathie  (Quilt455) requested the New England block using muted/soft colors for the corner blocks and a saturated green with olive tones for the center cross. I had fun combing through my scraps to find fabrics for this block.

DoGoodStitches.Sept2014.Blocks1.20001Wendi requested paper pieced stars (go here to get the pattern by Faith at Fresh Lemons). This quilt will be for a boy, so Wendi asked us to choose from the following color combinations for our star points: blue/red, blue/aqua, blue/orange or blue/green. She’s changed the background to a low volume (I used a chicken wire print of light gray and white) and asked that we also use Kona medium gray. I picked the blue/aqua and blue/orange color palettes for my two blocks. They came together quickly.

DoGoodStitches.October.030001For this month, Amber wanted a plus block using low volume fabrics for a scrappy background. I’ve been looking at these quilts on line and was so excited to try out a couple of blocks.

Have you ever sewn blocks for a bee group?