Category Archives: Quilt-A-Long

The Sweet Life in PB&J


*Click on any photo in this post to enjoy a larger viewSweetLifeinPBJ.Front010001

I finished the top for this quilt nearly 2 years ago when I was sewing along from the Simply Retro book by Camille Roskelley (awesome book by the way). And then it sat waiting for me to quilt it. At 92″ x 92″ it is a good size bed quilt and perhaps this is why it took so long for me to gear up for the quilting part.

SweetLifeinPBJ.DrapedOnSwing0001I used a fat quarter bundle of PB&J by Basic Grey for Moda which I won in a giveaway at the Fat Quarter Shop. The blocks came together really fast because they are large (18″ X 18″). I especially like the little pieced cornerstones in this quilt as it gives it a little bit of an old fashioned feel even though the fabrics are modern.

SweetLifeinPBJ.FrontCloseup010001I used a continuous stipple-like pattern of quilting which I kept fairly tight. I found the perfect gray-green color of Aurifil which picked up the sashing tones really well and blended nicely on the back.

SweetLifeinPBJ.QuiltingDetail0001Speaking of the back, because the blocks in this quilt were so large, my leftover scraps from the flip and stitch portions of each block were big enough to piece a bunch of pinwheels for the top of the back (I like to do something special on the top backs of my bed quilts so when the quilt is folded down you see a design). I used a bit of Bella Bleached white and some Bella Teal for the rest of the back to keep it simple and let the pinwheels take center stage.



SweetLifeinPBJ.OverRailBackReveal0001I used a pre-printed label from Sweetwater – again, keeping it simple.

SweetLifeinPBJ.Label0001And added a little scrappiness to the binding.

SweetLifeinPBJ.Binding0001I am so happy to have this one done. I can’t wait to get it on my bed.


Beachy Retro Table Topper

*Photos in this post may be clicked on to enjoy a larger view.

Sun and sand; white fluffy clouds in a blue sky; turquoise seas; sand dollars and red crabs….it all takes me back to my roots in New England where I spent many a summer soaking up the sun and breathing in the salt air along the coast.

RetroTableTopper.Crabbys20001  RetroTableTopper.SkyandClouds0001

Camille Roskelley’s newest book, Simply Retro, gave me the pattern…but I put my own spin on this sweet retro quilt. I made it quite a bit smaller than the quilt in the book…36″ X 36″ to be exact which is perfect as a table topper out on the porch, or hung on a bare piece of wall to add a spark of color.

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I used Kona White and Azure for all the blocks but one.

RetroTableTopper.OnRailCloseUpwith Sun010001

Robert Kaufman’s Don’t Be Crabby fabric came to me via a terrific group on Threadbias from my friend Mary who lives in Maine. I thought it was the perfect pop of summery color for this quilt with its tiny crabs waving their big claws in the air.


For the backing, I found a big cut of fabric I bought on sale. It reminded me of sand dollars, and because I didn’t have quite enough of it, I pieced together a strip of azure and white with a fussy cut square of the crabs to run down the center.

RetroTableTopper.BackOnSwing0001 RetroTableTopper.Sanddollars0001

I hemmed and hawed about the binding – but finally decided on a pale, low volume blue and white print.


The quilting on this quilt consists of some varying width diagonal straight lines and some echoing stitches around the little squares to help the pattern pop a bit.


The beaches I grew up on are 3000 miles to my east, but here in the mountains of Northern California the sun, sand and water are only a glimpse away!


*Do you want to quilt along with Camille’s new book? Visit the Flickr group and Jana’s blog to learn more!

Vintage Holiday Quilt Finished

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Back in August I joined Fabric Mutt and several other quilters in a vintage holiday quilt along using Vintage Holiday pattern by Camille Roskelley for Thimble Blossoms (check out the Flickr group to see other interpretations of the pattern). This was a really fun pattern and I was determined to finish the quilt on time. So last night I stayed up and stitched the binding and then washed and dried the quilt.

This quilt is a nice lap size at 64″ X 52″. I used a variety of Christmas fabrics (mostly Kate Spain’s Joy and Flurry collections). Each block is designed to look like a Christmas ornament. I used a sweet red dot (on white) for sashing and a gorgeous white (one red) dot for the border (from Bonnie and Camille’s Vintage Modern collection).

The corners of the quilt are my own design…sort of mini ornaments to give a little interest to the border.

I pieced the back, making an over-sized ornament and then strips of coordinating fabrics.

I free motion quilted this one with meandering loops.

The binding is a zig-zag stripe in green, white and red.

I may have to make some coordinating pillows for this one – we’ll see!


2012FinishALongThis quilt counts toward the fourth quarter of the 2012 Finish-Along. See my post for the fourth quarter here.




Garden Steps Quilt

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 I’ve been working on this quilt as part of a quilt-along being hosted by Clover and Violet (the Flickr group is here) for several months now. Each month we were provided with a small jpg image of embroidery to download and then stitch in the center of each court house steps block (twelve in all). I ended up creating my own embroidery for block 12 as the quilt along block #12 was made as a label…and I wanted to design my own label for the back of the quilt. Here is my original block:

And here is the label which I attached with an inside border of running stitches and and an outer border of blanket stitch:

This is a large quilt at 60″ X 78″. I used Kate Spain’s Good Fortune collection and sashed the quilt with Kona White. Each block is different because of the unique embroidery in the centers:

The back is an original pieced design. Some of of the blocks on the back are improvisational piecing.

I quilted this with an all over meandering stipple design using a light purple thread.

The quilt is bound with a solid purple Kona fabric, and I decided to use a small strip of lighter purple just as a little surprise in the binding.

This was such a satisfying quilt to make. Each month I looked forward to sitting down with my needle and embroidery thread to create the center design for one of the blocks. It was time consuming, but in the end I have something which combines hand sewing with machine quilting for a unique look.

Many thanks to Clover and Violet for hosting this quilt-a-long and also to Sew Lux Fabric and Gifts who provided the fabric and embroidery packs for this quilt.


This quilt counts toward the third quarter of the 2012 Finish Along (visit my pre-quarter post to see all the quilt projects I hoped to finish this quarter).

Ahhhhhh – Swoon!

**All photos in this post may be clicked on to enjoy a larger view

I am beyond thrilled with this latest quilt and am grateful to Katy at Monkey Do (formally, I’m a Ginger Monkey) for starting the Swoon-Along and the companion Flickr group to help motivate me to get this one done (*NOTE: the Swoon Along is still going on and it is not too late to join – it has also expanded to include Camille Roskelley’s latest quilt patterns, On a Whim and Hopscotch).

**Front on left; Back on right

This quilt is the biggest quilt I have quilted to date (I also made this one which was a little larger, but I did not quilt it myself). I used the gorgeous Etchings fabric from 3 Sisters by Moda. The blocks for this quilt finish at a huge 24″ square which made it a snap to construct. The entire quilt finished at 83″ X 83″ (I made my quilt slightly larger than the pattern by widening the sashing strips).

As with all my quilts, I pieced the back. I made an extra block and then used large and small cuts of Etchings to piece around it.

I was really scared to try quilting this one myself. It is large and the fabric is bulky. But, I pulled my sewing machine out of the sewing room and set it up on my dining room table so the quilt would be fully supported as I worked. I quilted with free motion in a meandering stipple (which is my “comfort zone”). Although it took time, and my shoulders and hands got tired (necessitating lots of breaks), I found it was not as hard as I had anticipated. It took me about a week to complete the quilting.

The binding is a red fabric from the collection which reads as a solid.

And, of course, I hand embroidered the label to finish things off.

This one will stay on the bed for awhile so I can enjoy it!


This quilt counts toward the second quarter of the 2012 Finish Along (visit my pre-quarter post to see all the quilt projects I hope to finish this quarter).



Quilt Story’s Block of the Month (BOM) Club

I really love the online quilting community for their willingness to sponsor quilt alongs (QAL), offer free tutorials, and share their amazing quilts. Heather and Megan at Quilt Story are two crafty sisters who not only love quilting, but are willing to rally the community of quilters (I joined their Rockin’ Robin QAL last year and loved it).

This month they are starting their first online Block of the Month Club which will run through March 2013. Check out the schedule for the types of blocks we’ll be making (and of course, there is also a Flickr group for participants). They are also providing a link up post on their blog for participants to share that month’s block.

Many of the blocks for this BOM will be taken from 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins, but you don’t need the book to participate. I actually have a book called 5500 Quilt Block Designs by Maggie Malone which I am planning to use to help me pick blocks.

So this month’s block has to be some sort of nine patch design and here is what I came up with:

I’m using my Bee in My Bonnet collection of fabrics by Daisy Cottage for Riley Blake – it is such a pretty, cottage-y collection with pinks, yellows, grays and browns. I have two solids (pink and yellow) for my block designs and am thinking I might sash this quilt with gray – but we’ll see. My blocks are going to be 12″ finished which will culminate in a nice lap quilt a year from now!

I hope you’ll consider joining us as we make our unique quilts based on a “theme of the month” idea! Fun, fun, fun!


Rockin’ Robin Quilt – Pure Bliss

All Photos are “clickable” to enjoy a larger view.

Last night I completed quilting, binding and putting a label on my Rockin’ Robin Quilt which I started last year as part of a fantastic quilt-along hosted by Jen at Reanna Lily Designs, Anne Marie at Gen X Quilters, Heather and Megan from Quilt Story, Melissa at Lilac Lane, and Lisa Marie at That Crazy Quilty Girl (you should check out their blogs – they are very talented quilters!). If you want to make a quilt like this, you can get the links to the tutorials by checking out the quilt along post.

In case you are wondering about the name of this quilt, here is what Jen wrote:

This concept was a Row Robin.  Do you know what a Row Robin is?  It is a quilt made in, usually, horizontal rows and each row is a different style or type.  Many times ladies would pass the quilt along to the next person in the group and add a row.  The quilt would continue to be passed around until it arrived back to the original owner- with all sorts of surprises- from fabric, to design, to technique.  It is really a neat idea.  Round Robin quilts are done this way, around a center medallion quilt.

So using this idea as the jumping off point I thought-

  1. Let’s make sure the rows are modern and hip.
  2. Let’s have the quilter be able to customize the row or quilt size.
  3. Let’s do our own sewing, so we’re certain the pieces/colors will be pleasing at the end.

Pretty cool, huh?

So let me tell you a little about my quilt.

This is a 58″ X 58″ lap quilt. I used Bonnie and Camille’s Bliss fabric as the primary fabric, although there are also some other fabric lines represented too. I wanted the quilt to be completely reversible and so I pieced the back using left over blocks from the front.


I decided to free motion quilt this one using a meandering stipple design.

This quilt has a really fresh feel to it with all the white and the pops of red and turquoise.

I hand embroidered the label and then decided to make it part of a house which I then stitched onto the back. I like how the label blends in with the rest of the design.

Finally I used a deep, Kona red solid for the binding.

I can’t wait for the summer weather when I can drape this quilt over the porch swing and use it when the nights are cool!

Summer Sampler Quilt COMPLETED!

*All photos in this post are “clickable” to enjoy a larger view”

Do you remember this quilt? I started it last summer as a quilt-along. I quickly pieced the top, but it took me until now to get it pinned and quilted. One of the big things I learned making this quilt was how to paper piece – a technique which always felt intimidating to me, but turned out to be a lot of fun and results in very exact points and seams.

So a little about the quilt…it is 43.5″ X 61″ – a smallish lap size. I used Sandi Henderson’s beautiful Meadowsweet line for most of the fabrics and sashed the quilt with a Kona cotton gray solid. I added cornerstones in the sashing to give it a little bit of pop.

The back is pieced using solids and more of Meadowsweet. I crafted a mariner’s compass block from a free download and placed it in the center of the back.

The labels are hand embroidered and positioned off center on the left and right just above the mariner’s compass block.

Choosing a binding was a bit of a process. I ended up choosing a wavy, almost-stripe from Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern line of fabric. I think it compliments the quilt well.

The quilting is mostly straight lines in the sashing, but I also quilted around each block and did a little bit of outlining of some of the block features.

All in all, this was a fun quilt to make and I am really happy with the playfulness of the color scheme. It feels summery to me!

Pure Bliss…

I decided to join a terrific quilt along which is being hosted by Anne Marie at Gen X Quilters, Lisa Marie at That Crazy Quilty Girl, Melissa at Lilac Lane, Heather and Megan at Quilt Story, and Jen at Reanna Lily Designs. Even though I am late to the party, I could not resist the concept of this quilt-a-long. Anne Marie described it as follows:

In the past, Row Robin quilts were usually made by each quilter taking their turn at making one row for a quilt before passing it on.  In this case, each of the host bloggers will design one quilt block that is then used across the row.

The ability to customize the quilt is built into the tutorials which means that no quilt will be exactly like someone else’s quilt. Check out the Flickr group where there are already some amazing quilts developing.

Today I pulled out my Bliss fabric by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. Oh my, how I love this fabric! It has a bit of an old fashioned look to it, and the colors are fantastic. I managed to piece the first row of rectangles (I made 5 blocks):

I decided to alternate my accent color from cherry red to turquoise:


I ended up with some left over strips which were too narrow to make a traditional block – so I pieced three of these strips together and designed a block which I think I will use on the back of this quilt:

And then, because I was on a roll, I decided to start piecing the star blocks for the second row. The tutorial shows how to make 4″, 12″ and 16″ blocks. I decided to make two 8″ blocks, and I may forgo the 16″ block (we’ll see!). Here are the two I completed:

I can’t wait to finish this quilt which I think is going to be one of my favorites! And I am happy to be using my Bliss fabric to make room for Bonnie and Camille’s latest collection, Ruby, due out this fall:

A Little Quilting for Summer…

I finally found some time to sit down and work on some quilts. One of my most recent lap quilts is nearly completed (just need to hand stitch the binding) and I’ll be posting about that one soon.

But, I also decided to join a group of like-minded quilters over on Flickr for a Summer Sampler Series quilt-a-long. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to build my sewing/quilting skills. The blocks look challenging and fun. The group is stitching three blocks a week.

The schedule of tutorials is as follows:

Swim, Bike, Quilt
Fresh Lemons Quilts
Freshly Pieced

I decided to select fabrics from Sandi Henderson’s Meadowsweet line which incorporates yellows, sages, oranges, turquoises and hot pinks – a beautiful palette which reminds me of summer. I’ve also pulled some fabrics from my stash which will coordinate with the main fabric, and I am planning to use some solids as well. I hope in the end I will have a bright cherry quilt which looks a little scrappy.

Up until today, I was behind by six blocks! Uh-0h! But I set a goal to complete the first three today, and I managed to do that.

The first block is the Star of Virginia and the tutorial was provided by Kate at Swim, Bike Quilt. I found this block fairly easy and fun to stitch. Check out the tutorial to learn more about this block.

The second block is the Greek Cross. Faith at Fresh Lemons provided the instructions and told us a little about the history of the block. This was also a fun, fairly simple block to stitch. I decided to use some Kona Ash solid fabric to set off the bright colors in this one.

The third block in the series is a Mosaic Block. Lee from Freshly Pieced provided the tutorial for this one. I found this block a bit more challenging, but I was really happy with how it all came together. Trimming the blocks to exactly 3.5″ squares was time consuming, but made all the difference.

Here are blocks 1 – 3 all lined up together:

The next three blocks in the series look like they will definitely challenge my sewing skills. I hope to get started on them tomorrow! If you’d like to see the blocks other quilters are making, check out the Flickr group for this challenge. Better yet, why not join us?