Category Archives: Simply Retro Sew Along

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.


A Scrappy Swell Quilt

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Swell.onswing020001I’ve been busy finishing up some quilts lately. I don’t know why I waited so long to get this low volume scrappy quilt bound and quilted because I really love it.

The Swell pattern is from Camille Roskelley’s latest book: Simply Retro…and it is a super easy quilt to make. It is Jelly Roll friendly and (obviously) scrap friendly.

Swell.Pattern0001I had a Jelly Roll that I created by cutting 2.5″ strips WOF from left over scraps. When I do this, I try to color coordinate the roll as best I can (so I have a couple other self-made Jelly Rolls that have different color schemes).  I decided to use this scrap happy roll of fabrics to make the Swell quilt.

The quilt finished at 58″ X 70″ – an oversized lap quilt.

Swell.Draped010001I used fabric that I snagged for $2 a yard for the border and backing – amazing! And even pieced left over batting to sandwich the quilt.

Swell.BackReveal0001The quilting is free-motion loopy curves:

Swell.QuiltingDetail010001I made a small label just so I would remember when I made this one:

Swell.Label0001I really love the softness of this sweet quilt – and it is perfect for summer.


Modern “Playground” Pillow


I made this pillow as part of the Simply Retro Sew-Along, but also because I was inspired by this pillow which I made for my sister a few weeks ago. I loved the idea of fresh, modern fabrics in yellow and gray while using a retro style block. The pattern, Playground, may be found on page 53 of Simply Retro by Camille Roskelley (visit the Flickr group for the sew along to see more interpretations of this pattern).

This is a super simple block to make and I decided to highlight its details with echo-style quilting.


The back uses some great fabrics: charcoal dots, text, ruler fabric, and a red flowers and birds – all scraps and pieces from my stash.

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Once again I installed a hidden zipper to make this pillow truly reversible.


Bound with some terrific charcoal leaf fabric from Simply Color by V & Co … this pillow just makes me smile!


Dapper Table Runner


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I am continuing to sew along with the Simply Retro group sponsored by Jana (visit the Flickr group to see all the great projects from Simply Retro by Camille Roskelley). Here is my version of the Dapper pattern which I decided to do for a table runner.

You might remember my Starlight Lilly Belle quilt which I finished back in May. I had lots of scraps left over from that quilt and decided to use some of them for this project. I chose Kona Ash for the background and a Fresh Water solid from Pure Elements by Art Gallery for the narrow border.


The backing fabric is something from my stash along with the Fresh Water solid.


And the binding is a dot fabric by Michael Miller.


I used an echo stitching for the quilt pattern which really highlights the pinwheels in the design.


From the back you can visualize it even better.


I like the cool, serene feel of this runner with its watery greens and blues and grays. A perfect table runner for a candlelight dinner!

A Vintage Pillow from Simply Retro


I’m still quilting along with the Simply Retro Sew-A-Long sponsored by Jana Machado (visit the dedicated Flickr group to see projects from the book Simply Retro). I decided to make a smaller version of the Vintage pattern on page 36 using leftover scraps from Bonnie & Camille’s collection of Vintage Modern fabrics – you might recognize this fabric from the huge bed quilt with matching pillows I made back in June.

I so love this fabric – it is bright and happy and lends itself to so many great projects. This pillow is a generous 20″ x 20″ in size.

I pieced the back and used a great green leaf print from the Simply Color collection by V & Co. for Moda to hide the zipper.



I quilted the top using a cross hatch design that I thought complimented the pattern well.


I am having such a great time sewing from this book – if you love a retro look and have enjoyed Camille Roskelley’s designs in the past, I think you would love the patterns found between the pages of Simply Retro.


A Churn Dash Summer Quilt


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Whenever I think about churn dash quilt blocks, my mind goes to ice cream…and then, naturally, to summertime. So when the I looked at the Baby Love pattern by Camille Roskelley (found in her new book Simply Retro on page 29), I knew I needed summery fabrics that popped. The So Sophie collection by Chez Moi seemed to fit the bill with its soft pinks, blues, and apple greens, and it bright pops of red.

SophieChurnDash.ontable10001 SophieChurnDash.overchair.010001

This is a super easy quilt that comes together fast – in fact, I completely pieced both front and back of this 36″ X 36″ quilt in one afternoon…and then pinned, quilted and bound it in the next 24 hours. The blocks are a generous 12″ finished size…so nine blocks makes a perfect table topper, baby quilt or a smallish lap quilt.


There was plenty of 5″ blocks left over from the charm packs to piece a back.

SophieChurnDash.back.010001 SophieChurnDash.backcloseup10001

I quilted this one with my new favorite quilting method for small quilts: echoing the pattern with straight line quilting.


And the binding was a no-brainer. I had tons of beautiful red/white dot fabric that I bought on sale months ago which makes the whole quilt pop.


I’m looking forward to having friends over for a summer picnic with my new Sophie Churn Dash quilt as a table topper!

SophieChurnDash.on rocker0001

SimplyRetroI made this quilt as part of the Simply Retro Sew-A-Long sponsored by Jana Machado. Visit the dedicated Flickr group to see more interpretations of not only this pattern, but other patterns from the book Simply Retro.

Beachy Retro Table Topper

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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.

RetroTableTopper.ToponSwing10001 RetroTableTopper.OnBistro0001

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!