Monday, November 12, 2018

Window Garden quilt finds a home

Many of you know that one of my favorite quilts, my Window Garden quilt sewn with Tilda fabric, was something of an odyssey. I purchased the fabric in September of 2016. I began working on the quilt in February of 2017. I finally finished it in the spring of 2018 while we were living at our transitional home. I’m happy to say that my Window Garden quilt has found her permanent home in our new permanent home! I couldn’t be happier with how this quilt makes me feel every time I walk into our master bedroom.

While I really admire bedrooms designed with luxurious bedding and sparkly accessories, the truth is, I’m not a fancy girl. I like things that are pretty but practical. I like my rooms to be inviting and visually interesting, but not too full of stuff. I also like bedding that is layered, soft and comfy. I found a new quilted coverlet at Kohls that I think provides the perfect backdrop for my quilt and fits my style.

Of all of my patterns, Window Garden ranks as one of my favorites. It really allows any fabric collection to shine. The following post shows how pretty this pattern can be in a variety of colorways: Window Garden in Tilda: a project update.

Recently while I was on quilt retreat, my mom and I took a break from the sewing and scrapbooking and went shopping. We stopped at a fabulous store in central Minnesota called Three Sisters Furnishings. I found three lovely items that day: a crocheted navy pillow, another accent pillow, and the pretty floral print hanging above the bed. These items seem right at home with my Window Garden quilt.

I've written to you lately that I've been drawn to the color blue. Well that's pretty obvious in this room. From Haley's bit of high school pottery on my night stand to my eclectic stack of books, I seem to be in a blue mood!

I have a tendency to want to get things done “right now.” But maybe the older I get, the better I get at letting things unfold over time. It’s hard to be patient and wait for the pieces of life’s puzzles to come into place. But when things do come together, it sure makes us appreciate it more. Our empty nest moves over the past year, and our efforts to slowly make this house our forever home are good reminders of that!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. I appreciate that you take the time to read my posts that aren’t just about fabric, notions and patterns, but also about how our quilt making is part of our life making.

Go and get carried away quilting!


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Final blocks for the Winter Flurries mystery sew along with FWFS

Somehow or other, life got crazy in my neck of the woods, and I fell behind on a couple of projects. But I’m all caught up with my blocks for the “Winter Flurries” mystery sew along with Fort Worth Fabric Studio. Last night and this morning I sewed up the blocks from week three and four.  Next week we’ll be putting this little quilt together!

The week three assignment was the easy, peasy Flying Geese blocks, while we sewed up the beautiful Christmas Star blocks for week four. Now that I have all the pieces and parts, I’m so excited to see how it will come together.

The great thing about this sew along is that the weekly pattern downloads are free and will remain available on the FWFS website. You could begin this project at any time and work at your own pace. While I think the FWFS fabric kits may have sold out, they have an amazing collection of Christmas and winter fabrics for you to choose from for your project!

In honor of the Winter Flurries project, I’ll share my view of the lake today. This is the first day that the lake has shown evidence that she’s making ice. The fisherpeople in my family are pretty happy to see that. We live in Minnesota, so there will be cold and there will be snow. I say Bring It On!  I have plenty of quilts to keep me warm.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. If you’ve been sewing along, be sure to share your progress on Instagram using #winterflurriesmysterquilt


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Tis the season: Christmas quilts, runners and pillows!

We woke up to snow this morning! Granted it was just a dusting, and it has already melted. But let me tell you, those fluffy white flurries got me feeling all snuggled up inside. I was ready to pull out the holly and the ivy. It took every bit of restraint I had to leave the Christmas decorations in the storage room.

So instead, I thought I’d share some of my favorite holiday makes from the past couple of years. You can click on each project link for full details and more photos!

74” x 80”

Welcome Home Wreath (Original Version)
Wall hanging or table topper
48” square

Welcome Home Wreath (Fig Tree Version)
Wall hanging or table topper
48” square

Starry Way
Charm pack runner
40” x 20”

Coffee Time Quilt for Christmas (free pattern)
Mini charm pack mini quilt
18” square

Picking Petals
Charm pack mini quilt
20” square

Shoofly Crossing
Lap quilt
57” square

Fat Quarter Flourish
Fat quarter mini quilt
20” square

Diamond Trail
Charm pack runner
22” x 32”

Jingle Birds patchwork pillow (free pattern)
Mini charm pack pillow
12” x 16”

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. My husband will thank you too, as sharing this post probably saved me from getting too carried away with holiday decorating!

Friends, I kid you not.  As I am writing this post, it has started to snow again.  Uh oh!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Sewing blue

If someone were to ask me my favorite color, my immediate answer would be blue. It’s the same answer I would have given as a young girl, and it still feels true today. Oddly enough, I don’t typically decorate my home with blue accessories. Also, very few of the quilts I’ve made in recent years feature the color blue. 

I’m no expert in color theory. I just know what I like and how colors make me feel. I’m sure I’ve shied away from blue because it is a cool color, and I like to create a warm environment in my home. However, since moving to our place by the lake, my eyes have been opened to a new realization. Blue is an awesome anchor (no pun intended) to the other colors in the landscape which provide warmth and energy. And so, I’m “feeling blue” and sewing blue! 

Pictured below are two of my most recent fabric pulls for quilts in progress. The first photo shows a selection of navy and taupe prints from the upcoming “Sweet Tea” collection by Sweetwater for Moda (available in stores in January).  I added some soft butterscotchy-orange prints from my stash to warm up the grouping. I’m working on a new pattern that I think you will love . . . it's simple but has a big impact. I’ll share that with you just as soon as I can!

This second photo shows a selection of the blues and greens from the “Oxford” collection by Sweetwater for Moda. I’m making a simple patchwork quilt for our guest bedroom (otherwise known as Haley’s room or Grandma Brenda’s room, depending on who arrives first). Haley and I attempted to paint the guest room a very pale shade of blue (white lightning) this past weekend to coordinate with the Oxford fabrics. However, we painted just one wall and realized that what we really had was lavender. Back to the drawing board on that! 

Both of these fabric pulls are a departure from what I typically sew. But they reflect what I feel when I look at the natural world around me. There is so much beauty to be found in a calm lake, peeling birch trees, tiny acorns, and crunchy fallen leaves atop thick green grass that will soon be hidden by snow. There are days when I forget to keep my eyes open to nature. I’m working to do better. Maybe my new quilts will provide an indoor reminder to look outdoors!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!  Thanks for letting me ramble.



Sunday, October 28, 2018

Winter Flurries Week 2: Mystery sew along with Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Hello quilting friends! I’m popping in to share my progress on the “Winter Flurries” mystery sew along with Fort Worth Fabric Studio. This week we made four Granny Square blocks to go with last week’s Economy block. I tell you what, the Granny Square blocks were so much fun that I have a hankerin’ to make a whole Granny Square quilt!

Last week I showed you my fabric pull for this project, but as I laid out this week’s blocks, I realized that my center square selection just didn’t have enough pop. I had chosen a taupe colored print with delicate red flowers, and I just didn't like it in this layout. So I replaced that print with this beautiful red holly from the Christmas Figs collection by Fig Tree & Co. 

We all love the opportunity to use our tools and notions.  Well, I just happened to have a 6” Trim Tool Ruler by Creative Grids. (The overall size of the ruler is 6 1/2".) What a handy tool for these blocks! The outer seam allowance marking on the ruler helps to square up blocks carefully, ensuring that you won't lose points. I'll be pulling out this ruler more often.

The “Winter Flurries” mystery sew along runs for five weeks, and we won’t know what the finished quilt top looks like until the final week. I’m sure it will be lovely, as it has been designed by the talented Lindsey Weight. The finished project will be 33” x 33.” Remember, weekly pattern downloads are free on the FWFS website.

Fort Worth Fabric Studio has created a beautiful fabric kit for this sew along, with binding and backing included. It’s not too late to join in. The blocks are super quick and easy to construct. You can catch up in an afternoon.

Pictured below are the beautiful Granny Square blocks created by Lindsey using the Forth Worth Fabric Studio kit fabrics. You can see how Lindsey's center center print has much more visual interest that the taupe print I chose last week. Her center print is definitely a terrific focal fabric. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope you’ll consider joining in the Winter Flurries sew along. I can't wait until next week. Be sure to share your progress on Instagram using #winterflurriesmysterquilt


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Christmas version of Fat Quarter Flourish (plus kits!)

Earlier this year I introduced you to a new pattern called Fat Quarter Flourish, a pretty 20 1/2" square table topper or wall hanging made from just five fat quarters! I’ve been waiting for the chance to sew this pattern in a holiday collection, so here goes . . . Fat Quarter Flourish featuring Christmas Figs by Fig Tree & Company for Moda.

There are so many lovely prints in the Christmas Figs collection that it was difficult to choose which five to feature. But that's what makes this pattern so fun. I don’t think you can go wrong, no matter which combination of prints you choose!

I decided to frame this little quilt with a bold binding, using the black text print from Fig Tree’s Chestnut Street collection. I then topped it off with a black button, secured with red Aurifloss. Many thanks to Barb at Quilts on Broadway for the cheery machine quilting you chose for my project!

My plan is to hang this quilt for the holidays, but I’d like to give it even more impact by layering it with some type of frame or wood background. I love creating a layered look with wall hangings. I’ll ponder that and check back in with you IF I think of something clever.

I’ve created a limited quantity of kits which are available on my Etsy shop. Kits include my paper pattern plus all the fabrics for the top, backing and binding.  (Button not included.) The cost is just $30 plus shipping. 

KIT UPDATE 10/25/2018:  Folks, my kits sold out within a few hours.  Luckily, one of my sponsors, My Timeless Day, has a good stock of Christmas Figs fabric and they would be happy to help any of you looking for a kit. You'll find the phone number and email address for My Timeless Day at the bottom of their home page.

Please note there are two kit versions. The top and binding fabrics are the same for both versions. The only difference is the backing fabric. One kit includes the apple green posies (20307 15) from Fig Tree's Ella & Ollie collection. The other kit includes the red giftwrap (20314 14) from Fig Tree's Christmas Figs collection.

If my selection of fabrics doesn’t quite suit your fancy, I hope you’ll consider giving the pattern a try.  Fat Quarter Flourish is quick, easy and so versatile!

Have a great week!


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Winter Flurries: Mystery sew along with Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Have you ever participated in a mystery sew along? I haven’t, until now! The creative folks at Fort Worth Fabric Studio are hosting a “Winter Flurries” mystery sew along, and I couldn’t resist joining. A mystery sew along is exactly that . . . a mystery.  We won’t know what the finished quilt top looks like until the final week! Here’s my first block and coordinating fabrics.

The sew along runs for five weeks. Weekly pattern downloads are free and designed by the talented Lindsey Weight. The finished project will be 33” x 33.” Our week one assignment included making one block and all of the cutting for the small quilt. How easy is that? 

Fort Worth Fabric Studio has created a beautiful fabric kit for this mystery sew along, with binding and backing included. They went to the Moda warehouse and hand selected some lovely prints from different holiday collections. 

Here is the beautiful week one block created by Lindsey, using the Forth Worth Fabric Studio kit fabrics:

I probably should have ordered a kit, as I really love their selection of fabrics.  However, as a pattern designer, I accumulate too much fabric. I need to make a dent in my own stash. So I’ve pulled fabrics that are similar in coloring to the Fort Worth Fabric Studio bundle, and I’m throwing caution to the wind. I hope my finished top is as pretty as I know theirs will be!

You don’t have to sign up to join in the Winter Flurries fun. Just check the FWFS website every Wednesday from October 17 through November 14 for the newest set of instructions! There are a limited number of kits, so I encourage you to visit their website ASAP if you want to order one. Remember, this is a small project and week one’s tasks were super easy. You can catch up in no time!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope you’ll consider joining in the Winter Flurries sew along. Be sure to share your progress on Instagram using #winterflurriesmysterquilt


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Quilt retreat: A wonderful place to start a pumpkin quilt

This past weekend I attended an informal quilt retreat with long-time friends. We meet twice a year in the spring and fall to sew or scrapbook, eat, talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. I’ve been gathering with these lovely ladies for more than a decade, and it is truly a blessing. I’ve written about our Koronis Quilt Retreat before, if you’d like to read that post.  Today I wanted to pop in and show you some of the blocks I made at retreat!

You all know I am a big fan of Corey Yoder’s fabric collections for Moda.  Well, I am also a fan of her patterns. This summer I ordered several fun patterns from Corey, including her Apple Creek pattern. Recently Corey suggested on social media that Apple Creek could easily take on an autumn feel if the apples were orange . . . as in pumpkins!  Boy, was she right. Aren’t these some darling blocks?

Here I am with my good friend Sylvia after a full day of sewing.  I must admit, by 8:00 pm each evening I am all wore out. All that sewing and chatting is tiring. By the way, take a look at the itsy-bitsy hexie handwork Sylvia is doing. Phenomenal talent right there!

My mom also attends quilt retreat, although her focus is scrapbooking.  She is working on a memory book for my niece, Madison, who will graduate from high school next year. In my estimation, quilting is MUCH easier than scrapbooking. Mom, Sylvia and I took a quick break by the lake to share a photo with you. I am so lucky to have these women in my life. All of them!

For my Apple Creek (aka Pumpkin Creek) blocks, I dug into my stash of Fig Tree & Company fabrics to sew my pumpkins and stars.  If you look closely, you can see fabrics from six different Fig Tree collections: Farmhouse, Strawberry Fields Revisited, Aloha Girl, Chestnut Street, Ella & Ollie, and their upcoming Farmhouse 2 line.

I probably won’t have this quilt completed until next autumn rolls around, but that’s okay. I look forward to displaying it in my home near my “Next Up” charm pack quilt featuring Farmhouse 2.  I think they will look lovely together. While one has a dark background and the other is light, they have a similar style and the black prints in both will tie them together. Oh, the joy of quilting with beautiful fabrics!

By the way, Fig Tree’s Farmhouse 2 collection is scheduled to release this month!  As soon as I have my charm packs in store, I will be offering “Next Up” kits with that lovely black Moda Cross Weave background.  I hope you’ll keep an eye out for that.

I did finish one small quilt at retreat, but I can’t show you a picture just yet.  All I can show you is the fabric that I used, and tell you that I will have kits available for this project in the near future too. I’m really excited to share this Christmas project with you!

And since I'm enthusiastically all over the board with my topics today, I better mention the pretty background fabric you see in the picture above. It is the marvelous text print from Lella Boutique's Farmer's Daughter collection.  I used it to recover my ironing board. It's nice to read uplifting messages while pressing. (FYI: A few years ago I wrote a post about how I recovered my ironing board. You can find that post here.)

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. I hope you all get carried away quilting real soon!