Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Decorating for the holidays, quietly

I’ve been feeling quiet inside as we move into the holiday season. Not sad or depressed. On the contrary, I feel quite thankful and happy. But I also feel a sense of quiet. Maybe this is my mind’s way of fighting off the constant barrage of noise . . . from the television, the radio, the computer and the phone. So much information. So much news. So much to do. So much to make!

I’ve talked to other quilters who, like me, feel that being a quilter today is a bit like being a squirrel. We are constantly zipping about, frantically chasing that shiny new nut . . .  the newest fabric, pattern, kit, technique, etc. Everything we see on social media or in the quilt shops makes us want to buy and make. It’s exhausting. It can make us feel downright overwhelmed!

I hope my blog never makes you feel that way. I hope my enthusiasm for my shared projects inspires you in a happy, productive way. Let’s make a deal with ourselves and each other . . . we don’t have to keep up with anyone else. We will sew, decorate and make on our own schedules, within our own budgets, and for the joy of the creative process or gift giving that results.

So, after all that rambling, I want to share with you my Christmas decorating from this past weekend. It is very light. And it feels good . . . and quiet.

The morning after Thanksgiving, I laid out my Star Crossed Pines quilt and a new pillow I ordered from a fellow Etsy shop maker: Porter Lane Home. Yep, I tossed them on the couch, took a couple of pictures and that was it. That was enough. Whew!

Later in the evening, I talked (coerced) my mom and Haley into helping me set up the Christmas tree and a few greens. We also hung three quilts. My Welcome Home Wreath and another single quilt block found homes in the dining room, while my Christmas version of Fat Quarter Flourish now hangs in my kitchen. On Saturday when the sun was shining I took a few more pictures to share with you. We still don’t have the ornaments on the tree, but that is oddly okay with me this year. I’m enjoying this quiet tree.

During the fall this black wire basket was filled with an autumn garland and fabric pumpkin. We made a quick switcheroo with some winter greens, a cute little sign and a "Jolly" mug rug that I made last year. And if you notice in the background, my red and green version of Shoofly Crossing is hanging on a stair railing. We can grab it to use as a lap quilt while watching TV, or hang it there for decoration.  Simple is good!

And finally, on Sunday evening when I was home alone, I set out our little Nativity which was a gift from my parents many years ago. I didn’t even put out the wooden manger . . . just the still figures, quiet reminders of what this season means to me.

We have a beautiful lighted Christmas village, several more holiday mini quilts, bunches of greenery and pretty figurines and decor that are staying packed away this year. I’m feeling really good about this . . . much less “squirrelly.”

Who knows, next year I may go all the way and decorate every inch of this place for the holidays. Either way, my family loves me, and that’s all that really matters.

Whether you're seeking a quiet season or one filled with joyful noise, I’m wishing you all a wonderful journey into the holidays! 


Friday, November 23, 2018

Winter Flurries: a finished quilt top

Here in the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. In the Kelvington household, we cooked our turkey, enjoyed time spent with family, shopped a little, and started a tiny bit of Christmas decorating. I also managed to finish up this cute quilt top from the “Winter Flurries” mystery sew along with Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

This was such a fun project! I’ve never participated in a mystery sew along before, and it was intriguing to make a few blocks each week, all the while wondering what the final product would look like!

In week one we did all the cutting for the quilt and also made one Economy block.

In week two we sewed the Granny Square blocks.

And just like that, we were ready to assemble the parts and finish our Winter Flurries Quilt top! While this quilt will make a great table topper or wall hanging, part of me wonders if I should make it into a tree skirt. Wouldn’t it be darling at the base of a country Christmas tree? I'm just not sure I'm brave enough to do it! Slicing into those pretty blocks . . . what a thought!

I deviated just a bit from the assembly instructions. Instead of a neutral border, I added a green inner border followed by a wide charcoal gingham border. All of my fabrics are from various Fig Tree & Company collections, except the gingham. That print is from the Farmer’s Daughter collection by Lella Boutique for Moda.

Remember, the pattern downloads for this project are free and 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!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope all of my American quilting friends had a very Happy Thanksgiving, and that all of you, all over the world, are getting carried away quilting!


Monday, November 19, 2018

Fabric kits: Next Up table topper featuring Farmhouse II by Fig Tree

In September I introduced you to a new pattern, Next Up, a fun and easy pattern available in two sizes. The large version (86” x 86”) calls for a layer cake, while the small version (38” x 38”) calls for a charm pack. Today I’m happy to tell you that I have fabric KITS available for the smaller version, featuring the lovely Farmhouse II collection by Fig Tree & Company for Moda!

The fabric kit is available on my Etsy Shop.  It includes fabric for the top and binding as pictured:
·        1 Charm Pack (Farmhouse II)
·        3/4 yard Moda Cross Weave Black
·        1/3 yard neutral (Farmhouse II, milk country text 20326-15)
·        3/8 yard binding (Farmhouse II, tomato polka dotties 20322-11)

Next Up is a digital only pattern. I don’t have paper copies. So if you purchase the fabric kit, you will also need to purchase the digital pattern from my Etsy Shop.

Please note: backing fabric is NOT included in the kit, although I have a nice variety of Farmhouse II yardage available to purchase in my Etsy Shop. The backing is not included in this kit to give you some purchasing flexibility. Traditional yardage calculation would say that this quilt measuring 38" x 38" would require 2 5/8 yard for backing.  HOWEVER, my long-arm quilter would allow me to give her just 1 1/3 yard backing, as 44" x 48" was acceptable to her on a small project. Check with your long-arm quilter to see what size is required.  If I were to quilt this on my home machine, I would definitely go with the 1 1/3 yard option!

Remember, the fabric kit, digital pattern and Farmhouse II fabric listings are all available on my Etsy Shop. Quantities are limited.

Thanks for stopping by, quilting friends! Now go and get carried away quilting!


Sunday, November 18, 2018

New pattern: Let's Play, a fat quarter friendly child's quilt

When I think back on my children’s early years, I remember that quilts were a big part of their daily lives. Quilts made for snuggling became fort quilts and backyard picnic quilts. I also remember how often a quilt became a play mat where Luke would line up his trucks, cars, tractors and action figures and let his imagination go to town. 

My newest quilt pattern, Let’s Play, was designed to feature inspiring juvenile fabrics and encourage play. It’s fat quarter friendly and finishes at 48” x 57”, the perfect size for a child’s quilt. From the adventure inspired fabric to the linear, roadmap like layout of the pattern, Let’s Play was inspired by my son, Luke.

For this quilt, I selected a collection called “Greatest Adventure” by Cinderberry Stitches for Riley Blake Designs. I had been saving a group of fat quarters from this collection for a couple of years, just waiting for the right quilt pattern to come to mind. Luke is a young man now, but I know for certain that he would have loved this quilt when he was a boy.  He would have enjoyed the plucky little characters and the tiny word messages.

While this fabric collection is likely hard to find now, Riley Blake Designs is well known for their fabulous children’s prints. I can imagine this pattern sewn up in other sweet and inspiring youth collections, can’t you? 

Let’s Play is a fat quarter friendly pattern. Begin with two dominant color prints (I chose red and navy blue) that will create the intersecting grid or roadmap effect. Then select seven additional coordinating fat quarters to be your feature fabrics. Look for prints that tell a story with pictures.

Here are the material requirements for Let’s Play:
Finished size: 48” x 57”
Materials Needed:
9 fat quarters (1 red, 1 blue, 7 coordinating)
White................... 1 yard
Border.................. 3/4 yard
Backing................ 3 1/4 yards
Binding: The sample shows scrappy binding cut from 2 1/4” strips from the remainder of the fat quarters. (Cutting instructions for scrappy binding are noted in the pattern.) Otherwise, 1/2 yard is required to bind the quilt.

This pattern is a bit of a departure from what I typically design, but I truly love it. Let’s Play takes me back to the sweet days when matchbox cars, stuffed animals, books and action heroes took up residence in my house, along with a spirited little boy and his side-kick younger sister.

Let’s Play is available as a digital download pattern on my Etsy Shop. I hope this pattern inspires you to sew up a much loved quilt for a child in your life. Thanks so much for stopping by!


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!