The most wonderful time of the year.

Happy May, y’all! Spring has sprung for real around here. I’m finally planting my back porch containers planted and I’ve been enjoying beautiful evening walks after work. May is one of (and might just be) my favorite months. The weather here in Maryland is perfect, everything is in bloom, and of course the month culminates in the birthday of one of my favorite people. School is winding down and the anticipation of summer is at it’s peak. Mother’s day was last weekend and my sweet child treated me to the nicest evening with a fun dinner out and a lovely walk around the lake.

Of course, not to be forgotten, the first weekend in May is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. On Saturday, I went with a dear friend:

We had a blast talking, petting sheep, and just generally enjoying a sunny day surrounded by fiber friends. On Sunday, I went back with Astra:

We had a blast too! I think we looked at every stall!

This is Astra’s haul – yarn for hats, some charms, custom made earrings (the lady made them right there in front of us!), and of course, some goodies from The Bee Folks. The yarn here is – (pink/black) A Hundred Ravens NTOA base in the Styx colorway and (blue/black) Canon Hand Dyes William Merino DK base in the Neon Rainbow: Poolside & Black (2 color stripes) colorway.

And here’s my two day yarn haul. I also picked up some honey from a few local apiaries – The Bee Folks and Snyder’s. The yarn is (left-right) Canon Hand Dyes Bruce Yak Fluff in Naked Bruce and Beatrix Alpaca Silk in Fuzzy Bunny, Feederbrook Farm Entropy DK in Qu, and Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm Squishy Sock in Longbottom Leaf. The grey and purple are all destined to be a Rad Plaid Cowl – a fun new pattern by Andrea Mowry that I can’t wait to cast on.

Speaking of knitting – I’ve got a few projects to share! I’ve finished two of my make nine projects so far and only just taken nice pictures of them – look for posts on those projects soon.

My next make nine start is the Mount Pleasant top. I’m knitting it in Backyard Fiberworks Prairie in Shell. This is my second attempt. I decided not to swatch because I’ve recently knit two sweaters on the same weight yarn at the same gauge. I got about 3 inches into the body before realizing it was coming out way too big, so I frogged it and started over. I’m now only a few inches from the sleeve separation – I can’t wait to wear this over the summer!

I’m on the home stretch of these sweet little socks – I used the Blueberry Waffle pattern (a fantastic free sock pattern) and this is a Woolberry Fiber Co. sock set in Moody Pumpkin.

Last but not least, we watched The Fellowship of the Ring and so I cast on a pair of socks for movie knitting. you can tell that we haven’t watched the next movie yet because there isn’t much done on this sock. This is A Homespun House yarn in Hobbitses. Fitting, right?

There you have it, a peak into what I’ve been up to this spring. I hope you are having a little sunshine wherever you are in the world.

Happy making!

Mindless knitting, mistakes, and other thoughts.

I hear crafters talk about it often, the joy of a mindless project. It’s often hard for me to slow down with making, I am so often squeezing it in while I do something else. A big favorite during the winter is hanging out on the couch in the evenings and knitting or sewing. Some projects require more focus, some require less, and some need more focus than I give them.

After I finished the Pink Fizz sweater, I decided to knit my January baby siblings some socks. For some unknown reason, I cast on the later birthday gift first but many they flew. After all that lace and alternating skeins and carrying the mohair, I just couldn’t put these down – the joy of stockinette was strong.

The yarn is from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm in the Gathering Eggs colorway, which came as a set with the contrast color, Golden Hen. The finished socks are just beautiful. I know I knit socks all the time, but some pairs stand out as particularly well done and these definitely fit that bill.

Since I started the earlier birthday’s pair second, I was putting a bit of pressure on myself to finish them fast, just like the first pair. I cast on the first sock and knit the whole thing in about a day. I don’t really recommend that, but sometimes the mood hits. The next day, I eagerly cast on the second and got rolling. Something felt off, so I decided to slow down and give myself some breathing space. I worked on it the next evening and finally started comparing the socks – they were definitely different sizes! It took me forever to realize it but I had used the wrong needles! I knit the fist one on a 2.5 mm and the second on a 2.0 mm – big difference!

Once I figured that out, I pulled that cuff and leg out and started again. One thing I really try to practice is to rip back or fix the problem as soon as I find it. It’s really tempting to put the project on hold, but I try to fix the issue first and then pause it if I’m still frustrated. More often than not, by the time I’ve corrected the problem I’m back in a good mood with my project and will continue on.

A few days later and ta-da! new little brother socks. This is Patons Kroy in the grey marl colorway. It’s so simple but I adore how these turned out. It’s a heavier weight yarn, closer to sport weight, so I like the texture better on a 2.5 mm needle, 2 sizes larger than my usual sock needles.

After finishing all of those socks, I found myself in a really stressful time with work and struggling to focus properly on my Zelda Crop. That colorwork definitely needs attention. So, I did what I love to do, I cast on some more socks.

I’m trying out a fully ribbed sock – it looks so funny and skinny! This is Dark Side EPV #9 from Must Stash Yarns, very very deep stash.

I had a bit of a lull while I was deciding the contrast color for the Dark Side sock’s heels so I started another pair of socks. I’m thinking about trying to work through yarn scraps and already balled up skeins – maybe that’s 2024’s year of? Anyway, I am digging textured socks at the moment so I started some Blueberry Waffle socks in Woolberry Fiber Co’s Moody Pumpkin sock set.

After all of that, I have been plugging away at my sweater. It is not a quick knit by any means, some of the 3-color rows are a slog. As so often happens, I really started flying once I got past separating for sleeves. As you might pick up with this theme, flying meant I made a mistake.

I missed a whole row! It’s tough to see here but at the top there should be a dark green stitch underneath that pink stitch. I’m not really sure how that happened, I checked it off and everything. I had one little moment where I thought of just leaving it, but I went ahead and frogged the two rows back and fixed it. Much like the socks, I was really in a pique when I found that error but by the time I pulled it back and picked up the stitches again I was ready to knit.

Now, I’ve only got about 20 rows of colorwork and then the ribbed hem left before the body is done. The sleeves are only about 8 or 10 rows or something, so the sweater is really close! As this sweater has been chugging along, I’ve really been thinking about my other make nine pieces – specifically the Gypsum Skirt. I’m excited about this little spring outfit.

I had a bit of free time the other day so I really dug into pattern tracing and cutting out fabric. I’ll dive into more detail later, but I hoped to use the leftovers from the Metamorphic Dress to make the skirt, so I needed to cut that out first, which meant I needed to muslin the dress bodice before that… it was a rabbit hole but just the right kind to keep my mind focused and mindful during some quiet time. I didn’t even listen to music or a book, just enjoyed the quiet rhythm of my hands and the feel of the fabrics.

In all honesty, I love a fast project – I like the comfort of a mindless project to keep my hands moving. I’m working on learning to love slow projects as well. We’ll get there, slowly but surely. Today I’m grateful that crafting provides me the opportunity for both.

Happy {whatever speed you need} making!

Sweet Nothings.

One thing I’d really like to work on is creating my own fabric pulls over using bundles and designer collections. I’ve made lots of quilts with jelly rolls, fat quarter bundles, specially curated bundles, kits… you get the picture. I love those quilts and I learned a lot from making them now – now I’m ready to flex my creativity even more with fabric choice. I’ve been reorganizing my sewing room lately and I’ve got my stash all organized by color and it is just so very inspiring! Year of stash, indeed!

So back in December, I applied to test a new quilt pattern for Tera of The Quilting Smith. I was selected and spent quite some time on my fabric pull. I went back and forth for days, y’all. Finally I decided that I’d start with my favorite color, pink, and go from there. I pulled out my trusty color wheel and decided on a three color scheme to keep things simple. I wanted the pink to pop, so I planned to use it for two fabrics in the quilt pattern.

This is my original pull – pink, blue green, and yellow green. I edited it down from here a bit to simplify the cutting but this is pretty much it. I tried to have a mix of scales and values to keep things interesting. On a side note, go check out Just Get It Done Quilt’s color series – she’s amazing and I have probably watched most of her videos twice, at least.

With that I got started cutting and even labeled everything! The pattern is so straightforward and easy to follow, I loved having everything laid out like this!

I loved making all these cute green hearts, though in my mind I was calling them apples.

The blocks all came together so quickly! At this point, I was really focused on distributing the pink colors evenly. I had a mix of low, medium, and high value pinks and planned them to be even across the quilt top – remember this, it’s relevant in a moment. Before I knew it, it was time to lay everything out.

I loved how prominent the pink is in the final layout. At this point, I started having a sneaking suspicion that I could have done the layout a bit better. It was a snap to sew up the rows and then I was done!

And there she is! This is one cute as pie little quilt. As this was a test quilt, I’ve had a bit of time to think about the layout and my color choices. The final effect is not exactly what I had in mind. Since I used the same color for two fabrics in the pattern, I wound up losing the contrast between the flying geese and the little checkerboard squares. I could have kept it all pink and maybe done the flying geese in the high value fabrics and made them pop a little more.

I love learning about color, value, and pattern by doing – I’m thrilled with the finished quilt top and now it’s fun to think of lessons I learned along the way. By the way, those green hearts and the teal squares are slaying me right now.

All in all, this is a fantastic pattern that resulted in a lovely quilt. This is the Sweet Nothings Quilt by The Quilting Smith – it comes in two sizes and I made the throw size. The throw finishes at 60.5″ square – I used various scraps, fat quarters, and yardage from stash. I can’t recommend the pattern enough, Tera walks you through every step and explains everything so well. I love how she breaks down the blocks – it made really easy for me to pick it up a chunk at a time during my very busy January.

At the end of the day, I can’t fault myself for incorporating so many beautiful pink fabrics – it’s what I love. I can’t wait to get it quilted and get to enjoying it – it’s so sweet it hurts my teeth.

Happy {learning and} making!

Wardrobe dreams.

From time to time, I find myself looking back over a particular year of making. Something will spark my memory or interest and I’ll reread the blog or scroll through my instagram grid and reminisce. I found myself deep in the long ago of 2018 Cortney’s making adventures the other day and came across my finished Make Nine from that year. There’s just something about a little grid of completed projects that is so satisfying.

The idea got to rolling around in my head and I pondered doing one this year. Of course it would all need to come from stash but I’m not really hurting on that front. In all of this mulling over I had the thought that nine items could be a bit of a mini-capsule wardrobe. I’ve got some patterns in my library that have been waiting for me to try them out as well, so… I went stash diving, as one does.

I started with a pretty big initial pull and edited from there (something I am learning in quilting). I pulled everything in my apparel fabric stash that went in this mauve, purple, olive, mustard palette and that felt right together. By that I mean, the fabrics themselves are all soft knits and sturdy but drapy wovens – no fluid challis here. The yarns came from sweater and shawl quantities that seemed to work with these fabrics.

I arranged and futzed and thought and looked at patterns and thought some more and then, after one terrifying moment where I considered doing two make nines, I made some decisions. The plan:

Margot (cardigan) by Along Avec Anna in Plies and Hellhounds (old stash from before her business name change) Rose Gold

Zelda Crop by Olga Putano Designs in Stress Knits Yarn in (l-r) Mountain Mama, Eucalyptus, and Dusk

Mount Pleasant by Megan Nodecker in Backyard Fiberworks in Prairie (I don’t think they’re dying anymore)

Canopy by Melody Hoffman in Woolfolk in Gold

Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet in a dusky purple possibly terry knit? picked up at JoAnn’s a few years ago

Hinterland Dress by Sew Liberated in a 30/70 linen viscose blend from Blackbird Fabrics in “Olive”

Metamorphic Dress by Sew Liberated in a 30/70 linen viscose blend from Blackbird Fabrics in “Dark Mauve” and “Wysteria”

Gypsum Skirt by Sew Liberated in a 30/70 linen viscose blend from Blackbird Fabrics in “Wysteria” (planned for leftovers from Metamorphic Dress)

Stasia Dress / Tee by Sew Liberated – here’s we’re things get a little hinky – This pattern has a tee option and a dress option, I want to do both so I’ll likely start with the tee as a bit of a muslin/test case and then go on to the dress. I’ve got a handful of stretchy knits from all over the place so if I like the pattern, I might make multiples.

And there you have it! Nine projects to make one dreamy, cozy wardrobe of layered dreams. I’ve already started my first project! After my Pink Fizz, I was just itching to start another sweater so I did! This is my Zelda Crop – so pretty already!

Happy making!

Pink Fizz.

I usually wind up frogging knit WIPs if they sit around too long, especially garments. My style, size, gauge, and life slowly have slowly but surely morphed a bit over the years and any one or more of those factors tend to lead me down the way of the frog if something hangs around. This one was different.

Here she is, my finished Pink Fizz! This project’s saving grace is the cozy, slouchy, oversized look that meant a little fudging in those factors up there doesn’t make too much of a difference. And boy is it cozy!

This is the Pink Fizz by Andrea Mowry, knit in Stress Knits Yarn in the colorway, Glow, in the Favorite and Halo bases held together. I knit the 48″ size and it came out a bit larger than that, it measures 28″ on one side, flat. Not sure if that was gauge changes but I strongly suspect I should have swatched the lace to see how much it grew – I think that’s where the extra width came from. I’m currently a 41″ bust, so you can see how much ease there is. The only modifications I made were to knit the body 2″ shorter than called for and the sleeves 3″ shorter than called for. I’m glad I did – everything is plenty long enough!

I started this project on December 27, 2020 and finished it on January 6, 2023 – it feels so good to have this one checked off and in my closet!

That lace pattern is really just a work of art. I wound up getting in a nice groove with it, not memorizable but it’s intuitive enough. And let’s not even get started on this color. This was the day one color for the 2020 Stress Knits advent calendar and it was definitely love at first sight.

This one turned out so cozy and comfy and warm – I’m in love.

Happy making!

Finish 1, start 2.

Well, we’re really getting into January and I’ve already been getting into my stash and doing even more dream-making.

Over holiday break and last week, I really focused on my Pink Fizz sweater. I also dug out my Madewell Cardigan, which I hadn’t worn in ages, and between working on a sweater and wearing one, my mind has been churning. I think it won’t be too long until I just can’t stand it anymore and start another sweater project.

I did manage to finish this one last Friday night, so there is a lovely late night bathroom picture for you. It’s a bit more oversized than I had in mind but maybe that’s what I get for finishing it 2 years after I started it.

It has been a bit chilly in the sunroom where I block knits so that sweater isn’t quite photo ready yet. Once I got it off the needles, I had been planning to pick up my Norah quilt to finish it’s hand quilting but… I just wasn’t ready for another big project. All my current WIPs are big projects so I headed down to the stash and came up with a new sock project.

I’ve finished the first sock and am nearly done with the cuff of the second. After having only worked on advent socks last month, it was just satisfying and gratifying to knit a whole sock in a weekend. This yarn is from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm and is their Corriedale base in the colorways Gathering Eggs (main) and Golden Hen (contrast).

The amazing Tera of The Quilting Smith – she’s the amazing longarm quilter who did my Green Gables and Homespun quilts – is releasing her first quilt pattern in February and I am honored to be testing it with a fun group of quilters. I spent a very long time on my fabric pull – this quilt could be made up in so many amazing ways! – but settled on this one:

I did edit the pull just a bit once I got into cutting but this is still the color scheme. I am quite happy – I even used my color wheel! Since I’ve been focusing on the sweater, I decided to just work on this bit by bit in the mornings. I tend to get up pretty early and like to take some time to myself before work starts up. Lately, I’ve just been putting a half hour into this project which slowly but surely keeps me rolling.

This morning I worked on trimming up my flying geese, which is not my favorite task but it’s not too bad in half hour chunks. I’m getting close to block construction so I’m thinking I’ll focus on this quilt over the long weekend. I’ve got a few kid commissions that I’ve been promising for a while, so those are probably up next after the test quilt is finished. On that list is a weighted blanket – check back here to see how that goes!

I also wanted to share these two beautiful books that I’ve been eyeing for some time and finally picked up. They are incredibly inspiring to flip through, the projects are just gorgeous. I think something will need to come out of each of these this year and I can’t wait.

Happy making!

2023: The Year of Stash

Happy New Year! New Year’s around here is never much of a loud celebration, just a soft transition. I love this quiet, dark, chilly time for reflection and planning. For my making life, I’ve had my “year of” idea brewing for quite a bit. It honestly started with the satisfaction of my Thanksgiving outfit that came purely from stash. It made me think of all the beautiful materials in my craft room and how much joy it would bring to use them. You guessed it, 2023 will be a year of stash!

That’s right friends, we’re going to knit, crochet, sew, and quilt from stash this year. In addition to just the pure joy of using the beautiful materials around me, I also want to focus a bit on curating my collection. Like most of us, I don’t have infinite storage and it’s bursting at the seams a bit right now. My plan is to use what I love and destash what’s not in my wheelhouse anymore.

I am actively not setting any quantity goals – this is intended to be a joy and not a slog. I do have a few rules, of course, because you know I love rules. I have already cancelled all my subscriptions and block-of-the-month clubs. I do plan on another vacation with my mom and if there’s a vacation cast-on, that’s an a-ok purchase. No other incoming fabric or yarn is to be had. I’ll purchase necessary notions: thread, zippers, interfacing, etc. I’m only planning to purchase binding fabric if I really can’t find anything in stash to work at all. Other than that, I might purchase fabric or yarn for gifts but there I want to be really careful about picking up only what I need. I’ve got too many random fat quarters or spare 1/2 yards lying around because I over-purchased.

I’m really excited for this year in my making journey. I’ve learned a lot over the years about my style, color palette, and what kinds of things I want to make. It feels like the right time to put that knowledge and all the great shopping past Cortney has done to good use. Cosi and are ready to dive in!

Happy making!

Year of WIPs recap.

Happy New Year’s Eve! This has become one of my favorite traditions, recapping the year in terms of my chosen theme or goal. I started the blog with a year of making and have come back to the “year of” idea the last couple of years. I’ve got a new idea brewing for 2023 but for now, let’s see how all those WIPs turned out. You can check out the original post here, but this is the list today:

Look at all those cross-offs! I wound up finishing 13 total WIPs. The list morphed a bit as I went: I found 3 projects that weren’t even on the original list and I frogged 3 projects. All in all, I started the year with 21 works in progress and I cleared 16 of them off my plate. I’ve been looking forward to piling everything up like I did last year, so here you go, all those finished WIPs:

Let’s take a closer look (with links to the original blog posts for details):

Granny’s Garden

2×4 Quilt

Homespun Quilt

Rainbow Quilt

Split 9 Patch Quilt

Log Cabin Mini

Clamshell Mug Rug

Wook Ewe be my Neighbor?


Yowza! Weight It Shawl

Habitation Throw

StressKnits Advent Socks

Opal Socks

The other 5 projects are in various states. I picked up the Norah Quilt a bit but it’s still only about 30% quilted. I did a bit more on my Fairytale Forest and I’ve got 5 blocks out of 25 done. I restarted the crochet blanket with a new pattern. The last standing cross stitch project has been pulled out of WIPdom. I want to make that project but I’m still not settled on a background color so it’s going back into planned projects. Finally, since I finished the last bit of quilt binding, I’ve been putting time into my Pink Fizz. I’m ready to pick up for the sleeves so I hope to have this one off the needles soon in the new year.

Well there you have it friends, a year of WIPs. I did want to add that I certainly started other projects throughout the year. This process kept me quite contentious of what I was starting though so I’m happy to say that I only have 2 2022 starts rolling over into the new year. I had an additional 19 projects finished that I started this year. Lots of socks and quite a few gifts in that mix. To come out of it all with only 6 projects on the go feels so freeing.

I think the biggest thing I learned this year is that I really prefer to focus on one primary project at a time. I’ve pondered this before, I think at one point I even wrote that big projects sit around until I decide to just dive in and finish them. That seems pretty intuitive so I’ve never given it much true thought. A few weeks ago my little brother mentioned something over Thanksgiving that really resonated with me about project-based time management. You commit your brain power to one project until it’s finished and then you move to the next project.

My professional life doesn’t really go that way but I think my making should. This started to become clear while I worked on the Granny’s Garden quilt. Working consistently on that project helped me get in and stay in the rhythm of it. I had floundered over and over trying to do a block a week or something. Committing to the process and pouring my focus into it made it flow for me. I did this over and over this year and it really made a difference. So much so that I wound up cancelling some planned block of the month projects and just saving all my Avonlea boxes. That’s one of my rollover projects but it’s time will come.

All in all, this was one of my favorite “year of’s” so far. Clearing out brain space and getting beautiful quilts and socks and makes in return is a great exchange.

Happy making!

Bound and determined.

Buckle up y’all. I’ve been on a binding kick lately and I’m here to share what are probably my last finishes of the year. All of these projects were in my #yearofwips and bring my total up to 13 finishes.

First of all, if you read my post yesterday you saw me finish my oldest WIP. That left this one on the decade plus list:

My Split 9 Patch is complete! The full story is in a previous post and now it’s been quilted (by Wild Phil Quilting) and bound and all done. I found it awfully tough to choose backing and binding fabrics to go with this one. Joshua helped me pick the batik backing and then I just used a warm, rusty red Moda Grunge for the binding. I think it came together really nicely!

Next up, a quilt that’s never even been on the blog. I originally planned this to be a gift but it did not turn out the way I pictured it. Back when I first started knitting, it took me a long time to have a sense of how variegated yarn would knit up. Knitting a million pairs of socks really helped me train my eye and this quilt helped me think of fabric collections and precuts in a similar light.

I picked up two jelly rolls together to try the 2×4 quilt tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. I thought the print – Elizabeth Hartman’s Berry Season – and the solid – Laundry Basket Solids – would mix well and they do. It feels like a bit of a mishmash though. I’d probably prefer these fabrics in a quilt with a true background or even better, pared down to use a few of the colors. Don’t get me wrong, I do like that it’s a little autumnal and I’m happy to keep it for snuggling. The pattern is a gem – highly recommend and I’ll be revisiting it sometime as well.

I used one of the green mushroom prints for the backing and a dark green from the Laundry Basket Solids for the binding. Wild Phil Quilting quilted it with a sunny yellow thread which i really like. One other note, I’m trying to mix in machine binding for practice here and there and this one was a prime candidate. The other night, I set it out by the machine in preparation for early morning coffee and binding. When I got downstairs, the cat had lovingly left a big ole’ hairball right on the quilt. Needless to say, this one has already been through the wash and is nice and crinkly!

Next up, we’ve got a little more than binding to talk about and we’re scaling way down. If you recall, back in March I came across another old WIP that I hadn’t accounted for. It was a needle turn appliqué clamshell panel, which I tried pick up a few times this year and just kept putting it off. Till this week! Happy to report that I finished the appliqué and then since it was such a teeny thing, I went ahead and trimmed it down to mug rug size and got ready to quilt it. I grabbed a stray layer cake square and some bright pink perle cotton size 8 and went for it.

I’ll be honest here, needle turn is pretty challenging for me. I know I need practice and this little bit wasn’t really enough to master it. I love a lot of needle turn appliqué patterns though, so I’m going to have to get around to it more. I used the clamshell tutorial from my favorite fabric shop’s blog, Sunny Day Supply. Once I quilted it, I used some leftover binding and just finished it right up!

It’s so cute! I finished it at 8′ square. I’m so glad that I finally decided to get it done; I started this project in the summer of 2019. It will be my last finish of the year, bringing the full total to 13 projects done.

Now, for the moment that I’ve been waiting so long for. Inspiration struck in 2019 and I cut it out as soon as I got my fabric. Drumroll, please.

Granny’s Garden is all done! Here is the full view:

This is Granny’s Garden by Lori Holt in all Granny Chick fabrics – I used the kit and followed the pattern exactly. The full blog post is here. I sent this behemoth to Wild Phil Quilting for fully custom quilting and she did the most amazing job.

When I started this project, I had never tried appliqué. Talk about jumping in head first! I am so proud of this quilt.

I’ll be back on New Year’s Eve with a final #yearofwips round up. All these projects had a different story, a different journey, and taught me a bit about myself as a maker. One of my favorite parts of crafting is taking those journeys and then having that reminder around as a useful piece of art. Cheers, y’all.

#yearofwips projects finished: 13 of 18

Happy making!

Memory lane.

Picture this: It’s early 2008: I am a young mom going to community college, living life with this cutie pie:

I decided to pick up a hobby and naturally looked to quilting. My mom had been a big sewist and quilter when I was a kid so I had a general grasp of the idea at least. I remembered a log cabin quilt we had and decided that would be the project for me. I had some crazy ideas back in those days, like machine sewn or quilted quilts look store bought and it’s got to be sewn by hand to be “authentic.” Let’s all take a moment and chuckle at that one. Anyway, mom tried to talk me down off this ledge but I was not to dissuaded. She helped me pick out some fabrics I went home and washed them and cut a whole bunch of 1.5″ strips. I don’t recall if I was following a pattern but I know mom gave me the skinny on making a log cabin block.

This was before I ever even knew about progress pictures or Instagram or anything like that, so bear with me. I took pictures this year and we can look at those. So I got started. I marked a quarter inch sewing line with pencil, sewed my seam, trimmed, and pressed. I used a simple running stitch.

Again, the strips are 1.5″ so the blocks finish (pretty consistently) at 6.5″.

I made a total of eight blocks and started another before I decided to follow mom’s advice and give the sewing machine a whirl. That wasn’t really a dream come true either and it would be eight more years before I finished my first quilt – you can read that story here. Anyway, my dreams of a hand pieced, hand quilted, hand everything’d quilt for my bed were set aside along with this quilt. In 2016, I pulled out all my old quilt stuff but I didn’t even touch these blocks since they were hand quilted. I’ve thought about destashing them so many times over the years but kept them around until this year, my year of WIPs.

I dug out this project and decided to assess the best path to victory. I am far less averse to the idea of hand-piecing today but the real detractor here is the color scheme. Tastes change over time and this project just doesn’t reflect my style anymore. With 8 blocks finished it seemed like a great candidate for a mini quilt. I had a couple of ideas for places that a small wall hanging in these colors might work so that seemed like the way to go. I played with a few layout options:

Before settling on a simple 3×3 mini that would finish at about 18.5″ square:

I just needed to finish that one last block and we’d be golden. Once I did that, I hand stitched the whole thing together and voila! a mini quilt top!

I had this baby basted and sitting around for quite a while but this last week of the year is a motivating time so I finished it up over a couple of days.

I love how it came out. I really don’t remember anything about these fabrics – I know there’s at least one Kaffe Fasset and one Amy Butler print, but that’s it. They were all pulled together from yardage at a quilt shop in Boone, NC that isn’t in business anymore.

I hand quilted it in a really simple on point grid with size 8 pearle cotton in a lovely gold that I seem to use for everything. I used a solid fat quarter from stash for the backing. Please excuse the cat hair, Cosi loves everything I make.

I don’t have anything in stash that really felt right for this so I just used a couple of strips that were for the quilt for binding. Since the strips were only 1.5″ I decided to try single fold binding for the first time – I am a fan! It came out so crisp and flat, great for minis or pieces that won’t get a lot of wear.

If there were one thing about quilting that I’d tell past Cortney it would be that finished is better than perfect. Visions and plans don’t always work out and that’s ok. Sometimes you frog the project and sometimes you decide to just call at nine blocks and be done. I am really pleased that I kept this WIP and got this little mini out of it. It’s nice to have a little piece of the first quilt project I ever started to hang on the wall.

#yearofwips projects finished: 12 of 19

Happy making!