Heavens to Betsy.

I have a confession to make: I’ve been hoarding some fabric. Shocker, I know. In particular, I’ve been squirreling away my Liberty stash waiting for the day to come. You know the day. The when I’m A Better Sewist. The day when I find The Perfect Project. Well, that day has yet to arrive and so I’ve stashed. I’ve been doing the Ava & Neve Liberty Society for quite a while, so I get my little bundles each month and I look at them, ooh and ah over them, and put them away.

So pretty, aren’t they? Ok, I’ll level with you. I did something similar with knitting, hoarding my special skeins until I was A Better Knitter. As the story goes, one day I decided to just take the plunge and use The Good Stuff, and you know what? I didn’t hurt the yarn, ruin it, disgrace it, or any of those things. I knit it into something. You’d think, or at least I would think, that I could extrapolate from yarn to fabric. Now, not to say that I’m completely shy about fabric, I’ve gotten over this hurdle in some ways but not completely.

After I finished my Bunnies & Berries mini quilt, I spent a bit of time digging around for inspiration for my next mini. I came across the Cinque Terre pattern and it really seemed to fit the bill. After the fiddly work of those tiny dresdens and hand quilting, I was ready for something simple. The pattern uses Liberty fabric for the wow factor, letting the fabric do all the work in a sweet play on the 9-patch. I decided it was time to bite the bullet. I got out the Liberty bin.

I finally decided to just double down. Go big or go home, as they say. I decided to make the whole mini out of Betsy.

This is Besty – she is one of my all time favorite Liberty patterns. This colorway has metallic accents which just… gah, I love it. I found that I had a good varitey of colorways, so I pulled, arranged…

And sat. Since we’re having a heart-to-heart today, it still took me a week to cut into them. But once I did… I was off to the races. The pattern is straightfoward and lends itself nicely to chain piecing. I don’t think it even took 2 hours to make up the blocks.

This. This was the point in the process where the clouds parted and the sun rose over my sewing room, and I knew I was on to something. Another hour or so and the top was done, basted, quilted, and bound. I used some Liberty quilters cotton from my stash for the back and quilted it with simple straight lines a bit over 1/2″ apart.

To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, I am completely enamoured. One thing I am really learning so far in my year of minis is the joy of immortalizing a beloved print or motif in a little piece that can hang on my wall for as long as I want it to. A little goes a long way in these bite sized quilts. This project has inspired me to really stop stashing (so much) and start sewing (even more). I might even have my sights set on another Liberty stash quilt!


Happy making!

A summer update in two parts: progress

As promised yesterday, I’m back to talk about all of my current works in progress. I’m focusing on the projects that are actually getting attention lately, so the languishing will continue languishing.

Back at the very beginning of August, I decided to try a new strategy with my slowest WIP and applique for 30 minutes every day. Overall this has worked really well, I made pretty steady progress on my Granny’s Garden quilt for several weeks.

I’ve finished fourteen blocks now. My routine got out of whack towards the end of August with some family stuff, but I’m working on getting back on track. Things have been a little more hand-sewing every day since I need to prep some more blocks, but I’m not mad.

I spent a bit of time with a practice piece learning the basics of big stitch hand quilting and once I was a little comfortable with a technique, I moved on to the real deal. I’ve basted my Norah quilt and started by quilting the center block. It is definitley slow going, but the look and feel is worth it.

I’ve been experimenting with machine binding to some success so I thought I’d give it a go on my Happy Christmas quilt. It didn’t go so well so I’ll be back to smaller practice projects for some more project. All I really got out of this try was a two hour date with my seam ripper.

I have since moved on to hand sewing the binding and this is my last corner! I have to say, the flannel backing makes for a pretty easy, smooth hand sewing experience.

Since I’ve been making such good headway with those other quilts, it seemed reasonable to start a few more, so here we are. This is a quilt pattern called Green Gables, a fun rainbow log cabin quilt in Liberty Fabrics. I “participated” in the block of the month club for this project from Duckadilly, but we should use participated loosely here. Let’s just say I’ve started, at least.

My other new start is another sewalong – the Quilter’s Cottage quilt by Lori Holt. She’s fast becoming a favorite designer of mine! This one is a weekly sewalong and I’m completey caught up and on pace! I am really proud of this project.

I decided to go ahead and assemble the quilt as I go – I’ve learned that assembly and sashing are my least favorite parts of the process. This method has the added bonus of fun in-progress shots like this one! I’ve only got 4 weeks to go, which will be the final row and some borders. I’ve cut out the blocks for the final row already.

A few months ago, when I finished the quilt top for my Fat Quarter Pile Up quilt – the kids loved it. Both loved the big blocks of pattern and the big throw size. Later on, Joshua specifically asked for a Christmas quilt and so I told them they could each pick out fabric and I’d make them holiday snuggle quilts. Once I finshed my bright and cheery version a few weeks ago, I spent a half day on a Sunday putting together their quilts.

This is Astra’s quilt – fabrics from the Polar Magic line from Lemonni.

And this is Joshua’s – fabrics from We Whisk You a Merry Christmas by Kimberbell. Seriously, this is the fastest quilt I can imagine. It’s a really fun canvas for some fun quilting and we went a bit nuts with the backing – you’ll see! My kids never ask for anything so I’m pretty happy to oblige when they put in a request.

Moving from quilts to blankets – my blanket grows. This is 55 rows out of a probable 120 or so and it’s folded into quarters width-wise. It’s postively massive. I’ve gotten much quicker with practice and have been putting several rows on each week. The nice thing about crochet is that it’s usable as a blanket all the time, so it’s cozy to work on.

And finally, I’ve got a pair of socks I’ve been working on. A few weeks ago I had some very stressful waiting time on my hands, so I grabbed the most rainbow skein of yarn in my stash and just started knitting. I got pretty far and didn’t have a tape measure or scales so I switched needles and started knitting from the othe side. I’m hoping to use all the yarn for the tubes and then I’ll cut in some contrast toes. Gosh I love a good rainbow. This is Color Study by Gauge Dyeworks.

I’ll leave with you a sweet shot of my crafting buddy in the quilt hoop. Cosi has been a constant companion with all this sewing going on. I think we’re all caught up and some of these things will be getting finished up soon, so until then.


Happy making!