Scrappiest and happiest.

I love scrap quilts. I’ve long been fascinated by the many fabrics and interesting visuals that scrappy quilts include. Though I love the look, the process seemed daunting for the longest time. I’ve often used curated bundles for my quilts or kits – now I’m working on branching out on my own.

My scrappy Homespun Quilt is all done! I finished the top back in May last year, right as we were really gearing up the house hunting. This might be my favorite quilt of mine – I just love how all the fabrics play and that scrappy background was the best decision.

Here’s a close-up of the finish. The quilting is from Tera of The Quilting Smith – it’s pink thread and the whimsy of it just sends me. The pattern is by Modernly Morgan and I couldn’t recommend it enough, such a great little block. This came out to 48″ by 63″ – I did 12 blocks to get an in-between sizes in the pattern. Go back and take a look at this post from last May to see a close up of all the blocks, they’re pretty great.

I had this green print hoarded for quite a while and just seemed to fit somehow. Add to that some pretty pink striped binding and it’s just the finish of my dreams.

I could just gush and gush and gush. It feels great to get another wip off the list and onto the couch!


#yearofwips projects finished: 9 of 19


Happy {scrappy} making!

Simple, yet effective.

Among a number of more intricate pieces I’ve worked on yet, this next finish is the utmost in easy and simple. Ironically, it was going to be quite a bit more complex, but ended as one of my favorite finished is better than not projects.

Rainbow quilt of wonders, I love you. I started this project back in… 2019 I think. I had 2 jelly rolls of the Kona rainbow and had planned to make a bargello quilt. I started sewing strips together one day and just didn’t start back on any day after.

When we were planning to move, I had a look around the sewing room and this WIP jumped out. I decided to just finish it one way or another. I trimmed each side even and matched up the seams and colors to get a pretty large quilt. I lost quite a bit in the trimming, but it still wound up 67″ x 82″. I had also been wanting to try minky for a backing and this seemed like a great time to give it a whirl. I sent it off to Tera at The Quilting Smith – she’s a joy to work with, by the way – and we went with baptist fans. Let me tell you the quilting is just perfect.

That green minky – this is the texture dream we’ve all been waiting for…

I machine bound the quilt with some raspberry colored solid – I think it’s Kona but I’m not positive. Still practicing the machine binding, but it’s pretty good, I think. All in all, it came together so well.

This is project 8 of 19 finished this year for my year of wips. Y’all, I couldn’t be happier that I took the easy way out on this one. I love a long project – hello appliqué? – but sometimes something simple can be so very satisfying. And you know I’m a fan of crossing things off my list.


#yearofwips projects finished: 8 of 19


Happy making!

Jolly Bar Jump

I am so pleased to be able to share a new quilt and a new pattern with you today! The Jolly Bar Jump quilt is a snazzy new free, shortcut quilt pattern out from Fat Quarter Shop. I’ll tell you about my whole process, but let’s cut to the chase and take a look first. This is a fun one!

The pattern calls for 2 jolly bars, 2 charm packs, and fabric for the border. If you haven’t seen them, jolly bars are pretty cool – they are 5″ x 10″ precuts. When I was picking fabric though, the recipient couldn’t keep his eyes off of this batik line. So we used a layer cake instead and just cut each piece in half. As for the fabric, y’all…

This was so far out of my comfort zone that I think we were in a different comfort district. Now, I do think this is awfully pretty, I love the subtle variation and depth of the batik fabrics. These cool blues and neutral greys and browns are just a world away from my usual pastels and rainbow-brite style. Anyway, after Astra got her quilt for Christmas, someone decided they really needed another quilt. Joshua picked out Mali Blue Batiks and settled on Moda Bella Solids in Silver for the background.

This quilt is a snap to prep – if you use jolly bars there’s no cutting until you get to the border! Even so, it was a breeze to cut my layer cake squares in half and get sewing. In my eagerness, I decided to dig out the 1/4″ foot for my machine. I hadn’t tried it yet so I popped it on, whipped through the first step and then on to the second step. Back to the genius of short cut quilts – there are only 2 blocks here and they are so quick and easy! I love it. So I laid out my blocks and set to arranging them.

I spent quite a bit of time on this step. With such a simple, bold layout I really wanted an even distribution. I used the black & white filter on my phone to help. Once I was happy, I picked the whole thing up and went to my machine. Turns out the diamond blocks were a good near 1/4″ smaller than the Jolly Bar Jump blocks (rectangles). I have since learned that my 1/4″ foot needs the needle moved all the way to the right in order to be accurate. So yeah… I wound up trimming the jump blocks down just a smidge, so my quilt is a little shorter than it should be. You know what they say, finished is better than perfect! In the end it all worked out and I learned that you really should check your seam allowance… Anyway, back to this goregous quilt.

I sent off to Nicole at Kwiltit to be quilted and then I machine bound it, with lots of help from my supervisor. He will endlessly snuggle into a quilt while I bind it, even waiting while I flip it or move it around. Joshua loves to see the quilting pattern, so he opted for a high contrast black thread in a big bold orange peel style pattern. That’s not usually my style, but the effect is super cool.

All in all, I really enjoyed making this quilt. It is definitely a shortcut – it would make a great one-day quilt top. I’ve made several of Fat Quarter Shop’s shortcut quilts before. They really helped me get more comfortable with quilt making when I was first getting back into it. I made three right in a row a few years ago (1, 2, 3) and then made another for mom for Christmas. I think they make great skill-builders but are also a great quick project for any quilter.

So there you have it, my finished Jolly Bar Jump! Many thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for inviting me to quilt along on this one!


Happy making!

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 little of this, a little of that.

Happy Sunday to you! I’ve been crafting up a little storm around here so let’s jump right in!

First things first, I finished up this little cutie last weekend. This is the Thimble Basket pattern from the book Rainy Day Sewing by Amy Sinibaldi and Kristyne Czepuryk. The pattern is well written and pretty easy to follow, but the making itself is super fiddly. This little project took me a solid 8-9 hours to complete. This was my first time sewing thimbles (the rhomboid shape of the patchwork) and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Add to that all the single folod bias binding and well, let’s just say that when I broke a hand sewing needle – that wasn’t the first curse word this cutie got.

The details are darling, I will give it that. I had some bits of lace and this woven twill to embellish it and I quilted everything just as the example in the book. I had this linen laying around from some remnants I snagged for no good reason on a trip to Denver’s Fancy Tiger Crafts several years ago, so it was nice to find a home for this fabric.

This little guy is precious, I will definitely give it that. I love the look of it and it is the perfect size for my hand quilting supplies. I am not, however, dying to make another. Glad I went for it but that will be all the Thimble Baskets in my house for quite a while.

In other news, I finally picked up some more interfacing to finish my Take Along Tote. I cut this one out at the same time as Madelyn’s and it’s just been sitting around waiting for one little piece of interfacing. I do like this pattern and it came together satisfyingly fast, especially after the tiny basket that took a weekend.

I’ve been chugging away on Joshua’s socks. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m actually really loving the texture of these. The last time I knit socks with Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn, I wasn’t over the moon about it. The yarn is quite a bit finer than what I usually go for but for some reason these socks are coming up so squishy and delicious. I’m a little jealous, but I already have socks in Teacup (this colorway) so I think I’ll make it.

I also cast on a new hat last weekend, but this one is getting frogged. This is the Musselburgh Hat by Ysolda Teague and the pattern is pretty groovy. You basically knit a top down hat, then instead of binding off you just start knitting a cuff up hat. They fold into each other for double thick warm goodness. My problem is the yarn I chose, I really don’t like how it knits up at this gauge. See that pooling? Yeah, not a big fan for a hat. Oh well, this yarn will go back in the stash and await it’s fate… socks one day, I’d imagine.

Last but not least, a little story. Last night, Joshua and I were hanging out in the sewing room talking. I was on the floor with Joseph in my lap. Joshua was perusing my precut shelf and happend on a fat quarter bundle from Maker Valley called Cat’s Meow. He pulled it out and we both got to thinking it would be cute to make a cat themed quilt out of all cat fabrics. So I started laying out the bundle, thinking about the color scheme (a little out there for me) when Joseph got up and plopped himself on the pile. After a few minutes, I tried to pick the fabric up but he was not having it! Joshua and I got a serious case of the giggles while the cat guarded his hoard from me.

Eventually he gave up in search of food and I was able to cut out the quilt. I decided on Fat Quarter Pile Up to showcase all the large scale prints in this bundle to best advantage. I laid out the quilt this morning and can’t wait to it all sewn together.

The beady eyed among you might be able to spot one non-cat fabric in there…. I snuck in a few mice for funsies. This little quilt will make for even better cat naps, I just know it.


Happy making!

Bunnies & Berries.

Not much intro today – I finished it! Year of minis #2 is all done – Bunnies & Berries Mini Quilt:

I’m pretty darned proud of this one. This has been a idea that’s been kicking around in my head for years. I fell in love with soft colors and sweet bunnies in the feature fabric by Lauren Nahs and picked up a few different fabrics from the her other collections. I thought they would be perfect for a little mini quilt featuring tiny dresden plates.

It’s just so cute! I’m glad that I went with the hand quilting, although it was a huge pain. I will think twice before using this white fabric for background or backing when I’m planning to hand quilt. Here’s a peek at the rather boring back, but the texture shows pretty nicely:

Once I finished binding the quilt, I decided it was high time I started hanging these up. I put up my first mini from this year and then hung the Berries & Bunnies mini too. My sewing room is starting to look pretty crafty!


Happy making!

Bait and switch: 2021 Year of …

So here we are, 2020 is in the books and we have a fresh and shiny new year ready for the taking. After I wrapped up my Year of Christmas last week, my thoughts turned to my next “year.” I’ve been mulling over ideas for a while, looking at stash and around the house for inspiration. I took stock of my current works in progress, and a few stood out to me.

I don’t usually have projects that languish around for very long. A couple of years at most and I will either finish or frog. I work on socks continuously, and my other projects–both quilts and bigger kntting projects–tend to just get finished up when I decide to really put the time in and concentrate on them. Recently though, in the last couple of years, I’ve started some bigger, longer projects.

These three projects are quite a bit more time consuming than my usual project choice. Let’s have a quick tour of these and talk about where they are and what they need.

My Granny’s Garden Quilt (whew my old phone took bad pictures!) has been going since 2019 and is my oldest WIP. I have about 16 blocks completed at this point, so we need another 26 blocks plus all the border applique before we can put this quilt top together.

Next up is my Granny Stripe afghan. This beauty was cast on last January and I’m over halfway done the stripes, then it will just be the border. Though, I guess “just the border” is a bit misleading since the thing is so darned big.

Finally, my Norah Quilt. Ugh, I love it everytime I look at it. I made the quilt top in pretty short order last spring, but stalled on the hand quilting. We need to quilt and bind this one.

I adore all three of these projects and really want to give myself the space to show them the love they deserve. Are you ready for the twist? Ok, so if you’re like Kevin you might be thinking that I’m gearing up to tell you that my goal this year is to finish these projects. But no! Well, sort of. One of my dilemnas with these projects is that the bulk of the creative energy is already spent. The idea has been had, the project commenced, much of the learning curve surmounted. They are all fully at the process stage, which is a bit of a challenge for me.

I love to finish things. If we’re really honest, a lot of my making comes in smaller or faster projects. Socks are a big part of that but also mug rugs and short cut quilts. I love the start and the finish, but that in-between part sometimes gets me hung up. So I started thinking of my “year of” in these terms – how do I keep the creative energy going with some finishes to keep me satisfied, but still have the time to work on the big guys?

Well, this year at least, the answer is mini quilts! In my ideal state of home decor, there are quilts everywhere–including the walls! I think this year will be the perfect time to boost the quilt to wall space ratio around here. My thinking is these smaller projects will provide the variety and gratification I know I need while also giving me the opportunity to try new ideas and new techniques. The bite size, low investment nature of minis can also leave time to put effort into the big 3.

Think about it – a whole year of minis! Mini quilts here, there, and everywhere! So here we go, a Year of Minis: 12 mini quilts in 2021. I’m not going to worry about monthly goals, that always goes awry for me. The only rule here is size – mug rugs don’t count and neither does anything I can cuddle under.

For a little nostalgic reference point, here’s a throwback to my very first mini quilt back in 2017! I’ve come a long way since and I am looking forward to seeing where this year takes me. This idea has me pretty excited and inspired. I know it was a little bit of a convuluted thought process to get here so thanks for sticking with me. I’m looking forward to sharing my progress on the long-term projects as well as all of the fun for the upcoming Year of Minis!


Happy {mini} making!

Catch-all.

As I’ve started thinking about my end of year review and next year’s plans, I realized that there a few projects that never made it to the blog. Some are finished objects and some WIPs and a few gifts that have now been gifted. Back in the dim and misty receses of the past, one of my goals with this blog was to keep up with all my makes, so what proceeds is a bit of a catch-all to start wrapping up the year.

Way back in September, I pulled out a skein of yarn and thougth that it looked perfect for Kevin’s mom. I knit up a pair of socks for her and mailed them to her for Christmas. Jackie reports they are nice and toasty. The yarn is Plies & Hellhounds in the Isaac base, a 100% Polwarth yarn. The colorway is “I’ve Been Looking For You” – I think it was one of her 2019 advent colorways. The name is a line from A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I just can’t with it.

If we’re going chronologically, I also knit this hat for Kevin over the fall. It was a Christmas gift so the cat’s out of the bag and I can share it here. The pattern is the Tillage Hat by Jared Flood, knit out of Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 02 in the Curlycup colorway. Ranch 02 is one of their single batch releases and is 100% American Rambouillet, let me tell you – it’s a joy to knit with.

Moving right along with another gift for Kevin, this one was part of his advent calendar. Kevin is our D&D group’s amazing dungeon master, so I wanted to gift him something fun. I had some fits and starts with this one and couldn’t find a good pattern for a D20 like I wanted. I wound up self drafting this first as a paper pieced pattern which failed miserably. I went back to the drawing board and wound up machine appliqueing it and I think it turned out quite nicely.

Now for the big guns, I finished my Quilter’s Cottage quilt! This one had been kicking around waiting for me to finish the binding for a while. I am immensely proud of this quilt. The pattern is by Lori Holt and I used the quilt kit to make mine. This was my first finished Lori Holt quilt, and boy am I ever obsessed! Her techniques and instructions really make it so easy to make a beautiful quilt.

Of course, my hat is off to Nicole of Kwilt It! for another example of her beatuiful work. The quilting really makes it come to life. I used some of the fun “cheater cloth” fabric from this fabric line for the backing and it is just perfect!

You may recall from an earlier post that I was knitting on a few advent projects. These socks were my first advent finish, I knit up the toes on Christmas Eve. This was The Cozy Knitter‘s 2020 Advent Stripe, and I knit 1 stripe each day of advent. The only time I “worked ahead” was to add in the heels a few days before the 24th. It was a nice and quiet process to knit these one stripe at a time, but a bit odd. I’m used to just zooming through stripey socks in the “just one more stripe” fashion!

Speaking of advent, I was also knitting a lovely Dust of Snow wrap with my minis from the Stress Knits advent calendar. I started out using some scrap mohair and promptly ordered a couple more skeins to finish the project with. Much to my chagrin, I ran out of mohair yarn about 8 days before the rest of it arrived. After a couple of days of letting the minis pile up, I decided to channel The Crazy Sock Lady and start another pair of advent socks. I striped the minis myself, knitting 5 rows per mini. Once I got through all 24, I just finished the pair out with the Christmas day skein and Voila! Another pair of advent socks were complete.

I mentioned in my Year of Christmas wrap up that I had made the whole family some pj pants, well here we all are! I received a tripod and remote for Christmas, so we had a bit of fun goofing off and taking family pics on Christmas morning. This pattern is the Walk the Plank PJ Pants, free from Patterns for Pirates. Astra and Joshua are both wearing smalls in (very) different lengths – I think Astra’s are 26″ and Joshua’s are 35″. I’m wearing a medium and Kevin is wearing a large, both in 30″. They are super comfy and warm in toasty fleece and cozy flannel.

Finally, Astra got to open the Minecraft quilt! She was sooooo surprised, it was hilarious. You can see the whole making process, including a peek at the ender dragon on the back in a super secret post from the summer. Once again, this was quilted by Nicole of Kwilt It! and she did a great job as usual. I love how this came out. It’s a really fun project and it’s even better that this kid liked it so much.

Last but not least, I cast on a new sweater. Don’t ask why, but I felt like it after Christmas, so I did. This is the barest beginnings of the hem, but I’m already enamoured. I’m knitting Pink Fizz by Andrea Mowry in Stress Knits Yarn, Favorite and Halo bases held together. The colorway is Glow and it was the day 1 advent colorway. I knew from the first minute that I’d need a sweater in that gorgeous coppery pink, so here we are.

Well, I think that does it. I’ll be back later in the week with some goals for the coming year. It’s a busy time on the blog this week, so be sure to stay tuned!


Happy making!

Prim and proper.

Well, friends, we’re finally here! It’s week 7 of the Prim & Proper Sewalong hosted by The Fat Quarter Shop – and I’m ready to share my finished quilt with you! First, let’s take a look at the last six weeks of progress:

This is the Prim & Proper Quilt by Lori Holt. I used Lori’s Prim fabric line in a bit of a different color story from the original. You can see the original quilt and read my kick off post here. All in all this was a great project. The instructions were really clear. I did pin pin pin to get some seams to match, but in the end it all came out quite lovely. Let’s go ahead and get to it!

There she is, in all her pink glory. I love how it came out (and I’m so pleased I redid those stars)! This one finished at a generous 63.5″ x 75.5″. I used one of Lori Holt’s wide back fabrics (also a Prim fabric) for the backing and her large vintage trim in cloud for the sweet binding detail. I’ve been practicing more and more at machine binding and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Can we take a moment for the beautiful quilting? Y’all know I love working with Nicole of Kwilt It! and she really knocked this one out of the park! I just love the major textural impact of the all-over orange peel design.

All in all, I’m really proud of this quilt. I learned so much along the way and had a blast sewing along with so many other makers. Not to mention how much this sweet pot of flowers has definitely brightened up my snowy day.


Happy making!

A Year of Christmas

Well, we’re here. The holiday season is upon us and I am happy to report that I did one of the things I set out to do this year. I pulled out my stash of handmade holiday items. My stash! Way back in January, I had the idea to dedicate some time over the year to making a little bit of a handmade Christmas so that I could enjoy handmade items around the house.

Looking back over 2020, I’m amazed I accomplished much of anything. I spent a solid month on a near complete crafting hiatus – I’m looking at you Animal Crossing. I knit more socks than anything else and I still have a sweater on the needles that I cast on in March. But! I set out to make 12 holiday makes – one each month. I fell off the month by month pace, but in the end I’m happy with the results.

I wound up putting much of my efforts into quilts and quilted things. I knew that I wanted to make a tree skirt and a Christmas tree quilt. I started both last January and finished them in the summer. Other than that, I just let the Christmas whims take me as they would. Let’s have a look back over the year.

January – Christmas Tree mug rugfree pattern by Threadbare Creations, various scraps (1)

February – Christmas SocksA Homespun House in Whobilation (2)

March – Granny Square mug rug – block pattern from Lori Holt’s Granny Squared book (3)

April – Christmas socksPlies & Hellhounds Yarn in Christams Like It’s 1882 (4)

Imagine a music montage here where I work on Christmas things but definitely don’t finish any until August.

August – Happy Christmas mini quilt – Pattern & scrappy kit from Maker Valley – (5)

September – Happy Christmas quilt – pattern and scrappy kit from Maker Valley, yeah I like her stuff (6)

September – Tree skirt – Joyful Jelly Roll pattern by Fat Quarter Shop, Little Tree fabric (7)

October – Christmas pillowcases – Kits from, you guessesd it, Maker Valley (8)

November – Joshua’s Christmas QuiltFat Quarter Pile Up pattern by Knot & Thread Design (9)

November – Astra’s Christmas QuiltFat Quarter Pile Up pattern by Knot & Thread Design (10)

November – Christmas Kitty mug rug – inner prim star unit from Prim & Proper book by Lori Holt (11)

November – Scrappy Stars table runner – Prim star blocks from Prim & Proper book by Lori Holt (12)

Well, there we go! I made it to 12 with that little mad dash in November. It’s been so nice to see these little pieces around the house. The cats are big fans of the tree skirt. I’m glad I made it a quilt, it’s been through the wash a bunch already thanks to all the sweet soft fur.

I’m going to tag in one more little holiday make, though. The kids decided they needed Christmas pijama pants to really set the scene. We are usually travelling to visit family over the holidays, so we’re really trying to brighten things up and make the holiday at home special. So of course, I relented and sewed them up some snuggly pjs.

December – Christmas plaid fleece pj bottoms – Walk the Plank PJ Pants by Patterns for Pirates (13)

Ok, now we’re done! I really enjoy setting a good arbitrary goal and getting there is just icing on the cake. I hope you are having a lovely wind down of this crazy year and if you celebrate one of the many beautiful holidays this season brings, I hope you are enjoying it. I’m getting ready to cozy up with my last day of advent knitting and dream up where my crafty heart might take me in the new year.


Happy {joyful} making!