In a galaxy far, far away.

A long time ago… I cut over 1000 little squares.

Back in 2008, I had wanted to dip my toes into quilting and so I started a hand-pieced quilt (more on that soon). In short order, mom convinced me to give machine piecing a try. I quickly sewed up a Turning Twenty quilt top and was over-excited about my new hobby. (I know, hard to imagine) I went right out and purchased fabric for my next quilt and cut all the fabric

I got discouraged on the Turning Twenty quilt soon after which left me packing all of my quilting supplies up and not touching any of it again for years and years.

Fast forward to 2016 – I happened upon all of my old quilting stuff at mom’s and decided to finish up that old quilt top. You can read its full story here, but we’re here to talk about all those squares. I was just getting back into sewing at that point, so I sewed up a few squares in what I thought the pattern had been.

Now, for some of my first sewing in nearly a decade that’s pretty darned good. I wanted to practice more before I tackled this one and honestly, I was pretty daunted by all those squares. I still think it’s a bit intimidating – I’ve made a nine patch quilt. So I packed it up again.

Now we’re in present day and you may recall that I found this quilt again a few months back. Now seemed like the perfect time to tackle this monster. I’ve got a good number of quilts under my belt and it is the year of wips, after all. The big problem here was that I was reasonably sure that the sample blocks I had made in 2016 weren’t the right pattern.

I do have vague memories of what the pattern book looked like but it seems to be long gone from mine or mom’s possession. So I turned to a bit of math influenced brainstorming. I had conveniently written the quantities of each size square: 560 dark 2.5″ squares, 420 light 2.5″ squares, and 140 each light and dark 2 7/8″ squares. After figuring out that the 2 7/8″ squares would be used for two-at-a-time HSTS, we were on our way.

I brainstormed, I mathed, I looked up countless nine-patch variations until finally, I had it! This is called a split nine patch, though that is also conveniently what the other, wrong sample block is called but that’s quilt patterns for you. With that sorted, I decided to use these squares as leaders and enders for my sewing projects.

I sorted all the squares in a serious effort to have the fabrics well distributed. Whenever I was sewing a quarter inch seam, I sewed two 2.5″ squares together. When I was doing anything else, like snowballing or flying geese, I did the HSTs. I made quite a bit of progress that way.

Last weekend, I decided to to just get cracking and try to get the top finished. The first step was to deconstruct those old blocks so my seam ripper and I had a nice little party. With that done, I really got moving – chain piecing is so satisfying when you have a good audiobook, a hot cup of coffee, and endless seams to sew.

Now, I’m a big fan of nesting seams so I’ve divided everything into two sets of blocks – “in” and “out.” I press all the in-block seams toward the middle and the out-block seams toward the external squares. Since the piecing is all identical, all you have to do is alternate ins and outs and voila! Nested seams. I made 70 in blocks first:

And then I made 70 more…

Finally, I was ready to start laying them out. I think the original pattern I picked out was set in furrows, but I decided to try something with a bit more pizazz.

It took me forever to lay this out! I also got the in’s and out’s confused more times than I’d like to admit. I honestly didn’t worry too much about fabrics being next to one another. The only swaps I made in the layout were to distribute that gold a little bit. I really don’t love assembling quilts, so it took me a few more weeks to get it done, but now it’s a quilt top!

I can’t believe it’s done! I have to say, I don’t think I’d choose these fabrics today, but the finished top is pretty amazing. I’m so proud of myself for getting this one done finally! This is finish 11 of 19 for my year of WIPs (#10 is a gift, so you’ll see it way later) – we’re over halfway there!

All in all, I’m very proud of how well this one came out. One of the biggest things I think I’ve learned over the last 13 years is that, for me, finished is better than perfect. I do my best and in the end my quilts always look good enough to snuggle under.


#yearofwips projects finished: 11 of 19


Happy making!

Eye of the tiger, anyone?

Well friends, it finally happened. I got COVID. I’m staying tucked away in the house, nice and isolated, which isn’t the worst thing since we’re smack dab in the middle of this east coast heat wave. 99 degrees F outside? No thank you. Thankfully, I’m vaxed and boosted so even though I feel poorly, it’s like a bad cold.

As I sit here on the couch all day, I’ve realized that I’ve hardly posted to the blog at all! You know what that means – less text, more pictures! Cue up your 80s music, it’s montage time!

First off, I finished up my travel socks – these are in Stress Knits Yarn in the Sunflower colorway.

I finished my other travel socks – these are in A Homespun House in the Sugared Sweeties colorway

Last sock finish – Mom’s Mother’s Day socks. I knit these out of some Norah George Yarns in Apple Blossom – pretty deep stash from at least 4 years ago.

Kevin and I went up to Boston for a concert and I cast on another pair of travel socks. This is their current state, but it’s been a bit since I’ve worked on them. The yarn is A Homespun House again – main color is Pastel Paint Princess and the contrast is Marigold.

In early June, I took a little trip with my Mom. I had planned to make us both dresses, but only hers were successful. And really only one of hers was successful. This is the Popover Dress from the book Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses. I just didn’t love the finished product on me and I made one of mom’s dresses a bit too small. Anyway, the green and purple one turned out great and mom loved it! She’s such a cutie patootie!

We really had a blast. We took walks, had port in the library every evening, and generally enjoyed just having lots of time together. Oh, and we went yarn shopping.

We went to A Likely Yarn in Abingdon, VA where they were having a Red Stag Fibre trunk show. One of the samples was Exploration Station (pattern by Stephen West) – a long time to-knit of mine – and mom just loved it! We decided to get yarn and cast them on together!

That’s about how far we got on the trip. Once we got home, I became obsessed. I have loved knitting this shawl. I made one yarn substitution, switching out the beige. All my current colorways are listed on my Ravelry project page.

This is the current state of the shawl, about halfway through the third section – so enjoyable.

I tried to balance shawl knitting with hand quilting my Norah Quilt, but it really didn’t last.

Continuing in the world of log cabins, I put together another month’s worth of blocks for my Avonlea quilt.

Next, I took a quick interlude to bind these two beauties, which you can read about here and here.

Looking for another quick finish on the #yearofwips, I finished hand piecing one final block for this ancient (oldest WIP I own) log cabin project. I hand pieced the blocks together and voila!

It’s a mini quit top! It’s currently sitting all basted and ready to go for some hand-quilting, which I just haven’t gotten to. Quick finish, right.

Not feeling like hand quilting, I picked up some this WIP. Needle turn applique is still pretty slow for me and I haven’t gotten any momentum going on this project, either.

Last but not least in this little train of get out the project and promptly put it down – we have Fairytale Forest. I finally decided to trim and assemble all the blocks I had done – a whopping 6 of 25.

They are pretty, though aren’t they? I am looking forward to getting back into this one.

You may be wondering what on earth I’ve been really been doing with all this a little bit here and a little bit there. Well, I have been working on these socks – they’re a secret gift so I can’t spill who they’re for – in some mega deep stash (dare I say 6 or 7 years old?) from lolodidit in the colorway Don’t Stop Believing.

I’ve also been obsessed with this quilt I’m making for mom. She knows I’m making it and has even picked out some of the fabrics, but that’s it so this is about all I can show you. Cosi really likes how the quilt is turning out and he’s helped a lot.

And there you have it folks – months of making in a flurry of pictures. I hope you are having a great weekend and until next time!


Happy making!

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!

I guess you can technically throw it.

One thing I’ve learned in quilting is that I like a pretty specific size when it comes to throw size. Some patterns come in quite small and some quite large. I’d go large if I had to, but for me, the perfect size is around my wingspan wide and around my height long. Just right for snuggling under. My latest finished object is not exactly that big.

This is the Habitation Throw – a pattern by Helen Steward of Curious Handmade. Now, please don’t get me wrong – I knew going in that this would be small and let’s be honest, I have no interest in knitting a blanket that’s any bigger. I really enjoyed this project but I did have a bit of an existential crisis somewhere around the halfway point. I started thinking about my blanket preferences and contemplated making it double size to get to full on throw blanket status.

But then I thought about how chilly my shoulders get sometimes when I’m snuggled up with a quilt but working on something with my hands – and there was the answer. It’s a Throw (around your shoulders) Blanket. Do you have these internal battles with yourself? Sometimes I wind up scrapping a project like this when it’s not meeting my expectations, but sometimes I can reframe and get to a happy place.

I’m glad we made it to a happy place because this guy is pretty sweet. I used the Stress Knits Yarns 2021 advent calendar minis and the Christmas day full skein. I weighed each mini before I attached it and used about 10g before ending with a wrong side row and switching colors. I used a bit extra of the last skien of yarn but I had planned it that way.

This completes another Year of WIPs finish! I’m feeling well on track with this goal and really loving getting things completed. Finishing things really is just as fun as starting them… almost.


#yearofwips projects finished: 7 of 19


Happy making!

I changed my mind.

My Dad always used to tell a story about me as a very small child, ordering ice cream. I switched my order while we were waiting in line and then was all surprised – “I changed my mind!” – as though it hadn’t occurred to me that I could do such a thing. Many years later and I’ve just had a similar experience. I changed my mind.

I’ve been stitching away on my first cross stitch project for the year of WIPs. As I’ve gotten closer to finishing one, of course I started thinking about the others. Of the four projects, two happen to be Halloween themed. I used to just love Halloween but I’ve moved away from that these days. I’ve been worrying quite a lot about what I’d do with two sizeable Halloween cross stitch pieces that are hardly started.

And then it dawned on me… I can change my mind! Thinking back a few years ago, I challenged myself to a WIP wipeout – I made a big list of projects and either finished or frogged them all. Things change and you fall out of love and that’s ok. I’ve decided to frog the Halloween cross-stitches. I can reclaim the fabric for another project down the line and devote that time to something I do love.

I’ve been worrying about what this means for the year of WIPs but it’s my year, right? Crossing off is crossing off. These guys won’t be taking up brain or drawer space anymore. Speaking of crossing off…

I finished it! This was much faster than expected, especially after I got started. I felt like it was going so slowly. It only took 11 days of working on this in the evenings and we’re all done. This pattern is from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I purchased this kit back in 2017-ish and started it soon after purchase. It’s hard to see in pictures, but the linen is actually sparkly – so sweet.

I stitched in hand back in the day, so I finished this one in the same fashion. I don’t know how I feel about that method, I think I’ll try my next project with a hoop. It was all crinkly so I gave it a good press today and voila! ready to go the framer.

I suppose this is technically 3 projects off the list, but I’m going to adjust the total (AGAIN). We’re really moving along! I’ve done a lot of hand stitching of late so I think I’ll pick up some knitting next. Can’t stray too far from my first love, can I?

I encourage you to put your energy into projects that you love. It’s ok to frog something, reclaim the materials for yourself or a friend or even to donate. Sometimes it feels great to change your mind!


#yearofwips projects finished: 6 of 19


Happy making!

Because of course I did.

Hi friends, it’s been a while. February felt like a bit of a blur – I always feel like I’m going to hunker down and get a lot done in February, but it doesn’t always pan out. This year, I’ve been making slow and steady progress on lots of things (most of them WIPs). Once I finished the Granny’s Garden quilt – it felt like a whole new world had opened up! First off, I didn’t have much to go so I just powered through the socks I had on the needles.

They turned out pretty cute! These socks are plain old vanilla, my regular go to. The yarn is Opal in the Juniper Height (9851) colorway. They’re cute and comfy. I cast these on back in October so it’s nice to have them finished. They are WIP 5/20 for my year of wips.

I finished those right before I took a quick flight down to NC to go to a concert with my brother and sister-in-law. I was only there for about 22 hours, but I knew the flights would need a sock. I wasn’t really ready to take a blanket or cross stitch, so I just had to pick out yarn for a new sock cast on.

I picked Stress Knits yarn in the Sunflower colorway because the yarn was wound up (can’t remember why) and I thought socks in this color will just be amazing. I spent that day with the sibs in Charlotte where we wound up checking out the NASCAR museum first…

and then hit the concert at the end of the day…

I had such a good time just escaping for a day to hang out with these two. I was up the next morning at 5 to catch the plane home, so I didn’t knit quite so much as usual. This sock is tucked back away waiting for next weekend – my first work trip in two years!

After all of this, I was tooling around my sewing room, putting away some scraps when I suddenly came across a plastic baggie labled, you guesed it, “projects.” Luckily there was just one in there, but still…

This isn’t too bad, just a wee clamshell panel. I fancy I’ll do a bit better on it now that I’ve got so much more applique experience under my belt, but needle turn is still a bit of magic to me. I started this project back in 2019 and this makes 21 total projects on the list. I really really think that’s it.

With this project added, I saw I have 10 hand projects (hand-sewing, knitting, and crochet) on the list and 10 months left. Not too bad, just need to finish one a month and I’ll be golden. I decided to pull out a cross stitch project for March.

And this is my progress to date. I’ve added the sheep, barn, and grass so far. It’s slower going than I expected, but that’s the way it goes. This is a pattern from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I started this back in 2017 – I spent a solid 6 or 7 months enamoured with cross stitch and then never picked it up again. I’m not in love with the process, but I’m finding my rhythm.

At the sewing machine, I’ve been working on catching up with my Avonlea quilt. I’ve completed January and am working on February now. These four blocks are the very center of the quilt. I just love how log cabin blocks come together.

And then… I saw some quilters on instagram talking about pulling out their Betsy stashes and so I just had to pull mine…

It’s so pretty. Y’all know I have a love affair with the Betsy pattern by Liberty. Last year, I made a Betsy mini quilt last year and so when Bec of Sew.Be put out the idea of a Betsy nine patch quilt, I just haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Going through my stash, I pulled out a few solid pink fabrics that I thought might work for the background.

After a lot of hemming and hawing, I went with the middle color here. The sewalong aims to make four blocks a week. I’m starting with two blocks from each fabric and the results are pretty snazzy.

Well that’s it for now. How long do you think it will be before I discover another latent WIP? Start another project? Inspiration seems to be everywhere, year in and year out, so I’m not mad.


#yearofwips projects finished: 5 of 21


Happy making!

Granny’s Garden.

Is this my Everest? Perhaps. It feels like I’ve slayed the beast.

Cosi feels the same way, we’ve been revelling in our victory. My Granny’s Garden quilt top is finished.

Can you believe it? Two and a half years in the making, a solid 60 hours of prep, and probably around 150 hours of hand sewing – this was a lot of work but the so very worth it. I just love it.

This was an insta-love pattern for me. The pattern and all the fabrics are by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet. This is called Granny’s Garden and I used the full quilt kit with all fabrics from Lori’s Granny Chic line. I hand appliqued all the flowers and the scalloped border. I used Lori’s suggested interfaced applique technique – you can read all her advice on her blog. I had never never never appliqued a thing when I started this project. I learned a lot and this method really did work well. My one gripe is that prep took a long long time – but sometimes that’s just the way.

The execution took some time, but once I buckled down and focused primarily on prepping in the mornings before work and appliquing in the evenings after supper it just started to flow. It took the better part of six weeks once I got rolling again this year. It’s finish 4/20 for my year of WIPs and what a finish it is! I’m shipping it off for quilting this week. I had toyed around with thoughts of machine or hand quilting it myself, but y’all – this sucker is heavy.

I love you, Granny’s Garden.


#yearofwips projects finished: 4 of 20


Happy making!

2 steps forward and 1 step back.

Greetings! January was a bit of a blur with some big work stuff, so I’m rather pleased to see February come around. I’ve been working hard at work and appliqué, I’m rather pleased to share.

One thing that really held me back on my progress with this quilt has been prepping the blocks. It actually takes quite a lot get all the pieces ready and basted for appliqué. I’ve started committing my early mornings to this prep work each day. I get up with the kids, but they are pretty much self sufficient at this point so I really just make coffee for myself and give hugs as they leave. Since they’re up so early, I have a good hour each morning to myself, which has just been amazing.

Bit by bit, I’m making progress. I just love this little teeny flower. Up this close, you can tell that there is nothing perfect about my work here. But I’m letting it be and taking my flowers as they come. Let me tell you, though – the overall affect is pretty spectacular! I started sewing up the rows as I planned to, and now that we’re over half way there, I’m more motivated than ever.

Ugh, it’s so good! I’m up to block 34 now I think – there’s another row to sew on and then I’ve only got 9 more blocks. And then the border… but I’ll think about that another day. As work really ramped up towards the end of January, I fell off with appliqué just a bit and focused on another project instead.

These socks had been my “hands too tired for sewing but not for knitting” project for a while, so I finally buckled down and finished them. These are my scrappy advent socks from the holidays, all made from the Stress Knits 2021 advent calendar. I knit 5 rows from each mini, and slipped every 4th stitch in an alternating pattern on the first row of each color. I wish I hadn’t done the slipped stitch pattern, it’s so subtle it almost makes the stripes look a bit messy. I finished off with the 25th day skein for the last bit of the foot and the toe. They are sweet and scrappy, and super squishy.

That’s WIP 3 of 18 done! I think that’s pretty good for the first month of the #yearofwips, but I have some confessions to make. The first is a planned project start – this year’s block of the month from DuckaDilly.

Can’t you just?! It’s another log cabin quilt and I’ve just started but my goodness. It’s a beautiful pattern called Avonlea, and you guessed it – all in Liberty. This doesn’t go on the WIP list, but I do want to keep up with it this year.

Now for the real confession – I found another WIP. I had kind of forgotten about them, but starting the Avonlea quilt reminded me of an old log cabin project I had buried in my mind and in the move, apparently. I did some digging, had a bit of a panic when I couldn’t find it, and dug some more before…

I found it. We can talk about the full story when I start working on this, but let’s just say there are 8 completed HAND PIECED log cabin blocks there and a million 1.5 inch strips. Let that sink in and we’ll get to the real kicker. When I found this project in ziploc bags under a bunch of batting scraps in a box in the back of the closet, there were other ziploc bags underneath…

Yeah. That’s another quilt, cut out and waiting. There are approximately 1000 squares. The practice blocks aren’t actually the right pattern, but more on that when we get there. Let me repeat – 1000 squares.

If you’re keeping track – that’s an additional 2 more WIPs that we didn’t account for. These both date back more than a decade, so they definitely count towards the #yearofwips. 3 of 20 is still pretty good, right?

In all of this hubbub, my sister-in-law had a birthday so I made her a thing.

This is the Take Along Tote by Sometimes Sewing made up in some gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. canvas. This is the fourth one I’ve made and they just get easier. Sewing these up is a snap and I can say that I jut love mine – the finished product is a great piece. I used a soft pinky cream print, also from Rifle Paper Co., for the lining and some oatmeal cotton webbing for the handles.

After making up that bag, I gave myself permission to start new projects. One major criteria for new ideas making the cut in the #yearofwips will be gifts. I’m not planning to start anything new in a category I already have going – I’m looking at you, pink socks – but gifts are an exception.

With that, Cosi and I hd a wee fabric pull for a new quilt for mom. He loves our choices very much. You won’t see much on this one for a long while, of course, but it will be quietly in the background.

Well, that’s it. I’ve made a whole lot of progress and piled a bit more on my plate. I don’t imagine that anyone is surprised. I’m enjoying everything that I’m giving time to, and that’s the most important thing.


#yearofwips projects finished: 3 of 20


Happy making!

Don’t fall off.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but my year of WIPs has certainly lit a fire around here. The first ten days have been great! I know from experience that my mojo ebbs and flows throughout the year, so I definitely take advantage of it when it’s running high.

I knew out of the gate that Kevin’s hat would be the first item on the docket. He had waited so patiently while I knit advent socks that he deserved his hat finished next. I love how it turned out.

This is Kennecott by Caitlin Hunter. I’ve had this pattern for ages, it was great to get to try it out. It’s actually a very intuitive cable pattern and easy to do. I knit it without a cable needle as usual. The yarn makes me this pattern just soar. I used Sweet Sparrow yarns – bottom is the Chickadee base, suri alpaca and silk, in the On Softest Wings colorway; top is the Phoebe base, tweed DK, in the Blanketry colorway. I held them together to create the most luxurious texture and lovely soft grey-blue color. Kevin reports it as wonderful.

Next up, I finished off my shawl. The pattern is by Susan B Anderson, the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 3. Fun pattern to knit, tons of garter until you get to the boarder and then that’s even quick and meditative. I used Miss Babs Yowza, as called for in the pattern, in the colorway, Sugar Sugar. All in all, it’s soft, simple, and cozy. Just what I’ve needed on the last few cold nights.

After finishing two quick projects I was sorely tempted to plow right on ahead and keep finishing fast. Thinking about that though, I imagined being frustrated by the summer with only long or barely started projects to work on. So I am, in my own way, eating the frog first. I dug out my Granny’s Garden quilt.

One of my side goals this year is to talk more about projects in progress, so lucky you – let’s dive in. A brief history of the progress, starts and stops so far:

September 2019 – Cut the project out and got started! Finished the first four blocks. Very first:

April 2020 – four more blocks done:

August 2021 – 14 blocks total, getting cozy with applique. I finished two more, one of my faves:

The project then basically snoozed until this week. I had the goal last year to finish the quilt, but we know how that went. I pulled out some blocks and made the shapes but then that was it. Found out we were moving or something, you know? And so this week, I pulled out those shapes and basted them and stitched them and voila! More blocks!

My goal is to finish 3 blocks per week because that amounts to finishing a row every other week. I like to build quilts as I go, when possible. I think that will be helpful to have the main part of the top complete when I start on the border. Because of course, it’s more applique.

I’ve really enjoyed stitching lately, I like hand sewing a lot. It does make my hands more tired than knitting, so I’ve been taking breaks and switching to knitting when I need to. The hard part of this project for me is making the shapes. It’s a great method for getting a really nice finished piece, but boy does it take some time. Cosi helped me yesterday morning before work. He’s very supportive.

Well, that’s where we stand. I don’t know that I really have the right mix of projects to balance them throughout the year like this, but I like this so far. I do have a block of the month to catch up on, but I’m doing my best to stay firmly on the applique train.


#yearofwips projects finished: 2 of 18


Happy making!