Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quilt Bucket List 2015

Before I look back on 2014, I want to look ahead to 2015.  I sewed a lot in the latter half of this year, but I haven't sewn a quilt for months, and I am aching to make quilts again.  So I created this bucket list of quilts that I would love to make in the upcoming year.  In no particular order, here are the quilts my heart is set on (which of course are subject to change on a whim):

1. Heather Ross Far Far Away Swoon Quilt or Star Quilt - My daughter loves quilts.  She is her mother's daughter for sure, and it warms my heart to see that she has claimed three of my favorite quilts and sleeps with them every night.  Yes, she sleeps with three quilts on her bed in the winter months.  None of these quilts were made specifically for her.  I'd love to make her a star quilt or another swoon quilt using the Far Far Away fabric in my stash.  After all, she'll only be young for so long (le sigh).

2. Rocky Mountain Puzzle Quilt - I have fallen HARD for this quilt block.  I'm not sure what it is, but the minute I saw the one pictured above, I can't stop thinking about it.  I'm thinking I might use Flea Market Fancy on a low volume background.  The jury is still out.

3. Triangle Quilt - In all honesty, I have already started cutting out fabrics for an equilateral triangle quilt.  It's still in the infancy stage, but it's intended as a gift that I hope to finally be able to give in 2015.

4. Color Dive - See my thoughts in #2 above.  Fell.Hard.  Must. Make. Now.  I think this will be the first quilt I actually complete in 2015.  It seems relatively simple, and simple is what I crave right now.

5. Little Folks Voile quilt - I'm not sure where I was when Little Folks first came out.  I think I was on a sewing hiatus.  But, I've managed to aquire a good deal of Little Folks and I want to make a simple, light weight quilt out of this oh so soft and beautiful fabric.

6. Wonderland quilt - I've been hoarding a charm pack and layer cake of this "my precious" fabric for several years now.  This line, by Momo, is one of my favorite lines of quilting fabric ever.  Time to take it out of the stash and make it into something I can use and love everyday.  

7. Sprouts - Ok, I don't actually want to make a whole quilt out of this pattern (though I would love that, there's just so many other large quilts I'd rather make first).  I would love to make a pillow with this pattern, however.  I don't have any quilted pillows, so I hope to rectify that in 2015.

8. Spiderweb Quilt - I'll be honest. This is one of those quilts that I really would like to make, but the thought of ripping all those pieces of paper...this might be on the bucket list for many years.

9. Dresden Quilt - I've already started this quilt and have nearly finished the top.  I think this will be the second quilt I finish, right after the Color Dive quilt.  This is another gift quilt and I am so excited to give it to the recipients!

So that's it.  I'll be satisfied if I only make half the quilts on this list next year!  Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 29, 2014

DVD Review and Giveaway!

I recently had the opportunity to review a new DVD by the talented Carrie of Such Designs called Art Techniques for Quilt Design.  I jumped at the chance to learn from Carrie, as I’ve been wanting to add more of my own voice to the the quilts I make.  Lucky for me, Carrie does too and she teaches this in her new DVD.  

Carrie was trained as a fine artist and brought her fine art skills to her quilt and fabric designs.   Carrie describes herself as a creativity enabler, and that is such a good description of herself and how this class is designed.  Rather than teach you how to sew, she teaches you basic fundamentals of art and drawing that you can apply to your sewing projects.   

The first half of the class focuses on arming you with basic drawing skills.  In this portion, she has you explore line drawings, gesture, and composition.  She encourages you to find the spirit of the form of whatever you are drawing and helps you learn to see what is actually there rather than your mind naturally thinks is there – ie what an apple actually looks like versus what you think an apple should look like.  In her discussion of composition, she uses several quilts to discuss the different types of composition and how to apply them to quilts.   

All of the basic drawing skills that Carrie teaches in the first half of the class are useful in the next portion, where she teaches her popular nest quilt design.  In real time, she describes how to draw the nest, how to cut the fabric, and how to sew the nest design.  It is so fun to watch her build the nest, piece by piece, all while giving great encouragement.  At one point she says that if nothing else, she wants you to trust your creativity and know that you are good enough just as you are.  I love that.   
There is also a small portion at the end of the class that goes over turning children’s art into quilt designs.  I do wish this segment had been longer, but it did get my brain spinning with ideas of how to turn my own daughter’s artwork into a quilt design to treasure forever. 

Carrie teaches so much in this DVD that I think it’s important to discuss what you will NOT learn by watching this DVD.  This is not a how-to-quilt class.  She does not go over basic sewing skills or piecing instructions.  What she does do in this class is teach you to draw and create composition while helping you build up your confidence so that you trust your own creative process.  I’ve already taken what I’ve learned from her class and applied it to the next project I am working on – a raw applique storybook design – which I’ll leave a sneak peak of here.

Would you like to build your confidence as a quilter?  Definitely check out this DVD. You can purchase the DVD or direct download at the Interweave Store.  Better yet, how about a chance to win a copy of this DVD?  Hop over to Carrie’s blogto enter a DVD giveaway for Art Techniques for Quilt Design.  Hurry, the giveaway ends October 4th! 

Thank you to Carrie and Interweave for the chance to review this DVD.  Note that I did receive a free copy in exchange for this review, but all views and opinions are my own!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Apple Season

I signed up for the Apple Dumpling Pouch Swap last month after I had so much fun participating in the Schnitzel and Book Mini Quilt Swap this summer.  I really enjoy making stuff for other like-minded, crafty quilters.  Of course there is the added bonus of getting some secret crafty goodness back in return!


The rules for the apple dumpling swap were to make an apple themed dumpling pouch and fill it with apple goodies.  Michele Patterns provides a wonderful pattern and tutorial for the cute dumpling pouch.  As I was pulling out my fabrics, I was inspired by the aqua and red combination and decided to just run with it. 

My first plan was to do a mini granny square, but even at 4 inches square, it was still slightly too big to fit completely on the dumpling pouch side (those pouches are pretty small!) so I turned it into a mini pincushion instead.  I went back to the cutting mat and decided to continue on my Dresden plate kick and made a tiny Dresden plate for the dumpling pouch instead. 

Seriously people, these mini dresdens are ridiculously cute (pattern from Westwood Acres fabric), are they not?  I attached it to some lightly quilted Essex yarn died linen in indigo.  I'll admit it was hard to give this dumpling away!

I also wanted to make my partner a little something else when I came across this fabric basket tutorial by Ayumi of Pink Penguin fame.

But I couldn't stop there.  I have had the book, Heather Ross Prints, for quite some time.  Knowing that my partner was a Heather Ross fan, I made her some notepads using the instructions from the book.  People, these notepads were so easy and satisfying to make.  I think everyone in my life will get one at some point. 

My partner, Courtney, received her basket of apples yesterday and sent the nicest thank you note.  I really enjoyed creating this package; it was a great way to try some new things I've been wanting to check off my to-make list for quite some time.  Of course I already have plans for more mini dresdens. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Sewing: Scrappy Dresden Plate Quilt

If this summer had a sewing theme, it would be the Dresden Plate.  I was inspired by Anna Maria Horner's use of Dresden plates in her quilts and the lovely plates @MariaUtah (on Instagram) made at Craft-South.  I came home and almost immediately cut into the large stash of  napkins I made for my wedding- a pile of fabric I have been hanging on to for five years, waiting for just the right bit of inspiration to get me moving.  Funny how that happens.  Stay tuned.
(Psss. Linking up at Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday - Needleworks

I've recently grown interested in hand needlework.  Maybe it's the natural progression in one's quilting journey, but I find myself wanting to add more to each quilt I made - more challenging techniques or color schemes, more deliberate design choices, more personal touches.  I've loved the look of chunky hand quilting for some time, and decided to try it with a quilt I am making for June.  After watching a class by Anna Maria Horner on Creativebug and in person at Craft-South (more on that later), as well as this helpful video from Sarah Fielke, I gathered my courage and supplies and found a comfy place to practice.  By the way, Sarah very correcntly pointed out that I should use larger needles with perle cotton thread when I posted the picture above on Instagram. 

Here was my first attempt at hand quilting.  Not too shabby I say.  I am taking it very slowly and one stitch at a time.  I check the back often to make sure the stitches are about the same length on the back as they are on the front (very rarely but often close enough).  Every once in a while, I feel brave enough to do two stitches at a time, and perhaps over time I will do even more at once and get faster.  Then again, maybe I won't.  This is a long-term project so I don't need, nor do I want, to rush.  I find myself alternating between using a hoop (the traditional way), and not using a hoop (as Anna Maria suggests trying to allow more flexibility with the fabric and the rocking needle motion).  I can't decide which way I like better.  I'm allowing myself to take time on this, to enjoy it, one slow stitch at a time.  

Like most quilters though, I tend to have multiple projects in the works to keep from feeling bored (Bored, what's that?).  I've found four projects at once to be about my limit.  After falling hard for this picture, I dug into my scraps and started an applique wall-hanging.  The pattern is "Here's the Dish" in Anna Maria Horner's "Seams to Me" book.  I love how Alecia made her version scrappy and decided to do the same with mine.  Stitching the pieces down and adding embroidery will take some time, but since this is pretty portable, perhaps I'll finish it before starting another project.  Then again, maybe I won't.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mini Stars Quilt

In progress.  Love the afternoon light.

Goodies sent: a boxy bag filled with needles, handquilting thread, hexies and cards made from Heather Ross Prints.  On a sidenote, have you seen this book?  Heather basically gives you carte blanche to make whatever you'd like with many of her prints.  I want to make all the things.

Finished mini.  The Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap was my first sewing swap and I had a great experience.  I loved making something for a fellow quilter.  I'm really looking forward to participating in more swaps in the future. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Boxy Bag

I've been wanting to try a quilted patchwork bag ever since I saw Oh Fransson's amazing Weekender bag.  She kindly wrote up a tutorial for making the quilted patchwork panels (using the quilt as you go method).  A few weeks ago, I mustered up the motivation to try it.  The verdict: love it.  Here's the panel I came up with:

I organized my scraps by color a few months ago which helped the process go quicker.  I then turned the panel into a boxy bag using this super easy tutorial by Lolo Sinclair.

The only thing I will change the next time I make this bag (because I will be making more of these!) is to add a tab at the end of the zipper to make it easier to open.  Now that I've gotten my feet wet, I might dive into making a quilted Weekender bag next. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stained Glass Quilt

This quilt was  four years in the making.  It was made with Good Folks fabric by Anna Maria Horner, still one of my favorite fabric lines (I may or may not be hoarding some of this precious fabric).  I started it in December 2010 (see here and here) when the quilting world, and I along with it, discovered the wonders of half-square triangles.  I'm pretty sure this quilt was my inspiration.  I remember my sister saying "Oy, all that piecing!" when I showed it to her but "all that piecing" was completely worth it (as it usually is).

The top was completed sometime in 2011 or 2012 (more evidence), backed and quilted at the end of 2013, and hand bound in 2014.  I backed it with a subtle Denyse Schmidt print.  I didn't want to use a print that was too busy since I wanted the diamond quilting to show well on the back.  For the quilting, I did straight line stitching with my walking foot in the neutral fabric.  Stitching the inner diamonds was a bit difficult (and time consuming to bury all the knots), but again completely worth it.  I love the diamond shape it created.

I am head over heels for this quilt.  When I showed it to my mom, she exclaimed that it looked just like a beautiful stained glass window.  Thus, I am calling this my "Stained Glass" quilt.

 Pattern: Half Square Triangle Diamonds
Fabrics: Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler Lotus, Kona Cotton in Ivory.  Backing is Denyse Schmidt.
Quilted: Straight line machine quilted in neutral lines.
Started in December 2010 and completed in Winter 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

On planning

The idea of a quilt comes easily to me, the execution not so much.  With a few exceptions, I have generally sewn quilts using fabrics from the same fabric designer and line.  Some sewists tsk tsk at this, but I really don't mind.  It takes the guesswork out of figuring out which colors and patterns will complement each other.  Plus, those fabrics were quite literally made for each other.  But I wanted to branch out and challenge myself a bit for the mini quilt swap. 

I have a new appreciation for sewists who pair fabrics from different fabrics and lines.  It's not as easy as they make it look!  I intended to pull many different colors but to my surprise, I ended up pulling mainly yellows, greens, and blues. So I embraced these colors and created a new plan.

This is a pattern I have been wanting to make for a while now, using this little lovely as my inspiration. I'm excited to see this come together.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

And there were stars in her eyes

I've had a little swap envy recently.  I see pictures posted here and there of  lovely packages filled with quilty goodness people send and receive.  I want some of that in my mailbox too!  Not to mention the joy of making and sharing something that you know will be appreciated and loved by the recipient (one hopes anyway!).  So I jumped on the bandwagon and signed up for the schnitzel and boo mini quilt swap.

My partner loves bright colors as much as I do, and after careful stalking of her flickr and instagram, I saw she liked star quilt blocks too.  I have a few trips coming up and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try my hand at some English paper piecing.  The deadline for the swap is still a month away but I am fighting my procrastinating nature and starting now so that I will enjoy the process rather than stress my way to the finish line.

Have you participated in any swaps lately? 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Scrappy Trip Around the World

Last January, as I sat nursing and rocking Felix for hours, days, weeks, months, I developed a new appreciation of smart phones.  With my one free hand, I visited my favorite quilting/sewing blogs dreaming of a time in the future when I would have time to sew again.  One quilt I kept seeing over and over again was the Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt.  I had to make one.  Like right then right there.  So when I did manage to have two free hands, I dug through my scraps (and a few prints from my stash) and began cutting them into strips.
Have you made this?  The tutorial (found here) is rather clever but I did not find this quilt to be as quick as people claimed.  Though, admittedly I am a pretty slow sewist/quilter even on a good day.  Still, unpicking all those seams and sewing them together again was slow going.  Eventually, I just embraced it and found a little peace in the rhythm. 
I say this about most of the quilts I make, but I really love this quilt.  I love how you can throw a bunch of prints and colors together and they all work somehow.  Also, since most of the fabrics were scraps, it's a bit of a memory book of the many projects I have created over the years.

June also loves this quilt and has claimed it for herself.  She sleeps with it every night. I asked which colors she loved the most and, as predicted, she pointed to every pink print she could find. 
Fabrics: Mainly scraps.  Backing is the infamous Ikea Britten Nummer and some assorted prints from my stash (Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, misc)
Quilted: Running Stitch in horizontal rows (great description of this stitch found in Camille's post)
Started in Jaunary 2013 and completed in December 2013

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Single Girl Quilt Planning

This will probably be the first of many posts about this quilt.  Something tells me this will be a long work-in-progress.  I'm planning the king-size version - that's 620 pieces to cut! I'm hoping to have it completed by the end of the summer; just in time for me to throw over my bed for next winter.
I have over 70 prints of Anna Maria Horner's various lines that I have been hoarding collecting for several years.  I love everything she creates.  Last night I had a dream that Anna Maria came to my house to help me organize my sewing area.  She was a little taken aback at how big a job it was.  Even my subconscious is telling me to stop hoarding fabric!  What better way to showcase all these AMH prints than in the Single Girl Quilt.
For anyone who has made this quilt, can you please share your tips/knowledge?  What things do you wish you had known about this quilt (construction, etc) when you first started? 
P.S. Sharing this post with Freshly Pieced and My Quilt Infatuation this week.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's a Hoot, She's a Hoot



Another quilt from the vault of "things I made while on my three-year blogging break."  Another quilt I made for baby June. I finished this in the Spring of 2011.  These pictures were take in the Summer of 2013.  I can't believe how much she has grown since then!  But I digress - let's talk about the quilt, yes?  Oh half-square triangles, I love your versatility.  I wanted this quilt to be fun and bright and cheery.  Guess what?  Both the quilt and the girl turned out just exactly so.  Love this girl.
Pattern: Half-square triangle pinwheels
Fabrics: 2 charms packs of It's a Hoot by Momo and Kona Cotton in White.  Backing fabric is  turquoise and yellow polka dots.  Binding is Amy Butler's Lotus Full Moon Polka Dot in Lime.
Quilted: Free-motion meandering loops
Made for June
Spring 2011

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

June's Quilt

*I took a blogging break between moving houses and having babies, but I was still sewing.  I want to share those projects now, for my own journal.*

This is the second quilt I made for June while I was still pregnant with her.  I made it in the spring of 2011.  It was inspired by this beautiful quilt that's been a favorite of mine for years.

I love this quilt and I loved making it.  It is gentle and calm, quite the contrast to some of those early days with a new baby.  It now sports yellow stains from various things baby has thrown at it.  Those stains make me love it more.  This will always be one of my favorites, if not the, out of all the quilts I have made.

 Pattern: Free form wonky squares 
Fabrics: Various shades of yellow and aqua (some Anna Maria Horner Garden Party, It's a hoot by Momo, Michael Miller dots, and others).  Backing fabric is Sandi Henderson's Farmers Market Henna.
Made for June
Spring 2011
Psss...I'm sharing this with Quilt Story today. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Warm heart

Heart quilting by CreativeReveries
Heart quilting, a photo by CreativeReveries on Flickr.

We took a break from winter and headed down to Florida. I did quilt this before we left and I hope to get around to binding it tonight. I created rows of loopy hearts using free motion quilting - it was really a LOT of fun to quilt.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine in January


After working on several quilts (many I have yet to share here), it was nice to work on something a little smaller.  I used to sew bags, clothing, and toys and somewhere in there I got hooked on quilts.  This year I'd like to diversify my sewing a little bit.  Don't get me wrong, I still have several quilts in the queue and will probably keep adding to that list.

For this project, I used Canoe Ridge Creations' patchwork heart block tutorial.  I dived into my scrap bin and pulled out all the pink pieces I could find.  The block had to be pink because, did I mention, June loves pink?  Pink pink pink.  I plan to turn this into a pillow top and give it to her for Valentine's Day.  I'm still deciding how to quilt this.  Any suggestions?

Linking up at Quilt Story, Blossom Heart Quilts, and Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Stash: Wonderland

A few years ago I fell in love with Wonderland by Momo fabric.  You may recall I made a baby quilt with it and also a sewing machine cozy.  A few weeks ago I came across a listing for a layer cake of this now out-of-print and hard-to-find fabric.  The price reflected its rarity.  I decided to pass it up.

The next day, I looked it up and it was still available.  I still couldn't justify the purchase.  This same scene played out for a few days.

Then one night I had a dream.  In my dream, I woke up and decided to just bite the bullet and purchase the fabric.  However, when I looked it up it was already sold!  What a disappointment!  I literally woke up at 4 am and panicked.  I rolled over and checked my phone to see if it was still available.  It was!  (Sound huge sigh of relief.)  I clicked 'buy' without any hesitation.

One day I will make a big quilt for myself with this layer cake.  But until then, I can rest assured that I have some of this beautiful fabric in my possession.

My name is Stephanie and I literally dream of fabric.

(Linking up today at Sarah's Quilts.  Go over and justify your fabric stash!)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites by CreativeReveries
Friday Favorites, a photo by CreativeReveries on Flickr.

Just a little eye candy this Friday morning.

P.S. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, January 23, 2014


I cut into my flea market fancy fabric thinking I had a plan - large diamonds within diamonds. I cut, sewed, and cut again impressed at how quickly my giant half square triangles were coming together. Then I hit a road block. When I laid out all the blocks, something about it just wasn't working.  I almost panicked at this point (What have I done?  Have I wasted all this precious fabric?  etc etc).

Then I discovered something so many quilters have already discovered. Graph paper. Wow. How did I not use graph paper when planning my quilts before now? Not only is it efficient, it's fun!  I enjoyed sketching out all the possibilities.  By the way, this site has great, free printable graph paper. (Now you can't use the excuse that you have to wait for your Amazon order to arrive before you start planning that quilt.)

I abandoned my diamond layout for a carpenter star arrangement instead. I envision a big, scrappy, swoon-like block. Yes, I think this may just work out fabulous afterall.