On May

May was catch-up month! I finished a quilt, did a little selfish sewing (see photos of my new dress and tank top at the end of this post), and then STOPPED starting new projects.

Sometimes I can get caught up with all the pretty new fabric available, and I can’t help starting lots of different projects. In June, I hope to keep my fabric buying to a minimum, and work on what I’ve already started. My goal is to finish John’s quilt. I love, love, love, this quilt and I get distracted too easily if I have other sewing projects calling my name.

Today I’ve spent a little time cleaning up my sewing area, getting my notions organized, and admiring my empty design wall.

On paper/On the design wall/On the machine:

Nothing. And it feels good.

On the hoop:

John’s quilt!

All finished:

Craft Takeover Geometric Green Baby Quilt
My tile-inspired quilt is all done.

photo by fundathos.org

photo by fundathos.org

This is the original inspiration photo, of a tile wall in Brazil.

Brazilian Tile Quilt Front
The front of the finished quilt. It’s 40 inches square, the perfect size for a lap quilt or baby quilt.

Brazilian Tile Quilting
I used my domestic machine to straight-line quilt this one. Some of the lines run perpendicular to each other, and some run across the quilt diagonally. The quilting mimics the simple triangle and rectangle shapes of the blocks.

Brazilian Tile Quilt Back
I love the bright, colorful, geometric fabric used for the back and the binding.

Craft Takeover Brazilian Tile Quilt
I think this quilt may end up on my Etsy shop soon!

I also dabbled in some garment making, and finished two new items to add to my wardrobe.

Gray Wiksten Tank
First up, the tank top. This is the Wiksten Tank pattern by Jenny Gordy. I purchased the downloadable PDF and printed it out at home. This was my first time making a shirt, so it took me a little while to figure everything out. I may have been a little slow, but the pattern is very well written, and the instructions were great. I definitely learned some new skills, like how to make French seams! The gray fabric is something I already had on hand, cheap stuff from Hobby Lobby. It’s a really good idea to use inexpensive fabric like this to practice on during your first attempts at garment sewing.

Cotton+Steel Double Gauze Wiksten Tank
Next up is the dress version of the Wiksten Tank. I used Cotton and Steel double gauze fabric for this one, and it is soooo soft and cuddly. It’s the most comfy dress I’ve worn in a while. And the best part? I freakin’ made it! I can see myself making many more dresses and tanks from this pattern.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve worked on this month! Here’s to a hand-sewing filled June.

On April

Hey there! Just popping in to give my monthly update…I’m a bad blogger lately. Hoping to carve out time for more crafty projects real soon. For now, I’d love to share the state of all my current quilty projects around here. If you want more info about a previous stage of a project, check out the posts on March, February, and January.

On paper:

No new quilty designs on paper this month. Instead, I’m letting the fabric do all the talking. Here are a few of my recent purchases!

Maker-Make Drafts Raw, by  Art Gallery Fabrics

Maker-Make Drafts Raw, by Art Gallery Fabrics

Zaza Zoo Blue, by Andover Fabrics

Zaza Zoo Blue, by Andover Fabrics

Etno-Cubist Perception, by Art Gallery Fabrics (this is a knit)

Etno-Cubist Perception, by Art Gallery Fabrics (this is a knit)

Each of these fabrics was purchased at one of my favorite local shops, The Cloth Pocket. Check them out if you are in Austin…if not, check out their online shop!

Book Inspiration
I’m also finding a lot of inspiration from my two new books: Savor Each Stitch, by Carolyn Friedlander, and Happy Handmade Home, by the gals at A Beautiful Mess, Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. The project tutorials in both these books are really inspiring, I’m hoping to make something from each of them very soon!

On the design wall:

Emerald Tile on the Design Wall
I love how these quilt blocks are coming together.

Folklorico Casa Azul Fabric
And here’s the fabric I’ve picked out for the back.

The top is coming together quickly, it will be ready to quilt soon!

On the machine:

Washi Tape Sewing Guide
Lately just using my machine to piece the quilt shown above. In the process of piecing this one, I discovered my standard sewing machine foot isn’t a good gauge of a quarter inch seam. I had to place some washi tape on my machine so that I am able to be more accurate with my quarter inch measurement! My normal sewing machine foot is slightly larger than a quarter inch, so I ran into some problems…this is working nicely though!

Washi Tablet for Fabric Design
Speaking of machines….can I tell you about a fun new techy thing I got for my birthday? (Thank you, honey!) It’s a Wacom Intuos Pen and Tablet, and I plan on using it to draw some fun pattern designs. I’m a big fan of Spoonflower, and would love to come up with my own hand-drawn fabric design, print it, and sew it up into something pretty. Have you ever created a digital fabric design? I have a lot to learn, but I think it will be pretty fun. Can’t wait to share the results with you when I figure it all out.

On the hoop:

Hamilton on John's Quilt
Probably only worked on hand-quilting John’s quilt a total of 3 times this month. I’ll admit I’m super slow to finish this one…but the cat seems to approve at least!

All finished:

Spring&Bird Challenge pinned
My Spring Challenge quilt is done! I loved trying this Yoshiko Jinzenji technique of layering lamé, fabric cutouts, and organza. I used a glue stick to arrange the cutouts on the lamé, topped it with the organza, then pinned all the layers together on top of batting. I then did some simple straight-line quilting with silver thread.

Spring&Bird Challenge Front
I think the simplicity of the quilting really lets the shapes shine. Literally!

Spring&Bird Challenge Back
The back is a piece of fabric I picked up years ago and couldn’t bear to cut up. She was the perfect bright and floral fit for the back of this mini quilt.

What sewing or crafty projects did you finish in April? What are you currently working on? I’d love to hear! And as always, cheers to a sewing-filled May!

On March

March was a blur. I’ve got lots going on at my day job recently, so I haven’t really been concentrating on my sewing (or blogging!) this month. I did get a few things done though. I’d love to share with you!

On paper:

Southwestern Quilt Sketch
I’m excited about this southwestern inspired quilt design. I’m picturing this pieced with lots of low volume white and cream scraps, combined with a mix of black scraps. I think it will be a good lesson in contrast, AND hopefully be a good way to use some of the random fabric I’ve got in my stash.

On the design wall:

Spring Art Quilt Design Wall
My art quilt bee is doing a Spring/bird themed challenge that I’m working on. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the pieces that I’ve cut out so far. Lots of bright solid silhouettes that are all going to come together (hopefully!) into a fun Spring scene.

Lame and Organza Fabric
For this project I’m going to try out a technique that Yoshiko Jinzenji taught at QuiltCon this year. It involves silver lamé layered with a shimmery sheer organza. I can’t wait to share this process with you. More photos soon!

Shot Cotton Quilt Blocks
My shot cotton quilt blocks came down off the design wall. Instead of a quilt, they might be turning into some placemats or something completely different. We’ll see – I’m not calling them a failure, yet. I still love the fabrics, but these blocks don’t go well as a complete quilt, so it’s time to take them in a different direction.

On the machine:

Nothing, yet!

On the hoop:

Hand quilting progress
I’m ashamed to say I only worked on John’s quilt once this month! I need to set a goal and concentrate on finishing the quilting for this one. I’m probably 25% done. At this rate, my poor husband isn’t going to have a finished quilt until next year, so I better get to work.

All finished:

LW hexagon overall
I finished my stretched hexagon quilt! It’s called Stretched Hex Number 4. The Carolyn Friedlander Doe prints go so well together, I just love them.

Stretched Hex Number 4 Quilt Back
The backed is pieced with a row of leftover blue fabrics from the front, combined with a super bright orange fabric from the same line. The contrast adds a fun surprise, I think.

Stretched Hex Number 4 Quilt Binding
The binding is more of the orange, with a few tiny bits of blue mixed in.

LW hexagon close up
I quilted this one on my domestic machine with lines that echoed the hexagon shapes, and I think it gives it great dimension. So happy with how it turned out!

Follie green bundle
I love this quilt so much, I want to make another one like it with another bundle – right now I’m loving Follie by Lotta Jansdotter.

So far I’ve really enjoyed sharing my recent projects, I think it’s helping push me to keep going and complete what I’ve started. Thanks for tuning in, I hope you are enjoying the process, too.

Here’s to a sewing-filled April!

On February

Whoa, February is already over? It flew by! Lots of things kept me busy this month. I got my wisdom teeth out, which was awful, but I’m so glad to be feeling back to my (almost) normal self. Next up was QuiltCon, which was fantastic. See my post from yesterday for a recap and lots of quilty photos. Finally, I planned a big event at work this week, and I’m happy to say it went off without a hitch. Plus, I mentioned before that it was Frugal February at our house. That meant no eating out (except for a couple of exceptions, like a celebratory burger after I could chew again) and lots of home-cooked meals.

Somewhere in there, I found some time to get a little bit of sewing done!

On paper:

February 2015 quilt design
Just one new quilt idea this month. Even though the shapes are simple, I think this could be really awesome with the right fabrics. I’m going to be on the lookout for something good.

Modern Tile Quilt Sketch
Also still working on finding fabrics for this one I shared in January.

I’m thinking of using American Made Brand solids – a cream and a rust color possibly? Or maybe emerald? Here are some combinations I’m thinking about.

American Made Brand color tests
What’s your vote?

On the design wall:

Colorful Shot Cottons on the Design Wall
Shot Cotton quilt block
My shot cotton baby quilt is still up on the design wall. I’m working on couple more blocks to finish the top, and I can’t decide if I still like this one. Don’t you hate when a project is in limbo?! I just need to keep playing with the layout, and I think it will get there.

On the machine:

Doe Stretched Hex Quilt Top
I finished my stretched hexagon quilt top! The Carolyn Friedlander bundle I bought is amazing. I love every single one of the fabrics that went into this one. Now I’m just working on the back, and I’ll start quilting it very soon.

On the hoop:

handquilting, back of John's quilt
Still handquilting John’s quilt. Here’s a peek at the back! It’s coming along slowly but surely. I just need to get to business and put in a few more hours of quilting this one each week.

All finished:

12 Inch Mini Heart Quilt
My 12 inch mini quilt! I had fun with this one, but I don’t think you’ll find me making one inch half square triangles again anytime soon. I love having these cheerful hearts on my wall.

Now… I better get to work on some of these projects. Have a great weekend!

QuiltCon 2015

Today I want to share some of the inspiring things I saw/did while I attended QuiltCon last weekend!

I didn’t make it to any of the workshops (I was way too late to the registration game), but I did get to hear three amazing lectures.

First was Yoshiko Jinzenji, an internationally known artist and quilter. Yoshiko talked about her Grass House Studio in Bali, showed us some of the unique ways that her fabric lines are made and used, and showed some of her incredible quilts. I was not familiar with her work before this, and now I am totally hooked. After the lecture, I immediately went and purchased some of her fabric at the Bunny’s Designs booth, and Yoshiko even signed it! Next on my wish list is her book, Quilting Line and Color: Techniques and Designs for Abstract Quilts.

I also went to Carolyn Friedlander’s lecture – Architecture, Quilts + Us. I loved Carolyn’s presentation and hearing about how her background in architecture has influenced her and her design process. Carolyn is doing some really amazing things in quilting, so be sure to check out her work if you haven’t already!

Finally, I got to see Maura Ambrose of Folk Fibers talk about the natural fabric dyeing process. Maura is my quilting hero! I really enjoyed hearing her talk about growing, harvesting, and using natural dyes in her work. She puts her heart and soul into every piece of fabric she uses and quilt that she makes, and it’s just amazing. Very excited about her upcoming project – Folk Fibers Guidebooks. I would love to know more about her hand quilting techniques, so I can’t wait to get this when it comes out.

Now, onto the quilts! As usual, I wanted to share some photos of my favorites from the different categories with you.

Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day + 12 Inch Quilt Heart Challenge

Happy Valentine’s Day! Sadly there will be no fancy meals or chocolate candy for me today…I just got my wisdom teeth out! I look a little bit like a chipmunk, and all I can eat are soft foods for the next couple days. But hey! That’s ok. Because I made you this mini heart quilt.

12 Inch Mini Heart Quilt
This month, my art quilt bee challenged everyone in the group to make a 12 inch square mini quilt, with the theme “heart.” I went super literal, with some patchwork hearts and valentine-ey colors like red and pink.

squaring up
People, those are one inch finished half-square triangles. Glad I tried them out for this project, but NEVER AGAIN will I make HST’s so tiny again! I think the worst part was just squaring them up.

mini quilt on the design wall
See how tiny the pieces are? Once you account for the seam allowances, they shrink up so tiny! This picture of my design wall is for comparison. Finished block is on the left, unsewn pieces are on the right.

Because everything was so small, I didn’t really have the patience to press the seams well. So don’t look too close, ok?

June Tailor Quilt Basting Spray
This was my first project to use spray baste instead of pins. I used June Tailor Quilt Basting Spray and I think it worked great, but everyone I’ve talked to says 505 is the best. So I’ll probably try that out next.

Spray Basted Layers
It was so easy! I can definitely see myself spray basting in the future for projects that are on the smaller side. I think I’ll continue pin basting will all my hand-quilted projects, but I’m looking forward to using it more often.

Mini Heart Quilt Front
Mini Heart Quilt Back
My favorite part of this project was coming up with the design, and I like how the finished mini quilt came out! I think it will look cute on the wall in my sewing space.

Mini Heart Quilt Detail

Hope you have a great Valentine’s day, thanks for letting me share my heart themed sewing project. And in case you missed it, here’s last year’s heart themed project: A Modern Heart Pillow.

Eat some candy and drink some wine for me!

 

Recent Reads / 03

Today I’d love to share another edition of my recent reading list!

My lady friends and I started a book club last February, and we’ve kept up with our meetings almost every month! I’ve happily ventured outside of my comfort zone to read lots of different genres of books. Some of our recent picks:


Going Clear – Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, by Lawrence Wright. Just started this one. So far it is really interesting to learn more about the history of Scientology. I’m also looking forward to watching the new HBO documentary based on the book.


Camille, by Alexandre Dumas Fils. A classic and a tearjerker! This one was a super quick read.


Yes Please, by Amy Poehler. I was so, so excited to have this one on our book club list. Then I read it, and didn’t love it. I also didn’t hate it. I think my expectations were a bit too high after reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and I was slightly bored with all the name dropping. However, if you are a huge SNL fan and want to hear about some behind the scenes stuff…you’ll enjoy this one.

Outside of book club, I’m mainly reading cookbooks and the Outlander series. I need to add some variety!


In my last edition of recent reads, I mentioned I had purchased the newest book in the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. Well, I’m still re-reading the entire series. Once I started, I couldn’t stop! I’m currently on Book 5, The Fiery Cross, and am hoping to make it through these next few books quickly so I can read the new one!


Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 Windowsill Plants From Kitchen Scraps
, by Deborah Peterson and Millicent Selsam. This book was gifted to John and I for Christmas from our sweet friends Sam and Joel. Who knew there were so many ways to re-use kitchen scraps?! Currently growing some green onions in a glass thanks to this book.


Easy Gourmet, by Stephanie Le. A cookbook that I gifted to myself. I am drooling over all of Stephanie’s recipes and her photos are awesome – do you read her blog? If not, you should! I’ve made just a couple recipes so far, and am looking forward to making lots more. Especially since this month is our annual household tradition of Frugal February. John and I challenge ourselves every year to make all our meals in February at home. No eating out until next month! So this is my favorite time to try out new recipes and try to keep things exciting at mealtime. Wish us luck.

What are you reading lately? I need suggestions!

>> all book images are from Goodreads. Click the book covers to read the descriptions.