Does anybody else have all these grand plans of getting so much done over the summer and then when summer starts you get absolutely NOTHING done? Well that sure feels like what is happening over here right now. LOL. Having the kids home all day everyday is a lot different this year. They play super well together, and by themselves, are outside a ton, and don’t need me to entertain them, not that I would. I do need to be present to engage with them here and there and a lot of the time within earshot to make sure no one dies, so that means my sewing room on the top floor of the house tucked away from the bedrooms isn’t super practical to be in. Enter a lot of hand stitching and slow stitching during the days if I am able to, and sewing room projects happen at night after they are in bed if I am not to tired.
So here’s a little of what I’ve been working on this summer break:
My Tula Nova:
I completely all the hand stitching and then hand appliqued it to the black and white polka dot background. It is currently half quilted, just of the medallion with white thread. Yay! I just have to finish quilting the Background area with black thread so it blends in and then bind.
Current Rosette I just started. I have 30 minutes a day at swim camp and have been slowly stitching those pretzels together amidst trying not to sweat to much in the 90 degree pool facility. :)
These two, above and below, I finished over the last month. I made the one above to big, so I will add another star and green diamond and place it in a different spot. But I love the brown and white scallop and how I fussy cut it so I am doing that with a stripe on another current rosette, not pictured. The little mice in the rosette below are just killing me with cuteness.
This La Pass quilt will be quite the crazy all the fabrics find of scrappy quilt. I am looking forward to the end only to see the vast amount of prints and how the years, yes years, have changed the fabric choices. My only goal for this quilt is to repeat fabrics as little as possible or not at all. We will see if I can achieve that.
I currently have three rosettes waiting to be attached to the bigger section of my La Passacaglia, so once I stitch up the two I have cut out and mostly basted I will be connecting them all and then continuing on this long term quilt project.
Other slow stitching projects I have in the works right now are:
The Hexagon Flower Rings I designed from third hexagon pattern pieces. I wish I could find a picture of this to link, It is on my Instagram and is in shades of pink, blue, caramel, and a citron yellow.
Kingfisher quilt by Tales of Cloth I started last week to attempt joining in with the stitch along. Check it out it’s stunning. I am hoping to make mine super similar to the one Jodi made and has pictured in her advertising. So gorgeous!
A handful of other little EPP projects I unearthed last week. All are in final stages or close to completion. It’s jut more fun to start a new or fresh project then to finish an old one.
As always you can find the most of me on Instagram.
So for 2018 I decided to write down some crafty goals. I have admired a couple friends over the past year who totaled up the amount of fabric they owned and kept track of fabric in and out for the year. So while that’s not in the cards for me this year it pushed me to set some other goals I can work on.
So my goals are based on mostly on monthly completion, because to set all of them yearly I know I will just fail.
Goal 1: Sew something selfish each month that isn’t a quilt
So this could be an item of clothing, a bag, pouch, pillow, anything that isn’t a quilt. Because I realize I have a lot of non quilt projects I want to make but I usually spend my sewing time quilting. So I am trying to break out of that rut.
For January my selfish make was this Catch All Caddy. The pattern is from Patterns by Annie and is great! I made one a couple years ago for a swap and since then have always wanted to make myself one. So I made one for a swap I did recently and made this one for myself at the same time. The pattern is a great pattern albeit not heavy on the visual which was hard for me. I am definitely a visual learner and I found I had to read the instructions multiple times the first time I made this. But for the two I made in January it was a breeze though because once I got through it once I realized how simple it was. I also found out there is a Craftsy class for this pattern so that would be a great option if it’s your first time.
I used mainly Rashida Coleman Hale’s newest Cotton and Steel line Paper Cuts, with a bit of Annabel Wrigley’s Maribel thrown in for good measure.
So that’s my selfish make. I have been using it to carry hand projects around the house, knitting, stitching. But I will definitely be breaking it in as a tool caddy next month at a little retreat I’m attending.
Goal 2: Sew someone a gift.
This is pretty self explanatory. Sew something for someone else. Preferably it will be a random gift to show someone I care about them. But if it’s for a swap that counts too. I used to have this page on Facebook, well technically it’s still there, were people would nominate others who were awesome and needed a pick me up to receive a handmade gift from me. I did it for 2 or 3 years before I had kids and it was so fun. It fell by the wayside with kids and life getting busier. I loved sharing and gifting though so I would like to do that more. Who doesn’t love to get a thoughtful gift in the mail just because, so I will be doing some form of that…..
For January I made the other Catch All Caddy for a Swap I did with my traveling Quilt ladies. It was so fun and everyone made absolutely perfect gifts for each other.
I really love the complete difference in these two Caddies based on which fabric I used. This one I made with a Cotton and Steel Sprinkles as the main fabric and I quilted it with loops. I used a Cotton and Steel Kicks print for the handles, and for the pockets on the inside I used a print from Annabel Wrigley’s Maribel, which is one of my all time favorite fabric lines. I added a little handmade zipper pull on the outside and stuck some sassy glasses on the inside.
Goal 3: Make a Quilt each month.
This is pretty basic, make a quilt each month, not limited to one a month. I just want to set a goal of a minimum amount of quilts for the year. Last year I made 25, whoa, and it may have been to much .:) But this minimum of one quilt a month can be personal, a gift, a custom order, or product for my shop. But it can not be an overlap for one of my other goals. i.e. if I make one for a gift I can’t also use it for my #2 goal, that would have to be a separate quilt or gift item.
In January I made two baby quilts that were part of a three quilt order for a friend. She had three ladies in her school having babies and wanted to gift them each with a baby play quilt.
I used the backing Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton and Steel fabric on the back as my bases for a slate , coral, and grey color scheme. I went with a simple quarter triangle block alternated with a solid block. It measures 36″ square, and is the perfect size for a little floor quilt or to throw over the car seat. I finished it off with some figure 8 loopy quilting.
This quilt was a navy, coral, and grey color scheme and I thought that triangles would be perfect for this slightly preppy color scheme. I have only done maybe 3 triangle quilts and I feel like this one I found my groove and might want to try it on a larger quilt. It finished at 36″ square and I quilted it in a simple loopy pattern. I love the way it turned out.
This is actually the first quilt of the order of three quilts I made and it was made in 2017. It was supposed to be a gender neutral safari theme, and once I found that out I knew I had to use Ginigber’s Savannah line of fabric. I did simple patchwork with all the coordinates in the line on the front and used the awesome panel fabric for the backing. I used my go to loopy quilting again and it finished at 36″ square.
Goal 4: Try a new crafting skill.
This is maybe an every other month goal since it will be more time consuming, and could be from screen printing to painting to a new sewing technique etc… It will help me expand my horizons and keep me going. I haven’t learned a new skill yet this year. I did knit an American Girl doll sweater for my daughters doll but I already knew how to knit, it was just the type of item that was new. Soooo it could count, but this is more a loose goal to help me stretch myself and doesn’t have a specific timeline.
I would love to try pottery on a pottery wheel.
I would love to knit myself a sweater, which seems like it should count even though the doll sweater didn’t.
I would love to try the bias applique for a full quilt.
I would love to make myself pants
I think it would be cool to try dying something… fabric, yarn…
I would love to write more patterns and develop a kids sewing curriculum.
Goal: 5 Work on a business plan for a Fabric store and sewing Center.
One of my goals for when my kids are all full time in school and I could go back to work is to have a quilt shop with an emphasis on teaching sewing and building community.
So that’s what I have fleshed out so far for my crafty goals in 2018. I am hoping to do a recap post at the end of each month, so consider this January’s recap. Otherwise there would be no pictures.
I would love to hear about your crafting or regular goals this year. Do you set goals, big, small….
Did you know that otters do hold hands while floating in their sleep so they don’t drift away from each other. Otters are also one of the few animals that mate for life. Once I found those two facts out I knew I had to make my otter quilt themed on never letting go. Which eventually turned into it’s name Don’t Let Go.
I have been working on this quilt and pattern for about 9 months now and I am so excited to say it’s released into the world for you all to make. It is a straight forward pattern with diagrams for each step, simple construction techniques, and sews up satisfyingly fast.
It started with a sketch on graph paper of a Manatee of all creatures.
I mocked Mr. Manatee up on graph paper after sketching up an inital sketch as shown above. He was relatively easy to piece and figure out until I got to the dreaded bow tie. I’m not a big applique fan, I will do it if a pattern calls for it but I won’t do large amounts of it, and it better be needle turned applique. ;) personal preference you know. So that made me want to piece the bow tie which added a lot of hassle.
While Mr. Manatee turned out super great I stalled in producing a pattern for him because of that darn bow tie. Also this sample measures roughly 36″ tall so not an easy quilt size, so multiple sizes would have to be made and it all seemed daunting. So Mr. Manatee hangs on my wall like this still today waiting for his debut. Which will come.
So I turned back to my sketches, and I had sketched this guy up at the same time. I decided to flesh him out a bit more and I started looking up otters online for a visual and started graphing him out and mocking up the pattern.
Once I had the graph paper version I mocked it up in EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7) and the pattern really came to life and started to look and feel like something. I am still very much a novice when it comes to EQ7, but it is a great tool. The quilts I have mocked up that are a single block repeated have been so much fun to do and play with. I’m sure once I get better at the program quilts like my otters will also become more enjoyable. ;)
I made a few otters prior to the finished quilt as I tweaked the paw and feet construction from my initial design to simplify it. I think my final product turn out so cute and I am thrilled to have it out in the world for others to make. You can purchase the Don’t Let Go Pattern in both my Etsy and Craftsy Shops and download immediately for instant gratification.
I backed my quilt in this most amazing sea otter fabric by Laurie Wisbrun. She designed the cutest Otterific fabric in two colorways and it is just the perfect addition to my quilt.
These two quilts are some gorgeous examples of my quilt made by some great friends who agreed to pattern test for me.
Kayla, StitchKaylaStitch, made this adorable version on a white background that she did a giveaway with on her Instagram. I love the quilting and seeing it with a non blue background.
This beautiful version was made by Jennifer Johnston, jenjohnston80, and was gifted to her 3 yr old niece who dubbed it her favorite otter quilt. I love seeing a version with matching otters.
Purchase your own Downloadable PDF copy of the pattern on Craftsy or Etsy and get started right away. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #dontletgoquilt so I can see your wonderful versions of the quilt.
I’m finally sharing Norah’s room here. Her room is bright and full of cuteness and she loves it and so do I. Win win if you ask me. :)
Norah’s middle name is Brave so this print was perfect for the entrance to her room. The Print is from Holly Casto Design but doesn’t look to be available anymore.
I made Pinch pleated drapes with semi black out lining for her windows from a Nate Berkus fabric found at Joann fabrics. They are white with a simple navy leafy detail. The print between the window is a blonde girl holding bears and it’s by Emily Martin of The Black Apple. The abstract art is all Norah. I just show her a selection of colors I like and she picks what she uses.
She has a little reading nook at the end of her bed since she LOVES to read. I found the cute little rocker at a vintage shop and she is constantly rotating books to here from the playroom.
I did a board and batten treatment on the back wall so as to break up the bold Coral on all the other walls. The bed is from Overstock can you believe it. It was so inexpensive and has been super durable even though I catch the kiddos swinging on it occasionally.
We hung a little bit of fun art over her bed and chair. The Giraffe is affectionately dubbed Dorothy and we found her at Homegoods. The Hooray pendant is from Hobby Lobby. The N is a vintage marquee cover and the little girl painting is also vintage. I found the brown craft paper letters that spell be brave at Joann Fabrics. The abstracts are Norah’s handiwork again. The rug is from Rugs USA and looks to no longer be available since I purchased it 4 years ago, and the chair is vintage and recovered.
The arrow sign is from Hobby Lobby as is the Flamingo. I used some Denyse Schmidt in a thrift store frame to make her a little pin board. The white bulldog is a night light from Target and the gold bulldog is a bank from Homegoods. The bear picture is from Target. Everything else is Vintage.
Norah’s closet is nice and large and since her clothes are small she has amble room to store a lot of toys so they don’t clutter up her room. She plays in here ALOT. Someday I think it would be super fun to paint a fun design on the walls.
I put her fancy forest on her bed when I finished it a month or so ago and it so completes the room.
She has a Frances Firefly quilt tucked on the end of her quilt so she can lean on it if she sits down by her books.
I used the whole line of Maribel fabric by Annabel Wrigley and added in a couple others from Michael Miller and Cotton and Steel. This quilt really is a labor of love. There are a lot of hours in it. But the end result is totally worth it to me and Norah super loves it.
The back of the quilt is a handful of coordinating prints made into some fun patchwork. I free motion quilted this quilt with a wood grain pattern and couldn’t love it more.
I hope you enjoyed Norah’s little room tour. I so love to decorate kids spaces. They are so bright and full of color and don’t have to be totally serious. :)
I’ve been itching to give the kids bathroom a little refresh since we moved in but it wasn’t that bad to begin with so it had to wait till a week ago when I had some time to tackle it.
Okay so here’s a little glimpse of the after. Can I tell you how hard it is to photograph a long narrow bathroom…. It’s not easy!
So before we talk about the after lets take a peek at the old.
Yes, I realize it’s just fine, neutral, livable, clean. I just didn’t love it. We replaced the faucets a couple months ago which is a whole story in itself, started with some very pricey plumbing quotes, which turned into a plumber causing a massive leak and having to replace a ceiling….. and then we found a wonderful skilled handyman to install a bunch of new faucets for us at a fraction the cost. Thank goodness! The old faucets in here were chrome and had those giant cut plastic knobs straight out of the 90’s. I also replaced the lights in here as soon as we moved in to these nice inexpensive outdoor lights from Lowe’s.
The small darker squares on the floor are hunter green and for the first year living here all I could think about was replacing them, which wasn’t in the cards currently. But then the dark green trend started popping up and I thought maybe I could work with them. So I dubbed it the kids camp bath and went with that theme for the refresh.
The hardest fix was taking the giant mirror down, and sanding through the paint to remove the raised letters underneath. I could never get a good picture while the letters were painted over with the pale blue color on the walls, but after some serious sanding I smoothed it all out and could see what was written. The picture below is what was around the entire room just under the ceiling.
So the game plan was:
-sand words away
-shiplap wall behind sink
-paint walls and vanity
-replace mirror, knobs, toilet paper holder, and hooks
-hope the kids don’t wreck it to fast
I am very pleased with how it turned out and it wasn’t any sort of work that even a beginner DIY’r couldn’t tackle. The hardest part was removing the mirror, mainly because I had no clue what I was doing. It definitly didn’t go as smoothly as the YouTube videos I watched said it would. I taped the heck out of it and slowly chipped it off, breaking it a bunch, but the last 2/3rd came off in one nice big piece I now have to figure out how to dispose of. ;) The sanding was the other hard part, but luckily I have an electric sander that helped speed the process along. It still took a couple hours and sore arms to accomplish though.
The premade Shiplap I found at Home Depot was so easy to use and since I was doing only one wall it wasn’t that expensive. I have used 4′ x 8’ft sheets of luan or underlayment in the past and ripped them down to 8′ ft lengths by the height I need typically around 8″. This process is cheap as the sheets cost $12, but it’s time consuming to cut them all and much more finicky to hang. For a large room I would still do this as it’s saves sooo much money but for one wall I love this shiplap option. Linked below.
Here are a few sources for the things I used. I linked things when I could. I’m not paid or sponsered by anybody I just like to give as much information as possible since that’s what I always love myself.
A little update to the shop happened and everything (excluding patterns) is on sale this weekend. 20% Discount is shown on each item. So stop by and pick up some Holiday Gifts while they are on sale. Here’s a little of what is in the shop.
I made this super simple and bright and fun Rainbow quilt for a swap with some special sewing ladies i get to retreat with a couple times a year. I cut up 36 different solid fabrics in my stash and put them in rainbow order. It is such a bright and happy quilt and I want to make 1,000 of them. I basically followed along with what Elise did when she made this quilt awhile back and I have to say she is a genius. You can check out her post on it here. So I am posting about it here to share the colors I used so you could make your own, because I have had a few requests on Instagram for the colors.
Here was my preliminary pull from my stash and I had to run to Joann Fabrics (my closest open fabric store that day) and pick up a couple purples. These solid fabrics are a random assortment of fabric brands. Some Joann Fabrics, some so old I don’t know where they are from, a decent amount of KONA Cotton, some RJR Cotton Supreme, and what I think is possibly Michael Miller Cotton Couture…. at this point in the figuring out colors for you guys process I was really wishing that solids had a selvedge with info on it or I had labeled things better.
I ended up Quilting this quilt with giant horizontal loops, two all per 10″ square. I used this delightful cloud minky fabric from Joann Fabrics for the back and was so sad to find out it was discontinued when I went to have it cut so I just bought the rest on the bolt. The minky and the simple yet relatively dense quilting gives this quilt such a soft hand and I almost kept it for myself. ;) But I gave it away in the swap and the recipient was very happy with it. Luckily I had cut out a second stack of squares when I cut this out so hopefully I will have enough cloud minky to back mine.
Black and White stripe was the perfect choice for binding this quilt and finished off the rainbow with the final two colors in the spectrum.
Okay without further ado, here is an image with all the colors noted in KONA.
I color matched on my KONA color card as close as possible to the actual colors I used. A lot of which was KONA. I also will list below the actual colors I used, and which KONA colors I substituted for those. The Only one I couldn’t get a perfect match for is the neon pink, third from the bottom on the left hand side label azalea. The neon pink is much more visible as neon in the first picture of the quilt in the woods and the most asked for color. That is one of the fabrics I have had in my stash for a looooong time and have no clue where it is from unfortunately. So the KONA Substitute is the best option for color value in my best opinion.
Actual colors used that weren’t KONA that I now definitively what they are.
Cotton Supreme Meadowland – Sub KONA Pond
Cotton Supreme Iceberg – Sub KONA Mint
Cotton Supreme Gingko – Sub KONA Zucchini
Cotton Supreme Oriole – Sub KONA Flame
Cotton Supreme Flamingo – KONA Melon
I cut 10.5″ squares from the 36 colors and with 1/4″ seam allowance the finished size is 60″ square. If you where to make this quilt in the same size you would need 1/3 yard of each of the fabrics. But hopefully you have a significant solid fabric stash so you don’t have to buy all those colors. ;)
I would love to see if you make a quilt with my colors so please tag me if you do. Oh and if anybody knows of a great neon pink solid fabric PLEASE let me know, I have mere scraps left of my neon pink stash and I can’t handle it.
I have been working on a Bear pouch design to go with my Cat pouch and Fox Pouch. Currently my cat pouch pattern is available on craftsy and a handful of complete Cat Pouches are available in my etsy shop. I also have two Fox pouches available in my etsy shop. The Fox pouch is not currently available as a pattern but I am hoping I soon can offer that pattern as well as the new Bear I have been working on. Oh and if you can make it till the end there are a couple discounts for you.
Onto the Bear Pouches:
This guy is what started the Bear Pouch Epiphany, I had a friend order a baby quilt and a crinkle from me and I ended up making this guy. Which gave me the epiphany I needed shape wise for the bear pouch I had worked on a while before.
So I sketched out a pattern for the bear pouch from the crinkle bear and this guy happened after a little bit of tweaking.
The Design of the zipper is a little bit different than that of my cat pouch, while the cat pouch as a zipper in between two sets of ears so to speak seen in the two pictures to the right, the bear pouch has a flat zipper on the back which simplifies the construction a lot. I am going to add this option of zipper to the cat pouch pattern also, and anybody who has purchased that pattern will get an update.
In making the pattern a second time to make sure the pattern pieces worked and tweak a couple more things i had to try out heart eyes, and while the guy below is slightly grumpy I think the heart eyes are a winning option that the pattern will have.
So here are a few that I have made in the past year.
Mega King Quilt.
I recently finished this mega King Size Quilt for my sister. She and her husband helped select some of the fabrics and I layered in the remaining to make this warm and inviting combination.
The Pictures were taken at night before they had to leave in the wee hours of morning so they are a tad dark. The good news is it’s bright and fun in person and they absolutely loved the quilt.
I backed it with the Birch Mod dots with some insets of the front blocks. I quilted it with my favorite loopy free motion. I’m not sure what this pattern is called but this quilt mimics, per my sisters request, my very first quilt I ever made following along on the Flickr quilt along started by Dana at Old Red Barn Co.
Neutral Woodland Themed baby quilt.
This Baby Quilt is made with over sized flying geese blocks in a bold but neutral print fabric pull. It measures about 36″ square and is straight line quilted to give lots of texture.
This quilt was commissioned by a friend after she saw one that I made for myself that was almost identical to this. This is a pattern by Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew and is a super fun and quick make. I used orange fabric pulled from my stash and this amazing background fabric by Dinara Mirtalipova from her line Mischief Night.
The Pumpkin Quilt below is my original one.
Gilmore Girls Mini Quilt Swap.
I joined a Gilmore Girls Mini Quilt Swap last year because Gilmore Girls is the Best Show Ever. I ended up enlarging a Silver Linings Original Swan pattern to make a good sized Mini, I believe it finished about 18″. The pattern is all paper Pieced. I finished it off with some free motion quilting and a quote from the movie regarding a swan. :) Do yourself a favor and watch Gilmore Girls if you haven’t. It’s the best show.
That’s it for now, I hope to post a few more quilts I’ve made recently soon.
I have had this pattern coming down the pipline for awhile now and it’s finally done and available for download for, wait for it……. FREE! Yes that’s right a great free pattern for you all.
I originally designed this pattern to make a couple pillows, possibly a quilt (hasn’t happened yet) for my son, and thought it’s such a simple sew up that I would write the pattern for you all. But patterns do seem to take way longer than I anticipate so lets just say I won’t tell you how long it’s been since I started.
It’s a simple sew pattern, with a few specific pattern pieces to download and the rest is cutting straight lines with your trusty rotary cutter. The hardest part is sewing 4 pesky curved seams, and they really are not that bad. Don’t let the curves scare you once you sew them several times they get easier and easier.
The great thing about this block is you can customize it’s face to have several different looks. You can also do one block which finishes at 18″ sewn up (18.5″ unfinished) and make it into a nice sized throw pillow or make a bunch and sew them all up into an epic “block man” quilt. I give block amounts with finished quilt sizes and what they roughly relate to in standard quilt sizes in the pattern. They won’t be exactly the size of a standard quilt but they are close.
So stop by craftsy and download your Woollypetals “block man” pattern and let me know when you’ve made one. I can’t wait to see all the cool block men, or women, you come up with. Feel free to tag them #woollypetalsblockman on social media, send me a picture, or let me know here or via email if you’ve made and posted about one. I can’t wait to see them.