Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Sampler 2019 :: Pixelations

I could not believe that the second Summer Sampler block was pretty much all half-square triangles! Considering I've been making them like crazy for my Begonia quilt, I've seriously had my fill. But that aside, it was time to make more, and thankfully, Lee Heinrich, the designer of the Pixelations block, provided a template for her Perfect HSTs, and that made very quick work of them, as well as being a nice change of pace. Lee also has a video on How to Sew Together Half-Square Triangle Units Without Losing Points, so I was sure to glance at that before I began.

It was really fun that Pixelations used 10(!) of our chosen fabrics, and I know this is silly, but seeing the finished block alongside last week's Spring Fever block reaffirmed my fabric choices, and I like that first block even more now. I love when that happens!

Week 1: Spring Fever

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Issue 81

The last several days haven't allowed for much time in the sewing room, and the next several won't either, but I did put the final touches on Issue 81 of my newsletter, The Scrap Basket. So bear with me. I'll be back before long, but meanwhile I think you'll find lots in this issue to explore. And if you haven't yet subscribed to the newsletter, and would like to give it a try, you can do that in the sidebar. See you soon!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Summer Sampler 2019 :: Spring Fever

Well this year's Summer Sampler has begun! The theme is 'Piecing Bootcamp', and we'll be working on skill-building, with each block focusing on a particular piecing technique or design element. Well in the first block, Spring Fever by Lynn Carson Harris, we're taught how to twirl seams to increase accuracy. Though I've twirled hand-stitched seams before, I never have when machine-piecing. But I was game, and followed Lynn's Twirled Seam tutorial for the small piecing in the center block.

That's one of the great things about a sew-along like this - learning new things and seeing the work and perspective from others in the group. Krista/Poppyprint, one of this year's designers, shared her 1/4" Tune Up Test, which is totally worth checking out. And Katie/swim bike quilt also shared her 5 Summer Sampler Organization Tips, all of which I can totally stand behind. One of her tips that helps me alot is keeping my sampler fabrics all together in between 'assignments.' And my fabric swatches, of course. Just in making the first block, I was really glad I had them to keep me on track.

So come to find out, the piecing of the center small (1" finished) squares was the least fiddly part. I was super slow and careful, and still, one border came out too long, and a couple corners aren't perfect. AND I'm not 100% taken with my fabric mix. Believe it or not, I had chosen two of the same print, but different colorways, in my original fabric pull, and they were both called for in this block. That didn't work for me, so I chose a 'neighboring' fabric on my swatch card - the blue in the corners, and I'm glad I did. It's a pretty busy block anyway, so I'm just going to assume it'll fit in fine as we go along. Now to wait for next week's block, which is always a surprise!

#summersampler2019 #aqtsummersampler2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Pleated Pouch

When my copy of Svetlana Sotak's That Handmade Touch arrived, I browsed through it again and again, trying to decide what to make first. Then I realized the Pleated Pouch might just be the perfect vehicle for a gift certificate for daughter dear's birthday, so that's where I started.

What a fun little pouch! It has a unique construction method that I found really clever, an easy zipper installation, and leather accents. Do note though, that there's a slight misprint in the book: the dimensions of the lining should be 12" x 9". Unfortunately I saw Svetlana's post about that after I was midway into the project, but thankfully was able to continue on with a minor little tweak which didn't affect the look of the pouch or its use.

I think that accent fabric next to the zipper is my favorite detail. Or maybe it's how the 'pleat' just falls into place when the pouch is turned right-side out. Either way, I like it alot. Making it with Carolyn Friendlander prints made me happy - isn't that new blue Harriot 'Screen' print wonderful? You'll be seeing that Screen print in upcoming projects as I treated myself to several colorways. Anyway, the pleated pouch is one I'll definitely be making again.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Reporting In On Living Coral

So I've been plugging along on my Pantone Quilt Challenge project, and I'm really liking where it's headed. I've made and added more 'tone on tone' blocks, and I think they add some needed resting spots. At first I was adding in strips of fabric to accommodate for rows that didn't match up, but I decided that wasn't the look I was after and removed them. I'm preferring to trim to fit rather than add to fit. I really love how the hourglass blocks are definitely recognizable, but every once in a while there's a random misshapen one. 

So it's growing bit by bit. I have a couple of more rows to add, and I should be able to share a quilt top soon. Already looking forward to quilting this one!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Summer Sampler 2019 :: The Fabric Pull

Yup! After all the fun of last year's Summer Sampler, I couldn't resist signing up for 2019. Hosted once again by KatieFaith, and Lee, the theme this year is Piecing Bootcamp. When I first saw that, I assumed it wouldn't be for me, but maybe better suited for beginners. But after seeing the quilt mock-up below (one of two offered), I knew I needed to join in. According to Lee, "We’ll be tackling skills ranging from half-square triangles to foundation paper piecing to curves to Y-seams. It’s great for everyone from a confident beginner to experienced quilters looking to hone their skills." Sounds good, right?

I wanted to work from stash as much as possible. As much as I love the bright colors in the sample quilt, I also have plenty of fabric I love that I want to try to use. And I really enjoyed using a mix of solids and prints last year, so that was my goal again. After much consideration, I actually ended up with a few more fabrics than required, but I just had trouble ruling things out! So for a few colors, I'll alternate between a couple of fabrics, depending on the block and of course, my whim.

The prints I chose are from a wonderful variety of Carolyn Friedlander's lines: Doe, Carkai, Friedlander, Gleaned, Polk, and Harriot. Then of course, some Kona cotton solids, Essex yarn dyeds, and one each American Made Brand and Alison Glass Kaleidoscope solid (my new favorite!). I'm going to hold off on finalizing my setting fabric, as that's months off, and I want to see my blocks together before deciding for sure. I expect it to be a very dark blue, but time will tell.

With this many fabrics, quite different from the pattern, I thought making swatch cards would be helpful. I included a pretty specific description of each fabric just for reference.

Soooo.... anyone else sewing along? There's still time to join in!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Forage Bag

With the handle of my Traverse Bag ready to fall off after months of use, I was looking for a new bag for summer, and impulsively started in on a Forage Bag last Friday night. It's a free bag pattern from Anna of Noodlehead, found on the Robert Kaufman website. I'd actually been thinking of making a different bag, and I still may, but I wanted something right away, and I had yet to decide on fabric and order zips for the other project. And for the Forage Bag, I was able to use supplies I had on hand... Maker Maker fabric which I'd been hoarding for ages - a linen/cotton blend from Sarah Golden - some black Essex yarn dyed, and a print from Carolyn Friedlander's Carkai collection for the lining. Considering I had the right size metal zipper AND the grommets on hand, it seemed like kismet.

It took me a little longer than I expected, but it was straight-forward, and I was able to finish it in one (long) evening. The construction technique is really unique, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the zipper was a super easy installation, a step that can sometimes be a bother. Of course I had to consult my own tutorial for installing the grommets [What? You thought I wrote them only for you? grin], but they went in quick and easy, for which I was grateful.

So it felt great to start and finish a project in one sewing session, use supplies totally from stash, and of course, have a new bag to use right away. Seriously, being a maker is the best, isn't it?

Linking up with Meadow Mist Design's Favorite Finish linky.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Unfolding of Living Coral

So..... with my palette and fabric all chosen for the Pantone Quilt Challenge project, I figured it was time to at least get started. I'd been perusing one of my Gwen Marston books - Free Range Triangle Quilts, coauthored by Cathy Jones - and for the nth time, stopped to admire the "Mardi Gras" hourglass quilt. That was enough to set my direction, and I'm so glad I went with it. Making improv hourglass blocks in (mostly) two sizes, for now I'm just putting them randomly up on the design wall.

I love it! But the more I admired it, the more I realized I wanted the contrasting colors to have more 'space.' So I made a bunch more 'tone on tone' (Cotton Couture Coral + Kona Nectarine) blocks to spread things out some. And I think it's an improvement!

I plan on making a few more tone on tone blocks, though I may get started sewing blocks together first, we'll see. But it's a start!

Monday, May 6, 2019

For Baby

When I wanted to make a baby quilt for a family friend recently, and I heard her primary nursery color was gray, I immediately thought back to Svetlana/s.o.t.a.k. handmade's Modern Coins quilt I had saved in my Baby Quilt Ideas pin board ages ago. My version was different, but still (I think) with the same flavor, and measured 40" x 44".

For the backing, I chose Dear Stella Pine Grove in Multi. Actually, I chose the backing first, and Kristina at Fabric Bubb was kind enough to color-match for me, and helped me select Kona White and Iron for the front.

Quilting was an uneven grid, which is always fun. The little quilt was gifted to the mama-to-be over the weekend, so all the secret sewing of late has been revealed. yay!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Begonia :: May

The excitement continues over the Seattle MQG block of the month! This month's row included three types of units: half-square triangles, diamond in a square, and rectangles. Something about it really enhanced the overall design imho.

Our hostess, Stefanie/@satterwhitequilts was really clever in front-loading the HSTs to keep the total workload fairly even each month. I'm glad, because considering the whole quilt will use 312 HSTs, it seems much more manageable to make just a portion of that amount each month, even though we won't be using a bunch until later in the year.

So this round sewed up really quickly, and my Begonia is now 36" square. Back to making more HSTs!

Mystery quilt design by Stefanie/@satterwhitequilts. Check out the #begoniaquilt hashtag to see more!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Ready or not, it's my turn to choose the prompt for Bee Sewcial. This is my fifth year with the improv bee, which continues to challenge me every month - which is a good thing! If you've missed the previous quilts I've made with Bee Sewcial, they are Mod Mood, Baconrific, Looking Up, and the most recent, Homage.

Soooo... after lots of consideration, I've chosen the theme "Modular". Think modular bookcases, furniture, buildings. According to, modular can be defined as: "composed of standardized units or sections for easy construction or flexible arrangement." I've created a pin board with inspiration photos to get my beemates thinking about possibilities. Up until now, my Bee Sewcial prompts have resulted in quite maximalistic quilts, and this time, I'd like to be a tad less so. Not that the block/s have to be minimalistic, but I'm asking my bee mates to pare down rather than get too detailed.

DIY wooden color block shelves ikea prant

Number of blocks and block size is up to the maker, keeping in mind the approximate equivalent of two-12" blocks. As far as fabric, I'd like all the 'backgrounds' of each module to be neutral - white, cream, snow, natural, etc. And the lines between each module to be quite dark - black, dark gray, dark blue, or even very dark purple such as Kona Raisin. The one exception to the above is I'd like to give each maker the option of incorporating ONE piece of coral or orange into their work - possibly a module background similar to those in the photo above - maybe somewhere else. But that's totally an option - if it feels, right, do it; if not, ignore it.

So, unlike my previous prompts with Bee Sewcial, I'm actually making a block up front. I just had an idea and I needed to see if it would work. Plus, it shows off the colors I've chosen, including the optional coral. It's about 12" big at this point, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to finish it off, but there's plenty of time for that.

Bee Sewcialites, you'll find details posted in our Flickr group. Please check in there so I know you've see this month's prompt. #inspiredbybeesewcial