Backgammon with Let’s Begin Sewing

Today we have a new guest to the Sew Ready to Play line-up! Today’s guest is Rachel from Let’s Begin Sewing! She is one of my real life quilty friends. We’ve been in the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild together for quite some time and I love what she creates, so I invited her over to play along this year and she agreed! If you haven’t been by her blog, you need to! And be sure to check out all of her amazing quilts.

This year for the first time I am participating in Sew Ready to Play with Louise from I’m Feelin Crafty. She is one of my quilty friends that I actually get to interact with in person.

I am not much into board games, but recently someone gifted me a custom made wooden Backgammon set. It is truly a work of art. Very painfully crafted with neatly polished wooden inlays. I love looking at it more than playing with it. The crisp and clean geometric pattern really gets me. This was the inspiration behind my Backgammon inspired cushion cover.

The cushion cover is foundation pieced. I modified the pattern slightly from the standard Backgammon board design using EQ7. You can download the template here. I limited the color palette to Kona Charcoal and Grass Green by Robert Kaufman. The cushion measures 13″ x 13″ and fits a standard 14″ x 14″ pillow insert.

The quilting is minimal and echoes the paper pieced pattern. For the back I used a zipper flap to cover up the zipper. I used this zipper closure tutorial by Svetlana of Sotak Handmade. It makes up for not having a matching zipper handy :) I used a 12″ zipper for this cushion.

A step really not needed but highly recommended if you plan to wash the cushion cover is to cover up the seams on the inside. I usually bind the seams with home made binding. It does not have to be pretty but goes a long way when washed as it prevents fraying.

Here are some other color options that I considered before settling on this one.

The possibilities are endless.

Leaving off with one last picture, I think it is going to look great on the couch.

Be sure to stop back by for more!

Sept 7th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 9th- Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer

Sept 11th- Ari from Max California

Sept 16th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 18th- Karly from Paisley Roots

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Narelle from Cook, Clean, Craft

Sept 25th- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 28th- Rachel from Let’s Begin Sewing

Sept 30th- Marci from Marci Girl Designs

Sports with I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Well, another scheduling update! Today I’m filling in and we’ll get back to the real schedule on Monday!


This year threw me for a loop! I couldn’t figure out what to do… Then it came to me, a sports themed quilt with circles. Then the whole ball thing came in to the picture. But what would I do with the quilt??? That’s when it totally fell into place!


I have two best friends from high school who are awesome. They both had little girls right around the same time and each of their girls got quilts from me! One even got my first ever quilt! Then one of my friends had another child, but he never got a quilt… AND I remembered that this spring they told me they were decorating his room with a sports theme! So perfect!


Now, how to make circles???? I tried a few ways and couldn’t get the right circle. Then I found a bunch of tutorials online for this freezer paper technique that is awesome! I take no credit for the technique, but it’s great! I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about it before now. In the video, the lady says people learn it and then just start making a bunch of circle quilts after learning the technique, and she’s right! I totally have a bunch of circle quilts ideas now!


First you cut a hole in the freezer paper the size you want your circle to be and iron it on the wrong side of your fabric. Then cut out a hole in the fabric.


Notch the fabric around the circle, but don’t cut all the way to the freezer paper.


Use a glue stick and glue on the freezer paper around the circle. Then fold back the fabric, over the paper, and iron it down.


Here I switched to regular school glue. Glue on the notches. Then place on your background fabric and iron in place.


Then stitch in the ditch around the circle. (Sorry, not a great picture of this step…) Then pull off the freezer paper! You can trim down the background fabric around where you stitched!

The video is great too! If you learn better from videos, it’s a good one!


For each of the balls, I printed the image of the ball and traced it with this tool to leave the indentation of the shape on the fabric.




For both the tennis ball and the basketball, I just used an applique stitch along the lines of the white and brown of the balls. I also added freezer paper to the back of the fabric to help secure the fabric from bunching!


The baseball was an easy one! Just a little red fancy stitch on some white fabric and your good!


The soccer ball was the most time consuming of them all! I did a little english paper piecing for this one.


And last, but not least… The bowling ball! For this one I used the same technique as above for the larger circles, but I topstitched it instead!


Then I quilted it with pretty tight stitching to give the illusion of movement! and I think it worked!  I also love the ghosting of the ball on the back.



I’m hoping the new owner will love it as much as I do!





Checkers Quilt with Busy Being Jennifer

Today’s guest is Jennifer, from Busy Being Jennifer! And she is one busy lady! You’ll have to check out her blog to see all the fun things she’s up to! She has so many fun things, I wasn’t sure what to expect from her for the series. We met through our do.Good Stitches Circle, so to see a quilty project is no surprise! I love it! Take a look…..

Helloooooo Sew Ready to Play Friends! I’m Jennifer, the crafty, sometimes blonde mind behind and I’m so happy to be here today!

Sewing is pretty much my favorite thing! Well right after coffee, my puppy and the husband (in no particular order of course ;) )

When Louise asked me to be a part of her Sew Ready to Play series, I jumped at the chance… and then had the hardest darn time coming up with an idea! I was too busy reading and crafting as a kid to really be interested in many games. I remember playing card games with my grandparents, and then I remembered how much I loved to play checkers with my Nana! And then I knew exactly what I wanted to make!

Button Checkers and Fabric Board 1

This Quilted Fabric Checkerboard project came to me in an instant! And playing with large buttons just seemed to be the perfect touch!

Here’s what you need to make your own Quilted Fabric and Button Checkers Game!

8 low volume fabrics

8 contrasting color fabrics (I went with my fav Teals & Aquas)
Quilt Batting

Backing fabric

Rulers, cutting mat & rotary cutter

Sewing Machine and coordinating thread
Pinking shears

12 Large Buttons in 2 different colors.

Making the Fabric Checkerboard

Step 1: Cut 1 8.5 x 2 inch strip from each of the 16 fabrics. Sew 4 strips together, alternating LV and Colors (as shown). Iron seams flat.

Step 2: Cut the sew together strips into 4  2 inch wide sections. Mix and match and sew the strips together in groups of 4 to make squares. Press the seams open.

Step 3: Sew the 4 squares together to make 1 large square. (for a total of 64 “checker” squares)
Step 4: Square up your large block. Add some 1.5 inch sashing around the edge. Layer your checkerboard top over a piece of quilt batting (slightly bigger than the “board” piece) and add your backing piece (Slightly bigger than the batting piece). Quilt all three layers together.

Step 5: Square up the whole quilted piece and trim with pinking shears.

Button Checkers and Fabric Board

All that’s left to do is set up your buttons and get to playing! Have fun!!

Button Checkers and Fabric Board 3

I hope y’all liked this quick and simple sewing tutorial! I’d love it if you’d drop by and said hello!

When I’m not sewing, I’m probably blogging, chilling on Facebook, wasting time on Pinterest or sharing pics on Instagram!


Thanks Jennifer!!
Be sure to stop back by for more!

Sept 7th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 9th- Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer

Sept 11th- Ari from Max California

Sept 16th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 18th- Karly from Paisley Roots

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Narelle from Cook, Clean, Craft

Sept 25th- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 28th- Rachel from Let’s Begin Sewing

Sept 30th- Marci from Marci Girl Designs

Candy Land Quilt with A Quilter’s Table

Here we go. Season 5 of Sew Ready to Play starts today! And a big thank you to my quilty friend, Debbie, from A Quilter’s Table! Debbie and I met years ago at our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild meeting. And we’ve been friends ever since that first meeting. She’s one of the most creative and inspiring people I know. I can’t wait for you to see what she has for us today! Welcome Debbie!

It’s been a couple of years since I sewed along with Louise/I’m Feelin’ Crafty on her annual Sew Ready to Play blog hop. She’s celebrating 5 years this year, so how could I resist? I knew right off I wanted to make something based on the first board game we played with our children when they were small, and years later, the first we brought out for grandgirl – Candy Land! Couldn’t resist making a small quilted play mat reminiscent of the game board.

Supplies needed for quilt top (40″x38″):
2 yards background fabric
solid scraps

Cut 2″ squares from your colored scraps. I chose the colors of every third or so square on my game board, but feel free to personalize by adding more or less. I used: 7 red, 7 orange, 1 pink, 5 green, 4 blue, 6 yellow, 4 purple – 34 total.

Trim squares on both sides to make them ‘tumbler’ shapes. I didn’t measure, as I wanted more of an improv look. I also stacked several squares before cutting, which made quick work of it.
Cut a few strips of background fabric, 1 1/2″ wide, then into 3″ and 4 1/2″ sections, cutting more strips as you need them. Sew 3″ pieces to each side of a tumbler and press. You could easily strip piece if you prefer.
Trim top and bottom even with tumbler.
Sew 4 1/2″ strips to top and bottom, and press. Repeat for remaining tumblers.
Trim each block to 2 1/2″, being sure to leave at least 1/4″ on all sides of the colored tumbler. I trimmed some ‘straight.’
And I angled some to match the curves on the game board.
Now cut 355 – 2 1/2″ squares from your background fabric.
Piece your blocks into rows, then your rows into a quilt top!


Now it’s time to baste and quilt as desired! I followed the path from the Candy Land board, then filled in around it, finishing my quilt mat off with a sweet candy cane-edged border.
Thanks, Louise, for inviting me to sew and play again! I’ve had fun reminiscing and grandgirl even enjoyed playing a round of Candy Land on the play mat! Tomorrow I’ll post about all the fabric and technique details over at A Quilter’s Table. Join me there then, or any time, if you enjoy quilting, other random sewing, and a bit of table talk. If you’re on Instagram, you can find me at #aquilterstable. Hope to see you around!
Thanks Debbie!!
Be sure to stop back by for more!

Sept 7th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 9th- Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer

Sept 11th- Ari from Max California

Sept 16th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 18th- Karly from Paisley Roots

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Narelle from Cook, Clean, Craft

Sept 25th- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 28th- Rachel from Let’s Begin Sewing

Sept 30th- Marci from Marci Girl Designs

The Beach Quilt

I finally got another quilt finished and photographed!


My friend Monica, from West Seattle Fabrics, sponsors our Giveaway Days and sometimes I get a fat quarter bundle as well! Last fall the bundle included fabrics from her Beach Bum shop. I didn’t know what to do with it at first. I’d never made a quilt from a fat quarter bundle before, so what to do?


Then it hit me! The blue is like water…. The jellyfish are underwater…. So those became the beach and the waves!


And the bright colors reminded me of the beach umbrellas!


So put it all together and a beach scene is what you get! But I like the modern feel of the beach scene. I’ve had some friends not see the beach scene and some do! Perfect! It’s graphic and ‘scene-y’ at the same time! I don’t want it to scream BEACH! I want it to be an abstract representation of the beach.


We don’t have the bright white sand and bright beach umbrellas lining the beaches here in Seattle, but it does remind me of warmer beachy climates like back home!


The back is nice and bright! I used the rest of my fat quarters on the back and added the stripes and bright teal solids.


For the quilting I used a nice wavy stitch pattern. My machine doesn’t have this stitch pattern, but my machine is in the shop. Again, my friends at West Seattle Fabrics gave me a loaner while my baby is being repaired. As much as I hate not having mine, it was perfect timing to get to quilt this one with this stitch I wanted to use!



I struggled with the binding! I really wanted to use my friend Debbie’s matched binding technique, but decided it would be a bit much to attempt for my first time using her fancy binding style! So I decided to pull a color that matched both the ‘umbrellas’ and the jellyfish. And I think it turned out just right!


I’m debating, publish a pattern of the quilt? Or just enjoy it? I’m going to enjoy it, no doubt! It’s a really simple pattern, so I keep thinking I should share! And as for the fat quarter bundle, well, I used it all! I did have to supplement it for the sand. And for the sand I used an array of creams.

For the fabric patterns, see the post here.

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

Another do.Good Stitches Finished Quilt

Our group finished another one! This one was designed and finished by Kat of Kat and Cat Quilts.

do. Good Stitches May

Kat calls this quilt Hot and Cold! Get it? Do you see the pattern? A minute ago I took a look and didn’t see the pattern, but every other time the Hot and Cold, red and greens/blues is all I see! I love the spiral effect color can play!


Now when you look at just mine hanging out on their own, you can’t miss the pattern! I used solids for the green and blue and prints for the reds and yellows side!



You can get the tutorial for making these blocks over on Kat’s blog, here. It is so simple! I think this one took longer to find the fabric than to sew the fabric together into blocks!

do. Good Stitches May

I like how she used the free motion quilting to further emphasis the Hot and Cold pattern!

do. Good Stitches May

Our group has decided to switch charities. Kat has started a charity in her area for terminal ill patients and thier family. Be sure to learn more about Covered in Love!


Notebook Cover Swap at the PNW MQG Meetup!

This last weekend, my modern quilt guild, the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild, hosted a great meetup for all the ‘local’ chapters! We had a blast! It was like a mini retreat hanging in town with my quilting buddies. There was a picnic, a mixer, a shop hop, and an all day sew-in. The sew-in was my favorite!


Oh, and there was a notebook swap!

I totally did not read the directions and didn’t realize we were supposed to quilt it! OOPS! I thought about quilting it, but didn’t want to add batting. I even had the quilting design figured out in my head. But why I didn’t think about quilting without the batting I don’t know! I can only say, maybe I was too tired to ave been sewing that night!


I started out with a block I had made for my Technicolor Galaxy quilt. I made it for the quilt and then decided to go in a different direction, so I saved it. Then decided it would be great for the notebook cover!



Added a couple more curves that go across the front and back in fold over into the insides of the cover. I love Debbie’s notebook covers, so I went to use her tutorial, only to find out that she uses Rachel’s tutorial! Super easy!


At the swap, I was super nervous about who would get my unquilted cover… And then actually, my friend Rachel, ended up with mine! She says she actually prefers them not quilted. Perfect! I’m hoping she wasn’t just being nice!


And then I got mine! LOVE IT! And it is actually quilted! As you may have noticed above… I do like those flying geese!


And how can you not love little bitty flying geese????

And the super cool button closure! My son saw this one and immediately asked for one of his own! So, just wait for Christmas everyone, I think I might have some ideas….


The meetup was such fun! We had a great table with Debbie, Rachel, Rachel and Becca!


It took all day but I finished three paper piecing blocks for my Nurture circle of do Good Stitches! Ok, so I guess it didn’t take all day. We did take breaks for a little pop-up shop action with Island Quilter and some food. And dinner was quite a learning experience. Waiting for an hour and half for dumplings! And being amazed at how many other people waited that long too!! They were worth the wait, thank you Rachel!


And who doesn’t love a big bag of swag!!

Thanks SMQG!


The Inside Out Pineapple- Out and About!

Not long ago I was contacted by the Gulf States Quilting Guild contacted me for permission to use my Inside Out Pineapple block to demo paper piecing at one of their meetings! Honored, I, of course, agreed!


Look how happy she looks with that awesome block!!



I was so excited to see the pictures from their meeting, that I asked to share them here. I am so happy to see smiling faces with their blocks! But…. I was told that they weren’t all smiling the whole way through! Some had experience with paper piecing, others did not. And paper piecing does take some getting used to! But at least they were happy in the end!


You know me, I do mostly solids… So it was really cool to see the block all put together with prints. It looks great both ways!


I had no idea how much response I would get from this block! It’s been crazy! If only I had charged a dollar for the pattern, I’d be rich! Just kidding! kinda…. I love it, but just am floored by how much everyone else does too! You can download the pattern here. I have a quilt coming up using this pattern that I can’t wait to finish and share!

March do.Good Stitches Quilt

We’ve got another one! Another group effort by the Nurture Circle of do.Good Stitches!


This quilt was coordinated by our quilter, Dhia of The Peach Patch. This month she chose to have us do a Triple Irish Chain and even wrote up a tutorial so we’d all get it right!


We each did two blocks for the quilt.


One block was the white center pieces. Super easy!


The second block was a little bit more time consuming! Not harder necessarily, just more pieces equals more time! I made mine the same way I made Low Volume, Bright Contrast Crosses quilt blocks!


I’m very impressed with how all the blocks blend together perfectly! I don’t know that if I saw this in person, I’d think that 10 people worked on it!! Way to go Dhia! Thanks for another great quilt!

Free Motion Quilting Class!

This weekend we had the opportunity to take a class with Christina Cameli to learn free motion quilting thanks to our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild!



One of the supplies for class was to have her book, First Steps to Free Motion Quilting. I got it from the library and was just going to bring that. But after reading it, I decided it was worth actually having in my own library! It has a nice instructions, quilting pattern ideas and fun projects to make to try out FMQ with.


And look what I did!

I don’t have my machine. (It’s a sad story, but I’m hoping there will be a happy ending…) So I had loaner machine. It’s a good machine, but wasn’t exactly what I wanted for the class. And since I didn’t have my own machine, I didn’t have my quilting table. And not to mention FMQ isn’t something you’re just perfect at the first time you do it…. So when my friend Debbie came over and asked how I was doing, I pouted and replied, ‘I LOVE my straight line quilting more than ever!’


But not much longer, I was happy again and excited with this whole free motion quilting thing!



Everyone was doing great! And there was quite a bit of laughing going on! Especially when some of us cut off our quilting gloves, but then there was one who cut off the wrong finger tips…. I won’t name any names (our fearless leader), but she knows who she is….


Between practicing, we’d have shorty lessons building on what we had already leanred!



Christina would give a little lesson which typically included doodling and then a little sewing. I love to doodle when I’m in meetings, because it actually helps me concentrate on what is being said. If I don’t doodle, I have a habit of starting to day dream. So, now I’ll probably be doodling quilting patterns! CHristina did a second book full of quilting patterns and said doodling all the time to prepare for the book, helped her quilting! So I’m in!


It was so mesmerizing watching her quilt!! I love this asterisk pattern in her samples! And she has a tutorial on her blog about this one! I need to spend more time looking at her tutorials.


One thing I love about classes, is seeing the teacher’s samples. And Christina brought some amazing pieces! But what she brought that inspired me the most, was one of her original free motion quilted quilts! The top left is one of her firsts! It’s amazing to see where she started and where she is now. Which means I can get better, too!


And I love her pebble pillow! Perfect project to practice with! What a fun day being with great people and friends and sewing! And learning something new!





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