Wishing you LOVE this Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! Yes, I’m one of those people that like to make seasonal pillows and quilts! Are you?

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I love (no pun intended) this pattern from Quiet Play. You can purchase it here. It’s a 10″ block and then I added the pink and grey borders to make it a larger pillow size.

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A good invisible zipper never gets old! At least not to me. I get so excited when I get it right!

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I had this little scrap of pink fabric with little hearts on it in my stash. I have no idea why. It’s not my style at all and I don’t know where it came from. But I’ve held on to it for a long, long time… Very confused by this, but… It’s perfect for the back of my pillow! I guess I knew I’d want it one day!

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ok, I’ll admit, we leave this one out all year. We need love all year, right???

Impossible is a Bad Word- a mini quilt

Here’s a min quilt you may recognize. I actually finished it in 2019, but again, never blogged about it. Catching up! Late is better than never! ha!

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This mini quilt was a Curated Quilts challenge for the Well Said Issue. The challenge was to incorporate a word into the quilt, literally or figuratively. I have always told my son to never say, ‘I can’t,’ without at least trying first. During Christmas time we read a book by Matt Haig, A Boy Called Christmas, and in it the word ‘Impossible’ is considered an elf swearword. The book was great, but that sentiment has stuck with me. That sentiment, combined with our family not saying ‘I can’t’, inspired this quilt.

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I absolutely loved the color pallet for this challenge! Pink, orange, teal and bright green. I could use this color scheme over and over.

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I started by piecing the letters. No plan, pretty improv. The strips of pink were all the same size and I tried to make the letters the same size. But pretty much just winged it!

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Then I sewed them together. It had to be a square, so I had to rotate the letters in a ‘circle’. And I added the border.

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Then I do that crazy thing that quilters do. I cut it into pieces and sewed it back together. I wanted the word to look shattered!

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I wanted the quilting to further enforce the idea of the word being shattered.

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I took these pictures at Jackson Lake Island near Montgomery, AL. It’s a little island where they filmed the movie Big Fish. The only inhabitants are the goats. I just loved this series of pictures and watching the goat look and me, then see the quilt and then head over to maybe take a taste of the quilt. We moved fast, so maybe he just wanted a closer look, but I wasn’t taking my chances…

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Quilts in the Wild! ha!

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Have you made a word quilt? This was my first. And even though I made it in 2019, I still love everything about it. I’ve since made another word quilt last year. Before I made this one, I didn’t think I’d ever really make a word quilt. But now I wouldn’t be surprised if I make more!

A Buffalo Cushion

This is an oldie project that I never shared, but since I’m broken and confined to elevating my broken leg, I’m pullin’ out the oldies to share!

I’m an architect and at our firm at least once a year a vendor will ask us to participate in a design fundraiser. They usually supply a piece of furniture and we have to make it something else or embellish it or something! Then we give the piece back when we’re done and they have a party and silent auction to raise money for something. For this project, I contributed my quilting skills.

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The firm I work for is called Buffalo Design, so we decided to make a Buffalo seat cushion for part of the transformation.

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This is what we started with. A plain blank white chair that’s way heavier than it looks! A co-worker drilled the holes in the back of the seat. (more to come on that…)

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The name of our firm comes from the building where the firm actually began, but our logo is an actual buffalo. Everyone has different colored business cards and we each have a few different angles of the buffalo. The colors of our business cards became the colors of our cushion.

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I sketched out how the pattern would go together and put it in CAD. Which is how I make all my paper pieced patterns!

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Then I just started paper piecing it together until I had our colorful buffalo!

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The cushion fit perfectly in the curved seat.

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My co-workers took on the yarn embellishments! I love the pattern on the front and the pompoms on the back. And again, we stuck with all the colors of our business cards.

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The great thing is, my bosses went to the party and were the high bidder on our chair! So it’s still in our office for us to enjoy! I keep saying I’m going to make the office a buffalo pillow for our couch in the waiting area, but I haven’t yet. One day soon!

Begonia Quilt Leftovers- Pillows and Potholders!

I just shared my Begonia Quilt that I finished last year and now to show you what I did with the leftovers!

To make the Begonia Quilt there was a lot (A LOT) of HST action. Too much for me to make another one. But apparently, I made a few extras without realizing it! When I finished the quilt top, I was like, ‘uh, oh… Did I forget a row or two somewhere???’ Kinda like when you take something apart and put it back together but you still have pieces left over!

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I used some of the leftover HST’s on the back of the quilt. Then I used the rest to make these two pillows.

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For the little pillow I used only HST’s. And I tried out a more detailed quilting pattern. I love how it turned out!

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And for the large pillow I made a row of HST’s with negative space around it. This one I went for a simpler quilting pattern!

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For the backs I just used a plain piece of grey. One of the grey’s from the quilt top design. For my pillow backs, I always use two pieces of fabric and then serge the edges. I feel like it gives it a more sturdy, professional feel than just one layer of quilting cotton.

And then, you know I love an invisible zipper!!

These pillows are coming in super handy now that I am pretty much stuck in my bedroom due to this stupid broken leg I have! The big one is perfect to prop me up to work on hand work projects and the small one is just right for knee exercises! Who knew how much I’d need these things!!!

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And then when I ran out of HST’s I used the other scraps! I was starting to wonder if I would ever run out of HST’s or if they were duplicating on their own…. But I still had a few extra rectangles cut and some scraps, so I made those into potholders.

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I basically made quilt as you go blocks, added the binding and then added little leather straps on the corners. Easy Peasy!

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And like the pillows, I used a solid grey for the back.

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What do you do with you quilt scraps? Usually, I just through them in the scrap bins. But I love it when I use them right away to make something else. I wish I did this more often!

Begonia Quilt- SMQG BOM 2019

My goal this year was to complete all the unfinished BOM quilts from my Modern Quilt Guild. And I did that!

Every year the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild does a Block of the Month Quilt. I haven’t started all of them, but I have done 4 of the 6 of them. I helped design the first one back in 2015. Then this year I finished the 2016 and 2017 quilts. And this one was the 2019 Quilt! And I’ve now completed all of the ones I started.

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You can see the beginning of the process here. This was a mystery quilt, so we had to pick of fabrics without any clue what it was going to look like. Satterwhite Quilts designed it, so we knew that more than likely it was going to be made out of a bunch of HST’s!

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With this one, I was really excited about my quilting design. I did a diamond shape within each HST block. They all radiate out from the center. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

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For a while I wasn’t really liking mine because the teal colors were so similar. But I ended up falling for how the orange and grey popped!

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And somehow I made WAY TOO MANY HST’s… Seriously. A lot more than I needed…. Apparently I made a miscalculation somewhere along the way. But at least I wasn’t short little blocks! So I used some on the back along with more of my left over fabrics.

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You can almost see the quilting better from the back.

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Throw on a little label!

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And it’s a wrap! I have two more finishes from this year, another BOM and another one that still needs ot be photographed and posted. Soon, very soon!

Yellow and Grey Improv Complete

This little lovely is the 2016 Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Block of the Month! Yep, 2016. It took me four years to finish it for some reason… No idea why… It wasn’t hard.

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Each month there was a different block or ‘slab’ as the designer, Matt, described it. Each month he’d give us a type of block. Since it’s improv, there weren’t many directions rather a type of block.

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One reason it probably took me longer was that I did it as QAYG (quilt as you go). Which in theory, should make it go faster, but it didn’t seem to be that way for me. When I do these as QAYG, I do it slightly differently than a traditional QAYG. I start the blocks with quilting the middle blocks on the batting. Then I combine the blocks with a 3/4″ seam allowance. then once two blocks are combined, I continue to quilt the blocks, sewing over the seam allowance. At the end I add the quilt back and sew it on by adding more quilting, including some stitch in the ditch.

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I even took my friend, Debbie’s improv class to get some blocks done. And this was back in July of 2017. I got to hang out with her, learn some improv tricks and also get some more blocks done!

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I think that center block is my favorite block in the whole quilt! I could make a couple of quilts from that layout! Right now I’m thinking Christmas placemat and a whole quilt.

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Second favorites are probably all the triangle blocks!

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And the back is made up of all the scraps, extra blocks and extra fabric left over from the front.

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One thing I’ve done this year is finish my stack of SMQG BOM quilts! I need to share the others soon!

Bama Banner

It’s Football Season!

So why not make a quilted banner? I made this one for my Dad, who is a super fan of SEC football and more specifically, Bama football…

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This was supposed to be a Christmas gift for last Christmas, but my To Do List was a little longer than I could possibly get through. It became a Father’s Day present. Which was also late! ha! But none of that matters because it made it there BEFORE football season. Yep!

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For the letters I used the paper piecing, Geometric Alphabet pattern from Quiet Play. The pattern I purchased is just capitol letters, but she has the lowercase letters as well. I made a mistake with my letters… Can you find it? I made each letter, looked at it over and over. Laid it all out. Pieced the letters together. Quilted and put on the binding. And I took pictures of it. But I didn’t notice it until I went to edit the pictures…

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Then for the elephant I altered another paper piecing pattern from Joe June and Mae. She has a ton of great animal patterns and a few elephants. This is the Standing Elephant Pattern. This one is actually has the rest of the elephant body, but I only wanted the head. And of course I had to make a few small changes. I narrowed up his trunk a little and also changed his ears a tiny bit. I think he turned out quite nice.

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For the back I used the rest of my elephant fabric stash! This was left over from the kiddo’s quilt. I also put on a little sleeve on the back using the tutorial from the Tallgrass Prairie Studio website.

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I’m loving the banner idea for mini quilts. It’s only adding a pointy end to a mini quilt, but I love it! Have you made a quilted banner?

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And how cute is this little cabin??? We stayed here this summer at Custer State Park and had an awesome time!

I Really Do Care, Do U?- Vote!

The US election is in less than a week. Have you voted? I have. And you probably know how I voted. I’m lucky enough to live in WA and I have voted by mail in ballot and my voted has been counted.

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Do you recognize this? It is definitely not an original graphic image. What’s that word the MQG likes to use?? Derivative? Yep, it’s derivative alright…. But I did make a little change, from Don’t to DO!

I was recently watching a show that mentioned how fast the news changes. One day you are on the front page, the next day, the public has moved on and won’t remember. I’ve shown this to a couple of friends who had forgotten the inspiration behind it.

Image via CNN

This image of this coat on a very important person (to some people) on her way to a very emotionally and politically heated location was seared into my memory. I will never forget this. I will never forget the statement she was making as a part of and for this administration, as it is clearly a feeling the administration has for about half of our country. This is not an administration for all.

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I have never made a politically motivated quilt. My quilting usually doesn’t make a statement. Quilting to me is a way to disconnect from the world and the heaviness that I can’t control. It’s my therapy per se! Kinda like that shirt that I love, ‘I quilt so I won’t kill people.’ That’s totally me!

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Making the letters was a little harder than I imagined it was going to be! For each one I did a version of the inset circle tutorial I have on the blog. Just not always circles! Not all of them look exactly like the jacket I was trying to recreate, but I think I got pretty close.

Another technique I used was just curved piecing.

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If you look closely, check out the quilting. It’s actually hard to see, but it does say VOTE. Our way as Americans to make change is to VOTE for those who we feel will represent us and our ideals in the law making. There seemed to be a lot of apathy in the last election, but I’m hopefully that this election year has brought out the power of the VOTE for the upcoming younger generations.

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And the back… A little play on our flag… I had this red and white striped fabric sitting on my shelf for about 10 years now, so I was so excited to use it. I took it down and it had these stains on it. I was so bummed!

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Sitting next to the striped fabric all these years was also this red and white gingham that is very Americana to me. An upcycled sheet waiting for it’s new life! It was big enough to use as a whole piece. But as I was standing there, looking at it, I looked up and saw this bright blue fabric (Cotton and Steel Freckles) with the little ‘stars’ on it, I had to throw it in there!

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I always throw in a label photo….

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A little behind the scenes, ‘Are you done yet?’ Ha!

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I had so many Halloween makes planned, but this got in the way…

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A Mini Quilt with Curves

Also known as a Curated Quilts Mini Challenge Reject!

This is an old one I made for the a Curated Quilts Mini Challenge for the Curves Issue last year. I did have a tutorial and a different quilt in the Gallery of Quilts, but my mini challenge didn’t quite make the cut!

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Also, in keeping with my projects photographed at the beach house, I thought I should get this one posted!

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I had had this idea for a quilt for a little while, so it was a fun chance to try it out. I went full on curves with the circle. Maybe they were looking more for ‘curves’ versus ‘circles’! ha! First I sewed together a piece of the white and pink fabric. Then I cut it into stripes and sew-ed in the green stripes.

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I did not succeed at getting the thin pieces of the pink fabric perfectly straight, but I think it was close enough! Then I used my inset circle tutorial to make the circles.

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I think I have mentioned this before, but I typically don’t piece the backs of my minis. I just used one of my favorite staples, Cotton and Steel Fabrics Dottie.

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My traditional label photo!

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Even though this one didn’t get picked for the magazine, I think it has some potential for a larger quilt design. What do you?

The Daily Improv

I’ve said it other years, but this is my year of cleaning out my WIPS! I’m doing a good job of it, now to get them photographed and blogged about!

This is my first quilt I finished this year! It’s not one of my oldest WIPs, but it was sitting there just waiting! All the blocks were done, they just weren’t put together…

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Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side had a one week Improv Challenge last year.  The intent was to get you started in improv. I love improv and am not new to it, but I couldn’t resist her one week challenge. Who knew it would actually over a year for it to all come together though… (well, I should have known based on my track record!)

Each day you get a prompt and make one block from that prompt.

And actually, it looks like anyone can still do it any time. Just sign up here!  Each day sends you a new prompt and it’s a great way to try something new or different with out the commitment of a long term sew along!

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I really love how it turned out!

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I think the first day was stripes. In this picture you can see my stripes block and one of the triangle blocks to the right. The top one was the paper pieced improv block challenge. I still struggle with the idea of paper piecing and improv in the same sentence. To me they don’t go together! Other people would totally disagree with me and that’s ok! So I made a couple of paper piecing patterns and went with it. We’re trying new things, right?

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This is my favorite one! The Log Cabin block! I love improv log cabin blocks. love love love! I actually made two of these!

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And curves. Another of the prompts was curves. I think I ended up with two curve blocks, too. There’s even more curves bceuase as I was squaring up the blocks, I would use those cut off pieces in other blocks areas to make the blocks ‘fit’ with each other. I love the little bits of curves here and there.

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And then the back was a big improv block in itself! As I mentioned before, I used a lot of my ‘cut off’ pieces to piece the front. I also incorporated smaller scraps to fill in the background space. I had a few smaller pieces left over for the back, but I mostly used the bigger scraps. When I was done with the back, I had just enough of this fabric pull left for the binding!

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I’m usually a straight line, one pattern all over kind of quilter. Trying new things with piecing doesn’t scare me. trying new thing with quilting does! In this one, I tried to change the quilting in different areas to reflect the improv shapes of the blocks. You can see it here on the back pretty well.

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What do you think? Are you up to the challenge? Give it a try!

The Daily Improv

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Design by me, with prompts from Amy’s Creative Side

Quilted my me

Completed in  March 2020