Ferris Wheel- A Mini Quilt

I’m currently trying to NOT start new quilts and only finish ones that I’ve started… I know. I know. Typical quilter comment… My rule is to not start anything new unless it’s a Quilt improv Studio challenge, a class, or a Curated Quilt Mini Challenge. This is one of those! This was for the Curated Quilts Mini Challenge from last fall. The theme was Paper Pieced.

I decided to go back to my stash of quilt designs from my Quilt Design a Day days. This one was from way back in 2016 I think!
I took my original design and played around with a bunch of different color ways based on the mini challenge. Obviously, I ended up with the top left color scheme. Which one is your favorite?
I made a little mistake in piecing in the beginning. I had to go back and remove one of the corner pieces of each block. The way I had put pieced them they just sat together in a square, but I was looking for the Ferris wheel effect! No biggie! I just took that corner of and pieced them back together!

I just used a solid piece on the back. It really shows the quilting. And this is how I hang my minis. I put triangles in the corners and use a wooden dowel for hanging. Super easy!


This one did not make the Mini Challenge cut to be featured in the magazine. My InsideOut Pineapple Quilt did make the cut for the full size quilt gallery, though!


It was a fun little challenge. Will I make it again? I don’t know!

A Pair of Cross Stitch Pillows

I love these pillows! They were a long time coming and Have been done for a while, but I haven’t shared them!


First I’ll share the ‘Be Silly, Be Honest, Be Kind’ one because this one took the longest. I volunteered to be a pattern tester for this pattern years ago. I learned my lesson to never volunteer to be a cross stitch pattern tester. I’m pretty slow with cross stitch, especially one that is this detailed. The pattern was great. It is by Imagine Gnats, but unfortunately, I can’t find her internet presence anymore.


When I do cross stitch, I’m typically not a fan of Aida fabric. Aida fabric is easy and I can move faster, but I don’t like the feel of it. Instead, I use quilting cotton a lot of the time. I typically line it with a layer of white fabric on this back. I then use a sticky back grid on the back of the hoop for the grid.


Once I finally finished the cross stitch, I knew I wanted to make it into a pillow and decided to do a couple of inset circles using this tutorial. For a while I had a setting on my sewing machine wrong and when I did circle quilting, the whole thing would warp like in this picture. It kinda made a bowl. But since I was making pillows it ended up giving me just the right shape for the pillow insert! Ha! Who knew!?!


The next cross stitch pattern didn’t take nearly as long! This is an Emma Congdon (aka Stitchrovia) pattern that was a free kit included with all print editions of Cross Stitch Crazy issue 242. I love her patterns! I have about 999 of her patterns in my ‘To Do’ queue!


I made this one exactly the same way as the first one. With two layers of quilting cotton and the sticky back grid. The pieced with inset circles and quilted.


For the back of both, I just used a solid piece of the same front fabric. Nothing too exciting here.


I think these might just be some of my favorite cross stitch/quilted projects!

Pontoon- A Summer Small Quilt

Last spring, I was making samples to help with the design of the SMQG‘s Quiltcon 2023 Community Outreach quilt. I made the handful of example blocks, but then still had the scraps I was working from on my table, and just kept making more improv quarter circle blocks.


I kept sewing blocks until I had enough for a small quilt.
I finished the quilt right before we went on our summer vacation. You may remember from my IG feed in August, my husband didn’t think it was a good idea to take the quilt on the trip with us, but then, on the plane, as I was still sewing on the binding, he took it from me and curled up for a nap! Part of our vacation was spent with this view. Quite lovely, IMO.

I had this great idea to quilt all the quarter circles with curves and the background of the block with straight lines. In the end it was a great idea. While I was doing the quilting, I was kicking myself! It took FOREVER for me to quilt this for the size of the quilt! ha!


In my usual style, I just my scraps to piece the back. Then filled in the top and bottom with some of my favorite stash!


The back really shows the quilting patterns.

I know I’ve already shown you the back of the quilt and this is a bad one with the safety pins still in it, but look closely…. At the background… I love this picture because you can see my kiddo falling off his raft into the water! I can hear the laughter now. I love it!

And that’s a wrap with the quilt photo shoot! Back we went to relaxing, playing and pontoon fun!

Christmas Mini Quilts, I mean Placemats

I worked on these a lot last year, but didn’t quite get them finished for Christmas.


I did get them done this year, but then didn’t have a Christmas Dinner at our house this year! O well, they are ready for next year… We did use them for breakfast, though.


This first one was inspired by a quilt in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine Issue 66. I had bookmarked this issue becuase there is also a Christmas Quilt in it with very cute Christmas themed blocks. I ended up going a not so literal Christmas route on my placemats and didn’t use those blocks. But this block is from the Festive Flocks quilt design by Caroline Hadley.


I love Unicornharts Patterns! I made her Crimbo pillow last year and love it! The tall tree is using her Rocking Around Tree foundation paper piecing pattern. Then the smaller one I used her pattern again, but took out the center piece of triangles.


I kinda got obsessed with this pattern last year! I made this Christmas Wreath quilt pattern by WifeMade twice last year. This is meant to be a circular mini quilt, but I made it a rectangle placemat!


Ok, for this one, I have to admit, I forget where the inspiration came from! But I love the vintage ornament feel of this pattern.


Then I started getting a little more improv with my placemats. For this one I used all the leftover triangles.

For this one, I started with little white squares and used scraps on two of the corners of each block. For the edges, I used more triangle scraps.

This one started with two leftover blocks from my 2018 Christmas Quilt. This one used mostly improv 9 patch blocks. I put them together kinda similar to the process above. For the quilt, I started with a more traditional 9 patch, but improving it, I got as close to a 9 patch as I could. Then I sliced it in thirds and flipped the pieces around and sewed them back together again!


And for my last one in the set of 8 placemats, I decided to go with different sized flying geese!


I forgot to take a picture of the back of these placemats! They ae all the same purple Cotton and Steel snowflake fabric. And I made one love roll of binding for the whole set and went to work!

Even if we didn’t get to use them for Christmas dinner this year, they still looked great on the table around the baked goods! I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday this year!

Santa’s Helpers Christmas Quilt

It’s almost the big day!!! And I have an adorable quilt finish to share for the holidays!

As much as I love designing my own quilts, I am a huge fan of the super cutesy patterns by Corinne Sovey. This is her Santa’s Helpers quilt. It was a Block of the Month quilt along, but of course, I didn’t keep up with that… But I made it all the same.

I think one of the things that make her quilts so adorable are the big round eyes. I don’t think it hit me that they were applique when I first purchased the pattern. Luckily, I’ve become much more comfortable with applique these days and actually enjoy it now. But I don’t like to turn the edges as I go. I like to just applique with the edges already ironed under. I do this different ways. Sometimes I just use cardstock in the right shape. But this time I tried the Applipops!


The applipops use two metal circles to give you a perfect circle piece to applique! It worked perfectly for this quilt!


I followed the directions on almost all of the blocks except the gingerbread man. It also was about my applique concerns. I’m not good at inside corners. They make me nervous! The pattern calls for the whole gingerbread man to be one piece of applique. I divided it into four pieces, the head, the body and the two legs. I added the white stripes. I pieced the body, but appliqued the hands. I appliqued the head and the legs onto their background fabrics then pieced them all together.


This was my first time quilting with wool batting. I had a heard a rumor that it doesn’t crease at folds like the cotton batting does so I wanted to give it a try. It was a little nerve wracking, but in the end, it all came together. I mark my quilting lines with one of these purple marking tools, Dritz Smooth Tracing Wheel. During the quilting on thsi quilt, I had to take a moment to say goodbye to this one! It was a sweet and short farewell. Luckily I had anotehr one on hand to keep going!


This penguin is one of my favorite blocks! The thing I do like about this pattern is most of the blocks would make fun pillows, too!


For the back, I used a lot of the larger scraps from the front and made a log cabin back. It feels very preppy to me for some reason!


We’ve had this on the bed since before Thanksgiving. I usually don’t like to bust out Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I did with this fun quilt! Hope everyone is ready for Christmas and able to relax with loved ones today!

Quiltober- A Halloween Sew Along

It’s time for Christmas sewing and I’m all in, but I’m back tracking a little to Halloween. This year I started two projects with the intent that they would both be blocks for Halloween placemats. Neither project turned into placemats. The blocks from both the sew alongs became mini quilts.


This project all started with a scrap of Halloween fabric! I traded my quilty neighbor friend some Halloween fabric. I almost didn’t take these scraps, but I’m really glad that I did. I just happened to all the coordinating fabric, so I knew it was meant to be!


Nicholas Ball from Quilts From The Attic was hosting a Quiltober Sew Along and I thought it would be fun to play along! Every couple of days he’d post a new prompt. Some were much harder to come up with than others. the prompts were:














Can you find all the blocks in my Quilt???


Crooked and Spiky. Crooked was the first block. This one I just made a block with crooked lines in the block. Spiky is just improv spiky triangles!


Buried…. The ghost is buried beneath the log cabin block and tombstone.


Moon. I had this block in mind, but my idea was to do inset circles like I’ve done over and over. Instead I tried to follow the Rings improv method from Nicholas’s book, Inspiring Improv. I did not follow directions very well and made it way more work than it should have been. But I liked the end product, so I finished it and moved on!


Spell and Tome. For spell I made a magic wand with the spell flying off the wand! Channeling my inner Harry Potter!

Tome. First, I admit, I had to look up the word! A tome is a book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one! I started this one with a flat open book. I didn’t like that so I folded it at an angle and made it not quite so flat. Much better! I also wanted it to look like spells were coming out of it, but I tried a couple of different ways to make it work and I didn’t like any of them. It ended up just the book!


Bones and Shadow. The bones blocks came from a sketch I had done eariler this year based on my legs bones that I broke last year. I really want to make a full quilt of this!

Shadow. I had all sorts of ideas for this one, but I ended up with this image. When you see someone standing in a doorway, lit from behind, you usually see a shadow on the floor. But do you see a ghost’s shadow? So this is kinda a Non Shadow kinda Shadow block.


Teeth, Carve and Runes. First came the teeth block. I could not figure out the carve block for a while. I didn’t want to go the knife route, but I couldn’t figure out what else to do. Then it hit me, what do I carve on Halloween??? A pumpkin! So the teeth became part of the Carved pumpkin. I was going to get more literal and make it the shape of a pumpkin, but decided not to go the literal route!

I was totally just going to skip the Runes prompt. Until my friend Debbie shared the link to the Viking Runes translator from the PBS website. I spelled out BOO. Pretty legible translation!


Mummy. Not exactly what I had planned, but it’s all made from scraps from the Spiky block!


Witch. For the witch prompt I made witch hats. I made a few small witch hat blocks. I also ended up making some more bones blocks and sewing scraps to fill in the blanks to make the quilt top.


The back is a bit simpler than I’m usually do. I used most of my scraps on the front, so they didn’t make it to the back! I did have fun improv quilting this quilt with a spider web design. You can see it really well on the back!


It was really nice of my very, very skinny friend to hold the quilt for me!


I am still following the hashtag for Quiltober and I can’t wait to see everyone else’s finished quilts as well! This was a fun exercise! I’m glad I was able to get my done before the friends on my porch left for the season.

Crossroads and Intersections- A Mini Quilt Pair

Or is it a diptych? I’m not sure it’s quite a diptych. I think it’s more of a pair! I made the pair for the Curated Quilts challenge for their Negative Space Mini Quilt Challenge. Other than the colors, the design direction was described as: ‘Please use gap as inspiration for your negative space mini quilt design.’

The mini quilt on the right was the initial design for the challenge. The original design came from a Quilt Design a Day sketch I had done ages ago. With Crossroads, I was exploring the idea of negative space and what happens when the positive space comes together, ever so gently, to squeeze out the negative space. The space that resulted in this experiment was the X shape that is separated by the light blue background.


To me, this mini quilt, Crossroads, fits the design challenge with the gap (or the negative space) created by angled pieces. Apparently, Curated Quilts did not agree, becuase it was not juried into the Mini Quilts Gallery! Or maybe that’s not true. Maybe they did see how it met the challenge they just thought others met the challenge more. I’ll go with that!


To make these angled stripes, I made long straight stripes and folded them, then stitched down the center of my fold. I did end up with a couple of Y seams, but they weren’t too bad!


And if you know me very well, I always like to make a second quilt out of my scraps. And that’s what this second mini quilt, Intersection, is. once I trimmed Crossroads, both the in the middle and on the edges, I was left with the these really cool triangles of scraps. The only thing I could do was sew them together!


I did submit this one to the mini challenge as well. I was thinking there is a bit of negative space in this one. Not so much a gap, but yes to the negative space. Unfortunately, this one didn’t make the cut either!


The backs aren’t all that exciting, but they match! Keeping the pair thing going here.


Even though neither of my minis made it into the magazine, I really love them. And that’s what matters, right?

Transparency Mini

Back in March, I took a class about Color Transparency with Caroline Oneto hosted by the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. I almost didn’t take it, thinking I have a fine sense of color. It was a really good class!


The directions were to get 5 colors and a neutral. Which I did. As I was laying them out, I realized that the neutral just stood out like a sore thumb. I realized I wanted all color, no neutrals! And I’m glad I did. The idea is to pick two different shade colors, then a third color that would be the color the first two would make if combined together. I’m not sure that’s exactly how she described it, but it’s my thought process!


We learned about some color theory, but she also gave some really good tips about sewing curves and putting curves together. You can even take her class online on your own time, here.


The other aspect of this quilt that I wanted to play with was matched binding for the whole quilt. And since it is a mini, that was not a huge commitment. It was a fun exercise to make it all line up.


The back, of course, doesn’t have a matched binding. But it made completely of scraps from the front of the quilt. And I love how it turned out. this little detail is my favorite bit of scraps coming together to make a great shape!


My traditional shot of my label!


What do you think? Do you want to make one? Caroline is putting together a digital quilt on IG with all the class pieces. Check out her Instagram and add your own! Can you see mine?

Sunny Sunglasses Case

It’s Labor Day here in the US, which means the summer is coming to a close. It rained a little bit this weekend and I realized I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer! It’s nice and sunny today though!


I started this back in 2021 when I was bed ridden with a broken leg, dreaming of being outside in the sun! This pattern is from Cross Stitcher magazine, issue 333. This issue has a few summer projects I’d love to make. This was a fun and relatively quick project for me to do.


The project in the magazine was a sunglasses case, but it was just open on one end. I wanted to use the flex frames that my friend Debbie had shared with me. These are the ones that you squeeze the ends of the frame and it opens. I used this tutorial by Betz White on you tube to learn exactly how to use the flex frames. Pretty simple!


On the inside I used a bright orange quilting cotton fabric. For the back and ends, I just happened to have this blue lined on hand and it matched the colors on the front perfectly! Linen seems perfect for a summery, sunglasses case to me!


I hope everyone is having a great weekend (long one here in the US) and soaking up some sun before it starts to fade away!

Over The River

Over The River is a quilt that was started in 2015! Yep, 7 years ago! I started it, only liked half of it, then put it in a box to get back to… I finally got back to it!


Back in 2015, the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild hosted a class with Sherri Lynn Wood when her book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters first came out. The class was called, Improvisational Patchwork Doodling. Sherri describes this doodling as a playful yet challenging approach to improvisational patchwork.

From the SMQG website: Letting go of expectations, plans or a preconceived outcome, participants will practice building patterns with simple shapes and negative space, while learning basic improvisational sewing techniques. It is a flowing YES, AND “drawing” that accepts and builds on what comes immediately before. Like a doodle it is not planned nor is it random – it’s responsive… and plenty of fun!


After sewing we stopped and put all of our work on the floor and we discussed almost every piece. If only I could remember what Sherri said about mine!


This is what I ended up with after the class! I loved the left side with the improv simple shapes and negative space. The right side I just didn’t like. at. all. So I just boxed it up. I did think about it over the years… But never enough to figure out how to finish it.


Fast Forward to 2022 and I ended up taking another class with Sherri via zoom. This class was called Narrative Mashup: Maximalism! It was suggested to gather orphan blocks to mash up. I pulled out my original Sherri quilt pieces with my stash of orphan blocks. I don’t have many orphan blocks because I typically use orphan blocks on the backs of my quilts or use them to make a second quilt!


NOT MY WORK and I don’t know who to give credit to. If you do, please let me know!

Sherri shared this image of a quilt showing a historic example of a maximalist mashup! I love this. can I recreate something like this? I don’t think so! I tried….


During class we came up with five ‘materials’ to tie the blocks together. Our three materials were not really ‘materials’ per se, but design elements. We voted for stripes, blue/purples, 3 colors, rhythm and sowing the seeds. I added blue, green and white stripes. I didn’t follow through with the sowing the seeds aspect!

And I tried to mashup all my orphan blocks with the new design elements and I just didn’t feel it. I felt like maybe maximal mashup’s might not be my thing! ha! But I gave it a good try!

After the class we showed our work and I told my story. I showed the group what I started with and almost everyone agreed that they liked what I left class with in 2015! WHAT??? All these years I could have been finished with it??? But it’s really about me, right? And what I want my quilt to be, right?


So I took out most of the mash up and ended up with this almost finished quilt…..


I made a couple more changes… And finished it! And I like it!


I always loved the triangles! But on thier own, they seemed like they needed something else. So I think the added stripes really is what this little quilt needed, even if it took 7 years and interesting learning process! And you may be able to see that the original right side that I didn’t like, ended up on the back!

And funny thing is that my label totally ended up on the wrong side! I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, but oh well!


All in all, I actually really like it. And I really enjoyed the process it took to get here. Do you have a quilt with an extremely long process???