A New Mini Quilt!

OK, so the story behind this one is one of those ‘No Way! Everything is just falling into place!’ kinda story!


First a little background…. Way back when I first started sewing things to sell, I sold pillows, purses and my ghostie dolls. Then I added little baby blankets. Everything except the ghostie dolls were embellished with freehand machine stitching of my own designs. In hind sight the baby blankets were technically my first ‘quilting’ projects! I ‘drew’ bunnies and giraffes and funny little birds on them.


Note the horrible photography! No wonder they never sold on etsy! Wow! They were cute, but bad pictures!

OK, quick look away at the next picture!


And back to my story…. I was recently contacted by a lady who bought a couple of the blankets for friends and is now due (any day now) to have her own baby and they wanted one of my blankets! How flattering is that??? I loved it! But I did ask her if she would mind if I did something a little different than just the two blocks of fabric and she was on board! Her only requests were the particular dotty fabric (which I had JUST enough left over from back in the day when I was using it on other baby blankets), a light blue and giraffes!


So I designed a few options and decided to go with this one, which happens to be a Square in a Square in a Square… Which also happens to be the first quilting challenge in this season of Project Quilting! I was debating doing Project Quilting this year. Last year I had a great time with my Row Row Row Your Boat quilt and the Where I’m From Quilt and all the others…. But this year I think I want to try my hand at playing along with Project Run and Play… But of course I was leaving my options open for both… Then when I read what the first Project Quilting challenge was, I literally almost jumped up and down!


See everything keeps falling together PERFECTLY!

So I’m calling this one 1 Square, 2 Square, Dot Square, Blue Square!


I actually love how the back turned out. Just fleece. But I love the simplicity of the blue fleece and the blue squares!


So what about you? Working on any new projects yet this year? Participating in Project Quilting or Project Run and Play?? Let me know!


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Project Quilting- Challenge 6- Zig Zag

OK, this was another challenge that stumped me… not the zig zag part. I’ve got that figured out… The background of my Tool quilt was technically a zigzag quilt… But this is that part that stumped me, ‘Your challenge is to go beyond the basic zigzag quilt.’

I looked online at images of zig zag quilts and there are actually quite a few different ones. But then I thought about the quilts I’m obsessing about now…. The Gee’s Bend quilts! They are beautiful and it’s these quilts that got me into quilting in the first place! I used two inspirations from the Gee’s Bend Quilts, ….

The first one is a ‘Bricklayer’ pattern by Qunnie Pettway. The second two images show the little triangle areas that inspired my ‘zig zag’. These two are ‘strips and strings’ quilts by Mary Lee Bendolph. Both images come from the book Gee’s Bend The Architecture of the Quilt.  Well, I have to say, trying to make a quilt look as fantastic as these Gee’s Bend quilts are is not an easy task! This one that I did is growing on me, but it’s definitely a far cry from the magnificent Gee’s Bend-esgue look I was going for!

This is another purely scrap quilt. My idea was to not measure anything. just sew and trim as I went along. But as I was nosing through my scrap baskets I found a lot of already cut strips that I decided to you ahead and use!

If you’ve noticed… I’m a bit shy with my quilting. Typically I do the ‘Stitch in the Ditch’ technique, so all my stitches are in the folds between the pieces of fabric. But this time, I wanted to stay as far away from the ditch! And that I did! I let the ‘zig zag produce the quilting pattern.

I sketched out my design and asked my husband if he thought it was a zig zag and he shook his NO! But despite his opinion, I went with it anyway. He still is saying it’s not a zig zag, but to me, it’s my interpretation of  a ‘zig zag’ and I think it works. Actually, my husband really likes it, he’s just not real sure about the ‘zig zag’ meeting the rules of the quilting challenge!

And for the back I decided to do another experiment. Remember the other day when I showed the ways I hang my little quilts? Well, I had done this triangle corner technique on a little tiny one, but wasn’t sure if it would work no a larger size. So, I thought why not give it a try… And it hangs beautifully!

And that’s the end of Project Quilting…. Not the end of mini quilts for me, but it’s our last challenge for Project Quilting. And I’m bummed. I had such a great time doing this. I’m so glad that I did. I got to try out a lot of different things and design quilts that I might not have done if I hadn’t joined in. I can’t wait for the next round!!


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Ways to Hang Mini Quilts…

Since starting my adventure with Project Quilting, I’ve made the most mini quilts I’ve ever made… Ok, this was actually the first time I’ve ever made any mini quilts! I’ve always wanted to, but that was another thing on my To Do List. This has been so much fun!

But what am I going to do with them??? That’s what I’m not quite sure of… But I did figure that more than likely they will be hanging on a wall somewhere. so I experimented with different ways to hang them…

My first Project Quilting quilt, I didn’t actually do anything to hang it! I hadn’t thought the whole thing through yet… But I had started thinking more about it by the Second Challenge. For this one I made took a strip about 1.5 inches wide and almost the length of the quilt. Put a little hem on the ends, folded it over and then secured it in under the binding.

But when I hung it on the wall, the quilt rolled and the hanging piece shows over the top of the quilt….

So then we moved on to Challenge 3. Since this one was so small, I tried the triangle in the corner approach!

And I like it! It hangs well, but I’m not sure that it would work for any quilts much larger than this one.

For Challenge 4, I made this quilt to be shown either side, so again I didn’t experiment with hanging styles. I’m sure there’s a way to display a quilt from the front and back, but I don’t know what it is.  I mean you could use clips, but I don’t know how to incorporate it into the quilt…

The third times a charm they say, right?? For my Challenge 5 quilt, I tried yet another technique. My third technique… And so far it’s my favorite!  Like the first hanging technique, I cut a piece of fabric almost the length of the quilt and hemmed the ends. The difference with this one is that I sewed down one side with the first line of quilting. (So it works with the quilting pattern, but it might not work with all quilting patterns!) and then folded it over and pinned it so that the other edge of the hanging strip is sewn in under the binding.

Please excuse the binding details…. Pretend that’s a beautifully sewn corner detail!

It hangs great! You don’t see the hanging strip and it lays quite nicely!

What’s your favorite mini (or regular) quilt hanging techniques. I’m sure there’s a more detailed way to handle this decision, but I can only share what I know and this is it!

Project Quilting- Challenge 5- It’s Where I Live Castoff

Last week I showed you the Project Quilting Its Where I Live Challenge postage stamp quilt that I did. I called it ‘Rain’. This week, I made another one that I’m calling ‘Showers’. hehehe… get it? Rain Showers??? ha, I crack myself up!

Well, When I came up with that design, I also came up with this other design… My sidekicks (the husband and son) chose the umbrella one that I went with.

But I also really liked this other design…..

Then I saw Stitched In Color’s Scrap Attack Sew Along and my pile of scraps from the Rain quilt. And I thought about it and thought about it… And decided to make another little mini quilt from my scraps. I kinda miscalculated some of the colors for the rain quilt and cut a few extras…

Since I had some scraps and another design in mind, I thought why not?

Which one is your favorite? Rain or Showers?

Project Quilting- Challenge 5- It’s Where I Live

This week’s Project Quilting challenge was ‘It’s Where I Live’

Well, I live in Seattle in the Pacific Northwest that is known for the dreary wet weather. It’s also known as the Emerald City because of the lushness that we have (thanks to the rain..). And the Space Needle and the mountains and the water and all sorts of great things. But right now, I’m sick of the RAIN!! It’s also snowing like every other morning! Not much snow, but it’s still snow…. I’m ready for some warmth and real sun! My son keeps saying it is sunny. Poor kid! (He’s really a Seattle native) Yes, the snow is out, it’s just blocked by miles and miles of clouds. I want to see the actual sun! Ok, let me get on with it…

So obviously the rain is on my mind these days! So this week’s quilt is about the rain! I’m not such an umbrella kinda person. It rains too much here to deal with getting out an umbrella every time it starts raining! But my son LOVES umbrellas, so we’ve been using them a lot.

I’ve also been wanting to try a postage stamp quilt with all the little pieces, so I figured a small art quilt would be a good time to try it out. I used Oh Fransson’s tutorial on using the grid and interfacing to layout and sew together the pieces. If only I had kept reading past the part to cut open the seams…. Mine worked fine the way it was, but when I was quilting the needle didn’t run smoothly down the line. The only thing I can think of is that the fusible interfacing was kinda sticking to the needle. If I had ironed it flat like she did, I might not have had that problem… Anyway… I’m super excited about this technique. Such a time saver!

I was stressing for a few minutes about making my ironing/grid layout. But then I remembered my cutting area is actually a butcher board counter! It’s usually covered with my cutting board, so you have to forgive my bad memory! I just removed the cutting board and wahla, there’s the perfect spot for my grid and postage stamp ironing area. Yes, I did accidentally fuse a piece of interfacing to the grid! shhhh…..

The other rule for this week’s challenge was that you can only use 3 colors…

‘The color scheme for your project will be determined by where you live.  Take the first letter of your street, your city and your state.  I live on Bohling Rd, Poynette, Wisconsin.  So I have the letters B, P and W.  Now, choose colors starting with these 3 letters.  I could pick blue, pink and white.  Or boysenberry, persimmon, and wine. Or….  Choose whatever colors you like with these 3 letters.  You must use all 3 colors in your quilt.’

I live on 20th Ave S in Seattle, WA. My colors had to start with a T, S and W. I had to stretch the rules a bit on this one, so I headed over to the Crayola website and found their current color list….. The ones I choose were, Timberwolf Grey, Sky Blue and Wild Strawberry!

The other little thing I did on this one was make my own fabric design. I took pictures of my son with his umbrella and then edited them in Photoshop and printed on fabric!

It took me longer than planned, but all in all, I’m really excited about it!

Last night my son, keep in mind he’s three, was supposed to be in bed, but he came back in while I was finishing it and said, ‘I do like it, but there’s only one thing I don’t like. This right here (he was pointing to the handle of the umbrella) because the handle doesn’t really do that.’ That’s when I said, ‘Hmmm. Go back to bed!’ What a silly little stinker!

Although I didn’t quite finish this one on time, today is a very fitting day for this post. The weather outside was crazy! Woke up to snow on the ground and in the air, then rain, then sun, then dark dark clouds with hail, then snow, then sun, then dark dark clouds, then snow again (this time with accumulation), then rain. After that it was dark and I gave up on keeping up with the changes! Hope yall are having better weather than we are here!

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Project Quilting- Challenge 4- Barn Quilts

Ahhh, Barn Quilts…. You probably saw on Saturday my weekend whims post was about some really cool Barn Quilts that I had found. today is about the Barn Quilt I made… Ok, I didn’t actually make a barn Quilt, but a quilt inspired by a Barn Quilt.

I’m not a very traditional quilter and as I was looking at all the Barn Quilt photos online I was drawn to the fact that the overall majority of them are based on very traditional quilt patterns. I thought to myself that maybe this week, I wouldn’t think outside the box so much, but experiment with a traditional pattern. Then I remembered this book that my husband brought home from a yard sale one day after I started my quilting obsession. It was sweet and I kept it, but at the same time wondered why… I’m never going to make one of these quilts…. Well, I’m glad I did keep it!

I found this circle pattern that I love. Each week I keep telling myself I’m going to make a quick and easy mini quilt. And for some reason this pattern seemed to be the way to a  quick and easy  one this week. UM. No. Not quite sure why I thought that… Once I got into and realized I again, hadn’t made it easy on myself and was lamenting this with my husband. He even agreed and was like, ‘uh, yeah, it didn’t look easy to me!’ hmmmmm…..

So I’ve got my pattern picked out. now to choose the fabrics…. Again, I have this issue of always making things more complicated! I decided to make the middle pieces a ombre selection of fabrics, which meant dying my own fabric

I pieced it all together and, yep, doing the circle pieces was harder than I thought… The very last piece I did was the middle, appliqued circle. First off I did it in red…. I liked it, but there was something still not setting well with the red… Then my husband agreed. We couldn’t put our finger on it, but there was just something about the red that we weren’t loving!

So I changed the middle circle to the green and, wahla, I love it!

This is the first Project Quilting quilt that I have done anything sepcial to the back. I guess I’ve been seeing these as more of wall hangings and haven’t put thought into the backs, but this one I wanted to do a little bit more to the back (again, can’t make it easy). I used the rest of the ombre scraps on the back. The back is completely done from scraps of the front background color and ombre scraps.  Again, at first I wasn’t loving it, but then once I cut all the threads and cleaned it up a bit, I like it!

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Weekend Whims- Barn Quilts

Have you ever heard of Barn Quilts??? I had never even heard of them until last Sunday when I found out that this week’s Project Quilting challenge theme was Barn Quilts. So of course, I started looking all over the internet, making plans for one for our garage and basically thinking about them all the time! They are really beautiful!

From what I have found out is that they are a super old art form that began as a decorative piece on barns, but soon became a way finding method between farms and towns. They were primarily a Northeast barn thing that psread to the Midwest. It seems that this decorative piece missed the South and seeing as how I grew up in the south, I missed it. I’m curious though… Are they there and I’ve just never noticed? I didn’t see any online, but I’m going to keep an out next time I’m home! Anyway, I digress… eventually the Barn Quilts gave way to advertisements….

photo by Two Sprints

Like the See Rock City barns that I did grow up with!!

The Barn Quilts are now making a comeback and with them Barn Quilt Trails and tourist maps!

Some of my favorites…

1. This is one that is actually painted directly on the barn. Photo by SKnights Art Photography.

2. Not only do I love these two barn quilts by Fisher Folk Art , I alos love the picture by Barn Quilt Memories.

3. How cool is this airplane one at the Grimes Municipal Airport in Urbana, Ohio??? If my son was into airplanes, I would have made this one for this weeks challenge for sure. I might still have to give it a try!

4. Another lovely pattern, The Carpenter’s Wheel, at Cooper’s Farm, photographed by Blue Ridge Blog.

5 and 6. Two great Barn Quilts on US 60 west of Morehead, Ky, photographed by David McLane.

7. I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it on Kim’s blog! It’s outside of Elleroy, IL, and photographed by wantadog.

8. I think this last one is the same pattern as #7, a Shining Star by Prairie Patchwork, but I loved it too….


I’m sure most everyone else already knew about these awesome quilts????? Do you have one? I want one!!

Bleaching and Dyeing Fabric- Quilting Progress Post

It’s been an interesting day of fabric today…. Did you see this post about bleaching fabric at The Modern Quilting Guild blog?? It totally inspired me and I wanted to try what she had done, which was to bleach her fabrics to make ‘coordinating’ fabrics out of the same pieces! It turned out great.

Then we got the new challenge for this week for Project Quilting Week 4. Barn Quilts! Which I’ve never heard of before….. So I started looking and all the Barn quilts are solids… So I found a design that I want to try, and to make it work the way I want, I wanted a series of blues that go from dark to light…. See where I’m going…

I had the blue I wanted, so I cut the pieces and was going to try to bleaching process! I was soooo excited. I found some inspiration and was going to be able to use it all in the same week. How productive of me!!!

So here I go. I got the bleach and water set up, plopped in the fabric and waited… and waited…. and waited… Nothing. Waited some more, nothing… Thinking back to the post on bleaching, she did say some fabrics didn’t change much… Then I started looking at my bottle of bleach while I was WAITING… Maybe it had something to tell me… Some secret to bleaching fabric that I had missed. Then I noticed it said to sanitize use Regular Bleach…

Regular bleach?? Who knew? I was under the impression that bleach was bleach. Little did I know that there was regular bleach and another kind of bleach. What that other bleach really is, I have no idea….. So off to the store I went to get REGULAR bleach…..

Once again… bleach and water ready! Fabric in… And I waited… This time my son was waiting with me… So we waited and waited some more…. again, NOTHING. My son said, ‘Mom, you said the fabric was going to change. When’s it’s going to change???’ hmmmmm, good question…. We even tried the fabric in straight up bleach. No water. Nothing. Everytime I’ve ever gotten bleach on fabric, nice big white spot, right away. Now I want to bleach fabric and nothing…

So, third times a charm right… But not with bleach. I changed to going the other way. The good ole staple, RIT dye! Now I have navy blue fingernails and a nice variety of shades of blue (some are kinda purple, but that’s ok) fabric for my Barn Quilt Mini Quilt!

Project Quilting- Challenge 3- Tool Time

Man, at first I was totally stumped on last week’s challenge! Since I’m an architect, my thoughts actually headed straight to construction tools. But that wasn’t getting me anywhere, so then I started thinking about a useful ‘tool’ to hold my kiddo’s tools, like crayons and markers and paint… But still nothing…

Then a couple of people commented on my blog about, hello, sewing tools!! Ah, ha! Yes! My first thought was to use magnets to make a working ‘tool rug’ (instead of a mug rug…) to put my pins on as I sew. But then that wasn’t really coming together either and then my husband looked at my idea and said, ‘NO.’ Sooooo….

The other thing I have been wanting to try out is the chevron pattern and of course, scissors came to mind for this piece. So that’s where I started. The red chevron represents the scissors. And, um, the chevron’s aren’t all that easy to get lined up…. Just a little side note there for ya for future projects…. My husband was a lot of help on this one, actually. He helped with composition and color, which isn’t actually a surprise to anyone that knows him. And with his help the pin idea went from being a big black (and ugly, so I found out) circle to being translated in little rectangles at the bottom.

Part of the challenge was to incorporate 4 tools into the design. So I’ve already got the pins and scissors. Then came the circle shapes for the rotary knife and the ruler along the side.

But I actually have 5 tools represented. The fifth is the Bobbin Bloom. Have you seen these??? They are really cool! I don’t actually have them, but I think they are a fantastic tool. Stayed tuned for a giveaway this week!!

I tried again with the machine stitched binding and was not impressed once again. I did it correctly this time, unlike last time. The only binding I had, in a color I liked, was a thin single fold tape. I should have stopped and just made my own binding, but it was late saturday night and it’s due Sunday morning… So I went with what I had and what I thought would be quick and easy… I’m going to give it another try with better binding and let you know how it goes. Third times a charm, right???


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Project Quilting- Week 2 Challenge- Making Music

I have to admit… I’m loving this Project Quilting thing! I get almost giddy waiting for the next one! Last week’s challenge was Making Music.

Here’s the story… So I was at a play date on Sunday afternoon with my son, one of his buddies and her momma. I had left my phone in my pocket so I kept getting little buzzes for a while letting me know I was getting emails. While we were sitting there chatting, my son’s friend decided that I needed to hold on to her color coded piano music book. So I’m flipping through this on and off, not really paying attention since I was doing the mommy chatting. Then we took a snack break and I peeked at my phone. The new challenge had come!!! When I read the challenge in one hand, I looked in my other hand at the music book and knew instantaneously what my quilt was going to be!

So last week’s quilt is called Row, Row, Row Your Boat and is 34inches x 22inches. I really love how it turned out despite a few flaws. Flaws?? Is that the right word??? hmmmm… No, I think I call them lessons!

I knew I wanted to use the white for the background, but I didn’t really have any quilting weight white fabric so I used a heavier fabric. Not only was it a heavier fabric that made it a little harder to deal with, but it also was stretchy! Oops.. Somehow I didn’t think that would be an issue. Huh??

And I put the binding on backwards! oops, again… I have never tried to put the binding on and then machine stitch, in the ditch, the binding. So of course I wanted to try it. I thought it out and was concentrating and had the process in my mind all sorted out. Or so I thought… I got it sewn on the back and then realized I had done it backwards… oops. So I learned my lesson for next time!

So this won’t go into the Hall of Fame of Quilting Technique, but I’ve gotten quite a bit of great feedback on flickr and I’m super happy with it!

I can’t wait to see what the next challenge will bring!

Soooo… Can you sing it with me?

Row Row Row your boat, Gently down the stream,

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a Dream…..


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