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Finished Quilts

2013 Recap


I thought it would be fun to look back over my finishes in 2013… and then realized that most of my sewing career took place in 2013. Oh well, it’s still fun to look how far I’ve come!

Finished Quilts Collage 2013

Pictured left to right: Good Fortune Quilt, Seascapes Coin Quilt, Good Fortune Pillow, Hipster baby quilt, Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt, Autumn Tumblers, Pocket Full of Posies Mini Quilt, Summer Solstice Quilt

This year I finished my first twin-sized quilt, and was lucky enough to have it featured in Kate Spain’s newsletter. I think that was my quilty-highlight of the year, and yes, I definitely still dork out when I think back on it.

I made my second coin quilt, and a rainbow jellyroll quilt. There was also a hipster baby quilt, a tumbler quilt, and a throw pillow added in for good measure. The rainbow quilt is still my favorite quilt to date, it is so cheery and happy.

I had fun learning some new FMQ designs, and then dove in to the most difficult thing  I’ve ever made — my Summer Solstice quilt for my sister and brother in law’s wedding. To do that, I learned all about paper piecing, limited myself to solids for the first time, and managed to finish the quilt top *just* before the New Year. That quilt top is the achievement that I’m most proud of this year. I definitely pushed my boundaries, learned a lot, and became a better sewist.

2013 Toys Collage

Pictured left to right: Henrietta Hippo, Momo Hippo, Poppet the wombat, Grammy’s Wombat, Grandma’s Pony, Fred the Dragon, Fenwick the Fox, Pink Elephant (name TBD), and Miss Mousey.

I also started making toys in April of 2013… which lead me to make *a lot* more toys. Honestly, the toy-making got a little out of control. But, hey, all the toys went to good homes where they are loved by children (or in some cases) adults 🙂

And lastly, there were a few miscellaneous projects: an avalanche of zippered pouches, some doll clothes,  a couple drawstring bags, a very special flag, a halloween cloak, and a pair of adorable baby booties. Even though most of these projects were spontaneous, they taught me a lot. Definitely a good way to expand your sewing horizons!

2013 Misc Collage

Pictured left to right: QaYG Zip pouches, simple zipper bags, waldorf dress, drawstring bags, To Boston with Love Project, Wool cloak with velvet-lined hood, and foxy booties.

Phew. Just looking at all of that makes me tired, but no New Year’s post would be complete without new goals. In 2014 I hope to:

  • Learn new piecing techniques (I’m looking at you machine applique!)
  • Learn a new FMQ pattern
  • Quilt the Summer Solstice Stars Quilt AKA my first queen size behemoth (help!)
  • Participate in a Quilt Along
  • Keep improving my photography skills
  • Make more quilts!

How about all of you? What were your most satisfying finishes, and what do you have planned for 2014?

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year!

Linking up!

Year In Review

Lily's Quilts

TGIF Zig Zag Style

I have been in the zone this week! I was so pleased  with my gift-making progress that I decided to include 120 degree angles on my tumbler quilt. No, I don’t know what I was thinking either. It’s not like the dog will care about the fancy binding!So, I clipped the zig-zaggy edge (technical term) with my sewing shears and went to the trouble of making bias binding. Bias binding is pretty cool stuff once it’s all finished and neatly rolled up, but does anyone make bias binding when they don’t have to? It’s so much more work! And as far as I’m concerned, it’s impossible to convert fabric yardage to “inches of bias binding.” So I generously guesstimated and have some leftovers. Good enough!

Bias Binding for Tumbler Quilt

With my binding in hand I followed Jaybird Quilt’s tutorial, and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to sew the binding down to the quilt top. At which point I faced an conundrum: sew the back of the binding on by hand, or use my machine? Now it’s no secret that I like a machine sewn binding, but I couldn’t find any evidence of someone using that technique on a quilt with 120 degree angles. It’s a crazy idea, right? All those angles. All that “catching” the binding on the back. I was almost deterred (hand stitching is lovely, right?), and then I remembered that this quilt is destined for a dog. D-O-G. And I don’t know about you, but my dog is NOT easy on her bedding. Dirty paws aside, dogs burrow and dig in their beds — this thing is going to be abused and washed. Often.

So, I decided to just go for it and rock out a machine sewn binding, crazy angles and all. It is a dog quilt, after all, and the canine recipient is not going to complain about a few missed stitches. I’ll be honest though… I clipped the hell out of the binding. Like I used my entire collection of 80+ Wonder Clips. And I had to carefully wiggle into the convex angles just right.

Clipping Party!

But you know what? It totally worked like a charm, and I did it without missing the binding on the back! Hoorah. Mission complete!

Finished Tumbler Quilt

The only hiccup in this quilt is the photography. The deep dark of New England winter is great for quilting, but horrible for documenting it. It’s dark by 4:00, so these photos were all taken waaay after sundown. I hope to update with some better photos soon. The one above has a certain “cozy winter night vibe” to it, but this one below? Yikes. That is just uuuuugly! No amount of photo editing is going to redeem it, either.

Finished Tumbler

Until then, linking up with Finish It Up Friday! Happy Friday everyone, and good luck with your holiday projects.

Edit: Well it won’t be winning any awards, but I managed to sneak out this morning when there was a brief break in the snow clouds. Updated photo below!


Blogger’s Quilt Festival


I thought it would be a lot of fun to share a quilt for the 2013 Blogger’s Quilt Festival! If you’re visiting from the festival, welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit.

I made this quilt top right after mother-nature dropped an amazing 30″ of snow outside my window. I based  my design on the “Strip and Flip” pattern over at Cluck, Cluck, Sew. I used a jelly-roll of Simply Color by V&Co for Moda, and carefully arranged the strips to create a rainbow gradient that transitioned well between darks and lights. Once I had everything laid out the top came together quickly, and the piecing provided some much needed color therapy.

Inspired by the blizzard, I backed this one in the coziest white flannel.  And to keep it perfectly soft I quilted it with a serpentine stitch. It washed up so soft and fluffy, perfect for cuddling under during a monster nor’easter.

As it turns out, this quilt is still with me even though I finished it a few weeks ago. It will be leaving for its new home soon, but I was able to snap a few refreshed photos today. I think it’s just as cheery in early spring as it was in late winter. 🙂

Quilt Stats:
Size: A nice lap quilt, 52″ x 75″
Pieced and Quilted by: Me! on my Janome Horizon.
Best Category: ROYGBIV

I hope you enjoy the rest of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival and thank you so much for visiting!

Hipster Baby Quilt


This baby quilt was the perfect re-entry into quilting.  I had a lot of fun planning it, though I’ll admit to obsessing over the fabric selections. I wanted something whimsical with a nod to music, but not too girly. After spending hours on etsy I found a few great Japanese linens… shipping from China. I was nervous about the wait time, but they got here just in time. I scattered the little vignettes through out the quilt, and used geometric prints in black, creams and red to balance out the rest.

There are a lot of stash builders in here too, including: Sweetwater’s Mama Said Sew, several prints from Zen Chic’s Comma, Chicken Wire from Oink A Doodle Moo, Timeless Treasure’s Sketch, and American Jane’s Pezzy Prints. I’m happy to say that I have leftovers of most 🙂

I also tried out a scrappy binding for the first time. I really love how it keeps your eye moving around the quilt, and it is extra cute all rolled up:

This one is straight line quilted, and backed in flannel. And it is crib size, 36″ x 54″.  I gave the parents-to-be the quilt this morning at their baby shower, and they were so appreciative. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a hit, but it really made my day!


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Well, I made it!  My Seascapes coin quilt is bound, washed, and perfectly crinkly.

And as luck would have it, today was a gorgeous day for a photo shoot. It was almost too sunny for pictures, but after one hundred inches of snow…  I’m not complaining. Not.one.bit.
The sun was trying to melt the last of the snow. Hopefully this is the last quilt-on-snow photo for awhile!

And now it’s time for a self-imposed break. Rushing through two quilts in six weeks was a little much, and I need to recharge. That won’t stop me from planning my next project though 🙂

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My youngest sister is getting married in three weeks (!!!) and I haven’t started her quilt. I know there are lots of amazing quilters who could throw something together in a day, but I am not SO not there yet! But I did finally sit down and plan out her quilt — sort of a modified coin quilt with floating blocks of color. Except… the fabric won’t be here until Monday. That leaves me with less than three weeks/two weekends to get this thing done. YIKES!

So, what did I spend my time on this weekend? I did what any rational person facing an impossible deadline would do! I procrastinated by making a completely unnecessary and unrelated project.
At our last trip to my LQS Baby Bee spotted a mini-charm pack of Aneela Hoey’s Posy, and asked if we could make it into a blanket for “Silly Cat.” I was all too happy to oblige. Seriously, I was beaming with mommy pride in the store. I decided to keep it simple and pieced this quilt top together Friday night. Basic patchwork like this is so relaxing and wonderful — perfect after a stressful week at the office.  The mini-charm pack wasn’t quite big enough for Silly Cat, so I floated the mini-charms on a field of white and added a generous border.
 Maybe it was the simplistic quilt top, or the glass of wine I had, but I got brave with the quilting. I decided to venture out of my stippling-comfort-zone and add some wandering clovers. Aren’t they sweet? I took Leah Day’s “Free Motion Quilting a Sampler Quilt” on Craftsy, and this is the first of her patterns that I’m putting to use. 


Free motion quilting does not come easy to me. I really think it’s grounded in drawing, a skill that I do NOT possess in the slightest. It took me *forever* to get my stippling even remotely passable, so adding these clovers was nothing short of terrifying. There are certainly clovers in the final quilt that I’m not proud of, but I don’t think Silly Cat will complain much.

I used a large scale print I had in my stash for the backing. It was an older print from the Leanika collection by FreeSpirit that I found at the Fabric Basement for $1.99/yd (!!). It’s sort of on the ugly side, but it matched the top really well. And I love the periwinkle binding! Strangely enough I forgot to engage the dual feed on my Horizon, and it was my smoothest machine binding yet. Not sure if I’m getting better, or if the dual feed was working against me, but I’ll be experimenting some there.


Most importantly, Baby Bee has been spending her mornings putting Silly Cat back to bed with his new blanket, *instead* of screaming at crying for us to come get her. What started out as a procrastination tactic has certainly turned into a brilliant investment. Who knew? 🙂

Rainbows in Winter

This quilt is for a very special lady in my life; a truly amazing friend who has been there through thick and thin. I’m so excited to give it to her and her husband to be!

I machined on the binding earlier in the week and was able to get outside today for some pictures. I was happy to get some true to color shots; natural light makes all the difference there. Plus it was really fun taking pictures of such a rainbow quilt on a dreary day.  Look how it brightens up this dark little corner 🙂

The backing is thick white flannel — so cozy but *such* a hassle. Since it was flannel I pre-washed the fabric (I never ever do that!), but only after I had roughly cut the panels to size. Even though the quilt is just 50 inches across, the backing shrunk 8 inches in the wash! And then I had the hardest time piecing the backing, the damn thing just would not lay straight. And don’t get me started on the basting nightmare. But, it is done now, and ever so soft and cuddly. And that serpentine stitch? Love it! The texture is divine, perfect for cuddling!

Overall, I’m really happy with how the design came out (I followed this pattern with a few small tweaks). I had to be a little careful to prevent warping in all those long seams, but it still came together easily enough. The end result  is much more impressive than the time and skill it required. In fact, I’ve already planned a second one for the toddler in residence. 🙂

Throw Pillow Completion!

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Realization of the day: I am an adult who spends a lot of her free time playing with rainbows. Not sure what that says about me, but I sure am happy about this throw pillow!

Other than a fat quarter for the backing and a few dollars worth of cording for the trim I had almost all the materials on hand. I pieced the top using only scraps, some of them impossibly small castoffs from squaring up my Good Fortune Quilt. The patchwork is a combination of 3 inch squares and 1.25 inch strips, for a final 20×20 pillow. I had a lot of fun auditioning scraps to achieve a gradual color change from purple to green. And to make the little windows of color pop I decided to keep the quilting very simple — just a little straight line quilting around each “window pane”.
This was my first pillow, and my first time using piping. I can see how these could become dangerously addictive, especially since I still have two unused pillow forms hanging around!

First Big Finish!


Admittedly it took a little longer than I hoped, but my Good Fortune Quilt is officially complete! This is my first large-sized quilt, measuring 63 x 72 or a generous throw size. I finished it late last night, and pulled it out of the dryer early this morning. My mini-me hasn’t stopped cuddling it; I think she’s almost as happy as I am! And a huge thank you  Fresh Lemon Quilts for the great pattern!

I’m going to put together a coordinating throw pillow or two to match (I still have an embarrassing amount of scraps from this project!), and then I’ll begin plotting my next big quilt. I splurged on a fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink’s Salt Water which should arrive in a few days. If I can overcome my fabric hoarding instincts I’ll be cutting into it very soon.



I’m still not clear on how I survived those forty weeks known as pregnancy, but I am quite sure that I was out of mind. Maybe it was the 9 months of nausea. Maybe it was the hormones. But for whatever reason, I got it in my head that I was GOING.TO.MAKE.A.BABY.QUILT.DAMMIT.

Now, understand that I had never done such a thing. Sure, I had sewn a few beanbags in a middle school Home Economics class. I even had a sewing machine that I’d gotten as a Christmas present years earlier. But a quilt? If I’d been in my right mind I  *never* would have undertaken such a thing. But, never one to give in to reason, I sat in a crappy Ikea chair for hours toiling over 12 log cabin blocks. And then I gave birth.

Fast forward 9 months… Now sleeping a whopping four hours a night I picked up the quilt top, determined to finish what I started. You know, before Baby Bee realized how bad my time management skills were).

I took a deep breath and successfully navigated some very elementary quilting. Satisfied with the quilting, I ventured out on to the internet for a binding tutorial. And that’s when “it” happened. That’s right, I stumbled onto Amanda Nyberg’s (@crazymomquilts.com) binding tutorial. I can still remember that moment of 1) shock and awe at the beauty of modern quilts and 2) the horror at the now nearly finished traditionally-styled baby quilt that I held in my hands. I pretty much hated my first quilt before it was even finished. Um, oops?

What I did next was only logical. I quickly finished the binding and sped off to my LQS. Two days and a few charm packs of Aneela Hooey’s “Walk in the Woods” later, I was well on my way to redemption with my “First Quilt, Take II”.  Did I mention that I was only sleeping four hours a night? Yeah, I was clearly insane.

As I said, I pretty much hated my first quilt before it was even done. So much so that I don’t really want to post a picture of it, but maybe I’ll be able to look back at this someday and laugh. But, in case this never becomes funny, there is also a snapshot of my second (redemption) quilt, too.

Traditional brown and blue Beatrix Potter quilt

Redemption quilt in progress a la Aneela Hoey’s Walk in the Woods collection