16 December 2013

Winners: SMS Giveaway Day Winter 2013

The winners of this year's holiday giveaway organized by Sew, Mama, Sew are:

Heidi who said: Gorgeous bundles !! I am drawn to the Cool Serene one! 


atabanana29 who said: I love the bright bundle! 

Congratulations! Your booty is on its way. Hope you make something wonderful :)

Happy holidays, everyone!

09 December 2013

Giveaway Day! December 2013

I always get very excited for Sew, Mama, Sew's giveaway days!

If you're finding me through the link-up, welcome! I have found so much inspiration from checking out new blogs via this event, and am happy to have you visit here.

Let's get to the good stuff...

05 December 2013

Holidays: Need a One-Day Wonder?

I always seem to approach handmade gifts for the holidays with the best intentions.  Oftentimes, though, the only way I'll give an entire quilt to someone for an occasion is by coincidence, since quilts often have their own timelines.

However, many things I've made take less than a day, and some even less than an hour. That's the kind of last-minute holiday sewing I can get behind.

One of these whiskers blocks (free pattern!) would be the cutest wall hanging!

Maybe your favorite stitcher needs a fancy new ironing board cover.

With just one block and some extra background fabric, you're on your way to a stunning little pillow.

Keeping it simple and choosing bold fabrics makes even the simplest pillow designs shine.

Zipper pouches? Yes, please!

The quickest yet: keep those eyeglasses safe (and looking bright!)

Pin It!

23 October 2013

Wonky Zig Zag Baby Quilt

I took my most recent baby quilt finish to the beach for some photos this past weekend!

05 October 2013

Scrappy Postage Stamp Pillows

I've long admired postage stamp quilts, and love how you can use up and feature favorite scraps! While a whole quilt is a bit daunting, when I got a request for some pillows with the same feeling as my scrappy hexie pillow, I thought postage stamp blocks would be an easier way to get the same look.

While I love the results, that "easier" idea was somewhat misguided.

23 September 2013

Summer Finish Roundup

Nooootttt so much sewing over here this Fall! And it is certainly Fall up here! We've had a few very cold nights, and I've busted out my warm slippers.

As we move forward, I thought I'd record the work I did this summer as a way to reset and recharge for some cosy, stitchy evenings to come.

Back in May (ok, pre-Summer) I decided to devote my Summer to WIPs when I finished this quilt top.  I just finished the quilt as my last Summer project!  That full circle is really satisfying.

Cats love quilts.  I made a quilt that loves cats back (with a free pattern!).

16 August 2013

Reverse-Value Mod Mosaic Quilt

Another summer WIP finished!  It has been so stinkin' nice out up here recently, and I took it outside for some glamour sunshine shots.

Back in March 2012 (ouch!) I asked members of the New Bee on the Block quilting bee to make me Elizabeth Hartman's Mod Mosaic Blocks for my month. Instead of using white for my "tile grout" strips, though, I sent out Kona Cerise, and used Kona Snow and a pretty print from Lotta Jansdotter's Echo line as background. I love how the geometry becomes the focus, not the prints.

08 August 2013

Refresh (& Protect): Sewing Chair Covers

A while back, one of my cats adopted my sewing chair.  He proceeded to systematically love it to death, a.k.a. destroy it.

To protect my sewing seat, as well as its office twin, I  decided to make some chair covers.



I didn't want to buy any fabric for the project, and luckily I found just over a yard of Sarah Jane's Out to Sea in my stash. This being Maine, some type of nautical decor is almost mandatory, and I love those pink boats ;)  For the backs of the covers, I used some tan solid I also had stashed.

Here's a rough outline of what I did. Perhaps these steps will help you make your own custom cat protectors chair covers!

29 July 2013

Patchwork, Revisited

I recently had the chance to do something new, for me, in terms of quilty experience:  I got to visit with (and use!) a quilt I made quite a while ago that has since been used and incorporated into daily life.  That's the point, right?

I think I am in love with simple patchwork all over again.  Something about the way it drapes on a bed is so lovely, and I definitely see more in my future. 

25 July 2013

Scrappy Hexie Pillow

Hooray!  Another long-term WIP knocked out: some English paper-pieced hexagons.

Over two years ago, I (temporarily) caught the hexie bug-- it looked so simple, and people's inspirational results were so pretty.

I gathered together scraps, basted them to the paper templates during a massive tv binge session, and put them in a ziplock bag.  Whenever I needed some hand work, I could pull them out.

16 July 2013

Patty Pan: XL Block = Throw Quilt

Well, I went on vacation, and brought this quilt with me.  And if it was nice weather, I promptly forgot about taking pictures.  Luckily, Maine island light is pretty bright, even through the fog.

For this Patty Pan throw-size quilt, I decided to go for a scrappy, patchworky look, using mostly Anna Maria Horner fabric scraps from previous projects.

29 June 2013

Patty Pan: The Full Size Quilt

One of the first really big "fabric treats" I indulged in was a full FQ set of Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi line.  She is one of my favorite fabric designers, and I'm always impressed with all the beautiful and quirky details that are included in her prints.

With this quilt, made up of 24-inch Patty Pan blocks, I found a way to use my loot while prominently featuring the intricate large-scale prints. This block structure allows for you to feature any 12-inch (finished) block in the center, making it perfect for sampler quilts, too.

I've been working away at this quilt for quite some time, so what follows is a pretty photo-heavy version of the whole process!

25 June 2013

Quilt Pattern Debut: Patty Pan

I'm pleased to share the release of a summery new quilt pattern: Patty Pan!

Named after the delicious summer squashes with ridged edges about to hit farmers markets (I hope!), this block design uses half-square triangles to create zig-zag frames for your favorite "centerpiece" fabrics.

"Patty Pan," in some places, can also mean that little ridged paper cupcake/muffin wrapper, also a nice match for this shape. (If you are a Beatrix Potter aficionado, you also might know one of my favorites, The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan...)

The pattern contains cutting and piecing instructions for three block sizes with varying difficulty (based solely on size):

23 June 2013

A Home for my Mini-Quilt

Finally, finally, I figured out what to do with my spider legs mini quilt! Summer, for me, means quite a bit of free time, so I've been chipping away at non-sewing projects.

For over a year, my experiment with circular improv chevrons sat on my DVD player (gathering dust). Does this happen to your projects?

18 June 2013

Summer Job-ette + Studio Scraps Giveaway

I am very happy to share that I'll be spending some time this summer working at South Street Linen, a gorgeous little apparel and home goods shop that features artist-designed gems made from highest-quality linen.

The brainchild of three talented Maine artists, the shop carries luxe, handmade clothing, accessories, and table linens, perfect for someone like me with fabric on the brain.  Obviously, this is one of my favorite spots:

As for my favorite new item, this scarf is pretty amazing... c'mon, magenta stitching?!?

Photo Credit: South Street Linen
Much of South Street's work features hand-printed fabric, and to celebrate my new job, I'm giving away a pack of linen studio scraps! It includes everything pictured below, plus a couple surprises.

Some pieces include hand-printed proofs that may or may not have made it to production, making them absolutely one-of-a-kind. They're perfect for small projects or as accents on a quilt, and I'm currently working on an all-linen quilt top experiment.

05 June 2013

Whiskers: a Free Baby Quilt Pattern

It's no secret: cats are my favorite.

"Cat" was my second word, I'm told.

I've got one on my lap right now (he loves computing).

If I'm at your house, and you have a cat, I'll find it and pet it. Even if there is a party going on.

(I like dogs, too, don't worry.)

Inspired by the inventive work of many paper-piecing designers, I thought about creating a cat quilt block that would satisfy my own sensibilities about using animals--not too cartoony or literal, and more geometric and silhouette-ish.

I was also a bit tired of paper-piecing for hours and only having half a block to show for it, so I wanted to create templates that would result in a big, easy quilt block.

The result:  Whiskers!

22 May 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2013

I'm so pleased to have remembered to participate in this year's Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy's Creative Side!

This year, I've decided to link up my "July in January" improv wall hanging that I made to match these sweet Echino-centered pillows. (Improv sunshine this year, improv chevrons one year ago!)

I love how Amy encourages bloggers to tell a quilt's story, and here's what's behind this one, made for  couple of oldest friends. (I was the ring bearer at their farmhouse wedding at about 5 years old, and I still remember the fluffy yellow dress I got to wear!)

They gave me freedom over the quilt design, just requesting that it be improvisational in style, easily hung on a wall, and matching those pillows I had made them earlier.

18 May 2013

Improv Picnic Plaid: Quilt Top

I've resolved to finish up as many WIPs as possible this summer. VERY tall order.

At first I thought I'd only allow myself to work on projects I already started and are in various stages of completion, using up some of my stash.

Then I started a new baby quilt with some new fabric.

Then, straight away (I promise), I hauled the pieces of this quilt top out of my cupboard and stitched it up.

11 May 2013

A Winner!

A big thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment on this year's Sew Mama Sew giveaway here!  I LOVED reading your comments, and it was so interesting to see where you want to travel! My *very scientific* analysis reveals Hawaii and Italy as the most popular destinations.  Sounds good to me!

Our randomly selected lucky winner is Mara, who wrote: "I want to go home, to the States, living in Greece right now but would love to visit family in Washington and California." Your loot is on its way!

Today I've been doing some trimming... for some work with HSTs that I'll be showing off soon :)

06 May 2013

Giveaway Day: Treasures and Tidbits, 6 FQs!

I'm so excited that it's time, once again, for Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day!

If you're visiting for the first time, welcome!

02 May 2013

Sun, Please!

In celebration of the emerging sun this season and the new freckles on my nose, I've created a new paper-piecing pattern, called "Sun, Please!" It is more geometric than literal, and I'm smitten.

To start, I stitched a basic red and white block that matched the vision of the block I had before starting, which still stuns me in its clean lines and simplicity. I love how it turned out and want a whole quilt of them!

...and of course, I had to modify the pattern to include a skinny outlined version, too.

27 April 2013

Paper-Piecing Tutorials: Do It Your Way

Over time, I've received many requests from people who want to learn paper-piecing, but aren't sure where to start. I've created a Paper-Piecing page on this blog that shows the basic steps I take, but I want to give credit to the amazing work others have done, and avoid reinventing the wheel!  

In addition, I urge you to find the method that looks the most normal and logical to you, since there are endless ways to achieve wonderful results.  

17 April 2013

Little Hand-Quilted Pillow Tutorial

There's one little pillow on our couch that I insist is mine, the perfect size for right behind my head while watching junky TV.  It's about 12x16 inches, and luxuriously feather-filled.  I decided that I needed another, of course, and thought I'd share the process.  

With the directions below, you can create fun hand-stitched a pillow out of any special block of your choosing.  

Step 1:  Pick a favorite 12.5x12.5 inch unfinished block.  I used one of my recent Star Seams blocks.  

12 April 2013


I got the most wonderful package in the mail this week: the Spring 2013 issue of Simple Quilts and Sewing!

I am very excited to share that my Lone Starburst pattern is featured within, along with directions to make a pillow I created to feature it: measurements, fabric requirements, the works.

Seeing something I created in a REAL magazine for the first time was pretty surreal, and I really love the styling of the photography.

07 April 2013

Spring Hope Triangles Quilt

This time of year is pretty tough in New England. You get the smallest tastes of warm air, glimpses of blue skies, and brief salty breezes.  Then the wind starts blowing, the temperature drops, and you realize you have to wait a bit longer.  Those teases make me crave REAL spring, with hyacinths and picnics and "just a sweater" weather.

For now, though, we have green shoots, plenty of salty dust, and the ground, covered in dried grass, is at least free of snow.  I hear that "mud season" is coming.

In the spirit of appreciating this time of year, here's a quilt that incorporates those bits of spring hope: green, blue, summer linen, in the midst of a calm sandy background.  

I have long admired quilts that make use of negative space, and had fun playing with layouts for these bordered triangles.

29 March 2013

Simple Squared Pillow

Somtimes, I need to do simple, straightforward, rewarding sewing.

No futzing.

No stretching.

No "just make it work."

No slaving away.

Just square edges and inspiring fabrics.

 This pillow is a product of that impulse!

19 March 2013

Star Seams: a New Paper-Pieced Star, If You Dare

One evening while perusing a catalogue, I found a shape that I wanted to try replicating in fabric: this mirror. I love the look of outlined stars (evidence: Lone Starburst), and immediately had visions of this new paper-pieced specimen. This new 12.5-inch (unfinished) block, which I call Star Seams, was born.

I tried it out first with some lovely scraps... 

And then twice again with more limited, deliberate selections.

The template looks quite neat on paper. However, this block is quite fussy to sew up! Warning!

06 March 2013

Herringbone Baby Quilt

Even though I'm pretty sure winter is never going to end, I'm so pleased to share one last result of my Field Study mania: a little herringbone baby quilt!

13 February 2013

Quilting Bee Spotlight: Neutral and Not II

It feels like time for a bee block post!  In 2012, we wrapped up Neutral and Not, a 12-month bee that I created after being inspired by the red and white quilt show in NYC a few years ago. I profiled our first six assignments earlier, and here are the rest:

June 2012:

Wayyy back in June, Tiffany sent out black, white, and splashes of color, requesting that we make anything we wanted using half-square triangles.  Just the kind of "guided freedom" that makes bees so much fun! I made a modified version of the star block in this tutorial.

31 January 2013

Triangles! Baby Quilt with Flannel

As I explained, I'm not done with these lovely fabrics yet. For this project, I chose four glowing lovelies and made a sweet little triangles quilt, measuring up at about 34x38 inches. 

For backing, I used some delightful AMH flannel from her Loulouthi line.

It is just.the.softest.