Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Just taking a few moments to crawl out from under my new mommy rock and say hello!  I don't have anything of the crafty nature to share, but I did turn on my sewing machine for the first time in almost two months yesterday, dusted off the cobwebs and sewed a few stitches!  I still can't believe I have an almost two month old, there are days when I look at that smiling face (yes shes smiling intentionally now!) and am in awe that she's ours to keep!  Since I don't have anything quilty to share, how about some cute pictures of what has been occupying my time??



These were her newborn pictures, so angelic!  You would never have known she was screaming her head off 5 minutes prior!

PicMonkey Collage

We are due for our 7 week picture today, I'm really enjoying taking these weekly pictures, of course using a new quilt each week as a backdrop for as long as I can.  Its amazing to see how much she has changed in just 7 short weeks!

I promise every post won't be baby overload, I should actually have sewing related posts soon!  I have two Christmas gifts I'm working on stitching up, and an updated tutorial to the Christmas Tree Skirt mini tutorial with more detailed instructions and fabric requirements, as I've been getting lots of questions lately!  Happy holiday stitching :-)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Newborn Edition

Just popping in quickly to share our newest WIP of the non quilty variety, baby Nora!

We are already so in love with this little 7 lb 7 oz miracle and soaking up as many baby snuggles and cuddles as we can!

Monday, October 21, 2013

N is for Nursery


While we are still waiting for our little lady to make her appearance, we finally had a few beautiful days of sunshine this weekend to get some pictures of her finished nursery!

I really could not be more pleased with how it has come together, the perfect mix of DIY, Etsy purchases and store bought items to feel welcome and inviting, yet stylish and pretty and perfectly "girly" without pink from ceiling to floor, which was my hopeful vision all along.

I've blogged about may of the DIY stitchy crafts here and there, like the curtains, the Drona bin covers, and crib skirt.


This view is from the far corner of the room, between the windows and the closet.  I was a little nervous about how the alphabet bead board project would hold up, as it is pretty heavy, but the heavy duty wire picture hanger combined with some heavy duty Command strips on the bottom corners to keep the behemoth in place when baby eventually is kicking her legs and flailing her arms during diaper changes, seems to be doing the trick and keeping things in place.  The changing pad cover was made using this tutorial, and the basket was made using the Noodlehead Divided Basket Pattern.


I think this is my favorite part of the nursery, the super cozy rocker and paper lantern/tissue pom corner.  I envision lots of rocking, feeding and baby snuggles going on here, and lots for baby to look at during those hours and hours.  The paper lanterns came from Michaels, and the tissue poms were purchased from FiestaPomPom on Etsy.  I had thought of DIYing those poms, but was running out of steam, and this was much much easier!  To affix to the ceiling I just used fishing wire and clear push pins cut at different lengths and arranged how I liked.


While this little lady certainly has a plethora of quilts awaiting her arrival, this was the most recent and final quilt (for now) I stitched up for her, of course matching the nursery colors.  More to come on this quilt in a future post.  The elephant and "N" came from PaperPlanePrints on Etsy.  They are 11x14 and after hunting down a few white frames I liked, and using my new favorite tool, my trusty laser level, hanging them was a breeze without nine million nail holes in the wall!

PicMonkey Collage

From left to right:  1.  Wooden letters that were a gift that I recovered using the same method as the ABC wall hanging 2.  Hombre elephant paint chip art a la this tutorial  3.  Name puzzle letters that were a gift, and elephant button art from this tutorial

Whew!  This nursery certainly was a labor of love, and we can't wait to welcome our baby girl home to this warm and inviting space!  Come on baby girl, mommy and daddy can't wait to meet you!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Modern Bee: 13 Quilts to Make With Friends {Blog Tour}

Hi all!  I am so so excited to finally share more about the book Modern Bee: 13 Quilts to Make With Friends that I had the honor of being a part of!

This book all started when the Mod Stitches Bee was formed just about two years ago, at the end of 2011.  Things started just as any bee usually does, Elizabeth virtually gathered 12 quilty friends, some of whom I had known previously, and some I hadn't, to begin a 12 month quilting bee, making blocks each month for one "bee mama" that would  ultimately result in enough blocks for each member to put together a finished quilt.  

While we were getting started, Lindsay had the awesome idea to turn our bee into a book!  She documented our quilting journey, and not only describes how to create each of the 13 different blocks and resulting finished quilts, but also provides information to start and run your own virtual quilting bee!  Lindsay really is one talented lady, and has a gift for writing, as Modern Bee reads like she's talking to a friend, giving helpful tips and pointers to someone she's known a lifetime.  

This is a picture straight from the book of my contribution, Trellis Crossroads.  I love the look of quilts using blocks turned on point, but usually they require block trimming and adding sashing, and I wanted a design that would come together with just the blocks themselves, no extra work for quilt assembly, and after working through a few design possibilities in my head, this quilt was born.

Mod Stitches block

This was my test block, and as you can see, the trellis design comes together quite simply by sewing together the blocks of each each row and then each row into a finished quilt.

I cannot say thank you enough to the wonderfully talented quilters I had the pleasure of working with, and of course to Lindsay, as without her this book would not be!

Modern Bee—13 Quilts to Make with Friends

And of course no blog hop is complete without a giveaway!  To enter to win, click here to complete the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win a Modern Bee gift bag* filled with sewing goodies from Coats and Clark, FreeSpirit Fabrics, Olfa, Pellon and Timeless Treasures!

*Winners will be randomly selected after October 18, 2013 from all comments received. If the winner lives outside of the U.S., they'll win a Modern Bee e-Book of instead of the gift bag.

Be sure to follow along with the remaining stops on the Modern Bee blog tour for book reviews and more sneak peeks from many of the book contributors!

Modern Bee Blog Tour:

Monday, 10/7:  Sew Mama Sew + Stash Books
Tuesday, 10/8:  SewCraftyJess + Sew Sweetness
Wednesday 10/9:  Ellison Lane + Diary of a Quilter
Thursday 10/10:  Katie's Korner + Pat Sloan
Friday 10/11:  Fat Quarter Shop + imagine gnats

Tuesday 10/15:  Live a Colorful Life + Craft Gossip
Wednesday 10/16:  SewCanShe + Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Monday, October 7, 2013

Watermelon Seeds: Completed Quilt


Just popping in (still pregnant!) with one more quilty finish before the little lady makes her appearance!  I'm not sure how many more finishes I have in me before d-day, the basting kills me!  After basting this little guy on the kitchen floor I felt like I'd just finished an hour long workout in the pre-preggo days.  I'm hoping to squeeze in one more finish for the babe herself before she is here, but I may have to enlist the hubby's help to baste that puppy.


This is a super special quilt that needed to be finished, as its for a dear friend who is also expecting a little girl.  She's been my pregnancy buddy and the go to for when weird things are happening that only another expectant mom would not be grossed out by understand.  She just passed her due date this past Friday, so I'm counting on her to go first and tell me the good, the bad and the ugly first hand...although maybe going in with no expectations is the way to go.


Anyways, back to the quilt.  Her little lady's nursery has lots of bright pinks and greens, so when pulling fabric for this quilt, these prints just sort of made a stack all on their own.  These prints remind me of happiness, sunshine and summer, which describes my friend to a T.  I don't think I've ever seen her without a smile on her face, so I'm expecting her daughter to naturally be the same.


I've had this simple rail fence zig zag quilt on my "to try" list for sometime now, and it certainly didn't disappoint.  The quilt top came together so quickly, as in just a few hours on a Saturday while the hubs was working, thanks to strip piecing the prints/white fabric, and then cutting squares from there.  I sort of just figured it out as I went, but I found this pdf tutorial after the fact explaining the process.  I cut my strips at 2.5" wide, so this exact quilt would be even easier if you had an extra Jelly Roll laying around with precut strips!


This quilt is off for a good tumble through the washer and dryer for a proper crinkling, and then it will wait for my friend's little miss to make her appearance!

Quilt Stats

Name:  Watermelon Seeds baby quilt
Pattern: Zig Zag Rail Fence on point (kind of like this tutorial)
Size:  41" x 43"
Fabrics Used: Various fuscia/grass green prints from stash and Kona White
Backing: Amy Butler Love print and leftover strips from the quilt front
Binding: Random pink dot fabric found in my stash
Quilting:  All over loopy FMQ

Monday, September 16, 2013

let the sunshine in

Nursery Progress

Or I guess I should say "keep the sunshine out."  I promise I think this will be the last nursery DIY post that I will overrun you with, and then we will return to our regularly scheduled quilty programming.  But I'm pretty darn proud of myself that I sewed my first set of curtains, black out curtains to be exact AND they ended up just about the same length as one another!!  I had anxiety throughout this entire project that my panels were going to end up wildly off in length but luckily I think they are off by just about a half an inch (don't look too closely!), which I can totally live with.

Nursery Progress

After muttering quite a few curse words while measuring yards and yards of fabric on the kitchen floor and cutting without the safety net of my quilting rulers and fabric that measures a nice 22" when folded and fits nice and perfectly on my cutting mat, you can believe I did the happiest of happy dances after putting in that last grommet and getting these bad boys hung.  I am so so incredibly pleased with how they turned out that I don't even remember those muttered curse words and stress now that its over (that's how childbirth works, right???)

Nursery Progress

I used the Premiere Prints Zippy Chevron in Storm (which I see is now on sale!) and it was the perfect weight for curtains.  Definitely a home dec weight fabric, but not too heavy.  I backed these with Ron-Loc white blackout fabric that I picked up at Joann's and also grabbed two sets of 8 plastic grommets for hanging on the curtain rod.  This was my first time using grommets period, and it was so so incredibly easy.  I spent quite some time looking at different tutorials for lined curtains, and ultimately settled on this tutorial, as it didn't require using my blind hem stitch (I'm a quilter and have no idea what that is!) and was relatively easy to follow along with, definitely recommend it and will use it again if I ever get the urge to sew more curtains.

Nursery Progress

These guys really do a great job and blocking out light, after my husband saw these, he requested a set for our bedroom as well.  Of course I have a few other things on my mind at the present moment, but perhaps after things settle down, I'll tackle a second set.  This might just about do it for nursery projects, we have an electrician coming to install an overhead light for the room, and yes I'm grumbling that none of our bedrooms have overhead lights, and a few more storage type bins to pick up and the nursery should be in  the books!

This weeks goal is to get the hospital bags packed and be ready to go, I cannot believe how quickly time has gone, I feel like we were just telling people about being pregnant and here we are (hopefully) 4 weeks away from D-Day!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

a gal can't have too much voile: {completed quilt}


Really, the title of this post should say "a gal can't have too many quilts," because things may be getting a little out of hand here, and yes, I'm not ashamed to admit I have one more baby quilt in the works that will match the nursery colors, grey and yellow (with bits of pink, of course).  We have scheduled a newborn photo session with a local photographer, and I'm really considering taking all these baby quilts and requesting a photo like this one, or this one, as what would be more fitting for a baby of a quilting mama, than a picture on a giant stack of quilty goodness.


This quilt was made using my fat eighth bundle of AMH voiles from Westwood Acres and I could not be more pleased with how this quilt has come together.  The voiles have such a nice hand, so soft and luxurious.  I used Red Pepper Quilts Postage Stamp Tutorial, only increased my strip size like she did here, so that my finished squares are 2.5".  I sorted my bundle the best I could into cool fabrics and warm fabrics, and when pairing my strips alternated cool and warm, as I wanted to make sure I didn't end up with the same fabrics right next to each other, or big pools of cool or warm prints in different areas of the quilt.  This approach worked perfectly and I'm really happy with the finished layout.


I actually have enough fabric left from my fat eighth bundle to make a second of these quilts, which I'm thinking will be destined to a good friend who is also due with a little lady of her own in a few short weeks.


As for the quilting, I briefly thought about hand quilting this with perle cotton, but ultimately decided against it, as I didn't want to get stuck half way through and not finish.  This quilt is just too pretty to end up in the WIP pile.  I went with super simple straight line quilting 1/4" on either side of the seam lines.  I think the simple quilting really lets the fabrics shine.  I'm thinking I just channeled my inner Rita for this entire quilt :-)


I was a little hesitant when I started quilting, as I've heard horror stories of quilting with voile, fabric shifting, puckers and lots of not so nice things happening, but I'm happy to report I experienced none of those.  Of course I used my walking foot and went slowly, but I also was sure to baste extra carefully, using a combination of spray basting (my usual), and then pin basting every 10 inches or so to make sure no shifting occurred.

This quilt has since been washed, dried and sufficiently crinkled, and is now up in the nursery just waiting for the little miss to make her arrival next month!

Quilt Stats

Quilt Name:  AMH voile postage stamp baby quilt
Size:  40" x 40"
Fabrics Used:  AMH voile fat eighth bundle 
Backing:  Heather Bailey Daisy Pop
Binding:  Violet Craft Madrona Road Haystack in Fuscia
Quilting:  Straight line quilting 1/4" from each seam line

Friday, September 6, 2013

now I know my ABC's

Nursery Progress

Baby girls nursery is starting to come together, and actually resemble a place where baby can sleep and eventually play.  Way back when we first found out I was pregnant, I think one of the first things I did was start scouring Pinterest for nursery inspiration.  I came across this framed wooden letter alphabet snapshot and knew that whether boy or girl, no matter what color scheme we decided on, I had to make something like it.

Nursery Progress

I really could not be more thrilled with how this turned out!  After finding a whole slew of alphabet wooden letter options on both Etsy and Ebay, I settled on this set, and was really pleased with what I received.  Their customer service was also top notch, as Amanda was super sweet when I contacted her concerned that I was missing letters, and had duplicates of others, when in fact I had the "y" upside down as an "h", the "q" upside down as a "b", and was convinced my Q was missing.  Needless to say she very nicely sorted out my mess of letters.  I blame pregnancy brain :-)

I went back and forth deciding how to finish the letters, and ultimately settled on modge podge and scrapbook paper.  This tutorial explains the process perfectly and was so incredibly easy, I covered all the letters in one weekend.  Instead of using an Exacto knife, I found scissors worked just fine, and I skipped the sanding step, as I was mounting them on the wall, it seemed a little overkill.  As for the scrapbook paper, I was less than thrilled with my local craft store's selection in yellows and greys, so I nabbed a few digital packs from mooandpuppy on Etsy and had them printed on cardstock at my local Office Max.

Nursery Progress

As for finishing off the frame and display, I bought a sheet of bead board from Lowes and had them cut it for me in the store to my desired dimensions, and then bought 2 strips of prefinished baseboard trim, that I took over to my parents and had my dad miter cut into a frame.  A little Elmers wood glue worked perfectly to affix the letters to the board, as well as to attach the outer frame.  I did use a few clamps when attaching the frame portion to make sure it really stuck together.

Again, I am so so incredibly pleased with how this turned out.  It is very large, measuring about 3 1/2" feet x 3 1/2" feet when all was said and done, but I'm ok with that as its sort of the piece de resistance of the nursery, centered over the dresser/changing table.

Nursery Progress

There's a whole smorgasbord of DIY happening in this little area of the nursery...who am I kidding, there's a whole lot of DIY throughout the entire nursery!  But for this little portion, I did make a cover for the changing pad, one of Noodlehead's divider baskets and a fun little hombre paint chip elephant display.

Nursery Progress

I couldn't find a changing pad cover that I really loved in grey and yellow, so I decided to make one myself.  This was incredibly easy, only requiring me to buy a yard of Minky and elastic, and using a half yard cut of Riley Blake yellow chevrons I had on hand.  Within an hour I had finished the cover and am pleased with the finished product.  I followed this tutorial, and the Minky was much easier to work  with than I had originally envisioned!  I actually grabbed another yard of Minky in yellow and paired it with a grey accent cotton piece to have as a backup.

Nursery Progress

I also decided I needed a divider basket to have diapers and changing essentials within arms reach, and of course it had to be cute :-)  Enter Noodhead's divided basket pattern.  Best $6.50 I have ever spent.  This basket came together quickly and easily in about 2 1/2 hours one evening, and easily half of that time was spent cutting out pattern pieces.  I see a few more of these baskets in my future, as baby can never have to many cute baskets to hold all of her cute things.

I am digging this nursery so so much, and am glad we went with a more neutral color palate with bits of pink here and there.  Lord knows this child has enough pink clothing to stock a boutique, so I figured we could do pink-lite in the nursery.  I'll be back with a few more projects, and hopefully a full nursery reveal soon!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Raspberry Orange Chevrons: A Baby Quilt Finish


I feel likes its been absolutely eons since I last finished a quilt, and really it probably has been.  This quilt top has been hanging around my sewing room since July just waiting ever so patiently to be basted and quilted.  I have to say, even when I'm not 8 months pregnant basting is my absolute least favorite step of the quilting process, and now that I feel about ready to pop, I like it even less, if that's possible.


After giving myself a little pep talk, I mustered up the energy and got on my hands and knees and basted like there was no tomorrow.  Luckily the quilt tops that are hanging around my sewing room are all baby size, so that at least makes it manageable.


While perusing Joann's one day, I came across this faux swirl fur fabric and knew it had to come home with me to be the backing fabric for this quilt.  It is the softest cuddliest fabric I think I have ever felt, and will be just perfect for colder winter days, and the fuscia color compliments the quilt top so well.


While I am in love with the final product, I can't say I was in love with the quilting process.  I did an all over loopy free motion quilting design (one of my standard go-to's), and between the weight this heavy backing fabric added to the quilt, and the fact that the nap of the fabric sort of made the quilt "stick" to my sewing machines quilting area/extender table, it was a less than enjoyable experience.

I found I had to "grab" the quilt in my fists and push/pull it,  as opposed to simply gliding it under my finger tips with quilting gloves like normal was the only way to successfully maneuver the quilt.  Good thing this was only a baby size quilt, because my arms were certainly feeling it!  I had a little bit of tension issues in the beginning, mainly that my upper thread kept breaking, but I found with a slow and steady approach, and setting my tension super low (I usually sew/quilt around 5, and had my machine at 2.5-3), seemed to fix the problem.  I also found in certain spots that some of the backing "fur" pulled up slightly through to the front of the quilt where my needle pierced through the fabric.  Using a slightly smaller needle helped a little, but its still visible in certain spots, especially on the white parts of the quilt.  I will say once it was washed and crinkled, its much much less noticeable, and given the uber soft and cuddly-ness of this quilt, I'll take that trade off.


This quilt has been folded and added to baby girls quilt stash, which is very quickly growing to quite a pile, but a girl can never have too many quilts, right??

Quilt Stats

Name: Raspberry Orange Chevron baby quilt
Pattern: None, designed using an array of print/print and print/white HSTs
Size:  45" x 45"
Backing: Faux Swirl Fur in Fuscia
Binding: Timeless Treasures Sketch in Candy
Quilting: All over loopy FMQ 

Friday, August 23, 2013

a skirt for baby's crib


As promised, I'm back (less than three weeks later) with more baby stitchings!  This time up is a skirt for baby's crib.  Things started to get really real when I came home from work last Friday and the hubs had assembled baby girl's crib!  It actually made me tear up a little, seeing the crib we'll bring our little one home to, and eventually she'll be sleeping in.

As soon as the crib was assembled, I immediately took to making a skirt to give a little added flair.  I had pinned this tutorial, as I knew I didn't want anything with lots of frills or ruffles, and this simple single pleat skirt fit the bill.


I am super pleased with how it turned out.  Definitely recommend Oleander and Palm's tutorial if your in the market for a handmade crib skirt.  I even cheated a little and didn't make the second long panel, as I knew our crib would be against the wall, and that side of the crib would never be seen.  I will say I am a little bummed that by some stroke of misfortune, each and every one of my elephants seems to fall right behind one of the slats on the crib!  I don't think I could do that again if  I tried.  I'm still chalking this up as a success though, I'd rather have a hand made crib skirt that cost about $12 in materials to make and about 2.5 hours of my time, than a purchased $50 skirt that no one can see.

Crib Skirt Fabric:  Premiere Prints Elephant Slub White/Yellow


I even remembered to dig out my granny squares quilt that I made about a year and half ago and tucked away  for our maybe-one-day baby and it fits right in with baby girls bright and cheery nursery.  It needs a tumble through the washer and dryer still, but I'm certain this quilt (with the three others that are in the works) will definitely get lots of love in the coming years.

I'll be back next week with baby girls DIY curtains that I'm in love with, and hopefully another project I've been fiddling with using wooden letters, some scrapbook paper and modge podge.  Here's a sneaky peek:


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Drona gets a makeover

Hello bloggy friends!  I am ashamed that its been almost three weeks since we've met!  I can assure you that its certainly not because I've been sitting with my feet up watching bad reality TV...well, ok there has been some of that going on, but it's mostly because we are in full on baby mode at casa Kelly, and working on things like organizing the linen closet, painting walls, painting trim, and painting things we didn't even know needed pained (with low VOC paint in well ventilated areas, I assure you!) with other not-so-fun baby/house prep tasks thrown in here and there that just don't make for good blogging.  

I wish I had taken a before and after pic of the now nursery, as up until about 2 months ago the room was being used as a spare guest room, complete with a full size bed, extra furniture and lots of random crap (for lack of a better word) that there was no room for anywhere else in the house.  

I did find this Instagram picture I snapped of the baby's closet before it was cleaned out, so imagine this, times about a thousand for the amount of stuff that needed a new home in order to make room for baby.

Thankfully the end is near, and what was an old mis-mosh random spare room full of junk, is now a bright and airy cleaned out nursery, ready for all baby's things, and in a few short weeks, baby herself!

This weekend I made the trek out to our local Ikea, about 45 minutes away, as I knew I wanted an Expedit bookshelf for extra storage, with fabric bins to fit.  Of course while I was there I found about a hundred dollars worth of things I had no idea I needed, but clearly needed to come home with me, but that's neither here nor there.


I knew I wanted the white 8 compartment Expedit, and was torn on the bin color.  I liked the price of these fabric Drona bins, but the color selection left much to be desired.  While they did have a yellow option, the "yellow" bin that was available was more of a mustard yellow, and that really didn't fit in with the yellow and grey color scheme we have going on in the little lady's nursery.  I thought about getting pricier wicker ones, or plastic ones they had available, but wasn't sold on those options either.  I settled on the white Drona bins, thinking that even though they were white, and were destined to be destroyed, they were only $5.99 a bin, so it wouldn't be a huge investment to replace them when that time came.

Once I finally made it home, I immediately put the book case together, and while I was immensely pleased with it,  I couldn't get past the boring hum-drum white bins that were doing nothing for me.  So I started Googling "bins to fit Expedit bookcase" to look for other options, and then inspiration struck!  Silly me, with yards and yards of fabric downstairs, and a sewing machine to sew with, why not make covers for them!


In no time at all my boring white Drona fabric bins were transformed into fun grey and yellow bins that match the colors in the nursery perfectly.  I could not be more pleased with how these turned out, and for how easy and inexpensive they were to make, it will be a cinch to change them out on a whim.


Fabrics Used:
Premier Prints Ele Slub White/Yellow
Premier Prints Zig Zag Slub Yellow/White
Premier Prints ZigZag Twill Storm
Premier Prints Gotcha Twill Storm

In case you are interested in covering old bins you may be itching to change out, here's how I did it: (forgive my lack of pictures of the process)

1.  Measure the circumference of the bin you are covering, this will be your length measurement (for the Drona bins, this was about 55.5") I chose not to add any seam allowance to this measurement, as  I wanted a snug fit.
2.  Measure the height of the bin (for the Drona bins the height was 12.5") and add 2" (total height was 14.5").
3.  Cut fabric using measurement #1 as length and measurement #3 as height.
4.  Along both long edges fold raw edges up .5" and press.  Fold another .5" to enclose raw edges, press and top stitch both long edges in place.
5.  Now we will attach the short edges to each other to make a continuous fabric tube.  With right sides together, fold in half lengthwise (folded measurement should be 27.75" x 12.5" using Drona measurements).  Pin short raw edges (12.5" edges) together and stitch using 1/2" seam allowance.  Press seam open.
6.  Turn the fabric "tube" right side facing out and slide your bin into the fabric tube, covering all four exposed sides of the bin.

Really its as simple as that, you don't even need pictures of the process!  I promise it won't be 3 more weeks until my next post, but I can assure you it will likely be baby central in these parts, as were down to the last 8 weeks before our little lady is due to make her appearance!  Stay tuned for more nursery themed posts to come :-)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

patchwork pretty:: a quilt top


I just can't seem to stop!  This little lady of ours is going to have more quilts than she knows what to do with when she's born, but you know what?  I'm really ok with that.  I have been eyeing my bundle of AMH voiles that I picked up from Westwood Acres and trying to decide on a quilt layout for some time now.  I knew I wanted something fairly simple to let the gorgeous prints be the focus, but nothing I came up with seemed to sit just right.


While perusing my blog list one day, inspiration struck as I read about Rita, of Red Pepper Quilts' postage stamp quilt!  I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do with these prints, just random enough to perfectly patchwork-y but not overly done so that the prints are really what stands out.  I followed Rita's tutorial, cutting my strips at 3" to end up with 2.5" finished patchwork squares.  This quilt came together quite quickly, and I even have enough strips left over to make a second quilt, with fabric to spare.  A very good friend of mine is also due in October, about a week before our little pumpkin is slated to make her arrival, and I think she will just love a quilt like this for her little lady too.


I am debating how to quilt this.  I am thinking something nice and simple, perhaps echoing the seam lines 1/4" on either side.  We will be headed to the beach soon for a family vacation and I'm toying with the idea of basting this and taking it with me to hand quilt with perle cotton thread.  I've done a little hand quilting here and  there, but nothing as large as an entire quilt, I'm afraid I'll get half way through and then abandon ship, and these fabrics are too pretty to end up in the WIP pile of abyss never to be seen again.

What do you think??  Try out a little hand quilting, or stick to what I know (and what I know I will finish)??

Monday, July 22, 2013

Block Tutorial: Hexagon Star Paper Piecing Templates

Happy Monday everyone!  I am finally posting the tutorial for my Hexagon Star block I designed for the last round of the 4x5 bee!  Only 3 months later, but who's counting.  I hate to admit, but my sewing machine has been completely neglected this past week, she's probably suffering from some sort of abandonment issues, but for good reason, I think I'm in full on nesting mode!  

I'm finding closets to organize and things inside them I didn't even know we had!  Last weekend we did a major purge via the neighborhood yard sale which felt great, and lately I think the drop off boys at Goodwill are getting to know me by name.  While unfortunately these things are eating up my sewing time, it does feel nice to be making room for baby (and organizing the heck out of our house in the meantime!).  This past weekend was spent painting the nursery, and I'm itching to get decorating in there! 

Anyways, onto what this post is really about, a free block tutorial for this glorious Monday! 

Hexagon star block

As was the same with my Wonky House paper piecing tutorial, I don't have step by step piecing instructions for this block included in this post.  If you are new to paper piecing, or need a refresher, there are so many awesome tutorials out in blogger-land, like my favorite from Faith of Fresh Lemon's Quilts, her paper piecing tutorial can be found here.

The Hexagon Star Paper Piecing Block templates can be found here.  Block size is 12.5" unfinished, or 12" finished.  Please be sure to download the templates to your computer before printing, as I've found the block sizing to be off when printing directly from Google Documents.  Also be sure to set your page scaling to "none" or select "Actual Size" from the page scaling options.

hexagon star block 2

This block comes together quite easily, each template is labeled with a section "letter" and then the order to piece each section is indicated with a number.  Once your (6) sections are pieced and trimmed, piece sections A, B and C together, and then piece sections D, E and F together, using the above picture for reference.  Press seams open.  Lastly sew the two block halves together to form (1) 12.5" unfinished block.

If you happen to make a Hexagon Star block, I'd love to see your version in the SewCraftyJess Flickr Group!

I am itching to get back behind my machine, and show Bertha a little love, so hopefully this week I will dig out some time, in between closets I've found to organize (I'm looking at you, linen closet...) and stitch up something pretty with these amazing AMH voiles I picked up from amanda at Westwood Acres.  I'm thinking of some super simple patchwork, can't ever have enough!!