Dolly Book Tour

September 18, 2017

Dolly_Book_Tour_RileyBlakeDesigns

Hello friends! Welcome to the Dolly Book Tour! I am so excited to be kicking things off here on Sarana Avenue for Elea Lutz’s new book Dolly for Riley Blake Designs. I have been a fan of Elea’s work ever since I started sewing, I remember looking at her first fabric line Milk, Sugar & Flower seeing all the pretty things being made with her sweet designs and thinking to myself that maybe one day I would be able to make sweet things just like those. Elea’s work just keeps getting sweeter and it’s a true honor to be a part of this wonderful book tour.

IMG_5663

Dolly has everything I look for in a good maker book; beautiful pictures, sweet projects in a variety of sizes and skill levels, clear and easy to follow directions, and plenty of room to make things your own style. I had the hardest time choosing what project to make so I decided to start with two (which was still a struggle! They are ALL so cute!). First up, let me introduce you to my very own Dolly:

IMG_5874

When my husband came home and saw her sitting on my desk, he asked if I had made myself into a doll, I told him yes I had, because who doesn’t want to be an adorable doll?! Dark hair with natural highlights? Check! Messy bun? Check! Dark eyes? Check! Although I maybe should have dressed her in leggings and t shirt but I think we can all agree her little skirt and top are much cuter!

IMG_5879

I didn’t have matching dark brown thread so I decided to add “highlights” to her hair and no “Faith” doll would be complete without curly wisps of hair on her face. Aurifil 12 weight thread was perfect for her eyes and lips. The touch of lace was an afterthought to fancy her up a bit, it’s all in the details, right?

IMG_5866

When my sister and I were little we loved wearing socks with lace trim, we called them party socks and wore them every chance we could, so I thought it only right to give Dolly her very own “party socks” with lace peaking out from her boots.

IMG_5867

This little yellow floral print is my absolute favorite from Elea’s Little Dolly Fabric line for Penny Rose Fabrics, it reminds me of the little flowers on a favorite blanket I had growing up that my baby now snuggles with. I love her little messy bun, my hair too is ALWAYS in a bun.

IMG_5869

Dolly was SO much fun to make and I love how Elea included so many different ways to make her your very own, from hair styles to socks and sleeve options and even fancy eyelashes! The little skirt was so quick and fun, I think she will need some more wardrobe options. As soon as I finished making her I wanted to start all over again and make another! Aren’t those the best kind of projects? The ones you want to make over and over. Good thing I have plenty of little nieces in my life who clearly need their very own Dolly too.

IMG_5850

This adorable dollhouse quilt was shown at Spring Market and I absolutely fell in love with the sweet design, when I saw it up close in the book I knew I wanted to make one myself. It’s a pretty big play quilt measuring 37×58 inches and there are details galore! I had so much fun making each little room to my liking, adding and changing bits here and there. This was one of those projects that held my interest from beginning to end with all the steps it included, from each tiny fabric choice, the tracing, cutting, ironing, cutting again, ironing again, and finally sewing; it reminded me of the crafting I did as a child and the simple joys it brought.

IMG_5859

Welcome to Little Dolly’s home, make yourself comfortable while we take you on a little tour.

IMG_5856

Here we have a sweet little kitchen with pink gingham curtains, a puppy along with his bone and dish, and a fresh pot of applesauce simmering on the stove.

IMG_5853

Upstairs we have a beautiful bathroom with a claw foot tub, perfect for bathing Puppy or Little Dolly. I added the ribbons of water and made the tub into a little pocket and no bath is complete without a yellow rubber ducky!

IMG_5855

Next we have a perfectly cozy living room where Little Dolly can snuggle up in her big chair to read a good book after a long day of sewing and puppy care.

IMG_5851

At the top of the house I added a sewing room complete with sewing machine, iron and Little Dolly’s very own Elea Lutz fabric stash, sure to be the envy of her Little Dolly friends! The sewing machine is a design by Minki Kim that just happened to be the perfect size for our little house.

IMG_5854

Here we leave Little Dolly tucked into her bed to snuggle with her favorite Bunny, night, night Little Dolly.

IMG_5862

And lastly, we have a tiny little mouse living way up in the attic, because no doll story would be complete without a sweet mouse family scampering around the attic after the house is fast asleep.

IMG_5864

Have you fallen in love with this sweet play quilt like I have? Are you thinking of the ways you could make this project your own and of all the fun little details you could add here and there? Perhaps colors and fabric prints are coming to mind as well. This my friend is inspiration and Elea’s book is FULL of it. Full of sweet projects just waiting to be made and treasured for years to come.

IMG_5865

Looks like Puppy is getting into the apples! The fabrics for my projects are Little Dolly by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics and Riley Blake solids. Threads are a variety of colors and weights from Arifiul. I used Clover Wonder Fuse to back each of my applique templates. Notions and trims are from my personal collection.

IMG_5878

This little heap of Dolly mess just brings a smile to my face. For now they are sitting in my room looking cute. Scratch that, this morning I found my two little boys playing trucks and planes on the house lines, haha, boys!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my makes today, this has honestly been the most fun sewing that I have done in a long time and I truly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Thank you Elea for making such a wonderfully sweet book, I can’t wait to make more of your projects!

This is just the beginning of the Dolly Book Tour and I for one can not wait to see what the rest of my friends have made! Make sure to follow along for all the fun and inspiration!

Monday 9/18 Faith Essenburg @faithessenburg https://saranaave.wordpress.com
Friday 9/22 Melissa Mortenson @polkadotchair http://www.polkadotchair.com
Monday 9/25 Lauren Nash @transientart  http://transientart.com/
Friday 9/29 Sedef Imer @downgrapevinelane http://www.downgrapevinelane.com/
Monday 10/2 Jemima Flendt @tiedwitharibbon http://www.tiedwitharibbon.com/
Friday 10/6 Jina Barney @jinabarney http://jinabarneydesignz.blogspot.com/
Monday 10/9 Ayda Algin @cafenohut http://cafenohut.blogspot.com/
Friday 10/13 Veronica Marroquin @vividfelicity https://vividfelicity.wordpress.com/
Monday 10/16 Ange Hamilton @alittlepatchwork https://alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com/
Friday 10/20 Nadra Ridgeway @ellisandhiggs https://www.ellisandhiggs.com/
IMG_5871
Have a wonderfully creative week and come back to Sarana Avenue again soon!
-Faith

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Pretty Handmades Book Showcase

September 11, 2017

Pretty Handmades Book Showcase

Hi Friends! Welcome to my stop along the Pretty Handmades Book Showcase! Have you met Lauren Wright? She is maker of all things sweet, cute and pink (or at least that’s how I think of her). I am so excited to be a part of this showcase and to help Lauren celebrate her first book.

IMG_5743

First off, let me just say that I love Tuva Publishing books. They have published some of my favorite makers and therefore have some of my favorite books. The patterns are always sweet and the pictures are so beautiful and inspiring. This book was a bit of a surprise as I was expecting the more traditional smaller size Tuva book. It is big, has more craft paper feel to it and is full of the sweetest drawings to go along with the patterns.

IMG_5744

Just look at the pictures! It definitely adds another layer of charm to this book. With so many sweet makes to chose from, Lauren’s book is great to have on hand for small gifts and those enjoyable slow Saturday sewing projects. This cushion is just one of the items on my list to make from the book! There was however, one project that called out to me right away, I just had to make it!

IMG_5742

This gorgeous Garden Path Mini Quilt was so enjoyable to work on, I don’t always take time to slow down and hand sew but when I do I am reminded of how good it feels to just slow down and enjoy the simple work of something like joining hexagons or adding hand stitching to a project.

IMG_5741

All of the Hexies I used were gifts from friends, over the past few years I’ve grown a little collection of mostly Liberty hexagons sent to me in swaps from around the world. I couldn’t have planned a better project to join them all together and I love how the green and pinks came together. The two Liberty tea cups are extra special from my friend Lisa Ann and were the perfect center to this table topper/ tea mat. I also spy a little Hello Kitty, which reminds me, I need to find more of those cuties!

IMG_5717

I finally had a chance to try the 80 weight thread from Aurifil that I had heard so much about. In the past I had used another very fine thread and had to use a double strand just so it wouldn’t break. I am pleased to say I found the 80 weight great for EPP (English Paper Piecing) and was able to use just one strand.

IMG_5740

I skipped the binding that was called for in the book and went with a simple color faded hand stitched double boarder instead. I love how this wool Aurifil added another texture to the Linen and Liberty.

IMG_5745

Do you ever just look over each hexie for the little details? So fun! Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you leave here inspired to try something new. Feel free to poke around and check out my simple tutorials and follow along for more excitement coming this month.

Lauren will be giving away a signed copy of her book so be sure to check out the rest of the Pretty Handmades Book Showcase

1 Sept 2017 Lauren Wright www.mollyandmama.com.au @mollyandmama
2 Sept 2017 Jemima Flendt www.blog.tiedwitharibbon.com @tiedwitharibbon
3 Sept 2017 Sharon Burgess www.lilabellelanecreations.com @lilabellelane
4 Sept 2017 Lauren Nash www.transientart.com @transientart
5 Sept 2017 Sarah Edgar www.alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk @sarahedgarprettyfabrics
6 Sept 2017 Ange Hamilton www.alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com @alittlepatchwork
7 Sept 2017 Elea Lutz www.elealutzdesign.com @elealutz
8 Sept 2017 Sarah Scott www.piccolostudio.com.au @piccolostudio_sarah
9 Sept 2017 Martina Bahre www.avaandneve.com.au @ava_and_neve
10 Sept 2017 Heather Andrus www.quiltstory.blogspot.com @quiltstory
11 Sept 2017 Faith Essenburg www.saranaave.wordpress.com @faithessenburg
12 Sept 2017 Alisha Orlando www.ministryoffabric.com.au @ministryoffabric
13 Sept 2017 Bev McCullough www.flamingotoes.com @flamingotoes
14 Sept 2017 Stacy Olson www.stacyolsondesign.com @stacyolsondesign
15 Sept 2017 Ali Phillips www.arabesque-scissors.com @arabesquescissors
16 Sept 2017 Mollie Johanson www.wildolive.blogspot.com @molliejohanson
17 Sept 2017 Kristyne Czepuryk www.prettybyhand.com @prettybyhand
18 Sept 2017 Xanthe Grundy www.wife-made.com @wifemade
19 Sept 2017 Anne Oliver www.lolliandgrace.com @lolliandgrace
20 Sept 2017 Larisa Shurupov www.stitchingnotes.com @stitchingnotes
21 Sept 2017 Sedef Imer www.downgrapevinelane.com @downgrapevinelane
22 Sept 2017 Wynn Tan www.zakkaArt.blogspot.com @zakkaArt
23 Sept 2017 Veronica AM www.VividFelicity.wordpress.com @vividfelicity
24 Sept 2017 Minki Kim www.minkikim.com @zeriano
25 Sept 2017 Elise Baek www.eliseandemelie.com @eliseandemelie
26 Sept 2017 Megan Price www.dollyhenry.com.au @dollyhenryau
27 Sept 2017 Nadra Ridgeway www.ellisandhiggs.com @ellisandhiggs
28 Sept 2017 Ayda Algin www.cafenohut.com @cafenohut
29 Sept 2017 Jodi Godfrey www.talesofcloth.com @talesofcloth
30 Sept 2017 Lauren Wright www.mollyandmama.com.au @mollyandmama

Forget-Me-Not Blog Tour

August 28, 2017

IMG_5368

Hello! Welcome to the Forget-Me-Not Blog Tour! I am so excited to kick this week off and show you what I made. Forget-Me-Not is a beautifully bright and fun fabric line designed by Tammie Green for Riley Blake Designs. Tammie said her inspiration for this line was her little girls and I think that comes across so well in the floral designs and heart motif. The color range with its pops of red and dusky blue makes this line perfect for any girl, whether young or all grown up. And to be fair, my boys didn’t want to part with this quilt either, so I guess that makes this line little boy approved as well 😉

IMG_5617

As soon as I saw the Forget-Me-Not fabric line I drew up a simple baby quilt to make for our newest niece. It is a simple 40×40 inch square and I imagine will be used as a play mat and take along quilt on road trips. The design is perfect for a charm pack and a great way to play with solid color as well.

IMG_5614

Each block is made up of four 2 inch squares finishing at 4 inches each, just add rows of 2 inch sashing and you have yourself a quick quilt that shows off the sweet prints in a fun way. This would be so pretty using white for the background as well, but this time I thought I would play with color a little more than I usually do, and I really like the results.

IMG_5615

For the backing I chose this beautiful main print in teal green. I just love those flowery hearts! For the quilting I used my trusty Aurifil thread 50 weight in a creamy color (2000) that blended in nicely and lets the fabrics stand out. Thanks to my sweet quilty friends for their machine quilting tips, (walking foot, longer stitch length, take it slow, and drink wine, lots of wine!) I am very pleased with my quilting results (which doesn’t happen often).

IMG_5623

Riley Blake has beautiful solid fabrics to coordinate with their lines, I used Sea Glass for the background and Coral on the four inch boarder. I love this tiny Petal print for the binding, so perfectly sweet and it comes in three colorways.

IMG_5624

This Forget-Me-Not quilt is all ready and waiting for a new baby girl to snuggle. I just keep looking at it, loving it more and more.

Be sure to follow the rest of the tour with Sedef Imer on Wednesday August 30th and Veronica AM on Friday September 1st, and while you are at it check out Tammie Green  and her beautiful designs as well.

IMG_5641

Thank you for stopping by, for now this little cutie is helping take care of the quilt and hoping it will stay at our home. Maybe the next one will my boy 😉

Wonderful Things Blog Tour

August 23, 2017

WOT-blog-tour-small

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday and welcome to my stop on the Wonderful Things Blog Tour. By now I’m sure you’ve seen the Wonderful Things fabric by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics in all its wonder 😉

IMG_5047

This Aquarelle Study Tint print jumped out at me right away and I picked the other fabrics to compliment the colors. There is also a pastel colorway which is so soft and beautiful, but for this project I liked the striking blacks and bright pinks with pops of yellow.

IMG_5484

My first project is a set of simple zipper pouches that snap together and come apart so you can take one or both of them along with you. Right now I am using them for my makeup, the smaller one holds my on the go makeup, you know; just the essentials. The larger one has my more detailed makeup that I don’t use every day, this way I can take the smaller one and pop it off and into my purse or snap them back together for when I travel.

IMG_5486

The gold snaps I ordered HERE ,they were easy to use and I really like the look of them along with the gold zippers. Kinda gives them a bit of a fancy look, don’t ya think?

IMG_5487

Here they are snapped together, I love how slim and sleek they are. I used Pellon Flex Foam which gives them a bit more stability and durability than just cotton batting. I’m thinking these could even be used for a fancy date night, and how perfect for sneaking lady products to the bathroom in the smaller one! I’m totally going to do that!

IMG_5488

Next up I made a Ruffle Zipper Pouch using my simple tutorial (which you can find HERE). I wanted to add some quilting and I may or may not have gotten a little carried away with it. I used a pink Aurifil (2479) thread and just kept quilting, it was really fun which is why I couldn’t stop!

IMG_5491

I just love the flowers that Bonnie makes, so pretty whether they are softly colored or bright and bold; all so pretty. If you haven’t tried making the Ruffle Zipper Pouch, give it a try! It’s easy and quick and really makes a statement.

IMG_5492

See how fancy that looks? I love the lining so much too, such a great print! How perfect would that be for binding on a quilt!? So this one ended up with makeup in it too which is funny since I only wear it a couple times a week. I actually think I will send this little set off to a friend. Isn’t it great to have some ready made gifts, especially with the holidays right around the corner (I can’t believe I just said that!).

IMG_5483

Simple gifts that are handmade with beautiful fabrics are my favorite. Find Bonnie’s Wonderful Things fabric for sale HERE and see the full blog tour lineup HERE.

Be sure to stop by Katharina Pferdmenge’s blog tomorrow and you can see yesterday’s post HERE.

 

IMG_5494

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to look around, get inspired to try something of your own and come back again soon.

Wonder Fuse Snowflake Pillows

August 4, 2017

Today I finally get to show you what I had been working on all last month! This Summer hasn’t seen much sewing and very few finishes by me, and honestly it’s been great! I’ve enjoyed so many wonderful moments and days on end with my boys just having fun together. I am sadly facing the beginning of school and soaking up every last bit of Summer and extra time with my cuties. But back to my Summer sewing!

IMG_5258

Using Clover’s new Wonder Fuse, I’ve made two raw edge applique pillows that I am absolutely in love with! They are sort of a one of a kind project in the way that I made them, using a classic paper snowflake method. I found various paper snowflake tutorials on Pintrest , set to work folding and cutting, and folding and cutting some more until I had two suitable paper snowflakes (not to mention a pile of very unsuitable ones too!).

IMG_5257

I ironed Clover Wonder Fuse to my fabric squares, folded and marked my cut out lines and set to work cutting out each small piece. My largest and smallest scissors came in handy for this project. Next I ironed the finished snowflakes onto my pillow front fabric. Once It was all fused on (which went quickly and easily compared to other brands I have tried), I added the raw edge sewing by machine using my trusty 50 weight Aurifil thread. A lot of stopping and going and turning, but very satisfying sewing.

IMG_5259

Little Town Fabrics by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve already used up several of my prints! I’ll have to order more because they are the perfect Winter fabrics along with some amazing year round ones too! I’m thinking a Little Town quilt is in my future.

IMG_5261

I took my time and spent the month of July slowly adding hand stitching to outline each snowflake. I fell in love with Aurifil’s creamy 2311 color in 28 weight, so soft and subtle.

IMG_5263

This larger pillow gave me a bit of trouble when I first finished it up, it was so boring looking even with that dark to light contrast. I decided to sleep on it and so the next morning I added this wintergreen binding and a little snowflake patch which I think kind of pulled the whole pillow together and gave it a more sophisticated look. It’s all in the details and sometimes it’s good to just sleep on it and see what comes to you by morning.

IMG_5264

Can you keep a secret? I think this little pillow is my favorite 😉 Or maybe it’s just my favorite for now because the bigger one was my favorite to start with! I’m sure you know how this goes, right? They sure brightened up my sad, worn out chair. One of these days I’ll get brave enough to try recovering it.

IMG_5266

Hand stitching is my favorite relaxing craft and I picked up some tips from my friend Mary of Sunny Day Supply. Have you seen her hand stitching? I could watch her all day long! It’s so calming and peaceful. I used another 28 weight Aurifil thread for this one in a soft gray 2600. And of course I just had to center the a Little Town scene in this snowflake.

IMG_5270

I used this stripe Les Petits Fabric for binding and I just love how Amy’s fabric lines all play so nicely together.

IMG_5268

Yup, this one’s my favorite! These babies might be staying out, after all Winter is right around the corner here in Chicago! Maybe I’ll have a matching quilt by the first snowfall.

IMG_5276

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my pillows today! As always, my wish is that you leave here inspired to try something new.  Head on over to my Instagram for your chance to win a pack of Clover’s Wonder Fuse and their new Marbled Glass Head Pins (which are so cute I had to tell my boys, no they could not play with them!). Thank you Clover for sponsoring this giveaway!

 

Trying New Things

July 10, 2017

For years I told myself (and everyone else) that I wasn’t a sewer. People always assumed I sewed and I was always quick to correct them, I didn’t want to be “that” girl (whoever that was). Well years went by and people change, usually in unexpected ways, and I found myself needing and actually WANTING to sew.

A few years have passed and lately I’ve been feeling the desire to paint. I kept telling myself I’m not a painter, I’m not an artist, my grandma was but she hadn’t passed her skills down to me. Growing up with creativity all around me, drawing, painting, sewing, carpentry, writing, gardening and baking must have rubbed off without my even knowing it. While I was busy living my life, the seeds that were passed down from generations before were busy taking root and waiting to sprout.

After returning from my weekend sewing trip to Vermont, I couldn’t stop thinking about painting the beautiful place we stayed in. The scenery was incredible, full of lush green and the most vivid colors. They moved me in a way that I haven’t been moved by a place in years, probably because we never go anywhere…But still! It was breathtaking! Days and a couple of weeks went by with this desire popping up and each time a little voice would ever so politely remind me that I am NOT an artist. But still something in me just had to try, perhaps it’s the teenage rebellion I’ve never quite outgrown, the desire to do it when I’m told I can’t or worse, I shouldn’t.

After ordering some supplies (and letting them sit on my counter for a few days) I decided I just had to try. I told myself, I may not be an artist, but let’s just see what’s inside. I reminded myself that for the first 29 years of my life I was not a sewer, I had no idea I would be sewing and actually pretty good at making quilts and things.

As I sat down, supplies all set out, I felt like a kid again. I used a pallet and brush that my grandma had given me for my 12th birthday and I could her the instructions she had tried to teach me back then. I worked from a few pictures I had and tried to keep things simple. A couple hours later, I was done. My oldest kept me company by painting along with me and it was a beautiful way to spend an afternoon.

IMG_5037

I feel like I set that scene free that had been locked in my mind for weeks. Starting out with low expectations and just trying to have fun turned out great, I’m happy with my little art piece and I truly enjoyed myself. The portions are not to scale, the details are all wrong and I’m sure this little painted house holds no structural integrity, but who cares? I had fun! Maybe one day I’ll take an art class to work on more detailed projects, but for now it’s fun to just play around. I’m glad I gave myself permission to try something new. I might not be an artist, but I also don’t consider myself a quilter either. I am just Faith and I enjoy creativity in many forms. No need for labels or titles here.

So I’m curious, what have you been wanting to try? What’s that little voice inside (or perhaps outside) telling you that you can’t do, you shouldn’t try? Go for it! I encourage you to try! Because you never know what seeds of creativity have been growing inside of you while you’ve been busy with life, just waiting to sprout up. Take a deep breath and have fun!

IMG_4867

With some dear creative friends in Goshen Vermont at Blueberry Hill Inn.

Two Liberty Quilts, a Faith Bundle and a Giveaway

June 30, 2017

Have you seen the Liberty half square triangle quilt I made? I was trying to be so sneaky about it, only posting little glimpses on Instagram. First of all, it was a surprise gift for a sewing friend and second of all, I was making TWO of them! That’s right, two weeks before I left to go on my first sewing retreat I decided that two of my dear sewing friends needed to be spoiled and what better way to spoil sewing friends than with Liberty QUILTS!?

IMG_4821

I set to work cutting and sewing like mad using a “four at a time” HST method. I absolutely loved this quick easy method of starting with one white 8 1/2 inch square and one Liberty 8 1/2 inch square, place right sides together, sewing all around the square with a 1/4 inch seam and then cutting a big X from corner to corner which leaves you with four beautiful 5 1/2 inch blocks to work with. Easy peasy!

IMG_4876

There’s me, holding up one of my quilts at the most beautiful spot in Vermont. All the gorgeous pictures were taken by my lovely friends Cheri, Jenni and Michael Anne since my phone died right as we went to take pictures.

IMG_4825

Once all my blocks were cut and ready to go, I had a little freak out about colors and placement of blocks. Color order is not my thing, rainbows don’t come naturally to me, but something about all those colors and prints together just called for a bit of order. So I tried it and I am so happy I did! Now, I am still no pro and I didn’t want to go over board with a strict color grid but I think that subtle wave of rainbow was just what these quilts needed. After laying out the first set of quilt blocks, I decided to make the second quilt identical, so I handed my boys the second stack of blocks and told them to match the prints, they had a blast!

IMG_4925

This picture came out fuzzy (we were getting attacked by bugs!) but I needed documented proof that there actually were two quilts, finished in two weeks or else you might not believe me!

IMG_4826

A bonus to the “four at a time” HST method is that the fabrics are cut on the bias which gives them a bit of stretch and ends up with perfectly matched points and minimal effort! Seriously, my points never all line up this well! I used a solid white cotton from Joann’s and a solid white flat sheet for the backing which made the quilts SO soft. I went with Aurifil 50 weight minimal quilting down every other row since I was short on time (and working with a machine that doesn’t like to play nice during quilting) and I loved the outcome, they have more of a soft and fluffy comforter feel to them making it the ideal snuggle blanket.

IMG_4822

Here is my friend Jenni and I, we should have gotten one with Cheri too but picture taking was just not at the top of my priority list (unlike, talking, eating, sewing and just enjoying our time together!). I should note here that these two girls have spoiled me rotten with hand made gifts over the past two years, shared generously with me their fabrics and notions and are truly dear friends (even if solely over text). I truly hope they love and use their quilts and wear them thin from use. After all, quilts are made to be used and loved!

IMG_4824

I just love the reflection of the quilt in the pond! Like a watercolor painting.

IMG_4875

People are always telling me that they have Liberty fabric but don’t know what to do with it, or they don’t know how to sew with it, or my personal favorite: they are saving it for something “really special” (as if everything we makers make isn’t already special enough!). If this is you, I would just like to encourage you to give it a try! I started sewing with Liberty when I was a very new sewer, so clearly if I could do it then, you can do it now! Liberty pairs so nicely with solid cottons, linen or even denim. I like to add it in whenever I can, mixing it right in with all my other quilting cottons! Just give it a try, I know you will love it!

IMG_4927

I have curated a special “Faith” bundle with some of my favorite Liberty prints, available from Duckadilly Fabrics in fat 16ths, fat 8ths and fat quarters which you can find HERE. It’s the perfect collection to add to your Liberty stash or the perfect bundle to get your Liberty stash started, either way I know you will love working with this striking, silky fabric!

IMG_4823

For your chance to WIN a Faith’s fat 8th bundle, head over to my Instagram post, follow both myself, Duckadilly and tag a friend or two in the comments. Winner will be selected at random on Monday.

Thank you so much for stopping by, I truly hope you leave here feeling inspired to try your own sewing projects… And maybe even a little Liberty 😉

Special thanks to Lesley form Duckadilly Fabrics for sponsoring the giveaway and for always having a fabulous Liberty selection and the best customer service.

Boxes of Friendships

June 19, 2017

IMG_4786

The greatest gifts in life are the friendships we are blessed with. I am a fairly private person (I know, shocking!), we like to keep our family time personal and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for making and growing friendships. As I’ve mentioned before, this past year has been a hard one for me personally, it’s left me feeling hurt and vulnerable and lonely a lot of the time. But recently I’ve been feeling the hurts healing, and my strength of spirit coming back (funny how that happens when you give it to God). I am learning to prioritize the friends I have been blessed with, whether it’s setting up play dates or girls nights out with close friends I don’t see enough of, or texting my dear friends I have yet to meet in person. It also means putting myself out there to make new friends, maybe just acquaintances, but you never know when that one dear friendship is going to come along in the most unexpected place (hello Instagram friends!). I am learning to sit with friends in tears, sharing in their pain, join with them in prayer, open up when I need to, and for goodness sake I seem to forever be learning when to keep my mouth shut!

I keep thinking of that famous Forest Gump quote “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gunna get”, and it goes for friendships too. You make friends and you just never know what you are going to get. Sometimes the friendships we most expect to be the deep, rich, lasting ones seem to crumble away for any number of reasons. Sometimes the ones that might not look that promising end up being just the friendship your soul was craving.

Last week was crazy!  Between play dates, pool dates, sewing dates, and a girls brunch, I think I saw more of my friends than I usually see in six months! I guess I tried to cram a summer full of fun into one week, our bodies were exhausted but our hearts were full. To top it off, I am busy preparing for a weekend away with sewing friends in Vermont, all of whom I have never met in person! And this morning a beautiful package came in the mail all the way from a dear new friend in Turkey and it’s all left me feeling overwhelmed with friendship and all the thoughts that go along with it.

It takes a special gift to bless others with kindness and my friend Ayda did just that.

IMG_4787

The sweetest packages tied up with string, with more beautiful ribbons and strings inside each sweet box!

IMG_4789

The softest handmade doilies, sweet pin cushion, buttons and a lovely hand written card. I found myself hoping that Ayda’s next book will be on making and sending sweet small gifts and packages since she does it so well and I want to learn from her.

IMG_4790

These beautiful little gifts will be treasured for years to come and will remind me of the friendship and kindness that stands behind them.

Now clearly we can’t all be the best of friends, that’s just not how this all works. What we can do is treat others with friendship, kindness and respect, reaching out to those we can whoever they may be. After all, we are all just people, the same underneath all our differences. And when we get burnt by friendship (as anyone who has lived long enough has), breath deep, give it to God who knows and cares, put on your big girl panties, and try another chocolate covered friendship, because you just never know what you’re gunna get!

IMG_4788

Motherhood

May 23, 2017

IMG_4515

Motherhood,

Boys waking up too early, needing extra snuggles before I’m out of bed, crying because someone did something (already? It’s not even 7 o’clock), trying to guide three boys through fighting and arguing, not to mention doing their morning tasks. 

Feeling overwhelmed, I lock the bathroom door for a moment alone; this isn’t what I saw when I imagined my life as a mother. The constant overwhelmed feeling, just trying to catch my breath. And no, it’s not always like this. Some mornings I lay in bed listening to the quiet laughter of childhood play and it fills my heart, blessed. Those are the moments I dreamed of all my life, the ones you see in happy family movies, not this Lifetime drama where kids need constant discipline and care, the house is always a mess and put away clean laundry is the climax of the whole show.

All this runs through my mind in a matter of seconds, spinning my head with scenes of the life I had imagined. Suddenly I’m brought back to reality, locked in my bathroom when I hear banging on the door. It’s my littlest boy just wanting to be held. I hear my husband telling him to leave mommy alone, which only brings him to tears.

On one side of that door is me, an overwhelmed, exhausted mom who just needs to put in her contacts and brush teeth, take a shower if I have enough time. And on the other side is a three year old boy who for whatever reason just needs his mommy to hold him, maybe he’s coming down with something, maybe he didn’t sleep well.

I listen for another minute, Zachary crying, big boys still arguing. Feeling close to tears myself, I quietly unlock the door, pulling Zachary in by his arm and locking it again behind him. As soon as I hold him to me he starts to calm, all but a few hard breaths still shaking his little body. I close my eyes breathing in his scent, his heart pounding against my own.

No, this wasn’t what I imagined motherhood to be, full of crying, arguing children, exhausted parents, toys everywhere and the laundry, always the laundry.

I take another deep breath opening my eyes, I see myself holding Zachary in the mirror. I smile at him and I can see a glimpse of a smile from behind his ever present passie. I can feel my mind calming, peace filling my heart. Love pouring into that small room. I grab my phone to capture this moment, this mundane yet somehow special day.

These are the times, the days I am told I will look back on. With a decade of motherhood under my arm, I know how fast it’s going, even the long hard days somehow go too quickly.

I give my baby another tight squeeze, sending him of to play (to join in the fight with his brothers no doubt!). Alone again, I think of all the beautiful gifts and small blessings that daily motherhood brings, those little hugs each morning, my middle guy making us late at school drop off because he just needs one (10?) more kiss from me, the special one on one time with my youngest during the weekdays (that will come to an end all too soon), my oldest who is full of I love you’s and just wants to talk to me (non stop).

Blessings each one of them, making the hard, overwhelming moments of motherhood all worth it. Yes, I could have never imagined how sweet and precious these moments would be.

The good, the bad, the laundry and all.

Motherhood.

(Thoughts from Mother’s Day morning 2017)

Easy Lace Edge Tutorial

May 17, 2017

IMG_4496

Hi friends! I have a quick little tutorial I want to share with you for adding a lace trim edge to your quilting. It’s so simple, but I had trouble figuring out which way to fold mine to get nice corners so I figured maybe someone else would appreciate pictures too.

IMG_4490

Today I’ve made a simple nine patch mug rug, I have my binding and trim all ready and clips holding it in place for starting. My favorite binding method is from Jera Brandvig of Quilting in the Rain which can be found in her book Quilt As You Go Made Modern. Her method takes all the math work out of closing up your binding strip and has turned the dreaded last step of the process into a breeze. I machine sew all my binding mostly because I am just too lazy to hand bind but I also feel that my binding will hold up better over time having been machine stitched (After all, its gotta hold up under the wear and tear of my three boys!).

IMG_4491

Sew your lace and binding on at the same time, stopping when you get a few inches from the corner. With your quilt still in place under the sewing needle, move the binding to the side so you have room to make a neat corner with the lace. Leaving a little slack in your lace, lay flat along the bottom edge and push out to the corner.

IMG_4492

Finger press your corner and play with it until you have a neat angled corner. Use a clip to hold into place while you sew your binding to the corner as you would normally. Repeat with all four corners and close off your binding.

IMG_4493

Once you have attached the lace and binding, fold the binding to the back side and clip into place. I stitch in the ditch on the front side of my quilts just along the edge of the binding, making sure to catch the back of the binding as I go. If you miss a spot, just go over it again when you are done and it wont be noticeable.

IMG_4494

As you can see, I’ve trimmed the lace so it overlaps a little. You could whip stitch the two ends together to give it extra hold as well. You can also see a closeup of my closed off binding. I know some people prefer a seamless look but for me it was so stressful doing the math and trying to get any uneven bumps out that I’ll take this little overlap pocket look and save myself the stress. For me, quilting is about enjoying the process and pouring love into something that will be a treasured gift.

IMG_4497

Sweet little mug rug ready for a hot cup of tea. Fabrics and lace are La Conner by Jera Brandvig for Lecien Fabrics. I added simple hand quilting using Brillo from Aurifil which has a golden shimmer to it and goes nicely with the bits of metallic in these fabrics. This is a line you need to see in person to get the full beauty of those sparkles. (Insert heart eyes emoji here).

I hope this little tutorial was helpful, feel free to let me know if you have any questions.