The Summer House Collection

October 10, 2019

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The Summer House Collection from Liberty Lasenby Quilting cotton had me at Hello. Actually it had me at the description on the Riley Blake page that says “The latest collection from the Liberty Fabrics design studio drew inspiration from the interiors of 17th and 19th century orangeries. The Summer House quilting collection illustrates the grand architecture of these structures – paying homage to the details of decorative tiled flooring, iron works and trellises. Archival artworks are translated into conversational prints inspired by citrus fruits, plants and vines weaving amongst detailed ironworks, while floral geometric designs evoke the forms of intricate tiles.” This stirred my old soul and drew a picture in my mind which I sketched out for reference.

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With fabrics in hand, I set to work to create something that was a bit out of my comfort zone and required new to me techniques such as; blocks on point, invisible machine sewn applique, and bias applique. Sometimes your work evolves as you go and you end up with something very different than what you had pictured, this was not the case here and I feel immensely proud that the vision I had in mind and sketched on paper actually translated to fabric in a beautiful and cohesive way.

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Once I had my log cabin blocks set on point with a center blank canvas running through, I set to work on the applique shapes. I used templates for those that you can find here. I knew I wanted to try invisible machine applique stitching so I played around with the machine settings on my Janome Memory Craft 6700P until I was happy with the look (or lack of) stitches. This was my first time working with a monofilament thread from Aurifil and I just loved it!

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With all the applique sewn down I added echo quilting and a bit of accent on top of the shapes as well. I was debating what thread to use for quilting the blocks and what design when my 12 year old son said I should use the monofilament thread on the blocks as well to keep the focus on the quilt design rather than the quilting. Brilliant thinking and I just love having an artist to bounce ideas around with in my very own home!

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The quilting might be my favorite part but it’s a toss up between that and the lemon print boarder! My backing is a basic yellow Swiss Dot from Riley Blake which is one of my go to low volume fabrics for any project.

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I wanted to show you a close up of this stitch that tacks down the applique every few stitches and can be adjusted as needed for the size and shape of your work. I used a white thread in my bobbin and you can see that a bit here on the black leaves. I will be using this method again as it was a fun way to sew and I just love the look of it. IMG_4757

I am just so pleased with this project, I feel like it could easily be at home in one of those 17th century orangeries or even hanging over the railing at Liberty of London. Maybe that’s a bit of a bold statement but I believe in taking pride in your work especially when it’s showcasing the works of others as well, from the fabrics that are designed so carefully and curated over more than one hundred years, to the products I use that help to create something that is truly a collaborative work of art. I could not have done any of it without Riley Blake, Aurifil, Janome, Clover tools, Soak Wash flatter spray, Anna Maria Horner’s templates, and Hobbs batting. Sometimes it takes more than just a quilter to make a quilt!

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Thank you for taking the time to stop by, I hope you leave here feeling inspired to try new things and have fun in whatever you do.

 

 

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Rainy Day Sewing and a Giveaway

September 6, 2019

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Today I have the honor of kicking off the Rainy Day Sewing Tour for my friend Amy and Kristyne’s book! If you’ve been following along here for a while you may know that Amy is truly the reason I was inspired to try sewing in the first place. Her’s were the sweetest projects and the first time I actually thought “hmm, maybe I could make that”. A while later Amy put out her first book Sweetly Stitched Handmades, one I ordered just for the pretty pictures and later ended up making every last project in the book during the sew along! A couple years after that I spent a weekend in Vermont with Amy and 20 other girls who are all dear friends now. I knew this second book of Amy’s would be special too and with Kristyne on board it could only get better!

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When you can’t decide what you want to make first it’s a good problem to have! I decided on the little doll mattress and quilt, along with the Kitty, you know just for starters! I pulled some of my most hoarded fabrics and set to work. I especially love the visual instructions in this book, something I find helpful for not only beginners but visual learners like myself.

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The mattress has instructions for making it any size to fit the bed you have which was helpful since this is a one of a kind doll bed that my grandpa made years ago. The quilt was just right with a few strips left off of the sides. This block is so fun it could also be made up into a full size quilt with repeat blocks!

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For such a sweet little project with some of my favorite fabrics I decided to go the extra mile and add hand stitching. I used one of my favorite neutral Aurifil threads in a 28 weight (2311).

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It’s all in the tiny details – – – – –

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This Kitty was especially fun to make, from choosing her little socks and ear prints to making her dress and stitching her face. This is a great weekend project or Saturday sewing in a time crunch, think birthday gift! I will note that I used a zipper foot to sew her body together which I find helpful for all my small scale sewing.

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My boys are asking me to make a boy kitty next and I think it can be done. For now this little girl is hanging out in my sewing room.

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The mattress is extra plush, fit for a kitty princess and ready for play!

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Just like Amy’s first book, I already have several other projects marked for sewing and I know it’s one I will be turning to over and over again. If you would like a chance to win a copy of your own, head on over to my Instagram page for more details!

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This morning when I was looking for this little bed set I found it in my youngest boys room, he had tucked his two favorite bears in before heading off to school and it made my heart full.

Be sure to follow Amy and Kristyne to see the full lineup of makers this month and order your copy of this wonderful book available mid September from Sunny Day Supply and other shops.

The Seedling Quilts Book

August 17, 2019

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This beautiful book came a while back and I’ve slowly been enjoying some hand sewing all summer long. Jodi of Tales Of Cloth has beautiful patterns and English Paper Piecing designs in her shop and her book is no different.

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The Seedling Quilts book has a gorgeous sampler quilt along with all the individual blocks made up into their own quilts. You can take her designs and EPP a whole quilt or make a smaller project which is what I have done.

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I loved the look of this Honeycomb design and was so pleased to find they came together really quickly especially since I decided to make a very long table runner.

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I’ve wanted to pair Liberty fabrics with classic ticking for a while now and decided this would be the perfect project to run with and I couldn’t love it more!

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I decided for durability and time that I would machine sew the finished Liberty piece onto the runner using a soft white Aurifil thread.

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And because I wanted to give the smaller honeycomb papers a try I made place mats as well. Only four so far but I’ve got more on my stand to keep working at the rest. For these I used a natural linen with a ticking back on each mat.

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My color pallet here was intentionally random to let the eclectic Liberty prints and colors really shine in all their individual glories. I think it brings a fun feel to our Victorian dining room.

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If you’ve never tried English Paper Piecing I highly recommend starting with Jodi’s help either from her book or right from her shop. Her instructions are clear and the templates and papers just work really nicely. Remember my Mandolin quilt I finished this year? That was all her pattern and guidance!

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Most of these prints can be found at Ava and Neve or Duckadilly Fabrics. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and leave here feeling inspired to try something creative of your own. To see the rest of the Seedling Quilts projects, follow Jodi on Instagram and stay tuned for a sew along she will be hosting just in time for Fall sewing.

Merry And Bright Collection

August 7, 2019

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Hi there! Over here we are busy wrapping up Summer and sadly getting ready for the start of another school year, and while the temps in the Midwest are still sunny warm, my sewing room has been all Christmas!

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When I saw this Merry and Bright Collection by Dani Mogstad for Riley Blake Designs, I jumped at the chance to play with it. The colors are perfect and the prints have this beautiful vintage look to them.

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I wanted to make a simple quilt block that would show off the prints really well, I almost went with a basic large scale patchwork to let the prints really shine but landed on this block called First Place from Emily Dennis‘ book Modern Quilts Block By Block. It ended up being really easy because of the way Emily has her patterns laid out. I just love the look of all these blocks together.

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Ahhhh! Makes my Christmas loving heart happy! I love the mix of greens from dark to light along with the pop of pinks and red. The low volume prints are a must in any winter fabric stash, I’ll be ordering more of those!

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I used a soft cream solid from RBD to match the retro feel of the colors. Each block is 15 inches and this generous lap quilt measures 60×75.

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The backing is a small red gingham that I just fell in love with and for binding I used several of the green prints. I kept the quilting simple with wavy vertical lines every three inches using a soft cream Aurifil thread (2000).

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I couldn’t possibly choose a favorite print from this line, the gifts, the vintage looking ornaments and cars with trees tied on the tops, the adorable deer and the larger scale print with Santas and snowmen, all so perfect!

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Now I’m ready for a cup of hot coco and a cozy fire with this quilt! Well, almost ready!

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How cute would Christmas clothes be in this line!? A family of matching pajamas or dresses and shirts? There is even an adorable ready to sew advent calendar! Really with a line this cute you can’t go wrong! Check your favorite quilt shops now for Merry and Bright and get a head start on your Holiday sewing!

Season’s Greetings Quilt

July 19, 2019

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The newest Liberty Of London Lasenby cotton is here and just in time for all your well planned Holiday sewing dreams! Season’s Greetings is a smaller line with just 12 gorgeous prints, the perfect balance of old Liberty classics and more modern prints and colors. Several have a metallic sheen to them that is extra fun!

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For such a classic line I wanted to make a really special quilt that could be hand quilted and loved forever. I chose this January block  that I had seen from Mary Dugan of Sunny Day Supply and was so inspired by. It proved to be more difficult than I had expected, full disclosure: almost none of my points lined up. Newsflash; nobody cares and it still looks beautiful!

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It was so much fun to watch the shapes take place as I added each block in.

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I used several Aurifil 12 weight threads to hand quilt in big messy stitches, dark green, golden yellow for the centers and a maroon which all show though beautifully on the back.

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You know it’s a special quilt when you bring it all the way to Vermont so you can take pictures of it on a beautiful old barn! Totally worth it!

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I love how this line is perfect for the whole Winter and Holiday season, not just Christmas which means I can keep it out for longer than just the month of December. The texture that hand quilting adds is just dreamy! For this quilt I also tried a cotton batting from Quilters Dream that was dreamy to work with!

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My blocks are 12 inch square and the quilt finishes at 60×72 perfect for the couch.

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This silver Blossom fabric by The Tattooed Quilter is just the bit of sparkle this quilt back needed to let those hand stitches shine!

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I never hand stitch my binding because I don’t take the time for it but also my machine stitches hold up better in the long run, this time however I was inspired by my friend Cheri and had to add even more stitches which were totally worth the extra bit of time it took.

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I love the colors and designs in this collection and just feel so pleased with how this quilt turned out! One of my favorite finishes this year for sure!

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My Liberty loving heart is happy and just as soon as Fall comes this quilt is going out on my couch spot! (Who am I kidding!? It’s out already!).

Dorothy’s Journey

July 1, 2019

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I am so excited to share this fabric collection with you all! As soon as I saw Dorothy’s Journey by Jill Howorth for Riley Blake Designs I jumped at the chance to work with it! The sweetest illustrations from a classic story with loads of my favorite color greens.

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The greens of course are always the first to catch my eye but now that I’m looking at the pictures the blues are just as striking to me. The pops of pink and yellow are just the balance this line needed, perfect for boys, girls and grown ups!

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Jill has such adorable illustrations in all of her lines but this one may just take the cake! She went with the classic book for her inspiration and kept Dorothy’s shoes silver and they actually shimmer along with other pops of glistening silver on many of the fabrics.

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This cloud print has the most sheen to it which I just loved but didn’t include in my quilt, I’ll be using it on my next quilt with the leftovers from this one.

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Right away I knew I wanted to make a quilt with this line (no surprise there, right?) but I had the hardest time choosing a pattern that would be simple enough to let the fabrics shine and easy enough that I could whip it up in less than a week!

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I found inspiration from Heidi Staples (Fabricmutt) and her tutorial for a pillow which can be found HERE. I enlarged the block by starting with a 9×4.5 print and two 4.5 low volume fabrics, the quilt is a nice throw size at 60×68

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The retro glam feel of the quilt is just the look I wanted to showcase this classic fabric line and it came together so smoothly and lightning quick.

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You can see the block is a simple rectangle and is easy enough to customize any size you want. The low volume prints are a sliver and black Blossom and a white on white gingham from Riley Blake.

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For quilting I went with wavy lines in a coordinating green 28 weight Aurifil thread (2845) and the binding and backing of course had to be gingham!

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I think the touch of black gingham binding frames the whole quilt out nicely, I just love these tiny 1/8 inch gingham prints.

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I finished up this quilt last night and was using it immediately and this morning when I came downstairs I found one of my boys snuggled up in it, those are my favorite kind of makes, cozy and heartwarming.

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And lastly, just look at that adorable salvage edge! A rainbow of tiny Toto’s!! I have a stack of leftover half square triangles from this quilt that I will make up into a child size quilt and this bit of edge will be used in it, too cute!

Follow Jill Haworth and Riley Blake for more Dorothy cuteness!

 

Loyal Heights Project Tour

June 13, 2019

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Hi friends! Welcome to my stop on the Loyal Heights project tour for Quilting In The Rain Jera’s newest fabric line. I have been lucky enough to play with a few of her lines in the past as well as contribute a quilt to her second book Quilt As You Go Made Vintage.  This time around I was taken away by the beautiful range of colors, especially those peachy pinks!

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I decided to make a runner using the QAYG method and improv log cabin blocks. I cut my strips 2 inches wide and 1.5 wide placed around blocks of 2.5 inch and 4.5 square for lots of variety to choose from.

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I added bits of decorative machine stitching on each block as well as a couple of the cute salvage bits with the golden umbrellas just for fun. The tiny gold heart prints are some of my favorite prints along with the fruit print and the more low volume floral ones.

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I used all the leftover green prints for the binding to frame it out nicely. If you have yet to try Jera’s Quilt As You Go sewing method, I highly recommend it, whether you are going for a classic look or a more modern quilt block, shes got you covered with both of her books!

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More sparkly umbrellas and tiny gold hearts, such a sweet line!

I wanted to make one more small make to show off these cute prints and was just in time to pattern test for my friend Melissa!

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This tiny Caravan Pincushion was just the right thing to use up the last of my favorite peachy low volume print with tiny leftover scraps for the rest. You can find the pattern from Melissa available soon.

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This runner works well in my sewing room as well and I think it’s just the touch of Spring colors this room needed. Be sure to follow Jera to see all the beautiful projects on this tour.

 

Anna Maria Horner Showcase

May 13, 2019

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Well this was fun! Free Spirit Fabrics along with Aurifil Thread and Anna Maria Horner teamed up for a special showcase with some of the Aurifil artisans. We were each sent three fat quarters of Anna’s Passionflower line and a coordinating thread, I requested mine to be a 12 weight so that I could add some hand stitching to my project.

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I had no idea what I would make with my fabrics, maybe a tea towel or coasters but when I saw these beautiful fabrics I decided to go big! I fussy cut a large floral collection from one of the prints and machine stitched it to another.

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The striped fabric really spoke to me and I wanted something that would be in and around our home in constant use. It also plays well as a summer patio pillow to brighten up our outdoor space.

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I used the Aurifil 12 weight thread (color 1148) to outline the applique flowers and add some subtle decorative stitching on the stripes. I have been loving working with 12 weight and adding hand stitches to ALL the projects, it’s a simple way to ramp up any handmade project and give it that extra bit of “wow” factor.

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I used the entire fat quarter for the front, only cutting off the salvage so the pillow measures about 21×18 which I was able to use a $2 Ikea pillow insert bunched up a bit. I am so happy with how this turned out that I will have to make more for around our home! Who knew that all it took to make a great pillow was three fat quarters!

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For the back I used all of the third fabric in this beautiful gray and added a panel of the floral for my pillow pocket. I made the pocket extra deep for stuffing that bigger pillow in.

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Detail of my big wonky stitches. The colors in this fabric are simply stunning and a pillow is an easy way to add a pop of color to any room (or patio)!

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I brought the pillow in when it started raining and it goes well with our favorite ratty old chair in the living room as well. Later in the day I found my oldest cozied up with it on the couch which filled my heart FULL. I suppose it can’t be helped in this house, handmade things just seem to travel about from room to room as needed.

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Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed what you see and leave here feeling inspired. Be sure to follow along with Aurifil Thread, Free Spirit Fabrics,  Anna Maria Horner and myself on Instagram for more ideas and inspiration!

 

 

Kindred Spirits Quilt

May 9, 2019

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Anne Of Green Gables has a special place in a lot of our hearts, I believe it was one of the first movies I watched as a girl and the first that I watched over and over and played out the scenes with my sister and our friends when we were a bit older. Later came the Avonlea show and my mom reading the rest of the series to us. I think it’s safe to say that an Anne fabric line would be a must have for a girl like me especially when it includes the perfect shades of green.

IMG_1573 Jill Howarth is an illustrator of all things sweetly adorable and has been designing fabrics with Riley Blake since 2017. For this line I wanted a block that would show off her illustrations as the focal point so the economy block was a perfect fit. I added some solid pink cotton and a leftover blush Linen for the background and hoped it wouldn’t be too much pink.

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In the end I added several solid blocks of the soft pink fabrics to give the eye a place to rest as well as the bright pink blocks to add a pop of color. These solid blocks add another design to the pattern as well but are placed randomly.

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It’s an eye spy quilt of Anne and friends! I added simple quilting in a pale pink (2410) Aurifil thread to frame each center block. The backing had to be a green with white dots and it goes so sweetly with all that pink.

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Green Gables set in a field of flowers, wouldn’t these fabrics make the sweetest Summer dresses for girls?

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Anne and Diana, the original Kindred Spirits! I think this one is them meeting in secret to trade locks of hair or perhaps on a slow walk home from school, stopping to pick flowers along the way.

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And then there are the classic Anne quotes, sweet in childhood and still ringing true decades later.

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My blocks are 6 inches each finishing this quilt at the perfect child size of 42×54, great for keeping handy to snuggle under with a favorite copy of Anne of Green Gables.

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Now I just need to decide which of my many nieces would most love this quilt, after all the joy is in the making AND gifting.

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Be sure to follow Riley Blake and Jill Howarth on Instagram for more beautiful fabrics! I am excited to be working with her next line as well, stay tuned!

 

 

My Heather Ross Norah Quilt

April 10, 2019

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I managed to get some beautiful photos of my log cabin block quilt and thought I would post a gallery here. The #sunnylogcabinsal hosted by my friends at Sunny Day Supply has been so much fun not only to sew with but also to see all the other beautifully inspiring makes. I decided to go with the “Nora” version where the whole quilt is one big block since I had been wanting to make one for years after seeing Mary’s original Norah quilt. I am just so glad I did, it was such a fun easy make and what better fabric to use than my long hoarded Heather Ross collection. I say long but actually by the time I started sewing many of Heather’s fabrics were hard to find and well out of my price range, but thanks to friends for sharing bits and pieces with me over the year I do have a nice stash! I went with 2 inch strips that finish at 1.5 and the whole quilt top is about 74.5 inches square. Since this quilt is just for my family, I took the liberty of using all the tiny parts I wanted to including salvages, tiny scraps and pajama pieces that I took apart with a seam ripper. This quilt is full of happiness for me, my boys keep asking when I am going to finish it as its already their favorite quilt. I plan to take it with me to Vermont this summer to hand quilt while I chat and visit with the dearest group of sewing friends imaginable, then not only will my quilt look beautiful but it will also hold the memories of laughter shared in the stitches.

Enjoy!

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