Vivacious Applique Quilt

March 3, 2022

When I saw the Vivacious fabrics from Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit, I knew I had to do some sort of applique with fussy cut flowers but I also wanted some quilt blocks as well. Sometimes quilts just sort of tell you what they want to become and you almost just have to sit back and see where it takes you. I started with the four center blocks and a whole lot of Wonder Fuse and very relaxing scissor work, then stood back to see what needed adding next. I was inspired by a soft background quilt that I had seen in a class I took years ago by Anna Maria so those blocks came next. Bit by bit things came along and were hand cut with scissors and machine sewn, a lot of raw edge sewing and applique as well as bias cut vine work that has edges folded under. I wanted a garden feel, adding vines and more of her gorgeous flowers. Last touch was adding binding, and hand quilting. All threads used will be available in August from Aurifil when Vivacious fabric will also be available.

I often sew with lawn fabrics and just as I had hoped, these are a dream to work with. Thin but not see through, soft yet strong, and the extra width of the fabrics made backing this quilt a breeze. Perfect summer quilt weight, soft, light and squishy.

Vivacious Tunic Dress

February 2, 2022

Welcome to my sadly neglected blog, I can’t believe it’s been two years since I posted here but like most of us these last two years have held a lot of changes and for me that meant separation, work after 14 years home, a move and divorce. While life has eased up just a bit I have enjoyed slowly dipping my toes back into creating and this past Sunday I jumped right back in and made this little tunic dress from start to finish.

With these Vivacious fabrics by Anna Maria Horner from Free Spirit Fabrics I was asked to create one fashion item and one patchwork project. The patchwork I knew would be wonderful to get me back to my love of quilting and the fashion item would be the little nudge to help me do something I’ve been wanting to try more of; garment sewing.

I selected this blue leopard print and found a simple tunic pattern in a book I have called Liberty Love. These fabrics are buttery soft, lightweight cotton lawn and are a generous 54 inches wide, perfect for so many projects. I added a double layer of sheer fabric for the top that I found at Joann.

I’ll be honest, animal print is a bold choice and I was a bit nervous to wear this but I felt so good pairing it with leggings and a sweater. This will be a fun summer look with sandals too.

Little hook and eye detail I added to hold the sleeve cuff up. I also tacked the sleeve under the arms to keep the cuff folded over.

Now that I’ve got my creativity back, I have started work on my Vivacious patchwork project and I am very excited to watch it unfold and come to life in front of me. Thank you for stopping by and please make sure to follow along on Instagram to see all the Vivacious makers and their projects and stay tuned for more from me as well including a giveaway!

Liberty Flower Show

January 20, 2020

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Liberty’s newest quilting cotton; Spring Flower Show feels so happy with soft colors and tiny flower prints, perfect for Spring that can’t get here soon enough.

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I chose one of my favorite patterns from Amy Sinibaldi’s book Sweetly Stitched Handmades, instead of making one Starburst Dresden for a pillow I went all out and made nine for a whole quilt.

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The centers of each starburst are made using various low volume fabrics I had in my stash that include Blossom fabrics and other Riley Blake staples.

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Somehow this quilt seems to have an instant heirloom quality to it, I’m not sure if it’s the dresden shapes or the soft tone of the background or the fact that it’s already a bit crinkly to start with but I’m happy with the look and feel.

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Iv’e added a few Wiltshire Shadow fabrics into the mix here, this is a line of fabrics that were made to coordinate with all the Liberty quilting cotton lines and they really do add to the collection nicely. Plus who doesn’t love the classic Wiltshire print!

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Each block measures just under 20 inches and this quilt finishes at 58 inch square with a nice heavy feel from the weight of the dresdens, perfect for snuggling under.

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Beautiful colors and classic florals make for a dreamy fabric collection, I especially love the green tones in here.

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I had to laugh this morning when I came downstairs to see my freshly finished quilt had already been put to use by one of my boys. Quilts are made to be used and loved, over and over again.

 

Sew Cute Quilts and Gifts Book Tour

January 10, 2020

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Hi! Welcome to my stop on the Sew Cute Quilts and Gifts Book Tour, I am excited to share what I’ve made from this beautiful new book from Atsuko Matsuyama and Zakka Workshop. If you are not familiar with Atsuko’s work, she is a fabulous fabric designer from Japan and has several books available in both English and Japanese.

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This book has many sweet projects that include machine and hand sewing and range in size from small pouches that can be finished in an afternoon to a beautiful hand sewn quilt that is truly a masterpiece.

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I decided to go with this Flat Zipper Pouch and used these cute fussy cut fabrics instead of the floral applique that the original pouch shows. It was a great way to showcase some favorite fabrics and also save on time.

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My favorite part is the zipper and binding which were surprisingly fun to work on!

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A little cherry print lining to add with the cherry theme on the outside. It was surprising how much fruit fabric I’ve collected over the years. The assembly was really fun and the directions in the book were clear and well laid out with plenty of illustrations for visual learners like myself.

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Hand quilting added to the front and back in a soft mint 40 weight thread that is a little thicker than basic 50 weight thread, Aurifil 2800.

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All of my fabrics used are from Sunny Day Supply and have been collected over the past couple years, most of these are still available in their shop I believe, along with SO many other beautiful fabrics. These are all Yuwa and I absolutely love the feel of this brand for small projects as well as quilting, you can see and feel the quality. Sunny Day Supply is also hosting a wonderful fabric giveaway for two which you can find HERE on Instagram and each of the makers this week have a book to giveaway as well from Zakka Workshop, so be sure to check them out for more chances to win!

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I will be holding my book giveaway over on Instagram, so check that out as well! Thank you for stopping by, I hope you leave here feeling inspired to try a bit of your own creativity.

 

Pemberly

November 25, 2019

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I just love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and all things that go along with it, so when I saw Riley Blake had a Pemberly fabric line I had to have it. The colors in this line from Rachel Erickson are right up my ally and the illustrations couldn’t be sweeter!

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From the grounds at Pemberly to ballroom dances and the famous letters Mr Darcy wrote to Lizzy, this is a must have collection for all Austen fans.

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I made a quilt from Emily Dennis‘ book Modern Quilts Block By Block, which has been my go to easy quilt book this year. I love how she has every last detail laid out in her patterns, even for an experienced quilter it’s just nice to sit back and sew once in a while.

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I went with simple wavy line quilting to keep the focus on the fabrics and design, I love the classic clean look of white sashing and I finished it off with a soft green binding.

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Nothing like a beautiful quilt finish to make you want to start another one all over again! Put this fabric line on your Christmas list this year and make a quilt just in time for Spring.

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.

 

 

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!).