Archive for the ‘Blog Tours’ Category

Sew Cute Quilts and Gifts Book Tour

January 10, 2020


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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.



November 25, 2019


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.





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!





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!




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.


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!


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.



Season’s Greetings Quilt

July 19, 2019


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!


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!


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


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.


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!


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!


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


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


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.


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!


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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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


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.


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.


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!


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


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.


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!


Anna Maria Horner Showcase

May 13, 2019


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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)!


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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!



An Unintended Curve: Linen Quilt

April 2, 2019


I had been dreaming of making a whole cloth linen quilt for a while now, I kept seeing them in home magazines with their perfect diamond grid quilting and just enough wrinkles to give that warm inviting look. When Riley Blake Designs asked about working on a linen project I jumped at the chance to make my own perfectly quilted linen throw for my bed. It’s funny how plans change…


With the dreamiest soft Blush pink linen cotton blend I set to work, marking out several grid lines in one corner to make sure I was getting the size and look I was going for then decided to use my quilting guide the rest of the way. I used a pale pink Aurifil 40 weight (2410) thread that matched the linen perfectly and set to work, my one problem was a lack of spray baste on one side in which I was basically spraying air for the last half of the quilt. It wasn’t until I was finished quilting that I realized there was a subtle curve to the bottom half of my grid lines! I can just hear my grandma saying “Oh horrors!”. I had intended this project to be a simple quick finish with clean lines but the quilt as it was simply wouldn’t do.


I made the quick decision with the encouragement of my dear sewing friends to add hand stitching to accentuate the curve. Now not only would I be embracing the flaw in my work, it would now be the focal point OF my work. I chose a modern collection of pink Aurifil 12 weight threads ranging from deep wine to pale dusty and ended with a golden yellow ( colors: 2468, 4030, 4020, 2440, 2445, 5015).


I added six rows of each color following the grid lines up, not taking too much care with my stitches some being a bit larger and some very tiny for a deliciously handmade look. This also freed me up to just enjoy the process of hand quilting rather than trying for a more uniform look. The stitching went so smoothly through the linen fabrics and cotton batting that it really was a pleasure and I finished it up in just one week, that’s quick even for me.


The overall look is not at all what I set out for but somewhere along the way, in all those tiny crossed stitches I fell in LOVE. Instead of seeing the shape of my original quilt lines going from square diamond to rectangular diamond to flat sideways diamond-ish shape, the focus is on the texture of the the gorgeous linen, hand quilting and that ever subtle curve.


It wasn’t until I was almost finished with the hand stitching that I drew the line from this little quilt to my own personal life. We make plans, we draw up lines for how we see our lives going and yet somewhere along the way there’s a curve, a bend in the road, a “flaw” that wasn’t supposed to be there. I’ve been drawing the lines from quilting to deeper thoughts for a while now as I navigate the waters of my life and have found there are so many lessons the art of sewing can teach if I am willing to learn.


As a self taught/still learning quilter I am usually ready to embrace a change to plan, I almost never unpick stitches and am always eager to see each project unfold before me. I consider myself sort of a co-creator of my work, me doing my part to make something beautiful, the fabric, thread and needle doing their part as well. I suppose it also helps that I am anything but a perfectionist to!


But when it comes to my own personal life and the curves thrown at me I tend to buck up and resist change from what my original plans were. I can just see it in my mind; me with life’s seam ripper in hand trying to undo the curves that have come my way not wanting to accept them for their potential beauty, only seeing them as flaws; this isn’t how it was supposed to be!

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As I added my last rows of hand stitching on this pale soft linen, seeing this quilt not for what it could have been or SHOULD have been, but seeing it as a beautiful handmade work of art. It dawned on me that I had added beauty, stitch by stitch to a flawed curve in my work and ENJOYED doing it. Had I fought against the curve, spent days unpicking my work in an effort to stick to what I thought it should be, I would never have this beautiful one of a kind quilt. Maybe the lesson here for me is embracing the curves life has thrown my way, adding beauty in the ways I can and stop fighting for what maybe, just MAYBE wasn’t meant to be. Unlike setting down a seam ripper, I have no idea what that actually  looks like in reality, BUT I am willing to learn and just as I am a sort of co-creator in my handwork, I to am a co-creator in my life, willing to try my best and let God work out the rest, curves and all.


There are so many lessons to learn from needle and thread and I feel I have only just begun.


The back side of this quilt shows off a simple running stitch, the linen/cotton combo (55%/45%) makes for such a soft finish I almost think this should be a new baby quilt at 43×56 it’s perfect size too! Search for Riley Blake Linen to see their beautiful range of colors. As always I hope you have enjoyed what you see here and feel inspired to try something new of your own, maybe even an unintended curve too.





Gnome and Gardens Tour

March 1, 2019


Riley Blake Designs has some incredibly cute lines coming out this year and one of them is Gnome and Gardens by Shawn Wallace. Those little old gnomes caught my eye with their happy smiles, little white beards and my personal favorite, the bespectacled one. Also in this Spring collection is a whole slew of perfect for fussy cutting garden flowers and friends, like tiny snails, tulips, bunnies in carrot patches and your pink flamingos.


My go-to project is a smallish size quilt, perfect for a baby gift or young child’s birthday, this one however will be brightening up the foot of my oldest sons bed, he loves green and all things cute and silly. IMG_0693 (1)

The gnomes bring a playful twist to this classic Irish Chain quilt. I used the main Gnome print and a green Swiss Dot fabric for the low volume parts and a variety of greens, blues, red and even a bit of pink for the “chain” bits. Each block measures 6 inches square and with a boarder to frame it out, I have a nice 48×60 quilt.


I was a bit shy on the red bubble fabric for the boarder so I searched through my red fabrics and found this older Riley Blake gingham and was so pleased to see it matches perfectly! I think this quilt might also end up coming with us to the park when we get some nicer weather and green grass.


I’ve done simple crosshatch quilting in a pale mint 40 weight Aurifil thread (2800) to give it just a bit more interest than a solid white, it’s all in the little details, right? Scrappy green binding and this yummy lime green gingham backing pull it all together with a Springy feel!


As I have said before, our quilts tend to find their way around our old Victorian home, this one is on a window sill nook, waiting for sunshine and a curl up with a boy and a good book. See that tiny lawn mower on the binding? Too cute!


Make sure to follow Riley Blake for more inspiration and ALL the dreamy fabrics! I will be back here soon with another project and can always be found in my happy place over on Instagram.

Bluebirds On Roses Project Tour

February 11, 2019


I feel Spring just round the corner and what better way to welcome it than with a Flowering Snowball quilt and Elea Lutz’s newest fabric line Bluebirds On Roses. If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram you have likely seen this quilt blossom over the past month, but just in case let’s start at the beginning.


Elea has packed this line full of everything that is sweet; bluebirds, daises, kittens, strawberries, tiny floral motifs perfect for fussy cutting and a gorgeous larger scale rose bouquet print. Elea’s fabrics have that special quality that somehow turns a project into an instant heirloom, something to treasure and pass along.


For such a perfectly sweet line I went with a classic quilt block; the flowering snowball. My friend Mary from Sunny Day Supply has a wonderful tutorial HERE with step by step pictures that made my first venture into sewing the dreaded CURVES an absolute breeze! Really these blocks came together quickly and were a joy to make.


To top off the classic look of this quilt I just had to go with big hand stitching a la Sunny Day Supply method (can you tell who is my quilting inspiration?). I used a beautiful bold blue Aurifil thread in a thicker 12 weight (number 2735) which is my favorite for hand quilting. My stitches are what I would call “perfectly imperfect”, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!


Binding in the beautiful blue rose bouquet print is the cherry on top. Someone pointed out that the blue centers of my quilt blocks resemble my Victorian stained glass windows, I hadn’t thought of that but I just love the idea of subconscious inspiration from my home. Also, this was during the Midwest Freeze of 2019 and this quilt felt like a promise of Spring.

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30 blocks, 12 inches each makes for a lovely throw size quilt. I could not be more in love with this quilt and the beautiful fabrics! I wanted the layout of the blocks to have a very patchwork feel to them without much thought or planning to the placements of colors and light. The result may drive a perfectionist nuts but I got just the look I was hoping for.


My quilt backing is a beautiful Aqua gingham from Riley Blake Designs and it coordinates perfectly with this line. You can also see my stitches taking their giant flower petal shape on the back of the quilt.


My husband asked me if plan to enter this quilt into our local fair in September, it’s such a hard choice since I would love to show it off in “showing condition” but even more so I want my quilts to be used and loved and with three boys and a pup you can guess how long “showing condition” lasts in this house. It’s good to know that Riley Blake fabrics will stand the test of time and this quilt will hopefully be passed on in its well loved condition which means more to me than any prize ribbon could.


And just like that, my Bluebirds on Roses Flowering Snowball hand quilted quilt finds a spot on a bed and our pup finds a spot on top of it. Our quilts have a way of moving around the house, to snuggle under on the couch, tuck in bed on an extra cold night, picnicking on the living room floor with grilled cheese sandwiches, and forts under the dining room table that somehow manage to stay there for days on end. The joy and comfort a quilt brings is something to be treasured.


To see all the beautiful makes from the Bluebirds on Roses tour, follow Elea Lutz and Riley Blake Designs on Instagram.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy what you see and leave here feeling inspired.

Until next time-