Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Amy Butler Fat Quarter Giveaway this past week! Keep reading—there's lots of fun stuff to come in the future!


Pat V.
Congratulations! I hope you have lots of fun with this fabric, and please send photos of your Farmer's Wife blocks—I can't wait to see them!

Happy stitching, and thanks for participating!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quilt Fabric Giveaway!

This giveaway all stems from a great find at the AQS show in Columbus this past weekend. The show was amazing, as always, and the vendors were fantastic. But after about six hours, I was completely exhausted. I considered lining up some folding chairs and taking a little nap, but I looked around and figured that if all these ladies could keep hoofing it, so could I. So I pressed on. 

And my endurance paid off. 

I rounded a corner I had already been around twice, and noticed what I hadn't before: a trunk full of Westminster fat quarters marked at . . . $1 each!!!!!


I dove into that trunk like I hadn't seen fabric in years. The vendor seemed slightly concerned 
at my almost hysterical excitement as I tore through the trunk.

"It's all Amy Butler!" I kept saying over and over. 

"Yes, I know dear," she responded cooly, still shaking her head at the crazy girl wildly 
accumulating fat quarters.

At one point, I think I actually jumped up and down a few times, clapping my hands like a four year old who's getting a lollipop. Or a trained seal who's getting fish.

Either way, I scored big on the fabric front, and I'd like to share my good fortune with one of 
you. Consider it a little thank you for taking the time to read my blog when there are so many out 
there to choose from.

Here's the giveaway deal:

One lucky person will receive.....

6 gorgeous Amy Butler fat quarters (some from "Love", some from "Midwest Modern")

This giveaway is now closed.
Here's what you need to do:
  1. If you're not already, become an official follower of my blog by                                               clicking the follow button on the right.
  2. Leave a comment telling me what you'd do with the fabric if you win.

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, June 29th at 5pm EST. One winner will be chosen to receive all 6 fat quarters with a random number generator.

Tell your friends, and thank you!

Happy stitching,


Sunday, June 19, 2011


The most recent swap at my branch of the Modern Quilt Guild was a pincushion swap. I love swapping with the ladies in my group because, even though we all classify ourselves as "modern" quilters to some degree, everyone's handmade items always look completely different. Pincushions are also usually quick and easy to make, and they serve a purpose which I love! 

I got really productive for a short window of time and was able to make two pincushions for the swap. I brought this one:

and this one:

I was super lucky to get these two little gems in returns. The amazing bird with vintage hat pins was made by Victoria of The Granny Diaries, and the darling embroidered and appliqued linen cushion was made by Sarah of Stash Resolution.

Ummmm, how awesome are they?!?!?  (Answer: Totally awesome.)

If you are now totally inspired to go make your own pincushion or organize your own swap, do it! Pincushions are as simple or as difficult as you want to make them, and are a great place to let your creativity run free and try something new. 

Striped & Tufted Pincushion Tutorial

Gather your supplies: Stuffing (Fiber Fil), bowl to trace around, scissors, fabric pen, large decorative button (Note: A button with holes as shown will work, but one with a shaft is much easier for this project), embroidery floss, large eyed needle, thimble, a pieced fabric panel large enough to cut out two circles (size of your bowl).

Trace two circles (using the bowl/glass as a template) onto the fabric panel. Cut out the circles. Place them right sides together. Pin and sew around the outside edge using 1/4" seam. Leave a small opening for turning; make sure the opening is not on a seam.

Turn the pincushion right side out. Press the edges of the opening under 1/4" with a hot iron. Stuff the pincushion very full with Fiber Fil. 

Handstitch the opening closed. I have little tags that say "PS I love you". I stitched one of the tags into the opening. You could do something similar with a doubled piece of coordinating ribbon. Or, you can just stitch the opening closed without anything in it. Your call. I just like the little extra touches.

Cut a fairly long piece of embroidery floss (use all 6 strands). Thread one end through the needle and knot the other end. Stitch up through the back of the pincushion directly in the center. Wrapping the thread around one edge, stitch up through the center of the pincushion in the same way; the thread will wrap around the edge and will tuft as you pull. Continue doing this as much as you like to create the tufting in the cushion. When you have finished adding tufting to the cushion, your needle and thread will be on the top side of the cushion.

Thread the needle through the shaft of a large button. Stitch back down through the center of the cushion, pulling the thread tight. The shaft of the button should sink down into the center of the cushion very easily. 

Turn the cushion to the back. Cut off the needle, leaving about a 6" long tail. Split the embroidery floss into two sections and tie 4–5 tight knots to secure the button and the tufting. Trim the thread tails close to the knots.

All done! Stick some pins in and you're good to sew!

Happy stitching!


Friday, June 10, 2011

SUMMER nesting!

It might just be me, but there’s definitely something about the warm weather and the sunshine that lights a spark in me! I feel like I’ve been hibernating or dodging raindrops for months, but now it’s SUMMER (yes, all in caps) and everything is shiny and new again. (For those of you familiar with the book, this season also brings out all of my "Anne of Green Gables" prosaic tendencies...)! And with the shiny newness of SUMMER comes a desire to do a little “nesting.” Below is photo evidence of my own summer nesting endeavors - - - so so much fun!

SUMMER strawberries!
Homemade pain au chocolat

Ummm, brunch. Need I say more?
First homemade ice cream of the summer
Yeah, totally delicious. Too delicious. Dangerously.
Birthday cupcake - butter pecan flavored
"Window" boxes on my balcony
Tiny birdhouse in my potted plant
Just awesome SUMMER colors! Maybe my next quilt...

It took some doing, but I found a cake plate that wasn't super expensive!
 I don't know why cake plates feel summery, but they do!
Really, is there anything better than fresh flowers and night lights?
Itty bitty herb planters. Crossing my fingers...
Oh look, my very ordinary front door wreath...
But what's that?

A nest! Hanging out on my front door!

If you look really close, you can see baby bird beaks!

As I'm sure is true for most of you, too, SUMMER sewing is generally made up of sewing baby quilts, wedding presents (see my previous post for a great idea) and house warming items. And then the next thing you know, it’s October and time to start on Holiday gifts, but that’s another post…

For now, it might be hot, it might be muggy, but it's not snowing!!!!  I'm no photographer, but SUMMER seems to make all of my photos look better, so get outside and start snapping! It's so easy to be inspired when the weather's beautiful, and some of these photos will help me get inspired in 8 months when it's freezing outside.



Wednesday, June 8, 2011


One of my college roommates and best friends is getting married in August (woohoo!). The whole group of us girls who lived together in college have managed, somewhat miraculously, to stay friends over the years and to get together with some frequency to catch up and reconnect. We planned a little get together recently to celebrate Kate’s engagement, and I offered to make her a gift that we all could contribute to and give her together. I thought these personalized placemats turned out really well, and I think that she liked them as much as I did! My hope is that they’ll be a little reminder as she sets her table that her friends love her.


For four identical 13½” x 19” place mats, you’ll need:
  •    4 fat quarters of coordinating print fabrics (I used pinks)
  •   1 yard of coordinating solid fabric (I used gray) for sashing and binding
  •  4 rectangles of batting, each approximately 15” x 21”
  •  1 yard of backing fabric; if the fabric is less than 42” from selvage to selvage, you’ll need 1¼ yards total)
  • A package of fusible, printable fabric (usually sold in the Notions section). I used two sheets, but you may need more or less depending on how large you want to make your labels.

 Cutting instructions:
  •  From each fat quarter, cut four 4” x 12” rectangles (for a total of sixteen rectangles).
  • From the gray fabric, cut twelve 2” x 12” rectangles.
  • From the gray fabric, cut four 2” x 19” strips.
  •  From the remaining gray fabric, cut eight 2½” x WOF binding strips; you will need two for each placemat; set them aside from now.
Sewing instructions:
  1. Arrange four different print fabrics in a row with a short gray strip in between, but not on the ends (Print 1 – Gray – Print 2 – Gray – Print 3 – Gray – Print 4).
  2. Sew the strips together in a row using ¼” seam. Repeat to make three more identical strip sets.
  3. Sew a long gray strip across one long side of each strip set to complete the four place mat tops. Even up the sides as necessary.
  4. Layer each place mat top with cotton batting and backing. I used basting spray to hold the layers together.
  5. Quilt and bind as normal. I just did an all over meander and loops – ultimately, these are utilitarian place mats, so no use spending a TON of time on intricate quilting. It’s also a good excuse to try some new free-motion techniques.
  6. Type up a note to the bride (or other recipient) on your computer in a text box that’s slightly smaller than you want the final label to be. Print the note onto fusible, printable fabric and fuse the note to the wrong side of a placemat following the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat to fuse notes to the wrong side of all the placemats. (It would be fun to put quotes or song lyrics on the backs, too!) The labels fuse really well, but if you’re worried about them coming off, you can fuse them to the backing fabric before you quilt the placemat, but be aware that the thread may obscure some of the writing.
  7. All done! Cute, meaningful, and totally usable – the best kind of gift, in my opinion!