This is a story about a very special quilt. Usually I keep this blog all about quilting with maybe just a sprinkling of personal stuff. In this post I have more personal stuff than normal to share, but let's start out with the details of this quilt.
This quilt was made for my daughter Niobe to take to college. (If you know my family, you may be thinking, "Huh?" Keep on reading for the personal stuff, remember?) Niobe chose the pattern Turnstyle designed by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side. It is a really great modern design, and the pattern was written well. The blocks went together without any difficulty.
Turnstyle was one of my first "pandemic quilts" of 2020. If you're a quilter, you probably have several of those yourself! I didn't have the fabric purchased yet, but superstar quilt shop owner Sarah at The Foot helped me with some virtual fabric shopping and special delivery. She chose fabrics from the shop that matched very well to the quilt on the pattern's cover photo. She did a wonderful job!
I pieced the top and wanted to do something special for the back. With the scraps we made some letters using the patterns in the book Spelling Bee by Lori Holt. I made Garry and Lydia each sew their own names so that they could be a part of creating this quilt, kind of like signing their names. Yes - they sewed the letters, and those aren't really for beginners!
I quilted it with an edge to edge pattern called Chicken Wire. Niobe knew that I wasn't finished with the quilt on time to make it to college - college was virtual because of the pandemic, and she never left home. I did finish it as a surprise for Christmas. It was the best present. I thought we would gift the quilt and then put it aside with going-away-to-college stuff I'm collecting, but Niobe hasn't really let go of it since receiving it.
Niobe (pronounced Ny-O-bee, because I know you are wondering about that) is my transgender daughter who came out early in 2020. This has definitely been one of the biggest challenges we've faced as a family, but during this time nothing has been more important to me (us) than being sure that Niobe knows that she is loved no matter what. Most people didn't realize that she struggled through some dark days. Since making this change in her life, Niobe is much happier and has plenty of hope for the future. She is attending full-time college virtually at home and also has a part-time job. Niobe is a very caring, sensitive, intelligent, funny, courageous person who makes the world a better place :-)
I have been thinking a lot about why I am sharing this here. I suppose because I want to encourage everyone to be kind to other people, treat them with respect, get to know someone who is different than you are. This doesn't have anything to do with politics or religion. I'm not an activist or a spokesperson, just someone who wants to genuinely care about other people, and I don't just mean people in the LGBTQ community. Take time to get to know someone before making assumptions. Try to see things from a different perspective, even if you don't agree with them. Who's right; who's wrong - does it always have to come down to that?
I had - still have - a lot to learn, being the mother of a transgender person. My relationship with my daughter is not something I'm willing to sacrifice and so much more important to me than the difficulties we face.
One thing I would like to share that I did not understand, and maybe you don't either, is how important it is to use the preferred name and pronoun of a transgender person. Not doing this can be very painful to them. Those words mean a lot. To be willing to change your language shows that you really care. Making this change can be REALLY HARD with someone that you've known for a long time. It will be difficult - you will feel strange - you will mess up. Just make a quick, sincere apology and move on. Take a second to think about your words before you speak them. That's always some good advice, right?
If you've made it this far through this blog post, I thank you! Everything I've shared here has been approved by Niobe. If you have any questions, let's have a private conversation about it.
Niobe kept asking, "When are you going to put my quilt on your blog, Mom?" To her, this quilt is much more than something to keep warm with at night. I encourage you to take the time to really listen to others, get a fresh perspective, look for some common ground, care about them, love them, - maybe even make them a quilt! Thanks for visiting!
In this post you'll get to see two quilts of the same design made with different fabrics. That's always fun! Fabric selections can make quilts look so different, and we all have different tastes in colors and patterns - that's where our creativity can really shine! This pattern is called Pirouette designed by Daniela Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs.
This first quilt is my mom's, and I don't have a clue what the fabric line is (perhaps from Eleanor Burns?), but it is very traditional with some florals, checks, paisley prints, and a gorgeous border stripe. Mom's friend Margaret at The Little Foot Quilt Shoppe helped her get those perfectly mitered corners. Great job!
Mom's queen sized quilt is quilted with an edge-to-edge design called Cupid with cream colored thread.
My Pirouette quilt was made with a layer cake collection from Missouri Star Quilt Company that was an odd mix (that I really like!) of digitally printed fabrics, some prints with a little metallic in it, and even batiks. I used a Moda Grunge for the "cornerstones" and white background.
My corner isn't nearly as special as Mom's, but I did want to show the whole back of mine so you can see the very cool effect of using ombre wide backing fabric. Pretty neat!
We both used the Creative Grids Folded Corner Clipper to help piece the quilt blocks. It really helped us achieve more consistency. There is A LOT of corner clipping in this pattern, but it was enjoyable to make. I bet you're wondering what the repeating block is - and no it's not squares on point :-)
My quilt is on our couch right now. Mom is still stitching the binding on hers.
I hope you enjoyed the mini quilt show and found some inspiration here. Thanks for visiting!
I just love my newest seasonal quilt! The pattern is called Tulip Market from Coriander Quilts. I purchased it at The Little Foot Quilt Shoppe along with the different green fabrics for the leaves and stems. The tulips are made with a jelly roll of solids that I purchased from Craftsy back when they sold fabrics. The background was clearance fabric from Connecting Threads. Everything came together beautifully. I stitched the quilt top a few years back but quilted and finished it just about a month ago.
The quilting is with a light green thread and an edge-to-edge design called Antwerp. In case you are wondering, Antwerp is a city in Belgium, but all I can think of every time I hear the word is "twerp" which is a silly or annoying person. Despite the unusual name, it is a flowy tulip-like pattern with some swirls and leaves which suits this quilt perfectly!
This quilt has reached its destination hanging behind my longarm, brightening up my basement studio where I also spend a lot of time now that I work from home.
Oh, look at that pretty quilt on the quilt frame and that wall of Creative Grids rulers off to the left. It's a happy, inspiring place!
Thanks for visiting!
Winter is almost over, and I'd love to show you the Snowflake quilt that I made before it's too late! I know everyone is longing for springtime, and I'm ready to put all of the snowmen and snowflake quilts away.
My Instagram feed was flooded with snowflake quilts being made in a quilt along last fall, and I really wanted to make one for myself. The pattern is Snowflake designed by Modern Handcraft. There are options to make it totally scrappy, with four different background colors, or with one solid background. I thought black would be stunning, and I do think it is. My snowflake is not white, though. I used a very light blue fabric that has a pearly frosted look.
Half square triangles are an important element in constructing the quilt top. I used my Creative Grids 4-in-1 Triangle Quilt Ruler to get the job done.
This is definitely not a traditional kind of quilt pattern. It divides the quilt into equal size rectangle units which are made with combinations of half-square triangles, squares, and rectangles. All you have to do is follow the diagrams and keep the rectangles numbered - very easy to construct! See some of my rectangular chunks below.
I quilted the snowflake on my longarm with an edge-to-edge snowflake design, of course! And the backing on the quilt is a colorful snowflake pattern that I couldn't resist.
This quilt was made with the intention of hanging it on the wall for the winter season. It is decorating my basement "studio" behind my longarm. I do love it, but it is time to put it away until next season.
Spring is almost here, and a new spring quilt is almost complete to display in this one's place. I'm ready for something more colorful. I'll share it with you soon!
Thanks for taking the time to visit. Have a great day!
Hello! Today I'm sharing some pics of my Hollow Star quilt. I have quilts everywhere in my house, but I have never made one for my own bed! This is the first! We have had a quilt on our bed for maybe two decades now that my mom purchased at an Amish quilt auction, and the fabrics are shredding. It is definitely time for a fresh quilt!
The pattern for this quilt is Hollow Star by Krista Moser. It features the Creative Grids 8-1/2" 60 Degree Diamond Ruler. Please click the link to Krista's website and check out her fun patterns. I love them all. She takes fabulous photos of her quilts. It is a joy just to browse her pages.
The finished size of the quilt pattern is 81 x 84, but I needed a bigger quilt for my queen size bed. So I enlarged the pattern by adding some extra stars. This thing is huge! I'm not sure what I was thinking.
The fabrics are a mixture of batiks that I purchased at a sale at The Quilt Company a few years ago, not knowing what I would be using them for at the time. I didn't have quite enough of the background fabric, but I improvised with an off-white batik you can see in some of the star centers.
I quilted with a pale yellow thread using the pantograph Leaf Crown. I have a purple batik fabric for binding that still needs to be stitched on.
Here's something you'll never see in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens - a CPAP machine on the nightstand in the pretty bedroom photo shoot. Well, this is real life, and that is the best picture I could get without rearranging the furniture. I think it's lovely.
Here's our kitty Butterscotch who likes hanging out with us and the quilts. Thanks for taking the time to visit. Enjoy the day!
Hey there! It's been a while, hasn't it? I want to start this post with a pretty picture. This is my Curvy Log Cabin quilt that I made using the Creative Grids 8" Curvy Log Cabin Ruler. I purchased the dark blue background, and the other fabrics are all from my stash. I sorted through my fabrics and picked out ones that I liked together and cut them into 2-1/2" strips. Honestly, I found these blocks to be so addicting to make. I stopped because I ran out of background fabric. And I just knew this quilt would be perfect above my piano. I was right!
This quilt didn't even make a dent in my fabric stash. I have discovered that there are different kinds of "stash." Some people buy beautiful fabrics to save them up for just the right project or to make quilts look scrappy. I don't really have that kind of stash. My stash is all leftover pieces from the last 20+ years from other projects that I have made. I had BOXES and BOXES of fabric stacked up in my basement. As much as I love quilt shop retail therapy, I would be left sometimes feeling worse when I would look around and see how much fabric I already have. That is why I decided that I needed to find a way to make it manageable.
Please keep in mind that this has taken me months, and I'm not finished yet. I sorted through all of my stash, took out pieces that I would never use and donated them, threw some away, sorted out some larger pieces that might be useful the way they are, and the remainder is being cut into 2-1/2" strips. I sorted all of those scrappy pieces into color families. Each piece needs to be ironed and cut into strips.
And there's the not-so-pretty picture. That stack on the bottom right with the teal blues, yellows, and oranges is significantly smaller right now, and you'll soon see why. The other stacks are patiently waiting for their turn on the ironing board and cutting mat.
(Batik fabrics, Christmas fabrics, and Moda Grunge fabrics are not included in this process!! They have their own special storage places in my house.)
If you know me a little, it's no surprise that I have the perfect Creative Grids Ruler to cut 2-1/2" strips with. There is no guess work or accidentally lining things up wrong with this ruler. Look at that unfortunate piece of orange Moda fabric. For some reason years ago I cut an oval shape out of it. Well, now it has a useful future in a jelly roll quilt someday. The Creative Grids 2-1/2" x 24-1/2" ruler is also great for measuring 2-1/2" strips to the lengths needed for your quilt pattern, kind of horizontally as pictured above. I've been stacking the color family strips up very neatly and putting them in storage drawers.
How nice will it be to open these drawers and choose strips for some more great looking scrappy quilts? Log cabin blocks, curvy log cabin blocks, or pineapple blocks (just to name a few) will be great with these homemade jellyroll strips!
I recently purchased the very inspiring book "Jelly Filled" by Vanessa Goertzen, full of quilt patterns featuring 2-1/2" strips. Tempted to make a few of these quilts using my own 2-1/2" strips, I made a "quilt kit" for the future for the Heartthrob pattern. The pieces are all cut and ready to sew! I really love the Smart Cookie pattern and decided I had to make a kit for that one also. I cut all of the strip sets for the blocks, but I just couldn't wait to sew up a couple of blocks to see how they would look.
There's a little preview of what this quilt may look like. Even with bad lighting and ugly carpet underneath, I think it's going to be a fun one when it's all put together! And this was all - yes, ALL - from my stash of fabrics, including the white background. The binding strips are even cut already.
Oh, I have another surprise pandemic quilt top made entirely from my stash that I can't wait to show you, but there were no strips involved, only squares! Stay tuned!
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your collection of fabrics? Maybe you should give this a try! I know how hard it is to start cutting. I started this process and put it all away once because I couldn't bring myself to do it. Then I started again, and I feel great about it. These neatly organized strips are so much better than folded up, wrinkled up, odd-shaped chunks of fabric lost or forgotten about.
I'm so glad you stopped by today. Come back soon, and happy quilting!
Quarantine time = quilting time. Since I have some free time at home, I thought I'd do a post about a new quilt project that I started yesterday. I have finished up a couple of UFOs, so I gave myself permission to start something new, and I think it's really going to be pretty. Six blocks down, fourteen more to go!
I'm working with some charm packs of the fabric line Canyon by Kate Spain (one of my favorite designers). I paired those up with some solid background and sashing fabrics. The pattern is "Love Letter" from the Charm School book written by Vanessa Goertzen. If you are a charm pack collector, you need to check out this book! I'm also making great use of my Creative Grids Half Square 4-in-1 Triangle Ruler to make the quarter square units in these blocks. I thought I'd share how I am doing that.
The first step is making half square triangles, where you draw a line diagonally across a square, pair it up with another square right sides together, and stitch 1/4" away on each side of the drawn line. This is a familiar technique, but I found that I would rather draw a line down each side, 1/4" from the center, and stitch on the line. I find this to be much more accurate and easier to keep the stitching line straight. No matter how many clever quilting tools you have to use, sewing a straight line is key!
Cut down the center between the drawn lines. I pressed toward the green background triangle.
On the back of one of the new half square triangles repeat the line drawing process as you can see above. Pair it with the other new half square triangle right sides together, being sure that the opposite colors are facing each other. The pressed seams should be going opposite directions also and need to be "nested" very snugly together. This is what makes the center of the unit come together crisply. Stitch on the lines and cut down the middle again.
I pressed this seam open.
Trimming with the Half Square 4-in-1 Triangle Ruler worked out great. There are lines to match up on both diagonal seams, and I calculated what should be the center point (this would vary depending on the size of the unit you need to make). Trim on the first two sides, turn the fabric and trim on the last two sides. Perfect!
A phrase that can be heard a lot in the quilting world today is "finished is better than perfect." In many ways that is true, and most quilts don't need to be perfect. Quilting should be enjoyable! I find that accuracy in piecing makes it more fun! It is very stressful, I think, when you are trying to make a block and the units are not consistent sizes or wonky, and then you have to try and fit them - dare I say stretch them - to make everything go together. Wonky-shaped blocks usually make for an even more wonky, non-flat quilt top. That's one of the main reasons I personally love working with Creative Grids products. There are so many tools available for quilters in the world today. Find what helps you make cutting and stitching as accurate as possible and enjoy the process!
I wish everyone good health, and please make safe choices for yourself and the people around you. Happy quilting!
This weekend I finished up a wall hanging that I have been working on for myself. It is a project that is made up of a few different patterns that I have tried with batiks - all from my favorite drawer of my stash. I really do love some of these fabrics so much that I don't want to use them. These purple-blue star points are a great example. Oh boy, and that one in the center is pretty special, too.
Sew4Sanity was the name of my Etsy shop. The phrase came to be when my daughter was a baby with lots of health issues. I often times had to be a nurse more than I could just be a mom, and life could be unbelievably stressful. My husband didn't mind that I had my sewing desk and ironing board set up in the living room (he knew that it was necessary :-). My family joked that I had to "sew for my sanity." Sometimes it was only for 10-15 minutes a day, but I sewed a lot of purses and little bags at the time. It was something that I could do for myself to give my brain something else to focus on for a while. I sold them locally, and I thought I would open an Etsy shop. I never actually even listed a purse in my shop, but I have sold some table runners and a couple of quilts there. I still sew for my sanity!
The sewing machine block was from the Snapshots block of the month from Fat Quarter Shop back in 2015 (oh my!). The spools are from the pattern called Spools from Thimble Blossoms by Camille Roskelley. The letters are from the Spelling Bee book by Lori Holt. I'm not sure where I found the pattern for those star blocks. Can you believe that backing fabric came from a clearance rack somewhere in Ohio?
We even got the quilt hung up above my sewing desk. I love it!
That's my happy place where I do all of my sewing. I have a nice big ironing board set up just to the right, too.
I bet I'm not the only quilter out there who sews for her sanity. Most of us probably know that quilting can be great therapy - thinking about color, design, patterns, and making things for the people we love - and maybe even a little escape from the hard stuff of life.
Have a wonderful day!!
A few weeks ago our awesome LQS Little Foot Quilt Shoppe announced that they got in stock Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage 2 books. I saw that pumpkin block, and it's fall time, and I couldn't resist. I hopped in my car and drove down and bought it along with that sweet orange polka dot fabric. I thought it would make a great little quilt to hang in my cubicle at work.
The book has instructions for all of those blocks in 12" and 6" finished size. I decided to mix and match a 12" pumpkin with a 6" crow and 6" stars. There are several other beautiful project ideas including some larger "barn quilt" style blocks. I love these kinds of quilt books for inspiration!
If you've never made these kinds of quilt blocks before - you notice that they look like they are pieced with many different odd shapes, especially in that crow block, but all the pieces you cut are squares and rectangles. You must be careful with cutting the right sizes and labeling the pieces. Read the instructions closely - it could be very easy to mess things up!
Tools that were very helpful for this project:
I actually quilted this on my good old little Janome with straight stitching and a walking foot. I'm really happy with how the finished quilt looks. I have to admit that my star block and crow block did not finish to be the same size like they should. I don't know what went wrong to cause that to happen and haven't taken the time to go back and check the pattern, but it came out just fine in the end.
This autumn quilt looks nice above my desk at work. Now I have to make something for winter... hmm...
There is a giant gaggle of geese about to form at my house - 160 geese to be exact. I'm going to put my Ultimate Flying Geese ruler from Creative Grids to work.
What are you stitching? Thanks for visiting!!
Hello, friends. I'm not sure how to get started with this post! It's been quite a while since I posted anything here. I don't have any detailed explanation, just that this blog has had to take a back seat with everything else going on in life! Earlier this year I've had two patterns published with Cut Loose Press and am exploring the possibilities writing more quilt patterns. It has been very interesting, and I have a lot to learn. So I'll be sharing more of that in the future. I made this quilt for my son Jakob, and it seems to have taken forever to finish. It's already been used and washed a couple of times. Showing it to the world is long overdue!
Back in 2014 (holy cow 5 years ago!) this was a block of the month pattern by Ann Marie Chaney. It is now available for purchase on her site here. I wanted to make this quilt because I thought the block setting was so different and interesting. I also loved the idea of the "vice versa" - 2 blocks of each pattern, one with the color in the background, one with the color in the foreground. You can see some of them paired above. More details can be found in my original post about this quilt.
I quilted this one with an edge-to-edge design called Aquarius. It seems perfect for the quilt and the beach theme that inspired Jakob's color choices. I'll share a couple more photos...
That kitty loves to help take pictures! Overall I am really happy with the way this quilt turned out. The instructions were well written, but I have to admit that one of the blocks would not come out to the correct size no matter how many times I re-did the math and tried to fix it. So I decided to eliminate it from the quilt and found a different block to replace it with. I'm so glad it is done after 5 years, and Jakob uses it on his bed every night!
Today I needed some quilt shop therapy, so I went to the Little Foot Quilt Shoppe and got myself a present - this new book and a piece of orange fabric. I'm going to make a little project, maybe I'll show you next week.
Thanks for coming back to visit! Happy quilting!
This is me...
I LOVE to quilt, and every day I must sew for my sanity!