Finish-A-Long

SloStudio (along with several others) is sponsoring a Finish-A-Long for 2016 to motivate those of us who need to finish up some long overdue WIPs.  There will be prizes too for some of those who complete projects on their list!

I have several WIPs that need to be revived, but I’m going to narrow it down for the first quarter.  On my list are:

The Cotton + Steel Mustang Quilt-The quilt top is completed, and I just need to quilt and bind it.
Mustang Quilt

The Meadowbloom Quilt-Again, I have a completed quilt top.  It just needs to be quilted and bound.
Meadowbloom Quilt

Jumbo Raspberry Kiss Quilt-This project is currently a fabric pull and pattern.  I have enlarged the original Raspberry Kiss block.  My plan is to use this Mingle fat quarter bundle and a light gray as the background.  This quilt will be for a teenager, and I’m hoping to make it large enough (at least twin sized) so that she can take it to college in the fall.  This is one I may have to send off to be quilted.  I’m not confident in my ability to tackle a quilt that large yet!
Mingle FQ Bundle

Varsity Rail Fence Quilt-I have this jelly roll of Varsity fabric.  I’m planning to make this into a quick rail fence jelly roll quilt with 6″ finished blocks.

Varsity JR

I’ll be thrilled if I can complete all four by the end of March!

2016 Word of the Year

It’s been awhile (okay, months) since I blogged, but things were pretty hectic with the holidays and all of the activities and events that come with that time of year.  I also have other BIG news, but that will come later…

I’ve finally had some time to reflect on the last year, and I have decided to choose a single word to focus on during 2016.  I’ve never been successful with resolutions, but I think having a single word (or theme if you will) for the year will help me become a better Christian, wife, friend, daughter, etc.

My word of the year is this:

Simplify
to make something easier to do or understand;
-to reduce to basic essentials
-to diminish in scope or capacity
-to make more intelligible

Simplify

I love this quote.  I need to simply my life “so that the necessary may speak.”  Think about that for a minute.  How often do we let little things in life overtake what’s really important?

My goal this year is to simplify my life, whether that means eliminating excess “stuff” that I don’t need, dropping toxic people in my life, or just taking time for me and saying “no” if something doesn’t make me happy or fit into my schedule.  Eliminating the unnecessaries in life will allow me to focus my time and energy on what is important and makes me happy.

Do you have a word or theme for the year?  How would you simplify your life so that the “necessary may speak?”

Here’s to a simpler and better 2016!!

A Mosaic Contest

Happy Tuesday!  Rachel over at Stitched in Color is having a mosaic contest inspired by the color brown.  The contest is open until October 18th.  If you win, you’ll get a free fat quarter bundle of your fabrics!  Because you can never hoard collect enough fabrics, am I right?

I use brown A LOT.  Seriously, you can almost never go wrong with brown.  It’s a color I always have in my stash.  I use dark brown often as a binding or backing, especially when you need something simple that doesn’t take away from the design of the quilt.

I designed two mosaics inspired by brown.  There are practically no rules for this challenge, except that brown must be a main design element in the collection.

First up is the collection I’m calling “Heading West.”  We watch John Wayne on a daily basis at my house.  Yes, you read that right. Daily.   When I first started dating my husband, I would watch these old (often in black and white) movies not because I enjoyed them, but because I just enjoyed being with him.  Now, fast forward two and half years, and I’ve seen every movie John Wayne ever made at least twice.  That’s a lot of screen time, y’all.  I even have a few favorites, and have come to love some good ol’ John Wayne, even in black and white.

One thing about watching Westerns that I love is the beautiful landscape.  Can you imagine living in the wide open and riding across that gorgeous country on horseback?  I sure can.  Maybe with some modern conveniences, though.  Running water, anyone?

This collection was inspired by that breathtaking landscape.

Mosaic Heading West Bone

The inspirations for this palette are the Cotton + Steel Horseback print, the Alison Glass Geese in Storm print, and the Serape print from the Wanderer collection by April Rhodes. The colors together bring to mind a western sky at sunset—one you might see riding West across an open countryside with a mountain range in the distance.

I’d like to think The Duke (aka John Wayne for those of you not privy to all things cowboy) himself would be pleased with a quilt made from this palette.

In addition to watching John Wayne shoot ’em up movies, our family spends every weekend October through February hunting. Small game, large game, fishing–we pretty much do it all. Thankfully, we don’t have to buy meat from the grocery store most of the year.

If you’ve ever been hunting or fishing, you know that it sometimes requires you get your butt out of bed wayyy before the crack of dawn.  I have to be honest, usually the warm bed wins out on those mornings that my husband wants to take me hunting or fishing.  But on those mornings that I do get up, it’s totally worth it.

There’s nothing quite like the early morning.  The air is crisp and hazy and all is still. My next collection, Morning Fog, is inspired by those quiet moments in the early morning before sun melts away the shadows.

Mosaic Morning Frost

This mosaic is consists of mostly neutral, earthy tones.  I just love that Cheshire Feather print from the new Wonderland collection.  You can see from this mosaic that brown doesn’t have to be a heavy color.  With the right combination, the use of brown can create a light and airy feel.  I just might have to order this collection!

Be sure to check out the other mosaics here!

Spooky Sewing

It’s only the first week of October, and I’m already gorging myself on Halloween candy…so delicious!  I especially love the mellowcreme pumpkins.  They’re made with honey so that makes them good for you, right? Right. Honey = natural = healthy.  That’s how I’m rationalizing it anyways…I’ll let you know how that is working out when it’s January and my pants don’t fit!

I’ve been working on some mini Halloween projects for some friends and their adorable babies.  I plan on sending a Halloween package complete with candy and Halloween books!

I’m making some mini quits that can be used as a wall hanging or even a spooky mat for all of that Halloween candy.  These are made with patterns from Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage Book.  If you haven’t picked up a copy, you really should!  It’s an amazing book–so many possibilities. You can grab a copy here.  The Farm Girl Vintage sew along is over, but if you haven’t started or are fashionably late (‘ahem, that would be me) you can still sew along!

The Patchwork Pumpkin block was, of course, a must for Halloween!

IMG_0217[1]This came together really quick!  I just love those neon green bats!!

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Next up is the Welcome Block from the Farm Girl Vintage book.  I really love this block–it’s a straightforward design, and it’s a great block to showcase adorable prints (again, aren’t those little bats adorable?!) I think so 🙂

I made both of these blocks in the 12″ version.  The Farm Girl Vintage book gives instructions for both 6″ and 12″ blocks.

One of these is ready to go, and hopefully I’ll get the other one finished over the weekend so they can be sent off to their new homes, where hopefully they’ll bring a little Halloween spirit!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m off to eat more candy corn and mellowcreme pumpkins!!

Wildflower Meadow Raw Edge Circle Quilt

Hi everyone!  I’m new to the blogging world, so bear with me in my first somewhat “instructional” post 🙂

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What you’ll need to make this quilt (my version):

16 fat quarters
batting (45″ x 60″)
1 1/2 yard backing fabric
1/2 yard binding (or scraps from the 16 fat quarters)
Bowl or template (to make your circles)

I used the tutorial from Allison over at Cluck Cluck Sew, and she does an excellent job of laying it all out.  I did tweak it a little though.  Allison uses 4 different fabrics for each of her circles.  Because this fabric is sooooo adorable, I just couldn’t bring my self to chop it up too much.  I really wanted to let the fabric shine in this quilt.

I used 16 different fat quarters for this quilt, 14 from the Wildflower Meadow fabric line and 2 from the Home Sweet Home fabric line, both by Melly & Me for Riley Blake Designs.  You can still purchase Wildflower Meadow here.

You can get one block out of each fat quarter.  Your quilt will be 4 blocks across and 4 blocks down.  I designed my block with a 11″ square and an 8.5″ circle.  And you do not need a fancy template or ruler for this–Seriously, I used a large bowl for my circles! 

You’ll cut one circle and one square from each fat quarter.  Save the remaining pieces of the fat quarter to use for a scrappy binding!

Mix and match your circles and squares until you have the perfect layout!  I love this part.  I also find that it tends to take FOR-EV-ER.  Of course that could be because I overanalyze everything.

   
Once you have your circles and squares matched up, sew the circle onto the middle of the square, 1/4″ away from the edge of the circle.  There is a way to perfectly line up the circle and square pieces, which involves folding (an extra step, and one more thing to analyze), so I just winged it.  What can I say, I’m a rebel!

You can use a short straight stitch or a zigzag stitch to sew around the circle.  Be sure to backstitch when you start and stop.  *Note: The edges should not unravel because they are cut on the bias.  They will fray a little bit and give the quilt great texture though!

For this quilt I used the Quilt-As-You-Go (QAYG) method.  This was my first time experimenting with this, and again (told you, I’m a rebel) I just kind of went for it.

I spray basted the square (with the circle now attached) onto my batting.  I typically use Warm & Natural or Warm & White batting for my baby quilts. Then I did spiral quilting on each block inside the circle and once around on the outer edge.  This really gives the circles that extra oomph.  The quilting will go quickly because you’re only having to maneuver one block at a time instead of man-handling an entire quilt!  I love QAYG for this reason.

Wildflower Meadow Circle Quilt
Wildflower Meadow Circle Quilt
After all of your squares are quilted, you’ll need to sew your blocks together in rows, and then your rows together to create your quilt top (with batting already attached, yay!). I use a scant 1/2″ seam when sewing together QAYG blocks.  I also press seams open to reduce bulk.  After pressing, you may want to clip the corners of your batting as well, otherwise you may have some extra bulk where the 4 blocks meet when you sew the rows together.

Next you will attach your backing.  I use 505 Basting Spray for this.  I attached the backing by sewing 1/4″ away from the seams of each block, creating a grid.  This attaches the backing, but doesn’t take away from the spiral quilting on the circles.

  
Then you’ll square up your quilt top and attach the binding. If you’ve never sewn on binding before, Allison has a great tutorial on that too! I made a 2 1/2″ scrappy binding out of the fat quarter scraps.

  
Voila!  That’s it–simple and quick!  You’re quilt should measure about 44″ x 44″.  Now, go wash and dry it to get that crinkly quilty goodness!  You’ll probably have some threads to snip after washing those raw edges!

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The First(s) of Fall

Today is the first day of Fall, and also my first blog post, but what better time to start than the beginning of a new season?  Even though it’s 90+ degrees outside here in Arkansas, Fall has arrived!

Around our house, Fall means a couple of things. First of all, it’s nearing the beginning of hunting season, and with that comes shorter days and the return of Fred (the troll that takes up residence in the bearded growth on The Hunter’s face every October through February.)  I think Fred will make his appearance early this year.

Secondly, Fall means lots of quilting time for me!  I occasionally miss The Hunter while he’s off doing manly things and stocking the freezer, but it’s nice to have a  semi-quiet house (Jack, the Boykin Spaniel, still requires lots of attention) every weekend to watch Roseanne reruns and hang out with my sewing machine.  I have several ideas for Christmas gifts, and because it’s less than 3 months away (seriously, less than 90 days!), I really need to get on it!

I’m planning to open my Etsy shop soon and post some of my quilts and baby blankets for sale.  I’ve been so busy creating baby quilts as gifts for friends that I haven’t had time for much else, but that’s what hunting season  Fall is for!