Thursday, February 26, 2015

Old to new

When you look at quilt patterns, or even specific blocks, do you think about the style and attribute an era to them?  For example here is the beginning of a somerset star-

When I usually see this block I think of vintage Christmas ornaments in gold with maybe some red and green thrown in.

When I thought about the side of a zip pouch for a swap, knowing my swap partner from some stalking and her favorite colors I kept coming back to the somerset pattern.  Could I make this work on the pouch?  Sure...could it look modern?  Ha, think so, maybe.

I turned the star into a second ever attempted reverse appliqué and it worked!  Ok, now I needed it to work in the zip pouch-

It worked alright!!  I'm thinking this is a modern take on a vintage block too.  

To create your very own somerset star check, plus she has the reverse
 appliqué steps on her blog.  The zip pouch is the open wide zipper pouch found on  The pouch is so great to assemble and my zipper even went in ok!   I may need more of these!  

Until next time. xx K

Friday, February 20, 2015

Into the Sea

I started my storm at sea quilt!  I'll show it to you in a second, well the start of it for sure.  First though I need to share a picture of my new 'baby'.

Oh but wait!  Here first is a pic of a recent finish!  I joined in on the instagram quilt along for a scrappy log cabin -

I turned my blocks into a duvet cover for our guest bedroom!  I have always wanted to do this! Like since *forever*. I used 108" wide quilt back fabric and quilted my log cabin top to it.  By quilted I mean sewed each block down 1/4" off the seams on each side.  I didn't want the 80 kajillion seams to take too much stress!  Then I cut another 108" wide piece for the back of the duvet.  I finished the opening with pearl snaps and Walla!  Love it!

Ok here's a pic of my new baby!
It's a Janome 8900!!!! + 80 kajillion more exclamation points!  I've been wanting this machine for 2 years!  They have come down in price since I looked more than a year sewing machine savings account and my husband said 'yes'!  This beauty has 270 stitches built in, excellent lighting, a huge throat (11"), it can be mounted as a long arm machine (!), it has a huge foot pedal plus a spectacularly beautiful red faceplate ❤️ Love!  I was initially scared to sew with it!  I've never had a brand new machine!  Now we're besties ❤️

Ok, here is where I am with the storm at sea!  Join in if you can!  Check Instagram #stormatseaqal

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Storm at Sea Quilt-a-long!

As I promised, here is some info I found available for the Storm at Sea Quilt-a-long that I'm co-hosting starting in February!  Yay!!  Ever been curious about how this quilt is put together?  Ever wanted to make one but really weren't sure it was something that you could do?  Join us!

Stephanie (@yespositively on Instagram) and Kathy (@librkat on Instagram) and I plan on making our own versions of Storm at Sea.  Follow along and sewalong with us!!!  There will be more info coming on Instagram (and on this blog) as we get started the week of February 9 and we have the potential for some prizes (YAY!) plus more!!  Check #stormatseaqal

Here is what I have started for my SAS -

Along with my 'usual' text fabrics I have had these black prints in my stash forever, forever...well, I did invest in a bundle from here to round out my pile too :)  I use black fabrics so sparingly and have always kept them aside for 'someday'.  Well that day is fast approaching!  I also adore the color purple and pulled some fat quarters I have of shot cottons for the heart within my quilt...and maybe that lighter purply/burgundy.  I may just change up this design again though since there is SO much inspiration on the Internet!  Keep on reading:

If you have EQ7 then you could 'easily' create your own storm at sea layout and templates.  If you are like me 'sans-EQ7' then check out the links I have laid out here.  

I grabbed the coloring template I used in my picture from here and if there is any site I've spent time on it's this one!  There are so many storm at sea variations including single sashing, double sashing, quilts with highlighted hearts (like my drawing) and snail's trail which is another quilt I'd love to make!  There are paper templates you can print for the blocks at those sites too.  Paper coloring templates for your design are also at this site on the second page.

I'm really loving this one, I may have to switch it up! 
found here

Both of the above sites have a pile of information and can get your ideas brewing!  

The ever-popular Quilters Cache also has storm at sea 12" paper patterns to print but if you aren't comfortable with paper piecing, then there are instructions for piecing the blocks without.

If you are feeling ill thinking about selecting fabrics or if you want to dive in and sew then check out this quilt at Robert Kaufman!  Here's a pic, Jennifer Sampou's fabrics look gorgeous in this version!

 Love this!  I found kits here, and here (just giving you the links, I get no kick-backs).  The Kaufman site has the pattern for free too!  

OK, so there's the gist of it.  Follow us on Instagram, we'll have prizes, did I mention that?  Also some pretty generous offers.  Join us won't you??  

Start by thinking of fabrics, print your quilt layout to color and have fun!!!  xx K

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Where did I leave off + upcoming QAL!

Wishing you a Happy New Year and hoping it has been a good one so far!  Lots has been going on in house of laughter, busy life stuff and holiday stuff and stuff of the quilty kind!  I finished not one but two queen-sized quilts for Christmas gifts this year and I am so happy I did!  First up, I finished my Moda Modern building blocks

This is a great pattern to sew!  I really enjoyed the different blocks and using color combinations I normally wouldn't have thought of for some blocks. I sent this quilt off to the quilter and adore how it finished!  I backed it in white flannel and then bound it in flannel.  I love using flannel and I need a flannel backed quilt in my house now :)

Swirls :)

The other quilt is a postage stamp using 2.5 x 2.5" squares 


I will never tire of a postage stamp quilt!  I thoroughly enjoyed sewing this together; no worries of pattern, color, print!  1900 squares of fabric!!  My 2.5 x 2.5" scrap bin doesn't look any does that happen?  This quilt was also quilted by long arm and backed in flannel! Bound in flannel too :). 

Ok, then add in a bunch of swaps and you're caught up :). Here's one swap project to share.  I love this bag that I made using soft and stable and quilt as you go for Sew Sew modern 6.

Pattern is classmate by Atkinson designs

I didn't want to send that one off!  Then I started thinking of 2015 plans.  Do you have quilty plans?  I decided I'm done loading myself up on swaps even though I have thrived on them and enjoyed them so much.  I want to focus on big quilts!  I love making them, using up fabrics and giving or using them.  This last year I didn't donate quilts which is the first time in 5 or 6 years!?  I need to do that!  So, with a couple exceptions I'm big-quilting it this year.  

And soon  co-running an Instagram QAL for a storm at sea quilt, mini, whatever!  This is a bucket list design for me and I can't wait to start!  I'll post more soon but here is an inspiration pic from quilters cache:

We are looking at a mid-February start date and it will be mostly an Instagram QAL but I will post some updates, pattern links and other stuff on the blog!  Join if you can :)  xx K

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

where do I start?

I've neglected you dear blog but never fear - lots has been going on, really.  I have been sewing, traveling and swapping...and enjoying some great weather for October which is surprising.

Let's see, first off I started another quilt and I am enjoying working on it very much.  I got snagged into the Moda Modern Building blocks pattern ~ here is a webshot

The pattern is sold separately or along with a kit of all Bella solids.  There are a bunch of quilters posting progress pictures on Instagram and here are a couple of mine, I really like this sunshine-y one:

There are 48 sampler blocks in this quilt and they range in size from 36 inches to 6 inches finished!  

I was super tempted to buy the solids but decided to use mostly stash fabrics on this! I'm pretty excited to have a place to use up some 'squared elements' and polka dots along with some solids!  

This block has 48 pieces in it and finishes at 6" - what in the world?  Loved putting it together though :)

Last week I traveled to California for work and decided just 2 days prior to leaving that I needed a cosmetic/travel bag.  I don't know why I need to make something for trips but I usually do.  I signed up for the Travel Essentials class on craftsy by Annie and went for it with the cosmetic bag ~
 I mostly had everything ready for final assembly after a few hours of sewing then finished the bag up the next day!

The pattern designer recommends using her soft and stable by Annie product which gives bags good body to stand on their own and I loved using it!  I really recommend trying it out.  I want to stock up on it now! :)  Before I made this bag, I hadn't tried sewing with mesh or vinyl but Annie led me through the steps and in the end I really love how this turned out!  The bag happily accompanied me on my California trip where I saw just a little bit more than conference rooms - at least for a bit.

Marina DelRey is absolutely beautiful :)  

Have a great rest of your week.  xx K

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gypsy Finish

I did it!  I finished my Gypsy Wife! :)  I am absolutely thrilled to have this one complete!!  Just a couple days ago I was stitching and stitching to wrap up the hand quilting

I have no idea how many hours I've spent on this quilt hand quilting but I thoroughly enjoyed the process.  As I was getting closer to finishing I couldn't wait to get binding on!  I went through nearly 2 complete balls of DMC perle 8 at 87 yards each!  I worked on it Friday evening then again Saturday morning.  It helped that the weather cooperated by lowering our temps to around freezing!  Way too soon for that.

Then, just before I had to spend time working at my real job it was done but for the binding.  I added the binding on late afternoon Saturday then couldn't start hand stitching it until Sunday evening....because I just had to do some canning :)

My single habanero plant produced so many peppers that I needed to use some before they expired.  Currently I have strawberry habanero and garlic habanero jam/jelly - yum!  OK, back to quilting:

I finished stitching the binding super early before work this morning (Monday) and done!!  This one will hang in our basement as it is a representation (or close to) of a bunch of stuff that both my husband and I love.  

You have a great week!  xx Karen

Monday, September 1, 2014

swappy time

Get it?  Last time I was stitching time and now I'm swappy time.  Don't worry, I won't take off on this theme as I'll likely forget!  Hehe.  I mentioned in my last post that I had actually sewn a Noodlehead 241 tote for a swap and now I can show you some more pics.  

I ordered a bunch of Cotton+Steel prints since I simply could not resist them.  They are gorgeous really!  Here is a pic of my stack

While I'm typically drawn to brighter prints, I love the soft colors in these fabrics and the prints are amazing!  If you haven't seen these and are on the fence, look, order and buy - like now! :)  Some have border prints too which I'm thinking will be great additions to quilt block borders, towels, you name it!  

Anywho, my partner was quite detailed in what she liked and these were not a fave.  So, I pulled in the dark arrow print along with my favorite backup ~ solids!

Peppered cotton solids that is.  These are really beautiful!  But, again I didn't see this as a fit for my partner since they weren't bright enough.  So, checking my solids stash I pulled out and used red and orange and I think it works!

How's that for true daylight photos?  On top of my game for a moment I guess.  I love the arrow print, and about any color could be used with it for some pop I think.  

The pattern calls for adding in a magnetic snap and Anna (Noodlehead) has a tip to add in a layer of interfacing to make the snap stable plus iron in another piece on top of the snap backing.  This makes a big difference I think, no sharp metal flap feeling in the bag.  

I will make this pattern again, perhaps in a canvas or a quilt as you go.  It is versatile and a good size bag without being too big.  Very fun to make!

I also spent some time getting some jalapenos picked off of our stoop garden and wanted them to get used and not tossed out.  We do enjoy the jalapenos with cream cheese and bacon but there is a limit right?  Food network came to the rescue with an easy pickled jalapeno recipe ~
  All 4 jars popped I cannot wait to try 'em!  xx K