quilt for nephew Vaughn's 1st birthday

If posting about a finished quilt three months after I finish it is somehow wrong…well, then I just don’t want to be right.

So, then.

quilt for nephew Vaughn's 1st birthday

Back in March, my nephew Vaughn, turned one. Ben made him a beautiful, cherry wood toy box, and I wanted to make him a small quilt to go along with it. I had picked up this Riley Blake fabric earlier in the year, but at the time, I had no idea what to do with it. It was just too cute to pass up.

quilt for nephew Vaughn's 1st birthday

It’s certainly nothing fancy. Strip quilts are about my least favorite kind of quilt–they seem like such a cop out, but I just really wanted to make something so that the fabric would really show. There’s a couple of big prints in the bunch, and I wanted to make sure that Vaughn could really pick out the cars. So, strip quilt it was.

quilt for nephew Vaughn's 1st birthday

The one thing I was please about was my second real attempt at free motion quilting. It’s still not perfect, by any means, but I think I did even better than on my Log Cabins In the Snow quilt. It felt more natural while I was sewing it, and I certainly wasn’t as stressed out about making mistakes this time. It makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable.


If I thought the few weeks of creative block was bad this past month, I had no idea what was to come. I was down for the count for a whole week of a stomach virus, complete with an itchy rash that kept me in bed for too, too long.

But finally today I’m feeling lots better, and I am READY to get back to sewing.

I’ve got a lot on my mind right now…I need to finish projects for people, craft shows must be applied to in the next several days….there’s loose ends to tie up everywhere. But after work today, I came home and worked again with those little fabric strips I was telling you about last time.

I don’t know how it’s possible, but those strips have pulled me out of my slump and I’m ready to make so much again. Tonight, I worked on a few pouches and journal covers and everything came together without stress. It’s the kind of feeling where you’re excited about the project of the moment, but you can’t help but think about the details of the next three projects as well.

I wish I had more photos to show you, but I promise there will be much more in the days to come. I’m so ready to get back to work.

I am insanely fed up with being at a creative block.

2.13.11 rectangles

Today, out of sheer frustration for not making progress on anything, I forced myself to start cutting pieces for….something. I don’t even know what I’m making. I just felt that if I didn’t do anything, that I’d feel even more behind and blocked. I’m not sure it really helped. I’m doubting choices in colors and sizes and I don’t even know what I’d like for it to become.

green, brown and white

Yesterday I spent the majority of my time in the sewing room looking at what I have, and not being able to make any decisions. Finally, I cut up some green, brown and white 3 inch, half square triangles and sewed them together to work on a bag idea I had some time ago. I wasn’t happy with the colors together, and so now they’re just sitting and waiting for me to decide what I should do with them. I don’t know though.

lunch sacks

I should be spending my time working on my half-finished lunch sacks, but after a series of pretty major mistakes in the process of making them, I’m frustrated with them. I’d like to finish them and get them off to their respective new homes, but I’m overwhelmed with finishing them.

I’m genuinely frustrated with my mindset these days. I want to work on projects and make strides in finishing things, but I’m having a lot of issues with self-doubt and second guessing. I’m having a lot of trouble shaking that feeling and just getting on with the making process.

(Finally, to wrap up my last post about my oops fabric–it has gone to a good home. A friend mentioned to me very quickly after the post went up that she’d have a perfect use for it, so I told her it was hers! A loving home was indeed found!)

different stages of block making

I’m back to working on my 9 Patch quilt top, and I’m having a lot of trouble making up my mind with how I really want to finish it.

After last week’s debate over whether or not to add more blocks, I’ve finally decided that I’d be upset with myself if I left it as is, and have begun making more blocks. I’m happy enough with the way the blocks are turning out, but I just feel like I could be doing more with this design.


I’m considering making the top a little more in-depth by adding more white lines and simple blocks in the centers of sashings. As much as I think it could look neat, I’m just not sold on it. If I add too much I feel as though it could look messy and cluttered instead of sleek. BUT, if I leave the top as is, I know it would look fine. My concern is that I will always be thinking that I could have done something more with it to make it different and more unique. I’m just frustrated with it.

I’ll continue to weigh out my options after I finish the rest of the blocks. Feel free to input with your suggestions and ideas.


Despite winter being AWFUL right now (the windchills were so low today we couldn’t even go out for recess today at school) it was finally sunny, all day long. It helped break up the monotony of what has felt like weeks of cold, gray depressing-ness.

I rushed home to take some natural light photographs in my warm kitchen so that I can begin listing the items that I have left over from my holiday shows in my Etsy shop this evening and through the weekend. I only got about 5 items photographed, but the sun felt so good through the window while it lasted.

I hope you too find warmth and color on this winter weekend. Happy Friday.

wonky blue and yellow square quilt

I’m not sure how I managed to do it, but I’ve somehow finished my second quilt in one week. I ended up having impeccable timing in putting both pieces into the state of finishing at the same time–I don’t expect for this to happen again anytime soon.

block detail

I know it seems like I polished this quilt off quickly, but it’s been in my progress pile for really, many years. I first started working on these blocks around 2005 after being (obviously) inspired by Denyse Schmidt for the first time. As blocks, they sat in a pile for a loooong time, until I finally pulled it out again last spring and completed the top. I don’t know why I seem to do this with projects, but its a case of distance making the heart growing fonder. I grow more in love with what I make when I put it away for a while.

back of quilt

So last April or May I started the hand quilting. And then, yet again, I stopped. The quilt sat patiently for me on the back of the couch for about 6 months–until after my holiday craft show blitz ended last month. Slowly, I picked it back up again during quiet evenings on the couch, and stitched the last of my squares at the beginning of the week.

many squares

I know that I can’t keep up the pace of finishing two quilts a week, but I’m invigorated by all of this productivity. It feels like a race where I’m only competing with myself and I don’t have to be skinny to win. I just have to have a speedy sewing machine and a lighting fast rotary cutter.

It’s hard to find reliable help these days.

helper #1

It seems like everyone wants to walk all over you. And stand in the middle of where you’re trying to bind a quilt at.

helper #2

And if they’re not walking all over you, then they’re laying on your legs so that you can’t move. Then your feet fall asleep, and then it’s your legs and up to your rump, and then you’ve become so disabled that you can’t quilt anymore.

(That’s 120 pounds of brown dog right there.)

Binding on quilt #2 of 2011 is almost done. I hope to have finished pictures to post tomorrow!

No time to rest, there are other projects that need finishing.


I wish I always could feel the swift kick of momentum to keep me going like I felt today. The feeling of waking up from underneath a new quilt really shot me into action, and I felt like sewing from the moment I woke up today. First up, is to make some progress on these 9 patch blocks that I started this past summer.

I’ve got lots of feelings towards this project. Overwhelmingly, I think my biggest feeling is to ignore other thoughts I’m having about and to finish it just like I had originally planned back in June.

the final layout?

I’m trying to deny that I’m going to be bummed once I finish it and only end up with a lap size quilt, but I really think I’ll be kicking myself if I do just that. The way that I have it set up here (and how I’m currently planning on finishing it as) is in rows of 7 by 8. If I want to make it fit a twin bed, I’m going to need to add some more blocks. It’s not a huge deal but when I started it last summer, I ended up having some difficulties with liking the arrangement and block placements.

I’ll end up making a decision, and either way, I’m sure I’ll end up kicking myself over it. I like how it’s going so far though, and I’m excited to make some more progress. (Says the slowest quilt-top-piecer in the world. You’ll be laughing at me when I’m still working on putting this together in 2014.)

Log Cabins in the Snow

It’s my first completed project of 2011!

with contrasting charcoal binding

I can’t even begin to talk about how happy I am to have this quilt finished off. First of all, it’s one project that’s been sitting in pieces in the sewing room for almost two years, and I’m glad to have one less thing on my desk.

back stripe

The quilting though, has to be my biggest accomplishment with this quilt. It took me a long time to get up the guts to tackle free motion quilting, and I’m so pleased with this as a first effort. I fully expected to wreck a quilt in the process of learning how to free motion quilt, and this is by no means that. There’s areas that I know I need to continue to work on, but I think with time, I’ll be able to get the hang of it a little better.

front and back

I also just wanted to add that I’m grateful for all of the suggestions and support that came my way about this quilt over the last month or so. I really appreciate it all! Thanks to this project, I’m looking forward to really keeping up my momentum with my machine. I think it’s going to be a productive year.

But stay tuned this week….there’s a nearly finished hand quilting project that will be popping up shortly!