Sewvivor- A Crafty Fox

So, I’m a-little-bit-a-lot nervous to post this. But excited too! My friend Rachel at Family Ever After hosts an annual stitching competition, and this year it is all about quilting! It all starts today with the auditions and 16 people will be chosen to keep going with the competition. Whether I make it or not, I’m totally going to try and stay on top of the challenges. I already started a fun nautical-something for our upcoming trip to kauai, so this is great motivation to finish!


My quilt audition is my starflower quilt. I wrote this pattern last summer to celebrate the return of Heather Ross’ adorable prints to quilting cottons! It’s still one of my most favorite creations. It’s a generous twin size and the points are perfect (so are everyone’s who used the tutorials! You can find the method here :))


This quilt is backed with a vintage sheet and I did all of the stitching, piecing and quilting myself. I chose to quilt it with little flowers in the hexagons and free motion straight line top stitching around each diamond shape. The colors and solids make this the perfect summer quilt! In fact, it was made specifically for a lightweight quilt for my little girl’s big girl bed.  But today, it’s out in nature. I think she likes that even better.


This project is not the most challenging thing I’ve attempted and I really struggled to pick an audition project. In the end, I think this quilt may be the best representation of both skills and style. Unless you want to count this weekender. (But I show it off too much!) This quilt includes Y- Seams, hexagons, and gives lovely, little prints center stage, which I am a large fan of. I’ve also discovered the depth and richness you can add to a quilt by using prints with more than one color. You’ll be seeing a lot more of those in some upcoming projects.

Here’s an in progress shot of the quilting. Check out those points!

Star Flower Quilt in Briar Rose



Let’s hope that this quilt is as golden as the time of day we photographed it during!


And if you want to enter Sewvivor – do it! Details can be found here. (and you could win bundles from our little shop if you win!)
And if you’d like to make a starflower quilt of your own, you can find all of the instructions here on my little blog.

Week One: Kick Off
Week Two: Cutting It Out
Week Three: Sewing the Starflowers
Week Four: Sewing In the Hexagons
Week Five: Sewing The Rows Together
Week Six: Borders and Done!

Thank you for reading along!

Posted in Sewvivor, Star Flower Quilt Along, Tutorial | 8 Comments

Make Mine Mini: part two

Do you see this adorable fox quilt?! It is mine and I love it! The colors and details and everything capture exactly what I hoped for!
The quilt is full of tiny Heather Ross fussy cuts, itsy bitsy pieces and a lovely bit of curves, all tied together with the fancy fox pattern from Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!!MINI22
I was pretty lucky to be paired up with Megan of Wholala Crafts. Her attention to detail is amazing! She didn’t just stop at sending me a lovely mini quilt, she also included one of her handmade pincushion rings (which is adorable!) and included a cute little needlebook as well.
And to top it all off, she included her favorite gluten free flours! I can’t wait to try them! Eating on the elimination diet is a little tricky and everything still feels a bit ‘new’.MINI27

I was pretty much floored when I opened her present. It actually felt like Christmas! And then, underneath I found a little parcel from my sweet friend, Ali. She tucked in one of her new Ball and {Key} Chains from her recent tutorial, and this fabulous mini quilt.

The colors in it are pretty much glowing. To say I love it is an understatement. The pattern is lovely and the unexpectedness of it just makes me smile every time I look at it! And now I have the start of my very own mini wall!

There was also one of Ali’s new T Shirts and I cannot tell you how many compliments I got on it! More on that soon!

As always, thank you bunches for reading along!

Posted in Swaps | 7 Comments

Make Mine Mini

I couldn’t resist swapping any longer. When I saw that Kristi was hosting a second round of the schnitzelandboo mini quilt stop on IG, I caved. Mini blocks are fun, and ever since Kelly started showing off her super fun wall of mini quilts, I’ve been just a little bit envious.
My partner turned out to be Kristi herself and she requested Heather Ross fabrics in a modern, whimsical context. I pretty much immediately thought of this cute book quilt from Ayumi‘s book ‘Patchwork Please’


I shrunk the paper pieced pattern in the book to 40% of it’s original size. And, oh boy, do these blocks go together FAST! Fussy cutting all the little critters and choosing the low volume backgrounds to work with it made these pretty fun, too.

Of course, I got it into my head to do a scalloped binding. When the perfect idea comes along, it’s a terrible shame to skip it just because you don’t yet have the skills. So, with a little help from Sharon Chambers, I got it together. I just watched a few minutes of one of the tutorials to figure out that inner ‘V’ shape, but I’ve heard her work is amazing.


And then I shipped it away. The hardest part of this quilt was the parting with it. I immediately decided to make one of my own, so as soon as I unpack from our magical trip to Portugal and Paris, I’m going to heading to the copy shop!


Oh! And I seem to need a winner for a giveaway! Using my tried and true blindfolded scroll method, I picked melissa at #70. I’ll send you an email to find out where to send this lovely bag of scraps!

Thank you, as always, for reading!

Posted in Swaps | 9 Comments

So, you’re a photographer and you like to quilt? (and a Giveaway :))

It’s been awhile. Again. But I am so excited to share this quilt.

In our house, photography is a big deal. Discussions about photography over the dinner table are common. ‘Where’s the camera?!’ is a daily question.

Well, here it is. The very best camera block I have ever seen! This pattern is called Aperture Science from Ali Winston‘s first book, Quilt Lab. This book is genius. I guarantee that you have never seen any of these patterns before. It is SO great to have such a fun, fresh voice in modern quilting.


This quilt has the benefit of being PERFECT for fussy cutting. I seriously debated using my precious Heather Ross stash, but in the end, I went with my first impression of photographing a nature walk. I used primarily Art Gallery fabrics, mostly the Sweet as Honey and Meadow collections. Then, I mixed in a bunch of pieces from my stash, and came up with this. I thought it was a fun juxtaposition to use all prints when the original version was all solids.


So run! Don’t walk! Pick up this book. If this pattern alone doesn’t seal the deal, visit these lovely ladies, for a run through of other fun, new patterns.

March 4: Ali Winston with Binary code
March 11: Knitty Bitties with Fractal
March 18: Pink Stitches with Scattered

April – Angles

April 1: Ali Winston with a free bonus pattern for you!
April 8: Canoe Ridge Creations and a variation of States of Matter
April 15: Amy Lou Who tackles Calculus (The only calculus I’ve ever liked!)
April 22: Whipstitch shows off Molecule 

May – Circles

May 6: I’m a Ginger Monkey with Culture
May 13: Lindsay Sews with a bright new version of Echo
May 20: And you are here for a version of Aperture Science :) Let’s pretend it’s still the 20th, k?
May 27: Cut To Pieces and Ali Winston have teamed up for a joint free pattern!!

So, if you’ve made it this far, are you up for a giveaway? It’s been awhile since I held one in this space. Are you a fan of scraps? I have made several quilts lately and I have BUNCHES of scraps building up. So, Leave a comment below letting me know which quilt from Ali’s new book is your absolute favorite and I’ll pick a winner to receive a full flat rate envelope of fun scraps. Can’t wait to see which quilt you love most!

Posted in Blog Hop, Finished Projects! | 101 Comments

This Little Piggy Went to Market (Part One)

Fall Market 2014-32

This last weekend, we spent some time in Pittsburgh. There is SO much to see. Absolutely TONS. So, I’ve sorted through literally hundreds (possibly thousands) of booths and I’m showing off my favorites.
Fall Market 2014-33

To start, Art Gallery nailed it. Their fresh new designers (top Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness, bottom April Rhodes of Staple Dress fame), their super soft fabric, and their incredibly saturated colors have won me completely over.

Fall Market 2014-36

The new line ‘Winged’ from Bonnie Christine can’t come fast enough. And the bright yellows in Gramercy by Leah Duncan already have a reserved spot in my stash. I am seriously in need of good yellows!
Fall Market 2014-40

Jeni Baker has used color mixed with black and white in such a way that I wanted to steal everything in her booth and run away with it. It is SO my style. I CAN’T wait for it. Really.
Fall Market 2014-38

Jeni, can I have that bunny? Please? I know a 4 year old girl who would bounce up and down for it, if I don’t steal it for myself!

So, on to Michael Miller. How in the world could I possibly resist Brambleberry Ridge?
Fall Market 2014-19

And if you didn’t already see my Instagram montage, Deer are now a thing. Emily from Crazy Old Ladies had this little guy in her booth to show off her new collection, Rustique.
Fall Market 2014-15

And, just popping back to Art Gallery, we have this fabulous stag.
Fall Market 2014-42

Admittedly, this is a quick run through. I remember just six markets ago, having just a handful of booths that really struck my fancy, but now we have SO many great options for ‘modern’ quilting fabric. What an exciting change for those of us who love color. Well, color and low volume ;). I’ll be back tomorrow with Tula, Tula, Tula, and some peeks at upcoming Moda collections I just can’t resist!

Thank you for following along! Do you have a favorite? Anything you want to see close up? Leave me a note and I’ll see what I can do!

Posted in Quilt Market | 5 Comments

Itsy Bitsy Dresden Plate Tutorial

Remember how I promised a mini tutorial or measurements every day? And that I blog maybe once a month?! I’m not sure what I was thinking, but at least I’m trying :) I did sneak in a minute or two at my computer today and wrote up a free pattern for these little dresdens.
Free Mini Dresden Pattern from Amanda of A Crafty Fox

I adjusted my blade template from this blade template that yields a 5″ dresden.

Free Mini Dresden Pattern from Amanda at A Crafty Fox

This little dresden is just 3-3/4″ from blade tip to blade tip. It is really tiny. And adorable. And I have big plans for my tiny little creation.
Free Mini Dresden Pattern from Amanda at A Crafty Fox

So, if you’d like to make a tiny little dresden just pop on over to our little shop where the pattern is now a free download. Google docs and I just don’t get along. You’ll find the nosegay pincushion over there as well, for anyone who had difficulties with that pattern as well.

Posted in Tutorial | 10 Comments

Small Wonder

Lately, I’ve been making some small changes. Drinking more water, getting in a half hour of actual exercise (and not counting chasing my littles up the stairs as a cardio workout). I’ve also caught the ‘make everything tiny’ bug. Personally, I blame Amanda at Hey Porkchop, but Camille isn’t helping either.

It started with this small (the background square is 5.5″) dresden using some fun April Showers scraps that were very generously shared with me. I love the fussy cut umbrella. It is divine.
Then, I thought, I love the swoon pattern (although I’ve never made one). Let’s try and make it even SMALLER than the mini pattern. It was fun and I LOVE the results. (This one will finish at 4″)


THEN I thought, hey, wouldn’t a weekender covered in tiny blocks be FUN?! (the answer will be yes…someday) So I started REALLY making some mini blocks. (These crosses finish at not quite 3″)



And then came a tiny ‘adorn’ star and a few teeny 3.5″ dresden plates.

And now I have quite the collection.

I’ll try and pop in each day this week (A huge commitment!)and share a little tutorial or some adjusted measurements for other free tutorials on the internet.

So today, here are a few little adjusted measurements for Rita’s Butterfly Blocks. I’ve always LOVED these blocks, but Rita’s method is much better than my previous attempt at paper piecing. You’ll have to click over to her tutorial to make the blocks and you’ll still need a 60 degree ruler, but my measurements yield a 2.25″ finished block. The pieces you’ll need are as follows:

2.5″ square for the wings (cut in half)
3/4″ x 2.5″ piece for the body (I used Alison Glass’ sun print text. Best text print ever!)
The background pieces started as 1-1/4″ x 1-5/8″ rectangles
and a 1-1/4″ x 1-5/8″ black rectangle for the background.

Have fun and thank you for reading along!

Posted in My Process, Tutorial | 10 Comments

Feeling a Little Clammy: A Green Tea and Sweet Beans Tutorial

I’ve been (very slowly) working on the applique portions of my Green Tea and Sweet Beans Quilt. I have to admit, I am not a fan of hand applique so far, but it is really nice to have a portable project. I’ve been carrying this pretty bundle around while workong on one of the blocks that intimidated me the most, the clamshells.


There are a few different types of hand appliqué, needle turn, freezer paper, dryer sheets, and after trying a couple different methods, I chose to do the freezer paper applique method for this. There is a great tutorial here if you’ve never tried this before :)

To make this block, you need scraps that are at least 3.5″ x 4″, I found and you’ll need the same number of freezer paper templates as you have total clams in the block. I traced (and traced and traced) and numbered each copy of the original template from the Green Tea and Sweet Beans book until I had 21 copies – with the writing on the paper side of the freezer paper – and then I cut them out on the line.

Then, I ironed each clamshell shiny side down onto my scraps. Then I trimmed a scant 1/4″ away from the clam. This doesn’t have to be exact, but I wouldn’t do much more and I wouldn’t do too much less either. Then, I starched each piece and carefully used my iron to tuck the seam allowance under.


After cutting my background fabric (I used the shot cotton from my Green Tea and Sweet Beans kit and I love how it makes the fabrics glow. If you use the same piece ZIG ZAG the edges. You will thank me) I marked the top line with a hera marker. I also marked the center line. This is super important. The key to this block is working from the center out and keeping everything level while you do it.


So, start by stitching the back, center two clams down. Then, using the top line and corner of the two already stitched down clamshells. Center the outside clamshells, and stitch those down. For each clamshell, I pin the left side, right side, and center. This keeps it from wiggling.


After stitching down the back row, I drew a new line with my hera marker horizontally across the piece at 1/8″ above where the side corners meet. I used that as a guide to keep everything straight.

A couple random tips: For rows that have 4, only stitch down the outside concave curves and the top curves for each clamshell. Only stitch the TOP curve in the rows that have three, but make sure as you stitch that down that you catch the bottom curve of the clamshell above it. This will give that nice overlapping look and you won’t be repeating any of your work.

Take a picture of your layout. These take long enough to stitch down your memory – if it’s like mine – might not put everything back exactly like you liked it.

As you add rows, always add from the center and make sure your clams are centered on your line.

Don’t worry too much about tucking the bottom ‘tails’. All but the bottom 3 clam tails get covered up and look perfectly pointy without any extra effort.

If you are an applique expert and you have an idea to share, please feel free to do that in the comments!

PS: I’m working on figuring out why some people can download the free pincushion pattern and others can’t. Technology baffles me and I am trying to find another good solution that isn’t google docs. Suggestions?

Posted in Green Tea and Sweet Beans Tips and Tricks | 8 Comments

Do Something That Scares You

Writing this post scares me. But what I am working on scares me even more. I set some goals for myself this year and one of those was to release a line of patterns. I’ve been sneaking patterns into our newsletters for our little shop, and that is really fun, but I just have so many ideas! 00105

So, to get everything started, I’m sharing a pattern from our last newsletter here for a limited time (probably until around June-ish). This little pincushion makes me so happy, and I’d love to see it if you make one! I have a very small obsession with these and I’m sure you’ll see more of them in the future. They make a lovely little thank you gift!

Free Pincushion Pattern Nosegay Block

All I ask is that you respect the copyright on this. Please do not hand out copies, but feel free to point people to this blog. Quite a lot of effort goes into pattern design, I’m finding. Anything you could do to point people to this little corner of the wide, internet world is appreciated!

So hopefully, the next time you hear about this from me, I’ll have some exciting new things to share. Bright, cheery, springy things that maybe you would want to make, too?

Until then, I’ll be posting some tips and and tricks on how I made my Green Tea and Sweet Beans Quilt. Perhaps you want to make a pincushion just for the occasion?

Green Tea and Sweet Beans and Pincushion

Thank you for following along!

Posted in My Process | 15 Comments

Let’s Start At the Very Beginning: Green Tea and Sweet Beans Quilt Together

The best place to start with the Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt is with the initial challenge: drafting the templates. The back of the book has all of the templates you need for every block in the book. But they are on double sided paper and need a seam allowance added.

The Beginning: a blank slateSo, I start with a blank piece of printer paper (you could easily use freezer paper if you prefer to iron your templates onto your fabric, but I found that wasn’t necessary for most of the blocks).

I start by placing the printer paper over the shape. You should be able to see the shape through the paper. I then put dots in each corner of the shape I am trying to add a seam allowance to.

(hopefully you can see those dots!)

Then, I line two dots up on the 1/4″ mark of my clear ruler and draw a line toward the outside of the shape.


Turn the Ruler to the next set of dots. Line up the dots on the 1/4″ mark and draw a line that intersects the first.

Repeat that same technique on the third side (or fourth or fifth or sixth) until your shape is complete.

Then, and this is important, LABEL your piece! Make sure to put the letter in the middle of the shape.

And then cut it out on the inside of the line using paper scissors.

Now, I like to rubber cement it to my ruler and then cut using a rotary cutter.00211

For odd shapes, I used an appropriate ruler. I LOVE my hexagon ruler, by the way :)

Posted in Green Tea and Sweet Beans Tips and Tricks, My Process, Pattern Review, Works In Progress | Tagged , | 3 Comments