Another Weekender and a Few Tips on Making Them and Keeping Your Sanity

For Sewvivor Challenge 2, I made {another} Weekender from Amy Butler’s pattern. ¬†And once again i would LOVE to make it into the next round. If you have a second, would mind popping over to the Family Ever After blog and voting for me?

Weekender - Amanda-9This was not an easy bag to put together. Weekenders never are. But they are completely worth it. I usually touch up by hand once its all put together, and this bag will be no exception. But all the little fussy cuts make it work!
Weekender - Amanda-26
If I were telling my best friend my tricks on how to make this bag, they would be:

  • Use different needles for different tasks. Denim needles work well for sewing through a lot of layers, but using a microtex sharp needle on the bottom corners will keep you from ripping your seams (and your hair) out.
  • Quilt your pieces BEFORE you cut out the pattern shapes. Otherwise, there will be a lot of distortion.
  • Sew your handles down about a million times to the body of the weekender. On my first weekender, this is the only piece that came apart and it is a pain to try and go back and fix.
  • When sewing the zipper panel to the body panel, sew body side up so you can see the seam that attaches the piping to the panel. Sew your new seam to the inside of that existing seam to make your piping nice and tight.
  • Change your needles frequently. If they are just slightly dull or slightly bent, this bag will cause them to break. Repeatedly. Ask me how I know.
  • Give the zipper plenty of space. There is no reason to hug it really close with this bag. In fact, I prefer it if there is about 1/4″ space between the zipper and the seam.

Weekender - Amanda-17
This weekender has some very special pieces of fabric in it, including a tiny scrap of Daysail from the upcoming Bonnie and Camille collection that was shared with my by a friend. Friends are the best part of sewing, I think.Weekender - Amanda-22

This bag just reinforced my love of low volume patchwork. I think I might make an entire quilt of low volume patchwork. Someday. You know, when things aren’t busy. Will that day ever come?
Weekender - Amanda-6I used my favorite shape of a patchwork block on the side pockets. I call it hot cross buns, but I’m sure it has a real name. Either way, this is another bucket list block. I need an entire quilt (maybe pillow) of these simple little beauties.

I made a few adjustments, mainly for the handles. The ones in the pattern are longer and narrower and this bag gets HEAVY and therefore uncomfortable. These wide, padded straps should make it easier to haul home goodies from Sample Spree.

Weekender - Amanda-9So, now that i’m packed, i just need somewhere to go. Perhaps the upcoming Labor Day weekend will give me the opportunity to test my new bag out. I’m hoping to talk my little family into a getaway here.

Thank you for reading along! And you can vote for your favorite quilted bag here once from each internet capable device in your home. You know, just in case you feel passionately about a certain patchwork quilted weekender ūüėČ


Posted in Finished Projects!, Sewvivor | 17 Comments

Swept Away: Sewvivor Nautical Quilt and Tutorial

Being voted into the top 16 on Sewvivor was so exciting. ¬†Under pressure, I chose to make something classic and simple. I boiled it down to just exactly what Nautical means to me. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-7 Bold stripes, navy blue and aqua, glittering water, and braided rope all mean summer on the water to me. Toss in a friendly beluga whale and you’ve got me sold. So that is exactly what I made. I bound this with my favorite navy blue stripe from the April Showers collection. These stripes are just the icing on the cake. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-8 I was able to use a friend’s long arm since this quilt finishes at about 75″ x 90″. It was my first time using a pantograph, but I’m pleased with the result. I traced a cord in the low volume section and free handed spiral waves in the navy sections. I love the contrast. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-2 I loved pulling this collection of fabric together (and broke out some of the ‘good stuff’ if you know what I mean). It can easily double as a nautical ‘I Spy’ quilt. Turtles, submarines, mermaids, crabs, and seahorses are just the start. I can’t wait to turn this over to my little ones to play with and discover. If you are interested in making a similar quilt, gather up your favorite dark navys and low volumes that tend towards white, aqua or a sandy cream. Sewvivor Nautical Stack The Tutorial: Cut about 15 fat quarters worth of dark blues into 5.5″, 3.75″ and 2.5″ strips. They can be any length you want as long as the widths are consistent. You will want numerically more of the smaller cuts, but about similar weight in each pile. That makes this an AMAZING scrap busting quilt (and it will go together pretty quick!). You’ll need at least 10 fat quarters of ‘low volume’ (tending towards white) prints. For the braid, cut 3.5″ strips from your fat quarters or scraps. Subcut these into 2″ pieces. You’ll use this technique to form the braid. Your braid for this quilt will need to be about 75″ wide. Press the braid, trim it carefully into a smooth strip, and set aside. From the low volume prints, only cut the 3.75″ and 2.5″ strips ***and 150″ of 2″ strips from 1 print or solid white. Sew these together until you have 2 pieces that are 2″ x 75″ and set aside*** securedownload-1 Sew all of the same-width navy strips together. Then, sew all of the same-width low volume strips together. Press seams so that strips lay flat. Cut each continuous strip into 75″ widths. When I was done with this step, I layed my quilt out and it looked like this. Nautical Quilt Layout You might notice the braid hasn’t been framed by the 2″ x 75″ pieces in the picture. I would do that first. Begin sewing your rows together in pairs, always from the same side. Then, sew the paired rows together starting your stitching always from the opposite side. Press and trim the edges even and you’re done with your top! The whale isn’t quite ready for prime time, but you could substitute anything you wanted if you want a focus right there :) Title Page Nautical Quilt It is a simple quilt, but definitely a statement piece. I’m incredibly happy with it, but I’ll be even more happy with it if I find myself in the next round of the competition. So pretty please hop over and vote for me here? They are sending half of the competitors home and I really *REALLY* want a chance to throw my hat in the ring for the handmade bag. I have plans, friends! As always, thank you for reading along! Your comments and support mean the world to me! If you are new here, I’d love to have you subscribe at the link at the top right.¬†

Posted in Sewvivor | 26 Comments

Liberty Love

I finished a new pillow this week. I totally heart it. And who wouldn’t?

It’s fabulously soft and full of texture. I can’t even explain how luscious Liberty tana lawn is when its all sewn together en masse. I love mixing liberty in with other projects to add that zing factor, but I wanted to do something to celebrate my growing Liberty of London fabric stash.

I’m writing up a free pattern for this to share with the participants of our Liberty of London Tana Lawn ‘Give Me Liberty!’ monthly club. This club has been such a fun way to build my stash of Liberty Fabrics. I’m so glad that it has become such a fun thing for our little shop. Here are a few of the prints I’ve been able to add to my stash this year. You’ll be seeing them in a much larger project shortly!


The 4th round of the club has 15ish spots available right now, so if you are interested in getting Liberty Lawn in your mailbox every month, we’d love to have you join us!

My pillow is backed in the lovely new Lakehouse Sausalito Cottage text print. I can’t get enough of Holly’s text prints. I wish they came in even more colors (and that they’d reprint the black from Annie’s Farm Stand!)

This pillow is already gracing my couch, despite my patient husband’s protestations that there is no longer room to sit on the couch. That’s what floors are for, right?

As always, thank you for reading along :)

And PS: Did you see the Sewvivor announcement?! I’m excited to be moving on to the nautical challenge – and totally intimidated by the amazing list of other people in the competition! Thank you for all of your kind words on my starflower quilt!

Posted in Finished Projects!, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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!
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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.
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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.
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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