I enjoy the opportunity to test a new pattern. There’s an excitement about trying the pattern and helping the designer edit the instructions. Plus there’s usually a community of other testers and the designer there to help answer questions or commiserate about the project. I’m thankful to have been selected as a tester for the Pivoting Quilt by Staci (@staciquilts on instagram). It’s a bunch of half square triangles (HST) which take patience to trim to size, but allow for lots of great geometric shapes with a simple starting point.
For colors, the pattern shows a black/white quilt with colorful accent squares in an ombre rainbow effect. I love the geometric look and simple two block design. I decided to use my stash and wanted it to look like a garden of flowers, so I’m using a bright cheerful (almost lime) green background, white contrast, and colorful accent squares (all from scraps). It’s going to be gifted to a project that my church group is leading. We’re making throw size quilts to gift to residents moving into a new affordable housing center aimed at serving LGBTQ adults. I want the quilt to be cheerful and remind someone of a bright garden path.
The Facebook group includes other quilters who are putting their own spin on the pattern and providing feedback too. It’s a great way to get fresh ideas and share the process with others who are doing the same pattern.
I gave the kids some squares of glow in the dark and orange Halloween fabric and let them design their own Halloween quilt tops. It was a fun experiment in design and they look really cool in the dark. I ordered glow thread for the quilting too!
So much has happened since my last blog post. My son is now 4 and I have a 4 month old daughter. My sewing room is now shared with my husband’s office to make room for both kids to have their own rooms. I’ve learned to sew clothes, mostly with knit fabric and continued to make gifts and quilts as well.
In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic quickly escalated around the world and sewists began to make face masks. Each day, new information comes out about their effectiveness and usefulness. Now, in early April, it’s clear that more people staying home and if you have to go out, wearing a face mask and washing your hands often might help our communities to be more safe. These homemade masks will not prevent a person from contracting Covid-19, but signal to others that you’re being cautious, keep any coughs and sneezes from spraying everywhere, and remind you not to touch your face.
I’ve started to make a few samples to figure out what fits best for different people’s needs (are you a nurse who will wear this over your medical grade PPE or a citizen who plans to wear it to get groceries?)
Here’s a summary of some of the mask styles that I’m learning to make:
Being a mom of two young kids and since our shared space is where my sewing things are set up, I only have a small amount of time to dedicate to this or other sewing. But being creative and helping others has always been something that makes me feel good, turning anxiety into action and sharing my “talents” (and closet full of fabric) with my family and friends in the form of useful gifts. If you’d like help learning how to make a mask or would like me to make one for you, please be in touch!
I’m excited to have another new project going on these days. A friend took the taggie blanket I made for her son to entertain her new baby daughter at brother’s Kindermusik class and the teacher loved the crinkly toy! She special ordered some from me to give as gifts to new babies born in her community. It was fun to take her logo and color palette when shopping and to research what sort of label to make. Melody at Mad Mad Graphics created an iron on label that will highlight the company name. Joann’s had the perfect minky and flannel colors. Now it’s up to me to sew the gifts!
Melody also created a version of the So Sew Gifts logo for another label I can use on other projects. Fun!
I’ve been following Maureen Cracknell on Facebook and am interested in her Sew-Along program. It’s going to be difficult to keep up with a new block every week for 25 weeks, but I’d like to try to do a few of them. Her fabric choices are often modern and colors that I don’t usually use but are appealing when all put together. I’m sure I want to use fabric from my stash, but not sure yet which ones. Tonight is the first block reveal, so let’s see how it looks. Feel free to follow along with me!
I made a few of these blocks and I like my fabric choices, but I ran out of time to keep up with the pace of one block a week, so it’ll become another UFO!
The challenge quilt for our guild this year is to create a small quilt using at least one 9 patch design and based on page 9 of a book. I wanted to use scraps from previous baby quilts and choose a book from our nursery. Turns out, I already had squares in my stash that look great together and remind me of the play mat baby loves, with it’s bright colors and patterns. Then, page 9 of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble references a red pebble and I noticed that there are red dots in some of the fabrics. Perfect!
This fall, we moved into a new home, and it’s been so exciting to unpack all my craft/sewing supplies into a new space. There’s cabinets for candles, finished quilts, areas to hang design boards, and baskets of in-progress projects. Half of the master walk-in closet is full already of fabric, ready for future projects.
This display includes a small sewing machine that my mom gave me from Grandma’s house. The needle moves up and down but would need a new bobbin and repairs to be actually used. It’s nice to have a place to show some of my sewing related trinkets.
This display includes two of my first quilt projects. My mom tells a story that when I was three, we lived in Eugene and she sewed little girl clothes for me and for resale in a local shop. While she worked on them, she gave me scraps to play with and eventually to learn to sew myself. She kept one of the first pieces (on the left) and framed it for me to hang in my sewing room. I found the other piece (on the right) and it too deserves a place on the wall. The basket holds some other in progress ideas/fabric for projects to make for baby.
We’re so excited to announce that Baby Boy is due in April!
Only two months away now and my sewing room is full of ideas and fabrics ready to make into something great for him. People also have been generous with handmade gifts!
My Aunt sent me this quilt that was in my Grandma’s linen collection. We’re not sure of it’s age, maker, or recipient, but it’s a great reminder of the heritage of quilts and will be displayed in our nursery.
(pictures coming soon)
One of the fun projects was at my baby shower. I prepared fabric, pens, and onesies so guests could decorate an outfit for Baby Boy. They were so creative and the final products are super cute!
(pictures coming soon)
I also have been making some items for friends with babies. Swaddle blankets, pacifier holders, and burp cloths are fun to personalize and quick easy projects to sew.
We’re going to participate in the Oregon Trail 5K in Oregon City next weekend, so I’m making bonnets for the girls to wear and bandannas for the boys. Found some fabric in my stash purchased in Amish country and also picked out some free fabric tonight at the quilt guild meeting that will work perfectly.
Pinterest offers a bunch of ideas of patterns. I’ve decided to use this one from the Waag Blaag that uses less fabric than some of the other patterns and offers helpful photos of the process.
Summer is a fun time to do the Sunshine and Stitches Shop Hop as well as collect patterns and license plates from shops participating in the Row By Row Experience. The SS is an Oregon two week long event and the RR lasts all summer and includes shops across the United States.
The Sunshine promoters asked us to take selfie pictures in front of their shop signs to promote the event. It was a fun way to see who else was participating and log which shops we visit. I’m looking forward to a road trip with my friend Ruth and visiting some shops with my mom this week!
The road trip turned out to be just me, but I still really enjoyed touring 8 shops in one day! I listened to an autobiography of Oliver Sachs thanks to a free audiobook at the library. The scenery, especially on the way there, was so beautiful! Per tradition, I stopped for “fuel” along the way!
The first four shops were Boersma’s in McMinnville, Grandma’s Attic in Dallas (my favorite shop of the tour), Greenbaums in Salem, and The Cotton Patch in Keizer. Second four shops were Bernina Stretch and Sew in Keizer, Sewn Loverly in Wilsonville, A Common Thread in Tigard, and Tea Time Calicos in Tigard. The shop hop asked people to take selfies to post on their facebook page, so I tried to find something unique to do at each shop.
Each shop really does have their own collection of fabrics, personality in decorations, level of hospitality, and sample quilts that make it unique. Since there were not many people in the shops, I tried to make conversation with the employees and enjoy each shop even if I didn’t buy anything beyond collecting the free patterns.
At the end of the day, I had collected some cool patterns, new projects, and lots of creative ideas!
I just found out that I won a gift certificate from Bernina Stretch and Sew in Keizer! Looking forward to going there to find some treasures for new projects.