Tag: quilt

It’s a New Year!

Amazing that my last blog post was in 2020. Time to rejuvenate this blog and create time to document my sewing journey. It’s always rewarding to look back and reflect on the growth.

Since my last blog post, here are the blog posts I wish I had written (maybe I will someday! Until then, check out the progress pics on Instagram):

– My daughter turned 3 and my son is now 6. They often choose to wear “mommy made” clothes and enjoy helping to get measured, choose fabrics/styles, and even do some of the sewing.

– When my son started kindergarten, we worked together to sew him a Yellow Lego Backpack. It was a huge project and I was so proud when it was finished and I saw him carry it to school for the first time. It’s like a part of me is with him all day and I love that he helped with each step of the process. I reminded him, “you can’t buy this at Target, so please take good care of it!”

– I’ve made matching family shirts for Thanksgiving, fall (stripes), and Christmas (pjs one year and hoodies another)

– I’ve tested a few patterns: a toddler sized swimsuit for Kelly from Sew a Little Seam, a geometric brick style quilt for The Cloth Parcel, a snowflake quilt for Chris from Rose City Originals, and a cardigan pattern for Winter Wear Designs. Learned so much from each experience! Check out my next blog post for the most recent quilt pattern I’m testing, the Pivoting Quilt.

– In February 2022, a friend in my quilt guild found out I was looking for a Singer Featherweight machine, and she sold one to me that she had rescued from a garage sale. My friend Ruth’s husband fixed it up and it runs so well now! I named the machine Jessie Jean (Jessie was the original owner, Jean sold it to me, and Jean was also my great aunt who quilted by hand and may have once used a machine like this). It was produced in 1939 so it’s older than my parents! Amazing to think of what it’s sewn over the years, and how it’s still working so well for my projects.

– Then in March 2022, my parents surprised me with the gift a new sewing machine with modern features. It was exciting to research and try different models and styles, looking for the best fit. In the end, I was very happy with the service and pricing at Save Stores on Foster Road in Portland. I brought home Janie, my Janome Memory Craft 9450QCP. She has all the features I was hoping for and more! I’ve taken two classes and tried many projects on her but I’m still getting used to things, and occasionally she burps up tons of thread from the bobbin. Not sure what’s going on but I’ll figure it out someday!

– Last fall (2022), Benny’s Crafty Creations and Cece’s Sticker Booth joined So Sew Gifts at a craft table during the Westside Quilt Guild Quilt Show. Again, it was a great learning experience for us all. B did an amazing job creating and selling things made from perler beads and repurposed materials. He earned enough money to pay back for some materials and still get his coveted LEGO ferris wheel set plus more money for savings.

– In December (2022), my guild hosted a quilt show at the Brookwood Library and one of my quilts was displayed!


Challenge Quilt for 2016

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!

Aloha Library Quilt Raffle

I’ve agreed to make a quilt for the Aloha Community Library for them to raffle in September.  It’s great to have a small nearby library and I hope that things continue to go well for them so they can join the cooperative library system.

I’m going to use dog print fabrics from my stash to make a quilt called “Read to the Dogs”.  I even found fabric with dogs reading books, haha!  Here’s the pattern I found that I’ll use and some of the fabrics:

I adapted the pattern a little bit to adjust for the fabrics looking really busy and to highlight the “read to the dogs” in the center and use scraps for the back:

Sharon at Sharon’s Quilt Attic quilted it with a dog bone swirling pattern and I added the binding of rainbow paw print fabric.  It was delivered the the Aloha Community Library’s board meeting for them to decide how to run the raffle to raise money for their library!

Graduation Quilts

This year, I made two quilts for high school graduates.  Lauren, a long time family friend, is going from Glencoe HS to Oregon State.  Katie, our oldest niece, is going from North Medford HS to Southern Oregon.  Both girls have played soccer in high school and are really great people.  They do have different personalities though, which I wanted to reflect in the different quilts.

For Lauren, I chose to use a package of coordinating fat quarter pieces that I bought on Craftsy.  The modern, fresh colors reminded me of her, even though they’re not her favorite color (purple).

After seeing the patterns from Sam Hunter at a quilt guild, I bought the “faster fourteen” one and put together the 14 fat quarters that I thought would look best. Here’s Sam’s version that she uses on the pattern’s cover.

Sharon at Sharon’s Quilt Attic quilted it for me.  She used a new long arm machine that is connected to a computer and we chose a design that reminded me of waves.  It was mesmerizing to watch the quilting happen automatically, evenly paced and quickly completed. She recommended a bright color thread so it’s “less boring” and I do love how the orange pops and draws out the Oregon State colors for Lauren.

I finished sewing on the binding and mom finished the hand sewing to close the binding and finish the quilt. This top went together in just one day and I love the look of the final product, even though the fabric turned out to be a little busy. It’s definitely a pattern I’ll use again!

For Katie, I chose batik fabrics.  For her 16th birthday party, Katie had used squares of blue and purple batik fabric from Joann’s for bandannas for the dueling teams of friends and family participating in her birthday “Olympics”.  I asked people to give me their bandannas with the hope of making something for Katie someday.  Then last summer, I won some free yardage at the Quilter’s Corner Store as part of the Row by Row Experience. Deb helped me pick out coordinating fabrics. I think it suits Katie’s mature, calm, friendly nature to have a colorful quilt that doesn’t look like the normal bright kid friendly colors I usually use, but rather something more for a young adult.


The pattern is Vice Versa from Karla Alexander.  She is a talented quilt designer and teacher based in Salem, Oregon.  I decided that I want to use this pattern to make a graduation quilt for each of Aaron’s nieces & nephews, but change the fabric to fit their interests or favorite colors.  It’ll be fun to figure out what to do for the others next in line!


AnnMarie from our guild quilted it for me.  I’ve always admired her work which is also often modern with unique color palettes and straight line quilting.  For this project, I asked for some leaf designs to mimic the leaves in the pattern and to remind Katie of her Oregon roots.

Here’s how both quilts looked the day the girls received them, and pics of the girls too!  So proud of their accomplishments and life path so far, and looking forward to seeing what next adventures are coming up for both of them.

April Sewing Saturday for Charity

Each month, the guild hosts a Sewing Saturday where we come together to work on projects.  Once a year, the projects are all to make charity quilts.  This year, we teamed up in pairs to complete a Scrabble Patch pattern with the help of designer Karla Alexander.  She gave each of us help with our Scrabble Patch and also a copy of any pattern we wanted for later.  I picked the tumbling blocks (seen below).

My teammate, Ruth, met up with me at Sharon’s Attic Quilt Shop to cut up our pieces (mostly from Ruth’s stash) ahead of time, so when we arrived that morning, we started right away designing our quilt.

Other people used sports fabric, Hawaiian, floral, and many other color palettes. I took some pictures in black and white to see the contrast and how it helped with designing.

At the end of the day, we had finished our top except for adding the borders, which Ruth did at home and then together we sandwiched the quilt (using spray adhesive) while enjoying the company of others in my Piece and Quiet group.  I used a straight line quilting pattern on it and Ruth completed the binding.  It looks great and is ready to donate to a community organization!

charity final



Wedding Quilt

I’m working on a quilt to celebrate our marriage this spring.  Usually when I work on quilts, I pretty much document them when they’re finished, but this time, I decided to write along the way about the process and progress.  Just like a relationship, there’s lots of learning done along the way, and it comes together slowly piece by piece until you see the big picture.

I found the pattern in a magazine awhile ago and picked out fabric in blues/greens/purples.  I was thinking it would be a quilt for us, but now that we’re engaged (and the colors of the wedding will be white/cobalt blue/silver-gray) then it fits perfectly.  I like how the block is seven strips together, like counting the days of a week.

(end of Jan 2015) One night was spent cutting apart all the colorful strips.  The next night I worked on it, the white squares and the first block came together.

blue pieces

(1/26/15) Tonight I put together a second blue themed block and created one using the green and purple fabrics.  To keep track of things, I decided to take a picture and refer to it when piecing everything together.  Can you tell that it didn’t get sewn together quite like the picture?  At least it still follows the pattern of long/short pieces and looks just great.  I guess it adds to the randomness of the design process.

I’m sure that at some point in this project, I’m going to sew something off from the pattern and also stitch in a white block upside down.  Both are relatively minor in the big scheme, but it’ll be noticeable to me.  Part of what makes quilts personal are the mistakes though, the human touch.

(April 2015)

The wedding took place with the finished quilt top on the unity table, and it was beautiful!  Aaron was surprised that was what I had in mind, and it added again to the personal touch of our wedding.  Here’s some more in process pictures and how it looked on the remembrance table at the wedding.

Jami and Mary from my quilt guild serged the edges of pieces of white/gray/silver fabric that I used for centerpieces and will end up being the back of the quilt.


Mystery Quilt

I’ve never done a mystery quilt before, so I’m excited to try this one designed by Joyce Geiszler from our quilt guild http://www.quilterchickdesigns.com/.  I found these fabrics at Joann’s that are different colors than the pattern but match the light/medium/dark requirements:

mystery fabricThe first “clue” is to make about 40 triangles using a new ruler (thanks to coupons and teacher discount).  The birds are a directional fabric, but since I don’t know what the final project will look like, I’m not too concerned…in fact I think it will look great, like they’re flying all over the place!


Speaking of birds flying around, the second “clue” is to make flying geese blocks.  A whole flock of geese actually.  Thanks to Marta, I borrowed her BlocLoc ruler to square up the final blocks, which made it much easier.

At the November Sewing Saturday, Joyce gave us the next two clues (four square patches and square in a square blocks).  She helped me with some color choice ideas and techniques for making accurate blocks with cutting/ironing techniques.

Here’s what Marta’s looks like as she finishes sewing the pieces together!

Marta's version

Guild Visits

(January 2015)  This month, Portland quilt maker and artist Sam Hunter brought a trunk show and words of wisdom to inspire our guild members.  I bought one of her patterns and enjoyed the variety of her quilts (colors, types of quilting, “crap backs”)

(Fall 2014) This month, Karla Alexander visited the Westside Quilt Guild.  Her studio is in Salem, so I’ve seen her work over the years.  She is known to be a good teacher, so I’m really excited to sign up for her class in September.  At the meeting, she showed many quilts from her new book Stack, Shuffle, and Slide as well as some other quilts from previous patterns/books.  I choose two that I like most to buy a pattern for the upcoming class (and borrow the rulers needed).  I hope to choose some charity fabrics and donate the quilt when it’s completed.

I really liked a few other of her quilts, and appreciated hearing how she decided colors/rulers to use plus pointing out the shape of the “block”.

She included a bunch of wise quilting advice in her presentation:

“I am the boss of my quilts.” meaning that you get to decide the colors, shapes, techniques to include. If you don’t like something, it’s okay to change from the pattern to make it yours.

WRAP “wonder, reflect, appreciate what you’ve done, pause/plan/ponder your next project”

Modern quilts include techniques like “upsetting the grid” meaning that things could be set on their side or at angles that are unexpected.  Floating blocks and using the background as a design element also create a more modern look.

Also at this guild meeting during show and tell, I showed my ladybug quilt!  There was also a presentation to the previous board president of a collaborative quilt (my block is one of the yellow ones).  Also, I made two of the star blocks for the free BOM this time in hopes of winning the stack (someone else won this time though).

I also visited the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. A woman I met at a garage sale encouraged me to attend and a friend who quilts came with me.  Turned out there are quite a few women from the Westside guild who go there too, so many of the show and tell quilts were familiar.  Here’s a few others that I liked (sorry for poor photo quality):

I was impressed by the projects by this group, but the organization of the meeting wasn’t comfortable for me.  I didn’t feel welcomed as a guest and the updates about things focused on website updates and/or key things that only members would know.  There were some quilts donated to an organization but no description given so I had to google them to figure it out (Camp Erin serves kids/teens who are grieving).  I was surprised that some of the donated quilts were dreary colors and/or patterns that didn’t look like teenagers to me.  Again, maybe working in middle school I’m more tapped into their style.  Overall, I think I’ll look online at the PMQG blog for pictures of projects but not make the long drive over to their meetings.


I picked out this ladybug fabric since I’ve always liked ladybugs and thought it would make a cute picnic blanket.  I’m using an easy 3 yard quilt pattern (one yard each of three fabrics) and have the red fabric for the back.  The plan is to take it to have someone long arm quilt it for me with a winding bug-trail type pattern.

The first time we took this quilt out to use for a picnic, a real ladybug landed on it…no kidding!  🙂


Baby Imogen’s Quilt

My college friend and his wife recently had a baby girl, and I had a great time making a baby quilt for them.  The idea of a jelly roll quilt was appealing because of the number of fabrics that could easily be included, to give an “I spy” type quality to the quilt top.  I used the Jelly Roll Inspirations book, Birthday Gift pattern and started with a Moda jelly roll that included circus theme (for one of the baby’s uncle who is in a circus), music theme (for another of the baby’s uncles who plays cello and piano), and modern bright colors perfect for a Portland couple.  Deb at Quilter’s Corner Store helped me pick out the fabric for the back, white tone-on-tone, and yellow/gray polka dots for binding.

Next step was to learn how to piece together the blocks using those 2.5″ jelly roll strips.  Friends helped me decide the placement of the blocks to be the most visually appealing and one friend helped me put hundred’s of pins in to hold it in place for quilting.

Since so far, I only feel confident quilting in straight lines, that’s what I did, using a gray thread so it wouldn’t show up.  Along the way, I found a “humility or truth block”, one of the white rectangles is sewn inside out, which proves it was done by human hands and indicates good luck for the recipient!

I put on the binding with Lucy’s company during the snow storm of 2014, and presented the quilt in mid-March to Imogen.  Hope she and her family enjoy it…I surely enjoyed the creative process of making it for her!