Frog and Toad and Bats

What is the best size for a baby blanket or quilt?  I’ve been asking myself that question for a couple years and I have the answer:  Babies need some of every size. When they are newborn and need swaddling, bigger is better so their feet don’t stick out.  When they are in the stroller, smaller is better so it doesn’t drag on the floor. When they start to crawl, any size works.

I have many large baby blankets in the shop. Now I’m stocking the virtual shelves with smaller stroller quilt blankets. Here is one of the newest and cutest, with Frog and Toad fabric:

DSCF6412

And since I’m still stuck on Halloween, here is a bats quilt:

DSCF5911

Frog and Toad is available here

Halloween bats quilt and the pattern are in the shop here

Renovations Completed on the Haunted House Quilt

If you are considering a new renovation project, I highly recommend choosing a haunted house. Imagine the satisfaction of taking a sledgehammer to an old wall, and then not even having to rebuild it! So I was able to fling off roof shingles, bar up windows, post dilapidated warning signs, and bring in undesirable neighbors– and the house looks even better, even more haunted.

Here is the new haunted house:

DSCF6042

And a detail of my favorite part, the cemetery with an eerie tree:

DSCF6012

The quilt is available in the shop here

Want to build your own haunted house? The pattern is available, and it is detailed! 38 pages of instructions and full size pattern pieces, including an extra full page of optional Halloween appliques to customize your house. A beginner or experienced sewist will enjoy this project. Here is the link to the download pattern

You’re Never Too Old to Play

When I was a little girl we lived in the country. I had many long summer days with lots of time. I loved to read books and play with dolls. Now that I’m very grown up, I still love to read and play with dolls. Of course, I’m much more sophisticated these days, hehe, so I design dolls as my way of playing with them. I really love my job!

Here’s some of my summer doll creations:

DSCF3583DSCF3602-001DSCF3727-001

The patterns for all these friends are available here in the shop.

Second Star to the Right and Straight on ‘Till Morning

When my grandmother got confused and frustrated sometimes she would say, “It’s so convoluted!!”. Usually things went downhill from there into more colorful language, but I still understood the sentiment. Something that should be straightforward in design and application was twisted instead. Quilts often fall into this category. In an effort to make a better quilt, we just make a more convoluted one instead.

Here is a pattern that is new yet seems very familiar in it’s design. It’s a simple patchwork quilt, updated to work well with precut fabric in a “fat quarter” size.

 

 

DSCF5508

The pattern is called “Easy Peasy Fat Quarter Baby Quilt” and it is available in the shop here. The quilts in the picture are also available for sale here.

 

The Devil is in the Details

Details, details, details.  How many details to include is always a challenge to me when I write a pattern. One of the first steps in many of my patterns goes something like this: 1. Cut 5 –  4  inch squares from the border fabric.  This is a very clear step. It also assumes lots of background knowledge and steps that were done before the measuring and cutting.

For instance, maybe the fabric needed to be prewashed. Most fabric doesn’t require prewashing, but I always test solid reds for color bleeding. Another missing step — cut off the selvedges before cutting your fabric, or at the very least not include the selvedges in your quilt. Don’t forget this one – always iron your fabric before measuring and cutting. I rarely include any of these details in my patterns. I assume that the sewer knows them.

It’s tricky sometimes to decide, especially in this age of short tweets, how close to trim the directions. Too short and important steps are misunderstood. Too long and the reader becomes confused and lost.

I published 2 new patterns last week; I tried to make the directions not too long, not too short, but just right.

Image

Image

The quilts, bunting, coasters and patterns are available in the shop here.

Bet You Don’t Have One of These!

My grandmother made me a denim clothespin dress 20 years ago and I still use it. Over the years I’ve grown attached to my little dress. She gets tossed on top of the laundry basket and out to hang on the line a few times a week, and never complains:) Her dress is large enough to hold all the pins I need.

It’s so special to have a useful friend through the years, I made this clothespin dress after my grandmother’s pattern. I think it will last as long as mine. It’s made of heavy weight denim with a little apron from vintage fabric from an estate sale. A wooden hangar is included and 2 ribbons are attached to prevent the dress from sliding off the hangar.

Image

This clothespin dress and another are available in the shop here.

This is the clothespin dress my granny made me. I’ll use it for the rest of my life. If I need to, I’ll patch it. Some things get more treasured with time:)

Image

Simple Pleasures Continued….

There is something about sewing that is therapeutic. Maybe it is the steady rhythm of the needle. Maybe it is the soft comfort of the fabric. I don’t really know why sewing is so soothing. I only know that it is. Maybe sometimes we just have to enjoy the pleasures in life and not have all the answers. Yesterday, I did just that. I made this quilt just for the relaxation of the act of creating something simple and pretty. I layered the top, the batting and the backing. The three layers are connected with simple ties of embroidery floss. The edging is a ruffled rag finish. It’s just a small lap quilt but it gave me a lot more.

Image

The quilt  is available in my Etsy shop here.

Try a Taste of a Summer Sweet Rag Quilt.

One of my very favorite quilts to make are rag ones with frayed edges at the seams. I love them for 3 reasons:

1. They remind me of a cake in the oven. You sew the quilt but until it washes and dries you don’t really know how it will turn out. So you have anticipation and surprise.

2.  They are perfectly soft with so much texture you can’t help but want to touch them. They are quilts to be cuddled and used until they are worn out and then you still use them because they are even softer than before.

3. Rag quilts are relaxed quilts. They are undemanding and rewarding, just like my golden retriever.

Here is my latest crazy rag quilt, modeled by my daughter, Evelyn:

Image

Image

She was in a “Mommy, take my picture” mood, so here is one more of her on the trampoline:

Image

I’m not writing a pattern for this quilt, but I am planning on making a whole batch for sale in the shop in different sizes and colors. The one Evelyn is modeling is called Summer Sweet Reversible Crazy Rag Quilt and is available in my Etsy shop here .

Wee Wandering Some More

Okay, I’m officially on a Wee Wander, Sarah Jane, Michael Miller binge. I’m working on my third baby quilt from this fabric line. I have fabric for 2 more quilts impatiently waiting. Something about the sweetness in the designs just inspires me.

The quilt I’m sharing with you this week is called Fairy Tale Woods. The fabric is called Wander Woods. It has trees, children, deer, horses all in a humble presentation that is so enchanting. When I saw the fabric I wanted to somehow stay there, inside the story. It occurred to me that if one was going to stay in Wander Woods, one would need a house to live in. And then I thought, the only way to stay in Wander Woods forever would be to be a fairy. So I made the fairy houses so the fairies could stay in Wander Woods.

Here is the quilt:

Image

And a closeup:

Image

The quilt and the pattern are available in my shop here.

I’ll be linking up with these great blogs:

Do Tell Tuesday  at Mabey She Made It

Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story

Tuesdays with a Twist at Back to Basics

When Less is More

One of the hardest parts of designing a new quilt is knowing when to stop. It is so easy to think, if I add this it will be better, just a little more of this fabric, one more flower, another border, a bit more color. Then if I’m not paying attention the quilt is busy, really busy, with way too much going on. Then I have to take away, take away, until finally it is just how it should be.

My newest baby quilt is a great example of the less is more battle.  The fabric itself is a beautiful pattern called “Mind Your P’s and Q’s” by Keiki for Moda fabrics. It is a great example of a modern vintage style. It has the alphabet, animals, flowers, balloons.  It has so much interest that really, not much more needs to be added to make a great quilt. So I started the quilt design with a few balloons, added some more flowers, thought about an accent border, considered a scalloped edge. Then I let it sit awhile. Then I took off the flowers, most of the balloons, and the border. Now it’s just right.

Here is finished quilt called, “Old Fashioned Fun”:

Image

The quilt and pattern will be available soon at Maryland Quilter

Here are some great blogs I’m going to try to link up with this week. Check them out!

Show and Tell Tuesday at I Have to Say
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
We Did It! Wednesday at Sew much ado
It’s A Party at Creative Princes
We Did It Wednesday at Sew Much Ado
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins