Pieceful Monday

Pieceful Monday, once again. I hope your weekend was relaxing and enjoyable. Here in Minnesota, we welcomed in our first snowfall of the year, along with wind and much cooler temps. It was a great weekend for staying home and stitching!

When you read this, I’ll be on another short trip with BigJ. So I’ll be doing a little exploring, but I also have some stitching and other things along to keep me busy.

Remember the Jolly Braid Tote Bag? I’m taking it with me on its first road trip.

Pieceful Monday - Jolly Braid Tote Bag - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

I’m filling it up with a few things to take along.

Pieceful Monday - Filling the totebag - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

So what’s in there? Well, a little stitching project, along with my zipper pouch full of thread, scissors, and other things I need to work on it. That’s a little wool project that may become a Christmas gift.

Pieceful Monday - Stitching Project - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

I also bring along some sketchbooks for quilt designs, a ruler and pencil, and two books to spark my creativity.

Pieceful Monday - My bag stash - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

My Kindle will also get tucked in there, and I’ll leave room for a few things I may pick up along the way. And snacks — I’m sure some snacks will find their way in there too!

When I get back home, I hope to have some days to play with this happy mail I received this week. Look at all those solids! Yippee! Improv is calling!

These were sent to me as part of the #getyourquiltywishesgranted3 on Instagram. So much fun! It’s a good thing I sent a few quilty things to some other quilters so I have a little more room for this new addition to my stash!

So what about you? What do you take along when you go on a short roadtrip? Leave a comment and let me know.

Wendy

Autumn Calling Finish

Autumn Calling is not what I had planned to name this quilt. There were several names that popped into my head, but then I realized that Autumn Calling just seemed appropriate. So there it is.

When I last posted, I commented about trying to control too much when working on the layout of a scrap quilt. Several of you mentioned your tendency to overthink or control when working on layout too. Glad to know I’m in good company!

This quilt went through several transitions to where it came to be. You can read about part of the progression here. I just wasn’t satisfied with the lighter colors in the quilt. So I kept pulling them until I had none. And I liked it.

Autumn Calling Finish - My autumn quilt all finished. - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

I was looking for a dark golden autumn quilt, so I’m very happy with how this came out. I might even tuck it up a little further on my piano and let it stay there. It seems to work well with the pumpkins and flowers!

I did simple lines for the quilting and used Aurifil thread #2355. I don’t know the color name of this thread, but it’s a rusty red/brown and worked well with the colors in this quilt.

Autumn Calling Finish - quilting detail - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

The story behind the fabrics for this quilt began with a quilt kit I purchased on clearance at a local quilt shop. The kit didn’t have the pattern with it, so I had to do some hunting to find it. Then when I pulled it out to begin cutting the fabric, I realized that the kit had the wrong amount for some of the fabric. Frustrated, I stuck it on the shelf. I finally pulled that kit out the other day, and much of the colors in this quilt are from that kit.

The backing and binding were in the kit as well. It was nice to have it all there, just the right size. The binding and backing fabrics are from Jo Morton’s fabric lines. I’m pretty sure many of the quilt top pieces are from her lines as well, but I can’t tell you which!

Autumn Calling Quilt - Peek of the backing fabric - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

Isn’t it satisfying to finish a quilt? I’m excited to add this to my autumn decor around the house!

Linking up today with

Enjoy your weekend, all!

Wendy

Owl Woolie

I have an addiction to wool, the texture, the patterns in it, and working with it. See this little collection of pin cushions? I call little projects like this a woolie.

Owl Woolie - My little bowl full of woolie pin cushions - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

A friend stopped by the other day and commented about the little owl woolie. She likes owls, so I told her I’d make her one. It’s also the perfect time of year for digging into my wool stash and do some creating.

The pattern for the owl woolie is a Half Pints pattern from Buttermilk Basin. If you like it, they have both the pattern and kits available on their website (I’m not an affiliate, just giving you an FYI). It’s a bit difficult to find on their site; search under Woolen Pin Cushions.

I use a light table to trace the woolie pattern onto Steam A Seam Lite. Digging through my bin full of wool scraps for the little pieces is part of the fun, and I can make my larger pieces last longer. I fused the pieces together and used a blanket stitch as I stitched around each piece.

I use walnut shells for filling. It gives a little weight so it sits nicely in a corner (or a bowl). Polyfil can easily be used too.

Owl Woolie - Buttermilk Basin's Half Pints Owl Woolen Pin Cushion, all ready to gift to a friend - piecefulthoughts.com (c) 2017

What about you? Do you work with wool? What’s your favorite autumn project?

Stop back on Friday and I’ll show you the Autumn Calling quilt all finished. See you then!

Linking up with Susan for Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication and Lorna for Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Wendy

Autumn Calling

When the autumn season comes, I find myself drawn to warm, earthy colors in my fabrics. It reminds me of autumn leaves, golden sunsets, warm sweaters and hot chocolate.

With that in mind, I pulled out some of those fabrics and started to cut them up. I have a pattern that I’m using as a guide, but my blocks are a different size. They are just simple half square triangles. The trimming is tedious, but it’s such a rewarding, happy feeling when that part is done!

Autumn Calling - the tedious work of trimming - piecefulthoughts.com

I’m not really sure how many blocks I will end up with yet. I am working with the blocks I have and will make more if needed. If I end up with too many, I may split them and make two quilt tops.

My Third Eye

One of the things I struggle with when making a scrappy quilt is trying to control the block layout too much. While it’s important that the blocks play well together,  I need to remember that sometimes that renegade block that bothers me might be just the thing to make the whole quilt pop. It’s also easy for me to get all caught up in not wanting to have two of the same colors or fabric patterns too close to each other. This is where my phone is a handy tool in the quilt room. Snapping a quick photo helps me see layout problems that I don’t always catch  while I’m working on it.

So here’s my design wall progress with this quilt. I tried to capture a picture that shows the warmth of the autumn colors in the fabrics. The creams and tans are actually more golden than they show in this picture. I can already see that I need to tweak it a bit and add a few more colors. It’s not quite where I want it to be yet.

Autumn Calling - Playing with Layout - piecefulthoughts.com

Here are the rest of the blocks, laying about while they waiting to be put on the design board in a somewhat orderly fashion. You can’t see the ones laying all over my sewing machine because that would show the rest of the mess on my sewing table.

Autumn Calling - Blocks in Waiting - piecefulthoughts.com
There’s quite a few red/yellow combinations here. I think I’m going to need some other combos for balance.

The cheddar fabric in the bottom right of the photo below is a favorite. Someday I will make myself a two-color quilt out of cheddar and cream. I don’t know why I’m waiting…

Autumn Calling - Blocks in Waiting - piecefulthoughts.com

So, who knows? This quilt may end up as two minis, one wallhanging, or grow to lap size. We’ll see. It’s all in the process, right?

I’m looking forward to seeing what you are working on today! Happy Friday, all!

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Sherry at Powered by Quilting.

Wendy

 

Wednesday Thoughts

This is a little change from my Wednesday Wanderings posts, since I’ve been thinking on something this week.

Comparison is the thief of joy. 

–Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve spent a bit too much time there this week, comparing. I’m not asking for encouragement or sympathy. Just letting you know where I’ve been. I know better, so it’s time to put that behind me.

So what have I been doing to get me out of my slump?

Exercise. I’ve begun walking again. Now that my ankle is getting better, I’m up to almost 2 miles a day. It’s not really my favorite thing to do, but it’s necessary.

Clearing Clutter. Both in my head and in my quilt room, often simultaneously. Sometimes decluttering helps me process, and I can breathe so much easier now that my quilt room has some order to it.

Puttering with Little Projects.  Sometimes I just play with scraps, or try something new. It helps if I can just sew something, even if it’s not great.

All of that being said, I’m feeling better. So let’s talk quilts.

This weekend on Saturday I spent the day making blocks for The 70273 Project for their Global Block Day. Quilters from all over the world joined together and made blocks that day. The final count for the blocks made on just that one day was 3,397! I had fabric left over from making the quilt, so I decided to make blocks until I ran out of fabric. I ended up with 43 blocks. Those blocks will get shipped with the quilt, which is now complete with binding and rod pocket.

The 70273 Project - learn more about this project at thebarefootheart.com - piecefulthoughts.com

Connie did a wonderful job of quilting around all those X’s, using a little meander and some swirls. (My pictures are darker than I like, but it does help show the quilting.)

70273 Quilt - Quilting Detail - piecefulthoughts.com

70273 Quilt - Quilting detail - piecefulthoughts.com

My goal for the week is to get this packaged up and on its way to Jeanne. I’m so delighted to have made this quilt with the help of my quilt group and a few other friends!

Enjoy the rest of the week, friends! Find joy in what you do!

Wendy

 

 

 

Jolly Braid Totebag

I was invited by the Fat Quarter Shop to join in the Jolly Braid Totebag quilt along. Today is reveal day and I’m excited today to show you my tote.

This pattern is very easy to make and can be used in several different colorways.  The downloadable pattern is available here.

Quilted bags and totes are some of my favorite projects. Patterns that are easy and quick appeal to me and this pattern is no exception. I made this totebag in a day and you can too!

Jolly Braid Totebag - a fun tote that goes together quickly. My version is using Zen Chic's True Blue fabric - piecefulthoughts.com

Love those Jolly Bars!

The tote is made using one Jolly Bar pack, and two other coordinating fabrics for the side panels of the tote and for the lining. Are you familiar with Jolly Bars? The Fat Quarter Shop offers this versatile pre-cut pack that measures 5″ x10″. Using the Jolly Bar for the tote makes quick work of the cutting time for this project.

Jolly Braid Totebag - Zen Chic True Blue Fabric - piecefulthoughts.com

I chose to use Zen Chic’s fabric True Blue. The colors in this fabric line are blues, grays, and soft whites. From that same line, I used Steel Bud for my coordinating fabric. For my lining, I chose Zen Chic’s Modern Background Paper Graphic on Fog.

The Triangles on a Roll paper foundation method of sewing the strips together goes very quickly. I found it helpful to use my mini Wonder Clips to hold the roll while I went along. Another little hint — when you start with that first triangle, use a little swipe of a glue stick to hold it in place (keeps me from sewing over pins).

Jolly Braid Totebag - using Wonder Clips to hold the Triangle Paper on a Roll - piecefulthoughts.com

Of all the stabilizers I’ve used in bags, I think this is my new favorite. It is just what the name says — soft yet stable. I spray basted it and used my walking foot to make some freehand wavy lines. It gives a nice definition to the quilting. It held the spray baste well and was easy to move as I quilted.

Jolly Braid Totebag - Quilting Detail - piecefulthoughts.com

Just How Much Stuff Can I Get In There?

This bag is roomy. Just for fun, I tucked a few things in the bag to give you an idea of how much it holds.

Jolly Braid Totebag - This roomy bag holds quite a bit! - piecefulthoughts.com

You can see I have 4 large books, a little journal, two reading books and a water bottle inside. There’s still room to tuck in a few more small things.

With Christmas coming soon, this totebag would be a great gift for someone on your list. Or it’s a fun bag to make for yourself. I hope you join in and give it a try!

Jolly Braid Totebag - Final photo - piecefulthoughts.com

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wendy

 

Wednesday Wanderings

Wednesday Wanderings - Gaggle of Geese - piecefulthoughts.com

Just for today, I’m joining the gaggle of other creatives and  heading to the Northwoods Boutique craft fair with a friend. We are looking forward to seeing all the lovely goods — maybe I’ll even get some Christmas shopping done!

On Friday, I’ll be joining with the Fat Quarter Shop quilt along reveal and showing my Jolly Braid Tote Bag made with Jolly Bar precuts. I’m looking forward to telling you a little bit about it and how quickly it goes together!

Wednesday Wanderings - Jolly Braid Tote Bag Sneak Peek - piecefulthoughts.com

See you Friday!

Wendy

Wedding Quilt

The wedding is done, the celebration is over. It was a lovely late afternoon when we gathered at a beautiful farm outside of St. Louis, Missouri, to celebrate the wedding of two special people. It was a ceremony full of joy, delight, and a few happy tears.

Now I can show you the final photos of the wedding quilt. It was one of my favorite quilts to make, because the fabric was so amazing to work with.

Wedding Quilt - Maureen Cracknell's Garden Dreamer fabric, pattern from Hawthorne Threads - piecefulthoughts.com

The quilt was a kit from Hawthorne Threads using Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer fabrics. I chose the fabric because the couple enjoys the outdoors, growing a garden, raising animals, and all sorts of things I know very little about. I thought the design on the fabrics would resonate with them.

The pattern itself was quite simple to do, so the blocks came together easily. The fabric has a beautiful hand! I absolutely loved working with it. I have a little stash leftover that I’m hoarding for now, until I decide what I want to make from it.

The quilt backing was as much fun as the front.

Wedding Quilt - backing view, Maureen Cracknell's Garden Dreamer fabric - piecefulthoughts.com

Here’s a picture of Connie’s beautiful quilting. She did a simple wavy line throughout the quilt. You can also get a little peek at some of the fun garden designs on the fabric.

Wedding Quilt - detail quilting - piecefulthoughts.com

She added some fun, playful spheres.

Wedding Quilt - quilting detail up close - piecefulthoughts.com

Here’s a photo of the quilting from the back.

Wedding Quilt - quilting detail up close shown on back of quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

The quilt finished at 60″ x 60″, a perfect size for picnics, snuggling under watching a movie, or draping over a chair. Wouldn’t it look lovely draped over a porch swing?

Wedding Quilt - Quilt kit from Hawthorne Threads using Maureen Cracknell's Garden Dreamer line - piecefulthoughts.com

Luke & Amanda, I had so much fun making this quilt for you. May you have many, many years of happiness together, and may the adventures continue!

Linking up today with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and Beth at Love Laugh Quilt.

Enjoy your Monday, everyone! Happy quilting!

Wendy

Batik Finish

I have had this batik quilt top languishing in my stash for far too long. So long, in fact, that I cannot remember when I started working on it. We are having rain again today, but I was able to sneak out between showers and quickly get a few photos. Let me tell you a bit about it.

Batik Finish - A baby or crib size quilt made using the stack and whack method - piecefulthoughts.com

There is no pattern for this quilt. I just picked batiks that I liked and started sewing them together, using the stack and whack method, if I recall correctly. There was no plan, other than just playing with my batik fabrics. It started out with the idea that it would be at least a lap size quilt or larger, but then I got to a point where the rest of my batiks didn’t work as well with it. So I added the inner dark blue border and left it. I added the additional border a little later.

The quilt is 38″ x 50″, so a large baby quilt or crib quilt size. I had some left over yellow flannel, and I pieced that for the backing. That sat and languished almost as long as the top!

Batik Finish - Backing Detail View - piecefulthoughts.com

I brought it to Connie for quilting and then forgot I had brought it to her. This poor quilt! Anyway, here’s a close up of Connie’s lovely quilting with swirls and a leafy vine in the border.

Batik Finish - Front Detail view - piecefulthoughts.com

The binding is in a deep rose batik from my stash. I’m not sure what I will do with this quilt now that it’s done, but it’s my batik finish for this Friday.

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wendy

Little Elephant

Little Elephant is making his appearance today. I apparently have a thing for elephants, since I have an elephant quilt hanging on my wall, and now this little elephant project. This was not intentional. It just happened somehow.

When I visited the quilt shops in Maine, I really had no plan. I just wanted to check out the shops. My fabric and pattern choices get a bit random when I do that, picking up whatever strikes me at the moment.

I’m not exactly sure what made me buy this little elephant pattern, especially since I am not really a fan of making things that need to be stuffed. And have little pieces. And curves. This little guy is just so darn cute, though.

The pattern is called effie & ollie Elephant by Heather Bailey. The pattern is very well explained, the pieces are accurate, and overall the pattern is easy to make. She also has patterns for little turtles and whales. Why I didn’t decide on a whale since I was in Maine is beyond me, but elephant it was!

 

Little Elephant - piecefulthoughts.com

So here he is. I used a fat quarter from my stash for this first one rather than any of the fabric I picked up on the trip. Just in case I messed it up.  He doesn’t have any eyes yet and his trunk needs to curve a bit better, but it’s not bad for my first try.

Here he is with a mug in the picture so you can see how little he is. The mug is about 5″ in diameter. The little elephant is about 4″ tall.

Little Elephant and Cup - piecefulthoughts.com

He would actually almost fit inside the cup.

I bought the little elephant pattern at Alewives Fabric along with these four fat quarters.

Little Elephant - fabric purchase - piecefulthoughts.com

A little random, right? The left two are from Carrie Bloomston’s Dreamer line. The bright teal on the right is Alison Glass, I think. I don’t know anything about the other one (no selvage to tell me), I just liked it.

I was delighted when I got home and found this half-yard piece in my stash that coordinates well with the Dreamer fabrics. Don’t you love it when that happens?

Little Elephant - fabric pull - piecefulthoughts.com

I’m just itching to create something with them, just not sure what yet!

What about you? When you are on a trip and stop at a quilt shop, do you shop impulsively like me, or do you go with a plan?

Happy Wednesday, all!

Wendy