Category Archives: Little Quilt Projects

Maine Mini UFO

My Maine Mini UFO is finally done, and I’m excited to show it to you today.

Back in September, BigJ and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, taking a trip to Boston and Maine. Most of our time was spent at this gorgeous cabin in Maine.

Maine Mini UFO - our cabin for the stay - 2018

As we prepared for the trip, BigJ said, “You need to design some quilt blocks and make a quilt about our trip.” I think he meant a bigger quilt than the one I made, but he’s decently impressed with the mini. So it’s all good.

During the time we were preparing to go, I had been following Kitty at Night Quilter and her outings with her kids which resulted in her Summer Adventures Quilt. It’s worth taking a minute to go visit Kitty, not only because her quilt is amazing, but the idea behind the design of the quilt is really cool. I wish I had thought of it when my kids were little! So Kitty’s quilt inspired me to give this little mini a go.

Maine Mini UFO - Full Mini Photo - 2018

Initially, I was going to meticulously draw out each block and then obediently stitch it up according to plan. Heh. I didn’t want to waste that much brain power, so I decided to wing it. And what fun I had.

Seriously, it was just me, my fabric, thread and sewing machine. Toss in a little music, and I was good to go. No rulers allowed, except for trimming seams and blocks. I had a rough sketch or idea of what I wanted to do for each block. From there, I just cut fabric and stitched it together freestyle.

Each of the four blocks is a memory of something we did or saw on the trip. Each block is 4″ x 6″ and the full quilt measures 8.5″ x 21″.

Maine Mini UFO - Sailboat block - 2018

I made the sailboat first because it was easy. I decided to make the water out of scraps of blue and kept the sky a solid. That carried through to each of my blocks. This block reminds us of our view from the cabin, the boats on the water that we watched each day — sailboats, lobster trawlers, speedboats and others.

Maine Mini UFO - Mountain Block - 2018

The second block crosses state lines a bit. It is actually a memory of our drive to Mount Washington in New Hampshire, with mountains in the background and trees in the foreground. However, we saw much of that in Maine too, like when we visited Acadia National Park. The navy fabric around the base of the trees in the block is actually one of the very first pieces of quilt fabric I ever purchased. It has moose on it (which are a little difficult to see), and it’s a nod to the Moose Crossing signs we saw on our drive.

After making the first two blocks, I stalled out for a bit. I had the other two blocks in mind and roughly sketched (to remind me what I wanted to do). I didn’t get them done until this last week, and that’s where the UFO part comes in.

Maine Mini UFO - Lobster Block - 2018

The third block was the most difficult of the blocks for me to make. It didn’t really turn out quite like I imagined it would, although I like it enough. The lobster is sitting on a plate (work with me here, some plates are square-ish) on the picnic table on our deck, which looked out over the water and to the green hills on the other side of the bay. This block is the whole reason why I’m explaining each block to you. Ha!

Maine Mini UFO - Lobster Buoy Block - 2018

Last of all are the lobster buoys. These three mimic the ones hanging in our cabin, but we also saw buoys peppered all over the water in the bay. We were continually amazed at how the boats could buzz through them without tangling them all up. Clearly we know very little about lobster trapping, etc.

I decided to do wavy line quilting in the water and straight-ish lines for the rest of the parts of each block. I didn’t get too fussy and just let the lines fall organically. I did leave some parts of the blocks without quilting, like the boat and the buoys.

Maine Mini UFO - quilting detail - 2018

Maine Mini UFO - more quilting detail - 2018

The sashing as well as the backing fabric were purchased while on the trip. The rest of the fabrics are from my stash. The lobster was fussy cut from the backing fabric, which you can see here.

Maine Mini UFO - Quilt Back View, almost - 2018

Oops, that’s Max reminding me of what he thought of us being gone two weeks. Let’s try that again.

Maine Mini UFO - Full Quilt Back View - 2018

All that’s left is to make a label. This little mini will go on my mini quilt wall once I get that up and going. This is my fifth UFO finish for the year.

Have you made a quilt to remember a trip you’ve taken? I’d love to hear about it!

Linking up today with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts, and Tish at TishnWonderland.

Happy Monday, everyone!


Another Little Project

Another little project — but not a UFO! Can you believe it?! I actually decided to make a new project this week, and I’m pretty happy with it.

When my Quilter’s Planner arrived, it came with a Pattern Supplement brimming with several really beautiful projects. One of the little projects caught my eye — the Zippy Pouch, and I’ve been itching to make it.

Another Little Project - Zippy Pouch, pattern by Karin Jordan and shown in The Quilter's Planner Pattern Supplement - 2018

The Zippy Pouch was designed by Karin Jordan of Karin Jordan Studios. The pouch is 4″ x 9″ and has a wide base. The pattern was very well done and easy to follow.

The fabrics used are fat quarters and scraps. I’m not sure what the fabric is that I used on the exterior of my pouch. It wasn’t marked when I bought it. I’m wondering if it’s a peppered cotton, or a shot cotton. It was a little fussy to work with because it was very soft and frayed quite a bit. With the exception of the main exterior fabric, all of the fabrics are from my stash.

Once I had the exterior of the bag constructed and added fusible fleece to it, I decided to have some fun with the quilting. I did straight line quilting because I thought it would look great with the design.

Another Little Project - quilting detail, front of pouch - 2018

While stitching, I used my machine foot to gauge the width of the stitching. Once I got the sides done, I stitched the bottom.

Another Little Project - quilting detail, bottom of pouch - 2018

When it came to the sides, which are triangular, I changed it up a bit and just following the triangular shape. One side is actually just a tiny bit different from the other, because I got lost in thought and accidentally changed up the stitching. Ha!

Another Little Project - quilting detail, side view - 2018

The interior is very roomy. I will hold all of my colored pencils (I think I have a 72-pencil set). I also like the wide base because it stands up so nicely.

Another Little Project - inner pouch view - 2018

The zipper was a bit tricky because my zipper was quite a bit longer than 9 inches. However, the pattern directions for the zipper are very easy to understand.

So Have I Done Any More UFOs?

Okay, I’ll admit it. Yes. I’ve finished one more — just a bit of hand quilting and binding on a small quilt.

What have you been working on this week? I’d love to hear about it!

Linking up today with Susan at Quilt Fabrication and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.


Vintage Tumbler

Vintage Tumbler, that’s what I’m calling this quilt. Okay, the quilt top and fabric isn’t really vintage, but it sure feels like it is to me. I’ve had it gathering dust on my shelves long enough. I’m not telling how long. Ha!

Originally this quilt top had an additional cream border, which was supposed to have appliquéd vines and pumpkins. I started this before I had done much appliqué and I was not enjoying it at all. So, I ripped the cream borders off yesterday, and just decided to leave it with the narrow border.

Vintage Tumbler - full view - 2018

Not all things match up on the top, and I could’ve been a little more careful with the layout, but I’ve always liked the colors in the quilt. Some of the cream tumbler fabric has sparkles in it. Who doesn’t like sparkles now and then?

I used a backing from my stash. I had just enough, which made me happy. Enough for the quilt, and one more piece off my shelf!

For the quilting, I just decided to keep it simple and follow the line of the tumblers. I had a variegated rusty orange thread in my thread stash, a YLI 40 wt that, thankfully, worked pretty well. I really like the pattern on the back from the quilting.

Vintage Tumblers - back view - 2018

Here’s a closer view of the back.

Vintage Tumbler - quilting detail - 2018

When I did the quilting, I just stitched from the border all along the tumblers.

Vintage Tumbler - quilting detail - 2018

Once I finished that stitching, I had the two side borders that needed some stitching, so I just echoed the pattern around the tumblers. It worked out okay, even though the stitching is closer together than on the other blocks. Oh well!

Vintage Tumblers - Side Border Quilting - 2018

Here’s another view, hopefully you can see the border stitching.

Vintage Tumbler - Side Border Detail - 2018

And that’s one more UFO done. I’m pretty excited about that!

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts, and joining Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland on Saturday.

Stocking Story

Let me begin this stocking story by letting you know that I didn’t post on Friday because I had a medical procedure done. Nothing serious, just a screening. However, it left me feeling a bit like this.

Stocking Story - Friday Recovery -

That my cat, Max, by the way. He lives a stressful life, no?

By Saturday, I was feeling much more lively and spent the day in my sewing room. Of course there were Tomtes. You can see what I was up to with them on my Instagram feed.

I also finished a quilt for my daughter, but won’t be posting pictures of that until she comes home this weekend.

So, today I want to share a stocking story with you.

Remember when I told you about Rose from Something Rosemade sending me the fun Christmas fabric? I shared this little stocking that I made from the fabric in a previous post.

Stocking Story - Cheater Fabric Stocking -

Well, I made another stocking from that fabric and sent it to Rose. I was going to post a picture of it after she had gotten it, and realized that I completely forgot to take a picture of it before I sent it.

So here’s an older picture of another stocking. Rose’s stocking looks similar to this one because it is made from the same pattern.

Stocking Story - from the original pattern -

I have had this pattern for years and used it several times. To say I’ve gotten my money’s worth is an understatement. The stocking pattern is copyrighted, so I decided to see if I could find the designer and ask if I could show how I made the stocking.

I went in search of the company to no avail. However, after multiple searches, I finally found Cindi Edgerton at A Very Special Collection and she graciously gave me a little information.

The original company on my pattern is Granny Nanny. According to Cindi, that company was sold to another, which sold to another. After that, Cindi had no idea where the pattern or designer ended up.

Cindi has some Little Stockings patterns that are very similar to the one I made. You can find Cindi’s method for foundation piecing here and also on this video.

All that being said, I don’t feel comfortable sharing a tutorial on how I made the stocking. I can, however, tell you how it is different than other paper piecing.

The stocking is no more than approximately 10″ tall. It is a great size for gift giving and for tucking in a little Christmas display.

The unique part about its construction is that it combines paper piecing with quilt as you go. This is done by adding a layer of very thin batting between the paper and the fabric. When done paper piecing, the front of the stocking is already quilted. A backing is stitched to the front, a lining is added and finished off with a cuff and a loop.

This is an easy step to add to any paper foundation pattern. Just remember that the batting needs to be very thin, ideally no more than 1/8″ so that you can still see the foundation paper for placement of your fabric.

If you have any information on this designer, please let me know. At the very least, I’d like to thank him or her for this fun pattern.

Happy Monday, everyone!


Messy Creative Fun

Messy creative really does describe me. I have messy creative piles all around my sewing room. Some are orderly; some not so much. I had thought I wasn’t going to post today because I really have nothing new to show you, but then I thought, why not? I’ll show you the mess I’m working in as I continue my fascination with those cute little Tomtes. You can see my earlier work on them here.

I should probably explain why I’m working on the Tomte designs. While my mom was living, she collected Swedish things, and one of her favorites were the little Tomte figures. Each Christmas, I would go to a nearby Scandinavian store and find her something. Not always a Tomte, but something I knew she would like. So whenever I see a Tomte, it brings a smile and a tear. I miss her at Christmas, and this is one way I can remember the fun we had together.

Okay, this post is really going to be keeping it real, friends. You’ll even get to see my highly scorched ironing board that I need to re-cover. Someday. So let’s get to it.

Continue reading Messy Creative Fun

Stars of Joy

Do you remember the little star woolie project I was working on? I had forgotten about them until I unearthed my project list today. It’s been buried under a flurry of scraps from all the Tomte fun going on here.

Stars of Joy - woolie project from Buttermilk Basin -

All I needed to do was add backing fabric and stitch around them. That part was easy. Stuffing them wasn’t. All those little points were a bit difficult.

This pattern is Trio of Joy Stars from Buttermilk Basin. The stars finish at 10 inches. I didn’t want them that big, so I reduced the pattern to 75% and I’m much happier with them.

To add the backing, I just laid the woolie star right sides together with the backing fabric and sewed around the star, leaving a space for turning. After stitching, then I cut the background fabric around the woolie star. It was an easier way to stitch them together for me.

I used a chopstick to get the stuffing into the points, but it didn’t work very well. The points were sharper than I expected, and it was difficult to get the stuffing into those little points.

If I were to make this pattern again, I’d make it into a wall hanging, just stitching the stars onto a fabric background.

Since they didn’t finish well enough for me to give them as a gift, I just decided to add them to my Christmas decorating.

Stars of Joy - finished woolie stars from Buttermilk Basin's Trio of Joy Stars pattern -

Thanks for all the comments on my Christmas stocking and my little Tomte in my earlier posts. A few of you wondered what a stiletto is, so I’ll see if I can get a post together soon to show you how I use it.

I hope you all have a grand weekend full of quiet moments and humming sewing machines! It’s time to get those Christmas projects done! What are you working on this weekend?

Linking up today with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts and Powered by Quilting.



Teeny Tiny Tomte

This teeny tiny Tomte is  something I just had to make. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen it, but I can’t resist posting it once again because it’s so little and fun.

Tiny Tomte Fun - little ornament -

I’d seen these little Tomtes on my feed and thought about making one. Then I read Kitty’s post at, her little Tomte was so cute, I had to get the pattern.

Moss & Lotus designed these cute little guys. The patterns are paper pieced and there are several Tomte designs, including this little 2″ fellow.  There is also a Tomte Sew Along on Instagram where you can see all the creative fun going on.

My little Tomte is made with little pieces of the fabric that Rose sent me. It takes me just a couple of minutes to make one block. I used some of the string Rose tied the fabric bundle with to make the loop for hanging.

Next up is to make one of the larger patterns. I’m just having trouble trying to decide which one! Join along in the Tomte fun. If you do, I want to see a picture!

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

Happy Stitching!



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. - (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 - (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 - (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!


Elephant Pillow

My elephant quilt came up in conversation this week.

Elephant Quilt -

My daughter and I were talking about ideas for a gift she wanted to make. I made this wedding quilt for her friend a year ago.

Wedding Quilt -

I had some fabric left over from the wedding quilt, so we decided to make an elephant pillow. The recipient likes elephants, and we had enough leftover fabric for the project.

My daughter did the appliqué. I think it came out so cute!

Elephant Quilt -

It makes me want to do another elephant quilt. I enjoyed stitching each of those little pachyderms, all 24 of them! I think one in bright contemporary fabric would really be fun.

While she was stitching on the pillow, I was working on my improv quilts. I took these stripes and made two (yep, two) mini quilts.

They turned out pretty well; can’t wait to show them to you!

Look for a post on Friday with those two fun improv finishes this week. Meanwhile, the moving truck is being loaded today, and tomorrow we begin the trek to move our daughter to Florida!

I’m linking up today with Susan and Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication and Lorna and Let’s Bee Sewcial at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Happy stitching, all!



Fishy Stash

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a relaxing weekend with some fun sewing! Things were a little fishy around here, so let me show you what I worked on this weekend!

Last week, Nancy from Grace and Peace Quilting posted a picture of the mini quilt she made from a pattern in the current issue of Modern Patchwork magazine. When I saw her quilt, I knew I had to make one of my own. So I did. You saw a little peek of this on Friday, and many of you knew what I was up to. Here it is, all done.

Fishy Monday Quilt -

Well, actually I made it for someone else, but more about that in a minute.

I chose to make only four fish rather than five. Why? Because I only had enough of the background fabric for four fish! It’s a fun low-volume polka dot, which I thought worked well. I also made the red fish and the bottom blue fish out of prints rather than solids. Again because it’s what I had in my stash. The bottom blue fish is actually made using the wrong side of the fabric. The right side was just a smidgen too dark, so I just flipped it over and used the wrong side, which was just right! Do you ever do that?

This was my first time using straight line quilting, and I really enjoyed it! I didn’t measure other than to add a few little marks to try to keep me somewhat straight. I wanted to make sure I stitched straight through the middle of the fish first, then I just kept adding lines around it. I didn’t get too worried if the lines bent a little. It was fun to use the red thread for the red fish and then switch to a light blue on the rest.

Fishy Monday Quilt - detail shot -

This is going to a sweet friend of mine. She and her husband are pastors to missionaries. They travel often, and this is a welcome home gift for her when she arrives home next week. She is one of my closest friends, and we have walked through much together. The symbol of the fish has much meaning to her. The colors in the quilt are not only colors in her home, but colors of her heritage. The red fish swimming the other way will have special meaning to her as well. I cannot wait to give this to her, although she will likely read this post and know it is coming her way.

Fishy Monday Quilt -

This is a really fun quilt to make. Go grab a copy of Modern Patchwork and make one of your own!

I’m linking up today with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and Em’s Scrapbag

See you Wednesday!