Category Archives: Quick Quilts

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

 

Looking on the Bright Side

I promised you a picture of the bright quilt top, so I finally have one to show you. I still need to add some borders to this quilt, but that may involve hunting down some fabric, so it may be a WIP for a little bit longer.

Anyway, the quilt pattern is from Missouri Star and it’s called Two Step. This is a definitely a lively two step! The quilt was made from a jelly roll and a charm pack. After sewing two jelly roll strips together and cutting them, I got about three blocks from each strip. I ended up with 60 blocks and laid it out 6 blocks across, and 10 down. It is a long quilt, long enough for an extra long twin bed. In the photo below, my 6’6″ husband is fully behind the quilt. It completely covers him!

Looking on the Bright Side - piecefulthoughts.com

It was an easy quilt to make. The most difficult part was making sure I was alternating the placement of the white blocks while I sewed the blocks together!

I have no idea what I will do with this quilt, but it is one more pre-cut off my shelf. Yay!

In other news, I am almost done cutting out that lovely fabric I showed you on Wednesday. I’m itching to play with the leftover pieces; I think a pincushion might be a fun thing to make with the scraps. We’ll see!

What a fun couple of weeks it has been with the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop! Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement for my project, and for those of you who have begun following me. I thoroughly enjoy my online quilt community, and I hope you continue to enjoy my posts as I share my pieceful thoughts of my quilting life!

Just a heads up — the drawing for the blog hop will be on August 4th, so good luck to those of you who have followed along and commented on each blog each day. I can’t wait to hear who wins!

Hanging with Sarah was so much fun, so I’m whooping it up with her again today at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and I’m also linking up with Finished or Not Friday over at Busy Hands Quilts.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Wendy

Pieceful Monday

It’s Pieceful Monday once again, so let me show you what I’ve been up to. I’ve been having fun with some purple batiks, making a mini quilt, and getting down and dusty with my machine.

Continue reading Pieceful Monday

Churn Dash Mini

Churn Dash blocks are one of my favorite quilt blocks to make. The block goes together so quickly and easily, and yet it is so versatile. With a change of just one color, you can completely change the look of the block. Recently I stumbled across a book with a cute little churn dash mini quilt pattern. I got the book for a song, and already had all the fabric in my stash.

Continue reading Churn Dash Mini

Bits and Pieces Friday

At our quilt group last night, we shared our favorite tips for quilting. Here are a few that were new to me:

Pool Noodles – Pick up cheap pool noodles at the dollar store, cut them to size, and roll your blocks or smaller quilts tops on them. You can easily secure the quilts to the noodle with pins. Rolling the blocks/quilts avoids creases, and the noodles are light and easy to transport if you are heading to a sewing day.

Sandpaper – Okay, this wasn’t new to me, but thought I’d share it anyway. Sandpaper is a great base to use under fabric when you need to draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. It holds the fabric steady so there is less distortion to the bias as you draw the line.

Rubber Doorstops – Place three of these under the back of your machine and it will tilt the machine just enough so you can see the machine bed better.

Zipper Pouches – Make a few zipper pouches and fill each one with basic quilting items, like scissors, thimble, etc. Dedicate the pouches to projects you are working on, adding in the notions needed for that project. Then when you are ready to stitch, you can just grab the pouch and all your sewing items are already in there, ready to go.

Reusable Tins – Use the tins from mints, etc. to create little on-the-go sewing kits. Attach a magnet in the tin to hold needles, etc., clip it shut, and off you go.

I thought these were some clever tips using common household items. Do you have a clever, handy tip? Share it with us in the comments!

This weekend I hope to finish the blocks for the commission quilt, as well as finish these bits and pieces into little mini mini quilts or pin cushions.

I’m whooping it up today for handy quilting tips and little projects along the way with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Happy Friday, all!

Wendy

Little Friday Finish

Sometimes it’s just the little things that make me feel good. Here’s a few from this week.

On March 1st, BigJ and I had a date night to celebrate our engagement 30 years ago. 30 years! It seems like yesterday. I haven’t aged a bit – ha! We went on a little drive, which took us back to the place where he proposed — Diamond Bluff. There is a much longer story to it, of course. You’ll have to ask if you want to hear it, but it’s too long for a quilting blog post!

Earlier that day, I spent some time with a couple of quilty friends, sipping coffee and doing some stitching while we chattered away. See? It’s the little things that make me happy.

I am 9 blocks away from having all the blocks completed for the commission quilt. Another little thing that makes me happy!

Today I made a little tiny finish. It’s my first finish for the year, in miniature form. One of BigJ’s co-workers, who has become a friend to me, had a birthday this week and I wanted to make something for her.

I pulled out my scraps and started to play. I wanted it to be bright and cheery, because sometimes the job she does can be a challenge. I decided to call this little project a “therapy mug mat” — something happy for her to look at when she needs cheering up.

This is what I came up with.

The block is square, truly! My aim with the picture? Not so much!

I had a little fun with some free motion quilting. I consider it not bad for a newbie to the whole FMQ thing. I made a wonky little star in the middle piece and then just organic wavy lines around the rest.

The block is made using Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s small template and concept from her book 15 Minutes of Play. It is so much fun, I will definitely be doing more of this!

That’s my little Friday finish. I hope she likes it!

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

Have a great weekend, all!

Wendy

 

 

 

The Coming of Age Quilt

I used to say to my mother that quilting was a “coming of age” kind of thing. You had to be a certain age to be able to quilt. This was an ongoing joke between us because of my first attempt at quilting.

I had found a quilt pattern in a magazine, bought and cut the fabrics according to the pattern, and began sewing, diligently following the instructions. It didn’t work. I was so disappointed. I had really wanted to call my mom and tell her I had made a little quilt all on my own.

I called her, likely in tears, telling her I couldn’t quilt. This was a huge disappointment to me because my grandmother was a seamstress, my mother quilted and so did my sister-in-law. I was pretty sure that quilting should come easily to me. She chuckled and told me to pack it all up, magazine and all, and send it to her. I did. After she had taken a look at it, she called me back and told me there was a mistake in the pattern. In spite of that, I still told her that maybe I wasn’t old enough to quilt yet. And that became our little joke.

The very first quilt I did successfully make was this  mini log cabin, which I made a few years later.

The pattern came from the book Little Quilts All Through the House by Alice Berg, Sylvia Johnson, and Mary Ellen Von Holt, which I still enjoy pulling out now and then. The patterns are very basic and simple, and timeless — easily updated with today’s fabrics.

I enjoy making log cabin blocks because they have a rhythm as the strips wrap around the center square — light, light, dark, dark is the way I used to remind myself as a beginner. I went on to make quite a few log cabins in those first years.

I made this quilt in the late 90’s, starting on an afternoon at my friend Connie’s house, while we each stitched on our projects and my two kids ran around us playing. (Those two kids are now both young adults, so this little mini would have quite a few stories to tell.)

I went on to finish all the blocks, pieced them together, hand quilted it and made the binding, all on my own. Close examination of the quilt shows some of the things I still needed to learn, but all in all, I was very pleased with the outcome.

I called my mom and told her I was finally old enough to quilt. We had a good laugh about that.

Linking up today with LeAnne at Devoted Quilter.

Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Frolic

Friday is here and once again I am late at getting this post done. One of my goals for this year is to work on getting more of my posts ready ahead of time rather than flying by the seat of my pants. So far, it’s not going too well, but there is some improvement. So, strapping on my inner Last Minute Lulu, here goes!

I actually started and finished a large quilt top this week. That hasn’t happened in awhile. Now, granted, the quilt was easy because I was working with pre-cuts. Sometimes it’s just good therapy to grab and sew, y’know?

I made this quilt while waiting to begin another project that will involve more intricate piecing. I couldn’t go to the quilt store until this past Wednesday, so I had to find something to do in the meantime. I mean, I have no other unfinished projects that I could’ve, well, finished. Ha!

In Wednesday’s post, I showed you the pre-cuts. I used fabric from Corey Yoder’s Sundrops line along with a Kona Solid in a creamy white. The Sundrops pre-cut pack had a pattern in it named Garden Gate. So armed with everything I needed, I got to it.

Yesterday I was finishing the quilt by putting in the sashing. Easy peasy, until I did this.

Been there, anyone? So I spent some time with Jack, the ripper. We had a long conversation . . . 59 inches of conversation. Not doing that again, I hope.

I was so excited to show you the finished quilt, but I needed to take some photos. So I slipped my hikers on (who needs to tie them – this was gonna be short and quick anyway), and headed out on to my patio. Did I mention it’s currently -2 degrees here this morning? It was a short and sweet photo session, so don’t judge too harshly. Long sleeved shirt, denim capris and hikers; probably should’ve rethought that fashion statement before going out. I don’t think anyone noticed . . . they were probably tucked in their warm houses, slurping coffee!

So anyway — here it is, right next to our Christmas tree which has migrated to the deck. I told you it was tradition, now you have proof.

Even my cat got a short burst of energy from my foray onto the deck. That chilly air wafting through the house had him zipping to and fro, which of course means he will be napping on my ironing board later when I need to use it. Did I tell you that he once singed his fur nestling too close to the iron? Silly cat.

Today I begin cutting into this lovely cache of fabric. This will become a quilt that has been requested by a friend. I hope she likes it. I can’t wait to get started!

Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy your weekend, may it be full of long running stitches (and no Jack)!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Wendy

 

Quick Quilting Wednesday

We finally have a winter wonderland look in our backyard. We had about 3 inches of snow yesterday, and a little more today. It makes everything look so much better, but really messes up the drive time for those heading to work. I’m happy to be here at home, where my commute is up and down the stairs.

I was inspired to take our Christmas tree down last night (we put it up later in December and leave it up a little longer in January, it’s tradition). The tree is sitting on our deck (also tradition) and has a lovely dusting of snow on its boughs. I enjoy watching the little birds flit in and out of it while I have my morning coffee and catch up on quilt blogs.

I am working on my first quilt of 2017. I thought I’d have the top done and ready to show you, but not quite. Last year, in one of my Sew Sampler boxes, I received a Jolly Bar (5″ x 10″ precuts) of Corey Yoder’s Sundrop fabric line. I had a charm pack of Kona Cotton Solids, so I combined the two precuts and decided to make the pattern that came with the Jolly Bar. No cutting, so easy to put together.

Pretty simple, just chain sew the pieces together. Look at all that cheery fabric as I stitch. I needed something with bright, happy fabric!

Here’s a little peek at one of the rows, patiently waiting for me to finish them into a quilt top. I should have this done by the end of the week.

I’ll be starting another quilt soon, one I’m making for a friend of mine. Today I plan to get the fabric for that, so it’s off to the quilt shop I go!

I shared this little quote on Instagram yesterday. Thought I’d share it with you today.

Linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts and Quilt Fabrication.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Wendy