Pineapple Crush

I’m definitely crushing on these pineapple blocks. The bright oranges, golds and greens just make me happy.

So I have some decisions to make because I only made 12 blocks (that wasn’t the initial plan, but stuff happens). I have a wall unit in my living room that BigJ built, and he specifically designed a space for quilts. Here’s a photo from an earlier post.

Pineapple Crush - wall unit quilt display - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

I currently have a mini wall hanging from eight of the pineapple blocks.

Pineapple Crush - Mini quilt - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

The quilt at this point measures a wonky 26.5″ x 38.5″ because of the long skinny blocks. I could add a border, but that might make it too long for the space. I may just add two more blocks to the end of each row so there will be 5 blocks across rather than 4. First I need to have BigJ hold it up so I can see if the current length will work in the space. I think it will, but it will be close!

Then I’ll need to make some decisions on how to quilt it. If you have some fun ideas, feel free to share. Just keep in mind I’m still working with my walking foot and haven’t ventured much into free motion quilting yet!

So let me try to give you a little idea of how these blocks go together. The patterns appeal to me because they have a bit of an improv feel. The construction is a bit like a modified stack and whack. Modified because rather than just slicing, rotating, and sewing, there is an actual pattern and method to how you do it.

Sewing the blocks together is a bit like traditional piecing, but also like improv because you don’t match seams. It’s also not unusual to have to lop off a point as you go, and that takes some getting used to. The block construction is very forgiving because you construct and then square it. I find that very relaxing.

Another part of the construction I enjoy is not really knowing which fabrics are going to be together until I begin working on the block. I know what fabrics I have in the mix, but after rotating them I don’t look at them until it’s their turn to be sewn together. It also keeps me from trying to be too matchy!

This will be my fifth Buggy Barn quilt that I’ve made. Two have been given away; two others are in my UFO pile. We can talk about that another time. Haha. (Hint: it has nothing to do with the patterns and everything to do with my procrastination.) I am determined to finish this one.

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Sherry at Powered by Quilting for Friday Foto Fun and Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wendy

Pineapple Progress

Pineapple progress has been happening! I had hoped to have the quilt top done, but it’s still a work in progress. I do have some blocks to show you today, so you can see what they look like.

Earlier this week I was seeing all things pineapple, and it was making me smile. It’s an odd time of year to be thinking of pineapples, when all you see on the porches and walkways are pumpkins and cornstalks! This time of year also begins to gather friends and family together, so I think it’s an appropriate time to talk about pineapples and hospitality, don’t you?

The hospitality of friends has been on my mind today. Yesterday I got together with four friends to celebrate the birthday of one of them. We have been friends for years and years. Part of the hospitality is the lovely homes of each of them. Look at this beautiful table!

Pineapple Progress - Table Setting - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

Each of these ladies has the gift of hospitality, not only in their homes but also in their hearts. Good friends are wonderful, aren’t they?

Pineapple Peek

Okay, I know you’ve been waiting for it. So here you go. Four of the pineapples done, with eight more waiting. Each block is 7 x 19 1/2″. The instructions call for 24 blocks; I misread and made only 12, but I can work with that. I think.

Pineapple Progress - Pineapple Tidbit blocks from the Certifiably Crazy book from Buggy Barn - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

This pattern is called Pineapple Tidbits and it’s a Buggy Barn pattern from the book Certifiably Crazy. Buggy Barn Quilts closed a few years ago. However, the two Nesbitt sisters each have their own businesses now (as I understand it), Barn Chick Quilts and One Sister. The Buggy Barn Quilt Shop was the first quilt shop I stopped at while on a road trip way back in 2003. I have made quite a few of their patterns, two of which are still in my UFO pile, but that’s for another post!

Anyway, aren’t the blocks fun? I’m liking how bright and happy they are! I have a busy weekend ahead, so we’ll see if I get them done or not. You’ll have to stop back on Monday.

What about you? How do you celebrate hospitality with your family and friends? I’d love to hear about it!

Pumpkin Progress - Table Setting detail - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

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

Wendy

 

Pineapple Mashup

Pineapple Mashup? That’s the title that kept coming to mind as I was thinking about this post. It’s going to be about pineapples and why I am making this quilt.

Pineapples have long been the symbol for hospitality. You can ask Mr. Google and find all kinds of information about it. Years ago, I was in a book club with some friends and we got on the topic of hospitality and when people just drop by unexpectedly. I don’t recall exactly how, but I gave the impression that I didn’t want that happening at my house. I was embarrassed to show my home. There was nothing wrong with it, other than being a home with young kids, cats, a few random dust bunnies and continual renovation. But I was always sure that no one else’s home looked as messy as mine. Anyway, because of that I’ve never felt that I had the gift of hospitality.

Fast forward a few years and I came across this pineapple quilt and I knew I wanted to make it someday. Then the TV show Psych became a favorite show of our family, and we would always look for the random pineapple in the show. Each time I saw it, I thought I need to make that pineapple quilt!

Earlier this fall, pineapple blocks and quilts were popping up everywhere, which also made me think of this quilt and wanting to get it done. So the project has always been on my mind. Over the past year, I have been gathering fat quarters for this quilt whenever I’m out shopping.

So there’s my mashup of thoughts on the pineapple quilt, full of trivial information you really didn’t need to know. Haha.

My pile of fabrics has grown, so on Monday I mentioned that I needed to check to see if I was ready to start the project. There was plenty of fabric, and I began looking at the fabric values only to find that most of my orange was too close in value.  I decided to switch to golds for my light colors, pulling whatever I had in my stash that would work and that was fat quarter size. My pineapples have become much more “wild” than I had planned, and I think I’m going to like it.

The Players

Pineapple Mashup - the fabric mashup - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

Benched

Pineapple Mashup - fabrics that didn't make the cut - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

Another reason for the title Pineapple Mashup is because the fabrics I chose are from multiple designers as well as years. Most of them are pretty recent, but there’s a few oldies tucked in there!

Getting Started

Here’s a little peek of where I’m at on this project. I’ll give you more details on the pattern used and method in another post. For now, here are some of the tops.

Pineapple Mashup - the tops - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

It was really fun to see how these fabrics emerged. I am liking the blend of colors and patterns. Yes, those blocks are wonky. They’re supposed to be. They will be squared later, but more on that in a later post.

Tops have got to have bottoms, so here’s a peek at those too. You might want your shades on, these are bright!

Pineapple Mashup - the bottoms - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

I am having so much fun with this project. Hopefully I’ll have some finished to show you soon!

And you know what? I really do like to have people come to my home and enjoy making them feel welcome, although admittedly I still quake a bit at the thought of someone just stopping by. This quilt hanging in my home would remind me that hospitality is not about how my home looks, but how I make my visitors feel.

Linking up today with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday.

Wendy

Finally Friday

Finally Friday. This week has flown by and I have little to show for it. We got back home Tuesday evening. Wednesday came and went without a post. I played catch up the rest of the week. This post is late too. Some weeks are like that.

Quilty Inspiration is Everywhere

While we were in Milwaukee, we stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn . It was beautiful. Here’s a picture of the floor. Quilt inspiration, anyone?

Finally Friday – Quilt Design Inspiration, Hilton Garden Inn, Milwaukee – piecefulthoughts.com 2017

It was a short stay, but I managed to get the little woolies stitched up while I was there. Now they just need finishing, which will be a backing for each and then stuffing. This is a Buttermilk Basin pattern, but I reduced the pattern by 75%. Originally, they finish at 11 inches, but I didn’t want them that large. Mine will finish about 7-8 inches.

Finally Friday - Woolie Project, Buttermilk Basin pattern - piecefulthoughts.com 2017

So, what’s up for my weekend sewing?

  • Get caught up with my Magnolia Mystery blocks
  • Work on an improv project that’s tumbling around in my head
  • Check my growing stack of orange and green fabrics to see if I’m ready to start the project I have in mind for them
  • Clean my quilt room

What are your plans for the weekend?

Linking up today with Sherry of Powered by Quilting for Friday Foto Fun.

Wendy

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