Tag Archives: autumn

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!


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.


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.



Tropical Pumpkins

A few months ago, Vicki of Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting gave me this little roll of vibrant Island Batik fabrics.

Tropical Pumpkins - Island Batik fabrics - piecefulthoughts.com

I finally came up with an idea. While the fabric made me think I needed to do something with a tropical theme, I realized I could make some fun pumpkins from the pink and orange fabrics.

Today is all about keeping it real, as I show you that sometimes ideas don’t exactly come out like planned. Honestly, I debated about whether to even post on this, but I think it’s okay to show the imperfect too.

My idea was to make improv pumpkins. I just cut a few strips of the pink and orange fabrics and put them together. They are a bit more “cubist” than I had planned, but hey, it’s improv, so it’s all about going with the flow, right??

The stems are made from small improv pieces of the green and blue fabrics from the bundle. The cream background fabric is a piece from my stash (I don’t know what line it is from). Once I made the pumpkins, my plan was to add improve squares/rectangles to the corners to create the rounded pumpkins. That worked until some of the corners disappeared when I put the borders on. Voila! “Cubist” pumpkins.

Tropical Pumpkins - mini quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

Once I put the top together, I was debating the thread color for the quilting. I thought to use this rust-colored thread. It worked okay, although if I were to do it again, I’d go with a lighter thread color. I learn better through trial and error, so I’m okay with this too.

Tropical Pumpkins - quilting detail - piecefulthoughts.com

As long as I was learning things from this quilt, I decided to take my first whack at a flanged binding. I’m not happy with the way it turned out. Not everything lined up and the corners didn’t miter as well as usual. I found it difficult to stitch through the flange and the quilt sandwich, much of which I think is due to the density of batik fabrics, and I wobbled around on my stitching too much.

Tropical Pumpkins - bad flange binding - piecefulthoughts.com

Anyway, I had fun making it, I learned some things, and, in the end, it’ll do. It’s my finish for the week.

Tropical Pumpkins - mini quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

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

Enjoy your weekend!


Autumn Runner Finish

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but I do finally have a finish to show you.


The process of getting my autumn table runner completed has been a good learning experience for me. I had ideas of doing some cool free motion quilting on the center of the table runner, but quickly came to realize I need to learn and practice more free motion rather than wreck a quilt. So I pouted for a few days.

I kept the quilting simple, stitching a cross hatch design in the center and stitching in the ditch on the border. I’m happy with the outcome. It’s done and I can use it for this season (yay!). The wool leaves, even though they are small, add a nice weightiness to the top. I anticipate that I will use this for years.



While I’ve been finishing the autumn runner, I’ve been working on a little sampler. Here’s a peek, but I won’t tell you what it is until I can show you the whole thing. It’s really fun and makes me chuckle.


Are you looking for clever items to make for Christmas gifts? Do you have a coffee lover on that list? My friend Bernie from Needle and Foot posted a tutorial for a french press cozy. Check it out; it’s a simple process and one I’m considering for one piece of my Christmas fabric.

Since it’s the beginning of November, here’s what I plan to work on this month.

  1. Quilt and bind the Quilters Madder top.
  2. Finish the sampler I’m stitching.
  3. List out my Christmas gifts and assess where I’m at with them.
  4. Clean up scrap containers.
  5. Practice free motion quilting.
  6. Finish one of my quilt tops.
  7. Prepare the backing for two quilts to bring to Connie.
  8. Finish November wool projects.

That should keep me busy. We’ll see how I do.

Here’s one last peek at the autumn table runner, all dressed up and ready for fall!


Linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts and Quilt Fabrication.


In The Works Wednesday

I spent most of Monday moving things back into my quilt room. In the evening, I continued stitching the wool leaves on my table runner. I’m using Valdani thread, 12 wt. for the stitching. Some are stitching with matching thread, others with a different color. I have done a running stitch outline on a few of the leaves as well. Here’s a few photos of them.

Same view as my previous post, but showing the embellishing on the leaves.
A closer view of the leaves. I just need to finish the three on the right!

I was surprised and delighted when Susan of Quilt Fabrication highlighted my runner in her Midweek Makers post today. Thanks so much, Susan!

I’ve been thinking about how to quilt the table runner. I have some ideas and I’ll begin practicing some of those this week. I had hoped to have this runner done by now, but I want to take this part slow and enjoy the process.

I’m almost caught up with the Quilters Madder Quilt Along. I finished the second step last night. Today, I’ll finish the third step and be ready for the reveal on Friday. I’ve really enjoyed this and hope to do another QAL with Humble Quilts soon. Here are my Step 2 pieces.

48 little HST’s! That’s my new floor in the background — a vinyl tile that look like cork.

One other highlight of the week was winning an Instagram drawing from Aurifil threads for their 20K Giveaway. I won 20 small spools of Aurifil thread! That should help with my machine quilting practice, since I’ll no longer have the excuse of not having the right color of quilting thread – haha!

I’ve partially moved back into my quilt room. It is now a workable space once again. However, there are boxes and whatnot that still need to be moved back, downsized, or gotten rid of. I’ll tackle that the rest of this week as well.

Linking up today with Quilt Fabrication and Sew Fresh Quilts.



Pieceful Monday

On Friday I had hoped to be able to show you the finished table runner. Today I hoped to show you my progress on the Quilters Madder Quiltalong. Instead I spent the entire weekend laid low by a cold/flu bug, so there was not much sewing done.

Last Wednesday, a few of you asked about Madder prints after I posted my blog. Madder is a type of dye, and the color content of the dye varies with the soil and the weather. The madder colors are brilliant red, brick red, salmon pink, light pink, peach, buff, pink, lavender grays, medium brown, chocolate, violet, darker purple, and near black. Mordants used for the dye produce these results: weak alum – pink; strong alum – red; weak iron – lilac or violet; strong iron – black; mixture – various browns; copper – scarlet red. This information was given to me by Margo of Reproduction Fabrics.  She has put together some fat 1/8 bundles of Madder prints; you can find those here.

I have managed to get the first blocks for the quilt along completed. Just a few simple four patches and two patches. I hope to get a little further along on the project later today.


Last night I began adding some stem stitching to the leaves on my table runner, adding some veins and a few outline stitches.


My goal for today is to get moved back into my quilt space now that I have new flooring. Then I hope to get some sewing done on the QAL blocks. I’ll continue working on the runner this evening.

Linking up today with Cooking Up Quilts, Em’s Scrap Bag today.





Pieceful Monday

It was a quiet weekend with lovely, cool weather. The fall colors have yet to peak, but BigJ and I still took a Sunday afternoon drive around the area, just to be sure. We stopped at one of our favorite apple orchards and, of course, bought apples and a few pumpkins.

My project for the weekend ended up being a quick table runner, made from a pattern called Game Board by Pieced Tree Patterns. These little patterns go together quickly. I actually downsized the pattern and it’s still bigger than I really wanted, but it will do.

I decided to play with these fabrics that I picked up at our local shop, Reproduction Fabrics. The border fabrics are Margo’s Mignonettes from Margo Krager for Andover Fabrics, and the white fabric with gold dots is a Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics piece. Perfect colors for fall, aren’t they?


Here’s the finished top. That big empty center has me thinking, however. It needs something, and I have a plan. I hope to work on that today and show the final product to you later this week.


With fall colors starting to pop, I need to get rolling on my Christmas projects and gifts. I’m hoping to make most of my gifts this year (I say this every year). I always tell myself I’m going to start in July (ha!) and then October rolls around and I’m late to the game once more. At least I’m a little ahead this year because some of them are already done.

Remember that little pack of coasters I made? They arrived safely to their destination, and she loved them. It’s always fun to hear that our quilted gifts will be enjoyed, isn’t it? Much to my surprise and delight, Beth from Cooking Up Quilts highlighted my little coasters in her blog. Thanks, Beth!

I hope all of you have a wonderful week, full of thread, needles and stitching!

Linking up today with Cooking Up Quilts and Em’s Scrapbag.


Autumn in the Air and My Home

Fall is definitely in the air these days. Northern Minnesota even had some snow last night. Oh how I wish the Autumn season could last longer than it does!

Most of the projects I’ve finished this week have already been posted, so I’ve decided to join the linky part hosted by  Bernie of Needle and Foot and show you some of my autumn quilts and woolies today.

I thought I’d take you on a mini tour of my Autumn quilt decor in my home. It was a challenge to get pictures in my dark, tree-shaded living room, so please bear with me.

The quilt below is one of my very first lap or throw quilts. While we do use it as a throw, most often I use it for decoration during the Autumn season. It is a pattern I made years ago; I believe it was in a quilt magazine. It is one of my favorite quilts. The quilting shelf was made for me by my brother, Steve. You can see some of his other work here.

This display is at the top of the stairs in my home, so I am standing on the steps to get the full quilt in the picture. That’s the reason for the weird angle.

Fall is one of my favorite times to pull out my woolie projects. If you’ve been following me, you know that I usually have a woolie close by to work on. This next little set of pin cushions is a nod to Autumn and Halloween.


The little owl pattern was too irresistable when I visited a quilt shop in Minnesota a year or so ago. The pattern is a Half Pints by Buttermilk Basin and went together quickly.

The pin cushion with the scaredy cat was a free download online a few years ago from Shirley Hudson Designs. Another quick project, and so cute!

The little pumpkin was a pin cushion pattern  by a quilt shop I visited while on a trip to Missouri a few years ago. It is the first of the woolie pin cushions I made.

This little hanger is also made by my brother. He and his wife, Nita, of What a Hoot Quilting sell these. They hold little 6-1/2″ blocks and easily tuck into spaces where you just need a little something. (Am I an affiliate of What A Hoot? No, just a big fan who gets paid in hugs. Good enough for me!)

Harvest Moon, copyright Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

The little block on the hanger is my own design. I just sketched it up one day and stitched it together. I call it Harvest Moon.

This little quilt was made from a pattern in the Fall 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine. When we put in the bookshelves, which BigJ designed and built, he added this little nook so that I could hang my mini quilts on display. It’s one of my favorite design features in our house!


That’s my linky party share! Thanks for hosting this, Bernie!

(I’m not an affiliate of any of these companies; just giving them a little applause for their great patterns.)