Tag Archives: quilt

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.



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!





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!



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!


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!


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.


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!



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!


Mainely Quilt Shops

Mainely. I saw that used in several businesses as we trekked around during our stay, so I thought I’d use it in the title in an effort to be clever. Ha.

As I mentioned, I didn’t bring any quilting or sewing with me on the trip. However, I did have one quilt shop that I was determined to see. And I did, along with two more. One is just never enough.

My bucket list shop on this trip was Alewives Fabrics. Kathleen mentioned Alewives in her post here. I knew I had to see the shop.

I was curious about the name. Why Alewives? Imagine my surprise when I found out that an alewife is “a northwestern Atlantic fish of the herring family that swims up rivers to spawn and is also found in the Great Lakes”. Thank you, Mr. Google.

There is a significance to the quilt shop having this fish in their name, but if you want to know what that is, you’ll have to go to their website and find out. Plus, I want you to go there and check it out.

Mainely Quilt Shops - Alewives Fabrics - piecefulthoughts.com

You know it’s going to be a fun visit when you see a sign like this.

Mainely Quilt Shops - Front Door Sign - piecefulthoughts.com

As I walked in the front door, I heard a cheery greeting welcoming me to the shop. I looked to my right and saw this.

Mainely Quilt Shops - View 1 - piecefulthoughts.com

Then to my right.

Mainely Quilt Shops - View 2 - piecefulthoughts.com

Up on the top of those shelves are the cutest little elephants and turtles.  No matter how I tried, I couldn’t get a brighter picture, and I was too short to zoom in on it (BigJ was napping in the car.) The elephant pattern came home with me, so I’ll get one made and you can see the cuteness then.

Mainely Quilt Shops - Elephants - piecefulthoughts.com

There was Kaffe Fassett fabric. All those bright colors!

Mainely Quilt Shops - View 3 - piecefulthoughts.com

There were softer colors with some low volume prints.

Mainely Quilt Shops - View 4 - piecefulthoughts.com

More bright colors, organized by color family. There were several garments on display, as well as bags. A bag pattern came home with me too. I really didn’t need another bag pattern, let alone another bag, but I can’t wait to make it!

Mainely Quilt Shops - View 5 - piecefulthoughts.com

Throughout the store were clever displays.

Mainely Quilt Shops - View 6 - piecefulthoughts.com

That little basket on the bottom left with the blue fabric in front is all Liberty of London. Did I pet that for awhile? Why yes, yes I did. See that green bag up top? That, my friends, was swoon-worthy. I wanted to take that home with me!

In the center of the shop, near the cutting tables, was this center island. It is full of fat quarters. While I was there, several women were gathered at this island, on the hunt for Anna Marie Horner fabrics. There was so much fun and laughter, you couldn’t help but be a part of it.

Mainely Quilt Shops - View 7 - piecefulthoughts.com

There was yarn too, lots of beautiful yarn! About that time, I was getting itchy to do some handwork and considered getting yarn and needles. I thought better of it since (1) I’m a horrible knitter and (2) I have just about every size of knitting needle known to man (thanks, Mom and Grandma) at home.

Mainely Quilt Shops - Yarn - piecefulthoughts.com

That’s what I would consider the main room of the shop. Off to the side was another room that had quilting notions, felt and thread.

The ladies, Rhea and her team, were so friendly and fun. If you’re into EPP, you really need to look at their Lucy Boston kits. Oh my, they are gorgeous!

If you’re ever in the Damariscotta Mills area while in Maine, don’t miss this shop. You’ll leave smiling from ear to ear, a little less cash in your wallet, and a beautiful stash of fabric in your bag!

Quilt Shop Surprise

BigJ knows me all too well. On our drive up to the cabin, we made a stop in Freeport, Maine. He said he needed to find a place to stop to stretch his legs. Usually this is a rest stop, but this time we were winding our way through streets until I finally asked where we were going. He pulled up in front of Cotton Weeds Quilt Shop, a cute little shop snugged into a little group of shops. BigJ is like that — he finds me quilt shops. Gotta love the man.

When you walk in the door, you see the whole store. It’s not very big, but it is filled with lovely displays and fabric. They had a nice variety of fabric; some modern, some traditional. They had a large display of embroidery items and mini quilts.

The ladies were friendly as well. I would’ve taken pictures, but they were a bit frazzled that day because their credit card machine was declining every card. Can you imagine that headache? I decided not to add to the chaos by asking if I could snap pictures. At any rate, it’s a cute shop that is worthy of a stop.

Quilt Shop Serendipity

There was one other shop I really wanted to visit while we were on our trip, but when I looked at the distance to it, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. However —

On our way home from Acadia National Park, BigJ again had to stop to stretch his legs. He pulled up at a parking spot in Belfast, Maine in the downtown area. I looked to my left, and there it was — Fiddlehead Artisan Supply.

Mainely Quilt Shops - Fiddlehead - piecefulthoughts.com

We arrived just shy of closing time, so again, I didn’t snap any pictures. I was the only one in the store and felt like I was holding them up (I really wasn’t). Besides, I was so excited I’m pretty sure the pictures would’ve been even blurrier.

It isn’t a large store. One side of it is art supplies, the other sewing. My kind of shop.

The fabric. Oh my. Little bundles of Alison Glass. Bundles of Kona solids. So many designer lines. And patterns too. Seriously, I could have spent hours in this shop. It had little nooks, stocked full of fat quarters, half yards, and bolts. Farther back in the store was garment fabric and patterns.

I honestly wish we would’ve stumbled into the town of Belfast just a bit earlier. It would be a fun town to explore!

So, there you go! When you head to Maine, if you go to this area, don’t miss these three shops.

Did I buy lots of fabric? Actually, no. I decided to let my carryon luggage determine what I could buy. (Yes, I know I could’ve shipped fabric home.) So I bought a few fat quarters and some patterns. I’ll show you some of that in later posts.

Happy Monday, everyone!


Bloggers Quilt Festival

This is my first time joining the Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy’s Creative Side. If you aren’t familiar with the festival, it is a bit like an online quilt show. Grab a cup of coffee and be ready to enjoy the creativity of fellow quilters from the comfort of your cozy little chair!

The quilt I’d like to share is Halle’s Quilt, newly named for a darling little girl. Halle’s mom and I worked together to choose the fabric and the pattern.

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Quilt Entry 1 - piecefulthoughts.com

The quilt was made using Lella Boutique’s Sugar Pie for the periwinkles and Kona Snow for the background. The pattern is the Mini Periwinkle from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

The construction of the periwinkles was easy to do using MSQC’s tutorial.

The quilting was a meander done on the Kona Snow, to draw attention to the periwinkles. My friend Connie of Turnberry Lane Quilting did the quilting.  The finished size of the quilt is 36″ x 40″.

The backing was a light floral from Sugar Pie. The binding was also from Sugar Pie.

Bloggers Quilt Festival - piecefulthoughts.com

Doesn’t little Halle look adorable napping on the quilt? The quilt was made before Halle was born, and we waited patiently for Halle to arrive. The day finally came, and it was delightful to finally see her on the quilt!

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Halle's Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

It makes me happy when the quilts bring smiles to the new owners!

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Halle's Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

Don’t forget to visit the Bloggers Quilt Festival site and take a look at all the beautiful quilts being shared!

Happy Friday!