Tag Archives: stitching

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

 

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!

Wendy

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.

Wendy

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!

Wendy

 

Improv Play

Improv play is my happy place lately. My goal this week was to finish my daughter’s quilt top so I could get it to Connie to quilt. However, just as I was putting on the last border, I ran out of fabric. Ugh. We pulled the quilt together on the fly while in a local quilt shop, and miscalculated on the second border fabric. The quilt shop didn’t have any more of the fabric, but I managed to find some online. Phew!

So, with nothing else to do (hahaha, right), I decided to play around with improv blocks. I have one improv in progress and I’ve been posting little peeks on my Instagram feed. I very excited to see how it — if it — turns out!

In the meantime, I came across a stack of 20 squares in my stash and decided to cut them up. I just grabbed them as they came off the pile.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Then I just start to sew them together in sets of two.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Then I sew those sets together.  Blocks are starting to form!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Pretty soon I have a bunch of colorful blocks and it’s time to trim.

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

After trimming, I begin to play with layout. I got so absorbed in doing that, I forgot to take a picture. Once I’m happy with the layout, I stitch them together. This can be the most challenging part of the project, because my blocks are often different sizes. It’s like fitting a puzzle together.

Once it is sewn together, there are a mess of seams on the back!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com

Now it’s time to quilt it. I’ve decided to use three colors of thread this time. Fun!

Improv Play - piecefulthoughts.com
Thread is Aurifil: turquoise #5005, green #1231 and orange #2145 (not sure of the actual color names).

With the turquoise and green threads, I just did some random straight line quilting in both directions. With the orange thread, I decided to quilt wavy lines, crossing over the other threads if I felt like it.

Improv Play - quilting - piecefulthoughts.com

I had this piece of fabric in my stash, just enough for the back. You can see a bit more of the very random quilting on this side.

I decided on green for the binding. I had one fabric I planned to use, but I would have had to cut several short pieces to make the binding. Who has time for that? I pulled out this fun polka dot. I think it works well.

I’ve named this quilt “Lunch at Frenchy’s”. Before we flew home from Florida after moving our daughter, we drove to Clearwater and ate at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill. We sat on the deck where we could see all the colorful beach umbrellas while we had our lunch.

Come January, when things are dull, cold and dreary around here, I will pull this out and put it on my table. It will be a good reminder of sunny days!

That’s my Friday finish! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! Stay safe, friends!

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

Wendy

 

 

Wednesday Progress

Progress is happening in the quilt room while this week has been buzzing along, and my sewing machine has been humming. I finished five little dresses and will soon get them in the mail to Lori of Humble Quilts. Lori will be taking the dresses with her on a missions trip. You can read about that here.

Wednesday Progress - Little Dresses - piecefulthoughts.com

They were fun to make. As I was walking back into the house after taking the above photo, I got distracted by our hydrangea tree. Look at those big blossoms, with just a tinge of pink beginning to show!

Wednesday Progress - hydrangea tree - piecefulthoughts.com

I finished the Maureen Cracknell quilt top using her Garden Dreamer line. I’m not going to show the whole quilt until it’s done and been given to its new owners. Here’s a peek though.

Wednesday Progress - Sneak Peek - piecefulthoughts.com

And guess what? I have some scraps left over! I cannot wait to play with them and make something more from this beautiful fabric!

I’m also just about finished with a quilt for my daughter. No pictures yet, but I’ll post some soon. It’s a really cute, simple quilt using a fun fabric with toadstools. I can’t wait to get it in the mail to her!

County Fair Block Update

Oh, by the way, remember that fun little red, white and blue block I made and submitted to our county fair? I got an honorable mention on it. I was up against some pretty talented quilters. Thought you’d like to know.

Wednesday Progress - RWB block - piecefulthoughts.com

I’m off to visit Connie this morning and drop off the 70273 Project Quilt and the Maureen Cracknell quilt so she can work her long arm magic on them. I hope to have my daughter’s quilt to her soon too!

That’s what I’ve been up to this week? What about you? What’s keeping you busy?

Wendy

 

Tiny Friday Finish

I’m having lunch with a friend today, and her birthday was this last week, so I made this little mug mat for her. We’ve known each other for a long time; in fact, my husband and I met through her and her husband many years ago. But that’s another story . . .

Tiny Friday Finish - mug mat - piecefulthoughts.com

The center block is from a fabric line called Comfort of Psalms, and I like to use it to make mug mats for friends. All of the fabrics were from my stash. The blue polka dot was supposed to be a dress for my daughter when she was little. Right when I was going to make it, she told me that she didn’t like polka dots. I love the polka dots, so I’ve used this piece quite often!

Introducing . . .

Another friend I’d like you to meet today is Tracie. Tracie and I have also known each other for years. We have shared many cups of coffee while chatting about life, family, faith, quilting, and her adorable dog. She has been a huge help to me as we both started blogging, and I am grateful to her for that. She is very creative, has a wonderful way with words, and an amazing eye for photography.

Tracie’s blog is Riceford Streams. Her current post shares some of the joys she finds from making quilts. Don’t miss her Vault of Happiness. Curious? Go check out her post and leave her a comment (tell her hi from me). While you’re there, don’t forget to take a peek at her Instagram, where you can see more of her photography and that adorable dog!

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

I’m linking up today with Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Wendy

 

Wednesday Wanderings

I haven’t posted a Wednesday Wanderings in awhile, and since I have been wandering a bit as of late, I thought it appropriate to post a few pictures.

One of the things we enjoy while traveling is finding coffee shops. Not Starbucks or other chains, but local coffee shops. Thank goodness for Mr. Google and all things internet these days, which makes that so much easier!

While we were on our way to Florida, we stopped by Innkeeper’s Coffee in Galesburg, Illinois.  It was a bit of a drive off the freeway, further complicated by construction, but well worth the effort. Upon entering the shop, I was surprised at how bright and sunshiny it was. It was just a happy place to be. The staff were smiling and cheerful, as well as patient as we tried to decide what we wanted. We are a divided family, with two of us coffee drinkers and two tea drinkers. All of us agreed that the coffee and tea were delicious! I was so busy with ordering coffee and looking around that I forgot to snap any pictures, except for this boring (and blurry) one of the street signage. If you go to their website, however, and click on “About Us” you can see a photo of the inside.

Wednesday Wanderings - coffee shop - piecefulthoughts.com

Anyway, if you are traveling through Illinois and are near Galesburg, it’s worth the stop!

Works In Progress

Meanwhile, I’ve been stitching away on the Maureen Cracknell kit, with little to show for it I’m afraid. If I get some decent stitching done today I should get the second set of blocks done. They go together pretty quickly, so if I stay on task I should have the top done — maybe this weekend!

I made another little dress, so now I have two. I do plan to make a few more.

Wednesday Wanderings - pillowcase dress - piecefulthoughts.com

Wandering Wednesday - pillowcase dress - piecefulthoughts.com

I also made this little flannel receiving blanket, and had enough flannel left over to make two little burp cloths. This will be gifted later this week. I’ve had the fabric in my stash just waiting for the right time, so I was happy for that. The flannel is so soft and snuggly.

Wednesday Wanderings - receiving blanket - piecefulthoughts.com

And just as I decided to take this picture my camera ran out of battery, so I apologize for the dark photo.

What are you up to this week? I’d love to hear!

Wendy

 

Pieceful Monday

Monday, Monday! I planned to post throughout last week. I really did. However, after we got back home from moving our daughter to Florida, I spent most of my time doing some housekeeping (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) and then doing this . . .

Pieceful Monday - piecefulthoughts.com

When I wasn’t napping, I did make a little bit of progress on some of my sewing projects.

On Wednesday, I stopped in at JoAnn Fabrics to get backing fabric for The 70273 Project Quilt. I took my time and wandered through the store. I came away with more than just the backing for the quilt, but thankfully most of it will be used for some projects I’m working on.

I’m also beginning to construct the blocks for this quilt. This will be a gift, so I can’t reveal too much about this yet. This is a kit using Maureen Cracknell’s Garden Dreamer line. I love the colors and the feel of the fabric.

Pieceful Monday - piecefulthoughts.com

And I started work on a bed quilt for my daughter. I’ll show you more on that soon. For this project, she picked the cutest fabric with toadstools on it. We bought the fabric all at 50% off at a local quilt shop. I bought my first full bolt of fabric. Thank goodness it was 50% off! I’m looking forward to getting this put together soon. I think the toadstools will be fitting, since these little guys seem to show up at her place quite often.

Pieceful Monday - tree frog - piecefulthoughts.com

Recently Lori of Humble Quilts posted that she is once again going to make a trip to Columbia and would once again be taking pillowcase dresses along for the little girls. I have wanted to make some of these for Lori, so today I made my first one. They are so easy and quick to make. You can read Lori’s post and find directions for the dresses here.

Pieceful Monday - pillowcase dress - piecefulthoughts.com

I took this picture in the late afternoon sun. I’ll post more pictures as I get more dresses made!

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you have a wonderful week!

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

Wendy

Elephant Pillow

My elephant quilt came up in conversation this week.

Elephant Quilt - piecefulthoughts.com

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 - piecefulthoughts.com

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 - piecefulthoughts.com

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!

Wendy