sewing life :: new stuff

It feels like forever since I’ve actually finished a new embroidery project. I’ve been in a total creative funk. Partially due to this year being stretched in so many other ways and partially reeling with the fact that my eyes just aren’t what they used to be.

hope dresden plate
sunshine dresden plate

I’ve been longing to do a series of hoops based off of the paper pieced Dresden plates idea. I spent most of the last few months stitching these circles together and finally was able to embroidery the quotes in the middle and finish them all up.

boldness dresden plate
rocky top dresden plate

I live in Big Orange Country so I knew I needed to do at least one orange related hoop and I’ve long been wanting to do another yellow “You are my Sunshine” hoop.

In addition, I also finished up a little baby quilt for a friend’s newest little girl coming soon. My friend is from South Carolina and I stumbled upon this collection on Hawthorn Supply called “Charleston” and figured it would be a perfect fit.

Charleston Baby Quilt Front

I wanted colors that weren’t screaming girl, but just a simple feminine vibe. I’m sort of wishing that I would have chosen a different solid besides the white.

Charleston Baby Quilt Back
Charleston Baby Quilt

I pretty much followed the tutorial in School of Sewing for making the squares and I’m totally sold on this type of quilt to get rid of scraps for sure. It was super quick to piece together and I could see many more quilts happening this way. Binding a quilt has probably become my most favorite thing to do though. I could probably sit and bind quilts all day. It’s the most tension relieving thing ever.

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Sewing: Sugar Skulls Quilt


Back before Christmas I was fastidiously working on a gift for my brother and sister-in-law. Alas, since we are all in the world of social media, I couldn’t really share much while I was working on it. I knew pretty early on that I wanted to do a quilt for them and one day while paging through Tula Pink’s latest quilt book I found this pattern for a sugar skull quilt and knew I’d found the pattern.

Then I started looking for fabric and when I saw Alexia Abegg’s Sienna line that it would be perfect. But then I had to wait…and wait…and wait, because it seemed like the fabric was never going to be released! I even chatted up with her mom at Craft South in Nashville and finally found out that it had been delayed.


Thankfully it came out by mid-November and I was able to get it and get started. The background fabric was a solid that I found at our local quilt shop. It’s not a solid navy and kind of has a shibori element to it (which was perfect since my sister-in-law does fair share of indigo work herself.


I absolutely loved working on this quilt. It came together really easily and I was super happy with how it turned out. I decided to quilt it on the diagonal and I’m sort of wishing I had done a little bit of a wavy line in it – but maybe not.

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Sewing: A Star Wars Quilt

I’ve been working off and on this year with learning about piecing quilts. I’ve made a few mini quilts over this past year and I’ve started falling in love with it. Cutting out all the little bits and piecing them together is like making a puzzle with so many more returns than just a regular puzzle. I mean you can’t cuddle up with a cardboard puzzle!


I had come across this Star Wars quilt a while back this year and honestly forgotten about it. When I was searching for a pattern one day, I saw that I had even downloaded the pattern and reason flew out the window and I printed it and decided that I was going to make this quilt for my daughter’s upcoming 10th birthday. Did I mention that I was only giving myself about three and a half weeks to get it done?


I don’t know how I did it, but it got done and honestly I loved every minute of it. Now I see why quilters get a bad rap for being addicts to fabric and quilting. It’s totally addicting.


I used all Kona Cotton Solids and ordered most of them from The Fabric Shoppe on etsy. Being able to just order all the little bits online and not have to stand at a cutting counter with stacks of bolts honestly made it somewhat more manageable. I used all the suggested colors in the pattern except for the light blue background. Her bedroom already has this turquoise and orange in it, so I decided I wanted to play off that instead of the light blue. Honestly, I love how it turned out.


The pattern overall is awesome. I don’t have a lot of practice with quilt patterns, but as this one goes it’s ranks right up there as being very well written. As I’ve posted on instagram over the course of this project, I’ve had so many people bewildered with the idea of completing something like this – but it’s like cooking. If you have a well written recipe and you can follow directions you could totally do it!

BB8 was probably the trickiest of all the sections to complete. There were lots of tiny one inch squares and many of them you had to snowball (sew diagonally) and my matching is a little off. But once I saw it come to life I was just amazed and didn’t give a whip about them not matching up perfectly!


I was probably most amazed at the whole thing once I got the quilt top done. Even I couldn’t believe I had done it. It has to be one of the most satisfactory things I’ve accomplished this year!


Quilting it was another story. I was completely intimidated with how to quilt it. I did a little research online and one person had recommended a serpentine stitch. I thought maybe my machine did that and hurrah it did! I decided that I didn’t want them to be perfectly evenly spaced so I started out on a seam in the middle and just worked my way out both sides trying to sew down seam lines as much as I could. I used a bamboo batting that is super soft and found this perfect flannel at Joanns for the backing. I did end up having to cut down the sides just a little bit to get the 42 inches I needed to match up the backing. I really didn’t want to mess with piecing that back and really felt like since this was just a throw quilt it didn’t matter if I cut it down a little bit.


Thank the Lord for wonder clips – the best invention ever. We sat and did a Netflix marathon of The Office a couple of nights ago and I was able to get the binding sewn down. Not my favorite part. Now I just need to give it a wash and hope it doesn’t fall apart!

The big birthday is tomorrow so we’ll see what she thinks!

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TSNEM: January Quilting


The theme for this month’s Try Something New Every Month was quilting. First off, I have to say that I’ve long declared quilting to be the one sewing thing I don’t touch until I have an empty nest. Something about it just always seemed so crazy overwhelming. Piles of fabric, cutting, measuring and those huge quilts that you would have to lay out all over the floor. Not something I wanted to attempt with kids underfoot – no matter how big or small they were.


Enter paper piecing and mini quilts. I did my first mini quilt swap last Fall and had so much fun with it. It wasn’t perfect, but I love how it stretched me creatively as I tried to combine a new skill with one that I truly love – aka embroidery.


I happened upon a quilter that I love named Elizabeth Hartman last year too and her work has just convinced me that I can do this quilting thing on a small scale and get my feet wet before I ever launch into it large scale (as in – making that queen size quilt for our bed that I’m longing to make).



One of my goals this year is to start figuring out how to combine this new found skill with embroidery. I would love to work more with adding my embroidery to mini quilts versus hoops and also adding more paper piecing ideas to my hoops. First up, this quilt square – well actually it’s a rectangle.

Not all who wander. Quilted embroidered wall hanging

I gathered up a bunch of Cotton and Steel and Heather Ross and some other fabrics I had lying around that reminded me of the outdoors. For some reason I had the quote “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” stuck in my head and just knew that this was the one I was going for first.

Not all who wander. Quilted embroidered wall hanging

It’s not perfect and I’m still working on my hand binding skills – but I’m so super proud of myself. I am proud of myself for taking that step to try something new and different. I hope you like it too! And if you really love it, it’s for sale in my shop! 🙂

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I come from a pretty rich line of seamstresses. My grandmother sewed just about anything and everything and there was a huge line of others in her family that sewed all sorts of things. I’m beyond grateful that my parents tend to be pack-racks every time I am able to pull out a toy that was mine growing up to play with my children; and yesterday was a day that I was even more grateful.

quilt top #2

These quilt tops were given to my mom from her sister before she died. They were made by my Great Aunt who lived in Canada. My mother and I have been talking about finishing them for years, and yesterday we finally opened them up and looked at them. It was amazing. In a lot of ways I’m grateful that we didn’t pull them out until now. I think I’ve developed so much more as a seamstress myself and also just in my appreciation of what it takes to put something like this together.

quilt top #3

The first two are just simple squares machine stitched together. What I do love about these is the history. There is a good chance that each one of these squares represents the scrap of something that was made with that fabric. I love looking at them and wondering, was that a dress, a skirt, a pillow…?

embroidered quilt

another close up of embroidery

But the third one was amazing! I’ve never been so excited to open up something in my life. We noticed as we were unwrapping it that this one had a border, then we noticed that each of the squares had been embellished with hand embroidery. There are all sorts of different stitches around these squares and the amount of time and effort that was put into it is just awesome.

The plan is to finish one for my mother (a birthday gift for her in February…hope she doesn’t read this), finish one for my brother and sister in law for Christmas and then the embroidered one is a surprise for me. You’ll have to stay tuned in the coming months to see what I do with this treasure.

vintage fabric found w/quilt tops

One last goodie that was packed with these quilts was this stash of awesome, vintage fabric. We are thinking it was bought by my aunt to back the quilts with. I’m hoping to use it on one of the quilts and then make a dress out of the rest. We’ll see! It’s divine fabric and I’ve got the perfect vintage pattern to use with it.

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