How procrastination led to a happy accident

I love a good challenge; and I jumped at the chance to join in the Riley Blake Challenge. These fat eighths (approx. 9″ x 22″) were given to us in October (photo courtesy of the Boston MQG website):

Riley Blake Challenge Fabrics

So I had three months to make something quilted using these prints, solid fabrics and additional Riley Blake prints. The deadline even was extended at one point.  But naturally, I started cutting into them about five weeks ago, a full 3 months after these prints were given to me. I had grand ideas to do something to play up the radial design in the orange print, akin to what Linda did. But I changed my mind many, MANY times. An elaborate design, including many small circles, was NOT going to happen in five short weeks.

When I did finally cut into the fabric I was still undecided, so I just cut a bunch of squares and started piecing half-square triangles using Riley Blake stripes, chevrons, ombre dots, a few prints from an Ashbury Heights charm pack I had, a fun red jigsaw puzzle print, and a few different grey/taupe solids from my stash. I focused on using the orange, navy and the greys from the original fabric pack.

Rile Blake Challenge HSTs

As I sewed my squares up into HSTs, an idea popped into my head, so I sat down and drew it out on graph paper. Then I scooped everything up and took it with me to retreat that weekend; where I sewed, pressed, and trimmed for two days straight.  The final design is a throw 64″ x 75″:


UPDATE 2/19/14: My quilt was selected as one of the Top 10 in the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Design Challenge, here! Lots of beautiful entries–I’m honored & humbled to have my quilt chosen.

Once I had the top made and a back pieced together, I passed it off to my business partner, Trina, to quilt on her long-arm. Trina had just gotten a copy of Judi Madsen’s new book that week, and she wanted the opportunity to play with the large areas of negative space I created. She outdid herself…







See how she created shadow HSTs, including quilting the chevron design, the polka dots, and the jigsaw puzzle fabric design? Seriously amazing.


I used many of the prints from the front to piece the back, along with two cream solids from my stash:




The binding is navy solid. These pics were taken before the quilt was washed an blocked. Now it’s washed, soft, crinkly and oh so beautiful! Had I not procrastinated, and started this challenge before the holidays, I would have ended up with a very different design. And Trina probably wouldn’t have asked to quilt my challenge quilt. And I wouldn’t have ended up with this amazing quilt. Serendipitous.


Happy Sewing,



Fifteen minutes

This week brought a fun surprise on page 19 of the latest issue of Quilty magazine (Jan/Feb issue):

Quilty magazine 1

The second “n” was left out of my last name, but that’s me! (It’s spelled right in the URL at the bottom of the page so that’s what matters, right?!)

I had a few emails asking about the quilt I’m holding in the photo; I did show it once here on the blog, but the photos were not great (taken quickly before the quilt was gifted).  Since I borrowed it back for the photo shoot, I took the opportunity to snap a few better pics…

Chrysanthemum Quilt


Chrysanthemum Quilt 2

Chrysanthemum Quilt Detail 2

It’s a traditional block, Chrysanthemum, in scraps of greens, border is an Erin McMorris print, and Espresso Brown solid on outer borders.  Yes, it is on the list for making into a pattern for Row House Creations.

This weekend, the Des Moines MQG had a sewing day, 12 uninterrupted hours to sew… heavenly!  I worked on quilting a table runner that has been pieced since JULY– it’s still not completely quilted, but I made good progress.  And I made a new ironing board cover, with a simple elastic casing to hold it on:

Ironing Board Cover Elastic Cut & Sew Fabric

And I just happened to find this matching pincushion on a quick run to JoAnns (could not resist!):

Ironing Board and Chair Pincushion Cut & Sew fabric

I’m such a fan of that Cut & Sew fabric line, it’s adorable and the colors are yummy.

One of my sewing goals for 2013 is stash reduction, and this project helped use a little of it up!  So far this year, I have only bought one charm pack (Posy by Aneela Hoey) and I have used 5 yards for a quilt back that went to the longarm quilter last week, and 1.66 yards for this project (to get the length of the ironing board, with some obvious waste that went to the scrap basket).

Stash Stats year-to-date:

Acquired — .75 yards

Used — 6.66 yards

-5.91 yards

A Quilting "Hole in One"

I told you in February that I would have a Christmas quilt to snuggle under this Christmas.  Finished up, with little time to spare, my Peppermint Twist quilt:

 Quilted with an all over meander stitch….

It has a fun pieced “snowflake” back:

Fussy cut cornerstones…

A favorite Christmas ornament print as a top and bottom border, and green dot binding to finish it up. 

So what is the Quilter’s “Hole in One”?  Well, for the first (and possibly last) time, I made binding, sewed it on, and when I got around to the last side of the quilt I thought I was going to be just a hair short on binding.  Instead, I continued to sew, and when I stopped to join the two ends of binding, I could scarcely believe my eyes.  I had the exact length of binding I needed for this quilt, I didn’t trim so much as an 1/8th of an inch!  That has never happened before.  And somehow, I don’t see it even happening again….

Caribbean Tiles Complete!

The pattern is Spanish Tiles, but with these fabrics… I say Caribbean Colors! 

The fabrics are all Art Gallery, Modern Affair Collection.  It’s a shop sample, which will be available as a kit from Quilters Cupboard.  If you don’t see it available in the online store, I’m sure you can call them and place a credit card order over the phone.  The back and binding is all from the same collection:

and I love the quilting (courtesy of my good friend, Trina):

I managed to finish the binding on our car trip over Labor Day weekend.  And I had enough car time leftover to make one more hexagon for my Candied Hexagon Quilt…

Wow, I can hardly wait to see this quilt finished!  Patience is a virtue, right?

Peppermint Twist

A few of my readers have been following my ramblings since I began blogging in 2008, (bless your hearts), when I got the ball rolling by “fessing up” about my UFOs, or as I like to call them, UFQs, UFPs, and USPs. (unfinished quilts, unfinished projects, and un-started projects, respectively). The Valentine Table Runners I posted and sold last week, were part of this UFP post here.

Over the past two months, I managed to get most of the Christmas Quilt top assembled as well, what I’m calling my Peppermint Twist quilt, because of the fussy-cut cornerstones I added:
I love the fabrics, collected over 3-4 years, favorite pieces from various Christmas (and a few non-Christmas) fabric collections. I’m not going to show you the entire top just yet, because I decided after I finished this part of it, that I wanted to add some applique borders to finish it off. So stayed tuned for the final reveal!

I WILL have a Christmas quilt to snuggle under by Christmas 2011…