Saturday, October 28, 2017

A plus quilt to restore my mojo

Every once in a while I feel like in order to be *good* I must do something complex or new. I need to be uber creative in order to produce something that is *good*.

The irony is that thinking like that completely cripples me, creatively. I draw out designs or try to come up with a way to reinvent the wheel or put a very unique spin on something that, when the ideas don't come, I feel inadequate or unqualified to call myself a "quilter".

This happens more than I would like it to. And in those moments, there is nothing really happening and it kind of sucks the fun out of making for me. The most recent occurrence was a bundle I got from Janum fabrics  during one of the Tuesday night bundle specials Majd hosts weekly on instagram. This particular bundle made me super happy. One, because it was boy themed. (Are we allowed to say that still? I mean no offense.) There is no shortage of girly quilts or color palettes in my stash and the majority of the quilts I make tend to be geared more towards girls. So when something comes along that screams BOY!! it makes it a lot easier for me. Like this bundle I purchased. Second, there were reprints from Sarah Jane, which I happen to LOVE!

But I got hung up on wanting to create something "complicated" or "original". So it sat, atop my fabric shelf, staring me down. Finally, this week, I decided to get over myself and go with my original "non-complex" idea for the bundle-- a simple plus quilt.

And you know what? I am glad I did. When did I decide that simple is less than??? The reality is, the simpler designs are always the ones that make me most happy. So here it is. My simple plus quilt.



Sometimes I play a game where I make myself choose my a fabric in a quilt that I love the best. 


In this quilt, it was a tie. Between the little boy pirates, looking for treasure.......


...and those incredible whales above. 


I backed it in a gray minky fabric that makes it super luxuriously soft and cuddly. 


Those ships!!!


I need to remind myself often that the pattern doesn't need to be super elaborate to be beautiful. 

Happy Weekend, friends!


Linking up with the following:

Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts





Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sewing small

I am pretty sure it goes without saying that I love to make quilts.

Sometimes, though, I NEED to make something-- in a color scheme or print or collection of fabric-- but I just don't have the drive, the mental energy, or the time to create a big quilt.

Instead, I sew small. My desire to make comes in waves, and I tend to burn myself out on big things, and it is in those moments that I make small things. 

Pouches, mug rugs, bags, pillow covers, mini quilts..... those are my favorites. So today I am sharing some of my favorite little things I have made. 























What are your favorite small things to make?


Friday, October 6, 2017

Caturday Eve, and a Simple, Beginner-Friendly Quilt

I bought the most adorable little bundle from Cassie's #happyhumpdaybundlesale  a week ago-- adorable little cat prints in pink, gray, black and white. I am not especially crazy about cats, but I do love some adorable fabric and this bundle was it.

I hemmed and hawed about what to make with it and went back and forth and basically annoyed myself with my indecision. Indecision KILLS me. I waste so much time going back and forth and debating things in my head that it can really kill my productivity--- with every thing, not just quilting.

So, annoyed with myself, I said heck with it, and just cut into the fabric to make myself commit. That's one way to do it, right?

I cut big 8.5 inch squares of the 8 fabrics in my bundle and then grabbed a few more from my overflowing stash.

**If you are new to quilting or wanting to try to make a quilt, a pattern like this is a great, easy quilt to make!! Scroll to the end of this post to learn a simple way to make this!

I added in one of Amy Sinibaldi's Half-Hearted blocks for a little added interest, and sewed my blocks together. Easy peasy.



I just quilted along the seams- I love doing that because it is simple and understated and looks so pretty from the back.


Black and white striped binding will always be my favorite! And what did I ever do before these binding clips made my life so easy?!?


The finished quilt.



It ended up being about 41 x 48 inches. 


Those simple lines make me really happy.



If, by some small chance, you happened across my blog and are not a quilter, but interested in making something handmade for someone you love, I think this is a PERFECT beginner friendly quilt pattern. I used 8.5 inch squares, but a lot of quilt shops sell pre-cut squares called a Layer Cake. A Layer Cake is cut squares of fabric measuring 10 inches. These fabrics are usually put together from a single collection, so they all coordinate with each other, and make it super easy to get started. 

I am including links to shops that have fun layer cakes available HERE, HERE, and HERE.

You can leave the squares at 10 inch, or if you want to make the size of quilt I made, you can trim them to 8.5 inch square. If you are making a baby quilt out of 10 inch squares, you can arrange them in a 4 by 5 block layout, which would yield a quilt that is about 38.5 inches wide by about 48 inches tall. 

You would just place your squares in layout that makes you happy. I typically lay them out on my floor, and shift things around so no like-color is touching each other. 

Then all you have to do it stitch the squares together to make a row. I then press the seams alternating to the left for one row and to the right for the next row so I can lock the seams together. If your squares are not perfectly matched up- no worries!! Babies and kiddos are not that particular and will be thankful to have a handmade cuddly quilt more than they will care about matched points. But if you are wanting to work on your seam nesting and matching points, you can read this post I wrote about how I achieve matching points

Once you have each row stitched up, just connect them all until you have a quilt top. If you're anything like me, and sometimes just want an easy quilt back, you can just get 1.5 yard of your favorite fabric from your local quilt shop or etsy shop, and use that one piece as a backing. 

I love big patchwork because it allows the fabrics to shine and doesn't take forever!

Happ Friday!

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