What I’m Working On

Well, this post is a little late, but better late than never. Here’s what my design wall looks like in its new location:

My new sewing space is almost finished being set up in the garage. I am going to stick my design wall on to the front of this cabinet here, since there is no wall space. And yes, my new sewing space is in the garage! It’s a lot nicer than I expected. The previous owners of this house liked to spend time in the garage and had it set up as a den with indoor/outdoor carpeting, vents for heating/AC, etc. Somehow I was able to fit a lot more in one cabinet here than I was in a whole closet upstairs! Once I have it all finished the way I like, I’ll have to do a post.

Back to the quilt. Like I said before, I wanted to do a green colorway. It still feels “boyish” to me with the green rather than blue. I just need to sew all these rows together and the top will be finished. I hope I have a big enough piece of green fabric in my stash for the back without piecing it, but I’m not sure I do. I said about a week and a half ago I wanted to have this top finished quickly and it looks like I will. Right now I’m thinking I may finish off the green fabric I used for the frames and use it for the binding as well, but I’m not sure. It might be nice to use something else for a bit more variety.

Stash Report January 14, 2017

New year, new numbers! Except I’m already starting the year in the red, oops! I happened upon some seriously cute Michael Miller fabric on sale at Hobby Lobby the other day and bought a couple of yards of each.

Magic Folk Navy Metallic Yardage by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller – MD7190

Michael Miller – Melodies Collection – Folk Birds – DC6863

And then last week I checked out a quilt shop for the first time and bought four fat quarters I couldn’t resist as well as a quilt pattern:

Just Another Walk in the Woods Pink Forest Furries by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda 20523-12

Handmade by Bonnie and Camille – June in Red (55140-11)

Creekside Midnight Soar 37534-16

Couldn’t find out any info on this fabric.

So here’s the breakdown:

Used this Week: 0 yards

Used year to Date: 0 yards

Added this Week: 3 yards

Added Year to Date: 3 yards

Net for 2018: -3 yards de-stashed

Finish It Up Friday January 12, 2018

I managed to finish the quilt top for the foundation paper pieced quilt I’ve been working on. I added 4 borders to it but it’s still on the small side (in my opinion), 43″ square. I cut the backing and picked out the binding fabrics so this one is ready to be quilted.

But I’ve put it aside for now because I was invited to a baby shower, this one for a baby boy, so I need to get cracking on that quilt. I bought a pattern called Broken Frames that looks pretty quick and easy.

It uses a charm pack and some yardage. Of course, I don’t have a charm pack so I picked some fabrics from my stash. Luckily I had 16 different green fabrics I could use for the charm pack pieces. I decided to do a green color way to make it “boyish,” I could have done blue but since I just did a blue quilt, I wanted to do something a little different this time. Hoping to have this pieced up and quilted really quickly!

What I’m Working On This Week

This isn’t a finish it up Friday post, but I have made some progress on my Foundation Paper Pieced quilt. Here is a shot of my design “wall” … haven’t had a chance to set that up in the new house yet.

I’m using this tutorial by April Rosenthal. I’ve finished 12 blocks so far. They finish pretty small, just about 3.5″ square (mine are not trimmed so they all look different sizes) so one needs to make quite a few to get something big enough for a quilt. I’m going to make 4 more, a total of 16, for a 4×4 centerpiece. I will probably sash them in white. I’m thinking of doing a pieced border and maybe another solid border, like I did on the Rainbow Pinwheels quilt earlier this year. I’ve got the fabrics for the next block picked out already:

I’ve been having fun fussy cutting the centerpiece fabric for this quilt. Next up is Snoopy, but I’ve also got a yellow rose, a cupcake, a strawberry, and a little girl. So far I’ve only used scraps from my scrap stash to make all of these blocks, which is great. I have a bucket overflowing with scraps.

Even though I’ve just finished a quilt, I find that I’ve got two more that jumped up on my priority list. My very good friend has just become engaged and she’s always wanted a quilt, so I’ll have to make her one for her wedding. And my boyfriend has recently requested a quilt. And those can’t be baby quilt sized… oh boy! My to-do list grows:

  1. Quilt for C
  2. Quilt for D
  3. Quilt for baby boy 1
  4. Quilt for baby boy 2
  5. Quilt for baby boy 3
  6. Quilt for baby girl 1
  7. Quilt for baby girl 2
  8. Mike’s T-shirt quilt…

I also have t-shirts pulled for another t-shirt quilt for me. Oh brother. At the rate I’m going, it will take me years to finish all of these quilts! People just need to stop having babies is what it comes down to!

Stash Report December 17, 2017

I haven’t done many of these this year I’m afraid. I completely forgot to do it after I finished Rainbow Pinwheels back in May. So I’ll add those numbers as well as the numbers for Blue Diamonds.

Used this Week: 9.75 yards

Used year to Date: 27.25 yards

Added this Week: 0 yards

Added Year to Date: 1.5 yards

Net for 2016: 25.75 yards de-stashed

I was so tempted to buy more fabric during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, I’m so proud of myself that I managed to hold off. I’ll end this year in the black. Thanks for stopping by. I’m linking up with Patchwork Times.

Blue Diamonds Quilt Finish

I’ve finished this quilt I’m calling Blue Diamonds:

I had originally planned to make an hour glass quilt, but I was watching the World Series when I was piecing and I missed a step in the instructions, so I had to improvise. I’m happy with how the quilt finished up though. All the fabric is from my stash, slowly whittling it down. The quilt finished at 39″x59,” a great size for a baby quilt. I did a loop de loop FMQ on this one. I got my machine back from the repair shop and it is doing much better holding tension now.

Here’s the back, nothing fancy. I pieced together some flannels I had in my stash. Should be nice and cozy.

Thanks for reading!

What’s On My Plate This Week

It’s been such a long time since I did a work in progress update. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might have seen that I’ve dipped my toe into foundation paper piecing thanks to a tutorial from April Rosenthal. If you haven’t tried it out yet, I highly recommend this tutorial, it was so easy to follow and I’m loving it.

My first #paperpiecing block! Thanks for the tutorial @aprilrosenthal! #quilting #quilt #piecing

A post shared by Erin (@erinmakeitsew) on

I’ve made 5 blocks so far. I think once I have 15 or 20 it will be enough for a baby quilt, with some sashing and borders.

I’ve also been working on a baby boy quilt that’s wrapping up here. Originally I was following this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew, but I was also watching the Dodgers play the World Series and well… one thing led to another and I missed a step so I had to improvise!

I was trying to decide which fabric to use as a border. I decided to do two borders; one skinny one in the first fabric from the left and a fatter border in the light blue fabric. I’m working on that now.

Now on my list are 3 baby boy quilts, 3 baby girl quilts and Mike’s T-shirt quilt. Poor Mike. Even after death he gets pushed down the priority list. He always understood. I’ve been thinking more and more I might send his shirts off to one of those companies for them to cut up and make into a quilt. I’m so nervous about messing them up that I’m afraid to start. We’ll see.

The Joy of Quilting

Quilting has lost some of its joy for me since my husband died. Before he died, I used to make baby quilts for just about every family member or acquaintance that was expecting a little one. It was something I enjoyed doing.

Somewhere along the way, I think people in my life began to get excited or started to expect to receive a quilt from me. I’ve had friends joke with me that they will have to have a baby in order to get a quilt from me. I tell them it’s probably true. I like baby quilts — they’re done before I get bored of the project and I can quilt them easily enough myself. I don’t like sending out my quilts to be quilted… I’m self-conscious about my piecing and basting.

This past year I made the painful decision to sell the home my husband and I bought together, brought our baby home from the hospital to, the place my husband breathed his last breath. I finished two quilts I had in progress before I had to pack up and move. A friend of mine was having a baby shower about a month after my move and try as I might, I didn’t get the quilt done before the move and afterwards I was up to my eyeballs unpacking a three bedroom home by myself and helping my eighteen month-old son adjust. I just didn’t have the energy or inclination to quilt. At the shower I gave her another gift and apologized that I didn’t have time to make her a quilt… probably the first time in seven years I came to a baby shower without one. Mom-to-be was very gracious and told me not to worry, she understood all that was going on in my life. Her mother (grandma-to-be) then joked that I still had the first year to deliver the quilt (a joke about gift etiquette, I suppose?).

For some reason that really took the wind out of me. I’ve always viewed my quilts as a labor of love given to people I care about in order to be cherished. When I start a project I usually have a recipient in mind and I think about them the whole time I’m working on it. I don’t want it to be viewed as an item on a list people expect to receive. I’m not explaining it well, but it’s bothered me ever since. I know my friend would hate to know her mother’s comment affected me this way.

Recently, a good friend of my late husband’s had his first baby with his wife. I was inspired to quilt again; I knew my husband would have loved for me to make one for them. I chose a very simple but cute pattern and started choosing and cutting fabrics. Unfortunately, I think the walls in the new house must be thinner because the sewing machine seems to wake my son up at night. I’m getting frustrated with quilting again.

I have so many projects I want to do, but so little energy and time. I think that’s a dilemma all quilters face though, especially those with young children. April Rosenthal recently posted this paper piecing tutorial I want to try. Maybe if I switch between a few projects, I will be less frustrated. I’m not used to working that way but it seems to work for a lot of quilters. I’m going to give it a try.

WIP Progress:
– Mike’s T-shirt Quilt: Shirts picked, need to decide on design and backing/background fabrics.
– Baby Young Quilt: Cut, need to finish piecing

Rainbow Pinwheels Finish

Another finish, this week it’s Rainbow Pinwheels:

I’m very happy with how the quilt top turned out, especially since it is comprised almost entirely of bonus triangles I had laying around. I finished the center blocks and the first white border and thought it was too small, so I added the pieced border, another white border and finally the flower fabric border. It finishes at 44″ square, I wish it were a bit bigger but this will do. It is a good size quilt to use in a stroller or for tummy time.

I have been making so many baby girl quilts lately, I am running out of cute backings from my stash but this red polka dot print seemed to go perfectly with the front of the quilt. When I cut the quilt out of the sandwich, I even had enough backing fabric left over to use for the binding. Talk about using up every last scrap of fabric!

Once again I did an all over stipple for the quilting. As I mentioned before, I’ve been having such problems with my machine and tension lately, so the quilting isn’t as neat as I’d like it to be. The sewing machine is in the shop, hopefully it will get fixed. If you haven’t weighed in on my post about looking for a new sewing machine, please do. I’d love to hear about your sewing machines.

Thinking About a New Sewing Machine

I’ve finally finished quilting Rainbow Pinwheels, Boy, was it a pain! As I mentioned when I finished Butterfly Blossoms, quilting on my Singer Confidence Quilter is becoming more and more of an issue. I just cannot get it to hold the back tension correctly. I’ve tried cleaning the machine, changing needles, re-threading the machine (hundreds of times) and it will get better for a little bit, then fall apart again. It is really taking the joy out of quilting for me. I’ve taken it into a repair shop to see if they can nail down the problem for me.

In the meantime, I’m looking into buying a more high-end machine. I’ve been quilting for six years now and plan to do more, so I think it will be a good investment for me. I need to be able to free motion quilt on it as well as piece; my sewing room doesn’t have enough room to have two machines set up. I’m not so concerned on the price since I know I will get a ton of use out of whichever machine I go with, but I don’t really want to spend more than $1500.

I have always heard great things about Jukis, so the JUKI TL-2000Qi is definitely on my list. I know a lot of quilters love Jukis. I love that it is heavy duty and looks like it has a big throat. I think the limited number of stitches might bother me though, I do use zig-zag stitches on occasion. I guess I can always bust out one of my Singers when I need a zig-zag, but it would be nice not to have to.

I’m also looking into this Brother PQ1500SL High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine. It’s got great reviews on Amazon, especially with regards to FMQ. I know a lot of quilters love their Brother machines, too. There are a lot of little features that look fun, like the knee lift and automatic needle threader.

What machine do you have? Which machines have you had good and bad experiences with? I’d love to hear your thoughts.