Last holiday season I was invited to a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner party where I wanted to bring a bottle of wine for the host and hostesses for each occasion. While it’s perfectly fine to bring wine itself, I wanted to dress it up a bit so I decided to make fabric bottle bags.
After finding several how-tos, I made the first one using a combination of what I’d found; taking notes and photos along the way so I could create an easy, downloadable PDF to share.
For my first project, I chose fall-like colored fabric and a shimmery orange ribbon and the duo made a lovely bottle bag, perfect for Thanksgiving!
For the second project, I used holiday inspired fabric and natural twill tape for a rustic look and together they were just right for a Christmas party.
These festive bags are not only for wine bottles, they’re also great for sparkling grape juice. And best of all, this project is SO EASY—it only takes about 25 minutes, from pressing the fabric to tying the bow! Choose one fat quarter, add some ribbon and a bit of time and you’ve got a classy gift to give. 🙂
Every year I like to take a look back at the projects I completed. While there were plenty of quilts and small projects, there was also a significant pause where I made absolutely nothing. Just needed a break I guess. 😉
I started the year off with a new pattern, Floriography. I designed it for a layer cake and tested it with one I’d had since 2015. The original pattern had square-in-a-square blocks in the sashing but once I made it I thought it might be too much fuss and if I thought so, other quilters would too. I still may offer it as Floriography II if there’s enough interest. The original quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop.
After completion, I ended up altering the pattern and offsetting the blocks so this is Floriography as it is today. The pattern is still layer cake friendly and is available for purchase in my Etsy shop. So far it’s been pretty popular and it’s so versatile with fabric cuts and colors, I used fat quarters!
Next, I played around with my Triangle Twizzle pattern by making a baby quilt first. Doing so helped me get the design where I wanted it. I really liked this one, especially the lovely pastels.
After tweaking the pattern, I ended up with my final version of Triangle Twizzle which is available in my Etsy shop with three size options: baby, small throw and large throw. It’s very easy and great for the beginner quilter.
For this quick finish I used various 2 1/2″ strips for an outdoor quilt as per my daughter’s request. She wanted it just big enough to sit on or cover up with and nothing fancy. All I did was gather a bunch of strips and put them together for a super scrappy look. The backing was a mix of gray pieces in random sizes which didn’t matter since it would be used primarily on the ground.
For the quilting, I experimented with a short zigzag stitch and really liked the results.
By early March I finished my Playful Pastels baby quilt for the Fall 2021 issue of Quilts and more. This pattern will be available when I have my copyrights back, making it the end of February 2022. I’m excited to release this pattern, renamed Pinwheels Galore; it’ll be available in four sizes: baby, throw, twin and queen.
I made The Ghost Quilt by Pen + Paper Patterns and along with it I made a few minis. It was a fun one, but it was also a ‘one and done’ one!
This was an ongoing quilt that I made using 2 1/2″ squares I cut as leftovers, although I did have to buy some yardage for the background. I absolutely love this quilt…except for the quilting…it just isn’t what I’d hoped for but it was a fun make and will someday be used on my queen size bed.
Other projects included reusable grocery bags, wine bottle bags, a pillowcase, fall leaf minis, Christmas stockings and table napkins. (A PDF wine bottle bag tutorial will be posted soon!)
I also have two other patterns nearing completion. Here’s a peek at one entitled Christmastime. It’s wall hanging size and will be available in July! The other quilt will be available in several sizes and features the ever-popular sawtooth star.
That wraps up last year and here’s looking forward to a quilty 2022! 🙂
After making a Triangle Peaks Christmas quilt last winter, I had several whimsical fabrics left over from a Moda fat quarter bundle.
I figured the leftovers would be best showcased in smaller, festive projects instead of a quilt so I decided to make handmade stockings for my family and a wine bottle bag for a host/hostess gift for an upcoming holiday party.
As a side note, I’ve written a tutorial for making this wine bottle gift bag. It’s a really quick make and requires a small amount of materials. I’ll post the tutorial sometime soon!
To get started on the stockings, I did a bit of searching to find a tutorial that best suited my needs. I wanted to make them with a one-piece front and I wanted to quilt them. I found a pattern called ‘Stocking Up’ on the All People Quilt website that was exactly what I had in mind.
I was hopeful to get two fronts out of one fat quarter, but because all fat quarters are not cut equally, I was only able to get two out of one of them. Since I was making six stockings and one wine bottle bag, and I needed fabric for cuffs, I ended up going to my LQS for an additional fat quarter.
I don’t have much of a stash but I was able to put together nice combinations of stocking fronts and cuffs with what I had on hand (one fat quarter shown ended up getting swapped out).
Having used fat quarters instead of yardage, I opted to sew a solid matching color for the backs omitting both the lining and quilting.
There were a few steps in the making process that threw me—I got confused trying to think inside out and backwards but I managed alright in the end. 😉
I chose to quilt all six the same. The front piece is a rectangle so I drew a diagonal line from corner to corner using a hera marker then quilted every 1 1/4″ with white thread.
I love the diamond pattern.
I also made my cuffs a 1/2″ longer than the pattern, just a personal preference.
I really like the variety of colors and fabrics, and overall this was a fun project to make this time of year. I’m very happy with them and I hope my recipients will be as well!
Ever since I started quilting I’ve been saving selvages. Even though I have plenty, I can’t seem to stop saving ones that have fun sayings and cute drawings printed on them.
Since I like to keep things to a minimum, I’ve found a great way to use some of those selvages—wrap them on gifts instead of ribbon—and this is the perfect time of year to do so.
Each Christmas I like to give my family members something handmade, and because everyone has received at least two quilts from me, I’ve had to think of other things to make. For the last few every years I’ve gifted my husband a bird-themed pillow case wrapped with colorful selvage.
Other gifts I’ve dressed up by using selvage is table napkins made for my kids. When I completed this set I wrapped it with selvage and tied a pretty bow. I think it classes up the bundle and makes a nice presentation.
(If you’d like to make table napkins for yourself or as gifts, I have a PDF Table Napkin Tutorial available).
Of course another good way to use selvage is wrapping and gifting a quilt. When I gift a quilt I always find a selvage that compliments the fabrics. By doing this there’s nothing to buy and I’m ready to gift or ship without doing any shopping. Nothing like saving time and money!
Another bonus to saving and using selvages is that they’re really easy to store. I just bundle a few together, place them in a large zip-lock bag and keep it in my scrap bin. It doesn’t matter that they’re creased and wrinkled, just press and trim when needed.
Not only does this put pretty selvages to good use (that may otherwise be tossed out), it’s convenient and environmentally friendly! 🙂
For most quilters, managing stash is an ongoing process—as long you keep sewing, you keep ending up with left over fabric, especially with precuts.
Early this spring I finished a quilt using a layer cake I’d had since 2015. (Wow!) When the quilt was complete, several 10″ squares were left. I knew I’d never use them in a quilt and I didn’t want to store them, but what could I do with a dozen precut squares?
After considering a few options, I decided to make reusable table napkins for everyday use. And because I like all things environmental, it was a fun and practical choice.
These napkins finish around 8 1/2″ square and they’re so easy to make. If you’ve got any 10″ squares lying around, download this detailed Table Napkin PDF tutorial and start stashing down!
Even though summer has just left us, now’s the time to get started on our holiday sewing projects. It’s definitely not too early especially if you plan to make a quilt and would like to have it finished in plenty of time.
I’ve noticed a lot a quilt patterns out there are so close to being the same as one another, and well, it’s getting kind of old. In order to make what change I could, I decided to design something completely different, and what better subject is there than the holidays? So last year I set to work and came up with my Holiday Hemlocks throw quilt in two versions, Scrappy Holiday Hemlocks PDF pattern…
There’s no denying this quilt design is definitely different than any other holiday quilt, right? Well, that’s exactly what I was going for. But different doesn’t mean difficult. 😉
Here are a few things I’d like to note about these quilts…they’re traditionally pieced with no tricky blocks involved, and the patterns are suitable for anyone who has made only a couple of quilts! In fact, one of my testers was an absolute beginner and hers turned out great.
My patterns are always clearly written with step-by-step instructions, there are also plenty of detailed, colorful diagrams throughout.
Don’t have time to make an entire quilt? Try this festive little mini instead—Wee Three Trees.
This pattern is by far the best seller in my Etsy shop. I made the one photographed here for myself, but I’ve made several of them for gifts, too. Wee Three Trees is a relatively quick make, you could easily whip one up in a weekend.
Last week I received an inquiry from a customer regarding the purchase of my Stars and Four Patches quilt listed in my Etsy shop.
A woman from Wisconsin was interested in gifting this quilt to someone before they were scheduled to take an Honor Flight at the end of the month. She needed it in a few days to have it in time; could I send it ASAP?
Ends up, of course I could (and did) but what, after all, is an Honor Flight?
One quick internet search turned up this: The mission of Honor Flight is to transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country.
This service shows an unmeasureable expression of respect for veterans, I can only imagine how important taking this trip would be for them.
As for myself, I have to admit I was really touched…I felt it was an honor for me knowing a quilt I made was chosen to be given to someone special to help signify a momentous life event. I never thought a quilt would have that sort of impact.
Even though I’ll never meet the buyer or the recipient, and I’ll probably never know what war this veteran fought in, I do feel like I was a part of this celebration in a quiet way.
As for the gifted quilt, I made it in 2017 with every intention of keeping it but time passed and I had to pare down on my quilts. I thought this one in particular could be enjoyed by someone else so I decided to part with it. I’m glad for those decisions because more than likely this red, white and blue quilt has more of a profound meaning to the new owner. And what an intersting story I now have to tell about a patriotic quilt I once made…
By now the Honor Flight has come and gone; hopefully it went well. This occasion has reminded me of the thanks we owe our veterans for their invaluable service.
To celebrate summer, and just in time, I’m releasing my latest quilt pattern Floriography. This pattern is a tribute to one of my favorite things—flowers. The name ‘floriography’ means ‘the language of flowers’, and I give thanks to my dearest friend for suggesting the perfect title. 🙂
Since I’m a big fan of petaled beauties, I designed the blocks to represent them and the layout of the rows are intended to depict a flower bed or garden.
Some general information about the pattern…it’s suitable for a confident beginner, but of course it’s fun for all quilters! Also, if you’re relatively new to quilting and would like to expand your abilities, this pattern is a great skill builder. It’s written for a precut layer cake, but you can also use fat quarters. There are two sizes to choose from, throw and queen.
Right now I’m currently making my second version of this quilt using beautiful fabrics designed by one of my favorites, Pat Bravo of Art Gallery Fabrics.
Here are two blocks and the finished quilt top (now I need to just get motivated to quilt it).
Floriography is now available for purchase in my Etsy shop. If you’d like to make your own version, why not start now—if you make one block a day you’ll be finished before summer ends and you’ll be able to enjoy some summer inside when it’s over, too.
Most of the time I have only one quilt in the works as I’m better focused and organized when I stick to a single project. But that’s most of the time. 😉 There are occasions when I work a few projects at a time, mainly if I know a specific quilt is going to be a long process. My most recent example is my scrappy on point nine patch quilt.
For Christmas 2018 and 2019 I’d given my kids queen size quilts, so 2020 was the year to make one for myself. I decided on a scrappy nine patch so I could use a big share of the 2 1/2″ squares I always seem to be accumulating. And to give it a bit more style, I decided to make it on point using various white tone on tone background fabrics instead of plain white.
To get started, I determined the size I wanted then designed the layout in EQ8. Using 2 1/2″ squares resulted in relatively small blocks (6″ square finished) so the pattern required a lot more blocks than I’d imagined…a total of 242! Of those, 132 nine patch were needed and 110 white squares. Additional background squares were required for the blocks around the edge that were cut larger and in half. I also added a 2 1/2″ border.
The next step was choosing colors. Because 11 color blocks were needed in each row, I figured I’d need 11 different colors for a balanced look. The colors I used were: coral, pink, orange, green, gray, mint green, teal, yellow, neutral, aqua and red. I averaged 12 blocks per color, but I had more of some colors than others. For example, I had a lot more yellow and pink than mint green and gray.
Here’s a look at my stash before I started.
It doesn’t look like I had much, but I got most of what I needed from what was already cut. How many squares did I need? 660! A lot. This was a really fun step, but it was kind of perpetual…as an example…I would be one square short of orange, so I’d have to cut a strip from a fat quarter for it then I’d end up with more orange in my box. That said, the next picture doesn’t look like I made much of a dent, but I really did.
Once I chose enough colors for a fair amount of blocks, it was time to get sewing.
While I had a several white tone on tone fabrics cut into 2 1/2″ squares, I had larger pieces I needed to cut as I went long. EQ determined the quilt needed about 9 yards of background fabric altogether. Again, a lot! I knew I didn’t have enough on hand, so towards the end I’d pick up or order random fat quarters, 1/2 yard and 1 yard cuts to keep a wide variety of fabrics throughout the quilt.
In mid-November, all my nine patch blocks were finished. I barely had room to lay them out, but I managed alright. Next, I labeled rows accordingly then tackled the task of sewing this huge beauty together.
Here’s a look at the quilt top, pressed and ready for longarming.
Because of the scrappiness, I’ve no way of knowing how many different fabrics went into this, but I’m sure there’s Moda, Art Gallery, Andover, Kona Solids, Bella Solids, Michael Miller, Windham, Dear Stella, Kimberbell, Northcott and Riley Blake fabrics.
EQ calculated the finished size of this quilt approximately 97″ x 106″. Mine always come up a bit short, so my finished top measured 96″ x 104 1/2″. Since I’d wrestled with roughly 9 yards of fabric when piecing the backs of my kid’s quilts, I wanted to avoid that this time so I purchased Windham Fabrics Multi-colored Dots by Whistler Studio in 108″ wide. I think this fun fabric corresponds nicely with the colors on the front. And I’d never purchased wide backing fabric before, so this was a first.
For binding, I used what I had on hand. I have only one quilt top that I never finished (but made binding for) so I used that along with other binding I made for another project but changed my mind on. Might as well go scrappy with the binding too, right?
So finally, here’s my finished quilt!
For quilting, I chose a baptist fan motif with 1 3/8″ wide sweeps. I think the round design compliments the angular composition of the layout.
And that polka dot backing is just right…
From start to finish, there was a huge amount of time involved in making this quilt. I started in March 2020 and finished early July 2021. Even though I had it ready for longarming in January, like so many things the pandemic caused me to put the quilting on hold. I was finally able to drop it off in May and it was quilted in June, making it my latest finish.
Even though this project seemed to take forever, it was worth waiting for.