A Lovely Year of Finishes – January 2015

This year, I’m joining Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs and Shanna at Fiber of All Sorts in A Lovely Year of Finishes.

I’m declaring 2015 the Year of the UFO.

I have so many quilts in varying stages of the process, waiting to be finished.  It makes me sad.

I think what it comes down to is that there are so many quilts that I want to make and I don’t have enough time.  In 2014, I made a total of two quilts, but dozens were added to my “To Make” list.  This makes it so easy to get sidetracked without really finishing anything.  I want to find more time for sewing in my schedule.

It’s my hope that by pulling some of these unfinished beauties out of my closet and finishing them, I’ll be inspired to work more sewing into my daily life.

Pinwheel Quilt

My January goal is to finish my Pinwheel Sampler quilt, from the quilt along hosted by Rachel at P.S. I Quilt.  I started this quilt in January of 2010, and I think five years later is high time to finish it.

Cheers to 2015!

10 Ways To Use A Charm Pack

I don’t know about you, but personally I love buying charm packs. When I love a new fabric collection, but I’m not sure what to make with it yet I always buy a charm pack. They don’t cost a lot of money, but you get a little bit of every print from the collection. What’s not to love?

If you’re like me, you have a few charm packs stashed away and you’re not sure what to do with them. Of course, there’s tons of charm pack quilt tutorials out there, but maybe you’re not a quilter, or you just want a quick and easy project to showcase a favorite fabric. I thought I’d put together a little post compiling some of my favorite non quilt charm pack projects. Here we go!

Charm Pack Skirt

There’s lots of tutorials for charm pack skirts out there, but this is one from Polka Dot Chair is of my favorites because it has the cute little underskirt.

Charm Pack Skirt by Polka Dot Chair


Charm Pack Tote

I especially love this charm pack tote bag tutorial from Teresa Down Under because it has an interior pocket and that cute little bow detail. Cute, right?

Charm Pack Tote Bag from MyPatchwork


Charm Pack Pincushion

If you’ve ever wanted to make a cathedral window quilt, but were intimidated by the pattern, I recommend getting your feet wet with one of these cute Cathedral Window Pincushions from the Moda Bake Shop.

Charm Pack Pincushion by Moda Bake Shop

Charm Pack Table Runner

Again, there are table runner tutorials all over the web, but there’s something about this one from Serendipiti Joy that I really, really like.

Charm Pack Table Runner by Serendipiti Joy

Charm Pack Bunting

Everybody loves buntings, and the fabulous thing about this one from the Suppose blog is that it’s no-sew! Love it!

Charm Pack Bunting by Suppose

Charm Pack Coasters

I love the linen accent on these coasters from Craftsnob

Charm Pack Coasters by Craft Snob

And I also love the simplicity of these ones from Flossie Tea Cakes

Charm Pack Coasters by Flossie Tea Cakes

Charm Pack Notebook Cover

Craft Apple was one of the first craft blogs I ever followed, and it’s a wealth of ideas. This pretty little notebook cover uses just 15 charm squares!

Charm Pack Notebook Cover by Craft Apple


Charm Pack Wreath

This is actually kind of ingenious. It’s from The Material Girls, and it’s a great way to change up your décor with the seasons!

Charm Pack Wreath by The Material Girls

Charm Pack Flowers

I absolutely adore these charm square flowers from The Ribbon Retreat. They would be so cute appliqued onto a quilt or a girl’s t-shirt!

Charm Pack Flowers by The Ribbon Retreat

Charm Pack Pillows

If ya’ll have been over to the shop, you know I love me some Chevrons! This zig-zag pillow tutorial is right up my alley. Sarah at Fairyface Designs used an Accuquilt Go! Cutter to make her diamonds, but you could use a diamond template as well.

Charm Pack ZigZag Pillow by FairyFace Designs

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little roundup of tutorials.  Now go use your charm packs!

Solstice Stars Blocks 1 & 2

I haven’t accomplished much in the past week, except for barely keeping up with school and work obligations, but I did get a chance to make a couple of blocks over the weekend.  I’ve joined up with the other quilters making the Solstice Star blocks over at Fresh Lemons Quilts.

I finished the Ribbon Star

I also managed to finish the Whirling Star block – I love this one!

I apologize that this blog seems to be the all Hope Valley, all the time channel lately.  I can’t help it – I just love this line!

Other than that, Kona and I have had a great weekend – he had a doggie playdate with my friend’s new dog yesterday, and I had a delicious brunch this morning with a group of really fun ladies.  I hope your weekend has been great too!

Note: This project may be linked up at some or all of the following parties, depending on my caffeine intake. Either way, you should definitely stop by!

Monday: Sew Modern Monday @ Canoe Ridge Creations

Tuesday: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story

Wednesday: WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Are You Sick of Pinwheels Yet?

Blocks #6 complete – I’m almost there!

This Used to be a Quilt Blog

Oh my gosh, ya’ll.

I’m kind of embarassed to even go here, but it’s all I’ve got to write about, so here you go.

Block 4 of Rachel’s Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along. Yes, the one from January.  Of 2010.

I really, really meant to keep up with this one.  But life got in the way, it got set aside, I lost my sewing machine under a massive heap of crap fabric, and I’ve not done a ton of sewing since.  Believe me, I’m not proud of that.

I think the reason I haven’t been sewing much lately is because I feel like I need to finish this quilt before I start another one.  It’s been sitting around so long.  Plus, the fabrics (Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt, of course) were from the FQ bundle my Mom got me for Christmas.  Of 2009.

There’s been a tiny bit of quilt guilt that’s kept me from starting anything new.

The sad thing is, I’m still in love with the pattern and the fabrics.  And this will be the first quilt I’ve made just for me (for some reason the ones made as gifts actually get done in a timely manner).

So, I’m back to work on my sampler.  My friend Ansje (who has long since given up nagging me about getting this finished) will be thrilled – or disgusted.  She cranks out like a quilt a week.  She’s amazing!

Anyway, here’s my block(s) 4.  I used a couple of my favorite fabrics for these since they stand out so much.  I must say, I love them!

What have you been working on?

I’m linking up at:

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

My Hard Working Man

Okay, you’re going to have to pardon me while I gloat over share a couple of my Christmas gifts with ya’ll.  I got lots of good stuff, including a Silhouette Machine – YES!!!!!  I’m sure you’ll see many projects from that bad boy in the near future – count on it!

But ya’ll know I love a homemade gift best, so I’ve got to show you this.  But first, a little back story. My Sister-In-Law was admiring this cute purple Carhartt jacket – it’s the perfect thing for walking the dog on a cold winter morning.  My very observant brother noticed her gazing longingly at it and suggested that my Mom get it for Kay for Christmas. While my Mom was at the local workwear store getting the jacket for Kay, she found this little beauty:

It was last year’s color, so it was clearanced out at half off.

Side note:  Who knew there even was a “last year’s color” when it came to Carhartt?  Certainly not me!

Anyway, my Mom grabbed it for me – so awesome!  It’s a gorgeous periwinkle color, one of my favorites.  And it’s got a fleecy, sherpa-like lining that is super warm and cozy (and those of you that know me know I hate to be cold).  This jacket is so comfortable, I fell asleep on the couch wearing it much to my family’s amusement.


So, I’m not exactly sure how the plan was hatched but when you get my Mom and Dad together, magic somehow happens (see my ornament post here if you don’t believe me).  And so, I present you with this:

Somehow, between the two of them, they decided that a) it would be adorable if Kona had his own tiny Carhartt jacket and b) my dad actually knew where there was a discarded, torn, and worn-out Carhartt jacket that could be refashioned  (apparently, an unclaimed one had been sitting around at his workplace for years)

So my Mom (clever fox) “borrowed” Kona’s orange jacket when I wasn’t looking during our Thanksgiving visit.  She snuck it into her bedroom and traced a quick pattern so she knew it would fit him just right.  Then she returned the jacket to wherever Kona I had left it laying around.  I never even noticed.

She used the breast pocket area of the worn-out jacket to make Kona his very own workwear.  It’s got the Carhartt insulation and it’s lined with adorable brown pawprint flannel, so it’s just as warm and cozy as my jacket.  I meant to get a photo of the two of us together, but it didn’t happen over vacation.  I’ll snap one the next time I actually have daylight to work with.

Isn’t it just the cutest?  Now that Kona and I have appropriate workwear, I’m pretty sure we’ll have a lot more “street cred” when we go to Lowe’s.  For some reason, the guys there seem to assume that a blonde with a Chihuahua in a hardware store doesn’t know what she’s doing…

As if!

New Giveaway – Finish It Friday

Not long ago, we had a discussion about unfinished projects on the Plum Patchwork Facebook page.
Now I have a confession to make:

I told you all that I was still working on my pinwheel sampler quilt from last year. What I didn’t mention (I forgot, really) is that I never finished my very first quilt, which I started in 2001.
I don’t even have pictures to share, because it was before I owned a digital camera. I believe it is a queen size quilt, in a maple leaf pattern that is so not my style. At that time, I didn’t even know what my style was yet.
I pieced the whole darn thing in a weeklong break from college. I had it quilted, and then never got around to the binding. The truth is, I was terrified of the binding.
So for the past 10 years that unfinished quilt has been sitting in my linen closet wrapped in a plastic bag. It has moved with me exactly 5 times.
As I said, the quilt isn’t really my style, but it’s still a lovely quilt. And it was my first.
In order to keep myself motivated to finish my quilt (and a number of other projects), I’m hosting a little Finish It Friday event!

So, here’s the deal:
1. Tell us about your unfinished project that has been gathering dust. Post it to your blog, Flickr, Tumblr, whatever.
2. Link to your project here.
3. On Fridays, come back and show us your progress!
4. At the end I’ll hold a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to the Plum Patchwork shop (plus lots of other fun prizes as well)!
I’m going to give y’all the WHOLE SUMMER to finish your projects. We’ll wrap this up on Friday, September 2nd and the drawing will be held on the 3rd.

Now, for the details:
You’ll get one drawing entry for every neglected project you finish.
You don’t have to post every week, but it’ll be more fun for everyone if you check in regularly.
Spread the word! The more people who enter, the more we can all encourage each other!

Dapper Little Man

I saw this free pattern for a Bosco Bowtie from SisBoom and felt instantly compelled to make a tiny version for Kona.

I have to say, he looks pretty dapper!

Little Thread Bag

I was procrastinating today on a super secret (but rather tedious) project, so I made a little bag to catch my thread snippings.  When my Mom taught me to sew as a girl, she told me it was hopeless to try to contain all the thread bits – they just end up on the floor anyway.  We just threw them on the carpeted floor beside the chair and vacuumed them up when we were done sewing.

Now that I’m grown there are two problems to this method.  One, I am never done sewing.  Two, my dedicated sewing room has a hardwood floor, meaning all those little thread bits like to travel.  We’ll see if I can keep them under a bit of control.

The Kitchen Floor Project

Note:  The rambling, circuitous logic of this post probably explains why I have a to-do list a mile long.

So, I was mopping my kitchen floor the other day getting ready to baste a quilt.  And I realized, with no small amount of shame that the linoleum in the kitchen hasn’t had a good, hands-and-knees-with-a-scrub-brush cleaning since I bought the house.  In March.  Of 2006. Once I realized that, I could think of nothing else until I needed to scrub that kitchen floor. right. now.

As I was scrubbing, it started to bother me how grungy the rug in front of the sink gets.  I typically buy the rag style rugs from Target (like you see in the corner of the photo below) and they start to look bad pretty quickly.  Throw rugs don’t vacuum too well, and you can only wash them in the washing machine a couple of times before they start to fall apart.  Plus, they have to air dry and that takes days. I then became so obsessed with the idea of making washable kitchen rugs that I could think of nothing else until I made some. right. now.

I ran to Wal-Mart, grabbed a set of coordinating dish towels, and got right to work making a quilted rug.  My plan is to make a half dozen or so, that way I can swap them out when they start to look dirty and wash a big batch of them together.  I’m still perfecting the technique, but I may post a tutorial for these once I get the bugs worked out.  Now I need to resume scrubbing the other half of the kitchen floor!

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