Quilty Thankful Thursday

Color Inspiration has been laying dormant for the past few weeks, much like the plants outside and the baby in my belly. Actually, neither the plants outside nor the baby in my belly are truly dormant–they are moving and working and growing like mad, but so far it has all been out of sight. They are both getting ready to burst forth with vigor, though, I can feel it. With mere weeks now until potential baby time, I’ve been spending a lot of time sewing in an attempt to wrap up my pre-baby quilty to-do list, which means a bit less time for blogging. I still love you, I promise.

Last Thursday I had a particularly thank-FULL day and decided to share some of the highlights this week, linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl’s Quilty Thankful Thursday. Be forewarned: I’m breaking one of my biggest blogging rules in this post and using almost entirely iPhone pictures (gasp. shudder). Gratitude does not discriminate, though, and I’d rather share my thanks than hold back due to a lack of appropriately awesome photos. Please forgive me.

Sewing time

Last week was spring break week, which meant no preschool for Maddie. The kids and I had a *mostly* exciting week full of play dates. To top it off, my mother-in-law was free to play with both kids all day on Thursday. This gave me some much needed, uninterrupted sewing time so that I could finish the Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog baby quilt for my sister-in-law. I know once little baby boy makes his appearance, long stretches of sewing time will be impossible for a good long time. I breathed deeply and enjoyed every moment.

Unexpected Fails-Turned-Wins
quilt math error win
Top right and bottom left are a bit too big, but nothing a bit of squaring can’t help!

During my epic sewing day, I discovered that the small fabric shop from whom I’d purchased the background fabric had made an error and sent 1.25 yards instead of 1.5 yards of the necessary fabric (unexpected human error: fail). With my original plan, the 1.25 yards not only would require exorbitant piecing, but would simply not be enough to fill the background (epic conundrum made more epic by the severe time crunch). BUT, since I had made the last minute decision to piece a heart in a speech bubble to add to the quilt top, I was able to finagle all of the dimensions and cutting calculations to make it work. Without the speech bubble, it would not have been possible. AND the errors I made while reconfiguring the quilt layout (shh, I was tired!) resulted in slightly larger than necessary pieces instead of too small (accidental quilt math fail-turned-win). Awesome. What could have been a total bust of a soon-to-be-extinct sewing day resulted in a completely pieced, layered, basted, and partially quilted baby quilt. Blissfully grateful!

Surprise Gifts

surprise gifts

In the midst of this wild sewing day, I received a package. It was addressed to me and from a machine embroidery shop, but I could not for the life of me remember what I had ordered. Surprise!! It was a completely amazing and unexpected gift of 20 bobbins from Yvonne. It immediately took my bobbin count from one to 21, which is unfathomably amazing.

loading a bobbinI now can quilt with MANY colors, and have a bobbin to match! AND I can load multiple bobbins before quilting to smooth out the process. Life changing. I’m continuously amazed by and grateful for the generosity and kindness that runs so deeply in our quilting community. Yvonne, through picking up on a little single-bobbin-juggling aside during an email exchange, decided to invite my husband into a mission of espionage to send me a gift. Yvonne, you are SO kind and I am grateful for our friendship.

Power of Community

flowers for eleni

One last bit of gratitude, from just yesterday. As another example of how powerfully positive the quilting community can be, Jodi from Tales of Cloth posted about the completion of the #flowersforeleni quilt tops made for Rachel from Stitched in Color. 550 flowers, made by 240 women from 4 continents, all in loving support of a fellow quilter whose baby girl was born with unexpected complications and an unknown future. I recommend you read Jodi’s full post HERE, but I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this effort. I made two of those 550 flowers, filled with hope, and prayers, and support. There’s power here in this quilting community, and from what I’m seeing, we are using it for immense good. It makes my heart swell.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, a little reminder about the importance and value of gratitude:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order,
confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

Go ahead. Unlock the fullness of life. It takes practice, but it is possible. Thank you, Yvonne, for getting us quilters into the habit of being grateful.  I’m linking up with Thankful Thursday, although I will try to be thankful every day.

April Finish: {ALYoF} Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Quilt Top, Plus Some!

I went easy on myself this month for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) and set my April goal at finishing the quilt top for my sister-in-law’s baby shower yesterday. I made a totally pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog quilt featuring a giant sized hazel and a fun heart speech bubble I created just for this project. Did I meet my goal? Yes!

hazel hedgehog flimsy finish
Hazel Hedgehog “Hello, Love” baby quilt flimsy finish.

Even with the heart speech bubble addition, I was able to finish the flimsy (quilt top) before the baby shower. Since I finished this flimsy in the midst of a rare “full mommy sew day” when my mother-in-law took the kids for a play day, I decided to forge ahead and start basting and quilting little (giant) Hazel.

After a particularly late night and early morning quilting/binding session, I managed to quilt the entire background and speech bubble, AND make and attach the binding. Normally, I would complete all of the quilting before binding, but since I really wanted a presentable quilt for my sister-in-law Stephanie’s baby shower, and since the unquilted portion is completely enclosed in quilted background, I decided to get a little cheeky and bind the quilt before completely quilting.

quilt wrapped nicely
The purple bag with pink tissue and ribbon on the left contains the quilt.

With the quilt bound, I was able to roll it, wrap it nicely in tissue paper and a ribbon-bound bag, and gift the quilt with no worries of fray.

gorgeous spring baby shower gifts
Spring baby shower gift table decor–so alive!

Stephanie opening her quilt

Gifting Hazel hedgehog quiltMy sister-in-law LOVED it, so mission accomplished! Even with a few basting pins still in Hazel and the heart, which will be quilted as soon as the color matched Aurifil thread arrives, it was fun to get to give this gift. Just think: hidden behind this quilt are two big baby bumps–cousins destined to be rolling around on top of this fun quilt (Stephanie is due a couple weeks after I am).

I will share more detail photos of the quilting and finishing in a later finish post once the quilt is completely finished (this will help keep the fire lit under my bum so that I actually finish it before baby time!) But for now, here’s a closer look at the speech bubble heart I’m calling “Hello, Love”. I’m planning on writing up a pattern for this block, since it’s such a perfect block to add to any of Elizabeth Hartman’s giant creatures, and I could definitely go for a speech bubble heart pillow!

speech bubble heart pieced block

I’m linking up with the ALYoF April Finishes Party, as well as Monday Makers and Design Wall.


Twirling Star Mini Quilt Finish {Pattern Testing for Devoted Quilter}

Visitors entering our home will now be greeted by a bright and colorful quilt (of course we will also greet any visitors in person… but, you know what I mean!). I’ve finished the Twirling Star mini quilt I was testing for Leanne at Devoted Quilter, and I’m loving it in its new home.

twirling star mini quilt finish

It was really fun to make Leanne’s pattern with a modern aesthetic. Here’s Leanne’s version:

Twirling Star Mini Leanne's VersionI love how different choices of fabric and colors can completely change the look of a quilt. The mini quilt finishes at 19 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ and features both traditional piecing (the hourglass blocks) and paper piecing (the pinwheel blocks). The pattern also includes a coloring page, where you can test out different color arrangements before starting. I tried out a lot of different color possibilities before deciding on this one, and the coloring page is KEY (and so much fun). Leanne’s pattern is now available in her Etsy and Payhip shops, so if this looks like a mini you’d like hanging in your home, too, head on over and buy the pattern!

twirling star mini quilt finishI decided to quilt this mini with one big radiating spiral, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I followed the tutorial on Crazy Mom Quilts and began the spiral with free motion quilting (FMQ) in the center and then switched to my walking foot for the outer spirals. Since I have yet to find an actual pen/chalk/pencil that I trust for writing ON my quilts, so I decided to just wing it and do it by eye. I’m quite happy with how it turned out, and it was a lot easier than I anticipated.

center of spiral quilt patternOnce I quilted past the center, I switched to my walking foot, which proved to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Keeping a steady curve with the walking foot was tough, although I can see that I did improve as I moved outward, either the result of more practice or the less severe angle. As with any quilting, I found that I was more consistent with spacing and more accurate with the curve when I went slowly.

quilting "jump"
A little quilting “jump” as a result of less-than-smooth maneuvering with the walking foot.

There were quite a few “jumps” where I had stopped sewing to reposition the quilt under my machine and must have restarted sewing with too much torque on the quilt. Either that, or perhaps I tried to turn the curve while my machine was stopped. (You can see one of the “jumps” in the bottom of the blue triangle. Just a little wiggle.) If I were planning to submit this quilt to shows or give it to someone who would noticed the imperfections (are there such gift-quilt recipients?), I might have ripped out the quilting and tried again. But for this, a quilt meant to hang in our own entryway, I opted to just let them be. When you step back and view the quilt as a whole, the imperfections are lost.

twirling star mini quilt finish

I didn’t keep track of the time I spent making this quilt, but here are the other quilt finish stats:

Twirling Star Mini Quilt

Completed April 2015
Pattern: Twirling Star Mini Quilt pattern by Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Size: 19.5″x19.5″
Fabric: Pinwheels are pieced using rainbow fabric from Alison Glass’s 2015 Sun Prints, Mercury and Grove (Andover Fabrics), with a background of Modern Floral in Charcoal from the Botanics fabric line by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman Fabrics).
Hourglass blocks are pieced using Scribble Notes in Black from the Architextures fabric line by Carolyn Friedlander (Robert Kaufman Fabrics) and Make and Pin fabric from the Makers fabric line (Art Gallery Fabrics).
Border is Ink in Charcoal from Alison Glass’s 2015 Sun Prints (Andover Fabrics).
Binding is Black Kona cotton (Robert Kaufman Fabrics).
Quilting: Spiral quilting using free motion quilting in the center and a walking foot for the outer spirals
Thread: Aurifil 50wt 2600 – Dove for piecing and quilting
Related blog posts: Embrace the Rainbow, Twirling Star Flimsy Finish

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.




Hazel Hedgehog Progress

The giant version of Elizabeth Hartman’s Hazel the Hedgehog pattern goes together quickly! I thought that it might, but I’m pleasantly surprised by exactly how quickly I was able to get this adorable pinkalicious hedgehog together. I cut the fabric for this project on Monday, and after only two short nights of sewing (a total of just under 3 hours), Hazel is complete!

hazel hedgehog progressShe finishes at 24″x27″ since I have not yet put the borders on. She’s huge! Here are a few photos of Hazel with my kiddos for scale. Don’t mind my sword-bearing super hero son; he’s harmless, really!

giant pink hazel hedgehog and kids for scale

giant pink hazel hedgehog and kids for scale

I want to use a single giant hazel, but have the baby quilt finish a bit larger than the 34″x37″ baby quilt version in the pattern. Since I’ve pieced Hazel so quickly, of course my brain immediately came up with a lovely idea of how to make it super adorable (and not as quick to finish).

sketchbook plans for hazel layout
Glimpse into my sketchbook.

Originally, I was planning to add borders to have Hazel in the bottom right of a 48″x52″ baby quilt, with simple negative space/background around her. Easy peasy. There is actually a good chance I could have the quilt entirely finished by the baby shower on Sunday if this plan is chosen. Then, as I was sketching it out to calculate how big the borders should be, I thought an appliquéd heart in the top left would be a cute touch, which then progressed to a pieced speech bubble heart. How adorable would that be, though!? This is how my brain works, folks. If something is easy, I will immediately find a too-cute-to-ignore way to make it more complex (but awesome).

What would you do? Stick with the original, adorable, but super simple and easily completable-ahead-of-schedule plan? or try out the speech bubble heart idea? Only time will tell which I will choose!

I’m linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday hosted by Lee at Freshly Pieced .


Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Baby Quilt Beginnings

My pink-loving sister-in-law is having a baby girl in June. When I say she’s pink-loving, note that that is a dire understatement. I mean, she loves pink. Pink on pink on pink with an accent of pink is her signature style. As a long-time pink avoider who is just recently embracing the joy that pink conveys, I am planning to work a *little* out of my comfort zone for the sake of making a quilt for her baby girl that she will love. I’m making a pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog baby quilt, with one giant sized super-pink Hazel.

pinkalicious hazel hedgehog baby quilt

Hazel will be completely pink, with the lightest pink for her face, the bright pink her body, and the swirly magenta-pink as hair. The majority of you who commented on my last blog post about this project voted for the grey face and body and pink hair. As much as I think the grey face and body would look awesome, too, I just didn’t feel like the resulting giant grey-bodied Hazel would be pinkalicious enough for my sister-in-law. So pink it is. The turquoise Stitch Circle by Michael Miller will be the background, and my aesthetic anchor. I have to admit, I’m quite excited!

My sister-in-law’s baby shower is this coming weekend, which means I’m giving myself a typical time-squeeze goal of completing the quilt top before her shower. This is also my ALYoF goal for April, so it’s a good thing I’m finally getting started on it!

numbered quilting pinsSo far I’ve finished cutting for Hazel and her immediate background, which finally gave me a great opportunity to use the numbered pins my husband got for me for Christmas. They are called Marilee’s Numbered Q-Pins (*Amazon affiliate link) and are super useful. They can also be purchased from the Quilting Pins website, and you can visit them on Facebook. (Tell them Kitty aka Night Quilter sent you!) I took the advice of the little sticker on the back of the pins that suggested customizing the backs with letters, colors, etc. if more than numbers were needed. Elizabeth Hartman’s Hazel Hedgehog pattern clearly lays out the cutting and piecing instructions with letters, so the pins were perfect for keeping track of pieces.

numbered pins for organizing cut quilt pieces

numbered pins for organizing cut quilt pieces

hazel hedgehog and numbered pins for organizing cut quilt piecesWith 20 numbered pins, I was able to create letters enough for all the Hazel pieces, while letting the letters correspond to the numbers (1 = A, 2 = B, etc.). This lets my OCD side rest easy knowing that my letters will be as easily organized and found as the numbers.

I also did a TINY bit of fabric buying for this project, so I’ll show you another addition to my stash. While auditioning fabrics, nothing worked better for the background than the little scrap of this Michael Miller Stitch Circle I had remaining from a previous project. I scoured local shops and the internet and finally found some at FreshStash on Etsy. I ordered the 1.5 yards needed for this project, and added in 1 yard of Essex Linen Blend in Smoke.

stash building

stash buildingI love the look of stacked fabric!

I’m hopeful that since this Hazel is ginormous, it will be quick to piece. Quilt top in a week: totally doable, right?

I’m linking up with Monday MakersDesign Wall, and Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash!

Twirling Star Flimsy Finish

I have had such a fun time testing the Twirling Star pattern for Leanne at Devoted Quilter. The pattern is a combination of traditionally pieced and paper pieced blocks, which allows each technique to compliment the blocks perfectly.

Twirling Star Flimsy finishI did break one of my big rules of pattern testing, though, and did not follow the pattern exactly as written in one spot: I mitered the corners of the border. The pattern calls for a straight-edged border, but using this directional fabric, I feel like miter was necessary. Other than that little detail, I followed the pattern exactly. Go me!

twirling star quilt patternThis mini embodies some of my favorite aesthetic combinations these days. Low volume fabrics paired with black and whites with splashes of bright, rainbow colored fabrics. I love it!

twirling star quilt pattern

twirling star quilt patternI particularly like the rainbow pinwheels. Since they are paper pieced, the points fit together so well. The precision of paper piecing just can’t be beat!

rainbow pinwheel twirling star quilt patternI’m happy to check this flimsy finish off my list, and will post one more time when the pattern is ready to be released and I have this baby quilted and bound. I’m thinking I am going to go with a center spiral quilting pattern. I’ve never tried it before, and I think a mini quilt like this is the perfect place to start!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Color Inspiration Thursday {44}

This past weekend, my husband and I escaped for a long weekend getaway to the Bay of Fundy. It was our first trip alone together since our almost 5 1/5 year old daughter was born, and with another baby expected in the next month or so, it was most likely our last for another couple of years. A babymoon, if you will. We made the most of it and adventured more than we would be able to with little kids in tow, and relaxed more than we would be able to with little kids in tow. It’s all about balance.

bay of fundyThe Bay of Fundy is known for having the highest tidal range in the world. I’ve wanted to travel to the Bay of Fundy in Canada since my estuarine ecology studies in college. There’s something about 40 foot tides and vast mud flats that makes me happy. Our short timeframe and my 8 months pregnant body didn’t really allow for as much exploring as I’d have liked, but we had a great time anyway. Today I’ll be sharing some color palettes from photographs taken on our trip, created with Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.

bay of fundy color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Lake, Bella Etchings Charcoal, Kona Slate, Bella Navy, Kona Black, Bella Dusty Jade

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2715 – Robins Egg
1158 – Med Grey
4140 – Wedgewood
2784 – Dk Navy
2692 – Black
2845 – Lt Juniper

Low tide on the Bay of Fundy means boats are grounded, many feet below the dock. I loved how the blue of the boat hull matched the sky.

red rocks bay of fundy color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Bella Soft Finish Black, Bella Etchings Slate, Bella Tan, Bella Platinum, Kona Mocha, Kona Taupe

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
1285 – Med Bark
2625 – Arctic Ice
5011 – Rope Beige
2560 – Iris
2468 – Dk Wine
2375 – Antique Blush

The geology at the Bay of Fundy was decidedly red-brick colored. Between the red mud and the red rocks, there was a heavy theme of brick (marsala!?) in my photographs. The rocks exposed at low tide are shaped by the tides, the strength of the rocks, and the presence of the joints in the rocks. The rock in the cliffs the stacks are being cut from are arkosic sandstone and coarse poorly sorted conglomerates (thank you, Wikipedia–geologists, please correct me if I’m wrong!). We loved exploring caves carved into the soft red sandstone at St. Martin’s Caves. Isn’t the power of nature amazing!?

battered bay of fundy boat color paletteCorresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Black, Bella Lead, Bella Stone, Kona Crimson, Kona Teal Blue, Bella Caribbean

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
2692 – Black
1246 – Grey
2606 – Mist
2345 – Raisin
1310 – Med Blue Grey
2850 – Med Juniper

This boat has seen better days, but never have I seen one more full of character! I think because of the drastic change in tide each day, the sides of the boats moored to the dock get a beating. It’s still gorgeous, though!

Not only did color abound, but there was plenty of texture and pattern to be enjoyed as well.

battered rocks at the bay of fundyRocks as pocked and battered as this one littered the beach. I suppose this is what happens when 40 feet worth of tides come in and out each day, rolling and bashing the rocks against each other.

seaweedSeaweed. Gorgeous. This feathery seaweed covered the exposed rocks, creating a seascape of brown-green-red as far as the eye could see.

st johns city market gateI loved the gate at City Market in St. John’s. It’s a lovely balance of geometry and balanced aesthetic. Quilt inspiration is everywhere!

I’ll leave you with a good laugh. With a tendency to take a million photos, I wanted to be sure to have at least one of my husband and me together on our adventures, and an arms-length selfie just wouldn’t cut it. So of course, I set up a timer photo with the plan to run and join my husband for the photo like I always do. After three or four failed attempts, we decided that maybe the one who wasn’t 8 months pregnant should do the running. The first photo is my favorite fail, with the camera set by yours truly. The second photo is the first try with my husband setting the camera, successful with a good second to spare!

babymoon to the bay of fundy photo fail

babymoon at the bay of fundy

I’m linking up with Yvonne’s Thankful Thursday, since I’m thankful for our little escape. Spending time as a couple, while seemingly impossible with little kids, is so essential. I’m so glad we make the time to have together time on a regular basis now! (Did I mention that my husband encouraged me to take my sewing machine with us, and during the relaxing afternoon following our adventure I was able to do some sewing? Talk about gratitude!)

Embrace the Rainbow

Rainbows make me happy. As early as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed arranging things in rainbow order. In high school and college, I would always eat M&Ms in rainbow order. No exceptions. As a mom, putting colored pencils or crayons away in rainbow order fills me with a weird feeling of bliss. It’s no surprise, then, that rainbow order finds itself into so many of my quilts. For a while, I thought I would “grow out of” my penchant for rainbows. For some reason, in my mind, rainbow order isn’t as mature as, say… marsala, or gold. Then I had a little blog comment conversation via email with Jenn from A Quarter Inch from the Edge, where she pointed out, “Why does one need to get over a penchant for rainbows? We see them so rarely in real life… we’ve got to make a few of our own!” True that! And so, I have embraced my love of rainbows and I’m letting it shine! Here are two of my current works in progress as proof.

Twirling Star by Leanne at Devoted Quilter pattern testingI’m testing a pattern called Twirling Star by Leanne at Devoted Quilter. It has been fun getting feedback on Instagram about fabric choices along the way. I opted for an entirely low volume background, just switching up the background fabric for the outer pinwheels to help the center star stand out a bit more. Opinions were pretty evenly split between using this Botanics Foliage in Charcoal fabric versus using Ledger from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures line. As much as I LOVE Ledger (can you tell I love pretty much all things Carolyn Friedlander?), I was toying with the idea of spinning the outer rainbow pinwheels, but wanted the flexibility to make the decision after seeing the blocks. With Ledger, the directionality issue would have required that I make the decision before assembling the blocks. Foliage, it was!

twirling star rainbow pattern testing for leanne at devoted quilterNow I just need to sew these blocks together and add the borders and this mini quilt top will be finished!

prismatic medallion rainbow alison glass versionNext up is my progress on the Prismatic Medallion mini quilt I’m making for my partner in the Alison Glass Mini Quilt Swap. I definitely attribute my recent burst of rainbow to my purchase of the newest Alison Glass Sunprints. How could you resist making EVERYTHING with these fabulously bright and saturated fabrics!?

I’ve finally received all of the supplemental fabrics needed to fill out the black and white section, and all of the pieces are cut. Only the green and blue/turquoise triangles are sewn together so far. I’m really happy with the black and white triangle, and have come to accept the blue/purple triangle. I’m still debating the yellow/orange and the red/orange/magenta sections.

prismatic medallion alison glass version
Alison Glass handcrafted added in. I think it’s too brown for this palette.

In the yellow/orange triangle (beneath the black and white one), I originally bought a fabric from Alison Glass’ s Handcrafted line to vary the colors a bit. Now I’m thinking it may be too brown for this palette. I’m leaning toward the brighter Cotton & Steel basics yellow instead.

prismatic medallion alison glass version
Magenta-purple spread out a bit in the bottom triangle.

In the red/orange/magenta triangle (bottom center), I’m thinking I will spread out the purply magenta triangles a bit more. I’m thinking this bottom layout will be the final layout, with the C&S yellow and the spread out magenta. I need to decide soon and get this sewn together! What would you do?

embrace the rainbow

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.



Color Inspiration Thursday {43}

Meet Yvonne Fuchs, known as Quilting Jetgirl. I first met Yvonne in the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum & June about a year ago. Since then, through blog comment exchange and other quilty interaction, we’ve become friends. I was fortunate enough to spend time with Yvonne in person at QuiltCon and I’m looking forward to many more quilting hang outs in our future, despite the fact that we live a country-width apart.

yvonne quilting jetgirl color palette

Corresponding solids from left to right:
Kona Pepper, Kona Tomato, Bella Longhorn, Kona Straw, Bella Pastel Blue, Kona Surf

Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right:
4241 – V Dk Grey
2395 – Pumpkin Spice
2155 – Cinnamon
2320 – Lt Toast
2612 – Arctic Sky
2740 – Dk Cobalt

Today’s People Palette features Yvonne in front of her quilt Namibia Trees. The color play is fabulous, since who doesn’t want to pair bright reds & golds with royal blue!? Great choice in attire, Yvonne!

Yvonne is a big proponent of building and embracing the online quilting community, which is one of the many awesome things about her. She’s also not afraid to be real, and opens philosophical discussions about all things quilting and beyond. As she says on her blog, “Quilting is more than just a creative outlet for me. I want to pause and reflect on larger ideas to cultivate a community of discussion and insight.” You can read her philosophy discussion posts HERE. I particularly recommend The Four Agreements and Creativity and Time.

Quilting Jetgirl triangle-transparencyYvonne both creates custom quilts and designs quilt patterns, and recently released a gorgeous pattern called Triangle Transparency, which is currently available for sale in her CraftsyEtsy, and Payhip stores for $6 through Sunday, April 12th, which is a savings of 33% off of its regular price. Here are some more of my favorites from her recent quilts:

quilting jetgirl quilts
Top to bottom, left to right: Foothills Mystery Quilt, Love and Loss (Pantone quilt), Life: Ups and Downs, Tessellated Leaves

I asked Yvonne to answer three short questions to help the world get to know the color inspiration star of the week a little more intimately:

Where do you fit into the worldwide family tree of quilting?
I define my branch as the introverted, cat lady, quilter, blogger. I think I span between traditional and modern quilts in terms of style, but left to my own devices (aka with no commissioned quilts), I would lean heavier on the modern aesthetic.

What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
I don’t know about song, but my favorite bands are Coldplay, Linkin Park, and Chevelle, and their songs are featured heavily in my music playlists. 🙂

What is your least favorite mode of transportation?
What an interesting question! That is really hard for me to answer. I love to walk, and I am amazed by cars, trains, and planes. I can get a bit motion sick in cars and boats, but a bit of planning ahead almost always solves that issue. I have only ridden a horse twice in my life, but both times were enjoyable experiences. Can I say riding a camel just because I never have (but I’d be willing to try!)?

I confirmed with Yvonne that she was choosing riding a camel as her least favorite mode of transportation, since she talked a lot about enjoyable transport, and she confirmed: I know it said LEAST favorite, and I guess I vote for riding a camel as least favorite (they spit, right?). I guess I just am super thankful I can still walk comfortably and I am amazed at modern contraptions to get me places faster than that.

Spit, they do! Thank you so much, Yvonne, for being my People Palette star!

You can find Yvonne in the bloggy quiltiverse here:



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The color palette was created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 and a photo provided by Yvonne. All images were provided by Yvonne.

Bonnie Christine Ribbon Thread Catch & Pin Cushion {Tutorial}

Welcome to my stop on the Bonnie Christine Ribbon Blog Tour. We’re entering the final days of the tour, so be sure to check out the fabulous projects that have already been posted, including Caitlin Topham’s post at Salty Oat from yesterday, and visit the final stop on the tour, Corri Sheff at The Lions Dandy tomorrow to see what gorgeousness she creates.

promo2Bonnie Christine is a surface pattern designer, mother hen of the Roost Tribe and author of Going Home to Roost – a blog dedicated to living an extraordinarily creative life. She is inspired by the great outdoors and is passionate about sharing what she knows and creating community around creativity. Sing it, sister! These ribbons may seem familiar, since the coordinating fabrics in her Sweet as Honey fabric line inspired my very first wine and fabric pairing!

This line of ribbons was inspired by a love for nature and sunshine. They represent working in the garden, growing flowers and watching the bees, birds and butterflies take flight. This description embodies so much of what I hold dear, and when I saw that Bonnie Christine was looking for bloggers to help spread the word about her new line of ribbons, I knew I had to be a part of this blog tour.

I decided to create a weighted thread catch and matching detachable pin cushion so that these ribbons and fabrics can brighten up my sewing space forever. The ribbons are silky smooth and coordinate with Bonnie’s fabric lines Winged and Sweet as Honey, but truly they coordinate with many of her fabric lines and look AWESOME paired with coordinating solids.

ribbon thread catch and removable pin cushion

TUTORIAL- Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion

I’m super happy with how this thread catch turned out, and thought I’d share a tutorial with you so that you can make one, too! Special features of this Ribbon Thread Catch & Pin Cushion are:

  • Pin cushion is removable so that you can tote it from workspace to workspace;
  • Tile weight is removable, meaning you can be creative with what you use to weigh down the thread catch, and/or replace the tile if broken (I have a busy nearly-3 year old, so I’m anticipating at least one broken tile in my future);
  • Since both the pin cushion and tile can be removed, you can position the thread catch base underneath your machine for convenience if you want; and,
  • Double thick interfacing and the half-moon thread catch base create a wide open, but still reasonably sized space in which to toss your threads.

If you want to use Bonnie’s ribbons, too, you can buy them at Renaissance Ribbons or at Bonnie’s mom’s quilt shop A Stitch in Time. Here we go!

TUTORIAL- Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion

Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion Tutorial

First, gather your materials. General requirements are listed first; specific materials I used are in parenthesis. You will need:

Cutting Instructions

Please read all of the instructions before cutting. There are some time saving tips for working with interfacing in the “making the base and hanging tab” section.

For pincushion:
(Cut 1) 5.5″ x 5.5″ print
(Cut 1) 2.5″x5.5″ print
(Cut 2) 1.75″x5.5″ coordinating solid
(Cut 2) 5.5″ x 5.5″ batting

For base and hanging tab:
(Cut 2) 14.5″x5.5″ coordinating solid
(Cut 1) 14.5″x5.5″ stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon 808)
(Cut 1) 5.75″ accent ribbon (approximately)

For thread catch:
(Cut 1) 2″x17.5″ coordinating solid
(Cut 1) 4.5″x17.5″ print
(Cut 1) 6″x17.5″ lining fabric
(Cut 4) Ribbon Thread Catch bottom template:
– print fabric
– interfacing Pellon 101
– stiff interfacing Pellon 808
– lining fabric
(Cut 1) 6″x17.5″ stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon 808)
(Cut 1) 6″x17.5″ fusible interfacing (Pellon 101)

Assembly Instructions

Use 1/4″ seam allowances throughout.

Make the pincushion:

Step 1

pin cushion tutorial Sew 1.75″x5.5″ coordinating solid pieces to 2.5″x5.5″ print fabric as shown, pressing seams toward darker fabric. You should now have two 5.5″ squares.

Step 2

pin cushion tutorialLayer each 5.5″ square with a 5.5″ square of batting and quilt as desired (Note: Do not quilt in solid fabric, or keep in mind that the ribbon will be sewn on in the next step). Quilt the bottom (5.5″ print fabric) square fairly densely to help withstand the pull of velcro once in use. The top square needs minimal quilting.

Step 3

pin cushion tutorialTop stitch ribbon to both coordinating solids approximately 3/8″ away from the print fabric. Note: If you use a different width ribbon, you may want to adjust this distance. Keep in mind the 1/4″ seam allowances on the outermost edge.

Step 4

pin cushion tutorialAlign velcro approximately 1.5″ from each corner and top stitch securely. I stitched around each strip twice to ensure that it will withstand a lifetime of use. Note: Use the soft side of the velcro on the pincushion so that it doesn’t pick up thread and fuzz and everything when you move it around your workspace. The hooked side of the velcro will be sewn onto the base.

Step 5
Right sides facing, sew around all edges leaving a 3″ opening in one side. (Leaving the opening in the side will make for much less visible closing stitches after stuffing)

Step 6

pin cushion tutorialpin cushion tutorialTrim corners and turn right-side out.  Stuff to the gills with stuffing of choice (I recommend 100% wool batting–the stuffing kind, not batting like we use between layers of a quilt–or crushed walnut shells to help keep your pins and needles clean and rust-free).

Step 7

pin cushion tutorialFold in edges around opening and pin or finger press closed. Using a blind stitch (or visible whip stitch), hand stitch closed using coordinating thread.

pin cushionAdmire your pincushion! Set aside while you make the rest of the thread catch.

Make the base and hanging tab:

Step 1 *time saving tip*

Thread Catch Base & Hanging Tab Step 1Cut the 14.5″x5.5″ piece of stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon 808). Following the instructions on the interfacing, fuse to wrong side of coordinating fabric (fabric is uncut at this point).

Step 2

2Once interfacing cools, fold fabric in half and use rotary cutter and ruler to cut around the 14.5″x5.5″ interfacing. You will end up with two perfectly sized fabric pieces with the interfacing fused to one of them.

Step 3

step three thread catch tutorial base and hanging tabWith right sides facing (interfacing out), sew along long sides with a 1/4″ seam. Set seams, turn right side out, press.

Step 4

thread catch tutorial base and hanging tab stepFold in 1/4″ from one short edge. Press.

Step 5

thread catch tutorial base and hanging tab stepFold in again, 3/4″. Press.

Step 6

thread catch tutorial base and hanging tab stepFold long end 5″ from pressed edge, over on top of itself. Press.

Step 7

thread catch base and hanging tab directionsWith the folded portion facing away from you, and the unfinished long end facing down, position the velcro strips 1 1/4″ from each top corner. Pin in place.

Step 8

thread catch base and hanging tab directionsTopstitch the velcro in place, being careful to only sew through one layer of fabric (the portion that was pressed under will be folded up out of the way.) I stitched around each velcro strip twice to ensure the velcro stays in place even with frequent use.

Step 9

thread catch base and hanging tab directionsRefold according to directions above. Sew along long edges only, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

tile pocket imageYou have just created a tile pocket. I have seen some thread catches weighted with completely sewn-in tiles, but decided to design this with an opening where the tile can be inserted or removed as needed. This means that you can use anything you want to weigh down your thread catch, and if you have a little “helper” who happens to smash it to the ground, you can take out the tile shards and replace with a new tile. Once your tile is inserted, you can pull the little lip of fabric over the end of it to hold it in place more securely (like those fancy pillow cases). Don’t insert your tile yet–we’re still sewing! Now you know how the tile pocket will work, and hopefully can visualize where we are going with this a little better.

Step 10

thread catch pin cushion tutorialAlign accent ribbon 1 1/2″ from the unfinished short edge of the top of the base. Note: The ribbon shown is longer than 5.75″ and I trimmed the edges before the next step. Yours should fit well, with a bit over 1/2″ overhang on each side.

Step 11

thread catch pin cushion tutorialFold excess ribbon over the edges twice (Fold so that the cut end meets the edge of the base, and then fold over again). Pin in place.

Step 12

thread catch pin cushion tutorialTopstitch ribbon in place using coordinating thread. Your base is now finished, ready to attach to the thread catch basket. Set it aside while you make the thread catch.

Make the thread catch & Final Assembly:

Step 1

thread catch tutorialGather your cut pieces and interfacing. Normally, I would suggest cutting the interfacing, pressing to fabric, and THEN cutting out the outer fabric pieces around the interfacing, but since we will be sewing the print fabric to the coordinating solid before fusing to the interfacing, I would suggest cutting it all in advance. If you want to take a little shortcut, you can use the Ribbon Thread Catch bottom template to cut out the interfacing bottom, fuse to the print fabric and then cut the fabric once the interfacing is fused.

Step 2

thread catch tutorialSew the 2″x17.5″ coordinating solid to the 4″x17.5″ print fabric, pressing the seam toward the darker fabric. This is the outer panel of the thread catch.

Step 3

thread catch tutorialFollowing the instructions on the fusible interfacing, fuse both layers of interfacing to the wrong side of the outer panel, and to the thread catch bottom. Note that if using Pellon 101 and 808, you should fuse the 101 first since it calls for a damp press cloth and steam. Once fused and cool, then fuse the 808 for added structure. Note: Be sure to use a press cloth or other scrap fabric beneath and above your fabric and interfacing to protect your iron. Interfacing melted onto the iron is no fun!

Step 4

thread catch tutorialAlign the ribbon 3/8″ from the print fabric and topstitch in place. Note: If you are using a different width of ribbon, you may want to adjust this distance. Keep in mind the 1/4″ seam allowance at the top of the thread catch! You can use either coordinating or contrasting thread depending on the look you’d like to achieve. I opted to use Aurifil 50wt 2015 – Aluminum for the entire project. It seems to go with everything, in my opinion!

Step 5

thread catch tutorialFind the center of the outer panel (8.75″ from an edge) and pin. Note that in the photo, I pinned the top of the panel. You should pin the bottom of the panel instead. (Oops)

Step 6

thread catch tutorialRight sides together, sew short ends of the outer panel together. Be sure to line up the ribbon and seams, pinning right next to the join for accuracy. Press seam open.

Step 7

thread catch tutorialMark the center of your interfaced thread catch bottom (folding in half and creasing lightly to find the center point works wonderfully). Align the center of the bottom to the bottom seam of your outer panel. Be sure that right sides are facing away from you (you should be looking at a whole lot of interfacing) and also be sure that you are attaching your bottom to the bottom of the thread catch body (the ribbon is on the top).

thread catch tutorialPin right sides together.

Step 8

thread catch tutorialUsing the bottom of the thread catch as your reference and making sure it is lined up with the outer panel, sew along the straight edge of the bottom. Be sure to start and stop 1/4″ from both corners, backstitching at the beginning and end of your stitches.

Step 9

ribbon thread catch tutorialHere’s where that center-marking pin comes in handy! First, clip the curves on the bottom. Then, align the center of the bottom with the pin marking the center of your thread catch body, right sides together. Pin.

Step 10

ribbon thread catch tutorialContinue to pin the bottom to the thread catch body, working from the center out, aligning the edges as best you can.

ribbon thread catch tutorialFor the corners, fold as if you were turning a corner while binding, and pin securely. Sew together, beginning in the center and working out toward the corners. To keep the corners crisp, I stopped about 1″ short of each corner, backstitched, cut my thread, and began again starting in the corner, sewing out to meet the spot where I left off. If you’re a pro at curves and 3D sewing, feel free to do what works for you! Press seams toward thread catch body if possible.

Repeat steps 6-10 for thread catch lining, disregarding the ribbon-specific bits.

ribbon thread catch tutorialYou will now have the fully sewn outer body and liner for the thread catch! On to the final assembly!

Step 11

Turn outer thread catch body right side out. Slip the lining over the outer thread catch body, aligning raw edges, right sides together. Line up the center seams and back panels.

Step 12

ribbon thread catch tutorialPin in place and sew along top open edge, leaving an opening at least 5.5″ wide along the back panel (you can use your thread catch base and hanging tab to make sure there is enough space, but remove it before sewing. I found that it was easiest to sew together with the outside facing up.) Backstitch at the start and finish of your stitching to hold stitches during turning.

Step 13

Turn right side out through the opening in the top. Push lining down into the outer body. Press top edge, tucking in raw edges of the opening and pressing well.

ribbon thread catch tutorialribbon thread catch tutorialYou now will have the thread catch body fully assembled, with an opening along the back top, flat edge.

Step 14

ribbon thread catch tutorialInsert the raw edge of the thread catch base and hanging tab into the space left open in the thread catch body. It should be inserted 1/2″ into the body, leaving 1″ between the thread catch and the accent ribbon on the hanging tab. Pin.

ribbon thread catch tutorialTip: Check the back to make sure that the back raw edge is properly tucked in before sewing.

Step 15

Sew along top edge, sewing the hanging tab into the thread catch body. I sewed the opening closed (with the hanging tab inside) first, with the thread catch body & lining facing up so that my top stitches show and I could control the seam distance better.

Thread Catch Step 15Next, top stitch along the entire top of the thread catch opening using a scant 1/4″ seam. Once the hanging tab was securely sewn in, I backstitched and cut my thread, again flipping the thread catch the other way (outside of the thread catch facing up) so that I could ensure that my top stitches are even since they are the ones that show.

You’re finished!!

Go ahead and put your pile of threads accumulated during the making of this project into your gorgeous new thread catch!

thread catch tutorial

TUTORIAL- Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion

Phew! Congratulations, you made it! I sure hope that this tutorial/pattern is clear, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to see if you make this, too. Please tag me @nightquilter if you post on Instagram or Twitter.

Thank you so much to Bonnie Christine for including me in this blog tour, and be sure to check out Caitlin Topham’s post at Salty Oat from yesterday, and visit the final stop on the tour, Corri Sheff at The Lions Dandy tomorrow to see what gorgeousness she creates.

I’m linking up with Late Night Quilter’s Tips & Tutorials Tuesday & Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.