My Best of 2015

This time of year often sparks reflection as we prepare to start afresh in the new year. It always amazes me to look back on a year in full, as I realize just how full and rich my life is and how much I’ve accomplished (and what I thought I’d surely have accomplished by now but haven’t). One of the fun aspects of social media is ability to use analytics to take a concrete look at the past year’s blog posts and social media interactions. Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a fun linky party inviting quilty bloggers to highlight their “best” posts of 2015. I’ve put together a few Night Quilter “bests” in this post, and I invite you to reminisce along with me.

My Top Accomplishment

june finish alyof finn epp table runnerI could not possibly begin a “best of 2015” post with anything other than my most epic Friday Finish of all time: giving birth to my third baby, Finnian. While the blog post announcing his birth falls *just* outside the top five most viewed posts of the year, I’m including it first here. Family is always first. Plus… babies!

Most Viewed Blog Post (including giveaways)

doe layers of charm quiltListing the most viewed blog post is a bit tricky, since typically posts that include a giveaway are viewed a lot more than those that don’t. Nearly all of my giveaways were accompanied by quilt or project finishes, though, so I’m including the tippy-top post here: the Doe Layers of Charm quilt I made early in the year. It has been viewed twice as many times as the next-most-viewed post, so it deserves a bit of spotlight. This was my first quilt made using all one fabric line, sewn for a Fat Quarter Shop short-cut pattern release, and what better fabric line to use than Doe by one of my favorite designers, Carolyn Friedlander.

Most Viewed Tutorial

tutorial embroidery floss organization made easyThis fun and easy tip revolutionized my perle cotton storage and use, and clearly was an all around favorite.

Most Viewed Blog Post (not including giveaways)

dropcloth color wheel rainbow quiltMy dropcloth embroidery sampler color wheel is very high on my list of favorite projects, and I see that everyone else agrees. One of my goals for 2016 is to face my fear of sewing circles and finish this!!

Most Popular Pattern

Love struck patternMy Love Struck foundation paper piecing pattern ranks the highest in patterns sold this year (32%), closely followed by Lupine (18%).

2015 Best Nine on Instagram

Instagram best nine 2015This may be old news for those of you who also follow me on Instagram, but there’s a rad analytic site called (**Don’t visit this site right now. It appears to have been nefariously hacked since a “virus, ack!” pop up comes up on both my computer and phone when I go there now… but a few days ago it worked!**) where you type in your Instagram name and it generates a collage with your nine most viewed posts. Here’s my collage, which includes all sorts of fun–Finn’s birth stole the show on IG, accompanied by my visible mending foray (have I blogged about that?), modern hexies mini mini, growing tree mini quilt, the Rose Star EPP I made as my first big Sizzix tutorial, Finn’s milestone quilt project, and a Farmer’s Wife block. It really covers a large part of what I’ve been up to over the past 12 months, and of course includes rainbows.

I’ve had a great year, and feel so grateful for all of your participation, support, love, suggestions, inspiration, and friendship. Without readers, without comments, without reaction, this blog is just an endpoint for my thoughts. Add you, and it becomes a foundation for inspiration, a jumping-point for new projects, and a connection between like-minded makers. I’m filled with gratitude.

Thank you, too, to Cheryl, for giving me another reason to reflect and look back over the past year. It has truly been an amazing year, and I’m looking forward to a peaceful, productive, rainbow-filled 2016.

What was your favorite Night Quilter post or project from 2015?

The Growing Tree Wall Hanging Tutorial

Today I’d like to share a tutorial for a great project that documents the growth of little ones while showing love in a beautiful way: the growing tree. In my case, it will be a growing grove of three trees, so feel free to adapt to fit your kiddos. I initially hoped to make four of these, one for each set of grandparents (we are blessed to have three sets!) and one for us to keep. Now that I’ve finally finished the first one, I’m accepting the fact that I may just stop at one, since I would like to cherish my little babies’ hands, too, and Christmas is less than three (3!?) days away. Since it involves hearts, this project would also be a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift for those doting grandparents.

growing tree sizzix tutorialFrom the moment I gave birth to my first child, my holiday gift giving style changed completely. Instead of trying to think of the “thing” each family member would like or need most and focusing all of my time on making handmade gifts of love for every family member possible, I acknowledge that presence is the best present if at all possible, and as a busy mom (of three lovely children, now), gift making time is much more rare. I am blessed to have a large family, and to have married into an even larger family, so potential gift recipients abound. But especially in recent years, my parents and in-laws–the grandparents–are usually the sole recipients of Christmas gifts, and such gifts nearly always involve their cherished grandchildren (our kids). This year, grandparents will get a whole lot of love, since time wasn’t on my side with this project. When I had the idea to make heart-filled trees out of my children’s hands, I did my typical google search to see if it had been done before. I found this post, about a creation inspired by another creation, and I knew that that inspiration would need to take one more step into the quilting world to become a quilted gift. Here’s how to make your own Growing Tree.

TUTORIAL- Growing TreeFirst, gather your materials. Note that material amounts will vary depending on the number of children you have and the size of the child. I’ve tried to include amounts for a single tree, but feel free to adjust as needed. I’ve also included affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and purchase with these links, I will receive a small commission that will go toward funding all that goes into creating these tutorials and keeping my blog up and running.


*These items are not needed if you opt to frame your growing tree instead of quilting it, but you will also need a suitably sized picture frame, stiff acid-free cardboard if the frame doesn’t come with it, and a form of adhesive (glue or tape) to tightly wrap the fabric around the cardboard before insertion into the frame.

Let’s get started!

growing tree sizzix tutorialGather your children! Have them spread fingers wide and put forearms down onto the Heat’n Bond. With their excited help, trace each child’s forearm and hand onto the non-textured side of the Heat’n Bond. You want to trace from just below the elbow, up around each finger, and then down the other side. If you are making more than one version of this Growing Tree, trace as many forearm-hand tree trunks as you will need. (Because I initially aimed to make four versions of my Growing Grove of Trees–oh my boundless ambition!– I traced each patient child’s arm four times, except Finn’s. With squirmy 6 month old Finn, I struggled and wiggled and waggled until I got a somewhat accurate tracing of his arm and hand, cut it out, and traced THAT three more times. He was not interested in sitting still!)

Carefully cut out each tree trunk, either enlisting the help of your children if they are older and proficient at cutting, or sending them off to play for the next few steps.

Fuse your tree trunks to the wrong side of the tree trunk fabric, following the manufacturer’s directions. Always be extra cautious if using a hot iron with small children around. Toddlers are inherently curious and can not yet physiologically control their curious explorations, despite fervent warnings from mommy–as I’m sure you know! I do my ironing upstairs without any kids underfoot to be safe.

Set the tree trunks aside to cool. Once cool, carefully cut around each forearm tree trunk and set aside.

Fuse Heat’n Bond to the wrong sides of all of the fabric scraps that will become hearts. Remember to have the paper side of the Heat’n Bond facing up, and put a pressing cloth down to protect your ironing surface. Let cool completely.

growing tree sizzix tutorialOnce the fused heart-intended fabric has cooled completely, with paper-friendly scissors or rotary cutter (NOT your fabric scissors!), cut your fabric into 2 1/4″ x 3 1/4″ rectangles for ease of quick cutting.. Note that I am using the three smallest heart sizes for my trees, and am not worrying about directionality of the fabric. If you have smaller scraps or want the directionality of the fabric to be level, you can cut 3/4″ x 3/4″ for the smallest heart, 1 1/4″ x 1 3/4″ rectangles for the medium heart or 1 1/2″ x 2 1/4″ rectangles for the large. (I did not use the extra large heart). I mostly cut the medium and large hearts from 2 1/4″ x 3 1/4″ rectangles and then used the scraps from those to cut small hearts.

growing tree sizzix tutorialNext, pull out your Sizzix fabi die cutting machine and Primitive hearts #3 die. Call those children back! Layer the pre-fused fabric rectangles over the desired sized hearts on the Primitive Hearts die, four (4) at a time. The Sizzix can cut up to nine (9) layers of fabric at once, but since the fusible is pre-fused, each rectangle counts as two layers. Make your Sizzix sandwich: bottom cutting pad, die with the blades facing up, fabric centered over the heart blades, and top cutting pad.

growing tree sizzix tutorialgrowing tree sizzix tutorialLet your kiddos carefully crank them through! If you don’t have a Sizzix, get the kids’ help and start cutting out hearts of different sizes, ranging from 1/2″ to 2″ in size. Depending on the ages of your children, you can either enlist their help or set them up with a different activity while you lay out the wall hanging once all of the hearts and trunks are cut.

growing tree sizzix tutorialLay out a large piece of your background fabric. I suggest arranging your tree or grove of trees BEFORE cutting the background fabric to size, since every child’s arm is different. Layout your tree trunk(s), arranging the hearts around the top like the leaves of a tree.

growing tree sizzix tutorialgrowing tree sizzix tutorialOnce they are arranged the way you want them, carefully remove the adhesive paper from each component, placing it back in its proper place as you go.

growing tree sizzix tutorialOnce you have an iron-surface-sized batch with the paper backings removed, fuse them down. *Note: If possible, lay out your arrangement on your ironing surface so that once all of the papers are removed and pieces stuck, you can simply fuse them down. I used a large foam board beneath mine, and actually pressed onto the foam board since my ironing surface is tiny. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using Heat’n Bond!

growing tree sizzix tutorialIf you’re like me and are interrupted during this process, simply flip a row of hearts that haven’t been fused yet, so that you know where you are when you return.

Trim the background fabric approximately 3″ from each edge of your Growing Tree if you plan on quilting. Be sure to use the lines on your cutting mat to ensure your quilt is square as you cut.

Alternate ending

Alternatively, after fusing the hearts and tree trunks, you could wrap the fabric tightly around a thick acid free piece of cardboard and frame it in a picture frame. If you opt to frame yours, be sure to give yourself at least 2″ of overhang on all four sides, and plan your tree arrangement to fit into your desired frame.

Back to the quilting option…

Cut batting and backing fabric to extend about 1″ from each edge of your Growing Tree quilt top (For example, if your Growing Tree top measures 27″ x 22″ like mine does, cut your batting and backing 29″ x 24″)

growing tree sizzix tutorialBaste your quilt layers using your desired method (I used pins).

growing tree sizzix tutorialgrowing tree sizzix tutorialWith a thread that coordinates with your background fabric, free motion quilt AROUND the edges of your tree trunk(s) and hearts. I also stitched around a few single hearts (you don’t need to sew around all of them) within the tree. Remember that the Heat’n Bond is NO SEW, so be sure not to sew on top of the fused pieces. Feel free to free motion quilt the background to help hold everything in place. I used a windy spiral design and was reminded at how much fun free motion quilting is! I need to do it more often!

growing tree sizzix tutorialAdd each child’s name beneath each tree, either with embroidery or permanent fabric marker. I used fabric marker so that Maddie and Max could include their signatures. Don’t forget the date! (Confession: I copied Max’s signature from a recent art project since I didn’t dare let him and a permanent fabric marker near this finished project. Perhaps a 3 year old with a less impish nature might be able to sign right on the project, but use your judgement.)

growing tree sizzix tutorialTrim the batting and backing flush with the quilt top, square up, and bind as desired. I included corner hang tabs on the back of my Growing Tree Grove using THIS method, and bound the quilt using THIS great tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew.

growing tree sizzix tutorialHang this Growing Grove on your wall so that you can immortalize those precious little hands, or wrap & gift to those doting grandparents if you’re superwoman, or if you are already planning ahead for Valentine’s Day!

Enjoy, and happy holidays!


Just for fun, here’s what the vast majority of the photographs of my kiddos using the Sizzix looked like:

growing tree sizzix tutorialMax does not. stop. moving! Enjoy the blurry laugh, and enjoy your holidays!



Birthday Piñata Tradition: A Smashing Good Time

This time of year is a busy one. Not only is there the often frenzied rush to feel prepared for the holidays and all of the hand-made, store-bought, or presence-centered gifts to arrange, but it’s also my daughter’s birthday month. I’m not sure when the last time you spoke with a nearly-six year old was, but birthdays are kind of a big deal to them. At least they are to my daughter. Maddie talks excitedly about her birthday, with game plans, craft project ideas, and guest list edits pretty much all year long. When December rolls around, it’s truly game on. Let the party planning commence!

family pinata making fun
My helpers as we began the pinata making process. Two balloons, ripped strips of newspaper, and a flour-water paper mache paste is all you need!

It has become a tradition for Maddie and me to make a piñata together for her birthday, although her requests have certainly become more detailed and elaborate. I introduced the idea for her fourth birthday, when we made a rainbow fish piñata. I love the old-school flour and water paper mâché over a balloon method, and paired with tiny balled up bits of rainbow colored tissue paper, I thought it was the perfect project for an excited child. Last year, for her fifth birthday party, she requested a Calvin and Hobbes-style snowman to go with her Calvin and Hobbes themed party. This year her request was for a rainbow unicorn. How could I say no to that!? But seriously… a rainbow unicorn made out of balloons and torn newspaper!?? Needless to say, I’ve been busy over the past two weeks, and it hasn’t been quilting.

family pinata making fun
A unicorn begins to take shape…
family pinata making fun
Creating the rainbow mane and tail.

Little by little, and with many tips from my ever-talented puppet and model-making brother, we did it. We created a rainbow unicorn piñata, complete with diamond dust glitter body, glimmering uni-horn, and rainbow ribbon mane and tail. I have to say–it was a smashing success!

rainbow unicorn pinata
Maddie in her pajamas, posing with her rainbow unicorn pinata the morning of her 6th birthday party, right before she painted on the eyes, smile, and pink collar.
rainbow unicorn pinata
The birthday girl painting on the eyes and smile the morning of the party while I held the pinata steady. Pardon the jammies.
rainbow unicorn pinata eye
The gorgeous eye painted on by my daughter. This is as close as you can come to seeing the diamond dust glitter paint that covered the unicorn, and the shimmery horn.

The finishing touches were put on this morning, hours before the party. Maddie decided that she wanted to paint on the eyes, a smile, and a pink collar, so that’s what we did as soon as we woke up, pajama-clad and all.

rainbow unicorn pinata

rainbow unicorn pinata

I love craft projects like these, since although they literally take weeks to complete and I nearly always get to the “what was I thinking!?” phase at least once, they truly creating lasting memories with my children. I remember creating paper mâché piñatas with my mom during girl scout meetings, and the memories are fond indeed. It’s the little things in life, and sometimes a beautiful hand-made rainbow unicorn filled with candy and treats and begging to be smashed is the perfect touch for a birthday party.

Do you have any fun birthday traditions?

6th birthday girlrainbow unicorn pinata

Farmer’s Wife Sew Along – Block 9 Autumn Tutorial

Today is my day to share the Block 9 Autumn tutorial for the 1930 Farmer’s Wife Sew Along, hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel and sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop and Marti Michell.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialWith a block like Autumn, it’s easy to get daunted before you even begin: 37 pieces in one 6″ block!? Ack! But wait! This is a perfect time to practice looking at each block’s construction creatively. If there’s one thing this sew along has taught me, it’s that there is nearly always a faster and easier way to approach block construction than purely cutting out all of the pieces and sewing them together. With a few shortcuts and piecing tricks, Autumn comes together quite smoothly. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make half square triangles (HST) 8 at a time (Yes, 8! We make all of the HST needed in this block at once), use strip piecing to save a bit of time, and fill in the gaps using Marti Michell templates (Set B and Set N are helpful with this block) or rotary cutting to help make putting Autumn together as easy as watching falling leaves.

As you may have noticed, I used different locations for the orange and black fabrics in the center square than those used in the book. I’d like to say it was intentional, but lo… it was not. I did not even realize my error until this entire tutorial was finished, photographed, and scheduled to post, as I was proudly admiring my block. When I realized my error, at first horror swept over me. Then, after Angie’s reassurance and another look at my block, I decided that Autumn was a good place for a design change. After all, it’s my quilt! I encourage you to remember that during this sew along, and don’t be afraid to make your quilt your own, with a hefty dose of gentleness toward yourself if  when you discover an error after fully completing a block. Call it an unexpected design element. AND take this as an extra reminder to double check your fabric placement and choices BEFORE sewing your block together!

Note: Exact measurements for the pieces needed to construct this block will not be provided in this tutorial in order to protect copy write. It is a prerequisite of making this block that you have a copy of the book, The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them. All measurements can be found in this book and its associated media. That said, even if you aren’t sewing along with us, I think you will find some really helpful tips in this tutorial that will help you look at all block construction more creatively!

Reflection on the Letter – A Precious Half-Hour

For those of you reading this who are not sewing along, one of my favorite aspects of this sew along is that each block in the book is inspired and accompanied by a letter written by an actual 1930 farmer’s wife. It has been inspiring to see how similar these farmer’s wives’ dreams, desires, troubles, and day-to-day struggles were to mine, and to hear their often uplifting takes on life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the letter with tears in my eyes, nodding a resounding “yes!” as I relate my own life to the words on the page.

I know Angie said that blocks were allocated completely randomly, but this letter was meant for me. This woman is me! It was both surreal and somehow encouraging to read that even those hard working, ever-positive farmer’s wives embraced the NEED to make time for themselves. A few months ago, I created a hashtag (#sewtake20) in an attempt to encourage other busy moms (and myself!) to make time for themselves 20 minutes a day, no matter how crazy the day, how high the stack of dishes, and how all-engulfing the mountain of laundry. Wise L.O.L. from Iowa recognized the need to nourish body and soul back in 1939, despite her full plate. While she took a precious half hour and I’m striving for only 20 minutes, it still helps me to not feel so guilty doing the same here in 2015.


For this block, I specifically chose fabrics with small or nondirectional prints, so that I could quickly piece the components without worrying about fussy cutting or directionality. The #9C pieces are a small exception, since I gave a tiny bit of focus to fabric alignment. Note that I am arranging my final layout on-point, but for the purposes of being consistent with the diagram in the book, this tutorial pieces the block squared. If you plan to set your blocks on-point, be sure to account for that with any directional fabric placement.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialThis block is composed of 8 HSTs, 8 rectangles, 9 squares, and 4 triangles. I first cranked out the bits I could make quickly and efficiently, namely the HSTs and the center square. Let’s break it down.

Making 8 HSTs at Once

In the book, the print and coral fabrics were used to make the #9F HSTs. Choose your coordinating fabrics (I used black and orange).

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialCut one (1) 5″ square from each. Note: If your HST-making skills are on point and you want to conserve fabric, you can use 4 3/4″ squares. I prefer to play it safe and trim a bit more to ensure my HSTs are perfect.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialRight sides together, draw diagonal lines from corner to corner, making an X. You only need to mark the wrong side of one of the squares.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialPin your squares together to keep them from shifting, and sew 1/4″ from the right and left of both lines. This is a good time to confirm the accuracy of your 1/4″ seams.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialCarefully draw a line down the middle of the blocks in both directions. I used the 2 1/2″ line on my ruler to help make sure my line was square. You should now see a plus and an X.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialCut along the marked lines. Press open.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialYou now have 8 HSTs! I typically press all seams open, but with HSTs I press to the darker fabric since I use my Bloc Loc rulers to trim them to size. If you don’t have Bloc Loc rulers, feel free to press seams open, and align the 45 degree line on your ruler to help trim to the size indicated on the #9F template in the book.

Farmers Wife Marti Michell template HSTYou can also use Marti Michell template N79 to trim to square, too. Be sure to center your diagonal seam in the centers of the two holes in the template to trim evenly.


Do a little dance and set those 8 HSTs aside.

Strip Piecing the Center Square

Because the center square is symmetrical, two of the outer edges can be strip pieced, saving you a bit of time and thread.

In the book, the coral (#9D) and yellow (#9G) fabrics with a tiny center square of print (#9E) were used. I should have used black, yellow-orange, and a tiny center square of orange, but as I noted above, I made an inadvertent design change and went with orange, yellow-orange, and a tiny center square of black. Wrap your brain around which of your fabrics belong where for your block, and here we go. **Really, take a moment and make doubly sure you have the right fabrics. Got it? Great! We will be strip piecing the two rectangles composed of #9G and #9D.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialCut two (2) 1 5/8″x 3 1/4″ rectangles of your #9D fabric and one (1) 1″ x 3 1/4″ rectangle of your #9G fabric. (Math aside: The 5/8ths” mark is the little line right after–aka a bit larger than–the 1/2″ mark on your ruler.)

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialRight sides facing, sew the #9D rectangles to the center #9G along each long side.

1930 farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialCut in half as shown to create two (2) 1 5/8″ x 3 1/4″ rectangles. We will call these your #9DG units.

farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialUsing the rotary cutting measurements provided in the book’s cd, cut two (2) #9Gs and one (1) #9E.

farmers wife 9 autumn tutorialAssemble as shown. Note that I rotated the bottom row 180 degrees so that the direction of the yellow-orange fabric radiates outward from the center.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialSew your strip pieced #9GD units to the top and bottom of your center piece to create the center square.

Farmers Wife Piecing TipSewing Tip: When matching seams, pin directly after the seam join to prevent slipping. Also, take a moment to match up the seam lines on the opposite raw edges, too. While it is not a sewn edge, it will help keep the sewn edge level.

Cutting the Remaining Pieces

Now we need four (4) #9D squares, four (4) #9C rectangles, and four (4) #9A triangles. These remaining pieces can be cut in a very straightforward way, by using the rotary cutting instructions or paper templates included, or using Marti Michell templates. I’ve found that using the Marti Michell templates really help me line up different units accurately, so I opted to use those for the triangles and rotary cut the squares and rectangles. Here’s how:

9 Autumn Rotary and TemplateCut a 1 1/2″ x 6″ strip of your coral-equivalent fabric (I used black). Subcut the four #9D squares, per the measurements provided in the rotary cutting instructions or with Marti Michell template N79.

Cut a 1 1/2″ x 10″ strip of your print-equivalent fabric (I used orange). Subcut the four #9C rectangles, per the measurements provided in the rotary cutting instructions.

Cut a 2 1/2″ x 7″ strip of your print-equivalent fabric (I used orange). Using Marti Michell template B13, subcut four (4) #9A triangles. If you don’t have the Marti Michell templates, you can use the rotary cutting dimensions or paper templates provided on the book’s accompanying CD.

Assembling the Block
farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorial
Here is a shout out to the essential tools used in creating this block: Flatter by Soak makes everything lay smoothly–even HSTs!–, Aurifil thread, Marti Michell templates, and my trusty Olfa rotary cutter. *Not shown but equally essential is the Bloc Loc ruler!*

Now that you have all of the necessary components, lay them out to make sure you have all of the pieces aligned properly (pay particular attention to those sneaky HSTs). Tip: Take the time here to focus and be sure that all of the pieces are arranged properly, heavily referencing the picture in the book. The HSTs are particularly sneaky. Once your block is perfect, take a picture with your phone and reference it heavily throughout the piecing process. It takes less time to stop and lay out your pieces to check the arrangement than it does to seam rip once you’re finished!

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialFirst, sew the #9A triangles to the center square as shown. Begin with two opposite sides. Press seams open.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialSew on the remaining two triangles. Press seams open. Your center square should now measure 4 1/2″ including seam allowances.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialfarmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialPair corner #9B squares with their neighboring HSTs and sew as shown.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialI like to chain piece steps like this, and as I pick up my pairs of squares to sew, I align all of the to-be-sewn edges so that I don’t get mixed up between my cutting/arranging table and the sewing machine.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialSew HST-corner square units to center #9C rectangles to create the top and bottom rows.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialNext we will sew the middle row together. Sew the HSTs to the side #9C rectangles as shown.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialAgain, pay close attention to the alignment of those HSTs! They like to do somersaults on the trip to the sewing machine if you’re not super careful!

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialSew side HST-rectangle units to center square.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialSew top and bottom rows to the center row. Tip: This is another great place to match bottom seam lines as well as those right at the sewn raw edge. There are only two seams to match! I love this block! Press all seams open.

farmers wife 9 autumn quilt block tutorialGaze lovingly upon your Autumn block and think, “Gee, that wasn’t so bad! But it sure took me longer than a precious half-hour!” (and if you’re me, about 45 minutes later realize in horror that you botched the center square’s fabric placement, then decide that your Farmer’s Wife quilt deserved some individuality anyway, and let it go.)

Thank you so much for joining me today and I hope you found this tutorial helpful! This is the last tutorial before the Christmas break, which begins tomorrow and lasts through the first week in January. I know I am hoping to do some serious Farmer’s Wife catch-up amongst all of the festivities. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a very happy New Year to you all!

Important Links Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.

Here are links to all of December’s tutorials:
09/29/2015: Angie @ & Marti @ Marti Michell

12/02/2015: Debbie @ Happy Little Cottage & Sedef @ Down Grapevine Lane

12/04/2015: Janice @ Better Off Thread

12/09/2015: Kerry @ Kid Giddy

12/11/2015: Lisa @ Sweet Little Pretties

12/15/2015: Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts

12/18/2015: Kitty @ Night Quilter <— YOU ARE HERE

CHRISTMAS BREAK – 12/19/2015 to 01/04/2016

01/05/2016: Angie @ & Marti @ Marti Michell


Farmer’s Wife Sew Along: Patience & Progress

Despite all my best intentions, life has caused me to get a *bit* behind with the 1930 Farmer’s Wife Sew Along, hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel and sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop and Marti Michell. I’m not letting it get me down, though, and plan to keep on plodding. After all, not only have I allotted for skipping some blocks with my planned layout, I also know that every block made is one step closer to catching up. It’s all about patience, right?

Here are my latest three block additions.

farmers wife 79 patienceIt’s all about patience… see what I did there? If only patience were always so easy to come by!

farmers wife 80 patriciafarmers wife 57 margaretI am really liking my color choices, and as more blocks are added, I’m starting to see how they might go together. I’m still toying with arranging each warm-cool grouping in color order, and very well might do so. I think after the next bout of blocks added, I’ll try laying it all out together and see what you think, too.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced’s Work in Progress Wednesday, and Angie’s Farmer’s Wife Link Up. Have a great day!

Half Birthday: 6 Months

I’m proud to report that it took me six months before I “missed” a monthly milestone quilt block deadline for Finn’s baby quilt. Saturday marked six months since Finn’s birth; his half birthday! With a block still not sewn up, but a gorgeously warm and sunny day filled with family fun on the schedule (my husband’s company holiday party for kids at the bounce house, choosing and cutting our Christmas tree, getting it home and setting it up, stringing lights, and even decorating!), there was no way I was going to meet the deadline. But, here we are two three* whole days later and guess what? Finn is still six months old! This is both a good practice in being gentle with myself, and a reminder that perhaps waiting until the last minute isn’t working for me in this stage of life. (*He’s teething and has a bit of a cold, so repeated wakings last night meant this post did not get up before my bedtime as hoped. Life with a baby!)

finn 6 months milestone quilt
This baby is sooooo big!

There’s always next month! Anyway, on to the fun! Finn is six months old already! He’s sitting a lot more sturdily, although still topples backward now and again. finn 6 months milestone quiltHe still army crawls all over the house, but has begun to come up onto all fours and rock back and forth with a giant grin. He’s beginning to “complain” when he doesn’t like something–namely the carseat and riding in the car, but other than that he’s still a very agreeable, smiley, happy boy. Plus, I have no complaints about Finn being able to express his feelings.

finn 6 months milestone quilt

finn 6 months milestone quilt
Yummy flexible baby snack.

I had to get more creative with this photo shoot since when I put Finn down on his back, he immediately rolls to his belly. Painters tape to the wall for the win! I’m still working on figuring out lighting, but I’m sure you can enjoy these photos even with some shadows.

finn 6 months milestone quiltI love seeing the quilt come together and feel like we are really beginning to get a glimpse of the look of the finished quilt. I know that we have no idea what Finn will be like at one year, but at least the quilt is beginning to take real shape in my mind.

finn 6 months milestone quiltShall I set a new goal? I hope to make his 7 month block before Christmas. We’ll see if I can meet it! But I do know that even if I don’t, it’s ok. Life is life, and I am trying to enjoy every moment, even if it means I blog less, quilt less, and snuggle more. Finn is growing before my eyes, as we can all see through this project. Baby snuggles still and will always trump all else.

Happy sewing! Happy snuggling.