Distraction Sewing

Sometimes, I need a simple sewing project to work on, whether I’m procrastinating working on homework or just feeling anxious and need a distraction.

For each of these projects, I started out with a scrap piece from a Square Dance Panel, and added scraps of solid strips to the sides to simply frame them or make a log cabin block.

It was relaxing to start with a small piece and challenge myself to keep adding to it without a plan.

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with these blocks, maybe just a fun set of mini quilts for our end tables or mug rugs.

I love these panels, and I especially love to imagine what they would look like as a doodle page in a sketchbook. That’s next on my list of distractions.

A Package From A Friend

I received this package recently from a friend. The envelope didn’t have a return address, but I had an idea who it came from when I looked at the postmark. I know my sewing readers and fabric hoarders out there will appreciate this package.

I had forgotten she offered to share some of her Flea Market Fancy fabric scraps with me. I never bought any of those fabrics the first time they came out, so she was kind enough to share some from her stash. I love the flat, soft colors in this collection, and the simple, whimsical designs. They make me think of gardening and summer days. Some of these prints work well as basics, enhancing a variety of solids and other prints, so it will be fun to incorporate these pieces in a project with more fabrics from my stash. I’m hoping to get a few fat quarters when the second round comes available. Thanks, friend!

Decorating for Guests

We have been working on adding some decorating to our guest room lately.

We hung a few pictures of various urban scenes, from Paris to Vegas to Madison to Hong Kong.

I made a few mini quilts for the nightstands, beginning with this fabric of vintage New York City postcards.

I used this fabric of vintage NYC street scenes for the backing because it was so adorable, I didn’t want to cut it up into smaller pieces.

These mini quilts were especially easy projects because I used one fabric for the top and one for the backing, so there wasn’t much cutting, no piecing and easy quilting.

I bought these city collection fabrics on our last trip to New York City that I want to staple to art canvases for another large blank wall in that room.

It’s been fun to liven up our guest room, which always seems to be a work in progress.

Fabric Talk – Critters and Characters

I haven’t purchased a lot of fabric this year, mainly to save money, but also because I already have a ton of fabric on my shelves.

There was one collection that came out this year I couldn’t resist, so I allowed myself to stock up on enough to make a few projects.

I don’t typically buy novelty fabrics, but then, Outfoxed came out. How adorable!

I’ve been a fan of Marisa Haedke‘s artwork and whimsical characters for a few years now. I have one of her night lights and one of her paintings in my sewing room.

When I saw she turned her characters into a fabric collection, Meet the Gang, I couldn’t resist. Equally as adorable!

I bought a fat quarter set of each of these collections, hoping to make a couple fun mini quilts. It’s always inspiring to get a few new fabrics to play with.

A Project for a Project

I fell in love with the idea of this project, where you sew scraps together into strips, then sew solid fabrics to either side of those strips, and arrange the new blocks to look like a forest of birch trees. I went through my scrap bin and cut up snippets measuring 2.5 inches wide by varying lengths.

I decided I needed to make some new storage cubes to hold my new pile of snippets, separate from my scrap bin.

These storage cubes are so fun and quick to make, and quite handy to have around.

Now I can just reach into one of these cubes to easily pick out random snippets to piece my birch tree forest together. Should be a fun project to work on here and there, when I have small chunks of time to sit at my sewing machine.

On My Design Wall – Bee Blocks

I have received 10 of 12 blocks from my quilting bee partners to make my Garden Party quilt.

A couple blocks came back smaller than the directions, so I will likely end up taking those apart and resewing them together to make sure they are the same size as the rest of the blocks. Since I don’t have much fabric from this collection in my stash, I don’t have a lot of wiggle room to make additional blocks. I’m hoping to get the other two missing blocks back soon, and I’ll be ready to piece this burst of color together.

Aqua Selections

I was arranging some fabric on my shelves recently when I discovered how cool an aqua print from each of Anna Maria Horner’s fabric collections look together.

These are all medium value prints, with not enough contrast, even with the addition of a solid aqua fabric. I’m thinking either black or extra dark brown would add some great drama.

In order to maintain a good life-work balance, I tend to be moving more toward making small projects, so I’m thinking about making a set of mini quilts to put on the nightstands in our guest room. Just need to decide what design to use. I definitely want to move this idea to the top of my to-do list.

Adding To My Fabric Stash

I haven’t purchased much fabric this year, so I’m excited to share some new treasures I’ve added to my stash over the past few months.

First up, I was so impressed with my local quilt shop when I found out they are carrying Anna Maria Horner‘s new Loulouthi collection. I rarely buy fabrics for the backing before I make a quilt, so I’m happy to have yardage of that brown print on the bottom of this stack to back a future quilt with.

These are the fabrics I bought at Gruber’s Quilt Shop over my quilting retreat weekend. I picked up the Anna Maria print from the Good Folks collection first (one the far right), and then coordinated the rest with it, most of which ended up going into my Maverick Star Wallhanging. I didn’t use that polka dot print in the middle, so it will be a great basic addition to my stash.

I always need more basics in my stash, so I picked out this next stack for fun.

I missed out on the Flea Market Fancy craze so I decided to buy a few of my favorite prints from Denyse Schmidt‘s fabric collection for JoAnn’s. I think they will work well as basics too.

I also bought some silly summer prints to make a couple gift ideas I have in mind.

Finally, I almost forgot that I have a set of the Habitat fabrics by Jay McCarroll.

LOVE this collection, especially the drop cloth print!

I love that Jay’s fabrics don’t follow a collection formula, and I love the color schemes he put together.

That should keep me busy for awhile!

A Sunny Spectrum

We have finally taken a turn toward Spring around here with the sun shining more regularly, melting our snow and revealing grass.

I found some tulips peaking up too, which the rabbits have been snacking on, so I covered these new shoots with mesh wire to keep those pesky rabbits from doing more damage.

Bring it on, Mother Nature!

Speaking of sunshine, did you know that Anna Maria Horner has a collection of quilting cotton solids? I knew these fabrics came out at the same time her Little Folks collection was released, but I wonder why we haven’t seen any of these solids in any shops. I know Kona Cotton solids and Moda Bella solids are quite popular, so maybe that’s why stores didn’t pick up another range of solids.

I ordered a stack of 12 fat quarters directly from her shop since I couldn’t find it anywhere else. It’s not a big color range, but the colors included are very vibrant and beautiful. I would love to make this or this just for the fun of playing with these fabulous colors.

I have another set of cheerful voile and cotton fabrics in my stash waiting for the right inspiration. These colors are the perfect pick-me-up for a time of year when we are ready to move from winter to spring, craving sunshine and warmer days.