My friend Amanda Jean was in town recently to do a book signing at a new sewing hangout.

She brought me a bag full of “happies!”

Note: Happies are a concept invented by Rene and Michelle’s mom: “a small, unexpected gift given for no specific reason other than just because.”

She brought me so many wonderful things! A beautiful mini quilt in my favorite colors, a thread basket, a pincushion, (still hoping to see a pattern to come out for those two goodies),  a stack of fabric squares, another stack of fabrics, soap, lip balm and chocolate. What more could a creative girl need!

Photoshop tutorials

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.

Giveaway Day – December 2011 – Closed

It seems like ages since I’ve offered a giveaway, so I’m excited to be participating in Sew,Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day again!

I am offering the book Pretty in Patchwork Doll Quilts which was the inspiration for the mini quilt I also made for the lucky winner (see below). This book is full of 24 projects for making mini quilts in a great variety of sizes and themes.

Along with this book you will receive this mini quilt I made based on the cover project, a Christmas star measuring 19.5 inches all the way around. Perfect for a table topper or centerpiece.

I used that green fabric for the binding and that red fabric for the backing.

I will also include the scraps in case you want to make something else to match your new mini quilt, like a mug rug, potholder or smaller mini quilt.

Leave a comment by 7 pm CST on Friday, December 16 to be entered. International entries are welcome. Good luck, friends!


Procrastination Sewing – Orange

I have a couple commissioned projects I’m supposed to be working on. So how did I spend my time? Making these two mini quilts instead!

The star was inspired by this mini quilt. I used this tutorial. Love love love how this turned out! Definitely need to make more of these.

The half square triangle mini was totally inspired by this mini quilt. Love love love this one too!

They are both on their way to being delivered as gifts. Now, where was I?

A Pair of Minis

My husband asked me to make new mini quilts to put on our nightstands. He was bored with the previous ones. So I laid out a stack of fabrics I thought he might like, and let him choose two prints for his nightstand and two for my nightstand.

Here’s what his looks like:

Here’s what mine looks like:

He went with a combination of an African safari map and batik fabrics. He also wanted a simple patchwork design, so I used my pattern for my checkerboards (which are sold out). I love how rich they look on the wood stain of our nightstands. I also love how easy and quick these minis were to make over the course of a week.

Enjoying the Sunshine

I don’t have a lot of progress to show for my weekend, except for this string-pieced mini quilt I started.

I cut up a lot of my Sis Boom fabric scraps into strips and started piecing them together to make another pillow cover. I love how colorful it’s turning out.

In between the piecing, we are enjoying a streak of sunshine around here, which is wonderful because it seems like we’ve had a gray winter so far.

As you can see, we still have a lot of snow on the ground in our yard.

I’m hoping all this sunshine will start melting those layers of snow. I am really starting to get the itch for spring, dreaming of seeing grass again and watching my bulbs start to peak up through the thawing ground. Hope you are enjoying your Valentine’s Day too!

A Wonky Star

I have always wanted to try making a wonky block, but I just couldn’t make time in September to join in the wonky log cabin quilt-along. I’ve also been admiring the cool wonky star blocks I see out on flickr. I think I’m drawn to them because they are so whimsical.

wonky star mini quilt

I made one block with some of my favorite fabrics, quilted it and attached binding for a mini quilt.

Back of wonky star mini quilt

I used this tutorial, which was very easy and quick. I think this might make a fun gift, which can be hung on the wall, used as a hot pad or table decoration. I’m keeping this one!

Art From My Swap Partner

Check out this mini quilt I received today from my Summertime Mini Quilt Swap partner Kathy! It’s called Hollyhocks in Summer.

summertime quilt

She used different types of fabrics from cotton to satin and different colors of threads.

different fabrics

Even the binding is framed with piping, which I haven’t seen before. I also think some sections of this project were handquilted.

notice the hand quilting and binding

Other sections have this cool decorative stitching, like the border on the left side.

decorative stitching

I can’t believe this work of art was made just for me. In her note, Kathy said she had been stalking my blog for awhile – how funny is that. It looks like a picture I could have taken in my garden. Did I mention she’s from Wisconsin? What are the odds of us being paired up!

the back

Take a look at the back – almost as beautiful as the front. I really love the label in the center.

the label

Thank you so much, Kathy! Be sure to go check out all the other cool mini quilts being exchanged.