My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

February UFO and new projects

Last year after seeing the Spring Dresden Quilt tutorial by Jenny Doan I knew I wanted to make a smaller version as a wallhanging. I ordered the Fresh Air charm pack and yardage for the border.

Once the fabric arrived I watched the tutorial again. The wallhanging measures  40 x 40 inches. Overall pretty easy to make and I was happy to practice my applique skills.  This was #5 on my 2016 UFO list — my goal is to have it quilted and bound by the end of this month🙂

2016 feb ufo spring dresdens

2016 Feb Spring Dresden Quilt

I gifted a couple of hand towels to someone special as a Valentine’s gift. I wanted to test the embroidery designs before I used them on an item in my shop. I think next time I’ll need to enlarge the designs for a towel. The recipient loved them!

The monogram size did work out for my custom bib/onesie order.


I signed up for another class on Craftsy.  This name of the class is Quilt As You Piece by Marti Michell. I made this rug as my first project. Sorry for the bad picture!


My last project for Valentine’s Day — a quilted banner made entirely with the embroidery machine.



Until next time — live love and sew!

January 2016 APQ UFO Completion

I finished my January UFO on January 31 — how’s that for waiting till the last minute! It’s great following along with others participating in the All People Quilt 2016 UFO challenge. It’s truly keeping me motivated to get projects finished!


Jan 2016 UFO-Paper Hearts

This was the 2015 Paper Hearts Quilt Kit from the Fat Quarter Shop. The kit featured The French General fabric line – Petite Prints.

This was my first attempt at making a quilt! I hadn’t perfected my quarter inch seam nor had I learned the secret how to not loose your points while sewing.

Originally I planned to take it apart but I’ve since learned from the wonderful Julie from The Crafty Quilter – finished is better than perfect!

My quilt measures 36 x 48. I quilted straight lines a quarter inch away from each seam. I love the fabric!

Using the  half square triangle scraps from the paper hearts quilt I made a wall hanging measuring 17 x 21.  Again I did straight line quilting — only in the background area. I really love how the wall hanging turned out and I’m really enjoying seeing it in my dining room.



Jan 2016 paper hearts hst scraps


Of course I purchased a charm pack to match the quilt kit🙂.

Last weekend I pieced this table topper. I used a patterned named Steps from the Strip Savvy book by Kate Henderson. If you are a newbie to quilting like me and are pre cut junkie also like me — this is a great book. I want to make everything in it! Last week JoAnn Fabrics had the quilting books 40% off which made it a great deal also.


Jan 2016 Steps Table Topper


I will have it quilted and bound sometime tomorrow — I need it for my superbowl snacks!!

I went a whole month without buying any fabric– Going thru my scraps I found a couple of pieces to make pillows to match the quilt.  I think they are from an old Sandy Gervais fabric line.  I added a little machine embroidery to jazz up the nine patch pillow — cute cute cute!



Last pillow for the month — 18 inch pillow using the XO quilt block (road to Arkansas). I used two fabrics and love the secondary designs it creates.


Linking up with Julie – the Crafty Quilter

Until next time live love and sew!




Snowing and Sewing

I live in Maryland and the blizzard of 2016 was quite evident in our neighborhood. Thankfully we didn’t lose power but we were stranded.

This what 27 inches looked like on my deck — the final total was over 30 inches of snow!


2016 Blizzard

We spent most of our time sleeping and watching recorded TV shows.

I did manage to get a little sewing done🙂

I have always loved the half hexie snowman table runner that Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Company shows in one of her tutorials. With all of the snow outside I decided this was the perfect opportunity to make one for myself!

I love how it turned out — I used scraps from my stash. This was truly a quick project, start to finish (quilting and binding included) 3 hours! The runner measures 19 x 44 inches.

I also worked on an item from my UFO list. I practiced some of the items that I learned in my FMQ class. Basically I practiced doing straight lines – stitching in the ditch, echoing in triangles and wiggly u shapes.  I need LOTS of practice. I used a matching thread on the front so I couldn’t see how bad my effort was but you can see them on the backside.

I still need to bind it so I can check it off my list. It matches the half hexie snowman table runner so I may or may not hang it–

Yesterday, (Wednesday) our street was finally plowed and I read in the paper mail will resume — YAY– I’m sure my customers will be happy I can ship again🙂

Until next time — live love and sew!


WIP Wednesday

Before Christmas one of our LQS had a grab bag sale. I bought 2 bags of 2 1/2 inch batik strips.  Each bag was named Java Collection – lots of different shades of brown, green and black.

Last night I separated the strips into sets of 4 and stitched them together.

This morning I cut the strip sets into 8 1/2 inch squares, arranging 4 of the squares from each strip set into a rail fence pinwheel. Each pinwheel block is approximately 15 inches square.

java grab bag 1

I made 20 rail fence pinwheels blocks.  Using a 4×5 arrangement this is my first layout attempt:

Son #1 turns 32 later this month –I’m hoping this will be a good late bday present🙂

This is my first attempt at making a lap sized quilt!

What did you work on today?

Until next time live love and sew!


XO Mini Quilt

I made this mini quilt last night.  I was inspired with a beautiful quilt by Megan over at Canoe Ridge Creations.  She has a tutorial for her quilt.

Megan’s quilt measures 42 x 52 inches and I needed something much smaller.

I used the tutorial to make the X and O blocks, then adjusted the other requirements so that I would have a 27 inch square.  I was able to use fabric in my stash🙂

I machine quilted the mini using my walking foot with 1/4 inch increments.

I can now check off Mini Quilt/ January– off my 2016 to do list.  Just in time for my Valentine Day decorating.

It really does feel good to finish something even if it’s small🙂

Until next time live love and sew!

Linked to Linky Tuesday!

Happy New Year

Yes, Yes I know I’m late wishing you but I do hope everyone had a merry and jolly holiday season and your 2016 is off to a great start!

I closed my Etsy shop for 2 1/2 weeks and traveled to sunny Florida with my hubby. I had such a hard time wrapping my head around 80 degree weather on Christmas Day! We spent most of our time narrowing down neighborhood selections – our plan is to move to Florida when he retires next year.

Once we returned home I had to do inventory for the shop and wrote down my 2016 goals for both the shop and my quilting journey.  I love the beginning of a new year – embracing fresh starts!  I tried to be more realistic with my quilting goals for 2016. With my main job being sewing I find it hard making time to sew for pleasure.

Many of the blogs that I follow are taking part in the 2016 UFO (unfinished objects) challenge at All People Quilt. They have a nice chart that you can download for your own use.  I did take the time to fill out one for myself. Because I’m still a newbie my UFO list is short and the bulk of the items are completely pieced — most need  machine quilting or binding.

My biggest problem isn’t finishing projects — it’s deciding what to make. I’ve mentioned before I’m a pre-cut junkie — if it’s a good price and I like it I buy it🙂

While organizing my sewing room I created a spreadsheet listing all of my precuts – I’m sad and ashamed to admit I found more than one duplicate purchase😦. All of my rambling here leads me to my #1 goal for 2016 which is NO Purchasing Fabric on a Whim – I can only add to my pre-cut stash after I’ve started a new project and it is at least half completed.

Of course I can’t do this cold turkey!! I celebrated a birthday and Christmas in December – I convinced my 3 wonderful and generous kids to get/give gift cards to my favorite online fabric shops. Will I be cheating on my goal when I spend their money?🙂

Another item on my 2016 quilting goals is making and donating baby quilts. Son #1 owns a daycare in Indianapolis — so he will be the benefactor of those quilts.

Another goal for 2016 is continuing my aim for accuracy with my quilting skills. I hope to accomplish this by completing a mini quilt each month.

For this month January I am starting with the bow tie quilt block -using a tutorial written by Caroline from SewCanShe. She has several classic quilt block tutorials on her site; I hope to make most of them.

My bow tie mini measures 29 x 29 inches. I created 9 blocks using the 8 inch measurements from the tutorial. I added a 1 1/2 inch inside border and a 3 inch outside border. I used scraps from a  polka dot fat quarter bundle in bright colors I purchased from JoAnn’s and Kona cotton solid in white as the background. Mini quilts are good for my soul — my need for instant gratification. It took me approximately two hours to cut, stitch, and baste.

As usual I’m stuck on how to quilt it!


Bow Tie Mini-Jan 2016

My January project from the 2016 UFO list is my Winter Trees wall hanging. I pieced this sometime in 2015 – It needs quilting, basting, and binding. I hope to have finished by end of this month.

Until next time — live love and sew!


Winter Trees


Green Bay Packer Christmas

My hubby grew up in northern Wisconsin and his family are big fans of the Green Bay Packers.

I made this adorable wall hanging for my mother in law.

The wall hanging measures 23×35 inches. Each panel was made with my embroidery machine – applique and quilting all in one hooping.  The panels are approximately 8×12 inches.


2015 Green Bay Packer Christmas Trees

4 of the Christmas tree panels I used the Hunter Green Moda Marble fabric, the center tree panel I used a fabric from an old Holly Taylor’s collection.  The filler panels and backing are the Green Bay Packer novelty cotton prints. The quilt was really fun to make.

I’m hoping she will enjoy this unique gift!

Until next time – live love sew!








Jumbo Churn Dash

I was reading a few online articles discussing what makes a quilt modern. I’m drawn to modern quilts for their use of walking foot quilting, straight line quilting, impact of using solid colored fabrics and piecing using geometric shapes.

I found a website GenX Quilters where I found a series of tutorials for traditional quilt blocks made modern. One of the blocks was the churn dash — a very easy beginner friendly block.

Seeing Anne Marie’s layout reminded there was a  churn dash quilt pattern in Camille Roskelley’s book Simply Retro that I wanted to make.

The quilt measures 36×36. I’ve used fabric from my stash. A contemporary print to give the block a modern look – I’m hoping my daughter will like it.


I’m using straight lines to quilt it, but I’m planning to use the techniques I’ve learned in two of my free motion quilting classes on Craftsy.

Leah Day is a big believer in stitch in the ditch to stabilize before FMQ — so I’ve completed that step.  Elizabeth Dackson offers several FMQ straight line techniques in her class. Both instructors recommend creating a diagram and/or marking the quilt if you’re not comfortable to just “go for it”.  Here’s my plan — I’ve marked the center block – hopefully you can see it.

Until next time – live love and sew!

Holly’s Tree Farm Tablerunner

Today was another busy day! I did manage to get another gift finished this afternoon.

I really love the simplicity of patchwork table runners. Using charm packs makes the process even quicker.

I used the Holly’s Tree Farm by Sweetwater for Moda charm pack for this table runner.  It is a gift for one of my SIL in Wisconsin. It’s the cutest fabric — with pick up trucks, decorated trees, holly and berries and really cool text designs.  To me it has a rustic retro look! Perfect for northern Wisconsin.


2015 Xmas – Holly Tree Farm TR

The runner measures 18.5 x 36.5 inches.  This is the first time I did machine binding and was really pleased with the results. I used this tutorial from Rachel at Stitched In Color.

Left picture – front binding; Right picture – back binding

Lastly, my December mini quilt for the front door — cute right??

Dec 2015 Door Hanger

Dec 2015 Door Hanger

Until next time – live love and sew!

Christmas Jingle Placemats

It’s Christmas gift crunch time in my sewing room! I’m trying to finish up my homemade quilty goodies so I can get them in the mail this weekend.

One of my SIL plays the piano, sings in a choir and I’m hoping she and her family will enjoy this set of Christmas Jingle placemats.

Each placemat measures 12×18 inches. Machine embroidered redwork designs are quick to stitch – just load and go! The designs on the placemats are approximately 8 inch square. You can find these redwork designs at Embroidery Library.

I chose six of my favorite jingles


Aren’t they cute??

Until next time – live love and sew!


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