Friday, February 05, 2016

practicality and a pink patchwork pincushion

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
This week I finished knitting a rag rug runner. The idea behind this project was to have a place for my kids' boots to dry after they go out sledding. You know...somewhere other than directly in front of the door. I love that my kids aren't too old for sledding yet, even though one of them is taller than I am! They certainly make good use of the hill in our back yard. It's so great!
When I first bound off the rug, it was a few inches too short. Since perfect is better than finished (how many times do you hear that??? hahaha!) I put it back on the needles and knit several more rows. Now, it fits 3 pairs of boots nicely. I love that this is not only a good scrap buster, but it's so practical! It's scrap project # 124!

The rug measures about 15'' x 29''. There is a tutorial here, if you care to try your hand at making one of your own. (For this rug, I cast on 28 stitches on size 17 US needles and I used one strand of fabric "yarn" that was cut about 3/4"-7/8" wide.) If you don't knit, but you can crochet, you may want to check out this tutorial instead.
Another practical project this week was sewing up some cloth napkins from the stash. I used up some fabric that I don't really LOVE, but I don't hate, either. (Sometimes it's a fine line, right?) I cut the fabric 18" square, and hemmed the edges. Nothing fancy, but they were quick and we will use them! PLUS, I busted 2 1/2 yard of my stash. That's a great thing!
My daughter got pink eye this I've had pink on the brain. (What can I say, inspiration comes from the strangest places!) I thought about making a pink pillow, but that would take too long, so a pink patchwork pincushion was the next obvious choice. Ha!
I love that little strawberry so much! The patchwork squares finish at 1'' each! The pincushion is about 4" square. It's scrap project #125!

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

add it to the list!

After finishing several quilts last month, I allowed myself to start a new project. In the middle of last year, I had 25 WIPs (gasp)....and I managed to whittle that number down to 10! I think I've earned the new project! :)
I'm using my mini coffee pattern to make the blocks, but I'm shooting for a lap size quilt this time around. (You can see the two minis I made here.) I decided to use the test blocks that I made when I was developing pattern and just add to those. They vary a bit from one another, but I actually like that. One block was too small, so I added a little border. It works!
The blocks are a little fiddly to make, but I think the finished product will be totally worth it! Notice the few handles facing left? I'm a lefty, so I couldn't resist. I'm sure all you other lefties out there can appreciate that, too!

Only 98 more blocks to go..... (Ha!)

Because I know someone will ask, the handles are appliqued on with fusible applique. I prefer Lite Steam a Seam or Lite Steam a Seam 2. I've tried other fusible products but I had so much trouble removing the paper backing and it was maddening. The Steam a Seam products are GREAT!

Monday, February 01, 2016

pattern winners

Thanks for all the kind words about my snowflake pillow! I appreciate each and every one! It was pieced, not bias tape applique, to answer that question. :)

The winners of 5 PDF patterns are: Alidiza, Diana, Carol, and Myra @Busy Hands Quilts! Please email me so I can get your patterns to you. Thanks to all of you for reading, commenting and linking up!

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, January 29, 2016

snowflake pillow

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I made this single snowflake block about 2 years ago. It was inspired by the Health Partners logo that I saw at the top of one of their office buildings. Inspiration really does come from all places! :) Those white strips are 1/2'' finished....which I love!!!
Yesterday, I added some wide, simple borders to the block....
...and I quilted it quite heavily in dark thread, which ends up being very forgiving. I love that. And I LOVE the texture!
Then I turned it into a throw pillow, of course! It's still January, so we still have plenty of winter to "enjoy" it or not. Ha!
I finished it off using my envelope backing tutorial and this fun aqua fabric. Isn't it a nice compliment to the front? The pillow cover finishes at about 18" square. I'm so glad to have a finished object rather than having the block floating around my sewing room! Finishing feels GREAT!
Two other BIG finishes for the business taxes are done for another year, which is always a huge relief. And....I shipped off my quilts for the new book this week. (Hurray!!!) It's amazing I'm still upright after all of that! I'm hopeful that things will get back to normal around here soon!
To celebrate those BIG finishes, I'll be picking 4 winners (two from the links and two from the comments) to win their choice of any 5 of my PDF patterns from my pattern shop!
Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, January 22, 2016

honey cowl

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I'm very excited that I finished knitting a honey cowl this week! (There is a free pattern here if you care to make one of your own.) I used 2 skeins of luscious Madelinetosh yarn that I bought at Home Ec Workshop last summer when we were passing through Iowa City. I usually knit socks on size 2 needles, so knitting a project on size 8 needles was a delight! This is the kind of project I would usually finish in July rather than January. So, hurray for a warm, toasty neck and a timely finish! :)

I'd highly recommend the pattern! I've already cast on another one in a yummy aqua color.

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, January 15, 2016

mini nines

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
This, my friends, is a stack of 340 mini nine patch blocks. That means that I finally have enough blocks for a decent lap size quilt! Oh, happy day! If I could do cartwheels, I would at least 100! :)
I started making these blocks back in July of 2013. Each 9 patch finishes at 1 1/2'', which means those little squares within the 9 patch are 1/2" finished....give or take. (So tiny! So crazy!) Precision piecing is not my thing, so these blocks nearly drove me to the brink of insanity--a few times!
I've learned a lot about myself through the process. One of those things is that I have more stubbornness than good sense. (hahaha!) I also know that these blocks are going to make one fabulous quilt top! So, here's to a little (or a lot) of perseverance!!!

If you care to leave a comment today, I would LOVE to hear about a crazy project that you have taken you are faring with it, or how long it took you to finish. :)

And just to show you that I'm not the only crazy one...a friend of mine told me about a quilt pattern called are you kidding me? Don't you just love the name? It looks like a LONG term project as well. (Yikes!)

Now it's your turn to share your finishes for the week! Thanks for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Friday, January 08, 2016

hourglass pillow

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

It has been awhile since I made a pillow was high time to remedy that! I actually had a bare pillow that needed covering. (Can you believe it???) So, I can check that off my list. Yippee!
For this pillow cover, I started with several charm squares of Jennifer Sampou's new stash studio yarn dyes and stash studio prints. (Fabric is scheduled to be released this month.) I added in a few solids and textural prints (4 total) from my stash to make the pillow top square. I figured it would be easier to finish it that way. Ha!
It usually takes me 2 years (no joke!) to decide what to make from new fabric, but for some reason the idea of hourglass blocks popped into my head right away. I ran with it, and I'm so glad that I did. I love, love, love the results! I feel like this is an unexpected color combination, but I couldn't love it any more. I think it's fabulous!
I cut the charm squares down to 4.75", which resulted in 3.5" finished blocks. (You can refer to this hourglass block tutorial, if you care to make some of your own.) I finished the pillow cover with an envelope back using this wonderful Echino polka dot fabric that I found at my last trip to SR Harris.
The pillow cover is about 21'' square....and shockingly, it is NOT scrap project. Although it would be a good way to use scraps! You know, if you had any of those laying around....(hahaha!)

I'm so thankful for the fresh coat of pretty snow this morning! I had fun taking photos! :)

Now it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you so much for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


I haven't forgotten! The winners of the 3 PDF patterns from last week are: Jen from Stitchified and Granny Maud's Girl. Thanks to everyone who played along!

Friday, January 01, 2016

happy new year!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great (and safe) time celebrating last night!
2015 was definitely a scrappy year for me! This mosaic features the top nine most popular pictures from my Instagram feed. What can I say? Scraps make me pretty happy. :)
Last year was a super busy year for me. Good grief! My family and I went on a "real' vacation to Florida in February, I prepped for and taped my Craftsy class: Colorful Scrap Quilting, I taught several days at the Minnesota Quilt Show, I turned 40 (!!!), my good neighbors fabric line was released, and I started writing another book! I also released several new patterns and made a bunch of quilts. No wonder I'm tired! I'm happy to say, I accomplished ALL of my goals that I posted last year. I guess public accountability really does help!
Looking's time to catch my breath and regroup!!! My one crafty goal this year is to knit a sweater for myself. That's it! Also, I think that this is the year that I finally decorate my house. It's time to make it look like someone around here actually cares about that type of thing. Hahaha! I'm looking forward to a slower pace this coming year. But, I bet I will still find time to sew up plenty of scraps!
Thank you all so much for reading and for all your encouragement this past year. It means so much! xoxoxo
Here's to a new year, new finishes and a fresh start!
(I plan to resume Finish it up Friday next week.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

diamond pin cushion

The other day I needed a little bit of sanity sewing.
(Or perhaps this could be considered insanity sewing?)
Either way, it was just what I needed!
It was inspired by my diamond pillow pattern.
Finished size is 4 1/2'' square.
It is scrap project #123!

Also, thank you so much for your sweet comments about the quilt for my dad! They are all appreciated! xo

Monday, December 28, 2015

a quilt for my dad

Welcome to the last finish it up linky party of the year! It's a little odd to be hosting finish it up Friday on Monday, but I didn't want to skip it altogether. :)
Making my dad a quilt has been on my to-do list for the past several years. I started the top last Tuesday night (!!!) and I actually finished it in time for Christmas! Crazy. Pants. Making a quilt in three days isn't that big of a deal on a normal week, (hahaha!) but on the week of Christmas, with so many other things going on, it's kind of ridiculous. (My poor husband.)
I enlisted the help of all 3 kids and my husband to make it happen. The kids helped iron, counted out the quilt blocks and did some of the layout. Everyone helped tie at least a few blocks. Most of the fabric came from shirts that my husband wore in the past. He also suggested the addition of the cow fabric. I love that it was a group effort!
When it came time to photograph the quilt, I had a lot of fun finding various spots around my dad's farm. It was so nice to have my sister and my niece volunteer as quilt holders!
The back of the quilt was already pieced. I made the back for an entirely different quilt, but I ended up changing direction on that quilt. I thought about chopping it up and just using the fabric, but then I came to my senses. (Ha!) So, I built the front of the quilt to fit this backing. It worked out pretty well!
Because of the time constraints, machine binding was a must! It's far from perfect....but it will be durable!
I used polyester batting inside the quilt, which is not my usual choice, but I wanted the quilt to be nice and lofty. I used red heart yarn (!!!) to tie it. I wanted the quilt to have an old school/throwback feel. This is the kind of quilt that I slept under growing up. I knew I couldn't make his quilt too fancy or chances of him using it would be slim. That's just the way it is! :)
The quilt measures approximately 60'' x 78''. I'm pretty sure my dad liked it. It is my hope that he actually uses it!
This quilt is scrap project #122!

As I have done for the past 3 weeks, I will be choosing one winner from the commenters and one winner from the links to win their choice of 3 PDF patterns from my pattern store, as a thank you for being a part of the party!

Now it's your turn. Please link up your finishes! This is a great time to show off all your Christmas sewing. :) Thank you for joining me for finish it up Friday on Monday! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Happy Monday to you!

Monday, December 21, 2015


The winners of this week's giveaway of 3 PDF patterns are Claudia and Lucy. Thanks for all your comments and kind words! Happy Monday to you!