Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Secret Garden Quilt

I designed this quilt three years ago and somehow never shared it.  I started it in a Kathy Doughty workshop using 60 degree triangles and the Jaybird Quilts Hex N More Ruler.

This quilt was my first experience with a design wall.  I cut fabric, put it up, looked at it, changed it, and had no idea what the quilt’s composition would be until it unfolded piece by piece on the design wall.

Much of the fabric comes from Anna Maria Horner’s Fibs and Fables collection for Free Spirit, although there are fabrics in this quilt from many designers around the world.

My goal was to design a quilt that had patterns in it while also being unpredictable.  I wanted my eye to be drawn to the obvious repetitions and then linger on the sections that were unpredictable.  I want the viewer to wonder what I was thinking.

After I made the large blooms, working out the small triangle sections was my favorite part.  It felt like planting little secrets in the quilt for someone to unlock.  I named it my Secret Garden quilt for this reason.

I chose an Alexander Henry fairy tale print for the backing.  It adds a touch of whimsy and story to the quilt.

Making this quilt felt like a tiny step toward the quilting journey I’ve always wanted to be on.  I feel pulled to do more of it:  cut fabric, stand back and look for a while, change things, try something new, repeat.  Create without knowing where it’s going.  Allow things to unfold.  Too often I am worried about controlling the outcome of my creativity.

The Secret Garden quilt design still intrigues me.  I wonder what it would look like remade in another style and color scheme.  Perhaps I’ll revisit it one day…

Everglade Quilt Top

My heart aches today with the wish that time could stand still.  Just for a little longer – long enough for my feelings to catch up to where life’s at.  Time is so precious, time with our children and loved ones flies too quickly.  And that’s exactly what happened with our family vacation this summer, too.  So much going on, so much to treasure, capture, appreciate, process.  I feel all of this as I share photos of my Everglade quilt top.

Like my Raspberry applique project, this quilt top is an exercise in using pattern on pattern, with lots of bright colors.  I love what I am learning as I push myself to sew this way.  So many lessons about value and scale.  It’s a lot of fun.

I sewed the blocks together by machine, but every block in this quilt is hand appliqued.  A self-imposed deadline was to have a finished quilt top to photograph on vacation.  I find that giving myself deadlines is a good motivator, and with every year I improve in keeping promises to myself.  I’m grateful that sewing has helped me to recognize the importance of keeping my word to myself – and to practice doing it.

In so many ways these colors remind me of the beach, of colorful beach houses, beach toys, colorful swimsuits, and umbrellas.  It seemed fitting to take it with us.

Especially the blues.  I will never tire of blue.

These photos tug at my heart today because the bare feet in the photo belong to my son.  He is my best quilt holder, always willing to do it when I ask, and over the years he’s become pretty good at it.  He left a few weeks ago for two years of missionary service.  My heart is tender with missing him.

Being tenderhearted is a good thing.  It’s making me more appreciative of little things.  In this season of thanksgiving I have been pondering the gift of color, how much it means to me, how it enhances my life so richly.  We are blessed!

-Jennifer

Lone Star Tree Skirt Sew Along Finish

Here we are, at the end of the Lone Star Tree Skirt Sew Along!  I’m checking in today to share my finished Lone Star Christmas Tree Skirt.  If you’re not finished yet, don’t stress!  There is plenty of time to finish, or start one before the Christmas rush.  Please join us!  The tree skirt pattern is available here.

I finished the binding and tied a pretty bow, and promptly wished for a tree to wrap it around.

Instead, I contented myself with pulling out a few vintage ornaments.

This project has been a fun one for me.  I added black to the mix, tried new things with my quilting, and got comfortable with this view:

It turns out it’s fun to try new things, including staring at a video camera.  (Especially if something pretty, like a finished quilt project, comes of it)

For some reason the ties on this project kind of melt my heart.  No idea why, but they do.

I want to say THANK YOU to all of you who have sewed along with me!  Thanks for your encouragement, your feedback, your questions, your photos, and for purchasing the pattern.

I hope this sew along has made the lone star quilt block less intimidating, and that you’ve enjoyed making one.  As a thank you, I’m offering a 20% discount on all patterns in my Etsy Shop through January 1, 2020.  Just use coupon code THANKYOU2019.

Please share your finished Lone Star Tree Skirts with the hashtags #lonestartreeskirt and #hopefulhomemaker because I love seeing them!

Remember that all posts for this project can be found on the Lone Star Tree Skirt Sew Along page.  The videos will remain on my blog for your reference.

Happy Sewing!
Love, Jennifer

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