Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Coastal Quilt

I saved my Coastal Quilt for our beach trip so I could photograph it in the setting that inspired it.  My husband, who uses a drone to film his mountain biking, thought it would be fun to lay the quilt on the jetty and fly the drone over, so here’s a quick video of a coastal quilt in it’s natural habitat!

Now for some photos!

When I decided to make a quilt that reminded me of the beach I pulled fabrics largely from two collections:  Sharon Holland’s Coastline collection, and a collection by Lewis & Irene for Makower called Coastal.  Both of these collections have some prints that I just love and I enjoyed putting them together with a few other prints from my stash.

I started making half square triangles and soon a layout materialized, one that makes me feel like I’m looking out to sea.  I keep thinking there’s probably a name for this layout, but the closest I’ve seen is the ocean waves design which uses more rows of small half square triangles between blocks.  Perhaps this is a variation on it?  (If you know, help me out and tell!)

Setting everything on point was fun and the Joel Dewberry print – from his Atrium collection – turned out to be the perfect background.  It continues the geometric design of the quilt without competing with the center design, and I really didn’t want so much negative space in just a solid.  When I pulled out the fabric my heart said YES!

I pieced the backing from fabrics in my stash, which always makes me happy.  Those little beach huts make me smile.  I’ve saved them for a long time and am glad to have included them in this project.

I quilted it very simply and used my favorite Lewis & Irene wavy print for the binding.  I think I bought that fabric three or four times while there was a bolt at my local quilt shop!

These pictures make me ache to go back to the beach!  I love how perfectly matched it is to it’s surroundings, which is precisely why I made a coastal quilt.  A little reminder of my favorite place to curl up in on days when I’m trying to remember.

I have a few scraps and a few more beachy prints I didn’t use in this quilt, and I’m thinking it would be fun to make another coastal-inspired quilt to take with me next summer….

For now, I’m enjoying this one as the days get cooler at home.

Have a great day!


Long Time Gone quilt: a beginning

Earlier this year I joined the Long Time Gone sew along on Instagram.  When I’m done sewing through all my Carolyn Friedlander projects I plan to sew through all the Jen Kingwell patterns I’ve got.  The sew along seemed like a good excuse to start early.

My plan is to use low volumes and brights.  I’d like a quilt with a lot of contrast in it, so I’ve been pulling scraps along this theme.  Many of the blocks in the Long Time Gone pattern are great for using scraps, and I enjoy using little bits of past projects and favorite fabrics to make new combinations and create quilts that are something of a scrapbook.

In fact, sometimes I wonder how long I could sew for if I only used scraps.  I always think I’ll use a lot of them but my scrap bucket looks the same when a scrap quilt is finished.  I’ve toyed with the idea of sewing for a year with only scraps, just to see what kind of creative journey it inspires.

Unlike some of Jen Kingwell’s patterns, this one is easy to follow, and a block a week isn’t too much to accomplish.  I like sew-alongs for that reason:  they break things down to small steps, provide a deadline and a way to share progress, and I feel like I get more sewing done when I commit to them.

I did a good job of keeping up with the schedule for the first while, but when my daughter was in a car accident that left her with a concussion and just a few weeks left of high school, I let everything else sit while I worked to help her regain her health and finish school.  Nearly six months later, these blocks are still waiting for me to finish the rest of the quilt.  This year has been a lot crazier than I anticipated, and a lot is on the horizon, but I hope to have a finished quilt top before the holidays.

I have a few more blocks cut out and hope to squeeze in sewing time this week!



Lindsey’s Layer Cake Quilt

We have the best neighbors.  One of them celebrated the wedding of their youngest daughter in June, and I had to make Lindsey a quilt.

I made quilts for her older two sisters when they got married (you can find them here and here).  Lindsey loves animals and works at the zoo, and I happened to have a layer cake of Sarah Watts’ August fabric collection, featuring lions and gazelles.  It was the perfect fabric, so I needed to make a layer cake quilt.

I chose a simple layout due to time constraints and went through my stash to gather a few more prints so I could make it bigger.  In the end I settled on a patchwork style layout using the layer cake squares and added a triangle in one corner to create the white accents.  I cut a few of my 10 inch squares in half for the side borders and got to work!

I used a combination of spiral and straight line quilting to quilt it.  This was a really fun layer cake quilt project, and I was able to finish it in time for the wedding (barely!).  I am filing this layout away as a good option for quick layer cake quilts – sometimes you need to finish projects on a tight schedule and I would certainly make this again.

Something I love about these friends is knowing the quilt will really be used.  It also made me smile to have my children give it to them and to watch them open it up.

We backed it in a lovely plaid and finished it with an orange binding.

We are happy for Lindsey and Alex and I’m sure many wonderful things are ahead for them!


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