Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Santa’s Garden: Rescuing an old project

Years ago, before I learned to sew, I enjoyed embroidery.  One year I spent many hours working on a large embroidery project called Santa’s Garden.  In spite of my lack of sewing skills I finished it and used it as a wall-hanging in our home.  When we moved, I no longer had a good place to hang it and by then I didn’t want to hang it because it was finished so poorly.  Soooo, it’s been sitting in a box for about 12 years.  Last year I unpacked it and removed the backing and ugly borders (I never even quilted it because I didn’t know how) and decided that I still like the large embroidery.

This year I’m slowly working to turn it into a functional quilt, large enough to be enjoyed by my family.  My inspiration is the State Flowerscape quilt I made earlier this year.  So far I’ve added two simple borders.  They are narrow on the sides of the panel and wider at top and bottom.  The first red border is the last of an older, more traditional Christmas floral that I bought when I first started quilting.  The second is the awesome, very modern stripe by Victoria Findlay Wolfe that I can’t get enough of.  I’m excited to use a variety of fabrics in this project.

Santa, his wagon and the trees are unfinished.  I used something like Heat & Bond to fuse them with an iron years ago, so when I quilt this there will need to be some special attention given to these pieces.  I’ve never done something like that before.  I do love the embroidery though, the silly reindeer and the “north bean pole.”

The mistletoe and poinsettia patches are probably my favorite part of the entire piece.  I hope that I can use lots of color to liven up this rather neutral piece as I add more borders, and make it feel fresh and new even though it’s an old project I couldn’t bring myself to discard.

Have you ever done something like this?  Styles and crafting come and go, and we get rid of a lot over the years.  But something I love about Christmas is that when I unpack the decorations, sweet memories come pouring out along with these pieces I’ve had for years.  The books, the nativities, the ornaments, most of it has been in my home for years and I like the feeling of greeting old friends when we decorate for the holiday.  I like the fondness my children have for various pieces.  For me, it adds to the feeling of Christmas.  So I hope I’ll succeed in making this embroidery project a happy part of our traditional decor.

The question is, what to add next?  I’m thinking a couple of rows of trees might be fun.  I guess I’ll see where the creative process takes me!

I hope, in the craziness of this holiday season, you’re able to work on something that brings you joy, if only for a few minutes.


Mod Indigo Lone Star Quilt

Meet my Indigo Lone Star Quilt!  This version of my Mod Lone Star Quilt is made using the Handcrafted Indigo batik collection by Alison Glass.  I love blue, so these fabrics really grabbed my attention and it was fun to put them all together to make a gorgeous star!  This quilt is dear to me, and I’ve photographed it more than once, but never loved the pictures – they didn’t do justice to the quilt.  I finally found the perfect brick wall, on a perfect morning, with lovely light and a willing son to hold it for me in an alley.  It was worth the wait.

This is a smaller quilt.  Rather than add borders, I decided to leave the finished lone star block as the complete quilt, so this one measures 62″ square rather than 70″ x 90″ (as seen in the original Mod Lone Star Quilt).  It also made it reasonable to splurge on custom quilting.

Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting did the most beautiful custom graffiti quilting on this lone star, using a gorgeous emerald green thread.  I can’t get enough of it; it’s so lovely and just perfect for these fabrics.

For the center star she used a gold thread, and then blended it out into the star with the emerald thread.

I think everyone should have at least one quilt with graffiti quilting on it!  There is so much to look at as your eye travels with the quilting design, and it looks great on the star, the background, and the backing too.  I am so grateful for the beauty it added to my project!

I love the way the lone star quilt block looks so different, depending on fabric placement and color.  This one was especially enjoyable to make and is a lot of fun to look at.  The pattern is available in my Craftsy store.  It also includes a coloring page for you to plan your own.

I feel like I’m looking into a phenomenal night sky when I stare at this quilt, and it makes me feel like anything is possible.

Lone stars are a lot of fun to make.  Start one today!  For more information on Lone Star blocks and quilts, visit my Lone Star page.

Happy sewing,

Mod Lone Star: A Lone Star Quilt Pattern

I am thrilled to introduce this Mod Lone Star quilt to you today!  I have been making lone star quilt blocks for years now, and have learned a few things along the way.  This Mod Lone Star is the first in a series of lone star quilt patterns that I will release over the next couple of months.  If you’d like to make a lone star quilt but don’t want to commit to a lot of blocks or too much time, then this quilt is for you.

I use a strip piecing method for my lone stars, so there is no cutting or sewing of lots of little diamonds. This project comes together quickly and because the scale of this pattern is larger, just one block can make the 70″ x 90″ quilt.  The lone star is a gorgeous traditional block that is very popular and a lot of fun to master.

The lone star lends itself well to many different styles, and fabric placement creates countless options for designing a unique and stunning quilt, which is why we’ve included a coloring page for you to use in planning your quilt.

For my quilt I used some favorite prints by Carolyn Friedlander, combined with the metallic gold manor stripe print from Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Mostly Manor collection (which I am smitten with).  I had so much fun planning and piecing this quilt.  My lovely friend Melissa quilted it for me in a wavy edge to edge pattern that doesn’t compete with the background stripe and I’m thrilled with the end result.

The Mod Lone Star Quilt pattern is available here in my Craftsy shop.  Early next year I’ll host a quilt along to inspire you to tick the lone star off your quilting bucket list and join me in making one of your own.  At that time I will also provide video tutorials to help you successfully piece your own gorgeous Mod Lone Star.

I’m so excited to see what you make with this lone star quilt pattern!  Download it today!

For more lone star information, including tutorials and other quilts, visit my Lone Star page.

Happy sewing,

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