Thursday, September 6, 2018

Synchronous Firefly Quilt

Have you heard of or, better yet, seen the synchronous fireflies in Great Smoky Mountain National Park? Certain species of fireflies, or lightening bugs, glow in unison and seeing them far from civilization and competing artificial light sources is magical. They blink on and then off together. Hundreds of them in unison. It's really something.

We've never gotten a lottery ticket to see the official, official event along the trails in the campground that the park puts on. But we drive the old logging roads, hike into dark woods and cruise the loop of Cades Cove each spring and have seen their synchronicity.  And when I look out into the corner of my yard each evening in early summertime, I'm pretty sure I see them there too. Not hundreds of them. Just those that live for their brief time right in my yard.  Sometimes I wonder if my eyes are playing tricks on me. But I watch and wait and watch and wait. And I see them blink together.

Obviously, this is my Synchronous Fireflies quilt. Cause, I mean, duh.  No brainer. Had to be done.


P.S.  Pattern from Pen and Paper Patterns can be found here at Pattern Drop. You can even buy the same fabrics I used from Sewtopia here.

P.S.  For some reason I'm no longer getting emails each time I get a comment on a post. This means that I'm not able to send an email response to your comments like I have for the past 10 years.  And when I go to the actual post itself, I'm not given the option to reply there either. It's a glitch and I'm doing my best to work through it and see what settings have changed and what I can do to fix it. I apologize for my lack of responses. I do not like to be rude and I apologize if it appears that I am being exactly that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

And just like that, summer is over. Basically.

No. No. I know. Summer isn't over. But once vacations are done, your high school aged daughter goes back to school and you move your college girl back to school, summer is over.

I never shared this patriotic star quilt here. I made it mostly in June and finished it up right around July 4th. It's bold and graphic. Minimally quilted. Large enough to take to the park to watch fireworks each summer. Plus, it used up lots of fabric that I had been saving for just this purpose.

Lots to share about our trip to Maine. Hopefully soon.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The softest, lightest, airiest quilt

I told you I've been making lots of quilts. No joke, ya'll.

This quilt is made entire of cotton lawn fabrics from the "Sleeping Porch" line by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics. I used a pattern called Designer Star Quilt from May Chappell.  It went together in a snap.  Really.  Like, from pulling the fabrics, pressing them, cutting them, sewing them into the quilt top, basting, quilting and binding, I probably have seven hours invested.

And this sucker is soft, silky, light weight and so perfect for summer.


Monday, July 16, 2018

A quilt with a rainbow of Ohio Star blocks

I mentioned last time that I've been making lots of quilts this year. I am always making quilts but I've made about twice the amount that I usually do by this time each year.  It's that "flow" thing I talked about. It's such a good stress reliever. And 2018 has been heavy on the stress as both of my parents have some pretty hefty health issues going on. I don't really like saying that out loud here for many reasons. 1) I don't really want/need/like the associated sympathy that goes along with such pronouncements; 2) that is their story to tell, not mine; 3) telling the world makes it all the more real. So, I'm just going to talk about this particular quilt, 'kay?

The Ohio Star quilt block is an all time favorite of mine. Long before I was a quilter, I appreciated the graphic nature of the block and have known it's name probably since I was 20 years old. I figured it was high time I made an entire quilt with nothing but Ohio Star blocks. So I did. In a rainbow of scrappy colors and prints. And then I arranged them in rainbow order across the quilt. I chose a vintage red polka dot sheet for the backing and quilted it with loads of tiny loops.  It's truly one of my favorite quilts I've ever made.

Back to the flow.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

So, I've been making quilts and stuff

Summer. I've been making lots of quilts this summer. In fact, I've been making lots of quilts this year in general. This scrappy, String Diamond quilt isn't even my most recent. I've made three more since this one. I'm on a roll I guess. I really do love making quilts but my productivity probably has more to do with the mindset I get into while creating them. I call it "flow."  I'm in the "flow" during the making process. It's not really an altered state . . . but it kind of is. Flow is when my body is physically present buy my mind is in this relaxed state of awesomeness where it's operating to perform the task at hand but not working on anything else but that. I'm not worried, anxious, planning, dreaming, happy, sad or anything. I'm simply just in the "flow."  And that has been so nice.


I foundation pieced skinny strips of fabric onto muslin and then cut each block to 5.5" x 10.5".  I quilted it with simple straight lines along seams. It's backed in corduroy.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spring snippets (including a finished 2 x 4 quilt!)

A week before my oldest left for college last year I pulled a hamstring. It was a doozie and in addition to taking forever to heal, it caused me to compensate and use muscles in different ways.  It caused a ripple affect and made my back all wacky and hurt most days. Why am I sharing this?  Hang in there a second.

This spring my youngest daughter played (again) two varsity sports. Most weeks had two soccer games and a track meet. I spent many days wrapped in warm clothes and quilts on metal bleachers cheering her on. This is where I would normally share photos of her on the field or track. However, several months ago I made the decision that both girls should tell their stories instead of me. Which means I instead share photos of the elk on the side of the road as we left a soccer game. And of the cinnamon rolls I baked because she asked.

Sending our oldest off to college was hard in an emotional sense. I've written about it before. And though she has been many miles away from us, we have seen each other often, talked daily, texted multiple times a day and, really, remained very much part of each other's daily life. I've missed her but I've really handled it quite well.  Better than I would have predicted had you asked me beforehand.

It's no secret that I make a lot of quilts but so far 2018 is a banner year for quilt making around here.  My most recent finish is this 2 x 4 quilt.  It's king sized and made especially for our bed. 

The colors and prints in this quilt are my favorites. It feels vintage and truly makes me smile each and every time I look at it. One print in particular reminds me of my grandmother. I remember running errands with her when I would visit in the summertime. She was always so prepared for any occasion. She had this bag with a hard plastic handle that snapped at the top. This bag was always in the back of her white station wagon ... or was it yellow? I think she must have had both a white car and a yellow car at different times because I remember them both.  Anyway, this bag. It was always in the back of the car and was always there if we needed a way to carry something. The lining of the bag must be a close match to one of the prints in this quilt. It must be because it's acutely familiar and every time I see the print I think instantly of grandma's bag.  Did I mention that the bag also contained an umbrella with the matching print? 

I used Yours Truly and Welsummer fabrics from Cotton & Steel for a majority of this quilt. I used this tutorial from Film in the Fridge to make the 2x4 blocks. 

So, my oldest has been home from college for summer for a few weeks now.

Guess who's back is no longer hurting?

Like an overnight miracle.

I guess I wasn't handling her absence as well as I had convinced myself I was.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Giant star block quilt

Several years back I bought an entire kit to make a gorgeous multi-block quilt.  By "kit", I mean it included the pattern and all the fabric. And that sucker sat on my shelf for years.  Years it sat there staring at me.  Mocking me. It had the potential to make a gorgeous quilt. (Duh. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.) But, any time I took it out of the box and thought about making it, I just didn't want to. I always packed it all away and put it back on the shelf.  Well, enough of that madness. I made the very first block and then made three more of that same first block but in different fabric combinations. Over on instagram I referred to it as my #ilikebigblocksandicannotlie quilt (thanks @trudi_wood for that hashtag!) 

I learned not to buy kits. And I absolutely love this quilt.