Where has the summer gone?

Well, that was a brief hiatus and I apologize. It all started with getting a new iPhone and having no idea whatsoever on how to get WordPress to authenticate on it. We also took several short trips, I’ve had an amazing amount of stress at work, and now I think I’m ready to get back in the swing of things!

Random musings:

*I moved my sewing space and it has put me in a mental block the past two or three weeks. I have been working, slowly but surely, on the second round of our modern round robin. I am not at liberty to show pictures this time around to respect the wishes of the owner of this particular quilt. I envy being able to wait 12 months and be completely surprised, however I am too much anxious and impatient to be able to pull that off. I will say that the color pallete consists of blacks, grays, white, and lime green.

*I’ve also been busy on a quilty gift for my mom. Pictures to come! (I don’t think she’s discovered my blog yet)

*I discovered last night the beauty of a brand new rotary cutter.  It cuts like butter and made me giddy.

Back to work, but I’ll post more later.

WIP Wednesday: It’s Done!

Modern Round Robin – Round 1: completed. Whew!

After a slight timeline set back Thursday (migraines will do that to a girl), I pushed through and was finished by late, late Friday night. Saturday, I talked my husband and girls into coming with me to the park to take some pictures. I think it turned out rather nice.


Later that afternoon I broke out my City Sampler blocks and whipped a few of them out. I hadn’t realized the last one I had sewn was at the end of March!




On Sunday my poor husband asked if I could please take a break from the sewing machine. I have my machine set up on a low sofa table in our family room and I seem to have a particular knack for using it at the exact moment he’s trying to listen to the television. We are in the midst of a True Blood marathon and the thrumming of my machine does not blend well with the goings on in Bon Temps. Thankfully I had discovered this site and had printed off dozens of 1.5″ hexies on cardstock. Using this tutorial  from The Zen of Making,  I tried a few with some scrap charm squares. I’m still not sure I’m doing it right. My mom had taken an English Paper Piecing class, so I’ll have to ask her for some more instruction.


This week I’ll try to tackle some more of these Tula blocks I have cut out.


For all you peeps in the US – have a great Fouth of July weekend! We’ll be celebrating the long holiday weekend with my family. Have a great week!


Linking up with Freshly Pieced


WIP Wednesday

Another Wednesday, another medallion post. I’ve made quite a bit of progress this week. I finished all eight windmills, each one a little but quicker than the last thankfully.


Saturday night I laid everything out to measure and plan out the flying geese when I spy three teensy-weensy little letters on the side of the quilt that I had not noticed before.



ARGH! How could I not have noticed that?!?! Well, that changed my whole scheme of what I was trying to accomplish. I rummaged around and found some graph paper and colored pencils and tried to come up with a new idea that would flow with new dimensions. About 12:30 am the quilty math literally made my head throb so I called it a night. Thankfully  inspiration came to me on Monday. I decided to make the flying geese and just worry about the other measurements later.

Armed with a quick tutorial (since I have never made multiple geese in one sitting before), I whipped up twelve of them really quick followed by some white 1.5″ strips. Here is what I came up with for the vertical sides of the medallion.


Side one

My goal is to have all four sides stitched together by Friday night. I’ve enlisted a photographer friend to snap some pictures of it on Saturday once it is completed.

Other crafty business: I am anxiously awaiting my copy of the new book “Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilting”. My friend Kari, who was instrumental in introducing me to modern quilting, is a contributor. She starts off the blog hop for the book this week with her chapter on color theory. Head on over to her blog Craft Happy and give her some love!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced







Dress making for the munchkin

I was wandering aimlessly in a local big box fabric store in March and thought to myself, “Hey, if I can cut a straight line and sew two pieces of fabric together, shouldn’t I be able to make a dress for Mo? Of Course! How hard can it be?!?!” (Insert eyeroll here).  Taking my time to look through the pattern books, I picked out what I thought was the easiest pattern I could find. Seriously, it was one of those Sewing for Dummies patterns.

Excitedly, Mo begged me to start and make her something pretty. Who could turn down that request? So I began…

Rookie mistake number 1: I didn’t measure the munchkin before I purchased the fabric: a yard of Tula Pink blueberry raccoon. It was 4 inches too short in length. Ugh!

A quick trip to Walmart for fabric (don’t judge – Sunday, small town, cheap fabric to practice on) and Mo was a happy camper and excited for a new dress.


And the adventure begins!

Rookie mistake 2: starting a project of this magnitude when my go to seamstress is spending the week in Hawaii and is unreachable. Great timing! My mom owned her own custom bridal business when I was younger and could have answered all my questions if I only had the patience to wait a few days.

Oh well! A few YouTube tutorials later and I figured out how to decipher the pattern, sew gathering stitches, and correctly use bias tape. I fiddled around with the embroidery features on my machine and made a pretty decorative leaf design with variegated pastel thread around the ruffles and bib.

For a first attempt, I don’t think it’s horrible, but I think I’ll stick to quilting for now. Miss Mo loves it, however, and that’s all that counts.



WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!

Well, I’ve made more progress on the Sea Glass quilt. I’ve finished 4 of the 8 windmill blocks and think I’ve decided on the layout.


Four down!

I’ve also started adding to the quilting on a baby quilt I am making for my newest niece/nephew set to make their appearance towards the end of August.

I used a charm pack of Hubba Hubba from Me & My Sisters Design by Moda and some Kona White. I used a very quick, easy (and FREE!) pattern Snuggle Play Laugh Love I found at Moda Bake Shop. It only took me about two nights to piece and sew this top together. I decided against appliquing the words because frankly, appliqué scares the bejesus out of me at this point! .


I originally quilted in the ditch along the diagonals, called it good enough, and set it aside until I had time to teach myself binding. Leave it to me, however, to decide I need to complicate things more. So Saturday I took it out and decided to quilt a border 1/4″ inside each square. I’m using a pastel variegated thread to do my quilting. I’ve got about half of the squares completed. I’m toying with entering this into the county fair at the end of July just for the heck of it.



The inset squares

My plans for the rest of the week are to finish the remaining 4 windmills and the flying geese that will finish the border for the round robin quilt. I’m antsy to start on some new projects. I have a FQ set of tone on tone pearl bracelets I want to find the perfect pattern for.

Any suggestions?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up to Freshly Pieced


My Own Medallion

As I mentioned in my last post, I joined a round robin through a quilting group on Facebook in April. I am still plugging away at the first medallion I received but thought I’d share my center piece that is making the rounds with my fellow quilters.

My oldest daughter L is 10 and has had a fascination with foxes since she was 3 or 4. We purchased her a stuffed fox in preschool and she has loved that thing to tatters. Foxy is now missing his eye buttons, his ear has been sucked to shreds, and his fur is worn to the nub. But he still remains her beloved nighttime companion.



In the last year, she has added Foxy Jr and Foxy the 3rd to her menagerie. We also have a mama red fox that lives in the brush surrounding the creek in our backyard. The girls have named her Ruby and she comes out occasionally to forage the neighbors bird feeders and sun herself by our swing set.

When I was browsing Pinterest early this year I fell in love with this beautiful quilt and the cross stitch block stood out to me as a must try.

I began by gathering up as many oranges as I could find. The blocks were incredibly easy to piece and Mr. Fox came out just as I hoped he would. Each block finished 3×3″ and the medallion itself is 30×33″.


He was sent to my first partner, Myrth at Goose Bags and Gifts. Please head to her blog to check out the whimsical and fantastic progress she has made with him. After she has completed her work on Mr. Fox, he will be sent off to each of the other 4 quilters in our group for 2 months at a time. I can’t wait to show you the finished product a year from now! I’ll definitely keep the blog updated as I get progress reports!




WIP Wednesday

In March I joined up with a modern quilting group on Facebook for a round robin quilting bee. There are six ladies in our group, all much more experienced quilters than I. We were each tasked at making a center medallion and then starting May 1, send it on to the next individual in our group. We have two months to add a border of our choosing to the medallion and then we pass it along and receive the next quilt.

This is the first round and I have been lucky to get to work on this fantastic medallion. It uses beautiful sea glass colored batiks and is off set by the brilliant white fabric. Her inspiration is the sandy beaches of the Jersey Shore and intends for the finished quilt to be used at the home they intend to purchase near the ocean after retirement.


Thankfully, the batiks and other sea glass colored fabric was included in the package my partner sent, so I’ve had great colors to utilize. The inspiration for my border has been picturing sand dunes and imagining carefree children on the beach in white linen dresses and pinwheels blowing in the breeze.

I practiced some HST piecing using scraps first and played with the layouts. My friend Laura has been very helpful since she’s actually spent many a summer on the boardwalk in New Jersey, and all I know about it comes from Snooki and JWow.



So, during a child free weekend thanks to a trip to see Nana and Papa Kitty, I decided on the color scheme and cut, sewed, and trimmed 160 2″ HST, while the hubby and I binge watched Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. This is the first one completed


I’ve got 8 more to sew together before I tackle some flying geese to add in the mix. Can’t wait to get it all added! Hopefully I’ll be further along next Wednesday. Check back!


Linking up with:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced











How the journey started

Last year I lost my job. Don’t worry…I hated it. I’m on a temporary hiatus from finishing my education degree so I went back to work in customer service and loathed every minute of it. It’s hard to get behind something that sucks the joy out of existence, and being yelled at 100+ times a day about hospital bills did just that. But I digress …

I started thinking about quilting last summer and started pinning modern quilts on Pinterest. I told my mom I had an inkling to learn and she gave me my first real sewing machine for Christmas. (I tried quilting once before with my step-grandmother-in-law’s old machine, but didn’t have the drive to follow through).

M, my precocious 7 year old, has a stuffed animal obsession which includes raccoons in particular. I went online and searched purple raccoon for the hell of it and what do you think I discovered? “Accacia” by Tula Pink, which immediately peaked my curiosity. I started googling Tula Pink and found this

So, armed with my new book in my purse I started swinging my LQS on my way to pick up the girls from school, snatching 1/8 yd cuts as I worked my way through the first several blocks.

My first block:


Block #1

Thus far I have 60 blocks made and another 25 cut, waiting to be sewn. I’m currently taking a little break while I work on several other projects: a baby quilt for my new niece/nephew, a medallion for a round robin group I joined on Facebook, some improv pieces to practice my actual quilting stitches, and the border for my first round robin partner’s medallion.

Here is my progress so far on my City Sampler:


The first 55!

I can’t wait until this is finished. I have been able to score some OOP Tula fat quarters and splurged on her new Fox Field line to complete the remainder of the blocks. Now to just find the time…

Welcome to the madness

A welcome post seems lame but necessary, so here it goes!

My name is Jessica. (Howdy!) I’m 35, have been married for 14 years to my hubby Matt. We have two beautiful daughters, L and M. I am a lifelong Iowa girl and I’ll say I’m proud of that. We have three cats: an old curmudgeonly black cat – Hawkeye, a neurotic and persistent Siamese – Powder, and another little black cat who has her own agenda – none of which includes being cuddled – Tiana.


The tubby jerk know as Powder

I have always been an artsy and imaginative person. I have a background in music, in fact my husband and I met in college singing in the same Madrigal choir. He was such a pain in the ass back then, lol! I still have my beautiful baby grand piano that sits untuned and is more of a cat perch and My Little Pony play area than functional instrument, but I’m still proud of it.

I grew up with sewing in my blood, but couldn’t be bothered with it myself when I was younger. My mom is an accomplished seamstress and quilter and my aunt is well known for her beautiful cross stitch skills.

I took up cross stitch in college to keep my hands busy and my mind busy (when my OCD and anxiety were sky high). I picked out a beautiful angel holding a lyre, the symbol of my sorority Alpha Chi Omega.

Angel of Hope – Lavender & Lace 13

She took me a year to complete and remained unframed until the fall of 2012. I donated her to a benefit auction for a family friend, where my mom proceeded to start a bidding war with a pastor’s wife and gifted her back to me for Christmas. One of the best gifts to date!

This past year I decided to start quilting. I’ll get into that journey in another post though. This blog is mainly to document my journey as a quilter, sewer, and stitcher, as well as other random musings as they strike me. So, if you’ve stuck through all of that… Welcome!