Squared Away in Purple

It is already mid-February and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month is purple. On Tuesday I set aside my doll quilt projects and pulled out my purple scrap bin. It was time to get to work on some scrappy piecework.

The second block for the Squared Away BOM, hosted by Mari of Academic Quilter and Angela of So Scrappy, was released last Saturday.  For this month, Mari chose a block called The Wishing Ring. Let me say, this is a great block – not fussy at all!  My kind of quilting.  🙂

I have decided that, as much as the scrap bins allow, I would like to use one fabric throughout each block with the same gray background throughout.  I think it will look more cohesive.  Luckily I had some reasonably large purple scraps so it worked for this month.

I had some fun playing around with these blocks. I think it would make a great quilt on its own. I have not made a quilt with just two colors but maybe someday….  I like it. ( Though I doubt I would choose purple for a whole quilt.)  There are some fun secondary patterns that appear with this block.

squared away blocks

Putting the January and February blocks together looks like this.  So far, so good!! I still have the purple bin out on the sewing table.  I started cutting three inch squares and playing with them yesterday.  Once I figure out what to do with them, I will show you. 🙂

Have a good weekend everyone. We are enjoying spring like weather so it should be a nice one!

Linking up to my favorites.  Please take a look at the Link Up tab at the top of the page.




Free Spirit — Big Changes Ahead

Like many of you, I was taken aback by the news that Free Spirit is closing it’s doors.  Wow!  How can that be?  The artists designing for Free Spirit are an amazing group; including but certainly not limited, to Tula Pink, Anna Marian Horner, Joel Dewberry, Denyse Schmidt, Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and Kaffe Fassett.  It is hard to get my head around this as the news seems so sudden.

For those of you who haven’t already read this, here is the note published on the Free Spirit website:

We are certain you have heard the news. Please forgive us for delayed communication, but our first priority has been to support our employees and designers. It is with great sadness that we announce, effective May 1, we are exiting the Westminster Lifestyle/FreeSpirit fabric business. Our sister company, Coats and Clark, Inc. will continue as part of the sewing and quilting landscape just as they have always been for over 200 years.

We appreciate your support and love of our fabrics throughout the years. We’ve enjoyed bringing to you the best designers printed on the most luxurious of fabrics and watching you create incredible works. Thank you for your love of our fabrics.

For customers: We will continue to fulfill orders placed to date for delivery prior to Tuesday, May 1, with new orders for existing collections on a first come first service basis. We will not be producing new Westminster or FreeSpirit Fabrics from today onward.

I can only guess why something like this is happening.  For Coats & Clark to close this division, it must make sense for their bottom line.  Hard to imagine a company isn’t profitable with such an AMAZING team of fabric gurus designing for it, but it must be the case.  I have been reading with interest the responses from some of the designers.

There is a video on Tula Pinks Facebook page where she talks about her feelings.

The note on Kaffe Fasset’s Facebook page is shown below:

Dear Friends,
By now you have heard the news that the fabric company that we started over 20 years ago will be no longer in business by May. Coats has made the decision to stop producing the Kaffe Collective line, the Artisan line and the fabric lines of many of our good friends.

We have been caught completely by surprise and have not yet gathered our thoughts on how we will move forward, but rest assured, we will! Our fabrics and books are popular and in demand and there is no doubt that we will have a bright future.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Kaffe, Brandon, Liza and Philip

So many people’s lives are in a tizzy, I am sure.  I don’t know how many people are employed by Free Spirit but surely this will take a toll on a good number of families.  I hope they are able to land their next position relatively soon and that Free Spirit treats them well as they close their doors.

I look forward to hearing about the next path taken by each of these amazing designers. Surely the larger fabric companies are looking to pick up some of them.  I have long wanted to carry Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner and Tula Pink in my shop but had not yet created a purchasing relationship with Free Spirit.  I could see Andover picking up any one of these three and if so, I will be eager to start purchasing their lines.

Wishing only the best to all those impacted by this change. Change can be difficult but hopefully this one will lead to new opportunities for those involved.


fabric coasters

Tiny Finishes

Good morning!  It has been a crazy week which hasn’t allowed me much time in the sewing room.  Plus the two projects I worked on most are not able to be shared just yet.  But I do have something cute to show you.  When I make Chemex cozies for my customers, I end up with scraps.  Of course I do, right?  There are usually several larger scraps that result from cutting the curved shape of the cozy. I have been saving them (because my fabric obsession says I have to).  They are starting to really pile up.


I cut a stack of 5″ squares and thought I would eventually quilt them together. But realistically, when is that going to happen? Instead, I started making fabric coasters.  I love them and it is such meditative sewing.  Just listen to music and stitch away! They are so pretty.

Alison Glass Fabric Coasters

This print has been really popular for the cozies so I have a ton of scraps from it.


Maker Maker Grid Fabric Coasters

This is the linen and cotton blend called Maker Maker.  Also a popular one for the cozies and it has wonderful texture for the coasters.

Maker Maker Cotton and Linen Fabric Coasters

Here is another fabric from Maker Maker.  I actually used about half a bolt of this for cozies.  I think I made around 15 sets of Chemex cozies and hot pads, maybe more?coasters

Lovely bits of pink, blue and gray!These are made from a charm pack I have – It is a Moda line called Serenity, designed by Amy Ellis.  I love it and plan to use the whole pack for coasters.

I am not sure what to do with all of these.  I could try listing them in the shop and see if there is any interest.  Alternatively, they are cute gifts to have on hand.  Either way, super fun way to use up scraps.  Especially batting scraps.  All of those long strips one cuts after quilting a project – I have really worked that pile down!  For now, it just feels good to use up the fabric.

Finally, just want to throw a teaser out there.  I have an amazing event coming up.  I promise you are going to  smile and feel so good inside when you read about it.  Come back to learn more on February 1st!  See you then.  🙂

Linking to the usuals. Find them at the top of the page, under Link Ups!!  Have a great weekend all.


Using Scraps – Light Blue

Last year I didn’t participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge held each year by Angela of So Scrappy.  I did participate in 2015 and 2016 though – it is a great way to use up scraps.  This year I plan to follow along with the BOM hosted by Mari of Academic Quilter, Squared Away.  I sewed along with Mari during her first quilt along, Classic Stitches, back in 2015.  I had a great time and loved the clear directions Mari provided with her posts each month so I am happy to sew with her again this year! If you want to see the row quilt I made, click here.

Here is the first month’s block, Red Cross.  According to Mari, the block is a Clara Stone block that dates to 1906.  Traditionally, this block is made with red, but since the color this month is light blue, that’s what we made it in.  I have a large piece of pale gray solid fabric (I am fairly sure it is a Moda Bella solid but I don’t know which one)  I have set it aside in the hopes it will be enough to use as my background color for this year.  We are making three 10″ blocks each month which will make a nice size quilt by the end of the year.

I am happy with the look of this first batch of blocks and they came together easily.  Not to say I didn’t have to rip one apart though.  I had one corner section pointed the wrong way.  It hung on my design wall for quite a while before I noticed it.  At least it is early in the game and was a quick fix.

RSC16 Scrappy HST Quilt Top

I am also making little 5″ square crumb blocks.  I want to finish this scrappy HST quilt I started in 2016.  I really like it but feel it would be nice to have it a bit larger before I finish it.  I am going to make a border by alternating five inch crumb blocks of all colors with the gray polka dot.  I think the gray polka dot will be rectangles, not squares, to make the border more interesting.  I have to look at the math on that, certainly not my strong suit as you all know!!


I don’t plan to take all year to make these crumb blocks though (by following the color schemes of RSC18).  I hope to get this one finished earlier in the year.

Did you see the giveaway I am hosting on Facebook today and tomorrow?  Go check it out – might be your time to win.  🙂

In other wonderful news, I just had SIX days migraine free days in a row!  It was heavenly, like a gift, you know? It has been many months (probably didn’t happen at all in 2017?) since I had that long of a run.  Unfortunately, I woke up last night with a zinger but I was able to sleep it off and I feel reasonable this morning.  It will be a good day to take it easy and play with my scraps.  Fortunately, one doesn’t need to think too hard to make crumb blocks.  🙂  Hoping you have a lovely weekend and are able to enjoy some creative time!

Linking to Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt as well as a few others.  Check the Link Ups tab at the top of the page!

Fabric & Fiction, Round Six

It has been quite a while since I last started a round of Fabric and Fiction.  Somehow the autumn months went by and it just never happened.  With the beginning of the new year, I have been reading a lot.  I think it feels good to slow down after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  So far this year I have read Icy Sparks, by Gwen Rubio and The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.

These two books couldn’t be more unalike.  Icy Sparks, an Oprah book club pick from about 15 years ago, is a dark but somewhat humorous look at a girl growing up in the 1950’s in Kentucky.  She suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome which wasn’t well understood at that time.  This feisty girl lives with her doting grand parents and suffers the wrath of her school mates, mean teachers and others who taunt her endlessly.  It made me sad to read it in part but I will tell you I liked the ending (I’m not saying more than that though!)  She befriends a very obese woman in town and they support each other as best they can, empathizing with each other as outcasts in their community.



The other book, The Undomestic Goddess, is a book about a high powered attorney who makes a mistake with one of her clients.  Horrified and not knowing what to do, she runs away and takes a job as a housekeeper for a ditzy but wealthy couple.  She hasn’t a clue how to cook, clean or do laundry and it is fun to read about her mistakes. Of course there is a sweet love story built in as well.

Remember Amelia Bedelia?

Kinsella’s book reminds me of a grown up version of Ameila Bedelia.  Did you read that series as a child?  I loved it. There were over twenty Amelia Bedelia stories written from the 1960’s through the 1980’s.  I believe the original author, Peggy Parish, passed away and her nephew has written more Amelia Bedelia books since her death.   Anyway, The Undomestic Goddess is somehow similar, very light, lots of fluff, and a bit predictable but I really enjoyed the story.  Not everything I read has to be deep and carry life altering messages.  Sometimes it is just fun to read and be entertained.

Since I skipped the fall book share, let’s go crazy and do two books this time!  Here is my plan.  I will open two book shares.  Six people can sign up for each one.  It might be best if you only sign up for one book so more people can participate. If we don’t get up to six people for either of the books, then you can sign up for the second book.

In case this is new to you, the way it works is I will send the book and three fat quarters of fabric to the first person on the list.  That person reads the book (please don’t keep the book any longer than three weeks or it takes forever for the book to go around) and then chooses three fat quarters and sends them along to the next reader.  It has proven to be too expensive to send the book out of the country so I think it is best to limit this to the US.  (I’m sorry about this!)  When you choose the fat quarters, try to select fabrics that relate to the book in some fashion.  Include a quick note about how the fabric made you think of the book (without telling too much and spoiling the book for the next reader!)

I have really enjoyed this book club of sorts and hope you will join in!  To throw your name in the hat, leave a comment and please tell me which book is your top choice.  I will try to create groups of six with you getting your book of choice, if possible.  It is first come, first serve.  Please, if you are reading this on Bloglovin, click through to my actual site and leave your comment there.  It is hard to track who was first to comment, between the blog and the Bloglovin reader comments.  If you have questions, leave them in the comments.

Thanks for sharing books with me in this way.  I love hearing from the group and finding out what each person thought of the book!  Now that I have finished the two books featured here, I am reading The Things We Keep, by Sally Hepworth.  It is a great read so far.  Maybe we will share it next time around!  What are you reading these days?  Share with us by leaving a comment.

*This is an affiliate post, meaning if you click through links on my page and make a purchase, I will be compensated.  My compensation does not change the price you pay.


Weekend Recap

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen the pictures I posted over the weekend.  Julia and I took a road trip and visited Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.  This college is a favorite in our family – I graduated (class of ’82) and two of my sons plus one daughter-in-law also graduated from there.  Julia is planning to apply there next fall.  We thought it would be fun to do the college tours and see the campus as it has been several years since we have been there.  Plus she was pretty young when we last visited and I thought she needed to see it with a more mature viewpoint.

It was a beautiful day of tours and walking… oh, so much walking.  Julia is deciding between Biology or Animal Science as her major.  It is so hard to know what you want to do at this age but Cal Poly is a university that requires the applicants to declare their major right away.

She was thrilled to be able to visit the Swine Unit.  The manager of that unit, a senior at the university, was incredibly friendly and let Julia hang out for quite a while. It was helpful to find out Julia can volunteer at the animal units even if she chooses Biology over Animal Science as a major. Either way, she can work with the animals..

It was a quick trip but well worth the drive (which is a bit of a pain because we live 350 miles from campus).

When I got home I had a package waiting for me!   A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Instagram.  Kim over at Leland Ave Studios was celebrating the launch of her 52 Week Creativity Project where she will be posting discussions with various artists each week in 2018.  I read the first one which was really good.  I am looking forward to this series.

Kim generously gave a fat eighth bundle of Alison Glass’ new line, Diving Board- to me! What a treat.

Oh my gosh!  I was so tickled to win this bundle.  The colors fall in line with the shades of blue, pink, greens, yellows and oranges that Alison often uses.  This is nice because her older lines work so well with the newer pieces.  Oh the colors are gorgeous !!

This bundle is a big one at 24 pieces.  I will surely let it sit for a while – until I think of the perfect use for it. I have several projects on-going at the moment so I am in no hurry to start another one.  Thank you Kim for this gorgeous addition to my stash.

Linking to Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash link up. I haven’t written a Stash post in such a long time. Receiving this bundle was such a fun surprise! Now I am going to go pack orders. The shop was busy over the weekend and I need to get caught up,