Pinwheels Quilt

I finished the pinwheels quilt this weekend.  It feels like a fresh breath of spring. Perfect for this time of year. 

I was a little worried that all the white made it boring and flat, but the quilting (thanks Becky!) + a good run through the wash/dryer really made it come to life.
Most of the fabric is from the Erin McMorris Weekend collection that came out last fall. As with many fabric collections in quilt shops – they sometimes seem to sit around until a sample is made.  So I finally took it upon myself to no longer let these pretty fabrics sit idly by.  Threw in a few other prints we had on hand including some of the new Sunkissed collection by Moda.

For my pattern I used this tutorial from the Riley Blake Cutting Corners blog.  I really loved the tutorial for making the pinwheels. She has a slick method. I changed a couple of things – made it bigger, made a solid border, etc. I also changed the method for the solid block on point because I didn’t want to have any fabric waste. You could do either method. Here’s the notes for what I changed:

For each solid block on point I cut 1  7.5″ print square and 2  6.5″ white squares.  Cut the 2 white squares in half on the diagonal.

 Sew two triangles on opposite sides of straight edges.  Press open. Sew 2 triangles on remaining sides, press open. Square up the block to 10.5″. Be careful to leave a 1/4″ seam allowance at all 4 points of the solid square. There you go.

I bound the quilt (using the cute Sunkissed pink pin-stripe) Friday night while we watched the original Star Wars with the kids. They’d seen bits and pieces here and there at friend’s houses and on the Star Wars Lego website.  So it was an epic night at the Smart Household. First time (of probably thousands more) watching the whole movie. This week, Empire Strikes Back.

We have fallen into a hard core Star Wars obsession around here. It was good for me to re-watch just so I can answer all the questions my 4-yr-old throws at me all. day. long.

Kits for this one should be available later this week at American Quilting.

Prairie Grass Patterns

Let me introduce you to April Rosenthal and her wonderful quilt designs from Prairie Grass Patterns.  
Turns out, before our last move, April and I lived in the same neighborhood and frequented the same quilt shop but it took the internet to get us introduced! Crazy the way that happens.  April not only has great quilt design talents, but she’s also got html skillz which I am sorely jealous of.  Talented girl! Check out more of her patterns and her blog.  She’s also getting ready for her first visit to Market! Good luck, April!
Many thanks for all the Vintage Notions love this week!  I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets sentimental about wooden bobbins and My Friend Mandy patterns. :) (It’s such a great thing in life when you find other awesome people who ‘get’ you.)
Happy weekend!

My Own Vintage Notions

(First off, an apology to anyone whose head might expload if I say the word Vintage one more time this week. Next post – something more contemporary, I promise.)
After reviewing the book Vintage Notions last week, I realized I had never shared some of my own vintage notion collection.  And so today, I will. 

Last year for my birthday, my mom put together a collection of some of the notions and sewing related items that belonged to her mother. I think was probably one of my favorite birthday presents ever. Love the old thimble, the wooden spools and the old needle case.

This was at the same time I was working on my daughter’s pink, aqua and red retro quilt. So my mom tied the gift into that color scheme.  Until I pulled out these items again, I’d forgotten she’d included this vintage hankie. I need to do something with it to go in my daughter’s room! Maybe frame it?

This item was probably my favorite – my grandma’s needle book with her name on it. Roma – don’t you love that name? It was probably always a little exotic for her era. My grandma would be 101 right now. She was a classy lady – and probably an iconic 50’s housewife.  I extra love that it’s in the aqua and pink color scheme.

My mom also included these items from the slightly-less-vintage-but-still-dated-era of my own childhood: the 1970’s. I remember helping my mom make clothes with this pattern for my own My Friend Mandy doll. We made a blue dress and bonnet with the coordinating white eyelet pinafore.  That enfamil can was from when I was born and my mom used it for years to hold her own sewing notions. I still remember it sitting next to her sewing machine. Throw in the fact that it’s pink and it was a very appropriate addition to this three-generation-sewing nostalgia.

 Then, last summer, my other grandma brought me this unassuming, old yellow canister.  She said, “I never sew, and since you do, I’m giving this to you.”
I was so excited when I opened the lid. 
 Inside were a bunch of vintage wooden spools of thread. Some of them probably belonged to her mother.
 I think they’re just pretty to look at. 
I’m still trying to decide what to do with them or how to display them. Suggestions?
There were some other vintage notions in the bottom of the canister.

I love this kind of stuff.  But I love it even more because of the family sentimentality. (I don’t know how many of my grandma’s other grandchildren would have got so excited about a bunch of old spools of thread.) I’m so glad she didn’t just throw them away.  There’s something cool about handling and using something one of your fore-mothers used. I like it.

Vintage Sheets Baby Quilt

After a couple years of collecting vintage sheets, swapping fat quarters and amassing a collection, I’ve finally made something with them. (Well, I take that back, I did do my hoops.)  But I’ve finally pieced a quilt with them!

As I laid out the blocks one night I was worried that I was creating a hot mess. But when I came back to look at the design wall the next day, I felt better about the situation.  The colors looked so much better in the daylight and I accepted that the wild prints give it personality.

You realize, not everyone appreciates a quilt made from, what some might consider other people’s grandma’s cast-off sheets found solely at thrift stores. You have to have just the right person who would appreciate such a gift.  Fortunately I was making this for just such a person. My friend, Steph and her husband (who is a good friend and co-worker of my husband), just had their first baby girl this past fall (they already have 3 adorable boys).  Steph is a thrifting diva. She finds the greatest stuff. She’s also an amazing knitter and even reclaims her own yarn from thrifted sweaters. (Steph shares some amazing creations as well as great knitting tutorials at her blog Snickerdoodle.  She’s also very funny.) 


So, as you can see, it was a thrill for me to have just the right person to motivate me to finally cut into my vintage sheets stash and start sewing.  Also throw in the fact that it’s for a baby with a gorgeous vintage name like, Stella? Match made in heaven.

Here is happy Stella with her happy quilt. Oh the cuteness.

I was stoked to find just the right tangerine-y orange for binding. Perfect.  Adorable quilting by my friend, Meridee.

I cut my fabric into 6″ squares – so they are 5.5″ finished.  I had a bunch of vintage sheet fat quarters so 6″ squares was the easiest size to cut.  Now I need to make a quilt for myself.  Once I get my quilt laid out, I will probably sell the rest of my pre-cut squares as well as some fat quarters. I make no promises as to how soon this will happen, but hopefully sooner, rather than later.

Linking up to QuiltStory, Someday Crafts, Creations by Kara, Sew & Tell with Amylouwho

PS Vintage vs Modern pattens giveaway winners announced.