Vintage Quilt + Gratitude

This summer I received one of the funnest surprises in the mail – this gorgeous vintage quilt from my friend Cathy in Kansas. She makes quilts for people who really need them and I offered to send her some fabric for her good cause. In return she asked me if she could send me an old quilt that she had.

When the quilt arrived, I about died! It was so gorgeous and in amazing condition. I laid it on my floor so I could look at it while I worked that day. The pattern is Kansas Dugout and it is hand quilted, and probably hand-pieced. (Red Pepper Quilts has a free Kansas Dugout tutorial if you’re feeling inspired.) My best guess is that it’s 1940’s-50’s. (Feel free to weigh-in if you have an opinion.) I finally took it out to get some pictures a couple of weeks ago when I shot my Hadley quilt.
I love looking at the individual vintage fabrics. I think one of my favorite parts of old quilts is that the fabrics are so scrappy and random – not matchy-matchy at all – because they were legitimate scraps leftover from everyday sewing. And the effect is so great. Also, many of the vintage fabrics are really quite “modern” – check out that turquoise and chartreuse dahlia in the middle on the left. I’d love some of that one!

I think this picture is my favorite. I’m still a little blown away at Cathy’s generosity. This quilt is such a treasure. So I thought it would be a perfect thing to share in honor Thanksgiving today. I have witnessed many generous acts over the past year that have touched and inspired me – most of them done privately and unselfishly. I guess I’m choosing this quilt as the symbol of that kind of love and generosity. It’s amazing to see the ripple effects a kind and loving act has on so many people.

Before I sign off and wish you happy day of giving thanks and maybe gorging yourself on food (even if you’re not American, feel free to take advantage of that opportunity), one of my favorite thoughts about gratitude: 
“Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.
We can be grateful!
It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.” 
From Dieter F. Uchtdorf (full message here)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Vintage-Sheet inspired quilt finished!

First of all, thank you so much for the sweet comments and encouragement on my post last week. That meant so much. I’m always a little leery of sharing TMI, but at the same time finding the balance of keeping it real. That’s a tricky thing for me.
Second of all, I finished binding one of the quilts! I started this quilt ages ago. Well, it feels that way at least. The fabric in this quilt is from a collection for Moda called Dream On by the Urban Chicks. The collection was inspired by vintage sheets (something I really love). It came out I want to say 4 years ago (was it really that long ago?) and I gradually collected bits and pieces because I liked it so much.

It took me a while before I finally decided what to do with the collection – I chose my Double Crossed pattern because I really liked how the green solid (I think it’s Kona Green Grass) contrasted with the busy floral patterns.

Lest anyone out there think that I am constantly cranking out a quilt – because I know it can tend to seem that way in blogland – let this quilt be a good example of the reality behind the scenes.  Fabric purchased 3-4 years ago; finally started cutting into it 1.5 years ago; started piecing blocks last summer; finished piecing blocks at a retreat in February; finally sewed all the blocks together at the beginning of the summer, then it still took me 2 months to add the borders and choose a back; had someone else do the quilting last week. And voila. It is finally done.

The back for this one is a vintage sheet I found at a thrift store a few years ago. I knew I wanted a vintage sheet for the back and it took me a while to find just the right one. I’ve actually cut up most of the one’s I have. Fortunately I’d preserved this one because I liked it so much and it turned out to be a good match. Plus, it was just the right size! And it was so nice not to have to piece a back.

The quilting is a simple all-over meader-loop pattern by Melissa of Sew Shabby quilting. Perfect for the really busy prints.
It’s such a cheerful, summery quilt. Feels so good to even have it done before the end of summer! Bonus.

Fabric + Vintage Treasures

I recently discovered a wonderful newish shop in not far from where I live. It’s full of all kinds of fun treasures from fabric to vintage glassware, buttons, etc. Pretty much right up my ally, eh? So much pretty, all in one place. I love pictures of inspiring spaces, so I thought I’d snap a few to share here.

The shop is called Harmony and is located in an beautifully preserved, 130 yr-old home in downtown Provo, Utah.

There is a gorgeous and well-currated collection of fabric. Not huge selection, but it’s well chosen with unique prints and includes voiles, corduroys, and oil-cloth.
They also carry a beautiful selection of quality yarn.
Vintage Trims
 More vintage goodies
 A drawer full of Washi Tape.
And a bench for a patient little kid. Don’t let him fool you. This cooperation was purchased at a price: the promise of a donut at the Provo Bakery around the corner. I am not above bribes. (Plus, I’m always up for a good excuse for one myself.) It’s hard to get any better than pretty fabric shops followed by fresh donuts.

I-spy baby quilt + i-spy charm packs available

One of my favorite go-to baby gifts is an i-spy quilt made from different fabrics with little motifs like animals, vehicles, etc., that you can hunt for or play “i-spy” with. 
The design for this quilt is a classic checker-board pattern, but the i-spy prints give the quilt an added element you can play with.

I like to use the Essex cotton/linen blend by Robert Kaufman as the off-set blocks because they give some added texture and contrast to the quilt. (You can find it here, and here.) Not to mention when the quilt is washed, the linen shrinks and crinkles up so nicely, giving the quilt a nice vintage feel. I have a simple pattern for this i-spy quilt in my etsy shop.

I had the perfect backing in my stash – a Moda print by Jan Figuroa from a few years ago with more items to spy! The quilting is a simple meander loop by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting. 

I’ve been collecting cute (not cheesy) i-spy prints for a while now and finally had them all cut up to sell. I’ve done this in the past and most likely this will be the last round I will do this. Each set is made up of 65 different 3 1/2″ squares, all of high quality quilting fabrics.
Here is a close-up of some of the prints. All of the prints in the above photos are in the charm packs in my shop. Also, if you buy a charm pack the baby quilt pattern is included for free! You can find the I-spy Charm Packs here. And they are SOLD OUT. Holy Moly that was so much faster than I expected. Thank you so much to those who bought them!
I am also listing copies of the book Modern Baby in the etsy shop. This book contains patterns for 14 fresh, modern baby quilts by a variety of modern quilt designers and bloggers.
Martingale - Modern Baby
One of my favorite is this pattern by Shea Henderson.
This book also contains the pattern for this quilt by yours truly. (It is charm pack and jelly-roll friendly.) You can see more quilts from this book here. For a short time, I am listing this book at 40% off! To buy Modern Baby visit my etsy shop
Thank you so much to all of you who have supported my etsy shop for almost 5 years now. I-spy kits were one of the first things I ever stocked. I’m blown away by all that has happened since then. Thank you, THANK YOU!

Vintage Finds

I have wanted to create a plate wall in my kitchen for some time, so I’ve been on the lookout for pretty plates for some time. Committing to holes in my wall is something I’m pathetically slow about. But as I’ve accumulated enough plates that I like, I think I’m going to finally bite the bullet and hang the plates. Maybe. I’ll share pictures when they are finally on the actual wall. 
Some are plates that were my Grandma’s, some are plastic melamine from Target, and some are vintage finds from the thrift store. So while I had the plates out, I thought I’d share a few of recent thrift-store finds with some cool, graphic designs.

While we’re on the subject, a few other recent vintage finds. Cool vintage buttons still on their original cards.
I am totally digging these vintage, melamine (plastic) teacups. I haven’t decided what to do with them – maybe make them into pincushions?
I love the colors…

Finally, a vintage crocheted granny-square blanket that caught my eye. I’ve seen them from time to time, but never actually bought one. I liked the colors and size of this one and the price was right, so I went for it. Still not sure what I’m going to do with it though.

And finally, believe it or not, I’ve actually done some sewing. It’s been a while but perhaps by the end of this week I’ll actually have something finished to share. It would have been today, except last week I took a massive trip off my front porch and broke the fall with my right hand/wrist on the cement three-steps down. Turns out your right hand comes in pretty handy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s just a bad bruise and that it will continue to get better. If only someone had got that fall on video, I could have put it on YouTube and made a fortune. It had to have been an entertaining moment for the neighbors.

Vintage Pyrex and fabric inspiration

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Pyrex post. So I figured it was time for an update.

Over the past months I’ve picked up a couple of little pieces here and there. I’m getting choosy about what I pick up now. I’ve got enough that I like and actually use but every once in a while I see a color or pattern that I’ve been keeping and eye out for. Like this cute little green Spring Blossom mixing bowl.

Another find: the smallest yellow mixing bowl. I love this size. I have a bowl this size in the wheat pattern and I use it almost every morning to mix eggs. Now I can switch back and for between the two. Talk about shaking up that routine and livening up my day. Doesn’t get much more exciting than that, right? 
This is my first wee”fridgie” box with a lid. It’s so cute. It doesn’t have a designated purpose yet (like I would actually put it in my fridge where some careless child person could possibly drop it), but I’m looking for just the right thing. Suggestions welcome. Did I mention that it’s just so cute?

This little vintage pitcher is not made by pyrex, but it’s the same tomato red as the fridgie above. It does not have any marking or maker on the bottom, so I have no idea of it’s history. But it’s also on the very cute side.

And this one is my new favorite. I’ve been on the lookout for a pink Gooseberry piece and was so excited to find this one. It’s the smallest casserole. minus the lid, but I love it. Pink pyrex is so pretty.
Finally, while we’re on the subject, have you seen the pyrex prints in Melody Miller’s new Ruby Star Sparkle collections? This print perfectly captures those classic pyrex shapes tne designs. I could not pass them up! Ruby Star Sparkle is available from Fabricworm, Dry Goods Design, and Sew Mama Sew

Another great print from Ruby Star Sparkle are these awesome retro phones. I can’t wait to fussy-cut and play with these phones. Seeing olive green and turquoise together will always remind me of my Grandma’s house. She still has a bathroom with wall paper in those colors that has been there longer than I’ve been alive. I guarantee you it is now the height of retro-chic! I totally need to scan it and turn it into fabric.

A sneak peak of one more fabric collection inspired by retro kitchenware of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Color Me Retro by Jeni Baker. I’ve been so excited to see them in person and they don’t disappoint.  I’m playing with them in preparation for my next Fat Quarter Gang project/tutorial.
I’m trying to figure out what it is that makes me love vintage pyrex pieces. I mean, there’s always the bandwagon aspect – they’re popular for a reason. I love their shapes and their colors and the fact that they’re so functional and I actually use them. (Can you tell I’m trying desperately to prove that I don’t belong on Hoarders?)
If you’re interested in learning more about Pyrex and patterns, visit the blog Pyrex Love. I just like perusing it for the heck of it sometimes.