Heart Quilt Blocks + Summer (lack of) Sewing

Sewing Machine summer

I’ve taken a pretty laissez-faire (i.e. lazy) approach to sewing this summer. After some summers past where I said yes to deadlines either from others or self-imposed I learned the hard way that it was not. worth. it. Instead of enjoying the best of what summer had to offer – a slower pace, less crazy schedules, warm weather, etc – I ended up being frustrated with the mess, with the kids, and with myself.

Boardwalk Fabric

Last summer I took a big chunk of time off and it felt good. And I the sewing/social media/fabric was all still there waiting patiently when I was ready. So after an especially busy 2016, I decided for my own sanity – as well as the happiness and well being of everyone who lives with me – to do the same. I haven’t outlawed sewing (or blogging) altogether, but I did allow both to just come at their own pace with no agenda. I’m finally learning.

Heart Quilt Blocks

I’ve sewed a little here and there when everyone was out or busy just for fun. A few snatched moments this week included sewing some heart blocks for a variety of people and causes. I’ve been wanting to sew some heart blocks for Quilts For Pulse as well as Quilts For Peace and finally did a few of those.

Laser beam sewing guide Babylock

(I love how the handy laser guide on my Babylock Crescendo makes such quick work of these quick-corner heart blocks.)

Hearts quilt blocks

I remembered a bunch of colored squares I’d recieved in a swap a few years ago at a retreat. They were perfect for this project. I used Allison Harris’s heart tutorial for these blocks.

Half-hearted Quilt Blocks

Also a few pink blocks using Amy Sinibaldi’s Half Hearted tutorial for a friend who is going through cancer. 🙁

Patchwork sewing

One more accomplishment over the past few weeks was pulling out a stack of squares my daughter had picked out for a patchwork quilt a few years ago (like 4 or 5 years ago. yikes.)  Two summers ago we finally cut up the squares. Last summer, we finally laid them out in rows. This year we pulled them out to actually sew. Exciting times!

Blue Patchwork Quilt

And I’m so proud – my daughter has been sewing them together on her own. I pointed her in the right direction and she’s run with it! (It helps that she’s an older teenager. It also helps that she can binge watch the Gilmore Girls while she sews.) When I got home from San Francisco she had all her rows pieced and was starting to sew the rows together! I’m vowing right here and now that this quilt will be finished before school starts.


I am also starting a new project with Dana Willard’s Boardwalk  collection for Art Gallery. These prints (available here) are just begging to be used in the summer. So, we’ll see how this goes!

I want her stash bundle by Amy Smart

One more summer-inspired bundle: this is the I Want Her Stash bundle I curated for Westwood Acres in June. I decided to be inspired by summer picnics – it was so fun to see all the prints together in real life. There are still a few June bundles available from Westwood Acres if you’re feeling the summer-vibe too. 😉

Summer hike

Theoretically I had hopes to catch-up on some old WIPS – projects waiting for attention or even get some hand work done. Even with my scaled-back expectations, I’ve still done far less that I planned. One of the reasons: we’ve been doing a lot more hiking this year. And I’m good with that.

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  • Reply
    Corey :)
    July 24, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Gilmore Girls is my binge watch of choice while I sew quilts as well! I think I’m on my fourth time through…

  • Reply
    Karen Goad
    July 24, 2016 at 7:01 am

    it seems like with children at home for the summer it is most likely best not to have deadlines – have a great summer – hope the heat is not unbearable in your neck of the woods

  • Reply
    Cheryl barnes
    July 24, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Sounds like a much needed break to focus on family. I’m also breaking from my quilt sadly ?as I recover from breast cancer. My blocks are laid out in the floor waiting for me but I don’t have the want yet as I am tired. Loved that you are making a quilt for a friend in my situation. How kind you are.
    I WILL get back to my quilt soon!!!!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      Oh Cheryl, I’m so sorry that you are going through that. I have had multiple close friends go through breast cancer in the past year and have seen how miserable it can be – even the expansion process sounds so painful. I’m really sorry. Keep taking it easy – you’re right you’ll feel up to quilting again and it will wait patiently until you are ready.

      Sending love and hugs your way. xo

      • Reply
        Cheryl barnes
        July 26, 2016 at 9:29 am

        Thank you Amy for your warm wishes. Yes the expansion part of this journey is unpleasant but knowing the cancer is gone and I get better boobs is a plus.
        I found out my wonderful plastic surgeon is expecting his first child this Spring! I feel a broken dishes baby quilt will be in the making for him to thank him for what he is doing for me.

        • Reply
          Amy Smart
          July 29, 2016 at 2:06 pm

          OH that is such a sweet gesture. I’m so glad you are in the home stretch of this journey. Praying all goes well!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Sounds like you have found a good balance! Enjoy watching your daughter’s quilt come together ?I also felt the lure of summer fun when I saw the Boardwalk collection and had to have it. Can’t wait to see what deliciousness you create with it!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Please remind us next year of this wisdom, sadly it is too late for me this summer. My summer is full and overflowing until 8/26…not with sewing either but some is getting done here and there. Unexpected finishes. Cheryl, I wish you a speedy recovery! (heart)

    • Reply
      Cheryl barnes
      July 25, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Wow thank you sooo much. How kind of you. I appreciate that. I’m going through expansion for reconstruction now???

    • Reply
      Cheryl barnes
      July 26, 2016 at 9:20 am

      How kind of you Tonie. Thank you

  • Reply
    Sandra B
    July 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Amy, taking time to step back from the hustle and bustle is pretty much always a good thing! We all need that time to rejuvenate….have fun!
    I probably don’t need to tell you this, but….be sure to pictures of your daughter’s quilt progress…I love the colors!!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    A gal has to grab all the summer she can, before it’s fall! I’m on that slower pace plan as well, although for me that means more sewing and less of other things. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Stubbled Grapes
    July 25, 2016 at 2:43 am

    I often find I push myself to do too much at once, but lately I’ve been taking a break and just enjoying things a bit more! I think it’s important to step away from the sewing machine occasionally, and realise that the pile of fabric will still be there when you come back to it =)

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I’m working on a heart quilt too….only 32 blocks to go…..

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Time flies, enjoy your family in summer. There are days ahead to do other things (like cleaning haha)
    I am taking care of my parents now, both 93. I spend a lot of time with them, we laugh a lot, and just enjoy being together. Well, they are 4 miles away in a nice retirement community Ashby Ponds, but they need lots of help now.
    I love the heart blocks. I should make a few of those too
    Not sewing is also good to help you focus on what projects you have, even sort scraps in the family room.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 25, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      I watched my mom care for her aging parents and I know how much work it can be. Bless you in your efforts. I’m glad to hear you enjoy each other. That helps so much. xo

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Are you kidding me with that laser picture?! That looks way too good to be true! I feel like I am in denial! Always take care of yourself, self love is a must! <3 much love !

  • Reply
    Lara B.
    July 25, 2016 at 9:16 am

    You are wise Amy. The years fly by so fast and enjoying time well spent with your family is the very best thing you could do. The sewing you have been doing looks scrumptious!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

    I found your blog today and I am in LOVE. I am so very inspired and will visit often.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you!

    • Reply
      Cheryl barnes
      July 26, 2016 at 9:25 am

      THIS website is why I started quilting. I have always been a seamstress but was intrigued by quilting. I found Amy’s beginner tutorials and I have quilt 10 in progress waiting for me in my sewing room. I visit this site daily for inspiration from Amy

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls while I sew lately too! I had forgotten how good that show is! Thank God for my iPad!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Good for you for slowing down and focusing on what is important to you and your family. Those little heart blocks are cute.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Enjoy your summer and family. They grow very fast Your hearts were so cute.

  • Reply
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