What’s on my mind and sewing table

At little bit of a status update around here. Summer has arrived. To be honest, so far it doesn’t feel drastically different regarding schedules/kids at home, etc. I mean weather-wise it’s definitely warmer, but people/schedule-wise I feel like I’ve been living in a weird mutant no-set-predictable-routine life for the past 18 months.

After all of the stress and drama of the last year and a half, I’m feeling some serious surge capacity overload in lots of areas of my life. Hello, thank goodness at least (home)school is on hold for a bit. I’m hoping to simplify and take things a little slower this summer in other areas. Fortunately, I am still in the mood to sew – but sewing just for fun and rejuvenation is what I’m craving.

So while I’m not planning any new or dramatic projects, I am hoping to take out some other neglected long-time UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) and get them finished up this summer. (Including this stack that I had on my to-do list last summer. I finally delivered one of them to the quilter yesterday. So bonus points for that.)

The good thing about UFO’s or WIP’S (Works-in-Progress) is that half the work is done and they don’t require as much creative brain juice (once you remember what the original plan was), so they are sounding extra appealing right now. (Holly Lesue has some motivational tips for finishing your WIPS here.)

Summer Bunting Quilt pattern by Amy Smart - Patriotic Version

I also finished piecing my patriotic Summer Bunting quilt top (that I was working on here) and dropped it off at the quilter yesterday too!  I’m excited to get these two summer-y quilts back and bound to enjoy this season.

Also on my sewing table this week: it’s week 14 of the 2021 Riley Blake Quilt Block Challenge. If you’re new, this challenge includes 16 free 10″ x 10″ quilt block patterns. At the end of this month the free layout and assembly instructions will be published. There’s not deadline for this project – just some fun quilt block inspiration. Any of these blocks could be made on repeat for a single-block quilt layout too.

I Heart Quilting - free quilt block pattern by Kelli Fannin

This week’s block is called I Heart Quilting and was designed by Kelli Fannin.

You can download the free I Heart Quilting quilt block pattern here.

The final 2 block patterns will all be released the next 2 Tuesdays– and then the quilt finishing instructions at the end of the month! I’m really excited to see this quilt come together. You can find PDF patterns of all 14 blocks so far here

Free Quilt Block patterns from Riley Blake designers

Here are  my blocks so far on looking pretty on my design wall above. (For my blocks I’m using the red, white, and blue prints from my Notting Hill fabric collection paired with an assortment of Riley Blake Confetti Cottons in CloudSongbirdTearoseRedwood, and Oxford Blue.)

As you can see, this is the first block where I’ve used Redwood as the dominant color for the block. I love the heart motif and I like the way it pops compared to all of the other blocks. If it looks too dominant once I’ve made the final two blocks, I may remake it in Tearose. But for now, bright red is where this heart is going. Because the world needs all the extra intense love it can get right now.

Free Heart Quilt Block Pattern

If you’re feeling inspired by the blocks so far, just know that it’s never too late to join the fun. All of the block patterns will be available indefinitely!

In addition to sewing for fun, I’m also making time to head outdoors – especially to our nearby Wasatch Range mountains. It’s still my other favorite form of therapy. Visited one of my favorite spots in Utah this week – Scout Falls on the Timpanooneke trail. We’re having a very low water year (not good news), so the falls will likely dry up in a few weeks. Got to get up there again before they do.

Also, grateful for my sherpa (aka husband). Our hiking time/stamina has been lacking this past year due to lots of other demands on our time/energy. It felt good to get out again. Even though I grew up here in Utah, I never enjoyed hiking until a few years ago – thanks to my east-coast-transplant husband for helping me see what I’ve always taken for granted.

Sending best summer vibes/wishes your direction. Hope you’re able to take some time for a few deep breaths too. 

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  • Reply
    Jenny S.
    June 9, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    (Amy, it seems that your links are wrong in this post re: Kelli’s block.)

    • Reply
      June 9, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      Fixed! Thank you so much for the heads up!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    We are thinking about driving out from San Diego next summer (spring? Fall?) and doing a sweep of the Utah parks! We love car camping and day hikes and beautiful spaces, and our oldest is starting high school, so I feel that clock ticking: Gotta get in some quality family time before he’s gone! I would love to read your top ten list of places to see and things to do near you!

    • Reply
      June 9, 2021 at 8:36 pm

      Ooo. I’ll try and put together a list. We’re a few hours from the Big 5 National Parks (they’re concentrated in the red rocks Southern/Central Utah). Farther north where we are is where you find more traditional mountain settings. Utah’s got it all! 😉

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    And also? Every time you mention Mr Amy, my mind jumps directly to his hilarious grocery bag diaper from a million years ago. Dads are the best.

    • Reply
      June 9, 2021 at 8:35 pm

      Hah! That’s still one of my favorite memories. And I agree. Dad’s are the best.

  • Reply
    June 9, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    You go girl!! Finish those UFO’s. I am intrigued by the one on the top of the pile. That heart block is SUPER CUTE.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Good luck with your summer recharge. Trying to regroup my brain cells and drive after this past year is proving to be more challenging than I anticipated. Part of me thought, oh I’ll just return to normal. Turns out I’m a person rather a light bulb and it’s not like an on/off switch.

    • Reply
      June 10, 2021 at 11:25 am

      I so relate, Sue! That is a great reminder – it’s okay to not be able to just flip a switch and feel “back to normal”.

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