Summer Blossom- a Scrappy Improv Quilting project

I was honored to be asked to make a project from Kelly Young’s new book – Scrappy Improv Quilting. Kelly blogs over at My Quilt Infatuation and is known for her Improv Quilting technique. All the projects in this book are mini quilt size and so incredibly cute. I chose the Summer Blossom project which is a single flower.

I first chose my colors to be more daisy-like than the sunflower colors in the book project and I found the perfect fabric in my stash for the background. It adds a bit of interest with the birds but does not detract from the main composition.

Then I started making my slabs. Part of Kelly’s technique for slab making is to start with scrappy similar colored strips and sew them together in different directions until you get to the size slab you need for the project. My favorite snippet in her book states that she likes to use strips but if you want to use odd angled scraps then do so. It’s your quilt so do as you will to make sure the slab ends up the correct size. She knew that I would do just that with my slabs.

Small slab for center of flower
Long skinny slab for leaves and stem.

The directions were so clear and I was able to complete the four slabs pretty quickly and start the process of growing that sweet flower. It turned out so dang adorable! I love it so much.

Simple wavy diagonal cross-hatch Quilting so the flower is the star!

I wanted to practice some free-motion quilting but haven’t sewn much this year so opted for a wavy diagonal cross-hatch that I love. I pulled in more of that dark blue into the binding to really help those petals pop.

There are so many projects in this book that I want to make – the hot air balloon, the houses, the butterfly, the cover quilt. I really love them all.

The book itself is so colorful and bright. The photos and process illustrations are so clear. It’s a beautiful book to work with. Be sure to check out all the stops on the blog tour. I’m heading to Sandra’s post right now to check out her take on that hot air balloon!

Scrappy Improv Quilting Blog Tour Schedule8/31- Intro, Single Block Beauties, and Simple Shapes
9/7- Seasonal Sensations, Standards With a Twist

9/13- here – Summer Blossom- Lori @ Crossquilt
Up, Up, and AwaySandra @ mmm…quilts!

9/15- FlutterRose @ Something Rosemade
BotanicsDiann @ Little Penguin Quilts

9/20- Face the SunLaura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Full SpectrumJayne @ Twiggy and Opal

9/22- PrismaticAnja @ Anja Quilts
DownpourNancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

9/27- FunkytownVasudha @ Storied Quilts
Cherub WingsMichelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

9/29- Chapel WindowKris @ Sew Sunshine
Winter FrostLeanne @ Devoted Quilter

10/4- HeartstruckRebecca Grace @ Rebecca Grace Quilting
Star SpangledChristine @ Triangles & Squares

10/6- Birds of a FeatherPreeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts
Fall FoliageSusan @ Quilt Fabrication

10/11- OrnamentalGail @ Quilting Gail
Churn, Churn, ChurnCynthia @ Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

10/13- Sunset CrossingKate @ Katie Mae Quilts
Positivity– Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts

10/18- All Dressed UpLinda @ Flourishing Palms
ShockwaveAnne-Marie @ Stories From the Sewing Room

10/20- Sweet Bee (a bonus thank-you pattern), Finishing, and Wrap-Up My Quilt Infatuation


Summer Sewing 2021

My sewing has been limited for a large part of this year as I had been packing up house and moving across country. I’m slowly getting settled in and getting things organized. The first thing to get in working order was my sewing area and my fellow crafters out there know that it had to be.

I gave myself one project to keep me sane while going through all the stress that moving brings on. That project was a Temperature Quilt. I thought it would be great to see the split between the two areas of the country – one hot and humid and the other a bit more mild during those spring and summer months.

I gave myself 10 degree color ranges and am working with Alison Glass fabrics. Left is the daily low and Right is the daily high. I’ll also adding weather conditions to the mix.

  • Yellow vertical stripe – Sunny
  • Light Grey horizontal stripe – Cloudy
  • Dark Grey diagonal stripe – Rainy
  • White circle – Snowy
First Quarter of 2021

My plan gives room for 13 additional blocks that I will be calling Personal Events. If there was no big personal event then I would use the holiday for that month and add a single block for that.

Second Quarter of 2021

I have a month’s worth of temperature blocks to work on. But, I also did Block One of the Summer Sampler 2021 hosted by Lee Heinrich, Katie Blakesley, and Faith Jones. A friend that I saw in May needs a quilt for her living room and I mocked up this plan using her color theme of chambrays and greys with a touch of red.

Summer Sampler 2021 – Block One

The Finishing Instructions just got released so I’ve got a number of blocks to make to get to that point. I’ve got to dig some of my fabric out of boxes and get the fabric selection all worked out. I have a small selection but need more to round out the full color palette and get moved no on this project.

I’m also working on some Improv Piecing and I’m super excited about a quilt retreat that is coming up with a couple of fabulous instructors. I’ve got to pull fabric for that as well and I have a lot of notions and other stuff to locate in order to prepare for this retreat.

Lots of plans for the next few weeks and I cannot wait to share them all with you!

Snowflake Season

The colder weather just hit my area of the country and luckily I had already completed the Snowflake Quilt (pattern by Modern Handcraft). This pattern goes together very quickly even with mixing all the fabrics up.

I chose to do the four-color option but went super scrappy with it using the leftover Christmas fabrics from the 2019 Kinship Sampler (a quilt that hasn’t been finished yet – stuck on border selection, etc…)

The backing is a snowflake grey soft and cuddly fabric and was a great find.

This was my first attempt doing Free-motion Quilting on a large project. I just decided to go for it and tried some stippling in the colored areas. I stayed with some tried and true straight line echo quilting for inside the snowflake. I am pleased with the juxtaposition of the straight and the fluid quilting and the way it looks together on this quilt.

I will admit that it seemed to take quite a while to complete and a bit more bobbins than I am used to using with my walking foot. But, I am super happy with the result and I learned quite a bit in the process that I will carry forward to the next time.

This quilt should keep me nice and toasty during these super chilly nights we have happening right now.

I would definitely make this pattern again. I do love the ice blue and teal versions that I’ve seen out there.

Until next time…..happy holiday sewing.

Summer Sampler Three Ways – part 3

The third colorway for the Summer Sampler is a gorgeous violet and black combo. As a reminder – to choose colors for this Sampler I pulled colored pencils randomly out of a bag and liked a lot of the options so I made three different quilts – a challenging palette, a palette I loved, and a palette that I just thought was super cool.

This combination reminds me a little bit of Halloween and is also slightly gothic and vintage. I just thought it told a wonderful story.

I loved all the blocks as I was putting them together but I wanted a different looking finished quilt than the first two (Part 1 and Part 2). I ended up using the square setting suggestion from the 2019 Summer Sampler but I changed it up a little.

I found this gorgeous Kaffe Fasset polka dot print that was just perfect for the backing. Added some walking foot ribbon quilting and bound it in a fabulous eggplant Grunge.

I really like all three quilts and I hate to choose a favorite…..but this purple one might be it. Here are the other two for your viewing pleasure. I know you have a favorite, too. 🙂

Summer Sampler Three Ways – part 2

On to the second finish for the 2020 Summer Sampler. As a reminder of my first Summer Sampler Three Ways post, I pulled colored pencils from a bag in order to select the color palette and ended up with three that I couldn’t decide between so I made them all! The second quilt was based on this pencil pull.

And I ended up with this complete fabric grouping. Those deep royal colors really speak to me. This was actually my favorite combo of the bunch.

I chose to finish this Sampler in a different layout than I did the first one. I wanted it larger to really show off those vibrant colors. I made some setting blocks to get to a layout that I liked.

I added some nine-patches in the interior corners to break up the brightly colored setting blocks which made the final size 72” square.

The back is a combo of a perfect triangle print set off with big blocks of color.

I straight-line quilted it in a hexagon design from the center out.

The binding is the main background grey fabric spotted with some of those gorgeous royal colors.

I just adore this quilt and I’m super happy with how it turned out!

Next time – the final color pull. It’s another good one!

Until next time…..Happy Sewing!

Summer Sampler Three Ways – part 1

In the Spring, I signed up for the 2020 Summer Sampler hosted by Lee Heinrich. It was tagged the ‘summer of easy piecing’ and that was exactly what we all needed after last year’s Bootcamp. So, I signed up immediately!

Problem was that I couldn’t decide on what color palette I wanted to use. I finally figured that I would leave it up to fate. I put some colored pencils in a bag and blind drew out four pencils. I had so much fun doing this exercise that I ended up pulling 8 different selections and I liked 3 or 4 of the combinations. So, I narrowed it down to my 3 favorite combos.

The Sampler consisted of 16 blocks and a fun sashing. The blocks were easier than they look and I like the way they all turned out. This post is about the last color selection. I decided on a scrappy background that coordinates with the main colors and everything was pulled from stash.

It’s not my normal style. I lean toward more jewel tones and grey. But, that is what makes this type of palette selection interesting and fun. It breaks you out of your norm and allows you to play in an area that you would not normally.

I used the sashing instructions that were included with the pattern and then added a border as I wanted it to be a larger lap size than it was with just the sashing.

The more I added to it the more I liked it. A scrappy binding in the aquamarine color really brought it together as well as backing it with a combo of Minky colors and an older Cotton + Steel coordinating print.

I’m calling this one Cactus Flower as it reminds me of that cactus plant that blooms a beautiful pink flower.

Two more to finish up and I can’t wait to see the finished products for the other two color-ways! I love how one pattern can look so different in different colors.

Until next time – Happy sewing!

Spring Starts and Stops

I’ve been involved in quite a few online sew-alongs this spring. I find them on Instagram by following different designers and fabric shops.

One of the first ones was the Daisy Sew-along hosted by Lindsey of Pen & Paper Patterns. Daisies are one of my favorite flowers and this pattern was just so dang cute!

I used the Karen Lewis Textiles fabric line Blueberry Park Low Volume as the flowers and the navy background is from Zen Chic (the Day in Paris line). I love how the flowers pop.

I won a very generous prize for posting the ‘I’m In’ graphic on Instagram. The prize pack was sponsored by Sewtopia, which is a wonderful online fabric shop.

Airflow and Liana fabric bundles by Ruby Star Society

Next up was the Meadowand Sew-along. This one was sponsored and designed by Then Came June. It’s a quick and easy pattern and I had a good time picking fabrics for it. I started with this Ruby Star Society Star print and pulled my blender fabrics from there.

The quilt top is just stunning!

Then were the tops I started last year but finished up earlier this year – block of the month and Sampler quilts. The Perfect HST Block of the Month came to an end which resulted in this quilt top.

This was designed by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. She designed some paper piecing templates to make Half-square triangles more precise. I used Cotton + Steel Basics in all the blocks with a random grey that I had in my stash for the background.

Lee also had a part in designing the 2019 Summer Sampler. It was designated as Piecing Bootcamp and it definitely was that. But, it’s gorgeous!

I used Ombré Confetti Dots for the blocks and Tula Pink’s Fairy Dust for the background in the blocks. The navy is the same fabric as the daisy quilt above. It’s one of my favorites.

The same team is currently planning the 2020 Summer Sampler which they are taking Back to Basics with some simple piecing. Details have not yet been released.

Now that we’ve covered the Stops let’s move on to the Starts….

First up, the 2019 Quiet Play Pattern Club. I’ve been working on some of the blocks. I’m not currently planning on making the whole quilt but might make the blocks into fun summer placemats. They are all about 9 1/2 inches square and would make really cute placemats. Still deciding….I’m also thinking that the ice cream block might make a great quilt all on its own with all the blocks a different color or shade of color.

Speaking of placemats, I promised one of my best friends that I would make her some and we even bought fabric for them. I’ve been holding that fabric for over a year and finally got the design plan right in my head and went to work on them. Plan A did not work out but Plan B was a roaring success.

And now, another sew-along has popped into my feed. The New York Lattic Quilt-Along and this is my fabric pull for it.

New York Lattice QAL

The fabric pull was inspired by the Birthday Box list that my guild just distributed. Each member that wants to participate lists out the types and colors of fabric that they would like to receive during their birth month. Each participant buys (or pulls from stash) a fat quarter for each of the other participants. I thought it would be fun and challenging to pull the fabric using someone else’s criteria. This one starts this week and should be done pretty quickly with some strip piecing.

Looks like I have a number of quilt tops yet no finished quilts. This is because I’m basically out of batting and am having a small tiff with my local big-box fabric store. Waiting to see if they will make it right before I go get batting elsewhere.

I should have a good stash of finished quilts right before the holidays start so that should work out pretty well.

Until next time….Happy Sewing!

VB Inventory Quilt – Part One

I was recently cleaning out my closet and realized the vast quantity of Vera Bradley bags that I have. There is a VB store nearby that would have a twice yearly Sidewalk Sale with incredible prices and I took advantage of that sale regularly. I wanted to hold on to them but put them to a different use. That’s how my VB Inventory Quilt was born.

Step one – Deconstruction:

I pulled all the purses, wallets, and wristlets that I wasn’t actively using out of the closet, removed any hard bottoms, and threw them in the washer.You know what happens when you put a bunch of purses in the washer? A tangled up pile of purses. That was fun and a little time-consuming to undo all the straps but the end result was worth it.

I kept note of each bag as I was deconstructing them with a seam ripper. Turns out I pulled 33 total pieces out of the closet. Now, I was never a pattern collector. I was an equal opportunity pattern buyer. If I liked it that day and the price was right then I bought it. That’s going to lead to a very bright, happy, scrappy quilt.I used my evening TV watching time to do the seam-ripping. It was super satisfying to tear those seams open and see the inside construction of the bags. I’ve always liked seeing how things are put together.

I separated the pieces into quilted pieces and lining pieces. My plan is to sew all the quilted ones together and then sew all the lining pieces together (add batting and quilt those) then put them all together into a big quilt. I also pulled out the straps and segregated them as well. Not sure how I’ll use those yet but I have some ideas brewing. I’m leaning toward a faux fur or something like that for the back.

Step Two – Block Plan & Cutting

Remember those hard bottom pieces I pulled out of the bags before washing? They inspired the block design for this quilt. They just fit together so nicely.It’s a simple design with a big impact. The bags are apart and the design is set. It’s time to cut the pieces. I can’t wait to see if it transfers to reality as well as I think it will. The first cuts look very promising.Sewing this together is going to be a blast!

Until next time……Happy Sewing!

Summer Sewing 2019

I’ve spent the summer involved in a bunch of quilt-alongs and have been very active sewing up all the blocks.


I dove into this sewalong on the day before it started. The 100 days ended earlier this week and I miss the daily Instagram postings. I believe a habit was instilled and I feel that something is missing each day since I don’t have a block to post.

This one is Christmas themed and I made a big huge mess with my Christmas fabrics making this one. Here come the group photos……This sewalong took a lot of planning as we did have to post each day on Instagram to be eligible for any prizes. I started out 2 weeks ahead in my sewing and I ended 2 weeks ahead but those in between times were sometimes a battle to be sure I had the block done and photographed on the proper posting day.

Turns out I have about 61 unique Christmas fabrics. My plan was to use each fabric at least once and make sure each block had red, green, and white in it to pull all those different fabrics together in the end.

I’ve pieced the top together but that reveal will be for a different day soon.

Summer Sampler 2019:

This one is a block a week type Sewalong and we just finished piecing all the blocks. The next post will be the finishing instructions and there is a circle setting that I’m planning on using to finish this quilt out.

The theme is Piecing Bootcamp and we were taught a different technique with each block and all blocks were designed by a different designer. I am using Ombré Confetti Metallic mixed with Tula Pink’s Fairy Dust fabric. Here are a few of my favorites – HSTs, Transparency, Inset seams, Circles, Y-Seams.This finish will be soon but it’s not there yet. My setting circle color is a dark blue chambray. I want the illusion of rainbows with denim and I think it will look fabulous!

Perfect HST Block of the Month:

I may have mentioned this one earlier in the year but we are now getting toward the end with a big star block coming up soon. I’ve been using Cotton + Steel Basics with a grey background. Here are my favorite blocks from this one.

Little Miss Sawtooth:

This one just started in September but I love what I’ve been able to get done so far. It’s low volume backgrounds with bursts of blue, teal, lavender, and pink.This is going to be so cute when it’s done.

So, what all this means is that I will be finishing, basting, quilting, binding, and photo-shooting my little heart out in the next few months. Lots of finishes coming up!

Happy Sewing and Crafting to you all as the final months before Christmas approach and that Holiday sewing needs to get finished.

Christmas in June?

So, I’ve been working on a myriad of projects that are Christmas themed. When the mood strikes I just dive straight in.

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree:

I have been plugging slowly away at some woodie wagons for the Bringing Home the Christmas Tree Quilt from the Vintage Christmas book by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.

I have a few tips to share for when your background fabric is running scarce or is super precious and you don’t want to waste it.

Sew the trees first!

By sewing the tree blocks first, you will have some offcuts that you can use on the cars.See that white offcut? It can be used for the 1 1/2″ half-square triangles on the cars. Trim it to 1 1/2″ square then place it on the correct fabric for the car or tire or whatever. Line up the sides as if it was a full square – placing the wonky cut to the side that will be cut off and discarded. Sew your diagonal line using your favorite method. I just eyeball it.Trim the corner as you would if it was a full square and background I was using on this quilt is one I’ve had to order multiple times so I hate to waste any little bit of it and this trick sure did save a whole bunch of it. This pile of offcuts is just from the two tree blocks shown above.Planning how you make this quilt will really save on fabric. I’m not a pre-cutter so this worked out perfectly for me.

Kinship Fusion Sampler Sew-along:

I took the last-minute plunge and joined the #100days100blocks2019 challenge being put on by Gnome Angel. The posting of blocks starts on July 1st so I’ve been furiously sewing them up. I’ve decided on a scrappy Christmas theme and I’m super excited about what I’ve done so far. I’ve got 1/4 of the blocks complete and am ready to post on Day one.My quilt guild is currently involved in a local Shop Hop so I had a great opportunity to pick up some Christmas low volumes to use with some focus prints from my stash. I’m having a lot of fun pairing everything up.Christmas themed projects are in full swing around here and it’s not even July yet! Have you started your Christmas projects yet? Either way – happy sewing!