Posts from the Patchwork & Sewing Category

My old Modern Quilt Guild wasn’t quite making it as a group. Meetings were far away and people pretty much just stopped showing up for them. I really had fun at our monthly meetings and sewing days when people came, and it was frustrating me that people didn’t seem to be as into the guild as I was. Patchwork and quilting are some of my passions and having a Modern Quilt Guild in our area is something that’s really important to me. I love and need the camaraderie that comes with a guild. It makes me so happy to get together with like-minded people for a few hours a month and chit-chat about something that most people don’t really “get.” So, when the Southwest Virginia Modern Quilt Guild seemed to be on its very last leg, I decided I had to take action and my friend Dani and I started up the Roanoke Modern Quilt Guild. I made up a logo, we decided on our first meeting date, and I printed  some flyers and put them up all over the place. Our first meeting was in May and only five people showed up, but that to me was still a success. The meeting went really well! We decided what we wanted to focus on as a guild and everyone left feeling happy and inspired.

We held our second meeting last night and we now have two more new members! I couldn’t have been happier. We had a tasty potluck, a scrap swap, a zipper demonstration by Dani and we planned our “challenges” for our next meeting in July – a zipper pouch swap and at least one block each for the Modern Quilt Guild QuiltCon Block Challenge. It was really fun.

Our June challenge was to make a tiny quilted name tag. The only requirements were that it had to be small and should represent our guild in some way. I did mine really quickly the night before, so it’s nowhere near perfect, but still pretty cute.

I paper pieced the sawtooth star in the middle and quickly/sloppily embroidered my name with some pink Cosmo floss. The whole thing measures a little less than 5×5 :) Everybody did a great job on their name tags (I forgot to take a picture of everyone’s together!) and it was fun to see everyone’s personal spin on the project.

I’m really looking forward to next month’s meeting! If you’re in the Roanoke area and you’re into quilting, or if you’ve never even made a quilt block in your life but are interested in learning, please come to our July meeting! We would love to have you. More information can be found on our Facebook page. ♥

Sometimes, the weekends are so jam-packed, I actually look forward to regularly-scheduled Mondays.

We saw The Hunger Games yesterday afternoon with some of our friends… LOVED it! But I think I need to stay away from stressful movies for the rest of this pregnancy. Seeing intense movies in the theatre tends to give me a little anxiety in my non-pregnant life anyway (I guess because it’s just so big and loud and in-your-face in a theatre.) But these crazy pregnancy hormones just amplify all of that by a million. I haven’t cried so much in a movie… ever? I cried reading the book too, but I mean tears were just streaming down my face for at least half of the showing. I could barely hold in the sob sounds. I was also holding my breath for almost the whole movie and my heart was pounding so hard and fast I felt like I was going to pass out. (Can you tell that I’m a sensitive person?) But I definitely loved the movie. I felt like they took the images right from my imagination – I love when that happens. Except I imagined Katniss to be a lot skinnier. Not that the actress is large in any way, but I imagined Katniss as this poor, starving, frail girl. Other than that, everything was so spot-on. The boys (who hadn’t read the books) even liked it! Now Greg wants to read the books.

Somehow our refrigerator door wasn’t shut all the way on Friday night, so when I got up on Saturday to make breakfast, everything inside was totally warm and we had to throw almost everything out. Fun times!

I started a new cross-stitch project – Alicia Paulson’s Winterwoods ABC Sampler. (Now I have FOUR in-progress cross-stitch things going on at once… go me.) So far I’ve organized my floss and stitched one cute boot.

I vow to finish one cross-stitch project in 2012.

My quilting business
 is really starting to pick up, so I’ve been spending a ton of time in my studio. I kind of hate being in there because it feels so stale and blah instead of cute and cozy, so Greg and I did a bunch or rearranging and a little decorating this weekend. Eileen Quilts world headquarters is in this random area that someone built in the middle of Greg’s building (which is also home to Press Press Merch screen printing, the letterpress studio for Appalachia Press, and the woodworking shop for Benchmark Builders.) The room is full of decorating obstacles. One wall is crappy brick with these weird big doors, there are two random, small windows up high on another wall, and two regular drywall walls, but with this weird moulding that starts and stops at different points in the middle. It has a hideous tiled drop-ceiling with the worst ever fluorescent tube lighting. And there’s a support beam running right in the middle of the room. Right before I got my longarm, we did a quickie floor stain and white paint job. Actually, here! This is what the room looked like before I moved in, before we painted or anything. You can see some of the obstacles I have to work with:

It looks much better now (with much cleaner and prettier floors!) but still feels really stale. Oh, and aside from being an inspiring place to work, it also needs to be kid-friendly, since Vada (and soon baby) is almost always with me while I quilt. So yeah, I’m having a really hard time figuring out what to do in there and it’s bumming me out. Life would be easier if Ikea wasn’t 3 hours away, that’s for sure, because I could use some cute furniture… But we did make some progress this weekend, which makes me feel a little better. I’m deciding on an accent color for a wall (so that’s sure to take me 3 weeks and then I’ll hate it and end up painting it 2 more times before I’m satisfied…) I also got my giant 8’x8′ quilt design wall and my big cork board hung up (both relocated from my previous sewing room at my house, which is now Vada’s bedroom.) I hope to do some more work in there throughout the week and I’ll do another quilting studio post with some updates once I make some!

I’m ready for Monday, now. ♥

I’m almost finished with my Play It Up quilt. Just needs a binding! I am so happy with the way this quilt turned out. I used an old grey bed sheet for the backing and quilted it with a very pale grey/silvery thread. (King Tut #999 – Desert Wind.) If I have a quilt with a lot of white and a lot of color too, one of my favorite things to do is to quilt it with a very pale colored thread as opposed to just using the catch-all, standard white. I think it gives a little something special without being too distracting. I still need to photograph my Liberty of London quilt that I finished last year (still needs a binding, too! I’m so on top of it.) I used a very pale jade green thread on that one and it looks so pretty! The super light thread color doesn’t jump out at you right away when you look at the overall quilt, but is noticeable when you look more closely, which I think makes it really special.

The Play It Up pattern is a downloadable .pdf at It’s super easy, since you don’t really have to worry about lining anything up! This would be perfect for anyone new to quilting, even if you’ve never made a quilt before. Go for it, newbies! Seriously, I say this all the time, but making a quilt is SO easy. If you can sew a straight line, you can make a quilt. The final quilting part of the process is the hardest part, but you can just send it to me and I’ll take care of that for you! Haha ☺ ♥

This is the mug rug I made for our Modern Quilt Guild meeting last week. We did a little mug rug swap which was really fun. I lucked out big time because I got a really cute one AND a mug to go with! We didn’t have a theme or anything, but I decided it would be fun to do something Valentine’s Day-ish, since it was our February meeting.

I had good intentions making this thing but I wasn’t really happy with the way it turned out. I think it got a little crazy with the scrappiness, wonky letters and the heart quilting… It ended up being a little too much. I also rushed the binding like an hour before I left for the meeting (my bad!) so it looks all messy and I don’t like the fabric I picked. But my friend Dani drew my number at the swap and she seemed happy enough with it!

The meeting was the day before my birthday, so Dani made me some delicious strawberry lemonade cupcakes and gave me a super cute zippy pouch. AND it turns out that one of the girls in our guild has a Girl Scout troop, so GUESS WHO SCORED A MILLION COOKIES? ♥

I finally got out of my sewing slump! With the combination of losing my sewing room and the first trimester of pregnancy, I hadn’t sewn anything since October! It’s just crazy how time can slip away like that.

Then, one day last week, Greg complimented a quilt I made that he was laying under on the couch. He told me that he loves my quilts and said he loves being able to use them every day. That really tugged at my heart strings. I mean, he always says he likes my quilts when I ask his opinion, but in my mind, it was kind of like asking a guy if they like your outfit or something… I don’t know. Greg’s not really a sentimental guy, so it made me really happy to hear him say that.

So I decided to finish a quilt top I started working on in the summertime. (Jeez.) It was the prefect way to get back into the swing of things. I already had everything cut out except for the white sashing, which only took a few minutes. The whole thing came together really quickly and I love the way it turned out! I’m probably going to use a grey sheet for the backing and can’t wait to quilt it once I finish up a few quilts for Eileen Quilts customers.

After I finished that, I jumped right in to a cute, paper-pieced mug rug for my Modern Quilt Guild mug rug swap on Wednesday. I have two other quilts to bind and two wholecloth quilts to quilt, and then I’m thinking about working on my Swoon quilt again… the one that got me into the sewing slump in the first place! Or, maybe I’ll do another quick one, just to make myself feel good.

It feels great to be back!

+ high-res version

I was lucky enough to quilt Karyn’s beautiful Cog & Wheel quilt a few weeks ago. Check out the sweet post she wrote about her quilt, and just quilting in general. If you live near Toronto, make it a priority to stop by her beautiful fabric shop, where you can take some really great classes and rent time on (or buy) Bernina sewing machines. I think I would literally be at The Workroom every day if I lived there!  If you’re not near Toronto, check out her online shop where she sells the cutest embroidery scissors, Japanese sewing and needlework books, and delicious Cosmo embroidery floss.

For more information on my longarm quilting services, go to

Photo: Karyn