Thursday, February 23, 2023


I rate every quilt top I piece from 1 to 5, where 1 = What was I thinking, and 5 = OMG I'll keep it forever. Well, very few quilts ever become a 5, and even if they do, I very rarely finish them because I find it tough to finish my favorites! But I decided to pull out a 5 for my first quilt of the year, and Peaks is it.

In fact, Peaks is not only a 5-star quilt for me, but it's also one of my absolute favorites that I've ever made. It's a combination of the pattern, the fabric (both designed by Natalie Barnes) and of course, some wonderful memories I have attached to the piecing of this quilt that makes it such a special quilt to me.

I bought the kit for this quilt on a whim because I loved it so much, but I didn't make it for awhile because I was intimidated by its seeming complexity. I then ran into Natalie at a quilt show, and after chatting with her, she assured me I could do it. And after I got home, I did! It turned out a lot easier than I expected, and the whole piecing experience was so fun too.

After I got Peaks on the frames, I stared at it for a long time, unsure of what to do. I haven't experienced drawing a complete blank on what to quilt for a very long time, but I think the stakes for this quilt is oh-so-high because I love it oh-so-much.

I ended up deciding that each type of block will get a certain quilting design, and there are only a few different types of blocks: small squares, medium squares, large squares, and spike blocks, and I picked a different design for each type of block.

I had no idea what the final quilt will look like when I started it, but trusted that if I just applied this quilting design consistently across the quilt, it will turn out alright. And it did turn out beautiful! I absolutely love it.

I'm so happy I finished this quilt, and I'll call it now, this is probably already my favorite finish of the year. It's hard to imagine topping it!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Harpa ~ A Knitting Finish, Finally

I haven't posted about knitting in a few years, despite my initial intention to make this blog about all my creative pursuits, but it's mostly because I haven't done much knitting for a few years. However, lately I've finally started knitting again, and I'm finding one of my favorite ways to relax is actually putting on a record and knitting. (Yes, record. I had no idea that vinyls are hot amongst millennials right now until recently, I guess I'm just following a trend I wasn't aware of.)

Nowadays, I mostly knit scarves exclusively because I don't have to worry about the size so much. Harpa by Cirilia Rose is a project I started more than 3 and a half years ago, though I finished about 80% of it in the last 6 months. It was a looong project because I could only do a few rows at a time.

I really started to get excited about this project once the pattern started coming out, but I was still filled with a lot of doubts and concerns as I went on, several times being tempted to give up. But I'm glad I didn't, because I love the end result! Like quilting, most of the concerns we have while working on a project disappear when it's done.

This scarf is probably my warmest ever, because it has 4 layers of fabric! I suppose it's a good thing there are a few more weeks of winter left here in Chicagoland, so I might have a chance to use it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Zen Garden

When I started quilting a few years ago, I quickly decided that Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic was my favorite fabric designer. I went on a mad hunt to try to get fabric from each of her collections, including the out-of-print ones from the days before I knew what a quilt even was.

And I succeeded ... I got a little bit of everything. One of those collections that I snagged was Juggling Summer, which is probably one of her earliest collections. However, after I got it, I realized that I had no clue what to do with it. I wasn't even sure I liked it, but it caused a great amount of stash guilt. I had to do something with it.

One day while randomly browsing, I found a quilt pattern that used Juggling Summer in a way that I actually liked! It was a pattern called Zen Garden by Color Girl Quilts. This quilt was super easy to piece, and I liked how despite the chaotic color arrangement, the zigzags that weave through the quilt bring a sense of ... structure.

Since the fabric is so busy, I kept the quilting super simple for this quilt, with just a few alternating geometric designs and straight lines.

Zen Garden is my 7th and final finish of the year, and it was a very fun, easy, and relaxing quilt to make. It helped relieve some stash guilt, and also served a reminder to me that simple quilting can be effective too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


Ikat is a pattern by Brigitte Heitland featuring fabric from her Fragile collection, one of my favorite fabric collections ever. I've made so many quilts with it, including Fragile, Paradox, and Critical Sunshine, and that's just the ones I've finished quilting! What can I say, I'm a sucker for black and gold.

Ikat was one of those quilts that I really wanted to have, but not necessarily to make. Piecing this quilt was a royal pain, due to the jelly rolls. But once I was done with it, I really loved the quilt top, and I knew it'd be as fun to quilt as it was a pain to piece.

Since the fabric is quite busy, I kept the quilting very simple in most of the blocks with just dot-to-dot quilting.

I decided to quilt all the white based blocks differently with some swirls. However, this was a real challenge on some of those blocks because I couldn't really see what I was doing.

I absolutely love, love, love this quilt! However, I'm done with jelly rolls. Once I get through my current stash (which will admittedly take awhile) I will probably never buy any more ... at least not from Moda. The pretty jelly roll packages are such a siren song, so I hope I can resist in the future! May this blog post serve a reminder to me, though ...

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Feathered Star

I've tried to keep up a good ratio lately, trying to quilt 2 quilts for every quilt top I finish. (So far, maybe I'm succeeding at a 1.3 : 1 ratio, but baby steps). The quilt I chose to quilt next is Feathered Star, a pattern by Rebecca Bryan using a fabric line called Geogram by Samarra Khaja.

I vaguely remembered posting about completing the quilt top for Feathered Star so I went searching for it ... and dates don't lie, this quilt top is just over 4 years old! Even though a long time has passed, I still remember it as a pretty challenging project at the time.

But even though piecing this was hard, quilting it was pretty straightforward. I kept the quilting extremely simple in the stars because the print is so busy.

In the diamonds, it was a chance to do some free-motion quilting. The original pattern had this space as black, but I knew black isn't nearly as fun to quilt, so I substituted a light gray.

I was a bit hesitant about this quilt top when I first finished it, because I wasn't sure light gray was the right call for those diamonds as opposed to the extremely striking impression that black diamonds would have made, but I do like the end result a lot!

Thursday, September 22, 2022


Periodicity is a quilt designed by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Design. The pattern is so graphic and the Kona solids so vibrant, the minute I saw it, I knew I had to make it!

I was quite excited to quilt this because blue background means I can use blue thread. I use a light yellow thread about 90% of the time, so it's very exciting to use another color. Another reason I pulled this quilt out is that I was just dying to use one of my favorite designs that I hadn't done in a long time: the wavy design.

Besides the waves that encompass most of the quilt, I also used a Greek tile design and a ribbon candy.

I didn't want to quilt all over the foreground stripes, so I echoed them minimally and echoed that same effect in the background.

Sometimes a quilt asks to be quilted, and sometimes I just really want to do a design and picked the quilt best suited for it. This is the latter case, and I really love the final look!


Linking up with: Meadow Mist Designs

Thursday, September 1, 2022


I keep a spreadsheet of all my quilting projects so I can keep track of where they are, when I finished them, etc, but Insignia predated all that, and I have no idea how old this quilt top is! I barely remembered what it looked like, so when I pulled it out of the pile to finish it, it looked ... well, like all the colors of the rainbow dumped into a quilt. It is bright.

The pattern is Alternative by Alison Glass, and the fabric I used is a combination of Insignia (hence the name of the quilt) and some fabrics from her other lines. It's a big mish-mash of colors, but for some reason it works.

I had a really hard time figuring out how to quilt this, which is part of the reason it stayed on the shelves for years. But I realized I was never going to come up with something without forcing myself to, so I loaded it and then just drew out a design. I used a combination of plume feathers and a geometric design in the blocks, and tied it together by using one of my favorite designs in long strips: just straight lines.

I used to be possessed by the need to quilt every quilt to death, but in the last few years I've definitely felt that weight lift and now I let the quilt tell me whether it wants to be simple or intricate. This quilt chose something in-between, and I'm very happy with how it looks.

When I look at this quilt, it's just so bright that it raises my spirits! I'm thrilled to have finished this "oldie" and I'm excited to quilt more of them in the months to come.


Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation.
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