Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Two Christmas Quilts January 24, 2017

Filed under: quilts — faithandfamily @ 8:38 pm

It seems like I haven’t sewn in forever. I just haven’t felt like I have the time anymore. But I’ve managed to fit it in lately, and it is so good to be back!

My sister-in-law moved to Bangladesh in the summer of 2015. In preparation for the move, she sold or gave away most of her belongings. I acquired a lot of her sewing stuff. Amidst the treasures, she gave me a set of vintage sheets and told me that she had wanted to make a quilt with them, but she never got around to it. I knew immediately that I was going to make that quilt for her. I wanted it to be something she could take back to Bangladesh with her to remind her of home and of family. I knew they were coming back to the states for a few months in the summer of 2016, so my goal was to have it done in time for them to take back with them when they returned to Bangladesh. As it turned out, terrorism kept them from returning, but I still wanted to make the quilt for her, maybe even as a remembrance of the time apart and as a symbol of hope if she ends up in another lonely place in the future. img_0554

I ended up really loving this quilt, and she did too. The basic idea for the blocks can be found here. It’s called the Tuscan Cuddle. Of course, I didn’t use precut fabrics, as the pattern suggests. I used four different fabrics, including the white. I felt like the white was important to break up the busyness of the yellows. When I was cutting the fabric, I cut every fabric into twelve 10″ squares. I kept 7 squares whole,  I cut four squares in half for the rectangles, and I cut one whole square plus one of the rectangles into quarters to make the smaller squares. I rotated the fabrics and made sure that each of the blocks had one of each of the 4 different fabrics. Once my blocks were assembled (with one large square, two rectangles and a small square), I sewed the blocks together with 4 across and 5 down, for a total of 20 complete blocks. This made a nice, generous lap size. This was the visual I used when I was planning the quilt:


I hope this visual helps if you decide to try something similar.

The other quilt I made was for my mom. I’ve made many quilts over the years for many people, but I’ve never made one for my mom. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt before I mailed it off, but here is a picture of the finished quilt top before I added the border:


I used this pattern and I tried to pick traditional fabrics that would match her living room. This made a nice, generous-sized lap quilt.

It was good to be back with my sewing machine again. While sewing, I listened for hours to podcasts and even managed to position my phone so that I could watch Netflix while sewing. It was really restful and fulfilling. It’s good to be back.


Quilt for My Youngest September 21, 2014

Filed under: quilts — faithandfamily @ 8:00 pm

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Partly because my sewing machine hasn’t been too active, and partly because I’ve just neglected to post about some of my most recent projects.

I am so proud of this quilt I made for my youngest daughter.

IMG_1150 IMG_1151 IMG_1152 IMG_1153

I decided to go with the color scheme of orange, pink, yellow, turquoise, and lime green, and then I went to my stash and tried to use up scraps from other projects. This quilt took a lot of fabric, so I ended up having to buy several fabrics to get the amount I needed. But it is neat that there are so many scrap pieces in it that remind me of other projects I’ve made.

I used this tutorial for my quilt blocks, although I made them bigger. I decided I needed a sashing around the blocks to really define the blocks, but the quilt blocks were so big that I used a very skinny sashing to avoid adding a lot of length or width to the quilt.

For the actual quilting, I love the hearts that I made. I learned how to make the hearts using Leah Day’s online tutorial. Instead of outlining the hearts 3x though, I liked the look of two outlines. I tell my daughter that each heart I stitched means “I love you,” so there are countless “I love yous” woven into this quilt!


Elisa’s Quilt March 26, 2013

Filed under: quilts — faithandfamily @ 8:02 pm

A good friend of mine named Elisa lost her dad unexpectedly last April. In the months following the tragedy, I kept trying to think of ways to help my grieving friend. One thing I mentioned was that I would be glad to make her something with some of her dad’s clothes–a blanket or scarf–something that she could wrap around her as if to wrap his arms around her. Her mom had seen a denim quilt I had made several years back and decided that might be a good thing for me to make, so last Christmas she secretly brought me a bag full of Elisa’s dad’s jeans. I’ve spent the last few months working on this lap-sized quilt and was so relieved to finally finish it and give it to my friend for her birthday. Happy birthday, Elisa! I pray that this quilt will always remind you of your dad’s love and also of our family’s love for you!



Mini Quilt August 21, 2012

Filed under: quilts — faithandfamily @ 1:21 am

When I made Katrina’s baby quilt a few months ago, it required sewing strips together, which were then cut into squares. After I cut all the squares from the strips, there were little scraps left over, and I had the idea of saving them and letting my 8-year-old piece them together to make her own first quilt. It ended up being a really special project!

My 8-y-o made it for her 3-y-o sister (and the little sister’s special teddy bear.) Little Sister was so excited about the quilt and has been lovingly using it since she received it. Big Sister was proud of her work, and she and I enjoyed some creative time together when she made it. Often, the sewing machine is where I spend some alone time, but it was nice to spend time at the sewing machine with my daughter.

I think this quilt will be treasured by all of us for a very long time.


Zig-Zag Quilt June 29, 2012

Filed under: quilts — faithandfamily @ 12:05 pm

Summer, so far, has been full of vacationing and organizing, and I haven’t been sewing as much, but I did finish something yesterday that I’m pretty proud of.

I used the zigzag quilt tutorial found here. This is a baby quilt for my friend Katrina, who is expecting her first. It’s actually a lap-sized quilt rather than a crib-size. The tutorial makes a lap-sized quilt, and I thought about making it smaller but decided to go ahead and make it full-sized so that, hopefully, my friend’s child can use the quilt even as he/she grows up.

When I asked Katrina about the colors of her nursery, she told me that they won’t find out the gender of the baby before birth, and she is decorating with brown, green, and yellow, with accents in red, orange, and turquoise. So, it was pretty easy to use those colors to make a beautiful color scheme.

I was fabric shopping with my friend Kelley, and the first three fabrics I chose had some kind of circle on them. Kelley said something like, “You’re either going to need to stop picking circles, or else just stick with the circle theme for all your fabrics.” I thought that was great advice, and I decided to stick with the circle theme. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but all the fabrics have some kind of circle on them.

I used a Kona white for the white zigzags, and I used a nice soft sheet from Target for the backing. I did free-motion quilting, and I just love how it turned out!


A Quilt for Aunt Esther March 16, 2012

Filed under: quilts — faithandfamily @ 3:56 pm

My aunt Esther found out a few weeks ago that she has breast cancer. She has a lot of painful treatment ahead of her, and I wanted to make her a quilt, as a bit of comfort and a reminder that she is loved. She’s a strong woman. She was born with spina bifida and has endured a lot of surgeries and treatment in the past. I pray that God will give her strength for her new journey.


Kelsie’s Quilt January 30, 2012

Filed under: quilts,Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 4:18 pm

This week I finished my first free-motion quilt! I learned how to free-motion last week in my sewing class. I practiced during the class, and then I came home and went right to work on this quilt. The teacher advised lots of practice first, but I knew that this quilt would be a great way to practice, and I think it turned out great!

I didn’t use any particular free-motion pattern. I just kind of wandered around, doing swirls and loops.

I like to use sheets for the backs of my quilts, because you just can’t beat the fabric price per yard. I found this cozy Laura Ashley flannel sheet at Ross on sale.I don’t think I could’ve found anything more perfect for this quilt. And the best part is that I have the whole fitted sheet and part of the flat sheet leftover for another project.

I made a matching pillow cover too, out of the flannel backing fabric, so that little Kelsie will have a matching pillow, just her size, to go with her quilt.

I can’t wait to put these in the mail this week. I’ve got something I need to make my mom, to slip in the package, before I mail it, and hopefully I’ll get that done soon!

(By the way, Terrie, I took your fabulous advice and taped the backing to the floor when I was putting all the layers together. Wow! It worked beautifully!)