25 May 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Memorial Day

Let's just go over that crazy, what-was-I-thinking list from last week (and what I did instead!):
  • Sew 27 Flowering Snowball Blocks (I need 81, and I've got 14 so far) - I'm up to 26. Here's a progress shot:
  • Finish the 80s Sew Together Bag for a swap - done, blogging this week
  • Cut and sew a Geometric Bliss Needlebook for a swap (gotta ship on the 1st!) - almost done with four of them!
  • Cut and sew panels for two weekender bags - saw The Avengers instead (date with the husband!)
  • And sew together my Flower Sugar pillow shams  - done and ready to quilt
So here are my plans for this week:
  • Finish those dang Needlebooks!
  • Weekender bags, now that I've seen The Avengers
  • And more Flowering Snowball blocks
Now, for the color palettes this week.

I'm a true-blue, dyed in the wool, proud to be an American (singing with Lee Greenwood right now in my head) kind of girl. Both my grandfathers were U.S. Marines. Two of my brothers were U.S. Marines, and my husband was U.S. Air Force. Memorial day is a special day for our family. 

So I chose Memorial Day as the theme for our color palettes. I recognize that not all of you who play along are from the U.S., but that's okay. I hope you love your country, wherever that his. And here's the spot to show it! After you watch Ray Charles sing my favorite patriotic song. Well, one of them. I have lots.

This awesome Marine Sniper is my baby brother. Kinda love this kid a lot.

My favorite flag.

Check this one out: Amber waves of grain, Purple mountains majesty AND from sea to shining sea!

Happy Memorial Day y'all. Link on up!

22 May 2015

Fabric Tuesday: Needlebook

I signed up for a needlebook swap, but I wanted to make something a little different than just a teeny little needlebook with felt pages.

I discovered this pattern by Aneela Hoey. Lucky me, she was having a sale too! I thought it was darling and perfect for what I wanted to make. And here she is. Actually, I made two. One for me!

After a little partner stalking, I decided on some Geometric Bliss for her and I love how it turned out.

Since we were doing Geometric Bliss for one, might as well do it for another!

18 May 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Strawberries!

Totally played catch up last week! Never got ahead, so let's just not dwell on what I said I would do, shall we?

I confess to getting a bit distracted by something I'd cut out ages ago. And now I'm neck deep in Flowering Snowball blocks and I can't stop! So here's my list for this week:
  • Sew 27 Flowering Snowball Blocks (I need 81, and I've got 14 so far)
  • Finish the 80s Sew Together Bag for a swap
  • Cut and sew a Geometric Bliss Needlebook for a swap (gotta ship on the 1st!)
  • Cut and sew panels for two weekender bags
  • And sew together my Flower Sugar pillow shams
That's all. I know, right? Not much, but my sweetheart gets into town Thursday night and we're going to be a busy little family this holiday weekend. I'm going to trim and press blocks, but mostly, we're just going to spend time together.

And now, color palettes. Next week will be Memorial Day themed palettes, but for now, I feel like strawberries. Especially strawberry tarts.

15 May 2015

Friday Finish: Auntie's Kitty Quilt

This quilt was commissioned back in January. I delivered it to my aunt at the end of last month, and she gave it to her childhood bestie in California right away.

Not going to lie. This was a tough quilt. But fun, and I love how it turned out.

Backed in a pretty charcoal Minky, and quilted all over with loops, hearts and flowers. I also hand-embroidered a label for her.

Checking this one off the 2QFAL list

13 May 2015

Online Shopping Experiences: a comparison

I thought I'd open a conversation.

I've had experience now purchasing from Craftsy, Etsy, Payhip, Big Cartel and then individual sites. Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly about my experiences thus far.

Craftsy: I buy, and sell, here a lot. The good: instant downloads, a library of your patterns, and I can use PayPal. The bad: so difficult to search for specific things on Craftsy, and you can't pay with a credit card. The ugly: none, really.

Etsy: I just opened my Etsy shop. I have to say, as a seller, I prefer Craftsy, as I make more money and I don't have to list my items over and over again. Or pay a fee just to list it (and hope it sells before the listing expires). As a buyer, the good: easy to search, create favorites and lists, and you can pay several different ways (depending on the seller. The bad: no library of digital patterns. You have to go through all your purchases to find the digital patterns. The ugly: none so far.

Payhip: I have to say, I liked the one experience I had. I know it's preferred for the international crowd as it helps with the tax stuff. The good: pretty site, great layout for individual designers, fast, easy, I can use PayPal, and the e-mail (with attached file) is instant. The bad: nothing bad to say so far, which means there's no ugly either. This is like Big Cartel, in that it's an individual storefront rather than something like Etsy or Craftsy. You do have to pay for the service, but it might be worth it as a seller.

Individual sites: I just had a really annoying experience with an individual site. At this site they sell paper and PDF patterns. However, rather than let me bypass the whole shipping address headache (as I'm just getting a PDF), as well as a billing address (as I've already indicated I'm paying with PayPal), I had to go through that whole rigamoral. Once I'd completed the purchase, I received two e-mails: a receipt from PayPal, as usual, and an auto-generated thank you from the designer that also informed me I would have to wait for a second e-mail with the "password" to unlock my PDF file. Fifteen hours later and the password is still not in my inbox. Seriously? I need a special password to unlock the file that I have paid for, but I have to wait for it for several hours? I can assure you, I will NEVER buy another pattern from this designer again. It's not my first run-in with them either, but it was for a special project and so I sorta had to do it. Nevermore!

*ETA: I finally received my password. Even though I saved it to my computer, I still need the password each time I open the pattern. I know this is to prevent file sharing, I suppose, but if you're even slightly computer savvy, you can bypass this is about five seconds, which I did. 

So how about you? What are your thoughts on the different ways to buy and sell patterns?

p.s. I won't name names on the blog, but if you'd like to know who, I'll answer questions. :)

11 May 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Fascinating!

What a fun week last week! Let's recap:
  • Finish Oh Cherry Oh pillow - done and blogged here
  • Finish my Temple Bag - not done, but getting started this week
  • Finish my Ruby Granny Square Quilt (just adding borders) - done and blogged here
  • Cut and sew 80s/90s Sew Together Bag
  • Cut and sew Needlebook - had to order some fabric, so on hold!
  • Cut and sew Giraffe Pouches

And now, for this week:
  • Finish Zebra throw pillow
  • Sew Cherry Pillow Shams
  • Sew Flower Sugar Shams
  • Sew Wee Wander Shams (I'm noticing a shammy trend here!)
  • Quilt day: Quilt Simple Life Dottie #1 and Too Cute to Spook quilts
  • Bind quilts
As for color palettes, I just found some fascinating pictures and made a palette with them. 

What about you? What color palettes are fascinating you at the moment?

10 May 2015

Weekender Bag Winner!

I'm all for announcing winners right away.

So, I'm happy to announce that comment #63, Kristy of Hopeful Threads, is the winner! And I'm so excited to make an Aloha Girl Weekender.

Congratulations Kristy! I'm e-mailing you right now so we can get started on plans for your gorgeous bag!

Thanks for playing everyone!

08 May 2015

A finish: Oh Cherry Oh Make It Do Pillow

If you're interested, my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is here. It's a good one. I promise.

Not a big finish, but a good one.

This was my first test block, back when I was designing my Make It Do quilt. I made it using a charm pack, and I sort of love it. My daughter has claimed it, but I'm okay with that.

She finishes at 18 inches square, and she's happily residing on the eldest child's bed. Well, when baby girl isn't stealing her. After all, there's polka dots!

Crossing this one off the 2QFAL list and moving on to the next project.

07 May 2015

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway: Handmade Patchwork Weekender

Hi! Welcome to my little corner o' blog land.

A little about me:

  • My name is Jennie.
  • I am a pattern designing, baking, homeschooling mama of five.
  • I love the Avengers, Jane Austen, Indian food, lemon bars, motorcycles, and fabric. Especially fabric.
  • I've got an Etsy shop and a Craftsy shop - check them out if you're interested. Links to the right.
  • I might be a little obsessed with Amy Butler's Weekender bag pattern.
So there's your prize. Enter to win your very own, custom patchwork Weekender bag in the current fabric line of your choice (has to be available in Jelly Roll, Charm Pack, or Layer Cake form).

Here's just a few of the ones I've made, for myself and for friends too:

Just leave me a comment and let me know which fabric line you'd choose. There are so many fun choices out there!

The fine print:
  • Giveaway is open until Sunday, May 10 at 5 p.m. PST
  • Giveaway is open to all participants - I will ship internationally!
  • Winner will be notified immediately via e-mail and we will start consulting about your bag.
  • I'll need a month to acquire the fabric and make the bag, so shipping will be approx. June 14th.
  • If you are a no-reply blogger, you can't win. So if you don't get a reply from me, know that you need to fix that, or just leave your e-mail just in case. Better safe than sorry!
  • Good luck, and have fun!

06 May 2015

WIP Wednesday: Ruby Grannies Flimsy

If you're interested, my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is here. It's a good one. I promise.

What has taken me so long to finish this quilt?

I started it ages ago. I'm not even going to tell you when.

I stalled when I needed more Ruby squares to make the borders. Some generous friends came through and I got her all finished.

Now, how to quilt it? Like my Sew Cherry Grannies, or my Sunkissed Grannies? This girl is destined for my bed (I know, I have quite a few to rotate through!). What I really need is a B&B. I've mentioned that before, but it's true. Then I could have my quilts on display all the time!

05 May 2015

Fabric Tuesday: Cotton and Steel Sew Together Bag

If you're interested, my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is here. It's a good one. I promise.

I'm really enjoying the whole Instagram swap world. I received this gorgeous Open Wide Pouch for that swap:

And here is my latest for my partner in the Sew Together Bag Swap.

She's a Cotton and Steel fan, so that's what I used. Oh, and she likes animals too, so I found this cute little fox (or kitty?) zipper charm.

Shipped off with some super yummy salted caramel goodies, and the cutest little mason jar filled with Wonder Clips.

So come on over the Instagram and find some swaps to join.

Oh, checking this one off the 2QFAL list.

04 May 2015

Make-A-List Color Monday: May the Fourth

Let me just get my list out of the way so we can get on to the fun of themed color palettes.
  • Finish Oh Cherry Oh pillow
  • Finish my Temple Bag
  • Finish my Ruby Granny Square Quilt (just adding borders)
  • Cut and sew 80s/90s Sew Together Bag
  • Cut and sew Needlebook
  • Cut and sew Giraffe Pouches
Okay. That's a lot, but a lot of small stuff really. 

And it's May the Fourth. You know what that means!

Star Wars themed color palettes.

Now, my husband's favorite Star Wars movie is Empire Strikes Back. I'm partial to Return of the Jedi. We'd both like to see Jar-Jar Binks sucker punched, so we're not big fans of the prequels. Seriously looking forward to Episode VII though!

Okay. Here's my palette:

What about you? Favorite Star Wars movie/moment? Have fun this week!

01 May 2015

Friday Finish: Some Throw Pillows

I've got a couple of quilts almost finished, but I thought I'd just finish these up real quick before I left town.

Now, if I haven't mentioned it, this little girly of mine has a thing for polka dots. LOVES them. All colors, although pink is definitely her color of choice. Still, all polka dots are welcome.

I quilted these a while back when I had some extra backing/batting space on the long arm. Since I knew they'd be pillows, it didn't much matter what the backing was.

And now my girly has two pink polka dot churn dash pillows. All from leftover blocks from my I Love Lucy churn dash quilt.

Checking these two off the 2QFAL list!

22 April 2015

Super Tote #2

As promised, my daughter's Super Tote.

She likes owls. A lot. Especially barn owls. She's very upset that they aren't making more of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole movies. Yeah, she loves owls.

And now she can carry dozens of books in her new bag. Because who are we kidding? She might almost be twelve, but she's so not interested in lip gloss and such, so I know it's going to haul books and sketch pads. And this momma couldn't be happier about that!

Checking it off the 2QFAL list.

21 April 2015

Fabric Tuesday: My Supertote!

Is it Supertote or Super Tote? Not that it matters to me, but I do know others care about these things.

Anywho, I finished up my Super Tote (I like this way better) and wanted to show y'all. Just in time for my trip to Seattle, but not in time for the tulip festival. Darn early spring!

I used some Geometric Bliss, plus black linen and this awesome text print called 8 Days a Week.

This bag is huge. Like, I can carry everything, and then some, inside. Which is fine for this mom. I like being able to fit a whole doodle pad, my tablet, snacks, wallet, keys, you name it! It's great. No, it's super!

Checking this girl off the 2QFAL list. And I'll show you my daughter's Super Tote tomorrow.

20 April 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Whatever you want!

Wait, what?

I didn't post last Monday?

I am SO sorry! I meant to, honest I did, but life must have happened.

So no list to compare, although here's what I did accomplish:
  • Finished and posted my aunt's kitty flimsy
  • Finished and posted those Open Wide Pouches
  • Finished, and posting tomorrow, my Super Totes (so much fun to make!)
This week is a crazy one (when is it not anymore?), and I've got lots to do:
  • Quilt and bind and label the kitty quilt
  • Sew my Flower Mini
  • Sew my Taffy Mini
  • Sew Flower Sugar Patchwork pillow shams
  • Cut and sew the Cotton and Steel Sew Together Bag for my swap partner
So not much, right? :)

Color. I was feeling uninspired regarding a theme. So I just went over to the National Geographic website and started flipping through their photo of the day album. Here's a few that I loved:

What about you? What do you find beautiful and inspiring this week?

17 April 2015

Friday Finish Part 2: Open Wide Pouches

I entered the dark world of Instagram Swaps. Seriously, friends, these are so much fun. I'm putting together a post on how to be a good swapper, because I've got some ideas on making life easier for your partner.

This was my first swap I signed up for, and I learned a lot. Lesson one: give your partner a good idea of a color palette you like. Not one color. One color says nothing. If I told you I loved yellow, that wouldn't really be enough, would it? If I told you I loved Pam Kitty Morning fabrics, you'd have a much better idea of the kind of yellow I love.

My partner likes navy. That's all I got. So this is what I made:

Usually, you fill it up with fun little trinkets and treats. Treats, especially, from what I gather. But my swap partner is dieting, so candy is out. So she gets two pouches instead of one, to make up for the missing treats.

I wanted some cute zipper pulls, and I discovered that my partner has a vintage Singer, so I added these to the bags. Aren't they the cutest? I get them from this little shop on Etsy called Julep Tulip. I've ordered quite a few from her lately, and they are the best!

One pouch has a few extras: a mini charm pack, some notecards, and a box of pins. Oh, and some of the other fabrics that came with the ones I ordered. Just to play with. 

So, what do you think? Is this mail you'd like to receive? And are you a swap addict? Confession time: I'm signed up for 8 more this year. So far. One of which is a Harry Potter Mini, and an 80s/90s swap that is going to be so much fun.

Checking this off my 2QFAL list. One down, a billion to go!

Friday Finish: A flimsy!

I'm telling you, my sew-jo took a long trip around the world or something. It's been MIA for a while.

The swaps, and this quilt, are saving me. Deadlines are good things right now.

I used this pattern, although I drew up my own cutting diagram for it. And I used half yard cuts instead of fat quarters. I didn't want to do a wider border, so I made more cats and tails.

Do you ever do this? I took this picture after I'd finished the flimsy the first time.

A photo posted by Jennie (@porchswingquilts) on

See those white cats who went sideways down at the bottom? I asked my husband if it was a big deal. He said no, but I couldn't stand it. I HAD to fix it! Out came the seam ripper, and we had pancakes for dinner so I could make it perfect. All is well with the world.

Quilting this girl next week, and delivering her to my aunt as a gift for her bestie. Wait til you see the label! I'm so excited about it!

06 April 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Episode Spring Break

An amazing, successful weekend of cutting! I've got lots of projects ready, and the sew-jo has returned.

The list for this week:
  • That kitty flimsy (just need to show it to you!)
  • An open wide pouch for an IG swap
  • Anything else that strikes my fancy - bags, borders, you name it!
Now, I know spring break is over for most of you, but just for fun, let's see where you'd LOVE to be for spring break next year. 

Me? I love the Oregon Coast. Even if it's cold and rainy. I grew up on this beach:

Our family's favorite spring break was down in Goblin Valley (FYI, Kate, they have a half in October). This place is the coolest, and so much fun for kids. We stayed in a yurt and it was fabulous.

But if I could get on a plane, I'd probably go here:

Or here:

Or take my sewing machine and go here:

I love all the greens!

What about you? Where would you go?

04 April 2015

2QFAL: April - May - June Plans

I was feeling a little discouraged last week. Not very motivated. I sat down to write this post and made a discovery.

I finished 18 WIPs last quarter. Granted, some were small, but still!

Motivation has returned, and I'm ready to tackle a new, long list.

The focus this quarter is going to change. Not as many quilt finishes, but a whole lot of other stuff.

Let's get to the list:

Quilt finishes:

Kitty quilt for my aunt

MID Mini - quilt it

Flower Mini - finish piecing and quilt it

Taffy Mini - finish piecing and quilt it

Simple Life Dottie #1

Simple Life Dottie #2

Non-quilting finishes:

Eloise Wallet

Temple Bag

Super tote #1 (for me!)

Super Tote #2 (for my daughter)

80s Sew Together Bag

Navy Open Wide Pouch

Cotton and Steel Sew Together Bag

Elephant Ticker Tape Wall Hanging


Zebra pillow cover

Giraffe Open Wide Pouch

Paris Bag

Red Flower Pillow

Flower Sugar Pillow Shams and Cases

Sew Cherry Pillow Shams and Cases

Wonder Woman Purse

MID Cherry Pillow

Polka Dot Churn Dash Pillows

X Plus Pillows