03 July 2015

Farm Girl Vintage Blog Hop: Gingham!

Hi! Welcome to the Gingham Stop on the Farm Girl Vintage blog hop, hosted by the lovely folks at Fat Quarter Shop.

I have a big thing for gingham. (I wish this were a picture of me!)

I heart gingham. Think my husband will let me gingham-ify our house?

Those stairs make me swoon!

And when I got a choice of blocks to feature from Lori Holt's new book Farm Girl Vintage, there was no question in my mind. Gingham is my girl.

I also love polka dots. And so I made my gingham blocks using the Swiss Dot prints from Riley Blake. Gingham made from polka dot fabrics? Using patriotic colors? It's a trifecta of awesome!

The secret? I learned this little trick from the wonderful Lori as well: when you need the perfect, just-lighter-than-what-you've-got fabric, you flip it over to the wrong side and voila - a perfect match.

I made the large table runner from Lori's book. And it's on my table for the Fourth of July this year. Complete with apple pies and cherry pies. Because that's what you eat on the Fourth of July! Although it looks pretty great on my piano too:

In honor of Lori's book release, I've got THREE, count 'em, THREE giveaways going. The prizes?

  • A copy of Lori's Book Farm Girl Vintage (sponsored by moi)

  • A bundle of Riley Blake Gingham fabrics (sponsored by Riley Blake)

To enter, just leave a comment. What do I want to hear? Answer a question for me: have you tried, or are you interested in trying chicken scratch embroidery (where you embroider over the squares on gingham fabric)? Want to see what it looks like? I've got an entire Pinterest board dedicated to Gingham and Polka Dots, with lots of pictures of chicken scratch. Giveaway closes next Friday, July 10th, at 10-ish MST time.

02 July 2015

Thursday Finish: Simple Life Dottie Quilt #1

Do you ever just spaz out when it comes to making sure the backing for your quilt is the right size before you start quilting the thing?

I guess you wouldn't have this problem if you're quilting at home and you have to baste it. You'd figure it out pretty quickly.

But on the long-arm, you can't tell until you get to the end and you realize that your backing isn't big enough. You thought you did the math right, but you're childhood math teachers would be sorely disappointed.

So you unzip the quilt (LOVE the zippers!), bring it home and scour the internet for more of your backing fabric. Then you piece on another strip to give you the length you need.

But she's all done now!

I used wool batting on this one, and I know I'll use it again. So fun to quilt on! And I love how these fussy cut squares:

A photo posted by Jennie (@porchswingquilts) on
I'm not sure where this quilt will go. My mom would say my daughters have enough quilts (and she'd be right), but it's just so pretty and girly.

The stats, if you're interested:
Pattern: Dottie by Cluck Cluck Sew
Fabric: The Simple Life by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake

Checking this one off my 2QFAL list as well.

01 July 2015

Wednesday Finish: Elephant Wall Hanging, er, Bucket Bag!

Warning: pattern rant ahead.

I get it. Printing patterns to include in books can be expensive. But, for the love of Pete, please don't print on both sides of the paper for a large pattern. So I'm going to have to figure out how to make a copy of one side in order to cut it all out and tape it together.

Ain't nobody got time for that. Or at least I didn't. So I decided to make one of these Bucket Basket Totes with some cute pink elephants I had around. Actually, I made two!

Checking this one off the 2QFAL list and sending her off to Australia!

30 June 2015

Fabric Tuesday: Zebra Pillow

Another gift for my animal swap partner: a zebra pillow cover!

I used this tutorial from Sew Fresh Quilts to make the zebra, and I quilted it on the longarm yesterday.

I'm pretty happy with the result, and I hope she loves it. Just my elephant project to go now. Wish me luck!

Checking them off the 2QFAL list.

29 June 2015

Monday Finish: MID Mini Pillow

Do you ever have that project, big or small, that just needs one more thing to finish it? But you don't finish it for, like, ever?

That would be this little pillow. Silly me! It just needed the binding!

I made it to test out my Make It Do Mini pattern. I was gifted a Color Theory mini charm pack, which was perfect for this little project.

I finally got the binding on this weekend and she's happily joined the billion other pillows on my daughter's bed.

Checking her off the 2QFAL list.

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Rivers!

Hey! I found some of my missing sew-jo! Dealing with health problems sure takes a whole lot out of you, but I got a few things done last week:
  • Finish Giveaway Weekender - ALMOST done! Here's a progress shot:

  • Finish Zebra Pillow - deadline June 30th - it just needs to be quilted. What do you think so far:
A photo posted by Jennie (@porchswingquilts) on
  • Finish Giraffe Open Wide Pouch - deadline June 30th - DONE! Blogged here
  • Start Elephant Ticker Tape Wall hanging - deadline June 30th - had to change plans a bit (a rant for another day - grrrr!), but I like what I went with. I'll be quilting these today:

  • Finish Gingham table runner - deadline July 3rd - also just needs quilting:
A photo posted by Jennie (@porchswingquilts) on
So based on that lil' update up there, guess what I'm doing today?


See, when you're husband comes home for a week, you take advantage of the extra parent and you schedule quilting time. At least that's what I did.

So this week, I plan to:
  • Quilt and bind Zebra Pillow
  • Quilt and bind Elephant wall hanging
  • Quilt and bind Gingham Table runner
  • Quilt and bind Simple Life Dottie #1
  • And finally finish the Giveaway Weekender
If I can swing it, I'm going in for another quilting day on Friday. We'll see how it works, but I'd LOVE to get a few more things quilted and ready to go.

And now, for the color palette.

Rivers. Why rivers, you ask?

I love rivers. If I could, I'd live right next to one. I love the sound of them. I love sitting by them. I love the way the light plays with them. LOVE them.

I live in a city with a few rivers. And in the hot hot hot summer, we float down them on inner tubes. 2 1/2 hours of floating. It's lovely and relaxing and the cold (freakin' cold!) water feels great. Just don't do what I did the first time I floated the river and forget your sunblock. Worst. Sunburn. Ever.

So here are some of my favorite rivers:

The Boise River:

My beloved Columbia River, twice!

And the Ohanepecosh River at Mt. Rainier - will always be one of my favorite rivers:

How 'bout you? Are you a river person like me? Do you have a favorite list of rivers?

28 June 2015

Sunday Finish: 80s Sew Together Bag

I'm enjoying the swap-culture on Instagram, for the most part, and I really had a great time making this Sew Together Bag for my partner. She said she specifically wanted one, and it worked out beautifully.

I chose bright colors for the inside of the bag because, well, everything about the 80s was pretty loud. And I'm totally crushing on that purple heart fabric. Did you doodle big puffy hearts on your folders too?

I've got one more little project to include with this - a Beastie Boys mug rug. I'm really excited about that part of it!

The stats (what I know!):
Pattern: Sew Together Bag
Outside fabric: Geekly Chic Cassettes by Amy Adams for Riley Blake (but you can also get it on Spoonflower)
Inside fabric: assorted stuff
Zippers: ZipIt on Etsy (she even has a listing for the Sew Together bundle - an 18-inch zipper and 3 9-inch zippers, all in a range of colors! I don't even bother going to Joann's for zippers anymore.)
Cassette Charm Zipper Pull: JulepTulip on Etsy

Checking this girl off the 2QFAL list.

27 June 2015

Saturday Finish: Giraffe Open Wide Pouch

I'm doing a favorite animals swap, and I have to ship everything out next week. I love waiting until the last minute to get things done, don't you? :)

My partner wanted elephants, zebras, and giraffes. I found this adorable giraffe fabric and I thought it would be fun to make a little open wide pouch with it.

I got the cute zipper pull from JulepTulip on Etsy. One of my favorite shops these days.

I hope she likes it! Now to finish her zebra pillows and elephant wall hanging before next Wednesday!

Checking this pouch off the 2QFAL list.

26 June 2015

Friday Finish: Unicorn Open Wide Pouches

Okay, I freely admit that I had absolutely no one in mind when I made these. I had the unicorn fabric. I found some coordinating fabrics and the rest is history.


And, surprise, surprise, my polka dot princess claimed the blue one. And I claimed the pink one. For what purpose, I'm not sure (me, not the PDP - she's got hers full of books and treasures already).

I made it using the largest version of Noodlehead's tutorial. I bought my little unicorn zipper pull from JulepTulip on Etsy. She has such a great selection, and she ships things out super fast!

Have a happy Friday! I'll be back with more finishes tomorrow! Oh, and checking these girls off the 2QFAL list!

22 June 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Weddings!

I'm not even going to review my last list. My sew-jo has taken a hiatus, but I've got some deadlines, so here's hoping I can get things done this week!

  • Finish Giveaway Weekender
  • Finish Zebra Pillow - deadline June 30th
  • Finish Giraffe Open Wide Pouches - deadline June 30th
  • Start Elephant Ticker Tape Wall hanging - deadline June 30th
  • Finish Gingham table runner - deadline July 3rd
Yep. It's a lot. But I've got some babysitting lined up for my kids, which is good. Mostly for appointments with doctors, but I'm getting some sewing time in as well.

I thought it would be fun to play with wedding colors a bit. Either the colors you used for your own wedding, or what you would use now.

This is what I'd use now (not that I even remotely want to go through the whole dating/wedding nonsense again. I'm happily married!):

I really love all these colors. I'd for sure have a chocolate cake. And a lemon one. And red shoes. And yellow and red and blue flowers. Or something. But I love all these colors!

What about you?

12 June 2015

Pillows and Pin Bowls

These pillows have been done for forever, but I just hadn't gotten around to photographing them. Silly me!

Just a couple of orphan blocks lying around. And you can never have too many pillows, right? Got to at least try that spiral quilting (needs some work). And I get to check them off the 2QFAL list!

On another note, I wanted to introduce you to my two new pin bowl friends.

Pistachio and Cherry:

Don't tell Pistachio, but Cherry is my favorite. And I'm just now realizing that these are Christmas colors. Sigh. I LOVE Christmas!

I got pistachio as a gift from a friend. I wanted two (actually, I want ten!), but these were pretty hard to come by. But then I found a new source for them. Same product. Identical workmanship. And available for more than five minutes at the crack of dawn a few days a year! I think I'm going to get yellow and aqua to round out the collection.

So go here if you want a pin bowl yourself. They even take pre-orders and ship internationally.

Edited to add:
I guess I don't have a problem with someone seeing a successful, but limited product, and capitalizing on it. The maker of the "original" pin bowls had a great idea, but her product is only available in random fits and starts and it got very frustrating if you missed that tiny window of opportunity. If someone else is offering the same product (and you can't trademark/copyright a polka dot) with a different approach to supply/demand, I say, "Yay!"

From a fabric buyer's perspective, I don't want to have to set my alarm to buy a certain fabric before it sells out.

But I'm interested. Your thoughts?

08 June 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Twinkle Twinkle

Last week took a toll on me, let me tell you. Found out I need to have my gall bladder removed, and my thyroid is kaput, so I'm on meds for that. I've also got something wrong with my heart, so we're figuring that out. It was a bit of a roller coaster week. I need to level out a bit!

But it's not going to slow me down too much. Okay, maybe it will. I actually have a "before my surgery" list going now.

Last week's list:
  • Prep for quilting class: I'm teaching them about HSTs, Scrappy Trip blocks, and Disappearing 4-patch blocks. It's going to be fun! - great class - hope we've inspired a few more quilters out there
  • Work on Weekenders - the heart trouble diagnosis and all the appointments has really put the brakes on things.
  • More Flowering Snowball blocks - maybe even finish them - still in the works - this week perhaps
My mom is here taking care of me this week, and we're simplifying my life as best we can, so there's not much on the agenda besides organization:
  • Finish Flowering Snowball blocks
  • Cut fabric for Gingham table runner
  • Sew Giraffe Open Wide Pouches
  • Cut and sew Zebra Pillow
  • Get started on Elephant Ticker Tape quilt
That's all. Those last three are for a swap that's due to ship on July 1st, so I've got to get busy. Those deadlines are handy little things, aren't they?

Now, I was running out of ideas, and I wanted to do something that was friendly to my Southern Hemisphere participants, so I asked my daughter. Always keep an imaginative eleven year old around. Her suggestion? Well, after dragons, was stars. So I give you STARS!

What about you? Any star pictures to share?

01 June 2015

Make-A-List Color Mondays: Summer Sippin'

Hi there!

Boy howdy was last week crazy! And this week is even worse. But I'm determined to accomplish a few things.

Last week:
  • Finish those dang Needlebooks! - done and blogged here
  • Weekender bags, now that I've seen The Avengers - started cutting them, and I've pieced some of the panels
  • And more Flowering Snowball blocks - I've added several more, but I've got a lot to go
And for the craziness this week, I offer this list:
  • Prep for quilting class: I'm teaching them about HSTs, Scrappy Trip blocks, and Disappearing 4-patch blocks. It's going to be fun!
  • Work on Weekenders - hopefully finish out bags at least
  • More Flowering Snowball blocks - maybe even finish them
And that's it, because I've got three medical appointments for me, my boys are going to the dentist, the class to teach, and cub scout day camp for my oldest son. And life. Life is busy!

I thought it would be fun to do a summer sippin' theme. And my favorite thing to drink in the summertime is strawberry lemonade. 

Or an awesome cherry limeade. 

What about you? What do you like to sip on in the summertime? 

For a little how-to on Color Mondays, click on the tab up top to find out how to play along.

29 May 2015

Friday Finish: Needlebooks

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. Not that they aren't adorable. I just wanted something, well, more.

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.

This one is actually mine, but hers is identical. I especially love that little tulip pocket and the text fabric on the front. I made sure "Tuesday" was front and center. It's my lucky day. I got married on a Tuesday!

And then I wanted to make two more as gifts for some good friends. So here they are:

Checking these off the 2QFAL list. And I got mine shipped off just in time. Hope it gets there by Monday!

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!

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.