Work in Progress: Vintage Sheet Four-Patch Quilt

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


For the last year or so, I've been trying my best to prioritize working on getting old projects finished up or pass them onto someone else. This has been an effort to make things easier for our move, but also to tie up some of my many loose end projects. For the most part, I've done a pretty good job of this. Now that we've been in our new home for six months (whoa), I felt like it was finally time for a shiny new project.


When my parents came to visit last month, they brought with them the rest of my vintage pyrex and enamelware collections. I used my stash of vintage sheet fabrics to pack those collections. It worked out great, and made the unpacking really fun and colorful. When I was putting away all my sheets, I kept the scraps and small pieces to the side. I decided my next quilt had to be a scrappy sheet quilt.

If you'd like to learn more about working with vintage sheets, check out my post: How to Identify, Shop for and Sew with Vintage Sheets


With all these crazy patterns and colors I knew I wanted to keep the piecing simple. I happened to have a small stack of 5" squares already cut, so I built off of that. I decided to make some four patch blocks that finish at 4.5" to go with them. This was great for cutting up smaller scraps.


There has been a lot of chain piecing to put this quilt together. The day I started it, I didn't have much of a plan other than the basic design. I didn't know how big it was going to be, how many blocks I'd need, or any other details worked out. I just started cutting and piecing. This is a big deal for me, because I almost never work this way. Usually I have everything figured out and the math done before I even iron the fabrics. It was a nice change of pace.

Can't chain piece without my cutting gizmo.


I think I was able to comfortably work spontaneously on this quilt because it was super scrappy. I didn't have to work about running out of a particular fabric or color. I did dip into some of my smaller cuts once I ran out of variety in the scraps, which was fine. I ended making the blocks in three batches.


I stitched the top together downstairs one evening with my vintage singer featherweight, in front of the tv. It's such a quiet machine, it was perfect!


I'm very excited to get this one finished. It has been a great low-stress project for me, and the fabrics are just so cheerful.

Happy Quilting!


May Monthly Report

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Happy June! It's time for May's monthly report. See past reports here.


Keeping things short and sweet for this month's report! We've been spending time working outside whenever the weather cooperates. A few weekends ago I made a couple of planters for our front porch. I followed this youtube video. I'm really pleased with how they turned out!


I've pulled together most of the dining room, and now have all my vintage enamelware and vintage Pyrex out and on display! I love having it all together again. Here is my shelf with all my Cathrineholm, Dansk Kobenstyle, and Arabia Finel pieces.


I've been sewing, still working mostly on smaller projects. One of which was another little stuffed mouse! I made one for my Mom for Easter (see it here), and this one I made for myself. Her name is Penelope. I used this pattern, and my favorite tiny heart buttons.


To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in May:

May Fabric
Used up: 8.5 yards
Brought in: 9.75 yards
Net: +1.25 yards
Year to date: +23.25 yards

May Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

In terms of stashing, I did okay this month. I bought a few yards of plain canvas for some upcoming bags, plus a few goodies from Bijou Lovely. The rest was gifted to me, which I do still count! :)


One project from last month was this simple mini quilt that I made for my Mom for Mother's Day. I've been holding onto these panels by Suzy Ultman from Appleville for years. I still have a few pieces left, but it felt good to use up a few!

Two George photos this month, because why not? He's been his usual cute self.

Have a great month!

Convergence Baby Quilt

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Happy Tuesday! This quilt is a long overdue share. I finished it and took photos of it in April last year!


This quilt was made with a leftover variation block from my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle. In addition to all twelve quilts included in the book, I made a variation block or quilt top of each design. I've slowly either passed these along or turned them into finished projects myself. This baby quilt was made using a variation block for the Convergence quilt.

http://www.jenibakerpatterns.com/product/patchwork-essentials-the-half-square-triangle-book-signed
Guess what? I've got signed copies of my book available in my online shop again! Get your copy here.


This block was already pretty big, so one wide border was all it needed to make it baby quilt sized. That pink butterfly print is hard to photograph, it's really much more of a red-purple in person!


I kept the quilting pretty simple, just some wavy lines quilted with my walking foot.


I did have fun piecing the back! I wanted it to be two sided, so I pieced a big asymmetrical cross. I needed something that would still look right after trimming away the extra backing, and I'm happy with how it turned out.


Bound it up in a fun print that happened to match well from my stash. I attached the binding by machine to both sides, as always. I find this especially handy for baby quilts, knowing they'll end up getting washed a lot.

For a tutorial on how I attach my binding see here: Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial


As I mentioned, I snapped these photos last year, when we were still in Wisconsin. This spot was really close to our apartment, my favorite spot on Lake Mendota, Raymer's Cove. Missing it for sure!

Happy Quilting!

FIGO Fabrics LookBook

Monday, May 21, 2018

https://figofabrics.com/lookbooks.aspx
FIGO Fabrics is a new fabric division of Northcott fabrics that launched last week at Quilt Market. They debuted with five beautiful modern fabric collections.

The folks at FIGO reached out to me this Spring to mock-up some of my patterns in their new fabrics and they stitched up a bunch of great projects! Many were on display at the show, and they can all be found in their LookBook! I'm sharing the projects made from my patterns below, but definitely check out the entire thing here, as well as their instagram.

http://www.jenibakerpatterns.com/product/lined-drawstring-bag-pdf-pattern
Pattern: Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern
Fabric: Mountain Meadow by Pippa Shaw, shipping December 2018

http://www.jenibakerpatterns.com/product/florette-quilt-pdf-pattern
Pattern: Florette Quilt Pattern
Fabric: Perfect Day by Naomi Wilkinson , shipping December 2018

http://www.jenibakerpatterns.com/product/triplizip-zipper-pouch-pdf-pattern
Pattern: Triplizip Zipper Pouch Pattern
Fabric: Mountain Meadow by Pippa Shaw, shipping December 2018

http://www.jenibakerpatterns.com/product/triangularity-quilt-pdf-pattern
Pattern: Triangularity Quilt Pattern
Fabric: Special Delivery by Lemonni, shipping December 2018

All images in this post belong to FIGO Fabrics and were taken from their Spring 2018 LookBook.

Tips For Using Drawstring Bags to Wrap Gifts

Friday, May 11, 2018


As much as I love wrapping paper or a cute paper gift bag, my favorite way to give gifts is wrapped in a handmade Lined Drawstring Bag. Especially if the gift itself is handmade, I like to coordinate the bag with the same fabric or similar colors. I thought today I'd share my tips for using these bags for wrapping, plus which size I use for different gifts. With Mother's Day this weekend, there's still time to make a gift bag!


So first, why make a handmade gift bag? A few reasons. I think it instantly adds a little something extra to whatever you're giving. The bags are reusable, so they're an eco-friendly alternative to gift wrap. Adding a handmade element can also help jazz up store bought gifts too, making them more fun and adding a personalized touch. For quilts, I find drawstring bags are a great way for the recipient to store the quilt while it's not being used. Finally, they're just fun to make, so it's a good excuse to make one!


One quick thing I like to do before gifting is to tie up the strings in a bow! It's simple, but is a nice finishing touch!

I'll share a few gift ideas that should comfortably fit into each size included in the Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern, starting with the Everything Bag, which is the same size as the free tutorial.

Everything Bag (tutorial size)

- Bubble bath/lotion/soap set
- Swap goodies (pincushion, candy, fabric, cute scissors)
- Small flower pot + seed packets
- Baked goods
- Scarf or other small accessories

Tiny Bag

- Enamel pin
- Jewelry
- Gift card
- Candy
- Earbuds

Snack Bag

- Small toys like Tsum Tsums, toy cars, Littlest Pet Shop, etc
- Make-up
- A few fat quarters and a spool of thread
- A cute mug and some hot chocolate mix or tea
- Candle

Project Bag

- Set of potholders or dishtowels
- Small stuffed animal
- Knitting/crochet kit (yarn, pattern, needles)
- Dvds
- Framed photo

Artist Bag

- Baby quilt
- Art supplies
- Children's book and a toy
- Small electronics (tablets, ipad, large headphones)
- Quilt kit

Laundry Bag

- Throw quilt
- Large toy
- Handmade pillow
- Dishware
- Small kitchen appliances

Customize your drawstring bag with these variation tutorials:
Easy Going Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Easy Going Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial

Patchwork Drawstring Bag Tutorial - In Color Order
Patchwork Drawstring Bag Tutorial


Striped Drawstring Bag Tutorial


Lined Drawstring Bag Pocket Tutorial

Find all the variations and tutorials here: Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorials and Variations.


Here is where to find the basic bag tutorial and pattern:
Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern

Happy Making!

April Monthly Report

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Happy May! It's time for April's monthly report. See past reports here.


I actually sewed quite a bit this month! I didn't finish many projects, but I made progress. It's been slow getting back into a groove, mostly because I keep getting sidetracked. All of the house projects I've been tackling are eating up my time.

One project I did finish this month was a set of coasters to use in my sewing room! I saved these quilted square cutoffs from my Dreamin' Vintage Sew Portable Travel Set that I made a few years ago, not wanting them to go to waste. I finally decided to turn them into coasters. I used binding scraps to finish them, so they're extra scrappy!


I pulled out my scrappy pineapple blocks and made a new block, bringing my total to nine blocks. I love how these are turning out, and I'd like to start working on this project more regularly again.


Most of my sewing this month was on samples for my class at Glamp Stitchalot in November! Here is a little peek.


Lots of block sewing, including these fruity cat blocks. Fruit prints are from Sugar by Erin McMorris. Block tutorial can be found here.

See the plus quilt I made with this collection last Summer, here.


I am trying to get back into knitting too, it's a very relaxing activity for me, and I've missed it. I decided a hat would be a good way to get back into it!

I love matching my project bags to my knitting, of course. Using a lined drawstring bag made from Nordika for this one.


To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in April:

April Fabric
Used up: 4.5 yards
Brought in: 3.75 yards
Net: -.75 yards
Year to date: +22 yards

April Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

I managed to buy no fabric until the very end of the month. I was working on my Glamp projects and I ran out of the neutral dot from Mochi. I was only short a 8"x2" piece, boo! Since it's a work project I didn't want to sub it out, so I ordered some more, plus a few other colors fell into my cart.


Speaking of finishing projects, we were able to cross our pantry off the list this month! Here's a little before/after of our kitchen pantry. It's at the top of the basement stairs, and as you can see it was pretty gross and non-functional when we moved in. So, we tore out the old shelving, did a lot of wall repair, primed, painted, installed new shelves, and ripped out/replaced the old linoleum. It was a big project, but was so worth it. We have so much more storage space now, and it looks a lot cleaner and taken care of. I used this tutorial from Young House Love for the shelves.


A fun thrifting find from April, this candy colored wizard of oz sheet!


Last but not least, George bunny taking a break from running around to wash his face!

Have a great month!

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