March Monthly Report

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


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


Before things got too crazy around here with Michael working from home and all the anxiety caused by the virus, I sewed a few things! First up, a drawstring bag. This is the same size as the tutorial and the Everything size from the pattern. Making these is always a nice palette cleanser and I love having unused ones on hand for gifts if I need something fast!

Tutorial: Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial
Pattern: Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern
Ties: Ruler Twill Tape


I also stitched up and finished a new workshop tote! My stash of cotton/linen and canvas scraps was getting out of control, so I decided to make the HST version of the tote. I wanted to see how bulky the seams would get when using heavy fabrics and it was really not an issue, yay! I need to share this tote in full soon!

Pattern: Workshop Tote Bag Pattern


I am currently finishing up a quilt sampler for a magazine, but once it's done I'm going to start another double gauze quilt! I love the quilts I've made from these fabrics and it felt like a good time to make another one.


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

March Fabric
Used up: 2.75 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: -2.75 yards
Year to date: +7.25 yards

March Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: 0 yards

No fabric came in this month! I didn't finish tons yardage wise, but that's okay. Slow but steady! April should be better on that front, since I'll be finishing a quilt and I have other plans to get myself motivated to finish more. We'll see how that goes!


I've been knitting! I picked up these mittens again this month and finished both outsides. I was really dragging my feet about knitting the thumbs. I've started the lining now, which should go pretty fast.


Spring is on it's way! I'm so excited for it to get warmer, I love being outside. I know I will cherish my time in the yard even more this Spring. My daffodils and hyacinth are getting close to blooming, which is fun!


George bunny! Always munching and wanted to run around. He has been loving the extra attention lately. Such a sweetheart, as always.

Have a Great Month!

Patchwork Essentials: All Blue Interlocked Quilt

Friday, March 27, 2020


Happy Friday! I thought it would be nice to finish off the week with a finished quilt! I completed this quilt in January, but only got around to photographing it last week.

This is one of the last quilt tops leftover from writing my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle. I made variation quilt tops or blocks for each quilt included in the book and this was one of the tops. I have only one more top to finish up after this one, so it feels good to cross this one off the list!


Need a copy of my book? Buy a signed one here: Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle


This is the Interlocked quilt, found at the beginning of the book in the color chapter. See the original quilt here. For this variation I really kept it simple with three solids, all in the teal/turquoise family. These are all Pure Element solids by Art Gallery Fabrics, so the quilt is nice and soft.


I was able to piece the backing and binding from the same fabrics, and I really like how the backing turned out. I normally don't do much piecing in my backings, but I think this one is pretty cute. You can see the quilting best from the back too.


For the quilting I decided on simple straight lines echoing some of the half-square triangles on the front. I didn't want to spend a lot of time on it, it just needed to get done!


It's bound up in more of the medium solid, a nice turquoise. I just happened to have some left in my stash. This quilt top was sewn up in 2014 (whoa), and I basted it in Spring 2018. It was way overdue to be finished, it feels so good to now have it photographed and blogged too! :)

Happy Quilting!

Catching Up

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Happy Tuesday! I wanted to do a little catch-up post since I've fallen behind in posting projects. It's been such a strange time, and I hope you all are staying healthy and safe. We've been isolating since around the 12th, and are trying to figure out our new routines. Michael has been working from home, since they closed the research labs on campus.

So, I thought I would share what I've been up to. I hope to do more sewing in the next couple weeks, but I haven't felt quite up to it lately. I have been doing a lot of cleaning, including a big clean up in the sewing room. It had really become a dumping ground for stuff, especially things headed for the walk-up attic. I knew I wouldn't feel like sewing until it was clean in here.


We've been cooking and baking a lot. My birthday was on Friday and I made sticky pecan rolls from the Zingerman's Bakehouse Cookbook* instead of a cake. They were super tasty and I was able to use pecans given to me by my friend Jacey, so that made them extra special. It rained in the morning but the sun came out and it warmed up in the afternoon. Just enough so that we could grill, which felt so indulgent. I can't wait for it to be warm enough to be out in the yard, I know that will really help our spirits stay up.

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.



We're watching lots of happy TV. I was very excited to see Frozen 2 up on Disney+ early! It was really cute. Also re-watching Pushing Daises and Monk at the moment.


I started my first seeds last month, but shortly after deciding to stay home I placed an order for a bunch of veggie seeds. We have a two car wide driveway (but only one car), so we're planning to expand our planter boxes to fill up more of the driveway. It gets plenty of sun and the black top helps keep everything nice and hot. Excited to get gardening, more than usual!


If you're looking for a sewing project to work on, I invite you to check out my tutorials page. I update it every time I publish a new free tutorial. In the 11 years since I started blogging, I've published over 100 tutorials from quilt patterns, bags, and home projects to informational series and recipes. Find that page here: TUTORIALS.

I'm hoping to add more in the coming weeks. Please let me know if you have any specific requests!


George bunny has been a real champ. I know he appreciates routine too, so he definitely can tell things are a little different right now. He's loving the extra run around time and I'm getting lots of snuggle sessions in. Such a sweetheart,

Wishing you all good health and peace during these troubled times! Please stay home if you can, we're all in this together.

Scrappy Nine-Patch Pincushion Tutorial

Monday, March 9, 2020


Happy Monday! Today I have another little pincushion tutorial to share!


Similar to my personal challenge to make a scrap project each month, I want to round out my pincushion stash! So I dug into my scraps and pulled out pieces to make two pincushions. For the first one I used a piece of lightweight Japanese canvas for the center along with blenders by Anna Maria Horner and Joel Dewberry.


For the second pincushion I used one of my favorite Heather Ross prints for the center and blenders by Carolyn Friedlander to match. Want to make your own? Follow along below!


Have questions about making pincushions? Check out my All About Pincushions post.

Sewing Level: Beginner Friendly
Finished Size: 4" square

Materials:
- (1) 2.5" square of focal fabric
- (4) 1.5"x2.5" rectangles of print fabric
- (4) 1.5" squares of print fabric
- (1) 4.5" square of backing fabric
- (1) 4.5" square of lightweight interfacing
- 6"x6" batting scrap
- Pincushion filling (I used crushed walnut shells.)

Looking for supplies? Check out my Pattern Supplies and Resources post.

Instructions:
*Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*


1. Arrange print rectangles around the focal square, with the print squares in the corners.


2. Sew pieces together in each row.


Press seams in the top and bottom row towards the center. Press the pieces in the middle row away from the center.


3. Sew rows together, press seams open.

If you need more guidance on finishing up your pincushion, check out my All About Pincushions post.

4. Layer pincushion top with batting, quilt lightly. Trim to 4.5" square.

5. Apply interfacing to backing fabric according to manufacturer's instructions.

6. Place pincushion top and backing right sides together, clipping or pinning around all four edges. Sew around all four edges, leaving about a 1.5" opening in the center of one side. I find this makes turning easier than leaving the opening at one of the ends. Trim the seam allowance to 1/8" at the corners.

7. Press opening seam open, to make closing the opening easier. Turn pincushion right sides out. Use a wooden chopstick or turning tool to help. Fill pincushion with desired filling. Using a hand sewing needle and matching thread, stitch the opening closed.


These are very simple but are so fun for showcasing a cute little print. They stitch up really fast and would make great swap items or as a gift for your sewing friends!

If you make a pincushion, please tag me on Instagram, I'm @jenib320 and my hashtag is #jenibaker.

Happy Sewing!

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