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 Free Pattern

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

- (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.

*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!

February Monthly Report

Thursday, March 5, 2020

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

February was a bit of a strange month over here! I came down with a cold around Valentine's Day that really wore me out. The tail end of it turned into an ear infection, which was not super fun. So, I didn't do much sewing this month. I did bring my singer featherweight downstairs so I could sew in the sunny library while Michael worked on his computer. I think I may keep it downstairs, it's nice to be able to sew on the main level sometimes.

I started a new workshop tote with linen and canvas scraps! This was going to be my scrap project for February but I only got as far as trimming all the half-square triangles. It's at the top of my to do list for March.

I also pulled out my indigo stash and made four blocks for a new courthouse steps quilt. I like how it's coming together so far!

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 February:

February Fabric
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 11 yards
Net: +11 yards
Year to date: +10 yards

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

Yikes! I did not finish any projects this month. The only other month that I've finished nothing since I started tracking was when we moved to CT two years ago. I also had my first big fabric splurge in a long time. I picked up some old favorites, including a backing. At first I felt guilty, but I honestly feel okay about it. I've been so good about limiting purchases the last six months, I was due a little fabric shopping! Plus it was on leap day, so does it even really count? :)

This past weekend I traveled to Houston to visit with my friends Jacey and Amanda. It was so nice to spend time with them (and Jacey's husband too). We usually only see each other once a year, so this was a treat. Plus the weather was incredible!

We got up to all kinds of fun stuff, including some t-shirt dyeing. I have been trying to achieve purple ice dye for a long time and I finally succeeded!

A non-sewing project I worked on recently was a little phase two update to our little pantry. It's at the top of the basement stairs, so we need to make every nook and cranny work for us. First, I added a set of these shoe storage cabinets (trones from Ikea). They're lightweight and nice for storing snacks, noodles, crackers, etc. I cut and finished a piece of plywood for the top to dress it up a little. We now have a chalkboard hanging above it instead of the mini quilt.

I also made a peg shelf for this tall awkward spot at the top of the stairs. It was totally unused space before and it's great for holding cleaning supplies. I roughly followed this tutorial to make the shelf. I customized the dimensions to fit my space and needs. The grocery bag holder is a tutorial here on my blog, find it here: Quilted Grocery Bag Holder Tutorial

George bunny! He is munching away as I type this, he has been doing well.

Have a Great Month!