Modified Nine Patch Wall Quilt

Monday, January 31, 2022

Happy Monday! Today I have a finished quilt to share!

The pattern for this quilt can be found in the Spring 2022 issue of Quilts & More Magazine, which is on newsstands now! It's also available to order a paper copy from the APQ Shop here: Quilts & More Spring 2022. You can also order a digital issue here: Digital Copy Quilts & More Spring 2022.

in progress
I made this quilt this past Fall, and it was a part of the Scrap Lab section. So I was sent a bundle of fabrics to use to make a project! I decided to make a wall quilt. All the fabrics in this quilt (with the exception of the backing), were made from the provided bundle. If you're interested, you can find the exact bundle from The Fabric Chic, here: Scrap Lab 2022 Kit - Quilts & More.

I pretty quickly decided on featuring the main floral print by Anna Maria Horner in each block. Sometimes I struggle when deciding how to design a quilt that doesn't have a background fabric. It was a fun challenge to combine all these strong colors without the benefit of a background fabric to ground everything. On the other hand, I think it keeps it really interesting! I find it's really good to stretch myself with projects like this every so often. Taking away control of the materials and having to create something that has a function and is beautiful! It would be a fun thing to do with a friend. Pick out fabrics for each other and challenge the other person to make something. Just a thought!

full quilt
Photo used with permission from Quilts & More magazine. ©2022 Meredith Operations Corporation. All rights reserved.

In the end, I figured you can never go wrong with a nine patch block! I took inspiration from my Vintage Nine Patch Quilt Pattern and modified the proportions. Each block has four fabrics, so that it isn't completely scrappy. Although that could be a fun look too! The finished size is approx 34"x51".

I actually free motion quilted this quilt! Something I haven't done in a while. It just felt like the right fit. I also used an orange colored thead that I had in my stash, which happened to be a perfect match. I so often just pick white or off white for quilting, so it felt good to use something colorful for a change. Just my simple doodle-loops for the quilting design.

It's bound up in leftover fabrics from the top. For the backing I used some essex yarn dyed linen in black. I'm constantly sneaking this fabric into projects. When we first moved to our house, I thought I would make custom curtains for all the windows, so I ordered a couple bolts of this fabric. I quickly realized how labor intensive that would be and found something ready-made that was very similar in color. So I've been slowly chipping away at my bolts over the years!

scrap lab
Photo used with permission from Quilts & More magazine. ©2022 Meredith Operations Corporation. All rights reserved.

Here are the two other projects made from the same bundle! The other two designers are Amanda Niederhauser of Jedi Craft Girl and Kristyne Czepurykof Pretty by Hand.

Happy Quilting!

Friday Favorites 04

Friday, January 28, 2022

scrap blocks
Happy Friday! I'm back with another Friday Favorites post. Hope your week went well! Let's dive right in.

- I finally started on my new scrap quilt! I knew I wanted to tackle my scraps this year, and a quilt felt like the way to really make a dent. I'm paper piecing the blocks, it's going to be a little twist on a spiderweb quilt.

- Love Katie Gouwens' Single Girl Quilt (found via Instagram). She used many of her favorite fabrics and I just love how soft the colors are. Beautiful quilting too!

- These potholder kits from Purl Soho are really taking me back! I remember having a loom like this (much more basic) when I was a kid. They have so many good colors of the looping material. I'm tempted!

- I bought this vintage metal wall shelf when we lived in our apartment in Madison and it was starting to look a bit dingy. So I painted it this week! I choose a peachy terra cotta color that matches our bathroom mat. My paint job has quite a few imperfections in it but overall I'm pleased with the fresh color!

- I really wish I had somewhere to install giant wooden shelves like these ones by The Sorry Girls (found via Youtube). It would be so fun to fill them up!

- I discovered FranWoodDesign on Etsy* this week. Haven't picked up anything yet, but their artwork really is my style. I'll probably go for one of the black and white prints!

- We visited a new-to-us antique mall over the weekend, the Stratford Antique Center. They had lots of vintage Pyrex, but I ended up coming home with a set of six Vera black and white cloth napkins. A ltitle soak in Oxiclean and they're looking pretty good!

- These 2 cup glass food containers have been a lifesaver for us lately. They're perfect for prepping lunches for the week. We also section out our leftovers right away into these so that there are meals that are easy to grab from the fridge. There are lots of different ones but the anchor hocking ones from walmart seem to be the most reasonably priced.

- It's too cold for any gardening outside, so I'm scratching the itch by growing some microgreens. Right now I have broccoli and mustard microgreens growing. They're really easy to grow and quite tasty. We also love radish and kohlrabi microgreens. We use a scaled down version of this method and buy our microgreen seeds (any seeds will work, you just need a lot of them!) from Johnny's Seeds.

- I made something sort of ridiculous this week. A tiny pillow for Dusty! She needed her own pillow, since she sleeps between us every night. She has actually used it, which is adorable.

Have a Great Weekend!

*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.

New and Improved Stash Tracking Worksheet (with Formulas!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

quilt stack
Happy Wednesday! I wasn't planning on posting this today, but I wanted to share it as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of it. I decided to update my Stash Tracking Worksheet! It now has the formulas built in so that you can plug in your information and it will do all the math automatically for you!

I made a little video to show you how to use it, and so that you can see the formulas work in action before you get started. (If you want! If you're comfortable using spreadsheets it's pretty straightforward to use.)

If the video doesn't show up here, click this link to watch it on Youtube.

I've created two versions of the worksheet. The first version works in Microsoft Excel. And the second version works in Google Sheets. That way if you don't have access to Excel, you can still use it! Google Sheets is free to use with a Google account. Make sure you download the right one though, as the formulas don't seem to translate between the two. Download the one you'd like to use below:

IMPORTANT: You will need to save these files in order to edit them. They are read-only so that they stay blank for everyone who wants to use them! See instructions below for how to use each version.

Download the Excel Worksheet: 2022 Stash Tracking Worksheet (Excel)
For the Excel version you will need to download it to your computer and open it in Excel in order to edit it. Do this by clicking the link above. Then within Google Sheets go to File >> Download >> Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) to download the file to your computer.

Download the Google Sheets Worksheet: 2022 Stash Tracking Worksheet (Google Sheets)
For the Google Sheets version you will need to save a copy of the file to your own Google Drive in order to edit it. Do this by clicking the link above. Then within Google Sheets go to File >> Make a Copy to save it to your Google Drive.

The older simplified version of the tracking worksheet will remain available, you can find it here: 2017 Stash Tracking Blank Spreadsheet

**Megan Wenger (@lifeofmegananne) has put together an even further expanded stash tracking worksheet and has graciously decided to share it with you all! It has added columns for destash and product sales and she added some of the yardage calculators on a seperate sheet. You can download it here: 2024 Net Fabric Zero Challenge Tracker

If you're new to stash tracking and want more information on how to do it, check out this blog post: How I Track My Fabric and Yarn Yardage

I've also made a permanent page that will live in the header above called "Sewing Room Organization" that will have all the organization series posts as well as any information posts related to stash. You'll find the tracking post there, stash storage ideas, fabric folding tutorial, etc.

Happy Tracking!

2022 Crafty Goals

Monday, January 24, 2022

Happy Monday! Today I'm back to share my 2022 crafty goals. I've been setting goals related to my sewing/quilting/knitting since 2014! Some years I follow them better than others, but I enjoy making them either way. Now that we're most of the way through January, it's time to get started.

For 2022 I'm making pretty similar crafty goals to the ones I made for 2021. I'm not looking to push myself too hard to work on really specific projects. At this time in my life I find that I'm not motivated by those kinds of goals. So most of my goals for this year are pretty broad. I'm also choosing to skip making any goals around general crafting again. I did this last year, and I crafted so much as a result! I think for me, it's best for some of my creative endeavors to be completely free. I'm already looking forward to more play in that area.

I'm still going strong on my desire to maintain and decrease the size of my fabric stash. This will be my seventh year tracking my yardage in/out!! I can't believe I've been doing it for that long. Not to be dramatic about it, but it has absolutely transformed my stash. Over the last 6 years, I've decreased the size of my fabric stash by 858 yards! On the yarn side, I've decreased my stash by 6582 yards! If you're at all interested in trying out stash tracking, I have a dedicated post all about how I do it here: How I Track My Fabric and Yarn yardage. I also talk more about it here: Stash Management: What I've Learned Tracking My Fabric Yardage.

Now, onto the goals!

Sewing & Quilting Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
- Complete two long-term quilt projects (all green quilt, double wedding ring, vintage sheet bear paw, Night Sky, HST book quilt tops, etc.).
- Sew a quilt primarily from scraps.
- Make a few more pieces of fabric/patchwork artwork.
- Sew four handmade garments.

Knitting Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
- Complete four weaving projects.
- Finish current mitten project.
- Finish/frog a shawl project.
- Finish at least one pair of machine knit socks.

Happy Making!

Friday Favorites 03

Friday, January 21, 2022

Happy Friday! I'm back with another Friday Favorites post. Hope you've all had a good week!

- It's been ages since I did much embroidery, but this '100 days' piece by Zoe Gilbertson (found via Pinterest) made me think I should pick it back up again! Be sure to click through the rest of their work, it's beautiful.

- I just barely discovered the work of Laura Petrovich-Cheney (found via Instagram), and I'm already inspired. It's like patchwork but with salvaged wood instead of fabric.

- Most of my crafting time this week has been spent planning and designing a scrap quilt. I think I've got it figured out! I also sorted my scraps from the last two years (yikes), I had really been procrastinating. If you're interested I have a post all about how I organize and store fabric scraps.

- I took advantage of the snow we got to do a little snow dyeing. Usually I use ice, but it was very conveient to use the snowfall instead. I dyed some cotton dish towels to get my feet wet again. I use this tutorial by Dharma Trading Co as a guide.

- We've been giving our dehydrator a workout this whole month by dehydrating fruit! So far we've done apples, pears, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple. This weekend we're going to try peaches and nectarines. We use this basic under $50 dehydrator, which plenty powerful for fruit!

- On the recommendation from my friend Jacey I took out the book Weekday Vegetarians by Jenny Rosenstrach* from the library. I'm interested in trying a number of recipes but this week we made the Artichoke Dip Pizza. It was tasty and we had everything on hand which is always nice!

- Speaking of the library, I finally checked out the 2019 Little Women movie. Michael and I both loved it! I saw the movie that came out in the 90s, but never read the book. Once I finish reading Lord of the Rings (on Two Towers right now!), I'm going to pick up the book.

hot glue gun
- I have been wanting a more serious glue gun for a while now and for Christmas I finally broke and bought this Cordless Ryobi Compact Hot Glue Gun. I got around to trying it for the first time this week and it was so conveient. And it got really hot. I can't wait to get crafting!!

- I'm very excited to pick up a few sheets of the 2022 Love stamps designed by Bailey Sullivan. The 2021 Love stamp Bailey designed last year is a favorite.

- Kitty says hi! She's slowly discovering all the best napping spots in the house.

Have a Great Weekend!

*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.

My 2021 Garden

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Happy Tuesday! I'm so excited to chat about my 2021 garden!

I've always been drawn to gardening, but really got into it a couple years ago when we moved into our own home. I've grown a little more each year, and it's become a huge source of joy for me. The pandemic made me appreciate it even more. We are so lucky to have space to spend time outside and grow things! Since I spend so much time and effort on it, I wanted to chat about it here too.

A little background on what we grow/where we grow. We don't get a ton of sun in our yard because of all our trees, so we are constantly learning what we can get to grow and what we don't have the right conditions for. We're right in between growing zones 6b/7a. We grow a variety of cut flowers and vegetables. I primarily like to grow things from seeds/tubers but we do buy seedlings too. Our vegetables garden lives on our driveway and is all grown in containers. Flowers are grown on the side of our garage and in the front yard.

I started a lot of seeds in 2021, both indoors and some direct seeding outdoors. Indoors from seed I started marigolds, zinnias, dahlias, morning glories, portulaca, strawflowers, winged everlasting, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes. Outdoors I direct sowed arugula, radishes, carrots, and morning glories.

A satisfying project I undertook for 2021 was building an arched trellis. I looked all over the place for something ready made, but I couldn't find what I wanted, plus the ones I was finding were really expensive. So I made my own with some stakes, plastic fencing and some covered wire. I think it turned out pretty darn good for being practically free. I wanted one because my neighbor grows morning glories every year with great success and I wanted to grow some too. I planted a couple varieties around the base of the trellis at the bottom of my garden and I loved it. Definitely doing that again for next year! I let tons of seeds drop around it.

One interesting thing I tried in 2020/2021 was overwintering my geranium plants. I tried dormant storage for mine (like this) and I had great success with it! I think maybe only one or two didn't make it. I'm doing it again this year too!

The most exciting thing I grew from seed last year was our tomatoes! I had never grown tomatoes from seed so it was really satisfying seeing them do well and getting a great harvest. I grew all small varieties: black cherry (LOVED), super sweet 100, and minibel. This year we grew lots of peppers, tomatoes and herbs. We didn't have very good luck (at all) with growing pumpkins, squash or mushrooms.

Flower wise, the biggest thing I grow is dahlias. I grew my first dahlia plants in 2019 and became immediately hooked. Last year I think I grew around 60 plants. It was my best year for dahlias yet! I tried a new spot in the front yard for my zinnias that did not work out well. Will need to re-think that for 2022! Finally time for some pretty flower photos, let's go!

My favorite non-dahlia flower I grew in 2021 were these giant marigolds! The variety is called 'mission giant' and they look like a chrysanthemum. They were huge and stunning. Definitely growing these again!

I had my first dahlia blooms at the end of July, and they really started kicking off in August. I had great luck with my tuber storage over the winter, so I grew many of the same varieties as I did in 2020, plus lots of new ones! Here are some of my favorite dahlia varities I grew in 2021:

take off Take Off. I grew this in a bad spot in 2020 and it didn't bloom. Thankfully it was worth the wait and bloomed a bunch this year. It was the only aneomone style dahlia I grew. I love the purple color.

robin hood
Robin Hood. Photos don't do this variety justice. In person, you can see variation in the petal colors on a single bloom. I was surprise by how much I loved this one!

lark's ebbe Lark's Ebbe. The colors on these blooms were incredible. Soft buttery yellow and peach.

karma choc Karma Choc. Ordered this one for Michael, he loves the dark red ones the most! The waterlily style blooms didn't look real. And it smells faintly of chocolate!

jowey winnie Jowey Winnie. My favorite dahlia variety of 2020 and 2021. It is such a stunner, even more so in person.

esli Esli. A new one for 2021. It was a sweet short plant, and I grew it in a galvanized tub. Bloomed a bunch considering how little sun the plant got!

crichton honey Crichton Honey. A very close second for my favorite. The color changes so much throughout the season. Sometimes it's more pink, sometimes more yellow. In this instagram post I shared ten different blooms of this variety in my garden.

I better stop there, or this post will have 100 photos! There were successes and failures, but in the end I think it was our best garden yet! We were rewarded with lots of produce to eat and share as well as loads of flowers. Our garden was constantly full of bees and butterflies.

I can't wait for the 2022 gardening season! Each year I learn more about what I grow and how to improve. I'm anxious to put everything I learned last year to good use!

Happy Gardening!

Friday Favorites 02

Friday, January 14, 2022

Happy Friday! Thanks for the love on last week's Friday Favorites post. I'm excited to have a place to share some quick links with you each week. It was an extra exciting week at our house, so let's dive right in.

- I'd like to introduce you all to Dusty! We've been considering adopting a cat for a while now and the stars aligned this past week when I came across Dusty online. We adopted her through a local rescue, Hisses to Kisses. She's made herself right at home. Purrs 100% of the time she isn't asleep, and follows us around wherever we go. We don't know exactly how old she is, but she has had at least one litter of kittens. Mama cat needed a home and we're thrilled to be that home for her. No one could ever replace George bun, but she's already helping to heal parts of my heart that only the love of a furry friend can.

- In anticipation of Dusty's arrival I needed to do some serious cat-proofing around the house. So many plants, so many breakables! I picked up two of these adorable mini greenhouses from Ikea for some small house plants.

- I love seeing other people's creative spaces. This week Kait Neely shared her studio and it has so many amazing DIY details (found via Instagram). She made that table! I want to make one like that, so clever!

- I haven't had time for much sewing this week, but I did work on my scrappy green nine-patch quilt. I chatted about it in my September Monthly Report. Excited to get this one ready for quilting.

- Speaking of nine-patch quilts, this quilt by All Well caught my eye (found via Pinterest). They have a zine with instructions for how to make it.

- Tried two new recipes this week. First one was for crispy air-fried chickpeas by A Beautiful Mess. We've tried making crispy chickpeas in the oven a few times, but these were even easier and the crispiest we've made! (We're on a serious chickpea kick right now!)

- Next, I baked the Cannoli Pound Cake by Smitten Kitchen. Oh my goodness. This turned out SO good. It was easy to put together and is delicious. I did need to bake mine for about 70-75 minutes. I might try baking it at 375 degrees next time. I think my oven is a little on the cold side.

- One of my favorite internet animals is Rico the Brazilian Porcupine, who lives at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. They feature videos of Rico on the instagram account (@cincinnatizoo) pretty often! He's usually snacking, which is adorable.

- Zipped through this Women in Art Puzzle* this week. It's a beautiful puzzle and it was fun learning more about some of the amazing women in art. There is a corresponding book* by the same name too.

- I picked up a couple new-to-me dahlia varieties from Fivefork Farms. I went with Caitlin's Joy and Lavadandy. I cannot wait for garden season again! Just in case you're interested, here is my growing dahlias pin board.

Have a Great Weekend!

*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.

2021 in Review

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Wow, 2021. I've been thinking a lot about this past year (and about writing this post) over the last few weeks. It's taken me some time to figure out what I want to say about it.

There were definitely some really good things that happened; getting our vaccines, finally seeing our family, and growing closer to Michael being the major ones. On the other hand, 2021 was one of the hardest years of my life. We lost our sweet bunny George in February, and that grief has taken me on a journey this year. I felt unable to do much of anything creative for a big chunk of the year. Beyond that, here were a lot of other personal struggles this year that I decided to keep private. I started seeing a therapist this year, which I've never done before. Honestly, I wish I'd done so sooner, it has been helpful for me. Either way, I'm glad I sought out some extra support. I'm grateful that I have access to mental health services.

On that note, my main focus in 2021 ended up being my phsyical and mental health. I didn't push too hard to make things when I didn't feel like it. Instead I tried to keep busy doing whatever felt right. That ended up meaning a bunch of home projects (would you like to see more of those?), a well tended garden, lots of puzzles, trying out new recipes, and some back to basics crafting. I did still manage to finish four quilts, including two long-term WIPs which felt really good. I vanished from this space and instagram for long stretches of time, but I still managed to post some tutorials last year and hosted another lined drawstring bag sew along. Hoping to avoid those stretches this year, but no promises! Sometimes it just felt too overwhelming to show up, and again, I didn't push it when it didn't feel right.

Alight, now that I've gotten all that chatter out of the way, let's look at some creative highlights from the year and how I did on my crafty goals!

First up, my yardage tracking. For the sixth year in a row, I tracked my fabric and yarn yardage. (See how I do that in this post.) As in other years, my goal was simply to use up more fabric than I bring in. I'm very happy with my numbers this year! I only added 25 yards of fabric to my stash all year. I'm so proud of that! This year I really only bought fabric for specific projects, with a few exceptions. And I used up a decent amount, 123.25 yards. Considering I went for months at a time this year without much sewing, I think that's pretty good.

On the yarn side, 0 yards of yarn came through my door, for the second year in a row. I still have SO much yarn in my stash, and I made a good dent this year, using up almost 2400 yards worth!

2021 Fabric Stash:
Brought in: 25 yards
Sewed up/destashed: 123.25 yards
Net: -98.25 yards

2021 Yarn Stash:
Brought in: 0 yards
Knit up/destashed: 2319 yards
Net: -2319 yards

Okay, let's dive into some favorite projects from the year!

My favorite quilt finish:
Double Gauze Plaid Quilt (still need to blog this one!)

My favorite lined drawstring bag finish:
Present Quilt Block Bag

My favorite garment finish:
A double gauze lightweight jacket (need better photos and to blog it!)

My favorite knitting finish:
Astra Hat for Michael

My favorite weaving finish:
favorite scarf
Hi Lo Scarf

My favorite crafting finish:
Spooky Halloween Village

My favorite woodworking finishing:
Outdoor Sofa

My favorite home project:
Painting our stair risers and hanging a gallery wall.

I managed to publish seven tutorial/informational posts this year!

- How I Organize my Digital Sewing Patterns
- How I Organize my Paper Sewing Patterns
- Golden Afternoon Quilt Free Tutorial
- How to Customize Wooden Beads with Paint, Stain, and Dye
- Present Quilt Block Drawstring Bag Free Tutorial
- Reusable Gift Tag Ideas for Drawstring Bags
- How to Use Trim or Ribbon to Embellish Your Drawstring Bags

I didn't publish any new patterns this year, but I did start carrying Round Wooden Beads and two colors of Nylon Paracord in my online shop!

A look back at my 2021 Crafty goals, and how I did. I would say overall, not great. But I'm okay with that! Every year is different and I never could have anticipated what this year would bring. Glad I managed to complete some of them!

Sewing & Quilting Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
Success on this goal again! Decreased my stash by 86 yards this year.

- Complete one long-term quilt project (kaleidoscope, double wedding ring, HST book quilt tops, etc.).
I finished my kaleidoscope quilt! Still need to blog about that one. I also finished my Golden Afternoon quilt which was a very long-term WIP too.

- Sew four new-to-me patterns, ideally one per quarter.
Didn't do so well on this goal. I only made a project from one new-to-me pattern, the Sit 'n Sew Pincushion Pattern by Shannon Fraser.

- Complete one small scrap project per month.
I fell off this goal pretty quickly. I feel okay about it though. I am itching to make a scrap quilt this year.

- Finally sew the Kelly Anorak Jacket (ideally in time for Fall).
This one didn't happen. I've decided it's time to destash the pattern/hardware this year.

- Practice techniques that are unfamiliar or new to me.
Didn't make time for this in 2021.

Knitting Goals:
- Use up more yardage than I bring in. I'll track my yardage each month to help me stay on target.
Giving myself an A+ on this goal this year. I didn't bring in any yarn and I used up a lot of yardage (for me!).

- Knit a matching hat and mitten set.
Sort of completed this one. I knit myself a hat to match the mittens I finished on the last day of 2020.

- Start a new weaving project.
Very happy to say I really exceeded my goal on this one! I wove four scarves this year and really found it soothing especially in early 2021.

- Finish or frog one long term knitting project (Briochealicious, Daybreak, Sundial, or Hitchhiker shawls or machine knit socks).
Did not tackle this one. I knit some on Briochealicious, but I have a long way to go. I am considering a few frogs though early this year.

I have one more 2021 wrap up post, and it will be up next week. A dedicated post to my 2021 garden! I can't wait to share it with you. Then hopefully I can get my 2022 goals figured out next!

Happy New Year!