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About Shelley

Michelle Folkerts

#LoyalForeverTrue : My Husband’s Long Waited Quilt from Me

Hi, I thought I would give a quick share of the quilt I made for my husband. It seemed fitting today to show it off since his alma mater, Iowa State beat our state rival, University of Iowa at Saturday’s football game. Iowa State continues to lead in points in this year’s Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. Yeah, State!

I have been quilting for over 20 years. My husband has seen a steady stream of completed quilts go out the door. I always would show off my finished work and he would ask who was that one for? I did attempt to make him a quilt back in the 90’s and had the quilt top completed. It was a double Irish Chain in shades of green and gold. There were numerous times the top came out of storage and I would attempt to decide how to quilt it. I just did not care for my fabric choices. I actually did a nice job of piecing the quilt design. All my seams lined up etc. I just did not like the colors. More and more quilts continued to be made and finished and my husband would say he knew how he rated?? No quilt just for him.

Last year for his birthday, I decided to make him a new quilt top and get him a quilt just for him completed.  I had seen numerous quilts made with Julie Herman’s Jaybird Quilts Dot Party quilt pattern. I thought it was such a fun pattern and would be a great way to use the Iowa State University collegiate print fabric I chose to make my husband his quilt. My husband is 6’2″ so I needed a good size throw size quilt so he could cover up while sitting in his favorite chair. This quilt pattern uses charm squares or layer cake squares. I cut my own 10 inch layer cake squares from the collegiate print and the yellow solid fabrics. This is my first quilt in a long time that has raw edges.  I did stitch around my circles and circle openings with a 1/4 inch seam inside, and also did a quick zigzag around the edges.  There still is some minor unraveling on some of the circles here and there.


When I completed this quilt just like I have with all my quilts, I showed my husband. He asked who this one was for? I said I made it for my favorite guy. Well, he is a lucky guy. Yes, I know. I finally found something we both liked and my husband got his own quilt.  And I had a happy man. Last summer, I cleaned out some of my old stashed fabrics and donated them to charity. Hubby’s first quilt top became someone else’s treasure.


The motto for the Iowa State Cyclones is Loyal Sons Forever True. When one Tweets messages about ISU they use #LoyalForeverTrue. I thought it would be a fitting name for my quilt.

I am linking up my finished quilt with Inspiration Monday Made by You Monday  ,  Fabric Tuesday  and Linky Tuesday.

MPC Pegs Quilt made in V & Co. Simply Color

I thought I would share another  fairly recent  favorite quilt finish. 2013 was the year of high school and college graduation gift quilts. I made three quilts for our three Nieces who graduated that year.  This would be the first quilt I made using the sewing machine I inherited from my Mom. This is the second graduation quilt I have shared so far.

This particular Niece was the only one to have a suggestion on what she wanted as a quilt. She wanted “Green”. All right I thought. This should not be so hard . There are so many shades of green and the only one I have used much of  in the recent past was what was considered “John Deere” green. That is not necessarily a girly color. I do know many girls like the color and even like the tractors. My daughter and this Niece would be included in that group. This Niece said she would likely like anything that my daughter would pick out.

We took a trip to one of our favorite quilt shops. We wandered the aisles of pretty fabrics and nothing really popped out at us at first. This shop always has lovely quilt examples hanging all over the shop walls and even the ceiling. We did a couple walks around the shop looking up and down and kept circling back to the quilt that was hung on the ceiling right in the front door. My daughter really liked the look of the quilt. I did as well. The big selling point was that they had it made up in “Green”. I usually do not choose to make a quilt up exactly as a store example. We both liked it as it was exactly made. Now please tell us, you have the pattern and the fabrics still in stock. Score!!


The quilt pattern our quilt was made from is Pegs by Kari Nichols for Mountain Peek Creations. I thought it was ironic that the designer’s last name was the same as my maiden name.  The fabric that the quilt is made up in is by V & Co. Simply Color line. I shared with the quilt shop clerk that Vanessa of V& Co. had recently moved to Iowa from Utah. Some times just little things like these coincidences make a project extra fun. This quilt is made up from the green and gray prints and solids from this fabric line.


I used a coordinating gray solid as my background that I had on hand. For the back of the quilt, I chose a fun limey green solid as main color and pieced together the rest of my remaining fabric strips from the main body of the quilt. I really like how the quilting shows up.

100_1672 100_1673

I really liked how this pattern turned out. Mountain Peek Creations quilt patterns have great instructions. I really enjoyed working with V&Co. fabrics. I hope to soon obtain some more fabrics from the Simply Color line, if they can still be found and also her Simply Style fabric line that so nicely coordinates with the previous line. Of course, the best part was the quilt was well liked by everyone involved.  I have been thinking this pattern might be a good one to remake in some of the patriotic prints I have in my fabric stash. I love how the large rectangles can showcase any kind of fun prints.

I will be linking up this quilt finish with Finish It Fridays , Fabric Frenzy FridaysLink A Finish Friday  , TGIFF , Sew Darn Crafty, and Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Inside This Quilter’s Mind: Making Lists, Quilting Obsession

I have been thinking that I should be making lists of all my quilting projects to keep everything in check. I have seen other quilting bloggers share their WIP lists, and some even make a dedicated spot on the side of their blog that all can see their progress or lack of. There is not likely enough space on the side of my blog to show all the lists that are tabulating in my head.

These lists are what was bouncing around in my head at 2 A.M. today. And my husband wonders why I am not ready to go to bed at 9 P.M most nights???

Current WIP (Needs to be completed before the end of September.)

1. The two Scooby Doo Crossing quilts for my grandsons. One top is completely pieced. I have the Scooby print squares precut, also the yellow strips needed to make background of brown cross/plus blocks. I am cutting today, the brown yardage into strips.

Need to design and piece backs for Scooby Doo quilts. I am looking at appliquing Sawyer and Shaderek’s names to their individual quilts.

Quilts need to be quilted, washed and dried and wrapped up/out the door for birthday party on September 27th.

2. Make myself a design wall so I can work out possible quilt designs and block placement easier. The cutting table surface is just no longer working. I have two yards of 72 inch wide white felt that I am looking at making in to said design wall surface. I do not have much free wall space in my sewing room/office. I took sliding doors off our closet last summer. I am thinking of adding a band of fabric to the top edge of the felt and adding large grommets. I would be able to hang design wall from the grommets on a set of Command strip hooks applied above the wood trim of my double closet door opening.  I am also thinking about adding a set of Command hooks up on wall in upstairs hallway. I could take photos of my quilt designs from there fairly easily.

And why design wall was not completed all ready? I am not sure if it will be safe to hang over closet door, as our two Tom Cats like to hang out in the closet for some reason and they love, love to lay on fabric and quilts. I may have to put some pins into things hung up on the felt surface to keep the cats from knocking down my designs.

Ongoing WIPs (that there is not much or any progress on at this time and not in any particular order.)

1. My Queen/King size Charming quilt top made from 39 different black and white print fabrics. This is my first quilt this large so I am still deciding how I want to quilt it. I really like this one, and I do not want to mess it up. It is stashed away currently in a bin, to stay clean and safe away from two cats and two very hairy dogs. Oh, so much white fabric to get dirty.

2. A batik version of  String of Pearls by Christa’s Quilts . I have this all precut and bagged up sitting a kit for myself when I can devote time to piecing it. I am using possibly 20 different batik prints with medium gray solid background with the black solid link sashings. Christa’s quilt used 36 blocks. I think remember deciding to make mine larger (of course) and will be making 63 blocks if I remember correctly. I am quite embarassed this has been sitting cut and ready for a few months now. The sashing strips are only 1.5 inches wide so I wanted to make sure that I was getting an accurate scant 1/4 inch seam allowance to not throw off my whole design. I think I have that figured out now.

3. Missouri Star Quilts  Sunny Skies quilt pattern and tutorial. I have this cut out and maybe 2/3 of the way pieced together. I chose to use my stashed Fandago charm squares and a teal solid and white background.  Mine may or may not be slightly larger than pattern was written.

4. A Patriotic Squares with in Squares quilt top made from tutorial on QuiltersCache. I am using red and blue solid as the outside squares strips and the center block is a white background patriotic print with lots of American flags and possibly Bald Eagles. I have multiple rows sewn together and a few blocks that need to be sewn into rows and attached to rest of quilt.

5. An I Spy quilt made using possibly over 100 different charm squares that I have collected from Ebay and Etsy sellers. I have my blocks made up using Jeni Baker’s tutorial at Moda Bake Shop: Patchwork Chevron Quilt. I have loved this quilt design for some time. I started these blocks 2 Super Bowl Sundays ago. Blocks are completed, not sewn into rows yet.  Big hold up…so much white fabric. LOL  I plan on this quilt going to my grandsons. Since I have inherited an embroidery sewing machine, it would be kind of cool to be able to embroider on the back of quilt the I Spy with my little eye instructions with the numerous items the boys will be able to pick out on the front of the quilt.

A Quilt Design I hope to make someday

1. Swoon, Swoon, Swoon…. I have the pattern for Swoon. I see it everywhere. I have Pinned numerous quilt fabric combinations on my Pinterest boards.

2. Alison Glass’ Feathers….paper pieced feathers….love, love this quilt. I am thinking snowed in and can not go anywhere, must quilt weather.

Quilt Patterns Recently Purchased that I Love and Can not wait to use

1. Pointy by Elizabeth Hartman

2. Solar Eclipse by Elizabeth Hartman

3. Lazy Longhorn by

My Fabric Stash (sshh do not tell my husband)

1. Indelible fat quarter set in Darkened Ink coloring. Newly purchased this week from Hawthorne Threads.

2. Zen Chic Comma ..I have 5 charm packs. I love this fabric. This link goes to an Etsy seller…would make wonderful birthday gift, hint hint?

3. Moda Rawhide…I have 6 charm packs. This fabric has my daughter’s name on it. It is stashed away for a quilt for her, when she decides which pattern she likes.

4. Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley…24 fat quarter bundle…one of my prized possessions…maybe made into a Swoon quilt some day

5. Moda Fabrics Sweetwater Authentic… 20-24 fat quarter bundle…one of my prized possessions. I love the typography prints. The greens and blacks are pretty cool. Definitely a color out of my comfort zone as there is no blue to be seen in these fabrics. Yeah!!

6. Kathy Schmitz Glory…one layer cake 10 inch squares set. I made one quilt from this line all ready. I donated the finished quilt to the Wounded Warrior Foundation of Philadelphia, PA. Since this fabric line has extra colors like black, mustard and green added to the traditional red, white and blue, I am not always sure how to use it. Maybe this will be used and donated as a Quilts of Valor some day.

7. A very large Rubbermaid tote with all kinds of Patriotic print fabrics.  I used to volunteer for a couple of military family support groups. We sent quilts to our Veterans. Neither group was affiliated with a group like Quilts for Valor. I collected a lot of the fabrics when our local Walmart was getting out carrying fabrics the first time around. Many were purchased at $2 to $3.00 yard. Since fabric is so much more expensive now, I have not been able to part with these. I have a few family members and friends who are Veterans and they are candidates for future quilts when I can decide what to make with these fabrics. Besides the statutes of limitation have to be running out on these fabrics since they were purchased in 2007-2008.

My Sewing Machines

1. A Pfaff 1473 Creative Designer… I purchased this wonderful machine in 1999. A good portion of my quilting has been done on this machine. The light came on, but the machine did nothing else on Father’s Day 2013. This was two days before my Mom passed away. I had just finished a quilt for my Father inlaw.  One of our last major sewing discussions was about this machine. We think the computer mother board has died. It should be able to be replaced and up and running again.

2. Viking Husqvarna 990…This is a beautiful navy blue computerized machine. I think it is likely the same era of machine as my Pfaff 1473 CD. I actually purchased my machine shortly after Mom purchased this Viking 990. I was quite proud of myself. I had heard from my Mother inlaw for over 15 years how great Pfaff sewing machines were. Mom was not as impressed. She was sold on her Viking and would buy two more in the future. Apparently Mom had a discussion with Dad about this sewing machine before she entered the hospital, and suggested allowing me to use it in case I was not able to get my Pfaff fixed. I inherited it weeks after she passed away. I have been sewing on this machine ever since.

3. Viking Husqvarna Designer 1 embroidering sewing machine. I inherited this machine also when my Mom passed away. This machine was her baby. She liked this machine so much that she actually went out and purchased second one. My sister received her first one, which she purchased new at full price. Mine is the one that has less sewing embroidering hours on it. She thought I would be the one to use it the most. I think mine still needs a couple software updates. This machine uses old school 3.5 inch floppy disks to store the embroidery designs. It also can use a dongle or memory stick. My sister and I inherited Mom’s vast collection of embroidery designs. She had 32 3 inch thick 3 ring binders full of designs. The amount of money that just went into printing out in color  a sheet for each design is unreal. She spent a lot of time on the computer joining groups and obtaining designs. It was her retirement dream.

Pinterest: The Slow Start to a New Obsession

What can I say about Pinterest?? It is a wonderful source of inspiration and ideas. It also can be a major time waster in a good sense. I have over 1270 Pins on my quilting inspiration boards. Other crafting ideas over 300 Pins. Over 300 food recipes and ideas. I have liked over 1600 pages that I can pretty much guarantee is more quilts and food recipes.  I know I have had some late nights where I have fallen asleep paging thru pins from earlier in the night. Ah, Sweet Dreams…

ScoobyDoo Coming to a Bed Near You: WIP 1 of 2 Tops

I thought I would bring you all up to speed on my current WIPs. I made good progress on my Scooby Doo quilts for my grandsons’ bunk beds. I am using the Adding Up Nicely pattern by Meadow Mist Designs. I have super sized the first patterns blocks  from 5 inches to 9.5 inches.

I will admit even after 20 years of quilting experience, I still  wrestle with a lot of self doubt when it comes to picking colors and putting them together. I knew that I wanted to avoid using white or cream in my quilt top backgrounds. Our past experience with little boys and food that stains like Pop Tarts or Chocolate milk…eek. (this why I  have a stack of I Spy blocks for a quilt for them, stashed in a bin….white background, duh.) Any way, I decided to highlight some of the yellow from the original Scooby print and make it the background for my Plus/Cross blocks. As suggested by my daughter, I chose brown as the Plus/Cross blocks. Brown is a color that is out of my comfort zone. I just have not worked it into many of my quilts.

Here is my completed Scooby Doo quilt top. It is finishing at approximately 63 by 81 inches. I really like how the Brown Crosses pop out of the yellow background. Today, I am cutting more brown fabric for my needed strips. I did not have enough of the first shade of brown, so the second quilt will be slightly different. I am still working up ideas in my head on how to create backs for the quilts. Our little guy Sawyer has not had a quilt with his name on it yet.  I am thinking of putting their names on the back to eliminate the battle of No, that one is Mine?

ScoobyDoofirst top

I will be linking up my WIP with WIP WednesdayLet’s Bee Social , I Quilt Thursdays, and Needle and Thread Thursday.

Iowa State/U of I Tailgating Bag Trio

This Summer I was picked to participate in pattern testing for a new tote bag pattern designed by Sara Curtis of Radiant Home Studio.  Sara chose a dozen crafters to make up her tote bag pattern and send her photos of our completed bag with any and all feedback. Sara wrote The Coastal Tote pattern with clear and precise instructions, lots of great photos and diagrams, and well researched sources on where to purchase the rope she used to make handles for her original tote bag.  Many of my fellow pattern testers suggested adding a zippered pocket to the front of the bag.  Sara rewrote her tote pattern to include this great suggestion and she generously sent us all  a finished copy of the completed pattern for our help in this project. Sara has also designed a free tutorial for a simplified version of The Coastal Tote that she calls Cactus Beach Tote that can be found over at Spoonflower, the wonderful company that you can design your own fabric and have it printed.

For my Coastal Tote I chose to use an Iowa State collegiate team logo cotton fabric.  It was in my stash since I had made some other bags that will end up as part of this trio and I also had made my husband a quilt. I chose to use muslin as my lining. I know that probably was not a very interesting choice of fabric, but it allows the decorative features show up inside the bag. It also coordinated with canvas I used in my other bags. For the time frame we were given to complete our totes, I did not think I had time to order the suggested rope the pattern called for.  I looked all over the local JoAnn Fabrics, Hancock Fabrics and Walmart for a similar rope and was not able to find the size or style Sara used. I ended up using a black and red twisted nylon rope that my husband had spool of on hand. I hoped he would not miss 9 foot of rope. I liked how the red color in the rope went well with my red fabrics.


Coastal Tote flat

This pattern has some wonderful full size pockets inside the tote. They have divisions which were created when you sew the channels for inserting the rope handles. With how I cut my fabric initially, I ended up with an extra rectangle of ISU fabric so I decided to add the same style pocket to the other side of bag. Original instructions had only called for the one side of pockets. This bag was finished off on the inside with French Seams. I had not used them in quite a few years, so I read over the instructions a couple extra times to make sure I was starting my sewing with the needed side of fabric up on top.  The tote instructions also call for making a zippered pocket pouch that is sewn into the side seam. This is great for carrying a small wallet and your keys. I used a small scrap of a coordinating ISU print that was left over from my other bags.

Coastal Tote inside out


The Coastal Tote is a very versatile bag. I thought it would be wonderful to hold extra food items when going to tailgates or family reunions. Lots of room for plates, bags of chips, and liters of pop and stack of cups ( or one’s favorite adult beverage makers if tailgating.) The pockets are great for holding silverware and other utensils.

The other bags in my tailgating bag trio are my two Iowa State casserole carriers. I made them out of the Iowa State fabric print that is shown as zippered pocket in above tote bag. I researched various casserole carrier tutorials after seeing many on Pinterest. I chose to use  the Casserole Carrier tutorial by 2 little Hooligans.  

I used an Iowa State University collegiate cotton print for the main body of my casserole carriers. I used cotton canvas that I upcycled from a cotton painters tarp that I purchased from Walmart. It was 9 x 12 foot and I threw it in the washing machine and dryer and it came out wonderfully soft. It was alot of good useable fabric for under $10.  I used the Insul-Bright thermal lining as suggested in the tutorial.  It is wonderful for making pot holders and other items you need to insulate from the heat or cold. It is a product that does what it says it does. My Mom always had always suggested keeping it in my sewing supplies.

casserole carriers two

inside casserole carrier

outside casserole carrier

This weekend is very important in Iowa.  It is time for Iowa State University versus University of Iowa football.  It is a very important part of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series which is an annual sports competition that involves all sports and academics between the two state schools since 2004. The two schools play each other in 13 sports with the winner receiving two points except in football, which is worth three. Iowa State currently leads the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series by a score of 2-0.  Our family of course is big Iowa State Cyclones fans. My husband and many of family members are all alumnus of Iowa State. A new generation of our family are currently attending ISU including two Nieces and a Nephew. We are a farm family that is preparing for fall harvest. So we will be unfortunately missing attending this game rivalry live in person. We will be anxiously listening to the outcome of this game on our radios. My tailgating trio of bags will get good use at upcoming family reunions and holiday get togethers.


If you like what you are reading on my blog,  please consider subscribing to my posts by Bloglovin or email. I also have a Facebook page that links to my blog. You can find links to everything on my main blog pages.  Thanks for reading.

I will be linking up with various linky parties this week.

Linky Party Tuesday  , Sew Cute Tuesday , And Sew We Craft’s  Sew- Together Linky Party



Adding Up Nicely: A Finish and A WIP, Once Not Enough

I have a great love for Cross and Plus type quilt blocks. I have been Pinning all sorts of possible quilt designs using these type of blocks to my Pinterest quilt boards.

I made an Adding Up Nicely quilt using Meadow Mist Designs pattern for a Christmas gift for my Dad this past year. I had a major dilemna in choosing fabrics to make my Dad a quilt. I was not sure what he might like. My Mom had passed away a few months earlier. I knew she loved everything blue and that was what she decorated their house in. They were married for almost 50 years and I am sure she ran the show on how the house was decorated. I did alot of looking at all kinds of fabric lines. I had seen alot of Zen Chic fabrics on Pinterest and lots of quilts made with them and loved them. I came across Zen Chic’s Barcelona line of fabrics. It had a nice range of colors from blues, greens, some black and orange. It was modern and had some really geometric designs. I especially liked the one that looks like a city map.  I needed my fabric fast as I had a fast approaching deadline. I chose to purchase from Pink Chalk. I was a first time shopper and loved the idea of a kit of two charm packs and a coordinating set of solids od generous fat eighths (were actually 10 inches wide instead of 9 inches.) The fabric came in the mail in just a few short days so I was ever so thankful.


The instructions to Adding Up Nicely were great. I needed 80 charm squares to make the twin size quilt. I chose a nice medium gray solid for my sashing strips with a white background. I had one potentially big problem when sewing this quilt. It was all operator error and none of Cheryl’s instructions. I was using a new to me sewing machine that I had inherited from my Mom. I made the big mistake of not checking IF my seam allowances were right on to the needed 1/4 inch. I made up my cross blocks and they turned out nicely. The seams matched up nicely. Well, my blocks ended up smaller than my 5 inch charm squares. My seam allowance was just slightly larger so I kind of freaked out. I had to get this quilt top made. It was my major gift to my Dad. It had to work out and it had to be done like yesterday. I did not have time to completely unstitch all my blocks, so I had to do the unthinkable, and cut down my beautiful Barcelona charm squares to 4.5 inches. After carefully rotary cutting my charm squares to the needed size, my squares matched up nicely to my pieced blocks.


I chose to get creative with the coordinating solid color strips for the backing of my quilt. I pieced them together and sliced them up and pieced back together. I set them in with black solid and the matching gray from the front of the quilt. I really, really like the back of this quilt. My Mom had over 25 bobbins prewound for this machine in various colors. I decided to use every last one of them in the piecing of this quilt. I used the matching gray color as my needle thread. All of the other colors as bobbin colors did not show through, but I knew they were there and it was another way to include Mom in the quilt.  I chose to just do simple Xs quilting through out my blocks. I love how quilts come out fresh from the wash and dryer. Love the wrinkly quilty goodness! I would have liked to get better photos but I was rushed to get it wrapped up and out the door for our Christmas Eve party with Dad. He loved the quilt even the back.  He even asked great questions about the fabric choices. If I put the fabrics together myself, etc?

I am ever so thankful to have figured out my seam allowance problem, by talking over with Cheryl. With this machine, I have to use the inside of pressure foot and move the needle over a step.

Because I liked using this pattern for this quilt, I have decided to use it make quilts for my grandsons’ bunk beds. My youngest grandson is obsessed with Scooby Doo. I found this neat Scooby Doo fabric online, but was most happy to find it in my local Walmart store. I purchased what I think was the end of bolt around 5 yards. The Scooby dog pattern ended up larger than I had originally planned for in using this design. I guess the design looked smaller on my computer screen. Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs helped me enlarge the Adding Up Nicely block design. I am going to be enlarging my blocks up from the finished size of 5 inches to a finished size of 9.5 inches. This gives me a better way of using my grandson’s beloved Scooby Doo fabric, and not chop the poor dog up to pieces. This fabric has a lot of teal in it with black background. I usually use alot of white in my quilts, and I have learned it is impossible to keep clean with little boys. I chose to pick yellow as my cross blocks since there was so much of the teal and my daughter suggested pulling up the brown color of Scooby as the other color in my cross blocks.


I have my cross blocks all pieced for the first twin size quilt. I discovered I did not have enough of my brown so I had to search for more. I was not able to get back to the store I purchased the original brown solid from, so have chosen as close as a shade as I could for my other grandson’s quilt top. I have my new brown fabric cut out into the needed strips, and am in process of making additional blocks needed for the second quilt.  I hope that these quilts will be used as bed spreads for their new bunk beds. I am looking to use a non standard choice for my quilt batting. I started quilting over 20 years ago, and for some of my quilts for nieces and nephews  I chose to use a lightweight cotton fabric as batting. It was a way to save some money at that moment. I ended up enjoying the finished product. The kids quilts ended washing and wearing like iron. I did not have too much trouble sewing through the three layers of cotton. I have made quilts for my littlest grandson for each of his birthdays. He sleeps in a pile of blankets. I thought I might change things up and make these quilts more like a thin bedspread coverlet.


I will be posting updates in the future as my Scooby Doo Adding Up Nicely quilts progress. I have a deadline set of September 27th in time for little guy’s 3rd birthday party.

I am linking up with Can I get a Whoop Whoop? linky partySew Darn Crafty Linky Party  Anything Goes Mondays , Fabric Tuesday and

Show and Tell Tuesday.


WIP: Charming Quilt made with 39 Black and White prints

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Today I am sharing my largest Work in Progress quilting project.  It is a Queen sized quilt made from the Charming quilt pattern designed by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

I came across Cheryl and Meadow Mist Designs last Fall, from pinning various quilts of hers to my Pinterest quilting inspiration boards. I was on a search for different cross and/or plus quilt block designs. I first come across her Adding Up Nicely and Charming quilt designs. I really liked the look of her designs and that there was many different options in either the blocks or quilt size. Cheryl has great cutting and sewing instructions.

I had purchased a fat eighth bundle of Moda’s Shades of Black fabrics. I was looking for a design to use as many possible black and white prints. Moda’s Shades of Black fabric line has white on white, black on black, gray on white and white/black combo prints. The Charming quilt design has two quilt design options, the first would use upwards of 6 charm packs or 245 charm squares or option two allows you to add in some alternate solid color cross/plus blocks and only use 120 charm squares of your favorite prints. I chose to use the second option and add a pop of color with turquoise cross blocks.

Moda Shades of Black strips left

For my fabric choices, I decided to purchase extra black and white print fabrics to add more interest. I set aside the white on white and gray on white prints. I purchased a set of 12 different fat quarters and a set of 50 black and white charm squares from some Ebay and Etsy fabric sellers. This is how I came up with 39 different black and white prints in my quilt top. I cut my own charm squares from the fat eighths and fat quarters. By purchasing the extra fabrics and cutting an extra assortment of 5 inch squares to get the look I had in my head for this quilt, I now have fabric cut ahead that can be used for other quilts. I have 157 extra charm squares plus a pile of 3.5 inch strips from the fat eighths.  If I would add a totally different solid color, like lime green or pink or red, I can have endless different looking quilts.

BW Charming FQ strips


I spent extra time making sure I had an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance. I had recently changed sewing machines and was creating too large of a seam allowance. I figured out it was needed to use the inside of my presser foot and moving the needle over one stop.  I am in love with the turquoise crosses in this quilt design. I think it gives just the right amount of color.

Anizes Charming quiltfullsize

Now my task is to figure out how exactly I want to quilt this quilt. I have made numerous quilts, but not one quite this large. I have never truly attempted free motion quilting on my domestic home sewing machines with much success.  I am quite proud of this quilt top and I want to do it justice and not just use straight line quilting and cross hatches. So today, my quilt top is setting in my to finish bin where it can stay safe and clean.


I am linking up with Freshly Pieced Modern Quilts WIP WednesdayNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationAnd Sew We Craft Together Linky Party  and Sew Darn Crafty @Sew Many Ways.

I am up to hearing any and all suggestions on how other quilters would quilt this design???

Chain-Linked Quilt Revisited

I have been looking over some of the photos of my completed quilts. I made this Chain Linked quilt pattern by Amy Smart as a graduation gift for our Niece. This quilt pattern was originally published in 2010 and it comes  up time and time again on Pinterest in so many different fabric combinations. Amy Smart even redid the quilt in more modern fabrics in 2013. I had even Pinned a new modern looking version of this quilt on my Pinterest quilt boards this past weekend. Since it still a favorite of mine, I am looking to make another Chain-Linked quilt in totally different fabrics.

First, I will show my version of the quilt.

ChainLinked fullsize

I made this quilt using a line of fabrics called Urban Angel by Studio E.  The prints are great fun with everything from angel wings to chandeliers and dangly earrings. Very girly and some prints have silver glitter to add extra fun. After I first made this quilt,  I honestly did not particularly care for my choice of pink that I used for the chain links. I wondered if I should have chosen a brighter shade of pink. Our Niece loves everything pink so I hoped for the best that she would like it. She loved it!

chainlinked closeup

As I started quilting it, I looked at the quilt in a new light. In the end, I really liked how the quilt turned out. I really like the backing fabric I chose. It is a gray and white zebra stripe. I added a brighter pink and medium gray solids to finish off the back of the quilt.

chainlinked backside

I think this quilt pattern can show case all sorts of fun prints and themed fabrics. I am looking to use the pattern to show off my Nancy Drew Mysteries fabric charm squares. There is so much blues and reds in this line of fabric. I am having a hard time deciding on what two colors to choose as my chain links. Any suggestions??

Nancy Drew charm squares

I am linking up with Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday , Let’s Bee Social , I Quilt Thursday @ Pretty Bobbins and Sew Cute Tuesday.

Found on Pinterest: My Take on the Big Blue Ikea Bag sewing tutorial

I Love, Love Pinterest and all the cool things you can find on there to make. I find wonderful ideas for future quilting projects, ideas for clothes to make for myself, daughters and grandkids to the most wonderful fattening recipes.

I come across the Pin for the Big Blue Ikea Bag which has a tutorial made by Miss Make. I thought these bags were really cool. I may be one of the few people left on this Earth that has never stepped a foot into an actual IKEA store yet. I see all kinds of lovely items online so I hope to visit some day just to look at their wonderful fabrics alone.

I made two of these bags with red and green nylon fabric that has been in my fabric stash from many moons ago from sewing for my kids.  I thought the bags would be great to hold clothes and laundry for my son and his girlfriend who have to use a laundromat in their college town.

big ikea bags

The instructions are pretty straight forward. I decided to finish off my bags with French seams even the gusseted bottom of the bag. It makes it so clean and finished. I chose to only add the 29 inch webbing handles to my bags instead of the double 14 inch and 29 inch handles. I was not sure what the purpose of the double handle was.  I did add in to the side seam a tube of the nylon cloth that was 3 inches by 15 inches folded, sewn and turn right side out on each side of center to use as ties to help hold items into the bag. As an extra step to finish off the top hem of the bag, I added a coordinating color of double fold bias tape that I just happened to have in my sewing supplies. I just love projects that I can make in entirety with materials I have had lying around for “too long”.

I am linking up with Sew Can She Show Off Saturday.

closeup ikea bag inside out ikea bag
stuffed to top ikea bag
more stuffed ikea bag



Prop-Up Kindle Tablet Case

Sew Can She is one of my favorite crafting blogs that shares wonderful tutorials of every type of craft you could want. I subscribe to her daily newsletters emails and there is something inspiring every day.  One of my favorite features of her blog is the Show Off Saturday Linky party, where crafters can link up and share their latest craft finishes and works in progress.

Recently I discovered a tutorial for a Kindle case that would fold up and prop your Kindle up for hands free reading. Both my daughter and I had pinned this tutorial to our Pinterest boards, so I thought it had to be a good project to try out.

I used the Prop-Up Kindle Table Case tutorial by The Inspired Wren blog.  I chose a turquoise multi-colored chevron print and turquoise solid cotton fabrics from my stash. This was a winning combination since my daughter loves turquoise and chevrons. She has used both in decorating much of her house.

standup kindle case

The tutorial’s instructions were very well written. I chose to add a layer of fusible batting to the lining fabric while constructing the case. I thought it would provide some extra protection to her Kindle and it helped make the fabric just a little bit more sturdy feeling.  It has been a while since I have had to make any button holes so I was thankful I decided to make a test button hole on scrap material. I forgot that the button hole sewing sequence starts with zigzagging in reverse, so my test button hole ended up on the other side of my markings. After learning that, my button hole on the Kindle case ended up a success the first time on my actual fabric. I found a fun gold metal button that seemed to coordinate nicely with the fabrics also in my sewing supplies stash.  The tutorial called for using cardboard strips to make the boards that are inserted in the case to help hold up the Kindle. I happened to find some old linoleum type tiles in my sewing room that I used previously to make a case for my grandson’s tablet. I was lucky the tile pieces were pretty close to the size I needed for this project. I took an old rotary cutter and scored the tile to correct size and was very lucky that they snapped off exactly on the line where I wanted them to.

closed kindlecase open kindle

I really liked how the Kindle case turned out and it does function well as a way to prop and hold the Kindle for hands free reading.

I am linking up my post with SewCanShe Showoff Saturday.


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