Modern Batiks?

Have you heard this before:  You can’t mix batiks with modern prints.


I’m not a big fan of rules in quilting, beyond the basic ones of good solid construction. As far as artistry, anything goes in my book. Civil war reproductions, batiks, solids, popular modern designers, Kaffe Fasset, and fun novelty fabrics all have space on my shelves. If I like it, I buy it.


Recently, I came across a stack of coordinated batiks I purchased awhile ago. When I saw them, I knew they’d go perfectly with a Tula Pink print I scored at a discount a few years ago. So, for the last few days I’ve been slowly making a few flying geese here and there. It’s a lot calmer than I tend to go, but I really like it.

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What do you think? Do you mix batiks in with other fabrics?

Summer of Sarah Sewing…Farmer’s Wife

A lovely summer stomach bug has had me laid up for a little bit, so I still have one last deadline to complete before I can fully jump into Sarah Sewing. However, last night, while nibbling saltines, I managed to mock up a quilt that’s been in my head for a little while.

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Back in October, I asked for advice on how to finish up my Farmer’s Wife quilt. Yes, it’s taken me eight months to get back to that. See, nothing felt right. Yes, I could make more six inch blocks. Yes, I could make lots more blocks in varying sizes, a la Moda Building Blocks quilt. Yes, I could just use what I have and put a border on it to make it the right size. All of those feel like I’m prioritizing done over lovely…It’s waited nearly 4 years, it could wait for lovely.

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Last week I saw this post from Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl. Something about those horizontal stripes had my brain going. I just loved the way she used them to break up the more intricate blocks. Maybe something like that would be a lovely finish for the dusty, neglected Farmer’s Wife blocks?

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So, last night, I pulled up Google Draw and sketched it out… and got really really excited. I think this is going to work! It’s a very rough sketch — Google Draw is not exactly designed for this, but I think it conveys the idea enough that you can understand my excitement.

Farmer's Wife Mock Up

Most of the fabrics from the original Farmer’s Wife blocks are living in a bin somewhere, and it’s not like my fabric tastes have really changed. I still like the bright, bold citrus-y colors I started with, so I’m sure I can find a few coordinating prints in my stash. I’m thinking 2.5″ strips, so I can use up some binding scraps, maybe toss in an odd charm square or two. Some of the blocks were made to be placed en point, so I’ll have to add some setting corners, but that’s no big deal.  What do you think? Is it as lovely and exciting as I think? Or am I still feverish?


Linking with Freshly Pieced’s WIP Wednesday.

Finished Baby Quilt: The first of many

It seems I have reached that stage in my life where everyone is having a baby. Which leads to an interesting problem — who do you make a baby quilt for? For me, it was a very difficult decision — and huge thanks go to Stephanie who talked me off the wall of making everyone a quilt! I got it narrowed down to 4, maybe 5…still a lot of baby quilts to make in a single time frame. Good thing they’re small!


This is the first baby quilt. It’s been delivered to it’s new mother and baby. Well, I gave it to the grandmother a few weeks ago, so fingers crossed it has a baby drooling on it right now.

I started with the image of a quilt by Kelbysews. Side note: She’s releasing a similar pattern in a few months for Ann Kelle… I think it’s even going to be free.  There are a lot of variations on this type of quilt, and it is a pretty easy quilt to put together. I started with a panel of Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle. Then I found a large piece of coordinating zoo animal fabric in my stash to use as the back, so that set my dimensions. I also found the turquoise pin dots (mother’s favorite color) to go with the panel parts, also in my stash.


I cut apart the panel, and chose the 5 animals that worked best together (there are eight animals in each panel). Then I added random lengths of the turquoise pin dots to each side. I lined up the animals to look like blocks a child would stack — did I succeed? The strips on the sides, again, came from my stash, and I cut the width of each strip randomly. Based on the size of the back fabric I had, and how wide I had made the center panel, I determined how wide the side pieces needed to be. I did get a little carried away making strips, and enough for another quilt someday. Turns out that making improv strips is really easy, and more than a little addictive.

The cute little animals on the back. And my awkward hand....

The cute little animals on the back. And my awkward hand….

For the quilting, I really wanted the animal blocks to be the focus. So I went with my favorite spirals in the turquoise field. These spirals are maybe as addictive as the improv strips! For the strips, I just went with an easy loopy meander — another favorite quilting pattern. Then, I went and outlined the animals on the blocks, but rather than focus on being accurate, I aimed for character. After all, children aren’t known for coloring in the lines, so why should I quilt on the lines? I think it adds a little extra whimsy to the overall quilt design.

Isn't he adorable?

Isn’t he adorable?

The binding, again from my stash, is a print that says Hello in several languages. It seemed appropriate for a kid’s quilt, and the color was perfect. I bind nearly all my quilts by machine, using this tutorial from Wasn’t Quilt in a Day. The only thing I ‘change’ is I keep my quilting gloves on for binding. I find the extra grip really helps to keep my binding even.

Buon Giorno! Aloha!

Buon Giorno! Aloha!

I used Warm and Plush batting for the first time — amazing batting! I’m not usually a fan of Warm and White, I find it too thin for my liking, but the Plush was wonderful to work with. I wish I could still easily find it to stock up on. Maybe they will bring it back?

The overall shot. Looks so cheery hanging by dead leaves and leafless trees. :D

The overall shot. Looks so cheery hanging by dead leaves and leafless trees. :D

So now here’s my question. After this whole process (there are more baby quilts to share another day), I find it very difficult, and a little odd, to determine who makes the cut. How do you decide who to make a baby quilt for? Do you scale your efforts with the recipient? What I mean is, do close friends get super awesome quilts, while second cousins get quilts with less effort?