Do you hear crickets?

I’ve not been as present here as I had hoped of late. Actual sewing has been consuming the precious extra minutes of everyday rather than talking about sewing, I know you understand.

Calvin and Hobbes inspired baby quilt by Smiles Too Loudly

I still have a few completely finished quilts to share with you, one from as far back as October 2016. That will wait a few more days, or let’s be honest, weeks. Today I just want to share a little slice of what’s going on.

Our german shepherd puppy, Hardie, is 10 months old. She alternates between using her enormous intelligence for good and chaos. Most days its for good, though the TV remote would beg to differ.  She takes up a lot of my free time, but puppy snuggles are the best.

A friend of a friend is collecting baby quilts for local refugees, so I’ve been working on a few of those. Finishing up an embarrassingly old do.Good stitches quilt and making a few quick to assemble baby quilt tops.

Finally starting to paint the house in more me friendly colors. Manila folders is not a good color, just sayin’. I’m going to try and squeeze in a little more unpacking too. A few friends have recently moved and are 100% unpacked. I moved a year ago, and am, maybe 40% unpacked…. Competition is a great motivator, right? Maybe there will even be some sewing room organization happening?

How’s your summer shaping up?

A “Man Color” Quilt

A few years ago, I started a quilt for my father-in-law. I inquired of my husband what colors to make it in — uhhh, man colors? That was interpreted as brown, black, cream, with a splash of red, which worked really well with the Penny Patch pattern from Stitched in Color.

Both of these shots were taken at the quilts original inception. In 2014. Yup, I finally finished a long term WIP. Cue confetti. 🙂

In the works….

Last fall I decided to finish it up in time to give as a Christmas present. I got it done in plenty of time, but the weather and life weren’t cooperating for pictures. A few weeks ago we visited my inlaws and I took the opportunity to photograph the quilt. Lucky me, they had recently acquired a slightly rusty tractor, which makes a great photodrop.

Manly Penny Patch by Smiles Too Loudly

All that snow is gone and it was 90F yesterday… clearly there’s a lag in my photoediting and blogging time. You don’t mind, right?

Manly Penny Patch by Smiles Too Loudly

This was a pretty easy quilt to make; I’m not sure why I took so long to finish it. Maybe the lack of bright colors?

Manly Penny Patch by Smiles Too Loudly

I backed it in a small plaid flannel and quilted it with a topography-esque style of FMQ. This was also the first quilt I ever spray basted, and I’m definitely a fan.  I used the Dritz spray basting spray, 505 was a little much for my nose/allergies.

Manly Penny Patch by Smiles Too Loudly

I tried to use several fabrics that would have meaning to my father-in-law: French script (the family’s French-Canadian), barcodes and software, glasses, coffee text, maps, a great print with visual instructions on how to build a campfire (he was a scoutmaster for several years), bicycles, and several ‘manly’ blenders.

Manly Penny Patch by Smiles Too Loudly

Manly Penny Patch by Smiles Too Loudly

Manly Penny Patch by Smiles Too Loudly


Would you believe that this still isn’t my oldest WIP? It’s not… maybe someday I’ll finish all of them? Ha!

Sunnyside of Charms

Hello! Today I’m sharing a quilt top I’m very excited about. It’s yellow!!

Recently, I was lamenting to my wonderfully patient husband that I wasn’t feeling inspired to finish any of my current projects. He, in a brilliant bout of wisdom said “Just go grab some fabric and make something”. Duh!

So I grabbed a charm pack of Acreage that I received at Sew Boston last fall, some coordinating solids I happened to have, and a big chunk of yellow. Because everyone keeps 2+ yard cuts of yellow on hand, right? No? Hmmm. You should. It’s very pretty and helpful.

This layout was completely, utterly inspired/derived from Crazy Mom Quilts quilt, found here.

Oddly, I didn’t have enough yellow to completely finish the quilt top — at least not at the size I wanted (it’s a healthy twin). So, I broke into my teeny tiny stash of yellow prints, and chose some tonal ones to fill in where the solid was lacking. I think this might be my favorite part!!!

For the back, I just picked up a pretty vintage sheet in all the right colors. Soooooo soft.  Now the trick is just to baste it and quilt it up. Maybe even this year! Ha!

What project has you excited these days? Are you making your own sunshine on a dreary day?

Design Wall Wednesday, the first.

Hello there! I thought that I would try something new. I finally got a design wall “hung” up in my sewing room. Insert happy dance!

So in an effort to blog more regularly and keep track of my sewing progress I’m going to share a snapshot of my design wall every Wednesday.  Some days there may be a long winded explanation and discussion, some days it might just be the snapshot. We’ll just have to see how it goes!



This week, I’ve resurrected the Rainbow Friendship Supernova quilt from three-ish years ago. Let’s see if I can stay focused and finish it up!!!

What are you working on this week?

Cloudy Skies Baby Quilt

Hello! A few months ago I got the chance to make a baby quilt for a coworker of mine. He and his wife are a little more on the conservative side and the nursery was painted with gray and white stripes, so my normal over the top color wouldn’t have really worked.


One afternoon I just had this flash of using squares and rectangles, with measurements all multiples of 4. The smallest squares measure 4″ square, finished. The largest are 16″ x 16″ and 12″ x 20″.


Then, to add a little color, I added the stitch and flip corners. Originally, they were just going to be royal blue, but it looked a little blah. Rainbows to the rescue!!


I tried really, really hard to force free motion quilting onto this quilt — it just wasn’t going to work.  1/2″ spaced straight lines won out. Boring for me, but great for the quilt.


I backed it in a great Lotta Jansdotter print I’ve had for more than few years, and bound it in a great Karen Lewis print.


With some of my favorite prints, its no wonder I really wanted to keep this one. Those little sheep are just to die for, and when you combine that with glasses, Architextures, and the cutest paw print, just, ah. Love this quilt.



Long time no see…

So, it’s been a while. Life got in the way and the decision came between using limited free time to sew, or to blog. You can guess what I chose, right?


This cute “little” chaos monster is the biggest life change — Her name is Hardie. Currently a 4 month old German Shepherd. Who thinks I’m the most awesome thing in the world and therefore must play with her every. waking. minute. We’re slowly getting her to understand that she is not the center of the universe, but the emphasis is on slowly….


I have managed some sewing time over the last few months. All of which I’ll post in more detail, but here’s a quick glossy overview.

Finished this baby quilt for a coworker.



Finished this baby quilt for a friend.

Version 2

Finished this heart quilt for the Quilt for Pulse drive, but not in time for the deadline. (So if you know of any local charities…)

Woody loves yellow

Finished this quilt for my Father in Law (only 3+ years in the making…)


In the works....
In the works….

Started this quilt just for me


As today is the last day of 2016, I’ll leave you with the happiest, most fabric filled wishes for 2017!!!



Cloud 9 Blog Hop – Improv Hydrangea

Hi! Today I get to share with you a new block tutorial I’ve written using solids Cloud 9 provided. I feel I must say this upfront — this is not a beginner block. There are improv curves involved… dunh dunh dunh.


This was the lovely pile Cloud 9 sent me. Right around the time these arrived, my hydrangea was in full bloom and the two were forever linked in my mind.


I made the bold (for me) decision to use the purples, and the gray. Insert shocked face here.


To make the block, you will need:

  • 1 dark 14″ square
  • 3 light 1″ strips (the length isn’t important, but I used 22″)
  • 1 gray 8″ square, cut diagonally.

This is a very improvised block. My ‘instructions’ are really just suggestions — please feel free to make the block however you’d like!

Cut the dark square roughly in half diagonally.


Pin a light strip along one of the cut edges.


Sew and press.

Now comes the fun part. You get to choose how big your highlight strip is. Trim from one edge to the other, angling your ruler to change the highlight size.


Pin, sew, and press the other dark triangle onto the highlight.


Now, you can leave this as is, or you can add as many more strips as you’d like. (The math here works with three strips, you may need to adjust if you want to add more). Just slice, insert, trim, attach, press. (If only saying the words made them happen, hunh?)


Do you see the petal shape emerging? You might also see that this isn’t close to square anymore, but we can fix that!

Trim your block to 13″ square.


See the upper right hand corner? How it doesn’t quiet meet the line? That’s okay. The next step is going to fix it.

Take one of the gray triangles, and place it over that upper right hand corner. You want the edges to extend 1/2″ past the block. Then cut an improv curve with whatever method works for you. I like the freehand rotary cutter method, personally, but any method will do.


I mark the curve in a few places, on both pieces. This helps keep the pieces aligned. Then I pin through every mark.


Sew the curve, slowly and carefully. Press towards the gray (concave curve).

Repeat in the opposite corner. Press the entire block really well.

Trim to 12.5″ inches.


Ta-da! You have a lovely improvised petal!

Now, I’m not the only one sharing brand new block tutorials, check out these other fine creations:

Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Miranda @I Have Purple Hair
Jennifer @The Inquiring Quilter
Sarah @123 Quilt
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Jen @Patterns By Jen
Jennifer @RV Quilting
Amanda @Quiltologie
Sharon @Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Jen @A Dream and A Stitch
Jen @Faith and Fabric
Carole @Carole Lyles Shaw
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Susan @Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Katrin @Now What Puppilalla
Amista @Hilltop Custom Designs
Nicole @Handwrought Quilts
Marla @Penny Lane Quilts
Silvia @A Stranger View
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Carrie @the zen quilter
Mary @Quilting is in My Blood