Author: thethornedrose

Finish-a-long Quarter 3

Finish-a-long Quarter 3

Alright friends, here we go on Quarter 3! I’m stacking this list with a couple smaller projects I’m currently chugging along nicely on in hopes of having an early finish in the quarter to maintain my momentum from the end of Quarter 2.

Goals for Quarter 2

  1. Emerson’s Baby Quilt Current state: Top is put together! and cut the batting! I made progress on this last quarter, but did not finish it. Next up, cut the backing and set it up for quilting!
  2. Emerson’s Lined Drawstring bag: Current state: Pieces are cut
  3. Teacup Tea Mats-Current state: All pieces cut, tea cups are fused
  4. Lemonade Jug Rug- Current state:  All pieces cut and fused, to do pick binding
  5. Sewing Illustration Trio of Pincushions- Current state: Ready to fill with walnut shells
  6. Star Pincushion- Current state: Ready to fill with walnut shells
  7. Out in Nature Mini Quilt- Current state: Pieces embroidered and prepped, about half sewn together
  8. Ducky Embroidery Current state:  Embroidery done, to do hoop and finish!
  9. Bird embroidery Current state: Embroidery half done
  10. Embroidered flower bag Current state: Embroidery done and
  11. Homebase Quilt- Bee Hive Swarm Tara Current state: Blocks largely made, but perhaps more will be wanted.
  12. Fizzy Block Quilt Current state:  Blocks made, should make around 4-8 more
  13. Purple Wonky Star Quilt-Current state: 9/9 blocks for original size cut, except background for 2. However, should likely cut 7 more blocks.
  14. Giant Purple Vintage Star Quilt- Take 2- Current state: All HSTs made and trimmed. Need to decide if I am swapping out 2 center HSTs and cut corner squares before assembling the top.
  15. Seagull Mini Quilt- Current state: Basted and ready for quilting! This really needs to get done…I want to gift it next week…
  16. Joyful Airplane Mini Quilt- Current state: Quilt top.
  17. Do Small Things With Great Love Embroidery- Current state: Embroidery done, project undecided.
  18. Embroidered Placemats-Current State: Embroidery done, fabric chosen.
  19. Liberty Placemat Current state: Cut and fusible prepped
  20. Guild Quilt- Current state:  Top done, may add to it.



2nd Finish A Long Finish AND a Christmas item complete in July!

2nd Finish A Long Finish AND a Christmas item complete in July!

On Monday of this week, I was on a roll! I finished two needlebooks and then went on to finish my Christmas pillow, the 2nd item on my FAL 2017 Quarter 2 list! Unlike the needlebooks that started the quarter almost done, this pillow started the quarter as a top. I started this in the winter when I tested the paper pieced version of Alexia Abegg’s Marcelle Medallion center. I had great ambitions of making myself something during the holiday season. Crazy, I know?

I pieced it, but unsurprisingly, finishing something for me during December was not in the picture. Earlier this month, I needed to test out spray basting on something smaller than the baby quilt I bought it to use on, so I pulled out this little project. I kept the quilting fairly simple, tracing elements of the star and then doing some denser line quilting the edges of the pillow. I sometimes find the edges of pillows that aren’t reinforced a bit are more likely to sag as they are used.

detail 2

Detail 1

I’m really in love with the gold word print from Brambleberry Ridge Christmas. I definitely don’t have 3 yards stashed away so I can use it forever and ever. *cough* In general I have a tendency to buy Christmas fabric with great intent to use it to make Christmas fabric wrapping and then…not. So it was good to break into my Christmas fabric stash.

I got stalled at finishing the pillow. I really want to give making a zippered pillow cover a go, but it felt intimidating. This week I just said, I want this done! and did my typical envelope backing instead. I used the snowflake stitch on my machine as an accent, again, as per usual.



Then it was all done! I am not buying  a pillow form yet, as I am moving and I don’t plan to set this pillow out till October or November, but I’ll update with a picture of it in a pillow form then!

Thanks for reading!



Ooh, and just one more photo. Since you’re still here. 😉


A Finish A Long Finish! Hooray!

A Finish A Long Finish! Hooray!

Earlier this week I actually finished something on my FAL 2017 list for the 2nd quarter. Given that I’ve never been successful in the FAL, I am quite excited.

My first finish was paired with a second finish that is a surprise for a friend, so even though it is just one finish for the FAL, it is two for me!

I finished my Liberty Needlebook, using the needlebook pattern by Amy Sinibaldi and the adorable sewing machine on the cover is from Minki Kim’s Sew Illustrated book.

Needlebook Front

This was my first go at sewing illustration back in January. I have previously done some simpler sewing illustration for lavender sachets, but I was still kinda nervous. This was fun and way easier than expected.

The back of the needlebook was actually sewn together in Spring 2016 as I cut many teeny tiny liberty squares for the nanacompany swap. At the time, I intended to circle back and make a needlebook for myself when I was done with the swap and that…is still accurate if a bit later than intended.

Needlebook Back

I love the scrappy Liberty feel. I also almost always make liberty projects for others rather than myself, so it feels awesome to actually have made something for me!

This week when I was determined for a finish, I naturally decided to make my life more complicated and decorate the pages of my needlebook and the surprise one for a friend. What is more helpful to finishing than investing another hour right? The last photo is a top view of the two needlebooks together. I love how stitching the hexies on makes a pattern on the next page too.

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Well, that’s all for now! Time to document my 2nd finish! Thanks for reading!


Beehive Blocks 2016

Today I’m posting a roundup of the blocks I made for my beehive last year. The post got quite long and picture-heavy, so this is January to June. The Beehive is hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts and runs for a calendar year at a time. The hives have a list of 12″ blocks that make fun repeating patterns to choose from, found here. All the patterns are free and are designed by a variety of people in a variety of styles. Some are many pieces, some traditionally pieced, some are quite simple and some are foundation paper pieced. Something for everyone! If you are interested in joining a hive next year, Alyce usually opens registration in early December or so. I’m now about halfway through my second year and I love it.

I had never been in a quilt bee before and it was quite fun. I really enjoyed making a block or two in someone else’s preferences. Lime green was, to me, strangely popular. I discovered how hard it was to define some colors or styles. I can only hope I was sufficiently clear in what I wanted my month.

With no further ado, blocks!



Jennifer asked for Civil War era colors in this Spinwheel block, something that I did NOT have in my stash at all. I ended up buying everything but the grey solid just for this block. I was pretty pleased with my points though! In the process of working with them, I came to like the center navy print and the green print quite a lot.



Colette asked for the Hidden Gems block in the colors of her husband’s favorite sports team. Here we go on the lime green! This block is super fun and I’d like to play with making a quilt of my own with it sometime. Like many of Diane’s patterns, there are lots of different ways to play with it, spaces to highlight or not and the end result could be so many different things. This was the first paper pieced block we did and I have to say that Colette’s quilting prowess was such that I was quite intimidated to send a block to her! I had fun making sure at least one full bird ended up in the navy and picking the angle of the text print.


March 1

March 2

Lydia asked for a Double Star Block with chartreuse and magenta. This one was so hard for me to pull fabrics, since I often find both of those colors hard to define and I felt like the color balance between them and the pink needed to be perfect for this block. I am impressed that all of the fabric for these blocks came from stash, once I dug deep enough for the chartreuse/lime-green I think I did a decent job in the end. I had fun picking fabrics that I could get a little bit of fussy cutting in. Lydia is another quilter who I was just a bit intimidated to make blocks for, but with all these pieces, I had to breathe a little bit.


April 1

April 2

April 3

Tara, the organizer for our swarm, wanted to finish up the Tic Tac Toe quilt she started with her previous swarm and wanted a Modern Bohemian feel for the x and low volume for the background. This was the first of five months where the queen bee chose this block! It is such a fun, pretty block and I had fun picking several center fabrics for her.


May 2

May 1

Susan requested the Wanta Fanta block in scrappy oranges with a scrappy low volume background. Susan assured me that cute fabric was a win! So I went all in in that direction. Orange is…not my favorite color. I like it in smaller quantities. However, it is my wife’s favorite color, so after some rummaging about, I found enough orange for not one but TWO scrappy blocks and while I was at it, cut enough squares for the pumpkin for my Vintage Farmgirl quilt. When I started that quilt the year before, I didn’t have nearly enough orange for a scrappy pumpkin. I confess I had a lot of trouble giving these blocks away and my wife might have threatened to claim them.



Debbie’s Ripple blocks were perfect for the start of summer! I love how they turned out, though there were many pieces in these blocks and many points to fuss over. I really enjoyed the texture of the yellow print I used for one of the blocks. I love how this block looks as a whole, but wow, the number of pieces and points. Makes it a good bee block right?


Beehive Blocks 2016- Part 2

Now, I’d understand if you didn’t make it this far! But I am blogging at least partly to document my quilting adventures for myself, so as long as I’m reading it, a primary goal is met, right? In any case, onward march to July!



Sara requested the Tic-Tac-Toe Block in grey, red, and white for a dear friend who lost two newborns earlier in the year. I asked her if she would like me to make an embroidered block in reverse to be a dedication for the quilt. I chose the corner fabrics with all their terms of endearment as an appropriate fabric choice. Below the blocks with chicks is the other block I made and the dots are made by a friend who was also in the hive.


August (2)

Susan asked for the Checker block in lime green, aqua, black, grey and white. Lime Green strikes again! The checker block is pretty awesome for a bee block because you end up with the HSTs to make two blocks in the process of making one. I love the colors she picked and I’m pretty pleased with how these blocks turned out. I also love my signature blocks for this one and the mermaid tail I snuck into one block.


This was my month and I’ve documented that a bit elsewhere. Eventually I’ll finish that top and have a *gasp* quilt finish post!



Pam asked for bright, bold Xs with a low volume background in, you guessed it, the Tic-Tac-Toe Block. I had fun making the signature block using a block component from the Quilt Block Cookbook. My friend Aviva made hers with teal and I used the leftover HSTs to make this cute panel I haven’t done anything with yet. (surprise, I know) I kinda want to make a whole quilt in that pattern, with larger HSTs of course.



November 2

Stephanie is another ungreedy soul who chose for her month to make a quilt for someone else, a charity quilt of yellow and blue. This is hard for me to imagine as I feel like left to my own devices I work on projects for others, rather than for myself. Thus for a bee I am like, yes! a quilt for me that will be mostly done in a month! Hooray! Can you name the block? 😉 I love these colors together and someone in my current bee this year has already chosen these exact colors and block too! I had fun making the signature block, just playing with scraps till I had something I liked.



Amanda requested, you guessed it, the Tic-Tac-Toe Block with the x in either blue or orange. I was massively in love with this block, as was the aforementioned orange loving wife and I suspect this block will eventually be duplicated as a pillow for our couch. Her quilt in general is going to be a beauty!

January the 2nd

January the Second

Hah! You thought you were done? Someone dropped out of the bee who had already had their month, so Aviva who joined partway had her month in January 2017. You may recognize this block as the spinwheel block we made in January 2016. Cool how that works out. Aviva is a dear friend and I had fun coming up with fabric pulls with her for her quilt.

And that’s that! I’m just under halfway through a second Beehive Swarm and actively plotting for my month in July.

Finish-a-long Quarter 2

Sooo….I accomplished zero of my goals from last quarter! Hooray! 😦 To be fair to myself, I did lots of other things in the last three months, including going through the busiest season in my old work and starting a new job just last week. In any case, my goals for this quarter are going to be the same as the last plus a couple new ones. Here’s to this quarter going better! This post will lack pictures, mostly b/c it is a repeat of last quarters!

Goals for Quarter 2

  1. Liberty Needlebook Current state: Just need to close the turning opening, add a button and the pages! (seriously Jenna, if you don’t get this one done…)
  2. Christmas Pillow Current state: Top complete
  3. Emerson’s Baby Quilt Current state: Blocks made
  4. Ducky Embroidery Current state:  Embroidery done, to do hoop and finish!
  5. Homebase Quilt- Bee Hive Swarm Tara Current state: Blocks largely made, but perhaps more will be wanted.
  6. Purple Wonky Star Quilt-Current state: 9/9 blocks for original size cut, except background for 2. However, should likely cut 7 more blocks.
  7. Giant Purple Vintage Star Quilt- Take 2- Current state: All HSTs made and trimmed. Need to decide if I am swapping out 2 center HSTs and cut corner squares before assembling the top.
  8. Seagull Mini Quilt- Current state: Basted and ready for quilting!
  9. Joyful Airplane Mini Quilt- Current state: Quilt top.
  10. Do Small Things With Great Love Embroidery- Current state: Embroidery done, project undecided.
  11. Embroidered Placemats-Current State: Embroidery done, fabric chosen.

Penny Sampler- Month 1

I’ve just completed my final block for the first month of the Penny Sampler. The Penny Sampler is a Scandanavian-inspired quilt designed by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color. The sew-a-long has 3 options, all the instructions at once, over 6 months and over 12 months. I chose 12 months because…let’s be honest here, what is the likelihood I finish this really complex quilt in even 12 months? But this month, this month I am on target!

This month the primary items to accomplish were to decide on on a theme, pick fabrics, and make the first two applique blocks. I had so much fun pulling fabric and Rachel’s lessons on creating a cohesive and interesting set of fabrics was great. I really want nice rich purples, teals, and true blues to sing in this quilt, with a wide range of shades, adding in grey, white, and light blue with pops of yellow and pink. For my focal fabric, I am using the purple unicorn fabric from Lizzy House’s The Lovely Hunt collection, of which a pretty large portion of the purples and blues made it into my final pull. I’m hoping that the end result will be a wintry quilt with a nice range of tone and scale and to cut into some coveted fabrics. I want a decent mix of whimsical and blender fabrics, with lots of cute fussy cut animals. I’m still in the process of obtaining the needed solids because…I’m bad at solids. I just don’t buy them or reach for them instinctively. Isn’t more always better? (Pro tip: not really) With a sampler this large and complex, I am afraid of ending up a VERY BUSY QUILT. So, I shall attempt to follow Rachel’s instructions regarding solids. I hope to order the other fabrics I need for this project later this month, now that a few other projects are ironed out and I can be a good Jenna and combine my fabric orders.


Once I’d settled into my fabrics, I was eager to get sewing! For my first block, I started by playing with the greys and light blues. I adore this bunny fabric so much. I did this block with freezer turn applique to prep the heart and then hand stitched it down. Applique is something I’ve not done much of and almost all of it with fusible, so I’m super excited to learn and get better at the methods we’ll be using for this quilt. I’d never used starch in this way before, which was interesting. I was definitely a bit enthusiastic with the starch initially. But that didn’t seem to effect the final product too badly.


For the 4 heart block I wanted to use one of the few large prints in my pull, another Lovely Hunt print by Lizzy House. I chose to use the grey unicorn print for my “different” heart and cool Blueberry Park prints that echo the colors in the large-scale print for the other three. The basting glue I ordered from Amazon took forever to come, then came the week I was very busy, so the lovelies sat all prepped, but unsewn on a shelf for most of the month. I finally got around to sewing it this evening. I did this block by machine applique with Roxanne’s Glue Baste It and 1 layer of Totally Stable. First time using the glue and it was excellent.


I’m impatiently awaiting next month’s instructions. Based on others’ blocks who are doing the 6 month course, I think next month will include the intense house block. I’m excited. Let’s see if I am still excited once I give that puppy a go though!