Saturday, May 28, 2016

Two for the Price of One - 52Q

The Island Batik Ambassador's theme for May was to use a paper piecing method in your fun project. The title of this post comes from the fact that I made my piece with the idea of using it for this project as well as an auction item due early in June for a guild fund raiser. That is fun, trust me.

The mini quilt that I came up with uses the Southern Star quilt pattern from Ellison Lane's Jennifer Mathis. The pattern is a free download of a kaleidoscope block. I have done paper piecing many times, but never a kaleidoscope.  I dug deep into the dresser drawer that holds my Island stash, and the fabrics were left over pieces of the Sea Salt Sandy line from my fall Ambassador's box. There are several versions of this really pretty star on Pinterest and Instagram, and you can use many color layouts to play with. There was a mini quilt swap held by cotton and steel last fall, and that was my inspiration.  The name of the piece is The Softer Side.
The star is a 9 patch, with each of the blocks having 36 segment20160511_193605 (1)s - so it's intricate (and a perfect pp project).  I think that in the beginning I spent more time on the layout than I did on the actual piecing. Once I got started, we moved onto assembly line sewing, and we were good to go.  Did I mention that each block has 36 pieces?

thumbnail_20160525_174753The background fabric may have looked as if it's solid, but it's actually white with a gray/green dot.  I had several options for quilting thread thanks to my Aurifil stash, and it turns out that 2800 (the top spool below) was the perfect choice.
I worked with a new (to me) binding technique  on both this piece and the last Ambassador's project, and I am loving it - it's called the Magic binding technique. I'd been hand sewing my binding on for a long time, and I think this might be a chance to stretch myself creatively.  I will be posting a run through on the technique on next week's blog.  I will say that I lucked out because when I finished the binding, I literally had less than 5 inches left of the lavender.
This piece is going up for Auction on June 6th, for the benefit of the New England Quilt Museum.  If you have any interest in bidding on it, please contact me.   I'm going to be making this pattern again!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 21 - Linda Pearl Introduction

Hello, world of 52 Quilters!  I am Linda Pearl of Nashua NH, and I can't believe my week is already here! I have been following this project all year, and I love the common threads (groan, yes, I said that!) that we all work with. 

I'm a fledgling pattern designer, a blogger and an event coordinator for creative artists. I also have a portion of my business as a marketing consultant.  I didn't grow up knowing anyone in my family who quilted, but I have always found that the feel of the fabric, and the colors are my creative outlet.

I love fabrics of almost all kinds, and there isn't a batik around that I don't love. I get to be an Island Batik Ambassador, which allows me to play with some amazing creative challenges. My non-batik style tends to be in more of a contemporary style. Or modern-ish if you like.

When I'm not taking over 52 quilters, I can be found at

Instagram: patchworkpearl
Twitter: @ThePtchwrkPearl
Facebook: The Patchwork Pearl is the business page

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week 20 - Mini Mini Quilt Swap

Last fall I started noticing that some of the folks that I follow on Instagram were moving beyond the giant 1000-person random swaps and setting up their own, between individuals.

Kitty ( was the first to explain the swap to me and we agreed to swap mini minis with each other. The main restriction was to keep things under 6" (ish) and to do what inspired you. I had met Kitty last year at QuiltCon when I was looking for a few remaining Carolyn Friedlander prints to complete my Aerial Grover (regular-sized). She was nice enough to bring fabric to a perfect stranger, for the price of a knowledge swap (**Remind me to talk about trades later this week!**).

For the mini mini swap, I wanted to make something to recognize our meeting. Also, I tend to go a little overboard when it comes to new things, so why not make a mini mini aerial grove?

I fussy cut some of my favourite fabrics into squares somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2", curved the corners a bit and basted them on.


Then I spent all day, with some silk thread, and needle-turn appliqued each one.

You'd think that would be enough to turn me off tiny, but it just started me going. I wanted to make more. So I did. These things are addictive.

I put a call out on Instagram asking if anyone wanted to trade with me, got a handful of responses, and kept making some favourite blocks tiny.

[Patterns used -- 
top right: Forest Floor by Lilly Ella ; 

They were far from perfect. The stitches showed (though a little less once I started piecing with silk thread), the points didn't all line up. But I didn't care. I was smitten, and so proud of what could be made as small as possible.

[Pattern -- Double Goosed by Jeli Quilts]

It was a great way to test out new patterns that I wasn't sure I needed as a mini or a regular-sized quilt. But it kept me sewing and stretching my skills just a little bit further.

[Pattern -- Cassette Tape by Lysa Flower]

By the end I was winding down, and ended up repurposing some sample blocks that I had in the back of my closet. I was ready to move onto bigger projects.

I'd recommend trying to make a tiny quilt. It takes an evening, and perhaps some giggling (yes my husband thought I was crazy giggling to myself in my sewing room -- but, sooo cuuuuute and teeny), but it's quite a bit of fun. And I now have a little mosaic of quilts from artists I admire from around the world. 

Have a look at the #miniminiquiltswap and #miniminiquilt hashtags on Instagram and tell me you're not tempted.

Post by Becca, Week #20:

Librarian, quilter, and transportation cyclist in Alberta, Canada. You can find Becca on instagram or on twitter.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 20: Becca Cleaver - Introduction

Hello everyone! I'm excited to be the quilter for week 20 of 2016's 52 weeks.

With a background in mathematical economics and library science, I've always been drawn to the geometry and order of quilts. My quilting began as a way to celebrate friends' newborns, but eventually became a form of expression and experiment for me. I loved the challenges involved in combining the structure of quilting with the creativity of bringing together different fabrics.

Since the start I've wanted to make something that will last past babyhood; items that could become future heirlooms. I play with bolder colours and patterns in hopes that these quilts and items will continue to appeal to a child as they grow up. These style choices led me to the Modern Quilting movement, which has introduced me to a community of quilters that has helped improve my skills (and increase my daring to try new things).

Through the many hours that I spend quilting, there's a lot of love put into each hand-finished item that I make. While it can be hard to part with each piece, there's nothing better than to see what I've made in use. I get a thrill when I see one of my bibs covered in spaghetti sauce, or my quilt being used for tummy time. What I sew is made to be well used and loved.

If I'm not quilting, you'll likely find me at my day job as a librarian, or out on my bike exploring my city. I spoke a little bit about how my cycling has influenced my quilting in an interview last fall with Amanda Etches:

This week I hope to show you little tidbits of my life, with a heavy emphasis on my quilting.

Looking forward to a great week together.

Post by Becca, Week #20:

Librarian, quilter, and transportation cyclist in Alberta, Canada. You can find Becca on instagram or on twitter.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

How do bloggers do it???

If you are a blogger, I am in awe. I tried once to blog.  I even did it for a few months. I then decided to start blogging again, not.  I have a way with words, I have a platform, I just don't have the discipline, time, or energy.  Maybe one day.  Thanks for reading these posts, I assure you it took much effort and time.
For that reason, I applaud, I cheer, I scream, "way to go" to all bloggers.  Meanwhile I think I'll stick to my Instagram platform.  Something about a photo and quick blurb works better with my lifestyle.  I guess if I didn't love swimming so much I might have more time.  So please find me there (link below) and follow along.  If you communicate with me there, I will respond.  I promise.  I like interacting with my social media friends. 
Here's my lovely view from yesterday's sunrise swim.....
This week I received a card and gift from a fellow Instagram friend.  I was so surprised.  I stalked her Pinterest site and found she loves the Pickledish pattern as much as I.  I had already purchased this pattern from Red Pepper Quilts.  There is a tutorial on how to piece and plan the block after purchase.  You can find it here:

I pieced one block to create a pillow cover.   Then I use hand quilting with Perle Cotton to create a bit of whimsy and detail..  I love a good French knot.
Don't you just love details?

Here she is all finished and ready for me to center into a pillow cover.  It will be sent of to it's new home by next week for sure.

Well, I'm off to sew, bake cookies, and interact on IG.
Hope to see you there!
Yours in quilts, Nicole aka Saphre1964
Post by Nicole, Week #19:
Nicole lives in Sarasota County, Florida. She is a mom, sister, nana disabled RN (that's a long story), artist, free spirit and avid open water swimmer. She began sewing at eight, but didn't begin quilting until three years ago. Find her on her blog or on instagram.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Works in Progress... Week #19

All quilters have works in progress. Some more than others. I liken it to life, I am a work in progress. My life is a journey. So much to learn, so much to experience, so much to enjoy and with my creative art, it too has learning and growth. Just like in life we rely on people to live, I have relied on others to learn about quilting. I have many people who have helped me.
Here are a few links have used for tutorials and inspiration.

Here are a few of my works in progress.....

My Small World (pieced quickly, hand quilting, slowly....)

English Paper Pieced Hexagon Quilt with Alison Glass fabrics (6 months handpiecing, and a long way to go....)

Post by Nicole, Week #19:
Nicole lives in Sarasota County, Florida. She is a mom, sister, nana disabled RN (that's a long story), artist, free spirit and avid open water swimmer. She began sewing at eight, but didn't begin quilting until three years ago. Find her on her blog or on instagram.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mermaids Can Quilt

Hi, I'm Nicole aka Saphre1964 Week #19

I live in Sarasota County, Florida, in the USA. I am a mom, sister, nana, disabled RN (that's a long story), artist, free spirit, and avid open water swimmer.
I began sewing at eight but didn't begin quilting until approximately 3 years ago.
I quilt because it calms me. I love working with color, measuring, counting, creating, and completing something I can gift to others.
I'd like to call myself a modern quilter, but I'm not sure exactly what I am as it's evolving. I'm self taught through videos and blogs.
The reason I wanted to be a 52 quilter was to broaden my social media friendships with like minded people who appreciate the simplicity of working with fabric and thread. I fear it could become a lost art if we don't learn and teach others.  So, my mission is to keep learning, broadening my skills, and reaching out to new quilters and artists (as it was done for me).

(me, as a mermaid)
I have two places on this earth where my soul comes alive and rejoices.
One is Siesta Key the other Nantucket Island... of course they are both surrounded by water.
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air."   ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently I pattern tested for Libby Worth at Libby Dibby Quilts, I named her "Puckerup Buttercup Pillow".  You may purchase this fun pattern on her Craftsy site,

 My most recent finish is a mini for the DoubleMiniSwap, named "Be Who You Are".  I fussy cut the purple butterfly with my favorite text print by Carrie Bloomston. Measures 9.5 x 14.25". I hand quilted with traditional thread then used "X's" with perle cotton.  The pattern is paper pieced and free from Lilly.  They are so versatile.  Here's the link to grab the three different blocks.

I love paper piecing, how fun to combine swimming and quilting... So when Aylin asked if I could pattern test, I jumped! Can't wait to put her in something fun....
Die Schwimmerin - The Swimmer". 
You can find her on her blog here:

 Lastly, here's my very first self designed paper pieced quilt that I made for my granddaughter.  It was at least two years ago.  I used fabric left over from dresses I had made her.  I hand quilted with Perle Cotton.

May your day be filled with laughter, sunshine, and sewing!
Yours in Quilts,

Post by Nicole, Week #19:
Nicole lives in Sarasota County, Florida. She is a mom, sister, nana disabled RN (that's a long story), artist, free spirit and avid open water swimmer. She began sewing at eight, but didn't begin quilting until three years ago. Find her on her blog or on instagram.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Week 18: Grey Cat Quilts - A Belated Introduction

If you've been following the @52quilters Instagram, you've already gotten something of an introduction to me, but I figured I should finally follow up and say a bit more about myself!


I just cut my hair (I lost eight inches of hair!), so all the pictures I've taken for @52quilters are the most recent images I have of myself!

I've been quilting since I was sixteen. My first quilts were all hand-pieced and hand-quilted, using scraps and remnants that I bought with my allowance. My very first quilt, was a baby quilt, pieced for a friend who was expecting in high school:

My First Quilt photo MyFirstQuilt.jpg

That photo? My friend took a photo of that first quilt just a couple of years ago. That baby quilt has warmed four of her babies, and she still has it!

I've come a long way... I'm married, have a kiddo of my own - that's Zebediah. He's eight, wonderfully insane, and is on the autism spectrum. I'm owned by two cats, Demon and Angel. They're sisters, but people usually only see Demon. Angel likes to hide in my closet.

Quilting-wise, I've converted to rotary cutters and machine piecing and quilting. My tastes have evolved as a wider range of fabrics have become available. I still do a lot of traditional piecing - my brain just isn't structured for improv or wonky, and I'm okay with that.

I've just recently become addicted to EPP. I took a new job that requires an hour's commute to and from work each day. Rather than waste the time with involuntary naps, I'm stitching. By hand. Who'd have thought I'd return to my roots?

Some recent projects include:

Recent Projects

I keep a blog at, post semi-regularly on Instagram @grey_cat_quilts, and still maintain a Flicker account, for storing all my quilty photos.

Look for me to post here again, later this week. I'm going to share my sewing space and fabric storage!