Summersville Quilt Top from leftover blocks

Way back in 2012, I made a cute pillow for my sister with Summersville fabric.? It’s a fabric collection I regretted not buying more of, so when my friend offered me some leftover blocks from her quilt to play with, I snapped them up.? The result is this Summersville quilt top.

The blocks came to me in triangles, with a solid center triangle and the dark gray on one side.? I played with layout and decided to pair them into diamonds, then sewed them into one much larger diamond. I added a thin border using a yellow/white stripe.

And then I felt stuck.? It went into the closet for a while, then came back out to get a dark gray border.? I was tempted to finish it in a diamond shape, but in the end I decided to turn it into a rectangle.? After trying dozens of ideas, I still didn’t like anything or didn’t have enough fabric to do it.? I finally pulled out a layer cake that looked good with the blocks.

The angles on this quilt made design tricky.? In the end, simple won the day.? I chose to sew the layer cake squares together into borders, and trimmed them before adding a second dark gray border.? At that point I was out of fabric and a charm pack of the same collection came to my rescue!? I did the same thing with the smaller squares.? One more gray border and some green in the corners allowed me to square up the quilt.

This Summersville quilt top is really simple, but colorful.? It was an interesting design challenge because I was working only from my stash. I also had a long, narrow diamond to build around.? Way back when I first pieced the triangles together, they were wonky and I didn’t square them up. When I quilt this, I’ll be dealing with a quilt center that doesn’t lay flat.? A good challenge, right?


20 in 20 Challenge

.Here it is, the first full week of 2020, and I’m officially starting my big sewing goal for the year.? I want to see how much I can accomplish if I sew for 20 minutes every day in 2020.? I’m calling it my 20 in 20 Challenge.

I’ve been brainstorming about this for a while, and I hope to learn a lot from this challenge.? First of all, I’m excited to work on being consistent all year long, especially in the really busy times when I typically don’t touch my sewing machine.? I believe time constraints are the biggest obstacle to lots of goals, especially creative ones that are more optional than necessary.? Sometimes I’m inclined to discount what I can do with small pieces of time.? I don’t even start because I don’t have a window large enough to accomplish what I want.? So I’m really curious to see how effective I can be in just 20 minutes.

I also hope to develop good transition practices.? I want to sit down at my machine and go for it, not waste any time.? Are there things I can do to get in a groove more quickly?? I’m researching and will be paying careful attention to my creative habits and transitions.

I am sure there will be days when I can sew for more than 20 minutes, and days when I don’t reach my goal.? My plan is to do it Monday – Saturday.? For me, Sunday is the Sabbath and I reserve it for worship, time with my family, and spiritual development.? So if I can sew for twenty minutes, six days a week, that’s 120 minutes of sewing every week!? Two hours a week, means 8 hours each month, and you can see how it will add up.? Especially if I am effective.

Just for fun, I picked up a simple timer that I’ll set every day to keep track of my minutes.

I also decided to add a project as part of my accountability.? I’m going to sew a half rectangle triangle block every day.? It will be my last seam of the sewing session, and the colors I use will depend on what I did with my time.? One color in the block will represent greater than (aqua), less than (green), or exactly 20 minutes of sewing (blue).? The other color will represent if I was sewing from a pattern (red), or creating my own designs (pink), hand sewing because I couldn’t get to my machine (orange), or working on an old unfinished project (purple).? Sundays will be yellow rectangles.? If I don’t sew at all Monday-Saturday I’ll add a neutral rectangle to represent that day.? These are my blocks for January 1-5, below:

The key to this will be keeping myself stocked on pre-cut solid rectangles to choose from, but I do think it will be a lot of fun to have a running record of how I’m doing with my goal.? I hope it helps me use up solid scraps as well!

Finally, I’m going to report back on what I’m learning through the year.? The last Monday of every month will feature a 20 in 20 Monthly Report, where I’ll share what I’m learning about my creative process and sewing for just a few minutes every day.? Don’t worry, every post won’t be about my 20 in 20 challenge.? I have quilts and quilt tops I finished last year that I haven’t yet shared.? It’s going to be a great year!

Anchor Baby Quilt

Nothing says love like a soft, handmade baby quilt, and this one was a delight to make.? The cute mom-to-be was a long ago babysitter for my kids, and now she’s expecting a baby boy of her own.? When I received a nautical themed shower invite and heard that her nursery was similarly decorated, I wanted to make a quilt that would fit right in.? So I made her an anchor baby quilt.

I used my anchor quilt block tutorial to make the anchor.? The gold and white stripe is a print by Victoria Findlay Wolfe that I love.? It contrasts well with the blue solid.

Piecing the quilt top was quick and simple. I bought two yards of the blue solid.? After making the anchor block, I cut three strips from the remaining blue:? 20″ x width of fabric (WOF), 14.5″ x WOF, and 12″ x WOF.? From the 14.5″ wide strip I cut two pieces, one that is 17.5″ x 14.5, and one that is 10.5″ x 14.5.

I sewed the 10″ piece to the right of the anchor block. The 17.5″ piece went to the left of the anchor.? I sewed the 12″ strip across the bottom. The 20″ strip went on top to finish my anchor baby quilt top.? Easy as can be!

I used a higher loft batting so I could get a fun, puffy, watery look with my straight line quilting.

The back of the quilt is a cute whale sheet I had in my stash.? I bound the quilt with the last bit of blue fabric.

I enjoyed making this anchor baby quilt for an amazing young mother!? It was also fun to finally use my anchor block tutorial in a way I’d considered, but never tried.? Classy, but simple to make, gifts are always a win!