Photo Essay – Anatomy of a Quilt

•April 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I recently discovered the equilateral triangle template and attended my first quilting class on free-motion quilting.  I decided to created some mini quilts so I could practice my new skill!  Naturally, I ended up designing a series of 6 mini quilts (each 7.5 inches square) in a the colors of the rainbow and with a 6-pointed star as the focal point of each quilt.  I took pictures throughout the entire creative process, from selecting fabric to hanging the finished quilts.  Enjoy!

Selecting fabric–although each mini quilt can stand on its own, since they are part of a series it was important that each fabric matched in overall hue/tone…


Next up, make a template using freezer paper to determine the size of my triangles (1.5 inches) and finished size of the star…

Freezer paper template 1    Freezer paper template 2

After cutting MANY tiny triangles (168 in total), I lay them out on my design board and began sewing them together…

triangles on design board, partially sewn together

And added boarders…

6 complete quilt tops attached to design board

Next I made the “quilt sandwiches,” pinning together the back of the quilt, batting, and quilt top, so that they can be quilted (sewn) together…

6 quilt sandwiches arranged in 2 rows

Each quilt was free-motion quilted in a thread color which matched the ROYGBV color of the specific quilt.  Since I’m new to free motion quilting, I attempted a few different designs, and am mostly pleased with how they came out…

6 quilts freemotion quilted with untrimmed edges


And then I trimmed the edges…

6 quilts, edges trimmed

Next up, I cut each ROYGBV fabric into strips to make the binding for each quilt, and then pinned and sewed the binding around the front of each quilt.  Once the binding was machine sewn on front, I hand-sewed the binding to the back of the quilt (so you can’t see the stitches on the front of the quilt).

Quilt binding draped on an ironing board



6 quilts with binding open, pinned to the front of each quilt

Now the quilts look finished (from the front), but the quilt sleeves still need to be made and sewn to the back of each quilt.  To save myself some handsewing, I sewed my labels to the quilt sleeve instead of the back of the quilt…


6 completed quilts


6 quilt sleeves flat (not rolled)


6 quilt sleeves rolled, 1 being ironed


6 quilts, veiewed from the back with quilt sleeves attached

After I sewed on the quilt sleeves, they were immediately hung going up the staircase!

6 quilts hung on a wall, staircase railing visable

And now my first quilt series is complete!


Chevron Quilts

•July 12, 2015 • 2 Comments

After a friend showed me this link ( ) to make chevron patterned quilts, I just knew I had to give it a go.

Using just squares and triangles, wrong chevron quiltI thought it couldn’t be easier to make what looks like a complex pattern!  Well, turns out you do need to pay attention, because this was my first attempt to piece together the quilt….not exactly the pattern I was going for (see left).Chevron Baby Quilt

Needless to say, I fixed the quilt and it turned out to be quilt a cute little baby quilt (right).

My little mistake gave me an idea, and once the baby quilt was finished, I immediately dove into my next project–an intentionally modified chevron quilt!  I had to scrap together a few pieces for the grey and purple…of course I finalized the design before realizing I didn’t have quite enough fabric, but it pretty much worked out in the end (can you spot the one triangle I sewed wrong side up but decided not to fix?).  The fabric combination turned out to be a bit intense, but luckily my friend loves her new quilt!

Modified Cheveron Quilt

Button Trees!

•July 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I discovered button trees online a while back and thought it would be the perfect project for all those pesky buttons I have lying around.  They are pretty easy to make, and my first attempt (acrylic tree painted on a canvas board with buttons) is a simple, but colorful, bonsai tree.

Bonsai button tree

Next I got a little ambitious, and attempted a seasonal button tree.  I choose to use four 5″ x 7″ canSeasonal Button tree paint onlyvases, placed together to form one tree in all seasons of the year.  First I painted the canvases, then glued the buttons.  For both trees, I added a lot of buttons/leaves to start.  Then I’d walk away from the project for a day or two, come back and take some buttons away, and maybe touch up the tree or add a branch.  Check out the final product below and let me know what you think!

seasonal button tree flash

The Ultimate Fangirl Quilt

•February 17, 2015 • 1 Comment

When a friend of mine bought her first home, I immediately began designing the ‘ultimate’ fangirl quilt for her (and her husband)!  It took a long time to work out the design, and I had to do a little covert detective work to confirm her top fandoms.  Then came the task of selecting the iconic image for each.  Some were easy (Hunger Games, Supernatural), and others I knew what had to be done, but wasn’t sure I would be able to make it look good (Divergent!). I’m embarrassed to say someone hand to suggest the Deathly Hallows symbol (I had been leaning towards a snitch but was unsure).  The Lord of the Rings was the most challenging to select, until a friend pointed out all of the other patches incorporated circles or curves, so I decided to take the plunge into hand embroidery for the Gates of Moria. Handiwork is not my strong suit, but I’m pretty happy with the results.

Final Quilt

From Left to Right: Divergent, Hunger Games, Veronica Mars, Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, and Harry Potter.

I used a combination of machine and hand quilting/applique, and the bottom right square is hand embroidery.  Icons are pale blue on navy blue background, with steel blue borders. The quilt is designed to be a wall hanging, and measures approximately 25″x32″.

Lone Start Quilt & Machine Quilting

•May 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

One of my favorite recent projects, here is a Lone Star Quilt I made as a wedding gift.  Unfortunately the picture just doesn’t quite capture the richness of the colors.  This was also one of my first attempts at using machine quilting as part of the design (diamonds are quilted into the green and purple boarders), and it was a fun challenge once I got the hang of it.  The quilt is approximately 40″x40″

Lone Star Quilt Jeff and Sara

Pumpkin Time

•October 30, 2010 • 1 Comment

Happy Halloween!  As a fundraiser for the student CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) group I’m a part of here at school, we had the option of carving or decorating pumpkins (the fundraising comes in by asking the people in our building would vote for their favorite pumpkin by leaving pocket change or a few dollars in the cup next to the pumpkin they want to vote for).  A crafty challenge that counts as school work? I’m there!

I went for a double pumpkin entry and decided to use some of my newly acquired braille skills, using ball point pins as braille dots to spell out “Happy Halloween” on the smaller of my two pumpkins.  On my second, I had a slightly nontraditional jack-o-lantern, with a large pumpkin grinning while chomping down on a baby pumpkin.

Taking about 4 hours to complete (credit where credit is due, thanks to my roommate for emptying out the big pumpkin for me!), it was totally worth it not just for the cool pumpkins I ended up with, but that I also won the pumpkin competition!  Check out my winning pumpkins below.

Also check out the new mosaic lantern I’ve added to my portfolio:

My first post in how long…?!

•October 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Ok, it has been a very long time since I last posted, but in a nutshell I moved 1,000 miles, from New York to Tennessee, and am now one very busy graduate student trying to squeeze my crafting in whenever I can.  Of course when I packed my car for the two-day drive down south back in the beginning of August, top priority went to the carefully selected projects I was going to bring with me.  Sure I could buy new clothes when I got down here, but would I ever be able to find that exact green cotton print for the quilt I’ve been meaning to start for two years??

One (or really two) projects I was able to fit in right after I moved was decorating some furniture.  I didn’t bring any with me, so the day after I arrived at my new house I hit the thrift stores and found the perfect desk, and eventually a dresser that could get the job done.  Admittedly I think the desk is actually a kid’s desk, but I’m petite, and I love how I repainted it and made new drawer pulls from some bolts and wooden dowels, so it works for me!  I really didn’t like the dresser when I bought it, plus half of the drawers are a little unstable, but after a fresh coat of paint and some new drawer pulls it has actually grown on me a lot.

Below are before and after pictures of both my desk and dresser.  And no, your computer screen isn’t doing funny things, I did paint them different purples.

old drawer design (left) and new drawer design (right)


new desk-and fish!



old dresser drawer

new dresser