Serendipitous Quilts

Pennies, Memory-Sparked Singing and a Brave Girl Project

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Tuppence?’ While I’m not entirely sure if it’s a word that’s still used in present day England, tuppence is an old word that means two pence or, Continue reading

Bad Hair Days, Empty Nesting and New Fulfilling Endeavors

Back in what sometimes feels like the olden days, when my family was young and growing, I remember feeling like there was always tons of planning and organizing going on. In those days, we went the grocery store once a week with a detailed list. We organized that list by section from back of the store to the front, because that’s the order in which my ducklings and I proceeded throughout the store.

Momma and ducklings

It’s true. They were perfectly perfect, JUST like this, walking in a straight line behind me. Honest! (memories have a magical way of smoothing themselves into hindsight perfection, don’t they?)

Continue reading

Current Quilt Update and a Little Thing Called Bloglovin

Happy Monday Crafty Friends!

Are you as shocked as I am that I’m actually posting a second CLH blog post in one week?  Throughout the course of the last *almost* year since we opened Serendipity Woods Fabric Shop, it’s taken me some time to get my sea legs about me with respect to the preservation of the origins of my interest in quilt fabric at all – QUILTING! It’s been hard to carve out time, but that’s changing!

Finally, I’m finding a better balance between the shop and sewing; actually creating pretty consistently once again. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means I’ve got more things to post that will hopefully be a bit more inspiring you, to my friends here. What it also means is it’s about time I officially claimed my blog at Bloglovin so it’s easier for people to find. That’s why I have to post this little ditty here:

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14018457/?claim=3w3ju7ua8tr”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Moving on…I got a little inspired by Magpies last week.

Magpies

from the Milk, Sugar and Flower collection by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose fabrics

One of my favorite things about sharing my creative space with our fabric shop is that I’m often pulled by one fabric, then across the room to another fabric, which somehow seem to want to be connected. The Magpies above, have long been a favorite of mine since arriving in our shop.  Of course they belong to a larger collection which, in an of itself, is intended to coordinated in such a way that the fabrics bring out the best in one another. Until, that is, some fabrics within the collection sell out, leaving others to fend for themselves and…well…find NEW friends. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes they have a little help.

Anyway, without getting too wordy since I’m still not finished with my project (plus I’m technically on vacation with Superman for a little something called our 25th wedding anniversary) – I found this scrummy little bundle of bolts on my studio table early one morning last week.

Magpie Quilt Fabrics 2

Of course I’ve no idea how this bundle of bolts wound up on my studio table, all TOGETHER for me to be inspired by (not that I ever do, but it happens fairly frequently, and also how our Happy Little Bundles sometimes come together).

The coolest part is that these fabrics originate from 5 different lines/4 different manufacturers – YET, aren’t they so sweet together? So after doing a bit of design work, I started cutting…Magpie Quilt Fabrics

Then I spent some time whipping up some HST’s and a couple of the 16 blocks I’ll need for what I’ve decided to call my Marvelous Magpies quilt.

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Truly, I’m so excited to get back to it, but for this moment – I’m just going to celebrate being a really lucky girl.  Stay tuned for more about my little magpie friends, a bit more about the other fabrics above too, and a tutorial so you’ll be able to make your own Marvelous Magpies quilt too. Go ahead – say it with me…SQUEEE!!!

Until next time and as always – Happy Sewing,

Pam

A Couple of Quilt Finishes, Some Thoughts on Social Media, and a New Addition to the Serendipity Bunny Team

As usual, it’s been a while since I’ve shared here at the blog.  Frankly – pesky social media sites – it’s always easy to toss up a quick photo on Instagram or Facebook, which is a bit like posting to the world on January 1st that you’ve resolved to lose twenty pounds.  Somehow, proclaiming it diminishes the urgency to actually follow through.  I always mean to write a blog post to share completed projects, but if I share it on social media first – the blog post tends not to happen.

So – other than a few ‘in progress’ photos I shared of my newest Sea Holly quilt, I’ve saved my ‘finish’ post for here there I could toss out a few helpful hints I thought you might find useful.

Triangles

For instance, this quilt required a whole boatload of triangles sewn together. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I invariably sew down the wrong edge and wind up with a whole boatload of seam ripping to do. To avoid this, I lay out all my pieces on a portable something I can carry from my cutting mat to my sewing machine so that the edge that needs to be sewn faces my machine exactly as it will sit beneath my presser foot.

Sewing

Then I can just pick each piece up, sew all at once in a daisy chain which I can then cut apart and press once I’ve carried it back to my table.

Bits

Aside from preparing all my pieces for what I planned on being an ‘assembly over time’ sort of process, I took a much needed step away from quilting to create a new bunny friend.

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Meet Caroline.

In all honesty, I expected this quilt to take me a whole lot longer than it did, so I intended to just do bits every day.

Sea Holly and Caroline

But after I got everything organized (with Caroline’s help), I found that everything went together so quickly, I couldn’t stop!

Block

Before I knew it, and coincidentally right before a weekend, I had the entire quilt top assembled.

Top

Since I’ve made up my mind not to shelf a quilt top for any period of time (else it tends to think it now LIVES there forever, unfinished), I sandwiched it on Friday night for a fresh start to machine quilting on Saturday morning.

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Yep, I could have and probably should have done some straight line quilting to showcase the lovely pinwheels on this quilt.  However, I find Stevie Wonder-style swirly/meandering in an all-over stipple stitch to be relaxing as heck! Also, my new favorite Aurifil thread shade lately has been 2410 – Pale Pink.  I used it for my Love Quilt below too (which admittedly, I posted on social media but not here)…

Love Quilt

I used the fabrics from our Happy Little Love bundle to create the Cloth Parcel’s Candy Shoppe quilt. Of course you can always ping us with a message to create a custom kit with this pattern, but a half yard bundle would work beautifully.

 

For both quilts, the Pale Pink Aurifil for machine quilting made especially good sense because I used this same gorgeous Art Gallery fabric for the backing…

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It’s called Sublime Stitchery Spring and is from the Bijoux line by Bari J. We have a few yards left in our shop (and it’s even on sale) here Sublime Stitchery Spring fabric

As you can see above, I couldn’t help but piece the binding since there is quite a bit leftover of the fabrics showcased in the quilt.

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Sea Holly fabrics and quilt kit can be found at our shop (though the pattern is available free at the Michael Miller website, we include a printed copy along with the quilt kit we assemble). The fabric is designed by Sarah Campbell and the pattern (which goes together like a dream and quick too!), is designed by Susan Emory

Ultimately, my main draw to this quilt design in particular (aside from being completely in love with the Retro colorway of the Sea Holly collection), is that the finished quilt is 58″ square, and I have a frequent need for multiple square quilts…

Emma and Sea Holly Quilt

Above is the ottoman that lives in our living room.  Emma and her gal pals, Ruby, Tess and  Ivy tend to spend quality time on said ottoman, playing with toys, chewing on tiny tennis balls, eating treats, and occasionally throwing up those treats all over whatever quilt happens to be beneath their sweet little schnauzer bodies at the time.  Lest I mention another reeeeally good reason to choose premium quality fabric: it launders beautifully and fades SO MUCH LESS than discount fabrics.

Lastly, I mentioned social media here and there throughout this post. I guess the point is that even though my preference is to blog about the things I make so I can share a bit more detail, it’s not always possible to find the time. With that said, if you are a social media bug, you can find more of my daily goings on at the following locations:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

and my ESPECIALLY NEW favorite: Ello

Happy Quilting, Friends 🙂

Pam 🙂

 

 

Sugar Stars Hazel Quilt – Finished, with Lessons Learned

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Sugar Stars pattern by Lori Holt, created with Hazel by Allison Harris of Cluck, Cluck, Sew for Windham and some Kona White for the background.

Well, remember how totally on FIRE I was a while back with my progress for the above Sugar Stars quilt? Then everyone was like – ‘Seriously? What happened to that quilt she was making? She never. Even. Published. The. Finish.’

It’s true – this is the first time I’m publishing my finished quilt because, as on fire as I was to get it finished, this happened:

Short

The teal pinwheel fabric is my backing, and I cut it THIS MUCH too small.

Wouldn’t you freeze too?  The bottom line is that quilting, like life in general, presents us with brick walls. Sometimes we freeze because, doggone it, we just wanted to start something, move along with a comfortable sense of propulsion, and get it done so we can enjoy the pleasant fruits of our labor.  When we meet those brick walls, however, it sometimes becomes less about propulsion and more about learning something along the way.  My response to that? I didn’t want to learn something along the way…I just wanted to start a quilt and finish it in a timely manner.  No fuss no bother.  Pth.  The Quilting Universe had other plans, evidently.

As it turned out, it took me a while to admit out loud that I had two choices – Either cut a new backing piece (which sounded wasteful and I don’t do wasteful very well, especially when it comes to fabric) or veer to the more time consuming remedy – piece it with scraps.  The cool thing is that my Sugar Stars Quilt is made up of 168 Easy Corner Triangle units like this:

Sugar Stars Units

Which, after sewing a white square in the corner on the diagonal and accurately cutting off the scrap with a rotary cutter and ruler, leaving an exact 1/4″ seam allowance – left me with a whole lot of these:

Sugar Stars lots of Triangles

which I sewed together…

Sugar Stars Pinwheel Sewing

to make these…

Sugar Stars HST Squares

Four of each fabric with lots leftover.

which then could become 3″ pinwheels like these:

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That worked out perfectly if I cut my backing fabric into 4 quadrants, using some of the excess I had lengthwise to create the little 3″ alternating squares.

So as much as I hated how long it took me to rectify my error, I love the back of my Sugar Stars quilt so much more than if I’d cut the backing piece the right size in the first place.

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Oh – in case you wondered, the backing fabric is flannel, and the result of another error I made with our first order of fabric for our shop.

In a nutshell, the fabric is from the Roots and Wings Collection by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake.  It wasn’t supposed to be flannel. I ordered the wrong fabric.  So, even though a fair bit of it did sell at the shop, it was the only flannel we had at the shop and I didn’t want people to get confused as I had been, accidentally buying something they didn’t mean to buy.  So, I’ve used it for the backings of the last two quilts I’ve made. It’s quite soft and has coincidentally coordinated perfectly!

Anyway – one more quilt down, and more quilting lessons learned.  The moral of this story: If you know you’re going to have a whole bunch of scraps that will be about the same size and shape – cut them accurately with a rotary cutter, instead of just lopping them off with scissors at ‘about’ 1/4″.  You might thank yourself later that all your scraps are exactly the same size. I sure did! Happy Sewing, friends 🙂

Oh – Quilt kit. Yes. Here:

Sugar Stars Quilt Kit with Hazel by Cluck Cluck Sew

 

 

 

Bundles, Stacks and a Finished Quilt

Hi Quilty Friends!

I know, I know…it’s been a while, again!  That said, what a wonderful November we had at Serendipity Woods Shop!  While it’s true that we’ve been bringing in lots of pretty new individual fabrics every day, we’ve also brought in some pretty full collections too, like…

Mon Ami Bundle Manufacturer Image

Mon Ami by Basic Grey for Moda Fabrics

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Redwork Revival by Color Principle for Henry Glass

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and Hazel by Allison Harris of Cluck, Cluck, Sew for Windham

We’re also extra excited for the continued growth of our very own cheerily entitled Happy Little Bundles section.  It’s actually the fastest growing section of our shop!

Some of our newest bundles include:

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Dandy Turtles 8 Piece Bundle, including fabrics from Riley Blake as well as our newest manufacturer, Lecien.

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Our Happy Little Aquas Bundle, featuring fabrics by Moda, Robert Kaufman Kona, and Studio E.

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…And despite the fact that Halloween has technically passed this year, our Happy Little Halloween Bundle of fabrics from various Moda lines continues to be very popular!

But I really want to tell you about another  new addition that’s arrived in the Happy Little Bundles section – we call them Happy Little Scrappy Stacks, and they look like this:

Happy Little Scrappy Stacks are made up of 100 – 2.5″ precision cut pieces of 50 different fabrics.  ‘How am I supposed to make a quilt out of that?’ you ask?

Easy peasy. Here’s one for ya…

Scrappy Stack Quilt

2015 Serendipity Woods Happy Scrappy Stack Quilt

…you pair each of your 100 – 2.5 squares with some 2.5″ Kona Snow strips to go around each one (sewn just like a log cabin block only without so many rounds), use 1.5″ strips of Kona Medium Grey (or any other handsome solid that strikes your fancy) for sashing strips, sandwich it, quilt it, toss on a binding – and you’ve got a 72″ square Happy Scrappy Quilt.  It goes together quite quickly too!

This week, I’m moving on to creating a quilt with Hazel – a line mentioned above by Allison Harris of Cluck, Cluck, Sew. You may or may not see what I see, but I’m in love with this fabric line because even though it’s awfully springy – it has struck me from the start as quietly and JOYFULLY Christmassy too.  I’ve decided to whip up up a quilt designed by Lori Holt (of Bee in my Bonnet/Farm Girl Vintage fame) called Sugar Stars.

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Springy ,yet quietly and JOYFULLY Christmassy too – Hazel.

Happy December, friends.  I’m going to work really hard at getting right back here by week’s end with a post of my finished Sugar Stars Hazel quilt. Thanks, as always, for sticking with me 🙂

Pam

How to Fall in Love with Every Fabric in Your Precut Bundle

Today, I had every intention of sharing with you a tutorial of this great little mini quilt I just finished.  I even spent a really loooong time putting it together, but to be truthful – it was so long (and still wasn’t done yet), I decided against finishing it, in exchange for just giving you the nuts and bolts of some things I learned as I made it, that are much more important than a tutorial would be in the first place.

For starters, I’ve been thinking a good deal about how attracted I am to so many little bundles when they’re all neat and tidy in their little roll or stack.

1 Moda Chirp Chirp By MoMo

Take the above little beauty I fell in love with recently and had to have. It’s called Chirp Chirp, designed by MoMo for Moda fabrics. So cute, so springy!

2 See How Pretty?!

I opened it and still loved it!

Invariably, however, as I began to sort through all the difference fabrics in the little collection, I started picking favorites. Then I started separating my favorites from my not-so-favorites.

Can I talk to you for a sec about this not-so-favorite fabric in my Chirp Chirp bundle? It reminds me of a 1978'sh shower curtain.

Can I talk to you for a sec about this not-so-favorite fabric in my Chirp Chirp bundle? All on it’s own, it reminds me of a shower curtain from 1982.

My point is, when I first started using precuts, I was tempted to only use the ones I loved, considering that maybe I could use the ones I didn’t love in some other project. Then I realized that I’d never use them with some other project. Why? Because they’re all meant to go together. What’s more, even the fabric above that reminds me of that dated shower curtain, is really a beautiful fabric on a larger scale!

So with the mini quilt I made this week, I decided to cut in half one fabric strip each of my Chirp Chirp jelly roll, ignoring my preferences, in exchange for just trusting the designer and manufacturer of the fabrics in the collection.

I put all my strips in a bowl and selected each strip blindly as I pieced.

I put all my half-strips in a bowl and selected each strip blindly as I pieced.

Incidentally, I also threw caution to the wind and didn’t press a single block until it was finished.

Look how awful it looks before I pressed it :/

I knew it was straight though, because I cut my strips perpendicular to the straght edge of the block, every time I cut, even if it looked uneven with the other edge of the block.

I knew it was straight though, because I cut my strips perpendicular to the straight edge of the block, every time I cut, even if it looked uneven with the other edges of the block. See how the top edge aligns with the backwards 9 measurement line? (it’s backwards because I’m a lefty, folks. I roll with backwards often. I consider it character building!)

Anyway – when I did get to pressing each block, one edge at a time, they all turned out straight.

...and hmmm. Those fabrics sort of look pretty darn good together, don't they?

…and hmmm. Those fabrics sort of look pretty darn good together, don’t they?

My finished Chirp Chirp Mini Quilt

Barn-Raising Mini Quilt Tutorial

Eureka…just as I suspected. Even though individually I wasn’t fond of every single fabric of my jelly roll on its own – I LOVE how each fabric plays it’s own role. See the shower curtain fabric in there?  Looks great doesn’t it?

My relatively recent love affair with Aurifil thread is also going strong! I pieced and machine quilted with Aurifil 50 wt, 2021 which is the perfect Natural White to match my background fabric.

My recently acquired love affair with Aurifil thread is still going strong too. I pieced and machine quilted with Aurifil 50 wt, 2021 which was the perfect Natural White to match my background fabric.

Even Sophie Bunny loves our new Chirp Chirp quilt!

Even Sophie Bunny loves our new Chirp Chirp quilt!

And there it is – my favorite quilt project to date with lots of good thing learned.

Happy chirpy, springy, quilty Friday, friends!

Pam

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