A beautiful backlog.

Dear friends,

My blogging has been more than sparse lately, but what hasn’t taken a hiatus is my sewing. Between quilts and small fabric projects, my nights and weekends have been happily filled with a variety of creative diversions.

I received an email yesterday from my preferred long-arm quilting shop that two of my recent creations were on her schedule for next week. I can’t wait to get them back home for binding so I can photograph them for you before shipping them to their happy recipients.

I started thinking about the page on this blog that I devote to my quilts — and about how far behind I am on showing you my finished products — so consider this a catch-up day. Here’s what the Magpie has been up to:

You might recall I spent 2017 purging, cleaning and organizing my home. While I didn’t stop sewing all together, it did mean I focused on small projects. My new favorites are baby quilts, pennant banners and pillows.

Here’s one I made for the newborn boy of a co-worker. (This was the first time I used this particular pattern and I liked both the geometry of the design and the opportunity it affords to showcase larger pieces of selected fabrics.) His name is Grayson and I personalized it on the back (as I often do).

I tried my hand at a technique known as EPP (English Paper Piecing), not to be confused with Foundation Paper Piecing (featured in this quilt), and discovered that these miniature hexagons were not only soothing to handstitch, they make adorable pillows.

Here’s one I made for myself:

And one I made for a lifelong friend:

And one I made for another friend who recently remodeled her home:

And another one, this time a Christmas gift for a colleague.

I also made myself a slipcover for my ottoman. (I’m getting better about sewing the occasional project for myself.)

And then I got distracted by a pennant banner kick. I sewed a few in vinyl for friends to decorate their outdoor seating spaces. Here’s just one:

And here’s one I made for myself:

And here’s one I made for my cousin’s grandson, with a baby quilt to boot:

You might have noticed I had a little fabric left over from Grayson’s quilt and I incorporated it nicely in Hunter James’ quilt.

The biggest project I’ve worked on that you haven’t seen is a full-size quilt for my friend Julie. Several years ago, I committed to making a quilt for each of my lifelong friends that I call the “Js.” Johnna’s quilt was the first one I completed and you can see it here.

This quilt for Julie came about because I had started one but stalled for a variety of reasons including the difficulty of the pattern. Both Julie and Janet (whose quilt is still in progress) were getting antsy. One night during a sleepover with my friend, we were lying in bed talking about the promised quilt and Julie suggested I take an easier approach. She showed me several quilts on Pinterest that she liked and encouraged me to abandon the hard quilt for an easier one.

I can’t say this one was easy — but I had a lot more fun working with these cheery fabrics than the first attempt.

I’ve also enjoyed saving my fabric scraps and repurposing them into twine. I learned how to make handmade fabric twine from a Pinterest tutorial. Besides being thrifty, it looks lovely on wrapped packages.

By the way, it’s not like all I’ve done is sew and clean my house. Another pursuit I haven’t written about here is that I learned to ride a motorcycle. Specifically, a Beta Xtrainer 300 (a model perfect for off-roading). Here I am fully “geared up” after a ride in the woods.

And here’s Mr. Mom with both our bikes after a challenging ride in the Mark Twain National Forest.

By the way, that’s my bike on the left. Ain’t she a beaut?

I know dirt bikes don’t really have any relation to quilting, metaphorically speaking. (Or philosophically speaking. Or existentially speaking. Or any kind of speaking.) But I like ’em both. And they both give me a little thrill, so that’ll have to do.

With gratitude {for the great luxury of spare time},

Joan, Hoarder of Fabric, Matriarch of Motocross, Princess of Pastimes

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Comments

  1. Dear Magpie, Happy to find you in my inbox today–and honored to see my beautiful pillow in your portfolio. I didn’t know about the EPP technique so that was a bonus!

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