mini dwell pillow!

Oh happy day! It's finished! Presenting the mini Dwell pillow!

This is my first entry into the "A Year Of Schnibbles" sew along hosted by Sinta and Sherri... except that it's not a Schnibbles! This month's assignment was to make a mini quilt using a Thimble Blossoms pattern. I made 3 extra houses and adjusted the borders so that I could finish with a 20" square. I've used an assortment of my happy fabrics from Lori Holt, Pam Kitty Morning, Bonnie & Camille and Atsuko Matsuyama. 

The little houses are all hand quilted in the ditch - nearly every seam is stitched. The hand quilting was fun for hours... and then I just wanted it to be finished, NOW. 

I spent a few days auditioning backing and binding fabrics. I am so happy with this butter floral and red gingham from Pam Kitty Picnic. That gingham is scarce! I needed to do a big internet search to find it. And I picked up a new, fluffy down pillow insert from Pottery Barn. 

So happy! I think that more pillows will be in my future!

I'm linking up today with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

hand-quilted houses

I'm getting reacquainted with hand quilting! I spent several hours this weekend working on the mini Dwell houses.

It's been years since I last did any hand quilting. I taught myself how to do it by reading books and magazines, and by studying museum quilts. All of my early quilts were hand quilted. The second quilt that I made was covered with Baptist fans! Maybe I was too new to the hobby to be scared away by all that handwork! I've relied on the artistry of longarm quilters for the past ten years, and I do love the additional design elements that they bring to my quilts. But it is rewarding to know that I can still do this on my own. Well, those first few stacked stitches were a bit rough, but I got back into the groove quickly.

My brass thimble with the recessed tip is like an old friend. I'm glad that it still fits! I remember that it took me quite awhile to find one that would fit my larger fingers. 

I like to baste in a pastel color that won't distract from my design. Here I have basted in mint green, and I am using white quilting thread. All of the vertical and horizontal sashing has been quilted in the ditch, and I'm now going back and quilting the roofs, doors and pinwheels so that they'll pop. 

I think that this will be done soon! 

I'm linking up with the Monday Design Wall at Patchwork Times today. Hop on over to see what other quilters are working on this week.

mini dwell blocks done!

Presenting all 12 mini Dwell blocks!

Yes, I only needed nine blocks. But I just couldn't stop sewing! In the past few days I added more yellow and blue to my lineup. I was trying to get an even distribution of color. And remember how I wanted to try lavender and lilac? Nope... that was just too much.

My twelve blocks will result in a more square-ish quilt instead of a 13" x 15" rectangle. I also changed Camille's pattern slightly by omitting the really simple houses. These are a mix of assorted fabrics by Lori Holt, Pam Kitty Morning, Bonnie & Camille, and Japanese prints. 

I have to tell you about why I chose the bird toile background. I have had a long fascination with toile. I had toile Bicentennial curtains in my bedroom when I was a boy. My bathroom is papered in black and white toile. My bedroom has black and white toile drapes and toile shams (gotta block out that ugly security gate on the fire escape window!). My living room has toile chairs and pillows. They're well worn, but still toile. And there was a gold and white toile duvet cover years ago, shredded by my former cat housemates! Yikes, that's a lot of history with this print! So you see why I hoard all of the Pam Kitty toiles. I'd love to have a toile print like this in pale blue or pink on white. 

And now I need to finish this project in secret. It will make it's reappearance at the May 1 parade on Sherri's and Sinta's blogs. Don't worry, it will definitely be here, too!

dwell mini

Ah, the joy of starting a new project! This time it's the mini Dwell pattern by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms!

I watched everybody else making their mini Dwell quilts on Instagram a few months ago. Oh, how I wanted to play along! But I had a FEW other quilt projects going on. Too many projects make me nervous - I'm a finisher!

Well, I had the perfect opportunity to make my own mini Dwell blocks! For years I have been wanting to join the "A Year Of Schnibbles" sew along group, hosted by Sinta of Pink Pincushion and Sherri of A Quilting Life. This was going to be my first month. Then an interesting thing happened. This month the group took a break from the Schnibbles patterns, and instead assigned our choice of a Thimble Blossoms mini pattern. I knew immediately what I would make! 

Each house measures 3" x 4" and they are very simple to piece. The finished top is only 13" x 15".

I'm trying to keep my colors all evenly distributed. So there are the red and pink houses, and a blue group, too. I need to add in a bit more green and yellow in my future blocks to get the balance right, and I'm even playing with some lavender and lilac fabrics. 

I love these houses with the pinwheel centers. I did my favorite pink and green color combo house, and I just couldn't resist making my own signature pink and grey "Grey Dogwood" house!

Six blocks done and three more to make. I have an idea for the setting that's a little different from the pattern. Actually, I could just keep making them. I certainly have enough fabric. Can you imagine a huge quilt with hundreds of these? I can! But the project is due at the end of April, so I think that I'll need to control myself!