March Sister Challenge: Natalie

When Lorene sent me a challenge for St Patrick’s Day, I had no idea what to do. The past month was a busy one… As a trustee of the Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade, I was busy helping to organize and run the first ever parade on March 9. I even made the prize ribbons and Grand Marshal sash.

Asbury Park St Patricks' Day ParakeI did some searches for Irish themed quilt blocks, but nothing really interested me. For some reason, I the thought popped into my head to do a Fibonacci Spiral… but then I realized Fibonacci isn’t even Irish. So I did a quick search for Irish Scientist and low and behold Robert Boyle, the grandfather of Modern Chemistry, topped the list. He proved the relationship between pressure and volume of gases, a cornerstone of my favorite chemistry topic, The Universal Gas Law.  Who doesn’t love the equation PV=nRT ?

The binding is gold tissue lamé, and it was free-motion quilted on my Singer Stylist.  Making this mini quilt was so much fun,  I hope it inspires others to make educational quilts!

Boyle's Law Quilt

Make sure to check out Lorene’s March Sister Challenge entry!!

Made in America

Last week I was picking up a few notions at Joann Fabric and I was delighted to see this..

creating new traditions

100% Made in America quilting cottons in classic prints and modern colors by Fabric Traditions.  American made products are my Achille’s heel, and this fabric is no exception.  I’m using one of the fabrics in a quilt, and I just finished my Portfolio Shirt using a beautiful gray floral.

I hope this trend continues. Even though some sewing products are made in the USA (Pellon comes to mind), the majority of products we use are produced overseas. I’d even spend more on a product if its produced locally, but I don’t often get that opportunity.  I appreciate that Joann is highlighting this line and look forward to using the fabric in my next quilt.

Happy Valentines Day!

At January’s Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I was inspired by  Helen Ernst‘s beautiful Bursting Heart Wall hanging. There are many techniques new to me, and apparently I tried most of them out on this mini quilt.

Valentine Mini Quilt

Valentine Mini Quilt

First – I used the same tutorial as Helen, except I drew the heart directly on lightweight fusible interfacing. After cutting it apart,  I ironed it directly onto my fabric.  For my first applique ever, I think it worked out well.

Second – I finally tried spray basting.  Yeah, I’ll be spray basting from now on. Why was I so afraid to try it? It was quick, easy, and I had great results. 

Third – I  stopped being a baby about Free Motion quilting, and attempted a really free motion design between the heart shapes. I guess this worked out better than other attempts, but I still have a very long way to go.

Broken Heart Mini

Finally, I finished the binding on my sewing machine. I used my 1/4″ piecing foot (the one with the stopper thingy on the right side.) This really helped me keep the seam straight on both the front and back.

This project was fun, quick, and I got to try out a bunch of new techniques for the first time. I think its a bit wonky, but I’m glad its completely finished!


XOXO – Natalie

Jelly Roll Baby Quilt

I guess it’s become my thing to make baby quilts when my close friends have their first baby. I mean I’ve done it twice now, so that makes it a thing. Right? I was originally going to make a cut chenille blanket but last minute I changed my mind which left me with not a lot of time to complete it. I asked Natalie for some ideas and she suggested a jelly roll quilt.

I looked it up and found the perfect pattern from Fat Quarter Shop called the Jelly Roll Jam. I’ve only made one quilt before so I didn’t want to do anything to crazy.  I found watching their Youtube video on making this quilt to be a little more helpful than the written pattern.

Now I could focus on finding really awesome fabric. I ended up buying Bluebird Park by Kate & Birdie from Moda Fabrics. What really got me were these adorable hedgehogs.


Here is the finished quilt.  Basically to make it you assemble 3 sets of 6 strips. Then you cut them up to make 9 different blocks. It’s very straightforward.  Since you only use 18 strips that means you have a enough for a scrappy binding and a second quilt!


One thing I wish I had done on my first quilt was to make a cooler quilt back.  So on this one I saved all my strip scraps and did a stripe down the back.  Natalie gave me some great suggestions on how to get it centered. Then of course I had to to make my quilt sandwich and do the quilting. I tried 2 new things on this quilt – spray basting and quilting gloves.  The spray basting was awesome, but I’m not sure the gloves made much of a difference.

the quilt back

It took me awhile to figure out what quilting design I wanted to use, but in the end I went with the figure 8 loops. I used my chalko pen to draw guide lines so the rows would be relatively even and then I went at it.  Not sure what I did differently this time but I didn’t break a single needle! It’s not the greatest quilting in the world but it looks nice enough!

Natalie also told I should make a quilt label. This was totally not on my radar but her reasoning made sense – many quilts become family heirlooms and 20 years from now no one may remember who made it or why they made it.