Pinnies Galore!

About 20 years ago, my new husband and I spent time together antiquing. As an avid collector himself, he was eager to show me the ropes. The problem was I wasn't too interested in collecting anything so our trips were a tad boring for me. I decided to just choose something, so I chose enameled circle pins. The hunt for those was fun for a little while. Fast-forward to a time when my Mother In-Law came for a visit and joined us on our quest. We went to one of those giant antique malls and I kept going back to a cabinet full of vintage Japanese head vases. I could not explain the attraction. They were a tad kitschy, impractical and on the expensive side! Regardless, my Mother In-Law told me "if they speak to you, then you must buy one" so I did. I gathered a few more over the years and I think I have 5 or 6 now but I'm not adding to the collection anymore, but I still love to look.

I also had a milk glass collection, but the size of some of the pieces were hard to store, so now I look for smaller pieces. Speaking of smaller pieces, egg cups also joined my merry band of pinnies.

Now I'm drawn to vintage Japanese planters, which are usually much less expensive than the head vases. My practical side won out when I decided I couldn't just collect the little darlings, so now I upcycle them into cute little pincushions. I also Here's a few of them (I'm not sure why the photos are so giant!):

The little Southern Belle girl I call a "Pintushion" 🙂
I may change out the Beefeater's fabric to Liberty.
If you would like to see all of them so far, here's my Etsy shop where they can also be purchased: Iquiltsewwhat shop

Thanks for looking!



Recently I hosted a fabric swap on Instagram involving Tiny Floral fabrics. I’ve been involved in other fabric swaps hosted by @purplepoppyquilts where we all purchased three yards of fabric in a color scheme and sliced them up into 10″ squares. I became a huge fan of these swaps because it’s a terrific way to build up stash without having to buy large quantities of different fabrics. I also like scrappy looking projects, so it was a good fit for me. Briawna’s (aka @purplepoppy) Color Square Swaps focus on a color theme. I wanted lots of florals, so after contacting her for advice (and also not to step on her toes since the format was her brain child), I cautiously hosted the first swap, limiting it to just 40 participants. 

The spots filled up quickly and off we went! Everyone posted a photo of their selection, in hopes that we wouldn’t duplicate prints and it worked! Everyone checked in before purchasing for the go-ahead. I kept track of all the choices. 40 wasn’t bad! My choice was from Quilt Gate, which I discovered after seeing it on @sunnydaysupply’s Instagram feed. Her feed and her shop are irresistible!

All the packages started arriving (I wonder what my mailman thought?) and I was giddy with excitement! I sorted them and sighed a bunch of sighs. You fabric lovers know what I’m talking about! Here they are:

Others posted their own arrangements and I LOVE them all! I actually might have a hard time deciding what my favorite is between the fabric selections or the creative posts showing all those lovely prints off! 

I’ve decided to host another round. Sign ups are Friday, April 21 at noon EST (USA participants only). 

Liberty Pincushion

Recently I completed a swap on Instagram and this sweet Liberty fabric pincushion was an extra to the Liberty hexies. I’ve been stashing my small Liberty of London scraps. These little squares are 1.5″. I found nine I liked together and sewed them together in a square. 

I cut a slightly larger square of batting and quilted it. I trimmed that up and found another bigger piece of Liberty for the back and cut it exactly the size of the top. 

With right sides together, I sewed a 1/4″ inch seam around the edge and left a spot to fill it with the walnut shell filling I found at my local quilt shop. An important note-always check to see if the recipient (or anyone in their home) has allergies. If allergies are a concern, you can always fill it with an alternative stuffing like polyester. 

Whip stitch the opening closed, turning in the snare edges 1/4″

And voila!

Elephant and I Quilt

My little great niece arrived last month and her debut just warms my great auntie heart to no end. Her daddy is a very good guy and I’m loving seeing my nephew fall head over heels in complete love for his baby girl. My niece in-law is a radiant, beautiful and devoted mommy who enjoys nature. They decided on a fun elephant theme for the nursery. Not too girlie, not at all pink. 

The Elephant and I pattern by Jennifer Sampou was just the ticket!

I thought the paper-pieced elephant and girl would look beautiful in batiks. The problem was, I didn’t have the first batik in my stash. For the variety I wanted, I’d have to spend a rather large amount buying at least fat quarters in each color. I shopped for scrap bags on Etsy, but I didn’t think that was the right approach either. So, I put a post up on my Instagram feed asking if anyone had bright batiks they wanted to get rid of, and boy, did the quilty IG community deliver!

I had more than enough! Here’s the paper pieced appliqués:

Exactly what I wanted! But the girl looked a little funny at first. 

Do you see what I see? A frowning fish. That wouldn’t do! So I swapped out her head piece and then all was fine. 

I sewed up the top and then sewed on the appliqués with a blanket stitch…twice, since I didn’t realize I had sewn it using the blanket stitch the wrong way. 

And yes, it was the elephant and not the girl, and I had sewn the entire elephant on.  😳

But…I moved on and finally finished it all. I rented longarm time at Going Batty quilt shop in Reno. I’m so grateful for the help Jami gave me there. (Will I ever remember the right way to load?) I quilted in my neice’s name and a couple of other words. 

I bound it with a neutral scrappy binding and washed it. Off to the new tiny owner later today. I only wish I could be there when they open it. 

And just in case you wanted to see her…

(Photograph by Swoonbeam in Wi. What a great name:)

There she is. So wonderful. One of God’s recent miracles. We are all in love. 

Slow Stitching Sunday

 I’m working on a little Tiny Dresden for The Very Mini Quilt swap on Instagram. My secret partner listed Heather Ross as one of the fabric designers she liked and she had some mini dresdens on her inspiration post. Both of those options made me happy because look:  
  I decided hand stitching was best. My hand quilting isn’t perfect but I think the little inconsistencies add to the charm of the overall look. I should be finishing it up by the end of today unless that loss of an hour today (Spring Forward!) catches up with me.  

Customized Burp Cloths

Our family is growing by one this spring, so it is baby shower time! And for us creative types, that means it is time to think outside the gift registry and come up with something that we can hand make that will still satisfy the mother-to-be. I started looking around online for inspiration and found several tutorials for cute burp cloths, so I thought I’d start there. The mom has particular tastes so I didn’t want to stray too far from her nursery theme. Turns out I didn’t have to stray at all!


I went to my local Babies R Us and printed up her registry, went trolling up and down the ailes trying to decide what I’d pick up for the expectant couple, when I came upon their nursery bedding.

And then it hit me. I didn’t see crib sheets; I saw fabric! There it was, my inspiration. After I checked out, I went next door to Hancock’s (conveniently located!) and picked out three coordinating flannels and headed home. If you do this project yourself, don’t do what I did and go to the fabric shop fueled only by one cup of coffee, and only get 1/4 yard of fabric. It wasn’t a disaster, but a healthy sized burp cloth is about 10-18″ so mine wound up being 8″ since I only got 1/4. But hey, I have less to throw in my scrap pile now, so it wasn’t all bad. And I think they came out at a useful size regardless.  PLEASE NOTE: Disregard the batting you see in the photo below! You’ll read why below.



The basic instructions are:

  • Cut off the elastic part of the crib sheet and iron it out (you’ll have about 2 yards)
  • cut out rectangles of 8″ x 18″ of the flannel and crib sheet (or 10×18 if you bought more flannel)
  • Sew wrongs sides together, leaving and opening on one side to turn it inside out.
  • Clip corners
  • Turn right side out and press
  • Top stitch the perimeter
  • Top stitch a couple of lines across the burp cloth, either straight across the width or length, or diagonally (which is what I did)

If you need a good tutorial for a burp cloth, see Dana made it

I saved the cute burlap Velcro band that came with the sheet and used it to package them up.


A note about these: I used batting for some reason. I think they are a little too stiff. I hope they wash up nicely, but if I had to do it again I would definitely not use the batting. Mine seem like tiny rectangular quilts. But the good news is I have enough leftover sheet fabric to make washcloths to redeem myself once I find some nice, soft baby terry cloth.


Another note: If your sheet and your backing are both cotton, use cotton thread and don’t worry about pre-washing anything because it will all shrink up about the same size. However, I have seen a lot of tutorials using polyester backing (Minky or chenille) and quilting cotton for the other side. Definitely pre-wash your cotton in that case because when they get washed for the first time the cotton will shrink up but the polyester won’t and it will look weird.


Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Embellished Hexies

Hello and thank you for stopping by! Today I’m sharing my method on making 1″ hexies embellished with embroidery. I hunted and pecked my way around it until I found a method that worked for me, so I hope to share any tips you might not know yourself!


Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Fabric (I used quilting cotton) with small scale prints that you like
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery thread and 50w thread for basting and needles for each
  • cardstock hexagons
  • 1″ hexagon template (the one I used in the photo I found at my local quilt shop)
  • iron
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Heat disappearing marker. (I use Pilot Frixion)
  • small embroidery hoop (4″ is what I use)




1. Place embroidery hoop around the portion of the fabric you’d like to embroider. I usually do not cut the fabric until afterwards, and I work towards the outside edge of the fabric, so as not to waste.


There are several fabrics that I would consider printed and primed for embroidery. Use your clear hexagon template to see what is the right scale. Then go ahead and embroider whatever you’d like. A note about technique: I use knots to start and finish, but that would not be the case for “regular” embroidery. There is simply not enough from to start  and finish. Also, we will be using the fusible interfacing to kind of seal the back. As you can see, the back of my embroidery work is quite the mess!


After you are satisfied with the embroidery, prepare the fusible interfacing.


Using the hexagon template, trace around the shape on the fusible interfacing (I “accordion” the interfacing up so I can cut several at once. These don’t have to be perfect!). Trim just inside the traced line. You can see I’m about 1/8″ inside the template. This helps to not have so much bulk when you are turning in the edges for basting.


Now iron on the interfacing to the back of your embroidery work, making sure your interfacing hexagon is placed correctly. I use the traced lines on the fabric as a guide, since you can see them fairly well through the fabric if you are using a dark erasable marker.

Flip over and use your hexagon template again to trace around the design on the front, and trim from the traced lines at least 1/2″. Give yourself plenty of room. You can always trim some more away, but adding is impossible and you’ve already done all that beautiful embroidery work!


Now you are ready for the final couple of steps. Are you excited? Use your cardstock hexagons and fold over the edges and baste in place using your 50w thread.


Use your iron once last time to get rid of the heat disappearing ink line. Not too much…just enough to get rid of the line. You don’t want your card stock to warp. Please not there is a whole punched in the middle of the cards. This facilitates removal of the paper after they are all sewn in. A chopstick or something similar would work. (And notice I didn’t give myself enough allowance on the deer head so I stitched a few more on that one)

All done! They are secure, ready to use, and best of all CUTE!