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!







Dumpling Pouch

Here’s my latest completed project I am happy to cross off the list for #sewufo2016. This one was an Angel project, which means I sewed up and sent a package to an Instagram swap participant that did not receive a package from their original partner (aka a FLAKER). I’ve been flaked on before and let me tell you, an empty mailbox when you are expecting a package is no fun.

This Instagram swap was the Dumpling Swap. Participants were to sew a Dumpling Pouch from Michelle Patterns and one other sewn object. I have sewn several dumpling pouches, so since I had the hang of it, I decided to embellish this one a little more. Someone commented on Instagram that it looked like the top was whipped cream. I have to agree!


The pattern is cut on the fold, so if you are using directional fabrics, you’ll need to sew a seam where the fold is, paying attention to how you are cutting the fabric (with the direction headed in the way you want). On this one I didn’t want to do a seam, although I did utilize directional fabric (the strawberries and the music staff). I used batting instead of the fusible interfacing the pattern calls for. I stitched in the ditch and also stitched across, making little boxes.


For the strawberry fabric I simply switched it so who knows which way is the right way! I didn’t mind about the music (although I am a musician…so I surprised myself that I didn’t mind). In the end, I think it looks just fine.


I used the green striped fabric (which is Tasha Noel…as well as the strawberries) to line the interior


Here’s a photo of the two sewn items I did. I will cover the needle book in the next post. Thank you for reading!




Swaps and bees…bees and swaps. That pretty much summed up my 2015. I made some new and interesting friends, honed my 1/4″ seam skills and learned some new techniques (as long as there are innovative tools being released, there will always be new techniques!) Now that I have LOVELY blocks for the three bees I participated in, I have quilts to sew, promised family projects to complete and ideas in my head that just won’t stop!

2016 will be a year of tremendous change for my family and while I absolutely have loved swapping on Instagram with my quilty friends (with two very disappointing results…sigh…ok, moving on now), shipping deadlines and coming up with the perfect creative new project might not be the best pressure for me this year. But I realized if I wasn’t actively swapping or in a bee, I might lose touch with this wonderful IG quilting community that has brought me such joy. And then I discovered the perfect solution!


#SEWUFO2016 was born! It means I’ll be sewing up my unfinished objects this year and whoever wants to join in certainly can! To join, simply post a picture on your Instagram feed with the hashtag sewufo2016.

Have fun and I’ll be enjoying seeing your UFO’s become FO’s!

Home Sweet Home Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram



Well, come on in the front door and let’s have a cuppa whatever and talk about this swap. I explained the reason behind this swap in a former post. We bought a new home! We are moving in no less than 72 hours! And right now I should be organizing to move. Seriously. I should be. The packers are coming tomorrow and it looks like I intend on staying put. But you, my mini house lovers want more info, so here it is!

But first I gotta tell you about how it started. When I started quilting in earnest I couldn’t get enough of little house quilts. I just love them. There’s just no place like home. So cute. I am one of those people that love houses. I love the soft, yellow glow of light coming through the windows of houses at night when I see them from the outside. I secretly (well I guess not anymore!) love driving by houses and night and looking through windows. Not in a strange way…you know, you really feel the need to explain something like this! Anyway, I love seeing little glimpses of strangers’ lives. I’ve seen the most exciting things. Once I saw a huge mural of super heroes on someone’s wall in New Orleans. Other times I was driving with my friend and daughter and we saw a couple stringing lit lights on their Christmas tree just inside their cute little paned window. It was a moment! All three of us were lit up with glee and joy! I’ve seen parties. People doing dishes. People hunkered over their tables. Kids playing with toys. Lots of dogs looking out. Cats sitting on backs of sofas not giving one hoot about anything. You know…LIFE. I just can’t get enough of it. I like the good stuff. But seriously, I am no Peeping Tomasina. I don’t hang around to see what’s next, or hope to see something that’s not meant for me. Just a glimpse of good old fashioned living. Pretty interiors. Paint colors. Lamps (I’ve seen my share of “major award” lamps, and you people who have those make me giggle every time, A Christmas Story fans!). But enough of this. I like houses.

So I’m in bed the night I posted the swap. It was already late. I had no intention of starting a swap. But there I was, under my covers, relaxing with a quilting magazine, dreaming of our soon-to-come new home. We chose the lot and the floor plan 9 months ago (almost like having a baby) and now we’ve signed our names until we are bleary-eyed, chosen tile, floors, paint, appliances and on and on. Oh, and how could I forget! Window coverings! I don’t want anyone looking in my windows for Pete’s sake! And then the idea popped into my head: A mini house quilt swap! I got out of bed, created my form after I figured out how, and posted it on Instagram it was born at 2 a.m., PST. I went back to bed and woke up four hours later to see that you were in! And quite a few of you!

So here we are.


  • Swap signup closes 4/20 Sign up on my instagram @quiltsewwhat profile page by clicking on the link.
  • Shipping date 9/9
  • Open swap, which means you will know who your partner is
  • email about partner assignments coming 4/26
  • You and your partner will be assigned to the same team, which will have a swap mama helping out
  • tag: #homesweethomeminiswap. Check it periodically for updates and to see what fun inspiration collages people are making!
  • Sweet Camille Roskelley has extended a 30% discount on her MINI Dwell PDF pattern through May 1. Use code SEWWHAT30 at checkout. This brings the price to under $5! Now that’s something to write home about! (please note the discount does not apply to the paper version) Thank you Camille! #thankyouthimbleblossoms !!!


The Swap will include:

  • One mini quilt. The exact size will be between you and your partner. The quilt will be finished, binding and all.
  • you decide the extras but please include at least two!

Extras could be things that are “house themed” but keep in mind your shipping costs! I’d keep it small if I were you. And something that will pack well and easily with your quilt.  I think partners are most interested in receiving a mini quilt that you’ve put your talents to use in, but feel free to stalk your partner’s feed to see what they like. Maybe they paint, too and you find a cool paintbrush. Or maybe they love llamas and you just found the perfect llama-printed novelty fabric and you share a FQ. Maybe they are always ranting about their fingers getting poked so you find a great thimble. Maybe they love charm packs and you have one you know they’d love. Really all this is up to you.

Make it fun. Make it stress-free. Just make it!

I think that wraps it up until emailing time. I’m seriously going to organize my move now. Wish me well. Until then, piece out, quilters! I’ll catch up with you soon.

Are You an IG Swap Virgin?

If you are new to swaps, and have questions, you are not alone! Today’s blog will cover the basic “how to’s” for the common swap on Instagram.

The first thing to know about swaps is that they are F-U-N and not with just a capital “F” but with all three of those letters capped. Yes, I’m yelling. They are FUN! But you kinda know that already with all the posts you’ve been seeing about them on Instagram. You know, things like, “Oh, I really shouldn’t but I just can NOT help myself” or “Another one! I’m in SQUEEEE” or perhaps “Are you in @soandso”? (my apologies if that’s a real IG name) and other gleeful, hopeful and excited swapper comments.

There are all kinds of different swaps. There really is something for everyone.

I can’t cover them all in this post (see my last post. We are moving! What business do I have sitting down to write a post, anyway? I should be organizing to move.) I’ll touch on a few just so you get a taste.

Want to collect different fabrics without having to hunt them all down yourself? Then be on the lookout for a color swap. Or a favorite designer swap. Or a pre-cut (charm, layer cake, 10″ square, etc.) These are efficient swaps to get your stash built up.

I am currently involved in the Liberty Stamp Swap, where participants are making 28 blocks of 16 2.5″ squares with no repeating Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics. This one has been dreamy. Truly. I love Liberty of London, London, fabric, sewing, quilts….right up my alley. Anyway, come June I’ll be mailing off my completed blocks and then receiving 27 back…all sewn by different people.

Then there is the themed swap, which my IG friend @dizzylittlekingdom introduced me to with her Paris Swap and Bee Still My Heart Swap. Both themed swaps will involve one sewn item, a treat, a FQ of fabric, and in the case of the Bee, honey or honey-related item (since shipping honey across the ocean or from country to country is problematic), as well as a sewing notion and a treat. It’s a great combo.

How do you find a swap, you may be asking? Well, stalk Instagram. I joined IG not too long ago and started following other quilters by doing a search for #quilt #quilts #sewing and before you know it you will jump into the incredible IG world of making new friends world-wide who have the same love for sewing you do. Soon you will see posts that involve swaps. These posts either come from the swap host or by people reposting from the host. The best thing to do is to find the originator, which is easily done by reading through comments. Usually the host’s IG name is in there somewhere. Then go to the host’s profile and there may be information on the profile or you can check through their feed to see where the post first pops up. It’s easier than it sounds and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

There are a few ways hosts handle swaps. Sometimes you just have to leave your email in a comment. Other times you need to go to the host’s profile and click on a link for a Google form to complete. Take note that after you fill out the form you are brought to a screen that shows that you signed up. And the poof…it seems gone. You will not get an email confirmation or anything. So you might want to fill out the form again and the same thing happens. The worst that will happen is that you will have signed up twice but the host will catch it. Don’t worry.

Details for the swap are generally outlined in the beginning. What it will involve, if it’s secret or not and when the ship date is. If everything is vague, the host will be sending out more info soon or in an email after sign ups are complete. It all magically comes together.

If you’ve had enough info to get started, go on…hop on IG and see what you can find. If you want more info, another very basic post is coming.

I know there are no pretty pictures, quotes and so on that make a great blog post. But I can’t fiddle with that today. I’ve got to get my sewing stuff packed up safely so I know exactly what boxes to find in the new house. Thanks for reading and I hope it helped.

P.S. Swap experts-Please leave comments below to help out swappers!

Home Sweet New Home

Well, we’ve gone and done it! We bought a house! It feels like we’ve been buying this house since August, when we found the lot, chose the floor plan and then changed the floor plan, chose cabinets, floors, doors, etc, etc, etc. There were so many decisions to make I was actually surprised I didn’t have to choose the type of doorbell I wanted (and I would have liked to, but I’m content). We are finally ready to move in next week with all of our stuff.

new house

So, to celebrate, I’m hosting my first swap, which is the Home Sweet Home Mini Quilt Swap on Instagram, #homesweethomeminiswap if you want to search and join! It will include one mini house quilt and some other goodies. I’m not clarifying until after I get some sleep. You understand, I’m sure, fellow late night bloggers and quilters. But hurry up and sign up. It’s open til Monday, April 20 to get your form filled out. Or 100 swappers. Whatever comes first.

I’m excited. I love my “Gram Fam” and can’t wait to get started. And this is another diversion from the unending tasks at hand (packing, cleaning, planning, organizing, eating, sleeping, cooking etc and so on)

toll door

So help me celebrate! Sign up. You know you are a swapaholic, but don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone except your partner.

Star Quilt Getting Quilted!

Well, I’m just so excited today. Yesterday was Easter, which was so wonderful because it meant I could ship of my quilt! Whaaaa? Yep, that’s right. You see, my dining room is my makeshift sewing studio until we move into our new house, where I will have my very own sewing alcove. I mean it, y’all, a real place for me to set up my sewing machine, unpack my fabrics, and leave it! Anyway, I had to clear off the table because there were 11 people gonna be chowin’ down for Easter. This caused me to take care of things that had been sitting around on the table, including my quilt top and backing.

easter table

I filled out my request for Crinkle Love to quilt my Stars over Iowa quilt, which I sewed from Sherri McConnell’s Fresh Family Traditions book. I took a long arm class. Not for me…yet. Plus I didn’t want to try out all my newbie skills on a quilt top I spent a good amount of time making.

fresh family traditions book

I read this book from cover to cover (minus instructions) when I first got it. I love that her patterns are from quilts that are important to her family quilting heritage.

So, I was inspired and sewed up my very own. Sherri McConnell used Amy Butler fabrics in hers. I used, well, everything but the kitchen sink. I had fabric I’d ordered from Etsy that was either knock off or real Cath Kidson, WalMart Fabric, Tanya Whelan, and I’m not sure what else but I wanted that Shabby Chic look that I love but have nothing in my house in that style.

stars quilt1

I made the quilt for myself because first, I love quilts, and second, because I’m a little bit Princess and the Pea when I sleep. I love my husband bunches, so we sleep in the same bed. But when I get into bed first and I’m all comfy cozy, then he pops in, there is a draft that comes along with him that makes me very uncomfortable. Then I have to readjust everything. Then he moves. Then I have to readjust.

stars quilt

My sister in-law is a genius. You might think this is a sudden change of topic, but it relates. Read on, friend. We visited her a few years ago and she graciously gave us her entire home to sleep in while she and her husband went to their second home. So we got to sleep in her bed, which had two separate duvets, his and hers. Best night’s sleep!

So, I’m making this cottag-y quilted, cozy and all mine quilt to put on me at night. Hubby can create drafts all he wants to. I will have my Stars over Nevada quilt!

stars quilt2

So, thank you Easter Bunny for helping me box up and ship off my quilt. It left today and I am feeling quite accomplished!

Thanks for dropping by. Piece out!