My Sewful Retirement

A Quilting Journey

Archive for the month “March, 2020”

To Do Tuesday – #1

To Do Tuesday is a linky party hosted by fellow blogger and quilting friends Roseanne & Sue at Home Sewn By Us.

Normally my projects are picked on a whim but I find myself at a point where I have a few quilting deadlines and figured joining their linky party would be a great way to stay focused and find inspiration from seeing what others are making.

With my fabric pull from last Friday I pieced this quilt on Saturday. I really had fun putting this quilt together. I saw something online I liked and decided to sketch something similar and add my own spin.

Hexie flower garden quilt wall hanging
hexie flower garden

I used some of the scraps to make a matching mini quilt. Butterflies do love flowers! The mini was paper pieced using a free pattern from Caroline with Sew Can She. You can find the free pattern here.

paper piecing, butterfly, scrap mini quilt
butterfly scrap mini quilt

My hubby really liked the hexagon shape so on Sunday I made him a pillow featuring a hexagon star. He is a retired engineer who loves math, solving illusion type puzzles, softball and golf. Because times are crazy right now he’s spending more time inside laying on the couch watching TV.

I need him to lay his head on something other than the couch pillows!

Again no pattern, I used a yard stick to determine when I reached the width necessary for a 20 inch pillow form.

hexie star layout

I won’t lie this was a little harder for me to make. My seam ripper got a good work out! I used a hera marker to create the quilting lines. This picture you can see the geometric illusion — in the center is a diamond shape — to the left and right of the diamond forms 4 isosceles triangles and two 120 degree triangles — needless to say he got a good laugh!

hera marker quilting lines
hera marker quilt lines

I used scraps from Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric line. A lot of the prints in that line represented places we’ve traveled to or symbols of things we love. All in all it was a great choice.

My To Do List for this week:

  • Meals on wheels placemats – finish at least one
  • Custom order – potholder and XL trivet
  • Finish Come Sail With Me baby quilt
  • Create plan for custom t-shirt quilt

Happy Sewing and stay safe!

Friday Finishes

Happy Friday!

I’ve gotten a lot accomplished this week, being asked to stay home really hasn’t been that bad and I have to admit getting things checked off my “to do list” has been gratifying.

I finished two UFO’s from last year.

A churn dash baby quilt. I’ll be donating this quilt to a local charity. The quilt measures 36 x 36 inches. I used a pattern from Camille Roskelley’s book Simply Retro.

baby quilt churn dash
churn dash baby quilt

2. My RWB scrappy log cabin picnic quilt. Our city has a lovely water show and fireworks display for July 4th celebrations. This quilt measuring 56 x 70 inches will be perfect for hubby and I to sit or lay on while we enjoy the show.

patriotic log cabin throw, creative grids trim tool
patriotic log cabin throw

My new projects completed this week:

Aqua-Red Star Baby Quilt. This quilt will also be donated to the same local charity. I was actually able to make 2 identical quilts. The fabric used was from an old Riley Blake line by Mind’s Eye. Hopefully, I will get the second quilt finished next week.

  • Using twelve (12) 10 x 10 inch squares of fabric- one print and one background fabric
  • I created 24 half square triangles – squared to 9.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Arrange 12 of the triangles into a star pattern as shown below
  • Lastly I added 4 – 9.5 x 9.5 corner squares of background fabric
layer cake baby quilt in aqua red
aqua red star baby quilt

Floating Stars Baby Quilt: My last finish for the week was a custom ordered baby quilt. I used left over layer cake squares from an older Cotton and Steel collection to create the floating star layout. I didn’t have a pattern, she requested stars so I sketched out something that would work with the amount of fabric I had on hand and just winged it.

The quilt measures 36 x 48 inches. My customer also wants me to make a couple of burp cloths to match – I should be able to finish those today and mail in the morning.

layer cake baby quilt floating stars cotton steel fabric
floating stars baby quilt

I’ve already pulled my fabric out for my weekend project!

vintage blossom quilt fabric pull
fabric pull

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

Hello Spring – Part 2

Happy Tuesday!

I hope everyone is enjoying staying at home and spending more time sewing!

My second favorite place to decorate is our coffee tables — all of them both inside and outside have glass tops. I think I secretly choose glass tops so that I have a reason to sew. Making table runners and coasters keep me from dusting on a daily basis πŸ™‚

Keeping the tulip theme going, I modified MSQC Totally Tulips tutorial to use as a table runner. I used scrap batiks to make the 22 x 43 inches table runner.

quilted spring table runner, totally tulips, spring home decor
Totally tulips table runner

You can watch the video explaining how to make Jenny’s totally tulip quilt block here.

Also, because of the glass tops I tend to make lots of coasters. This is the set I made to match the totally tulips table runner.

I purchased the spring tulip design from Embroidery Library. You can find it here. I used the smaller size — perfect for a 4 x 4 embroidery hoop.

Below you will find the steps I use to make coasters and a coaster cozy. Sometime I use embroidery most times I use scraps. This is definitely a great way to use up smaller scraps or charm packs.

The coaster and cozy make great gifts!

This tutorial will make four coasters and one coaster cozy. I hope you enjoy your set as much as I enjoy mine β™₯


  •  Four (4) Embroidered designs trimmed to a 5 x 5 inch square per coaster
  • Or four(4) 5 x 5 inch of fabric to use as the front of each coaster
  • 1 fat quarter for backing fabric or fabric scraps at least 5 x 5 inches square
  • Scrap batting at least 5 x 5 inches per coaster

Step 1 – Embroider your design and trim down to 5 x 5 inch square.  If not using embroidery use fabric you selected to be the front of your coasters.

I usually hoop the fabric and batting — no stabilizer.

Step 2 – From your fat quarter or scraps, cut four 5 inch squares to use as the coaster backing.

quilted coaster tutorial
step 2

Step 3 – From your scrap batting, cut four 5 inch squares- only if not using embroidery.

Step 4 – Layer the coaster top fabric on the back fabric, right sides (pretty side) facing. Place the batting on top. Make sure all edges are aligned, use pins or wonder clips to keep everything in place.

Step 5 – Sew a ¼” seam around the outside of the coaster leaving at least a two inch opening along one side for turning inside out. Make sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end.

Step 6 – Using scissors or rotary cutter, trim the excess fabric at a diagonal from the corners.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 7 – Through the 2” opening, turn inside out so that the batting is sandwiched in between the coaster top and backing fabric. To close the opening from step 5, fold the opening inward ¼”, press with an iron, and then top stitch 1/8’ around the entire coaster.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 8 – To make the coaster cozy, sew enough fabric scraps together so that you can cut two 6.5” squares. From your scrap batting, cut one 6.5” square. Follow Steps 4 through 6 (above), but using these 6.5” squares.

After turning inside out I quilt straight lines forming an “X” corner to corner to stabilize the unit. Sorry for the bad photo — it was night time and I used matching thread.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 9 – As shown below, pinch each corner so that aΒ  wall forms on each side. Clip or pin the corners to keep them in place. Place at least one of your coaster in the center of the pinched cozy to make sure they will fit after stitching.

quilted coaster tutorial

Step 10 – Stitch the pinched edges.

machine embroidered spring coasters,tulips
spring tulip coaster and cozy

Voila – enjoy your new coasters and cozy!

Feel free to ask any questions — I realize it’s not a detailed tutorial but hopefully it’s enough information to get you started!

β™₯β™₯ Enjoy your day and stay safe β™₯β™₯

Hello Spring

In light of the current world events like many others we’ve had to cancel our travel and vacation plans. Yes, it’s definitely a bummer but on the flipside I’ve gotten my sewing and blogging mojo back πŸ™‚

Ah, springtime! There’s something refreshing about this time of year – winter is fading away and spring is emerging! My tulips are blooming and the sunlight is lasting longer which is inspiring my creativity.

One of my favorite places to decorate is the kitchen table. This year I designed a set of spring tulip placemats for our table. I used a small fat quarter bundle from my stash of Harper’s Garden by Sherri & Chelsi for Moda Fabrics to make a set of four place mats.

tulip quilted patchwork placemats,spring decor
Spring tulip placemats
spring tulip placemats backs

The simply lovely tulip flower quilt block is constructed as a simple nine patch.

Below are the instructions to make Two 6.5 inch unfinished tulip quilt blocks for one placemat.

*** The pictures shown were taken while I was making a 12 inch block.***


Tulip Fabric Quilt block
Tulip Fabric
  • Background Fabric
    • Cut (4) – 3 x 3-inch squares
    • Cut (6) – 2.5 x 2.5-inch squares
    • Cut (2) – 1.5 x 1.5 inch square
    • Cut (2) – 1.5 x 2.5 inch rectangle
  • Tulip Fabric
    • Cut (2) – 2.5 x 2.5 inch square
    • Cut (2) – 3 x 3 inch square
  • Tulip Bud or Stamen Fabric
    • Cut (2) – 1.5 x 1.5 inch square
  • Leaf Fabric
    • Cut (2) – 3 x 3 inch square


  1. Draw a line from corner to corner on the wrong side of one of your 3×3 inch squares.
  2. Place the squares with the drawn line on top of the stem and tulip fabrics 3 x 3 inch squares.
  3. Sew 1/4 inch on each side of the drawn line.
half square triangle step 1
Draw line from corner to corner

4. Cut on the lines to make 2 half square triangles.

half square triangle step 2
Cut on the lines to make 2 half square triangles

5. Press seams on all of your half square triangles. I press my seams open.

half square triangle press seams
Press seams

6. Square up the half square triangles to 2 1/2 inches.

square up half square triangle
square up half square triangles

7. Arrange tulip nine patch as shown below.

8. Seam them together in rows. Keep track of the direction of the leaf blocks.

I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of both tulip block layouts. please refer to the picture above for the second layout.

tulip quilt block layout - 9 patch
Tulip Block 2 Arrangement

9. Press and sew the rows together to form the completed tulip blocks. One completed block should measure 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches.

To turn your lovely tulip blocks into a placemat

tulip placemat
  • Join tulip blocks, vertically – top to bottom
  • sew on a 1.5 x 12.5 rectangle (the blue)- press seam
  • sew on a 9.5 x 12.5 rectangle (the floral) – press seam

Cut your batting and backing 14 inches tall and 20 inches wide per placemat. I use Pellon Fusible Thermolam Plus when making placemats and table runners.

Quilt as desired. I used my walking foot with one inch intervals.

Binding — you need approximately 2.25 x 62 inches of binding per placemat. I machine stitched the binding to the front, back and used the pocket method to join the ends.

pocket binding

Next time I will show you my other tulip inspired projects!

Happy Spring, stay safe and happy Sewing!

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