New Cafe Tiles Quilt Release

I am SO excited to share my newest pattern, Cafe Tiles, with the world.

Two Decembers ago, I was eating at a cafe with some friends.  We were downtown at a quaint little place, and I couldn’t stop admiring the floor.  Thankfully my friends get me, and they encouraged me to photograph the floor so I could turn it into a quilt pattern.  That’s when you know you have true friends.

It only took me two years to turn that design into a quilt pattern.  Okay, okay, I admit, it took a while.  But the pattern is here now, and that’s what matters.

I reached out to some pattern testers who’s work I adore.  I asked if they would be willing to test this new pattern for me.  I am just blown away with the different looks and designs each tester created with the Cafe Tiles pattern.

Let me introduce my Cafe Tiles pattern testers.  I’m adding their Instagram names so you can go and see their accounts.  They have some really pretty work!

1. Julie Gehman – @thelittlepineneedle

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2. Kaylee Hildreth – @31rubiesquiltstudio

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3. Sharon Challenger – @shashalaruequilts

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4. Laurel Aigner Ray – @porcupinestew_threads

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5. Alex Hoffman – @hoffmamacompany

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6. Morgan Alonso – @thesweetestsnuggles_quilts

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7. Erin Grogan – @lovesewmodern

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8. Valerie – @threebirdsnstitches

3 birds 2   3 birds 13 birds 3    3 birds 4

Aren’t these quilters amazing?  I love ALL the looks!  Scrappy, Solids, Prints – they are amazing!

Last but not least, I am sharing some photos of my original Cafe Tiles Quilt, along with the newest version I am working on.  When it’s done, I plan to update this post with the finished quilt showcased.

For my original version, I used Art Gallery Fabrics solids in grey and oranges.  For the backing I used Amy Sinibaldi’s ‘Pastoral Crescendo’ from her Sonata line.  I loved the bright oranges that complimented the oranges on the front of the quilt.


What I am working on now is also using Art Gallery Fabrics solids.  I decided to try a brighter color scheme, and go with ‘Cottontail Explore’ from their Meriwether collection for the backing.

cafe tiles purple

How about you?  What fabrics would you like to use to make your own Cafe Tiles quilt?  The world if your oyster.  I will be watching the hashtag #cafetilesquilt to see what you design.  To grab a copy of the pattern, CLICK HERE.

If you have any questions or comments about the pattern, leave a comment and I will respond as soon as I can.  Happy quilting!


Want to Write Your Own Quilt Pattern?

Have you wanted to write your own quilt pattern?

Learn to create your own

I am sharing the two most useful tools I use to create and write my quilt patterns, plus I’m sharing a coupon code for one of them!

1. I first design my quilt using the Electric Quilt 8 program (EQ8).  It is THE BEST program out there for creating quilt patterns.  I’ll show you a little video tutorial of what it can do.

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A Glimpse at creating ‘X Marks The Spot’ pattern

If you are interested in buying the EQ8 program, you can use this coupon code to save 20% off their entire website until March 31st, 2020COUPON CODE: EQ8Elizabeth Website: Electric Quilt Website  Direct Link to EQ8: EQ8 LINK



2. After I design my quilt, I use Adobe Illustrator (AI) to write my patterns.  I actually used Microsoft Word to write my first pattern.  It worked, but it wasn’t pretty.  I didn’t even know how unattractive and clunky it was until I really started doing my homework.  I will never turn back from using AI.

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Inside AI working on a first draft of ‘Cafe Tiles’ Quilt Pattern

I have thought about creating an online course for how to write quilt patterns.  I’m thinking it would include step by step  tutorials on using EQ8, AI specifically for writing quilt patterns, and some business tips on marketing, printing patterns, and the like.

Would you be interested in a course like that?  If so, click HERE and I will get in touch and see if there’s enough interest and share some more ideas with y’all.

Do you have other questions about writing quilt patterns?  There’s SO much to share on the topic, but if you have questions, leave a comment and I could even write another blog post answering some more specific questions if there’s an interest.

And if you are a quilter not interested in quilt pattern writing, that’s great, too!  We need both the pattern writers and the pattern users! 😉

If you are interested in writing quilt patterns, I highly recommend looking into the EQ8 program and using that 20% discount while you can.

Happy quilting and quilt pattern writing, if that’s your jam.


How to Stay Focused as a Creative

If you’re like me, a creative, it can be difficult to stay focused and organized.  Doesn’t creativity mean being scattered?  Okay, I’ve told myself that long enough.  Enough is enough.

There are a lot of planners and people to turn to.  I want to share with you what I am using this year to achieve my goals, and why I picked it.

I decided to use Bonnie Christine’s new Flourish Planner for 2020.  I have watched Bonnie grow her business and achieve her dreams.  When she said she had a planner that comes along with video tutorials on how to organize your year, I was on board.  She has figured some things out, and if she’s willing to share that knowledge, I’m ready to learn and apply.

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Inside the planner there are places to track daily habits, set goals at a glance, and then get more detailed by month and day.

One of the things I like most about this planner is keeping track of my daily habits.  Because I have a box to check if I have done certain things each day, simply knowing I will either check the box or leave it blank helps me do my daily habits.  Weird, right?

I remember learning that Benjamin Franklin did something similar.  He wrote a bunch of habits he wanted to work on, and then put a mark for each day of the week that he practiced it.

Here’s Benjamin Franklin’s habit tracker:

Image result for benjamin franklin's habit tracking sheet

Not a bad idea, Ben.  Not at all.  In our own, modern way, Bonnie included a place to do something similar.  Each month you can write habits you want to work on, then you put an X for each day you do that habit.  It has been surprisingly helpful!

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Here is a glance at a few other pages from inside the planner:

Another huge help is that this planner comes with a class.  There are a series of videos where Bonnie walks through how to use your planner.  It’s like having a personal mentor helping me get on track.  Here’s a screen shot from one of her videos.

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Besides a planner, I also have a large calendar on my wall that Bonnie designed.  I love having something I can glance at that reminds me of my deadlines and what things I have around the corner.

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When the year wraps up, I’m excited to write another post on how my year played out and how the planner plaid a role with that.

We’ll see if I achieved my goals!


  1. Add value to membership (studying how to make membership best as possible)
  2. Plan and host a large retreat this year.
  3. Exercise at least 4 days a week (yes, I count this under my business, because it helps me be more productive).
  4. Add at least 1 video tutorial to my YouTube channel per month.
  5. Write at least 3 blog posts per month.
  6. Get my patterns all in paper format.
  7. Reach out to Pattern Distributors and have my patterns carried with them.
  8. Enter at least 2 quilts for QuiltCon in the Fall.

How about you?  I would love to hear what you use or do for goal setting.  Do you have something you’ve found that works?  If so, please share in the comments.  I would love to hear about it!



Best Quilt Binding Tip for Quilters

One of the quickest and most helpful tips I have learned for doing quilt bindings is this: Press your binding.

Let me explain.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve sewn your binding to the front or to the back of your quilt.  Once you’ve sewn your binding completely on either side of your quilt, press the binding out, away from the quilt.  Then pull the binding to the other side of your quilt and press it so it lays flat, just how it will look when it’s sewn down.

This makes sewing your binding a piece of cake.  No more tugging and pulling and fighting the binding as you sew.  In fact, this has been so helpful that I hardly use clips to hold my bindings anymore.

If you’re like me, you’ll want a visual example.  Maybe even a video.  I’ve got you covered.


This is an action shot of me ironing my binding OUT, away from the quilt.  This is step one. Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 9.42.06 AM

After your binding is pressed away from your quilt, you will want to flip the quilt over, and press the binding down.  Do this for the entire binding / quilt.

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That’s it!  Now that your binding is ironed in the direction you want to sew it, it is so much easier to work with!  I hope this helps you with your bindings.  If you want to see how I hand quilted this binding, see my blog tutorial HERE.

  • The quilt shown here is my soon to be released ‘Cafe Tiles Quilt’.  It will be available in my shop by the end of the month.

Stretches Every Quilter Needs To Practice

Quilters, listen up!  I am here to tell you that sitting and quilting, or cutting your fabric for long periods of time, can reek havoc on your back and shoulders.

Here are a few simple stretches to do every day, or at least while you are sewing and cutting fabric.  I even set a timer for every 20 to 30 minutes, otherwise I lose track of time and pay for it later.

You can watch a YouTube video where I show you these stretches ‘in person’.  You can refer to this blog post if you need a refresher or reminder of some simple stretches.


NOTE: I am not a certified fitness instructor.  I AM, however, a quilter who benefits from doing these stretches.  I hope these stretches can help others the way they have helped me.


Grab your left wrist with your right hand behind your back.  Then lift your chest and tighten your abdominals so that you feel the stretch in the front of both shoulders.  Hold for 20 – 30 seconds.  Switch arms and repeat with the right wrist.


Reach your left arm overhead with the elbow bent. Grab your left elbow with your right hand and gently push your left elbow back until you feel a nice on the back of the upper arm.  Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

Upper Arm

stretch 9

Bring your left arm in front of your chest, hand held straight.   Grab your upper left arm with your right hand, gently pulling your left arm toward your chest.  Feel a light stretch.  Hold for 20 -30 seconds.  Repeat on the opposite arm.

Neck and Back

With your left arm in front of you and out to the left of your body, Cross your right arm over your left, interlock fingers.  Tilt your head to the left until you feel a slight stretch,  Hold for 20 – 30 seconds.  Repeat on the opposite side.


stretch 11

Interlock fingers behind your back.  Press your chest forward and arm back until you feel a slight stretch,  Hold for 30 seconds.


The following has helped me with my lower back pain.  Again, this is just my experience.  If you have serious back pain or injury, consult with a medical professional for help.  I have learned, however, that a lot of lower back pain if due to tight hamstrings.  So the next two stretches focus on your hamstrings, which in turn can help with lower back pain.


Keeping your back straight, reach your fingertips to your toes.  Notice that I can only make it to about mid shin.  That’s okay.  Go as far as you can until you feel a slight stretch.  Make it a goal to get lower and lower as you do your stretches regularly.


stretch 12

This is a more advanced pose, as far as stability goes.  If holding this pose is too tricky, use a desk or sturdy object to hold on to.

Bend your right leg to rest on your left upper leg. Squat until you feel a slight stretch.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on the other side.

I also got a great Christmas gift this year.  It is an AMAZING hand held massager.  It gets the job done!  If you are feeling tight anywhere, just turn this on, swapping out the head of the massager based on what you want it to do, and it really gets the tightness gone.  You can adjust the speed and strength of the massage, and its easy to use on yourself or have someone help you.  Here is a link to the one I have:


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There it is!  Be sure to visit the video tutorial HERE if you want real life demonstrations on these stretches.  Leave a comment with your favorite stretches and what has helped you avoid quilting aches and pains.


Everything You Need to Know to Hand Quilt Your Quilt Binding

If you know me, you know I love the look of hand quilting.  I even have a tutorial on hand quilting an entire quilt top.

Here’s a couple of my older quilts with hand quilted work:

Recently, I posted a video on Instagram doing some hand quilting quilt binding, (that’s a mouth full!) and the questions came flooding in.  I decided it was time to share tips on how to hand quilt your quilt binding.


Here’s the video I shared on Instagram. Note: This is NOT my tutorial video.  To watch the tutorial, click HERE


You will need the proper thread, needles, thimble, and scissors.  I also like using needle grippers , a magnetic needle minder, and a needle threader.  Those last items aren’t musts, but I do love using them.


hand quilting your quilt binding

Once you have your supplies and your quilt binding is ready to be sewn to the back of your quilt:

  1. Tie a knot on the end of your thread and hide the knot under your binding.

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  1. Once the knot is hidden, pull your needle from the bottom of the binding to the top.  Make sure your knot, needle, and thread have caught your backing fabric, but NOT the front of your quilt.
  2. Do a simple stitch all around your backing, making sure your needle and thread only catch your backing and batting, not the front of your quilt, so that your stitches do not show on the front of your quilt.

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  1. Don’t worry too much about the length and size of your stitches.  If you REALLY dislike some of them, unpick and redo them.  Just remember that the purpose of hand quilting your binding is to give a handmade look – and handmade looks imperfect.  So embrace your uneven stitches!
  2. When you are ready to end your stitching, or you run out of thread, pull the needle to the backing of your quilt.  Tie a knot (or two) as close to your backing as possible.  NOTE: make sure your knot is placed on your backing so it will be hidden by your binding.  For visuals on this, watch my YouTube video tutorial HERE.

NOTE: To read notes on the following pictures, hover over each photo to read the captions.

I hope this makes you excited to try hand quilting your quilt binding!  I love it, and I hope you do, too.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me.  I’m happy to help.




Using Quilt Care Cards and Gift Tags – FREE DOWNLOAD

Since it’s getting close to the holiday season, and gift giving is near, I wanted to share something to personalize your gift giving.  Now if you are giving a QUILT that you handmade, it’s hard to make it more personal than that.  But there is something you can add to make the presentation extra fun.  Let me share what I mean.

Quilt Care photo
One of my Quilts ready to be gifted with a Quilt Care card.  Just roll your quilt, tie with string, and insert a Quilt Care Card.

Quilt Care cards a not only cute, but practical.  Most people use blankets, and aren’t aware that quilts need a little more TLC, especially when it comes to washing them.  A Quilt Care card acts as a way of letting people know how to wash their quilt, a cute way to present the gift, AND a place to write a personalized message on the back.  If you are looking for a quilt to make for someone, you can look for some pattern ideas here.

Quilt Care Card download

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What if you’re not giving a quilt?  That’s okay.  I’ve got you covered!  I created some gift tags that will brighten up any wrapped present and add a little extra detail.  No matter what you give to someone, a cute gift tag adds the perfect touch.

You can print these gift tags on card stock, cut them out, and attach them to your gifts.  I love to punch a hole at the top and tie a string through the card.  But tape works just as well!Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 11.05.33 PM


I would love to hear what gifts you plan to make or give this holiday season.  Who knows, maybe your idea will spark someone else to do the same thing!  Whatever gifts you are giving, I hope you enjoy these gift tags and the Quilt Care Card.



An Insider’s Look at International Quilt Market

If you are in the quilting world, chances are you’ve heard of the International Quilt Market.  It is held twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall.

Fall Quilt Market is always held in Houston (yay for me since I live here!), and the Spring Market rotates locations each year.

As of today, October 23rd, 2019, the Fall Quilt Market opens in a couple of days.  Since not everyone who is a quilter can go to Market, I thought I would share an insider’s perspective, a glance behind the curtain, if you will, into all things Quilt Market.


Quilt Market is NOT open to the general public. There are a few groups of people who Quilt Market is made for.

1. Distribution companies and individuals.  These are the people who pay for and set up a booth in hopes that people will discover their product and/or have customers place orders.  This group ranges from some large and established companies to individuals.

2. Buyers. This group of people consists of quilt shop owners, online shops, or anyone who is purchasing large amounts of quilting supplies.  They are attending market to discover the next big thing in quilting, place orders, and learn.

3. Influencers.  This group is broader, and includes teachers, designers, sales and marketing representatives, book publishers, and longarm quilters.


There are some credentials you have to provide to get in to quilt market.  Depending what group you fall in, the requirements are different.  From the official Quilt Market webpage, here are the requirements.

1. Distributors –

2. Buyers –

3. Influencers –  Two of the items from the list below:


Quilt Market is a LOT of fun and is totally exhausting.  It is also not what it was just a few years ago, which I will cover in the next section.

For a quilter, being at Market is like being a kid in a candy store.  Everywhere you look, you see fabrics, projects, patterns, notions, and PEOPLE.  It’s amazing to be in the same space with these designers and business owners I’ve admired from afar.  I may have had my fan-girl moments at times during Quilt Market.  I’m not proud of this. 😉

One draw-back for me is I feel like I need to be “on” the whole time.  I realize that’s just me.  But that leads to afore mentioned exhaustion.  You know when you meet a bunch of new people and you want to be your best self?  Now imagine that from sun-up to sun-down for 3 days in a row.  To say that I need a week of hibernation after market wouldn’t be too far off!  With that said, Market IS a rush.  It’s energizing, magical, and all the things.  To see so much talent and beauty all for quilters?  There are no words!

NOTE: I plan to update this with photos and hopefully a video of market after I visit this weekend.


I have been going to Quilt Market since Fall 2015.  Keep that in mind when I talk about MY experience with Quilt Market.  I only have 4 years of PERSONAL experience at Quilt Market.

I do, however, hear a lot of people chat about Market who have been going for 20+ years.  So what I’m sharing comes both from my few years’ experience, plus what I have heard from others with a lot more experience.

“Quilt Market is not what it was,” I’ve heard people say.  That blew my mind!  As I said, to me it is still magical.  But even in the past couple of years I have noticed a change at Market, a shift in the feeling.  It feels smaller, less attended, and less . . . of a big deal, if I may say that.  I know some companies feel like Quilt Market may be a dying thing.  I personally hope NOT.  There is something to meeting people face to face, having human connections, and seeing a product in real life.

Quilt Market started changing when blogging boomed in the early 2000’s.  It used to be that people had no idea what new fabric lines and patterns were coming out until arriving at Quilt Market, or waiting for it to arrive at their Local Quilt Shop.  Market was a bigger deal then.

Quilt shops also had to decide at Market what to buy.  (This is still the case with some companies due to pre-orders and securing you get a certain line.)  But instead of shop owners choosing for themselves what to purchase by browsing fabric at Market, there is pressure to buy what influencers are using.  Thus we see the bloggers (I see the irony here . . . ) having a larger influence on what fabrics shop owners purchase.

There are also fabric and pattern reveals on social media before market.  Buzz about “I NEED that,” starts before Market even opens!  Influencers share what they love, and then their followers want that fabric, and that’s what shop owners are buying and selling more of.

Because of social media, blogs, and online quilt shops, it is no longer the Local Quilt Shops controlling what products we know about and have access to.  We can see a fabric online or on social media, click a few buttons, and the fabric arrives at our door the next day.  Gone are the days of only having access to fabrics by walking in a quilt shop, browsing their selection, and working with what they have.  I’m not saying I LIKE this change, but it is happening.

These changes in technology and how people shop absolutely are affecting Quilt Market.  Some companies feel like Market isn’t necessary any more.  People can do all the same things (see fabric/patterns/notions and place bulk orders) online.  Time will tell if Quilt Market will continue, get smaller and smaller, or eventually be a thing of the past.


I would love to hear your thoughts and questions about Quilt Market.  Have you ever been?  Are there more things you want to know about it?  Do you think Quilt Market will stick around or become a thing of the past?  Leave your comments below.




The Ultimate Guide to PRESSING YOUR FABRIC

It sounds so simple.  “Press your fabric”.  But if done wrong, it can really mess up your quilt!

Let’s look into what proper pressing is and what you need to do it.

First off: What pressing is NOT.  Pressing is NOT putting your iron on fabric and moving it around.  This is ironing.  Ironing your fabric can warp it and make your points not match, your fabric to be wonky, and mess up your careful fabric cutting.

This is ironing.  NOT pressing.

What pressing IS: Placing your iron on your fabric, holding it in place, then removing your iron.
NOTE: I like to finger press my fabric before I press it with an iron.  Finger pressing is when you open your seams and press them open with your finger.  I show you this in the following video tutorial.

It’s tempting to move the iron along the fabric, especially when there’s a long seam that needs pressing.  But when you move the iron around your fabric, it actually warps the shape of your fabric.  This is no good.

When tempted to move that iron around, remind yourself, “I don’t t want wonky fabric.   I don’t want wonky fabric.”  Just hold your iron down, press, lift it up, and repeat.

WHAT SUPPLIES DO I NEED? Really, all you need is an iron and a surface to iron on.  Those are the basics.  There ARE some pretty cool tools to help you, though, and I’ll share my favorites.

IRON – My favorite iron hands down is my Oliso Pro. Not only is it super hot, but it is a smart iron!  You can leave it down and when you aren’t using it, little legs come out of the iron so it stays hot but doesn’t burn your surface.  How sci-fi is that?

Notice the legs that keep your iron from burning your surface?

SURFACE – An ironing board is the most traditional surface to iron on.  But there ARE ways to keep an iron close by your sewing machine without having a clunky ironing board.

You can use a pressing mat.  There are a lot to choose from, but I love using my Paca Pressing Mat ®.  I like that I can set my iron to the hottest level of heat.  With Wool pressing mats, you need to keep your iron on the Wool level of heat.  With a Paca mat, you can crank it all the way up.  I’ve also noticed with my wool mats that they get scorched and leave marks from my iron over time.  (It may be because my iron was turned all the way up . . .) But when pressing, I want my iron to be as hot as it can be.

I also love that I can put my pressing mat on any surface and transform it into an ironing board.  Not only is that convenient, but your pressing mat redistributes the heat from your iron.  Your fabric is basically getting pressed twice.  Once from the iron, then twice from the heat in the pressing mat coming back up into the fabric.  Pretty nifty!

WATER BOTTLE – If I want a REALLY pressed and firm fabric, which I always do, then I spray my fabric with water while pressing.  I’ll show you just how crsip and flat it makes the fabric.
NOTE: To save the life of your iron, avoid putting water in your iron.  Instead, keep a water bottle you can refill next to your iron.

With water + pressing, just LOOK how flat my fabric and seams are!

And that’s it folks!  With an iron, water, and a pressing mat, you can get perfectly flat fabric.

Things to remember when PRESSING:
* Hold iron still, do not move iron back and forth.
* For extra “Umph” for flatness, spray fabric with a water bottle.
* Finger press your seams open before pressing with an iron.
* Use a pressing mat to add extra heat to your fabric, and transform any surface into an ironing board.

Let me know if you have any questions!  Also feel free to share any of your favorite products or personal tips for pressing.


Cool Creations with Art Gallery Fabrics

I am SO excited to share the 4 makers that were selected to make something unique with their Art Gallery Fabrics!

Here are the makers, what they made, and what fabric they used:

NUNCIA FABRICS by Art Gallery Fabrics
1. Wendy of The Weekend Quilter | @the.weekendquilter – ‘Lioness Quilt’ (FREE PATTERN here)

2. Mara Harty of The Quilt In Progress | @quiltinprogress – Makeup bags and makeup brush holders.

SELVA FABRICS by Art Gallery Fabrics
1. Kaylee of 31 Rubies Quilt Studio| @31rubiesquiltstudio – Picture Frames Quilt and matching pillow.

2. Jess of Coral Bunny and Lo | @coralbunnyandlo – Aprons.

Let’s take a closer look at each person’s creations!

Wendy of The Weekend Quilter

theweekendquilter_Lioness 8

I LOVE this fabric used in the new ‘Lioness’ pattern that Wendy designed.  She definitely had Nuncia fabric in mind while creating it.  The contrast of the black background fabric with the bright colors is stunning.  If you look at the photo below that Wendy took of the Nuncia fabric before she cut into it, you can see some of the stunning pieces in this line.  I love the black and white checks and prints, along with the aquas and yellows.  Well done, Wendy.  I absolutely love your quilt and use of fabric.  ❤️

theweekendquilter_Lioness 1


Mara Harty of The Quilt In Progress


WOW and wow!  This kind of making is totally different from quilting, and totally beyond my capabilities.  I LOVE these makeup and brush bags that Mara made.  I can’t think of a better (and more beautiful) way to store my makeup.  Notice all the details of the zipper, the little toggles (is that even what you call them?) at the end of each zipper, the ties and string, the sewn lines between each makeup brush.  I also love how she mixed each fabric from the Nuncia line.  Mara definitely has a good eye!

Kaylee of 31 Rubies Quilt Studio

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I LOVE how this pattern shows off the cute details of the Selva Fabric.  You can see the jungle animals and feel the inner child.  And the pillow she made to go with it?  That fringe is everything, I just need to convince Kaylee to make one for me now! 😉  I also love if you zoom in, you can see her squiggly line quilting.  Everything about this quilt and pillow is playful, fun, and makes me so happy!

Jess of Coral Bunny and Lo


Can you even?  These aprons are amazing, and make me want to go to the kitchen and bake some cookies.  I LOVE the details of the ruffles, buttons, neckline that is adjustable.  And with these fabrics?  I LOVE the fun and creativity in the mixture.  Well done, Jess!  These are just stunning!

So what do you think?  Aren’t these makers amazing?  Which of these fabrics would you want to sew with?