Wednesday, October 14

Sometimes, I Sew

the unsewn jelly roll - great colors!
 We have a lot of rainy, gloomy days here in the fall. Days that I love because there is nothing better than curling up with a good book and a warm blankie. A couple of weeks ago we had a day like that, but I didn't read - I sewed. Early this summer bebe and I started a new quilt project. When she was little I saw this cute jelly roll with animals and fun, bright, funky prints. It hit my fabric stash but I didn't do anything with it. The kiddo was looking for a swatch and came across it early this summer and declared it would be the perfect design for a new blanket for her on cold days.
embroidery stitching!

As it was 85 that day I kind of ignored her. But she kept asking me about it, so I looked on Pinterest and found a fun rag quilt instruction set for jelly rolls - basically sewing it so the ragged edges show and get more fuzzy and cozy over time. She approved and we got started. She designed, I sewed. It took about half of a Saturday afternoon to get the front finished. Then came the search for the backing. She wanted bright, I wanted snuggly, but I didn't want full-on fleece/micro-fleece because she is VERY hot natured and I knew something that thick would smother her. She settled on a red/pink zebra stripe (which she declared was perfect because of the animals on the front side) in a flannel...and I approved because the fabric was regularly a $20 roll but was on sale that day for under $9.

The front of the quilt
edges are snipped and will be fuzzy soon
This is the front side, all together - didn't she do a good job of designing? I love the brightness of it and I can't wait until it's been washed a few times so those 'seams' get all curly and fuzzy. We made 3/4-inch snips along all edges and then around the outside of the quilt we made snips about every 1/2-inch.

As for the actual quilting, I didn't do anything massively time consuming. My machine has about 25 different embroidery stitches, and I alternated her favorite stitches (a half moon, a flower design, a wave design and a ladder) down the middle of each strip. We used all kinds of different thread because I had a bunch of partial rolls that I wanted to use - they're mostly purples and reds with black or white bobbins...and they show up best (of course) on the zebra stripe side. I'm just glad I kept those embroidery stitches (mostly) straight lined!

already in use - reading with her quilt
What I like about sewing is that it frees my subconscious to think about other things. I'd just received a revision note on my next SuperRomance from Harlequin, and I've been trying to figure out the basics for a new series I want to start, and I'm waiting on edits for my new cowboy series from Crimson there are a lot of characters vying for attention. They don't all talk at once, but invariably when I start thinking about one project the next wants more attention.

Getting the backing situated to the front of the quilt, getting the outside seams down and then getting the embroidery stitches in took a solid 3 hours, and then there was the time spent snipping those soon-to-be-fuzzy edges. I didn't think I was thinking about the books, but when I was finished, the new series had kind of straightened itself out and I knew what to do with the revisions, and I'm eager to see what my editor has to say about that first cowboy book. I had a great conversation with bebe about favorite books and LEGOs...all because of a super simple quilt pattern, some fabric and thread.

Do you sew or quilt? Paint or practice photography? When you're not writing, what kinds of creativity inspire you?


  1. A great post and a so-cool quilt. Good for bebe on her choices!

    1. thanks, Liz! We're already thinking about our next project...I'm *seriously* considering a library/bookshelf quilt...

  2. What a fun quilt! Love the colors and designs!

  3. Bebe did an amazing job! Great quilt. And I can't wait to see the bookshelf one when you're done. I wish I could sew, but the machine just runs away from me. But, I always have a jigsaw in progress on the desk adjacent to my writing desk. If something stalls me, I just roll over and work on the puzzle and like you, the distraction works to unwind the wheels. And I make coasters. LOL

    1. I love your coasters, Margie, so fun! Isn't it funny how just changing focus can clear up those muddy areas?

  4. Kristie, that's gorgeous!! I love it! You and Bebe have amazing taste!