Feathered Star Best in Show!

Well, that was an unexpected hiatus! Things have been crazy busy this past year. Quilting, traveling, wedding planning (!)… oh my poor neglected blog. Better late than never though, right?

OK, so let’s go back in time to 2014. I attended a Judy Niemeyer retreat led by Jackie Kunkel. For those of you unfamiliar with Judy Niemeyer, she’s the lead designer behind Quiltworx, a pattern company that specializes in beautifully intricate foundation paper-pieced patterns. The technique allows you to achieve angles and points with relative ease.

The project of the weekend was the Feathered Star. I chose the 60″x60″ wall hanging size because, let’s face it, I was already in over my head. (The Queen is 96″x96″ and has a curved border.)

Jackie is an amazing instructor. Paper piecing really is one of those mad science techniques that makes no sense verbally, but when you see it, it’s like a thousand lightbulbs firing in your brain. I can still remember the collective gasp that came out of our mouths when Jackie revealed that first sharp point to us.

The design comes together in wedges, not blocks, so Jackie walked us through one entire wedge. That way, we could familiarize ourselves with each unit before going home to complete the quilt. Once I got home, it was a few years of on-and-off chain piecing, getting all the units done for each wedge, and putting those wedges together. You cut and sort everything into bags (by chapter) at the beginning, so keeping track of things is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it.

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Look at that Y-seam! They didn’t all come out this good. Yes I am still afraid of them.


Slowly but surely, it all came together, and I tore all the papers out. I sent it off to Rebecca Silbaugh, who did a great job longarm quilting it. I normally quilt everything myself, but was too afraid to touch this one!


I got the quilt back and bound it just in time to enter into the Queens County Fair last September. It won best in show!


We now have this quilt hanging over our sofa at home, and I have a 2nd chicken trophy.


David & Taylor’s Wedding Quilt

I just got back from our long weekend in Florida to celebrate a family wedding! My cousin David married the lovely Taylor and of course I couldn’t resist making them a quilt to commemorate this milestone.

Another thing I couldn’t resist… going to the beach to take some photos “on location” before the event!


The wedding colors inspired the fabric selection, which came from my stash.

The center section is a simple nine patch + snowball combo. I came across it on Pinterest one day and liked how the design hinted at rings. I was short on the fabrics I would’ve needed to extend that concept throughout the entire top, so I stopped at a panel-sized section and worked out the borders through a bit of trial and error. The asymmetrical border inspiration came from here. The patchwork corners complement each other without being exactly the same — just like the bride and groom!




It’s hard to tell in these photos, but the border fabric is actually a directional scallop print. I was extra careful to cut all the pieces so that the orientation was upright throughout.


I love re-purposing selvages as ribbon for quilt gifts…


Congrats to the newlyweds! What a special day. 💙



Kids’ Fundraiser Quilts + A New Machine

Recently Jorge and I took on a fun contract sewing job for a school!

It’s a local day school for ages 2-5. Every year the students all make blocks, which get turned into quilts for auction at their annual fundraiser. Each quilt combines the work of one class.

A friend who teaches art classes there reached out for help with the project. Our job was to sew together the blocks with the provided sashing. It was several weeks of marathon sewing and delivering tops. The quilts were tied and bound by the school’s director, so we could focus on cranking out tops.

We made five out of a total of eight. It was so cool to see all the work that these little kids did for the blocks! We had lots of laughs as we sewed up the rows. Little bee quilters in the making. 🙂









This was the first project I worked on with my new-to-me Bernina 910. This machine belonged to my friend and coworker who passed away last Fall. Emily was a wonderful mentor to me when I started sewing. She was incredibly smart and passionate about sewing, art and education. I think that she would get a big kick out of this project and all the creativity coming from the little ones.

The machine’s original table was MIA, so I outfitted it with this shiny new SewSteady. I was surprised at how easy it was to fix up the table situation. The original part runs on eBay for about twice the cost of the SewSteady!


I just got the machine – and the Bernette serger that also came to live with me – serviced and cleaned. I’m going to try to attempt some garment sewing… we’ll see what happens!


QuiltCon East Recap + Quilt Inspo!

A few weeks ago I attended QuiltCon! I had a wonderful time in Savannah and got to hang out with lots of fellow mods, plus catch up with many industry friends that I usually only get to see at Quilt Market. I was there for work, but this was the first time I got to actually got to spend time attending the show and exploring the surrounding area (rather than running a booth) so it was a very different experience! Totally inspiring.

First of all, I need to go back to Savannah and spend more time there. I only had a couple of days but it was long enough to fall in love. Ghost tour is first on my to-do list for next visit!

The vendor booths were jam packed with quilters. I tried not to shop too much, but resistance was futile. I bought a few indie garment patterns to try, a couple of fabrics that made me smile, and a Quick Curve Ruler and Chic Country quilt pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful. I see that quilt pop up now and then on Instagram and love the circular illusion. Hope to find the time to make one this year!


I also managed to snag a sweet pincushion from Fish Museum & Circus to give my stepmom for her birthday. I saw later that all her pincushions were sold out halfway through the show, so I felt lucky to get one in time!


I could hardly get photos of the pincushions in her booth as the little gems were being swiped off the shelves left and right. I think this little guy found a home just as I snapped the pic. (And how sweet are the little customized pins she includes with each cushion!)


And the quilts in the show… oh. my. lordy. Every corner I turned as I walked through the aisles, I found myself gasping in awe. It’s a pretty random smattering below, as the show was huge and picking favorites is totally impossible!

These four are group quilts. There were a lot of great ideas for collaborative/group projects throughout the show.

The maker’s statement on this one really made me chuckle. It won 1st place in the Minimalist Design category. She used the muslin strips that estheticians buy for waxing! Apparently they come on 50 yard rolls. “Wax and Wane” by Susan Kyle.

Best in Show! Bling by Katherine Jones. Foundation paper pieced.

This was some of the most playful quilting I saw in the show. Mountain Baby by Katie Larson.


Also by Katie Larson – Whatever. 1st place in the Small Quilts category. Inspired by one of the maker’s favorite pieces of advice: You can do whatever you want to do.

This one was a joy to explore close-up. The combination of hand embroidery, hand quilting and machine quilting was unbelievable. It won the Best Machine Quilting award. Madonna by Brittany Bowen Burton, quilted by Natalia Bonner.

Folksy Fish by Sarah Sharp. Quilted by Karlee Porter. This one reminded me a lot of a painting that my grandfather made of fish in a very similar style. I texted a pic to my dad and that was the first thing he said too!

Say Anything by Lysa Flower. Paper pieced with only horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree diagonal lines! Too cool.

3rd place in Minimalist Design category. Mod Blocks 2.0 by Betsy Vinegrad. Inspired by Dutch graphic artist Wim Crouwel. Love the matchstick quilting, I know I’m late to the game but I soooo want to try that.

Two more techniques I’ve been wanting to try. Hand quilting/hand-tying, and facing instead of binding. The texture of the tied quilting here is just oh my god, so pleasing. Forever Tied Together by Jen Broemel.

1st place in the Piecing category. Ode de Yoshiko by Marilyn Farquhar. She mixed many different fabrics for this including hand stamped and signed Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric.

A handful more… click for info!

Now, time to run to my sewing machine and put all that inspiration to work. ❤


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Art Deco Faster Fourteen

This is a quilt that Jorge and I made about two years ago, for Spring 2015 Quilt Market — a sampling job for a beautiful Timeless Treasures art deco fabric collection called Charleston. The pattern is Faster Fourteen by Hunter’s Design Studio. Sam wasn’t kidding about the “Faster” part; we made this in just a couple of days, as the sample yardage arrived about a week before it was time to fly out for the show.


The quilt lives on our sofa now and gets a lot of love. I’d never had a chance to take a proper photo of it though, and the weather was so gorgeous this weekend — perfect excuse to enlist Jorge for a picture-taking walk with me! Without any clouds in the sky or leaves on the trees, I was getting discouraged on my hunt for open shade… until we came through this perfect Station Square overpass on the way home.


Aside from being a fabulous pattern designer and all-around pleasure of a human being, Sam Hunter is an incredible advocate – and resource – for makers and creative professionals through her We Are $ew Worth It movement! So I was extra excited to stitch up one of her designs.

We used a dense metallic floral for the back, which made the free-motion stippling a bit of a drag. Those gold flowers added friction and weight. It worked out OK in the end, but lesson learned!



Here is the quilt hanging in the Timeless Treasures QM booth in 2015. I was pretty excited about coordinating the display. Leslie used May Chappell‘s Clutched pattern to make those awesome purses hanging out in the corner. And the framed swatches are the actual antique fabrics that were used to develop the collection!



I’m still totally in love with these fabrics, and actually planning another project this year with what’s left of it in my stash. Stay tuned!


Handmade Christmas: Part 2 (and Baby Ethan!)

Whoa! Time flies! I mentioned in my last post that I would be summarizing all my holiday makes in three posts… but seeing as how it’s almost Valentine’s Day and my Christmas spirit has officially fled, the revised plan is to cram the rest of them into this post.

Before all that though, I just have to share that my nephew, Ethan, was born on January 24th and I am officially an aunt! We got to spend some together on Sunday and am toooootally in love. 😍


Here he is on the quilt I made for him. Squee!


And a few days earlier… snug as a bug in the blankie I made for him.


Over the holidays, I was inspired by a few projects that I spotted in Instagram. It seemed everyone was making rope bowls (I’m looking at you Nicole)! I made lots of them as gifts for family and coworkers. The best part about these is they are fast, easily customizable, and there’s no cutting before you start. You just grab some clothesline and zigzag around! Now I just need to make some for myself.





I found Wonder Clips to be the easiest way to get them started (finickiest part).


I also saw these woven stars online and loved the look of them. I made a few and still got confused on the second half of the weaving each time. They’re a bit of a brain bender, but I got through them in the end!



I also made this laptop sleeve for Jorge’s brother, Mike. This is one of those projects I’ve been trying to get to for years and it kept slipping away from me. Part of me is glad it did, because he just got a new laptop, and it’s the same one I have! So, you would think this made it a cinch since I didn’t have to worry about the dimensions at all, right?


Wrong. It was a problem child. It was too tight, and I had to rip out binding and seams and re-do them so many times I lost count. Eventually I took apart all the pieces and completely re-imagined it, adding a gusset. And I must’ve changed the closure style three or four times. Winging things is not my strong suit.


The quilting was the most enjoyable part because this fabric is just so dang cute. The quilting lines are the only original stitches on this project that actually survived!


For Jorge’s mom, Rosa, I caught up with another project I have been meaning to make for a while. Placemats! It’s a set of eight, and each one is reversible. I used 16 different Timeless Treasures fabrics (most are from Fresh Cut by Michele D’Amore) — no repeats!



Jorge caught the rope bowl bug and made a nesting set for her. We coordinated the fabrics to match the placemats so they could be used together. Here she is beaming with her new table set!


So, I was a busy elf this past holiday season! And before you know it, it’ll be time to do it all over again. 🎄


Handmade Christmas Part 1: Baby Stuff!

Happy New Year, all! I did a lot of sewing in December for the holidays, so I’ll be summing it up in three two parts. First up, baby stuff!


My brother & SIL have a boy on the way, due to arrive in about a month. Of course I had to make some handmade goodies to help them welcome my nephew!


As soon as I found out it was a boy, I knew I wanted to use Dear Stella’s On My Way collection. If this kid turns out to be anything like my brother, he’ll know how to drive a car by the time he hits grade school. Plus, my bro is in the Coast Guard, so the little boats were perfect. Most of the fabrics in this quilt are from that collection, and there are a few stragglers from my stash too.

The pattern is “Square Deal” from Amy Smart‘s Fabulously Fast Quilts, minus the borders.


I made a matching pillow with scrappy binding using the leftovers!



The back of the quilt is an out-of-print Timeless fabric by Samarra Khaja. Given my borough pride, I’ve been stashing the yardage for a while, just waiting for the perfect project. The detailed illustration features all five boroughs of NYC and totally captures the frenetic feel of this city.


Collectively, my whole family lives (or has lived) in all five boroughs. My nephew will be born and raised in Staten Island, and the first thing my brother did when he saw the backing was point out his Coast Guard base!


Here are the parents-to-be with their new baby room décor.


I also made a snuggly little blankie with plush backing. It was really quick and fun. The colorful circle fabric was given to us by a former colleague of Jorge’s. Isn’t it cute?



The labels for both the quilt and blankie come from Rae Ritchie‘s Made With Love collection for Dear Stella. So sweet!



Throwback! Ice Cream Picnic Quilt

Hi friends!

This is a quilt I made in my early days of sewing. I know it must have been in my first year or two of learning, because there’s no label on it (I did not fully appreciate the importance back then).



Label your quilts, people. Or else you are doomed to a fate of deliberating the timeline of each project like this: I specifically recall piecing this quilt top together in our old apartment in Brooklyn, but quilting it in Forest Hills, and we moved here in 2013… it had been a UFO for months by then. So I prrrrrrobably started this in 2012. Oh, look there is a date on the guild recap there! Great! But it’s not quilted yet in this photo… so when DID I quilt this? 🤔 Oh hi Victoria!

Yeah, not very scientific.



I originally conceived of this quilt as a gift for my mom, because she loves flying saucers and popsicles (I know, who doesn’t? But, my mom loves them more). Then I accidentally went and stuck a bunch of bright colors in there that she definitely wouldn’t like, had a “what were you thinking??!” moment (sorry mom), and re-designated it a purposeless/practice quilt that ended up just kind of sticking with me over the years. Those of you who have been to our apartment will recognize it instantly because it’s usually folded up on the sofa or on a chair. I call it a picnic quilt because it’s too small to be a lap quilt if you’re a grown-up, which, regretfully, I am.

I used this tutorial to make the blocks because I was super intimidated by the cutting lists associated with typical log cabins.

Every time I look at this thing, I want to straight-line quilt my next project. Before I could free-motion, I actually lamented my minimal “walking foot only” abilities, but I didn’t really appreciate that straight line quilting is completely awesome in its own right.




I have washed this quilt more times than any other handmade quilt I own, because I wanted to fulfill its randomly-assigned destiny as a “picnic quilt”. It travels easily, and has spent a good amount of time on the ground. And it’s held up well! Not bad for one of the first quilts I ever made. 😉



The back is pieced using leftovers from the front.


You can really see the quilting from the back! So snuggly.


Citrus Quilt for Baby Brandon

OK! As promised, here I am to share baby Brandon’s quilt. He will be a YEAR OLD (seriouslyyy?!!) next month and he is growing up to be one chill AF kid. It feels like he was a squishy mushy little peanut just yesterday! And now look at his cute little peek-a-boo face. Ohi bud!

Photo credit: Kiki Blazevski-Charpentier

I made this quilt for him a year ago and gave it to his then-parents-to-be at the baby shower on Halloween. Preggers Kiki was a sunny side up fried egg, Roland was bacon. The egg yolk was known as baby KiRo in those days. 🍳🐣

This was the first quilt that I made on my Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930, the machine I bought – and promptly fell in love with – last September.


I used Windham’s Citrus charm squares to make a simple patchwork quilt with borders. I love the juicy colors. The Lizzie House constellation border fabric came from the swap table at a guild meeting. Lucky find! It was pre-washed, and the rest of my fabric wasn’t, so I had no choice but to violate a major quilt police law: never mix pre-washed and non-pre-washed fabrics. The world ended.

JK, it was totally fine.


I stippled the patchwork section, and FMQ’d loops and bubbles on the borders.

brandons-baby-quilt-wmw3Before laundering. Ooh la la, so smooth!

After laundering. Ooh la la, so crinkly and ready for snuggling!


The back is a Citron polka dot by Timeless Treasures. This color is so delicious!


A section of squares that I sewed together with the wrong seam allowance went into the back. Happy accident!


Scrappy binding.


And nowadays this quilt is right where it belongs, under Brandawg’s smooshy lil bum. 🐥

brandons-baby-quilt-wmw10Photo credit: Kiki Blazevski-Charpentier


Sunshine & Shadow – Best in Show!


Hi everyone! I know I said in my last post that this next post would be about Brandon’s baby quilt, but I had to share some exciting news. Brandon was almost as excited about our chicken trophy as we were, so I know he’ll understand…


Our Sunshine and Shadow quilt won BEST IN SHOW at the Queens County Fair!




NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and the Queens County Farm Museum pres(?) director(?) presented us with a trophy.


Not just any trophy. A GOLDEN CHICKEN trophy. 🐥🐓🏆 The whole thing was pretty darn amusing. Official photos were taken. I blinded the audience with my legs.


My quilter-in-training and I had originally made this quilt for Timeless, and it hung in the Quilt Market booth in Spring 2015. The pattern is by Castilleja Cotton.


It made an appearance in the Keepsake catalog too. This quilt has been around!


We had a lot of fun with the mad-science construction. First, you cut out 1200 squares. We did this with our trusty rotary cutters, and yes, I have since learned better methods for doing it. My “quilt mom” Anita also told me about a snazzy fusible grid for this kind of piecing. But you can’t really appreciate those methods until you’ve tortured yourself the old-fashioned way, am I right?

As Jorge would say…



So then you do this wild & crazy chain piecing technique that is so mind-boggling I’m not even going to try to describe it. It starts off as a little tree and then gets bigger and bigger until you have all the rows you need to assemble the layout. This picture was taken when it was almost done. The final tree was too big to even hold up!


You clip off the biggest row, and that’s the center. Then you clip off two rows at a time and sew them to the either side of center.


Just keep clipping, just keep clipping, just keep clip-ping clip-ping clip-ping what do we do we clip! (and sew. and press.)

I know, I should be ashamed that I don’t have a handmade quilt on our bed in this photo. The situation has been corrected since last spring, when this was taken.


Eventually you get a real pretty radiating square of colors.


And it’s time to trim off the points and add the borders.


We used skinny masking tape to mark the straight line quilting. I stippled the borders because, ya know. I stipple everything.


A little binding and labeling and it was done and blowin’ in the wind!





I made the jacket I’m wearing in this photo! It’s the Indygo Junction Swing Jacket pattern.


This was the highlight of my day yesterday, but I must say, the Queens County Fair (hosted by the Queens County Farm Museum), is SUCH a fun event and I look forward to it every year. Last year, we navigated their “Maize Maze” with friends — it was no joke! We took our moms this time around, and we all enjoyed carnival food, live music, performances, and the impressive work on display in all the competition categories.

We met Yogurt, the 60 year old tortoise that lives at John Bowne HS (right next door to our alma mater Townsend Harris). She was quite the lady.


During the award ceremony we met the best in show winner for the livestock category — she was the owner of this adorable mini-lop rabbit.


I participated in a corn-shucking contest (I can peel an ear of corn in 8 seconds, not bad!), and Jorge, Rosa and Kiki did the pie eating competition. Rosa put Jorge to shame.


I’m already starting to think about next year’s entry. This was the first time I entered a quilt into a public show and had it on display. Ribbon or not, it was so fun to participate in one of my favorite local events and share our work with the community.