Make Time for the Things you Love

photo-sep-05-12-15-39-pm

I realized it’s been months since I last made a post! I’ve had so much I wanted to share, but the end of the year got busy with the holidays, making deadlines and my family getting hit with the nasty cold bug. I hope all of you have been well and healthy, and keeping warm with all the ice storms happening in the states.

In this post I will share some sneak peak photos from my 2nd book, including how I made time for it. These days time seems few and far between! Making time isn’t easy…in all honesty I almost quit writing my book…but I kept at it and got it done with some help.

Photo Dec 11, 1 22 13 PM

Quilt As-You Go – book 2 sneak peak

Some news on the quilting front: My second quilt as-you-go book is well on it’s way! It will be released Fall of 2017. This book builds upon my first, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern, with some fresh qayg ideas plus a 3rd joining method, which creates a reversible quilt. I am so excited to share it with you all! In addition, my second fabric collection for Lecien Fabrics will be released this Spring! My fabric will have a very cute notion to go along with it…can’t wait to share more!

Also, a quick thank you for 300 reviews on Amazon for my first book! My second book would not have been possible without all of your support and enthusiasm. A heartfelt thank you for that.

edit-6-01

‘Husband of the Year Award’ goes to my Ben. <3 Leading up to my 2nd book’s deadline(s), my husband and I shared a handful of late nights binding quilts together. I didn’t even need to ask him, he just did it. Ben and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary this July.

photo-sep-05-10-35-53-pm

Our Summer basically consisted of Ben coming home from work, we would eat a quick dinner and then he would take over the kids and cleaning the dishes from that point on so that I could work on my book, as well as designing my 2nd fabric collection. He’d take the kids to the park, get them ready for bed and then tuck them in for the night. That typically gave me from 6:00pm until the rest of the night to work. This helped me not have to stay up until 2am every night since I got an earlier start. He also took the kids during Saturdays to give me a full day to work.Β  I like to think we make a good team.

photo-sep-01-3-16-36-pm

Quilt As-You-Go Blocks

Yes, my husband and I didn’t see much of each other over the Summer, but we knew it was only temporary. My complaints were that I didn’t have enough time, and so we made time. It’s funny how it’s a simple concept, but it doesn’t mean it would be easy to do. Love this quote.

photo-sep-21-10-31-22-am

Doing this also allowed me to spend 100% of my time with my two boys during the Summer days. We picked blueberries in our yard, went on long summer walks, went to the zoo and played at local Seattle parks and made wonderful memories during this fleeting time where they grow up too fast.

Before our crazy schedule I was trying to squeeze in work here and there during nap times, putting on movies so I could try to get a bit done during the day. But if any of you have ever tried to work with a one-year-old and 4-year-old milling about, you’ll know it’s just not possible. LOL. It was also very stressful…I became a mean-mama-monster with every little interruption.Β  It wasn’t worth it.

photo-sep-05-1-59-55-pm

One emotional nightΒ  I wrote an email to my publisher telling them that I would have to quit the book. Even with our crazy, new schedule, I still felt that I couldn’t do it all.Β  I almost hit “send,” but felt that I had to have my husband’s blessing first. He told me to try asking for help before I make any big decisions, and that I should reach out to some quilting friends that I’ve met on instagram to see if they would be interested in making some quilts for the book.

I’m usually very independent when I work, and I try to do it all myself. For my first book, I did it all on my own – I made every single quilt. But my situation was different then. At the time I only had one child who took 4 hour naps during the day! Now I have two kids that were wide awake pretty much all day, lol. Let’s get real…I did need help. And it took my husband telling me so to realize it.

So that night I went out of my comfort zone and reached out to some friends from instagram to see if I could contract them for some help. I emailed them and waited for a response the following morning. Just like that, I had found some help. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and that the impossible might actually be possible now.

edit3

Writing my second book and continuing designing fabrics is important to me. It’s a way for me to express my creativity and share it with the world. My kids are my world. I love them to “finity and beyond” as my eldest would say. The days can escape us, and some days they can drain us. We can find ourselves in a tired, stressful loop. I’m not claiming to know how to fix this for everyone, but I do know that it’s important to take time to do what makes your soul happy.

photo-sep-21-10-37-32-am

Spending time with my kids and creating beautiful things makes my soul happy. If you feel like you don’t have time, then make time. With the help of my husband, we were able to make time. I admit that the crazy schedule was not sustainable, but as mentioned before we knew it was a temporary fix. Perhaps down the road we’ll be able to afford child care to help us out for the next round πŸ˜‰

photo-sep-01-3-18-21-pm

Anyway, I hope my story might be helpful in some way. If not, I hope you at least enjoyed the photo sneak-peaks, lol.

Here’s a few more I pulled from my camera.

photo-sep-11-12-08-49-pm

My youngest son is Simon. He is now 1 1/2 years old. He is a Tasmanian devil…quite the handful!

photo-sep-13-4-25-47-pm

And my eldest, Ethan. He is the sweetest and has the biggest heart. He turns 5 this February.

photo-sep-13-4-09-18-pm

Some more sneak peaks of book 2. These are quilted blocks using my fabrics from my first fabric collection, High Tea for Lecien Fabrics.

photo-sep-01-3-15-41-pm

Isn’t this the daintiest binding…!?

photo-sep-18-11-01-51-am

I hope you all enjoyed this post and that you have a wonderful new year ahead!

edit-1-01

In 2017, don’t forget to make time to do what makes your soul happy! πŸ™‚

Photo Dec 11, 1 17 40 PM

Hugs,

Jera

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments: 21 | Leave a comment


Holiday Table Runner Tutorial

photo-nov-14-10-37-40-am

How’s a big stack of gifts for some holiday cheer!? πŸ™‚Β  I’ve been putting off making holiday projects because, well,Β  life has been so busy. You know how it can get. But before I knew it, Halloween had already passed and it’s already mid-November! Yikes! How did that happen? I decided to make time this weekend and put together this quick and fun project to share with you all. It’s doable, even with a busy schedule!

dsc07620

I just love an excuse to buy candies, for “staging purposes.” πŸ˜‰

dsc07585

The sun came out in Seattle during my table runner photo shoot, so I felt obligated to take a photo of every single possible angle. ;-p

dsc07598

dsc07586

The fabrics I used are Flower Sugar Holiday by Lecien FabricsΒ  – I love the vibrant colors!

dsc07510

This tutorial makes a ~59″ long table runner. If you want it longer or shorter, simply add or subtract some gift blocks to customize the size.

Tip! For a fun alternative (and an even faster finish!), skip sewing in the ribbons as a part of your block, and instead pick out some real ribbons and top stitch them onto the tops of your gift blocks.

I hope you enjoy the project!

Materials for a ~59″ long table runner:

  • 5 fat quarters for the top (this will be the gifts)
  • 1/4 yard for ribbon (or buy real ribbon and sew it on the top)
  • 1 yard backing and batting
  • coordinating thread

Step 1 –Β  Cut two 9.5″ x 12.5″ rectangles from one fat quarter. Cut each rectangle in half as shown below. From your ribbon fabric, cut a 2″ strip along the WOF. Then trim the strip to be 2″ x 9.5″. Sew the ribbon strip in between the two halves previously cut.

1

 

Step 2 – Then, cut it in half again as shown below, but this time along the length. Sew in another 2″ strip between the halves.

3

Step 3 – Make 2 more gifts, except the ribbon on these next two will be slightly to the left. To do this, cut two more 9.5″ x 12.5″ rectangles from one fat quarter. Cut each rectangle at the 4.5″ mark as shown below. From your ribbon fabric, cut a 2″ strip along the WOF. Then trim the strip to be 2″ x 9.5″. Sew the ribbon strip in between the two pieces previously cut. Lastly, repeat step 2 to add the cross ribbon.

2

Step 4 – Next, make 3 smaller gifts: From your remaining fat quarters, cut three 8″ x 10.5″ rectangles. From your ribbon fabric, but 1.5″ strips along the WOF. Cut and add a ribbon strip as shown below.

4

Step 5 – You should now have a set of 7 gifts. Sew them together as shown below.

5

Step 6 – Baste the top onto a long piece of batting and quilt the entire top.

dsc07516

This smaller project is a great way to practice free-motion quilting. I always stick to quilting loopy-loops because it’s easy and fun. dsc07519

Step 7 – finish it! Cut and sew your backing fabric so that it’s approximately 14″ x 60″ long. With right sides facing together, pin the quilted top to the backing fabric all around the edges. Sew a 1/4″ stitch along the perimeter, but be sure to leave an opening about 6-7″ wide along the side of one of the gifts and away from corners, as shown below by the heart pins. Start and end your stitch with a back-stitch.

dsc07530

dsc07528

Then, trim all the excess backing fabric off.

dsc07532

Trim the excess fabric off the corners too. dsc07533

Turn right side out through the 6-7″ opening. Make sure to poke the corners out using your fingers. Iron flat using the steam setting. To close the 6-7″ opening, simply iron the opening 1/4″ inwards to match the seam, and then use fabric glue or steam-a-seam to glue it closed. A quick and clean alternative to binding home decor projects πŸ™‚

Step 8 – Add bows. To make these bows, I cut a 4″ x 20″ strip. With right sides facing together, I ironed it in half along the length (the 20″ side), and then sewed a 1/4″ seam allowance down the length and bottom to close it. Turn right side out and iron flat. Use fabric glue to close the other end. Then, I simply tied a bow and then top-stitched it to the runner with two parallel stitches right in the center of the bow’s knot to secure it. Be sure to use a canvas or denim/jean needle when attaching the bow. A stronger needle makes it easier to attach the bow since the bow’s knot is so thick. Alternatively, you can buy ribbon and attach that instead of making your own. I made 3 bows for this runner.

dsc07591

That’s it! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving in the weeks ahead!

xoxo

-jera

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments: 17 | Leave a comment


My New Cutting Table!

photo-oct-12-1-02-05-pm

I had to write a quick post to share my very FIRST cutting table ever! Who knew a potting bench could make a perfect cutting table?! For those of you who have been following me for a while, you may recognize photos similar to the following where I used to do all of my fabric cutting on the floor:

photo-oct-18-9-26-03-pm

Alas, no more Paige butts on my cutting mat! (no offense Paige)

photo-oct-18-9-26-15-pm

My new cutting view…ta-dahh!

photo-oct-17-1-12-05-pm

My new cutting table is a sturdy potting bench made of reclaimed cedar fencing.

photo-oct-17-1-12-18-pm

I was looking on my local Craiglist and stumbled upon some awesome potting benches that eventually led me to this website:Β http://fenceboardfurniture.com/

I contacted Harold, the owner, and asked if he could make me a potting bench that was at least 28″ deep (to fit my cutting mat) and 35-36″ high, which is a good cutting height for me while standing. If you look at his website, he has so many fun potting benches to choose from! Harold custom made me this bench within a week and delivered it (from Lakewood, WA to Seattle, WA) for $200 total. An amazing deal! The surface of the bench was sanded to be smooth and leveled, perfect for my cutting mat. I highly recommend ordering a potting bench from Harold if you happen to be in Washington.Β  He was quick, the workmanship is very high quality and sturdy, he rounded all the corners leaving no jagged edges, and it was no doubt worth the money. Harold is also up for the challenge if you have something custom in mind. I am a very happy customer!

Here it is when it first arrived…it felt massive in our living room but my husband and I were able to maneuver it into my sewing room, thank goodness!

photo-oct-12-12-58-47-pm

I really like how this cutting table keeps all my sharp cutting tools high up and away from my little ones.

photo-oct-17-1-12-26-pm

It has a nice top shelf for displaying my antiquey stuff. πŸ™‚ I hope to eventually decorate the wall behind it with some vintage dishes.

photo-oct-17-1-07-56-pm

 

photo-oct-17-1-13-49-pm

Here’s a side view. The depth overall is about 30″.

photo-oct-17-1-14-10-pm

I couldn’t end this post without a peek at my stash πŸ™‚

photo-oct-17-1-14-45-pm

And here’s the other side of my sewing room.Β  I use a Pfaff Grand Quilter – it has no bells and wistles, just simple straight stitching.Β  I’ve had it for about 10 years now and it’s a work horse. In other words, I LOVE it. To the left of it is my fabric collection, High Tea. πŸ™‚ I will need to make room for collection #2 soon! πŸ™‚

oh yes, and those are my boyz…

edit1-01

Say hello to Daryl, Jamie and Jax. Their favorite pass time is to watch me sew, obviously. And as you can see, they take guarding my stash quite seriously.

photo-oct-18-12-01-58-am

Anyway, that’s it for now. I promised to share details of my new cutting table after I shared a photo of it on Instagram. Let me know if you have any questions. πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments: 17 | Leave a comment


Quilty Box

photo-sep-15-2-19-25-pm

Last week I received my very first Quilty Box in the mail, so I thought I’d share what goodies were inside! Simon was very excited to see it’s contents and kept walking away with my Quilty Box ;-p

edit-2-01

Quilty Box is basically happy mail for quilters. (I squealed with delight when my box arrived). It’s a box filled with premium fabrics, quilt swag, patterns and tools curated by quilting designers and bloggers. You can subscribe to receive monthly boxes in the mail, or gift one to a friend or yourself. πŸ™‚ Details can be found at their website, Quilty Box.

Okay, enough talk. Below is what was inside the September Quilty box which was filled with 6 fun items! I was photographing the items as I excitedly unwrapped them from the box, so you can unwrap them with me πŸ™‚

photo-sep-15-2-39-41-pm

I had been eagerly waiting for this particular box because I knew it was curated by Kaari Meng of French General. I learned from the card (above) that in the Summers, Kaari “takes groups of women to the South of France to live in a large old house and visit local flea markets, artisans and villages – as well as craft and learn to cook like a Frenchwomen.” I like to think Kaari and I are cut from the same cloth. *sigh* That sounds like pure bliss to me…sign me up!

photo-sep-15-2-42-11-pm

The first item was this beautiful bundle of Madame Rouge designed by Kaari Meng of French General. This collection was inspired by the fabric scraps left behind at the atelier of an old seamstress in France. I love hearing what inspires designs, and that is so dreamy.

photo-sep-15-2-42-39-pm

This bundle came with 9 fat quarters.

photo-sep-15-2-43-08-pm

Next were these curved embroidery scissors. I’m a collector of cute little sewing scissors so I was pretty happy about this addition to my collection!

photo-sep-15-2-45-09-pm

The third and fourth items were Cosmo Embroidery floss by Lecien, and a pattern. I love the silky texture of Cosmo floss and the rich colors. Pictured under the floss is an embroidery/quilt pattern that can be used with the floss and bundle.

photo-sep-15-2-45-23-pm

The fifth item is this beautiful, full-size pattern which showcases Madame Rouge. And lastly, the sixth item were embroidery needles (which I forgot to photograph). I like how all the items go together and can be used to make one of the patterns.

edit-1-01

I am swooning over the rich colors of this collection as they put me in the mood for Fall. The weather here in Seattle has been colder and windy and the leaves are starting to turn colors similar to this collection.

photo-sep-15-2-20-01-pm

Anyway, that wraps up my Quilty Box goodness! I hope you or someone treats you to a Quilty Box real soon – it’s a great gift idea with the holidays around the corner. Thanks for unwrapping my quilty box with me!

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments: 5 | Leave a comment


High Tea Blog Hop – Week 3 recap

photo-sep-13-11-15-34-am

It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was (nervously) contacting people on instagram to participate in my very first blog tour. And now here I am recapping the final week (week 3) of all the amazing projects that everyone made using my first fabric collection, High Tea.

Before I get started, I wanted to extend a very warm and heartfelt thank you to all the designers/makers that participated in making and sharing a project for my first blog tour. It meant the world to me, and I am forever grateful and thankful for the friendship (beyond Instagram) we have formed.

This has truly been a one of a kind experience for me, getting to see all these inspiring projects. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as well. That being said, let’s get to it! Below is a recap of week 3’s projects. Sorry I’m a bit late posting these… πŸ™‚

8/21 – Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studio

8/22 – Cristi Cooper of Whimsy Quilts and Fabrics

8/23 – Kristin Esser of They Grow Up Too Fast

8/24 – Tiffany Behmer of Fanny Lu Designs

8/26 – Veronica of Vivid Felicity

8/27 – Wynn Tan of Zakka Art

8/28 – me! πŸ™‚

Please note that all of the photos I’m sharing were taken by the respective designers named before each project. πŸ™‚Β 

On 8/21 I had the very talented Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studio. You can see his high Tea blog post, here.

static1.squarespace.come

I’ve been aΒ  fan of Greg’s instagram for a while now, so I didn’t think twice about asking Greg to join my high tea party.

static1.squarespace.com

His excitement to use my fabrics meant the world to me.

static1.squarespace.coma

I snagged all these gorgeous pictures from Greg’s blog. These paper-pieced scallops are gorgeous!

static1.squarespace.comb

 

static1.squarespace.comc

Greg also made a 2nd pleated pillow using this tutorial from my blog. I’m always happy to see older tutorials still being used! πŸ™‚ Thakn you so much Greg for the beautiful projects!

static1.squarespace.comd

On 8/22 my friend Cristi of Whimsy Quilts shared this beautiful quilt. She mixed in some Tilda fabrics with High Tea to make this stunning, low volume quilt for her mother.

image2

Cristi is also from the Pacific Northwest, like me! We met on instagram because I was always spending all of my money on her online shop, Whimsy Quilts and Fabrics. ;pΒ  She’s moving away from selling fabrics and towards other creative ventures such as her Modern Makers Pattern club.

image1

A busy mom to 3 beautiful kids and running her own business, I felt so lucky to have Cristi say “yes!” to participating in my tour. Thank you, Cristi!

On 8/23 Kristin Esser of They Grow Up Too Fast shared several beautiful projects shown below. Kristin Esser and Minki Kim just came out with a fabulous book called Sew Illustrated, where I shared Minki’s amazing quilt that she made for her daughter in week 1’s high tea blog tour post.

high-tea_kristin-3-1024x683

Kristin and Minki took so many gorgeous photos I had to share them all!

high-tea_kristin-7-1024x683

This adorable tea mat was made using the embroidery technique from their new book, Sew Illustrated.

high-tea_kristin-8-1024x683

Macaroons, fresh flowers and tea! I think everyone needs to make time for tea. Looks heavenly! I love this tea cozy that Kristin made using the ‘tea time’ print in the cottage blue colorway. Love the lace details and red binding.

high-tea_kristin-10-1024x683

You can’t go wrong with a half square triangle quilt, it’s such of a classic and versatile design. πŸ™‚ The wavy quilting makes it look super cozy. Thank you, Kristin, for all this loveliness!

high-tea_kristin-14-683x1024-652x791

On 8/24 my friend Tiffany Behmer of www.FannyLuDesigns.com shared the following projects.

You may have already seen the infamous High Tea Crochet Quilt below, which Tiffany made a well-written and thorough tutorial just for YOU over at her blog. And yes, she finally was able to finish the tutorial – sorry for the delay on that, totally my fault! I was hoarding the crochet quilt in my home and she needed it back to reverse engineer the finishing instructions. Anyway, the updated and completed tutorial can be found HERE, thanks to Tiffany!

141-683x1024

My husband got me a crochet class at a local yarn shop months ago (for Mother’s Day, to be exact :-[]), but I haven’t had a chance to take it yet! But one of these days I will so that I can start incorporating crochet to my quilting, because look at this loveliness!Β  Isn’t it amazing?! You can find more pretty photos and a link to the tutorial of this crochet quilt, here.

crochet-quilt

Tiffany also made these adorable applique tea Towels! So fitting for High Tea! πŸ™‚ The crochet quilt and tea towels were both featured at Spring Quilt Market when I debuted my fabric collection. I was so lucky to have Tiffany’s help!

img_20160507_132739-768x768

I just love seeing handmade baby gifts! These are baby burp clothes using the cottage blue and brown sugar colorways, which can totally work for a baby boy. πŸ™‚ Be sure to check out Tiffany’s High Tea Inspiration blog post to see what other lovely projects she made using High Tea. Thank you, Tiffany!

img_20160613_173012-768x768

On 8/26, Veronica of Vivid Felicity made this lovely ruffle pillow that was hand quilted and embroidered with the cutest little tea cup detail! I snagged all of these beautiful photos from Veronica’s blog, where you can read more about her High Tea post here.

img_2085-1

Lucky me was gifted this pillow! πŸ™‚ Thank you again, Veronica!

img_0725

Had to share this lovely photo Veronica took of my High Tea Collection.

img_7310

And here’s that tea pot detail I mentioned. You can learn more about doing drawings with your sewing machine from this book, mentioned previously.

img_7798

On 8/27 Wynn Tan of Zakka Art made this beautiful, hand sewn zipper pouch.

img_3403

Wynn is incredibly talented (and patient!) as she hand sews a lot of her projects!

img_3449

You can read more about this lovely pouch over at Wynn’s blog, Zakka Art.

img_3480

The details on all of these High Tea projects are just amazing! Here’s the inside of the pouch. Thank you so much, Wynn, for the lovely project!

img_3510

Lastly, on 8/28 I did my stop on the High Tea Blog hop! πŸ™‚ You can read about that here.

photo-aug-27-4-06-58-pm

Whew! This concludes my 3-week High Tea Party!

For a recap of each week, please see the links below, scroll down to the “High Tea blog Hop” on the right navigation bar under “Browse” for links to each week.

High Tea Blog Hop Kick-off

High Tea Blog Hop – Week 1

High Tea Blog Hop – Week 2

my stop on the blog hop

High Tea Blog Hop – Week 3

Thank you so much for following along! Seeing people use my fabrics is really something else…something I would have only dreamed of. This blog tour has been a truly special and inspiring experience for me, & I cannot wait to design more fabric for people to make more lovely projects with! Thanks for reading me!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments: 4 | Leave a comment


Site by Spunmonkey.