first quilt top done!

Well, it only feels like about a million years since my last post! Things around here have been busy, but so good too!

I know it sounds super nerdy, but I’ve been really energized about the research I’ve been working on lately, and it makes me want to work more more more!  (an aside– I keep quoting this commercial. “We want more! we want more!).

And of course, Quilts for Boston has been full steam ahead! We have had many meetings and sew-ins and these quilts are really coming together! Eventually we’ll have photos of all of the finished quilts added to our flickr group, but so many are in various stages of progress at the moment that we’re just snapping photos when we can.

Another day, another trunk full! #quiltsforboston

Leading up to our deadline for mailing blocks in, I was at the post office every single day, with a bin (or two!) of mail waiting for me! I really love the women working at the post office, who continually got excited about our mail (“Today you have packages from Australia!” I’d hear when I walked into the post office) and helped me haul it all to my car– definitely above and beyond the call of duty.

The #quiltsforboston PO box has seen a lot of action recently-- today's haul included 2 full mail bins plus some! The very kind postal worker helped me carry it all to the car :)

As I opened each envelope or package, I’d keep track of where it was sent from, how many blocks were included, and if a note or letter was in the package. We have quite a file of letters, and we plan to archive these when we’re done with the project. Opening the mail and tracking the blocks took the majority of my free time for a few weeks. I then took my box full of blocks and sorted them into bundles to give to members of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild and volunteers who were willing to assemble them into quilt tops.

Quilting in progress! #quiltsforboston

We have SO many quilts in progress at the moment that it’s staggering! Initially we were hoping to maybe make 20 or 30 quilts… and then we raised that estimate to 50, for which I figured we’d need about 1000 blocks. At last count we’ve surpassed 2000 blocks, so we’re on track to make closer to 100 quilts!

On the long arm at quilters way! #quiltsforboston

Although this project has taken over my free time (and most of my sewing space) for the last couple of months, I have managed to get some personal sewing in– I’ve finished a few quilts I’m planning to share here soon!

Quilts for Boston

Hi Friends! I’ve been working with my fellow Boston Modern Quilt Guild members to pull together a plan to make quilts for those affected by the bombing in Boston this past week. We’ve published our plan on the BMQG blog, and have a tab there where we will keep all info up to date!

I also thought I’d share the details here– this is cross posted over on the BMQG blog.

Quilts for Boston Color Scheme

One week ago today, the usual flurry of activity in our city came to a halt and we watched with sadness and disbelief as people who came to celebrate the 117th running of the Boston marathon were injured and killed by bombs set off near the race finish line. In response to the events of the past week, the Boston Modern Quilt Guild wants to find a way to help those in our community that have been directly affected by the bombing and subsequent events.

As a guild we plan to make and distribute quilts to those who would benefit from a show of support, and we need your help.

We are asking the modern quilt community to support our efforts by sending us blocks for these quilts. Additionally, we will accept donations of fabric to be used for binding, sashing, and quilt backs. We would like to have the quilts ready to deliver to those in need as soon as possible, so we ask that you send your blocks to us within a month, by May 24th, 2013.

Blocks sent to the Boston Modern Quilt Guild should be blue, yellow, gray, and white. All blocks should be 12½” tall x the width of your choice. That could mean 12½” x 7”, 12½” x 12½”, or anything wider, more narrow, or in between. Please machine piece your blocks in any style you would like. Please use only “quilt shop quality” 100% cotton or cotton/linen fabrics. Both print and solid fabrics are welcome. Our preference is white or light gray 100% cotton thread, but any coordinating thread of good quality will do.

Quilts for Boston Color Scheme

Please consider adding photos of the blocks to our flickr group. This is not required, but it will be wonderful to share the blocks as we are making them and to see what people are working on.

Our goal is to make bright and modern quilts that will bring cheer to those who need it most! We chose this color scheme as these are the colors of the Boston Marathon, and have become the colors representing the One Fund, an organization formed to accept monetary donations for the victims, as well as the tribute tees sold to benefit the One Fund. Be creative with your blocks, and make any pattern or design that inspires you!

Please mail all blocks and fabric to:
Quilts for Boston
P. O. Box 79225
Belmont, MA 02479

If you have any questions, please contact: bostonmqg@gmail.com or leave me a comment here on Greenleaf Goods!

A big thanks to the very talented Dorie, who created our logo and button! You can grab the button for your own blog or website over on the BMQG website.

Quilts for Boston

Thank you all so much for your support!

Sewing Therapy

Voile Quilt Top

This past Friday was one of the craziest I’ve ever experienced. Friday morning we woke up to the news that the suspects in the bombing had engaged in a shoot out with the police about a mile away from our house, and one suspect was on the loose in our neighborhood. Our town was in lockdown, and we were instructed to stay indoors and not to open the door except for a uniformed officer.

Pow Wow Quilt Top

So–if you’re trapped indoors all day with a bunch of nervous energy, what can you do? I decided that THIS was why I buy so much fabric! I had plenty to work on, and managed to finish 3 quilt tops in one day.

HST/LC Quilt Top

When we were finally allowed outdoors, we took Simon to the park to stretch our legs, and while we were there we heard a round of gunfire and rushed home. We learned that the suspect had been cornered and was quickly captured. What relief! People lined the streets of Watertown and cheered for the police as they slowly filed out of town. We are all so happy to have a bit of normalcy restored.

HST/LC Quilt Top on the Minuteman Trail

Pow Wow Quilt Top

The next day I attended the Boston Modern Quilt Guild meeting. I was so happy to be amongst friends, and we needed to brainstorm about what we can do as a guild to respond to the crazy events of the past week.

Boston Quilt Fabric

We’re cooking up an idea and will reveal the details soon, so stay tuned!

Boston Quilt Fabric

Oh Boston My Boston

Commonwealth Ave

A few weeks ago, Justin and I had a free Saturday afternoon, and the weather was just perfect. We decided to hop on the T and head down into the city to soak up some of the sights and to play “tourist” for a day.

Boston Common

Justin has developed an incredible mental map of the Back Bay since he began working there this fall, and he loves hanging out on Newbury Street or at Boston Common. On his lunch breaks, he heads down Boylston Street and I can often tell where he’s been based on his instagram photos.

Boston Common

It took me a little while longer to warm up to the city. As many of you know, we moved here from Michigan in late summer, and like many others, I tend to be wary of new things. Last month I was on a work trip and I found myself looking forward to going home to Boston, and I remember being a little surprised by the thought. Boston? Home? I really hadn’t thought of it that way until recently.

Boston Common

Boston Streets

We had a lovely time this past weekend with family in town to visit, and on Monday morning I know that Justin wanted to head down to watch the marathon finishers. He’s run his fair share of marathons, and there’s something about all of that excitement and positive energy around a race that we both love. And anyone who has run a marathon knows that Boston is iconic—it is THE race. The marathon finishes right down the street from Justin’s office, and he’d been tracking the progress as the crew set up for the race the previous week. It was easy for him to do, as he usually takes the T to Copley Square, right where the finish line is set, and then walks down the block to work.

Commonwealth Ave

Boston Sculpture

We were a bit tired on Monday morning, and I have been nursing a knee injury. I mentioned to J that standing around for hours on concrete might not be the best, and although I bet he was disappointed, he didn’t let it show. We had a lazy morning on the couch instead, watching the marathon coverage while I worked on hand stitching my single girl quilt. Having lived with Justin and his Runner’s World subscription for a number of years, I actually had a few favorites in the race, and we cheered on the elite US runners as they finished. And then, for a little while, we went about our day as usual, until we heard the news.

Boston Waterfront

South Station

Like many, many others, we are just stunned and devastated by the bombing. Honestly, I think we’re having a little trouble processing it. The photos and footage of the bomb and aftermath are right there—right there in the spot Justin walks every day. Right there where we walked around the city, making plans to come back to shop and to eat at every restaurant that looked good. Right there in the city we just recently learned to call home.

Mass State House

Freedom Trail

I appreciated and responded to every message and text that we got from family and friends checking to see if we were ok. Our lives are still a little out of whack, and I think they will be for a bit longer. Justin can’t return to work yet, because his office building is in the official crime scene area and is inaccessible until the FBI wraps up their investigation. I never thought I’d write a sentence like that. I’m thinking about what I might do to help, and of course my thoughts turn to quilts, as that is one thing I can offer. I have it on good authority that we will be brainstorming about this at the Boston Modern Quilt Guild meeting this coming weekend, and I’m glad to know I’m not the only one thinking about what good quilts (and quilters) can do at this time. Mostly I just feel heartbroken for this city I have been learning to love.

Boston Church

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hi Friends! Today I’m over at Freshly Pieced with a run-down of my works in progress! If you’d like to read a little about what I’ve been working on, head over and check it out!

Here’s a sneak peek:
hand quilting my single girl

Changing with the times

As many of you know, google reader is slated to be shut down in a few months! Oh no! I love reader, but will have to adapt with the times. There are a number of other blog-following platforms available, and many of my friends have been switching over to bloglovin. I’m planning to check it out, and in the meantime, you can click here to follow my blog with Bloglovin

wonky pinwheel quilt

I have been meaning to blog about this quilt for-EVER! I have to admit, I’ve had this done for a little while, I just have had my focus on work and family and traveling lately, and never seemed to find a minute to write about this quilt! And– I have to admit– when I would have a minute, I’d use it to sew.

wonky pinwheel quilt finished

This quilt was my own design, and I shared a tutorial for the blocks here on my blog. The lovely members of the Love circle of Do. Good Stitches all sent me these blocks, and as you can see, they did such a great job! You really can’t tell where one block begins and another ends, which is exactly what I was going for.

wonky pinwheel quilt scrappy binding

I also found that the mixed neutrals in the background really helped keep the quilt cohesive. I’m loving mixed neutrals lately!

wonky pinwheel quilt back

Although it will be hard to part with, this quilt is off to Wrap Them In Love. I’ll have to make another with my scraps to live at my house!

wonky pinwheel quilt

I was also *so* lucky to be able to meet some of my fellow bee members at the QuiltCon conference in Austin last month. We had a lovely breakfast, and I am so happy to be part of this group. If you’re thinking about joining a bee that makes quilts for charity, you can find more info about this particular organization here. I’m already looking forward to getting my blocks in the mail this month for my next quilt for the group!

Do Good Stitches Love Circle at Quiltcon

{From L to R: Ara Jane, Me, Kristan, Rachel, Jacey}

HSTLC tutorial photo

This is a brief tutorial I wrote up for my fellow members of the Love Circle of Do. Good Stitches to use to make this month’s blocks. I was playing around with this idea in a quilt I made recently, but modified it just a bit for a clearer result. These are the colors I used as inspiration for my blocks:

fabric colors for March

These instructions are for making two 12.5-inch blocks.


To make these blocks, you need four 7.5-inch squares, and four 7.5-inch log cabin blocks. To make just one 12.5-inch block, you would only need two each of the 7.5-inch squares and 7.5-inch log cabin blocks– but making 2 at once allows for mixing up the prints a bit.

I used 2 inch wide strips to make the log cabin blocks, which worked well for the size block I was going for. However, you can also vary the width of the “logs” in your log cabin for a more varied look! To start, I cut a number of 2 inch wide strips for making the log cabin blocks.


To make the log cabin blocks, start with a 2.5 inch square for the center (I just quartered a charm square for this step, but you can also use different fabrics for the centers). Then I added a 2.5 inch by 2 inch strip to both sides of the center square and pressed the seams. Next, I added the other 2 sides, and so on.



I added 2 rounds to each log cabin block, and ended up with blocks that look like this:


Once these were done, I trimmed them to 7.5 inch squares.

Next, I took my 7.5 inch blocks (the non-log cabin blocks) and drew a diagonal line down the BACK of the fabric from one point to the opposite. This is the first step in a commonly used technique for making 2 half-square triangles at once.


Place your log cabin block together with one of the non-log cabin blocks (right sides together). Your drawn line should be facing up.


Pin these together so they don’t shift while sewing.

Next, sew a quarter-inch seam on EACH side of the line. That means you’ll sew 2 lines down the diagonal of the squares, each a quarter-inch from the center line.

Once you’ve sewn those two lines, return to your cutting mat and cut along the original line you drew.



This leaves you with two half-square triangle/log cabin blocks! Press the seams open to reduce bulk, and repeat for the remaining blocks. Using a clear ruler and rotary cutter, trim each block to be 6.5 inches square.


Once you have all your HST/LC blocks made, arrange them in a pattern that is pleasing to your eye. I have been loving all of the crazy HST quilts out there, so I arranged mine somewhat randomly, and that’s what I’ll ask the members of my bee to do, too.


Sew the 2 pairs of blocks together using a SCANT quarter-inch seam. I find this matters quite a bit when trying to keep the blocks at 12.5 inches when you are done making them– a generous quarter-inch seam will make your blocks end up being a little short of the 12.5 inch mark. Press the seams open, then pin the sets and sew again to make a block that encompasses all of your HST/LC blocks.

There are so many possibilities for this block– you could match up 2 log cabins to make half-square triangles for a scrappier look. You also could use fewer log cabins interspersed in your blocks for a calmer look that still delivers some visual interest. If you look closely, in one of my blocks I used 3 half log cabins, and used a “regular” half square triangle to break things up. There are also a number of other ways that these blocks could be constructed, I simply found this to be the easiest way for me.


I can’t wait to see what my friends in my sewing circle make, and if you make anything using this tutorial I’d love to see it!


Sabik quilt photo

In just under a month I’ll be headed to Austin to partake in the Modern Quilt Guild’s first ever conference! I am really excited for a few reasons– I’ll get to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while, there are some amazing speakers lined up, and I get to take a class with one of my all time favorite fabric designers!

To get to know others who will be at the conference, the Modern Quilt Guild has organized a link-up so that people’s faces will seem a little more familiar. I think this is a great idea, and so although I don’t love posting pictures of myself, I thought I’d join in. For fun, they’re also asking us to share 5 things about ourselves that people may not know! So– here are some bits of information about me you may or may not know…

1. I have sloooowly been converting to be vegetarian, and my husband and I try to eat vegan meals at least a few times a week. My whole family has shifted to this way of thinking and eating over time, and films like Forks over Knives have been very influential! My husband has been a vegetarian for years, and although I still reserve the right to eat meat on occasion, I would say I am 99% meat free.

2. I would rather sew than blog. I know it might be sacrilege to admit that on my blog, but I have made MANY more things than I share here. I’m the worst about photographing gifts– I tend to make them and then give them away without taking photos!

3. I spend most of my day in front of my computer working on research, and I really love it. I finished my Ph.D in psychology and women’s studies this past year, and now work as a postdoctoral research fellow. I’m hoping to someday be a professor at a college, where I can continue to teach and work on my research!

4. Quilting (and my quilting friends) kept me sane while I was in grad school. I think without feeding the creative part of my brain I’d have gone crazy!

5. I think all the time about why I quilt and craft, and what sort of value it adds to my life. At times, I feel compelled to create, as if making something tangible is a sign that I was here and spent my time well. If I don’t have time to sew for a while, I don’t feel quite right, like something is missing. If I have a new idea for a project, I often want to try it out RIGHT NOW, because I so want to see if it will work! And I always, always feel happy when I finish a quilt and can show everyone else what I saw in my head before I even cut into the first piece of fabric.

Are any of you heading to QuiltCon?? If so, let me know– I would love to meet up!!


etsy 1

It has been far too long since I’ve restocked my etsy shop, but I finally had a chance to update it, and now it’s filled with some soft and cozy goodies!

etsy 5

I made a large batch of upcycled scarves last year for craft shows, and I had a few left, ready to be listed for purchase! All scarves are made from sweaters containing only natural fibers that felt when washed (i.e., lambswool, merino, cashmere, etc.), and I always chose sweaters that were both soft and colorful for these projects!

etsy 4

My prism scarves were always a top seller at the craft fair, I think because people just can’t resist all of that color!

etsy 2

My latest twist on this last year was when I started working with JUST cashmere– and let me tell you, I am in love with the results! I made a test scarf that I wear nearly every day because it is so so soft and warm. My skin is sensitive to scratchy or itchy fibers, and I never have any problem with the cashmere. Cashmere can be a bit stretchy and slippery when sewing it, so to keep things sturdy and stable I made these scarves double-sided, with all raw seams enclosed on the inside. This makes for a reversible (and extra warm!) color blocked scarf. I try to keep similar colors together, as they tend to blend well and look nice no matter which way the scarf is tied.

etsy 3

etsy 5

I have a handful of these listed now, so get them while you can! I also have a few new baby quilts listed, which I’ll post about soon!

etsy 3

And through the end of the month I’m offering a 15% discount for Greenleaf Goods readers– just enter the coupon code GreenleafFan when you check out!