Campfire Quilt for kids – with no batting!

My favorite online fabric shop continuously lists items in their clearance section, and I browse it often. Not long ago, I came across two great sales: this kids’ flannel panel and a coordinating plaid (fabric specifics, below):

My son has so many quilts. So, I thought of how I could use these in a new-to-me way, and a no batting quilt came to mind. Something very LIGHT that can block just enough of an evening chill during summer adventures.


You can make one, too! Here’s what I did:

I ordered two panels of the Campsite Critters and two yards of the Stitched Plaid.

When they arrived in the mail, I opened them up, and pressed out any wrinkles. The top fabric is such a soft flannel. It was sold to me as a continuous cut so I did not need to piece the two panels. (Hooray!) I backed it with the cotton yardage, trimmed away excess fabric (which I reserved for binding) and pin basted. That took maybe 15 minutes and then I was ready to sew! For the quilting, I sewed with 50 wt. threads in straight lines. I recommend you sew with your normal stitch, because without batting, there’s no bulk requiring a longer stitch length. I sewed vertically and then horizontally in grey thread in random places across the whole piece. Moved and/or removed my pins. Then I put in navy blue thread and added more vertical and horizontal stitches. Again, random, but now sometimes close to the grey ones. Removed all pins and then repeated again in a yellow. With the straight lines and multi color threads, the quilting has a sort of plaid look. I knew when to stop only because I got to a point where it just looked, “quilted enough.” I trimmed it’s edges straight with the rotary blade.

There was more than enough Stitched Plaid fabric left for the binding. I watched a single fold tutorial because, again, no bulk here. I recommend that you machine sew the binding so that this piece can be laundered often.

All in all, my out of pocket on this was $35 USD. Nice! The fabrics are still available as of the date of this posting, but, of course, eventually the below links to them will expire as they sell out. If that’s the case when you’re reading this, you can copy and paste the text into your web browser to find the items from other online retailers.

Campsite Critters Flannel 24″ Panel in Rain by manufacturer Robert Kaufman in their collection, Campsite Critters.

Stitched Plaid in Sea Glass by designer Amy Gibson in her collection, Meriwether.

If you have any questions, post below, or reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook!

Halloween Gnome Mini

It’s October! I want to share a seasonal sewing project with you.

First, as long as you’re at your computer, click here and download this free Mr. Gnome foundation paper piecing pattern from Unicorn Harts. You can save the digital file to your computer and print as many copies as you need. I like to print on Carol Doak’s foundation paper.

Then, grab your fabrics and plan out Mr. Gnome’s features, outfit, and background. After several layout options, I think the mini looks best when the Mister is made with darker fabrics, as well as a dark binding, with a light background. Wish I had sequin fabric to play with…. Anyways. Have fun, follow the pattern, and take your time. When your top is complete, remove the papers, and sandwich it with batting and a backing fabric. This is a small enough piece that spray basting works perfect. Quilt the layers. Consider quilting in lines that serve to blend in some of the piecing seams. Trim down the raw edges and bind.

Here’s the two that I’ve made this season. I think Mr. Gnome becomes a Mr. Wizard or even a Mr. Warlock quite easily!


Mix solids with prints, and lights with darks, for the biggest impact!


On a solid hat, you can quilt in details.

Get Out Of Town Duffel 2.0

As part of the Travel Handmade program from By Annie, my local quilt shop hosted a class to make the Get Out Of Town Duffel 2.0.

I love this bag, and it’s a good thing that I do because I have invested about twenty-five hours into making it. Whoever said handmade items were cheap never made one of these babies! The work paid off. It’s a great bag, and my below photo was chosen as a runner up in the By Annie monthly photo contest.

Get Out of Town 1.jpg

The main body is Alexander Henry’s Sewing Sorrows print. This fabric cracks me up, all honest and real sewing problems, as told from these retro ladies in a fun comic strip.


I felt the bag lining fabric should be light and bright, so that I could see when I am looking inside. I used some of this Heather Ross frog print.

Get Out of Town 2.jpg

The accent fabric is my very favorite of the Art Gallery Fabrics denim solids, it’s called Wicked Sky.

Bag zippers, zipper pulls (I mixed colors!), purse hardware, mesh fabric (there’s pockets lining the bag’s inside), Soft & Stable, and polypro strapping are all from By Annie.  I found her prices to be so reasonable and ya know what, the products are awesome. For this being my third bag project, I am by no means a pro and I need products that won’t have me crying….like the ladies in my main print!

You guys, I just adore this bag. I can’t wait to use it and, well, GET OUT OF TOWN!


Catnip fabric quilt

Catnip full view

I picked up a few charm packs of Catnip at my local quilt shop and thought, “hmm. I would like to do something with these.” That was it. No plans.

It’s fun for me to buy some fabric and just see where things go. This time, it was sewing the precut pieces in a rhythm of light, dark, light, dark. Some of the collection isn’t really light or dark, so it involved a lot of squinting and taking pictures with my phone to get it right.

A few rows in, I started see a pattern emerge in a look of board games, races, and playing cards, a look I knew could be solidified by the borders. The borders wrap around in three rows. The inner row is 2″ wide, has half square triangles on the upper right and lower left corners, only, in complimentary neutral solids and Kona Snow fabrics. Having those triangles in opposite corners is, in my opinion, what really sets this out as looking like a game card. The other two border rows, also 2″ wide each, and the binding (and backing!) are all Catnip yardage. I think it would be easy to recreate this quilt and it’s very beginner friendly. If you have questions, post them in the comments below.

Here is a picture of the completed quilt top

Catnip quilt top only

This was quilted by Hiroko Meyers on her long-arm machine. You can find Hiroko here. Below are a few close ups of her incredible work. Each charm square has been individually quilted, the inner border has its’ own design, and a linear pattern runs across the two outer borders.

Catnip close up 2Catnip cluse up 1

The quilt measures 51″ by 72″ and will be kept on the couch as I get cozy this winter!

Thanks for taking a look.

2018 Ohio State Fair Ribbon Win

Hiya friends! I want to share with you my first sewing award. This summer I entered my bag into our State Fair’s quilted accessories class, and, I placed second! It’s the Poolside Tote from Noodlehead (pattern link here) and I made it with Cotton + Steel’s Poolside fabric collection (see the collection here). Cottons on the outsides and handles, and linen on the inside.

Poolside Tote 1 05.29.2018

The judges liked my work, but there’s a few things I want to share with you:

In this tote, I chose to use a fusible foam to give it sturdiness, but, I learned a hard lesson when the fusing caused an all out war between myself and the wrinkles that ensued. Fusing is not necessary for the foam. From now on I am using a non-fusing foam, like Annie’s Soft and Stable (find it here) which has been awesome. It comes in white and black, too!

Then, I made one variation of the Noodlehead pattern. The instructions call for two rows of stitching along the top edge. Look at my picture and see – I only did one row. I chose to forego the second row as I predicted the chances of two rows being evenly spaced at a very low odds! I hand stitched down the facing (that’s the inner accent fabric) edge on the inside. If you have any questions about this modification, post in the comments below and I will answer.


Coats Ceases Free Spirit Production

Kind of sad news here! Coats President of North American Crafts shared yesterday Coats’ decision to cease Free Spirit Fabric production effective immediately. My mind is boggled as I can’t figure out how fabrics by such talent as Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner, and Denyse Schmidt aren’t bringing in great big boat loads of cash. I guess I just don’t have enough information to be able to fully understand. It just seemed to me like Every Body I know in the Quilt World was buying them up. Scary to think how something appeared fine, but in reality, was totally sinking!

Had their deficit been shared sooner, would we, the quilt community, have made an extra effort to support our favorite artists? We’ll never know.

I found the news here, but, will paste the Coats Prez letter below.

I wanted to make you aware that we are going to exit our Lifestyle Fabrics business.  This will take effect from Tuesday 1 May and includes our Westminster Fabrics/ Fibers, FreeSpirit brand and designers.

We have worked diligently for the past few years to make this a successful part of the Coats Craft business here in North America.  But I am sorry to say that, despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with an inherent weakness in the business model and have not been able to demonstrate a profit.

It also means we will be moving invoicing and customer service functions supporting the thread and yarn businesses from Greer, South Carolina to our Albany and Charlotte offices in North Carolina.  You will be provided with new contact details for this shortly and in the meantime your contact details for this will remain the same. 

We will continue to fulfil orders placed to date for delivery prior to Thursday 31 May and new orders for existing collections on a first come first service basis. We will not be producing new Westminster or FreeSpirit Fabrics from today onwards.

Coats is particularly proud of its long association supporting our customers and North America based crafters and alternative options have been considered extremely carefully.  We believe that through making these difficult decisions we will create an improved customer focused business for the future, from which you will benefit, and I hope you will continue to work with us. 

It is our intent to support you, our talented and dedicated artist, during this transition. 

Yours sincerely,

Stephanie Leichtweis

President, North American Crafts

Cc: Keith Howard

…and there you have it. Add to your stash now, and be sure to keep an eye on your favorite artists. They need support!

Starbucks Mug Rug Swap

I liked my first Instagram swap so much that I joined a second one! It’s the #starbucksmugrugswap.

The Ohio mug is what I bought for my assigned partner, who wrote that she likes Heather Ross fabrics (I sadly have none!) and Alison Glass (I have to save those for the Thiel Quilt Bee!) so, I chose my Gardenvale charm pack. I think it’s got a similar cheerful look.

The mug cozy ties on with vintage ribbons. I made sure to stitch over them many times in the seam so they are held in tight, and I dipped each end into some fray stop. I tied it on and held the mug in my hand, boy, it sure felt sassy! I like it!! and I need to make myself one, now.


If you make a similar big bow mug cozy, share a picture with me. I’d love to see it.

This one works well in that the bow can be tied onto the mug opposite the side your face would be sipping from. The bow isn’t in your way, and everyone can take a look at it.



2018 Quilter’s Planner Covers

My mom and I made Zippy Covers for our 2018 Quilter’s Planners. Find the free pattern and tutorial here.

I can’t help but wonder, is this the year we become more organized? Or, is this the year we become more inspired, causing us to want to make more projects in the same frame of time we scrambled to manage last year? Only time will tell.

Look at how cute our covers came out though!



Our Instagram handles are under the respective photo, and, check out our posts for more details, images and inside sneak peeks!

Update 1/11/18 Our planner covers were shared in this fun article, a story about planner covers! Check it out, some of those covers are works of art!



Andrew’s Lakardia Cross Quilt


My friend Andrew contacted me nearly a year ago and asked about my sewing him a quilt. You see, he’s got this big trip planned, a drive all over the United States, and he wanted to have a quilt made for the journey. Recollections of my own time wandering out West instantly came to mind: red rock, gold sun, and blue sky. I thought my visions could translate into a really beautiful quilt and so I said yes.

I had seen fabrics in such colors designed by nearby artist April Rhodes. I don’t know April, but we do have friends in common. I also shop at her mother’s store, Sew to Speak. My plan evolved quickly to not only to send Andrew off with a piece in specific colors, but to incorporate as much Central Ohio talent and substance as possible. So, off to Sew to Speak I went. The colors I envisioned were right there waiting for me.IMG_0913

In the mix went some of April’s fabrics (mostly from her Observer collection), a few Essex linens, and a print of tiny bird feet. Aren’t these gorgeous?

I had to then come up with a pattern, too, so I’d know how much to buy. If you want to make a similar quilt, make a note to buy equal amounts of light and dark fabrics. I later had to add in other darks to balance out what you see in this picture: Art Gallery solid denim in Wicked Sky, and another from April’s Observer line.

IMG_0911Inspiration was easy. Hanging in the shop was local quilter Leslie Storts Plus Quilt. It reminded me of the skateboarding stuff by John Lucero and Black Label in the late 1990’s. Quilting. Skateboarding. Hmm, I thought, how perfect to balance a bit of these worlds for whom I (and I think Andrew, too) have so much appreciation and respect for!?

I bought the fabric and excitedly returned home to design and cut.

Some time later I had my layout drawn up, and fabrics cut accordingly. Twenty rows of fifteen blocks, arranged in order to diagonally alternate from light to dark. I calculated the placement of reds to make sure I had three rows, and then instead of where the center red row would go, I made one cross, all still following my light and dark rule.

It was glorious! So proud of my layout, I snapped pictures and texted all my quilting friends! There’s, let’s see, well there’s two of them. Okay, and maybe one is my Mom, but still – it’s a very exciting thing to love your own design! Right?

Piecing, aligning, pulling, ironing, sewing: I spent a lot of time thinking about this quilt’s upcoming journey around the United States, and eventually, after much daydreaming, I had made the quilt top. A couple solid navy fabric borders were added. I did this to bring some of the solid navy I’d use for backing around front and really make these colors pop. I bought enough navy to make binding. Andrew was over for a summer bbq, and we had a photo shoot of the finished quilt top out at my pond.


During all of this time, all of 2017, I was attending monthly meetings of my local modern quilt guild and getting to know some of its’ members. To keep the Central Ohio theme going strong, guild member and award winning quilter Cassandra Beaver was hired. She stitched in edge to edge quilting in a woodgrain design of her own. We chose a tighter quilting pattern to prevent shifting over the years, as it’s likely to be laundered a lot from use.

It’s all done now. Andrew will have lots from home to bring with him on his travels. I hope he takes more pictures of it along the way.


Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial

I’ll be trying this pattern before Trick or Treat this year. It looks so cute, and I love how it can be so many combinations of fabrics, trim(s), and handles. Endless possibilities for each little kid. Or adult…


Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

After falling in love with that hexie print, I found the matching purple fabric and there began my plan! When I pieced the 10″ Midnight Bite block, I just knew it had to become a treat bag. This project slowly came together as I found each new piece and it couldn’t have worked out better!

The handles are webbing I found in the trim section of Joanns, the silver is reflective so it’s perfect for night time candy hunting! Then there is the bat trim… I mean, come on! It’s even purple. No brainer. I also found this at Joanns. It’s made by Simplicity and was on an endcap of an aisle. There were spider pom poms too, which I also have big plans for.

Midnight Bite Treat Bag Tutorial | lillyella stitchery

This bag was quick and easy to make and can be customized in a variety of ways. You can use any fabrics, a variety of trims or fabric…

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