For Pinks Sakes Blog Hop

carla Charity, Quilting 4 Comments

I know it’s been radio silence around here for a while, but I’m popping in to share my contribution to the For Pinks Sakes Blog Hop that I’m participating in, hosted by my friend and DCMQG Secretary Anna at Life Sew Crafty.


Anna’s family is one of many who have been affected by breast cancer. Specifically her mother-in-law’s fight inspired this blog hop to raise awareness about breast cancer and to create quilts for donation.

Did you know that According to the Wold Health Organization breast cancer is the most common cancer among women world wide? One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

As part of the blog hop Anna has asked that we create a block to be included in a quilt she is making to donate to the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion in Grand Rapids, MI where her mother-in-law was treated.

My block is made from some of my hexies that I worked on during my initial recovery from my shoulder surgery. I hand sewed the flower together and then starched it well before removing the papers. I machine appliquéd the hexagons on using a light gray Aurifil thread and then trimmed the block to 10.5″ square.

#forpinkssakes block for @damascst ! Post up shortly!


If you would like to contribute a block, you can read the specifications on Anna’s blog. The short version is any size block that reads pink and is larger than 4″ is fine.

There’s an additional incentive if you participate – Anna will be hosting a giveaway on August 2nd. There will be lots of ways to win so be sure to watch out for that.

You can see everyone else’s contributions to the blog hop using the links below.

May 10
May 24
June 7
June 21
July 5
July 19


carlaFor Pinks Sakes Blog Hop

WIP Wednesday – Hexies everywhere

carla Quilting 4 Comments

Since my surgery I’ve continued to crank out hexies. I now have 200 basted 1″ hexagons ready to be sewn into flowers. At the DCMQG meeting on Saturday my friend Jessie talked to me a little about my 36 degree diamonds. The news wasn’t great. The “flags” that are made when you EPP are going to make appliqué’-ing them down much harder than I had realized. I’m now on the fence about whether or not I’ll actually make those shapes.

I still haven’t pulled out my sewing machine because I’m only supposed to lift 5 pounds with my bad shoulder and the sewing machine is significantly more than that. I’ve been cleared for full range of motion which means technically I could use a rotary cutter and my sewing machine but it might not be that comfortable, so I’m trying to hold off as long as I can so at least I can get a lot of my hand-work done.

Here’s a picture of the first 100 hexies!

100 basted hexagons. 1/3 of the way done. Not bad for a week of bed rest. #epp

I also went out and took some quilt photos in Rock Creek Park here in DC. It was so green, just amazing. I got some good shots. Here’s a sneak peek!

Photoshoot in rock creek park! No falling this time.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

carlaWIP Wednesday – Hexies everywhere

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway – Nani Iro Selvedges

carla Fabric 70 Comments



Thanks to everyone who entered! This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Susan M! Check you email Susan!



I’ve been sitting on these for a while, waiting for the right moment, and today is the day! I’m offering up my (pre washed) Nani Iro Selvedges from my two Nani Iro quilts. This is almost 20 yards worth of selvedges (both printed and solid edges).

Nani iro selvedges


Entering is super easy; just leave  me a comment telling me what you’ve been working on,  and mark it on my rafflecopter widget!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

carlaSew Mama Sew Giveaway – Nani Iro Selvedges

A new address!

carla uncategorized Leave a Comment

Hey everyone,

Just popping in here to share the good news – a few weeks ago I was able to obtain and today I’ve made the change! All my old links should still work, but please take the time to double check your feeds.

Thanks for reading!


carlaA new address!

Quilt Top: March do. Good Stitches

carla Charity, Quilting 1 Comment

I wanted to share a few quick shots of the March do. Good Stitches top I put together from everyone’s mosaic blocks. They look amazing. I’ve sent it off to the longarmer since I won’t be able to quilt it myself for a while. I hope to talk one of my friends into helping with a photoshoot when it’s complete.

Nurture Circle March top complete

Nurture Circle March top complete


It should finish about 56″ x 56″. I’m utterly thrilled with how the blocks turned out. The bright colors and low volume backgrounds are even better than I imagined. Thank you everyone for your hard work!

P.S. this is my 100th blog post! Yay!

carlaQuilt Top: March do. Good Stitches
DS Checkerboard

Finished: DS Checkerboard

carla Finished in 2014, Finished Projects, Quilting Leave a Comment

I finished this quilt a while ago – early March I would guess – but it never made it on the blog.

This quilt is a collaboration between my friend Amy and I. She won a jelly roll of Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt and had turned it into the checkerboard top. Over the holidays I was at her house and saw the top in a pile destined for charity quilts and I rescued it. I added the blue clamshell-print border from Shelburne Falls and a large-scale blue and black plaid from one of her DS lines for the backing.

I quilted it in two or three different variegated threads because I didn’t have enough of any one thing. I quilted only in the colored squares and I like how it creates an argyle effect in the wider border. The binding is Kona Jade.

Chicopee checkerboard


It is the perfect size for a couch quilt – approximately 65″ x 75″, and my cat has claimed it as hers.

She really does love that quilt. Hasn't moved much since I got it out this afternoon. #catsofinstagram #russianblue #catsonquilts #dsq #ds

Quilt Stats
name: DS Checkerboard
size: Large throw – 65″ x 75″
pattern: checkerboard pieced by Amy S., borders added by me.
fabrics: Chicopee, Shelburne Falls, DS Quilts, Kona Jade
quilting: Diagonal quilting through colored squares only with two different variegated threads.

carlaFinished: DS Checkerboard
Nani Iro Double Gauze

Finished: Nani Iro sister quilts

carla Finished in 2014, Finished Projects, Quilting 1 Comment

My cousin got married in a beautiful wedding last spring. At the time I had only been quilting about six months and I wanted to make a quilt but I didn’t want to step on anyone else’s toes if someone more experienced than I had already offered. I pulled my cousin aside during the reception and nervously asked if she was interested. She agreed enthusiastically. A few sporadic emails later and a conversation at our family reunion in the fall at Cape May, NJ gave me a direction. She loves Japanese fabrics, especially Nani Iro.

Now, Nani Iro and Japanese fabric in general is not cheap. I was lucky enough to find a shop on etsy that was selling preorders of the latest Nani Iro line. They wouldn’t order a bolt until they had an order for that fabric. It certainly lowered costs – I got a great deal on the fabric – but I had to wait a really long time. The fabric didn’t come until late November or early December. Once the fabric was in my hands I realized I wanted a little bit more variety so I reached out to my friend Nicole who runs Finch Sewing Studio. She usually has a few in stock. I was able to get some more pieces to round out my selection, as well as backing and binding fabrics.

Once I had it, a lot of pre washing and pretreating were in order. I zigzagged all the raw edges on both the double gauze and the backing / binding fabrics, and then washed and pressed the fabric. I designed the pattern based on a 20″ square to take advantage of the large scale prints. I didn’t want to chop anything up too small – the smallest pieces are 5″x5″ finished.

I’ve made this quilt twice now. When I was collecting fabric for this design I ended with with 19 yards of double gauze in order to get the variety I wanted. I am determined not to waste a scrap of it.

The first version was for my cousin – 85″ square with a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Watermelon for the backing and binding. I love how the coral contrasts with the patchwork on the front.

Nani iro #1


The second version is a little bit bigger – 100″ x 100″ to fit my bed the way I like it (oversized). It is bound in the same watermelon, but backed using the teal color way of Social Climber from the recent reprint of Hand Drawn Garden. I bought 12 yards when it was first reprinted with the intention of using most of it for a back. It works beautifully on this piece.

Nani iro #2

Nani iro #2


For both I did very organic quilting. I used a walking foot and let the weight of the quilt really guide how the lines went down. I didn’t want anything too rigid or perpendicular because the fabrics have such a beautiful ethereal quality, even when cut into rectangles. The lines are spaced approximately every 5″ on the outside edge of the quilt but the path they take across the quilt is random. On the quilt for my cousin I thought the lines ended up looking like a map so I subtitled it Nani Iro Patchwork Map. It has a deeper meaning as well since they are still just starting their lives together and who knows where their lives will take them.

I gave the quilt to my cousin and her husband in early March. They really liked it so I’m glad it went over well. I love my version as well – in fact it is on my bed currently!

I will make one note about working with Double Gauze. While beautiful, it is really tricky to work with for something like a whole quilt. It is exactly what it sounds like – two layers of gauze that have been tacked together and then printed. This means it is somewhat shifty, and stretches easily with handling. Also the texture of the fabric is quite soft but it is very clingy. The fabric has a lot of friction – probably on the level of flannel-to-flannel. You can’t shake pieces out to line them up because the fabric sticks and then it stretches. It is also difficult to seam rip on it due to the delicate nature of the fabric. While beautiful I don’t think I’ll be working with double gauze in large quantities again anytime soon.


Quilt Stats
name: Nani Iro #1 (Nani Iro Patchwork Map)
size: Double / Queen – 85″ x 85″
pattern: Based on 20″ grid designed by me.
fabrics: Nani Iro Double Gauze
quilting: Random quilting using a walking foot and letting the weight of the quilt do much of the work. Lines start approximately every 5″ along each side of the quilt and take a wandering path to the other side.


Quilt Stats
name: Nani Iro #2
size: King – 100″ x 100″
pattern: Based on 20″ grid designed by me.
fabrics: Nani Iro Double Gauze
quilting: Random quilting using a walking foot and letting the weight of the quilt do much of the work. Lines start approximately every 5″ along each side of the quilt and take a wandering path to the other side.

carlaFinished: Nani Iro sister quilts

WIP Wednesday – switching to hand-work

carla Quilting, Sewing 2 Comments

The last of my major sewing projects for the time being are done! I was able to finish the sampler for my friend’s wedding in June and create a clutch / EPP bag for me to use. I was also able to get help with a home project WIP that’s now complete and has totally changed my life.

If you’ve been following along you know that I’m having shoulder surgery on Friday and have been cleaning my house, purging, cooking, and tidying in preparation. In three years in my apartment I’ve only ever hung one thing on the wall because I’m terrified of it. My friend Aliza came over on Saturday to help me fix that.

Just gained a ton of counter space back thanks to my friend Aliza and IKEA.

She helped me install two of the IKEA rail systems – one in my bathroom under the medicine cabinet and one in the kitchen over the sink and under the cabinets. The one in the kitchen has completely changed my life. I used to hate my kitchen because it’s tiny – I live in a studio and that’s basically all the counter space I have and it was constantly cluttered with all the stuff now hanging from the rail. I love having my space back. In the bathroom it’s all about convenience – I have no counter space at all and all of that junk was piled in a basket on the back of the toilet before. There is still a mess, but at least my most-used items are front and center.

Ok, on to the sewing! Getting the wedding sampler quilt top done was top priority on my list of things to do before surgery. I pushed really hard during MidAtlanticMod to turn my weekend around and then kept going after that. A couple of friday night sewalongs on Instagram later I managed to finish the top just in the nick of time.

It is made from pretty much every line Denyse Schmidt has ever made. The color direction given to me by the bride was yes to blue, green, and red, no to yellow, orange, and brown. She also preferred a white background. I added in some purple and maroon to add some contrast to the blue and green and keep it out of the “Christmas” realm.

The blocks are pulled from Vintage Quilt Revival co-authored by my guild-mate Katie Blakesley and from another book she recommended 501 Rotary Cut Blocks by Judy Hopkins.

I’ll admit I got a little frustrated with the blocks, especially after not enough sleep, too much pressure on myself, and too much sugar at MidAtlanticMod, but I rallied on the last day of the retreat and banged out a whole bunch of blocks. I finished the rest of the blocks a week ago and finished putting the top together last Friday night.

I was able to trim or stretch all of the blocks to 12.25″ and almost everything seems to line up nicely. This is now at the longarmer to get finished so I can take it with me to the wedding.

All finished! #ds #dsq #vintagequiltrevival #501rotarycutblocks #sampler

I was able to squeeze in two last projects before I put my machine and fabric away for the next couple of months. The first is a 9″x12″ clutch / EPP pouch with several dividers inside. It’s made from Anna Maria Horner Ghost Wing linen and some black leather that I picked up on a shopping trip during MidAtlanticMod. This was my first time working with leather but it wasn’t as hard as I expected. I made the outside in a QAYG fashion with layers of canvas and batting. Then I made the lining and dividers. I interfaced the dividers using one layer of interfacing sandwiched between the fabric covers. I thought I would reduce bulk by not interfacing the actual lining but I think that was a mistake – it looks a little loose and not as smooth as I’d like, although I’m not sure my machine could have taken another layer of interfacing.

Eeking out one more project. AMH Ghost Wing linen, black leather QAYG pouch with 3 dividers and 2 slip pockets. 9"x12"

There are two dividers and two slip pockets for a total of 5 compartments. One slip pocket is for my tools, the other is for my papers. The first section holds all of my fabric. As I baste the shapes I plan to move them to the second section, and then as the shapes are sewn into flowers they will move to the third compartment.

I hope I follow through with this cherry-blossom inspired idea! If I do, it will be amazing.

All filled up!

The second project I finished was to make blocks and create a tutorial for the June round of my do. Good Stitches bee.

June block tutorial

Then it was time to pack up all my fabric and my machine and put them away so I’m not tempted to try using the machine before my shoulder is fully healed. (It’s too heavy for me to lift with one arm.)

Not sure there's enough fabric.... Bye bye til July. #honeststash #showmeyourstash #surgeryprep


Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

carlaWIP Wednesday – switching to hand-work
60 degree triangles

do. Good Stitches June Blocks and 60 Degree Triangle Tutorial

carla Charity, Quilting, Tutorials 1 Comment

Hi Nurture Circle! I’m getting this post out early as my surgery is scheduled for Friday and I’m not sure how much typing I’m going to be able to do for a while. Hopefully my recovery will be faster than I think it will be.

For June I’m asking for four 60 degree triangle blocks measuring 8.5″  tall if you have a flat-topped triangle ruler, or 8.75″ otherwise. These are measured from the base of the triangle to the tip of the triangle.

June block tutorial

Please send 2 pieced triangles in monochromatic jewel tones and 2 triangles cut from low volume fabrics. I’d prefer black and gray on white or cream for the low volumes but colors that coordinate with your blocks would be OK too.

First, let me show you how to trim using a triangle ruler. You’ll need a piece at least 8.5″ tall by approximately 10″ wide. My piece was closer to 9″ x 10″ so I had some space at the top of the ruler. If you cut at exactly 8.5″ the squared off tip will line up with the top of the strip.

June block tutorial

Line the ruler up with the bottom left corner and along the bottom. Trim off the sides and the tip (if applicable) and you’re done.

June block tutorial


Next let me show you how to trim if you have a 6.5″ x 24″ rule with 60 degree lines on it. This time since there won’t be a blunt tip you’ll need a piece 8.75″ tall by approximately 10″ wide.

June block tutorial


Line up the 60 degree line along the bottom of the piece, intersecting the bottom left corner. Cut off the left side of the fabric.



June block tutorial


Flip the ruler around and line up the other 60 degree line along the bottom, intersecting the point you created in step one at the top of the piece. Trim off the right side.


June block tutorial


For the purple piece I just pieced two strips together and then trimmed it to 8.75″ tall by 10″ wide. For the piece below I made a triangle log cabin.

First, start with a small 60 degree triangle, either cut using a triangle ruler (like I did) or the 60 degree lines on your ruler. Sew that to a larger strip that is wider than you think you need. We will be extending the 60 degree lines out to make a wider base for the small triangle.

June block tutorial


Using the 60 degree line along the bottom of your strip and matching the edges of the small triangle trim both sides to create a larger pyramid.

June block tutorial


Sew the pyramid to another strip, again larger than you think you need.

June block tutorial


Trim again, but don’t worry about how big the piece is. Just focus on the correct angles for now.

June block tutorial


If you don’t have a triangle ruler: Turn the piece and use the last seam that was sewn as a guide for the zero mark on your ruler. Line the point up with 8.75 and trim the excess off.

June block tutorial


If you have a triangle ruler: simply line up the angles, trim the excess, and trim the point off.

June block tutorial


You can also use this tutorial to create a more complex block. You should be able to “square” it up using the techniques above although it might be a bit easier if you have a triangle ruler to get the correct final size.

Here’s a quick sketch to give you an idea of what I’m going for:


Thanks so much! I can’t wait to see everyone’s contributions!


carlado. Good Stitches June Blocks and 60 Degree Triangle Tutorial

Radio Silence

carla Quilting Leave a Comment

I know I’ve been MIA lately but I don’t think that’s going to change much in the next couple of months. You may remember back in August I fell and hurt my wrist. Well, apparently at the time I also tore a ligament and a tendon in my rotator cuff in that same arm. The pain wasn’t as acute as the wrist so the true extent of the damage was masked by a cortisone shot. Once that shot wore off in early February I knew there was something wrong. My ortho and I went from discussing surgery on my wrist to discussing surgery on my shoulder very quickly. I ended up getting a cortisone shot in my wrist for the time being.

Surgery to repair my shoulder is scheduled for next Friday. I’m supposed to be able to return to work after 10 days, but the recovery will be slow. I won’t be able to reach up or out for 6-8 weeks, and I won’t be fully recovered for at least 4 months. The sewing machine is out of the question for at least a couple of months, as is the rotary cutter and iron.

In their stead I’ve been planning my entry for QuiltCon – an EPP hexie and 36 degree diamond flower pattern inspired by the flowering trees of DC – especially the cherry blossoms. I finished cutting all the fabric tonight, and it is all kitted up in my favorite storage method – ziploc bags:

Lots of options for my cherry blossom quilt! #handwork #epp #ihopeiactuallydothis

I made some time on Sunday to go to the National Arboretum to see all the different cultivars of flowering cherries. They were really beautiful and the day was gorgeous – 80 with a nice breeze and lots of sun.

I love how many shades of pink the cherry cultivars come in, from white and pale pink to fuchsia! I’m taking all of these shades into account for my project.








I also stopped by to see the Bonsai museum. I’m always fascinated by Bonsai – just incredible work. They had some trees in training since 1795!


Lastly I saw my other favorite installation – dwarf and slow-growing conifers (evergreen trees). I find them so interesting to look at – all the different shapes and sizes.



Also prior to surgery I’m pushing hard to get my sampler quilt top done and off to the longarmer. It is currently in rows and should be finished after one more good sewing session. Hopefully I’ll get that in tomorrow.

It is coming out really nicely, even if it is taking much longer than I anticipated. I went into MidAtlanticMod expecting to blow through the blocks in the first couple of days and leave with a finished top. How wrong I was. There was a lot of frustration and even some tears, but I managed to get through 26 additional blocks, bringing the total to 29. I finished the last 7 last weekend along with the setting squares. I put the rows together Monday night.

Here’s what I had after MidAtlanticMod:

#midatlanticmod was pretty productive. 26 new blocks makes 29/36 for my #sampler #dsq #ds

I have few things left on my “must sew before surgery” list but it is getting shorter:
* Finish the top
* Make a label
* Make the back
* Send everything to the quilter

carlaRadio Silence