A rag quilt for baby Logan

Back in May 2014, I introduced you to my friend Amanda when I sewed a “Mustaches & Elephants” quilt for her soon-to-be-born baby boy, Liam. It was one of my very first rag quilt projects, in a size/layout that I’ve repeated for many new babies since!

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Mustache and Elephant Rag Quilt

Mustaches & Elephants Quilt

This October, four-year-old Liam is going to have a new baby sister – Logan! And… spoiler alert… Auntie SewLindsaySew made a quilt for Logan, too. I know you’re shocked. ūüėČ

Logan’s nursery will have a “woodland animal” theme, so I chose a deer/owl/squirrel fabric as my starter print and then worked from there. All of the fabrics are from Joann Fabrics.¬†I think I say this with every project, but… this might be my favorite fabric combo yet.


But the best part about Logan’s quilt is that I knew her name in advance and could incorporate it into the quilt. I used the “My ABCs” Paper Piecing Quilt Pattern from Diane Bohn with FromBlankPages, which I won a few years ago¬†in a giveaway Diane was hosting on Instagram. I’ve used the letters a few times for other projects (like this amazing Winnie pillow) but never a baby quilt. Since Amanda and her husband Josh shared Logan’s name so early on, I was happy to do it with this project!


Of course, no SewLindsaySew project is complete without a behind-the-scenes photo of Winnie getting all up in its business. Every time I turned around, she was making herself right at home. Here’s a pic from when I was in the process of adding the name.


As it turns out, the color scheme I chose for this quilt is also very similar to what Amanda has chosen for the baby’s room, and I didn’t even know it. Coincidental and magical! I guess that’s why we are friends. ūüôā

See you soon, Baby Logan!img_0981



Welcome, Baby Nora!

It feels like just yesterday I was writing the blog post titled “Welcome, Baby Finn!” And now I’m writing part two – Welcome, Baby Nora!

Baby Finn is not such a baby anymore, and now he’s a big brother to sweet Nora Elizabeth – my beautiful niece, who is just six weeks old. I had the honor of meeting Nora and spending lots of snuggle time with her last week. A few years ago, I didn’t have any nieces or nephews – and now I have two! I feel so lucky to be an Auntie times two.


I had a tough time deciding what kind of quilt to make for Nora. I really liked the airplane quilt I made for Finn, and initially felt like I should make a similar one for Nora – just swapping out the color scheme and the airplane shape for something new.


But I eventually decided to do something completely different and one-of-a-kind, made just with Nora in mind. I was sorting through the patterns I’ve had in my collection for a few years, and I found¬†Simplicity 2935 – a butterfly rag quilt. I did some Googling to see what other people’s finished quilts looked like, and I was completely sold after seeing a photo of a baby laying on a finished quilt. It looked like the baby had butterfly wings!

Here’s a photo of Nora with her finished quilt. I love, love, love how it turned out. Look at this sweet baby butterfly!

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

I spent a lot of time shopping around online for fabric. The reason I started online versus in the store is because I wanted to find a collection that was designed to go together. When I saw this fabric from Riley Blake, I knew I had to have it!

Riley Blake Fabric - Just Sayin' by My Mind's Eye, Confetti Cottons Songbird

The floral and pink fabrics are from a collection called Just Sayin’ by My Mind’s Eye (White Floral and Pink Dot) and the mint fabric is the Confetti Cottons Songbird Solid, also from Riley Blake. This was the first time I’ve worked with a designer fabric like Riley Blake, and – wow! I could really feel the difference in quality from the type of fabric I’d typically get from a big box store.

Because I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my projects, especially a project as important as a quilt for my very first niece, I first used Photoshop to mock up what the butterfly pattern would look like with the fabrics I wanted to use. I had to decide which fabric I’d use for each section so I could figure out how much of each fabric to order.

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

Side note… I eventually decided to leave the eyes off completely. They’re kind of creepy.

There were an overwhelming number of fabric combinations and possibilities, especially since I first toyed with the idea of using a lot more fabrics – the pattern called for NINE different fabrics. Yikes! I tried some mock-ups with nine fabrics, but I didn’t like any of them, so I eventually narrowed it down to just three.

The fabric math was a little complex since I switched up the fabric numbers from what the pattern called for, and I’ll admit it stressed me out a bit as I tried to figure it out. Luckily, it all worked out and I didn’t have to order any extra once I got started.

Riley Blake Fabric - Just Sayin' by My Mind's Eye, Confetti Cottons Songbird

If you’d like to replicate the butterfly layout above, I got 5 yards of the white floral, and 2 yards each of the pink dot and mint. I JUST made it with the white floral – I had a bit leftover of the other two.

And of course, I had a helper in the sewing room – Winnie! Whenever I lay fabric pieces on the floor, she just can’t help but immediately lay down right in the middle of my workspace. I admittedly spend a lot of time pushing her out of the way (with love, of course), but it’s nice to have company all the same… especially during those late-night sewing sessions.

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

Here are a few progress pics with my little helper!

Overall, I definitely recommend this quilt pattern. Joining the curved pieces can get little tricky, but the pieces did fit together perfectly like a puzzle and I adore the finished product.

Simplicity 2935 Rag Quilt - Pattern Review

The butterfly quilt not only made for a picture-perfect backdrop for Nora, but also lent to some sweet moments between Nora and Finn as we spent some time outside together last week! Look at this cuteness.


I can’t wait to see Nora grow with her special quilt!




Welcome, Baby Finn!

First comes the love, then comes the marriage, then comes…¬†my very first nephew in a baby carriage! At¬†around 4 a.m. on September 24, I was overjoyed to receive a message¬†that Finn Joseph had finally arrived.¬†Isn’t this the most precious baby you’ve ever seen? I know I’m biased, but… BEST. NEPHEW. EVER. Look at that baby burrito bundle. LOOK AT HIM.¬†(It’s my job, as the auntie, to tell you to LOOK AT HIM in all caps. Because that’s what aunties do, and¬†also,¬†BECAUSE HE IS AMAZING.)


Given¬†my brother Jason’s love of planes, while most babies are delivered by a stork, I’m fairly certain Finn arrived¬†via whimsical airplane, although my sister-in-law Sarah may have a different perspective. ūüėČ My brother is a recreational pilot, so him and Sarah like to go on lots of little adventures in their plane. Jason even asked Sarah to marry him while they were flying. And both of the baby’s grandfathers ‚Äď mine and Jason‚Äôs dad, and Sarah‚Äôs dad ‚Äď also have a special interest in airplanes. So needless to say, this baby has no choice but to love airplanes.

In fact, at just 6 weeks old, Finn experienced his first flight!


When I heard a baby was on the way, I knew an airplane-inspired gift was in order.

I researched some airplane-inspired quilt patterns, and while there were many miscellaneous features that I liked with each pattern, there wasn’t one pattern that stood out as The One, so I decided to do my own thing.

I don‚Äôt know why I always choose to go down this road of doing ‚Äúmy own thing.‚ÄĚ It‚Äôs mentally exhausting, I experience a ton of decision fatigue and I spend most days convinced that I‚Äôm just messing the whole thing up. But at the same time, I refuse to settle for what‚Äôs out there ‚Ķ and that‚Äôs why I love making things! Ahh, the beauty (and the pain) of DIY.


I decided to take a risk and do something I’ve never done before, combining two skills from my sewing/quilting experience toolbox: foundation paper piecing and rag quilts. While I‚Äôve done quite a bit of each of those things separately, I‚Äôve never rolled the two skills together. But I‚Äôm most comfortable making rag quilts for baby gifts, and I was equally passionate about wanting to include paper-pieced airplanes.


Other than substituting the airplane blocks for some solid blocks, the process was really no different than the typical raq quilts I’ve made. A few adjustments:

  • I added some additional fabric around the border of each of the airplane blocks to¬†for extra¬†seam allowance. Since the seam allowance gets cut¬†up on a rag quilt, I didn’t want the planes to be cut up.
  • While I typically just quilt an ‚ÄúX‚ÄĚ on each block for rag quilts, on the airplane blocks, I quilted around the border of the airplanes.
  • I made 12 airplane blocks total, and in order to best showcase them, I came up with a new, square layout versus the rectangular layouts I’ve used in the past.

I love the way this quilt turned out, and I was¬†especially pleased with the fabric combination, the square layout and the inclusion of the paper-pieced blocks. I wouldn’t hesitate to¬†make a quilt like this again, replacing the airplanes with any other fun paper-pieced shape.


But the true test was introducing Finn to his quilt a few weeks ago when I met him for the very first time. Actually, it wasn’t really Finn’s first time seeing his¬†quilt. He was already a month old by the time I got to fly across the country to meet him, and he had spent a lot of quality time in his nursery by the time I met him.¬†But he was polite enough to act surprised for the photo anyway. What a nice boy!


I think it’s safe to say –¬†this¬†quilt is Finn-tested, Finn-approved!


A rag quilt for Baby B

I love experimenting with different patterns and projects, which means I rarely make the same thing twice. But recently, I’ve repeated some projects-from-the-past¬†and¬†learned¬†the benefits of creating something familiar and dependable.

Remember the Mustaches & Elephants quilt I made for my friend Amanda? It doesn’t seem that long ago, but Amanda’s little guy, Liam, is now over a year old – it’s crazy how time flies! And Liam will soon have a buddy to hang out with on weekends, because mine and Amanda’s¬†mutual friend Beth is now pregnant with a little boy too.

So naturally, I decided Beth’s baby boy¬†needed to have the same quilt as Liam. Only, instead of mustaches and elephants, I went with “sports” to match the theme of the shower and the baby’s nursery. Puppies playing sports, to be more specific. Who doesn’t love puppies??? Playing sports??? Continue reading

Starring Winnie!

The night before my roommate Katie‘s birthday, she heard me rustling through my craft supplies and asked what I was doing. I told her I was making her a birthday coupon. She thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t.

FYI, a "cug" (according to Katie's niece) is a combination cuddle/hug. Also, Winnie hates balloons - hence the PSA.

FYI, a “CUG” (according to Katie’s niece) is a cuddle/hug combo. Also, Winnie hates balloons – hence the PSA.

The idea of a “coupon gift” seems a little silly in adulthood, but I really wanted Katie to make the decision about what I should make…¬†using this INCREDIBLE¬†WINNIE FABRIC.


Yes, that is Katie’s dog, Winnie. I designed this custom fabric using real photos of Winnie and printed a yard of it at¬†Spoonflower.com.

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DONUT underestimate the power of paper piecing

This post is about donuts. And paper piecing.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…
Bright frosted DONUTS¬†that haven’t been bitten‚Ķ
Quilty techniques on the gifts Santa brings… 
These are a few of my favorite things.

I looooooooooooooove donuts.


Donuts complete me.

So does my roommate Katie. When one of us¬†says, “I want donuts,” the other roommate¬†says,¬†“NOM” and then we’re in the car en route¬†to our local donut provider in a matter of minutes. We have donut ornaments on¬†our Christmas tree. And the dog has donut toys.


I’ve already told you about how Katie is crafty¬†(or rather,¬†“Krafty”)¬†so this year’s Christmas present for Katie was a combination of our mutual love for both donuts and crafts.

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It’s your birthday, baby!

Meet my friend Laura — we have known each other since we were in kindergarten and she is still one of my dearest friends.


Eighth grade volleyball, dorky haircuts… and proof that we turned out alright in adulthood despite the dweeby photos.

Laura is¬†pregnant with her first child and due this month! When your¬†childhood BFF is pregnant, and you’re a fan of handmade gifts¬†—¬†the pressure is high!¬†When I first heard Laura was pregnant, I knew I wanted to make her something really special, but I wasn’t sure what it should be.¬†Although I adore the¬†rag quilts I made for baby Liam and baby Sophia¬†last year, I wanted the project for¬†Laura to be one-of-a-kind — not a repeat of one of my previous projects. Laura also sews (Reason #923498723 why I love her) and has made a number of items for her baby’s nursery, so making another quilt didn’t feel very earth-shattering since she had already conquered rag quilts herself. ¬†I was also looking for a¬†project that would stand the test of time. Continue reading

Paper piecing time machine

This fall/winter, I haven’t been that great about updating the blog – yikes. But just because my blog¬†has been stagnant doesn’t mean my crafting has. I’ve been doing lots of things behind the scenes, just haven’t taken the time to write about them. Or I can’t, because I’m in Christmas elf mode and everything¬†is a secret!

So hang in there while I jump in my sewing time machine and show you a project I tackled that has a Jack O Lantern on it. Yes, a Jack O Lantern. I told you I was jumping in a time machine, stop judging! ūüėČ

Even though Halloween is over, I want to rewind a little bit and highlight this¬†little experimental project I tackled earlier in the fall.¬†I took my first shot at foundation paper piecing a quilt block! In my quest to follow crafty social media accounts, I’ve found a lot of quilt-y friends who frequently post about paper piecing. Needless to say, their¬†constant paper piecing posts (can you say¬†“paper piecing posts” ten times fast?) piqued my curiosity and I decided¬†to give it a try around Halloween with this pumpkin¬†paper piecing (free PDF pattern available here).


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Sophia’s Quilt

NOTE: I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about where to find/purchase this pattern. The pattern is¬†out of print (I had to purchase my copy from etsy). If you’re in search of this pattern:

– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– – – – –¬†– –

This is a long overdue post to talk about a project that wrapped up a loooooong¬†time ago! Based on my blog posts alone, you may think the mustaches and elephants quilt was my very first rag quilt. But … it wasn’t. My very first rag quilt was completed months and months prior to that when I tackled the now out-of-print Simplicity 4993. I’d had this pattern on my radar for a long time so¬†when I discovered it was recently retired, I jumped on etsy¬†and grabbed¬†a brand new copy.

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Simplicity 4993 Teddy Bear Quilt Continue reading

Inspiration from up north: Jill’s denim quilt

As I write this post, I’m sitting in a sparkling sunroom surrounded by windows on three sides and admiring the majestic greatness of a northern¬†summer. I spent this past weekend in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, visiting my brother Jason and future sister-in-law, Sarah. We spent the weekend celebrating Jason and Sarah’s recent engagement and new house in addition to¬†my dad’s retirement from dentistry. I also visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first time!


Wisconsin as seen via my iPhone — A new “You Are Here” Starbucks mug, the infamous
terrace chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Belgian Red cherry ale.

While I love my “Florida life,” spending¬†time up north during the summer is always special.¬†Everything feels just a little different outside of Florida – the¬†grass is softer, the breezes cooler and the sounds reminiscent of my childhood summers in the Chicago suburbs. And of course, a change of scenery is always inspirational for a creative soul. I first realized this a¬†few years ago when¬†I wrote about some regional differences I noticed when visiting a fabric store in Northern¬†Wisconsin.

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