Archive for October, 2010


I did some fabric sorting and organizing recently — And found a bunch of fabric that I’ve got more than I really need.

modern designer quilting cotton fabrics - destash etsy shop

It’s the excess I get from buying yardage, with 1/2 yard or yard minimums. I’m keeping some of each of these fabrics, but putting the extra fat quarters in my shop. Some is already listed, some is coming over the next couple of days as I have time.

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This quilt spent the better part of a month on the design wall waiting for a decision about the border color. I finally decided on a leaf green border, and a soft yellow for the background. Both kona solids, to compliment the solids in the blocks.

quilt progress photo - improv quilt solid pastel colors and fussy cut trees

As you can see, it’s bordered, sandwiched, basted and well on it’s way to being finished. The quilting is bands of organic lines in the white sashing, and a square around each of the fussy-cuts.

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My Leaders & Enders tablerunner is all quilted, washed and rumply.


simple modern patchwork table runner - light green and white


And, for sale in my shop



spring green and white quilted tablerunner

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I’m thinking of a new project, and I’d like your input.

Some background: I have a file full of photos of gorgeous local produce, I’ve played around with quality print-on-demand photobooks , and while I use a planner every day, I tend to make my own.

This year, I’m thinking of having a photo-filled planner printed with my locavore (local food) photo series.  Then I started thinking, you know, this might be a nice gift, and then I started thinking. Hmm, maybe I could put a few in my etsy shop, too.

Here’s a mock up of what a basic 2 page spread could look like (although, I already think I may move the photo) For this layout the book would be approximately 8.5 inches tall, by 5.5 inches wide, with a week on each two-page spread. Photos to reflect the harvest of that time of year (at least, here in New England)  so asparagus in the spring, apples in the fall etc. Probably some pages with larger photos and month or year at a glance calendars. Maybe a harvest calendar and resources for local food movements in the back,  just ’cause I can. Photos and design by me, printed at a local, independent, worker-owned shop with a soft cover  and coil binding (a heavy duty plastic version of the wire spiral binding you had on school note-books) so it lays flat.

handmade weekly planner/calendar with photo series of local food

MockUp of one week's page

I have a tendency to get excited about a new project and run headlong into it, but before I go and design and print a bunch of books, I’d like some feedback (really, honest suggestions and opinions appreciated).

If you use a planner/agenda/datebook, is it this sort of planner, that’s prioritizing design/appearance/photos, or the  ones that are super-functional with a block for every hour and a plain cover? how do you like it formatted? what size do you prefer? what extras do you like (year at a glance? month at a glance? pages for ____?) What would you change about the mock-up? Vegetables – am I the only one that wants to look at these?  And, about how much would you pay for a planner like that?

Any and all answers appreciated. Leave a comment here, or send me an email if you prefer at pioneervalleygirl [at] gmail [doc] com.

I’ll save the names of everyone who responds by 10/31/10 (you don’t have to answer all those questions – just give me your opinion) and will pull one name and send you a copy of the final product.

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My first quilt …

Working on this quilt, got me thinking about where I started.  This is the first quilt I ever made.

If I remember right the only patchwork I’d done before this was a nine-patch pillow. Remember, I said I was  a  crazy ambitious beginner, so I skipped straight from simple, unquilted patchwork pillow to a bed quilt I planned to sleep under. This one is a twin size , and I did keep it simple in some ways, the piecing was a simple block pattern that I could strip piece, in three (meticulously matched) ivy-print fabrics.

It was the quilt on my bed all through high-school (I started sewing in 7th or 8th grade), college and my first apartment. Now it’s pretty worn, delicate and mostly retired, but if I ever were packing to evacuate before some disaster, it’d be coming with me.

So, what about you: What was your first quilt? Is it still in use?

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I [heart] fall

I live in New England, fall is by far it’s best season. The leaves are turning, apple cider donuts are around, the farms stands are full of squash. *love*

So, I spent a sunny weekend picking apples, which I haven’t done for ages, even though there are orchards all around this area.

The abundance is amazing, with this last burst of harvest. So, I brought home an armload of squash, and some of those sugar pumpkins too.

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Square in Square

I’ve been pulling out piles of fabric, thinking about quilt tops I could make. But I don’t have a clear inspiration, so I’m looking through my flickr favorites and delicious bookmarks.

mosaic on modern patchwork quilt photos - square in square patterns

1. WIPs-2, 2. Colored Planet Baby quilt, 3. trenton’s quilt, 4. Rectangles & Gray Lap Quilt, 5. modern munki munki martian quilt, 6. orange and olive quilt top


I think I’ve settled on a square in square pattern, and, thought I’d share some of the  inspiration with all of you.

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A quilt up there

Observant readers (or at least those who are reading this at wordpress, not a feed reader) will notice a new header (or banner, or whatever you call that photo up top)

The threadspools I put up when I started, where fine, a photo I had and liked, with a clean look and lots of white space for the name (you might also have noticed how much I like white space)  and I didn’t think much more about it.

cottage style quilt binding edge photograph

Until I had a really successful photo shoot with this quilt.  I looked at this photo, loved it and thought: ‘you know, that would make a good blog header, and hey, it actually has a quilt, not just thread’.  Something like this:


quilt photo blog header for pioneer valley girl

Imagine, I'd actually added text over there on the right



And, you know, I still like that photo. The composition’s great for a header. But, well, happy as I am with this quilt, it’s not really an accurate representation of most of my style. If I saw that photo, I’d expect something a lot more traditionally pretty, girly, cottage-y than you’re actually going to get here.

So I grabbed one of my favorite quilts off the back of the couch for a new photo shoot, and got a couple of art-y photo’s I liked.

mosaic of modern quilt photos

Mose of which, work terribly for banners. 190 x 760 is an unusual set of dimensions, and clearly not a size I naturally photograph for. Except, folded quilts are one of my favorite things ever, and conveniently oriented for a long, narrow banners.

Success – lots of white, splashes of solid blue-green, my favorite quilt, some open space for text, a quilt photo-header that’s actually representative.

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Blue Ribbon

Finally getting back to some sewing – no particular plan though, just a block.

I started this for a gift that I ended up taking in another direction, but decided to finish the block anyways (I’m trying to work through, instead of adding to, my WIP/UFO pile).  A pillow? a mini? Not sure, but that’s what a 3 day weekend is for.

patchwork quilt block blue ribbon

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There’s something so satisfying about these projects. Just sew a pair of squares together to keep from cutting the threads while you’re doing something else – suddenly you’ve got an apple green patchwork block.


A few of them, and you’ve got a table runner. (Magic!)

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