Sewing Room Fun and a Giveaway!!

So my Three Little Cowgirls all share a room (its not cramped its lovely actually) and that meant I could FINALLY have my own sewing space. I started off in the dining room but eventually moved into the livingroom. It was getting cramped because I of course like other quilters started to develop a stash. My husband decided the girls had to share a room YAY Me! I’ve been in there a few months and have finally started to decorate a bit and make it seem more homey and sewing room like. I wanted to show some of the decorating ive been doing, also disregard the toys on the floor…try as I might my children will not stay out of my sewing room LOL

First up I was in desperate need of a bulletin board, I was using Washi tape to hold up some ideas i was having. Its pretty but eventually it just got too messy for my taste. FYI the washi tape I linked you too is for Amazon but I actually bought mine at The Family Dollar in my town for $2! So if your interested in a craft with Washi Tape I suggest checking out your local Dollar store ;).

Ok, Ok enough of that here’s the picture
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I recently bought like 2 yards of purple fabric from the Missouri Star Quilt Company (love,love,love them! They have great videos and the fabric is great!) I forgot WHY i had bought it so I decided to use it on my bulletin board!! I don’t exactly have a link for you to use on HOW I did it because I went on Pinterest and found several tutorials I liked and pretty much incorporated all of them into one. I basically just wrapped my fabric around and mitered the corners and hot glued and nail gunned it all down. I wanted to be even craftier and decided to hot glue buttons onto the thumbtacks I bought. I guess I was trying to really make you believe it was a sewing room lol

I bought these on Etsy from someone who was closing down shop. She was selling bags full of just random buttons for like $3 so I bought a few bags.
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Next up my design wall! I actually have a really big empty wall but my husband has yet to help me build what I want built so I improvised until he has time. My youngest was born in July so I bought these cheap table clothes for her birthday party. I didn’t need them anymore but I saved them because I heard you could use the back to put your quilt blocks on. I decided to hang one up and it works PERFECT! The flannel or whatever is on the back of it holds up those blocks and Ive never had one fall down πŸ™‚

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I like to make practice blocks to make sure I can do them so when im done I just throw them up there AND it adds to my sewing decor! See boom two in one uses!

Next up is my little shelf, it was left over from our other house and it had no home. I decided to hang it up and put glass jars underneath it. ingenious right?! Wish I could take credit for that but alas I found it on the ever so helpful Pinterest!

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I had a pretty decanter that my husbands grandmother gave me (thanks Amaw!) just lying around so I put it up there along with my lovely Aurifil thread and Connecting threads πŸ™‚ I felt like it was lacking something so I bought those paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby and my first ever bottle of Modge Podge and the fabric, well I had that lying around and thought hey the colors would look great on my wall! πŸ™‚ It came out lovely I just love it.

Now this some of y’all will not understand but if you LOVE The Lord of The Rings Trilogy then I know you can appreciate this! My sister painted this for me for our Birthday(yes our birthday we are twins, and no we don’t look anything alike) I wanted to put it up in the living room but I just thought it would look cooler in here and show a bit of my geeky side. Oh and that little canvas I drew the harry Potter Deathly Hallows sign onto it…if you haven’t guessed yet that I am very geeky πŸ™‚ (brownie points if you noticed my weeping angels in my bulletin board picture….)

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It’s still a work in progress and im sure the more I add to it, it will feel even more like a sewingroom.:) I do want to know what y’all think of this idea I had…I want to do patchwork curtains for the room, how awesome would that be? Maybe a little something like this http://beachvintage.blogspot.com/2012/02/project-day-studio-curtain.html yay or nay?

Oh I want to show a picture of my oldest cowgirl Ava πŸ™‚ She just completed her first quilt! We went small and made one for her rainbow dash doll she has.
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She picked out all the fabric scraps and sewed/quilted it all herself! She’s getting a sewing machine for her birthday, boy will she be excited!!

Ok lets get to the Giveaway πŸ™‚ I made this table topper as a test one and as I don’t like to sell my test quilts because lets face it, it has mistakes. I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway!

This is the top, I made it from one Charm pack and some left over fabric I had from another project.
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Here’s the back, now im not normally a fan of white backs but just look how cool the quilting looks! I just love it and im jealous one of you guys gets to have it!!

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Ok now for the ways you can enter πŸ™‚ I would love to hear what new crafty thing you have recently learned to do! It can be anything, sewing, quilting, maybe you built an ark. I don’t care just as long as you leave a comment here or on my Facebook post about this blog post πŸ™‚ You can even tag me in a picture on Instagram for extra points. Use the Hashtag #threelittlecowgirls and make sure you link me on your instagram post which of course is Threelittlecowgirls.The end date for this is Sunday March 16th. Don’t forget to like my facebook page and Instagram profile, I love new followers! FYI if you have a private IG I wont be able to see your picture. Ill let the winner know the day after closing so keep an eye out. I cant wait to hear about your new crafts thanks for reading!

Happy Quilting,
Catherine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hi all! Valentine’s day is in a few days and for some reason I’m feeling like actually decorating my house….maybe because I have children who would think it was cool or I’m just feeling the love this year πŸ˜‰
I also decided to join a Valentine’s homemade swap this year and I’m stoked! I’ve only been in one other swap and to be honest it wasn’t that fun. I decided to make Valentine mugrugs for my recipients and I’m excited to show y’all a tutorial on how I made them!

I decided to do a simple heart block,I was going to do five different hearts but I just couldn’t find any I really liked so I just stuck with the one I knew how to make.

I guess I should explain what a mugrug is because I’ve noticed in a few quilt groups I’m in that some people are confused as to what a mugrug is. It’s actually a coaster but it’s classier then a regular ol coaster because we quilt it up and use pretty blocks or applique. Some people use heat resistant batting and some use jeans but me I use plain ol scraps of batting I’ve got lying around. Now if I were to make say a big one for my tea pot I would probably use heat resistant batting but I feel like if you’re making one for your tea cup,coffee cup or even just a glass of water you really don’t need the heat resistant. Ok lets get to the actual tutorial, i know yall are dying to see it! πŸ˜‰

Things you will need (this is for ONE MugRug)

1/2 yard dark colored fabric
1/2 yard light colored fabric
either a dark or light backing fabric
batting
Binding-I used the dark color for the binding but you can use whatever you want or have on hand πŸ˜‰
Thread- I used Aurifil 50WT Cotton in the color 2310 Lt.Beige(fyi in the pictures I used a dark blue sew yall could see the stitches but the others I used the light beige)
Rotary Cutter
Rulers-I used my big 24in acrylic ruler and my 6x6in square ruler
Sewing machine or hey you could even sew/quilt it by hand!

First things first if you haven’t squared up your fabric by now I suggest doing that first.
Then cut out 2-4 1/2in squares from each fat quarter. Take one dark color and one light color and put them pretty sides together
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Sew them together with a 1/4in seam all around.
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Now cut it corner to corner making an X, I don’t like moving my pieces because i find that messes up my cutting but if you happen to be a lucky soul who has a small rotating mate then by golly bust it out! Ill just sit over here jealous of your coolness.

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Next up lets set those seams and iron them to the darkside and if you’re a geek like me then lets imagine Darth Vader sitting at an ironing board ironing his seams to the darkside…

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Time to use that 6in square ruler to square up our little squares! You could just cut the little dog ears off but im still not perfect in my sewing so I often have different sized squares even though I did it how it was supposed to be done. I squared mine up to 2 7/8in squares, that just barely shaved some off the sides and enough to take the dog ears off.

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See how my little square isn’t exactly square? That happens to me a bit lol
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You only need 2 of those HST (half square triangles) So go ahead and save those other two for another heart!
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Now go ahead and cut 2-2 7/8in squares from the dark fabric(maybe cut two more and then you can make yourself another heart)
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Sorry I don’t have a picture of me cutting out the squares I kind of forgot to take one. Now as you can see when you put them up top its not a heart yet but just wait!
Now what I did was I had cut out a bunch of 2 1/2in squares from the light fabric because I wanted to have them ready for another project, anyway i grabbed two of them and cut out 4-1 1/2in squares.

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I then drew a line from corner to corner or you can even iron them so you can have a crease, that’s especially helpful if you have a dark fabric and you don’t have a pen or chalk that will show up on the fabric.

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Now sew on that line.

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Now this is important so lean in close..ok IRON that first seam, set it then iron it back. If you don’t and leave it just like that and sew the other block over it you will end up with a funky looking heart. Trust me I forgot that step on one block and it came out so wonky I wanted to cry(not really but maybe).

See how that left block lays lovely over that right block? That’s because when I sewed it on the other one was already right side up. Now go ahead and sew on the other two blocks on your other square.
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Boom here it is! Oh and don’t for get to cut that extra fabric off on those top squares. Just fold them back and cut a little ways from the seam, you don’t want any extra bulk going on back there when you start quilting.
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Ok the way its set out I want you to sew sides together and then top and bottom together and you will end up with this
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Make sure you trim off any dog ears or thread that may be sticking out. It should end up to be a 5in square when its all said and done πŸ™‚
Next you will want to cut out 2in borders in the light color. I like to sew on my top and bottom borders first but you can do the sides first its your block do what you want!

I like to cut mine a little bigger then the block in case I mess up I can just easily square it up. I made these a little longer then 5in so probably about 6 1/2 inches. I then took my ruler and made it square.
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The sides obviously have to be bigger and I cut mine out to be 2inx10in to some that may be over kill but to me it gives me piece of mind.

sew them on!
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Here you go a lovely Heart.
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Now I used a bright pink for the back because it just felt right but you could always use the darker fabric for the back to give it a nice contrast or even the light fabric. I know I didn’t show the steps to this but I cut out my backing to about 9×9 because the finished square ended up being 7 1/2in. If you don’t feel comfortable with that cut it a little bigger! I then cut out my batting to almost the same size and threw my block on there..well not really threw it but you get the gist ;). Then I pinned it down so that I could start quilting it YAY!

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I decided to outline the heart because I love what echoing does to a quilt especially if you really want to draw attention to a certain block. Of course this is only my 3rd time echoing so its a little off but whatever in the end it’ll look nifty I swear!
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Here it is a quilted! This probably took me about 20ish minutes because I have three kids and they kept wanting me to help them build a fort.
I cut off the edges and squared it up so that I could add the binding.
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Cut out 2in strips for the binding, I used the pink because I just thought it would look cool lol I then attached the binding with my sewing machine and hand sewed it down to the other side using the light beige thread.

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Here’s the back and of course I added my label because you should ALWAYS label anything you make especially quilts!

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Here’s a close ups of the quilting which I think came out super cool. Look how puffy that heart looks, it just really brings it out and makes it look lovely.

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Now since I needed to make five of these I decided to make some different colors and I even mixed up the fabric a bit. For the other four I just did some free motion quilting(FMQ) and even that looked cool. This picture shows them all but I hadn’t put the binding on the others yet and I forgot to take a picture for y’all before I sent them off.

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I hope y’all enjoyed my first in depth tutorial, I enjoy making these hearts and I plan to make more for some special ladies in my life πŸ™‚ Now go out and make some mugrugs and give one to a special someone in your life!

Happy Quilting and Happy Valentines Day!
Catherine

Why Are Quilts So Expensive?

I remember when I started quilting I often wondered why I would see these $300,$500 even $1,000 dollar quilts for sale on ebay or etsy. How could something cost so much? I found out real quick why they were priced high.
Fabric for one thing! All fabric is NOT created equal. Don’t get me wrong ill buy the occasional walmart fabric here and there but I refuse to use it in any quilt that ill be selling.

The first time I went to the Quilt Cottage I was amazed by all the beautiful fabric(if you live or go to Corpus Christi, Texas I suggest this quilt shop, it smells like home and the fabric is awesome and so is the rewards program!). Then I started touching the fabric and well let me tell you it was like heaven. Just the softest fabric ive felt in my life…then i looked at the price..$10.00 A YARD!! Precuts were even more expensive, charm packs arn’t so bad its the layer cakes and fat quarter stacks that really surprised me.

I went ahead and bought my first layer cake and some fat quarters they had on sale. Since then I have never turned back, of course now I check online first as you can get that $10 a yard fabric for $5 a yard online. Of course when I make my monthly trip to CC I make sure to go and support the brick and mortar store because hey those stores are starting to be a dying breed!! (always support your local store!)

Just trust me on this ok? Go to Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, or Walmart and touch their fabric then go to a local quilt shop and feel theirs…you will notice a difference. Its rough and hard but the good stuff is soft and wonderful!

Now lets talk about thread..thread you ask? Well when you make these beautiful quilts you want something that will hold up for years don’t you? So far i’ve found that Aurifil and Connecting Threads has been the winner in my house. Aurifil is pricey but sooooo worth it trust me! Obviously some machines don’t like certain thread but almost everyone i’ve talked to loves Aurifil. When I started quilting I had no idea what all the fuss was about this thread. I thought my walmart cheap thread was ok…boy was I wrong!!

That cheap stuff will cause sooo much lint in your machine its ridiculous! On a whim I bought the grey Aurifil and never EVER looked back. The lint cut down was amazing, I didn’t have to clean my machine as much(I was doing it daily it seemed like!) It’s about $12 for a spool but it’s got about 3500 yards on each spool which lasts me a long time. I decided to try Connecting Thread’s awhile back because they are a bit cheaper and the quilting group I am in a ton of ladies suggested it. I am so happy with that thread as well, my machines love it and the lint isn’t too bad either πŸ™‚

Batting is another expense. What kind do you want? How heavy do you want it? How big of a quilt are you making? Now i’ve yet to try bamboo or wool batting but I have tried a number of polyester blends. Currently I use Mountain Mist because my local store was trying to get rid of a huge box of them(got twins,kings and queens for $2.50 each!) I actually really like it. It quilts up really well and its very light weight. In South Texas you want light weight when you have 100+ temps in the summer. I have also tried Warm and Natural on smaller projects like baby blankets and mug rugs. I really loved it and it quilts up nicely.

Now lets talk about time…so far we have the cost of fabric, thread, batting and now we need to talk about HOW LONG it takes to make such beautiful works of art. Piecing a quilt(meaning you put all the little squares and triangles together to make a pattern) takes some time especially if you want some crazy,awesome, complicated quilt. For me piecing even the simplest of tops takes at least 12 hours…that’s a long time. After it’s been pieced then it has to be basted(meaning top,batting, and backing) Now I pin mine which depending on size(lets go with a twin size quilt) that takes me about 2hrs. Finally comes the quilting so far we have 14 combined hours…quilting takes even longer. Straight line quilting and stitching in the ditch (you stitch basically all the seams or ditches) probably doesn’t take AS LONG but that’s still another 10-20hrs….but what if they want Free Motion Quilting done(basically all the cool shapes you see now a days like stars, meandering squiggle looking lines etc) that could take even longer. I’ve known women who have spent 50+hrs on a quilt just quilting it!!

Would you like an example of what a quilt from me would cost? Here goes..recently I quilted a twin size quilt. It had beautiful batik fabric and gray fabric on it. Batik is expensive because of how they make that certain fabric. I spent about $100 on that fabric and the gray fabric. Now we add in the thread I used a whole spool so $12 bucks for that, the batting was $2.50(remember i got it on sale yay!) it took me 2hrs to pin it and 20hrs to quilt it. All in all its $350 for a twin size quilt and that’s a bit on the cheap side because i am still sooo new to this. I know some ladies who wont even give prices anymore because people are so surprised they would charge so much!! they tell them listen how about you come with me to the quilt shop and I will show you exactly what to buy and you buy the materials…by the end of it those people understand WHY we charge what we charge. If you want done something done right and it look beautiful then its going to cost.

I always know when someone isn’t serious about buying one of my quilts, because after I give them a quote they never return my messages and quit asking me about making them one lol. I appreciate the people out there who understand what it means to get a homemade quilt, how much work and love go into it. It’s hard but I love it, I love making quilts and even if people stop buying them from me I will continue to make them and pass them onto my children(they may end up with hundreds of quilts but that’s ok at least they will be warm huh?)

I hope I kind of helped you understand why they are so expensive and maybe you learned to appreciate a quilt someone gave you just a bit more! πŸ™‚

Happy Quilting!
Catherine

A spicy quilt for a spicy aunt

Hello all! Well today I finally finished my Aunts Quilt, she’s currently in the OKC hospital where she had a double lung transplant and i wanted to make her something to cheer her up! πŸ™‚

She’s got a feisty personality so I wanted to add some fabric to the quilt that reflected her and the Robert Kaufman Salsa fabric was the perfect one!

I saw a pattern on Pinterest and loved it but decided to kind of just wing it lol Normally I don’t do well with my own designs but I think I did pretty good for my first time πŸ˜‰

I loved the diamond look and i loved adding in the fun salsa print
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Also this was my first time to try out Free Motion Quilting on a quilt i was giving away, it could use work but hey their are no quilt police so im pretty proud of it πŸ˜€
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Finished product! Why yes that’s my investigator kitty Aunt Brittany (a story for another time i think)
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I also wanted to add a note πŸ™‚ Lots of quilters have told me to always document your quilts πŸ™‚
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I did a simple stitch in the ditch with this one, i wanted to get it out to my aunt as fast as I could because hello hospitals are so dang cold! Anyway I hope y’all like this quilt as much as I do and I can’t wait to hear what my aunt thinks!

Happy Quilting!
Cat

New baby quilt!

So the last post I showed y’all some fabric I got and well this past week I got around to making it into a cute little baby quilt! It took me a week but only because I had some major work on my teeth this past Monday, it was no Bueno! Anyway this was a fun, fast, easy quilt to make. It consisted of 6 finished blocks. I didn’t follow the pattern exactly and I’m glad I didn’t because I like how mine came out.
That reminds me when you quilt don’t follow it exactly its like cooking I never follow a recipe 100%, sure I follow the basic concept but I like to add my own “spices” to the recipe.Β  Mix up the colors, maybe move the blocks a different way whatever just make it your own and you will love the finished product!

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See the back? I added a random star Ive really been loving the backs of quits like this I think it looks neat and adds character to the back. I think next tie I’ll stick with a solid fabric for the star so people can see it but for now I am very happy with this.
It wasn’t easy putting that star back there and if I’m honest it took me like 2 hours to get it just right lol but hey I’m still new at this so I’m thinking I did on on my first try.

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Here is one more picture just to show how I did the quilting. I went ahead and just kept it simple with straight lines and I really love how it came out.
I hope y’all like this quilt as much as I do and thanks for reading!

Happy Saturday!

I went to my local quilt shop today and when I say local I mean the only one near me which equals 2hrs away. I went in for thread and walked out with 12 fat quarters,thread,a snazzy new pen and a primitive quilts magazine lol

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Word on the street is this Aurifil thread is supposed to blend in with any color…I’m skeptical but I’ll give it a shot πŸ˜‰ if you’ve never tried Aurifil I suggest you pick some up it beats coats and clarks by a mile! Now on to my snazzy pen I’ve been hearing about these but never got a chance to buy one until today. Its aΒ  Frixtion pen you use heat to remove it from fabric,I tried it on white fabric and it worked really well!Β 

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I got these pretty fat quarters as well (I have two pink elephant ones that failed to make it in the picture for some reason) I haven’t decided just yet how I’ll use these but I can tell it’ll make a quite boy quilt!

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I’ve been working on these awesome batik squares this past week, the gray is from Robert Kaufman’s quilters linen collection and the batik is also Robert kaufman. I need to make 56 of these! I can’t wait to put this quilt together its going to be gorgeous πŸ™‚Β 

Sorry for the crappy pics I don’t have a proper camera yet I had to improvise with my tablet :\Β 
Thanks for reading I’m hoping to post more I’ve just been so busy with making quilts and keeping up with my little ones!

May your bobbin never run out of thread and you never have birds nests in the back of your quilts! (Cheesy but I’m thinking its a cute way to end stuff)
Happy Quilting!

Happy Saturday!

I went to my local quilt shop today and when I say local I mean the only one near me which equals 2hrs away. I went in for thread and walked out with 12 fat quarters,thread,a snazzy new pen and a primitive quilts magazine lol

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Word on the street is this Aurifil thread is supposed to blend in with any color…I’m skeptical but I’ll give it a shot πŸ˜‰ if you’ve never tried Aurifil I suggest you pick some up it beats coats and clarks by a mile! Now on to my snazzy pen I’ve been hearing about these but never got a chance to buy one until today. Its aΒ  Frixtion pen you use heat to remove it from fabric,I tried it on white fabric and it worked really well!Β 

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I got these pretty fat quarters as well (I have two pink elephant ones that failed to make it in the picture for some reason) I haven’t decided just yet how I’ll use these but I can tell it’ll make a quite boy quilt!

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I’ve been working on these awesome batik squares this past week, the gray is from Robert Kaufman’s quilters linen collection and the batik is also Robert kaufman. I need to make 56 of these! I can’t wait to put this quilt together its going to be gorgeous πŸ™‚Β 

Sorry for the crappy pics I don’t have a proper camera yet I had to improvise with my tablet :\Β 
Thanks for reading I’m hoping to post more I’ve just been so busy with making quilts and keeping up with my little ones!

May your bobbin never run out of thread and you never have birds nests in the back of your quilts! (Cheesy but I’m thinking its a cute way to end stuff)
Happy Quilting!