Kim Diehl, Simple Whatnots, Simple Whatnots Club 11

Smarty Pants Mini Quilt

I think I’ll use this little mini from Simple Whatnots Club 11 as decor on a small table or hang it on the wall of my sewing studio as a little work of art!

This mini quilt is only 10.25″ x 11.25″ and the pieces are just as mini: each square in the colorful 4-patches is 0.5″ finished! Whew! Luckily I didn’t have to sew together each tiny square. I used the amazing Creative Grids Turbo 4-Patch Ruler! You sew strip units together and cut the strips into pieces following the guides on the ruler for the finished unit you want to create. Then you assemble two of those pieces together to create a perfectly accurate 4-patch. It was so fun, I’m trying to figure out what else I can add 4-patches to!

Creative Grids Turbo 4-Patch Ruler

I kept the quilting simple so these little squares could be the star of the show. I used a walking foot on my domestic machine to create the diagonal lines. Conveniently the layout of the squares lended themselves well to this and I was able to follow the corners of the blocks to precisely create my lines.

Finished Size: 10.25" x 11.25"
Pattern: Smarty Pants from Simple Whatnots Collection 11 by Kim Diehl
Fabric: Right As Rain by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass
Kim Diehl, Simple Whatnots, Simple Whatnots Club 11

Keeping Room Wall Hanging

The third Simple Whatnots Club 11 project I completed is Keeping Room. Quite a bit larger at 35″ square, it definitely took longer to make. The pattern called for a more controlled color palette limited to the reds, greens, and golds in Kim Diehl’s Right As Rain fabric line. It was nice to try something different colorwise and with the unique blocks and border.

The cross-like shapes were fun to make. They were actually supposed to all be the same design, but I inadvertently changed the pattern of the light green/red blocks and didn’t see the difference until it was all assembled! Oh well — they remind me of ribbon wrapped around a gift!

The border was very intriguing to me. It makes a nice frame around the piece and I love the alternating colors. In general, my block sizes are usually very close to the sizes given in the instructions, but I know they can be 1/4″ off. So, I was a bit wary about attaching the border and whether it was going to fit on perfectly. A solid strip of border is a bit easier to adjust the size if needed without being noticable!

Surprisingly it magically matched up pretty good. I say “pretty good” because I did have to ease it in a little. And because of that easing, the center of the quilt ended up a bit “baggy”… I had spent so much time on it already that I didn’t want to take it apart and try to get it to fit better, so I thought, “I’ll just quilt it to death and maybe it won’t be noticable!” Hence, I progressively added elaborate arcs and dense fillers until it pounded down any loose fabric and made it look like an intentional medallion design. 🙂 (Shh! That’s my secret!) I’m actually very happy with it! The fact that it came out square and hangs on the wall straight (not wavy) gives me a bit of confidence about my long-arming skills!

Finished Size: 35.5" x 35.5"
Pattern: Keeping Room from Simple Whatnots Collection 11 by Kim Diehl
Fabric: Right As Rain by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass
Kim Diehl, Simple Whatnots, Simple Whatnots Club 11

Hayride Mini Quilt

When Simple Whatnots Club 11 started in January, I vowed to keep up with the monthly projects as best I could. We’re in the fifth month and I’m posting my second finish now, but I do have two more that are almost ready to share! 🙂 I’d say I’m doing pretty good — especially since I’m balancing this with some other block of the month programs I’m working on.

Hayride was fun to make! I like the scrappy spinning star shapes and the secondary pinwheel design you can see if you concentrate on the brown pieces. It is the perfect size for a table topper at 16″ square.

Since I had a few small projects ready to quilt at once, I put them on the longarm together! I could have used my domestic machine for such a small piece, but it definitely saved time to not have to baste the layers together and just throw it on the batting and backing I had already set up.

I traced around the star shapes and then added an extra outline to the white background squares to create some additional texture.

Finished Size: 16" x 16"
Pattern: Hayride from Simple Whatnots Club 11 by Kim Diehl
Fabric: Right As Rain by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass
Lori Holt

Flea Market Flowers Cross Stitch

A Flea Market Flowers finish just in time for Spring! I’ve been working on this cross stitch off-and-on for a year and decided to focus on it this past month to get it done. It turned out bigger than I thought it would (11.5″ x 13″), but it’ll be a nice-sized piece to hang on my wall! I love the bright colors and variety of flowers. I used the called-for DMC colors that came in the Flea Market Flowers DMC Thread Pack from Fat Quarter Shop.

I framed it with the Craig Frames 16 x 16 Inch Rustic Copper Picture Frame on Amazon. I chose the copper color to go with the border around the flowers. It gives it just the look I was hoping for!

My approach with this one was to stitch out all of the brown borders first and then fill in the flowers. This was to make sure I didn’t get off a stitch before I put too much work into the flowers and would need to rip them out. It worked really well! No mistakes!

I love working with Lugana cross stitch fabric. So far 25-count is my favorite — small enough holes that give the look I like, but not too small to see when I’m stitching.

Finished Size: 11.5" x 13"
Pattern: Flea Market Flowers by Lori Holt
Fabric: Barley 25 Count Lugana by Lori Holt, stitched over 2 with called for DMC
Edyta Sitar, Pillow Talk

Lone Star Pillow

This pillow came as a special request from my mom who said she could use a pillow for her living room chair. I had her look through the Pillow Talk book by Edyta Sitar which I had been wanting to make something out of but hadn’t yet, and she picked out the Lone Star pillow.

It was my first time making an 8-pointed star and it wasn’t a simple one. 🙂 It was interestingly pieced together from wedges cut from a strip set. These wedges were then combined using y-seams. Luckily I had recently learned how to sew y-seams, so it was a little less intimidating, however, that didn’t mean it was easy! I had to rip it apart multiple times before I got it right. Even then, I had some ill-fitting fabric in the corners that I was just hoping I could add some quilting to disguise.

I put this pillow cover on my longarm with a few other small projects I’ve been working on. I started by analyzing what part of the star I wanted to emphasize and did dense quilting in the rest to push it down. I played around with a couple different designs to add variety. For the border, I tried out to a rectangular pattern to keep it simple and clean, yet give it some texture. I really had fun with the quilting on this one!

I can’t wait to make more pillows from the book!

Finished Size: 18.5" x 18.5"
Pattern: Lone Star Pillow from Pillow Talk book by Edyta Sitar
Fabric: Laundry Basket Favorites by Edyta Sitar for Andover Fabrics
Anka's Treasures

Mr. Frosty Wall Hanging

How cute is Mr. Frosty! This pattern and fabric are designed by Heather Peterson of Anka’s Treasures whom I had the pleasure to meet in August 2021 at her presentation for my quilt guild. After seeing her trunk show of quilts, I purchased this kit (and some other patterns) at the meeting.

I love this classic snowman with some quilt blocks thrown in to look like snowflakes.

The original pattern was designed as a table runner, with the two snowmen placed opposite each other, head to head. As I pieced them together I decided they really need to be featured on a wall where I can easily see them, so I modified them and added a top border to each so they could be separate wall hangings.

Finished Size: 20.5" x 29"
Pattern: Mr. Frosty from Trendy Tables 3 book by Anka's Treasures
Fabric: Snowed In by Heather Peterson of Anka's Treasures for Riley Blake
Fat Quarter Shop, Sew Sampler Box

Fast and Flurrious Table Runner and Wall Hanging

The colors and patterns of this Cider fabric are something I wouldn’t have immediately chosen, but I grew to love them as I worked on this project. The fabric and table runner pattern came in a Sew Sampler box.

This was an easy, relaxing project and it was perfect to bring along to a quilt retreat I attended in September 2021. It’s comprised of two different types of blocks, so it was nice to assembly-line sew these and then lay them out to create the rows.

The table runner pattern was written to be even longer, but I modified it and used the remaining fabric to make a wall hanging.

I cycled through a few quilting designs for each shape and added some simple straight lines to the border.

Finished Size: 18.5" x 58.5" for table runner, 26.5" x 27" for wall hanging
Pattern: Fast and Flurrious exclusive to the Fat Quarter Shop Sew Sampler Box for January 2021
Fabric: Cider by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics
Kim Diehl, Simple Whatnots, Simple Whatnots Club 11

Twist and Turn Mini Quilt

Last year I discovered pattern and fabric designer Kim Diehl who specializes in traditional style, mini quilts and applique. When I tried out one of her patterns, I was hooked! I absolutely love working with tiny pieces! I learned that each year she releases a new line of fabric and a set of mini quilt patterns for her Simple Whatnots Club. The 8-month club is only available through quilt shops and the shops provide the patterns and the coordinating fabric kits. I signed right up when I found it is offered from a local shop near me.

My shop offers a monthly meeting for the members where we receive that month’s pattern and tips and tricks for how to make it. We also share our projects with each other. In the January meeting we received our first pattern: Twist and Turn. For this project I spent about half of the time cutting out all these 1.5″ wide pieces and pairing them up to create a scrappy, but coordinated look. The main blocks went together pretty straightforward being all squares and rectangles.

Once it got time to assemble the blocks together, I had to think through the steps a bit more. This on-point layout with a triangular border was new to me. I had not done anything like it before. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out correctly!

I experimented with some detailed quilting in the border and some additional outlines in the blocks.

I can’t wait for our next meeting to share my work with the group and get the next pattern!

Finished Size: 16.5" x 22"
Pattern: Twist and Turn from Simple Whatnots Collection 11 by Kim Diehl
Fabric: Right As Rain by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass
Anka's Treasures, This & That

Feathered Friends Spring Pillows

After winning the February pattern for the Front Porch Quilt Shop Stash Buster contest last month (check out my previous post here), I got to work on the project in hopes of entering the next contest. With only two participants last month and my free pattern there was nothing to lose! The Feathered Friends – Spring pattern features that cute bird again, but this time sitting on a flower in a basket. I chose summery bright colors this time around.

One of the goals of the contest is to show creativity, so instead of making a wall hanging per the original pattern, I decided to turn it into a pillow. But, my couch needs a pair of pillows… and I didn’t want to make the same exact scene for each! Coincedently that week I had also received Anka’s Treasures Wildflower Sampler pattern which included a flower very similar to the flowers in the bird’s basket. I made two of the flowers for the second pillow and it rounded out my pair of pillows nicely!

I’ve made pillow covers before, but I wanted to try some new techniques this time. I had come across the idea to quilt the pillows, which strangely I had never thought of doing before! Adding the batting and quilting really makes a more firm cover and it turned out great. I also added yellow binding around the pillows courtesy of a technique I saw in the Pillow Talk book by Edyta Sitar. Having never bound my pillows before, I found I really love the look. All my future pillow covers will be quilted and bound!

I had fun trying out new quilting designs! I tried to go for a whimsical look on the background and petal designs.

The results of the February contest are in and I won first place! Besides winning some credit to spend at the quilt shop, I will be getting next month’s pattern for free. Expect to see Feathered Friends – Summer soon. 🙂

Finished Size: 18.5" x 18.5"
Pattern: Feathered Friends - Spring by This & That and Coneflowers from Wildflower Sampler by Anka's Treasures
Stitching with the Housewives

And To All a Good Night Cross Stitch

I’m learning my favorite cross stitch patterns include cute houses and this And To All a Good Night pattern is no different! For over a year I’ve been working on a large cross stitch project with 12 different Christmas houses (it’s going to be my masterpiece when it’s done), but I took a little break from that and worked on this one for a quicker finish. I’m so happy with how it turned out! It’s a little too late to hang it up now, but it will be fun to display next Christmas.

I used all the called-for thread colors from the pattern, however, I used a different fabric. I decided I didn’t want to use the black fabric it called for, so I found this awesome Basalt Splash 25 Count Lugana in gray with white splotches that happen to look like snow! Besides being easier to stitch on than black, it was also a big win because it already has the snow falling. I skipped out on stitching the snowflakes in the sky from the original pattern and I don’t feel like I miss them.

Original pattern

Overall I enjoyed this pattern and will try out more of the Stitching with the Housewives patterns.

I thankfully found the perfect-sized frame to frame it in! The frame I used is the Thin Collage Wall Frame found at Target. The opening is 24″ x 8″, which gives the perfect amount of space around the stitched piece. Next time, though, I’m going to take pictures of my cross stitch works before I put them under glass. I couldn’t take a straight-on picture because there was too much glare!

Finished Size: 20.5" x 5"
Pattern: And To All a Good Night by Stitching with the Housewives
Fabric: Basalt Splash 25 Count Lugana by Zweigart, stitched over 2 with called for DMC