Binge basketing

I have been making more of my extra-tall version of the noodle-head divided basket (previous versions here, here, and here), all using a large stripe print from Color Me Happy by V & Co.


I made this one for my dear Mum, who earned it (and then some) by taking my boisterous boys for a week when we went on vacation this winter.


I knew she wanted to use this as a general carry-all so I changed the placement of the handles and made them longer. I’d love to have one of these for myself to tote quilts around for photo shoots. A beautiful quilt deserves a beautiful bag, right? It would have to be a couple inches bigger for that purpose I think. And maybe with a laminate bottom to withstand the inevitable weather issues that arise when there’s quilt photography going on.

This one is for Kris, winner of the barn door quilt along giveaway.


And these two are a part of a really fun birthday swap I’m participating in.


For Julie, who blogs at 627 Handworks.


For Nicole, who blogs at Snips Snippets.

Would you guys like to see a tutorial on how I make these? You’d still need the noodle-head pattern (but trust me – you won’t be sorry). Her version is perfect for a diaper station (baby shower gift!), a craft holder for kids, or storing your english paper piecing by the couch. My version was originally designed for scrap storage and would also be a great toy bucket.

Don’t forget to sew along with us tonight if you’re on instagram!


I’m really looking forward to it because it has been a completely unproductive week here, due to my preschooler’s spring “break.” We still have several inches of snow on the ground, so it’s been interesting trying to keep him entertained inside. Tonight will be just what I need to get back into the swing of things. I hope to see you there!


Christmas finishes

A couple of special Christmas present finishes today:


First up, this adorable gnome pillow! The pattern is by Kristy at Quiet Play (maven of all things paper piecing). I actually first spotted it last week when Amanda at What the Bobbin? posted a test block she’d done for Kristy. I told Amanda I was in the market for just such a pattern and the next thing I knew Kristy sent it to me! Quilt friends! Gotta love ’em.

The gnome pattern isn’t available yet but you can find many other adorable paper-piecing patterns in her shop.

I used this great Anna Maria Horner print on the back.


A couple of little procedural tidbits you might find useful:

  • I implemented a couple of straight-line quilting tips Rachel at Stitched in Color posted last week:
    • start by quilting a loose grid and then gradually fill it in 
    • increase the stitch length to 3-4

She had other fantastic tips but those are the 2 that were new to me and that I specifically tested on this pillow. Now, obviously, a pillow is rather easier to quilt than a large quilt. But nonetheless I think my quilting results were improved and I’ll definitely be trying these tips again on a larger quilt soon.

  • I’ve been using 2 1/4 inch binding (rather than 2 1/2) when I do small projects like this and I think it’s rather nicer. It’s a small difference but I like it.
  • Purely hypothetically, a “friend” told me that if she (hypothetically) bled on this pillow it came out with a little scrub by a cold, damp cloth sprayed with Shout spray n’ wash. Purely hypothetically because I of course would never bleed on one of my projects. Ahem.

It should come as a surprise to no one that I also made another Noodle-head divided basket. I know. I love these!


I switched it up a little this time by using different fabrics for the front panel and pocket (last time they were constructed from the same fabric) and by using different fabrics on either side of the divider. You can see my previous version here.


I used mostly Anna Maria Horner fabrics because the recipient is a bit of a fan.

Once again, I lined the pocket.


I don’t know why I get so much joy out of that little detail.

I won’t be spending much time on the computer for the next couple of weeks, as I’m sure you guys won’t be either. I hope you have a very blessed holiday season and I can’t wait to sew with you again next year! In particular, I am very excited for you guys to quilt-a-long with me!

Here’s a recap of the schedule:

  • November /December – fabric requirements & selection
  • January 6 – cutting
  • January 13 – assembling the HSTs and hourglass unit
  • January 20 – assembling the strips
  • January 27 – piecing the X
  • February 3 – adding the top and bottom borders
  • February 10 – quilting & finishing
  • February 24 – final link party celebration (with at least one giveaway, possibly more!)

See you next year!

(Linking up with Crazy Mom and, appropriately, Kristy at Quiet Play for her Paper Piecing Party).

A lucky gal


Mr. Random spit out the number 41, and she’s one lucky Gail:

on December 9, 2013 at 10:25 am 

I started a Noodlehead divided basket and messed it up, so I ended up using the fabric for other crafts. I need to try again!

Yay for you Gail! I think the universe definitely wants you to try this basket again.

I’ve sent Gail an email and will get the basket off to her right away. Thanks so much for all the entries (422)! This has been so fun that I’m sure I’ll be doing another giveaway soon, maybe as part of the Barn door quilt-a-long in January/February.

Sew mama sew giveaway!

Giveaway is closed! There’ll be another soon. 🙂

Yay! I’ve been so excited for this day to come and now here we are.


Sew Mama Sew is hosting a HUGE giveaway party this week! I decided to make a Noodle-head divided basket because there are so many ways to use it, especially in a sewing space. In the new year I plan to make a whole set of them for myself for scrap sorting and storage. You can read more about my experience sewing this basket here.



Hey look! I even lined the pocket for you.


And because quilters always want to make the most of it when we’re paying postage anyway, I’ll definitely include some favorite fabric scraps. Maybe I’ll even include an extra (PAID) copy of the pattern if the winner doesn’t already have it.

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me whether you’ve ever made a Noodle-head divided basket or other fabric basket. As always, followers (old and new) get an extra entry. Just leave an extra comment indicating how you follow. (And yes, the giveaway is open internationally.)

Be sure to click over to Sew Mama Sew to find more great giveaways! This giveaway (and all the others) close on December 13 at 5 pm. Good luck!

Finish: Noodle-head divided basket for YOU

Such a fun finish today!


I have long admired the Noodle-head divided basket. When I heard about the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

I blocked off pretty much this whole week to work on it but that turned out to be completely unnecessary! I finished it in one day – maybe 5 hours of sewing time from cutting out the pattern pieces to taking the final stitch. Some of you who are more experienced at this type of project are probably laughing at me because perhaps that took longer than it should have! I’ve got big plans to make many, many more of these so I’m sure I’ll have a chance to speed it up a bit.

This basket is big! I think it’s about 10 inches tall and 14 wide. It fits nicely on the Ikea Expedit shelves so many of us have!


I included all the optional steps (lined pockets!) because that’s how much I love you guys.


Come back on Monday for a chance to win this basket along with a few goodies I’m sure I won’t be able to resist tucking inside.


Linking with Crazy Mom!

WIP wednesday: dreaming of next Christmas

So many fabulous Christmas projects around the interwebs lately! I’m terribly jealous because I pretty much only have time to pin to my Pinterest page and dream of next year. I’ve decided that I’m going to completely block off November and December next year for holiday sewing!

Here’s what I’m working on instead:

  • I’m sewing the binding down on my penny sampler. How exciting is that?? As soon as that’s done I’ll be on the lookout for the first available moment for some decent photos. DSC07082
  • I’ve been setting up my new sewing room, and getting used to sewing in it. I’ll be sharing much more about that when it’s in a more presentable state. This week I’m painting the walls and soon I’ll be making curtains out of this voile I finally found an excuse to buy. I would seriously buy that fabric in every color of the rainbow if it was regular quilting cotton.DSC07058
  • I’m hand quilting a great big quilt that will be a Christmas present. I’ll share it with you after it’s gifted. (No picture allowed!)
  • But I’m the most excited about the present I am making for YOU!


How bout that? I’m participating in Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day next Monday. I’ll be giving away a Noodle-head divided basket. Here’s a sneak peak:DSC07078

Ok, so technically no longer a WIP. This went together much faster than I expected. I’m usually pretty shy about 3-dimensional objects but I was determined to conquer this pattern because it’s such a cute & useful item. I’d love to have a whole bunch of them to organize my scraps. It also seems like a great go-to pattern for baby shower gifts (you know- when there’s just not time for a quilt).

In case you missed it, I’ve posted the fabric requirements for the barn door quilt-a-long. But DON’T PANIC. We won’t be starting until after the holidays! I took advantage of the Fat Quarter Shop black Friday sale and ordered the fabric for mine. I’ll share that as soon as it arrives. That is going to be some happy mail!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and NTT!