To My Bernina 230 PE

Dear Bernie,

I just want you to know how much happiness you have brought into my life since we have been together. Your suave methods are not lost on me, and I am deeply grateful for your steadfast and hard-working nature. Thank you for your constant smooth tension, which never fails to relieve mine.

I notice that my daughter Grace and you have become close lately, but I hope you will remember that we were friends first, so I have loved you longer.

Sometimes I really push your buttons, but you are always good to me. I look forward to many more happy hours with you.

Happy Anniversary!

Love, Jen
Anniversary selfie

Christmas Gift Idea


I made this oversized hot pad tonight. I started it last year, and paper pieced the star from a pattern at the awesome Wombat Quilts.  A couple of things I wanted to note:

1. I have given quite a few oversized hot pads as Christmas gifts, and they have generally been very well received. I like to give them because I am hard on hot pads, because I love to cook. This means I could probably get a new hot pad every year and not complain. These are the kind of gift I love to give because they are useful and beautiful at the same time.

2. I made the binding on the bias. I typically don’t do bias binding unless I am going around curves, and I usually cut binding 2 1/4” prior to ironing it. I cut this binding the same, and later wished I had cut it 2 1/2, because it was a pretty tight squeeze getting that wrapped around all the layers of batting in that hot pad (I put 3 layers of scrapped 80/20 I had lying around.)

I hope the recipient likes it, but I can’t tell who it is until after Christmas.

Quick Easy Project, Paired with a Long, Arduous, Hard Project

What is this, you might ask? Let’s zoom out about eight months: Patriotic Quilt

Back in February I went to some political breakfast with my dad, where he saw a quilt very similar to this one. Tired of purchasing endless raffle tickets and never getting his own quilt, he asked me to make him one. So I did! I have made 37 quilts, and this is the first queen sized one I have made.  I will admit, there were some boring parts, but I have a great sense of accomplishment now that it is done.
Detail Tag
Instead of the traditional tag on the back, I tagged it along the bottom in free motion quilting. It says, “Over 750 pieces of love for my dad,” because he used to write me letters when I was far away, and instead of newsy gossip I wanted to hear, he would write, “I have this many cows, this many businesses, etc. blah blah blah.” So I wrote an approximation of how many pieces went into this top.
Detail back
I rented a long-arm machine at Let’s Quilt, in St. George, and chose a stars and swirls pantograph. It was pretty challenging, so don’t look too closely for neat, precise stars.
Detail block
Close-up, you can see how it is really just a bunch of flying geese sewn together and set en pointe.
Oval hot pads
After I finished, I wanted something quick and easy to throw together, so I made these hot pads. They are probably my favorite hot pads I have ever made. Thank you, bias binding!
Oval Hot pads2

Quick Project: Camera Strap Cover

I have wanted a camera strap cover for a long time, but I just never got around to making one. I started  a large quilt top from a pattern I got for Christmas and needed something that finished Quick to make me feel good. This probably took less than half an hour, and I love the way it personalizes my camera strap.
strap cover (4)

strap cover (6)

strap cover (8)

Quilted Ball

At Quilt Guild this month we made a quilted ball ornament. They are so pretty, and so easy. All you need are styrofoam balls, dressmaker pins, and scraps. I do recommend getting enough scraps, because I was one square shy of one color, and when I got home to finish, I had to make do with what I had. You can see my mismatch on the top right:

quilted ball

The only step left is to wrap and hot glue or pin a ribbon around the center of the ball to cover the pinned seam. I felt attracted to the balls that used significant changes in the color range, like from a bright or vivid color, to a white, and then another vivid. I also liked a monochromatic one in a tutorial that went from white, to white & red in a midtone, and then a dark red.

The first three tutorials on google were more than sufficient to answer any questions I had.

Crafter without a Cat’s Quilted Ball

Sew We Quilt’s Scrappy Quilted Ball

Make, Quilt Ball Ornament