Behind the Seams

Welcome, Plum and June Blog Hoppers! First things first, I’m Ashley, the voice behind Wasn’t Quilt in a Day: a fourth grade teacher by day and fervent quilter by night.  Most days, it’s way too late at night!  Who am I?  Here are some fun facts: I wore a tie-dye article of clothing almost every day for two years, I’m a certified archery instructor, and I wore red cowgirl boots to my wedding.

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(photo credit: Story Photographers)

 If I’m not quilting, cutting into new fabric, or looking for inspiration, you might find me running or reading a book.  You would most certainly not find me ironing or doing dishes.  Pretty much ever.

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 I’m a displaced southerner, originally from the great state of North Carolina, who lived in Washington, D.C. for three years, before moving even further North to New Jersey: where it is illegal to pump your own gas.  Basically, heaven on earth.

Finally, I’ve been married to the hubs for three years!

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(photo credit: Story Photographers)

Now that we’ve gotten acquainted, (since mom always said not to talk to strangers), let’s talk quilting!

What started six months ago as a space to keep myself motivated, has quickly turned into a creative outlet that I didn’t even realize how much I desperately needed.  Over the years I’ve dabbled in all kinds of crafts: knitting, painting, pottery, stained glass, etc.  Then, once I started “the real world,” crafting went by the wayside, and I’ve felt the void ever since.  Since buying my Bernina this winter, and taking my very first sewing lesson (oh, happy day!), I have been energized by a constant need to create and share my passion for colors and patterns.

My very first quilt block:

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 Of course, I didn’t realize how prophetic my blog title was going to be when I decided on “Wasn’t Quilt in a Day”.  I just thought it was a clever pun.  No, really, there are great quilting blogs with weekly finishes, and I love them, find them inspiring, bow down to them… PSA: You’re not going to find that here!  I love to start new projects, buy too much fabric, and share my mistakes and inspirations.  Occasionally I even throw in a tip: like what to do with old needles or how I made my design wall.  This space is all about my process.  I probably share too much, but I love blogging and meeting new bloggers.  So, what’s my favorite type of project?  ALL OF THEM.  Well, except for flying geese.  We don’t get along.

Here’s the quilt that I started first in this crazy journey… (I promise my photography has gotten better as I’ve made more quilts…)

Love Lives Here

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And some quilt tops I’ve made since then…

Great Granny and Lotta Love

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Ziggy Zag

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Cousin Love (I don’t have a good picture for the finished top!)

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Charming Chevron

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Hey, Honey Honey

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 Yes, I’m constantly in a state of almost finished.

And, drumroll please, my first completely finished quilt

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Straight cheesin’ up there!

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 Brushes off shoulder.  I’m pretty proud, and I know you understand! Since I can’t brag publicly every day, I love the blogging community because you get it.  I love the juxtaposition of the quilt I started first with the quilt I actually finished first.  When I started this journey my mom and grandmothers might have laughed and tried to tell me I needed to start with a simple square quilt… whoops.  It’s true, mothers really are always right!

Now that I’ve started to find my groove and rhythm with designing, creating, and piecing quilt tops, my goal now is to start exploring the world of quilting!  Just this week I finally got a walking foot, (HALLELUJAH!) so it’s all uphill from here!  I can’t wait to start finishing some projects.  After all, I’ve got to get these tops out to my people.

One project I’m super excited to share is one I started after I finally realized that what I created would really be leaving me.  (I kind of lived in delusion that my projects would magically duplicate if I loved them enough!)  While I have been the extremely grateful recipient of a quilt from my grandmother, I didn’t really get the absolute love, thought, and care that went into making one until I started quilting.  I knew it was special, but I just didn’t get it.  Now, I realize that when someone makes a quilt, they sew a little bit of their thoughts, prayers, love, and memories into the stitches.  They dedicate hours thinking of that person, and hoping to show them their love through the comfort of something they created.  I realized that I not only wanted to document my journey here, but that I wanted a “fabric scrapbook” of what I had created for others to remind me of all the love that came from my little sewing desk.  So, to celebrate what I have made and will make, I created the Scraps for Me project.

In lieu of a tutorial, I’ll share this!

Scraps for Me

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 Materials:

  • Scraps from a quilt – gather everything!    (Scraps from the top, backing, and binding)
  • Paper piecing pattern  (I used this FREE star)
  • OR Any quilt block
  • Background fabric (I would suggest a classic that you can buy over the years since your quilt will build as you finish projects)

Directions

  1. Finish a quilt (or in my case, a quilt top)
  2. Using the scraps from only that quilt, create one star or block of your choice that represents the fabric and feel of the quilt
  3. Create a star or block of your choice for each quilt you create
  4. Over and over again
  5. Once you have enough stars or blocks of your choice to form a completed quilt top (20 blocks: 4×5, 48” x 60”; 30 blocks: 5x 6, 60”x72”, etc.) lay out all of your block in a layout you find pleasing – keeping in mind the variety of fabrics!
  6. Piece together the top like the quilt master you are after finishing so many quilts – You are a beast!
  7. Baste, quilt, and bind.
  8. Sit under your quilt and reflect over all the love you have shared through this amazing hobby we all call “quilting”!

Here’s what I’ve created so far, with five other scrap bags waiting to go!

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 So, you got me.  As a newbie quilter, I haven’t finished many blocks.  I haven’t even gotten past step 4 in my own tutorial.  I have made the commitment to get to Step 8 one day, though, and I can’t wait to snuggle under this “scrapbook” of love.  I hope you enjoyed my first contribution to the quilting community – and if you’re inspired by my project, thank you!  I have been so inspired by the blogging community.

Have I mentioned that I’m rather chatty?  If not, I’m sure you caught on! Thanks for stopping by; feel free to click around, hop around, or stay around!  No matter what – I’m looking forward to meeting you through this blog hop!  Thank you to Beth, for hosting this hop, and to all the fellow hoppers for opening up your blog to all of us!  I can’t wait to meet you.

In an effort to finally curb my chattiness, if you’d like to know more, you can check out these posts:

Or you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, or at my local quilt shop.  Free fat quarter bundle to anyone who finds me there!

Be sure to check out the other blogs up this week!

Amy @ 13 Spools
Casey @ The Studiolo
Here is the list of all participating bloggers that I can’t wait to visit!
Friday, June 7
Nancy @ Owen’s Olivia
Amy @ 13 Spools
Casey @ The Studiolo
Friday, June 14
Julie @ Jolie Maxtin
Adrianne @ On The Windy Side
Valerie @ Between Quilts
Friday, June 21
Leigh Anne @ Ella’s Cottage
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym
Friday, June 28
Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling
Friday, July 5
Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher
Friday, July 12
Anne @ PlayCrafts
Friday, July 19
Aylin @ AyliN-Nilya
Kelsey and Amanda @ Everyday Fray
Friday, July 26
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boondocks
Emily @ Sew E.T.
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70 thoughts on “Behind the Seams

  1. That scraps quilt is a brilliant idea to remember and have a little piece of all the quilts you’ve made and loved, and I love your red boots & tie dye!

  2. your scraps for me is such an awesome idea. and looking SO good! my other favorite is probably ziggy zag. don’t worry, you’re not alone on your starts-to-finishes ratio!

  3. Your scraps for me quilt is brilliant! I think it would be fun to hand embroider the blocks with what project you used the fabric for, that way you’ll always be able to remember and it will be a good conversation piece – just a thought.

    Elise

  4. First of all – hee hee hee on the title for this post – that makes me chuckle. Your Chevron quilt top is speaking to me – that light turquoise blue is sooooo gorgeous. I am seeing lots of movement in that quilt – have you quilted it yet? I am curious to see it finished, I am sure it will be fabulous!

  5. So nice to meet you! I love the fabric scrap sampler quilt idea. I’ve been think about making improv slab blocks with my scraps rather than just throwing them in a bag to multiply.

  6. I love that Lone Star block – I’m making one of my own today for a paper piecing bee I’m in. Great job of getting in there and starting to make quilts. I love your projects and can tell by your writing that you are really loving what you do. Keep it up and thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Your post was so entertaining, loved it! And your quilts are beautiful. I love how your first finish looks on that chartreuse chair. Thanks for the little scrap tutorial, what a great idea for memorializing all the things you’ve completed!

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  9. Your charming chevron top is my favorite of the bunch but they are all so fantastic that it’s hard to believe they are your first efforts!! And that wedding dress/cowboy boot pic is pure awesome 🙂

  10. Great blog post! You covered it all and set a very high standard for the rest of us! Love the wedding picture with the red boots! Awesome!

  11. Hi Ashley, It’s nice to get to know you! Thank you for the wonderful “Scraps for Me” idea – I can’t wait to start my own memory quilt!!
    Diane

  12. Love love love your virtual scrapbook idea. I guess I have a similar thought in making my Bits and Pieces quilt 🙂 Can’t wait to see your finishes begin to pile up!

  13. Hi there! I’m coming back to pick up the blogs I missed while we were moving or otherwise indisposed this summer. It’s nice to meet you. Love the red boots. I’ve spent some time where you were as well. As someone from North Carolina, maybe you heard of Woodberry Forest School? That’s where we spent the past five years. It’s about 90 minutes or so from DC.

    I’m a running quilter as well (quilting runner?). Do you follow the #sweatnsew hashtag on Instagram?

    I think that we’re long lost BFFs. No really. There’s the running. And I used to do stained glass. Fellow Bernina owner. Oh, and Molli said so. Really, he did.

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  16. 1a3The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPs#1d82&7;o. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

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