My Favorite Ruff

Hello Dear Friend,

Dropping in a little early this week because I have some exciting news to share.

Today is my stop on the Fabric Tour train. Choo-Choooooo!

If you have been keeping up with Poppie Cotton’s latest fabric releases, then you already know the good news. One of my favorite fabric designers is now a featured artist for the Poppie Cotton company. Say hello to Elea Lutz’s and her debut collection, “My Favorite Things.” You may remember her by the little baking bunnies she drew in past collections, which I still fawn over to this day. See her work here:

Well, if you’re anything like me and have greedily hoarded Elea’s designs in the past because of how quickly the prints sold out, worry no more. The “My Favorite Things” collection is delivering on that signature style with high end CUTENESS that she’s known for and the best thing about it is there is plenty more to come with future releases too! Buy this collection as fast as you can, because it is soooo good.

Take a close look, the details are adorable!

As soon as I saw a peek of the “My Favorite Things” collection, I jumped onto the train and knew at first glance what I would make with them. Are you ready to see?

It’s one of my favorite things…

and I can confidently say probably one of your favorite things too!

Here is “My Favorite Ruff” a mini quilt pattern with quilt blocks designed of man’s best friend:

I couldn’t make just one, because I’m always a bit extra. This puppy is wearing her best bow and looking fancy.

Aren’t they precious?

The “My Favorite Ruff Mini Quilts Pattern” is by far one of my best block designs, and if I’m completely transparent one of the most difficult to perfect. The original idea looked completely different, it was very complicated and didn’t deliver much on the cute scale.

While I liked it, I knew the many small pieces would deter some quilters from even attempting to sew it together. I had to draw and plan out the pattern out about nine times until I finally landed on this pup, and then I reworked it again to add the bow, ’cause a girl’s gotta look good.

A big plus is that the block finishes at the larger size of 18″, so there are no tiny fabric squares to tangle up your machine. Or does that only happen with mine?

As mentioned in my previous post, The Forgotten WIP (go read it!) the girls were ecstatic when they saw this happy puppy block hanging in the sewing room. I actually overheard them debating who should be the recipient of the mini when I’m all finished photographing it. Which is a bit annoying because I have to step in as the mediator, but also flattering because it’s the biggest compliment to my work. However, I am not looking forward to the discussion I’ll have to have with them when I am done with this post.

Most likely, I’ll end up sewing three mini quilts just to keep the peace. #momlife

In a way, that is the negative side to this project and an important one I should warn you about. As soon as you finish your “My Favorite Ruff” mini quilt and hang it on the wall, someone will see it and ask you to make them one. The news will spread like wildfire and before you know it every dog loving friend will be asking for their own mini quilt. It’s a domino effect, like that book, “If you give a Mouse a Cookie.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

People love a cute puppy project, and I’m proud to say the “My Favorite Ruff Mini Quilts Pattern” is one of the cutest around. Don’t let my cautionary tale discourage you. Having these smiling puppies on the wall brings a cheerful mood into any room, and I know you’ll love having them.

Are you ready to get your pattern? Since today is the big release day, I want you to enjoy an automatic 20% discount off this pattern and the others in my Etsy shop, which you can visit HERE!

If you would like to see more of the projects featuring the “My Favorite Things” fabric collection, visit the Poppie Cotton Blog.

Have a wonderful week! I’ll see you on Friday for a more personal family post.

love, Jasmine

Get the

My Favorite Ruff Mini Quilts Pattern

as an instant PDF download in the Linen Bouquet Shop


The Forgotten WIP

Hello Dear Friend,

How has your week been treating you? Have you been able to sneak away to your sewing machine at all? Surprisingly, I have been at my machine most evenings this week, adding final touches to a project and pattern that I will share next week. My girls are arguing over who gets to keep it when I’m done photographing, so I take that as an indicator that it is a hit. More to come, promise.

This week I want to talk about something that is a bit taboo in the sewing community. An issue that is rarely given a spotlight: The Forgotten WIP. That is work in progress. Why is this issue taboo? I’m going to share my take.

Social media is saturated with the fun, beautiful and neatly finished projects. Which makes sense. No one wants to see a half finished project with the subject line that reads, “Still not done.” And you most definitely cannot sell “unfinished.” But I want to take a minute to talk about the ever present WIPs.

We all have them. I for example have more than one bin of WIPs. I have an assortment of about 9 small containers of them, some laid out on a shelf and if I dig around in the garage, there’s probably a box or two I could find with projects showing a raw edge.

I’ve been to yard sales, antique shops and second hand stores where I’ve seen unfinished quilt blocks. Surely, you can relate. Just think about that, even the ladies in past generations were piling WIPs! I have to be fully transparent and admit, I’ve even bought some of them. LOL! Right now, as I type I can see out of the corner of my eye a bag from Goodwill holding THREE flimsy quilt tops that someone donated, because they never had the chance to finish them. But I will say, I’m really proud of that find because the quilt tops were hand sewn together and have a vintage flair that is so yummy. Ain’t no shame in my game. #goodwillfinds So yes, we all have those never finished WIPs.

The question is why? Why do we have them and keep them around?

When I look at the bins of WIPs I see more than fabric scraps and unsewn edges, I see this:
~ Lack of time
~ Forgotten good intentions
~ Shame of wasted materials
~ And of course, ugly projects that should never seen the light of day

You see the projects themselves are just fabric, but it’s the emotion they evoke that keep us attached to them. There are memories that remind us of why we initially started the projects that keep us holding on.

Now, this isn’t a therapy session. I won’t get any deeper into the trauma that may lie beneath the surface of our actions, that keeps us in a perpetual loop. That’s very personal and needs to be worked through with prayer. Although, I will say that asking why we do the things we do is very important.

When I realized that I was holding onto more than just unfinished projects, I decided something needed to be done. While I’m sure some of these items will be tossed, there are many that are salvageable. There are even some projects that were never sewn at all, they’re just fabric pieces pinned together because they needed to be moved off of my work surface. Talk about wasted material!

One group I found was a mix of gray, teal and black fabrics. I remembered instantly what they were for. A few years ago, I was walking through the fabric aisles at Joann’s and noticed my shopping basket only had floral feminine prints in it. There were plenty of geometric and more masculine prints on the shelves that I liked, but I never bought them. Then it reminded me that I’ve never sewn anything for my nephews. Can you believe it? My nephews are the kindest, most gentlemanly, and handsome boys you’ll ever meet (completely biased auntie here). I just adore them! But I had never made anything for them. So, in an effort to remedy that, I picked out an assortment of teal, black, gray and blue fabrics. When I got home, I started cutting them up, laid them out to sew, then got sidetracked by something else. The idea for my nephew got tossed to the side and it plopped right into my WIPs pile. A forgotten good intention.

Just picking them up, I felt regret and a bit of shame that I still haven’t made anything for them in all these years. 😦 I laid out the fabrics again (sorry I forgot to photograph these steps) and realized, there weren’t enough to make anything much less a twin sized quilt for one of them. The boys have grown a lot in the last few years. The plan to make them something nice with these fabrics had come and gone… but could I use them for someone else?

Light bulb! My cousin who is in the military moved across the country with his wife, and they were preparing to have their first baby: a boy! I have to say, I’m very proud of my cousin. He’s a good man. Just as quickly as the idea came to me, I started sewing a baby quilt for his little boy. The fabric pieces I had were already cut into triangles so I played with the lay out and ended up with a modern pattern.

While I was happy with the piecing, I decided the top needed some interest like a patterned print like the outer space fabrics by AGF that had caught my eye years ago.

An easy Etsy search and I ordered enough fabric to finish the quilt. My favorite print was the backing that just so happened to match the colors of the quilt top PERFECTLY! Like they were destined to be.

A little bit of quilting, hand sewing and embroidery. The project was done.

The WIP was in progress no more. The regret of missing the opportunity to sew something for my nephew was washed away by the joy that came with knowing my cousin’s little boy will now be bundled up tightly in this quilt.

It was an emotional make and very therapeutic.

I had the chance to give the quilt to my cousin and his wife in person. There are no words to describe it. He has a beautiful family.

Now, I still have many projects in my WIPs pile, but it encourages me to know that the forgotten and in progress project does not need to be the end of the story. We can reimagine and reuse them to be something meaningful.

Will you be reaching into your WIPs pile? I hope so, and I would love to hear if you have ever reconstituted a forgotten project into a cherished item. Looking forward to reading your stories in the comments.

love, Jasmine

Get the

Stacked & Squared Quilt Pattern

as an instant PDF download in the Linen Bouquet Shop

Tutorial: Who Else Likes No-Sew Fabric Crafting?

Hello Dear Friend,

Last week’s Hoppity Hop post and Fabric Tour was so fun! The Flower Basket Pattern was a big hit and I’m glad so many of you were able to order the pattern. If you make a Flower Basket or two be sure to share a picture with me. Either on Instagram or over email. (contact info at the bottom of this post)

I really love to see your creations for a few reasons: 1) They are so pretty! 2) Your fabric combinations are inspiring 3) All feedback helps me improve future patterns. So, whatever you can share, is very much appreciated!

Let’s rewind time a little to start this post off right. Poppie Cotton is a great company to create for because they leave the creativity to the makers. With every collaboration, I’ve had the freedom to choose any project that tickles my fancy. While the first idea I had to showcase the Poppies Patchwork Club fabrics, was the Flower Basket Pattern, I didn’t want to commit without exploring more options.

Part of my creative process is to pack a few prints into a clear zip-up baggie and take them with me to the craft store. Walking through the aisles, you just never know what will grab your attention. Too many times I’ve bought items that are the wrong size, or color tone. Taking my fabrics with me eliminates having to run back and forth for exchanges.

*Pause* As I type this blog post in my sewing room, my daughter just walked in to surprise me with a latte. Oh my heart! Had to snap a picture. I can’t even handle her sweetness. Thank you honey!


Can you guess which store I went to first? Hobby Lobby, of course. I’m very committed to them. Hobby Lobby always has a great selection, constant sales and they were just about the only store I could walk into during 2020 without a mask, and they still treated me with good service and respect. For that, they have a loyal customer in me.

So there we were, browsing the the aisles (kids in tow) when I noticed a really cute bunny cut out of a thick block of wood. Much different than the usual wood shapes that are made of thin boards. For years now, I’ve wondered what projects people actually use those small shapes for…any ideas? Very curious.

Anyway, I found that the bunny cut out was sturdy enough to stand on it’s own and I just loved that. Bing! The idea came. Let’s cover it with some Poppies fabric to make spring decor. Ok, it’s not my brightest bulb moment but one I was instantly excited about. Let me show you how I made this easy, no-sew project.

First, you need materials, and I’m sure you already have most of these items on hand.

~ Wood Cut Out
~ HeatnBond Lite Iron-On Adhesive
~ Fabric
~ Pencil
~ Fabric Scissors
~ Hot Iron

Isn’t this a great cut? The wood is just under an inch thick and I’m loving the curves of the bunny’s silhouette. Here’s a closer look at the label in case you’re interested in the details. By the way, my husband gave me a helpful tip for removing sticker labels without the hassle of them tearing apart. Use a blow dryer on the label for a few seconds to heat it up, it will peel off so easily all in one piece with no sticky residue. Like magic! Wish I knew about this years ago.

Let’s get started. Iron the adhesive Heat n Bond to the back of the fabric. Then take a pencil and trace the wood shape onto the back of the bonding paper.

Cut the shape out along the inside of your traced line, so the fabric piece is slightly smaller.

Remove the paper backing and iron the fabric onto the wood block. Add a spritz of water to steam and securely adhere the adhesive.

It’s that easy!

Add any embellishment to the bunny, like bows, buttons, silk flowers, anything really. Here I used a 1″ strip of coordinating fabric and tied it around the bunny’s neck. Simple and cute.

Then I made another one, because bunnies should never live alone.

Now I can put them up around the house to add some cheer through the spring season. On Easter Sunday I’ll showcase them on a pretty tablescape during our family’s celebration.

Have you ever tried this method on wood? Will you be heading to your local craft store for some wood cuts to try this no-sew project on?

I can tell you this, I won’t be walking past the wood craft aisle anymore. A whole new world of fabric crafting just opened up to me!

Let me know what you think about this craft in the comments. If you have already started working on your Flower Basket Pattern, send pictures via email at linenbouquet.designs@gmail(dot)com or on Instagram @linenbouquet.

Have a great weekend!

love, Jasmine

Head over to the Linen Bouquet Shop to order the latest

Flower Basket Pattern

Hoppity Hop, the cuteness won’t stop!

Hello Dear Friend,

Obviously feeling a bit silly with the title. I don’t know where these phrases come from, but I do know that there are some furry little friends that have hopped into my sewing space and completely took over.

It is my turn on the Poppies Patchwork Club Fabric Tour today. That means a special introduction to Poppie Cotton’s newest fabric collection and a customized exclusive sewing pattern from yours truly. Oh yes, another Linen Bouquet sewing pattern. That is two new releases in the month of February!

Look at the bunnies, the sewing notions, the florals and stripes. A well-rounded collection.

You all know how I am about fabrics, I just love them and can’t get enough. I’m also a little bit of a “fabric whisperer” as crazy as that may sound. When I see a well designed fabric, it speaks to me and tells me exactly what it wants to be when it grows up. Can you guess what the Poppies Patchwork Club fabrics told me they wanted to be?

Well, first they asked to be free, but that was an obvious no. Fabric this good needed to stay with me. Next they told me to use them for a special day, one where lots of people are joyful and thankful.

It wasn’t too difficult to figure out that these bunnies needed a place in our Easter festivities. I put on my thinking cap and came up with something I’m really proud of.

With a little snip here, then a little stitch there…the project came together like a dream

Are you ready to see it?

Here it is …

The Flower Basket Pattern

Now, let me settle into a more serious tone. At the start of creating this Flower Basket Pattern I knew there was a need for a reusable and customizable spring basket within my family. Initially, I wanted this basket to be used for the Easter holiday because I have tossed out more plastic baskets than I would like to admit, but then I realized there are so many other applications. Such as a child’s spring purse, a handy sewing notions carrier, a gift basket, party decor!

Really the uses are endless.

My mind was so excited with the concept that it just kept reeling with what options I should add to the pattern. In an attempt to keep it simple and not turn into Basking Robins with 31 variations, I had to narrow down my ideas.

That was tough, but here is what I landed on.

The Flower Basket Pattern has instructions for creating …

a tops on drawstring design

A tops off, airy and open design

and a pile-on-everything fun design.

Three flavors to suite just about anyone’s interests.

I’m very happy with all three. They’re practical, useful, and customizable.

But most importantly cute!

What do you think? Will you try your hand at making a Flower Basket?

Will you be ordering some of Poppie Cotton’s Poppies Patchwork Club fabrics?

That way, you’re obsessed like me and instead of making one handmade item for a collaboration, you make 6. That was not a typo, I have already made 6 of these baskets.

Why? The pattern is easy enough that they come together without difficult or confusing instructions. I had to test and retest the pattern to make sure of this. So that when you order the pattern, it is as clear as possible to understand.

Another plus for me is no metal! Now I am not against adding metal hardware on projects, it usually looks great! But it is nice to not work around a zipper or worry that the metal piece will rust and stain the basket as it is used in the coming months. I feel very safe with this design.

I really like knowing that the Flower Basket is easy to use, handle and care for with a simple wash.

Now head on over to my shop to grab your Flower Basket Pattern, which is on sale for today’s release date! 20% off the Flower Basket Pattern as well as all my previously designed patterns. Get them now on sale.

When you have a moment, also visit the Poppie Cotton blog to see what other amazing creatives have made with the Poppies Patchwork Club fabric collection. You can also get the scoop on what the ladies in the Poppie Cotton team had to say about the Flower Basket design. They liked it, I think they really liked it. 🙂

Have a great rest of the day and a sewing-filled weekend!

love, Jasmine

Shop Here! 20% off the Flower Basket Pattern & more!

P.S. Something to look forward to next week, a FREE tutorial on how I made the wooden bunny decor piece in this picture. You don’t want to miss it!

It’s been how long?

Hello Dear Friend,

How have you been? It’s already mid-February. I just took a look at the last blog I posted, and it was the Spot of Tea Saucer Sew Along announcement back in October ’22. Whew! Instant flashback to how overwhelmed I was in that moment. This space got a lot of attention all at once and while I was thankful for all the support I received in my first sew along, it was a lot for me. The truth is, I was not prepared.

My initial plan was to host a small sew along to test the waters and better understand the processes of such an event. I would have been very happy with 20 participants, but whoa! there were 900 entries and I didn’t even know how to handle it. That may seem silly, but really I was not ready for such a large amount of interest.

In a strange way, it effected me mentally. I felt stressed and unable to deliver on what was expected of me. Of course, most of the participants were kind and encouraging, but there were demands and critical commentary from others that hurt a bit. It caused me to back away from this space, and I’ve noticed a distaste for my sewing space ever since.

In the last three months, I have half-heartedly worked on projects. It’s shameful to even think of, but I’ve felt very drained. Exhausted mentally and physically, to the point where I have asked myself if I should continue to pursue an online business in the sewing world. I love the craft, but the demands of new content and approval from algorithms can really weigh on me.

After some contemplation, and much needed rest, I have decided to move forward. To continue creating, finding joy in the craft and community.

Although, I do think there is a need to pivot, or reimagine some of my business processes to better suite my capabilities. I really want to do all the things, like YouTube, Instagram and all the fun offerings of the online space but the reality is, I can’t. There are not enough hours in the day.

So instead, I will focus on what I can do.

I can blog

I can sew pretty things

I can teach others how to make said pretty things

and I can be a friend

How does that sound? My hope is that this will be the model moving forward and that you will find it to be simple, concise and encouraging. It’s time I get back to basics. Would you like to join me along this journey?

I really hope so, because I am heading back into my sewing room (after weeks of avoidance) to finish up a really pretty project that I think you will enjoy. Hint: It has Bunnies!

Have a wonderful weekend, and if you plan to sew check out my latest patterns in the shop. All patterns are available as an instant .pdf download.

love, Jasmine

It’s a Sew Along

Come join me, Friend!

There’s been an outpour of interest in the Spot of Tea Saucer pattern, that I did not expect. I personally love the pattern, but up to this point haven’t had a design that’s reached as many people as this. It’s a joy. A blessing. And super exciting!

To give the pattern the time it deserves, I thought it would be great to have a sew along. Yes, my first sew along. Are you interested? I hope so.

Spot of Tea Saucer Sew Along, isn’t she lovely?

The sign up sheet is open for new members. Enter now because it closes on Monday, October 10th. Short notice here on the blog, so sorry about that. I’m juggling all the things and trying to share on multiple platforms but a girl can only do so much. If anyone wants to work for free I’m taking applications. (hahaha)

A bit about the sew along, it begins on Monday, October 10th and will run through to Sunday, October 23rd. That’s a complete two weeks. Just enough time to make these sweet little saucers.

Along the way, I will be sharing how I sew up my saucers, what use I use, how to make fabric selections and what I recommend steering clear of. You’ll also get my best sewing tips. But I bet you will be most excited to hear that there will be prizes.

Prizes, what? Yes, at the end of each week I will pick one person who has participated and posted a picture on Instagram to win a prize. Just remember to tag my Instagram account @linenbouquet and use the hashtag #SpotofTeaSaucer so I can record your entry. The sew along has been so generously sponsored by Jennifer at Crimson Confection and Richla at Got Kwilts?, and of course me! I will be giving one winner a custom Stitching Press at the end of the two weeks.

The event’s agenda and pattern will be sent to anyone who signs up using the link here. If you have any questions concerning the giveaway, please leave them in the comments. I’m happy to help!

Now, I have to flutter off to record the rest of next week’s videos. You can find me on YouTube Here sharing all about the sew along.

Happy Friday and I will see you all on Monday, when we commence the sew along fun.

love, Jasmine

Time for YOU to make some Pretty Little Gifts

Hello Dear Friend,

How is your week going? I hope it’s been great, but if not, I have some news that is definitely going to brighten your day!

Now you know I have been testing my skills at pattern making. Trying to improve with each new release, or so I hope. You be the judge. 😉 There are some pattern makers that have been perfecting their craft and teaching skills for much longer than I have. I frequently admire their work, buy their patterns and learn the tips and tricks they share too.

So, you may be asking, “Ok, Jasmine what does this have to do with me?” Let me tell ya. I have teamed up with some of the creative pattern designs that I admire, to give you a Pretty Little Gifts Bundle of 8 FREE sewing patterns. Yes, that is eight small, adorably cute patterns to create, all for free. Is this not the best sewing news ever?

Did it brighten your day as promised? Because I’m excited to get my hands on their patterns too!

Here are all the details. Sign up for the Pretty Little Gift Bundle here. This form will enroll you to our email lists, so you get more sewing inspiration from each designer, and a direct link in your email box to download the eight patterns, all Free! Oh Happy Day!

What will you get? Let me show you.

Ali from Arabesque Scissors designed a Lotus Mini-Stitch Applique Pattern

Amy from Ameroonie Designs designed the Quilted Needle Book Pattern

It’s Me! Jasmine from Linen Bouquet designed the Spot of Tea Saucer Pattern (which I hope you already have, but if not you will receive it within this bundle)

Jennie from Clover & Violet designed the Tiny Ada Drawstring Bucket Pattern

Kellie from Ma & Me Designs designed the Apple Coin Pouch Pattern

Lauren from Molly and Mama designed the Hexagon Bookmark Pattern

Lisa from A Spoonful of Sugar designed the Bloom Pincushion Mini Pillow Pattern

Nicole from Lillyella Stitchery designed the Forest Floor Pattern and Dressed Up Hotpad Pattern

All good, sweet and simple makes for your next sewing session. The biggest challenge you will have with the Pretty Little Gifts Pattern Bundle is having to pick which pattern to make first. Oh, that’s a tough one. They’re all too cute!

You will want to sign up for this gift bundle right away as it will only be open for a limited time. Share it will a friend, or your sewing group. Wouldn’t it be fun to sew these patterns together as a group? I think so!

Leave me a comment telling me which pattern you are most excited to sew first.

love, Jasmine

The Easiest FPP Pattern

Hello Dear Friend,

It is with great excitement that I share this unexpected Friday post. Today is a big day for me and for you too! It is release day of my very first quilt pattern, named Pyramid Stack Quilt.

This design has been on my mind for quite a while now. The inspiration? A wall decor piece made of wood I found in a clearance bin. The design isn’t exact, but I couldn’t help wondering while looking at the wood piece, that it would make a very nice foundation paper pieced block. Now that it is down on paper, and tested in fabric, I am ready to share it with all of you. Hence the claim that this is a big day for the both of us.

Really, my excitement comes from the thought of how terrified I was at the beginning of 2022 to share my first block pattern Postage Block. Boy, was I nervous. Were the measurements correct? Would anybody like it? Was I using the correct verbiage? All the questions and all the possibilities ran through my mind. Well, let me tell you, I went through the same belabored process with the Pyramid Stack Quilt pattern for the past two months and pretty much feel the same emotions today, too. The difference is that this time, I am just a little bit more experienced. I took the baby steps through this year to learn and to improve my sharing skills with all of you. I think it’s paid off because here I am doing something I just wasn’t sure was possible, A COMPLETE QUILT PATTERN! And an FPP one at the that! Whoa.

Yes, I am smitten with my pattern.

I hope you are too.

Pyramid Stack Quilt, by Jasmine of Linen Bouquet. I like the sound of that.

Friend, I want to thank you for being a part of my journey this year. I would not have continued if you all weren’t here encouraging me. And those of you who message me privately and extend your friendship to me over the years, you know who you are. I really value you. You make this space worth the while and all the hard work. Love you friends!

I can’t spend too much time on here, because I’m pretty tired. But please go check out my Pyramid Stack Pattern in the shop. I’m gonna try to get a little shut eye. If it’s not your style that’s okay… share it with a friend. Share it in your Instagram stories. Any small act is appreciated. It really helps me out.

Thank you!

Oh, and I can’t forget to share that the whole shop is 20% off to celebrate the new pattern release. If you have been eyeing anything in the shop, this is your chance to snag it. Shop here.

Pattern: Pyramid Stack Quilt by Jasmine of Linen Bouquet. Video information and demonstration: The Easiest FPP Pattern – Full How to Demonstration – Pyramid Stack Quilt

Happy Friday, lovelies.


Five Tips to Improve Your Quilting

Hello Dear Friend,

How is your August going? We are wrapping up summer break and heading into homeschool lessons this week. I have some anticipation about how I’m going to juggle all the to-dos but am ready for some added structure in our days.

The weather has been a good mix of rainy and sunny, slight humidity with some dust storms rolling through. Monsoon season in Arizona is really the best part of our summer here. I bear the heat but enjoy the warm storms. Completely different than the type of stormy weather I was accustomed to while growing up in San Diego. I can already feel the heat lessening, which makes me anxious for fall and winter festivities. Gahhh, I need to slow down before I start rummaging through the garage for our Christmas decor.

Let’s move along to the real reason we’re all here, to improve our quilting skills. Over on Instagram I shared a reel last week that said something along the lines of, the only natural gifting makers have is the desire to create.

Just think about that for a second. It really goes against all that we’re taught or made to believe about talented people. When I was younger I thought a successfully creative person was someone who was just born with that gift. The comments I heard reinforced this mindset. Which was odd to me, because I knew that anything I made did not come easily. In example, a painting that took weeks or months to create, would be greeted with phrases like, “Wow, you did that? You’re really good. You’re a natural. I wish I could paint.” Now, it could be that those people were just being nice and tried to make me feel special. But the thing is, I think they really believed that there was some special fairy dust that helped me create. Like it had been dusted on me at birth and my first crayon drawing came out rivaling Monet. Yes, I’m exaggerating but only to help paint the picture. Most of the time I would respond with, “you CAN do it!” but there was a sort of disconnect. There was no belief that they could, it was as if they believed they lacked the ability.

The truth is, they only lacked the will.

It takes a determined mind to work and rework a project until it is completed as desired. Just like a painting requires layers of brush strokes over time, a beautiful quilt will have a long trail of mis-pieced scraps behind it. I hope this makes sense.

The fact remains, that we learn through hands on experience. Through trial and error. Even if you work side by side with an expert that corrects all your mistakes, when it comes time to do the work yourself, you will still make errors and be forced to improve upon them. The only way to not improve, is to not try.

Whether the craft is coloring with crayon, whittling wood, or sewing with fabric we must have the will and determination to continue. With that in mind I created this list of Five Tips to Improve Your Quilting. Now I will not be sharing where to place your pins, or what thread weight works best. I’m going to dive in to what actually made me understand quilting better. So, I hope you will appreciate this list as more of a creative guide than a step by step manual. Let’s do this!

  1. Learn Your Machine
    This is more important than I was willing to admit at the start of my sewing journey. My mindset was, “don’t all sewing machines work the same?” LOL ummm NO! They most certainly do not. Get out some scraps, shop the discount bin in the fabrics store and begin testing out your machine. Use the stitch settings you’ve never considered using. Fold the fabric in different ways or add layers of batting (foam, denim, interfacing, etc.) to see how your machine handles them. Turn the nobs and change the feet out. The more you know about your machine the better you will be at using it, and the more projects you’ll be able to create. My first machine was a $50 Brother machine from Walmart. It was perfect for my less than beginner level skills. All I needed was a straight line, but even that was a struggle for the machine. The engine was very weak (duh! $50) and it bunched up all my layers when sandwiched together. I wanted to cuss and throw that machine out the window quite often but it taught me a lot. Know your machine’s limitations, as well as it’s strengths. This will help YOU be more successful when using it.
  2. Fabric
    Buy it, test it, pick your favorite brand and stick to it. While I am mostly enamored by the colors and design, it’s the weave that is most important. My fabric collecting heart has a hard time even saying this but a pretty design does not equate to a good quilting cotton. My first fabric purchase was at Joann’s of course just like most people. As with my first sewing machine, I did not yet understand that not all textiles are created equal. I picked a little of this, a little of that and when sewn together noticed that they were not running through my machine the same. The heavier cottons would slow down the machines feed dogs while the lighter fabrics would glide through. This made my layers shift and caused my seams to not match. Another very obvious difference was how they handled water. Watching my patchwork shrink in some areas while pressing was shocking! For this reason I find it best to test out different brands and use the one that meets your expectations. If you have a hard time sticking to one brand (like me!) try to use the same brand of fabric on a single project. For example, if you are sewing a baby quilt but are mixing colors and designs between collections, try to get all the fabrics from the same manufacturer. This way the fabrics all sew, press, and wash the same. Also, don’t be afraid to go outside of the traditional quilting cottons. It’s a big big fabric world with lots of beautiful textiles to work with.
  3. Take On New Challenges
    It’s always the fear of failure that holds us back. For this reason, a quilter may not attempt anything besides quilts. Curves, embroidery, garment sewing, doll making, these are all projects within the sewing community that we may overlook. You may be saying to yourself, “I have no interest in doing anything else but quilting,” or “how will garment sewing help me with quilting?” Well my friend, the knowledge you will learn about manipulating fabric and sewing different angles will strengthen your quilting muscles. Figuratively, but maybe even physically. Let’s say there is a project you don’t care for, like a zippered pouch. I want to encourage you to try that project. Learning the techniques necessary for this new endeavor will deepen your understanding of what is possible with fabric. Learning the craft is about more than just pumping out a nice quilt. It’s a full appreciation of what’s possible. And let me share a little secret with you: No one needs to see it. If you’re afraid of failure or embarrassed about what others may think of your project, just keep it to yourself. No worries friend. No pressure at all. Sew for your enjoyment and to better your skills. It does not need to be shared online for others to pick apart. What’s important is that you are improving.
  4. Pressing
    Steam, spray, direct or indirect heat. With starch or with a wood clapper. Play with the different ways to press, but whatever you do make sure to press. Using the iron will exponentially improve your projects. You can even test it for yourself. Make a mini quilt without pressing and another with, you will see how important this is. The simple step of creating a nicely creased seam can take a project from amateur to professional. I learned this very early on when I noticed that my projects didn’t look as tight and crisp as what I saw others making. It’s all in the wrist, just kidding… this time the tools do matter. My favorites, are a Steamfast mini iron, a spray bottle and my Stitching Press. I really like the results of Best Press but the extra scent tickles my nose so I usually go without.
  5. Link Up with Other Quilters
    I know a lot of us quilters like to keep to ourselves. We would rather stay in and sew on a Friday night than go clubbing. Hahaha… just the thought of that makes me laugh. I’m totally kidding friends. But seriously, many of us are introverts. Sometimes I’ll walk into a sewing room at a local quilt shop and can tell that no newbies are welcome. It’s just a whole vibe. Which is fine because I like to sew alone. However, rubbing shoulders with other quilters is important. We learn the techniques, the hands on tricks of the trade that are practically needed to improve. When you find a sweet friend that can share their experience or encouragement it just helps so much! This can be in person, or my favorite… online, because I really don’t like to lug my machine around. Five years ago I entered the Instagram sewing community. Up until that point I was sewing solo. Like completely alone! No one I knew even owned a machine. Actually, I kept the whole craft quiet. My friends didn’t know I was sewing because it was something I was new at and enjoyed in the solitude of my late night sessions. Seeing all the buzz on Instagram just blew my mind. There were swaps, quilt bees, sew-alongs, quilt-alongs, GIVEAWAYS!!! Like OMG what is this magical place I stumbled upon. I remember seeing an AGF designer host a quilt-along that intrigued me but I thought I was too amateur to join in. When they announced the details of how they would be available to answer questions and give tips along the way I knew I had to sign up. I’ll be honest (what else would I be), the final quilt design was not my forte but I saw that the pattern included techniques that I had not yet learned. I didn’t quite sew on point yet and I had no reference for the best way to assemble quilt blocks. This sew along really pushed me to improve my skills. I asked questions and studied every block carefully. The designer was even kind enough to share tips on the best way to style and photograph quilt blocks. WOW! That free quilt-along was a game changer. So, make those friends, join those groups and find someone who is happy to answer your questions. This community is filled with helpful and skilled quilters.

Those are my best tips to improve your quilting. A bit of personal experience mixed in to share why these five things made the list.

I hope it was helpful and encouraging to you friend!

If you are looking for quilting tools or sewing room organization, I have a couple lists here.

Now, tell me one tip you have found invaluable through your creative journey. I look forward to reading your comments so I too can learn even more.

love, Jasmine

Piecing the Room Together

Hello Dear Friend,

Last week we had a lot of fun celebrating the Three’s Company Pattern release with the C & V Sewing Club. While I was just ecstatic over the experience, I could also feel all of you cheering me on. Big, BIG Thank YOU!

Now, do you remember the post I shared about my train-wreck of a sewing room? I’m obviously the queen of smooth transitions. If you haven’t read the post (or seen the pictures) you can read it here. It’s not my proudest homemaking moment, and it’s even worse when compared to my instagram photos. LOL! Anyway, I just wanted to refresh your memory because I am so proud of how the room is coming together. Piece by piece, hence the title.

I’ve been on a mission to make the sewing room into a place I’m proud of. One I can share online, but also to enjoy for myself. I love to sew, it’s my favorite creative outlet. Even with all my love for the craft, I found myself avoiding the sewing room because of how unwelcoming and disorganized it was.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, this endeavor is important to me but I do not plan to spend a lot. The hunt to find furniture and organization pieces on the cheap has been a challenge in and of itself. The good thing is that I love myself a challenge. Tell me the project can’t be done on a dime and I will for sure find a way to make it happen.

So let me show you the great pieces I’ve added by scavenging every outlet available.

Table space is precious to quilters. The more the better! While I already had the excellent counter height craft table, I need more. For my machine(s), as well as space to spread out projects and even more to hold my large sandwiched quilts. My idea was to find an L-shaped desk that I could use while quilting. If I can set up my chair and the machine right at the crook of the desk, it would allow me the ability to slide my quilts more easily into the machine without it hanging off the table. The thing is, I couldn’t find an L-shaped desk for a low price, and the desks I did fine were smaller than what I imagined in my head. Solution: finding two tables that would create the piece I need. Just another added challenge. Lucky for me, I found these two white Ikea tables that were just the right size. I had to be patient though as they were sold separately, at different times and different price points. The small table on the left was a quick find but the longer one took a few extra weeks and some convincing my husband to pick-up. Thankfully, I can be pretty persistent.

Would you believe me if I told you the small table cost more than the long one? Because it’s true. And the placement works exactly as I need them too. Quilting with my small machine just got a bit easier.

See the chair placement? That’s where I place my machine, to the left side I can now lay out my quilts so they are not dragging to the floor throughout the process of piecing and quilting. I just love it! BTW that is not a chair cover, it’s just my sewing machine cover that I hung there for the moment. With a few tweaks though it would be a really cute chair accessory. I’m gonna tuck that idea away for a future pattern design. 😉

I’m sure you already noticed the white shelf in the corner. Another great second-hand find. This one, was a surprise even to me. You may remember how my husband is a garage sale junkie? Yeah, that’s not a flattering description but it’s pretty accurate. He finds some great items on his Saturday morning treks and this little cutie three-tiered end table was one of them. I was in the sewing room one afternoon, looking at my tables and thought they are a bit plain. I need something to draw the eye upwards, like a wall shelf or decorative piece. So while my husband wasn’t around, I moseyed over to the garage (it’s forbid that I enter) and looked around for something I could use (that obviously doesn’t stop me). Buried under some stacks of 80’s video games I saw a white knobby piece of wood peeking out. I didn’t even hesitate, dug this chippy little table out, gave it a soapy wash and voila! It was just what I needed!

As you can see, the paint job is lacking but I don’t plan to change it. I think it adds interest next to the plain and boring Ikea tables. This shelf is going to be fun to dress up with seasonal decor trinkets.

Speaking of trinkets, here’s an upgrade for my ever expanding collection of gadgets & gizmos of plenty. My whose-its & what’s-its galore. (name that movie in the comments!)

Out with the old

You want thing-a-mabobs, I’ve got twenty. But who cares, no big deal… now I can fit morrrrrrrrre!

In with this new big mama-jama!

A new to me white organizer with 64 drawers! Boy, was it a celebratory find. My husband happily took the black one to his overcrowded garage… are you starting to see a trend here? My name is Jasmine and I think my husbands a hoarder. We’re gonna need a bigger place soon. Specifically one that has a garage that’s larger than the house. LOL!

Last little piece I’ll share are some baskets I found. Just guess where! Come-on take a stab at it in the comments.

If you guessed in the garage you’d be right! Hahaha… I found a set of four perfectly unused baskets (with tags on) to use as my scrap bins. Here you can see them separated by warm and cool tones. The center basket is holding the shades (white, gray, black, etc.). A fourth basket which is not shown here is holding scrap batting. Let’s see if I’ll actually use those scraps for anything.

The baskets tucked nicely into the side shelves of my craft table. It’s a good fit for now but could be moved elsewhere in the future.

Well, I think I typed enough for one post.

Here’s the price breakdown of all the items shared in this post:
Ikea Table Small $40.00
Ikea Table Large $20.00
White End Table $FREE
64 Drawer Organizer $10.00
4 Black Baskets $3.00

Really making those pennies work hard in this sewing room. It makes my heart (& my husband’s wallet) happy. More room details to come.

Do you also like finding second-hand treasures? Or furniture pieces? Tell me in the comments a memorable second-hand deal you scored. I just love hearing about the deals people find.

Chat with you all in the comments!

love, Jasmine