Me Made May

Thanks again to everyone who played along with my last post where I previewed my new book.  The winner of the copy of the new Trendy Table book is:

Leslie Sorenson.  Please drop me an email at to claim your copy.  Just include your shipping info and I will get it sent out right away.


For those of you who didn’t win, the books are available now and can be found at independent quilt shops or from our store here.


Today I would also like to talk a little bit about Me Made May.  If you haven’t heard about it before, you can read about it here.  I first heard about it last year on Instragram and participated a little.  This year I signed up and did pretty good job meeting my daily requirements.  The goal was to wear something handmade each day, in an effort to make better use of my hand-made clothing.  I have a tendency to focus on what’s wrong with everything I make, so I don’t wear them.  This challenge helped me to put those thoughts aside and just wear them.  I also took the time to alter a few things to make them more wearable.  I hate doing alterations, so it was good motivation to get it done.

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I also feel like the handmade things in my wardrobe are so obvious, that I sometimes feel like I have a “nerd” alert sign on my back.  I like the thought that there are many others joining me in wearing their hand-made things and we can all be nerdy together.  And by doing this together, we help make being a Maker more popular.   That thought just makes me happy – I love being a maker and love to see others who are also.   (By the way, am I dating myself by saying nerd?  I’m not sure anybody even uses that word anymore!)

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These collages are a few of the things that I have been posting over on Instagram each day.  You can find me on Instragram as “ankastreasures” or click here.  You can read more about each project on my Instagram page also.

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One of the other fun things about this month, is you can use the hashtags to see what everyone else is doing.  It’s very inspiring – not only to see the projects, but also the fabrics.  I have my eye on a couple prints that I think need to become part of my stash now😉.  Some of the hashtags you can search are: #memademay, #mmmay, #memademay16.






Posted in Clothing, Fabric Trends, Garmet Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Trendy Table Preview – Part 2

I’m back for part 2 of the preview for the Trendy Table book.

Before I get to the preview, the winner from my last post is:  Linda Flemming.  Please email your shipping info to me at, and I will ship out a copy right away.

Thanks to everyone who commented and played along.  I really appreciate the feedback and I always find it interesting to what pattern people are most drawn too.


Now, on with the preview –

Pattern:  Starburst

Precut Used:  2 1/2″ squares (5″ Charm squares would work too)

Fabric line shown:   I used assorted scraps from my stash, Moda Essential dots for the white, and Essex Linen in Steel for the background.

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Pattern:  Squared

Precut Used:  10″ Squares

Featured Fabrics:  This runner is also made with scraps from my stash.

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I really find this size runner to be useful.  I have all kinds of places in my house that require a long skinny runner, as shown below.  You could easily adjust the size to fit any space by leaving off or adding additional blocks.

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Pattern:  Sorbet

Precut Used:  5″ squares

Featured Fabrics:  Most of these prints are from Cotton + Steel’s Basics Collection.  The background is Essex Linen in Steel.

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This runner also fits well in all those long skinny places.  The size could be adjusted by leaving off the two end flowers.

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If you have a soft table, this runner would be perfect for that spot.

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Pattern:  Tango

Precut Used: 2 1/2″ strips for the large size and 2″ strips for the small size.

Featured Fabrics:  Basic Mixology by Studio M and Simply Colorful by V and Co, both for Moda.

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This is the larger size and uses about half a Jelly Roll.  The pattern also uses the Creative Grids 60-degree Triangle Ruler.

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It’s an easy runner to make, even though it looks a little more complicated than actually is.  It is constructed in rows and requires no Y-seams



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The pattern has very little waste, but there is a small scrap leftover from the strip set.  If you save it, you can make the runner below with those scraps.

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The pattern is called Slice and there are two size options, depending on which size Tango you make.

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This is the smaller size version of Tango – it measure 18″ x 35 1/2″. (The larger size measures 24″ x 48″).

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This photo shows the Mini Tango with two other runners – Fusion and Plus.

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Pattern:  Plus

Precut Used:  5″ squares

Featured Fabrics:  Flow by Zen Chic for Moda Fabrics







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Pattern:  Fusion

Precut Used:  5″ Squares

Featured Fabrics:   Tucker Prairie by One Canoe 2 for Moda Fabrics

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That’s all for today.  I will give away another copy of the book, selected from the comments on this post – Again you can just let me know which one you would make first (from this post) if you won.  I would also love to hear if you would make them from Precuts, or from your stash.






Posted in Fabric Trends, Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , , | 128 Comments

The Trendy Table Preview, Part 1

Today I get to share more details on the projects from my latest book, “The Trendy Table”.   I have already shared a little bit about the inspiration for the book here.


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I’m going to share half of the projects today, and the other half in my next post.  There are 15 projects, all written for Precuts.  I geared  the fabric requirements to the closest size Precut because I generally use a lot of Precuts and I know my customers do as well.  It’s the easiest way to buy small amounts of fabric for runners, and still get the scrappy look.  Of course if you want to use your stash or scraps, that will work fine too.

And by the way – this post is long!  I have tons of photos to share.  They don’t all make it into the book, so this is my place to share them all🙂

First up, this fun shot, taken at my Brother and SIL’s house.

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And a close-up of the fabrics –

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Pattern Name:  Charisma.

Precut Used: 5″ Squares

Featured Fabrics:  Summerfest by April Rosethal and Moda Black Crossweave

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If you’ve been coming here for a while, you know I love runners and find all kinds of places to put them.  They aren’t just for tables, and since I have limited wall space in my house for larger quilts, runners are just perfect for me.  (The shot below is taken at my Sister’s house).

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Pattern Name: Capri

Precut Used:  5″ Squares

Featured Fabrics:  Little Miss Sunshine by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics

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Pattern Name:  Rock Candy

Precut Used:  10″ Squares

Featured Fabric line:  Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics

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I really took a lot of photos of this one.  I just can’t get enough of that red background!

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Pattern Name:  Frosted

Precut Used:  This is one exception in the book.  It requires a little yardage of 3 fabrics.

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Pattern Name:  Wrapped

Precut Used:  10″ squares

Featured Fabric line:  Juniper Berry by Basic Grey for Moda Fabrics

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I think this one would make a good birthday party runner too – Just change out the Christmas fabrics for some bright and fun prints.

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And because I couldn’t get enough of this fabric line – Another one using Juniper Berry.

Pattern Name:  Alpine

Precut Used:  10″ Squares

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Pattern Name:  Falling Leaves

Precut Used:  10″ squares (6 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ scraps will work too)

Featured Fabrics:  The background is Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Graphite, made by Kauffman Fabrics.  The leaves are assorted shot cottons from my stash, mostly Peppered Cottons and Kaffe Fasset shot cottons.

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I enjoyed trying out a new quilting technique for this one.  I have never done straight line quilting on my long arm before and it was kind of fun.

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So that’s the first half of the preview!  As I do with all my new products, I’d like to give away a copy of the new book to one of my readers.  To be entered to win, just leave a comment saying which runner you would make first if you were to win.  I will announce the randomly selected winner in my next post.


If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, click here.  (available for shipment now).  Most of the quilt shops that have preordered the book should have their copies by now, so please check your local quilt shop as well.


Thanks and have a great weekend!







Posted in Decorating, Fabric Trends, Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 134 Comments

The Trendy Table Sneak Peek

So it’s been a little quiet here on the blog . . .


I’ve been busy with several big projects :  These 2  . . . . and a new book.




The boys are currently 1 and 3.  Life with them is busy and time for sewing is limited.  Though I’ve had to cut back on my quilting time,  making runners and small quilts has provided a way to sneak in some quality sewing time.  It’s become the perfect solution – I get my creative fix and I get a small project finished.   So, I have found myself with a bunch or runners that became the inspiration for this book.



The book has just arrived from the printer and I’m busy getting a blog post ready with the photos from the book.  In the meantime, I thought I would share the cover.



It’s my first time printing a book in full color, so I am really excited about that feature.  I can’t believe how much better the book looks with colored diagrams and how much easier it is to follow!  I’m curious to see what the feedback will be on this feature.



And now back to our regular programming . . . .







PS – The book is arriving in quilt shops now!  You can also find it in my online store here.

Stop back for the next post where I will be previewing the book and doing a giveaway.  Hopefully I will have it done by Friday😉

Posted in Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Metro Hoops

I’ve been working on a project since last summer that I finally finished.  I rarely get a chance to work other designer’s patterns, but this was a quilt that I knew I wanted to make time for.  The pattern is called Metro Hoops by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  (images from their website)

Metro Hoops (Paper Pattern)

I’m always interested in learning or working with interesting techniques.   I have worked with curves before, but that was probably 15 years ago.   My experience with doing curves was making a traditional Wedding Ring quilt.  I thought the Metro Hoops patterns was a way to use that technique to make a more modern looking quilt, using a simplified technique.

1. Quick Curve Ruler ©

The technique uses the “Quick Curve Ruler”.  I’m not generally a huge fan of rulers –  Unless they can do multiple techniques, create many quilts that look different, or save you a lot of time.  This ruler fits the bill and Sew Kind of Wonderful has lots of patterns to support it.



I don’t have many photos of the process, but you start out with strip units and cut them using the ruler.  You also use the ruler to cut the background fabric used for the blocks (see above photo).    I really enjoyed the process and I am loving the finished quilt.




I went a little out of my comfort zone with the machine quilting.  The gals at Sew Kind of Wonderful do a beautiful job of machine quilting and I wanted to try some of the straight line quilting and pebbles that they do a lot of.




I did lots of straight lines in the border.  It’s far from perfect, but that’s okay.  The overall effect from a little ways away is more important.



The fabrics are all from my stash.  The background fabrics is Robert Kauffman’s Yarn Dyed Essex Linen in Graphite.  I am now on my second bolt of this fabrics and have developed an addiction to the colorway Steel as well.



I did do a one modification to the pattern.  It is originally laid out like this:

Metro Hoops (Paper Pattern)


This is a poor photos, but you can see that I laid my blocks out on point.  I was all ready to sew the rows together and happened to walk at the quilt from an angle, when I noticed how interesting the quilt was from that direction.  I quickly started making the setting triangles so I could put it together that way.



This was definitely a technique that I will be doing again.  In fact, I have already started on their Metro Rings pattern.  I enjoyed the process of making this quilt and machine quilting it – but then again, you are always hearing that from me.  When it comes down to it, I have rarely met a quilting technique that I didn’t like.  Okay – except for paper piecing, but other than that, it’s all fun!



All for now – Have a good Tuesday!



Posted in Quilting | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

The Final Post in the Let It Snow QAL

It’s the final wrap up for the Let It Snow QAL!

I finished up the quilting with the use of a few simple designs.


I chose to meander the background and a free-hand design in the trees.  I did loops in the border, but with the busy print, you can only see them from the back.  If you want to see how I quilted the other Let It Snow quilts, you can hop over to this post.



For the binding, I decided to do it all by machine.  I prefer doing it by hand using this method, but machine works in a pinch.  If you need some pointers on doing the initial application by machine, you can see this tutorial and this tutorial.   I talk about things like how to determine the seam allowance, how to miter the corners, and a simple way to turn your binding into one continuous piece.  I use the French double fold method and I cut my binding 2 1/2″.

To set up your machine, you will need your top thread to match the border fabric and your bobbin thread to match the binding fabric.  I also recommend using an open toe foot.  The photo below shows you what an open toe foot looks like.  As you can see, it makes seeing where you are going so much easier!



To begin sewing, pull the folded edge of the binding to the back side of the runner.  I align it so the folded edge is about 1/16th of an inch past the stitching line on the back side of the runner.  From the front side of the runner, I stitch in the ditch between the binding (see photo above) and the border so that the stitching catches the edge of the binding on the back side like this:



This takes a little bit of practice and I do it mostly by feel.  I can tell by running my finger along the ditch that I referred to earlier, that the edge of the binding is sticking just past where the stitching line will be.  If you can’t do it by feel, you can pin it in place from the front and pull the pins out as you come to them.

To make this process easier, I usually make my seam allowance a tad narrower so that it is easier to fold the binding past the stitching line.  If you are having trouble with being able to catch that edge of the binding on the back side, you can adjust the overlap to be 1/8th of an inch, rather than the 1/16th that I aim for.  I also pin the corners so that I get a nice miter because it’s a little harder to keep everything in position while going around the corner.  When I’m done, I usually give the binding a good shot of steam.  I find that when I do all the stitching by machine, I sometimes get a slight ripple along the edge and the binding doesn’t lay totally flat.  The steam will usually fix that for me.



I’m happy that I did the blue background, for something a little different.  My favorite part is the black print on the outer border.  When this fabric comes out, I will be ordering more of that one for sure. (BTW – The fabric line is Juniper Berry by Basic Grey for Moda fabrics).



Here’s the finished runner in my dining room.  This will be its home during the winter months when I have this runner out.DSC_1870


Thanks to all of you for sewing along.  I hope you gained some new confidence in working with angles.  I hope the project provided a good reason to spend some time back in the sewing room after the holidays.   If there is anything else that you would like to have a sewing along on or a technique that you would like to learn more about, you can leave it in the comments.  I’m always looking for feedback on what quilters are interested in.  What are you doing next?  I’ve got a couple of projects almost finished to share, so I am exited to move onto something new to share with you.

Posted in Quilt Along, Quilting | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Slow Stitching

I have a hand-made top to share with your today.

I’m sure many of you get sick of the “I made this” blog post that I do all the time.  I know I do . . . But honestly, besides showing you pictures of my kids or the laundry that I did today, there isn’t anything else interesting going on around here.  I’m not much of a writer either, so I share pictures instead.  I also like to share the techniques that I am exploring and having fun with, in hopes that someone else will want to give them a try.  This is one of those techniques –



A while back I posted the first shirt that I made using these techniques. (You can read about it here).  If you had asked me a few years back if I would be sewing clothes again, I would have said no – much less hand stitching them.  I don’t know why hand stitching has become so appealing to me, but I sure am having fun with it.  It is so relaxing and therapeutic.  Maybe it is having a 1 and 3-year-old that makes me crave something quiet and relaxing?  Ya think?


This shirt was completed so fast that I was sorry to see it finished – Like a really good book that abruptly comes to an end before you are ready for it.



And once again can I sing the praises of the raglan sleeve?  I LOVE not having to set in a sleeve.  So. Much. Easier.



The techniques used to make this top are fairy easy.  The couching was a little more challenging than the rest, but overall, it is much easier to do than it looks.  I did have a little trouble with puckering around the beads, so next time I will try not to pull my thread so tight.  The main point that I want to get across is how easy it is to do this kind of work.  I think it looks so intricate, that most people think it will be hard.  This book outlines how to do everything.  If you are a quilter, you will find that you already know how to do many of these techniques.



As I was working on this top, I was thinking about how people used to make all their own clothing.  A hundred years ago, I would guess that most people knew how to sew clothing.  Now it has become such a lost art and people grow up without sewing machines in their homes.  Clothing items like this are now only accessible to certain people because of the price (click here for an example).  What everyone used to do for necessity has now switched to being accessible for a few.  What an odd turn of events.  But, for about $15 and some beautifullt spent slow stitching time, I can have that time in history back.  I was listening to Alabama Chanin talk about this on a podcast and it was part of the reason that she decided to write books and literally give away her secrets as a designer.  She wanted this joy to be accessible to more people. What a wonderful thing to share.


Posted in Clothing, Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments