Studio Update

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a fabulous week and you and yours are safe and healthy.

I have so many projects going all at once, and I realized I haven’t updated my blog followers on what’s going on in my studio recently. So here’s your full Laurel, Poppy and Pine update!

As I begin to re-open my studio, I have set safety protocols in place for private lessons. Of course, having my students mask up is on of those precautions. I expect most students will bring their own masks, but in case someone forgets, I purchased these adorable masks from my friend Trina at Snippets for student use.

In addition to restarting private lessons, I am also gearing up to begin group classes. I will be teaching my By Your Side pattern at Quilting Mayhem in Snohomish on September 26th and have several other classes that I am preparing, including a fun color theory class. Local friends, keep your eye out for that!

And with teaching more classes comes making more samples! I have a couple of By Your Side top samples that I would like to finish before class to show my students all the fun ways you can make this quilt.

I also have this top, which is the sample for my color theory class. I’ll be finishing it hopefully this weekend.

Last month, I shared that my July UFO challenge was a black and white version of Quilting Jetgirl’s Downstream quilt. Since finishing that top, my son has moved AND decided to buy a larger bed! So, I got creative and drafted up a plan to add 10″ solid black borders to each side so he had a decent amount of overhang to cover his mattress well. I do have a bit of a sense of urgency to finish this one, as he’s in a studio so his bed is in full view of all guests!

My August UFO project was to finish my 2019 Quilter’s Planner BOM quilt. Recently, my husband and I decided that we would like to have a series of seasonal quilts to use on our bed. And with it’s adorable snowflake layout, this quilt is perfect for winter! I did not finish it in August because I really wanted to practice the quilting motif and take my time to do it well. It’s about a third of the way quilted at this point. And because I didn’t really have a good plan for my September UFO project (#10- a stack of Berry Season and Fall colored 10″ squares), I decided to skip it and extend my August project into September.

Speaking of quilts for our bed, my husband and I decided to work together to get a head start on my #6 project- the Alice in Wonderland Shimmer quilt. At the beginning of the year, my plan was to ‘have a finished top’, but I hadn’t chosen a size. Well, our bed is a king size, so that means we’ll be making 56 of these blocks in total. We’re still in the cutting stage, but it’s been fun to work together on this. We plan on it being our ‘late summer into fall’ quilt. Although there are a lot of florals, I love that the color palette made it masculine enough for his style.

With so many projects to do, it’s been a bit hard for me to know what to work on. I’m feeling a bit like a bumble bee buzzing from one flower to the next! I’m hoping on my next update, I’ll be able to show you some finished work!

Happy Sewing, ~L

Jeans Repair

I don’t know if it’s the summer or what, but I feel like lately I’ve been doing so many repairs on my family’s jeans collections.

I love that a quick fix can save a pair of well-loved jeans from the donate pile or scrap bin.

There are lots of great resources out there to learn mending techniques and get inspiration, but these two books are my favorites. If you haven’t tried mending your own clothes yet, I suggest starting here. (These are not affiliate links; I just love these books!)

Happy Sewing!


July UFO Challenge

Hi friends! As promised, today I’m sharing a little bit about My July UFO Challenge project: Isaac’s Downstream quilt

This project was one of two on my list that I didn’t have a plan for the design- just the recipient. here’s is what I had to say then:

5- Full-Sized quilt for Isaac: Like project number four, this is still in planning stages. At least for this one, I know it’s going to be black, white, and grey.

My eldest son is very much a computer nerd. He loves drones and 3D printers and all things techie, and has always liked the combo of black and white. He loves the last quilt I made for him, which you can see here, but it just isn’t big enough for him anymore now that he’s grown.

Around the time I was setting aside fabrics for this quilt, Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl released her Downstream Digital Quilt Pattern. It looked like just the thing he’d like, and the inspiration behind the quilt really hit home because, although he’s a tech nerd, my son is also very much a Pacific Northwest outdoorsman.

I chose the twin size, and realized quickly that although he wanted a scrappy quilt and I could shop from my stash, I just did NOT have enough black, white and grey in my stash for this thing!

I’ve been ordering fabric online a lot more now that 1. I don’t work at a fabric shop anymore. 2. Coronavirus has reduced many store’s hours and kept me home. But for this, I was in the groove and I didn’t want to wait for fabric in the mail. I went to both Hobby Lobby and a fabric shop in my town and found what I needed to complete this quilt.

Scrappy quilts can sometimes yield fun surprises. I was really happy when I sewed these two blocks together- I think that the contrast of the stripe going in to different directions as they make this point is a really cool detail!

Yvonne made this pattern so easy to follow; it’s a very quick finish! For assembly, I numbered my rows and was careful to follow her assembly diagram as I sewed.

I love the way this turned out, and even better- so does Isaac! There are some rather large triangle pairs left over which I have stored away in my closet to (eventually) make a baby quilt for his first child so they can have coordinating quilts!

This quilt top has joined the quickly-growing stack of tops for me to finish this winter.

Happy Sewing! ~Lorinda

June UFO Challenge

Does everyone else feel like they’re playing one very long game of catch-up, or is that just me?! The Corona-craziness starting in March and April coupled with a massive arthritis flare-up in May and June have done a good job of keeping me always just slightly behind schedule on my UFO challenge. Add my lack of keeping up this blog, and I’m realizing that unless you are an instagram follower, you would think I’ve given up this challenge completely!

Well, I definitely have not given up! And in the next couple of days, I will be posting about the last couple of months of the challenge and where I’m at.

#11 was the project picked for June. Here is what I had to say in January about this project:

11- 16-patch scrappy quilt: I have several 16-patch scrappy blocks that I’ve made over the years and would like to make some more and assemble a quilt. Not sure what size I’ll end up with, but it’ll probably depend on how busy that month is!

I didn’t really have much of a plan for these blocks or even an idea of how large the finished project would be. I decided on two options: I could simply assemble the blocks and make a very busy baby quilt with zero negative space, or I could assemble them on a grid with a ‘background’ color for some space to rest the eyes.

Well, in spite of being behind schedule, I decided I much preferred the idea of the larger quilt. And since my eldest son helped me make that decision and he was just about to leave for a picnic with his girlfriend, I figured it should be a picnic quilt for her.

We decided on a dark grey or black solid background, but as many of you probably know, it’s kinda of tough to find neutral solids right now. As I shopped online, I did find this black and grey blender that I thought would work well. It was a little scary buying that much fabric without seeing and touching it first! But when it arrived, it was as beautiful as I had hoped. I ordered extra, so there was enough to add a 3″ border and even some to save for my son’s next quilt (which, unbeknownst to me, would be my July UFO project!)

Leah’s Picnic Quilt is now in my pile of finished tops awaiting the perfect backing and quilting plan. I like the idea of an all-over swirl design in a bright color. The finished top is 62 x 70.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you about my July UFO project: Isaac’s Downstream quilt.

Happy Sewing! ~L

“Gertie Sews” Garments for Lauren

You may have noticed I’ve been posting a lot the last couple of weeks. I’ve finished a lot of projects recently and am trying to catch up on writing my posts!

For years, I’ve been wanting to spend some focused time learning how to sew garments really well. I decided a great place to start would be sewing some cute vintage-style clothes for my daughter from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual guidebook by Gretchen Hirsch.

I love how this book lays out so much information in a way that is totally understandable before giving you some amazing patterns that can be adapted and adjusted to fit your style.

My first pattern from the book was the Short and Chic A-line skirt. Honestly, this one was really just about me getting to play with my serger settings! I had this fabric on hand, and although the heavy weight wouldn’t be my first pick for a short skirt, I think it’ll look really cute in fall with some dark tights.

Next up was the Flared Shorts. I kept the pockets in the pattern because who doesn’t love pockets?! This black pair was my test run.

Once we had the pattern as we wanted it, I told my daughter the yardage she would need to buy if she found fabric she liked. Well, she works at a craft store that sells fabric, so it took her all of a day before she came home with this adorable blue and white stripe with embroidered flowers.

I really love this book and now that I’ve made a few garments for my daughter, I think I’ll venture into making some things for myself. My goal is to get a pattern drafted for a perfect-fit cigarette pant. My husband is also already asking for dress shirts, so I’ll have lots of things to keep me busy!

Happy Sewing! ~Lorinda

May UFO Challenge

How can time simultaneously seem to be dragging and flying by? How is it possible that 2020 is half over? And will I ever catch up on my UFO challenge?

My arthritis was really flaring up in May/June, so I reduced my sewing time quite a bit and got WAAAAYYYYY behind on my sewing projects.

My May UFO challenge project was one that had been sitting around my studio for much too long. In fact, when I got it out and up on my design wall, my daughter reminded me that we worked on it together at our old house. That means this project has been sitting in limbo for almost THREE YEARS. Not the oldest of my UFO projects, but this one did sit untouched the longest. Time to get it done!

Here is what I had to say in January about this project:

“12- Low-Volume Blue log cabin- This is a charity quilt that has been lingering for much too long. The blocks are mostly done and it just needs to get finished and get out into the world. I would like to have it completely finished by the end of its month.”

Because I hadn’t touched it in so long, I had to look at what I had in the project bag and make a guess at the layout I had planned. There were 20 unfinished blocks; some of them measured up to 12.5″ on one side. Knowing that, and remembering the charity quilt size requirements for my guild at the time, my assumption was that I was making 12.5″ blocks in a 4 x 5 layout. This would make a 50″ x 62.5″ quilt top.

I had some remaining fabric set aside to finish this, but I also wanted to add some newer things from my stash for variety.

After finishing the top, it sat for a while longer before I started quilting it. I decided on Aurifil 2890. It was in my stash and coordinated great with the Kona Basil I had used for the majority of the backing and for the binding. My husband really like the density of the quilting on this, so I think our next bed quilt will be similar. It looks full, but there are plenty of open spaces where the quilt can pouf up and move around.

I’ve been doing a lot of machine binding this year. Hand sewing has gotten harder, and I feel like machine binding gives a really strong finish. This is especially important for baby/toddler quilts that get a lot of washings!

Happy Sewing! ~Lorinda

Vintage Princess Peggy Day Dress

About a year ago, my mom brought me this dress for my daughter. It was my grandma’s, is in great condition, and she thought Lauren may like to wear it.

From my research, it was produced in the late ‘40s or 50s, and I could only find one other like it online…. an amazing treasure. But, in order for Lauren to be able to wear it, I had to size it down quite a bit. Scary! I really waffled back and forth about altering this dress, but ultimately, it was either going to keep sitting in the closet untouched, or I was going to adjust it and let it out into the world again.

While examining the structure of it, I found these little hand stitches that were made to adjust the fit around the bust and neck strap. Presumably, they are my grandma’s stitches, and most likely 50-65 years old. I didn’t know my grandma well, as we lived across the country from each other and she died when I was in elementary school. But seeing these stitches really made me feel a connection through the years. I imagined her sewing this all those years ago. She was obviously in a rush, maybe trying to finish this task between chasing around her kids… she never would have dreamt that a future granddaughter would be admiring and then taking those stitches out 50+ years later. It makes me wonder what of my sewing will be left after I’m gone and who is coming after me to take up what I leave behind. And it reminds me of how thankful I am for this craft that ties generations together.

I sized the bodice and skirt down about two inches each, taking lots of pictures as I went to refer to later and leaving all the original fabric in the seam allowances. That way, the dress can be sized back up in the future. I chose to leave out the bodice boning for comfort and removed the belt loops that were on the sides as there was no belt with it. Those are both saved for the future if needed. I am so glad to have this lovely piece of wearable history for my daughter. And Lauren is super happy to finally get to wear it! Scroll down for her ‘It has a pocket!” pose.

Happy sewing, friends! ~Lorinda

Ava’s Quilt

Hi friends!

Just a quick little post to share a quilt I recently finished. This one is for a very special little baby in my life named Ava.

I chose the color palette to coordinate with her room based on the pictures her mom showed me while they were still expecting. It’s all very soft and floral and pretty. I don’t usually work with subdued colors, so this was a nice change for me!

When I was trying to decide on the pattern to use, I just kept coming back to a super simple, classic, checkerboard patchwork. I wanted that old-fashioned, ‘grandma’s quilt’ feeling.

The double almond shape in the quilting design also helps give it that classic feeling.

And of course, I chose a striped binding!

Sweet Ava’s big brother happened to be at my house when I took this quilt out of it’s first washing, so I made him be the one to hold it up for photos. My kids were happy to get a break from quilt-holding!

I hope she will get lots and lots of years of soft snuggles out of this quilt!

And I also hope you all are doing well. It’s been a long time since I’ve checked in! My arthritis has really slowed down my sewing, but I do have a few more finished projects to show you soon.

Happy sewing! ~Lorinda

March/April UFO Follow-up

Hello, friends!

You may have noticed that I never wrote in early April about finishing my March UFO project. There’s a really good reason for that- I did not actually finish my March project in March! I was a bit caught up in the Corona fog, supporting my kids and trying to settle in to some of our new routines.

April brought some new structure, the realization that my kids would not be going back to school, and lots of productivity. I was able to catch up on my UFO challenge, develop and present (via Zoom) a new workshop, and like most of you- make lots of fabric masks for my friends, family and community.

Here’s a look back to what I said at the beginning of the year about March’s project:

“7- Riley Blake Alice quilt: Another Alice quilt with only two blocks made. I’m using the 2020 Quilter’s Planner Sampler pattern for this one and a bundle built around the Wonderland fabric collection from Riley Blake.”

So my task was to finish out the remaining 10 blocks and assemble the quilt top. It was fun working with the pastels and rabbit-themed fabrics leading into Easter, but after Easter passed it took me another week to assemble the top.

I’m looking forward to quilting this and having it ready to go in my living room next spring!

I love the Quilter’s Planner Sampler pattern this year- there’s a lot of interesting elements that move your eye around the quilt top.

Catching up on March’s project put me a bit behind starting April’s. Here are the details about April’s project from my UFO post in January:

“1- Sister Sampler Quilt: This is a quilt top waiting to be quilted, bound, and gifted. I want to gift it in September, so if this number doesn’t come up before then, I’ll have to finish it early.”

Because I was feeling behind schedule, I was glad to only have to finish a top instead of piece an entire quilt. Unfortunately, I can’t rent the long arm at my LQS right now so I was going to have to quilt this at home.

I had a few options for quilting thread, but this light orange was the clear winner…. it just popped against that quilt top!

The free motion quilting went a lot quicker than I expected which was good because I really was down to the wire on this one. I finished it at like 5 pm on April 30th!

This challenge has been so good for me. After having a month like March where I barely sewed anything fun, this really helped me to get the motivation to get out of my rut and take pleasure in making beautiful things for my home and the homes of people I love.

May’s project is underway, and I look forward to sharing more about it soon.

In the meantime, Happy Sewing! ~L




Show me Something Rainbow Follow-up

So here we are at the end of March…. what just happened?! What a crazy month. How are we doing- are you all ok out there? Can we all agree that April Fool’s jokes would just be too much at this point, and just ignore the holiday all together?!

At the beginning of the month (which seems like forever ago), I was hoping to complete something rainbow-themed for Sarah’s linkup. Here was my plan:

“Besides just showing past projects, I wanted to set myself a goal this month to make something based on the theme. As I said earlier, I would like to finish the scrappy rainbow By Your Side quilt this month. I also would like to play with rainbows using some curved piecing blocks from Modern Curves and Bold Stripes. Or maybe more mini blocks from the Sew Tiny Sampler!  I’ll check in at the end of the month to let you know how I did.”

Little did I know what March had in store!

I won’t bore you with the details- I think we’re all navigating lots of crazy changes and uncertainty right now. My time has been occupied elsewhere, and besides some mask covers, I just haven’t been able to sew much!

I did end up choosing a project, though! I have had these little rainbow strips in my cabinet for quite some time. Early in the month, I was getting something else out and came across them. The colors made me so happy, and I knew I just needed to make something with them to brighten up my month.


I originally planned on it being a table runner, but I was making the background white and I didn’t want it to get ruined. I have a tall, narrow spot on my studio wall that is blank so I decided a wall hanging was better.

I quilted each section by color, and I love the effect on the white!


I got so close to finishing. The binding is all that’s left, but I changed my mind on the binding fabric at the last minute and don’t have what I need. I’ll be using Kona white, which I usually have on hand. But I used it up making mask ties and although I reoredered some last week, it’s still on it’s way to me. But I am counting this one a success because I WOULD have had it done tonight if I had the fabric I need!


Make sure to visit Sarah’s Linkup page for this month to see all the other rainbow projects!

And here’s hoping that next months brings more time for happy sewing! ~L