ISLAND HOME fabrics by Natalie Barnes from ANTHOLOGY FABRICS

Monday, December 9, 2019

Holiday Memories - Janome to the rescue!

Holiday Memories

Janome to the rescue!

by Natalie Barnes of beyond the reef

The Holidays are for making Memories.
Just that.

You might be thinking, you don't have time to sew during the Holidays.
But I assure you, you do.
Just a few minutes a day, and you'll be ready for the Holiday family event.

Here's a simple project - and an idea for you.
Sprinkle some "albumn blocks" on your table, include Micron pens
and let your guests sign their name and leave a sentiment for the Holiday.
Everyone knows I love string blocks.
I've chosen them once again for this project, because they're achievable
and don't take a lot of quilting math!!  (smirk)
When you are done, you will be left with a stack of lovely blocks 
with the names and notes
from all of those that you love, and shared time with during the Holidays!!
Choose a color scheme - red and white, red and green and white, silver and blue.
Grab some fabrics from your stash.
Head to the hardware store and get some painters masking paper - 6".
You'll need lots of bobbin thread, so grab the Aurifil for this project - a neutral light grey.
You'll want a 6-1/2" square ruler, a cutting mat and rotary cutter, some snips
to one side of your Janome
and an ironing mat, and your Oliso travel iron sitting to the other side.
Because I sew on the HD-3300, I can set it up anywhere.  
So I set it up by the tree and turned on the lights
sewing to the sparkle!!!
Cut random width strips, trimming ends - between 1 - 2 inches.
Cut a stack of 6" squares from the masking paper - your foundation.
Place white, or the fabric you've chosen for the signature of the block, 9" strip,
in the center from point to point,
right sides up.
Select your first color strip, and trim it to a length just past the foundation paper.  
With right sides together, stitch together and give a quick press open with your iron.
Repeat until one side of the paper is covered.
Then cover the other side of the paper and you have completed your block!
Remember, you can chain piece the strips!!  
The Janome HD-3300 is fast, and makes quick work of this project!  (zoom zoom)
(the perfect setup!)
Give the blocks a good pressing, and trim to 6" square.
You are DONE!

And now for the magic.
Yup.  I buried the lead.
Sprinkle these blocks 
down the center of your table, 
making them part of the centerpiece!
Add some Micron pens, and ask your guests to sign while they are dining.

So, remember, Holidays are about the Memories.
Capture those memories with a quick stack of Albumn Blocks
easily string pieced
and ready for your Holiday Dinner or get together!


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

#SewPINK Initiative 2019

it's October.breast cancer awareness month.

and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of the initiative
created by 
to bring awareness to this special month

thank you

in addition to the campaign, there is information about prizes, donations, 
and the blog hop schedule here:
we chose to make the byAnnie 
Zip It Up!
featuring fabrics and artists:
Woman's Wisdom by Carrie Bloomston
Celebrating Women by Maria Carluccio
Flower Power by Carolyn Gavin
Marcia Derse Palette accents
and thanks to Windham Fabrics
we'll be sending one lucky reader
(chosen from the comments below)
a stack of Palette and some of the designers' fabrics

please leave a comment to be entered
in the drawing for the fabrics
have you ever made a bag or project?

I will be the first to admit it - I was intimidated by this project!!!
but who wouldn't jump in for such a great campaign....
the first part of the project prep was spent watching Annie's
video tutorials about making zippers from her Zippers by the Yard
and her "how to" videos about installing zippers
the tutorials make it all so easy

byAnnie patterns are really specific and easy to follow
and I highly recommend jumping in and making any one of her projects
now that I've completed one of these great bags
(just don't look too closely....ahem....)
I think I'm ready to make a few more for girlfriends,
tucking in some of the information about 
Breast Cancer Awareness
and Annie's Sew Pink Initiative

and that means shopping for more supplies:
byAnnie's Soft and Stable
Mesh Fabric
Clear Vinyl
Handbag zippers

after all, byAnnie's is donating 30% - yes, 30% of profits
on SewPINK items
sold on their online shop
(see below)

thank you, Annie
for this wonderful month full of fun projects
inspiration from designers
and education and resources
for all


The #SewPink Initiative was created by LLC to raise awareness for breast cancer during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. They have pledged to raise funds to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through sales and promote action through giveaways.

For more information please visit their official #SewPINK information page:

To donate directly visit:!/donation/checkout

To see the calendar of events visit:

ByAnnie will be donating 30% of profits on all SewPINK items sold on their web store. You can search for SewPINK items on their website or see the list of items here:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Shayla Wolf Good Vibes Only blog tour


It's a great month!
It's time to celebrate with Shayla Wolf of Sassafras Lane Designs!!
It's time to take a look at this lovely Windham Fabrics line
with lots of color and prints that will make lots of different projects!  
There is a great blog tour happening right now.
And I couldn't be more excited to be a part fo the fun.

Let's celebrate together.

Leave a comment!
Each maker will be hosting a giveaway for a small bundle of Good Vibes Only. 
That is 19 opportunities to win! 
There will also be a big giveaway with the recap post on Sunday, June 23rd. 
The big prize will contain a fat-quarter bundle of Good Vibes Only and a pattern bundle.

It's summer.
Not only is it summer, but school is out, and that means kids are at home.
Well, only until they find the next place they want to go....
and then you're off to the races!

It's for this reason, I suggest a simple
project for this summer - it's these lovely, rich, cheery fabrics...
And, because, it's something you can work on
15 minutes at a time!!
These bright colors just say, "summer", to me, too!

"Summer-to-go!" mats and coasters
Place the first strip right side up, on the batting,
in the center of the 13"h x 16"w batting/backing rectangle.
(trim to 13" as you select each strip)
Quilt through the first strip.
Place the second strip right sides together on the first strip.
Sew together with an approximate 1/4" seam.
Flip open; quilt the second strip.
Repeat, across the left of the center, then the right of the center. 
Hint:  Piece some random strips together to form larger pieced strips.
Use these in your
Be sure to sew and quilt in opposing directions to keep your project square.
(up one side, down the other, and repeat)
don't you just love all of these patterns and colors???!?
Trim mats to 12 x 16, and coasters to 5-3/4" square.
Make 2-1/4" straight binding; attach to projects.
Color Recipe:
Use fat quarters of all of the colors to piece the mats and coasters.
Use the black to bind the coasters, the white to bind the mats.
The coaster backing is grey, and the mat backing is made from the whites.
(the rest of the details are below)
Piece them in a "loosely interpreted"
log cabin piecing technique.
Start with a square or strip in the center, then round and round you go,
Who knows?
Maybe the kids will want to quilt with you, once they see these great colors!

Looking for a chance to win something?
Leave your comment below...and remember, each post
is another chance to win....
(4) 6" squares grey for coaster backing
(4) 6" squares of InsulBright and lightweight batting
(4) 13" x 17" white/grey for mats backing
(4) 13" x 17" rectangles of batting for mats
(2) sets of 1-1/2" strips, and (2) sets of 2" strips
of all of the colors
(all of them!!! and yes, you'll have fabric remaining)

Monday, June 3rd: Shayla Wolf | Sassafras Lane Designs
Tuesday, June 4th: Emily Dennis | Quilty Love
Wednesday, June 5th: Nichole Vogelsinger | Wild Boho
Thursday, June 6th: Irene Sytema | Sugaridoo
Friday, June 7th: Sylvia Schaefer | Flying Parrot Quilts
Saturday, June 8th: Robin Long | Robin Ruth Design
Sunday, June 9th: Jessica VanDenburgh | Sew Many Creations
Monday, June 10th: Nicole Young | Lillyella
Tuesday, June 11th: Sherry Shish Powered by Quilting
Wednesday, June 12th: Tara Curtis | Wefty Needle
Thursday, June 13th: Jo Westfoot | The Crafty Nomad
Friday, June 14th: Janet Nesbitt | One Sister Designs
Saturday, June 15th: Natalie Barnes | Beyond the Reef
Sunday, June 16th: Elisabeth Hardy | Elisabew Quilts
Monday, June 17th: Sarah Sharp | No Hats in the House
Tuesday, June 18th: Joanne Hart Unicorn Harts
Wednesday, June 19th: Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie
Thursday, June 20th: Kaitlyn Howell | Knot and Thread Design
Friday, June 21st: Nicole Daksiewicz | Modern Handcraft
Saturday, June 22nd: Sarah Thomas | Sariditty
Sunday, June 23rd: Shayla Wolf | Recap


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Guest Designer for Anthology Fabrics!!

Guest Designer for Anthology Fabrics


I could not have been more excited
(insert poker face here)
when the Windham Fabrics team
asked me if I would be interested in being a
(insert giddy face here)
Guest Designer for Anthology Fabrics
it was absolutely an over the moon exciting moment

and a great opportunity to be able to work with
who is the 
most organized
most precise
most magical
when it comes to working with the team in Bali
and having patience with designers
and who can turn a vision of fabric design into a hand made piece of cloth
after Myiesha works her magic
and the makers in the Islands work their own magic
fabric arrives 
and the sample making begins

many friends, many hands, many hours

the samples are made, and the photos are taken
and the Look Book is created
and the sales team heads out to meet with the shop owners
but when it is all said and done
the quilts are carefully folded up and put in a safe place
until it is time to show them again
maybe they'll be admired at Market
or at a Trunk Show
or in a Class along the way

maybe they'll go on loan to a quilt shop
when the fabric starts shipping in July/August

but until that time
they are lovingly folded 
as the precision and determination and dedication
of each Maker
is admired
(insert tears of gratitude on my face here)
Deb, Jane, Kim, Nicole, Robin, Scott, Teresa, Tiffany, Zina
the Anthology Fabrics team
the Bali team

with gratitude....

Sunday, September 30, 2018

time to talk real life....again.

it's sunday.
time to talk real life.

some days bring us shadows
that is, to point out the obvious, a part of life

we all have faced it at one time or another in our lives

but it seems we're in a culture where we are more rewarded
for being stoic, staying productive
keeping our head high
staying positive and joyful and happy
and moving on

I want to suggest otherwise
I want to suggest it's okay to be sad every so often
(rather than angry)
I want to suggest it's okay to be, as my neighbor said the other day,

be kind to yourself
give yourself space
and allow yourself time to turn your grief
into great stories about the person that make you laugh
or reminds you of the sunshine
instead of the shadow

quilters do that so well
we comfort people with quilts
we make pillowcases from happy fabrics

do something to honor that place of loss in your life
and give yourself a hug
that will be the best positive joyful happiest thing you can do


fly high, Pete

(look at it this way - you got an extra 30 years out of it - it was well worth the tradeoff)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Friends.....lessons from friends


lessons from friends

in the last few weeks
I have had the joy of spending time with friends

one of my friends
is my 90 year old neighbor, turned friend

the biggest lesson I receive
from spending time with this 90 year old is this
everything is a

this adult trike was hung with a small kids tricycle
an adult tricycle?!???

dinner with friends
the simplest of a bbq filled with meats and veggies
flowers from friends as a thank you
and carving time out of the day
to set up the chairs/table/kayaks
on the beach
for some time on the water
with people whose to do lists are longer than others'?
let's remember to stop
and carve some time out of the day
prioritize our to do list
to include some

have I made my point yet?
take some time for yourself
and remember to learn from your friends

leave me a comment below - we'll give away some more
Marcia Derse
Palette fabrics
what did you do this weekend to delight someone else?

Finally, congratulations to Pamela and Delaine 
for leaving comments chosen by the Random Number Generator
look in your mail for your Marcia Derse fabric bundle!


ps - if it's labor day 2018 and you're reading this
we're having a Labor Day sale
in our Etsy shop

20% off all goods listed in the shop
is the special code
good until tomorrow at 6am pacific time