Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Mini

I don't really do much holiday crafting. I'm not that girl on your IG feed who has made 6 pillows, 4 bags, a throw blanket, 2 baskets and some bunting out of her never ending supply of 'Boo Crew' fabric. I mean, it's one day, people. If you want to make and post something cool; make your kid a costume! Anyway, a few weeks ago Kimberly gave me this skeleton fabric scrap, so I gave in and decided to make one Halloween mini quilt. Especially after I realized the fabric glows in the dark!!

I drew the lettering on freezer paper first to make a template. I used my Bernina and some green aurifil for the applique (which came out better than I expected considering I applique about once every 3 years). I'm glad I spent the money on an applique foot, though.

I used a fun orange bubble fabric for the binding...and voila...I now own one Halloween decoration. Muahahaha!


Edit: I received this little kitty plushie in my #kittyminiquiltswap package, so I now own two Halloween decorations!

The extent of the Halloween decorating at my house (:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Tour

Just over a week ago I was nominated by Jennifer of and to participate in the Around the World Blog Tour. I was really flattered to be tagged by her as I am such a huge fan of all of her work, especially her dedication to charitable efforts. I also love that Jennifer shares my affinity for all things Harry Potter. I am pretty sure I have read an Around the World post on almost every single quilting blog I follow (about 15-20 blogs) so I was really excited to be nominated myself! You can read Jennifer's Around the World post on to the questions!

1. What am I working on? && Where can you find me?

I usually have multiple projects in the works at all times. These projects will range in type, size, and what stage of the process they are in. I'm just not the type of person to get one thing 100% finished before moving on to the next thing; I like to have a range of projects to pick from depending on how I'm feeling or how much time I have. Right now I have a handful of WIP quilts and a few bags. I'm also in a few monthly sewing bees and signed up for a handful of instagram swaps in the next few months (:  Other than subscribing to this awesome blog, you can find Swink Girls Quilts on facebook, or follow me personally on instagram: francesca8788

Blocks for a bee I'm running on facebook.

Blocks for the current RMQG charity quilt.

A koozie that went in an IG swap package.

2. How is my work "different"?
I don't know if my work is different, per se. I really just focus on making what I like. A wide variety of colors and styles appeal to me. I lean towards more modern/contemporary colors and prints, but quilting has a rich history and wonderful traditions which I can't and won't ignore. One thing I like to do that has become rather popular lately is to make "traditional" blocks or patterns with modern fabrics or colors. It can be really fun to combine multiple styles to get a fresh look.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

My mom, Kim, taught me how to sew and quilt, and she co-authors this blog with me as well. I don't think I would have gotten in to sewing at all if it wasn't for her, but I'm so glad I did because I enjoy it so much. I love being able to create things with my own mind and hands. It give me such pride and a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Blogging is a way to document and share those accomplishments with people from all over the world. I love how the online sewing/quilting community is SO generous with information: patterns, tutorials, general advice and support....I just love being a part of it.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I find inspiration all over; blogs I follow, show and tell at my local MQG, instagram, nature, and some things I just dream up in my head. Every new project gets an entry in my trusty notebook. I love this notebook because one side of each page is graph paper and the other is lined...brilliant! Here I'll make sketches, list ideas, play with colored pencils, do quilty math, etc. I like to date my entries when I first start the project and also mark it DONE with the date when I finish, just for fun. I tend to make a lot of notes during the process so I can come back for reference; even if it's just an idea and it never gets further than that, I like to be able to look through my notes, combine ideas, etc. I take pictures along the way with my cell phone (and occasionally my digital camera) and share most of what I create right here on this blog or on instagram. 

Here's a post card I made for a guild Halloween post card swap (it glows in the dark!):

5. Three bloggers I want you to meet (and who I'm tagging to participate in this tour):

All three of my nominees are local quilters that I met through the Rochester Modern Quilt Guild. They are all extremely talented and wonderful quilty friends.

First is Amy of Created Through Inspiration. Amy is a mom of three cuties and she shares all kinds of wonderful things on her blog, very often with a tutorial (or recipe). I love seeing the wonderful toys and playthings she makes for her kiddos. She is also a very health conscious cook and I love the way she substitutes in things like yogurt and coconut cool!

Amy's post card

Second is Pat of Color Me Quilty. Pat actually participates in both the Rochester and Ithaca MQGs and she is a wonderful quilter. I love Pat's sense of color and her overall enthusiasm for quilting is really catchy!

Pat's post card

Third is Sherri of The Creekside Quilter. Sherri is an amazing free motion quilter. I am always wowed by her quilting. She has a wonderful modern style and her projects are always very fresh and fun. Sherri's background as a graphic designer has probably impacted her quilting style; I love seeing what she makes!

Sherri's post card

That's it for this stop on the Around the World Blog Tour! Thank you so much for stopping by; please take a moment to leave me a comment to let me know you were here!

Keep calm and quilt on!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Stashin' #7

Hey all! I made a quick trip to JoAnn's this week to buy some backing fabric for a quilt since I didn't have time to order something online. I actually ended up buying a few things!

Here's the cuddle fabric for the quilt back. It's like minkee but with out dimples. It's soft, but the plush is not deep. I love the colors.
It was $10/yard but it's 60" wide, so I will only need about 2.25 yards for my quilt and I won't have to piece the back at all...WIN!

I also got a yard of this Denyse Schmidt polka dot since it was on sale:
This picture is the new background on my cell phone, btw (:

And this Denyse Schmidt plaid was only $3.50 a yard! So I bought 2 yards. I'm very picky about fabric. If it feels cheap and doesn't have a nice hand, I won't buy it. So I was please to find this higher quality fabric for such a reasonable price.
I love the little pop of lime in this plaid. It's actually a different colorway of the plaid I used on my sewing machine cover:

That's it for today!


Thursday, October 23, 2014


Boy, these instagram swaps are addictive!  My second foray into IG swapping was the #kittyminiquiltswap. I had a couple ideas but all that fell to the wayside when I spotted Elizabeth Hartman's cat quilt. I'm a sucker for a rainbow quilt, folks, all day long. I followed Elizabeth's tutorial for making cat blocks and here's what I came up with. My partner, Holly, said she likes grey, purple, and green, so I though I did pretty well color wise. I also quilted it with a very light purple variegated aurifil thread.
Before quilting.

Quilted and bound.

The back is Backyard Garden by cloud9 organics. I bought a yard of it a couple years ago with no purpose in mind and it matches nothing in my stash, but it has adorable kitties and mice on it, amidst a meadow of flowers. I'm kind of sad it's on the back actually 'cause it's so cute. You can also see the label and the pink hanging pockets.

I also made this kitty softie from a pattern I found online. It's not great, but I tried.

I did manage to get a picture of the koozie I made for this swap:

And I laced this little kitty toy with cat nip :D

Other goodies in the package: nail polish, hand sanitizer, kit-kat bar, gummy bears, stickers, and a Halloween card - because it had a cat on it!

I received a swap package from @craftyjennifer with a great mini and tons of awesome goodies. Thanks, Jennifer!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mikey's Quilt

The short story: back in August I volunteered to long arm a quilt. 

The long story: back in August I volunteered to long arm a quilt for a boy named Mikey. Mikey is 8 years old and has cystic fibrosis. In September, he traveled to California to have a liver transplant. The procedure was successful, and as I write this he is at home, watching a movie on the couch with his brother and their dog. An online community I am involved with, Fandom in Stitches, pieced an amazing super hero themed quilt for Mikey. The founder of FiS, Jennifer, assembled the quilt top with sashing and borders, and made the back. Community members donated the blocks, backing fabric, batting, money for postage, a throw pillow and a pillowcase. Jennifer mailed me the box of goodies a few weeks ago for quilting and binding. I quilted it on the Innova with 2 colors of Aurifil thread: a pretty cornflower blue and a light gold. I finished hand sewing the binding this afternoon. As I write this, Mikey's quilt is on it's way to the real hero, Mikey. It was an absolute pleasure to work on, and a really stunning quilt. I am so glad this opportunity came my way; we all know that giving back feels so, so good. With out further ado, here are a few shots of the quilt and quilting. Just to reiterate- SGQ did not piece this quilt- it was pieced by over 20 individuals, all of whom did an amazing job.

One of my favorite free motion patterns: loops and stars. 

Most of the quilting in the body of the quilt is loops.

I did some back and forth quilting on the letters.

And some ruler work to make a web for Spidey!

The different borders. Of course I managed to get a picture of the one place where the ribbon candy quilting escaped it's border.

One super quilt!

The binding and backing are a really neat comic book print.

The End.