I can check “learn how to paper piece” off of my to-do list and I LOVE it!

Paper piecing was one of my goals for 2014 along with another that we will not mention since I have failed spectacularly.  When I saw that Lee Monroe of May Chappell was hosting an All Shirts Swap using the Carolyn Friedlander Shirts pattern which was paper pieced, I decided right then that it was time to step up to the plate. I struggled with the first few shirts and they took forever to do (over an hour easily) but I kept at it because I love the crisp, sharp lines that paper piecing produces plus I was making tiny shirts. All in all I ended up making 18 shirts (they do not take as long now), sending 10 to Lee, three to Alaska as a side swap and hanging on to the five that I could not bare to part with.

On a sidenote, I did not realize that this pattern was considered tiny. I just assumed that all paper piecing projects were this small. The blocks will finish at 5 1/2″ square.


iPhone | Instagram

Here is my set of 18:


And here are the 13 that I received from the All Shirts Swap and my Alaska side swap:


I am super excited that I received such a great assortment of shirts. The makers had a great eye for color and pattern. I received the green on green shirt from Carolyn Friedlander and the anchor shirt from Lee Monroe! I had originally thought that I was going to do a small wall hanging, but that changed with the announcement of All Shirts Swap 2.0. Now I am not sure how they will end up.

There was such a great response to the swap that Lee is hosting Round 2! I jumped on board again and I cannot wait to start making more shirts. Have you thought about paper piecing? Have you thought about joining the All Shirts Swap? Do it!! The deadline for mailing is in far away June so you have plenty of time! Warning: they are highly addictive!

Bee Blocks, an Awesome Shop + Giveaway

Giveaway Winner is announced below!

I am happily getting into the swing of the Modern InstaBee. I could not have asked to be paired with a better group of women in Hive 13. We are active both on Instagram and in our private Facebook group and it has been wonderful getting to know everyone. (Sidenote: a Facebook group is awesome for the bee since we can post photos and set up events for each Queen Bee’s month!) Since we kicked off our bee in the middle of February, we decided to double up March and September so that we can finish up in the calendar year.

My two March Blocks:


Stacked Windmills with gray, fuchsia and purple.


A Bluebell’s Cabin in jewel toned prints and solids.

My month is July and I have selected the Come Together block, a twelve block quilt, so it will be ready to finish when they all arrive. I have not stopped thinking about color palettes since I scored a place in Hive 13. I decided on blues, bright greens, gray, and white with a pop of yellow. To help calm my brain and provide some continuity for the quilt, I decided that I will be sending all of my bee members the gray and the yellow. The hardest part was determining what gray to go with, enter Cuts of Cotton!

Cuts of Cotton was introduced to me by Amy of Diary of a Quilter and I was sold by Emily’s fantastic customer service. I emailed her one evening and asked:

“I am looking for a gray solid with texture/depth. With Modern Solids II Metal VS Quilter’s Linen Gray how blueish is the Metal? It appears to be very cool toned, how does it look in person. I am looking to go pretty neutral. Thank you!”

She quickly responded with an offer to send me swatches. Swatches!! Perfect, it is like having the fabric store come to me – without all of the extra things that always manage to sneak into my bag!


I ended up selecting Gray Quilter’s Linen (as well as some white text Sun Print, vanilla Oval Elements, and noir Squared Elements) because I liked the texture but I fell in love with the look of the Modern Solids II. I ordered a full set of the Modern Solids II collection (20 vibrant colors!) and cannot wait to decide what project I will use them in. I have been thinking about doing a solids only project and these will be perfect!


Emily has graciously agreed to do a giveaway of her Modern Solids II Warm Bundle in honor of spring and is offering a 10% discount to Cuts of Cotton! Use discount code: andpins10 for 10% off you entire order until April 12th.

Modern Solids II Warm Colors FQB – a palette that reminds me of summer sunsets

All you have to do for a chance (or three) to win the FQB is to is use the Rafflecopter link below and tell me your favorite bundle from Cuts of Cotton’s shop. Today, mine is the Black and White Bundle, but it changes frequently. There are two, bonus entries there as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, April 8th at 8pm EST and I will announce the winner Wednesday morning.

I am happy to announce that Angelia L. is the winner of the Modern Solids II Warm Colors FQB. Angelia said, “I really love the Black and White bundle too! The Modern Solids blue and grey bundle is also wonderful!” Congratulations Angelia and a great bundle choice! Look for an email from me.

Emily is happy to announce that she will soon be offering swatch books of all of the compete lines she carries – Modern Solids II would be included! I, personally, cannot wait for a full set of swatches. If you have any color questions in the mean time, contact her and she will be happy to answer you quickly and provide swatches.

After much deliberation, here is my final palette for my Modern InstaBee blocks:


Thanks for stopping by and for checking out Cuts of Cotton, I look forward seeing you again soon!


MOD Prep!

My first retreat starts on Thursday and I am so excited that I can barely stand the wait! I am attending the inaugural MidAtlantic MOD in Lancaster County, PA with people from the Philly MQG, DC MQG, Central Jersey MQG as well as others that scored one of the 65 sewing tables.

I am trying to decide what projects to work on and what machine to take. Currently my to do list looks like:

  • A baby quilt for a good friend of my husband
  • Plus quilt to be given as a Quilt of Valor
  • More Shirts for round 2 of the All Shirt Swap!
  • Paper pieced stars for my granddad’s quilt
  • A handful of grab balls – both to sell and for gifts
  • Maybe, just maybe the Aviatrix Medallion quilt since Elizabeth Hartman is releasing it on the 1st and a baby sized Single Girl since I now know that it can be paper pieced.

Serious question, how many projects are too many? I do not want to get bored, but I do not want to pack my ENTIRE sewing studio either.

Originally, I had planned on just taking my featherweight and doing piecing, but I am beginning to second guess myself. If I bring my Bernina, I could use the time to start and finish a quilt or two – that would require me hauling batting, backing, safety pins, etc., so I am leaning towards leaving the big machine at home. I still have a few days to decide and I am guessing that everything will be tossed in the car…just in case!

I signed up to take part in a progressive quilt, a tote bag swap, a few charity events, and two classes: paper piecing and gentle curves.

My progressive quilt assignment is for the low volume/little bits quilt. The instructions were to use the fabrics provided as well as other low volume/white/gray fabrics from your stash and add a pop of color. They suggested improv piecing and the block(s) had to total 14″ square. I’m going to put it out there that this was WAY out of my comfort zone. Improv implies no plan and I always work with a plan or at least a rough sketch. I dug through my stash and decided to add bits of orange and my signature platinum quilter’s linen.


My contribution is actually three blocks (complete left, bottom right with Architextures, and top right) because I could not decide if I liked them pieced together or not. This way the orange grid can be spread out throughout the quilt. I am looking forward to working with the other people assigned to this quilt and working on assembling it at the MOD.

The tote bag was so much fun to do. Robert Kaufman Fabrics generously donated enough Essex Yarn Dyed Linen for each participant to receive a yard of fabric. (Thank you!!) The instructions were simple, make a tote before the MOD using the linen and whatever else you choose and it must be larger than 12″ x 14″. We will be doing a blind swap on Saturday evening.


I went to my go to tote bag pattern, the tied top tote from Sue Kim’s book Bags – The Modern Classics. I added tiny 1.5″ HSTs down the center of the tote for a pop of color. I used a flying geese configuration for the front.


As well as stripes for the back. Have I mentioned, today, how much I love the versatility of HSTs!


I even added a pocket for a pop of color on the inside as well as added usability. I love how this tote turned out and I hope the lucky new owner will love it as well.

The weekend is going to be awesome! A full, long weekend of sewing with old friends and an opportunity to make new friends. Are you going to the MidAtlantic MOD? There are some day passes available for Thursday/Friday if you are interested.

WIP Wednesday


My calendar shows that I had grand plans for this week’s post, but it got derailed with some bad news on Saturday. It’s with a heavy heart that I say that the patriarch of my father’s family passed early Saturday morning. I am so thankful that I was able to see my granddad in January when I traveled to Zion for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. When I asked what color quilt he wanted, he quickly replied “green and gold”. I am heartbroken that he will never see his quilt, but this week I’ll be “Army Strong”.

I started his quilt Monday night, green and gold as requested. The quilt will be full of paper pieced bordered stars. The pattern is from The Quilting Climber.

Half Square Triangles


I never realized how versatile half square triangles (HST) were until I was given an assignment at our February Philly MQG meeting; both in the endless combinations they can be put together to make a block and the many ways they can be made. For the assignment, we paper pieced them for accuracy. Paper piecing (without the paper – just drawing on the fabric) is my favorite, new way to do HST!

I have done HST in the past, for the round and round quilt, but I was following a pattern and wasn’t exposed to the endless possibilities!

The Philly MQG is working on a charity quilt to benefit the Waldorf School, who generously allows us to use their classroom space gratis for meetings and sewing nights. Each member was given two sets of fabric: a small piece of print fabric and a larger amount of celery green fabric to make a HST block of our choosing. The only rules were that 4 blocks had to have the print fabric and all 16 blocks had to have the celery. The remaining fabric could be anything from our stash – single or multiple fabrics.

I set out to make the blocks and could not decide which designs of block I liked. I put the group of four out into the social media world and ended up with two clear winners – though I think I could have continued playing with the HST for hours!



What is your favorite method of making HST? Do you change it up or consistently work with one method? If you have not tried paper piecing them, has great printable templates.


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