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Needle turn appliqué… Part 1 Getting Ready

 A quilt on my quilty dream list is an Orange Peel Quilt… I came across this pattern on Fat Quarter Shop and just fell in love!


I’ve been itching to do some hand work…. so I am doing Needle Turn Applique for this quilt. And so far it has been fun!

I think I love it because it is small and portable and I get to hold all these beautiful fabrics we love so much in my hands while I am working on it. I am a dental hygienist so I can sometimes squeeze a few in between patients….shhhhhh, don’t tell!

I thought I would show you guys how I am going about this….I am by no means a master of needle turn, but here are the basics if you want to give it a try!

You are going to need some templates for the shape you will be appliquéing.

For this pattern you can find the templates for any size here….

Impressions Quilting Templates Orange Peel Set from It’s Sew Emma features the classic orange peel applique shape. Templates are designed to fit on 3″, 4″, 5″ and 6″ finished squares.

I am going with the 5″ template on a 5 1/2″ background square.

You will first trace your template using a marking pen that will wash out… so that the lines are not seen when you are done.

I am using a Sewline marking tool. I found mine on Amazon for about 15.00. This is a three way marking tool. You have a white, pink and black marking option.

Product Details

Marks like a dream!

You can pick whichever color stands out best on your fabric… nice feature

You are going to also need some matching thread to coordinate with your applique pieces…. this helps your stitches blend in.

A few other handy tools are a small pair of scissors for snipping threads, a few thin pins for holding your applique in place, and of course your stitching needle.

Sharps are a great needle….they are long and thin. Milliners and Straw needles are also a good choice.

Now you are ready to get stitiching! 

So get your tools ready and  the next post will show you how to get your first stitches started.

Here is a great Craftsy class for learning Needle turn appliqué with Sarah Fielke.


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Baby Whale Quilts! 


Baby whales and cutie pies!

Gotta love ’em…. so adorable.

This is my recent finish on a baby quilt for my soon to be nephew, Oliver. This quilt was super easy to make and I just loved the color scheme. My youngest niece is loving it too….. I’m not sure she is ready to share this chair….even though she has her own quilt.

I just went through my stash and picked out an assortment of navy and gray fabrics.

Cut 36 squares 6.5″ x 6.5″ and sew them together, 6 across and 6 down.

Finishes 36.5″ x 36.5″… perfect crib size.

The appliques were super easy! I used some Steam a Seam 2 and ironed it to my whale fabric. Printed off some whale shapes from online and shrunk it down to the size I wanted.  I traced it onto the fabric and cut it out. Then peel off the back and ironed it on.

I chose a simple topstitch to secure these whales. Not easy hitting all the curves, but just go slow and one stitch at a time in the tight spots. It also helped to only do 4…. not all over the place, and I like how it looks better too! Don’t want to overdo the whales.

Here is another whale project I did recently…


Whales on the brain, lol.

This one is for my local guild. We have an exhibit at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show at the end of this month. It is titled, Ombre… Your Way!

I made my own pattern for this one too… but, I spray basted the whale to hold it in place and then stitched it down. I used a zig zag stitch for this one and did a little more quilting.

The hexagons were also spray basted on and then top stitched.

Simple, but cute!


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Bella Skill Builder…Block 1

Today starts the beginning of an awesome quilt along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop!

Bella Skill Builder

I am super pumped to make this quilt. It will be a 10 month process, with a new block posted the 1st of the month for 9 months and then a finishing post for the last month.

Some months you will make multiples…. just in case you were like….HEY? There is more than 10 blocks in there!

Oh…. and did I mention it’s a FREE PATTERN! Happy face:)

Here is an up close look at this gorgeous quilt…..

Bella Skill Builder

This quilt will finish at 66.5 x 83.5

We will be working with Bella Solids….. hence the name, Bella Skill Builder.

Fat Quarter Shop has a Quilt Kit, Backing Set, and a Thread Set for this quilt.

Bella Skill Builder Quilt Kit Exclusive Fat Quarter Shop Kit designed by Sherri McConnell

Backing Set for Bella Skill Builder Quilt Kit 5.5 yards of SKU# 9900-89
Bella Skill Builder Thread PackFat Quarter Shop Exclusive
Today’s Block…..

Block 1: Kaleidoscope

You will make three blocks with this pattern.


One large block and two smaller versions.

Tips for this block…

•be precise with cutting, mistakes add up!

•fabric is on bias so kinda stretchy, use pins and don’t over press and stretch these out!

Rulers you can use for this block are:

Creative Grids Spider Web Ruler #CGRKA6

Creative Grids 6 1/2” Quilting Square Ruler #CGR6

Creative Grids 12 1/2” Quilting Square Ruler #CGR12


Some templates are provided should you not have them.

You can find the patterns to download HERE!

Have fun Sassy’s and enjoy working on building your quilting skills!



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Planning for quilty success! 2017

Quilt Planning

We have all heard this quote…. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” by Winston Churchill or maybe this one by Benjamin Franklin…”By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”.

This month I’ve been doing a lot of planning for my new year! Focusing on what I need to get done and new challenges I want to embrace.

You may have seen some awesome quilty planners floating around on the the interwebs…..

like this one>>>

The Quilter's PlannerThe Quilter’s Planner by Stephanie Palmer

Can I just say this planner is AWESOME looking! ….. but alas, I am trying to not buy every little thing my quilty heart desires in 2017.  But if you can… get you one HERE

So here is what I came up with for myself…. a little journal I received as a gift! Added my own little quilty quote…. because “Quilty dreams do come true💜.”

Quilt Planning

I’m gonna walk you through my planning process and maybe it will help you too! 

Quilt Planning

•First task…. Assess what is happening! 

Quilt Planning

Woah Paula!!!!

FOURTEEN unquilted tops… gotta look those tops in the face, take some control! 

P.s…. don’t be ashamed of unfinished projects.

We are makers! And makers gonna make quilty peeps:)

Next stop on the unfinished train….

•Quilts or projects that are started but haven’t made it to the finished top phase. 

I call this the To Be Pieced section….

Ok…. so I have a few of these also, no biggie! 

Quilt Planning

A second part of this I call… my In Progress section.

These are quilts that are basted and in the mid-quilting phase.

Hey….. pat on the back! These are almost there.

Quilt Planning

• New Projects.

What do I want to do that is new and exciting in 2017…


You might be thinking….PAULA!

Are any new projects really necessary? 

I  say YES! 

Quilt Planning

We have to keep growing as quilters and letting our creative side have fun!

So I made a list of some projects I want to push myself to squeeze in.

Quilt Planning

Last….but not least….

•Add a page of Goals and Progress for each month! 

This lets me see what I’ve accomplished. It’s easy to get overwhelmed!!!

But we must remember…. Quilting is fun! It’s your world. Do what makes you happy 😊 

My goal is to finish something unfinished each month and enjoy something new! 

January is looking good so far…

•One finished Quilt!

•One finished top!

•And a start on a quilt I’ve dreamed of making as long as I can remember. 

My quilty heart is happy💜

I hope you guys give yourselves a break, BE SASSY and continue you to do what you love!



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Layer Cake Pop Quilt Along and giveaway!

Hey there Sassy’s!

Fat Quarter Shop is sharing a fun and FREE PATTERN today as part of a quilt along!

Fat Quarter Shop

Layer Cake Pop


 Get Quilt Kit HERE

They did their quilt kit in Spectrum by V and Co.

Such a fun fabric line!

Here is my version of this quilt….

I just love these little stars that this pattern makes! Cute.

I used a Cotton and Steel layer cake and made my own jelly roll out of a cream dot background fabric. The cream color worked really well with this line.

It was a fun pattern and a great way to use up some of those layer cakes we have piling up!!!!

Wanna see all the differnt versions of this quilt?….. and a chance to win the Fat Quarter Shop GIVEAWAY?

Check out all of the other bloggers participating today and enter the giveaway HERE.


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Quilter with no quilts…

So why is it so hard to get a quilt when you make quilts? 

I’ve said it myself to lots of quilters….

if you want a quilt you can make yourself one! Right?

But…. we all know it is so much more than that. Yes, we make ourselves quilts sometimes…. but receiving a quilt from a fellow quilter I believe is one of the greatest treasures! A quilt is never cost effective… costs money, time, frustration, brain power and sometimes injury!

A quilt is a true gift from the heart❤️… You only get one if you are loved!

2016 was a great quilty year for me because I received not one but two! And I want to show them off:) 

My cousin gave me this beauty! Thank you Mags!

This one is from a quilty friend in my local Richmond Modern Quilters Guild. Thank you Betty! 

 I love the colors in both. Matches my home. One I snuggle on the couch with and the other in the bed. Happiness all around! 

I want to challenge everyone in 2017 to show some quilty love to your fellow quilters.
Thank you to Maggie and Betty for blessing me with sassy quilty goodness:)


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Quilt Backing… 

Quilt Backing…

Raise your hand if you hate basting a quilt? ✋🏼✋🏼✋🏼✋🏼✋🏼

The work of basting is hard enough, but getting the backing pieced and measured properly can be a pain too. My favorite thing to use is wide quilt backing fabric made just for this purpose…… soooooo much simpler! But here lies a problem….UGLY BACKING! 

Now I’m not saying all quilt backing is ugly… obviously, but most that I come across are pretty old school.

For example…..

108" Wide Quilt Backing Prairie Vine Tan Essentials 108" Wide Back Flannel Filigree Dark Blue

Climbing Vine 108" Wide Back Red  110" Wide Flannel Quilt Back Willow Royal

Vines, flowers…vines, flowers and blobs….

(no offense meant to the vine, flower and blob lovers)

 If your like me then you’re kinda tired of that and looking for something new, funky, fresh…SASSY!

So I set out on a search…

I went a little crazy on my shopping spree after my last basting/backing attempt… and I want to share with my quilty friends in case you are looking for something similar.

Here is some up close pics of goodies I found at Fabric.com

Kaufman Fractals 108″ Wide Geo Trellis Grey

Item # 0455271

Kaufman Fractals 108″ Wide Geo Grey

Item # 0455276

Michael Miller Whisper 108 In. Wide Miriam Mud

Item # 0397233


Kaufman Rhoda Ruth 108″ Wide Celestial Valentine

Item # 0455260

Kaufman Rhoda Ruth 108″ Wide Celestial Smoke

Item # 0455258

Michael Miller Luxe 108″ Wide Back Vine Maze Luna

Item # 0449197

Tula Pink Free Fall 108″ Wide Quilt Back Battle

Item # 0422988

My only surprise with my order was the scale of the Tula Pink Free Fall…. wayyyyy bigger, but still gorgous! You can see by the size of my hand compared to the dots. They are big folks.  

 I was thouroghly surprised by what I could find!

So folks….there is some cute wide backing fabric out there to be found!

You just have to look for it:)

No more excuses for me and all these unfinished top I have. The number is scary…

2017, Here I come.



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Note: I am in no way being compensated by Fabric.com.

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Where o where art thou…. 

Hey there Sassiest of Sassy’s! 
Been some time but I’m still quilting strong:) Here is some fun things I’ve been up to….

The Spookiest of sewing retreats… 

At my guilds SewSpookyRetreat I finally got to make this Hashtag quilt that has been on my list! It is a Camille Roskelley pattern. I used a jelly roll I had of Night Shade by Tula Pink and added some random octopi I found at Joanns. Didn’t come out as Spooky as I had hoped… but putting some ghastlies on the back! Love those. 

We were definitely Spooky!

Next up I finished the most glamorous of clams!…. Also a big list finish, yay! I used the free Glam Clam pattern on Craftsy by Latifah Saafir…12″ clams. SUPER EASY TO SEW! No pins:) My Fabrics were from the Comma line by Zen Chic with a few extras thrown in there.

Can’t wait to get these quilted up.  Alas…. this is my quilty weakness!!!! I HATE BASTING.
What is your most unfavorite quilty thing to do?

Check out other cool stuff on Craftsy HERE!

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Creative Ways to Store Your Sewing Materials

Hello quilt peoples!

Its been a while since I’ve checked in…. but I promise I am still out here quilting! I recently got back from Glamp Stitchalot…so fun!!! Also working on a few new projects I hope to share with you guys soon. In the meantime to see some recent pics and updates follow me here>>>>

on Facebook or Instagram

Today I have a fun article by guest writer Erin Vaughn from Modernize for you.

We all are desperate for new ways to store things and create more space to work in, right? She has some great tips… so check it out!

Creative Ways to Store Your Sewing Materials
by Erin Vaughan

As a sewer, you want your craft room to be a place that inspires you. But how can you concentrate on your latest project when ribbons are unraveling and you can’t find a bobbin anywhere? Obviously there are lots of storage solutions—but like your sewing, you want it to be something that expresses your passion for all things handmade.

We at Modernize believe that function and quirkiness can be in perfect harmony. That’s why we scoured the Internet for these novel solutions to your sewing needs.


via Modernize

Keep Loose Buttons and Notions in Muffin Tins

Any seasoned sewer knows that it’s a rule that buttons will never be where you need them. Keep these and other unruly notions in check by placing them in an unused muffin tin, whose little cups are basically made to hold them. As a bonus, you can use a vintage tin to give them a truly adorable home.

Image 1

Via Modern Hepburn

Customize a Pegboard

Pegboards have great utilitarian potential, but they’re so drab. With a little paint, however, you can set up a seamstress’s paradise—one that’s also easy on the eyes. We love this standout specimen, which feature handy shelves and bright, fabulous colors.

Image 2

Via Pinterest

Display Colored Threads in a Shadow Box

Every sewer gets a tiny, secret charge from looking at the thread displays in the fabric store. All the bright, beautiful colors! All the potential projects! You can experience that thrill every day by displaying your threads in a recycled shadowbox—and it’ll make it a cinch to grab the perfect color for your next pattern.

Image 3

Via Pinterest

Fold Fabric Around Hanging Files in Filing Cabinet

Neat stacks of fabric look great—until you actually try to use them. Then they are disheveled in five seconds flat. And I know I don’t want to spend my life folding and stacking, folding and stacking. That’s time that could be spending sewing! We love the idea of folding fabric around hanging folders, then fitting them into upcycled filing cabinets.

Image 4

Via Pinterest

Place Supplies in a Toolbox for On-the-Go Sewing

Toolboxes come with enough little nooks and crannies to satisfy even the most fastidious sewer, plus they’re great for travel, so you can bring your hobby with you on work trips or vacations without misplacing anything.

Image 5
Via Decorating Files

Place Patterns and Rulers in a Three-Ring Binders

Remember those three ring binders from grade school? They can do more than just hide your math homework. Use plastic sheeting to store sewing patterns and rules, which makes browsing through them quick and easy.

Image 6

Via Shanae Ishida

Spool Ribbon on Hangers or Drying Racks

Ribbon can be such a pain to keep neat, and goodness help you if you have eager kitties who love to attack it! Hangers or drying racks with removable dowels are here to the rescue, however. Just line your lace and ribbon spools up on the dowels, put them back on, and watch how easy it is to cut your lengths and get going.

Image 7
Via Pinterest

Make Your Own Custom Pincushion

No more tired tomatoes for you. The Internet is bursting with tutorials for adorable DIY pincushions—you can stick your pins in everything from mountains to elephants and everything in between. We love these cute pincushion caddies that include a handy place to store your scissors.

Image 8

Via Texas Freckles

As you can see, there are plenty of nifty ways to stow your sewing stash. Soon, you’ll be on your way and ready to take on even the most intimidating quilt pattern.

Thanks guys for taking a look….hope you find this helpful!


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Quilted Living Summer Blog Tour

Hey there Quilt People!!!
Today is the start of the Quilted Living Summer Blog Tour!
Summer is kind of crazy but I hope you make some time to check out these blogs this week for lots of beautiful quilts and a chance to win some extra special giveaways.
I will have my quilt to show you here on Friday, plus a fun giveaway too!!!

Here is the schedule:

Monday 07/13/15
Fat Quarter Shop
Jennifer of Never Just Jennifer
Tuesday 07/14/15
Melissa of Happy Quilting
Wednesday 07/15/15
Chelsea of Patch the GiraffeThursday 07/16/15
Jane of Quilt Jane

Friday 07/17/15
Gerri Robinson
Paula of The Sassy Quilter

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