Little Prince Baby Quilt 

A friend from college is having a baby in January, and when I heard that the nursery is going to be Little Prince themed and yellow, grey, and white, I just had to make a quilt.  


This quilt is approximately 40″ x 40″ finished, and is a disappearing nine-patch pattern, which I modified slightly from the tutorials I saw online, and also just sort of eyeballed. I used 5″ squares — the solid greys are charm squares from a Kona charm pack, and the others are from fat quarters.  
I ordered the Little Prince fabric from Spoonflower, and fussy cut the planets out in the center of the squares. I might have arranged them slightly differently if I had been planning better (I don’t like how the two planets are right next to each other) but I’m overall quite pleased.

I used a walking foot and grid-quilted it by freehand-eyeballing the diagonal grid.  It’s not perfect, but this is a baby quilt — it doesn’t need to be 100% even, it needs to be functional, and I think the wobbliness is okay here.


I used the same fabric for the binding and the backing: a Riley Blake wiggly chevron stripe, which I adore.  The corners came out so nicely!

  I think the grid looks pretty nice on the back against the wavy chevron, too!


Overall, this project probably took about 7 hours, start to finish, and was a great way to take a day off.  (I’m working Saturday and a half-day on Sunday this week, so I took Friday for myself and made this.)

Finished Penny Patch Quilt!

I FINALLY finished my Penny Patch quilt. Rachel at Stitched in Color started a quilt-along about a year ago and I cut fabric and stitched a quilt top and even machine quilted the whole thing and then… well, then I got hung up on binding it.

But I finished it last Sunday, and I love it. Here it is on my kitchen table:

I grid-quilted it, free-handing it with a walking foot on my Brother P1500Q straight-stitch machine:

And I used a blue and orange backing, stretching the blue gingham I had by adding a center orange panel:

I’ve also been cleaning out my closets, and discovered that I have a lot of quilts that I’ve finished that I just have no use for — they don’t match my personal aesthetic, I made them just to make them, or they’re for babies, and I don’t have a baby. So I’ve put them on Etsy.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.15.58 AM

Longtime blog readers will recognize two quilts I made in 2012. If you like one of these, and use the code KNITSPINQUILTREADER, you’ll get 10% off.

As before, all income in September and October of 2015 go directly to a donation to the JHU CTY Scholars program!

Edited to add: linking up to TGIFF!

Fundraiser Etsy Shop Update

We’ve raised $258 so far! So I updated the shop with new stitchmarkers and earrings! There are still custom project bags in two different sizes, and handspun yarn.


I’ve also added custom zippered pouches in three sizes.


Soon I will add custom zippered change-purse/wallets.

Do you want to help, but not have the spare cash to donate right now? Signal boost! The wider a net we can spread, the more we can do for the JHU Scholars program, and the more kids they can help.

Tweet something like this:
Etsy Shop Update to raise money for JHU’S CTY Scholars program. Read more here:

Fabrics coming soon include Firefly, Star Trek, and the Little Prince:
PicMonkey Collage

Helping kids in STEM one project bag or stitch marker at a time

Shop update at KnitSpinQuilt

I’m sure you’ve seen the news about the 9th-grade boy who was arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school. I’m furious, but there’s not much I can do.

So I’m doing this tiny thing: all income (not profits: all total income) from September will be donated to a Texas STEM charity in honor of Ahmed Mohamed. If it goes well, I’ll extend it to October.

We may be small individually, but we can be mighty. If you don’t want to buy something, donate to a STEM charity and email me or tweet me and I’ll include it in a running total.

Help me pick a Texas charity from this list of STEM charities by commenting on this post!

Botanics Disappearing Nine-Patch Pillow

I moved to upper Manhattan (north of 200th street!) earlier this year to be closer to campus, and haven’t had much time for sewing since then — in part because I’ve been teaching two classes this fall and reading for my comprehensive (qualifying) exams, and in part because my sewing machine doesn’t fit in my new apartment.

I know.  I don’t have space for my sewing machine!  Welcome to living in Manhattan.  At least it’s still with my parents, in Brooklyn, and I can visit them (and it) from time to time.

And that’s exactly what I did this past weekend!  I had a sewing vacation for a day and a half, and now I have something to post about.

Pillow in chair2

This is a pillow made from a patchwork square I made a few months ago.  Its origin was a charm pack of Botanics fabric, which I sewed together using a modified disappearing nine-patch pattern.  I love this fabric line, and I have a half-yard bundle of it, which I am seriously contemplating making into a quilt along these same lines, because this pillow just makes me happy.

The quilting is broadly-spaced diagonal lines through the centers of the squares:

Quilting detail

The back is a simple envelope closure, and I used a black cross-hatch from the Botanics line to finish it, because I had the fabric, and I’m trying hard to *use* my fabric, rather than worry about whether this is the “right” project for it — if it will make me happy, and make the project better, I’ll use it.  Maybe there’s a hypothetical project out there somewhere in the future for which it would be “better” — but there will be more fabric in the future, and if I never use it, it will only sit around gathering dust.

Pillow back

I was surprised by how much I have missed sewing: I’ve been doing a lot of spinning and knitting, but this was soothing in a different way.  While I was at home, I also took part of a penny patch quilt I’d been working on and repurposed part of the quilt top into a baby quilt, which I’ll post about as soon as I’m done binding it.

For now, I’ll close with another picture of this pillow:

Pillow in chair1

Two-Finish Friday

These are both gift quilts: one for a friend and her husband and one for a new baby. Here they are all folded up, about to be packed and mailed:


The first quilt I finished was made up of hourglass blocks. I pieced them all over the summer on my Singer 66, and then they sat, and sat, and sat over the fall, because I didn’t have time to finish it until the semester was over. But now it’s done!


The backing is a boat print, because the mother and the grandparents all sail. You can see in this picture that I quilted a simple diagonal grid 1/4″ on each side of the hourglass blocks.


I used a black pezzy print for the binding because I didn’t want to emphasize any particular color from the front. I think it works! I wish I had more of this fabric in stash to do the same in the future — I’ll just have to keep an eye out for similarly useful prints. I attached the binding by stitching it down twice. On the back you see two lines of stitching:

On the front, you only see one, because the other is hidden at the intersection of the binding and the quilt:

The other quilt is for friends of mine, because they live in northern England and it gets coooooold! For this one I used a pattern by Elizabeth Hartmann: her New Wave Quilt.


I cut my fat quarters very, very carefully, and had enough extra pieces to showcase the wave pattern on the back of the quilt as well:

This one I quilted by stitching in the ditch along the edges of the white sashing. I stitched smaller diamonds within the “waves” as well. Then I did some free-motion quilting in the sashing, which I’m really quite proud of.


I did the same kind of binding on this quilt, and also bound it in a pezzy print, though this one was navy, to complement the blues of the quilt.


Not bad for a break that only started on December 23rd!


Linking up to TGIFF!

A three-finish Friday!

This week I have three finished quilts to post. (This really means that I’ve been delinquent in photographing them, not that last week was a sudden flurry of quilting.)

First off, a friend of mine is having twins this fall. And new babies means quilts, right? I decided to do a small zig-zag quilt for each of them, using 4 1/2″ square blocks instead of half square triangles (4″ finished). I pulled charm squares from a number of swaps, and picked out the ones that I thought were childlike but not too childish, in the hopes that the quilts would last them a little while.

I made all the blocks at more or less the same time, and trimmed them to the same size. And then I sewed the quilt tops together on two different machines, with (as it turns out) two sliiiightly different 1/4″ measurements. Ooops.


Yeah. One of them is about 2″ bigger than the other, and I was working so fast that I didn’t notice until I’d quilted them. *facepalm* I’m just going to hope the twins aren’t too competitive.


I backed them with the blue Hello Pilgrim stripe, with a strip of squares down the side to make it just wide enough (the quilts are just over 44″ square) and quilted them along the zig-zag steps with my walking foot.



I bound them in two different purple prints.


And now they’re all folded and in a box, ready to be shipped out.

The other quilt is also a baby quilt — turns out lots of my friends are pregnant right now. This one is for a little girl, and for a couple who like pink. So I picked pinks, purples, and greens (and a couple of low volume prints) and made a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. This one is 4 blocks by 4 blocks, so about 48″ square.


I lined up the darker greens to be the centers of the individual blocks, and then instead of setting them as lots of little diamonds, I set it as an expanding ring of diamonds. I like this layout a lot with these colors, and with this size of quilt.


I backed it in the green Hello Pilgrim stripe, with a strip of scrappy trip blocks down the side to make the fabric backing wide enough. (Are we seeing a theme here?)


I quilted it with a sort of modified dogwood or orange peel quilting pattern, on every other seam line. It works out to a sort of floral grid on the back, which I think is kind of sweet.


I bound it in the pink illusion print, which I really like for bindings now, and it’s all ready to be mailed to Massachusetts, as soon as I find a box.


Work in Progress Wednesday

I have a number of things in progress right now — a queen sized quilt for my own bed, using Simply Color and big pinwheels, a Kitchen Window quilt that I’ve had cut for ages and can’t seem to get myself to piece, not to mention smaller projects.

But the one I’m working on is a baby quilt for a neighbor’s baby girl.


The hourglasses are 3.5″ finished, and there are 196 of them — 14 x 14. I’ve got about 70 more that I didn’t use, so I’ll have to figure out what to do with those one of these days.

I used 5″ squares, made 4.5″ half-square triangles, and 4″ hourglasses. Sewn together, they look at lot smaller than they did — 13 seam allowances adds up!


The crazy thing is, I loved piecing this thing. You’d think I’d be tired of hourglass blocks, but I’m not at all, just looking forward to the next time I have a project that needs some.

Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday.