National Parks Birthday Club ~ Month 1 Progress

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery National Parks Birthday Club : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This year our country is celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service. I love our National Parks. Living in a suburb of Chicago, it does take a bit of effort to get to one. We don’t exactly walk out our front door and face mile after mile of unspoiled nature. I think that makes us appreciate our trips to visit the parks even more. If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit of time, you may remember our big Yellowstone and Grand Teton family vacation 2 years ago. It was amazing, and I guess you could say it got us hooked. Last June, we took another family vacation out west to Oregon, Washington, and Canada.

Olympic National Park : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This time we included a few days in both Olympic National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park.

Olympic National Park : Fresh Lemons Quilts

We love staying in the national park lodges, seeing animals that we certainly don’t get to see at home (slugs, grouse, marmot, bald eagles…), exploring and learning about different environments. There’s no internet, no tvs, no cell service…just spending time together. At the Mt. Rainier lodge, Paradise Inn, we played a lot of evening Yahtzee by the fire while a gentleman played the piano and it snowed several inches (in June!) outside.

Our kids earn Junior Ranger badges that I stitch onto their backpacks after each trip.

Junior Ranger Badges : Fresh Lemons Quilts

All of this is just to say, I really like National Parks. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I signed up for the National Parks Birthday Club from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. They released the first “clue”, or piece of the pattern, on the National Parks Birthday last week. I couldn’t wait to get started.

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery National Parks Birthday Club : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I don’t do a lot of cross stitch. Pretty much none! I am enjoying it so much. We’ve had a lot going on in our house over the last month and a half and I’m not going to lie – my anxiety levels have been through the roof. This has been a huge source of calming and relaxation for me. I stitch mostly in the evenings or while the kids are doing their homework. They have been very excited to watch the progress as well. I have one more section to stitch on the bottom and then I am done until the next piece of the pattern is released later this month. I will be sharing as I go!

Summer Sampler 2016 ~ Week 16

Summer Sampler 2016

Monday means another block of the Summer Sampler 2016 quilt along! This week’s block, Starshine, is designed by Holly DeGroot of Bijou Lovely. It is foundation paper pieced, which is one of my personal favorite techniques. I love how it allows for everything to be so exact, and all these fun shapes and angles. My one tip this week – as always when paper piecing – is to make one unit first and make sure the cut fabric sizes work best for you. The sizes listed in the pattern are the sizes we used to make our blocks, but if you are new to paper piecing, you may want to work with bigger fabric pieces. And that’s ok!

Summer Sampler 2016 : Week 16 / Starshine by Holly DeGroot

We are on the final row of my design wall. I can’t believe soon we will be talking about quilt top layouts!

Summer Sampler 2016 : Weeks 1 - 16

Below you can find the Summer Sampler 2016 details, as well as custom shop fabric bundles for the quilt along. You can join at any time. If joining after Week 1, you will initially receive all the patterns up to the current date.

Special note: If you are having trouble and don’t see your pattern email, it has likely been marked as SPAM by your email service. Please email Lee at FreshlyPieced@gmail.com and she can resend your link.

Summer Sampler 2016 Kickoff Details
Link to Purchase / EU Link to Purchase (includes VAT)
#summersampler2016 Instagram Posts

Fabric Spark Fabric Kits
Simply Solids Fabric Kits

Growing Up ~ A New Quilt and Room

A Whole Cloth Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Funny thing about kids…they grow up on you. My daughter is about a month away from turning 10. This past year has seen a lot of changes. She is in that weird space between little kid and teenager. She has a desire to be older – wanting to be included in all conversations, craving independence in all things. But she still has the qualities I love from earlier years ~ playing with her dolls, wanting to be tucked in at night, holding my hand when we are out together. One thing she asked for earlier this year though, was an update to her room.

This was her old room.

Little girl's room : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Oh, how I loved that room. The light yellow, the bunting, the handmade quilt. But I could also see how she felt she had outgrown it. (I believe she was 2 when we decorated it!) Last winter we went to work picking new paint colors and collecting some wall art. Of course she wanted a stripe – new technique to me! The room looked great, but I still owed her a summer quilt for her bed.

A Whole Cloth Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The colors of her room were inspired by fabric (naturally!). She loved the Paparounes Crimson print from Skopelos by Katarina Roccella. We decided that it would make a great whole cloth quilt. I’ve never made one before and I’m not sure I realized what I was getting myself into with the seam matching on this fabric. There is a seam down the entire length of the quilt, right in the middle. I’m so proud of how it is matched – you can’t even tell! It was a work of patience though.

A Whole Cloth Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My daughter wanted the quilt to hang quite a bit down the sides of her bed, so I really was pushing the space limits in my house when basting.

A Whole Cloth Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Quilting on my BERNINA 770QE was no problem though, that large throat space made this quilt very doable on a home machine. I used the dual feed and quilted a 2″ grid pattern. This was the same as her previous bed quilt, and it always washed up great and was nice and flexible and cozy.

A Whole Cloth Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Usually I use Quilter’s Dream Request loft batting (lowest loft) but I opted for Select loft this time. It’s just slightly heavier – I’m hoping it helps prevent the quilt from falling off her bed all the time.

A Whole Cloth Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I think it’s the perfect finishing touch in her new, updated space.

Summer Sampler 2016 ~ Week 15

Summer Sampler 2016

Today we have hit Week 15 of the Summer Sampler 2016 quilt along. 75% of the way through our blocks! It’s been awesome to see so many people quilting along in our Facebook group and on Instagram. Everyone’s quilts are turning out amazing!

This week’s block is called Sunbeam by one of my cohosts, Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. This block has so many possibilities depending on where you place your colors.

Summer Sampler 2016 : Week 15 / Sunbeam by Lee Heinrich

My design wall is looking pretty full. I actually rearranged and cleaned my sewing room this week, in anticipation of fitting another row of blocks on this wall and needing to have space to photograph them. 🙂 I’m so looking forward to the final five blocks, and then sharing final layouts!

Summer Sampler 2016 : Weeks 1 - 15

Below you can find the Summer Sampler 2016 details, as well as custom shop fabric bundles for the quilt along. You can join at any time. If joining after Week 1, you will initially receive all the patterns up to the current date.

Special note: If you are having trouble and don’t see your pattern email, it has likely been marked as SPAM by your email service. Please email Lee at FreshlyPieced@gmail.com and she can resend your link.

Summer Sampler 2016 Kickoff Details
Link to Purchase / EU Link to Purchase (includes VAT)
#summersampler2016 Instagram Posts

Fabric Spark Fabric Kits
Simply Solids Fabric Kits