Summer Scout

Scout Quilt Pattern, Cluck Cluck Sew

Thank you for the kind comments on my last post…and for continuing to read and visit this blog!  

In between Summer whizzing by, I’ve managed a tiny bit of sewing.  I finished this quilt last week and it  went straight to the top of my favorites I’ve made this year.  

Scout Quilt Pattern, Cluck Cluck Sew

I used the Scout pattern in the Crib Size, which is still a generous 49″ x 52″.  The pattern only calls for 10 cuts of fabric for the columns, but I cut the strips from 14 or 15 different solids.  I also substituted the neutral background fabric for this older Leah Duncan floral print I used on this quilt.

Despite looking like a hard quilt to make, this actually goes together easily with strip piecing.  As I was making it, I was trying to remember how on earth I figured out this pattern in the first place..I must have been smarter back then!  

Scout Quilt Pattern, Cluck Cluck Sew

I didn’t want to cover the solid fabrics in quilting, so I stitched in the ditch (here is a video if you are new to stitching in the ditch!).  I’m not great at stitching in the ditch, but I used an aqua thread that hides fairly well on most of the solids.  It still looks good despite me “jumping out of the ditch” on most of it!  

Scout Quilt Pattern, Cluck Cluck Sew

The PDF version of the Scout pattern can be found here, the Paper version can be found here.   

ps.  If you want to see a version of this quilt without the sashing strips…here is one I made years ago that is still a favorite.  Also here are photos of the throw size pattern version.  Happy Scouting! 




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11 things I’ve learned in 11 years

Blocks Quilt, from the book Growing Up Modern

(Blocks quilt, from my book)


This month is my 11 year blogging anniversary.  To celebrate this blog lasting as long as it has…I thought I’d share some throwback quilt photos and share “11 things I’ve learned in 11 years”!

Lucky Crib Quilt

(Lucky Crib Quilt with low volumes)


1. Embrace the creative lulls.

Some weeks I am whipping up quilt patterns, banging out a few quilts, and overflowing with creative ideas. Other weeks I barely move from bed to couch to bed in yoga pants, with a book and a bag of popcorn from Costco. Rest days are just as important as creative days, so let yourself enjoy nothingness without beating yourself up about it.  Just roll with it!

Bits and Pieces Quilt

(Out of the block pile quilt)


2. Create for yourself.

If you always create for yourself you will always like what you create. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made something because I thought it would appeal to a certain audience…and it turned out blah and I regretted it.  This was the reason I stopped sewing and designing to promote new collections for fabric manufacturers years ago…it felt forced, and I’m certain it showed in my finished work.  When I’m feeling like I can’t pinpoint my style or I’m feeling swayed by social media, I take a break from Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, and just enjoy playing with fabric. 

Juice Boxes Quilt

(Juice Boxes Quilt)


3. You can learn how to do it on YouTube.

Want to know how I learned how to use my camera? YouTube.  Start and customize my blog? YouTube.  Use Photoshop? YouTube.  Create patterns for fabric designs in Illustrator? YouTube.  Set up an email newsletter for my blog? YouTube.  Clean my sewing machine? YouTube.  Cut up a potato into french fries? YouTube. There is no excuse to not learn something new!  We are so blessed to have amazing resources right at our fingertips if they are used correctly (there is also SO MUCH JUNK so filter and use good judgment!).   

Scrappy Bulls eye Quilt Tutorial

(Ryan’s Quilt, full tutorial can be found here, and don’t worry the garland was only for the photo!)


4. Let it go.

When I received my first mean comment I was crushed. I don’t even remember the comment, but I do remember my complete over reaction to it (drama queen!). Last week I received a super rude email. I sent her back the nicest email like she was my favorite person in the entire world, and then I deleted her email and went on with my day. I learned a long time ago that I cannot succeed if I take everything personally, or let everything become personal.  Treat negativity with kindness, and let it go.  Don’t think about it, and don’t dwell on it!

Pink Hourglass Baby Quilt Tutorial

(Pink Hourglass quilt tutorial and baby Sophie!)


5. My only competition is me.  

When I gave up competing with other people in all aspects of my life, my life became so much better.  I definitely still feel a twinge of jealously or “I should be doing more!” now and then, but I can quickly remind myself that I am only trying to be better than I was yesterday.  Once I stopped feeling competitive towards others I could just be happy and excited for them instead, which is such a better feeling! 

Ben's Quilt

(Ben’s Quilt, one of my very first quilts and my first twin size)


6. Mistakes are learning curves.

I hate this one because I really hate making mistakes, but I’ve also learned to relax and not freak out when I do.  Maybe it’s a perk of being older and wiser, but my reaction to making mistakes has changed.  I no longer freak out, beat myself up, and let it ruin my mood.  Instead I can just accept that it happened, figure out how to fix it, and let it go without letting myself dwell on it.  Mistakes are how we learn, so if I remember that I can be thankful for the learning experience, even when it’s hard! 

Scrappy Chevron Quilt

(Scrappy Chevron Quilt)


7. Vulnerability = Growth

I have had so many scary, vulndrable growing experiences over the past 11 years.  So many times teaching, speaking, releasing new patterns or books or fabric, exhibiting at Quilt Market, selling at retail shows, doing book signings, figuring out how to have a business and do my dang taxes…and every time I can feel fear and doubt start to creep in.  A little bit of scary is good for me, and through it I’ve grown into a completely different person than I would have been without those experiences! 

Sprocket Pillow free pattern
(Sprocket Pillows Tutorial)


8. I can do anything, but I can’t do everything.

After dabbling in a lot of different things I’ve learned what I’m good or not good at, and what I really don’t enjoy. For example I get asked all the time when I will write a second book…and honestly? I just don’t enjoy writing books! Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but for now I stick to what I love with the precious time I have.  It’s easy to feel like I need to do EVERYTHING and be awesome at EVERYTHING…and it’s just not possible.  So instead I pick a couple of things and I work on being good at those, and the rest is “good enough,” and I keep my sanity.  

Pow Wow Quilt in Take a Hike fabrics

(Pow Wow Quilt in Take a Hike fabrics)


9. Celebrate creative differences.

Don’t judge others or their creative work.  Only celebrate differences and artistic expression, as I hope others will do for me. Creativity in all it’s forms is beautiful even if it’s not “my thing” and I appreciate it all.  This isn’t really something I learned, because I’ve always felt this way and believed this, but it’s always a good reminder.

Coin Baby Quilt

(Coin Quilt Top)


10. I will never have time, so stop waiting for it and make it.

A couple of years ago I realized that I was saying “I don’t have time!” about a hundred times a day….to my friends/family/husband/ kids/and work people.  Just cutting that out of my vocabulary made a ginormous difference in my life!   For all 11 years, everything I do is done in 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, and during blessed nap times (which are becoming rare!).  More gets done during those slivers of time because I have to focus and hustle.  I also have to be picky about what I choose to fill my time with.   When I’m feeling like I have “no time”, I can almost always blame it on too much phone/tv/a good book/folding laundry (folding my boys laundry is a total waste of time!).  

Modern Meadow Improv Quilt

(Modern Meadow Improv Quilt – no pattern)


11. Gratitude is everything.

  I go on a walk almost every day, and in my mind while I’m walking, I list things small to big that I’m thankful for.  It’s helped me feel less overwhelmed, more mindful, and more happy.  Learning how to go with the flow, be more mindful,  and live in gratitude are probably the greatest things I’ve learned since I started writing this blog 11 years ago.  None of them I necessarily learned from starting this blog, but it was certainly part of the journey!  It will always be a work in progress but hopefully in 11 more years I will be even better at it. 

Red Quilt

(Red Quilt Tutorial)

Thank you for taking this blogging journey with me for the past 11 years.  I still enjoy quilting, sharing, and blogging just as much as I did then, and hopefully I will continue to love it for many years to come!  





A Spectacle Simplify Quilt

Simplify Quilt Pattern, a simple jelly roll quilt in 5 sizes

Happy July!!     I made this quilt as a tester when I was writing my Simplify pattern, and thanks to my big kids being at “cousin camp” last week, I had some time to finish it up!  

Simplify Quilt Pattern, a simple jelly roll quilt in 5 sizes

Simplify Quilt Pattern, a simple jelly roll quilt in 5 sizes

The fabrics are Cotton and Steel, mostly a selection of these whimsical prints from the line Spectacle with a few prints from my stash thrown in.   The background is Kona cotton in Pewter.  

I had a really old cut of double sided minky in the perfect color to back this with.  It’s so soft and slippery it can be a pain to work with, but nothing a big can of basting spray and a few pins can’t tame.  

Simplify Quilt Pattern, a simple jelly roll quilt in 5 sizes

I started quilting this with random free motion…without any plan or thought to the design.  A few blocks in I panicked that I had ruined the quilt (it looked like a spiky hot mess), but I pressed on, and after I was finished I actually kind of liked it.  

I call this design “spiky-hot-mess-no-plan-quilting”.  The fluffy minky makes it look kind of cool on the back.  Let’s pretend it was intentional. 

Simplify Quilt Pattern, a simple jelly roll quilt in 5 sizes

Because I know I’ll get asked, yes I used batting, and here is a post I did years ago about basting and quilting with this double sided minky.  Sometimes I skip the batting or use a piece of flannel, but I love the weight with batting after it’s washed. 

Simplify Quilt Pattern, a simple jelly roll quilt in 5 sizes

The pattern for this quilt is the crib size of Simplify…still at the top of my favorite patterns to make!  






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