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May sewing projects

I’m keeping up with my May sewing projects which includes several block-of-the-month programs. These will keep me busy all year, but it’s one of my favorite things to do – piecing blocks. Plus, there is some free motion quilting going on in the studio as well as a finished bag!

My sewing projects for May includes quilt blocks, BOM projects, a quilted bag, and more.

BOM blocks

I LOVE block-of-the-month (BOM) programs. It’s like working on a puzzle. I study the block instructions and figure out how I can construct it using my favorite methods. For instance, I like to make flying geese 4-at-a-time instead of individually and I always oversize units when I can and trim them to size. I love focusing on piecing individual blocks and making them the best I can. You can read more about different types of BOM’s and some free resources here.

Red & Cream Sampler

I’m co-teaching a BOM class at my local quilt shop using the Red & Cream Quilt Sampler pattern by Fig Tree Quilts. Last week I demonstrated two blocks in class and now I have ten blocks complete. Below are the two blocks for May.

Block 9 from the Red & Cream Sampler BOM made by Julie Cefalu.  Pattern by Fig Tree Quilts.
Red & Cream Sampler block made by Julie Cefalu. Pattern by Fig Tree Quilts.
Block 10 from the Red & Cream Sampler BOM made by Julie Cefalu.  Pattern by Fig Tree Quilts.
Red & Cream Sampler block made by Julie Cefalu. Pattern by Fig Tree Quilts.

Kona Sampler

I’m taking a class at The Granary Quilt Shop for the Kona Sampler BOM. This is by Robert Kaufman using their Kona solid fabrics and it focuses on a different color each month. Our class also goes into color theory and we get a color-coordinated Aurifil Thread Builder (pack of 3 spools) along with bonus projects.

Below is the completed block for April and March. I’m quilting each block individually and will assembly them all at the end with a quilt-as-you-go technique. I used this orange-peel stencil which fits perfectly with these blocks.

April block from the 2024 Kona Sampler BOM made and quilted by Julie Cefalu.  Pattern from Robert Kaufman.
March block from the 2024 Kona Sampler BOM made and quilted by Julie Cefalu.  Pattern from Robert Kaufman.

Piece & Quilt Sampler

This is a quilt along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop using the book, Celebrate with Quilts by Lissa Alexander and Susan Ache. This quilt is so much fun because of the mix of block sizes. They’re all traditional blocks that are pieced (no curves or applique). I can’t give a full reveal of this month’s blocks yet, but below is a peek at my project box.

Quilted bag/pouch

You’ve probably heard of ByAnnie bag patterns and their Soft & Stable Interfacing. I just finished making their Open Wide 2.0 bag as a sample for The Granary Quilt shop. As I was making it, I was telling myself that I would rather pay someone $100 to make this bag for me. It was definitely out of my comfort zone since I’ve been making mostly quilts for the past 25 years. BUT, when I was finished with it, I had a great sense of accomplishment. I think I’m ready to make another one; it’s always the first one that’s the hardest, right?

The Open Wide 2.0 comes with instructions to make three sizes and I made the medium size. It has a zipper closure and mesh pockets on the inside. My biggest disappointment is that I forgot to add my custom “handmade by” tag to the outside. Now that the bag is finished, it’s impossible to sew it on by machine. If you look closely at the photo of the inside of the bag, you’ll see the tag just sitting on the bottom. I’m still working on a solution – maybe I can use rivets.

Open Wide 2.0 pouch pattern from ByAnnies.  Made by Julie Cefalu
Open Wide 2.0 bag made by Julie Cefalu. Pattern ByAnnies.
Open Wide 2.0 pouch pattern from ByAnnies.  Made by Julie Cefalu
Open Wide 2.0 bag made by Julie Cefalu. Pattern ByAnnies.

QAYG project

I’ve made a few more QAYG blocks that I showed in my QAYG tutorial using fabric strips. My goal is to make one block each week, but I’m really making 2-3 blocks every few weeks. Eventually I’ll have enough for a lap quilt.

QAYG using fabric strips by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter.

Leaders & Enders progress

I have two leaders and enders projects going! The one that I started last year is getting close to having all the units made. I’ve cut fabric from my scrap bins into 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles and I’m sewing them into pairs. Next, I’ll sew the pairs together to make rows and then a quilt will be “born”! I have so many pairs already that I’ll probably get two quilts made. Below is my progress so far. You can get all of the details about my leaders and enders project in this blog post.

Leaders & Enders project from 2023. My progress so far.
Leaders & Enders project for 2023 @ The Crafty Quilter.

That is all of my May sewing projects, but there’s always more on my “to do, to make” list. I’ll be back soon with a new monthly series based on reader questions. You’ll be able to ask me anything about quilting and I’ll pick a few questions each month to answer.

Have a great day and happy quilting!

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4 Comments

  1. I was so surprised to see The Granary in your post! Now I know where you are in Morthern California. I moved from San Jose io Oregon in 2018.. The Granary was one of the quilt shops I loved
    Gay Rose

  2. You are a very busy lady ! I do so enjoy all of your posts and always look forward to them. Thank u.
    Wishing you a very Happy Mothers Day.

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