Chicken Marsala, a Mini Quilt

You know how sometimes you get an idea in your head and you know you won’t be complete till you do it? Well that was my first mini quilt: Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala Mini Quilt

I created this mini for the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by Anne from Play Crafts and Adrianne from On The Windy Side. The contest is to make a quilted item with the Pantone color of the year, Marsala.

Marsala - Pantone color of the year 2015

I’m not usually one to enter contests but when I started brainstorming what I could do for this one the only thing that kept jumping in my head was chicken marsala. I might need to lay off the Food Network for a bit… (PS I’m pretty sure I’m hilarious and that this is the funniest quilt that will be entered!)

I grabbed some marsala fabric and this fun heritage off beige print for the background. I was going for a more traditional look with the color scheme (oh and the chicken decal lends well to that.)

Fabric Pull for Chicken Marsala

I improv pieced the marsala fabric just a bit larger than the chicken silhouette shape, then cut out that shape using Heat ‘n Bond Light and fused it to the background fabric. I treated it as a raw edge appliqué but instead of stitching the appliqué down with an outline it’s the Heat ‘n Bond and quilting that holds the chicken in place.

Chicken Marsala raw edge applique

I’m quite pleased for my first improv attempt and yes, I was watching the MQG webinar on improv piecing while I did this!

Honest Craft Room

It’s quilted with a ~ 1/4″ straight stitching using an off white Aurifill 40w. I did one line of the marsala (as seen on Instagram) thread and HATED it so I ripped it out and stuck with the off white.

Chicken Marsala Closeup

My mini quilt measures 20″ x 22″ and for my first mini quilt/wall hanging I’m quite pleased! It’s hanging right next to my thread / bracelet holder over my ironing board and will surely be surrounded by more minis soon (I think I’ve caught the mini bug too!)

Chicken Marsala Mini Quilt Pantone Challenge 2015 Entry

Entry: Mini Quilt Category
Size: 20″ x 22″

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

Me? Being crafty!

I’m so excited to share with y’all that I’m one of the latest guests on Tsoniki Crazy Bull’s Me Being Crafty Podcast! We got in touch back in March and she wanted to chat about the projects I have going on especially as well as my other creative endeavors.

If you remember back to my favorite podcast post you’ll see her podcast listed there (and I think she got in touch a couple of days after that posted so I promise I wasn’t trying to schmooze up!)

Me Being Crafty Podcast

I had such a great time chatting with Tsoniki during the recording then afterwards about all kinds of things. Turns out we’ve both have similar Internet marketing backgrounds and have both been blogging for a decade on various subjects and are in very similar seasons with what we are doing now. I am about to go listen to the episode myself (nervous about hearing my voice!!!) so you should go check it out and listen to the Me Being Crafty archives too, I’ve listened through almost all of them and it’s a great varied podcast about all sorts of creative people and all kinds of inspiration!

You can listen to Me being Crafty on iTunes or on Stitcher.

Finish Along Q2 2015 Commitments

It’s April and that means we are in Q2 of a the 2015 Finish Along.  I already posted about my April, Lovely Year of Finishes goal the other day.

For my Q2 finish along goals we are going to ROLL over many of the items from last quarter that got pushed aside due to moving, having a bit of a quarter-mid (one third?) life crisis-freak-out and chronic distraction syndrome.

Oh a squirrel!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

My Q1 rollovers:

1. Half Square Triangle of Doom

Half Square Triangles for Days

Okay this project will have a better name when it’s done but with 400+ HST using Essex linen and a variety of prints it’s destined to be amazing. I don’t have a layout picked and I’m probably 100 HST’s away from having all the blocks squared up. This project could accidentally live on my design wall for a long time so adding it to the finish along ensures that won’t be the case. Realistically I may only get the top finished this quarter but my stretch goal is to get it 100% finished, quilted and bound.

2. Running Through Daydreams

Running Through Day Dreams

This stinking quilt needs to be quilted and bound. It’s sat an unreasonable amount of time with the batting and backing and thread for quilting. I need no additional materials for this aside from binding but I’ve been stuck on how to quilt it for some time now. Time to make some decisions!

3. Plus what?

My Plus Sign Quilt

This quilt has also sat for far too long, I have the top, back and batting together and I’ve picked the thread as well. I’ve second guessed how to quilt this for some time but I think straight lines 1/4″ from both sides of the seams is what I’m going to do.

4. My First Clutch

Hello cute clutch fabric

I actually started cutting fabric for this the other day and am really kicking myself to finish it this time!

New additions to my to-finish list

5. Lizette Bag in C+S

Lizette Bag Prototype

I designed a handbag and am working on refining the details of it to make the handbag of my dreams. I got the fabric the other day but totally spaced on taking a picture. I posted about the bag’s first prototype the other day.

6. Triangle Baby Quilt

The Triangle baby quilt was an impulsive sudden start just before I moved.  It was a Saturday night and I was in and should have been packing but instead I cut a bunch of triangles and put’ em together. Earlier this week I made progress when I basted and quilted it but I did the binding wrong and need to unpick it and redo the binding entirely.

Triangle Baby Quilt

Here’s to finishing! Are you doing the finish along or a lovely year of finishes this year?

Lizette Bag Prototype – A Learning Experience

The girl at Joann’s asked me recently about my handbag while checking out. I love that handbag; it’s neat hologram vinyl and I picked it up on sale at JC Penny years ago and it’s still going strong. After I told her that, I realized I was bummed to be telling her about a bag I hadn’t made. I remembered back to the last two handbags I made and how great it was to tell people that I made them, followed by the inevitable “Really?” and my consistent response of “yea.”

Both were from patterns (before the blog, no pics of em around) but after looking around for a new one to make I couldn’t find a pattern that suited what I wanted. So I designed my own pattern and I call it, the Lizette bag.

Lizette Bag Prototype

I made a boat load of mistakes making this bag. More bag experience would or better research would have helped but I think it’s got some potential.

I will be remaking this pattern with some alterations for sure! At first I wasn’t going to share this failure on the blog until I make a better one to show off but figured why not, someone may have some good feedback (which I welcome all criticism and advice, help a girl out!)

Lizette Bag Prototype


  • These straps far exceeded my expectations; I made them from a pleather fabric I picked up and they came out SO nicely!


  • Next time I will separate the straps on the bag from the shoulder strap with hardware (easier to construct)
  • Bag is a bit floppy, I used a fusible fleece but need something stiffer

Inside the prototype bag


  • LOVE the fabric I used inside, it’s a quirky newsprint with sensational sewing and quilting headlines that crack me up. I will be picking up more if I can get my hands on it for lining a future version of this bag!


  •  Next time I will take the time to make real lining; this was supposed to be kinda quilted but I changed my mind
  • Lining will fix the ugly inside, add options for interior pockets and will replace the binding I used with a nice clean top stitch

Close up on prototype bag pocket


  • The leather detail on the front pocket is key (and I like the proportion!)
  • The pocket is perfect for my iPad mini!
  • I made the pocket really stiff with a heavy interfacing and it was perfect that way!

Messy messy....prototype bag


  • So pleased with the proportions and the seams on the leather bottom


  • Needs heavier base and definitely those little hardware feet
  • Match your seams better lazy girl…

Lizette Bag Prototype

Pattern: Original design

Fabric: Essex Linen Cotton (yarn dyed black), Feed Company, faux leather

Any feedback on the design or advice on construction?

I know the design is flawed and it’s from inexperience so welcome all kinds of feedback & wisdom you’re willing to provide!

A Lovely Year of Finishes – April 2015

I’m doing a terrible job with my 2015 Finish Alongs but I figured April is as good a time as any to give a lovely year of finishes a shot.

For April I want to create my first clutch. I picked up this cute bicycle fabric in the beginning of the year and some faux leather. Actually, I want to make a bunch of them but since I’m mashing together tips and tutorials from a few different places it’s going to take some trial and error to get this guy just right

A photo posted by Terri Swallow (@terriann) on

But seriously, isn’t this bicycle fabric just the cutest?

Hello cute clutch fabric

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Riley Blake Challenge Sunday Stash

It’s Sunday, a day of rest or a day for craft? Well it’s been a while but my itty-bitty bundle of Riley Blake The Cottage Garden by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish.

Riley Blake MQG Challenge

I was fortunate enough to sign up before they ran out of the sample bundles and have started sketching some ideas that are a bit more modern than my usual designs. Unfortunately I can’t find a page on the Modern Quilt Guild site to link with the rules, but they’re as follows:

MQG 2015 Fabric Challenge – Riley Blake 
  • Make something fantastic that is quilted
  • Make something you have never done before
  • Challenge yourself to learn something new
  • The challenge runs from March until July 2015
  • Tag all your photos on Facebook and Instagram with #mqgfabricchallenge
  • Use only Riley Blake “The Cottage Garden” fabrics ad coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids

Here’s some REALLY rough digital sketches of ideas I’m floating around.  I don’t experiment with asymmetry and alternate grids very often so it’s kind of fun playing with this challenge. Any feedback? I’m all ears cause chances are I’m going to do what I want anyways ;)

Riley Blake Challenge Sketch

Meanwhile the craft room last week as I worked on my first mini quilt. A little honest craft room action: piles, snacks, computer, fabric, mess. It’s not a Pinterest worthy beauty but it’s home :)

Honest Craft Room