weekly update

Quilter’s Block

I feel I have a quilting version of Writer’s Block…so Quilter’s Block? The cause is Pattern #103, but I’m not quite sure why I’m not able to make progress on it.  It’s not technically a hard block, and it looks amazing in the simulated photos, like nothing I’ve seen done before. But why can’t I seem to get myself to make progress and actually work on it?  That’s the million dollar question.  With secret sewing, I don’t want to share until it’s completely finished and the pattern is written in fear someone else will take the design and get to the market faster than me.  I’m thinking maybe I need to make a smaller version of this quilt for the pattern and then make the larger one at a later time.  Any thoughts?


I participated in the Starbucks Mug Rug swap in which we made a mug rug and then shipped it with a Starbucks mug with extras to our partner.  I decided to make a mug rug called “Orange Slice” designed by Lindsey Weight.


The mug rug uses raw edge applique and bias binding. I finally looked up how to do a blanket stitch on my machine instead of the zigzag.  But in actuality, I think I prefer the zig zag look. I used a lightweight heat and bond to fuse the slices on the background and Insulbright as the mug rug batting. I love this mug rug so much, I think I need to make one for myself.


This week’s Quilter’s Planner block, Ocean Fun By Jinger Snapp-Laplace of Trials of a Newbie Quilter, also used applique.  I used the same raw edge applique technique as the orange slice, but I used zig zag instead.



I got the binding finished for Chic Country, and the quilt looks stunning!  I was a little concerned with possible shadowing that would occur since it was black and white, but I don’t see any of it.  Major props to my Longarmer, Rhonda Walker of Olie&Evie for doing such a great job.


I have also updated the completed quilts page to include this week’s finishes!


5/23-5/30 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday PM, Friday PM, Saturday-Monday (I love Holiday Weekends!)

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Modern Heritage BOM

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
PBQ103: Break the Quilter’s Block; either make a smaller version or make BLOCKS in the existing one.
Modern Heritage BOM: Redo Month 5 Blocks, Start the next(?) month’s blocks (I forgot where I’m at.)

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weekly update

Who’s Accountable?

Did anyone catch last week that I didn’t finish sewing my basket case quilt top like I said I was going to?  After I posted last week’s post, I noticed I didn’t ever do that.  So I sat down and started sewing immediately to get that done even if I was a day or two late.  I’ve gotten comments about how people like my weekly goals at the bottom of my blog post.  It’s really for me and the internet (you included) to make sure that I’m accountable for what I’m going to be doing.  Working a “regular” job that travels often puts me in situations where time is my most precious resource. I need the internet to keep me accountable for what I’m set out to do.  So here’s the completed quilt top! Yippee! Now if I can decide if I want to walking foot quilt it myself or just send it to my longarmer because it’s easier (and see the limited time resource comment above).


As many in the quilting industry knows, Spring Quilt Market is this week!  My goal is to sometime be able to attend market vending my patterns or in some other format I haven’t figured out yet.  I actually have a lot of goals for what I want to do, but I struggle balancing them with reality (life).  So my mantra I need to remember and repeat to myself,   “Life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

An update for my PBQ103 pattern: I am generously 15% done with the quilt top. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a lot more progress soon so I can share!  I’m terrible with secrets!

The Quilter’s Planner block this past week was OXB Sunrise By Sarah Smith of 123 Quilt and featured Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs).  They are definitely not as hard as they look following Sarah’s tutorial for the block!  Definitely can use this skill in future designs.


I got my Chic Country quilt top back from Rhonda Walker of Olie&Evie and it is FABULOUS! Here’s a sneak peak as I still need to get the binding put on.  I asked to have lime green thread for the quilting to match the pop of color.  This is so that you can see the quilting on both the white and black fabric not just one or the other.


5/16-5/23 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Friday PM, Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Monday PM

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Starbucks Mug Rug Swap
Chic Country

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
Starbucks Mug Rug Swap: Finish and mail
PBQ103: Finish 3 blocks.
Chic Country: Bind quilt

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weekly update

Secret Sewing has started again!

First of all, it’s the last week of the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop.  Make sure to check out all 3 hosts to see who are getting introduced this week as well as enter for some really cool prizes from the sponsors.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Leanne @ shecanquilt

I for one am still working on replying to everyone via email that have commented on my blog posts!  So if you haven’t gotten one yet, just know it’s coming, and I definitely appreciate your kind words!


I am very pleased to say that I’ve gotten over my quilting block on working on my next pattern. (YAY!) However, it’s a secret so I’m not going to be sharing any photos until the design is finished and the pattern is ready for release. This may be a while since this is probably the most challenging quilt I’ve created so far.  Go big or go home, right?!


I was able to get some stitching done on these Tiny Box Zippy bags designed by Michael Ann Made.  I had previously made 3, one tester with ultra stiff interfacing, one with shape flex, and one for my Maker’s Birthday Bash Partner.  Well, when my sister saw one in Hawaii, she wanted one, too!  Remember how I wrote a post “Why I say No“?  Well apparently that does NOT apply to my sister.  I feel guilty and just make her stuff because she likes it (no wonder I’m her favorite!).  I also ended up making 2 more (they’re actually SO fun to make for some reason) for a total of 6.

I am using the teal one made from Joel Dewberry’s Atrium fabric for work.  We are now “mobile” so we move from desk to desk each day so my headset, mouse, and cords all fit nicely in this little tiny box zippy!



I made this week’s Quilter’s Planner Block, Floating Hourglass By Kelly Quilla of Quilting it Out, and I made it way harder than it should have been.  I stitched the block using the web-piecing technique which would have been great had I laid the block out correctly.  I didn’t realize it was wrong until I went to take a photo of the block.


The hourglass portion was very wrong.  Then I thought, “oh I can just rotate the middle two rows, no problem.”  Well if you do that, then the outside pieces of the two middle rows are wrong. It was one of those days, but I finally got the block completely fixed so ta-da!



5/9-5/16 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Thursday PM, Monday PM (busy weekend!)

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
PBQ103: Finish 3 blocks.

I should be getting my Chic Country Quilt back from the longarm, so I will hopefully get the binding finished, but it depends on when I get it back.

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weekly update

Aloha Maui!

Surprise!  Double post this week because of the fabulous blog hop I’m taking part in!  See yesterday’s post for my introduction and to visit the other awesome bloggers who are also a part of the post.  Also forgot to mention yesterday that there are some giveaways on the host’s blogs from some amazing sponsors!  What fun!


Last week, I missed my regular Tuesday post due to my 30th birthday vacation in Maui. Like any trip I take these days, I went in search of fabric stores to grow my collection.  The first shop I went to was Fabric Mart in Kahului.  They specialize in Hawaiian fabrics, but also have some Japanese, novelty, and a great selection for garments.  The Hawaiian fabric was priced very affordably compared to the other shops that I went to on the island.  The next stop was Sew Special also located in Kahului.  I found some of my favorite print of Central Park by Kate Spain still being sold, so obviously I bought the rest of the bolt.  I think the ladies thought I was a little insane, but I have to feed my Kate Spain obsession, right?!  The shop overall had a great selection of fabric and definitely worth a visit.


A few days later, I visited The Maui Quilt Shop in Kihei.  This shop was fairly small and there were lots of customers.  I think this type of set up actually overwhelms me quite a bit.  However, they still had a great selection and had bolts everywhere.  I ended up feeding my cute whale obsession as well as getting their 2015 Row by Row quilt kit and a fabric pineapple that was made by a local artisan.  Looking at the pineapple, it looks like it’s made with a similar technique as the styrofoam covered balls I made as Christmas ornaments – using folded fabric and a lot of pins.


Waiting for me when I got home was the Maker’s Birthday Bash present from Anna of Rosewood Cottage Creations!  Look at all these great goodies she made and sent me.  This has been a great swap, and I’m very happy to have participated.  A shout out to the host Amista Baker for organizing.


After I opened all my happy mail, I set out to complete the Maui Quilt Shop’s Row by Row and will eventually turn it into a table runner.  I used raw edge applique with a zigzag stitch.  I still haven’t found which stitch I like the best with raw edge, but this technique is much quicker than turned edge.  On a sidenote, I own a lightbox, and it’s amazing for tracing applique patterns.



Here are some other things that I’ve been working on.  These are the 2 Quilter’s Planner Blocks from the last two weeks.

Beary Goosey By Jan Ochterbeck of The Colorful Fabriholic


Equis By Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter



There comes a point where my ender/leader project becomes a project I just need to finish.  The Basket Case quilt was one that I felt the urge to go ahead and make the blocks to finish. Thanks to my husband for helping me layout all 42 blocks! I didn’t plan the layout of the fabric beforehand which actually makes creating a “good” layout difficult.  Good meaning none of the same types of prints or main colors touching each other.  It’s like one big puzzle to solve, but I think this layout will work out just fine. This is made from one of my favorite fabric lines, Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille.


Also for those that live in the Twin Cities area, don’t forget this Thursday – Saturday is the Shop Hop!  I can’t wait to visit all the local area quilt shops again.

5/2-5/9 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Thursday PM, Saturday PM, and Sunday

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Basket Case

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
Basket Case: Finish sewing the quilt top
PBQ103: Finish 3 blocks. ( I noticed not having a quantifiable amount meant I haven’t made much progress)

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Blog Hop

2017 New Quilt Bloggers

Welcome to Week 3 of the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!  It’s been so great to learn about all these fabulous new bloggers in the past weeks.  I’m a part of the Better Bloggers Hive with Beth from Cooking Up Quilts as our Hive mama.  I’m excited it’s my turn to share a bit about myself!

IMG_20170222_181653_446My name is Sherry and I live in Minnesota (where just cotton batting is not warm enough)!  I started quilting a little less than 2 years ago and have become completely obsessed. By obsessed, I mean I sew and quilt at nearly every free moment I have (I even DREAM about quilting and quilt designs).  My blog name “Powered by Quilting” is in reference to it being my passion and what fuels my crafting journey (which is mostly Quilting).  I still work a “normal” day job that involves at times some heavy work travel.  So I started my blog to first update my friends and family with what I was working on and a place to keep myself accountable for what I set out to do with my busy schedule.  I even bought a travel Janome to bring on work trips with me so I can sew at the hotel at night (serious signs of an addiction).

I am starting to design my own quilts, but with the little free time that I have it’s a slow process for me.  I have a desire to make each of the quilts that I am designing which makes the pattern release process even slower.  However, the end products are quilts that I absolutely ADORE, and I hope you do too.

Here are some of the quilts I’m most proud of: 


Spinning Vectors

This quilt is the very first pattern I designed.  I was love the movement of the flying geese, and it’s very beginner friendly.  The cascading of the ombre colors give it a happy rainbow effect too.  The pattern is for sale on Craftsy and Etsy.






Unleash Your Inner Rockstar

This mini quilt is one that I designed and created for the Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge by Riley Blake.  I love this because I think it shows my personality more than my quilting style for once. I love rock music and I love quilting so why wouldn’t a mashup work?  After all, we are all Rockstars in our own right.  You just need to own it.




Moroccan Getaway –

This quilt was a monster for me especially since I started it a few months into my quilting journey.  I feel like I have some minor ADD because I couldn’t work on it more than a few blocks at a time.  The end result was completely worth it, but I don’t know if I’ll every have the patience to make one of these again.




Bloom –

This was the first quilt I made with hand applique (or applique of any kind).  It’s a deviation of my typical style, but it was just too cute to pass up.  It also cemented my favorite type of applique – by hand and typically with a sew in interfacing to get the turned edge.

Other quilts that I have created can be found on my completed quilts page


Questions for you:

  1. What quilting technique do you love/hate and why?  (paper piecing, EPP, applique, etc.)
  2. Do you always go to the same blogger/site for tutorials or do you search for multiple via google or other search engine pr do you look for link up parties/tutorials?  (How do you look for tutorials?)

My Future Plans:

In the next year, I hope to:

  • Release 2-3 original patterns
  • Submit my quilts into the MN state fair and QuiltCon2018
  • Practice and become more comfortable with Free Motion Quilting
  • Participate in other design challenges that come up.  These have been surprisingly fun to do.

I hope you’ll join me in my journey on your favorite platform whether it’s here on my blog or Bloglovin’, my Instagram, or on Facebook.


Check out this week’s posts from my other hive mates:
Sherry of Powered by Quilting (You are here!)
Diane of Cwilt
Liz of Savor Every Stitch
Sandra of Sandra Healy Designs

More new bloggers are also getting introduced by 2 other Hives run by Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl and Leanne @ shecanquilt. I hope you’ll visit them as well.

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weekly update

When In Shanghai…

I’ve been in Asia for work since the last post and am not leaving until later this week. So obviously during the weekend I searched for a quilt shop to buy fabric, because I don’t own nearly enough. I wasn’t having much luck finding a quilting shop, but I was able to find a fabric market. The fabric market was this huge mall of tailors who would make clothing to order. A large majority of shops also had different types of silk, cashmere, wool, and linens on display for people to pick from for their garments or to purchase the fabric, but no quilting cottons. I didn’t end up buying anything while I was there, but I did find a stall that had my name up in lights! The suits and dresses below were items that they display advertising their tailoring services.

I eventually found a quilt shop, but their hours were during the day Monday through Friday. I won’t be able to visit due to my work schedule so it looks like no fabric purchases for me this trip.


Since I did not bring my sewing machine on this trip, I came armed with lots of handwork projects. The first one I finished on the plane ride over was the binding on my Farm Girl Cake Block mini quilt for my sister. Her birthday was in March, but I figured since I wouldn’t see her until later this month I’m technically not late! This has been updated on my Completed Quilts page.


I also brought the applique for my Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge sponsored by Riley Blake. The challenge is to use the Creative Rockstar line of fabric with any Confetti Solids to create something quilted. I wanted to create a piece that encourages my inner sewing rockstar and to hang it over my machine in my sewing room. The devil horn hand symbol is commonly used at rock concerts to rock on. So the design is modeled with that in mind, but with “Sew On” as the saying.


Now to get it quilted and finished after I get home at the end of the week, then submitted before the April 30th deadline!


My life prior to quilting included cross stitching little figures on hard plastic so I can create some magnets. I created 6 of the 8 Mario Kart sprites for my husband finishing the last one in August of 2016. Since then, most of the times I’ve travelled my cross stitching box went with me. It’s taken me months to get where Donkey Kong is almost finished! I just now realized I’m missing a color of thread in my traveling box so it’ll need to be finished later. Only one more left to go!


At one point I thought cross stitching was fun so I purchased the 2015 and 2016 cross stitch along by Clouds Factory. Cross stitching is so tedious! I bought the kits thinking that I’d actually have time and enjoy making them, but I have not started them nor do I have plans to get to them in the near future. Funny enough, I tend to do this with quilt kits! Purchase and hoard them, but never actually create the final product.


4/18-4/25 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM and Saturday AM (other time for hand work projects)

Projects I want to work on:
MQG Fabric Challenge
Quilter’s Planner Block
Cross Stitch

Goals for the Projects:
MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the quilt!
Quilters Planner Block: Finish this week’s block and next week’s block
Windswept: Work on applique of the Dresden pieces
Cross Stitch: Start on Koopa, the last Mario Kart sprite

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weekly update

Paper Piecing Design

Yesterday, I mailed by Maker’s Birthday Bash present to my partner!  I am so excited to share my process on how I made the diamond quilt I posted a few weeks ago.  Diamonds are the birthstone of April babies, so what better quilt to make!


The Diamond is paper pieced from a sketch I made on graph paper.  I drew and redrew the diamond until I found the proportions to be correct for what I wanted.


I then exploded the figure to the two different paper pieced parts.  If you notice, I numbered the pieces in opposite directions so the seams would lay in alternate directions.  One of my pet peeves with paper piecing is when all the seams are to one side.  It makes sewing the pieces together a little harder to have the points align.  I also designed this block to have a strip of fabric down the edges of the block after the pieces are sewn together to stabilize the block.


Progress photos!

I decided to reverse the background in my 9th block because I was using gray as the diamond color. Once I got all the blocks done, I quilted the mini with my walking foot!


I posted a paper piecing tutorial a few weeks ago that shows you step by step how to do the technique.  Now with some graph paper and some ideas, you can design your own paper piecing patterns! I think designing paper piecing patterns are fun and quick to do.  Some can get super complex and others can be used to simply extreme angles.


Also the Giveaway winner from last week is Cecilia who commented on the post with my blocks correctly identified!  Please use the contact page to email me your details so I can get the giveaway prize to you!

An update for the Quilter’s Planner blocks from the last few weeks.  First up is Due North By Abby King of Hashtag Quilt.  This is a paper pieced block.  One tip is that the A6 and B6 pieces from the cutting instructions are unnecessary.   A5 and B5 are plenty large to cover both sections.


Last week, the block was Intermingled By Bernie Kringle of Needle and Foot.  There are some corrections to the downloadable tutorial instructions.  Use the block labeling on the third page rather than the second.  There are a few blocks labeled with the wrong number.  Also piece #8 should be 2″x9″ not 8.5″  I wish I knew this before I started piecing because I definitely realized these errors as I was making it!


This week’s block (I’m early!) is Spanish Tiles By Diana Mattoni of Red Delicious Life.  There is one little typo about the trimmed size the flying geese.  The correct size is 4.5″x2.5″ not 4.25″x2.5″.


I also finished up the Megaman quilt for my husband.  He was so happy to have it finished because I definitely have a knack for starting projects for him, but never finishing them! Megaman is my finish #7 for the year and is updated on the Completed Quilts page.


Last but not least this week, the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop is kicking off this week!  I am a part of the Better Bloggers Hive run by the awesome Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts.  My week is May 1, but there are giveaways every week from some amazing sponsors.  So check our Beth’s blog for the list of people participating in the blog hop this week!



4/11-4/18 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
??? – traveling for work internationally!

Projects I want to work on:
MQG Fabric Challenge
Birthday Mini

Goals for the Projects:
MQG Fabric Challenge: Finish the applique
Birthday Mini: Finish the binding

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