Fort Firefly

Tabitha contacted me a few months before her second baby, Wren, was born.  She was hoping I could make a special quilt that would fit into the baby’s room aesthetic.  She mentioned that she had a piece by Teagan White and would like to include a piece of fabric from her Fort Firefly line.  I took one look at this line and fell in love.

Tabitha also mentioned that she had seen a link I had posted on facebook to a new quilt pattern by my friend Shea Henderson’s pattern company, Empty Bobbins Sewing Studio.  The name of the pattern is the Parallels quilt.  If you’re looking for an incredibly well-written, easy-to-follow quilt pattern, be sure to check this one out.  The photographs (by Lauren Hunt, another uber-talented friend of mine) are GORGEOUS.  And I even got lucky enough to quilt 2 of the quilts included in the pattern (Stadium Seating and Checkered Lightning).  This pattern takes a little extra attention when cutting because of the uncommon angles, but is a breeze to stitch up.

Top 01

We chose not to follow the pattern exactly.  I followed the “Slingshots” version of the pattern, but changed the placement of the fabrics.

Detail 03

I think they kind of look like frog legs.  🙂

Detail 02

I quilted this quilt using an overall design.  This wood grain is one of my favorites.

Detail 01

The solids are shot-cottons in terra cotta, dill, and squash.  I love shot cottons.  Well, maybe more than love.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them.  I love that they appear to have so much more texture to them than regular old solids.  They have a shimmer that sparkles in the light. They are so soft, too.

Detail 04

The fabric is a very whimsical, woodsy print, so the woodgrain texture I used for the quilting on this one was a perfect fit.

Label 01

I made this cute little label on the backside of the quilt.  It’s just a little piece of the main print in the quilt appliqued onto the backside of the quilt.  I signed my name and the year it was made.


Pattern used: Parallels Quilt (Slingshots version modified) by Empty Bobbins Sewing Studio

Approximate Size: 55 1/2″ x 60″

Fabrics used: Fort Firefly – Field Party & Jars (Blue), Shot Cottons – terra cotta, dill, & squash

Quilting Design: Woodgrain

Thread: So Fine #50 – Color #457

Batting: Quilter’s Dream – Dream Orient

This was a fun quilt to make & Tabitha was a fantastic client to work for.  I’ve seen photos of baby Wren pop up on facebook laying on this quilt, so I know it’s being put to good use.

Quilt Con Baby Quilt

Have you noticed how “Quilt Con Colors” has become a palette used a lot by modern quilters?  Quilt Con Colors seem to be common knowledge for modern quilters, but if you don’t know what they are, visit the Quilt Con website and take a peek at their logo.  The colors used there are the palette I’m referring to.  Speaking of Quilt Con… are you planning to go?  The hubs and I have been trying to figure out how to make it work for either me to go in 2015 or all 3 of us.  We will have to see what plays out before I officially announce that I’ll be attending.  Woot woot!  Assuming it works out and I am able to go, it’ll be so much fun!!!!!

Top 01
Anyway… back to my main topic of this post.  I did the quilting on another baby quilt for the Birthday Blessing project.

Top 02
Aren’t the colors fun?  I love that mix of mostly solids and a few printed fabrics.  I wish I was better at doing that combination in my own quilts.  Jacquie is amazing at doing this sort of fabric combination.

Top 03
I thought this quilt had a lot of spunk in the piecing and din’t want to take away from that.  I chose to do an angular meander in a gold thread to let the quilt top sing.

Top 04
I think it still adds a nice texture.

Top 05
Don’t you just love that green print in the top left?  I sure do.


Approximate Size: 36″ x 48″

Thread: So Fine #50 – Color 426


Traffic Bubbles

My friend, Becky just had her second baby, Xavier.  I made this little quilt to give to them when I got to go and meet the little man last weekend.


I found this adorable vehicles fabric for really cheap when my local Hancock closed.

Top - Detail 1

I did the circle applique where you put 2 layers of fabric facing together and stitch around the edge, cut a slit in the back and flip.  Super quick and easy!  Super adorable!

Sketch - 1

This was the sketch I did to come up with the quilting on this one.  I ended up scrapping a few things on the sketch, but I’m still happy with the results.

Top - Detail 2

I wanted the strips of quilting with the ribbon quilting in it to resemble train tracks.

Top - Detail 10

I wanted the quilt to have a lot of texture to make up for the minimal applique.

Top - Detail 3

Aren’t the pebbles fun?

Top - Detail 5

I like the way the pebbles and the “train tracks” fit together.

Top - Detail 6

I think it flows with the applique, too.

Top - Detail 7

I really like the way it came out.

Top - Detail 8

I wish I would have used a different batting though.  This is the Quilter’s Dream Green batting.  It’s a very nice batting.  It drapes very nicely.  It’s so soft.  It has a nice weight.  I just kind of prefer a bit of a crinkle to my quilts and I feel like this one is missing it.

Top - Detail 9

Don’t you think it is missing a bit of a poof?

Back - Whole

I used the same fabric in the applique bubbles on the front and for the majority of the backing.  Isn’t it cute?

Back - Detail 1

I like the airplanes the best I think.

Back - Detail 2

I do think the boats are adorable, too, though.

Label 1

Once again I didn’t do a “proper” label.  This one reads: Xavier Thomas Fields     10-25-13

Label 2

❤ Jessica Toye


Size: 36″x42″

Pattern: Designed by me.

Fabric: Grey is a solid Kona (I think).  Print is a bargain from when my Hancock closed and I think it’s a M’Liss print.  Binding is a beautiful red that is printed to look like a woven from JoAnn’s.

Thread for quilting: The Bottom Line (60 wt.) in Gray.

Happy quilting!


Michael’s Bristers Quilt

Michael and I have been friends since the 7th grade.  We met in orchestra class.  We are also both very good friends with Tammy & Amber.  In our first year of college, I kind of found quilting.  The very first quilt I ever made was for Michael’s nephew, Iain.  That first Christmas in college, I made 3 cooridinating (very girlie) trip around the world quilts; one for Tammy, one for Amber, and one for me.  Not wanting to leave Michael out, I started on a quilt for him.  That was in early 2003.  I vaguely remember planning to give it to him for his birthday.  That would have been the end of January 2003.  In case you haven’t checked the calendar lately, it’s now November 2013.

Top - Whole

Well, I finished the top of somewhere along the line.

Top - Detail 2

I know the top was done before we moved to Kansas City.  That was 6.5 years ago.  I’m pretty sure it was probably finished before I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska.  That was a little more than 9 years ago.  Top - Detail 1

For some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to finish this one.  Looking back on it, I think it was probably because I needed my skills to catch up with what was in my head for this quilt.  At the time I only knew how to tie quilts and just knew this one needed something more.  I didn’t even know how to bind quilts.  The ones I did up until probably 2007 were just stitched around the edges and flipped right side out.  


Finally, my skills caught up with my mind.  This was the first quilt I did on my long arm.  I designed the paisleys you see.  The leaves are an Angela Walters design that I borrowed.

Back - Detail 2

I love the feathers I put in some of the paisleys.  I kind of wish I had done feathers in all of them.  

Back - Detail

And I think the leaves turned out nice, too.

Back - Non Label

I think I’ve mentioned before about my terrible habit of not making labels.  I just used a marker to write on this one.  In case you can’t read it in the photo it says, ” ‘Bristers’ Finally completed in November 2013 for Michael Heller by Jessica Toye.”  And in if you’re wondering what “bristers” means, it means brother-sisters.  I’m not really sure who named it or why, but that’s what we’ve been calling this quilt for a very long time.  It seemed wrong to call it anything else at this point.

I’m happy to say that my longest UFO is finally finished!  Almost took me 11 years, but it’s done!  It’s far from perfect, but it’s finished!  Now if I could just make him that wedding quilt I promised him.  (They just got married in 2012, so I still have some time to make their 2nd anniversary.

Happy quilting!


A Dark and Mysterious Mystery

I posted about another mystery quilt my mom gave me to quilt in an earlier post.  This one is a more recent quilt than the last one I shared.  I believe she made this one through a set of classes at the Country Sampler quilt shop in Omaha.


This quilt was really, really, REALLY hard to photograph.  My first problem was the size.  This quilt was HUGE and I’m not very tall.  Without climbing on top of my house and looking down at it, I don’t think there was any way I could get a good shot of the whole top of this one, but I think the photograph above gets most of it so you can see.  The camera didn’t love that there wasn’t a ton of contrast between the fabrics, but the fabrics each had a lot of contrast within themselves.  Does that make sense?

Top Detail 03

No?  Look a little closer… the black fabric has a really high contrast with the dots printed on it.  I think the problem is that there is so much contrast on such a small scale that it visually vibrates that it’s hard to look at in a photograph.  I could also be that the camera had a hard time trying to document it and it’s not just my eyes that are the issue here.

Top Detail 02

Since the fabrics in this one would have made it really hard to see any sort of quilting, we decided on a pantograph for this one.  We settled on one from Urban Elementz called “Funky Feathers – Petite“.


You can kind of see the quilting on the back side of this if you look at the shadows.  I chose a gold color of so fine #50 thread that blended nicely and didn’t take away from the piecing.

And don’t forget if you’re interested in having me quilt something for you, I have grand opening sale going on through the rest of October.  See this post for details.

Happy Quilting!

Patriotic Postage Stamps

Can you guess where this quilt came from?  Yep!  This is another one of my mom’s quilts that was sitting around waiting for me to quilt it for her.


If I remember correctly, this one has been waiting quite some time.  It’s cute though, don’t you think?  I kind of like the way the 9 patches in the corner look like they are taking a bite out of the red border.

Top Detail 02

I already gave this quit back, but I think the pieces are each aobut 1.5″ finished.

Top Detail 01

I tried out a hooked spiral all-over design that I found in Angela Walter’s first book.  I think it came out pretty cute on this quilt since the pieces are so small, this quilt wasn’t asking to have fancy custom designs on it.  I’ll need to practice this one a little more before I feel comfortable enough to offer it to you all, though.


The back was this really soft flannel with a floating block. left-over from the front.

Back Detail

And how cute is this flannel?!  I love the cowboy bears.

Don’t forget if you’re interested in having me quilt a project for you, now is the time.  See my previous post to find out about the Grand Opening Sale that’s going on through the end of October.

A Shiny Mystery

I think it was 2010 when my husband, my parents and I all went to the Chicago International Quilt Festival.  We all got cozy and shared a hotel room for a few nights.  My mom and I both took a few classes at the festival and one of them that she took was to make a mystery quilt.


If you’ve never done a mystery quilt before, here’s how they work…  You are given the fabric requirements for the quilt top you are going to make and you come in not knowing what you’ll be leaving with.

Top Detail 01

My mom picked these really shiny fun prints to take to class with her.

Top Detail 05

And then 3 years later the quilt top still sat there.  And then I bought a long arm and she gave it to me to finish for her.  Wasn’t that nice?

Top Detail 04

I tested out my banana leaf flower design you see here.  You can see this design and others listed on my services page here.  This design was inspired by a drawing in the Modern Quilting Designs book by Bethany Pease.  If you’re a quilter and looking for some inspiration, this book is one of my favorites.

Top Detail 03

I really like the way it turned out on this quilt.  It’s a fun design to quilt, too!


The back of this quilt is pieced.  I love pieced backs.  They are so much more interesting and I always imagine a quilt on top of a guest bedroom and somebody sleeping under a quilt and finding the surprise on the back.  I don’t know why I think of that or where that scenario came into my head from, but I’m always excited for the hypothetical person in my non-existent guest room to find a fun back of a quilt.

Back Detail 02

The quilting really shows up on the dark brown.

Back Detail 01

This quilting design would be a good one to use on something with a lot of negative space.  I think it’s distracting on a quilt that has a lot of piecing to it and wouldn’t be very complimentary to something with a lot of focus on the piecing.  It’s great for large spaces that need something interesting to fill the space in.

Don’t forget if you’re interested in having me quilt something for you, I have grand opening sale going on through the rest of October.  See this post for details.  Happy quilting!