Category Archives: Reviews

Ultimate Gift list

For Christmas, I wrote out an ultimate gift list of items, I thought I would enjoy. There is a mix of bought gifts and hand made options in the list. I tried to buy local or small shop owners or directly from the artist. I actually used this in a 12 Days of Christmas activity. I think any one of these gifts would be a great gift for someone that has interest in quilting or arts and crafts.

Printed Material/ Reference

Quilting with Liberty (Book)
Essex Fabric Color Card (Reference guide)
Half Baked Harvest Cookbook (my favorite cookbook at the moment)

Notions / Tools

Keep Going Lisa Cogdon Mugs
Applipops (Reuseable applique circle templates)
Fish Museum + Circus Pin Cushion / Needle holders (need to sign-up for her newsletter)
Scrap Bags (pulled and made scrap bags from left over fabric I had = free)
Kiriki Press Embroidery Plushies (for kids)
Alison Glass Wonderfil Perle Cotton Thread


Anna Maria Horner Clubs (Applique and quilt options)

Food/ Beverage

Chapel Hill Toffee (Chocolate)
King Bean Coffee (Beverage, my favorites La Dolce Vita, Southern Pecan)
Make a meal – Dinner (Coq au Vin) + Dessert (Rustic French Apple Tart)

Hand made Options

Homemade Oven Mitts (pattern free)
Noodlehead Bag Projects (I chose Redwood Tote Pattern and purchased hardware)
Handmade Table Runner (made by own patterns, Rotating Spokes & Improv Bear Claw)
Carolyn Friedlander Coasters
Japanese Linen Apron (purchase handmade or pattern other options also on Esty)

Art + Stand

John Pedder Wood Prints
Suzy Ultman Nested Dolls
Single Print Wood Art Stand

Mesa Quilt {Southwest Modern + Giveaway}

Last year, a new book had become available for pre-order on Amazon and after seeing Kristi (@initialkstudio), I was so excited to have this book in my collection. I was so ecstatic when I was asked to be part of her blog hop.


The book takes you through a journey in the southwest of the USA, and the influence of this area is seen within the quilts. The book has an amazing layout and beautiful photography. When deciding on a quilt, I wanted to choose one that I could bring in the influence of North Carolina.


North Carolina has a diversity in environments as it stretches from the mountains to the beach. This region also has rich history and traditional quilting background. As the Mesa Quilt is a modern version of a log cabin, I decided to do this pattern, which I thought was fitting with the traditional quilt making of NC.


For the color palette and the material, I was influenced by a Gees Bend Quilt. I used mostly recycled fabric, blue jeans, shirts, ties and a feed sack. This was a quick make and it was so much fun playing with the color palette and placement.


I interfaced many of the stretchy or less stable fabrics with interfacing to make them easier to sew. I have a quilting plan for this quilt already, using a mix of grid lines, walking foot shapes within sections, and straight lines.


I really enjoyed this quilt top finish and hope to make more of the projects including some of the amazing triangle based quilts. If you want to see more, please check out the other projects that are on the blog hop:

Last but not least, you too have a chance to get your hands on a copy of this book. To be in with a chance:

  1. Enter follow me (@ml_wilkie) and @initialkstudio on Instagram
  2. Leave a comment below.
  3. For an extra chance, leave a comment on the Instagram post (@ml_wilkie)

I will randomly choose a winner at 8pm EST tomorrow. If you are not selected, there is another chance for you….Kristi also has a Grand Prize Giveaway that will be happening at the end of the blog hop. Sign-up for her newsletter and you’ll have a chance to win:

  1. Signed copy of the Southwest Modern by Lucky Spool
  2. FQ bundle by Robert Kaufman
  3. FQ bundle by Me & You Fabrics
  4. Southwest Modern Thread Collection by Aurifil


First timer to Sewtopia

Last week, was Sewtopia Atlanta and I attended. What can I say, it was so awesome. My best retreat ever!! Will I attend again? Absolutely, if my commitments allow I would like to attend everyone from now on!!

[Personal Project: WiP: Maze & Vale + AGF Denim]

For those that don’t know, Sewtopia is a sewing retreat which happens twice a year. The first event of the year tends to be structured as  partly class, partly open sew. The second event tends to be only open sew.

It was the first time I have every roomed with a stranger. Corrinna was the best room-mate ever, and totally alleviated my concerns of maybe not knowing anyone. She was not the only new friend I made, it was such a great event for making new or building on existing connections.


The weekend kicked-off with me scrambling to finish hand sewing my binding on my Michael Miller Challenge item, before the 3pm Cotton + Studio Tour. I did finish it just in time. The studio tour was amazing. All the ladies from C+S were there and answered our questions, we saw their new line and their studio/work space is just amazing!!

IMG_6065[Denyse Schmidt: My Single Girl Block: Blue Scraps+Lizzie House Print]

The classes were Denyse Schmidt’s Free Wheeling Single Girl and Elizabeth Hartman’s Frances Firefly. Both instructors were amazing and so friendly. I managed to contain my fan-girl moments :-), as they spend a lot of time with each student.  The classes were well structured, and since both were block based you could decide what kind of project you would make. Look, I got to practice curves which I just recently learned in Melanie Tuazon’s curve class.

IMG_6067[Elizabeth Hartman: Frances Firefly: Cotton and Steel + Carolyn Friedlander Carkai + Katarina Roccella Avant Garde + Essex Linen]

Other than the special events, the other things that made this the best retreat I have ever gone to:

  • The wonderful and friendly staff
  • The great balance between activities and open sew
  • The stress-free, friendly environment
  • The optional challenge and swap activities is greatly appreciated
  • I enjoyed the catered lunches

I can’t wait to my next Sewtopia retreat (here’s hoping for a spot at Austin, if not I will see you all at Denver)!!

Have a great weekend, all. I am hoping to get some quilting time in.