Jacquelynne Steves

The Dandy Drive Sew Along is coming…

Hello, Friends! Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be participating in the Dandy Drive Sew Along, hosted by Pat Sloan and Sarah J. Maxwell, and I hope you’ll join us! This will be a free sew along with free pattern. The quilt consists of simple piecing and it’s just perfect for spring and summer! Here is a preview of what it will look like using different fabrics (the finished size of the quilt will be 75 x 90″):

These are the fabrics that I chose- I almost always (like, 99.9% of the time) use light colored backgrounds in my quilts. But I was looking at my pretty pastel fabrics, and I thought they’d really “pop” against a black background, so I chose this little black dot print (Moda Essential Dots) to use. I think it’s going to be very pretty:

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Flower Show Inspiration- Tulips and Bicycles!!

Are you ready for some colorful inspiration? Last week, we went to the world famous Philadelphia Flower Show. We try to go every year, there is always so much to look at, and of course, it’s a nice little preview to Spring! I was especially excited to go this year because the theme this year was Holland, and we actually traveled to the Netherlands last April and loved it (check out the photos from that trip here).

Holland is the country of bicycles- we were amazed at the number of bikes we saw while we were there, seems there are 2 bicycles for every person!! So of course, bicycles were well represented at the Flower Show.

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In the studio this week…

Folks, a mere 5 days ago, it was 66 degrees and sunny. Today, I sit writing this from my husband’s office because we are in the midst of an ice storm that took out the power at our house…. lots and lots of outages being reported, so who knows when our power will be restored. We may be camping here at his office tonight!! But Alfie is staying warm and snug, we brought his bed and favorite blanket and he is kind of oblivious to the fact that there is anything unusual going on.

I’ve been working a lot over the last few weeks, but a couple of day trips proved to be quite inspirational!

My oldest daughter starts her new job tomorrow, as she has been helping me in my office in the meantime. One day last week, I said, “Let’s play hooky!” I really felt like I needed to get out, and she was willing! So we headed out to one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie. Soooo much to look at and drool over there!

I have a lot of mugs and dishes from Anthropologie, I’m a bit of a hoarder collector. Although we really can’t. fit. one. more. mug. into the cabinet… I had to have another. If faced with this selection, wouldn’t you???

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Announcing Our UFO Challenge!

Today I’m announcing my UFO Challenge! Have you been following along with my posts about how to sort, prioritize, and get those UFO’s (UnFinished Objects & Projects) done?? No? Well, check out the two blog posts below, which are FULL of helpful tips!

To add a little more motivation for you, I am hosting a UFO Challenge! This is a chance to get a project or two done, and enter to win a FANTASTIC prize! Three lucky folks will win a FREE 2 MONTH MEMBERSHIP to The Art of Home Club.

What is The Art of Home Club? It is a monthly membership where you get Club Exclusive patterns, video tutorials, printables and all kinds of fun stuff that you won’t find anywhere else! Here are some examples of the kinds of goodies that are only available through The Art of Home Club:

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Tips to get those UFO’s (UnFinished Objects & Projects) DONE!

In my last post, I shared some suggestions for categorizing your UFO’s and deciding what to keep. I offered a little bit of “tough love,” and gave you permission to let some stuff GO. Get rid of it. Make room in your life for things that are new and fresh (both literally and figuratively.) Sometimes, it is obvious which projects you want to keep and which you want to let go of.

Thank you for your incredible response to that article! So many nice comments and emails, and people telling me that they were forwarding it to their friends and guild members. I think that a lot of articles address HOW to finish incomplete projects, but what we don’t talk about is WHY we ended up with that mountain to begin with. While going through your UFOs, it might be good to do a little self examination as well. Why did we start these projects? Because the kit was on sale, or because it was a “fad” that everyone in the guild was in to? Were we unrealistic about the amount of time it would take to complete it? Maybe we even have to dig a little deeper… am I using “stuff” to fill some other void? Am I expecting a completed project to make me feel a certain way? (It kind of reminds me of being really gung-ho on the first day of a diet, imagining the new wardrobe and the envy of our friends at the high school reunion… and that lasts for about 3 days… then back to the old ways. We get so excited about a project, but then the reality of how long it’s really going to take sinks in, we get overwhelmed, and into the closet it goes.) Are we looking to “feel” a certain way… and we think that X fabric/kit/project will make us feel that way, or put us in good company??

Today, I’ll share a few more tips for prioritizing your UFO’s and deciding what to do with those projects that are in the “gray area,” in other words- you can’t decide if they are worth working on.

When looking over UFO’s which you’re not sure about, you can consider the following factors: (more…)

Sorting and Letting Go of UFO’s (UnFinished Objects)

This post is about how to sort your UFO’s- but let me tell you a little about the inspiration… This past Sunday, it was 72 degrees- it’s February and I live in NJ, folks! Crazy! We went for a long walk at the park with Alfie, and then treated ourselves to ice cream afterwards.

It’s feeling like Spring (though I’m sure that will only last another day or 2… then we’ll most likely get a seasonable arctic blast.) But while it’s warm and the sun is shining, it’s certainly putting me in a good mood. A SPRING mood. What does that mean? Lately, it makes me feel like doing some purging around the house. So much stuff to get rid of!

My oldest daughter has a new job starting in a few weeks, and while she’s in between jobs, she’s been coming over to help me. The first assignment I gave her was cleaning up my fabric room. While I love this room and it’s perfect for doing photography, I had let it get wayyyyyyyy out of control. Like, I spent the last year just throwing stuff in there (literally) and then shutting the door so that I didn’t have to look at it. Daughter spent a full day getting it under control, sorting and organizing. I love the room again! Alfie loves it too… I couldn’t find him this morning, so I went upstairs to investigate and found him napping in a basket of newly-organized fabric remnants:

While we were going through the dresser drawers, I came across a UFO (UnFinished Object) that I’d forgotten about- a small quilt which was almost done except that it needed ONE border sewn on. And that one border was already pinned on! Seriously- I had left it unfinished with just ONE seam left to do. Whaaaaaat? What is wrong with me, I asked myself- why could I NOT just finish the thing? Why was it shoved in a drawer and abandoned for a few years? And then I remembered the details of the project. A guild had asked me to work up a special project to teach them at a workshop. I did so, and I was almost done the sample, when they cancelled. I was left feeling aggravated that I’d wasted my time on this. I didn’t even LIKE the project! So, I had stashed it away where I didn’t have to see it, and didn’t have to be reminded of the aggravation it had caused me.

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Splendid Sampler One Year Anniversary Blog Hop & Giveaway

Today is the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of The Splendid Sampler– WOW! That’s hard to believe! I’m doing a Giveaway to celebrate…. keep reading…

One year ago today, the first block for The Splendid Sampler was released. It was February 14, 2016 that this perfectly themed block was released:

I designed 2 blocks for The Splendid Sampler, a bonus block called Summer Flip Floppin’:

and a block called Little Things:

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21 MORE Free Valentine’s Day Projects for Quilters and Sewists!!!

It’s that time again! Time to bring out the red and pink (my favorite colors!) Last year, I brought you 13 Free Projects for Quilters and Sewists, and once again this year I’ve been searching the internet, looking for even more of the cutest free projects for Valentine’s Day- I don’t think you will be disappointed with this list! Most of these are very quick and easy, so there’s plenty of time to create decor and gifts before February 14. Enjoy!

Sweetheart Apron by Sew and So

Love-ly Valentine’s Day Pillow by Jacquelynne Steves (yep, that’s me!)

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Love-ly Valentine’s Day Pillow Tutorial Plus tips for sewing curves!

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it! This is a very quick project that you can make in an afternoon with fabrics and materials which are probably already in your sewing room. It’s also a very good beginner project- so get the kids and grandkids involved!

I will also give you some tips for sewing and working with curves- it’s easy peasy and you’ll get great results with just a couple of simple tricks.

Finished size of pillow is about 10 x 12″

To make this pillow, you will need: (more…)

Creamy Mushroom Soup Recipe

It’s soup season!! I love all kinds of soup- because it’s warm, comforting, and you can use just about any ingredient you find in your fridge or pantry to make it. You could have a different kind of soup every single day during the cold weather and never get bored, right?

This is my recipe of Creamy Mushroom Soup. While I grew up with the famous canned kind of mushroom soup, this is a “grown up” version that everyone will love. It’s simple and delicious. This recipe calls for mixed mushrooms. Don’t stick to just the white button variety, try some Portabellas, shiitake, oyster, and other varieties as well- they have more flavor and will make your soup more interesting. I used 8 ounces of large white mushrooms (whole), 8 ounces of baby portabellas (also whole), and 4 ounces of an “exotic” blend from the produce department of my local grocery store. The white and portabella mushrooms are quite a bit larger and “meatier” than the other varieties and will need a little extra cooking time. When roasting your mushrooms, start with the largest ones and then toss in the smaller ones a little later so that they all cook evenly. (more…)