Monday, December 3, 2018

Sew Big or Go Home!

Yesterday I shared the story of Stitch Happens, so today I thought I would keep the sewing machine theme going and share the story of its big sister, Sew Big or Go Home

Photo Credit: @rileyblakedesigns

This quilt came about just a couple of months after Stitch Happens, when Riley Blake asked me to come up with another sewing machine quilt, this one for their 2018 QuiltCon booth but with bigger size dimensions to fit a larger space. It was to feature their basics lines, Hashtags & Kisses, again.

Photo Credit: @lisalisaandthequiltjam

I struggled with this one. A lot. I did what I do best, which is procrastinate. (procraftinate? there needs to be a quilting section in the urban dictionary!) Thinking, thinking, trying to come up with something new, but still related to Stitch Happens kind of, but that was different and hadn't been done before. 

After I settled on the design, then the stitching started. The stitching. All the stitching. At the same time I was stitching it up under a deadline, I was smack in the middle of an "I don't want to sew fog". A really bad one. Like I had to force myself to stitch. Do you ever lose your sewjo? (sewjo should be in the urban dictionary, too!) It was the worst time to lose it! 

I have never been so relieved to finish a project! Now don't get me wrong, the pattern isn't hard at all. It's all straight seams, and simple traditional patchwork techniques. It was just the missing sewjo, and looming deadline (needs to be done yesterday type of thing) that made this one a challenge. The payoff at the end though! I mean.. I was sooo excited!

The payoff is all worth it. It comes together in a puzzle-like way and it's such a feeling of accomplishment to see it at the end. Riley Blake had one of their quilters, Chelsea from @cuddleupquilts, quilt it and she did such an amazing job! AH-MAY-ZING. I love this quilt so much, and it ended up being one of my most favorite makes ever. In no small part due to the mountain I climbed to make it at the time.

quilted by @cuddleupquilts

It's a 60x70ish quilt so large lap size or large wall hanging. And it's scrap friendly too! One of my testers, Lauren, did hers in scraps and it's so cool to think that you can take your buckets of scraps and turn them into something so fun to look at.

My other tester, Cindy from Live a Colorful Life, did hers with a bundle of Me + You purples from Hoffman Fabrics.

I'm still amazed at how she made all of those purples work together, and it turned out great!

Here are two others I spotted on instagram.. the bottom one is made from scraps also, I remember Dyan telling me. 

It's a super fun make (as long as you're not in the middle of the Sahara Desert of missing motivation) and the payoff at the end is 🙌. Stitch Happens is an easy and quick make. It's big sister, Sew Big or Go Home is easy piecing, just lots more of it. 

Not long ago, I also got a message asking permission to recreate it on a barn quilt. If you love barn quilts go check out @gardinersgate on instagram or search Gardiner's Gate on Google. She paints the most amazing barn quilts. She ended up changing up the design quite a bit in the end because it was an 18" square that she was painting on so it wouldn't fit. But here is her finished masterpiece none-the-less. :) She is so super-talented! 

You may also see Sew Big on these totes from Riley Blake. And possibly coming to a t-shirt near you! ;) *fingers crossed*

photo via:

If you give it a go, please send me a pic! I'd love to see!

Day 3 of the 31-day blog challenge at is in the books! Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Happy Monday!



I am glad that you were able to ride that struggle bus through slump town to get to such a beautiful destination. You did a great job! Sometimes the times that we drag butt pay off in the end.

sunny said...

I love it!! And the quilting is ahhmazing!!!!! I saw a sample of the small quilt at a nearby shop where I took a class recently. It's still on my to-do list for now. I need to live to be 178 to do everything on my list. And that assumes I don't add anything to the list. Fat chance!

What a great story of GoBig or Go Home! And yes, missing my sewjo happens to me as well. Deadlines can be bad, bit I guess they are needed!! Your quilt is fantastic and the the quilting is amazing for sure!! Well done!!

Marilyn said...

I saw Sew Big or Go Home at QuiltCon and was blown away. I purchased the pattern as soon as I could find it. Since then, I've been afraid to even start it. So thanks for the encouragement that it's not too hard and it was great seeing the samples in other fabrics and colors.

It is hard to create when you are under a deadline, and worse when you have no sewing mojo. I've been there (not for designing). Great quilt!

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