Vote Winner

I had the hardest time figuring out which quilt to finish first and needed a little help.  I received said help via tumblr, twitter, and Instagram.  What was voted on?

After saving some money I purchased wide backing (108″) fabric so I could finish these.  I just…couldn’t decide which one to work on first.  The winner is Mermaid’s Treasure!  I’ve basted it and now have it on a lap frame.  It won’t be on the larger frame simply because I’m working on multiple projects right now and need the space.

You can see all the progress on my Instagram page: ReneetheChaosfay


Threads for August

I’m keeping very busy as of late and haven’t really gotten around to uploading pictures of my current work to my computer.  Here’s what I’ve finished over the last four weeks!  Nearly all of it is for because it’s about the only thing preventing me from feeling lonely.  A lot of quilters are there.


The theme for this was “August” and we had to make a mug rug.  For me August has become a month of smoke.  There are a lot of wildfires in and near my area, smoke from distant fires travels here as well.  It chokes out any colors and makes the sun a dim circle in the sky.  All colors are subdued by the grey-brown haze and landmarks are sometimes hidden entirely.

For this I used a foundation paper piecing block I’ve been wanting to try out.  The results are 1) it’s a fast block and 2) it’s super easy but gotta mark the colors.  I’ll definitely use it again, but for a much larger project.


Not for swap-bot!  This was done entirely on a whim.  It wasn’t until I made the final square that I realized I didn’t have enough butterfly print.  The block was a lot of fun, not too demanding, and the color arrangement will make a HUGE impact when I make a larger quilt out of it.  A gradient look will be very appeal!


I finished it!  The receiver looooves it, and that’s all that matters.  Made entirely from scraps!  I used foundation paper piecing (seeing a pattern here?  Oh, look, a pun!) for the hearts and added borders around them.  It finished at 34×34 inches, a little larger than intended but totally worth it.


This one was for swap-bot as well.  We only had to make a strip-piece mug rug with at least five strips no larger than 2″ wide.  I couldn’t do just five strips though.  I decided to play with arranging the strips to keep the roses aligned.  No idea why the background is pink in the picture.  Weird.


Last but not least is my favorite creation of the month!  I titled it “Wonderful Creation” and used foundation paper piecing.  The theme for this swap was to make something using a 6×6 inch square provided by the swap host.  I used two batiks and a solid.  The binding is spot-on perfect!

That’s August for you!  What have you been doing to keep your hands busy?

In non-quilting news I’ve been playing with makeup and loving every minute of it.


Huge Commission!

Not in size, but in regards to exposure.

The person commissioning me is my husband’s boss who also happens to own two restaurants in town, including the one my husband works at. He’s very well known here an in the surrounding area. This will be making a MASSIVE impact in regards to folks knowing my work.

On top of this is what the quilt is being made for.

In December there’s an annual auction. Every year there’s a theme and folks have the option of making a Christmas tree or quilt with that theme. Most folks opt for making a tree because apparently it’s a lot more fun and easier. All the money made at the auction is donated to the local hospice.

I’ve been hired to make a quilt, and quoted that it’d be no less than $1000 when finished. The commissioner didn’t even bat an eye. He completely expects it to be at least $1k. Awesome!

The big part of this is the massive exposure. How? THOUSANDS of people will be at the auction, most of whom are VERY wealthy. When the quilt is set up my information will be provided, including my website, name, and a bit of other information. Folks will be able to touch the quilt, see the detailing up-close, etc. I’ve been informed that a lot of people see a huge rise in their business when their work is auctioned off. Because there are so few quilts they tend to stand out more. Not many of the quilters sell their work though. That means mine will be receiving a lot more attention because I accept commissions and sell ready-made items that can be purchased immediately. I’m local, which means people can come by my home to purchase my work instead of doing so online. There’s also a big “support local business” thing here because we’re rural (town has less than 10k people). I do most of my work my hand, namely the hand-quilting, making each piece a lot more personal. On top of this I’m disabled which swings things a bit more in my favor.

My husband’s boss and a few co-workers have given us warning that I may be a little overwhelmed by a sudden influx of new buyers. In other words, I need to build my inventory.

I’ve budgeted $200 for the fabric I need for this quilt. The Crown Royal bags I’ll be using have been provided for me, but this is a queen size quilt. It’s going to be 96″x108″. I’ll be using more than just the bags (they’re going to be cut down to the size and shapes I need) because the quilt will be impressively boring otherwise. I’ve looked up Crown Royal bags, and though a few are impressive and beautiful, the majority just turn into visual mud with just yellow and purple solids. I plan on using a hint-of-a-print gold fabric and a wilder print containing purple, gold, and possibly white or off-white. I want this to stand apart from the crowd. I had considered using foundation paper piecing but couldn’t find a pattern I liked.

As with all purchases I’ll be making a freebie. This will be done with scraps from the quilt and the commissioner can add this to the auction if he so desires. I’ll accept extra payment if he feels the need to pay me, but it won’t be required.

Unfortunately my husband set up the verbal contract for the quilt before speaking to me, hence why I won’t be receiving the standard 50% up-front payment that would cover the cost of fabric as well as the fuel needed to visit the necessary number of quilt shops I may need to go to in order to find the fabric I want/need.

Anyway, I’ll be making items exclusive to my monthly Ko-Fi supporters, but ultimately most of what I make now will go to my inventory. With the holidays coming up I definitely need to invest in fabric to finish the large quilts I already have as well as make new things. I’m thankful I have nothing but time on my hands.

Feel free to give me $200 so I can purchase the fabric sooner than later!

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Gift for a Friend

There’s something very special about making gifts for friends and family.  It’s more personal and I can stitch messages into the quilt.  Add a special touch that makes things feel a bit warmer, kinder, and overall unique to them.

Regarding my family, my mother has been making quilts for us for 35 years.  Making things for my family feels a little silly seeing a we all have SO MANY.  I leave my gifts to making home decorations seeing as my mother focuses on lap and bed quilts.

For my friends it’s totally different.  As far as I can tell I’m the only quilter among them.  This makes my gifts feel that much more important to them as well as to myself.

I’ve been working on a gift for my friend Mars.  Her Twitter account can be seen here:  She’s very active in social media!

The reason for my absence is this quilt.  It’s my favorite technique, foundation paper piecing, using scraps from all my other quilts.

Fellow quilters may know how labor-intensive this technique is.  I’ve spoken of it in previous blog entries as well.  The short version is I sew fabric to paper in a very specific order.  It’s the only way to achieve some blocks, sharp points, and incredible accuracy.

It took over a dozen layouts to figure out which one I liked best.  My mother hates it, but it’s not for her.  Mars’s opinion is the only one that matters to me.

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I went with a complementary color layout.  Pink isn’t in the rainbow, but it’s her favorite color, hence why it’s there.  The rainbows on either side help balance out all the colors as well as holding the theme in place.  It wasn’t until I stepped back that I noticed nearly all the blocks look like cut gems!  That was entirely by accident, and it’s a happy one I love.

The entire quilt is made from scraps, including the lattice-work and sashing.  That’s why you see three different whites in there, two of which are a hint-of-a-print.  What better way to use scraps?  Especially oddly shaped ones!

All the pictures were taken with my phone, btw, hence why it’s not the highest quality.  Better pictures will be taken when it’s finished and washed.

Because it’s a wall-hanging I opted for a polyester batting.  There’s less puckering and it won’t be as fluffy, but it will make for an excellent wall decoration.  All the quilting was done by hand using a rainbow variegated thread by Sulky.  I love how it stands out against the white!

Today I’ll be adding the binding.  It’s a butterfly print I’ve had forever and used often.  The background is purple and the butterflies are all sorts of colors.  You won’t be able to really see the butterflies, but you’ll see all the colors.  This will help tie the rainbow effect together, as well as keeping it playful and preventing the hearts from looking like they’re floating on the wall.

I’m not adding a tube on the back because this may eventually be used as a baby quilt.  It’ll be about 34″x34″ when finished, which is a great size for a baby quilt.  Traditionally wall-hangings are no more than 32″x32″, making this a bit large.  It’ll be great for covering empty space and bringing life to a room.  I offered a tutorial to Mars about how to add a quilt to a wall using 3M Command Hooks and safety pins.  You can see it here:

FYI the block used is Easy Lovecloud and can be found here:  It’s a large block but VERY easy!

I’ll update with some finished pictures in a few days!

Patreon Alternative

I had considered setting up a Patreon account, but there are some serious complications in regards to doing that.  The most important complication is me being disabled.  Having a Patreon account runs the risk of losing my disability benefits.  Said benefits keep me alive (Medicare and SSDI) and losing that assistance would be disastrous.  If I miss one dosage of my seizure medicate I have uncontrollable seizures that will eventually result in death.  Yes, epilepsy is deadly.  My seizure medication is nearly $700, but with Medicare I pay only $3.

As for why I’d set up a Patreon account?  To get a little extra financial assistance so I can create without being in such a tight pinch financially.  Quilting, painting, making jewelry, all of these activities are very therapeutic.  Without them I would go mad.

Recently Ko-Fi came out with Ko-Fi Gold.  I get a extra benefits, like posting updates, messages, pictures, videos, etc.  It’s fantastic.  Oh, and only $6/month.  Ko-Fi also takes exactly nothing from any donations you receive there.  Patreon takes a hefty cut as do a few other sites with similar functions.  I’ve set up a tier system as well!  If you’re interested in checking out the options that come with Ko-Fi Gold check it out here:  If you opt in for Ko-Fi Gold you’ll receive 10% off your subscription with that link.

Here’s my Ko-Fi page: I also have a button on the right side of my blog that will direct you to my page.

As for what I have set up there here’s what you’ll see:

“$5/month (one joyful moment): you’ll receive a postcard!

(all rewards listed below are available after three months of supporting me)

$10/month (two joyful moments): you’ll receive a postcard AND will be able to choose what mini thing you like: coaster, mug rug, or a single place mat.

$15/month (three joyful moments): you’ll receive a postcard and after three months choose to receive a set of coasters or three mug rugs or a four piece place mat set (set sells at $40 starting price).

$25/month (five joyful moments): you’ll receive a postcard and after three months choose between any of the above or receive a mini quilt (typically 30 x 30 inches, starting price is $100)

$75/month (15 joyful moments): you’ll receive a postcard and after three months choose between any of the above or receive a lap quilt (typically 50 x 50 inches, starting price is $250)

For clarification, you’ll be choosing items I have already made unless you wish to commission me.

To donate higher than what the $5 listed you just need to click the up button. You can make it a one-time donation or monthly. If you wish to receive something from me as stated above you must make it monthly and leave a message for me (you can choose to make it private or public) telling me what you’d like. Public donations are easier to keep track of in regards to who is donating how much, but if you want to keep it private state your name and email address in the message so I can set up a reference sheet.

If you want to commission me and would rather pay me via Ko-Fi than PayPal let me know BEFORE you send any money. We’ll need to work out details and figure out the price of what you want. It’ll be 50% up-front so I can purchase supplies, and the other 50% when it’s finished. For more details contact me.

If you’d like to purchase something I’ve already made and don’t want to go through Etsy please contact me.

Thank you!”

In short, you’ll be one of my patrons and will receive rewards after three months.  This will help me pay my bills, purchase materials, etc.  Please consider being one of my Ko-Fi patrons:


Finished Playful Chill

I participated in the Quilt Shop Hop in April and purchased a lot of fabric I’ve used in recent quilts.  While I was out and about I was also looking for fabric for borders and backing for a few quilts.  One quilt I had in mind was Playful Chill.  I found the most AMAZING batik in a blue and green tie-dye style.  Oh, I love it!

40 x 45 inches, 100% cotton, and the backing is an AMAZING batik. All quilting was done by hand.

The size makes it great for wheelchair users. Not so large it’ll catch on something, but large enough to tuck in where necessary. It’s also a great size for a baby or toddler, and for a little extra warmth on your lap.

The quilting thread is a variegated teal, ranging from nearly white to really dark blue. You can see the quilting much better on the back.

It looks slightly warped due to where it’s hanging, over large blinds, but I didn’t have a different space to hang it that fit the size.

Price: $250 USD before shipping.

I won’t be listing this on Etsy due to the increase in the transaction fees (5%) and shipping fees (they’re taking 5% from shipping). If you’re interested in purchasing this contact me. I’ll send you a PayPal invoice.

Hidden Light

My grandfather died in April and it hit me hard.  It’s one of the reasons I went silent for awhile.  I’m no good at mourning (who is?) and just sort of hid for awhile.  At the same time I needed an outlet, a way to show how I feel and what I remember.

A contest on DeviantArt helped me with this.  The theme is “Hidden Light”.  It’s a collaboration between a visual artist and a writer.  I paired up with who wrote a beautiful poem based on my quilt and the description:


The technique is foundation paper piecing and provided the template/pattern with a tutorial you can see here:

Size: 24 x 24 inches
Technique: Foundation Paper Piecing
Quilting style: hand-quilting
Time: 83 hours (FPP is very time consuming)

I started this quilt shortly after my grandfather died. It was difficult to create this, both physically and emotionally, because I felt that emptiness as I made this. At the same time it helped fill that within me because I poured my memories here. My grandfather loved gardening and yard work, he fully supported my grandmother’s quilting and was thrilled when he learned I took up the family tradition, and he made summers so enjoyable for me when I was a child. I remember going for walks through the nearby woods and picking wild strawberries. I remember him telling me which flowers were poisonous and which ones we can eat. I remember him watering the flowers on the massive porch they (my grandfather and grandmother) have, the entire thing abloom with color all spring and summer. I remember so much and cherish those memories. His light is hidden from us now, but it shows up for a few moments here and there. I see this light when I go walking and pass the lilac bushes along the street, when I dance with my husband in the kitchen, when I bake chocolate treats, and when I visit the local lake because he took my sisters and me to the beach all during the summer when we visited him and my grandmother.

The colors I chose reflect these memories. They’re soft but not quite pastel, pops of bold colors coming through in the multi-color prints, the hint-of-a-print in what otherwise looks like solids (the pink has little flowers, the blue is a bit of a paisley).

This is my first time creating this quilt block, and I see all the errors. It was an incredible learning experience. Next time I use this block I’ll print the template to full size (it’s roughly 50% it’s original size here) and make a bit of an optical illusion with color choices. It won’t be anytime soon because I have other projects lined up. It’ll large and loud though! My favorite part is the appearance of round but made using gentle angles. If you’re interested in using the template I have a link at the top of the description to the blog I got it from.