Fun with Paper Piecing

Have you ever seen a quilt pattern and just known you had to make it? That’s how I felt when I saw the Spooky Spider by Flying Parrot Quilts. I couldn’t wait to get sewing!

Lucky for me, my boss wanted one for the shop’s booth at Quiltcon in Pasadena. Of course, it meant cutting, sewing and quilting it in record time, but I was up for the challenge.

We wanted to make a fat quarter fabric bundle to accompany it, so I was determined to make it work — even though the pattern calls for a half yard of fabric for the background.

I used a Debby Kratovil technique, suggested by the boss, which involved tracing all the background pieces onto freezer paper. Then I added the seam allowances and cut out to arrange on the fabric. This made it possible for me to make sure I could get everything I needed out of a fat quarter. It took some time but it was worth it when I made that fat quarter work!

Once everything was cut out, the sewing came together pretty quickly. The finished quilt is only about 18″ square (the pattern includes a link to download a smaller and a larger version).

I used the new Slim ruler by Angela Walters to quilt radiating lines, then connected the lines with some free-motion swags to make a quilted spiderweb. It’s subtle but I love the results.

Adventures in Knitting

I never thought I’d knit. I’ve tried a few times in the past — even in the past year — and it never worked. I’ve described it several times as trying to tie my shoes with chopsticks.

But right before Christmas, it just clicked. I was playing around with some yarn and needles and, suddenly, I was knitting. And I pretty much haven’t stopped since.

A sweet friend passed along some cashmere yarn she’d bought, a set of mini skeins, so I hit up Ravelry for pattern ideas. Rather than go with something safe, I decided to try a more interesting project: the Pepperberry Love cowl. Lots of color changes and knitted in the round.  Definitely the thing for someone who’d just learned to knit!

A post shared by Mary Abreu (@thatcraftaddict) on


It was a little challenging and I learned a lot from making it. I stopped a little short because it was more than tall enough. The yarn is soooo soft and I love the different colors that I used. It definitely goes with everything!