Friday, October 28, 2016


Maybe I'm a teensy bit behind on posts this year - what can I say? But I do have stuff to share today and a few minutes committed to actually getting something written and posted so let's do this!

I have a fun little project being featured in the new Quilts and More magazine, Winter 2016, available in your favorite quilt shop and on newsstands now. This is "Playground "...
"Playground", by Tonya Alexander, Images used with permission by Meredith Corporation and Quilts and More magazine, copyright 2016.
This project was inspired by a couple of things - first, trying to use a couple of charm packs in a single project. The fabrics used here are from a line called "Radient Girl" by Lecien Fabrics. The fabrics were playful and fun and I was pretty sure a kids quilt was going to be the result.
"Playground", by Tonya Alexander, Images used with permission by Meredith Corporation and Quilts and More magazine, copyright 2016.

Second, my inspiration came from here...
Have you seen these? (not the sewing machine, but the little metal etched silhouette!) Maybe your grandma had something similar. Mine did and I remember it being on her wall my whole life. It was mounted on a plaque along with all my cousins', with our names etched on each one. When she passed away, my mom and aunt split the big one up and framed them individually so all of my cousins and I got our own silhouette. It's so special to me. It kind of makes me sad because I miss my grandma, but it also makes me happy because it reminds me that I am actually just one small part of a big, wonderful family. 

Other quilty details, this project took two packs of charm squares and about a yard of solid white. Fusible appliqué was my method of choice on this project and each silhouette was cut from a charm square. The nine patches in the center were also made from cut up charm squares. I quilted it on my domestic machine, stitched in the ditch through the center and echo quilted around the silhouettes.
Quilts and More, Winter 2016
So, if you have some spare charm squares hanging around your stash and need a quick and easy baby quilt or child's wall hanging, "Playground" may be just the thing!

Happy Stash Quilting,


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tri-monthly blog post update!?

Wow. Don't blink! Three months just flashed by since my last blog post! Lest you think I have been completely slacking off or fallen off the face of the earth, let me give the short list version of what's been going on and then some pics:

In a nutshell:
  • Celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with my super supportive and fabric-tolerant husband
  • #1 son graduated from high school
  • Hosted the out of town family for mini reunion (for said graduation)
  • #1 daughter wrapped up her freshman year of high school
  • Year end dance weekend performances (for said daughter)
  • Broke down and bought a new car (the week before graduation, because you know, I had lots of free time)
  • Murphy's law, washer and dryer broke down a week after the car purchase so ended up buying those too (the Friday of graduation)
  • Fiscal year end at my day job, always fun and exciting
In my quilt world:
  • My Stash My Style giveaway completed
  • Cleaned out and rearranged my sewing room
  • Had one project published in a magazine
  • Shipped two projects off for publication
  • Shipped another project off to France (super excited about this one, more to come!)
  • Went on annual retreat at the lake with great quilting buddies 
  • Two guild presentations and workshops
Here are some quick pics I'll offer up as evidence for my blogging absence:
Fuzzy focus, but proof positive it happened!

(I don't think he'll read this so I think I can sneak this pic of me and the graduate!)

Me and hubby selfie at graduation - being unknowingly photo-bombed by my #1 nephew.

"The mess" in progress - maybe a future post with more before, during and after pics.

Student work from a recent string workshop - super fun!

My "So Charming" table runner, featured in Quilts and More - made with a pack of charm squares (I used Hello Darling by Bonnie and Camille for Moda plus a solid) quick and easy summer project.

Here's where you can find it - Quilts and More, Summer 2016

The only shot I can show you of the project off to France. LOVE the Tula Pink wide back and amazing quilting by Tracey. I can't wait to share more of this one with you.

My Stash My Style with Jeni Gaston finished up. 

Congrats to our drawing winner Laura of Slice of Pi and her wonderful project.
Well, at least I feel a little caught up now and cleansed by my confessions :) While I'd like to promise more regular blog posts, I know I may not live up to that. I can only say I will try. BUT you can always find me and my happenings more regularly on Instagram and Facebook. Now I'm ready for some new projects! I do have some ideas in mind and I've been having fun adding to my stash to make them happen.

Happy summer stash quilting!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Making it my own #mystashmystyle - round 2!

I've been having so much fun with the #mystashmystyle contest with Jeni Gaston. Have you started yet? Well, don't hesitate because the process is fun and the results may surprise you!

Today I'd like to share my second re-envisioned project from Jeni's book Primitive Style. Don't worry, you only have to do one to enter the contest, either from Primitive Style or my book, Stash Lab, but you will be tempted to try more!

So for this project, I started with Jeni's original project called "Cozy Home".
"Cozy Home" by Jenifer Gaston, image courtesy of Martingale.

The original is designed as a journal cover and that's what I started out to make. But as I was pulling fabric from my stash closet, I came across some flea market frames and had a light bulb moment! I decided to keep the design the same but trim down the size to be a framed project instead. Eureka!

Here are the changes I made to this project:
  •  like "Resting Place", I used cotton fabric instead of wool. 
  • Switched to fusible applique with top-stitching on my machine. 
  •  I trimmed it down and framed it instead of completing it as a journal cover. I used a standard 8x10 frame and it fit perfectly.
  •  This time I skipped the quilting step (so no batting) though because I thought it would be fine framed without.

Top-stitching in process...

And voila! Here's my version of "Cozy Home"...

I love how this turned out. Wouldn't this make a thoughtful house-warming gift? Hmmm...

And just for fun and because it's spring, here's a sneak peak at the fabric bundles that will be included as part of the prize pack for #mystashmystyle - straight out of my stash...will you get a chance to win?! I hope so!

Happy stash stitching,


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Making it my own #mystashmystyle

I'm so excited to share this project with you today - it's part of the #mystashmystyle contest I'm co-hosting with my fellow Martingale author, Jenifer Gaston. We're using each other's projects to re-imagine and re-style with our own stashes.

My inspiration project came from Jeni's book, Primitive Style. On the book cover, the pillow on the left of the bench is her project called "Resting Place". Isn't that sweet?! So perfect for Spring. I loved it and decided to make it over in my style.

My helpful hint for changing up fabric selection on a project: pay attention to value as you make your substitutions. So for example, my background fabric is grey - not beige as in the original - but the value (in this case, lightness) of the fabric is about the same. I did the same when picking the alternate fabrics for the leaves, bird, flowers, etc. This way you'll still end up with the same effect... but in your own color-way.
My fabric pull for my project...of course I have my seam ripper out, just in case!

Since I wasn't using wool like the Primitive Style project, I made three major changes to make the project work for me - yes! you really can do that!:

First, I decided to use fusible applique and top-stitch on my machine.

Fusible applique with top stitching in progress...

Second, because I was using cotton and I wanted to include batting for a nice finish on my pillow, I layered the batting behind my appliqued pillow top and quilted the two layers together before finishing the construction of my pillow. Here's what the quilting looked like from the back side - you can see it a little better than on the finished project.

Quilting shown from the back...
And third, I decided to change out the penny rug curved edges on the original project with nested prairie points so I would still have a similar design element with a nice finished edge. Prairie points let me do that. They are super easy, here's a link to tutorial on prairie points. And just fyi - for my pillow, I kept all of Jeni's original cutting and instruction sizes, I just started my nested prairie points with 5" squares.

And here's my finished project in my style!
Envelope-fold back
I have to share these last pics because I thought it was pretty funny. I didn't realize I was even re-creating the photo from the book until I was all done!

Original book image from Primitive Style...courtesy of Martingale.

My amateur photo shoot image of my project...:)
Well, I hope that gives you some ideas and gets your stash mo-jo rolling about how you can take a project and change it up to make it #mystashmystyle ! This project was so much fun!

It's not too late to jump in on the contest - we're just getting started. Here's the link to the original post with all of the details. You can also follow along on Instagram or Facebook with #mystashmystyle.

Also, be sure to check out Jeni's blog post about her first #mystashmystyle project that she re-made from my book, Stash Lab. I love how her's turned out. It's beautiful. We look forward to seeing yours!

Happy stash quilting,


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

#mystashmystyle giveaway winner!

Congrats to...Karen! You're the kick-off giveaway winner of the #mystashmystyle contest/challenge!

Wohoo! Now it's time to dive into the stashes and let's get sewing! See Monday's post for all of the contest details and great prizes up for grabs. Hope you'll join us!

You can post your pics using #mystashmystyle, or email them to me at and I'll post them for you. Can't wait to see your style shine through!

Happy stash quilting,

Monday, March 21, 2016

My Stash, My Style contest and giveaway!

Have you ever looked at a project in a book or in a magazine and passed it over because you thought, it's just not your style? If you're anything like me, probably about a thousand times! How about changing it and making it your own?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the lovely and talented Jenifer Gaston, author of Primitive Style. And while you would think at first glance, our styles are from opposite ends of the spectrum, think again! The truth is, you can take any project and change it up as much as you want to make it uniquely your own. So we set out to make some of each other's projects to reflect our own styles and see what we came up with. The opportunities were endless - and the results were great!

We had so much fun playing, we're hosting the My Stash My Style contest and giveaway along with Martingale/That Patchwork Place to give you a chance to stretch your creative muscles, share your projects, and have a chance to win some awesome prizes to boot! Jeni and I will be sharing our own projects in the next few weeks on our blogs and on Facebook and Instagram.

Here's the skinny:

1. Choose a project from the book Stash Lab by Tonya Alexander OR the book Primitive Style by Jenifer Gaston. (The further a project is from your typical style and stash, the better!)

2. Reimagine, redefine, and remake that project in your own style, using your stash, your point of view, and your creativity. Change the colors, change the dimensions—even change the purpose of the project. It’s entirely up to you!

3. Post your finished project to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #mystashmystyle and share how you changed it up. We can’t wait to see what you  come up with! 

Complete steps 1-3 by May 2nd and you’ll be officially entered into the My Stash, My Style contest! So, what prizes are up for grabs?

Prize pack includes:

 A free one-year subscription to Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, co-owned by Jeni Gaston, author of Primitive Style
  •  A specially curated bundle of fabrics from Tonya Alexander, author of Stash Lab
  •  A beautiful bundle of wool from The Woolen Willow
  •  A $50 gift certificate from publisher Martingale to spend at their website,

Ready to play? We'll kick off the contest with a giveaway this week of an electronic copy of Jeni Gaston’s book Primitive Style and one of my book Stash Lab.  To be entered for the giveaway, leave a comment below about your stash style or a style you would like to try. We'll draw a winner on Wednesday, March 23rd so you can get started on your projects right away. A winner will also be drawn over on Jeni's blog, so be sure to stop there for a visit for two chances to win!

Follow along anytime on Instagram #mystashmystyle @tonyaalexanderquilts @jenifergaston

We hope you'll join us in MY STASH, MY STYLE! We can't wait to see what you come up with!

Happy Stash quilting,


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Splash of Color Giveaway Winner!

Thanks everyone for the great comments on Jackie's book, Splash of Color and entering to win the giveaway. I hope you've been inspired to pull out some brights, blacks and whites from your stash and dive in!

Congrats to MsAdventure!...., our giveaway winner! Please email me at with your mailing address so we can send you your copy of Splash of Color signed by Jackie!

If you didn't win this time around, be sure to ask for Jackie's book at your favorite local quilt shop or you can get it from Jackie at Canton Village Quiltworks!

Happy stash quilting,


Friday, February 26, 2016

Book Review and a Giveaway - Splash of Color

One of the best things to come out of my first time author experience has been the chance to meet some really fun folks in my quilting world this past year and today I'm happy to share one of those and her book with you...Splash of Color: A Rainbow of Brilliant Black and White Quilts by the awesome Jackie Kunkel.

You may know of Jackie through Canton Village Quilt Works or through Quiltworx as a Judy Niemeyer certified instructor - she's a really busy gal! I had the pleasure of meeting her at Fall Quilt Market and quickly found we are two peas in a pod when it comes to our love of color and bright, bold fabric. I was thrilled she shared a copy with me :)
All images courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place.
Her book Splash of Color is beautiful! It has 13 different projects that focus on the use of brights with black and white fabrics as the neutral...right up my alley! Here are some of my favorites...
Star Bright, by Jackie Kunkel

Proud Mary, by Jackie Kunkel
Jackie had many of her quilting buddies contribute to the book and do their version of her quilts in different colorways and with their own twist as well. The ideas just keep coming. I love that.

One thing that I really wanted to try was Jackie's technique for curved piecing, something I really haven't done a lot of. A little scary - but not when Jackie shows you how easy it is. She has this great youtube video to show you how.

Let's celebrate that successful curved piecing with a giveaway, shall we? Just share a comment below about Splash of Color, curved piecing, or anything colorful to be entered to win your very own signed copy of Splash of Color. I'll draw a winner on March 5th.

And if that weren't enough, you can hop over to Jackie's blog where she's reviewing my own Stash Lab: Simple Solutions for Scrap Quilts this week for a chance to win a signed copy of that one as well!

So two thumbs up! Thanks Jackie for a great addition to my bookshelf and my sewing room.

Happy Splash Quilting,


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Review - Machine Quilting With Style

What do you do when you love quilting but don't actually like to do the quilting part? I have to admit it's not the part of the process I enjoy the most and I'm often stumped on what to do with my completed tops. I like the fabric, design, piecing and even binding! The quilting itself can be a challenge for me and definitely an area with room to grow. So I was very happy to get my hands on fellow-Martingale author Christa Watson's book Machine Quilting With Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free-Motion Favorites.
All photos courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place.
You may know her from on-line as Christa Quilts or the Precut Store. She has so many great ideas for quilting with both the walking foot as well as free motion.

The book includes 12 complete projects that provide not only beautiful projects themselves, but great ideas for some very do-able quilting ideas that you can do on your own domestic machine.

I really appreciated all of the info Christa shares about batting types and thread. Hints for successful basting (often another challenge altogether) as well as some really beautiful designs.

I love this scrappy project called Facets. The best part - she's even doing a quilt-along on this pattern as we speak!

So I was happily inspired to drag out a project I had been procrastinating on and give some of her tips a try. I pulled out my completed top for Cavanaugh Crossroads and decided to give the serpentine stitch on my machine a go for some nice, overall texture.

And success! Super happy with it. The quilt measures 54" x 54" and took me about 7 hours (split into two days.)

The best news yet is that Christa has another book coming out later this Spring with Angela Waters that I can't wait for - The Ultimate Guide to Machine be continued! Christa is super involved with the Modern Quilt Guild and you can also find her on Instagram @christaquilts .

And guess what? You can find me there too! @tonyaalexanderquilts.

Happy stash quilting,


Friday, February 12, 2016

Behind the quilt - Sunny Side Up

O.k., on to our next project, with a little peek behind this crazy little creative brain of mine! We may be no closer to figuring out how it works, but we'll take a look anyway...

Also from Stash Lab, this quilt is called Sunny Side Up...
Sunny Side Up
I love geometric patterns and I see them everywhere! Hotel carpets, upholstery, tile, a brick walkway - pattern is everywhere! This quilt literally jumped off a bathroom wall! Here's a magazine ad for some hotel that I ripped out of a magazine (I'm sure it was mine!) It was begging me to be made into a quilt. Really, a traditional quarter log cabin block, just made bigger and brighter!

Inspiration on my bulletin board in my sewing room...
That torn out picture lingered on my idea bulletin board for at least a year or so before I got the urge to go shop-hopping while on vacation through sunny California searching high and low for all things yellow. Before this project, my stash had virtually no yellow to speak of so this was a fun fabric hunt. It was addictive!

I have to admit, before I decided to go with the yellow, I considered making it in a bunch of different colorways (red and white, blue and white, etc.) because there was this old quilt color "rule" I had heard someone say that a quilt should never have more than say, 5% yellow or it will be ruined. Well, that was like throwing down the gauntlet for me - it had to be yellow now!

I didn't actually even draw this one out because I really figured on replicating the tile pattern pretty closely. Everything got cut down to 2 1/2" strips and this is what it looked like mid-way through up on my design wall.

Tracey added the most beautiful, modern quilting to it - way too big for me to tackle on my home machine with a deadline. This one is so cuddly and soft, it just begs you to curl up in it for an afternoon nap. I love it, one of my favorites for sure. Simplicity itself.

Happy stash quilting,


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Behind the quilt - Pixie Sticks

I thought I would share a little backstory on some of my quilt projects. I always find it interesting to find out where others get their inspiration for their creations and more about their process. It can just as often be very similar to mine - or completely the opposite.

I'll start with one of the projects from my book, Stash Lab - first up, Pixie Sticks, which is the smallest project in the book, a table runner. I have one drawer in my sewing room that has leftovers or orphan blocks from other projects. It also had leftover strip sets from other projects that I just couldn't bear to toss. I just needed to find them a new home. Cut down and paired with a simple steel gray solid with a linen texture, I came up with this...

Pixie Sticks table runner

Quilted straight lines with the walking foot
This one was so fun and easy that I decided to make it a second time - something I almost never do!
Pixie Sticks #2
I started with some beautiful scrap strip sets gifted to me by my friend Tracey - I love her scraps :) These were actually from another project of hers using Sew Kind of Wonderful's Quick Curver Ruler. I decided to work around the curves because the fabrics were just too beautiful to go to waste. Double score - the backing fabric was from her too! Here's where it started...gifted curved strip sets on the left.
Cutting down the curved scraps

1" wide scrap strips needed for the project
These scraps were more coordinated than in the original. The first time, I used leftover strips sets from several different projects to make the "sticks". This time, I paired the sticks with some plain unbleached osnaburg fabric. Have you tried osnaburg? I love it. It gives a nice, simple contrast to bright scraps with a beautiful woven texture. Ask for it at your favorite LQS, they probably have it. It can be a little stretchy because of the looser weave, so starch away!

A little big stitch hand quilting added the perfect touch to this project. Simple, modern and scrappy!
Big stitch hand quilting done with #8 perle cotton thread

Happy scrap quilting,