Monday, October 24, 2016

New Cutie Pattern -- Summer's End!

I try not to play favorites, really I do, but this is one of my favorite Cutie Patterns.  I am tickled to introduce Summer's End:

This quilt is 80"x92"and will eventually live on my bed; it needs to travel a bit first, though.  I used Victoria Findlay Wolfe's Mostly Manor fabrics because they are happy and bright.  I had been saving these fabrics for something special and I think they've found the perfect home in this quilt.

I really, really wanted the star points to stand out on this quilt.  I left them unquilted so that the batting would puff them up.  I also quilted diamonds into the sashing to emphasize and elongate the star points.

I wrote a short tutorial about how I marked the white fabric to quilt this sashing.

I'm already hard at work making another copy of this quilt with some April Cornell fabric.  Stay tuned for more photos!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Scrappy Sweet Tooth quilt

This summer, I opened up a beloved fat quarter pack of Pat Sloan's fabrics and have been slowly sewing my way through it ever since.

So far, I've made a

After all of these projects, I still had fabric left so I made a scrappy version of one of my Cutie Patterns, Sweet Tooth:

I made the border scrappy because I didn't have enough of any one fabric for a solid border.  I think that the scrappy border totally makes this quilt!

Another thing that made this quilt was ribbon candy.  I quilted lots and lots of ribbon candy into this quilt:

I was testing out a new-to-me thread, Master Quilter from WonderFil.  It worked GREAT!  Expect to hear more from me about this thread.

When I was searching for fabric for the backing, I pulled out the leftover bits from the backings of the other quilts in this series and stripped them together:

Adorable, right?

I still have fabric left, so expect to see even more projects!!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

New Cutie Pattern -- Go With The Flow!!!

I love when I finally get to show you the quilts I've been working on in secret.  Today, I get to show you my latest Cutie Pattern -- Go With The Flow:

This quilt requires a Cutie Pack (16 fat eighths) and border/binding/backing fabrics.

I had so much fun designing this one, deciding how many of each shape could be cut from each Cutie and then seeing which blocks could be pieced from those different shapes:

For this first sample, I decided to quilt a simple overall swirl in one thread color.  I find it so hard to choose the thread that I asked my internet friends for help:

The color on the left (Noel) was the overwhelming favorite and looked great on this quilt.

Stay tuned -- I plan to make many more Go With The Flow quilts!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Baby, Baby Oh Baby!

It's a boy!  And another boy!

I was privileged to watch a sweet girl grow into a lovely young lady and now I'm even more privileged to help celebrate her expected twin baby boys!

I made a quilt for this young lady when she graduated from high school.  I don't have a photo of the exact quilt, but this LINK will take you to a similar one.  Nearly 15 years later, she still lists this simple quilt as one of her most treasured belongings.

When she got married, I knew she would never share that quilt with her husband so I made a quilt for them to share LINK.  I am not convinced her husband has been allowed to use their wedding quilt, but that's between them!

Now that babies will make four, I needed quilts for these sweet boys to grow up with.  I found two perfect quilts hiding in my pattern sample stack and, for once, gave the presents in a timely manner!

Quilt one:

Quilt two:

The expectant mom and dad loved the quilts, and these quilts couldn't possibly have a better home!

Blessings to the happy family!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Oh Say Can You See?

When you are quilting, do you ever have trouble seeing your stitching?

I'm working on a quilt this week and it has some "hard to see the stitching" fabrics.  The fabrics are LOVELY!!!, but difficult to see.

Check out one of the April Cornell prints:

Can you see the beautiful feathered wreath I'm quilting in that square using bright green thread?  No?

Me neither!

I am quilting this quilt on my Handi Quilter Fusion.  I added a Handi Light goose-necked light to my machine so that I can change the angle of the light.  I swung my light so it was aimed at the side of my block (rather than from overhead).  I was able to see my stitching this way:

Side-lighting works!  The next time you can't see your stitching, light your quilt from the side so that you can see the shadow of where the stitching is.

Happy quilting!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Unknown Origins: Or, How Old is this UFO?

A million year ago, maybe longer, I started a scrappy quilt at a quilt retreat.  I pulled it out a few years ago and put it all together, but the top has been languishing, unquilted.  Until now:

I was saving this quilt top for someone special, and someone special has been on my heart a lot lately.  I shopped the Quilt Basket sale a few weeks ago and bought some gorgeous backing/binding fabrics.
I designed this quilt which means I intentionally left some space to let the quilting add to the design:

I stitched Xs through the one-inch squares and feathers in the borders.  Two patterns, alternating, make a really strong statement!

I love this quilt.  I love it a lot.  I love that it might bring some comfort and joy to a special lady.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

A New Spin on Drunkard's Path Giveaway!

My dear friend John Kubiniec wrote a book, A New Spin on Drunkard's Path:

John did an ah-ma-zing job with this book!  I was tempted to treat this book as a work of fiction since it involves curved piecing (I'm a machine quilter, Jim, not a curved-piecer!), but I trusted my friend John and decided to try a block using his instructions.

I picked my favorite pattern from the book, Bowties:

I used Marti Michell's templates and discovered that my 28mm rotary cutter cut the curve the best.

I pieced up a few squares from my scraps, just to see if I could sew curves:

I can!  I can sew curves!!!!

Now I need to make this quilt for real.  Leave a comment telling me what color scheme I should use (pastels, red, primitive, dots, etc.) for my Bowtie Quilt and you'll be entered to receive a copy of John's book (e-book outside of the US) and a set of Marti Michell's Drunkard's Path templates.  I'll draw a name after the blog hop ends and notify the winner!

Hop around all of the blogs that are celebrating John's new book!

September 26, 2016
Jenifer Dick

September 27, 2016

September 28, 2016
September 29, 2016

September 30, 2016
LoveBug Studios

October 1, 2016
Kathy Patterson

October 2, 2016

October 3, 2016
Generation Q Magazine

October 4, 2016
Nicole Daksiewicz

October 5, 2016

October 6, 2016
Kim Niedzwiecki

October 7, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Twice Blessed

If you haven't noticed, I love to quilt.  As in "If you told me that I could do anything in the world for the next hour, I would choose to quilt."

I recently dug into my 1 1/2" strip bucket of scraps, pulled out my Wedding Quilt pattern, and listened to a good book while quilting.

This happened:

I was playing with colored thread on the black fabric.  This time I chose Midas Touch FabuLux.  I liked it in some ways, but in other ways I thought it fought against the quilt just a little.

Making this quilt was a gift for me.  I enjoyed digging through my scraps, remembering where each piece came from (or sometimes saying "I have absolutely no idea where this came from!".  I enjoyed piecing these long pieces on my sweet new Handi Quilter Stitch 510, a machine I love more than should be legal.  I loved quilting ribbon candy -- lots and lots of ribbon candy -- in every single sashing strip.  I adored watching the thread color and pattern show up on the black fabric.  This quilt was a total gift to me, until it came time to hand-stitch the scrappy brown binding.  I had to pull out my diversion tactics and say "Honey, do you have a movie you want to watch tonight?" He did, and I bound the quilt while spending a little time with my husband.

After the quilt had been a gift to me, it was time to make it a second gift and give it away.  My two go-to charities are my local Children's Home and Quilts Of Valor but then I remembered a sweet couple from my church who are both going through some health challenges right now.  This quilt has found its forever home.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Scrappy String Quilt

Often, I have "top-secret" quilting to do and can't show any in-progress pics because the quilt will be in a magazine or on a video somewhere.  Sadly, when the quilts are eventually returned to me, I often forget to show them to you!

This is one of those quilts.  It is a super-simple quilt that I absolutely adore:

This is a big throw size and it has covered a few of my hotel room beds.  I love sleeping under this quilt!

I dove into my string collection and pieced up some simple blocks like Bonnie Hunter taught me.  Then I set the blocks with narrow black sashing and a lot of black background, knowing that I was going to quilt the background with a contrasting color.

I used Midas Touch FabuLux thread for the decorative quilting and it just shines on this quilt.

I'm very proud of my Craftsy machine quilting classes.  This pattern is one of my favorites in my latest class, Stunning Free-Motion Quilting Using Simple Shapes.  This LINK will give you $20 off the regular price of the class (no need to wait for a sale!).  

Friday, September 23, 2016

I Did It Again!

I love to see co-ordinating fabric scraps.  When they are all pretty and stacked neatly together after I finish a project, they practically BEG me to make something with them.  Who am I to turn down a request from oh-so-pretty fabric?

I took scraps from a recent project and turned them into this beautiful pouch:

I used Lori Holt's tutorial to make yet another yummy zippered pouch with the leftovers from my nephew's wedding quilt:

As I mentioned in this post, I picked these fabrics because they match my Be Cool FabuLux thread.  See:

Do you make projects with the leftovers from other projects, or is it just me?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cutie Quilt -- Fenced In Wedding Quilt

My nephew recently* got married and I made him a wedding quilt of his bride's choosing.  The bride chose my Fenced In Cutie Pattern, queen sized, in neutral cool colors.

This is the result:

The original Fenced In pattern makes a smaller quilt, but I doubled everything and added enough border to make it fit their bed.  Fortunately, it was easy math!

I will admit that when the bride said "neutral, cool colors" I was stumped for a while.  Then I remembered my Be Cool FabuLux thread:

What could be more neutral or cool than this turquoise, light lime, and gray thread?  I took the thread to the Quilt Basket and picked out some American Made Brand solid fabrics to match the thread:

Anyone who knows me knows that I love ribbon candy quilting.  This quilt SCREAMED for ribbon candy quilting but I wanted to keep this quilt neutral and calming so I quilted a simple swirl all over.  The Be Cool thread looked great on this quilt!

 The bride isn't a quilter but one of her first comments was "Does this thread change colors?  I've never seen that before.  How cool!"  Dear Nephew, keep this woman!!!

*By recently I mean about 14 months ago.  Don't judge me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Simple Life

I was on vacation last weekend and am having a wee bit of trouble with re-entry into my real life.  I'm catching up on paperwork, but a little incentive was needed.

BAM!  Stephanie's Simple Life block tutorial showed up in my email!  I'm spending today humming a song from The Music Man and working a little and quilting a little and working a little...

I prepare a lot of quilt kits for my machine quilting classes and have stacks of odds and ends of leftover black fabric.  I'm using up that black fabric plus scraps from my 1 1/2" scrap bin to make a throw quilt.  I love "everything but the kitchen sink" scrappy quilts set with black.  I have quite a collection of them already and can't wait to add this one.  I'm having an absolute blast and getting things done, too!

Be sure to enter the giveaway at Stephanie's blog, while you are there!

Speaking of work, have you ordered Stephanie's Quilter's Planner yet?  I am deep into 2017 planning and simply can't wait for my new planner to arrive!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Cutie Pattern! Forever In Peace

I am tickled to announce that my latest Cutie Pattern, Forever in Peace, is available in my online store HERE.

My quilt:

This 70"x70" quilt is now touring as a sample, but I took a close-up photo of the quilt to remind me how much fun I had quilting this one!

Surprising few, I quilted ribbon candy in this quilt and used FabuLux Midas Touch thread.  Ribbon candy and Midas Touch are two of my go-to tools in my quilting toolbox.

I used Andover Patriotic 2017 fabric in this version of the quilt and plan to make many more of these in other fabrics.  While the patriotic fabrics look great in this quilt, I hope to eventually make this pattern in modern fabrics to see how that looks, too.

Quilts of Valor is one of my favorite quilting charities and I had them in mind when I designed this quilt.  I will definitely be making a few of these quilts to donate to this wonderful charity helping wounded servicemen and servicewomen.

Friday, September 09, 2016

From the Vault -- Meadow Breeze quilt

Way back in 2010, the fabulous Pat Sloan offered and online block of the month called Meadow Breeze.  I, in my "I will live forever and easily be able to finish all of my hand applique projects" way, decided to hand applique this quilt.  Needle-turn, even!

I started strong but slowed down over time and eventually put the project aside.  I am going through all of the projects in my sewing room and trying to deal with them.  I discovered this project in its half-done state and decided it was done enough.  I put together the bits that were finished and called it good enough.

I added some very simple background quilting in white and golden yellow.  Last year, my dear mother-in-law saw this in pieces and kept repeating "I really love this quilt!"  Well, I took a hint and recently gave it to her for her birthday.

My quilt is missing some applique in the borders, but my in-laws both declared it "our favorite quilt yet!"

Thanks for a great quilt along, Pat!!!

I'm off to dig through my sewing room and find some other golden oldie unfinished quilts!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Quilting with Rulers and Marking a White Sashing

I'm quilting a future possible Cutie Quilt pattern and this pattern has an odd-shaped sashing.  I'm treating myself by using Victoria Findlay Wolfe's Mostly Manor fabrics in this test quilt.  I usually use scraps in case I don't like the pattern, but using yummy fabrics makes pattern testing such a joy!  I  am spending a lot of time petting this quilt while I'm quilting it.

The sashing fabric is white and I marked it with my Bohin Chalk Pencil:

Can you see the markings?  No?  Well, let me turn on an ultra-violet light:

Cool, huh? I am quilting on my Handi Quilter Fusion and the UV lights are a feature.

It's time to quilt.  I grabbed my Handi Quilter Mini Scallop Ruler and started quilting from the middle to the point, all the way around the sashing:

I formed a diamond:

Can you see how the white thread is showing up against the white fabric?  Another fun feature of quilting under UV light.

Next I grabbed my Handi Quilter Right Angle Ruler and used the markings to help me stitch a diamond inside of the diamond:

Do you see anything missing here?

Like ribbon candy?

Since I am using my stitched lines as markings, I no longer need the UV light so I turned it off.

The ribbon candy is stitched all along the edge of the sashing, acting like stitch in the ditch without actually having to stitch in the ditch.  You say lazy; I say efficient.  Tomato, to-mah-to.

That unquilted diamond in the center of the sashing looks a little lonely.  I need to add some quilting:

I don't need to mark where I want to quilt because I can use the lines on the Right Angle Ruler as guidelines.

Perfect inner diamond inside the inner diamond.  No marking required!

You know what's coming next, don't you?  MORE RIBBON CANDY!

I like this design, I think.  I love trying new things when I quilt.  Sometimes they are the best thing since sliced bread; other times they aren't ideal.  Sometimes it takes a while to decide.  Any way, the quilt is quilted and I always learn something!

Now that I'm committed, I have to quilt this design in 70 more sashings!

Because you were going to ask: I will wash this quilt when finished and those chalk marks will go away.

Because you were also going to ask this: Yes, I will definitely show you pictures of the finished quilt when the powers that be (the Cutie Quilt Pattern people) decide what we're doing with this pattern, if anything.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Quilty Zip Bag -- from leftovers

It is an understatement to say that my sewing room overwhelms me.  I have so So SO many projects in here and even finishing them doesn't seem to lessen the overwhelm.  Every project leaves scraps and they overwhelm me, too.  I'm trying to finish my scraps as I finish each project.  I'm not 100% successful, but I'm willing to try anything to have peace in my sewing room!

I recently showed a few pics on FaceBook and InstaGram of a pattern I'm designing.  I can usually design in EQ7 or on paper, but this quilt was being ornery and I needed to grab some fabric to see if it worked.  I grabbed a bunch of somewhat coordinating scraps, sliced, sewed, and was (I hope) successful!  The quilt is finished but the pattern is still in process.  

I took the leftovers from this rather dark and drab scrappy quilt and made a Quilty Zip Bag which I have made before and officially nicknamed "The Cutest Pouch Pattern Ever."

Even in drab colors, this pouch is ADORABLE!

I can only show a sneak peek of the quilt that gave birth to this pouch:

Sadly, I still have some scraps leftover.  Any suggestions on what to make from this pile of bits?

I might just cry "Uncle" and throw these in the scrap bin.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Splendid Sampler block 54 -- Machine Quilting Tutorial

As you are hard at work on your Splendid Sampler quilt blocks, I am hard at work thinking of ways to quilt all of these beautiful blocks!

I recently pieced Jane Davidson's Shell block (#54):

Pat Sloan's Hometown Girl fabrics looked GREAT in this block!

Watch how I quilted this block:

These tools and products helped me quilt my block:

I used AuriFil 50 weight thread

Handi Quilter Mini Scalop Ruler

Handi Grip

I love how my block turned out!

If you want more machine quilting instruction, check out my Craftsy machiine quilting classes HERE -- and they are all 50% off!

Sign up for my newsletter so you won't miss any of my new machine quilting tutorials.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cutie Quilt -- Stepping Stones (machine quilting video)

I recently finished another Cutie Quilt from my Stepping Stones pattern:

This simple quilt makes me happier than I can express.  I love the high contrast of the royal blue fabric against Pat Sloan's fabrics.

This quilt has a 20-inch block.  That's a big block!

I could have quilted it in small sections, but I loaded the quilt on my Handi Quilter Fusion (her name is "Bella") and was able to quilt the entire block without rolling the quilt:

I quilted TONS of ribbon candy on this quilt, because ribbon candy is the world's most perfect quilting design.  See:

I used Royal Robes, one of my FabuLux threads, on the royal blue fabric.

Since the thread is blue, purple, and green it might seem risky, but I quilted a pillow as a test to see if I liked the thread color.

I did!  I really liked the color!

I used a Mini Scallop ruler with Handi Grip to quilt the simple "X" in each rectangle.

I chose Hint of Lime from my FabuLux threads because... well... it's LIME!

This quilt has to work as a sample for a while, but I will pine away for it an anxiously await its return!

This quilt is one of a series.  I bought a fat quarter pack of Pat Sloan fabrics and decided to make this Oh My Stars Cutie Quilt:

When I finished this quilt, I had enough fabric to make a Squared Away Cutie Quilt:

See more details and machine quilting videos on this quilt series HERE

So, I've now made three quilts from the same fat quarter pack from Quilting Possibilities, and I still have fabric left.  Which quilt should I make next?