September 11, 2017

How to Make your First Quilt

I am often asked how I began quilting, and I tell the inquirer it all began with a book (you can read about it in this blog post). If you are interested in learning how to quilt or know someone who would love to learn it, today I would recommend Pat Sloan's Teach Me To Make My First Quilt published by Martingale and here is why.

Pat Sloan takes the guesswork out of the basics about quilting beginning with important information about the sewing machine all the way to how to make (and finish!) your first quilt, including how to change the blade on the rotary cutter, how to sew a perfect 1/4" seam, the meaning of common terms used in the craft, how to read a quilt pattern, etc. As you can see Pat did not leave anything out!

All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
I love that Pat walks us through fabric care, how to cut perfect straight strips of fabric, the order in which to sew patches to make a block and, to me the most fun of all, how to machine applique' fabrics using fusible web. By reading the book one can confidently begin a project as all the questions which may arise on the solitude of your sewing area or studio are already answered in an easy-to-find format.

The nine patterns in the book provide a way to practice putting together the blocks you learned with the new sewing skills you acquired.

Throughout Teach Me To Make My First Quilt Pat Sloan includes tips and additional resources. I also like the simple quilting she used on the projects - anyone can quilt projects by using the walking foot and following her instructions, adding to the experience: learn the very basics, build the blocks, put them together, and then quilt the project yourself.

This book would make a terrific gift, too. Wrap it with a few fat quarters and sewing supplies and give it as a birthday or Christmas gift to someone whom you know would love to learn to make quilts. It will be a hit!

Enjoy your sewing day,


September 8, 2017

Lady of the Lake Quilt

I am loving my version of the Lady of the Lake quilt, a new pattern by Fat Quarter Shop from their Classic and Vintage Series. I made mine into a wall hanging measuring 34" x 50-1/2", perfect for an empty corner in my house. This has been a fun Sew Along!

I used fabrics by Marcus Brothers from their New London line (which I have had for quite a while) for the blocks, and a gray by Cloud9 for the background. The pattern, even though is from their Classic and Vintage collection, works very well with modern fabrics, too. The two middle blocks were last minute additions - I wanted to include different blocks for a new look.

This project was pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. thread and quilted with white thread using my Bernina's walking foot. I opted for alternating the width of the lines to add a fun texture, and changing the direction of the quilted lines depending on the area of the quilt. I like it!


The small half square triangles for each block were made using the 3" Half Square Triangle Paper Triangles on a Roll paper. This method is fantastic - just select as many of the squares as you need (I chose two because I was using up scraps at this point), pin to fabrics, and stitch on the dotted lines. Then, cut on the straight lines and peel paper.



Fat Quarter Shop has a video tutorial on Youtube so check it out. I would love to make a large version of this quilt since the blocks come together so easily, and are so beautiful. What do you think?

I am heading over to their blog to see the projects the other bloggers made. Come with me!





September 7, 2017

House Hot Pads


I forgot to post photos of these four hot pads I made a few weeks ago. I used leftover blocks I had from my quilt Nature Sweet on the front of these four houses. House blocks on hot pads just made sense to me.

They have a scrappy look to them even though most of the fabrics are from the Foxtail Fern line by Dear Stella Fabrics.

The quilting is very simple because this is supposed to be a fast project, right? I did machine embroider the words "Hot food warms the soul" on them. Each hot pad measures 7-1/2" x 9-1/2", a good size to fit on even the tiniest counters.

These hot pads will last because they are made with 100% quilting quality fabric. Hot pads make great gifts because they are functional, quick to make, and the recipients see them every day. I have already given them way: to my sister and to my mom. They love them.

Have a great day,




September 2, 2017

All Roads Lead to Rome Pattern

This is my newest pattern: All Roads Lead to Rome, available as a downloadable PDF from my Etsy store Quilterly. For this design, I used the fabrics from the Sparkle and Fade collection from Hoffman Fabrics which perfectly complement its modern look. The blue accent features Ice Blue from their Me+You batik collection.

Take a peek at some of the fabrics I chose:








Black, white, and silver shimmer!

This pattern consists of five variations of the same block through print swap adding dimension and texture to the quilt design. Should you choose other fabrics, be sure to mix print sizes as I did. Modern fabrics look great here, although other selections such as monochromatic or scrappy palettes will work equally well.

All Roads Lead to Rome appears in the 2017 Fall Project Book issued by Hoffman Fabrics, along with other projects for their wonderful and eclectic collections. Check it out!

Be sure to send me photos of the projects you make with this pattern. In the meantime, enjoy the long weekend!







September 1, 2017

Bella Skill Builder - 8


This is month eight of the Bella Solids Skill Builder sew along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop. We have been building our blocks monthly to make this beautiful quilt. We are almost there!

This is my Starburst block. For the next four I need to make sure the centers match better...

First I used the Creative Grids Starburst 30 Degree Triangle Ruler to cut the shapes from all the fabrics.

Then I stitched the petals together three by three.

Here are all the petals together. I really liked the block just like this! But...

... we need to get the 12" ruler to trim it down to its final shape. I will make four more of these and be ready for next month's block, which will be the last of our Sew Along.

Let's head over to Fat Quarter Shop's blog to see what the blocks from the other bloggers look like. Have a wonderful weekend!



August 29, 2017

Modern Tapestry Crochet

Although Alessandra Hayden, author of the book Modern Tapestry Crochet, and I have never met or spoken, we already have two things in common at least: we were both born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and we both learned to crochet from our grandmothers. Alessandra, however, has made crochet her major crafty passion, and we can appreciate it in her current book published by Interweave.

Modern Tapestry Crochet presents twenty projects featuring out-of-this-world tapestry crochet designs. Geometric motifs and easy instructions combined with gorgeous photography and plenty of diagrams make for crochet heaven!

All photographs by Harper Point Photography for F&W Media International. Used with permission.
In the Techniques section, Alessandra shows us an easy trick to prevent 'floats' (think of all those yarns floating inside socks and getting tangled in your toes as you put them on: yikes) and make the back of the fabric look so much better! The step-by-step instructions are clear and give us the confidence we need to venture into the modern tapestry crochet journey she outlines for us.

The smaller projects such as headbands, mittens, hats, and socks can be a perfect introduction to tapestry crochet.

The hat designs are fantastic! Alessandra expertly chooses the perfect motif and palette for each project creating unique, fresh, and stylish accessories which are sure to become our favorite items.

I leave for Brazil in a few days and promised my nieces we would crochet together. This book has a spot in my luggage already! It is time to choose more yarn to bring with me.

Modern Tapestry Crochet is a must-have book in every crocheter's library. I am certainly glad I got my copy.

Enjoy your day!






August 25, 2017

Online Classes Under $15!

Before I graduated last May, I took many online classes to learn software I needed to complete my projects and it was amazing! Since I could access the courses at any time, I would often wake up around 4 am and watch the classes while the rest of the household was still asleep.

As for craft classes, I have not had time to take them in four years. Wait, what? I cannot believe it has been so long. This is about to change as Craftsy has a crazy sale going on! Over 50 online classes to watch at your leisure for under $15! I am so glad I joined their affiliate program because I get all these sales notices in time to plan my strategy. Write this down:

Starts: Friday, August 25th at 12:01 am MST
Ends: Monday, August 28th at 11:59 pm MST


I may also snag some cake decorating classes and supplies because I want to be able to decorate them as my Mom used to do it. In fact, she used to bake and decorate amazing cakes, supporting my sister and I with the proceeds of her (our, actually, because my sis and I helped) work.

Just click on the banners above and look around. I am sure you will find a course (or two) that might interest you as this price is unbeatable. I had no idea Craftsy also had weaving and spinning classes. Hmmm, my list is growing...

Consider this a public service announcement! Enjoy your day,

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