April 22, 2019

Sunnyside Lane quilt

Photographs by Amerian Quilter. Used with permission.
Oh, how I wish my house looked just like this right now! Amidst the boxes and having packed all my quilts for the upcoming move, I am content flipping the pages of the May issue of American Quilter magazine and staring at Sunnyside Lane, the quilt I made with the Tonga Gecko batik collection by Timeless Treasures

The colors are so bright and happy, the blocks are easy to make, and the instructions are very detailed to help you make your own version in no time at all. This design would look great as a scrappy quilt, too. The batiks, though, add so much texture to the project...

... do you see what I mean? That is why I use them so much. The white background provides the perfect contrast and helps create a secondary design - can you see it?

If you haven't done so, grab a copy of the May issue of American Quilter - there are amazing articles and super cool quilt patterns you will not want to miss. I like having the magazine subscription because I don't even need to think about it - it shows up in my mailbox filled with fun patterns, award-winning quilts that make me ooh and aah, and how-to articles which ensure my next quilt will be much better. Take a look at that bird on the cover!!! 

The bird made me think of little tiny eggs. Chocolate eggs. Excuse me while I go have a snack before lunch, just as my mom taught me (right!).

Have a productive Monday,

April 12, 2019

Best Pinnies Ever!

Look at it! Last night I dropped everything and locked myself in my studio to make these pincushions - I could not help it after I saw them!

In no time at all, I found the fabrics I needed in my stash (that is THE reason we have such large fabric stashes - on a whim we can open those magic drawers and quickly choose the best fabrics for the project we MUST make now!). These are all by Riley Blake Designs - I am totally smitten by their Date Night collection!

From tiny pieces of fabrics, a neighborhood emerged very quickly. You know I am moving in a few weeks so this pincushion caught my eye for its cuteness and timely design.

Here it is with simple quilting and ready to be filled.

Crushed Walnut shells is an indispensable item in a quilter's studio. I left a big enough opening for the spoon to fit inside.

The flash from the camera is hitting the small aluminum pan serving as a base for my 'operation'. It is perfect to catch the little pieces of filling, and then I can just pour them back into the plastic bag. I pinned the opening and slip stitched it shut.

Ta-da! But, hey, I did not stop there. These are so addictive!

I pulled out fabrics from another one of Riley Blake's collections...

... and before I go on, this is what I use to draw perfect circles. I have had it for years.

Ah... I needed some green energy vibes and so I made a green flower. My machine will go to the shop while I am in my 'Pack the House' party because the tension needs adjusting. But, you can see the blanket stitch I used is still turning out fabulous. I use 40 wt thread for the machine applique'. Always. Well, unless I do not have the color I need.

I filled it to the very tippity-top with crushed walnut shells again.

And here it is, my boxy pincushion. The one on the background is from the book. Oh, yes, I need to tell you where I found these gorgeous patterns!

They are from Carrie Nelson's latest book "Pin Pals" published by Martingale. That I made these two pincushions in under, way under 2 hours tells you the instructions leave no room for doubt.  Carrie's pincushions and pinnies are so fun! Can you tell I had a blast last night?

They are unique and make perfect gifts for your quilty friends. They can also add a touch of whimsy to your home decor if you casually place them near your craft chair, on the coffee table atop your favorite books, or on the nightstand to remind you every morning of the one thing you need to find time for every day - quilting!

And so it is. I am a happy camper because I found time to delight my 'maker' soul by bringing to life these pincushions. Do you think Carrie was thinking of me when she designed these? I can dream, can't I?

Have a fantastic weekend,

April 2, 2019

Finished Embroidery Project

I have a finish to show you! A while ago I talked about Gail Pan's book "Patchwork Loves Embroidery Too" and my plan to make one of the amazing projects in her book. Well, here it is! This weekend I carved time away from moving preparations (yep, in a few weeks we will be moving) and finished it, albeit with a few changes from Gail's instructions.

I knew I would not have time to hand stitch anything so I reached for my trusted Heat 'n Bond Lite, traced the templates for the dark frame onto it, made them hollow for a softer hand, and bingo.

My stash of fabrics is amazing. I found the perfect background fabric for this project and began putting the pieces together. Notice that I pressed under the edges of the embroidery work but I had no intention (read 'time') to needle turn it. So...

... I cut four strips of the Heat 'n Bond and fused them to the folded edges. Then, I peeled off the fusible web, centered the embroidery work over the dark frame and machine appliqued using a blanket stitch.

For the life of me, I can't understand why my black hand stitches were so NOT straight. I have done much better work! I even ripped it all out and stitched again, only to make wavy lines one more time. It seemed it was 'supposed' to look that way, so here it is.

I switched threads and appliqued the frame.

This is what the back looked like when I was done. The black stitches going toward the center mark where I joined the frame pieces. More about that in a little bit.

My bees came alive and their trails became the quilting motif. I quilted with the same thread from the blanket stitch applique' on the edge of the embroidered center: Aurifil 40 wt. I did not quilt on the frame except very close to the edges of the embroidery work as I wanted it to puff. It does - remember: I removed the fusible web from most of it. Also, I quilted over the black embroidery lines only.

I found in my drawer a piece of leftover binding in the right length - this flannel. I did not plan on hand stitching the binding, so I secured it to the back of the work then flipped it to the front and machine stitched it. Notice how I use the walking foot to apply the binding onto the quilt.

Where the pieces of the frame came together I appliqued them then covered the edges of the fabric with this fabric marker so there would be no white peeking through.

And here it is. Because I did not needle turn the black frame, the finished work is a bit larger than Gail's, measuring 17-1/2" x 18-1/2". It will hang either in my new office or new studio, but it will be in full view forever because I love how it turned out.

Between looking for a new place and packing to move into it, you will hear from me now and then until we are settled. I have oodles of patterns to deliver so, yeah, I am going into hiding. Maybe.

Have a fantastic day!

March 13, 2019

JotDot - Free quilt pattern

Happy [snowy] Wednesday! Let's rock this day with a FREE PATTERN (the blizzard is so crazy my high schooler HAS to stay in bed)! JotDot Quilt 1 finishes at 72" x 84" and the blocks measure 12". It will brighten any room in your home with its modern charm and colorful palette.

I love the textures of this collection - perfect on their own as in the quilt above, or as basics with other fabrics. JotDot Quilt 1 makes all the colors shine through the rings, except... you can make this quilt in one day!

Blank Quilting featured the JotDot Quilt 1 in their booth at Quilt Market in Houston last November. It turned out so fun!

These are a few of the JotDot colors I am working with - a very secret project! There are 15 different hues making this collection a "must-have" in your stash.

What is the trick for the 'one-day' construction promise I made above? You must download the pattern to find out!

The JotDot fabric collection by Blank Quilting is shipping to the stores right now. Head to your favorite shop to get it, download the pattern, and save one day for this project so you can welcome Spring with style.

I can't see the houses across the street because snow and wind are doing their dance. As for me, I will spend the day in my quilt room with these gorgeous, bright, and colorful JotDots!

March 11, 2019

Stitched So Sweet

What a crazy day it is outside: if I look out one window, it is cloudy and gloomy; if I look out the other window, it is sunny! The sunny window is enticing but my office is facing the clouds. So, I decided to look down and through the pages of this gorgeous book by Tracy Souza: Stitched So Sweet - Whimsical Embroidery, Patchwork, and Applique', published by Martingale.

Tracy's designs are quick to make featuring easy embroidery designs and patchwork (did you notice the hidden Easter Eggs above?). She chose materials which are readily available and I bet most of us have in our craft room, as well as familiar embroidery stitches - these projects will not become UFOs! She included a step-by-step description of how to frame the projects, stitching tips, and an explanation about how to make the back of the work look just as nice as the front.

The projects have subtle reminders of the seasons and would fit any home decor due to their simple lines. The accent pillow above is fantastic! Just what we need to add a touch of handmade work without crowding a corner or room.

I love Tracy's wool applique' projects! There is one needlebook for every season - perfect for gifting.

OMGoodness! I would never have to put this one away - it has all the seasons in it! I am in love!

Stitched So Sweet is available in print or as an eBook. Martingale is having their semi-annual Warehouse sale with more than 90 books priced at $6.00. Wow, let's check them out!

Have a great day,

March 5, 2019

Give Thanks free quilt projects

Free pattern alert!!! Take a look at these super cute fabrics! I designed this wall hanging for Blank Quilting using the amazing Give Thanks II fabric collection by Bernadette Deming. The quilt measures 52" x 72", the border blocks are simple and easy to make, with machine appliqued corner stars bringing out the stars from the panel. The fabrics are shipping to stores and the pattern is free - do you need any more temptation?

If you do, here is the other free pattern for the same collection - a table runner and placemat set!

As you can see, I could not get enough of that colorful acorn fabric - I put it everywhere! I wish Oak trees produced bright and colorful acorns as these - I would never rake the yard... The table runner measures 25" x 54" and the placemats finish at 12-1/2" x 17-1/2". Check out the fabrics on the placemats:

Bernadette put together all our fond memories of the October/November season in every whimsical design, transporting us back in time to hay rides and the sweet aromas of a Thanksgiving feast or enticing us to get our home decor ready now so when the family arrives we can enjoy them without the rush.

You can download both patterns from Blank Quilting's website under the Free Projects Tab (Check out the other amazing projects while you are there!): look for "Give Thanks II" and you will see the Quilt 1 project sheet and the Table Runner set sheet.

Have a colorful Tuesday!


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