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Sweet Stripes Quilt Pattern

My Sweet Stripes quilt pattern is now available for sale in my Etsy shop! I’m excited about this one for so many reasons. First of all, it’s fat quarter friendly and designed with the beginner quilter in mind. It’s unique too, because the pattern has various size options in two different layouts. One option is a straight layout with four sizes: baby, small throw, large throw and full. The other option is an offset layout with three sizes: baby, small throw and full. Altogether there’s 7 different quilts you can make from one pattern—that’s a lot of choices!

And of course the pattern is all the better thanks to testers. As quilters, we know a lot of work, time and money goes into making one single quilt so asking someone to test a pattern is a big ask. I don’t know how I got so lucky to end up with such a wonderful group of ladies, but I sure hit the jackpot! I value their input beyond measure.

So, here are the testers’ quilts…

I literally gasped when I saw this photo. The black background with the vibrant colors are just WOW. It truly is a gem. Quilt by Amanda @quiltingadventures (on Instagram).

Amanda’s Sweet Stripes – Small throw size in offset layout

I don’t think I’ve seen a prettier quilt than this. It’s so fresh and clean…just one of those quilts you can’t stop looking at. Quilt by Vanessa @_vanessa.griffin_ (on Instagram).

Vanessa’s Sweet Stripes – Full size in straight layout

Dani made this for a baby boy and she nailed her color choices. The gray, blues and yellows are a perfect blend. Did you see that adorable giraffe fabric? Quilt by Dani @missdanismiles (on Instagram).

Dani’s Sweet Stripes – Baby size in offset layout

It’s gorgeous, right? I love how striking the rich toned one-color blocks pop against the white. And the longarming pattern is the perfect choice. Quilt by Janine @ lilbeanquilting (on Instagram).

Janine’s Sweet Stripes – Baby size in offset layout

So lovely and colorful…everything about this quilt makes me smile. It’s just delightful. Quilt by Carol @cjpunday (on Instagram).

Carol’s Sweet Stripes – Small throw in straight layout

Check out this festive beauty! The gray background compliments every color and gives such a cozy feel. And the scrappy layout adds to the loveliness all the more. Quilt by Barbara @thequiltedb (on Instagram).

Barbara’s Sweet Stripes – Small throw in offset layout

Here’s my finished quilt. I made the small throw in the offset design with Kona Cotton Solids for a cheerful look. And how about that bias striped binding?

If you’re looking for a fun and easy quilt pattern this may be your next one! 🙂

monday morning designs quilt pattern, quilt blocks, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Quilting Disaster!

I guess bloggers are guilty of showing (mostly) the pretty side of quilting, but there’s another side and it isn’t always good! When I designed my latest quilt pattern, Sweet Stripes, I designed it in two different layouts—offset and straight. Between the two there are four different sizes so I had plenty to choose from when testing the pattern myself. Of course there will be changes along the way, but everything went smoothly for the first time around.

Once the quilt top was finished and ready for quilting, I decided to use a horizontal serpentine stitch. OK, easy enough, I’ve done that plenty of times before.

As usual, my starting point was the middle of the quilt. Using my hera marker, I marked and sewed a line every 2 ½” until I reached the top. Looks great, right?

But then trouble hit when I sewed the lines in between…

See that ugly pull in the middle? That’s definitely not what you want. And the thing about it is I didn’t even notice until I finished the entire half! Let’s just say I had to walk away for a while… 😉

I obviously needed to fix this mess. I figured since it went so well when the first rows were sewn, it was the middle rows that were the problem and needed torn out. There was a lot of them and it was time consuming and frustrating work. But there’s an upside. I made sure to pick every five or so stitches on the front so I could pull away the back thread without breaking it and keeping it fairly long. By doing that I was able to salvage a lot of thread!

Luckily those strands won’t go to waste because I can use them when I baste down my binding. Or should I say several bindings to come…

In the end, this was a good learning moment for me. I’m pretty sure the problem happened because I didn’t use pins. I thought that once I had the marked lines sewn the layers would be secure enough to sew through the middle. Not so. I think the space was too wide to sew without it being pinned down and the drag of the quilt, the tension, etc. made the fabric shift. Note to self: use pins!

After all that, I decided to change my quilting design. Instead of sewing every line horizontal, I quilted the same distance apart vertically making squares. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I do. I think the puffy little squares are cute and compliment the design.

It’s done now and time to move on to the next one. This beginner quilt pattern is currently out to testers but it’s coming soon!

monday morning designs quilt pattern, quilting, Uncategorized

Stashed Stacked Backing

Is stashing and stacking backing a thing? Meaning buying and stashing yards of fabric for unplanned quilt backs. OK, maybe it’s not properly named, but I’m pretty sure there are quilters out there who do this along with me, right? I’m not a quilter who has a lot of stash, for either the front OR the back, but it makes sense to me to have a few backings on hand because you never know when you’re going to make a quilt. 😉

While it may not seem so, there is a method to my madness! Since I don’t plan all (most) of my quilts and I can’t afford the latest print to be put on the back, I look for sales. I usually look for something that would work with a type of quilt that I’m likely to make. A good example is that each year chances are I’ll be making a Christmassy quilt, so I’m always scouting for something in traditional Christmas colors.

I found this vibrant red RJR fabric for 40% off (around $6/yard and my usual price limit) and at the time I had no idea what I’d use it for. Along came my Holiday Hemlocks quilt and it’s a perfect match! I’d stored this fabric for a couple of years and was happy that I had it on hand when needed.

As far as other backings are concerned, I like to buy fabric that will go with anything for anybody. Some of the time it means a neutral color, or something geometric if I’m gifting a quilt to a man. Sometimes I just get cute prints that I like in case the quilt’s for me. 😉

For my years of doing this, I found the best resource is Hancock’s of Paducah. They have a giant selection of fabric overall and they have a great selection of sale fabric, too. Sales run from $3.99 – $6.99/yard and because they have such a vast inventory, they have a lot of yardage which is useful when purchasing backings. The Fat Quarter Shop also has a big inventory and a nice selection. I love the FQS and get a lot of my fabric there, but sales typically aren’t as inexpensive as Hancock’s. For the most part these are my main two go-to places, but there are others I’ve bought from on occasion.

When I find something I like, I tend to buy 5 yards. That way I have enough in case I make a larger quilt and if I make a smaller quilt there will be some leftover that can be used for mini backings, etc.

Here’s my latest purchase: a print from Moda’s Harper’s Garden by Sherri and Chelsi for $5.99/yard. It’s 10 yards of loveliness that’ll be put on the back of my On Point Irish Chain quilt for my bed.

If you don’t stack backing fabric for future quilts, it might be something worth considering. If nothing else, looking at pretty fabric is a great way to pass the time.

Note: I am not endorsed by any business I have mentioned in this post; they are stores and fabrics I like, use, and wanted to share information on.

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My Swoon Quilt

My Swoon quilt is finished. And I love it.

I’d seen so many Swoon quilts on Instagram that I finally had to join the crowd and make one for myself. The minute I saw Moda’s fabric line Le Pavot by Sandy Gervais I absolutely had to have it. I received a fat quarter bundle for Christmas 2018 and made the quilt in 2019, so I’ve actually have had it done for over a year now!

I dove right in after receiving the fabric, and as always, it takes a good chunk of time to cut pieces. With the use of my stripology ruler (below) I was able to get the background strips done fairly quick.

I think what drew me to the pattern (by Camille Roskelley) is the large blocks, and to date these are the largest blocks I’ve ever made. They measure 24″ and the entire quilt has only nine blocks altogether.

I’m a huge fan of peachy, coral colored fabrics so I chose this adorable tiny flowered print for the binding.

I also favor the color teal. These two fabrics made the most gorgeous flying geese…

For the quilting, I decided to go with a different motif than what I’d usually choose—bubbles or swirls or something on the petite side. To mix it up I chose a big design to compliment the big blocks, it’s called seaweed. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Here it is finished.

The colors, pattern and quilting…all made for a lovely quilt. 🙂 And a new favorite.

quilting, quilts, tutorials, Uncategorized

Hanging Sleeve for Quilts

I’d been putting off making a hanging sleeve for quite some time but I finally got around to it last week. It was very easy and it didn’t take much time so there really wasn’t a good reason for my delay. While I don’t intend to hang up my quilts permanently, I thought having a sleeve and a rod would be easier for my husband to hold up quilts for photography. Since it can be stressful finding the right location, dealing with lighting and weather conditions, I’ve decided to try indoor quilt photography in the future and a hanging sleeve will be a necessity.

Anyway…here’s what my sleeve looked like once I attached it to the top of my quilt.

The tutorial I followed was geared for sleeves to be attached to quilts for shows, therefore they’re supposed to be made to the exact width of the quilt. Because I’ll be using mine for multiple quilts, I made it about 72″ long (from leftover quilt backing fabric) and folded back the extra length before sewing it on.

I’m going to need a curtain rod for hanging, but since we were going to drape it over a railing we used a painting extension pole instead. Something this big around isn’t ideal if the quilt is actually held or if it’s placed on hooks as it distorted the top a bit.

Overall, it was much better. My husband said it was a lot easier to hold up the quilt and everything was straighter, too. Here’s a photo of my Five Squared quilt using the sleeve with the rod being held on the opposite side of the rail.

Whether you want to hang up quilts or need a sleeve for photography purposes, I highly recommend it. I followed the Hanging Sleeve Instructions tutorial from Quilt Week, it’s a great resource.

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Scrappy Holiday Hemlocks Quilt Pattern

As promised, here’s my scrappy version of Holiday Hemlocks! Scrappy Holiday Hemlocks is available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Since we quilters love to use our scraps, I thought it would be fun to offer this whimsical quilt in an alternative pattern. It’s made the same as the original except for the stars and trees (see Holiday Hemlocks here). And as a bonus, it’s great way to stash down.

Since the holidays seem like forever away, but will be here before we know it, there’s plenty of time to have one ready for the season.

This throw size quilt measures 56″ x 66″ and it’s easy enough for the advanced beginner. Now that you’ve got two choices, pick your favorite and have some fun quilting!

Christmas, modern quilts, monday morning designs quilt pattern, PDF download, PDF pattern, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Holiday Hemlocks Quilt Pattern

My latest quilt pattern is here! Holiday Hemlocks is available for purchase in my Etsy shop. This one was difficult to keep secret so I’m happy to finally share it with everyone. 🙂

The idea came to me in June and after the long process of designing, tweaking, making one, sending it out to testers, taking photos, etc.— keeping everything under wraps was tough! Plus, it’s the first throw size holiday pattern I’ve designed which made it pretty exciting.

Here’s some information about the quilt…it measures 56″ x 66″ and the pattern is a PDF download with detailed instructions and plenty of colorful diagrams. I would rate it easy enough for an advanced beginner. The best news is that it’s still August and the holidays are months away so you have plenty of time to whip one up. And I think you’ll agree with me on how fun it is to see this come together.

I made mine using traditional colors, but I think it would look great in non-traditional colors, too. How about teal trees and silver stars…

If you love scrappy quilts (as we quilters do) I have a scrappy version coming soon, so be on the look out for it if you want to use up some stash.

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do! Happy holiday sewing. 🙂

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Microwave Bowl Cozies

Once spring arrived and I’d completed my 8th quilt for the year, it was time to make something else. Not that long ago microwave cozies were really popular and I was seeing them everywhere, so I figured now was a good time to try them out. I’m always in favor of making practical things people can actually use, and stashing down is always a plus.

There are plenty of tutorials available on how to make these and they’re pretty much all the same. I followed a YouTube video by The Sewing Room. To make one bowl cozy you need 10″ squares for everything—the inside and outside fabric and the cotton batting in between.

The process is pretty basic: you quilt the squares, sandwich the pieces, sew them together adding darts, turn it inside out and top stitch. After making five, I discovered a few tips and compiled them for those of you who decide to make your own.

Instructions have you quilt an X from corner to corner. For accuracy, I marked my lines with a hera marker. I chain quilted the X on all five to save some time. Is chain quilting actually a thing? Carrying on…I used my walking foot guide for the rest of the quilting. Don’t forget to pin!

I quilted mine 2″ apart, a bit closer than in the video.

By doing so, the quilting helped shape the bottom of the cozies. I didn’t expect that but it turned out nicely.

And I certainly didn’t expect the lines on my fabric to line up either! 🙂

Since you’re going through two layers of fabric and batting, take it nice and slow when top stitching.

I spent a few hours making all five of these. I kept one for myself and gave the rest to my family.

Because I didn’t have 100% cotton batting, we don’t use ours in the microwave, but we do use them to keep food warm. They work great and all the bowl sizes we tried fit just fine.

You can also make them for decoration. I made this one for displaying pine cones around Christmas. The beautiful metallic fabric and 1″ quilted lines give a festive holiday feel.

If you’re on your umpteenth quilt for the year and need a change of pace, you can quickly make a few bowl cozies to mix it up.

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Save that fabric!

Not all that long ago quilt batting was pretty hard to get a hold of and I was nearly out. Luckily at the same time my trimmed quilt edges of excess fabric and batting was piling up in my sewing room. And I needed to make some quilts. 😉 The obvious thing to do was to take the strips apart and piece the batting after cutting away any overage quilting stitches.

If you take quilts to a longarmer, you know about the extra 4″ of backing needed all around for loading on the machine. I noticed sometimes my longarmer loaded it more to one side leaving some pretty wide strips when completed. Either way, those strips can add up to a lot of fabric!

Here I go again with the waste issue, but I never throw these materials away, I always take the time to separate them out.

My latest fabric/batting stack consisted of four quilts worth—one longarmed queen size and three throws I quilted myself. After removing the fabric, this is what I ended up with…

And after a bit more effort—pressing and cutting strips to the biggest size I could get—this was the end result…

I’m not going to deny this project took me a few hours, but now I have a lot of precut fabric on hand that would’ve been a shame to toss. It was definitely worth the effort and what a great way to use materials on hand.

Out of the batting, I was able to piece enough to make one throw quilt, one crib size quilt and two baby quilts. And, as of today, batting is once again on backorder.

If you’ve got a stack of edges piling up, consider their reuse. Save and cut that fabric, your future self will thank you. 🙂

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An Easy Beginners Quilt

If you’re thinking about taking up quilting as a new hobby but aren’t sure where to begin, I’ve got an easy, basic pattern that’s excellent for the complete beginner, the Checkered Baby Quilt. This quilt is a perfect starter for several reasons—it’s sewing simple squares together, there are no bias edges (when edges can stretch easily), seams nest (fit into one another stress-free) and it can be made with 5″ precuts. For the quilt top you need only two charm packs. And best of all, there’s no pattern to buy, just download my Checkered Baby Quilt tutorial. Easy, right?

I’ve made a few Checkered Baby Quilts and have given them as gifts and I’ve even made a couple for commission, so it’s definitely a classic that stays in style.

Checkered Baby Quilt made with stackers from Riley Blake’s Little Prince collection
Checkered Baby Quilt made with Moda’s Pepper and Flax and various other prints

The last one I made with Lily and Loom fabric from Craftsy (remember Craftsy?) and Kona Cotton Solid Snow. I chose crosshatch quilting at 2″ apart and a solid binding.

Other reasons why this is great for a new quilter is that it’s a nice sized project suitable for experimenting with color, fabric, thread, quilting designs, etc. All of those quilting elements are part of the learning process plus it’s a lot of fun. So if it’s time to get started, why not grab a couple of charm packs and try this one out?!?