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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. 🙂

Christmas, home decor, quilting, sewing, Uncategorized

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. 🙂

baby quilts, how to, PDF download, quilting, quilts, tutorials, Uncategorized

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?!?

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Sewing Tip: Save on Thread

When I bought my sewing machine a few years ago, the sales lady gave me very thorough instructions on machine use, even though I didn’t think it necessary…then one particular thing got my attention—how to ‘unthread’ the machine. I’m sure it’s not really known as that, but changing thread is something we do all the time.

Until then I always pulled the thread from the spool back through my machine, but thanks to Karen I now know that can cause tension issues as the machine is made for thread to go out in only one direction via the needle. That said, the proper way to remove thread is to cut it from the spool and pull it through the bottom. Am I the only person who didn’t know this? Probably. 😉 It makes perfect sense, and I’m glad for the tip because tension problems are the worst.

As time went by and after several thread changes, I realized it’s a lot of waste to throw those strands away. Since thread is expensive and I don’t like waste, I had to ask myself ‘what can I do with these strands?’ I didn’t know at first, I just started saving them on my pincushion.

My thread cutaways measure about 24″ long, so it doesn’t go all that far, but I’ve come up with a few tips on putting them to good use.

  • Keep a needle or two threaded, it’s a great way to save time when in a hurry.
  • Use threads for basting. I always baste my binding before machine sewing, I mainly use these strands for stitching them down.
  • Sew on buttons. A short thread length is plenty.
  • Clothing repairs. They’re just right for a minor fix.

If you hang on to your cutaway strands, you’ll be surprised how quickly they accumulate and in so many different colors, too. And mostly, you’ll see how much it’ll save on thread waste. 🙂

mini quilts, modern quilts, patterns, PDF dowload, PDF pattern, quilts, Uncategorized

Radiant Mini Quilt Pattern

Now that summer is finally here, it’s a great time to release my Radiant pattern and spread a little sunshine. 🙂 This bright mini quilt was published in the July/August 2019 issue of Quiltmaker, so if you missed it then it’s now available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Radiant is a fun way to create an ombré effect by using solids. You can go with bright yellows and oranges, or mix it up and choose your own personal favorite colorway.

Not only is it easy enough for beginner quilters, it’s a great skill builder. Imagine what you can do with the quilting, too—the sky’s the limit on this one!

Quilted with Aurifil thread 2135

Materials needed are a variety of oranges and yellows in fat eighth cuts, but the half sqaure triangles are small so scraps will certainly work. Radiant finishes at 15 ½” x 12 ½”.

baby quilts, modern quilts, monday morning designs quilt pattern, PDF pattern, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Twinkly Stars Baby Quilt

While working on my Twinkly Stars quilt pattern a few months ago, I decided to make a crib size quilt because I think the chunky, whimsical stars make for a darling baby quilt. And since it’s so enjoyable to make, I thought I’d share some interesting things about it.

For fabrics, I chose lovely soft hues in Kona Cotton Solids using six different colors.

The neat thing about this pattern is there’s practically no waste because cut-away corners are saved and used for the sashing. That’s a win-win!

(had to share the trimmed scraps because they were pretty…)

Also, chain piecing…a definite time-saver.

And as always, after finishing a quilt it’s time to try to get good photos. Sometimes it’s easy and goes quick, and sometimes there’s the endless battle with lighting, the set up, wrinkles, winds, etc. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all and I have to try another day.

On the afternoon my husband and I photographed this quilt, it was windy. Here’s our first attempt…while this isn’t the best shot, I do love the buttercups.

Continuing on to another location, we passed a gate that would be the perfect spot IF the wind and light cooperated. Luckily they did, and I’m pleased with the photos. I considered that day an easy photography day. 🙂

Here’s a closeup look at the quilting. I chose horizontal lines with a serpentine stitch. The wavy lines give it a nice and cozy quilted look.

For the back, I used a cute flannel monkey print. It’s so fun!

This is no doubt one of my favorite makes. There are so many color options that would work great with the pattern, too. You could use red, white and blue, or one color in various shades for the stars. Or light stars with a dark background. Anything goes.

Twinkly Stars is available in 4 sizes—crib, small and large throw, and twin size. Overall it’s a quick sew, and who doesn’t love a star quilt?!?