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Making a Traditional Red and White Quilt

There’s something about a red and white quilt, isn’t there? Ever since I started quilting, every time I saw one I knew eventually I’d make one for myself. But in my mind, it couldn’t be just any quilt pattern, it had to be a star pattern and a traditional one at that.

After recently finishing a few huge quilts, I figured it was a good time to make my long-awaited red and white quilt. I never know which should be decided on first, the pattern or the fabric? In this case, the main thing to consider was fabric. Last fall I started buying red fat quarters here and there, but I found the shades differed too greatly once put together, so I scrapped that plan and headed to a favorite online store, The Fat Quarter Shop. There I found a perfectly coordinated tone-on-tone red bundle. I was sold!

Bella Solids were on sale so I opted for Bleached White PFD yardage for my background. Next, the pattern. Finding a traditional star pattern for fat quarters wasn’t difficult; I decided on a free pattern from Moda, Illusion.

Once my fabric arrived, like a kid at Christmas, I opened it and started right away. As in many quilt patterns there was a lot of cutting. For me, I usually spend a day cutting and start sewing the next. After a few days I had some blocks made.

What I liked a lot about this pattern is there are no points that need lined up. The ends of the stars are made using the stitch-and-flip method, and a strip in between means there’s no aligning. Also, seams nest so you end up with nice, crisp corners.

Since there’s a substantial amount of white on the front, I wanted something light colored on the back. I had Dear Stella Net fabric in light pink on hand which worked perfectly.

Longarming, unfortunately, isn’t always in the budget and this quilt wasn’t very big so I decided to quilt it myself. I quilted a crosshatch pattern—using my hera marker I marked every three inches and sewed on the line with a 3.0 stitch length. I used my guide for the in-between rows so I’d have less to mark.

Crosshatch quilting can be tough because you’re sewing the quilt on an angle, meaning there’s a lot of bulk (from the center to the corners) when you run it through your machine. But…I love the look of a crosshatched quilt so I deal with the difficulties. 🙂

The binding took a bit longer to make because the strips were cut from the fat quarters which made for more piecing than usual. I love the fact that the quilt top required only 12 fat quarters and yardage. And I have quite a bit of lovely red fabric leftover for another project.

Lately I’ve been sewing on my bindings by hand. I find it relaxing and I like how it looks better than machined.

And here’s my finished Illusion quilt. I finally have my red and white quilt!

I enjoyed making this pattern and have considered making it again in another color combination. So many choices…

modern quilts, patterns, PDF pattern, quilts

Twinkly Stars Quilt Pattern

I’d been working on this quilt for a while and after a few revisions I finally got it to where I envisioned it…and now I’m so happy to share my latest pattern, Twinkly Stars.

Twinkly Stars is a PDF downloadable pattern available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

About the pattern—it’s written for 4 different quilt sizes: crib, small throw, large throw and twin size. There’s a lot of things about this that I’m excited about, first of all, what you can do with color. I chose very vibrant colors but…

BEDROCK by Windham Fabrics

I think it would look great reversed, low volume stars with a dark background. I have my fabric pulled and plan to make a small throw using that color combo. And how about red, white and blue? Endless possibilities.

My favorite thing about this pattern is there is very little waste. And here’s why—the sashing is made from the cut away corners from the stars. I’m not one for waste so it’s a great way to use almost everything.

Twinkly Stars is good option for the beginner quilter as it offers skill building in chain piecing, using half square triangles and more. You’ll notice that the star is modern so if you like star quilts it’s definitely a fresh, new option. Also, it’s a traditionally pieced quilt, no paper piecing or templates. 🙂

I’m off to quilt the crib size quilt I made out of solids. In the mean time, I hope to see some Twinkly Stars in my near future!

cross stitch, PDF pattern

Love to Sew Cross Stitch Pattern

Between snowy days and nice weather, I’ve been keeping busy by working on a new quilt pattern and a couple of cross stitch patterns. I’ve finally finished my first cross stitch pattern, and since it’s a Monday morning it’s time to release it – Love to Sew.

While this project is small in size, it says something really big! 🙂 My Love to Sew cross stitch pattern is now available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Also, since I’ve been using a few new notions lately I’d like to share some information about them.

The scissors in the photos…what can I say? Not only are they beautiful, they’re beautifully crafted. They open and close smoothly and the tip is very sharp, making it perfect for snipping threads. I loved them so much that I ordered a second pair! These are BIHRTC Vintage European Style Scissors in silver and they’re also available in three other color combos (Amazon). Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L8R7MBX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

And for those of you who cross stitch (or may someday) or do needle work, I’ve found that these Bohin needles are of excellent quality. I ordered mine from the Fat Quarter Shop in size 26. Definitely recommended.

Lastly, be sure to stop back next Monday as I plan to have my latest quilt pattern available March 2nd. It’s a happy pattern and it’s really fun and easy—and I’ve written it for four different quilt sizes. I can’t wait to share it with you!

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

cross stitch, Uncategorized

Cross Stitch Revisited

While growing up I was always involved in some sort of craft—from hand embroidering on something, to knitting a scarf, to crocheting an afghan. While they weren’t always large or even finished projects, I was constantly making.

Somewhere in the mid-80s, I started cross stitching. Not only was it all the rage then, it was affordable, relaxing and fun—projects were portable, too—so it was something I could do when my kids were little. I spent several years at it and I made a lot of things, but eventually I tired of it or I simply didn’t have time for it, so I gave away all my materials and never looked back.

In the fall of 2019 I started seeing pretty cross stitch projects popping up on Instagram posts which got me thinking about taking it up again. It seems like it’s made a resurgence in today’s craft world, and I always enjoyed it so I figured why not.

While I love quilting and have no plans to stop (doubt I could if I wanted to) I thought a cross stitch project might be nice to do in between large quilting projects. This time around I’m only making smaller items since I lean towards minimalism and don’t want to fill my space with too many things. 🙂

That said, I made a quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics, picked up some supplies and started again. I was happy to see a skein of DMC floss is only 56 cents! Still affordable.

But what to make? I wasn’t sure if I’d still enjoy it, so for starters I designed a small project to help me get back into the swing of things. It’d been probably over 20 years since I’ve cross stitched.

And who’s surprised, the design I made is about sewing. 😉

I’ve completed my stitching and yes, it was as enjoyable as I remember…

While my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, I’m pretty sure I’ll stick to it anyway. And I still love all the beautiful colors.

Once my little project is finished I’ll happily share it. And I plan to have a pattern available too!

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

Lucky 13 Quilt Pattern

My first quilt pattern of 2020, Lucky 13, is now available. This is a throw quilt that showcases two different colored blocks giving it a modern dynamic, yet the blocks are exactly the same! Add some accent squares in the sashing and you’ve got a quilt that pops. Because Lucky 13 is fat quarter friendly, you might have guessed it, you only need 13 fat quarters. 🙂 And it’s easy enough for a beginner quilter, too.

As in all my patterns, it offers easy-to-read instructions with plenty of colorful diagrams. Lucky 13 is available for purchase as a PDF download in my Etsy shop.

I had a lot of fun designing and making this pattern. If you’re a quilter that loves to play around with color placement, this would be a great one for you.

Christmas, fall decor, home decor, how to, mini quilts, patterns, PDF pattern, quilt blocks, quilting, sewing, tutorials, Uncategorized

2019 Project Recap

Every year I like to write a blog post recapping all the projects I’ve made. I mainly do this to have a quick reference should I ever need to know when something in particular was made. And it’s fun to see how I’ve spent my time sewing. So here goes…

First up is my Petite Hearts quilt that I made on a whim. It has a funny story to go along with it…I thought I was onto an original pattern, but while looking for a name I found it had been published before as baby quilt. Still a top favorite.

I started making a Swoon quilt by Thimble Blossoms in the spring and got it back from longarming late September. I haven’t written a blog post on it yet because I haven’t gotten any good photos, so these two blocks will have to do for now. 🙂

I started my Maple Charm quilt before we moved in April and had it finished just in time for fall. I enjoyed it the entire season.

This Five Squared throw quilt is a Monday Morning Designs pattern (available for purchase in my Etsy shop; see sidebar). I made it out of fabrics I had on hand and I love that all the colors of the rainbow are included.

Also while trying to use what I had on hand, I made a Four Patch Charm quilt. I’m hoping somebody has a special event this year so I can gift it.

Lastly, I made my son a Picnic Play quilt designed by Michelle Bartholomew. While this quilt looks innocent, it was a tough one! It was a huge project, too. My son enjoys finally having a quilt large enough to use on his queen size bed.

I made quite a few mini quilts, too. This one was completed early 2019. I’ve also written a tutorial on how to make a Scrappy Heart mini. It’s a fun and quick one to make.

What can I say about this cute crab pattern by Ellis and Higgs? The big crab was a gift for my daughter, the other one is mine.

This Radiant mini is also a Monday Morning Designs. I was fortunate to have it featured in the July/August edition of Quiltmaker. It surely brightens up my space! I plan to release the pattern this summer.

I made quite a few Little Quilted Star ornaments for gifts for Christmas. Very festive.

My pattern Wee Three Trees became available for purchase in time for the holiday sewing rush. I made two, one for myself and one as a gift for my niece.

Here’s the last of my projects. I made the microwave bowl cozy for myself as a holiday bowl for pine cones. The little holders are for gift cards; gifted as party favors, and the bottom photo shows my process on a mini Christmas tree skirt.

These pillows were also gifts…

And a pillow case for my bird-loving husband.

Lastly, towels with cute toppers made for my mom. You can download my free PDF tutorial How to Make a Hanging Kitchen Towel. It’s easy-to-follow, complete with photos, a template and lots of tips!

Well, that sums up last year, and I’m well into making for 2020!

modern quilts, quilt blocks, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Picnic Play (A Queen Size Quilt)

It finally happened, I finished another queen size quilt. In 2018 I made one for my daughter so 2019 was the year to make one for my son.

Since this is more than likely a one-time thing, I wanted to make it for him as per his request. To start off, I had him choose a pattern. Probably not so much fun for a young man to sit and go through quilt pattern after quilt pattern, but ultimately it was his choice. 🙂 After much searching, he decided on a pattern by Michelle Bartholomew called Picnic Play.

It’s a very modern quilt and perfect for a guy, which isn’t always easy to find in the quilting world. The pattern requires seven solid fabrics; and while the original pattern colors were a good starting point, he swapped out a few and here’s what he chose:

As far as the block construction goes, they’re kind of like an extended hourglass block, and they were a lot harder than I thought they’d be! They were relatively big too, unfinished at 14″ square.

And since the pattern was written for a throw, we had to do some math to figure out how many additional blocks I’d need to add to get it queen size. Trimming for 56 large blocks took quite a while, but what colorful trimmings.

Yet somehow and somewhere along the way I miscounted the number of blocks and ended up with a few extra. No problem—I made toss pillows.

I should mention that making these pillows wasn’t so easy, I had to extend the blocks even further to get them to 18″ square. My process for doing this is explained on my Mitered Borders on Pillows blog post.

When it came time for purchasing backing fabric, I didn’t think my son would have much interest so he told me what color he wanted and I sent him a few choices. He decided on a warm, tone on tone vertical print by Windham Fabrics, Eliana Medallion in Sunshine.

The same process happened for the quilting. I sent him three patterns and he ended up going with Knitterly #2 by Urban Elementz. I think it was a great choice!

I really enjoyed working with bright solids and it was a lot of fun to make something this modern.

So…after many months in the making, a lot of decisions, waiting forever for longarming, sending it across the country and hoping it arrived safely, and in time for Christmas, here it is!

The quilt finished at 95″ x 108″. My son is really happy with it and is enjoying its warmth. And that’s exactly why we quilt…isn’t it?