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?!?

how to, quilting, Quilting 101, sewing, tutorials, Uncategorized

How to Piece Quilt Batting

If you’ve been quilting for a while I bet you’ve accumulated quite a bit of cutaway batting—I have a fair amount myself. For me, I needed to stash down and use what I had plus I’ve found it difficult to purchase any batting because it’s either sold out or on backorder.

Since I had a couple patterns in the works, it was a good time to do some quilt batting piecing so I could finish my projects. First up was a throw quilt that will finish 56″ x 72″.

To get started, I gathered cutaway strips from other quilts I’d made. I had three strips that were long enough and once sewn together, the whole piece would be wide enough. Because the strips were uneven in length, I cut them all to an even and approximate length of what I’d need. I then was ready to get sewing.

Here’s what I did, and if you decide to piece batting too, this is what you’ll need to know. I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you as you go along.

Before you start sewing:

  1. Set up good lighting.
  2. Match the thread to the batting as close as possible.
  3. Cut fresh, straight edges using a ruler and rotary cutter. Make sure the same sides of the batting are up.
  4. To insure seams stay secure, use a zigzag stitch. I sew on a Janome Skyline S7 and this is the setting I used. Whatever you can set close to this should work fine.
  5. Choose the proper foot for your machine.
  6. Try a sample first to ensure your stitch length is set appropriately.

Once you get started:

  1. Sew slowly making sure both sides of the batting pieces are caught by the zigzag stitch. Going fast will make batting bunch.
  2. Use quilting gloves for a better grip (batting can be slippery).
Finished pieced quilt batting

Once finished and before use:

  1. If necessary, you can press the seams to help them lie flat, but make sure the entire area of batting where you intend to iron is covered by fabric or you’ll get residue on your iron that’s difficult to remove, trust me. 😉
  2. I spritzed water over my stitching to help relax the seams which worked really well. If you do use water, check that everything is dry before sandwiching and quilting.

Here’s a photo of an area beneath the quilt top where there’s a pieced batting seam…you’d never know!

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Westerly Winds Quilt Pattern

I’m introducing a new quilt pattern today, Westerly Winds!

Inspired by windy days, Westerly Winds swirls with movement showcasing intriguing designs throughout.

When I made a quilt for myself, I wanted it to make a statement so I used Sun Print 2018 by Andover Fabrics. The rich and vibrant colors of this line did not disappoint! I chose a spiral pattern for quilting to accentuate the movement of the quilt and to compliment the sharper edges. I’m pleased with how well they work together. 🙂

So much so that when I made one for my niece for a wedding gift, I had it quilted in the same motif. Her fabric choice, Blossom by Riley Blake, offered a lovely variety of colors that lends itself beautifully to the pattern.

Westerly Winds is available for purchase in my Etsy shop. As a PDF download, it offers clear and easy-to-follow instructions with plenty of colorful diagrams. It’s a fat quarter friendly pattern with traditional piecing.

modern quilts, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Scrappy Four Patch Charm Quilt

In keeping with my goal to use fabric on hand, a few weeks ago I decided to pull all my leftover 5″ squares and make a quilt out of them. Due to the large variety of prints it was a risky move, leaving me to question if all the fabrics would blend. Nonetheless, I was determined to make it work.

I planned to make another Four Patch Charm quilt (I’d made one back in September) that required 96 five inch squares. From the pile, I had about half. Needing another 45 or so, I headed back to my stash of leftover fabric and pulled what I thought would work. That batch included fabrics from my first quilt, other quilts, various small projects, quilt backs, bindings, etc. I cut until I reached my number.

To get started, the pattern required the squares to be cut in half diagonally then sewn in pairs.

After sewing together of 96 pairs, I still wasn’t sure if everything would look OK even though I blended colors as best as possible. Then I thought, well, everyone loves scrappy, right? How could I go wrong?

To finish the blocks, I used Kona Cotton Snow (the background triangle) choosing it for a less-than-bright-white look. The next step, trimming blocks. You can see they were pretty close to the size needed, but I never skip this step. Sure, it’s time consuming but it’s always, always worth the effort. 🙂

The layout didn’t take much time, as it was one of those quilts where you move one block it messes up the colors in another area, so I left it pretty much as I laid it out initially. Once I’d gotten to this point I was happy with how the colors worked together and I liked it more than I thought I would.

I quilted a 2″ square grid to compliment the diagonal pattern, and made scrappy binding using four different fabrics found in the quilt top.

For the back, I used a pleasant blue and white hexagon fabric from Moda’s Victoria line.

At last, here’s the finished quilt! I have no plans to keep this one for myself, I hope to give it as a gift to someone, sometime.

PDF download, Quilting 101, quilting reference chart, Uncategorized

Quilting 101: Fat Quarter Cutting Chart

Last week I decided to make a charm pack friendly quilt but I wanted to use fat quarters from my stash. Since I didn’t know how many 5″ squares could be cut from a fat quarter (or any other size squares for that matter), I went online and did a bit of research.

After finding the information needed, I decided to make a quick reference chart for future use. I figured if I was wondering such things, other quilters would be too.

My Fat Quarter Cutting Chart is a free PDF download. I recommend saving it to your computer or printing out a copy as it’s a great tool to have on hand.

And how many 5″ squares do you get from a fat quarter? The answer is 12!

cross stitch, patterns, PDF pattern

Yay for Yarn Cross Stitch Pattern

My latest cross stitch pattern is ready! It’s named Yay for Yarn, and it depicts a happy sheep jumping over yarn and knitting needles. I designed this one for all the yarn enthusiasts out there (inspired by my daughter who is an avid knitter).

Yay for Yarn is available for purchase at my Etsy shop. It’s an easy project suitable for cross stitchers of all levels. It’s finishes at 2 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ so it’s on the small side, making it an quick finish.

color gallery, Uncategorized

Color Gallery

A while back I wanted to start a new quilt but I was at a loss for what colors to use. My first instinct was to consult the internet and search for color swatches—then it hit me, why don’t I make my own? I’ve been an active photographer much of my adult life, and while I’m not as involved as I used to be, my husband is which means I have a huge amount of lovely photos to choose from. And I think getting color ideas from one of our photos would make a quilt a bit more personal.

So my project began. I started looking at several samples and soon decided on a format. After a few revisions, nearly one month and countless hours later, I have a color gallery page with over 40 photos displayed throughout 12 categories.

I’m pretty excited about this new endeavor and I plan to keep it ongoing by adding to it regularly. And I’m more than happy to share it with everyone. If you need color inspiration for a quilt or any project, I think you’ll find it a great resource. Even if you’re not planning to make anything, take a look—just for the beautiful photography!

Like any project, I couldn’t have pulled it off by myself. Many thanks go to my daughter for setting it up on my website and to generous family members for sharing their wonderful images with us.