fall decor, halloween, modern quilts, quilt blocks, quilting, quilts

A Ghost Quilt

When this quilt pattern came out 4 years ago (The Ghost Quilt by Pen + Paper Patterns) I knew my daughter would ask me to make her one. What I didn’t anticipate was that it’d take that long for me to actually do it. 🙂

Once fabrics were decided upon, ordered and received, from start to finish it took me a couple of months, mainly because I worked on other things in between and those cute little ghosts could be a challenge to line up!

The quilt itself requires 25 ghost blocks, but I decided to go through my gray fabric and having enough, I made 4 extra blocks, added a small border and made them into minis to give as gifts.

…I did keep one for myself though. 😉

For the throw size quilt fabrics, I used Kona Solid Gotham Gray for the background and Kona Solid Crocus for the binding which looks great paired together and they’re definitely in the spirit of Halloween. For the minis, I used Kona’s Gotham Gray, Coal and Metal for the backgrounds and School Bus for bindings.

For quilting, I ran a vertical serpentine stitch about 1 1/2″ apart. You can see how it gives the quilt movement and a bit of a spooky vibe.

The backing is a fun black and white asterisk print that worked perfectly because the asterisks kind of look like mini spider webs.

I think this pattern is one of the cutest ones out there. And it’s a fun make too. I’m glad I finally got around to seeing this project through even if it was on my list for a really, really long time.

Happy Halloween!

baby quilts, monday morning designs quilt pattern, quilts

Playful Pastels Quilt Published in Quilts & more

I’m happy to say that my baby quilt Playful Pastels is finally published!

I say ‘finally’ because it was quite a long process. To start, it was early June 2020 when I submitted my project for publication consideration to Better Homes & Gardens’ quilting magazine, Quilts & more. Whenever I do so, I know it’ll take a while to hear back, but when I did it wasn’t until the Fall 2021 issue that there was a spot for it. The timeframe was perfectly fine, but wow, that seems like forever ago!

Used with permission from Quilts & More magazine. ©2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

After accepting the terms and working out the details, I had to make the quilt. Since it was a baby quilt, I wanted to use pastel colors so I chose the Blossom collection by Christopher Thompson. I usually lean toward small prints and this line is just background color with a small white design that looks like tiny flowers. As for the timeline, it was early February 2021 when I requested fabric from Riley Blake Designs.

The fabric arrived quickly but because I had a deadline of March 10, 2021, I started on it right away.

Playful Pastels is a really quick make so I was able to finish by the end of February. Here’s what makes it go so fast…there are only 9 main blocks, the pinwheels. The sashing around them is strip-pieced, meaning you sew the pieces together when they’re long, then cut them down to the size you need. That way you’re not sewing small pieces together.

For the quilting, I did a 1 1/4″ crosshatch design. I learned (the hard way) that you need to use a lot of pins when quilting, so I made sure I did when basting. Constantly moving the pins was pretty time consuming, but the results made it worth the effort.

I was able to ship my quilt out early March; then I could finally relax. 😉

Months previously I’d submitted instructions along with diagrams. Once everything was ready to go to print in June, I was given an electronic copy for proofing. It all looked good, so the rest was just waiting until publication in August.

Last week I received the photos I was permitted to use. Here’s a look…

Used with permission from Quilts & More magazine. ©2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
Used with permission from Quilts & More magazine. ©2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

Cute, right? I really like this set up! 🙂

The Fall 2021 issue of Quilts & more is available for purchase August 6th. There are a lot of nice projects included so be sure to get a copy!

quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Making a Scrappy On Point Nine Patch Quilt

Most of the time I have only one quilt in the works as I’m better focused and organized when I stick to a single project. But that’s most of the time. 😉 There are occasions when I work a few projects at a time, mainly if I know a specific quilt is going to be a long process. My most recent example is my scrappy on point nine patch quilt.

For Christmas 2018 and 2019 I’d given my kids queen size quilts, so 2020 was the year to make one for myself. I decided on a scrappy nine patch so I could use a big share of the 2 1/2″ squares I always seem to be accumulating. And to give it a bit more style, I decided to make it on point using various white tone on tone background fabrics instead of plain white.

To get started, I determined the size I wanted then designed the layout in EQ8. Using 2 1/2″ squares resulted in relatively small blocks (6″ square finished) so the pattern required a lot more blocks than I’d imagined…a total of 242! Of those, 132 nine patch were needed and 110 white squares. Additional background squares were required for the blocks around the edge that were cut larger and in half. I also added a 2 1/2″ border.

The next step was choosing colors. Because 11 color blocks were needed in each row, I figured I’d need 11 different colors for a balanced look. The colors I used were: coral, pink, orange, green, gray, mint green, teal, yellow, neutral, aqua and red. I averaged 12 blocks per color, but I had more of some colors than others. For example, I had a lot more yellow and pink than mint green and gray.

Here’s a look at my stash before I started.

It doesn’t look like I had much, but I got most of what I needed from what was already cut. How many squares did I need? 660! A lot. This was a really fun step, but it was kind of perpetual…as an example…I would be one square short of orange, so I’d have to cut a strip from a fat quarter for it then I’d end up with more orange in my box. That said, the next picture doesn’t look like I made much of a dent, but I really did.

Once I chose enough colors for a fair amount of blocks, it was time to get sewing.

While I had a several white tone on tone fabrics cut into 2 1/2″ squares, I had larger pieces I needed to cut as I went long. EQ determined the quilt needed about 9 yards of background fabric altogether. Again, a lot! I knew I didn’t have enough on hand, so towards the end I’d pick up or order random fat quarters, 1/2 yard and 1 yard cuts to keep a wide variety of fabrics throughout the quilt.

In mid-November, all my nine patch blocks were finished. I barely had room to lay them out, but I managed alright. Next, I labeled rows accordingly then tackled the task of sewing this huge beauty together.

Here’s a look at the quilt top, pressed and ready for longarming.

Because of the scrappiness, I’ve no way of knowing how many different fabrics went into this, but I’m sure there’s Moda, Art Gallery, Andover, Kona Solids, Bella Solids, Michael Miller, Windham, Dear Stella, Kimberbell, Northcott and Riley Blake fabrics.

EQ calculated the finished size of this quilt approximately 97″ x 106″. Mine always come up a bit short, so my finished top measured 96″ x 104 1/2″. Since I’d wrestled with roughly 9 yards of fabric when piecing the backs of my kid’s quilts, I wanted to avoid that this time so I purchased Windham Fabrics Multi-colored Dots by Whistler Studio in 108″ wide. I think this fun fabric corresponds nicely with the colors on the front. And I’d never purchased wide backing fabric before, so this was a first.

For binding, I used what I had on hand. I have only one quilt top that I never finished (but made binding for) so I used that along with other binding I made for another project but changed my mind on. Might as well go scrappy with the binding too, right?

So finally, here’s my finished quilt!

For quilting, I chose a baptist fan motif with 1 3/8″ wide sweeps. I think the round design compliments the angular composition of the layout.

And that polka dot backing is just right…

From start to finish, there was a huge amount of time involved in making this quilt. I started in March 2020 and finished early July 2021. Even though I had it ready for longarming in January, like so many things the pandemic caused me to put the quilting on hold. I was finally able to drop it off in May and it was quilted in June, making it my latest finish.

Even though this project seemed to take forever, it was worth waiting for.

If you’d like to make your own version, download the PDF queen size layout.

monday morning designs quilt pattern, patterns, PDF pattern, quilting, quilts

Triangle Twizzle Quilt Pattern

My first quilt pattern of the year is here! Triangle Twizzle is available as a PDF download for purchase in my Etsy shop. This quilt is easy, fun and a quick sew for quilters of all skill levels.

In fact, it’s so easy a beginner quilter could make it in no time! The pattern is written for a 10″ square stacker / layer cake with a bit of yardage needed for the large white triangles.

I made mine using Riley Blake’s Pastels for a bright, cheerful look.

But the color choices are endless, making it such a versatile quilt. Can you imagine one in various shades of a single color, Christmas colors, Halloween colors or rich fall hues? Anything goes!

In keeping with the modern vibe, I quilted mine with a vertical straight line every 1 1/2″ then I quilted straight lines on a 45° angle going the opposite direction of the HST seams. I love the parallelograms.

While I had to run the quilt through my machine over and over (and over) which took a huge amount of time, I’m really happy with the results.

With three sizes to choose from and color options galore, I hope there’s a Triangle Twizzle quilt in your future!

modern quilts, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

A Striped Picnic Quilt

A few weeks ago my daughter requested a quilt specifically for outdoor use. Even though she has a few others I’ve made her, she doesn’t want to use them outside so of course I agreed to make another one. 🙂 We both decided that a scrappy, use-whatever-I-have quilt about the size of an extra large beach towel would work just fine; an approximate size of 36″ x 60″.

Since ‘beach towel’ was mentioned in our conversation, I got to thinking along those lines and decided to go with a strippy theme by using WOF 2 1/2″ strips leftover from other projects. Having recently reorganized all my fabric, I had a good idea of what was what in my stash, so I pulled a variety of print strips that would coordinate, along with all the solid 2 1/2″ strips I had.

To start, I trimmed the print strips to 37 – 38″ so I wouldn’t have to be overly concerned about lining up edges perfectly when sewing, and it would also allow for some wiggle room when trimming the top to its final size. Some of the solids were 2 1/4″ strips and needed pieced to get to the required length. But since this was an improvised project, I figured anything goes!

My layout consisted of alternating light and dark colored stripes, varying the placement of prints and solids. I had enough strips of solid navy blue and gold to make one 4 1/2″ wide strip of each. To add a bit of interest to the design, I placed one wide strip about 1/3 of the way down and the second wide strip about 1/4 of a way down from that.

I pressed all my seams to the dark fabrics, and trimmed the top to 36 1/2″ wide once all the strips were sewn. The length ended up at 60 1/2″.

Here’s the finished quilt top…

For the backing, we decided dark colors would be best since the quilt will be used on the ground. I pieced together various gray fabrics along with a colorful blue/gray diagonal print.

Did you ever have a quilt that you considered an ‘I always wanted to do that’ quilt? This was one for me. I’ve always wanted to make a strippy quilt, improvise a quilt, and quilt using a zigzag stitch. I figured this was the perfect time to do them all.

For the quilting, I set my machine on the zigzag setting with three stitches per zig. Or zag? 🙂 I tested out a few different sizes before I began, deciding on a rather petite stitch that was fun to sew. As always, I pin basted and used a hera marker for marking lines (every 2″). I really like how it turned out.

To finish, I used a blue and tan flag print for the binding, mainly because I wanted to use the last of this fabric and I thought the stripes would show up nicely. Plus, everyone loves striped binding, right?

Here’s the finished quilt! And I’m happy to say I bought nothing to make this one. I even pieced the batting and used thread that I’d had for a few years now.

If you want to make a small, striped quilt for indoor use or out, here’s a layout of the one I made. Overall, there are twenty-seven (approximately) 2 1/2″ strips and two 4 1/2″ strips. This is just a guideline, you certainly can add or take away as needed.

finished size 36″ x 60″

Now it’s time to send it off for the new owner to enjoy!

baby quilts, color gallery, monday morning designs quilt pattern, quilting, quilts, sewing, tutorials, Uncategorized

2020 Project Recap

It seems that staying in more than usual made for a productive year. In 2019 I’d completed 11 quilts and thought that was a lot, but in 2020 I surpassed that and made 14! Of the 14, I gave 4 as gifts and I have a few on hand should a gift-giving occasion arise.

Other than having a queen sized quilt ready for longarming, I’d quilted the other 13 myself. That’s quite a bit as I typically have one or two done professionally every year. My goal for 2020 was to use what I had on hand, so I didn’t purchase fabric to make several of these quilts.

Here’s a look at the past year: These two quilts were gifted along with two others that I can’t show—one is to be published in the Quilts & More fall edition, and the other is a pattern currently in the works. The photo on the left is a free pattern, Lucky 13, and the other is an easy tutorial for a beginner, Checkered Baby Quilt.

This is the only two-colored quilt I’ve ever made, for me red and white were the obvious choice. 😉 It’s a free Moda pattern called Illusions.

My Twinkly Stars quilts are one of my favorite makes, shown in both throw and crib size. It’s available as a PDF download in my Etsy shop. And those cute sashing strips are made from cut-away corners so there’s no waste!

This Scrappy Four Patch Charm is the second quilt I’d made from this free pattern from Robert Kaufman. I just love this design and I wouldn’t be surprised if I make yet another one. For this, I literally took every 5″ square I had, cut a few more and threw it together. It was so fun and it used a lot of what I had on hand.

Both patterns, Westerly Winds and Radiant, were released last year.

My Holiday Hemlock quilt was a challenge and a joy to design, not to mention how fun it is to watch it come together. While working on this, I decided on a second, scrappy version for all the scrap lovers out there!

Sweet Stripes is the last of my pattern releases for the year. This cheerful pattern is designed with the beginner quilter in mind. It’s fat quarter friendly and there are 7 different sizes with two layouts versions to choose from. It’s quick AND easy!

I made this baby size Sweet Stripes quilt but I have no baby to give it to, so it’s currently for sale in my Etsy shop. 🙂

The last quilt finish of the year is my Christmassy Triangle Peaks. I had to make this red and green version for my annual holiday quilt. Even though I finished it mid-December, I’m already planning for this year!

I was surprised that I made only one mini; a section of my Holiday Hemlocks. I put together a center tree and star along with a shorter ribbon and it made a lovely wall hanging. It’s a great way to display part of the quilt if you don’t have time to make a whole one.

I also added another page to my website, color gallery. It showcases several photos with color tiles to help with your color inspiration. Thankfully my family members allowed me use their beautiful images for this project. I think it’s an excellent resource.

Other projects include pillows for my mom, a pillow case for my bird-loving husband, utensil wraps, colorful rope bowls and microwave bowl cozies.

I also added several tips, tutorials, charts and plenty of other quilty posts to my website. And lastly, I updated my logo and I love it.

Coming soon in 2021…a tutorial for the utensil wrap, a new quilt pattern and more tips and sewing inspiration. I’m looking forward to a great year of creating!

Christmas, modern quilts, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Christmassy Triangle Peaks Quilt

Two years ago I made a blue and orange Triangle Peaks quilt for my daughter and had since planned to make myself one with red and green fabric—I guess all those triangles got me thinking about Christmas trees. So here it is, my last quilt for 2020 (of 14 total).

Last year I ordered this lovely bundle of red happiness specifically for this quilt. I used only half of the fat quarters by excluding the richest reds and replacing them with reds that were more in line with the lighter ones in the bundle.

For the background, I used Art Gallery’s Loved to Pieces Frost Topiary. This fabric isn’t completely white, it actually has a frosty hue and the tiny topiary trees are so cute! I thought a different type of tree would give this year’s Christmas quilt a different twist. The accent triangles are Kona Cotton Sage green, which BTW took around nine MONTHS to get! Pandemic online fabric ordering has been quite the experience. Lastly, the backing is Andover Fabric’s Teal Yuletide Holly accented with pretty gold metallic.

Triangle Peaks, by Emily Dennis, is one of the fastest makes out there. While it takes a while to cut the fabric (doesn’t it always?) there’s very little to do to make blocks. The large cut triangles are the main ‘block’ and the smaller triangles are simply sewn to the background. There are biased edges, but with so little to sew handling them sparsely is a given.

And chain piecing is always fast…

As always, choosing a layout is time consuming for me, I think I might tend to overthink it. Once the layout was determined, sewing the rows went quickly. Sewing the rows together to finish the top took quite some time, mainly due to pinning.

My absolute most dreaded part of quilting is cutting threads off the back. I will find every other non-related chore to do to avoid doing it. But, since this quilt has mostly biased edges that don’t fray, trimming was a cinch.

I decided to straight line quilt so pin basting was pretty intense. After my Quilting Disaster! I’m diligent about using plenty of pins. Lines were quilted 2″ apart giving it a clean, simple finish.

I used the remaining yard of the sage green for the binding to match the accent triangles.

After attaching my binding to the quilt and before sewing it down completely, I always give it a press. I find this helps it lie flat and makes it a bit easier to stitch down. 🙂

The holiday themed backing makes it complete.

And here it is!

Yet another festive quilt for the holidays. Merry Christmas!

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

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!

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.