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!

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.

Uncategorized

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…

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 – Free Quilt Pattern

My first quilt pattern of 2020, Lucky 13, is now available as a FREE pattern. 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 and it’s also a great way to try out a Monday Morning Designs pattern. 😉

I had a lot of fun designing and making this quilt. 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?

home decor, how to, PDF dowload, sewing, tutorials, Uncategorized

How to Make a Hanging Kitchen Towel

I’m always looking for a new sewing project to make—something easy and fun with a fairly quick finish. I thought I’d enjoy making hanging kitchen towels since they’re decorative and useful. While scrolling through Pinterest I found several examples with a variety of toppers, but I couldn’t find any tutorials I liked so I designed my own.

I also wrote a tutorial while making mine, and for an easy way to share it’s available as a PDF download. That way it’s convenient for you to keep it on your device while working on your project. Here’s the link to download my How to Make a Hanging Kitchen Towel tutorial.

I’d rate this project as ‘easy’ and it’s great for both new and experienced sewing enthusiasts. The tutorial is chock-full of colorful photos, helpful tips and a printable template—all there to guide you while making your own!

home decor, how to, quilt blocks, tutorials, Uncategorized

How to Make an Envelope Pillow Cover

Sometimes when working on a quilt that’s taking a lot of time, I feel I need a break to make something with a fast finish. Over the summer I received a free sailboat pattern from Ellis and Higgs and I thought it would make a nice pillow as a gift for my sister since she lives on the bay and has a nautical theme throughout her house.

I’d been wanting to learn how to make an envelope pillow because I think they look better than a zipper, so what better time to try it out? I found a few tutorials and combined the best of them and came up with one to pass along. It’s really easy and can be made in less than an hour!

For mine, I pieced the front and used interfacing to keep everything in place, but you can make the front easily with a cut of fabric. Here’s how to make a cover for a pillow insert, and also what you’ll need:

MATERIALS: Either a pieced block with interfacing fused on OR fabric for the front, fabric for the back, pillow insert, hot ruler (optional), bluntly pointed stick, sewing machine, iron, general sewing supplies.

For the pillow FRONT: Make your block to measure the same size as your pillow form. If you choose to make a fabric front, the same measurement applies, cut your fabric to the pillow form size.

For the pillow BACK: You will need one piece of fabric to be cut into two (or two pieces). The width will be the same as your pillow form, but the length will be the size of the pillow form plus 6″.

Examples:

If you’re using a quilt block and it’s too small, just add borders. For example, I added 2″ borders to my sailboat block to get it to measure 16″ x 16″.

Once the pieces are cut to size, fold under one edge of each back piece 1/4″ and then again 1/4″ to form a small hem for the flaps. A hot ruler works great here.

Sew the hem for the flaps, stitching close to the edge. Press the seam.

Next; sewing everything together. Pin the front and back pieces right sides together with the two back pieces overlapping in the middle. It will look upside down and backwards, but it ends up as it should once you turn it right side out.

Sew around all four sides of the pillow cover using a 1/2″ seam allowance. If you want to keep the raw edges from fraying, add a zigzag stitch around all the edges.

Once sewn, trim away the corners and turn the cover right side out, making sure to push out the corners. Using a bluntly pointed object helps get the corners sharp.

Lastly, give it one final press and insert the pillow form. And you’re done!

Not only are these pillows easy and fun, they’re an inexpensive way to add a splash of color and style to your living space.

home decor, how to, mini quilts, quilt blocks, quilting, tutorials, Uncategorized

Classic Little Quilted Star Ornaments

Christmas is almost here but there’s still time to make these pretty ornaments! Whether you’re looking for last minute gifts or decor, they’re quick, fun and easy.

Last month I posted a tutorial on little quilted star ornaments I made using metallic fabrics.

After seeing these, my daughter wanted a few in traditional Christmas colors, red and white. I made her three using a rich red for the star in Moda’s Rustic Weave and a pure white background with wintry swirls from a Bee Sturgis Quilting Treasures holiday collection.

And I just love the contrast.

She wanted them quilted all the same, with straight line quilting in each corner section.

She also chose Kona Cotton White for the binding which really made the red stars pop.

Either traditional colors or modern, I think these ornaments are a great holiday addition.

Merry Christmas!