quilting, Quilting 101, Uncategorized

Quilting 101: Fabric Conversion Chart

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything for my Quilting 101 series so I figured it was time for a revisit.

Recently I created an easy-to-read downloadable PDF Conversion Chart for converting your fabric from inches to yards, yards to meters—whatever way you need! It’s definitely a time saver.

I find this chart especially useful for fabric you already have on hand. Sure, you can always order a specific amount but when you need to know if you have enough for a pattern, this is the perfect resource. And it allows you to skip the mental math!

I really enjoy posting for my Quilting 101 series and I like passing along information to beginner quilters as I know how much I appreciated it when I started. I’m always looking for topics, too. If you have anything you’d like info on, let me know and I’ll do my best to make an informative post.

Uncategorized

My Petite Hearts Quilt

Another quilt finished and one with an interesting story to go along with it. After finishing my Christmas quilt I thought, why not make one for Valentine’s Day? I love the color pink and tend to use it frequently so I had a lot of scraps on hand to choose from.

I wanted a heart quilt with a large array of pinks and reds, but I didn’t want to use the traditional heart shape so I opted for something more modern.

Once I had my idea I began designing the heart block and I started writing a pattern for it. Here’s what’s interesting…I thought I was onto something original, but when I went to name it I found it had been done before, published as a baby quilt in 2017, and had the exact same name! I admit I was a bit let down, but I still loved the design and it didn’t stop me from moving forward. I chose a different name because the quilts were different; mine was throw size, my blocks were bigger and I didn’t add borders.

Background fabric: Riley Blake Pin Dot/Peony by Lori Holt

Whenever I come up with a new design I always look to see if anyone else has already done it. For some reason when I checked for this heart quilt I didn’t see it anywhere, though I’m not really surprised it was done before because it is a pretty basic block.

Although I can’t claim it as my own design even though I’d never seen the other one (it isn’t worth getting blamed for copying) I do think it’s the cutest quilt I’ve ever made!

Here’s some general information on how I made my quilt. I wrote my pattern for using 10″ squares but it’s also scrap friendly. This illustration shows how I made my blocks from scraps. I used 29 different fabrics.

As an alternative, you can save time by strip piecing with precuts. Sew together and cut, as illustrated. One strip set will make 3 block halves.

I cut my background squares 5 ½” x 5 ½”, 99 total. I didn’t cut my edge pieces in half like most quilters would have done. Instead, I sewed them on as squares and trimmed them once the quilt top was complete. You might ask why would I do that? Well, I’m no fan of bias edges and by doing it this way I didn’t experience stretching and it ended up perfectly square. 🙂 And I know it’s certainly not the conventional way!

Here’s the layout of my Petite Hearts Quilt. Rows are sewn together on point (diagonally).

I used a variety of fabrics for this quilt including Riley Blake, Art Gallery, Andover, Michael Miller…just to name a few. The backing is Simply Colorful II in magenta by V & Co. for Moda. I sewed my binding on by hand using Aurifil 2530. I did the quilting myself on my Janome using the serpentine stitch using Aurifil 2026. Finished size is roughly 56″ x 70″.

Here’s the finished quilt. Original or not, I absolutely love it and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

modern quilts, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

A Gifted Quilt

Overall, a good portion of the quilts I’ve made I’ve given as gifts, and at this point I’ve given them to every family member that has expressed an interest in receiving one. It just happened that this particular niece ended up last, but for no particular reason!

As a surprise, I wanted to make her one for Christmas 2018, which I managed to pull off. If you’re one who makes quilts as gifts (and are on Instagram) you know how hard it can be to keep it a secret. No posting photos unless you block the recipient, but that leads to suspicion if you ask me! (I did sneak in one photo but she had no idea it was for her quilt).

In keeping with the plan to sew with what I have, I decided on using a jelly roll I purchased a few years ago. She loves the color yellow and this Moda collection Figures had plenty of it.

Once the fabric was decided, I needed a pattern. I thought she’d like something more modern verses traditional, so I headed to the Moda Bake Shop and found a great jelly roll pattern, Tropical Punch Quilt.

This pattern is very easy and beginner friendly. Thanks to precuts and my stripology ruler, cutting was a breeze and done in no time.

I used Kona Cotton White for the background to give it a bright, fresh look. I paired two coordinating strips together for the block pairs so they would have opposite middles and outer edges because I prefer controlled scrappy over all-out scrappy.

Piecing the top went fast as the blocks are simple and a larger size. The layout took a bit of time because I wanted the coordinating blocks distanced from one another.

I chose to make the binding scrappy. Need instruction on how to make scrappy binding? Here’s my How To tutorial.

Here’s a trick I used to make sure the same colors in the binding weren’t next to the same colors on the quilt top once I sewed it on. After the top was complete and on my design wall, I laid out the binding strips around it in preferred order. I marked where I needed to start sewing the binding on the actual quilt sandwich so the layout remained as planned. It worked great!

After sandwiching and before quilting, I sewed my basting stitch across the top to reduce pulling and shifting. This works wonders and I definitely recommend taking the time to do this step. Just set your machine on the widest stitch possible and sew within ¼” from the top. There’s no need to remove these stitches before sewing on your binding and it helps keep the sewn edge flat.

As usual, I used my hera marker to mark every line 1 ¾” apart and then used my guide for the lines in between.

I’ve never straight line quilted before but it came out pretty nice.

I also had this fun polka-dot backing on hand, I’m sure I bought it for something else that I never got around to making… 🙂

And the finished quilt!

I really enjoyed making this quilt, it was a lot of fun. I’m also very pleased that my niece absolutely loved it. And as always, I’m happy to spread around some quilting cheer. 😉

quilting, Uncategorized

2018 Project Recap

 

Another year of quilting has come to an end and it was quite a productive year. In 2018 I made ten quilts (and finished another) which was a record for me. I’ve read about quilters who crank out dozens of quilts per year, and I always wonder how they do it, or why. What do they do with them all?

Of the quilts I made, two were commissioned, two were for publication and four were gifted. Even so, I’m left with five of them! I also completed additional projects—mini quilts, pillow covers and handmade Christmas gifts.

Here’s a rundown…

I started this Fireworks quilt in 2017 but actually finished it early in the year. It’s definitely one of the brightest quilts I’ve ever made.

These two baby quilts were commissioned for a friend.

I gifted next four: the simple patchwork one was for my husband, the Hunter’s Star quilt was for my daughter, I also gave my daughter the Triangle Peaks quilt just because she wanted it. 🙂 The last one I made for my niece for a Christmas gift.

This is my Diamond Jubilee quilt that was published in the January/February 2019 issue of Pre-Cut Patchwork magazine, previously known as Quilting Quickly. It’s the first quilt I had published and it was pretty fun!

The last two are my Christmas Irish Chain quilt, and by far my favorite quilt ever, my scrappy Granny Square.

I also released an easy, beginner-friendly pattern that’s a great addition to any nursery, With Love Mini Quilt.

As far as other projects go, I’ve completed several pillow covers (some for me and some as gifts) along with lots of mini quilts. I have tutorials available for some of these projects.

If you’re looking to use some small scraps and add to your household decor, give this Modern Stripes Placemat a try. It’s a free download pattern.

I also have two non-sewing tutorials, one is a DIY Quilt Ladder and the other is a Portable Ironing Board. They’re available as free downloads.

I guess it’s only fair to mention what I didn’t get finished this past year, right? I cut out the fabric for a Maple Leaf quilt in March and since I couldn’t decide on a background fabric, I never made it. I’ve since chosen fabric so I plan to make it this year.

I think that pretty much wraps up a busy 2018, and here’s to a hopefully equally busy 2019!

home decor, patterns, Uncategorized

Modern Stripes Placemat

If you’re in need of a quick project and love all things modern, I think you’re going to like my Modern Stripes Placemat. I designed this for my mom’s small kitchen table with the idea of using up some little scraps. It’s an easy make, and as a bonus you can finish it in just a few hours!

To put this together all you need is color fabric scraps as small as 1 ¼” wide by 2 ½” long, a fat quarter for the background, binding, backing and some quilt batting. It finishes at 14″ x 20″, the average size for a placemat. I used red to coordinate with my mom’s kitchen, but here are a few images to give you an idea of how other colors might look. I think a variety of colors would give it a whole new look!Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 9.22.23 AMScreen Shot 2018-12-13 at 9.22.05 AM.png

For easy reference, I made the Modern Stripes Placemat pattern as a FREE PDF download so you can save it and have it ready whenever you are.

I think I need to get busy and make a few of these for myself, I just need to decide on a color…

modern quilts, quilting, quilts

Published in Pre-Cut Patchwork Premier Issue Diamond Jubilee Quilt

Hurray! It’s finally here, the January/February 2019 issue of Pre-Cut Patchwork magazine. This is the premier issue and I’m happy to be part of it. Pre-Cut Patchwork was previously known as Quilting Quickly but it still offers plenty of great patterns for using those precuts we know and love.

I’d like to share a bit of my publishing process…it took a long time but it was really fun. While I had been published in the September/October 2017 issue of Modern Patchwork, it was for small mug rugs that were accepted as finished projects. Pretty easy. But this time, because I had written the quilt pattern and tested it long before submitting, by the time it was accepted the fabric was no longer available so I had to remake it. Deadlines and all. Yikes!

After sending in some necessary paperwork, I was assigned an editor who helped me with my fabric options yet I ultimately got to choose. I went with Bright Blooms by Lunn Studios and let me tell you, it was so fun to get fabric before it was released to the public, but it was also nerve-racking!

Because I had time restraints, I didn’t take any other photos of the process. The name of my quilt is Diamond Jubilee, it’s a throw size that finishes at 56″ x 72″. Fabric requirements include one roll up and background yardage (I used Kona Cotton White). I chose a medium blue batik from the collection for the binding and a light pink for the backing. My longarmer quilted it with a rounded squares motif. 

Here it is on my quilt ladder but I think this pattern is best showcased if the quilt is opened all the way.

And a couple of close up images…

As seen in Pre-Cut Patchwork 

This is the second quilt I’ve made with batiks and I absolutely love working  with them. 

Here are a few shots of the first Diamond Jubilee quilt I made with the Transformation collection by Benartex. Such rich, bright colors.

Now I have two of the same quilt…the first one I use around the house, the second one I’ll probably keep for displaying on my quilt ladder.

So that was my first quilt publication experience. If you have an idea and are considering getting it published, send it in, it’s definitely worth trying.

I hope to see other versions of this quilt, it’s a great choice for the quilter who enjoys making flying geese. There are several lovely projects in this issue so if you don’t have a copy grab one and use those precuts! Should you decide to make a Diamond Jubilee quilt, please post it and mention me on Instagram as I’d love to see your take on it. 🙂

Christmas, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Christmas Irish Chain Quilt

I’ve always wanted to make an Irish Chain quilt, so I finally did. I just love their simplicity. Earlier this year I purchased fabric for a Christmas tree mini quilt pattern I designed and made (but haven’t released) and since it didn’t require a lot of fabric, I luckily had enough left for an entire quilt, scrappy binding included!

Greetings by Kaye England for Wilmington Prints

I definitely prefer traditional red and green Christmas colors and this fabric was a perfect choice as it offered peppermints, poinsettias, old-fashioned toy tops and letters to Santa for some old style fun.

I started piecing this in May and finished in August which seems like it took me a long time, but I made a couple of other quilts in between, and overall, it went together relatively quick. I used precut 2 ½” strips so I was able to strip piece and chain piece the nine patch blocks.

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The background fabric is Kona Cotton Snow, which blended nicely with the light colors in the printed fabric. For quilting, I went with my ever-so-popular (and quite possibly ‘overdone’) crosshatch. I made my marks using a hera marker and as usual, it took a lot of time from start to finish.

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I thought the crosshatch would give the plain blocks some texture and I quilted my lines 1 ½” apart. I’m pretty happy with the results! It’s also a generous size, finishing at 64 ½” x 76 ½”.

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It’s hard to discern, but the backing is white with a faint gray/silver snowflake print. And for some reason that fabric is so soft!

Well, now I’ve got my traditional Irish Chain quilt that I can finally enjoy this holiday season.

IMGP9093.jpgMerry Christmas!