mini quilts, quilting, Uncategorized

Mini Mania

Doesn’t everyone pretty much love mini quilts? I’m a big fan because they’re cute, they’re not a huge commitment, they go together fast and they’re fun! I enjoy whipping one up in between bigger projects when I feel I need a break.  While I’m not one to hang them all over my sewing room walls, I do like to decorate my door with one at a time; as seasons and holidays change, I change my door decor. Since I’m ready to put up a Valentine’s Day mini, I thought it would be a good time to post ones I’ve made. I’ve given some away but I still have a small collection, and of course I intend to add more.

First up are my circus minis. I released the patterns for these nearly two years ago (my first patterns). They measure roughly a foot square each and for sure would brighten up anyone’s room! Patterns are available here: Monday Morning Designs Patterns

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Circus Lion Mini
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Circus Elephant Mini
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Circus Tent Mini

I blogged about these in my last entry (more information if you scroll to my last post). I made them as gifts, using a Moda Concrete mini charm pack for each.

I also mentioned this mini in my last entry; I kept it for myself because I absolutely love this Riley Blake collection, Floriography.

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I found this free pattern on Instagram and had to make one for myself. It’s available from The Family Hearth, found here: Full Bloom Mini Quilt Pattern. I used my absolute favorite, Art Gallery Fabrics, Etno by Pat Bravo—that’s why I couldn’t part with it!

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Full Bloom Mini Quilt

These butterfly minis were given to my mom as a gift. I made them out of scraps and free motion quilted them, which actually came out pretty decent since it’s not a strong suit of mine! The pattern is by Lella Boutique.

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Social Butterfly Mini Quilt

I mentioned these last time too…

My latest finish is this Friendship Star Mini Quilt, found on Pinterest. I couldn’t get the free pattern to download so I made it by looking at the photo. I am going to donate it to my local guild for the quilt show boutique, hopefully it’ll sell, but since I really like the way it came out I wouldn’t mind keeping it for myself…

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That’s it so far. I’m always looking for something cute and fun so if you’ve got any suggestions, please send them my way!

 

quilting, Uncategorized

2017 Project Recap

After posting my ‘best nine’ on Instagram, I thought it would be a nice idea to recap all the projects I completed throughout 2017. Since I didn’t start my blog until May, a few have not been posted here.  Along with photos, I am including links to patterns and tutorials in case anyone is interested in making their own.

My first finish of the year was my Boxed Candy Toss Quilt and tutorial. I designed the pattern and made the tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop. I used Me & My Sister Designs Rainy Day! Here’s a link to the free tutorial: Boxed Candy Toss Quilt Tutorial

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Next, I made this heart mini, mostly out of scraps. The fabrics used were Riley Blake, Dear Stella and Moda; all left from quilts I made or fat quarters from a bundle purchased for something else. I wanted a Valentine’s Day themed mini to hang on my sewing room door. I searched and found this tutorial Dear Stella Big Love Tutorial and sized down the piecing dimensions suitable for a mini (the pattern is for a larger size quilt). I love the results! And I was pleasantly surprised when it was featured on Instagram in a collage post #makemodern.

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Early in the year my local guild asked for quilt donations for patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Apparently Quilters Dream Batting donates to my guild and in thanks, several quilts were donated back to them. I donated this one.

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I also made the same quilt pattern, using the same fabrics, for a wedding gift for a niece.

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Fabric is Miss Kate by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. I found the tutorial on Craftsy, link here: Large Granny Square Quilt Tutorial

In March I submitted these Sunrise Clock Mug Rugs to Modern Patchwork magazine. Lucky for me they were accepted and published in the September/October 2017 edition. It was really fun to have one of my projects in a magazine!

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I finished another quilt top (I have yet to quilt it) but since I loved the jewel tones in this Basic Mixology collection, I made this mini out of leftover strips. No tutorial, just improvised as I went along.

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Sometimes I like to take a break from making a quilt, so I throw in a smaller project. I decided I needed a sleeve for my laptop. I found this lovely tutorial from Lella Boutique. Both fun and easy!  Lella Boutique Laptop Love Tutorial

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I made this baby quilt for my husband’s coworker. I used leftover Miss Kate fabric and put white flannel with pink polka dots on the back. I think the mom-to-be was happy with it! I made an easy-to-follow tutorial, especially for beginners; here’s the link: Checkered Baby Quilt Tutorial

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I made two of these star minis for very dear friends of mine. I used Moda’s Rustic Weave mini charm packs for both. The pattern is Summer Star, here’s the link for more pattern information: Summer Star Mini Quilt

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I designed this elephant baby quilt last year, but I didn’t want to release the pattern until I had it tested. Thanks to my testers, Ange and Kathy, it’s now for sale, available for a pdf download: Lovable Elephants Baby Quilt. I used Dear Stella Mini Dot fabrics and made my version suitable for either boy or girl.

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Somewhere on Instagram I saw a this block and just had to make it into a mini for myself. I used fabric from a half layer cake I had purchased way back. The block was hashtagged summersampler17 and it was the June block. I used Floriography by Riley Blake and wow, what a great collection! This was also the first time I ever did a fussy cut, it was pretty fun.

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This Stars & Four Patch quilt was a huge undertaking! When I looked back on 2017 projects, I surprised myself that I started it then, I thought for sure it was a 2016 start. I put it aside for several months, but I knew I’d have to have it longarmed for the best results. When I went to pick it up, I was so thrilled with the quilting—I just love it. The free pattern is available from Moda: Stars & Four Patches Quilt Pattern

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Lastly, another version of my Boxed Candy Toss Quilt. It was about time I made a quilt for my mom and she requested this pattern. I started it in October as a leisure go-to project, but soon decided to finish it for a Christmas gift. I was really happy with how the soft pastels rendered themselves in the design. Fabrics are Collette by Chez Moi for Moda and Kona Cotton Snow for the background. And I actually did the quilting myself! Here’s my free tutorial: Boxed Candy Toss Quilt Tutorial

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All in all, it was a pretty productive year! I finished a lot more than I thought I had. I also have to admit that I didn’t finish everything I started. I have a Belle Prairie quilt top that needs quilted. That’s next up, I won’t allow myself to start another thing until it’s done.  Also, my Fireworks quilt blocks are finished, but not sewn together. I’m not sure who will be quilting that one—me or my longarmer (probably the latter). So that wraps up 2017. On to 2018…

 

quilting, Uncategorized

Boxed Candy Toss Quilt with Tips & Techniques

I finally did it—I made a quilt for my mom. After making several for other family members, non-relatives and donating a couple, I felt it was about time. (I think she might have been waiting for one for quite some time, too).

When asked what she wanted, I got a few easy requests: the quilt be made from my own pattern, Boxed Candy Toss Quilt (tutorial here); that I use pastel-colored fabrics; and that I do my own quilting, design included. Done, done and done.

At first I thought I’d work on it with no time frame, then I resolved to have it done by Christmas. Since I started early enough, I decided to document the process and share some of the tips and techniques I used when making it.

First, the fabric. The quilt top fabric collection is Colette by Chez Moi for Moda (an older collection that I had to have, luckily found on Etsy). The background fabric is Kona Cotton Snow.

The backing (left) is Fleur by Brenda Riddle Designs for Moda and the binding is also Chez Moi from the Nanette collection. I used Aurifil 50wt 2026 for piecing and quilting.

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I have to admit it was a bit weird following my own tutorial, but soon the blocks were done and my quilt top was finished and sandwiched. Before I began quilting, I sewed a basting stitch along the top edge, approximately 1/8″ down, to help to keep everything from shifting and pulling. This is the first time I ever did this and I highly recommend it; it worked great.

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I often think it would be interesting to know how much time we actually spend making a quilt, especially if we do the quilting ourselves. I spent several hours quilting this one, mainly because I used a hera marker for marking the lines (I had to go over them a few times) and the rounded quilting design is more of a challenge than just a straight line—but still fun!

For the wavy lines, I created a quilting template by drawing the design I wanted then tested it to make sure I’d be able to maneuver it through my machine with fluidity. Once I determined it was manageable, I transferred the pattern onto poster board. Something sturdier would have been better, but it worked out OK.

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I always make my binding 2 ½” wide and sew it on using my ¼” foot. Once attached, I secure it with wonder clips and run a basting stitch by hand before sewing it down. In the past, I’ve tried removing the clips while machine sewing, but I ended up with crooked binding on the back. The basting stitch keeps everything secure when sewing, especially if machine sewing the binding. Sure, it’s another step but it’s well worth the extra time and effort.

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I chose to machine bind this quilt using my stitch-in-the-ditch foot (as I always do when machine binding). In this case, I put my needle setting on 7mm instead of ¼” when I attached the binding to the front.

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I only use the 7mm setting if there is a border or if cutting off points on blocks is not an issue (as 7mm is a bit wider than ¼”).  And here’s why I chose to do this…

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the stitching on the back ends up nice and close to the binding edge. That extra width makes quite a bit of difference!

At last, the finished quilt!

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I hope you’ll try out some of these methods if you haven’t used them in the past.  Feel free to leave me comment if you do try something; I’d like to know how it works for you.

 

quilting, Uncategorized

Inspired by Fabric

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I was recently asked if fabric has ever inspired me and my immediate answer was ‘Yes!’ The best example I can give is my Dash into Spring Placemat.

The story behind the idea is pretty simple. As a gift, I was given two charm packs of Moda’s Dot, Dot, Dash! by Me and My Sister Designs. For some reason, I never put them with my stash; I found myself thumbing through the brightly colored fabrics…green, pink, purple, yellow, and blue. And then it came to me—a placemat depicting an outside scene complete with grass, butterflies, flowers, sky and sun! The colors were perfect for it, and all I’d need is one charm pack. I can’t explain where the idea came from other than by just looking at the fabric and thinking about what I could do with it.

So there it was, I had my idea. To get started, I looked up the average placemat size and then I sketched it. Once the design was determined, I made a sample with scraps. Admittedly, the sample process always takes a few tries. Once I finally got it scaled correctly, I took a photo and sent it to a few family members asking them to tell me what they saw (due to the abstract design I felt this was a necessary step). Everyone recognized it for what it was supposed to be so I was good to go!

Next, I began writing the pattern. While doing so, I decided to make it a tutorial instead. Then I decided to submit the tutorial to the Moda Bake Shop. It was my first time submitting any of my work, so you can imagine how excited I was when it was accepted.

In March 2016, my Dash into Spring Placemat was featured on the Moda Bake Shop. It’s also available on Craftsy and right here: dash into spring placemat tutorial PDF.

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So, sure, fabric can inspire us. I hope a gift of fabric has inspired you too as a fellow quilter!
quilting

Fun Project Storage / #3

I think it’s safe to say that most quilters work on more than one project at a time. Often times I do, especially when I feel the need to make something with a quick finish while working on a time-consuming quilt. Whether you work on one project at at time or many, good organization is essential. I’ve found that having an efficient storage system in place can also help when other things in life interrupt a project and it has to be put on hold. It can come in handy too, when you work ahead, e.g. cut fabric for an upcoming quilt, etc.

To keep organized, I use plastic bins with a fun labeling system. I found these reusable mini chalkboard labels at Target (four for $3).

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Cute, right? Also easy to attach and fun to use!

Onto my plastic bins…they’re great in a lot of ways—they’re affordable, stackable, washable and nicely sized (10″ W x 13″ L). I’ve found this ‘medium’ size is perfect for both large and small projects. I purchased mine at Target for about $5 each.

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Lastly, fabric storage for everyday use. While I use a plastic cart with only four drawers for my fabric (I don’t have a large stash), I found I didn’t have room or easy access to my leftover layer cake squares. To solve that problem, I purchased this sturdy bin to keep all my pieces in one place. It fits nicely on my closet shelf and I can get to it easily as needed, and who doesn’t love storage with polka dots?!?

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Because I don’t intend to use it for anything else, I applied permanent scrapbooking letters instead of chalk for labeling.

I hope this post helps you with your storage needs and/or gives you some organization inspiration!

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

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Stars & Four Patches Quilt

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While vacationing out west last summer, I visited a beautiful quilt store in Garden City, Idaho (Quilt Expressions). Upon entering, I instantly fell in love with a gorgeous red, white and blue quilt I knew I’d have to make for myself. Before leaving, I purchased the red and blue fat quarter bundle, and because I wanted mine to have an Americana look, I chose Bella Solids Natural as a background fabric.

I didn’t start this quilt until December—figuring it was about time since I bought the fabric in July. Once the top was finished, I decided to have it professionally quilted because it was on the larger side and I didn’t feel I could do it justice. And wow, am I glad I did!

My longarmer, Laurie, suggested a block-by-block pattern and I agreed it would look great…and when I saw it I was floored. She even added an additional scalloped allover edge because the design didn’t go far enough into the borders. Needless to say, I absolutely love it!

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As of today, I have two holiday-themed quilts, this one and a Christmassy one. I plan to continue on, but which one do I do next?

The pattern is Stars & Four Patches by Moda (free online here:)

http://www.unitednotions.com/fp_BSPK1301.pdf

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Quilt top is a variety of fabric manufacturers. Quilt backing is Moda Sundance Trail/Light Blue Flags by Sara Khammash. Binding is Benartex Moose on the Loose/Stars Cranberry. Finished size is approximately 71″ x 88″.

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Large Granny Square Quilts

I finally finished and gifted the second of two large granny square quilts, and what a long time coming! I made most of the blocks in September 2016 and had a great vision for a quilt, but for some reason I put them aside as a UFO (first time I ever did that). In the mean time, I was sidetracked with several holiday-themed projects…all the while my large granny square blocks sat untouched.

In January 2017, my local guild asked for quilt donations to support the Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and I immediately remembered my UFO. Because the size requirements were pretty small, I used only twelve squares of the blues, tans and oranges, and in no time my quilt was complete and donated.

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The remaining blocks were put aside until March when I heard a niece was getting married. Of course, the first thing I thought was how they would make a perfect wedding gift! Luckily, I was able to get two more charm packs of Moda’s Miss Kate fabric as I was a few blocks shy. I had already purchased backing and binding fabric so I was set to go. Overall, I finished the quilt relatively quick having quilted it on my Janome in straight-lined crosshatching with machined binding.

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I’m happy that I can finally share these photos as I didn’t want to post them until the quilt was gifted at the wedding shower in August.

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Here it is photographed on a ladder my husband and I made for hanging and displaying quilts.  And lastly, below is a close up of the fun fabric I used on the back.

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