Friday, February 22, 2019

Spring Stars Quilt in Progress

This post is sponsored by Cricut.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Post may also contain affiliate links.

Today I thought I'd share some behind the scenes of a quilt that I've been working on lately.  I'm calling this one Spring Stars.  

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

The soft, pastel colors are just what I'm needing right now.  I'm getting really tired of gray, snowy days and starting to look forward to daffodils and tulips!

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

Here are some of the fabrics I've pulled to use in this quilt.  I found some of them in my stash, and I added a few that I bought in my local quilt shop.  I'm loving the mint/pink/gray/yellow combo, but I'm thinking of adding in a few light green prints maybe to add more variety.  What do you think?  Add green?  Or leave it as-is?



Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

I decided to use my Cricut Maker machine to help me cut out all of the diamond shapes.  And here's the biggest reason why....

Not only will it cut the funky diamond shapes (sweet!), but it will also mark the 1/4" markings on each point.  You can see the marker in the photo below.  It's a washable fabric pen that I can pop right into the spot on the left.  The cutting blade is on the right.  

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

I add my fabric (right side down) to the mat and the machine marks and then cuts each piece.  This is what I have after peeling off the extra fabric: 

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

And here's how the pieces are arranged for each block. You can see that the blue dots aren't visible from the front of the fabric: 

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

I also had the Cricut cut and mark all of the background (white) diamonds I would need for this quilt.  

I needed a TON of them but I just sat and watched Netflix while the machine worked it's magic.  I had to stay close by to swap out the mats each time, but it went a lot quicker than if I was cutting and marking all of these by hand!

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

Why do I need all of those little blue dots, you ask?  They're super handy!  They show me where to start and stop stitching when I'm piecing the block.  

There are a lot of Y-seams in these blocks!  When you sew a Y-seam, you have to start and stop 1/4" away from the edge of the fabric.  You can see in the photo below how my stitching stops at the dot.  That will allow me to sew the white background diamond in next, along that edge. 

Don't worry...I'll be doing a tutorial on all of this soon.  And I'll also add in some regular rotary cutting instructions for those of you that don't own a Cricut Maker.


Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

In the mean time, I have a lot of piecing to do and I'd better get to work!  If you want to make sure you don't miss out on the tutorial, I recommend signing up for my newsletter here.

Happy sewing!
--Andy


P.S.  Want to know more about the Cricut Maker machineCheck out this post.  And you can find some fun Cricut Maker tutorials here on my Pinterest board!














Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Knots and Crosses Quilt + Turnabout Patchwork Book

Are you familiar with Teresa Mairal Barreu? Perhaps you've seen some of the fun videos she has on her YouTube channel?  That's how I became familiar with her work!

Teresa (a.k.a. Teresa Down Under) invited me to make a quilt from her new book, Turnabout Patchwork and to be a part of her blog tour.

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

This book has some really clever quilt designs in it!  Each quilt starts out in the usual way - with a stack of quilt blocks - but then you slice them up and then flip or rotate them and sew them back together.  

There are six different sections (one for each block technique such as the snowball block, shoofly block, etc) and each section also has variations - which makes a total of 23 quilt patterns.




Turnabout Patchwork book by Teresa Mairal Barreu - found on A Bright Corner



Using the fun techniques in this book you can get some really creative blocks - as well as some cool secondary patterns coming out in your finished quilt.  

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

The blocks for my quilt started with quick and easy strip piecing.  Each block was sliced diagonally twice, rotated, and then sewn back together.  

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

I decided to add one more layer of interest to my quilt by using a darker shade of green for the blocks in the center of the quilt.  You can see it a little better when looking at the full quilt below.  The green prints are all from the Blossom fabric line by Christopher Thompson (Riley Blake Designs) and the gray print is a Riley Blake Designs basic called Kisses.

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

You can find the Turnabout Patchwork book here on Amazon, or here from the Fat Quarter Shop.

You can see Teresa's blog here - And on this post you can find the full list of the quilters that are participating in the blog tour.

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

Quilt Details:
50" x 56"
Pattern:  Knots and Crosses from Turnabout Patchwork Book
Fabric:  Blossom by Christopher Thompson / Riley Blake Designs (greens)
             Kisses basics by Riley Blake Designs (gray print in quilt)
Quilting:  Two Simple computerized edge-to-edge design

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner


**This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) when purchases are made through links found in this post.



Thursday, January 31, 2019

Dutch Label Shop Review + Discount Code

I did something a couple of weeks ago that I've been wanting to do for years.  Years people.  I ordered some custom woven labels. 

With each quilt I make I have intentions of adding a pretty label to the back with the name of the quilt and the date completed.  But out of ALL of the quilts I've made over the past decade only a handful have ever had a label.

A few weeks ago Dutch Label Shop contacted me about trying out a batch of labels and I jumped at the chance. 

At first I was a little overwhelmed at all of my options... What style should I choose?  What size do I need?  Should I use my logo or just my name?  I thought about it for a day or so and then just dove right in.  Because I'm one of those that could stay in the decision making mode for weeeeeks if I let myself.   :)

Dutch Label Shop review by Andy of A Bright Corner

Here is what I decided on in the end - woven logo labels with a center fold.  I uploaded a PDF of my logo and then began customizing. 

Dutch Label Shop review by Andy of A Bright Corner

As a side note, there is also an option to do a basic woven label with just text on it and no fold.  These will cost less and come with a sew-on or iron-on option.  You can customize the label color, text color, font, and even add a little symbol - like a button, or spool of thread. 


For the customized woven logo labels, this is what the ordering screen looks like.  You can see all of the tag options shown, followed by the size selection, and below that the color selection area.

 Dutch Label Shop review by Andy of A Bright Corner


The more you order, the less you pay per label. It's tempting to order a lot, but I would recommend first deciding how you'll use your labels and how often.  I know I'll be using my labels mostly on quilts (not pillows or other small projects) so it should take me a couple of years to use these 50 labels.  And by then, I might want a different style or color! 

The price of the labels depends on the size, colors, etc. you chose.  My labels were 50 for $55 which works out to $1.10 each.  But yours will be different so I recommend just heading to their site and start designing!  The price breakdown for your design is near the bottom of the screen and as you make changes you can scroll down to see how it altered the price.

Quilt label from Dutch Label Shop

I ordered my labels to be 1.5" wide with a fold at the bottom, and 1/4" space at the top so I can sew the tag into a seam and not lose any of the logo (so total size is 1.5" x 3.5" unfolded). 

Quilt label from Dutch Label Shop

Here's a look at the inside of the label.  I chose to add the double white feature which makes it so the dark threads aren't as noticeable from the front of the tag.  The fabric of the tag itself is a good quality - not thin, and durable enough to last as long as the quilt itself.  I'm really pleased with the quality.

Dutch Label Shop review

When the labels arrived in the mail I lost no time in going back to add one to my most recently finished quilt.  It was easy to just unpick a bit of the binding, insert the tag and then re-stitch the binding again.


I found the ordering process to be simple and straightforward.  The only drawback I found was that I was limited to only 7 colors (which is actually a lot!) but my original logo uses 8 colors.  After thinking about it a bit I realized that an 8-color tag would perhaps draw more attention than I wanted it to and a simple 1-color version would be better.


If you'd like to try your hand at making some custom quilt labels the Dutch Label Shop is offering a 15% off discount to all of my readers.  Start designing your label here at the Dutch Label Shop and then enter the code andyknowlton15 when you check out! The code will expire on April 1, 2019.

And let me know if you have any questions - I'd be happy to answer them!
Happy sewing,
--Andy

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Quick Four Patch Tutorial + Vintage Keepsakes Fabric

Well hello there!  How is your January going?  Have you started any new, fun projects yet this year?  I've been catching up on some Splendid Sampler blocks, and I finished up this Framed Four Patch quilt this week. 


Framed Four Patch Quilt pattern by Andy of A Bright Corner

I've really enjoyed sewing with these pretty Vintage Keepsakes prints (designed by Beverly McCullough for Riley Blake Designs)-- they're just so sweet!  I've been kind of in a glum mood lately and this aqua/red/pink color combo has really brought some life back into my much-neglected sewing room.

You can see more of the Vintage Keepsakes prints & projects here on Bev's blog. Don't you just love that gray doily print by the way?  This fabric line should be in your local stores now, or you can find it online here at the Fat Quarter Shop.



Vintage Keepsakes fabric found on A Bright Corner

My Framed Four Patch quilt is filled with four patch blocks (obviously *wink wink*).  The four-patch block is one of my go-to favorites!  I have a speedy way to make four patches and by using this method I can crank out a whole stack of blocks in no time - and it makes this quilt SO fast to finish!  


Framed Four Patch Quilt pattern by Andy of A Bright Corner

I'll show you how I do it!  First you'll need two strips of fabric that are the same size (for example, 3.5" x width of fabric)



Quick Four Patch Block Tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner

Using a 1/4" seam, sew the two strips together along one long edge.  Press the seam open.  Lay the strip set on your cutting table and then cut into segments that are the same width as your original strips.  (So if you're starting with 3.5" wide strips, then cut the segments 3.5" wide.)



Quick Four Patch Block Tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner


Here's a tip - before I start sewing strip sets together, I like to pair up my strips to I know I'll be getting a good variety of color pairings!


Vintage Keepsakes fabric found on A Bright Corner

Next you'll take two segments (from two different strip sets) and sew them together, matching the center seam.  


Quick Four Patch Block Tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner

Press the seam to one side.


Quick Four Patch Block Tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner

And there you go... one super-quick four patch block!


Quick Four Patch Block Tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner

In just a short time you can whip up enough four patch blocks for a whole quilt 


Quick Four Patch Block Tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner

There's a full pattern available for this Framed Four Patch quilt and the PDF pattern will be going out in my next newsletter.  So if you'd like access to the quilt pattern be sure to sign up for my newsletter here - don't miss out!

Framed Four Patch Quilt pattern by Andy of A Bright Corner



The final Framed Four Patch quilt measures 54" x 69" and is backed in a cozy, gray polka dot flannel.  The quilting design is called Soho and it's one of my favorites.  It looks good on just about everything!


Framed Four Patch Quilt pattern by Andy of A Bright Corner

Be sure to add the image below to your quilting Pinterest board so you can find it later when you need it!  And if you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, you can do that here.


Quick Four Patch Block Tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner

Happy sewing everyone!
--Andy


**This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) when purchases are made through links found in this post.



Friday, December 14, 2018

Under the Tree Block + Vintage Christmas Sew Along

Hello everyone - I'm just popping in quickly today to share a little quilt block that I stitched up this week.


Under the Tree quilt block by Andy of A Bright Corner - from the Vintage Christmas quilt book

I made this sweet little block for the Vintage Christmas Sew Along with the Fat Quarter Shop.  The name of the block is "Under the Tree" and it's such a cute little present!


Vintage Christmas sew along with the Fat Quarter Shop  

I shared my first sew along block a few weeks ago (see the post here).  The pattern for both the first block and this one are both from the Vintage Christmas book by Lori Holt.


Vintage Christmas quilt book by Lori Holt

What is it about little blocks that make them so irresistible?  This block measures 6.5" square, but the book also has instructions to make a 12.5" block as well.


Under the Tree quilt block by Andy of A Bright Corner - from the Vintage Christmas quilt book

To read more about this fun book and to see photos from inside, check out this post.  And you can find the Vintage Christmas book here from The Fat Quarter Shop.  

Happy sewing everyone!
--Andy


Friday, December 7, 2018

Christmas Patchwork Pillow Tutorial

I can hardly believe it's December already.  The days are just flying by and I'm still trying to put up the rest of the Christmas decorations!  

This week I pulled out our Advent Calendar and all of our fun Christmas pillows.  I wanted to add a new one this year so I grabbed some favorite Christmas-colored scraps and got to work.

Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

I made a similar pillow to this one a couple of years ago but I wanted to update the colors for this new version.  And I thought I'd share how I made it!  Here's what you'll need for this 18" pillow:

Supplies
81 (2.5") squares
22" x 22" piece of muslin or solid white fabric
22" x 22" piece of thin batting
at least 6" coordinating print for binding
1/3 yard of coordinating print for backing
18" pillow insert


Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

You will need 81 (2.5") squares.  I dug through my scrap bin and cut them to size, but an easy way to get these is to cut charm squares into 4 equal pieces, or to cut some squares from left-over jelly roll strips.  

Decide on a layout for your squares. You'll need 9 rows with 9 squares in each for an 18" pillow. I did a diagonal pattern alternating between the three colors (red/pink, aqua, green) but a random, scrappy pattern would be great too.


Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project


Sew your squares together into rows, then join rows.  I like to press all odd numbered rows to the left and even numbered rows to the right.  Then when I join the rows, the intersecting seams will nest beautifully.  

Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

Layer the 22" piece of muslin, the 22" piece of thin batting, and the pillow top.  I like to spray baste for this step using some 505 Spray but you could also pin baste.  

Then quilt your pillow however you'd like.  I used my walking foot and did some straight line quilting using the seams as my guides.


Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

This is what the quilting looks like from the back...



Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

...and from the front.  Simple, clean lines helps the fabric really be the star of the show!  Trim the extra batting and muslin from the edges of the pillow so that it measures 18.5" x 18.5".

Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project


From the backing fabric cut two rectangles that are 12" x 18.5".  On one long edge of both backing pieces, fold under 1/2" and press, then fold under again and press. Stitch along the first fold line to hold it in place and create a nice, finished edge.  




Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

Place the quilted and trimmed pillow front right side down on the table.  Then layer the two pillow backing pieces right side up with the finished edges overlapping in the middle of the pillow, and the raw edges lining up with the raw edges of the pillow front.  

Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project



Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

Pin around the outer edges of the entire pillow.

Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

Then using a basting stitch, baste around the entire pillow about 1/8" in from the edge.  This will hold all the layers together as you add the binding, and your basting stitches will be hidden under the binding.

Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

From the binding fabric cut two 2.5" x 42" strips.  Sew them together end to end to make a binding and then bind the pillow as you would a quilt.  Add the pillow insert and it's ready to use!

Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

Want to make a pillow that's a different size?  I have a guest post over at Diary of a Quilter today sharing my easy trick for making an envelope backing for any size pillow.  It's an easy-to-remember formula and I use it every time I'm making a pillow.  


Christmas Patchwork Pillow tutorial by Andy of A Bright Corner - a fun and quick scrap fabric project

#christmaspatchworkpillow #abrightcorner

Thanks for stopping by, and happy sewing everyone!
--Andy





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