Monday, August 22, 2016

Chatting with Pat Sloan

Andy Knowlton as a guest on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast

Guess what?  Later today I'll be chatting with Pat Sloan on her American Patchwork & Quilting podcast - wahoo!  You can listen to it live (4pm Eastern, 1pm Pacific) here at this link, or click here to listen later (and find all of the past podcasts as well.)   This will be a new experience for me - fingers crossed I don't embarrass myself ;)  

Seasons of Love fabrics from Blend Fabrics

In the mean time, one of the items on today's to-do list (which by the way is much too long for a Monday) is to edit photos of a quilt I recently finished.  For some reason it was tricky to get some good photos of this one.  The day I shot these was sunny, but there was smoke in the air from some wild fires so everything had this weird orangey glow about it.  

I'll also be finishing the binding on a quilt, and mourning the fact that the Olympics are over.  Weren't they so fun?  Can't wait for the next Olympics!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Favorite Free Motion Quilting Designs

Free Motion Quilting designs

Hi everyone!  I'm back with another Five Friday Favorites post.  This time I'm sharing my favorite free motion quilting (FMQ) designs.  These are the ones that are my go-to designs.  My favorites and the ones I use most often.  Any of these could be done on either a long arm OR a domestic machine.  I promise!  I know, because I've done them.  

First, a little about me.  I started doing FMQ on a small Brother machine, bought from my local Costco.  Man that little machine was a workhorse.  It did everything I asked it to - I even quilted a queen sized quilt on that thing!  Then I graduated to my Juki TL-2010Q - which has a much larger throat space and faster speeds.  Then a few years after that I bought a used HandiQuilter long arm.  

I've tried all of these designs on several different machines, so I know that they work.  If you can drop the feed dogs on your machine, then you can try FMQ too!  Now, by no means do I profess to be an expert.  You'll see in my photos that my quilting is far from perfect.  I've always enjoyed quilting my own quilts, and these are just my most-used and most-loved designs!  

#1:  Mod Dotz (or Curly Cues)

free motion quilting design

This design is available as a pantograph from Urban Elementz but it's a fun one to do freehand!  I love how this one flows as I quilt it.  As I go, I try to keep each loop about the same size.  As you can see, sometimes I'm better at it and sometimes I'm not :)  But it's okay!  That's what I love about the non-computerized quilting - it has personality!  You can see more of the quilting on this quilt here on this blog post.

#2:  Geometric Lines

free motion quilting design  

This is a good one to have in your quilting repertoire.  You can make it as dense or as open as you want.  Work on "drawing" squares and rectangles - keeping your lines straight as you can, and angles at 90 degrees.  I used this design most recently on my Mazed Quilt - it goes really well with the geometric aspect of the quilt!  There's an awesome video here, where Angela Walters shows you how to do this design, as well as some other geometric ones.  

#3:  Basic Meandering

  free motion quilting design

I hear some quilters refer to this as stippling, but to me this is more of a meandering design.  If this were really dense then I would call it stippling.  Like - REALLY dense.  But I'm not the quilt police.  So you can call it whatever you want.  This still is one of my go-to quilting designs mostly for it's speed.  And I don't have to think much about it as I go.  When I started doing this one, I would try to make the shape of a puzzle piece - some convex curves and some concave.  Keep that puzzle piece shape in your mind as you practice.  You can see more of the quilt and the meandering quilting here on this blog post.

#4:  Medium Loops

free motion quilting design

Recently this has been my favorite.  I think I've used this one 6 or 7 times already this year.  It's feminine but not frilly or complicated.  This design is just some medium (nickel-sized) loops mixed in with some meandering.  Add in as many or as few loops as you want, just try to keep the loops all the same size.  I like to imagine I'm tracing around the edge of a nickel or a quarter as I go.  You can see more medium loop quilting here on this Little Miss Sunshine Quilt and here on my Little Ruby Quilt.  

#5:  Swirls and Shells

free motion quilting design

This one is the most complicated design that I do free-hand.  I call it Swirls and Shells, although it probably has a whole bunch of other names.   This one takes me the longest to do, but I love it the most.  If you're new to this one, I would recommend practicing just doing swirls, swirls and more swirls.   Then try adding in a shell or two here and there.  

free motion quilting design

You can see some great videos that are similar designs here, here and here.  

You can see more quilts that use this design here and here.  

So there you go - my five favorite FMQ designs!  If you're trying a design for the first time, my advice would be to practice, practice, practice!  Get some paper and a pencil and try drawing it first.  Get the feel of how you will move through the space.  Then make some little sample quilt sandwiches (like 20" square or so)  and try the designs out on the machine.  For each design I'll go through 3 or 4 quilt sandwiches before I feel confident enough to move to the final quilt.  

Oh and before I sign off, I'd like to announce the winner of the Christmas Kitsch fat quarter bundle.  Congratulations to  Lorri!  And thank you to all who entered!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Christmas Kitsch Quilt + Giveaway

Hooray for Fridays!  We've had a busy week here at my house, with our summer winding down quickly and the first day of school not far away.  We're trying to squeeze in as much fun as we can these last few days of vacation.

Today I'm sharing a quilt made from the new Christmas Kitsch fabric line (designed by Anna Griffin for Blend fabrics).

There's been a blog hop going on all month showing all sorts of inspiration - and I get the honor of being the final stop on the blog hop!

The Christmas Kitsch prints are so fun!  I just love that Santa print on red, and the retro Christmas trees too.  They bring back memories of spending Christmas afternoon at my Grandma's house.

I wanted all of those fun prints to be the real star of my quilt so I kept the design straightforward - can't go wrong with simple squares set on point, right?  

Hey - you want to win a fat quarter bundle of Christmas Kitsch?  Blend Fabrics is generously giving one of you a FQ bundle of the full line of Christmas Kitsch!  To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below.  Giveaway closes on Thursday August 11 and I'll announce the winner here on Friday August 12.  (Open to US addresses only)

Be sure to stop by the other blogs that have been on the blog tour - there's been some great projects, and a lot of variety!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Layer Cake Checkmate

Hey everyone - today I have a fun new layer cake quilt pattern to share with you!  It's called Layer Cake Checkmate and the pattern is from the Fat Quarter Shop.  

Layer Cake Checkmate quilt pattern

You can find (download / print) the free pattern here from the Jolly Jabber blog.  And for those of you who learn by watching, there's a helpful video too!

For my fabrics I chose to mix and match two different Moda Layer Cakes - Basic Mixologie (by Studio M) and Behind the Scenes (Jen Kingwell.)  I think these two lines were just MADE for each other, don't you??

This is a great pattern for a beginner quilter.  It requires some easy rotary cutting, and it's great for practicing those 1/4" seams as well as matching up seams when sewing rows together. 

Layer Cake Checkmate quilt

The Checkmate pattern goes together super fast, and it makes a nice sized quilt - 66" x 84" 

Layer Cake Checkmate quilt

My friend Melissa (Sew Shabby Quilting) did an amazing job on the quilting.  The design is called Spring Thing, and you can see all of Melissa's available designs here on her website.  

Layer Cake Checkmate quilt pattern

You can see some other Layer Cake Checkmate quilts from the bloggers listed below.  And be sure to stop by the Jolly Jabber blog to grab the free pattern!  

Peta from She Quilts a Lot
Melanie from Mostly Crafty
Melissa from Happy Quilting
Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Tina from Emily Ann's Kloset
Sherri M. from A Quilting Life
Andy from A Bright Corner
Anorina from Samelia's Mum
Sherri F. from This & That Patterns
Brooke from Silly Mama Quilts

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pixie Noel Blog Tour + Cabin Cushion Pattern

Welcome to my stop on the Pixie Noel blog tour!  I'm a big fan of Tasha Noel's fabric (Riley Blake Designs) and her new line, Pixie Noel is sure a fun one.  The main print is PERFECT for fussy cutting so I used four of the little vignettes to make this log cabin quilted pillow.  (Find a link to the pattern below).  

How cute are these little caroling pixies?  And the kissing bunnies and birds with scarves?  

For the quilting, I did some simple, straight lines.  And the navy and aqua bias stripe from the line is perfect as the binding.  I love adding binding to pillows - it adds such a nice finished look!

The pillow finishes at 18".  Want to make your own?  You can find the PDF pattern here in my shop.  I'm calling it the Cabin Cushion pattern and for a short time it's available for just $5.

Pixie Noel fabrics are available in stores now and you can see the other great Pixie Noel projects from the blog tour by clicking on the links found here.  You can also see them on Instagram (#pixienoelfabrics) or by following @TashaNoel1.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Little Ruby Quilt Along week 4

Hi everyone!  It's time for the week 4 installment of the Little Ruby Quilt Along with the Fat Quarter Shop.  And guess what?  This is the best week because we get to see everyone's finished quilts!

Little Ruby Quilt Along

Here's my finished quilt - with the Moda Crossweave in grey as the background.  I chose to make mine a baby size, which uses just one jelly roll and 3 yards of background fabric.  (If you have questions - keep reading!  I give all the details below.)

Little Ruby Quilt Along

I originally was going to make the throw size, exactly as in the pattern, but then I decided to give the quilt away to a young friend instead of keeping it for myself.  The baby size (48" x 51") was a better fit for this little girl.  

Little Ruby Quilt Along

If you want to make a baby size too, here's the info:

You'll need

From the 3 yards of background fabric:
  • cut 28 strips @ 2.5" x WOF  (use these with the jelly roll strips to make the "Star Block Strip Sets" as in the pattern)
  • cut 6 strips @ 4.5" x WOF and cut these into 28 half hexagons as shown in pattern.
  • cut 2 strips @ 4.5" x WOF and cut these into 24 (4.5") triangles as shown in pattern.

Follow the pattern instructions, and use the diagram below for the layout.  The image below shows the full quilt from the pattern, and the black lines show the edges of the baby size.  

Little Ruby Quilt Along

The baby size quilt will measure 48" x 51"

Little Ruby Quilt Along

For the binding I chose the sweet little bows from the Little Ruby fabric line, and I quilted it with some loops.  I'm thinking the loop design must be my favorite - my last three quilts have the same quilting!  It's quick to do, and hard to mess up - I've done it so many times I don't have to think much as I quilt.  It's quite relaxing.  

Little Ruby Quilt Along

A big thanks goes out to the Fat Quarter Shop for hosting the quilt along!  Have you been quilting along with us?  Here's a list of other bloggers who have been participating in the quilt along.  I can't wait to see their finished quilts too!

Melissa from Happy Quilting
Angie from Gnome Angel
Erin Cox from Why Not Sew
Andy from A Bright Corner
Pat from Pat Sloan
Peta from She Quilts a Lot
Heather from Quilt Story
Megan from Quilt Story
Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Sherri from A Quilting Life
Rebecca from Bryan House Quilts
Sherri from This & That Patterns
Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Stephanie from Modern Sewciety
Brooke from Silly Mama Quilts
Carrie from Moda's United Notions

Little Ruby Quilt Along

Monday, June 27, 2016

Quilt It Modern

Hi all and welcome to my stop on the Quilt It Modern blog tour with Riley Blake Designs.  The tour is just getting started, and we have almost two full weeks of fun projects ahead!

I had the chance to choose any of the gorgeous Riley Blake solids - called Confetti Cottons - that I wanted to work with and it took me awhile to choose a color palette.  It really was tough to narrow it down!  I finally decided on these lovelies:

Confetti Cottons from Riley Blake Designs

(L to R: Peacock, Grass, Daffodil, Aqua, Clover, Sunshine, Melon)

These calm, refreshing colors just remind me of the beach - sand, surf and sun!  I paired them with my favorite Swiss Dots in gray and created this Raindrop baby quilt (47" x 47").

Raindrop baby quilt

I recently bought this set of Drunkard's Path rulers from Bloc Loc and I was itching to use them.  The set comes with three rulers - two to cut out the pieces, and one to square up the block.  My set is the 6" set - you can see all sizes available here.

Bloc Loc Drunkard's Path rulers

I love that I can use my regular size rotary cutter to cut all of the pieces -- nice and quick!

Bloc Loc Drunkard's Path rulers

I was able to make two raindrop blocks from 1/4 yard of each color.  

Bloc Loc Drunkard's Path rulers

To sew the curved pieces I used this technique:

In the video above I used a different template to cut my pieces, but the stitching technique is the same!  

Once that curved seam was sewn, I used this ruler to trim it.  Pretty slick.  It sure made piecing my quilt so much nicer!

Bloc Loc Drunkard's Path rulers

For each raindrop block I made three curved pieces, and one "point" piece.  When the block is sewn together it measures 12.5" square.  

With a total of 16 raindrop blocks, you'll have enough for a baby quilt!

Raindrop baby quilt

I quilted this one with some organic straight line quilting that's about 1/2" apart.  I love the texture of the finished quilt!

Raindrop baby quilt

You can see all of the Riley Blake Confetti Cottons here, and follow along with the rest of the Quilt It Modern blog tour.  You can also follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #modernquilttour.  It will be fun to see what pretty colors the other bloggers have chosen to work with!  And I'll be back tomorrow with an update on how my Little Ruby Sew Along project is coming.  

Monday June 27:  A Bright Corner (here!) / Salty Oat
Tuesday June 28:  Trillium Design  / Allison Sews
Wednesday June 29: A Quilter's Table / Bonjour Quilts
Friday July 1: Samelia's Mum / Sassafras Lane

Tuesday July 5:  Quilt Matters / During Quiet Time
Wednesday July 6:  Sometimes Crafter / Modern Handcraft

Confetti Cottons from Riley Blake Designs

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