Monday, January 16, 2017

Patchwork Quilt Along

Fat Quarter Shop Patchwork Quilt Along 2017

Hey there! Guess what?  It's the first week of the Fat Quarter Shop Patchwork Quilt Along!  

Each year the Fat Quarter Shop hosts a charity fundraiser quilt along and this year's will benefit the Make-A Wish foundation (The Fat Quarter Shop and Moda Fabrics will match up to $20,000 of the donations raised.)

Fat Quarter Shop Patchwork Quilt Along 2017

On the 15th of each month, a free pattern for the next set of blocks will be available on the Jolly Jabber - the blog for the Fat Quarter Shop.  There are kits available here,  but you can also just sew along using your favorite fabrics from your stash.  

The blocks won't take long to make - each block only measures 5.5" square.  I would recommend making all 6 at once - cut everything that you need, and then you can just sit and chain piece!  

Patchwork Quilt Along with the Fat Quarter Shop

Each month you'll make 6 of that month's block in whatever fabrics you choose.  I decided (after much deliberation!) to do a scrappy quilt in reds, aquas, greens and navy. I love this month's block - called "Souvenir of Friendship."  You can download the free pattern here, and watch the video tutorial for this block here.

Cute tiny blocks using Bonnie and Camille fabrics

 You can find more information here on the introductory post on the Jolly Jabber.

Patchwork Quilt Along 2017 with the Fat Quarter Shop

And here's the list of the bloggers that will be sewing along throughout the year:

Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl (@jedicraftgirl)
Amy of Diary of a Quilter (@diaryofaquilter)
Andy of A Bright Corner (@abrightcorner)
*Bonnie of Cotton Way (@bonniecottonway)
*Camille of Thimble Blossoms (@thimbleblossoms)
Debbie of Happy Little Cottage (@happylittlecottage1)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies (@buttonsandbutterflies)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Melissa of Oh How Sweet (@ohhowsweet)
Pat Sloan of (@quilterpatsloan)
Renee of Sewn with Grace (@sewnwithgrace)
Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Sherri of A Quilting Life (@aquiltinglife)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Taunja of Carried Away Quilting (@taunjalynn)
Tina of Emily Ann's Kloset (@emilyannskloset)
Carrie Nelson/Miss Rosie of Moda Cutting Table

And there's also a Patchwork Quilt Along Facebook group here - you can share your blocks, ask questions and get to know some of the other quilters that are sewing along!

Monday, January 9, 2017

French Market Tote Bag Tutorial

We're finally getting back into the swing of things around here now that we're all healthy, the big snow storm is over and the kids are back in school.  We sure had a bumpy start to 2017!  

Back in November I shared a couple of tote bags with you and today I'm adding a step by step tutorial for the bags.  When I make tote bags I love to choose a complementary liner fabric - but with most tote bag patterns you don't get to appreciate the liner.  I designed this bag so that a strip of the liner peeks out at the top.  So go ahead and choose two of your favorite prints for this bag because you'll get to appreciate both!

 French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

1/3 yard main bag print
3/4 yard bag liner and handles
18" x 45" piece of interfacing (for this bag I like Pellon 809)

Main bag print:  Cut 2 @ 11" x 18"
Bag liner:  Cut 2 @ 15" x 18"
Bag handles:  Cut 2 @ 5" x 28"
Interfacing:  Cut 2 @ 10.5" x 17.5" and 2 @ 2" x 17.5" and 2 @ 1" x 27.5"

Step 1:  Apply the 10.5" x 17.5" piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the main bag print.  Interface the top 2" of the wrong side of the bag liner (see diagram).  Place the 2" x 17.5" piece of interfacing 1/4" down from the top and 1/4" away from each side of the liner as shown.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Step 2:  Make handles.  Fold each of the 5" x 28" handles in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together and press well.  Open and place one of the bag interfacing pieces (1" x 27.5") right along the folded line you just created.  Press interfacing in place.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Next, fold long raw edges of handle in to the center, and press.  Fold strap along the first fold line and press.  Raw edges of the strap should be encased inside the strap now.  Top  stitch along both long edges, and once down the center of the strap.  Set straps aside for a later step. 

Step 3:  Place main bag sections right sides together.  Using a 1/4" seam, stitch along sides and bottom of bag.   Next, place bag liner sections right sides together.  Using a 1/4" seam stitch along sides and bottom, leaving about 5" open on the bottom to use for turning the bag in a later step.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Step 4:  On the top edge of the main bag piece, measure in 5" from each side and mark with a pin.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Open main bag section and pin handles in place, where you marked with a pin (5" from sides). 

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Handles should be pinned to the right side of the fabric, with handles hanging down into the bag.  Baste handles in place and remove pins.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Step 5:  To box corners, with right sides together fold corners together so that the side and bottom seams line up.  Measure down 1.5" from the point and draw a line.  Line should be 3" long from edge to edge.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Sew along drawn line, and trim to about a 1/4" seam allowance.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Step 6:  Turn main bag section right sides out.  Place main bag section inside bag liner with right sides together.  Align raw edges and side seams and pin.  Be sure that bag handles are hanging down and will not be caught in the seam.   

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Using a 1/4" seam, sew all the way around the top edge of bag.  Using the 5" opening in the bag liner, turn bag right sides out.  Top stitch the 5" opening in the liner closed.  Push bag liner down inside of bag, leaving a 2' section of liner (where the interfacing is) showing on the outside of bag.  Press well.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Step 7:  Top stitch handles down to the liner section as shown in the photo below.  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Top stitch along top edge of liner (now the top edge of bag) and along the line where the liner meets the main bag section (see photo below)

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Your French Market Tote Bag is done!  

French Market Tote Bag tutorial from A Bright Corner

Looking for other bag tutorials?  Check these out:

Easy Pencil Case Tutorial 

Lined Drawstring Bag

Favorite Pouch Tutorials

Scrappy Quilted Tote Bag

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Zoo Dwellers Quilt Tutorial Reboot

Once upon a time (a.k.a. waaay back in 2011) I designed a quilt for the Riley Blake blog called Zoo Dwellers.  I was cleaning up some older links on my blog last month and decided that the Zoo Dwellers pattern needed a reboot!  I've come a long way since I first started writing patterns and this new version of the pattern is much simpler, the pattern layout is cleaner and easier to read and follow.

Zoo Dwellers free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

For this new version of Zoo Dwellers I used fabrics from the new Road Trip line designed by Kelly Panacci for Riley Blake.

Road Trip fabrics Kelly Panacci Riley Blake Designs

I'm such a fan of bright colors - especially reds and greens.  So this collection of prints is right up my alley.  And they're a great fit for the Zoo Dwellers quilt because the pattern really lets the prints be the star of the show.

Zoo Dwellers free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

You can see more of the Road Trip fabrics here.  And you can also find them now in stores, and online here at the Fat Quarter Shop or Hawthorne Threads

The Zoo Dwellers quilt is a quick one to put together.  There are no blocks to make, and no fussy seams to line up.  All you need is 7 fat quarters and just over a yard of background fabric.  

Zoo Dwellers free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

Looking for more quilt patterns and tutorials?  You might also like these:

Friday, November 25, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Sources for Quilt Block Patterns

A few weeks ago I shared my favorite free quilt block tutorials.  And this week I'm sharing another great resource - my favorite places to find new block patterns and tutorials!

Sources for quilt block patterns and tutorials

If you're doing a swap, belong to a bee, or need to contribute a block to a charity quilt, having a go-to list of sources is really helpful!  These are my top 5 resources when I'm searching for new blocks, or old favorite blocks!

#1:  Quilter's Cache

Quilter's Cache - a great resource for quilt block patterns

This site has been around for a long time and is a fantastic resource for finding quilt block ideas.  Years ago when I was involved in several online quilting bees, most of us would use Quilter's Cache as our resource for coming up with new ideas for the group.

The blocks are organized both alphabetically and also by size.  so the tricky thing is that if you're not sure what the name of a block is, then you could spend some time searching for just what you want.  But that's not always a bad thing, right?  As I'm searching for a certain block I inevitably find a few others to add to my 'must make' list!

#2:  Fave Quilts
Fave Quilts - a great resource for quilt block patterns

I like to peruse Fave Quilts both when I'm looking for quilt block tutorials AND when I'm looking for full quilt tutorials.  This is a great site to bookmark.  I love that there are actual photos of most blocks (not just diagrams) and the link on each block takes you to the blog where the tutorial can be found.  I've discovered some fantastic new-to-me blogs this way too!

#3:  McCall's Quilting

McCall's Quilting - a great resource for quilt block patterns

I recently discovered this site and quickly added a few of these blocks to my wish list.  For all of the blocks there's a way to download and print the instructions, or you can just view it on the site.  They have great diagrams to step you through making each block.  And some of the quilt blocks have links to the full quilt pattern!

#4:  Generations Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

Generations free quilt block patterns library

Yet another great resource!  All of the blocks in this collection are organized alphabetically and from I can tell from the ones I've done, they include the math for other block size variations.  So helpful!  

#5:  Pinterest

Pinterest - a great resource for finding new quilt block tutorials

I know.  I should have had Pinterest listed as #1, right?  It really is where I turn first when I'm searching for a block pattern or tutorial.  I have one Pinterest board dedicated just to quilt blocks that I like, and want to make some day.  The one down side to Pinterest is that occasionally I find a great block, click on the link and there's no link to a pattern or tutorial-- or even a name for the block.  It's just a photo.  That can be frustrating and then I have to spend more time hunting down the information.  It's still a good source of inspiration (and eye candy!)  

Do you have other sources for quilt block patterns?  I'd love to hear them!  Where do you go when you're needing a new quilt block idea?   

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stairway Baby Quilt - a free quilt pattern

Stairway baby quilt - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

A few months ago I shared the story of this quilt with you.  And since then I've gotten a lot of requests for details on how I made it.  So instead of a tutorial, I thought I'd write it up as a free downloadable & printable pattern.  

The quilt is a quick one to make - it's just one simple block, which is then rotated to make the stairsteps look.  

Stairway baby quilt - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

The finished quilt measures 48"x 48", and you can make it with either yardage, jelly roll strips, or scraps.  All info is right on the pattern. I love that if you're using jelly roll strips, it only needs 16 strips.  Often times I'll make another pattern (like this one) and have some JR strips leftover.  Usually I cut them up into 2.5" squares and save them for another purpose, but they'd be perfect for a quilt like this one!

Want more?  You might also like these!  Click on the photo to go to the free pattern.

Charming Lucy free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner
Charming Lucy free quilt pattern

Churn Dash free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner
Churn Dash free quilt pattern

Woodland free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner
Woodland free quilt pattern

Monday, November 21, 2016

French Market Tote Bags

Last week I pulled out one of my many tote bags to use on an errand.  I had grabbed one of the larger bags, and my youngest (who is 8) stopped and exclaimed "I LOVE that bag!"  His enthusiasm was a little startling - especially for something as mundane as a tote bag.  But then he began to tell me about the memories he had from when he was little, of the two of us going to the library and using that bag to carry our books home.  How sweet is that?  I had no idea.  A tote bag is just a tote bag.  But maybe it's not. 

French Market Tote Bag

I do love to make tote bags.  I just think they're fun to make.  They are a pretty quick project, and sure are handy to have around!  I use mine for all sorts of things - from carrying hand stitching projects, to sneaking treats into a movie theater.  

I also love to give tote bags as a gift.  In fact, these bags in the photos are headed to my Francophile MIL who recently traveled to Paris with her husband to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  I'm hoping that these will remind them of their anniversary trip, but I'm absolutely positive that they'll also be used to sneak extra treats into the movie theater.  

French Market Tote bag - made with Colette fabric

When I make tote bags, I really love when the lining fabric is just as pretty as the outer bag fabric.  So I designed this tote bag so that the liner fabric peeks out along the top edge of the bag, and matches with the handles.  It's not as tricky as it may look -- I'll be sharing my tutorial for these bags in a few days.    

All of the prints I used for the bags are from a line called Colette, designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics.

It has these two prints that are full of charming drawings and phrases in French-- 

Colette fabrics designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics

And there's also this print with adorable hand drawn scenes of Paris.  I'll be using these in a fussy-cut project for sure!

Colette fabrics designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics

There are also a couple of sweet macaroon prints to round out the line:

Colette fabrics designed by Brenda Walton for Blend Fabrics

But these two prints are my favorite!  And see that little girl on the bicycle with the balloons - down in the bottom right corner of the bag?  She's adorable.  And she's the one that gave me the idea to make these bags!  

French Market Tote Bag from A Bright Corner blog

French Market Tote Bag from A Bright Corner blog

See more of the Colette prints here.  They'll be arriving in stores later this month  -  you can purchase them here from Hawthorne Threads.

And now to announce the giveaway winner from last week's blog post.  Congrats to comment #25:  OhioLori!  Your copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol 14 will soon be on it's way to you.  
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