Friday, September 9, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Favorite Fall Project Ideas

Fall craft and sewing projects

Now that Labor Day is behind us, it's time to get to work on those fall projects!  I had my first pumpkin cupcake the other day, and today I used my favorite apple scented lotion.  I know it's not officially fall yet, but for us crafters we have to work a few weeks ahead of the calendar right?  Especially if we want to get our projects done in time to use them!  

So today I'm sharing five of my current favorite fall-ish projects!

Autumn Stars free quilt tutorial

The free tutorial is from Missouri Star Quilt Co and obviously you don't HAVE to make it in autumn colors, but isn't it pretty?  I'd love to make a fall quilt this year!  

Fabric Pumpkin tutorial

I know there are a TON of these on Pinterest, but these happen to really be my favorite.  I think they're just so cute and chubby.  You can find the tutorial here on the Creation Corner blog.

Fall pumpkin table runner

This is a great way to use up those fall-colored scraps, and it's a fast little project.  You could even just put one pumkin on a square background and use it for a mug rug.  You know, to put underneath that pumpkin spice latte you've been craving.  Link to tutorial can be found here!

Scrappy Fall Leaves Pillow tutorial

Another great use for your favorite fall-colored scraps.  This is so cute with the raw edge applique!  The tutorial is from Allison Harris and can be found on her blog, Cluck Cluck Sew.

Free Fall Quilt Pattern

This is a free printable pattern (found here) for a quilt that measures 43" x 56" - great throw size.  Back it in some flannel or minky and you've got a quilt you can use all the way through November as you sit on the couch at night watching Netflix.  Find / print the free pattern here.  

Now just because I couldn't narrow this week's favorites list down to 5, you get a bonus.  I love this pumpkin quilt block and think it would make a cute mug rug, table topper or quilt.  The block finishes at 8.5" so make four and you've got yourself a 16" pillow!  

You can find the free tutorial here on the Craftsy blog (also has a printable version - LOVE that!)

Scrappy strips pumpkin quilt block tutorial

Now before I go I need to announce the giveaway of the Handmade fat eighth bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop!

The winner is Di!  Congrats Diane - I've sent you an email.  And thank you to the rest of you who entered!  I loved reading all of your responses and it was very informative.  It's helpful to me to know what your favorite precuts are to buy and use - so when I'm writing patterns I can try to make them work with those precuts.  So thank you for your input!  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Jolly Bar Quilt Fun

[pssst...are you looking for the giveaway?  Click here ]

Jolly Bar quilt with Varsity Fabric from Moda

A couple of weeks ago I got some fun mail from The Fat Quarter Shop.  They have a new book out called The Jolly Bar Book.  (And look - it says "vol. 1" on it so that must mean they plan on future volumes!)

The Jolly Bar Book

The book has 20 patterns in it and most of them call for only one Jolly Bar.  See the shapes in the photo below?  Each one goes with one of the patterns in the book.  You can see that there's a fun variety of quilts.

Jolly Bar book volume 1

I decided that I needed to make one of the quilts out of a Varsity Jolly Bar (designed by Sweetwater for Moda).  Honestly, I don't think there's a Sweetwater line that I haven't absolutely loved.

Varsity fabric designed by Sweetwater for Moda

And it didn't take me long to decide which pattern from the book to use - the pieced border on the Tree Lined Street quilt is what got me.  

Jolly Bar book volume 1

The quilt was a quick one to make!  There is very little cutting, so you're sewing right away.  I had the quilt top done in one evening.

Jolly Bar quilt with Varsity fabrics from Moda

The finished quilt measures 42" x 58" and I quilted it in one of my favorite designs, geometric lines (you can read more about that quilting design in this blog post.)  

Jolly Bar quilt with Varsity fabrics

You can find copies of the Jolly Bar book here at The Fat Quarter Shop, as well as their current selection of Jolly Bars.  

There's a group of us quilting bloggers who have all made quilts from the Jolly Bar book today  - go and check out which quilt the others made!  

Melissa from Happy Quilting
Tina from Emily Ann's Kloset
Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Connie from Free Motion by the River
Afton from Quilting Mod
Pam from Pam Kitty Morning
Heidi from Buttons and Butterflies
Renee from Sewn with Grace
Remona from The Stitching Scientist
Andy from A Bright Corner
Angie from Gnome Angel

Friday, September 2, 2016

A New Project + a Handmade Giveaway!

I'm cutting into a new layer cake this afternoon.  I think for me, this stage of the project is the most exciting.  I love the planning and the math and the anticipation of what the finished quilt will look like.

The lovely fabric I'm using for this quilt is the new line from Bonnie and Camille, called Handmade.

There are some really great prints in this line - I love the hexagon prints, and the oh-so-pretty florals.  And I can't leave out the bias stripes.  Boy do I love a good striped fabric!

You can see more of the whole line here on Moda's site, and here at the Fat Quarter Shop.  

Would you like to win some Handmade?  The Fat Quarter Shop has generously offered to give one of you a full fat eighth bundle of Handmade!  

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite pre-cut is!  And if you're a no-comment blogger, be sure to leave an email address so I can reach you.  

Giveaway will be open until Thursday, September 8th at midnight and I'll announce the winner here on Friday.  Good luck, and have a great Labor Day weekend!  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Fall-ish Finish

Fall is just around the corner.  I can feel it in the air!  I know a lot of people love fall, but I'm more of a Spring kind of girl.  Fall is just ok.  I kind of tolerate fall.  All the pumpkin flavored stuff is great, and I LOVE wearing sweaters, but it just makes me sad when the trees lose their leaves!

Hello Washi quilt pattern

I've been working on a fall-ish quilt lately - this is made from my Hello Washi quilt pattern and a layer cake.  I think out of all of my patterns, I've made Hello Washi the most.  By far!  It's super precut-friendly, using either charm packs, jelly rolls or layer cakes.  And I seem to always have some of those on hand.

Hello Washi quilt pattern

This is the twin size version, and the fabrics are from an older Moda line called Late Bloomers.  I actually made a throw size version of this quilt with the same fabrics last year (it lives at my parent's house now.)  You can see more of that quilt here.  Isn't it interesting to see how changing the border print can alter the look of the quilt?

Hello Washi quilt pattern

You can find the Hello Washi pattern herehere and here - all available for immediate download. 

So, are you a lover of fall?  What is it that makes people love it so much?  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Season of Love quilt

Well, school has started around here and we're slowly getting used to a new routine.  I'll admit it's been a rough transition this time from summer schedule to school schedule - both boys have been tardy already several times.  Sheesh!  

With the boys back in school, I do have more time for sewing and this quilt is one of my recent finishes.

Quilt made with Season of Love fabric from Blend Fabrics

The fabrics in this quilt are from the Season of Love line designed by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics.  The prints are Indian-inspired, full of elephants, peacocks, and lovely details.

Season of Love fat quarters

You can see more of the prints here on the Blend website.  

The quilt finishes at 49" x 62" and it was a fun one.  A pattern for this will be coming soon.  The whole pattern writing process is sure sped up when school is in session ;)

Season of Love fabric designed by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics

On the back I used a cozy mint colored minky.  I have to tell you that the day after I finished this, I found it on my teenage boy's bed.   He did NOT care that it was very, very pink - the only thing that mattered was that it had a minky backing.  I can bribe my boys with oreos and minky backed quilts!  

Quilt with a minky backing

For the quilting I used a new-to-me pantograph called Swift.  Pretty one, isn't it?  You can find it here at Urban Elementz (one of my favorite places to buy pantos!)  

American Patchwork & Quilting podcast hosted by Pat Sloan

Oh - and if you missed my episode of the American Patchwork & Quilting podcast last week you can listen to it here at this link.  Each Monday Pat has on a new group of guests!  You can find the list of all past guests here.  It's fun to load up a podcast or two and listen in while I sew.  I've learned so much and gotten to know some talented quilters that way.

Have a great Monday, and thanks for stopping by!

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!

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