Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mini Quilt Madness

Have you caught mini quilt madness?  I hear that making mini quilts is addictive.  Can you believe I’ve never really made a mini?  I’ve made my share of small quilts, but it's not quite the same. 
A week or so ago I started a mini from this pattern -

Titch Mini Quilt Pattern
Titch mini quilt pattern

It was a tough choice, but I chose to do Titch #2 which is the top right option on the pattern cover.

First things first – gather all of the 2.5” squares that I wanted to use.  Having them all pre-cut and in a scrap bin sure helped.  (You can read more about how I store these scraps in this blog post.)

Titch Mini Quilt 4

It really is a different experience to make such tiny little blocks.  In the pattern she recommends making a tester four patch block.  That’s great advice since everyone’s 1/4” seam is just a bit different, and every thread width makes a difference when you’re working with such small blocks. 

Titch Mini Quilt 2

Each of these little four patch blocks measures only 2”!  The pattern has plenty of tips and tricks to help reduce bulk at seam intersections, and how to trim everything to make it accurate. 

Titch Mini Quilt 5

Have you made a mini quilt?  This month the Fat Quarter Shop is having a March Minis ChallengeMarch Minis Logo-01
All through the month of March, share your mini quilt creations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use the tag:  #fqsmarchminis.  For every mini you share, you will be automatically entered to win this fun giveaway of small things from the Fat Quarter Shop.  They’re going to randomly choose a winner on March 31st from all of the entries that use the #fqsmarchminis hashtag so be sure to tag your pics


GIVEAWAY-MINI

You can watch my progress with my Titch mini over on Instagram and Facebook.  And be sure to check out the #fqsmarchminis hashtag on IG – it’s fun to browse through there and see all of the fun mini quilts!

The Fat Quarter Shop carries a ton of mini quilt patterns and mini charm packs (2.5" squares) - perfect for starting your own March Mini!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sew Pretty for Little Girls Blog Hop


Sew Pretty for Little Girls blog hop

I recently had the chance to review Alice Caroline’s new book, Sew Pretty for Little Girls.  Just like her pretty shop, this book is filled with Liberty fabric loveliness!

Sew Pretty for Little Girls book by Alice Caroline

The book is organized into three sections (Blissful Bedrooms, Twirly Girly Garments, Pretty Little Things) and has over 20 different projects.

Sew Pretty for Little Girls book Liberty fabric

Now wait- before you go asking what a mom like me (with my two boys) is doing with a book about sewing for girls, let me just tell you that there’s PLENTY of projects in this book that would be easy to boy-ify –- like a child-size quilt, throw pillows, a fun big floor cushion, duvet and pillow set, pencil cases, drawstring bags, and these fun fabric baskets (called the Isabel Basket)!

Sew Pretty  for Little Girls book fabric baskets

I think my oldest son could use one of these (without the handles) for all of his charging cables and plugs.  Those things are always a tangled mess on the floor.  I think I’ll use some of this ninja star fabric for the outside of the basket:


Year of the Ninja fabric from Riley Blake

And one of these drawstring bags would be great for carrying soccer cleats and a jersey to and from games on Saturday. 

Drawstring bag from Sew Pretty for Little Girls book

I wanted to give a friend a sweet treat the other day and needed a little something extra to go with it so I made one of the Isabel Baskets -

Fabric Basket pattern from the Sew Pretty for Little Girls book

This is the smaller sized basket (instructions for a larger size are also given) and I left the handles off so she could use it in a drawer as an organizing bin if she chose. 

While I was taking these photos I realized that the larger basket with handles would make a really cute Easter basket!  

Sew Pretty for Little Girls book

You can find Alice’s book here (a signed copy!), or here.  It’s also available as an ebook- no need to pay for shipping!

Here at this post at Stitch Craft Create, you can see the other stops along the blog hop – one every day for the month of March! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Quick Curve Ruler tutorial


Have you heard of the Quick Curve Ruler?  It’s a pretty fun tool that makes cutting and sewing curves a breeze.  No really! 

Quick Curve Ruler tutorial

I recently wrote a tutorial about the Quick Curve Ruler for the Fabric Mill’s Blog – you can find it here.

Quick Curve Ruler tutorial 
The tutorial gives you an idea of how the curves are cut (you can use a regular sized rotary cutter!) and pieced (no special presser foot needed!). 

I’ve heard from several people that they own the ruler but have been afraid to try it.  Well, my friends, it’s time!  My advice to you, is to just get the ruler out and make a couple of test blocks.  Don’t be afraid!
 
Quick Curve Ruler table runner

The pattern I made is called “Urban Runner” and it is included with the ruler.  The pattern is actually written on the back and inside of the ruler’s label.  Making a table runner is a great way to get the hang of the ruler – consider it a warm-up.  By the time I finished the runner I felt like I was confident enough to tackle any of the many other patterns that are written for the QCR (Quick Curve Ruler) and there’s so many!!  There are even some free ones available here

Quick Curve Ruler table runner

Go and check out the tutorial, and you can also find very helpful videos here.  Let me know if you have questions about the ruler, or the tutorial.  Now go and break out that ruler and give it a try!


Urban Runner pattern using the Quick Curve Ruler


Friday, March 13, 2015

Rainbow Dash Quilt Top + Fabric Stack Friday

Remember back in January when I talked about this rainbow project?  I'm sharing it again today for my Fabric Stack Friday post - but also because...

Rainbow fabric stack

I finally have the quilt top done!  The pattern is called Dashing and it’s from the Vintage Vibe book by Amber Johnson (I first talked about the book and pattern here and you can buy your own copy of it here.)  Here is a photo of the top before I added the border-

Rainbow Dash quilt top

I finished this top at a quilting retreat with friends in January.  You know the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”?  Well, it took a whole room full of quilters to help me lay out this quilt top!  I was so grateful for the help, and I love the result. 

I’m not sure you can tell in this photo, but the appliqued little circles go from a light  gray on the top left of the quilt, and grow darker down to the black circles on the bottom right.  I love the effect. 

rainbow dash quilt top

I used my favorite black and white swiss dot print for the border.  Now I just need to decide how to quilt it.  I have to admit, I’m kind of stumped.  Any suggestions? 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Division Quilt – baby size!

A few weeks ago I spotted these Pam Kitty Garden fabrics at a local shop and I fell in love with their pretty Spring colors.  I need some spring color right about now!

Pam Kitty Garden fabrics

I bought a bit of each of them and started work on a baby sized Division quilt.  I like to get everything set up for chain piecing, turn on a good movie and then just sit and sew for awhile.  So relaxing!

Division quilt pattern in baby size

With only 9 blocks, this quilt came together pretty quickly- 

Division quilt pattern

The tough part is usually deciding on the quilting, and then what to bind it with!

Division quilt pattern

After debating for awhile, I choose to quilt it in some little loops with a few flowers scattered in as well.  And I bound it with the same dot print that I used in the quilt blocks.  Frames it up so nicely!

Division quilt pattern

This quilt is visiting a quilt shop right now as a display along with her big brother – the throw size Division quilt.

Division quilt pattern

You can find the Division pattern for sale as a PDF here, here or here.  Paper versions coming soon!

[wholesale patterns available as well - email me for details - abrightcorner (at) gmail (dot) com]


Friday, March 6, 2015

Favorite Pouch Tutorials

I’ve been having fun making a variety of zipper pouches lately and I thought I would share with you a few of my most favorite zipper pouch tutorials!

Favorite zipper pouch tutorials

First of all, I have to talk about the one common element in all zipper pouch tutorials – the zipper!  In almost all tutorials I’ve used, it is okay to use a zipper that is longer than needed.  At some point in the tutorial the zipper is trimmed down anyway – so if the pattern calls for a 8” zipper and all you have is a 12” zipper then use it! 

I like to keep a variety of zippers on hand.  My favorite source for zippers is an etsy shop called “Zipit”.  They have such a fantastic variety, the prices are great and the shipping is fast.  It’s my go-to shop for zippers.  And with such pretty colors, it’s actually FUN to shop for zippers!  I must warn you though, it’s hard to choose just a few!

zipit zippers 2

The second thing I’d like to mention is what kind of interfacing I use.  In the past I’ve used a variety of interfacings and I really didn’t love any of them.  Well I now have a new favorite.  I now use Heat n Bond Craft Extra Firm fusible interfacing (or Pellon 809 is the equivalent).  I love that it gives so much structure, and helps the zipper pouch stand up on it’s own- even in the larger size pouches.  I have to thank Emily (Simple Girl Simple Life) and Marion (My Quilt Diet) for encouraging me to try a stiffer interfacing in my zipper bags – I’m converted!  

Alright – now to show you my favorite tutorials!

These two pouches were made using a tutorial from Jedi Craft Girl called the “Favorite Zipper Pouch.”  The tutorial is easy to follow with plenty of photos.  I made one of these pouches for a swap and I loved it so much I made a twin sister pouch to keep. 

Favorite Pouch tutorials

Another favorite pouch tutorial is the Open Wide Zippered Pouch Tutorial (by Noodlehead).  She provides measurements for three different sizes of pouch – this one below is the small size.

Open Wide Zipper Pouch

I love the Open Wide Pouch just because it does exactly that – opens wide!  So even in the smaller size you can fit a lot in it because you can pull that zipper all the way open.  And it’s easier to see those smaller items that float to the bottom. 

Open Wide Zipper Pouch
And to show you the scale, here is the medium sized “Open Wide Pouch” next to the “Favorite Zipper Pouch” with a bottle of my favorite lotion (yum!)  You can see here that the medium sized pouch is a pretty generous “medium.” It would be perfect for your larger sewing notions (cones of thread, bottles of Flatter or Best Press, machine oil, rotary cutter, etc.)  Or a pound of M&Ms and a bag of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Because you know, snacks. 

Zipper Pouch tutorials

Another pouch that I’ve made and love are the little Dumpling Pouches.  I first blogged about them last February

Dumpling zipper pouch

These are all the larger size dumpling – which still is quite small.  I use one of my dumpling pouches to carry cotton balls, q-tips and make up sponges when we travel.  A dumpling pouch would also be a cute way to carry those Clover Wonder Clips that we all love. 

Don’t be afraid of the curves in this pouch.  They’re not bad!  If you read my first post, you can see how I used my Clover Wonder Clips to hold the zipper in place as I sewed it. 

Zipper Pouch

So there you go – my three favorite zipper pouch tutorials! 
Open Wide Zippered Pouch (Noodlehead)
My Favorite Zipper Pouch (Jedi Craft Girl)
Dumpling Zip Pouch (Michelle Patterns)

I also just order a new batch of zippers so I see many, many more zipper pouches in my future!  Do you have a favorite pouch tutorial?  I know there are so many that I still haven’t tried!  What's your favorite??

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ties to Liberty quilt tutorial + A Blog Hop


Liberty Lawn quilt tutorial



Have you heard of the “Give Me Liberty” Club hosted by Westwood Acres? Members of this club receive 10 pieces (either F8, FQ or F16) of Liberty Lawn fabric each month for the year.  It’s a fun way to add to (or start!) your Liberty collection. 

Liberty Blog Hop
Maybe some of you are already members of the club or have a fun collection of Liberty prints and are just looking for some inspiration.  Well, Amanda has organized a Project Ideas Blog Hop!  Each day a different blogger will share their project using a bundle from the Give Me Liberty Club

Liberty Lawn fabrics

Amanda sent me this fat quarter bundle to work with and after toying with a few different ideas, I finally decided on this:

Quilt using Liberty of London fabrics




I’m calling this quilt “Ties to Liberty” since it uses the traditional Bow Tie quilt block and (of course) these pretty Liberty Lawn fabrics!  This quilt uses only 10 fat quarters and the finished quilt measures 56” x 70”. 


 Fabric Requirements:

10 Fat Quarters of Liberty Lawn
1-5/6 yard background**
3-1/2 yards backing
1/2 yard binding
**For my background fabric I used “Soft Gray Mini Dot” from the Sorbets line by Quilting Treasures. 


Cutting:

From the background fabric cut 16 @ 4” x Width of fabric.  Then cut each strip into 10 @ 4” square.  You’ll need a 160 (4”) squares.

From each of the Liberty fat quarters, cut 16 (4” squares) and 16 (2”) squares.  (See the cutting diagram below.)

fat quarter cutting diagramLiberty Lawn fabrics

Step 1:  Fold each 2” square in half diagonally and finger press (or using a pencil draw a line diagonally through each).

Liberty quilt tutorial
Step 2:  Place a 2” square on one corner of a 4” background square. 

Liberty quilt tutorial

Step 3:  Sew directly on the folded/drawn line.
 Liberty quilt tutorial

Step 4:  Cut about 1/4” away from stitching. 
 Bowtie quilt block tutorial

Step 5:  Fold corner open and press.

Bowtie quilt block tutorial

Step 6:  Arrange block pieces as shown. 
 Bowtie quilt block tutorial

Step 7:  Sew top two and bottom two squares together using a 1/4” seam.  Press seams toward the large Liberty square.
 Bowtie quilt block tutorial

Step 8:  Sew top half to bottom half, matching center seam.  Press final seam open.  At this point I also gave the block a little spray of Best Press and pressed it for a few seconds to get it nice and flat. 

Bowtie quilt block tutorial

Make all of your bow tie blocks (you need 80 blocks).  Arrange blocks into quilt top.  The arrangement I used is below.  I love the secondary pattern this layout creates!

Liberty Bow Tie layout diagram

Sew blocks into rows.  Press the seams of all odd numbered rows to the left and even numbered rows to the right.  Then sew rows together.  Press your quilt top.  You’re now ready to baste, quilt and bind it!

Liberty quilt tutorial

For the quilting on mine, I did a new-to-me quilting design called Cabbage Roses.  It was a fast and very forgiving quilting design and it’s now one of my new favorites! 

cabbage roses quilting design

Thanks for stopping by!  You can see more of the Liberty Lawn prints here at Westwood Acres, and also by following along in the blog hop – each blogger will use a variety of prints and it will be fun to see what everyone creates with their bundle!

February 24th: Kick Off! A Crafty Fox
February 26th: Svetlana at Sotak Handmade 
February 26th: Andy at A Bright Corner 
February 27th: Chase at Quarter Inch Mark 
March 3rd: Lee at Freshly Pieced 


Liberty of London quilt tutorial


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