Thursday, October 4, 2018

Two Secret Weapons + Splendid Sampler Block

It's Thursday which means it's time for a new, free Splendid Sampler block to be released.  And guess what?  The books are coming SOON!  I hear that some of the digital copies have already been delivered but I'm still anxiously awaiting my book - so exciting!  If you still need to order yours it's not too late - grab one here on Amazon.


Splendid Sampler block made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

Along with this week's block, I have a couple of secret weapons (a.k.a. favorite tools) to share with you - both of which really came in handy when I was making this block.  

First let me tell you about this week's block.  It was designed by Jenny Doan, and you can find the free pattern for this block here.  It's a fun version of the Cathedral Windows block and I promise it's faster and easier than you'd think!


Tips for using glue basting instead of pins!  A Bright Corner blog

The pattern first has you pin the window "frame" fabric on one corner of a print square -- but I used my favorite applique glue instead.  It's also called temporary basting glue, but because I use it mainly for applique, around here it's referred to as applique glue ;)

There are two bottle types for this glue-- the standard bottle (find it here on Amazon) and the EZ Squeeze bottle (find it here on Amazon).  I've used both, but personally I prefer the EZ Sqeeze bottle so I can get every.last.drop. out of the container.  


Tips for using glue basting instead of pins!  A Bright Corner blog

  I ran a thin line of glue along two sides of my print square...


Tips for using glue basting instead of pins!  A Bright Corner blog

...and then placed one cream square right sides together on top.  I gave it a quick press with the iron to set the glue.  

Then I folded back the corner.  I added a second thin line of glue along the edge (wrong side) of the white square to hold that in place as well.  


Tips for using glue basting instead of pins!  A Bright Corner blog

Another quick press of the iron and my square was basted and ready for the next step - no pins needed!

Tips for using glue basting instead of pins!  A Bright Corner blog

With the white squares (lightly) glued in place, it was much easier to sew the block together without everything shifting around on me.  

Alright - now for favorite tool #2:


Favorite quilting tools from A Bright Corner blog

When it was time to top stitch, my bent tip tweezers were super helpful!  These are great for holding tiny things in place as you stitch them.  


Favorite quilting tools from A Bright Corner blog

See how the tips get right in close to the presser foot?  Now, keep in mind that at this point I'm sewing slowly, and being very careful to not sew over the tweezers.  

I keep a pair of these tweezers next to my machine and use them fairly often!  I bought them here on Amazon in a pack of 4.  I'm glad I bought the four pack - two pair have already wandered off to help with other hobbies like perler beads.  The secret is out and my kids have realized how handy these are!


Now I need to play catch-up on a few of the older Splendid Sampler II blocks.  I've been working on them here and there but haven't shared photos of them yet!

First up is Tulip in Bloom designed by Nadra Ridgeway (download the block pattern here).


Splendid Sampler block made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

I also made this block called Point Taken, designed by Susan Ache (download the pattern here.)


Splendid Sampler block made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

The last catch-up block is called Betty's Bloom designed by Carl Hentsch (download the pattern here.)


Splendid Sampler block made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

I can't wait for the book to arrive so I can see all of the fun blocks!  You can find the past free blocks here on the Splendid Sampler blog

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.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Fun New Zipper Pouches

Well hello everyone!  I have a couple of fun zipper pouches to share with you today but I also wanted to let you know that I've been busy working behind the scenes on some other things, including some new quilt tutorials.  They'll be heading your way soon!

Open Wide Zipper Pouch made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner


These two pretty zipper pouches were made using the Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial from Noodlehead.  There are three sizes available with the tutorial - I made the medium and large sizes.  

Open Wide Zipper Pouch made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

I wanted to make these pouches for my mom's birthday and I had a few prints from the new fabric line by Sedef Imer (Down Grapevine Lane) called Summer Blush.  They were perfect! You can find Summer Blush fabrics here from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Such pretty prints! 

I've used the Open Wide pouch tutorial before and it's one of my favorites. The tutorial is easy to follow - even for someone like me who only sews zippers a few times each year.  

Open Wide Zipper Pouch made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

I like to customize my pouches  - you can do pretty much anything to the outside of the pouch. Just make sure the outer bag piece measures what the tutorial asks for! You can make them as scrappy as you'd like, or use a favorite small quilt block on one side.  

I did a thin flange (a thin strip folded in half and sewn between the top and bottom halves) for the small pouch and it added a nice separation between the two green prints.  

Open Wide Zipper Pouch made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner

For more information about my source for zippers and what interfacing I recommend, check out this post about my favorite zipper pouch tutorials!

Favorite Zipper Pouch Tutorials from Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner


You can also find more zipper pouch tutorials here on my Bags & Pouches Pinterest Board:


Bags and Pouches Pinterest Board from A Bright Corner

Happy sewing everyone!
--Andy

Monday, August 20, 2018

Pair of Pillows + Trish and Birdie Fabric

This weekend (in addition to lots of yard work) I stitched up a couple of quilted pillows using a new fabric line called Trish & Birdie.

Quilted patchwork pillows made by Andy of A Bright Corner

Sometimes smaller, quicker projects like this are so gratifying!  It feels great to start AND finish a project in one weekend.  As a bonus, it gives me a little kick in the pants to get some of my other projects finished up as well.  

Trish & Birdie is a new fabric line designed by Deane Beesley for Sweet Bee Designs.  I love those colors!

Trish and Birdie fabric by Deane Beesley for Sweet Bee Designs

The first pillow I made is a sweet 18" quilted pillow made entirely from half square triangles.  I knew the sherbet colors from the line would look so good against a crisp, white background!  

After piecing the half square triangles into a block, I felt all that white needed a frame around it.  I used one of the pink prints as a binding and it was just what was needed.

Quilted patchwork pillows made by Andy of A Bright Corner

When I got the first pillow done I decided it needed a friend.  Plus I wanted to try pairing up the prints with a gray linen-look print, and I love the results!

Cute Dresden quilted pillow made by Andy of A Bright Corner

I machine stitched the Dresden block down to the gray background square and then did some simple free motion quilting around the outside of it to add even more texture.  I left the Dresden block free of any quilting to help it "pop" a little more against the background.  

Cute Dresden quilted pillow made by Andy of A Bright Corner

I think the two pillows pair up nicely without being too matchy-matchy, don't you?  And now I need to find a new home for these sweet pillows.  My boys decided they're way too pink for this boy-filled home.  (Is there really such a thing as too pink?)

Quilted patchwork pillows made by Andy of A Bright Corner

Are you looking for some Trish & Birdie fabric for your own projects?  Find shops that carry Sweet Bee Designs fabric here on their website.  

And to see more inspiration, check out these blogs that will be sharing projects through the end of the month!

August 16   Jina Barney: Jina's World of Quilting
August 17   Becky Vandenberg: Be So Crafty
August 20   Andy Knowlton: A Bright Corner
August 21   Allison Dutton: Allison Sews
August 23   Cassie Massolia: Lily Shine Creates
August 24   Missy Luukkonen: The Little Green Bean
August 27   Erin Hamilton: Piper's Girls
August 28   Sherry Shish: Powered by Quilting
August 29   Stephanie Jacobson: Steph Jacobson Designs
August 30   Lissa LaGreca: Lovingly, Lisa
August 31   Jackie White: Jackie's Art Quilts

Hope you have a fantastic week - happy stitching!
--Andy





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Framed Squares Throw Sized Free Quilt Pattern

I've been squeezing in a bit of quilting time this summer, along with all of the other summertime activities that happen each year.  Boy, it's been tough!  I'm finding that most of my sewing happens after the sun sets and the kiddos are in bed.  

Over the past couple of weeks I've been working on this Framed Squares quilt using a darling new fabric line from Riley Blake called Pirate's Life, designed by Shawn Wallace.  The vivid primary colors make for a fun quilt!

Framed Squares - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

This pattern is a great way to feature your favorite fabrics, accented by some coordinating blender prints (all of the fabrics shown are from Riley Blake Designs.)  


Framed Squares - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

The Pirate's Life fabric line was a perfect match for this pattern with those fun main prints - filled with sharks, portholes, and pirates sailing away on adventures. 

Pirate's Life fabrics are now in quilt shops, and here online at the Fat Quarter Shop.

Framed Squares - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

The finished quilt measures 57" x 67" - a great throw size quilt!

Framed Squares - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

You can download and print the pattern here (for personal use only please!).  And if you make one and want to share on social media be sure to tag #framedsquaresquilt and #abrightcornerpatterns so we can all see your creations.

Or save the image below to your Pinterest board so you can find it later!


Framed Squares - a free quilt pattern from A Bright Corner

Happy stitching everyone!  

Are you interested in more free quilt patterns and tutorials?  I have an entire Pinterest board filled with them - check it out here and be sure to follow me so you can see new ones that get added!


Follow A Bright Corner on Pinterest



Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram


**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, July 19, 2018

Applique Tips + Splendid Sampler Block

Happy Thursday!  I wanted to talk about applique today for just a few minutes.  

And I have to start by admitting that applique used to intimidate me quite a bit.  But now I think it's kinda fun to try out different techniques and products!


Splendid Sampler quilt block made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner.  She also shares a tips on applique!

First of all, you can find the free printable PDF pattern for this sweet block here.  

This is the next block from the Splendid Sampler II.  It's called Rose and Dot, and was designed by Lori Kennedy.  We're getting a head start with the first 20 blocks - all of them are being released for free!  After that, you'll need the book to keep sewing along with us.  But don't worry - you can pre-order the book here, and it will be conveniently shipped to you when it's released in October!



So.... back to my block.  I ended up using two different applique techniques on this little 6.5" block.

For the two circles, I used a product called Perfect Circles.  These are SO handy to have in your quilting toolbox!  I use them more often than I ever thought I would.  I have both the Perfect Circles and the Bigger Perfect Circles sets.  





To make the two circles for this block, I found the circle templates that matched the sizes of the circles in the block pattern.  


Quilting applique tips from A Bright Corner

Then I followed this tutorial from Buttontree Lane to make the circles.  She does a great job of demonstrating how to use these templates - with plenty of helpful photos!  Did you know these are heat resistant and you can iron the circles with the templates still inside?!?  Just make sure you use a medium setting and no steam!



For the leaves, I used a technique that Lori Holt likes to use a lot.  You can see a sample of her technique here.  It uses some lightweight interfacing, and instead of using the plastic shapes that she uses, I just traced the leaf shape from the block pattern right onto the interfacing using a pencil.


Quilting applique tips from A Bright Corner

I then continued following Lori's technique to stitch, clip, turn, and press each leaf shape.  

Once all of the pieces were placed onto the block background, I sat and watched a little Netflix as I hand stitched everything down.  You could also just do a simple machine stitching around the outside of each piece too - no judgement here!  Do what works for you!



Splendid Sampler quilt block made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner.  She also shares a tips on applique!



As a final note, I shared a different applique technique for making circles here, that uses aluminum foil (of all things!)  It's become one of my favorite ways to make circles.  You could use that technique with the circles on this block too.  


Splendid Sampler quilt block made by Andy Knowlton of A Bright Corner.  She also shares a tips on applique!

If you're sewing along with us in the Splendid Sampler, be sure to add your block on the Splendid Sampler blog, and also in the group Facebook page. It's so fun to see everyone's version of each block!  

And if you are thinking of joining in, it's not too late!  You can find links to all of the past blocks on the blog here.  


Happy Stitching!
--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.




Saturday, June 30, 2018

Simple Bricks free quilt pattern + Wonder Full fabric

Well hello there!  I know I've been sharing a lot of single blocks lately and I'm so happy to be able to share a finished quilt today.  And there's a bonus - I've got a free PDF pattern to go along with it!

Simple Bricks free quilt pattern from Andy of A Bright Corner - a fat quarter pattern that's quick and easy!

This is Simple Bricks - a fat quarter friendly pattern that sews up quickly since there's no tricky piecing or seams that need to match up!  The finished quilt measures 63" x 72" and needs just 11 fat quarters and just over a yard of background fabric.  

  Wonder Full fabrics designed by Lizzie Clark Designs / Sweet Bee Designs

The fabric I used for this quilt is from a line called Wonder Full.  It's designed by Elizabeth Clark (Lizzie Clark Designs) for Sweet Bee Designs.  There's been a lot of fun projects being created lately with this pretty fabric! 

Simple Bricks free quilt pattern from Andy of A Bright Corner - a fat quarter pattern that's quick and easy!

I fell in love with those rich berry colors combined with the navy.  And then you throw that mustard color in there and I just couldn't resist!  

I paired the prints with a super soft chambray which made the perfect background.  I didn't want the background to be too stark- like a white would be.  The chambray blended beautifully and adds some lovely texture to the quilt as well.  

Simple Bricks free quilt pattern from Andy of A Bright Corner - a fat quarter pattern that's quick and easy!

You can grab the free Simple Bricks quilt pattern here.  Pretty please use this for your personal use only!  If you're a shop please just send customers here to download their own copy of the pattern.  Thank you!  

If you make a Simple Bricks quilt I'd love to see it.  Tag me on Instagram and use the hashtags #simplebricksquilt and #abrightcornerpatterns so we can all see what you've created! 

Simple Bricks free quilt pattern from Andy of A Bright Corner - a fat quarter pattern that's quick and easy!

Want to see more projects using Wonder Full?  There's been some great ones!

6/25 Sarah Goer - Sarah Goer Quilts
6/26 Becky Vandenberg - Be So Crafty
6/27 Becca Plymale - Sunflower Seams
6/28 Stephanie Jacobson - Steph Jacobson Designs
6/29 Allison Dutton - Allison Sews
6/30 Andy Knowlton - A Bright Corner
  7/1 Lissa LaGreca - Lovingly Lissa
  7/2 Jennifer Strauser - Dizzy Quilter
  7/3 Sherry Shish - Powered by Quilting

For a list of shops where you can find Wonder Full fabrics click here!

Simple Bricks free quilt pattern from Andy of A Bright Corner - a fat quarter pattern that's quick and easy!

Quilt details:
63" x 72"
Pattern:  Simple Bricks quilt pattern
Fabric:  Wonder Full by Lizzie Clark Designs
Quilting:  Maze (edge to edge computerized design)





Thursday, June 28, 2018

Clamshell Block How-To and Splendid Sampler Block 3

Sweet little clamshell block from the Splendid Sampler stitched by Andy of A Bright Corner

Boy oh boy was this block a learning experience for me!  At first I was so intimidated by the embroidery that I didn't even want to attempt it. 

But I do so love a good challenge, and for months now I've been wanting to improve my embroidery -- and by "improve", I mean actually learn how ;)

This week's Splendid Sampler block was designed by Helen Stubbings and it's called Clamshells.  You can download the free block pattern here.  

Before I talk about my attempt at embroidery I want to share some tips with you for those adorable little clamshells. 

Clamshell quilt block tips and tutorials

I have three tutorial links to share -and if you've never attempted clamshells before, I recommend reading through all three and then deciding which one appeals to you the most!  They each have some great tips and perhaps you'll end up using a mix of tutorials for your own block. 

Clamshells the iron-on way

Clamshells with the foil technique

Clamshells:  EPP style

That last tutorial is the one I used, since I'm a big english paper piecing fan!

Sweet little clamshell block from the Splendid Sampler stitched by Andy of A Bright Corner

Alright.  Now about that embroidery.  I've done just a bit of it before, but it's been so long that I'd forgotten even the basic stitches.  Youtube the rescue!

Quilting and embroidery - links to basic stitch tutorials

For this block we use the backstitch, the stem stitch, and the lazy daisy stitch.  Here are the youtube tutorials I used:

Backstitch how-to
Stem Stitch how-to
Lazy Daisy how-to

All three are from Mary Corbet (Needle 'n Thread)  and she has TONS more.  See them all here.

Sweet little clamshell block from the Splendid Sampler stitched by Andy of A Bright Corner

  I didn't use a hoop, and I feel like it turned out alright.  I'm pretty sure I used the wrong type of needle but since two strands of floss fit through the eye of the needle, I just kept going.

But my finished block isn't too shabby, right?  I think that once I get more comfortable with the basic stitches (and find the right needle) embroidery might be quite relaxing! 

Sweet little clamshell block from the Splendid Sampler stitched by Andy of A Bright Corner

Don't forget - find the free block pattern here, and join in the Splendid Sampler fun here on the blog, and here on the group Facebook page.  

And I HAVE been working behind the scenes on some full quilts - I promise!  I'll be sharing one here on Saturday!

Happy sewing,
--Andy


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