Sunday, October 16, 2016

Slow Sewing + giveaway winner

English paper piecing hexagons

I'm spending some time this weekend doing some slow sewing.  It's such a therapeutic thing for me.  I'm not a fan of knitting or crocheting, but I do really enjoy english paper piecing.  

I've recently finished my pink hexden quilt, and I'll be sharing that soon.  I also have all of my red pentaring blocks done and ready to be made into a quilt top.  With those last two EPP projects finishing up I decided I'd better get a new one going!  So I started this new project shown above.  I'm using the One Room Schoolhouse fabrics which I just love love love (designed by Brenda Ratliff for RJR Fabrics - see more here.)

I decided to do a little larger hexagon - these are 1.5" on each side.  I like this size because it shows off a bit more of each print.  I glue baste my hexagons, and then I've been stitching them together into groups of three.  

English paper piecing hexagons

I haven't quite decided what I'll do with them next.  I have a few ideas that I'm testing out, but I like what I see so far!  

Want to learn more about english paper piecing?  One of my favorite EPPers is Sue Daley and she has some great YouTube videos about English Paper Pieicing.  

See all of her videos here (be sure to click on "load more" at the bottom to see them all)

If you're ready to get started, you can find the 1.5" hexagon papers here (my favorite source for EPP papers.)  One Room Schoolhouse fabrics can be purchased here at Pink Castle Fabrics, and here at Fat Quarter Shop.  

And before I sign off, I need to announce the winner of the Wonderland fat quarter bundle.  Congratulations to commenter #19 - Linda! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Sources of Inspiration!

Today we're talking about color!  I think many quilters are intimidated with the thought of pulling together fabrics for a quilt - particularly when those fabrics aren't all from one line.  So today I'm sharing with you five sources of inspiration to help you put colors and fabrics together for your next quilt project.

Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

#1:  A Main Print

Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

I'm putting this one in the #1 slot because it is the quickest and easiest way to find coordinating colors.  And it's my favorite method!  Just find a multi-colored print that you love and look at the colors contained in it. The print above is from the Les Fleurs line from Cotton + Steel.  Take a close look.  You might be surprised at just how many colors are in one print!  Usually the colors in the print are also found on the selvages - think of it as a super handy cheat sheet.

Once I identify my favorite colors in a print, I choose some coordinating prints from there (dots, stripes, small florals, etc.)  Just as an example, I created the dots above to show you all the colors found in the print.  Below you can see just two color combinations you could pull from this one inspiration print!  No one says you have to use ALL of the colors - just choose your favorites.

Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

color inspiration option 1

Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

color inspiration option 2

You can see from the examples how the "feeling" of the quilt would change depending on the combination of colors you choose.  

#2:  Design Seeds
Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

This site is full of gorgeous color palettes.  I could spend hours here just gawking at all of the pretty color combos.  For quick reference, I keep a pinterest board full of my favorite combos from Design Seeds (and other sites) so when I'm needing fast inspiration I head there first.  

#3:  Pinterest

Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog
photo credit:

Speaking of sure is helpful for all sorts of things, isn't it?  Like I said above, I have a whole board of just color inspiration, but ....just by looking at some of your other favorite pins you can gather a color palette to use!  This photo is from a board I created when I was re-doing my son's room.  I pinned it because I liked the blinds used in the room, but later I realized I also really liked the colors in the photo!  So go and take a look at some of your other photos on pinterest and see what inspires you!  (photo source link here)

#4:  Your own photos

Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

Life is beautiful.  Nature is beautiful.  We all take thousands of photos of our life - but have you ever thought to use those photos to help you choose the colors of your next quilt?  Take a look at your favorite photos in your phone.  Why are they your favorite?  Can you pull out color inspiration from them?  Give it a try!  

#5:  Palette Builder from play crafts

Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

This one is fun (and addictive)!  You can use this site to upload a photo and it will help extract colors from the photo.  The best part?  It gives you the Moda Bella solids color name that corresponds to the color.

I uploaded my photo (takes a just a second or two), and the site automatically chooses 6 points in the photo to color match.  See the white dots on the photo?  You can drag those around the photo to change the colors.  Then see on the right hand side?  It lists the names of the coordinating Moda Bella solids.  You can also just take this to your local quilt shop and use the color swatches to choose some blender prints to bring into the quilt.  

I did another example below.  This photo was from a trip we took to Oahu.  What a great source of inspiration, and a great way to help preserve memories!
Favorite sources of color inspiration from the A Bright Corner blog

You can find the Palette Builder here, and also here on the Moda / United Notions website.  Give it a try!

Where do YOU find your color inspiration?  I'm always looking for new ones, so please share!  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Wonderland Quilt + FQ Giveaway

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to my stop on the "Late for a Date" blog hop.  The blog hop is featuring the Wonderland fabrics designed by Josephine Kimberling for Blend Fabrics (you can see more of the fabrics here.)  

Wonderland quilt Blend Fabrics

Late for a Date Blog Hop for Wonderland Fabrics (Blend Fabrics)

This fun fabric line is inspired by the world of Alice in Wonderland - with cards, clocks, teacups and more.

Wonderland fat quarter bundle Blend Fabrics

You know, my one and only experience with Alice in Wonderland is the old Disney cartoon from waaay back in uh, like 1951.  Oh, and I've ridden the (slightly strange) Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland.  I think maybe it's time I get around to reading the book, do you?   Have you read the book?  I'm hoping it's better than the movie.  

Wonderland Quilt made using Wonderland fabric from Blend

When I first designed this quilt, I imagined it with a white background.  But the Wonderland fabrics just didn't "pop" enough.  So I next tried a solid black and got the result I wanted.  I always find it interesting to see how a quilt changes just with a change of background.  So if you're working on a quilt and you just don't love it, try swapping out the background for another color, or maybe for a print (like swiss dots, or a linen-look print).  

Wonderland Quilt made using Wonderland fabric from Blend

And now are you ready for the giveaway?  I'll be giving away this stack of fat quarters - simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite character in Alice in Wonderland.  I'll randomly choose a winner and announce it here next Friday, October 14th.  
Giveaway now closed - thank you!

Wonderland fat quarter bundle

There's only one more week left on the blog hop!  You can find links to the past posts and projects below.  And you can find the Wonderland fabrics here at the Fat Quarter Shop very soon!  

Wonderland Quilt made with Wonderland fabrics from Blend Fabrics

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How To Match Prints for a Pieced Border

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

Occasionally when I'm adding borders to a larger quilt and I have to piece them together, I want the prints to match so my seams are invisible.  It can be tricky to match prints either for a border or a backing, so I thought I'd share this trick with you today!

First of all, cut your border strips a little wider than you need.  The repeat in this print is pretty small, so I cut my borders only 1/2" wider than I needed.  Next, find where the two border pieces will match up.  (Just lay one over the other until the patterns match.)

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

On just one of the border pieces, fold over at the match-up point and press to make a nice crease.

On the folded under section, apply a bit of glue stick.

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

Press into place, matching prints.  The glue will hold it in place until you stitch it down, and allows you to readjust a couple of times until you get it lined up just right.  

In the photo below, do you see how the edges of the strips are not lined up?  That's ok!  That is why you will cut your borders a little wider than needed.  We will trim them down at a later step.  

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

Flip back the top border, and with a pencil, mark along the creased line from the previous step.  This will be your stitching line, so if you can see the creased line just fine then no marking is needed.  

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

Sew along the fold line with a regular straight stitch. 

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

Then trim seam allowance to about 1/4"

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

Open and press.  Trim width of border to what you need it to be.  Remember in the photo above when the edges of the strips didn't match up?  This is where we trim those up and make them pretty again. 

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

Your borders are ready to use!  

How to match prints for a pieced quilt border

A few things to keep in mind:

  • This works great for small scale prints.  For larger scale prints, you may need to cut your borders even wider to match the prints, depending on the size of the repeat in the fabric.
  • Before cutting the borders, find the repeat in the fabric.  That will help you determine how much wider to cut the borders.  The larger the repeat, the wider you'll cut the borders.
  • Some fabrics are busy enough (and not so geometric) that you might not even need to match the prints in your borders.  I would say that most of the time I don't bother matching!
  • This technique also works if you're using a print as the quilt backing and want to match the prints for a seamless look.   

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!  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...