Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bright Baby Quilt

We all make mistakes, right?  Well, this quilt is completely made from mistakes!  And the weird thing is, I don't hate it.

A couple of years ago I was at a retreat and had brought everything I needed to make a queen sized Hello Washi Quilt.  I was having a great time visiting with friends as I cut my blocks out and began chain piecing.

Bright Baby Quilt made by A Bright Corner

When it was time to put my first big block together I came to an awful realization.  I had messed up BIG TIME.  I had cut about 150 white strips too narrow.  By the time I realized it, I had already sewn each too-thin white strip to a print rectangle.  Ugh.  So now what??

My options at this point were to sit and unpick 150 seams and start completely over, OR  I could set aside the mistake blocks and move on.  After thinking about it (for maybe 10 seconds) I decided to save the mistakes for later and move on.  It wasn't a tough decision - I'm not a huge fan of my seam ripper!  So I put this quilt away and worked on something else for the rest of the retreat.

Bright Baby Quilt made by A Bright Corner

When I got home I stashed the mistake blocks away to work on another time.  I pulled them back out a month or so ago and put them all up on my design wall to see what I could make from them.

Bright Baby Quilt made by A Bright Corner

This baby quilt is the result - not bad, eh?  Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

That's probably one of the worst mistakes I've ever made.  How about you?  What's the worst quilting mistake you've made?

Bright Baby Quilt made by A Bright Corner

Quilt details:
48" x 48"
fabrics:  various prints from my stash


Friday, April 29, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Mother's Day Gift Ideas

5 favorite Mother's Day gift ideas from A Bright Corner

Mother's day is around the corner so for today's Five Friday Favorites post I'm sharing (my current) favorite Mother's Day gift ideas!

#1:  Big Blue Ikea Bag

What mom wouldn't want a huge (but cute) bag to haul stuff around in?  I've had this bag pinned on one of my boards for awhile now and just recently got around to trying it out.  There's a free pattern download which you can print out at home.  It took just a few minutes to tape the pattern pieces together and cut out the bag.  I chose to use a heavy cotton fabric.  I found the one I wanted in the "outdoor fabric" section of JoAnn.  Very durable, and still cotton so it sews nicely and irons nicely.  Plus it was 50% off.  Win/win!

The pattern is easy to follow, and from start to finish the bag took about 30 minutes to make.  I gave it as a gift and the mom was so excited about it!  She said she keeps one of the blue plastic Ikea bags in her trunk and uses it for all sorts of things.  Now she can swap out the blue one for a cute, original one!

#2:   Apron in a Jar

Some moms are apron wearers, and some aren't.  I used to be, but I just don't wear them much anymore.  However, my mom loves aprons and I have friends and other family that love their aprons.  And I love giving aprons as gifts!  There are a ton of great apron tutorials out there, and any of them would be cute rolled up and delivered in a mason jar.  The apron in this tutorial is a store-bought one that you can spend a few minutes to customize with a raw-edge applique.

#3:  Vinyl Project Bags

A friend of mine made a set of these for herself and loves them!  She made some smaller sizes for notions and quilting tools, and then some larger ones (like 14" x 16") for quilting projects.  The large size bags hold quilt blocks and allow them to stay nice and flat while being stored.  These bags would also make great purse inserts (you can see what's in there!), travel bags for make up or jewelry, or a case for art supplies (imagine a smaller bag filled with pretty colored pencils.)  Click here for tutorial.

#4:  Fabric Drawstring Bags

Not a lot of time to make a handmade gift?  These drawstring bags are quick to whip up, and are a thoughtful way to "wrap" a store bought item.

#5:  Sugar Scrub

Pineapple + coconut?  Yes please!  I once had someone give me a container of sugar scrub and I absolutely loved it.  This is a fun, tropical scented scrub and on Pinterest you can find other recipes to suit the recipient!  (lavender, lemon, pink lemonade, lemongrass + ginger)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Yup.  I'm talking about leftovers today.  But not the food type of leftovers.  I'm talking about quilting leftovers - those bits and pieces that are leftover after you've made a quilt.  Sometimes it's strips, sometimes squares, sometimes triangles.

Over on her blog and Instagram this week, Jodi Nelson (a.k.a. @pleasanthome) has been sharing how she deals with her quilting leftovers.  It's so fun to see how others store and use their scraps.  She asked me to share how I manage my leftovers.

Once I'm all done with a quilt, I take what's leftover and sort it.  Anything that's bigger than about a fat eighth gets folded and stacked back in my closet by color.  It's pretty rare that I keep fabric from lines together unless it's in a fat quarter bundle.  I prefer to have everything organized by color.  Yummy, yummy colors.

Fabric organized by color - lovely colors!

Other miscellaneous scraps go in one of the color coordinated bins on the top shelf.  I have seven bins total:  reds, oranges/yellows, greens, blues, pinks/purples, brown/blacks/grays, low volumes.)

If I ever have a jelly roll strip, layer cake square, charm square leftover I'll cut it into 2.5" squares and put it in my squares bin.  I've talked about this a little before here.  I used to keep other sizes on hand too but I kept finding myself using the 2.5" squares most of the time!  And since I always make my binding strips 2.5" wide, my binding leftovers go in here as well.

Fabric scraps in bins

Here are just a few projects that I've used my 2.5" squares on:

Pentarings EPP project
Red Pentarings (English Paper Piecing)

Mazed Quilt pattern
Mazed Quilt

Pink Hexdens - an English Paper Piecing project
Hexden flowers (English Paper Piecing)

Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt
Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt

All of these projects were made using scraps from my 2.5" bin!  And now I have one more project to add to the list.  This past week I've been working on a granny square quilt using some of my pink, yellow and blue squares.

I'm quilting it up this weekend and I'll share the finished quilt next week- but for now here's a sneak peek!

Granny Squares Quilt

So I'm curious - what do you do with your leftovers?  Toss 'em?  Save them?  Any tips on how you store your leftovers?  I'd love to hear!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!  The sun is shining, the lilacs are blooming, and my boys are starting to count down the days left in school.  Spring is, hands down, my favorite season!

I'm sure you're here expecting to see a Five Friday Favorites post - there'll be one next Friday I promise!

Terrific T-Shirt Quilts book

I know I have already shared my two T-Shirt Quilt designs  (In Tune and Road Trip-click here to see) from the book Terrific T-Shirt Quilts.  But today I wanted to show you some of the other quilts from the book!

Cute T-shirt quilt from the Terrific T-Shirt Quilts book

This is one of my favorites from the book - it's called "Too Precious to Pitch" (designed by Krista Moser)  It's a baby sized quilt (38"x 44") and is a great way to use (and remember) those favorite outfits from your little ones!  I only kept one or two favorites from all of my boys' baby clothes because I didn't know what I would ever do with them.  But now I'm wishing I would have kept more so I could make it into a sweet little quilt.  

Cute T-shirt quilt from the Terrific T-Shirt Quilts book

This quilt is also a favorite of mine.  This one is called "Go Zags" (designed by Janet Nesbitt) and I love it because I grew up in Spokane Washington - home of the Gonzaga Bulldogs.  This quilt is a great way to show your team spirit.  Gather your sports fan tees and surround them with your school colors!

Cute T-shirt quilt from the Terrific T-Shirt Quilts book

I know June is the month for graduations - both high schools and colleges.  How fun to give a T-Shirt quilt as a gift?  This quilt is called "Got Spirit" (designed by Penny Barnes)  I love how this quilt doesn't require dozens and dozens of tees - she uses the open space to have the school's initials added into the quilting.  Can you see it?  So clever!  

Like I mentioned in my last post, this book is a great resource if you're considering making your own T-Shirt quilt.  The first chapters are filled with helpful information about choosing a layout, cutting and stabilizing the shirts, and how to work with tricky fabrics (mesh, sweatshirt, etc.)  You can find the book here on the Martingale site, and I have a few copies left here in my shop.

Have a great weekend and happy sewing!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Cotton Crates

Happy Monday everyone!  Well, I figure if I say it enough, maybe it will be true.  My kids had Spring Break last week and it's always hard getting back to "normal" life on the Monday after a break, right?  We didn't go very far away for our break - this lake is about a mile away from us and we spent one evening down there enjoying the nice weather and the sunset.

  Sunset on Utah Lake

First of all I want to announce the winner of the book giveaway from last week.  Congratulations to Nancy (commenter #18)!  Thank you to everyone who entered.  It was so interesting to read the different ideas you had for using favorite T-shirts to make a quilt.  I do still have a few copies of the book here in my shop, and for the next week if you enter the code "freeship" at checkout you'll receive free shipping! 

I also wanted to tell you today about a new-to-me company called Cotton Crates.  They are a fun subscription box company that sends out 12 Fat Quarters each month in these cute boxes-

Cotton Crates subscription box

When I opened my February box this is what greeted me - these 12 pretty fat quarters from Lori Holt's Calico Days line, and candy!  Each month the fat quarters are different - how fun!  

Cotton Crates subscription box

On their website you can sign up for a 1, 3, 6, or 12 month subscription, and each includes free shipping.  Be sure to sign up by the 20th of the month to receive that month's box!

And on the Cotton Crates Blog each week they have a free tutorial to give you ideas on how you can use all of the lovely fat quarters that you will receive.  

Fat Quarters from the Calico Days fabric line

This is a great way to build your stash, or subscribe for one month and have it sent to a friend.  This photo of my fq stack is from a couple of weeks ago and I've already cut into it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Terrific T-Shirt Quilts Book + Giveaway

When I meet people and they hear that I'm a quilter usually the next thing they say is that someday they want to make a T-shirt quilt for their son/daughter/grandchild.  I've seen some great ones around social media and Pinterest, but always wanted to make my own.  So I was so happy when Martingale asked me to design some T-shirt quilts for their new book - Terrific T-Shirt Quilts.

Terrific T-shirt Quilts book - great ideas for using favorite T-shirts to make a quilt

The first quilt I designed is called In Tune.  It measures 53" x 64" and was designed to be a way to use shirts from choir and band groups.  And for those who are more in to dance and cheer, in the book there are also two additional applique patterns for cheerleaders (a cheer megaphone) and dancers (ballet shoes).  I also thought about making this pattern using my son's karate T-shirts and just appliqueing his name along the side.

In Tune quilt - from the Terrific T-Shirt Quilts book from Martingale

My second quilt in the book is called Road Trip and I designed this for my favorite vacation tees.  (full disclosure - the sample quilt just uses random shirts I tracked down.  I have NOT been to all of those fun locations.  I wish!)  You could either use tees from one person's travels, or I also thought it would be fun to make one quilt using T-shirts from the entire family - once everyone has outgrown them of course!  For example, we have T-shirts from our trips to Disneyland over the years.  It would be so fun to put them all into one quilt for all of use to use and enjoy- and remember!

This quilt measures 50" x 56" but is simple enough that it wouldn't be hard to add another row and column to be able to include 16 shirts.

Road Trip quilt - from the Terrific T-Shirt Quilts book from Martingale

Have questions about how to prep the shirts?  How to stabilize them and how to work with knit fabrics?  The first section of the book is all about choosing shirts, interfacing, tips, tricks and suggestions.  Super helpful!  

I have a few Terrific T-Shirt Quilts books listed in my pattern shop here, and a copy of the book to giveaway to one of you! 

Giveaway is closed!

To enter, just leave a comment below answering this question:
If you were to make a T-shirt quilt, what kinds of shirt would you use?  sports?  travel?  band?  college shirts?  I'm curious to see what most people would use!

Giveaway open until Sunday April 10 at midnight (MDT).  I'll randomly draw a name and announce it the next day. 

Happy sewing! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Vintage Kitchen

A few weeks ago I got the chance to sew with fabric from one of Riley Blake's newest fabric lines - called Vintage Kitchen.  It's designed by Andrea Muller (JoliJou) a talented graphic designer & blogger from Germany.

These are just a few of the prints in the line - I'm in love with the pink dishes, but my favorite print is that brown print on top!  Isn't it fun?  

Vintage Kitchen fabrics from Riley Blake

These small scale prints are so cute when they're cut small so I thought I'd use them in a traditional 16-patch quilt.  Each little square is cut at 2.5" and made into a 16-patch block that measures 8.5".

Fun quilt made using Vintage Kitchen fabrics from Riley Blake

I used 8 different prints from the Vintage Kitchen line to make this throw size quilt.  I love the bright, cheery colors - and all those little prints are so fun together!

Fun quilt made with Vintage Kitchen fabrics from Riley Blake

Here's the full quilt- measuring 50" x 59"

Fun quilt made using Vintage Kitchen fabrics from Riley Blake

For the binding I used one of my other favorite prints - this harlequin print in teal.

Vintage Kitchen quilt

You can see the full line here on the Riley Blake website (and it's available now in stores!)  and read more about Andrea here on her blog.  Right now there's a blog tour going on and you can find the links for each day below.  It's been so fun to find some creative new bloggers to follow!  (Did you know if a blog is in another language, google can translate it for you?  Love that feature.)

Julia - Riley Blake Designs
Andrea - Jolijou
Nina - Hedi
Anja - Nähkitz
Swafing Fabrics
Carrie Beri Bee Designs
Andrea - anlukaa
Emma - Frühstück bei Emma
einchen - doppelnaht
Anorina - Samelias Mum
Bev - Flamingo Toes
Amy - Diary of a Quilter
Julia - lillesol & pelle
Andy - A Bright Corner
Sabine - farbenmix
Simone - KaeptnStupsnase
Sarah - Mädchenkram
Melissa Corry
Jessica Stewart
Bine Guellich
Lindsay Wilkes
Sandra - Flaupa
Amanda Niederhauser
Ina - pattydoo
Ruth Sodl-Warter
Marissa - Rae Gun Ramblings
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