Tuesday, May 7, 2019

How To Make A Kona Color Board

Today I want to share with you one of my most used tools - my Kona color board!


How to make a Kona color board by Andy of A Bright Corner

This is a framed piece of steel that has 340 little magnet swatches - one for each of the Kona cotton solids available.  I use this when I'm selecting color palettes for quilts and brainstorming projects, and it is SO helpful! 

Even if I don't plan on using all solid fabrics, these little chips help me narrow down which colors I DO want to use - and then I can use those to find matching prints from my stash or the quilt shop.


How to make a Kona color board by Andy of A Bright Corner

I made my Kona color board last year and I've been surprised at how often I'm using it!  I thought I'd share how I made my board and give a few tips for those of you who would like to make one too.



How to make a Kona color board by Andy of A Bright Corner




Here's what you'll need:



  • 24" x 36" frame (from Michael's or Hobby Lobby - use a coupon!)



Tip: I used these business card size adhesive magnetic sheets - it was the most economical.  One box of 50 will be enough for all 340 chips, plus a few leftover.  Alternatively, you can also use full sized sheets or rolls of tape, but you'll have to do the math to determine how many you'll need, and you might end up with a lot left over.


1.  Remove the glass from the frame and replace it with the metal sheet. Then replace the cardboard backing on the frame and it's ready to hang.

2.  Cut out each color chip with scissors, working a row at a time.  If the numbers or name of each color is cut off, use the fine point sharpie to write it in - you'll want the name and number so you can purchase the right colors!

3.  To help keep the chips in order later, I wrote the row number on the back of each chip, near the bottom where the magnet wouldn't cover it up.  

4.  Cut the magnetic sheets into (about) 3/4" x 1" rectangles.  Remove the paper backing from the magnets and stick a magnet to the back of each chip. Press in place.

5.  Have fun arranging them on your new board! 



How to make a Kona color board by Andy of A Bright Corner



Here are some FAQ that I get asked about my Kona color board:

1.  Why Kona solids?  Why not another brand?

 Yes, there are other solids available, and I do use a variety (usually Kona, Moda Bella solids, and Riley Blake Confetti Cottons) but for my board I chose to use just Kona chips.  Here's why:


  • They have 340 different colors.  I can ALWAYS find the colors I need.
  •  Kona solids are the easiest for me to find & purchase locally
  • The Kona color card is backed with cardstock and is ready for cutting.  



You CAN make a similar board out of a Confetti Cotton color card or a Moda Bella color card, but you'll have to first mount each little fabric square onto cardstock and then add the magnet.  


2.  Can't I just use a magnetized white board? 

Yep you can!  I have a magnetized white board in another room and I tested it out - works great!  I went with the metal because I wanted it to coordinate with the two white-framed cork boards I already had on that wall.  

If you use a white board, I suggest this one on Amazon but any magnetic dry erase / white board will work.  There's definite benefits to using a white board - it might be cheaper, it will weigh less, won't reflect the light as much as the metal, and you can re-purpose it later to keep track of WIPs or other to-do items. 


3.  Can I use a smaller size frame?

I recommend 24" x 36" , but smaller size would probably work.  I think the chips would all fit on a 24" x 24" board but you'll have less space between rows and no space on the end for saving favorite color combos like in the photo below.  I use that open space all.the.time.


How to make a Kona color board by Andy of A Bright Corner


3.  I don't have the wall space for a board like this.  What else can I use?

Not a problem! Store the chips in a tray like this one, and then keep a smaller magnetic white board on hand for arranging and playing with the chips.  I do recommend using a magnetized surface when you're playing with color combos.  It helps to keep the chips in place there on your board for as long as you like.

I've also seen other quilters punch a hole in each chip and put them all on a large ring. But I knew I would want to be able to see all of the chips at once so this board version works best for my needs. 




So there you go!  Leave any questions below and I'll answer them as best I can.  



How to make a Kona color board by Andy of A Bright Corner



**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, March 28, 2019

Fab Five Ruler



Fab Five Quilt - made by Andy of A Bright Corner.  She used the Fab Five Ruler to make this fun and easy quilt.

I have a fun new ruler to share with you today!  Well...it's been around for a bit, but it's new to ME and maybe to you to!

This is called the Fab Five Ruler, designed by Abbey Lane Quilts.  It's what I would call a wedge shape - taller than a tumbler, and not as narrow as a dresden wedge.


Fab Five Ruler - a fun quilting ruler with a unique shape  

And today I'm joining with the Fat Quarter Shop for their Fab Five Ruler blog remix!  Four bloggers are sharing their projects that they've made with this ruler.  

So what can this ruler do you ask?  This!


Fab Five Quilt - made by Andy of A Bright Corner.  She used the Fab Five Ruler to make this fun and easy quilt.

The ruler (which you can buy here from the Fat Quarter Shop) comes with a free pattern to make an 18" pillow like this one (image from the Jolly Jabber blog.) 


Fab Five Ruler pillow - uses the Fab Five Ruler - a fun quilting ruler with a unique shape

I used the same cutting and sewing instructions to sew rows of 8" tall wedge shapes.  I loved the look and it was so fast and easy to sew them together...so I just kept going!  I ended up making seven, 46"-long rows.  


Fab Five Quilt - made by Andy of A Bright Corner.  She used the Fab Five Ruler to make this fun and easy quilt.

I added some dark gray 2" sashing strips to separate the rows.  The sashing strips also made it so I didn't have to worry about matching seams from row to row - bonus!

The quilt finished about 45" x 66" - perfect crib size or small throw quilt size.

Want to see what else you can do with this ruler?  Abbey Lane Quilts has several patterns here that use the ruler.  It's a fun one and I recommend adding it to your ruler collection. I'll definitely be reaching for this one again - I just love the unique shape!


Fab Five Quilt - made by Andy of A Bright Corner.  She used the Fab Five Ruler to make this fun and easy quilt.

If you make something using the Fab Five Ruler, share it on social media and use #fabfiveruler and #fqsremix so we can all see what you've created!


Edited to add:  These are the colors of Kona solids that I used for this quilt-

Daffodil
Banana
Green Tea
Grass Green
Coral
Mango
Bahama Blue
Breakers
Coal
Medium Gray
White





**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, March 12, 2019

Text It! Blog Hop + Two Giveaways

Well hi there!  I have a scrappy pillow to share today, and I get to tell you about a new book just released by Sherri Noel (Martingale Publishing).  Plus you're going to want to stick around because there's a couple of giveaways at the end of my post, just FYI ;)


Home Pillow from the Text It! book by Sherri Noel.  Pillow by Andy of A Bright Corner

The book is called Text It! and it's filled with projects that each use text in really fun ways.  There are 10 total projects and there's quite a variety of techniques --like english paper piecing, fusible applique, wool applique, and needle turn applique.  And....it comes with 7 full-sized alphabets.  


Text It! quilting book by Sherri Noel.  Book review by Andy of A Bright Corner

This pillow was a new challenge for me!  I've never done text applique quite like this but I LOVE the result.  The text is made with thin bias tape and double-sided fusible tape.  When I first saw the project I was a wee bit intimidated but Sherri has great instructions in her book! 


Super helpful tool for making thin bias tape

This bias tape maker (1/4") really helped when it came to making the thin bias tape!   Honestly, I wouldn't try to make such tiny bias tape without this thing.  There were instructions inside the package that helped step me through how to use it.  Once the bias tape was made, I used the same little tool to add the fusible adhesive to the back.  That adhesive is important - it held the letters in place beautifully until I could stitch them down.  (Find the Clover fusible bias tape maker here on Amazon)


Home Pillow from the Text It! book by Sherri Noel.  Pillow by Andy of A Bright Corner

This project plus 9 others can be found in the book.  You can see Sherri's version of the Home Pillow in this image from the cover of the book:



Text It! quilting book by Sherri Noel.  Book review by Andy of A Bright Corner


Want a signed copy of the Text It book?  You can buy that here from Sherri!  You can also find the book for sale here on Amazon, and here at the Fat Quarter Shop.


Home Pillow from the Text It! book by Sherri Noel.  Pillow by Andy of A Bright Corner

Ready for the giveaways?  I have TWO today!  First, Martingale is offering one of my readers a copy of Sherri's book, Text It!  (US residents only)

The second giveaway is from Aurifil and they are generously offering two large spools of thread to one of you lucky stitchers- open to everyone worldwide. 


To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment below letting me know where you live (city & country).  It will be interesting to see where everyone resides!


If you're a no-comment blogger, please be sure to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you.  Giveaway is open until this Sunday, March 17, 2019 at midnight MST.




Giveaway is now closed - thank you!


Want to see more fun projects from the book?  Here's the full list of participating bloggers:



MONDAY MARCH 4 – BEE HAPPY

PAMELA JANE MORGAN –MYSWEETLITTLESTITCHES                      
SHARON LILABELLE LANE – LILABELLELANECREATIONS

TUESDAY MARCH 5 – INFINITY Quilt

LAURA PILAND – SLICEOFPIQUILTS
LEANNE PARSONS – DEVOTEDQUILTER
KATIE MUTER STARCHER – KATIEMAEQUILTS

WEDNESDAY MARCH 6 – PILLOW TALK

KATE COLLERAN – SEAMSLIKEADREAM
CHERYL DAINES BROWN – QUILTERCHIC
DORIE HRUSKA – FOREVER-QUILTING

THURSDAY MARCH 7 – FREEDOM Quilt

JEN SHAFFER – PATTERNSBYJEN
TARA MILLER – QUILTDISTRICT
LYNN KANE – PUPPYGIRLDESIGNS

FRIDAY MARCH 8 – LOVING YOU Wall Hanging

ELLEN AULT –HANDMADE3D
SHERRI NOEL – REBECCAMAEDESIGNS

MONDAY MARCH 11 – COUNTING SHEEP Baby Quilt

DEANNE EISENMAN – SNUGGLESQUILTS
RAEWYN BARGE – STITCHINGFARMGIRL
SUSAN PELLAND – SUEPELLANDDESIGNS

TUESDAY MARCH 12 – HOME PILLOW

JOANNE HARRIS – QUILTSBYJOANNE
PATTY DUDEK – ELMSTREETQUILTS
ANDY KNOWLTON – ABRIGHTCORNER
SANDRA STARLEY – UTAHQUILTAPPRAISER
CINDY PIETERS – STITCHINATHOME

WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 – LIFE IS SHORT Wall hanging

BECCA FENSTERMAKER – PRETTYPINEY
KATIE BOCK – SEWINGWITHKATIE
ALLA BLANCA – RAINBOWSBUNNIESCUPCAKES

THURSDAY MARCH 14 – HUSTLE PILLOW

TERRI BANDEN BOSCH – MEANDERINGSALONGLIZARDCREEK
WILLOW OLSON – BEARPAWDESIGNBLOG
ERIN SAMPSON – AURIBUZZ

FRIDAY MARCH 15 – SEWING MACHINE MAT

LAUREN WRIGHT – MOLLYANDMAMA
SANDRA HEALY – SANDRAHEALYDESIGNS
CHERYL KRISEL LYNCH –CHERYLLYNCHQUILTS

SATURDAY MARCH 16 – WRAP UP

SHERRI NOEL – REBECCAMAEDESIGNS





**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, March 7, 2019

Making A Stitch Catalog + My Sewing Circle Block

Hello to any new friends visiting this week from the Splendid Sampler sew along!  

It was an honor to design a block for the Splendid Sampler II book, and today I get to share my block along with some details about something I call my stitch catalog.  More about that in a minute!

Splendid Sampler block by Andy of A Bright Corner

My name is Andy Knowlton and I'm a pattern designer and quilter who loves color, sewing with scraps, trying new techniques and sharing them with you.  I blog here at A Bright Corner and you can also find me on Instagram (@abrightcorner),  Facebook and Pinterest.

The block I designed for the Splendid Sampler is called Sewing Circle and can be found on page 86 of the Splendid Sampler book. 

Splendid Sampler block by Andy of A Bright Corner

I often like to mix traditional piecing techniques with some shortcut techniques - like machine applique - and this block is a great example of that!  No curved piecing here thank you very much.  

In the block above I used a narrow zigzag stitch for the machine applique, and in the block below I used a blanket stitch. This pretty pastel block is the one I'll be adding to my own sampler quilt.  

Splendid Sampler block by Andy of A Bright Corner

Now if you're like me, you might not use what I call "fancy stitches" often enough to remember what settings you prefer.  Years ago I created a little stitch catalog of my favorite stitches.  I keep my stitch catalog under my presser foot so I always know where to find it.  

Make a stitch catalog to remember the settings for your favorite stitches!  From Andy of A Bright Corner

In this little catalog I have examples of my most-used stitches along with the stitch number, the stitch width and the stitch length.  When I'm needing to do a bit of machine applique, I can refer to this to decide which one I'd like to use.  It's super handy!

Make a stitch catalog to remember the settings for your favorite stitches!  From Andy of A Bright Corner

Want to make one?  Here's how! Cut 5 or 6 fabric rectangles that are 4" x 5".  Stack them together and secure them like a book by stitching down the left side with a straight stitch.  

Time to add your favorite stitches.  I used a black Aurifil thread that would contrast with the white fabric.  Stitch one line, then use an ultra fine point sharpie or fabric marker to write the stitch number and settings.  I write the stitch width / stitch length underneath the row, and the stitch number at the end of each row.

Make a stitch catalog to remember the settings for your favorite stitches!  From Andy of A Bright Corner

It's okay if you don't completely fill your catalog right now - leave some space or even add a blank page or two at the back for adding in other stitches later.  

And there you go - your own stitch catalog to refer to!  

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to add your blocks to the Splendid Sampler website so you'll be entered to win this week's giveaway.  And I love seeing everyone's blocks in the Facebook Group so check in there this week too! 



A few more things:



You might also like:

Playground quilt tutorial from Andy of A Bright Corner

Framed Squares free quilt pattern from Andy of A Bright Corner


Tips for piecing small quilt blocks from Andy of A Bright Corner

Sewing Room Cutting Table IKEA hack from Andy of A Bright Corner




**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.





Friday, February 22, 2019

Spring Stars Quilt in Progress

This post is sponsored by Cricut.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Post may also contain affiliate links.

Today I thought I'd share some behind the scenes of a quilt that I've been working on lately.  I'm calling this one Spring Stars.  

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

The soft, pastel colors are just what I'm needing right now.  I'm getting really tired of gray, snowy days and starting to look forward to daffodils and tulips!

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

Here are some of the fabrics I've pulled to use in this quilt.  I found some of them in my stash, and I added a few that I bought in my local quilt shop.  I'm loving the mint/pink/gray/yellow combo, but I'm thinking of adding in a few light green prints maybe to add more variety.  What do you think?  Add green?  Or leave it as-is?



Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

I decided to use my Cricut Maker machine to help me cut out all of the diamond shapes.  And here's the biggest reason why....

Not only will it cut the funky diamond shapes (sweet!), but it will also mark the 1/4" markings on each point.  You can see the marker in the photo below.  It's a washable fabric pen that I can pop right into the spot on the left.  The cutting blade is on the right.  

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

I add my fabric (right side down) to the mat and the machine marks and then cuts each piece.  This is what I have after peeling off the extra fabric: 

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

And here's how the pieces are arranged for each block. You can see that the blue dots aren't visible from the front of the fabric: 

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

I also had the Cricut cut and mark all of the background (white) diamonds I would need for this quilt.  

I needed a TON of them but I just sat and watched Netflix while the machine worked it's magic.  I had to stay close by to swap out the mats each time, but it went a lot quicker than if I was cutting and marking all of these by hand!

Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

Why do I need all of those little blue dots, you ask?  They're super handy!  They show me where to start and stop stitching when I'm piecing the block.  

There are a lot of Y-seams in these blocks!  When you sew a Y-seam, you have to start and stop 1/4" away from the edge of the fabric.  You can see in the photo below how my stitching stops at the dot.  That will allow me to sew the white background diamond in next, along that edge. 

Don't worry...I'll be doing a tutorial on all of this soon.  And I'll also add in some regular rotary cutting instructions for those of you that don't own a Cricut Maker.


Six Pointed Star block using the Cricut Maker by Andy of A Bright Corner

In the mean time, I have a lot of piecing to do and I'd better get to work!  If you want to make sure you don't miss out on the tutorial, I recommend signing up for my newsletter here.

Happy sewing!
--Andy


P.S.  Want to know more about the Cricut Maker machineCheck out this post.  And you can find some fun Cricut Maker tutorials here on my Pinterest board!














Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Knots and Crosses Quilt + Turnabout Patchwork Book

Are you familiar with Teresa Mairal Barreu? Perhaps you've seen some of the fun videos she has on her YouTube channel?  That's how I became familiar with her work!

Teresa (a.k.a. Teresa Down Under) invited me to make a quilt from her new book, Turnabout Patchwork and to be a part of her blog tour.

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

This book has some really clever quilt designs in it!  Each quilt starts out in the usual way - with a stack of quilt blocks - but then you slice them up and then flip or rotate them and sew them back together.  

There are six different sections (one for each block technique such as the snowball block, shoofly block, etc) and each section also has variations - which makes a total of 23 quilt patterns.




Turnabout Patchwork book by Teresa Mairal Barreu - found on A Bright Corner



Using the fun techniques in this book you can get some really creative blocks - as well as some cool secondary patterns coming out in your finished quilt.  

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

The blocks for my quilt started with quick and easy strip piecing.  Each block was sliced diagonally twice, rotated, and then sewn back together.  

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

I decided to add one more layer of interest to my quilt by using a darker shade of green for the blocks in the center of the quilt.  You can see it a little better when looking at the full quilt below.  The green prints are all from the Blossom fabric line by Christopher Thompson (Riley Blake Designs) and the gray print is a Riley Blake Designs basic called Kisses.

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

You can find the Turnabout Patchwork book here on Amazon, or here from the Fat Quarter Shop.

You can see Teresa's blog here - And on this post you can find the full list of the quilters that are participating in the blog tour.

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner

Quilt Details:
50" x 56"
Pattern:  Knots and Crosses from Turnabout Patchwork Book
Fabric:  Blossom by Christopher Thompson / Riley Blake Designs (greens)
             Kisses basics by Riley Blake Designs (gray print in quilt)
Quilting:  Two Simple computerized edge-to-edge design

Knots and Crosses Quilt from Turnabout Patchwork book - quilt by Andy of A Bright Corner


**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, January 31, 2019

Dutch Label Shop Review + Discount Code

I did something a couple of weeks ago that I've been wanting to do for years.  Years people.  I ordered some custom woven labels. 

With each quilt I make I have intentions of adding a pretty label to the back with the name of the quilt and the date completed.  But out of ALL of the quilts I've made over the past decade only a handful have ever had a label.

A few weeks ago Dutch Label Shop contacted me about trying out a batch of labels and I jumped at the chance. 

At first I was a little overwhelmed at all of my options... What style should I choose?  What size do I need?  Should I use my logo or just my name?  I thought about it for a day or so and then just dove right in.  Because I'm one of those that could stay in the decision making mode for weeeeeks if I let myself.   :)

Dutch Label Shop review by Andy of A Bright Corner

Here is what I decided on in the end - woven logo labels with a center fold.  I uploaded a PDF of my logo and then began customizing. 

Dutch Label Shop review by Andy of A Bright Corner

As a side note, there is also an option to do a basic woven label with just text on it and no fold.  These will cost less and come with a sew-on or iron-on option.  You can customize the label color, text color, font, and even add a little symbol - like a button, or spool of thread. 


For the customized woven logo labels, this is what the ordering screen looks like.  You can see all of the tag options shown, followed by the size selection, and below that the color selection area.

 Dutch Label Shop review by Andy of A Bright Corner


The more you order, the less you pay per label. It's tempting to order a lot, but I would recommend first deciding how you'll use your labels and how often.  I know I'll be using my labels mostly on quilts (not pillows or other small projects) so it should take me a couple of years to use these 50 labels.  And by then, I might want a different style or color! 

The price of the labels depends on the size, colors, etc. you chose.  My labels were 50 for $55 which works out to $1.10 each.  But yours will be different so I recommend just heading to their site and start designing!  The price breakdown for your design is near the bottom of the screen and as you make changes you can scroll down to see how it altered the price.

Quilt label from Dutch Label Shop

I ordered my labels to be 1.5" wide with a fold at the bottom, and 1/4" space at the top so I can sew the tag into a seam and not lose any of the logo (so total size is 1.5" x 3.5" unfolded). 

Quilt label from Dutch Label Shop

Here's a look at the inside of the label.  I chose to add the double white feature which makes it so the dark threads aren't as noticeable from the front of the tag.  The fabric of the tag itself is a good quality - not thin, and durable enough to last as long as the quilt itself.  I'm really pleased with the quality.

Dutch Label Shop review

When the labels arrived in the mail I lost no time in going back to add one to my most recently finished quilt.  It was easy to just unpick a bit of the binding, insert the tag and then re-stitch the binding again.


I found the ordering process to be simple and straightforward.  The only drawback I found was that I was limited to only 7 colors (which is actually a lot!) but my original logo uses 8 colors.  After thinking about it a bit I realized that an 8-color tag would perhaps draw more attention than I wanted it to and a simple 1-color version would be better.


If you'd like to try your hand at making some custom quilt labels the Dutch Label Shop is offering a 15% off discount to all of my readers.  Start designing your label here at the Dutch Label Shop and then enter the code andyknowlton15 when you check out! The code will expire on April 1, 2019.

And let me know if you have any questions - I'd be happy to answer them!
Happy sewing,
--Andy

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