Wednesday, January 29, 2014

House Blocks

House blocks have always been one of my favorite blocks. So when my Fat Quarter Shop 2013 Designer Mystery Block arrived last Saturday I had to make it. This block was so much fun--it was probably the most simple and fun block yet!

I loved last month's house block too. One more and I'll have another row finished up. I'm adding the sashing as I go so the quilt will be ready to finish when the last block arrives!

Photo via Camille Roskelley (thank you Camille)!

I've been wanting to make the house blocks above for quite some time now, too. This is the adorable house quilt, "Dwell" from Camille's book:
Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley: Fresh Quilts from Classic Blocks.

I can't wait to start making more houses!

What is your favorite block? Just curious...

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Red and White: A Charity Quilt Event

 Today I have some gorgeous "red and white" quilt eye candy to share, and I'm also helping to get the word out about a charity event sponsored by my friend Joanna Figueroa and benefiting the George Mark Children's House in San Leandro, California. First I'll present some information about these beautiful quilts, and then I'll share a few ways you can get involved.

The first quilt is from a vintage Fig Tree pattern called "A Yuletide Snowflake" and is being sewn by Joanna right now. (I think I need to get this pattern)!

Next up is a gorgeous quilt donated by Polly and Laurie of Minick and Simpson, created with their beautiful fabrics and featuring pieced and applique' blocks.

 Brigitte of Zen Chic donated this gorgeous half-square triangle quilt with the delightful embroidery verse.

 And Kaari of French General donated this vintage red and white Drunkard's Path quilt!

If you are local (San Leandro area) or close enough for a road trip, you might enjoy attending the show to see these and more new and vintage red and white quilts. You'll even be able to bid on them if you are interested! Contact Joanna for information on admission tickets--advance purchase of your admission ticket enters you into a drawing for a $100 Whole Foods Gift Certificate. There will also be raffle prizes available at the show as well as door prizes.

If you don't live in the area but are still interested in helping, there are raffle tickets available on Joanna's website for two wonderful prizes...this gorgeous, professionally quilted "Cherry Pie" quilt and a wonderful Moda "Gift Basket of Love."

You can purchase admission and raffle tickets from Joanna's website.

In addition, you may donate by sending checks made out to George Mark Children's House to: Fig Tree P.O. Box 901 San Leandro, CA 94577. Fig Tree will send you some patterns as their way of saying thank you for your donation, so be sure to include your mailing address. Donations will be accepted until the day before the event on February 8, 2014.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of these beautiful quilts! Joanna will be posting more on her blog soon!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekend Sewing

 On Friday night...with a whole list of things to do including new quilts to make and patterns to write...I finally sat down and worked on a pattern I've been wanting to make for over a month! Actually, I made two of them!

 I used scraps from Ruby, Vintage Modern, Scrumptious, Happy Go Lucky, and April Showers to make two Mini Spools quilts (pattern by Camille of Thimbleblossoms). One is for me...

and one is for a swap I'm participating in!These little quilts were absolutely a lot of fun to make.

I did some simple straight line quilting and now just need to bind them...

Sometimes you've just gotta sew what you want to sew! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Fresh Family Traditions is Here!

 My advance copy of  Fresh Family Traditions arrived yesterday via FedEx! I think the FedEx guy might have thought I was a little was hard not to contain my excitement as I signed for the package!

 While I'd seen the cover image months ago...I had no idea about the back cover until it actually arrived. So of course I turned to the back cover first!

 And then the title page...I love it! The photography is just so crisp and bright. I'm so so happy with how everything turned out. Since my advance copy arrived a few weeks sooner than I thought, I'm hoping the pre-orders will now ship in February instead of March! You can still pre-order a signed copy here from me (button to purchase under the book photo at the top of the blog) or you can order from Amazon Fresh Family Traditions: 18 Heirloom Quilts for a New Generation . Amazon is still showing April 1st as their availability date. I'll also start sharing sneak peeks of the quilts inside as soon as next week--can't wait!

Finally...remember that goal I had last summer to get a quilt ladder?! I finally accomplished it! After looking for so many years I found one in Las Vegas, just an hour away from me! I'm so happy with the ladder and think I might need one for my studio thing always leads to another...

Thanks so much for your incredible support and for stopping by today! Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Swirls and Whirls

 “Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2014 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”

The next issue (April 2014) of American Patchwork & Quilting is about to hit newsstands (subscribers may start receiving copies this week), and I have something fun to share about it. My "Swirls and Whirls" quilt is on the cover! The quilt is a fun scrappy quilt perfect for using up scraps--or you could also make it with fat quarters or even layer cake squares.

 “Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2014 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”

 I always love the magazine photos...everything is so beautifully color coordinated...I really think I need to make yellow pillow shams for this quilt when it comes home! As for fabrics for the quilt, I used fabrics by Kate Spain, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry, and Denyse Schmidt. The backing (which you can see a peek of in the above photos) is one of my favorite prints from Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille. I went with a scrappy binding to set it off!

Photo via Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt

Natalia Bonner did the custom quilting for me last September...and on a very quick timeline (just as I'm sure she was getting knee-deep in market quilts). Natalia's quilting is stunning as always...and it was so much fun to have her send me a few photos while she was quilting!

See my project, as well as other featured projects from this issue, here.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Patchwork Heart Table Runner

 I spent part of yesterday making a new table runner. I was inspired by the fabrics in Deb Strain's Surrounded by Love collection for Moda. I used a Layer Cake for every bit of my runner--all the parts and pieces of every block, the sashing and posts, the scrappy back, and the scrappy binding were all made with Layer Cake squares! You can find my PDF Patchwork Heart Table Runner pattern here.

 I don't have a lot of Valentine's decor, but I got out what I do have so I can do a little decorating...

This is my Valentine's version of my Scrappy Patchwork Table Runner. I used a light fabric for one of the patchwork squares in each block to create the heart shape.

 I also love my Valentine's patchwork basket. I used the tutorial by Pink Penguin. I've made a lot of these over the past few years and was thinking I might make a few this year with the scraps left over from my table runner--it will make a perfect gift with some cookies and candy inside.

It was fun to make the Patchwork Heart Table Runner and have a quick finish yesterday afternoon

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Half Square Triangle Tutorial

When I recently posted about half-square triangle options I received a few e-mails asking me for some more details about my construction method. Since I had to make some half-square triangles for this months Bee blocks, I took a few pictures along the way. Half-square triangles are so much fun to make with gorgeous fabrics, and they really are some of my favorite quilt blocks to make. It was fun to get to sew with the Flea Market Fancy prints!

 I use a mechanical pencil and a 1/4" wide ruler to draw lines on the back of the light fabrics. There are other brands available, but I've had these two different Quilter's Quick Quarter-8" and Quilters Rule Quick Quarter II 12 inch   tools for several years. They are exactly 1/4" wide and have slits along the center to line up with the center points of your fabric squares. I probably use the larger size the most, although the smaller size is handy for small blocks.

 I usually draw the lines fairly light, but I drew darker lines on this block  so it would show up a bit better. After marking all of my light-colored squares, I place them right sides together with the same size print squares. Then I sew along each of my drawn lines.

I like to make my half-square triangles a bit bigger than they need to be and then trim them to the perfect size. I generally add 1" to the finished measurement of my desired block size and cut my light and print squares that size. So to make 3" finished blocks I'll cut 4" squares.

 After sewing I cut the squares in the middle of my two sewn lines. I don't press yet.

 I use the "Fit to be Quarter" square ruler (by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts) to trim my blocks. Again, there are other brands available, but I love this ruler because it will trim blocks at every quarter inch up to 6 1/2" square. I also have a larger "Fit to be Quarter" ruler which trims blocks up to 9 1/2" square.

With this ruler you simply line up your sewn line with the desired block size line and trim away the extra fabric at the side and top. For this example the fabrics had been cut even larger than normal for photography. Normally I am trimming smaller pieces off of the side and top.

At this point I press the half-square triangle blocks. I press these seams open unless I'm following a pattern with specific pressing directions. I find that pressing these seams open really helps my piecing to be more accurate as I use these sections in blocks.

Please feel free to email me with any questions or clarifications. Things have been pretty busy around here with the holiday weekend, but I'll get to your email as soon as I can!

I had fun finishing up a couple of Bee blocks today...

And I made two matching blocks for me...I have 5 of my 25 finished now!

Thanks so very much for stopping by!

New fabrics and sale fabrics  are at Southern Fabric this week.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Home Stretch...

I've finished piecing my American Patchwork & Quilting quilt along quilt! And I think I've found the perfect backing, too! After auditioning all of the available backing fabrics in my backing "stash" I decided on this Scrumptious floral by Bonnie & Camille. It just seemed to echo the vintage feel of my quilt. I had been planning on a red binding, but now I'm not so sure. I'm almost thinking a blue binding might be best now.

Even though the blocks are large, I just didn't realize what a nice-sized quilt this was going to be until I started to lay out the blocks on my living room floor. I literally had to move some furniture to get all of the parts and pieces organized. I moved some of the blocks and sashings here and there--trying to get a good mix and make sure things were well-spaced. I alternated red and orange center blocks and then tried to make sure the yellow, blue, and green rings were pretty much evenly dispersed throughout the quilt. I also tried to make sure the blocks that read as more "bold" were spread throughout the quilt.

In the end, though...I just couldn't think about it too much...or I might have been there forever making decisions. Once I started sewing, putting it all together went pretty fast. This was definitely another one of those quilts that was hard to finish because I've had so much fun putting it all together.

After my quilt center was pieced I did a 1/8" stay-stitch around the entire quilt. I do this when there are a lot of pieced blocks in the border of the quilt; this simple straight stitch keeps the borders from stretching and keeps the edges of pieced blocks secure. I didn't want any of the 9-patch sections around the edges to come apart.

It's going to be quilted soon...I absolutely can't wait to get this one back! Oh...and I sent off another quilt to be quilted,'s an oldie but a goodie!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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