Friday, January 30, 2015

Splash of Sparkle: A Mini Quilt

"Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All
rights reserved."

Yesterday my "Splash of Sparkle" mini quilt arrived home along with my complimentary copy of the Spring 2015 Quilts and More magazine where you can find the pattern. This quilt is pieced using the Daysail collection by Bonnie & Camille for Moda...which I believe will be available in shops very soon!

"Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All
rights reserved."

This is a beginner level project you can put together in a day, but I think it has a super fun look for such a simple design! And I always love to see the professional photography for magazine quilts; I absolutely love every style shot. My friend Abby did the terrific wavy quilting on this mini which I thought was the perfect choice for a nautical-themed mini!

"Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. 2015 Meredith Corporation. All
rights reserved."

This mini quilt is perfect for a table topper or mini wall hanging...mine will be up in my studio later today! The entire Quilts and More issue is a terrific one with several projects I want to make including pillows by Joanna of Fig Tree, a table topper by Sherri Falls of This & That, a tote by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts,  wonderful pot holders by Amy of Nana Company, and many more fun projects in a variety of sizes. The magazine will be available on newsstands February 3rd. 

Thanks so much for stopping by...Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Go Four It! A Quilt Along!

 Hello Wednesday! Today I'm finally going to share a bit more about those strips of fabric I've been sharing here and there for a little while now. I've mentioned I'm cutting strips from my Fig Tree scraps for a king-sized scrappy quilt with a quilt are a few more details!

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

 Last year I was able to participate in the American Patchwork & Quilting Tone it Down quilt along, and the quilt I made using my American Jane stash was one of my favorites (you can see my finished quilt from last year here). So I was very excited to find out there was another quilt along this year...and this time it's even better because there are more options.

The April edition of American Patchwork & Quilting will be on newsstands and quilt shops beginning February 3rd (with subscribers getting their copies any day now). You can also purchase a digital issue any time after February 6th here. You'll need a copy of the magazine to get all of the particulars for the quilts...

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

  Yes, I said quilts...this year you have three wonderful options to choose from: clockwise from top left are designs by April Rosenthal, Lissa Alexander, and Edyta Sitar. The quilt along has been labeled "Go Four It! 2015" since every design features the good old four-patch unit. The quilts use different size patches, so you can determine which size/design you most want to work with. You might even have some four-patch units in your scrap bins ready to go!

The hashtag for posting about your project on social media will be the same as last year's hashtag: #APQQUILTALONG.

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I'm starting with Lissa's quilt. I say starting because after seeing all of the versions starting to appear I might seriously have to make all three...but Lissa's is the version I'll be making with my scrappy Fig Tree strips. I've almost got them all cut and will begin posting about this quilt in more detail next week. There is also a group of bloggers who will also be quilting along and sharing their progress in between now and April...the full list is included below.

April Rosenthal, Prairie Grass Patterns
Barb and Mary, Me and My Sister Designs
Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville’s Quips & Snips!
Camille Roskelley, Simplify
Debbie Roberts, The Quilted Moose
Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts
Jane Davidson, Quilt Jane
Jo Morton, Jo Morton Quilts
Kimberly Jolly, Jolly Jabber
Linda Collins, Quilts in the Barn
Lisa Bongean
Lissa Alexander, Moda Lissa
Shea Henderson, Empty Bobbin Sewing
Sherri McConnell, A Quilting Life
Thelma Childers, Cupcakes ’n’ Daisies
Vanessa Goertzen, Lella Boutique
American Patchwork & Quilting staff

I hope you'll get the magazine, choose a quilt, grab some fabric, and get ready to quilt along! This is going to be fun...I'm hoping to make mine pretty quickly so I can use it--that's why I got a little brave and decided on the king-size version of Lissa's quilt; it will be the perfect spring quilt for our master bedroom!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Scraps Monday

Happy Monday! And it's a "scraps Monday" too! I've really been trying to work on scraps this month. Slowly, but surely I'm making progress. I've doubled my string blocks...and they were started a couple of years ago, so I'm feeling really hopeful about them. I just need to keep working. I just love the patterns created by the arrangement of these fun!

I've also been working on the new scrappy project I mentioned here...


 And I finally started cutting some of the darker strips to go with the low-volume background strips. I'm about a third of the way there on the darker ones. I've been trying to cut at least 50 each evening so it's not so overwhelming.

I still have some bigger pieces of the backgrounds I need to cut, too. I was so grateful Joanna sent me some pieces from Aloha Girl since there really isn't any other way to get this right now!

What scrappy goodness are you working on right now...please feel free to link up your current scrap projects! (And choose the Instagram option to use a photo from can find me there at @sherrimcconnell

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Favorites on Friday: Red and White

Happy Friday! This favorites edition is brought to you by the colors red and white! I really do want to finish my Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt before January comes to an end...or at least by the first week in February. So I pulled it out again earlier this week and started working on the next section of blocks.

 I have to say that the small blocks are my favorite. I can use up smaller pieces of fabric, and it's easier to put them together. It reminds me of working on my Farmer's Wife quilt a couple of years ago! By the way the small scissor block on the bottom right might just be my favorite block in this whole quilt. For now.

 The medium size blocks go together pretty quickly. I wasn't sure about all of my choices with these...and I especially worried about the lack of contrast in the flying geese blocks. But once I got them together the color variations, contrast, (and sometimes the lack of contrast) all seemed to work out. When I have a few blocks that aren't my particular favorites, I try to remember some really good advice I got a few years back: every block in the quilt doesn't have to be your favorite.

 There are enough "open spaces" designed in this quilt that everything just seems to work out.

This quilt is really getting big...I think I'm just a little past the half-way mark and running out of room to photograph it indoors. The finished measurements will be 84" x 96" which is definitely a full-size bed quilt!

And here it is with everything I've done so far all in one piece. There are mostly small blocks in the bottom half of the quilt with just a few medium and large ones to balance it out perfectly. But I'm so looking forward to all of the small ones!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Works in Progress

Happy Wednesday! I actually meant to post most of this on Monday since its for a scrap quilt project...but I had saved so many things to do on the "holiday" that before I knew it the day was gone.

I'll be sharing more about this scrappy project's going to be a king-size quilt using just my Fig Tree scraps. And...there's a quilt along for this project sponsored by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine (more on this coming for the next issue of the magazine arriving soon).

I had so much fun going through my scrap bins and remembering all of these fabrics...some old, some new, and some that I'd almost forgotten about.

Most all of these strips were cut from left over layer cake squares (it seems I don't use the light ones as much as the darker ones) and from scraps from other quilts. I did cut into about 7 fat quarters to get the few extra strips I needed for this project (there are over 350 strips pictured here).

I'll do a full post on the quilt along, soon, but I have one more work in progress to share today.

This 30" block from the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt was cut out and ready to go. For me, once I get the bigger blocks finished up in each section it's easier to decide on fabrics for the smaller blocks. So with this completed, I hope to have section 3 finished up by this weekend.

The next Scraps Monday link up will be Monday (I still need to visit all of the links from last week)...and the Simply Small project for the February parade is the pillow from Saturday's tutorial.

Thanks so much for stopping by...happy sewing!

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Scrappy Patchwork Pillow Tutorial

Do you ever have scraps that are just too precious to part with? Or that perhaps you don't want to get lost in a bigger scrap project? And that you want to use now? After finishing up another Fig Tree quilt with Aloha Girl this week I wondered what to do with my precious scraps. The Aloha Girl collection is a favorite of mine, and won't be available until spring, but I wanted to make something to enjoy now! I started piecing some 1 1/2" squares, I have a pillow!

Read on for the full tutorial for this scrap buster pillow! Use your stash, or use one Moda candy pack along with background, border and binding fabrics.

Patchwork Fabrics (can be cut from one Moda Candy pack):

16 squares 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
16 squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"

Background Fabric (1/8 yard)

2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 4 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 10 1/2"
2 rectangles 1 1/2" x 12 1/2"

Border (5" by width of fabric or 1/4 yard)

2 rectangles 2 1/2" x 12 1/2"
2 rectangles 2 1/2" x 16 1/2"

Binding (1/8 yard)

2 strips 2 1/4" x width of fabric

Pillow Back (1/3 yard)

2 rectangles 11 1/2" x 16 1/2" for flap pillow back

Batting 20" x 20"

Muslin or Cotton 20" x 20"

Block Assembly

1.  Piece 16  1 1/2" squares together in four rows of four squares each.
2.  Add a 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" background rectangle to the left and right sides of the 16-patch unit. Press toward the background rectangles.
3. Add a 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" background rectangle to the top and bottom of the 16-patch unit. Press toward the background rectangles.
4. Arrange the 16 squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" as desired. Sew two sets of 3 squares to add to the left and right sides of the unit from step 3. Sew two sets of 5 squares to add to the top and bottom.
5. Sew 1 1/2" x 10 1/2" background rectangles to the left and right sides and press towards the background rectangles.
6. Sew 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" background rectangles to the top and bottom and press towards the background rectangles.
7. Sew 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" border rectangles to the left and right sides and press toward the border fabric.
8. Sew 2 1/2" x 16 1/2" border rectangles to the top and bottom and press toward the border fabric.

Pillow Assembly

1. Layer pillow top, batting, and thin muslin or cotton (centering the pillow top on the batting/muslin pieces) and quilt as desired. I quilted a simple horizontal wavy line design with quilting rows about 1" apart.
2. Trim the excess batting and muslin even with the edges of the pillow top.
3. To prepare the flap pillow back pieces, finish one of the 16 1/2" sides on each piece with a narrow 1/4" hem.
4. Place pillow top face down (wrong side up). Place pillow flap pieces right sides up with hemmed edges towards the middle of the pillow back. They will overlap and allow you to insert a pillow form through the opening when you're finished.
5. Baste 1/8" all the way around all four edges.
6. Bind pillow edges with your prepared binding.
7. Insert pillow form (I used a 16" purchased pillow form for my pillow).


Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snapshots Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop

Hello! Welcome to the first month of the Fat Quarter Shop "Snapshots" Quilt Along! The first pattern and video tutorials are available today, and the rest will follow each month on the 15th.

When I first received patterns I hurried and made the first three blocks...I just couldn't stop sewing. I love the Daysail fabrics and the coordinating Moda Dottie fabrics Kimberly selected to go along with them.

 The first block is this great cake on a stand. Isn't it a fun block? You can find the pattern download here. And there is additional information on the quilt along here.

Kits for the entire project are still available and can be found here; they will ship in early February.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Works in Progress Wednesday

 I almost didn't get this post of those "stop you in your tracks" sinus infections took over the first part of my week. Of course that's the way it goes when you have a week off with no commitments...and I shouldn't complain since I rarely get sick. But it sure put a damper on my sewing plans! 

I did pick up some more red fabrics for my Modern Building Blocks quilt last week...and I hope to get all of the blocks cut out for the third section as soon as possible.

 And I pieced together one more string block...the one on the left is new...

And I actually pieced a quilt top before I got sick...I can't wait to share this one. It's headed to Joanna's where it will receive borders and quilting and get photographed. Then it will come back to me! The pattern is super easy but requires you to lay out the entire quilt top before piecing; it makes excellent use of the layer cake squares.  There won't be many scraps, so you do have to be careful with cutting. But this is a terrific pattern to highlight favorite fabrics. Will share as soon as I can!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Scraps Monday Week 2

 Hello Monday, and welcome to the second Scraps Monday post. The end of last week was busy for me as I taught three classes at a new to me event, "Quilt St. George," in sunny St. George, Utah. It was a wonderful event, and I met some wonderful quilters from several states: Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and California! When I got home I just wanted to sew...and my scrappy string blocks were just the ticket!

Scrappy projects are perfect to work on when you want to sew and accomplish something but might have limited time (or as in my case Saturday afternoon, limited energy)! I think the key to being able to work on scrap projects at any time is to always have them ready to go. I keep a basket of scraps for these blocks, but I also occasionally pull from my 1 1/2" strips stash and another basket of strips for my scrappy log cabins.  I also try to keep a stack of the foundation fabrics on hand that have been cut to the right size.

For this string block project I'm using a muslin foundation method. I've been working on them for quite a while. Here is a link to my tutorial for this method of making string blocks. The only difference with these is that I started with a 6 1/2" foundation fabric and trim to 6" before sewing them together in groups of four.

I have another string project using a paper foundation which requires tearing off all of the paper after each block is completed.  I'm not going to combine the blocks from the two projects since the paper method blocks are so much thinner.

 This is where I was when I began on Saturday--just two completed blocks with 3/4 of another block ready to go. I'm going to try and make a couple of these every day for the rest of the month, so we'll see how I do on this goal.

After just a little sewing Saturday night I had three more blocks finished up. It was just the right project for a little sewing and also has me motivated to continue working on these.

It was so fun to visit all the links from the first Scraps Monday post. Feel free to link up every week and share your progress and goals for scrappy sewing for the week. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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Friday, January 9, 2015


 Happy Friday! I finished up my Starlight quilt (pattern by Camille)...and right now it's pretty much my favorite quilt. I don't want to let it out of my sight! This is my second time making this quilt and

 I think I had even more fun making it this time around! I really love the simple quilting, too...and I can't wait to wash this one so it's all crinkly! First, though, I'm using it for a class sample (today actually).

 I love the scrappy binding. Although this is a jelly roll pattern, I used a fat eighth bundle and had enough fabric to cut my scrappy binding...with just a few 2 1/2" strips left over!

The aqua is the Moda Dottie fabric in the tiny dots. It really adds even more to the quilt when you see it in person.

 Abby's quilting was the perfect touch! The collection I used is called Sunnyside by Kate Spain for Moda, and it is one of those fabrics I'd been saving for "just the right project." In fact there are a few prints I wish I had yardage of!

 I'll be back on Monday for Scraps Monday! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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