Thursday, April 30, 2015

Something Moda

Happy Thursday! I meant to get this post up yesterday, but I was knee-deep in market sewing! You see, on Tuesday, these fantastic boxes arrived on my doorstep, and by Tuesday night I had six quilts ready to sew...

 It's Quilt Market time, and while I've been doing quilt market sewing for several years, this year it's different. I've been keeping a secret since last fall, and it's finally time to share (I'm not good at keeping secrets, so this is huge that I've been able to keep this under wraps).

Also, I'm filled with such gratitude for this opportunity, that I haven't been able to come up with just the right words to write a blog post about I'm just going to (as they say) spill the beans.

You'll be seeing a bit more of my younger daughter Chelsi here on the blog because she and I are new Moda fabric designers. It's taken a couple decades, but all of her drawing on the walls as a toddler and young child has been a true blessing!

Anyway...this is all I can share now, but our first collection will debut at International Quilt Market in Minneapolis in just two weeks! Which leads me to my next announcement...

Tomorrow's post will be brought to you by my husband and my daughter Chelsi. I'm not sure what they're up to!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Red and Green Quilt Blocks

Happy Tuesday! This is going to be a very busy week here at A Quilting Life, so I thought I'd better share these red and green blocks before things got really busy. I've always wanted a red and green quilt and pieced my first two blocks over the weekend.

 The blocks are both from a mystery red and green sampler Joanna at Fig Tree is doing. I didn't have to think twice about signing up (although this is my year for finishing works in progress and scrap quilting...when the opportunity comes to make one of your "bucket list" take it! 

 First I made the Churn Dash the secondary star that formed in the middle!

And then the Lily block...lily blocks are one of my favorites--my great great grandmother made a beautiful Lily quilt that I'd love to replicate someday.

As I mentioned earlier...this is a busy week. I have something to announce tomorrow that I've been keeping secret for quite a while...

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Strip Smart Quilting

If you're intimidated by working with angles in your quilt projects, I have a wonderful recommendation. The other night I watched Joanna Figueroa's new Craftsy class,  Smarter Strip Quilting  


 I watched the entire class in one sitting, and it's absolutely fabulous. I've been sewing for Joanna for several years now, and it dawned on me while I was watching the class that everything I know about sewing with angles I've learned from Joanna...and yet I learned several new things while watching her class. I want to make the Argyle Diamonds quilt pictured above...

And I also want to make her Sunset Stars quilt.

 And then there is Jelly this one, too!

Joanna walks you through each of these quilts in the class--all the while passing on tips for cutting, pressing, working with bias edges and putting the blocks together. I really believe that any quilter who has mastered the 1/4" seam allowance could take this class and make these quilts. I was excited to learn new things that will help me in my own quilting and that will also help the students I get to sew with! For a short time (I'm not sure how long this discount works) you can get the class for 50% off using this link Joanna provided me.

Thanks so much for stopping by...I've got something fun to share later this week!

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Favorites: Pineapple Quilt Blocks

Some of my favorite quilters have been making some gorgeous pineapple quilt over the past few months. I made a Fig Tree version a couple of years ago but have been wanting to make a scrappy version lately.

 Yesterday was the day! I pulled out some of my favorite bright scraps and started cutting strips.

 Although a lot of the pineapple quilts I've seen lately have been paper pieced,  I purchased this Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool a couple of months ago and have been wanting to try it out (I love their Creative Grids Log Cabin Trim Tool for 8" Finished Blocks Quilt Ruler (CGRJAW1)  which I blogged about here).  The Pineapple Trim Tool will make pineapple blocks that are 6", 8", or 10" finished.

Here is my first far so good. The instructions are well written. You don't do the same thing at each step, though, so you have to follow along carefully--but everything is clearly marked and easy to understand.

I made a second one after getting all of my strips ready to go went a lot faster! I really shouldn't have started a new project with my focus this year being on finishing, but these blocks were so much fun. After quilt market I definitely want to make this one of my summer projects!

For more pineapple quilt inspiration, be sure to visit Amanda's blog and Elizabeth's blog...Amanda uses a regular ruler for her blocks, and Elizabeth's are paper-pieced.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

PS...Craftsy is having a big sale this weekend...with up to 60% off on top kits and fabric...visit their quilting sale here.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Scrap Quilt Blocks

This weekend I got caught up on my Bee blocks...and I realized that three of the blocks would be perfect for scrap quilting.

The first block is perfect for left over jelly roll strips and charm squares.

Nedra sent three jelly roll strips and a charm square for her block. There were left overs from all three jelly roll strips--you could definitely make another block with the print strip left overs, and with another 1/4 strip of each of the two solids you could also get another block. Nedra's block is a Jelly Roll Sampler quilt from an on-line quilt along a few years back (designed by April Mazzoleni, but I couldn't find the pattern on her site).

Next up I pieced Sinta's block which involved some easy piecing and simple machine applique. Sinta's block is for her
"Tiled Blooms" quilt which is a quilt designed by Corey Yoder of Little Miss Shabby. The technique for the simple machine applique can be found in Corey's book, C&T Publishing Playful Petals: Learn Simple, Fusible Appliqué 18 Quilted Projects Made From Precuts.  This pattern is absolutely perfect for scraps...grab a background, some contrast fabric for the lattice sections, and use your scraps for the petals!

Finally I worked on Kim's block--the Scrappy Crossroads Block by Lori Holt. Lori posted the tutorial for this block on her Instagram feed (search the hashtag #scrappycrossroads on Instagram to find it). This makes a 16" finished block and is a terrific way to use up lots and lots of 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares!

What scrappy project are you working on right now? Would you like some fun scraps to add to your projects? Link up below with your scrappy blog post, and I'll pick someone to send some fun scraps to next week!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Summer Spinner Mini Quilt

Happy Monday! Do you like mini quilts? How about pinwheels? I got a fun email this afternoon letting me know my Summer Spinner mini quilt made the cover of the Summer 2015 issue of Quilts and More...

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

 And...the issue arrives on newsstands tomorrow!

 This was a fun quilt to piece--I had a lot of fun using Jen Kingwell's debut collection for Moda, Gardenvale, and when I couldn't decide on a binding I chose a scrappy version. I love pinwheels, and tiny pinwheels are even cuter than big ones!

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

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

I'll be back on Wednesday with the next "Scraps Monday" edition...I have some fun ideas to share!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Saturday, April 18, 2015


I have some good favorites to share today...some new rulers and organizing helps, and then a favorite project of mine right now.

First I want to share the new Itty Bitty Eights rulers by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings and Creative Grids. These rulers have already found a place on my cutting table.

 These rulers come in two sizes right now, the 6 x 6 and the 3 x 7. The 1/8" lines are clearly marked--I don't  have any other ruler that makes it as easy to measure to the 1/8th. The rulers are intended for use with mini quilts where lots of measurements are given at 1/8" increments, but I see them being useful for all projects.

 I love that the 6 x 6 ruler has a diagonal line which makes it perfect to use to trim half-square triangles to the perfect size. And the 3 x 7 fits in your hand nicely. I love the width which makes it easy to control smaller pieces without being too overly big. And the 7" height makes it nice as well. You can find these rulers from Primitive Gatherings right now (here and here), and I'm sure they'll be showing up at your favorite quilt shops soon.

Something else I had to share are these two pamphlet/brochure holders I picked up the other day at Staples. The larger one fits magazines perfectly--great for storing quilt magazines I'm using and reading. Large patterns can also be stored in this size holder, and they can be stored there while you're working, making it easy to have your directions close at hand. The smaller size is perfect for keeping a stack of patterns in your "to do" list. I usually keep all of my patterns in hanging file folders by type, but this is going to be great for the patterns on my Works in Progress list and Want to Make list. I think one of these holders would be great in the kitchen for storing recipes and such.

Finally...all of my blocks for the American Patchwork & Quilting "Go Four It" quilt along are now finished. This has been a work in progress since the end of last year really when I first started cutting the strips. There are literally thousands of pieces in these blocks, and I'm excited to start sewing them together. Since it's going to be king-sized I'm already prepared to take it "one row at a time..."

There are 242 9-patch blocks in two different setting made with 5 four-patches and 4 solid squares and the other setting made with 4 four-patches and 5 solid squares. I put all of my navy four-patches in one group, so I'm hoping when I lay the blocks out that will ensure that the navy pieces are well distributed throughout the quilt--they really make it sparkle.

Thanks so much for stopping by...have a wonderful weekend!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Low Volume Fabrics

 Happy Wednesday! First, thank you so much for all of the lovely comments and suggestions on my last post! I appreciate it very much and got some good ideas from your comments.

Today's post is brought to you by "low volume." I know this "low volume" label is a relatively new term...when I first started quilting a lot of these types of prints might just have been considered "background fabrics." But today's "low volume" label encompasses solids, tone on tone prints, and even colored prints that "read" as a solid or background fabric.

 The upcoming Fig Tree collection I've been posting about recently, Farm House, has one of the best collections of these "low volume" prints I've found lately (although I do know of another upcoming market collection that has some really fun "low volume" prints as well...more on that later).

 Joanna sent me some of these light Farm House prints to use in my American Patchwork & Quilting project...I wasn't quite finished with it when I started some market sewing, and now I'm glad because I can use some of these fun prints for backgrounds.

The text prints are a lot of fun...multi-colored, red and taupe on ivory...

 And then the polka dots...

And these favorites...the print on the left is one of my every colorway. The plus sign print is another favorite...and the!

 I've started cutting them into squares and adding them to my remaining blocks. I think my market sewing is finished for about a week, so I'm hoping to get this quilt together in the meantime!

 My mini "Country Fair" quilt is ready for quilting, too. Those nine-patches are really tiny! At first I was just going to make the sashing strips and the 9-patches. But you know how it is...then I had to put the center together...

 And then...since I had just enough for the outer border...I added that too! I think I want to re-do my kitchen in Farm House!

Finally...just a couple more things...first...I have jelly rolls of Jingle and Holly's Tree Farm in the shop...

And a Schnibbles note too...we'll be back on June 1st with the next Schnibbles I need mailing addresses for Cathy from Sinta's parade and Jodi from my parade--Sinta and I have a little something to send the two of you.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Sewing

Hope your weekend was wonderful! We've been having delightful spring weather here...perfect warm days with nights that still have just a bit of a chill! I started working on a mini version of Joanna's "Country Fair" quilt that I shared last week. With the blocks finished it should go together quickly!

 I also got the chance to sew another quilt with the Farm House collection. This one is for a book being published by some friends, so I won't be able to share for awhile...but it was super fun to see the whole collection together before I started sewing...

It's always hard to unwrap a bundle, but when I'm sewing for someone else it's a little easier! There are some great light/low volume fabrics in this collection...
 I had some good scraps and will be able to incorporate them into my  American Patchwork & Quilting "Go Four It" quilt!

 First up on the agenda this week is to turn these into a quilt...

and add these finished Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks to my collection.

I'm making plans now for future blog posts and am hoping you might leave a comment on today's post if you have input/ideas on the following questions...thanks so much...I would really appreciate it!

  1. What do you want to see more of here on A Quilting Life?
  2. Would you be interested in a "Block of the Week" quilt along quilt (free patterns) or would "Block of the Month" be a better time frame?
  3. Are there any techniques you would like to see tutorials for?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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