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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Super Sweet and NTT

Around here, we are squarely in the time of year that we refer to in my family as "tassel season."  If you're familiar with Red Oak trees, you know that just as the leaves emerge in the spring, they drop pollen filled tassels, and they cover everything, including my deck.  Throw in a good rain, and those tassels stick together into big, icky clumps.  Which means that quilt photos become more difficult until we can get them cleaned up, because the last things I want on my newly finished quilt top are pollen and oak tassels.  All of this is to say that taking this photo of my latest quilt was an adventure, especially since I had to solicit the help of my wild thing (hence the feet and head in the photo).


Okay, so it's no secret that I'm not a pink girl.  If I had to pick a least favorite color, pink would definitely be it.  I do like purple and berry tones though, and as I was going through my scraps for my giant color wheel project, I realized that I had lots of scraps that were right on the line between pink and purple.  So, it just made sense to tackle the pink and purple jars together to give all of those hybrid pink/purple fabrics a good home.

Though I am happy with the way this turned out overall, there are definitely quilts that I've made that I like better.  I'm sure it will grow on me as I finish it, but the color palette is just verrrrry sweet, much more so than my usual project.  

Last week's party was filled with awesomeness, as usual.  Check out this Pickle Dish quilt by Jan at The Colorful Fabriholic!


This Somerset quilt is by Shannon at The Flemings Nine, and she is releasing it as a brand new pattern.


Look at this adorable monster quilt, made by Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts, along with her son's 4-H group!


And finally, this woodland-themed baby quilt is by Myra at Busy Hands Quilts is so cute!



Y'all are fantastic!  Let's party, friends!

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)




Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April Deals and TWO Giveaways!

Happy April, friends!  Spring is in full swing around here, and it is so refreshing to see all of the bright green new leaves and vibrant pink Dogwood blooms opening up right now.  These cheery colors are everywhere, and it really makes me want to grab a happy bundle of fabrics and make something fun.  Even if spring hasn't sprung yet in your area, you can still get ready to welcome it with some fresh fabrics and amazing deals.  This post also contains two giveaways, so let's get down to business!

Over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio, they have mastered the art of putting together gorgeous bundles to reflect every season and occasion.  These bundles are perfectly color coordinated, and great if you want them for a specific project, or even just for stash building.



            Fort Worth Fabric Studio









The Purple Pushover fabrics are so much fun, and the Jammin bundle is perfect if you're looking to pump up your purple stash!



         










Right now at Fort Worth Fabric Studio, you can also get these luscious Butterfly Jewel 2.5" Strippies Packs on sale for $19.95.


Fort Worth Fabric Studio is also sponsoring the first giveaway of the day!  One lucky US winner will receive a pack of these vibrant strips.











At Lady Belle Fabric, they're still doing a shop clean-out, so their Last Chance section is still going strong.  I love popping in there every now and then to see goodies that I may have missed before that I can't find anywhere else, like this Aria bundle by Kate Spain.


Since lots of the fabrics in this section are out of print, once these deals are gone, they're gone forever, so don't miss out!









I'm also crushing on this Behind the Scenes bundle by Jen Kingwell (also in the Last Chance section).  It's such a beautiful selection of neutrals.



Lady Belle Fabric


At Shabby Fabrics, they're celebrating the season with lots of fun decor.  They have tons of monthly clubs with wall hangings, table runners, door hangers, mug rugs...you name it!  



Each monthly design is super cute, and perfect for adding just a little seasonal touch to your home.  My favorite of their clubs though, is the Year in Words pillow club.




If you're new to appliqué, Shabby Fabrics has you covered.  All of the appliqué shapes come pre-fused and laser cut for precision.  All you have to do is iron them down and stitch them into place.  Easy peasy!


If you're not into seasonal decor or appliqué, that's okay!  Shabby Fabrics still has lots for you.  They have a wide selection of yardage, kits, and notions for every taste.  
I love this fun bundle of Pom Poms and Stripes prints from the Tula Pink All Stars collection.



          Shabby Fabrics




And finally, LouLou's Fabric Shop has plenty of amazing things going on.  I always love to check out their weekly LouLou Bundle for some project inspiration and they never disappoint.




LouLou’s Fabric Shop

Did you know that LouLou's Fabric Shop also has a gift section?  It's the perfect place to find quilting or sewing related gifts for your quilty BFF.  Check out these cool Rustic Ceramic Button coasters.  They're so unique!  Everything in this section is priced to be wallet-friendly, which means you can surprise your quilty friends with little happys anytime!


Next week, LouLou's is launching a BIG spring sale, but I have an early bird code just for you!  Use the code happyspring for 20% off your entire order!  This code is good through this Friday!



LouLou's is also sponsoring the final giveaway of the day.  One lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to spend in the shop on anything you choose!






To enter both giveaways, leave a single comment on this post, and then head over to these amazing shops to take advantage of the amazing things happening right now.

If you are not in the US, please let me know!  Remember to leave an email address if you're a no-reply blogger, and only one entry per person please!  Unfortunately, replies to your own comment counts as an entry (the system numbers those, too), so remember to put your email address in your comment if necessary.

Additional replies/comments/entries are always deleted.  I'll announce the winners at NEXT week's NTT (April 24th).  Happy shopping and good luck!  :)


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Riptide and NTT

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday, friends!  By pure coincidence, my finish this week is in the same color way as the Waverunner quilt that I shared last week.  It's strange that it worked out like that, especially since I actually made the Waverunner quilt almost two months ago.  So, I hope you're in the mood for more blues, teals, and aquas, because today's scrappy finish has plenty!


This quilt used up every bit of my blue, teal, and aqua scraps and I just love how it turned out.  The arrow shape in the herringbone pattern (along with the colors) makes me think of ocean currents, so I am naming this one Riptide.


To reinforce the rippling water effect, I quilted this one with fairly dense wavy lines.  I find long wavy lines running the entire length of the quilt kind of tedious, so instead, the lines on this quilt are actually quilted in the same way I quilt woodgrain, in small sections.  The only difference is that this motif is missing the spiral shapes that are included in the woodgrain pattern.


I quilted this with 50 wt. Aurifil White, and I especially love how the rippling lines show up against the back of this quilt.  I chose a cobalt blue fabric but kept white thread in the bobbin, and the contrast creates really awesome texture.


As it turns out, I had quite a few more teal/aqua scraps than blue ones, so when my blues ran out, I just kept improv sewing the teals/aquas until they were gone and added them to the back.  I was really scrimping to have enough to get a good sized strip, but it all worked out, and I finished it off with a scrappy binding.


It makes me SO happy to clear out my scrap jars, especially when I love the result as much as I love this quilt.  Sewing this way really is lots of fun and stress-free.

If you're looking to bust through your own scraps, check out my book Stash Statement.  It includes detailed guidelines for sorting your scraps, three methods for improv sewing (with lots of pictures!), and twelve full quilt patterns that are sure to help you make a quilt that is truly unique.  You can find it in my Etsy shop HERE, or on Amazon, Connecting Threads, Shop Martingale, or you can ask about it at your local quilt shop.

The book is specifically written to make the structured improvisation technique accessible to even improv newbies.  It really is fun, and SO much easier than you think.  Best of all, once you learn the technique, the method can be applied to practically any quilt pattern, like the humble HST in this quilt.  I hope you'll check it out!


These past few days, I've moved onto two more jars.  It's time for purples and pinks!  I'm almost finished with my scrap sewing for this quilt, and then I have a great plan in mind for these panels, so stay tuned.

Last week's party really was fantastic, with lots of inspiration.  This Cotton Candy quilt is by Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts.  Such a clever use of minky fabric!


This fresh and springy quilt, called Cheerio, is by Sandra at mmm! quilts.


This lovely Meadowland quilt was shared by Nancy at Grace and Peace Quilting-


Linda at kokaquilts linked up this sweet sawtooth star quilt.  I love the scrappy low volume background.


Anja Quilts linked up her finished Classic Meets Modern BOM quilt, and I LOVE it!


This rainbow quilt by Julie's Quilts and Costumes is a stunner!


And finally, these fun rainbow hexes are by Jayne at Twiggy and Opal.  In her post, Jayne also includes some great tips for fixing bleeding fabrics!


With all of this awesomeness, there was just no way for me to stick to just three highlights this week. It's a good thing that I make the rules here and don't have to.  ;)  Y'all are fantastic.  Let's keep on keeping on, my friends!

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)




Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Waverunner and NTT

You may remember that I shared a sneak peek of some secret sewing back in February, and today I'm super excited to reveal the quilt to you.  It's my my turn as the guest designer for the International Association of Quilters and this quilt, called Waverunner, is my designer pattern.  If you missed my post on Monday, be sure to check it out HERE.  I've shared the full tutorial for my Moroccan Star block, as well as some additional information about the IAQ.


When designing this pattern, I was inspired by antique tile work.  The repeating geometric pattern really is timeless.  This quilt is relatively simple, yet the cool blues, teals, and aquas set against bright white create such a striking effect.


I opted for a soft, allover stipple in 50 wt. Aurifil #2710, Light Robin's Egg.  The whisper-soft blue stitches add a little extra pop of color.


On the back, I used a tonal print in the dreamiest shade of aqua with a stripe of this perfect blue/aqua print to widen it out; and this Cotton and Steel denim blue polkadot fabric was the perfect frame for this quilt.


I really love how this one turned out!  This pattern is exclusively available for members of the International Association of Quilters.  As a member, you will have access to ALL of the designer patterns for the year, as well as all of the monthly designer patterns for every year back to 2014.  You can check out all of the pertinent membership information HERE (this is an affiliate link).

Now, let's take a look at some of the highlights from last week's party!  I just got home last night from teaching in Michigan (you can see my Instagram feed for a couple of fun photos of the classes), and it was so much fun to look through the links while waiting in the airport.

At Gretchen's Little Corner, she shared TWO bright and happy log cabin quilts.  Be sure to check out her post to see the other one!


Something Rosemade shared this fun quilt, along with her process for putting it together.


And Vasudha at Storied Quilts showed off this gorgeous Bali Sunrise quilt.


Let's party, friends!

1You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Please remember to spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!

*If you're new to the party, here's a helpful tip for linking up- select "Auto Crop"  when selecting your thumbnail photo.  For some reason, trying to crop your own image results in the dreaded "white question mark box," and we definitely want to see your awesome work!  :)




Sunday, March 31, 2019

IAQ Moroccan Star Block

I'm so happy to let you know that I'm a guest designer for the International Association of Quilters this year. I am the featured designer for the month of April, and on their site, I'm sharing a brand new pattern.  I'll be showing photos of the quilt here within the next few days, but the pattern is only available to IAQ members right now.  I've also created a separate block for the Night Sky BOM Mystery Quilt, which is ongoing throughout 2019.  My block is called Moroccan Star, and I've put together a little tutorial for you!




For one 12.5" block, you'll need-

4 rectangles, 3.5" x 5"- print A (shown in navy)

4 squares, 3.5"- print B (shown in berry)
4 squares, 2"- print B (shown in berry)

1 square, 3.5"- print C (shown in teal)
8 squares, 2"- print C (shown in teal)

4 squares, 5"- solid white
8 squares, 2" solid white



Before we get started, it's important to note that this block requires corner-to-corner sewing, also known as stitch and flip corners or snowball corners. There are a few different ways to do these, and you can choose whichever method you like best.  Some people draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of the corner square and use this line as a sewing guide.  Another way is to press the corner squares in half diagonally and use the fold as a sewing guide.  Both of those are definitely the more traditional ways to do this, but I have another method that is just as accurate without the tedious task of drawing all those lines, or pressing.  Check it out-

Sewing Corners With the Tape Method-

I've written out the steps for you, but I also have a photo below for more visual learners.

1.  First, take a piece of painter's tape and put it on your machine and table, extending the right edge of the tape straight out from your needle.  Your needle and the tape should be in one continuous, straight line.  See, we're still using a line, but it just isn't drawn on our fabric!  Be sure you don't cover the feed dogs on your machine with the tape!

2.  Lay your corner square on top of the background square.  Align both top and bottom corners with the edge of the tape.

3.  Put the top corner under your needle and start sewing corner to corner, keeping the bottom corner aligned with the edge of the tape as you sew.

4.  Admire your straight seam!  It may take a couple of these for you to feel comfortable sewing without the drawn line, but I promise that after a few, you'll never go back to line drawing again!






Okay, now that we have the piecing basics down, let's get to the block units!  We'll start with the corner units.



Sew one 3.5" square and one 2" square of print B to opposite corners of one white square as shown.












Trim each corner to 1/4" seam allowance.


*Bonus!  If you like, you can sew the cut off triangles for an extra half-square triangle unit.















Press both corners open.  Repeat, using the remaining three white 5" squares and print B squares to create four total corner units.














Now for the side units, which create the points of the star.  Sew a white 2" square to the corner of one rectangle of print A.



Then sew one 2" square of print C to the opposite corner.














Trim the corners to 1/4" seam allowance just as before, and press open.










Once you've pressed the corners open, sew another white square and print C square to the remaining corners to finish the points.


*Time saving tip- use chain piecing for the corner squares for all corner units, plus the first two corner squares for all side units first.  Then trim the corners and take all of them to the ironing board in one trip.  Once those are done, just sew the final two corners of the side units!  This minimizes trips to the ironing board and makes this block go together pretty quickly!












You guessed it!  Trim and press open again to finish your side unit.  Make four of these as well.















Time to lay out the block pieces!  Arrange the pieces as shown, using the 3.5" square of print C as the center square.

Sew the block together in rows, just as you would sew a nine patch block.














Your finished block should measure 12.5".  *the angle of the photo is making the block look wonky, but I promise, it's not!  :)















Star blocks really are versatile, aren't they?  There are so many different variations, and lots of ways to make them stand out.  When I designed this block, I wanted to make sure that the block was pretty on its own, but it was also important to me to create a block that would also be beautiful when laid out as a full quilt.


When several of these blocks are put together, a wonderful secondary pattern emerges.  I love the medallion shape created in the negative space, as well as the squares on point where the corners converge.  I had so much fun creating this block, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

For those of you popping over from IAQ, welcome!  I hope you'll take a few minutes to browse all of the fun stuff happening here, including a weekly link party, monthly giveaways, tutorials, and plenty of quilty inspiration.  I would love for you to use one of the buttons on my right sidebar to follow along with me!

And if you're a regular reader and haven't yet, you should definitely check out the International Association of Quilters site HERE (this is an affiliate link).  It was started by Becky Jorgensen of Patchwork Posse, and each month, Becky is joined by a different guest designer with an exclusive pattern.  When you join, you'll have access to my quilt pattern (I'll show it at this week's Needle and Thread Thursday).  Plus, you'll get all of the exclusive designer patterns for the rest of this year, as well as ALL of the featured designer monthly patterns- all the way back to 2014!  There are also designer interviews, a group for connecting and swapping, printable PDF resources, and even exclusive discounts to online fabric shops.  Check it out!


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