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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Oh Happy Day!

Today is the day!  I worked hard yesterday to finish up the center piece for my color wheel wall just so that I could share the finish with you at today's party.  I love it SO much.


I know it's hard to tell in the photo, but these minis take up the entire wall (each one measures 24 inches square).  If you look back at the photo of the original wall, you will see that the thermostat is not centered.  It was only about five inches to the left of center, but that was enough to throw a wrench in this design.  I just didn't have enough wiggle room on the wall, and they wouldn't have fit unless I had an electrician center the thermostat on the wall (which of course, I did- totally worth it).

At first, I was a little stumped about how to finish the center of the wall.  I originally thought that I wanted to create a black/gray/white color gradient piece, but when I realized that it would have to be so long and skinny, I decided against it.  A long and skinny shape is perfect for text though!  Ultimately, I decided that a little uplifting message on crisp white would be perfect.  The space above the chair rail is only a couple inches shy of six feet, so this is a LOT of color in one place.  The text actually gives the eye a place to rest, and I think it ties the whole thing together without being overwhelming.


The center mini is created with solids and raw edge appliqué using Heat n Bond Lite.  It was lots of fun to use a rainbow of Aurifil 50 wt. thread to stitch down each letter.


I went back and forth with myself on how to quilt it.   I really wanted a filler that would allow the white background to recede with the solid letters popping out.  So, I quilted with a very dense stipple around the letters, and then finished it off with a solid black binding.  The center mini measures 9.5" x 40", and I promise it's straight and square (as are all of the minis).  Since I've only pinned the top of each quilt to the wall, you can see that there are places where the bottom of the quilts aren't completely flush against the wall.  That's all good in person, but gives the impression that they aren't straight and square in the pic.

Remember my happy accident with the quilting?  Well, I was able to work it into my design very easily.  Once I realized my mistake, it just took a little planning.  The quilts with only two swoops in the quilting design are on top and bottom, and the ones with four swoops in the design are on the sides.



Since these are up on a wall, it's not easy to get close-up views, and of course these are indoor photos. So, if you missed a color or two and want to take a look at outdoor detail shots of each mini, here are the links to the original posts-  blue, red, orange and pink, teal and yellow, purple and green.

This wall has been lacking inspiration for a long time, but not anymore.  Just walking into my studio brightens my mood and puts a huge smile on my face.  With all of that color, how could a day in my studio be anything but a happy day?

I actually had a friend ask me for photos of the steps in my process for putting these together in order to get the color gradient effect just right.  Since I already have the step photos, if there is enough interest, I would be happy to write up a tutorial for it.  Just let me know in the comments.

Last week's party was amazing, as usual!  Paula at The Sassy Quilter is ready for the 2019 holiday season with this awesome Modern Christmas Trees quilt  (you're not behind, Paula, you're just WAY ahead).


Kris at Sew Sunshine shared this gorgeous Sunset Strip quilt.


Nicole at Handwrought Quilts linked up this beautiful rainbow quilt.  This is the back, and you definitely don't want to miss the front of this beauty.


And finally, Pi Day is upon us, and this Pi to Infinity mini by Slice of Pi Quilts is the perfect way to mark the occasion.


Okay y'all!  It's time to show me the latest projects from your sewing space.  Let's party!

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, March 12, 2019

March Sponsor News and TWO Giveaways

Ahh...spring is finally here!  Lately, we've had some milder temperatures, and even though it has been rainy, and even though I know that the temperatures will likely dip a couple more times, it makes me happy to know that winter is on its way out. For me, the arrival of spring brings a renewed energy to create, along with plenty of fresh inspiration.  How about you?  If spring has energized your creativity, I have the details on plenty of great sales to help you get those projects done.  This post also includes two giveaways, so let's jump right in!





We'll kick off this month's post with LouLou's Fabric Shop.  LouLou's is a great place to shop for beautifully curated bundles, as well as bundles of a specific collection, and they have a fantastic coupon for you this month!


Through this Friday ONLY, you can receive 25% off of their fat quarter bundles with the code Bundle.  Wow!  That's a deal that's hard to pass up.









LouLou's is also sponsoring the first giveaway for today's post.  One lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to spend on anything you choose.  Woohoo!



LouLou’s Fabric Shop
Shabby Fabrics is the home for so many clubs, you're sure to find one that is perfect for you, and if you love florals, their latest block of the month quilt is a stunner.
The World of Blossoms BOM has vibrant colors, and gorgeous flowers that will brighten any day.  The great thing about Shabby Fabrics appliqué pieces is that they arrive to you pre-fused and laser cut for precision.  That means that all you have to do is iron them down and stitch them in place!  Read more about this BOM club HERE!


                       Shabby Fabrics



At Lady Belle Fabrics, there are so many bundles, it's hard to pick a favorite.  New in their shop though, is a whole section of solid bundles.  There are plenty of bundles to coordinate with your favorite fabric collection, like this bundle of Tula Pink solids.


Lady Belle Fabric

If you love print fabrics best, Lady Belle has you covered there too.  There are lots of designer collections, as well as specially curated print bundles to choose from, and their sale sections even have bundles priced as low as 40% off, like this bundle by Joel Dewberry!

Be sure you check out their Last Chance section.  This section is filled with gems, including LOTS of out of print fabrics.  As they destash and organize, the section will be updated, so check back often so you can snag that fabric you've been looking for!
And don't forget- if you are looking for someone to help you finish your quilts, Lady Belle offers longarm quilting services!


Finally, over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio, there are lots of fun thing happening.  Check out this new Deconstructed Star Quilt Kit.  The black and cream fabrics with little pops of color are so pretty!
They're also ready to help you welcome the warmer weather with this fun Stars -n- Stripes bundle.  Picnic season is right around the corner!
         Fort Worth Fabric Studio








Fort Worth Fabric Studio is sponsoring the final giveaway for today.  TWO lucky US winners will each receive a charm pack of the super cute collection Love American Style.


These fabrics are perfectly patriotic, and sure to make a project worthy of a spring picnic, or baseball game.












Wow!  Before you head off to these amazing shops to check out the great sales, be sure to leave a single comment to enter both giveaways.

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 (March 2oth).  Happy shopping and good luck!  :)


Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Last Two

Quilty friends are the best, aren't they?  They give inspiration when your sewjo is in a slump.  They are perfectly happy to talk about quilty things all the time (much more so than husbands, in my experience), and when you're working on a scrappy project and lack certain colors, they come through in a big way.

I have worked my behind off these past several days and finished my final two color wheel minis, and I couldn't have done either of them without the help of a good quilty friend.


This green mini is named Topiary, and though I couldn't help but cut some pieces from my favorite greens in my cabinet, the bulk of the green scraps were actually from an obliging friend.  If you recall, when I made my Woodwork quilt, I was super proud of the fact that I completely cleaned out my green and gray scrap jars.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until afterward that I had the color wheel idea and realized that I literally had zero greens to pull it off.  My friend assured me that she had plenty that I could have, and I spent a couple of hours visiting with her and shopping through her three tubs(!) of greens.  To say she has plenty green scraps is quite an understatement.


My purple mini is named Amethyst, and though I had plenty of dark and medium purples, shades of lavender and lilac were practically nonexistent.  Once again, my friend had exactly what I needed.  She had made a quilt with hydrangea flowers, so her purple stash was overflowing with the lighter shades I required.  Quilty friends to the rescue!

You might notice that these two minis are being showcased on my green studio wall.  It's been raining here for the past few days, and since they were finished, my hubs and I spent part of our rainy day yesterday hanging them before I was able to get any sunshiny outdoor photos.  Since these are each 24 inches square and take up the entire wall, it was definitely a two person job.  A ladder and laser level were involved.  I'll be revealing the full color wheel wall at this week's NTT, and I can't wait!


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Back At It and NTT

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday!  My beloved Regina Bernina is back where she belongs, and since picking her up I've made two more color wheel minis.  This one is called Seaglass, and hands down, it's my new favorite.


Make no mistake, I have had so much fun making each one of these, but this one was especially enjoyable because I had a very wide variety of teal and aqua scraps from darkest to lightest in my jars.  Because I regularly use all of these values in my quilts, the color gradient was easy to create.


With a couple of the other colors (like orange and red), the darkest values were tough, because I don't use colors like rust or maroon very often.  Not this one though.  It's easy to see where your heart truly lies when you pull out your scraps, and it's clear that teal/aqua have my heart.

The other mini for this week is called Honeycomb, and unlike the Seaglass mini, I did have a tougher time with the darker values on this one.


I wanted to make sure that dark amber yellow was represented, but that it didn't look too brown.  A few pieces sprinkled throughout the center give just enough depth, but it definitely still reads as yellow.


Since my happy accident with my Peony pink mini (quilting four swoops instead of two), I've come up with a plan for the rest.  It will make more sense when I show all of them up on my wall, but I'm working the mishap into my design.  So, the yellow is also quilted with four swoops, but completely on purpose this time.

I'm making great progress on these.  Purple is up on my wall to finish this evening, and then I just have green left!




Before we get to the highlights from last week, I owe you a winner for the Home Grown blog hop giveaway.  Comment number 96, Pat at scrappatches is the winner!  Thanks so much to all who entered!






Oh my goodness!  Last week's party was fantastic.  I had such a hard time deciding which projects to highlight.  Check out this beauty by Diana at Red Delicious Life, made with Bonnie and Camille's April Showers line-


Better'n Dog Biscuits shared this sweet quilt, aptly named Goose.


And finally, Liz at Savor Every Stitch shared this quilt, and although the pattern is pretty simple, her mad free motion skills give it major wow factor!


Okay friends, it's time to get our party going!

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, February 27, 2019

Something's Missing

Happy Needle and Thread Thursday, y'all.  As I mentioned in last week's NTT, I dropped off my beloved Regina Bernina for regular servicing on the way to QuiltCon last week (ps- it was AMAZING, and I can't wait for next year!).  Anyway, she's all spiffed up and ready to go, so I'm planning to pick her up tomorrow.  The shop is about 1.5 hours away- almost exactly halfway between here and Nashville, so dropping her off on the way to QuiltCon was easy, but it's not exactly a quick pickup.  Instead, while waiting for her to be ready, since getting home I've been sorting and pressing my yellow scraps, which are next up in my giant color wheel project.  I've also taken this time to finish up the pattern for the secret quilt I showed last week.


So, since I don't have any fun eye candy to share from my studio, let's get right to last week's party highlights.  This sweet, scrappy finish is by Something Rosemade-


Jan at The Colorful Fabriholic linked up this pretty plus quilt-


Amber at Sew With Sparkles shared this Alison Glass feather quilt, along with a great story of her first foray into quilting-


and finally, I am in love with this fun, scrappy heart quilt by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color-


Wow!  Between browsing all of the fantastic projects from last week's party and all of the amazing inspiration at QuiltCon last weekend, I'm itching to get going on those yellow scraps.  I can't wait to get my machine back tomorrow!

If you didn't make it to Nashville, you should definitely look through all of the photos on Instagram to marvel at all of the gorgeous modern quilts.  I know they'll spark your creativity!

Alright, let's party!

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, February 26, 2019

Home Grown Blog Hop and Giveaway

Today, I'm delighted to share a tutorial with you as part of the Home Grown blog hop.  I put together a quilt that adds a little twist to a classic Antique Tile quilt block, and it is so much fun in these fabrics.  I'm calling this pattern Hopscotch, and with strip piecing, it goes together quickly.


The colors in this collection by Nancy Halvorsen are so cheerful and the prints are super cute.  These fabrics really make me wish for spring, which is almost a constant state of mind these days.  Just look at those luscious colors!


So, let's get to it!

Hopscotch Quilt

Finished quilt size- 48" x 60" 
Finished block size- 12" x 12"
Fabric Requirements-
          20 fat quarters (*see note below)
          1 yard solid white background fabric 
          3 yards backing fabric (*see note below)
          52" x 64" piece of batting
          1/2 yard binding fabric 


*Because I love quilts with lots of fabric variety, I made this one with 20 different prints,  cutting one complete block from each fat quarter.  This is a large collection, and I really had a tough time choosing only 20 to use in this quilt!




I like to piece my quilt backings, so I used all of the leftovers there.  If you choose to do this, you won't need 3 yards of backing fabric.  Instead, follow the instructions at the end of this post for a scrappy backing!





If using 20 fat quarters
as shown in my quilt, cut from each-
*diagram not to scale

(2) rectangles, 2.5" x 18"
(1) squares, 4.5"
(1) rectangles, 2.5" x 10"
(4) squares, 2.5"





OR, if you don't like lots of leftovers, and want a more controlled fabric selection, you can make this quilt with just 10 fat quarters.  Just double the number of pieces cut from each fat quarter.  In this case you'll cut TWO complete blocks from each print instead.  Using this number of prints creates very little scrap fabric.




If using 10 fat quarters, cut from each- *diagram not to scale

(4) rectangles, 2.5" x 18"
(2) squares, 4.5"
(2) rectangles, 2.5" x 10"
(8) squares, 2.5"





From solid white, cut
80 rectangles, 2.5" x 4.5"
          Cut 5 strips, 4.5" x WOF (width of fabric), subcut each strip into 16 rectangles, 2.5" x 4.5"
          to yield 80 total pieces

20 rectangles, 2.5" x 10"
          Cut 5 strips, 2.5" x WOF, subcut each strip into 4 rectangles, 2.5" x 10" to yield 20 total pieces





Make each block with three contrasting prints-

1 strip, 2.5" x 18" print A
1 strip, 2.5 x 18" print B
1 strip, 2.5" x 10" print B
1 square, 4.5" print C
4 squares, 2.5" print C
1 rectangle, 2.5" x 10" white
4 rectangles, 2.5" x 4.5" white






Sew the 10" print strip and 10" white strip together and press open.  Subcut the strip unit into four equal pieces measuring 2.5" x 4.5".


*Time saving tip-  since each of the 10" print strips is paired with a 10" white strip, it is easy to chain piece and subcut these for all blocks at the very beginning.






To create the corner units for the blocks, sew each strip unit to the right of one 2.5" x 4.5" white rectangle.

















Make all four corner units and give them a press!











Next, make the side units for the block by sewing the 18" strips of print A and print B together.

Subcut the strip set into four equal pieces, measuring 4.5" square.






Now, just lay out your block into three rows like this, using the 4.5" square of print C as the center!  Easy, right?

Sew those together in three rows, as you would a nine patch block.  At this point, you have a classic Antique Tile quilt block.

Your block should measure 12.5" square.  If it doesn't, you'll want to trim it to size.






The part that gives this pattern a little extra pop is the addition of the corner squares, which create the diamond shape in the negative spaces between the blocks.  It's a simple modification, but I think the secondary pattern really makes the quilt special, and keeps it from looking like a big grid.  To sew the corner squares, there are a couple of different methods.  Lots of people draw a diagonal line on the back side of the corner square as a guide, but I prefer to use a different method.

To keep your sewing straight, use a piece of painter's tape, aligned straight out from your needle, NOT at the 1/4" mark.  Align the corners of your 2.5" square with the edges of the tape, and sew from corner to corner, using the edge of the tape as a guide.  It takes a few tries to get used to sewing without a drawn line, but once you do, it is so much faster!  This trick works for corner squares of virtually any size.  Best of all, it's accurate!







So, use whichever method you prefer to sew the four 2.5" squares of print C to the four corners of your quilt block.















Trim the corners off, leaving 1/4" seam allowance (I usually just eyeball this).














Give your corners a press, and your quilt block is all finished!


Sew the remaining quilt blocks using three contrasting prints in each block.
















Arrange your quilt blocks into five rows with four blocks in each row. Then sew the rows together to finish your quilt top.















If you decided to use 20 fat quarters, you have lots of leftovers, but since they're in big pieces, it's easy to use them on the back.  

Sew the long sides of 18 of the leftover pieces into three columns, using six fabrics in each column.  Then sew the three columns together.

Then, cut 1/2 yard of solid gray fabric into two pieces, 9" x WOF, and trim off the selvages.  Piece the two strips end-to-end to create one long strip, 9" wide.  Sew the strip to the side of the backing to widen it out enough for your quilt.




Then just baste, quilt, and bind!  This pattern would be great to showcase your free motion quilting skills, but I went with the fast finish, opting for a nice soft stipple, and a pop of yellow on the binding.


I really loved working with these fabrics!  They are gorgeous altogether, but I also love that the blenders in the line are great for stash building.  It's always great when fabrics play well with others.  


You can win a bundle of these beauties for yourself!  Just leave a single comment on this post to let me know what you'd like to make with these lovely fabrics (US only please).

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 will be deleted.  I'll announce the winners at NEXT week's Needle and Thread Thursday (March 6th).  Good luck!  :)

This giveaway has now ended.  Thanks to all who entered.  I'll announce the winner at this evening's NTT.  :)

PS- If you're hopping over from Sew In Love With Fabric and you're new to my blog, welcome!  I host a weekly link party and monthly giveaways, plenty of tutorials, and lots of fun.  Take a few minutes to look around, and then I hope you'll use one of the buttons on my right sidebar to follow along!

And don't forget to visit the full blog hop lineup this week.  Be sure to check out all of the other awesome projects (and giveaway chances!) throughout the week.

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday
Nancy's Virtual Trunk Show @ Sew in Love with Fabric




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