Friday, September 19, 2014

Playful Petals Quilts

Playful Petals by Corey Yoder : Fresh Lemons Quilts
I was asked a few weeks ago by Corey Yoder (who you may also know as Little Miss Shabby) if I would like to review her new book Playful Petals. I am a fan of Corey and her talent so I was excited to read Playful Petals.

This book is full not only of beautiful patterns and inspiration, but also some really great skills and information. All of the 9 quilt patterns (+9 mini quilt patterns) are created using the 'petal' motif, but there is a great variety of designs. 
I've always loved this shape in the traditional 'orange peel' quilts, but it was so fun to see Corey's unique designs and twists using this simple shape.
Corey goes into a lot of helpful information about and options for fusible applique. Her information is very detailed and useful. If you are looking for a good resource on fusible applique this book is great! Also helpful instruction on quilting basics, binding, using precuts effectively, and how to make a pillow in a variety of sizes.
Want to hear a confession? It's a crazy week around here and I originally was just planning to review the book alone. But as I read it, I was so inspired by the projects and motivated by Corey's instructions and encouragement that I suddenly had the intense desire to play with some petals of my own. I had a little mini Miss Kate charm pack and started to town cutting out pretty petals.
Here's my little mini quilt, inspired by the Corey's patterns. It was so fun and so quick! I totally see myself making more of these petal projects! (If you come back later, you can see the finished quilted version. It was too dark to take a decent picture when I finished last night, but it's done and super cute.)
Corey also has an adorable free mini-quilt pattern called Mini Buds she just released on her blog. Had I seen than be fore I made my own, I would have used it. Love it!

Be sure to visit Corey's blog Little Miss Shabby for links to other stops along the Playful Petals blog tour as well as a chance to win a copy of the book. You can find Playful Petals on Amazon or from your favorite local seller of find quilting books.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cover quilt at Love Patchwork and Quilting

This summer I had a SUPER fun invitation: to create a quilt for one of my favorite magazines, Love Patchwork & Quilting. And then, I ended up on the cover of the most recent issue (Issue 12)! (AAaaahhHH!) This is my first time ever as a cover girl and I must say, it is pretty fun!
I'm not a super-squealy/giggly person, but I have to admit, I do get a little squealy and giggly every time I look at my copy. (They made it look so pretty!)
LPQ requested an updated version of my Chain Linked quilt. It was a lot of fun to recreate it in a fresh new palette using navy blue (which I love) and mixing in teals, yellows, and greens. So fresh and fun. I redesigned the pattern to make it even more streamlined and quick and it comes together (fabulously) fast. The new-and-improved pattern is only found in Issue 12 for the time being.
I used a lot of Art Gallery Fabric Chromatics, Essentials, and Carnaby Street as well as some new Cotton + Steel basics and mixed in a few prints from my stash.
I have to give a HUGE shout out to Melissa from Sew Shabby Quilting for her amazing job custom quilting this project. I was making the quilt on a quick deadline before our trip this summer and gave Melissa free-reign to do what she wanted. Her work is amazing!

Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 12 on sale now
Issue 12 came out in Aug in the UK. Usually in the US we get it about a month later and it should be available from JoAnn's or Barnes and Noble soon, if not now. (Will someone let me know if/when they see it available?) You can also find past issues on Amazon.

You can subscribe to Love Patchwork and Quilting here and get future editions delivered right to your house. I have a subscription and I love when those issues show up in my mailbox. Every issue has multiple projects I love. I highly recommend it!

PS Digital versions are available via Google Play, and Apple Newstand.

**this post contains affiliate links

Monday, September 15, 2014

Patchwork Pumpkin quilt block and table runner tutorial

A couple of years ago I made this simple patchwork pumpkin throw pillow. It's an easy project perfect for using up scraps. Here's a tutorial for this quilt block as well as some other patchwork pumpkin projects to make some quick scrappy Halloween decorations. 

Quilt Block tutorial (13 1/2" x 13 1/2" finished)

Fabric requirements:

16 orange squares 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" 
17 black squares 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"
1 black square 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
1 green square 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"
1 black strip 1 1/2" x 14"
1 black strip 1 3/4" x 14"
To create the 16-patch pumpkin block begin by matching 4 black 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares with 4 orange 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the orange squares and sew pairs together directly on the line. Trim 1/4" away from seam allowance and press blocks open, pressing seams toward the black.
Layout remaining orange 2 3/4" squares with new half-square-triangle orange and black blocks into four rows of four.
Sew together into four rows, pressing seams in alternating directions, every other row.
Sew four rows together.
To create green stem blocks, match-up a green 2 3/4" block with a black 2 3/4" block. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the green and sew directly on the line. Trim 1/4" away and press block open. Match up a 1 1/2" square in the corner of the green triangle. Draw a diagonal line and sew directly on the line. Trim 1/4" away and press corner open. Repeat four times to make 5 stem blocks.
To create stem row, use 3 other black 2 3/4" squares and sew together into a row of four. Press seams all one direction.
Attach stem rows to the 'top' of each of the 5 pumpkin blocks.
Sew two rows of five 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" black squares. Sew to both sides of the pumpkin block. Add black 1 1/2" x 14" strip to the top of the block and black 1 3/4" strip to the bottom of the block. 
To use as a pillow, use your favorite pillow finishing method and stuff with a 14" x 14" pillow form.

This patchwork block works as part of a larger 15 1/4" x 60" table runner. 

This look includes a variety of styles of pumpkin blocks to make it an even scrappier and unpredictable patch of pumpkins, good for showing off larger pumpkin prints as well. This row version could be easily replicated to make an entire quilt.
Fabric Requirements for the table runner:
  • 4-5 assorted orange and black fat quarters or assorted scraps
  • Sashing 1/2 yard black print (I used the black spiders from Too Cute to Spook)
  • Green solid: 1/8 yard
  • Gingham Binding: 3/8 yard
  • Backing: 1 1/8 yard

Cutting
From assorted oranges cut:
2 squares 9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
8 squares 5" x 5"
16 squares 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"

From black sashing yardage cut:
5 strips 2 1/2" x 42". Sub cut 2 strips into 6 pieces 2 1/2" x 11 3/4". Use remaining strips to create two 2 1/2" x 60" border strips.

From black scraps (including sashing print) cut:
40 squares 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"
5 squares 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"

From green cut:
5 squares 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"

From binding cut 4 strips 2 1/2" x 42"

Take four of the 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" black squares and draw one diagonal line across them. Place them in the four corners of the 9 1/2" x 9 1/2" orange blocks. Sew directly on all four diagonal lines. 
Trim 1/4" away and press new corners open, pressing seams toward the black.
Sew 2 four-patch blocks with the eight 5" x 5" squares and add corners to those blocks as well.
To create the 16-patch pumpkin block begin by matching 4 black 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares with 4 orange 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" squares. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the orange squares and sew pairs together directly on the line. Trim 1/4" away from seam allowance and press blocks open, pressing seams toward the black.
Layout remaining orange 2 3/4" squares with new half-square-triangle orange and black blocks into four rows of four.
Sew together into four rows, pressing seams in alternating directions, every other row.
Sew four rows together.
To create green stem blocks, match-up a green 2 3/4" block with a black 2 3/4" block. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the green and sew directly on the line. Trim 1/4" away and press block open. Match up a 1 1/2" square in the corner of the green triangle. Draw a diagonal line and sew directly on the line. Trim 1/4" away and press corner open. Repeat four times to make 5 stem blocks.
To create stem row, use 3 other black 2 3/4" squares and sew together into a row of four. Press seams all one direction.
Attach stem rows to the 'top' of each of the 5 pumpkin blocks.
Layout five pumpkins in a row, rotating the second and the fourth the opposite direction. Sew the six 2 1/2" x 11 3/4" strips alternating between the five pumpkins and at both ends. Press seams towards the sashing strips.
Add two 2 1/2" x 60" strips to top and bottom of row of pumpkins. Press toward the sashing strips.
From backing fabric cut two 20" x 42" pieces and sew them together end to end. Trim backing to 20" x 66". Now you are ready to quilt. Baste top and bottom pieces with batting in between. 
Quilt as desired. I used simple straight cross-hatching lines. (For more details about basting and quilting see this post.)
Sew four 2 1/2" x 42" gingham strips together end to end to create binding. Binding a quilt tutorial here
And there you go - a simple patchwork pumpkin Halloween quilt table runner. You could easily multiply this project by six, creating six rows to make a darling Halloween quilt.
Happy sewing and spooking!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Liberty of London + Liberty fabric giveaway

One of the places I was most excited to visit during my trip to London is the iconic Liberty of London store. It's literally one-of-a-kind. The Liberty store is located on Regent Street in the heart of one of the trendiest and poshest shopping districts in London. (Carnaby street is close by.) 
I first discovered Liberty when I lived in London as a college student 20+ years ago, but back then we'd go check out the fashion and the couture wedding gowns (which they don't carry any more). Little did I know then, going back one day it would be all about fabric. lol
 
Liberty made it's name originally as a business importing items from the Orient. It is still a department store stocked with a carefully curated collection of a variety of beautiful items from fashion, to gifts, stationary, dishware, accessories, and jewelry.
Not only is it full of pretty stuff to see and buy, but the building itself is worth a look. The iconic Tudor-Revival store was built in the 1920's using materials from two old ships. The interior has so much character.
The details of the interior including the carved wood and the leaded glass definitely add to the ambiance. I loved the beautiful memorial to the staff members who were killed in "The Great War" (World War 1).
Liberty design and style is still famous - especially in the textile design realm and now probably most famous for their Tana Lawns fabrics which they have been producing for over 135 years. Inspired originally by the colorful silks and prints imported from the far East, Liberty teamed up with nineteenth century designers like William Morris to create in-house collections to sell in their departments stores.
The most classic Liberty designs are delicate florals in a variety of styles and colors. The reason they're so iconic is they're classic - they never go out of style. Liberty Tana Lawns are made from ultra-soft cotton, creating fabric that is almost silk-like. The cotton is ultra light-weight, making it lovely for garment sewing, but still works for quilting, with super-soft effect.
The Liberty of London store has a huge habedashery section with bolts of Tana Lawns as well as pre-made bundles of smaller pieces like fat quarters as well as pre-cut squares and hexagons which are a nice option because the minimum cut off the bolt at Liberty itself is 1 metre (meter). I did end up buying this little patchwork pear pincushion as my souvenir. It's made from some of my favorite Liberty prints, light-weight to carry home, and something I know I could never recreate so perfectly. I love seeing it on my sewing room shelf.
Because of the quality of the fabric, the price of Tana Lawns is not for the faint of heart. They are definitely pricier than regular quilting cottons. Scrappy, pre-cut bundles are a great way to go. I've been collection bits and pieces for a few months now and putting them to use on this paper-piecing project.

Follow Amy Smart's board Liberty of London on Pinterest.
The prints play so nicely together that scrappy projects look really great. Well coordinated, but not matchy-matchy, which I love. I've started a pin-board of Liberty Inspiration for ideas to play with my Liberty scraps. Liberty also has a Liberty Craft Blog with lots of great projects as well!

If you are looking to start collecting a little bit of Liberty, let me recommend one of my sponsors, DuckaDilly fabrics. They carry a gorgeous selection of Liberty of London yardage.
And if you're looking to get a variety of Liberty pieces at once, check out their bundles and stash packs. There's a little of something in different shapes, sizes, and colorways to give you lots of options.
And in extra fun news, DuckaDilly is giving away a $100 gift certificate to one of you! (This includes refunding the winner that amount on any purchase made between now and the giveaway ending.) To enter take a quick peak at DuckaDilly and leave a comment telling me something you especially love in their shop. Giveaway open until Wednesday, September 17 at midnight MST.

DuckaDilly is also offering a 10% discount with the code LIBERTY at checkout (exceptions on subscriptions, sale items, and gift cards) through Sunday, September 14. You can keep up to date on the latest from DuckaDilly by following them on Facebook and Instagram.