Finished Baby Quilt + Tutorial

Sewing has been minimal lately. Life’s been a little full (hello December!) but I did get the Stick-Shift baby quilt quilted and bound. It was nice to have some mindless straight-line quilting to work on when I had a minute to sit at the sewing machine.

This quilt is made from Sweetwater’s new Boathouse Collection for Moda. I used a Jolly Bar (collection of pre-cuts) from the Fat Quarter Shop. Yardage should be available soon from the Fat Quarter Shop and Fabricworm as well as other fabric retailers. I’m such a sucker for nautical colors.
For the backing I was determined to use something I already had on hand, and I found this home dec gingham from Ikea in my stash, waiting for just the right project to back. Check.
I love the way this one turned out. I haven’t decided if I’m going to sell this one, or just hold onto it for a future baby present. Probably will end up being the latter.
Here’s a little bit of the reality behind the scenes around here right now. (Avert your eyes if piles of stuff stresses you out.) We’re still in the middle of remodeling our kitchen and family room. The kitchen is making progress – the family room is in flux. As a result a lot of junk from that room is currently piled up in our dining room/sewing space. It’s not pretty, and doesn’t do much to add to the Christmas ambiance, but I’m excited that we’re making progress. It’s also motivating me to clean-out and de-junk. I’ve made two trips to drop off at the thrift store this week!
Remember, there is a free tutorial for this pattern. I used the Jolly Bars, but it would also work with Jelly Roll strips. Click here for the tutorial for this quilt. If you make one, I’d love to see it!

Best. Day. Ever. Fabric and Quilt-Lab Science

For our April Bee block, April (appropriate) Rosenthal requested an X-Plus quilt block. And to make it extra fun, she sent us some of her new collection for Moda, Best.Day.Ever. (April has a free pattern for this block.) 

I am so excited for April! She has worked so hard. I first met April 3 years ago when I found her locally to help me with some web-design stuff (she’s got skillz I can only dream of) and found out she was a quilter too. Well look at what she’s done since! Here’s her beautiful booth at Market in Pittsburgh last month. You can learn more about her new collection of quilt patterns on her blog.

 Best. Day. Ever. doesn’t ship to quilt shops until next fall, but here’s a little sneak peak thanks to April. This collection is full of cheerful, saturated colors.

 The collection contains some great blenders in multiple colors.

I love this graph-paper looking print. I think it will be a popular “low-volume” print that can be used in so many ways. It also comes in multiple tone-on-tone colors.

Another fun new item I got my hands on is Ali Winston’s new book, Quilt Lab-The Creative Side of Science: 12 Clever Projects. Ali is a math-teacher and self-proclaimed geek. All of the quilt are inspired by scientific themes, symbols and designs. It’s a beautiful book with a entirely new take on quilt design. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea:

If you are looking for some fresh, modern quilt inspiration, or you’re also a quilt-geek, or you have loveable geeks in your life that need a quilt, check out Quilt Lab. You can see all of the projects in the book on Ali’s Blog.

Ali has also designed quilt-geek t-shirts! You can check them out in her Etsy shop. I know I definitely have quilt-geek tendencies. Obviously people quilt for different reasons but I know for me designing quilt patterns is definitely housed in the same part of my brain that likes to play tetris and efficiently load a dishwasher. I just wish that efficiency spilled over into my fabric storage skills…

Charm Pack Cherry free quilt pattern

I was asked a while back if I would like to create a quilt using the Fat Quarter Shop’s latest free pattern, Charm Pack Cherry. Who could resist playing with new Moda Charm Packs, so I said sure! This is my version. This quilt is about 52″ x 54″ (before I washed it) and made from two patterned charm packs and two solid charm packs. The quilt works up super fast.

I chose the new Wishes collection by Sweetwater for Moda. Such a cute collection. I especially love those little pennant flags, not to mention the bias tone-on-tone gingham, which was perfect for the binding too. I was worried that the solid red would be too dominant, but it has really grown on me. I think the texture of the quilting made a big difference (it always does.)

The quilting on this quilt was done by Melissa Kelley of Sew Shabby Quilting. It’s a simple, boxy-square, all-over design and works so well with the design of the quilt. I also gave the quilt a wash to give it that nice, puckery, worn-in feeling.
I used my leftover Wishes charm squares as an accent on the back. The rest of the back was pieced from fabric from my stash. (*pats self on back*)
This is rare for me, but I’m actually putting this quilt for sale in my etsy shop. Details here
You can download your very own copy of the free Charm Pack Cherry pattern here and watch the video tutorial below.

Visit the Fat Quarter Shop’s blog, the Jolly Jabber, to see other versions of the Charm Pack Cherry pattern.
 In celebration of the Charm Pack Cherry pattern release, all charm packs are on sale through March 2!

GIVEAWAY: And on top of that, the Fat Quarter Shop is generously giving away 4 charm packs (2 packs of prints and 2 solids = enough to make your own new Charm Pack Cherry quilt) to one of you! Just leave a comment telling me which charm packs you’d pick! Giveaway open until Sat, March 1 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED

WINNER: cse84663February 25, 2014 at 6:31 AM

Color me happy, wishes, or April showers, too many good ones to choose. I love your quilt with the red! So striking.
Finally, I just have to share a funny little story about taking the pictures for this post. I always feel a little sheepish taking pictures of quilts out in “the wild”, worried about what people might think. As I was taking this one, and older man rode by on his bike and shouted, “Did you make that blanket?” when I said yes, he yelled,”Good on you!” and kept riding. Thank you nice old man!

Vintage-Sheet inspired quilt finished!

First of all, thank you so much for the sweet comments and encouragement on my post last week. That meant so much. I’m always a little leery of sharing TMI, but at the same time finding the balance of keeping it real. That’s a tricky thing for me.
Second of all, I finished binding one of the quilts! I started this quilt ages ago. Well, it feels that way at least. The fabric in this quilt is from a collection for Moda called Dream On by the Urban Chicks. The collection was inspired by vintage sheets (something I really love). It came out I want to say 4 years ago (was it really that long ago?) and I gradually collected bits and pieces because I liked it so much.

It took me a while before I finally decided what to do with the collection – I chose my Double Crossed pattern because I really liked how the green solid (I think it’s Kona Green Grass) contrasted with the busy floral patterns.

Lest anyone out there think that I am constantly cranking out a quilt – because I know it can tend to seem that way in blogland – let this quilt be a good example of the reality behind the scenes.  Fabric purchased 3-4 years ago; finally started cutting into it 1.5 years ago; started piecing blocks last summer; finished piecing blocks at a retreat in February; finally sewed all the blocks together at the beginning of the summer, then it still took me 2 months to add the borders and choose a back; had someone else do the quilting last week. And voila. It is finally done.

The back for this one is a vintage sheet I found at a thrift store a few years ago. I knew I wanted a vintage sheet for the back and it took me a while to find just the right one. I’ve actually cut up most of the one’s I have. Fortunately I’d preserved this one because I liked it so much and it turned out to be a good match. Plus, it was just the right size! And it was so nice not to have to piece a back.

The quilting is a simple all-over meader-loop pattern by Melissa of Sew Shabby quilting. Perfect for the really busy prints.
It’s such a cheerful, summery quilt. Feels so good to even have it done before the end of summer! Bonus.

A Virtual Quilting Bee

Howdy friends! Today I’d like to announce and invite you to a new Virtual Quilting Bee.  I was so glad for the feed back that was given on this post. A few of the common requests were handy tips and techniques for quilters as well as the idea of a quilt-a-long. So I decided to combine a bunch of those into one handy event, and voila, a Virtual Quilting Bee was born.

Let me explain a little bit of how this will work. For the next three Fridays I’ll be talking about supplies, quilting basics, and choosing fabrics/colors. We’re going to make a quilt similar in layout to the sampler quilt I made in 2012 (see above).  This quilt will have a whole new selection of blocks designed and taught by 16 talented and creative bloggers.

There will be a new block tutorial every other Friday through the next 8 months. And when the blocks are completed we will talk about assembling the blocks, adding borders, and then quilting and finishing the quilt. So the project will be in little bits and pieces staggered throughout the whole year.

Here’s the neatest part. We’re going to create two versions of the same quilt – a traditional and a modern version! One with very traditional quilting fabrics, colors etc using the upcoming collection Happy Go Lucky, by Bonnie and Camille (huge thanks to Moda for sponsoring these fabrics)

as well as a Modern/Contemporary version using Kona Solids sponsored by Robert Kaufman (thank you RK!) I’m so excited to see how this color experiment works out!

A final word: I know there are a jillion and 1 Block of the Month, quilt-a-longs,etc. already out there.  Please participate at the level you are most excited about. (No one feeling guilted in to one more thing!)
If it means waiting with baited breath for the next block and sewing it up that afternoon, awesome! If it means just following along to learn a new trick, or block, or technique to use in your current projects, great! If it means just tuning in for the pretty pictures of fabric or pinning it for future reference when the kids start preschool, that’s super too!

I love the best aspects of this virtual online quilting community, which means supporting each other at our own pace and preference. I’m just so glad to know you’re all out there and for the support you give  to me and to each other.

Finally, this is my first time ever doing something like this. I’d LOVE your feed back. Do you want incentives and prizes or are you just interested in content? Are there specific topics you would like covered? What would you like this to be? Feel free to share, and if it works within the scope of what we’re trying to do, we’ll add it in!
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Virtual Quilting Bee"><img src="" alt="Virtual Quilting Bee" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Tune in next Friday for our part one of this virtual quilting bee!

Valentines Projects

I’m starting to pull out the Valentine’s Day decor. I tend to leave a lot of my red and white decorations up after Christmas, including my snowflake pillows because they add some color right Valentine’s Day.  

This year I have a fun new wall hanging to add to my Valentine’s decor – my Love Notes quilt created for the Moda Sweet Celebrationsbook.

Sweet Celebrationsis full of projects for ideas throughout the year. I have a handful of copies of Sweet Celebrations left in my shop. They are on sale for 30% off for the rest of the week and will probably go fast. There is only one left.

I designed this quilt with my own family in mind – creating pockets where valentines or other love notes can be shared. The fabric is from Aneela Hoey’s Walk in the Woods collection. Perfect colors with out being over the top valentines-y.

Some other favorite Valentine projects: A quick – and coordinating – project is this simple Heart throw-pillow. You can find the tutorial here.

This is a tutorial for a quick and simple scrappy 9-patch mini-quilt that I made last year. It would be an easy way to use up red, pink and white scraps for a fast project.

Finally, the Heart Quilt block tutorial I shared this past October. Now it’s finally seasonal!

from Martha Stewart
And one of my all-time favorite Valentine’s decorations/ways to use up old, broken crayons, are these wax hearts from Martha Stewart. So simple and they always turn out so cool!  If you have other favorite Valentine projects, feel free to add them in the comments! It’s so nice to have something colorful and cheery to get through the blah month of January.