A Finished Scrappy Trip-Around-the-World Quilt!


Someone cue the marching band: another UFO (unfinished object)  is complete. Behold the the long-time-WIP (work in progress) Scrappy-Trip-along is finished!


This quilt was started over two years ago. I finally got serious about finishing it this past January when I became determined to start tracking and finishing all those (many, many…many) WIPS.


This is such a fun project – a great way to use up 2 1/2″ wide scraps or to just bust through a lot of fabric stash. Bonnie Hunter wrote the original tutorial for this quilt  and can be found here on her blog. I used red  in every block and made it my center color to give the quilt some unifying design.


One of the reasons I put this WIP away for a while is because the colors weren’t working for me. I just didn’t love it. The trick that gave this quilt new life was adding more non-matchy-matchy fabrics. Some more turquoise, different shades of red for the main diagonals, more ‘sour’ colors including gold, darker shades of green, etc. all made a difference. Picking a “zinger fabric” (or two or three or ten, when it’s this scrappy) can give some great life to a quilt.


Since I wanted this to have an old-fashioned, rag-bag, kind-of-look, I had Melissa from Sew Shabby Quilting quilt it with an all-over Baptist Fan design. I love how much it really pops after I washed the quilt.


The binding is also from my stash (*pats self on the back*). I love this bias stripe print. It’s also a couple years old from a Moda collection called Baby Jane. I was originally going to do a red binding, but it making myself stay away from the matchy-matchy-ness I decided to go with mustard/gold. The white stripes kind of lighten it up a lot which gives it a more subtle finish. I think I like it.


I’ve been saving this yardage for a while now to back just the right quilt. This is that quilt. This fabric is an American Jane print by Sandy Klop for Moda from a few years back. I have a fun personal connection to this print (you can read here), so it’s fun to finally have it on a quilt. I used a few scraps in the quilt blocks too.


I didn’t have quite enough yardage, so I had to piece a back to expand it just a little. Which is hard to really see here since we weren’t getting many great pictures thanks to the wind.


Here’s another “good effort” try at getting a full-body shot of the quilt.


Further proof that the wind had a mind of it’s own.


Which just devolved into to this. I shared a few more outtakes last night on Instagram. (And that is how I learned about the #husbandsholdingquilts hashtag there. It is quite hilarious.) What would we do without our quilt holders?

full-scrappy-trip-along-quilt-pic    Fortunately the wind granted us one decent full shot. And there you go.

Sneak peak of my new book, Fabulously Fast Quilts

I had a GREAT mail weekend this last weekend. An advance copy of my book, Fabulously Fast Quilts arrived and I got to hold it in my hands for the very first time. It still feels so surreal.
Also arriving in the mail were 8 of the 12 quilts I sent off last May. (The other 4 are still with the publisher for marketing purposes.) This was my first time seeing them againo. The book writing/publishing business is such an interesting thing. You create quilts, some as long as a year and a half before you ever get to show them to other people. I started making the quilts for this book in September of 2012!
As the book gets closer to coming out (it will start shipping to retailers the second week of April) I’ll share more sneak peeks of some of the quilts that are in the book.
If you’ve been visiting these parts for a while now, you may remember this quilt I made at Christmas time over two years ago. Since that time I’ve had multiple people ask me if I had a pattern for this quilt.

Well, I’m excited to share that the pattern for the Countdown to Christmas quilt will be in this book! It’s called Square Deal. Here’s a sneak peak of version in the book. I tried to take it outside yesterday to get a picture, but the wind was CRAZY. So this will have to do for now. (The quilting on this quilt as well as the one with the red and white blocks was done by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting.)

Fabulously Fast quilts is a book about quick tips to speed up quilting projects and contains 12 quilting patterns. As I mentioned, it won’t start shipping until the second week of April but you can pre-order it from Martingale or Amazon. If you would like a signed copy by yours truly, you can pre-order one from my shop and I will personalize it for you. (POST EDIT: International shipping rates have been added.)  As I mentioned before, I have been so touched by the amazing response and generous support since I first announced I have a book coming out.

Thank you again, for all of the generous and kind words, vibes, and thoughts you have shared. I’m excited to share more of the projects and quilts from Fabulously Fast Quilts.

Safari Moon – new Art Gallery Fabrics quilt

I’m so excited to be sharing a quilt I created today using Frances Newcombe’s new collection Safari Moon for Art Gallery Fabrics

The fabrics I used are from the Expedition Blue colorway of the collection. I’m really smitten by them. I think the colors are gorgeous and vibrant and there are such unique prints. Really cool.

I made a crib size version of this quilt that I made last year. I love this pattern for really showing off fabrics. I’ll be republishing this pattern later this year with the crib size version included. 

The quilting on this one was done free-hand by Melissa Kelley of Sew Shabby Quilting. I just gave her free-reign to do what ever she wanted and LOVE how it turned out. 

I took this quilt with me to bind in the car on a recent family road trip to southern Utah over President’s Day weekend. So we had to take advantage of a nice back drop for a good photo shoot. It’s too desert-dry for a safari, but it was dramatic never the less.

We did do some exploring of our own, so we can count it as an expedition. Above is Snow Canyon outside of St. George. 

We also explored a new spot called Anasazi Ridge filled with ancient petroglyphs. My boys were in rock-climbing heaven and finding the petroglyphys was like a treasure hunt. There were LOTS of them too.

Safari Moon fabrics are available from the Fat Quarter Shop and FabricwormIf you’d like to see more gorgeous projects created with the Safari Moon collection, stop by these other blogs on their specific dates. 

Monday February 24  Faith Jones  Fresh Lemons Quilts 
Tuesday February 25    Lindsay Conner   Lndsaysews/ Craft buds  
Wednesday February 26   Sarah Lawson  Sew Sweetness 
Thursday February 27  Cristy Fincher   Sew Much Like Mom
Friday February 28   Amy Smart  Diary of a Quilter  YOU ARE HERE!
Monday March  Lee Heinrich Freshly Pieced
Tuesday March  4  Teri Harlan Sew Fantastic 
Wednesday March  5  Jane Davidson Quilt Jane
Thursday March  6  Lynne Goldsworthy Lilys Quilts  
Friday March  7  Sandy Whitelaw  Upstairs Hobby Room 
Monday March 10  Katy Jones  Imagingermonkey 
Tuesday March 11  Victoria Findlay Wolfe  Victoria Findlay Wolfe  Quilts  
Wednesday March 12  Megan Bohr Canoeridgecreations  

Union Jack quilt and bag tutorials

For the past few weeks I have been playing with those Union Jack panels from Riley Blake that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. 
Today I am sharing a super-simple tutorial for this “Jacks are Wild” crib-sized quilt, using the flags from the “Blue” Union Jack panel

This quilt was quilted by my friend Monica at American Quilting. I added a striped binding that I already had on hand. This quilt is going to a friend who lived in London and just had her first baby. I had wanted to make her a Union Jack quilt, but considering the fact that it took me 3 years to finish my Union Jack quilt, I worried that it would never happen. So three cheers for the cute panel blocks for making this quilt a realistic possibility before this child starts kindergarten.

I’ve also been playing with the “Orange” pastel panel to create some quick bags, using my Easy Fat Quarter Bag tutorial. These have gone together SO FAST.
The only modification is that I used a 12″ x 20″ panel and lining fabric instead of 11″ x 18″. Everything else is exactly the same.

I made both the purse and hand bag version. I’m hopefully going to whip out a few more of these quick to give to my girls friends as Christmas presents. SO cute.

Tumbler Quilt tutorial

easy patchwork quilt tutorial beginner level

 Today is my turn to share a new project as part of the Riley Blake Design Team.

For this tutorial, I am teaching how to make a ‘tumbler’ quilt – a fun variation on traditional patchwork. I used Lori Holt’s Large “Thimble” ruler as my template. (You can see more of Lori’s cool ruler shapes here.)

The fabric for this quilt comes from Deena Rutter’s new collection So Happy Together.  The whole collection is cheerful and spring-y, but I’m especially in love with the little houses and the hexagons. SO cute! I love other cute details like the pin-stripes made of little dots. Love everything about it, really.

The quilting was done freehand by Melissa Kelley, which makes the quilt even better. I love how the cabbage roses pop and make the finished quilt even more fresh and spring-like.

Can you tell we’re anxious for spring around here? Don’t let these pictures fool you. It was cold and windy while I was trying to photograph the quilt. This is the best picture I got of the whole thing, since most of the time it was whipping back and forth in the wind.

And speaking of Riley Blake there are still a few spots available at the Riley Blake Fabric Fest. I may be teaching an additional class that week possibly involving Union Jacks – so stay tuned!

Hexagon Baby Quilt with Sarah Jane fabrics

Guess who has a brand new, cute baby niece this week? 
Every cute new baby deserves a cute new quilt, so… I made one. Shocker, right? I let my sister go through my stash and pick out favorite fabrics and colors, because I’m a super nice sister that way. She is much more artistic than me and has a great flair for color and style, so it was fun to let her do her thing and see what she came up with. You can see what I mean – this is what she picked for her first baby.

She choose lots of Sarah Jane prints and colors. (Those narwhals get me every time.) My sisters and I have been Sarah Jane groupies for a long time. It’s so fun now that we can play with her art via fabric as well. I threw in a few more prints in the colors she chose and I love the way it’s turned out.

For the back we used Sarah Jane’s pinwheels and for the binding the orange polka dot from Children at Play.

I love the balloons print too. This new little gal has an older brother that LUVS balloons. So this print is in there for him. Maybe he can play I-spy with some of the other pictures in the quilt too. I’ve found that big brothers are often in need of good forms of distraction when new babies show up.

When I asked her what design she wanted, my sister was drawn to hexagon quilts. Which kind of freaked me out a little. I love hand-sewing hexagons together english-paper-pieceing style but had only ever completed small projects. The thought of a bigger quilt felt daunting to me.

Until I took a class from Kati about machine pieceing hexagons. So awesome! She has great tutorials here and here showing how she does it. Takes some patience, but so much faster than hand sewing. I also found an awesome 9″ Hexagon die from AccuQuilt for my GO cutter and got it for myself for Christmas. Made the cutting SO slick. I think it’s my new favorite die. I plan to put it to good use.

The custom quilting on this quilt was done by Emily of Emerson Quilting. I love how she custom quilted each hexagon. All of Emily’s work is done free hand. Check out her website to see some of her amazing samples and great pricing.  If you’re looking for Sarah Jane fabrics they are still available at Fat Quarter Shop and Poppy Seed Fabrics.