March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Mini Quilt

Happy St. Patty's Day to you! I woke up today with an idea and just HAD to make it. I struggle with impulsivity- it seems to be a trait that comes hand in hand with creativity, and can be a curse and a blessing!

Obviously this isn't quite how rainbows work, but I wanted to give piecing within a curve a try, and it worked! Here's how to do it, assuming you already know the basics of piecing curves. First, I pieced a half circle using the EZ Dresden ruler with 10 blades that are 4" long.

Next, using the Circle Savvy ruler fold the rainbow patchwork in half and trim at the 10 1/2 and 4 1/2 mark. The fold is at the bottom. I didn't follow the directions and placed the fold at the bottom line, not the fold line.

I realize there are a lot of gadgety rulers going on here. Thing is, I love them both to death. I dislike working with paper templates, and both the dresden and the curve one can be used forever, with every size I'll ever need. I really love having them around!

Next cut a piece of background to 14" x 7" and fold in half.

With the fold at the bottom once again, trim the white background using the Cirlce Savvy ruler just like you did for the rainbow, but at the 9 1/2 and 5 1/2 marks. Here are the pieces still folded in half:

The middle arc won't be used. Open them up and pin and sew the top and bottom piece on either side of the rainbow patchwork. Here's what the top looks like after you sew and before you press. Curves are so strange! I'm still kind of getting used to them.

Then, sew a 14" x 4 1/2" piece of "grass" to the bottom. Baste, quilt, and bind according to your pleasing and voila! You can see the bottom curve gave me some trouble, but perfect is the enemy of trying new things, right? Or something like that.

My Kindergartener loves festivity and will be so delighted with this when he gets home today. I will assign him to make a pot of gold and a leprechaun to go with it, which will be his great honor :) Maybe some day I'll try one with the colors going the right direction. The thought gives me the shivers right now, but never say never!

Hope you have fun celebrating this somewhat silly, but very happy holiday. I'm off to start the corned beef and cabbage and put green dye in the toilet to make it look like a leprechaun used it. My boys will die over that!

March 5, 2017

Sweet Marie Quilt

This poor little quilt has been waiting months for her glamour shoot. This is a pattern available in my shop called "Sweet Marie". I've started naming quilt patterns after the little girls I never had, ha :) And if I do have one someday, she is pretty much going to be set in the quilt department!

Emilee Hathaway did the quilting on this one with these adorable little rainbows. It's one of my favorite quilting motifs!

The pattern uses fat eighths, and includes full instructions for a larger throw quilt as well, if you don't want to make it baby size. I want to make the bigger size in Christmas fabric some day.

My favorite part about this quilt is the sorting of colors into piles for each block after you cut the pieces out. Don't you just love sorting pretty fabric? I used a mix of fabric from lots of different Bonnie and Camille lines for the entire quilt, including the border, binding, and backing. The solid blue is Moda Bella aqua, and the lighter blue in the corners is the tiny aqua scallop from their Little Ruby line.

February 26, 2017

Jumping Jacks Quilt Pattern in Navy, Green, and Grey

I'm still pretty new to this whole quilt blogging thing, and one thing that I struggle with is remembering/taking time to photograph quilts with the real camera. What a drag! There are many, many quilts that haven't made it here to the blog because of this problem. But, I figured I should document some of them anyway, fuzzy pictures and all.

This here was my third Jumping Jacks, a wonderful pattern by Fig Tree and Co. Usually I'm not one to make the same pattern over and over, but this is a special case. After I gifted the first one to my British mother, she asked if I'd make one each Christmas for all of her 6 sisters, to which I enthusiastically said yes. I love making quilts, but I especially love making them for loved ones.

It's been fun to match the colors to the home and personality of my dear aunties, and there are still 5 more color combinations to go! I can't wait to see how they all turn out. For this one, I started with this navy/green/gray/aqua pull mostly purchased from Fresh Modern Fabrics on Etsy. This is not an ad or an affiliation of any kind, just letting you know!

These blocks are a tad tricky to get the hang of at first, what with bias edges and some very particular trimming, but now that I've done it 36 times I can make the whole quilt by memory I think!

We had this one quilted by Crinkle Love, using the pattern "Tickle", and I just love how it turned out.

I heartily wish I had some better photos for you to enjoy, but you'll just have to trust me- it was mighty pretty!

Here is the one I made the year before in pink/red/grey. You can read a little more about that one here.

And, the original I made for my mama, which is very well used! That's what I love to see.

P.S. The two little guys on the right are mine, though they are much older now! Plus I have another little bear added to the crew :) The others are my nieces and nephews of the time, who have also grown in numbers.

This year's Jumping Jacks is in the planning stages still, I can't wait to do the fabric pull!

February 6, 2017

Monday Mockup #15

A while back I discovered Sherri McConnel's beautiful pattern "Daybreak" and fell completely in love. I knew right away that I wanted to make a Christmas version in scrappy red and green, like this!

Can't you just imagine it on your bed in December? Christmas heaven. A lot of Etsy sellers have Christmas fat quarter bundles for sale year round, like one of my favorite shops Catching Stitches.

I was thrilled to discover that it's a free pattern, and Sherri did a video tutorial with Fat Quarter Shop showing how to make it. I had a foggy idea of how to sew curves, though I'd never successfully done it, and this video walked me through every step. It's not so bad!

One thing that makes Sherri's method so wonderful is the Circle Savvy Ruler.  I didn't even know there was such a thing in the world, and the moment I learned about it I ordered one here. The idea of cutting out and using templates was always so discouraging (I know, so lazy!), and this ruler eliminated the need for that. I love that I'll never have to cut out circle templates, and I have all the sizes I'll ever need.

You'll notice in the mockup that I added an extra row to make it bigger, which means you can't really use a Layer Cake, but since this is scrappy that doesn't matter anyway. I'm going to cut two sets of each color from 8 green fat quarters and 8 red.

The blocks are 9" trimmed and you'll need:
  • 16 green pie blocks
  • 16 green background blocks
  • 16 red pie blocks
  • 16 red background blocks 
That's easy to remember, right? It comes out to an 8 by 8 block grid, with a 68" by 68" finished quilt. I hope someone finds a use for this information and has fun with it. I am over the moon that I've finally tackled curves, and especially that I've found a way to do it without templates. Hooray!!

Do you have a Christmas quilt? What pattern did you make?? I have a great one here, just saying :) I think I have 4 quilts on my Christmas to-make list!

February 4, 2017

Swoon Along with a Pink/Yellow/Black Fabric Pull

I was so excited when I heard that Camille from Thimble Blossoms was going to host a sew-along commemorating 10 years of being a pattern business, with her iconic pattern "Swoon". I have always wanted to make one, and this was the perfect excuse. It's much more fun to sew with company!

I have done many Swoon fabric pulls in the past, but I actually bit the bullet and cut into my latest one. When I posted it on Instagram @okquiltworks called it "Strawberry Lemonade" and I thought that was just perfect. It has been fun to sew with colors that aren't my usual go-to picks. This color palette was inspired by @quiltstory Heather's pink and yellow maple leaf quilt she made last fall. I hadn't often used yellow before that, but her quilt just made my heart skip a beat! I went right out and purchased some yellow fat quarters, I already had plenty of pink. I added black for drama and contrast. I'm sad that it took me so long to appreciate this color!

Fabrics are as follows, left to right:

1.  Hello Darling by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, pink mums
2.  Handmade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, black candy stripe
3.  Folksy Daisy by Grey Abbey for Cloud 9 in yellow
4.  Moda Bella solid in Tea Rose
5.  Laura Black Tana Lawn by Liberty of London (I got it here from my pal Amanda)
6.  Vintage Daydream by Designs by Dani for Riley Blake, small pink floral
7.  Mama Said Sew II Revisited by Sweetwater for Moda, grey dot
8.  Petite Henna by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller in honey
9.  Handmade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, black dot
10. Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, pink gingham
11. Simply Style by V and Co. for Moda, yellow
12. Vintage Daydream by Designs by Dani for Riley Blake, large yellow floral
13. Mama Said Sew II Revisited by Sweetwater for Moda, large grey check
14. Handmade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda, black stars
15. Xs and Os basics for Cotton and Steel by RJR Fabrics in mustard
16. Mama Said Sew II Revisited by Sweetewater for Moda, small black diagonal check
17. Vintage Daydream by Designs by Dani for Riley Blake, large pink floral

Whew! Now, for the fun part- I've already sewn up 6 of the blocks and here are 3 of them:

I am LOVING this pattern. Seriously, if you haven't already, you should join the sew-along. I don't know that I've ever been so captivated by a pattern before, and I know I'm not alone in this. Check out #swoonalong on Instagram for some major inspiration.

I can't wait to finish this one up. I'll keep you updated, I'm aiming to finish by March, we'll see how it goes!

Also, I've done mockups of Swoon in Olive's Flower Market, and Sweet Marion. I love them both SO MUCH!

February 2, 2017

Quilt Project Storage Solution

I might be late to this party, but I thought I'd share in case someone was out of the loop like me! These boxes by ArtBin Essentials are the best thing that ever happened to my quilt project storage. They are actually craft boxes meant for scrapbook paper, but they are SO PERFECT for holding quilt projects. I got mine at WalMart, you can also find them online here. They have 12 inch and 6 inch options as well, which would work great for smaller quilt blocks in progress. The WalMart ones have latches that match the legs of my sewing table, so that was an obvious choice for me, ha! :)

These ones measure about 13" by 14", and are the perfect size for holding WIPs (works in progress). I can keep cut pieces, finished blocks, backing, binding, and whatever else applies to that project, all together! This is my current red and aqua scrap project which you can read about here. It's such an easy, relaxing project, and I'm in love with the backing I have waiting for it! It's the grey floral from Strawberry Biscuit by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics- one of my all time favorite prints. I don't know about you, but I tend to be very forgetful and if I don't keep my backing with its intended project, I sometimes use it on something else accidentally!

These would be the perfect size to hold 12" blocks for swaps. They'd be flat, tidy, and safe! I haven't done one of those swaps yet, but it's definitely on my list. I'm working on a Swoon (you can check it out here) quilt right now with 20" blocks, so I just fold them gently and keep them in there with the backing and the fabric for the blocks I haven't made yet.

I've noticed that some people have guilt about WIPs. I kind of understand why, but really, I love mine! I love being able to choose which one I feel like working on, and having them in cute boxes makes it even more fun. This is my 6" sampler box- a project I am super excited to finish, hopefully this year! I have about 60 blocks so far, plus the scraps I'm using for it, and binding and backing.

This is not a sponsored post by the way, I just really truly love these boxes. I keep them under my sewing table and it gives me peace of mind to know where all components of my projects are, what fabric is already assigned to what ("free", available fabric is folded on my shelving unit), and mostly- that they are safe from the 3 small male hooligans that live with me :) Seriously, you never know what shenanigans will happen in this household. One time I found the scrap bin emptied, with a removed diaper and poop in the middle of it. It was disgustingly hilarious! (Don't worry, no scraps were harmed or contaminated, and the carpet was cleaned, deeply.)

What is your favorite quilting storage solution? I would love to know!

January 21, 2017

Fabric Pull- red/pink/teal/black

Hello again! For those of you who follow my Instagram, you know that I LOVE to do fabric pulls. It's an easy, fast, mess-free way to exercise creativity. I usually put them away fairly quickly. If I really like a pull, I'll let it sit out for about a week. Very rarely I decide to actually sew something with it! I'm ok with that, some days that's all there's time for. In fact, a lot of days :)

I have been doing this for a while over at #wwfabricpulls, and I get tons of questions about what fabric I've used, so I decided to just list them all here to make it simpler. I'll start with the most recent one and go backwards and fill in as I can. Also, if you notice I have any wrong, please tell me! Sound good?

Starting at the bottom:

1. Farm Fun by Stacy Lest Hsu for Moda- chicken wire print
2. Olive's Flower Market by Vanessa Goertzen for Moda- black bias stripe
3. Handmade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda- Olivia in red
4. Cotton and Steel basic for RJR- sprinkle in teal
5. Bonnie and Camille Basics for Moda- red/coral scallop
6. Swiss Dots basic by Riley Blake- white on black
7. Bonnie and Camille Basics for Moda- grey bliss dot
8. Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille for Moda- red/coral basket weave
9. Zephyr by Rashida Coleman Hale for Cotton and Steel/RJR- Breeze in Sky metallic
10. Mama Said Sew Revisited Volume II by Sweetwater for Moda- gingham in black
11. Handmade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda- Candy Stripe in red/coral
12. Playground by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics- Ring o Roses in dusty
13. Handmade by Bonnie and Camille for Moda- Olivia in black
14. Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille for Moda- gingham in red/coral
15. Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit Fabric- blue floral

I hope this helps! Sorry if I don't use the exact correct name for the print, you get the idea! It makes me happy when people find inspiration from these, and make things that I wish I could, but can't make the time for. I'm sure all makers can relate to that. So many ideas, so little time! But the ideas are half the fun, right?

I also get a lot of questions about where I shop for fabric. I've updated a blog post I did about that here. No, I do not have a fabric shop! I really don't have a ton of the stuff, as far as quilters go. Compared to normal people, yes :) I like to buy here a little and there a little. Basically, if I like it, I buy a FQ of it. If I really like it, I buy a yard. I love shops that offer FQ and quarter yard options for every print! I've never purchased a full FQ bundle, because there are always about half of the prints that don't make my heart sing with joy. For that same reason I don't use a ton of precuts. I lose a lot on shipping this way, and cutting time, but I have a very manageable stash, and I love every piece of it. There's no right or wrong way here, just sharing what I do since many have asked :) Now, what is your favorite place to buy fabric online? I would love to know!