FREE PATTERN: Sweet Dreams

It’s time for another free pattern, yay!  This is a panel friendly design.  I hope you like it.

This quilt is designed with Quilting Treasures’ Sweet Dreams fabric collection, a newly released collection.

Click here to download the pattern instructions!

Have a fun day, everyday!

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #38

I caved… I gave in and succumbed to your request to see the schematic of that leaf/petal quilting motif combo!  THANKS EVERYONE, for all your kind words on that motif.  I won’t be able to respond to you personally due to the time crunch I am in right at this moment.  I hope you understand – please know that I truly truly appreciate hearing from you.

It all started with the leaves on one of the fabrics I used for my “Charmed” quilt.  See how cute those leaves are? [ This is another example of using fabrics at as starting point for quilting motifs. Click here to read more.]

I adapted the center using a swirl because I thought I would just start out with something familiar to me — I only have about 6 hours to quilt the entire quilt. So here is my stitching sequence.  I started out with a swirl, up and down to the starting point.

And then, I stitched out a leaf outline around the swirl.

Then I scalloped around the leaf outline.

Here you see the same motif with the leaf outline started from the other side of the swirl bottom.

Then, it’s a matter of filling in with random swirls and vines and what-nots until you feel like swirling with another leaf/petal motif again!  The wonderful, wonderful thing about this motif is that it doesn’t require exact precision on the stitching path.  The general look is a lighthearted one so that you can have one scallop a little wonky, and one scallop a little crooked, and the motif will still come out as charming as can be!  VERY very forgiving!

So I had a few minutes before church to actually sit down and doodle a bit, and I was able to come up with a quilting motif that looks more like the original leaf on the fabric.  This time you would start with the leaf vein before the swirl in the center, and and then just follow the same sequence to complete the motif.

I hope this post gives you more ideas on what to quilt on your precious quilt tops.  Meanwhile, I will work on more adaptations of this leaf/petal motif.  I will let you know if I come up with more ideas.

So I caved, I gave in, I succumbed…. I hope I have delivered as well.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Monday, dear Friends!

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #37

Welcome to another Thread Talk installment!  As promised, I will share with you the way I quilt unmarked feather wreaths!

Now, though the feathers are “unmarked” and free-handed, we do need some way to mark or delineate the boundaries of the wreath.  Sometimes the boundaries are already apparent on the fabric, as in the case of the above picture.  But if not, it is perfectly okay to mark the inner and outer boundaries — using those household items and a marking pen!   For the schematics below, I used Miss Baby’s toy dishes.

One thing that will help is the ability to comfortably quilt feathers unmarked and free-handed.  Click here for my previous tutorials on the stitching sequence I use for feathers.  To start, I only “half-form” the first feather.  The reason is that I wouldn’t know how well my last feather would match up with the first feather once I come around the wreath.  Not fully forming the first feather allows me room to “doctor” the first feather for the wreath to flow nicely (or rather, as nice as possible).

I do a little backtracking from feather to feather, as you see the different colors on top of some of the feather lobes.

I keep going, and going, until I come to the last feather.  We have just a bit of a gap.  So, I would backtrack, and maneuver in such a way to “close up” the first feather for a smooth flow. [Sorry for the dark blue blob on that last feather — I was using Miss Baby’s dull crayon – it was meant to be an arrow showing the stitch direction.]

You can quilt your feather wreaths with your feathers going in the opposite direction too!  That orange blob is where I had to touch up the first feather after I quilted the full round of feathers.  Combining these wreathes in different directions create an interesting visual effect!

I hope this makes sense to you.  Happy feathering, my Friends!

FREE PATTERN: Homespun Holidays Throw and Pillows

Good morning, Friends!  I hope you are doing well.  I have to share with you another Christmas Holiday project to give you a head start on your Holiday sewing! :)  This pattern, designed by moi, gives you instructions to make two slightly different versions of the quilt.

The instructions also include bonus pillow projects using leftover fabrics from the quilt.

The fabrics featured are from Quilting Treasures‘ Homespun Holidays collection.  The fabrics have a lovely Nordic feel to them.  Click here to see all the beautiful swatches.  Those Christmas stockings are just too adorable, don’t you think?

The pattern is free, and is downloadable here.

Thanks for popping by.  Have a lovely day!

FREE PATTERN: FLORAL FRAMEWORK

Hello Friends!  Long time no chat!  I am finally back from visiting my home country.  One thing I learned is that lots of stickers made a pint-sized person a happy passenger on a looong flight:

I had every intention to work on Miss Baby’s birth sampler on our flight back… only to have my embroidery scissors confiscated at the airport security at my departure point.  URGH!  I had purposely not packed a book so that I could concentrate on stitching.  I had nothing to occupy my time on one of my flights that lasted 14 hours!!  I flipped through the in-flight duty free shopping catalog five times because the I have already read the in-flight magazine and watched the interesting movies on my way over to visit my family.  It was like torture to me when my hands were idle.  All that to say, the birth sampler is back to being in limbo again…

ImageI want to thank you for your kind comments and sweet emails to me while I was gone.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t respond to everyone.  But please know that I appreciate all your sweetness, and count myself blessed to know you as friends.

Perhaps another free quilt pattern from Benartex and yours truly would induce you to forgive me of my long silence… I share with you my “Floral Framework” design, graciously offered by Benartex.  The tan squares you see in two of the blocks are meant for panels.  The fabrics you see are from Benartex’s Arboretum collection.

You may download the pattern for free here.  Thanks for stopping by!  I wish you a lovely day.

FREE PATTERN: West End

Hi Friends,

Here is another free pattern for you, designed by yours truly for Benartex using their Covent Garden fabric line.

Click here to access the pattern instructions.

Enjoy! :)  Have a great day!

p.s. Click here for the table runner pattern instructions I designed for the same fabric line.

FREE PATTERN: Piccadilly Lane Runner

Hey Friends, I have another free downloadable pattern, kindly offered for your quilting pleasures by Benartex.   Click here to download the pdf file.

I designed Piccadilly Lane Runner using Benartex‘s Covent Garden collection.  You have got to check out these fabrics.

This is meant to be an easy project for a quick gift, or a budding quilter!  Enjoy! :)

 

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #27

I thought I would show you my normal stitching schematic before we dig deeper into this feathery business.  As you can see from the diagram below:

1.  I work on my feathers one side at a time.  I tend to have better control of how my feathers turn out.  I do want to at some point work on doing the simultaneously feathers on both sides.  I have done it a couple of times, but didn’t find my work satisfactory.

2.  For regular “everyday” feathering, I do the backtracking shown in the diagram.  Note, the dashed lines simply means you will stitch over the same spot again to get to the point you would start a new lobe.

And now, concerning those individual “lobes”…  I think how your feather lobes look determine the appearance of your entire feather plume.  It is definitely a worthwhile investment of your time to sit down and draw out how best to execute your lobes.  Some like theirs slender, while some like theirs to be a bit more full.  I like them both, and try to incorporate both in mine when I can.

From my own limited experience, the anatomy of a good feather plume consists of:

1.  Smooth curvature on the feather lobes.

2.  The width of the feather lobes should decrease as the curvature approaches the spine.

3.  You know that curvature… make sure the smooth-ness persists till the bitter end where the feather lobe meets the feather spine

4.  I like to backtrack along my previous feather lobe until it is about halfway before starting off with a new lobe.  I find that my new lobe looks more substantial that way.

Now, how about some real life feathers so that you can spot the aforementioned principles? Being able to spot what you are looking for in your own feathers is the first step in beautiful feather quilting.  I can say that because I spent hours and hours and hours just staring at master quilter’s feathers!

I hope this is helpful to you to first diagnose why you don’t like your feathers, and hopefully begin your journey in fixing certain quirks to help you better quilt your feathers.  Stay tuned for my next Thread Talk post dealing with the issue of perspective in feather quilting.  In order to do the perspective in an attractive manner, you will have had to master your lobes!  So, get busy and get drawing, will you? :)  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend.

FREE Feature Pattern: Thanksgiving Topper in QUILTER’S WORLD (October 2011)

My Autumn Stars quilt (renamed Thanksgiving Topper) is offered as a free featured pattern in Quilter’s World‘s October 2011 issue.


The focal print fabric is from Blank Quilting‘s Mayu collection. I like using large-scale floral print in piecing because the resulting cut pieces always capture different portions of the print — making your pieced blocks look different from one another!


Quilting is done with Aurifil Mako 50 Cotton thread (color 2310) on Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting:

Here are a few photos showing the quilting. If you are wondering about the curve cross-hatching, I have written about it here.


The oval shapes with the “sprig thingamagigs” in the center are meant to mimic the old fashion cookie press from the Old World.


I also picked up the scroll-ies in the coordinate fabric to quilt in the sashing.


This 36″ square quilt makes a nice table topper as shown in the official Quilter’s World picture. You can download the pattern by clicking here.  Please email me if you have trouble accessing the file.

Photo from Quilter's World

I hope you would find the pattern an enjoyable one if you decide to make the quilt. Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely weekend. We are expecting another round of rain. Honestly, we haven’t really seen the sun for more than a week – it’s been gloomy here! But it’s definitely cozy…

FREE PATTERN Tuscan Leaves in FABRIC TRENDS (Fall 2011)


The weather is certainly getting to be the cozy time of the year! If you are planning to make a cozy autumn quilt, perhaps you would consider Tuscan Leaves, designed by yours truly for the Fall Issue of Fabric Trends, using Quilting Treasures‘ Sienna Collection.


The pattern is free. You can click here to download:


The fabrics are simply yummy-licious!  You simply have to take a look at them:

Now, curious mind wants to know if you have a favorite throw/quilt in your family.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a lovely day!

My two cents: Template Piecing

Some of you had asked for tips in piecing the stars I showed you yesterday.  Honestly, I am a bit embarrassed to share my tips because I am really not a piecing expert…


First, I stiffen my fabrics with which I would cut following the templates.   To achieve the stiffening, I press and spray starch my fabrics.  That seems to prevent the fabrics from shifting when I am cutting.  Be sure you cut your pieces accurately.

Then, with a ruler and fine tip pen, I mark the 1/4″ seam allowance at key spots on the fabric pieces.


When it comes to pinning, those markings help me pin the top and bottom pieces accurately by making sure my pin goes through the intersection point that I have drawn on both the top and bottom pieces, as shown in the following pictures.  Please note that the pin should go through the layers perpendicular to the fabrics.


There you have it, my friends… nothing too fancy.  Now, I want you piecing experts out there to share your thoughts on accurate piecing.  I definitely need help in the piecing department.

Time for me to make dinner – I shall say good bye for now!  Enjoy the rest of your day.

Food for “quilting” thought

Hi Friends,

An unexpectedly busy weekend and week ahead of me…. this is going a quick one. Here is a bit of food for your quilting thought — a lovely quilting motif can easily be interpreted from a pizelle cookie. How neat is that? ( I can’t remember where I found the picture. Sorry for not sourcing the image.)

I love that our world is full of interesting patterns and textures. It sure makes life so much more interesting!! Here is to a wonderful week – you might just discover a most delightful pattern in a most unexpected spot!