Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 8

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

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Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 7).

It’s so embarrassing to be late for your own party …. please apologize for the delay in posting the latest installment of our Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along!

But before I share about the new part added to the quilt, let’s enjoy what you have sent in!  And THANK YOU, and good job for keeping up!  And please don’t feel bad if you haven’t been able to devote as much time as you would like on the project.  I know I sure haven’t because of the happenings in my life recently.

This is mine from Part 7.

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects. Stop by Billie’s blog and see all the amazing quilts she is making!

Gail’s 30’s version is looking really really sweet!!!

Alice’s blue version has such an amazing calming effect:

Good Job, EVERYONE!  Your quilts will all be absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at anystage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. You can go as fast or as slow as life allows.  More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

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The next parts for me (embroidery and framing pieces for the swirly bird blocks) looked quick and easy for me, but by far, this has taken me the longest time!  So, if you are doing it my pace — be prepared.  But then, I am slow at everything.  So maybe that’s why it’s took me longer than I expected.

You can either add the framing pieces first, or the embroidery first before the framing pieces.  I actually embroidered first — because I had a window where I could do Mom duties and handwork at the same time.  I probably would have framed the blocks first — because I think that will keep the squares squared up more easily.  But doing the embroidery first didn’t seem to the affect the square-ness of my blocks because I have starch-pressed the blocks really well before hand.

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Embroidery: 2 hours per block (yikes!)

I have to admit — I am getting up there in age, ha!  When I do handwork these days, I use a pair of jeweler’s glasses to help.  I like to keep my stitches as consistent in length as possible.  The good thing about the glasses (though it makes me look like a total DORK!) is that I am able to see the weave of the fabric to gauge my stitch length.  My favorite is to have my stitches cover 2-3 weave lengths of the fabric.  If it’s 4-5 weave length, the stitches end up being a little too long for my taste.

When doing hand embroidery stitching, I always use 2-strands of embroidery floss!  I am using floss from my Marmalade Meadows floss I have curated for Aurifil!  I love the Aurifloss because like the rest of Aurifil’s threads, the floss has minimal lint — which makes my stitches really crisp! I am also not needing to condition my floss before stitching.  So I pretty much just thread and needle and take off!

marmalade-meadows

You can order these amazing embroidery floss through your local Aurifil dealers, or you may order them online from

#1.  Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe here.

#2.  You may contact www.followthatthread.com to order.

#3.  Pumpkinvine Corner (scroll down to the bottom of order page) here.

The floss box comes with a free pattern to make this little mini quilt with the stitchery design inspired by Miss Baby’s art work!  She really did come up with the original artwork which I adapted for stitchery.

You are first to know — Miss Baby and Marmalade (the pot belly bunny) are working up something for Christmas.  I hope to be able to get the project completed and share with you by the end of October in case you want to make the project in time for Christmas!

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Here are a couple of close-ups of stitchery on the swirly bird blocks.

And don’t feel like you have to followed exactly how many French knots to add to the tendrils.  I always get carried away when I do French knots, and I ended up adding more than the number of French knots shown in the diagram in the instructions.

Now onto the framing pieces:  another 2 hours!

The piecing is pretty much straightforward!  The only thought I will share is that it’s easier to make the pieced 1″ squares by fours!  Make units of 4-squares, and then sew them together.  That way, the 20-square unit won’t end up wonky!

It took some time, but the effect was so worth it.  The tiny squares gave the swirly bird blocks a cute jeweled look!

And that’s all for this time!  Remember to enjoy the journey!!!

It’s quite amazing to see the progress I have made the last few months — just for trying to keep up! I couldn’t have done it without being accountable to you!  THANK YOU for sewing-along, and thank you for ensuring that I am making progress, albeit be it snail-speed.  And you heard it first here — my next sew-along project planned for next year will be snail-ish!

Till next time!

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Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 7

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

petalquiltfinal-rgb

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 6).

But before I share about the new part added to the quilt, let’s enjoy what you have sent in!  And THANK YOU, and good job for keeping up!  And please don’t feel bad if you haven’t been able to devote as much time as you would like on the project.  I know I sure haven’t because of the happenings in my life recently.

This is mine from Part 6.

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects. Stop by Billie’s blog and see all the amazing quilts she is making!

Alice’s block is really special to me.  You have read about my major de-stashing effort, and Alice asked to be sent a box of my mystery fabric box!  She ended up incorporated one of the fabrics I sent her in the birdhouse block.  What a sweet gesture.

Gail sent in her Parts 5 and 6 progress pictures.  I love the 30’s fabrics Gail has used, making her blocks take on a sweet and whimsical feel.

Good Job, EVERYONE!  Your quilts will all be absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at anystage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. You can go as fast or as slow as life allows.  More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

***

I have had another busy month.  Within the last two weeks and a half, I finalized almost 25 upcoming quilt designs. So I have been doing a lot of pattern writing.  I can’t wait to share with you these new designs — there are some really fun ones!

Back to Spring on Bleecker Street — I have only been able to do the applique on both the bird/swirl blocks this month.

There are a few things I thought I would share with you that might help your applique process go a bit smoother.

#1.  I use a lightbox for tracing and placement purposes.  I have this nifty LED lightbox that is really bright (you can get it at Hobby Lobby because that’s where I got mine).  So, the pattern sheet is place on the light box first, and then, the paper-backed fusible for tracing applique pattern pieces to prepare the fabric applique pieces.

Applicable specifically to this pattern, there is no full-sized placement guide included in this pattern, only a guide!  So, after you have prepared your fabric pieces, you will have to guess-timate and approximate where the pieces go.  That’s perfectly fine. I had no problems with that.

NOW — if you want both your blocks to be as close to perfectly mirror-imaged as possible, this is what you would do.  Work and finalize the placement of applique pieces on one block only.  Fuse the pieces in place.  Then, bring that block #1 (with applique pieces) to your light box (or a window if you don’t have one) — place the block RIGHT SIDE DOWN.

Then, place the background block of block #2 right side up, on top of the wrong side of block #1.  You will see where the pieces are placed on block #1, and then you can in turn place the applique pieces on the appropriate spots on block #2.

#2.  We all like to finish our applique pieces differently.  I like to finish my fusible applique pieces with buttonhole stitching.  So the following is applicable only to buttonhole stitching.  I like to use fine threads and small stitches for buttonhole stitching so that they do not dominate over the applique pieces.  In these pictures you see, I have used the newly released Aurifil Mako 80 wt!   The 80wt was developed for hand applique, but the spools are also machine friendly.  So you can actually use the 80wt for machine stitching as well.

I loved using 50wt for buttonhole stitching, and I am loving the 80wt for buttonhole stitching even more!  The picture below shows a close-up of my buttonhole stitches.

#3.  With buttonhole stitching, I always had problems with the direction-changing of the stitching paths where I have to pivot the stitches to be perpendicular to the edge of applique pieces, and more often than not, those pivoting stitches don’t come out looking good.  The other situation that frustrates me is that it’s hard to do buttonhole stitching around sharp points or narrow pieces…. so, over the years, I have come up with using a combination of buttonhole and outline stitching around my applique pieces — buttonhole stitching when the going is good, and then I switch to straight line stitching when the going gets tough (e.g. when I am getting close a pointy edge, or where the piece is just too narrow), and then, once I get through the rough spots, I switch back to buttonhole stitching again!  I like the resulting look much better that way.

You see how by switching to outline straight stitching, I didn’t have to deal with trying to pivot the buttonhole stitching just so…?  It’s much easier for me this way.

Here you see that the swirl on the bird is too narrow for me to really do buttonhole stitching.  So I just outline/straight stitched around it.

Now, I do have to warn you about the switch between stitches:  I always use my hand wheel (instead of my foot pedal) to control where my needle lands right at the edge of the applique piece. 

#4.  As mentioned before, I always press-starch my blocks REALLY good before I sew the applique pieces in place. That way, I don’t have to use a stabilizer on the bottom of the block, and I won’t have anything to peel off after the finishing stitches.

SO I am hoping these tips will help you navigate applique-ing small pieces, and my swirls relatively easily!  If you know me, you know that swirls pop up quite often in my applique designs. :)

Once you are finished with the applique, and are ready to move to the stitchery part, use the following as a guide to mark the embroidery.

dsc_0402

As you know, I didn’t quite get my act together, so I will be using the next few weeks to add the stitchery to my bird/swirl blocks, as well as the birdhouse block.  I will be using my Marmalade Meadows colors…. I love these colors, if I do say so myself. :)

Have you tried stitching with Aurifloss?  If you haven’t, you have to!  One thing that struck me when I first tried it was that my stitches looked much more defined and crisp.  Then, through communicating with Alex Veronelli, he told me the floss is manufactured the same way as the other cotton threads in that an extra step is added to the manufacturing process to reduce the lint!  I know what that step is — but you will have to find out what it is at Alex’s thread lecture.  If you haven’t been to the thread lectures, you have to!!!  

Anyway, you can order these amazing embroidery floss through your local Aurifil dealers, or you may order them online from

#1.  Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe here.

#2.  You may contact www.followthatthread.com to order.

#3.  Pumpkinvine Corner (scroll down to the bottom of order page) here.

marmalade-meadows

marmalade-colors

Well, I have my work cut out for me with the stitching this month!  And meanwhile, I have this daunting quilt I am supposed to make for a magazine with about 80 star blocks.  I have to get the quilt top completed in about 5-7 days.  So…. I’d better get going and get star-block-making!!  Till next time, Dear Friends — and Happy Sewing!

Giveaway — Quilting Treasures Zola Fabrics to make an entire quilt!

Happy Monday, and I hope your week got off with a rousing start.  This is too good to not share!  I had shared with you this free-to-use pattern featuring the Zola fabrics from Quilting Treasures.  I am excited to hear that the fabrics are quickly becoming many’s favorite!!  Quilting Treasures is generously giving away fabrics to make this quilt!!! Click here to enter the giveaway.  I am turning off comments here so that you don’t accidentally leave your comment here and miss the chance on winning. :)

Click here to view the fabric group.  Be sure to check out the adorable snail prints!

Click here to download free to use quilt pattern.

Well, that’s it for now… Friends!  I hope you have a lovely rest of your week.  We have about two weeks before school starts, and still have lots to do before we are ready for school!  Yikes!

Cinnamon Swirl in QUILTS & MORE (Fall 2017) & More…

Hello Friends, I hope you are well!  I am noticing it’s a bit chillier in the mornings these days, which means summer is quickly fleeting away — giving rise to everything good that is associated to cinnamon!  Though I am a winter wimp, one thing I do like about the colder weather is that cinnamon gets to shine in all the bake goods etc.

I am so happy my quilt Cinnamon Swirl is being featured in the Fall 2017 issue of Quilts and More!

Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. ©2017 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Cinnamon Swirl uses Autumn Air fabrics from RJR Fabrics.  These fabrics are absolutely gorgeous.  Take a look at the fabrics in the group here.  You know I almost never design anything too complicated to make…. the blocks are basically 9-patch blocks, elongated and sashed within the blocks!  The pinwheels sashing blocks add to the visual effect, and the overall layout gives an Argyle impression.  The construction went really fast even for a “snail-paced” piecer like myself. :)

Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. ©2017 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

So… curious mind wants to know if you are excited about fall/autumn…. TELL ME!

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I am also happy to announce the winner of my Sparkle FQ Bundle Giveaway.  I had used the fabrics to make a Christmas pillow a couple of Saturdays ago.  Congrats to Janie — I have emailed you separately, if you could email me your shipping address, I will get the FQ bundle out to you!

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And a quick update on “Help Me De-Stash” project…. THANK YOU ALL for the very overwhelming responses!  I have almost shipped out my first 20 boxes!  The upside of that is I am finally able to see the floor of my family room. I will work on the boxes on my first waiting list.  I had hoped to write those on the first waiting list yesterday, but that didn’t happen.  I am running late this week — Miss Baby’s camp and other work-related deadlines.  But please don’t give up on me.  I hope to write those who made it to the waiting list by this weekend!

My de-stashing effort has been a good one.  Even with the fabrics I am keeping, Miss Baby walked into my sewing room a few nights ago, and commented, “Mom, seriously, who is going to use up all these fabrics?” — she did a sweeping motion with her hands!  I have officially nominated her to be my “conscience” for all things sewing!

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Thanks for stopping by, Friends!  I hope you have a lovely rest of your day!  I need to get going — I have pattern writing to do for more than 10 patterns!  Yikes!!!

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My 2017 Line-up

 

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar (July 2017):  Summer Sparkler

Australian Patchwork & Quilting (Volume 27, Number 4): Wildwood Way

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Pound of Sugar (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Cozy Castles

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): Village Square (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): County Fair

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Summer in Quebec

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Santa’s Tree Farm

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017): Stamp Pad

Quiltmaker (May/June 2017): Highland Roses

Quiltmaker (July/August 2017):  Santa’s Crossing

Quilts and More (Fall 2017):  Cinnamon Swirl

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Feb 2017: Wildwood Way (RJR Fabrics)

March 2017: Hamilton (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Vines (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Storybook Flannel (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Monroe (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017:  Not Your Garden Variety (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017: Love My Hero (Quilting Treasures)

June 2017:  Flag Banner (Windham Fabrics)

July 2017: Zola (Ink & Arrow)

HAPPENINGS & FREE PATTERN: Ink & Arrow’s Zola

Happy Friday, Friends!  I hope you have been well!  My summer has gone by like a chaotic blob of blur, but my little family is doing well and keeping busy with life!  Miss Baby went to have a visit with Mrs. George Washington a couple of weeks ago at Mount Vernon for a special doll event!  You can see Mrs. Washington in the picture sharing about her childhood, and her eventual life with the great General.  You should have seen her reminiscing on how good General  (then Colonel) Washington looked in his blue velvet wedding suit!  I told my husband later that General Washington was even ahead of Elvis in the sartorial trend!

The girl in purple and the purple straw hat is mine — she was enchanted with Mrs. Washington’s stories. [Side note: that golden gown you see on the left is Mrs. Washington’s wedding dress she wore to marry Colonel Washington.]

Miss Baby is also enjoying tending to her herbs and flowers this summer, as well as working on her stitching!  She is finally onto the last row of her Maisons des ABC sampler!!!

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Many of you have emailed to ask about purchasing the pattern for a quilt design you have seen in the latest issue of Modern Patchwork Magazine!  You are in luck…. the pattern is a free-to-use pattern I designed to feature Ink & Arrow’s Zola fabric group!

Click here to view the fabric group.  Be sure to check out the adorable snail prints!

Click here to download free to use quilt pattern.

Well, that’s it for now… Friends!  Be sure to come check back on Monday if you are up for some free fabrics.  As you know I have been outfitting my sewing room, and I have a stash problem, a HUGE ONE!  Anyway, information forthcoming on Monday!

Hugs to you all, and have a great weekend!!

***

My 2017 Line-up

 

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar (July 2017):  Summer Sparkler

Australian Patchwork & Quilting (Volume 27, Number 4): Wildwood Way

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Pound of Sugar (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Cozy Castles

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): Village Square (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): County Fair

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Summer in Quebec

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Santa’s Tree Farm

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017): Stamp Pad

Quiltmaker (May/June 2017): Highland Roses

Quiltmaker (July/August 2017):  Santa’s Crossing

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Feb 2017: Wildwood Way (RJR Fabrics)

March 2017: Hamilton (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Vines (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Storybook Flannel (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Monroe (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017:  Not Your Garden Variety (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017: Love My Hero (Quilting Treasures)

June 2017:  Flag Banner (Windham Fabrics)

July 2017: Zola (Ink & Arrow)

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 6

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

petalquiltfinal-rgb

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 5).

But before I share about the new part added to the quilt, let’s enjoy what you have sent in!  And THANK YOU!!!!

This is mine, made using Bleecker Street fabrics by Quilting Treasures.

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects. Stop by Billie’s blog and see all the amazing quilts she is making!  Seeing her projects always makes me want to retire!

Alice sent in her progress picture as well, despite having had a busy month!  Good job, Alice!  I am loving the calming effect of the blues Alice has used in her blocks!

And here is Kim’s batik version — so happy to see this done in batiks because the batiks give such a sense of depth to any designs.  And you can see that Kim has been VERY busy!!! I love seeing all the blocks that I have yet to make, and I am feeling really motivated!!

Good Job, EVERYONE!  Your quilts will all be absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at anystage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. You can go as fast or as slow as life allows.  More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

Life took on a crazy pace for me, and before I knew it… another part of the Sew Along is due, ha!  I want to thank all my Sew Along friends for keeping me accountable on this.  I can tell you if you weren’t sewing with me, I wouldn’t have done as much on the quilt as I have.  I have had an under-the-weather Miss Baby for part of this part week, and add to that a rather traumatic experience of being locked out of our house because I was out just for a jiffy getting leaves for our new wooly bear pet!  It was good to finally settle in to get a bit of leisure sewing done.

For Part 6, I am making the birdhouse block – only the pieced portion because I am a bit unorganized currently with my sewing notions as I continue to outfit my sewing room!

Since this block will have some tiny pieces, so I made sure I press-starched my fabrics before I cut them.  The rest is actually quite straightforward with a few things to note:

#1.  When making the flying geese unit, I pressed the seams open so that I made sure I “hit” the point just right when I added the white tonal strip above the flying geese unit in finishing out the block.  Below is a blown-up image of where the point of the flying geese unit meets the white tonal rectangle at the top.

#2.  When I trimmed off the dog ears when making the flying geese units.  I went ahead and cut into the dog ears into triangles to make HST units to make the pinwheel units for the outer border.  With the dog ears, you can cut 4 sets of triangles enough to make HST units for 1 pinwheel unit.

#3.  When making the pieced leaves and stem unit, I pressed the seams to one side when making the pieced row units, but press the seams open when sewing the rows together.  The main reason is that with 1″ finished width, I didn’t want to lose any real estate from pressing the seams to one side.

And here is how my birdhouse block is looking.

I shall be back next month with the applique butterfly and stitchery added to the birdhouse blocks, as well as the swirl and bird applique blocks!

Use the image below as a guide for applique and stitchery if you decide to go ahead and finish the block.

dsc_0404

Happy Sewing-Along, Friends – keep making those pinwheel units!!

Happy Independence Day 2017!

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well!  I want to stop in really quickly to wish you a very blessed 241st Independence Day – continual prayers and blessings to a great country!

I would like to know what America means to you on this special day!

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

by Samuel Francis Smith (1831)

Additional verse to celebrate Washington’s Centennial:

Our joyful hearts today,
Their grateful tribute pay,
Happy and free,
After our toils and fears,
After our blood and tears,
Strong with our hundred years,
O God, to Thee.

I hope you have a lovely rest of your day, Dear Friends – Stars and Stripes over Columbia, forever!

***

If you are curious about the quilt I posted earlier – it’s Summer Sparkler, featured in American Patchwork & Quilting’s 2017 Calendar for the month of July.  It is a completed scrappy quilt with about 50 fabrics from different manufacturers – RJR Fabrics, Art Gallery Fabrics, Moda, Windham and Benartex.

Wildwood Way in AUSTRALIAN PATCHWORK & QUILTING Volume 27, No.4

Hello Friends, I am glad you are back for a visit.  For the past few years, I have the honor to have my designs featured in new publications every year. And this year, I have a first editorial feature in Australian Patchwork & Quilting!!  I am beyond excited that my Wildwood Way quilt is featured in their latest issue Volume 27, Number 4.

Being featured in Australian Patchwork & Quilting is extra special to me — because I remember flipping through the pages of the magazine at Rogers Sewing Center when I was a beginning quilter, and just marveled at the quilts featured in that magazine.  For those who are new to this blog, Rogers Sewing Center is my quilting mother ship where I made many sweet friends who have encouraged me greatly in my quilting journey.  So, if you are ever in northwest Arkansas, give Rogers Sewing Center a visit!  You will be so loved there.

Wildwood Way is made with RJR’s first digital print Wildwood Way fabrics!   Look up the fabrics at your local quilt shops the next time you go shopping because the prints are absolutely STUNNING!  Click here to take a look at the fabric swatches.  You can see in the following picture that my blocks take on an off-centered overall layout, and is made entirely with half-square triangle units. Think stash-busting! :-)

You might be able to find the magazine at your local quilt shops, or ask them to order a copy for you.  If not, pertinent information about the publication is provided below.

I have actually designed several quilts with the same fabric line, which I will share in a separate post.  I hope you have liked my first feature in Australian Patchwork & Quilting, and there will be more features to come, I think!

Meanwhile, curious mind would like to know what you do to stash-bust!  How often do you make half-square-triangles when you stash bust?

That’s all for now. I need to get back to sewing while everyone is still asleep…. till next time!

***

My 2017 Line-up

 

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

Australian Patchwork & Quilting (Volume 27, Number 4): Wildwood Way

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Pound of Sugar (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Cozy Castles

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): Village Square (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): County Fair

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Summer in Quebec

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Santa’s Tree Farm

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017): Stamp Pad

Quiltmaker (May/June 2017): Highland Roses

Quiltmaker (July/August 2017):  Santa’s Crossing

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Feb 2017: Wildwood Way (RJR Fabrics)

March 2017: Hamilton (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Vines (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Storybook Flannel (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Monroe (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017:  Not Your Garden Variety (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017: Love My Hero (Quilting Treasures)

June 2017:  Flag Banner (Windham Fabrics)

Santa’s Crossing in QUILTMAKER (July/August 2017)

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you have been well.  My life has been total craziness — it’s actually been that way ever since I made a trip to Southeast Asia back in April.  I thought it would take just a little bit to play catch up, but my life has actually been a gigantic whirlwind of trying to play catch up, but never quite caught up.  Other than having an incredibly busy summer, I am well, and feeling blessed each day!  And I hope you are too!

You might remember my Santa’s Tree Farm quilt that is featured in the July/August 2017 of McCall’s Quilting magazine.

I have used fabrics from the same fabric line to make another quilt – kind of like A Tale of Two Quilts situation. :) Santa’s Crossing is featured in the latest July/August issue of Quiltmaker!  The magazine is on newsstands right now in case you want to pick up a copy of your own.

It’s always an honor to have an editorial feature with my design.  But in the latest Quiltmaker issue, I feel doubly honored because I was also given Designer Spotlight!

Santa’s Crossing is made of blocks that look like snowflakes set in a log cabin block setting.  I really had fun making this quilt.

Exclusive kits are available for a limited time here.

And you can read more about the quilt here on Quiltmaker’s blog because I am their guest blogger today!  I hope you will check out the blog post because you might find a couple of interesting tidbits.

That’s all for now, Dear Friends!  I wish you a very Happy Week!

***

My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Pound of Sugar (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Cozy Castles

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): Village Square (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): County Fair

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Summer in Quebec

McCall’s Quilting (July/August 2017): Santa’s Tree Farm

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017): Stamp Pad

Quiltmaker (May/June 2017): Highland Roses

Quiltmaker (July/August 2017):  Santa’s Crossing

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Feb 2017: Wildwood Way (RJR Fabrics)

March 2017: Hamilton (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Vines (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Storybook Flannel (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Monroe (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017:  Not Your Garden Variety (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017: Love My Hero (Quilting Treasures)

June 2017:  Flag Banner (Windham Fabrics)

 

 

 

 

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 5

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

petalquiltfinal-rgb

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 4).

Let’s enjoy some progress pictures you have sent in?  I am really loving seeing how your quilts have grown!

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects.  So, it is an honor to have her join my humble little sew-along).  I am really loving the orange Billie has incorporated in her quilt!

I am loving Alice’s milk chocolate bunny!!!!!

And here is Gail’s progress picture!  I am loving the 30’s fabrics Gail has used.  Gail is a master quilter, and I am so honored she joined my little sew-along party!

I have been hoping to see a batik version of the quilt, and Kim’s doesn’t disappoint!!!  LOVE the rich color tones.  I love those tree fabrics — be still my heart!

Jennifer’s Japanese neutrals really give the quilt a unique and elegant look.

Margaret mixed in Bleecker Street fabrics with her choice of fabrics — LOVE!  Plus, she used a green fabric for the grass – what a genius idea!

GOOD JOB, everyone!!!

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at any stage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time, and still have a life to live. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

As it tured out… life for me has been more than a little crazy this past month, and my sewing capacity has been temporarily reduced!  As a result, I am declaring Part 5 our “catch-up/because life happens” party!  There just has been too much happening at my end in May and the early part of June… among which, a college graduation, Quilt Market, work deadlines, and what looks like outfitting a sewing room!

So Part 5 is going to be short and easy – we are going to on the 4-patch with a bow blocks!  I think those are one of the sweetest blocks, ever!  I can see a whole quilt made with them.  In fact, I have an upcoming design with just those blocks!

These 4 blocks go on top of the embroidered bunny panel we did for Part 4.

One thing to point out is that you want to make sure which fabric your white tonal corner will be to get that alternating effect on the bows.  ASK ME HOW I KNOW!  Make your yellow and pink blocks together and the same, and your blue and green blocks together and same — and you should be ok!

How I pressed my seams —

OPEN when flip-and-sewing the white corner triangle — we are dealing with small pieces here.  SO to prevent wonkiness, I would press-starch my fabrics with a dry iron before cutting.  One the white 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ square is sewn onto to the print 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square, I finger-press the seam open.  THEN, I trim off 1/4″ for the seam allowance before pressing the seam open again with my dry iron.  Pressing – not ironing!

TO ONE SIDE when sewing 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square to the patch with white corner triangle to make a row unit

OPEN when sewing row units together

OPEN when sewing the blocks together

And adding the row to the top embroidered bunny portion – and we have Part 5 completed!

And there are three other of the same block that will be used later.  You may make them now, or you may make them later.  I did all 7 in an hour!

That’s it – my sewing friends!  I am going to spend a little more time making those pinwheel units.  See you for Part 6!

FREE PATTERN: Love My Hero (Quilting Treasures)

Hello Friends, I hope you are doing well!  May is Military Appreciation Month!  If your family is/was one, please know that my family appreciates you.

I am happy to share with you another Quilt of Valor free-to-use pattern to bless a service member!  This star quilt is designed using Quilting Treasures’ Love My Hero fabrics.  Click here to view the fabric range.  You might notice the star block I used is another variation of my favorite sawtooth star block!  I just can’t help it… ha!

Click here if you are interested in purchasing a kit to replicate the quilt!

Click here to down load pattern instructions.

Some of you probably remember this picture from a couple of years ago… but this is one of my favorites!  On his way back from work, a soldier-gentleman took the time to stop, smile and look a child in the eye.  He patiently answered her questions, and totally made her day!

Thank you to all the servicemen who serve with valor, and their very courageous families!  May prayers and safe travels always follow you, wherever you are and wherever you go!

Please feel free to share any stories you might have related to Military Appreciation.  I should dearly like to read them.

***

My 2017 Line-up

Editorial Feature

American Patchwork & Quilting (Jan/Feb 2017):  Close Quarters (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Pound of Sugar (Cover Quilt)

Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2017): Cozy Castles

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): Village Square (Cover Quilt)

McCall’s Quilting (May/June 2017): County Fair

McCall’s Quick Quilts (Feb/March 2017):  I’m Blue For You

McCall’s Quick Quilts (April/May 2017): Stamp Pad

Quiltmaker (May/June 2017): Highland Roses

 

Free-to-use Design

Jan 2017:  Stars and Stripes Forever (Hoffman Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  HOPE (Windham Fabrics)

Jan 2017:  Bleecker Street (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Sheeps and Peeps (Quilting Treasures)

Feb 2017: Smarty Cats (Windham Fabrics)

Feb 2017: Wildwood Way (RJR Fabrics)

March 2017: Hamilton (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Vines (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Storybook Flannel (Windham Fabrics)

April 2017: Monroe (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017:  Not Your Garden Variety (Quilting Treasures)

May 2017: Love My Hero (Quilting Treasures)

Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along: Part 4

NOTE:  If you are just now hearing about the Spring on Bleecker Street Sew-Along, and would like to find out more, click HERE.

petalquiltfinal-rgb

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well since our last Spring on Bleecker Street post (Part 3).

Let’s enjoy some progress pictures you have sent in?

Billie of http://billiebeesblog.blogspot.com (I have “known” Billie for quite a few years.  I have affectionately called her the queen of BOM’s because she works out the coolest BOM projects.  So, it is an honor to have her join my humble little sew-along).

Alice has a nice round sun for her quilt, and she also has pinwheels happening at different stages.  I like her method of operation a lot – it’s pretty much what I do as well.

And here is Gail’s progress picture!  I am loving the 30’s fabrics Gail has used.

Before I go on, I want to share with you my excitement when I found out one of Gail’s quilt is a Paducah winner this year!!!  How amazing is that?!  Take a look at Gail’s absolutely amazing quilt.

I love that Gail took the time to write and share with me the exciting news, and a little snippet of her life.  I want you to know you are all free to do that!  I love hearing about your personal stories!!

***

I am VERY happy that you are sewing along.  You can send me pictures of your quilt at any stage at any time, and I will just include your pictures in the next posting of Spring on Bleecker Street.

Remember, this is a sew-along for those of us who have more projects we can count, all going on at the same time. :-) So, absolutely no pressure to get things done on time. More importantly, I just want you to enjoy the project as I have.

Part 4 deals with applique (I am using fusible machine applique method) and hand stitching — and the whole applique and stitching portion of the bunny block took me about 5 hours.

Disclaimer – you may choose to use the method of your choice to tackle the applique and stitchery! What I am describing henceforth is by no means dogmatic. :-)

1.  Prepping the background fabric

We are supposed to cut a 8″ x 17″ white background fabric.  I normally press-starch this multiple times until the fabric piece takes on the feel of a solid sheet of fabric for the following reasons:

a.  There will be multiple times of pressing – so if I “squared up” the rectangle first, I run into less chance that the rectangle will be wonky and out of shape after I am done with the applique and stitchery.

b.  For fusible machine applique, if the background fabric is starch-pressed well, I don’t have to have a stabilize the piece when I stitch the applique pieces in place.  The multiple rounds of starching stabilize the piece well enough for me that I don’t get any puckering.

Once you have your 8″ x 17″ rectangle prepared, eyeball at about 1/3 from the bottom and mark with a sharp pencil a “wave-shaped” landscape boundary.  It doesn’t have to be exactly like mine.  I realized that Quilting Treasures hadn’t included a placement guide for the applique or the stitchery.  I am not sure why.  So, we will just use this picture below as a guide.  So, you will use the pencil to mark the landscape boundary, as well as the flower stems once you cut out your flower pieces and figure out where you want them to go.

dsc_0399

2.  Prepping applique pieces

I am using machine fusible applique method.  I prefer to use the “window” method concerning the paper-backed fusible.  You can easily find tutorials on this method.  I have also written briefly about this method here.   Make sure you use a very sharp applique scissors to cut out the shapes to prevent fraying on the edges.

I showed a black and white photo below to show you the faint pencil marking I have done on the background rectangle.

When fusing the pieces, be sure to use a pressing cloth.

3.  Stitching applique pieces

I have traditionally used Aurifil 50wt, but ever since Aurifil released their 80wt last year, I have been wanting to try out the 80wt for machine applique.  Now, the 80wt was initially developed for hand applique, but the wooden spools will go on your machines nicely as well!  In the picture below are shown the 80wt and the 50wt thread spools.  The 50wt spools are pulled from my Subtle Strings collection.  Click here if you haven’t heard of the 50wt collection I had curated for Aurifil.  You can now purchased the collection of 12 large spools for $99.99 instead of the usual $149.99 from https://pumpkinvinecorner.com/aurifilcollections4.htm (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page).

For the 80wt, I used matching threads for the top and bobbin threads, and I absolutely love the very fine effect. Now, the 50wt already gives an amazing look, but I think I might even like the 80wt better!  I do love both the 50wt and 80wt.

Now, you may choose to zig-zag, satin stitch or buttonhole stitch around the applique shape.  I personally like to buttonhole stitch because the stitches tend to not look overpowering around the applique shapes to me.  For these rather small applique pieces, I used W = 2.0 and L = 2.6 on my Bernina’s setting.

4.  Hand stitching

I took my piece back to the ironing board after I stitched my applique pieces in place.  And for the stitchery, I used colors from my Marmalade Meadows collection.  You may also order from https://pumpkinvinecorner.com/aurifilcollections4.htm for $38.50 (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page) since at this point there is a wait list on Cinnamon’s Quilt Shoppe.

marmalade-meadows

marmalade-colors

 

I definitely hoop my piece before I stitch.  I also use a John James Embroidery Needle 8, and stitch over 2-ply of the floss.  That means, each strand of floss comes in 6-ply.  I would separate out the floss, and would stitch with 2-ply. Click here to find out why I like stitching with Aurifloss.  Remember, there is a free stitchery wallhanging pattern with the purchase of Marmalade Meadows thread pack – shown below!!

marmalades-merriment1

And here is how my bunny block all stitched up — you will notice that I have used different shades of green instead of just one shown in the sample quilt.  I decided to add more colors to mine!  You may choose whichever colors you would like to stitch, and the number of leaves you stitch on the stems are up to you too!

And I have a confession – I actually wear a pair of jeweler’s (magnifying) glasses when I stitch!  I like that I can see better, and judge my distance better — and thus, my stitches end up looking much nicer!  Now, you just about know all my secrets! Hehe!

This concludes Part 4 at my end – it’s your turn now!  Looking forward to see your progress pictures!

Happy Monday, Happy Week – and I hope everyone had a blessed Mother’s Day!