Saturday, August 30, 2014

Winter Trees: A 12" Paper Pieced Block Pattern

Just thought I'd share a pattern with you guys!

Awhile ago, I made this pillow:

The pattern for it appears in a past edition of Generation Q. I really liked that magazine, and was flattered when they approached me about this pillow. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed by the presentation of the pattern I wrote. The photography was poor. The pattern references a sketch, but one is not included. There is a caption/sidenote that does not match the project pictured. The pattern pieces were nowhere to be found in the print issue. They eventually showed up on their website, but not until the next issue was already out, and without directions indicating where to find them (or even to look on the website in the first place). I'm not trying to be nasty or unnecessarily disparaging - but I think it's only fair for you to know that pattern writing isn't all fun and games. After all, I'm all about being honest over here :).

Anyway, for those of you who asked for a pattern, I now have one available - FREE on Craftsy! The pattern is just for the block, but it's a pretty versatile design. Be sure to let me know if you make anything with it!

Monday, August 25, 2014

What are YOUR 10 Quilty Little Secrets?

This week, instead of Pin it Monday, I thought I'd take a little bit of a detour...Link Up: 10 Quilty Little Secrets Style!!

(Don't worry, you can still link your pins. I'm opening last week's linky to be open through this week. So go link up all your quilting related pins - I've been enjoying repinning them and seeing the love they're all getting on Pinterest!)

When I wrote my 10 Quilty Little Secrets post, I never thought it would get the reaction it has gotten. I mean, I just wrote the first ones that came to mind, pulled together an image, and hit post.


Did you guys ever respond!! I had no idea so many people were feeling restrained, or even embarrassed, by some of their secrets. It's a shame, really, that we can't be more open about some of these things. Quilting is a lot of things - it's a craft, it's an art, it's a hobby, it's a job, it's mind consuming, it's stress-relieving - but it should never be exclusive to those who do it "the right way". I think that's part of the modern quilting movement's purpose, but I'm sad to hear there's still so much of it out there!

It can be hard to speak your mind, but folks, I'm so glad you did. And I was sooo surprised at some of the things you guys were confessing. Holy schnitzel (because my spellchecker doesn't like "schnikey"), did you all have some doozies!

Some hilarious:

I've had a 12.5 inch square ruler for nearly 4 years no and have only just worked out how the markings work. This discovery was made after trimming bee blocks this afternoon, hence my current foul mood.

I love to use steam when I iron! The more steam and heat the better. I mean I want enough steam in my face that it brings my blackheads to the surface.

Some that came up over and over again (off the top of my head):

A lot of you guys also iron instead of pressing.

Squaring up a quilt - say what??? We don't bother with that biz...

A lot of dislike for Cotton + Steel. I found this one interesting. I'm glad you guys had the guts to say it!!

Using the word "sew" instead of "so" - ugh, this drives me up a wall as well, people!

And some that I had plain never heard/thought of:

I have been known to take my sister's quilt top apart and fix a seam or two. She knows it, and I don't do it too often, but sometimes it is too wonky even for me. (This cracked me up - but I would flip if someone did that to my quilt!)

I really enjoy trimming HSTs. Over, and over, and over again. (Everybody seemed ready to send Molli all of their HSTs!)

It annoys me when patterns don't give seam pressing suggestions. Comment from JoyceLM (huh. I had never realized they were important to anyone!)

I should probably change my rotary cutter blade more often. I have actually taken the old blade out and put a dab of oil on the blade and put it back on. I got this tip from another quilter and it works surprisingly well. Comment from Lea (Ummm, as a stingy quilter myself, this sounds aMAZing!)


13 Spools

I've really enjoyed reading all of these. It made me feel very liberated and made me realize that there were some things that I didn't really like - but tried to convince myself to like because they were popular (I'm looking at you, Cotton + Steel and AMH fabrics!!). That's flat out stupid. This isn't high school, this isn't Mean Girls, this is modern quilting, and I'm going to do what the hell I want to do, and like what the hell I want to like, and hate what the hell I want to hate.

But don't worry. I'll save room for some mild disliking, too (I'm looking at you, Aurifil).

I have the privilege of looking through my Google Analytics page to read everyone else's posts, but you don't. Soooo, I thought that the linky this week would be for your 10 (or more) Quilty Little Secrets. I've collected links of the posts I've seen thus far, but please, go write your own! I've already linked up some of the ones I've seen. And if you feel so inclined, grab the button via Molli Sparkles.

And if you need a drink, first, so that you can really be honest,'s a few of my favorites :)



Friday, August 22, 2014

Ewan's baby quilt - finished!!

You guys already saw a little sneak peak of this quilt on my 10 Quilty Little Secrets post - but here today to show you the finish!

Ewan's baby quilt

My friend recently had her baby very early. She was taken by surprise - unfinished nursery, unfinished baby quilt, and baby in the nicu. Not what a first-time mom wants to deal with. I was very honored when she asked me to quilt little Ewan's baby quilt (she had finished the top).

Ewan's baby quilt

This is the first time I've ever quilted someone else's quilt and it was both enjoyable and nerve-wracking. I was very flattered, but I knew how important and meaningful this quilt was!! I didn't want to risk messing up someone else's quilt.

Ewan's Baby Quilt

I'm assuming that long-arm quilters feel this way - at least when they first start out. I've sent a few quilts off to be long-armed before, and it was interesting to be on this side of that relationship, so to speak.

Ewan's Baby Quilt

Since this quilt was a lot different than quilts I normally piece, I had the opportunity to try out some designs that wouldn't normally work well in my quilts. My absolute favorite was this swirly pattern. It's called "Ocean Current" and I found it here on Leah Day's site.

Ewan's Baby Quilt

I'll definitely be using it from here on out!

Ewan's baby quilt

Using blending thread was also relatively new to me. I know, that sounds weird! But I'm wayyy into contrasting thread, so I haven't really done this before. I must say, it was strangely liberating - little mistakes are unnoticeable, and stitching in place to anchor my thread starts/stops didn't create any visible, ugly buildup. Normally I have to hand-tie and bury all my knots to avoid said buildup - man, what a time-saver! I figure that if Angela Walters just stitches in place to anchor her ends, it's good enough for'll see a lot more matchy-matchy thread in the future!

Ewan's Baby Quilt

You can really see the different textures created by the quilting here. I don't know how hard it will be to do the swirly design over a larger area, but I'm hoping to be able to do it again soon!

Ewan's Baby Quilt

Monday, August 18, 2014

Welcome to Pin it Monday!

13 Spools

I've been having fun adding some of your pins to my boards. My picks from last week's linkup are both from Joanne Jones: (click image titles to go to original source for pinning)

I'm normally not a fan of wonky, but this quilt really spoke to me. There's something so playful and eye-catching about the color play and value placement. I love it!

String quilt but extraordinary

Again, the colors here are so intriguing to me - colors I would never consider putting together, but love now that I see them!

One of Tia's liberated medallion quilts in Gwen Marston's book (I posted a pic of the book recently) ~

Today's guest host is my awesome friend Lindsay from Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds. She's compiled some of her favorite pins from last week's linkup. Continue reading to hear her thoughts on them, as well as to participate in the linky party! (click image titles to go to original source for pinning)

I love new-to-me quilting techniques, and these free-motion loops look doable and fresh. I don't recognize many of the fabrics, but they work together so well in this simple patchwork quilt. Lovely!

Enchant Patchwork Quilt from Sweet Feet Stitches

What a fun kid's quilt pattern! I love how the quilter said, "It's one of the first patterns I pinned on Pinterest and I finally had to break down and make it." This photograph with the building blocks on top is adorable and so smart.

Always Sewin' Somethin!: Building Fun!

I'm a big fan of the new Arizona fabric line for April Rhodes for Art Gallery. This quilt borrows inspiration from the backing fabric for a really unique take on a triangle quilt, and looks super snuggly.

nomadic triangles quilt by quiltytherapy, modern quilt

Who doesn't love quilts (and quilt blocks) with feet? This pin makes me smile. If you can get the whole family involved in a quilt block photo shoot, why not?! The center, classic Swoon block is my fave.

The Swoon family | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

// Mosaic Tuesday //
Where do you look for color inspiration? I like this collage because it goes beyond wild orchid and ties in complementary pinks, peaches and plums. If I could eat this collage, I would.

Coral, Blush, Lavender, & Grape by NeverJustJennifer, via Flickr

Now it's your turn! Show us your best pins.

- You'll need a Pinterest account to participate.

- Please follow me on Pinterest and follow Lindsay on Pinterest. You'll be able to see all of our quilty pins and repins this way.

- Link up to 4 pins of your quilty work: finishes, wips, detail shots, supplies - anything quilt-related goes :)

- Pins can be from any date, not just this past week, as long as they have not been previously linked up.

- Be sure to link to the url of a Pinterest pin, not a blog post!!!

- I ask that you repin at least 4 other pins - linky parties are best when we all mingle!

- By linking, you give me permission to feature your linked images on my blog and social media. For this reason, I ask that you only share pins of your own photos.

- If you want to pin my linkup button, or share on your blog/social media about this new linky party, I'll be forever grateful :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets

We all have our dirty little secrets. Even quilty ones. I think it's time for a little bit of airing :)

Edited to add: Link up your quilty secrets here!

quilty secrets

1. I sew over pins. Religiously. Ok, so I've gotten a little better at this one, but still!

2. I iron. I don't press. Screw pressing.

ironing board

3. None of this quilting from the inside - out business. I quilt almost every project right to left. It's weird, I know, but the middle is the hardest part! If I start on one side and work in, then I'm practiced by the time I get to the middle. Then, I flip the quilt and work from the middle out to the other side, so I'm still saving an easy section for last.

4. I wash my quilts on hot. With bleach. Not every time, but my kids - they puke. And you know what? All my quilts still look great!!

5. I kind of like basting. And I prefer safety pins over spray. Don't throw rocks at me.

6. I'm not crazy about Aurifil. There, I said it. Now you can throw rocks at me. (Except....don't....)

7. Also? Warm and White (or Natural). Not into them.

8. Wonky log cabins? Eh. I don't like them.

9. I love quilted feathers. Even if they look traditional.

free motion quilting 

10. I dislike most Denyse Schmidt Fabrics. And Kaffe Fassett ones. Except for shot cottons.

There. Now you can all really hate me.
What about you? Any quilty confessions?

P.s. - pop over to Molli Sparkles to grab the button!!