Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Finishes

Here is this month's collage of finished quilts. Actually, there are two collages because I had too many quilts to fit in one!

It has been a very productive month, thanks to two unexpected snow days, and an extra long break.

Happy New Year to everyone! May 2015 bring you much peace and joy.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another December Finish!

When I was waiting for the minky backing for my daughter's quilt last week, I was able to finish quilting a pile of tops. This was the final one in the pile:

It is a remake of a quilt I made several years ago, using Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow collection, and my Bricklayer pattern.

This is a great pattern for showing off some larger scale prints.

I wasn't sure what to back it with, and then I remembered the backing fabric I rejected for this quilt a week ago. Perfect!

Reminder: my patterns are on sale through New Year's Eve in my Etsy and Craftsy shops!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pantone Radiant Orchid Challenge 2014

Once upon a time, Pantone announced their 2014 color of the year was Radiant Orchid:

And a quilter got really excited. Because this color appealed to her. And because this was the year she was going to enter the Pantone Quilt Challenge. So she went online and did some fabric shopping:

And she found some grey Moda charm packs in her stash to use as the background (Bella silver?). So she cut up her radiant orchid fabrics and made a bunch of half-square triangles. Because even though she didn't have a plan yet, half-square triangles are always a good place to start, right?

And then suddenly it was March. And March is always a crazy month. And she was besieged by a surge of custom orders on Etsy.

And she missed the entry deadline.

So, then the challenge went from being an online one to a personal one. But that's okay. Because in May, she had a brainstorm about what to do with those half-square triangles:

And she couldn't resist this cute print for the backing:
And she bound it with Chevron in Orchid by Heather Bailey:
And it is now available as a PDF pattern!

(Remember -- my PDF patterns are on sale for the next few days in my Etsy and Craftsy shops!).


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Stockings and a Tutorial Link

This year, I finally made some new Christmas stockings for us! Last summer, we repainted our living room. I can't remember the color name, but it is purple (this was actually my husband's idea, not mine) -- sort of a pale periwinkle purple that reads a bit grey depending on the time of day. I actually like it a lot, even though I resisted at first. Anyway, we've never had four Christmas stockings that match each other, so I used the scraps from my daughter's quilt (Kate Spain's Horizon fabric collection) and my tutorial (found here) to make us a new set that matches the "cool" color palette of the room.

They are fun to make, and a great way to use up scraps. Check out my tutorial, and get a head start on next year's presents!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Big News, and a Pattern Sale

I have some big news. In case you haven't heard, new regulations that take effect January 1st require anyone who sells digital products to customers in the EU to pay VAT on those sales, regardless of what county the seller resides in. I currently sell automatic downloads of my quilt patterns on both Craftsy and Etsy, and like many other small businesses, I am unable to deal with the paperwork that would be involved in cooperating with this regulation. Therefore, as of January 1st, the following changes will take place:

1. My Crafsy pattern store will be closed completely

2. My Etsy store PDF patterns will no longer be available as instant downloads, and will only be available to customers in the US, Australia and Canada.

After December 31st, PDF patterns bought on Etsy will be emailed within 24 hours of purchase (usually much sooner). The reason I am limiting sales to the US, Canada and Australia is because I have found that most of my pattern sales come from these countries, and because of the time it would take to customize shipping profiles on all of my Etsy pattern listings to include every country except those in the EU.

I am really sad about losing the instant download feature -- I loved the idea that someone halfway around the world could purchase my pattern while I was sleeping, download it immediately, and possibly finish making the quilt top before I woke up! Etsy announced recently that it is working on some seller tools to deal with this VAT issue, so I am hopeful that in the not-too-distant future, I will be able to offer automatic downloads to all non-EU countries.

Because of all of these changes, I am offering a sale on all of my PDF patterns in both my Etsy and Craftsy shops (from now thru around 11 PM EST on December 31st!). If you are in the EU, or if you prefer the instant download feature, please take advantage of this sale before everything goes away on January 1st! No coupon code required -- patterns are already marked down!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Tutorial: Charm Square Quilted Pillow Sham

Yesterday, I shared a quilt I made for my daughter's twin bed for Christmas. Today, I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make a matching full-size pillow sham from leftover charm squares.

You will need:

24 charm squares (or 30 if your pillow is pretty fluffy -- I'll explain below!)

Approx 1/2 yard to 5/8 yard of fabric for backing (again, fluffiness factor!)

20 x 28" batting scrap (I attached several smaller batting scraps together with a zig zag stitch)

20 x 28" piece of fabric (this will be hidden on the inside)

Optional: binding strips (three 2 1/2 inch x width of fabric strips should be plenty)

Sew your charm squares together in 4 rows of 6. To quilt the front of the sham, I layered my pieced charm squares, batting and scrap cotton piece and used a decorative stitch through all of the seams. (Note: photos were taken after I quilted and trimmed off the excess backing and batting!) You can see the stitch better from the inside view (below). You could also quilt 1/4 inch on either side of the seam, or practice your free-motion quilting if you prefer!

This piece will measure approx 18" x 27 1/2 after quilting. The standard measurement for making a pillow sham is usually 20" x 26" , but I usually find that a little narrower is okay (I like a snug fit!)

I did trim the length of the quilted piece 3/4 inch on either side before assembling the pillow, so my final measurement was 18 x 26". If your pillow is fluffy, make five rows of six, and after quilting, trim 3/4" off both sides of the length, and about 1 1/4 inches off the top and bottom. This should yield the standard 20 x 26" measurement.

For your pillow backing, measure the width of your pillow (mine was 18") and cut two pieces 18" (or your width) x 18". Disclaimer -- I actually cut my pieces a little extra long, which made the pillow a bit tricky to stuff inside. I also was lazy and used the untrimmed selvege edge instead of hemming the two envelope flaps! Normally, I turn under and stitch a 1/2" hem on the two envelope flaps before assembling the sham. If you are using directional fabric, be sure to put the hem on opposite sides (otherwise one of your envelope flaps will be upside down)! Lay the first envelope flap, right sides together, over your quilted sham top.

Lay the second envelope flap on top and pin. Stitch around all four edges (I used a 1/4" seam, but you can go a little wider, especially if you are working with the 20" x 26" size. Turn inside out and admire your work!

One last note: I usually serge the inside seam so that if will hold up through frequent washings. If you do not have a serger, then a wide zig-zag stitch would also do the trick ( do this step after sewing the pillow back and front together with a regular straight stitch). Another fun option is to sew the pillow back and front WRONG sides together (in other words, with your finished sides facing out while you sew) and then finishing the 1/4" raw edge with a contrasting binding (exactly the way you would attach a quilt binding).

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 25

Merry Christmas! This is the final day of my 25 Quilts in 25 Days blog series, and of course, this one is a Christmas present! My daughter requested a new quilt for her twin bed, the main requirement being that it have minky backing. I usually avoid piecing together minky for larger quilts, but I was willing to make an exception for her!
Her room is painted pale purple, and she also likes blue, so I used Kate Spain's Horizon fabric collection with a couple of other purple prints thrown in. I used my Hip to Be Square pattern (except I added a lot more blocks!).
Here's a picture of the top in-progress. Our cat Hunter loves to photo-bomb quilt pics.
I ordered the minky backing on Dec 9th, it was shipped on December 19th. According to tracking, it was supposed to arrive on December 23rd. It didn't.
It didn't arrive on December 24th, either.
Long story short: I wrapped up the matching sham, but the quilt will have to be finished after Christmas. It worked out okay -- if the fabric had arrived on the 24th, it would have been a pretty busy day trying to finish it in time. I promise I'll share pictures when it finally gets done!

I hope you enjoyed this journey of 25 Quilts in 25 Days. I also have some fun posts scheduled for the remainder of the month, including a pillow sham tutorial, some Christmas stockings, a pattern sale, and of course, my final monthly collage of finished quilts for 2014!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 24

I love Amy Butler's fabrics! In fact, I especially love Amy Butler's Love fabric collection.

I don't know what it is about her fabrics, but you always think they won't go together, and in the end, they work.

I had origally planned on making two smaller tumbler quilts (these were cut with my Accuquilt 6" die) -- my favorite size for a baby/lap quilt is 10 rows of 12 tumblers. Instead, I pieced 15 rows of 16 tumblers (which took quite a while!) to make this twin-size version.


I didn't think I had enough of any one fabric for the backing, but I managed to piece together a few remnants of this fabric to cover the entire back.

I think I'll add this one to next week's binding marathon pile!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 23

This quilt features the Juggling Summer collection by Zen Chic for Moda fabrics. When I first saw the collection online, I didn't think I would like it, but when I saw it in person at a quilt shop, it caught my eye. I purchased a charm pack and 1 1/2 yards of yardage with the intention of making a small patchwork squares quilt.
I pulled the project out on an unexpected snow day last week. As soon as I started laying out the squares, it became clear to me that I needed to go a different route. There are a lot of duplicates in the charm pack, and many of the fabrics read as solids, so I knew I needed to cut them up for better distribution, and add a neutral solid.
I cut all of the charm squares in half, added some strips of Kona Ash, and another coins quilt was born!
I always have trouble choosing a good quilting thread color when my background is light grey -- every time I try a grey thread, it always seems too dark. I ended up with an unexpected choice, a pale golden color called "Antique" by Connecting Threads. I actually used it on my last three quilts, and I think it will also be the perfect choice for my next quilt top, which also has a grey background.

I'm not sure what I'll use for the binding yet -- I don't have quite enough of the backing print leftover, but I might have a green in my stash that will work. I'm stockpiling some binding projects for a trip next week!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 22

Today's quilt is made up of leftovers from at least three other projects. I liked the way the colors worked, so I kept adding in various scraps until I had enough blocks.
I originally bought the backing fabric with the intention of using it on the front of the quilt, but it works well as the backing -- I just needed to add in some border strips to make it large enough.
I'm still deciding on the binding, so that part may take a few extra days!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 21

Thanks for following along on my Twenty-Five Quilts blog journey!
This scrappy quilt was made from two of Sandy Gervais' older Moda lines: Grand Finale and Essence. It is very jelly-roll friendly, and I'm in the midst of writing the pattern out for multiple sizes.

When I was working on the blocks, I sort of forgot that they were on the larger size, so the quilt ended up being 60" square -- a nice, generous lap size!

I had some coordinating backing fabric, but not quite enough, so I stretched is with some pieced strips. I have been having lots of fun with pieced backing lately!

This one is definitely a little out of season right now, but I'm glad to have it finished!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 20

I'm in the home stretch of my twenty-five quilts in 25 days blog series!

Today's quilt is made from Sandi Henderson's first Meadowsweet collection. This summer, I organized and cut some scraps from that line, and used my Bricklayer pattern to make this lap-sized top. I had planned to finish it before fall, since the color scheme is perfect for autumn, but didn't get it quilted and bound until today!
The large scale floral print was a popular one in the collection, and I was lucky enough to snag a few yards of it on sale a couple of years ago, knowing it would be perfect for a future backing.

The quilt is now listed for sale in my Etsy shop!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 19

Dream On is an older collection by Urban Chiks. Although I do have a few untouched precuts stashed away, I also had a fair amount of small scraps leftover from previous projects, so another coins quilt was in order. I first showed the pieced coin strips back in January when I contemplated using an aqua solid from the background. I love the way it shows off the vintage style and colors of the fabrics.

Several of the fabrics remind me of my grandmother's guest room bedding in the 1970's!


For the back, I didn't want to go completely aqua, so I was glad I had a few of the faux patchwork scraps to sew together -- they add a lot of interest to the backing.

The binding was a tough decision, but I went with some scraps leftover from the backing of this quilt which I shared a couple of days ago. They happened to be on my sewing table when I was auditioning bindings, and they fit the bill perfectly!

To follow along on my 25 Days of Quilts journey, begin here.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twenty-Five Quilts, Day 18

I promised you'd see one last Vroom quilt, and here it is!
My supply stash of fabrics has finally been depleted, so this is the last one of these for my Etsy store. I've enjoyed making them, but I've made so many that I'm not too sad to be moving on to other projects!

My favorite part has always been the striped binding. I still have some of this on hand, so it may show up in another project. I do love striped bindings!

I had to get a little creative with the backing, but I like how it turned out.

I'll be back tomorrow with the next installment of my Twenty-Five Quilts blog series!