Wednesday, May 31, 2017

the start of a gingham quilt

Well, summer "vacation" is in full swing and the adjustment has been interesting. I'm sure we will find our rhythm eventually. To cope, I decided to start a new quilt for my king sized bed. Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? I started this project on Saturday and I've been slowly picking away at it as time and energy allows.
I'm only using 3 colors: white, pearl pink and pink flamingo. All of the fabrics are Kona cotton. Pink flamingo, as you may know, is the Kona color of the year. It's quite pretty! I was thinking about making a gingham quilt with pink flamingo for a few months. When I found 5 yards of the pearl pink in my stash, which matches quite nicely, I took it as a sign that the gingham quilt needed to be made. Hahaha!
It's rare that I cut out a quilt completely before I start sewing, but that's exactly what I did this time. It's good to change things up!
It took me over an hour to sew all those strips into pairs. It was a lot of fun to feed so much fabric through the machine at such a rapid pace.
 Chopping everything into segments took quite a while!
The rows are LONG when you are making a king size quilt! Holy moly!
It was quite exciting to see the first several rows sewn together. It's going to be such a fun quilt! Now that I look at it, I probably should have picked a darker shade than the pearl pink, but I still think it's going to be fine. And hey, I'm using my stash, so that counts for something, right?

I cut the strips for this quilt 4 1/2", so the squares will finish at 4". If my math is correct, the quilt will be 108" x 100" finished. (That's a BIG quilt!)

I actually made another gingham quilt in gray and white... way back in 2011! It's fun to be revisiting this pattern again. It's been much less frustrating this time around, mainly because I learned that a short stitch length is essential when strip piecing. It sure makes a difference!

I hope to have a finished quilt top to share with you soon!

Friday, May 26, 2017

big nines--a completed quilt

Welcome to finish it up Friday!
I finished up the hand binding on my big nines quilt this morning! My kids are done with school for the summer, so I have quilt holders available during the day now. That's pretty exciting! (For me, at least....I'm not sure that they are so thrilled about that. Hahaha!)
Yesterday morning I pieced a back and basted the quilt. It didn't take very long to quilt it, which was great. I kept the quilting simple by doing some free motion wavy lines to form a grid. I love this type of quilting. It's easy and quick and forgiving. It also adds a nice texture to the entire piece.
Most of the solids are Kona cotton, and the bright aqua on the right is a cotton couture by Michael Miller. ALL of the fabric came from my stash. (Hurray for that!)
This fabric is from my good neighbors collection. It matched perfectly and works very well on the back.
The quilt measures about 48" square. This is my 11th quilt finish for the year! Not too bad. :)

There is a simple tutorial for the big nines block here, if you care to make one of your own.

Now, it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. Thank you for joining me for Finish it up Friday! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WIP Wednesday--moody and focus

I've been recovering from quilt market by spending some couch time hand stitching on my focus blocks. (Templates are available here.) It's been gloomy and cold here, too, so that's about all I want to do! Thank goodness for cute fabric and time to recharge (at least a little bit!) before the kids are done with school for the year. Only 1 more school day left!
I decided to pin up all the focus blocks that I have finished on the design wall. I needed to see what fabrics I have already used and what colors I need to make more of. I love this block arrangement, with the triangles separating the hexagons. Can I tell you how much I love this quilt??? (Kind of a lot!)
I stitched up as many blocks as I could for my moody quilt. I ran out of background fabric, so I'm at a temporary stand-still until I can purchase more background fabric. This quilt needs to be at least lap size, because I am loving it so far! (More details on this quilt can be found in this post.) I had to laugh at the colorful log cabin blocks peeking out from the top of the photo. Such contrast to this quilt, but I like them both.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be traveling to Indiana (near Fort Wayne) next month, June 15-17, 2017 to give a trunk show on my new book. I will also be teaching on Friday and Saturday. The class I'm teaching is called "Spin Class-Make Your Quilts Your Own" and it's based on my book No Scrap Left Behind. Each student will be able to work on a project of their choice from the book, with hands on guidance from the teacher. (That's me.:)) The Friday class is full, but there is still room in the Saturday class. To sign up for the trunk show OR the Saturday class, email Teri for more info:

That's it for me today! I hope you are having a great week!

Monday, May 22, 2017

spring quilt market 2017

Last week/weekend I had the opportunity to go to spring Quilt Market in St. Louis, Missouri. Quilt market is a twice-yearly trade show which is only open to people in the quilting industry. It's a lot of fun, but it's also tiring and completely over stimulating. I went to promote my new book, so I gave a schoolhouse presentation and I did a few book signings. I roomed with my long time blog friend, Thimbleanna. All around, it was wonderful!
(I actually remembered to take a quick photo before the signing started! Hurray!)
This booth by Sandra Clemons was amazing. There were hundreds of butterflies folded and individually pinned to the booth. It was really stunning. I wish I would have taken a close up shot of a butterfly, but I completely overlooked that. I would have loved to talk to her about the process, too, but she wasn't in the booth at the time that I was there. I'm glad I have a few photos!
And if the previous photo wasn't stunning enough, there are hundreds more butterflies in front of this quilt, too!

This quilt called Patchwork Garden by Sherri McConnell caught my eye. I'm sure that comes as no surprise! I love all of those little squares!
Sorry for the poor photo of this quilt, but I wanted to share it anyway. It's called Girl Next Door, by Louise Papas, who I've "known" through the blog and Instagram for a long time. It was hanging in lovely Jen Kingwell's booth. It was fun to see the quilt in person!
There was a bit of a shoe theme at market. Starting with this quilt called Girls Night Out by Terri Degenkolb.
This quilt is called "Kicks" by Latifah Saafir. I really, REALLY want to make this one.
And there was also a roller skate quilt in the Cotton + Steel booth. So fun!
Lori Holt always makes cute quilts. This one called Bee Happy is going to be a sew along quilt this summer, I believe? My local quilt shop is going to be participating in it, so I think I just may join them.
I need another project like I need a hole in the head, but the cute little plaid thermos detail was most certainly the tipping point for me. EEEEP! SO cute!
 I loved this basket of rolled up quilts in Lee Chappell's booth!
 These two quilts from Sue Daley caught my eye. I would love bed sized quilts of both of them!
 I really need to try a clam shell quilt someday...even if it is just a mini.
Amy Smart had her first booth to promote her first line of fabric called Gingham Girls for Riley Blake. We were twinning, so we had to get a photo! It was so fun to see friends from the blog in real life again and catch up! It's definitely one of the best parts of market. (I'm on the left and I'm wearing my washi dress! Amy is on the right and she's wearing a tova tunic.)
My friends talked me into going to sample spree, which was QUITE an experience. Below is what I purchased, which shows incredible restraint if you consider the temptation and the excellent prices. One of the bundles is for a friend of mine. I've got plans for the pink flamingo Kona cotton that I'm pretty excited about!
Since I did a schoolhouse at market, I took 7 quilts to show during my presentation. Anna and I slept under different quilts each night. Hotel beds never looked so good! (All the quilt patterns are in my book, No Scrap Left Behind!) I'm so very glad that I made these quilts big enough to sleep under. That was my original intention, and it's nice that it paid off.

Night one...
Night two....
Night three...
I apologize for the quality of some of the photos in this post. The lighting in the convention was truly awful, but I hope that the photos are inspiring nonetheless.

I'm mostly deadline free at the moment, which is super exciting. It's been awhile and I'm excited to sew FOR FUN again. It's going to be great!

Happy Monday to you!!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

big nines-a completed quilt top

Welcome to finish it up Friday!

I'm not completely sure, but I think the month of May just might be the end of me. Man, it's been busy! If I've been sewing, it's mostly been something that I can't show yet. So, for sanity sake, I whipped up this little quilt top. I needed to see something completed, and quick like! Something bigger than a pincushion. Hahaha!
I used 10 different solid fabrics from my stash in this quilt. The white blocks are Kona cotton (Snow) and the solids are from a variety of different manufacturers, but mostly Kona.
The blocks finish at 16", so the quilt should finish at about 48" square. I'm excited because I already have a plan for quilting and binding. Figuring out a backing shouldn't be too hard.
You can find the block tutorial here, if you care to make one of your own! I think this would be super cute done up in subtle prints, too.

That's it for me today! Now, it's your turn. Please link up your finishes, and thank you, as always, for joining me for finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

moody quilt-the beginning

Well, I've started another WIP. That's a few in one week! It's a very good thing that I was on a finishing bender earlier this year. Ha!
For this quilt, I'm using Kona shadow for the background and a variety of mixed substrate scraps for the triangles. Many thanks to my friend, Anna, for the beautiful scraps! (Most of them are Essex linen, chambray, or lightweight denim.) I love the pairing and the moody nature of this quilt so far!
The pattern is based on my chain of diamonds quilt, which can be found in my book No Scrap Left Behind. For this version, however, I upsized the blocks so I could finish this quilt sometime in this decade. :) I cut the background squares 4 1/2" and the triangles are made from 3 1/2" squares that were cut on the diagonal once. I may or may not add in some navy and very dark blue solids for a little more depth.

I'm excited to see how it all comes together in the next few weeks! Hurray for scraps! :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

big nines-a quilt block tutorial

I get asked all the time, "If you always make scrap quilts, where do all the scraps come from?" That's a great question. Many people pass along their scraps to me, and I enjoy sewing them up. The other part of that answer is, I DO make quilts from the stash from time to time. Here's the start of one! As much as I love tiny pieces and sewing up scraps, sometimes a "palette cleanser" quilt is in order. This is a super easy block that, while simple, is still big on impact.
This is directly opposite from my mini nines quilt. This block will finish at 16"!! (color is Kona peapod.)

I thought I would share the measurements for the quilt block, in case you want to try one of your own. I bet you could whip one up in under 30 minutes! I didn't time myself making just one block, but I wish I would have.

For each block, you will need a fat quarter of background fabric and a 2 1/2" x 12 1/2" strip of white fabric. (If you are using yardage, you will need 1/3 yard of each color, and you will have some scraps leftover.)
From the white:
Cut 5 squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"

From the solid color:
Cut 2 pieces 5 1/2" x 16 1/2"
Cut 2 pieces 5 1/2" x 6 1/2"
Cut 4 squares 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
(Cut the largest pieces first.)
 Sew 2 1/2" squares together into three strips, as shown. Press seams toward the darker fabric.
Sew 3 strips together to make a 9 patch block. Press seams toward the center strip of the block. (This will prevent as much shadowing as possible without pressing the seams open.) The block should measure 6 1/2" unfinished.
Sew the 5 1/2" x 6 1/2" pieces to either side of the 9 patch block. Press seams toward the outside of the block.
Sew the 5 1/2" x 16 1/2" pieces of fabric to the top and the bottom. Press seams toward the outside of the block. The block should measure 16 1/2" unfinished.

Easier than pie! :)
When I was making the blocks this morning, it occurred to me that it would be fun to mix up the colors of the 9 patch and the borders. It would produce a fun, but different, look. So many possibilities!

Monday, May 15, 2017

a great weekend

I had the opportunity to speak at teach at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts in Cedarburg over the weekend. Many thanks to the wonderful students that attended my class and lecture on Saturday. It was a very fun day!
The museum is a lovely little place in an adorable town that I've visited once before, when I took a workshop from Densyse Schmidt. The museum changes the display 4 times a year, I believe. This quilt caught my eye immediately. It was absolutely stunning and it drew me in!
The little cross blocks were pieced from a variety of solids. Each pieced block finished just over 1"or so. (I didn't measure. I didn't touch the quilt, either. :))
I loved reading the artist's description. There are 6,300 pieces in the quilt. (Which just goes to show you that I'm not the craziest quilter around. Hahaha! I mean that with absolutely no disrespect to the maker.)
I've been dreaming of immersing myself in a study of scrap play in solid fabrics for months now, so this quilt really struck a cord with me. I don't think I'm going to go this tiny with my piecing, but I thought it was very inspiring!
When I got home LATE Saturday night, I walked into a clean house, roses on the table and a pile of presents on the bookshelf. My family spoiled me for Mother's Day and it was a wonderful welcome home. I hope YOU had a great Mother's Day weekend as well.

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, May 12, 2017

nine mini nines

Welcome to finish it up Friday! Is it just me, or did Friday come around awfully quick this week? ;)
I carved out some time to finish up the (9!) mini nines pincushions that I started a few weeks ago. I really dislike production line sewing, but having this many pincushions to photograph at once makes it ALL worth it!
I hand stitched the openings closed on half of these while my younger son was getting some teeth pulled, and I finished up the other half of them when I was waiting for my older son's band concert to start. Hurray for portable sewing! :)
I love the combination of the bright solids paired with the natural Essex linen. I'm ALMOST tempted to start another quilt like this.... almost!
One of my favorite parts about making the pincushions is picking the backing. Actually, arranging them in color order has to be the most fun! Picking the backing has to be a close second. :)

There is a tutorial here, if you'd care to make your own! You can see the entire quilt I made from this block here.

Now, it's your turn! Please link up your finishes for the week. I hope you have a GREAT weekend!