Thursday, October 29, 2015

Barn Bat Pillow {Quilted Pillow}

"When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers 'tis near Halloween"

I think I've mentioned it before, but my love for Halloween decorations can probably be correlated to the fact that I grew up in a No Halloween/ No Trick-or-Treat house. Every year I end up making a pillow or a quilt for the holiday.

I thought doing my nails would be enough. But it just didn't satisfy my need for a quilted thing. 

Thankfully I had this special stack of scraps that my friend Lindsey had sent me. I really was trying to stay strong and not buy this amazing Witch Hazel line from Riley Blake. I'm still sad I didn't buy any. 

I knew it would have to result in a pillow or some abstract quilt. Luckily, I stumbled onto Elizabeth Hartman's Barn Bat Tutoital. I had the right dimensions and only needed to add four solid black blocks and one Essex linen block.

I adored the bats with the very first strip.   

Before I knew it, I had made a pillow top, hidden zipper back, and binding. 

I decided to just outline the bats in black thread on my domestic machine.  Stitched the front and back together and attached the binding. I love using the binding like a piping. 

I'm already thinking about next year's Halloween project. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Flowers for Eleni

"Where flowers bloom, so does hope."
~Lady Bird Johnson


This quilt. It is just amazing. I've been so honored to work on group quilts before, but this one?  This one just means so much to me. 

In the spring, a very loved quilt blogger, Rachel Hauser at Stitched With Color, and founder of Do. Good Stitches had something happen to her that I could so relate to.  Something was wrong with her baby.  She was so beautiful and shared her fears and worry over her baby daughter after her delivery. She wasn't sure of she what was in store for her darling Eleni's future.  I remember saying out loud. "Please God. Please do not let her join the babyloss club I joined in 2009. None of us members are excited to see new members". 

Then. In a flash. Jodi Godfrey of Tales of Cloth was doing a shout out for a bee blocks. Hashtag Flowers for Eleni. The irony was that I had just started making a mini charm pack of Simply Color by Vanessa Christensen that I had won in her Quiltcon class.

Within a day, I had six blocks for her to send to Australia.

As I packed them up, I had already noticed that she was receiving a huuuuge response for the flowers. And then I thought about how large it was going to be. And then I thought how expensive it would be to ship a quilt back to the states.  

Then, as if my darling Jamie Lynn had whispered in my ears "tell her you can quilt it" 


Fast forward to the finished top. It took Jodi a bit longer to send it to me than we had anticipated. Because she had received 
550 Flowers. 
From 240 quilters. 
From 4 continents. 

It took the efforts of my tallest son and husband to hold this mammoth quilt up!

Amazing, right?

Here's the ugh part. I had to take down Ole Betsy right before for our move to Utah within days of its arrival on my doorstep in Texas.  Bummer.  I reminded myself that I could get up and running pretty quickly. But then I ran into a big problem. We didn't realize someone had smoked in the house we bought, and most of it happened in what was to be and is my studio. 

Finally. Gloriously. The flooring was finally installed and I was able to load her up. 

And I might have had a bit of stage fright when I first started.

But I finally found my groove and decided on treating each hexie flower as an individual.  

I quilted leaves and swirls around each flower.

And tried to do individual designs on each flower center.  

Of course, there was repetition...but I really tried to be thoughtful for each flower.

And I would be lying if I didn't say I poured all my love and prayers into it.

Jodi sent along the great fabric for binding.

But it was a shy short, so there are two pieces of this V&Co orange added in.

Rachel should receive it soon.  But it was a crazy mail week with Columbus Day around these parts.  I sure hope she doesn't mind it came later than planned.  And I hope she knows how loved she is by her fellow quilters!  

And I love that they all Did.Good Stitches

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fanfare {Quilt}

Introducing, or rather, reintroducing my Fanfare quilt pattern.

I made this quilt for our family a while ago and I have had several requests for the pattern. 

 It is such an easy and simple pattern that it is free. 

 I also named it a generic Fanfare name because I actually think it is a wonderful quilt to show off novelty fabrics or showcase your favorite character, superhero, or even a simple symbol.

We love our quilt so much. 

 We take it on our Disney trips and have the characters sign the back with a fabric marker.

You can find the download link on Craftsy HERE or click on image below.

If you have any questions. Please let me know!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Half Rectangle Triangles {Tutorial}

 Let’s chat about Half Rectangle Triangles or HRT’s.  I promise...a tutorial following.

First off, half rectangle triangles (HRTs) can expand your design world out of the half square triangles (HSTs) corner you may be caged in.  Don't get me wrong, HSTs are fabulous, but this takes you to the next step!
 I designed my Twizzle Pattern with them.

See Michelle's awesome Dancing Horses quilt using HRTs.  She also used the Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bars like I did with Hello Darling for the same blog hop.  They say great minds think alike!

How can I make these great HRTs, you say?   Let me walk you through a few techniques.

Technique one: Also known as the, What Not to Do Technique. It will be your first instinct after making so many Half Square Triangles (HSTs) in the past.  By placing two rectangles right sides together, drawing a diagonal line and then sewing 1/4” along each side? It is simply NOT going to work.  At all. Unless you had plans for paper airplanes using your coveted fabric?

Technique two: The traditional technique. Cut your right angle triangles from your rectangles.  Sew the cut edges, right sides together, while shifting the two pieces 1/4” each end.  It isn’t a bad technique at all. I just find it to be super sensitive to presser feet mangling and definitely require some squaring up/trimming.

Technique three:  The Accuquilt die cut.  Similar to the one above, but you it takes away the 1/4" shifting. You line up the blunt edges and sew your seam.  The Accuquilt tutorial is HERE

Technique four:  I think it’s my favorite. It's the one I'm sharing below.  I call it the Magic technique.  I find it to be a unique and fun way to make them.  I feel they need less fussing at the sewing machine and require much less trimming.

Designing a quilt with HRTs: 

The other important part of HRTs is the direction you create them.  I will admit, I made the mistake when designing my most recent quilt by assuming that all HRTs were the same.  At first glance, it appears that you can flip them and get two different angled HRTs.

However, your diagonal line will be in the same orientation on both of your finished Half Rectangle Triangles no matter how you turn it.
 Flip the left one?  You can see they are the same orientation.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  I've seen a lot of tutorials where they use the terminology left-right and right left triangles...but to be honest?  It's confusing to me because I spend more time thinking (upper left? lower right? Wait.  Right...Upper? Lower? Wait a minute. Whaaaaat?)

 I've renamed them A-B and B-C blocks to hopefully clear up the confusion when using this in conjuction with my Twizzle pattern (and maybe more in the future).


  Half Rectangle Triangles or HRTs Tutorial 

This particular tutorial will result in 4.5 x 9.75″ final block size for the purpose of my Twizzle Quilt using Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Bars.  You can easily learn this technique using ANY SIZE rectangle as long as you use the same size rectangles. There does not seem to be an exact formula for finished sizes, but I have found that it should be 1/4″ to 1/2″ smaller in either direction. When changing the dimension drastically, I encourage you to make a sample block to test it out.

2 – 5 x 10” pieces of fabric

Fabric Marking 

Rotary Cutter & Mat


A/B HRT Blocks: 

1.  Layout the two rectangles, placing the rectangle print unit
right side up on the left side and the background unit wrong side up on the right side. 

2.  Using the half inch intersection on your ruler draw dots at corners (see step 3 for specific locations)

3. You will place them on the BOTTOM LEFT corners and UPPER RIGHT corners of the face up fabric. Draw dots on the UPPER LEFT corners and BOTTOM RIGHT corners on the back of the face down background fabric. 

4.  Draw line through the dots on each of the pieces of fabric.
 (I used a black sharpie for the purpose of the tutorial.  Even though it would be cut out, I do not recommend it. I would use a quilt marking pencil or a soluble marker)

5.  Lift the face down piece and rotate it to the right, slightly.  Place it on top of the face up piece and match the dots and diagonal lines.

5.  Using the diagonal line as a guide sew a seam 1/4″ on either side of the line. (Red thread is just for the sake of the tutorial.  Use a matching thread)
6. Cut on diagonal line.
7. Open blocks, press, and trim.

You will have two HRTs.  Finished HRT size: 4 1/2” x 9 3/4

C/D HRT Blocks: (opposite of the A/B Blocks)

1. Layout the two rectangles, placing the rectangle print unit right side up on the left side and the background unit wrong side up on the right side.

2. Using the half inch intersection on your ruler draw dots on the UPPER LEFT corners and BOTTOM RIGHT corners of the face down fabric. Draw dots on the BOTTOM LEFT corners and UPPER RIGHT corners of the face up background fabric.

3. Draw line through the dots on each of the pieces of fabric.

4.  Lift the face down piece and rotating to the left slighting, placing it on top of the face up piece and match the dots and diagonal lines.

Complete steps 5-7 from the A/B HRT blocks to yield C-D HRT blocks.

 Just so you can see the comparison, once more.   Not all half rectangle triangles are alike.

AB Blocks                        vs.                   CD blocks

As always, I strive to make sure my tutorials are thorough and helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and ask questions.  I had a lot of fun designing my Twizzle Pattern using the HRTs and have a few more patterns in the works where I plan on using them.  By changing the dimensions, like all quilt blocks, the possibilities are endless.

Disclaimer: Only old quilting scraps were used for this tutorial.  They were somewhat harmed by the rotary cutter, but appreciated being pieced together.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Twizzle {Quilt Pattern}

 A few months ago, I was contacted by the Fat Quarter Shop to see if I was interested in joining a blog hop at Jolly Jabber that included designing a pattern using Jolly Bars.  Jolly Bars are a Fat Quarter Shop exclusive precut, collections of 42- 5" x 10" cuts of fabric.

 I jumped at the chance to get my hands on Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille by Moda Fabrics.  I have never had a giant need to get my hands on her lines.....until this one.  It has the perfect amount of my favorite colors.

I had fun playing around with designs and settled on using Half Rectangle Triangles.   They can be tricky to design with and sometimes to sew with, but I've included an unique way to create them.  I love the movement of the colors.

 I really enjoyed quilting this one.  I love the flowers in the Hello Darling prints so much that I wanted the free motion quilting to capture the feeling of a bed of sweet flowers. 

As of late, simple backings have been very appealing to me. 

 The binding was a really tough debate for me, but each colorway seems to have a red pop throughout and the sweet small floral binding seemed to frame the entire quilt.

I have the FREE Twizzle quilt pattern available at my Craftsy shop to make downloading it as simple and easy as possible. As always, I strive to make sure my tutorials and patterns are thorough and helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and ask questions.

********PATTERN CORRECTION********  

Each of my patterns is read, edited, reread, edited again, and reread and edited again.  Unfortunately, errors happen.  When called to my attention, I will immediately fix the error in any future files/printings and post the corrections.
For the Twizzle pattern: (Craftsy file updated 9/19/15)
Page 1> Cutting Instructions >Background fabric> Cut 6 2.5" x WOF strips, sew them end to end, then subcut them into 3" x 56" and 3" x 54" pieces.

Correction:  Cut 6 2.5" x WOF strips, sew them end to end, then subcut them into 2.5" x 56" and 2.5" x 54" pieces.

If you find any errors, please contact me.  
Thank you!


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