Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Little Twinkle {Finished Quilt}

The best thing about making baby quilts is that I'm not (usually) tempted to keep them! The worst part is that for every one that I make, I get ideas for at least two more swirling around in my head.

This quilt is a smaller version of my Twinkle quilt which is a throw size quilt that I made earlier this year. Here's the baby quilt top before I quilted it:

For the quilting, I did a swirly flower filler in white Aurifil thread. The flannel backing is a similar teal to the teals used in the top of the quilt.

For the binding, I used this very fun checkerboard batik that came in my second Island Batik Ambassador goody box. I got this print in three colors (pink, purple, and teal) and I am excited to use it again soon because of how neat this binding turned out. I think it could be even cooler as bias binding.

Hopefully this quilt will be loved and snuggled for a long time!

The pattern for this quilt is in the pipeline and will include directions for this baby sized version, my original throw sized version, and a twin sized version!

Quilt Stats:
Name: Little Twinkle
Pattern: Twinkle, to be released soon, based on this quilt
Size: 36" x 42"
Fabrics: Paisley Dot fabric from Island Batik; white solid background; teal flannel backing
Quilting: swirly flowers in white Aurifil
Future: Baby quilt for coworker's baby
Started: July 2018
Finished September 2018

Sharing at Let's Bee Social!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2018 {30 Pearls Quilt}

It's a good week to be a quilter -- it's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy's Creative Side!

For this year's edition of the festival, I decided to enter my 30 Pearls quilt.

This quilt is my own original design and was my Island Batik Ambassador project for June, which was our "modern" themed month.

When I was thinking about designing this quilt, I took my inspiration from the fact that I was coming up on my 30th birthday. I decided that I wanted something with 30 simple blocks and it seemed the natural choice to do drunkard's path blocks since my birthstone is pearl.

This was my original design that I mocked up using a few of the fabrics I planned to use. The fabrics for this came from Island Batik's Sunflower Serenade line and used only the pink, red, and purple fabrics.

 I used a set of drunkard's path templates I had from a previous project and the blocks and quilt top came together with ease.

The backing is an extreme contrast from the front -- it's lime green with slice and insert strips of rainbow fabrics added to make the backing big enough.

For the quilting, I quilted pebbles in white Aurifil in each of the white pearls. For each of the print arches or squares, I used a different free motion quilting motif inspired by Leah Day's quilting design gallery. I used 56 different free motion fillers and used five different colors of pink, red, purple, and orange thread.

This quilt now hangs above my sewing machine in my little corner of our guest room. 

This quilt is not larger (42 inches square) but I see it as something I am hugely proud of with how much I worked on the free motion quilting. 

Previous posts on this quilt:
Introduction Post
Quilt Top Post
Finished Quilt Post

Friday, September 14, 2018

Pattern Matching for Seamless Seams {Tutorial}

Today I wanted to take a quick detour and do a more in depth tutorial about pattern matching larger scale prints for nearly invisible (or at the very least, less visible) seams for backings.

For some fabrics -- smaller scale prints, solids -- pattern matching is kind of unnecessary. But sometimes, with directional fabrics or some styles of large scale prints, just sewing two pieces of fabric together results in a very obvious seam location. Some people won't be bothered by this, but some people are and I am definitely one of those people.

An important note: different kinds of prints require different thought processes about how to match the print repeats and where to place the sewing line.

Here's a seam match from my Farmer's Wife quilt backing, which my mom actually sewed together for me:

Can you find the seam? It's between the white and pink stripes in the middle of this photo. For this print, the points of the zig zags were used to line up the print and the seam runs along the tip of the pink points and intersects with the tip of the white points.

Here's the backing of my Fire Pit quilt that I made this spring for the Stash Statement blog hop:

For this print, the seam is within the red stripe running across the picture from left to right. I aligned the fabric using the red stripes running up and down through the fabric and placed my seam line in the middle of the red edge stripes running left to right.

Today, I'm going to show an in depth example of how I match patterns. I'll be working on piecing a backing using this fabric (which I got from the clearance section at the Fat Quarter Shop online from a Downton Abbey fabric line) which is directional.

To get the tassels to hang all in the same direction, I'll need to sew together the two pieces of backing (approximately 2 yards each, 4 yards total) along the opposite salvage edges. (I also added the ruler for scale) If you fold your backing in half lengthwise and sew along the same side of the selvage, your tassels will hang in opposite directions.

Now I'm going to look long and hard at the print and think about two things -- where I want to place the seam line and what "landmarks" to use to align the fabric. If you're a spacial thinker, the seam line will run parallel to the salvage and the "landmarks" are the places in the print along the length of the fabric that you'll use to align your two pieces of fabric.

This photo is the same as the photo above with my projected seam lines (one dashed line on each piece of fabric) and my "landmarks" (marked with stars).

I am going to align the two pieces of fabric such that I pin at each of the tassels, which will be my landmarks. I am going to sew through the knots -- which ends up being about an inch from the fabric edge -- along the length of the fabric.

I don't like to trim my salvages prior to sewing the backing seam. I prefer to sew my seam and make sure that it's situated properly first and then to trim the salvage off. I also am totally okay with this seam being larger than 1/4" after I trim off the salvage since I will press this seam open (which I do for all of my backing seams).

And ta-da! I have a moderately well-matched seam that fades into the overall print of the fabric. The tassels along the seam are slightly more narrow, but the overall repeat of the print is not broken, which is the most important factor.

I hope this tutorial was helpful to you in your future pieced backing endeavors! As I noted, every print has to be considered differently, so this is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all type of technique. For example, this blue raindrop fabric is the next one I'll be working on putting together the pieced backing:

At a glance, I think I'll need to sew through the middle of the raindrops across from left to right. This one might end up being slightly more obvious given the detail of the little raindrops on the inside of the larger raindrop motif, but I think with a little extra love it will blend together.

Are you a pattern matcher or are you someone who avoids this kind of matching at all costs? Tell me about your pattern matching experiences in the comments!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Border Quilt QAL {Quilt Center}

After a momentary delay, the start of the Border Quilt QAL is here! If you haven't joined in yet, there is still plenty of time to do so -- check out all of the information on Jen's blog and see Jen's first post about her flannel version of the quilt here!

To refresh your memories, I'm making my quilt from scraps in more traditional colors with a Kona Champagne background. The paisley print in the bottom center is my "inspiration fabric" for this quilt. There are batiks, traditional prints, and more modern prints mixed in with this fabric pull.

This week we're starting the center of the quilt and I chose to do the pieced version of the center since I'm working with scraps rather than yardage.

I was very strategic about getting my pieced unit squared up and I didn't have any tragedies! Here's the center with the solid border:

Now back to the grind until it's time for week 2! The rain here in Maryland is preventing me from getting good pictures of some things that are finished/nearly finished, so here's hoping that Florence changes course and just goes back out to sea.

Check out some of the other bloggers sewing along!
Quilt 'n' Party
Vicki Holloway Quilting
Lizard Creek Quilting
Daphne Greig
Quilt District

Sharing at Oh Scrap!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Words to Live By Blog Hop with Benartex {Chit Chat Placemats Tutorial}

Today I'm your host for the Words To Live By Blog Hop with Benartex!

This new line designed by Cherry Guidry is a fun combination of prints, including text, keys, and daisies!

I'm always looking for new ideas for quick and easy projects like table runners and placemats that are easy gifts. These kinds of projects are perfect for using batting scraps too! I decided to make some simple placemats using 3.5" squares using these fabrics. Let's get sewing!

Yardage required:

2/3 yard background fabric -- I used Modern Lace White
1/2 yard total accent fabrics -- I used four different fabrics -- Happy Medallion Yellow, Daisy Turquoise, Tiny Words Red, and Keys Charcoal
1 1/2 yards for backing and binding -- I used Trellis Grey

From the background fabric cut:
Four (4) 12.5" x 9.5" rectangles
Eight (8) 12.5" x 2" rectangles
Sixty-Four (64) 2" squares

From your accent fabrics cut:
Thirty-Two (32) 3.5" squares TOTAL (I cut eight from each of my four colors)

From your backing and binding fabric cut:
Eight (8) 2.5" x WOF strips
Four (4) backing rectangles approximately 15" x 20"
Note: If using one fabric for your backing and binding, cut your binding strips first from your 1.5 yard cut of fabric, then cut your remaining fabric (approximately 34" long) into four quarters for your four backing pieces.

To opposite corners of each 3.5" square, use the stitch and flip method to add a 2" background square to the opposite corners. Some people call this unit a "half snowball" some people call it a "pop bead" -- whatever you might call it, you'll need eight of them for each placemat and 32 if you're making a set of four placemats like me.

Sew your pop bead blocks into sets of four, making eight sets of block strips. Since I am using four different colors, each of my sets has one of each color. I made half in one pattern and half in a second pattern.

Arrange two 12.5" x 2" rectangles, two pop bead block strips, and one 12.5" x 9.5" rectangle as shown below. Sew together to complete the top of your placemat. Make four placemat tops, which should measure 12.5" x 18.5".

Quilt as desired and bind.

Thanks for allowing me to share this quick and easy tutorial! This would make an easy gift and a great way to use some of those seasonal fabrics that you always have hanging around in your stash!

Now for the giveaway! Enter to win a set of 8 fat quarters of this fabric line! Comments for entries:

--Leave a comment and tell me your favorite type of quick-and-easy quilting and sewing projects.

--If you follow me in some form or fashion, leave a second comment. (Facebook, Instagram, Bloglovin, Etsy, or whichever way you prefer!)

--If you follow Benartex fabrics on Facebook or Instagram, leave a third and final comment.

Giveaway will close at midnight on Sunday, September 16th. Thanks for visiting and check out the other posts on this hop!

Congrats to our winner, Lisa Marie!

Words to Live By Hop Schedule:
Tuesday: Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts
Thursday: Carol @ Just Let Me Quilt