Monday, April 21, 2014

Shadow Sawtooth - a finish!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, and this week is looking like it will be nothing short of crazy, as I plan out and prep far too many projects for my yearly journey up to Atlanta for The Stash Bash. It's always better to have too many projects to pick from to work on than not enough, right? For the last week, I've been trying to recover from the fun I had at SewDown Nashville - it was such a great time, I can hardly even describe it in words. One thing I can do, though, is show you one of my recent finishes that I shared for the first time in Nashville, at my lecture, Shadow Sawtooth.

Shadow Sawtooth on a nearly cloudless day

The lecture I gave in Nashville was about applying modern aesthetics to traditional, classic quilt blocks to yield modern traditional quilts. Everything from applying interesting, alternate grid work to a classic block to adding asymmetry to a block, to unexpected uses of color. This quilt is by far and away one of my favorite class/lecture samples I've made to date, and it could be the color combinations, it could be the quilting, or it could be the way that your eye can often "lose" the grayscale sawtooth stars as you take in the center star in all its glory, but all in all, I adore this quilt.

Shadow Sawtooth - FMQ Detail

It's sewn up in Kona solids, in Kona Ash, Medium Gray, Charcoal, Curry, Cerise, and Pool. The quilting is another part of this quilt that really grabs me. I used several different shades of Aurifil, from a variegated gray (#4670) to a fuchsia (#2588), yellow (#2135), and aqua (#2835) to match the center star.

Shadow Sawtooth - in Kona Solids

It's a super simple quilt that totally goes to show you how the use of color can absolutely change a quilt - and I can't wait to find the perfect place to hang it up at home! Happy Monday everyone :)

Quilt Stats
name: Shadow Sawtooth
size: 36" square
pattern: none - just used a classic Sawtooth Star block throughout
fabrics: Kona Ash, Medium Gray, Charcoal, Curry, Cerise, and Pool
quilting: L's in 40 wt Aurifil variegated gray (#4670), L's in 50 wt Aurifil yellow (#2135), fat L's in 50 wt Aurifil fuchsia (#2588), and zig zag in 50 wt Aurifil aqua (#2835)
Thursday, April 10, 2014

The lowdown on FMQ feet

I'm guest-posting over at Sew Mama Sew today, talking about free-motion quilting feet for domestic sewing machines. Much like with piecing feet, there are lots of options for free-motion quilting feet! Open toe, closed toe, floating, spring loaded - it's a smorgasbord of options, really. I'm breaking them all down to give you the lowdown about what feet work best for free-motion quilting, and there is a super fun giveaway involved too! Hop on over to Sew Mama Sew to check it out!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A wee house

Oh, it feels it's been eons since I made a bee block! I felt all kinds of rusty when I officially started working on my first bee block for the Wee Bee, a fun international bee filled with some great, super talented sewists. Our first queen bee is Cat of Cat + Vee, who requested a wee little house block.

I went with a really simple house, paper pieced, of course, with a cute little fussy cut window into a sewing room, from a print I got back during a Japanese fabric swap quite some time ago. I can't believe that I not only remembered that I had a print like that in my sewing room but that I was also able to find it, because the sewing room is a bit of a disaster area at the moment.

A wee house for Cat

This was a fun little block to sew up, and I can't wait to see all the other blocks Cat gets for this little quilt. If you want to see more of what we're stitching up in this bee, we've got a Flickr group right here and most of us are on Instagram as well using hashtag #theweebee . Tell me, are you in a quilting bee right now? Bees can be such fun with the right people, I've made lots of friends through online quilting bees like this one! Have a great weekend everyone :)
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wheels in the Sky quilt in the new issue of Quilty!

Good morning! I've got another fun magazine feature to share with you this morning - the latest issue of Quilty magazine features a new paper piecing pattern from yours truly, called Wheels in the Sky.

Wheels in the Sky - pattern in Mar/Apr 2014 issue of Quilty

This quilt was a labor of love, designed around Jeni Baker's Nordika collection. I was really attracted to Nordika when I first saw it at Quilt Market last spring, but I wasn't sure how I'd use it. It was one of those collections that I felt like needed just the right pattern to show it off. I decided to challenge myself to experiment with the Flowerfall in Jade print as a background fabric. I loved the organic lines in the print, but I had a feeling that with paper piecing that it might get a little too busy, so I alternated a simple Pure Elements Snow white with the Flowerfall print, and I love the effect that it brings to the finished quilt.

Wheels in the Sky - alt view

I kept the quilting fairly simple, doing a large orange peel repeating design throughout, really letting the piecing be the star of the finished quilt. I used my trusty orange cone of white (#2024) 50 wt Aurifil, my old standby that works for everything when I'm too lazy to change out my spool :)

Wheels in the Sky - FMQ Detail

Quilt Stats
name: Wheels in the Sky
size: 48" square
fabrics: Nordika by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics and coordinating Art Gallery Pure Elements solids
pattern: Wheels in the Sky by yours truly in the March/April 2014 edition of Quilty
quilting: Orange peels in white 50 wt Aurifil thread

Wheels in the Sky - Mar/Apr issue of Quilty
photo from Quilty magazine, March/April 2014 issue

If you love this quilt exactly the way I made it, you can pick up a kit with all the fabrics you'll need for the quilt top at Fons & Porter. Also over at Fons & Porter, you can check out a nifty video they made about how to foundation paper piece this block!

You can still find Nordika in stock at:
Intrepid Thread
Stash Fabrics
Hawthorne Threads
Monday, March 31, 2014

The Daybreak Star: The April Lucky Stars Block of the Month

It seems like the weekends are flying by especially fast these days! Somehow it's Monday again, but I have a little something to brighten your day...Lucky Stars BOM subscribers, this block will be hitting your Inbox in the wee early morning hours tomorrow - it's the Daybreak Star, our star for the month of April.

April's Lucky Star: The Daybreak Star

April's block is a four-template block, which allows us to add a lot of depth to the block. I played a bit with tonality in my block, sticking again with my original color scheme and adding different tones of my chosen colors to make the block have a shimmery effect.

This block has a lot of seams coming together in the center, so don't forget to press both the wrong side of the block, as well as the right side, with a pressing cloth or scrap between your iron and your pretty, pretty fabrics. Remember that pressing is different than ironing - pressing means using gentle pressure with your iron rather than skating your iron over the surface of your project. With this block, you may want to use a little bit of extra elbow grease with your pressing to flatten things out nicely.

Just a bit of bulk this month!

Don't forget to tag your creations when you post them so all of the other Lucky Stars Block of the Month friends across the world can see them too! On Instagram and Facebook, add hashtag #luckystarsbom and you can tag me as well @dontcallmebetsy so I can see! On Flickr, you can add them to the Stitching with Don't Call Me Betsy Flickr group. I can't wait to see your interpretations of this block :) And if you're not already a Lucky Stars 2014 subscriber, you can become one at any point throughout the year - you'll get all of the blocks you missed, as well as the remaining blocks for the year. Happy Monday everyone!

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy six year old boy and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?

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