The Pink Sunshine Quilt

Signed, sealed, and delivered! I've finished off the Pink Sunshine quilt, and it's officially been delivered to the munchkin's math teacher, so it's safe to share, not that I think she's a blog reader :) I think she likes it, I sure hope hope she does. This super happy, mega scrappy quilt was a lot of fun to work on, using scraps of Lorelei's baby quilt  and other various pink fabrics floating around my sewing room.

Finished Pink Sunshine full shot

I kept the quilting fairly simple, just doing a modified stipple with pearl clamshells here and there, majorly because I don't get to free-motion as much as I'd like to these days and I wanted to keep it from being a big hairy deal...but my machine is definitely in need of a visit to the spa, so it was a little more dramatic than I would have liked. It's been almost two years since her last spa date, so it's time, I need to just get her over to the shop for her full cleaning and tune-up. It's important to do, even with a fully mechanical machine! While I can oil my machine and clean out a large part of my machine, there's still areas I can't get to and things that need maintenance that are beyond my skill set. I used Aurifil 3660, a fun variegated pink, to go with all the different shades of pink used in the quilt, and also shockingly because it's the only spool of pink Aurifil I own! I must remedy this at some point.

Front and back Pink Sunshine quilt

The binding might just be my favorite part. It's a print called

Lovebug Grid in Pink

, which I stumbled on at Stash Fabrics when hunting for pinks. Perfect fabric for binding this kind of adorable baby quilt.

Pink Sunshine binding in progress

It feels good to finish a quilt. It makes me want to sew even more. I think the next quilt I want to get back to is my

Anna Maria Horner quilt for my bed

or the

Lizzy House book quilt

that I think is also destined for my bed, or maybe the living room. My

HST bed quilt

desperately needs another quilt it can alternate with!!

Quilt Stats

Quilt Name: Pink Sunshine

Size: 36" x 40"

Pattern: None, improvised strip quilt using scraps and made scraps

Quilting: Modified stipple with pearl clamshells in

Aurifil 2660

Binding:

Lovebug Grid in Pink

Close up Pink Sunshine
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A gift for Henry

Once upon a time, we bought our first house and lived in a neighborhood where we had great neighbors. And one neighbor became a good friend of mine around the time my son was born, so much so that she's had the title of auntie since he could talk. And though she moved away a few years ago, after we left that neighborhood in search of a bigger neighborhood with more kids around, we're still in touch and she recently welcomed her first child, a boy she and her husband named Henry.

Henry came a good bit early, but he's doing really well so far, which is so wonderful. I'm so excited for her to become a mom and to get to enjoy all the sweet mom/son things that I've enjoyed with my son. I know that Henry is a lucky boy to have her as a mom, and I wanted to send my love to them both the best way I know how - a quilt.

This quilt isn't super technical or super fancy, but it's meant to be loved and enjoyed, and will be a great playmat for Henry after he gets to come home from the hospital. I did some simple plus blocks using fun blues and yellows, with one of my favorite text prints as the background,

Heartfelt

in Snow from Littlest. I bordered the patchwork with simple improv piecing using some great shades of Kona:

Alegria

,

Copen

, and

Cadet

.

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Quilt stats

name

: Henry's quilt

size

: 35 1/2" square

fabrics

: assorted prints, low volume 

Heartfelt

 in Snow from Littlest, Kona 

Alegria

, Kona 

Copen

, and Kona 

Cadet

.

binding

:

Valley in Azure

by Leah Duncan

quilting

: improv hills in Aurifil 50 wt 8605

A special welcome for my little lady

When we come home from the hospital with our new little baby in tow later this week, there's quite a few handmade touches in my daughter's nursery to greet her. From a little embroidery hoop design I made...

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To her ABC embroidery sampler...

And the baby mobile I made of fussy cut prints...

And of course her baby quilt...

Make that baby quilts...

Stay tuned for photos to welcome our new arrival very soon! Have a wonderful week everyone :)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your families! I'm excited to finally share a secret project I've been working on over the last month. See, my husband has tried for the last many years to convince our now almost eight-year-old son that he is indeed Batman - long before we heard of Batdad (who is quite hilarious in his own right), and this year, I got the crazy idea to make him a pixelated Batman quilt to go with his obsession. Naturally, the idea didn't dawn on me until just before Thanksgiving, so it's been a feverish kind of project that I've worked on in my spare moments whenever I could, and somehow I managed to pull it off.

I posted a few photos as I worked on Instagram, since my husband is one of the few people I know who isn't constantly scrolling Instagram. I chose to work in strictly white, black, and shades of gray, much like how Batman in The Lego Movie professes that he only works in "black and sometimes very dark gray."

For the quilting, I kept it super simple, sticking with a stitch I can do in my sleep, a simple stipple in lovely gray Aurifil #2615. Free-motion quilting while nine months pregnant is definitely not an enviable task, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. In fact, I was able to quilt with very few modifications to my usual work setup, so it went pretty smoothly.

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I sure hope that the husband is pleased with his new quilt - I know I'm super pleased with how it turned out and the fact that I managed to keep it secret all this time, which will make the surprise when he opens it all the more special :)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays again to you all, I hope you have a wonderful day with your families!

Baby Girl's First Girlie Quilt

And I say "first girlie quilt" because I suspect there will be more at some point. I have to say, finding out that the new baby is going to be a girl was really exciting for a number of reasons, one of which was thinking of all of the adorable fabrics that I've hoarded over the years that just haven't been right for the numerous quilts I've made for the munchkin over the years. It was fun to pull out loads of Heather Ross and Sarah Jane and Aneela Hoey fabrics to make the first girlie cutesy quilt for my daughter-to-be.

Deciding what exactly I wanted to make was hard, but I knew I wanted some simple patchwork. Don't get me wrong, or worry that the pregnancy hormones have somehow broken my love for paper piecing, I still love it! I just knew that for this quilt I really wanted the fabrics to be the stars, rather than the piecing, so I kept it simple and cut a boatload of isosceles triangles and started throwing them onto my design wall.

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I stuck with the concept of keeping it simple for the quilting, opting for a simple meandering stipple in my trusty white Aurifil (#2024), and then bound it in a super sweet, soft print from Sarah Jane's Wee Wander collection, called Meandering in Petal. It had just the right amount of softness to bind the whole thing together, no pun intended!


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Quilt Stats

name:

Baby Girl's First Girlie Quilt

size

: 40" x 48"

fabrics:

assorted girlie fabrics, including Heather Ross, Sarah Jane, Aneela Hoey, and Lizzy House, as well as others

quilting:

meandering stipple in white (#2024) 50 wt Aurifil thread

binding:

Sarah Jane Meandering in Petal

from Wee Wander

A super simple, but sweet finish, and I can't wait to give her some tummy time on this beauty in the new year! Hope you have a wonderful Monday, and I'll be back to my regular project, the

Epic Sampler BOM

, next week!

A new finish for a new little person on the way

I'm pleased to finally have a summer finish to share that's fully quilted and bound and truly finished! The summer seems to be flying by, full of family time, work, trips to the pool, and very little sewing, but this project was a bit of a priority for me - because of the recipient.

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We recently found out that our munchkin will no longer be a "lonely child" (as he calls an "only child") - I'm expecting a new baby early in the new year! All three of us are mighty excited, and naturally, I channeled my excitement into making a quilt for the baby. We don't know if it's a boy or girl yet, so I went with a simple bright, rainbow color scheme that will work well for either, and I picked a block that has been on my quilty bucket list for a long time - the X Plus block.

These blocks are SO addictive, and so quick to make! I dug into my scrap bins for the rainbow colors and pulled two of my favorite basics, an old out of print Lakehouse seed catalog print, and a cute tiny black heart print on white by Dear Stella, to mix them up with.

I love the simplicity of the piecing in this quilt, so I kept it super simple with the quilting and binding - just a simple stipple in my trusty white #2024 Aurifil thread and then I bound it using that same sweet heart print that I used throughout the blocks.

I adore the backing I used for this quilt, a new Cloud 9 print by Eloise Renouf called

Passing Cloud

from her line, First Light. This line is sooooo pretty! Navies and citrons and grays mixed with a pop of pink and a wee bit of teal, in beautifully detailed prints. Just the right amount of mellow softness compared to the bright quilt top!

Quilt Stats

name

: Baby's X Plus Quilt

size

: 36" square

fabrics

: a wide assortment from my scrap bins, plus the Hearts print from Dear Stella and an out of print Bakehouse seed catalog print

backing

: Passing Cloud by Eloise Renouf for Cloud 9

quilting

: simple meandering stipple in white (#2024) Aurifil 50 wt thread

This quilt will likely make a great tummy time mat for the new baby when he or she arrives, but I suspect there will be another quilt I'll make for the baby once we find out if it will be a boy or girl. I don't think I'll be able to help myself :)

Stay tuned next week for a new block tutorial, for the Twirl block last seen in my

Cotton + Steel mini swap quilt

, and have a great Monday!

Whirling Dervish quilt - in Quilt Now, Issue 2!

Good morning! Monday, Monday again. Bring on the coffee! And bring on the new issue of

Quilt Now

, it's so bright and cheery - just the perfect thing to accompany my morning coffee. Have you checked out

Quilt Now

yet? It's a lovely new publication, with uber-talented editor

Katy Jones

, and issue two is available now, from

Pink Castle Fabrics

. And I'm super excited to share with you my first quilt pattern for

Quilt Now

, the Whirling Dervish quilt, a paper pieced extravaganza of a quilt!

Whirling Dervish is a crazy paper-pieced wonder - one that I initially designed with both y-seams and paper piecing, but since I decided that was beyond evil, I reworked the templates to create the block using strictly paper piecing. That being said, this block isn't for the faint of heart, it's intense, but gorgeous, and giant too - the block finishes at 18",

Because the piecing is so intense, I knew the blocks needed some negative space to float on in order to really appreciate all the crazy piecing, so there's only four blocks in the quilt, floated on a boatload of negative space to yield a nice lap-sized quilt.

Issue three is coming out really soon, and I have to say, I've really enjoyed the first two thus far and can't wait to see what's in the next issue! Hope you all have a wonderful Monday :)

Back from the North!

I didn't realize it was possible to have cold weather after June 1st, but on my trip to Minnesota last week, I was super thankful I had packed a light coat! While I was in town for the Minnesota Quilt Show, I trekked into downtown St. Cloud to find coffee. I was able to find a cute little coffee shop,

Central Perk

, but along the way, I found myself in windy 50 degree weather. Normally, that would be nice and refreshing, but when you've been in 90+ degree weather for many weeks, 50 feels a lot colder than it used to. After my first coffee trip, I came prepared, with my hoodie to help keep me warm, but it was awfully nice to feel the brisk Minnesota wind. I had a lovely trip to Minnesota, in spite of a couple of minor travel snafus, and I had a great time teaching there!

I wanted to share a new mini I made for my paper piecing class, Discover the Joy of Paper Piecing - this little mini uses three Lucky Stars blocks from the

2013 Block of the Month club

plus a bonus block that has not been part of either the 2013 or 2014 club (pictured above). I love the look of a beautiful paper pieced block in solids, but I wanted to have fun with the background, so I snagged a fun black and white pin dot from my stash for the background. I think it gives the blocks a less serious, harsh look than they would have otherwise, while still leaving the blocks crisp and graphic. I had such a great time with this class. It was a great group of students, and I can't wait to teach it again soon. In the meantime, I can't wait to find a place to hang this little mini until the next time I teach this class!

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Quilt Stats

name:

Lucky Stars Jr

size:

24" square

pattern:

three

Lucky Stars 2013

blocks plus one bonus unreleased block

fabrics:

assorted Kona solids and black on white pin dot

quilting:

meandering stipple in 50 wt white (#2024) Aurifil

binding:

black pin dot on white to match background of mini

Jungle Ave Mod Nine Patch - another free pattern!

Remember my

Mod Nine Patch

quilt from eons ago? Okay, it was two years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago :) When my sweet friend

Sara Lawson

told me she had designed a fabric line for Art Gallery and showed me some swatches a while back, I was equal parts super excited for her and just itching to make something with her new prints! The prints in real life most definitely did not disappoint. Rich colors, fun prints, and I absolutely adore the black and white

NeighborHoods print

. I will definitely be buying some serious yardage of that one :) As soon as I saw the prints in person, this quilt is what popped into my head - it's perfect for prints like hers, prints that aren't exactly small scale, that need some size to properly shine.

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The other reason I think this quilt came to mind is that I really loved the colors, and I knew that if I used the same design tactic I used with my original

Mod Nine Patch quilt

(solids + fun prints) that it would be really awesome, and I'm super happy with how this one turned out.

I had forgotten how quick this quilt is to put together, so the other thing I worked on with this finish is an update to the original free tutorial, adding several different size options as well as some new diagrams and such. The new free pattern is available via

Craftsy

as well as

right here

.

Sara'

s new line hits stores any day now, so keep your eyes peeled for it - you're going to need some. Trust me on that :)

Quilt Stats

name

: Jungle Ave Mod Nine Patch

size

: 48" square

fabrics

: Jungle Ave prints by

Sara Lawson

for Art Gallery Fabrics (coming out super soon!) and assorted coordinating Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids

pattern

:

Mod Nine Patch free pattern

by yours truly

quilting

: simple stipple in white 50 wt Aurifil

binding

: Art Gallery Pure Elements in Caviar (black)

Boxed In - a quilt finish!

Happy Memorial Day to you! I hope you're having a great weekend so far, celebrating family and those who've served our country. I'm stealing a few minutes of quiet independent reading time to put together a quickie, long-overdue blog post for a recent finish - Boxed In!

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Boxed In is a twist on a traditional nine-patch block applying a change in scale as well as playing around with the symmetry of the nine-patch. There's two layers of nine-patches going on here, as well - a giant nine-patch block, which is built of asymmetrical nine-patch blocks. I will be writing a pattern for the asymmetrical nine-patch block itself as well as some ways to utilize it coming up soon, so stay tuned for that.

Free motioned L's on the Boxed In quilt

I dug into my scrap box for this quilt, not only with the prints, but with the whites as well. I used four different shades of white, log-cabin style, around the giant nine-patch block. I so often ignore my scraps of white because it's tough to match them up, but I actually like the subtle tonal changes of white throughout the quilt, so I will definitely try that again on another quilt in the future. My favorite of the nine-patch blocks is positively the center one, with the yellows and golds. It brings a nice spot of sunshine, and attention, to the center.

Boxed In quilt finish - a twist on a traditional 9 patch

I got a little crazy with the quilting on this one - with my trusty favorite shade of Aurifil white #2024, I used a different quilting style in each of the four white logs. There's some wavy lines, some zigzag, some Ls, and some boxes. In the nine-patch area, though, I went super simple, with some random straight lines. I think it gives some really interesting texture to the finished quilt. I kept the binding really minimal as well, using one of the white fabrics I used for the logs. I like the blended look that it gives to the finished quilt. I often choose a binding that's got a lot of contrast, but I'm really digging how soft a matchy-matchy binding looks. I might just do this kind of binding a bit more often :)

Free motioned boxes on the Boxed In quilt

Quilt Stats

name

: Boxed In

size

: 50" square

pattern

: Asymmetrical 9 Patch, coming soon

fabrics

: assorted whites, assorted scraps in purple, aqua, gray, and gold

quilting

: wavy lines, zigzags, L's, boxes and straight-lines, all free-motioned on my Juki with 50 wt Aurifil #2024

Free motioned zig-zags on the Boxed In quilt

Now, I have to confess something: I lost this quilt for a bit of a while. About two weeks, to be exact. It traveled safely to a few lectures with me, and then when packing up for my last trunk show, I couldn't find it. If you've read my blog before, you probably know that I am really good at "putting things away" and by that I mean, putting things in places that make zero sense. I inherited that lovely trait from my dad, who we called the "Mad Mover." At first, I fretted that I left it behind at one of my lectures, but that wasn't the case. I tore my sewing room apart looking for it, as well as my guest room, where I store many of my quilts. All with no luck. It wasn't until this past weekend that I decided to unfold quilts as I looked through them to search for this quilt that I found the darned thing. It was folded with the backing side out, and I didn't remember using that particular print for the backing, so I looked right past it before. Thank goodness I found it, because I was seriously thinking I might have to remake it - which wouldn't be a tragedy, but gosh, it sure would be frustrating to have to remake something I misplaced!

Free motioned wavy lines on the Boxed In quilt

Sewing with the munchkin for Mother's Day

Life's been busy lately. Not in a bad way, just busy...to the point where when my son's kindergarten teacher sent home a note about how her last day of school is approaching quickly before she goes on maternity leave, and it dawned on me that I had not made a baby quilt for her. Eek! It was on my To Do list, I had managed that much, but it just hadn't made it to the top yet, so this weekend I bumped it to the top of the list.

Threading the needle like a champ

I also decided it was high time that I let my little guy do a little bit of sewing. He really wanted to be involved in the baby present for his teacher and when I pitched the idea of making a quilt together, he was totally into it. We picked out a pattern he liked, my

Xs and Os quilt pattern

, and got to work, picking out fabrics. He's always liked to play with fabric, from arranging form scraps on my design wall to helping me pick out fabrics in fabric stores, so it was a lot of fun to dig through fabric with him and talk about it. In digging through my novelty prints, we found a boatload of boy prints from Children at Play, Sarah Jane's first collection for Michael Miller a while ago, and a print from Castle Peeps that played nicely with it. Then we picked out some nice solids to balance things out, Kona Leprechaun and Moda Bella Sunshine, and I got to cutting. I did all the pressing and cutting, because he's only six, so I'm thinking a lesson on rotary cutting is a bit of a ways off just yet.

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We got started sewing Saturday afternoon, and worked on O blocks. Because my sewing table is so tall, I used some scrap boxes to raise up my foot pedal so he could reach it easily. We talked about right sides together, and keeping the fabrics lined up nicely, and even chain piecing. He had a great time and was super proud of himself. I couldn't stop smiling as I watched him progress...

First block done!

Not surprisingly, after a few blocks, he wanted a break, and if I'd managed to plan this gift far enough in advance, I would've set the blocks aside and picked them up at a later date, but since his teacher's last day is this Friday and he promised that he'd bring her the quilt on Monday, I kept working, just doing the stitching and flipping on his behalf. 

Having fun with block layout

I saved the straight seams for the kiddo, and let him go to town on them. He really liked the sound my Juki makes when it goes fast, but the super fast speed was a little much for him, so he kept his pressure on the foot pedal pretty light...until he was ready to clip the threads. He'd scoot his foot over to the big red button on my foot pedal and slam his heel on it, which he thoroughly enjoyed doing. 

Soon some tiny toes will be hiding under this quilt

We sewed the top together in record time, quilted it up and bound it, and brought it into school with us yesterday morning. His teacher was so thrilled, and I could tell the kiddo felt mighty proud of the gift we were giving. I'm so proud of this little quilt and what it represents. It was positively the perfect way to spend Mother's Day weekend! I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well!

Xs and Os quilt - his first quilt

Quilt Stats

name

: Miss Seymour's Xs and Os

size

: 36" x 48"

pattern

:

Xs and Os quilt pattern

by yours truly - newly

refreshed and updated

!

fabrics

: Children at Play prints by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics and Kona Leprechaun and Moda Bella Sunshine

quilting

: simple meandering stipple in white (#2024) Aurifil 50 wt thread

Xs and Os quilt for the teacher - all finished!

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)

Rainbow Dance Party - a finish!

Late last month, I shared a

super fun quilt top

all in solids, and hooray, it's all done! It's time to join the Rainbow Dance Party! It's finally finished and bound, and holy wow, do I love this quilt!

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It all started with some beautiful

RJR Supreme Cotton Solids

, and some very simple piecing to yield a really striking quilt top. Then, I decided to do some super fun, super varied free-motion quilting, inspired by my just-about-to-be-released Craftsy class (somebody pinch me!!!!), and this quilt became something beyond special.

Rainbow Dance Party - FMQ detail

The back of the quilt is especially dazzling, thanks to the dense quilting in six different styles. Lately, I've noticed I've been gravitating toward solid fabric quilt backs, even scrappy ones like this one, so I can really enjoy my free-motion quilting stitches. I kept the binding super simple for this quilt, using some leftover strips of fabric from the front of the quilt for a real scrappy binding.

Rainbow Dance Party - the back

These photos were taken at the

Plant City Railroad Museum and Union Depot

, which is a pretty cool place, if you're ever in the area. There was a group of older men there touring the museum, who seemed to be thoroughly amused by my quilty photoshoot and the way I was running around trying to get good pictures in between crazy gusts of wind. I'm glad I could make them smile :)

Quilt Stats

name

: Rainbow Dance Party

size

: 51" x 68"

pattern

: none yet, but maybe I'll write one up?

fabrics

:

RJR Supreme Cotton Solids

in 49 - Chili Pepper, 140 - Ochre, 182 - Lemon Chiffon, 249 - Sprout, 251 - Anemone, 331 - Pink Orchid, 110 - Red Wagon, 276 - Tangerine Dream, 92 - Goldenrod, 349 - Aloe Verde, 296 - Electric Blue, 286 - Ruby Slippers, 34 - Black

quilting

: six different quilting stitches in six different shades of Aurifil 50 wt to coordinate with my fabrics, navy (#2735), orange (#2214), green (#5017), fuchsia (#2588), yellow (#2105), and red (#2250)

binding

: assorted leftover fabrics from the quilt top for a scrappy binding

Rainbow Dance Party - side view

In other news, I've pulled a winner for my Aurifil giveaway from last week, and the winner is Joanne Gentile. Congrats! I'll be emailing you shortly to get your new spool of thread on its way to you :)

Have a wonderful day today everyone!

The Lucky Stars Medallion Pillow

I'm so pleased to share that I packed up my box for the

SewSew Modern swap

just in time for the deadline earlier this week, and I'm really excited to hear from my partner soon when she receives it. It was hard to pack up the pillow cover I made for her, but really, with a swap, that's a job well done, I think.

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I made a large pillow cover for my partner, using two

Lucky Stars patterns from the 2013 series

, the practice block and the December block. I resized both of them to suit my design, and got to stitching, creating a medallion design using lots of low volume prints as well as some bold fuchsia, teal, and gold prints.

The threads for my SewSew Modern pillow

When it came to quilting, I really wanted to try to match threads where I could, so I used a soft yellow in the star points for the center block, Aurifil #2105, then for the low volume areas, I used my trusty white, Aurifil #2024, and in the stripy border areas I used a really light gray, Aurifil # 2165. For the teal sections of the center star, I used Aurifil #1148 and for the aqua sections, I used Aurifil #2830, one of my current favorite shades of thread.

FMQ'ing away!

I added a simple envelope style back to the pillow - I'm a fan of the envelope for a couple of reasons. If you have a super poofy pillow, it allows a little bit of give to the fit, and on the other hand if your pillow is a little deflated, you can tighten the fit a little bit with an envelope back. I hope my partner will be happy with it! I've been wanting to try using the

Lucky Stars blocks

in a different kind of way, so I'm glad I did that with this pillow. I love how versatile those blocks can be and how many different ways they can be used.

FMQ Close Up 1 - Pulleys in the yellow star points, tight stipple in the low volume

I also added in to my partner's box a cool journal with a quote from Jimi Hendrix and a few sweet treats as well. Here's hoping she gets it today! That's absolutely the best part of swapping - that first contact you get from your secret partner after they receive what you made for them. Totally makes the swapping process worthwhile, in my opinion. :) Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Folded and ready to wrap - my SewSew Modern package

Pillow Stats

size

- 23" square

fabrics

- a bunch of fuchsia, teal, aqua, yellow, gold, and low volume prints including but not limited to Oval Elements in fuchsia and aqua, assorted prints from Zen Chic's Comma collection, Lucky Penny by Alison Glass Bike Path in fuchsia, Sun Prints by Alison Glass Corsage in teal, and more

quilting

- Tight stipple in the low volume areas in Aurifil #2165, outline quilting in center star in Aurifil #1148 and #2830, pulleys in the yellow star points in Aurifil #2105, and mod clamshell (

tutorial here

) in the stripy borders with Aurifil #2165 - all in the 50 wt variety

pattern

- adapted two

2013 Lucky Stars BOM blocks

to suit what I wanted to do and made it work

FMQ Close Up 2 - Mod clamshells in the stripy border

Found in the pages...

It's been a good mail week thus far - I got two great new magazines to read and it's only Wednesday! It's always fun to find quilting magazines in my mailbox - don't get me wrong, I love my subscriptions to a few other magazines, but the quilty ones are always the most fun to read, so I get real excited when I see them in my mailbox. This week's mail included the new issue of

Modern Quilts Unlimited

and

Love of Quilting

I was super excited to see a quilt I haven't seen in a while in the pages of

Modern Quilts Unlimited

- my Dark Star quilt. I love this quilt to pieces, quite literally. It's sewn up in Modern Solids from In the Beginning, and I love how vibrant this quilt is, with the rich reds. It's a very simple quilt to piece, with just 12 blocks in the quilt, but I think it's super striking in its simplicity.

The new issue of MQU - Winter 2014

I must tell you about a bit of behind-the-pages drama with this quilt - I made a cutting error thanks to my chicken scratch quilt math and wound up wasting some fabric, and naturally, I was running out of time, so I needed the right fabric pronto, so I called the trusty staff at 

Pink Chalk Fabrics

, who went above and beyond to get the fabric to me in time to meet my deadline, so thank you ladies! You're the best! 

Pink Chalk

 has a great selection of the In the Beginning solids, if you haven't tried them before. They have a beautiful sheen to them, with a bit of a cross-weave type quality to them, and the hand is so super soft!

Dark Star quilt - in the new MQU issue

I'm also really excited about some the photography I did with this quilt, back in September before I sent it off to 

Modern Quilts Unlimited

. The full shot of the quilt in front of houses was certainly not my finest moment as a photographer, but it was a make-it-work kind of moment, trust me! On the other hand, I love this giant wheel I found in a field to take pictures with - but I'm sad to say that it's been removed from the field since, so I won't be able to use it again. Oh well. These are some of my favorite quilt photos in the history of ever, so at least I got these great pictures!

Dark Star quilt - detail shot - in the new MQU issue

Quilt Stats

name

: Dark Star

size

: 69" x 81"

pattern

: Dark Star by yours truly, in the Winter 2014 issue of

Modern Quilts Unlimited

fabrics: Modern Solids solid fabrics by

In The Beginning

quilting: all-over stipple in red (#2270) Aurifil 50 wt thread throughout negative space, and white wiggle stitches in white (#2024) Aurifil 50 wt thread

Love of Quilting magazine - February 2014 issue

In flipping through

Love of Quilting

, I spotted my book in their Book Reviews section, which was a great thrill. I still get tickled when I see a mention of my book somewhere, so if you ever see one, by all means let me know in case I haven't seen it!! There's lots of great patterns in this particular issue, too, and I love the quilt on the cover - so pretty!

Aww, that's my book!

Have a great Wednesday, and if you haven't yet entered the

Quilt Improv giveaway

, hurry up and do so! The giveaway ends tomorrow :)

What's a girl to do without her sew-jo? Show you something from her book of course!

Thanks for the well wishes the last few days! I'm finally starting to kick this cold to the curb, thank goodness, but I have a new problem. My sew-jo seems to have gone missing - it's been a busy week, but my evenings have mostly been free to sew, and yet I haven't sewn a stitch. Usually, when I find myself lacking the inspiration to sew, I like to look at pretty pictures of quilts and fabrics, and I realized the other day that I haven't taken the opportunity to show you many of the quilts from my lovely book,

Becoming a Confident Quilter

, so I thought this would be a perfect time to introduce you to one of my favorite quilts from the book...

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Naming quilts is always so hard for me! In the book, this quilt is called Precious Stones, but in the writing process, I called this quilt the Snake quilt. See that white zig-zaggy line moving across the quilt amongst the sea of squares? It reminded my son of a snake when I first sketched out the quilt, and the name kind of stuck through the writing and sewing process.

Precious Stones from my book

One of the fun things about this quilt is that it's entirely block-based. While it is pixelated and built entirely from squares, finishing one block at a time makes it feel so much more manageable. I love the fabrics in this quilt, too - most are from Washi, Rashida Coleman-Hale's older line for Timeless Treasures a few years ago, but there's some random stash builders thrown in to round things out nicely.

Precious Stones - the Washi fabrics!

This quilt is a pretty large one - it's a large lap quilt, and in the book there's also upsize information if you want to make it larger. Most of the quilts in the book are written that way, because I know people like the option to make different sized quilts, so I felt strongly about adding kind of information wherever we could fit it.

Precious Stones from Becoming a Confident Quilter - in True Colors
Precious Stones from Becoming a Confident Quilter - in Sun Prints

(l) Precious Stones in True Colors, (r) Precious Stones in Sun Prints

Speaking of my book, if you have a copy, would you mind popping over to

Amazon

to tell shoppers what you think of the book? I would love that oh so much :) And if you don't have a copy and would like to buy one, I just got in some extra copies in my

Pattern Shop

, so it's back in stock! All copies sold from my

Pattern Shop

are autographed, and I'm happy to personalize them too, just email me and let me know that you'd like your book personalized :)

Holy cow, that's my book!! It must be a good sign if my manicure from last week matches the cover perfectly, right?

Happy Friday to you! Have a wonderful weekend :) Here's hoping that I can manage to find my sew-jo for the weekend! Tonight I'm going to treat my missing sew-jo with an old wip that I'd really love to finish, my Kawaii holiday cross-stitch sampler - I'm hoping that maybe switching gears might just bring back my motivation!

Remember this wip????

Hello Showstopper!

You know that feeling when you get really excited about something that you're making? When you want to drop everything else on your plate so you can just keep working on it? This Showstopper mini has been that project for me this week. It's been a couple of long nights at my house, sewing away, but they have been oh so enjoyable working on this gorgeous mini!

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I am just over the moon with how these blocks came together. I had initially planned to work with some small scale tonal prints for this block, but I'm glad I switched gears and went with the solids - it just makes the piecing so crisp and bold. Not that I dislike my original plan, I think that the solids just add that extra pow to these blocks.

The original plan vs what I wound up doing

Prints vs. solids

For the quilting, I really wanted the piecing to shine, so I took a very minimal approach to the quilting, simply quilting an orange peel in the center of each of the four blocks with my trusty 50 wt Aurifil, and then quilting some loops and pulleys in the white diamonds and triangles that come together when you repeat this block. That's one of my favorite parts about the block, so I wanted to accentuate it.

Showstopper - FMQ detail

It was terribly hard to pack it up and send it on its way, but it's officially winging its way to its new owner, and I can't wait to see what she thinks of it. I'm hoping she'll love it just as much as I loved making it. Now if only I could knock the crazy notion I'm having of making another just for me :)

Showstopper - FMQ detail 2

And if you're dying to make one of these for yourself, I'm thrilled to tell you that the

Showstopper Block PDF Pattern

is now available, both in my

Pattern Shop

and on

Craftsy

! The pattern is nine pages of full-color diagrams and thorough instructions every step of the way, with complete cutting instructions and templates for both a 10" and 12" block. I wouldn't try to go smaller than 10" on this block, just because of the extreme intricacy. But, this block pattern is written in such a way that even someone with little paper piecing experience can do! If you make something using this pattern, please do share it with me! You can share it with me on Flickr in my

Flickr group

or on Instagram by tagging me (@dontcallmebetsy) or using the hashtag #dontcallmebetsy. Check out some of the cool variations you can put together with this block, both with solids and with prints...

Look at all the things you can do with this new block pattern!

Quilt Stats

name:

Showstopper

size:

24 1/2" square

pattern:

Showstopper Block by yours truly

fabrics:

assorted solids and Violet Craft's epic Memoir print in white from her Madrona Road collection

quilting:

loopy FMQ, pulleys and orange peels in white (#2024) Aurifil 50 wt thread

binding:

Kona white to match the bits of white in the piecing

Showstopper - side

A little patchwork love

Denyse Schmidt

is coming out with her very own collection of solid fabrics for

Free Spirit Fabrics

at Fall Quilt Market this week in Houston, and I'm excited to show you what I made with her beautiful solids for Free Spirit's booth. One of the things I love about Denyse is the way she names things, and these solids are no exception - from dogwood to kumquat and baltic, each solid has a beautiful Denyse-i-fied name to it, and many of the colors are super rich and saturated.

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I worked up several different designs for the solids, but ultimately Denyse chose a simple patchwork quilt with a mix of squares and half-square triangles. I wanted to make it as scrappy as possible, so rather than sticking with one background color, I used several different neutrals for the "background" pieces.

Sparkling Diamonds quilt in DS Solids

I quilted this quilt with 50 wt Aurifil thread in my trusty shady of white, #2024, in a cursive-inspired kind of loop-de-loop, which was not only quick to stitch, but fun. I like the final effect the stitches give the finished quilt, how they emphasize the linear nature of the piecing, but spice it up at the same time.

Sparkling Diamonds quilt - FMQ detail

I almost love the back as much as the front of the quilt - I used several snippets of the solids from the front mixed with some larger pieces of a light gray, much like a coin quilt. I especially love the way the quilting looks on the back.

Sparkling Diamonds quilt - backing detail

Quilt Stats

name:

Sparkling Diamonds

size:

60" x 72"

fabrics:

Denyse Schmidt solids for Free Spirit, coming soon

quilting:

loop de loop in white (#2024) 50 wt Aurifil

binding:

Denyse Schmidt solids in Mist, mixed with snippets of other DS solids

I'm also entering this in the

Bloggers Quilt Festival

hosted by

Amy's Creative Side

. Go check out all the other fabulous quilts on display!

A pattern is available for this pattern

right here

, thanks to Free Spirit! Speaking of which, I'm heading off to Houston tomorrow for Quilt Market myself. Guess that means I should start packing today! If you're going, I'll be doing a Schoolhouse on Friday at 3:40 p.m. about my book, sharing all the quilts, and a book signing at the Martingale booth on Sunday at 10:00 a.m., so please come say hello! Have a great rest of your week :)

Bello! It's the infamous minion quilt!

I am so happy to tell you that the infamous minion quilt is finished and on the munchkin's bed. Oh, how this quilt makes me happy!

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The pixelated minion quilt - done!

But oh my goodness, please remind me never to make another pixelated quilt!!! There are 1,575 squares in this quilt, and oh my, was it tedious to put together! I'm so glad it's over, but it sure does put a smile on my face when I look at it. Hindsight being 20/20, if I'd split the quilt top into blocks instead of piecing in rows, it might not have been so maddening to put together. Lesson learned!

Pixelated minion quilt all ready for being loved

The kiddo was over the moon when he first saw it. He'd seen small bits of it as I worked on it over the last few weeks, but he hadn't quite figured out that it was a minion, so the look on his face was absolutely priceless. At first, he just thought it was another quilt. I had to encourage him to step back to look at it from a little bit further away to see what the squares made, and when it dawned on him, a huge smile spread across his face that made every one of those squares worthwhile.

Someone loves this quilt!

My yellow and cobalt blue fabric stash really took a hit after this quilt - I see some shopping in my future. Shopping with a purpose!

Minion - detail

I'm really glad I added on the pixelated border, which brings this quilt to a perfect twin size, with a nice drop all the way to the floor. It looks great in his room, and the munchkin is so happy with it. And me? Well, I'm just glad it's done!

Quilt Stats

name:

One in a Minion

size:

twin size, 71" x 94"

pattern:

created in Microsoft Excel by yours truly

fabrics:

various solids in shades of white mixed with various prints in yellow, blue, and black

quilting:

all-over stipple in 50 wt Aurifil in white

Less is More Sun Prints Style - finished!

I spent the day last Thursday free motioning my

Sun Prints quilt

. Making the back was easy. Basting was easy. But when I sat down to quilt, I was positively stumped. Maybe this is one of the reasons I don't make the same pattern twice very often. I didn't want to do straight lines like the original Less is More quilt, from

my book

- I kind of felt like "been there, done that," like it was a cop-out, which is totally silly, but it's the way I felt. So I tried to envision several different fmq styles, trying to think of an all-over design that would really work...and I just couldn't come up with one I was happy with.

Less is More, Sun Prints style - finished! Detail 1

I took a break and opened up iTunes on my computer, and made a playlist, with some newer tracks I've picked up lately, like Justin Timberlake's new 20/20 Experience Volume 2. I'm enjoying that album a good bit - it reminds me way more of the vibe from his FutureSexLoveSounds album than the first volume did, and it makes for some good quilting music. Music always helps me chill out when I get stuck, so I listened to a couple of songs, trying to clear my head, and then I decided that the panel of patchwork needed to have some different quilting than the negative space, to further set it off, so I got started stippling the negative space. I had thought about doing pebbles for a moment...only a moment before I remembered how much I absolutely despise stitchingthem...

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When I got to the patchwork panel, I started with a large figure 8 in the bottom and top part of the blocks. It's one of my favorite linear fmq styles at the moment. Then, when I got to the center strip of patchwork on the rows of blocks, I decided to just do a little loopy doodle stitch, which was a lot of fun. I like the contrast that these different stitches give the finished quilt.

Less is More, Sun Prints Style - FMQ Detail

This fab quilt is headed to Houston for Quilt Market in my suitcase in a few weeks, but right now it's hanging at Inspire Quilting & Sewing as a sample for my Less is More class, coming up next month. And if you're dying for this pattern, it's in my book,

Becoming a Confident Quilter

, which you can pick up at local quilt shops,

Amazon

, and my

Pattern Shop

as well. Thanks

Alison

for the gorgeous fabrics, I really loved working with them and can't wait to pick up some more of them! And the lucky winner of the Sun Prints bundle and Color Plus pattern is: #804, Stephanie Blair! Congratulations, Stephanie, I'll be emailing you shortly :)


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Quilt Stats

name:

Less is More Sun Prints Style

size:

60" x 70"

pattern:

Less is More from

Becoming a Confident Quilter

fabrics:

Kona Silver

and Alison Glass's

Sun Prints

quilting: meandering stipple in 50 wt Aurifil in color #2024 (white), figure eights 50 wt Aurifil in color #2024 (white), and loopy doodle stitch 50 wt Aurifil in color #2024 (white)

binding:

Kona Pewter

So tell me - do you make the same quilt pattern twice? Or thrice? Or more? Or are you a once is enough kind of quilter, like I am? I'd love to know if I'm the only one who has this little quirk! Have a great day today!