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

Nothing like a little procrastination for inspiration...

I've been brainstorming for the right project for my partner in the latest round of the Sew Sew Modern swap, hosted over on Flickr, and I'd been hitting a creative wall, a total lack of inspiration. That is, until I came across an idea in my sketchbook that I had early on when I started the Lucky Stars Block of the Month Club last year - a medallion quilt. As soon as I stopped on that page, I knew it was perfect. The drawing was terrible, and totally the wrong color palette for my partner, so I took some time last night and redrew it, and I have to say, I'm really excited to start working on this.

A little idea for my Sew Sew Modern partner...

Now that my Juki has made it home safe and sound, I'm this close to being able to actually get the ball rolling on this one. I'm torn, though...I can't decide whether I should do this one up in all solids, or if I should use prints. I definitely want to use some low-volume prints in the background/gray areas, but I'm not sure about the actual focus fabrics. I think some nice tone-on-tone, small scale prints would be nice, but I'm just torn, I can't decide, so help a girl out - give me your two cents! Maybe that will help me make a decision and start cutting :)

Have a great day! Oh, and I almost forgot - Quilty magazine has a little poll going for their next cover, and one of my quilts happens to be featured on Cover #2 - take a look and take part in their fun poll! Here's a link to the poll in case you want to put your two cents in!

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

Just a little paper piecing...

I've been working hard the last few days on my mini quilt for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap. The shipping deadline is fast approaching, and thankfully, I had a plan, I just needed time! So, I started pressing and cutting away on Sunday night, and got right to piecing on Monday.

I managed to piece the first block and a half on Monday, while I caught up on Project Runway All Stars. I was really thankful that I had something pretty to look at during this past week's episode, with all the bugs the designers were using for inspiration!!

Blocks in progress

I'm thinking of calling this block Showstopper, and yes, I am definitely planning to write a pattern for this block. Because the block is so intense, I can't see anyone making a whole big quilt of them, so I think what I may do is write mainly a block pattern. I haven't done that before, but I have to say, this block is a challenge! Twelve pieces of fabric per template and eight templates per block, that's 96 pieces of fabric just for one block. What do you think about that?

Templates, templates everwhere!

Last night, I worked on piecing the remaining template pieces. Full on chain piecing frenzy! That's one of the things I really like to do when I paper piece - I like to sort my templates and chain piece each different template, which sometimes makes progress feel painfully slow but at the same time, it keeps me from making mistakes with my fabric placement, so chain piecing is a good thing for me.

Stacks of pieced templates

I've got all the templates pieced now, I just need to finish sewing all of them together today so I can quilt and bind this bad boy and get it in the mail to my partner! I sure hope she likes what I'm making - I think it's going to be one of those swap gifts that I'm going to have a hard time parting with! That must mean that I'm making a good swap package, right? Have a great day!

Make a quilt, make a friend

The Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap is in full swing - Kristi got together a bunch of great, crafty people to make mini-quilts for each other, with a great hashtag on Instagram, #makeaquiltmakeafriend. Lots of swappers made fun mosaics of some of their favorite things, to give their partners some insight into their style. I think mine is kind of all over the place, so I'm not sure how helpful mine is, but it sure is pretty!

Some of my most favoritist favorites, partner...
1. Crackle, 2. 2013.08.09: Mustard, Wine, and Moldy Cheese, 3. Supernova Quilt, 4. A Spider's Web Quilt my way, 5. sew sew modern mine, 6. Post Sewing Summit Swap - full reveal, 7. Selvage Spiderweb Quilt, 8. Since it's almost the 21st in Hawaii, I'm posting this pillow I made with @alisonglass's new line, Sun Print. Go check out my blog and enter the giveaway!, 9. chicopee closeup, 10. Quilt top made by the Magnum PI set of the Modern Stash Bee, 11. Schoenrock Cross blocks progress, 12. For Miss November (Lovely Liz) - FQR Kinky Bee Bumblies, 13. marcelle plus quilt, 14. Now that I have conquered my fear of curves. Scrappy center or just 1 fabric in the center?, 15. Scrap Attack - String Along Quilt top !, 16. Lone Starburst Pillow Top, 17. PTS10 progress, 18. Madrona Road Front 45" x 45", 19. Butterfly Spool Quilt Finished, 20. Sewing Machine Paper Pieced Block, 21. Hello Post Office!, 22. finished - modern drunkard's path, 23. ModChevron7, 24. Robert Kaufman Kona Solid Challenge, 25. Down the Rabbit Hole

I've spent a good bit of time going through my partner's favorites, trying to come up with some ideas that she would appreciate, but I'm having a hard time deciding which one to go with, so that's where you guys come in...

Which mini would totally make you swoon?

Idea for the MIni Quilt Swap... Design #2 - #makeaquiltmakeafriend
design #1                                                                    design #2

Design #3 - #makeaquiltmakeafriend Design #4 - #makeaquiltmakeafriend
design #3                                                                    design #4

Spin the Rainbow Wheel of Fortune!

I sure hope you had a nice weekend! I spent much of my weekend working on my Doll Quilt Swap project for my partner, and it's now officially finished. I am absolutely in love with the way it's come together, and I know I'm going to have a hard time sending it off, but at the same time, I'm really excited to send it to my partner. I sure hope that she'll like it!

DQS - Rainbow Wheel of Fortune

This miniquilt is made up of nine foundation paper pieced 6" blocks, each block using nine different main colors, in three different fabrics. By my count, there's over 218 different fabrics in this 18" mini. I pulled from my scrap bins for all of the prints, and used Kona Ash and Kona Charcoal for the two grays. 

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One of my favorite parts about this miniquilt is the way the grays come together to form a star when the blocks are pulled together. I had a really hard time figuring out how to quilt this, but ultimately, I went with a simple outline around the wheels, which emphasizes those stars really well. 

DQS - Rainbow Wheel of Fortune - detail 1

I bound this mini in Art Gallery Pure Elements in Caviar, which has a gorgeous sheen in person. It does a beautiful job framing the mini. I love working with those Art Gallery solids, they are just so soft and smooth. 

DQS - Rainbow Wheel of Fortune - detail2

I make a little label for the back, using a piece of fabric, some freezer paper, and my printer, and pieced it into the backing, but I somehow managed to foul up the year on the label. Darned 2012. The swap did start in 2013, so I suppose it's not entirely inaccurate, but still. I didn't realize it until Terri pointed it out on IG after I had started the binding, so I didn't change it. I hope my partner won't hate me for that! 

DQS - Backing

Quilt Stats
name: Rainbow Wheel of Fortune
size: 18" square
pattern: my own, coming soon, called Wheel of Fortune, foundation paper pieced using 50 wt Aurifil
quilting: simple straight line outline in 50wt Aurifil in color 2024 (white)
fabrics: So many it's nearly impossible to list them all!
backing: Lucy's Crab Shack Plaid in Ocean by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics

I'm working on a pattern for this quilt, and much like in my Lucky Stars BOM, there will be two block sizes shared in the pattern, a 6" and a 12." I started on the 12" blocks at the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild meeting over the weekend, using one of the stacks of fabric I pulled last week for my Juki cover. Stay tuned for a pattern release some time next week!

Todays progress at the #tampamodernquiltguild sew day...bit to shabby considering i did all my cutting there! Working on a 12 block quilt here...

A New York state of mind

Hard to believe it's April already, isn't it?  Did you see Amy's fab post yesterday?  If not, hop on over there and check it out.  Totally awesome. :)

No April Fools' pranks at my house this weekend, just a nice visit with my mother and a bit of sewing.  Not too long ago, I received a gorgeous bundle of Oakshott shot cotton fabrics.  I had no idea what I was going to use them for at first, but I knew I was looking forward to trying them out.

Oakshott Shot Cottons - SOOOO gorgeous in person
 
I stared at them for a while, and this weekend, I felt compelled to whack into them and start using them.  My friend Amy asked me to join in a small New York Beauty swap between friends, and I just had a feeling that these shot cottons would be gorgeous as part of a New York Beauty mini or pillow.

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As I paper pieced my little heart out with these beauties, I marveled at just how gorgeous they were.  Practically iridescent, these fabrics changed colors every time I moved the fabric, almost shimmering in the light.  Not only that, they're super soft.

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It's been a while since I've done intense paper piecing, but I've had fun so far, working on these little quarter blocks.  I'm not quite sure how many more blocks I'm going to do just yet, but I'm playing around with the layout, trying to decide what I like best.

NY Beauty in progress



The other highlight of my weekend was seeing my dear husband tackling the crazy invasion of pollen and leaves in our front yard.  I've never seen so much pollen in our yard in all the years we've lived here; it feels as if our huge oak tree has an endless supply this year!  I sure hope we've seen the worst of it by now.

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The mailman also made my day this weekend - I got some gorgeous bee blocks in the mail from my friends in the {Sew} Beautiful bee.  For my turn last month, I asked them to make up one of three blocks I designed, strictly using squares of different sizes, to create a quilt I'm calling Squaretastic for now.  I will be sharing tutorials with you guys for the three Squaretastic blocks at some point, as soon as I find some time to make some blocks of my own.

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All in all, definitely a good weekend.  What did you do this weekend?  Did you do some sewing?  Happy Monday!