Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WIPs and Things

It's been a couple weeks since I've visited this space. I have nothing finished to share, so I thought I'd show you what I have been working on and a few things that I've found interesting!

I'm going on a retreat in a few weeks with the Greenville Modern Quilt Guild. I'm feeling super ambitious, and have cut out 3 projects to take along. These are all pulled from my stash and I'm hoping to come home with some starts for some pretty quilts.

First up is Canvas Lines. This is a new pattern by Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs. I'm making it in aqua, navy, gray and red. I think it will have a real Summery feel.

 Since it's just been released, Cheryl has Canvas Lines on sale until March 28th.

This may be the year of the Plus Quilt for me! I have an overflowing bin of low volume fabrics, so I decided to use them with saturated print fabrics and gray for these simple blocks. They're 10" finished and I've got 30 blocks cut out.

More Pluses! These are tiny ones that finish at 3". I've had this pattern for years and I'm finally getting to make it. It's called Squared Plus by Sandra of Make It Blossom.

Three quilts, cut and packed. It should keep me busy for 3 days :)

I've been slowly paper piecing this quilt: Tangelo by Carolyn Friedlander. I'm using Flower Shop from Cotton and Steel along with a Moda black Crossweave. Really enjoying the slow process.

And a few other things...

I recently watched the documentary "The True Cost" about fast fashion, the people who make our clothes and the impact it's having on the world. As sewers, would it help to be making more of our own clothes? And teaching our kids to do the same? If you've seen the movie, I'd love to hear your reactions. It's available on Netflix.

The movie also touches on the production of cotton and the amount of pesticides and chemicals used in the production. The availability of organic cotton is certainly a step in the right direction and companies like Cloud 9 are providing us with some beautiful options, even with recent alternate substrates. You can find some good information on their FAQ page.

Do you listen to podcasts? If not, they're great way to have some company and learn while sewing. These 3 are my favorite sewing related podcasts:

Abby from While She Naps

Stephanie from Modern Sewciety

Sandi from The Crafty Planner

And finally, have you ever wondered about thread weight? It always seems odd to me that the higher the number the thinner the thread. Well, I learned from a link in Abby Glassenberg's newsletter that thread weight is measured by length. Thread is labeled 40 weight when 40 kilometers weighs a kilogram. 30 weight thread is heavier thread because only 30 kilometers weighs a kilogram. There's a great explanation here. I feel better now that it makes sense to me!

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Before I get to Arabesque, here are a couple of smaller projects done...

The Block of the Month for Greenville Modern Quilt Guild is a paper pieced block. Our BOMs this year are designed to build our skills, make modern blocks and use them for our charity projects. I haven't paper pieced in a while and this was so much fun, although I'm happy to make just one! Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs is choosing the monthly blocks and she found this free pattern from Wombat Quilts.

I also made this little quilt from my box of leftover 2 1/2" strips. Also to be donated as a charity quilt, I hope this one will brighten a child's day!

The free tutorial is from Cluck Cluck Sew...

Arabesque! It's so "Springy"! Vanessa from Lella Boutique has a new line coming out soon called Sugar Pie. It is just so sweet and she was kind enough to send me a layer cake of the collection after I provided some minor help with some quilt math.

I've had the quilt "Arabesque" on my to-do list, waiting for the perfect fabric line...

It's a great pattern and free on Moda Bake Shop...

My quilt holder was stretched to the limit as this is a bigger quilt than my go-to 60". But we managed to get a full shot amongst the Spring flowers.

Yay for an early Spring!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rifle Paper Company Quilt

I've been a big fan of Rifle Paper Company after swooning over their products in Anthropologie years ago. So there was no question as to whether I'd make something with their first fabric line for Cotton + Steel, Les Fleurs!

I wanted to make something that really showcased my favorite prints in the line, so I kept my fabric choices limited to the floral prints with come C+S basics and some solids.

You can see the individual block and the pattern source here.

For the quilting, I kept it simple. Straight diagonal lines that don't detract from the piecing. I'm really drawn to simple quilting lately. It's not stressful and does the job well!

The back is another print from the line Les Fleurs and I bound the quilt in the smaller navy print.

This quilt had a ton of half square triangles, so it was a slow process making it. I worked on a couple blocks at a time in between other projects.

Looking forward to more Rifle Paper fabric lines - I'm such a fan :)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pineapple Quilt Block Tutorial

I'm back today with a tutorial on how I made my Pineapple Quilt Block. You can find other tutorials with a Google search, but I haven't seen one using this method. I found it quite easy and accurate.

As I mentioned in my last post, I seem to have discarded the fabric requirement list for this quilt. Sorry about that! I know for the print fabrics, I needed more than 1/2 yard {more like 3/4} for the prints that run diagonally through the center as there are more blocks with those colors.

Note: This is my original EQ7 plan. In reality, I changed the block's center square to gray.

Block size 10" finished {10 1/2" unfinished}

Cutting instructions for one block:
  • Gray for center square: 1 square 3 3/8" (or 3 5/16" to be exact). I like to use my On-Point ruler for cutting these types of on point squares that don't fit exactly to our regular ruler measurements. With this ruler, you would use the 4" finished diagonal measurement.
  • White: 2 squares 2 7/8", cut once diagonally (You can cut these larger, like 3" or 3 1/4" if you like to trim/square up your center Square-in-a-Square unit)
  • White: 12 squares 2 1/2"
  • From EACH of 2 colors: one - 1 1/2" x 4 1/2"; two - 1 1/2" x 6 1/2"; two - 1 1/2" x 8 1/2"; one - 1 1/2" x 10 1/2"


  • Use a scant 1/4" seam allowance
  • Stitch and Flip Triangles are made by drawing a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 2 1/2" squares, sewing on the line, trimming to 1/4" seam allowance and pressing out.

1- Make the Square-in-a-Square by sewing the 2 7/8" triangles to opposite sides of the gray square. Press. Sew triangles to the remaining two sides and press. If you've oversized the white triangles, trim the unit to 4 1/2" by placing the 2 1/4" mark of the ruler on the center points.

2 - Sew a 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle to opposite sides of the unit from step 1.
     Sew a 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle to the remaining two sides as pictured.

3 - Use the Stitch and Flip method, placing a white 2 1/2" square on each corner, to make a triangle on each corner.

4 - Sew a 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle to opposite sides of the unit as pictured. Press. Repeat with the 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles.

5 - Repeat Step 3 to create a white triangle on each corner.

6 - Sew a 1 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangle to opposite sides as pictured. Press. Repeat with the 1 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles.

7 - Repeat Step 3 again to create a white triangle at each corner of the block.

And there you go! No paper piecing or tricky trimming!

When I made my quilt, I started at one corner and made the blocks for each diagonal row together. This made it super easy to keep track of the colors. Once the blocks are made, there's no rearranging. Just sew the straight rows together!

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments and be sure to check back here for my answer if you're a No-Reply Blogger.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Another Plus Quilt Variation

I love a Plus quilt! I've had this drawn up in my sketch book for some time and finally got around to making it! After seeing a quilt using chambray for the background on Instagram - this design seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it.

 You can see the chambray dot better here. It's very soft - I was worried it might be too heavy, like a denim. It isn't at all. It's the weight of quilting cotton and very soft after washing. It's a bit stretchy. I'd be careful with shapes that have bias edges. My biggest problem was raveling. Not so much that the seams unraveled, but enough to create little navy threads EVERYWHERE! It made me want to get it quilted up quick to stop the mess :)

The pattern is so simple - a 6" Plus Block alternating with a 6" Nine Patch. The idea came from my Irish Chainish Quilt, replacing the single square with the Plus Block. Like that quilt, it does all need to be laid out to match up the Nine Patch print squares with the adjoining block.

It's quilted with straight lines and a free motion design in each Plus...

The backing is a Denyse Schmidt geometric print that I got on sale and seemed to compliment the front really well.

I ended up using the same fabric on the bias for a nice geometric binding...

We had such a beautiful day to photograph this yesterday and even though this picture has some harsh sun shining on the quilt, I couldn't resist using all the greenery as the perfect backdrop for the colors.

And a couple of fun things I found yesterday in downtown Spartanburg...
{In addition to some yummy crepes!}

Thank you all for the compliments on my Pineapple Quilt! I not sure how, but I've lost all my notes on that block and quilt. So... give me a little time and I will post a tutorial of the block and a layout of the quilt. I've searched online and can't find a tutorial using my method of piecing it. It's a bit different, so a good one to share!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pineapple Quilt

I'm excited to share my Pineapple Quilt! I've always loved a traditional Pineapple Quilt, but wanted to see if I could make the traditional design a bit more modern. I flipped through an older book called Pineapple Passion published in 1989 and found a design that I thought might work for what I envisioned from a picture of an antique Pineapple Quilt in the Gallery of Quilts at the front of the book. No pattern.

I found the block fairly simple to draft, worked out the math and went on to choose a nice rainbow of fabrics.

Here's the result and I couldn't be happier with it! Just what I pictured in my head!

You probably can't find the block outline. It's easier to find if you look at the corner of the quilt pictured above. The blocks are 10" square and set side by side {not on point}. The center of the block is the white square with the gray solid square on point. To construct the rest of the block, I pieced 1 1/2" strips around the center square {each block uses 2 different colors adjacent to each other}. After each round of strips, I used a white square on each corner and sewed on the diagonal of that square to create corner triangles. I repeated with 2 more rounds of 1 1/2" print strips and white squares to complete each block.

Because my rainbow color way was preplanned, I pieced each identical diagonal row before going on to the next.

The top sat for a while because I couldn't decide how to quilt it {and I really didn't want to ruin it!}. I decided to bring it to my guild's Sew-In day to ask for advice. The overwhelming opinion was to do simple straight lines - just the way I had been leaning. I ended up doing diagonal straight lines going in the opposite direction of the rainbow pattern.

The backing is a gray print and when I cut off the excess after quilting, I decided the same fabric would make the perfect binding. Done!

I think it's turned into one of my favorite quilts! :)