Last week I mentioned I had been asked by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts to test a pattern of hers. She recently released her newest design, Masala Box. The pattern is really adorable. Here is Preeti’s version.
This is the sort of pattern that is right up my alley. I love patchwork and also simplicity. Fussy patterns are not my favorite. This pattern is set up for strip piecing (which is quick and efficient) or if you have a box of 2 1/2″ squares, you could make a scrappy version and use those bits up!
Hoping to finish this quickly so I could share Preeti’s new pattern, I made a baby quilt. It finishes at 36″ square which is the perfect size for Jack’s Basket. I love donating to them and will send this off when it is finished. Looking through my stash, I wanted to put together some bold colors. When I saw the red polka dots on turquoise I decided I would build off that piece. Luckily, I had plenty of red and aqua in the stash and I added a bright polka dot on off-white to break things up a bit.
The pattern features a large rectangle within each set of 2 1/2″ squares. Preeti did a wonderful job writing this pattern up. Her instructions and illustrations are clear and very easy to follow. There are so many ways the rectangle within each block could be used. How about placing appliqué on that center, or featuring a large scale fabric, maybe notes or signatures could be written here in permanent fabric markers – I think it is a creative space with a lot of potential.
I plan to back my quilt with the red and aqua polka dot fabric. As for a quilting plan, I don’t have one just yet. I want to do something special with those white rectangles and am waiting to figure that part out.
If you would like to see another version of the Masala quilt, hop over to The Academic Quilter. Mari made her quilt in tones of blue, green and yellow with an earthy background. It is so pretty and totally different from my version. Isn’t it fun to see the same pattern made with different fabrics?
Congrats to Preeti for the release of this fun pattern. Be sure to go to her shop and add a copy to your quilt pattern collection!
Linking up to my usual favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
It took very little time to finish up the whole cloth dinosaur quilt I made for our local Community Service group. It is great to have quilts available for children in crises and I think this one is perfect. Cute dinosaurs on the fronts and snuggly, soft flannel on the back.
The binding is a bold red and white stripe, leftover yardage gifted by my sister some time ago.
I quilted around each dinosaur and if needed (to travel to the next creature) I echoed some of the trees or volcanoes. Simple and fun!
It finished at approximately 40″ square, a good size for a toddler needing a quilted hug.
Whole cloth quilts are a lot of fun and provide such easy FMQ practice. Here are a few I made in the past.
I couldn’t bear to cut up this fabric. The little panda bear scenes deserved to stay whole. I had made this as a sample to use in my quilt show vendor booths some years back.
This was a commission done for a customer. It was, again, a great chance to practice FMQ as I quilted around the flowers.
Some years back, my niece asked me to make a quilt for her best friend’s first baby. She really wanted this boho elephant fabric which was no longer available. But you know how it goes – I put it out there that I needed a piece of this and was able to buy it from someone who had it on her shelf. Just enough to make the quilt.
Sometimes, a fabric is just so pretty as it is, I feel like I don’t need (or want) to cut it up. What do you think? Have you made a whole cloth quilt? If not, I bet you have a perfect large scale fabric in your stash to give it a try! Plus, it is easy to quilt and a nice way to get some practice. Quilting around shapes that are already there helps those shapes to pop a bit and is a great way to improve your FMQ skills.
Sharing with my usual link ups. Please take a look at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
My niece just had her first baby! She was due on January 25th and this little tiny girl decided to join the family on January 8th. She must have been in quite a hurry to meet her mama and daddy.
Some months ago (in September I believe) I was talking to my sister and she helped me to choose colors for a baby quilt. After some back and forth, I had a stack of fabric in shades of pink, lavender, gray and cheddar yellow. Really unusual colors but I loved them together.
I went back and forth on patterns and finally decided to make a triangle quilt. I have never made one and it seemed like a fun thing to do. My crafty husband cut an acrylic template for me to use to cut pieces. It went really fast and soon enough I had a stack of triangles.
Once I had these rows stitched together I realized it was too narrow. So I sent of this photo to one of my many quilty advisors, Wendy, of Pieceful Thoughts to ask for ideas. She suggested an outer border with segments of triangles within the border. Genius! I loved the idea.
I added a narrow (one inch finished) border to break between the two sets of triangles. Luckily I had another triangle stencil that was smaller and worked well for the border. On opposite corners I put the smaller triangles and then used a pink solid (Ballet from Free Spirit) for the rest of the border.
The biggest hurdle for me was where the points all joined – it became so thick and I knew it would be hard to quilt over that spot. To avoid this, I echoed the lines of the triangles which meant I never had to go through that spot. The quilt is backed with lavender flannel which makes in soft and drapey (I don’t think that is a real word but you know what I mean.)
The two cornerstones between the triangles have flowers quilted on them and the pink sections of the border have loops meandering along.
I quilted the baby’s name in one section of the border and in another section I signed my name to it.
Just look at this tiny peanut! She was just over five pounds when she was born and as often happens, she lost a bit of weight. She is now three weeks old and is over 5 1/2 pounds. I think she is just gorgeous. She is giving her parents a run for it and not sleeping a whole lot unless it is mid-day. Remember that feeling? Sleep deprivation at it’s finest.
I love this photo. For one, it shows how very tiny this little one is. Those are six inch triangles and she is barely covering three of them. It also reminds me of the times when I had new babies and there was nothing better than to just sit and watch them. A new baby is nothing short of miraculous and sitting with them, soaking it all in, is just the best. My sister is on the left (this is her fifth grand daughter!) and my sleep deprived niece is on the right.
That is it for now. I started quilting the Bloom with Grace quilt and it is coming along nicely. Yesterday I went to drop off the placemats for Meals on Wheels but left the placemats at home. Because that is just how I am. So I guess I will drop them off another day. Silly silly me.
Linking up this post with my favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Look another little quilt headed to Jack’s Basket! As a result of my cleaning efforts in the sewing room, I put some scrappy nine patch blocks together that had been sitting in a pile for quite some time. It felt so nice to use up the blocks and make this sweet little quilt.
It is so bright and cheerful. I quilted straight lines on the diagonal. At first I was stitching across the wonky stars but it looked funny so I took that out. I think the stars look best without any quilting. The lines were just freehand with the corners of each square guiding me. Because the quilting is very light, the quilt has a cozy drape to it.
Purple flannel on the back makes for a soft, cuddly quilt. For the binding, I used a bit of a yellow print from an older line by Jeni Baker, back when she was designing for Art Gallery Fabric. I even had the right size scrap of batting for this. Isn’t it great to use up some fabric that has been sitting for a while?
I had not yet mailed the You Are My Sunshine whole cloth quilt yet so both of these will go out together next week. I am not positive, but I think this is either the seventh or eighth quilt I have finished this year. Most of these were were made with flimsies that have been sitting which is super satisfying! Still another month to go this year. Will I have time to finish another quilt? Time will tell!
With the onset of the pandemic and especially when everything shut down, my shop went nuts. It took me by surprise, never having owned an on-line business during a pandemic before. (Who knew??). Anyway, I was happy to provide fabric to the many, many people making masks as well as quilters who were not able to physically go into their LQS. As a result of this increase though, I was really busy and had almost no time to sew.
Things have changed and many people are venturing into brick and mortar shops (which is good for the shop owners, as long as people are being careful and masking up.) I think the frenetic mask making has slowed down a tiny bit as well. Thus my shop has gone back to a more realistic level of sales for one person to handle. What does this mean? More time to sew!! Hurray.
This week I had the opportunity to learn to use my friend Sophia’s Baby Lock Tiara sit down quilter. It is a dream. The wide throat is incredible and it sews with a nice even stitch. So much easier than using my Janome (which while it has a bigger throat, is getting old and tired) for FMQ.
When I wanted to first try it, I decided to just bring a piece of cloth over – I wasn’t sure how successful I would be and didn’t want to bring anything I had pieced. I have had a yard of this cute fabric sitting on the shelf for a good 4 or 5 years. I am sure it was a border print made for a panel but I think it is adorable. I used to sing this song to my kids when putting them to bed and now I love hearing my son sing it to his girls.
I decided to use it as a whole cloth baby quilt for donation. To practice with Sophia’s machine, I just stippled this. It was so fun and so incredibly quick. It took (almost) as long to pin baste it as to quilt it.
The bold blue polka dots on the back are really cute. You can see the stippling a bit better on the back side. I used an off-white thread which doesn’t really show on the front.
Now there is a cute baby quilt ready for donation and I have a little practice under my belt with the Tiara machine. It is rather tiny in size (30 x 36″) so I will need to see which organizations can utilize a quilt of this size.
So that is a (small finish for me! Used a little bit of fabric off the shelf, learned to use a cool machine and have a donation ready for someone! My next project with the machine will be the jelly roll quilt I recently pieced. I am looking forward to getting some tops finished up! 🙂
I am in a quilting and reading phase. Quilt a little, read a lot, quilt some more. There are always so many projects to make and books to be read, am I right?
But – the sewing! I have been getting lots done. Today I will share this cute picnic quilt I made for my grand daughters. I carried this line of fabric (it is all gone – sold so fast!) and before I sold out, I stashed away some of the red and yellow yardage as well as a panel of the animals.
I love seeing red and yellow together. It makes for a really cheerful combination. I need did use the green fabric with this project. I decided to save it for another day.
I started to make nine patch blocks last January and split them up, sewing them back together for a disappearing nine patch design.
Some had red centers.
Some had yellow centers. But once made, the blocks were always set aside for some other project.
Well my son and his wife recently bought a house outside of Seattle and we have been calling it “the Farm House”. It isn’t really a farm but it is on 1.5 acres and has a lot of raised beds, greenhouses, and a chicken coop. So, farm enough in our opinion.
I decided I needed to finish the quilt so the girls could sit on it outside and eat a snack or bring their lunch outside. The three year old is always filled with energy and I know she will love their big yard. This property is perfect for them.
I had some fun quilting this. In the center, I stitched in the ditch around the white animal squares. Then I used vertical and horizontal straight lines at various intervals. In the yellow border I just did a wavy line through each one.
I played with the red border. I did swirls, hearts, flowers and whatever else came to mind. On two corners I put the girl’s names which was fun. On the bottom border I stitched “Grammys Girls” but wasn’t thinking of the orientation so it is upside down. Sigh. Not a huge deal but I do wish I had thought to flip it before I stitched the words. Not enough to spend the time unpicking the stitching though. Haha.
The backing is a super wide stripe from Michael Miller. My sister was clearing her sewing area a couple of years ago and gifted me this piece and a few others. I knew it would come in handy at some point. The binding is a repro feed sack print I have in the shop. I like the little flowers framing the quilt, though this picture doesn’t really show the binding off very well.
I ran into a snag when I washed the quilt last night tho. The red bled onto the white animal squares. (I was too annoyed to take any pictures.) Ugh. I haven’t experienced this and was a little freaked out. Both Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts and Jan of Colorful Fabriholic recommended this method by Vicki Welsh to removed the red. By the time I asked these lovely women, I had already cold water washed it twice and rinsed it two more times. After reading Vicki’s method, I chose to alter it a bit. My washer is large and the quilt is about 50 x 50″ so not terribly big. I put it in the wash on the “deep water wash” cycle with hot water. The hot water was the part that scared me but Vicki says that is what needs to be done. Before I put the quilt back in I decided to spray each of the white squares liberally with OxyClean stain remover. I didn’t rub it in aggressively but I did sort of massage it into the stained areas. Then I used a fragrance free “free and clear” type of laundry detergent and put in more than I normally do. Once the machine was filled with hot water I stopped the cycle and let it soak, making sure it was all under water. Finally I let the machine finish its cycle and ran it through a couple of extra rinse cycles since there was a lot of soap in there. It worked! The animals are back in their little white squares as opposed to the pale pink squares that I saw last night. Phew! Thank you Wendy, Jan and Vicki!!
Now that this is finished, I have moved on to another quilt top. I basted it yesterday and plan to quilt it this weekend. It is miserably hot and smokey outside – I did get a little yard work done early this morning but will be inside all afternoon. We don’t have any plans for the long weekend. Hope you are all well. Enjoy your long weekend and make sure to spend a little (or a lot) of time sewing!
You know how you set something aside for so long and then somehow your mind decides it is going to take forever to finish it and you don’t want to so you just leave it there? Yeah, me too. Last fall I pieced a cute strip quilt using a focus print from Pandalicious. I had yardage in the shop and thought it would be fun to make one and then make up some kits for others to make it.
So I made up the quilt top and got it basted. I started to free motion quilt each of the strips and all was going well. When I got to the large section of pandas in the middle, my tension got screwed up. Of course I didn’t know this and just kept going because the top side looked fine. Ugh. When I saw the back, I knew it all had to be unpicked.
Onward I went and got all the messy stitching ripped out. By then I developed some serious dislike of the project and set it aside? Why do this? It wasn’t the quilt’s fault. But I did anyway. Folded it up and put it on top of a pile of fabric.
This week I thought it was time to finish it. Of course, by now, the fabric is gone and I can’t make any kits. Sigh. Quilting the remaining sections (the pandas in the middle and both of the black and white sections on top and bottom) took no time at all. Like an afternoon of playing at the machine and it was done. So after sitting there for 9 months or so, it is done!
I attached the binding with machine stitching on front and back. It is adorable! I quilted the top and bottom sections with a meandering motif of interlocking squares. I am not sure what was going on, but there are some little tension issues on the back side. Not enough that I am going to fix it though. I suspect after being washed, it will all work out.
I did a very loose meander over the middle section going around the pandas. They are such happy little guys!
I took the photos in the early evening so the sun was creating lots of shadows. But no matter, just look at how happy this little quilt is. What should I do with this one? I will likely donate it. It will be fun for some child to snuggle under.
Happy to cross this off the UFO list and wish I had done it long ago. Makes me happy to get it finished up.
Anyone have anything fun planned for the weekend? Hahaha…. sorry to be so ridiculous! I feel like each day (weekend or not) is so much the same due to the quarantine. Our town is loosening up just a bit but we are still very careful. So it will be the usual. Taking walks, a little bit of gardening, shipping orders and sewing, sewing, sewing!
Want to leave you with a smile. Isn’t this just a classic fun-in-the-bathtub picture?? This girl makes me laugh all the time. She is such a joyous kiddo. Enjoy the day everyone!!
Oh how I love this event! Each year Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict hosts an event, Hands 2 Help, to encourage quilters to donate some of their work to various organizations. I have participated numerous times over the years. I have donated quilts to various places and have marveled at the number of quilts made and gifted each May. Last year and this year I am going to donate as well as coordinate the receiving of many beautiful quilts for Mercyful Quilts.
Over the past several weeks, the quilts have started to arrive. It is so fun to open the packages and see the color schemes, block patterns and quilting styles on each one. From simple to ornate, each one is beautiful and very much appreciated. I promise to share them with you – I still need to take pictures though.
As I thought about the event from the donor perspective this year, I knew I would donate one to Mercy Hospital – you all know how strongly I feel about their program. I will be giving them the blue and yellow star quilt I wrote about in my post two weeks ago. I also wanted to donate to our local Project Linus group. As I started to look at fabric, I decided it was silly to make a new quilt for them. I have a small stack of baby quilts in the closet that I made for the fun of it but never used or gave away. It seemed more practical to give one of those away than to make another one.
I chose to give them the Fireburst Quilt I made a while ago during a quilt along hosted by Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is such a sweet quilt and should be used. Yesterday I washed and dried it since it had been in the closet for some time. It is all soft and crinkly now – ready for a child in need.
I love the colors used for this quilt – they are bright and cheerful. I remember when I started to spiral quilt this I worried it would be stiff so I decided to gradually widen the space between the spirals. It worked out well and I like how soft and puffy it is.
The fabric on the backing is Folk Fleur from the Meriwether line by Amy Gibson. It is sweet with tiny flowers floating across the fabric. (There is just a bit left in the sale section of the shop.) I used a zig zag stitch to quilt the border which added a bit of whimsy.
I am really happy to give this quilt to Project Linus. I love making them but it doesn’t make any sense to leave them unused in the closet. I know many people have stacks of their quilts throughout the house and that is what works for them. I feel like quilts are to be used. This one needs to belong to a child.
I am excited to see the numbers for this year. It seems with each year more and more quilts are donated as part of Hands 2 Help. With the quarantine in place this year, and many people unemployed, it might be a lesser number? This would be totally understandable too. Are you participating? If so, thank you for your generosity!! Thank you also to Sarah for spending so much time organizing this inspirational event each spring.
I recently had a conversation with the chairperson of our Community Service team within our local quilt guild. We were talking about the recipients of the quilts we make and the quantity of quilts she had available. The discussion came around to our local Children’s Protective Services team. This team includes officers of our Sherrif’s Department who have the very sad task of removing children from home’s where they are not in good, safe situations.
These officers like to carry blankets in the trunk of their cars so they can wrap up a child if needed when removing them and taking the child to social services and a foster home. The officers asked for blankets or quilts without batting. These kiddos are often put into carseats and the quilts can be too thick.
Thinking about this need, I decided to make some blankets with quilting cotton and flannel. These would be cozy and so easy to make. Plus they wouldn’t take up much room in the carseat. To do this, I looked at my stash as well as the fabric in the shop and selected some pieces that worked together nicely.
The sizes of the blankets were somewhat dictated by the pieces of fabric I wanted to use. The first blanket I made turned out to be 42″ square when finished. I cut pieces of flannel and quilting cotton that were each 1 and 1/4 yards – so almost a 45″ square, depending on the width of the fabric. I pre-washed everything because flannel is known to shrink a bit. After pre-washing, I pressed all of the fabrics and laid them out, right sides together. Then I squared up the pieces. A quick stitching around the perimeter, leaving about five inches open to turn it right side out, took little time. Once the corners were popped out nicely, I pressed the seams and top-stitched around the perimeter at a 1/8″ margin. I top-stitched again about two inches inside of that first go around.
I have a number of yards of gray flannel in my stash that has been sitting for a long while. It looks great with these silly animals. I am sure it will work with other pieces as well and will try and use more of it for these sorts of blankets.
For each blanket I cut one piece of flannel and the other woven cotton. However this could be easily adapted according to the stash a person has to use. Stretch knits would work and be really cozy. A woven cotton backed with minky or cuddle fabric is also a great idea. All of these are thinner than a typical quilt.
On of the blankets I made is quite a bit smaller because I had a little piece of flannel I wanted to use. It finished at 32 inches square. The navy flannel with sweet little daisies is so soft and the size will be perfect for a smaller child or toddler.
The need for these blankets makes me so sad. Last year these officers had to remove about 100 children from bad situations within our county. I couldn’t believe that number. It is much more than I would have guessed. If the blankets are helpful in this awful time for a child, I am happy to make them. They take little in the way of supplies or time and might be soothing during a scary time. I plan to bring these to our community service group and check to see if other guild members might want to make one or two. Really, they take so little time and most likely we all have one yard cuts waiting to be used.
OK – Let’s talk about the Trash to Treasure giveaway now! I have mentioned before that two of my sisters have an Etsy shop together. It is called 6 Monkeys & Co and they make and sell custom children’s clothing and gifts. One of my favorite things they make are traditional baby bonnets. They are soooo sweet and make a wonderful (very affordable) handmade baby gift for a newborn. Please take a peak here to see them. If you find yourself in need of a fantastic gift for a grandchild, niece or nephew, be sure check out their shop.
Anyway, when my sisters are sewing, they are inclined to toss their scraps. When you are a garment maker, it doesn’t make sense to keep these pieces of fabric if they aren’t big enough to cut into a useful piece (sleeve, skirt, collar, etc) for a piece of clothing. But as a quilter, I want all the scraps, ALL THE TIME! So Cathy and Patti save them for me. At the moment, I have accumulated tons. Sometimes I cut them into 5″ squares and figure I will make an I Spy quilt. But let’s be real. This pile is growing and I think it is time to share the wealth. If you would like to have some of these, please leave a comment. I will pick two winners and each will receive a great package of assorted scraps. Some are novelty fabrics, some blenders and lots of little florals and stripes. My sisters only save the larger scraps as I explained I wanted to be able to cut five inch squares with them so the pieces are really usable. The fabrics are great quality and would make a really fun scrappy quilt. Giveaway open through Friday, January 31st.
NOTE – Giveaway Now Closed. Thanks for entering!! Congrats to Sam and Sharon – winners of all these fun scraps!
I have almost finished my January goal which was to quilt and bind my Squared Away quilt. I will share that later this week. For now though, how about some scrappy treasures?? Happy sewing all.
Sharing at some of my favorite link ups. Check them out at the top of the page, under link-ups.
In an effort to continue to practice free motion quilting, I whipped up another quick strip quilt. When I made the brightly colored quilt a couple of weeks ago, it worked out wonderfully as a way to practice different quilt motifs on each stripe. The quilt is small enoughg to be a pleasure to work on. It has been a long while since I have worked on my quilting and to my surprise, my abilities really regressed. Like most things, practice is essential.
I chose to use this adorable Pandalicious fabric as the focal point in the middle and then build from there. The fabric was designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabric. It is sweet and whimsical making it perfect for a child’s quilt! Two of the other stripes are also from that same line. The Hidden Pandas are a lot of fun and then the black and white squares with circles is called Panda Patches. The solid Emerald green and the large green dots finish it off. The color combo is great and not the typical used for a baby quilt.
The quilt takes minutes to assemble which I did several days ago. Because I truly dislike basting quilts, I forced myself to get it done. Actually – I was able to do this while on hold waiting for customer service on the phone – multi-tasking at it’s best. (Thank goodness for speaker phones!) Now it is ready to be quilted!
Now these little pandas will have to sit and wait for me. Ray, Julia and I are taking some time off next week for family time! We are really looking forward to this after such a busy summer. Julia starts school in a couple of weeks so this is the perfect way to end the season!
I had some inquiries about the first strip quilt I made. I have kitted that quilt and written up the dimensions for anyone who is interested in practicing their FMQ. Alternatively, it is a wonderful kit to use when teaching someone to quilt or FMQ. If you are interested, click here to see the kit in the shop!
Finally, I spent yesterday doing some organizing in my shop. When I have a piece of fabric with a little defect, a crooked cut (oops!), or just the end of the bolt, I toss them in a basket. Then they sit there! I took the time to measure them and list them as remnants. If you are a bargain hunter, check them out by clicking here. There are lots of great pieces to be had!
Hope you are enjoying your long weekend if you are a US reader! Take care and I’ll be back in a week or so.