Tag Archives: beginners quilt

Pattern Testing

This week we have been reading and talking about the idea of supporting all of the Indie pattern designers that are working so hard to design and release original patterns. Besides purchasing these lovely patterns we can also offer our time as pattern testers.  Two weeks ago I was reading a couple of posts by Mihaela of A Beautiful Day. She blogs from Romania  (don’t you love the ease with which we are able to befriend quilters from all over through this blogosphere.)  Mihaela is working on a new pattern she calls Urban Folk Quilt. In one of her posts she asked for some testers that would help to verify that her English all translates correctly. I happily volunteered. It is hard enough to design patterns, figure out the measurements, draw up the instructions etc. But to do this in a language that is not your primary one must be very challenging.

You can be sure, language isn’t an issue for Mihaela. Her English is just wonderful and I did not  find even one problem with her pattern and/or the translation to English. She includes every detail of instruction and sometimes more than one would expect. She discusses how to confirm that your blocks line up correctly, how to properly bind a quilt, and suggests ways to avoid block distortion. Overall, this pattern is complete and a great tool for the beginning quilter. I loved making it and would happily make another (and probably will!)


For this project, I chose colors that would work in our master bathroom.  There are lots of bare walls in there. Bathrooms don’t rate very high on my need-to-decorate scale. Especially the master – who sees it besides Ray and I? I decided to make something to spruce it up. These colors work wonderfully.

I had so much fun quilting this. Finishing at 16 1/2″ squared, it was small enough to feel secure in trying new things.  This quilt design feels a bit southwestern to me. It reminds me of a couple of throws that Ray bought some years ago on a trip to Mexico.  This inspired me to quilt wavy lines, in three colors, across the horizontal stripes. Using the dark and light gray as well as the brown gives nice texture to the stripes.


Within the two rows of pieced blocks I used matchstick quilting. Having never quilted these narrow stripes before, I tried quilting with my darning/FMQ foot and with the walking foot.


Both work – the walking foot creates much straighter lines but oh my, it was taking forever! Having to stop and turn the quilt at each end was more than annoying. If it was a larger space being quilted, I would try the walking foot again. After a short stint of this though, I switched to my darning foot and FMQ’d the lines. They have a bit of an organic wobble to them but it still look ok. I love how the purple blocks have a bit of a puffiness to them from the tight quilting that surrounds them. Above and below each pieced row, I did some teeny tiny FMQ. Those rows are only one inch tall – it was a challenge to keep the movement flowing in such a small space.

What a fun project this was. Testing this pattern was an easy way to help another quilter out. There are lots of opportunities to test patterns. Be sure that you can meet the timeframe of the pattern designer though. Most likely she is relying on you to complete the task by a certain date so she can release the pattern. Speaking of which, Mihaela is releasing this pattern today!   Check it out and show her some quilting love. It would make a great mini, table topper, or you could use it as a pillow cover if you add the backing to it.

Linking to several of my favorites, including Freemotion Mavericks, Finish it up Friday, and Off the Wall Fridays. Links to all of these are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups.


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MothersDay (2)Craftsy

(Always reminding you that I am a Craftsy affiliate which means if you click through from my site and make a purchase, I will be compensated.)

Quilt Top Finish

This week I have a finish to share – I made a quilt top using a jelly roll of Kaffe Fassett solids and a coordinating striped piece of yardage. Several months ago, I saw the jelly roll on Cratsy.com and was crazy about the colors. Really rich, earthy tones that were just calling out to me. I didn’t have a specific plan for it so it sat on the shelf for a while.

Meanwhile, I have been practicing my FMQ and am always in search of something to stitch. I decided to make a very simple quilt top with the jelly roll as that would allow me a really clean slate for quilting. I went to my LQS and found the coordinating yardage (she has a great selection of Kaffe Fassett in her shop.)  Then I started to play with ideas. I cut strips from the yaradage and laid them out in a few patterns with the jelly roll (actually I drew everything first on graph paper but then still had to play around with it for a while, crawling all over the living room floor.)

First try:

In this version, I was putting the striped pieces in a random pattern. (You can see that Lady was supervising me all the while – those are her paws in the upper right corner.)

Next I tried something with a bit more order to it, increasing and decreasing the length of the striped pieces by size.

IMG_20150919_3881I decided I liked this pattern best. The stitching not a big deal. Well, it shouldn’t have been. I had all of the striped pieces sewn to the solid strips and then I spend a day or two dealing with a migraine. I thought that I was through the worst of it and started to sew the stripes together. As luck would have it, I was not thinking clearly enough and in several places, I sewed them together incorrectly, creating havoc with my simple pattern. It took a bit of time with my seam ripper to get it all fixed up.

Now that it is done, I am really happy with the curved look of the solid color stripes. Kind of like an over-sized chevron.


I haven’t figured out what I will use as backing. I know I don’t have anything in my stash that will work so I will do some shopping for that.  Most likely I will use a solid that is used on the front. I don’t plan to put any borders on it. I do plan to finish this up soon so I am going to use it as my October goal for ALYOF. I will have it quilted and bound by end of October!


Later today my five sisters are coming to my house for the weekend. I am beyond excited. My mom and dad live about 15 miles from me so the whole family will be together for the weekend. My husband and daughter went up to the Downieville house which means it will be just the original eight of us for the weekend!

Have a great weekend all!

Linking to Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.