Thursday, September 09, 2021

New Pattern - Candy Corn Twirl

Yay - I can finally share my big project that I've been working on for the last several weeks - Candy Corn Twirl!

 This quilt was inspired by that crazy witch in the panel - Witchful Thinking by Blank fabrics.  The little candy corns in the panel combined with a glance at a nearby sample from a table runner resulted in the fun idea of twirling candy corn blocks and I was off and running!  

It was sure fun to play with these bright colors!  And I love that with the addition of the borders, that this panel makes a nice size lap quilt.  Of course, if you don't want to use this panel, my pattern is easily adaptable to use with any size panel, whether it is horizontal or vertical.  Plus, I've included directions to make a fun table runner with the candy corn blocks, which is great for anyone who wants to decorate for the season!

The candy corn blocks are made using foundation paper piecing.  I've included some tips to make the process easier, but you do need a basic knowledge of the technique.  I have figured out the dimensions of the pieces needed, though because I find that to be very helpful, especially when making multiples of the same block.

The PDF version is available in my Etsy shop, and you can purchase the print version at Threads That Bind along with this fun witch panel!  The shop has a great selection of Halloween fabric this year, and we have been having fun making samples - yesterday I changed out the shop windows so everyone can see what we have been working on - here are the other new quilts we are featuring:

I also made this sample, but it's not from a pattern I designed.  This is a placemat panel that is combined with pieced blocks and is Basic Table Topper # 5 from Wilmington Prints using their Fright Night Placemat Panel.  Threads that Bind has this as a kit!

Dawn made this spooky quilt!  This features a pattern called Ladders, which is perfect for this panel!  I love the way the orange makes the pumpkins pop in the panel.  I didn't write down the info on the panel so will add that later, but this is also available at Threads That bind along with a kit to make this easy quilt.

And here is another table topper quilt made by Dawn using a different placemat panel.  I love this one, it's perfect for fall!  This is Autumn Day by Wilmington Prints and the pattern and main fabrics are by Nancy Mink.  We added our own twist to the fabric selections, and think this one is definitely a winner!  I love to encourage people to branch out in choosing different fabrics for a pattern - you don't have to make your quilt exactly like the pattern illustration - make it your own and use fabric from your stash, or add your favorite color instead! 

Are you getting ready for fall, yet or still hanging onto summer?  Now that we've started changing the shop up for the fall season, I'm feeling the urge to pull out my fall quilts at home, too!

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Monday Musings - Perseverance

 Not entirely quilting related, but don't worry, this topic definitely ties in!  You have also probably had one of those projects that just refused to come together no matter what you did.  At some point it is always tempting to just give up and either quit altogether, or hand the project off to someone else.  Or, you can give it another try and see what happens!  This project has required a bit of perseverance for sure -  the Switchback Bag by Patterns by Annie that I am making for the September Island Batik Ambassador challenge has definitely been testing me!  

But connecting the water to our new refrigerator has really been the test for me! I even tried to hand the project off to a professional, but then the project got handed right back to me!  I was absolutely at the end of what I thought I was capable of.  I resigned myself to paying a plumber to add a proper valve to the water supply so we can finally enjoy the ice and water from the refrigerator.  Truthfully, I was relieved to think that someone else could take of it, and looked forward to the appointment.  To my surprise and dismay, when the plumber saw the situation he told me that it would be a very simple matter for me to finish the job on my own.  He marked the pipe, provided me with a written list of the parts needed, and even gave me a small piece of pipe that I would need at no charge.  All I had to do was trust in my ability to take the needed steps, and he assured me that if I needed him, he would come back and rescue me.

So off I went to the plumbing supply store.  I was pretty nervous to try it, because the frustration of all the prior problems made it seem like I would not be successful.  But, as they say - nothing ventured, nothing gained, and so I began.  It was pretty scary to cut the copper pipe, but adding the valve was really a piece of cake, and when the water was turned on, it all worked perfectly!

So, what does this have to do with quilting? I just want to to encourage you to seek out helpful advice, and try again!  There are lots of places to get information on the technique that you are struggling with.  Video tutorials abound on the internet.  Google is a good source of information.  Go visit your local quilt shop, they can often help with information and recommend products.  

I'm persevering on this project - almost ready to figure out a border for it!  I have something in mind, just need to work out the details.  And finish appliqueing down the edges, just a few more and I'll be done - time to go do some research and nail down the border I want to finish it with and figure out how to accomplish it!  

I promise I'll be blogging more regularly in September - I have lots of projects in progress to share!  

Friday, August 27, 2021

Don't Worry - I've Just Been Busy Sewing and Other Stuff!

 I ran into a dear friend the other day, and she had been a bit worried about me since I have been quiet on social media lately, so I thought I ought to catch you up on what's going on around here!  I'm working on some fun fall projects, one of which that I'm really excited about, but not really ready to share yet - but here is a bit of a peek at what I'm doing:

I've been working on getting caught up on some other projects as well - I had some overdue alterations, and am making good progress on getting those completed.  This has definitely been the summer of weddings - so many gowns have passed through my sewing room that I have lost count. I think there were two summers worth of wedding crammed into this season!  Looks like things are slowing down on that front, so I am breathing a sigh of relief for sure.

We are still working on summer house projects.  This lovely little chandelier has graced our entry since we purchased this house nearly 27 years ago.  The downside has always been that it is hazard for taller people and just not really the best light for this room.  I managed to replace it with a much more practical modern fixture that we are very happy with - but I didn't get a picture of it yet.  I'm tempted to keep this and put it in my bedroom, but I think I'll be offering it up for sale instead.  Dusting things isn't my strong suit, after all!

For fun, I've been working on a jigsaw puzzle!  This is the 10th anniversary Up puzzle featuring Carl and Ellie.  My daughter brought this back for me from Disneyland this summer, so we started it on my birthday last week.  It's a double sided puzzle, so we can do the other side when we finish this one!  It's been challenging because this side is pretty muted in color - the design shows up much more in this picture than it dos in real life!

 I've been picking green beans and tomatoes from my garden, too!  And we have lots of crab apples on the tree this year.  DH and Juliette enjoyed munching on one last week - so cute!  She loves trying all kinds of food!  She has 6 teeth now and is putting them to good use.  I can't believe she'll be one in a few more weeks!

So that's what's been going on in my life the last couple of weeks!  Time to catch up on this weeks Island Batik Blog Hop posts - some gorgeous fabrics and projects have been featured, you'll definitely want to go take a look at them:

August 23:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

August 24:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore

August 25:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde

August 26:

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

August 27:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

This week Island Batik is doing a giveaway featuring this last collection - Sticks 'n Stones!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget - leave a comment on my Blog Post to be entered into a special surprise drawing next week!  Hope your life has been full of good things as well!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Monday Musings - Try a Tool Blog Hop with Island Batik and Studio 180 Designs

 Today is the big day, I get to show you what I did for the August Island Batik Ambassador challenge!  This month is a blog hop, which means scheduled posts, with coordinating collections for each day.  And, what fun, it's my Birthday as well, so I had extra fun making something special so share!  And, make sure you read to the end, I'll be adding a giveaway as well as sharing Island Batik's weekly giveaway for the blog hop.

For me a new tool is great fun, I just love trying out new things!  I got the Tucker Trimmer - which is perfect for making half square triangles, quarter square triangles, and combination units (half of each!).  I also received the Magic Wand, which is so perfect for marking the sewing lines.  The fabric line I received is Floral Wonders, designed by Jerry Khiev for Island Batik.  The colors are so pretty and sweet!

I spent most of the last two months trying to figure out what I wanted to make using these pretty florals - it was so hard to nail down my options!  I finally settled on the idea of making quarter square triangles using a solid white background so they would really shine.  And once I came up with an idea I was really inspired with a vision for a cute quilt that could be made with a pack of 10 inch squares - something that would be fun to make and simple enough to go together in a weekend.

Making the quarter square triangle is a pleasant process thanks to that Magic Wand and Tucker Trimmer.  First I cut squares - then used the Magic Wand to mark my stitching lines on the white squares.

You match the white squares with the floral squares and sew on the marked lines.  Cut the squares in half, then press seams toward the floral fabrics.

Pair up the half square triangle units, matching the center seam and mark two seam lines on the opposite diagonal.  I love this method of making quarter square triangles, since you get two at once!  Sew the seam, cut on the diagonal, then press seam toward one side.  This was repeated to make all my quarter square triangle units, then I moved on to using the Tucker trimmer to cut them to size.

This ruler us super easy to use, just line up your center and trim!  Each unit comes out perfectly sized with the seams going right to the corners for nice precise blocks in a flash.  There's not a lot of waste, and it's worth it to have such nice perfect units.  I made 48 blocks in all for my quilt.

I guess you could call the trimmings quilter's confetti!  Next, it's time to lay the blocks out and arrange them!

What a happy mix of colors!  Now that I had the center figured out, I was ready to put the borders together.  I thought a piano key border would make a nice finish for this, so I got the pieces cut, then started sewing.  I was a little taken aback at the number of rectangles I figured that I needed, then realized when I had them all sewn together that I had mistakenly made twice what I needed - so, I decided to make a bonus quilt out of them since they were already sewn into strips.

I decided to add a small border between the hourglass blocks and the border.  I thought I would use white at first, but this soft pink (Petal from the Basics Collection) was so perfect that I ended up using it instead.

I decided to add mitered corners, and was thrilled at how the quilt looked!  Now for the quilting!  I thought hearts and loops would look great on this quilt.  I used the Hobbs Heirloom Bleached cotton batting I received in my Ambassador box, and pieced a backing using the Rice neutral and a strip of pink.  (I love using a strip of contrasting color to extend the backing to a usable size - practical and it looks great, too!)

I decided on a soft yellow Aurifil thread in 50 wt., and I have to say, that I was very surprised at how well this quilted up!  I've been having some struggles with the free motion quilting on my machine lately, but for this quilt it really liked this combination of fabric, batting, needle and thread - no breaking and few skipped stitches!  

Just so I remember, I used the size 14 from this package.  The color banding is the same as the the Chrome Professional needles I received in my Ambassador package, so I think they are the same thing, this is just a multi size package I had purchased sometime earlier.  They are terrific needles and the size 14 did a great job for me on this project!  This is the pretty pink that I used for the binding, it's called Primrose!  

And here is the finished quilt!  Isn't it lovely?  I'm so happy with it!  And since I had those leftover border strips, I went right to work and put them together into a Chinese Coin quilt - just for fun!

For this one I used Egg White for the background.  I feel good that I put those extra strips to good use, and actually got it finished up right away!  I didn't make any triangles in this one, but did want to share, because I love seeing the fabrics in it!

Here's a peek at the back - I'm so glad the colors show up so nicely!

It looks so perfect with the yellow roses!  Floral Wonders is the perfect name for this collection, the colors really do look a beautiful flower garden!  It was such a pleasure to work with this collection and all of the wonderful products - what a fun summer project.  In fact I enjoyed making this so much that I decided to write it up as a pattern!  So good news if you want to make your own version of this quilt  just click the link below to see it in my Etsy shop:

I've even included instructions for the bonus quilt, so two for the price of one :)

Thanks to Island Batik, Studio 180 designs, Hobbs Quilt Batting, Aurifil Thread, and Schmetz Needles!

Here is the schedule for this week:

August 16:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts - you are here!
Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads

August 17:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Sally Manke, Sally Manke Fiber Artist

August 18:

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky
Suzy Webster, Websterquilt 

August 19:

Jennifer Eubank, Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

August 20:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway

This week Island Batik is giving away a Strip Pack of Floral Wonders as well as a Stack of Midnight Dazzle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leave me a comment, and I'll add your name to a special surprise drawing at the end of the hop as well!

Have a happy and quilty day!!!

Monday, August 09, 2021

Monday Musings - Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

 Tomorrow is the start of the Try a Tool Blog hop with Island Batik, so I have been thinking about the value in trying something new and getting out of my comfort zone!

Has it been a while since you tried a new tool for your piecing?  If it has, you will want to pay attention to the different rulers highlighted in the blog hop this month!  Especially if you like using the method of making your units slightly oversized and trimming them down to the perfect size for your block!

Here's a little sneak peek at what I am working on for my project!  This handy little Magic Wand is just step one in the process, but I am liking using it to mark the diagonal seams.  If you click the link you can see that it comes in a variety of colors and is inexpensive.  I'm thinking this would make a neat gift for your quilting friends, too!

And here's a video with Deb Tucker explaining how to use it!  (plus she talks about marking tools, too!)

Have you tried anything new lately?  This can add a lot of fun and excitement to your quilting, plus help you to improve your accuracy and add to your skill set!  Like Deb says at the end of her video - add a little magic to your life!

Friday, August 06, 2021

Not much Quilting to Report this week!

 It's been one of those weeks - too many other things going on to make time for quilting! I've been working on a couple of wedding gowns.  One is being transformed into a fun reception gown by cutting it into a high-low dress with a ruffle.  I just have to finish stitching the lining and it will be ready to go.  The second is getting 7 inches off the length.  It has 6 layers to hem - a lining, three layers of netting with wide horsehair braid at the bottom to give it a lot of poof, heavy satin, then soft tulle.  Plus I need to take it in a pinch at the top and shorten another layer on the front. I plan on getting that done tomorrow so I can devote next week to quilting!

We did some work in the yard.  The garden is coming along - tomatoes are getting riper every day, and I should have some green beans soon as well!  

  I hope that next week is better, so I have something to show you that you will be interested in.  Since I don't have a quilt picture, I'll show you my daughter and grand daughter - baby sitting is always fun! 

 I also spent some time helping a friend out by driving her home after cataract surgery.  So it's not like I've been lazy, just busy with lots of non-quilting!  I did fold a big bunch of patterns for a large wholesale order,too - so exciting!  I will have more info on that soon...

 Oh - and while I am thinking of it, the Island Batik Ambassador blog hop for August will be starting next week!  Island Batik and Studio 180 designs have teamed up to challenge us to show you a project using a provided ruler with the newest fabric lines to make something fun to share with you!  There will be lots of giveaways and some awesome challenge projects so you will want to make sure to follow along.  Click the link above to go to the blog post from Island Batik.  Here is the schedule for next week:

August 10:

Mania Hatzioannidi, Mania for Quilts
Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail 

August 11:

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

August 12:

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood
Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

I'm excited to see what everyone made!  This week's giveaway:

Enter to win one of these great bundles right here -

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and maybe get to do some quilting, too!