Sunday, November 22, 2020

Thanksgiving sale at Carried Away Quilting

I am truly thankful for all of you! I appreciate that you take time out of your busy lives to read my blog, and that you order and enjoy Carried Away Quilting patterns. When you reach out to me, through social media or email, to share a finished project or even just to ask a question, it is a joy to connect with you.

As we head into Thanksgiving week in the United States, I wanted to extend my heart-felt thanks to all of you. Now through Sunday, November 29, all items in my Etsy shop are 20% off.  No coupon code needed.

And don’t forget, I do have several free (and fun) tutorials on my blog.

Have a wonderful week and get carried away quilting!


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Fabric kits for Buffalo Check Winter

Hello quilting friends! I’m popping in quickly to let you know that LouLou’s Fabric Shop has restocked fabric kits for my Buffalo Check Winter pattern!  LouLou’s offered kits when the pattern released in August, but they quickly sold out. Here's your second chance to nab one!

Remember, the pattern is a digital (PDF) pattern which needs to be purchased from my Etsy shop. The fabric kits are available directly from LouLou’s.

That’s the post. I told you I was popping in quickly. Have a great day everyone!


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Christmas quilts out early this year

This weekend I was seized by the desire to decorate for the holidays. I don’t usually pull out my Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. But this year is different. We’ve had three snowfalls since the middle of October. Our extended families won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving due to the pandemic. I rarely leave the house anymore. I’m not whining or complaining, I’m just deciding to make the best of it and give myself a warm hug. As one of my Instagram friends said, “Bring on the merry!” That’s exactly what I decided to do all around the house, starting with our bedroom.

We don’t have a fancy bedroom. The carpet is worn and needs to be replaced.  The walls could seriously use a fresh coat of paint. Our furniture is over 25 years old and has survived five moves, as is evident by several nicks, dings and scratches. But the room is spacious and cozy at the same time. And when I add in three Christmas quilts and a few other seasonal touches, it becomes a wonderful haven.

I’ve never had twinkle lights in my bedroom before, but I certainly plan to do that from now on, and not just for the holidays.  Twinkle lights make everything better, don’t they?

Even my husband didn’t complain about my early jumpstart for the season. While I was bustling about the house putting up decorations, Brad was working outside, prepping his ice house for winter fishing. (If you curious about that, read this post from last year: Stitching while ice fishing.) It will be more than a month before our lake makes ice thick enough for safe fishing, but like me, Brad is ready to embrace the season. “Bring on the fish!”

I’m wishing you all peace, warm shelter, good health and happiness in the weeks to come. Sending a warm hug your way!


The scoop on the quilts:

On the bed: My new Buffalo Check Winter quilt pattern, featuring Winter White by Holly Taylor for Moda.

On the wall: A wall hanging I made in 2010 featuring the Fruitcake collection by BasicGrey for Moda.  The pattern is from the book Simply Charming Two by Moose on the Porch Quilts.

In the basket: My Star Crossed Pines pattern (runner version) featuring several holiday collections from Moda Fabrics.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Free block pattern: Snazzy Snowflake

This past week we experienced unseasonably warm weather.  November high temps in the 70s are rare in Minnesota. The snow we received in October disappeared quickly, and we were able to get outside to finish our autumn yard chores and enjoy the sunshine.  But mother nature can’t fool me.  I know that bitter cold and mounds of white stuff are just around the corner. So, I embraced the inevitable and sewed up this pretty snowflake pillow.

I’m pleased to tell you that the snowflake block is a free pattern from Highway 10 Designs, a Canadian based design team that I came to know through the wonderful quilting community on Instagram.  They designed this Snazzy Snowflake Quilt Block years ago as part of a sampler BOM program with area quilt shops, and now it is a free PDF on their website!

I added 2 1/2” borders to all four sides so that I could use a 16” pillow form I had on hand.  A bit of simple straight-line quilting accented the snowflake shape nicely. To finish my pillow, I used the simple envelope back technique and bound my pillow just like I would bind a quilt. 

I used fabrics from my stash. The blue background is Moda’s Indigo Chambray (#12051 13). The white snowflake is from Gingiber’s Merrily collection from a couple of years ago.  The warm gray binding and backing material are also from Gingiber’s Merrily collection.

When I carried my cute pillow to the guest room to photograph it, I felt a rush of happy inspiration. My Buffalo Check Autumn quilt is currently on the bed in that room. As I was moving it out of the way, it dawned on me that if I fold it in half and just display the denim stars (hiding the pumpkins), it will look wonderful as a winter “foot of the bed” quilt. And . . . bonus . . . it coordinates so nicely with my new pillow! Don’t you just love happy accidents like that?

Thanks for stopping by today, quilting friends.  And thank you to the ladies at Highway 10 Designs for making this Snazzy Snowflake Quilt Block pattern available to all of us!


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Christmas Economy Blocks

I got a little sidetracked this weekend, quilting friends.  I had fully intended to organize the scrap baskets and shelves in my fabric closet. Unfortunately, I was easily distracted by a bin of festive Sweetwater Christmas prints I had saved from past projects. So instead of organizing, I found myself cutting and sewing. Before I knew it, I had made four holiday Economy Blocks to share with you.

Just in case you missed my most recent posts, I’ve provided a detailed tutorial on making these 4 1/2” Economy Blocks from your stash. Let me warn you though, you won’t be able to stop at just one, or even two!

Sweetwater’s fabric collections nearly always include text prints, which are fun to fussy cut and feature in a small block. I also appreciate that new Sweetwater lines, like this year’s Christmas Card collection, typically coordinate with their past fabric releases. I’m pretty sure these Economy Blocks include prints from three Sweetwater collections. The lovely red and green prints with the soft white snowflakes are from Janet Clare's Wintertide collection. 

I also wanted to share a tip with you regarding directional or text prints. Naturally, text prints are delightful to use in the center square.

But they can also add visual interest in the “inside” square.  The magic is this . . . if you cut your 3 1/2” square twice on the diagonal and rearrange the pieces, they will still be directional (i.e. read horizontally).

That’s it for today. Now head on over to your own scrap bins and start cranking out some Economy Blocks!



Monday, October 26, 2020

Economy Block tutorial

Recently I shared my Vintage Halloween Economy Blocks on the blog, and I promised you there would be a tutorial. So today I’ll be sharing some information on how I made my blocks, including tools, tips, measurements and basic assembly instructions. This post is not a pattern for a full quilt, so there will not be fabric requirements. But the great thing about the Economy Block is that it fun, easy and a great way to use up your scraps and stash. Let’s get started!

Vintage Halloween Economy Block
4 1/2” (unfinished);  4” (finished / when sewn with other blocks)

You don’t need any special rulers to make Economy Blocks, but these were handy for me:

A square 2 1/2” Creative Grids ruler (for fussy cutting the centers).

A ruler with clear 1/4” markings. (I used my 4 1/2” x 8 1/2” Creative Grids ruler that has the best 1/4” markings.  I used gingham Lori Holt washi tape to mark off a 3 1/4” square on the ruler, which will be used for one of the trimming steps. You could use painter’s tape also.)

The Cute Cuts 4 1/2” Trim It Ruler by Lori Holt. (Again, I could have used another ruler and some washi tape. But this Trim It Ruler has fantastic markings for finding the right trimming spot to complete the 4 1/2” block.)

For each Economy Block, you will need to begin with three squares:

2 1/2” center square
3 1/2” square
4 1/2” square

Begin by fussy cutting the 2 1/2” center square. (Note, you do not have to fussy cut. You could use a mini charm pack or cut 2 1/2” squares from any pretty fabric. The end result will still be lovely.)

Then cut a 3 1/2” square and a 4 1/2” square from coordinating fabrics. 

I cut several squares and laid them together in groupings to see which combinations I liked. 

Next, cut both the 3 1/2” square and the 4 1/2” square on the diagonal twice, so that you have (4) triangles each.


Begin with the triangles yielded from the 3 1/2” square. Sew triangles to the left and right of a fussy cut square. I used my Bernina’s quarter inch foot for exact piecing.

Press toward the triangles and trim off the dog ears.

Next, sew triangles to the top and bottom. Press toward the triangles.

Using your tape-marked ruler, trim the block to 3 1/4” square.  Do not skip this trimming step. Look closely at the photo below. The key is to have 1/4” of seam allowance on all four sides. Position the ruler so that the corners of the fussy cut square do not extend into the 1/4" seam allowance. Trim two sides. Rotate the block and trim the remaining two sides.

Now repeat those same steps using the triangles yielded from the 4 1/2” square. 

Here’s a creative tip.  Flip your units over and sew from the other side.  This will allow you to see the seam intersection that you want to meet precisely.

Again, press toward the triangles.

Using a 4 1/2” trimming tool or ruler, square up your block to 4 1/2”. 

Look closely at this photo. There is shading around the perimeter that indicates the seam allowance area. Make sure none of the points are in that shaded area. The ruler also has guidelines for the center square, helping you position the ruler correctly.  

Place your finished blocks under a ruler and weight. This will keep them nice and flat while you sew. I do this often with small blocks. Sometimes I even weight press them overnight.

I hope this tutorial will inspire you to begin making Economy Blocks from your favorite fabrics. My goal is to make as many blocks as I can with the focal fabric at center. When I run out of little characters to fussy cut, I will continue to make Economy Blocks from just the coordinating fabrics until I have enough blocks to make a baby or lap sized quilt.

I plan to take my time with these blocks, sewing them when the mood strikes . . . sewing for fun.  I hope you’ll do the same!


 P.S. I have other free tutorials on my blog. Check them out when you have a chance.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Vintage Halloween Economy Blocks

I have a weakness for vintage inspired children’s fabrics. They remind me of my favorite children’s books . . . tender stories of sweet boys and girls finding adventures in their everyday lives, learning lessons of kindness, honesty, resilience and even bravery. Every illustration was a small work of art, inviting me to another place and time. It’s no wonder that I couldn’t resist this darling Halloween themed fabric with a vintage vibe.

The focal fabric you see at the center of my blocks is from a Halloween collection by Belle and Boo, which is a company based in England. Besides designing art and fabric, they publish books and create toys, games, stickers, cards, coloring books, paper dolls and even free downloadable coloring sheets. I became familiar with Belle and Boo’s fabric collections on Instagram, through an online fabric shop based in the United Kingdom, Rose Garden Patchwork. I ordered a half yard of the Halloween fabric and it flew “across the pond” quite quickly. Thank you, Rose Garden Patchwork!

This past Saturday I spent several hours rifling through my stash, finding just the right fabrics to create some Economy Blocks that would feature the Belle and Boo characters. Fabric was flying. I was making a happy mess. In the end, I found just enough butterscotch orange and cool browns to begin cutting and sewing.

It tickles me that this quilt will include leftover fabrics I’ve saved from other completed projects, and it will represent several designers, including Fig Tree & Company, Lori Holt, Lauren Nash, and Patrick Lose. There’s even one I can’t identify. Never throw out scraps that you love. You’ll be sure to use them again someday.

Friends, I felt so inspired and cheered by this project, that I started taking notes and photos of my progress. I plan to publish a free tutorial that will include tools, tips, measurements and more so that you can dive into your stash and make a joyful mess creating your own Economy Blocks.

Someday I hope to be a cuddly, fun and much loved grandma. I picture an autumn day spent with little ones on my lap, reading treasured books while snuggled beneath a quilt that I made years earlier, just waiting for that special moment.

As always, thanks for letting me share my quilting journey with you. Now head over to your sewing room and get carried away quilting!