Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Pattern: Harmony

I'm pleased to share a fresh new quilt pattern with you today: Harmony! This seemingly scrappy fat quarter quilt is actually a careful repetition of pattern and color. The harmony is created when you select just three colors from your favorite fat quarter bundle and let the prints and pattern sing!

My idea for Harmony came to me one day in my sewing room as I was looking at the beautiful folded stacks of Coney Island (Fig Tree & Company for Moda) yardage sitting on my cutting table. The aqua, red and tan prints seemed to be calling . . . make something soft and "smoodgy" with me. So that is what I set out to do. 

As I was designing this pattern and later sewing the blocks, I kept calling it smoodgy in my mind.  But eventually what developed was a nice harmony of color, print and pattern, so Harmony became the official title.  She measures at 74" x 74", a nice size for a bed throw or cuddling quilt.

While the quilt I've made is soft and nurturing, I think this pattern could also be wonderful in deeper hues and vibrant colors.  The key is to pull a tri-color range of 12 fat quarters that you love and enjoy seeing together visually. The pattern will then do the work for you, as each block includes a piece from each of those fat quarters. That is where the harmony comes in! 

In my sample quilt I pushed myself to use a print sashing rather than a solid sashing, and I love the effect (more smoodgy).  I need to be daring and do this more often!

Harmony is available as a PDF digital download through my Etsy Store and my Craftsy Pattern Shop.

Sincere thanks to Barb (Quilts on Broadway) for the sweet floral machine quilting on this quilt! It is perfect!

I appreciate you stopping by the blog today.  Please be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook if you make your own version of Harmony.  I’d love to see your finished project!   #harmonypattern


Sunday, April 23, 2017

April Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop

Spoiler alert! If you have ordered the April Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop but it hasn't arrived in your mailbox, read on at your own risk!  I don't want to spoil your surprise, but this is a doozy of a box! The April box marks the one year anniversary of this terrific program at Fat Quarter Shop, and kicks off their 2017 series.

I'll start off with a little teaser photo. 

No, the April box does not come with a quilt block already made (shucks!). But it does come with a sweet recipe card to make Basket Block #1 designed by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet. Each month for the next year, the Sew Sampler box will include a basket recipe card by Lori so that we can sew along.  The blocks can be made in one of three sizes: 5 1/2", 10 1/2", or 15 1/2".

I decided to dig into my scrap bins and sew up the 5 1/2" size. Isn't it a cute block?  I'm planning to make one each month. Two more awesome finds in the April Box: a Cute Sewing Tin by Lori Holt and a box of 250 Dritz extra fine glass head pins.  I love this sunny yellow tin, and extra fine pins are my favorite!

As you saw in my teaser photo, the April box includes TWO Coney Island precut packs. They may look like mini charms in the photo, but they are actually Moda 3 1/2" Treats! The box also includes an exclusive Fig Tree & Company pattern called All Boxed Up, which is written for using Moda Treats!

Rounding out the fabulous contents of this box are a bag of Peels Spool Huggers to keep your thread from unwinding, and an exclusive ruler grip.  There is also a terrific coupon flyer full of great deals at Fat Quarter Shop!

Whew!  That certainly was a whole lot of goodness packed into one box, wasn't it?  Thank you so much to Fat Quarter Shop for knocking it out of the park month after month.  And thank you all for stopping by the blog today!  I hope you get carried away quilting real soon!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Flower Quilts: My Big Sister Tote

Hello quilting friends!  In February I was the lucky winner of a beautiful book titled Happy Flower Quilts by Atsuko Matsuyama. Originally published in Japanese in 2009, this popular book was recently translated and released in English, much to the delight of sewists everywhere! Thank you so much to Zakka Workshop (publisher) and Kristyne Czepuryk (editor) who hosted blog hops featuring projects from the book. I won my copy through Kristyne’s blog, Pretty By Hand, a beautiful site filled with inspiring projects.

Happy Flower Quilts includes 30 projects, and at the top of my “must make” list was the Big Sister Tote. This tote is the perfect size to store a few favorite quilting books and my planner, and it was such a rewarding project!

First up, we HAVE to talk about those darling fruit handles, right?  These “Atsuko’s Originals ~ Sweet Fruit Handles” are made by Lecien, and they are featured in several projects in the book.  I found mine through my blog sponsor, My Timeless Day!  I am so delighted that shop owner Allison is carrying these fun fruit handles.  She also has several copies of Happy Flower Quilts available! I hope you’ll zip over to My Timeless Day and check that out!

The Big Sister Tote pattern calls for using prequilted fabric. However, I really wanted to use some Tilda fabric I have been saving (hoarding), so I used Tilda for the main parts of the bag and the pockets, and Moda Cross Weave in sand color for the bottom of the bag and the lining. The construction of this bag is very straight forward, so it is easy to customize it as you’d like. I purchased my Tilda fabric at Willow Cottage Quilt Company

Instead of using batting, I used ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable to give my bag a firmer, sturdier feel.  When I quilted in the Moda Cross Weave area, I used a quilting stitch on my Bernina (#20 on a 145 Activa) with a stitch length of 4.  For thread I selected Aurifil 2000 (light sand) in typical 50 wt, but the selected stitch style gives it thicker floss look.  I’m so pleased with this simple, but classic detail on the bag.

On one side of the bag, I added a leather “handmade” bag tag.  I want to give a quick shout out to the Etsy shop that carries these pretty tags: Daily Like Canada. I attached the tag using Aurifil's Aurifloss 2425 (bright pink).

After I had completed my bag, I also made a simple zipper pouch with some left over Tilda and Cross Weave, and a fun lace zipper.  This pouch will store some planner doo-dads and markers.  I don’t have a pattern to share for this pouch; it was a bit of Sunday afternoon improv, which is perhaps the best kind of sewing!

I have to share one other bitsy project I made from the Happy Flowers Quilt book, a teensy tiny flower pincushion.  At 1 1/2” wide (yes!), this pincushion is actually part of a sewing kit project in the book.  But I was inspired by Kristyne to make one just for fun.  So this little gal sits on my desk on a pretty little mug run and just makes me smile! Secret:  those little green leaves look tricky, but they were so simple!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.  I hope you found something to inspire you on your sewing journey, and I hope you get carried away quilting real soon!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

April Star & Cross blocks: Patchwork Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop

Happy April everyone! It's time for another update on my 2017 Patchwork Quilt Along with Fat Quarter Shop.  
Last month I shared my six Box in a Box blocks, which was a super cute and easy block pattern. This month we make our Star & Cross blocks. These blocks take a bit more time, as there are many small pieces.  But it is so dynamic and pretty!  

You may recall I am using the lovely Fleurs collection by Brenda Riddle (Moda) for my quilt. This is a the perfect fabric to sew this time of year in Minnesota, when it seems to take forever for spring to really arrive! 

I like to surround myself with other little pretties when I'm sewing.  Many of my favorite notions in these pictures came in the Sew Sampler boxes from Fat Quarter Shop!

In case you are a new reader, this annual event hosted by Fat Quarter Shop is a charity quilt along.  The patterns are free and are posted on the 15th of each month on the Jolly Jabber. Quilters are asked to donate $5 for each block pattern that they download.  All proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation!  What a great opportunity for us all!

It's not too late for you to join in the fun. Here’s a link which provides all the details:

And here’s a link to the kit if you want to make one in Basics by Bonnie & Camille!

Several other bloggers are quilting along! Please visit their blogs too!

Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl (@jedicraftgirl)
Amy of Diary of a Quilter (@diaryofaquilter)
Andy of A Bright Corner (@abrightcorner)
Bonnie of Cotton Way (@bonniecottonway)
Camille of Thimble Blossoms (@thimbleblossoms)
Debbie of Happy Little Cottage (@happylittlecottage1)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies (@buttonsandbutterflies)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Melissa of Oh How Sweet (@ohhowsweet)
Pat Sloan of Pat Sloan.com (@quilterpatsloan)
Renee of Sewn with Grace (@sewnwithgrace)
Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Sherri of A Quilting Life (@aquiltinglife)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Taunja of Carried Away Quilting (@taunjalynn)
Tina of Emily Ann's Kloset (@emilyannskloset)
Carrie Nelson/Miss Rosie of Moda Cutting Table

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to share your progress on the 2017 Patchwork Quilt Along Facebook group! And be sure to post your own blocks using the hashtag #patchworkquiltalong on Instagram!   


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dutch Tulips quilt along with Fat Quarter Shop

When the creative team at Fat Quarter Shop asked if I’d like to participate in a quilt along using their Dutch Tulips pattern, I was pretty excited.  This pattern instantly made me think of my mom, Brenda.  She loves flowers and she has Dutch ancestry.  Plus, she recently hinted that she’d like a pretty pillow with some navy blue fabric. Well, Mom, the hinting paid off and the tulips lined up for a sweet little pillow for your living room.

Dutch Tulips by It’s Sew Emma (Fat Quarter Shop’s pattern company) is a terrific pattern which includes instructions for four sizes: crib, lap, twin and queen!  Isn’t that awesome?  I think this would make a beautiful spring quilt hanging over the back of a sofa.  Wouldn’t it also be darling as a wall hanging in a little girl’s room? The Fat Quarter Shop has a kit available in Lella Boutique's newest collection: Sugar Pie, which is pictured below.

I chose to improvise a bit with their pattern and create a nice long sofa pillow featuring three Dutch tulips all standing right side up. Each finished tulip block measures 6 1/2" x 10 1/2". My pillow is 14" x 24".

I was able to use some favorite Moda fabrics from my stash: Little Miss Sunshine (Lella Boutique), Fleurs (Brenda Riddle) Farmhouse (Fig Tree & Company) and some Moda neutrals. I think they work together perfectly, and I know this is a combination that my mom will love.

The Dutch Tulips pattern includes a mix of traditional piecing and applique. After piecing my pillow top, I quilted it before moving on to the applique. I know this is the opposite of how we would finish a quilt, but it works slick for a pillow project since the back (of the top) is inside the pillow and any back side applique stitches won't show. I really like how the leaves are laying over my quilting. For the piecing and machine quilting, I used Aurifil 2000 (Light Sand) 50 wt.

The pattern calls for you to use the 3” Orange Peel Impressions Quilting Templates for the leaves.  You could applique these sweet little leaves by machine or by hand, whichever is your preference.

I used the sew-in interfacing method of hand applique to stitch my leaves to the base of the stems as shown in the pattern instructions. For thread I chose Aurifil 2886 (Avocado) 80 wt. This is a really nice match to the green Farmhouse polka dot fabric from Fig Tree & Company! Aurifil's applique thread is so silky smooth, it seems to disappear right into the fabric.

Why are the pink and cream spools in the picture below?  Well, just because they are pretty! When I'm auditioning threads and dreaming of the end result, I bring out all the pretties, just for fun!

You may recall in February I shared my first attempt at using the Impressions Orange Peel Templates. That "slowdown sewing" project is still a work in progress (as it should be), but I'm so glad I tried something new. I added hand applique to my sewing avocation, which provides an additional creative outlet and makes me feel proud of myself. It's good for us to continue to learn and try new things! 

Many thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for inviting me to create a Dutch Tulip project of love for someone I love! And thank you all for stopping by today. Please visit Fat Quarter Shop and check out all of their great products, kits and tutorials! You'll be so glad you did!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pretty mini quilts for springtime sewing

Hello quilting friends. Spring is finally in the air in Minnesota, and it has put a cheerful spring in my step as well. Today’s blog post is just a quick reminder of two projects from Carried Away Quilting that you may enjoy for springtime!

First is my He Is Risen mini quilt.  This is a free digital pattern available on my Craftsy pattern shop. I introduced this pattern last year in a blog post, and it has been so fun to hear back from people via social media and email.  Many people are making this quick little quilt to add to their Easter decorations, but others are making it as a baptism gift. 

Another fun spring project would be Picking Petals, a 20” x 20” mini quilt that makes a great table topper or wall hanging.  Again through the wonder of social media (in particular the Instagram quilting community), I have seen other quilters sew my pattern in many beautiful fabrics and colorways. That is such a thrill for me.

The original Picking Petals was sewn in Strawberry Fields Revisited by Fig Tree & Company for Moda.

But I also released it in Calico Days by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs.

Then in the Autumn I made another version in some orange, tan and black prints from my stash.

If you would like to make a pretty spring version of Picking Petals, I have a limited number of kits available featuring Coney Island by Fig Tree & Company.  I just know this pattern would be beautiful in Fig Tree’s latest collection.  The kits are available on my Etsy shop. They include the pattern and all the fabric for the top, binding and backing!

I hope you all are having a lovely day and can find a few moments to get carried away quilting!  Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ribbon Play Runner in Coney Island

When I first saw the Coney Island collection by Fig Tree & Company for Moda, I knew I wanted to sew up my Ribbon Play pattern in this fabric.  I think the warm citrus colors in Coney Island really sing in this pattern, creating a cheerful table runner to enjoy from springtime through the end of summer!

Ribbon Play is a lively runner (50" x 18") that calls for just 6 fat quarters and 3/4 yard of background fabric. I decided to break from my typical neutral background and use one of my favorite Moda Bella Solids: Celery (9900-72).  I think this soft celery green makes a lovely backdrop to the beautiful prints and colors in Coney Island. 

For this version of Ribbon Play, I chose four colored fat quarters for the blocks (orange, red, yellow and aqua) and two neutral fat quarters for the ribbons.  I did break away from the pattern instructions in one area.  My pattern calls for you to use the ribbon fabric (the neutrals) for the block centers. However, I substituted that with blue 2 1/2" squares from an older Fig Tree line, Aloha Girl.  I love that extra pop of color!

Part of the fun of the Ribbon Play runner is that the fat quarters are also used to make the scrappy binding.  I just love a scrappy binding, especially on a table runner!

Now I have to take a moment to brag on the gorgeous custom machine quilting that really makes this runner special.  Thank you to Starlit Bear of Startlit Quilts.  Star has an amazing vision in her quilting.  She is so detailed and thoughtful in her artistry.  Star has quilted a few projects for me, and each time I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome. I hope this closeup gives you an idea of the magic she creates! Thank you, Star!

Here are some some other versions of Ribbon Play that I have sewn. On the left is Ribbon Play using Bonnie & Camille's Little Ruby collection.  On the right is Ribbon Play using Strawberry Fields Revisited by Fig Tree & Company.


I have made up a limited supply of Ribbon Play kits featuring Coney Island as shown in this post.  The kits include my pattern, 6 Coney Island fat quarters, the Bella Solid Celery background fabric, and the dark blue Aloha Girl fabric for the block center.  (Backing fabric not included.)  These kits are available on my Etsy shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.  I hope you’ll consider adding Ribbon Play to your pattern collection.  It’s a versatile pattern that I think you would enjoy. Now go and get carried away quilting!