Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Star Spangled BOM with Fort Worth Fabric Studio: Block 2

Hello quilting friends! I'm popping in today to show you my second block from the “Star Spangled” block of the month hosted by Fort Worth Fabric StudioThis BOM runs for five months, from January through May. The Block 2 pattern was released on the FWFS blog on January 30. This pretty block measures 14" square and is a Shoofly variation star block. 


I'm so excited to be making my first patriotic quilt based on these free illustrated instructions provided by Fort Worth Fabric Studio designer Lindsey Weight! Do you have a patriotic quilt?  Maybe you'd like to join us and sew along!

Here is a photo of my Block 1, which was released on January 9. I'm sewing my blocks together using red, white and blue (and aqua) fabrics in my stash.  So far I've been pulling from my Fig Tree favorites, but I have some Bonnie & Camille pieces ready to make an appearance too!



The great news is that Fort Worth Fabric Studio has put together a KIT using beautiful Moda fabrics from various designers. The kit includes all material you need to create the quilt top plus binding.  They also have coordinating backing you can purchase! Here’s a photo of Lindsey’s finished quilt, which measures 60” square. 

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

All of the details for the Star Spangled block of the month can be found here:

The instructions for Block 1 are available here:

The fabric kit is available here:

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.  I’ll continue to post my updates and I really hope you'll join in the fun! Bit thanks to Lindsey and FWFS for providing this BOM opportunity for us all!

~Taunja





Sunday, January 28, 2018

January Sew Sampler Box with Fat Quarter Shop


I’m a grown woman.  In fact, (shhhh) I turn 50 years old this summer. But I tell you what, I felt as fluttery as a school girl when I opened this month’s Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop. The January box, so aptly called “Butterfly Kisses,” is full of cheerful goodness.  I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking!






Yep, I am guessing you will agree with me. That may have been the sweetest Sew Sampler box to date, and I have loved them all. Seriously folks, I think the quilting inspired bandages are over the top fun . . . and useful! Here’s a list of the items in the January box:

~ a petite Butterflies & Berries 10” stacker from Riley Blake Designs ~ 
~ a Cute Cuts 1.5” x 6.5” rectangle ruler from Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet ~
Berry Sweet Just Pins from Just Another Button Company ~
~ Bee in My Bonnet Bandages ~
~ a Needle CarryCard by Emma Creation ~
~ Flitter quilt pattern by It’s Sew Emma ~

The Sew Sampler box also includes a basket recipe card designed by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet.  I have made 10 blocks so far, all sewn from my Fig Tree & Company scraps.  There are 12 blocks in the series, and then we'll receive final setting instructions.  I can't wait! 

Here are my 10 blocks, along with the polka dot needle case and charming pins that just make me smile!




If you haven't yet signed up for this monthly subscription box and want to know more, just follow this link:  Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop  These boxes are an incredible value. Every month the creative folks at Fat Quarter shop will fill your box with unique notions, pretty fabric, a pattern and even exclusive coupons! You may also cancel at any time, giving you total flexibility.

Thank you, quilting friends, for stopping by the blog today.  I hope you get carried away quilting real soon!

~Taunja

 







Friday, January 26, 2018

New pattern: Perky Posies


Are you looking for a good excuse to bust open your favorite charm pack and get busy sewing?  I have a new pillow pattern, Perky Posies, which may be just the project for you!



This perky pillow features nine flirty posies whose lone green leaves seem to be waving hello! Only 18 charm pack squares are required for the flower parts, so you could actually make two pillows from one charm pack! This is also a great "sew from your scraps" project!




My sample features “Volume II” by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics. I love the text prints in this collection, and the bold red and black color palette gives a nod to Valentine’s Day. You're in luck if you are searching for a charm pack of Volume II, as I see my sponsor Stash Addict Quilts still has a few in stock!




But of course, the real star of this show is the spectacular custom quilting by Starlit Bear of Starlit Quilts! Anytime Star has quilted a project for me, I have been stunned by her artistry. I don’t know how she does it, but her intricate, inspired quilting is both subtle and awesome at the same time. Such a talent!



You can see that I bound my Perky Posies pillow, just like I would bind a quilt. I think binding on a pillow gives it such a nice finishing touch, almost like piping!



The finished Perky Posies pillow measures at 18 1/2" x 18 1/2".  My instructions include how to make the envelope style back to insert your pillow form. Here are the fabric requirements:

1 charm pack, or (18) squares 5” x 5”
Green........ Scrap(s) to yield (9) squares 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”
White........ 1/3 yard
Backing..... 2/3 yard
Binding..... 1/3 yard
18” x 18” pillow form insert

I also want to give a shout out and many thanks to my friend and pattern tester, Sylvia. This talented lady made a beautiful version of Perky Posies using one of my favorite collections, Chestnut Street by Fig Tree & Co. for Moda.



Perky Posies is available as a PDF digital download through my Etsy Store and my Craftsy Pattern ShopThanks for stopping by the blog today! Now go bust open a charm pack and get carried away quilting, my friends!


~Taunja

Remember to share your version of Perky Posies on Instagram using
#perkyposiespattern


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Finding my focus with the Scrappy Project Planner

One of my goals for 2018 is to become more focused in my quilting life. I have a tendency to get carried away with numerous project ideas bouncing recklessly in my brain, each competing for the top spot on my mental to-do list.  Sometimes, I admit, it makes me feel scattered! I know I’m not alone. Other quilting friends in this new social media age have told me the same thing.

My first step toward quilting focus was to purchase Lori Holt’s Scrappy Project Planner.  I ordered it from my friend and sponsor, Allison of My Timeless Day.  We’re both big fans of Lori’s clear and concise pattern writing, as well as her self-proclaimed love of list making (a passion I share). Somehow I knew that Lori’s planner would suit my needs, and I was right!


The Scrappy Project Planner includes project planning/sketching pages, weekly planner pages, tips on organizing your scraps, and six awesome scrappy quilt patterns!  It is spiral bound, printed on high quality paper, and just as cute as can be. I’ve only had my planner for a couple of weeks, and already three positive things have happened!

1.  I created a list of quilts I want to make. That may sound like an obvious thing to do, but I have never done it before.  It was exciting to see them all on paper, in one spot! Focus!
2.  I read Lori’s tips on better organizing my scraps, and I’m going to make that a sub-goal for 2018! Act!
3.  I feel a renewed desire to sew from my scraps and stash. I adore these fabrics I’ve been hoarding . . . why on earth am I not sewing from them? That’s going to change. Sew!

I felt so excited by #3 that I pulled out my much loved and long saved collection of Fig Tree creams and bit the bullet. (Or should I say, bit the rotary cutter?)  I selected one of Lori’s patterns from the planner called “Happy Trails” and got to work, first in my planner, and then on the cutting mat!



While Lori's original quilt is much more colorful, I decided to make my chain the dominant color element (in red and green), with the low volume creams making up the main portions of the blocks.  I've made one block so far, and I'm really pleased with the result!





Before any cutting, I used the planner to sketch out what was in my mind.  I spend a lot of time working on my computer, so it was gratifying to pull out some colored pencils and play around on paper. You can see some of my doodles and notes below.



I also purchased some of Lori’s washi tape from My Timeless Day.  Okay, that may have been a frivolous purchase, but I really like washi tape and it was super fun to tape fabric bits to my project planning page. (quilting nerd alert)



Here’s my Scrappy Project Planner, at work on my kitchen counter, in tandem with my personal daily planner. Right now I have 10 quilts on my Project List.  Only three of them have deadlines and a couple are already in progress. The rest are just quilts I really want to make. This was a simple exercise that left me feeling very focused and excited.



Having said all this, I want to assure you that I will continue to get carried away now and then, and I think you should too.  But, I am feeling a sense of quilting focus today that I am enjoying!



When I mentioned to Allison that I would be sharing my Scrappy Project Planner experience on my blog, she asked that I share some fun shop news from My Timeless Day.  All of you Lori Holt fans will enjoy these tidbits:

The Let’s Bake Sew Along with Lori Holt starts next week, and My Timeless Day has a few Let’s Bake Quilt Kits remaining in stock. You better snatch one up quickly!



Also (drum roll) Allison has just opened preorders on another fabulous quilt kit which will feature Lori Holt’s upcoming fabric collection, Autumn Love. Isn't this beautiful?  



With that lovely news from My Timeless Day . . . I may have just lost my quilting focus.  I better head over to my planner and rethink my project list.

~Taunja



Monday, January 15, 2018

Loves Notes Pillow: a free tutorial

Last weekend I found myself with an empty house and time on my hands! My husband went ice fishing. My two college kids (home on break) were busy with friends. The house was relatively clean and the laundry was done ~ all the ingredients for a day of sewing and movies! 

While I have two quilt tops in the works and other projects I need to prep and cut, I decided to just have some free-form sewing fun with my stash of Fig Tree & Co. reds and creams. I made this sweet little pillow I'm calling "Love Notes," and I've provided a tutorial below.




“Love Notes” is a great project for using a favorite mini charm pack or 2 1/2” squares from your leftover scraps, which is what I did. Just lay out 16 sweet little squares, embellish a few with prairie points or lace trim, and before you know it you will have a set of “envelopes” that give a nod to vintage valentines.




And of course, mismatched mother of pearl buttons add a romantic finishing touch.  I secured my buttons with Aurifil 12 wt thread in light sand (2000).  Aurifil’s 12 wt thread has a pearly sheen just right for tacking down pretty buttons!  



I added simple straight-line quilting to highlight each love note. While I auditioned a few different thread colors, I settled on the same light sand (2000) color, but I used 50 wt for the machine quilting.



What really tickles me about this pillow is how lovely it looks with my orange peel pillow and Sweetly Scalloped quilt.  Confession: sometimes I walk into the guest room just to give myself a smile ~ the little things can bring so much happiness!


  

I really enjoy a sewing project that is both easy and pushes me to be creative and "artistic."  I think that's good for all of us!  I hope you find yourself with a free Saturday afternoon like I did, where you can get carried away quilting!

~Taunja





Love Notes Pillow
SUPPLIES
  • (1) 16 inch pillow form
  • (16) 2 1/2" squares
  • Additional 2 1/2" squares for the prairie-point envelope flaps. (Do as many as you like, 1 or all 16!)
  • Scraps of trim, lace, etc. (each 2 1/2" in length)
  • Buttons
  • 1/3 yard neutral for sashing and borders (I used Moda Cross Weave in the color sand.)
  • (1) 20" x 20" piece of batting
  • (1) 20" x 20" piece of scrap muslin or neutral
  • (2) pieces 11" wide by 16 3/4" tall (for envelope back of pillow)
  • 1/4 yard binding

      CUTTING

      Note: I’ve used Moda Cross Weave in Sand for my neutral fabric.  It has a linen-like look that I love.  I use a best press product before cutting to give it a bit of stability and avoid fraying.  I do not use spray during or after piecing, as it can shrink the fabric very slightly.  WOF means width of fabric.

      1.    From the neutral fabric, cut (2) strips 1 1/4 x WOF for sashing.
      Subcut (12) 1 1/4” x 2 1/2” strips.
      Subcut (3) 1 1/4” x 10 3/4” strips.
      2.    Also from the neutral fabric, cut (2) strips 3 1/2” x WOF for borders.
      Subcut (2) 3 1/2” x 10 3/4”.
      Subcut (2) 3 1/2” x 16 3/4”.

      STEPS
      Note: My finished pillow shows more embellishments than the tutorial photos below. Once I finished the top for the tutorial, I realized I loved the little flap and trim so much, I wanted more.  I did some surgery on my top to open seams and add a few more flaps and bits of trim. Express your creative side and add as many prairie points, bits of trim and buttons as you’d like.  And above all, HAVE FUN!

      Use a 1/4” seam allowance unless otherwise noted.

      1.         Arrange your (16) 2 1/2” squares in a way that looks pleasing to your eye.

      2.    Create as many prairie points as you’d like for your pillow. (My finished pillow has three prairie points.) To create a prairie point, simply fold a 2 1/2” square twice on the diagonal and press well.

      3.    Position the raw edge of your prairie points to the top edge of select 2 1/2” squares. Also position bits of 2 1/2” trim to the top edge of select 2 1/2” square. 
      4.    Sew the prairie points and bits of trim along the top edge of selected 2 1/2” squares using a 1/8” seam allowance.

      5.    Sew the four vertical rows together. Each row includes (4) 2 1/2” squares and (3) 2 1/2” x 1 1/4” sashing strips.  Press toward the neutral.

      6.    Sew the four vertical rows together with (3) 10 3/4” x 1 1/4” vertical sashing strips. Press toward the neutral.

      7.    Sew the 3 1/2” x 10 3/4” borders to the left and right.  Press toward the neutral.
      8.    Sew the 3 1/2” x 16 3/4” borders to the top and bottom.  Press toward the neutral.

      9.     Layer your pillow top, batting, and muslin (scrap backing) using your preferred method of pinning, thread or spray basting.  Since this is a small project, I found that fabric adhesive was enough to keep my quilt sandwich in place and flat during quilting.  
      10.   I kept my quilting simple and used 1/4" quilter's tape to mark my quilting lines.  When you have finished the quilting, trim the backing and batting.

       





      11.   Add buttons if desired. The pillow top is now complete.


      12.   Using your two backing pieces, sew a 1/2" seam on the right edge of one piece and a 1/2" seam on the left edge of the other piece.  These two pieces will overlap in the middle and need finished edges.

      13.   Lay the pillow top right side down on your cutting mat. Then lay down the two backing pieces right side up.  Overlap the two backing pieces so that when overlapped, the backing measures 16 3/4" wide.  Adjust the backing pieces slightly to make sure all outside edges line up nicely. Pin around all four sides. Using a 1/8” seam allowance, sew a basting stitch around all four sides. This will keep everything in place for binding.

      14.   Bind your pillow as you would normally bind a small quilt. (I use 2 1/4” strips for quilts, but 2 1/2” strips for pillows.)
      15.   Insert your pillow form, and you are done! 
      Please share your version on Instagram using the hashtag #lovenotespillow and be sure to tag me @taunjalynn so I see your creation!