Thursday, September 27, 2018

New pattern: Next Up, a charm pack or layer cake quilt

Are you looking for a quick and easy pattern for your favorite layer cake or charm pack? My newest pattern, Next Up, is just the ticket. The cutting and piecing is straightforward, but the interesting placement of prints and colors creates a visually pleasing finished quilt.

My pattern includes two size options. The large version (86” x 86”) calls for a layer cake, while the small version (38” x 38”) calls for a charm pack. Let me tell you, the large sized Next Up quilt is an awesome size for snuggling with your honey ~ nice and big. In fact, I had a hard time photographing this generous quilt!

And the smaller sized Next Up quilt would make a lovely table topper, wall hanging or baby quilt. 

Fabric selection for this project is a snap. Once you have chosen your layer cake or charm pack, simply select two coordinating background fabrics and begin! The hardest part might be deciding which pretty square of fabric is “next up” in your layout!

As you can see by the photographs, Next Up is a versatile pattern that really shows off the range of prints in a fabric designer’s collection. In my large sample, I used a layer cake of Chestnut Street by Fig Tree & Company for Moda. The pale blue coordinating fabric is Moda Bella Solid Ruby Ice (9900-169). The neutral in this quilt is Moda Bella Solid Porcelain (9900-182).

In my small sample, I used a charm pack of Farmhouse II by Fig Tree & Company for Moda. The charcoal colored coordinating fabric is Moda’s Cross Weave Black (12119-53). Doesn't that black cross weave fabric make the warm and scrappy prints pop? It also adds a very nice texture to the quilt. The neutral fabric in this sample is the cream text print from Farmhouse II.

The machine quilting on both of these projects was done by my friend Barb at Quilts on Broadway in Foley, MN. Please visit her Facebook page to learn more about her business. She’s a gem to work with!

Here are the material requirements for both sizes of Next Up:

Layer Cake Version
Finished size: 86” X 86”
Materials Needed:
1 layer cake (or 42 squares 10” x 10”)
Light blue...................... 2 5/8 yards
Neutral........................... 1 1/4 yards
Backing......................... 7 7/8 yards
Binding.......................... 3/4 yard

Charm Pack Version
Finished size: 38” X 38”
Materials Needed:
1 charm pack (or 42 squares 5” x 5”)
Cross Weave Black......... 3/4 yard
Neutral........................... 1/3 yard
Backing......................... 2 5/8 yards*
Binding.......................... 3/8 yard
*Note: Check with your long-arm quilter. You may get by with just 1 1/3 yard if 44” wide is acceptable to your quilter. That’s what I was able to do with my quilter, Quilts on Broadway.

Next Up is available as a digital download pattern on my Etsy Shop. The Farmhouse II fabric collection that I used in my smaller quilt will be released by Moda in October. I plan to have a limited number of kits available in the charm pack size. Be sure to follow my blog for more news on that!

Please don't forget to tag me on Instagram or Facebook if you make one of my patterns. I love to see your finished quilts!

Thank you, quilting friends, for your ongoing support and encouragement! Now go and get carried away quilting!


Friday, September 21, 2018

Sewing for my son, remembering my grandpa

My weekend goal is to cut into this richly colored, outdoor-inspired collection of fat quarters. I’m making a quilt for our son Luke, who graduates from college this December. Luke is a smart, outgoing, adventurous young man. He continually amazes me by his can-do attitude, his perseverance against obstacles, and his enthusiasm for life. While he may be ready to take his next step in the world, I remember every step he’s taken along the way. My heart is full thinking about him and the road ahead.

I collected most these prints at two area quilt shops: Quilts on Broadway in Foley, MN and Country Caboose Quilts in Waukon, MN. I also pulled a few pieces from my stash. My plan is to make a simple half-square triangle quilt with an Around the World layout. I’m not using a pattern, but I’ll take notes about my steps and share them with you when I’m done. These are the colors that Luke chose. He also asked that I make his quilt really, really big! 

I know that for most of us, quilt making is very personal. We sew from the heart. That is never truer than when we sew for family. I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic at our new home on the lake. As I pulled out Luke’s fabrics, I started thinking about my Grandpa Ed, the avid fisherman. He’s been gone many years now, but I would give anything to have him set up his ice house in our bay this winter. I would love to have him walk up for supper and tell me how he caught a few crappies, bluegills, or maybe even an elusive walleye. My grandpa had a ready smile and a twinkle in his eye.  I miss him.

Luke and his Great Grandpa Ed

The lures and wooden bobber in the photos belonged to Grandpa Ed. I’ll leave them sitting out in my sewing room while I work on Luke’s quilt. I’ll be thinking about two men I love as I cut and sew.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today and putting up with my sentimental ramblings. I hope you find time to get carried away quilting too!


Friday, September 14, 2018

Autumn brings a new adventure

Hello quilting friends!  I’m happy to say that our move is complete!  We've settled into a home on a small lake just a few miles north of the town where my husband now works. We are centrally located to most of our family and friends, which is wonderful. We are so excited to begin this next adventure. 

My husband is a fisherman, and our whole family enjoys spending time on the water. It’s my dream that we’ll live here for many years, and one day there will be grandkids playing on our little beach.

Most of the boxes have been unpacked, and the house is slowly becoming our home. The kitchen is organized, the beds are made, and all of the furniture is set up in a way that feels right. When I haven’t been unpacking or working, I’ve stolen a few moments to discover the spaces in our new yard. There are several pretty shade-loving perennials in the landscape, but I’m eager to add some more color in the sunny spots ~ Stella Daylilies, Black Eyed Susans, and Blue Salvia top my list. My mom will be coming this weekend to help me with that.

There hasn’t been much time for quilting or decorating, but I did add some fall flair to our new dining room. This little bit of decorating was just enough to make me happy and inspire me to find the energy to work on the other rooms . . . eventually. I've hung my Pumpkin Sky wall hanging and set the coordinating pillow in the corner on an old wooden chair I repainted a while ago.

On the black side table are a few of my fall favorites, including a brand new piece of original art by Haley B Designs.  I follow Haley on Instagram and love her work. When she posted pictures of new autumn art she was releasing, I quickly ordered this "grateful" painting. I love supporting other individual makers! The newsprint covered pumpkin in the second picture was a find at a local occasional shop a few years back.

This probably doesn’t count as decorating, but I did throw my much-loved Canned Pears quilt (pattern and fabric by Fig Tree & Company) over the upstairs railing. The rest of my autumn quilts are tucked away for now. Next year I’ll bring them out in full force!

Doesn’t autumn make us more reflective, more thoughtful about life? In the midst of the stress that comes with packing and moving and unpacking and organizing, I’ve been reminding myself to keep my head up and my eyes outward. There is so much to be thankful for . . . like the two small apple trees we didn’t even notice when we first viewed the house as potential buyers! One of the young trees is bearing fruit. What a sweet find!

I did indulge in one bit of fabric shopping during this crazy transition time!  I ordered these cute fat quarters from My Timeless Day. The collection is called Calico Crow by Lauren Nash for Riley Blake Designs. I haven’t decided what I’ll make yet, but I’m thinking maybe some kitchen towels.

My mind is a bit tired, but my heart is full. I’m wishing autumn blessings for all of you. Thank you for your continued support and quilting friendship.

Today I’ll close by saying that I hope “I” will get carried away quilting real soon! I miss the sound of my own machine whirring!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Winners: "Christmas Figs" book giveaway with Fat Quarter Shop

It's time to announce our "Christmas Figs" book giveaway winners!  I certainly enjoyed reading your enthusiastic comments about this lovely book. So many of us share a passion for Joanna Figueroa's patterns and fabrics. I am very thankful to Fat Quarter Shop for providing this generous giveaway.

If you haven't entered one of my giveaways before, my scientific method for selecting a winner is to copy and paste all of the comments into an Excel spreadsheet.  Then I do several sorts to rearrange the entries. Then I ask a family member to “pick a number.” Today I called my mom, Brenda, for eight winning numbers and she was happy to oblige. Thanks, Mom!

The winners are: Deb Silva, LG Patrizia, Rhonda Campbell, Sally C., Terry McCarthy, Jen the Smitten Chicken 2, Little Quiltsong and Annette Ellis! I will contact each of you via email and the lovely folks at Fat Quarter Shop will ship your new book to you!

Congratulations to Joanna Figueroa and It's Sew Emma / Fat Quarter Shop on another wonderful quilt pattern book. I can't wait to get started on my next project from "Christmas Figs."