Friday, February 9, 2018

Tic Tac Toe Tutorial

Every year around Valentine's Day, I pull out my fabric Tic Tac Toe board. 

The game itself isn't valentine-y, but the colors are! And then I got inspired and changed the Os into it's ready for February 14th! 

You can find the Tic Tac Toe board tutorial here; go here to find the heart add-ons. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

OMG: RED blocks!

My February One Monthly Goal (thank you, Patty @ Elm Creek Quilts!) is, appropriately, red (and black and white)!
I started these red, black and white wonky spiral blocks to use as samples for my Wonky Spirals quilt class. I now have about nine made/almost finished. My goal for February is to complete the quilt top. 

Here's a look at my other two Wonky Spirals quilts; 
this version uses sashing and borders to help the spirals pop out even more. 

And the original design, shown here on my pattern cover; 
you can purchase the pattern on Craftsy here.

I've got a little different layout planned for this third version...
can't wait to see how it turns out! 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

OMG: Hearts Galore!

My heart quilt is complete! I even washed it to get that great crinkle look before I send it off. My January goal for One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts was to assemble, quilt and bind this baby quilt. 

I made the hearts using a tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew and a charm pack from Amy Gibson's Meriwether collection from Windham Fabrics. After I finished the hearts, my goal was to make the quilt bigger. So I added sashing strips with pink sashing squares and then four different borders. The green was a happy accident--I just happened to have it and it matched the green in the prints! The quilt measures about 33" square. 

I browsed online for some quilting inspiration and went with a diagonal crosshatch.I like how it looks (and it disguises the slightly-less-than-straight border issues I had). I finished the quilt with a pink flange to add a little extra color. 

The other happy accident with this quilt is the backing. I headed to my local quilt shop, hoping to find something flowery and fun that would coordinate. I'd gotten the charm pack back in May and hadn't grabbed any Meriwether yardage at the time. Imagine my delight when the quilt shop had this small green print! 

I love quilted texture shots...

A closer look at a few of the heart blocks. When I initially cut the charm squares in half, I cut quickly and blindly and somehow managed to cut each directional print in half the "wrong" way. Oh well...
One last confession: Besides liking the crinkly effect, I had to wash the quilt because I cut my finger with a thread scissors as I was adding the binding. I stubbornly chose not to get a bandaid before continuing, and yep! I bled on the white solid outer border in two different places. Dumb. 
But happily it came out...

Sending this quilt off to a sweet little baby in Ohio! 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wonky Spirals class

I taught my first quilting class this past weekend. I've given demos and talked people's ears off before about quilting and my quilts (who hasn't, right?!), but this was the first time I've actually officially taught a class. 

I taught improv piecing for my Wonky Spirals pattern at Bernina Sewing Center & Quilt Shop in Kalamazoo. Eight guinea pigs (I mean, lucky quilters...) signed up for the class. We had a great time! A big thanks to Karen and Bernina for hosting the class. 
Here's the pattern! You can purchase it here.

Here's the original version of the quilt I made, using Painter's Palette Solids:
The quilt is a wonky log cabin block with careful color placement. The blocks are fun to make, and each one turns out slightly different! 

My goal for the class was to get people to the point that they were comfortable with improv piecing. Not everyone thinks that cutting without measuring and then randomly trimming off angled slices of fabric is fun. I think I succeeded in that goal. All eight ladies made at least four blocks each, and a few speedy piecers made seven or eight blocks. 
Action shot: helping Joanne decide if she needs more strips before squaring up.

I brought in both of my samples (with and without sashing strips and a border) to show, and then demonstrated the technique on my third go-around of the quilt, using red as the background and black and white prints for the spirals. 

Here's my second version, made using fun prints from the Uppercase collection with a dark gray background. This quilt has sashing strips between the blocks and a border, so the spirals jump out a bit more. 

And finally, a few of the red, black and white blocks I made as class samples. Aren't the little blocks adorable?! I can't wait to put this one together! 

Here's a look at some of the blocks made in the class:
Deb, wearing her blocks. Hers is going to be a quilt for a baby boy.

Jane chose a variety of blues and a dark gray background.

Joanne used brightly colored dot/circle prints with black.
You can see Teri's blocks in the background.

Laurie used a tiny crosshatch print with a mottled black.

Sue combined fun blue, lime and yellow prints with a green crosshatch.

Teri's spring palette mixed with beige. 

Margaret mixed a pretty solid palette with cream grunge.

I loved the batiks Sharon used. They really popped on the black!

I love seeing everyone's fabric choices--they're all so different! 

Great news! If you'd like to purchase the Wonky Spirals pattern, you can! It's available as a digital download on Craftsy. Kalamazoo friends, the paper version is also for sale at Bernina. 

And if you'd like me to come teach this class at your local quilt me and we'll talk! 

See all of my current Craftsy patterns available for purchase here

Friday, January 19, 2018

Revising the Monkey Wrench

For me, part of the fun of modern quilting is taking a more traditional block and finding ways to make it look more modern. That can happen through fabric choice, playing with scale, or even just going wonky with it (like my Wonky Spirals quilt pattern, which is a Log Cabin variation).

The Modern with a Twist feature in Benartex's e-zine, Modern by the Yard, involves that same concept. In the feature, three different designers create their own modern version of the Monkey Wrench, aka Snail's Trail block. (As an aside...I always thought of the Monkey Wrench as the same block as the Churn Dash, but it's also another name for the Snail's Trail.)

I decided to play with negative space and only fill in the "curls" on two adjoining sides of the block. I used the All About Color collection from Kanvas, which has these fantastic polka dots in it! 

Just for fun, I mocked up a quilt using my wave block. I used two color variations. I really like the graphic punch it creates! This quilt is going on the "have to make" list!

See the entire Modern by the Yard e-zine here, as well as back issues!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 2018: Picking up where I left off

So the holidays got in the way and I didn't finish my December One Monthly Goal. Note to self: Pick easy goals for December! 

I finished making my heart blocks though. My January One Monthly Goal is to finish this quilt--pieced, quilted and bound. I think I can do it! 
Linking up over at Elm Street Quilts

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dot Crazy Blog Hop

Welcome to my day on the Dot Crazy blog hop featuring the Dot Crazy collection by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr!

 I love the infusion of color these fun prints have brought to my studio! Like Weeks and Bill, I too have a love affair with polka dots--check out this scrap quilt I made back in 2012, completely from dotted prints: 

(read the whole post, which also shows two other polka dot quilts, here)

For today's tutorial, I used a pinwheel of 2-1/2" wide strips and yardage of the Fun & Games print to make the Dots Squared quilt:

The quilt as pictured would make a wonderful baby or kid's quilt (42" x 40"), but you can easily add more blocks and rows to make a larger lap or bed-size quilt. The blocks sew up so quickly (thank you, pre-cut strips!). 

What I used: 
1 pinwheel (forty 2-1/2" wide strips)
1/2 yard Fun & Games print
2 yards backing print
1/2 yard binding fabric

Let's look at that pinwheel unrolled. Such fabulous color! I'm in love. Dot Crazy includes multiple sizes of dots, plus some fun coordinating prints that offer a little variety from our round little friends. 

I took a photo of these three strips because they have a little surprise in them--multiple kinds of dots! Look carefully and you'll see how I used these in the quilt. 

I cut the fabric strips one block at a time. I'd choose the three prints I wanted to use, decide on placement, and then cut the pieces. 

Per block, you'll need:
(the quilt contains 12 blocks)
Fabric #1
(1) 2-1/2" square 

Fabric #2
(2) 2-1/2" squares
(2) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" pieces

Fabric #3
(2) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" pieces
(2) 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" pieces

Additional Cutting:
From the Fun & Games print:
(12) 4-1/2" x 10-1/2" pieces

Make the Blocks:
1. Lay out the pieces for one block as shown. 

2. Sew the (3) 2-1/2" squares together in a row. Position the 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" Fabric #2 pieces on the top and bottom.

3. Sew the 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" Fabric #2 pieces to the top and bottom. Position the 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" Fabric #3 pieces on the sides.

4. Sew the 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" Fabric #3 pieces to the sides and position the 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" Fabric #3 pieces at the top and bottom.

5. Sew the 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" Fabric #3 pieces to the top and bottom to complete the block. The block measures 10-1/2" square. 

6. Make a total of 12 blocks, varying fabric placement. Choosing which fabrics to use together in each block was my favorite part! Here are my 12 blocks. This layout would make a fun quilt too, but I like the addition of the Fun & Games pieces to mix up the design a litle.

7. Lay out the blocks and (12) 4-1/2" x 10-1/2" Fun & Games pieces into four horizontal rows as shown. 

8. Sew the blocks and pieces into horizontal rows and join the rows to complete the quilt top. 

9. Layer the backing, batting and quilt top and quilt as desired. Bind the quilt to finish it (you'll need five 2-1/4" x 42" strips). 


For a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Dot Crazy fabrics, leave a comment below letting me know your thoughts on polka dots. Giveaway is open through Friday, December 22nd at 11:59 pm EST. Make sure I have a way to contact you! 

Head over to Benartex's blog to learn more about the Dot Crazy collection.