Christa’s Quilt Links – Valentine’s Edition

Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I thought I’d share a few links showing adorable valentine’s themed quilt projects and tutorials. All links and pictures are re-posted with permission. 🙂

Twisting Heart TutorialFirst we’ll start off with Connie from Free Motion by the River with her wonderful Twisting Heart Tutorial.

She made her design into a mini-quilt with lots of gorgeous quilting texture. She says it could easily be made into a pillow as well.

I love it!


Heart PouchNext, the lovely Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts has this adorable drawstring pouch tutorial complete with an appliqued heart on it.

By the way, Ellison Lane Quilts is sponsoring SewSouth – a modern sewing retreat in the south. Too bad that I am too far away in the west for this one. 😦


Patchwork Heart BlockMegan from Canoe Ridge Creations has created a patchwork heart block to share with you.

It’s made from 2 1/2 inch scrap squares in a variety of pretty pinks and reds.

I can see this as the center piece of a larger quilt, but it’s cute enough to stand on its own, too!


Heart PillowFor those of you that would like to add a touch of Valentine’s Day home decor, here’s a sophisticated, yet easy to make reverse applique heart pillow tutorial by Kati From The Blue Chair.

I love the subtle piecing and the linen background.


Finally, I will share the Love with you as I complete my Love Table Runner this weekend. This is part of a 3-step tutorial series that I started last month. My final reveal will be posted on Monday so be sure to watch for it!

Love Table Runner

Here’s hoping you can spread the (quilty) love next week and all year long!

WIP Wednesday – Christmas Edition

Today I am just going to share a little bit of the work in progress that’s been happening this week. I can’t believe Christmas is so soon! It really is the most wonderful time of the year. 🙂

I have finished the design for my next quilting tutorial, which I’m calling “Sea of Squares.” I love the combo of crisp blue and white – especially in the winter. Now that I’ve finally gotten the hang of EQ7, I plan on designing all my quilts this way – the possibilities are endless!

Sea of Squares

I will post the supply list next week, right after Christmas, so you will have something to look forward to after your holiday festivities are over!

Next, we’ve been like busy little elves around here wrapping presents as soon as we get them. The kids helped me wrap for the first time this year and they quite enjoyed it. We made pretty good timing of it too, as we are usually doing this the night before, LOL!!

Christmas Wrapping

And finally, I just had to share a picture of  this adorable Nativity Scene that my daughter made with her girls’ activity days group (sort of like girl scouts at church). It helps remind me of the reason for the season. 🙂

Nativity

Yes – it’s made from graham crackers and candy and is quite edible – though she won’t dare let us think of it! (My favorites are the animal crackers and the licorice shepherds’ canes.)

Christa’s Soapbox – Blogging About Blogging #1

I’m relatively new to the whole blogging concept. I’ve had my blog up and running for almost 2 years now but it’s really just been in the last 4-5 months or so that I’ve branched out and have started following other people’s blogs. Not only does this give me interesting content to read, it helps me to improve my own writing and blog format.

Today I wanted to share links to some of the quilting blogs I’m following. My favorites are those that post new topics nearly every day. It’s fun to start off my day with a quick browsing of my favorite blogs – it makes me feel like part of a larger community!

First I’ll start off with Angela Walters’ Quilting is my Therapy. I first discovered Angela through her book, Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. It was such an inspiration to read! She’s way into machine quilting like I am. Even though she quilts on a long arm, her style is very adaptable to domestic machine quilting which is my first love. 🙂

Next, I found Alyssa Lichner’s Pile O’Fabric blog almost by accident. I was browsing through a bunch of links, following one after another (a sort of virtual blog tour), and was blown away by the colorful content of her blog. No wonder – she’s a graphic designer and it shows. I liked her blog so much I decided to become one of her sponsors! She offers giveaways, a beginners Quilting Series tutorial, and has teamed up with Emily Cier of Carolina Patchworks to start a Totally Groovy Quilt Along. I just may have to join that one!

I also am drawn to Jacquie Gering’s Tallgrass Prairie Studio blog. She’s another author and designer (along with Katie Pedersen) whose book, Quilting Modern, I just fell in love with! I find myself being pulled into the Modern Quilt movement because of  the clean lines design aesthetic,  improvisational piecing, and lots of open “negative spaces” for quilting.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many that I may take another Saturday post next week to tell you about more. Happy blog surfing and please add your comments if you’ve run across any fun blogs you think I should check out!

Bungle Jungle Week 3 – Layer Cake Back Art and Basting

This week I marked and basted my Bungle Jungle charm pack quilt. I will start quilting it next week. You can read about last week’s progress here.

Layer Cake Back ArtWhen I finished marking the top, I couldn’t decide on the backing. Then it hit me – why not use a Bungle Jungle layer cake and make back art for my modern quilt?

(The back is probably even more modern than the front since I threw the blocks together totally randomly!)

Each layer cake square is precut to 10 inches, so when you sew them together into 7 rows of 6 blocks each, the finished size is 57″ x 66.5″. My quilt top measures approximately 52″ x 60″ so that was perfect! It took me less than 2 hours to stitch all the backing squares together, including pinning and pressing the seams open.

Marking with Water Soluble PenUsing a stencil, I drew little hands in the white spaces randomly over the surface of the quilt.  This is going to be cute!

I marked all the hands before basting, using an inexpensive water soluble blue pen. I’m going to join the hands with loopy quilting so I can quilt them continuously.

I still haven’t decided what I’m going to quilt in the charm squares, so I left those unmarked for now. Any ideas??

Finally, I basted the quilt using about 150 Pinmoors. This is the 3rd quilt I’ve basted using Pinmoors and I’ve decided they are awesome! It’s a little spendy to buy enough of them for a big quilt, but they are totally worth it. It made basting a breeze and they are super easy to take out when quilting. I don’t even worry about pinning over my marked lines. The rule of thumb is to baste about a hand-width apart. That was easy for this quilt!

Basting With Pinmoors I’ve been following quilting blogs like The Free-Motion Quilting Project, WIP Wednesdays, Moda’s Bakeshop and the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge for quite some time. I have so thoroughly enjoyed these projects that I have now been inspired to start my own sew along called Do-It-Yourself-Quilts!

I want to share step-by-step tutorials on how easy and fun it is to make your own quilts completely, including piecing and quilting. Then you can truly say you made it yourself!

Be sure to follow my blog for the official announcement about that on Thursday, July 19th, along with a sneak peak of my first project and a supply list if you’d like to join in!

Little Rascals Quilt Part 3 – Stencil Quilting

This week I finished quilting the brown sashing on this adorable Li’l Rascals baby quilt. You can learn how I free-motion quilted the blocks in last week’s blog post.

Li'l Rascals Baby QuiltFirst, I selected a cute Scottie Dog quilt stencil. I lucked out because each dog motif was about the size of one of my charm squares, so I didn’t have to adjust the size of the design. I love collecting all sizes and styles of quilting stencils. I probably have over 100!

Scottie Dog StencilSewline Marking Pencil

To mark the design, I used a Sewline mechanical pencil with white ceramic leads. It made a nice clear line to follow.

The lines came off easily with a Sewline eraser stick after quilting. The left picture below shows 2 marked and quilted motifs. The right picture is after I erased the right motif. You can clearly see the quilting, but not the lines!

Sewline Fabric EraserRight Motif Erased After Quilting

After I quilted the dogs with a matching brown thread, I decided I wanted to see them a little better, so I quilted them again, going over my previous lines, but this time with metallic thread. (To avoid problems using specialty threads I use titanium-coated top-stitch needles from Superior Threads.)

The design still wasn’t quite finished, so I added another line of quilting, echoing the shape of the dogs. Then I was happy with the quilting. Echo Quilting with Metallic ThreadNext time I think I would try a much darker or lighter thread so that I can see the design even better. I’ve been quilting for so many years with matching thread to hide my mistakes. But now that I’m getting better with my free motion quilting I want my stitches to show!

Next week, I will finish this quilt by showing how to block it and bind it.

If you’d like to make a similar quilt like mine, it requires just one charm pack and 1 yard of coordinating fabric for sashing.

Bungle Jungle Modern Quilt – Week 1

Before I’ve even finished my current project, the Little Rascals baby quilt, I’ve already started on my next charm pack design! I was inspired by Leah Day’s modern quilt on her free-motion quilting blog.  However,  I’m making mine a little more uniform and less wonky.

I started with one charm pack of Bungle Jungle – a set of 42 precut squares that measure Bungle Jungle with Solid White5 inches. That means the finished size of each square is4 1/2″. I wanted to surround the squares with lots of open space for quilting, so I grabbed 2 yards of  of Kona Cotton Solids in white.

I cut  fifteen 4″ wide strips of white and sub-cut them into 42 pieces that measure 4″ x 5″ for the short side of the blocks and and 42 pieces of 4″ x 8 1/2″ for the long side of the blocks.

I stacked the pieces up next to my sewing machine in order so they were all ready to sew. Some of the prints are directional, but I won’t worry about that as I sew this quilt together. That will add to the “charm!”

Stacked and Ready to Sew

Bungle Jungle Block

To help with quilting later, I pressed all of the seams open. This helps reduce bulk and prevents shadowing of the seams. I will sew a total of 42 blocks, one for every charm square.

This week I will work on arranging the blocks into a pleasing setting. I’m loving it already!

Bungle Jungle Blocks LayoutThe Modern Quilt aesthetic really appeals to me with lots of negative space and clean lines. One of the hallmarks of this design style is to use lots of solid fabric and crisp, clear colors.

If you’d like to follow along, grab 1 charm pack of your choice and 2 yards of background fabric, then sew a total of 42 blocks like those shown above. (I’ve only finished 12 blocks so far.) I’ll continue to blog about this project until it’s done, including quilting and binding.