Modern Love Mini Quilt Along #3

This weekend I finished my Love table runner. Today I will show you how to applique and quilt it all at the same time! Scroll to the end of this post for links to the previous tutorials.

If you have followed along so far you will have a top that may look something like this:

Lover RunnerThe letters were traced and applied to the background fabric with  Steam-A-Seam 2, my favorite type of fusible web. Now it is time to applique them down.

Step 1 – Baste your Quilt

You can use safety pins, or my favorite basting tools – straight pins and pinmoors. I chose a scrap of thin cotton batting (Warm-N-Natural) because it lies very flat which is what I want.

Pin Basting

Step 2 – Choose Your Thread and Decorative Stitch and Practice First

Open Toe FootI use an open toe foot with a wide needle plate. The open toe allows me to see my work so that I can be more precise.

I prefer to use silk thread in a color matching my fabrics for the applique. It is so thin that it nearly disappears into the fabric. A lightweight cotton works well, too. If you don’t have a thread color that’s an exact match, go with a darker thread color rather than a lighter color.

I like to use a buttonhole or blanket stitch rather than a thready satin stitch because it’s much lighter on the quilt and more forgiving to stitch out.

Practice Stitches

Practice with a few decorative stitches on scrap fabric until you find one you like. You can use a regular straight stitch, too, sewn closely to the edge of your fabric pieces. You need to learn the “rhythm” of your stitch so you can anticipate where the needle will next pierce your fabric. Sew slowly and “count” how many movements it takes to complete the decorative stitch.

Step 3 – Appli-quilt Your Letters

Since you will be stitching through all the layers of your quilt, you don’t need a stabilizer. I suggest using the same thread color in the bobbin as well as the top to hide any less-than-perfect stitching or tension issues.

Stitch the Letters

Start in the middle of your letter and bring the bobbin thread up to the top. Take a few small straight stitches to lock your threads. Then switch to the decorative stitch on your machine. You may need to scoot your quilt over so the needle position lines up correctly.

Pivot

Anticipate where your needle will pierce the fabric on each movement of the stitch. Turn the top slowly and smoothly as needed so as to avoid stitching outside the letters into the background. If you have the “needle down” function on your machine, use it. Always stop with your needle down before turning your quilt. Pivot when needed.

Inside Angle

When you have an inside turn, try to land your stitch right in the middle. Don’t be afraid to pivot every stitch or two when needed to completely outline the letters.

Finished Letter

When you reach the beginning, change back to a straight stitch and end with a few small locking stitches. Clip your threads close. When you get to the ‘O’ stitch the inside first.

Finish stitching all of the letters the same way.

Step 4 – Finish Quilting Your Quilt

Now you can have fun quilting the rest of your quilt however you like. I like a lot of quilting, and the background fabric can give you a chance to add a lot of texture.

Quilting Detail

I stitched in the ditch with a thin matching polyester thread, quilted paisleys in the backgrounds with high-sheen polyester in cream, added a fun heart loop motif in the border with high-sheen heavy polyester and quilted the straight brown accent lines in cotton. I use whatever thread I have that will match best!

Step 5 – Bind Your Quilt and Check off Another UFO!!

Using your favorite method, bind your quilt and finish stitching either by hand or machine. Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations has recently put up a wonderful double-fold binding tutorial here on her blog.

My table runner measures 12″ x 30″. I am pleased to add  a little more LOVE to my home!

Love Table Runner

For my fabrics I “borrowed” a few strips of BasicGrey’s Kissing Booth from a jelly roll I have set aside to begin my next quilt-along (starting in 2 weeks). I cut the letters from a fat quarter of Pearl Bracelets in watermelon. The binding and backgrounds were from my stash.

Here is the complete mini-quilt along schedule. Click the links to go to each section.

Please join my ChristasQuiltAlong flickr group to share pictures of your work-in-progress.

If you make any of the other arrangements below, or even a pillow or larger quilt, I’d LOVE to see it! Or if you are inspired to go in a different direction I’d love to see that, too. 🙂

Love Wall QuiltLove Squared
The vertical love wall banner uses the exact same directions as the table runner except that the letters are arranged vertically instead of horizontally. The love block would make a great wall-hanging, pillow, or center of a larger quilt.

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!

Modern Love Mini Quilt Along #2

Thanks for joining me for part 2 of my Love Mini Quilt Along. Links for the supply list and the tutorial schedule are shown at the end of this post.

I am making this table runner which finishes approximately 30″ x 12″. I played around with EQ7 and fabric swatches from BasicGrey’s Kissing Booth to come up with a couple of different color options. My version is shown for the step-by-step photos and at the end.

Love Runner

Step 1 – Cutting the Fabric

  • Cut 4 roughly 4.5″ squares for your letters (red).  You will prepare them in step 2 below. Or you can fussy cut your appliques by using a big chunk of fabric instead.
  • Cut 4 – 5″ squares of background fabric (cream).
  • Cut 13 – 2″ x 5″ rectangles for sashing (red check).
  • Cut 10 – 2″ squares for sashing squares (red).
  • Cut 2 – 2.5″ x 8″ strips for side borders (pink floral).
  • Cut 2 – 2.5″ x 30″ strips for top/bottom borders (pink floral).
  • Cut 3 – 2.25″ x WOF (Width of Fabric) strips for binding.
  • Cut 1 – 14″ x 32″ piece of batting.
  • Cut 1 – 16″ x 34″ piece of fabric for backing.

Step 2 – Preparing the Love Letters

Love ReversedDownload and print of a copy of the letters L-O-V-E (click here). (Or if you’d like to be a little more creative, you can enlarge any font style you like and make your own letters.)

Flip your paper over so that your letters are backwards. Trace the backwards letters onto the paper side of your fusible web.

You may need to use a lightbox to see through the paper. Or print the letters out on transparent vellum for tracing.

Rough cut around each fusible paper letter. Then following the mfg’s instructions, adhere your fusible web to the backside of  your letter fabric. Use this phrase: rough to wrong. The rough (glue) side of the web needs to be stuck to the back (wrong) side of your fabric.

Use Fusible Web

I used Pearl Bracelets fabric for my letters and positioned them to take advantage of the printed design. Cut out the letters following their outlines. Don’t forget to cut out the center of the O! You have now made your own iron-on appliques.

Love Lettters

Step 3 – Assembling the Quilt Top

Sew your inner-quilt pieces (IQ) into 3 separate rows (sash row, block row, sash row):

Sew the Rows

You will notice I have not added the letters yet. I like to add them once the top is done so I can space them just right. Press seams open or towards the sashing fabric.

Add the Borders

Join the rows and add side borders that are trimmed to size. Then add the top and bottom borders and press towards the border fabric.

Lover Runner

Remove the backing from your cut out letters. Following the mfg’s instructions, adhere them to your block backgrounds. You can eyeball them in place, arrange them whimsically, or use a ruler to measure exact placement. It’s up to you!

Next week I will demonstrate you how to applique and quilt all at the same time. The key is to use thin thread that matches your letter fabric. I prefer silk or very thin polyester thread for this, but regular cotton thread is ok, too.

Here is the mini-quilt along schedule. Links will become active once that blog post is done.

Please join my ChristasQuiltAlong flickr group to share pictures of your work-in-progress!

For these other arrangements, just follow the modified steps below.

Love Wall QuiltLove Squared
The vertical love wall banner uses the exact same directions as the table runner except that the letters are arranged vertically instead of horizontally – watch out for directional fabrics and cut them accordingly.


To make the 18″ Love Square wall-hanging or pillow, use these cutting instructions:

  1. Cut 4 – 4.5″ squares for your letters.
  2. Cut 4 – 5″ squares of background fabric.
  3. Cut 12 – 2″ x 5″ rectangles for sashing.
  4. Cut 9 – 2″ squares for sashing squares.
  5. Cut 2 – 2.5″ x 14″ strips for side borders.
  6. Cut 2 – 2.5″ x 18.5″ strips for top/bottom borders (pink floral).
  7. Cut 2 – 2.25″ x WOF (Width of Fabric) strips for binding (for wallhanging only).
  8. Cut 1 – 20″ square piece of batting.
  9. Cut 1 – 22″ square piece of fabric for backing (use muslin or scrap for pillow).

Then sew together so that it looks like the diagram above.

Vacation Postcard – Wish You Were Here!

This week the whole family is on vacation in Florida touring Universal Studios and Disney World. It’s a much-needed break from our regular routine and a chance to hang out with the extended family in a fun environment. (This was our surprise Christmas present from my husband’s parents that I blogged about last month).

On Saturday we spent the entire day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

The Spiderman ride was amazing with special 3 D Effects.

Spiderman 3D

Jason and his sister with the kids.

My son Ryan is a Spidey fan!

Spiderman RideThey recreated Jurassic park complete with a fantastic water ride gone wrong. Thank goodness we escaped from the T-Rex. It really felt like we were in the world of movies!

Jurassic ParkWe visited Seuss Landing, full of truffula trees and characters from all of the books.

Truffula Trees

Truffula Trees

Jason and I paused for a minute in front of this cute little store-front window. Hmm, maybe we could use this in a future advertisement for our Grinch fabric collection???

Dr. Seuss The GrinchBy far, our favorite area of the park was a re-creation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (We are huge Harry Potter fans!) We visited Hogsmeade, downed some delicious Butter-beer and took a look at the famous Hogwarts Express.

Hogwarts Express

The kids were thrilled to visit Ollivander’s to buy their own magic wands, and Ryan was chosen to act out a special “wand-finding ceremony” of his own at the famous shop. The best ride ever was a tour and intense motion ride inside of Hogwarts castle (sadly, no pictures!)

Ollivanders Wand Shop

I was very pleased to see that the robe-maker’s sewing machine of choice was an antique singer featherweight. Because the individual robes were way out of our price-range (over $100 each!), my kids asked me if I could “quilt” them a Hogwarts robe. I had to patiently explain that quilt-making and clothing design are two entirely different things!

Singer Sewing MachineOur family motto is that “we work hard and we play hard.” Because I worked long and hard before we left,  all of my regularly scheduled blog posts are coming up later this week: my quilt-along tutorial, sew and tell, and my favorite quilt-links. Thanks for stopping by!

Modern Love Mini Quilt Along #1

I have decided to create a mini quilt-along to express how I feel about quilting – pure love! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I am going to make this table runner using machine applique techniques. You can follow along with me according to the schedule below:

Love Runner

Supply List for Love Quilt Runner, Finished Size Approximately 31″ x 12″

  • 1 Fat Quarter Cream Background
  • 1 Fat Quarter Red for Letters
  • 1 Fat Quarter Red for Small Sashing Squares
  • 1 Fat Quarter Pink/Red Check for Sashing
  • 1/3 Yard Pink for Outer Border (or 1 FQ if you don’t mind a pieced border)
  • 1 Fat Quarter Red for Binding
  • 1/2 Yard Fabric for Backing
  • 18″ x 36″ Piece of Batting
  • 1 Sheet of Fusible Web (at least 8 1/2″ x 11″)
  • Thread to match your applique letters fabric
  • Matching thread for machine quilting (cotton or polyester)
  • New Sewing Machine Needle

Although I will be using different fabrics than those shown above, I will use the same color-scheme of red and pink. You can do this in whatever colors you like!

And just to give you more options, I have made a couple other arrangements:

Love Wall QuiltLove Squared
Although I will be making just the table runner, the fabric requirements above will be enough to make any of the layouts shown here.

The Love square would also make a cute pillow.

Please join my ChristasQuiltAlong flickr group to share pictures of your work-in-progress!

Holiday Highlights and a Happy New (Quilt) Year!

We had a fantastic Christmas this year with family and friends. I finally felt like I was ahead of the game so I was able to be a bit more relaxed and indulge in a little creative fun.

Each year, one of our family’s traditions is to dress up on Christmas day and go on a scavenger hunt for our gifts. This year we went as superheros and villains. Our “grand prize” is a trip to Universal Studios in Florida with the in-laws. We just may go dressed this way…..

Superhero Christmas For a link to past holiday silliness, click here.

We also had a wonderful visit with two sets of friends that came to town. We usually make friends with couples who then move! I guess absence makes the friendship grow stronger…

Janice has a crafty side and she loves jewelry and cross-stitch. I was very happy when she told me that now she wants to make a quilt! Being the good friend that I am, I let her raid my stash as an extra little holiday treat. We have the same taste in fabric, so that was pretty fun.

Janice's Stash


Jessica's Pearl BraceletsJessica is the friend that I credit for turning me on to Modern Quilting.

She’s very trendy and hip and has been making and enjoying modern quilts even before she knew that’s what they were called.

Jessica talked me into ordering the entire Pearl Bracelets line so she could get some of every color for Christmas.

You just can’t put a price on a smile like that  – well actually her husband could when he got the bill, LOL!!

(Thank goodness I gave them a pretty hefty discount. 🙂 )

Playing with all of this wonderful fabric makes me really excited for the new year.

I have loads of ideas for quilts I want to make, as I’m sure you do, too.

Here’s to a happy new year of quilts!

You can read my list of quilting goals for 2013 here.

Sat Dec 22 Christa’s Quilt Links – Holiday Projects and Beyond

Ok, so maybe this post is a little late talking about holiday sewing projects with Christmas a few days away, but I couldn’t resist. I saw so many of them while blog hopping this week that I just had to share. You can file this under “get started right away for next year!”

Snomen OrnamentsTerry from A Quilting Blog has a tutorial for  adorable snowman ornaments on her blog.

She used a super easy snowball block to make them (love that theme!) and they turned out so cute. You can follow her tutorial here.


Mug Rug TutorialConnie at Free Motion by the River has put together an excellent Christmas mug rug tutorial.

In fact, she has several posts about different mug rugs, mats and fun holiday ideas  that I know you will want to check out on her blog so be sure to take your time reading and enjoy it!


Turtle Doves PillowsAmy from During Quiet Time made some fun Christmas pillows from the song “12 Days of Christmas”.

She focused on the line about 2 Turtle Doves for her festive creation! I love it, don’t you?


Patchwork StarKaren, blogging at BlondeDesign has decided to share this fantastic Patchwork Star Ornament tutorial.

I definitely feel the need have to make a few of these for next year!

Karen is talented enough to have been featured on Liberty of London’s blog. Way to go Karen!


Felt GarlandAnother talented Karen, from Sew Well Maide, has stitched together a very crafty Christmas garland created from felt.

She’s also hosting TGIFF (Thank Goodness is Finished Friday) this week so pop on over to her blog and you will be treated to loads of inspiration!


After browsing through all these awesome Christmas craft ideas, there is still more sewing fun to look forward to in the new year! Did you like my beginning paper piecing tutorial I finished last week?

Paper Pieced BOM

If so and you are ready for more paper piecing goodness, you are in luck!

Kristy from Quiet Play will be launching a fantastic sewing-themed block of the month starting in January.

There will be prizes for those who participate and each pattern presented will be free for that month!

Her adorable “Sewing Room” block caught my eye some weeks ago and now I can’t wait for more!

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.)

Show and Tell – Christmas Cookies

For show and tell this week I thought I’d share my oldest son’s favorite sugar cookie recipe with you! He has become quite the baker in our family and can somehow turn out a better product even when we are using the same recipe. (It must be that he’s able to be focused on the task while I am multi-tasking a million things while cooking and baking, LOL!!)

Cookie Dough

Jason Jr. made the dough while Jenna helped me roll it out and cut the shapes.

Rolling the Dough

It was fun trying to get as many shapes as we could into one batch – sort of like tracing out applique shapes on quilt fabric. Hmm, that gives me an idea – cookie cutter appliques!

Cutting the Shapes

We decorated the cookies for family night and then dropped off a few batches for friends and neighbors. They think we were just being nice – in reality I could eat all these cookies myself which would NOT be good for my waistline, so I had to share!

Decorating the Cookies

 Jason Sr. and Ryan really enjoyed decorating. (My hubby really does have an eye for color when helping me pick out fabrics). We have a creative family!

Here’s the recipe which my son found online from Picky-Palate.

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 6 Cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. In an electric or stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  2. Chill for at least 2 hours for best results.
  3. Once chilled, roll and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Remove and let cool. Frost and decorate as desired.

And here’s our favorite creamy frosting recipe to go with it, from AllRecipes.com. You know what the special ingredient is? Sour cream! It blends well with the powdered sugar for some yummy creamy goodness.

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • food coloring

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Stir in powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the frosting into as many bowls as you have colors. Add food coloring until desired color is achieved.

Yummy Cookies

Yummy!!