Free Quilt Pattern: Fenced In Throw Quilt

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Photo by Holly DeGroot.

Happy Tuesday! Today I have a free quilt pattern download to share. The Fenced In Quilt Pattern was originally released in my short-lived newsletter, but I thought I'd make it available for download!

Fenced In can be made with 15 fat quarters or 50 jelly roll strips. For my quilt I used my friend Holly's Brushstrokes fabric collection.

Find fat quarter bundles of Brushstrokes in Holly's shop, here.

Photo by Holly DeGroot.

 It takes advantage of strip piecing, which means the blocks come together fast!

Photo by Holly DeGroot.

I chose to finish mine with simple diagonal lines through each block. For more info on my quilt, see this post. Download the free quilt pattern here.

A few details: This quilt finishes at 54"x66". To make it, you'll need the following:

- 15 fat quarters OR (50) 2.5” jelly roll strips
- 3 1/2 yards of backing fabric
- 62” x 74” piece of cotton batting
- 1/2 yard of binding fabric
- Coordinating thread

Photo by Holly DeGroot.

I loved making this quilt, and I hope you'll make one too! You can't go wrong with strips.

Share your progress and finished project photos using the #fencedinquilt and #jenibaker hashtags on social media!

Photo by Holly DeGroot.

Happy Quilting!

March Monthly Report

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Happy April! It's time for March's monthly report. See past reports here.

I didn't finish many projects this month, but I did make more progress than I did in February, so that's something! Even though we moved here over three months ago, I still haven't fallen into a good work routine. I'm definitely looking forward to feeling more settled. Maybe once the weather gets nicer? We'll see.

I stitched up a Giant Vintage Star Quilt from a beautiful Liberty selection from Alice Caroline Fabrics. Still trying to decide how I want to quilt it!

I am pretty close to being out of thank you cards. I remembered I picked up a box of plain kraft cards/envelopes from Target last year. I decided to put my Circut Maker to work and use it to cut the "Thanks" out of some cards. Add in some fabric scraps and voila! I was really pleased with how well this worked out. I made a little video of how I made them here.

I stitched up this cute little mouse for my Mom for Easter! The pattern can be found here. It was fun digging through my Liberty for the ears and her little dress. I can't wait to make one for myself too!

No gift would be complete without a Lined Drawstring Bag to put it in! This sweet house print from Yours Truly by Kimberly Kight reminded me of my Mom, and I pulled the other fabrics around it.

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in March:

March Fabric
Used up: 2.75 yards
Brought in: 19.75 yards
Net: +17 yards
Year to date: 23.25 yards

March Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

I really went off the deep end fabric-wise this month. Red Beauty Textiles, which had an amazing Nani Iro selection, closed in March. I used this as an excuse to build up my double gauze stash. Add in my birthday as an extra excuse to treat myself and there was no hope! On top of that I ordered another quilt back and finally checked out a local quilt shop. I'm going to try to buy ZERO fabric in April, because this trend is not good for my stash!

Right at the end of March I pulled out a leftover quilt top from my book (Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle). I got a quilt backing made and basted it, so I hope to finish it up this month.

Last but not least, I decided to sit in on George's Easter picture this year! He is such a love bun. He was spoiled all day with extra treats and pets :)

Have a great month!

English Paper Piecing with the Cricut Maker

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy Wednesday! I'm excited to share my next project made with the new Cricut Maker. Find my review of this machine from last week here.

This post is sponsored by Cricut, all opinions, images and text are my own. I've used affiliate links in this post, which means if you click through and buy something, I make a commission, at no extra cost to you.

After spending some time with the machine, I got to thinking how perfect it would be for working on English paper piecing (EPP) projects! I could have the machine cut both the paper templates and cut the fabric pieces to size. I know there are a lot of ready-made paper pieces available now, but I had a lot of fun coming up with my own design to make an iPad case a few years back (see that post here). The downside to making something unique is having to cut out all the pieces. Enter the Cricut Maker!

I was glad to finally have an excuse to cut into some prints from Daisy Chain by Annabel Wrigley for this project.

If you're new to English paper piecing, I highly recommend All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland. It's a great resource, especially if you're interested in designing your own blocks!

Again, I made a video showing how I uploaded the images that I used (available for you to download below), cut the paper pieces and fabric pieces from start to finish.

Materials Needed for EPP Block:
- 3 fat quarters quilting cotton
- Medium-weight cardstock (11"x11" sheet, or two 8.5"x11" sheets)
- Coordinating thread
- Hand stitching needle

1. Download the image files for this project: Paper Diamond Template and Fabric Diamond Template.

2. Using the Cricut Maker machine, cut out 30 paper diamonds. From two fabrics, cut 12 diamonds each. From the third fabric, cut 6 diamonds. (Here is the tool set I was using in the video.)

3. Baste diamonds using your preferred method. I hand stitch my fabrics in place, going through the paper. You could also use a glue pen!

4. Arrange your basted diamonds using the photo above as a guide.

5. Begin hand stitching your diamonds together. I use a simple whip stitch, but feel free to use whatever hand stitch you're comfortable with, just be sure not to stitch through the paper templates.

6. Press block well from both the front and back. Snip basting threads and gently remove papers. Give the block another good press.

7. Make more blocks for an entire quilt (with additional pieces in between motifs for filler, or applique block onto a bag, pillow, or even a dishtowel! My favorite attachment method is a simple top stitch along the outer edges of the block.

Here are a few ideas for what to make with your block:

I used my block to spruce up a simple Lined Drawstring Bag! This is the Artist size bag. (pattern)

I love using applique blocks on pouches, like this one I use for embroidery projects.

Make a few and stitch them onto a big pillow.

Or, make a bold and colorful dishtowel! (tutorial)

Happy Quilting!

Cricut Maker Review + Pincushion Project

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

I'm excited to share my thoughts today about the new Cricut Maker machine.

This post is sponsored by Cricut, all opinions, images and text are my own. I've used affiliate links in this post, which means if you click through and buy something, I make a commission, at no extra cost to you.

I have vivid memories of walking into the craft store when I was in high school and seeing the Cricut personal electronic cutting machines. Back then they required different cartridges to cut shapes in paper. I never got very into scrap booking, but I've always loved paper. These machines seemed so cool and fancy! I remember thinking I might save up for one, but was already spending too much of my budget on fabric.

Fast forward to today, these machines have come a long way. The Cricut Maker machine can cut paper, just like previous Cricut machines, but it can also cut through vinyl, thin balsa wood, and fabric! Some models along the way have been able to cut through fabric that's been bonded to a stabilizer (this one can too), but what sets the Maker apart is that it can cut unbonded fabric with a special little rotary blade. That means cutting fabric is as simple as sticking it to the mat and cutting!

I don't know about you all, but I've always been a multi-crafter. I dabble in all kinds of different crafts. I still enjoy paper crafts and I also sew, quilt, knit, weave, dye, etc. Because I like to craft in so many different mediums, it's really nice when my tools or supplies can be used across multiple crafts. That's where the Maker fits in for me.

One of the big reasons I was interested in testing out the Maker is personal. (Let's be real, one of them is to fulfill my childhood dream of using such a fancy machine.) As you may or may not know, I have arthritis. My disease primarily affects my wrists and hands, which are pretty critical when you're making something. I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to do things in ways that minimize their impact on my body and health. In the last 5 years especially, I've had a lot of wrist problems. A task that really takes a toll on me is cutting.

Being able to use a machine to do some cutting for me is really appealing. I've used die cutting machines before, but they had to be cranked, which was still difficult. The Cricut Maker lets you get cutting with the touch of a button. I will still cut things traditionally, but I think this machine is going to be a great asset for me in managing my activity.

I've never used a Cricut machine before, so I decided to make a video of myself using it. Please excuse my video skills/set-up! I don't have a lot of experience shooting videos, but I felt it was the best way to show you the machine.

I was intimidated at first, but it was easier to use than I expected. I'm excited to continue to learn everything this machine can do, and really take advantage of it. In the video, I walk through cutting pieces for a simple pincushion, including creating the shapes in the Cricut Design Space. The program allows you to create your own designs, upload images, and customize your projects. There are tons of ready made projects available too.

If you want to make a pincushion too, see the instructions below, or watch the video:

- (2) 8.25"x10" pieces of cotton fabric
- (1) 5" piece of cotton fabric
- Pincushion filling (I used crushed walnut shells)
- Coordinating thread

1. Start a new project in the Cricut Design Space. Click the shape tool on the left hand side of Canvas, and click the Triangle shape. Once the shape pops up on your canvas, select it by clicking on it. Up in the top bar, change the height of the triangle to 2.5". (Or download the image of the triangle here.)

2. Using the Cricut Maker, cut three triangles from each fabric for a total of six triangles. (Here is the tool set I was using in the video.)

3. Arrange your triangles into two rows. Piece two triangles together in each row. Press seams open. Attach the final triangle in each row. Press seams open.

4. Place rows right sides together, lining up the seam and the row ends. Place a pin through the points to match them up. Sew rows together.

5. Use your pincushion top as a template to cut a backing for it from the 5" square.

6. Place pincushion top and backing right sides together. Sew around all sides, leaving a small opening on one side for turning. Turn pincushion right sides out. Fill your pincushion with filling of choice, hand stitch the opening closed.

Next week I'll be sharing another project made with the Cricut Maker, so be on the look out for that!

Happy Sewing!

February Monthly Report

Monday, March 5, 2018

Happy March! It's time for February's monthly report. See past reports here.

Better late than never, right?

Between February being short and family visiting, I didn't end up getting much time behind the sewing machine. I did work on a few little projects to get my feet wet again! I don't write a lot of checks, but decided to finally make myself a checkbook cover. The plastic covers they come with aren't very attractive, and this took no time at all to whip up. I used scraps from my stash and this tutorial.

I happened to find this sweet patchwork drawstring bag that never got proper finished photos taken of it! That had to be remedied. This one was made with a Carolyn Friedlander mini charm pack! Find a tutorial for this bag here: Patchwork Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial

We did a little more exploring this month, including stopping into 0 Degree Thai Ice Cream in New Haven. It was so fun to watch them make it, and delicious too!

Continuing to have good luck at the thrift stores here. I found this pink clamp lamp at a consignment store for $2, just needed a little cleaning up. It actually matches my brown metal lamp I've been using in my sewing room for the last ten years!

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in February:

February Fabric
Used up: 2 yards
Brought in: 9.5 yards
Net: +7.5 yards
Year to date: 6.25 yards

February Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: +218 yards

So... I remembered how to buy fabric! It's been a few months since I bought anything, but I dipped my toes back in. Only one purchase, but a good amount of yardage. I picked up the above denim to cover an armchair I thrifted (seen below). The rest of the yardage is a quilt backing that I snatched up on major sale at the same time. 

One project I'm excited to tackle is making a cover for this chair I thrifted. (It's an Ikea Tullsta chair.) It had a popped seam on the cushion and is a bit dirty, but otherwise it's in good shape. I happened to find a pattern for a cover, which I'm going to try out soon. I figured it was easier than having to take the chair apart to make the templates! We'll see how it goes. I think it will look nice in the denim!

I pulled fabrics for my next monochrome quilt! I've really enjoyed making them, it's a challenge to only work with one color at a time. I'm going to be making the Subtle quilt from my friend Amanda- Jean's book, No Scrap Left Behind!

George bunny! He's been loving it here. We started letting him run around right away in the mornings and he really likes it. Nice to run off some energy right off the bat! Such a sweetheart :)

Happy Quilting!

American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast

Monday, February 26, 2018

Happy Monday! I'm excited to be a guest on Pat Sloan's podcast, American Patchwork & Quilting Radio, today! It will be live at 4:00pm EST (find your time zone here), and will be available to listen afterwards here. We'll be chatting about lots of crafty things, I hope you'll tune in.

If you're new to In Color Order, welcome! I hope you'll take a look around. Here are a few things we'll talk about in the episode and some reader favorites to get you started:

Modern House Quilt

How to Track Your Fabric and Yarn Yardage

Note: Fabric above is Daisy Chain by Annabel Wrigley.

DIY: Sewing Room Scrap Rug

Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial

Art of Choosing: Creative Fabric Selection

Safe Sewing: Crafting with Arthritis

Find my PDF and Paper patterns in my online shop, here.

Find my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle, here.

Follow me on social media here: @jenib320 on Instagram and @jenib on Pinterest



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