Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month: December

Friday, November 30, 2012

Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month December Quilt Block Tutorial - In Color Order
Welcome to the Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month! For each month in 2012, I'll present a quick tutorial for a traditional quilt block using half-square triangles (HST)! Feel free to join in at any time! For past posts see here.

Happy December! (a day early, hehe) Today I'm sharing with you the LAST block of our block of the month series! Can you believe it? I hope you've enjoyed this series! I'll be sharing finishing instructions later in December. Let's tackle this final block.

Traditional Method:
- (8) 4" squares from background fabric (white)
- (2) 4" squares from print fabric (yellow)
- (2) 4" squares from second print fabric (green)
- (2) 4" squares from third print fabric (turquoise)
- (2) 4" squares from fourth print fabric (navy)

Alternative Method:
- (4) 6" squares from background fabric (white)
- (1) 6" squares from print fabric (yellow)
- (1) 6" squares from second print fabric (green)
- (1) 6" squares from third print fabric (turquoise)
- (1) 6" squares from fourth print fabric (navy)

1. Assemble your half-square triangles using either the traditional method, or the alternative method. Press seams open.

2. Trim your HSTs to 3.5" square.

3. Arrange your HSTs as shown in the image above.

4. Sew your HSTs into four rows. Press seams in alternating directions.

5. Sew your four rows together, pinning where the seams match up. Press seams open. Trim block to 12.5" if necessary.

Voila! You're done! :)

If you create a block using this tutorial I hope you'll add it to the flickr group!

Happy Sewing!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Monday, November 26, 2012

Floressence Color Hex by Jeni Baker
Floressence Color Hex, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Ours was quiet, which is just what we needed.  Thanksgiving went by without a hitch, I successfully roasted my first chicken! Will definitely do one more often, it was so moist and delicious!

I even did a little sewing! I wanted to play around with my Color Hex pattern!  I decided on using Floressence by Art Gallery Fabrics, and filling in the center with more hexagons.  So, you just cut for seven additional hexagons: 2 half-hexagon pieces from each fabric, using 19 fabrics total instead of 12! And you only need 1 yard of background fabric! I have added the borders since taking this photo, I'm excited to quilt it up!

WIP by Jeni Baker
WIP, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I'm still plugging away at my Holiday in London Duffle Bag! I'm almost done quilting all the panels, I will finally get to start assembling the bag soon! I'm hoping to have it done in time to take with me to Quilt Camp! It's less than two weeks away! There are still spots available if you'd like to join us!  More information here.

Yesterday I put together my Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month quilt top! Can you believe it's almost been a full year since we started?  Look out for the last block this week! I have another tutorial going up on Saturday, so you may just get it a day early!

Expect finishing instructions and final quilt reveal in the mid-December!

DIY Bottle Brush Trees by Jeni Baker
DIY Bottle Brush Trees, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Today I spent some time crafting! I have been aching for some pink vintage bottle brush trees for years, but they've all been too expensive.  After coming across this pin on Pinterest, it hit me! Dye some myself! I found this tutorial, and immediately ran to Hobby Lobby for trees.  I found some in their dollhouse section and picked up some RIT dye as well.  They turned out awesome! I'm so happy with the results! Next up, glitter and turquoise dye!

Stash Stack Club by Jeni Baker
Stash Stack Club, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
We're now five months into the Stash Stack Club @ Pink Castle Fabrics! This is July-November, don't they look so pretty together? Personally, I can't wait for January, it's purple! Brenda now has gift subscriptions for the club, which are perfect for gift giving! You can find them here.  More information on the stash stack club here.

Thanksgiving by Jeni Baker
Thanksgiving, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Our Thanksgiving "table" which is actually our kitchen counter/island.  I pulled out all my favorites: Orla Kiely tablecloth (from Target a few years ago), vintage Swiss Chalet dishes and serving pieces (many from my Mom and friend Sandy), vintage Friendship Pyrex, and super classy Ball mason jars!  It doesn't look like much, but it was a feast! Chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, steamed corn, homemade rolls, pumpkin pie, and cherry pie.  Quite a lot for two people, but we managed! :)

George by Jeni Baker
George, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.

Today I love the..
Smell of: Twisted Peppermint candle
Sound of: Harry Potter 5 audiobook
Taste of: Cookies!
Sight of: George
Feel of: Warm laundry

Good Things about Today:
- Ran the week's errands!
- Fun crafting today!
- My Mom is coming tomorrow!!
- French vanilla cappuccino!

Giveaway with Christa Quilts!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Today's giveaway is from a new sponsor, Christa Quilts!

Christa has been selling fabric online full time for the last 6 years but only recently discovered the modern quilting scene. She and her husband Jason have spent the last few months transitioning from being a "traditional" shop to more of a modern niche shop!

In addition to thousands of yards of fabric, Christa Quilts offers individual pre-cut fat quarters of every fabric they carry, plus custom fat quarter bundles and unique quilty gifts. Christa's specialty is designing simple quilt-along tutorials on her blog that feature all of the steps of making a quilt, including the machine quilting.

Christa Quilts also offers free US shipping on any size order and a flat international rate of just $10!

Today, Christa is giving one lucky winner $25 worth of fat quarters of your choice! To enter, visit ChristaQuilts.com and leave a comment here telling me which fabric is your favorite.

Christa also needs a little help selecting her next modern collection to order. For an extra entry, leave another comment saying which collection or designer Christa should add to her store.

Giveaway will end Wednesday, November 28th at 5pm CST.  All entries welcome.

Everyone who reads this is a winner! Use the coupon code B12COLOR to get 5% off your first order. When Christa sees the code, she will then put you in her special group discount for 5% off every order in the future, too (with no further coupon needed)!

Good luck!

Black Friday Pattern Sale!

Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm not going out to fight the crowds today, but I thought it would be fun to do a sale of my own this weekend! The best part is, you don't even have to leave your house! You can find all my PDF patterns 25% off using code THANKS25 at checkout!  Starting now through Monday!  Shop here!

Hope you all have a safe and happy weekend!  I'm going to eat lots of pie and maybe even sew! :)

Floral Burst Embroidery Pattern

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Wednesday! It's the middle of a crazy week for many of us! Today was baking day here, two pies and rolls.  Now to tackle the dirty dishes and start all over again tomorrow!

Today I want to share with you my newest pattern, Floral Burst! It's something different for me, an embroidery pattern! I had so much fun stitching this up, and I hope you will too!

Kitchenette in Honeydew by Jeni Baker
Kitchenette in Honeydew, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
The pattern is based on the Kitchenette print from Color Me Retro.  I can't wait for yardage to arrive so I can use it in a patchwork project! The colors I used match the print in Honeydew.  When the fabric gets closer to shipping I'll be sharing all the Art Gallery Fabrics blenders and solids, Aurifil thread colors, and DMC floss colors that match the line to make things easy for you!

PDF Pattern includes printable pattern, DMC floss colors, stitch chart, and backstitch instructions.  It's suitable for beginning stitchers and comes together really fast!

You can find the pattern in my shop!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fabric Dyeing and Midnight Sewing

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hand-dyed Rainbow Update by Jeni Baker
Hand-dyed Rainbow Update, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Hi there! Hope you all are having a good week!  I've been taking it relatively easy the last few weeks, I really over-did things last month! Today I really felt like I was getting back into a groove, I wrote my first to-do list in weeks, and it was great! I don't except to get much done in the next couple days, but that's a-okay with me!

Last week I got the urge to dye some fabric! It had been quite a while, it was fun to revisit the process. At this point I'm trying to fill in gaps in the rainbow, and I think I'm really close! I love how they all look together!

Fabric Dyeing by Jeni Baker
Fabric Dyeing, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I end up changing my system a little bit every time and I am happy to say this has been my best batch so far, the dye took much more consistently.  I think it was mostly owed to leaving the fabrics in the dye bath for 45 minutes before adding the soda ash.  I love Malka Dubrawsky's book, Color Your Cloth, for dyeing.  For more of my fabric dyeing adventures, see here.

New Project by Jeni Baker
New Project, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I did manage to work on a new tutorial last week! I'm excited to share it soon as a part of the Holiday Bake, Craft, & Sew Along

Friday Night Stitching by Jeni Baker
Friday Night Stitching, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Friday night I drove up to Olive Juice Quilts to stitch it up with Megan and Anna.  They have a midnight sew-in every month, and it was a lot of fun! We didn't sew much, but that's okay! I slept over at Anna's, and there was even a trip to a yummy local bakery before I headed back to Madison.  It was so fun to hang out with friends and get out of the apartment for a bit! :)

I did start putting together our block of the month quilt, last block is right around the corner!

Getting Ready by Jeni Baker
Getting Ready, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
We decided to stay here for Thanksgiving this year instead of driving home.  Michael can't take off enough time to make it worth the long drive.  I was feeling pretty down about it last week, but am feeling much better now.  We're going to have fun, just the three of us (rabbit included of course!).  I'm happily making a roast chicken, since a turkey probably wouldn't fit in our tiny oven, plus I don't like turkey, haha.  Encouraged by Erika, I'm making one pie per person.  One Cherry and one Pumpkin.  It will be a feast!

George by Jeni Baker
George, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
George! He has requested a banana pie. ;)

PS - Thanks so much for helping me destash some fabric! Everything went out on Monday, so it should be arriving to you all soon!

Today I love the..
Smell of: Fresh air
Sound of: Pushing Daises
Taste of: Cheese!
Sight of: A clean apartment
Feel of: Relaxing

Good Things about Today:
- Had a productive day!
- The apartment is clean and ready for baking!
- Stitched up a last minute project.
- Survived the grocery store!

Fabric Destash Sale

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fabric Destash by Jeni Baker
Fabric Destash, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
It's that time again! My fabric bins are absolutely bursting, so I'm having a destash sale! You can find lots of fabric and scraps in my destash shop, jenidestash.etsy.com! Use coupon code JENI10 for 10% off! (Please enter the code above the item total where it says "apply shop coupon code", in your cart.)

Scrap Destash by Jeni Baker
Scrap Destash, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Thanks for your support and for helping me clean out my sewing room! Happy Weekend! :)

AGF Fall Quilt Market Video Recap

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Friday! I'm popping in quickly to share the Art Gallery Fabrics video recap of Fall Quilt Market in Houston last month! It's a lot of fun, you'll get a tour of each booth! Enjoy! :)


Favorites by Jeni Baker
Favorites, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
1. Big Bubble Wrap Quilt, 2. Done!, 3. PTS- Progress, 4. PTS9., 5. Measuring stars in the backyard with a calculator and a ruler, baby, 6. Scattered Color Pop, 7. #35 Madrona Herringbone, 8. PTS 9!, 9. PTS 9

Every week I go through my favorite photos on Flickr, and choose nine sewing/quilting related projects to showcase here. These photos and projects are not my own, you can find the original images and creators by clicking the coordinating links! If for any reason you do not want your project featured here, please email me and I'll remove it! 

Happy Friday!

Sewing Summit 2012 Recap

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sewing Summit 2012 by Jeni Baker
Sewing Summit 2012, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I can hardly believe it's been a month since Sewing Summit.  And I haven't even written a proper recap!  Vanessa's recap yesterday reminded me I hadn't done one yet. (What a sweetheart, by the way!)  As soon as I came home from Sewing Summit last month it was straight into full on prep-mode for Quilt Market.  I never really got a chance to digest everything that happened.  It was another amazing experience, for many of the same reasons as last year, but many new reasons too.

I really don't like flying, but lucky me I didn't have to fly alone! Megan and Anna came down the night before and we had a little pre-Summit slumber party (with almost no sleeping, haha)! We flew right out of Madison, which was easy peasy.  It's only got 9 gates!  Our flights were pretty uneventful, and we got a really clear view coming into Salt Lake City.  It looks like MARS, I swear!

We met up with Ali at baggage claim and Erin came to pick us up! We were super hungry, so we got to experience In and Out! It was fun! And they have milkshakes, so that was a pretty good way to start the weekend.  We headed to Erin's to finish picking up a few things and then headed over to the hotel, the lovely Little America.  Now this is where things reached a whole new level of crazy!

The swag arrived. And it all needed to fit into two rooms so that we could sort it and create the swag bags that each attendee would receive the next morning.  I took no photos, but you can see some of the crazy in Megan's photo here

Sewing Summit 2012 by Jeni Baker
Sewing Summit 2012, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
It was a lot of work, but it was so much fun! Thank goodness Erika joined us soon after we started, she is basically a professional organizer, and it couldn't have been done without her expertise! (Also, she is just flat out awesome!)  We enjoyed a delicious tapas dinner (thanks E!), and it was back to work!

The next day was check-in for the conference and the Shop Hop! I paired up with Anna (woo buddy system!) for the shop hop bus, and we managed to not spend too much on fabric! I introduced Anna and Megan to Menchies frozen yogurt, and no joke they acted like me for about 5 minutes! ;) That's what Menchies does to you, you can't help but exclaim that everything is cute and talk in a high voice. Impossible to resist. And so delicious!

After we got back, it wasn't long before the opening reception (I took no photos!), and we met up with old friends and made new ones!  Anna and I managed to sneak in some pool time too! We both needed to relax before our classes!

On Friday classes started, and they were awesome! I was thankful to have my class on the first day, but not the first slot, haha.  I had one class to get some jitters out!  Mena's class on having a handmade wardrobe was so inspiring! Loved all the classes that I took!

My class went off without much trouble! I managed to forget to breathe a few times, but otherwise things went pretty smoothly.  I think everyone enjoyed themselves! And hopefully learned something too!

Deedrie was my right-hand woman, and a fantastic class assistant!  She also cooks and bakes the most amazing things I've ever eaten.  Most of all she is a great friend.

I changed my mind on what to wear for my class at the last minute.  Still went handmade, but didn't wear my Washi dress.  I couldn't get it to look right with a cardigan, and I get cold too easily to go without!

And that's all the photos I took at the conference! I'm terrible about that.  I brought my good camera and everything, and didn't use it at all except for a few photos of the mountains.  On one hand I wish I had more photos to document my trip, but I also think lack of photos just means I was having too much fun to bother! And that's a good thing!  There was a fantastic dinner with friends, quiet chatting by the fires, great speakers at both lunch and dinner, and so much more.

As if there wasn't enough quilty goodness at the conference, there were some flying geese in the airport bathroom!

Sewing Summit 2012 - Shoes
Sewing Summit 2012 - Shoes, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
The weekend ended with my Iowa girls, Deedrie and Megan! We had our first flight together and shared lunch and a layover in Minneapolis.  I took my slippers with me for the flights and the airports, I'll definitely do that again!

Sewing Summit 2012 by Jeni Baker
Sewing Summit 2012, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend! I was so happy to finally meet faraway friends that I've chatted with for years (Christina! Sheila!), reconnect with old friends, and meet so many other friends from the internet!  For me, Sewing Summit is all about the people.  The classes and learning are awesome, but it's the chatting, eating, giggling with friends that are the best.  Some of my favorite moments of the conference were seemingly insignificant moments in the grand scheme of things; sitting on the floor of the office eating leftover chocolate desserts, having a quiet swim, whispering at the end of class with an old friend, talking in bed Saturday night after it was all over.   I'm thankful for those moments and everything in between.

Thank you for having me back, Sewing Summit, you guys are the best!  Thank you Erin, for giving me the opportunity to teach again, and for everything you do to make Sewing Summit what it is!  I have a new appreciation for how much work it all is, I'm glad I was able to be a part of it in some small way.

This Weekend

Monday, November 12, 2012

Scrappy Duffle in Progress by Jeni Baker
Scrappy Duffle in Progress, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Happy Monday! I hope you all had enjoyable weekends! Mine was a bit busy. Taught three classes at The Sewcial Lounge, grabbed a bite with Michael at Coopers, and did some brainstorming (mostly about Christmas shopping, hehe).  I did manage to squeeze in a tiny bit of sewing, but when I was home, I primarily test drove quilts by snuggling under them on the couch :)

Last week I started a new bag! I do love making bags, and so far this one has been a lot of fun.  I'm making one of Bari J's new patterns, the Holiday in London Duffle Bag.  She had some beautiful versions at Quilt Market that I just couldn't stop thinking about.  I'm making mine super scrappy and using a quilt as you go method which means leaving out interfacing and using batting + cotton duck.

Scheming by Jeni Baker
Scheming, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I started with Pat Bravo's Rock n' Romance line and pulled blenders and a few other prints in similar colors.  I love these colors, lots of purple, coral, fuchsia, and a bit of gray!

Another Wiksten by Jeni Baker
Another Wiksten, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I couldn't stay away too long, I started another Wiksten top.  Again I'm using the Tank pattern and adding sleeves from Grainline's Scout Tee.  Using a lovely voile from Art Gallery for this one!

Mini Tree Skirt by Jeni Baker
Mini Tree Skirt, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I did finish a small project last week! Since we have a small apartment, we have a small tree! But, it's PINK! Which of course I love.  It's in my craft room, and I decided last week to make it a little tree skirt! Since the tree is pink, I figured the skirt might as well be too! I used my dresden plate template to cut the wedges, sewing them together as cut.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  You can see it with the whole tree here!

Cozy by Jeni Baker
Cozy, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
It snowed today, not enough for it to stick, but still! I love how much cozier it suddenly makes things feel.  Also, my Hello Kitty tin collection is growing!

Goodies by Jeni Baker
Goodies, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
I stopped at a fabric/craft liquidation sale today (If you're in Madison, you can find info here). I managed to find a few goodies.  I'm excited to try out the foundation sheet pattern.  And I've been eyeing a Q-snap frame for a while!

George by Jeni Baker
George, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
George is such a sleepy rabbit!

Also! I have threaded comments now, yay! So, I have been answering your questions in the comments.  Which is good, because I'm terrible at answering them via email, apologies!

Today I love the..
Smell of: Winter air
Sound of: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Taste of: Breakfast for dinner
Sight of: A clean apartment
Feel of: Warm quilt

Good Things about Today:
- Chatted with a textiles class at MATC today!
- Did a little thrifting!
- Sewed!
- Breakfast for dinner! Our favorite!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Favorites by Jeni Baker
Favorites, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Every week I go through my favorite photos on Flickr, and choose nine sewing/quilting related projects to showcase here. These photos and projects are not my own, you can find the original images and creators by clicking the coordinating links! If for any reason you do not want your project featured here, please email me and I'll remove it! 

Happy Friday!

Giveaway Winner!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanks to everyone who entered the Tactile Fabrics Giveaway!

The winner of this lovely fat quarter bundle is #487, Shannon! Congrats!

This Week

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ornate Mini Quilt by Jeni Baker
Ornate Mini Quilt, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Happy Wednesday! I've been in a bit of a funk this week, so I'm glad it's already half over! Our weather has been super dreary and dark.  I think between that and daylight savings, it's making things feel a bit off! Here's to a better day tomorrow!

This week I've been working on tying up some loose ends and finishing up some half-finished projects.  I want a clean starting point as I move towards working on my next fabric collection (eee!), new patterns, and the holidays.  One of those projects was my Ornate mini quilt from Christina's class at Sewing Summit! I had the curves all pieced but needed to put it all together.  I'm hoping to get it quilted and finished tomorrow!

I have more drawstring bags than any one person could possibly need or use, but I just can't seem to stop myself from making more! I'm excited to be teaching my drawstring bag pattern at Quilt Camp coming up the first week of December in Michigan! Faith Jones is going to be teaching paper piecing using the Poinsettia block you see above! I knew right away I wanted to add it to a drawstring bag! I used the Artist size bag from the pattern version so it's quite roomy. It features Oval Elements and a few Pure Elements from Art Gallery Fabrics! The ruler twill tape is from here.

There are still a few spots left for Quilt Camp, so if you're on the fence, make sure and sign up quick, it's going to be a lot of fun! For more information, see here.

Renfrew Tee
Renfrew Tee, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
Another work in progress finished! I took a class on stitching up the Renfrew Tee pattern by Sewaholic at Sewing Summit.  It actually turned out pretty cute! I'm not sure if I'll make another though.  Nothing wrong with the pattern, just never seem to enjoy working with knits, even now that I feel more comfortable with them.  Just not my thing!

Vintage Sheets
Vintage Sheets, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
After being closed most of last month because of all the traveling and crazy sewing, I reopened my vintage sheet shop this weekend! I'm going to start putting together some rainbow bundles and other fun things like project kits! Just in time for holiday shopping! :)

Craft Room Messiness by Jeni Baker
Craft Room Messiness, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
So, this was the state of my sewing room when I got back from Houston.  Hehe.  I am very practiced in the cut and throw method of sewing, haha. I spent last week and early this week cleaning up this mess and completely reorganizing the room's closets and all my storage.  I'm happy to report it looks much better now!

Ruby Star Wrapping by Jeni Baker
Ruby Star Wrapping, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.
We were lucky to receive this beautiful book, Ruby Star Wrapping by Melody Miller at Sewing Summit.  It's a great book for anyone who's interested in creative packaging! My friend Sukie is putting on a Wrap-Along for the next month and beyond to craft up the projects in this book! I wasn't able to squeeze it in, but you should definitely check it out! You can see the fabulous line up and more information on Sukie's blog, here.

George by Jeni Baker
George, a photo by Jeni Baker on Flickr.

Today I love the..
Smell of: Method pear soap
Sound of: Fred Claus
Taste of: Bacon
Sight of: A clean apartment
Feel of: Relaxing

Good Things about Today:
- Cleaned the whole apartment!
- Made progress on a few projects.
- Christmas candy!
- Went thrifting!