Patchwork Essentials: Blockade Quilt

Friday, March 31, 2017

Happy Thursday! Today I have a finished quilt to share, my Blockade Quilt!

This past Fall and Summer, I went about finishing up the series of half-square triangle sampler quilt tops I made. I took the 60 blocks from the block chart section of my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle, and put them together into three sampler quilts. I shared a setting tutorial for each quilt, and now I have them all finished up! Find the tutorials for all three settings here: Over and Above Quilt Setting Tutorial, Blockade Quilt Setting Tutorial, Interlaced Quilt Setting Tutorial.

For each quilt, I focused on one of the colors that I used in the blocks. This quilt was focused around the color teal. I used a teal solid for the large half-square triangles along with more of the same white solid I used in the background of the blocks. This quilt used 16 quilt blocks from the Block Chapter in my book. For more on the inspiration behind this quilt, head over to the tutorial post.

This quilt was quilted by Melissa Kelley of Sew Shabby Quilting. I love this feather quilting design, I think it was a great match for the quilt. It's still nice and soft and crinkly after a good wash and dry.

For the back, I used yardage of this Minimalista by AGF Studio print from my stash. The color worked great with the front of the quilt and I've had it for a while. I finished it off with a citron green print from my stash for the binding. I never tire of green binding!

I have one more finished quilt from this series to share next month!

Happy Quilting!

Fantastic Quilt Voyage Traveling Bee Part II

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Happy Wednesday! For the past two years I've been a part of a traveling quilt bee. Our bee is called Fantastic Quilt Voyage, and you can see the blocks we've been making in the hashtag #fantasticquiltvoyage on Instagram. We each started our own quilt, and then it is passed along to each member and they add to it. Last year I shared some of the quilts I've worked on (see that post here), as well as Amanda's Buffy Quilt. Today I want to share the rest of the contributions I made to member quilts.

Above are some of the blocks I received back for my quilt. My theme was "make do", and it started with orphaned blocks from my stash. I asked members to take the same type of approach and make something that suited their fancy, in cool colors. Here is the pinterest board for my quilt.

First up, Deedrie's quilt! Deedrie is the president of the neutrals fan club, and she sent lots of beautiful neutral and low volume prints for her quilt. Her theme was "be you, bravely", and she hoped to be able to recognize each person through their block. She loves logcabins, small piecing, and traditional piecing with a twist. These are the blocks that had been made by the time the quilt got to me. You can see the Pinterest board for her quilt here.

Right away, I knew I had to do something with half-square triangles, to make it instantly feel like "me". I added in some quarter-square triangles to add some extra interest. I used the brighter colors as a pop, mixing in more of the light colors than the dark. I loved working in this subtle color palette. So fresh.

Next up, is Amanda's quilt. The theme for Amanda's quilt is transparency, with a focus on value and gradients and how colors overlap to create shape. This one was a challenge for me! I loved the blocks that had already been made, and wasn't sure at first how to tackle this vision. You can see the Pinterest board for her quilt here.

I ended up making a block that was a twist on my Citrus Peel Quilt. I split the fabrics she sent into darks and lights and played with string blocks to create my block. It was fun, and matching up all those stripes was actually pretty painless!

The next quilt I worked on was Holly's. Holly sent along a beautifully curated color palette of fabrics. The theme of her quilt was bold and graphic geometric designs with a focus on triangles, stripes, improv and pluses. You can see the Pinterest board for her quilt here.

Holly asked each of us to hand paint or print some fabric to be included in our block. I really had fun painting my fabrics. I created two stamps out of cardboard for two of my prints, and used a dry paintbrush for the other print. I used white screen-printing ink.

I decided to make a block of flying geese. The focus of her colors was on black and white, so I tried to use the other colors sparingly. It was fun to incorporate the fabrics that I painted and I tried to use up some of the scraps from other blocks too.

The next quilt I worked on was Jacey's. Jacey's inspiration to us was this quote: "Be loud. Let your colors show."- Avett Brother. Her bold color palette featured geometric prints in bright neon colors as well as some neutrals to balance things out. She asked for blocks that focused on shape, stripes, curves, texture, and unexpected elements. So cheerful! You can see the Pinterest board for her quilt here.  

I made a block featuring all strips, which was inspired by this pin from her board. I focused on the highlighter color for that block. From the scraps that were included, I made two strips of paper pieced flying geese. This was an easy way to use up lots of weirdly shaped scraps. I also pieced together some of the blocks that had been made so far, into bigger chunks.

The last quilt I worked on was Nicke's. The theme of her quilt was walking through a winter storm at night. Her palette was strictly whites, creams, and black with bits of gold. For piecing, she is drawn to simple patchwork, triangles, and improv. You can see the Pinterest board for her quilt here.

For my block, I decided to use equilateral triangles. I made a small block since most of the blocks that had been made already are pretty big. I used primarily light fabrics and pieced strips of the black fabrics for the dark triangles.

And that's it! I've now worked on everyone's quilt in the group and I have my quilt blocks back. I'm looking forward to tackling my quilt this Spring. I know I want to make some more blocks, but haven't formulated a plan quite yet. Definitely putting it on my short-list!

Happy Quilting!

Zip-Up Tray Pouch

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Friday! Earlier this month I had the opportunity to do some testing for Aneela Hoey's new pattern, the Zip-Up Tray Pouch*. I wanted to share my pouch here and talk a bit about it today!

I recently picked up this really cute pencil fabric from Noteworthy by Erin McMorris*, which I used as the starting point for my pouch. I pulled blenders from my stash to match for the interior, sides, and binding.

Interior + binding fabric is from Cultivate by Bonnie Christine*. 
Side panel fabric is from Essentials II by Pat Bravo*.

This was my first time using a separating zipper, which is a must for this project. This allows the pouch to easily convert into a tray.

I bought my 10" separating zippers from Zipit*.

The construction of this pouch is fun and interesting, and isn't too complicated. I love how it snaps back and forth between pouch and tray. I took a quick video to show how it opens and closes.

I've already used this pouch to corral hand stitching tools on the couch. This project does require some hand sewing to finish, but the whole thing came together easily in an afternoon!

Find the Zip-Up Tray Pouch Pattern by Aneela Hoey, here: Zip Up Tray Pouch Pattern*.

Happy Sewing!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Drachenfels Shawl

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Happy Wednesday! Today I am sharing my most recent finished knit!

Last Spring, Jacey and I decided to knit the Drachenfels Shawl by Melanie Berg together. Predictably I decided to knit mine in shades of purple, and Jacey in shades of green (see her shawl here). I finally finished my shawl this past month!

I love knitting garter stripes, and this was my first time knitting a triangular shawl that wasn't top-down. Garter is just so squishy, I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.

The dark purple yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Flashdance, and it was my very first sock yarn purchase! I bought it here in Madison in March 2012. It felt so good to use it up! I also used my first skein of Moonrover Wyld in Foxglove (the light purple). The third color is a soft neutral Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Sand. All three skeins had been in my stash for at least 2 years, so hooray for stash diving!

We got a fresh layer of snow earlier this month, which was the perfect opportunity to get a few photos. It's that time of year when everything is so brown and gray, not great for project photos!

I deviated a bit from the pattern in section 3, and I didn't always use the stated color. I'm happy with how it turned out, it's a massive 32" deep x 82" wide! I love big shawls.

More details on my shawl on Ravelry.

Now that this shawl is off the needles, I can start a new one!

Happy Knitting!

Birthday Sale!

Saturday, March 18, 2017
It's my 28th birthday next week, so I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a sale! Take 28% off everything in my online shop when you use the code BDAY28 at checkout. This includes PDFs and paper patterns. For EU customers, this code works in my Payhip shop too!

Sale will run for two days only, Saturday, March 18th and Sunday, March 19th. Coupon code will expire at midnight central time on the 19th! It cannot be applied to previous purchases.

Happy Shopping!

Plenty of (Scrappy) Pincushions

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy Thursday! Today I want to share two new pincushions I made recently.

My friend Amanda Jean embarked on a pincushion challenge this past Summer, making at least one each day for a month! She had so many fun designs, she compiled two patterns, each with five pincushion designs: Plenty of Pincushions Volume 1 + Plenty of Pincushions Volume 2. When I sat down to make a few from my scraps, I chose a pincushion from each volume.

I've loved and collected pincushions for many years. They're one of my favorite things to make and they're fun to receive as gifts too. There are just so many things to love about them. Pincushions are a great way to use up scraps, try a new block, or use up leftover blocks/units from other projects. Since they are small, they aren't usually a huge time commitment which is nice when you're in the mood for an instant gratification project. Plus, they're cute!

This is part of my pincushion collection. I probably have enough that aren't in this photo to fill another shelf (my Dad helped me make this one a few years ago). It's right above my machine, so I look at it a lot, and it makes me happy. Now, back to those two new pincushions!

Looking for pincushion tutorials? I have a few in the archives: Hexagon Ring Pincushion Tutorial, Triangular Log Cabin Pincushion Tutorial, and Half-Square Triangle Pincushion Tutorial.

From Plenty of Pincushions Volume 1, I decided to make the pineapple pincushion. I love pineapple blocks, and this tiny version is just too cute. Bonus, it's paper pieced! I started with the little frog center piece, and went with a purple theme (shocking, I know). This one is definitely my favorite of the two because these are my very favorite shades of purple, and consequently some favorite fabrics too.

From Plenty of Pincushions Volume 2, I decided to make the log cabin pincushion. I'm on a bit of a log cabin kick lately, and I had lots of strip scraps so it seemed like a good fit. This block is also paper pieced, which is nice and easy for working with those little pieces. These scraps came from my last two monochromatic quilts: All Blue Woven Quilt + Heart Crossed Quilt. There is also a little pop of citron green on the back.

Both pincushions have quilting on the front, and are filled with crushed walnuts shells.

Nani Iro Brushed Cotton Expanse Quilt

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Tuesday! I'm excited to share a finished quilt today. This one has been in use all winter, and I finally finished getting photos of it during a recent snowfall (yesterday!).

In the Fall of 2015, I picked up two Nani Iro by Naomi Ito bundles from Quilt Market. One was a bundle of double gauze prints, the other was a bundle of brushed cotton (flannel). I split both bundles with Jacey. I used most of the double gauze bundle for my Nani Iro Dreams Quilt, but a few made it into this quilt too. Shortly after finishing my double gauze quilt, I cut into the brushed cotton!

I used the same techniques for treating and sewing with brushed cotton as I do with double gauze. For more info on sewing with double gauze, and where to buy Nani Iro, see this post.

I didn't want to cut up the beautiful prints too much, so I decided to make the a super sized half-square triangle quilt using my Expanse Quilt Pattern. Not only does it come together fast, it is great for showcasing favorite prints.

I was able to stitch up the quilt top at summer sewing retreat, and snatched a few photos of it. I love that I got one with the sheep in it!

Just like my all double gauze quilt, I wanted this quilt to be super cozy and snuggly. I used some of the darker double gauze prints in addition to the brushed cotton to stretch an extra row of triangles in (I like big quilts!). They mixed together really nicely.

I wasn't prepared to wrestle this quilt on my machine, so I sent it off to Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting. I chose this fun popcorn quilting pattern for it.

To up the cozy factor, this quilt has brushed cotton on the back too. The batting is Quilter's Dream Wool, so it's nice and fluffy. It's bound up in a light gray voile.

I've been test driving it for the last few months, and it's been a great couch quilt. Warm, but not overly so. Ultimate snuggle quilt!

This was another just because quilt. I have been trying to use precious fabrics, instead of hoarding them. It has been a real indulgence, and I'm hoping to make it a habit. It gets easier with each cut!

Happy Quilting!

February 2017 Report

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March is here already! Time for another monthly report. See past reports here.

I felt a lot more productive sewing-wise this month. I finished up a quilt for a friend, and my indigo patchwork quilt came back from being quilted and was finished. I also started and finished several small projects, including a big pillow (top shown above) for my sewing room, some petal pouches (shown below), a lined drawstring bag and some pincushions. I also finally finished three softies that I cut out months ago.

I stitched up two large petal pouches (pattern by Anna Graham), this past month. The top one, made from an Umbrella Print was made for my friend Deedrie. I made the bottom one from a favorite Japanese print for myself. I think they turned out cute.

I've actually made a ton of progress on my Drachenfels shawl, but am not letting myself take any more photos of it until it's done! Hopefully this week or next. I still need to share my Baa-ble Mittens that I finished around New 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: 19.25 yards
Brought in: 4.25 yards
Net: -15 yards
Year to date: -16.5 yards

February Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 420 yards
Net: 420 yards
Year to date: -47.5 yards

I did not buy any fabric until the very end of the month which was kind of fun. I snatched up the goodies above from Olive Juice Quilts here in Wisconsin. Always nice to shop for fabric in person. Not sure what I'll do with those strawberries yet, but they were too cute to leave behind. I bought a skein of Moonrover sock this month, because it was just too good. Otherwise, no knitting finishes.

One of the cute softies I finally finished last month. I used the Melly and Me Baby Bunnies Pattern. I'll share the other two soon. I was able to cross four projects off my works in progress (WIP)  list, which makes me really happy. As I discussed in last month's report, I was considering removing groups of leftover blocks and half-square triangle units from my WIP tally. I ended up doing that, and my WIP total is now 28. Much more respectable than 44, but still pretty big! My goal this month is to continue to finish up some of those lingering projects.

I was happy to release the Heart Crossed Throw Quilt Tutorial last month, and I hope you'll check it out if you missed it!

George bunny, working from the inside out!

Have a great month!