Friday Favorites 42

Friday, October 28, 2022

Happy Friday! It's time for another Friday Favorites post! Catch up on previous posts here: Friday Favorites Archives

- I made up a fresh batch of hot cocoa mix with my friend Deedrie's recipe. It's delicious and makes a really great gift! Now I want to make homemade marshmallows to go with it!!

- We still have a good amount of rice krispies leftover from my last batch of treats, so I tried a new recipe this week for salted caramel rice krispie bars! They're tasty, but very decadent. Not going to replace my go-to recipe but it was fun to try something different!

- Easily my favorite thing I saw on the internet this week was this cute dog video.

- Signed copies of my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle, are back in stock in my online shop! I ran out and it took a few weeks to get back in. Hard to believe my book came out seven years ago!

- I really love this appliqué pillow by Jo Avery. The colors are so striking!

- How cute are these strawberry project trays from Penguin & Fish?

- These little wallets by Anna Graham are so cute. I made one a few years ago (pictured above, see this post!) and this makes me want to make another!

- I thoroughly enjoyed watching this 300-year old barn restoration in France by a father and son.

- I ordered myself a new coat* this week. I actually have the exact same coat in navy that I've been wearing for the last seven years, but it has seen better days. With the removable liner I can wear it year round! I got it in green this time.

- Dusty kitten. She doesn't like it when we're in the kitchen cooking, and insists on supervising despite this. Miss grumpy kitty.

Have a Great Weekend!

*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.

Handmade Halloween Project Round-up

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Happy Wednesday! I love to make handmade decor and bags for Halloween every year, and I though it would be fun to see all (or most ) of them together in one place.

Let's start the round up with some of the Halloween themed drawstring bags I've made over the years. I held onto this amazing plaid fabric from New Bedford by Denyse Schmidt* for years before I could work up the nerve to cut into it. It's just so good! For this bag I used the bottom accent variation from my lined drawstring bag expansion pattern.

Another adorable (if I do say so myself) drawstring bag. This one was made with this sweet candy print from Boo by Cotton & Steel*. I use this one year round if I'm honest! It's the project size from my lined drawstring bag pattern.

This everything size lined drawstring bag was made with scraps from my Halloween Nine-Patch Quilt. I've been holding onto the scraps for five years, so it feels good to make something with them! And who doesn't love a patchwork bag? I think it turned out pretty cute.

This is another everything size lined drawstring bag. This one uses this cute print from Bring Your Own Boos* by Cotton and Steel.

This little Halloween countdown project is kind of like an advent calendar but for Halloween! I made seven spooky tiny lined drawstring bags and each day I fill them with candy or an activity to do or movie to watch. You can read more about this project here: Last Minute Halloween Countdown Project.

A spooky cute drawstring bag! I made this bag last year with some prints from Spooky 'n Sweeter by Art Gallery Fabrics*. Such a fun line. This is the peek-a-boo lining variation from my lined drawstring bag expansion pattern, plus some twill and wooden beads to finish it off.

I had so much fun making this little spooky village! It's made from plain wooden birdhouses from the craft store that I painted with acrylic paints and decorated with glitter and some bats cut out with my Cricut Maker*. I was inspired by this post from A Beautiful Mess to make my own.

One of my very favorite Halloween projects I've made is my coffin pillow! I put it out every year. I have a free tutorial for the paper pieced block that you can find here: Paper Pieced Coffin Quilt Block Tutorial

Used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I still love this little candy tote bag I made for Quilts & More magazine. This tote project was in the Fall 2019 issue. The candy blocks were inspired by Smarties, which are a favorite candy of mine. Read more about this project here: Quilts and More: Trick or Treat Tote Bag

Speaking of candy, I made this tote bag with trick or treating in mind! It is the Simple Tote from my Elemental Tote Bag Pattern. It's made using this adorable fabric* by Heidi Kenney.

I've made two Halloween quilts, but I definitely can see myself making another some day. First up this really simple nine-patch quilt. I used a fat quarter bundle of Lil Monsters* by Cotton and Steel. Read more about this quilt here: Halloween Nine-Patch Quilt

The other Halloween quilt I have made is my Webbed Quilt! I wrote a pattern for this super-sized spiderweb block quilt which can be found here: Webbed Quilt Pattern. I collected fabrics for this quilt for many years and I love pulling it out every year. It's quilted with a spiderweb design, which I still think looks so cool! Read more about this quilt here: Webbed Quilt

A few years ago I made this cute wall hanging using my friend Dana Bolyard's Ghost Town Quilt Pattern. I had lots of fun fussy cutting all the little details and using up my scraps!

Last but not least, a mish mash of patchwork Halloween projects! A Boo sign that I hang on a door each year and some table toppers made from scraps. Read more about these projects here: Patchwork Halloween Projects

And that's it for now! Like I said, I hope to make another Halloween quilt one day, and I would love to make a few more Halloween pillows at some point. I definitely still have enough seasonal fabric in my stash!

Happy Making!

*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.

Friday Favorites 41

Friday, October 21, 2022

Happy Friday! It's time for another Friday Favorites post! Catch up on previous posts here: Friday Favorites Archives

- I had a lot of fun sharing my love of dahlias with our neighbors and friends this week! I love delivering surprise bouquets. I'm already sad about the growing season coming to an end soon.

- How cute are these tiny pinwheel blocks by Amy Smart?

- Check out this beautiful thread collection coming soon from Porfiria Gomez!

- These patchwork stockings in progress by New Song Quilt Co are so cheerful!

- I roasted pumpkin seeds this week, which is one of my favorite snacks! I keep mine really simple with just butter and salt. This is how I roast mine.

- We tried a new recipe this week, the polenta-baked eggs from Smitten Kitchen Every Day*. It was tasty! We overcooked our eggs a little bit, but it has promise for sure. but I'm trying to make an effort to make things from my cookbook collection.

- We finally start watching Derry Girls on Netflix and are loving it. I don't know why it took us so long to watch it, but it's hilarious!

- Cute animal video alert, a cat named Gandalf enjoying her favorite snack!

- I wanted to give a shoutout this week to a business in my hometown, Root Candles. A home blogger I follow mentioned them recently, which was so strange to me!

- Dusty kitty all snuggled up amongst handmade goodness. :)

Have a Great Weekend!

*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.

New: Floral Chain Quilt Pattern

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Happy Wednesday! Today I want to chat about my newest pattern, the Floral Chain Quilt Pattern.

You can find the new pattern for sale here: Floral Chain Quilt Pattern

Hooray! Another pattern written and available. Many of you responded on my blog post and instagram posts about this quilt wanting a pattern written up. I'm working on a few other patterns at the moment too, which is why it took me about a month to finally get this one finished. The construction of this quilt isn't complicated, but the writing process (and math and diagrams) was more involved compared to my last few quilt patterns.

This strip pieced quilt is a fun twist on a traditional Irish Chain quilt. The flower blocks are a great opportunity to add a fun pop of color! I love how intricate the resulting design ends up looking even though it's all just squares! Color choice and placement do all the work.

This may not be a super quick quilt to put together, but the strip piecing definitely speeds it up. The strip piecing is not done with super long strips, to help keep a larger amount of variation between blocks. This is really only important if you are using multiple fabrics for each color. I also find it's easier to sew straight seams when the strips are shorter.

There are five sizes included in this pattern, and the cover quilt is the Large (66"x78"). All five sizes have the same size finished blocks.

Read more about this quilt here: Floral Chain Patchwork Quilt

The five included quilt sizes are: Baby (42"x42"), Small Throw (54"x66"), Large (66"x78"), Square (78"x78"), Extra-Large (90"x102").

Use a single fabric for each color or cut from your stash/scrap bin with the included piece totals and cutting guide. For my quilt, I used a large number of prints for two colors Fabric A (green) and Fabric C (purple). I did the opposite for Fabric B (cream/low volume print) and Fabric D (turquoise), only using a single print for each. This still allowed me to make the quilt entirely from my stash!

At the back of the pattern there are coloring pages with diagrams for the blocks, strip sets and each quilt size so that you can plan out your own color scheme.

I hope this pattern inspires you to make a quilt from your stash too!

You can find the new pattern for sale here: Floral Chain Quilt Pattern

Happy Quilting!

Friday Favorites 40

Friday, October 14, 2022

Happy Friday! It's time for another Friday Favorites post! Catch up on previous posts here: Friday Favorites Archives

- Pulled out my very long term Liberty WIP this week and cut out a few new blocks. I somehow ended up looking at Liberty fabrics on Etsy and this print* caught my eye. I do not need more fabric, but it is so cute!!

- Have you seen this new ruler from Latifa Saafir? It's for making half-rectangle triangles! She's also launched a collection of quilt patterns to go with it.

- Loved this post from Rae on reworking unworn handmade clothes. I need to do this with some pieces in my closet!

- How fun is this all purple quilt that Heather made from my modern house quilt block tutorial?

- I've been using this lip balm* for a while now and I can't stop! I'm not sure how hydrating it really is but I love the scent/flavor.

- I finally hung up my Tsum Tsum collection this week. I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. I love these acrylic shadow boxes* for displaying small things.

- This quick tutorial by Joy Margot for making a chain garland with washi tape is adorable!

- I don't usually watch the celebrity home tours from Architectural Digest, but loved the tour of Emma Chamberlain's home they posted recently. The windows and wood in this mid-century home are stunning.

- I have my eye on this cute holiday fabric collection* for some drawstring gift bags!

- Dusty is happy that it's quilt season again :)

Have a Great Weekend!

*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.

The Cheap Secret to Preventing Fabric Bleeding in Quilts

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Happy Wednesday! Today I wanted to share my secret for preventing fabrics from bleeding when I wash my handmade quilts. I'll also share my basic instructions for washing/drying quilts. I have mentioned this "secret" a few different times over the years, but I wanted to share it in a dedicated post.

As a quilter there are few things worse than pulling your finished quilt out of the dryer to discover that the fabrics in your quilt have bled. When I've experience issues with washing my quilts in the past it has felt pretty devastating. For me a quilt isn't finished until it's had a trip through the washer and dryer, so when something goes wrong during this "last step" it feels like I didn't stick the landing! That satisfied feeling I'm expecting to feel quickly turns into frustration and sadness. I think it's safe to say we all want to avoid that!

Before we dive in I want to preface this advice by saying that I typically do not prewash my fabric for quilts. Specifically quilting cottons. When I'm making quilts from fabric that's intended more for garments like double gauze, chambray or lawn, I always prewash the fabric before making the quilt. You could follow the steps below for pre-washing fabrics for a quilt if you'd like!

While we're on the general topic of avoiding quilt washing issues, save yourself some trouble and do not use a water soluble/disappearing ink marker on a visible part of your quilt. I learned the hard way that it's removal is not always straightforward (short story: don't mix disappearing ink markers with stain fighting products and hot water). Read more about that incident here: Sherbet Pips Quilt & a Lesson Learned.

The fabric bleeding mishap that was the last straw was my Mendocino Dreams Quilt that I made back in 2012. It was a big quilt, so I used two Shout Color Catchers* when I washed it. And I still had fabric bleeding in a few places. I was so upset (this quilt was easily 40+ hours of work), I knew I needed to figure out a different method for washing my quilts to avoid this in the future.

The secret is... table salt! No more expensive color catchers for me, just plain old table salt. I've used iodized, non-iodized, name brand, generic brand and it doesn't seem to matter, they all work. I have not tested this with kosher or sea salt.

I'm happy to report that since I started using this trick, I have had ZERO issues with fabric bleeding. I think I started doing this around 2013, and I have made a lot of quilts since then. Here's how to use it when washing your quilt:

Disclaimer: The results I've acheived using the following steps have worked for me, but I cannot guarantee that they will work for you. Please follow these instructions at your own risk and use your own judgement to decide what is right for you, your quilts, and your washing machine.

1. You'll want to start with a finished quilt! I am always so excited to wash mine so I usually get right up from my machine when I finish binding and head for our laundry nook.

2. Add your quilt to the washing machine. For either a top loading (what I've got!), or a front loading, add 1/2 cup - 1 cup of table salt to the machine, right in with the quilt. I use more or less depending on the size of the quilt. (I usually only do this step the first time I wash a quilt, but if I'm particularly worried about bleeds I'll do it on subsequent washes too.)

3. Add your preferred laundry detergent. I like to use a laundry detergent without fragrance or dyes (I use these tablets* specifically). It's surprising how many conventional laundry products have dye in them. If your liquid (or pod) detergent has a color to it, it most likely is from a synthetic dye. I recommend avoiding this if you can, when washing a handmade quilt. This is the liquid detergent* I used for years before switching to tablets, which is available at most big box or grocery stores.

4. Set your machine to a gentle cycle and wash with cold water.

5. SET A TIMER. This is so important. Probably the most important thing you can do to prevent fabric bleeding in your quilt. You want your wet quilt to sit in the machine, after the wash cycle has finished, for as little time as possible. In my experience, letting wet fabric sit against wet fabric often results in fabric bleeding. 10-15 minutes shouldn't be anything to panic about, but I would try to avoid anything longer than that. Definitely would not recommend throwing a quilt in the wash before you go out to run errands or something!

6. Check your quilt for stains or bleeds before drying it. It's easier to deal with them before they head into the dryer and get set.

7. Dry your quilt. There is a lot of room for personal preference here. For me, I absolutely love the wrinkle crinkle on a finished quilt, so I dry my quilt completely in the dryer, usually on medium heat. I used wool dryer balls* to help it dry evenly, minimize static and make it nice and fluffy! If your quilt is particularly delicate or you want to minimize shrinking, I would recommend drying it on lower heat and pulling it out of the dryer early to let it air dry the rest of the way.

An interesting thing about this trick is that if you search "salt fabric bleeding" or "using salt in laundry" it actually pulls up a few "laundry hacks that didn't work" type of articles. This is a good reminder that it may not work in every situation for every person. I feel confident sharing this trick anyways because it has worked for me for the last 50+ quilts I've made. Just remember to pair it with good quilt washing practices like using cold water and not letting the quilt sit wet in the washer for too long.

I wanted to share a few specific quilts as testimontials to this method. The following quilts were washed using these steps and came through unscathed with no bleeds. A few were quilts with blocks made by a group of people (so a large variety of fabrics), and or quilts with high-contrast and/or deep colors.

Black and White Heart Quilt for Amanda

Fantastic Leftovers Quilt

Finished Scrappy Pineapple Quilt

Tula Pink Kaleidoscope Quilt

I hope you've enjoyed this informational tutorial! I have lots of other tutorials for everything from quilts, pillows, bags, and holiday items to informational series and techniques. Find all my tutorials here: Tutorials. My online shop is filled with patterns for quilts and bags. Find my patterns here: Jeni Baker Patterns

If you make something using one of my tutorials or patterns, I hope you'll tag me @jenib320 and use my hashtag #jenibaker on instagram!

Don't forget to pin this post to your Pinterest for future reference! :)

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.

Friday Favorites 39

Friday, October 7, 2022

Happy Friday! It's time for another Friday Favorites post! Catch up on previous posts here: Friday Favorites Archives

- This dress made by Amalia (and that fabric) are so dreamy!

- These fanny packs made by Karen from vintage quilts are so cool!

- It's the time of year for Halloween makes! I've been tagged in a few coffin blocks lately! Check out my free paper pieced coffin block pattern.

- I'm so in love with this donut ornament I bought from Eling of Migration Goods. I can't wait to display it on my tree this season. She has lots of cute ones left!

- Tried a new dinner recipe this week! This Sesame Apricot Tofu from Pinch of Yum was super good. It felt like we were eating takeout!

- We made halloween rice krispie treats with regular, cocoa, and orange cereal! I think they turned out so cute. I only ever use this recipe by Cookies and Cups to make rice krispies since discovering it years ago. You toast the marshmallows (!!) and brown the butter.

- Had an epic thrift find this week, I managed to find a bunch of vintage sheets new in the package! Couldn't believe my luck. Some of these will end up in giant vintage star quilt kits and some might end up in my shop, we'll see!

- I've been working on building a Lined Drawstring Bag Pinterest board! I have most (I think) of the ones I've made pinned there and now I can start pinning some that you all have made!

- I haven't been this excited about a fabric line in ages, but I am so so excited for Aneela Hoey's upcoming Pips collection!

- Sweet Dusty Kitty was so helpful while I was quilting recently.

Have a Great Weekend!

*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.

September Monthly Report

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Happy October! It's time to reflect on what I worked on in the month of September and check in with my crafty goals and stash tracking. See past monthly reports here.

This month's report is jam packed! I did a lot of sewing in September! I finished two quilts, one I've already posted about (here: Floral Chain Quilt). The other quilt I finished was my Vintage Sheet Bear Paw Quilt, which I'll hopefully be posting soon. I just need some sunshine so I can photograph it. It felt good to finish not one but TWO quilts! I can't remember the last time I finished two quilts in one month. Very fancy!

I also started a new quilt. I dyed some more lawn fabric and cut out a lawn indigo quilt. I haven't started sewing it yet, but everything is cut!

I made four lined drawstring bags this month. I shared details about all four of them in this post. It was fun to play around with some different variations from the expansion pattern.

Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern + Expansion Pattern

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

September Fabric
Used up: -28.25 yard
Brought in: 3 yards
Net: -25.25 yards
Year to date: -46 yards

September Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: -1000 yards

I bought fabric this month! I finally made it to Cate's Sew Modern in Guilford, CT. Picked up a few fat quarters and some holiday fabrics to use in the drawstring bag sew along later this year. Thankfully I used up a lot of fabric this month, so that more than offset what I brought in.

I started a crochet project!! I am crocheting a scrappy yarn basket using this tutorial. I used this skillshare class to help me get started. It's using up so much leftover yarn, which is making me so happy!

Let's check in my with 2022 crafty goals. This month I:
- Completed a TWO term WIPs this month!!
- Knitted a little on my mitten WIP.

Kitty enjoying the sun and a quilt :)

Have a Great Month!

*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.