Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wacky Jack

Are you ready for a little Wacky Jack? No, it's not illegal or even the slightest bit inebriating, but it is very scrappy and a whole lot of fun!

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”
 This project was percolating for a while. I had won a small bundle of Halloween FQ's in a raffle at quilt retreat a while ago and they had been sitting on my shelf staring at me every time I would open the door just begging to be used in something. Of course, I probably had enough initially to make a table runner but once this bug bit there was no going back. The final quilt measures 60"x72" and was so fun to make.

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”
 One of the best parts of this project is definitely the quilting done by Tracey. If there was ever a quilt that could handle neon orange and acid green spider webs this is it! She did an amazing job and I love it. I will work on some close-up shots soon so you can fully appreciate her creative spirit on this project.

Well, if you're in my area you can see this little lovely at the fair in August. If not, you can enjoy it on the pages of American Patchwork & Quilting, the October 2013 edition that should be on newsstands or in your favorite quilt shop any day now. Even though we are still enjoying these last beautiful days of summer, I hope it will inspire you to pull out those purples/oranges/greens and create a little Wacky Jack yourself.

Happy stitching,


Friday, July 26, 2013

Christmas in July and a new pattern

I really wonder sometimes why I feel like working on different projects at odd times of the year. Halloween quilt in February, sure. Red, white and blue in April, yep. Christmas in July, you bet! This project actually had some other deadlines attached so that may explain part of it but I am thrilled to show you my first pattern design!

It's a Christmas tree skirt pattern called "All I Want for Christmas" and it's in stores locally now and available nationally through for retail and wholesale distribution (Pattern #TA-101). Here's a link to Fabric-Etc's blog post about it with a picture of the sample that Tracey made for the shop and to help me test the pattern. (Thanks Tracey!) Check out my pattern page for more info on where you can find it.

It was a really fun project to work on although I have to admit that I procrastinated on actually finally making it! My sister had asked for a tree skirt (about five years ago...) and I hemmed and hawed until the idea came together. Like most of my designs, the idea comes first and then I have to figure out how to make it work!

I tackled this project like eating a pie - one slice at a time! It's broken down into 8 wedges that you piece and quilt individually and then sash them together at the end. It's pretty big - measures 60" in diameter for the very simple reason that we have really big Christmas trees in our family! Also, I figure if I'm going to make such a cool tree skirt I want to be able to see it, not have it shoved all the way under the tree!

If you're new to paper piecing or free motion quilting, this may be just the project for you. The paper foundation piecing is very basic and suitable for a beginner. Also, it lends itself to experimentation with FMQ because you are always working with very manageable sized sections - and let's face it, this will end up under a tree on the floor so cut yourself some slack and have fun!

Happy stitching,


Monday, July 22, 2013

Borders, backs and basting, oh my!

My completion list is kind of short so far this summer because I've been doing a whole lot of this...

and not much of this...

But I have been making headway. Mostly on things that seem to take a lot more time than I think they are going to. I spent many hours working on borders for a guild project. The two hours I thought it would take turned into six and at the end I still don't know why it took so long! Backs are the same way. Last weekend I spent some time piecing three quilt backs that I had been procrastinating on (mainly because they are my least favorite part of the process.) Again, took way longer than they ever should. I like to spend my time up to my eyeballs in fabric, zipping through piecing and have a whole lot of blocks to show for it as my reward.

Then this weekend, I decided to go completely old-school and thread baste a quilt that I am planning on taking to the lake with me to work on hand quilting. Yes, thread baste. By hand. Never happens.


But it was strangely relaxing and rewarding. Something about this quilt that makes me want to spend more time with it before it's done. Maybe this quilting-thing is teaching me something about patience along the way. Who knew?

Happy stitching,


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Well, it's the Fourth of July! We have been having amazingly beautiful weather here and I must admit I have gotten absolutely NO sewing done to speak of! Usually, our summer weather officially arrives about July 5th but this year we have been lucky and are getting an early dose. After spending a beautiful day out on the bay soaking up some vitamin D and getting ready for fireworks, and no stitching to be seen anywhere, I'll have to go back a year for some patriotic eye candy.

This RWB scrappy tumbler quilt was made for one of my lovely aunts last summer. I tried out the AccuQuilt Go! fabric cutter at Fabric Etc. in Bellingham and used the 6" tumbler die for this. What a snap! I think it took about ten minutes to cut the whole top. It probably took me longer to cut the border fabric :) The other cool thing about the die cutter is that the dies cut a little notch in your pieces that you line up when you sew - perfect points! (a rarity in my sewing room, I must admit.)

That thing is pretty slick! It was fun to play with too and having it at the shop means I don't have to find room for it in the sewing room. Bonus!

Happy stitching and a very happy 4th,