Thursday, February 26, 2015

QuiltCon Button Display

As I was unpacking from QuiltCon, I started to think about what I was going to do with all of the buttons I received during the button swap.  I did not just want to put them in a jar only to wind up as clutter somewhere in my closet; I wanted to see them each day in my sewing room as a reminder of all of the wonderful quilters I had met during QuiltCon.

I decided to make a little display for the buttons for my sewing room wall and am posting a short tutorial so you can too!  I used the same technique as my Boy Scout Badge Display Tutorial, just using a smaller frame.

For the display you will need:
  • A picture frame (I had one old one in my closet but you could buy one from JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, or the like).  I used a frame with an 8" x 10" opening.
  • Batting at least as big as the frame plus 2" on each side
  • Fabric at least as big as the frame plus 2" on each side.
  • Tape (masking tape or duct tape).

I used some batting scraps as my batting and some dark blue fabric as my background so the buttons (most having a lighter background) would have good contrast against the background.

Step 1 - Disassemble the frame keeping the actual frame, the backing material (usually corrugated cardboard), and the hanging hard wear.

Step 2 - Arrange on the floor in order:
  1. Fabric right side down
  2. Batting
  3. Frame backing

Step 3 - Trim batting and fabric to about 2" all around the cardboard.

Step 4 - Wrap the batting and fabric around the cardboard and tape in place with tape (similar to recovering a chair cushion).  I first taped down a first pair of opposite sides, then the second pair of opposite sides and corners.   Don't worry about how the back looks, just make sure that the front does not have any wrinkles.

Step 5 - Place the wrapped frame backing into the frame, secure in place and attach hanging hardware.  Now for the fun part, stick in all of your buttons in any pattern you like.

I hope you try this tutorial and create some wonderful memorabilia from your buttons of QuiltCon 2015!

I am linking up to Link a Finish FridayWhoop Whoop FridayThank Goodness Its Finished FridayFinish It Up FridayFabric Frenzy Friday,  Sewjo @ My Go Go Life, and Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.

I am also linking up with the linky party Tips and Tutorials Tuesday over at the Late Night Quilter's blog.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Irish Chain Twist Quilt-a-long - Improv Piecing Units

Melissa Corry (Happy Quilting) runs some great quilt-a-longs.  The last one I was able to take part in was her Star Surround quilt-a-long and that was before I started blogging (so it has been a couple of years).  I love Irish Chain quilts and Melissa's version looked like such fun, I had no choice but to join in.

I am making the wall size (my walls in my sewing room really need some more color) and am using scraps from Bonnie & Camille's lines from Ruby all the way through Daysail.  I am pairing the prints with some Kona Navy as a background instead of my typical white.

This week's assignment was to make some Improv Piecing Units and they went together very easily.

Have you taken part in any good quilt-a-longs recently?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Prepping for QuiltCon

I am very excited to be heading off to Austin for QuiltCon on Wednesday as long as the ice in South Carolina melts and my plane gets to take off.  The past few days I have been packing and prepping.

My buttons are ready:

New business cards are printed:

I have some homemade items to wear:

My two quilts that were juried into QuiltCon are waiting in Austin:

And I will get to see the finished quilt of my groups QuiltCon Charity quilt:

I hope to meet as many of you at QuiltCon as I can, come swap buttons with me :)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Mini Quilt

Happy Valentine's Day!  Today I am sharing a quick Valentine's Day mini that I just finished yesterday. The quilt pattern is by Diane Bohn of From Blank Pages and is a free download from Craftsy.

I finished the top about a week ago as an example to show at the paper piecing program for our February Greenville Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  I had no plans on what to do with the top after the meeting, but decided that I should finish it into something useful instead of it going in the ever-growing WIP pile.

With a little cross-hatch quilting and binding, the mini was quickly finished in time to enjoy for Valentine's Day :)  For the quilting, I marked two diagonal lines on the quilt top and used the edge of my walking foot for spacing so the lines are about 3/8" apart.  The mini finished about 9.5" x 9.5".

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WIP - Branding, Logo, and Website Design

One big work-in-progress I have going on behind the scenes is working with the wonderfully talented graphic designer Susan Hazel Rich to develop a new and cohesive branding strategy across my blog, etsy shop, and patterns.  

You can see some of my new logo and branding strategy with my new blog header and fonts that I just added yesterday alone with a new etsy banner.  Susan has worked to bring down the number of fonts on my blog from 7 or 8 to just 2, I might have been a little font happy :)

She also created a new and fun tagline "Engineer by Day, Quilter by Night" which I think very accurately describes me and my quilting.

As part of my cohesive brand, all of my patterns will be getting a facelift with a new professional cover design, layout, and illustrations.  Susan has taught me the difference between vector based images and pixel based images, and so I now updating my patterns using a new illustration and page layout software.  I will admit that I am really enjoying this part!

I think that branding is an on-going process, but I feel like I have made a good step in the right direction, I hope you like the new design and check in again soon to see the continued upgrades :)

I am very happy to link up with Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh QuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, and WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Layers of Charm with the Fat Quarter Shop

When I got an e-mail late last year asking if I wanted to take part in the launch of a new Fat Quarter Shop pattern I did not hesitate in sending back a big "yes, please"!  In addition to one of the largest collections of fabric for sale (along with super quick shipping), the Fat Quarter Shop produces free, beginner friendly patterns.

The Fat Quarter Shop's newest pattern is called Layers of Charm and the you can download the free PDF pattern here and check out the video tutorial here.  The pattern uses one layer cake and one charm pack to make a nice 57.5 x 57.5" lap sized quilt (the pattern also includes instructions for sizes ranging from baby, to table runner, all the way to king).

I chose to make my version using a layer cake of the Mustang collection by Melody Miller for Cotton & Steel and a white charm pack. 

Mustang has so many different colors and prints in the layer cake, which gives the quilt a fun, scrappy look.

I quilted pebbles in the white diamonds using a white Aurifil thread and a meandering pattern in the print fabrics using a light gray Aurifil thread.  For the binding, I used a print from the PB&J collection by Sweetwater for Moda, which matches surprising well.  

As a little tip, you can get a bonus half square triangle (HST) from each block if you make an extra stitch line a 1/2" away from the first stitch line before trimming 1/4" from the first line.  I am going to use my 36 extra HST in a pillow top.

This was a fun and easy quilt to make.  I really liked the large fabric piece sizes within the blocks which highlighted some of the larger scale Mustang prints.  Be sure to download the free Layers of Charm pattern here and then watch the You Tube Video Tutorial here.  

I am linking up my bonus HST tip with the new linky party Tips and Tutorials Tuesday over at the Late Night Quilter's blog.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tova Top in Doe

For my last homemade, wearable item for QuiltCon I made a second Tova Top by Wiksten.  Because this was my second time making the pattern (the first Tova I made using a Chicopee print from Denyse Schmidt) I used some of my new, favorite print from the new Doe Collection by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman.  

This time around I made the shoulders and bust as a small and graded out to a medium at the hips.  The shirt came together pretty quickly and easily as I had figured out most of the steps during the making of the first Tova.

I will be wearing this shirt on the Saturday of QuiltCon when I have a lecture taught by Carolyn Friedlander.

So a question - how many of the same style shirt is acceptable to have in your wardrobe?  :)

I am linking up to Link a Finish FridayWhoop Whoop FridayThank Goodness Its Finished FridayFinish It Up FridayFabric Frenzy Fridayand Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Foothills Mystery Quilt - February Instructions

Welcome to February's instructions for the Foothills Mystery Quilt-a-long!

I cannot believe it is already here, but this month is the last month of instructions and the reveal of the mystery quilt top!  You will find out below how the 4 different types of blocks which have 3 different sizes all come together; I hope that you like the final design! (Remember, the instructions for previous months can be found in the Foothills Mystery Quilt tab above so you can start the quilt at anytime).

These instructions below are for piecing the blocks into a quilt top, adding a border, and finishing the quilt.  Next month we will not have any instructions, giving you two full months to piece and finish your quilt.  

We are going to have a quilt parade in April to celebrate.  Pictures of quilt tops and finished quilts will be due to me by the first Thursday of April (the 2nd) and then the quilt parade will be the second Thursday of April (the 9th).  When your quilt top/quilt is ready, you can send me a picture(s) along with your name, blog name, blog address and anything else you would like published with the picture.

Please share your in-progress pictures on our flicker group Meadow Mist Designs and on Instagram using the hastag #FoothillsMystery so that everyone can see your progress :)

Quilt Top Assembly

Assemble the quilt top using 12 diamond blocks (12½” x 12½), 6 four-patch blocks (6½” x 6½”), 7 whole hourglass blocks (6½” x 12½”), and 10 half hourglass blocks (6½” x 12½”).

Layout blocks according to the following diagram.  Sew blocks into rows, then sew rows together for the quilt top.  Press all seams open.  The quilt top (without borders) measures approximately 48½” x 66½”.

Adding Borders

Use 6 fabric set B strips (3½” x WOF) to add borders to the quilt top (3” finished borders).

1.  Form the side borders by sewing 2 full strips (3½” x WOF) end to end and trimming to the average height of the quilt, approximately 66½”, reserving the trimmed pieces.  Repeat to form 2 side border pieces. 

2.  Attach the side borders to the sides of the quilt, pressing seams open or towards the border.

3.  Form the top and bottom borders by sewing 1 full strip (3½” x WOF) with a trimmed border piece end to end and trimming to the average width of the quilt, approximately 54½”.  Repeat to form 2 top and bottom border pieces. 

4.  Attach the top and bottom border to the quilt, pressing seams open or towards the borders.

The finished quilt top with borders should measure approximately 54½” x 72½”.

Finishing the Quilt

Binding (straight grain):  ⅝ yard

Batting (with a 4” overhang): 62” x 80”

Backing (with a 4” overhang): 3½ yards

1.      Layer the quilt top, batting, and backing.

2.      Baste and quilt as desired. 

3.      Form the binding from 7 strips, each 2½” x WOF.  Bind and enjoy your quilt, thanks for joining in on this mystery quilt-a-long!

Finished size 54½” x 72½