Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Pattern for Spring: "Flying Kites"

I am so happy to share a new Color Girl pattern with you! "Flying Kites" was originally published last summer, but has now undergone my re-branding with more size options and improved graphics. It is available to purchase as an immediate download in my Craftsy Shop.

This pattern is great for a confident beginner quilter, with simple to piece blocks set on-point. I made the original quilt, shown above, with a Moda charm pack of the "Lucy's Crab Shack" collection.  This size option requires only one charm pack and finishes at 39"x60" without borders or 54"x76" with the borders: perfect for naps!

The "Flying Kites" pattern also includes fabric requirements, instructions and full layout diagram for a queen/king size, which requires just two charm packs plus yardage. This quilt is such a great way to showcase an entire collection of favorite prints, scraps (you only need 5" squares) or would be a fun way to do an "I-SPY" quilt with novelty prints.
I switched up the colors and made this baby size:

These charm squares are from the "Bungalow" collection by Joel Dewberry. This pack only had 30 squares (instead of 42, which come in the Moda brand packs), and makes a really quick-sew baby quilt.

As with most Color Girl patterns, I included some suggestions in the pattern for variations if you want to make your quilt unique or more challenging.

I am going to give a copy of this pattern away to two readers this week! To enter the drawing, leave a comment on this post. Please tell me what sewing plans you have for this spring and summer….

I will pick winners on Wednesday, have a great week!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Polka Dot Bikini Quilt Along: Progress and Troubleshooting

Happy Bikini Day! It also happens to be really sunny outside and almost Friday, so it's a good day!

Today is the last check in for the Bikini Quilt Along, do you have all of your blocks sewn up? During the next two weeks we should be sewing the blocks together to make the finished top. I am so excited! Just wanted to give you a bit of a peek at mine so far, here are some blocks laid out…

I decided on this layout, turning every other block so that the patchwork squares alternate with solid blue fabrics. Some of the pod fabrics are peachy/orange and some are blue prints that coordinate with the solids.  Figured I might as well try something fun and different for my second quilt. You can make one like this from the original pattern by making all of your block "border blocks", that is, half patchwork and half solid.

As you begin to sew your blocks together into rows, remember to press the seams between the blocks either open or alternating the direction from row to row like this (forgive the very simple graphic):
by pressing the seams in the same direction, but alternating each row, they will fit together well when you go to sew the rows together. This helps to keep seam lines matched up and straight and reduces fabric bulk at the intersections. I also like to pin at these intersections to keep the rows lined up as I sew.

If you are having difficulty with the patchwork square border due to your blocks turning out too big or too small, I have a few suggestions:
  • keep it really simple and just skip the patchwork border. Use a large scale print fabric or something that coordinates with the rest of your quilt. Cut a 10 1/2" square from the chosen fabric, then cut it out with the template the same as you would if you did the patchwork pieces.
  • if your blocks are coming out 10" instead of 10 1/2": cut the squares for the edge blocks 2 7/8" instead of 3". When pieced together, the unit will be 10" rather than 10 1/2". Then cut the curve with the template as shown in the pattern instructions.
  • if your blocks are coming out 11" instead of 10 1/2": cut the squares 3 1/8" instead of 3", then proceed as usual with the pattern.

if your blocks are all different sizes (oh, my!): take off the corner stones (if you have already sewn them on), then trim and square them all to the same size, just make sure you leave the 1/4" on the ends of the gray pods so you don't lose the point when you sew the blocks together.

Re-sizing your blocks when they are at the stage shown above will require you to adjust the cornerstones or do something different. (see alternative ideas for cornerstones Here). It will also make it necessary to adjust your border blocks (see bullet point options above). Don't give up!

I have really loved hearing from those that are working on their quilts…some of you have finished tops!…and I really want everyone to enjoy making this quilt. Please let me know if you are working on yours, and if you post pictures, tell me where to find you (blog, Facebook, instagram, etc)

Happy Curvy Sewing,


Monday, April 14, 2014

A Little Flowers, A Little Fabric (new Kaffe!)

It is a beautiful day! so happy to see signs of Spring….

The first flowers are blooming in my garden, tiny little crocus bulbs. They are so cheerful and bright!
I am gearing up for a lot of yard work this coming week: since I am the neighborhood landscaping committee, I have mulching, weeding, planting and trimming to do in both my own garden and the neighborhood flower beds. I cannot wait!

There is also beautiful new fabric available! Jackie, at Canton Village has a new supply of gorgeous Kaffe Fassett prints….I love that print with the houses and it comes in other color ways, too.
I did a bit of "virtual" shopping and picked this little bundle for you to enjoy.
(if you like these, you can find them Here)

I would love to add some solids and make this into a pretty spring quilt: how about a bit of yellow, pink and blue?
I don't know about you, but it's so much fun to watch the new colors pop up around me, whether it's in my flower garden (even those in the Southern Hemisphere should be enjoying some fall color now, right?) or in my other favorite medium: fabric!

Enjoy the Week,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April is for Finishes!

April is a new beginning for me. I finally quit my regular day job at the end of March. It was really a negative in my life, and I wanted to spend more time quilting and developing the potential in that (Huge Thanks to those who buy my patterns, visit my blog, and support my sponsor!), as well as focus more on quality time with my kids.

I did start a new "real" job, but only very part time. I am spending my newly increased quilty time to get some of my unfinished projects finished.

I have (finally) finished my Summer Blockbuster quilt from last summer. I has been sitting there just needing binding for months, and I am pretty excited to have it finished before I actually start this summer's blockbuster!

A couple of years ago, I made the lemoyne star blocks using gold, purple and minty green inspired by the colors in the leafy border fabric. I made several in 3", 6", 9" and 12" blocks without any plan for a quilt, and then they sat in WIP-land for a long time. Last Summer I finally decided to just make what blocks I had into a quilt, and this is the result.

It feels good to mark one off the list of Unfinished! If you like this quilt and have a group of orphan blocks, the pattern to turn them into a quilt like mine is published Here on my blog.

These blocks, then also the quilt, sat unfinished for a long time because I wasn't too sure I really loved it. It's funny how you can put something away for a while and then get it out, finish it, and realize you really like it more than your remember. Maybe that binding was just the finishing touch it needed!


Linking up for TGIFF
CRAZY MOM QUILTS, finish it up friday
and Sarah for Whoop Whoop Friday

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Book Club: "Scrap Basket Beauties"

It's April! It's beginning to look like spring, and it's time for a new book club selection.
If you are just tuning in, each month I choose a book to feature and chat a bit about. I also sew one     12 1/2" scrappy block inspired by something in the book.

This month I picked out "Scrap Basket Beauties" by Kim Brackett. All of you modern quilters might think this looks like a cutesy tootsy full of projects in pastels and 30's reproductions, but if you look inside, there is lots of goodness for any taste….

As the title indicates, the projects are centered around using scraps, specifically strips. I personally love scrappy quilts, so I think it's pretty fun. If you don't have much of a stash or lots of scraps, you could also use pre-cuts or yardage, too.
I love both of these quilts photographed on the back of the book (above). Wouldn't that star block on the right be great in the center of a medallion quilt?

For my block, I decided to take piece of this quilt made up of crosses. Originally my block was just the yellow cross shape with the blue and pink around the edges…it was really blah, so I cut it apart and added the green strip. I think it livens it up a bit.
I now have eight blocks made. You can see past book club posts Here. I have just one more month, then over the summer, these blocks will be made into a "blockbuster" quilt…free quilt along here on the blog…great for turning your orphan blocks into a quilt!

"Scrap Basket Beauties" has several variations on the classic pinwheel block, which has been one of my favorites. The one above could be made to look really retro or really modern depending on the fabric and layout of the blocks.

"Scrap Basket Beauties" contains a full section on basic quilt-making and 18 projects for all skill levels. A fun addition to your library, or just a browse for serious inspiration.

Have a great week! I am hoping to enjoy some time in my garden…there are signs of life!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bikini Quilt Along Progress

Happy April!
For our Polka Dot Bikini quilt along schedule, you should have four more border blocks and the last of the center blocks sewn up. How did you do?

Today I want to share some great inspiration: the finished Bikini top made by my mom, Marian. I showed you this as a work in progress back at the start of the quilt-along. Didn't this turn out stunning?

Marian made her blocks by piecing the setting arcs with half black and half white, this creates the neat pinwheel where the blocks come together.
I like how this makes the individual blocks disappear and you really just see the overall design. She made the edge blocks into a black and white checkerboard, but the black prints have touches of bright color, making them stand out a bit from the black in the center of the quilt.

We have one more check-in post before showing the finished tops on May 1st. I would love to see more of the projects. If you would like to have yours featured here, please email me.

If you are working on your Bikini Quilt, no matter what stage you are, leave a comment here and tell me and the rest of us where to visit you: blog, flickr, instagram name, etc. I would love to see your unique version.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Taking it on the road: Salt Lake City

I love visiting Utah.
My boys get to go skiing, which they love.
It is beautiful: snowy mountains, spring trees in bloom in the valley (it still looks like the dead of winter back home)
My family is here: I spent the weekend on a mini sewing "retreat" with my mom and sister,

I got to sew on that cute little white featherweight there in the front!

My brothers came to town to see me, too. I am so blessed to have great relationships with my siblings.
My younger brother brings his dog, sweet Dusty,

Dusty is a dog who quilts, just like my Cleo at home. Here he is trying out my project. This purple is a new color for me...and I love it! more on this later.

Salt Lake City has really fabulous quilt shops! Seriously, my stash would be about three times its size if I lived here. If you are ever in town, you simply must check out Elaine's Quilt Block, Pine Needles, and Quilters' Haven: they are heaven for fabric lovers! I picked up this piece from Tula Pink's new collection, Fox Field, at Elaine's:

I plan to use it for a binding.  I always like stripes for binding, but this one really has a bit of flare.

So that's where I have been, visiting, sewing, eating too much candy, laughing with my family. 

Have a great week! see you back here Thursday for the Bikini QAL check-in...I have something super fabulous to share....


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