Saturday, July 13, 2019

Christmas in July Blog Hop

I'm excited to once again be part of the 
Christmas in July Blog Hop 
is organizing. 

There will be some cool things shared during this hop, including a sew along, tutorials, giveaways, and some awesome Holiday ideas. 

Sarah just announced that Figo Fabrics is sponsoring a really nice giveaway bundle of Wintertide.  This is so pretty! 
Check back for details.

Here's the line up...

Sunday, July 14th

Monday, July 15th

Tuesday, July 16th

Wednesday, July 17th

Thursday, July 18th

Friday, July 19th

Saturday, July 20th

Sunday, July 21st

Monday, July 22nd

Tuesday, July 23rd

Wednesday, July 24th

Thursday, July 25th

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along

We had a sewing week for the Broken Panes Quilt Along, which meant I had a week off of blogging about it. In reality, I actually took two weeks off of blogging; so this week I'm posting about the block construction AND the top construction.

This is where we ended last time...

Block Construction
Be sure to check out Jen's post to get some awesome tips for constructing these blocks!

The strip piecing and additional cutting is done, so it's time to start sewing the block units together. This can easily be chain pieced, which is what I did. 

The last set is sewn!

It's time to press these units...

I laid out all the units of the block to be sure that I have them in the correct location. Be sure to notice the orientation of each unit and make sure that you are creating the correct "block flow."

I sewed each horizontal row together and then put those rows together. Be sure to press according to the pattern instructions. That will make sewing the rows together a breeze.

I'm an over-pinner! There I said it, and I feel so much better admitting that. :-)

I pin at intersections, when blocks will meet up together, and I even pin along the right vertical edge to be sure that the edges stay together and there are no surprised later.  

If you have not checked out Jen's post be sure to do so before going on the the next step. It's well worth the time to do so.

Quilt Top Assembly
It's time to put the top together! Check out Jen's post today. She's got some great info to share with you!

Now that all the blocks are sewn, it time to start sewing them together.

I'm making the lap size, so here are my blocks and how they'll appear in the quilt. I wanted to be sure I have the blocks rotated correctly before adding the sashing and cornerstones. If I didn't do that, I'd be spending some quality time with my seam ripper. :-)

I am so happy that I chose the blue for the sashing and the gold cornerstones!

And I love the finished quilt top...

Remember my tips about pinning? I do the same things when adding sashings, cornerstones, and borders. 

Next week we'll discuss prepping this top for quilting.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along

I had an epic Blog fail last week!

Knowing that my schedule would be crazy, I wrote up a couple posts about the first few weeks of the Broken Panes Quilt Along. I did that, got busy and didn't look at the blog until today. Imagine my surprise when I didn't see my posts. 😲 I quickly went to my info page and realized that I forgot to actually schedule the posts!  I simply saved them as drafts instead of scheduling them.

The good news is that I can resolve that issue by simply combining the two and provide a single post for the first two weeks. (I've also gone back and made sure that all of my other posts are scheduled and not just saved.  😁)

Let's start from the Beginning...

Jen over at PBJ is hosting a Quilt Along for her Broken Panes pattern.  

I knew as soon as I saw the pattern that I wanted to join the Quilt Along, so I pulled these fabrics. 

Week One (last week) was all about cutting...

Check out Jen's post HERE

I have learned over the past few years that I often get distracted while cutting, which can result in some disastrous mistakes. To avoid that from happening, I now make a point of getting everything organized, label my fabrics, mark up my pattern to show what I need to cut, and finally mark it off when I actually cut it. It has really helped me make fewer mistakes and stay on track.

I tape snippets of fabric onto the pattern so there is no confusion as to which fabric is being used... (Obviously, I don't cover up everything like I did in this photo. I just did this to show the fabrics and cover the cut sizes. )

The pattern included instructions for four sizes so I've circled (in pencil) the size that I am making. That really helps me avoid mistakes!

Here's my nice, neat pile of cut fabrics. 

I'm ready to get sewing!

Week Two - Sewing Strips and Sub-Cutting 

See Jen's post HERE

Now that everything is cut, I've cleaned and oiled my sewing machine and I'm ready to start sewing the strip sets.

Sewing strip sets is really a time saver, especially is you follow a few simple "rules."

1) Don't stress about thread! Choose a neutral thread color so that you don't have to worry about matching thread to each fabric, which would require a bunch of thread changes. I often tell my students that if you see thread on the front side of your sewing, it's generally not a thread-choice problem, but rather a pressing problem or stitch length problem. Here are my favorite and most-often used piecing threads.

These are So Fine!, by Superior Threads. Can you see the colors in the first picture? It really isn't so much about color as it is light and darkness. All three of these blend well with most of my fabric choices.

2) Sew at a moderate speed (not super fast), to ensure that the edges of the strip sets match up properly and that you are actually sewing with an accurate and consistent 1/4" seam allowance.

3) Chain piece when possible. This really speeds up the process and saves thread. Click here for a more detailed explanation on chain piecing. 

All the strips sets are sewn,  

cut apart,

and ready to press!

4) Take care when pressing to avoid creating a strip that "bows" or curves. I set my seams by simply laying the iron on top of the seam before opening it to press. (Be sure to read the pattern instructions so you know which way to press the seams!)

Fold back the seam, finger press, and then press (not iron) the seam, making sure to not stretch or distort the fabrics. (I forgot to get a picture of the actual pressing. This is just the seam folded back and finger pressed.)

Here's my seam - front and back

It's time to start sub-cutting those strip sets.

5) Trim off the selvage to clean up the edge and have a nice straight place to start cutting. (Be sure to get not only the printed selvage, but also any holes that might be on the edges. Since those can be tricky to see, look at both the front and back of the fabric to be sure to catch them and remove them.)

6) Use both the vertical and horizontal lines on your ruler to be sure that you are accurately sub-cutting the strip sets.

Lining up a horizontal line on the ruler with the sewn seam as well as the vertical edge will result in beautifully cut pieces.  

Don't rush this part! Taking time to accurately sew strip sets and cut them is going to make your life and sewing experience so much easier and fun. 

I've got everything cut and ready to sew...I'll see you on the 25th when we start sewing the blocks together. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Broken Panes QAL

I'm thrilled to be joining Jen over at Patterns by Jen for the Broken Panes Quilt Along.

When I first saw a picture of this quilt, I knew that I wanted to make it. There's something just really fun about this quilt!

I was really happy when Jen put out a request for a few bloggers to participate in the QAL and she picked me to be one of them. Yay!!

Here's the schedule Jen has put together for us:


May 14th - Fabric Prep
May 21st - Needles and Rotary Cutters
May 28th - Bobbins and Thread June 4th - Cutting
June 11 - Sewing strips and sub - cutting
June 18 - Sewing week
June 25 - Sewing blocks together
July 2nd - Piecing top
July 9 - Quilting prep
July 16 - Sewing/basting week
July 23 - Quilting
July 30 - Finishing touches
August 13 - Some sort of quilt link up or something to show the finished tops (either fully pieced or fully quilted)


I'll be making the 57" x 82" version, and here are the fabrics I've chosen.

Yep! I'm making a patriotic version. I plan to use this as a Quilt of Valor project and am sure that it'll look great. My fabrics are shown from left to right in the order that they appear in the fabric requirements on the pattern. I've swapped the blue star fabric for the red, the gold stars for the orange, the white swirl for the green, dark blue for the blue, and the red for the teal. 

There's still time to join the fun.

Go to Jen's blog to find out where to get the pattern and check out the information she has provided on choosing and prepping your fabric. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Productive Classes/Workshops

I love it when workshops or classes that I teach are productive!

Check out the awesomeness that I had the pleasure to be around recently.

We all had a fun time helping Teresa pick fabric for her first quilt, Rainbow Star

More Rainbow Star Quilts - they are all so pretty and so different!

Shelly's balck background is stunning!

One Block Wonder - love this layout!

Another One Block Wonder Layout option

Kay's One Block Wonder made from a panel.

More One Block Wonder Blocks, but this time the hexagon blocks are going to be mixed with some triangles. 

Jill is looking at her triangle fabric options

Love this scrappy quilt!

Kathy is making lots of heart blocks! Check out the picture later in the post of her partial quilt layout.

Diane is getting some quilting done.

Catherine is working on a new Simply a Pleasure table runner.

Teresa is concentrating on her point pinning.  :-)

Denise is adding the binding to a beautiful baby quilt.

Donna embroidered a cover for her food processor. She's got a new machine and learning it quite well.

Denise finished her binding and is making two little pouches. 

Kathy is using my Girl's Best Friend quilt as a design wall. She's got all the heart blocks done and sewing rows together. They look awesome and they all match up beautifully. Yay for accurate 1/4" seam allowances.  :-)

Donna finished her cover and it looks great!

Another awesome Rainbow Star quilt, made from batiks.

I think Teresa did a great job on her first quilt, don't you?

I love seeing all this creative productivity! I am blessed to be able to share this with so many people.