halloween gingham stars finished!

quilted 2.jpg

Um... happy belated Halloween? Ok, I know that it's a little crazy to show you a Halloween quilt now... except that this might be a good time to shop for Halloween fabric at clearance prices, right? 

Here's the backstory. I was a part of the book tour for Holiday Wishes by Sherri Falls in July 2016. All of the patterns in the book use Christmas fabric. But I challenged myself to be different, so I reinterpreted the Gingham Stars quilt in Halloween prints. I used a fat quarter bundle of Spooky Delights by Bunny Hill for Moda Fabrics. 

book cover.jpg

I sent the top out for longarm quilting. But then when it was returned to me, we were in the midst of the house purchase, and I didn't immediately stitch the binding. Gingham Stars was packed away, unfinished, when we moved. And then one week before Halloween, I knew that I wanted it completed NOW. The only problem was that I was in NYC for that entire week! So I finally got that binding stitched down just 2 days before Halloween. Whew! (Are you still reading? I hope so!)

quilted 3.jpg

Don't even ask me how we found time to decorate the outside of the house, but I couldn't get myself to stitch that binding!


Yes, those chrysanthemums are pink!

quilted 5.jpg

Halloween Gingham Stars has kind of taken on a life of its own. I've received so many emails requesting information about this quilt. Then one day I discovered why - it's been pinned and repinned on Pinterest! And I've seen on Instagram that several quilt shops created kits and taught classes to duplicate my quilt. I love that it has inspired many people to make their own versions.  (I'll admit that sometimes it stings when I see it popping up online and I'm not credited, but I do realize that some makers might not know the origin.)

A big thank you goes to Sherri Falls for writing such a great book, and also to Kaylene Parry for her beautiful modernized Baptist Fan quilting.

And now I am ready for Halloween 2018! Just add candy corn...  

quilted 4.jpg

holiday wishes blog hop

Welcome to my stop on the Holiday Wishes book blog tour! It's time for Christmas in July with Fat Quarter Shop and author Sherri Falls. This book is full of great quilts (10 of them, including the sampler shown on the cover), plus a runner and a tree skirt.

I was curious to see if I could translate a Christmas quilt into a Halloween quilt, and I just happened to have a fat quarter bundle of Bunny Hill's latest fabric collection, Spooky Delight. I love those little goofy cats, mice and owls, as well as the dots and stripes.  After about a month of pondering (I am not kidding... I even had the book on my bedside table!) I finally decided on the Gingham Stars pattern.

Twelve "gingham" star centers coming right up! I used the smaller prints here, and I reserved the larger prints for the star points. The blocks measure a generous 18", so you could easily turn one block into a pillow, or keep going for a king sized quilt.

The top goes together very quickly once you've finished your blocks. Super simple sashing and no outer borders! (I backstitched all the seams that fall on the outer edges so that nothing will pop apart when it's on the longarm machine.)

The patterns in Holiday Wishes are very easy to understand, and the book has lots of construction diagrams. I always appreciate having arrows to indicate which direction to press my seams. (Hey, it's hot here, and my brain doesn't always function perfectly in the heat!) Of course, Sherri provides yardage requirements, but if you use a fat quarter bundle like I did, you'll definitely have a generous amount of fabric left over for another quilt (I'm planning to make a bunch of these cute scaredy cats with my scraps).

There are lots of other projects in this book that I'd still like to make (maybe even a Christmas quilt?!) so I'll keep it near my sewing machine. There's still plenty of time before Christmas, right? You can pick up a copy here. Special thanks to Fat Quarter Shop and Sherri Falls for asking me to play along!

christmas in january?

It's a little weird to work on a Christmas quilt in January. It seems appropriate since this quilt has lots of little snowmen prints. And it's c  o  l  d here in NYC. As I write this, it's 13 degrees in Central Park (3 blocks from my home) and it feels like NEGATIVE 3. It's going down to 7 degrees tonight. I'm one of those crazy people because I love winter and snow and snowmen and ice! (Ok, the sleet on Saturday was not fun.) 

This blurry pic was taken with my iPhone this past weekend. I always like to do a test layout before I sew my blocks together. I originally planned to have my strips of geese flying in opposite directions. But when I did that it just looked like a confused, directionless mess with no visual focus. Carrie Nelson's pattern is perfect just the way it is. The individual pattern seems to be out of print, but it can be found in the book A Touch of Rosie, which is what I'm using. It's full of good stuff!

So here's the look that I'm going for. Mostly. I'm going to simplify the border slightly.

These prints still make me happy! Anne Sutton's Bunny Hill Designs prints are always fun. This collection is Winter Wonderland, and it completely reminds me of candy canes. Anne has another Christmas collection coming out this month that I've already preordered! And Anne is offering a free monthly ornament pattern on her blog here. Just wait till you see her cute appliqued, embroidered snowmen angel ornaments.

And now the geese get sewn into strips! Lots of simple sewing, just perfect to do while listening to iTunes and drinking hot tea!

bring on the snowmen!

white christmas due south 018.JPG

I love red and white quilts at Christmas. And I love the Winter Wonderland collection by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda with happy snowmen, stars and trees!

I bought a fat quarter bundle when it first came out several months ago. But I had no idea how to use it! Most red and white quilts seem to be in solid fabrics, or else they're in vintage turkey reds. I searched though photos from the Infinite Variety show of red and white quilts in NYC a few years ago. That didn't help... most of the quilts were done in solids. Then I bought several patterns but none of them were exactly right. Finally, while reading A Touch of Rosie Quilts by Carrie Nelson, I came across this quilt.

Miss Rosie's Due South pattern cover.jpg

I thought that this might look like shattered peppermint candy if it was done in red and white prints. And of course I love peppermint candy! So I had my pattern. 

white christmas due south 051.JPG

Once again, I'm using the Fit To Be Geese ruler to create accurate flying geese. There is very little wasted fabric when using this ruler, and even the trimmings look pepperminty!

white christmas due south 006.JPG

Winter Wonderland sold out quickly. There is some on the Bunny Hill website, and there is plenty of it on Ebay. If you're lucky, you might even find a few bolts at your local quilt shop. I'll need to buy yardage for my backing before it disappears!

The quilt will need 212 geese, and I've finished 152. The repetitive sewing and trimming is actually a nice break from my previous quilt project - no thinking involved! Just cut, sew, trim, repeat! The quilt will also have a sprinkling of twinkly stars.

white christmas due south 061.JPG

Oh, and in case you thought I just made 152 geese instead of sleeping, well, I didn't! I've been quietly working on these over the past few weeks, in between other projects.

A Touch of Rosie might be out of print, but Carrie has just reissued Due South as an individual pdf pattern. It can be purchased for download on her website


friday finish - christmas dresden plate quilt!

Ok folks, crank up the Christmas music and pour yourself a glass of eggnog, because we have a Christmas in July quilt finish!

It all started with a Dresden plate quilt tutorial by Bunny Hill. Dresdens have always been one of my favorite designs, but I thought that they were too difficult for me. Anne Sutton's pattern sure looked easy. Just use this ruler to cut wedge shapes, sew them inside out and then flip them to the right side, stitch them all together and applique them down to a foundation. But I had a few problems. I didn't have that much experience with sewing odd shapes, and I can't do needleturn applique. I wanted it to be nearly king sized. And I had no idea what colors to use! I just looked at this as a fun challenge and a way to expand my skills. So first I printed 2 copies of the black and white pattern and taped them together to make a larger quilt pattern. Then I grabbed my colored pencils and started playing. Here's my final draft.

See how my sketch had alternating red and white centers? I went with all red centers in my final design. And I had absolutely no idea how much fabric I would need. I pulled all of my Fig Tree Quilts reds, greens and creams. I love how most of Joanna Figueroa's collections really do work together - the challenge is to break up those fat quarter stacks and play with color! This quilt has fabric from many of her collections including Patisserie, Gypsy Rose, Butterscotch & Rose, Strawberry Fields, California Girl, Tapestry and Avalon. Each plate contains 20 sections, and I used at least 40 prints in this quilt so no two plates are identical. They were hand-appliqued using Kimono silk thread. Eek, that silk thread is fine. It's like sewing with hair! The background is a printed cream, which has a slightly glazed appearance. It's sashed in a cream Tapestry print and bordered in a candy-apple red Avalon floral, and it measures approximately 95" x 105".

This was started in December 2012 during the Christmas holiday break from work. I sewed, sewed, sewed like a maniac for a few weeks and then spent months doing the applique. I shipped it across the country to my longarm quilter, Melissa, with compete trust that she'd find the perfect custom design for it. (I neglected to tell her just how large it is!) And I really love the design that she came up with. I always do, and it's a nice surprise to open the box when the UPS man delivers it.

I can't wait for November to arrive so that I can start working on more Christmas quilts! But now I need to pack up the reds and greens for a few months. And stop playing Christmas music, and stop drinking eggnog. 

Thanks for visiting with me today! I'm linking with Finish It Up Fridays at Crazy Mom Quilts. Be sure to stop by to see what other quilters have finished this week.