maggie's first dance - borders, assembly, finish!

It's the last month of the Maggie's First Dance quilt along! This month's free pattern from Jacquelynne Steves includes directions for the center assembly and borders. Super easy. Super quick. The grey floral border is Strawberry Biscuit by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics. For the backing, I used one of my favorite mini strawberry prints from Holly Holderman's Lakehouse, and then a pink and grey plaid binding from Pam Kitty Morning (this is proof that Pam Kitty Morning fabrics go with virtually everything!). It was quilted by Kaylene Parry with an overall design called Curly Twirly. (Kaylene is the nicest quilter with high quality edge-to-edge work, fast turnaround time and reasonable prices. See her patterns and pricing on Pinterest here.)

I hope that you've enjoyed the sew along and will soon have a finished quilt of your own. If you haven't started yet, sign up for Jacquelynne Steves' newsletter here.

This month's giveaway is a Clearly Perfect Angles pack courtesy of New Leaf Stitches. Just leave a comment below. The giveaway is open to all US and international readers, and it will close at midnight on November 14.  And as always, make sure that I'm able to reach you if you're the winner! Visit New Leaf Stitches here to check out Kari's notions, patterns and more.

AND A BIT OF HOUSEKEEPING! I'm so sorry to be late to announce the winner of the First Blush giveaway from two weeks ago. The winner is Missy Shay. She'll receive a bundle of First Blush fabric and the coordinating Aurifil thread. Missy likes Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Good choices, right? (I actually have a hard time choosing a favorite candy. Peeps? Sno-Caps? Junior Mints? Goo Goo clusters? I'm not too picky, but I do have some odd favorites!) Anyway... congratulations to Missy!

two by two - part two

I wasn't kidding when I told you that I have a LOT of blocks-of-the-month programs to sew! I'm now getting caught up on the Two by Two sew along. It's hosted by McCall's Quick Quilts magazine and designed by Holly Holderman of Lakehouse Dry Goods. (I'm guessing that the name of the quilt refers to how we are making two blocks at a time. Surely it doesn't refer to the two enormous Canadian geese that I see every day, or the two mallard ducks that seem to fly back and forth between the nearby Target and my home. I call them "my" ducks. And probably not the two cats that stretch out on my ironing board. No, it must be two quilt blocks.)

So, I made two blocks in November (you can read about them here), and two blocks this week. This month's blocks have the exact same construction, and very similar fabrics.

Two by Two is a series of patterns which will appear every two months in Quick Quilts magazine this year. The blocks each use preprinted scallop fabric for the outer flower petals, and then it can be anything goes in the center! I'm using an assortment of happy prints from Pam Kitty Morning (some are fairly current and some are from prior seasons) mixed with Sunrise Studio prints. I'm sticking to red and pink blooms with just a bit of sunny yellow, although the scallop fabric also comes in green, periwinkle and pewter. Here is the magazine that you'll want to look for on your newsstand or local quilt shop, or you can order a copy here.

I love that quilt on the cover, too, and I even have those exact fat quarters!

Happy sewing!




fat quarter baby blog tour!

The Fat Quarter Baby blog tour begins today! Fat Quarter Baby is the first baby quilt book by It's Sew Emma for Fat Quarter Shop. The book features 20 crib-sized quilts, perfect for baby... as well as for grown-up babies! There are ten quilts for baby girls, and ten quilts for baby boys. Any of them could easily be made larger by adding more blocks.

I chose to make "Laura" because it's full of STRAWBERRIES. I think that my strawberry fabric obsession is well documented. So here's Laura:

It's just five large, appliqued strawberries and four 4-patches. I knew right away that I'd be using Fog City Kitty and Sunrise Studio fabrics with all those ripe strawberries. So, I have strawberry printed strawberries - I think that makes these double strawberries? This quilt needs just 9 fat quarters, some background fabric and a tiny bit of accent fabric. You'll even have plenty of leftover fabric! (I think that I could probably have made two of these quilts with the unused fabric.)

My applique skill is still a work in progress, but I'm learning. Luckily, Lori Holt showed three applique techniques on her blog a few weeks ago. I opted for the lightweight, non-fusible Pellon method, and it was super easy. I even had fun making the strawberries!

I stitched them to the backing fabric by hand. I do like to just sit down and quietly stitch before bedtime. (Now if could just find somebody to thread those miniscule straw needles for me...ugh!) Or you could easily applique them by machine, too.

Add a few little speedily pieced stems and leaves and you're done!

"Laura" was a super-speedy quilt to make - it took me just a few days to piece and applique the top. 

Check out the other bloggers on the tour - in the next few days, they'll show you the other 19 quilts in the Fat Quarter Baby book. You'll want to make all of them! I'm also a bit partial to the whale and bowtie quilts for boys (in other words, I want my own bowtie quilt!), and the tiara quilt for girls. Get the whole scoop and links to the other bloggers on the Jolly Jabber blog here. The Fat Quarter Baby book is in stock and can be ordered here.  The fabrics that I used are Fog City Kitty by Pam Kitty Morning and Sunrise Studio by Holly Holderman. You'll find them all here by the yard. And finally, there will be a Laura quilt kit, featuring Fig Tree's upcoming collection, Strawberry Fields Revisited (I love this collection!). The kit will be available in January here

Thanks for visiting with me today! I'll be back on Wednesday with... my first published quilt pattern in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12! I can't wait to share my block with you, and there will be a little giveaway, too.

two by two sew along

Hello! I'm awake and drinking my first cup of tea really EARLY this morning so that I can tell you about a new sew along! Have you seen the McCall's Quick Quilts Dec/Jan 2016 issue yet? (I am SO not a morning person. Even the cats are looking at me as if to say "what are you doing out of bed so early?")

It's the Two by Two sew along! Holly Holderman (of Lakehouse Dry Goods fame) designed this quilt. It's a 7 part series, and the patterns will be printed in McCall's Quick Quilts throughout 2016. The first six installments will be blocks (each block comes in two coloways) and the final installment will be quilt assembly and finishing. The blocks measure a generous 12 3/4" unfinished.

The flower blocks use an engineered scallop print to make the flower petals - it's the look of applique without all the fuss! For my flower centers, I'll be using an assortment of Lakehouse fabrics, but really, any stash could be used. Maybe you already saw the scallop prints in your local quilt shop and wondered how to use them... now's your big chance! The magazine is on newsstands and in bookstores now. Copies of Quick Quilts are also available here and here (I actually ordered one by mail because I'm impatient). A kit is available on the Quick Quilts website here. Or if you just want the scallop fabric to pair with your stash, I found the best assortment of colors here (you'll want the largest scallop print, not the medium or small versions).

And all fun quilts deserve a sew along! Join me while I make this quilt throughout the year with some of my quilting buddies. We'll be sewing and showing our blocks on Instagram. There are already some blocks that are very different than mine - even some with appliqued touches! I will be sewing along with:

  • Pam Kitty Morning (@pamkittymorning)
  • Amber Johnson of Gigi's Thimble (@gigis_thimble)
  • Nanette Merrill of Freda's Hive (@fredashive)
  • Gayle Brindley (@gaylebrindley)
  • Susan Guzman of SuzGuz Designs (@suzguzdesigns)
  • Holly Holderman - the designer herself! (@hollyholderman)

for the frill of it

It's finally here! I am so excited that the new Pam Kitty Garden fabric has arrived!

How perfect is this? The colors and patterns seamlessly coordinate with all the previous collections by Pam Kitty Morning. But now she's added AQUA to the lineup. I love those cute little bluebirds with umbrellas. (I'm sure that they are singing in the rain.) And then there's the vintage seed catalog with an overprint of flowers and tiny strawberries. The plaid will be the perfect binding fabric. Pam Kitty Garden comes in two colorways, Aster (aqua/red/yellow) and Pansy (navy/pink/green).

Ok, so now what to make with it?

How about For The Frill Of It by It's Sew Emma?

This pattern features 9 dresses in two different styles - a wrap top and a sundress. Maybe if Diane Von Furstenberg made dresses in Pam Kitty Morning's fabric they would look like this. (Or maybe I'm just crazy, or perhaps I've been overly influenced by Diane's reality tv show "House of DVF" that just wrapped last week. Haha. Get it?)

Where was I before that digression?!

Oh, the other dress! It's a sundress.

As I was sewing the sundresses, I cracked up at how funny the partially completed blocks were... see, it looks like I was making something else, right?

sundresses 2.jpg

I used a solid Kona White background for all my blocks. The plainness feels fresh right now. Most of my recent quilts have had print or white-on-white backgrounds.

I also really like how the navy prints help to cut the sweetness factor, and I used them sparingly.

The pattern is fully pieced, with stitch-and-flip corners. No triangles, no templates and no paper piecing either! I found that they were much easier than I had expected... especially the sundresses.

All nine dresses have been made, and now it's time to stitch them together into the top. I also need to order some fabric for the pieced border, once I figure out which prints to use!

Meanwhile, I'm already working on a second, secret project with more Pam Kitty Garden fabric! There are LOTS of half-square-triangles. Here's just a sneek peek. I'll have the full quilt to show you in late January.

Pam is also working on a few projects using her new fabric. Have you checked out her blog here? She always has something entertaining going on!

When I was writing this up, I discovered that Fat Quarter Shop has even created a kit for this same quilt, which will be available to ship in January. It has the same fabrics as mine, but different placement, and my border will probably be different colors. Or of course, you can use your stash and personalize your dresses.

In case we don't have a chance to talk tomorrow, Happy New Year! Have fun and be safe! I'll be at home watching tv - New Yorkers don't go anywhere near Times Square! I used to live on West 43rd Street, RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. Now I like seeing it... from afar! (The ball was installed today! Here it is!) 



Happy New Year!

butterscotch tarts + a special quilt

I've finished another three Butterscotch Tart blocks! See that red rose print? Probably one of my favorite prints from the past few years. Love it. It's Annie's Farm Stand by the talented Holly Holderman at Lakehouse. I knew that I wanted to use this fabric. It's so American Beauty - the rose, not the movie! Just one problem. I checked my stash and found none in the studio. I used it all up on last year's Quilty Barn quilt. Panic! I considered sending a note to Holly or putting out an SOS on Instagram. Never mind that there are a gazillion other rose prints. I needed THAT one. So, late one night I searched online and found just one seller who had some. When it arrived I made one block with a rosy center. And then another with a rosy ring. 

Plus, I made another block with an alternate rose print by Pam Kitty Morning. 

I've been working towards an even distribution of red and blue outer rings which isn't so easy because I've come up with lots of fabric combinations! The final three blocks might see just a bit more pink. And so far I've avoided stripes and gingham because of the fear of wonkiness. I expect to finish the last three by early next week, and then I can start the sashing with fun pinwheel posts. I've been auditioning sashing fabric (scrappy whites? pale blue print?) and thinking about my outer border. 

On a more serious note... 

I read just a few days ago that fabric designer Aneela Hoey was scheduled for surgery for breast cancer this week. I've loved Aneela's fabrics for a few years. They're so naively whimsical. She opened up her quaint English house to us on her blog. She's given us lots of fun fabric collections, such as Sherbet Pips, Little Apples and Cherry Christmas. And now a group of quilters is getting together to create quilt blocks that will be assembled into a special quilt for Aneela. The request is to create two simple blocks using Aneela's fabric and to ship them by the end of the month. You can read how you can help here. I'm happy to contribute. And now I need to admit that I ran out of my supply of Aneela's fabric when making the Quilty Barns last year. So I just bought more of her Posy collection from an Etsy seller and asked her to put a special rush on my order. Are you noticing a common thread here with me always running out of the perfect fabric?! Oh well. I can't wait for it to arrive!