Wednesday, June 28, 2017

lots and lots of blocks

For almost 2 months now I've been participating in the #100days100blocks quilt along with Angie @gnomeangel.  We're using Tula Pink's City Sampler book to make and post one modern block each day for 100 days.  That's a quilt along marathon!  This week we hit the half-way point with block 50 so I thought I'd join Lorna's Let's Bee Social linky party and share the blocks I've made so far.
Tula sorted the blocks by their make up.  Here are all the crosses, blocks 1-15.  I'm using all Carolyn Friedlander fabrics.  Several of the other participants are as well.  We've created our own hashtag so we don't miss each other's posts. 

Blocks 16-30 are all rectangles.  I've been saving every bit of fabric I cut. Some of these pieces are very small and I'm finding a place for all my scraps.  Yay!

And here's the entire triangle section.  I've been working ahead and got two of my blocks mixed up in the daily postings.  Can you tell which two?  Hint:  I'm working to vary the colors day by day.  

Now that I'm more than 1/2 way through I'm starting to plan for how I'll put them all together.  

I hope you're finding something fun to work on this week.

Friday, May 26, 2017

a geometric slide

Last week I shared the first of two gender neutral baby quilts I've made for sisters due within weeks of each other.  I wanted to make each quilt individual and completely different from the other.  Here's the second quilt...

This baby's parents are both engineers and I wanted an organized pattern of form and color so I made a Geometric Slide.  Pattern by Faith Jones and available in her book Vintage Quilt Revival.   I altered the pattern to make this baby sized.

Who doesn't love squared up blocks and a pretty pile of trimmings?  

Since I was using only one print for each color I chose to alter the starting point of the slide as well.  I didn't want the colors all lined up like in Faith's beautiful scrappy version.

How perfect is this backing?  After lots of searching I found this Wooden Blocks print online at Stash Fabrics.  It's by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics so I knew it would be super soft.  I had never seen this before and wasn't sure how true my computer monitor was showing the colors but I was running out of time so I crossed my fingers and placed the order.  After a short delay by the USPS my order finally arrived and matched absolutely perfectly.  Yay for happy endings!  
I had originally planned to use one of the prints in the blocks for a binding but was so happy with the backing fabric that I decided to use it for the binding as well.  I like it!

I free-motion quilted this to death with tons of jagged lines and shapes.  Have you seen those labels you can buy that say, "This took me for-ev-er"?  This was worthy of one of those! 😉

You can see the quilting a little better on the white.  For me the challenge is keeping all the quilting similar sized - easier on the white background than the colorful blocks.  It's so hard for me to ignore the shape of a block and keep things random.

I used Quilter's Dream Cotton Select loft batting.  

Doesn't it make a nice backdrop for these adorable hats my daughter knit for the cousins!

So for this second gender neutral quilt I switched up grays and neutrals for bright colors, a timeless block for something modern, and straight line quilting for dense free-motion.  Rest assured, however, that equal amounts of love have been sewn into each. 

And everything has been gifted with lots of prayers for healthy, happy babies!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, May 19, 2017


2017 is proving to be quite a prolific year!  Today I'm sharing the first of two baby quilts I gifted at a double baby shower last week.  Two sisters due within 6 weeks of each other! 

Both mamas are waiting to be surprised which is a challenge for a quilt maker.  There are so many cute fabric lines for babies but they are all so gender specific.  Enter Lizzy House's Whisper Palette, five neutrals from my stash, and a timeless hour-glass block.

I purchased a bundle from Lady Belle Fabrics.  (She was hosting an extremely generous giveaway on Red Pepper Quits blog and I wanted to help support her.)  There are 21 prints in the collection and pairing each with a neutral gave me 42 blocks.  That made deciding how big to make this easy - 7 rows of 6 blocks.

A few close up shots to zoom in on the sweet prints.  This fabric is so soft and I wonder if it's because the prints are so calm.  

I used the super thin Request loft cotton batting from Quilter's Dream and my walking foot to quilt along each of the seam lines:  vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.  I like the "star" it made at each point.

The back and binding are both prints from the collection.  How cute are these mice on bikes?  Daddy is quite a bike rider so this was an easy pick!

Neutrals, grays, and randomly placed classic blocks for one sister.  Check back next week to see how I changed it up for the other!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, May 12, 2017


This much fun!

If you are a Star Wars fan you will recognize BB-8, the droid introduced in The Force Awakens.  I first spotted this pattern by Hunter Design Studio when Sam hosted a quilt along for her The Droid is Not For Sale quilt.  I wasn't able to participate then.  But now my daughter, a huge fan, is pregnant and calling her little guy BB-8 so I just had to make the individual droid portion.  The pattern is well written and easy to follow.  It's all basic piecing and goes together quickly.  

Quilting decisions always challenge me and this quilt was no exception.  I reviewed studied the various choices made by some during the quilt along.  

Here are a few zoomed in photos so you can see my choices.

I quilted this with my Handiquilter and it was my first time using a ruler.  It wasn't as hard as I thought and now I wish I'd tried it sooner.  Oh well.

The backing is cozy Shannon Cuddle 3 fabric I found at Curly Girl Fabric on Etsy.

I just love how you can still see BB-8 on the back.

This past winter I jumped on a chance to pattern test for Sam's newest Star Wars pixel pattern, General Organa.  The pattern is now available complete with a few different options for finishing.  Sam lists both the General Organa and Rey and BB-8 patterns as  "pay what you can".  She donates all proceeds to Chick-Tech which she explains is "a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce, and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers."

Originally I thought I would somehow combine this grown up Princess Leia with BB-8 but I couldn't work it out.  I'll save her for something else.  In the meantime she's hanging out on the design wall in my sewing room.  My granddaughter loves waving to her every time she makes her way into the room.  It's so sweet - so on the wall she stays!

 May the Force be with you!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

cortellini star

Hmmm...what to make?  The new mama was a soccer star... Daddy's a musician... 
I went searching, through blogs and Pinterest, and suddenly - BAM!
When I spotted this post  I knew what I would make for this newest little Cortellini - a star!

Katie doesn't offer a pattern for this or mention what colors she used.  So I just used her quilt as a guide and chose from my stash.  I counted up the different combos of half square triangles and was able to get started cutting and sewing right away.  That's always fun!
My original plan was to copy Katie's quilting, too, but at the last minute I spun my thinking to a spiral.  I did a Google search on spiral quilting and found some great tips.  I'm always amazed by how much free information is available from this amazing community.

On Very Kerry Berry's blog I found this template to get started.  It creates a 1" spiral.  I wanted tighter quilting so I printed it at 37% to get a 3/8" seam and be able to use my walking foot as a guide beyond the template.  I carefully pinned my template to my quilt sandwich and carefully dropped my needle in the center of it all.

Then I took a deep breath and a patience pill and followed some great tips from Flourishing Palms.  I set my stitch length very small and used my hand-wheel to take one stitch at a time, picking up the presser foot and moving the quilt with each stitch.  Again and again.  Finally being able to take two stitches, then three, very slowly, till finally I was moving right along.  I lengthened my stitch as I moved further out, constantly turning the quilt.  It was a good right arm work-out for me.  Advil helped!

On the back I used the popular Newspaper print by Carrie Bloomston.  I had to add a little to the width and there are no worries on matching the print with this one.  Yay!

Quilt stats:
42" square
RJR and Kona solids
Quilter's Dream Cotton Request Loft batting
Aurifil Dove Gray (2600) 50wt for piecing & 40wt for quilting

Ready to roll, around and around...

We're enjoying early spring over here.  Did you notice the wild forsythia in the background?  It hasn't bloomed like this in years.  Love it!

I'll be linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

a magical geranium dress

When I received an invitation to a "magical" birthday party I knew it was time to order up Rae Hoekstra's Geranium Dress pattern.  These dresses appear in my Instagram feed now and then and they are all adorable. 

I've committed to working from my stash this year.  These sweet mermaids fit the magical theme but I only had enough for the skirt portion so I used a contrasting fabric on top.  Both prints are by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller Fabrics and quite soft.  I had enough of the feathers to use it for lining the top as well. 

The pattern includes several options.  I chose cap sleeves, the pleated skirt, and interior pockets!  

I have almost 2 full mason jars of buttons but not three that worked here so this project did require one trip to the store.  When I spotted these anchors in the perfect matching blue it was totally worth it!

In lieu of a tag, I used the alphabet function on my sewing machine to sign this in the seam allowance. 

This was an especially fun make.  There are more Geranium dresses in my future.  If you've made one I'd love to hear what options you chose and how they worked for you.

I'll be linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts on Wednesday and Crazy Mom Quilts on Friday.  
I look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

tumbled blocks

Well this was fun!
I participated in the Building Blocks Quilt Along hosted by Jess (@craftycop) and Jess from Bloomerie Fabrics.  I had purchased the Moda pattern when it first came out a few years ago.  I love quilting along with others so when I heard about this on Instagram I signed up.

section A
The pattern is divided into 7 sections.  We spent two weeks completing each section.  

section B
I used all Denyse Schmidt fabrics.  Some prints from her lines offered at JoAnn’s.  Some from her newest quilt shop collections. 

section C
The solids are all from her Modern Solids box.  (I purchased mine through Massdrop awhile ago.)
section D
The pattern assigns specific colors for each block.  I used it to guide me on some of the blocks.  On others I changed up the colors completely based on my available scraps.

section E
These individual section photos are what I posted to Instagram for the QAL.  They show how the pattern arranges the blocks.

section F
Well, almost.  The small 6" blocks in sections E & F are supposed to be all lined up in one long row.

section G
This is by far the largest quilt I have made.  When all my sections were complete I had to move some furniture around to have enough floor space to lay out all the blocks.  I spent about 2 weeks arranging my blocks:  building, tumbling, building, tumbling…seeking balance, not only in color, but also with the blocks sizes and patterns.

I finally decided on this.  I like it.  Now I just have to decide how I’ll quilt it…

the back
Linking up my progress from this fun quilt along with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social
and the finished top with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish is up Friday.

It's been kinda cloudy over here.  I hope the sun is shining in your neighborhood.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

instructions for Piper's quilt

First, thank you so much for all the lovely comments on Piper's Quilt, both here and on Instagram.  I've had several requests for instructions on how I made the quilt.  This is my first attempt at writing a pattern so, if you choose to make it, please let me know if something doesn't make sense and I'll try and help you further.

The flying geese units in this quilt are 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” unfinished or 2” x 4” finished.  

Use your favorite method to make the flying geese.  Here are a few options:
  • This link shares 3 different ways to make your geese.
  • Use this paper piecing template by Fresh Lemons Quilts
  • Use the Quilt in a Day ruler.  Available here.  This is my favorite method.  It does involve waste but I get perfectly trimmed geese so I don’t loose too many points.
WOF = width of fabric

I have written these instructions using the colors I used for my quilt.  You are welcome and encouraged to change things up.  I look forward to seeing your creations!
You will need:
Approximately 1 yard light gray background for quilt center.

1/2 yard Medium Gray for Border 2 patchwork
Cut  5 strips 2-1/2” x WOF.  Sub-cut these strips into 2-1/2” squares.  You will need 72 squares.

2/3 yard Dark Gray - for Borders 1 & 3
Cut 4 strips 1-1/2” x WOF
Cut 5 strips 3-1/2” x WOF

Scraps of color to make:
48  flying geese units (See below for how many I made of each color.)
72  2-1/2” squares for the patchwork.  (I used 9 squares of each of the 8 colors.)

Quilt Center:
From the light gray fabric cut 4 strips 4-1/2” x WOF 
Sub-cut these strips into 4-1/2” squares.  Cut a total of 30 squares.
Use the rest as background fabric for your flying geese units.

Make 48 flying geese.  For my quilt I made: 
8 red (R)   
8 orange (O)
4 yellow (Y)
8 lime green (G)
4 light blue (LB)
8 medium blue (MB)
4 dark blue (DB)
4 purple (P)

Below is a photo of one Block.  For each Bock you will need eight flying geese and five 4-1/2” squares of light gray background fabric.  

Sew your pairs of geese together first.  Then sew the block together as you would any nine patch.
Make 6 Blocks pairing the geese as shown in the photo below.

When complete each Block should measure 12-1/2” square.
Sew all the Blocks together.
This center section of your quilt top should now measure 24-1/2” x 36-1/2”

First border:
Cut 2 of the  1-1/2” dark gray strips 36-1/2” long.  Sew these to the long sides.  Press to the border fabric.
Cut 2 pieces of dark gray fabric 1-1/2 x 26-1/2”.  Sew these to the top and bottom.  Press to the border fabric.
Your quilt top should now measure 26-1/2” x 38-1/2”

Second (patchwork) border:
You will need a total of:
72 gray 2-1/2” squares
72 colored 2-1/2” squares

Sew each color 2-1/2” square to a gray 2-1/2” square.  (Chain stitch these to save time!)  Press seams to the color fabric.

Sew these sets together into long patchwork strips being careful to vary the colors. 
Make 2 strips using 17 sets and 2 strips using 19 sets.  Press each seam (either way or open.)

Sew the longer 19 set strips to each side.  Taking care to make sure the long side with the gray squares on each end is against the edge of your quilt top on both sides.  Press to the narrow first border.

Sew the 17 set strips to the top and bottom.  Again taking care to make sure long edge with gray squares at each end is sewn to the quilt top.  This way your patchwork is consistent - and you will end up with a colorful block in each corner!  Press to the narrow first border.

Your quilt top should now measure 34-1/2” x 46-1/2”.

Third border:
Using the 5 dark gray 3-1/2” strips:
Cut two of these strips 40-1/2”.
Sew the remaining three strips together short end to short end.  From this long narrow strip cut 2 strips 46-1/2” long

Sew a 46-1/2” strip to each side of the quilt.  Press to the outer dark gray border.

Sew a 40-1/2” strip to the top and bottom of the quilt.  Press to the outer dark gray border.

Your quilt top should will now measure 40-1/2 x 52-1/2”.   It’s ready to quilt, bind, and enjoy!

If you make one please send me a photo:  runsewfun (at) gmail (dot) com

Share on social media using #rsfpatterns.