Chevron Baby!

I love making baby quilts! A baby quilt is a great opportunity to try out a new block or technique without a huge time commitment. Or a chance to satisfy the need to use that fat quarter bundle or new line of fabric without breaking the bank.

My latest finish is called “Chevron Baby!” and was made for the new grandson of a co-worker. Most of the fabric is from a fat quarter bundle of the line called Bungle Jungle with the addition of the dark charcoal.
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I’ve always loved chevrons and was happy to have a reason to figure out how I was going to do it. There are several ways to make chevrons and I used the version where you set pieced square blocks on point then trim all the edges.

This turned out to be a really fun and fast quilt to put together. I started cutting it out on a Saturday afternoon and had the top finished the same evening. I quilted it using straight lines running vertically through the peaks and valleys; simple, quick and effective.

It’s also very easy to adjust the size of the blocks and I will definitely be making another one, probably a lap quilt size. If you would like to know how to make this version of a chevron quilt just leave me a comment and I will do up a little tutorial.

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And the Winner is …

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the Classic Modern Quilts blog tour. And thank you for all your lovely comments.

Electric Fans

The Random Number Generator did it’s job this morning and the winner of a copy of the book and a package of foundation papers is Lisa McGriff who said, “STELLA will take your breath away! Love your Electric Fan quilt as well, it would be so lovely in my bedroom! Thanks for participating in the blog hop, it has been one GREAT hop!”
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Congratulations Lisa! I’ll be in touch to get your mailing address.

And for those of you who didn’t win a copy of Classic Modern Quilts, remember you can order it from Marmalade Fabrics and Kansas City Star Quilts. Or ask for it at your local quilt shop.

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Classic Modern Quilts Blog Tour – Last Day

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I am so excited to be hosting the final day of the Classic Modern Quilts Blog Tour. This whole experience has been such a rollercoaster ride from start to finish and I am so grateful for being included in this book with all these fabulous designers.

My journey to design a quilt for this project is a rather serendipitous tale. If you know me, or have read my previous blogs, you likely know that I was fortunate to have two quilts (STELLA! and If Kaffe Met Seuss) juried into the QuiltCon 2013 quilt show in Austin in February and I was able to go see them hanging there in person.

STELLA!

STELLA!

If Kaffe Met Seuss

If Kaffe Met Seuss

A few weeks after I came back home I received a message from a friend (thanks Gloria!) who had been trolling the internet for pictures of quilts from QuiltCon. She told me to check out a blog that had a picture of STELLA! on it. The blogger had made some very nice comments about my quilt but said she hadn’t written down who made it. I commented on her blog to thank her for her kind words and identified myself as the maker. This started a little flurry of emails back and forth, then she asked to see some of my other quilts so I directed her to my Flickr page. I was a little surprised when she identified herself as an editor for the publishing company Kansas City Star Quilts (and their new imprint My Stars Quilts) and said she had a project in the works that she would like to invite me to participate in.

We were given 36 blocks to choose from and had to submit our top 3 picks. I used EQ7 to work on the block and quilt designs. I love designing on EQ7 … it is so easy to preview colour choices and block placement. Luckily I got my first pick, although I still like the designs I came up with for my other two picks and will likely make them at some point in the future.
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The quilt was inspired by the block Rebecca’s Fan that was published in 1931 (fifth row, third from the right).

So now let me introduce you to my quilt … Electric Fans.
Electric Fans

The fan blocks are foundation paper pieced and are really easy to make … so this could even be your first foundation piecing project! Along with the chance to win a free copy of the book from the publisher, I’m also giving away a package of Carol Doak’s Foundation Papers (the same kind I used for copying the foundation patterns). This paper is so much easier to remove from the back of the block than regular photocopier paper. Ask your local quilt shop if they carry it or can order it in for you.

Here's a sampling of the fabrics I used.

Here’s a sampling of the fabrics I used.

Finished fan block.

Finished fan block.

Fan (4 fan blocks put together)

Fan (4 fan blocks put together)

The fabulous quilting on my quilt was done by my good friend Ardelle Kerr who is also known as The RoseCity Quilter. She has the amazing talent of knowing exactly how to enhance a quilt, not overpower it. She also did the quilting on STELLA! and you can see some of the quilting detail in the banner at the top of my blog. I encourage you to check out her blog to see more of her fantastic work.

Tammy Vasser from Marmalade Fabrics has chosen four quilts from the book and has made up fabric bundles that are available in her store. Electric Fans was one of those quilts so if you’d like to make your own version, visit her site to check things out. Don’t forget to visit her blog.
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For your chance to win a free copy of the book and the package of foundation papers, just leave me a comment by midnight on November 26th. I will make a random draw from all the comments I receive and will be in touch with the winner so make sure to leave your email address. And remember to hop on over to visit the other bloggers on the tour. By visiting all the blogs and leaving comments you have up to 10 chances to win a copy of the book along with some other giveaways.

Here’s the list of the other designers and their blogs, in case you missed them.
Lisa Calle, http://www.vintagemodernquilts.com
Lynne Goldsworthy, http://www.lilysquilts.blogspot.com
Lauren Hunt, http://www.myauntjune.blogspot.com
Heather Kojan, http://www.heatherkojan.blogspot.com
John Kubiniec, http://www.bigrigquilting.blogspot.com
Adrianne Ove, http://www.littlebluebell.com
Trisch Price, http://www.hadleystreetquilts.com
Tammie Schaffer, http://www.craftytammie.com, and Tia Curtis, tiacurtisquilts.blogspot.com
Amy Smart, http://www.diaryofaquilter.com

Copies of Classic Modern Quilts are available at Marmalade Fabrics and Kansas City Star Quilts. Or ask for it at your local quilt shop.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Blog Tour as much as we have. Come back and visit any time.

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Classic Modern Quilts: Blog Tour

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Be sure to check out the blog tour promoting our new book Classic Modern Quilts: 10 Quilts Inspired by Historical Kansas City Star Blocks. The tour runs from November 11th – 22nd and will feature one of the ten quilt designers each day. I’m so proud to be a part of this book with this very talented group of designers. My day is November 22nd, the last day, so make sure you stop by.

Here is the list of designers, the date they will be featured and their blog addresses. Each day you will get the opportunity to find out a little more about each designer’s story, plus have the chance to win a free copy of the book and some other giveaways that are happening. Just visit the featured blog each day to find out how.

Nov. 11: Lisa Calle, http://www.vintagemodernquilts.com
Nov. 12: Lynne Goldsworthy, http://www.lilysquilts.blogspot.com
Nov. 13: Lauren Hunt, http://www.myauntjune.blogspot.com
Nov. 14: Heather Kojan, http://www.heatherkojan.blogspot.com
Nov. 15: John Kubiniec, http://www.bigrigquilting.blogspot.com
Nov. 18: Adrianne Ove, http://www.littlebluebell.com
Nov. 19: Trisch Price, http://www.hadleystreetquilts.com
Nov. 20: Tammie Schaffer, http://www.craftytammie.com; and Tia Curtis, tiacurtisquilts.blogspot.com
Nov. 21: Amy Smart, http://www.diaryofaquilter.com
Nov. 22: Susan Strong, http://www.strongstitches.wordpress.com

I also wanted to let you know that Tammy from Marmalade Fabrics is making up some fabric bundles for several of the quilts in the book (mine is one of them!). So make sure you check these out her site as well at http://marmaladefabrics.com/.

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Hope to see you on the tour!

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Classic Modern Quilts

Look what arrived today.

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So I came home from work today and this was waiting for me!

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It’s a weird and wonderful feeling to see your work in print.

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Lucky Penny Pyramids

I often hear quilters saying that they aren’t very good at picking out fabrics for a quilt or they are unsure of their fabric choices. They don’t trust their own judgement and lack confidence in their decisions.

If this describes you then keep reading (and if not you might just want to look at the pictures). One of the easiest ways to make sure that your colour choices are pleasing is to start with a multicolour print that you like and use the colours from it. The colours don’t have to match exactly. In fact, it makes for a much more interesting quilt if you introduce some variations of each colour.  And in the end, you don’t even have to use the original print you started out with. But you can proceed with the confidence that the colours look good together.

When I was at QuiltCon in Austin earlier this year I purchased a one yard piece of a large print by Alison Glass from her Lucky Penny line. I have taken the fabric out several times to admire, all the while trying to decide what to make with this one yard of fabric and wishing that I had bought more (there was no more or I would have).

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A couple of weeks ago I took the fabric out again and finally decided how I wanted to use it.  So I started pulling solids from my stash … cottons, linen blends, shot cottons … anything that I could find that reflected the colours in the print. Once I had all the colours gathered I dug a little deeper to add some variety to the colours … something a little lighter or darker, or maybe with some texture.  I ended up with about 20 solid fabrics to use along with the original print.

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I cut one 5″ strip from each of the fabrics (two from the print) and cut as many 60 degree triangles as I could from each strip. The size of the quilt was determined by the number of triangles I had cut. I just kept adding rows and adjusting the width of the quilt until I ran out of triangles. For backing I used a fun Valori Wells flannel and quilted it by stitching about 3/8” (the width of the foot on my sewing machine) from all the seams. I used a variegated Sulky Blendables thread that shows up just the right amount and finished off with the print for the binding.

The result is my Lucky Penny Pyramids quilt. I love this quilt! One of my new favourites.  And I still ended up with about 8″ of the print fabric left!

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How many sewing machines does one girl need?

In my first ever post I mentioned that I had just bought two new sewing machines. I know that sounds very decadent but I did get a really great deal on them. Really.

My sewing machine history …. I bought my first sewing machine (a very basic Kenmore) when I was 18 years old. I sewed with it for a few years and then upgraded to a Kenmore that had a few more stitch options (like maybe 20!). This was the machine I started quilting on. And it served me well to begin with. It sewed many, many miles.

Then I started working in a quilt shop that sold Bernina machines and it didn’t take too long until I was the proud owner of a second-hand Bernina 1090. My dream machine! Even second-hand, the machine was expensive (especially by Kenmore standards) but I justified it because I never thought I would ever need a different machine!

Enter the Bernina Aurora 440 QE with Stitch Regulator. I coveted this machine from the first ad I saw in a magazine. It was probably about 8 months from the first time I saw it until I brought my new baby home. My husband thought it was a lot of money to spend on a sewing machine (he likened it to a second-hand car). And I never thought I would ever need a different machine!

Fast forward a few years when so many of the new machines were being made with a larger harp space. Bernina’s first go at this was easy to resist. Too big and cumbersome and way too expensive. And because I really wasn’t looking to change machine manufacturers I waited to see what they might come out with next. You see, I’ve always been a believer in “once you go Bernina, you never go back”.

But after having the same thing “fixed” on my machine 3 times in less than a year, I was a little disillusioned. Especially when the closest Bernina dealer is far enough away that it means being without my machine for a few days each time it is being serviced.

Enter Pfaff. Most of my quilting friends own Pfaffs. They all love them the same way I have always loved my Berninas. And there is a dealer within 25 minutes of where I live (and owned by very good friends which is also a bonus!). This spring, Pfaff came out with some new machines and one caught my eye … the Performance 5.0. It has many features that my Bernina 440 does not have including the large harp, low bobbin indicator, a dizzying array of stitches and the ability to create your own stitches. It also has a knee lift which has always been one of my favourite features on my Bernina machines.

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So I ordered a new Pfaff 5.0. And a new Pfaff 2.0 Passport. This is a smaller, more portable machine that has about 70 stitch options, and is great for taking to classes, etc. It only weighs about 14 pounds. The dealer had an amazing promotion price if you bought both machines at the same time. Who could resist that deal?

Well, I have finally gotten back to doing some sewing and am really happy with the new machines. There is definitely a learning curve but absolutely no regrets.

And as for my 2 Bernina machines, they are still really good machines and I will keep them and use them occasionally. I just can’t see getting rid of them any time soon.

So that makes 4 machines. Unless you count the Singer treadle that belonged to my Mother-in-law, then that’s 5. Oh, and a serger. And I’m sure that’s all.

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