Friday, January 22, 2016

Eye Candy

I'm working away on this unbelievably beautiful winter day, but I wanted to take a moment for a little show and tell.  I've just received one last Christmas present.  It's something that I picked out for myself and even though I used gift certificates from my family to buy it, it feels like a major splurge.

No, it's not jewelry or a new handbag or a new pair of boots -- although I did recently get a new pair of boots that actually make me feel like a better person.  Who knew?!

It's even better.

It's a fat quarter bundle of Kim Diehl's latest fabric collection Sunday Best, and it is AMAZING!!!

Here it is tied up in a sweet ribbon compliments of Fat Quarter Shop -- they do such a great job with their packaging!

Here's the flip side...

I had to force myself to untie the ribbon for a closer look.

Here is the dark side of the bundle...

And the lighter side...  Have a favorite?

I cannot imagine taking this bundle apart to pre-wash it, much less cut into it!

Here are the darks and lights side by side...


And here's the entire collection fanned out.

Be still my beating heart.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Welcome Winter

Happy New Year!  I know I'm a week late, but here's a fun little pattern to make up for it!

It's the latest and last of my framed mini quilt series.  I started the series last March with Think Spring...

Then in June came Summertime...

I posted Hello Fall in September...

And now it's time for, you guessed it, Welcome Winter!

This sweet little quilt is made with 1½" paper pieced Shoo Fly blocks and simple embroidery and it fits into a 5" x 7" frame.

To make your own Welcome Winter quilt, you'll need:

Border print:  10" x 10" - cut (2) - 2" x 4½" and (2) - 2" x 9½"

Blue background prints:  for the embroidery background cut (1) - 3" x 6½"; for the strips on either side of the Shoo Fly blocks cut (4) - " x 2"; and for each of the three Shoo Fly blocks, you'll need (4) - 1¼" x 1¼" (to cover the square sections) and (2) - 1¾" x 1¾" (further cut once diagonally to cover the half square triangle sections)

Cream prints:  for each of the three Shoo Fly blocks, you'll need (1) - 1¼" x 1¼" (to cover the center square) and (2) - 1¾" x 1¾" (further cut once diagonally to cover the half square triangle sections)

Batting:  9" x 11"

Also needed:
Light marking pencil, spray basting adhesive, white size 16 perle cotton (optional), white embroidery floss, and a 5" x 7" frame

To make the Shoo Fly blocks:

Because of the really small size, I paper pieced the Shoo Fly blocks.  Click here for the foundation pattern.  You'll need to print three of them and each little unit should measure ½" x 1½" from solid line to solid line (1" x 2" from dotted line to dotted line).

Make sure you start with sections A1, B1, and C1, respectively, and follow the printed numbering.  If you're concerned about color placement, it might help to use colored pencils to color the various sections of each block unit before stitching.  For each block, sections A1, A3, A5, B1, B3, B5, C1 and C3 should be covered with blue fabric and sections A2, A4, B2, B4, and C2 should be covered with ivory fabric.

After stitching units A, B, and C together for each block, press the seams toward the center section.  Remove the paper from behind the Shoo Fly blocks after stitching and before pressing.  Make three blocks.

For help with paper piecing, here's a link to a basic photo tutorial on Craftsy.  

To assemble the quilt top:

Referring to my quilt, lay out your three Shoo Fly blocks and the four " x 2" strips of blue background fabric.  Stitch them together and press the seams towards the blue strips.  Then stitch the blue 3" x 6½" rectangle to the top of the row of blocks and press towards the blue 3" x 6½".  Stitch a border print 2" x 4½" to either side of the quilt center, pressing towards the border.  Finally, stitch a border print 2" x 9½" to the top and bottom of the quilt center, pressing towards the border.  Press the finished quilt top well.

To finish the quilt top:

Here's a link to the lettering pattern.  Adjust your printing so that the box surrounding the lettering measures 2½" x 6".  Using a white marking pencil, trace the "Welcome Winter" onto the quilt top.  Lightly spray basting adhesive to the 9" x 11" piece of batting and smooth the quilt top over it, right side up.  Use one strand of white size 16 perle cotton or two strands of embroidery floss and a back stitch to embroider the lettering.  Use one strand of embroidery floss to stitch tiny snowflakes randomly above the lettering.

To insert the quilt into the frame:

After you finish stitching, trim the batting even with the edges of your quilt.  Remove the contents of your frame, center the glass behind the quilt top, and wrap the edges of the quilt around it.  Reinsert the glass and quilt into the frame, fold down the quilt's corners, and put the back of the frame in place, taping with masking tape if necessary to keep it closed.

And there you have it -- one wonderful Welcome Winter framed quilt and some pretty great alliteration to boot!

Happy quilting!