Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Orange Blossoms - Free Pattern

I know it's officially fall, but I just finished this sweet little quilt today and I thought it would be fun to share the pattern — sort of a last hurrah of summer.

I'm calling this little quilt "Orange Blossoms" for obvious reasons, and I have to say that I'm in love with the orange and cream color palette.  Kind of makes me think of a Creamsicle.  So pretty and so happy!  I especially love the orange homespun that I used for the borders and binding.  I found it over the summer at a fabric store that was going out of business and I bought the end of the bolt because I couldn't help myself — had a bit of a thing for orange this summer, in case you can't tell!

Back to the quilt.  It measures 16" x 16", and while I made mine with orange prints, I think it would be equally charming in salmon pink, or turquoise, or in any color for that matter.  I used raw edge machine appliqué for the fabric blossoms, so this quilt is a quickie, especially if you forgo the hand quilting.

If you'd like to make your own version of Orange Blossoms, you'll need:

1 Fat Quarter cream background fabric:  cut into 9–5" x 5" squares
5 Assorted orange prints, at least 4" x 4" square of each
¼ yard orange print for borders and binding:  cut 2 borders– 1¾" x 13½"; 2 borders–1¾" x 16½"; and 2 strips 2¼" x WOF (WOF = Width of Fabric cut selvage to selvage) for binding
18" x 18" piece batting
18" x 18" panel backing fabric
lightweight fusible web
orange and yellow embroidery floss

Make the fabric blossoms:

1.  You can find a copy of the flower pattern here.  You'll need to print a copy to use both as a template for cutting out the fabric flower petals and as an embroidery pattern.

2.  Prepare your flower petal appliqués using one of the following methods:

  Template method (this method allows you to fussy cut if so desired):
  • Create a flower petal template by tracing a petal shape onto template plastic and cutting it out along the drawn line.  Trace the petal onto the paper side of lightweight fusible web 25 times, making sure to leave at least ¼" between shapes.  Following manufacturer's directions, fuse 5 petal shapes to the wrong side of each of 5 assorted orange prints.  Note:  when you cut around the petal shapes before fusing them to the fabric, be sure to leave the drawn lines intact.
  Non-template method:
  • From lightweight fusible web, cut out 5–4" x 4" squares.  Trace the flower shape onto the paper side of the fusible web squares.  Following manufacturer's directions, fuse each marked 4" x 4" fusible web square to the wrong side of each of 5 assorted orange prints.  
3.  Cut petals out through all layers along the lines drawn on the paper side of the fusible web.  Remove paper from each shape.

4.  Using the flower pattern as a guide, fuse petal shapes to right side of 5 cream background 5" x 5" squares.  Note:  you can spin the flower however you like, but make sure that the distance from flower petal to cream background edge is even on all four sides.

5.  Using matching or complementary thread, machine stitch the flower petals to the cream background squares, stopping and starting at the center of the flower and keeping your stitching close to the edge of the flower petals.

6.  Knot threads in the back of your work.

Assemble quilt:

1.  Referring to the picture of the quilt, lay out 5 fabric blossom squares and 4 cream background 5" x 5" squares in three rows of three squares each.

2.  Stitch squares together in rows and rows together to make quilt center.  Press seams open.

3.  Stitch 1–1¾" x 13½" border to either side of quilt center, pressing seams towards borders.

4.  Stitch 1–1¾" x 16½" border to top and bottom of quilt center, pressing seams towards borders.

Embroider quilt:

1.  Using a water soluble marking pen, trace a flower shape on each of the 4 blank cream background squares.

2.  Using spray basting adhesive, baste quilt top to 18" x 18" piece of batting with right side up.  Embroidering through the batting adds a bit of dimension to your stitching and prevents the embroidery floss ends from showing through on the front of your work.

3.  Embroider flowers using 2 strands of orange embroidery floss and a backstitch.

4.  Stitch a group of French knots in the center of each flower using 3 strands of yellow embroidery floss.

5.  Referring to the quilt, and using 2 strands of yellow embroidery floss, stitch a Lazy Daisy at the 4 junctions where the horizontal and vertical seam lines intersect.

6.  Using 3 strands of embroidery floss, stitch a single French knot at the center of each Lazy Daisy created in step 5.

Finish quilt:

1.  Layer embroidered quilt top/batting with backing panel and baste or pin.

2.  Quilt as desired.  I chose to hand quilt around each flower, but this is such a small quilt that you don't really have to quilt if you don't want to.  The Lazy Daisies that you embroidered will help to keep your batting from shifting.

3.  Bind and enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

More Christmas in September

It might be a bit too early to start thinking about Christmas in the rest of the world, but in the quilting world, the time is now!  We've got 3½ months to gather ideas, shop for fabrics, and make quilted projects to decorate our homes and to give as gifts.  Plenty of time!!

And I've got a great place for you to start!  Quilters Newsletter's latest special issue, Best Christmas Quilts 2016, is available in print or for download now at the Quilt and Sew Shop and wherever quilting magazines are sold.  It's a beautiful issue, with 26 projects of all shapes and sizes to help you celebrate the Christmas season.

I've got a couple of fast and fun projects in Best Christmas Quilts 2016.

On page 58, you'll find my Mittens oraments.  

These darling little mittens are easy and so much fun to make, and the best part is that you can stuff them with treats just like a stocking!  Use them to decorate your Christmas tree, string them up as a garland, or tie them to a gift.

Each mitten takes only a fat eighth of fabric plus a small scrap for the mitten's cuff, so you can easily make them with fabric from your stash.  And you can use your imagination for the hanging loop—try cords or ribbons in white or other colors, or even metallics.  Careful though, these mittens are addictive!

My second project is found on page 60 of Best Christmas Quilts 2016.  It's a 12" x 20" pillow called Sweater Weather that was inspired by Nordic sweaters and perfectly named by my daughter.

I love the monochromatic color palette of this blue on blue version of my pillow, but I think it would look beautiful in burgundy, red and ivory:

Or maybe traditional red and green:

Or a more modern red and green:

Or even blue and gray:

And if solids aren't your thing, this pillow would also look great in batiks or prints—the possibilities are endless!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Good Cheer

Boys back in school — check.
Daughter safely delivered to college — check.
Mourning period over — hmmmm.....

Ok, two out of three is going to have to be good enough because it's time to get back to work!

Today I'm a guest blogger at the McCall's Quilting/Quick Quilts blog.  Head on over to find out how this:

inspired this:

It's my Good Cheer table runner and it's featured in the October/November 2016 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts, currently available at the Quilt and Sew Shop or wherever quilting magazines are sold.

Happy quilting!