Thursday, March 11, 2021

Free Mini Quilt Pattern and Two New Lap Quilts for Spring

We're having a warm week here in New Hampshire.  The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and our dirt road is muddy—clear signs of an approaching spring!

I've got two new lap quilt patterns and a free mini quilt pattern to share with you that are perfect for the season.

First up is Cartwheels.  This cheerful 67" square lap quilt is pre-cut friendly—pair a layer cake or bundle of 10" squares with a white solid or low volume background fabric and you'll be ready to go!  I made my Cartwheels quilt with Play Outside fabric by Gracey Larson for Riley Blake Designs.  Cartwheels, Play Outside, you get the idea!  The pattern for Cartwheels is now available for download in my Etsy shop.



Next up is Picnic Stars, a 66" square lap quilt made with 9 oversized star blocks with pieced gingham centers.  I made this fast and fun quilt with Bella Solids and Indigo Chambray, both from Moda.  I can't wait to enjoy a picnic on this happy quilt—just need the grass to reveal itself in our yard.  You can find the pattern for Picnic Stars in the April/May '21 issue of Quick + Easy Quilts.  It'll be easy to recognize, Picnic Stars is on the cover!



And finally, here's the sweet little mini I promised, Spring Candy.  It's a variation on Christmas Candy, a project I did a few years ago for the Moda Bake Shop.  It's a simple project made with a mini charm pack of 2½" squares and a bit of extra fabric.  I changed it up for spring by adding the embroidery on the inner border and I love it!  The finished quilt measures 14" square, so it could also be turned into a cute pillow.  Here's a link to the original photo tutorial to help you make the quilt top.  And here's the link to the embroidery patterns for the spring version.



And that's it for now!  Enjoy the warmer weather and happy quilting!

—jen

Friday, February 5, 2021

Three Fresh New Patterns for February

Happy Friday!  We've almost made it to the weekend and just in case you were planning to do some weekend sewing, I've got a few new patterns to send your way.

First up is my Sweet Pea Pillow.  I love the combination of pink and green and thought it might be a good pairing for a fresh take on Valentine's Day.  This fast and fun 18" pillow would be just the thing for some last minute Valentine's Day sewing—or perhaps a perfect little gift for yourself :)  You can find the downloadable pattern for the Sweet Pea Pillow in my Etsy shop.


Next up is my Buttercup Lap Quilt.  I've always wanted to make a yellow and white quilt and this happy, scrappy lap quilt is the result.  I made Buttercup with a variety of cheery yellow and warm white prints and I love how they look together—so fresh and clean!  The pattern for Buttercup is also now available for download in my Etsy shop and best of all, the project is fat quarter-friendly for my fellow scrap quilters.



Last, but not least, is my Fresh as a Daisy Pillow.  This super simple project combines raw edge appliqué flower petals, a patchwork daisy center, and a denim background.  I LOVE the yellow and denim together—who knew!  You can find the pattern for Fresh as a Daisy in the March/April 2021 issue of Quiltmaker magazine, available now both in print and as a downloadable digital issue.




Here's a sunflower variation of the Fresh as a Daisy Pillow and just in case you're wondering, the magazine pattern does include petal templates for both versions of the pillow.




So there you have it—three fresh new patterns for February!  

Have a wonderful weekend and be well.

—jen



Friday, January 15, 2021

Happy New Year and Last Call for Winter's Walk Pattern Sheets

I hope you enjoyed your holiday season and that your new year is off to a happy and healthy start!

Thank you so much to all of you who participated in the Winter’s Walk Quilt-Along!  It was definitely one of my favorite QALs so far and I loved seeing your beautiful work!


On Monday, January 18th, the free QAL pattern sheets will be discontinued, but I’ll make a complete pattern for the Winter’s Walk Quilt available in my Etsy shop.  The pattern will also include bonus patterns—including specific material requirements and cutting instructions—for the Winter’s Walk Snowman and Christmas Tree pillows that I made as a variation during the QAL.  So really, it’s 3 patterns in 1!  

***update:  the Winter's Walk pattern is now available for download in my Etsy shop***



And speaking of new patterns, the pattern for my Bless Her Heart lap quilt is now available in my Etsy shop.  I made this 58½” x 70½” lap quilt using my collection of Moda’s Regent Street Lawns charm squares paired with Bonnie and Camille’s Navy Chambray Woven fabric and I love the contrast of pretty florals against denim blue.  Yum! 



I plan to use my Bless Her Heart quilt year round, but with it's sweet and simple heart blocks, it's perfect for Valentine's Day!  And if you love Valentine's Day stitching as much as I do, I've also got patterns for three perfectly pink pillows available for download in my Etsy shop, from top to bottom they are:  Bee Mine, Have a Heart, and Lovebirds.



Sew many projects, so little time!

—jen

Monday, December 21, 2020

Winter's Walk Quilt-Along — Day 10

Welcome back for Day 10 of the Winter's Walk Quilt-Along!


Today is the last day of our quilt-along and we're tackling finishing details!


Day 10:  Finishing 

Here's the link to today's pattern sheets.  There are two pages today, one with all of the instructions for finishing the quilt, and a second with close-up pictures of the details on both my original Winter's Walk quilt and my variation pillows.


And here's where we're headed:



First off, let's talk snowman faces.  For my original Winter's Walk quilt, I decided to embellish my snowmen so that they were in profile and appeared to be looking at the Christmas tree.  




But for my Winter's Walk snowman pillow, I chose to have the snowmen facing out of the pillow.  I added two button eyes to each and gave them crooked little smiles.  I also adjusted their noses by making them a bit shorter and curving the wider ends.  I think I actually prefer the curved carrot nose, so I've included both patterns to enable you to choose whichever you prefer!





I went back and forth a lot about whether to give the snowmen arms, but in the end, I decided to keep the snowman shape simple and didn't add arms to either project.  Definitely feel free to embroider arms on your snowmen though!  That's what so fun about embellishing a project with embroidery—the opportunity to truly personalize your quilt!



I decorated the Christmas tree on the original quilt with red embroidered garland and white embroidered stars:



Because I made the tree scrappy on the Winter's Walk tree pillow, I decided to forgo the garland, but kept the white stars:



The tree block is another blank canvas that you can embellish to suit your preferences.  You could bump up the embroidery by adding more garland, maybe even with a metallic floss, or by adding stars in different colors.  Don't like to embroider?  Try decorating the tree with small buttons or beads.  The sky's the limit!

I was really happy with the embellished quilt top when I finished my first Winter's Walk quilt, but I think the big-stitched quilting in a cross-hatch pattern sent it over the top!  The diagonal lines act as frames for the "snowflakes" and I love how not quilting over the tree and snowmen make those blocks seem to advance.  The quilting in the outer border doesn't show up as much, but it does give it dimension and accentuates the zig-zag shape of the Flying Geese.



However you choose to quilt your Winter's Walk wall hanging, I'm sure it will be lovely.  I started out as a hand quilter, so I always tend to think of cross-hatching and echo quilting first, but I can't wait to see what you come up with when you finish your quilts!

And that, my quilting friends, brings us to the end of the 2020 Winter's Walk Quilt-Along!  It's been a pleasure quilting along with you and an absolute joy to see your work on social media.  I hope you've had fun and that you'll love your finished quilts.  I also hope you have a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

All my best!

—jen


Friday, December 18, 2020

Winter's Walk Quilt-Along — Day 9

Happy Friday and welcome back to the Winter's Walk Quilt-Along!

It's Day 9 and today we'll be finishing our quilt tops by adding the borders.


I think the gradated blue borders on this quilt really make it sing — the zig-zag effect created by the Flying Geese gives it a kind of window frame appearance and makes it seem as though you're looking into the quilt.  Love it!


Day 9:  Adding Borders

Here's the link for today's pattern sheet.


And as promised, here's a look at my second Winter's Walk variation pillow.  For this one, I made an extra snowman block that is a mirror of the original.  I think the snowmen look so cute lined up in a row— this pillow is going to be a fun one to embellish!




Speaking of embellishment, Monday 12/21 will be the final day of our QAL.  We'll be taking on the finishing — giving our snowmen features, decorating the tree for Christmas, and quilting.  Can't wait!!

Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting!

—jen



Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Winter's Walk Quilt-Along — Day 8

 It's Day 8 of the Winter's Walk Quilt-Along and today we'll begin assembling our quilts.


Finally, all of the work you've done making blocks over the past couple of weeks is going to pay off, and you'll begin to see what your finished quilt will look like!


Day 8:  Quilt Center Assembly

Here's the link for today's pattern sheet.

Today's instructions are pretty self-explanatory — no tips or techniques required.  Instead I'm going to give you a peek at my Winter's Walk variation.

I'm taking all of the blocks from the original project and assembling them into pillows!  Here's the first pillow top made with the tree block, star block, 4 Pinwheel blocks, and 2 Shoo Fly blocks, surrounded by a Flying Geese border.


I'm amazed by how much fabric selection can change the feel of a project.  The chambray and plaids that I'm using on my variation give it a casual, primitive look that I love — so cozy!

Have fun assembling your quilt centers and I'll see you back here Friday for more assembly and my second pillow top.  Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Happy Quilting!

—jen

Monday, December 14, 2020

Winter's Walk Quilt-Along — Day 7

Happy Monday and welcome back to the Winter's Walk Quilt-Along!

It's Day 7 and today we're making a star block.


Doesn't sound too taxing, right?  The catch is that it's an itty-bitty star block!  The complete block will measure 3½" square unfinished, but the little Sawtooth Star within measures only 2".  Sounds scary, but it's actually a piece of cake!


Day 7:  Star Block

Here's the link for today's pattern sheet.

We'll be using our tried and true stitch-and-flip corners to make the points for today's star block.  But what really makes this block manageable is that the background pieces are oversized and therefore give us a bit more fabric to handle.  The most difficult part of this block is the unit C (step 6 on today's pattern sheet) — sewing 2 - 1" stitch-and-flip corners to a 1" x 1½" background rectangle.  Be accurate with your marking and stitch directly on the marked line and you should be all set, but just in case,  I've got two other tips that should help you to be successful:

1.  Use a leader, or a small scrap of fabric, to start sewing on before you sew your stitch-and-flip seam.  Start sewing on the leader and when you reach the edge of the scrap do not trim the threads, but instead continue on and sew the stitch-and-flip seam, just like when you chain piece.

2.  Sew the stitch-and-flip seams from the edge of the rectangle, rather than the corner as illustrated below:


Using a leader and sewing from the edge can help prevent thread nests from forming behind your work and will also keep the little pieces from fraying at the edge or from being drawn into the needle hole.  I've learned to use these techniques with all of my piecing, not just with miniature blocks, and it saves me a lot of time and frustration.

That's it for today.  On Wednesday we'll begin assembling our quilt tops!  So exciting!!

Happy Quilting!

—jen