Monday, February 20, 2017

improv QAL - triangles

For overall information on play, the improv QAL, please see the QAL kickoff as well the main event page.  

The improv QAL has a set of basic rules -

  • you are in charge
  • make what you want
  • don't follow a pattern
  • play with fabric
  • experiment

Anything goes here.

This is your project, your creativity. 

There will be weekly prompts each Monday, through April 3.  Last week's prompt was wonky log cabins.  Each week, I'll show you a mini quilt created using that week's prompt.  I'll also be making 'blocks' to join into a bigger quilt piece that I'll share at the end of the improv QAL.

The prompts are provided to get you started, to plant that very first thought.  But then take it anywhere you would like to go.  If you new to improv, today's prompt is a great place to start because it makes good use of odd sized scraps and pieces.



Prompt (February 20) -
Make wonky half 'block' triangles from odd shaped scraps. 
 Produce a mini or create blocks to be assembled together with other blocks from the QAL.


Remember, this prompt is just the start of this week's assignment.  Embrace it or ignore it.

What you'll need -
  • Fabric scraps in odd sizes are great for this exercise.  


Some tips & ideas -

  • If working with odd shaped scraps, cut triangles out with scissors.
  • Make a collection of them and then press and trim with scissors if needed before joinng them together.
  • To get a slightly more 'orderly' HST that is still a bit wonky, stack two fabric rectangle shapes, right sides facing up for both and use rotary cutter to slice across.  Reassemble into triangles.

  • Use additional fabric of the background color to frame or further offset the blocks.  Your outside strips could be extra wide to give you room to trim your block to the final shape.



Remember - anything goes here.  It is your project, your creativity coming through.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  This might feel uncomfortable but don't give up - keep working through to the end product.



  • Use #playimprovqal to earn entries towards one of the QAL prizes.  

  • Blog link-up opens March 13 for another way to share your progress!



Next prompt Monday, February 27.  Here's a sneak peak.



My mini quilt top will be linked up with  Main Crush Monday's,   Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Fabric Frenzy Friday,  Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.  This is finish #8 for 2017 - all have been minis so far.


Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, February 17, 2017

Notebook cover

I want to bring a notebook with me to QuiltCon so I created a fabric notebook cover from a fun FQ from my stash.


The label is from Sweetwater - I've had it for quite awhile and this seemed like a good use for it.

This was very fun to make and more are in my future.  I'm thinking a fabric covered notebook would make a great gift.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stitch down those edges

I've a finishing tip today but first let me show off my quilt.

I finished assembling my quilt top last week from Cheryl's @ MeadowmistDesigns mystery QAL.


I just love the design and the mystery was a lot of fun.  I downsized my blocks from the 12'' (finished) from the pattern to 6'' finished so my quilt - soon to be wall hanging - is currently 30'' square without borders.

The blocks themselves were made up of 2'' finished blocks - lots of HST in this one.


I used American Made Brand solids for this one.  The overall quilt top is 30'' square.

Once a quilt top is assembled and hanging around waiting for borders or maybe going right to the quilting step, I always run a line of stitching along the edge of the quilt.

This keeps all those seams from popping just a thread or two.  It will also keep things from stretching out of shape.

The line of stitching is close to the edge, roughly at the 1/8 mark.  You don't have to be precise with this - just make sure it is well short of the 1/4'' mark.


It doesn't take long and helps keep your quilts in shape for the big finish!

My quilt top will be linked up with  Main Crush Monday's,   Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Fabric Frenzy Friday,  Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.   I will also be linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays.  


Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, February 13, 2017

improv QAL - log cabin block

For overall information on play, the improv QAL, please see the QAL kickoff as well the main event page.  

The improv QAL has a set of basic rules -

  • you are in charge
  • make what you want
  • don't follow a pattern
  • play with fabric
  • experiment

Anything goes here.

This is your project, your creativity. 

There will be weekly prompts each Monday through April 3.  The prompts are there to get you started.  If you are new to improv, I highly recommend you follow the prompt and see what happens. And if you don't want to waste fabric in case you don't like the result - use your scraps.  But do use scraps you like!

Each week, I'll show you a mini quilt created using this week's prompt.  I'll also be making 'blocks' to join into a bigger quilt piece at the end of the improv QAL.

Ready?

Here is your first prompt -
Make a wonky log cabin block(s) without worrying about aligning edges or quarter inch seams
 Produce a mini or create blocks to be assembled together with other blocks from the QAL.


Remember, this prompt is just the start of this week's assignment.  Embrace it or ignore it.



What you'll need -


  • Fabric square or rectangle for center and then strips of varying sizes to surround your center.



Build as you would a regular log cabin except put aside the ruler and embrace the irregular shapes of your pieces.


Some tips & ideas -

  • Use your ruler to stabilize the fabric when cutting through several layers at once instead of just cutting with your rotary cutter alone
  • Consider cutting strips and trimming with scissors
  • Press and trim the extra overhang before adding the next round of strips.
  • Aditional fabric of the background color to frame or further offset the blocks.  Your outside strips could be extra wide to give you room to trim your block to the final shape.



Remember - anything goes here.  It is your project, your creativity coming through.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  This might feel uncomfortable but don't give up - keep working through to the end product.



  • Use #playimprovqal to earn entries towards one of the QAL prizes.  





Next prompt Monday, February 20.  Here's a sneak peak.




Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, February 10, 2017

Churn Dash progress

These churn dash blocks go together quickly!


I'm making them in three sizes - the largest (12'') is the blue one in the middle and it is surrounded by the middle size (9'') blocks in the photo.

I've made 12 blocks in all but could only round up 9 of them for the group photo shoot.

Has anyone seen where in my quilting space I stored my first 3???  I seem to have lost them.

Maybe I'll offer a reward if they are found and returned unharmed unwrinkled.


You can read more about my plan - or lack thereof - for this quilt on my post from last week.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Jacob's Ladder Quilt



Fat Quarter Shop is kicking off a fun tutorial and QAL today for a Jacob's Ladder quilt. You can find information about the pattern, a tutorial for the block and several options for sizes of quilt on the Jolly Jabber blog.

The pattern calls for 12 1/2 '' square unfinished blocks.  Please visit the Jolly Jabber blog for block assembly instructions.  Their directions are excellent!

I wanted to use a bunch of leftover layer cake squares for my Jacob's Ladder quilt.   Since layer cake squares are 10'', I downsized the pattern to produce (unfinished) 6½'' square blocks.

I quilted my table top mini quilt with diagonal lines resulting in a diagonal checkerboard effect.  my quilt finished ~14''square.



To make my mini, I paired a dark and light layer cake square together and cut as shown below.  Each pair of layer cake squares yield two (2) blocks.

From each layer cake square, cut the following -
  • One (1) strip 3'' wide, sub-cut to three (3) 3'' squares
  • One (1) strip 3'' wide, sub-cut to one ( 1) 3'' square and two (2) strips, ½ x 7''
  • two (2) strips, 1½ x 10 '' 
Each of the HST and 4-patch blocks will be 2 ½'' (unfinished).

Technically, to get 2½'' HST blocks, you could cut the squares for the HST at 2 7/8''.  Since I'm cutting from a layer cake square, all that yields is tougher line to find on my ruler and makes that waste piece just a smidgen bigger.  (See HST math plus tutorial.)

I've got plenty of leftover layer cake squares.  Once I finish my stash busting churn dash quilt, I'm making some more Jacobs Ladder blocks from my layer cake stash.

Please visit the Jolly Jabber blog for block assembly instructions.


My Jacobs Ladder quilt will be linked up with  Main Crush Monday's,   Freemotion by the River,   WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers.  Fabric Frenzy Friday,  Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday.   I will also be linking up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays.  This quilt is finish #6 for 2017.  All of the finishes (so far) have been mini quilts.


Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, February 6, 2017

play - improv QAL Kickoff!




For additional information, please visit the play event page

How will the play QAL work?

The QAL will feature weekly posts, each Monday - February 13 through April 3.  Each post will contain:
  • a prompt for an improv block or technique
  • sequence of photos for that prompt
  • finished mini quilt for that prompt
  • sneak peak at the following week's prompt

On April 10, we'll discuss tips for assembling all your pieces into your final quilt top.  During the actual QAL, I'll also be making my own improv blocks to be be assembled into a final quilt to be revealed during the parade.  (A parade? !!!)


How do I play along?

You can try some, all or none of the weekly prompts to play along with play.  The objective is to experiment with the art of improv.  The prompts and photos are there to inspire you to unlock your own creative possibilities.

Although I'll be sharing mini quilts along the way, you don't need to make each mini quilt or a mini quilt at all.  Just make at least one improv quilt of any size and share!


How to I get ready?


  • find some colorful thread for your FMQ.  Here is my Aurifil collection.


  • look around you for inspiration 
  • come ready to quilt without rules

Schedule for sharing -

  • Share anytime in the Elm Street Quilts QAL Facebook Group
  • Share anytime via Instagram #playimprovqal  and @elmstreetquilts
  • Share in the progress - blocks, bit and pieces, whatever you have done - in a linkup March 13 through March 27
  • Share your final quilt top (quilted or not) in the linkup April 10 - April 30
  • Submit your favorite piece by May 1 via email for the parade post on or about May 3.  More information on the parade will be available in April.


There will be prizes!
    American Made Brand has supplied lovely precuts for prizes.  Aurifil has supplied three thread packs for prizes.
  • Prizes will be randomly awarded to participants who share their projects in the April linkup and/or the Elm Street Quilts QAL Facebook Group and/or the play parade of finishes.  See overall event page for more specifics on prize packages.
  • There will be five (5) winners, selected on the day of the parade post and announced in a blog post once each winner has confirmed their prize.  Winners will notified by email and requested to acknowledge and confirm their prize within 48 hours.  If I don't hear back from them, another name will be randomly chosen.  
Can't wait to get started!

Here is your sneak peak of the clue for Monday February 13



Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, February 3, 2017

When Fabric Calls, I listen

                              (Click Here to go to the One Monthly February Linkup Post)

Last year, I won a 1/8 yard bundle of Bonnie and Camille fabric in a blog giveaway.  Isn't it pretty?


Last week, I was minding my own business in my sewing studio and suddenly the fabric started calling out to me.  "Make something with me!" it said.

When fabric calls, I listen!  (Usually it starts yelling "buy me" when I am in my LQS.)

Decided to make a churn dash quilt and make blocks of different finished sizes (12'', 9'' and 6'') and decide the layout later.



I made these three sample blocks and then will make use of the easy piecing of the HST and the strip blocks as a leader and ender project.  (If you aren't familiar with this concept, read about leader and enders over at Bonnie Hunter's blog.) 

My first challenge is how best to efficiently cut up this 1/8 yard fabric bundle for most efficient use.  Each piece is cut 9 x 22''.



Fun stuff!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Bella Basics - FQS QAL - Come join the fun!

(Click here to get to the Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal February Goal Setting Post.  New to the blog and One Monthly Goal - read more about this fun event!)

A new Fat Quarter Shop Bella Basics QAL kicks off today!  

Photo credit - Fat Quarter Shop 

Isn't it beautiful?  This quilt was design by Sherri @A Quilting Life

I am so excited to play along!  I'll be using this yummy bundle of solids in several shades of blue plus a few extra colors for some interest.


The Bella Basics QAL introduces nine blocks, some based on standard blocks (like the HST) and others which are more unique.  There are several blocks that I am really looking forward to which I've never made before.  The most exciting are the orange peels and pineapple blocks!  (How can you go wrong with blocks named after foods?)

Loving my February blocks!


You can find the video tutorial and free pattern for this month's blocks - Kaleidoscope -on the Jolly Jabber blog.    To create the block, you can use either a specialty ruler (spider web ruler) or use the free template supplied free with the pattern.

The template worked just fine.  I taped it to a ruler, aligning one edge of the template to one edge of the ruler.   Once the pieces for the larger block was cut out, I trimmed the template and cut out the pieces for the smaller block.


I used colors sea (138) and teak (129) for this months blocks.



Fat Quarter Shop has a kit available for this project as well!

Grab your free pattern for the Kaleidoscope block here.   There are several bloggers quilting along. Make sure you visit them and check out what they are up to as well.

Are you quilting along?  Let me know!!!

New to my blog?  Thanks for stopping by!  Take a minute to visit Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - a monthly link up party to encourage you towards progress on your quilting projects.  Fat Quarter Shop is one of the sponsors!



Disclosure - The Fat Quarter Shop provided funding to cover the cost of materials for this quilt.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

One Monthly Goal - February Goal Setting Linkup


Welcome to February!


New to One Monthly Goal?  Welcome!  You can read about the event and the rules on the main event page.

Sign up to receive email notifications when the One Monthly Goal linkup is open.  Think of it as a helpful reminder!


As you are considering your goal for February, remember that this month only has 28 days. (The goal finish linkup will be available February 22 through February 28.)  

My goal for this month is to finish all the Splendid Sampler blocks.  I have 92 of them done (yeah me!) which means 8 more to go.  The patterns through blocks 96 were released by the end of January so I still need to get the patterns for blocks 97 - 100 which are scheduled to be released this month. Here's hoping they are easy!  (You can see many of my blocks on this pinterest board.)


We have three great sponsors for February.  There will be three (3) winners this month!

Fat Quarter Shop, one of my blog sponsors, offers a tremendous selection of fabric.  Take a minute to check out their 2017 Designer Mystery QAL.  Fat Quarter Shop is always very generous with their fabric kits so you will have plenty of extra fabric for your stash (or make some extra blocks!)  Fat Quarter Shop offers fabric from many different manufacturers and you can find anything you are looking for there!  Fat Quarter Shop is offering a gift certificate to one lucky participant.

Bagmaker Supply is your one stop shop for everything for the pursemaker.  They sell beautiful, affordable, hard to find handbag hardware.  Many of the bags features in this year's Bag It tutorials use magnetic snaps, buttons or grommets sourced from Bagmaker Supply.  Bagmaker Supply is offering a $20 gift certificate to one lucky participant.




Let's meet our featured designer - Abby Glassenberg!  Abby is a designer, writer, podcaster , teacher and entrepreneur.



I first heard of Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps through her podcast of the same name.  (Her podcast has kept me company on many of my walks.)  Abby brings her passion for entrepreneurship with her knowledge of the sewing industry to everything that she does. Her podcasts celebrate designers and makers through discussions of their work and their perspectives on the industry.  Her newsletter and blog explores these concepts in depth.  In addition, 
Abby is co-founder of the Craft Industry Alliance, a trade organization for makers, suppliers, designers, and pro bloggers.

Abby designs soft toys and dolls.  My favorites are her Patchwork Elephant (pictured below) and Jeremy Giraffe!  You can view her available patterns in While She Naps store as well as her Etsy store.  Abby has authored several e-books as well as three craft books.

I am a big fan of Abby's work and truly appreciate her insights.  You can follow Abby on her Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Pattern Store (Etsy)  |  Craft Industry Alliance  


Abby is offering three (3) pdf patterns from her online store to one lucky winner.

Photos sourced from While She Naps.
Patchwork Elephant pattern designed by Abby Glassenberg.  
The Sewist pin is available for purchase.
More information one the Craft Industry Alliance is available.

Now it is your turn to link up - what is your goal for February?  (A goal could be to finish a quilt but it could also be to attach a binding.  Whatever it takes to help you move forward and make progress on your projects!  And as long as the project involves a needle and/or fabric, you can link up!)

Make sure you visit the One Monthly Goal event page for the specific requirements for links and social tags. 

And remember, to be eligible for the prize(s) by random drawing you must linkup at both the goal setting and the accomplishment linkup in a given month.   (The One Monthly Goal accomplishment linkup will be available on February 22nd.)

Make sure you add a link to this OMG post so others can follow where you are linking.   Let's make that easy -  just paste this into your post:  Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal February Linkup.





Thanks for linking up!


Have a wonderful day! Patty