Tuesday, May 31, 2016

the Mini Mini

My instagram feeds are full of minis - tiny quilts all 6'' square or smaller.  Want to see some, just type #MMminimini into Instagram and prepare to get lost in all the pretty minis.

I made my first one last week in honor of my daughter's high school graduation.  This one finishes at 6''.  Binding on something so tiny can be tough but I went with a single fold binding and it worked out fine.

I turned this mini into a graduation card for my daughter and we all signed the back!  

(When I gave it to her at dinner that night she didn't seem at all surprised.  Turns out she had seen the block itself go by in my Instagram feed!)

This Dr Who #11 mini was made from a block I paperpieced long ago.  Decided I'd enjoy it sitting on my desk much more than it sitting in my box of orphan blocks.

This finished at 5'' square and the Dalek has taken an interest in it!

Make Modern magazine has issued a mini mini challenge with some great prizes.  You can find out more information on the Make Modern magazine mini mini challenge.

I'm sure I'll be making more of these!!  So much fun!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, May 27, 2016

Words are - quilt top is finished!!!

Ta da!!!

I am excited to have this quit top done and thrilled because my daughter loves it!!   (Twas a little difficult to get a photo of and I was worried my DH was going to step on the bottom if we tried any longer!)

It is a big quilt - 70 x 100 inches - and I intend on quilting it myself on my home machine using organic wavy lines.  The backing fabric will be flannel - my daughter loves how soft her current quilt feels backed with flannel.

The process to create this was a fun and interesting journey.  I started out without a plan other than to paper piece a favorite quote from Harry Potter.

I played with all different options for setting but when I thought about the idea to use the geese as an unorganized border, the rest of the quilt clicked.   Along the way, there was far more seam ripping than I'd like as I changed where I was going and altered the dimensions of the blocks.

I really like these large blocks that allow these fun prints to really shine.

I'll be linking up with OMG here at Red Letter Quilts. 

Also linking up with Fort Worth StudioConfessions of a Fabric Addict, Sew She Can, Finish Up Friday, Thank Goodness It is Finished Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop, and Off the Wall Friday.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

the repeat QAL & 'quilt' - the mini

quilt  paper pieced

What to make a 'quilt' quilt?  This mini finishes at roughly 18 x 8'' and would look really fun on your wall or sitting next to your machine.

Or maybe you'd like to make the larger quilt as a tribute to what a really good day would look like!

quilt eat sleep repeat paper pieced

The patterns for both of these quilts will be part of the repeat QAL which officially kicks off on June 1!

The larger quilt (finishes at 30'' square) is all paper pieced letters.  The smaller 'quilt' quilt offers options in traditional piecing or paper piecing.  And you can choose to make a subset of the quilt too - maybe you just want a quilt with the word 'sleep' on it!

There will be opportunity to win prizes - official sponsor announcement on the June 1 post.   Prizes will be awarded randomly to those who participate in the QAL linky party and in the Facebook QAL page.

There will be plenty of time to get your quilt done - blocks will be available through June and the linky will be open until mid-August!


Help me spread the word about the QAL and enter to win some fat quarters from my stash!  Post the QAL button on your blog and reference the QAL in a blog post sometime before June 30 to enter and then record your blog post here for a chance to win!  I so much appreciate the help - QALs are fun with lots of people!

Elm Street Quilts

Make something fun for yourself or make one for a friend!

quilt eat sleep repeat paper pieced

I'll be linking up here - Patchwork Times, Too Cute Tuesdays, Sew Cute Tuesdays, , Freemotion by the River,  Fabric Tuesday's,  WIP Wednesday's,  Let's Bee Social,  and Midweek Makers.

repeat paper pieced

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, May 23, 2016

QAL progress updates

I love having a balance of things going on in my sewing room.  Long term projects, mixed with quick finishes.  Projects where the design and innovation are all mine mixed with following along with someone else's blocks.

I also like mixing up and using different fabrics.  It all works to keep me motivated and excited because there is always something that I want to sew.

I blog about my block by block progress at my A Stitch in Time blog.  Here are some recent group photos.

There are two QALs associated with the Farmer's Wife 1930's book (one hosted by VeryKerryBerry  and the other by  Gnome Angel).  I've made 65 of the 99 blocks so far - this photo shows the first 63.

Next up is the Splendid Sampler hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson .  I'm using a bundle of Christmas fabric for this one.  All the details on the QAL can be found here.  There will be 100 blocks in this one.  I've made 22 of them so far and this photo shows the first 20.

Finally, Crossroad's QAL sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop.  For this one, I'm using a layer cake of Sweetwater Elementary along with yardage.  (Information on that QAL can be found  here.)

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Class of 2016

Class of 2016

An open letter to my daughter as she graduates today from high school.


Thursday was your very last day of high school.  Yearbooks were signed, computers were collected and you practiced for the graduation ceremony that happens later today.
But just as there is a last day of school, there was a first day of school.
You were eager to start kindergarten.  You were no stranger to the elementary school. Tagging along every day as your dad walked your brother and sister to and from school, it was a very familiar place.  When the big day finally game, you were so happy to put on your backpack which was almost as big as you were.  You walked down that hallway on your first day and never looked back.
You were ready.

Between that day and this day, you have accomplished so much. 
You've been a warm, compassionate and loyal friend, always the one to step in to help, to comfort and to just listen. 
You've been a cheerleader for your both your brother and sister.  For your sister, you have been the head of her fan club.  You'll jump to her side in any discussion, hug her when she needs a hug (or when you do) and cry tears for her when she is upset.  
You've become your own person.  Someone who loves to write, hands constantly hovering above the keyboard as your fingers type out the next in a long line of stories.   Someone who loves all different forms of dance.  (It is so very special to see you dance and tap across the stage.)  Someone who rarely leaves the house without a book in hand just in case you can find a moment to read.
I've so much enjoyed the chance to spend more time with you during this last year, driving you home from school and listening to your stories about your day or your stories about your stories.
I know you are ready to graduate and head of to college in the fall.  (Hopefully I'll be ready for you to leave.) 
I know that I've never been more proud of you that I am today.  That is, of course, until tomorrow when my love for you will grow yet again as will my pride.  How did I get so lucky to be your mom?

I love you.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, May 19, 2016

repeat - introducing a new QAL

I am very excited to announce a brand new QAL which officially kicks off on June 1, 2016.  I'm calling this quilt repeat in honor of the way I would just love to spend every day!

quilt eat sleep repeat

(More glamour photos coming soon ... if it would only stop raining.)

This wall hanging measures 30'' square.  I had a lot of fun putting this together and I know you will too.

The letters and the star are paper pieced but don't let that scare you away!   I'll have detailed tutorials to take you through the process.  There are also lots and lots of paper piecing tutorials all over blog land and youtube which can help.

alphabet paper piecing

But if you aren't ready (or interested) to tackle paper piecing but still want to play along, I'll give you traditional cutting instructions for the word quilt and you can make a mini!

There will be opportunity to win prizes - official sponsor announcement on the June 1 post.   Prizes will be awarded randomly to those who participate in the QAL linky party and in the Facebook QAL page.

There will be plenty of time to get this one done - blocks will be available through June and the linky will be open until mid-August!


Help me spread the word about the QAL and get an extra entry.  Post the QAL button on your blog and reference the QAL in a blog post sometime before June 30 (more on this soon).   I so much appreciate the help - QALs are fun with lots of people!

Elm Street Quilts

Ill be linking up with Fort Worth StudioConfessions of a Fabric Addict, and Sew She Can,

repeat paper pieced

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The wedding quilt

I was fortunate to win this lovely bundle of Blueberry Park and have decided to use it to make a quilt in honor of the fall wedding of my nephew.

I had the pleasure of meeting the bride this weekend and guess what?  One of her friends gave her a rotary cutter and mat.  While she isn't a quilter, she is a maker so I'd say what better way to introduce her to quilting then give them a quilt!

This quilt will use a million (but whose counting) flying geese so I got started this week in order to make a test block.

I've played around a bit in EQ7 on one option for the finished product.  I may go with more negative space or perhaps thoughtful placement of colors so that it flows from the dark blue to the lightest color.

More on those options soon but for now, it is off to make more (and more) geese!

Linking with Blossom Heart QuiltsFreemotion by the River.  QuiltfabricationQuilt Storyand Sew Fresh Quilts .

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

American Made Brand QAL

I love QALs and am excited to participate in the new mystery QAL called Our Land using American Made Brand solids featured on The Works. 

Photo from The Works
I redrew the first block so it would finish 6'' square (instead of the 12'') and paper pieced the background and appliqued the sun instead of dealing with templates.

Here is my first block titled - A View from the Shore.

AMB QAL A view from the Shore
Water  - Light Sky (97);  Sun - Light Yellow (8) & Dark Yellow (10)

I also noticed that there will soon be available American Made Brand precuts!  I can't wait to pick up a jelly roll of that fabulous rainbow of color.  (Photo credit to The Works.)

Photo from The Works

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Matchstick Quilting Tutorial

Match Stitch Quilting Tutorial

When I make small mini quilts, I often like to quilt them using my walking foot with dense straight lines.  I call this Matchstick quilting.

Want to try?

Prepare your quilt sandwich as normal.  In this stitching project, there was a layer of fusible fleece behind the stitching and then sandwiches with a batting scrap.

We'll be match stick quilting in 4 sections.

Roughly a forth of the way from the top and bottom of your piece, draw a straight line with your ruler across the piece  (See this tutorial to mark quilting lines.)   This tutorial will reference these markings at the 1/4 piece mark and the 3/4 piece mark.

Alternatively use a straight seam in the quilt for the first line of stitching.  I used the seam from on the border pieces.

I like to set my stitch length to be longer than usual - around 3.0.  Sew across the piece on your 1/4 piece mark and the 3/4 piece mark.  Back stitch at each side to secure stitches.

Then sew along the top and bottom of the pieces as close to the edge as you can.

If you look carefully at the photo, you'll see these sewn lines.  The piece is now stable and the remaining pins can be removed.

Find a spot on your walking foot that you can use as a consistent distance for each of your subsequent rows of stitching.  I've marked the photo below with mine - I bit of an opening in the foot that becomes my stitching guide.  See where my seam ripper is pointing?  I've lined that up right over the 1/4 piece mark line of stitches.

Continuing to consistently use that same spot in your foot, continue to sew across to the top edge.

matchstick quilting tutorial

Now mark the center of your piece - the 1/2 piece mark.  I used this method of marking quilting lines - which you can see as a shadow across the middle of the photo.

Sew on the 1/2 piece mark the next line to sewn on and then continue to work from that point up towards the 1/4 piece mark line.

Then start working up from the 3/4 piece mark line to the 1/2 piece mark line.

matchstick quilting tutorial

Repeat for the bottom portion of the piece.

matchstick quilting tutorial

Clearly you could get this same effect by starting at the top of your piece and working down without doing this in sections.

However, chances are your lines may not be all straight when you are done.  If you are a little bit off in one part, that little bit off will start to add up and suddenly you aren't going straight anymore.

By starting from the three lines that were marked at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 point, you keep resetting yourself back to straight!

matchstick quilting tutorial

I just love the end result and think you will too!

If you liked this tutorial, check out my others tutorials for circular quilting and quilting organic wavy lines.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

We've got commas!!

Words are in my not so humble opinion

The top half of my daughter's dorm quilt is now all assembled!

This quilt will measure 70'' by 100'' when complete and will be the largest quilt I will attempt - and hopefully successfully complete - to quilt on my home machine.

Early on, I had tried paper piecing the commas but had not been happy with the results.  These are appliqued on and I think they fit the font of the letters quite nicely.

Each of the four corners will look like the photo below.  I used this tool to calculate the measurements for the square in a square setting triangles.

flying geese block

The side borders and bottom border are all completed and sewn together.  I need to trim the rows and then onto the final quilt top assembly.

You can read more about the process of this quilt here and  here

I've one geese (goose?) left over that I will use for the quilt label.

My daughter wants the backing fabric to be soft - perhaps flannel.  I am also going to look into brushed cotton.

Linking with Blossom Heart QuiltsFreemotion by the River.  QuiltfabricationQuilt Storyand Sew Fresh Quilts .

And congratulations to Caroline for winning the embroidery kit from Snuggly Monkey.  I sent you an email asking for your address.


Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Dress

Back in February, I did a series of blog posts I called Hugs about making in support of others - sending a virtual hug to someone who needs it.

I researched and shared information about several wonderful organizations.  One of those was Dresses for Africa (my post link).

My friend Jan from Sew and Sow Farm is sponsoring an event to create some dresses in support of this organization.  Here is my first one - fun and fast to create!  I hope to make some more before I send them off.

Last chance to enter the giveaway for the Embroidery Kit from Snuggly Monkey.  Enter the rafflecopter giveaway on this post!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there - especially my mom who raised seven daughters.

My girls are taking me out for ice cream later - our yearly tradition.

And for a bit of mom reality .....................

Zits cartoon sourced from here

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, May 6, 2016

live, love, QUILT free stitching project

I have a free stitching pattern to share with you today in honor of the giveaway for an embroidery kit underway from Snuggly Monkey.

(Enter the giveaway here!)

Having something to stitch always ready to go makes me happy.

Stitching projects are portable and are a great way to unwind and relax.   Some of my stitching projects turn into mini quilts right away while others are piled next to my machine waiting to be turned into a bag.

I always back my stitching, usually with an iron on fusible to give it stability during stitching and hide the threads.  (Here is an example of how I prep for stitching as part of one of my tutorials.)

I can't wait to share my finished project - keep reading for the link to download your own copy!

live love quilt free stitching pattern

I used a window and my frixon pen to trace the stitching pattern onto fabric.  I keep large scraps of neutral fabric just for this purpose!

live love quilt free stitching pattern

The letters of the word quilt were designed so you can then fill them in with the stitching pattern of your choice.  You could fill with any number of embroidery stitches.  I've drawn mine out to represent FMQ designs - feathers, stipple, pebbles etc.  Some of these I will do on the machine, some by hand.

Have fun with this and make it your own!  You can download the stitching pattern here. (Any problems, just drop me an email.)

Have a wonderful day! Patty