Wednesday, August 12, 2020

July Temperatures

Summer has arrived!   See these last 2 columns representing all 31 days in July?  Lots and lots of high temps in the 90s!

My quilt for 2019 was simpler in design and only features the high temps.  Comparing the two, July 2020 was warmer.  However, high temps in the 80s (orange) started showing up much earlier in the year in 2019.

You can read more about the design here.  The net is the 2020 quilt will be functionally sized at 48'' x 48''.   The quilt records both high and low temperatures for each day.   The block is a simple one - the low temperature is the smaller rectangle - vertical for odd numbered days and horizontal for even numbered.  

The fabrics are all Painters Palette solids and I keep the color gradient at the top of my design wall so it is always available to reference.  

I've made temperature quilts for 2018 and 2019.  Want to make your own temperature quilt - check out my tutorial!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, August 10, 2020

Hipster Bag

No surprise that I love to make bags!  When I saw this pattern for a hipster wallet appear in the latest issue of Modern Monthly from the Modern Quilt Guild, I immediately lost about an hour of time rummaging through my stash to find the perfect fabric.  Pattern is design by Megan.

I liked the idea of a bit of hand work on the bag so I choose Artisan Cotton by Windham Fabrics for the outside and a print by Figo fabrics for the inside - both were samples from QuiltCon. 

Pattern called for snaps to close the bag.  I didn't have any of those but I did have some button magnets which worked well.  (The trick to using these is to pay careful attention to which side of which magnet has the strongest attachment to the other and mark which side faces the fabric so you aren't confused.)

I also had a ready made strap that I rescued from another bag that had gotten overused.

The bag has 3 pockets, one of which has a zipper.

It was a really fun make.  I will likely make another using cork now that I understand the construction process.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Stacked Improv Curves Tutorial

I needed to make some improv curve blocks for my local MQG charity quilt.

These were a lot of fun to make so I put together a quick tutorial in case you want to give it a try.

First, cut 4 squares of fabric - mine were about 8" x 8".  Stack them in any order, aligning along two edges.  With your rotary cutter, carefully cut a freehand curve.  Un-stack and shuffle so that each piece is paired with one of a different color.

Fold each in half to find center.  Align the centers and pin.  Your concave piece should be on top.

One tip - use an old cutting mat when cutting curves to avoid damaging a good cutting mat!

From the center, carefully align fabric, working from center to each edge and pin the concave piece to to convex (pie shaped piece).  Sew seam.  For a different view of pinning for curves, check out Yvonne's tip post.

Note: when working with curves cut with a template, I typically only pin at center and each edge.  Freehand cut curves will not align on edges so you need more pins.

Press each of the four pieces and the stack again - aligning the bottom right corner.  Freehand cut another curve.  And repeat steps from above to align centers and pin from center to either edge.

You'll notice that this method is going to create some wonky pieces.  Wait until you've have sewn the final curves before trimming block.  To trim, use the outer edges of the original cut square to keep those edges on the straight of grain.

Note - Blocks were not trimmed to a predetermined size but only trimmed to square them up.

Play with different arrangements - you'll see two of them in the top row of photo below.  Once you find one that you like, sew them together, press.  Tim to square up the block.

I've been enjoying exploring curves using templates (see Carnival quilt) and now I think I may try some more improv curves!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, August 3, 2020

Flying Colors

I am very excited to share my quilt Flying Colors which is published in the October issue of American Patchwork & Quilting!


The flying geese block is my all time favorite block!

It was fun to play with Moda Ombre Bloom and Moda Bleached White fabric (affiliate link) to create a fun visual. (Moda Fabrics supplied the fabric.)  The center geese block was cut from the center of the ombre fabric and each subsequent block was cut from lighter and lighter parts of the ombre transition.  

I used my walking foot to quilt diagonal lines running across the quilt to add to the movement.  Since this quilt was for a publish (and not to be thrown on my couch!), I took my time and marked each line with a hera marker before sewing. (affiliate link)

Binding fabric was debated for awhile - I am very happy with the white binding, a first for me!

The October issues goes on sale August 7.  It has a great fall pumpkin quilt on the cover!


Have a wonderful day! Patty

Saturday, August 1, 2020

One Monthly Goal August Link-up

Welcome to August!  There were 87 people who joined the link up last month - let's see what this month brings.

New to One Monthly Goal?  Welcome!  To join, share a photo of your project, some words about what you want to accomplish in a blog post, an Instagram post (tutorial) or a post on Flickr and add that photo to the link-up.  Return at the end of the month and share your results.  You can read about the event and the rules on the main event page.

We have wonderful sponsors this month - three (3) winners will be randomly chosen from those that link up in both the goal and the finish event! 

Fat Quarter Shop offers a tremendous selection of fabric, notions, books and just about anything you will need for your project. Consider their Sew Sampler box to receive a monthly surprise delivery of fabric and fun.  Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $25 gift certificate to one lucky participant.

ecopeco has designed a 5 layer cutting mat made from food-safe plastic (no BPAs or PVCs).  The mat comes in several beautiful colors.  I use my mat every day - see my product review ecopeco is offering one lucky winner an ecopeco® Quetzal Blue Combo Pack (24” x 36” & 28” x 24”).  I just love my ecopeco mat and know that you will too!  (This prize can only be shipped to US addresses.)

Therm O Web offers one of the most trusted, innovative and complete lines of adhesives for both the sewing and paper crafting markets, as well as a full line of interfacings and stabilizers for sewing, quilting, embroidery and crafts.  Therm O Web is offering a collection of HeatnBond® products including EZ print Featherlite sheets and  PeelnStick ruler tape.   (This prize can only be shipped to US addresses.)

My goal for August is to put a binding on my 100 day project.  The quilt is blocked and awaiting squaring up and binding decisions!

Make sure you visit the One Monthly Goal event page for the specific requirements for links and social tags.  Your blog post (or Flickr post) must contain a photo of your project, a clearly stated goal and a link back to Elm Street Quilts.  Your Instagram post must include a photo of your project, a clearly stated goal and the tag #onemonthlygoal.  (Entries which don't contain the required information may be disqualified.)

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 August 25.)

Make sure you add a link to this OMG post so others can find the OMG link-up from your blog.  Let's make that easy -  just paste this into your post: 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, July 30, 2020

2020 Mid-Year Check-in

Yvonne @Quiltingjetgirl is hosting a mid-year checkpoint for 2020.  Such a strange year it has been - a year where each day seems like the one before and much of what I (and everyone else) planned to do has been cancelled.

So what has been accomplished in 2020 so far?

Before the pandemic was truly upon us, I enjoyed a wonderful trip to QuiltCon in Ashville.

There are also over 100 masks I never expected to make.  I've lost count on the actual number and stopped taking photos of them long ago.  My extended family prefers this style and I make them to allow for a filter pocket.  I've made several of the more fitted style but apparently haven't taken any photos.

A number of finishes - two of these are laps sized while the rest are baby sized or smaller.  I just love the explosion of color in the this photo!

Kristin and I ran a successful QAL focus on hand piecing.  We called the pattern Book Club and named the blocks after characters in our favorite novels.

My quilt Astro was a Modern Quilt Guild quilt of the month.

Image credit: Modern Quilt Guild
I've played with scraps to make this Ombre pillow, this table runner, and these bags plus I've played with cork - so fun -  and made these zip bags.

I've also got some other projects underway that are designed to take awhile - my 2020 temperature quilt, my hand pieced stretched hexies, and my (now completed) 100 day project.

Reflecting back has turned out to be a positive exercise - I've got more to show for the year than I expected.  When the year began, I gave myself a set of goals.  How am I doing?

  • Participate in a group quilt for submission to QuiltCon 2021- Nothing on this one yet besides making blocks for our guilds submission to the charity challenge
  • Submit new quilt design for publish - have a second quilt publish coming out soon, nothing yet submitted for 2021
  • Improve my design skills through weekly challenges - some progress on this
  • Keep pushing my boundaries on color  - some progress on this
Motivation and Inspiration (my blog tag line)
  • Collaborate with other quilters/bloggers on a project  - Book Club QAL for the win!
  • Encourage participation in One Monthly Goal - some progress
  • Figure out how the purpose of the ESQ Facebook group - No action
  • Publish tutorials at least quarterly - On target for this - there were several tutorials with the QAL and I've another one planned for the summer.
Improve my skills
  • Practice and perfect a new FMQ design - no progress on this
  • Practice my photography flat shot no progress on this
  • Do more with the fabric I already own - oddly enough, the pandemic is helping me attain this goal as I am just using stash
  • Improve my technique in quilting - it's all about the curve!
I'll be linking up here.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, July 27, 2020

Marathon Quilt

The Grandfather Mountain Marathon takes place each July, starting in Boone, NC and running up the mountain.   My husband ran this race quite a few times.  The race was cancelled this year just like everything else.

The design does not represent the 26.2 miles to scale (clearly!) but the ups and downs represent the various changes in elevation across the course.  The 3 black lines are at 3500 feet, 4000 feet, and 4500 feet.

This quilt was made as a gift to thank someone associated with running of the race.  The design was lifted right from a race shirt.   I first traced the design and then scaled it up.

The quilting lines are on the diagonal to further emphasize the changes in elevation.

This quilt was a fun quilt project.  I enjoyed the chance to do some applique and play with the basic alphabet on my machine.

Quilt finishes 11'' x 16''.

Hope they like it!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Saturday, July 25, 2020

One Monthly Goal July Finish Link-up

Ready to link up your July finishes?
Don't panic - this link-up is open until July 31 at 11:55 pm ET.

My goal for July was to finish the hand quilting on my Carnival quilt.  Quilt is done and I love it!  You can see more photos here.

Now it is your turn to link-up!

There will be three winners this month - Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $25 gift certificate, Aurifil will be sending a thread pack to one lucky winner, and Quiltfolk  is offering a one year subscription to their magazine!

Congratulations to Edith, Rose, and Karen - our lucky winners for July! (updated 8/4)

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. (
July Goal Setting Link-up.)

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:  

Sign up to receive email notifications when the One Monthly Goal linkup is open.  Think of it as a helpful reminder!  Joining the link-up from Instagram -see the tutorial.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thanks for linking up!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Is your latest finish typically bump to the top of your favorite list?  That isn't always true for me but it is true this time.

I love my quilt which I've names Carnival.  Aren't these colors fun?

At QuiltCon 2019, I was lucky enough to win a thread set from Aurifil and these delicious FQ stack of fabric from Michel Miller.  (All I had to do was post a photo of myself in front of the Aurifil banner and hope to be randomly chosen.)

After QuiltCon 2020 and an amazing class on cicles from Jen Carlton-Baily, I decided to play with my new templates and the yummy stack of fabrics.  These are not colors I would typically have put together but thankfully someone much more color smart then me did so!

The quilt top was assembled in an improv fashion - there was no plan other than to use the templates. Once pieced, I basted really carefully with pins working hard to make all the rows and colors were squared up.

Then before intensively quilting every bit of the quilt, I outlined every shape hoping to keep the quilt from getting all wonky during the quilting process.   I pulled thread from my stash - mostly Aurifil - that complimented each color.

The quilting itself was done with my regular foot - not my walking foot.  It gave me better control and visibility.  Distance between quilted lines varied but was often less than 1/4''.

Then the fun kicked in.  I pulled 12 wt thread and proceeded to add some hand quilting.  It was really hard to decide when I was 'done' because I kept seeing spots to add a little more 'something'!!

Facing (my tutorial) seemed like the right edge treatment for the quilt.

The quilt finishes 30'' x 30''.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, July 20, 2020

Book Club Parade of Quilts

Needles down!  Our second Hand Pieced QAL Book club has ended and we are just thrilled with all the finished quilt tops and quilted quilts!

Today, I'm thrilled to be sharing some of the finished quilt tops and quilts.  Please also visit Kristin's blog to see the other half of the parade.

Although the QAL has ended, you can still purchase the pattern for Book Club!   Pattern includes templates for 9 blocks each of which finish at 9".   Instructions for two setting are provided - a wall hanging which finishes 37'' x 37'' or a throw sized quilt which finishes at 52'' x 52''.

And now for the parade!

Our first group of 4 quilts chose to make a wall hanging size.  I love seeing the different fabric and color choices as well as the addition of cornerstones!

Top Row: Nancy & Deb; Bottom Row: Joan and Janis

Our next 3 finishes choose to make a throw sized quilt.  I just love the fabric combinations in each of these!

Susan, Catherine, and Tiffany
Several quilters went the extra mile and added additional blocks to make larger quilts by making two of each block or mixing in up-sized blocks from our 2019 hand pieced QAL.

We've got 16 block versions....

Becky and Lindsey
And those that used 18 to 20 blocks!

Pat, Robin V.  and Robin

Finally, 2 quilters not only finished their quilt tops but also finished their quilting!

Diann and Harriet
Thank you to everyone who participated.  We loved that you sewed along with us!

Finally, thank you to our wonderful sponsors who provided some extra incentive to keep stitching!  Congratulations to Cynthia, Hilary, Lindsey, and Joan - our lucky grand prize winners!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Book Club QAL - last day to link-up!

When Kristin and I announced the Book Club QAL earlier this year, life was still normal. 

Then, suddenly lock down happens and everything changes!   For some, this meant less time for 'fun' sewing.  For those who were able to participate, they commented how much joy hand piecing and the QAL brought to them during these difficult times.

The Grand Prize link-up has been open for about a month.  It closes today.  It's been exciting to see all the hand pieced finishes popping up in the link-up and email entries.

I absolutely loved  interacting with everyone via email and the Facebook group.  I'm also thrilled that we've converted a few people over to the pleasures of hand piecing!

Now today is the last day to enter into the Grand Prize draw.  Tomorrow we get to choose the lucky winners.

And there will be 4 of them because we've got 4 grand prizes - (1) Pressing Paradise (2) Perfect Piecing Package (3) Quilt Designers Dream and (4) Lighten Up your Room!  (Read more about the Grand Prizes on this post.)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

To be eligible for a Grand Prize, you must:
  • Share a photo of a completed quilt top (i.e. the flimsy) or a completed quilt in the link-up below or via email. All entries must be submitted by midnight July 15 ET / 9 pm July 14 PT.
  • The quilt top (blocks, sashing and borders) must be entirely hand pieced.
  • Quilt tops must use at least five unique blocks from the Book Club QAL.  You can use any layout that you chose for your quilt top.
Winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email.  Winners have 72 hours to claim their prize - if we don't hear back, we will draw another name.  Once winners have claimed their prize, this post will be updated with the names of the winners.
Photos can be shared from a blog, Flickr, or Pinterest and must include a  link to Elm Street Quilts or Simple Handmade Everyday.  Photos can also be shared via a public Instagram and must contain the tag #handpiecedqal and/or #bookclubqal 

Don't have a way to share?  You can also email them to handpiecedqal at gmail dot com.  Need instructions on how to link-up?  See the tutorial!

Quilts shared must follow the guidelines below to be eligible to win a prize.

We hope you take a few minutes to visit others and make new friends!

Please note - sharing a photo in the link-up gives Elm Street Quilts and Simple Handmade Everyday permission to feature a photo of your block on their sites.  Full attribution will be given.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, July 9, 2020

100 Day Finish (the 2019 version)

Last year, I set out to hand piece 100 drunkards path blocks as part of the 100 day project.  (I'm doing 100 days of hand quilting this year.)

Once the blocks were set, I started hand quilting using 12 wt thread choosing colors that matched the fabric.  I worked on this for awhile and then put it aside because  I wasn't enjoying the process.

I also wasn't happy with the texture.

So I ripped out the hand quilting and decided to quilt using the walking foot on my machine.  I love the results!

As you might remember, I also ripped out the hand quilting on my table runner and replaced it with walking foot quilting.

For what its worth, I do like do do some hand quilting  - see a photo of my hand pieced and hand quilted Perfectly Imperfect quilt  or on this year's 100 day project

This quilt finishes at 38'' x 38''.  It will hang in my sewing space.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, July 6, 2020

June Temperatures

Summer heat is finally here in North Carolina - arriving much later than it did last year.  All those oranges and reds make me thankful that the pool opened so I can still swim daily.

I am so happy I chose to record the high and low temperatures and am loving the way this quilt looks.  Each month is represented by two columns - 1 to the 15 and then the 16 to the 29, 30, or 31.  I am using a gray rectangle to finish off the shorter columns.

The quilt currently measures 24 1/2 x 48 1/2 ''.

My temperature quilt for 2019 only recorded the high temperatures.  Quite the difference between the two years - many more days of temps in the 80s and 90s last year. 

After making wall hanging sized quilts to record the daily high temperatures for the last 2 years, I knew that for 2020 I wanted a larger functional size quilt and one that recorded both high and low temperatures for each day.   When finished, the 2020 quilt will measure 48'' x 48''. 

In the 2020 quilt, the low temperature is the smaller rectangle - vertical for odd numbered days and horizontal for even numbered.  The fabrics are all Painters Palette solids and I keep the color gradient at the top of my design wall so it is always available to reference.  

I've made temperature quilts for 2018 and 2019.  Want to make your own temperature quilt - check out my tutorial!

Have a wonderful day! Patty