Friday, February 26, 2021

QuiltCon Together Highlights

QuiltCon Together, a virtual QuiltCon, is now over.  The MQG did an amazing job offering a quilt show, lectures, workshops, and a vendor floor virtually.  

When viewing the quilts themselves, you had the ability to zoom in and look at all the quilting details plus hear an audio recording from the maker.  Listening to the audio component was a wonderful addition.

I was really excited to have 4 quilts in the show - 3 were juried in plus one quilt was quilt part of the MQG quilt of the month exhibit.  Just like in a real show, my first stop was to find my quilts!


Can you spot them?
Top row:  Boomerang and Carnival;  Bottom row: Cartwheel and Astro (Astro is not in that screen shot above.)

Another thrill for me was Boomerang was featured in the QuiltCon magazine - the pattern is included so you can make your own!


Lectures at QuiltCon Together were presented live and then a recording was available to watch afterwards.  I attend 4 lectures and enjoyed everyone - my favorite being one on color theory.


I also took a match-stick quilting class from Cassandra Beaver.  I love Cassandra's work and I really enjoyed my project.  I used a collection of thread weights - 50, 40 and 28 wt - and really enjoy all the texture in my finished piece. 

While there was an option to download a sample from Spoonflower complete with key stitching lines, I choose to draw out my own.  I used my hera marker to initially mark the lines and then wrote P, B or W on the edges to help me remember which color when where!


Since I wasn't sure how easy it would be to see my marked lines once I started stitching, the first thing I did was to stitch over the lines to form my grid and then I went back to start filling things in.  The straightness of my lines got better as I went but I still need to find some natural marking on my walking foot to help me in the future.  Or perhaps ease up on the pedal a bit.  Or maybe both!  :-)

With the class, you had the option of signing up for an 'enhanced session' which gave you the chance to meet with the instructor in a small group to discuss your projects.  While I enjoyed the hour, it wasn't really what I had expected.

I know the virtual experience gave so many people the chance to participate that would otherwise had not been able to attend.  I enjoyed myself but really missed the chance to see other people and talk quilts non-stop.  My family - gotta love them - really did not want to discuss what I liked and didn't like about some of the quilts in the show!  My guild held a few virtual happy hours so it was nice to connect with other people that way!

QuiltCon 2022 is in Phoenix - hopefully I'll be there!

Did you attend QuiltCon Together?  What did you think of the event?






Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, February 22, 2021

Harmony Hand Pieced QAL - Square in a Square (block 1)




We are all excited that today we start sewing!  

Whether you've had your fabric pressed and ready to go for awhile or are just making your fabric choices now, you've probably had time to scroll through the pattern.  The Harmony pattern gives you choices on how you cut your fabrics and assemble your units.  The end result is the same so choose the option which works for you!



Still need the pattern for Harmony?  Grab yours now!  

Harmony is a large single block - make one and you've got a lovely wall hanging (28'' x 28'') or join 4 Harmony blocks together for a lovely throw sized quilt (56'' x 56'').  Did you miss the QAL announcement?  You can find more information here!  If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at handpiecedqal@gmail.com - we'll be happy to help!

Whether you are making the wall hanging or the throw sized quilt, we recommend you cut just the pieces you need to make a single Harmony block.  Once you've sewn a few units and have some experience cutting with templates, you can go back and cut the rest of the pieces for all the Harmony blocks you need.

Our QAL will follow the units in the order they are found in the pattern which means we start today with the Square in a Square.  Since you need just a single square in a square unit for a Harmony block, I encourage you to  take your time and check out these basic tutorials - Using TemplatesMarking Stitching Linesand the Running Stitch if you need some tips.

Each Harmony block needs just a Single in a Square unit.  The pattern offers two methods for cutting out your pieces - via templates or with a rotary cutter - and then sewing instructions based on the method you've chosen.  I decided to stitch mine using templates.  (See Kristin's post for tips on constructing with stitch and flip and the rotary cut option.)

Needles ready?  Let's sew our first unit!

Template Tips

All the templates you need for the pattern can be found on pages 19 and 20.  Some templates will be used in multiple units and each template is named and has a symbol for the unit(s) it will be used with.

The most important step for sewing with templates is to make sure your units are printed to scale so ensure your printer setting is set to actual size.  Measure that 1'' square with a ruler and if it doesn't measure 1'', check those printer settings and try again.  If you forget this step and find your sewn unit doesn't match the unit size in the pattern, start all over again.

The template has two lines - the solid line is the stitching line and the dotted line is the cutting line.  My template tutorial (find it here) cuts the pieces on the dotted line and then mark the stitching line 1/4'' from the edge.  You can also choose to prepare your templates by sizing them to the stitching line - trace that on your fabric and then cut your piece out with a 1/4'' seam from that line.


Stitching Tips 


Instead of marking a 1/4'' stitching line around the whole triangle, try marking just where you are about to stitch plus a little bit more up each side to mark the point where to start and stop your needle.  (Please note that my lines are not usually that dark - a bit a computer magic made the lines visible in this photo!)   I am marking on the back of the background (white) square as well just to make sure I align the start and stop points with the pin.   (See the tutorial on marking stitching lines.)


Mark both triangles and align a pin through the intersection point on each block so you are certain everything is aligned.

Then stitch away!  After sewing a triangle to each side of the square, pin the second pair of triangles.  You will be able to feel the folded back fabric to know where to start and stop your stitching.


Press.  If needed, sliver trim your block and then go ahead and mark the stitching lines around the outside so you will be ready when it is time to sew your units together.  You only need one of the SinS unit for your block.

The pattern also offers an alternative assembly method using a stitch and flip method which begins by drawing a stitching line on the diagonal on a square.  Check out Kristin's post to see her tips for creating this block!  


The Basics

Please consult the tutorials for Using TemplatesMarking Stitching Linesand the Running Stitch if you need some tips.



What's Next?

We will be sewing the units in the order of the pattern which means our next block will be a HST - half square triangle and we'll share tips next Monday, March 1. Our first check-in link-up will be March 29!



Stay in touch and join our community so you don't miss a thing!   






Have a wonderful day! Patty


One Monthly Goal February Finish link-up

Ready to link up your February finishes?
Don't panic - this link-up is open until February 28 at 11:55 pm ET.


My goal for February was to finish the koala quilt.  You can read more about it here.  Such a fun project!


Now it's your turn to link-up!  Now it's your turn to link-up!  There will be 3 winners - Fat Quarter Shop is offering a $25 gift certificate, Aurifil is offering a thread pack, and Make Modern is offering a 6 month subscription.


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. (February 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:  

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



Have a wonderful day! Patty

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Boomerang!


Boomerang was finished in the fall of last year but I am sharing it for the first time today.  The quilt was accepted into the QuiltCon Together magazine and also into QuiltCon Together and I decided to keep the quilt under 'virtual' wraps until the show opened.

This quilt was created to enter of the American Patchwork & Quilting wedge challenge.  I decided to use fabric not part of my typical palette and wanted to make sure the colors were bold and contrasting.


To quilt, I echoed the block and then added some bits of hand quilting to enhance the design.   The block is paper pieced and is a variation of a block I designed previously.  I love how the back of the quilt really shows off the quilting!


When I was in middle school, I had a pen pal from Australia for several years.  We exchanged letters and small gifts including a decorative boomerang and she was my first international friend.  In celebration of this first friendship, I named the quilt Boomerang!

I've very excited that Boomerang can be found in the QuiltCon Together magazine!  You can order your very own digital copy of the magazine.  There are 25 show quilts highlights and patterns for 10 quilts including Boomerang.  It is such a thrill for my quilt to be in the magazine.


Participating in QuiltCon Together from the comfort of my own has been fun.  I do miss being at the in-person event.  Having this quilt (and 3 others) in the show would have meant photos of me standing in front of my show quilts on the display.  This photo will have to do!


If you look carefully, I'm actually holding on to the quilt stand in this photo - it was quite windy and blew over at least once before I brought in an assistant to hold the stand while I manned the camera.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

100 Days to QuiltCon Project is Done!

Back on November 16, I decided to start a 100 days to QuiltCon Together project encouraged by others who are doing the same.   My goal was to use up all these miscellaneous scraps of white-ish fabric and a whole bunch of solid scraps by making baby 4-patches.


My "make a baby 4 patch a day" goal quickly morphed into joining 9 together into a 6 1/2'' block.  At first this seemed much more satisfying but it later morphed into way more work than I anticipated.            

Several times I considered not continuing.  What was the point, I thought?  I certainly wasn't actually doing work on the project every day - I'd just batch things up every 2 weeks or so.  For example, all the seams were pressed open as I went - I'd batch up steps for pressing too which meant the creation of a single blocks was also spread across many days.


But once I got close enough, I decided to make it happen.   

Ta da!  100 blocks!  And QuiltCon Together begins tomorrow!  Sometimes I surprise myself when I actually get something like this done!


My next step is to square them up and sew them together in groups of 4!  And I've already got an idea for my next 100 day project.  This time I will keep it small and doable in a day!



Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, February 15, 2021

My Favorite Tools for Hand Piecing

I'll be sewing along with our hand pieced QAL which starts later this month - grab your copy of the pattern here - and I thought it would be fun to share my favorite tools for hand piecing.

(Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you buy from them, at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I know and love.)


Hand piecing requires a bit of prep work and having the right tools makes all the difference.  These are my favorites:



When it's time to sew, you need needles, thread, snips, and (optionally) a thimble.  You also need great lighting!  Here are my favorites:

  • Your choice of a needle is really a personal one - I like a short needle while other quilters like to use longer needles.  The key thing to look for is a needle that you can thread without issue and one that feels comfortable in your hand.  Needles are inexpensive - experiment until you find one that feels right.   
  • Regular 50 wt quality quilting thread works well but I like to use the Aurifil 80 wt because it is finer it takes up less room in your seams
  • Snips (or scissors) are also key - you want something smaller to trim any dog-ears and snip the thread
  • For some people, thimbles are critical while hand sewing and I wear a thimble on the middle finger of my right hand while sewing.  This one is my favorite!
  • Pinning seams is important.  I love using short pins designed for applique because they don't get in my way while I am sewing.
  • This portable Halo Go light from Daylight is a perfect solution for great lighting.  (See my review.)


Pressing your fabrics and your finished blocks is a key ingredient to having a lovely final result.  There are two products to recommend here - 



I've going to spend this week prepping my fabrics for the QAL.  Hope you are joining us - grab your copy of the pattern here  Read more about Harmony the hand piecing QAL for 2021.



Stay in touch and join our community so you don't miss a thing! 

Looking for a hand piecing refresher before you get started?  Please consult the tutorials for Using TemplatesMarking Stitching Linesand





Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, February 12, 2021

The Koala Finish


And I've got a finish!  (My second of the year!)

The pattern is  Koala pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.  I used these beautiful Manchester fabrics and an Essex linen for the background.  This was a commission quilt and they wanted the same fabrics as used in Elizabeth's sample.



Although it added considerably to the amount of time it took to quilt, I choose to use complementary colors and do an all over stipple for the bears and background.  The ears where outlined, the trees come some 'sculpting' and the leaves were left alone.


The found the Manchester fabrics to be really nice to work with.  The linen was as well but it was a bit tougher than typical quilting cotton to quilt.   The backing fabric matches the leaves.

The quilt finished at 41" x 41" and is on its way to the new owner, baby Eloise.



This quilt was a lot of fun to make - so much so that I am going to make another one although I'm not yet certain on the backing fabric.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Halo Go Product Review

I love to hand stitch - whether it is hand piecing (check out our QAL!) or stitching on a binding.

Just sitting and stitching, perhaps watching a movie or maybe just enjoying the quiet, is so very relaxing.  The need for really good light has made this difficult at times so I was very excited to try the Halo Go light by the Daylight Company.  (The Daylight Company is a sponsor for the Harmony Hand Pieced QAL and sent a complimentary light for Kristin and I to try.)


I've used the light for a few weeks now and I can say that I love it!  It came in really handy when I was sewing on a binding.  Even sitting in front of a sunny window (decorated with all my Toy Story toys), extra light was required.   


The light is portable.  It folds nicely and is really easy to carry with you to wherever you want to sew.  It charges with a USB charger and give 4-8 hours of light depending on which of the 2 brightness levels are chosen.


Flip open the top and you get a handy magnifying glass - very useful for threading needles.  

For me, the biggest selling point is that the light is portable - it can go anywhere and balance on the arm of a chair or on an end table to give me all the light I need.  The neck will bend all the way over to allow the light to be directed anywhere.  Its folds into a nice compact shape too - easy to carry with me around the house.



We will be giving away a few Halo Go light by the Daylight Company to participants during the Harmony QAL.   

(Note this post contains affiliate links.)


Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, February 8, 2021

Harmony Hand Pieced QAL Pattern Now Available!!

Its been exciting to get such wonderful feedback on Harmony, our pattern for the Hand Pieced QAL for 2021.

After sampler quilts in our first two QALs, we were ready for something different.

The Harmony pattern features a large block (28” x 28”) which is perfect for a wall hanging. Sew 4 Harmony blocks and join them together for a beautiful throw size quilt (56" x 56") which gives the illusion of curves in a secondary pattern.

The pattern is perfect for yardage and is also FQ friendly.

And the pattern is now ready for purchase as a PDF download for just $10.

Join us each Monday for tips and tutorials with chances to win prizes! There will be lots of quilters sewing along with us so you can enjoy community support or go ahead and sew at your own pace!

You can quilt along with us, with lots of tips and tricks, prizes, and community support--or go ahead and sew at your own pace. It's your choice.


Harmony Throw Quilt


My Harmony throw quilt was quilted into a spiral using my walking foot.  It takes awhile but the results are just spectacular!  (IMHO!)

For my Harmony wall hanging, I choose to quilt a grid also using my walking foot.

The Harmony Block wall-hanging


The Pattern

The Harmony digital (PDF) pattern includes:

  • All the instructions for each unit, block construction, and final quilt top settings for wall hanging and throw quilt

  • Templates for all quilt blocks (and rotary cutting instructions where possible)

  • Coloring page 



Purchase a pattern by February 14 for a chance to win a bonus giveaway!





THE SCHEDULE

  • The pattern goes on sale on today!

  • Next Monday (February 15) we will share favorite tools for hand piecing

  • The Harmony Hand Pieced QAL will run from February 22 through the end of June.  We will be following the order of units in the pattern with tips and tutorials each week.




HOW THE QAL WORKS

  • Purchase the Harmony pattern for $10
  • There will be two check-in sponsored link-ups during the QAL and we will be awarding prizes to six entrants in each check-in link-up! To be eligible for a check-in prize, you must:
    • Share a single photo of any completed units and which have not previously been shared.
    • Duplicate shares will be disqualified.
    • Units must be entirely hand pieced.
  • There will be four Grand Prize winners. 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.
    • The quilt top must be entirely hand pieced.
    • Your quilt top must contain at least one completed Harmony block.
    • You are welcome to change the size of the Harmony block– but your finished block must visually match the design of a block from the Hand Pieced QAL and be entirely hand pieced.
  • Prizes are randomly awarded. Winners will be notified by email.
  
.


We are excited to get started, so grab a copy of the pattern and start thinking about your fabric choices! 

If you have any trouble ordering the pattern, please don't hesitate to email us at handpiecedqal@gmail.com- we'll be happy to help!





Stay in touch and join our community so you don't miss a thing! 

Looking for a hand piecing refresher before you get started?  Please consult the tutorials for Using TemplatesMarking Stitching Linesand the Running Stitch .

Have a wonderful day! Patty