Wednesday, November 24, 2021

One Monthly Goal November Finish Link-up

Ready to link up your November finishes?
Don't panic - this link-up is open until November 30 at 11:55 pm ET.

My goal for November was to make my quilt coat!  I love it!  You can read more about the coat and the process on this post.

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 Magazine is offering a 6 month subscription.

Congratulations to Isis, Edith, and Mary - the lucky winners for November.  (updated 12/6)

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. (November 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:  

Thanks for linking up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, November 22, 2021

St Gregory's Cross Block

Fat Quarter Shop asked me and several bloggers to make a version of the St Gregory's Cross Block!  You can download a free block pattern here from Fat Quarter Shop and check out photos of other block versions today on their blog.  (In January, Fat Quarter Shop will be sharing all the photos from us but we were encouraged to share out blocks now.)

To construct the block, I used the Creative Grids 6" Flying Geese ruler!

I love making the flying geese block and typically make geese using the 4 at a time method and trim to size afterwards.  With this ruler, you cut out the center goose triangle and then the wings separately. 

The ruler gives you the opportunity to make geese 6" high down to as 1/2" finished.  The ruler was easy to use but I found maintaining cutting accuracy was difficult when I start making smaller geese using the ruler for another project.

Once assembled, this geese still needed trimming primarily to get rid of any dog ears.

The instructions for this block show construction slightly different than the way I approached it.  Since I had a tool to help me make flying geese, I constructed as much of the block using flying geese as possible.  Hour glass block needed in the center?  Two flying geese it is!

I do like this block and think it would create a great pattern across a quilt.  Fat Quarter Shop is offering a kit to make a St. Gregory's Cross & Hourglass Quilt Kit - check it out!  You can also order just the pattern to make the quilt or just the instructions block.  

Have you tried the Creative Grids Flying Geese ruler yet?

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Making of My Quilt Coat Part 3 - The Finish!

Ta da! 

Earlier this month, I shared the process of creating the panels and the pattern prep (part 1) and then shared the assembly process (part 2).  Today, I want to share my finished quilt and some more learning and overall tips.  The pattern is the Patchwork Chore Quilt by Patchwork and Poodles and followed the extra instructions for a zipper (see instructions).

I am just thrilled with the finished coat!  I made the large size and it is a generous large - I'm pretty sure I could have made the small and been happy with the result.  I do like to layer up in the winter so I think it will work out fine.

The pockets, the zipper, and finishing the armholes gave me the most trouble.  (no photo)

The first time through the zipper installation process, I used a zipper foot and did not use enough pins.  As a result, the geese did not line up well.  Hard to describe - and I didn't take a photo - but somehow in the topstitching process I ended up with only the two bottom rows being aligned and the rest was skewed quite a bit.  Once the zipper was removed (took me almost 3 hours), I was relieved to find that the geese did actually line up just fine.  For the redo,  I decided to go with a binding and then topstitch it down on top of the zipper.  I'm really happy with how it looks - the geese are lined up and there is none of the zipper tape showing.

The process of sewing the bias tape over the seams was tough in the armhole.  It isn't my best work but I got the job done.

The pockets are constructed by sewing the lining to the front side and then turning inside out.  This means you are dealing with bulk in the corners which is difficult to lie flat.  If I make a coat again, I will bind the pockets to get nice crisp corners.   I am also unhappy that the geese don't line up vertically.  I kick myself for not making just a few more geese to give me options on cutting the pocket.  But, at the time, I thought I was going to be able to line things up just fine.   Might I remove these pockets and redo them?  Yes I might just do that!

One pocket bit that did work out well was an added inside pocket on the left side the coat where I can tuck my phone.  The seams lines are hidden inside the outer pocket.  Although I finished the seams so the coat could be reversible, I'm not certain I would wear it that way.  (This was my own modification - i.e. not in the pattern.)

I ended up with an inch of coat between where the collar ended and the top of the coat where the zipper would go.  (I'm still not sure if it was supposed to be this way or if I did something wrong.)  To address, I extended the seam binding (which I used instead of twill tape) all the way to the edge, top stitched and then sewed the folded over part down by hand.

I truly enjoyed the entire process of  making this coat, even the fiddly hand sewing.  The pattern is a really good one - i highly recommend it.   I'm even considering making a second one since I enjoyed it so much.

Besides the pattern, there are a couple of supplies I'd recommend (affiliate links):
  • Swedish Tracing Paper - it gave me easy visibility to the fabric underneath the pattern piece so I was able to line my flying geese points up right in the center.
  • Silicon pins - they are heat resistant and you can just iron right over them 
  • Binding clips - perfect for holding pieces of coat together for sewing
You can read the part 1 and part 2 posts for more tips and photos but wanted to list some keys recommendation here - both for you and for me if (WHEN!) I make a second one:
  • Trace and cut the pattern pieces onto the Swedish Tracing Paper  
  • Adding binding to pockets and consider making them larger
  • Use the walking foot to install the zipper
  • Install zipper after binding the coat center pieces
  • Don't bother to seam the bias tape for seam finishing since individual pieces cut are the right size.
  • Take it slow - don't try to do it all at once.  
  • If you aren't enjoying it, stop and come back to the step the next day.

Can't wait to wear the coat out in the wild!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, November 12, 2021

October Temperatures

North Carolina weather in spring and fall brings many perfect days - temps in the 70s and a deep Carolina blue sky.   This October brought us many of these days!

Temperatures definitely dropped as compared to September - the lows got lower and days that did reach the 80s (orange) didn't do so until late afternoon.  The second half of the month brought days in the 70s and a few in the 60s (green).  (The pool closed on October 3 and I'm tempted to embroidered a sad face on the block that represents that day.)

When I compare to October of 2020 (left in above photo), the number of days in each color seems about comparable with perhaps a few less highs in the 60s this year.

My design documents both the high and low temperature in a block which finishes 1 1/2 '' x 2''.  The improv strip is 1/4'' wide and records the low temperatures.  

Every month takes 2 columns - the 1 through 15 in first column and then 16 through end of month in the second column.  Filler blocks are added to square off the quilt.  The thin strips - 1/4'' wide - are randomly inserted and run 'vertically' for odd days and 'horizontally' for even days.

I'm using the exact same fabric that I did for my 2020 Temperature quilt.  The time I spent organizing is paying off - it takes no time at all to get the prep work done for sewing each block.  I made myself a mini-quilt to show off my temperature grid.  Oranges are 80s, yellows are 70s and sew on.  I've been asked several times what my fabrics are - I used all Painters Palette solids:
100+ is Sangria, 95+ is Real Red, 90+ is Poppy red, 85+ is Burnt Orange, 80+ is Tangerine, 75+ is Pencil Yellow, 70+ is Bright Yellow, 65+ is Apple Green, 60+ is Mint, 55+ is Bright Aqua, 50+ is Turquoise, 45+ is China Blue, 40+ is Lapis, 35+ is Purple, 30+ is Amethyst, and any temp is the 20s is Royalty.

I've written up my basic temperature quilt process in my tutorial including where I source the high and low information.  I'm looking forward to sharing the progress!  You can see my temperature quilts for 2018, 2019, and 2020!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Making of my Quilt Coat Part 2 - the assembly

Last week, I shared the process of creating the panels and all the prep required to get ready to assemble my quilt coat.  Today, I want to share all about the assembly process.  I chose the Patchwork Chore Quilt by Patchwork and Poodles and followed the extra instructions for a zipper (see instructions).

The pattern includes 3 options of finishing options for the seams, one of which is designed so the coat can be worn reversible.  This option requires some handwork - which I like! - especially on the sleeves.

I decided to start my assembly process with the sleeves for two reasons - it would be a smaller panel to remake if I messed things up and it gave me an chance to practice the seam finishing technique in a less obvious spot.   I highly recommend the use of  Swedish Tracing Paper (affiliate link) - it gave me easy visibility to the fabric underneath the pattern piece so I was able to line my points up right in the center.

Sleeve assembly went well.  The seam finishing technique was a bit like sewing on a binding although it was a lot more awkward to hold onto that an actual quilt binding.  (The photo also shows that I did take the time to zigzag the edges of all the pieces before assembly.

I did take care to make sure the seams would be lying the correct way to nest with the side seams.  (The pattern instructions weren't clear on this.)

The pattern calls for a lot of bias binding of two different widths - one for finishing the seams and one for binding the bottom of the sleeves and the coat.  I was able to cut all the binding from a 1/2 yard of fabric.  The pieces cut were all large enough that they didn't actually needed to be seamed together except for the binding on the coat bottom.  Instead of following the pattern instructions and sewing it on as a bias double fold tape, I just attached it as I would a quilt binding and then hand stitched. use a bias double fold binding where you sew it on with the machine in one step.  

I took a deep breath when the time came to cut the main panel.  Everything was carefully pinned and the back center lined up nicely with a column of geese.  

I think these look so pretty!

Instead of hand finishing the shoulder seams, I choose to use my sewing machine.  The seam will be visible on the back and I'm likely to be the only person that knows it is there!

With shoulder seams sewn, time for the collar!

I kept it simple - just a low volume fabric without any geese.  These silicon pins are great - they are heat resistant and you can just iron right over them so I was able to get a nice crisp finish.

Instructions called for twill tape to cover the seam.  I decided to use some bias binding again to finish it off as well as the roughly 1" from where the collar ended until top edge of front panels.  (I may have messed something up because I don't think there was supposed to be that much of a gap.)

I pressed well and the top stitched the top edge, folding the rest around the seam and finishing by hand.  The picture below shows the finished top edge from the inside and outside.

Next step - and the last for this post - is basting on the zipper.  Since I lengthened the pattern (there are instructions for this), my zipper is a 24" (metal) zipper.

One more post to come on the finished coat!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, November 8, 2021


Tangram is a puzzle using seven polygons - two large triangles, three smaller triangles, a parallelogram and a square.  These polygons can be put together to form all kinds of shapes - the square being the most basic.  When cleaning out a closet of games and toys my now adult children have long outgrown, I pulled the Tangram puzzle out of the thrift store donation block thinking that it could serve as inspiration for a quilt block.

In my quilt - also called Tangram - I made each of the blocks using a different combination of polygons similar to what I did in my two polygon mini quilts.  For this quilt, I enjoyed playing with the layout to create some interesting shapes in the negative space.

The quilting inside the blocks was done in coordinating thread and echoed the block shape with some changes for interest.  I used a FMQ ruler foot for the first time to quilt inside the blocks and the walking foot to quilt the background.  

Tangram was created for the Artisan Cotton Fabric Challenge For QuiltCon.  My goal was to use the F8th bundle of fabric sent for the challenge and one yard of background fabric.  My quilt finishes at 32" x 32".

True confession - I put the hanging sleeve on the wrong way and the quilt is actually hanging upside down from how I had intended.  At first I was annoyed at myself and then I decided to just go with the flow!

I've submitted this quilt to QuiltCon.  Yvonne from QuiltJetGirl has started an initiative to #CelebrateMyQuiltSubmission.  I love this idea because it recognizes that it takes a bit of courage to actually submit a quilt to a show.  

Tangram is one of 5 quilts I've submitted.  You can see the 3 of the 5 in this post.  I still need to blog about the fifth one.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Making of My Quilt Coat Progress Report #1

Fall is upon us and as temperatures chill, its time to get my quilt coat assembled!  I've been watching quilted coats pop up on Instagram for awhile and once I got my quilts done for submission to QuiltCon, I decided to dig right in.

I purchased fabric from an Etsy shop (Binded with Love).  I wanted to work with a FQ bundle and really loved the ones they assembled using Art Gallery fabric.  Dianne and Sara were just wonderful to work with - they created a custom bundle for me!  I ended up ordering 20 FQs, two 1/2 yard cuts of two of the low volume prints, and 4 yards of backing/lining fabric.

I chose the Patchwork Chore Quilt by Patchwork and Poodles.  I like the different updates that have been shared and I've decided to go with a zipper (see instructions) instead of buttons.

30+ pages later, my pattern was printed and assembled.

I transferred the pattern in my chosen size to Swedish Tracing Paper.  This was the first time I used this product.  I actually sewed together the back and front pieces and 'tried it on' before confirming the size I wanted to make.

The instructions give you options for making the coat from a finished quilt or creating a bunch of panels.  I (clearly) went the panel route so the next step was to start making geese.

Typically, I have a detailed plan for my quilts and know exactly how much fabric I need and exactly how many blocks.

Not true in this case - I really just winged it and covered every surface in my sewing space with geese lined up so I could get some variety in fabric placement!  356 flying geese later, I had my panels all assembled!

This is where the Swedish Tracing Paper proved to be a wonderful product!  Once panels were assembled, I could lay the pattern pieces on top and make sure they were big enough.  And, once I'm ready to cut, the fact they are transparent will help be not cut off a geese where I don't want to.

For the sleeves, I added just a little bit extra in case the piece shrunk.

To quilt, I did a grid on the diagonal.  It was fun and fast!

Panels done, everything went into the wash so any shrinkage happens now and not once the coat was assembled.  I did do a trial wash on a small quilted sample so I knew what to expect.

Next update - cutting the pieces and beginning steps of assembly!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, November 1, 2021

November One Monthly Goal

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 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 who join both the goal and the finish link-up!

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.

Aurifil is home to a beautiful rainbow of thread in all weights, perfect for any of your sewing and quilting needs.  My favorite product is the designer collection boxes which coordinate with various fabric lines!  Aurifil will be mailing a thread pack to one lucky winner!

Make Modern is a digital magazine launched by a collaboration of quilters based in Australia. Their magazine is filled with modern quilt designs and a wonderful source of inspiration. Make Modern is offering a 6 month subscription to one lucky participant.

My goal for November (and I can't believe it is November already!) is to make a quilt coat.  I decided to make lots of flying geese which took wayyyyyyyyyyy longer than I expected.  But they are done!  So onto quilting and coat making.

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 November 24.)

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