Friday, January 14, 2022

Feelin' Blue Ripple Placemats

 Hello! 
Today I'm over on the Thermoweb Blog sharing a tutorial for these fun Ripple Placemats. 


They're made using HeatnBond Fusible Adhesive, so there's very little sewing! I've even included a short video showing how to freehand cut these curves (they're so easy!). 

I used the Indigo Batiks fabric from Anthology Fabrics for this project. I'm a huge blue lover, and the range of blues in these fabrics, plus the fun batik patterns, had me hooked from the moment I saw them. (That swirl print...my fave!)

I also used these fabrics to make a blue and white version of my Wonk Around the Block quilt. You can read more about it here. The pattern is available for purchase in my Etsy shop as well. 

Wonk Around the Block pattern

I hope you enjoy the tutorial


I have a bunch of leftover fused, curved strips. I think I need to make a few more placemats...







Friday, December 31, 2021

A Table Runner 4 Years in the Making

My last finish for 2021 was 4 years in the making and I'm so glad I completed and gifted it! 

 

Back in 2017, we visited my sister-in-law's house for the week of Thanksgiving. 6 adults and 9 kids and basically a "free" week to have some fun. I don't live near any of my nieces and nephews, so my chances to be the "fun project aunt" aren't frequent. I came prepared, with supplies to decorate cookies and make some applique quilt blocks. 

Here's the workstation (aka kitchen island) for our quilting activity. I had a lot of fused fabric scraps in solid colors, and I gave each kid a scissors and a white background square. The kids' ages ranged from approximately 3 to 11. 


Here are all the kids with their finished blocks. It was fun to see how creative they got; especially the older kids who had a little more scissors skills. 


Then the blocks sat for four years. This week, I decided to turn them into a table runner for my sister-in-law (4 of the kids pictured are hers; 3 are mine). I surrounded each block with a solid-colored frame, varying the thick section to add interest and make the runner a little wider (the blocks were originally only 6-1/2" square). 








And the finished runner:


We met up with family this week for a belated Christmas, and I was able to give my sister-in-law the runner in person. Here she is with the runner and all 7 kids who made a block. Such a fun gift! 









Thursday, December 16, 2021

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Part 8


 
If you're looking longingly at the Strippy Improv Holiday blocks but thinking that there's no way you have time to sew a wall hanging or table runner before Christmas, this post is for you!

 If you're just joining in, this is a very loose sew along--see the schedule at the bottom of this post--I'm making four different blocks and then talking about assembly. 

Totally do-able before Christmas! Especially after you read today's post!

Need the pattern? Find it here.

I've got two wall hangings to quilt. I finished this top earlier this week--still with a week to go before Christmas! 

The question I'm most commonly asked about quilting is what color thread to use, particularly for an allover design. Which can be tricky with a variety of colors, like in the block below. My best advice? Audition your thread colors by stretching them across the quilt. You might just be surprised what colors work. 


I tried light grey (better than white because it's not so bright), red, teal, and medium gray. Even on the white, I actually like the teal alot! Like I said, you might be surprised!


I tried light gray on this candy cane block--blends in with both the dark gray background and the candy cane itself.


Of course, you can always quilt the different sections separately. I think I will do that with this wall hanging rather than trying to choose a single thread color.

I took a pic of the back of my finished runner, so you could see the quilting. I opened not to quilt the ornaments themselves, but instead quilted the block background, the block frames, and the sashing/borders. Lots of options!


How will you quilt your project? 

These blocks stitch up so quickly - you still have time to make something before the holidays! The pattern comes with templates for five different blocks (ornament, snowman, tree, star and candy cane), as well as two layout options--a four-patch style wall hanging and a table runner.

Purchase the pattern here.


See you back here Thursday for some finishing tips - including the most frequently asked question--what thread color should I use for quilting?

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Schedule:
Thursday, November 18th - Intro and Fabric Selection

Tuesday, November 23rd - Make a block

Tuesday, November 30th - Make a block

Thursday, December 2nd - Make a block

Tuesday, December 7th - Make a block

Thursday, December 9th - Assembly

Tuesday, December 14th - Alternate options

Thursday, December 16th - Finishing

********************************************************************

If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Find me on Facebook here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Part 7

 


If you're looking longingly at the Strippy Improv Holiday blocks but thinking that there's no way you have time to sew a wall hanging or table runner before Christmas, this post is for you!

 If you're just joining in, this is a very loose sew along--see the schedule at the bottom of this post--I'm making four different blocks and then talking about assembly. 

Totally do-able before Christmas! Especially after you read today's post!

Need the pattern? Find it here.


Need a small gift (or only have time to make a small gift?)
Sew a block, quilt it, and bind it! Instant mini quilt, pot holder or mug rug! These two blocks, yet to be bound (hey, I still have 10 days!) are destined to be gifts. Cute, easy, and made with love. (Note: If you're going to make a hot pad, use two layers of batting or even better, a heat-resistant batting layer plus batting).


For the star, I echo quilted the star itself with gold thread, using my walking foot edge for spacing. For the background, I did the same in a dark blue thread.


For the snowman, I used a large decorative stitch on my machine to create texture. This is my minimalist snowman. :)



My 10-year-old is obsessed with these blocks and is making them for gifts. Good thing his teacher doesn't read my blog! Didn't he do a great job? He even did the quilting and binding himself!


Yesterday I reduced the size of the star template by 50% and made four star coasters for our guild's holiday gift exchange. 

Inspired yet? I have about four more orphan blocks to finish and gift this season--I can't wait to see what they become! 

These blocks stitch up so quickly - you still have time to make something before the holidays! The pattern comes with templates for five different blocks (ornament, snowman, tree, star and candy cane), as well as two layout options--a four-patch style wall hanging and a table runner.

Purchase the pattern here.


See you back here Thursday for some finishing tips - including the most frequently asked question--what thread color should I use for quilting?

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Schedule:
Thursday, November 18th - Intro and Fabric Selection

Tuesday, November 23rd - Make a block

Tuesday, November 30th - Make a block

Thursday, December 2nd - Make a block

Tuesday, December 7th - Make a block

Thursday, December 9th - Assembly

Tuesday, December 14th - Alternate options

Thursday, December 16th - Finishing

********************************************************************

If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Find me on Facebook here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Part 6


It's assembly time for the Strippy Improv Holiday pattern! If you've been keeping up, you should have four blocks done. If you haven't been keeping up, no worries! You still have time.

 If you're just joining in, this is a very loose sew along--see the schedule at the bottom of this post--I'm making four different blocks and then talking about assembly. 

Totally do-able before Christmas!

Need the pattern? Find it here.

Let's look at the quilt assembly:

(Wait? What about the ornament block? It didn't get a day in the sew along! That's true...I just scheduled four days because you only need to make four blocks for the runner or wall hanging. But I've filled today's post with ornament blocks for inspiration. The ornament block has so much potential--different colors, different prints...you can really have fun with it!)

The pattern offers two assembly options--a square wall hanging, which is also perfect size for a door, and a table runner. I've made one of each so far, and have two more to make - hopefully before Christmas! 

For either lay out, you're going to be adding contrasting strips to frame the block. I originally added these to create some definition between my black background blocks and my black sashing and border fabric, but I really love how these skinny strips make the blocks pop with any fabric combination. 


Such a difference, right?! I highly recommend choosing a fabric that contrasts strongly with your block background and sashing/border.


I used these brightly colored ornament blocks to make a table runner:



And then these red and green ornament blocks to make a square wall hanging.


Here's a tip for the wall hanging assembly:
You want the vertical sashing pieces between each pair of blocks to align visually, even across the horizontal sashing piece. To make that happen, take a peek at how the sashing lines up when you're pinning by folding back one of your block rows. When the strips align, pin the raw edges so the strips stay aligned as you stitch. 


Voila! All lined up.



Everyone is curious about the stitching to secure the backgrounds to the block designs. 
I have mostly used a straight stitch and thread that matches the background so it's as invisible as possible. I know I may have some fraying, but since these are decorative items rather than a lap or bed quilt, I'm not too fussed. 

You can also use a zig zag stitch, blanket stitch, or other decorative stitch.


Next week I'll be showing some alternate options--ideas for using just a block or two. Perfect for if you start to run out of time for your holiday sewing! :) 

These blocks stitch up so quickly - you still have time to make something before the holidays! The pattern comes with templates for five different blocks (ornament, snowman, tree, star and candy cane), as well as two layout options--a four-patch style wall hanging and a table runner.

Purchase the pattern here.


See you back here next Tuesday for alternate options - mug rugs, mini quilts, and hot pads!

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Schedule:
Thursday, November 18th - Intro and Fabric Selection

Tuesday, November 23rd - Make a block

Tuesday, November 30th - Make a block

Thursday, December 2nd - Make a block

Tuesday, December 7th - Make a block

Thursday, December 9th - Assembly

Tuesday, December 14th - Alternate options

Thursday, December 16th - Finishing

********************************************************************

If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Find me on Facebook here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along - Part 5


It's candy cane day! 
I will tell you--this is the hardest block to sew, but today I'm sharing tips to make it easier! 

If you're just joining in, this is a very loose sew along--see the schedule at the bottom of this post--I'm making four different blocks and then talking about assembly. 
Totally do-able before Christmas!

Need the pattern? Find it here.

I sewed two blocks: one for my red/green/teal wall hanging, and one to use as a mini quilt. I used red, white and green for the mini quilt, and chose a funkier background background to make it more contemporary looking. 


Speaking of candy canes, I saw oreo flavored black and white candy canes at the grocery store the other day. No thanks! 

The most important general tip for this block - for the candy cane, direction matters. As it is noted in the pattern, make sure that when you trace the shape onto muslin, you trace the mirror image of the template. This means that the hook part of your cane will be facing the same way on the pieced section and the background fabric. 


So what makes this block trickier than the others is trying to make the stripes "swirl" on the diagonal like an actual candy cane. Feel free to just sew "straight" (but still wonky!) stripes and not worry about the diagonal angle. 


But if you do want to create a "swirled" candy cane, here are my tips: 

1. "Audition" the placement of each strip before sewing. You'll need extra length on the outer edge of the candy cane; otherwise when you fold an angled strip up, it won't extend past the sketched line, like this: 


2. So test every time before you stitch!


3. Keep increasing the angle as you work up the candy cane stem. When you get to the hook, the stripes will sort of spiral and overlap ALOT, which looks weird but works when you add the background. 


4. Here's what my candy canes looked like when the piecing was complete. 

Happy candy cane sewing! 



These blocks stitch up so quickly - you still have time to make something before the holidays! The pattern comes with templates for five different blocks (ornament, snowman, tree, star and candy cane), as well as two layout options--a four-patch style wall hanging and a table runner.

Purchase the pattern here.


See you back here Thursday for assembly time! 

Strippy Improv Holiday Sew Along Schedule:
Thursday, November 18th - Intro and Fabric Selection

Tuesday, November 23rd - Make a block

Tuesday, November 30th - Make a block

Thursday, December 2nd - Make a block

Tuesday, December 7th - Make a block

Thursday, December 9th - Assembly

Tuesday, December 14th - Alternate options

Thursday, December 16th - Finishing

********************************************************************

If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stay and look around a bit. 
If you like what you've seen here, you can also find me:
To find all of my quilt patterns, visit my Etsy shop
Find me on IG here.
Find me on Facebook here.
Sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar or here
(You'll receive a free pattern for my Diamond Drama quilt (below) as a thank you!)