Friday, January 29, 2016

Scrappy Strip Quilt Making Progress

Wow, the last time I posted about this quilt was last July. It was time to pull it out and make some progress. There were four finished blocks in the bin. The blocks go together quickly once the layout is set. I remember worrying a lot when I was working on this before about not putting too many like squares together.

If a big block is made from squares that all came from the same strip set, the block can start to lose some of its scrappy look. I decided to relax and just go with it this time. They all look scrappy enough and I may have mixed them up some the last time I worked on this quilt.

I should take better notes when I'm working on a project like this. Of course, I was sure that it would be finished quickly. The six month break was not part of the plan, but other projects lured me away for a while. I noticed my scrap bins getting full (again!) and knew the scrap quilts in progress needed some attention.

This is the stack of squares remaining. My best guess is that there are enough for 11 more blocks, which is just right. 20 total blocks will make a nice quilt top. Each block will be 15 inches finished. The individual squares were trimmed to 4 1/4 inches.

There are many projects going on at one time in my sewing room these days. I'm hoping this one will stay close to the top of the pile. A scrappy finish would feel great in the first few months of the new year.

Linking up to Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spell It With Moda - Let's Get Started

This week I am starting a new project to celebrate seven years of the Moda Bake Shop. We are going to Spell It With Moda using Zen Chic's soon to be released fabric line, Flow.

It was so fun mixing and matching the Jelly Roll strips trying to decide on a layout.for my quilt. Everywhere there is a strip, there will be a letter. Everywhere there is a business card, there will be a filler block. Do you want to know what it says? Oh, no, no, not so fast. Let's have some fun with this.

Each week, I'll make two or three letters for the quilt. Playing along will be sort of like us playing hangman together. This week I made three Es. Let's look at them closer to see the gorgeous colors and details of the Flow collection.

At the top, we have this pretty light blue E.

It is amazing what can be done with a simple comma on fabric.

The middle E is a yummy orange.

I don't have a list of the formal names for each of these prints so I made up some of my own. This is orange comma fireworks.

And for our last letter of the day, we have blue comma E.

The fun thing about this print is that every now and then there is a backwards comma or a sideways comma. It makes your eye pause for a second and I really like that.

What do you say? Do you want to guess a letter? If you do, just comment and let me know what you want to see. If it's in there, I'll make it for next week. And if not, I'll choose a few of my own.

Do you want to make your own quilt? The letters are available individually on Moda's Pinterest Board.

Or, if you want a quick resource with everything in one place, check out the Spell It With Fabric booklet available at many local quilt shops and online stores. I did a quick Google search and found some great resources for purchasing the booklet.

So, let's have some fun. Pick a letter!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. Also linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Quilts Inspired By Art: Hello Baby Girl Version

It's a girl! Girl quilt, that is. This is our last week working with our first art and craft inspiration piece, a greeting card made by Linda Aarus of Polka Dots and Paper.

Here is the inspiration card and if you need to catch up to how we got to where we are today, here are the posts from prior weeks:

I tried to use some different techniques on this version of the quilt so you could better see some of the options. 

A traditional machine blanket stitch is used to secure each of the letters in place for this quilt. For the quilting, there is an all over flower design that covers the entire quilt except for the area with letters.

The flowers are even quilted into the borders.  There is an inch or two of unquilted space right around the outside edge of the quilt.

The quilting was fun once I got past some thread breaking issues. Changing the type of bobbin I was using helped with that. It could have something to do with my machine needing a good cleaning, too.

The quilting shows up good from this angle.

Here they are side by side. Boy version. Inspiration card. Girl version. I think we have success. I do not have a pattern to offer for this project...yet. It is a work in progress and I will let you know as soon as it is ready. You have all you need in the posts from previous weeks to make one of your own if you decide to go ahead and get started.

Our inspiration piece for next month is an art print that I found on Pinterest and tracked down the artist through Etsy. Hope you'll join me next week for another fun month of Quilts Inspired by Art.

Linking up with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt and Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cardinal Blocks Update

Five more cardinal blocks were added to the mix from the Moda Sampler Shuffle block series. At least now I know there are thirty blocks total which means I am a third of the way toward completing all of the blocks.

Rather than sew them in the order they were released, they are organized loosely by complexity and ease of cardinal placement. This is Block 10 by Deb Strain.

Here we have Block 15 by Janet Clare Designs.

Block 14 is by Fig Tree & Co.

Block 12 is by Zen Chic. The edges of this one are a little wonky. Actually, the edges are wonky on several of them. I am waiting until they are all made to decide how best to trim and square up the blocks.

This block starts getting into some serious piecing. When there are 45 pieces in a 6 1/2 inch block, you know it is time to kick the accuracy up a notch.

Ten cardinal blocks ready for some friends to join them. Can't wait to stitch some more up to share with you. I like how they look as a group. I'm hoping all it will take is a bit of sashing to turn them into a quilt. 

We will see as more blocks are added to the mix.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Seven Years of Moda Bake Shop

Can you believe that the Moda Bake Shop turns seven this year? To celebrate, they are hosting an ABC Quilt Along and lots of Moda Bake Shop chefs are quilting along, too. I am joining in on the fun and have a special quilt planned to celebrate.

Check out the Moda Bake Shop blog post that shares all the details, including where to get the instructions for making letters of your own. There's even a button to add to the sidebar of your blog (if you are a quilty blogger!) to show that you are joining in.

This is a great time to make something with your favorite jelly roll. I can't wait to get started and to see all of your ABC quilt making ideas. Looking forward to lots of #spellitwithmoda projects.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Quilts Inspired By Art: Hello Baby Week Three

We have a finished quilt! Welcome to the third week of the first project in our Quilts Inspired by Art series. If you are joining us for the first time this week, check out how we got here:

Week One: Introduce the Inspiration Art for the Month and Discuss Fabric Options
Week Two: Cutting and Piecing Instructions for the Quilt Top
Week Three: That's This Week!

This week, we'll be learning how to add lettering to our quilt top along with options for quilting the quilt.

Here is the original greeting card that inspired this quilt. It comes to us from Linda Aarus at Polka Dots and Paper.

This is where we left off last week. Borders have now been added and it is time to add letters. Since this is intended to be a quilt for a baby or young child, I wanted a fitting word. "hugs" seemed like just the right word for this quilt.


To audition letters, use your computer and any word processing software to try out fonts and sizes. To stay true to our inspiration art, the letters are similar in size. The font is different only because the simpler the font, the easier it is to apply to the quilt. I tend to like simple fonts better anyway.

To make sure the letters line up nicely, mark a straight line for the bottom of the letters to sit on. I used a blue water soluble pen for my line.

Use a fusible product to adhere the letters to the quilt. Keep in mind that the fusible will go on the back of the letters. This means the letters need to be reversed. I turned over my printed pages and outlined the letters with a pen so the reverse letters could be seen good enough to be traced.

The fusible product I am using is Steam A Seam 2 Lite. Since there is paper on both sides, lift up a corner to determine which side has the "glue". The glue side will be rough. Be sure to draw on the paper that has the rough side underneath.

Trace the reversed letters on the fusible paper. Do not cut out the letters yet. Cut around them enough so they will fit on your fabric. Peel the paper (the one without the rough feel) and lay the letters on the WRONG side of the fabric. Wrong is emphasized only because it is a common error to accidentally iron the fusible to the right side of your fabric, which is wrong. Ha. Follow the manufacturers instructions for your product to iron the fusible to the wrong side of your fabric. Now, cut out the letters.

Do one more dry run with your letters to make sure you are happy with the placement.

Carefully peel the paper off the back of each letter and place it on the quilt.

Remember how I used a blue water soluble pen to make a line for my letters? Well, that needs to be removed before any final pressing begins. If you don't, pressing can sometimes make those water soluble lines permanent. I used a spray bottle to wet the area and let it dry. Again, fuse the letters to your quilt according to the instructions with your fusible product.

The fusing is not permanent so the letters need to be secured with stitching before the quilt is washed. There are two primary ways to do this. The first way is to stitch them down before the quilt top is layered and quilted. Many traditional quilts use a blanket stitch for this, but any stitch will work as long as the edges of the letters are stitched to the quilt. The other way is to stitch them down during the quilting, which is what I did for this project.


The quilting options always seem endless. An all over design would be nice on this quilt, either straight line or free motion. I'm going to try that with the second version of this quilt (which you will see shortly), but for this version, it is quilted in zones. That means there is different quilting in each area of the quilt.

For the print and the red fabric that make up the horizontal and vertical stripes in the quilt, I used straight lines a half inch apart in coordinating thread.

The blue background is quilted with large circles except around the word "hugs" where the circles are smaller to form a "cloud" around the word and also to help secure the letters to the quilt. The red border is quilted with straight lines and the outer border alternates between a large circle and straight lines.

The quilting is a little easier to see from the back of the quilt.

The final quilt represents its inspiration art quite nicely. I consider this quilt to be the boy version.

Here is the girl version. The top is complete. This one is going to have "xoxo" instead of a word. The quilting will be an all over free motion flower design. I'm hoping to share it in finished form next week.

In three short weeks, we've made it from idea to finished quilt. Next week will be our final week on this project. We'll take one more look at our quilts as compared to our inspiration art and I'll roll out this project in pattern form. In February, it will be time to take on a new art inspiration piece.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times and Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt. Also linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story and Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.
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