Author Archive

What Shade are You with Lisa Hofmann-Maurer

‘Glitter sparkles’

Hi everyone, I’m Lisa, also known as @sewwhatyoulove on Instagram. I live in Switzerland and am a mom to 2 little ladies and wife to one very supportive husband. I finished architecture school, got an EMBA, worked as a project manager and took a Wilton Master Course in Cake Decoration ;o) before I started sewing on a more regular basis in 2012 after the birth of our first daughter. We were living as Expats in the Mid West of the US (Kansas City) at that time and I was lucky enough to join a sewing circle. I was mainly sewing clothes for my daughter but picked up quilting in 2015 through that sewing circle. And I know now I have found my passion in making quilts.

What shade am I? At a fun mom’s night out in KC I once had to choose a fruit to describe myself and picked dragon fruit. I’m mostly known as someone that laughs and smiles a lot especially among people I know and love but I can also be an introvert and I need those lonely hours to recharge. Translated to my favorite shades of colors: I love everything bright, saturated and colorful, but also a hint of black and white for good measure now and then.

Getting lucky enough to participate in the “What shade are you” blog hop I knew I wanted to make something radiant. Searching through my inspiration archives and after watching Trolls ;o) (those colors ❤), I came up with my ‘Glitter sparkles’ foundation paper piecing design.

I was going for a huge quilt for our couch, but designing, planning and piecing the quilt top took a lot longer than anticipated. That’s why I chose to make it a bit smaller, and instead used the leftover fabric to piece the back in a way I had in my mind for a while. I love how those 48 colors play together in both designs, the wonky stripes and the glitter sparkles.

Next came the quilting. I wanted to keep the quilting simple and somehow ‘imperfect’ to not distract from the design but also to loosen up the perfectness of the paper piecing. I enjoy little imperfections and irregularities in most quilts because that’s what makes them perfect in my very own opinion. After all they’re made by humans and not machines. That’s why I went with “straight” line quilting and didn’t worry about some wonkiness. I quilted with 12 different colors of Aurifil wt50 and added 12 more colors of handstitched lines in Aurifil wt12. I wished I would have had more time to add more hand quilting lines, I might add a few more later on.

And finally the quilt was bound in Cotton and Steel Rifle Paper Co. Les Fleurs Metallic Queen Anne Navy that I had originally planned as the back. The gold accents add the perfect sparkle to the quilt.

When I got my blog hop date announced I knew I had to finish the quilt prior to our ski vacation in the Swiss Alpes and get those pictures taken there. Having snow storms three days in a row it didn’t look like I could get one picture with the Alpes in the background, but then the weather changed I managed to snap those mountain pictures the day before we left.

It definitely was a family effort and I’m thankful for my husband (quilt holder) and the girls for being so forbearing and patient.

Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart RJR Fabrics, and especially Rachael for answering my questions and being so very generous by letting me play with your awesome, soft and beautiful fabric. I really appreciate you were giving me the opportunity to be part of your ‘What shade are you’ blog hop! This quilt is already loved and fought over during movie night.

Here’s a list of the colors I used:

356 moulin rouge
325 scarlet letter
355 beach coral
217 hot pink
181 rhododendron
216 orchid
230 noel red
135 carnation
418 antique rose
286 raspberry
358 harlequin
359 pea in a pod
348 neon
349 aloe verde
343 martini olive
337 citron
131 carrot
130 pumpkin
379 sunnyside of the street
384 citrus
410 mustard
368 goldilocks
350 army green
274 riviera
393 mermaid
354 horizon
426 seaside
389 spearmint
401 teal
391 robin’s egg
392 schooner
404 pistachio
347 grass is always greener
127 kelly green
405 spring
287 raging ruby
218 pink sapphire
422 plum
420 sweet pea
421 orchid
425 harbor
281 cloud 9
345 caviar
423 violet
427 lake
316 lancaster sky
121 grape
317 jacaranda
8005-03 Rifle Paper Co. les fleurs metallic queen anne navy

Xoxo from Switzerland, Lisa

Common Threads Block with Vanessa Stevens

Hi! Vanessa here, the “flaurie” half of flaurie & finch. The “finch” comes from Linda Fitch, who is my design buddy and Creative Director for RJR Fabrics. Linda and I work at the RJR headquarters in California, where we design our signature flaurie & finch line as well as an in-house line called RJR Studio. We also work with several licensed designers throughout the art and strike off phase of their collections.

Every designer brings a unique perspective to RJR, so we fell in love with the idea of making a collaborative quilt where each designer could create a window, giving a peek into her singular style. It’s amazing to me how each block looks so distinct to it’s creator, but somehow they all work together so well in the quilt. It’s like one big kooky quilty family apartment building.

I knew right away that I wanted to include flowers in my block. It’s safe to say that I don’t have a green thumb in real life, despite my love of flowers. I think that’s why I so enjoy drawing and designing floral prints. (No watering necessary!) I came up with 4 different window designs, each using the same pieced window background and fussy cut flowers along the edge of the flower box. The one on the top left made it into the quilt.

Top left: Background includes Shiny Objects and Cotton Supreme Solids. Flowers are from Daisy Blue.

Top right: Background and flowers are from Blossom Batiks Valley.

Bottom Left: Background is from Shiny Objects. Flowers are from Oasis.

Bottom Right: Background is from Shiny Objects and Cotton Supreme Solids. Flowers are from Oasis.

My favorite way of approaching a quilt design is to do a simple pieced background with appliqué on top. I’ve never tried turn under appliqué; I’m not that brave (yet). I prefer to do fused and top stitched appliqué because it’s simple and quick, plus I like the texture of the raw edge of the fabric. I backed my Daisy Blue fabric with Misty Fuse and fussy cut out the individual daisies.

Got all of the pieces cut out and ready to go.

Aaaand it’s done!

If you’d like to make your own window, you can download my block template here. The flowers can be fussy cut from any floral print – I hear flaurie & finch makes some killer ones!

What Shade are You with Vicki Ruebel

Hey guys! Vicki here from Orchid Owl Quilts. I’m a full time professional longarm quilter and wanna be pattern designer. You should follow along with all my craziness over on Instagram (@OrchidOwlQuilts) and Facebook (Orchid Owl Quilts). I spend most of my days with my INNOVA longarm machines quilting for other people.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing my Argyle Gone Wild quilt that I made using RJR Fabrics Cotton Supreme Solids. I was so excited when Rachael contacted me about joining in on the What Shade Are You Blog Hop. My brain instantly started racing with ideas of what quilt I should make.

Without further ado…here’s a look at my quilt Arglye Gone Wild.

It took me awhile to decide on a color palette. I toyed around with going outside my normal faves but I just couldn’t do it. After all, this hop is all about what shade I am. And anyone who knows me knows I’m all about the aqua. I think almost everything I make has some form of aqua in it unless I force myself not to use it.

I finally landed on using neon green as the background paired with various shades of pink and aqua. Because every quilt that has aqua really needs a little hot pink!

Here’s a list of the colors I used:

Neon (background) 348
Hot pink 217
Lip gloss 419
Rhododendron 181
Pink sapphire 218
Raging ruby
Rio 311
Sunset Ruby 357
Jam Jar 400
Turks and Caicos 292
Toy boat 366
Riviera 274
Proud as a peacock 289
Horizon 354
Bora Bora 328

Seriously, could it get any better? I don’t think so. The next huge obstacle was what pattern I’d use. This was a big decision because I really like doing my own designs but I wanted to make sure I did something really cool. I started browsing my EQ7 files to see what I had and found the perfect drawing. Here’s a look at the original EQ file.

My friends, who know me well, know I don’t really enjoy piecing. I actually kind of hate it. I love quilting. So I wanted to make sure my pattern would showcase the solids and my quilting. My quilt varied a bit from the original design as far as color placement.

It all started with the piecing. What a chore! It’s always a great idea to make a quilt that has 1 bajllion pieces when you’re on a super tight deadline. There may have been a few choice words along the way. After several days of cutting and piecing I finally had a complete top. I finally got to the part I love. The quilting.

But I was a little stumped because I wanted it to be good. Really good. So the top sat for several days as I pretended the deadline wasn’t looming over my head like a black cloud. I finally loaded it and just started. Sometimes starting is the hardest part. Am I right?

I knew how I wanted to quilt the little aqua and pink squares that formed the chains. And I was pretty sure I needed to use rulers. Hey, why not? Rulers are not my thing. I’m slow, inefficient and usually frustrated by rulers. I generally look like a terrible contortionist as I try to navigate the ruler work. No pressure at all.

Here’s a ruler tip…I marked all my lines to make my ruler work easier. I know I’m not great at getting evenly spaced lines and marking them eliminated the guessing. This added a little time to the process but I feel it was worth it. I used a Dritz Mark B Gone water-soluble pen and removed the lines when the quilt was finished and off the frame. I lightly spritzed with water to erase the marks.

Needless to say the quilting started out slow and continued at a turtle’s pace, for three days. Three long days. After the first day I was certain it would only take 1.2 million hours to quilt it. In reality, it took about 15 hours. That’s practically the same.

This pic shows a close up of the tiny quilting. Those are size 13 stitches. Thank goodness I didn’t have to pick out any stitches. I may have just burned the quilt instead.

I was very deep in the “this is crap” phase of the creative process for most of those 15 hours. It’s very hard to love the quilt during the quilting process. You can’t see the quilt as a whole. You aren’t quite sure if the quilting design is being executed the way you visualized. It’s stressful and makes a person question her abilities.

Naturally I thought this would be a great time to also practice my stitch in the ditch abilities. This was probably not the best idea. I am not a fan of stitch in the ditch. I usually avoid it all costs. But, I forced myself to suck it up and do it. I managed to stay in the ditch most of the time. Ok, some of the time. Maybe I was practicing my “this is how my stitch in the ditch would look if I were drunk” technique. Sigh. It’s definitely not perfect but it’s not terrible.

I tried another new thing with this quilt. I decided to fuse the label on to the back before the quilting. I hate hand stitching the labels and I figured this would eliminate that step. It was sort of a bust and the label is pretty much a hot mess. The edges lifted and got folded over and quilted down. I’m not sure I’ll do this again unless I piece the label into the backing. However, that sounds equally as awful as hand stitching a label.

If you look closely you can see I ripped out a few stitches. Of course those stitches were on the label and they left super noticeable holes. Awesome. Maybe I’ll not be lazy and simply hand stitch my labels from now on. Maybe I’ll just use a pen and write directly on the quilt. You never know.

You might be wondering why the quilting looks so defined. I love to double batt my quilts. For this particular quilt I used a layer of Quilter’s Dream orient batting on the bottom with a layer of dream wool batting on top. The wool adds definition and loft to the quilting and really pops it.

Contrary to what most believe, using double batting doesn’t make the quilt as stiff as cardboard. It does add a little weight but I promise it’s still foldable. I normally use cotton batting as the bottom layer of batting but I wanted to experiment with a different combination. I’m hopeful that the dream orient won’t hold a crease when it’s folded. I won’t know for sure until I ship it and see what happens. I’ll let you know. That means you should probably hop over to my website and sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on the verdict.

I used my favorite thread for the quilting, Superior Threads Omni on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I really love this thread combo. I use it 95% of the time and I get very sad when I can’t. I need Bob, from Superior Threads, to make Bottom Line in all the colors! I matched the thread to the fabrics, neon green, light aqua, dark aqua, hot pink, and light pink. Changing threads isn’t always fun but it’s worth it in the end.

I love the back as much as the front. The quilting really looks amazing if I do say so myself.

In the end, I love this quilt. I actually love it more each time I look at it. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share my process with all of you. Rachael and RJR Fabrics have a fan for life. If you haven’t tried the cotton supreme solids, you should! They are amazing. The rich colors and soft hand make these solids my favorite. I can’t wait to start my next project.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my creation and learning a bit more about my process. Let’s stay in touch!

Vicki

Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude by Lynette Jensen

A good quilt design can really work in any fabric, whether traditional or modern. Thimbleberries patterns have always been the “go to” for teaching new quilters. Showing the quilts made in a variety of fabric collections helps everyone imagine the possibilities. In Thimbleberries Quilts with a New Attitude, Lynette Jensen shows just how different a quilt can look simply by “flipping” your fabric choices, from traditional to the bright, exploding colors of the modern aesthetic.

Her new book published by Landauer Publishing is packed full of amazing projects, 23 in all! The patterns are all written in Thimbleberries style with easy to follow instructions and color diagrams.

Throughout the book, each quilt was made using vastly different fabrics. In some cases the same block was used but half sized.

In some cases, the same blocks were used but sashing and borders were eliminated and in many cases an alternate size quilt dimension was the result. A touch of appliqué now and then also changed the flavor of the quilt.

Take a look at Garden Inspiration featuring Garden Collage by Lynette Jensen and My Blue Heaven featuring Cotton + Steel’s Bluebird. The projects are the same, but look completely different. The result is surprising. Isn’t it? If you haven’t tried fabrics outside your comfort zone, perhaps this will inspire you to take a leap!

Shares Lynette, “I am convinced that a good quilt design works for both traditional and modern fabrics. This is the perfect opportunity for quilters whose fabric preferences differ to learn from each other. The best part of quilting has always been the tradition of passing on the joy of making a quilt with another generation of quilters.”

Lynette Jensen’s new book, Quilts with a New Attitude has arrived and is available from Landauer Publishing and hopefully at your local quilt shop.

Common Threads quilt block with Jamie Fingal

The Common Threads quilt at Fall Quilt Market. Each designer was asked to design a 8×8 square in their signature style with their fabric line. Since my line wasn’t available yet, I used some fun dots and stripes for my window.

Here is my little window. This was designed by my daughter who just whipped it up in no time. Our dog, a crown (because he is king), and cup of coffee (our fav drink), a bird (for Linda) and a pink donut (we love donuts).

Now for the exciting part! My fabric has arrived for me to start making projects. So, my first order of business was to make a mini quilt 12×12. I use wool blended felt on the inside of my quilts, instead of batting. I am cutting the felt 12×12 for my project.

All of my fabrics have been pre-fused with Mistyfuse. This is the way that I make all of my quilts. I selected my background fabric and placed it over the felt. Flipping it up, you can see a sheen on the fabric – that is the Mistyfuse.

Pressing it into place with my dry iron (Bess) on the cotton setting. I run the iron over the top in a circular motion making sure that I include the edges.

In order to cut off the parts that are hanging over the edge, I flip the felt over and cut from the back, using the felt as my guide. You could also use a rotary cutter to do this too. Sometimes for me, it is easier to just use a pair of sharp scissors.

Now we are at the design phase. A quick drawing of the square that I will use as my guide to fussy cut the objects.

Fabric for the dog. Thinking about how to start.

I just started cutting. The ears and neck are separate, and easy to put together with the dog head.

Okay, then comes scale. Is the dog head too small? Too large? From where I sit it looks fine…

Now if you put all of the pieces together, the dog head is much too large. I decide to not start over because I don’t want to waste the fabric. So, I cut it down the size where all of the objects fit together. It took a couple of tweaks here and there.

Adding the donut, which is also fussy cut. When cutting out a donut, the easiest way to cut the hole is to fold the circle in half and then cut a half circle. Easy peasy.

I want to add some features to the dog head, so I am using a Pentel Gel Roller for fabric. It goes on like butter and is permanent.

Here is my sketch with my design. Happy camper here!

These are the fabrics that I used in my mini quilt from my new hopscotch line of blenders!

And hopscotch was his name-O with binding!

What Shade are You with Debbie Jeske

Hello! My name is Debbie Jeske, and I’m happy to be sharing my latest quilt with you! You can see more of my work on my blog, A Quilter’s Table, on Instagram (@aquilterstable), and on Facebook. I also publish a twice-monthly newsletter, The Scrap Basket, where I especially enjoy highlighting the work of others and sharing links to all sorts of current crafty goodness.



When I was asked by RJR Fabrics to participate in their What Shade are You? blog hop, you totally would have thought I would have said “green” or at least “green and blue!” But on the particular day I had to give a definitive answer, I was feeling very teal and gold and gray.



Now, I had seen many participants choose bundles that were large and colorful, yet when it came right down to it, I chose just six colors. RJR’s Demi, who first approached me about participating in the blog hop, really loved the improv pineapple blocks I’d included in my Seattle MQG SeaSLAB BOM, so all along I was planning to create something with pineapple blocks, and I didn’t want to lose the design in too much color, if that was even possible. 


The Cotton Supreme Solids I finally chose were:
Argento 362 (Background)
Riviera 274, Turks & Calicos 292, Horizon 354 (Mains)
Goldilocks 368, Silver 125 (Contasts)



Wanting my quilt design to be relatively easy to recreate if one chose, I made three sizes of blocks – 20″ square, 10″ x 20″, and 10″ square. Thus they were easily arranged in an orderly way, while still giving the quilt a very improvisational look and feel.



If you’ve never made improv pineapple blocks, check out the MQG blog. There you’ll find technique tutorials for whole pineapple blocks as well as the “half log cabin” version I used.



For quilting, I chose four Aurifil 50wt threads to quilt a design inspired by Jacquie Gering‘s “Fancy Straight Line” found in her WALK book. I used #2600 (light gray) and #5006 (light turquoise) for the straight vertical lines, then #2810 (turquoise) and #2975 (brass) for the intermittent zig zags. 




I really love how this quilting design adds to the wonky shapes of the quilt itself without overwhelming it.



The finished quilt, measuring 60″ square, was bound in two shade of teal, using what I had left from my bundle.

 

Thanks much to RJR Fabrics (@rjrfabrics/#rjrfabrics) for including me in the #whatshadeareyou blog hop! I had great fun playing with their #cottonsupremesolids, that’s for sure! The fabric has a lovely hand and such clear colors – a perfect way to #quiltwithlove.



What Shade are You with Colby Radcliffe

‘Blossom’

Hi everyone, I’m Colby, also known as @theauthenticstitch on Instagram.

I’ve been sewing since I was child, but I’ve only been quilting since mid 2015.

What shade am I? Simply put, I’m every shade. I love colour, and I’m in my element when I’m playing and creating with it. I’ve found that quilting has been a perfect way to combine both my background in Visual Arts and my sewing passion. I haven’t been drawn to solids previously, I love my prints, so I was so excited to create something that made the solids really shine. I knew as soon as I was approached by RJR that I was going to create something of my own design and that it would be using bias appliqué… on steroids. You may have seen my baskets previously, but they have nothing on this quilt! Then the colour card arrived and I was in heaven. All the possibilities, all those delicious colours.

In the end the Cotton Supreme Solid colors I chose for my quilt top are:

BEACH CORAL 355
GRAY STONE 155
TOYBOAT 366
MEADOWLAND 352
PERIDOT 342
HARLEQUIN 358
CHARLOTTE 226
PINK ORCHID 331
BOUGAINVILLEA 333
PURPLE HAZE 279
RIVIERA 274
TURKS & CAICOS 292
HORIZON 354
ARGENTO 362
PEWTER 351

And I couldn’t resist to add some cotton + steel prints:

C&S – RAINDROP, PRECIPITATION PISTACHIO 1939-02
C&S – BASICS , SPRINKLE STARDUST 5023-08

I sketched my original mandala on paper, and then adapted the design so my bias binding applique would work on it. When it was time to transfer the design across into the fabric medium, I upscaled the pattern and sectioned it into 6ths so I could just repeat the 1 section as it was rotated around. I transferred the design onto the fabric using a water soluble maker so I could easily remove any markings once they were no longer required.

I had already planned my colour layout out in the original design process, so it was just a matter of transferring my pattern pieces onto the fabric and fusing to make the raw edge appliqué pieces. Once the pieces were all cut they were then pressed onto the quilt top background in the proper place!

Making the 1/4″ bias strips was made a lot easier with my bias machine and each strip was cut at 5/8″ to make a nice even bias. Each strip is carefully planned in order of application because strips are layered over the top of others. It started getting very exciting as I got towards the end of this part of the process, the quilt was really starting to take shape!

Next came the quilting. I chose Cotton and Steel Precipitation in Pistachio from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Raindrop as the backing and used a cotton/poly batting. Wrestling with this beauty on a domestic machine was a challenge (it’s 60” square) but I started free motion quilting from the centre and worked my way out. I wanted to keep the central quilting quite simplistic so I didn’t take away from the main design, so I bordered the mandala with straight echo quilting, and threw in some pebbling around the fused pieces to keep the focus on the solids.

And finally the quilt was bound in Cotton and Steel Basic Sprinkle in Stardust, creating a frame for the quilt that varied ever so slightly from the bias appliqué and the background.

And then ‘Blossom’ was finished!

What Shade are You with Marion McClellan

Hey y’all! My name is Marion McClellan, and I am pleased as punch (pink and orange punch) to be here with you today! (You can find me on Instagram @myquiltdiet and on my blog myquiltdiet.blogspot.com.)

So, What Shade Are You?

At different times in my life, I would answer that question differently, as I am sure you would too, although, pink would always be at least one of the shades in my answer.

Yes, I totally would have driven this car in high school!.. and today.

Pink has always been one of my “signature colors.” (“Blush and bashful, one is much deeper than the other!”) …well, maybe green was my actual first love, truth be told. Now wait, or did I pick green because my best friend had already chosen blue and we couldn’t have the same “favorite” color??? Oh no! What if the foundation for all of my future color choices was based on my off picking first and I had to take sloppy seconds??!

[I’m sorry. I digress.]

So, a while back RJR Fabrics contacted me about participating in their “What Shade Are You” Blog Hop. HOW EXCITING!! The cool kids want me to play with them!

RJR sent me the color card for their AMAZING Cotton Supreme colors. Talk about heaven on card stock! Luscious!!

[Now, I do need to go back a little in time for this part of the story. My quilts usually don’t have such a long story, but making this quilt was a bit of an Odyssey :)]

A few years ago, I was asked to judge a local quilt show. The lady who was in charge of the show met us there and was binding a quilt while we judged the show, an AMAZING antique quilt. Let’s just say I DIED over this quilt. I had never seen the pattern before and I swooned!

(I tried to run off with the quilt while she wasn’t looking, but this lady was too quick for me).

She did let me take a picture of it instead.

Orange gingham and a pale pink background. An obsession was born. Not only was I now obsessed with this quilt design, but my mind was blown by the color combination. (Is there a “mind blown” emoji?). Obsession at first sight! Orange and pink, who knew??

[Fast forward a few months to Quilt Market spring 2016]

As I was wandering around quilt market, I stopped into the AWESOME AND AMAZING Sew Kind of Wonderful booth. (Love you gals!). I showed Jenny the pic of the antique quilt on my phone and asked if she knew what it was. She told me that it was a traditional drunkard’s path and that I would have the best luck recreating the blocks with their awesome Mini Quick Curve Ruler. (Their rulers ROCKS!)

[Of course, I bought the ruler and skipped merrily on my way. A little foreshadowing, I also bought a fat quarter bundle of the new Cotton + Steel Checkers…]

Now to choose fabric. Enter RJR’s invitation to participate in WSAY. Enter divine intervention.

Anyone who has worked with solids knows that it is sometimes easier to choose solids using a print fabric for inspiration. Find a fabric you love for the backing first, and then select your solids to match. It’s a little backwards from what we are used to, but it really, REALLY helps! (You’re welcome! …I actually got this BRILLIANT tip from Kira Carter, you can thank her over on ig @quiltedkira )

Well, as fate would have it, I was scrolling through my ig feed and suddenly the heavens parted and angels began to sing(!) as I saw the most glorious BEAUTIFUL fabric in the WHOLE WORLD! [I’m not. even. kidding.]

Lo and behold, right there in the middle of a fabric collage was the most perfect fabric ever designed in all of fabric-dom. Right there in my ig feed was floral fabric nirvana! Pink and orange fabric perfection.

You are probably wondering who the designer of this holy grail of fabric was? Well, of course it was the Queen of Design, none other than Ms. Jennifer Paganelli, her royalness, of the most high.

Are you ready for the conflict? The the most perfect fabric of all time was out of print!! NOOOOoooooooo… Several years out of print and nowhere to be found!

So what did I do?? (…after I cried face down on the floor for a day?) I posted an ISO on IG and crossed my fingers. Yet again, the quilting ancestors interceded and a few WONDERFUL and glorious IG bffs found me yardage of this out of print loveliness. My life was now complete.

With my RJR Cotton Supreme color card in one hand and the floral in the other, I chose three of the most lovely shades of pink (ballerina, fairy princess, & orchid) and one outstanding shade of orange (carrot). Cute names, right? …RJR really should name two, Blush and Bashful! 😉

Now for the work to begin.

It took a bit of finagling, and a few (hundred) test blocks, but I finally found the right proportions for my traditional drunkards path block.

I wanted the quilt to have movement, and that is why I chose three slightly different shades of pink for the quilt.

Please excuse the night time design wall photo!

I am SO happy with the result.

As I am a longarm quilter, the quilting was the most bestest funnest part of the whole project. In working with solids, the quilting really stands out and shows itself off to the world.

I thought long and hard about how I would quilt this traditional design. I finally settled on stitch in the ditch, a crosshatch quilting for the orange, and an outline and swirl-pebble motif for the pink. For the curves and straight lines I use Linda Hrcka’s Quilted Pineapple Curved Templates and the QP Edge. They pretty much rock!

PS- I always use Superior Threads “So Fine” thread when I quilt. It’s the BOMB!

How would I bat the quilt? I know most people don’t give this aspect much thought, but I like to obsess over it.

I (almost) always start with Winline Textiles 100% natural cotton batting. It’s my favorite, hands down. The next really important question is, “do I add a layer of Quilters Dream, Dream Wool on top of the cotton?” The question was answered with an emphatic, “YES!”

Double batting adds to the quilts weight and warmth as well as making the quilting look AWESOME!! I love how the wool gives the quilting the extra “wow” factor, something every longarm quilter is looking for.

(Yes, I did mark my crosshatch. I used a water soluble marker.)

I was hoping to complete the quilting in a few days, and thankfully, I was able to do that. (ALL of my boys went camping and left me alone to my own quilty devices! )

Now for the binding. Binding is quite a bit more important than some may think. It frames the quilt…and I LOVE to hand bind! 🙂

Bias gingham is my first and forever choice for binding, as it should be. Bias gingham binding is the most perfect choice (almost) always. The end, and amen. (Ok, ok, I do have a pretty serious relationship going with a bolt of black and white stripe that ends up as binding for quite a few of my quilts 😀 …but gingham is right up there!)

If you have ever worked with pinks and orange, there are about a million shades and hues to choose from. Matching them can be a real challenge. “Is the pink too blue, is the orange too red or yellow?” Decisions, decisions!

THANK HEAVENS!!, the new Cotton + Steel woven checkers in lavender was the perfect match.

Well, regardless of the name, the Cotton + Steel checkers was perfection in binding form.

Is there anything prettier than a pile of prepped binding on the floor next to your sewing machine?

Any hoots, the binding went on like a dream. I (almost) always hand bind my quilts. I love the look, but mostly love the time I get to spend with my quilt, hand stitching (and binge watching something on Netflix or Hulu.)

I am so happy with how this quilt turned out.

Here’s hoping that in 100 years, this quilt will inspire another lovely creation by some future quilter!

(There is always that one stupid corner where a seam ends up! Aye crumb!)

Name: Drunkard’s Sunrise

Finished quilt size- 56”x72”

Thank you, RJR Fabrics, for inviting me to participate in such a fun adventure! Who knew the amazing places this journey would take me!!

Apartment Dwellers, A storage box tutorial with Sue Marsh

There is never a shortage of ideas! When the idea of a collaborative quilt was presented to me, it didn’t take long to dream up some characters to fit my imagination of who my neighbors might have been in my past apartment dwelling life.

If you’ve ever lived in apartment, you probably had one of these neighbors too.

All the fabrics shown are from my “Monster Trucks” line for RJR.

There are endless possibilities that you can do with my monster block, including room for exactly one cat.

You can find the pattern for the block and the Apartment Dwellers Storage Box on our website at www.wpcreek.com. Click on the “Free Patterns” button on left side, toward the bottom or click the link here.

Enjoy and Happy creating!

“WOOF”! A pillow-making tutorial with Leslie Tucker Jenison

“Hi! My name is Bizzi…”

If you have visited me before, either here or on FB or Instagram, you know about my little studio assistant. She is my little shadow and follows me everywhere I go. In my studio, she is a constant presence, even signaling me when enough is enough and it is time to stretch and play! She has several ways of doing this: the most amusing one being to pull a piece of fabric off my shelf and stand in front of me until I notice it….then she runs away shaking it vigorously! We refer to this as her “Schnauzer sense of humor”.

Since she is such a part of my studio life I opted to create my block for the RJR “Common Threads” quilt seen at Quilt Market 2016 using her likeness. This block is really fun to make and it is versatile. I will be creating a quilted pillow, but I think this block would be really fun as part of a tote, a mini-quilt, a panel on a jacket, and more. Plus, Bizzi loves the PR this project gives her and it elevates her social media status….

Here is the finished quilt using each of the RJR designers’ blocks.

Interesting how so many of us opted to include our pets!

Let’s get started, shall we? First, go to the RJR site to download the block template. Feel free to draw your own version of this block. Trust me, it is easy to do! Once you have the template you can choose the prints for each piece of the image. The fabrics must be pre-fused. I recommend fusing pieces of fabric prior to cutting the various shapes. Some of these pieces are small and it is much easier to handle the fusing, then fussy cut each shape. Ask me how I know…!

My choice of fusible is Mistyfuse. Why? Because it is so sheer that it does not change the hand of the cloth after the fusible is applied. This is important for useful items. Who wants a piece of cloth that becomes stiff as a board after fusing? Not me, that is for sure! When you use this product you will need either two Goddess Sheets (teflon pressing sheets) or two pieces of kitchen parchment paper: one to use under the project and one over the top to protect your iron and the ironing surface. Another VERY useful tool to have on hand is a cheap “scrubbie” (the cheap plastic ones used in the kitchen to clean pots and pans). I purchase a set of these rectangular scrubbies, sans sponge, and cut them into quarters for use in the studio. Once you have fused your fabric, allow a few seconds for the parchment or teflon sheet to cool off before peeling back the surface. After removing the fused fabric, quickly “scrub” the surface of both pressing sheets lightly to remove any hidden bits of the fusible that might have adhered to the surface. This prevents any stray bits from being accidentally fused on something else. I keep one at the edge of my work area and it is a habit to lightly scrub each surface that has had contact with the fused project. Remember: you are applying fusible to the WRONG side of the fabric!

For convenience I used a piece of notebook paper to cut a few of my pattern pieces, just to keep the size in perspective. Feel free to trace and cut every piece, but you may find that it isn’t necessary once you have the main pieces figured out. Here is a shape I used for the main part of her beard. I traced this onto the wrong (fused) size of the fabric, then cut. I later cut individual points at the lower part of her beard.

Here are here oversized eyebrows. I first cut the main shape, then clipped the smaller details at the base of the brows.

I selected the dark print to contrast with her brows and beard. Here is my template for the top of her head…

and here it is after cutting. I used the shredded print in charcoal to add another element on her face, a sort of “handlebar mustache”! I used the same dark charcoal from the “Box Springs” print for both top of head and the nose.

Paws: made from two oval shapes using charcoal Box Springs for the background, and the gray Linear Gradation print for the front of the paw (as used in the beard and brows).

Again, I first cut the basic shapes and then clipped the hair detail.

I chose the dark teal “Box Springs” for the base of the window sill, and the aqua “Vertical Garden” for the curtain shapes, and the Tiffany Box RJR Solid for the background. (Ignore the seam in the center of the solid: I simply pieced it together because I was running out!). All these fabrics, once pre-fused, were cut to the shapes of the template. Working over my parchment paper I placed everything before fusing.

I used the deep red Box Springs print for the background of my lettering and also the tie-backs for my curtains….

The overlay of my letters was cut from the “Curry” colored linear gradation on white. The main thing is to select prints that have a dark background and a contrasting lighter color on the letters. I cut the lighter pieces slightly smaller and offset them for visual interest. Note that I have another parchment sheet between my project and the iron! Important to do this to prevent any tiny bits of fusible from adhering to the iron surface!

Once the pieces have all been fused, trim the block to 8 1/2 inches square.

For the sides I selected the “Moss” colored “Linear Gradation” print. I like that this green picks up on the small elements of green in the other prints. I cut two 8.5″ by 5.5″ pieces to piece to each side.

Next, I cut two 18.5 by 5.5″ lengths of fabric. Piece one on top and bottom of image. Press.

Cut a 19.5″ piece of low-loft batting and backing (the choice of backing doesn’t matter as it will face inside the pillow. Pin fused/pieced project to the batting and backing. Quilt. I chose a matchstick quilting method and light-medium gray thread as I didn’t want to change thread colors at all. The gray works beautifully with all the colors in the prints, and basically disappears in the image….

Using my dual-feed attachment on my Bernina 770QE (or you may use a walking foot) I started in the center of my image and worked to each edge doing straight line quilting in rows approximately 1/8″ apart.

I used a stitch length of 2.25 and stepped over 2 stitches between rows.

Once the entire surface was quilted I trimmed the piece to 18″. Next, I cut two separate pieces of the deep red “Box Springs”, 18″ by 12″. I opted to stitch one of my selvedges to the section that will be outermost as I like the way it looks! For the second piece of the pillow back I folded the right side of the fabric twice, pressed, then stitched. This section will lay under the selvedge edge.

I plan for the selvedge to remain exposed on the finished pillow so I am careful to place my two back sections so that the selvedge finish is placed in the proper orientation to the dog face. This is the piece that should be positioned, front side facing down, against the quilted surface FIRST, then overlap the second piece so that the finished edge is facing in toward the center. Note: these pieces have a significant overlap so there is no need for a closure. Pin these in place around the edges. Stitch all the way around the perimeter allowing for the seam allowance. Back stitch two or three times at each corner as well as along the sides where the opening overlaps. These are areas that will have some stress applied to them when turning the project inside out, and also when stuffing the pillow insert, so the extra stitching prevents seam separation.

After stitching trim the corners diagonally to remove excess bulk.

Then, trim excess seam allowance about 1/8″ from seam for approximately 1.5″ from each direction of all 4 corners. This makes turning the project right-side-out much easier.

You may choose to push the corners with your finger or gently use the tip of a pair of scissors, just be careful not to poke all the way through!

Yay! I have a nice opening and I actually got the selvedge piece where I want it!

Now, at the ironing board, secure the seam edges by steam-pressing.

Lovely! I didn’t mention this earlier but before I started quilting I “fussy-cut” several elements from the prints and fused them onto the borders to add a bit more interest. This is optional, of course, but I think it adds a little something extra!

See the coneflower? I fused it in place before the quilting… as well as a few other floral elements seen in the border pieces.

This pillow is nice and squishy!

I think this cute pillow is “Bizzi-approved”!

Please let me see your projects when you finish them. I can’t wait to see what you make!