Garden Path Pillow

Often I have many projects in the works. Ones I make to share, patterns I have for sale, projects for a booth display, and designs slated for a magazine. It's the magazine features that kill me because I have to keep them a secret until they are published. It's alway exciting when an issue comes out with my project in it so I can finally share it with you! 

The April/May 2016 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts is now on the newsstands and features my Garden Path pillow.

This modern pillow design is made using my Sketchbook fabrics and Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements. Perfect for adding a fresh new look to your home (or patio) the Garden Path pillow will be a fun addition to your home. 

The staff at McCall's liked this pillow design so much they put together a free Garden Path Baby Quilt for you. Find the free pattern here.

Free Garden Path baby quilt from McCall's Quick Quilts

Free Garden Path baby quilt from McCall's Quick Quilts

What a cute idea, right?!? This makes a perfect, uni-sex baby quilt and has nice open space to show off some pretty quilting. 

I am affiliated with FW Media Craft of Quilting and you may be interested to find kits for several of the projects I have had featured in McCall's and other FW Media magazines like Calliope featured in Modern Patchwork Winter 2016 issue which is also made from Sketchbook fabrics and Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements and blenders. 

Quilt Kits, Fabrics, Patterns and More from Craft of Quilting

Paperie Fabrics Blog Tour

Meet Amy Sinibaldi, the super sweet and extremely talented new designer at Art Gallery Fabrics. I had the pleasure to get to know Amy in person at Quilt Market this fall in Houston. My AGF sister was in attendance to launch her Limited Edition fabric collection--Paperie

   Amy Sinibaldi showing off her Paperie fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics


Amy Sinibaldi showing off her Paperie fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics

When Amy asked me if I wanted to be part of her Paperie Blog Tour I jump on the offer in a heartbeat! These prints are so adorable it was hard to choose. 

I knew I wanted to make something for my granddaughter and remember my daughter saying she will need to pick up some bibs eventually and didn't have anything yet. I bought "The Bapron" pattern from Cratiness is not Optional patterns. A super easy project that comes in two sizes and has a clever construction to fit around the baby's (or toddler's) shoulders for more coverage and better fit. 

bibs web.jpg

I put my own spin on the pattern by layering some thin cotton batting between the front and backing materials. Machine cross hatch quilting was done to the layers before stitching on the bias binding. I made my bias binding and instructions for making your own binding are included in the pattern. I cut a 1-3/4'' wide binding because of the batting adds some extra thickness. These cute aprons are completely reversible!

To spice up the blue apron I appliquéd a heart made from Art Gallery Fabric knit material. Because knit does not unravel or fray, I left the edges raw. I am not a fan of the stiffness fusible webbing creates on appliqué and wanted another alternative. The saying, "necessity is the mother of all invention" couldn't be truer. Knit can curl so to hold the shape of the heart while I cut it out and sewed it in place, I used freezer paper. 

Here's how to appliqué using knit:

Cut desired shape from freezer paper

Using a dry iron, press the shiny side of the freezer paper to the right side of the fabric

Cut out shape using the edge of the freezer paper as a guide

Leave freezer paper in place and pin the cut out shape, fabric side down to the right side of fabric to be appliquéd

Stitch in place as desired through all thicknesses, including freezer paper

Carefully remove freezer paper

The apron is a little big on her but before you know it she'll be making big messes when eating and her Mommy will get a lot of use out of these over the years. Maybe a brother or sister some day will also enjoy these?!? Isn't she adorable--kiss, kiss--love those cheeks :)

Be sure to visit Amy's blog Nana Company to see the full line-up of talented bloggers for her tour. Yesterday, Cheri Lehnow of posted a tutorial on how to make a cute and easy pincushion. Tomorrow Jemima Flendt of will be posting her project on the Paperie fabrics blog tour. Follow along for chances to win fabric and be inspired by more great projects! 


Design Process Part 5

Putting the Layers Together and Quilting

I want to cover the Quilt as You Go (QAYG) method I mentioned in Part 4 first before we get into putting the backing, batting, and top layers together. QAYG puts the backing, batting, and quilt top layers together all at once as your assemble the rows into a top. I have done this method before and although a little cumbersome, it is a great way to finish a quilt yourself. I have even gone over the QAYG quilt with more machine quilting once it was all together. Here's how it's done.

STEP 1 Place the pressed quilt backing wrong side up on a hard surface or floor. Smooth the backing so there are no wrinkles. Tape the edges of the backing to the floor to secure. Center the batting on the backing. Use safety pins to pin the layers together at 8" intervals.

STEP 2 Find the center of the batting/backing and draw a horizontal line to use as a reference. Noting orientation, place block row 5 from Rush Hour right side up with the bottom edge aligned with the center line. Remove any pins that are beneath the row or near the bottom edge, repositioning if necessary. Again noting orientation, place block row 6 right side down on block row 5 with edges matching. Pin the rows together. Smooth the rows and place pins through all of the layers to keep the sandwich flat. Remove the tape from the edges.

STEP 3 Roll the sides of the batting/backing toward the center to reduce bulk. Sew the 2 rows together through all layers. Press row 6 open. 

STEP 4 Noting orientation and working from the center outward, repeat steps 2 and 3 for row 7, 8, 9, and the border row. Flip the quilt. Stitch rows 4, 3, 2, 1, and the remaining border. 

Traditional Quilting

If you plan to have your quilt longarm machine quilted, check with your quilter for their requirements. Press your quilt top well and press the seam(s) on your backing open to reduce bulk. Be sure to keep the different layers separate. 

If you are going to be machine or hand quilt the quilt then you will need to make a quilt sandwich from the batting and pressed quilt top and backing. I really like to use spray baste as a way to secure the quilt sandwich layers. Spray baste holds everything together without the pins to get in the way and it is fast! I saw an example of this from Patsy Thompson's video and thought I'd make my own video of this method. I use my garage door as my wall and do my spraying out side. This wont work well come winter--but is great for now.

An easy way to spray baste a quilt top using a wall

Now I'm already to get started machine quilting my quilt! I am still working on my machine quilting skills and trying to have smoother lines using my mid-arm machine. I could describe my current quilting style with one word - PRIMITIVE. I have a long way to go till I can even call my work - Good. Right now this quilt is a practice quilt. I can work all day long on small test pieces but it wasn't until I started working on a full-size quilt that I really can start learning how to use my machine. 

I truly have no idea if the quilt design I chose for this quilt it easy or hard, I chose it because it had nice curved lines to counter balance all the straight edges of the quilt pattern and I could stitch it in one continuous row. I chose a Baptist Fan design. I didn't bother to mark the quilt top but rather am eye-balling it on a row using the block pieces as guide. In a perfect world, here's what the design would look like on my quilt.

Baptist Fan quilting design

I like this overall design, it reminds me of the quilt designs I have seen on simple utility quilts. Since this is a very visually busy quilt top, the quilting is hard to see on it (thank goodness!) this design works well and is a great way to practice fee-motion quilting. Here's how to stitch it in one continuous line. I am working across one row at a time and have started a row on the right side. The arrows show the stitching directions. 

If you'd like to work out your own quilting design, here is a printable worksheet of the quilt to play with. 

Rush Hour Quilt Worksheet

Rush Hour Quilt Worksheet

We are just about done with our Design Process series for this quilt. Next time we will bind the quilt and in a future post we will talk about how to photograph your quilt. 

Happy Quilting!

Machine Quilting

My machine is set up and I am ready to learn something new! Time to use the wonderful resources available online. I just enrolled in one of Angela Walter's machine quilting courses through Craftsy! I can't wait to get started and am looking forward to the new challenge.

Machine Quilting Negative Spaces.jpg

I have found a nice spot to set up my work station in my daughter's old room. There is still plenty of space and a bed set up for her and her hubby to come visit! Hint, hint :)

I have a long way to go and practice, practice, practice will be my mantra for awhile!

The next post in my Design Process series we will be to talk about how to prepare the layers of the quilt for quilting and deciding how to choose the quilting designs. By then I will have more ideas about what I'd like to do for my quilt and have a bit more time behind the machine to write about my quilting/learning adventure.