Quilting Feathers Class with Sharon Schamber

Earlier this week I had the chance to take a class from Sharon Schamber, an amazing free-motion quilter. When I saw Quiltique advertise the free-motion feathers class, I immediately knew I wanted to sign up. One of my goals last year was to get comfortable with free-motion quilting. I never did it. I hoped that this class would give me the push I needed. In whatever form that might be. Inspiration, knowledge, tools… I was lacking in all these departments.

When I signed up for her class, I had no idea who Sharon was. Really. I do know that Quiltique always brings in amazing teachers, and I have never met a single guest teacher in their classroom who didn’t live up to the hype (and then some)! She is an Award Winning Quilter, nationally (probably Internationally) recognized for her work.

award winning quilter sharon schamber

It was an all-day class, and very little of it was actually spent behind the sewing machine. The first half was a lot of lecture. Sharon has a unique teaching style that I won’t spoil for you by trying to explain it. But I learned more in class than quilting (for example, apparently I have a “biker chick” aura… for those of you who have met me in person, feel free to debate or agree). We talked a lot about the role of quilting, the proportion of quilting, and how to make decisions about quilting a quilt. I could listen to her lecture for another day and still feel like I only learned a little of what she had to offer.

She didn’t share her quilts until the very, very end of class… and I’m glad. Had I seen all this beautiful quilting beforehand, I might not have been able to focus on the class!

feather

I know it is hard to tell scale in these photos, but just check out all the beautiful detail in this quilting!

The gold thread in this next photo is bobbin work. A whole different technique… but check out the fill in the white space behind the bobbin work. Ah-maze-ing.

bobbin work

I snapped a photo of the back of one of the quilts as it was being folded up. You can see fingers in the top right of the photo, which gives you an idea of the scale here. Some of this quilting is seriously tiny!

back of quilt

I was fascinated by this little study. Each of these 9 squares is just 2.5″ across! How many stitches can you fit in a 2.5″ square?

quilting study

This gives you a better picture of how small this really is.

small study

This next quilt is all made from hand-dyed cotton. All the texture the quilting adds makes it look like velvet!

quilting texture

The different colored threads here help the quilting really stand out on this quilt.

quilting detail

This is a shot as this quilt was being opened. There are 99 different stipples on this quilt. A stipple is small quilting usually done on sections of the quilt that are in the background.

different fills

Here is an amazing fill – that wavy-line quilting with the cross-lines between? Wow.

more fill

And this is probably my favorite shot. These little toadstools live right on the edge of the quilt. Like a little secret surprise. I wonder how many surprises live in the quilting on this quilt?

quilted toadstools

One last shot of her quilting… this beautiful feather!

large feather

As a beginner, I’m not anywhere near this skilled. Her quilts are something to aspire to. But, I did take the first steps! I had a chance to try three feathers in class… and here is the third one!

my feather

Yeah, I’m no Sharon Schamber… but for my third attempt at a free-motion feather, I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself! I will have to keep working on it, practicing the shape and getting better control of my stitching speed… but I now have the tools, knowledge, and definitely the inspiration to make it happen!

Roots and Wings Quilt using Art Gallery Fabrics

When the wonderful folks at Art Gallery Fabrics asked me if I’d like to play with some fat quarters of one of their new lines, I got giddy. Seriously, playing with fabric always makes me a little giddy, but playing with brand new fabric that magically arrives in my mailbox is cause for extra excitement.

AGF has several new lines coming out, but I love the new “Legacy” line by Angela Walters. First, because I love Angela Walters’s work. She is an amazing long arm quilter, and I’m always in awe of her incredible work with the negative space that modern quilters love to leave in quilts. But also I loved the colors and designs in this fabric. Many modern fabrics have very bright colors. I love bright colors. I really do. But sometimes fabric that feels a little more neutral fits the bill. This fabric reminds me of blue jeans and work shirts. There isn’t a single plaid or rivet, but it has that homey, comfortable look to it. Like Saturdays. If you don’t understand what I mean, check out the fabric in person, I think it’ll start to make sense.

Front room Roots and Wings quilt

I took my AGF fat quarters to my local quilt shop to find a good solid to go with them. I ended up with this great burlap-brown color. Brown isn’t a very modern color, but burlap is very “in” with crafters, and since I’m kind-of a crossover crafter/quilter, this seemed like a fun choice.

Getting to play with fabrics also meant pulling out techniques that I have been wanting to play with. I have had my EZ Dresden ruler for some time, and haven’t had an excuse to play with it. I used it to make a modern, slightly wonky twist on Dresden blocks to use in this quilt, which I call “Roots and Wings.”

Roots and Wings Quilt with Legacy fabric by Art Gallery

I love the name of this line, “Legacy”, which Angela so named because of her Grandfather. As I was working on this quilt, I thought a lot about my boys. My oldest just started Kindergarten, and on a recent Facebook post about my son growing up, a friend reminded me that as a mom, it is my job to give my son roots and wings. I hope you can see the roots and wings in this quilt.

This quilt is fully double-sided, I pieced Legacy into the back as well. I was careful with the placement of the piecing, and let my long-armer know my intent… so the quilting on the curves of the front shows up in these giant stacked-coin pieces on the back.

back of roots and wings quilt

I did the piecing on this quilt, but I handed it over to my friend and long-arm quilter Nichol of A Desert Quilter to do the quilting for me. We decided on the pebbles for the negative space, and I think she did an amazing job. Here is a closer look at some of her quilting.

quilting pebbles

It should have taken her practically forever to do all this quilting – the finished size of the quilt is nearly 60″ x 70″. But, she got it all done for me in less than a week!

I have been wanting to re-cover the throw pillows in my front room almost since the first day we got them. They came with the couch and although they were fine, they weren’t my style. I would have loved to re-cover them with wild quilting patterns, but my husband is more a fan of builder’s beige. Since I had so much brown in the quilt, I knew I’d be able to get away with making pillow covers that went along with this quilt. Nichol did the quilting on these pillow covers as well!

Legacy fabric pillows

I’m loving the style it brings to my front room! This is the first room that guests see when they walk into my home, and it has always bugged me that I don’t have much handmade in there. That problem has been more than solved with this new quilt and pillows! There is now plenty of handmade… but not at all in a kitschy way. I love me some kitsch… but probably not for my formal living room.

Roots and Wings on the Couch

If you want to know how to make this quilt (which, by the way does NOT require any curved piecing), here is how you can make your own Roots and Wings quilt:

Selection of Fat Quarters from Legacy by Angela Walters for Art Gallery Fabrics
3 yards background fabric (also used for binding)
Additional fabric for backing

Start by making quarter dresdens. I used the Easy Dresden Ruler to cut wedges out of 8″ wide strips of fabric, then shuffled up the wedges and stitched them into 16 sets of 5.

I then squared up the edges of each, making one side even, and when evening up the second side I cut away at the hole traditionally left for the center circle of the Dresden plate. On half, I cut the right side off, and on the other half I cut the left side.

trim off excess dresden

Using the basting stitch on my machine (making the stitch length as long as possible), I stitched about 1/8″ from the curved edge, leaving long thread tails.

I then pulled one thread a little, making the edge start to gather so that it curved up. I spread the slight gather evenly across the whole curve.

curve the edge of the dresden

I then gently folded in the curved edge about 1/4″. Try to be accurate, but if it isn’t perfect don’t sweat it.

fold down edge of curve

I pressed this edge down, and had the perfect edge to top stitch down onto my block.

pressed down dresden edge

I cut 16 squares from my background fabric, each 9″ square. I pinned a chopped quarter dresden onto each. One side is longer than the other. That gives the final quilt blocks a little more of a wonky look.

one quarter of the dresden

I top stitched the edge of the dresden down, right on the edge of the curve. At this point you can cut away the excess background fabric behind the dresden, but I left mine on.

Put the squares together into sets of 4.

modern modified dresden plate block

Then sew these blocks into a row to make the roots and wings design.

blocks pieced together

I then added yardage to each side to finish the top. I cut the backing fabric into the length I needed, then cut off the selvedge. I cut 9″ of the fabric off, down the length of the fabric, to divide it into two unequal pieces. The 9″ piece went on one side, the larger piece on the other.

finished roots and wings quilt top

I then pieced together my backing and gave everything to Nichol to quilt. After she got it back to me I bound it with the same fabric I used for the background. I think this gives it a nice, clean edge.

The pillows were made from the leftover fabric. I made several different scrappy pillows, keeping them fun. I even made one with the scraps from cutting the dresdens down! I took all of those pieces and pieced them into a long row…

extra dresden piecesI trimmed up the sides and pieced these little pieces into a pillow!

Couch with Roots and Wings pillows and quilt

Here’s one more shot with my little helper. With his big brother in school, he’s not quite sure what to do with himself, so he “helps” me with my projects. You might have noticed him in one of the other photos… and if you scroll up, you’ll see his hand on the left side of the couch in the 5th photo from the top. So cute!

roots and wings with baby b

More Riley Blake Fabric Fest

I had a total blast at Fabric Fest this past week, and wanted to share with you more of the fun goings-on. I really can’t express what an amazing job the folks from Riley Blake did on this event. Seriously. Putting on a conference is no joke, and these gals (and guys) knocked it out of the park on their very first try. I’m hoping they’ll do it again next year, and if they do I have no clue how they’re going to top this event!

Earlier I shared with you some pictures from my first night… there was some meet-and-greet with the other attendees, lots of ogling over quilts, and a little buying of fabric, too! (ok… maybe a LOT of buying of fabric! HA!)

jack quote

This quote is one from the Thursday keynote, and I loved it. I loved that I spent the week surrounded by dingledodies.

My first class, Tuesday morning, was with Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter. Her class was part lecture, part hands-on about modern quilting. I’m a fan, and love absorbing the modern vibe whenever and wherever I can.

What is modern quilting

I took this picture so that I could put most of these books on my Christmas List! HA!

modern quilting books

In the hands-on portion of the class I whipped up a scrappy, quilt-as-you-go, free-pieced mini quilt.

modern free pieced mat

I kinda love how it turned out. I won’t even share with you all the ways it isn’t perfect, or all the things that look awesomely intentional, but are total happy accidents.

The Tuesday keynote was with Eleanor Burns. This lady is tons of fun.

Eleanor Keynote

Seriously, this picture of her is like the definition of all my favorite people: creative, and just a little crazy. But totally the good kind of crazy.

eleanor laughing

My Tuesday afternoon class was with Eleanor as well. If you haven’t read about my connection with Eleanor, you have to go read the whole story in the post where I talk about teaching at fabric fest.

eleanor teaching

I didn’t finish my quilt, but got very, very far in putting it all together…

eleanor and me

On Thursday, I had lectures. The morning lecture was with Nancy Zieman who came to us via live satellite feed. Isn’t technology awesome?

Nancy Zieman Lecture

My afternoon class was with the twin quilting phenoms from Logan, UT. Kim from Kimberbell Designs and Kris from My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shoppe. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of that class, where they talked about all kinds of fun ways to transform precuts into quilts!

I do have a couple pictures of what meals looked like. In case you have ever wondered, this is what 300 hungry quilters look like:

fabric fest meal

And this is what all their bags look like… machines and rulers and more!

sewing machines all lined up

Thursday there was a dual keynote, Jenni from Missouri Quilt Co gave an awesome impromptu talk about how her choices as a quilter have changed her life. I really love hearing quilters who really get it. She understands quilting, other quilters, and what it is really all about.

Jenny from missouri quilt co

I was able to snag a quick photo with her after the conference.

jenny and me

And since I started this post with a quote, I’ll end it with another great one that helps describe this whole experience:

Brian Andrews Quote

 

Riley Blake Fabric Fest!

It is here! Riley Blake Fabric Fest!! Four days of hanging out with other quilters, sewing, teaching, learning… and shopping! Oh… the fabric!

I don’t have much time, but thought I’d share with you a few of my impressions from the first day… no classes, just registration, shopping, and chatting with other quilters…

 

This is what it looked like when the doors opened onto Fabric Fest. All the ladies looking forward to the fabric awesomeness behind the doors…

walking into fabric fest

Riley Blake and Quiltique did a great job of setting up all the displays and the fabric…

quilts at fabric fest

I love all the seasonal fabrics – Halloween, Christmas… yay!

Halloween Riley Blake Fabrics

I’ve got a quilt at the quilter right now that I made with Dresdens… I love this colorful version (and I can’t wait to share mine with you next week!)

dresden bursts

Pinwheels go very modern, and very colorful in this quilt.

colorful pinwheels

I always have hexies on the brain lately, and I love what adding a chevron print did for these hexagons!

chevron hexagons

More coming soon… I promise!

New Laser-Cut Fusible Applique Wall Hanging Tutorial

Applique Wall Hanging

I’m sure you’re wondering what a Laser Cut Fusible Applique is! A Laser Cut machine is like a printer, but instead of printing, it uses a laser to cut shapes out of different objects, including fabric. It is doing amazing things in the fabric world – including allowing us to laser cut intricate applique shapes with the fusible already adhered to the back! Nancy Zieman has created a whole line of these appliques with fun words on them. When she approached me to share them with you, I jumped up and down and said YES! There are quite a few Laser Cut Appliques to choose from, I chose the “Fabric Stitch Sew Create” with the buttons. The “Sew” with the tomato pincushion outline was a really close second, though!

The applique looks like this in the package. They are made of black fabric, and the back has the fusible attached, and a paper backing.

 

Before removing the paper backing, I unfolded the applique and gave it a light press to get out the creases. This helps it lie flat when I place it later.

Then I started auditioning different fabrics from my stash. I ended up choosing these fun prints and solid from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Auditioning fabrics for the wall hanging

To make your own laser cut fusible applique wall hanging, you’ll need:
Laser Cut Fusible Applique from Nancy Zieman
Scissors
3 Fat Quarters for the front
Rotary Cutter, Ruler, and Mat
1/2 yard fabric for the back
505 or your favorite basting spray
#5 Pearl Cotton in coordinating colors (or Embroidery Floss)
Needle

Before taking off the paper backing and fusing the applique, I cut the support pieces from the applique. Look carefully! There are three. Once you fuse the applique down it will be permanent, so you want to make sure you cut them all out.

Cut out support pieces

I carefully removed the backing paper and fused the applique to my solid background fabric. The applique is fairly detailed, so as I auditioned fabrics, I found that it looked best on a solid color or a small print.

After fusing the applique to my fat quarter, I trimmed it down. Trimming my fabric after pressing down the applique helped me get the perfect positioning, and I didn’t have to worry about the applique shifting as I secured it.

Trim down fabric

I added a 4 ” strip of my large print to the top and a 6″ strip to the bottom of my wall hanging.

add borders

I prefer to spray baste (rather than pin baste), especially on small projects like this one, so I used my basting spray to put together my quilt sandwich – backing fabric on the bottom, right side down, then batting, then the applique top. I trimmed it down, leaving a few inches on all sides, and added some quilting.

spray baste

I wanted to add a little more fun, so I ironed on a few of the applique button shapes that came with the applique, and quilted around them. I picked out Pearl Cotton that coordinated with my print, and added stitching to the buttons.

number 5 pearl cotton

The thread was tied off on the back of the wall hanging. I tried tying it on the front, but it looked to messy for me, tying it on the back looked cleaner

stitch through button holes

All that was left was to bind the quilted wall hanging, and I was all done! I used 2″ binding that I applied by machine, but you can bind your wall hanging in whatever way you’re most comfortable.

These laser cut appliques are so simple to use, and since I put mine on a wall hanging that isn’t going to get washed or see much wear, I didn’t have to worry about stitching it down. The applique will stay permanently after fusing it with the heat from my iron!

I’m just one of the bloggers sharing fun projects made with these appliques – check out Nancy Zieman’s Blog all week for more fun ideas!

 

Should I Press My Quilt Seams Open or to One Side?

Should I press my seams open or to one side

 

The quilting question “Should I press my quilt seams open or to one side?” comes up very often in my quilting classes. When my students ask me, I think they’re looking for a single, definitive answer. A quilting rule that they can follow or flaunt. The problem is that I believe in very few quilting rules.

I believe that when quilting, you should press your seams. But how you press your quilt seams depends on a variety of factors. You should take these factors into account when you decide if you’re going to press your seams open, or to one side.

press seam open

How are you going to quilt your finished quilt?
If you plan on doing a “stitch in the ditch” on your quilt blocks, your decision has been made – you must press your seams to the side. The quilting technique “stitch in the ditch” is so named because of where the stitching falls. Pressing the quilt seams to the side created a slight raise on one side of the seam – which results in a slight ditch on the other. This is easy enough for a newbie quilter to find and aim at when quilting.
If you try to “Stitch in the Ditch” on a quilt where the quilt seams have been pressed open, you will be quilting along the seam line right between the pieces of the quilt top, and instead of securing the backing, batting, and top, you’ll be securing the backing and batting while tacking the top in place.
If you plan to do an all-over or a stitching pattern that does not closely follow the piecing of the blocks, you can press your seams however you like.

 

How flat do you want your finished quilt top to be?
Pressing quilt seams open results in flatter piecing. This is because instead of pressing all the bulk of the seam to one side, the bulk is divided in half and spread equally over two sides. Your finished quilt blocks are much flatter than a block with the seams pressed to the side. Once your quilt top is quilted together with the batting and backing, much of the flatness created by pressing seams open is lost into the batting, and a quilt with the seams pressed to the side is no more lumpy than one with the seams pressed open.

press seam to the side

What piecing techniques are you using?
Depending on the techniques you are using when piecing your top, you may prefer one pressing method over another. If you are piecing many small pieces together, you may want to press the quilt seams open to reduce the bulk at the individual seams. However, if you are doing intricate piecing where you want to match your seams, pressing the quilt seams to the side may actually help you. If you press one seam up and one seam down before laying two pieces with their right sides together, the ditches of the two seams will “lock” together, helping line up the piecing, and resulting in more crisp lines and points.

 

How do you press best?
What is most important in pressing is that you do it, and do it as well as possible. I have seen new quilters who did not press properly, and lost as much as 1/2″ of fabric in each seam because of poor pressing. So, if there is one way that you prefer pressing because it makes you happier, go ahead and use that method. Because staying happy while you quilt is what it is all about anyway, right?

In From the Cold Quilt Blocks progress

I’m working on the “In From the Cold” quilt by Kate Spain as a class sample for the quilt shop I teach at. My goal was to have the whole top pieced by last night… so far I’ve gotten the blocks done, and all is left is sashing and borders. Which I should be able to get done in one night. Here are the blocks, they are not placed in any order here.

 

In from the cold quilt blocks

A few of these blocks are fairly simple, but most have very small parts. The bottom left mug has pinwheels – each of the half-square triangles on the pinwheels finishes at just 1″ across! There are quite a few 1″ finished HSTs in this project… but it sure does look cute when it is all finished! I’m looking forward to getting the sashing and borders on so that I can send it off to be quilted.

1 inch finished half square triangles

Here is a close-up of the 1 inch HSTs that I posted on Instagram. It only takes a couple threads to be pretty far off on these little suckers, so I was pretty impressed with my own work here. Sure, it isn’t perfect … but neither am I!

Lately, I’m very into the quilting of quilts. I don’t actually like doing the quilting, but it is interesting how much the quilting affects the finished look of a quilt. It helps to enhance certain areas, or to draw the eye in. Quilting can add a lot of interest… and while I’m a solid quilter when it comes to piecing a quilt, adding that top layer of stitching, the quilting on top, is not a skill that I’ve mastered (yet). I am signed up for a class that promises to teach me more about the process, so I’m looking forward to getting better at it.

I think that one of the frustrating parts of getting better at quilting is that it takes practice. And learning from your mistakes. Which means making mistakes. And making mistakes when quilting a quilt that took hours (or days, or weeks) to put together… that’s just painful! Ugh!

In other news, I’m also making progress on my paper pieced hexagons… hopefully I’ll have something to share with you soon… ish!

 

Fabric Fest and a Rolie Polie Giveaway!

I’m so excited to share more of my Jelly Roll Race Quilts here today! Those of you who follow my blog know that I made a Jelly Roll Race Quilt in less than 24 hours from start to finish earlier this year, I called it my “#Instaquilt” because I Instagrammed the process of cutting fabric, stitching, getting it to the quilter, and binding it. Since then, I’ve been busy coming up with fresh ways to revise this new classic so that I can share them all with you at Riley Blake Fabric Fest here in Las Vegas.

three jelly roll race quilts

I first learned about this quilt when I was working at Quiltique, an awesome quilt shop in Henderson, just outside of Las Vegas. One of our customers shared it with me, and it was love at first stitch. I have 2 nieces and 3 nephews all born in the last 3 years (3 of them in the last 12 months), so having a fast “go to” quilt pattern is a must!

I’m going to be teaching the Jelly Roll Race Quilt at Riley Blake Fabric Fest this fall. BUT – not just the plain jelly roll race quilt. I’ve deconstructed, re-constructed, and updated the jelly roll race quilt. These variations add 10-30 minutes to the time it takes to make a regular jelly roll race quilt – and give you so much more variety! If you’ve never made a Jelly Roll Race quilt before, I’ll show you the basics. Then we’ll take it up a notch with fun ways to make the quilt your own. Let me take you through some of these new quilts I’ve stitched up…

Christmas Jelly Roll Race Quilt

This first is a Standard Jelly Roll Race quilt. If you’ve seen or done one, you can tell by the mitered seams, and the random placement of the fabric. I used 42 strips from Riley Blake’s new Christmas Fabric “A Merry Little Christmas“. Don’t you love how cheery it looks? This quilt is the perfect Christmas gift! I love giving quilts as Christmas presents, and these quilts are the best for making as gifts. They don’t take weeks to make, they look cute in any fabric, and there is very little waste. After piecing your quilt top, the only waste you have is one piece 2.5″x18”, and the little bit you trim off to square your quilt top.

 

This second one is so much fun! I used Riley Blake’s “Pirate Mateys” and added squares between half-strips of fabric. There are some secrets to putting this top together, but it is a lot easier than it looks, and the result is darling! I’d love to do more of these with bright colored squares that really pop against the fabric.

Pirate Jelly Roll Race Quilt

I’ve been enjoying this quilt a lot, it sits on my livingroom floor and my kids play on it all the time. My friend Nichol of A Desert Quilter quilted all of these for me, and she quilted some darling pirate motifs into this quilt top!

Appliqued Jelly Roll Race Quilt

This last one, made out of Riley Blake “Cruiser Blvd”  has me completely tickled. A Jelly Roll Race Quilt is like a deck of cards. You shuffle up the strips, stitch them together, and there is no telling where they will show up. For this quilt, I “stacked the deck.” I’ve mapped out the final locations of the strips, and I put them in the order I wanted them to give me a beautiful “solid” space to applique in. This technique is so much fun for anyone who likes to applique, who wants to super-customize a quilt, for machine embroiderers who like to have large areas to embroider on, or machine quilters who like to have space in which to stitch up quilts and really have their quilting stand out… really, just about anyone will love the options that stacking the deck gives you! Here is the whole quilt all laid out:

Applique Jelly Roll Race Quilt

My son is 4 and a half, and he loves this quilt. It is “his” quilt and he loves reading his name on it. Once you’ve deconstructed the placement of the strips in a Jelly Roll Race quilt, there are so many new possibilities that open up to you!

I still have at least one more idea up my sleeve … but I’ll wait to share that one at Fabric Fest. You’ll have to come to my class so that I can share it with you!

Giveaway!

The base to make these quick quilts are Rolie Polies from Riley Blake. So, I’m giving away TWO Rolie Polies to one lucky winner! Just leave a comment at the end of this post letting me know which of these fast quilts you’d most like to learn more about! Make sure to include your contact information so that I can get in touch with you if you win.

This post is part of an awesome blog hop with the rest of the teachers who will be sharing all their amazing talents at Riley Blake Fabric Fest. Check out the rest of these great teachers!

During the blog hop, these great sites will be blogging all about Fabric Fest and the wonderful classes they are teaching. They will also be giving away some great prizes, so you’ll want to keep this list close by!
Trust us.
You CAN’T miss a single day! 
Wednesday, June 5
Jina Barney of Riley Blake Designs
Thursday, June 6 Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
 Friday, June 7
Elizabeth and Liz Evans of Simply Simon & Co
Saturday, June 8
Nancy Zieman/Deanna Springer of Nancy Zieman.com
Monday, June 10
Melissa Mortenson of The Polka Dot Chair 
Tuesday, June 11
Carolina Moore of Always Expect Moore
Wednesday, June 12
Paige Hill of Riley Blake Designs, Jennifer of Tatertots and Jello,
Becky & Kari of U-Create
Thursday, June 13
Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish
Friday, June 14
Kim Christopherson & Kris Thurgood of My Girlfriends Quilt Shoppe
Saturday, June 15
Bonnie Bailey on Riley Blake Designs
 Monday, June 17
Lila Tueller of Lila Tueller Designs
Tuesday, June 18
Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter
Wednesday, June 19
Lindsay Wilkes of The Cottage Mama
Thursday, June 20
Sue Daley of Sue Daley Designs
Friday, June 21
Eleanor Burns/ Sue Bouchard of Quilt in a Day
Saturday, June 22
Jenny, Natalie, & Sarah of Missouri Star Quilt Company
 Monday, June 24
Andrea Goddard of And I Sew
Tuesday, June 25
Becky, Brooke, Jamie, Kirsten, & Nikkala of The Crafting Chicks
Wednesday, June 26
Deonn Stott of Quiltscapes 
 Thursday, June 27
Sandy Workman of Pine Mountain Designs
Friday, June 28
Sydney Haglund of Memory Quilt Maker

Precut Hexagon Honeycombs: Happy Go Lucky Quilted Table Topper

I’m still getting my monthly pack of Charming Solids from Pink Chalk Fabrics. It is like getting unfattening chocolate in my mailbox each month, and even when I don’t have time to make anything with the fabric I’m sent, I love it. I’ve thought about cancelling… but I just can’t. Not yet. And I’m so glad I didn’t because last week I got an awesome surprise in my mailbox! Usually, the Charming Solids club pack has 2 charm packs and coordinating solids. This month they sent me one of the new precut hexagons along with coordinates! That was all it took to get my quilting mojo going, and I whipped up this little hexagon table topper. The best part? NO Y-seams!

A Y-seam is unlike a traditional seam. A Y-seam is when 3 seams come together in one spot, often forming a Y shape. It can be hard to get a perfect Y-seam with no pucker. And a quilt full of Y-seams can be a challenge. By cutting triangles out of my solid coordinating fabrics and creating diamond units, I eliminated the need for Y-seams. And I also have ideas for more fun no-y-seam-hexagon projects!

To make this hexagon table topper, you need:
– Bonnie & Camille Happy Go Lucky Honeycomb Hexies
– 8 Coordinating Solids. I had an “extra-wide” fat eighth of each. A regular fat eighth will be fine.
– Coordinating fabrics for scrappy binding. I used fabrics I had on hand, plus some of my coordinates from the pack. If you start with fat quarters of your coordinating solids, you will have plenty for a scrappy binding.
– 1 1/4 yards backing fabric
– batting of your choice

Cut 72 triangle units from the coordinating solids. I created a template for mine. Each side is 3 3/8″, and the whole unit is 3″ from base to point. I cut 3″ strips from my fabric, and then cut the triangle units from the strip. If you cut your strips from the length of your fat eighth, rather than the width, you’ll have more usable fabric to use in your binding.

Set aside 5 hexagons. Stitch the triangle units to each side of your remaining hexagons to create diamonds. Of the 5 hexagons you pulled aside, select 2, and stitch a triangle to only one side of each. These two will go on either side of the middle row. You will have leftover triangles that you’ll use later.

Set aside 3 diamonds. Stitch your remaining diamonds into pairs, being careful to line up your seams.

Use your pairs, the diamonds you set aside, the single-triangle units, and your leftover triangles to create rows:
2 rows of 4, with an extra triangle
2 rows of 5, with an extra triangle
2 rows of 6, with an extra triangle
1 row of 7, using the single-triangle units on each end

Stitch your rows together to make your quilt top, being careful to line up your seams.

Quilt as desired, and bind. I used a 2″ scrappy binding.

Makes a great baby play quilt or table topper.

Urban Sprawl Quilt with Art Gallery Fabrics

EEK!! Today I’m over at the Art Gallery Fabrics Blog sharing my Stackable, Squishable Fabric Blocks tutorial (if you ever want to make fabric blocks, these ones are the best, y’all – they are both squishable and stackable which is kinda a miracle in fabric construction).

AND – I’m giving away a Fat Quarter Bundle of the fabrics I used for those blocks – get the details at the bottom of this post!!

I’m super excited to be sharing on the AGF blog, but also wanted to share something fun for y’all here, so I’m sharing my Urban Sprawl quilt that I made with the yummy Urban Mod Fat Quarters that AGF sent me.

Yup – here is what they sent… the full line of Urban Mod. I just knew I wanted to make a quilt top out of these… a quilt top that would truly do these modern fabrics justice. So I came up with Urban Sprawl. It has a modern look, and some modern cutting techniques, but is really quick and easy to put together (I promise)!

I started by pressing all of my fat quarters, stacking them up, and then cutting them:

a: 2″ x 20ish (length of the FQ)
b: 11.5″ x 11.5″
c: 11.5″ x 2″
d: 11.5″ x 2″
e: extra fabic – use for scrappy binding/backing if desired

Fabric B is for my blocks, A and C is for my modern sashing, and D is really extra (some of the FQs aren’t quite big enough to get a D out of them), I wanted it for my backing, which you’ll see at the end.

I then cut my block (B) pieces into 3.

I stacked 5 fabrics, then cut at an angle across. You can cut at whatever angle you like, but cut at least 1.5″ away from the corners, just to reduce bulk at the corners in your finished block. Move the smaller piece to the side, then cut the larger piece into 2, again at an angle and at least 1.5″ away from the corner.

Here is another set that I cut:

Keep your sets together!

Take your fabric to your sewing machine. Lay out one set. Of the 3 pieces for the block, pick one section. Move the top fabric to the bottom. Then for the second section, move the top 2 fabrics to the bottom.

You should now have 3 sections, each with a different fabric on top.

Stitch the two smaller pieces together. Press the seam open. Then stitch the larger piece on the side. Press open.

Repeat with all blocks.

Square up blocks to 10.5″.

Here comes the fun part: adding the sashing!

Add one of the small sashing pieces (C) to each block. One piece, and it doesn’t matter what side of the block you add it to. Just sew, sew, sew! The sashing piece will be longer than the block. That’s ok.

Press the seam, and then trim the sashing piece flush with the block.

Sew your blocks into rows of 4. All the sashings should be parallel, but you can have fun with the placement. The rows should not be block – sashing – block – sashing – block – sashing – block – sashing. Instead, try block – sashing – block – sashing – sashing – block – block – sashing. Go for variety in each row.

Stitch your A pieces into long strips of 3, by sewing 3 pieces end-to-end. This will be your horizontal sashing.

Add a horizontal sashing piece to the top or bottom of each row. Press, and trim the sashing piece to the size of the row.

Stitch your sashed rows together to form the quilt top. Again, you don’t have to have a perfect alternation of sashing and blocks. Have fun with the placement!

Once you’re done with the top, it is time to work on the backing. I used the D strips, plus some more 2″ strips I cut from E to make a stacked coin column to piece into my backing. This quilt is just barely wider than traditional quilting cotton, so it was the perfect way to stretch the use of my fabric, and add a fun element to the quilt back as well.

Now all that is left is to quilt it! I’m thinking of doing an echo of the pieces in the blocks… what do you think? How would you quilt it?

Be sure to check out my Stackable Squishable Fabric Blocks on the AGF Blog – and if you love quilts, you can check out some of the other quilts I’ve done!

Want to win an awesome bundle of AGF? To be eligible to win you must do three things:
1. Follow AGF on your favorite social media platformeither PinterestFacebook, Twitter and Subscribe to the AGF blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang!
2. Follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter
3. Leave me a comment below (maybe tell me how you’d quilt Urban Sprawl?)! Make sure to give me your e-mail address…

I’ll be picking a winner on June 3rd!