A pillow envelope

Last month I attended a course about foundation paper-piecing at Cotton & Color. Although FPP is not new to me, there are always new tricks and tips to be learnt, and I really profited from that class.

So, in order to put the new techniques into practice, I tackled a pattern that had been on my to-do list for some time now, and that turned to be the perfect birthday gift for my brother. On this one I used a non-woven interfacing as a foundation, which tore away rather easily afterwards (I know I could’ve left that, but the idea was to try new things). Also, I used glue to keep the first piece into place, instead of pining it… I must admit that these past weeks I’m using glue more than I have done before, and with great results, so I should revisit my own opinions about that…

For the quilting, I decided to play with the diagonals of the succulent plant and quilt a 45º grid following them, but excluding the border. It just seemed the right choice and I really like the contrast the quilting gives between the block and the border.

I reinforced the backing of the pillow envelope with heavy stabiliser, which helps to give some structure to the pillow.

Project: Pillow envelope
Size
: 40 x 40.5 cm / 15 1/2″ x 16
Date:
May 2017
Pattern:
Fröliche Kakten, by Amanda Castor, published on Simply Kreativ Patchwork + Quilting nº 8 (German edition).
Top fabric:
L’s modern basics, Lecien
Mod Basics 3, Birch Fabrics
Cookie Book, by Kim Knight, Cotton+Steel
Grunge, by Basic Grey, Moda Fabrics
Modern Background Ink, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Bluebird, by A. Marcelle Abegg, Cotton+Steel
Background fabric: Bella Solids White 98, Moda Fabrics
Border:
Hey Dot!, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Batting:
Thermolam TP971 Fusible, Pellon
Quilting: machine-quilted, Isacord Thread 40, col. 0010

Star Sampler Quilt (12): “Aunt Eliza’s Star”

The 12th block for the Star-Sampler quilt-along was a pretty easy one, comparing to other blocks on this sampler. It was really quick to piece, and regarding the fabric choices, I was limited by a self-imposed criteria of using each print at least twice. And these two had been featured on one star only.

Despite having the choice already made, I think these two fabric provide a nice contrast for this pattern. My only concern is with the green vs. the background fabric, but I hope they will work better once the quilt top is pieced.

Speaking of which, this is how all 12 stars look together. This was the last block, and although I have a plan of my own for the top, I’ll wait to see what Amanda has in store before going ahead.

(This sew-along is organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters).

The Cookbook QAL: 12. Plus one

The fabric combination for this block came to my mind the second I saw it on Instagram, so I took a little break from the other projects I’m currently working on and put it together. It is a really quick block to make, and there are several possibilities to play with it (one day I might make the quilt proposed by Amy Gibson here).

I really love the effect of appliquéing using a straight stitch – I just sewed a second line of stitching for the fun of it!-.

1. Cookie Book, Kim Knight, Cotton+Steel
2. Hey Dot, Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
* The background is from the 1000Colours collection, by Lecien, grey n. 501

(This block belongs to a QAL hosted by Amy Gibson –Stitchery Dickory Dock– and based on her book “The Quilt Block Cookbook”).

(Easy) Table runner

This year Moda Fabrics is running a 12-month contest, featuring a different designer each month. March is turn for Me and My Sister Designs, and I couldn’t resist to take a break from all the quilting that’s going around here and spend some afternoons working on the featured pattern, a table runner.

One of the requisites for entering is that all the fabric used must be from Moda (that makes sense, doesn’t it?). I do have several collections and prints from Moda in my stash, but I decided to play with a Moda Scrap Bag and just go with what was inside (this bag contains left-overs from cutting other pre-cuts, and there’s no way to know what’s inside each one… it’s a lottery!). So, in a sense, I didn’t choose the fabrics for this one… I added some Grunge as a contrasting solids, and a favourite from Zen Chic for the border.

For piecing the strips together, I cut them ½” longer than required, and alternated the direction of sewing (one up, one down) to avoid ending with a curved piece. I broke the main panel into three sections, sewed each one, trimmed to size, and the sewed them together. It worked quite well!

It’s a pretty quick project (I managed to have it completed in four afternoons, quilting included!), and I really like this summer-ly look it has (the weather also helps in that feeling…). It makes me think of picnics with sandwiches…

Project: Table runner
Size: 16″ x 50″/ 40.5 x 127 cm
Date: March 2017
Pattern: Easy Table Runner, Me and My Sister Designs
Top fabric: Coral, Queen of the Sea, by Stacy Iest Tsu, for Moda Fabrics
                  Grunge (several colours), by Basic Grey, for Moda Fabrics
Border, Backing: Hey Dot!, by Zen Chic, for Moda Fabrics
Batting: Fusible Thermolam TP971, Legacy
Quilting: machine-quilted, Star Thread 30WT

Christmas gifts for a knitter

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This past Christmas’ sewing involved a special gift for a friend who, among other crafty things, is a passionate knitter. And when this sheep fabric appeared on the quilt-shop, I knew I had to do something with it.

So, I planed to sew something useful! The “2 Fat Quarter Bucket!”, by Me and My Sister Designs, has become a favorite when it comes to sewing useful things. Fast, easy and versatile. And it showcases the fabric, which is also important! (other buckets are here and here).

And to pair it with something else, I had had my focus on this open-wide pouch by Anna Graham (Noodlehead) for a long time, and I thought it could be of use for a knitter. The yarn-balls fabric from Cotton+Steel is just the perfect lining, isn’t it?

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This one took some thought, however. Zippers and I aren’t good friends, and my first interfacing choice didn’t work quite well.

Now they have been delivered and I hope being enjoyed by their new owner!

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Project: Bucket
Size: 6″W x 4 1/2″L x 7″H / 15 x 11.5 x 18 cm
Date: December 2016
Pattern: 2 Fat Quarter Bucket!, Me and My Sister Designs
Exterior fabric: Wool Ewe Be Mine, Maria Kalinowsky for Kanvas Studio, Bernatex
Lining fabric: Reel Time, Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Batting: Thermolam TP971 (100% polyester), Legacy

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Project: Open-wide zippered pouch
Size: Medium (9″ tall x 12″ wide)
Date: December 2016
Pattern: Open-wide zippered pouch, Anna Graham (Noodlehead)
Exterior fabric: Wool Ewe Be Mine, Maria Kalinowsky for Kanvas Studio, Bernatex
Denim fabric, unknown manufacturer
Lining fabric: Cat Lady, Sarah Watts, Cotton+Steel
Batting: Heavy interfacing, unknown manufacturer

The Splendid Sampler™: Block 82

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Block n. 82 for The Splendid SamplerUnder the Apple Tree”  is designed by Brigitte Heitland (Zen Chic),  whose collections Modern Background – Paper and Ink- I’m using as the main prints for the Sampler.

English paper-piecing is always welcome, so there was no much history left in this particular block. Only, that I used a pretty thick cardboard for the templates, and the final block is bigger than it should be… but I think I will be able to fix it with the sashing.

Pattern, info and link party are here.

Star Sampler Quilt (5): “Maple Star”

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This is the fifth block for the Star-Sampler quilt-along organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters. It’s pretty close to the previous one… but what a difference make those squares! Not a difficult block, but a thought on flying-geese units: if they aren’t squared and with the right dimensions (let’s say, an 1/8″ off), do not hope to amend it along the way while piecing the block together. That doesn’t work. So yes, I needed to re-do some of my flying-geese units and  to spend some time with the seam-ripper.

Looking forward the next one…

Star Sampler Quilt (2): “Star X”

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The second block for the Star Sampler (organised by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters) resulted a difficult one. This is, in fact, the second star I sewed, as in the first try there was no way I could get matching points in the centre of the block. So I decided to start from scratch, paying lots of attention when trimming the QST (centring the ruler with the 45º line and what should be the middle of the block). After some seam-ripper, lots of steam and an empty bobbin in the middle of a seam (!!), the second attempt turned out a good one.

I was worried about using a directional print for the background, but I took the plunge and paying attention when placing the fabric for the HST it was not a problem at all. I just love the contrast between the pale green and the dark violet.

A sneak peak of the third block was released a couple days ago, and I’m already auditing fabric for it…

Star Sampler Quilt Along: fabric selection

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Let’s start something new! Amanda of 3and3quarters is organising a quilt along featuring 12 different star designs. I love Amanda’s tutorials and videos, so the moment she announced she was planing a QAL I knew this would be on my table right away, despite all the other projects running along.

After working mostly monochrome with the Splendid Sampler™’s blocks, I wanted something completely different for this project. Also, I was decided not to use a set collection. And truth is, this is absolutely outside my comfort zone. It’s really comfortable to work with collections, and it’s really overwhelming to step outside them.

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So, talking fabric. My basic fabric to build this palette is this print from the Flow collection, by Brigitte Heitland (Zen Chic). I just love it! But I don’t see it as a part of any block, so in my head this fabric is intended for the binding. I don’t know how crazy it is to build a whole quilt’s colour scheme from the binding, but anyway… This fabric contains all the colours that should be on the quilt, so from this point forward it was all a matter of spending time in the quilt shop browsing through bolts and bolts of fabric and discussing it with the staff, which were of wonderful and invaluable help. Finally, most of the prints belong to different collections either by to Zen Chic, or to Cotton+Steel.

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From left to right, the fabrics are:

  1. Mochi, by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  2. Mod Basics 3, Birch Fabrics (this fabric is made of organic cotton)
  3. Flow (teal), by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
  4. Macrame, by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  5. For you, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
  6. Cookie Book, by Kimberly Knight, Cotton+Steel
  7. Flow (orange), by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
  8. August, by Sarah Watts, Cotton+Steel*
  9. Melodies, by Sarah Campbell, Michael Miller Fabrics
  10. Mochi, by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  11. XOXO (Cotton+Steel Basics), by Rashida Coleman-Hale, Cotton+Steel
  12. Homebody, by Kimberly Knight, Cotton+Steel
  13. Flow (graphite), by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics (binding fabric)
  14. 1000 Colors Collection (pink 716), Lecien
  15. Painter’s Canvas (orange), Michael Miller Fabrics
  16. Cotton Couture (Isle), Michael Miller Fabrics

* When I picked this fabric, I didn’t notice it’s lawn. I found Cotton+Steel have some useful tips on working with lawn on their blog.

The background will be a light grey – Lecien 1000 Colours Collection (501)-.

The QAL is scheduled to begin next Thursday, 22th. Time enough to wash all the fabric and start starching… I have found it’s absolutely worth it, and it turns out, it’s basic when working with different fabric weights!