Thursday, January 3, 2019

Updates and Such!

Hey y'all! Well, it's been quite awhile since I've been seen around these parts, but I did want to jump on in with a couple of updates.

I am still sewing and quilting of course, but find little time to write and share photos beyond sporadic Instagram posting. I've been teaching a little bit too, including a super fun seasonal Foundation Paper Piecing workshop at Needlework here in Hamilton last month.

One major thing I have to share (if you've been following the news I'm sure you already know some of the ins-and-outs) is the demise of my Craftsy shop. Not to go into too many of the nitty-gritty details, but basically, Craftsy decided to shut down the shops of many independent designers (including some very well-know people in the quilt industry); even those whose shops weren't shut down are being told which patterns they are and are not allowed to sell (for serious).

I was told by Craftsy staff that some designers would be invited back to the platform later in the year, but I think they've really burned some bridges here (I know designers who weren't culled but who are leaving anyway because of this). I've been with Craftsy since the very beginning and have the personal emails from when they first launched where they asked me to help them promote the site. We were in talks for me to do classes for them, but I didn't feel ready at the time. They actively promoted my patterns in blog posts, newsletters, on FB, etc. And then this. It doesn't feel good.

Designers were only given a week's notice that this was happening, and that week fell over the holidays (my shop was shut down on Dec 28th). Suffice it to say, that left little to no time to research new options for hosting my free patterns and templates. All pay patterns were already in my Etsy shop, so that's good to go but a few sets of free templates and cross stitch patterns were only on Craftsy. Those templates will, unfortunately, remain unavailable until I can find another good hosting medium. I'll let you know when they have a new home!

And last but not least so that this post isn't completely devoid of pictures, and to give an older tutorial a little bit of love, let's take a look back at the Pieced Center String Blocks tutorial!

I posted this tutorial 8.5 years ago and it is still one of the most popular posts on the entire site. On occasion, people still send me pictures of quilts using this tutorial (or the sister coaster tutorial). So in honour of Moda hosting a "String Quilt Along" (follow #modastringquilt on IG), I thought I'd remind everyone about this little beauty!

8-9 years ago, string quilt were all the rage in the quilting community, so this was just my little take and adaptation of a more traditional style. It's so fun to see that strings quilts are, once again, having a little mini resurgence!

Anyhoo, I best sign off now, and no promises, but I will do my very utmost to not let another year and a half go by without posting!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bella Skill Builder: Block 5

Hey y'all! So, I'm a bit of a dolt - I made my blocks for the Bella Skill Builder two weeks ago and then completely forgot to post. Forgive me, it's been a long couple of weeks and I had friends over on the weekend for crafty time!

This block uses another new to me technique - making half square triangles with Triangles on a Roll!

Triangles on a Roll are fun and super-easy! It takes a little patience to get the paper pinned down in such a way that it is flat and not bunchy, but once it's all down, it makes the process much faster. I neglected to shorten my stitch length (again, I am a dolt) so I had a little bit more trouble ripping the paper off but still easy-easy!

For these blocks I used Moda Bella Solids in Off White, Spearmint, and Clementine. At the end of each post for this Quilt Along, I'll be posting links to my previous posts, so check them out if you so decide:

Blocks 3A & 3B
Block 4

We are at the halfway point now! Woot woot!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bella Skill Builder: Block 4

Hey y'all! It's that time again - more blocks for the Bella Skill Builder quilt along. Woot!

The blocks for this month were three easy and quick sets of flying geese! After last month's very time consuming pineapple blocks, this was a nice change of pace (especially since I had a bunch of other quilting I wanted to get done).

The method used for constructing these geese was new to me. I generally utilize the no-waste method, but these were made using the Small Flying Geese Ruler from Quilt in a Day. Right now it's a bit of a toss up as to which method I like more - using the method for this ruler was much faster, but it generates more waste then the other (i.e. some versus none). The waste amount really wasn't a lot, so...

For these blocks I used Moda Bella Solids in Off White and Flamingo (which I've realized going back through pictures is a really hard colour to get a decent shot of - the tone always seems different). At the end of each post for this Quilt Along, I'll be posting links to my previous posts, so check them out if you so decide:

Next month, we'll be at the halfway point in the quilt along, so I'm going to try and get a picture of the blocks I have so far all laid out together. I'm excited to see how it's all coming together!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bella Skill Builder: Blocks 3A & 3B

Hey y'all! It's time again for another round of blocks from the Bella Skill Builder hosted by Fat Quarter Shop.

This month's blocks (7 individual blocks in all) were pineapples and it was my first time making them. I love the look and how the colours seem to overlap, but wow (!!) so time-consuming! I'm also not enamoured with the amount of fabric waste these blocks generate; it's a good thing they look so neat!

I used the super-fancy Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool which made the process relatively easy and pain-free. For these blocks I used Moda Bella Solids in Turquoise, Clementine, and Flamingo. At the end of each post for this Quilt Along, I'll be posting links to my previous posts, so check them out if you so decide:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

New X-Plus English Paper Piecing Templates!

Hey y'all! How's everyone doing? Last year I made an X-Plus quilt for my friend Austin when he and his husband adopted a beautiful baby girl; as I was making the quilt I started thinking about how the X-Plus block could really lend itself well to English Paper Piecing. So I did what any self-respecting quilter would do and drafted my own templates.

And, because I couldn't keep the templates to myself once they were all done up, I've posted them to my Craftsy shop (for free) Templates currently unavailable due to Craftsy shakeup! The blocks finish at 10" square (which is another modification I made to the original X-Plus pattern) meaning that if you want to make a 40" square baby quilt, you need to make 16 blocks.

I made two samples (and had some lovely pattern testers make some more - which we'll get to in a later post); the first one I grid quilted and bound just for fun, and this second one... well, I haven't decided what to do with it yet. Maybe the beginnings of a brand new quilt?!

Now, what you can download from Craftsy is not a pattern per se, but is rather all the templates needed to make a block, so you do need to know the basics of EPP as there are no instructions included. The templates are spread across two pages and you need the pieces from both pages to make one block. That means that you can make as few or as many blocks as you want without having to worry about not having the right number of pieces.

If you decide to make a block, and you're on Instagram, please share using the hashtag #xplusepp - if you check it out over on IG you'll see other blocks that have already been posted - fun fun!

I really hope you guys like the templates and can't wait to see what you make!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bella Skill Builder: Blocks 2A & 2B

Hey y'all! So, it's the beginning of a new month and that means some new blocks for the Bella Skill Builder!

This month's blocks feature Orange Peels - which is something I have never attempted before! So, since I've never tussled with these blocks, I decided to test out two different methods. Why not, right?

The first set I did utilizing the larger of the Orange Peel templates. For these ones, I decided to use the fusible interfacing method outlined in this tutorial. While I liked the turned under edges you get with this method, I found that I had a hard time getting nice sharp points. It was also a bit more time consuming because there are more steps involved. This method also gives a slightly puffier look because the fabric itself isn't fused to the background.

For both blocks that utilized the smaller Orange Peel templates, I used fusible adhesive. I don't have any tutorials to point to since I love fusible for sketchy applique and have used it a bunch! This method is definitely faster and everything is nice and sharp because the peels are simply cut out and fused. A lot of people don't like the look of this type of fused applique because they think it looks "unfinished" but I adore it actually!

As I mentioned before, I'm switching up the colours for this quilt. So for these three blocks I used Moda Bella Solids in Boysenberry, Marigold, and Clementine. At the end of each post for this Quilt Along, I'll be posting links to my previous posts, so check them out if you so decide:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Patchwork Tulip Block

Hey y'all! I'm back with another fun little block to share! Remember, a couple of posts ago, I shared a picture of how I was keeping my Bella colours organized using my Scrappy Project Planner? Well, here's another fun thing about this planner - it includes scrappy quilt projects too! FQS has decided to tackle each of these scrappy blocks and asked if I'd like to sew along too and, of course, I said yes! My block is the Patchwork Tulip.

For fun, I went a little crazy with my colour choices! For the tulip head, I selected various shades of dark purple and raspberry, and two grades of orange for the stem. The Tula Pink fabric I used for the leaves, actually contains some of the same dark purple and raspberry shades so I thought it was a fun pairing. I chose three different white-on-white neutrals for the background fabrics.

This block came together very quickly without a lot of fuss. I loved being able to dive into my scrap bin to select some much loved scraps for this one.

You can find the Scrappy Project Journal on the Fat Quarter Shop website. I've never been very good at keeping track of my projects and planning things out ahead of time, but I've enjoyed using this so far for the Bella Skill Builder.