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Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along – Week Two

Week two

Week Two

We’re moving right along into Week Two of the Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along!  Head over to the Original QAL Post to review the details and schedule, if you need to.

The Quilt Along

Materials Needed:

Fabric Discount!knotted threads

Jennifer at Knotted Threads on Etsy has joined in the Quilt Along fun to bring all Cheeky Churn Dash QAL participants a 10% discount on fabrics purchased from her shop!  She has a great selection of current and modern fabrics, so you’ll want to take advantage of this 🙂  Use the coupon code: CHEEKYCHURNDASH at checkout.

How to Participate:

Post Your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #cheekychurndashquiltalong

Be sure to include the hashtag when you post to Instagram so everyone else can see what you’re up to, and if you’re in the US, you can enter to win prizes :).  Just make sure you post the weekly prompt to IG by 11:59 CST on the Friday that ends that week.

Stay in the loop!

If you haven’t signed up for the weekly emails that will go out for the Quilt Along, sign up here.  There might be some added info and bonus content for you as a little treat!

Alright, so here’s the breakdown for Week Two:week two cut that fabric

  • Starch all your fabric prior to cutting (unless you’re using the Accordion Sew HST™ method)
    • Tips for starching:  I recommend using a starch with body–like the Faultless brand, or another inexpensive option from your grocery store’s laundry aisle–it will stiffen your fabric and lessen the chance for distortion if you’re going to be messing with bias cuts.
      • I like to spray the entire piece of fabric so it’s damp all over, then let it sit and soak in the starch.  I let it air dry, then come back and hit it with the iron.  I do this so there isn’t a lot of that flaky mess you get when you press immediately after spraying the starch.   Make sure you pre-wash your fabric if you think the colors might bleed–but not if you’re using precuts.
    • You don’t need to starch if you’re planning to use Beth Helfter’s Accordion Sewn HST™ Method.
    • There’s a link to Beth’s videos in the pattern on page 4 or you can check out the video I made here.
  • Decide which Cheeky Churn Dash you’re going to make and cut out your fabrics accordingly.  You’ll need to make a large quilt option to qualify for the grand prize at the end of the Quilt Along, so keep that in mind.
    • Quilt Option A cut list is found on page 5 of your pattern
    • Quilt Option B cut list is found on page 17 of you pattern
    • Mini/Pillow cut list is found on page 23 of your pattern
    • There’s a note on page 4 of your pattern–if you have a hard time sewing a consistent 1/4″ seam allowance (don’t we all??), you can cut the squares that will be used for HSTs a little larger than the cut list calls for.  So instead of cutting 10″ squares for the large quilt option, you can cut them at 10-1/4″.
  • If you need help–there are cutting diagrams for each option that will maximize your fabric use.
  • This week, post a picture of your stacks of cut fabric on Instagram using the #cheekychurndashquiltalong hashtag.
  • I’ll be randomly picking one winner from week two (you have to post the week 2 prompt on Instagram with the hashtag by 9/28/2018 at 11:59 CST) to win an awesome prize!  This week’s prize is a FQ bundle of De La Luna, sponsored by Kustom Kwilts (me!) that I purchased from Knotted Threads.  Check out the Prize Roundup post for more details & the rules.

Next week, we’ll be assembling all the half-square triangles!

Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along Posts:

Week One – Introduce yourself and gather your fabrics

Week Two – Starch and cut your fabrics

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Week Six

Week Seven

Week Eight

Week Nine

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Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along – Week One

Week one

Yes!!!  This is it, the start of the Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along!  I’m so excited to start sewing with y’all.  Don’t forget to sign up for the QUILT ALONG E-MAILS if you haven’t already so you don’t miss out on anything.

So if you missed the original quilt along post, I’m going to run through the details once more here:

The Quilt Along:

Starts: September 15

Lasts: 9 weeks

Supplies:

Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Pattern (on sale for the duration of the Quilt Along)

Fabric:

fabric requirements

And the usual sewing supplies-thread, rotary cutter, ruler, starch, etc.

How to join in the fun:

RSVP to the quilt along for the weekly emails linked to the blog posts, follow the hashtag #cheekychurndashquiltalong on Instagram and make sure you include that hashtag on your quilt along posts so you can qualify for prizes and you can inspire other people participating!

If you’ve signed up to get the quilt along updates, you’ll get an email each Saturday morning with the task list for that week.  The link to that week’s corresponding blog post will be in there as well.


Week One

  • RSVP for the quilt along
  • Gather your pattern, fabrics (get a 10% discount at Knotted Threads with the code CHEEKYCHURNDASH), and materials
  • Introduce yourself on Instagram, using the hashtag #cheekychurndashquiltalong.  Post a picture of yourself or your fabric or BOTH!
  • I’ll be randomly picking one winner from week one (you have to post on Instagram with the hashtag) to win an awesome prize!  This week’s prize is a FQ bundle of Insignia, sponsored by Knotted Threads.  Check out the Prize Roundup post for more details & the rules.

RSVP For the Quilt Along, if you haven’t already

RSVP HERE

Get your copy of the pattern from the pattern shop, or you can grab one below:

Cover Page - Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt

$12.00Add to cart

Get your fabrics together

Check out the fabric requirements above-they’re also listed in the pattern.  If you don’t want to use precuts or yardage, you can just as easily use fat quarters, but you’ll need 16 fat quarters for Option A and about 20 fat quarters for Option B.  This pattern is a great way to use up those fat quarter bundles you’ve been hoarding for ages.  Or go scrappy and put together some great color combinations from your fabric stash!fabric selection

Planning your layout

Within the pattern are two coloring sheets so you can easily plan your layout.  If you’ve RSVP-ed for the Quilt Along, you’ll be getting a separate downloadable coloring sheet in the Week One email.

Introduce yourself!

This Quilt Along takes place mostly on Instagram, so post a picture of yourself or your fabrics (or both), and introduce yourself using the hashtag #cheekychurndashquiltalong.  You can also follow on Instagram to see my weekly posts for the QAL.  I’ll be picking a winner this week to win an awesome prize, but you’ve got to post on Insta before September 22, 2018 to qualify.

That’s it for Week One!  Super easy, and we’ll be gearing up for next week!

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Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along prize round up!

Who doesn’t love a good giveaway?  Here are some exciting updates for the Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along–we’re getting ready to kick off in a little over two weeks–so I hope you’re getting ready!!!  There are some super special people and companies who have joined in the fun and are giving away some great prizes for the CCD QAL–A huge thank  you to all of the sponsors!

Cheeky Churn Dash paper patterns are now in the shop, so if you haven’t purchased your pattern yet, you can grab a PDF download or get your paper copy HERE.

The featured fabric shop for the quilt along is Knotted Threads!  Head over to Jennifer’s Etsy shop and use the discount code CHEEKYCHURNDASH for 10% off your purchase.

knottedthreadlogo

As the Official Cheeky Churn Dash QAL post indicated, there are going to be some AMAZING prizes for participants of this QAL.  Many of the prizes are sponsored/donated by myself, but I’ll give you a little peek at some of the other prizes, and who the sponsors are!

Aurifil is sponsoring a small spool collection of thread 🙂

Olfa is giving away a Splash Rotary Cutter and Endurance Blade!

Quilter’s Dream Batting is giving away one double size batting (perfect for the Cheeky Churn Dash!) of the selected winner’s preference!

The Quilter’s Planner is giving away one 2019 Quilter’s Planner!!!

Free Gift with Code QuiltEasy

Crafter’s Companion is giving away a FQ bundle and thread set 🙂

Jennifer from Knotted Threads is giving away one FQ bundle of Alison Glass Insignia

I’m giving away one FQ bundle of Tula Pink’s De La Luna that I purchased from Knotted Threads!

The grand prize for the conclusion of the QAL (see the giveaway rules posted below) is for FREE edge to edge longarm quilting by Kustom Kwilts (that’s me!).  If you’d prefer custom quilting, you just pay the difference.  Winner is responsible for shipping costs.  And I’m providing several other goodies along the way, so there are lots of chances to win!

Rules

There aren’t many rules for this quilt along, unless you want to be considered for giveaway prizes.

There will also be some awesome giveaways sprinkled throughout the quilt along, so be sure you post one picture to your Instagram account of that week’s progress before the next week’s starting date in order to qualify for prizes (see the schedule below for specific dates).  Each weekly giveaway is dependent only on that week’s task.  SO if you missed week one, but you post a picture to Instagram that completes the week two task by the end of week two, then you’re in the running for the week two giveaway.  Got it?

There will be one grand prize winner at the end of the quilt along for one lucky person who completed and posted their quilt top (must be the 81″ x 81″ version) by November 16, 2018.  You’re still in the running for the grand prize, even if you missed posting throughout the quilt along, so long as you post your finished quilt top to your Instagram account by November 16.

The giveaway prizes are only for US participants and cannot be shipped outside the US.  Sorry!

Schedule September 15-November 16, 2018 (IG posting schedule)

September 15-21 Week One:

RSVP for the quilt along, gather your pattern, fabrics, and materials and introduce yourself using the hashtag #cheekychurndashquiltalong.  I’ll be randomly picking one winner from week one (you have to post on instagram with the hashtag) to win an awesome prize!

September 22-28 Week Two:

Starch fabrics if needed (you won’t need to do this if you plan on using Beth Helfter’s Accordian Sewn HST™ Method.  Cut all fabric according to the option you are making.

September 29-October 5 Week Three:  

Draw one diagonal line on the backs of the squares we’ll be using to make half-square triangles if using the Accordian Sewn HST™ Method.  Assemble the half-square triangles and press.

October 6-12 Week Four:  

Square up the half-square triangles to 9.5″ square for the quilt size and 2.5″ square for the mini and pillow sizes.

October 13-19 Week Five:

Assemble sections 1, 3, 7, and 9.

October 20-26 Week Six:

Catch up week if you’re behind!

October 27-November 2 Week Seven: 

Assemble sections 2, 4, 6, and 8

November 3-9 Week Eight:

Assemble section 5

November 10-16 Week Nine:

Sew the quilt top together!

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Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along – Official Post

Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along

I’m so excited to announce the Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Along!

 

I’ve been wanting to host a quilt along for a long time now, and I thought the Cheeky Churn Dash would be the perfect pattern to make!  You can RSVP for the quilt along to sign up for weekly updates and get insider tips and tricks with bonus material.  I love quilting, but it’s so much more fun to make a quilt with a fun group, right?

DATES

September 15, 2018 – November 16, 2018

Why join a quilt along?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I start a project, I need a little more motivation to finish.  Sewing with a group of quilters and sharing our progress together will give you inspiration and answer any questions you might have while making your quilt.  I like to know when I make a pattern that I’m going to have some help, and quilt alongs are a great way to get that support!  This quilt along will take place on Instagram using the hashtag #cheekychurndashquiltalong.  Use this hashtag when you post your weekly progress so others can see your awesome progress (and you’ll be able to see what everyone else is doing)!

Also, you might be thinking…good grief.  This is right at the beginning of the school year?  Why???  I know.  I was a high school teacher in my past life.  I get it.  I planned this quilt along with that in mind–I know everyone has busy schedules.  There’s a catch up week included in the quilt along, and I’ve divided the steps up into very doable tasks, even if you have a very limited schedule.

The Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt

You can click over to the original Cheeky Churn Dash Post to read more about it and my inspiration for making this quilt.  I just finished making another Cheeky Churn Dash with Alison Glass Sun Print 2018, and I’m loving the gem tone colors in that one!  This pattern is great for showing off your favorite fabric collections or going purely scrappy.

color options

Not sure you have the skills to make this quilt?

That’s a question I used to ask myself all the time when I started quilting.  If you are able to sew a consistent 1/4″ seam allowance and cut your fabrics fairly accurately, you’ll be fine!  And if you aren’t comfortable with those things, you’ll never learn if you don’t try.  6 years ago, I didn’t even know how to thread a needle, much less use a rotary cutter!  Quilt alongs provide great community for asking questions and discovering new tips and tricks you might not have known before.

What will you learn?

You’ll get to practice your 1/4″ seam allowance AND I’m going to show you Beth Helfter’s Accordian Sewn HST™ method for sewing half-square triangles.  It is an absolutely BRILLIANT technique that you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever did without.  You can always use your preferred method of piecing HSTs, as well.  You’ll also get tons of inspiration from other participants in the quilt along.

What will you need?

Fabric Discount!

Jennifer at Knotted Threads on Etsy has joined in the Quilt Along fun to bring all Cheeky Churn Dash QAL participants a 10% discount on fabrics purchased from her shop!  She has a great selection of current and modern fabrics, so you’ll want to take advantage of this 🙂  Use the coupon code: CHEEKYCHURNDASH at checkout.

Schedule September 15-November 16, 2018

September 15-21 Week One:

RSVP for the quilt along, gather your pattern, fabrics, and materials and introduce yourself using the hashtag #cheekychurndashquiltalong.  I’ll be randomly picking one winner from week one (you have to post on instagram with the hashtag) to win an awesome prize!

September 22-28 Week Two:

Starch fabrics if needed (you won’t need to do this if you plan on using Beth Helfter’s Accordian Sewn HST™ Method.  Cut all fabric according to the option you are making.

September 29-October 5 Week Three:  

Draw one diagonal line on the backs of the squares we’ll be using to make half-square triangles if using the Accordian Sewn HST™ Method.  Assemble the half-square triangles and press.

October 6-12 Week Four:  

Square up the half-square triangles to 9.5″ square for the quilt size and 2.5″ square for the mini and pillow sizes.

October 13-19 Week Five:

Assemble sections 1, 3, 7, and 9.

October 20-26 Week Six:

Catch up week if you’re behind!

October 27-November 2 Week Seven: 

Assemble sections 2, 4, 6, and 8

November 3-9 Week Eight:

Assemble section 5

November 10-16 Week Nine:

Sew the quilt top together!

Location

This Quilt Along will take place primarily on Instagram, so be sure to follow along on Instagram and use

#cheekychurndashquiltalong

to participate!  Instagram now lets you follow hashtags, so you can get inspiration and encouragement from everyone participating.  Don’t worry if you don’t have Instagram.  There will also be weekly blog posts with photos and tips, and be sure to sign up for the quilt along e-mail updates! (Just a note–there’s a double opt in for the updates, so be sure to check your spam folder, and add me to your address book to make sure you get the updates)

JOIN THE QUILT ALONG UPDATES!

Rules

There aren’t many rules for this quilt along, unless you want to be considered for giveaway prizes.

There will also be some awesome giveaways sprinkled throughout the quilt along, so be sure you post one picture to your Instagram account of that week’s progress before the next week’s starting date in order to qualify for prizes (see the schedule above for specific dates).

There will be one grand prize winner at the end of the quilt along for one lucky person who completed and posted their quilt top (must be the 81″ x 81″ version) by November 16, 2018.  You’re still in the running for the grand prize, even if you missed posting throughout the quilt along, so long as you post your finished quilt top to your Instagram account by November 16.

The giveaway prizes are only for US participants and cannot be shipped outside the US.  Sorry!

Thank you for joining in the fun, and I can’t wait to start sewing with you!  I’ll see you in the quilt along!

-Joanna

 

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Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Pattern

Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Pattern

Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Pattern

Pattern will be on sale and available for purchase Monday, August 13, 2018.

The Cheeky Churn Dash Quilt Pattern is my newest pattern with a fresh color palette.   One of the very first quilts I ever made was a traditional churn dash quilt, and I just love that block.  My mom and I gave the little churn dash quilt to my Mamaw Florence for her birthday one year, and then I got the quilt back when she passed away.  You’d think churn dashes would make me sad, but I smile and think about what an amazing Mamaw I had and how much I miss her.  She was such an inspiration to me and was an awesome artist.  This quilt is kind of my tribute to her.  I really like traditional quilt blocks with a modern spin, so what better way to make a big churn dash made up of other blocks to show off your favorite fabrics?

This pattern was first featured in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  You can pick up Issue 54 or find the pattern in my Pattern Shop.

Cheeky Churn Dash Pattern

Cheeky Churn Dash is a really fun pattern to put together, and by joining in the quilt along, I’ll introduce you to an awesome new way to sew together half-square triangles.  You’ll seriously be amazed, and you’ll want to use this method all the time!  There are two layout options for making the 81″ square quilt, mini, or pillow, and you can choose the one that you like the best.  The quilt is layer cake friendly and the mini and pillow versions are mini charm pack friendly–great for quick piecing.  This is a great way to use up your favorite fabrics that you’ve been hoarding for ages!  And there is a Quilt Along for this pattern that will start in September.  RSVP to the quilt along to sign up for all the details and save your spot!

The Cheeky Churn Dash PDF Pattern in my shop includes coloring diagrams for easy planning, fabric cutting diagrams to make the most of your fabric if you aren’t using precuts, and tons of step by step pictures that will make this quilt a breeze.

I quilted my Cheeky Churn Dash Quilts in a couple of different ways–one of my favorites was just straight line quilting.  It’s modern and simple and really shows off the quilt without distraction.  I quilted another version with some geometric lines and swirls in the background fabric.  There are so many great options for quilting this quilt, the sky is the limit!

Geometric quilting

MATERIALS USED:

Kona Cotton Solids Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Backing and binding:  Elizabeth Hartman Pond Flower Dots for Robert Kaufman
Batting:   Quilter’s Dream Wool Batting

Cheeky Churn Dash

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Moroccan Tiles Quilt – Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 63

LPQ Issue 63 Moroccan Tiles Quilt

Do you have a favorite crafting or quilting magazine?  There are so many great magazines filled with exciting new patterns, and I have quite a few favorites of my own!  I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you the Moroccan Tiles Quilt in Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 63.

LPQ Issue 63 Cover
LPQ Issue 63 Cover Photo Provided by LP&Q

Issue 63 isn’t yet available in the US, but it is on shelves in the UK now.  I’m anxiously awaiting my copy in the mail any day now!

I designed the Moroccan Tiles quilt because I have a secret love of traditional quilt blocks–specifically the different variations that can be made from drunkard’s path blocks.

Sewing curves
Sewing curves

I used to be scared stiff of sewing curves, but there really is nothing to it once you practice a little bit.  The shapes I created by rotating and flipping the drunkard’s path blocks reminded me of gorgeous tile work and design shapes.

I chose a gem toned palette from some of my favorite Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids and rather than using the standard go-to white background fabric, I love to use Kona Silver!  I like to think it makes the background such a shocking contrast, and gives it a softer glow so the other colors can shine on their own.

LPQ Issue 63 Moroccan Tiles Quilt
LPQ Issue 63 Moroccan Tiles Quilt Photo provided by LP&Q

For the backing, I was dying to use Robert Kaufman’s Effervescent fabric.  It is a beautiful fabric that looks like it has little champagne bubbles overflowing on the entire surface.  The color way I chose coordinated exactly with the colors of Kona Cotton I had selected, so it was definitely a match made in heaven!

I hope you’ll grab your very own issue of the magazine and check out all of the awesome projects and all of the great contributors, and maybe try something a little new this week that involves sewing some curves?  You might fall head over heels for them, just like I did–so you won’t know if you don’t try!  Happy sewing!

 

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Quilting Tips – How to plan your quilting designs

How to plan your Quilting

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you’re getting to enjoy family and friends and all the great festivities that the 4th brings!  In my neck of the woods, it’s hotter than Hades and we haven’t had a decent rain shower since March, so we may not be enjoying tons of fireworks this evening…we’re definitely praying for the little rain shower than is a minor possibility tonight.  Now lets talk quilting tips and how to tackle planning your quilting design!

I recently got to quilt an American Wave Quilt (pattern by Lisa Moore of Quilts with a Twist) for my mother-in-law and thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of my quilting tips for adding texture and movement to your quilt tops and planning your overall quilting design.  Even though I love bright colors and modern-traditional quilt designs, I have a great appreciation for traditional colors and patriotic quilts.  Some of the first quilts I made when I was learning to sew were with traditional, warm colors and American designs.  I’m using this quilt to talk about the 8 things I usually think about before I start quilting, but these tips can be applied to any quilt top.

My MIL didn’t follow the pattern exactly as shown below, but this is the original pattern, by Lisa Moore, pictured below.  If you’re interested in purchasing the pattern, you can grab a PDF copy at Quilts with a Twist (this is not an affiliate link, I’m just crediting the original designer in case you want to purchase the pattern).

American Wave Quilt Pattern
American Wave Quilt Pattern by Lisa Moore – Photo from Quilts with a Twist Pattern Page

Here are my top quilting tips for devising your quilting plan:

  1.  Consider the quilting as a design element of your quilt.
    When you get a quilt top completed that has so much work put into it–much as this one does–it’s important to consider the quilting as another design element and not an afterthought.  In my opinion, a basic meander or other edge to edge can take away from the overall impact of the quilt.Since our goal was to enhance the movement already present in the piecing, we decided to stitch in the ditch, quilt swirly waves, add some stars to go with the theme, and quilt piano keys on the striped fabric border.

    SID and swirly waves
    SID and swirly waves
  2. Examine the layout of the quilt and follow the lines in the quilt to enhance the design.This quilt design already shows lots of movement in the piecing.  I opted to stitch in the ditch on the waves and within the different fabric colors, I quilted swirly waves.  Another great quilting motif would have been to echo the wavy lines within the quilt to complement the already wavy lines.The red and white striped fabric wasn’t exactly stitched in the ditch (SID), since it was one piece of fabric and not pieced stripes, but I followed the lines of the colors and did a faux SID to make it appear that it was pieced.
  3. Consider thread color.
    I used three different thread colors on this quilt–red, cream, and blue.  I matched the thread colors to the fabrics I was quilting and changed them often.  This isn’t always necessary, but it’s important to consider before you stick with just one thread color for the entirety of the quilt.  If you want the quilting to really pop, then using just one of those colors–like cream would be a great idea.  The cream will blend into the cream colored fabrics, but contrast highly against the darker values of the red and blue.

    Blending thread
    Blending thread

    Ask yourself — Do I want my quilting to blend or POP?  If your goal is great subtle quilting, then select your thread colors to blend or melt into the fabric.  If your goal is high contrast quilting that will POP against your fabric, select thread colors that contrast with the fabric.
    Also, if you’re a beginning quilter, matching your thread colors to your fabric colors will help conceal any minor mistakes you might make.  This is a great confidence building technique to get you started on your quilting journey!

  4. What color is your backing?
    Some people prefer the quilting to blend into the backing, but in this case, the red and blue threads really pop on the cream colored muslin that was used for the backing.  It’s a good idea to think about your backing and what the quilting will look like on the back prior to starting quilting.

    Backing
    Backing
  5. Look at your borders (if there are borders).
    So there were two “borders” on this quilt top.  The outer border was a dark navy blue, and the inner border was the red and white striped fabric.  I quilted stars that connected to each other in navy blue thread on the outer border and the faux SID on the striped fabric.  It’s a little difficult to see because of the thread matching, but it’s there :).  Select quilting motifs that will complement your border designs.

    Border designs
    Border designs
  6. Think about the theme of the quilt.
    In this case, the theme is pretty straightforward.  It’s obviously a patriotic themed quilt, so think about designs that go with that theme.  Stars, stripes, waves, etc. would all be good choices to go with this quilt top.  maybe you have a quilt top that has cats on it, and the cats are made from triangles–you could quilt triangle motifs in the borders, or a ball of yarn, or little mice.  Stars probably wouldn’t be a good choice to go with a cat quilt, so you’d want to pick something in theme with the quilt top.
  7. Evaluate the purpose of the quilt. 
    This will help you decide the density of quilting that is appropriate and what type of batting you may want to use.  If it’s a quilt that’s going to be a wall hanging, you’d probably want to use a stiffer batting, or maybe double batt with a puffy top like wool.  If the quilt is intended to be used often, you might select a poly-cotton blend  or 100% cotton-something that would stand up to being washed and laundered frequently.The batting you select might also dictate how far apart the quilting can be.  If you buy packaged batting, it will usually tell you how far apart the quilting lines can be (example-up to 8″ apart).  Keep in mind the denser the quilting, the stiffer it will feel.  A looser quilted quilt will be softer and drape better than a heavily quilted one.
  8. Stitch in the ditch might be a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it.
    I’m a big fan of SID.  I haven’t ever quilted a quilt with stitch in the ditch and regretted it, but there have been instances where I didn’t do it and wished I had.  It gives the overall quilt a more finished look (in my opinion), and a very polished look.

    SID detail
    SID detail

    The overall idea is to think of your quilting plan and how it will affect the overall impact of your finished quilt.  These 8 tips are small things you can consider that will really impact your finished quilt.  I hope these tips are helpful in planning your next quilting project!  Have a safe and happy 4th, and happy quilting 🙂

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Wonky Logs Quilt Release!

Wonky Logs Quilt

Who loves free quilt patterns??  I do!  Today is the release day for the Wonky Logs Quilt Pattern (if you subscribe to my newsletter, you got access early!), and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Wonky Logs Quilt Pattern
Wonky Logs Quilt Pattern

I don’t know about you, but when I started sewing a few years ago, I had absolutely zero intention of ever making clothing.  The thought of doing so actually made me break out into a cold sweat.  (I promise I’m getting to the quilt–hang in there for just a hot minute!)  I can still remember sitting on my mom and dad’s bed, worrying over a dress pattern that my mom desperately wanted to make for me.  We (I say we, but I was mostly there for moral support 😉 had managed to cut the pattern pieces out of the flimsy tissue paper, and pinned it to the fabric that was destined to be the dress.  I honestly can’t recall what happened after that, but I don’t think were able to finish it.  I remember the feeling of frustration and not understanding the horribly written pattern that was intended for beginners.  It was even more frustrating because my Mamaw was an excellent seamstress, and my mom didn’t inherit those skills, or really want to.  Her calling is gardening and home making, and she does it all perfectly.  My point in telling you this story is that it left me with a bad taste in my mouth for sewing.  I didn’t attempt any kind of sewing related feat, with the exception of cross stitch, for the next 20 years.

Some angled straight line quilting on my Wonky Logs Quilt
Some angled straight line quilting on my Wonky Logs Quilt

Fast forward 20 years, and I’ve gotten the basic knowledge down of quilting.  I joined a modern quilt guild and went on a retreat where many of the members were making their first (or second or third) garments.  I decided they could have it and waited another couple of years before finally sewing my very first School House Tunic by Sew Liberated.  It wasn’t pretty, but I wore it with so much pride, you’d have thought it was Chanel (the pattern is great–it wasn’t pretty because my fabric choices were A-W-F-U-L).  That feeling of accomplishment and pride–isn’t that what we all get when we complete a new challenging project?  I want to encourage you to broaden your horizons and challenge yourself to take on the sewing tasks you think you’re not good enough for.  That’s how I felt with garments.  And now I am obsessed with sewing my own clothing and clothing for my daughter and husband.  I’d like to help you get there.

Okay, that was a long intro, but I needed to tell you WHY I wrote the Wonky Logs Quilt pattern.  It’s free.  It’s fat quarter friendly!  It’s a quilt pattern you can put together with your serger.

Bust out your serger!
Bust out your serger!

WHAT???  Yup.  (Don’t run away just yet–you can piece it with your sewing machine too)  If you don’t have a serger, no worries.  You can still use the pattern with a traditional sewing machine and a 1/4″ seam allowance just like normal.  If you DO have a serger, and it’s sitting in the corner of your closet with old raincoats and Halloween decorations, then it’s time to pull that puppy out and dust it off.  Give it a little cleaning, find the manual and give it some oil, if necessary.  Think of this quilt pattern as your gateway pattern to garments.  You can still have fun picking out your fabrics and making a really gorgeous quilt, but you can do it while getting to know your serger a little better.  Starting to work with “wovens” with your serger will take a lot of the intimidation out of it because your fabrics won’t be stretchy like knits are.  I’ll be posting more on some fun garment construction and sharing some tips with you along the way, but for now–grab your free copy of the Wonky Logs quilt pattern and gather your fabric and have fun!!!

Picking your fabrics is half the fun!
Picking your fabrics is half the fun!
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Making it Fun Quilt – Spring Quilt Market 2018

Spring Quilt Market Quilt for Michael Miller

Guys!!!  I’m so excited to finally be able to share my project for the Michael Miller Spring Quilt Market booth.  They sent me fat quarters of their new has dot blenders and their marbled fabrics, along with some coordinating Cotton Couture solids and told me to make something fun and rainbow-y!  Is that a dream assignment, or what??  I narrowed it down to 48 unique fabrics that I wanted to use in the quilt, and lined them up:

Spring Quilt market
Holy cow!!! 48 different fabrics!

I numbered them and then numbered the design I had mocked up in EQ8, but it was starting to get a little crazy.  I ended up having to make a smaller swatch card because some of the fabrics were so similar in color and shade that I was starting to go cross-eyed flipping through that stack.

Spring Quilt Market
Swatch Card

I very rarely make swatch cards, but I found it to be very necessary with this quilt.  I designed a foundation paper piecing block in EQ8 and then rotated it slightly to complete the design.  The piecing went really quickly and I just needed to double check that I had the correct fabric for each block before I started sewing.  I’ll admit, there was a good amount of seam ripping to be had with this one!

FPP
Foundation Paper Pieced Blocks stacked and ready to go!

I used my new Daylight Company light box to help with the foundation paper piecing, and I really love how thin and lightweight the unit is.  I had a very bulky, cumbersome light box in the past and recently upgraded to this one.  It’s been such a nice treat to have one that doesn’t take up all of my cutting mat.  I also used Adobe Illustrator to help design the applique text in the right size and fonts, then tiled the pages to make a huge pattern.  I hand cut each letter and symbol out, then used the paper as a template to trace onto the white fabric for the applique.  I used Misty Fuse on the backside of the white Cotton Couture and then cut out each letter.  It was pretty time and labor intensive, but I love how it turned out.

My EQ layout compared to the quilt top, prior to adding applique
My EQ layout compared to the quilt top, prior to adding applique

I did come up with a slight problem in getting the applique on straight, centered, and spaced equally.  Usually, I would just use a big window and tape the quilt in place or trace where the letters needed to be, but I decided to buy a cheap portable projector and project the original applique design onto the quilt while it hung, and then I positioned the letters in place with a small amount of glue from an Elmer’s glue stick.  Once they were in position, I lightly fused them into place and then took the quilt top to my Janome MC9400 to complete the applique blanket stitching around each individual letter (that took about a day and a half!).

projector
Using the portable projector to project my applique design onto the quilt

Once I finished the applique, it was time to throw it on the longarm for quilting.  I chose just a single layer of Quilter’s Dream Wool to maximize the quilting texture and also keep it fairly lightweight.  Then I quilted some straight diagonal lines with rulers to finish it off.  I opted to not bind the quilt traditionally, but I faced it to not take away from the overall punch of the quilt, and keep the focus on the applique.  I really loved making this quilt and loved the new fabrics being released by Michael Miller Fabrics for Spring Quilt Market 2018.  I can’t wait to get my hands on more of that fabric!

Spring Quilt Market Quilt for Michael Miller
Spring Quilt Market Quilt for Michael Miller
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QuiltCon 2018

Quilting spacing

Well, months have passed since QuiltCon happened in California, and I’m just now getting around to writing a blog post about it.  I wasn’t able to attend, but several of the quilts I quilted did!  There’s a reason I didn’t write this post in a timely manner.  I have this thing where I think that quilting someone else’s quilt doesn’t necessarily give me the right to share the quilting.  I guess I don’t want people to think I’m trying to take credit for someone else’s work.  I also don’t really know or understand the rules about when someone’s quilt wins something that I’ve quilted…does that mean I also share that victory?  I’m sharing this one because I am super excited about how the quilting turned out, and it won a Judge’s Choice Award at QuiltCon.  There are so many amazing quilts and creators in the winner’s circle, so be sure you check them all out here!  A huge congratulations to Leslie and all the other amazing artists who were recognized for their work.

Nests and vessels
Nests and Vessels by Leslie Tucker Jenison, Quilted by Joanna Marsh (photo from the QuiltCon Website)

Leslie Tucker Jenison created and constructed this quilt titled “Nests and Vessels”, and it was awarded a Judge’s Choice Award by Beverly Fine.  Leslie has studied with Nancy Crow and her style is truly unique and inspiring.   L is a contemporary quilt artist and designer for RJR fabrics.  Leslie’s use of color and shape never cease to amaze me, and I consider myself quite lucky that I get to quilt for her.  Leslie had several quilts that were juried into the show, and they were all equally inspiring and thought provoking.

I’ll share a few progress pictures from the quilting.  Leslie requested some straight line quilting on this one, and I varied the proximity of the lines to be distanced 1/16″ apart to 1/4″ apart.  This picture probably demonstrates that the best:

Quilting spacing
Quilting spacing

And here are a few more:

Nests and Vessels
Nests and Vessels
ladder view
Ladder view
longarm view
longarm view

This quilt was quilted with MicroQuilter thread by Superior Threads and the batting was Quilter’s Dream Orient and Quilter’s Dream Wool.  I really love the subtle finish the Microquilter thread gives a project.  You can definitely see the quilting, but it doesn’t overpower the project and leaves more of a hint of design rather than barging into a room and demanding attention.