Dear Stella Designs has a beautiful new collection hitting shops this month- Luna. Sleepy crescents and shooting stars dot the twinkling night sky. I have two new quilt patterns written exclusively for Luna available as PDF instant downloads in my Craftsy shop. Paper patterns are available wholesale, please email me for more information and to order.
Phase Shift is a beginner friendly applique pattern, with full color illustrations and easy to follow instructions. Perfect for a beginner class. 50″ x 50″ finished.
North Star is an intermediate pieced quilt. It comes with full color illustrations and detailed instructions. 48″ x 56″ finished.
The last couple weeks have been filled with some WIP’s that I have finally complete. The Hoffman Challenge Quilt being the most notable, because I actually wrote about it! I also had a couple commissions and a personal quilt going as well at that time. One is at the quilting stage, and the other two are Finished. Phew!
First up is the First Years Memory Quilt
This was a very fun project to take on. I was contacted through a mom group on Facebook, she was looking for someone to make a quilt using her daughters clothes from her first year. The theme was sweet and simple, and I love how the quilt turned out. It finished at 45×60, the perfect size for a toddler bed.
Applique from a skirt lining
The finished quilt.
The clothes were adorable. Its always hard cutting into someones cherished pieces of clothing, but it gets easier when I think about it as transforming instead of destroying. =) Now the pieces will live on a a quilt, and each time she looks at it she will remember a part of her daughters first year. I try to preserve a memorable part of each outfit, whether it is a bit of applique, some silkscreening, or a tulle skirt with a bow. My favorite block in the quilt is in the center of the 3rd row up. It was a princess dress with a bow and tulle overskirt, and a satin lining. I used the satin lining for the name on the bottom, and then gathered the overskirt into the 6″ block.
I also finally hung the mini wall hanging I made a couple months ago. It was supposed to be for a swap but my machine tension was all goobered. Once I got the tension issues fixed I took it to the Free Motion Quilting Class that the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild put on. It was a great class, and not just because I got to go sew on a Sunday afternoon! It was super informative, and I managed to get the tension issues ironed out.
Compass Star Mini Quilt
The finished size is 24″x24″. I used some of my coveted Kaufman Fusions stash for the green spikes between the Star points, and some leftover ivory text print from the Canadian Cottage line by Robyn Pandolph. The entire color scheme was insired by a pink/green batik in my stash. I used it for the outside corners.
I designed the quilting pattern myself. I have been practising my feathers, and I am very happy with how it turned out. I used a very very pale seafoam green thread for the quitling, and it worked very nicely with all the colors involved. This one is hanging in my kitchen until my mother comes to visit. Then I am sure it will be found somewhere in her house, which is fine by me =)
Its been a busy week here at Stacey in Stitches. The giveaway was a great success, and I have been working on a couple things here and there that the deadlines are coming up, so I am going to be working pretty hard the next month or so. My latest finish is a baby quilt for my neighbor. She asked for a gender neutral baby quilt, and you know what? Gender neutral is kinda hard! I mean, whats left when you eliminate blue and pink (or red)? Yellow and green. Yellow and green gets pretty old pretty quick, and can still end up looking feminine.
I found the perfect compromise in a charm pack of the pastel rainbow prints of Noteworthy by Sweetwater for Moda. The blues are soft and the reds don’t appear pink, which is hard to do in a pastel red. Coupled with a cute alphabet print border and voila! A true gender neutral baby quilt.
I used a Micheal Miller Fairy Frost in Gold/Orange for the border, it picked out the oranges and yellow really well. I used the grey charms left over to make prairie points and put them in opposite corners.
I didn’t use the actual note print from Noteworthy. I liked them, but the idea of having a note that said “Adopt a Baby” on a baby quilt seemed a little strange. Most of the notes were just a little too adult. The border print more than makes up for it with some lovely phrases beside each letter of the alphabet. I regret not writing down the print name or designer (honestly I forgot) so if anyone knows please let me know
I did try to fussy cut the words so they were all in a straight line, but it actually printed off like that so the words wobble up and down across the width of the fabric. I like it this way, it adds some nice movement and will act as a sort of eye spy, follow the letters kind of thing!
My neighbor loved it and that makes me happy. There is nothing that I like better than making the perfect quilt for someone!
Up next is a memory quilt for a new client and my Hoffman Challenge for 2013. Roar!
At the Creative Stitches show last month I picked up a couple charm packs that were on sale for a great price. I was super excited to find a pack of Ten Little Things by Jenn Ski for Moda. I needed to make a little boy quilt, and Ten Little Things is the perfect collection for a little boy, regardless of whether you have the panels or not.
I looked for a pattern or tutorial to make a baby/toddler quilt with just one charm pack and a few fat quarters, Moda Bake Shop has quite a few excellent tutorials and freebies, but I couldn’t find one that seemed just right. I decided it was long past due for a tutorial here and drafted one up.
I drafted out what I wanted in EQ7 and started cutting. I chose Kona Snow for my sashing and borders, mostly because you can get a full 45″ long strip from Kona after you trim it, and push it to 45 1/2″ if you don’t mind a little selvage in your seams.
Its the Ten Little Things Toddler Quilt!
1 Charm Pack
10 Fat Quarters for backing, binding and HST’s
1.5 yards Kona Snow (or other Kona Solid) for sashing and border
The layout sheet is a good visual reference to have on hand for the placement of your squares, the layout of the diagonal strips and the orientation of the filler triangles.
Cut 14 strips 2.5″xWOF
From the strips cut the following lengths;
1-5: 9 @ 5″ (45 total from 5 strips)
6: 3 @ 5″, 2 @ 9.5″, 2 @5.5″7: firstname.lastname@example.org″
Set the sashing strips aside.
Cut 2 Strips 3″xWOF for horizontal borders
Cut 3 Strips 5″xWOF for Vertical Borders. Cut one of the strips in half and sew one half to each of the remaining two strips, sewing so close to the selvedge that the seam allowances are all selvedge. This will give you the most usable non-selvedge fabric in your border possible. ( I sew my seam exactly on the dotted lines)
Set the Border Strips Aside.
From 8 Fat Quarters cut 1 5.5″ Square (8 total). Draw a line from corner to corner an stay stitch 1/4″ from either side of the line.
This will help keep the quilt from stretching on the bias as it is sewn together. Cut the 8 squares in half to make 16 Half Square Triangles . Set Aside.
Square up the remainder of the 8 fat quarters. Keep all the selvages and scraps.
Remove 3 squares from your Charm Pack (or the amount needed to) leaving 39 remaining. Cut 2 of those in half and set aside as Half Charm Triangles. Keep the last charm square for a fun label background.
Make your long sashing pieces as follows:
1. Sew the two 10.5″ strips to two of the 45″ strips to make the 55″ sashes.
2. Sew the two 5.5″ stips to the remaining two 45″ strips to make the 50″ sashes.
Set the 9.5″, 22.5″, 36″, 50″ and 55″ sashes aside.
Long Sashing Strips
Using the chain piecing technique, sew the 2.5″x5″ strips to one side of the 39 charm squares. Press seams open or towards the darker fabric.
Using the layout page provided plan the placement of your blocks, or, if you wish, make it random. Start sewing your rows.
My “design wall” on paper =)
Makes 2 rows of 1 charm square: Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip RST to the charm square on the opposite side of the first sash. Take 2 HST and sew one to either ends of your row so the long angles (hypotenuses) are pointing in the same direction. Trim
Make 2 rows of 3 charm squares: Sew three charm squares RST, square to sash. Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip to the end of the row. Take 2 HST and sew to the ends of your row as above. Trim
Make 2 rows of 5 charm squares: Sew five charm squares RST, square to sash. Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip to the end of the row. Take 2 HST and sew to the ends of your row as above. Trim
Make 3 rows of 7 charm squares :Sew seven charm squares RST, square to sash. Sew a 2.5″x5″ strip to the end of the rows.To one of the rows of 7 sew a HST to either side, with the long sides pointing in opposite directions. To the remaining two rows sew a HST to one end, making sure that it is the same end on both rows and that the long angle of each is in the same direction. Take a Half Charm Triangle and sew it to the other side of the row, matching the center of the triangle to the center of the row. Trim
Sew the sashing to the ‘top’, or shortest, side of your long rows as follows:
1. 9.5″ sashes to the 1 square rows
2. 22.5″ sashes to the 3 square rows
3. 36″ sashes tot eh 5 square rows
4. 50″ sashes to the 7 square rows with corner HST’s
5. 55″ sashes to either side of the 7 square row with opposite pointing HST’s.
Press the seams towards the sash.
Sew the remaining Corner HST’s to the 9.5″ sashing, matching centers and pinning. These will be trimmed later.
Fold the HST and strip in half to find the center, pin and sew RST.
Start sewing your rows together. You can use chain piecing for this.
Sew your 1 and 3 square rows together, and your 5 and 7 square rows together, setting aside the double sashed 7 row. That row is the diagonal center of the quilt.
Find the center of the row by folding it in half and finger pressing down the sash and square. Match the centers, RST and sash to unsashed edge. Pin.
To make sure that your squares line up correctly in the diagonal, Pin carefully every 5 inches or so, checking that the squares of the row on top match teh squares of the row underneath. Here is a great tutorial from Marje Rhines from AQS newsletter on Aligning Sashed Rows. It is the technique I use and she has some wonderful illustrations to go with her instructions.
Press your seams to the squares. Sew the 3 row to the 5 row in the same manner as above, pressing to the squares. all your seams should be pressed in the same direction, towards the outer corner. You will have two sections of four rows, from corner to corner, and a middle row. Lay them out on the floor so you can get a visual of how the 3 sections will be sewn together, and correctly align the middle row.
Try to keep it out of “helping” hands……
Match the middle row to the top section of the quilt as shown. The HST of the middle row will align diagonally with the first square of the adjacent row, and the long edge of the HST will align with the long edge of the Corner HST. Pin in place RST, using the same technique as above to align on the diagonal. Press towards the squares.
Match the middle row to the top section
Sew the bottom section in the same manner to create your finished top.
Trimming and Finishing
The quilt now needs to be trimmed and squared before you can add your borders. By stay-stitching the HST’s before sewing them into the rows you have helped prevent them from stretching too much on the bias.
Start by trimming your corners. Take the largest square ruler you have, mine is 12″x12″, and place it on one corner of your quilt. Arrange it so that the 45 degree line on the ruler is lined up with the center of the squares in the diagonal row, and the edges of the ruler with the edges of the border HSTs. Trim along both sides of the ruler.
Trim the remainder of the borders, using the corners as your guide.
Lay your quilt flat on the floor after pressing. If the quilt doesn’t lay flat it needs to be eased back into shape using steam.
Before Steam-easing: Border strip matches exactly the long sides, but the quilt does not lay flat
After Steam-easing: Border strip extends past the raw edge of the quilt top and the quilt lays flat.
This next step can be done either on your ironing board or on a iron-safe carpet, depending on how confident you are with your easing. Starting with the top and bottom (shortest sides) take your longest ruler and match the corner of the ruler to the corner of the quilt. The corners are the only edges that are on grain. Using the corners as a guide, ease the raw biased edges under the ruler, pushing towards the corners slightly, so the raw edges are aligned with the edge of the ruler. Remove the ruler, spritz with water, and firmly press using full steam for a few sections.
Lift and press the iron instead of running it along the raw edge, this will prevent the bias from stretching back out. Repeat the process starting at the opposite corner on the same side (laying out on the floor is good if possible, because you can use 2 rulers and line everything up and steam all at once instead of in sections.) Pin one of the 3″ border strips RST to the freshly eased raw edge of the quilt every couple inches, and sew with the border against the presser foot and the quilt top against the feed dogs (again, to help prevent more stretching). Repeat for the opposite side, press the seams towards the borders, and trim.
Repeat for the long sides, using the 5″ border strips.
Square and trim your quilt once more, checking to make sure the center of the quilt lays flat within the borders. Your quilt should measure approx 45″x60″ depending on your trimming.
Piece your fat quarters together to make the backing that is a little bigger than the front. Cut the rest into 2″ strips for your binding. You will need approx 215″ of binding.
Seeing the pictures on my fellow Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild blogs and Facebook makes me wish I were in Texas right now! Especially since its raining and 3 degrees here. *sigh* all the pictures of pretty fabrics and booths and quilts…..
So to cheer myself up I have been drinking lots of yummy yummy coffee and window shopping boots on Amazon.
Oh, and working on a special client order.
I was contacted a couple weeks ago through my mom group by a family that wanted to honor their fathers memory. He passed away a year ago in March, and the quilt is a surprise for their mother. We finished the design process and I have started the quilt. There will be pictures printed on to fabric interspersed into the white background as well.
I love making memory quilts. They are the perfect way to honor someones passing, commemorate an occasion, or save happy memories (I can’t believe you used to FIT THAT) I have been saving all of H’s baby clothes, the ones I simply cannot bear to part with, and when I have enough I am going to make myself a little wall hanging of them. Maybe a large swoon block with each piece a different outfit.
I drafted up the quilt in my EQ7. I really enjoy that program, though for some of my super duper custom crazy paper pieced extravaganzas it gets a little overloaded I have crashed the program more times than I can count trying to do something super intricate.…
The EQ version
The quilt will be made in strips instead of half square triangles because of the different clothing weights and stretches. There are quite a few knits and some heavier thermal type shirts, as well as a selection of beautiful handkerchiefs. I have pieced the inner star with fussy-cut handkerchiefs and the very outer borders will be handkerchiefs as well.
Center Star-not the best picture as it was taken with my phone, but you get the idea =)
I hope to have the quilt finished an bound by the end of the month. I am heading back to work in less than 2 weeks, and I still have a list of things to finish.