Terrace Garden Quilt Tutorial and giveaway *winner announced!

A few months ago I got to play with some gorgeous new prints from a brand new FreeSpirit designer, Amy Reber. Her debut line, Posy, is a visual wonderland of bright bold prints and colors.

The three individual pallets are perfectly balanced and work well individually together or in a group quilt.

I wrote a free pattern for the line called Blossom. You can find it here. Blossom uses the Rosa color group, but you could easily swap out for Julep or Abelia, the other two color groups (aren’t those names just delicious?) There is a shop as well that is carrying the pattern as a premade kit!

Kit available from Village Fabric Shop

I had a hard time trying to narrow down my favorite prints, they are all pretty great!

At the very top of my list is the main print – Bunches. It contains many of the individual elements in a gorgeous collage setting. This is the print I designed teh entire Blossom quilt around.

Then there is Perfect Petal. I love the purple hue, and the black and white is so striking! 

Then of course is the Sunglow Stripe. All three colorways make perfect blenders.

With my bundle of Posy, I decided to make something quick and simple that would show off all the prints to their finest. I decided to use Half Rectangle Triangles. I feel like HRT are an underrepresented quilt block. They are super fun to make and showcase large prints to great effect.

Say hello to Terrace Garden!

The prints are showcased perfectly, and to soften the hard edges of the block shapes I used an all over swirling design for the quilting.

I used a dusty teal thread for the quilting that matched the prints.


Terrace Garden


A Stacey in Stitches Tutorial

Materials

1 F8 bundle of Posy by Amy Reber (24 prints) for HRT

3 yards Gray (FreeSpirit Designer Solid in Manatee) for background and binding

 

Cutting

From each print cut:

(1) 6 3/4″ x 11 1/8″ rectangle (24 total)

From the gray solid cut:

(24) 6 3/4″ x 11 1/8″ rectangle

(1) 10 1/2″ x 36 1/2″ rectangle

(1) 10 1/2″ x 30 1/2″ rectangle

(1) 10 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ rectangle

(1) 10 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ rectangle

(1) 10 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ rectangle

(2) 6 1/2″ x 10″ rectangles

(7) 2 1/4″ x WOF strips for binding *to use a print binding you need 1/2 yard of fabric

Instruction

All seam allowances are 1/4″. Press seams open.

1. Stack the print 6 3/4″ x 11 1/8″ rectangles right side up in groups of 6. Cut the rectangles in half on the diagonal as shown. Repeat with the gray solid.

2. Sew a gray HRT to a print HRT right sides together as shown. Press. Repeat for all gray and print HRT.

3. Using the layout diagram as a guide, sew the HRT and all gray rectangles together into rows. Press, then sew the rows together into the finished quilt top, matching seam allowances carefully.

 4. Cut a backing approx 68″ x 78″. Layer the backing, batting, and top. Quilt as desired.


 

Giveaway time!

I am offering up a pair of precut Posy bundles that you can use to make your own Terrace Garden. Just add your own background fabric! I will be giving away one here, and the other on my Instagram account @staceyinstitches. You can earn up to FOUR chances to win!

To Enter on the Blog:

  1. Follow me here or on Instagram, and leave a comment on this post telling me where.
  2. Leave a second comment telling me your favorite Posy print.
  3. Follow Amy Reber @amyreberdesigns on Instagram and leave a third comment letting me know you’ve done so!
  4. Share this post! Then leave a comment telling me where for a bonus entry!
  5. If you follow me on Instagram you can enter on my IG post for a chance to win the second bundle.

That’s it! I will run the giveaway until Friday at 4pm PST. Winning fabric is a great way to kick off a summer weekend, don’t you think!


Congratulations

My favorite print is Posy Bunches – Abelia because oh.those.colors!


 

Until then,

Happy Stitching!

Fletching- A free Pattern

It’s been a busy time here at Stacey in Stitches, so I thought I would post another free pattern for everyone! Say hello to Fletching!

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Fletching is another quilt pattern from the book that never was. It was one of the first designs for the book, and my goal with it was to create a large, useable quilt that sews up quickly. I think I succeeded in Fletching. The best part is that it has an improv with intent element to the construction, so no two quilts will look the same. The pattern uses large scale simple paper piecing, so it’s perfect for anyone wanting to get their feet wet. I mocked it up in a few different colorways, and they all look spectacular, so you know whatever fabric you choose is going to look great. I used a selection of my favorite warm, rich prints and batiks from my stash to make the fletchings. Joan Nicholson of Maple Leaf Quilters did a bang up job on the quilting. I asked for simple and modern, and the straight lines in a rainbow variegated thread are perfect for this quilt.

The Fletching quilt went on a long flight recently to it’s new home with J, a childhood friend of mine in the UK. He went on a long vacation that ended up as a staycation, and finally has a proper flat in a charming little town full of old churches, hills, and bunny rabbits.  He was my brothers best friend growing up, and we have known each other since I was 7 and he was 5 ( I think, it’s been a LONG time) when they moved onto our street. I have a lot of happy fond memories growing up in that neighborhood.

When J posted a picture of his room on Facebook, touting the fact that he finally had a real bed and pillows again, I realized he needed a quilt. Badly. White pillowcases and a sheet, it was screaming for some color!

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Every so often, a quilt tells me where it wants to live, and in this case Fletching practically jumped out of my trunk and into a mailbox. I knew it would be the perfect quilt for J. The rich, vibrant colors and multidirectional arrows of the quilt seemed to speak to his life, in which he is a performance artist and now a traveller. His life has gone a direction he maybe didn’t plan on, but he is making the most of it. So I went out on the first actually sunny day in what seemed like forever and captured a few pictures (with the help of my little buddy) and promptly sent it away.

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The quilt has been received and it goes great with his flat. I am so happy that Fletching has a forever home with J, where it will be used and appreciated as a quilt should!

You can find the free pattern in my Craftsy shop by CLICKING HERE. 

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

Dryad Blog Hop-* Winner Drawn!

Welcome to my stop on the Dryad Blog Hop!

Dryad hop button

I am so excited to share a tutorial with you all for my newest quilt using Shannon’s line, Dryad! I met Shannon at Quilt Market last October, and I fell in love with Dryad. The colors are bold and vibrant and earthy, and some of the prints have some subtle metallic details. Shannon is also super awesome and so easy to chat with! When she asked me if I wanted to make a project with Dryad for her blog hop, of course I said yes! Fabri-Quilt sent me a Snack Pack, which contains 42-2 1/2″ wide strips of fabric. It also has a handy swatch chart on the back so you can preview the fabrics and know how many of each print are included in the pack.

 

I have four favorite prints (because I couldn’t pick just one). First is the main print in the cool greens, which contains bits and pieces of each prints in that colorway. The print is reminiscent of Shannon’s Scrappy Bits Applique style, which I think works really really well with the collection. It adds a lot of visual interest and pops of color to the pieces.

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Next is the bright orange print I nicknamed branchlers, because they look like branches and antlers. The orange in person is the PERFECT hue of orange. Orange can be a hard color to pull off, and Shannon nailed it. NAILED IT. Also, kiddo loves it too!

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The next is the text print. The text is a Robert Frost poem “Into My Own” written in Shannon’s own handwriting. At first glance the fabric looks black, but it’s really a rich deep indigo blue that sets off perfectly with the other fabrics in the line and would compliment a lot of what’s already in my stash.

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Next is the leaf print with metallic accents. I couldn’t pick between the gold and green at first, but the gold won out. It makes good almost neutral compliment to all of the other fabrics and I can see myself using it in other projects as well.

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Now, I am always trying to stretch my creativity when it comes to precut fabrics. I wanted to make something simple, but that so did not happen. I had a brainstorm and ran with it, and the result is a full tutorial that uses almost all of the fabrics included in the Snack Pack. The quilt can be made by either a very patient, confident beginner, or an intermediate/advanced quilter. There are two options and you can just continue with whichever option you choose, it’s very streamlined! I added a metallic ivory print from my stash, and a blue binding fabric that looked like water ripples.

Greeting from ~Enchanted Forest~

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I really wanted to have the idea of leaves, and at first I was just going to cut out leaf shapes from my strip sets. Then I started thinking more about the name, Dryad, and how they are mythical creatures that you would probably find in an enchanted forest full of sunlight and unicorns. I thought to myself “If I were in an enchanted forest, I would expect it to sparkle and shine” and the idea of the 3D curved diamonds came to life. The curve of the diamonds create the leafy shape I wanted, but with an added level of sparkle. They are the magic in the forest, the sunshine through the trees, and a perfect skill builder!

I just love how Enchanted Forest turned out, and once I got going I finished in a single day. The top anyways. For quilting, I chose to double up a polycotton blend that was much too thin on its own, and then quilted it in simple straight lines that paralleled the direction of the strips. The result is a lofty warm toddler size quilt. Kiddo simple ADORES the color orange and has already confiscated this quilt. Wish me luck getting this one back to show off at Guild!

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Now, before the tutorial begins, here is all the information you need to follow along with the rest of the hop and enter to win some great prizes!

For a chance to win a bundle of Dryad, sign up to follow Fabri-Quilt’s blog, Inspired by Fabric.  Then leave a comment here letting me know that you are signed up! The giveaway is open until Feb 15th at 10pm Pacific Time! Winners will be randomly chosen after the blog hop ends. You can enter to win from each blog too! Isn’t that awesome! Make sure to go check them out, there are a ton of great tutorials and projects to be had. Also, Angela Walters is offering 10% off of Dryad fabrics from her shop, Quilting is My Therapy, during the hop using the promo code DRYAD. Fabri-Quilt just launched an Instagram account, so be sure to share your own Dryad posts with them! C&T is giving one lucky hopper a copy of Shannon’s book, Scrappy Bits Appliqué, and Aurifil will also be promoting Shannon’s coordinating thread line. So much great stuff happening!

And the winner is Comment #65!

chanzy01 who said”This has got to be my favorite stop on the hop so far. I’ve saved, bookmarked and pinned it so there is no chance I can loose it. I already follow Fabric Quilt and their Inspired By Fabric Blog.” Thank you chanzy01, and enjoy your fabric

Dryad Winner

Schedule

2/2 Shannon Brinkley @ Bottle Tree

2/3 Inspired by Fabric

2/4 Angela Walters @ Quilting Is My Therapy

2/5 Aurifil

2/8 Casey York @ Studiolo 

2/9 C&T Publishing

2/10 Rebecca Bryan @ Bryan House Quilts

2/11 Stacey Day @ Stacey in Stitches

2/12 Kristi Schroeder @ Initial K Studio

Enchanted Forest Quilt: A Tutorial in Two Skill Levels

Finished size: 48″x 64″

Finished Block: 8″x 8″

 

Materials

1 Dryad Snack Pack (42- 2 1/2″ strips)

1 1/2 yards metallic low volume ivory [3/4 yard for beginner]

1/2 yard blue for binding

3 1/4 yards backing

56″x 72″ piece of batting

 

Cutting

From the metallic ivory cut:

(18) 8 1/2″ squares [12 only for beginner]

(10) 4 1/2″x 8 1/2″ rectangles for advanced only

(4) 4 1/2″squares for advanced only

From the blue cut:

(6) 2 1/4″x WOF strips

Block Instructions- Both Skill Levels

Note: To see a photo or illustration larger or in more detail, click on the image and it will open that image full screen.

1. Remove and discard (2) strips from the Dryad Snack pack. Take the remaining (40) strips and randomly sew them together into pairs. Press the seams to one side, and then sew the pairs together to make (10) strip sets 8 1/2″ wide. Press in the same direction.

2. Cut the strip sets into (48) 8 1/2″ squares. You will be able to get (5) squares from a strip set.

3. Lay out the 8 1/2″ pieced squares into sets of (4), rotating the squares as shown so that the strips travel in two different directions. These pieced squares will be sewn together to make a large block with the 3-D shape in the center.

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4. Take an 8 1/2″ ivory square and fold it in half wrong sides together (WST). Pin it to the right side of the first pieced square as shown, so that the raw edges match in the corner of the pieces square, and the fold is to the inside of the block. Place the second pieces square right sides together (RST) on top. Sew the pieces together down the side with the fold. Do not press yet.

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5. Fold the block out of the way along the seam, so that the folded ivory piece is free. Pin and sew the other side of the folded ivory piece to a second set of pieced squares, in the same manner as before, making sure that the pieced squares are oriented as shown. Do not press yet.

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6. Open the block and lay it flat, to check that the strips of the pieced squares are oriented correctly.

7. Place the two pairs of blocks right sides together, matching the side of the seam allowance with the folded ivory piece together. Finger press the seam allowances in opposite directions so that the seam nests together carefully. Make sure that the fold of the ivory piece is not caught up in the square. CLICK HERE for a handy video tutorial for this step! When you open the block it will look like this:

Diamond Block

8. From the wrong side, gently open the seam allowance of the first two seams at the center of the block, so that the seams all spin in the same direction. Press the block flat.

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9. Repeat steps 4- 8 with the remaining 8 1/2″ pieced squares, to make (12) diamond blocks total. Trim and square the blocks to 16 1/2″.

10. Take one of the 16 1/2″ diamond blocks and place it right side up on your ironing board. Gently fold one the side of the diamond in towards the center, until the side form a concave curve, usually about 1/4″-3/8″ fold will achieve this. Press the side to set the curve. Repeat for the remaining sides and the remaining diamond blocks.

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11. Using a matching thread for each block, topstitch right next to the fold as shown, on the inside of the diamond, backstitching at the start and stop of the seam. Trim the threads or pull them to the back of the block to hide them.

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Assembling the Quilt Top -Beginner Quilt

This section is for the beginner quilt. After completing Beginner step 10, scroll down to “Finishing the Quilt”. Skip this section if you wish to complete the Advanced quilt. 

10. Sew the finished blocks together into (4) rows with (3) blocks in each row, matching the seam allowances. Press the even rows left and the odd rows right.

11. Sew the rows together, matching the seam allowances. Press the entire quilt top. The finished top will look like this:

Beginner Finished Quilt

 

Assembling the Quilt Top – Advanced Quilt

Alrighty folks, this is where the steps get a bit strange, but stay with me! You can already make the 3D Diamonds, so adding them into the rows just takes a little patience and longer seams. The corner curves are super easy, and the 3D geese are simple as well. Also, lots of pictures!

10. Take one of the 4 1/2″ ivory squares and fold it in WST. Pin it to the right side in the corner of a diamond block and then baste in in place. Turn the fold back like you did for the diamonds, and topstitch in place. Repeat for the remaining 4 1/2″ ivory squares and three more diamond blocks. This makes (4) corner blocks.

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11. Take one of the 4 1/2″x 8 1/2″ ivory rectangles and fold it in half lengthwise WST. Pin it as shown on the right side of a corner block. Take an 8 1/2″ ivory square and fold it WST. Pin it in place as shown in the opposite corner of the same corner block.

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12. Place a regular diamond block RST on top of the corner block and sew them together down the side with the folded rectangles. Press the seam allowance right and open the blocks flat.

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13. Place a folded ivory rectangle and square on the regular diamond block the same as you did for the corner block, and pin them in place. Place a corner block RST on top, so that the curved square of the corner block is aligned as shown. Sew down the side. Open and press the seam allowance to the right. This is the top row.

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14. Take (2) regular diamond blocks and pin a folded ivory rectangles in the top corner of each as shown. These will be the side blocks of the next row.

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So far so good! This is where we will construct the 3D blocks that are between the rows. The technique is exactly the same as creating the regular diamond blocks, there is just some prep that needs to be done for each before sewing to set up the next set of 3D pieces in the rows below. The pieces tend to get a bit bulky as each diamond block is added and the rows are constructed, so take your time and use pins. 

15. Take the left side block and place a folded ivory square in the bottom corner as shown. Using a pin or a removable marking pen, mark the opposite corner with the X. This is the corner that will be lined up with the other side of the first folded ivory square in the first row.

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16. Take the first row and fold it back along the first seam allowance, like you did when constructing the diamond blocks. This will free up the folded ivory square and make it easier to sew the second set of blocks to it.

17. Match the raw edges of the left side block with the raw edges of the first folded ivory square in the first row. Pin, and then place a regular diamond block, now referred to as the center block, on the other side of the folded ivory square, RST with the side block. Sew down the side with the folded ivory square, as you did when constructing the diamond blocks. Open and press the seam allowance to the right.

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18. Take the right side block and and place a folded ivory square in the bottom corner as shown. Using a pin or a removable marking pen, mark the opposite corner with the X. This is the corner that will be lined up with the other side of the second folded ivory square in the first row.

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19. Match the raw edges of the right side block with the raw edges of the second folded ivory square in the first row. Pin, and then line up the center block on top of the other side of the folded ivory square, RST with the side block. Sew down the side with the folded ivory square. Open and press the seam allowance to the right.

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Open the piece, and it will look something like this:

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20. Place the two rows right sides together and pin at the seam allowances, adjusting and pinning the ivory pieces the same as when you made the diamond blocks. Sew the two rows together, open, and press towards the second row. It should look like this when you are finished:

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21. Prep a second set of side blocks.  Sew the blocks of the third row EXACTLY the same as you did for the second row.

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23. Take the last two corner blocks and pin the final folded ivory rectangles to them as shown.

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24. Using the prepped corner blocks and the remaining diamond block, sew the last row the same as the second and third rows. Press the top well, then baste the open raw edges down to the edges of the quilt top. Fold and press all of the newly formed 3D diamond and geese shapes. Topstitch them down the exact same way you did with the original diamond blocks.

Advanced Finished Quilt

Did you make it through? Then give yourselves a pat on the pack and a chocolate bar, you earned it! It’s smooth sailing from this point!

Finishing the Quilt- Both Skill Levels

Give your quilt top a final press. Piece together the backing so that it measures about 56″x 72″ (you can make it smaller, but since I work on a longarm I like to have the extra wiggle room just in case) and then layer and baste the top, batting and backing. Quilt as desired! I used parallel straight lines and left the centers black, but there is a ton of potential for custom quilting in the strips and in the 3D shapes as well. Piece together the binding strips using a diagonal seam, and then attach the binding to the quilt. Sew on a label, take lots of pretty pictures, and enjoy!

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Phew! We made it through! I hope you enjoyed my stop on the hop, and if you have any questions when making your own Enchanted Forest quilt, email me or pop a question in the comments and I will help out as best I can.

When you’re done, tag me on Instagram @staceyinstitches or email me a picture of the finished quilt, I love to see what you make!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

 

Good Hair Day Blog Hop *winner picked*

Welcome to the Stacey In Stitches stop on the Good Hair Day Fabric Blog Hop! Today I will be gushing all about Kim’s new line of fabric, Good Hair Day.

 

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When Kim showed me the line and asked if I would make something for her booth at Market, I immediately said yes! I love the sweet, sophisticated, retro look of the prints and the colors. Kim’s signature hand drawn style is so fresh and classic, and really takes the prints to the next level. Her attention to detail with color and print means that every individual pattern stands out, and all work together in a group. Paired with some of the Windham Artisan Cottons (a supple, tightly woven group of crossweaves), Good hair day is sure to make a splash in whatever project you choose to make. I couldn’t decide what to make and what prints to use, so of course I just HAD to make a little bit of everything!

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I have two FREE patterns for everyone for this line, available on the Windham website. Click here for your own copies =)

First up is the quilt Baubles. This design has been hanging around in my EQ files forever, and just needed the right line to match up with it. Good Hair Day fit the bill! It reminds me of the beach, and getting your hair braided and beaded while on vacation. I quilted the background using one of my favorite fillers, which perfectly complimented the lines and baubles. The baubles themselves are made using slice and turn applique, a super simple technique suitable for beginner quilters. I even included my quilting motif in the pattern in case you get stuck for ideas.

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Then, I wanted to try and capture the feeling of freshly cut and styled hair, that fresh from the salon feeling. Using faux cathedral windows to create the curved diamonds shapes , Sparkle perfectly visualizes that salon day feel. I quilted it using a large all over swirl that gives the impression of big, beautiful locks of freshly curled hair. I used a solid white background to make the diamonds pop, but using the blonde braid print instead of a solid white would work as well and give the quilt some warm depth.

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GHD_SparkleQuilt_flat

When the quilts were done and bound, I found myself with a few more days before I absolutely HAD to send out the projects, so I pulled out one of my favorite retro dress patterns and got to work. I used McCalls M7081 pattern and a pair of high contrasting prints. The dress turned out amazing, and I definitely need a crinoline to go underneath.

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Then I decided that a couple of bags were in order. I pulled out my copy of Sara Lawsons Big City Bags, and picked my two favorites- a the Go Go Bag and a retro style Fireside Bowl Bag. Again, I paired some contrasting and complimentary prints, and used the low volume accessories print for the lining. I love the swivel closure, and even managed to find a matching zipper for the gorgeous cherry bobby pins!

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The fabric is hitting stores this month, and of COURSE I just love every little bit of it.

Each blog is giving away a Good Hair Day charm pack, and there will be two Fat Quarter Bundles up for grabs as well, on on Kim’s Blog, and one on the Windham Blog. Be sure to pop by the other participants and see what awesome projects they have to offer.

Monday, January 11  –   Windham Fabrics / Kim Andersson – I Adore Pattern

Tuesday, January 12 –   Erin Harris – House on Hill Road / Terri Carpenter – The Quilted Fox / Cath Mosley on Instagram

Wednesday, January 13 –  Adrianne Ove – Little Bluebell  /  Kristen Takakuwa – The Needies

Thursday January 14 –  Dan Rouse – Piece and Press / Cal Patch – Hodge Podge Farm

Friday January 15 – Stacey Day – Stacey In Stitches / Amy Gunson – Badskirt

Saturday January 16 – Madeleine Roberg – Domestic Strata / Darci Alexis – Darci Sews

Sunday January 17 – Miriam Blaich – The Berlin Quilter / Crystal Chadwick – The Cloth Albatross

Monday January 18 – Pati Fried & Laura Nownes – See How We Sew / Gillian Smith –Coding Crafter

Tuesday January 19 – Casey York – The Studiolo / Nicole Daksiewicz – Modern Handcraft

 

Now for the giveaway! One lucky reader will be taking home a Good Hair Day charm pack, thanks to Windham Fabrics. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! Easy peasy! To win a second bonus entry, share this post with your friends and tell me in a SECOND comment! Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or however else you can think of to share Kim’s wonderful collection and possibly win yourself some fabric! I will leave the comment section open until the end of the blog hop- Tuesday, January the 19th, when I will draw the winner. Good luck and happy sharing!

 

And the Winner is: Comment #29! Janie, who said “Everything you have created with this fabric line is beautiful. Thank you for the free patterns and the giveaway.”

Winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Janie, and thank you everyone for the wonderful compliments!

 

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

The Big Secret

Last year, I wrote a book.

You won’t find it in any quilt shop, or at the bookstore, or online.

Back in October of 2013, I read an amazing blog post about one bloggers experience writing her first book. I had been sketching and playing with ideas for a while, and I was so inspired that I finally wrote up a proposal and submitted it to a publisher. The Aquisitions Editor at the company was wonderful. She was encouraging, friendly, and very helpful. She took my proposal to the submissions team, and came back with some suggestions and changes. More designs, and a change of topic. My first idea, while solid, was too niche. They asked if I could adjust the topic. So I did. After a month of back and forth, I has a contract, a book to write and 15 quilts to make. In  6 months. It was a very short time, given that most books are given 12-18 months for a deadline. But I had lots of support, lots of energy, and agreed.

Fast forward to May 2014. My manuscript was done, the quilts were in the binding stages, and I had planned my trip to bring everything to the publisher and finally meet everyone in person. My deadline had come, and I had met it.

And then I got the phone call.

During the months that I had been busy writing, sewing, writing, and sewing some more, the company had been purchased by a larger book publisher. Which meant changes to the direction of the company, replacement of almost all of the upper management , and a slash to the number titles being produced that year. Unfortunately, my book did not fit with the new image and direction of the company. It was cut from production.

Sitting on the other end of the line, trying to stay positive and keep the frustration, confusion, and sadness out of my voice was one of the most difficult things I have done as a quilter. Fortunately, the call came during one of the rare visits I am able to have with my grandparents. My Grandma, who taught me to quilt and encouraged me to try anything and everything, stood there and held me as I cried.

My son came running over at that moment and gave me a huge hug. And just like that, tears turned to smiles. We started brainstorming about what I was going to do with 15 full sized quilts.

My awesome Grandparents and little H

My awesome Grandparents and little H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It still took time to regain some of my confidence. Although intellectually I knew it was nothing personal, because we put so much of ourselves into our craft as quilters, it was hard not to sometimes think why wasn’t I good enough. It was when I started actively looking for the silver lining that must be there somewhere that I started to really grow as a quilter and a designer. During my writing period, I was put into contact with several fabric companies. I reached out to them again, this time asking about designing the free projects used to promote new fabric lines. I also started shopping the patterns around individually and basically cold calling other fabric companies about designing for them as well. It was a HUGE learning curve. I suddenly found myself awash in technical writing, trying to produce professional quality illustrations and drawings, and full scale templates from scratch. I purchased the Adobe Creative Suite and learned to use Illustrator and InDesign. Am still learning to use them. And along the way, I found my creative voice.

A huge boost to my personal growth was joining the Quilt Design a Day facebook group, and meeting a wonderful group of creative, talented, like minded individuals. On a bid for advice, I opened a group chat with four other individuals from QDAD. That chat group now has almost 51,000 messages in it between the five of us. Everything from technical support to just shooting the breeze, we have covered almost everything in that chat. We have all gotten to know each other very well, and are looking forward to finally meeting at Quiltcon this year. I have been able to build a good reputation with the fabric companies- you can find many free patterns on the affiliate sites. Just look under the Free Patterns on my menu bar. And I have a few patterns coming out in magazines throughout the year.

I have been able to pull myself back together, but I never did get the chance to properly thank those who were a part of the process when I wrote my book. I want to take the time to do this now.

My wonderful husband for his unwavering support, taking care of the laundry and cooking, and reminding me to eat and sleep on occasion.

My grandmother for teaching me to quilt, and being the first person to tell me there are more ways than the “right” way to sew something.

My parents for being my biggest fans, cheerleaders, babysitters, and personal PR reps. (If a strange lady on the street hits you in the face with a quilting magazine, its probably my mom!)

Christine Osmers of Michael Miller Fabrics, Hayden Lees of Timeless Treasures Fabrics, and the team at Warm Company batting, for their support and for not fainting dead away at my requests.

Holly Broadland, Felicity Ronaghan, Amy Dame, Matt Wheeler, Stacey Murton, and Arita Rai, for making quilts and testing out my patterns and providing some very valuable support and feedback. I never would have made my deadline without all your help!

Joan Nicholson of Maple Leaf Quilters, for taking on the huge amount of quilting in such a short time, being there last minute when I really needed it, and continuing to be there for me.

Finally, my son, who inspires me so much I can’t put it into words.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your love and support and inspiration on this journey.

Thank You Heart

I also wanted to pay back the support and sponsorship shown to me by Michael Miller Fabrics, Timeless Treasures, and Warm Company. They provided most of the materials for the book quilts. So I have decided that any quilt made with the sponsored materials will be a FREE PATTERN. I will be releasing them throughout the year. The first will be today.

Linked In- Fabric provided by Michael Miller Fabrics, Batting from the Warm Company

Linked In- Fabric provided by Michael Miller Fabrics, Batting from the Warm Company

Linked In is a beginner friendly quilt that uses rotation in the blocks to create the interlocking squares. I love interlocking blocks and was so happy to be able to come up with my own.

Quilting by Joan Nicholson of Maple Leaf Quilters

Quilting by Joan Nicholson of Maple Leaf Quilters

 

The pattern is available for free in my Craftsy Shop. I am working on a platform for patterns here on the blog, but for now, enjoy! Just CLICK HERE.

 

Thank you to all of you as well, for reading along with me over the years. I look forward to the next few, they are going to be awesome!

StaceyDay_Logo

Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge

I am super excited to share with you all my Cirrus Solids Block of the Month Challenge! 

 

Lattice Block

Image Credit: Cloud 9 Fabrics

 

Introducing the Lattice Block!

Back in July, Amy@Badskirt posted in the QDAD Facebook group about the Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge hosted by Cloud 9 Fabrics, to introduce their new line of solid fabrics.  Cirrus solids are a soft, supple and vibrant line of chambray weight cross woven yarn-dyed solids. There are 21 hues in the collection, and hopefully they will be adding more! The fabrics are 100% certified organic and the dyes are low impact, so not only are they gorgeous, they are ecologically responsible. So naturally the more you have the better it is for the environment, right? I am always up for a challenge, so I started playing with color combinations and shapes. Then life happened, and I had to step away for a while.

About a month later I had a brainstorm, and sketched out some block ideas on a sketch pad I keep on my nightstand (you never know when inspiration will hit). I drafted out a few blocks and plugged in some fabrics.

There are so many variations and options with this block. It creates unique shapes when placed on point or horizontally. You can mirror the blocks, play with the color, whatever you want! Super versatile, and you know how I love versatile!

You can download the pattern and instructions HERE on Cloud 9’s blog. The instructions include yardage to make a 16 block quilt. Below are some of the variations I came up with. You will need a few more than 16 block

Shorelines in Horizontal Deep Sea in On Point

I can wait to make something with my bundle of Cirrus Solids! I hope you all take the time to enter the challenge! The entries are rolling, which means your block could be picked any time, you don’t have to enter every month. You can also check out the past challenge winners here and here!

A big thank you to Cloud 9 for making this a great challenge!

 

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

A Paper Piecing Tutorial

Lately I have been so (sew!) busy, that I haven’t had time to write as much as I would like. I have a bunch of ideas strewn about my sewing room on scrap pieces of paper, of ideas for blog posts and tutorials, as well as some free pattern shares for you all. As I find them I will start working my way through them. Well, those still legible despite cat teeth marks and copious amounts of peanut butter fingerprints (those only happen ONCE, and he knows it!)

Today it’s all about paper piecing, which is perfect because I have a couple of patterns for P&B Textiles coming out very soon that use paper peicing!

Cartwheel Mini-Addapted from Cartwheel COnstellation published in AQS magazine January 2010

Cartwheel Mini-Adapted from Cartwheel COnstellation published in AQS magazine January 2010

Paper piecing, also known as foundation piecing, is a method of sewing your fabric to the wrong side of a piece of paper, stitching down the printed lines on the right side of the paper. It makes piecing irregular angles and tiny shapes a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about your straight and bias grain as much as if you were piecing normally. You can also paper piece blocks made from templates or blocks you could piece normally, it makes for very accurate points and corners.

Supernova

Supernova

 

My favourite method for paper piecing is a combination of a couple different techniques I have learned over the years. The tutorial works for all manner of foundation patterns, simple, complex, pictorial…

Rainbow Star

Rainbow Star

When I paper peice ( I am sure you noticed that I interchange the terminology) I like to pre cut my fabrics. This is how I know that a) my pieces will be large enough to cover the entire area of the foundation section, and b) that I actually have enough fabric to make all the pieces. There is nothing worse than cutting a piece too small or not having enough fabric to make all the pieces!

When foundation piecing it is important to pay careful attention to the sewing order of the peices. The sewing order is laid out so that the next seam sewn always covers the first.

To determine the size of strips to use:

Lay the foundation printed side up on your work area. Find the sewing line between the first and second section of the foundation pattern. This line will be the first line you stitch down, so you use this line to find the length of the fabric strips.

*NOTE* If the first section is a triangle shape, or has a long edge that is also the seam allowance, like the triangle of a flying geese block, then you want to use that edge as the length of your first piece plus seam allowance, and then determine the width. I cut Half Square Triangles for triangle shapes, that way there is less waste fabric.

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Take a large clear acrylic grid ruler and place it over the template, with the 1/4″ line on the stitching line and the bulk of the ruler covering the first section. Adjust the ruler so that it starts at least a 1/4″ past the end of the stitching line. Find the end of the stitching line, and the measurement on the ruler that corresponds with it. Add 1/4″ to that number. This is the length of your piece with seam allowances included.

IMG_4120

 

Now without moving your ruler, find the outer edge of the first section and the measurement that corresponds with it. Add 1/4″ to that number. This gives you the width of the piece with seam allowances included. Write down the two measurements inside the foundation section, this helps avoid a million measurements on a single piece and avoids confusion.  As a general rule, I will add an extra 1/4″ to each measurement as a safety net-sometimes fabric shifts as you are sewing.

IMG_4123

Now move your ruler so that the bulk is covering the second section of the foundation pattern, again with the 1/4″ line of the ruler on the same stitching line. Using the same method as above, find the length and width of the piece. Continue across the foundation, from section to section in the order they are sewn, until you have mapped out the measurements of each section.

To determine the amount of fabric you need:

I use this calculation to determine how much fabric I need:

42″ (the average usable Width of Fabric) divided by the length of the piece = the number of pieces per strip (always round this number DOWN to the nearest whole number)

I then divide the number of pieces needed by the number of pieces per strip, and round the answer UP.

Finally, take the number of strips needed and multiply it by the width of the pieces, then divide by 36 ( the number of inches in a yard). The final sum is the required yardage.

So for example:

I need 16 white rectangles 2 1/2″x 7 1/2″

42/7.5= 5.6, rounded down to 5

16 pieces/ 5 pieces per strip =3.2, rounded up to 4 strips

4 strips x 2.5 wide=10″

10/36= 0.2777777 , rounded up to the nearest whole cut of fabric, which is 0.3333333, or 1/3 yard. 

Here is a handy chart for you to reference!

0.125 = 1/8 yard

0.250 = 1/4 yard

0.333 = 1/3 yard

0.375 = 3/8 yard

0.5 = 1/2 yard

0.625 = 5/8 yard

0.666 = 2/3 yard

0.75 = 3/4 yard

0.875 = 7/8 yard

1 = 1 yard

 

I like to label my fabrics in the order they are pieced, that way I don’t confuse myself if there are lots of little pieces.

Now that we have our fabric pieces cut we can start piecing the foundations.

1. Lay the first fabric strip right side up on the wrong side of the paper over the first section of the pattern. Hold the fabric to the paper and look through the printed side of the pattern, holding it up to a light in, to make sure the fabric is covering the entire section and there is approx 1/4″ extending into the second section for seam allowance. Pin in place.

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2.Place the fabric labelled #2 right sides together on top of the first, matching the raw edges in the seam allowance. Secure the second piece of fabric, turn the foundation over and stitch down the line between the first and second sections of the pattern, extending your stitching through the printed seam allowance.

 

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*Note* Sometimes it’s easy to misjudge the placement of your fabrics when foundation piecing. When this happens you will have to remove the stitches. The cleanest way to do this is with a sharp seam ripper. Place the seam ripper between the paper and the base layer of the fabric and ripe the stitches. The thread on the paper side will remain intact, all you have to do is pull it off and it will take all the extra thread bits out as well.

3. Press open with a hot, dry iron. Fold the paper back along the second stitching line, where piece 2 and three meet, and trim the seam allowance to 1/4”. I use a piece of template plastic and an Add-A-Quarter Ruler to make this quick and easy.

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4. Place the third fabric RST with the second, matching the raw edges to the seam allowance and stitch as before, making sure to stitch at least 1/4″ past the next line or through the outside seam allowance, depending on where the piece is on your template. Continue stitching, pressing, and trimming until all the pieces are sewn.

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5. Trim around the pieces, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance. Often the seam allowance is marked as an outline around your shapes.

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Some people swear by leaving the paper in when sewing. With simple shapes-squares and rectangles- I will remove the paper before sewing the shapes together. This gives a tighter, stronger stitch, I can easily match seams, and the fabric feeds evenly through the machine. For complex shapes, such as wedges and triangles, I will first pin the pieces with the foundations intact to make sure my seam allowances line up, and then remove the paper from the bottom piece, the one that is going to be at the feed dogs. That way I have a line to follow, and I know my pieces will line up. I find that when I leave both layers of paper I get slippage and the fabrics shift inside the paper.

Poppin' Pillow

Poppin’ Pillow

I use this same technique for pretty well all of my paper piecing. You can make so many awesome blocks with it, I really hope you find it helpful!

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo