Child’s Play Quilts Blog Hop

Welcome to the official launch and the kickoff of the online book tour for my brand new book, Child’s Play Quilts!

It has been quite a journey from rough sketches to finished book.  40 quilts, 20 patterns, 2 years, 1 new baby, and countless hours later, I finally have a hard copy in my hands. I will fully admit to shedding tears of joy. It has been a surreal experience up until this point. I love the finished result and I know you will too! Every little bit, from the fabric choices to the designs, the batting to the quilting and binding, every element has been carefully curated with children in mind. I wanted my quilts to be fun, friendly, and colorful!

Rainbow Brights. Photo courtesy of C&T Publishing

There are 20 patterns, split between pieced and applique. I have also included a large section of sorting and organizing your scraps and stash, making it quick and easy to pull fabrics and to create a balanced collection of print and color. The color section is direct and gives my formula for successful fabric pulls. A huge thank you to Anne Sullivan of @play-crafts who took some wonderful photos to illustrate that chapter.

Pinwheel. Photo Courtesy of C&T Publishing

The next two weeks are going to be filled with fun and photos of quilts from the book, made by a wonderful group of people whom I have come to know over the years I have been quilting. Each individual volunteered to feature a quilt, and many have made their own versions. Each has been amazing and I can’t wait for you all to see them.

Starry Nights. Photo Courtesy of C&T Publishing

I am also giving away two signed copies of my book, one here on the blog and one on Instagram. Make sure to follow along each day to enter!

Here is the schedule of participants. They are a truly talented group of people, so you won’t want to miss out. Click a name to visit their website or Instagram feed on their day, and be sure to come back and leave me a comment. You can leave one comment each day, and each is an entry to win a book. Of course, if you simply cannot wait to win a book, I also have signed copied available in my Etsy shop, which you can find by clicking here.

Brett Lewis @naturalbornquilter                  April 9th

Cheryl Brickey @MeadowMistDesigns         April 9th

Karen Foster@CapitolaQuilter                       April 10th

Cathy Mackay @cathysmithmackay             April 10th

Fiona Kelly @tangledblossom                       April 11th

Jackie White @jackiesartquilts                      April 11th

Jean Jones @sew_catstudio                           April 12th

Reece Montgomery @reecemontgomery     April 12th

Carl Hentsch @3dogdesignco                       April 13th

Brooke Sellmann @sillymamaquilts             April 13th

Kaitlyn Howell @knotandthread                  April 14th

Amy Gunson @badskirt                             April 14th

Kelly Bowser @kelbysews                              April 15th

Karis Hess @themodernsewist                     April 15th

Sara Lawson @sewsweetness                        April 16th

Leslie Meltzer @lelliebunny                          April 16th

Pamela Morgan @sweetlittlestitches            April 16th

Amy Garro @13spools                                    April 17th

Stephanie Perrins @stitchandbobbin          April 17th

Chelsea @Pinkdoorfabrics                            April 18th

Michelle Wilke @ml_wilkie                          April 18th

Tiffany Sepulveda @sewtiffany                     April 19th

Rachael Riechmann @sewilearned               April 19th

Pamela Lincoln @mamaspark59                  April 20th

Kate Maryon @katydidklm                           April 20th

 

Thank you all so much for your support over the years. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you, more than words could possibly ever express. This has been an incredible journey to make it here.

With all my love and gratitude,

Happy Stitching!

Modern Plus Sign Quilts blog hop

Welcome to my stop on Day 4 of the Modern Plus Sign Quilts blog hop! I am here to wax poetic on behalf of Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs and Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms , two wonderfully talented designers who have taken the simple Plus Sign block and turned it into 16 extraordinary quilt designs. I knew immediately upon seeing the cover of Modern Plus Sign Quilts that I needed to have it in my library.

Each quilt is a unique take on the plus sign. There is a project for every skill level, from fun and simple to gorgeous and complex. Flipping through the book, there was no question which quilt I wanted to make, and what fabrics I wanted to use. I was immediately drawn to it out of all my favorites.

My third favorite quilt is Cute as a Button. I love the negative space plus signs. I want to make these extra large for a full size bed quilt!

My second favorite quilt is Celestial. It is one of the cover quilts, and I could immediately picture this is soft and bright yellows with a deep twilight navy background. This will be the next quilt I make for the boys.

And of course, my favorite quilt from the book, Postage Plus!

I knew this was the quilt for me to make. I have been hoarding half a jelly roll of Tula Pink Birds and the Bees, waiting for the right project to come along. The construction was SUPER FAST for this quilt. I made it in about 6 hours, so its perfect for a last minute gift or a quick fun project. It is also the perfect project to teach someone to quilt. The instructions are clear, concise, and piecing is easy enough to build confidence quickly.

I quilted in straight lines and used my two favorite Freespirit solids – Mist and Manatee – for the background stripes. This quilt lives on my couch and adds the perfect splash of color to my space.

I hope you enjoyed my stop. be sure to check out all the other Postage plus quilts today, and have a peek back at the prevous days to see all teh wonderful quilts! Cheryl and Paige will be runnig giveaways each day as well, so make sure to visit their websites for all the fun!

You can purchase your own copy of Modern Plus sign quilts directly from Cheryl’s Etsy Shop or Paige’s Etsy shop!

MODERN PLUS SIGN BOOK HOP SCHEDULE

Monday, March 12th
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Tuesday, March 13th
Soma @ Whims and Fancies
Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter <—YOU’RE HERE
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts

Wednesday, March 14th
Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
Jen @ A Dream and a Stitch
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Linda @ Flourishing Palms
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Liz @ Savor Every Stitch
Stacey @ Stacey In Stitches
Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

Friday, March 16th
Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Ruth @ Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit
Cindy @ Hyacinth Quilt Designs
Jennifer @ The Inquiring Quilter
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Tuesday, March 20th
Tish @ Tish N Wonderland
Judy @ Sew Some Sunshine
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood
Wanda @ Wanda’s Life Sampler
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Katherine @ Sew Me Something Good

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts
Kate @ Smiles from Kate
Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Carole @ From My Carolina Home
Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd
Debbie @ Esch House Quilts
Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Janice @ Color Creating and Quilting
Joanne @ Quilts by Joanne

Friday, March 23rd
Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Quilt Market Flashback

This past Quilt Market in St. Louis looked like a fun one. I wasn’t able to attend in person but I did have a plethora of quiltings hanging throughout.
Today I want to show you my latest for Timeless Treasures and Dear Stella. Each quilt has a free pattern attached to it.

First up, and probably my favorite, is the Space Station Quilt for Supernova by Rae Ritchie. I love Rae’s design style and it is always a pleasure to work with her prints.

My older son helped me pick the fabric placement for this one. He loves space and one days he wants to be an astronaut/karate kid/hockey player. This quilt gets to live at home with us. HE was absolutely thrilled when “his” design was picked for the collection, and doubly so when he saw the finished quilt. The pattern is available HERE from Dear Stella.

Next is the pattern CHOMP! for the Dark and Stormy Collection I just LOVED the sea theme and immediately thought of sharks popping out of the water. During the process I am pretty sure my family managed to come up with more than a dozen unique shark puns as name suggestions for the pattern.

The shark teeth can be made 3D or pieced. I thought it was clever to use the pirate head print for the teeth. Tee hee! You can find the pattern HERE.

For Timeless Treasures I got to play with a more traditional collection, Zephyr by Alice Kennedy. There are 22 neutral and greyscale hues in 15 unique prints. I loved how they all played together, and the varying levels of contrast meant I could create a lot of depth and texture without adding color.

The first quilt, Halo, is my favorite. I grew up in northern Alberta and at night, with the moon shining brightly, you could often see (what we called) “moon dogs” haloing the moon. The shimmering ice crystals were my inspiration for this quilt. You can find the pattern HERE.

 

I probably overquilted it, but I don’t care! The black spaces were calling to me. I used a deep navy thread for a subtle glow against the black fabric, and to prevent eye strain while I was quilting. I quilted a series of loops, swirls, straight lines, and circles. This quilt gets to live at Timeless headquarters in New York. (Does that mean I get to say I have art hanging in New York? I’m going to say YES!)

The second quilt, Marbled, I wanted to play with simple shapes that make a complex texture. I wanted a tile wall-inspired flow and form to the quilt. Pretty sure I succeeded with that. You can find the pattern HERE.

Next week I will showcase more Market pieces.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

What Shade Are You? Winner Announced!

Today is my turn for the RJR What Shade Are You blog hop! I love participating in blogs hops, it gives me a chance to create something just for me, and have a little fun with all of my wonderful followers (Hint: FABRIC!) This is my second appearance in the blog hop. My first was back in 2015 with my Lanterns quilt Tutorial. It felt like only yesterday, and the ways my life has changed in such a short time, from there to here, is truly amazing. From a new house, to a new baby, to new opportunities within the quilting world, the last 2 years have been busy and scary and WONDERFUL.

RJR makes Cotton Supreme Solids. They are a dream to sew with. The fabric is the perfect weight to mix with anything, and you have 197 rich, delicious hues to choose from.

Now let me introduce my newest creation, Heat Wave!

I LOVE everything about this quilt. The colors, the layout, the quilting, everything. I’m sure somewhere there is a grouchy quilt police officer wagging a finger and chanting “Stacey, you are being prideful. You can’t just TELL PEOPLE you LOVE your own work.” But you know what? The hashtag for RJR is #quiltwithlove . So I just threw this quilt over their head, because I LOVE IT! I want to shout that love from the rooftops!

I picked an analogous gradient of my favorite warm colors and went to town. Each color is a color I love individually, and together they make a perfect sunset inspired palette.

Heat Wave is the perfect example of how a small change can make a huge difference. I had mocked up a different layout for these blocks, something eclectic and busy and kinda neat, but in my near-coma-like sleep deprived state I sewed half the blocks as a mirror image of the first. And I didn’t notice until I started laying the blocks out. After a little head scratching (because I STILL hadn’t noticed what I’d done) I turned the blocks around and VOILA!  Heat Wave was born! I still had to take a picture so I could purposefully do what I just did accidentally (and then FINALLY realized what had happened), but the top came together quickly after that and it couldn’t have turned out better.

The next step was quilting, and I had Heat Wave hanging over the bars of Penny(my Tin Lizzie Apprentice) for almost a week while I pondered. Then I realized it was Wednesday (again, I blame the sleep deprivation). Now I know some blogs are really good at showcasing just a top. Me, not so much. So she needed to be quilted, and quilted now. The funny thing is once I had her loaded on the frame, the quilting just fell into place. I recently returned from a family vacation, where I was able to meet up with a quilting friend. She once told me an anecdote from a famous longarm quilter (don’t ask who, I really can’t remember) and it always stuck with me. The moral of the story is when it comes to thread choice, always take the risk. So I did. I matched the yellow and violet fabrics in my quilt, and then used each color exclusively with the motif. Violet with the straight lines and yellow with the curled meander. The contrasting thread and patterns really worked well to highlight the secondary patterns in the quilt, and reigned in the pre-quilted color chaos.

To top off the perfection of this quilt, I chose to face it instead of binding to keep the colors flowing. Paired with the first really nice sunny day we’ve had in weeks, it felt like magic taking her outside to photograph. Even H wanted his turn with the camera! (We now have a lovely montage of grass growing.)

Now for the fun part (and the reward for reading to the end)! One lucky follower gets to win a bundle of the gorgeous Sunset Palette I curated for my quilt.

To enter, follow me here or on Instagram @staceyinstitches, and leave a single comment telling me 2 things: Where you follow me, and what your favorite color is! Easy peasy! I will draw a winner at 4pm PST Tuesday.

 

Congratulations to number 82, Deborah! I will be in touch soon!

There is also a second giveaway on the RJR Instagram Account. Log on and follow RJR Fabrics instructions to enter.

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!

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AQS Pattern Series Launch

I am so happy to be writing tonight, because I finally get to tell you all about my new online only pattern series with American Quilter Magazine!

We set this up back in November, when I made the Whirlpool quilt, and I have been working away since then on a 5 quilt series. The patterns are downloadable on the American Quilter website, just click here for a direct link. The pattern series will use a variety of techniques, from applique to paper piecing, and will cover a broad range of skill levels.

 

First in this series is Photobomb.

photobomb

Photobomb is one of my favorite designs. Originally for the book that never was, AQS liked it a lot and agreed to use it as the first quilt in the series. It combines traditional lone star construction with raw edge applique and an improv layout. I always thought this quilt would look great resized as a baby quilt in rainbow colors, so I might have to make one and see if I am right!

The quilt was inspired by one of my favorite placed to take photos. The walkways are cement square tiles with inlaid rock mosaics spaced out around the center fountain. The fountain has a beautiful carved sunburst, which always appeal to me and my love of stars.

IMG_4345My good friend Joan at Maple Leaf Quilters did an amazing custom job for me. The white areas are all quilted in a freehand paisley, the black borders have a ribbon candy pattern, and the stars segments are filled with orange peel echos. I just love it!

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The layout possibilities are endless with Photobomb. The background can be plain solid, or pieced with smaller sashes, the stars can be put anywhere you want, borders can be replaced with facings, the list goes on!

I am going to be offering this quilt as a workshop, so if you or your guild is interested, please feel free to contact me. I have a lot of tips and tricks to share and techniques to teach.

As usual, I want to see what you are making! Tag me on Instagram @staceyinstitches, #photobombquilt, send me an email, or upload your quilt to the Stacey Day Quilts group on Flickr.

Happy Stitching!

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It’s Worth WHAT?!?- The Feather Quilt and a retreat

Last weeked I had the immense pleasure of attending one of Krista @poppyprint wonderful Quilting By the Bay retreats. Its a 13 hour day full of sewing, great food, and great friends. I managed to find a sitter for the entire day, so I was off and away bright and early that morning.

SDQ retreat

A gorgeous view in beautiful Lions Bay!

 

As usual, I brought waaay to much stuff with me, but I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. My biggest goals for the day were to finish up a longterm project, by BTW challenge quilt for the Pacific NorthWest show, and do my Riley Blake MQG challenge quilt. If I had time, I was going to play with making some Anna Maria Horner feathers, since I love them so much! I was reminded of them from a recent Molli Sparkles post and decided I really wanted to make some at one point in the day.

SQD table

A table with a view, amidst my fellow VMQGers!

 

I did manage to get most of my blocks sewn together from the long term project, but got bored waiting for the iron, and decided to put the rows away ( I know, I know, only 5 seams left, it’s just not a priority right now) and star on my BTW challenge quilt. I made up a design using only the Black to White fabrics, in a very effective grayscale. I had purchased a whole bunch of Cotton and Steel Black and White fabrics, and ended up with none of them in the final design for the quilt. By the time I finished sewing up the 256 Half Square Triangles, I was pretty bored of that too. I just wasn’t feeling it (To put some perspective on my strange mood, this was the first time in almost 2 weeks that I actually spent any time on my machine. I was burned out, and feeling it. I made a skirt at some point in there, but it doesn’t really count. Garment sewing is a whole ‘nother creature from quilting).

SDQ Trimmings

Holy Trimmings Batman!

 

I had a big, bright bundle of Hadley by Denyse Schmidt in my bag, and the templates and instructions for the Anna Maria Horner feathers, and I decided to play around with that. Only, as I was digging for the big, colourful bundle, I instead pulled out the Cotton and Steel fabrics that didn’t make it into the first quilt, paired with a lime green C+S basic (Dotties Cousin is the name of the print). It hit me then, that these particular fabrics together would look exactly like seagull feathers! Living on the coast, seagulls are a stable fixture in the environment. At the beach, in the parking lot at the store, or pretty well anywhere there is a chance of free food. Especially along the pier and beach at White Rock, which is a favorite spot for us.

A table full of feathers

A table full of feathers

I worked my way through the pattern, made a couple tweaks, and had enough strips cut from my fat quarters to make 11 feathers. Perfect for the baby quilt size. I had just enough white to make the surrounds, but had to borrow the solid black for the insides because I mistakenly grabbed an old poly-cotton blend that just didn’t work with the other fabrics (Thanks @FelicityQuilts!). I finished sewing the feathers together at home the next morning, added strips to the sides to make the quilt wider, and then backed it in another C+S print. The next day I booked my time on the longarm, and got to it! I chose a pattern of curved/straight lines and bubbles. I believe its is called Effervescent? Either way, it’s from the book Step-By-Step Free Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli.

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Feathers (Unofficially called Squack!)

 

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Quilting detail! This is one of my new favorite background fills

I color bombed the binding, and then hand sewed the whole thing, label and sleeve notwithstanding. I love my Feather quilt so much, I decided to completely forgo the original design and use this in place as my BTW entry. As I was filling out the entry form, I got to the section that asks if you want to sell your quilt. I decided to use the Molli Sparkles spreadsheet to see just how much, exactly, this quilt was worth.

Feathers Cost Sheet

HOLY CRAP! ITS WORTH WHAT!!!!

Let me clarify a couple points in this spreadsheet. I am an award winning quilter, an author, teacher and lecturer. I have more than 15 years of experience quilting. $33/hour is reasonable for a skilled and experienced artist. Quilting cotton in Canada is expensive, with solids starting around $10/yard and designer prints upwards of 17.99/meter, and Cotton and Steel in particular is at the upper end of the scale. The shop I purchased them from charges 16.99/yard, and I only charged for the actual amount of fabric used. The longarm rental is a flat rate of $60/day. There technically would have been the cost of babysitting and the retreat in there, since thats where I was sewing, but I didn’t include it. Then there is the 23% that the PNW takes as commission for selling your quilt (12.5% for two NFP entities) so that 30% markup is really only 7% for myself. Not much, considering most businesses mark up their products 50% or more ( I worked at a shoe store once, and made the mistake of checking the invoice. Our cost, $5.00, our retail price, $89.99, that’s an 1800% markup!) And Canada Post is mega expensive, even with my discount card, and that cost is a low estimate based on what it usually costs me to package and send off quilts to the lower US.

I never would have put this quilt at almost $900, but there it is! Personally, when I make a quilt for myself and as gifts, I don’t take cost into account. Especially with gifts, because friendship is priceless. But if you go and read through the We are Sew Worth It series from Hunter Studios, Molli Sparkles, and Sew Mama, Sew, it starts to make sense. When someone seeks out out to request a quilt, you are spending a lot of time, energy and money to make said quilt. Our time and skill has worth!

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