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!

StaceyDay_Logo

 

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge- Marsala Edition

Well, you all know how I felt about Marsala when it was first announced.

BUT I love a good challenge, and I have always wanted to participate in the Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by Anne @Play-Crafts and Adrianne @On the Windy Side. I missed out on Radiant Orchid last year ( I had all the fabric and forget why it never got done), so Marsala it was.

Marsala button

I wanted to try and use colors that maybe weren’t the easiest to match to Marsala. I wanted to try and bring out some of the other undertones you find with it, while keeping it warm and friendly. I bought a bundle from Hawthorne Threads, and then added colors to my shopping cart until they looked good on screen. Of course thats always a gamble, the screen won’t show how bright or vibrant a fabric is, but I lucked out and got exactly what I thought I was getting. Woo hoo!!

And then it sat. and sat and sat and sat and sat. AAAAAAAAAND SAT. I had too many ideas to try and time kept on slipping away. I started to panic.

When I finally realized I was overthinking things, I took a step back and started looking through some of my books. I came across the pattern “In the Throne Room” from the book Modern Rainbow by Rebecca Bryant and experienced a true blue AH-HA! moment. I didn’t make it exactly, but you can see the influence in the layout.

 

Presenting Trade Winds.

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Trade Winds is 42″x55″. For the background I cut into my huge stash of Cotton and Steel Dotties Cousin in Linen. I think it is the perfect neutral and gives a really natural warm glow to the quilt. I picked eight of the Marsala fat quarters based on their value from darkest to lightest and paired them with the jade and tangerine. Those two hues are very very different, but work so well to pull out the earthy tones in the marsala. I also arranged them by value, so the bars fluctuate from dark to light to dark a pair of times across the strip. In the spirit of doing things that are a challenge for me, I left a TON of negative space. I also decided, after laying the strips out, that alternating the direction of the prints really made the quilt interesting, like a back and forth between the two groups of Marsala at either end. IMG_4457

For the quilting, I took a chance on a variation of a design I saw on 13 Spools. Amy Garro has some great tutorials for quilting, and my favorite is her Matchstick feathers.  I am not quite at feather level on the long arm, so I thought I would do some freemotion large swirls, in part to contrast with the pieced bars, and in part to start getting used to the control it takes to really reign the curves in. As I went, I decided to add some horizontal spaced lines to compliment my spaced bars and add the contrast to the swirls. It isn’t matchstick, but the effect is what I wanted,and the result looks like a cloudy sky with the wind blowing between them. The almost Oriental color theme, the back and forth of the colors,  and the quilting stuck the name Trade Winds in my head. I think it really suits. I used Aurifil 40wt in Sand for the quilting, and the darker thread did wonders for the quilting!

Of course I Marsala bombed the binding with my favorite arrowhead print, which I also alternated the direction of as a nod to the bars.

This quilt is very different for me, with a lot of super bold elements, and I really love it. I am also happy that I was able to use a unique color pairing to bring out the best in the Marsala. I actually kind of like it!

Linking up with the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge.

Happy Stitching,

StaceyDay_Logo

Lanterns- A Tutorial

A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in the What Shade are You Blog Hop by RJR fabrics. I am always up for a blog hop, it gives me the chance to bring some of my Quilt Design a Day designs to life AND give away some great fabrics to a lucky reader!

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Back in December one of our inspiration photos, called Sparks and provided on a weekly basis by a QDAD member, really struck me with its colors and intensity. Taken during Snowmageddon, that particular QDAD design I had flagged in my head as one to do up as a pattern. The timing was perfect, as RJR sent the invite not a week later, and that design came to mind.

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QDAD Spark Photo Courtesy of Alyson@ The Hasty Quilter
Lanterns

Lanterns

I had a lot of fun narrowing down the colors to use from the Cotton Supreme Solids. RJR has 149 solids colors to choose from in the Cotton Supreme line. They have a beautiful drape, weight, and feel to them. They might actually become my new favorite.

I tweaked the design to make it lap sized. The construction is a basic log cabin with a few fun color placements. This design would look great in some of the other color offerings RJR has as well.

Dogwood

Cherrywood- 297, 282, 283, 289, 291, 294

Kelpie

Kelptastic- 342, 348, 349, 327, 328, 300

Patina

Winter Dogwood- 297, 282, 283, 289, 291, 294

Now, normally I wouldn’t just show you a quilt top, I like my quilts to be finished and bound and presentable. However, in this case I am saving this top to be finishe don a long arm. Quite possibly by me. Which is super super super awesome!

Alrighty, on to the good stuff!!

Lanterns


Lanterns Glow Tutorial

Finished Quilt: 54”x 66”

Finished block: 12” square

Fabric Requirements

1/4 yard medium bright yellow (Cotton Supreme 9617-337)

1/4 yard bright yellow-orange (Cotton Supreme 9617-140)

1/2 yard medium tangerine (Cotton Supreme 9617-276)

1/2 yard light blue (Cotton Supreme 9617-327)

1 yard medium blue (Cotton Supreme 9617-300)

2 1/2 yards navy for background (Cotton Supreme 9617-191)

1/2 yard royal for binding (Cotton Supreme 9617-345)

3 5/8 yards for backing

64″x 76″ piece of batting

Cutting

Tip: Use a light spray of starch or starch alternative before cutting to help keep the pieces from shifting and skewing while sewing. Spray on the wrong side and press from the right side of the fabric.

From the medium bright yellow cut:

20 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the bright yellow-orange cut:

20 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the medium tangerine cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the light blue cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 6 1/2”

From the medium blue cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 6 1/2”

40 rectangles, 2”x 9 1/2”

From the navy cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 9 1/2”

40 rectangles, 2”x 12 1/2”

4 strips, 3″x 42″

2 strips, 3″x 19″

2 strips, 3″x 12″‘

From the royal cut:

7 strips, 2 1/4”x 42” for binding

Instructions

All seams are 1/4” unless otherwise stated. Pieces are sewn right sides together.

Take the medium bright yellow and bright yellow-orange 2”x 3 1/2” rectangles and sew them right sides together. Press the seams open to make the center squares.Take the medium tangerine 2”x 3 1/2” rectangles and sew them to either side of the center squares as shown. Press towards the center square. Take the light blue 2”x 6 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the top and bottom of the block. Press towards the center square.

Lanters Illustrations

Take the medium blue 2”x 6 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the sides of the block as shown. Press towards the center, and then sew the medium blue 2”x 9 1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom. Press towards the center.

Lanters Illustrations

Take the navy 2”x 9 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the sides of the block as shown. Press towards the center, and then sew the navy 2”x 12 1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom. Press towards the center. Trim and square the blocks to 12 1/2”x 12 1/2”.

Lanters Illustrations

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Sew the blocks together into rows of four as shown. In the odd rows the second and fourth block will be rotated, and in the even rows the first and third blocks will be rotated. Sew the rows together into the quilt top.

Sew the 19″ navy strips to two of the 42″ navy strips to make two side borders blocks 60 1/2″. Sew the 13″ navy strips to the remaining 42″ navy strips to make the top and bottom borders 53 1/2″. Sew the side borders to the side of the quilt top, matching ends and centers, and press towards the borders. Sew the top and bottom borders to the quilt top, matching ends and centers, and press towards the borders

Piece the backing together so it measures approx 64″x 76″. Layer the quilt top with batting and backing; baste. Quilt as desired. Join the royal 2 1/4″ wide binding strips using a diagonal seam to make a single long binding. Fold the binding in half and sew it around the quilt top on the right side. Turn the binding to the back and secure in place by hand or machine. Label and enjoy!

Lanterns


You could quilt each color individually, changing threads each time, to hide the quilting and let the blocks pop. Alternately, you could choose a medium blue thread and quilt in straight lines that radiate out at angles from the center of the block to mimic the flow of light, and then use a swirl in the yellow sections to soften out all the hard angles.

If improv is more your thing, you could easily make the blocks using varying width strips for a modern wonky log cabin look. Construct the blocks in the same order, using pieces with varying widths, building the log cabin outwards. Use the indigo round to bring the blocks to just over 12 1/2”, then square. Put them all together for some fun and funky movement to your Lantern Quilt.

I hope you enjoy making your own version of Lanterns Glow. I love to see what your make, so please send me some pictures of your finished quilt, or upload them to the Stacey Day Quilts group on Flickr. You can also tag me in instagram @staceyinstitches #lanternsquilt

RJR has generously donated a bundle of the same fabrics used in my Lanterns Glow quilt to give away to one lucky reader!

Simply comment below with an answer: What color are you and why? Entries will be open until 8pm Sunday, when I will draw a name using Random.org.

winner lanterns

Congratulations Michele!

The Winner was #27, Michele, who said “Beautiful quilt and I absolutely love the name for it!!! My favourite colour would be Aqua so #292, #291, and #289 are my colours!! I would love to make a quilt just like yours and it would be perfect for a gift to my BIL!! Thanks for the chance!!”

Thank you for entering Michele, and thank you to everyone who came by to visit!

*Full Disclosure* When I picked out my fabrics I did so without a color card, and what I thought was Navy was actually that beautiful royal almost purple at the bottom of the bundle. I am using it for the binding and back of the quilt. In the meantime, I found the correct color sku for the Navy and used that in the quilt as well as quoted it correctly in the instructions.

2015.04.03 B 2015.04.03 C

Enjoy your long weekend, I know I will be sewing and spending time with family (and eating chocolate, shh! Don’t tell my diet!)

Happy Stitching,

StaceyDay_Logo

A lot ‘a Lotta! Sneak Peek!!

FINALLY!!!

A couple months ago I had the opportunity to design a quilt with the upcoming Windham Fabrics line by Lotta Jansdotter. I love Lotta! I have a ton of carefully hoarded Glimma in my stash, and have added all of my favorites from each of her lines over the years. (I would show you a picture but no one needs to see the disaster that is my stash). I have been keeping the finished quilt a secret, and finally last week Windham and Lotta started sharing sneak peek photos on Instagram ( @windhamfabrics and @lottajansdotter ).

So now I get to show you all my favorite quilt!!

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Meet Playing the Odds! I love this quilt so much! I had a lot of different design ideas along this theme. My inspiration was the name of the new collection: Lucky. I wanted to try and capture a game of chance kind of feel with the quilt, while using as many of the bright and colorful fabrics as I possibly could. I also wanted to show off Jerry the Cat. The Jerry print is adorable and is one of the signature prints of the collection. At Quiltcon Lotta was handing out Jerry patches to iron on to your clothes. I have a pair of Jerrys put away for something special. Probably a bag =)

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My good friend Joan at Maple Leaf Quilters did the quilting for me. I picked a nice big swirly design to soften out all the angles of the squares. And of course I had to take my Lil’ Lotta paper doll to the photo shoot. I have discovered that the park by my house has a TON of great setting and backdrops to take quilt pictures. As long as it stops raining of course. Usually the sun is setting by the time the rain stops, but we managed to get some nice shots.

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The Hubster is getting really good at holding quilts for me, don’t you think?

I almost cried when I sent this quilt to Windham, but I have enough left over to make another one so the Post Office lady only had to pry the box out of my hand a little bit 😉 The pattern will be available on the Windham Website as a free pattern. In the meantime check out Windham and Lottas Instagram feeds or Facebook for more sneak peeks of Lucky and all the great projects you can make with it!

 

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

Work Work Work!

Seems that all I have been doing lately, and not a whole lot that I can share at the moment.

One of the things I CAN share is the Rainbow Confetti Quilt!!

This pretty lap quilt is in the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited. I made it using Color Theory by V and CO for Moda. I love everything V and Co does! The block is one of my favorite asymmetrical blocks. You can really make things pop when you start playing with rotation and layouts.

Rainbow Confetti

Rainbow Confetti

 

I used the Ombre in Navy for the backing and the binding. Oh man, the Ombre!!

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March 1st saw me frantically sewing February bee blocks for the Great Canadian Stash Busting Bee. Since I was making Feb block, I figure I might as well sew the March blocks too! I also finished the March block for the I Love Lucy International Bee (but forgot to take a finished picture, yikes!).

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I also finished this quilt for Windhams new collection, Forest Parade by Petit Collage. It’s printed on organic cotton and is so super cute! The free pattern will be available soon ( I will have a link on my Free Patterns page)

Forest Clearings featuring the Forest Parade Collection by Petit Collage

Forest Clearings featuring the Forest Parade Collection by Petit Collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also have a bevy of patterns out with P&B Textiles. They have some great blenders (I love Dash and Color Weave) and some really pretty prints. You can find links to the patterns again on my patterns page.

I picked up this cute little Lotta Jansdotter paper doll at the Windham booth at Quiltcon (and got to meet Lotta in person! EEE!). L’il LJ has been helping out in my sewing room, coming on photo shoots, and organizing my thread by color ( to match her outfits apparently). She also gave me a hand with some of the secret sewing I have been doing!

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I have some great fun stuff coming up in the next couple months. I am really really excited about it and cannot wait to share it with you!!!

Enjoy your springtime, and Happy Stitching!

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Stacey

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.

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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.

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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

 

Officially a Craftsy Designer!

Woo hoo!!

A couple months ago I submitted a design for the Red, White, and Free collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda. To my surprise and delight, it was accepted and I was able to turn it into a pattern. The nice people over at Craftsy liked it and turned it into a quilt kit! WOW!!

Presenting Celebrate Old Glory!

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Celebrate Old Glory

I love how it turned out! All those stars and squares swirling around! The fabric was a lot of fun to work with too! Vibrant colors, and fun prints that didn’t overwhelm each other. I really like the flag print on the back, don’t you?

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I quilted it using an all over meandering swirl. I chose a taupe thread, which blended nicely with the fabrics and let them take center stage. The binding is actually a panel that I cut on the diagonal. It made for an interesting binding that didn’t overwhelm the quilt.

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I am really over the moon about this quilt! You can get your kit here. It is an intermediate quilt, but if you are a confident beginner and take your time, I think you will be just fine! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @staceyinstitches and upload a picture of your finished quilt to my Flickr group, Stacey Day Quilts!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo