I recently had some fun playing with a new Sizzix die and a color/value gradient from dark purple to light pink. Today I’m sharing a tutorial over on the Sizzix blog so that you can make your own Geese Crossing mini quilt. Since the colors and the peonies from my garden are serendipitously paired, I created a color inspiration palette to share, too!
This mini quilt finishes at 24″ square, and its creation coincided with the fabulous bloom of peonies in our garden. It features a new die called Geese Crossing, designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe and released at Quilt Market last month. It’s a very versatile die and allows for lots of design, color, and value play.
In my tutorial, I share information that will be helpful for all quilting projects, including:
– Tips for creating a successful value gradient in a fabric pull;
– How to get perfect points when sewing geese or other triangles; and,
– Tips to prevent bunching when sewing on an angle.
You can read the full tutorial and see more photos of my project process on the Sizzix blog, here.
The colors of the peonies and the colors in the quilt meld so beautifully together! I really could not help but take a million photos of this quilt with the gorgeous color gradient of peonies from my garden, but since it’s Thursday, I figured a combination of Color Inspiration Thursday and a heads-up about my Sizzix tutorial would be perfectly acceptable.
Ahhh peonies! Such an inspiration!
Corresponding solids from left to right: Kona Dusty Blue, Bella Pewter, Bella Petal Pink, Kona Plum, Kona Cerise, Kona Eggplant
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 2560 – Iris
2564 – Pale Lilac
2425 – Bright Pink
2479 – Med Orchid
4030 – Plum
2582 – Dk Violet
This color palette was created using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1 as per usual, and the matching Aurifil threads and Kona & Moda Bella solids are particularly useful! I will certainly be getting a few of those threads for quilting! We actually had dark magenta peonies that would have matched the darkest purple fabric, but they are the early variety that met their end during a thunderstorm a few weeks ago. Still, our garden provided a lovely fade from the palest pink to a bright magenta with the peonies blooming now.
I love the natural ombres and vibrant colors found in nature and thoroughly enjoy combining natural inspiration with quilty projects. It is so fun to try to stitch the beauty around me into the quilts in my hands!
Where in nature do you find the most inspiration? Flowers? Colors in general? Textures? or simply through the endless variety of growth and new life that appears before our eyes daily?
I’ve been debating whether to show you another mini mini quilt I’ve been oh-so-slowly working on over the past months, since I probably could wait until it’s finished to share. Then again, I love to share my process, and perhaps by showing you each step, you can better see what goes into my thought process as projects evolve. I also think that this project is a perfect example of “use the method that works best for you”. There are no hard rules in quilting, right!?
I’m nearing the finish line with this little one. It features some of my favorite Carolyn Friedlander fabrics, with a goal of playing with transparency in a cyclic way. I created a mini 2″ square foundation paper pieced pattern for each quarter of this mini mini, resulting in about a 4″ square. I used the template I designed for accurate piecing of the center spokes, and then have used different methods for sewing the outer curves.
One of the fun perks of dragging projects out over obscene lengths of time (chuckle with me for a minute, here) is that it becomes a documentation of skill development. Two of the four curves were pieced using traditional curved sewing, and the wobbly, puckery wonk is indicative of my amateur curve abilities a few months ago. In fact, my original plan includes a needle-turn appliqué element over the curve, since I knew that it would most likely be something I would need to mask a bit (possibly a lot bit).
You can see on the green quadrant that there is another dark curved piece added on top of the curve. That is needle-turned and does a fabulous job of covering the little inconsistencies of my tiny curved stitching. Use the method that works best for you, right!?
However, since completing the first two quadrants of this mini mini, I have learned and conquered the six-minute circle style method of curved piecing, which results in an amazingly smooth and seemingly flawless sewn curve, as demonstrated on that blue section shown above.
Quite a few people have asked about this method, and since I have not yet found a tutorial for curved (both improv and regular) stitching using this method, I’ve decided that I need to create a tutorial. I will share that as soon as I’m able! It is SUCH an amazing method that, while it takes a bit of extra time to execute, the final result is well WELL worth the effort. Especially for those of us who may not have fully mastered curved sewing just yet, or who have a particularly high desire for perfectionism in sewing. Or at least who delight in nearing perfection, since there is truly no such thing (and that’s ok!)
I am currently contemplating the quilting for this mini mini, and am leaning toward some simple, large, hand stitching to secure the layers and add just a bit of interest. I also have some travel plans coming up, so as long as I can get the top prepared and layered, hand stitching might be just the thing to take with me on my trip. I’m really happy with how this is progressing, though, and I’m grateful as always for the patience of my quilty friends as I slowly process, evolve and execute my plans for their personalized mini minis. I’ll be sure to share the finished mini mini once I finally complete it.
I think using needle-turn appliqué to hide a weak point in my sewing is totally legit, don’t you? What little tricks do you use to help make your completed projects shine?
You may notice something new on my blog these days, and I wanted to write a quick post letting you know about it–I’m no longer including affiliate links in blog posts. It recently came to my attention that affiliate link payback is actually not permitted in the state of Maine, according to state regulations. That helps explain why I’ve never seen a return from the few Amazon and Sizzix affiliate links I’ve posted! Knowing that, I wanted to publicly announce that there will be no more affiliate links on this blog (and any that are already posted are obsolete).
You can see my thoughts on sponsorship here, and the feelings I express are the same. My number one goal with this blog is to share excitement, inspiration, and project ideas, as well as to create community among us like-minded quilters. I will still link to relevant products and services in my blog posts, since I truly think the links are helpful. If I am really enjoying using a certain tool, fabric, or service, wouldn’t you like to know how to try it yourself? I know I would. Now, though, your clicking through the link won’t kick any pennies my way.
If you still want to support my making and blogging in a tangible way, you can purchase my patterns on Craftsy (if you live in the EU, please purchase through Payhip), continue to support my sponsors so that they want to continue working with me, and of course, continue to comment and share and offer the wonderful conversations I value so greatly. Thank you for joining me along my creative journey, and for sharing encouragement, support, inspiration, and friendship along the way!
Ahhhh, summer is here! The garden has been cranking full speed ahead, cycling through blooms as only nature can. This time of year is a strong reminder to appreciate the moment, since if you don’t stop to smell the flowers, before you know it they are gone and being quickly replaced by different ones! Today’s color inspiration palettes come from photos of some flowers in my garden, but with a slightly different perspective. You know how I love to get up close and personal; well today, I took it one step further. I played with the easy macro band my husband gifted to me for Christmas, and using my iPhone, took some seriously macro (super duper close!) photos of some familiar beauties. Color palettes are made using Play Crafts’ Palette Builder 2.1.
Corresponding solids from left to right: Kona Cerise, Kona Bright Pink, Kona Violet, Bella Amelia Green, Bella Amelia Purple, Kona Hibiscus
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 1100 – Red Plum
2450 – Rose 5003 – Wine 2882 – Lt Fern 1243 – Dusty Lavender 1240 – V Dk Eggplant
This first flower was featured in a color inspiration post last year, as part of a pink/purple color lay. It’s the one on the far left, the purple spray-like flowers. I believe it’s a Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana). This year, I went straight to the heart of the flower, and I love the blurred depth of field and soft, rich color. This Mountain Bluet heart reminds me of improv quilting, gorgeously random yet cohesive.
Corresponding solids from left to right: Kona Magenta, Bella Amelia Lavender, Bella Pewter, Bella Baby Pink, Bella Daffodil, Bella Longhorn
Corresponding Aurifil thread from left to right: 2520 – Violet
2524 – Grey Violet 2606 – Mist 2405 – Oyster 5001 – Ocher Yellow 2145 – Yellow Orange
Any guesses as to what flower this may be? I absolutely love the soft palette that resulted from this fuzzy view down the gullet of an iris (did you guess it?!). Just for scale, here’s a “regular” photo of the same flower:
Isn’t it amazing how simply moving insanely close to a flower changes the entire aesthetic!? I feel like I say it almost every time, but it’s a whole new, beautiful world in there!
A bit more about the Easy Macro band; it’s really simple to use and costs just over $10. I’m not an affiliate or anything, but it’s such a clever little tool, I thought I’d share more information. It looks like a big rubber band with a little round lens on it, and you simply stretch it over your phone, lining up the lens with the lens on the phone’s camera. One tip to getting great photos–get far closer than you think is possible, tap the screen to focus, then slooooooowly back the camera up until you find the focus you want. Take the picture! It’s really fun, and you certainly will be seeing more of these easy macro color palettes. I think the narrow perspective helps you focus more on the color than the subject, which is perfect for color palettes!
Do you prefer macro (super close up) photos, or more landscape/scene photos? I am definitely in the macro camp, but I know there’s a place for both styles of photography!
Today I’m taking part in yet another fun, quick sew along hosted by Fat Quarter Shop. Kimberly from FQS teamed up with Sherri McConnell once again to bring you a video tutorial for a really simple and cute pin cushion, which is being released today. I definitely will be making more of these!
I really love clear video tutorials since I am very much a visual learner. Seeing each step helps make the process smooth and easy to complete without hang up or confusion. That, to me, is a big win!
I decided to make my pin cushion with a range of warm Alison Glass Sun Prints 2015 and 2016, and once it was finished, it begged to be photographed out in the garden with the peonies. Such vibrant colors need to be in colorful company.
I used a Tula Pink ribbon I won in a giveaway from Renaissance Ribbons a year or so ago as the ribbon detail, top stitched with Aurifil 40wt 2230-Medium Peony (so fitting!). I topped the pin cushion with Robert Kaufman Quilter’s Linen, which is a fabulous all-purpose blender fabric that happened to coordinate wonderfully. Aurifil 50wt 5022-Mustard was the perfect thread for hand stitching the opening in the Quilter’s Linen closed, too. I just love when perfectly coordinating fabrics and thread can be found in my stash.
I backed the pin cushion in Ex Libris Bookplate in Charcoal by Alison Glass (Andover Fabrics), and really would be tempted to use the pin cushion upside down every so often, it’s so pretty. This pin cushion is not for me, though, so the recipient can do with it as she pleases!
This is the first pin cushion I’ve stuffed entirely with crushed walnut shell, at Sherri’s suggestion, and I really like the sturdiness and ease with which pins go into it. I bought the crushed walnut shell from a quasi-local, fabulous quilt shop, Clementine in Rockland, Maine months ago but had not yet had a chance to use it. Leah at Clementine suggested the crushed walnut shells since the oils from the nut shells help keep the pins and needles sharp and rust free. They also provide a nice, sturdy base for your pins and needles.
Check out the video below and make your own pin cushion if you want! There’s no such thing as too many pin cushions, right?
Be sure to visit the other bloggers in the hop to help spark your inspiration and see what they did with this pin cushion:
Ahh! Summer is upon us! My daughter has mere days left of school before summer break is officially here! That means all three kids home all day, every day, which in turn means time to take lots of day trip adventures! Summer also means lots more opportunity for slow stitching, and a need to have some hand stitching available at all times. We all know that the day I forget my handwork will be the day all three kids somehow fall asleep in the car on the way to some adventure!
My portable hand stitching kit this summer consists primarily of English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexies and some experimental embroidery-quilting projects.
After a lull in my Carolyn Friedlander modern hexies project progress, I’m ready to pick it up again and baste more hexies! While 2 1/2″ squares work just fine for EPP hexagons, I really enjoy the neatness that starting with a hexagon of fabric provides.
A lovely stack of fabric hexagons ready to baste. I need to cut a few more cardstock templates, but this will do for now!
I am also continuing to add embroidery quilting to my Rainbow Hex Star mini, as well planning a couple small embroidery quilting experimental projects. My goal is to find a way to get the back to look as neat as the front. Practice, right?
Slow stitching on the go is not the only slow stitching I’m looking forward to this summer! I’m also officially registered for the Slow Stitching Retreat hosted by Sam at A Gathering of Stitches this August. I can’t wait to slow down and sew with Sam, Chawne Kimber, and Alison Glass. I’m doubly excited since I will also be leading yoga on the retreat! Just imagine… slowing down, breathing deeply, stretching out, learning from amazingly talented and inspirational quilters, and slowly stitching in the sun, rocking on the rocking chairs out on the porch in the calm, cool woods of Maine. You can read about my experience dropping in on a day of this retreat last summer HERE. I am very much looking forward to spending the full four days rejuvenating my soul with some slow stitching in inspired creative company. Are you coming!? I sure hope so!
And just like that, all of the blocks for Finn’s milestone quilt are finished and my baby is officially one year old. They say “babies don’t keep” but somehow it feels like the past year flew by especially quickly. I won’t even try to pretend I won’t miss this project dearly now that it’s mostly finished. I do still need to piece the top and quilt it, so no worries–you haven’t seen the last of Finn and his quilt!
Within the past week, Finn has fully mastered walking and now prefers it over crawling. He joyfully walks circles around the house, his wobbly steps getting stronger and smoother by the day. This joy of walking certainly made this photo shoot the most difficult yet! I got one, only one, photograph of Finn relatively near his final quilt block, and while it’s not as clear as I’d like, it’s staying.
Twelve months is 12 months, and not even mommy’s most sincere and pleading attempts will keep a newfound walker from walk, walk, walking! Just as a reminder, here is Finn with his very first milestone quilt block, 11 long months ago:
Isn’t it absolutely mind-blowing how much babies grow and learn in such a short time!? Life is an amazing thing.
My big kids brought home a couple of balloons from their cousin’s first birthday this weekend (we had a full family birthday weekend with both Finn and cousin Reagan born 26 hours apart), and they have become the favorite toy for all three kids. (Safety note: Yes, I know that balloons are not technically safe for babies, so I will reassure you here that I only allow Finn to play with the balloon when I am directly supervising him!) I figured giving Finn something fun to hold was my best bet at having him stand still for even a moment.
Even still, Finn would rather walk around than stand still, despite my best efforts. C’est al vie. Such is life with a brand new walker!
Add an eager almost-four-year old big brother helper, and the majority of my photos looked like this:
or, more accurately, like this:
This is part of what I have loved about this project, though. It has given me an opportunity to sit down, reflect, and write about life in the current moment. By documenting each month of my baby’s life, I’m also documenting our life as a family. With our busy lives, how often do we take a moment to write about our day? I have loved that this project has given me the motivation to write, reflect, and document the joyful milestones in Finn’s first year.
Finn continues to have a sweet and joyful disposition, complete with his newfound ability to express frustration and flop himself face down, crying, on the floor. Overall, though, he is a happy boy and a super helper. He loves to help me unload the dishwasher, taking out each utensil and holding it up for me (as long as I’m quick enough to take it within a second or two). When he does that, I always say “Thank you!” and now it sounds like he says, “Thank you!” right back. This morning while I was getting dressed, he joyfully opened my dresser drawer and started taking out folded clothes, tossing them on the floor one at a time and saying “thank you” after each one! Oh, the innocence of babes!
Finn has helped take these blocks off the wall for the very last time. Next up is squaring up the blocks and sewing the quilt top together. I’m going to give myself a month in which to do it, since it feels like an attainable goal. Setting realistic goals is still something I’m continuously working on, and something this project has helped with greatly. As much as I may have itched at times to make extra blocks, or up the ante to two blocks per month, I’m SO glad that I stuck with my original plan of one block per month, since deadlines have a funny way of sneaking up on me. Sure, it took an entire year, but all of the blocks for Finn’s quilt have been made! A finished quilt is just around the corner.
For those of you new to this project, you can see the full quilt layout plan, HERE in the 3 month post. The blocks are all completely finished now, and just as planned! You can see the full progression of Finn and his quilt’s growth HERE or by clicking the “Milestone Quilt” tab at the top of my blog. Thank you for joining me on this journey! I’m not considering the journey over just yet, since I will check in with quilt finishing progress, too, with Finn’s help of course!
I’ll end this post with a few peeks from Finn’s first birthday party. He had such a great time!
Here’s to many more years of growth, joy, and family fun!
Ahh, Friday! We love Fridays in this house, since not only is it the last day before the weekend, but it also means family movie night. I make homemade pizzas, we set out picnic quilts in the living room, and we have a pizza picnic while watching a movie. After pizza, there’s a short intermission for popcorn making and we enjoy the rest of the movie with huge bowls of popcorn and buttery fingers. My husband has a bit of a thing for popcorn, so he makes enough to feed a small army, which I suppose we are becoming as the kids get older! While this week had its share of frustration, I also finally finished and shared two projects. A week with one finish is great; a week with two finishes is worth celebrating!!
I love linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts’ Finish it Up Friday to share in the celebration of finished projects in the quilting community, so I figured I’d write a summary post this week so that I could link up with just one post instead of two. I also have a great giveaway sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop to share to help kick off the weekend!
So here we go–my finishes for the week!
I finished three cute Amy Butler-inspired rainbow zipper bags as end of the year teacher gifts for my son’s preschool teachers and communication facilitator. There is a great video tutorial posted by the Fat Quarter Shop so that you can make your own. You can see and read more about my zipper bags HERE.
I also finished a volcano-inspired quilt with Oakshott’s new Lipari fabric line. This was a much longer term project, taking about 18 hours of work to make, start from finish. I share a tutorial so that you can make your very own Vesuvius quilt if you want! Check it out HERE.
And now, for the giveaway! Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop, one of my lucky readers can enter to win a Tula Pink Throwback fat quarter bundle of 20 fat quarters! The bundle includes some of the most popular prints from Tula’s collections over the past four (4) years, and would be a great stash builder for any modern fabric lover, whether you’re a Tula troops die hard who would pay a premium for these prints on ebay or not. There are also many fabulous opportunities for meticulous cutting with these beauties!
To enter the giveaway today, tell me–are you a fabric designer fanatic, willing to pay top dollar for rare out of print fabrics? or are you happy using whatever gorgeous fabric is available now, regardless of designer? I’m curious, since while I consider myself to be in the latter category, I could definitely see myself paying more than market value for *some* rare and beloved out of print fabrics. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win. If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry. Tell me how you follow Fat Quarter Shop (facebook,twitter, Instagram, their blog Jolly Jabber, etc.) for a third entry.
This giveaway is open to US and international participants. The giveaway will be open until Thursday June 9th at 8pm EST when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck!This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Tessa!
Thanks again to the Fat Quarter Shop! Blog sponsors help me to keep this blog going by helping cover the costs of hosting, photography equipment, supplies, and of course time. Sweet, precious time. Many many thanks to all who support me!
Today I’m excited to be a part of the Oakshott Lipari blog hop, your final stop for those of you who have been following along. So many fabulous projects have been made with the fat eighths bundle of the new Lipari line, so I encourage you to also check out the others along the hop, linked at the bottom of this post. Many thanks to Lynne and Michael at Oakshott for including me in the hop!
This was my first time working with Oakshott fabrics, and they are so luxurious! They are a woven fabric and feel almost silky to the touch. They feel more substantial than other shot cottons I’ve used, and the Lipari line looks iridescent since the warp is black and the weft is a bright jewel tone. These fabrics come to life when you see them in person–photos truly don’t do them justice. The Lipari line was inspired by volcanoes and the description from Oakshott says it best: “Lipari perfectly captures the primordial beauty of the Aeolian islands. Its luminous colours mirror cobalt seas, lush greenery, pink bougainvillea and shimmering sun; a beauty shot through with dark, fine-grained volcanic rock and black sand.” As soon as I read this description, I knew my quilt had to be a reflection of this volcanic inspiration. Thus, my Vesuvius quilt was born.
I made my Vesuvius quilt with 60 degree triangles, to elicit the sharp peaks of the mountainous volcanoes. I pulled in some Ruby Red – Toledo for the molten focal triangle, and let the Lipari steal the show. I used my Sizzix die cutting machine to speed up the cutting process. I really wanted to photograph this quilt next to a volcano, but I had to settle for some blueberry barrens and a Maine coast beach.
I quilted Vesuvius with 50 wt Aurifil thread 1246-Grey, which blended wonderfully with the Lipari Pollara (grey) I used as a background color. I used the walking foot on my domestic Bernina 560 to quilt straight lines 1″ apart, switching up directions in various sections of the quilt to provide movement and added interest. I LOVE how it turned out!
The Lipari Porticello (dark green) backing shows the quilting wonderfully, although it’s tough to get the full effect through photos!
I was torn on what color to use as the binding, but decided that Lipari Gallina (purple) frames it nicely.
This quilt finishes at 36″x43″ so would make a wonderful wall hanging or sophisticated baby quilt. You could also add borders to make it larger.
Here’s how to make your very own Vesuvius quilt! (Note that Oakshott Lipari fabric is 54″ wide. Typical quilting cotton is approximately 42″ wide, so plan accordingly)
A fat eighths bundle of Oakshott Lipari
1/8 yard of Oakshott Ruby Red Toledo
3/4 yard additional Lipari Pollara (grey)-negative space
1 1/4 yards Lipari Porticello (dark green)-backing
1/3 yard Lipari Gallina (purple)-binding
42″ x 50″ piece of batting
Sizzix die cutting machine
Sizzix XL Triangle, Equilateral 4 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ unfinished die
Rotary cutter, cutting mat with 60 degree lines, and ruler
Thread (I used Aurifil 50wt 1246-Grey for both piecing and quilting)
Sewing machine with a walking foot (I use a Bernina 560)
Small thread snip scissors
Using your method of choice (see below for instructions for each method), cut the following number of triangles from each fabric:
88 grey (Lipari Pollaro)
9 red (Ruby Red Toledo)
From fat eighth Lipari bundle:
Using a Sizzix die cutting machine
I used my Sizzix Fabi and BigZ Triangle, Equilateral 4 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ unfinished die to speed up the cutting process.
When using your sizzix, cut 5″ x width of fat eighth strips of fabric of each color, fold them over the die blade in the Sizzix cutting sandwich (bottom cutting pad, die with the blade face up, fabric, top cutting pad), and cut 9 triangles at a time. Note that the Oakshott fat eighths are 10″ x 27″, which are larger than a typical quilting cotton 9″ x 21″ fat eighth.
After passing each strip of fabric through the Fabi die cutting machine, you can reposition the remaining fabric and cut triangles from the “scraps”.
If you don’t have a Sizzix, read on to find out how to cut 60 degree triangles with your rotary cutter, using the lines on your cutting mat.
Using a rotary cutter and the lines on your cutting mat
First, cut strips 4 3/4″ by width of fabric. *Note: You can leave the fabric strip folded in half or doubled up if you’re using the width of fat eighth strips, allowing you to cut two triangles at a time!
Find the 30 degree line on your cutting mat. Yes, we are making 60 degree triangles by cutting along the 30 degree line (You have a 90 degree square to begin, trim off 30 degrees, then you’re left with 60 degrees!)
Align the bottom of your fabric strip along the 1-inch line. I use the 1-inch line so that you can see where the 30 degree line extends above and below the fabric. Place the edge of your ruler along the 30 degree line.
Using your rotary cutter, cut your fabric on the ruler angle.
Flip your fabric strip over, then align the bottom edge with the 1-inch line on your mat, so that the bottom point of your cut is on the 30 degree line.
Again, place the edge of your ruler along the 30 degree line. Using your rotary cutter, cut your fabric on the ruler angle. You now have your 60 degree triangle, or two (2) if you kept your fabric strip folded in half. Cut as many as you need.
Piecing the Quilt Top
Once your pieces are cut, lay them out as shown. A piece of batting wrapped around a large wall board works well, but I have been often known to use my design floor to help with layout, too! (SizingNote: if you want a larger quilt, you could add a row of grey (Lipari Pollara) triangles to the right and left sides before sewing the rows together to maintain the outer triangle points when adding borders. Then, trim square and add rectangular borders to the desired size.)
Be sure to keep the grain of fabric running top to bottom (the woven texture of the Oakshott Lipari makes this easy to do since the grain is clearly visible when the fabric is held up to the light). Once your pieces are laid out as desired, it’s time to sew them together! Chain piecing helps the process go quickly and smoothly. Here’s how to set it up.
Label each horizontal row. I began with 1 on the top and ended with 11 on the bottom and used pins to label the first piece in each row (Note that I labeled each row after stacking, so the pins aren’t visible in these photos).
Carefully stack the triangles from each row, with the far left piece on top, and keeping the triangles facing the proper direction (this will help you keep them straight while piecing). For example, for row one, you will have the labeled first triangle piece from the far left on top, and carefully pick up each triangle across the row, adding it to the bottom of the stack.
Once you have your row stacked, use a clover clip or similar device to hold the stack together.
Gather all of your rows in this manner.
Lay them out in order, making a clear mental note of what row is located where. You could label a sticker on the table next to each stack to help, although simply keeping them in chronological order works well for me. Let’s sew! (Note that a table next to you works better than having the stacks this close to the sewing machine. As you add pieces, your strips will drag your stacks around if you keep them here as shown!)
To speed up the process, we will be chain piecing (sewing without stopping) the first piece to the second piece from every row. Note: Be sure to keep the pin labeling each row in the first block at all times!!
Once you have all of your first pieces sewn to your second pieces, trim the threads to separate, and press. All these bias edges means this is a great time to practice pressing, and NOT ironing. Press: up, down, up. Great!
Alternate which side you press your seam for each row. I pressed odd rows (1, 3, 5, etc.) to the left and even rows (2, 4, 6, etc.) to the right. Pressing open also works well!
Next, add the next triangle to each row, chain sewing again. You’ll be sewing the third triangle (which is now on top of each stack) to each row. Double check the number pin on the sewn row before adding the next triangle, since you want to be sure to keep your gorgeous layout intact.
Continue chain piecing, trimming, pressing, and chain piecing again until all of your rows are assembled. As you add each triangle, stack those corners and everything will be right in line!
Sew all of the rows together, pressing seams up toward the grey triangles. I like to pin about 1/8″ after each point where the triangle points will be matching up, and aim to sew *right* through the center of the seam-cross to make sure you don’t cut off any points when sewing the rows together.
Quilting & Finishing
Once your quilt top is pieced, baste as desired. I decided to quilt my quilt before squaring it up because of all of the bias edges. I used 505 basting spray and spray basted for the first time! I used Christa Watson’s design wall spray basting tutorial and can see why people love it.
I decided to quilt my quilt with straight lines 1″ apart using the walking foot on my Bernina 560. I used a hera marker and a long quilting ruler to mark lines 1/2″ from some seams, and then 1″ apart from there. I sectioned the quilting in a few different sections, using straight lines 1″ apart but changing directions in each section. Lines intersect in the Ruby Red triangle, “exploding” out to the sides (like a volcanic eruption!?). The quilting lines don’t intersect anywhere else in the quilt. I really love the finished effect.
After quilting, it’s time to square up the quilt. Using a long, straight edge, trim 1/4″ away from the outer points so that you don’t lose any points when you sew on the binding. Use at least two sets of points to make sure your ruler is straight before cutting.
Square up your quilt, trimming off the excess, then bind!
Viola! Enjoy your Vesuvius Quilt, and please use #vesuviusquilt and tag me @nightquilter if you decide to make one.
Many thanks, again, to Oakshott for providing the fabrics for this project, and for including me in the hop. Make sure to check out the rest of the amazing Lipari projects:
*BREAKING NEWS* Volcanic action alert
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the heart-wrenching fate of this quilt, that I so unknowingly aptly named “Vesuvius”: my nearly-four year old son cut into it in three places (along with a trail of destruction that included my Machinger quilting gloves cut into pieces and cuts into a big chunk of fusible fleece). With the great outpouring of support, commiseration, and suggestions offered by the fantastic community on IG, I’ve decided to make the cuts an added design element, another chapter in the story of the quilt, and sew either black or red patches over the cuts, making them into “fault lines”.
For now, though, I will put the quilt aside until I can dive into the repair with chuckles and reminiscence instead of lingering tears and frustration. I know that my son did not cut into my quilt maliciously, but it still is a difficult experience. I have made it known that if he ever wants to cut fabric again, he can tell me and I will help him make a quilt. We’ll see where it goes. For now, my Vesuvius Quilt (aka Max’s Fault Lines) is smoking and being buried by ash for a bit. It will rise again some day in the future.
The school year is winding down, which means teachers’ gifts are at the forefront of my mind (along with excitement–and trepidation!–at the prospect of summer adventure day trips with all three kids). When Fat Quarter Shop invited me to join this Simper Zipper Bag Sew Along, I thought it would be a perfect teacher’s gift project. I stitched up three of the large zipper bags, added some chocolate and a personalized thank you note from my 3 year old son, and viola! Perfect heartfelt teachers’ gifts!
These zipper bags are SO easy to make, and Fat Quarter Shop has a very clear instructional video tutorial that you can find here:
The construction of the bags is brilliant, since the lining and the outer panels are quilted together and then simply sewn together and bound–so easy! I definitely will be going back to this pattern for future gifts, and I’m thinking of making a few more to stash coloring supplies for my kids in my purse for when extra entertainment is needed.
This is admittedly the first time I’ve made handmade teachers’ gifts, but my son’s preschool teachers have done such a fabulous job supporting and guiding him this year, that I felt I really wanted to express my gratitude. When I asked Max if he had any idea what colors might be his teachers’ favorites, he said, “Alllllll the colors!” That’s my boy. I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong with a rainbow-esque bag, especially for preschool teachers.
I decided on a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from my stash for the backings and then used it to pull a coordinating rainbow of some of my favorite fabrics. You can see Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, Cotton + Steel–they’re all there!
I chose to use strips of fabric instead of mini charm squares, and arranged the fabrics in a way that worked with the three zippers I had on hand, making each bag unique while still having the same general aesthetic. I used the edge of my walking foot to space horizontal straight line quilting on the front, using my go-to thread, 50wt Aurifil 2600-Dove. It blended perfectly with the “I love you” appliquéd hand while providing some subtle texture and interest to the rainbow fabrics.
I lined my bag with an appropriate Cotton + Steel print, Study Hall in Black and White from their Black and White Collection.
I love the neat detailing that results with the construction of this bag. Sewing in the zipper is made SO easy, and the top stitching frames it nicely.
More about that “I love you”; I think the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “I love you” is known pretty universally, but in case you’re not familiar with it, the appliqué on each pouch is a tracing of my son’s hand making the “I love you” sign. My son is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids (when we can convince him to keep them in), and so he has a communication facilitator in addition to his two amazing teachers. His communication facilitator was fantastic, signing to him all day to increase exposure and familiarity to sign, since we are all trying to learn ASL as a family, and ensuring he heard directions during the day. The entire preschool class learned some sign language throughout the year, and the three teachers worked so well together to help ALL of the children in class have the best experience possible. When Max gave the gifts to his teachers, the “I love you” appliqué of Max’s hand was met with “awww” and a few misty eyes. I think the zipper bags were a win!
How would you use one of these Simple Zipper Bags? Be sure to visit Fat Quarter Shop and the other bloggers’ posts to see their creative takes on the pattern: