Monday, September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Welcome to my blog stop on the Around the World Blog Hop!

I got nominated by Katy who blogs at Lethargic Lass for the Around the World Blog Hop tour -- she is the wonderful blogger that I just had a fantastic swap with.

I am excited to take part in this fun hop so here are the basic questions, hopefully you can learn a little more about me. I put in a few pics of some favorite finishes to break up all the text.

1. What am I working on?

I have four main projects going on right now, running and participating in the Foothills Mystery Quilt, making a wonky court house steps charity quilt, planning my MQG pastel cotton couture challenge quilt, and writing some new quilt patterns for Camelot Fabrics for their new lines being introduced this fall.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Being an engineer, I actually love quilt math and challenge of breaking down a pattern to easily understandable and clear instructions. My quilt designs tend to have strong geometric patterns set on a crisp background. I have trying recently to step outside of my comfort zone recently by using scrappy low volume backgrounds, improv piecing, and wonky blocks.

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

After my daughter was born I read a quote that said, "A women should do something everyday that can't be undone". Having a toddler and a new baby and working, I was spending so much time cooking and cleaning each day. These activities while vital never really got finished and I had to repeat them each day. I really needed a creative outlet to make something that would stay done, that I would not have to redo over and over. I made my daughter a quilt for her toddler bed, fell in love with quilting and have not looked back since :)

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I usually use EQ7 and PowerPoint to sketch up my ideas before starting on the actual quilt. I am definitely a planner when it comes to quilting. I may have a few works in progress, but they are all actively being worked on. I have very few WIPs that are old or abandoned. Lately, I have been trying to branch out and try more improv and freer piecing, starting a quilt top without a clear idea on where it is going.

So now it's time to pass the baton to two other wonderful women, they will each be posting on Monday, October 6th:

-- Soma @ Whims and Fancies - Soma makes the most amazing paper pieced designs you have ever seen. I had the wonderful opportunity to take part in her College Blog Hop earlier this summer.

-- Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts - Shelley has a new blog but has been quilting for years. She has great posts describing her whole quilting process and her wonderful finishes.

I am linking up to MOP Monday @ Tweety Loves Quilting.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Looking Glass Finished

Back a few weeks ago I posted my work in progress on a new quilt I was calling Over the River.  I have know finished the quilt and renamed it Looking Glass.

You can get your own copy of Looking Glass in my pattern shop (digital and print versions) and on Etsy.

The quilt was so fun and easy to make.  I needed a quick, little finish and this quilt was exactly that.

In my effort not to purchase fabric to make a quilt backing, I pieced a back using an extra row of blocks along with some Kona white.  I almost like the back better than the front.  A dark brown print (so old I am not sure what line it was from) finished off the quilt as the binding.

For the quilting, I used a loopy quilting pattern.  The pattern looks like a cursive "l" over and over and over again.  I start at the left hand side of the quilt and work my way towards the right.  I was able to quilt using this pattern without any marking of the quilt (yeah!) because the seam lines within the blocks and sashing formed lines.

I have had a number of quilters ask if I was going to write this quilt up into a pattern and so I happy to say that I am working on putting the finishing touches on the draft of the pattern.  The pattern is going to include baby, lap, twin, queen, and king sizes.  If anyone would like to pattern test or review, just let me know :)

Update: the Looking Glass pattern is now available!  You can get your own copy of Looking Glass in my pattern shop (digital and print versions) and on Etsy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

How to square up HST of any size using a Bloc-Loc Ruler

For September's instructions in the Foothill Mystery Quilt, we had to make 144 half square triangles (HST).  I received a few questions from quilters on how I trim my HST using a Bloc-Loc ruler so I thought I would post a quick tutorial on how I use the Bloc-Loc ruler to quickly and easily square up my HST.

First, a little note that Bloc-Loc is in no way sponsoring this post.  I am not one to typically buy specialty rulers, but if you like making a bunch of HSTs, I would totally suggest getting a Bloc-Loc ruler.  The ruler has a groove cut into its back that the seam of the HST rides along to ensure that the corners of the triangles meet right at the corner of the HST.

I have the 6.5" HST Bloc-Loc ruler and it allows me to trim a HST of any size up to 6.5" square.  To work with this ruler, the seam must be pressed to the side.  I also use a rotating cutting board, this is not necessary but very helpful to speed things up.

For this tutorial we will be trimming a HST to 4" square and in the HST shown below, the seam is pressed towards the pink gingham print.

To begin, place the Bloc-Loc ruler on the HST such that the groove rides along the seam (Bloc-Loc logo will be right side up and the seam will be pressed downward) and trim a little off of the HST to create two straight edges.

Next, either rotate the HST or the cutting board (if it is a rotating board) 180 degrees leaving the Bloc-Loc ruler in place on the HST. The Bloc-Loc logo will now be upside down.

Next, align the nicely trimmed corner of the HST to the 4" mark on the Bloc-Loc ruler and trim the excess.

The HST is now beautifully trimmed with the corners of the triangles lining up perfectly with the corners of the HST.  Go make a couple hundred :)

Thanks for reading my tutorial!  If anything is unclear or you have any questions, please leave a comment or e-mail me.

I am linking up to MOP Monday @ Tweety Loves Quilting, Anything Goes Mondays @ Stitch by Stitch, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, and Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, and Show and Tuesday @ Freshly Squeezed Fabrics.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Swapping Fun

I have been quilty friends with Katy (aka Lethargic Lass) for a number of years.  She was one of the first quilty women I connected with online and she does some amazing things with linen and liberty (she just reopened her etsy shop (here) which is filled with lovely goodies).

During an IG chat one day we decided a swap was in order.  I made her a pincushion and thread catcher set and she made me a linen and liberty mini.  Katy said that she liked the cathedral window pincushions and that her favorite colors are yellow and brown.  I first made a cathedral window pincushion using essex linen in flax for the panes of the window.

I then started to work on the thread catcher.  I thought that instead of add the usual squares of fabrics around the thread catcher, why not add a strip of cathedral windows around the thread catcher?  So I made 6 little cathedral windows (finishing at a little under 3" square) out of essex linen and added plenty of buttons.

Now the original pincushion was looking a little plain and because the thread catcher had so much fabric, it was really too heavy for the original pincushion.  I decided to make a new pincushion, making 4 more little cathedral windows into an oversized pincushion.

So in total, the set was 2 pincushions and one thread catcher containing 11 cathedral windows and too many buttons to count.

I learned a lot through this swap trying new techniques.  It was a fun experience and Katy has told me she loved the set!

Now, here is what I received from Katy, isn't it magnificent?  Not only did she send me the most wonderful Liberty and linen mini (with hand quilting!), she also sent matching coasters.

I had such fun swapping with you Katy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Charity Quilt #3

At my last guild meeting (The Foothills Piecemaker's Guild) I stopped by the charity table to see what fabrics they had and if they had any quilt tops needing to be quilted.

The lady in charge of the charity work had told me about a once a year local Coats & Clark fabric sale and all of the wonderful fabrics from it.  I did not realize it, but Coats & Clark not only make thread but also own the Rowan and FreeSpirit fabric lines (which have some pretty fabulous collections).  At the sale, bolts (yes, 8 yard bolts!) of fabric were going for $8 and Coats & Clark also gave our guild a big box of fabric samples.  I will not be missing this sale next year!

Well, back to the story...when I told a look through the fabric samples I saw Denyse Schmidt's Deerfield Hill line in both the blue/green colorway and red/pink colorway.  I had not seen this line and being a big Densye Schmidt fan, I snagged both and promised to make some wonderful charity quilts with them.

I wanted to try something fun and outside of the box for me with no HST (I had just made the 144 for the mystery quilt and was done making those for a while) so I decided on a wonky court house steps quilt using the blue and green colorway along with some coordinating prints and solids. 

I started with random sized white squares and added the print fabrics around the squares making them wonky.  Here is what the beginnings of the blocks look like.

My plan is to add a layer of white and a second layer of prints to the court house block.  Then I will add Kona ash to bring the blocks up to size and fit them together.  I have been taking pictures along the way so when I finish the quilt top I will show a little tutorial on how I made the blocks.

I am very happy to link up with Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh QuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, and WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Foothills Mystery - September HST - My Progress

For the September instructions for the Foothills Mystery Quilt, we had to make 144 half square triangles (HST).  

The way I make HST includes:

1.  Oversizing the starting squares by about 1/4 inch.

2.  Sewing the two squares together 1/4 inch from the diagonal line by using tape on the sewing machine to line up the pieces instead of drawing a line on each pair of squares.
3.  Trimming the HSTs using my Bloc-Loc ruler.

These three things make HSTs quicker, easier, and more fun.  You may wind up not being able to stop at only 144 :)

Below is a picture of some of my HST laid out.  I put them in a chevron pattern just for fun and to see if there was really enough contrast between the two sets of fabrics to easily see a pattern.  I can guarantee that there is nothing chevron about the actual mystery quilt.

I am looking froward to seeing everyone's progress!  Please post your pics to the Flicker group Meadow Mist Designs, and use the hashtag #FoothillsMystery on Instagram :)

Note:  The instructions for previous months can be found in the Foothills Mystery Quilt tab above.  The monthly instructions will be posted on the first Thursday of each month.

I am linking up to MOP Monday @ Tweety Loves Quilting, Anything Goes Mondays @ Stitch by Stitch, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, and Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, and Show and Tuesday @ Freshly Squeezed Fabrics.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pattern Cover Page Survey Results and Winner

First off, I would like to thank everyone who responded to my question regarding pattern covers, it was so helpful to hear everyone's choice as their favorite design and even more importantly why they liked one design over the others.  I would also like to add a super thank you to everyone who volunteered to review the pattern for me.  I have already seen some quilt tops and even one completed quilt and they all look fabulous!  

I have pulled together the results from the survey below along with some of the comments that really made me think.  I hope that this might help some new or future pattern writers as they begin to design their cover pages.  But first, I would like to announce the winner:

Maribel won any one pattern from Meadow Mist Designs and the Scrappy Tiles pattern when it becomes available (hopefully around the 1st or 2nd week of October).

Now onto the the covers once again...




Cover C was the clear favorite with over half the total votes and twice the votes of the runner up Cover A.

Yes, I had to graph the data because I am an engineer :)

Some interesting comments on the covers:
  • Most people that picked C really liked the fence, the natural setting for the quilt, and the darker background.
  • There were some comments around the amount of ink when printing.  These patterns are printed by the purchaser and I had never considered the amount of ink used in the printing, just the number of pages they would need to use. 
  • One commentor really liked the pink header on Cover A and suggested trying it with Cover C.
  • There was some discussion on the number of fonts.  Some thought there were too many and it looked a little confusing and others thought it was fine.
So here is my plan:  I am going to start with Cover C and tweak it a little.  I went with C for a lot of reasons, one being that I can take pretty good pictures of all of my quilts outdoors which will hopefully give my pattern covers a little consistency.  I liked Cover A, but especially larger quilts are very difficult to take full picture of with no distortion and that distortion becomes very obvious when the background is removed (and then it looks like you have a trapezoid quilt).

I am going to leave the pattern title a different font as it does not look right to me in the same font as my logo (looks too formal for the quilt), but I am going to try to reduce the number of fonts used in other parts of the cover.

I'm also going to try to make the quilt a little larger and make the ground area a little darker so that the logo shows up a little easier.

Thank you all again so much for your help!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rainbow Rail Fence Quilt and Tutorial at Bear Creek Quilting Company

I am happy to announce that I have my first guest post and tutorial over at the Bear Creek Quilting Company!  When Shari asked me if I was interested in guest posting and making something out of their wonderful fabrics, I jumped at the chance.

When I was looking through their huge section, I immediately fell in love with the Kona roll-ups with all of their rainbow goodness.  I used one Kona Sunset and one Kona Sunrise roll-up (by Robert Kaufman) for this double bed sized quilt (80" x 80").  The finished quilt is living on my son's bed right now who loves rainbows.

Please hop over here to for the tutorial and more pictures of the finished quilt.

Once again, here is the link for the quilt and tutorial.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

I'm linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mystery Quilt - September Instructions - HSTs

Welcome to the September instructions for the Foothills Mystery Quilt-a-long! The instructions for previous months can be found in the Foothills Mystery Quilt tab above.  The monthly instructions will be posted on the first Thursday of each month.

** In addition to the flicker group Meadow Mist Designs, we now have a hashtag.  When you post pictures on instragram please use #FoothillsMystery so that everyone can see your progress :)

And now onto September's instructions...we will be making a ton (12 dozen to be exact) of half square triangles (HST).  

Please don't run away yet.  This is the most involved month in terms of numbers of fabrics to piece and time spent.  However, you have a whole month to make them (and to let you in on a secret - you will not be using the HST them next month so you really have two months to finish them.  Also, next month's instructions will take you much, much less time).  

This month you might fall in love with HSTs (I personally love them!), but even if you don't, if you make just make a few a day you will finish before the end of the month.  

Note:  It is not too late to join in!  I will be e-mailing a pdf version of these instructions within one day of the instructions posting here so if you would like the instructions in a more easily printable form, please e-mail me at cheryljbrickey (at) gmail (dot) com and I will add you to the e-mail list.

Half Square Triangle Units

Using 72 fabric set A squares (4” x 4”) and 72 fabric set B squares (4” x 4”), form 144 HSTs (3½” x 3½”) using the method shown below.

   a.  Place a fabric set A square (4” x 4”) and a fabric set B square (4” x 4”) right sides together. Draw a diagonal line using a removable marking device on the back of the fabric set B square (shown as the solid line). 
  b. Sew ¼” on either side of the solid line (dotted lines). Cut on the solid line and press seam towards the fabric set A fabric or press open. 

  c. Form 144 HST units, trimming each to (3½” x 3½”). Note: 1 fabric set A square and 1 fabric set B square will yield 2 HST units.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

WIP - Over the River Baby Quilt

It was a little quiet here on the blog in the month of August because I was finishing up some quilt patterns and some secret quilting.  Once the majority of that work was done, I decided to work on something simple and fun.

I had purchased two charm packs of Into the Woods by Lella Boutique and decided to play with them before they got buried in my stash for goodness knows how long.

I played around with some layouts on my design wall and came up with a design I liked and started cutting and stitching.  Here is a baby sized quilt top I made with the charm packs.

I am thinking some looping quilting is in order for this quilt.

I have not linked up with any fun linky parties recently so I am very happy to link up with Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsFabric Tuesday @ Quilt StoryLet's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh QuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, and WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced.