Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My First Quilt

I am busy right now writing and testing the pattern for my next mystery quilt-a-long (starting in June!) so I thought that I would take a little time warp was in order today and show you my first quilt I ever made.  

When my daughter was just moving out of her crib to a toddler bed I decided that she needed a quilt and that I was going to make it.  I simply dove head first trying to learn everything about quilting that I could.  I spent hours upon hours on blogs and youtube learning quilting techniques and took a trip to JoAnn's to buy some basic quilting equipment (I have no other quilters in my family).

I settled on Stepping Star by Sweet Jane, making a lap sized quilt.  Instead of using a jelly roll, I went to Joann's and purchased a bunch of 1/4 yard cuts and fat quarters.  Then, I decided that I wanted a strip of blocks on the back so even though I had a pattern, I completely redid the math and cutting instructions.  My love of quilt math begins :)

I went to work on my 1980's slant shank Singer (say that 5 times fast) and pretty soon I had the blocks finished.  I had a little issue with my 1/4" seam and because alternating blocks were rotated 90 degrees from one another, my slightly rectangular blocks caused a bit of an issue.

One of the biggest limitations with my Singer turned out that the presser foot pressure was way too high and was not adjustable.  Straight line quilting (even with a walking foot) would not work so I tried a simple meandering pattern.  My sewing machine also only had two speeds, off and super light speed so I learned to free motion quilt at a very quick pace.

Overall, for my first quilt, I am very happy with the quilt.  Some years later, I still like the design and the color scheme.  It has a few popped seams and some of the fabrics have faded (teaching me the importance of quality fabric), but I still love it :)

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.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Plus Plus Quilt Pattern - Two Tone Version

Yesterday, (in this post), I highlighted the multi-color version of my new quilt pattern Plus Plus (along with a huge fabric giveaway!). Today I would like to show the second version of the quilt pattern, a two-tone version with an accent block made using yardage and strip piecing.

For the two-tone version, I made the baby size using Kona white and Kona silver and a red print from Maritime Modern from Riley Blake for the accent plus. I originally was going to use a dark gray binding but when went I to use it, it just did not look right. I tested many, many other prints and colors until I tried this new Lotta Jansdotter print (from her new collection at JoAnn's). The mustard yellow print worked perfectly.

You can find the Plus Plus pattern in my pattern shop in both digital and print versions:

I really had fun with the quilting on this quilt and went with some really dense quilting.  In the background, I quilted swirls using white Aurifil thread.  For the plus signs, I used my longarm ruler for the first time on my domestic machine (which actually was easier and more fun than I thought it would be).  I designed the line pattern to be continuous so I only had one start and stop per plus sign and used matching color Aurifil threads for the quilting.

Shelley who blogs over at The 
Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts tested for me making the two-tone version of Plus Plus in the queen size using browns and oranges.  She is a super speedy quilter, I think she made all 121 blocks for the queen size in about two weeks, please go check out her awesome version of Plus Plus.

Plus Plus is actually two complete patterns in one, containing full cutting and piecing instructions for both versions in baby, lap, and queen sizes.  The two-tone version of the quilt uses yardage and strip piecing for quicker piecing of the blocks with alternating sized plus signs on a background fabric.
Please check out the multi-color version of Plus Plus posted yesterday.

You can find the Plus Plus pattern in my pattern shop in both digital and print versions:

You can pin this quilt for later...

Friday, April 24, 2015

What Shade Are You? Blog Hop: Plus Plus Quilt Pattern and Giveaway

I am so excited to be part of RJR's What Shade Are You Blog Hop today! When I was invited to participate in the What Shade are You Blog Hop by RJR fabrics, I jumped at the chance. I just love blog hops and the chance to play with some wonderful fabric.

I have had a pattern in my head for a good while and was slowly collecting fabrics for it. Along came this hop and I knew that the bright and saturated colors of the RJR cotton supreme solids were perfect for it. I used color numbers 366, 361, 301, 355, 289, 159, 358, 354, 86, 356, 292, 127, 339, 357, 353, 221, 128, 249, 108, and 049 to create a fun and bright plus quilt.

I am calling the pattern Plus Plus and it is an alternating pattern of large and small plus blocks. I made the lap size version which finishes to about 63" x 63".

You can find the Plus Plus pattern in my pattern shop in both digital and print versions:

I quilted the quilt using a light cream Aurifil thread echoing the seam lines of the blocks and going diagonally across the quilt.

I was originally planning on using a solid red as the binding, but once I put the quilt together it seemed like it needed something different so I decided to instead use a black and white striped binding.

In an effort to use up all of the beautiful fabric, I improv pieced the trimmings from the solids from the quilt top and combined them with the red solid that was originally going to be the binding and some metallic printed Cotton & Steel fabric.  The improv was a lot of fun and I am happy at how the quilt now a dual sided quilt :)  

his was the first time I had the chance to try the RJR Cotton Supreme fabrics and they were really great to work with. The Cotton Supremes have a wonderful saturation with a great hand and drape to them (The Cotton Supremes have a medium weight, a little lighter than a Kona and a little heavier than a Cotton Couture).

I had seen others write about how RJR solids resisted unraveling and I have to agree with them. From handling the cut pieces during the block construction all the way to sewing the binding on the quilt, the fabric stayed much nicer and had many fewer unravels that I had to trim off than usual. I am definitely planning on adding some more Cotton Supremes to my solids stash.

The Plus Plus quilt pattern is actually two complete patterns in one containing baby, lap, and queen sizes in a multi-color version using 1/4 yard cuts and fat quarters and a two-tone version using yardage with an accent block using strip piecing. You can see a sneak peek of the two tone version in the pattern cover below and I will be showing more pictures and details tomorrow.

You can find the Plus Plus pattern in my pattern shop in both digital and print versions:

And now onto the giveaway!  

How would you like a chance to win a huge bundle of RJR Cotton Supremes?  Up for grabs is a bundle of 27 of the colors I used in my Plus Plus quilt!!  *The giveaway is open to the US and Canada. Sorry, no PO Boxes.

You have two entry chances, the second being optional, and please leave a separate comment for each entry.   (Leave an email address if you are a no-reply blogger.)  

ENTRY 1 - Simply leave a comment with your favorite color combination right now.

ENTRY 2 - All Meadow Mist Designs followers (new and old) can have a bonus entry, just leave a comment here of how you follow.  

(Here are some links for different following options: BloglovinEmailInstagram )

The giveaway will be open until next Friday, May 1st at 8pm EST.

** Giveaway now closed, thanks for entering! **

Pin this quilt pattern for later...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Paisley Vines - a Quilting Tutorial

I came up with a new (to me) quilting pattern when I was trying to figure out how to quilt my Foothills Mystery quilt.   I really like the paisley quilting pattern, but that seemed too busy and dense for my Mystery Quilt. I also love the meandering or stippling pattern, but I wanted to try something with a little twist. I played with combining stipple pattern and a paisley pattern forming what I am calling Paisley Vines.

The design is very similar to a meandering pattern with double loops except the loops have a tear drop-like shape.  I am guessing that I am not the first to come up with this design, but here is how I quilted it:

1.  Start with a little meandering curve.
2.  Add a tear drop shape
3.  Echo the tear drop shape
4.  Continue meandering until you decide to add another paisley

I really like the design in that it adds a little something special to a simple meandering.  Playing around with the size of the paisley shapes and the distance between paisley shapes can make the quilting pattern look completely different.

Here is a picture of the Paisley Vines on my Foothills Mystery quilt:

Here is another version where I I made such shorter stipple travels between the paisley shapes:

Here are three different versions side by side, changing the size of the paisley shapes and the amount of travel.

I hope I inspired you to maybe give this quilting pattern a try :)

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.

I am also linking up to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday over at the Late Night Quilter's blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Irish Chain Quilt-a-Long Finish

Today, I would love to share my finished Irish Twist wall quilt.  I made this quilt during the Irish Twist-a-Long designed and hosted by Melissa Corry from Happy Quilting.

As usual, Melissa's pattern is beautiful and her instructions are very detailed and clearly written.  I love her quilt-a-longs and was so excited to have a chance to join another one of her quilt-a-longs.  I decided to make the wall size version (about 30" x 30") as decoration for my sewing room.  My 5 year old daughter had other ideas and claimed the quilt as soon as saw it; so the quilt is going to go live on the wall in her room :)

For fabrics, I used a whole bunch of Bonnie and Camille fabrics on a Kona Navy background.  I think most of their past 5-6 collections are represented.

I made a couple of changes to the pattern mostly due to the fact that I was making the small wall quilt instead of one of the larger versions.

1.  I made the X blocks straight instead of wonky.  If this was a larger version and there were more X blocks, the wonkiness would have looked more intentional, but I was afraid that having only 4 X blocks in my version the wonkiness would look more like messiness.

2.  I eliminated the pieced blocks and replaced them with the appliqued petal blocks.  I really was excited for this quilt along to try some applique because I have only really tried it once before so I decided to use 5 petal blocks instead of the 1 petal block and 4 pieced blocks. 

For the quilting, in the background I used a dark blue Aurifil thread to outline the petals and fill in the areas with some tiny stippling.  I used a light cream Aurifil thread for the Bonnie and Camille fabrics using a wishbone pattern on the petals and a back and forth squiggle in the X blocks.

I finished the quilt off with a scrappy binding.  Thanks for looking!
Here are my work-in-progress posts for the quilt:
X blocks - February 17, 2015
Petal blocks - March 25, 2015

I am linking up the Irish Twist Quilt-a-Long finish post:

I am linking up to Link a Finish FridayWhoop Whoop FridayThank Goodness Its Finished FridayFinish It Up FridayFabric Frenzy Fridayand Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday - April 15th

Happy tax day everyone!  I am excited that today is the tax deadline so that my wonderful quilty friend Paige, who is a bookkeeper, can be done with her crazy hours.

I have a few work-in-progresses to update you on:

1.  Grande Scrappy Tiles

I have a pattern called Scrappy Tiles which looks like a randomly pieced top but is a layer cake pattern which contains baby, toddler, and lap sizes.  I have been asked multiple times if the pattern can be enlarged to a twin or queen size.  The pattern can be used to create larger sized quilts, but the number of fabric pieces starts to get a little ridiculous.

Therefore, I decided to create Grande Scrappy Tiles, using the same block pattern as the regular Scrappy Tiles but making 24" square blocks instead of 12" square.  The result is the same great scrappy look using many fewer pieces (and only 16 blocks for a queen size quilt) with cutting instructions for 1/4 yard cuts and fat quarters.

Here is my queen size quilt top that I made using the April Showers collection by Bonnie and Camille along with some coordinating solids and prints.  Once this is quilted and bound is is going on my bed (the last bed in the house without a homemade quilt).

2.  Sea Star

This is one of my oldest work-in-progresses, the first block being shown on the blog a full year ago.   The quilt uses Kona blue plus signs and creates stars as a secondary pattern.  I am excited to start quilting and finish this one up, right now I am planning on using an all over open swirl pattern.

3.  Plus Plus

I have a new pattern coming out in coordination with my stop on the RJR solids blog hop on April 26th.  The baby and lap size quilts are finished and the pattern is with testers right now.  Here are just a few sneak peeks of the finished quilts, a baby size and a lap size.

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.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Foothills Mystery Quilt Parade!

Welcome to the Foothills Mystery Quilt Parade, we have 16 versions of the quilt pattern on parade today!  Thank you so much to everyone who has been taking part or following along in the Foothills Mystery Quilt! 

Just as a reminder, the mystery quilt instructions can be found in the tab above and they will never be taken down so you can start at any time.  (I also have the entire set of instructions for sale as an easy downloadable pdf).)

Without further are some of the wonderful Foothills Mystery Quilt finishes!

Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs

Megan @ Sew Stitching Cute

Carol Johnson

Kristin Kipper


Karen Schleier

Donna Kinsler

 Joyce Alexander

Joanna Yost

Betty Caudill

Johellon George

Dagmar Theodore

Darlene Stanford

Sue Burton

Lynn Parker

Foothills members - I tried to get everyone's name spelled correctly 
and placed with the correct quilt.  If I made a mistake, please let me know

There were a number of quilters in my local guild that did not make the April reveal meeting.  As people send pictures of their finished quilt tops and quilts, I will add them to this post so that all of the finishes can be in one place.

Announcement: New Mystery Quilt-a-Long Starting in July!

I had such fun with this mystery quilt that I will be hosting another mystery quilt this year!  The quilt-a-long will start in July 2015 and finish in March 2016.  There will be prizes this time, I hope that you will consider joining in!

I am linking up to Link a Finish FridayWhoop Whoop FridayThank Goodness Its Finished FridayFinish It Up FridayFabric Frenzy Fridayand Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Nordic Playlist - Quilt Finish and Tutorial

I am excited to share another finish with you today! The Bear Creek Quilting Company has such wonderful fabric, I was so excited to when Shari sent me a fat quarter bundle of Paradiso by Kate Spain for Moda.  I used the bundle to create a queen sized quilt called Nordic Playlist which is now living on my daughter's bed and she loves it :).  

Nordic Playlist finishes at about 90” x 90”, a nice double/queen size.  Each 18” x 18” (finished) block in the quilt uses a fat quarter of a print along with some background fabric, so the size of the quilt is easy to scale up and down.   The free quilt pattern is now up on the Bear Creek Quilting Company's blog

I used a horizontal looping pattern for the quilting and just followed all of the seam lines for virtually no marking.  It still took a really long time to quilt and I will posting some tricks I learned soon for horizontal quilting a larger quilt with a domestic sewing machine easier.

I backed the quilt using a 108" wide Robert Kaufman print that was perfect for the Paradiso line (with the added bonus that I did not have to piece the backing).  Instead of using yardage for the binding, I used three of the left over fat quarters from the line for a matching, yet scrappy binding.  


Taking pictures of the queen sized quilt proved to be quite a challenge, anyone have tips on getting good pictures of a quilt that large?

Once again, here is the link to the free pattern :)

I am linking up to Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, and WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Link a Finish Friday, Whoop Whoop Friday, Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday, Finish It Up Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, and Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.