Saturday, May 28, 2016

May is for Makers

I am a little late for the May is for Makers campaign with May being almost over, but I wanted to get in at least one pattern purchase to support a fellow designer.

If you are not familiar with May is for Makers, it is a campaign started by Lindsey Rhodes who blogs at LR Stitched to support all of the pattern makers and their hard work.  You can read more about the campaign here on Lindsey's blog.
I was not sure which pattern I wanted to buy until I say Rae from Made by Rae's new Feather Washi dress.  I have the Washi dress pattern (and have made one Washi with it, you can see it here) and have been considering buying the extension pack which contains a bunch of other necklines, sleeves, and construction options.  When I saw the fun tie neckline on the Feather Washi I knew that the extension pack was going to be one of my May if for Makers purchases.

I am hoping to use a some yardage I have of a Fleet and Flourish fabric by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics to make a similar dress...hopefully before summer is over!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Foothills Mystery - Mosaic/que Guild Highlight

Today, I would love to show you the Mosaic/que guild versions of my Foothills Mystery Quilt for their mystery quilt-along that just wrapped up (The Foothills Mystery was a quilt-along that ran from 2014-2015, free pattern here). I was so excited when Chantal contacted me about the finishes and graciously allowed me to highlight her guild here on my blog.

Here is what Chantal said about her guild, "The Mosaic/que guild is located in Brossard, a suburb near Montreal, in Qu├ębec, Canada. It has around 30 members. It's an evening guild, meeting twice a month. Half of the people are French speaking, half of the people are English speaking. Half of the people are retired, half of the people are still working. We're all women, aged between 25 and 80, average around 60. It's really a good mix of kind women sharing the same passion.

We were looking for a mystery quilt for our 2015-2016 season. Most of guild members are very traditional but I was looking for something a little bit different, but that can be achieve with any kind of fabric. It's really stressful to pick a pattern for a bunch of people. We started the Foothills Mystery Quilt in September 2015. A new step was given each month. At reveal date in May 2016, 10 persons have completed the quilt on time. And some people were missing. And some have not completed it yet. Everybody loved the pattern, despite the 144 HST to do. Since most of the members are really traditional, nearly half of them couldn't help to add a border to their finished quilt, which makes them even more interesting."

I love all of the different colorways and the different borders.  Thanks Chantal for allowing me to share your guild's finishes!

Is your guild looking for a mystery quilt?  You are welcome to join in on the new Meadow Mystery Quilt starting in July or use the Foothills Mystery Quilt or Midnight Mystery Quilt patterns.  I would love to see your guild's take on the patterns!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting - A Book Review

I am very excited to share Christa Watson and Angela Walters's new book "The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting" today.

I have followed both Christa and Angela's blog forever, I love their willingness to share knowledge (and share some fabulous pics of quilts).  I had the chance to room with Christa at QuiltCon 2015 we we solidified our QBFF (Quilting Best Friends Forever) status. She is just one of those people that are so easy to talk to and is willing to share all of her knowledge.


Photograph by Brent Kane and Martingale

I will admit that when I first got the book I figured that I would be focusing almost exclusively on Christa's home machine quilting section as I do not have a longarm quilting machine, but when I started reading the book I really found that every page was useful, helpful, and inspirational. 

First off, I just love seeing different versions of the same pattern, it is always interesting to see how the different fabric choices effect the look of the design. This book takes it one step further with showing two very different quilting designs too!  It was really interesting to see how some of the quilting designs are better suited to home machine versus longarm and some are more universal (with tons of tips to get the best quilting from both types of machines).

Here is one of my favorite designs Quatrefoil Applique, isn't it interesting to see the different quilting designs and how they lend a totally different look to the quilts?

Photograph by Brent Kane and Martingale

I also love the strong geometric nature of Directionally Challenged, it is interesting how both Angela and Christa decided to use quilting lines to highlight the triangles and how they used their different machines to achieve the look?

Photograph by Brent Kane and Martingale 

The book really lives up to its tagline "Learn When, Where, Why, and How to Finish Your Quilts".  I am glad that I have this book in my reference library and will be referring to it many times in the future!

You can pick up your own copy of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting from Martingale or Amazon. Signed copies (autographed by both quilters) are available directly from Christa or Angela.

(Full disclosure: I am not receiving any compensation from the sale of this book. I did receive a free copy for review, but the opinion expressed in this review are my own.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Stash - Cool Melon - Mosaic Contest Win

Back in late April, Rachel from Stitched in Color hosted a fabric mosaic contest called Cool Melon sponsored by Gotham Quilts.  When I heard the theme, my mind immediately went to all of the melon colors: the soft mint green of honeydew, the peachy orange of cantaloupe, and the ruby pinks of watermelon. 

Here was the pictorial bundle I pulled together for the contest...

I was so excited to find out that I was one of two winners! Thank you to everyone who voted on my bundle! Yesterday, my fat quarter bundle of fabric arrived in the mail and I am so excited to play with these fabrics.  You will hopefully see these in a finished article soon :)

Thank you again to Rachel from Stitched in Color and Gotham Quilts!  I'm linking up with Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Crafted Applique - Review and GIVEAWAY!

I have pleasure of introducing my good friend Lara from Buzz in Bumble's new book called Crafted Applique to you today.  I met Lara almost 2 years ago through a blog hop and she is one of the sweetest woman I have met online.

When she told me she was going to be releasing a book I volunteered to help out any way I could. In addition to sending me a copy of Crafted Applique to review, she is also sponsoring a giveaway of an additional book, see the bottom of the post.

Confession time...I have not done much applique because...

1.  Raw edge applique - I don't like how the edges fray when doing a straight stitch to hold down the applique and I don't really care for the blanket stitch or zig-zag look (and I can't get the satin stitch to look decent).

2.  Needle turned applique - I really do not know how to do this type of applique and I bleieve that it is very time-consuming.

In Crafted Applique, Lara introduces a totally new way of applique which totally changes my thoughts on applique.  It has the speed and ease of fusible applique with none of the fraying, the best of both worlds!  In the words of a guild member I showed the book to, "This is a game changer". 

Take a look at this bookmark Lara sent me made using the technique, it is raw edge applique with a straight stitch...look how clean and smooth the edges are! (and this is after my entire guild played with the bookmark)

In addition to teaching her new applique method, Lara does a wonderful job completely explaining all of the different variations and tips to make the method work best for ever situation.  Crafted Applique also contains 7 fun applique projects to try the new technique on.

So now you probably are wondering what Lara's magic applique method is.  I can't tell you but you do have an opportunity to win a copy of the book below or if you cannot wait to get your hands on a copy you can order it today on Amazon (not an affiliate link).

To be entered, simply leave a comment on this post, any comment will do.  If you would like a topic comment on, you can tell me whether you have ever appliqued before and if yes, which method is your favorite.

The giveaway will be open for one week, ending on Wednesday, May 25th at 8 pm EST.  If you are a no-reply blogger make sure to leave your e-mail address (If I can't reach you, you can't win).


Monday, May 16, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 13 - Winners

I am happy to announce the two winners of the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 13 giveaway.
(You can find my block and the different quilts I rendered using it here).

The first winner, who will receive a copy of the 100 Blocks Vol 13 magazine directly from Quiltmaker is Janarma and the the second winner, who will receive a copy of the 100 Blocks Vol 13 magazine and a printed version of On a "Jelly" Roll from me is Judi.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to leave comments on the 100 blocks post!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Improv Curve Baby Quilt Finish

I admit to loving to make baby quilts.  It is great to have a quick finish project to break up some of the longer projects (I am in the middle of some major paper piecing for a new project).  Here is my latest baby quilt finish...

When I make a baby quilt as a baby shower gift, I usually get a few ideas from the mom-to-be: nursery colors, more modern or traditional, etc and then I get to play around with ideas in my head.  I try to make something that they will like, but I get to use my own creativity and make what I feel like making.

I had received Sherri Lynn Wood's book, "The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters" (not an affiliate link) for Christmas and had been itching to try one of her scores from the book (each of her scores being a recipe or parameters for an improv quilt).   I was very excited when my co-worker, the mom-to-be, said she loved modern and bright colors.

I used the Layered Curve score and pulled some warm Kona colors from my stash.  Here is my initial fabric pull.  While I pieced, I edited the fabrics a little (like removing the really dark wine colored fabric in the top row).

I cut some wedges freehand and sewed them into curved pieces and then sewed them together into larger pieces.  This part of the process went together pretty easily and quickly.

Then came the hard part, how to combine and sew them together.  Sherri Lynn Wood had some good tips for how to piece the wedges together.  I pieced them together and slowly the wedges became a curved blob of sorts.

I wanted to use some music note fabric I had as the background as the father-to-be is a professor of jazz guitar.  I thought the fabric was good in that is was an off-white so there was not too stark a contrast between the wedges and the background, and the music notes were really more of a subtle low volume print.  Here is the blob laying on the background before appliqueing.

I used needle turned applique to attach the large curved blob to the background.  I really did not want to attempt to piece the unit together with the background fabric and I wanted the music chefs to be straight and continuous. (I made sure the whole piece would fit into one width of fabric to avoid the background being pieced.)

For quilting, I used almost every warm color of Aurifil thread I own to quilt gentle, overlapping, wavy lines using my walking foot.  Some of the threads were different weights, most were 50 wt with a few being 40 wt and one or two being the heavier 28 wt which gave a nice texture to the quilt.

The finished at about 40" x 40".  I had forgotten how difficult it is to square up a quilt without blocks to reference to, I had to borrow some of my husband's large T-squares.  Overall, the quilt was a lot of fun to make and I can't wait to try another of Sherri's scores.

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Work in Progress - Ma Maison

You may remember the lap sized quilt and pattern I made for the Moda Bake Shop quilt back in December 2015 called Ma Maison.

Over the past few months, I have received numerous questions on how to make the quilt in different sizes, so I have decided to write a full pattern for the quilt design all the way from baby size up to king size.  I am also remaking the quilt in some more "me" colors.

I started my new version of Ma Maison with a jelly roll of Denyse Schmidt's Shelburne Falls line.  I love its vintage, scrappy feel.

The blocks came together quickly and easily.

The toughest part was figuring out what I should use for the sashing.  I started with a Kona white and then tried yellows, blues, low volume, and almost everything in between (I made a but of a mess of my sewing room in the process).  I finally settled my initial Kona white because I felt that the other colors and prints competed with the blocks. too much.

The quilt top is now basted and in the "ready to quilt" pile.  Hopefully, I will get it quilted and the full pattern finished soon.

I am linking up to Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh QuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, and WIP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLink a Finish Friday.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 13 - Cloud Burst - Blog Hop and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 13 Blog Tour!

I am so excited to have a block called Cloud Burst in Volume 13 of the 100 Blocks magazine by Quiltmaker.  This is my fourth block to appear in the 100 Blocks magazines and the first time my block has appeared on the cover (the middle of the top row of blocks).  You can see my previous 100 Blocks: Sewing Triangles included in Volume 10 and Outlined Plus in Volume 11, and Paper Star in Volume 12.

Cloud Burst is a paper pieced block design with some unusual angles and shapes that I designed in EQ7 utilizing the Kaleidoscope Block function within the Serendipity block design tab.  I started with one of my more simple block designs, ran it through the Kaleidoscope Block function, and then continued to play with the design until I came up with Cloud Burst.  If you have EQ7, you should give the functions within the Serendipity tab a try, you can get some very unique block designs! 

Here is the block repeated in a lap size quilt:

Cloud Burst is a relatively complex block so I played around with quilt top designs (using sashing, borders, and negative space) to maximize the impact of the block while minimizing the piecing time.

I think that the sashing really gives the quilt a whole different look.

The next two rendering use some full and some partial blocks to finish off the plus part of the block design.

I hope that you have enjoyed all of these renderings of Cloud Burst being used in different quilt tops to see how versatile the block is. 

Make sure you stop by Quiltmaker's blog, Quilty Pleasures, for some great prizes and a complete list of blog tour participants! 

Now on to the Giveaways (yes plural!):

Prize 1: Quiltmaker is sponsoring the giveaway of a copy of 100 Blocks Magazine Vol. 13.  This magazine drawing is open to everyone-international included.  The magazine will be shipped directly from Quiltmaker's.

Prize 2:  I also have a copy 100 Blocks Magazine Vol. 13 plus a printed version of On a "Jelly" Roll, my most popular printed  pattern to giveaway.  This giveaway is open to everyone-international included and will be shipped from me.

To Enter:  

1.  Leave a comment, any comment.  If you would like a topic, you can tell me your favorite size quilt to make.

2.  My followers (old or new) get a bonus entry.  Leave a second comment with how you follow.  (You can follow by BloglovinEmailInstagram.)

The giveaway will run for 1 week, until 8 pm EST on Thursday May 12th.  I try to respond to each and every comment I get on my blog, but with giveaway posts the numbers are usually too great to do this.  PS - 
If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your e-mail address so I have a way of contacting you if you win.

** Giveaway now closed, thanks to all that entered! **

Meadow Mystery Quilt-Along Starts in 2 Months!

I am very excited to announce that the next mystery quilt, the Meadow Mystery Quilt is going to be kicking off in about two months on July 7th!  The pattern is drafted, tested, reviewed and ready to go!

The Meadow Mystery Quilt is a free quilt-along that will run from July 2016 until April 2017 with a set of directions revealed the first Thursday of every month. The mystery quilt is a 60" x 60" lap size quilt.

We will kick off the quilt-along in July with the fabric requirements and some helpful hints to pick fabrics and colors (you will have an entire month to gather fabrics before the cutting instructions in August).

Here are some more details about the upcoming mystery quilt...

1.  Quilt-along Instructions The monthly instructions will be posted to this blog as blog posts (and can always be found in the Mystery Quilt tab above) and also sent out as an easy to print pdf through e-mail to the distribution list.  

If you would like to be added to the e-mail distribution list, simply leave a comment on this post (with your e-mail if you are a no reply blogger) or send an e-mail to me at cheryljbrickey (at) gmail (dot) com. (If you received the e-mails for the Midnight Mystery quilt, you are already on the list so there is no need to sign up again).

2.  Button - I have made a button for the mystery quilt :)  If you decide to join in on the quilt-a-long and have a blog I would love it if you posted the button.

grab button for Meadow Mist Designs
<div class="meadow-mist-designs-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="" alt="Meadow Mist Designs" width="200" height="200" /> </a> </div>

3.  Prizes - We will have prizes!  Prizes will be given out randomly to quilters who submit quilts or quilt tops to the reveal parade in April 2017.  We already have 6 sponsors and hope to add some more in the coming weeks.  More details about the individual sponsors and prizes will be announced in June.

4.  The Un-Mystery Quilt - Want to join in the fun but making a mystery quilt is not your thing?  If you would like to see the final pattern to decide whether to join in, or to help pick colors; simply e-mail me and I will send you a sneak peak (the only rule is that you have to keep the design completely to yourself as to not spoil anyone else's surprise). **I will begin sending sneak peeks on June 2nd, not before **

5.  Facebook Group - We already have over 400 active members in our Facebook Group (Meadow Mist Designs Facebook Group) sewing together!  Join the group today so you can share and see everyone else's fabric, progress pictures, and finished quilts.

5.  Thank You to Pattern Testers - I would like to sincerely thank my 5 pattern testers and reviewers who have helped make the pattern the best it can be:

Allison CB
Lila H.
Shauna T. of Shauna's World

6.  Quilt Kits - Bear Creek Quilting Company will be selling some quilt kits for this mystery quilt.  More details will be posted on this blog in June.  (You can also sign up for notification of kits availability right here).  

6.  Previous Mystery Quilts - The instructions for my previous mystery quilts are located in the Mystery Quilt tab above (and are always available so you can start them at any time).  Both patterns are also available as digital pdf versions from my Etsy shop (Midnight Mystery and Foothills Mystery) for those that would prefer a single, easy to print versions of the patterns.

I think that is everything for now.  I hope that you are planning on joining me for a fun mystery quilt!  If you have any questions or would like to be added to the e-mail distribution list, you can leave them as a comment or e-mail me at cheryljbrickey (at) gmail (dot) com.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cool Melon - Mosaic Contest Entry

Hi Everyone, I am back from my bloggy vacation feeling refreshed and ready to go!

A few days ago, I saw on my Bloglovin feed that Stitched in Color was having a fabric mosaic contest sponsored by Gotham Quilts.  Rachel gives a theme and some inspirational photographs and then you get to go play, creating different fabric bundles from the fabrics in Gotham Quilts.  I think that making digital fabric combinations {almost} satisfies my fabric tooth as much as buying actual fabric!

The theme was Cool Melon and Rachel pulled together some beautiful inspirational photographs. When I heard the theme, my mind immediately went to all of the melon colors: the soft mint green of honeydew, the peachy orange of cantaloupe, and the ruby pinks of watermelon.  

Here is my bundle I pulled together...

I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of Cool Melon and will hop over to Stitched in Color's blog to see the other gorgeous entries.