Friday, November 30, 2018

Mikado ++ Quilt Finish

I would love to show you Mikado today, my QuiltCon entry for the APQ 2-Color Challenge category.

The quilt is made with the Smoosh block which I designed for the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG)for their October Block of the Month.  The Smoosh block is foundation paper pieced and is available for free for all MQG members.  You can find instructions for the block and a quilt here.

For the Mikado quilt, I set the Smoosh blocks on point and then randomly substituted in some black and white striped fabric for some of the fabric pieces.  I took care to make sure that all of the stripes in all of the striped fabrics go in the same direction (which was a little difficult due to a few piecing oopsies).

The quilt got its name because I thought it looked a little like a bunch of sticks from the game Pick Up Sticks.  It turns out that Pick Up Sticks is based on the European game Mikado :)

I do not love to do straight line quilting, but each time I started to plan out the quilting, I came back to a dense, randomly spaced cross-hatch pattern echoing the seam lines of the on-point blocks.  Luckily, the quilt is pretty small (about 41" x 50") that the dense quilting did not take too long.

I used 50 wt white Aurifil thread which blended well with the background and did not stand out too much on the black or striped fabrics.  A fun geometry themed fabric from Moda called Modern Background Paper by Zen Chic became the backing. 

For batting, I used my favorite batting Warm & White from the Warm Company.  The white color made sure there was no shadowing or color coming through the mostly white quilt top, and once blocked (see how I block a quilt here), the batting gives the quilt such a crisp and flat look.

I finished the quilt off using a really thick binding using 5" binding strips.  I think that the quilt top really needed a strong frame with all of the negative space.  I made and attached the binding the same as I normally would (I had tested the larger binding on my last charity quilt). 

I will let you know if it gets into QuiltCon :)

Quilt Stats
Size: 41" x 50"
Design: Smoosh blocks set on point (designed by me for the MQG)
Fabrics: Moda Bella white, Kona black, Robert Kaufman stripe
Quilting: 50 wt white Aurifil thread in a dense cross-hatch

Monday, November 26, 2018

2018 ++ Tips and Tutorials Festival ++ Winners

Thank you so much to everyone who linked tips and tutorials or visited links during the first bi-annual Tips and Tutorials Festival!  Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl) and I had such fun and learned so much from the link ups.

You voted on your favorite three links in each category, and based on the votes received, here are the winners. Please take some time to check out their amazing tutorials!

Cindy from Hyacinth Quilt Designs - How to Make a Quilt Pattern Your Own

 Vicki from Vicki's Crafts and Quilting - Starstruck Tutorial

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl - Diffraction Quilt Block 
(As a host, Yvonne is not eligible for prizes, but we wanted to acknowledge her tutorial.)

Patty from Elm Street Quilts - How to Make a Temperature Quilt

Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs - How to Match Quilt Backings 
(As a host, Cheryl is not eligible for prizes, but we wanted to acknowledge her tutorial.)

Rachel from Rachel Rossi Design - How to Get a Perfect Pinwheel

Kathleen from Kathleen McMusing - Facing a Quilt

Jennifer from Dizzy Quilter - Faster Moravian Stars

Melissa from Melissa Marginet - Walking Foot Quilt Along

We hope you enjoyed the tutorial and look forward to next year's festival!!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Quilter's Planner

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week and those that celebrated Thanksgiving had wonderful and stress-free holiday with lots of good food!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am started to plan for next year and am spending the day starting to fill out my Quilter's Planner 2019 calendar.  I have a bunch of dates and fun events I already need to put in.  When do you start to write in your next year's planner?

Last month when Yvonne was visiting, we watched Christopher @the_tattooed_quilter’s recent webinar for the Modern Quilt Guild, Perfecting the Perfect Flat Lay. We decided to try our hand at taking some styled pictures of the Quilter's Planner (affiliate link).

We learned 1) we also have more little items to include the photo than we thought we did and 2) it actually was very fun! Here are some of the pictures Yvonne and I took. What do you think?

I just learned about some super sales for the Quilter's Planner...

1) If you order a planner between Friday the 22nd through Monday the 26th, you will get a free set of three Planner Pocket Notes (brand new, see pic below).

2) You can use the code VIP5 for $5 off your order (in addition to the free pocket note planners)

Also, all Quilter's Planners also come with the Magazine with a sampler quilt I designed and over a dozen other patterns.

You can find the Quilter's Planner here and the Planner Pocket Notes here.

Also, don't forget about the Meadow Mist Designs pattern sale going on: in my Etsy shop add three patterns (digital, print, or combo of both) to your cart and use the code BUY2GET1 for $10 off your order through midnight on Monday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Pattern Sale

I hope that you will be enjoying the holidays this week!

Black Friday
Small Business Saturday
Cyber Monday

To celebrate, I am offering a buy 2 get one free sale in my Etsy shop.  The coupon code will work on digital, printed, or a mixture of both patterns.

To use the coupon code:

1.  Head over to my etsy shop:
2.  Add three patterns to your cart.
3.  Use the code BUY2GET1 which will take off $10 (cost of one of the patterns).

The sale will run through midnight (EST) on Cyber Monday, Nov 26th.

Thank you so much for your support throughout the year!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fall 2018 ++ Tips and Tutorials Festival ++ Voting Open

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl and I have really enjoyed all the posts linked up to the Tips and Tutorials Festival this week!

Have you had a chance to check them all out? If not, now is a great time to go visit them all because Voting is Open 
(Note: voting takes place on the main link-up post, not this post)

The top three posts with the most votes in each category will win prizes from our generous sponsors:

Example of Linkup Voting

Voting is easy: simply click the heart in the upper right hand corner of your favorite three (3) posts in each category on the main link up post here. A red heart indicates that you have voted. Note that the posts are randomly arranged, so they will appear in a different order every time you visit.

When you are ready, visit the Tips and Tutorials Festival!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Feathered Kaleidoscope ++ mini quilt

I recently participated in a South Carolina Modern Quilt Guild mini quilt swap and I would love to show you what I made and the mini i got in return.

The mini swap was between members of the of the three Modern Quilt Guilds in South Carolina, Greenville MQG (my guild), Palmetto MQG (Columbia) and Charleston MQG. The rules were that the mini had to be less than 24" on each side and no extras were allowed to be included.

I was given my swap partners name, Leesa (from the Palmetto guild) and her preferences. She was really open to most designs and colors.

A feathered star has been on my bucket list for the longest time so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to make one (and with it being a mini, I only had to make one block :)

I wanted the points to match well, so I designed a feathered star that was paper pieced. The block measures 18 ½" square and then I added 2" borders for a finished quilt size of 22 ½" square.

I kept the quilting simple because there was so much going on with the piecing.  I simply echoed the seam lines in the star and the background using 50 wt Aurifil thread that matched the fabric.

I used a larger scale Anna Maria Horner print for the backing.  I really like this print and would love to have a shirt or dress made of out it (another thing for the to-do list :)

Take a look at what my swap partner Whitner (from the Charleston guild) made me, I think that I was the luckiest swap recipient!!  I love it!!

I had not done a swap in so long and I had such fun, many thanks to the quilters who organized the swap!

Do you like the paper pieced Feathered Kaleidoscope block?  Would you like it to be offered as a pattern?  If yes, besides a quilt mini, what other quilt sizes would you like the pattern to include?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Modern Plus Sampler Quilt ++ My Rick Rack Areas

November's instructions for the Modern Plus Sampler were the Rick Rack areas, based on the first pattern in the book the Rick Rack Runner.  Here is one of mine:

There have been some wonderful blocks posted on the Facebook Group and on Instagram (#ModernPlusSamplerQuilt).  If you have a chance, please check them out :)

You can find the Rick Rack Area instructions for November here and find out all about the quilt along here.

The next set of instructions will be posted on Thursday, December 6th.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

10 Great Gifts for Quilters

Someone at my last guild meeting asked me if I had any ideas on items she could put on her Christmas wish list.  I suggested a bunch of my favorite sewing notions and thought it might be fun to also share here...10 great gifts for quilters.

You can find all of these items and other quilting equipment and notions on my Amazon page. Some links are affiliate links

1.  Bloc-loc Rulers
Bloc-loc rulers are the only specialty rulers that I use on a regular basis.  The have a grove cut into the back of the ruler so the seam (pressed to the side), nests in the grove for accurate and quick cutting.  The 6 1/2" half square triangle ruler can be used to trim any HST up to 6 1/2".  I have a little tutorial on the blog showing how to use the ruler here.

2.  Olfa Cutting Mat
These are my go to's for cutting my fabrics.  The Olfa cutting mat is so durable, mine is over a year old and still looks new.  I recommend asking for the biggest size that your space will allow.  I went from an 18" x 24" to a 24" x 36" and it makes cutting so much easier.

3.  Pincushion
I have so many pincushions and love them all (especially the handmade ones), but for day to day pinning, the Zirkel Magnetic Organizer is so easy to use. I find that it is the easiest to get pins from and put pins back. I love the blue color too :)

4.  Tweezers
I use tweezers for so many things in sewing, from threading and cleaning out my machine to pulling papers off my blocks after foundation paper piecing.  I am always misplacing them so being able to get 3 pairs for $11 seems awesome to me.  With 3 pairs, I should always be able to find at least one :)

5.  Sewing Machine Needles
Most of us should be changing out our sewing machine needles more frequently than we do.  I use Organ needles which are so inexpensive, there is no excuse not to change them as often as we should.  You can buy 100 needles for around $10 (so about 1 cent per needle).  I have used them in my Bernina for years with no problems.

6.  Aurifil Thread
It is always magical when you go into your thread area and already have the perfect matching thread to your project.  Thread is a great stocking stuffer and getting it as a gift is a wonderful way of building up the colors you have on hand.  Consider putting some different weight threads on your list too, 50 wt is great for piecing and quilting, but some of the thicker weights 40 wt, 28, wt, 12 wt can create different looks for your quilting designs.

7.  Scissors
A high quality pair of scissors makes cutting easier and more accurate and should just feel great in your hand.  My favorite scissors are Gingher 8" dress making scissors.  They are like Goldie Locks, not too big and not too small.   Just perfect and very sharp.  At $17 they are a very good price too (I am thinking I might need a second pair because one always seems to get lost under a pile of fabric.)

8.  Quilt Books
Quilt books contain so much inspiration, with all of their styled pictures and quilt designs.  Plus, you often get more than 15 patterns for around $15-25, which is a great deal.  If you are looking for a fun quilt book to put on your list, may I suggest Modern Plus Sign Quilts :)

9.  Quilt Hanging Stand
I use a simple and inexpensive photography backdrop holder to hold up my quilts for pictures.  It is far from a professional setup, but the holder does a good job of holding up the quilt flat so I can take a good full picture of the the finished quilt.  Whether you are taking pictures of quilts to enter into quilt shows or just to keep a record of your finishes, having a reliable way to get a good flat shot of the quilt is important.

10.  Travel Sewing Machine
I love my large Bernina, but don't bring it to classes because it is so heavy and I am afraid it might break.  A few years ago I purchased this Brother quilting and sewing machine and it has been fabulous.  It is super light and small for traveling, but really has great stitch quality and no tension issues.  Plus, it came with an extension table and a bunch of presser feet.  You can't beat a good quality sewing machine for less than $150.

I hope that I gave you some ideas of what to ask for this holiday season. What is on your wish list?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fall 2018 Tips and Tutorials Festival ++ Linkup!

Welcome to the Fall 2018 Tips and Tutorials Festival! The Festival runs bi-annually and I am lucky to co-host the event with Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl.

I hope that you have fun learning some great new tips and tutorials!

Fall 2018 Tips and Tutorials Festival Details

  • Submissions close at 11:59 PM Eastern on Friday, November 16th.
  • There will be 2 categories open for submissions, so please enter into the most appropriate category:
  1. Block and Quilt Tutorials
  2. Other Tutorials (Sewing, Other Sewn/Quilted Items, Quilting Tutorials)
  • You can submit up to 4 tutorials: two per category or all 4 in one category. The choice is yours!
  • Links will be displayed randomly, so each time you visit your linked post will appear in a different location within the linkup.
  • We encourage fresh, new content, so we ask that you link up posts that have be published since November 2017.
  • Please only link up blog posts (no Instagram or Facebook posts).
  • Voting opens at Midnight Eastern on Saturday, November 17th, and closes at 11:59 PM Eastern on Tuesday, November 20th.
  • Winners will be announced on Monday, November 26th!
  • The festival link up and voting are the same on both Cheryl’s blog and my blog so you only enter/vote through one blog and it will show up on both.

Questions about the festival?  Please ask any questions in the comments below.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Trumpet Horns ++ Pattern Release

Fall is here, I thought I would celebrate with a new pattern release that reminded me of falling leaves.

Trumpet Horns is a beginner and fat quarter friendly pattern using half square triangles in the blocks and having very few seams to match.  The pattern contains instructions for baby, lap, and queen versions.

For my version, I used a layer cake of some fall inspired solids by American Made Brand Solids so my quilt had a little more color variety in it.  For the background, I used a subtle cream and tan print that has a wonderful silky feel to it.

To keep the quilt simple and quick to finish, I quilted the quilt in a stipple pattern using a cream colored Aurifil 50 wt thread that matched the background color well.  A solid brown backing showed off the cream thread stipple well.

Below are the material requirements and renderings of each size for the quilt.

Special Introductory Pricing

Trumpet Horns will be available for a special introductory price of $8 through November 16th and the pattern can be found in my Craftsy and Etsy shops.  

Save more on Etsy ... Buy 2 or more patterns for a discount! Buy 2 patterns and use the coupon code TWOPATTERNS for $2 off. Buy 3 patterns and use the coupon code THREEPATTERNS for $4 off.

Many, many thanks to Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl and Paige @Quilted Blooms for their help with tech editing this pattern!

I would love to see what you make with the pattern! You can share your quilt:Meadow Mist Designs Facebook group and Social Media: #TrumpetHornsQuilt

Trumpet Horns Pattern: Craftsy, Etsy

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How to Match Quilt Backings ++ a Tutorial

I am one of those quilters who once the quilt top is finished, want to get the backing ready as quickly as possible so that I can get to the quilting. I love wide back fabrics for this reason.

When I do need to piece a back for a quilt, typically I use all of the same fabric sewn together with as few seams as possible.  Usually the fabrics are solids or a busy print so I just stitch them and the seam is barely noticeable.  

Once in a while I use a print like in the picture above, Meteor Shower from the Birds and the Bees collection by Tula Pink for FreeSpirit where the seam would show a lot.  For these, I take the time to match the pattern on the backing so the seam is less visible.  

I took some pictures of my process for a little tutorial for you.

Step 1 - Take a look at your fabric and figure out the repeat pattern. Cut the two (or more) lengths of fabric for the backing, being sure to cut extra to allow length for moving the fabric pieces relative to each other to match the patterns.

Step 2 - Iron a crease along the length of the fabric on one of the lengths.  Line up the creased fabric on top of the other length of fabric so that the patterns match and pin in place.

Step 3 - Glue the folded part of the creased fabric to the other length of fabric lightly to hold it in place (you are just basting so use the glue sparingly). Be sure to use a water soluble glue, you can use Elmer's glue as shown or a glue stick. After adding the glue, an iron can be used to press the crease again and help the glue set.

Step 4 - Remove the pins and open the creased fabric. Sew on the crease to join the two lengths of fabric.

Step 5 - Trim the seam to about 1/2" (I just use scissors).  The seam is glued shut but if you used glue sparingly, you can easily pull the fabrics apart.  Press the seam open or to the side and you are ready to use your backing!  

Once you quilt your quilt, the seam will be almost invisible :)

I am excited to link this new tutorial up to the Tips and Tutorials Festival next week!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Fall 2018 Tips and Tutorials Festival ++ Rules and Prizes

I hope that you are getting as excited as Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl) and I am about the upcoming Tips and Tutorials Festival!  The festival will open for links to tutorials on Monday, November 12th.

Festival Rules
  • Submissions open at Midnight Eastern on Monday, November 12th and close at 11:59 PM Eastern on Friday, June 16th.
  • There will be 2 categories open for submissions, so please enter into the most appropriate category:
  1. Block and Quilt Tutorials
  2. Other Tutorials (Sewing, Other Sewn/Quilted Items, Quilting Tutorials)
  • You can submit up to 4 tutorials: two per category or all 4 in one category. The choice is yours!
  • We encourage fresh, new content, so we ask that you link up posts that have be published since November 2017.
  • Please only link up blog posts, no Instagram or Facebook pages.
  • Voting opens at Midnight Eastern on Saturday, November 17th and closes at 11:59 PM Eastern on Tuesday, November 20th.
  • Winners will be announced on Monday, November 26th!
  • The festival link up and voting are the same on both Yvonne and my blog so you only enter/vote through one blog and it will show up on both.


We are able to offer prizes to the people with the top 3 most votes in each category thanks to our very generous sponsors!  Below are the sponsors and prizes for the Tips and Tutorials Festival in reverse alphabetical order:

Whims and Fancies - Digital quilt patterns
In addition to designing wonderful paper pieced and traditionally pieced quilt patterns, Soma also shares photography, drawing, and painting inspiration on her blog.

Sarah Maxwell - Sew Sweet 14-piece fat quarter bundle
Sarah designs fabrics for Marcus Fabrics.  Her newest collection contains a rainbow of print colors. 

Quilting Jetgirl - Digital quilt patterns
Quilting Jetgirl specializes in modern quilts, especially quilts that contain a transparency element.  Through her blog, Yvonne educates, inspires, and supports quilters and strengthens the online quilting community.

Quilter's Planner
The Quilter's Planner is a yearly organizer designed specifically for quilters.  The planner also comes with a magazine with a year long quilt along as well as over 10 other quilt patterns.

Pattern Drop - $30 gift certificate

Pattern Drop is a pdf quilt pattern of the month club, featuring premium, fully tested, unique, and beautiful quilt patterns. 

OLFA - 45mm rotary cutter and endurance blades
OLFA makes superior cutters, mats, rulers and more, the perfect tools to cut fabrics and make accurate quilts.

Needle and Foot - $20 gift certificate
Needle and Foot is an Etsy shop specializing in high quality quilting cottons and has different special guest artist curated fabric bundles each month.

Meadow Mist Designs - Digital quilt patterns
Meadow Mist Designs focuses on producing innovative patterns with clear instructions.

Make Modern Magazine - Four 6-month subscriptions
Make Modern is a 6-time a year digital quilt magazine filled with tons of quilt patterns, columns, and more.

Honey, Bunny, and Doll - Four digital pattern bundle
Honey, Bunny, and Doll is Etsy shop selling fabric and quilt patterns.  They have a large selection of Kona solid fabrics.

Hobbs Batting - Wool and silk battings
Hobbs strives to create the best battings for quilters and has many options such as wool, cotton, polyester, and silk for quilters to choose from.

FreeSpirit Fabrics - three piece fat quarter bundle of Anna Maria Horner Conservatory.  
FreeSpirit has high quality fabrics with collections by some of the most popular quilt fabric designers in the industry.

Fat Quarter Shop - $75 gift certificate
Fat Quarter Shop features high quality quilting fabric for quilting, sewing, crafters and fabric lovers of all ages. Free shipping on orders over $80!

Aurifil - 12 large spool thread collection
Aurifil is a favorite of quilters for their high quality, wonderful colors, variety of thread weights.  

Tips and Tutorials Schedule

Monday, November 12 – Submissions Open
Friday, November 16 – Submissions Close
Saturday, November 17 – Voting Opens
Tuesday, November 20– Voting Closes
Monday, November 26 – Winners Announced

Questions about the festival?  Please ask any questions in the comments below.