Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of the Fat Quarter Shop. Oh look! Everyone’s hand is up. :) Well, I’m popping in to give you a quick head up on the Crossroads Quilt Along. From February-August of 2016, Fat Quarter shop will post free patterns for each block in the quilt. They ask that you donate what you would have paid to March of Dimes instead. Isn’t that sweet?
I’m going to play along and make the blocks from my fabric collections, but FQS also has a kit in their shop from Fig Tree’s Strawberry Fields Revisited fabrics, isn’t it pretty? Fat Quarter Shop has asked me and a bunch of other designers and bloggers to sew along, and today they asked that we share a little about a “crossroad” in our life.
One of the difficulties I faced as a young adult was a major health problem. This was a shock to me, as I was a very, very healthy child and teenager. So when I found myself exhausted and sick just months into my marriage, I was upset and unsure how to handle it. I went to doctor after doctor, only to be told there was nothing wrong. Some were even willing to tell me it was all in my head. The more I arrived at dead ends, the more determined I was to figure out what was going on. Finally, I decided that the only person that could figure out my health was me. I did loads of research, read articles and journal publications. I looked into every possible medication, side effect, alternative remedy, herb, homeopathic, oil, supplement and vitamin. I asked for blood panels to be done testing many levels that aren’t “standard” procedure. I went to specialty doctors, naturopaths, massage therapists, and endocrinologists.
When I finally began to trust my intuition and stopped handing my health over to other people, I began to find answers. I told my doctors my suspicions and findings and they were good enough to research with me, and were surprised when I told them things they didn’t know. All in all, my crossroad took me nearly a decade to get through, but I can say now that I know my body, what went wrong, how it happened, and that it is now fixed. I am proud of the things I learned, that I was willing to trust myself even when everyone else thought I was nuts, and that I figured it out and allowed my body to heal. I am a much better mother to my children because of it, and I believe they will be healthier as well.
What difficulties have you faced? What was the turning point in those difficult circumstances? How did you come out triumphant?
I can’t wait to sew along with you next year, and learn more about you!
The other day (or like, two months ago) on QuiltCast, Amy and I were talking about shortcuts and tools we use in our studio. I mentioned blue painter’s tape, and how I use it for making Half Square Triangles (HST) quick and easy. WITHOUT MARKING. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t mark the back of my half square triangles. I’m a quilting rebel, what can I say. (By the way, have you been listening to QuiltCast? It’s a podcast for quilters that I’m doing with Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side. We’re getting some great feedback on it, and I’d love yours. Head on over and download it and let me know what you think? xoxo)
Anyway, I figured you’d want to see this awesome little hack, because hey, it saves me a ton of time…and who really loves marking the back of HSTs anyway? *crickets*
That’s what I thought.
So get yourself some blue painter’s tape, and let’s do this thing.
Mark one line right down the middle of the tape, and another line 1/4″ away on either side, for a total of 3 lines.
Put the tape on your extension table, lining up the middle line with your needle. Be sure not to place the tape over the feed dogs.
To sew a standard HST, line up the top corner with your needle and place under your presser foot. Align the other corner with the middle line.
keeping the bottom corner on the middle line as you sew.
Sew all the way to the other corner…
set your seam, trim your excess,
press toward the dark, and VOILA!
To make 2 HSTs, simply align your top corner with your 1/4″ seam allowance (I use the edge of my patchwork foot) and the right or left line.
then rotate and repeat…
on the other side of the diagonal.
Cut between the two seams…
Set seams, press toward dark, trim up, and check it out! Two HSTs and NO marking!
Seriously people, it’s like magic. (However, it is not magic taking photos in the basement.)
On my table, the biggest HSTs I can do with this method is 3″ square–but for those of you lucky ducks who have a custom table where your machine is inset, you may be able to go even bigger. Just make sure your tape is straight out from the needle.
What do you think? Will you try my Half Square Triangle Hack? Do you have any fast and easy methods of your own? I’d love to hear them!
Also. YOU GUYS. New Patterns and a Black Friday coupon code coming tomorrow!! I’m crossing my fingers you love these new ones as much as I do.
Remember that Ooh La la fabric by Anne Sutton/Bunny Hill I showed you last week? I used the blues and whites to make a sweet, simple baby quilt for my sister in law who’s expecting in June–and of course I forgot to take a picture. But the pinks and greys I used for this simple but really really great quilt for my other friend, who is a Disney junkie and even one-time Disney Princess at Disneyland! I threw in a few grey wovens from Etchings by 3 Sisters for Moda, as well as some Hometown by Sweetwater for the name applique and the border.
I wanted to go with something sophisticated and pretty (her color style) but still add a bit of Disney Princess glamour. I used a free Disney font to make her name, and then just freehand drew the Minnie Mouse ears and crown.
A little fuseable web, a lot of machine applique, and a bit of iridescent thread for good measure. I love how this fabric worked out, even though it’s a “baby” collection, it ended up being a nice sophisticated quilt for an adult. I love that.
She loved it, and I’m so glad. I backed it in this super soft grey Minkee. I wanted to keep it for myself, it was so soft.
I machine quilted it with an allover double swirl pattern (because I think it looks magical), and then some fun detail quilting around her name. The binding is a really cute pink and white bias stripe.
I’ve got one more gift quilt to finish for my sweet baby nephew (I’m in love with him) who’s already 3 weeks old (mini-Swoon, anyone?) and then I’m on to spring pattern writing frenzy! I’ve got all the quilts made up, and several of the patterns written and tested, but I’m waiting on fabric for the last two.
Have you made any gifts lately? Or used a fabric collection for a different purpose than it was intended?
Two of my loveliest friends had birthdays last week, and I couldn’t help but pull some things together for them. I could picture in my head exactly what I wanted to make for them, and no matter how many times I tried to think of something store-bought that would be just as good, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t settle.
So I just did it.
First, an oh-so-fun Cathedral window throw pillow in red and lime green, to match her bedroom makeover! (Lucky girl got some really cute beadboard and shelving in there too!) She said it matched just right, and I’m so glad. A few fat eighths of Ruby by Bonnie and Camille for Moda and some white yardage and I was on my way!
I’ve wanted to do a cathedral window pillow for quite some time, and lucky me, there was a great tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop that walked me through it. I was SHOCKED at how much fabric it uses. So much folding! It’s like origami magic with fabric.
Super fun, super time consuming, but super great results. I’m going to have to refrain from making about 5 for my own room, whenever I get around to redoing it. (In case you’re curious, the walls in my bedroom are a striking shade of mauve, a gift from the previous owner. I avoid my bedroom in daylight at nearly all costs.)
I’ve got one more gift quilt to finish for my sweet baby nephew (I’m in love with him) who’s already 3 weeks old (mini-Swoon, anyone?), another for a sweet little girl fighting cancer, and then I’m on to spring pattern writing frenzy! I’ve got all the quilts made up, and several of the patterns written and tested, but I’m waiting on fabric for the last two.
Have you ever made a Cathedral Window pillow or quilt?
PS Stay tuned tomorrow to see the quilt I made for my other awesome friend’s birthday…she used to be a Disney princess.