Liberty & Linen Meadow Quilt

Long, long ago I saw Lizzy House‘s Meadow quilt when she got it back from Angela Walters, and I thought it was such a lovely quilt.  But, she was not selling the pattern.  She was teaching it as a workshop, and was not going to teach down by me (I was living in North Carolina at the time), so I put it out of my mind.

Fast forward a bit, and I moved to New York in Summer 2015.  I had started following most of the quilt groups in the area, to include the ones that were a little far away – like the Central NJ Modern Quilt Guild.  Then, the Central NJ Modern Quilt Guild announced that they had space in their Meadow workshop and that they were opening it up to non-members.  I think I emailed them that same day to find out the details and to get my slot.

This quilt covered multiple bases for me.  I had declared to myself that this year was going to be the year that I tried curved piecing and took classes that would introduce me to new techniques.  I wanted to do more custom quilting.  I wanted a queen sized quilt for my bed.  I wanted to use the beautiful Liberty fabrics I had been stashing.  This quilt covers all of that!

Meadow quilt detail

In mid-August, I set up some podcasts and drove about 2 hours down to this workshop.  It’s always a little weird walking in to a place where you don’t know anyone with your arms full of fabrics and a machine, but the ladies of the Central NJ Modern Quilt Guild were wonderful and welcomed me right away.  Seriously, if live closer than 2 hours from their meetings, you should join their guild because they are a great group!

The entire workshop was such a pleasure.  Lizzy is a very warm and genuine person, and a great teacher.  All of us made at least one block, and had the opportunity to sit down with her and plan out our entire quilt.  I made two blocks (because when I have the opportunity for uninterrupted sewing, I use it), and they are the ones on the left below.

Meadow Quilt Practice Blocks

We had so much fun going through my fabric to make the piles that would turn into a block.  Then I photographed the piles and glued swatches of them to the layout so I could remember how I wanted to do it.

Meadow plan

After the workshop, I intended to get started on the quilt right away.  Instead, it sat in the bag I had brought it home from the workshop in.  My parents came to visit.  Then my Forging Steel Quilt was due for Make Modern.  I had to finish my part of the Round Trip Quilts Round Robin.  In late September, I decided what background I wanted to use and ordered more of it so I would have enough to make the quilt queen sized.  In October, I finally made a couple more practice blocks to make sure I could remember how to do the pattern and finally started my quilt!

Meadow quilt in process

There was a little girl who decided she should get this quilt, and wanted to use it before I even had time to add borders, or quilt it!

Meadow-top-preuse

I used Quilter’s Dream wool batting for this quilt, and it is my new favorite batting.  It shows the quilting definition so well, and is amazing to sleep under.  The wool is light and breathable and warm and perfect.  I plan to use wool for every bed size quilt I make between now and eternity.  That’s how much I love this batting inside a quilt.

Meadown quilt on longarm

There are a couple thread changes on this one.  I used pink variegated Fantastico for the flower, and a mint So Fine for the flower centers and in the olive border.

I brought the quilt with me on train to school on November 2nd so I could get most of the binding done, and finished the binding and quilt sleeve on the 3rd before running down to NJ to drop it off at the Brownstone Quilt Guild’s show.  That day there happened to be another passenger knitting, and me sewing the binding, so the conductor joked it was the “crafting express.”  I wish there was a such thing!  I would get so much done if I could use my machine on the train…

Binding Meadow on the train

This shot was shortly after I started using it on my bed. I woke up one morning, and the light was absolutely perfect to show off the quilting.

Meadow Quilt on bed

The flower outsides are all assorted Liberty fabrics, and the outer border is Essex yarn dyed linen in olive.  The backing is Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt.  I used Dress Floral in Maple and Multi Floral in Maple.

I wanted to do sort of a medium custom level quilting on this Meadow Quilt.  I knew I wanted the border.  I did the straight lines in the outer most portion because I like the contrast and knew that part would not be seen as much because it hangs off the bed.  The area between the border and the flowers is a loose freehand fill.  I didn’t want something super dense, although that would have been beautiful.

The design I used on the flowers and Liberty portions can be seen better in previous photos.  I designed the pattern used in the Liberty portion, and I really like how it filled the area without overwhelming the beautiful fabric I used.  I saw one Meadow Quilt finished after mine that has a design in the petals that I wish I would have thought of, but I still haven’t seen another one with a design I like better than what I used in the Liberty section.

I am so happy with my queen quilt that I get to sleep under every night.  I had never made myself a queen sized quilt until now, and I wish I would have done it a lot sooner.

Measurements: 88″ x 100″

Liberty and Linen Meadown Quilt

Oh, and I got an Honorable Mention in the Quilt Show that had helped push me to get this finished.  This is a quilt more for use than for show, so I’m happy with it.

Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLinky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the RiverLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFLink a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya QuiltsShow off Saturday at Sew Can She

Squared Away Table Pattern

I’m excited to share my latest pattern – the Squared Away Table Pattern!

Squared Away Table Square Cover

These placemats were originally published in Make Modern magazine, issue 5.  The rainbow version I made for the magazine are on my kitchen table right now.  We use them constantly.

Squared Away Placemat

In this full length pattern, I have included expanded and illustrated instructions and a matching table runner.  The placemats are 11.5″ x 15.75″ and the table runner is 11.5″ x 24.75″.

This set was a Christmas present for my brother and his girlfriend.  I tried to walk the fine line between masculine and still a little bit of pink for fun.

Squared away table

They are quilted with the onion skin panto that I love so much.  It gives so much motion to the piece, and provides great contrast to the straight lines of the pattern.

This pattern is available through Craftsy – Squared Away Table Pattern for $5.  It’s a beginner friendly project that would be a great for many different people:

  • introduce a friend to quilting
  • decorate for a season or holiday using specialty fabric
  • use your scraps
  • use your favorite fabrics in a place you can see them everyday – the kitchen table!
  • quick gift

I would love to see your versions of the pattern.  If you make this, please tag it with #squaredawaytable so we can all see your work!

Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth FabricShow off Saturday at Sew Can She

 

December 2015 SMS Winner & Crochet Gift Ideas

Congratulations to #1 Stacy!!  I’ve never seen the random generator pick #1, so I think that is pretty cool, even though the odds shouldn’t be any more or less in favor of any numbers.

SMS Dec 2015 Winner

I will be getting in touch with Stacy to send her a copy of the pattern.  For everyone else who entered, thank you!  I really appreciate your ideas, and am sharing some below in case it helps anyone else.

Crocheter Gift ideas:

 

December 2015 Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

**GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

Welcome from Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Dec 2015 SMS Giveaway Day

If you’ve never visited before, I’m Heather.  I’m a longarm quilter and pattern designer living in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Mm Issue 8 Cover

Even if you haven’t stopped by, you may have seen my work.  My Forging Steel Quilt was in/on Issue 8 of Make Modern Magazine.

Square Dance pattern Cover

Today, I am giving away a copy of the Square Dance Quilt Pattern.  This pattern is also available on Craftsy, and if you already own a copy, I will give you copies of my next 2 patterns that will be coming out shortly after the new year!

This pattern can be made very intricately and custom quilted like I show above, or you can make a sweet baby quilt with an all-over design and it will still look great!  This pattern is so versatile, I wish I had time to make one in red and green before Christmas… maybe you can win and make it!

Baby Square Dance Front

If you would like to win, please do one or more of the following:

  • I need a quick gift for a new friend who crochets – I don’t crochet, so I don’t know what would be useful for her.  Please leave a comment with ideas!
  • Follow my blog using bloglovin’ and leave your account name
  • Follow me on Facebook – Quilts Actually – and leave the name you use there
  • Follow me on Instagram – @QACreations – and leave your instagram name

At the conclusion of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway period, I will use the magic number generator to choose a winner.  Good luck!

Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show

Columbus Day weekend marked my first New York quilt show.  The Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show is every other year in  Poughkeepsie, New York at Dutchess Community College and is put on (mostly) by members of the First Dutchess Quilters (but it’s not technically the guild’s show).

They had a wide variety of vendors (16!) and put on a fashion show and workshops in conjunction with the show.

I entered a few quilts, and was quite pleased with my first showing up here.  I like to enter quilt shows because it’s one of the few places that you can receive true feedback on the quality of your quilting and piecing.  Show and Tell at guilds is great, but it’s purpose is to share and celebrate and inspire (not to critique).  Classes teach a new technique, but don’t necessarily help you learn what you need to learn to improve the techniques you already know.

In the interest of removing some of the mystique from quilt show judging and to help others learn from my lessons, I want to share the comments for my quilts.

Forging Steel quilt with ribbon

The first quilt I entered was my Forging Steel quilt, which is in Make Modern issue 8.  This quilt earned 1st place in Pieced Wall Quilt, a Judge’s Choice award, and a Vendor’s Choice award (Amelia’s Garden).  The comments for this quilt (and all the others in this show) were very in-depth and positively phrased even if referring to improvements.

  • Fabrics lend appeal
  • Unexpected quilting choice add so much visual excitement
  • Very good quilting technique
  • Excellent precision in piecing
  • Excellent binding

Square Dance with ribbons

I also entered Square Dance in the Group Quilt category.  It earned 1st place in the Group Quilt category, and a Vendor’s Choice award (Easy Piecing).  If you like this quilt and want to make your own, my PDF pattern is available on Craftsy here.

  • Wonderful color palette
  • Value placement shows well
  • Piecing is excellent
  • Quilting design in good scale
  • Quilting technique very well done
  • Binding excellent
  • Wonderful interpretation of modern quilt

One of Those Days mini ribbon

One of Those Days was a mini quilt I made a tutorial for that had a few issues, which is probably why it did not do as well.  I earned 3rd place in the Miniature category.  I use a smaller binding for miniatures – a 2″ double fold binding, but I guess should go even smaller in the future.

  • Fabrics and quilting design well chosen to keep scale for miniature
  • Traditional look successfully achieved
  • Excellent piecing and quilting technique
  • Binding, although well secured, should be in scale for miniature

Nature of Purple cropped

I also entered my Nature of Purple quilt in the Pieced Wall quilt category, and this quilt just does not show well.  I also used white thread for part of the piecing before I thought about it.  I switched to purple thread later, but after quilting if you look super close, you can see the white thread a little bit.

  • Modern interpretation is successfully achieved
  • Take care with obtrusive piecing thread
  • Complementary quilting design is successfully achieved
  • Excellent binding

How have your experiences entering a quilt show shaped your quilting?  Has it been a positive experience with valuable feedback, or are there things that you wish had gone differently?

Linking to: Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night QuilterLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict

 

Forging Steel Quilt Pattern

I am a covergirl!  Or, at least my quilt is!  Meet my latest pattern: Forging Steel Quilt.

Mm Issue 8 Cover

This is Issue 8 of Make Modern magazine, which was released November 1st.  Forging Steel is large baby/lap sized quilt.  I personally like large baby quilts, so I would not hesitate to use this quilt for that purpose (although this one is going to be all mine!).

Quilt on rock wall closer for web

The block is a spin-off of the traditional anvil block with a border of half square triangles surrounding.  I made this quilt with a variety of Cotton & Steel prints, so combining the historical roots with the modern brand of fabric used, I called it Forging Steel.

Straight View for web

I quilted the background with large spiral loops and then went linear on the inside of the blocks for contrast.  I left the triangles puffy because the puff once again contrasts the heavy quilting elsewhere.  I really love custom quilting contrasts.  The batting is Quilter’s Dream Puff, so it’s nice and light with good loft.  In the background I used Bottom Line, and the inside of the blocks is a minty So-Fine.

I love this quilt, and I hope you do too!  Please share if you make it because I would love to see your version.  The hashtag is #forgingsteelquilt.

Linking to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLinky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the RiverLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth FabricLink a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya QuiltsShow off Saturday at Sew Can She

4th quarter Finish a Long

Adrianne at On the Windy Side hosts a quarterly challenge to finish up our WiPs.  I’m joining in an attempt to get on top of what I should finish up so I can move on.

Round Trip Quilt Progress

  1. Jennifer’s Round Trip Quilt addition
  2. Meadow Quilt
  3. Carpenter’s Star Quilt to demo quilting
  4. Boy Baby Gift
  5. Girl Baby Gift
  6. Finally finish the real world red & white quilt!!
  7. Make the bag from the hexies I sewed this summer
  8. Paper Pieced patterns x3
  9. Table Runner & Placemat pattern
  10. Stash & Dash bag

If I can do this before Christmas, I am completely impressed with my future self!

Sewing Organization – Scrap Organization

Organize Your Scraps

I had a pretty bad system for scraps for a long time.  It was just a jumbled up mess in a plastic tub.  Then it got worse… my daughter started to play in my scraps so I created a second smaller scrap bin for her.

Scrap Playground

Good idea, right?  Except that then I started adding my scraps to her bin and that bin got bigger than the original stack.  She also quit playing with it once there were so many scraps.

Scrap Storage

Something had to be done about my scrap problem.  There are many very smart ways to deal with scraps that I researched as I looked for the solution to my problem.  The main methods I found for scrap organization are by color or by size.

I find that scrap management works best for me if I make it easy… spending a day cutting scraps from a bin into something useable is not my idea of fun.  So, the scraps stay in the bin.

Easy for me: I cut my scraps down to a useable size as soon as I finish cutting what I am working on.  Sometimes that means I cut them out the minute I am finished with the fabric, sometimes that means setting it aside and doing it at the end of the day.  If I am cutting out a complete quilt, I may wait until I am finished if I am on a roll, but I cut them down before I can start another project.

I do admit to letting the cut squares sit for awhile before I sort them into the ziplock bags I store them in.  I would probably claim that sorting goes faster when you have multiple of each size, but I am sometimes just mentally done with those scraps after cutting and need to build up the energy to face them another day.

Organizing Scraps

How do I cut my scraps down?  I arrange by size.

  • 2″ squares
  • 2.5″ squares
  • 3″ squares
  • 5″ squares
  • 10″ squares
  • strings

I started originally with only 2.5″ and 5″ squares, but found that these other categories were meeting the size demands of my scraps.  I arrange them by size with no regard for color.  I don’t have enough scraps for a scrappy quilt yet, but I try to draw from these if I have a Stash Bee block that requires anything that fits into these categories.  For my stash bee block last month, I had to cut a couple squares that were 1.5″ so I just grabbed a 2″ square and cut it down.

Keeping scraps for paper piecing? Even though I love paper piecing, and those odd little shapes were part of what originally motivated me to start keeping scraps, I’ve found I just don’t use scraps to paper piece.  The odds of finding the color I want in the size I need from my scraps was just too unlikely and slow of a process for me.  Thus, cutting the scraps down into useable shapes makes me more likely to use them.

Scraps Sorted

I keep the cut and sorted scraps in a green scrapbooking square tote.  They sell these at every crafting store, but if you get them seasonally at Costco they come in a 5 pack that is an amazing price.  I like the green color because it reminds me to recycle the fabric within my own projects.

There are so many methods to deal with scraps, and this is what I have found works for me after a lot of trial and error.  What are your favorite ways to control scraps?

-Heather

Linking to: Scraptastic Tuesday @ She Can QuiltTips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night QuilterWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric

3rd Quarter 2015 Bee Blocks

Time for the Stash Bee roundup!  I always enjoy the wide variety of blocks that I get to make, and this quarter was no exception.

I finished up Margaret’s block just in time!  It wasn’t completed the last day of September, but I was pretty close.  This field of flowers is going to make such a cheerful quilt!

Flower Block for Stash Bee

August was a fun month making these blocks for Debbie.  Even though this block was in the middle of some personal projects with too many HSTs, I really enjoyed making it.  I still love these colors, and can’t wait to see the finished quilt!

August 2015 Hive 3

In July, we made string blocks for Martina.  I’ve only made string block once before and they are so relaxing and fun.  Strings are one of my scrap categories, so maybe I’ll make one of these someday.

Stash Bee String Block

Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsScraptastic Tuesday @ She Can QuiltWiP Wednesday @ Freshly PiecedLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict

Website Maintenance

My Friday finish isn’t a traditional one… but it was a long time coming! I’ve been meaning to do some site cleanup and add a page for my tutorials and patterns so that they are easier to find, and I’ve finally done it!

updated website

I will be updating these pages as more patterns and tutorials come along. I’ve got a few patterns in the works, so hopefully between 15 page term papers, I will have time to put those together. Let me know if any of these are helpful or if you make any of the projects, because I would love to see them!

Linking up to: Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFLink a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya Quilts

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