The Weekender Quilt

This week I am finally getting the chance to share with you a quilt I finished last month.  This quilt started as a small bundle of fat quarters that were donated to the Portland Modern Quilt Guild Charity program…. I added some fabric from my stash, a couple of solids and made this beauty…

finished Trip Around quilt

The fabric line that kicked this all off was Weekends by Erin McMorris, an old line from 2012.  I had some of the line, as well as some of Erin’s Wildwood line in my stash so I was able to get enough fabric to make a decent sized quilt.

weekender quilt detail 2

I love the colour palette of this quilt, olive green, apricot, soft purple, dusty pink and cream.  It is a gentle but vibrant colour scheme.

fabric detail

And in amongst the florals of the fabric are a smattering of these darling bicycle…

quilt detail

You probably recognize the pattern I used, it is one of my favorite go to patterns, the Trip Around quilt.  I have made a few Trip Around quilts now and love how easy it is to make and how every quilt is so different…

quilt meta pattern

This quilt top finished up big, particularly for me, and there was no way I was going to be able to quilt it on my home machine…my busted back just will not let me.  So my local quilt store, Modern Domestic, kindly allowed me to throw the quilt up on the Bernina long arm.

long arm 2

It was so much fun to quilt loopy flowers into this quilt using the Q24 longarm.  I am slowly getting more confident with free motion….very slowly….and love the adjustable handles on this baby…. it makes it so easy to find a comfortable position to work the machine in.

quilting detail 2

As a label for the quilt I got creative, inspired by one of our Guild long armers, Dawn… and quilted PMQG into the bottom of the quilt.

quilt label

The finishing touches were a scrappy solid binding of beige… not a colour I use often in binding but it worked wonderfully.

quilt backing

This quilt is destined for NW Impact’s program that looks after Seniors at risk… it is fun to be charity quilting this quarter for an older set, as it has forced me out of my usual bright novelty kids centered world.

Quilt Details

Name:  The Weekender
Pattern:  Scrappy Trip Around The World
Fabric:  Weekends and Wildwood by Erin McMorris and select Kona solids
Finished Size:  60 x 72 inches

More Hodge Podge….

As promised I am posting another on of my Hodge Podge Sampler blocks…today’s block has the wonderful title of Mosaic No.1 and is block number 334 in the 1922 version of the Ladies Art Company Quilt Pattern book (link to this later version of the book can be found here).

Mosaic No 1 block

The free paper piecing pattern for this block can be found here….Mosaic No1 block.

If you downloaded my first pattern, the Arkansas Snowflake on Monday, the pattern is a little small….Monday evening I amended the PDF so everything is fine, but you may want to down load the new pattern just in case…Arkansas snowflake pattern.

Now the final piece of business is naming the winner of this fabric bundle…

giveaway bundle

I had 300 entries for the draw and the lucky winner, selected at random is… Linda who commented “I don’t seem to have much of an imagination when I want to buy fun fabrics, so this lot certainly would give my, umm, somewhat ‘boring’ stash a fresh and happy ‘zing’! I think I would make my first ever hexie quilt; Recently, I punched out a huge bag of hexies, then realized I didn’t have any fun fabrics to make hexies with, so there sits the bag, on my coffee table, making me feel guilty…..”

Congratulations Linda and thank you to everyone who entered.

Back to School Blog Hop – Paper Piecing edition

Today it is my turn on the Back to School Blog Hop and today I wanted to talk about an under rated paper piecing tool – coloured pencils.

coloured pencils

As you can tell my pencil set is well used.  Most quilters will pull out colour pencils to colour in pattern sheets or maybe sketch out block ideas, but as a paper piecer I use mine all the time to colour code my patterns.

Not all paper piece patterns need to be colour coded… simple patterns can be easily followed without coding help…but with more complex paper piecing patterns, a splash of color can save on the unpicking and hair pulling when you are sewing a pattern.

For example this block is little complex…

Cross plus extra block

For this pattern I used EQ to play with colour placement, but coloured pencils and paper work just as well, particularly if a colouring sheet has been provided…..

lattice quilt

So before I started sewing it I pulled out my coloured pencils and scribbled away, marking the pattern with the predetermined colours I am using.

colour coding

I choose colours from my pencil box that corresponded to the coloured fabrics I was using for the block….

pencil to fabric

So that the coding made sense to me as I sewed….

block pieces

I regularly use this process for my paper piecing blocks… and will use symbols if I am using more than one type of fabric in the same colour range… remember the code just has to make sense to you…

paper piece pattern

When making my Cross Star quilt colour coding with pencils became an integral part of the quilt making process as I had to work out how each block fitted into the overall quilt pattern.

cross block wip

So next time you are paper piecing, dust off those colour pencils, do a little colouring in and make the paper piecing process a little easier.  And if you want to play with this block, I have included a colouring page in the pattern PDF… Cross Plus extra block.docx

But before then, check out the rest of the super awesome Blog Hoppers for their tips:
Sept 1: Peta Minerof-Bartos of PetaQuilts
Sept 2: Cheryl Sleboda of
Sept 3: Teresa Coates of Crinkle Dreams
Sept 4: Cath Hall of Wombat Quilts
Sept 5: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio
Sept 6: Melanie McNeil of Catbird Quilt Studio
Sept 7: Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts 
Sept 8: Rose Hughes of Rose Hughes
Sept 9: Megan Dougherty of The Bitchy Stitcher
Sept 10: Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Design Studio
Sept 11: Susan Beal of West Coast Crafty
Sept 12: Sarah Lawson of Sew Sweetness
Sept 13: Jane Victoria of Jolly and Delilah
Sept 14: Jemelia Hilfiger of Je’s Bend
Sept 15: Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios
Sept 16: Misty Cole of Daily Design Wall
Sept 17: Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams
Sept 18: Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps
Sept 19: Bill Volckening of WonkyWorld
Sept 20: Jessica Darling of Jessica Darling
Sept 21: Debbie Kleve Birkebile of Mountain Trail Quilt Treasures
Sept 22: Heather Kinion of Heather K is a Quilter
Sept 23: Michelle Freedman of Design Camp PDX
Sept 24: Kathy Mathews of Chicago Now Quilting Sewing Creation
Sept 25: Jane Shallala Davidson of Quilt Jane
Sept 27: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting
Sept 28: Catherine Redford of Catherine Redford
Sept 29: Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz of Fun From A to Z
Sept 30: Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts
October 1: Tracy Mooney of 3LittleBrds
October 2: Trish Frankland, guest posting on Persimon Dreams
October 3: Flaun Cline of I Plead Quilty

A fabulous little Bee Block

It has been a while since I posted any of the Do Good Stitches quilt blocks I have been making.  Every month I make blocks as part of this charity Bee and I love it.  I look forward to the first of the month when the new pattern is put up on our Flickr Group and I always eagerly make the blocks.  I love being challenged to make things that I would not usually make in colour schemes I may not necessarily think to put together.

Twice a year I get to be the Queen and set the block and in June I choose this block and colour scheme for my month….

scrappy star block

The block is from a free pattern by Clover and Violet which they originally put up as part of a Christmas quilt they were making.  The colour tweaks I made changed how the finished block looks and made for a striking quilt top…

Do Good Stitches scrappy star quilt

I love how the yellow strings make a grid pattern and the stars just pop.  Each of my fellow Do Good Bee members made two blocks, so there is so much variety in the stars, which I LOVE.

quilt top detail 2

One of my favorite bits about being Queen Bee is getting to see all the blocks as they come in and ohh and ahh over the fabric used (I may have a bit of stash envy!).

quilt top detail

When these blocks came in I absolutely fell in love with the Barbar fabric one of my fellow quilters used…

barbar fabric

I have not seen this fabric before and am now obsessed with getting my hands on some.  It is so fabulous.  This quilt top is now awaiting quilting and binding and then it will go out into the world to Do Good!  I am Queen again in November and I have already started planning what block I am going to set.

Kelly’s Quilt in the spotlight…

In the continuing showcase of Portland Modern Quilt Guild’s charity quilts, today’s quilt is Kelly’s Quilt.

Kellys quilt

This bright, fun, scrappy improv quilt was made at our Guild’s March Charity Sew Day.  During the course of the day the group took a huge box of bright, kid friendly scraps and a handful of stray orphan blocks cut them up and turned it all into a pile of 12 inch blocks.


The quilt got its name during the Sew Day when this block went up on the design wall…

Kellys block

Joy, one of our members commented that the girl in this block looked liked one of my fellow Board members from last year, Kelly.  Everyone agreed and the quilt was then referred to all day as Kelly’s quilt.

kelly quilt detail 4

In the spirit of improv and anything goes, the top grew into a loud riot of novelty print fun…

kelly quilt detail 2

When it came time to quilting this top,  it fell,  of course to none other than its name sake, Kelly Cole of Blue Bird Sews.  As soon as she knew the quilt was named after her, Kelly felt she had to quilt it.

Kellys quilt detail

And boy did she quilt it.  Kelly did a wonderful job free motion quilting a different pattern into each block…

Kellys quilt detail 2

The end result is one of the most fun games of eye spy ever in a quilt.  I love the riot of colour and texture of this quilt.  You know it is going to make some kid extremely happy.


Making paper piecing Lemonade…

So a couple of weeks ago I realised I had made a hideous paper piecing miscalculation…. it all started in December last year when I had lots of time sitting around hospitals with my darling husband.  I wanted to bring hand work but my hexie pelt…

hexagon pelt

..had become unruly and unmanageable.  I had taken the cardboard papers out of the center to help make it easier to handle but it was too big for me to keep adding hexies easily.  The solution was of course to start a second pelt that I could just sew to the first pelt when it got big enough.  Great solution right?….

In theory yes… in practice I stuffed it up big time.   Fast forward five months and I go to attach the second pelt only to discover my second pelt would not fit my first pelt.  The two pieces would not align no matter what way I put them.    My huge miscalculation resulted in a tantrum, lots of tears and copious amounts of swearing.

do not fit

My darling husband, who has claimed the hexagon pelt as his quilt, tried to comfort me…but somehow failed to grasp the complete heart ache of spending months hand sewing something together only to realise you are going to have to unpick it all.  The worst bit was that I had removed all but a few of the papers which made the flowers almost impossible to reattach to the main pelt… it is very tricky to get neat, even stitches without the cardboard supporting the hexagon.

paper less hexagon

So I put everything aside, not sure when I would be ready to face the horrible task ahead of me, and uncertain about what to do with the hexagons that could not be re-attached.  Then Sunday it dawned on me what I needed to do….

The idea came from a special quilt that was made for Rachel of Stitched in Color…. I had made hexagons for this quilt and watched it slowly come together.  This was the solution to my problem.

new hexagon blocks

And so I have started gluing….

glue down hexagon

and sewing my hexagons onto a 6 1/2 inch square low volume background…

sewing down hexagon

and I am loving the effect.

Design wall shot

I will have enough flowers from my second pelt mishap to make a baby quilt.  I  can not tell you how excited I am to find such a pretty solution to my issues.  I have definitely made lemonade out of those lemons!