Garden Snail Paper Piecing Monday

This week it is my turn on the Snail Paced Slow-along Sew-along….try saying that five times fast.  I am not usually much of a joiner with Sew alongs but I loved the pattern for this quilt – it has a bonus paper piecing pattern which I just loved….

The Sew along has been hosted by the fabulous (and incredibly busy) Gnome Angel using a wonderful pattern by Pen and  Paper Patterns.  Even though the Sew Along has been going since January, I have only just started my quilt.

snail block

This was my first snail and I am thrilled with how he looks.  I decided to use my apricot and red scraps for the shell, with no real plan for where each fabric went… I just had fun with it.

snail paper pieced shell

The shell piece I am using is paper pieced and is really simple… though the pattern also has an option to just use a solid rectangle of one fabric which is even simpler…

scrap pile

I have a decent pile of scraps by my machine and I am determined to get a crib quilt done – that is 16 snails for a finished quilt of 46 1/2 inch square.  If you would like to join in the fun you can find the pattern for sale on Craftsy…. click here to buy it.   If you would like to find out more about the sew along check out Gnome Angels website here

When I was trying to choose my colour scheme I spent ages searching through the hashtag for the Sew Along.  There are some amazing quilts being made with this pattern so check out #gardensnailquilt on Instagram for some great inspiration.

Slowly getting back to it… with a giveaway

I have just about finished all my fun antibiotics and have started to feel normal again, after a year or so of struggle.  Thank you to everyone who reached out with good wishes.  I really appreciated it.

While I have been recuperating I have had a couple of inquiries about when the Row by Row pattern I helped design for Modern Domestic would be available… and today is the day.

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From November 1st you can purchase the pattern, license plate and even the fat eighth bundle to make the Glass Half Full pattern….

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You can find the link to the pattern here…. and to the full kit here

600x172xGlass-Half-Full-rbr-full.jpg.pagespeed.ic.73_oUNOz5f..and to celebrate the launch Modern Domestic has kindly donated a kit for me to give away…

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The kit includes the pattern and a fat eighth bundle and all you have to do to win is leave a comment below.  I will draw a winner Friday…and of course the competition is open world-wide.

Mini Kaleidoscope Quilt

Last week I looked at the bag of Lizzy House fabric scraps I had gathered in the last couple of months and I decided I needed to do something with them… a couple of hours later and I had made this little beauty…

Kaleidoscope mini quiltMost of the scraps I was playing with were tiny little bits and so I designed a little, fat kaleidoscope block to make this quilt.   A tiny paper pieced block allowed me to get accuracy with my piecing while being able to do some fun fussy cutting…

fussy cut 2Each block is made up of four (4) pieces which were 1 1/2 inch square.. the finished block is 3 inches small.  This was such a fun quilt to make, and I used a lot of my little white on white scraps as well as my precious Lizzy House bits.

back of mini quiltIf you are interested in making your own kaleidoscope mini quilt you can find the free paper piecing pattern here….WQ mini Kaleidoscope block. 

I have signed up for one more mini quilt swap, so I warn you there will be some more paper pieced little quilts shortly.

The Row by Row experience

I have only recently become aware of a program that is run over summer here in the USA called the Row by Row Experience.  From June 21st thru to September 8th over two thousand quilt shops around the USA and Canada give away a free pattern, based on a theme.  All you have to do is visit the store to get the pattern.

This years theme was H2O (water) and I was excited to work with my local quilt store, Modern Domestic, to design their Row by Row experience….Glass Half Full.

table runnerThe remit was to design a block that was 8 inches high by 36 inches wide.  I worked with Michelle Freedman to design a paper piecing block based on the idea of a glass of water.

block layoutsMy original block was 6 different paper piecing patterns for the water (you can see the my original test run above).  Michelle then streamlined the idea into just one pattern sheet, which still gives you variety in the water but is easier to distribute.

MD patternYou can pick up this pattern for free from Modern Domestic over the next couple of months.  Most of the stores also have kits available for their blocks, which is helpful if your stash is somewhat lacking in blues!  I turned my row into a table runner by simply adding a border strip…

glass half full blocksIf you are not able to make it to make it to Portland you can check out the Row by Row website to see if your local quilt store is participating… I know there are quite a few stores that have paper pieced their row… including Fabric Depot whose very cool paper pieced block I will definitely be hunting down.

quilting detailAnd if you are outside the USA, don’t fret, at the end of the September many of the stores will make their patterns available digitally.  I will let you know when Modern Domestic’s pattern becomes available.

Designing a paper piecing pattern….

This week I have been playing with a paper piece block that I have designed for a friend’s quilt.  She is a big fox fan and seeing she is getting married in August I thought a quilt was in order.

There are some great fox patterns out there…I  love Elizabeth Hartman’s “Fancy Fox“….but I wanted to make Miss Katie something very special.  Inspired by a print I saw at a local Market Stall, I came up with this block…

Miss K Fox blockI initially sketched the idea in a my gridded notebook, then transferred the idea into the quilting program EQ.  I tweaked a little and then did a test run.

sewing piecesI never print out numbers on the blocks in this initial phase, because part of the pattern testing process is to work out which pieces should be numbered in which order.  In particular the decision of the first piece glued down is important (I select the most awkward shaped piece to start with if possible).

block piecesWhen all the pieces are made I then look at how to make sure that the proportions are right and that all the pieces are okay.  With this pattern I went in and tweaked a few bits … I made the nose bigger and got rid of some extra lines that were not needed.

amending patternI will now go back into EQ and make the changes and finally add the numbers and do another test run.  Then when I am happy I will launch into full-blown fox production mode…. an August deadline is looming and I have a lot of foxes to make!

So before I sign off the winner of the fabric bundle is….

Kirsten who wrote…”I am following along with your progress on this beautiful quilt as green is my favourite colour – all of your stars are just gorgeous and I love the LV backgroundl!”.

So the fabric will be winging its way to Kirsten.  Thanks to everyone who entered.  There was such a great response that I will definitely be doing this again…and soon.

Fully embracing Mini Quilts

If you are not on Instagram you probably are not aware of the flurry of mini quilt swaps that have been happening over the last year or so.   Hundreds and hundreds of mini quilts have been made a swapped all over the world and people’s homes now have walls adorned in beautiful little quilts.  After resisting for nearly a year, in February I finally signed up for my first mini quilt swap – the Cotton and Steel mini quilt swap.

I shared my first quilt for this swap a couple of months ago, including the paper piecing pattern I used for this quilt on my original post…….

Economy block mini quilt copyI liked it but I was not exactly what I wanted.  So I went back to the drawing board and came up with this beauty…

cotton and steel sampler mini quilt copyI loved making this 15 inch square sampler and shrinking all these quilt blocks down to 3 inches was fun.  Nearly all these blocks were paper pieced as I find it is the easiest way for me to get accuracy at this small size.

cotton and steel sampler close upI really loved putting this quilt together…and even found some prints I could fussy cut at this small size!

So with my Cotton and Steel mini done I felt the need to sign up for another mini swap… this time the Lizzy House mini quilt swap.  Now Lizzy House is my favorite designer… I love her prints. As so many of my quilts end up going to kids charities Lizzy Houses fun, modern novelty prints were an instant hit with me.

So what do you do when you have a huge collection of fabulous Lizzy House prints… you make hexagons of course…

lizzy house hexagon mini wipSo this is my Lizzy House mini work in progress.  The day I signed up for the swap I started making hexagons and once I had them all I had a blast arranging and re-arranging them until I had a layout I was happy with.

Lizzy House hexagon close upThis quilt has been so much fun to make…though a little tough on my hands as there has been a lot of hand sewing…

lizzy house hexagon cu I started making this mini before I had my partner details (yes I was that excited!).  After you sign up you get assigned a partner, you get sent a list of likes and dislikes and you can stalk them on Instagram so you can make something appropriate for them.  So as much as I love these hexagons, I was not sure it was totally up my partners alley… so I made another mini…

lizzy house NY beauty mini quilt..which is much more her style. This quilt is uses four different New York beauty patterns… and I love the unity of the similar shapes of the New York Beauty block combined with the disconnect of the different patterns pieces.

lizzy house NY beauty mini quilt detailI am sure my partner will love which ever mini I end up sending.  I have a couple more weeks before the quilts have to be sent and there is a chance I will change my mind again and make something else.  This is the joy of mini quilts…they are so quick and easy to make.

So I can now say I am a mini quilt addict, though I have controlled myself this month and not signed up for any more swaps…yet.