I Heart You Mini – A Free Pattern

My Instagram @charlamacphee

Instagram strikes again. Cluck Cluck Sew is a great, and I mean GREAT sewing blog. (You can find it here ( https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiOxKayjf7RAhWm3oMKHVDGBl0QFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcluckclucksew.com%2F&usg=AFQjCNE88-dPIIJdjJY9Ql3RGvXN70mJEg&sig2=wPMlDBLnCoPJFn-89Ca2lg )   There’s a plethora of information, tips, patterns, knowledge, and encouragement. Best of all, inspiration. I’ve used a version of this free heart pattern and made my heart quilt. The hearts are really cute, and come together quickly. That’s a must for this busy mama.

Here is a link to the pattern ( http://cluckclucksew.com/2016/01/i-heart-you-free-mini-quilt-pattern.html ). For my fabrics, I stuck pretty close to the norm and used a few Bonnie and Camille pieces I had. I quilted it with simple straight lines and left a heart shape in the upper right hand corner in-quilted as I have seen done with this. It’s cute, easy, and adds a fun simple element. Plus, my helper enjoyed tracing a fridge magnet to get the shape and then using my Fons & Porter 1/4 inch rulers to draw on the straight lines for me.

To see lots of different versions of this super cute mini, search out #iheartyoumini on Instagram. 🙂

heart1heart2heart3heart4

Advertisements

Patchwork Swoon, Part 1

My Instagram handle @charlamacphee

It’s no secret that I adore Instagram. Endless inspiration comes from every angle there. As it turns out, so does a swift kick to the arse to get me sewing. There are several sew alongs that I would love to participate in. What’s a sew along? On Instagram, it’s where who ever would like to, commits to completing a project and updating their progress with  photos using the same hashtag as others who are committed to the same sew along.

One of the ones I joined this year is #swoonalong . Swoon is a quilt pattern designed by Camille Rosekelley of Bonnie & Camille. Currently, there are four versions of the pattern. The original, mini, 16, and patchwork. I had started an original Swoon last year, but only ever finished three blocks. The blocks are big, and at the time I was sewing on my dining room table and packing it up each time we had a meal was getting frustrating. Eventually, it was placed in a bin for ‘later’. The #swoonalong was great for getting me back at it. It is so helpful and inspiring to scroll through all the gorgeous blocks, colour combinations, and works of everyone taking part. Kind of like how Show and Tell at a guild meeting puts you in the mood to sew, so can a sew along.

When I signed up, I had no intention of doing a Patchwork version, but after seeing all the photos of how beautiful they turn out, and having a jelly roll of Scrumptious on hand, I started and was finished the top in just a few days.

Here’s some photos of the process.

patchwork1-copypatchwork2-copypatchwork3-copypatchwork4-copypatchwork5-copypatchwork6-copypatchwork7-copypatchwork8-copypatchwork9-copy

 

This Old Bag, Made a Bag 

Bags. With four kids, I’m always looking for a good bag to keep my stuff in. I’m also always looking for a bigger and better bag to carry everyone else’s stuff in. Cue Swoon patterns. They’re cute, there’s lots to choose from, and some are free.

I admit complete ignorance when it came to interfacing. That stuff was just the shelf at all the fabric stores with odd thickness pieces of shades of white stuff I knew nothing about. I still know next to nothing about it, but thankfully the Swoon pattern laid it all out in terms I could follow.

I choose the Swoon Ethel for my first attempt, and I’m pretty pleased with how quickly and easily it came together.

If you attempt a Swoon Pattern for a bag, there are lots of helpful tutorials both on YouTube and on blogs to help you on your way.

That’s a Wrap.

Christmas and quilts. I love ’em both. I am lucky enough to be an aunt to the most amazing nieces and nephews a gal could hope for. My goal is to gift each of them a quilt over the next 2 or 3 years. I managed to get one done this year, and hope that with this goal in mind early, I can do 2 or 3 more for next year.

This year’s is another Missouri Star Quilt Company pattern, called All Wrapped Up, which I found in an issue of their Block magazine (which I highly recommend as each issue is packed full of great patterns). I used some Christmas-y fat quarter bundles I had picked up from various places over the past year, and some solids for sashing I had stocked up on in Calgary before leaving.

This quilt comes together quickly, and works really well for showcasing the fabrics we all fall in love with. I kept the actual quilting pretty simple, thanks to a tight time frame, but it works. In total, I have three All Wrapped Up quilt tops made, one completed and gifted, and two for my own little family that I’ll finish and keep for two of my own girls.

img_9747img_9748img_9808img_9821img_9829img_9831img_9844img_9955

Tula Pink Cloudy Days – Part 2

It’s done! It’s done! Tula Pink’s bold designs came bursting onto my radar about a year ago when a lovely in my guild was selling some fat quarter bundles of one of her lines. I stopped and stared at the bold, colourful, completely out of my norm colors and patterns, and then realized I needed them.

Cloudy Days pattern is my second quilt using one of Tula’s collections, but my first time using a pattern of hers. I found myself somewhat limited with this one, being that I only had fat quarters and one print of yardage to work with. I quickly found out that the largest of the raindrops is not fq friendly, so I just made more of the small and medium ones.

It’s taken forever for me to get this one basted and quilted thanks to so many other projects catching my eye, and very limited time to work on quilting thanks to four happy healthy kids. That’s one reason I never balk at not having enough time. Those girls are my world, and I’m so happy that the two oldest, who are big enough to sew now, seem to enjoy spending time in the sewing room as much as I do.

Thanks to that limited time, I did no quilting in the grey borders/sashing etc. I simply did continuous inside tracings of the raindrops using my BSR and free motion quilting. Still not comfortable with my FMQ, but they say it takes practice, so we’ll go with that. img_9937img_9941

A Word About Encouragement, Perfectionism, and the Quilt Police. You’re Scaring the Newbies Away.

Follow me on Instagram @charlamacphee

Perfectionism. Quilt Police. Whatever you want to call it. This crosses my mind often when I’m quilting. What will the quilt police say if I don’t go back and redo that entire row of blocks because they aren’t perfect? What will the quilt police say if I don’t do my binding to their standards? What will the quilt police whisper about my quilt if I dare enter it into a local show?

I have a fairly thick skin, in a few circumstances, quilting is not one. 

As a relative newbie to quilting (just over three years in), the Quilt Police cross my mind much more often than I’m willing to admit. You see, the quilting community is an amazingly supportive one. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve made endless friendships, contacts, and experiences thanks to the many wonderful souls I’ve crossed this quilty path with. But, there are those who strike terror into the hearts of those of us who don’t strive for perfection, and perhaps those that do. They’re the Quilt Police.

The Quilt Police would never, ever buy their fabric at a Fabricland/Fabricville, JoAnn, Walmart etc. They shop exclusively at their LQS, who supply them with the most up to date, trendy, etc. lines. They wouldn’t dream of letting that seam go even a little crooked without redoing it to perfection. They scoff at machine quilting. They are intimidating AF to those of us who are new to this hobby. They scare hoards of us off, never to return. They may even draw a tear to our eyes when we overhear them shaming our entries that we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into at a local show. They are ruining the quilting community one harsh comment and side eye at a time. I know they don’t mean ill will (well, most of the time) but it’s very intimidating to join the quilting world.

Okay, that might be a bit drastic. But, they are scaring scores of newbies off. Some of us have very thin skin and may not try a new skill, fabric, process, etc. for fear of not pulling it off as well as an officer of the QP (Quilt Police). How many amazing pieces, patterns, quilts, runners, projects, etc. are we missing out on thanks to this?

I ask you. No, I beg you. If you think you may belong to this QP force, please, put down your weapons. Yes, those harsh comments and side eyes. How about more support, more encouragement, more love? I mean, a quilter really just wants to make something that they love, or that they hope a loved one will love. Try biting your lip at that crooked row of blocks, that machine quilted top, and that wild fabric you would never have seen because it’s only sold at JoAnn. Some of us just don’t have the funds or the availability to be boutique only shoppers. But you know what we do have? Love of the art. And that is what will keep quilting alive for generations to come. Let’s embrace the newcomers. All of them.

Little Ruby, and Courtyard Tiles

My Instagram @charlamacphee

The name Ruby is one of my favorites. But, that isn’t surprising to me because one of my favorite people ever was named Ruby. My Grandmother. So, when Bonnie & Camille released the Little Ruby collection, naturally I was drawn to it. The colors and patterns go so well together.

I held on to this fat quarter bundle for a long time, for me anyways, waiting for just the right pattern. When I saw Courtyard Tiles, I knew it was the one. This pattern cuts quickly, pieces quickly, and looks very much like curved piecing, something I haven’t attempted since the Meadow quilt.  http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.ca/2014/10/courtyard-tiles-pattern-is-finished.html

I’m pleased with how well this one has come together so far, and how the pattern leaves very usable scraps. Lots of 2.5 inch strips remain, and I will probably use those for a scrappy border. I’ve even held onto a baggie of teeny tiny triangle scraps thinking I may attempt my first mini quilt. I guess I just can’t bear the thought of wasting any of Ruby. ❤

photo-2-1photo-3-2photo-4-1photo-5-2photo-1-4photo-2-2photo-4-2photo-5-3

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Home Quilted

My Instagram @charlamacphee

Growing up, I had no idea there was such a thing as quilting by machine. My grandmothers and mother were the ones I saw quilting, and never was a machine involved. So, when I started, in my 30’s and much later than they had all started, I already had two kids and knew a machine would most definitely be involved.

I started with a simple Brother machine that I had picked up at a local London Drugs, and several months later, when both my husband and I realized I had found a solid creative outlet, he upgraded me to my Bernina. Big B came with the BSR which enabled me to easily free motion quilt at home. Super handy for a super busy now mother of four, and precious little funds to pay a long armer.

My favorite quilt I’ve done so far has got to be My ABC’s. This was made using free patterns from a Moda blog hop. With little ones at home learning the alphabet,  was a perfect opportunity. Here is the link to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival where I’m entering for this quilt.  http://www.amyscreativeside.com/2016/09/19/bqfhome-machine-quilted-quilt-category/

I picked up a beautiful rainbow coloured jelly roll, collected all my patterns, scored some super cute newsprint background fabric, and I was off. I especially loved the background newsprint because the kids can learn their letters, and then search for them in the background.  Using the free motion quilting, I was able to imitate my oldest daughter’s cursive handwriting into the solid colour of each letter. Since cursive is being eliminated from the schools, I’m teaching them at home.

This was also my first ever entry into a local festival, the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts. My 10 year old also entered her first quilt in the same, and my mother came out to visit and we surprised her with the entry. It was a great bonding experience, and my newborn’s first outing at 5 days old.

 

 

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Applique

My Instagram @charlamacphee

Instagram. Oh, how I love Instagram. The amazing, unlimited talent, inspiration, and creativity on the site is outstanding. It feels like I have found ‘my people’ there. I could browse the posts for hours, taking in the patterns, colours, and creativity in all those  beautiful quilts.

Here’s the link to follow along.   http://www.amyscreativeside.com/2016/09/19/bqfapplique-quilt-cateogory/

I’m sharing my Mandala quilt for this . It’s made from a Violet Craft pattern, and I found it striking to the eye, and thankfully, fairly forgiving to make. This is really important to a newbie like me. What I lack in talent and skill, I like to think I make up for in enthusiasm.

Amy’s Creative Side is a blog I’ve read for a long time, and a constant source of information and inspiration. Love that this has been organised and am so excited to see all the posts. It will be great fun to follow along.

Tula Pink Cloudy Days – Part 1

If you’re familiar with Tula Pink fabric, you know how gorgeous it is. If you’re not familiar with it, you should take a look. Her prints are rich, bright, and bold. My first dive into her lines was the result of a great deal from a member of my guild, and that left me  hooked. Her fabrics are so beautiful, and were so far out of my comfort zone, but now, I find myself pulled to each line she releases.

I also picked up a copy of one of her books (Quilts From the House of Tula Pinkhttp://www.tulapink.com/quilts-from-the-house-of-tula-pink/ )  , and tried one of the patterns in it – Cloudy Days. I buy my fabric mostly in fat quarters, and while I loved this quilt, the large size rain drops were not fat quarter friendly. I had a bit of yardage from one of the prints in her line, Chipper, and did manage to squeeze out one large, but the remainder were a mix of medium and small drops. I still love it. Not sure how I’m going to quilt this one, but I think I’ll give free motion quilting another shot on it.

photo-1photo-2photo-3photo-4photo-5photo