Family Photos 2016

About a month ago we had some family photos taken.  Getting Max to sit still is nearly impossible, but we did manage to get some beautiful shots.  I thought it would be fun to share them with you today – as so many of you ask to see more pictures of the boys in your comments and emails to me.  Thanks for asking and I appreciate how many of you still express to us how happy you are for us after what we’ve gone through to get here.   These two are still my little miracle babies, even though they aren’t so little anymore.

Carter is 4.

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Max is 2.  If you ask him, he might be 1, 2, or 3, depending on the day.

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Photography credit to Kelsey James Photography.

 

And a few out takes.  Have I mentioned the younger one has a little bit  of personality?

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Choosing Fabrics for Starstruck

Today I want to share ideas for finding fabrics for the Starstruck quilts. This post is meant to be for both shop owners and quilters looking for fabrics, so some of the links in the post are to fabric distributors and some are to quilt shops.

Typically I design around a fabric line so it makes it easier for people to replicate the look of the quilt when they buy the pattern.  Since the projects in the Starstruck book are not made in this way, I thought it was important to share ideas on how or where to find a collection of chevron fabrics.  Once you start looking, there really are tons of chevron prints to pick from.

The problem can be that it is hard to find them all in one location.  I don’t have a local quilt shop that I can go to, nor can I drive my boys all over the state looking for fabric, so I ordered online form Hawthorne Threads.  You can view their chevron page here.  (Below is an image of what I purchased from them)

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For those of you who get out to shops more often than me😉, you can just start collecting over a period of time.  Every time you go to a shop, pick up a few chevron or zigzag fabrics and before you know it, you will have enough prints to make one of the quilts.  And – don’t forget to check your stash!  Keep in mind that the prints don’t have to be traditional chevrons (I will explain this below).

 

Now – onto some visuals!

A Favorite from Robert Kauffman.  (click here to view all chevrons available on their site)

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This print is available in other colors also.  Keep that in mind as you are scrolling this posts – each of the prints usually comes in at least 3 colors.

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This is another one from Kauffman, available in several colors from Anne Kelle’s Remix Collection.

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Henry Glass also has some options that would be fun.  Ric Rac Paddywack by Kim Diehl has chevron and ric rac prints done on flannel.

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Click here to view the entire line.  They would be great for the baby quilt size option in the book.  See the photo below.  This options is great because you only need 7 fabrics.

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Another option that Henry Glass has from their Bright, White and Black line (coming in March but available for preorder).

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This chevron would be great for the runner that only uses 1 chevron fabric.  In the photo below, see the runner to the right.  It only uses one print, but it has lots of colors so it makes for many different looking blocks.

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When I went on Riley Blake’s Website, they had over 300 chevron fabrics to choose from.  They carry a basic 2 color chevron in a multitude of colors and sizes.  (click here to view their chevrons page)

This was a favorite one that I used in my quilts and it comes in small, medium and large.

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Here are a few more from Riley Blake that I love:

(Starspangled from Doodlebug Designs)

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(Little Ark by Carina Gardener)

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(Trendsetter by Fancy Pants Designs)

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School Days by Zoe Pearn

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Shaded Chevrons, done in house

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Another company with a lot of chevrons is Michael Miller.  This was one of my favorites (available in several colors.)

Michael Miller House Designer - Chevrons - Chevy in Spa

 

Another favorite from Michael Miller was this chevron.  I used it in all 3 colors and it made for some beautiful blocks (see upper left block in photo below)

Michael Miller House Designer - Migration - Migration in Coral

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I had trouble getting a good image of this one, but this chevron from Michael Miller is the perfect example of what to use for the runner from the book that only uses one chevron fabric.  There are lots of color changes and a large repeat – so you will get lots of different looking blocks. The flowers inside the stripes would also be beautiful cut up.  Click here to see a larger image.

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This is the project from the book that I used just one chevron print for. Click here to see the chevron used).

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Next up, I searched Free Spirit’s website and found many more beautiful options.

There is this one called the Happi Chevron from Dena Designs

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I used this one from Tula Pink’s Eden collection in my quilt.  It’s not a traditional chevron, but the colors form a zigzag pattern, so it has the same effect (see block in bottom center of photo below)

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I also used this print from Tula’s Chipper Collection

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Another from Tula (Forfield collection)

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This was a favorite print from Amy Butler’s Bright Heart collection.  I used it in all 3 colors.  Again, not a traditional chevron, but it makes up into a very interesting star block.

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(A mini block made from this fabric is in lower right corner of the runner with the grey setting triangles.)

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This print from Joel Dewberry isn’t a traditional chevron either, but it has a part of the stripe that zigzags, so it has a similar effect to cutting a chevron.  The combination of the striping with the zigzag makes for some really fun blocks. (This fabric is from his Notting Hill collection).

Joel Dewberry - Notting Hill - Banded Bliss - Aquamarine

 

I loved this print from Valori Well’s Novella collection and I used it in four of the quilts in the book.

Valori Wells - Novella - Zigzag - Blue

 

 

Another collection that came to mind was Moda’s Half Moon Modern ZigZags.  They are available in two sizes and lots of colors.  (Click here to see the other colors and the rest of Moda’s chevrons)

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This design from Moda’s V and Co would also make an interesting block.

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Me and My Sister also have a couple of cute chevrons.

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For shop owners looking for chevrons, here is a link to Checker’s page that lists their chevron fabrics.  I noticed that they have some really cute chevron flannels listed from a company named Camelot fabrics.  It’s a company that I am not familiar with, but the prints are really cute.  I’ve posted one of the options below and you can find the link to Camelot’s site here.

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In addition to the ones that I purchased above, I also went through my stash and found a few that would work.  My favorite was from my own Here Fishy Fishy collection – which is now out of print, but some of you may have some in your stash and it’s perfect for these blocks.

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Fabric.com also has a  lot of chevron fabrics.  I prefer to buy from quilt shops, but I did purchase one of the chevrons listed above from them.  Click here to view their chevrons page. Other ideas include Spoonflower and JoAnn’s.  I didn’t buy any from JoAnns because the quality is so poor, but they did have some cute prints.  It’s also a place that most of you probably have easy access too, so it’s an idea of where to check.  To see Spoonflower’s chevrons, click here.

There are so many more chevrons that I could share, but this post is already a mile long!  I hope that helps give you some ideas for finding fabrics.  I will be listing this post in the tabs along the top of this blog page, under the Starstruck tab.  That way it will be easy for you to find it back.  If anyone else has more ideas, please share them in the comments.  If you are a shop a shop that carries chevrons, please list that in the comments also or share a link to your site.  Thanks!

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Introducing Starstruck

Today, I get to fully introduce the projects from my new booklet, Starstruck.  I did a preliminary introduction and talked a little about the technique in my last post (click here to view).

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It’s a technique that I found a bit addicting.  I just couldn’t seem to stop making stars!  All of those stars turned into the many size options from the book.  There are a total of 9 size options using the large size block.  There are also 3 minis that are made using a smaller block and are perfect for using up your scraps.

 

This is the medallion style quilt that made the cover.

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My neighbor just happens to have a beautiful zinnia field.  I couldn’t help but ask to borrow it for this photo!

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If you are wondering how my quilt is levitating in this field- my husband is standing on a stool behind the quilt, on his tiptoes, holding his arms up as high as he could as he was literally eaten alive by mosquitos and I yelled “Don’t wrinkle the quilt!  Hold it straight!  A little higher!”  It was a crappy experience for him, but I couldn’t help but laugh with joy.  I had gotten the shot and the lighting was perfect after a week of rainy weather.

 

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This is the quilt where I pretended to be a professional machine quilter and tried a few things that were a little out of my league – but the middle of this quilt was screaming for some beautiful quilting, so I just had to go for it.  I also quilted the stars with different motifs, which I will show in another blog post.

 

My back cover quilt is a simpler layout – at least looks wise, even though the cover quilt is just as easy to sew together as this one.  This is another beautiful setting – found by my husband Joel.

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The next layout is the crib size quilt.  (It could also be used as a wall quilt).

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I chose to include this option in the book because it only uses 7 chevron fabrics.  As you can tell from the cover quilt, I used a lot of chevron prints – I think around 25.  For this quilt, I wanted to show that using fewer fabrics can still make a beautiful quilt.  So for those that don’t feel up to the task of finding so many different prints, but like the technique, you can still do it.

 

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This beautiful old truck was also found by my husband.  Can you tell he has a lot of connections?  He once again came through with this fun prop, and on top of that, he is laying in the truck bed holding the quilt in place so I could get my shot.  The other cute prop is our Max.

 

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Lastly, I have a few of the smaller projects to share.

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I wanted to include this large size runner because it shows what it looks like to use just one chevron print.  This print is from my Here Fishy, Fishy collection.  Again, it’s a great way to try the technique without having a collection of chevron fabrics.  It still amazes me that these detailed looking stars are only made with 6 triangles!  It’s that chevron fabric that does all the work for you!

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This runner also shows using just one fabric, but it’s done with the Mini size block.  It’s had to believe it is made from just one fabric, as each block is unique.

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If you like the mini size, you will have scraps leftover from the big quilts that you can use to make some mini blocks.  Here you see the runner using one chevron print and a runner made using just scraps.

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This shot show the difference in size between the large blocks and the minis.

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I just love how each block is unique!  As you can see, every fabric is not a traditional chevron.  They just need to zig zag a little to make a star. (I will talk more on fabric selection in a later post)

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If you are interested in trying this technique, I will be giving away a copy to my blog readers.  Just leave a comment to be entered to win.  We are also taking preorders on the book here.

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Starstruck

It’s been a little quiet here on the old blog – but that usually means it’s very busy behind the scenes.  That has been the case over the last month, as I’ve been working on a new booklet.  I decided last minute to publish my idea, so it’s been a scurry of activity trying to make it in time for fall market.  Today, I’m going to give you a sneak peek at the idea, while I’m editing and working on the final photos for a post with a full introduction.

This idea came about because I was trying to piece a complicated looking star from a strip unit.  Something I’ve done before, but this strip unit was first pieced into a chevron, cut apart, sewn back together, then cut apart again.  After lots of trial and error, I thought – “Why don’t I just use a chevron fabric?”  I drew up a little graphic to show you what I mean.

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So, first of all, the math was complicated for me to figure out so that there was little waste and you could get one block from a strip set, etc.  It was so much easier to start with the printed chevron!  It eliminated some complicated steps and it allowed me to use different fabrics so each block would look unique.  I immediately ordered a bunch of chevron-ish fabrics to give my idea a try.

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I thought finding the chevron fabrics would be a challenge, but I easily found them all in one spot (click here).  This is a bad night-time iphone photo.  They are much prettier in daylight!

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As soon as the fabrics arrived, I started cutting.  I cut the chevron fabric into strips and then cut the strips into triangles, stopping to sew every few blocks to see how they would turn out.  Each block was a fun surprise.  Each block only has 6 pieces, so they are quick and easy to sew.

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I used some of my scraps to cut small blocks too – because these fabrics were too pretty to waste!  .  . . . .  The famous words of all quilters😉

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Those blocks are now part of 7 quilts.   I’m working on a post to share the full shots, so please stop back in a few days!

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Painted Lady

So I have a new obsession.

It surprisingly involves lots of handwork – Something I used to be quite impatient with, but am now thoroughly enjoying.   This obsession came about in June, when I went to the Minnesota Quilt Show.  There was one booth there that was fresh and bright and sucked me in right away.  Three kits later . . .  and I thought I was set for handwork for the next 2 years.

Wrong! A short few weeks later, and I had all the handwork done on this project.

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It was so much fun to do, that I had it done way sooner than I thought I would.  The pattern is called Painted Lady.  You can find the pattern here and the kit here.  Everything is done with wool, except the background is a woven.  (In person, the background is a better color, but it didn’t photograph well.) I don’t remember a time where I have even bought a kit or made the quilt just as the pattern is written/shown, but I liked this one as is.  I love the fact that though the design uses wool, it is not primitive as most wool projects are.  The colors are bright and the design is modern, so it has a different feel.

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When I bought the kit, I figured I would skip all the putsy handwork.  As you can see in the photo above, I followed the pattern and did all the details.  This project was kind of like a good book, I was enjoying it so much, that I didn’t want it to be over just yet – so why not go all out?

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I quilted it just like the sample in Fiberworks booth – a 1/2″ cross hatch, right over the applique and stitching.  This is just an Iphone photo from my Instragram feed, but it really shows the quilting.

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This isn’t a great photo either, but it shows how I did the crosshatching.  You do the stitching in one direction first, then take it off the machine, turn it and add the stitching in the other direction.  It’s a design that takes no skill, so even a beginner can do this quilting.

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One of the other things I tried on this design, was the thread that the designer used.  The thread is thin, so I used two strands, matching up the repeat so the color variation showed.  I used to hate variegated thread, but I loved what it added to this project.  Isn’t it beautiful?

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That’s all for today.  This isn’t the end of wool applique that will be shown here  –  I have 3 more projects going that use wool🙂

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Sorbet

I have another finished runner to share today.  I was excited to make this for several reasons – It’s one of my favorite runners from my Trendy Table book, I loved these fabrics/color combination, I have several places in my house to use this runner so it actually has a purpose, and I’ve been wanting to make a few things with the Moda black crossweave fabric.

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This shot was taken in my studio and it shows where my color inspiration came from.  I got this artwork from Home Goods.  It originally came with a white frame, and I never liked it until I repainted it black.  The black just makes the colors pop, thus the decision to work the black crossweave fabric into my runner.  Are you familiar with this fabric?

 

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It’s a little hard to capture in the photo but the texture and color is beautiful.  It’s a woven fabric that uses a black thread in one direction, and a light grey thread in the other direction.  I have bought several pieces and have found it works with lots of different color combinations.

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The other prints in the runner are from my stash.  The yellow stripe, flower center and one of the blue prints are from a Denyse Schmidt like called New Bedford.  The others are from assorted lines.  You only need 12 – 5″ squares in assorted colors for the flower blocks.

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The original version from the book uses a lighter background called Essex Linen.  It’s similar to the crossweave as far as texture, but it’s a little itchy if it’s in a quilt that is going to be up against your skin.

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Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you enjoyed this runner and that you are enjoying a little time to sew this summer too!

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More Trendy Table Runners and Quilting Ideas

I spoke too quickly in my last post – We have now had a heat wave that reminds me of what our summer is normally like!   I am hiding out in my sewing room and enjoying the air conditioning.  It’s a chance to go through my photos.  I found a few things that I finished early this summer that I haven’t blogged about.  All 3 runners are from my Trendy Table book.

First up, this Tango runner, made using Mochi Linen by Moda Fabrics.

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I am working on this whale pattern for Carter using Mochi Linen and I had just enough leftover strips to make this runner.  This runner is easy to do, is made with strip sets and using this ruler.

I really enjoyed quilting this one –

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It’s a design that looks complicated, but it’s really easy.  Let’s break it down –

First, the design in just one of the triangles.

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I start stitching in the upper right corner of the triangle, make a hump, then flatten out to hit the point in the top left corner.

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Repeat on the next edge

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And again on the remaining edge of the triangle.

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To do the design on the whole block, without starting and stopping on each triangle, I stitch the design across the top of the triangles as shown below –

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Then I start filling in the middle as shown.

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Repeat on all blocks to fill in the quilt.

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The leftovers from the strips sets on the Tango runner can be saved to make this runner:

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I tried a new quilting technique on this one.  It was really fun to do too.

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It is also continuous line.  Begin by startting in the upper left corner as shown

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Fill in bottom half of flower motif as shown, the repeat across the quilt.  The only thing I marked, was a line designating the height of each row (I wanted to fit 4 full repeats of the design on the height) and I marked the width of the design on the first row only, so that I got a full design at the end of the row.

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Lastly, I have a color option on the Plus runner.   The  Fabric is from the Lil’ Red collection by Stacey lest Hsu for Moda Fabrics.  The pattern takes about half a charm pack, plus some background fabric.

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The original version from the book uses a darker background.

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Again, these runners are from my “Trendy Table” book.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

 

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