Top 9 From 2016

A couple of years ago, I started out my blogging for that year by revisiting my favorite quilts from the previous year.  It was fun for me to see the quilts again – as so often I finish a quilt for a deadline and forget to sit and enjoy my finished project.  A recap is a good way for me to pause and reflect on my time spent on each item.   I also remember people enjoyed the seeing them all in one post.   It’s a popular concept on Instagram also.  Everyone (but me because I couldn’t get it to work that day) posted a photo of their top 9 posts from the that year.  This post is my blog version of that concept.

Favorite Trendy Table projects from this blog post.

Squared

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Starburst

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Metro Hoops from this blog post.

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More Trendy Table projects from this post – My favorites being the two on the right, Frosted and Rock Candy.

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Wrapped – Also from my Trendy Table book

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Sorbet – From this post and also found in the Trendy Table book.

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Painted Lady – from this post.

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Starstruck Medallion quilt – from this post and this booklet.

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Starstruck Runner – found in this booklet.

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Lastly, Preppy the Whale – from this post.

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As I reflect on 2016, I have to say I really enjoyed the projects I worked on.  I did mostly small projects for work and made lots of runners.  I took the time when the boys were napping to do some quilting projects for fun that were designed by other people.  It’s been a while since I’ve done that, so it was a treat for me.  It also led me to revisit handwork and wool and I’ve been loving it.  It has sparked a lot of new ideas for me – Ideas that I have been working on for the last 5 months, but have yet to share.  Personally, this year has been good too. The boys are at fun, yet challenging ages.  Everyday is a new adventure and we are learning something new every day.  I feel like I’ve struck a better balance between working and being a mom, and am grateful for that.  The boys are growing up so fast, and I’m glad to be able to spend a lot of time with them and not miss it.  It means I have been putting out less product for work – but I am fine with it.  This plaque that I found on Etsy pretty much sums it up.

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Christmas Quilt Tour

So are you ready for Christmas?

I am almost ready.  I am finishing one last gift and need to do the rest of the wrapping.  There will be food to prepare and a few last-minute things to do.

The gifts I have left to finish are Christmas ornaments for the boys.  We just started them during nap time on Monday, so I should be able to finish them by Sunday.  Let’s just say that they won’t be quite as detailed as last years!   My four year old has decided that he is done taking naps, so he helped me with the colors and the drawings.

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The thing I probably won’t finish by Sunday is this year’s Christmas quilt.  I have 2 blocks left to go, borders and quilting.  The beautiful pattern is Felicity by Kate Spain and the fabric is Juniper Berry by Basic Grey.

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For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I make something for Christmas each year, though it usually isn’t a big quilt like this.   I have been doing this long enough that I am getting quite a collection of Christmas quilts – enough to have some Christmas cheer in many of my rooms.  I thought it would be fun to share them with you today.  I am also going to have a Big end of the year sale on nooks and patterns .  . .  but more on that at the end.

 

The Tour –

My entry –  This is where the new Kate Spain one will go when it’s done, but in the meantime I am using this design from my Living Large book and the fabric is another Basic Grey Christmas line.  Basic Grey and Kate Spain do the best Christmas lines!

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My Living Room

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I love all things snowflake – as you will see.  (Snowflake garland ordered from this Etsy shop).

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Let It Snow Runner. –  See the “Quilt Along” tab above if you are interested in learning more about this runner and the techniques used.  Again, this fabric is Juniper Berry.

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I have the full version  of  Let It Snow  in my kitchen.  Many of these fabrics are from Kate Spain, with the addition of a few things from my stash.

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And yet another version in my bedroom.  I have made 3 of these quilts, plus two runners, so it’s a favorite winter quilt pattern .  The tree/diamond quilt above it can be found here.  The fabrics used are Holly’s Tree Farm by Sweetwater and another Basic Grey line (I have used so many of their Christmas lines that I can’t keep the names straight anymore).

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This is a shot of my studio.  I rotate seasonal quilts on my rack between the bookcases.  I also like to hang another seasonal quilt over the door (found here).

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And another angle in the studio

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The stocking pattern can be found here.  The quilt over the ottoman can be found here.

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A favorite snowflake runner hangs over the mini buffet in my dining room – pattern found here.

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And another snowflake one (found here.)

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My dining room

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The runner on the table is called Wrapped and can be found in this book.

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Another angle in the dining room – Topper found here.

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And in our bedroom – Who remembers this Christmas line from 3 Sisters?  It was one of my favorite lines back then and still is.  Pattern found here.

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I can’t decide if I should have the previous quilt on my bed, or this one.

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The fabric was my first ever Christmas collection called Home for the Holidays.  The pattern was a free download from Henry Glass’s website.  Click here to download the free pattern.

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Two other quilts from my family room – both found in this book and fabrics lines are once again from Kate Spain and Basic Grey.

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And one last runner, also from the same book.

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Thanks for joining me on the tour.  Some of my favorite quilts are Christmas/winter themes so it’s always fun to be able to put them out and enjoy them.

As a thank you to all my blog followers, I am having a year-end sale!

Visit my online store  here to get 25% off my entire site.  Use the code Christmas25off to get the discount.  All orders placed over the Christmas holiday will ship out on December 26th and 27th.   The sale will last until January 1st at midnight.

Thanks and have a Merry Christmas!

 

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Preppy the Whale

Earlier this year I started a whale quilt for my oldest son.  His favorite show is Octonauts and he loves learning about ocean creatures.  So, when I saw the Preppy the Whale pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, I wanted to make it for him.

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I just used fabrics from my stash, so my colors aren’t as cute as hers, but he still likes it.  I had leftovers from a bundle of Moda’s Mochi Linens, so I wanted to use them up.  You know how that is . . . .

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I had some fun machine quilting this one.  It looks complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.

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I started with a simple wave in the horizontal sashing.

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Next, I added an echo under the first wave.  Then I added an echo above the top of the second wave, while adding in a big splash when I came to each tail.

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After all the waves and echoes were done, I added the filler in between.  (The little one thinks the quilt is his too, so luckily big brother is willing to share.)

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Lastly, I used my scraps to make rainbow binding.  I carefully calculated my math so I used each color from the quilt twice, in the order that I used it in the quilt.   It didn’t go quite how I had planned – as I must have been slightly off with my number and had to insert one more piece found in my stash.

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This was a very fun quilt to make.  There were lots of tiny pieces to cut, so I was happy to be done with the cutting.  It was smooth sailing after that.  Having little boys is a fun excuse to be able to make quilts I normally wouldn’t.  A whale quilt doesn’t go with the décor in my main living area (it would be perfect for an ocean side beach house), but it sure is cute in a boys room.  . . . .

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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.)

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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.

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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.

Posted in Fabric Trends, Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 102 Comments

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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