Pretty In Pink Quilt Along – Part 1

Last week I wrote a post about what I will be sharing on the blog in 2015.   I mentioned wanting to get back to doing a few tutorials and decided to pick a project that we could work on together – so welcome to my first Quilt- Along.  Go grab a cup of coffee and read long!  (even if you aren’t interested in a quilt-along, you can just read along and hopefully you will pick up a few tips).

Today I am going to show you what we will be working on and I will talk about how I selected the fabric for this project.  I have so many people who ask about this, so I know there are many of you who are wondering about my process.

 

I have chosen the pattern Pretty in Pink Mini.

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I selected this pattern because:

A.  I wanted to make another one ;-)

B.  I have a lot of things that I can teach from with this pattern

C.  It’s small – so it isn’t a huge time commitment for you to join me in the quilt along

D.  Many of you probably have a charm pack lying around that is waiting to fulfill its quilt destiny and become something beautiful.

 

The quilt finishes out at 24″ x 27″,  requires 1 charm pack, 3/8 yard of cream, 1/3 yard pink for the flowers and binding, 1 1/4 yards of 1/2″ wide green rick rack, assorted scraps for the applique, a fusible product and thread for the applique.  The pattern is available for $5 (paper pattern here or PDF here.)

For those of you who would like to make the larger size shown below, you can.  The larger size was originally published a few years back in our Living Large book and requires one layer cake, along with some additional yardage.

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Today I want to talk about fabric selection.  First of all, I want to show you the other quilts I’ve made with this design.  One of my favorite things to do is make the same pattern again in different fabrics, just to see how different it looks in other colors.

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For this option, I added borders, used a dark sashing and changed the applique to something more Christmassy.

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In this version, I set the blocks on point and went with a very dramatic black lattice.  (By the way, this was the very first version of the pattern, but it ended up in the reject pile.)

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For some reason I made that version 3 times!

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For our sew along, I am using Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille.  The pattern is written for Precuts, and that makes the first part of the fabric selection process so much easier.  I used to spend hours pulling fabrics from my stash, cutting a 5″ square off each piece, folding them all back up and putting them away.  No more baby – Just whip out that charm pack and all the colors are already cut and, as a bonus, all color coordinated for you by the designers of the collection!

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The second step in the fabric selection process is to open up the pack and lay out all the fabrics so you get a better look at the line.  When I laid them all out, I arranged them on white fabric because that is the color I wanted to use for the sashing.

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Don’t they look cute together?  See that little pile of white prints at the top?  I already eliminated those because I thought they didn’t set off well enough from the white sashing fabric.  If there isn’t enough contrast, the pattern will be lost in that block.  The sashing fabric is going to touch every color in the line, so it has to set off from every print.  To figure out what to use as this contrast print, pick a different color from anything in the line, OR use a print way lighter or darker than the rest of the prints in the line.  White, brown, black, and cream are example of colors that I have used in the photos above.

 

Step 3 – Figure out a possible color for the applique.  In this case, I chose the color that had the least amount of prints in the line.  Notice that there are only 3 of 4 orange prints, so I went with that color.  I also made sure to use a little bit darker tone of orange in a more solid print to ensure that it would stand out.  I did the same with the green for the stems.

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Step 4 – Arrange all of the prints on a design wall to see how they will actually look in the quilt.  I even cut out a few sashing strips to audition.  This will also be the fabric placement in the final quilt.  I like to figure that out ahead of time, if possible, rather than just winging it.  That way I don’t end up with two prints next to each other, etc.   I made sure that none of the orange or green prints would be underneath the applique,  as that will help keep the applique from blending in with the busy background.

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Step 5.  Next I eliminated a couple of the low volute prints, because I just didn’t think they set off enough from the sashing.  They looked fine when I had them arranged by color in the first photo, but once I mixed them up with the other prints, they got lost (see the squares on the right hand side of the photo below).  The squares in the quilt that have grey circles around them show the new prints that I added to the mix.  In this case, I have a stash of leftover Precuts by the same designers that I could easily mix in.  If you don’t have any scraps lying around, consider cutting an extra square from your binding or backing fabrics.

When I first started quilting, I just selected my fabrics and started cutting and sewing.  After I was done with the project, I would kick myself for my bad choices that were now permanent.  I am not good at having a total vision for my project.  I have to go step-by-step,, auditioning as I go.  By taking the time to do all of the above steps, it helps ensure that I will like everything in the end.  Now take a picture with your cell phone, ipad or camera so you can remember your fabric placement.

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Step 6 – Now that I am happy with the color arrangement, I am ready to cut.  Because of how this quilt is made, my fabric selection also helped me determine the placement of all the prints so now I just took down every other square and cut them as shown in the cutting diagram on page 1.  (Please note that if you are using directional prints, you will need to pay attention to the direction of the prints before cutting them.)  Set aside for Step 1 in the sewing directions.  Take down the rest of the squares and do the same for Step 2 in the assembly instructions.

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One other word of caution, cut carefully!  There isn’t a whole lot of waste with this pattern.  As you can see below, I use a small rotary cutter when working with these small pieces.  It makes it so much easier to maneuver when cutting around these small pieces, plus it’s easier to see around.

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A couple of words of advice about Precuts:

The cutting instructions for this pattern show a little cutting diagram to help you with the cutting.  Notice how there is no waste going one direction.  To make that step easier, I position two rulers next to each other as shown.

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Measure over with the first ruler as specified by the pattern.  Lay the second ruler next to it and make sure that you have enough fabric left to make the second cut.  Once everything is in the right place, pull the second ruler away and cut.

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My charm squares were actually 5″ by almost 5 1/8″.  I made sure to turn the blocks so that the 5 1/8″ was running the direction that required all 5″.  That way I could trim a little off the pinking on each side.  (for more hints on cutting precuts, see my tutorial here)

 

That’s all for today.  I hope you found some of these hints helpful!  I also hope some of you will join along in making this project with me.  If you do, please post pictures to share with the group.  I would love to see the fabrics that you are using!  Please use the hashtag #prettyinpinkqa.  You can also post questions for me in the comments here on the blog and I will do my best to answer – just be sure to check back to see the answer to your question.

 

You have the next week or so to select and cut fabrics.  Next week I will post on making the blocks.

 

Posted in Quilt Along, Quilting, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A Little Handwork

I know that Christmas has passed us by again for another year, but I wanted to show you some Christmas ornaments that I have been stitching on.  I was just packing them up the other day and thought I should share them before I put them away again for another year.

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I have a deep seeded love for Christmas ornaments, especially hand-made ones.  It all started years ago, when my Aunt Lynn gave each of the nieces and nephews an ornament each year for Christmas.  Many were ones she had hand painted and they fascinated me.  It was such a treat each year to take them out, look at them, arrange them on the tree.  When I left home, those gifted ornaments were the only ones on my first Christmas tree.

These ornaments are designed by Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy.  Her blog is one of my favorites – I love looking at her beautiful photos.  They make me want to move to Portland, move in next door and have Carter play with her adorable little girl (they are almost the same age and they went through some trials to get her too).   If you want to check out her blog you can click here.  Last winter she posted some kits of these ornaments and I took the plunge and ordered some.  I worked on a few or the ornaments then.  I ended up only finishing one this year (bo!) and will have a couple more to work on next year.

Now for some close-ups – A cabin, complete with chimney smoke and beads.

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I loved ice skating when I was young, so I love this one.  Again – the details are so fun.

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I love this little red coat.  My mom once made me a red wool coat, so it reminds me of that.

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Of course, I think the hand knit scarf on the polar bear is a fabulous idea.

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The tree and deer have some beautiful details too, including the sequins to look like snow.

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If you are interested in seeing Alicia’s kits, click here.  She also has just the patterns, if you happen to have all these different colors of felt, beads, ric rac, etc in your stash.  I thought the kits were a lifesaver!  No running around collecting a million things.  Click here to see the patterns.

I hope someday these will be part of a special set of ornaments that the boys take with them when they move out.  Sniff, sniff.

 

 

Posted in Decorating, Minnesota | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Plans for 2015

So . . .  I’m about 12 days late in getting to my plans for 2015.  I want to share a bit about what is coming here on the blog this year and why I am planning a few changes.

First of all, my life has changed a little (or a lot) since I started blogging.  I no longer have the time to devout to it that I once did.  Two little boys will do that to you!  That means that I also don’t have time to sit and read other blogs like I used to.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Secondly, I often find that I have a little something to say, but it isn’t enough for a blog post.  Or I don’t have time to take a photo, load it onto the computer, go through all the steps to write a post and publish it.

 

So what’s the solution?  What is my new favorite social media?  Instagram.

 

That doesn’t mean that I am going to quit blogging.  I am just going to save the blogging for when I have a topic that requires a few pictures and text (just like I have been doing).  But, I am also going to start posting on Instagram to keep in touch with everybody in between blog posts.

So why Instagram?

1.  It’s easy to check with my phone.  I don’t need to have time to sit down at the computer to see what’s going on.  It’s accessible anywhere – including my bed (It’s my new reading material before bed) and during those middle of the night feedings!

2.  It’s really quick to do a post – Just one photo and a bit of text.  I can do it right from my phone.  In fact, I just did one while Carter was in the bathtub.  Easy Peasy.

3.  Readers can still post comments.  Readers can also post photos using hashtags.  This is great for doing quilt-alongs and things like that.  I also allows me to see what you are making with my patterns, so that will be really fun for me. (If you want me to see what you are doing, just use the hashtag #ankastreasures.)

4. Instagram will also post to Facebook, so for those of you who don’t want to add another social media, you can still see what I am posting.  I have found that I like Instagram much better, so I am checking that more often.

 

Speaking of quilt-alongs, that is another reason why I am going to start posting on Instagram.  I have several things planned and I am hoping some of you will join along.  Nothing that I am doing will be a big time commitment, they will mostly be small projects like runners.  I will be posting hints on fabric selection, talk about techniques used in the pattern, etc.  My hope is to help provide some helpful hints that people can learn from.   Some of the things that I have gotten the most positive feedback from in the past have been my tutorials (see the tab across the top header).  Even if you don’t join in the quilt along, you may enjoy following along.  I also plan to do some giveaways, with the winners chosen from those posting photos and participating in the quilt along.   Again, it’s nothing huge, but I’m hoping we will have fun with it.

 

So what do you think?  Is there anything you would like to hear more about on the blog this year?  Are any of you recent Instagram converts?  Your comments mean a lot to me, so feel free to share your thoughts.

 

If you would like to follow my Instagram account, click here.  You can click “follow” to follow my account.  Take a look around Instagram and see what you think.  I only have a few photos up, but there will be more.  And speaking of photos, I had to include at least one in this post!

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Posted in Quilting | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Christmas 2014

I am behind on posting my Christmas pictures this year.  I was going to skip it, but I decided that later on I would be sorry.  I like to go back through old blog posts periodically and I wanted just a few photos of the kids to look back on.

 

On Christmas morning in their Christmas PJs.

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Carter wanted all construction equipment for Christmas this year.  If you asked him what he wanted, he always said: bulldozers, skid “yoaders”, and four “wheewers”.  In fact, he even asked for Runnings (which is the store in town that sells all the good boy toys).

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Max got presents this year too, but Carter thinks they are all his.  He got to open them after all, so I am a little worried that he thinks Christmas means a bazillion presents all for him.

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The four of us

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All the kids on my side of the family – minus Max who missed Christmas by taking a 3 hour nap

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The kids on the Peterson side

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And a few out-takes of the Petersons

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(There is always one in every crowd.  Oh wait, that tongue sticker-outer is mine!)

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And last, but not least, the newest member of the Mulder family:

Meet baby Cannon

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Isn’t he a sweetie?  He was born just a few days ago and he is only about 15 hours  old in these photos.

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I had to include one with toes.  (And what a difference 5 months makes!  Just 5 months ago, Max was about this size)

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Congrats to my sister and her family!  And for those of you who are keeping track – Baby Cannon is the 8th boy in our family – all under the age of 7.

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Posted in Family | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Favorite Quilts of 2014

Welcome to 2015.  Are you ready?  I’m not quite ready because today I am going to share my favorite quilts from 2014.  Considering I made very few actual quilts this year (I mostly made runners and minis),  I had to get a little creative.  I decided to come up with my favorite for an assortment of categories.

 

#1 – Favorite use of Hexagons:

Patchwork Mosiac Runner (found here).  This is also some of my favorite machine quilting, simple as it is.

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#2:  Favorite use of a Mini Charm Pack:

Woven Squares (found here)

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#3 Favorite use for a blue dresser:

Fresh Connection

 

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#4  Favorite Topper

Summer Stars

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#5 Favorite Binding:

Spinners   (Also favorite use of the partial seam technique and triangles.  Oh, and hexagons.  Did I already do that one?)

 

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#6 – Favorite secondary use for a runner – Use as a bed runner:

Granny Square Stars

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#7 Favorite quilt made with one of my fabric lines:

Puppy Love using the I Love Puppies fabric.

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#8 – Favorite non-scrappy quilt  (By the way, this is the only non-scrappy almost-two-color-quilt that I have made this year)

Nordic Stars

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#9 Current Favorite Color Combination:  Grey, aqua, teal, and green

Venetian Tiles

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#10 – Favorite project using fabrics from my stash

Divine

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#11 – Favorite Project using a strip piecing technique:

Awesome Blossom

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#12 Favorite Mini:

Pretty in Pink

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#13 Favorite Project from 2014:

Max ;-)  Hands down.  No question about it!

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That’s all the categories that I could come up with.  I hope your year was full of favorite quilts too!

Posted in Fabric Trends, Machine Quilting, Pattern of the Week, Quilting | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

PDF Pattern Sale

I hope you all had a great Christmas!   We are very grateful for all the friends and family that we got to see and spend time with.  During this season, I am reminded of how blessed we are in so many ways – for our beautiful boys and the joy they bring into our lives, for our family and friends, for our country and freedoms that so many around the world do not have, for our homes, jobs and things like that.  There is just so much to be thankful for!  Even our hobbies like quilting and knitting – they bring an added fullness to life as well.  As a person that thrives on creating and making things, I can’t imagine what life would be like without these fun things to fill up free time – limited as it is with the boys ;-)

With the new year approaching, I have lots of things to think about in relation to my business.  First of all, the new Vatmoss regulations are affecting us and we are having to change our shipping policy on our PDF patterns.  It will mainly affect those of you living in the EU.  I feel really bad about it.  As Americans, we have easy access to anything quilting related and at much lower costs than those that live in other countries.  This is just going to make it even harder for some of you to have easy access to quilting products.  As a result, we are going to have 25% off all PDF patterns for the next two days so those of you living in the EU can purchase the PDFs you might have had your eye on for next years projects.  Click here to view our PDF patterns.  These regulations will not affect our paper patterns or books.

I am also thinking about business things such as this blog and what to talk about in the new year.  I would like to share a few of these things in my next post, so this one doesn’t get too long.  In the meantime, I have a  sweater that I finished in July and I am finally getting around to blogging about it.   How bad is that!

The pattern is Helene, by Veronik Avery.  I loved making this. I found the lace pattern to be very enjoyable and fast.  The design is so beautiful and I love the color of the yarn.

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The yarn is Sparrow – Which is the same yarn that I used in the sweater from this post.  It’s a linen yarn made by Quince and Co.

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It’s quite thin, so it is light and works up well for summer projects and lacework.

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I made several mods to the pattern – including making the sleeves narrower, I kept the back neck higher, and I added one repeat to the length of the sweater.

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I wish I would have done a little something different with that bottom hem.   See how the edge is a bit knobby?  Anyone have any ideas on how they would have changed that?   Or how I could fix it?

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My main mod was that I was very unhappy with how the shoulder seam looked when done up as instructed by the pattern.  It said to pick up stitches along the top of the arm and then do a three needle bind-off.

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I seamed one side up as the pattern instructed with the 3 needle bind-off.  Mine turned out very messy looking – as you can see below.

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Here is how it looked on – and it still looked really bad.  I may not have done it correctly, as mine seemed to look worse than the others on Ravelry.

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I sewed the other side together without picking up any stitches or doing the three needle bind-off.  I liked it much better, so I redid the other side to match.  (by the way, I am very pregnant in this picture).

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Everyone on Ravelry commented that this knit up very small so I knit half of the back, blocked it and made sure my gauge was good – but maybe when I reblocked it, I stretched it too much, because it turned out pretty large. Maybe I will wash and dry it???  Do I dare?

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Does anyone else have any experience with washing and drying linen?  I don’t want to ruin my sweater.  Feel free to share any thoughts on this in the comments.  You can find my Ravelry link to this project here.

 

Thanks for stopping and Have Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to stop in quick to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!   I appreciate you taking time throughout the year to stop by, leave a comment, read a post or two, ask about the boys, etc, etc. – and I just wanted you to know that!

Speaking of boys, how about a few photos I took of the boys while trying to make our Christmas card?

 

First up, a couple of Carter

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And a few of Max

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And a whole bunch of the boys together . . . .

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And the photo that made the cut (There may or may not have been some Photoshop used on this photo.  I kind of know how to Photoshop heads around from different photos)

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And we’re done

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Happy Holidays and I hope to see you back here in the New Year ;-)

Posted in Family | Tagged , , | 48 Comments