It was an honor. The Designer Duo QAL wrap-up.

Designer Duo, Uncategorized

Over the last couple of months I’ve had the great pleasure of sewing along with my friend Nancy Rink and her colleague and fellow designer, Sarah Maxwell. They invited Tiffany Haynes of Needle In A Haystack and me to be “Guest Designers” on their Designer Duo QAL this spring. I had chosen to use Sarah Golden‘s latest collection from Andover Fabrics, “Around Town” in my version of this wonderful sampler quilt. I loved that there were doubles of the sampler blocks and thirteen copies of the set-in blocks in this pattern. It makes for easy and fast block making because your quilt finishes up a tad bit faster when designed this way.

We got started on April 6th and continued making and sharing Instagram, the Designer Duo Facebook group page, and our websites/blogs.  The Facebook Group has 2.2K members and although not everyone in that number shared their progress with us, it was a very active community for those of us that did share.  The support and cheerleading spirit within the group made for fun and exciting Fridays over the next six weeks.

As I got started I found that my layout was going to make for slightly different assembly steps.  I took some time to go over the pattern and make notes to reference as I went.  For example, all my four-patch blocks would use the same fabric, unlike in the pattern where you make the four-patches as you make each block.  That was because the fabrics are of such a variety that it was easier to make those small blocks as you cut your fabrics for each set of blocks so they reflected the fabrics used in them.  I had designed my version to use the same black & white polka dot and background fabrics in all of the four-patch blocks, so I just made them all at once.  However this did result in erasing the optical illusion of large circles in the quilt, but I love how retro my layout feels.

I also found it helpful to use one of my favorite notions, the Alphabitties from It’s Sew Emma.  They make for an easy system of tracking all the pieces and units per block.  I’ve been using them for a few years now and although I could just write numbers or letters on Post-Its, these are much cuter.

My blocks made me so happy and the use of stripes to create interest and movement was so fun for me.  I love using stripes in my quilts because they aren’t as complicated to use when they’re cut into smaller pieces.  They make for striking blocks and much more interesting fabric play.

*Some of the block images below are actually my digital images from the design software.  I had passed the quilt on to my longarm quilter without taking some good progress pictures of the latter blocks.

The Kaleidoscope pattern that Nancy and Sarah produced is full of great tips and tricks, and the blocks are some of my favorites I’ve ever made.  I love a good sampler quilt and I truly enjoyed making this one.

When it came to making the set-in blocks I wanted to fussy cut the cheetahs in my focus fabric for them.  The pattern calls for the Tri-Recs ruler.  I initially placed it over the fabric and using a dry-erase marker, traced the cheetah shape onto it.  This way I could be consistent with placement and cutting of my fabric.  As the need to alternate the direction of the fabric due to block layout directionality, I easily wiped the drawing off and redrew the image after replacing the Tri-Recs ruler on the fabric in a different direction.  I love how these blocks turned on in the quilt.  Don’t hesitate to make the tools in your studio work for you.  I love the Tri-Recs ruler and plan on using it in future designs of my own too.

My friend Tracey Peterson quilted a beautiful edge 2 edge design on my quilt using her Gemmill longarm. I love how it turned out!  Once I got it back it was time to trim up the quilt and get the binding stitched on.  I prefer to machine stitch it on the front and then hand stitch it onto the back.  I need to make a quilt label for it still but I just love how it turned out.

I made the entire quilt using my Janome Skyline S5 and Aurifil 50 weight 100% cotton thread.  These two things are used in everything I create in my studio.

Last weekend I was finally home after a busy two weeks of travel for Quilt Market in Portland, OR and the first Janome Education Summit in New Jersey, so Hubby and I went over to nearby Woodinville, WA where the famous Chateau Ste. Michelle winery is located.  I brought my Designer Duo quilt with me and Hubby held it up for me in front of this gorgeous blooming tree on the grounds of the winery for a photoshoot.  It was a bit breezy but we succeeded in the winning shot eventually.

Thank you so much, Nancy, for inviting me to be a part of your beautiful and fun quilt along.  I look forward to seeing what new designs and fabrics you will have coming down the pipeline.

Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour

Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil Artisans, Blog Tour, Fabrics, Jessica Swift, Lady K Designs, Uncategorized

Fabric is why I love making things. Fabrics that are gorgeous, sweet, cute, beautiful, and usually rich with color are my favorites. img_3091

When Jessica Swift and Art Gallery Fabrics came calling, asking me to participate in Jessica’s blog tour I didn’t hesitate. I LOVE THIS COLLECTION!! Picking which fabrics I would use was fun yet nerve racking because I love them all, but I decided to stick with the vibrant blues and reds in the Tallinn collection.

I love texture in my projects so I added some of AGF’s versatile denims from their Denim Studio and I was ready to create. I decided to make two pillow shams for Euro pillow inserts. They’re super big though at 28″ square each so I had to buy extra large Euro inserts. Oops! Darn.

Cutting into these lush Tallinn fabrics was just the beginning of the fun I had making these pillows. I love traditional quilt block designs but I like to do unexpected things with them with the help of fabric placement. In the case of the Churn Dash pillow, I placed the “Lore Cobblestone” fabric on the outer edges of each Churn Dash in a rotated place. This then created a large plus that is now the center of the design, but still frames the focus print that in this pillow is the “Tigris Indigo” fabric. Because I kept the outer triangles in the same “Lore Rooftop” print, the exact center of the pillow becomes a large red print square, as seen in the digital design I created initially.

Using Aurifil Thread‘s 40wt thread #2021, I quilted a straight line diagonal pattern in 1 1/2″ increments on the pillow top. I love how it turned out and how the thread stands on the fabrics. Oh, and of course Rocky wanted to be included in my photoshoots. He does get impatient at times but for the most part he’s such a good sport.

The other pillow top showcases the cute little pony print called “Zirkusbau Primary” in the Tallinn collection. They are SOOO CUTE!! I chose to design this one using the traditional Sawtooth Star block but I changed up the star points by making them with divided triangles as the points of the flying geese units. This takes a little careful piecing but the final look is just so cool that I think it’s totally worth it.

In both pillows I used those wonderful swans in the “Baltic Swans Sky” print in the mitered borders, which to my delight were printed perfectly straight. Thanks AGF!

These pillows are really big enough to be wall hangings too. I will use them in both ways over the years for sure. I backed both pillows with the most stunning shade of red-orange floral print called “Odessa Traditionale”. I’m going to have to buy more of it for sure since I used it all up in the envelope enclosures for both pillows.

I wanted each pillow to have a different finished look so on the Sawtooth Star pillow I quilted a simple checkerboard at 1 1/2″ increments. These simple straight lined quilting designs allow the fabrics and design of the quilt/pillows to stand out and have all the glory. Sometimes it’s just perfect.

I did all my piecing and quilting on my Janome Skyline S5. It executed beautiful stitches and I have total control over needle placement, stitch length, as well as a good amount of throat space to quilt these big pillows.

There are a total of eighteen talented Makers/bloggers on the Tallinn blog tour, including the designer herself, Jessica Swift. I hope you’ll check out everyone who has already shared their makes and continue to check out the upcoming blog posts on the schedule. Thanks for having me Jessica! ❣️

Here’s the full schedule for the tour:

Thursday April 19 – Mathew Boudreaux | Mister Domestic

Friday April 20 – Katie Skoog | The Simple Life Company

Monday April 23 –Sharon Holland

Tuesday April 24 – Eleri Kerian | Sew and Tell Project

Wednesday April 25 – Paola Baker | Love of Fabrics

Thursday April 26 –Maureen Cracknell

Friday April 27 – Alexis Wright | My Sweet Sunshine Studio

Monday April 30 – Isabelle Selak | South Bay Bella Studio

Tuesday May 1 – Cassie Massolia | Lily Shine Creates

Wednesday May 2 – Becca Plymale | Sunflower Seams

Thursday May 3 – Alisa Kutsel | A Stitch In Between

Friday May 4 – Sharon McConnell | Color Girl Quilts

Monday May 7Karen O’Connor | Lady K Quilt Designs

Tuesday May 8Sarai Schuk | Sarai’s Hobbies

Wednesday May 9Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie

Thursday May 10Jessica Swift

Friday May 11Gwyn LaSpina

Monday May 14 Loni Jakubowski | Havin Sew Much Fun

#ElegantOasisQAL Pattern (it’s FREE!)

#elegantoasisqal, Aurifil Artisans, Lady K Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

So many of you have been making my ELEGANT OASIS quilt over on Instagram and I am so flattered and have truly loved all of your blocks.  Forgive my delay on getting the quilt assembly instructions up.  This won’t be those, but it will be all the instructions to make the block.  You can download the PDF’s and print them out HERE.  Below you will find all the slides I had originally posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago.  Some of you have expressed to me the difficulty you’ve faced when trying to read my posts so I promised you I would post them here as well.  Please continue to tag me on Insta as you create your beautiful blocks, and also use #ElegantOasisQAL.  Thank you so much!!

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Odori QAL with Fat Quarter Shop & AGF

Art Gallery Fabrics, Aurifil Artisans, Fabrics, Fat Quarter Shop Tutorials, Quilts, Uncategorized

I’ve been looking forward to showing y’all my Odori quilt I made for the Fat Quarter Shop/Art Gallery Fabric quilt along!  You can download and print out your own copy of the FREE PATTERN here. I was extremely flattered when FQ Shop & AGF came calling to invite me to participate.  I chose to use a collection that has had my heart all this past year.  Just because a collection isn’t brand spanking new doesn’t mean it isn’t as good anymore.  Katarina Roccella’s “InBlue” fabrics are simply stunning and I knew it would work beautifully in the Odori quilt pattern.  I paired it with two fabrics from AGF’s Capsules Collection, #RaiseTheVolumeFabrics, Pure Elements Crystal Pink, and Solid Smooth Denim in Infused Hydrangia & Afternoon Sail.  The combination quickly became one of my all-time favorites!

The Odori quilt looks like it may have to be foundation paper pieced but it isn’t.  Using Creative Grids’ Spider Web Ruler, the effect is easily achieved and quickly too.  The way the Odori quilt blocks are assembled is so clever that I was smiling while I pieced them together, and then laid out the quilt on my design wall.  The quilt finishes up at 50″ square, which is a perfect size for a small couch quilt or even a generous baby quilt.  It can easily be expanded on with more blocks, making a larger quilt.  I think the square shape is wonderful and is most definitely my favorite for quilts.

This pattern is very reliable and made for a quick make, in my opinion.  Honestly I was nervous about piecing the units together but this was an easy assembly.  Lining things up worked amazingly well, and pinning was implemented every step of the way.  I will say that watching Kimberly Jolly’s step by step video on the Fat Quarter Shop YouTube channel was extremely insightful.  I love FQ Shop’s YouTube Channel and have been watching regularly for years now.  Thanks for all the hard work y’all put into your videos!

I hope that a lot of you will make your own beautiful versions of the Odori quilt too.  I promise it is easy peasy!  Be sure to check out The Jolly Jabber Blog by Fat Quarter Shop for more information and to see how the other guest bloggers stitched up their own wonderful versions of the Odori quilt.  By the way, Rocky has already claimed my version for himself.

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#ElegantOasisQAL Tips & Tricks

#elegantoasisqal, Fabrics, Lady K Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

Welcome to my quilt along and some tips and tricks that hopefully will help you make these blocks a little more easily.  They aren’t challenging to make, but sometimes there’s a little tip or trick that can make things that much easier, and who doesn’t like that?!

20171101_203852088_iOSFirst I want to talk about the fabrics I am using in my quilt.  They are what inspired me to design a pattern that allowed large florals to be showcased and wouldn’t need to be cut up too much.  They’re the gorgeous Barkcloth fabrics by Gertrude Made called “Outback Wife”.  They are rich, lush, beautiful, and a bit thicker than quilting weight cottons.  I wanted to use a background fabric that had a bit more substance so it would play nicely with the barkcloth, so I chose Robert Kaufman Fabrics gorgeous Essex Linen Homespun.  The particular color I’m using is Silver, but I know for a fact that every shade these fabrics come in are wonderful for so many projects.  I have extensive experience using Essex Linens alongside quilting weight cottons in both quilts and bags, and I can honestly say they bring a special quality to every project.

I am stitching up my blocks with a Janome Skyline S5.  I love this machine, but because of the dense layers of barkcloth and Homespun Essex Linen, I discovered that the factory setting of “5” on the pressure setting for the presser foot is a bit tight.  I found that moving the knob to “3” makes stitching those two layers as smooth as stitching quilting weight cottons on level “5”.  Check your machine, as all machines are different, and do a test run with the fabrics you’re using if they are new to you and aren’t traditional quilting weight fabrics.  It will make for smoother sewing, nicer seams, minimal to no shifting of your fabrics, and a more enjoyable assembly all together.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram for even a hot minute, you know that I am an Aurifil Artisan.  I have been a lover and exclusive user of Aurifil Thread since 2012, but only an Artisan since last year.  I believe in the quality of Aurifil and I use it in every project that I stitch up.  Quilts, bags, pillows, and I never have an issue with it in my machine, in the projects when they are machine washed and dried, and used and loved.  I stitch everything with their 50 weight thread and I’m using that thread weight in this quilt and a stitch length on my machine of 1.8.  That’s generally the stitch length I use when piecing.  It makes for tight stitches that aren’t too hard to rip out if needed.  Yup!  I rip out seams!  I’m not perfect and I don’t usually mind those moments where things don’t work out perfectly.  I learn and move on.  So, there’s my little preach about Aurifil.

IMG_0317Now to the pattern tips.  I upped the size of the squares that are used to make the Half Square Triangles (HSTs).  I wanted to make sure that even the most novice of quilters could get a precise size after trimming.  I can’t emphasize pinning enough.  I’m a very experienced quilter and I still pin.  It doesn’t really take that much additional time, and when things turn out perfectly the first time, isn’t it worth it if it does? IMG_0322

 

Remember to measure twice and cut once.  I did make a HUGE mistake when making one of my blocks using that precious Outback Wife fabric.  I was not paying attention to the print on my cutting table and I cut the accent squares instead of focus fabric rectangles out of a big, beautiful floral.  Omgoodness, I was sooo mad at myself!  In the end I’ve decided to make that my center of the nine blocks in my quilt layout, because I had to use the intended accent print (a small floral) as the focus print instead.  Oh well!  That’s the way it goes sometime when you don’t have more of one particular fabric.

I’ll have some more tips and tricks for the assembly of these blocks later today.  I hope you’ll reference these throughout your #ElegantOasisQAL no matter when you make your quilt.

 

 

 

Elegant Oasis Quilt Fabric Requirements

#elegantoasisqal, Aurifil Artisans, Fabrics, Lady K Designs, Quilts, Uncategorized

Tomorrow, February 19th, I’ll be kicking off my new pattern as a free quilt along over on Instagram @LadyKQuilts. I provided fabric requirements for three sizes on Friday on Insta but want to record it here too. I hope you will join me and make your own beautiful version of my Elegant Oasis Quilt!!