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

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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.

Happy DDQAL Day!!

Aurifil Artisans, Blog Tour, Designer Duo, Fabrics, Quilts, Uncategorized

DDQAL stands for “Designer Duo Quilt Along” and it’s kicking off today with Designers, Nancy Rink & Sarah J. Maxwell. I’m thrilled to have been asked, along with Tiffany Hayes of Needle In A Haystack Quilt Shop, to be a guest designer. What does that mean? It means that Tiffany and I recolored the Kaleidoscope Quilt that is the pattern we will be making in this quilt along, and we will also be providing discoveries and tips resulting in those discoveries as we’ve been making our quilts.

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I chose to recolor it using the “Around Town” collection by Sarah Golden for Andover Fabrics and a selection of colors from the “Linea” collection from Makower Fabrics, and distributed by Andover in the U.S.  When I recolored the quilt design I ended up loosing the optical illusion of circular movement that is so special in Nancy, Sarah, and Tiffany’s versions. The repeated block with the triangles create this effect along with the four patch blocks. My version became very retro yet modern because of the fabrics. I also ended up altering the actual shapes within the six featured block designs because of fabric placement. It’s interesting how placement and fabric selection can play differently in a quilt design.  I love it and I love the possibilities with the Kaleidoscope quilt.

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My version of the Designer Duo Kaleidoscope Quilt using Sarah Golden’s Around Town collection from Andover Fabrics and Linea collection from Makower Fabrics.

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Nancy’s version of Block 1 using her Seaglass Collection for Studio 37, a division of Marcus Fabrics.

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Sarah J. Maxwell’s version of Block 1 using her Bring on the Bubbly Collection for Studio 37, a division of Marcus Fabrics.

As block construction gets underway I will be providing some tips that I always utilize when constructing half square triangles (HSTs) and flying geese (FG) units.  To start with, I always round up the cutting measurements at least an 1/8″.  For example, when cutting the strips in block one that eventually create the A triangles, I cut the strips at 3″ instead of what it calls for.  This way I have a little more room to square up my HSTs and make them as perfect as possible.  This is also useful because not everyone’s machine makes true 1/4′ seams.  This way you are sure to get your HSTs to be consistent and then everything lines up beautifully when you assemble your blocks.  It’s just one of those things.  Most importantly, remember to have fun and make something beautiful!

#ElegantOasisQAL Pattern (it’s FREE!)

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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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#ElegantOasisQAL Tips & Tricks

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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

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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!!

Elegant Oasis QAL…Coloring Page

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

img_0121.jpgHi Friends!  I’m thrilled, and a bit nervous, about kicking off my very first quilt along (QAL) with my pattern, “Elegant Oasis”.  I needed a pattern that would showcase those lovely Outback Wife fabrics by my friend Cathi @GertrudeMade.  I opened my Electric Quilt 8 software and starting laying out quilt blocks.  I discovered one that if made at a larger size, it would really allow me to make larger cuts of those huge florals and now loose their effect and beauty. 

I’m kicking things off over on Instagram @Ladykquilts, and providing you with the pattern via posts and step pics there all for free.  Sometimes we just want to make and not worry about anything.  Ya know?  I will be providing some helpful tips and tricks for piecing these blocks here on my blog. 

I had a request from one of my besties to provide a coloring page for this quilt so I’m giving it to you here.  It’s a PDF file so feel free to print it out at get coloring and planning your own beautiful version of the Elegant Oasis Quilt.  If you are on IG and sewing along with me, I ask that you please use #ElegantOasisQAL so I can see all your beautiful makes.  Thanks!! 

*Click on the link below and print out your coloring page.

Elegant Oasis Quilt Coloring Page