Shibori Quilt

Shibori by Amy Friend

I’m so excited to finally share this quilt. I had a hard time making time for it with my busy fall schedule but, tada, it’s done!

This quilt was designed using the improvisational paper piecing technique that I outline in my second book, Improv Paper Piecing, that will be published in February.  I am so excited to share this book with everyone and teach you my technique!

Shibori by Amy Friend

After much hemming and hawing, I have decided to name this quilt Shibori.  While the individual blocks suggest leaves, the repeat, especially colored in this gradient, feels a lot like tie dye or shibori to me.  My fabric selections are all Pure Elements solids from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Shibori by Amy Friend

The backing is a Cotton + Steel print from the Print Shop collection by Alexia Abegg.  I love not only the awesome color match but the modern feel of the print and it’s touch of whimsy that compliments the graphic design of the quilt front.

Shibori by Amy Friend

I often use solids when I really want my pattern design to take center stage, which is what I did here.  Then I find myself wishing I didn’t have to quilt because I don’t like quilting that takes away from that bold statement.  I find that straight lines are normally the best option because they don’t tend to detract and I end up liking the layer of added interest.  Here I quilted in vertical lines using Aurifil 2600 (a light gray that I love) and Aurifil 1147 (for a pop of green).  I used a 50 weight thread for the majority of the quilting which is spaced at 1/4″ and 1/2″ intervals, but the green pops are in 40 weight so they stand out a bit more.

The finished quilt measures 48″ x 56″.

Shibori by Amy Friend

I’m also appreciative that the foliage cooperated for these shots.  Had I finished even one week later, I would have missed that gorgeous color.



October Aurifil Designer of the Month: Kathy Brown

aurifil-2016-design-team-oct-kathy-brown-collageThe designer of the month for September is Kathy Brown, author of Strip-Smart Quilts.


She has designed this free block called Chip Off the Old Block.  You can find the block and an interview with Kathy here.  I love the old desk/shelf she has in her sewing room–what a nice space!

Don’t forget, by submitting a photo of your block online, you will be entered for a chance to win a box of Aurifil thread…seriously, for sewing a single block!  There are only two more blocks to go this year.  Can you believe it?


Necklace Seam Rippers in the Shop!

Seam Rippers

You know the drill!  My husband made 10 more necklace style seam rippers and they are now listed in my Etsy shop.  The seam rippers attach to the chrome necklace chain with a very strong magnet.  The seam ripper closes up as shown above, and opens for use.  Please don’t wear it around your neck open, I can’t be held responsible for that!



Seam Rippers are in the Shop!

Seam Rippers
As promised, I put the pressure on and my husband made another batch of 10 seam rippers. These are the hand held variety with a clip at one end (keeps them from rolling off the table) and a seam ripper at the other.  I am listing them in my Etsy shop now.


Observing a Dragonfly

Dragonfly by Amy Friend

I was sent some of April Rhode’s newest collection, Observer, and knew immediately that I wanted to use her Indigo Window Sulphur print for dragonfly wings. I think that the fabric evokes the network of veins that make up the wings and the ethereal quality as well. The color suits too. The fabric that I used for the background is a fabulous choice for paper pieced backgrounds because you do not need to worry about directionality and the seam lines just blend.  I had a blast making this.  Now I have the same problem I always have…what do with the block!  Sometimes, I truly believe it is ok to make a block just to make it.  They are mini masterpieces.

This is my own paper pieced block design. I actually designed the block 3 years ago.  It’s available for sale here. Be forewarned, it’s not the easiest block but worth it!


September Aurifil Designer of the Month, Katarina Roccella


The designer of the month for September is Katarina Roccella, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting a few times now at quilt market.  She is a very talented textile designer for Art Gallery Fabrics and just the nicest person. I always look forward to saying hello to her.


She has designed this free block called Into the Blue.  You can find the block and a wonderful, really interesting, interview with Katarina here.

Don’t forget, by submitting a photo of your block online, you will be entered for a chance to win a box of Aurifil thread…seriously, for sewing a single block!



Caged Quilt

Caged Quilt by Amy Friend

I recently finished my latest large scale paper piecing project, the Caged Quilt.  These blocks are BIG–nearly 3 feet long.  It made for tricky piecing but the paper piecing technique allowed for great precision which is what I was going for.  The finished quilt measures 50″ x 64″ and is made using five different Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements Solids, carefully chosen and placed to create a sense of depth and dimension.

Caged Quilt detail by Amy Friend

I created this design based on something I doodled in my sketchbook months ago.  After playing around with the design, I arrived at this layout and configuration. I think it has a strong Art Deco feel to it with the precise geometric design and bold colors.

Caged Quilting Detail by Amy Friend

I kind of didn’t want to quilt this piece at all because I loved the crisp, clean lines. I wanted to quilt it in a way that didn’t detract from that at all so I went with 1/2″ spaced lines using Aurifil 50 weight thread (their finer thread so it blended more than the 40 weight would have).  I wanted the piecing to be more prominent than the quilting.  I chose a light grey thread.

In this detail shot,  you can see a bit of the backing fabric–it was just perfect for the angularity of the pieced design!  It’s one of Pat Bravo’s Essentials II prints.

Caged by Amy Friend

I am really pleased with the execution of this design.  You just never know for sure until you try it, right?  I am happy that it turned out the way I had hoped.


Special Ingredients


So, I have to admit it, when Lucky Spool posted something on IG months ago talking about publishing their first cookbook, I fell for it hook, line and sinker.  I was excited too because I like to cook!  However, the actual project, The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson, was not a let down by any means.  It’s a beautiful, hardcover book with 50 block patterns, or recipes, and unique sampler quilt layouts to showcase the blocks. Amy has figured out the quilt math for you and provides you with many options so that you can use the blocks in a myriad of ways and make them your own.  That’s just what I decided to do.

Owl Medallion by Amy Friend

I had recently made a paper pieced owl block of my own design (pattern can be found in my book, Intentional Piecing: From Fussy Cutting to Foundation Piecing). I enlarged it to 16″ and pieced it using Maureen Cracknell’s new collection called Nightfall.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the block and was pondering some sort of medallion when The Quilt Block Cookbook arrived at my doorstep. I added a 2″ border so that I could surround the owl block with 9″ blocks.


I used the Plus One Block from Amy’s book.  I was so happy to see that she had the templates for the orange peel applique in a number of sizes so there was one that was just right for my 9″ block even though the recipe was for a 12″ finished block.


The quilt backing is a fun mishmash of the rest of the Nightfall Collection.

Owl Medallion by Amy Friend

I’m really happy with the way the design worked out. The appliqued leaves on this block are just perfect with the owl.  I added one leaf on the otherwise plain corner blocks to make a sort of ring around the owl.  They lend the perfect softness to the design, balancing the pluses.


I think my favorite part of the book, besides the beautiful photos and Amy’s inspirational blocks, are the truly unique sampler layouts.  Often, I find sampler quilts a little too busy and like to see the blocks have some room to breathe.  Amy handles this beautifully–here is one example, the Princess Cut Quilt.  She has incorporated negative space into many of the layouts too, requiring fewer pieced blocks–I can see this being really helpful for those stacks of bee blocks that we all have hanging around waiting to be made into quilt tops!

I believe that I will turn to this book again for inspiration and am happy to add it to my quilt book shelf.  I think you would enjoy it too.  It can be purchased here.



Cuckoo Block by Amy Friend

My friend, Melinda, shared these precious birds with me so that I could make another version of my Cuckoo Clock block. I adore them!  They seem made for this block.  The block is 10″ though and the fussy cut was too large.  How many times do we set aside the perfect fussy cut for just that reason?  I didn’t want to let that stop me so I enlarged the block to 16″ and now they are perfect!

I had fun playing off the primary color scheme of the fussy cut.  Red, blue and yellow are not my normal go to colors, but that’s what made it fun. They are undeniably cheerful colors too.

Detail by Amy Friend

Now I am mulling over what I am going to do with this large block.  It could be a pillow front as it is or with the addition of a narrow border.  Or I could design some German themed paper pieced blocks to coordinate with it.  I’m still considering!

If you would like this pattern, you can find it in my book, Intentional Piecing.


Quilter’s Planner


Have you heard of the Quilter’s Planner?  It’s an organizational tool for busy quilters developed by Stephanie Palmer.  It’s got pages for your calendar, WIPs, project planning, etc.


It’s really quite extensive and well thought out.  Stephanie listened to feedback from her customers and added a list of new features this year, as well.  The planner includes 14 patterns from a number of great designers all listed below:

Amy Sinibaldi of Nana and Co.

Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter

AnneMarie Chany of GenXQuilters

Cheryl Brickey of Meadowmist Designs

Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Karen Lewis of Karen Lewis Textiles

Kari Vojtechovsky of Craft-Happy

Katie Clark Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt

Lee Monroe of May Chappell

Lindsey Rhodes of LR Stitched

Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts

Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter

Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl

Indie Vibrations by Amy Friend

Photo by Kitty Wilkin @Night Quilter, taken for the Quilter’s Planner 2017

My contribution to the calendar is my Indie Vibrations pattern made in Pat Bravo’s Artisan Collection with a smattering of prints from some of her other collections and AGF denims.

Indie Vibrations by Amy Friend

Photo by Kitty Wilkin @Night Quilter, taken for the Quilter’s Planner 2017

My quilt was quilted by Stephanie herself in an all over design of clamshells, very fitting for these coastal photographs that fill the planner taken by Kitty Wilkin.

I encourage you to pre-order your planner before they are sold out.  You can place your order here.

Should you be interested in the single pattern, you can purchase it in any of my pattern stores (links in sidebar).

Search the hashtag #quiltersplanner2017 to be tempted by all the beautiful quilt patterns that will be included in this year’s calendar.  They are stunning!




Double Ended Seam Rippers

Seam Rippers from Amy Friend

My husband has just completed a batch of seam rippers!  I am going to list them in my Etsy shop in just a couple of minutes. These are the double ended variety–a seam ripper on one end and a stiletto on the other.  The stiletto is good for making holes, pushing little bits of fabric under your presser foot to save your finger, etc.  The sharp ends are both out for the picture but they pull out, turn over and reinsert into the handle so they are perfectly safe. I posted a video on my Instagram account if you want to check it out.

Seam Ripper from Amy Friend

Enjoy your last few days of summer!


August Aurifil Designer of the Month, Angela Walters

Aurifil 2016 Design Team August Angela Walters collage

Have you been sewing along with the Aurifil Designers of the Month?  It’s worth it, I tell you!  For each block you make and post, you are entered to win an awesome Aurifil prize.

Angela Walters designed the block for August.  You can read all about Angela and download her free pattern here.

Angela aurifil block

Here is a picture of her block to entice you!


Baby Fletching

Fletching by Amy Friend

My mom and I made our first collaborative quilt together this summer as a baby shower gift for a friend.  We used my Fletching pattern from Scraps II. We just scaled down the blocks to 8″ square and used a 5 x 5 layout for the perfect 40″ square baby quilt.  The mom has chosen a light mint green for the nursery walls.  I happened to have a few yards of mint green Kona on hand and then between my mom’s stash and my stash, we came up with lots of fun prints in the mint/navy/chartreuse families to coordinate.

Baby Fletching by Amy Friend

We managed to sneak in mushroom, lamb, panda, and ladybug prints and yet the quilt is still not super cutesy so it should grow with the baby boy nicely I think!

I straight line quilted every 1/2″ with mint green Aurifil.  The binding print pulled our color scheme together and my mom had just enough of it so we lucked out!  She hand stitched the binding in her nice, neat stitches.

Fletching by Amy Friend

I hope that baby Sam enjoys his quilt when he enters the world this fall.  We had fun making it.


Cinched Quilt

Cinched Quilt by Amy Friend

I am so excited to introduce my new pattern, Cinched!  Ever since I designed Interlock a couple of years ago, I have been playing around with more jelly roll designs.  I really love Interlock and wanted to design something equally unique and not your standard jelly roll quilt.  Well, it took two years to come up with a design that I liked but I think it was worth it!

Cinched uses a single jelly roll in prints and a single jelly roll a solid (or the equivalent).  It boasts both a bold primary and secondary pattern.  There is hardly any cutting, there’s no squaring up or trimming down, it’s super chain-piece-able, all in all, it’s a cinch to make!

Cinched by Amy Friend

I wanted this quilt to be super cheerful and sunny so I used a Blueberry Park Brights Roll Up by Karen Lewis in combination with Kona Snow for the quilt top. The colors that Karen selected to print on are gorgeous and I have always been a fan of her designs. The wind cooperated with me for all of a second so that you can see the backing too. I used a Rhoda Ruth print by Elizabeth Hartman which makes for a great coordinate.

Cinched Quilt by Amy Friend

I quilted in straight lines with a very pale pink Aurifil thread.  It blends very well against the Snow background and isn’t as harsh as white would have been where it crosses through the prints.  I bound the quilt in one of my favorite prints, Creamsicle. Final quilt dimensions are 60″ x 64.”

Cinched Quilt by Amy Friend

I had to include this shot just because it’s pretty and I like it!

Cinched is available now as a pdf pattern in all my shops (links in sidebar).  It’s heading out to the printers so paper patterns will be ready for quilt shops very soon.

I hope you are all enjoying your summers!  This was my last sewing goal for the summer so I am hoping to have a more relaxing remaining few weeks…time will tell. I have never been any good at relaxing.


Teal Mini Swap to Support Ovarian Cancer Research and Aurifil Giveaway!

Beth from EvaPaige Quilts is running a Teal Mini Swap for the 5th time this year in order to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Research. The cause is so important to her because she lost her mom to this terrible disease.  Let’s help make the swap a great success!PicMonkey Collage-1

Participants pay $15 (US) or $18 (Canada) to register. $10 of that registration fee is donated by EvaPaige Quilt Designs to Ovarian Cancer Reseach Fund.  The remainder goes toward the expenses involved in running the swap.

Participants are sent an 8″ square of a swap fabric, supplied by Moda this year, along with information about their swap partner.  Partners are matched 1:1. The challenge fabric needs to be included somewhere in the mini.

Event timeline:

  • July 25 – August 29 – Registration open
  • August 15 – September 2 – Behind the scenes envelope stuffing and mailing of packets to partcipants
  • September 2 – September 30 – Celebrate Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by creating a mug rug for your swap partner and mail it by the October 2 deadline.

Swap members can join the Teal Mini Swap FB page where they share their swaps as well as personal stories about ovarian cancer.

To register for this fun swap for a great cause, click here.

aurifil giveaway-1

Simply as a thank you for stopping by and reading about the swap, you are eligible to win one of the three thread collections above thanks to Aurifil.  We have Sweetly Stitched, Seascape and Moonshine Meadow. You can’t go wrong–they are all fantastic collections!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Plumb Line Quilt Pattern Available

plumb line cover square


My Plumb Line Quilt Pattern is now available as a pdf download here on my website in the Pattern Shop, and on Etsy and Craftsy (links in sidebar).  I hope you enjoy making your own version!  If you do, please share using the hashtag #plumblinequilt.

This quilt is foundation pieced and assumes a general knowledge of foundation piecing. However, it is not complicated piecing and therefore, accessible to someone who is fairly new to paper piecing.  It could look great in prints or even scrappy.  There are so many possibilities!

To read my original post about this quilt, click here.



July Aurifil Designer, Wendy Sheppard

Aurifil 2016 Design Team July Wendy Sheppard collage
It’s Wendy Sheppard’s turn this month to share her block design for the Aurifil Block of the Month.  You can find all the details here.

I love that quilt in the lower left of her mosaic, don’t you?

In order to enter a photo of your block for a chance to win a box of Aurifil thread, simply link up your photo right in the blog post, on Aurifil’s web site.  Good luck!


Rise and Shine Coffee

Rise and Shine Coffee by Amy Friend

I have to confess, I am not a coffee drinker. I like tea….BUT, I already have a tea cup block block pattern and I wanted to explore the idea of steam.  I decided to do that with a coffee cup block for all you coffee lovers out there!

This pattern is not difficult if you know the basics of paper piecing.  There is only one seam that needs to match in the entire block.  I think  you will find that it goes together pretty quickly and is a satisfying little project!

Rise and Shine Coffee by Amy Friend

I have made it in two versions for far!  I thought that the center print here from the Tapestry collection by Sharon Holland felt very coffee like…I am not sure why, but it really works, doesn’t it?

Rise and Shine Coffee Pattern by Amy Friend

If you are interested in the pattern, you can find it in my pattern shop here on my website or on Etsy and Craftsy (links to all in my sidebar!).


Quilt it Modern Mini

Quilt It Modern Mini by Amy Friend

I am happy to join in on the Quilt it Modern blog tour sponsored by Riley Blake! I requested a selection of pinks, a couple of shades of off white and a beige from their Cotton Solids collection. I guess I was feeling springy and inspired by peonies at the time!

Quilt it Modern Mini by Amy Friend

I created this mini from a self drafted foundation pattern. As my readers know, I am a paper piecing fanatic. It’s my favorite way to piece anything and everything! I had fun manipulating the pattern sections until I settled on this layout. I quilted in 1/4″ spaced lines with pink Aurifil thread and accentuated that arrowhead shape with a single line of echo quilting.

I haven’t made a mini quilt in awhile primarily because I don’t have a great mini wall, like so many quilters do, to display them. But they are awfully fun to make because you are able to explore a design idea without committing to a full quilt and, let’s face it, it sure makes basting less of a headache!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you will be back!



Coneflower with Butterfly Block

Coneflower with Butterfly by Amy Friend

Coneflowers are starting to bloom here in New England so I was inspired to sew another version of my Coneflower with Butterfly pattern.  It was fun!  I highly recommend looking for large painterfly florals for the butterfly wings.  They work so well.  I used an ombre solid for my flower petals, adding some nice dimension to the flower.

coneflower with butterfly coverc

The pattern is available in my Pattern Shop here on the blog and also in my Etsy and Craftsy shops.

Happy 4th of July!


Plumb Line Quilt

Plumb Line Quilt by Amy Friend

It’s so nice to have a finish!  It’s tricky to find time for my sewing with all the end of the school year/beginning of summer events and the demands of the garden which can be very appealing after a long winter.  I am naming this quilt Plumb Line, a suggestion made by @turquoiseprism on Instagram.  The name describes the shape so well!

The pattern is block based and paper pieced from a template of my own design.

I enjoyed working on this layout and playing with the placement of light and dark solids.  However, the turning point for me came when I removed some of the shapes from my layout to incorporate negative space.  I wasn’t satisfied so I  reintroduced of half, or one side, of the shapes I had just removed from my design.  The half shapes represent the darker sides and then the light side becomes part of the negative space or background.  Once I made that decision while playing around with the design digitally, I was happy and felt that I had hit upon a successful layout!

Plumb Line Quilt Detail by Amy Friend

I like the simplicity of the design and the clean lines.  I decided to make my quilting simple, accordingly.  I used an off white color Aurifil thread that was a little darker than the background but wasn’t too stark against the colorful shapes.  My lines are spaced 1/2″ apart.

Plumb Line Quilt Detail 2 by Amy Friend

The finished quilt measures 60″ x 64″. It is pieced with Art Gallery Pure Elements, quilted with Aurifil 40 weight thread and backed with Cotton + Steel Posy Leaf from the Paper Bandana collection.


June Aurifil Designer, Jacquelynne Steves

Aurifil 2016 Design Team June Jacquelynne Steves collage
It’s Jacquelynne Steves’ turn this month to share her block design for the Aurifil Block of the Month.  You can find all the details here.


Her block is called Modern Delft…apparently both of us had similar white and blue pottery inspiration!   Jacquelynne went all out and provided you with multiple versions of her block too!

In order to enter a photo of your block for a chance to win a box of Aurifil thread, simply link up your photo right in the blog post, on Aurifil’s web site.  Good luck!



Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone with Sprinkles!  by Amy Friend

I designed this pattern for a Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone a couple of years ago.  When I first caught a glimpse of the Sprinkles print from Dana Willard’s Art Gallery Fabrics collection called Boardwalk Delight, I knew I wanted to use it in this block! I paired it with a print from Sharron Holland’s new Tapestry collection for the cone. It was so fun!! I am not sure what I will make with the block. I just know I had to make it!

If you would like to sew one of your own, the pattern is available in my shop! Links in sidebar.


Teachers’ Gifts

Flip Flop Stash Happy Tote by Amy Friend

Ever since Sharon Holland’s Coastline fabrics arrived on my doorstep, I knew that I wanted to make beach bags!  I decided that I would do that this week and make them for my daughters’ teachers.  For this bag, I used the Stash Happy Tote pattern found in my book, Intentional Piecing.  I designed the bag to go along with 10 new paper pieced block patterns provided in the book but also, the majority of the patterns that I sell in my pattern shop!  Any of my 10″ blocks will work for this exterior pocket.  I used my Flip Flop here.

Scallop Stash Happy Tote by Amy Friend

I made the second bag using the other colorway of Coastline. I designed a new block for this one, a scallop shell. I thought it would work well with that light, neutral print!

I hope that the teachers like them!



Letting the Cat out of the Bag!

Yesterday, the QuiltCon 2017 course catalog was released! I already told you that I was going to be teaching there…so that isn’t the secret. But because the catalog is out, I get to spill the beans on some top secret sewing a little earlier than normal! I am working on a second book with Lucky Spool and will have the opportunity to teach from it for the first time at QuiltCon! We are working hard to get the book ready for Feb. 2017 because I wanted to teach this class at QuiltCon so desperately. It’s going to be so much fun!


The book is called Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design.  I can’t fill you in on all the details right now but I can tell you that it is all about approaching your paper pieced block designs improvisationally.  You will design and sew your own block and work on a quilt layout based on one of the three approaches shared in my book.  I have used this design method for some of my favorite quilts in recent years and have refined it in this book and can’t wait to share. You should have a basic knowledge of paper piecing when you sign up for the class, an open mind, and it will be great!  It’s course 621 on Saturday from 9-5.


I am also teaching two other classes, that I am equally excited about.


One is course 620 Paper Pieced Block Design with EQ7.  I will guide you through the steps involved in drawing up this fun paintbrush block, exporting the image, coloring it, grouping the pattern pieces and printing them as a PDF.  You can use these skills when you get home to make your own designs.  For this course, you need to come with EQ7 installed on your laptop.

Crazy Eights by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

And finally, I’ll be teaching from my first book, Intentional Piecing, on Thursday.  It’s course 733 titled Fussy Cut Foundation Pieced Stripes with the Crazy Eights Quilt.  I think of this type of paper piecing as large scale paper piecing–piecing big sections with big pieces of fabric.  It’s often trickier than paper piecing with small pieces and I am going to share my tips and tricks and hopefully get you to fall in love with stripes, fussy cutting, and foundation piecing all at once.

The course catalog is available right here. MQG membership can register beginning June 25th and open membership opens July 1st. I hope I will see you there! Feel free to contact me with questions. Can’t wait to meet you!

Tumble ‘Round Quilt

Tumble 'Round Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

It’s poppy time of year.  In fact, I took this photo just one year and 5 days ago, the last time this field of poppies was in full bloom.  So, I thought it was fitting to share this quilt today!

I call this quilt Tumble ‘Round and the pattern can be found in my book, Intentional Piecing.  I think of this block as a spinning propeller of some sort and the feeling of motion is accentuated by the color placement in the “blades”, the directional print, and the concentric circle quilting.

Tumble 'Round Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing
I was fortunate to be able to take some pictures at an antique auto collectors home.  This car was the perfect match and the owner was kind enough to drive it into his field of dandelions for me.  I love this shot!

Thanks for visiting! I hope your summer is off to a great start.