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.

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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

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Plumb Line Quilt Pattern Available

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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.

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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!

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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!).

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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!

#ModernQuiltTour

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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.

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

Happy 4th of July!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Sprinkles!

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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May is for Makers-Week 4

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I can’t believe that we are already to Week 4 of May is for Makers!  May is for Makers is a campaign started by Lindsey Rhodes to bring awareness to the need to support indie designers. I have shared my three other purchases for the month in earlier posts.

Yesterday I purchased Sara Lawson’s new pattern, the Annex Double Zip Box Pouch. You can buy it here. I am looking forward to making it!

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Transatlantic Quilt

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

I just returned from Quilt Market in Salt Lake City and while I had a wonderful time, it was also exhausting so I am happy to settle into my own desk chair back at home today to tell you about another quilt from my book, Intentional Piecing.  This quilt is called Transatlantic and I had so much fun digging through my stash to choose the travel themed fabrics.  As it turns out, I have hoarded quite a few of them over the years!  If you have not and are in search of them, Tim Holtz just introduced his Correspondence collection at market, full of airmail stripes and envelope prints.

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I normally sew a couple of small items for his booth and as soon as I saw his new collection, I asked if I could use my Transatlantic pattern to highlight it. They were kind of made for each other!  This is a photo from his booth. I pieced the airplane and the words “FLY” and they were stapled onto canvas stretchers for wall art.

Airmail bag by Amy Friend

The bag was made using the tote pattern from my book but substituting the airmail envelope from the Transatlantic Quilt for the pocket. I intentionally created these blocks to be the same size so they could be used on the bag too, if desired–providing you with lots of options.  The handles were modified to add some of Tim’s new hardware.

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

I really wanted to take a picture of this quilt on an actual plane.  There’s a small historical airport nearby with training planes and I worked up my courage to go ask the men running it if I could take a quilt picture. It was worth it but when I had to return for a second time, due to the wind, they remembered me as the “quilt lady.”  That was slightly embarrassing!  Thankfully, I didn’t need to return for a third time!

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

I want to take this chance to thank Laura Collins for agreeing to pose for me last summer for a series of “vignettes” we were attempting.  They didn’t make it into the book but I love them just the same and appreciate her cooperation!  The idea was that her car broke down and she had to unload her luggage and was waiting roadside for help to come by.  We felt that the pictures had a bit of an Indigo Girls vibe…Wide Open Spaces…

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

The quilt is block based but includes negative space blocks and some larger blocks at the bottom.  The placement of the luggage, envelopes and luggage tags within the blocks make it appear to be alternate gridwork but it isn’t–so sneaky and easy to assemble!

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Tell Me A Story-2

Tell Me A Story 2 by Amy Friend

I just finished up this sweet baby quilt based on the Tell Me A Story Quilt Pattern from my book, Intentional Piecing.

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If you have been following along on IG at all, you already know that I have been running a contest. For each Tell Me A Story block that you make and post on IG with the hashtags #intentionalpiecingbook and #TellMeAStoryQuilt you are entered to win one of two fussy-cut-able bundles of fabric. You can also repost the image above as an entry.

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The contest ends June 1. You really should check out the hashtags and see all the blocks entered so far and read their stories! I didn’t intend to sew along but, as it turns out, I wanted to play too. It’s so fun creating these blocks that each tell a story through intentional fabric selection.


Tell Me A Story 2 by Amy Friend
I decided to just make a small, baby size version this time and I am donating it to the Quilts for Fort McMurray effort. I made a label for the back that reads “Each block tells a story. Enjoy reading your quilt.” I hope gives comfort to a little baby and his or her parents.

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May is for Makers-Week 3

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I can’t believe that we are already to Week 3 of May is for Makers!  May is for Makers is a campaign started by Lindsey Rhodes to bring awareness to the need to support indie designers. I have shared my two other purchases for the month in earlier posts.

Today I purchased the Drachenfels knitting pattern by Melanie Berg because I realized that Quilt Market is this week and I cannot stand to travel without a project.  My friend assures me that I can knit this shawl and that the color changes (which I haven’t done before) will not be a big deal.  Here goes nothing!  Now I just need to get the yarn before I leave.

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Thank you to those who have reached out to me and let me know that they were supporting me this month as an indie designer with their purchase of a pattern or book. It truly wasn’t my goal when I decided to join in but I have appreciated each and every sale.

 

May Aurifil Designer of the Month–me!

Aurifil 2016 Design Team May Amy Friend collage

May is my month to share a blue and white block design for the Aurifil Designer of the Month BOM.  I truly love Aurifil thread so I am so happy to partner with them for this project.  All my piecing and quilting is done with Aurifil!

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Pat Sloan asked us to make blue and white inspirational mosaics and I had so much fun making mine.  I thought I would share it here too.

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This is my block, a traditional Cups and Saucers block because when I think of the colors blue and white, I think of china tea cups.  I added a bit of a modern flair with the gradient.  It was a fun block to make and I hope that you will enjoy it too.

Read all about the BOM and how you can win a box of Aurifil thread just by making and sharing one of these blocks (and being the lucky winner) right here. The block directions can be downloaded there too, as a simple pdf. There is also an interview with me where I confess my weakness for peppermint patties and a link to my recent chat with Pat Sloan on American Patchwork and Quilting.

Enjoy!

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Ramp It Up Quilt

Ramp It Up by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

Today, I’d like to share another project from my book, Intentional Piecing. I firmly feel that not all intentional piecing needs to be fussy cutting. Sometimes, color placement alone can be a very intentional process and a gradient is one of those times. I have used a color gradient in a number of projects and truly love them for their graphic appeal. One of my favorites is this Ombre Vibes quilt I made–shown here in the mini version.

Ombre Vibes Mini by Amy Friend

(Free tutorial for Ombre Vibes lap quilt can be found here.) But it isn’t always easy to find a large number of graduated steps of color so I design this project, Ramp It Up, to include just three shades–one light, one medium and one dark. It’s totally doable and has a great graphic impact.

Ramp It Up by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

I would like to thank my friend, Alyson, for being my model here. You know you have found a true friend when she willingly poses on a rock with a quilt with people looking at us like we are a little crazy! I love this shot though and it seems to be one of the favorites from the book. The wind was kind to flip back the corner and show a bit of the backing too.

I quilted in straight lines using a few shades of Aurifil for added interest. I guess my quilting threads were part of the gradient!

This project is not paper pieced. It’s made of strips and easily pieced. The book includes some tips to keep those rows nice and straight!

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My Tribe Quilt

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

The My Tribe quilt seems to be one of the most popular quilts in my new book, Intentional Piecing.  I have to say that I really enjoyed making it as well.  It’s a fun combination of paper piecing and applique.  There are three tee pees that have animals peeking out from behind them!  Such a fun dash of whimsy!  My book outlines the steps you need to take in order to place your appliques appropriately while paper piecing. It takes a little bit of planning but isn’t difficult!

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

I had fun using alternate gridwork here with the addition of those oversize arrows.

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

I have to thank my step father, John, who really went all out for me setting up a campsite in his yard so I could take these pictures.  All his years of collecting canvas tents, wooden poles, furs, baskets, wool blankets, etc. really came in handy!  And to think that I tease him about his collections all the time…I should bite my tongue because those props made for such great pictures!

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

The bottom band of each tee pee is a fussy cutter’s delight.  I used some of Maureen Cracknell’s Wild and Free fabrics, particularly Sun Tracks which is a fun print made of stripes of different motifs. They can be cut to look like they came from different pieces of fabric! This quilt ended up bring kind of an ode to Art Gallery Fabrics! I used prints from so many of their collection. In addition to Maureen’s, I used Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine, Wanderer by April Rhodes, and an older collection, Indian Summer by Sarah Watson.

I look forward to seeing more of these blocks appear! If you use the hashtags #intentionalpiecingbook and #mytribequilt, I will be sure to see them!

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Seam Rippers Available

Seam Rippers

I know it has been a long time since I’ve stocked seam rippers in my Etsy shop but the wait is over!  My husband just finished this batch of 12 hand turned seam rippers.  Each seam ripper is hand crafted from either acrylic or wood.  They are beautiful tools and he takes pride in his craftsmanship.  They are polished to a nice shine and ready for some seam ripping!

 

May is for Makers-Week 2

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Continuing my commitment to purchase a pattern from an Indie designer once a week for the 5 weeks in May, I decided to buy Jeni Baker’s Lined Drawstring Bag PDF pattern this week. You can find this pattern on Jeni’s website as a pdf or you can order it on paper. Jeni is kind enough to offer a free tutorial for this bag in one size and it is widely used, including by my own guild as a swap item. To show my appreciation, I decided to buy the pattern containing all the sizes. I look forward to making one soon. They will be great stash busters and gifts!

To learn more about the #mayisformakers campaign, check Lindsay’s well written post.

Circuitry Quilt

Selvages, Amy Friend

For months now, I have been telling people to save their selvages because I had a pattern coming up that I was excited about.  I would like to share that project with you today!  I have always been drawn to selvages and even more so once companies started adding cute touches to them in recent years!

Circuitry Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

I designed Circuitry to use half low volume selvages (since those fabrics have been so hot lately resulting in tons of low volume selvages!) and half rainbow colors grouped into a sort of spinning wheel pattern. I just love the result and hope you do too!  I feel like it’s a really fun and modern take on the selvage quilt and it’s an easy and fun sew.

Circuitry Quilt by Amy FriendI had to throw in this detail shot because it’s one of my favorites. I took it on an old screen door with a Salada Tea push bar. I am a huge hot tea/ice tea fan so this picture makes me smile.

You can find this project in my new book, Intentional Piecing.  Thanks for visiting!

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May Is for Makers: Week 1

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Here we are, it’s the first Monday in May so I want to share my first #mayisformakers purchase.  I have pledged to purchase a pattern a week from an independent designer and share it here on my blog.

I am mainly a designer of paper pieced quilting patterns so I am grateful for those with a different skill set who can design clothing patterns. I decided to purchase the Scout Tee pattern by Grainline Studio.  I found it on Indiesew, a great source of patterns by independent designers.  I’ve seen this top sewn over and over by so many people on IG and blogs so I took that as a good sign!  I went ahead and ordered some AGF Denim and a few voiles to try.  I purchased the paper version of the pattern so I am waiting for both pattern and fabric to arrive.

In the meantime, I am on the lookout for my pattern for next week.  I would love some more suggestions please!

 

Join Me on American Patchwork and Quilting

American Patchwork Quilting Pocast episode 301 Amy Friend

Tomorrow I will be talking with Pat Sloan on American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast about my book, Intentional Piecing. I hope you will join us!

Click here to listen tomorrow, May 2nd. The show time is 4pm Eastern, 3pm Central, 2pm Mountain, 1pm Pacific. Or, you can always listen later at your convenience!

The quilt in the image above is Crazy Eights from my book.  I loved designing and making that project.  I wanted to craft a design using stripes to create a dynamic design and am really pleased with the results.

Crazy Eights by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

Here is a bonus shot that didn’t make it’s way into the book. I was lucky to be able to use the antique Ford for the photo shoot.  I had fun quilting in concentric, overlapping circles.

More about the book tomorrow on the show!

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May Is For Makers Campaign

MayisformakersI am joining the May is for Makers campaign initiated by Lindsey from LR Stitched.  She is challenging us to buy one pattern each of the 5 weeks in May from indie pattern maker.  Why purchase a pattern from an indie pattern maker?  This is an issue near and dear to my heart as I work hard to build a career in design.  Designers pour so much of their creative energy and talent into their work, along with time spent designing, calculating yardage, testing patterns, photographing finished projects, writing, sharing, fronting the cost of printing the patterns on paper, etc. all in order to produce patterns that people love to sew.  While all that work makes us incredibly happy and fulfills a creative need, it is also work, and it should pay the bills.

Pattern sharing and photocopying is rampant and painful for designers.  Free patterns and tutorials have come to be expected yet take incredible amounts of time.  Every time you purchase a pattern from a designer, you are supporting them and their families.  You are thanking them for sharing their talents with you. You are providing them with an income so they can continue to create and produce great patterns.

I really feel like this is an important issue to highlight.  And I am happy to step up and join this campaign to show my support of 5 other designers.  I want to make sure no one thinks I am seeking pattern sales.  I am doing this to raise awareness and to show my support of fellow pattern designers.

So I pledge to purchase 5 patterns this month from indie pattern makers. I have started my search for patterns I might enjoy and look forward to sharing my purchases with you.  If you have any suggestions for me, I would love to hear them!  What should I buy?

Who is in?  Join us!

 

Stash Happy Tote

Stash Happy Tote with Teacher's Pet block by Amy Friend

I wanted to share another project from my book today because I feel that it is timely with the end of the school year approaching.  I think that this bag would make a great teacher’s gift!  It’s called the Stash Happy Tote because I am hoping that you will be able to make it by simply pulling 3 half yard pieces from your stash for the body of the bag. I don’t tend to buy lots of yardage but like to purchase half yard pieces so for me, it works out well!

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In the book, I offer 10 different paper pieced block patterns that all work for the front pocket of the tote.  You can customize it any way you like to suit the recipient.

Stash Happy Tote with Teacher's Pet Block by Amy Friend

I just made another tote today using the same block, perfect for a teacher or librarian or any book lover. It would serve well as a library bag even.  I plan to make more bags with some of the other blocks down the line and will be sure to share them when I do.

I have received word from a number of my readers that their Amazon orders of Intentional Piecing are arriving within the next couple of days!  That’s very exciting. I can’t wait for you to receive your copies and share your projects with me.  Please use the hashtag #intentionalpiecingbook on Instagram.  If you make this project, you can also use #stashhappytote and #teacherspetquiltblock.

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