The Anna Blouse in Skopelos

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I’m happy to be joining in on the Skopelos Blog Hop today! Skopelos is designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics. She was inspired by the Greek Island, Skopelos. The fabrics in the collection are just lovely and include knits and voile along with quilting cotton.

Anna Blouse in Skopelos by Amy Friend

I chose to work with the Kladi Under Shadow Voile and made an Anna Blouse. This particular print drew me in right away and is my favorite in the collection.  It reminds me of Statice flowers.  The blouse pattern is by Charise Randell and can be purchased here. The blouse is beautifully finished with french seams and details like bias binding and the key hole. I highly recommend the pattern and pairing it with voile. The voile drapes so nicely and is also easy to work with; easier I think than rayon and many other more slippery types of garment making fabrics. The blouse is shown here in a size 2 with a slightly modified neckline. The neckline was raise 3/4″ following this tutorial.

Anna Blouse in Skopelos by Amy Friend

 

I am glad that I normally take pictures of quilts because I am not sure how garment sewists get good pictures!  I tried taking a picture of myself in the mirror wearing this blouse and it turned out ridiculously!  I did send the blouse off to Art Gallery Fabrics for possible inclusion in their Skopelos Look Book so hopefully  you will see it properly modeled there soon!

Check out the other Skopelos project for inspiration:

1. LYNNE GOLDSWORTHY – April 20th

2. ALLEGORY LANHAM – April 21st

3. ERICA TOOLE – April 22nd

4. RACHAEL GANDER – April 23th

5. AMY FRIEND – April 24th

6. MARIJA VUJČIĆ – April 25th

7. DANA BOLYARD – April 26th

8. ERICA JACKMAN – April 27th

9. JESSICA ALEXANDRAKIS – April 28th

10. SVETLANA SOTAK – April 29th

11. KATHLEEN RIGGINS – April 30th

12. APRIL RHODES – May 1st

13. PAUL HALLINGER – May 2nd

14. SHARON MCCONNELL – May 3rd

15. CAROLINE HULSE – May 4th

16. JANE DAVIDSON – May 5th

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Pointed Statement

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I am so pleased to share this completed quilt today!  I showed you a few of the blocks a number of weeks ago.  I designed my own paper pieced pattern for this quilt and pieced it using 5 shades of Kona quilting cottons.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I scattering the colors rather randomly while piecing, intentionally favoring the peaches over the greys.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I really love the colors in this quilt; they are most accurately represented in this photo. They are so soothing and at the same time fresh and uplifting.  I worked on this quilt while waiting for spring to arrive here in New England and I think that the colors were just right for that.

I chose to quilt using straight lines and three shades of Aurifil 50 weight thread because the vertical rows of stitching work well with the vertical orientation of the triangles.  As you can see in this detail, I quilted with my lines spaced 1/4″ to 1/2″ apart.

Pointed Statement by Amy Friend

I used one of the prints from Art Gallery Fabrics’ Maker collection for the backing along with bits of leftover solids from the front.  And I bound the quilt in the background fabric color, Kona Light Flesh…an awful sounding name for a pretty color!  The finished quilt measures 48″ x 60.”  My mom suggested the name, Pointed Statement, which seems just perfect.

I am planning on offering this pattern for sale soon. It’s in the works!

 

Cocorico Traveling Bee-Charise’s Quilt

Passenger Ship by Amy Friend

I spent today working on this block for the Cocorico Traveling Bee.  Charise sent me two beautiful starter blocks for her quilt.  One depicts a well dressed woman holding a suitcase looking off into the distance.  The other is a camera photographing the Eiffel Tower.  Charise normally works in a recognizable palette of aqua, lipstick pink, cherry red, and the occasional mustard.  These blocks were no exception and I wanted my block to fit her palette. I also wanted to create a larger block toward which the woman could be gazing.  I decided she was looking at a passenger ship.  It felt more romantic to me than a plane. I drafted the paper pieced portion and included a bit of the lipstick pink solid that Charise sent along for continuity. The rest of the fabrics are mine but blend with her choices.  I improv cut and pieced the curves for the smoke and waves.

Charise's Traveling Quilt Blocks

Here are Charise’s blocks along with my passenger ship. I think I will make one more small block before passing it on to the next bee member but I am not sure what yet!  Suggestions are welcome!

 

 

A Pillow to Gift Tutorial

A Sweet Life Pillow by Amy Friend

Today I am sharing this pillow made from Pat Sloan’s new collection from Moda called The Sweet Life. I was immediately drawn to the text prints and the plus prints so I made sure to include both here.

The Sweet Life Pillow by Amy Friend

I used my From Santa pattern in the 10″ size for the package block. I have long been wanting to remake this block for another gift giving occasion and this was my chance.

Invisible zip

I finished the pillow with my usual favorite, an invisible zipper.

You can find the tutorial for this pillow on the Thermoweb blog. I used my favorite Thermoweb produce, HeatnBond Fleece Fusible.

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Make It, Take It Blog Hop

Make It, Take It Cover

My friend, Krista Hennebury of Poppyprint, has published a book and I’d like to tell you a little bit about it today. I first “met” Krista online back in 2010 when we both were finalists in the Sew Mama Sew Valentine’s Day contest. That was shortly after I had started blogging. I will actually get to meet Krista for the first time at quilt market next month and I am looking forward to that!  It’s been wonderful to build this community of support on line. Even though we haven’t all met in person, we have been sharing our creative journeys and supporting each other. Krista runs a successful sewing retreat business and decided to publish a book about retreats. The book includes stories about retreats as well as projects that you can make in order to pack for retreat/prepare for retreat and then some that you can sew while on retreat. Krista asked me to design a couple of projects for her book along with a number of other friends in this wonderful, supportive community I just referred to. The book has turned out to be a compilation of projects by some of my favorite people. I hope you will take the time to stop at all their blogs during this blog hop!

Now for my projects!

Posy Pillow by Amy Friend

I designed this paper pieced Posy Pillow that you can see on the cover of the book. I chose bold colors and text prints for my version but you could take this block and go in so many directions with it! I look forward to seeing some other interpretations.

2013-09-10 posy quilt mockup

Here is a mock up of a quilt done in the block. I think it would be pretty amazing!

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I also designed a Double Scissor Keeper. This is such a fun project. The larger compartment holds your regular sized scissors and then the front pocket holds embroidery scissors or button hold scissors. The scissor keeper prevents your sharp ended scissors from causing any damage in your bag….something I always worry about! This project is quick and satisfying. It makes a great gift for a sewing friend or something useful for yourself. Anna recently shared a review of this book and project on her blog if you want to take a peek.  I have been delighted to see lots of these popping up on IG in the past month.  It’s so rewarding to see that.  I’m glad you are all enjoying the pattern.

Small Patchwork Bag by Ayumi sewn by Amy Friend

Many projects in the book appeal to me. I found time recently to make one of them, the Small Patchwork Bag by Ayumi. I used Art Gallery Fabrics new collection called Maker to make the bag which I have sitting on my sewing table holding “stuff” in an attractive manner.

Martingale is offering a free digital download of this book if you would like to enter to win! Seacoast Modern Guild members will have a chance to win a copy of the book at retreat later this month too. Good luck everyone!

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Here is the blog hop schedule:

Friday, April 3 Blog hop kick-off: Krista at Poppyprint

Monday, April 6: Berene at Happy Sew Lucky and Amy at During Quiet Time

Tuesday, April 7: Leanne at She Can Quilt and Felicity at Felicity Quilts

Wednesday, April 8: Martingale Inc. at Stitch this! (check out their Rainbow Round the Cabin staff party!)

Thursday, April 9: Krista at Spotted Stones and Krista at Krista Withers Quilting

Friday, April 10: Lynne at Lilys Quilts and Cindy at Live a Colorful Life

Saturday, April 11: Ayumi at Pink Penguin and Krista at Poppyprint

Sunday, April 12: Kristie at OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder and Christina at Sometimes Crafter

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Haberdashery Quilt Pattern

Haberdashery Quilt Pattern by Amy Friend

I have been asked by several people to consider making my Haberdashery Quilt Pattern available. I listened and here it is! I hope you love it and I look forward to seeing your versions of the pattern.  The pdf pattern also shares an alternative layout that’s lots of fun.  What do you think?

Haberdashery Quilt Pattern Alternative Layout by Amy Friend

I feel like the alternative layout is a little more traditional and expected but I love it just the same. It creates ring shaped forms and interlocking stars.  My fabric cutting directions will allow for the use of directional prints as well, in case you want to mix things up and not do a two color solid quilt as I did.

The pattern is available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops for US customers and in my Pattern Shop (see sidebar or header) for everyone.  I have received some questions about Paddle, the checkout for my shop.  You do not need to set up a new account. You can check out as a guest.  If you set up an account,  you are doing so with me, not Paddle, and I have no intention of ever selling/sharing or trading your information.  I promise!  Paddle is just the checkout.  They collect your money using Paypal so you just use your established Paypal account as you do when you check out of Etsy and Craftsy.  They pay any VAT taxes as the merchant of record.  Then they transfer money to me on a monthly basis. I hope that makes you feel comfortable!  Don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

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Diana’s Golden Needle

Diana's Golden Needle650

This  young woman is an inspiration!  I came across her story on Facebook and contacted her because I wanted to help spread the word about her wonderful project.  This is Diana, she is a Girl Scout working on her Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.  She has pledged to make twin sized quilts for children who have aged out of the Foster care program.  She is working to spread the word about the need for foster care which is near to her heart because she was adopted from Russia at 14 months.  She is making 16 quilts; one for each of the years she has lived in the US.  She also hopes to make baby quilts to send back to her orphanage in Russia.

Diana Brownies Badge Ceremony 007

Here is a picture of Diana as a Brownie!

I think I have mentioned on my blog before that I was a Girl Scout and I am now a leader for my oldest daughter’s troop.  We are just finishing up our 4th year as a troop and it is going strong with 14 girls all of whom are learning about the wonderful values set forth in the Girl Scout law: to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.  I think Diana’s project covers so many of those things.  I knew I wanted to help. I sent her a package with 2 1/2″ precut strips to use for her Scrappy Trips Around the World quilts. She feels like she is pretty well set for fabric now as well as batting and long arm services thanks to the many people who have offered to help.

What she needs the most is help assembling blocks.  She needs 42 per twin quilt.  These are fun blocks to make and many of you have already made them in the past.  Diana asked Bonnie Hunter if she could use her tutorial for this project and Bonnie kindly agreed.  If you would like to make some blocks for Diana, the tutorial is right here.

To contact Diana, please email her mother, Laurie, at ldjasany@gmail.com OR you can leave a message on Diana’s Facebook page for this project.

I might add that Diana’s mother is her Girl Scout leader and taught Diana to sew.  Thank you Laurie for all you have done to raise such a wonderful daughter!

Best of luck to you Diana!  This is a fantastic project.

 

The Paper-Pieced Home

The Paper-Pieced Home - jacket art
I was invited to participate in Penny’s blog hop for her new book, The Paper-Pieced Home.  Of course I said yes because I love sharing the joy of paper piecing!
I like it when books reflect their author’s style and this book certainly does just that. I think I could have guessed that this was a book by Penny just looking at the cover!  Her style is very recognizable as are her fabric and subject choices.  Everything has a retro vibe, simple lines and whimsy.  If you enjoy the work you typically see on her blog, then you will love her book as well. The book comes with a CD from which you can print the pattern pieces at the actual size with no need for enlargement.  There are 40 blocks and 10 projects in the book.
I was excited to hear that Penny had written a book and ordered it as soon as it came out. I particularly like the BBQ Grill Block (Lee chose this one for her stop on the blog hop).  It’s just a fun block of a subject that I don’t think I would have thought of!  Since Lee snagged that block before me, I chose to sew the Sleeveless Dress block.
Sleeveless Dress
What I didn’t realize is that I was signing up for a block with a Y seam!  I do try to avoid them but it went together just fine.  They really aren’t such a big deal.  I realize that every time I am forced to do one.  So, don’t let it stop you.  Penny made her version in solids so I decided to go with prints.  I think it makes for a pretty spring time dress!  I am not sure what I will make with the block yet–suggestions are welcome!
Please take a moment to click through the links to see the blocks that others have sewn for the hop. I am particularly in love with Ayumi’s take on the Alli-Gator Block for her nephew.
3/16       McCall’s Quilting / Sewing Machine Block
3/17       Love of Quilting / Review
3/17       Sandi Sawa Hazlewood  of Crafty Planner / Watering Can Block
3/18       Quilty Pleasure (Quiltmaker blog) / Review
3/18       Imagine Gnats / Rotary Phone Block
3/20       Verykerryberry / Lion Block
3/21       Artisania / Cast-Iron Skillet Block
3/23       Where the Orchids Grow / Lamp Block
3/24       Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt / Layer Cake Block
3/24       House on Hill Road / Oven Mitt Block
3/24       Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced / BBQ Grill Block
3/26       Pink Penguin / Allie-Gator Block
3/26       A Happy Stitch / Giraffe Block
3/27       Bijou Lovely / Jar Block
3/27       Two Little Banshees / Saucepan Block
3/27       Charise Creates / Espresso Mug Block
3/30       Karen Lewis Textiles / Couch Block
3/31       Poppyprint / Clawfoot Tub Block
3/31       One Shabby Chick / Stack of Books Block
3/31       During Quiet Time / Sleeveless Dress Block
4/06       Pat Sloan The Voice of Quilting / Author Podcast Interview

More information on the book can be found here on the Interweave site:

The Paper-Pieced Home: Quilting a Household One Block at a Time

By Penny Layman

Interweave/F+W; $26.99

Would you like to win a free copy of Penny’s book? I will draw a winner one week from today. Good luck!

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First Aid Kit Error

First Aid Kit by Amy Friend

Thank you to one of my readers, Melanie, for pointing out an error in my First Aid Kit pattern as it appears in Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas.  On page 47, step 6, the directions read “Take the two 2 1/2 x 7 1/2-inch strips of exterior fabric A that remain and fuse fleece to the back.”  My original instructions read “Take the two long strips of exterior fabric that remain and fuse fleece to the back.”  In an attempt to be more precise, someone added the dimensions but the incorrect dimensions.  You would want to use the 1 1/2″ x 20″ strips. My apologies to anyone who got confused!  These things happen!

Triangle Play

Triangles WIP by Amy Friend

Behind the scenes, I have been working on a new pattern that I drew up a number of months ago now. It’s been nagging at me to give it some attention so I decided to start it. I am hoping that my color palette will also help usher in the spring but somehow I doubt it.  As I was working on these yesterday, it was snowing yet again, making this Boston’s snowiest year on record. Hooray?

This pattern is paper pieced and in my design book I have it dubbed “Triangle Play.”  I am not sure what its ultimate name will be but that’s its working title!  I am really enjoying sewing with these soothing shades of peach and melon and a couple of shades of grey that deviate from my usual go to greys.  I have about a dozen blocks sewn but have quite a few more to go before I can share a quilt top here.  If you want to follow my progress, I have been sharing some pictures on Instagram.

I have been asked if I will offer this pattern for sale.  Yes, I will.  I will work on writing it up as soon as the quilt is finished.  Thank you for your interest!

Baguette Quilt Pattern Available as PDF

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I have been working to add some of my recent patterns to my pdf offerings.  I just listed Baguette in all of my pattern shops-Etsy, Craftsy and my own pattern shop (not just for international customers-for anyone).  See links in the sidebar!

Baguette by Amy Friend

I still love, love, love the quilting that I did on this one, especially now that it is done!  It was rather back breaking!

Next up will be my Haberdashery pattern. I have gotten lots of requests for it.  Thank you for your patience!

 

Caitlyn’s Little House on the Prairie Quilt

littlehousebutton

Caitlyn's quilt

 

Oh, I can’t begin to tell you how happy this picture makes me!  This Little House on the Prairie Sew Along quilt was completed by Caitlyn and her mom, Tiffany.  Can you believe that Caitlyn is only in kindergarten?  Tiffany and Caitlyn have been so much fun during this sew along. They contributed the maple leaf block, shared each block with me on IG, and chatted through email.  Tiffany was nearly always the first to check out the new block patterns and caught a couple of typos in them which saved all of you from cutting mistakes and me from embarrassment.  I just love the energy with which they approached this project and how fun that made it for me and Lily.

We are thinking that we might have to do this again in a couple of years!

If you would like to make a Little House on the Prairie quilt, it’s not too late!  The block ideas and patterns will remain on my blog so you can jump in when you have the time and desire.  The best way to pull up all the posts is to type in “little house on the prairie” in the Search bar near the top of my sidebar.

Thank you again Tiffany and Caitlyn for sewing with us and for allowing me to share the picture of your completed quilt here.  If you finish a Little House quilt, make sure you email me a picture!

 

Fantasia Book Bag


Fantasia Book Bag by Amy Friend

Have you seen Sara Lawson’s new collection for Art Gallery Fabrics?  It’s called Fantasia and and it features unicorns! My oldest daughter is in heaven! Horses/unicorns and fantasy novels are her favorites. You can see the whole collection here.

Sara was kind enough to send me two half yard pieces to make this library bag for my daughter. I made sure that I fussy cut the front panel to feature the unicorn, front and center. The interior is lined with a beautiful cream colored print with flowers called Bous Trail Bluet. I let my daughter choose some fabric for the straps, and wouldn’t you know that she went straight for my Netorious by Cotton + Steel? It’s a great coordinate for this print though so it was a good call.

Fantasia Book Bag by Amy Friend

This is such a simple project but it suits Lily’s needs so well. I used HeatnBond Fusible Fleece for the interfacing-both for the body and the handles-so the bag has some heft to it to lug all her books. It was time for a new book bag. Lily’s old bag has worn through the bottom from all the hard labor it has performed over the years. It was made 5 years ago when she was just four, using horrible blue bull dog fabric she chose herself. You can see it here for a laugh. I think it is time that my 3rd grader upgrades to this bag covered with fantastical unicorns and lined with beautiful flowers.  She was very happy to see it all finished this morning.  I think unicorn dresses for the girls might be in my future.

Thank you Sara!

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Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas

Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas

I wanted to let you know that Fat Quarters: Small Fabrics, More Than 50 Big Ideas, a collaborative book published by Lark Crafts, will be released in March.  I know you all have lots of fat quarters in your stash!  Hopefully this book will give you some new ideas to use them up.  There are lots of familiar names in the contributor section: Maureen Cracknell, Beki Lambert, Kaye Prince, Abby Glassenberg, Malka Dubrawsky, Shannon Cook and more.  Projects range from items to make for babies/kids, to bags, quilts, pillows, home decor, wearables and gifts.  I have four projects in this collective and would like to share them with you today.

Hothouse Flower Pillows by Amy Friend

I might as well start with my Hothouse Pillow Set since one of my pillows is sitting pretty there on the cover!

Hothouse Flower Pillows by Amy Friend

The pillow pattern is an 18″ paper pieced block.  It makes terrific pillows but I would also love to see a quilt made up using these blocks and some soft feminine colors.  Wouldn’t that be pretty?

First Aid Kit by Amy Friend

I created a First Aid Kit for the bag portion of the book. It’s a practical item that everyone can use.  It would be perfect to hold some band aids, headache medicine, etc. in the car for those little emergencies that come up while traveling.

 

First Aid Kit by Amy Friend

This is a small bag but it fits quite a bit!  Someone on Instagram said that this would make a great teacher’s gift, filled with bandaids for the classroom. I think that is a great idea.

Patchwork Sewing Machine Cover by Amy Friend

If you are a long time reader, you have seen this project before.  But my patchwork sewing machine cover pattern is also included in the book. The patchwork was inspired by stitches; the cross stitch, straight stitch, and zig zag!

Groovy Vibes Quilt by Amy Friend

And finally, you will find my Groovy Vibes Quilt made from Pat Bravo’s Carnaby Street collection.  I used the 8″ Sizzix Tumbler die which makes quick work of a fat quarter, cutting 4 perfect shapes from each. I love this project idea for a fat quarter stack, so much so that this is the second quilt I have made like this; the first using Splendor 1920 by Bari J.

Groovy Vibes detail by Amy Friend

In keeping with the lava lamp shape, and “groovy” feel of Pat Bravo’s collection, I chose to quilt in what I am calling lava lamp bubbles.  I cut circles (also using the Sizzix) out of contact paper in 4 sizes and stuck them on the quilt.  Then I free motion quilted a wavy line up each column and around the circles as I came to them.  As I made the quilt, I kept thinking that it seemed most appropriate for a teenage girl.  Happily, this quilt now lives with one who is enjoying it!

You can preorder the book right here so that you can see all the other fun projects.  I  hope you get to spend some time sewing this weekend!

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A Couple of Updates-Bookkeeping!

Sweet Tea Pattern by Amy Friend for BasicGrey

I just wanted to pop in to let you know that my Sweet Tea Quilt Pattern for BasicGrey is now available as a PDF download from any of my three pattern shops.  See the links in my sidebar for Etsy, Craftsy and my pattern shop.  Just as a reminder, currently my Etsy and Craftsy shops are for US customers only due to the VAT. (I do know that Etsy is now handling the VAT but my Paypal settings remain US only so I can keep my Craftsy shop open.)  However, my pattern shop here on my blog is open to everyone, international and domestic with all the same pattern offerings. I have been having a little trouble with some of my pattern download links going to spam.  We took measures yesterday to make my links less “spammy” which should help. However, if you don’t receive your pattern download link immediately, shoot me an email and I will send it to you.  No worries!

Also, I wanted to draw your attention to my header.  I have added a “Completed Quilts” category and most of my quilts are up there now. I still have some to add but from now on, I will add each quilt there as I complete it.  If you are trying to remember something about one of my quilts, click on the picture and it will bring you to one of my blog posts about that quilt.  Searching in the sidebar will bring you more posts if there were multiple posts written.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Notebook Pouch Tutorial from Fresh-Squeezed Fabrics

Notebook Pouch Tutorial

My long time sponsor, Randi from Fresh-Squeezed Fabrics, is visiting my blog today to share a tutorial with you!  She recently made her daughter a notebook pouch and has drafted up a pattern to share.  I love her fabric selections here.  She used Color Theory by V and Co for Moda and you can find the whole line in her shop.

Randi’s shop always has a fresh selection of fabrics ranging from sweet to modern.  And you have to check out her “Sale of the Week” section for great buys that are constantly changing.

Thank you Randi for sharing this tutorial with my readers.

The tutorial can be downloaded right here: Notebook Pouch Tutorial

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QuiltCon

Curious by Amy Friend

Did you go to QuiltCon? Did you love it? I hope so! I didn’t attend this time though I hope to in the future. It’s held during school vacation week here in Massachusetts which makes it even trickier to get away than usual (which is tricky enough for a mother of three). But I was represented at QuiltCon by my quilts at least! Fortunately, some nice friends photographed them for me too.

I was shocked to learn that my mini quilt, Curious, received third place in the small quilts category. I had entered my quilts with no expectations whatsoever. I was just happy that they were included in the show. So this was really a bonus.  Elizabeth Hartman does such a nice job with the ribbons too.

Haberdashery

My Haberdashery quilt was also hanging. It was in the Use of Negative Space category.

Kite Tails by Amy Friend

Kite Tails was there as part of the MQG Pattern of the Month display.

Melon Ice by Amy Friend

And Melon Ice was there as part of the MQG Showcase.

I really enjoyed seeing pictures of all the quilts that hung in the show, made by quilters all over the world. Thanks to everyone who shared them on IG for those of us at home!

I also loved seeing the pictures of the charity quilts. That was really rewarding after having worked with the MQG Charity Committee to plan and organize this portion of QuiltCon.

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My guild, the Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild, made this quilt for the charity of our choice. So many beautiful and creative quilts were made by approximately 60 guilds and groups of individual members.  Thank you to everyone who participated! There are some lucky charities out there, ready to receive some beautiful quilts.

Cocorico Traveling Bee

traveling bee

I am embarking upon my first traveling bee with a group of ladies from my Cocorico bee, just those that live in the US for shipping reasons.  Our starting blocks must include at least one paper pieced block and a note with directions for the quilt.  We then send it off and each member can add to the quilt as they like.  It will return to me as a complete quilt top.

I decided to use these two orphan blocks that I like but had been sitting around for way too long!  The block on the left uses this free pattern by Julianna. The block on the right is my sewing machine block which can be purchased here. I only ask that my bee members keep to the color pallete present in these blocks: mustard, grays, soft blue/gray, cream, and black. I would love to see some words added like “maker” or “sew” or “stitch.”

traveling bee

I am including these fabrics in case anyone wants to add them to their blocks.

Happy travels!

PS Sorry for the photography today. I normally take my pictures under lights in my barn but it is only 3 degrees out and I can’t stand to go out there!

Parisian Dress Shop Window Pattern

Parisian Dress Shop Window SquareCover

I just listed a new paper pieced pattern in my shops! I designed this block for Charise for the Cocorico Bee.  Her theme is Paris.  I decided to design a dress shop window.  The window has curtains inside and an awning above.  In the window, you can see a dress form with a fancy dress that I would love an occasion to wear!

Parisian Dress Shop Window by Amy Friend, detail

The white dress has a fur collar with matching belt and a flutter hemline.

Parisian Dress Shop Window by Amy Friend, detail

Outside the shop there is a sign that you can fussy cut. I found the perfect fussy cut from a Riley Blake Lost and Found 2 print.  You can purchase that print as well as the text that I used for the building exterior at Sew Me A Song.

Parisian Dress Shop Window by Amy Friend

I had so much fun designing and sewing this block. I look forward to seeing other versions sewn.  You can purchase the pattern in my Etsy or Craftsy shops if you are a US resident (see button in sidebar) or at my Pattern Shop (see button in side bar and header) regardless of where you live.

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Paper Pieced Modern Blog Hop

I was asked to join Amy Garro’s blog hop for her new title, Paper Pieced Modern: 13 Stunning Quilts Step-by-Step Visual Guide.  Amy blogs at 13 Spools, if you are not yet familiar with her work.  Like me, she enjoys making modern, paper pieced quilts.  I am going to share one of her designs in my post today.  It’s called Ceiling Tiles.  I decided to interview Amy to mix things up.  Here goes!
Photo by C&T Publishing

Photo by C&T Publishing

During Quiet Time:  What’s your favorite thing about this design?
Amy Garro:  Hmm, my favorite thing about this design is that it’s so simple. Like a lot of my quilts, it has sharp angles, but this one is much more restful to look at. It has a feeling of “quiet activity” to me – It’s not so quiet as, say, Apple Stars (from the book), or my Plus quilt, but it is calming to me with its minimal and repetitive design.
Ceiling Tiles 1
During Quiet Time:  How did you arrive at the name?  Were you inspired by actual ceiling tiles somewhere?  If so, where and do you have a picture?
Amy Garro:  So I actually named this quilt after I designed it. I was fiddling around with the single shape in the quilt, finding the perfect combination of overlap & repeat. When I settled on a design I realized it looked like some lights in a ballroom that I was once in – but I can’t remember which one! When I decided to name the quilt, I thought of “Ceiling Tiles” and it just stuck. “Ballroom Light Fixture” was not nearly so catchy, haha.
During Quiet Time:  Sometimes when I make a quilt I think of another color palette that I would love to see the pattern made up in (but there is only so much time in a day).  Is there another way you’d love to see this quilt made?
Amy Garro:  There is definitely another colorway I’d love to see this in! I think red, white, and gray would make a fabulous Christmas season quilt, and I really want to sew it sometime. I had originally planned this to be a cream + red quilt, so I think that’s way I’m gravitating towards those colors. I actually gained my inspiration for that original colorway from this quilt.
ceiling tiles original colorway
This was Amy’s original colorway.
christmas ceiling tiles
This is a mock up of a Christmas inspired colorway.
During Quiet Time:  What pattern designers influence your work and how?
Amy Garro:  There aren’t that many, actually. I tend to look toward architecture, blueprints, masonry, and various mathematical and electrical sketches for inspiration. A lot of my designs actually come from sketches my husband draws up for me. I also get a lot of inspiration from Charlotte (http://displacementactivity.com). And I spend ridiculous amounts of time on Pinterest, which is a visual feast! I look there for color palette and quilting ideas. Angela Walters, obviously, is a great source of inspiration for that. Otherwise, there are tons of designers who don’t necessarily influence my work directly, but whose work I admire incredibly: you, for starters, and then Carolyn Friedlander (http://carolynfriedlander.com/), Casey York (https://studioloblog.wordpress.com/), Kyndra Brown (http://www.sewlio.com), Meg Callahan (http://megcallahan.com/) – I could go on and on!
During Quiet Time:  I promise I didn’t ask Amy for that unexpected compliment!
During Quiet Time:  What fabric designs/designers do you particularly gravitate toward when choosing fabrics for your quilts and why?
Amy Garro:  My obsession with Carolyn Friedlander & Parson Gray is quite public by now, haha! I lean towards masculine prints, solids, and linens. When I do use prints, my preference is to use monochromatic prints, or ones with only 2 or 3 colors (including white). Though I love how they look on their own, I’m not a big multi-colored print girl when it comes to putting fabrics in a quilt.
During Quiet Time: I tend to gravitate toward similar “blenders” so this is something I think we have in common.
During Quiet Time:  Do you consider all your work to be modern or a mix of modern and traditional?
Amy Garro:  I’d love to say I’m just straight-up modern, because that’s how it feels to me, yet I look at a lot of my quilts and see how they could be classified as modern-traditionalism, or even just traditional, because of my reliance on a gridded-block system, and complete lack of improv-quilting. I would say that there tends to be an emphasis on strong lines and sharp points in most of my work. Even my quilts that some might classify as traditional (like this quilt, or my Faceted Jewels II have these characteristics. That makes them still seem very “me” from my point of view.
During Quiet Time:  What’s your favorite quilt in the book and why?
Amy Garro:  Is it too predictable and  boring to say the cover quilt? That’s definitely it! Icy Waters.  We were having some difficulty squeezing everything into the page count, and seeing as it took up a ridiculous amount of pages, I suggested cutting it – and got a big, fat no on that one from the publisher! They definitely wanted it in there. That was a huge compliment to me, because it was really hard for me to tell what they liked or didn’t like (which is probably them being very professional). I was pretty thrilled to see they used that for the cover.
During Quiet Time:  Thank you for your interview Amy!  This quilt and the cover quilt are my personal favorites!  I lean toward blues and creams and whites but I also like the designs.  Best of luck with your book!
If my readers would like to win a copy (Physical copies available for US winners, and e-copies for international winners!) C+T is kindly offering up one as a prize!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take a minute to check out the other quilts in the book by hopping from one blog to the next.

Feb 5th – Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews

Feb 6th – Charlotte @ Displacement Activity

Feb 7th – Molli @ Molli Sparkles

Feb 8th – Elise @ Lovelea Designs

Feb 9th – Amy guest posting @ C&T Publishing

Feb 10th – Darcie @ The Seam Allowance

Feb 11th – Christa @ Christa Quilts

Feb 12th – Amy guest posting @ Craft Buds

Feb 13th – Amy @ 13 Spools

Feb 14th – Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe

Feb 15th – Amy @ During Quiet Time

Feb 16th – Wrap-up post back at 13 Spools

Sailor Top

sailortop
I’m sorry I have been a bit absent lately! I have been working on some projects that I can’t share yet and shoveling and shoveling and shoveling. Have you read all about the blizzards in New England? My kids are out of school all this week while they shovel snow off the school roofs. And we are expecting another blizzard this weekend. I have really never experienced snow in quantities like this before.  It has become tiresome to say the least.
To cheer myself up, I made a spring top. I tried the Sailor Top pattern by Fancy Tiger Crafts. I bought the Cotton + Steel Lawn from Gotham Quilts Super Bowl Flash Sale. I don’t watch football so it was the perfect sale for me! It had my full attention! I really like this pattern. It came together well and it is very wearable. The lawn feels great. I am going to work on another spring top soon in hopes that spring will come.  Forgive me for I lack decent selfie skills. I don’t know how garment sewists do it. Give me a quilt to photograph over a top any day!

disclaimer

Improv Fans Mini Quilt

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

Last week I worked on this mini for our Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild exhibit at this year’s The Gathering in Manchester, NH.  Our guild has been asked to create an exhibit that will give a clear idea of what constitutes modern quilting.  So, we are attempting to include only quilts that have alternate gridwork, negative space, solids, improv, bold colors, etc.  For one portion of the exhibit, each member has been asked to make a mini measuring 18″ or 22″ square.  They are to be modern takes on traditional blocks and use only solids.  We were assigned traditional blocks and mine was the Grandmother’s Fan. You can see a sample here.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I decided to take an improvisational approach to the block. I chose a selection of Kona and Pure Elements solids based loosely on the Cotton + Steel color scheme.  I then handcut and randomly pieced a small fan and three larger arcs.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I hand cut curves and sewed the arcs together. I squared up after adding each new arc.

Improv Fans Mini by Amy Friend

I had my quilting planned from the beginning. I quilted in arcs from the lower left to upper right corner, spaced 1/4″ apart.  Then I reversed the arc and quilted a wide band through the quilt in the opposite direction. I love how the lines crisscross and overlap and form diamonds.

Improv Fans by Amy Friend

I had so much fun with this mini!  While paper piecing is my go to technique, I love to mix it up once in awhile.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the other members of my guild come up with. I think it will be a fun portion of the exhibit and ALL members’ minis will be accepted so everyone has a chance to have their work shown in the exhibit.

 

XOXO Mini Tutorial from Gotham Quilts

XOXOmini
I’d like to welcome Ivete from Gotham Quilts today. She has offered to share a free tutorial with my readers just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Ivete says:

“I’ve had an idea for a simple XOXO mini wall quilt for a while now, and with Valentine’s Day around the corner this was the perfect time to finally do it!

The sample is made in Tula Pink Moon Shine, her latest collection, but I can see making this with some Cotton & Steel, or maybe in all solids? Or bold black and white would be fun too, for a totally different look! Oooh, or how cute would it be with a text print as the background? So many ideas . . . I may have to make another one for myself!

Looking to make one in the same fabrics I used? We have a kit available in our shop here.

Please share your XOXO mini on Instagram and tag it with the hastag #xoxomini so that I can see your creation! I can’t wait to see your versions start to pop up in my feed. Oh, and follow us on Instagram @gothamquilts!”

Download the free pdf tutorial for the XOXO mini here.

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Make It, Take It

Make It, Take It Cover

I’m happy to help my friend Krista spread her good news today!  She has authored a book titled Make It, Take It, published by Martingale.  It’s so nice that she can talk about the book now after having kept quiet for so long!  This is the fun part.

Let me tell you about the book.  It’s is a collection of projects divided in half:  projects you might make to bring with you on retreat (think project bags, etc) and then projects you might make while on retreat (placemats, pillows, etc).  Krista talks a bit about her extensive experience running retreats and each contributor shares their experiences attending retreats.  I designed two projects for the book that I will show you later on as part of the blog hop scheduled for April.  But you can see one of my projects on the cover!  It’s the pillow in the top right corner. It’s paper pieced…shocker, right?  The thing that I love most about this book is that all the contributors (as well as the author) are friends and that makes it so much fun!

The books will be on sale at www.shopmartingale.com on February 10th before they are available in stores. The purchase from Martingale includes a free digital copy so you can take the book with you on retreat on your tablet, laptop or phone.  Krista’s book will debut at QuiltCon and she has two signing scheduled in the vendor hall.  More details will follow on her blog.

And of course you can preorder on Amazon. My quilt guild has ordered a couple of copies for our upcoming retreat.  They will be the perfect giveaways!  More to come in April.  I can’t wait to share my second project with you then and for you to see all the other projects as well.

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What’s Your REMIX?

What's Your remix-06

Do you need a little break from what you are working on? If so, do what I just did and play on Pinterest for 20 minutes picking out your favorite Cotton + Steel prints to make your own Remix. All the directions are here. There are many chances to win yard cuts of your Remix from the Fat Quarter Shop.

remix

Here’s mine. Have fun! (The deadline is January 30th!)

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Quilts for Sale

Quilts For Sale

The truth of the matter is that I am running out of room to store quilts. I am trying to contain all my quilts in three large bins and they are overflowing and far to heavy!  It’s time to move some quilts out. I have given some away but thought that I would list a few in my Etsy shop. These quilts are new, never been used, only stored in a pet free home.  They are priced to sell so I hope you will take a peek!