Welcoming Quilty Box (with a giveaway!)

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I am happy to welcome Quilty Box as a new sponsor today.  You may be familiar with Quilty Box already. It was started by an avid quilter in Florida in 2013.  She was open to new subscribers for three months.  Balancing the number of boxes that needed to be packed each month with the needs of her 3 children proved to be overwhelming (I think we can all understand that!) and she had to close to new subscriptions.  She fulfilled her subscriptions in 2014 and then the business was aquired by Patrick Claytor, the current owner who is relaunching Quilty Box.
I like the way Patrick describes himself so I am going to quote: “I’m the son of a quilter and enjoy helping people find new products and explore their craft. Growing up, quilting has always been a part of my life. A loving quilt from my mom was always on my bed (along with a dozen in my closet). I know what it is like to be a kid running around the quilt store touching all the colorful fabrics. I learned to drive by being a shop hop chauffeur. I don’t profess to be a quilting expert but I do know about applique, batting, backing and patchwork. I know what a log cabin pattern is and how it is different than a star pattern. I know not to eat the layer cakes and jelly rolls. And, I know that quilting is different than sewing. I grew up in Louisiana, Georgia, and Michigan before attending college at the University of Montana. I now call Montana home with my wife, two cats, and yellow lab puppy. When we aren’t packing Quilty Boxes we enjoy all Montana has to offer and try to spend more time exploring the mountains than sitting at home.”
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Quilty Box works subscription style where you sign on for 3, 6, or 12 months.  You can cancel at any time and shipping is free (in the US). Your box will contain at least $50 worth of products; 4 or more items.  They might include a range of things from fabric to patterns to notions and perhaps even quilty gift items.  The boxes are shipped on the 11th of each month. I asked Patrick what was included in the June box.  It contained: a jelly roll of Clementine Fabric by Free Spirit Fabrics, The Strip Lash pattern by GE Designs, Seam Guides from Guidelines4Quilting, a thread pack from Sulky in either Spring or Summer colors, and a 6×8 OLFA cutting mat. You can see a pictures here (and follow them on IG) and above.  5% of the profits of multi-month subscriptions is donated to Quilts for Kids, an organization dedicated to turning fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children in need.
Quilty Box is offering all my readers a promotion!  If you look at their ad in my sidebar, you will find the coupon code QUIETTIME10.  Using that code will give you $10 off your first box.
You also have a chance to win a June Quilty Box today!  To enter, simply leave a comment below.  Maybe suggest something you’d love to see in an upcoming Quilty Box…you never know! The giveway is open to those with shipping addresses in the US, Canada and Australia.

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I will notify a winner on Thursday the 2nd.

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Puddling Quilt Completed

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

I’ve just finished up my Puddling Quilt. I had a great time making it. I have been asked if I have a hard time working improvisationally since I normally share precise paper piecing here on my blog.  The answer is no. I love working both ways. In fact, when I paper piece, I rarely precut. I just hand cut my pieces as I go. I also rarely use a ruler to cut my seam allowances. I hand cut.  I can just hear people gasping now.  But I can cut a straight line and eyeball a 1/4″ pretty well and I find it so much more fun to simply grab my scissors–it’s more liberating than a ruler and rotary cutter! Improv also lets me grab my scissors and go.

Puddling by Amy Friend

Also, I studied art all through highschool and college. I think that if you have a background in studio art, you have to learn to let go of a certain degree of expectation at the beginning of any creative process.  Really, the process of creating a painting or drawing is always improv with intent, isn’t it?  You have an idea or plan of where you are going when you start but so many things can effect the final outcome; it might be your skill level, it might be the series of choices you make along the way, it might be the watercolor that spread a bit farther then you intended, the light changing, or your model moving, etc.

I can clearly remember my figure drawing class in college.  We would have a set and limited time to sketch from the model after which we would have to hang our drawings up for criticism from the class and the professor.  The stress!  Not only was there the pressure of a ticking clock but also of what others would say. I think it made me realize the wide range of reactions to one single piece of art and how everyone’s opinions are really their own.  It helped me accept the fact that others might not always like my end product and I am ok with that as long as I do!

Here is a view of the completed quilt. I decided not to square up the edges. I would have lost the cute little kick out to the side on the lower left and the wave of the bottom edge.

Puddling by Amy Friend

I had to share this picture of the quilt caught in the breeze too. I always love to capture a quilt in motion.

Puddling by Amy Friend

I used the Windham wide text print for my backing. I thought it was perfect for this quilt and I loved not having to piece it!  It was a recent purchase from Massdrop.  While it is not a current drop, you can request that they offer it again and they might (see the link on my sidebar).

Puddling Detail by Amy Friend

I decided to go with fairly dense organic straight line quilting. I tried to let the degree of straightness in my piecing dictate the quilting.  Where the piecing waves, so do the quilted lines.  I stitched grey lines spaced about 1/2″ apart and then went in and added three shades of Aurifil in pink, gold and jade fairly randomly.  The colors were a great match for the solids that I used. These are all Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids except for the Putting Green by RJR.

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

The quilting in the arcs was more challenging. In order to work with the curve of the piecing, it meant varying the spacing between the lines. Often, the lines started out spaced 3/4-1″ apart and then got as close as 1/4″ where there width of the arc was narrow.

Puddling detail by Amy Friend

The quilt has fantastic texture and I do love the subtle interest added by the thread color.  It isn’t noticeable if you are standing back or looking at an image of the whole quilt so it is a discovery you make upon closer examination.

The finished quilt measures approximately 46″ x 70.”

It would be remiss of me to not credit Sherri Lynn Wood for her inspiration.  Working on my Scrambled quilt for her book last year reminded me of how much I like improvisational quilting.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Patterns Available on Paper

Printed Patterns by  Amy Friend

I am very pleased to announce that four of my paper pieced quilt patterns are now available on paper (they previously existed exclusively as pdf downloads). If you are a shop owner and would like to order wholesale direct, please see the Wholesale link at the header of my blog. You will be able to order my patterns through the distributors as well, hopefully within the next couple of weeks. Please feel free to email me with any questions.

All of my patterns are printed in full color with a gloss finish. The paper piecing templates are included at full size as a separate insert so that you can just copy them and get started right away without needing to worry about enlarging by the correct percentage.

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I need to thank Daniela who was my graphic designer and designed the template for me. She used the watermark/logo designed for me quite awhile ago by Sally. I would highly recommend both of them if you are looking for design services. And finally, I have to thank Laura for her help proofing my patterns before they went to the printers.

I hope that you will ask your local quilt shops to please stock your favorite pattern! Thank you.

Eclectic Elements Spring 2015

Diamond Tote using Eclectic Elements, designed by Amy Friend

I wanted to quickly share a couple of projects that I made for my friends at Tim Holtz for Spring Quilt Market 2015.  Tim debuted a new collection of Eclectic Elements prints.  I was asked to make a patchwork tote and I came up with this diamond design.  I love the way these particular prints work with the black yarn dyed linen.  All the prints featured in this bag are new with the exception of the Symphony print that I used as an accent.

The staff at Coats has made a project sheet for this tote that was handed out at market and I think it will be made available to shop owners.  If you are interested and can’t find the information, let me know and I will look into it for you.

Ruched Happy Bag by Amy Friend

I also made this bag using my Ruched Happy Bag pattern.

Quite a few of the prints in this collection are inspired by old wallpaper. One is reminiscent of the paper that used to be in the front hall of my house in fact!  I particularly like the text combined with floral motifs as seen in the bag above.

Congratulations to the team at Tim Holtz for winning an award for their booth this market!

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Pointed Statement Pattern Available

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My Pointed Statement Quilt Pattern is now available as a pdf.  You can click on my Pattern Shop button above, or on the links in the sidebar to Etsy and Craftsy in order to purchase it.  Thank you!

 

Free Sew Me A Song Pattern and Giveaway

Sew Me A Song free pattern by Amy Friend

I’m so happy to be sharing this free paper pieced block pattern today!  I designed this block THREE years ago now for my friend Becca when she left Sew Fresh Fabrics and started her own business, Sew Me A Song.  This sweet little bird singing while perched on a needle is her shop logo. I made the pattern as a moving away/opening a new shop gift for her.  Though she liked it and made the block immediately ago…it languished!  Becca needed a little encouragement so I told her that I wanted to share it on the blog.  Over the last couple of months, Becca decided to remake her block and built up a medallion quilt around it!

Medallion quilt by Becca of Sew Me A Song

Isn’t this such a cheerful quilt?  Becca used only fabrics from her shop.  Some of them may be out of stock at this point but they were all sold in her shop at one time or another.  Her favorite border is the four patch on point.  I can’t decide if I like that border or the pluses best.  When she finishes up this quilt, she will likely use it as a shop sign when she vends for guilds, etc. I think it is a fabulous finish, well worth the three year wait.

Becca has given me her permission to name the block Sew Me A Song and share it with all of you!  You can download it for free in my Craftsy shop.

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We are celebrating with a giveaway!

Becca is offering a Fat Eighth Stack of these beautiful fabrics from her shop. International entries are permitted.

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We’d love to see your block should you make one. Please use the hashtag #sewmeasongpattern.

And thank you Becca, your quilt is beautiful. It is just so cheerful that I can’t help but smile when I look at it!

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Improv Handbook Blog Hop

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Welcome to the Improve Handbook Blog Hop! Sherri Lynn Wood’s new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters; A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously, has just started shipping. I had the pleasure of meeting Sherri this past weekend when she visited my guild to teach her Bias Strip Curves class. You can read about that experience in my earlier post.

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The book is full of beautiful photographs by Sara Remington–including the cover shot and the picture of Sherri (both above). The staging is sparse, putting the quilts on center stage.

I really like the way Sherri speaks about improvisation. I appreciate technique and skill and respect those who exhibit both in their work. She suggests that improv has it’s own set of techniques and skills. I think those who have never tried improv might be quick to disagree with that statement but if you have given it a go, you will know that there is much technique and skill involved in putting away that ruler. She speaks to that and provides hints and tips for fixing problem areas in your work such as puckers and pulls and how to avoid them or work with them. I also like that Sherri states that the maker is the most important part of improvisation. You have to know yourself and your likes and dislikes, feel your emotions, etc. I think working on a improv piece is just that for me. I love to work intuitively and make decisions as I go.  I also feel like my decisions are more visible in improv than they are in other types of sewing. You kind of bare your soul.

Sherri’s book contains 10 scores. She uses scores as a vehicle for teaching improvisation. I see her scores as guidelines, broad rules to follow that start you on your way to improv. The rules can be interpreted differently by different individuals, as you will see if you look at the many test quilts that were made for this book. I think these scores make improv much less intimidating to beginners. Most people who sew are used to patterns and following directions. Sherri has provided you with direction enough to make you feel comfortable, with room enough for you add yourself into the equation, in fact, you are forced to.  You have to make decisions because the answers are not all there.

More than a year ago now, I received an email from Sherri asking me to consider making a quilt using one of her scores for her upcoming book. She asked me to work with the Layered Curve score which, broadly speaking, had me collect fabric, handcut curves, and reassemble, all without a ruler.  I was really pleased when she chose my quilt for the book. I thought I would walk you through my process today.

 

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The blocks above were my first attempt in following the score.

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Then I layered them and cut more curves.  I quickly decided that I didn’t like the direction that I was heading in.  The quilt was way too busy for my taste and the curves were not elegant enough or balanced.

I decided to start again with a set of solids in a very limited range and, in addition to the score, set another rule for myself. I would cut an inner 1/4 circle type curve in the corner of each section.

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I realized that I didn’t have any photographs of my finished quilt this winter and Sherri’s book was due out in February.  In an attempt to get ready for the blog hop, I actually had to borrow snow shoes to walk over the several feet of snow in our Massachusetts yard to get pictures.  Who knew that the publishing would be delayed?  I could have taken them without storm interference but you had better believe that I am sharing the snowy pictures after that monumental effort!  Plus, it’s more amusing.

Scrambled by Amy Friend

This is my final quilt. I named it Scrambled.  Sherri refers to the 1/4 circle shape I employed as a yolk like shape.  It definitely is that though it wasn’t my intent and the name of the quilt came later.  The curves in this quilt feel much more elegant and calmer.  It’s more “me” if you will than my first attempt.  I allowed the quilt to remain in it’s wavy, non squared up shape which I like as well.

Scrambled by Amy Friend

The quilt top posted here did not follow a score in Sherri’s book but I think it was informed by the skills I learned when working with the Layered Curve score. It gave me the confidence to attempt such a large improv piece. I also stuck to what I knew I liked best from this experience-mostly solids (though I included one print) and again I made rules, or scores, for myself which I explained in that post.

This book is a great springboard to improv piecing. I hope you will visit the other blogs on the hop to see some of the other beautiful quilts that were included in the book and all the test quilts as well.

May 1: STC Craft – Score for Rhythmic Grid Gallery

May 1: Sew Mama Sew – Score for Floating Squares Gallery

May 4: Plaid Portico – Score for Strings Gallery

May 6: During Quiet Time – Test Quilter Amy Friend

May 11: Studio Notes – Test Quilter Penny Gold

May 13: Quiltville – Score for Modern Block Improv Gallery

May 15: Peppermint Pinwheels – Test Quilter Stacey Sharman

May 18: Quirky Quilts – Test Quilter Kim McPeake

May 20: PoppyPrintCreates – Score for Patchwork Doodle Gallery

May 22: The Last Piece – Test Quilter Sara Fielke

May 25: Cauchy Complete – Score for Layered Curves Gallery

May 26Diary of a Quilter – Score for Bias Strip Petals Gallery

May 28: Getting Stitched on the Farm –Score for Improv Round Robin Gallery

May 29: Spoonflower – Score for Showing Up Gallery

May 30Fresh Modern Quilts – Test Quilter Rossie Hutchinson

The publisher, STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books, is offering one copy of this book to a resident of the US or Canada.  Please enter below for your chance to win.

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Bias Strip Curves Workshop

Sherri Lynn Wood

Today, my quilt guild hosted Sherri Lynn Wood, the author of The Improv Handbook for a full day workshop. She taught the Bias Strip Curves score from that book.  Sherri was a pleasure and very attentive and willing to help all of her students.  This is an advanced piecing technique where we attached bias cut strips to a center shape.  It’s also improvisational and was done ruler free!

Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild at Sherri Lynn Wood Workshop

Here is our guild, shortly after lunch.  We had each sewn about 2 pieces and spread them out to talk about the next step, composition.  Sherri’s class was nicely broken up into chunks of direction and discussion.

Sherri Lynn Wood

By the time we left class, almost all of us had taken steps to join some of our pieces together at Sherri’s urging. Some participants had nearly finished quilt tops.

Bias Strip Curves score by Sherri Lynn Wood, piece by Amy Friend

This was the status of my piece at the end of the class.  I am not 100% sure where I am heading next but I think I might applique this shape to a background and then add a few appliqued elements above it, prompted by a suggestion made by Sherri.

The class was a lot of fun and I would recommend it if your guild is considering inviting Sherri!

Visit my blog on May 6th for a chance to win a copy of this book!

 

Puddling Quilt Top

Puddling Detail by Amy Friend

I have been working on an improvisational quilt top on and off for the last few weeks as a fun “free time” project.  I enjoyed making my Improv Fans mini and this started as a take off on that idea. I changed a few things. My palette is all new and this time I added one print. Also, I started with a solid center and then built outward with my fans. Each piece in the fan was cut at a curve this time.

Puddling by Amy Friend

After some thought, I decided to make strips with patchwork bottoms coming from the improv fan portion. Everything was handcut; no rulers or rotary cutters. I just used scissors. I have never done anything improvisational on such a large scale before. It definitely is trickier bigger, in my opinion, but I think it worked out pretty well. I am going to wait to square it up any more until after I quilt. I am still coming up with a plan but I think that there will be some straight lines and some curved ones too.

I am calling it Puddling because it looks like the colors are dripping and forming puddles. Sorry for the lower quality indoor pictures but I don’t want to hang this outside and allow it to stretch any until I quilt it!

 

Seam Rippers are Listed

Seam Rippers

I just wanted to let you know that I just finished listing this batch of hand held, single ended seam rippers in my Etsy shop.  They are hand turned on a lathe by my husband.  The handles are acrylic and polished to a shine.  They are beautiful tools and I know you will love them!  We have included a bunch of new colors and patterns this time, including leopard!  They tend to sell quickly so click on the Etsy link in my sidebar if you are interested!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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

smcover

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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