EQ Ambassador–Do you EQ?

EQ asked if I would consider being an EQ Ambassador for 2017 and I was happy to agree!  I purchased EQ7 at the beginning of 2012, five years ago now!  Just a few months prior, I had joined a the Cocorico Bee, a paper pieced bee.  I began designing blocks for the bee using paper and pencil and quickly realized that it would be in my best interest to look into a software program where I could make changes to my designs quickly and easily.  I started by using what I had, Photoshop. My first paper pieced block pattern that I released for sale was my iceskate. I drew it by hand and scanned it.  Then I drew over the lines in Photoshop.  Then came the truly difficult and tedious part, breaking apart the sections of the pattern to print separately.

At the end of that design experience, once again, I found myself looking for something different. Perhaps Photoshop could have worked for me but it is a complicated program and, at the time, I knew very little about how to use it.  I know that I lot of designers use Illustrator but it is costly and, again, a complicated program.  So I decided to try EQ7 hoping that it would be easier for me to learn since it was tailor made for quilting.

Within a couple of months, I released by second pattern, this vintage skier, using EQ7 to draft it.

I taught myself how to use EQ7, just referring to the manual and by Googling questions and looking for answers online.  I find the program fairly intuitive.  Tech support at EQ is excellent too and they were able to help with me a few problems that I encountered.  That said, if you have an opportunity to take an EQ class, I would certainly recommend it because it will help you to jump right in without frustration and to learn those little tricks that I have only discovered over time with use.

I continued to work on my paper pieced design skills by challenging myself to create a garden themed quilt with 16 original block designs.  By the end of this project, I felt that I understood the basics of paper pieced design in EQ pretty well.  My design skills had improved and my ability to use the program had also!

I really like using EQ7 for paper pieced block design. It allows me to upload scanned images that I have sketched, photographs, or other inspirational images, and use them as a reference as I overlay my block divisions.

Then I can color the image using solids, as I did here for my spring chicken, or fabrics that are provided by EQ or those that I choose to scan in and add to my Fabric Library.  I export these images to use as the block diagrams for my patterns.  Then I create the pdf foundation pieces by grouping and numbering my pieces and then choosing to print the foundation pattern.

This, right here, makes EQ worth every penny to me.  My sections are broken apart for me (in the groupings that I chose and numbered) and then I have the ability to move them around on the page prior to saving them as a pdf.

I use EQ7 for nearly all of my designs and honestly think that it is a great product.  I have added the EQ7 class that I will be teaching at QuiltCon to my workshop offerings if you are interested.  I would really love to share the step by step instructions with you to help you create your own designs. Of course, I do not use the program for only pictorial paper pieced blocks but also traditionally pieced quilts and paper pieced quilts. In my gallery of completed quilts, you can see lots of examples of my work, nearly all of which were designed in EQ.

Congratulations to Christa Watson, the other EQ Ambassador for 2017!  Have you seen Christa’s new Craftsy class?  If not, check it out here.

I look forward to sharing all my EQ creations with you this year.


 

 

Mighty Lucky

I just wanted to remind you that a new year of the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club has just begun!  I am starting out the year with my challenge called Transforming Inspiration into Original Designs.  It’s a topic that I am passionate about and hope that you will be too!

The challenge is broken up into three sections so that if time is tight, you can opt to just complete just the first portion of the challenge and still get something from the exercise. We know that it can be hard to keep up with a monthly challenge like this, so hopefully, you will find this to be an improvement in this year’s Mighty Lucky Club.  But, I hope that you will enjoy the challenge so much that you complete it!  Plus, it’s January…you can’t be behind yet!

If you haven’t signed up for this year, it’s not too late. Here is the direct link.

Little Lady Project Bag

My mom’s birthday is right on the heels of Christmas. I asked her if she’d like me to make her something and she asked for a sewing project bag using my Little Lady sewing machine block.  I really had fun picking fabrics that I thought she would enjoy. I particularly love the spool!!

I used a sewing themed fabric from my stash for the body of the bag.  It was the perfect colors and theme.  The inside of the bag is a sewing themed text print.  I love having those perfect fabrics on hand for projects!  Both had been in my stash for a few years.  My favorite little detail on the bag is the lace trim along the top.

If you’d like to try the pattern, it’s available in all of my shops (links in sidebar).

Happy New Year!

Ice Skate Block

I finished another block for my paper pieced Christmas quilt last night.  This is a pattern that I designed quite awhile ago, before I was using EQ7, so it will appear different to those of you who have purchased my more recent patterns.  But it’s just as good and goes together nicely!  I made the original block pretty small, so I enlarged the pieces on my photocopier to make a larger block.  I used a tiny snowflake like print for the ice skate.  It actually has a light blue tinge to it which makes it work nicely with other blocks in the quilt, as well as the Heath background of this block that is blue with green crosshatching on top.  I used a metallic print for the runner, which I love!  The magic of these blocks is in the details. I used a special stitch on my machine to make the eyelet holes on the upper portion of the skate and then stitched laces using embroidery floss. It brings it to life!  I think I am probably done working on this quilt again for this year, due to time not interest. But I think my next step will be to make several tiny snowflake blocks.  I am going for blocks of all different sizes to be pieced together and the snowflakes can be scattered throughout.

If you are looking for this pattern, it’s available in all my shops as a PDF.  Directions are included for the hand stitching and eyelet details.

December Aurifil Designer of the Month: Amanda Herring

The designer of the month for December is Amanda Herring, a fabric designer for Riley Blake.  Her company is The Quilted Fish.


Here is Amanda’s flower block, made using her favorite shade of blue, a pretty turquoise.  You can find the block and an interview with Amanda here.

Don’t forget, by submitting a photo of your block online, you will be entered for a chance to win a box of Aurifil thread!  This is your last chance for this year!

Here is a picture of all the designer blocks for this year.  Don’t they look great together?  I look forward to seeing what Pat Sloan does with them!  They were made by the following fabulous Aurifil designers:

Jan -Heather Valentine   http://thesewingloftblog.com/
Feb – Kari Carr http://www.newleafstitches.com 
Mar – Christa Watson http://christaquilts.com/ 
Apr – Kate Spain http://www.katespain.com/ 
May – Amy Friend http://duringquiettime.com/ 
June – Jacquelynne Steves http://jacquelynnesteves.com/ 
July – Wendy Sheppard https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/ 
Aug – Angela Walters http://www.quiltingismytherapy.com/
Sept – Katarina Roccella   http://likeflowersandbutterflies.com/
Nov – Kim Niedzwiecki http://www.gogokim.com/ 
Host – Pat Sloan http://blog.patsloan.com

You can find the patterns for all the blocks in one convenient spot. Be looking for the 2017 Aurifil Designer Team who will bring you 12 new patterns for next year!

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Knitting Socks Project Bag

Who is making Christmas gifts?  I am!  I just finished this Knitting Socks block from my pattern by that name.  I used a knit-look fabric for the sock.  And I used a script print in two different directions to look like a ball of yarn.  The embroidery details on the needles and down to the ball of yarn are a fun touch.

I added borders to make it large enough for a good size project bag. I fused the front and back to fusible fleece.  The back is heavily quilted in a diagonal crossgrid.  The front is just lightly quilted to secure it.  I hope it is well received!  Now back to work I go!

Christmas Tree Pattern

I have a paper pieced Christmas themed quilt that I have been working on for a few years now.  I thought it was time to make a little more progress on it so I designed this Christmas Tree block!  I chose whimsical fabrics to suit the other blocks I’ve made so far.  I fussy cut some scallops along the edge of the tree skirt and selected a green print that suggests ornaments.

I also wanted to show how it could be so modern by changing fabric selections. Here I used solids only and I played with the pattern in the tree skirt.

There is also a conveniently positioned horizontal seam should you choose to piece in a floor line.  There are lots of fun options!

The pattern is available as a PDF download in my shops!  Direct links are in my sidebar.  Remember, if you are an international customer, please shop in the Pattern Shop here on my website.

Happy holidays!

 

Arboreal Quilt


Arboreal Quilt by Amy Friend

I’m really happy with the way this quilt turned out!  I designed a paper pieced block using my improv paper piecing method.  The inspiration for my block design was the branching of a tree.  When I incorporated the mirror image of the block into the layout and then inverted every other row, I got this great repeating pattern.

Arboreal by Amy Friend

Admittedly, the finished quilt doesn’t scream tree branches, but I love that!  It does have a really cool organic feel to it due to its improvisational design roots.

Arboreal by Amy Friend

I have been wanting to make a quilt that incorporated cinnamon and pink for awhile now.  I love these colors…so adding mustard (another favorite) only made it better!  I colored and recolored the design in EQ7 until I hit upon this combination and it felt right. It certainly feels like fall to me so I am grateful that I was able to photograph it before the leaves were covered with snow.  The solids are a mix of Kona and Bella Solids and the cinnamon is a basic by Cotton + Steel with a tiny scattered dot.

Arboreal Quilting by Amy Friend

The quilting is straight line in 3 shades of Aurifil 50 weight thread. I matched the pink background fabric for the majority of the quilting using #2410 but I also stitched the occasional line in cinnamon and mustard. I love the subtle variation.

If you are intrigued by this design process, I encourage you to order my upcoming book, Improv Paper Piecing: A Modern Approach to Quilt Design. I explain my technique and provide a series of exercises to encourage you to design your own blocks. I think you will enjoy it!

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Seam Rippers Coming Tomorrow!

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Tomorrow morning I will be listing 10 seam rippers, one necklace seam ripper and 4 new “basting buddies” (used to close safety pins when basting quilts).  You can find them in my Etsy shop and they ship in the US only.  They would be the perfect Christmas gift for the quilter who has everything!

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Pat Sloan’s Mega Fun Book Tour

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I am happy to join Pat Sloan in this book tour celebrating the publication of her millionth book (oh wait, I guess it is just number 30 something)!  She is one prolific writer/creator of all things quilting related!  This time, she is sharing basic information about machine and free motion quilting in her latest book titled Teach me to Machine Quilt. I think her book is a great resource for those who are interested in learning how to machine quilt their own quilts at home rather than sending everything out to a long arm quilter.  I agree wholeheartedly with many of her tips from my own experiences gained from quilting on my domestic machine.
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Since Pat is normally the person interviewing others on her podcast, I thought it might be fun to interview her after I read her book!  Here is our conversation.
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Amy:  Pat, first off, you like basting?  I am pretty sure you are the first person that I have ever heard say that.  What is it that you like about the process?
Pat:  Yes I really do like basting!  When I’m basting I think of it as kind of a ‘zen’ moment with my quilt. I find it soothing and relaxing as the way I do this is not stressful. I’m not crawling around on the ground.. I’m standing at a table ..looking out the window and enjoying the moment. Maybe I need a course in ‘zen basting’!
I guess I can see Pat’s point, though, I do crawl around on the floor so perhaps if I used her method I would find the process even more enjoyable. For me though, basting is a great time to consider quilting plans as your quilt is all smoothed out in front of you.

Amy:  I am happy to see that you emphasized the importance of basting. I completely agree.  Do you have a story related to an early incident that taught you the importance of basting?

Pat:  Not a recent one, but one from years past. I didn’t so such a great job of it years ago.. so when I flipped over my quilt there was this BIG fold in the backing.. ack! Being resourceful and not wanting to pick out stitches, I  appliqued the fold down flat.. fixed that problem! BUT I really didn’t want to repeat it.

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Amy:  I noticed that you state that you normally quilt with 10-12 stitches per inch using your walking foot. I have never looked at it that way. I normally use a stitch length of 3.5 -4 mm.  Is that comparable?  How long is your stitch?

Pat:  I like to use a ruler to show you how to check because it’s something that we can see and relate to.  Whatever stitch number on your machine produces that  distance is what I’d try first. Then adjust if it’s not smooth.

Amy:  I am glad that you give permission to tie off and start again if you run out of bobbin thread in the middle of a row.  I often debate that. Sometimes, I think it is worth ripping out and starting again. Do you ever do that?

Pat:  Oh my… really? You will rip out and start again? Honestly it never occurred to me to do that. That’s a lot of extra work Amy for … what?  Who will know? You can thread the tails and embed in the batting like a hand quilter does and it’s all hidden.

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Amy:  You mentioned the importance of keeping the weight of the quilt on the table and off the floor while quilting.  Again, I completely agree and actually had my husband build me a table where the machine is set close to the edge and I have a large span of table space to my left to hold the quilt.  What kind of set up works for you?

Pat:  This is a great set up! Plus I have my table up against the wall so that the quilt can’t fall off the backside. It puddles up against the wall allowing me time to rearrange it.

Amy:  Also, I love your tension trouble shooting section and will refer to it the next time I am in trouble.  I think it’s something that quilters often try to ignore but the fix is actually pretty simple, don’t you agree?

Pat:  In freemotion quilting people tend to stress over tension.. but you are right, it’s not hard. It’s a mind set. Just turn the knob a little and test again!

Thank you for the interview Pat!

Please visit the other stops on Pat’s Mega Fun Book Tour.  They are as follows:

Nov 18

Nov 19

Nov 20

Nov 21

Nov 22

Nov 23

Nov 25

Nov 26 – My Birthday!!!

Nov 28

Nov 29

Nov 30

Pat is offering a great giveaway too!  You have a chance to win one of five copies of her book.  To enter, follow this link. Good luck!

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Paper Pattern Gift Set–Special Offer!

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I do not normally list my paper patterns in my Etsy shop, but rather offer digital downloads. I thought it might be fun to have a limited time offer for holiday gift giving where I made the paper patterns available as gift sets.  I have set up a listing for a Paper Pattern Gift Set.  There is a list of patterns that are available on paper from which to choose.  Simply list three of them in the comments section of your order and they will be shipped to you with free Priority Mail shipping (US only)!  I will include a postcard as a bonus!

Happy holidays!

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Heartland Tour Roundup

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Today marks the end of a successful two week blog tour that I hosted for Pat Bravo to celebrate her Heartland Fabric collection. Here is a quick round up of the projects:

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Week One

We have a plus quilt from Debbie, knit baby pants from Jess, a top and bag from Charise, a Maker’s Tote by Jade, a tumbler quilt top from Amanda, and a modern baby quilt from Kari.

 

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Week Two

We saw Stephanie make a quilted garment, Christopher a mini quilt, Kerry a moose couple, Nichole a hoop trio and a pillow cover from Krista.

Thank you to all the participants, to Pat and to those of you who followed the tour!

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Tell Me A Story Holiday Sewalong–Have you Joined?

I hope you have already ordered your book and fabric so that you can play along with my Tell Me A Story Holiday sewalong for a chance at winning some great prizes! All the details can be found here.  If not, you still have plenty of time!

Today I am sharing my second finished pillow.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

I’ve been sharing all the blocks that went into the pillow on Instagram and here is a round up with all their stories!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Fenwick the elf found the most perfect tree in all the forest for his Christmas tree.  With great pride, he set the star on top!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

This polar bear searched the forest floor for a perfect flower, untouched by frost, to give to his beloved.  But will she come?

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Bobby is staring at that bike, willing it to be under the tree on Christmas morning.  His dreams are not full of sugar plums, but rather, tires!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

The little elf held up his snowman chain and told his class, “Inspiration is everywhere!”

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

I let my Instagram followers make up stories for this one.  What a fun idea that turned out to be!  To read the stories on IG, just look for my photostream @duringquietime.  After that, I took a few names and sent a few direct messages and here are some more stories that they wrote for me:

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

@kidgiddy volunteered to write the story for this block:  The little reindeer were lost in the peppermint forest.  Even Rudolph was a bit concerned…until Vixen came along and reminded him that his nose could help them find their way home.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

@quiltyobsession wrote the story for this block:  Lola couldn’t wait until she was old enough to sing in the elf choir like her big sister Lily.  For now, she is just happy that she gets to ring the bell.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

@ tracybugcreative wrote: Noelle was often seen chatting alone with the little birds.  This one she names “Blue-ish.”  They met daily so Noelle could teach Blue-ish new songs.  Today, everyone was astonished when we heard Noelle singing Jingle Bells and Blue-ish echoed back a lovely refrain.  Everyone but Noelle!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Margaret skated around the frozen pond trying to catch the flakes of snow as they fell.

I hope you have been enjoying this sewalong!  Remember, you can play along and enter to win these great prizes!

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November Aurifil Designer of the Month: Kim Niedzwiecki

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The designer of the month for November is Kim Niedzwiecki, also known as Go Go Kim!

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She has designed this free block called Geese Tracks.  You can find the block and an interview with Kim here.  I love the description of her historical town–makes me want to go there with my love of history!

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

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EQ Mini Giveaway!

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I’m here to tell you about a new product called EQ Mini!  I have been a happy EQ7 user for quite a few years now.  It’s a complicated but useful program that has allowed me to create some really intricate paper pieced patterns.  I highly recommend it but it isn’t for everyone. For some, it is more than they need and too much to comprehend all at once.  I know a number of people who have purchased it and put it away because it felt overwhelming.  EQ Mini is a great way to get your feet wet and get accustomed to designing using a software package.  You might find that it is just right for you or you might choose to upgrade later on.

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Let me tell you a little bit about it.  When you download EQ Mini, you being by choosing your quilt layout from the selections shown above.  You can pick a traditional grid layout or turn it on point; you can work with strips that are either horizontal or vertical.  And it’s super easy to adapt these designs in the next step called “adjust layout”.  You can change the number of rows, block size, and sashing width.

In the next step, “edit borders,” you can decide to add a border and adjust its width.  You can also choose to piece the border in a number of different ways.

And finally, in the last screen, “design quilt,” you pick blocks from a block library and place them in the layout.  Then you can choose solid colors and fabric patterns and color in the blocks with a few simple clicks of your mouse.

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Here is a very basic quilt that I designed by choosing a traditional grid layout with no sashing or borders.  Then I selected a Classically Pieced-Diamond in Square block.  I recolored it using solid colors from the fabric library.

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Depending on the tool that you select from the tool bar in the far right, you can change all the blue to another color in one click.  Or, you can change the color of one individual piece, should you want to create a scrappy design.

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Here’s an example of the log cabin block inserted into the “on point” grid and recolored with a variety of grey and peach fabric prints provided in the fabric library.

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I decided to try adding a border and it was a cinch!

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I think that the row quilt layout is a really great feature.  You can quickly create a quilt like this using the “Point A” selection.  I adjusted the number of points in a row, the height of the row and length of the row.  Then I colored the triangles.

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Next, I changed the coloring of the same layout to try a zig zag.  It was so quick and easy.  And it gives you a really good idea of what your options are for your finished quilt.  It also allows you to print estimated fabric yardage for your design (which I have found to be quite accurate in EQ7).

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EQ Mini is a great tool for those who want to create layouts of various styles with blocks that are provided by the software.  If you need more options than that and want to design your own blocks, you will need EQ7.  But now, there is an EQ for everyone!

If you would like a chance to win a copy of EQ Mini, please visit my IG account today.  You can find me @duringquiettime.  Look for the graphic below in my photostream.  Leave a comment for one entry.  Tag friends in additional comments for more entries!  The giveaway will run from the 14th -17th.  On the evening of the 17th, I will draw one lucky winner’s name!

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If you want to learn more about EQ Mini, visit their website here.  If you want to go ahead and jump in, use the code DQTF16 for a 20% discount on the software.

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Gilmore Girls Sewalong Part 5

Jess's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

If you are wondering what this coffee cup craziness is all about, just refer to earlier posts!

This coffee cup belongs to Rory’s second boyfriend, Jess.  First off, though he cut school and was unmotivated academically, he was super smart and always had a book in his hand.  Now, for the funny part, @stitchmischief reminded me of the episode where Jess went to the Gilmore house for Friday night dinner with a black eye.  Everyone thought Dean did it but Jess wouldn’t say.  He was too embarrassed because a swan had attacked him!  And I happened to have swan fabric!  The black fabric up top reminds me of Jess’s leather jacket.

Taylor's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

This is Taylor Doose’s cup. Taylor runs Doose’s Market, hence the strawberries.  And he also opened Taylor’s Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe next to Lukes (with the big window in the wall inbetween!).  I used sprinkles up at the top and a fun ice cream and candy print.  Taylor is also Town Selectman but cute gavel fabric doesn’t exist!

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Here is where I am at! I am making 3 more cups and then putting this top together!

If you would like to sew along, the Rise and Shine Coffee Cup pattern is available in all my shops (links in sidebar).

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Gilmore Girls Sewalong Part 4!

Mrs. Kim's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

I am continuing to make coffee cups using my Rise and Shine Coffee pattern (available in my Etsy, Craftsy and website shops) to suit the personalities of the main characters in the Gilmore Girls television series.

You know this is Mrs. Kim’s cup, right?  Mrs. Kim is Lane’s mother.  She owns an antique shop in Stars Hollow.  She is very strict and religious, often hosting Bible study in her home.  She also helped Lane’s fiance rewrite a pop song to help him find his potential and demonstrate that he could support Lane.

Lane's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

This is Lane’s coffee cup.  Lane is Mrs. Kim’s daughter and Rory’s best friend. She was raised in a strict household where she hid things like rock CDs and tshirts under her floorboards (see the tiny floorboard strip?).  She joins a band where she is a drummer. That’s how she meets her husband Zack who loves her signature glasses and misses them when she tries contacts.

Christopher's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

This is Christopher’s coffee cup.  Christopher is Rory’s Dad.  He owned an Indian motorcycle (and yes, that’s an actual Indian motorcycle fussy cut that I tracked down!).  After a long period of absence, he appeared at the house with a dictionary for Rory. I highlighted the word “time” in the dictionary print because Lorelai and Christopher always had such bad timing.  Christopher and Lorelai got married spontaneously on a trip to Paris.  The marriage didn’t last.

Miss Patty's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

This is the last cup for today and it has to be Miss Patty’s, right?  Miss Patty runs a dance studio in Stars Hollow.  She is always alluding to former romances and shooting looks at young men.  I used arrows to suggest cupids arrows and romance.  The musical notes are for Miss Patty’s past as a singer.

I’m having lots of fun with this and hoping that you are too! I plan to sew 3 more cups and then make these into a quilt top!

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Kicking Off the Heartland Blog Tour with a Free Pattern

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My friend, Pat Bravo, honored me by asking me to host a blog tour to celebrate her most recent fabric collection, Heartland.  Pat drew her inspiration from the forests of Scandinavia.  The collection includes her signature florals along with owls, and bold geometrics all in soothing shades of rosy taupe, warm yellows and dusty pine greens.

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As my readers know, I am an Art Gallery enthusiast and frequently use their fabrics in my work.  I enjoyed inviting designers to join the blog tour and create beautiful objects with this fabric range.  All of these individuals are very talented and I hope you will spend some time visiting their blogs throughout the next two weeks to see what they have made. We are going to see some beautiful quilts, embroidery, pillows, bags and clothing.

I am including the list of the blog tour dates and participants below.  Please click through and visit them starting with Debbie today!

November 7 Debbie
November 8 Jess and Charise (twice as good today!)
November 9 Jade
November 10 Amanda
November 11 Kari
November 14 Stephanie
November 15 Christopher
November 16 Kerry
November 17 Nichole
November 18 Krista

I will be sure to post a round up of all the projects here at the end of the tour.  Enjoy!  I look forward to seeing what you make with Heartland too!  If you make something, please tag it #PatBravoDesigns, #HeartlandFabrics, and #ArtGalleryFabrics.  Also, tag @PatBravoDesigns because she will want to see what you make with her beautiful fabric.  Surely, it’s the nicest compliment.

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I designed this easy beginner’s quilt drawing inspiration from Pat Bravo’s Trekant Rows fabric design (below).

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I’d like to offer you all this free pattern so you can join in on the blog tour excitement as well!  My sponsor, the Fat Quarter Shop, carries this collection if you want to make the quilt. If you make one, please use the tag #trekantrowsquilt so I can compliment you on a job well done! The free pattern can be downloaded on Craftsy.

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Enjoy the tour!
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Tell Me A Story Holiday Update

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

As promised, I am sharing some of my Tell Me A Story holiday blocks with you!  I hope you are busily making your own so that you can enter to win one of four really great prizes.  You can read all the details about the sewalong in my earlier post.

Here’s my story for this block.  This child is sliding down a New England hill but his speed is increasing and he can’t stop!  And smack, he hits an evergreen tree.  This is an autobiographical story based on my second grade self, the day before school pictures.

 

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Frosty is trying to remain cheerful as he shovels but those snowflakes keep coming!  Always…more…snow…  If you live in a snowy area like I do, you know this feeling!

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

They look so sweet singing their Christmas carols but Jane, on the left, is trying to outshine her younger sister Betty by singing just a little bit louder.  Ahh…sibling rivalry.

Tell Me A Story Holiday by Amy Friend

Please share your blocks and stories on IG using the hashtags #tellmeastoryholiday and #intentionalpiecingbook.  See you there!

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Coffee Time!

Logan's Coffee Cup

A couple of weeks ago, I started sewing blocks using my Rise and Shine Coffee Pattern and choosing my fabrics to describe each character in the Gilmore Girls series.  My goal is to finish this quilt before the new episodes air later this month!

I have invited all of you to join me and sewalong. It’s not a really official sewalong because I am winging it. But I am inviting you to wing it with me and play along. It’s a lot of fun.  At some point, I will decide that I have enough blocks and have covered enough of the characters and then I will figure out how to assemble the quilt top and will share that information too.

A couple of things to keep in mind if you are sewing along…make sure you have nearly a FQ for each block background, especially if you have a directional print.  Also, because the coffee cup tops and steam are white or near white, you will want to choose colored backgrounds with enough contrast to see the white.

This block is for Logan.  He was Rory’s boyfriend toward the end of the series. They worked together at the Yale newspaper (hence the red newspaper print).  He and Rory jumped from a high platform holding umbrellas in the Life and Death Brigade.  And finally, he was always playing cards with his buddies and he called Rory “Ace.”

Emily's Coffee Cup

This is Emily’s block.  She is Rory’s grandmother, Lorelai’s mother.   The sofa suggests her love of interior decorating and reminds us of all those uncomfortable Friday night dinners that took place over cocktails.  The cocktail print also suggests Emily’s love for throwing elaborate catered affairs.  And finally, the cup is topped with a string of pearls suiting Emily’s station.

Dean's Coffee Cup

Dean was Rory’s first boyfriend.  I chose the text print up top that reads “I love your quirks” because Dean must have in order to hang around those Gilmore girls!  Dean worked at Doose’s market where he offered Rory a soda and held it behind his back to make her guess the flavor. Then he kissed her for the first time.  I chose the aqua print because it reminds me of tire tracks and Dean built Rory a car for their anniversary and told her that he loved her.

That star print on the side is going to be the perfect Stars Hollow sashing!!

Feel free to use my fabric combos or come up with your own for your favorite Gilmore Girls memories.

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Tell Me A Story Holiday Sewalong!

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You are invited to join my Tell Me A Story holiday sewalong! First off, credit where credit is due, this sewalong was inspired by my fellow guild member’s blocks.  Colleen made a Christmas themed Tell Me A Story block and the wheels started turning!

Here’s the idea.  Use the Tell Me A Story quilt block pattern found in my book, Intentional Piecing.  This time, we are going to tell holiday stories with our fabric selections!  Mine are very Christmas themed but feel free to simply go with a winter theme if you do not celebrate Christmas.

Tell Me A Story holiday block by Amy Friend

Here’s an example.  This little girl is happily skating around the pond, putting on an amazing performance, for her audience of snowmen that she built earlier that afternoon.  The stories can be simple or you can go crazy and name your characters, etc.  It’s completely up to you!

Because most of us are so busy this time of year, I thought pillows might be an obtainable goal.

Tell Me A Story Holiday Pillow by Amy Friend

For one 18″ finished pillow cover:

Supplies:

Intentional Piecing by Amy Friend

assorted holiday scraps for fussy cuts and borders

1/8 yard fabric for inner corners

1/2 yard fabric for outer corners

18 1/2″ square fusible fleece

5/8 yard fabric for pillow backing

18″ pillow form

optional 16″ invisible zipper

Project Directions:

Make 9 Tell Me A Story blocks found on page 27.

Assemble in a 3 x 3 grid.

Fuse pillow front to fleece and quilt.

Finish pillow following instructions on pages 56 and 57.

Feel free to make more than one pillow…they are addictive! I made these two and have one more in the works!  I will be sharing my blocks on Instagram and here on the blog, as well.  I hope you will join in!

Tell Me A Story Holiday Pillow by Amy Friend

To enter, simply share the Tell Me A Story Holiday announcement that I am sharing on IG today.  No purchase necessary.  For additionally entries, share each block and tell your story!  Always use the hashtag #tellmeastoryholiday because it is from that hashtag that I will draw 4 lucky winner’s names on December 31st.

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Thanks to our sponsors, the winners will win one of the following prizes:

A fat quarter bundle of Snow Day by Maude Asbury from the Fat Quarter Shop.
A fat quarter bundle of awesome striped fabric from Sew Me A Song which just happens to give you a really great start should you want to sew my Crazy Eights quilt (also found in the book).
An assorted color bundle of 16″ invisible zippers from Zipit, perfect for finishing your pillows (because remember, they don’t have to be done to win!).
A box of Pat Sloan’s Perfect Colors thread from Aurifil–12 spools in 50 weight–perfect for piecing or quilting!

I hope you are excited to play along. These blocks are paper pieced but suitable for the beginner.  I walk you step by step through making them in the book, including fabric placement, with color photos.  Enter as many times as you wish with as many blocks and/or finished pictures as you wish. Each tagged picture is an entry.  Most importantly, have so much fun digging through your stash and telling stories!

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Correspondence Tote

Correspondence Tote by Amy Friend

I made this bag as a Quilt Market sample for Tim Holtz’s booth out of his new Correspondence collection.  The blues in the collection just begged to be paired with denim!  I created a simple tote with slightly rounded corners. I really like the shape.  I used the plus block and made it pretty small–3″ finished blocks.  There were A LOT of seams and thick ones at that with the denim!

Correspondence Tote by Amy FriendI made a second version too where I arranged the pluses into a medallion.

Correspondence Tote by Amy Friend

I added a little hand stitching on this one, to accentuate the print that I also used for the handles. I like that touch!

This collection has just started shipping to stores!

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Gilmore Girls Sewalong Continues

Lorelai's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

I am continuing to make coffee cup blocks with intentional fabric choices to represent the characters in the Gilmore Girls television series. Now, my crazy self is trying to finish this before the 4 new episodes premiere next month. I was only going to make blocks for Lorelai, Rory and Luke but have become obsessed and am making them for many, many characters! I invite you to join me!  All you need is a copy of my Rise and Shine Coffee pattern!  See Etsy, Craftsy or Pattern Shop links in side bar.

This is Lorelai’s block.  She runs the Dragonfly Inn.  She loves junk food and movies (popcorn) and can smell the first snowfall of the year and insists on waking Rory to celebrate it.

Jackson's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

Jackson is up next! He is Sookie’s husband and a gardener who supplies the inn with produce. Sookie and Jackson always argue about the quality of produce (garden print in middle, seed print on top, garden text print for lid). The basket print was used because Jackson proposed to Sookie at the Bid a Basket Festival.

Babette's Coffee Cup by Amy Friend

Lorelai and Rory’s quirky neighbor is Babette.  She is a crazy cat lady, over decorates for Halloween, and decorated her bedroom like a tropical jungle.

Yes, it’s true, I am having way too much fun with these. I have made all of these blocks from my stash and now will take a break for a couple of days while you catch up and while my fabric order ships! I had to order some extra prints for some of the other characters as well as some sashing fabric. I will be back early next week with more!

Please share your blocks on Instagram using the hashtag #riseandshinecoffeepattern. I would love to see them!!

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Mighty Lucky–Giveaway!

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Are you familiar with Mighty Lucky? It’s a subscription club that provides you with a monthly challenge focusing on design concepts in the quilt making process to stretch your skills.  Mighty Lucky debuted in 2016 and was a big hit.  It’s back this year with new challenges and new instructors! Look at this group!

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January – Amy Friend

February – Emily Herrick

March – Jacquie Gering

April – Krista Fleckenstein

May – Emma Jean Jansen

June – Kim Eichler-Messmer

July – Dan Rouse

August – Melissa Aveniros

September – Amy Smart

October – Deborah Moebes

November – Camille Roskelley

December – Stephanie Ruyle

I’m thrilled to be one of the instructors, starting the year off in January!  I really look forward to seeing what each challenge brings.  You can share your progress as you move through the challenges using #mightylucky on Instagram and Twitter and posting on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mightluckyquiltingclub/.

The club is quite affordable at only $5 per month (less than the cost of most patterns!) or $50 for a full, one-year membership.  There are also guild memberships available.  You will receive your challenge by logging onto your account after the 1st of each month and downloading the pdf.  Easy!

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  Memberships are now available for 2017 and you can sign up here.

I’m hosting a giveaway for a free one year subscription on Instagram.  Find me there @duringquiettime for a chance to win!

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Gilmore Girls Sewalong

Rory's Coffee by Amy Friend

So, I had this crazy idea…I really love the Gilmore Girls television series. I just rewatched them all on Netflix in anticipation of the new episodes coming in November!  If you have watched the show, you know that coffee is a major theme!  I thought I would use my Rise and Shine Coffee pattern and personalize it for each of the characters in the show.

This is Rory’s cup.  Rory wrote for her school newspapers and wanted to be a journalist so I used a newspaper print and keyboard print.  The blue and white band at the top is for Yale, her college.  You can’t see this in the picture but I used a white on white text print for the top of the cup too!

Sookie's Coffee by Amy Friend

This is Sookie’s cup!  Sookie is the cook at the inn where Lorelai is the manager.  She is an obsessive cook and baker!  I used a great Japanese cooking print and a recipe text print.  The row of pluses at the top symbolize those positive pregnancy tests that took Sookie by surprise!

Luke's Coffee by Amy Friend

Luke owns the diner where all the coffee is served.  So, I made his cup first.  The plaid stands for his uniform of choice, flannel, plaid shirts.  And the coffee and pie are staples at his diner.  Finally, the diner is in what used to be Luke’s father’s hardware store so there is a little bit of woodgrain.

This is such a fun project and I invite you to join me if you are so inclined!  I will post the blocks as I make them on IG and Facebook and here in little batches.

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Shibori Quilt

Shibori by Amy Friend

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

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

Shibori by Amy Friend

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

Shibori by Amy Friend

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

Shibori by Amy Friend

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

The finished quilt measures 48″ x 56″.

Shibori by Amy Friend

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

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