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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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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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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Tell Me A Story Holiday Sewalong!

TellMeAStoryHoliday

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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Special Ingredients

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

Owl Medallion by Amy Friend

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

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

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

Owl Medallion by Amy Friend

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

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

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

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Cuckoo!

Cuckoo Block by Amy Friend

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

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

Detail by Amy Friend

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

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

 

Teachers’ Gifts

Flip Flop Stash Happy Tote by Amy Friend

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

Scallop Stash Happy Tote by Amy Friend

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

I hope that the teachers like them!

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Letting the Cat out of the Bag!

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

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

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

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

Crazy Eights by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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

Tumble ‘Round Quilt

Tumble 'Round Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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

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

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

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Transatlantic Quilt

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

timholtz

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

Airmail bag by Amy Friend

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

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

Transatlantic Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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Tell Me A Story-2

Tell Me A Story 2 by Amy Friend

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

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

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


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

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Ramp It Up Quilt

Ramp It Up by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

Ombre Vibes Mini by Amy Friend

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

Ramp It Up by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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

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

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My Tribe Quilt

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

My Tribe Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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

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Circuitry Quilt

Selvages, Amy Friend

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

Circuitry Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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

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

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Join Me on American Patchwork and Quilting

American Patchwork Quilting Pocast episode 301 Amy Friend

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

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

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

Crazy Eights by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

More about the book tomorrow on the show!

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Stash Happy Tote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Liberty Dress

Liberty Dress by Amy Friend, pattern in Intentional Piecing

My friend, Laura, said that she’d love to see the Dress paper pieced block from my book, Intentional Piecing, made in Liberty.  I decided that I wanted to see that too!  I just finished it up this morning.  I don’t have a large stash of Liberty–just a few fat sixteenths.  If you cut carefully, a fat sixteenth is more than adequate for this block. Give it a try!

Dress by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

This is the original block from the book.  The dress pattern was designed to show how effectively one could use a border print. I think it’s really special this way too.  I love the way the flowers are dense at the hem and then scattered through the bodice. I used a really pretty Kokka double gauze and I see that it is still available at Sew Me A Song if you would like to make a similar block!

Unfortunately, even though all the patterns were checked again and again, we let a mistake slip by. I noticed that the order of 2 sections in this pattern were incorrect.  Fortunately, it’s just a labeling problem and will only confuse the user but not prohibit them from sewing the pattern.  The pattern pieces should be labeled as they are in the diagram below.

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My apologies!

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Tell Me A Story Quilt–Prizes!

Tell Me A Story blocks by Amy Friend

Initially, I hadn’t planned on sewing along and making more Tell Me A Story blocks…but I couldn’t resist!  I have made this group of 5 so far and have lots of fabric waiting in the wings, ready to become part of the story.  For this version, I am using a black crosshatch for the inner triangles in each block and then various low volume fabrics for the outer triangles.  The fussy cuts and borders are paired to tell a story.

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As I explained in my previous blog post, I am inviting everyone to play along and make and share Tell Me A Story blocks on Instagram.  The first entry is simple and no purchase required–just repost my Instragram picture showing the image above to spread the word about the stitched story telling event.  You will find it in my IG stream.  Use the hashtags #intentionalpiecingbook and #TellMeAStoryQuilt.  Every time you make a block and share it, using those hashtags, you are entered again!  The pattern is found in my new book, Intentional Piecing.  The book is currently shipping from my Etsy shop and will be shipped by Amazon and Lucky Spool very soon.

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2 lucky winners will receive this bundle, provided by Sew Me A Song. The fat sixteenths bundle was selected for this project and is full of fussy cutting prints. Sew Me A Song just listed the bundle for sale, as well. If you buy the bundle and then happen to win, your purchase price will be refunded. The drawing will be held on June 1.

I can’t wait to see your blocks and hear your stories!

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Tell Me A Story; A Stitched Storytelling Event

Tell Me A Story Quilt by Amy Friend

I am so happy to share my Tell Me A Story Quilt from my new book, Intentional Piecing.  In the book, I call this quilt a process quilt.  The idea is to enjoy every minute of making it!  I have lots of quirky Japanese prints in my stash and designed this quilt to use fussy cut motifs from prints like that.  The fussy cut centers are framed by borders so that they are actually octagonal, which is kind of fun and unusual.  Each block is meant to tell a story.

Tell Me A Story Quilt by Amy Friend

The stories can be simple or convoluted.  It’s up to you!  If you look at some of the details in this image, you will see what I mean.  There is a hot air balloon framed with birds flying in the sky.  There is a stack of tea bowls framed with lace; I picture a lace tablecloth under the tea set.  The little mice in their underground burrows are framed with woodlands-y tree rings.  The mermaid is surrounded by shells.  It’s really such a fun project.

Tell Me A Story Quilt by Amy Friend

When I photographed the quilt for the book, I wanted to continue the story telling theme. I did a little photoshoot at an alpaca farm in town.  As you know, alpaca fur is used for yarn.  So I imagined the alpaca viewing the quilt and saying, “I see you know a lot about quilting. I know more about yarn myself.”  Silly and fun, that’s the name of the game!

I would like to invite you to dig into your stash and pull out some of those prized “fussy-cut-able” prints and tell a story of your own.

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Please share this image on your blog or on Instagram to spread the word.  For each block you make and share on Instagram (or each time you share the image above) using the hashtags #intentionalpiecingbook and #TellMeAStoryQuilt, you will be entered into a drawing.  On June 1st, I will draw a random winner from the IG hashtag #TellMeAStoryQuilt to win a bundle of fabrics from SewMeASong that were selected just for this project so that you can make more blocks and complete your quilt top!

I cannot wait to see your blocks and hear your stories! I will repost and share them on IG and here on my blog too.

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Intentional Piecing

Intentional Piecing by Amy Friend

I’ve been given the OK to share anything and everything from my book which has just started to make its way out into the world!  I am now shipping from my Etsy shop for those who would like a signed copy.  And I shared my book quilts out in public for the first time this week while visiting the Squanicook Colonial Quilt Guild.  I am looking forward to sharing them again tomorrow in Maine at the Coastal Quilters meeting.  After months of secret, I want to share everything all at once but I am going to try really hard to pace myself!  I plan to share a project or so each week for the next several weeks–the book is packed with projects!  It includes 7 quilts, a tote bag with 10 unique and interchangeable block designs for the outer pocket, two clutches, an applique sweater, pillow, and pin tray.


Selvage blocks by Amy FriendYou might be wondering what I mean by intentional piecing.  It’s a conscious, deliberate process of fabric selection to suit a pattern design (or vice versa) or aesthetic.  In this book, I designed each project to show one of the numerous ways that different types of fabrics can be used to their best advantage–from fussy cut motifs, to border prints, stripes, gradients, textured solids and even selvages.  I also ask you to consider adapting your pattern for the perfect fussy cut and show you how!  I absolutely love selecting fabrics for my projects and considering the best pattern to show them off.  I hope that love shines through in this book and infects you too!

Magnetic Pin Tray by Amy Friend

This magnetic pin tray is the first project in the book. It provides a comfortable way to ease into fussy cutting using clear plastic templates to isolate and cut motifs from some of your favorite sewing themed fabrics.  I know you have them….probably in excess, right?  It’s time to fussy cut some of those buttons and sewing machines and thimbles and make a cute little tray for your pins.  This is a easy project to whip up and it makes a great little gift for sewing friends.

Next week, I will introduce the next project and sew along!  I hope you will join in and play.  All the details are coming soon!

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Intentional Piecing, My Book!

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The day has finally come when I can share my big secret!  Goodness,  it’s hard to not talk about something that has been consuming all your time, thoughts and energy!  I am thrilled to announce that my book, Intentional Piecing, will be published by Lucky Spool in Spring 2016.  I am so proud to be a part of Lucky Spool.  With Lucky Spool, I’ve had the privilege of really making this “my” book.  I think you will find that the book reflects me and my work from the title, through to the projects, fabric selections and photography.  I love that I can present my work to you in a way that makes me feel so comfortable.  In fact, I was able to photograph all my projects.  How cool is that?  I hope that you will get a sense for my New England home when you see the photos that were all shot locally.

My book is focused on fussy cutting, which really shouldn’t be a huge surprise to my blog readers!  I love to cut my fabric just so and place it in a way that really makes a design effective.  This is what I mean by intentional piecing.  The book includes more than fussy cutting motifs, the book explores directional prints, stripes, gradients and even selvages!

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Of course, I had to include some new pictorial paper pieced blocks and am really thrilled with these 10 new designs.  But there is so much more inside the book!  I can’t wait till I can show you everything else!

In the meantime, if you want to preorder, Intentional Piecing is available on Amazon (that kind of feels surreal to write!).

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