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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Observing a Dragonfly

Dragonfly by Amy Friend

I was sent some of April Rhode’s newest collection, Observer, and knew immediately that I wanted to use her Indigo Window Sulphur print for dragonfly wings. I think that the fabric evokes the network of veins that make up the wings and the ethereal quality as well. The color suits too. The fabric that I used for the background is a fabulous choice for paper pieced backgrounds because you do not need to worry about directionality and the seam lines just blend.  I had a blast making this.  Now I have the same problem I always have…what do with the block!  Sometimes, I truly believe it is ok to make a block just to make it.  They are mini masterpieces.

This is my own paper pieced block design. I actually designed the block 3 years ago.  It’s available for sale here. Be forewarned, it’s not the easiest block but worth it!

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Caged Quilt

Caged Quilt by Amy Friend

I recently finished my latest large scale paper piecing project, the Caged Quilt.  These blocks are BIG–nearly 3 feet long.  It made for tricky piecing but the paper piecing technique allowed for great precision which is what I was going for.  The finished quilt measures 50″ x 64″ and is made using five different Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements Solids, carefully chosen and placed to create a sense of depth and dimension.

Caged Quilt detail by Amy Friend

I created this design based on something I doodled in my sketchbook months ago.  After playing around with the design, I arrived at this layout and configuration. I think it has a strong Art Deco feel to it with the precise geometric design and bold colors.

Caged Quilting Detail by Amy Friend

I kind of didn’t want to quilt this piece at all because I loved the crisp, clean lines. I wanted to quilt it in a way that didn’t detract from that at all so I went with 1/2″ spaced lines using Aurifil 50 weight thread (their finer thread so it blended more than the 40 weight would have).  I wanted the piecing to be more prominent than the quilting.  I chose a light grey thread.

In this detail shot,  you can see a bit of the backing fabric–it was just perfect for the angularity of the pieced design!  It’s one of Pat Bravo’s Essentials II prints.

Caged by Amy Friend

I am really pleased with the execution of this design.  You just never know for sure until you try it, right?  I am happy that it turned out the way I had hoped.

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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.

 

Baby Fletching

Fletching by Amy Friend

My mom and I made our first collaborative quilt together this summer as a baby shower gift for a friend.  We used my Fletching pattern from Scraps II. We just scaled down the blocks to 8″ square and used a 5 x 5 layout for the perfect 40″ square baby quilt.  The mom has chosen a light mint green for the nursery walls.  I happened to have a few yards of mint green Kona on hand and then between my mom’s stash and my stash, we came up with lots of fun prints in the mint/navy/chartreuse families to coordinate.

Baby Fletching by Amy Friend

We managed to sneak in mushroom, lamb, panda, and ladybug prints and yet the quilt is still not super cutesy so it should grow with the baby boy nicely I think!

I straight line quilted every 1/2″ with mint green Aurifil.  The binding print pulled our color scheme together and my mom had just enough of it so we lucked out!  She hand stitched the binding in her nice, neat stitches.

Fletching by Amy Friend

I hope that baby Sam enjoys his quilt when he enters the world this fall.  We had fun making it.

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Plumb Line Quilt Pattern Available

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My Plumb Line Quilt Pattern is now available as a pdf download here on my website in the Pattern Shop, and on Etsy and Craftsy (links in sidebar).  I hope you enjoy making your own version!  If you do, please share using the hashtag #plumblinequilt.

This quilt is foundation pieced and assumes a general knowledge of foundation piecing. However, it is not complicated piecing and therefore, accessible to someone who is fairly new to paper piecing.  It could look great in prints or even scrappy.  There are so many possibilities!

To read my original post about this quilt, click here.

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Rise and Shine Coffee

Rise and Shine Coffee by Amy Friend

I have to confess, I am not a coffee drinker. I like tea….BUT, I already have a tea cup block block pattern and I wanted to explore the idea of steam.  I decided to do that with a coffee cup block for all you coffee lovers out there!

This pattern is not difficult if you know the basics of paper piecing.  There is only one seam that needs to match in the entire block.  I think  you will find that it goes together pretty quickly and is a satisfying little project!

Rise and Shine Coffee by Amy Friend

I have made it in two versions for far!  I thought that the center print here from the Tapestry collection by Sharon Holland felt very coffee like…I am not sure why, but it really works, doesn’t it?

Rise and Shine Coffee Pattern by Amy Friend

If you are interested in the pattern, you can find it in my pattern shop here on my website or on Etsy and Craftsy (links to all in my sidebar!).

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Quilt it Modern Mini

Quilt It Modern Mini by Amy Friend

I am happy to join in on the Quilt it Modern blog tour sponsored by Riley Blake! I requested a selection of pinks, a couple of shades of off white and a beige from their Cotton Solids collection. I guess I was feeling springy and inspired by peonies at the time!

Quilt it Modern Mini by Amy Friend

I created this mini from a self drafted foundation pattern. As my readers know, I am a paper piecing fanatic. It’s my favorite way to piece anything and everything! I had fun manipulating the pattern sections until I settled on this layout. I quilted in 1/4″ spaced lines with pink Aurifil thread and accentuated that arrowhead shape with a single line of echo quilting.

I haven’t made a mini quilt in awhile primarily because I don’t have a great mini wall, like so many quilters do, to display them. But they are awfully fun to make because you are able to explore a design idea without committing to a full quilt and, let’s face it, it sure makes basting less of a headache!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you will be back!

#ModernQuiltTour

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Coneflower with Butterfly Block

Coneflower with Butterfly by Amy Friend

Coneflowers are starting to bloom here in New England so I was inspired to sew another version of my Coneflower with Butterfly pattern.  It was fun!  I highly recommend looking for large painterfly florals for the butterfly wings.  They work so well.  I used an ombre solid for my flower petals, adding some nice dimension to the flower.

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

Happy 4th of July!

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Plumb Line Quilt

Plumb Line Quilt by Amy Friend

It’s so nice to have a finish!  It’s tricky to find time for my sewing with all the end of the school year/beginning of summer events and the demands of the garden which can be very appealing after a long winter.  I am naming this quilt Plumb Line, a suggestion made by @turquoiseprism on Instagram.  The name describes the shape so well!

The pattern is block based and paper pieced from a template of my own design.

I enjoyed working on this layout and playing with the placement of light and dark solids.  However, the turning point for me came when I removed some of the shapes from my layout to incorporate negative space.  I wasn’t satisfied so I  reintroduced of half, or one side, of the shapes I had just removed from my design.  The half shapes represent the darker sides and then the light side becomes part of the negative space or background.  Once I made that decision while playing around with the design digitally, I was happy and felt that I had hit upon a successful layout!

Plumb Line Quilt Detail by Amy Friend

I like the simplicity of the design and the clean lines.  I decided to make my quilting simple, accordingly.  I used an off white color Aurifil thread that was a little darker than the background but wasn’t too stark against the colorful shapes.  My lines are spaced 1/2″ apart.

Plumb Line Quilt Detail 2 by Amy Friend

The finished quilt measures 60″ x 64″. It is pieced with Art Gallery Pure Elements, quilted with Aurifil 40 weight thread and backed with Cotton + Steel Posy Leaf from the Paper Bandana collection.

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Sprinkles!

Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone with Sprinkles!  by Amy Friend

I designed this pattern for a Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone a couple of years ago.  When I first caught a glimpse of the Sprinkles print from Dana Willard’s Art Gallery Fabrics collection called Boardwalk Delight, I knew I wanted to use it in this block! I paired it with a print from Sharron Holland’s new Tapestry collection for the cone. It was so fun!! I am not sure what I will make with the block. I just know I had to make it!

If you would like to sew one of your own, the pattern is available in my shop! Links in sidebar.

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Teachers’ Gifts

Flip Flop Stash Happy Tote by Amy Friend

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

Scallop Stash Happy Tote by Amy Friend

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

I hope that the teachers like them!

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Letting the Cat out of the Bag!

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

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

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

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

Crazy Eights by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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

Tumble ‘Round Quilt

Tumble 'Round Quilt by Amy Friend from Intentional Piecing

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

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

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

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

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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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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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Facets Quilt

Facets by Amy Friend

I finished my Facets Quilt late last night and photographed it early this morning before the rain started.

This quilt design uses 9 over-sized paper pieced diamonds constructed from templates that I created.  I started this project in a less intentional way than usual.  I had mocked up a block on the computer and liked the idea of using half solids and half prints.  I wanted the printed halves to be very similar in color to the solid halves but to be a slightly lighter shade or include some white in order to hopefully create a little bit of dimension.  It was only after making a few of the darker diamons that I thought that I would like to create a “faded” or pastel version of the block. I ransacked my stash and came up with some prints and solids that worked quite well.  I used a combination of Kona and Art Gallery Pure Elements solids from my stash along with a few older prints, some newer Carolyn Friedlander prints and just introduced AGF collections (including Fleet and Flourish, Essentials II, and Paint and Chalk).

Facets by Amy Friend

The layout was decided upon after playing around with the blocks on my design wall.  I knew I wanted to leave vast areas of negative space but wasn’t sure what fabric color I wanted to use.  My palette was pretty usual to start with but I am continuing with my personal exploration to use a variety of colors in my backgrounds rather than the easy fallbacks of white and grey. I settled on this Zucchini Kona.

Facets by Amy Friend

My quilt is quilted with a 50 weight Aurifil thread that was a close match to the background.  I stitched in diagonal lines and then a crosshatch in the lower left corner.  This is similar to the quilting I did in my last quilt but I liked it so I did it again!

As I was quilting this, I couldn’t help but think that I could never pull off wearing this shade of green.  Isn’t it fun that we can quilt in any colors we like?  Who cares if it doesn’t suit our complexion or a particular wall color. It’s satisfying to create for sake of design.

Facets by Amy Friend

I used this great Cotton + Steel print for the backing. It is just a few shade deeper and coordinated perfectly.

The quilt finished at approximately 54″ x 62.

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Vintage Vacuum Paper Pieced Pattern

Vintage Vacuum Paper Pieced Block by Amy Friend

Four years ago, I made a vintage Hoover vacuum block for a paper pieced sewing bee.  The block was very complex with multiple Y seams and partial seams and tiny pieces so I did not offer it for sale.  I have had a number of requests recently to offer the block as a pattern, and I did love the original, sooooooo…I worked on simplifying it will keeping as much of the detail as possible.  The pattern is a little tricky because it does involve one partial seam and one Y seam.  But it is doable!  And at a larger size, 12″ x 12″, the pieces are reasonably sized.

Vintage Vacuum by Amy Friend

The woman who contacted me most recently said that she was making an alphabet quilt and needed a letter “V” block.  This block would be perfect and even has room for an appliqued V in the left corner.

If you are interested, the block is available in all my pattern shops and the links are in the sidebar.

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