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!



Tell Me A Story Holiday Sewalong!


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:


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.


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!


Sundance Dresden Pillow Blog Hop with the FQS


The Fat Quarter Shop asked if I would sew along with them and make a Sundance Dresden Pillow. I chose to work with Hazel, a fabric collection by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew for Windham. My grandmother, the one who sewed with me and taught me to make apple pie, was named Hazel. So, I was excited to see this fabric collection sporting her name! The name is making a bit of a comeback and I even know one little 5 year old with the name now. It makes me smile. But I digress….

If you would like to make a pillow, The Sundance Dresden Pillow Kit is available for those who want to make one just like the sample made by the Fat Quarter Shop. If you want to follow the pattern but use your own fabrics, like I did, opt for the PDF Pattern. If you need a little extra help, there is even a video!


This pillow is made using the Creative Grids 18 Degree Dresden Plate Ruler.  This was actually the first time I have used a shaped ruler like this…really!  I tend to paper piece.  So it was fun to try something new.  The instructions were clear and the ruler was very easy to use.  Since I was trying new things, I used the blanket stitch on my machine to finish the outer edges. I tend to like a straight stitch but thought I would give it a go!

The center circle of the pillow gives you the perfect opportunity for fussy cutting.  Don’t overlook that!  It makes all the difference!

If you have a minute, check out the other pillows made for the hop, made by:

Sherri of A Quilting Life
Nettie of A Quilt is Nice
Amy of Amy’s Creative Side
Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts
Katie of Good Golly Ginger
Rachel of PS I Quilt
Melissa of Oh How Sweet

A Pillow to Gift Tutorial

A Sweet Life Pillow by Amy Friend

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

The Sweet Life Pillow by Amy Friend

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

Invisible zip

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

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


Sweet As Honey Blog Tour-Day 7


As you all know, I am a big fan of Art Gallery Fabrics and of their designers too. I was happy to join Bonnie Christine when she asked me to be a part of her Blog Tour sharing her new collection, Sweet as Honey. I can’t say enough good things about this collection. I love the colors and the designs. They just speak to so many of my favorite things: bees, flowers, trees, birds. If you are a regular blog reader, you know that I have a thing for Bee Skeps. I even designed a paper pieced pattern last summer of a Bee Skep to include in a garden themed quilt that I was making. So, immediately, I knew that I would love to make my Bee Skep pattern using the Sweet as Honey collection.

Sweet as Honey Pillow by Amy Friend


And here it is!  It was lots of fun to make.  I used micro-stippling for the first time when quilting the background of my paper pieced block. I really like the way that it worked.  I used an envelope closure for this one, unlike my usual no binding and invisible zipper finish, because I wanted the chance to add in a little more of that melon/apricot color.    This project has given me hope that spring and summer are on the way and that flowers will in fact bloom again!

On Friday, another paper pieced project was shared by Sarah from Crinkle Love.

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to seeing what Corey of Little Miss Shabby has made!  You can find her here.

Sweet as Honey is available at the Fat Quarter Shop. I know that because I had to restock my supply after finishing this pillow! I knew I wasn’t done with this collection.


Butterfly Pillow Tutorial

Butterfly Pillow

Today I am sharing a pillow tutorial written for ThermOWeb with fabric courtesy of Blend.  The fabric is Mariposa by Shell Rummel. This pillow will be another Pay It Forward gift to a lovely lady out in New Mexico. The butterfly fabric made me think of the butterfly migration south. I’m hoping she’ll love it!

This project uses my favorite standby ThermOWeb product, fusible fleece, but also two brand new products!


I used StitchNSew EZ Quilt Blocks which are foundation piecing sheets that can be fed through an inkjet or laser printer.

pressing paper

I also used their new Pressing Paper which is shiny on one side. You put that side up against those edges where your fusible fleece or HeatnBond applique might otherwise come into contact with your iron. Then you iron on the non shiny side. This has the potential to make my iron a lot happier.

I hope you will check out the tutorial here.



Catnap Patchwork Pillow

I’ve got to say, it’s nice when you can sew something for your “tween” son and feel like supermom. It doesn’t happen all that often. My son will be turning 11 next month (yikes!) and loves cats. When I told him that Lizzy House had a line of cat fabric coming out he begged me for a pillow. Now, some of the fabrics in the Catnap line are a little more on the feminine side so I had some strict rules. I could only use the fabrics you see in the pillow above! And I needed to fussy cut the cat floating from balloons and make it the centerpiece of the pillow.  I received a FQ bundle of this colorway courtesy of Andover Fabrics last week and spent a few days mulling over the design.

I decided to work on something similar to an X and+ block.  So I drafted a design with a plus in the center so that I could fussy cut the cute cat floating from the balloon. I used the dimensions needed to fussy cut him nicely to figure out the rest of my patchwork piecing. I bordered my plus with little rows of mice, again based on their dimensions because I wanted to fit in their whole height.  They are too cute!  I made sure that they all faced right side up too because my son would notice that for sure.  I used the cat faces to finish out the plus. I deviated from the X and + block on the corners and made quarter square triangles using two more prints from the collection.

Catnap Pillow quilting detail

I decided to quilt the top heavily, just for kicks, with lines spaced every 1/2″ in both directions in a diagonal grid.  As it turns out, my son actually noticed that detail and thought that the quilting was “cool.”

ZipperI finished it off with an invisible zipper from Zipit.

I am happy to report that the pillow was very well received. He loves it! Phew! Now I can use my scraps to make a fussy cut mosaic block for my growing collection (my ulterior motive for making his pillow so promptly!). I also can’t wait to sew with some of the other colors in this collection, like the coral, without any restrictions from my son!

Ballerina Argyle Pillow Tutorial

Ballerina Argyle Pillow Cover

I have to say that these are just the sweetest fabrics ever.  This line is called Arabesque from Anna Griffin and you can purchase it right here. My four year old asked me if I would make her a pillow for Christmas. Be still my heart! Of course! Immediately I settled on these fabrics and have put together a brief tutorial for you today in case you’d like to make one too.

For this project I used fat quarters of Arabesque On Pointe White, Arabesque On Pointe Pink, Arabesque Jete Grey, Arabesque Plie Grey, Arabesque Pirouette White and a quarter yard of Arabesque Jete Pink. I also used Thermoweb HeatnBond Fusible Fleece and an invisible zipper from Zipit.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 1

In order to make the 3 units that are composed of 4 diamonds each, I cut diamonds using my Sizzix 3 1/2″ Diamond die. I used the die cutter to cut the dies from the floral prints. Then I used it to create a pattern piece so that I could accurately fussy cut the ballet slipper prints. I just held the template over the fussy cut and used my rotary cutter. To assemble the diamonds, first sew the top and bottom diamonds from the left and right sides using a 1/4″ seam as seen above.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 2Press seams open.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 3

With right sides together, stitch the center seam, matching the seams in the middle.  Again, press the seams open.  Create three matching units.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 4

I used the upper half of the assembled diamond unit as my pattern piece to cut 2 triangles from each of the florals.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 5

Next, cut three 1″ strips from the pink floral and sew between the units as shown in this image.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 6

Then using more 1″ strips, join these sections together.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 7

Square up to 16 1/2″ square.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow step 8

Add a little chunk of the pink floral to each corner and square up once again to complete your pillow top. Fuse to the Thermoweb HeatnBond Fusible Fleece and quilt as desired. I quilted with straight lines using a variegated grey Aurifil thread.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow Back

Fussy cut a 16 1/2″ square for the back using the Pirouette in White, centering the little dancers (aren’t they sweet?).

Finish off your pillow with an invisible zipper closure and stuff with a 16″ pillow form.

Ballerina Argyle Pillow


And there you go! I hope my little girl loves it!



Eclectic Elements Projects for Market

Ruched Happy Bag

I was really delighted to be asked to sew a couple of small projects for quilt market using Eclectic Elements by Tim Holtz for Coats. Since joining the Sizzix Design Team, I have really fallen for Tim’s style. I am always drawn to his dies.  So, I was pretty excited when I learned that he was coming out with a fabric line. Eclectic Elements debuted last quilt market but it’s back again this time! I made this bag using my Ruched Happy Bag pattern. They wanted to be able to hang it in the display so I added a wristlet strap. I love the way I was able to fussy cut “Times Square” to fit just right! Inside I used a red stripe print from the collection for a little pizzazz.

Tim Holtz Pillow

When thinking about how Tim’s fabric would work in traditional patchwork, the Courthouse Steps block came to mind immediately. This pillow cover uses some teeny tiny piecing but I love the effect.

I’ve been able to find some of the Eclectic Elements line at my local JoAnn and the Fat Quarter Shop has it all in stock.  I love the texty prints–big surprise right?



Take Me to the Sea

take me to the sea
I made this pillow for my sister as a housewarming gift. The pillow project was also intended for a series of fun posts by Moda called Measure Twice, Cut Once featuring the Thermoweb notion, Ruler Tape. You can find the post on Moda’s blog here and the full tutorial is also on the Thermoweb blog today.

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Machine Pieced Clamshell Pillow Tutorial

I teased a bit about this project a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to let you know that my machine pieced clamshell tutorial is now up on the Sizzix blog.  You can find it right here.

This project was the perfect way to highlight the Briar Rose charm pack sent to me by Windham Fabrics. I often have a hard time figuring out how to use precuts but clamshell die and charm packs were made for each other. It was a great fit!

This tutorial will show you how I assembled the pillow top step by step. I hope it makes the idea of machine piecing clamshells seem less daunting. It is certainly slow going but very doable.

I did not quilt the Briar Rose clamshells, instead I just quilted the “background” clamshells. I quilted with a clamshell sort of freemotion quilting design that seemed appropriate. I backed the pillow top with Therm O Web fusible fleece which was great because it kept all my seams in place while I quilted, skipping the basting step. I finished my pillow in my traditional way, with an invisible zipper from Zipit.

I hope you will give it a try!

Oh What Fun! Pillow Tutorial

I’m so glad to hear that many of you like the Oh What Fun! quilt pattern that I designed for BasicGrey.  I thought it could use a little pillow to go with it so I made this one and am talking about it on the BasicGrey blog today.  Click over for all the details.
If you are looking for the Oh What Fun! quilt pattern, it’s available in my Etsy shop.  Remember, you are now able to download the pdf patterns after you pay rather than waiting for an email from me. I know that some of my repeat customers have been looking for their emails with pattern attachments but those days are past!  Now you can just click download and save the pattern to your hard drive.  It’s faster for you and easier for me too!  If you have any trouble though, feel free to email me and I can send you the files.
I’ll be back on Friday to share my new quilt pattern designs for BasicGrey that will be debuting at quilt market. 

Weekend Sewing

This weekend I made two bags for Basic Grey using their new fabric line, PB&J.  PB&J will be available in stores next month.  I know that it will be available at both the Fat Quarter Shop and Christa Quilts.

I used the Bucket Bag Pattern by Michele Patterns. It’s available here. It’s a great pattern, very clear and well written. The resulting bag is quite roomy. I think it would work for a mother carrying wipes and a couple of diapers even.  Do you like my frame of reference here?  This is how my mind still thinks.
I also made another pillow using up the last of my HST WIPs.  These HST units were meant for the same quilt as all the burgundy and cream prints that I showed last week. I separated them out and arranged and rearranged until I settled on this design.  
As usual, I went with another invisible zipper.  The pillow backing and the central design on the pillow are made from Lime Essex.  The rest of the fabrics includes bits of Medium Aqua Linen, shot cotton, Lilly Belle by Bari J. for Art Gallery Fabrics, and a bit of Anna Maria Horner scraps.

I think this one will be a gift for some friends with these colors in their breakfast nook.  I am now free of all WIPs except for my Cocorico and Stash Trad Bee Quilts. I plan to get those finished up soon.

Patchwork Pillow Covers

I don’t like having WIPs around. I tend to complete one project and then move on.  However, last year I did spend a few days madly making dozens of HST units with a quilt design in mind.  I decided against the design but liked all the HSTs so I set them aside.

I decided it was time to do something with them.  I made pillows–my usual fallback!  I like they way they came out though!  I pieced the smaller HST units into blocks and combined them with larger HST on the pillow fronts.  I then backed them in a nice high loft fusible fleece from Thermoweb and quilted. 

The pillow closure is my old standby invisible zipper.  I just love the clean, professional look of them.  They make me smile.

The backs are pieced with large HST units so the pillows are truly reversible.

I wish I could tell you the names of the fabrics in case there are any that you are interested in…but this is what happens when you have WIPS sitting around, you forget!  Most all of the fabrics were from Marmalade Fabrics though, I do remember that. I got the wine colored shot cotton there (but took her last piece), the tone on tone burgandy print, the white linen and the vanilla grunge.  I used scraps of Hometown and Anna Maria Horner prints.  I think that the cream with grey dot is a Moda print.

These pillows look really nice in my office room, but then again, so do the six that I already have in there so I am putting these in my shop.  I hope they will find a home. I have them listed together but if you are interested in just one, send me an email.

Valentine’s Day Crossword Sham Tutorial

This project has been planned for some time now.  The idea first came to me when I saw the crossword fabric from Sew Me A Song.  It’s from Bungle Jungle by Tim and Beck for Moda in grey.  In addition to Sew Me A Song, this print can also be found at Sew Fresh Fabrics, the The Fat Quarter Shop and Marmalade Fabrics in multiple colors (but the grey is my favorite!).  
I wanted to make a Valentine’s Day crossword patchwork.  I made this pillow sham to fit a normal bed sized pillow. What I love about it is that it could be made for a guy and how many Valentine’s Day projects can you say that about?

I started by cutting 19 squares measuring 3 1/2″ from Alexander Henry’s grey crosshatch using my 3 1/2″ square Sizzix die. Then I appliqued the letters needed to spell “Valentine,” “Kiss,” “Heart,” and “Love” using two prints from Basic Grey’s Kissing Booth and Sizzix Lollipop Shadow Alphabet Dies.  I applied the letters using a fusible webbing.

Next I sewed the word “Valentine” together with 1/4″ seams.  I cut all the “filler” pieces that I needed out of the crossword print.  You can use the Sizzix 3 1/2″ strip cutter for many of these.  I cut the narrow red border to 1″ using the 1″ strip cutter. The solid Kona medium grey borders were cut with a 2 1/2″ strip cutter.  I applied fusible fleece to the back of the pillow sham front and quilted around the edge of each letter, in straight lines in the grey section, and in a meandering box pattern in the crossword sections.

I made the back of the pillow a simple envelope closure and bound in the red grunge print.  The finished dimensions of the sham are 27″ x 20″.

If you want to make one, you’ve got a month still till Valentine’s Day!

Tumbler Pillow

We celebrated Christmas with my husband’s side of the family today so I can share this pillow that I made for his younger sister.  She has just recently moved into her own apartment and has a plum colored comforter.  She wanted a bright pillow with some of the purple tones but also orange and aqua to use while lying on her bed or sitting at her desk, where she works from home.
I chose fabrics from my stash in her color choices and cut them with my Sizzix 4″ tumbler die.  The pillow is larger than my usual. It’s a 20″ pillow. I tend to go with 18″ pillows since they can be backed with a fat quarter.  For this pillow, I used seven tumblers across and 5 down.  Once assembled, I squared up the right and left sides. I backed the front panel with fusible fleece and did some simple quilting.  I used an invisible zipper from Zipit to close.

She liked it!   

2 Turtle Doves Pillow Tutorial

I know I have been showing a lot of pillows lately.  I am deciding right now to stop apologizing about it though.  As my wise husband said “A photographer wouldn’t apologize for showing another 8 x 10, it’s a good size canvas!”  He’s right, a pillow is just that.  It’s a good size canvas on which to experiment.  (He’s a keeper, my husband.)  Today’s experiment uses Sizzix dies and printmaking!
The doves are made by printing fabric from embossing folders!
The letters are made with freezer paper stencils, cut with Sizzix dies.  
You’ll want to read all the details!  Check out the full tutorial on the Sizzix blog today.

Buoy oh buoy

I made this pillow for my Dad. One childhood memory that I can recall, is my dad giving me “word lessons” while washing my hair.  One time I remember that we were talking about words that are spelled differently but pronounced the same.  One of his examples was “buoy” and “boy”.  See, Dad was a former English teacher.  It’s funny because I now hear my husband giving the kids science lessons on the properties of water in the tub…he was a science major.  You share what you love I guess!
My Dad also loves the ocean and all things nautical so the two thoughts came together in the design of this pillow.
I drafted my own pattern for the lobster buoys.  I am comfortable with curved piecing when using precut fabric from my die cutter but this is the first time I drafted my own pattern with curves.  Granted, they are gradual curves, but I am pleased with how they came out!    

I used my Sizzix to cut the letters using Tim Holtz’ Alphabet Die.  The pillow is closed with an invisible zipper from Zipit. The narrow border which you can hardly see due to my overstuffed pillow form, and the backing, are Kona Modern prints in the Pacific colorway.   

I’m worried that the nautical colors, which tend to be primary, make the pillow look too juvenille. I hope not. Fingers crossed.

Poinsettia Ring Pillow Cover

As a part of the Holiday USA/UK Sizzix Blog Hop, I made this Poinsettia Ring 16″ Pillow Cover.  
To make this pillow, I used the Sizzix 4″ finished Tumbler Die.  I cut 24 tumbler shapes using all the soft green charms from a charm pack of Aneela Hoey’s Cherry Christmas, Odds and Ends Happy Thoughts in Leaf, Olive Kona, Chartreuse Heath, and Juniper Grunge
I sewed each row together from left to right.  
I ironed the seams to the right in the top row, to the left in the second row, and so forth so that the seams nested together nicely when I sewed the rows together.
I then applied fusible fleece to the wrong side of the pillow front and quilted with straight lines.  I squared up the pillow to measure 16 1/2″ on all sides.
I made a group of seven poinsettias out of wool felt from National Nonwovens using the Sizzix Tattered Poinsettia die by Tim Holtz.  I cut the largest flower on the die from green felt for the leaves and then cut all the flower shapes on the die from the red felt to form the flower.  The flower centers are composed of clusters of french knots made using Aurifil‘s wool thread.  I arranged the poinsettias in a wreath shape and tacked them in place with hand stitches just through the green felt leaves.
I finished off the pillow with an invisible zipper from Zipit.  
If you are looking for more holiday pillow ideas, I have a tutorial for another one that will appear on the Sizzix blog on December 7th.

Here’s the line up for the day, make sure you check them all out to get some truly festive inspiration…

Tammy Tutterow
Paula Pascual
Elina Strömberg
Anna-Karin Evaldsson
Loredana Bucaria
Gretchen Schmidt
Hilary Kanwischer
Jan Hobbins
Jeanne Streiff
Tammy Roberts
Tiffany Johnson

Winterkist Pillow in Fat Quarterly

I was asked to be a part of the designer challenge for the Christmas issue of Fat Quarterly. I was given a small stack of Winterkist by Monica Solorio-Snow and asked to design a pattern with it.
I decided to go with the snowflake theme seen in so many of the prints and designed a snowflake paper pieced block.  I made up six of them and set them on a Charcoal Essex background with a patchwork border and gnome backing.  
If you’d like the pattern, it’s available in the Fat Quarterly Christmas Issue.  Enjoy!
I’ll be back tomorrow with Halloween costume pictures!

A Little Quilt Market Sewing

I had a chance to do a little quilt market sewing for Blend Fabrics and Anna Griffin this fall. These three pillows will be in their booths at market this month! 
All the pillow designs were chosen by the art director at Blend, looking through images of my work.  It’s sort of fun to see how different the same design can look depending on fabric choices.  The pillow above is my Summer Fans design, originally designed for Sizzix with my tutorial here, this time made with Chinoiserie for Anna Griffin, shipping December 2012.  I like the turquoise, orange and lime green colors in this fabric line and think it worked up nicely with this pattern.

This pillow uses my Summerlove Blooms paper pieced pattern but is enlarged to 18″ rather than 16″.  I originally designed this pattern for the Art Gallery Fat Quarter Gang and you can find the tutorial here.  Rather than having a beachy feel, this version belongs on a tropical island.  The fabric here is Palmer by Anna Griffin, now shipping.  I think that the stripes give a great look to the center of the flower.

And finally, this pillow is based on the design of a Zig Zag pillow that I made a couple of years ago. You can see the original design here.  In my original pillow, I chose to alternate between white rows and patterned rows.  The goal of this pillow was to show of the collection as much as possible but it got too busy using a different pattern in each row.  My solution was to use the green tonal print and the grey tonal prints as solids and to break up the busier patterns.  This is a fun collection.

It’s always an honor to get to sew something for quilt market!

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul Pillow Cover Tutorial

I am happy to report that my sewing machine is realigned, repaired and back at home with me.  Because of that, I was able to finish this pillow for my mom. I thought I would share a little tutorial today in case you’d like to give it a try.  My pillow cover is 18″ finished and I used a selection of prints, primarily Penelope and Linen Texture from Sew Me a Song, along with Ivory Essex Linen and Basic Grey Grunge Vanilla from Marmalade Fabrics. I also used the Sizzix Robbing Peter to Pay Paul 4 1/2″ die.

I started out by cutting my blue and white Penelope print into 5″ squares and placing them over the large section of the die.  I then cut smaller strips out of my off whites and placed them over the die to cut the smaller edge pieces.  Remember, you need to cut 4 small pieces for each of the one larger pieces.

I know that some people prefer to sew these curves without any pins. I like to use a couple.  By all means, do what works for you. I will show you what worked for me.  I placed the smaller curved section on top of the large piece, right sides together.  I put one pin in the center at the notch.  

I carefully lined up the edges, tip to tip and lowered my needle.  Note that I am using a 1/4″ presser foot with an edge guide. This is very necessary for sewing these blocks.  I then stitched along slowly, adjusting the fabric as I went until I came to the pin at the center.  I always set my machine to needle down when sewing curves too.
After removing the center pin, I moved it to hold the bottom tips in place and continued sewing.

I then ironed my seam allowance toward the outside of the block.

You can see that best here, from the back.
Following the same procedure, I sewed the bottom curve and then the side curve and then the top.

Here is my completed block.  To make this pillow, I needed 16 of these blocks assembled in rows of four.

When sewing the blocks together, you need to try to match those center curves as best you can.  If you were really careful sewing all your curves earlier, they will match fairly easily.

I then added borders using the Sizzix 2 1/2″ strip cutter die.  I created my quilt sandwich, basted and quilted.  When the quilting was done, I squared up the pillow cover and trimmed it down to 18 1/2″.

I have been practicing my free motion quilting, totally inspired by Angela Walter’s book.  I decided to quilt heavily in the wedges so that the centers would pop a bit more since my pillow is low contrast.

I finished up as I normally do with an invisible zipper closure from Zipit, this time in beige which blends nicely with the Linen Texture I used for the backing.

And here is the pillow in it’s intended spot, my mom’s kitchen bench beside her wood stove.  The blue and white spiderweb quilt is something I made her for Christmas a few years ago.

Seaglass Waves Pillow Cover Tutorial

I know I have been bouncing all over the place, showing Christmas designs and most recently, a fall table runner.  I like to work when inspiration strikes, even if it isn’t seasonal!  But, I sneaked in one last summer project while it is actually still summer.  I am calling this pillow Seaglass Waves.  It’s made using the Sizzix Bottle Die and the free tutorial is available on the Sizzix blog today.

Many thanks to Peg at Sew Fresh Fabrics who selected the seaglass shades of Kona for me.  They were perfect for what I had pictured.  I would love to make a larger quilt like this someday.

Seaglass Waves

I’m sneaking in one more summertime project before autumn arrives here in New England. I’m calling this pillow Seaglass Waves.  It was so fun to create and would look smashing on a wicker sofa on a porch by the sea!  This tutorial will take you through the steps to make a single 18″ quilted pillow cover but you could follow the same steps and simply go bigger to create a table runner or quilt.

To start, I used the Sizzix Bigz L Clear Die Bottle, and a selection of Kona Cottons:  Ice Frappe, Aqua, Azure, Bahama Blue, Peacock, and Surf.  I asked Peg from Sew Fresh Fabrics to send me a selection of seaglass colors.

I cut a 1/4 yard of each fabric selection into pieces 3 1/2″ high by 7″ wide with my rotary cutter.  Precutting is quick because it doesn’t need to be precise, and worth it because it minimizes waste.  I then cut the bottle shapes with the die and my Big Shot.

I first sewed the columns together in a repeating pattern of Ice Frappe, Aqua, Azure, Bahama Blue, Peacock, and Surf….returning to Ice Frappe after Surf.  I made three columns, each comprised of a dozen bottles.

I found that the best way to attach one bottle to the next, was to pin only at the beginning and the end, making sure that the ends were flush.

Using my quarter inch presser foot, I fed the fabric under the machine and adjusted as I went to make sure that the outer edges of the fabric matched up.  The curves are subtle so it was surprisingly easy to sew them together with great results.

Here are my three columns completed and ready to be attached to eachother.  I ironed the seams in the center panel in the opposite direction as the seams in the outer columns so that they would nest together when I sewed the columns together.

Matching all the seams with pins at each intersection, I stitched the columns together with a 1/4″ seam.

This is a view from the back so you can see how nicely the seam nest.

I ironned my top nice and flat and trimmed it to a perfect 18″ square.  Then I made a quilt sandwich and quilted with organic, wavy lines in a medium aqua thread.  I cut an 18″ square of High Seas Blue from Seven Seas-Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics for the backing and grabbed a white invisible zipper.

That’s all you need to finish up your pillow!  Here is a little close up shot of those pretty seaglass colors and the wavy quilting.  Hope you had a great summer!


Kona Cotton Solids from Robert Kaufman

High Seas Blue from Seven Seas-Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics

Invisible Zipper from Zipit

Bottle Die

Summerlove Blooms Tutorial

I’m excited to share my first project as a member of the Art Gallery Fabrics Fat Quarter Gang!  I designed this paper pieced pillow cover pattern that I am calling Summerlove Blooms.

If you are new to paper piecing, this might be a great place for you to start.  My tutorial will take you through the paper piecing step by step with photographs.  The pattern is available as a pdf download on the Art Gallery Fabrics Blog.  

If you’d like to win your own set of the same eight fat quarters I used to make this project, you can enter the giveaway here and I will draw a winner on Friday, August 3.

My rules:
Just leave a comment here on my blog

Art Gallery Fabrics rules:
Subscribe to the Art Gallery Fabrics blog
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 Please post pictures of your completed projects on the Art Gallery Fabrics Flickr group–there are random giveaways!

Summer Fans Pillow Tutorial

Good afternoon!  I am sharing a tutorial for this Summer Fans pillow cover on the Sizzix blog today.  Please pop over and take a look.