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Sewing Patterns, Free Sewing Tutorials, and Recycled Military Uniform Designs

Posts by Jen Eskridge

Inverted Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes

Inverted Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes

on Sep 20, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, quilting, tutorial | 7 comments

Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes pattern is a pretty popular free tutorial here on my blog. I decided to create another quilt using the same pattern, but mixing up the background and foreground fabric placement. I’m calling this one the Inverted Disappearing 9-Patch. I’ll show you how easy it is to make this design appear completely different. Check this out! This is the exact same quilt pattern: Scroll up. Seriously, the two above quilts look completely different! Constructing the Quilt In both quilts, I cut my own pile of 10″ fabric squares. These precuts are affectionately known as a Layer Cake, though I believe Moda Fabrics does have the trademark on the actual name. I’ll show you how the inverted design works. In the original pattern the red/blue (foreground) colors were placed in the corners and center. For the alternate version, the foreground colors are placed to make a “plus.” You can see in the photos below, I’ve already done the slashing step. If you are diggin the military uniform in this quilt, you may love the Deploy that Fabric book. It features 23 different patterns to use military uniforms. In the book, there’s a guide as to how to break down a uniform to yield flat workable pieces which will incorporate into your next project or pattern. (***Note: This 9-Patch Quilt is NOT in the book. It is a free tutorial from ReannaLily Designs.) Ok, back to the quilt, following the original Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes pattern, I simply rotated the upper right and lower left blocks. You’ll notice two little squares meet at the center, that is how you can tell the block layouts are identical. From here, I arranged the HUGE quarter blocks per the original diagram. To actually assemble the quilt I used a serger. As I’ve mentioned before: You can go fast! The serger stitches must faster than my home sewing machine. You don’t need to wind a bobbin. Ever. The seams are wrapped neatly together making them easy to press. This quilt doesn’t require pins or detailed piece-work. Quilting the Patriotic Quilt For many of the red, white, and blue quilts, I like to quilt them quickly featuring a meandering star design....

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Sew With Scraps

Sew With Scraps

on Sep 18, 2017 in Blog, fabric stash, quilt, quilting | 0 comments

September is National Sewing Month! You don’t have to tell me twice. Every month is National Sewing Month at my house. Today, I have the honor of sharing an article I authored for FaveQuilts.com and AllFreeSewing.com. I make quite a few quilts from fabric scraps. “Every time I purchase a fantastic piece of fabric, I want to use it in at least two quilts. For some reason that seems to justify the purchase, in my mind. Once I shifted to that mindset, I started trying to use all my fabrics in at least two quilts. This meant saving and storing fabric scraps and finding useful quilt ideas to incorporate scraps.” Read the article here. In the article I’ll cover tips and tricks that I use to sort scraps and plan projects. Take your stash from a blurry mess, here:   To an organized, tidy, and useable collection of fabrics. Read the article here. Learn how to quickly decided which scraps are suitable for your next project by working with templates. In the scrap quilting article, see how easy it is to audition fabrics with homemade paper templates. The scrap quilting article will also tackle design concepts to create interesting quilts. Looking at every single fabric in your scrap collection may be overwhelming, especially if you associate that-piece-of-fabric-with-this-one-planned/finished-quilt. Break out of that mindset to use color and value techniques to make your next project. Read the article here. Dive into your fabric scraps and make your next quilt! The results will be fantastic. The article also features links to popular scrap-quilting projects hosted here at ReannaLily Designs. Tell a...

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Celebrate National Sew A Jelly Roll Day

Celebrate National Sew A Jelly Roll Day

on Sep 16, 2017 in Blog, Featured, quilt, quilting, tutorial | 0 comments

What is a jelly roll? It goes by many names, but the trademarked name, Jelly Roll, is by Moda fabrics is a 40-42 piece fabric bundle of 2-1/2″ strips of fabric. The fabric is cut “straight off the bolt” so each piece is as wide as the width of fabric, 42″-44″. Pick up your own Jelly Roll in a variety of different colors and styles, here. There are many tutorials featuring the precut pieces and today I wanted to share with you a few things created here in the studio over the years. Celebrate National Sew a Jelly Roll Day with these quilt ideas. Batik Braid Quilt This is by-far the most popular tutorial on my blog, to date. It may be one of the older how-to’s posted, but it is still a great one. See how easy it is to create a braided look with your fabric using this Batik Braid tutorial. The Infamous 1600 Quilt This is the first quilt style that had me busting open my purchased jelly roll fabrics. It is a simple pattern and free tutorial (from the internet, not from me) where you stitch the short ends of the 2-1/2″ cut pieces together to form a strip, roughly 1600″ long. Yes, 1600″. From there you fold the strip, sew a seam, fold again, sew a seam, fold again, etc. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the Jelly Roll Race on this sewing tutorial.Adding Military Fabric to 1600″ Quilts The Jelly Roll Race or 1600″ quilt (linked above) is addicting. I did notice, though, that I could incorporate my own fabrics to create a more interesting look when blended with precut 2-1/2″ strips. I ended up making quilts and adding fabrics for each branch of the service, for a special project. I had help on this big collection. Thanks to my weekend sewing team! Mixing military uniform fabrics and bright quilter’s cottons is the foundation for my book, Deploy That Fabric. Check it out. Cut Your Own Roll Once I started cutting and adding in military uniforms, I realized, I could easily cut my own jelly roll. Lord knows, I have a small bit of fabric to work with. I’m guessing you...

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Disappearing 4-Patch With Layer Cakes

Disappearing 4-Patch With Layer Cakes

on Sep 4, 2017 in Blog, Featured, tutorial | 4 comments

Make a Disappearing 4-Patch Queen-Sized Quilt in a weekend! Learn the tricks to use precut 10″ squares (Layer Cakes), ruler stacking, and a serger to make quick work of this bright, large quilt. When this baby is finished and bound it measures 76″ x 95″. Yes, it is that big. You’ve probably seen the disappearing 4-patch design in many places. The most popular tutorial I’ve found is from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Man, I love their videos. But here’s the thing, I’m not going to use 5″ squares. I want to go BIG!!!  You may know I’ve been on a super-size-it kick with Giant Flying Geese and HUGE 9-Patch quilts. I’ve adapted the design to bring you this how-to tutorial to feature 10″ squares. Let’s dive in! Supplies 2 stacks of 40 pc 10″ precut squares (One print, one solids) 2/3 yard binding 24″ rotary cutting ruler Smaller back-up ruler Construction To create this quilt, the first thing you’ll need to do is create a simple 4-patch quilt block. Open both layer cake packs. We’ll work with 40 prints and 40 solids. This means you need to remove two squares, since these bundles are actually sold in 42 piece collections. (Check your package, though. Different manufacturers will include different number of squares!) Start by joining pairs: one print + one solid. You can certainly tackle this step with a sewing machine and 1/4″ presser foot. I decided to stitch faster using my 21 year old Juki serger. Using the Serger Why using the serger works for this project: You can go fast! The serger stitches must faster than my home sewing machine. You don’t need to wind a bobbin. Ever. The seams are wrapped neatly together making them easy to press. This quilt doesn’t require pins or detailed piece-work. Having said that, once you commit to using the serger, you’ll need to be more mindful when joining pieces. Turns out ripping out 4 threads per seam is a really pain in the booty. It’ll be ok. Ripping is more tedious, but definitely not hard to remove that serger seam. The speed of assembly outweighs the couple seams I had to un-sew and re-sew. Keep sewing! Chain piece those babies...

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Retirement Quilts- Maj Scott, USAF

Retirement Quilts- Maj Scott, USAF

on Aug 16, 2017 in Blog, Featured | 4 comments

Recently, Maj Scott contacted me regarding her upcoming retirement from the USAF. She had a grand idea to combine all types of her military uniforms, from 20+ years of service, with her daughter’s blankets to create two quilts. The quilts will then be presented to her daughter’s at her retirement ceremony. Pretty neat, right? She brought by a collection of fuzzy, soft, snuggly blankets that the girls’ had used as babies. A few of the blankets were embroidered with each daughter’s name. Awe. She also dropped off a wonderful collection of military uniforms, which she no longer needed. I carefully cut the blankets and uniforms into 10″ squares. Though I had a grand plan for a more complicated pattern, once I dove into the design and stitching portion of making these quilts, it was clear that the snuggly, fuzzy, blankets were too stretchy and shifty to cut precise smaller shapes. That’ll be ok. Each new quilt is 7 squares by 9 squares. Yes, roughly 70″ x 90″ for each little daughter. See those little bibs? She had a couple saved,and I was able to machine stitch them to darker jungle camo prints for high contrast. (my logo watermark isn’t on the quilt, just the picture) In all the cases where a pocket was saved, I made sure that the pocket could be used. Not only is this quilt a serious memory, tear-jerking overload, but she can also hide messages in the pockets to each girl. Awe. After removing the name, rank and branch of service tapes, I restitched them to the center of uniform blocks.  See the eyelet fabric at the top-center of the photo below? That fabric was part of another actual small quilt gifted to the girls by their grandmother. I was able carefully unstitch that piece to incorporate two pieces of the eyelet fabric in each quilt. Once the quilts were loaded onto the longarm, the quilted up very quickly. Of course, this will be the project where I look back wishing I had one of those “glide” or “bowl” presser feet for my machine. I hit a few heavy seams and nicked the tip of my left index finger. (Phew, no blood on the quilt!!!!)...

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Upcoming Classes at Sew Special SA Quilt Shop

Upcoming Classes at Sew Special SA Quilt Shop

on Aug 9, 2017 in Blog, classes, Featured | 0 comments

I’m happy to report three upcoming classes at Sew Special Quilt Shop in San Antonio. Three classes are coming to the third Friday of August, September, and October. Reserve your spot today! August: Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes This super-beginner 1/2 day workshop will teach you how to take a layer cake and 2-1/3 yards of fabric and make it into a double/queen size quilt. Date:  Aug 18th from 10:00-1:00 Cost: $50 Visit our website for additional information.  Please call 210-698-6076 to register with payment. . September: Random Circles Workshop This baby quilt workshop is designed to teach sewing with curves.  You will create circles in class to applique on to background fabric. DATE: Sept. 15 from 10:00-1:00 COST: $50 Visit our website for additional information.  Please call 210-698-6076 to register with payment. . October: Giant Flying Geese A super sized change-up to the No-Waste Flying Geese method.  This workshop transforms a LAYER CAKE and 3-1/3 yard of fabric into a double/queen size quilt. Date: Oct. 20 10:00-1:00 Cost: $50 Visit our website for additional information. Please call 210-698-6076 to register with payment. . Will I see you in class this fall? Tell a...

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Colorado Avalanche Quilt

Colorado Avalanche Quilt

on Jul 31, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery | 1 comment

Every quilt I finish for a customer poses its own unique challenges. This traditional Lone Star Quilt (90″ x 90″) was no different, until we added in the Colorado Avalanche logo* – then the magic happened. My quilt customer brought me this printed image, which I’m certain is owned by the NHL. She wanted me to interpret it onto a quilt, as her son is a HUGE Avalanche fan. I like to draw, so I figured, “Sure, lets quilt the logo!” (or a version of the logo) The first step was developing some kind of template to trace in chalk to allow a total of four logos to appear identical. The design/style notes in green sharpie may not make much sense in the photo, but paired with a traditional quilting fill, the logo will blend right in! I added windy-swirls and snowballs into the large blank spaces of the quilt. The plan is to add them around the logo, as well. Step one was to loosely quilt out the “A” design in navy blue contrasting thread. Then, I needed to add more wind and snowballs around the design to make the “A” stand out. Of course, the bobbin thread coordinates with the top thread for this super-custom design. As luck would have it, I was able to make seven bobbins in maroon before this happened: On the upside, the blue “A” would have blue bobbin thread, so in theory, I had enough. (cough cough cough) My sweet customer provided wide muslin for the back. At first I was so nervous because this meant you could see every single stitch! As time went on and the areas were filled, the muslin turned out really cool. The logo quilt truly was a fantastic challenge! I love how the quilt turned out and thankfully, so did my customer. Thank you for the opportunity to finish your quilts. If you have a quilt that needs finishing, read more at ReannaLilyQuilts.com. *The “A” logo is most certainly owned by the NHL. I don’t claim to own it in any fashion. I simply had a customer who wanted an interpretation of the design on her quilt. Tell a...

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Customer Quilt Collection

Customer Quilt Collection

on Jul 18, 2017 in Blog, commission, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery | 1 comment

Phew, customer quilts are fantastic! I love that each quilt is so different and poses different quilting challenges & ideas. Thankfully, the work flow has been steady here at ReannaLily Quilts. I thought I’d show you a collection of customer quilts where I’ve finished them with longarm quilting designs. Who doesn’t love a little graffiti quilting in the negative space? The customer asked for this specifically. The quilt was impeccably pieced, too. The next quilt is created from a Moda Layer Cake. The quilt is finished with a free-motion flowery design. A gold thread on the back really complimented the design but wasn’t too stark (high-contrast) to look crazy on the deep purple backing fabric. The next quilt is a quick, large rectangle design. I decided to quilt hooked swirls from edge to edge (e2e) on this one. Check out that wild purple Glide thread! The following quilt is a printed panel that has been cut, framed, and pieced. I finished this design with flowers stitched in green (Seafoam) Glide. Oh, what next? Yes! This next quilt is technically not a quilt; no batting. It is an insanely heavy collection of Guatemalan Mixed Huipile woven shirts. I’m not sure I’m using the word 100% accurately. Just know this collection of woven shirts is easily one of the most colorful things I’ve ever seen! Parts were thick, parts were layered. The customer and I agreed that we didn’t need batting or traditional quilting. Instead, I secured the woven top to the 108″ wide backing with tack stitches, roughly every 6″-8″. The navy tack stitches really fade into the design. (third picture) Last one to share for right now: The giant star. This star is beautiful and I believe it is one of the customer’s first-ever quilts. Yes, first ever and the center point looks fantastic! (Looks like I don’t have a picture of the center, but trust me, FANTASTIC.) Thank you so much for trusting me with  your beautiful quilts! If you need to have your quilt finished, contact me at ReannaLilyQuilts.com or reannalilydesigns@gmail.com. Tell a...

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Blue Flying Geese: Queen-Size Quilt

Blue Flying Geese: Queen-Size Quilt

on Jul 9, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, tutorial | 1 comment

It seems I’m currently obsessed with Giant Flying Geese. The newest queen-size quilt in the Giant Flying Geese collection is created from every blue shade in my own fabric stash. Speaking of fabric stash: Smaller scraps (bigger than 2″ and too small to properly fold to store) sorted by color in ziploc bags. The ziplocs are then stored in a plastic tub. Larger scraps  (big enough to fold, but not a fat quarter OR a big piece that has a weird shape cut out of a portion of it) folded, sorted by color in a plastic tub. Fat Quarters (only the square ones, not actual 1/4 yard cuts) sorted by color in two fabric bins in the cubbies. Ok, so now that we’ve gone through the scraps it was time to cut! 56 squares measuring 8-7/8″ x 8-7/8″  NOTE: I created an 8-7/8″ x 8-7/8″ square template from paper to lay over each scrap to determine if it was big enough. Huge time saver! 14 squares measuring 17-1/4″  x 17-1/4″ Since this was scrappy, I knew I wanted scrappy binding. Each time I had a bit extra fabric, I’d cut off a 2-1/4″ x width to use later at the end of the project. I also stored all those in a ziploc bag because I didn’t want to lose them before the quilt was finished. Using the No-Waste Flying Geese Method on this large scale, detailed on the original pattern post, I whipped up 56 flying geese blocks in a weekend. Ok. that is going well. There’s a simple method to planning a quilt this larger without a design wall. Start with 56 geese. Set one random geese block aside. It will not be used at all. Choose five other geese blocks to set aside. These will be added to the quilt, one per column. Sew the remaining 50 geese units together into 25 pairs. Create five total columns featuring five pairs each. Rotate the blocks as you add them to the column. Add in that one remaining block anywhere within the column. Add a border if you like. Ta’dah – super scrappy with no design wall or stress. THAT is how I can finish quilt tops in a...

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Vintage Hand-Embroidered Quilt

Vintage Hand-Embroidered Quilt

on Jul 8, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, quilting | 4 comments

One of my most recent longarm quilting customers brought a hand-embroidered large quilt. You have to see the gorgeous work! My customer’s mother had stitched 30 identical blocks exquisitely. Each block was a pre-printed panel. I don’t have much experience with embroidery panels, but maybe you’ll recognize it. It was a challenge for me, as I’ve never quilted this style. After asking my longarm quilter friends/mentors, we opted to treat the design as if it were an applique project. I was NERVOUS! The first pass turned out ok, which eased my mind. I decided to add free-motion feathers around the hand-embroidered elements. Feather’s within the main heart were created on a second pass. The feathers weave around the design, and every-so-often, I’ve added a swirl to keep things fluid and interesting. The design isn’t symmetrical and neither is the quilting. The piece has plenty of movement. Although my customer’s mother isn’t here to see the finished quilt, I do hope the family will cherish it. It was absolutely amazing and very outside my “box.” Tell a...

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Green Patchwork Baby Quilt

Green Patchwork Baby Quilt

on Jun 27, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 3 comments

The Green Patchwork Baby is finished! This has been a UFO (Un Finished Object) quilt top in my house for at least four years. It had no borders and originally, had the word “picnic” appliqued on it. Well, forget it. The seam ripper went to work, and the words were removed. That then made the quilt of 25 eight inch squares seemed a bit boring. Roll in the borders! The teal blue color is featured in one of the small prints. The was the color-pop the quilt needed. Finished, it is 52″ x 52″; perfect for a little kiddo. See the cool blue chairs in the lower right? It was the inspiration for the border color. Since this patchwork design was so incredibly simple, I decided to try to push myself with the machine quilting. I choose an “eye” shape to sit diagonally on each block. Why an eye? Because that was the size ruler I had! I used a curve ruler from The Quilted Pineapple. I bet you thought it was going to be some mathematical, cryptic answer. Nope. From a distance, you can see the design was starting to make cool giant circles. I love it when that happens! You can really see it on the back. Another thing I wanted to try on this quilt was perfect circle pebbles. There’s a size on my Handi Quilter Ruler which fit perfectly in the inner border space. Neat, right? Hooked Feathers will fill the outer border. Of course, I tried to snap a few pictures of the quilt on a windy day, but we had fun. I forgot which way I was facing when I snapped of this one (below). My quilt looks haunted…… by this crazy guy: Thanks for the help, Robbie the Quilt Holder!     Tell a...

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Scrappy Circles Quilt – Finished

Scrappy Circles Quilt – Finished

on Jun 14, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, quilting | 2 comments

This Scrappy Circles Quilt has been a long time in the making! Based on my blog, I made this quilt top back in December of 2014. I finally felt confident enough to quilt this big ‘ole thing. Each scrappy circle block is cut using templates. The blocks measure 18″ square. HUGE. In fact, some of the background pieces were so large that I have bonus seams in them so they’d fit the template without me purchasing any fabrics. I love a good scrap quilt made entirely from fabric stash. I departed from my comfort zone a tad and quilted the whole thing in Orange Creamsicle Maxilock Variegated thread. I enjoy variegated thread, but I don’t generally like it when it goes from white to a much darker shade. This one turned out ok. Of course, all the quilting hiccups happened when I was in the darkest thread. It was a bit windy when we were able to snap photos of the quilt. #keepingitreal And of course, the sweet dog wanted to help, too. I did manage to get a few shots of the actual quilting. Each scrappy ring had a design: Center – Long Wishbones Middle Rings – Tight Wishbones Outer Ring – Straight-ish Lines Light Background – Diagonal Spineless Feathers The feather quilting design is more like the Everything Bagel of quilted feathers. I have hooked feathers, curls, real feathers, cheat-y type feathers, and anything else I could think of at that time. The back is a beautiful 108″ wide piece from Joann’s. I pre-washed it to make sure it wouldn’t bleed; washing with a color-catcher. Surprise, the color-catcher was perfectly white at the end of the load. Fantastic! I’ll be buying this one again. All in all, I’m loving the Scrappy Circles Quilt. It measures 72″ x 90″. That’s a wrap. Thank you, my super-tall, quilt-holding assistant! Tell a...

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