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

Stacked Circles in Fun Colorful Quilts by Leisure Arts

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, book, Learn To Sew Easy Curves | 1 comment

Stacked Circles in Fun Colorful Quilts by Leisure Arts

Fun Colorful Quilts-Leisure Arts

Fun Colorful Quilts by Leisure Arts

Late last year I was contacted with a note that one of my projects would be used in a new book from Leisure Arts. Well, folks, I’m here to tell you Fun Colorful Quilts has arrived!

From the Leisure Arts website:

“Vibrant fabrics in a medley of popular shapes, from circles and stars to squares and triangles, make eye-catching quilts with a frivolous touch. In Fun Colorful Quilts, designs for patchwork and appliqué techniques include Petal Pushers by Me and My Sister Designs (Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson), On a Roll by Tammy Tadd, Dragon’s Tooth by Sue Marsh for Whistlepig Creek Productions, Spinning Stars by Linda Sullivan, and Stacked Circles by Jen Eskridge.”

Check out the back cover-Fun Colorful Quilts-Leisure Arts

Now that is fun! In fact, one of my favorite projects is in this book. It is called Stacked Circles and features military uniforms and Anna Maria Horner fabrics. The color combo is dreamy… because it has EVERY color.

Fun Colorful Quilts-Leisure Arts - Stacked Circles by Jen Eskridge

If you like the circles in the project above, you might also like my other projects in my book Learn to Sew Easy Curves, also published by Leisure Arts.

Learn To Sew Easy Curves | ReannaLily Designs





Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, blogging others, sewing | 0 comments

Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini

Knit Tights ala The Crafty Gemini

Vanessa, of the Crafty Gemini, said “You can never have enough tights.” and my 14yo agrees. With that simply quip, I watched her excellent tutorial and set out to create more tights based on a pair my 14yo already owned.

I have a serious amount of grey jersey knit fabric. Let me tell you why: Thrift Store!! I bought this giant grey jersey flat sheet with the intent of making a maxi dress or maxi skirt. Sure, it was bedding, but at the end of the day it was still a super soft jersey knit. I think I might have paid $5-$7 for the huge sheet.  I heart thrift stores!

If you cannot find a jersey flat sheet at the thrift, you can always grab jersey knit sheets here.

Knit Tights | ReannaLily Designs | Apparel Sewing | Cutting

Vanessa walks you through all the steps on her video.  I sorta skipped a step though… I didn’t trace it onto paper first. As it turns you, you should totally do that!  No worries. I’ll do that for the next pair.

Instead, I just grabbed a ruler and rotary cutter and set forth to cut out a piece 5/8″ larger than the folded tights.

Knit Tights | ReannaLily Designs | Apparel Sewing | Cutting

That worked out.

Back in college, I made my brother about 25-30 pair of shorts from various woven cottons and flannels. Do you guys remember “jams” from the 80’s? We’ll we were rockin’ those well into the 90’s. I can whip up a pair of shorts, pj pants or… as it turns out… leggings in no time at all.  Fun fact.

Knit Tights | ReannaLily Designs | Apparel Sewing | Legs

The serger made the construction even faster and is perfect for stitching knits.

Vanessa uses a great technique for the waistband. I had actually never tried this technique before, but I can tell you, it will be my go-to from now on. Holy smokes it was super fast, super easy AND I didn’t have to look for safety pins or create a waist band casing to hold the elastic. Her method is the bomb!

The elastic is serged (or zigzag stitched) to the fabric’s cut edge at the waist.

Knit Tights | ReannaLily Designs | Apparel Sewing | Waistband


Fold down and zigzag it into place. Very cool.

Knit Tights | ReannaLily Designs | Apparel Sewing | Waistband

Last step should be the leg hems. Those are also zigzag’d.

Knit Tights | ReannaLily Designs | Apparel Sewing | Waistband

But then my sweet 14yo tried on the pants. Turns out, I should definitely have created a “front” and a “back” pattern template. (which is why next time I’ll definitely be tracing the pattern onto paper first.) The front had way too much pooch, so I had to take that in a couple inches.

Knit Tights | ReannaLily Designs | Apparel Sewing | Alteration

So, take in center front seam and lower the waistband, as it fits on the body, by about two inches. Done and done.

I think I’m going to need to hit the thrift shop for more fabric!!

Craftsy Pattern Fabric Kits

Posted by on 5:30 am in Blog, blogging others, business, quilt | 0 comments

Craftsy Pattern Fabric Kits

Craftsy to cross-promote fabric kits:CraftsyPromotionCraftsy Fabric Kits | ReannaLily Designs | Plus Quilt | Cotton and Steel

Craftsy is rolling out a “test” on fabric kits for FREE patterns. I have a couple freebie download patterns that slip in and out of the Top 20 Free Quilt Patterns (Plus Quilt and Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes). Since they are Craftsy-popular patterns, they were selected to run the test program.

Plus Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | Digital Image | Cotton + Steel

Oh my gosh! I’m loving the fat quarter bundle in this digital mock-up of the Plus Quilt. The bundle is Cotton + Steel Fat Quarter BundlePlayful by Melody Miller. You’ll have all the fabric you need (12 fat quarters are required) for the quilt top and binding, right there on one screen. It is a pretty neat set-up. Go Craftsy, Go!

You’ll probably start to see the cross-promotion on more patterns as the program grows.


Longarm Quilting with Rulers

Posted by on 6:00 am in Blog, blogging others, quilting | 1 comment

Longarm Quilting with Rulers

Double Slice Layer Cake | Kate Spain Jingle | ReannaLily Designs

This is a small little Christmas Quilt made using the Missouri Star Quilt Company Double Slice Layer Cake pattern. It is a rockin fast quilt tutorial over on youtube. The pattern is already designed to be quickly chain-pieced, but guess what? I serged it; making it in record time, using my Kate Spain Jingle fabric layer cake.*

*This wasn’t a whole layer cake. I had to supplement a few tone-on-tone white fabrics, since the other pieces of the cake are being used in a special project. More info on that later in the year.

Double Slice Layer Cake | Kate Spain Jingle | ReannaLily Designs | Serged SeamsWith the top finished I had to decide what I wanted to do about the quilting design. Pack up the car and head out to my folks’ house to pop this little quilt on the HandiQuilter longarm.

Double Slice Layer Cake | Kate Spain Jingle | ReannaLily Designs

I convinced myself that I should try to learn more about longarm “ruler work” with my new Quilted Pineapple curved rulers.

Double Slice Layer Cake | Kate Spain Jingle | ReannaLily Designs | Curved Longarm Ruler

Rulers seem to be the ANTI Free Motion Quilting. The design is very methodical and measured with exact placements and calculated moves.  Turns out… I’m not that calculated.  I think people who enjoy spreadsheets would probably be insane with these rulers. I’m not a spreadsheet girl, either.

Double Slice Layer Cake | Kate Spain Jingle | ReannaLily DesignsI’m going to name this quilt, in spite of the fabric’s holiday theme, The Learning Curve. I have curves all over the dang place. It seemed like I was on the right track and then noticed the arches were all sorts of varied widths. They overlap. They jumble up. They are chubby and slim.  Le’sigh. On the upside, by the last pass on that longarm, the arches started to look alot better.

Double Slice Layer Cake | Kate Spain Jingle | ReannaLily Designs

Practice, practice, practice. Ha, and I’m sure a class couldn’t hurt, right?  I’m not going to swear off rulers, but they definitely seem to be used with the logical side of the brain. I’ll have to think like that on my next ruler-based quilt design.

Double Slice Layer Cake | Kate Spain Jingle | ReannaLily Designs | Binding



Sampler Quilts Magazine

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, Press | 0 comments

Sampler Quilts Magazine

Sampler Quilts 2000 | ReannaLily Designs | PublishedSampler Quilts Magazine 2001

I have a copy of almost every thing where my name has been published. It is a small box, but still exciting. I was missing at least two magazines. Sampler Quilts is one of them. The one above is the very first quilt magazine to include one of my quilts. My closest friend had a copy!!! Can you believe that? She bought the copy of Sampler Quilts when it came out and made her very first quilt from the block patterns. When I visited her, I grabbed these pictures and will keep it in the virtual log of the articles here on the PRESS page.

This was published in Fall of 2001, I think. The quilt was finished by December 2000.  Phew, Throw Back Thursday #tbt on a SUNDAY!


If you’ve seen my lecture, you’ll recognize this as the Lion King Quilt. It was a painful sampler to make. Every block was cut and designed individually. A couple blocks are originals and the rest are from patterns/internet.

The directions to make each block are on newsprint in the back of the magazine, but the page where I’m featured actually is a quilting glossary of sorts.

I don’t think I’d make blue, brown and yellow sampler quilt on-point these days, in 2015, but you never know.

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, blogging others, sewing | 0 comments

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along

I’m happy to report that I’m stitching along in the Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along! #NZKnitDressSAL

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew AlongWhen I showed the dress and sew along to my daughter she seemed pretty excited to have one of her own. I was a bit surprised. She says, “Yeah, I’d totally wear that, but make it red at the top with a black bottom.” That was really really specific and a very fast answer from a 14 year old.  After talking to her a bit more…  this is what she had in mind…

McCalls Pattern M7152 | Star Trek VersionPretty great, right? Hello- STAR TREK inspiration!!!

The sew along is making Nancy Zieman’s pattern M7152 from McCall’s.

I found some black ponte knit and red matte jersey knit and set out to sew where now woman has sewn before… wait, they have, but still… The red jersey was lighter weight than the black ponte knit, but since the red will have a facing, I thought it would be ok to use the lighter weight. Only time will tell if I’m right. =)

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along | ReannaLily Designs

The sew along is spread out over 3 days in May: Cutting, construction and finishing.

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along | ReannaLily DesignsUnfortunately, my local shop didn’t have the fusible tricot interfacing to be used with knit fabrics, but the woven fabric I purchased felt like it had a little give in it. In hindsight, if I was going to use a woven interfacing, I probably should have cut my interfacing pieces on the bias, so I’d be certain they’d have stretch in them.

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along | ReannaLily Designs

Grading seam allowances. Clipping corners. Notching curves. It was all really fast construction. In fact, the “hardest” part is remembering that the top is asymmetrical and pieces have to be, with certainty, face up or face down.

Nancy Zieman Knit Dress Sew Along | ReannaLily DesignsThe facings are on- next stops: Top-stitching, fitting, side seams, shoulder faux-button closure and machine-stitched hem. Easy-peasy, right?

Stay tuned.





Boerne Quiltfest 2015

Posted by on 8:00 am in Blog, business, fabric stash | 0 comments

Boerne Quiltfest 2015

Hauptstrasse Quiltfest

The first weekend in May is Quilt Weekend in Boerne Texas! The city’s Parks and Rec department organizes an outdoor quilt show with works of art hanging in the downtown square, the Veteran’s park and throughout the downtown shop store fronts. The event is called Hauptstrasse Quiltfest.

I’m not finding, online, how many years this has been going on, but this is my second year to attend and first year to attend as a quilt show vendor.
I shot a quick little video of my view from my vendor booth and posted it to my ReannaLily Designs facebook page. The vendors are set up right in the middle of the town square. Quilts lined three sides of the square with a beautiful antique quilt display on the fourth side.

Boerne Quiltfest Vendor’s Row

Boerne Texas Quiltfest | Outdoor Quilt Show | ReannaLily Designs

I was so fortunate to have the folks from Busy Fingers Workshop in the booth next to me. They took care of me all day. The work that she does, with miniature paper piecing is absolutely beautiful. If you get a chance, you should check out her pieced greeting cards and paper piecing patterns in her Etsy shop.

Boerne Texas Quiltfest | Outdoor Quilt Show | ReannaLily Designs

My booth had more of an eclectic mix of items. The San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild will be having our annual market days, or as we call it, “May Mercado” very soon, so I already had a few pieces of fabric to “destash.” This was a great opportunity to sell fabric with my patterns, books and shirts.

Boerne Texas Quiltfest | Outdoor Quilt Show | ReannaLily Designs

Boerne Texas Quiltfest | Outdoor Quilt Show | ReannaLily Designs

Boerne Texas Quiltfest | Outdoor Quilt Show | ReannaLily DesignsAlong with all those items I also have quite a few Vintage Linens Fat Quarters. I suppose that might be a strange thing to have. The fabrics are all so soft, though. I love those vintage sheets.

Boerne Texas Quiltfest | Outdoor Quilt Show | ReannaLily Designs  Vintage Sheets Fat Quarters

The quiltfest was well attended and the weather was gorgeous.

Unfortunately, I do not have too many more photos of the quilts, though. The whole show is put up and taken down on Saturday. Vendors arrive, set up and are ready to sell by 9a. We “break down” when the show ends at 4p. By the time the booth is down, so are all the quilts. :( The quilt view from the booth was pretty amazing, though.

Now the big question, after the May Mercado, do I keep the “for sale” fabrics from the destash or do I list them on Etsy or IG? Time will tell.


Quilting a Patriotic Quilt

Posted by on 6:40 am in Blog, contests | 2 comments

Quilting a Patriotic Quilt

Patriotic Quilt | Moda ChallengeLeigh-Longarm-1

My friends came to visit recently and longarm quilted her military-themed quilt on the HandiQuilter.

In the picture, my friend is working on a large, bed-size quilt with a patriotic, military theme. The whole project is part of a Moda challenge.  She used the fabric line, Moda: Red, White and Free , I believe.

Leigh-Longarm-2For me, I pretty much quilt swirls or something really tight and reasonably intricate, though I did recently try rulers. I wasn’t much help to her for a free motion quilting design motif. Swirls don’t really scream military. Thankfully, our friend, also pictured, suggested stars with loopies.  That is the official design name, by the way, Stars with Loopies.

Longarm Quilting | Patriotic Quilt

This was her first time on a longarm quilt machine and she juts hopped on like she had been quilting for years. She was so fast!

The back of the quilt has a label for each family she’s know as she’s lived all over the world on various Army posts.  Pretty neat, idea, right? It works like a “friend” album, with each post/base where she met the family,  listed by their name.

Longarm Quilt | Moda Challenge | Quilt BackAnd here’s the front of my friend’s quilt, finished and fabulous:

Patriotic Quilt | Moda Challenge


Finished Scrappy Dresden Quilt

Posted by on 10:00 am in Blog, charity | 2 comments

Finished Scrappy Dresden Quilt

Scrappy Dresden | MD Anderson Quilt Auction | ReannaLily DesignsIf you have been following along on the blog, you’ll know that I was working on a group quilt project to send to MD Anderson’s Quilt Auction.

Well, what I couldn’t share on the blog was the PLOT TWIST: The group project actually was to make two quilts. Three friends and two moms made a total of 40 blocks. (That would be only 8 blocks per person.) ONE quilt will be donated to MD Anderson’s Quilt Auction and the second, identical quilt, will be given to my friend who lost her mother to cancer in December.

Scrappy Dresden | MD Anderson Quilt Auction | ReannaLily Designs

Scrappy Dresden | MD Anderson Quilt Auction | ReannaLily DesignsI prewashed both quilts so they would have nice shrinkle all over them. You know shrinkle, right? Crinkle and Shrink? It is a fabulous combo-word. I love quilt shrinkle so much. Hopefully, my friend will enjoy the shrinkle, too.

Scrappy Dresden | MD Anderson Quilt Auction | ReannaLily DesignsI thought you might like to see the tricky ways we were trying to fit two big bed-size quilts into one photo on a windy day…

Scrappy Dresden | MD Anderson Quilt Auction | ReannaLily Designs

Still good. Let’s try to just straighten it out a bit more…

Scrappy Dresden | MD Anderson Quilt Auction | ReannaLily Designs

Not always an easy task to grab a quilt picture, but it worked out.

Nerd Quilt Round-up

Posted by on 12:14 pm in Blog, quilt, swap | 0 comments

Nerd Quilt Round-up

To celebrate National Quilting Day, today, I thought I’d post a geeky project round-up for design inspiration.  You cannot have enough design inspiration, right?


My Star Wars pun quilt.  I love a good pun and you know I need a quilt in my kitchen…. See the original blog post here.

Star Wars Quilt | ReannaLily Designs


Not geeky, but still total “fangirl” is my Wizard of Oz Mug Rug.  This project was also created as an online swap.  I thought it was clever.  Every time you set your coffee down, you crush the witch, again and again and again. Poor terrible bad witch.  See the original blog post here, for more information on the mug rug swap projects.

Wizard of Oz | ReannaLily Designs | Mug Rug Swap


Second geeky quilt: Old School PAC-MAN Ghosts. This one was created for an online mini quilt swap.  It is adorable and currently lives in its new home.  See the original blog post here.

Pacman Ghosts | ReannaLily Designs


Not quite a quilt, but let’s not forget Minecraft shirts. For more on these super green, easy-to-make creeper shirts, see the original blog post here.

Minecraft Creeper Shirt | homemade | ReannaLily Designs


TV Shows:

I also have a fun Zoidberg shirt, too.  Man, I love Futurama.  I hope Netflix re-buys it again. Professor Ziod was part of a set of “team jerseys” for a birthday party.  Read more and see a general overview for Freezer Paper Stenciling on the original blog post here.

Zoidberg Tshirt | ReannaLily Designs

4. Peel off freezer paper

Happy National Quilting Day!  I hope you also find inspiration in everyday geeky pop-culture.