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Scrappy Quarter-Square Log Cabin Quilt

Scrappy Quarter-Square Log Cabin Quilt

on Apr 23, 2019 in Blog, fabric stash, Featured, quilt | 0 comments

My newest Scrappy Quarter-Square Log Cabin quilt started innocently enough. We had company over the winter holidays and when they were busy or not yet awake, I’d slip into my sewing room and grab a few scraps. (I have LOADS of fabric scraps, it turns out.) I’d start with small pieces and add longer strips to two sides. It is a surprisingly fast, mindless process. A few years ago, I made this quilt as a gift for one of my Sister-in-Laws: I liked that quilt so much, I thought in this holiday-down-time sewing, I’d make a small scrappy quarter-square log cabin. Each block is trimmed square. It quickly got out of control. I’m sure no one saw that coming. Haha. Setting the blocks on-point made for a really unique design. Now, in my mind, these are completely different quilts. The blocks just kept going and going. The quilt kept growing and growing. (That sounds like something straight out of Willy Wonka. If only my quilts were made from chocolate!) Since the quilt was created entirely from fabric scraps, I now needed to come up with a solution for the setting triangles around the edge of the quilt. I snapped a pic, but it is tricky to see, since the design wall is also white. For the setting triangles, I made templates from white cardstock paper. Then I pieced random white/light/low-volume fabrics. I laid the templates over the white patchwork pieces to cut my shapes to size. I’m happy to report I have a LARGE bed quilt ready to hit the longarm. I debated on whether or not to post the quilt as just a quilt top. Of course, when this quilt is finished, you will not be able to see the quilting on it since the body of the quilt has so much movement and color. On that note: Here’s the Scrappy Quarter-Square Log Cabin 2019. Get out there and use your scraps! Sew in brief little spurts when no one is watching. It is crazy what will turn up from, what is essentially a minimal level of sewing/quilting...

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Just Draw

Just Draw

on Apr 16, 2019 in Blog, Featured, quilting | 0 comments

Just draw as much as you can. I know that sounds silly but as I tell my quilting students, muscle memory is important. Muscle Memory mus·cle mem·o·rynoun the ability to reproduce a particular movement without conscious thought, acquired as a result of frequent repetition of that movement.”typing relies heavily on muscle memory” Sketchbook In college we were required to keep an inspiration journal & sketchbook. At the time it was to add in photos, notes, sketches, really anything. Building on that sage advice, I’d like to encourage you to keep inspiration at your fingertips. Pinterest boards, photos on your phone from quilt guilds and quilt shows, and sketches from anywhere. The importance of a sketchbook, to me, is that while I can find amazing photos of cool-looking designs on the entire internet, my sketchbook is the place where I can see what I can actually draw. From here, I can plan to build on skills sketched on previous pages to create something intricate and useful. And while it may seem like I’m just sitting there with a random marker-color-of-the-day, I’m actually building muscle memory and creating a resource to flip through at a later date. Quilting Using the sketchbook to completely inspire your quilting has been made quite popular by Karlee Porter with her Graffiti Quilting style. I’m a huge fan. I’ve found, though, that I’m even able to break out some designs and add them into my own brainstorming. Recently taking a Handi Quilter class, I used my sketchbook ideas to help draft a couple blocks. You never know when these ideas will come in handy. I encourage your to just draw as often as you...

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Free-Motion Framework Video Trailer

Free-Motion Framework Video Trailer

on Apr 9, 2019 in Blog, Featured, FMFWQ, Press, quilting | 0 comments

In October 2018, I was honored to be included in C&T Publishing’s video series of book trailers. At the Quilt Market in Houston, TX, we shot almost an hour worth of footage for the promotion. Through the magic of editing and the genius of youtube, the video is only 7 minutes long. Hopefully, it will give you a good idea of how Free-Motion Framework can improve your quilting skills. Take a peak here: It was a blast to film, but my time slot was 3p. That is 3p after an entire day on the quilt market floor, buzzing around seeing friends and quilts. I promise I do not always look this exhausted. However, I do always talk about quilts. I asked the producer, Amy to snap a picture of me before I left the shoot. And yes, I did wave a bit of a photoshop-magic-wand on this one. Updated to add:See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples...

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Vibrant Wild Birds: Applique Quilt

Vibrant Wild Birds: Applique Quilt

on Apr 2, 2019 in Blog, fabric stash, Featured, quilting | 0 comments

Inspired by the incredible applique of Kim Mclean, I set out on my own vibrant wild birds applique journey. Her pattern that put me on this path was Lollypop Tree. (You can grab the original Kim Mclean pattern at Glorious Color.) It is an amazing quilt that I’ve enjoyed since I first saw it years ago. My design is a much simpler, plainer version with birds and a splash of asymmetry. Starting the Applique Design I’m not much of a hand-applique person, but I thought it might be time to give it a whirl. Recently working on a challenge quilt, which I’ll blog about shortly, I dipped my toe into hand-applique designs. This project completely started out as a bright-colored, hand-applique improvisational experiment. Lots of adjectives just to say, “I wonder if I can make a block?” I’m happy to report, that this quilt is made entirely from fabric scraps from my own stash. My scraps are sorted by color into ziploc bags, and holy smokes, there’s lots of ziplocs. After watching endless videos on applique, I ended up trying the Appliquick method to prepare my shapes. In a very basic nutshell, here’s what I did: Trace shapes onto fusible interfacingFuse to wrong-side of fabricCut fabric 1/4″ – 1/8″ larger than interfacingUse tools and glue to fold edges around appliquePress I ended up choosing shapes I liked and making many of them. Next, I’d store them in an unused 8″ pizza box to use them as I randomly created each block design. To my surprise, the little birds turned out to be a favorite design. Luckily the bird body and bird wing were interesting shapes in themselves. You’ll see them in the blocks, used in many different arrangements along side leaves, bias tape and circles. Improv Applique Quilt Blocks For each block, I would start with a 15-1/2″ x 15-1/2″ woven cotton fabric background. Press a center fold, then press three fold lines perpendicular to the vertical center. I don’t know what will be applied to the lines, but they’ll help keep things balanced and symmetrical, if need be. This isn’t a pattern release or free tutorial. I’m simply sharing a project I made from an incredible inspirational source....

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Antique Linens Quilt Challenge

Antique Linens Quilt Challenge

on Mar 28, 2019 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 0 comments

Prepare to be overloaded with images of my Antiques Linen Challenge Quilt. My local longarm group issued a challenge to stitch up an antique linen in the style made popular by Kelly Cline and others. There are so many cool ways to incorporate old linens into new designs. The design I went with is more of a Frankenstein version of a linen challenge. I’ll lay out the reasons why I needed to add all sorts of things to this quilt. It features: One HandkerchiefFour crocheted coastersOne Bread Basket Liner (cut into quarters)Two large crocheted doiliesTwo different bed sheetsFour kinds of lace The center of the quilt starts with a men’s handkerchief. It is plain and simple. I bought it at an estate sale and didn’t notice that it had stains on it. I went ahead and appliqued traditional orange peel shapes over the stains. I created spaces within my quilt using techniques from Free-Motion Framework, my most recent book release. Simply divide the space in to large usable shapes and then practice a quilting fill within that shape. The bread basket liner with a crocheted trim was next. I cut the liner into fourths and stay-stitched over the crocheted edge. I then appliqued over the cut crocheted edges with a smaller orange peel design. It was really fun trying to think of different things to quilt into all these spaces. Unfortunately, the pictures jump around a bit. That happens because I was quilting “just one motif” at a time, rolling the quilt up and back on the longarm’s frame. The lovely tan coasters are serving a fantastic purpose. They are covering seams where I mis-measured the solid fabric borders. That’s right, now you all know all my business. I had two large doilies that I think are intended for end tables. I decided maybe I should chop those in half. The crochet was so tight that even when I cut the pieces with a rotary blade, nothing happened. There was no fray, no wobble, nothing. At this point my mom suggested set the center of the quilt on-point to make it more interesting. Man, she was right! I generally quilt with the brightest fabrics I can get my hands...

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Quiltville 2018 Mystery Quilt

Quiltville 2018 Mystery Quilt

on Mar 21, 2019 in Blog, Featured, quilt | 0 comments

This is the Good Fortune Quiltville Mystery Quilt for 2018! If you don’t know the Bonnie Hunter Mystery, you should! She starts around the end of October announcing a color palette using paint chips. Then in November, she starts weekly clues for cutting and piecing. The entire event finishes up in January. She’s hosted many mysteries through her blog. I wanted to try something I’d never done before. I don’t think I’ve ever done a real-deal full-on mystery quilt. Man, it was fun. It was also a bit stressful for me, but it really was fun. I did create the quilt top entirely from fabrics I already owned. No shopping for this girl! In Bonnie Hunter’s original design, she includes at least two more pieced borders. Although I sewed those elements, I ended up not adding them to my quilt. I was on pace to finish along each week with the her blog postings. Once we arrived at the end of the mystery, my quilt went a slightly different direction. I tried hand-applique! Turns out, I like hand applique. I ended up adding two featured corners to my Good Fortune Quilt. The quilt is so visually active that will be tricky to see the longarm quilting. I ended up stitching a simple meander all over the quilt’s center and then swirls + piano keys along the quilt’s borders. The perfect quilt back for this festive quilt was scored at a local thrift shop. That’s right, the back is an old sheet. The sheet is 50/50 cotton/poly, but the print was...

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Longarm Gallery Update

Longarm Gallery Update

on Mar 17, 2019 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting, SAMQG | 0 comments

After a brief blogging break, I wanted to share more longarm quilting pictures with you. I’m enjoying free-motion quilting on my customer’s quilts and my own. I think I learn something with each new quilt, which is always good news. The quilt below is part of my 2019 Challenge Fabric Quilt entry for the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild’s show on Sept 20-21. I cannot show you the whole piece quite yet. Just know, it is asymmetrical and absolutely bananas-looking. I’ve been lucky to custom quilt a few projects for some local San Antonio area friends. Check out their quilts: A new friend found me online and mailed this next quilt from their duty station in Japan. This semi-custom small quilt is so charming! With a quick turn-around, I was able to get the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild‘s charity quilt quilted and bound and mailed in time for the big show, QuiltCon, in Nashville last month. It is a conceptual beach scene with sand, sea glass, and breaking waves. And of course, I love doing edge-to-edge designs all over quilts. An edge-to-edge is any design that I can draw with the longarm that literally travels from one edge of the quilt to the other without stopping. If you want me to longarm a quilt for you, please email me or see more details on my ReannaLilyQuilts.com...

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Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils

Make Custom Quilting and Sewing Stencils

on Dec 17, 2018 in Blog, Featured, FMFWQ, tutorial | 2 comments

I recently had the opportunity to take a class from a certified HandiQuilter instructor, Mary. It was an outstanding class. In the class she mentioned making our own custom stencils for longarm quilting, which sounds awesome! The method involved sewing through marked paper with an unthreaded needle. This absolutely works, and you  may have seen it before. I’m late to the party. For my use, I thought, “Custom stencils would be fan-freakin-tastic for Free-Motion Framework quilt markings!” It would be so much more convenient than tracing through light colors and it is ideal for dark color fabrics. For projects in the book, each quadrant is 20″ x 20″ to mark on a 40″ square of fabric. I wasn’t too sure how to go about sewing through the paper without crumpling up a portion of the 20″ square in the throat of my domestic sewing machine. As recommended in the HandiQuilter class, punching holes in the paper using a dress maker’s tracing wheel isn’t too effective by itself. But then I got to thinking… What if there was something spongy for the tracing wheel to punch into? For dress makers purposes, you need to roll the wheel on a hard surface (like a rotary cutting mat) to have the carbon markings show up. If your goal is to puncture the paper, though, as ours is, it is needs some give. Here’s what you’ll need to give this project a try. Keep in mind, I am going to use it to mark linear designs as guides for free-motion quilting. You could use this for quilting stencils, guidelines, hand embroidery and so much more! Supplies: Craft foam sheets 1/8″ thickDress maker’s tracing wheelPouce Pad with Iron-off chalkFabricPaper & pen or printed design Prepare the Stencil If you have not printed a copy-right free image from the internet, simply draw a design on paper. Anything will work for this test run. Notice the difference between the two tracing wheels I have on hand: The tracing wheel at the top has deep teeth and the one at the bottom has much shallower teeth. Since we need holes through the paper, I opted to use the deep-pointy-teeth tracing wheel. Take a quick look at the...

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Custom Quilting Gallery – Sampler Quilts

Custom Quilting Gallery – Sampler Quilts

on Oct 23, 2018 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 0 comments

Let’s take a peek at two very different custom quilted sampler quilts. All the quilts featured in this post were created by my customers. I added the longarm quilting to showcase the blocks. Sampler quilts, or block of the month quilts, are so tricky because each block is receiving its own unique design. If you have a quilt you’d like for me to finish, read more at www.reannalilyquilts.com or drop me an email. Local Quilt Shop’s Block of the Month First up is a block of the month hosted by a local quilt shop. My customer picked up fabrics each month and created her blocks. I think this is the 2017-2018 project. See my customer’s whole quilt on her instagram. I kept the borders a bit simple so the blocks would really stand out. Now onto the ruler work and stitching designs. I tried to apply the Divide and Design method to each block. For consistency, I also tried to keep types of block units treated in a similar fashion. By that I mean, if a block had a large square, it would get a sort of 4-corner star. If it was a small square it would have orange peel stitching. It didn’t always work, but it helped quite a bit. And sometimes, I didn’t pay too much attention to the piecing at all. I jumped right in to create new shapes by connecting points with in the block. You can see four “footballs” in the block below. If you have a quilt you’d like for me to finish, read more at www.reannalilyquilts.com or drop me an email. A Kit Turned Into a Quilt My customer tells me this quilt has been in progress for quite some time. She wanted to have it quilted to be in a show next year. I cannot wait to see it. You can see more of this customer’s amazing work in her shop on etsy. I’ll be honest with you, this sampler was incredible and far outside my quilting comfort zone. It has everything. Flying geese, applique, traditional blocks, sashing, no discernible grid, and more! I don’t see too many traditional quilts come through my studio. The challenge is incredible, though. That part,...

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2002 Squares: Scrappy Trip Around The World

2002 Squares: Scrappy Trip Around The World

on Oct 18, 2018 in Blog, fabric stash, Featured, quilt | 2 comments

2002 Squares is my latest Scrappy Trip Around The World quilt. I’ve made a few Scrappy Trips, using the methods in Bonnie Hunter’s FREE pattern from her Quiltville blog. I altered the pattern slightly to accommodate my own math. I save my binding strips in big “cinnamon rolls” shapes. Once I have a few rolls, I’ll try to add them into some kind of strip-based or jelly roll based design. My binding, however, is cut 2-1/4″ wide, which means I need to switch the math a tiny bit for anything that is originally designed for a jelly roll, which are strips measuring 2-1/2″ wide. You can hop over to Quiltville to see the original, super-easy method to create these quilt blocks. Strip Method It is similar to a bargello-style quilt in terms of construction: Create a strip set Sew the strip set into a tube Sub-cut the strip set Rip out one seam to reveal a set of joined squares Rip out a second seam, etc Arrange the set to create a feature diagonal color Sew the block That is it in a very tight nutshell. Altered Math & Tips Here are some of the details & tricks for my binding scraps quilt. Since my strips were 2-1/4″, I ended up sewing 8 strips together in my sets. My sub-cut pieces were also 2-1/4″. The squares in this quilt finished at 1-3/4″ with 64 squares per block. Also, as I was using binding pieces, none of them were with regular width of fabric. To combat this, I joined many pieces of bindings that shared a similar value. Using this longer piece, I then created MEGA strip sets. Each one was probably over 2 yards long. Here’s a zoom in, below. You can see how much that bonus seam does not matter at all in the quilt block. By working with long strip sets, this quilt went together really fast. And that is saying something because, this is a fast pattern in itself. Blocks When creating my block, my only restriction was to choose the darkest color to be the diagonal line. As far as dark & light fabrics go, you’ll see from block to block the “darkest” fabric varies...

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All The Pinks: Scrap Quilt

All The Pinks: Scrap Quilt

on Oct 14, 2018 in Blog, fabric stash, Featured | 0 comments

After a short blogging break, I’m happy to share my All The Pinks: Scrap Quilt with you! Unfortunately I do not have a pattern for this quilt, but I can share the process with you, today. I love sewing with my fabric scraps. Each fabric should be in at least two quilts, in my house. I wrote an article about my scrap process a short while ago for FaveQuilts. To start, I keep all my fabric scraps in two bins under my sewing table. The pieces are sorted by color into gallon ziploc bags. Method To start this quilt, I simply dumped out the bag of “pinks” onto my table and started randomly sewing pieces together. If they were roughly the same size on any side, I’d join those two pieces. ANY two pieces. I joined and joined and pressed and trimmed and joined more until I had weird shapes that were larger than 14″ on each side. This was a leisure/on-the-side project. The pink was all over the table for quite a while, but it was nice to be able to sit down and sew up pieces in small chunks of time. I learned that tip from Victoria Findlay-Wolfe’s book, 15 Minutes of Play. I trimmed my wild pink blobs into 14″ squares. When I finished with that ziploc, I had a not-quilt-math-friendly number squares. Does that make sense? Layout & Design If you create a basic, traditional quilt, you’ll likely use a grid design. Four blocks by five blocks, or something to give you a pleasing rectangle or square shape. I had a total of 21 pink blocks. Hum, a three by seven grid would give me a quilt that measured 42″ x 98″. Now that would be a bit unusual. I could have not used a block giving me a total of 20, sure. That would be a tidy four by five grid. However, I opted to to add in four more blocks to get my total to 25 blocks, making a five by five grid. Remember, my goal is to try to sew up and use everything in the scrap bin. Once I added four white squares, created in the same manner, I had a brainstorm:...

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Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panels From Spoonflower

Free-Motion Framework Quilt Panels From Spoonflower

on Aug 20, 2018 in Blog, Books, Featured, FMFWQ, Longarm Quilting Gallery, Notions | 1 comment

Grab Your Quilt Panels Today! I’m so happy to announce the new release of Free-Motion Framework PANELS! These 36″ x 36″ square panels are directly inspired from the best-selling title, Free-Motion Framework. Updated to add: See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here, on the blog. In the Isolating Shapes chapter of Free-Motion Framework, we cover how to take any linear framework and select areas in which to quilt. I’ve illustrated how easy it is to isolate shapes by color-blocking them in as a visual aid. Well, as luck would have it, those color-blocked images looked really cool. With the help of C & T Publishing, nine fabric quilt panels are now available at Spoonflower.com! Purchasing Choosing your panel couldn’t be easier. Simply head over to the Free-Motion Framework Collection at Spoonflower.com from the ReannaLily Designs shop and select your favorite design. You’ll be able to choose your fabric type. For this demonstration piece, I choose satin. It’s only $.50 more than the woven cotton, and the results are stunning. You’ll also have the option to pick a test swatch, fat quarter, or yard. Choose Yard. Notice also, the fabric width is 42″. The design will repeat a bit. (Shown marked off in RED below.) This is actually perfect because it gives you a chance to test out ideas and colors before stitching them directly onto the 36″ square panel. Neat trick, right? Threads For my own project, I opted to match thread colors with the color-blocked shapes. Here’s my suggestions: Glide Linen 10WG1 Glide Celery 60580 Glide Cerulean 30308 Glide Split Pea 60389 Glide Baby Blue 30290 Glide Jungle 63415 Quilting Using my HandiQuilter Avante longarm I set up the satin panel with wool batting, just as I would load any other quilt. You absolutely can do this on a domestic machine, as well. As suggested in Free-Motion Framework, I worked symmetrically, trying to complete a single color at a time. The satin is quite shifty, so I opted to pin baste around the quilt top as I stitched. It was so neat to work within coloring shapes. Trying to stay “in the lines” is an added level of control and practice. You can really...

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