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

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Chicken and Rooster Pincushion

Chicken and Rooster Pincushion

on May 28, 2019 in Blog, Featured, tutorial | 0 comments

Wanna make an adorable pincushion with me? I have never been a big pincushion gal until I started using a pincushion. Holy smokes. And why not have an sweet little chicken pincushion? Side question: Is it a chicken if it doesn’t lay eggs? Mine definitely do not lay eggs, so maybe these are rooster pincushions? We can overthink this on another day. Supplies: Two fabric rectangles 4″ x 4-1/2″ (body)One fabric square 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ (beak)One small swatch of felt for combOne small swatch of felt cut into a heart for wings Ground Nut Shells (filling)Two small beads or buttons for eyesHand sewing needle and threadEmbroidery floss & needle (for wings, optional)Elmer’s glue (optional) Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide (optional) Prep Beak and Comb: Start by first folding the 1-1/2″ square on the diagonal, matching wrong sides. Fold it in half again. Pin this folded triangle to the right-side of a fabric rectangle. Pin the beak along the 4″ side, approximately 1/2″ from the right-hand corner.Make sure the beak is pointing into the fabric square, opposite of how it will look finished. From the felt scrap, basically cut a letter M approximately 2″ wide and 1″ tall. *You might consider swapping the felt for ric-rack if you have that on hand. Pin the M-shaped comb along the 4-1/2″ side of fabric, 1/4″ from the right-hand corner. Make sure the beak is pointing into the fabric square, opposite of how it will look finished. Construction: Lay the remaining fabric rectangle on top of the prepped rectangle, matching right sides. Pin. Use a 1/4″ to sew around three sides, leaving the bottom shorter edge completely open. The Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide has 1/4″ marks along the entire bed of your sewing machine throat. It allows for consistent seam allowances, no matter the project. For the pincushion, simply line the cut edge up with the first 1/4″ mark from the needle line. (To see more uses for the fantastic seam guide, check out these videos.) Now, you’re all set with 1/4″ seams on all three sides. Turn the little pincushion right-side out to check the placement of the beak and comb. if you don’t like where they fall along their respective seams, simply...

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On Ringo Lake Inspired Quilt

On Ringo Lake Inspired Quilt

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

Have you stitched On Ringo Lake by Bonnie Hunter? I decided back in October that I would try Bonnie Hunter’s annual mystery quilt. Of course, I then decided to overthink the whole thing, unnecessarily. Here’s what happened: I thought it’d be fun to sew a mystery quilt, but I hadn’t made any previous Quiltville Mysteries. Time to dive in and give the planned patchwork scrap style a try. I opted to make a version of On Ringo Lake. Channeling Bonnie, I used only fabrics from my stash. My patches are considerable bigger than the original Bonnie Hunter design. All my pieces are stored in an un-used small pizza box. I worked in unit-sections, just like the mystery structure. Each week Bonnie releases a unit or block-type to stitch. “Make a zillion of this.” OR “Make 24 of these.” type unit-based directions. My Quilt: So, in my On Ringo Lake test-it-out quilt, I made a total of 12 blocks. Once I had these rad blocks made, I wanted to come up with a unique sashing. The sashing I used features the 9-patch block on a smaller scale and points on the sashing to create stars. Wait ’til you see the effect, though. This quilt is definitely On Ringo Lake Quilt inspired, and it turned out to be an excellent test piece for working in a quilty-patchwork style out of my own comfort zone. NOTE: Since this isn’t my original block design, I cannot share any sizes or fabric requirements with you. As for the 2018 mystery, stitched along in real time: It was fun. Highly recommend! The annual mystery starts around October and finishes around January. 2018 was Good...

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Giant Trip Around The World

Giant Trip Around The World

on May 8, 2019 in Blog, Featured, quilting, tutorial | 0 comments

I have a fun easy pattern for you! It is a GIANT Trip Around The World. Not a jaunt across town; think of it as a BIG trip. Think of more like Jackie Chan’s Around The World in 80 Days, or maybe a leisurely boat ride with Magellan. The blocks are big; the quilt is big and the best part- You can stitch it quickly while using up your less-than-one-yard fabric pieces. The quilt finishes at approximately 88″ x 88″. Please note that the fabrics in the digital blog tutorial are different than the two actual quilts pictured above. The pattern is the same. Supplies: 28″ of SIX different coordinating fabrics. NOTE: You’ll need exactly 28″ cut straight, if you need to true-up or square your fabric, you may opt to work with 30″-32″ x Width of Fabric (WOF) pieces. 12″ solid fabric for inner border1-1/4 yard fabric for outer border2/3 yard fabric for bindingSeamingly Accurate Seam Guide (optional) Tips for Selecting Fabrics If you find that you do not quite have the required 28″ of one single print, consider pairing it with a fabric of a similar hue or value. This will trick the eye once the quilt is finished. Cutting: Cut each of the six different 28″ fabrics into four 7″ x WOF strips.Cut eight 1-1/2″ x WOF strips from 12″ inner border fabric.Cut nine strips 4-1/2″ x WOF from 1-1/4y outer border fabric.Cut nine strips at 2-1/2″ x WOF for binding. Construction: Arrange the 7″ strips into four piles with six unique fabrics each. Keep the strips in the same order in each pile. Use the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide to get perfect 1/4″ seams. Join the strips, using a straight stitch and 1/4″ seam allowance, in each pile. Press seam allowances in one direction. Here’s where the magic happens. Join the far left strip to the far right strip to create a tube. CAUTION: When joining these, note that the fabric grain may have shifted. The strip ends may not necessarily line up. It is more important to make sure there is no wavy or ripple in the fabric than it is to have the strip ends line up. Press.From here, I work with one...

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Patriotic Celestial Star Quilt

Patriotic Celestial Star Quilt

on May 1, 2019 in Blog, blogging others, charity, Featured, pattern, quilting | 0 comments

Patriotic and Paper Pieced Paper piecing isn’t all that bad! It seems to be everywhere, and although I’ve foundation paper pieced in the past, I didn’t love it. That disposition has changed! After learning a few more tricks about sewing through paper, I decided to try a favorite Celestial Star quilt pattern. This pattern is so versatile. I stitched it once during From Blank Pages pattern launch/quilt along. (See my first attempt from 2014) You’ll have to check out her blog to see all the amazing variations that are possible with this foundation paper pieced design. The Right Tools I don’t know if this is the right-right tool for the job, but it was an OK tool that had me enjoying the heck out of the process. It is elementary school writing newsprint paper. I grabbed a pack from Amazon, 500 sheets for less than $7. It is so light weight and tore very easily when I needed to remove the paper. Is there better paper? Sure. I’m certain. But here’s why I chose this 500 sheet bundle- value. Since I wasn’t sure if I’d ever print more than the 18 pages needed for a single Celestial Star block, I’m not out too much cash. The Block My block is going to be a wall-hanging entered in the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild’s 2019 Silent Auction at our quilt show. San Antonio is known as Military City, USA, so I opted to feature a Patriotic theme. The quilt has twelve points coming to a point in the center. Luckily, From Blank Pages has information on making that points’ intersection fantastic. Unfortunately for me, I found it right after I finished my top. But good news, I’m going to make this beautiful block again.My wall hanging is 29″ x 29″ finished. It is a BIG block + a border. The piece is quilted with four corresponding thread colors. Navy, Red, White, and light Blue. Turns out, when the thread matches the fabric exactly, you cannot see the quilting as well. If It Were A Quilt Because I love photoshop, I felt compelled to see what this layout would look like if it were a quilt. I like it, but man,...

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GSAQG Challenge Quilt 2019

GSAQG Challenge Quilt 2019

on Apr 30, 2019 in Blog, contests, Featured, free spirit fabrics, quilt, quilting | 0 comments

Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild is gearing up for the 2019 quilt show with a challenge! This blog post showcases how my 41″ x 41″ quilt came together. It was an absolute evolution of design. The Challenge Whirling Dervishes Deco by Philip Jacobs The challenge issued to our quilt guild was to create a small quilt, no bigger than 250″ perimeter using a fat quarter of this Philip Jacobs print. I fell in love with the fabric instantly. It has every color and is the brightest print I’ve seen! The Inspiration My design process started with the idea that I wanted to stitch various New York Beauty blocks and add applique shapes at the points. I tried making the block once by paper piecing and once by raw-edge fusible applique. Each of the squares above measures 10″ x 10″. That seemed like a good place to start. My test pieces for the quilt challenge quickly became out of control. (No one saw that coming!) I had raw-edge fusible shapes on everything. I was adding stuff left and right in all the bright colored fabric scraps that I could get my hands on. Instead of roping it in and editing myself, I decided that I love MORE IS MORE. This was my jumping off point. Buckle up, buttercup. The Progress Some days I feel like I’m learning to quilt. Specifically, learning to hand applique small shapes. I don’t know if a perfect circle would look like a circle when appliqued. After all, this isn’t a large Learn to Sew Easy Curves situation, though I did use the facing technique as I added a few quadrant arches. The small fabric circle problem is fixed with FELT. I thought, “Hey, wool felt applique is pretty popular. I bet there’s a reason.” Then, I priced wool felt. Cough. Cough. Since this was a small challenge piece that may turn out to be a total circus, I treated myself to a rainbow sampler of synthetic felt from amazon. Quadrant One Ok. Now I’m on my way. I just need some shapes and an idea… I drafted the New York Beauty portion of the block in Adobe Illustrator. The pink and white background fabric is...

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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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