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

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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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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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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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Green and Orange Scrap Quilt Wall Hanging

Green and Orange Scrap Quilt Wall Hanging

on Jun 21, 2018 in Blog, Featured, quilting, tutorial | 2 comments

Scrap Quilt: Wall hanging Today, I’d like to share my recent scrap quilt finish. As you know, I enjoy a good scrap quilt! This small wall hanging is was originally set to be two colors: orange and green. I decided early on, though, that I’d like the greens to move from light to dark outward from the center. Starting with many fabric pieces I made little sections of fabric large enough for each template. This is the technique of Made Fabric that Victoria Findlay Wolfe uses in her book, 15 Minutes of Play. I used a triangle template for the greens and a diagonal 6″ wide template for the orange. I don’t have the templates to share today, but they are easy to make. Making Templates Supplies Blank Paper or Scratch Paper Ruler Scotch Tape Pencil Drafting Tape sheets of paper larger than your finished block size. I opted to create my blocks to be 15″ square when finished. Draw a 15″ square in the center of the page. Add a 1/4″ seam allowance around the entire square. Lightly draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other. Measure and draw a line 3″ to the right and left of the diagonal to create a 6″ diagonal bar. Cut the paper apart on the diagonal drawn lines. Tape paper behind the new cut to add 1/4″ seam allowances. This technique works for any shape and for any size. If you want your diagonal bar to be 2″ wide, you can do it. If you’d like to make the block more complicated, try that, too. Draw. Cut. Seam Allowance. How It Started I didn’t always love the quilt. I started thinking the contrast between green and orange would be enough to make this quilt visually “work.” Boy, I was wrong. Check out the left side of the quilt. Each block is 15-1/2″ square, but it wasn’t until I added in little black strips did the quilt start to pop. Those lines give the eyes somewhere to rest in this sea of green and orange. Of course, now the blocks do not measure 15-1/2″. That is alright, I’d just have to cut them down a bit before adding them together....

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Fabric Scraps for Military Retirement Quilt

Fabric Scraps for Military Retirement Quilt

on Jun 12, 2018 in Blog, book, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 1 comment

Adding Fabric Scraps to a Military Retirement Quilt Thankfully, we are celebrating a retirement here in the family! How does a quilter celebrate? With a quilt, of course! The quilt is a gift for someone very close to the retiree. I hope she likes it! Design Inspiration Back in January, Heather Kojan on Instagram shared a photo of a blue scrap quilt. On her instagram feed, she mentions that her quilt is loosely based on a design she created for 100 Blocks years ago. My quilt is based on her single image, which is, of course, a traditional signature-style block: The design is gorgeous and simply elegant. Scraps set on the diagonal. Of course, her scraps are much more orderly and of more uniform size, hue, and value. The Scrap Quilt My blue scrap pile was a big ole wild mess of color values and scrap piece sizes. I was still able to piece and create shapes from which to cut one diagonal piece and two setting triangles. The templates were created from freezer paper. My 20 blocks are 15″ square with a 6″ wide diagonal section. Since this retirement quilt celebrates 20 years in the United States Air Force, I mixed in a few pieces of military uniform, too. My quilt is 4 blocks x 5 blocks. With borders it measures roughly 70″ x 85″. Using the military uniform in the quilt was a no-brainer for me, since almost 10 years ago I authored the book Deploy That Fabric. Man, I love that book so much! Longarm Quilting Design What I didn’t do 10 years ago was longarm quilt my own military uniform + fabric quilt designs. I was nervous, but the quilting was actually quite smooth. My basic block design features two curling feather designs in each white triangle and a wide wishbone pattern on the scrappy/military diagonal line. This was the first time I tried curling feathers. Thank goodness for practicing on a white board to develop muscle memory. The diagonal wishbones were quilted in one long quilting pass. The quilt is loaded onto the frame horizontally. As in, I rotate the quilt 90 degrees from how it would lay on a bed. By doing this,...

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Free-Motion Framework Book Tour

Free-Motion Framework Book Tour

on Jun 4, 2018 in Blog, book, Featured, FMFWQ, quilting | 69 comments

Join the Book Tour As you may know, my new book, Free-Motion Framework was made possible with the help of contributing quilters. A total of 17 quilters, including myself, stitched 41 quilts featured in this inspiring, machine-quilting skill-builder resource. This week we’ll hear from some of them on how the worked with the concept, interpreted their assigned designs, and how their quilts turned out. Today kicks off the Social Media Blitzo tour for Free-Motion Framework. Stop by the blogs, listed below, to read more about the new title, and when on Instagram or Twitter, check out the hashtag #FMFWQ or #FreeMotionFramework. The Overview Choose one of 10 Framework designs, or one of 12 if you have the Free-Motion Framework Pattern Sheets, to transfer onto your own 40″ square fabric using tips and instructions in the book. From here, prepare the fabric for quilting, as you would any other quilt. Choose shapes from the linear design to fill, symmetrically, with quilting designs. Practice as many design motifs as you like. Each time you create a small project, it will help grow your machine quilting skills and turn out completely different than the one you stitched before. Note: Build your skills on a domestic or longarm sewing machine. And, after you’ve practiced and quilted the entire piece, you’ll accidentally turn out a wholecloth quilt. Neat, right? I thought it might be fun to share the reasons you may want to keep Free-Motion Framework in your own library, and the “problems” I was trying to solve when I authored the book. 1. Quilting can be expensive. From machines and fabric to time and planning, quilting is a luxury hobby. For a past-time that started out utilitarian, it has grown to be an amazing creative art form. Turns out, art can get pricey. I wanted to develop a way to quilt without breaking the bank. All the projects in Free-Motion Framework are presented at 40″ x 40″.  You can create a quilt using 1-1/3 yards of fabric, batting, and backing. Even better, if you were to purchase 108″ wide backing, you can create two 40″ pieces from the one back. Sure you can make larger quilts by combining designs or adding a variety of...

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Intro to Free-Motion Framework: A New Workshop

Intro to Free-Motion Framework: A New Workshop

on Apr 21, 2018 in Blog, Featured, FMFWQ, quilting | 1 comment

The new book Free-Motion Framework hits stores in May! A brand new quilting workshop will also be offered. I’m so excited to share the Intro to Free-Motion Framework half-day class.  The spirit of the book focuses on challenging yourself at your own skill level and pace. It gives you an opportunity to reflect and say, “I think I’m going to practice such-and-such quilting design, and maybe also the whatever-whatever design.” Then, take those ideas and practice your quilting design symmetrically to accidentally create a wholecloth quilt. Updated to add: See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here, on the blog. Just like the book, the workshop project can be completed on a longarm or domestic home sewing machine. (When booking the workshop, special arrangements may need to be set for hosting a class in a longarm studio.) In the workshop we’ll mark a solid color fat quarter to create a 15-18″ mini quilt using the same design framework. Just like the 10 linear designs in the book, the Intro design also has its own goals worksheet to give you an opportunity to practice, take notes, and doodle before stitching. For the workshop, I created three samples to represent three skill levels who may try the Intro design. Of course, you do not have to make your mini quilt like these at all. Each quilter will likely turn out very different projects. (That is my favorite part!) The challenge levels are associated with these fabric colors: Pink – more advanced Grey – confident White – beginner In the pictures below, you’ll see the original marked lines on the finished samples. I’m hoping that will give you a reference point as to which shapes were isolated to be quilted. Pink Mini Quilt To create the pink mini quilt, I was able simply lay the light-colored fabric on a work surface and trace the design through the fabric. The water soluble pencils from Clover work great for this project; keep a pencil sharpener handy. I set the fat quarter up on my HandiQuilter Avante longarm frame, though this absolutely can be done on a domestic home sewing machine. (The workshop will be geared towards home-sewing-machine-based free-motion quilting.) Starting in...

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Writing a Book- Free-Motion Framework

Writing a Book- Free-Motion Framework

on Apr 17, 2018 in Blog, book, Featured, FMFWQ, quilting | 2 comments

Early last year I shared a blog post vaguely mentioning my “Secret Quilting Project.” I’m happy to report I can finally elaborate on the details and explain how the logistics of authoring Free-Motion Framework went down. From timeline to work-load, here’s how it happened: In late 2016, I pitched a concept to C&T Publishing to feature 10 linear designs created to help you improve your machine quilting skills while accidentally producing a wholecloth quilt.  The concept was well received. I have to say myself, I hadn’t seen anything like it in the quilting community, either. That was great news! The publishing team and acquisitions folks chatted with me about how broad the scope would be and how much it would take to write the book. When I say “how much,” I don’t mean money; I mean time.  We discussed release-dates and other planning events way back in the fall of 2016. My book, Free-Motion Framework, was in the incubator a bit longer than a usual book for two main reasons: My sweet husband deployed for half of 2017, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to be a quilt-author-maniac while holding down the fort. The book coordinates the efforts of generous sponsors and 17 different contributing quilters. That is a TON of quilters. Spreadsheets galore! Once that was ironed out, I was emailing my dream-team of quilters by November. Just like hosting a party, you throw out invitations and hope everyone can attend, but realistically some folks have other commitments and a few may have to cancel their RSVP’s.  Most quilters stitched two different design projects in the book. Others volunteered to quilt three. I think I personally quilted 10 or 11. I’d have to go back and re-count. Next up, reaching out to the amazing sponsors who provided products to help make this book a reality. Lots of emailing and lots of spreadsheets.  Thank you to these generous folks: Fairfield Batting Clover USA HandiQuilter Hab And Dash (previously Bobbin Central/Fil Tec) And don’t forget the amazing fabric sponsors. This book was much trickier for me to plan fabric than my previous books. In previous books, I’d design a quilt, and say “Hum, this quilt pattern needs 2 yards of...

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Introducing Free-Motion Framework by Jen Eskridge

Introducing Free-Motion Framework by Jen Eskridge

on Apr 13, 2018 in Blog, Featured, FMFWQ, quilting | 1 comment

Free-Motion Framework is finally here!!! Free-Motion Framework is my newest book releasing with C & T Publishing. I’m beyond excited to share the concept and details with you over the coming weeks. In a nutshell, the book is 10 linear designs created to help you improve your machine quilting skills while accidentally producing a wholecloth quilt. Sounds a bit crazy, right? I started out wanting to create a wholecloth quilt but soon realized there’s no way I wanted to plan a wholecloth quilt. It became clear that if I simply had a few guidelines marked, I could quilt whatever I felt comfortable-enough stitching and, as long as I worked symmetrically, I’d probably turn out a really neat quilt. The design is a bonus pattern in the Free-Motion Framework Pattern Package. Updated to add: See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here, on the blog. C & T  Publishing’s blog has a more in-depth look at the book, with excerpts from the title in their new blog post. To create this book, I worked with the aforementioned 10 linear designs, which I created in Adobe Illustrator. I then reached out to other machine quilters to assemble a team of 17 total quilters to create the 41 quilts featured in the book. Yes, FORTY-ONE quilts (not including any digital mock-ups). Each design is presented in it’s full square composition, and a quadrant of the design is presented. Then each linear design is stitched four times, by four different quilters using as many or as few lines as they’d like to fill in shapes with machine quilting designs which they feel comfortable stitching. For this reason, this skill builder is great for ALL levels of machine quilters. Take a look at these interpretations of the Shark Attack design:       This book will be a fantastic resource for machine quilting textures, as created by the army of quilting contributors, as well as a good go-to for low-stress machine quilting practice ideas. I hope you’ll add it to your library. There will be more details on this book in the coming weeks. I will share more sneak-peeks at the designs, the concept, the writing process, and more. For now,...

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