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

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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 | 9 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 | 1 comment

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...

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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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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...

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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!  ...

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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...

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Giant Fat Quarter Flying Geese – Queen Size

Giant Fat Quarter Flying Geese – Queen Size

on May 29, 2017 in Blog, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, quilting, tutorial | 0 comments

The Fat Quarter Flying Geese free quilt pattern/tutorial makes a queen size quilt using fat quarters. These traditional Flying Geese block units are HUGE! Get your fat quarter pieces out and pull 28 coordinating pieces. No more hoarding fat quarters with this easy, big ole’ design. Fabrics Used in this Quilt 24-piece fat quarter bundle (Garnet, by Nancy Zieman) Plus 4 additional coordinating fat quarters 1 yard of brown for the 4″ border Additional fabric for the binding Using the free pattern, I stitched 55 HUGE geese each measuring 16-1/2″ x 8-1/2″. Note: If you happen to have a layer cake (10″ precut square pieces) rather than a fat quarter bundle, use this Giant Flying Geese with Layer Cakes pattern instead. Sew the Quilt The quilt is arranged in five columns, each with 11 rectangular blocks. The easiest way to create the top:   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. Yes, it is pretty random. I like that look.  But, by sewing the geese in pairs first, you do have the option of making a traditional style quilt where the geese (large triangle) points all “fly” in one direction. The quilt is framed in a 4″ brown border. I think it helps with the randomness. The design is quilted focusing the geese (larger) and sky (smaller) triangles separately. Without the borders, the quilt measures approximately 80″ x 88″. Turns out, that is really big for snapping a photo in the back yard. Here it is on the fence…. oops- with wind. I’m sure there’s an actual “flying geese” joke here somewhere…. Ah, wait. Here we go. I love how this turned out and wouldn’t ya know, I have more fat quarters to create another...

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Disappearing 9-Patch with Lily and Loom Craftsy

Disappearing 9-Patch with Lily and Loom Craftsy

on Apr 13, 2017 in Blog, fabric stash, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, quilting | 1 comment

This fun Disappearing 9-Patch quilt is made using 10″ precut squares (aka LAYER CAKES)! The quilt features Lily & Loom, new fabric by Boundless, which is releasing on Craftsy.  The layer cake features 42 precut 10″ squares. The whole pack is youthful and bright. Get your fabric bundle here. Using the Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes tutorial, I was able to make the quilt top in an afternoon. The pieces/units are HUGE. And of course, I chain pieced everything, even the binding pieces. I tend to make the binding first so I don’t accidentally use the fabric in the quilt. This quick cutting tool, The Cutting Gizmo, is amazing. I have mentioned it before. I received the cutter for Christmas and am not sure how I quilted for 20+ years without it. Cut, cut, cut and the chain pieced units were read to stitch. See how easily the quilt goes together on the sewing tutorial. I opted to stitch a quick all-over swirl design on my HandiQuilter Avante 18″. Lastly, I just needed to apply binding. I did that by machine, too, making this quilt incredibly fast to stitch. Volia! Finitio! If you’d like to make this quilt for yourself, grab a quilt kit here. This post contains affiliate...

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Platinum Garden: Satin Wholecloth Quilt

Platinum Garden: Satin Wholecloth Quilt

on Mar 28, 2017 in Blog, Featured, FMFWQ, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, quilting | 6 comments

I’m crazy for this platinum satin whole cloth quilt! It is named Platinum Garden and started out as a wild experiment. A 60″ x 60″ quilting adventure! What I wanted was one of those amazing silk wholecloth quilts with the puffy and fantastic wool battings. Upon further inspection – YIKES – silk is almost $30/yard and wool batting isn’t for the faint of heart. (I couldn’t commit at those prices.) Since this was to be a test, I went with polyester, “platinum” color satin charmeuse and high-loft polyester batting. To top it off, I actually used a bed sheet (50/50% poly cotton) from Walmart as the backing! Pretty crazy, right? As you may know, I’m enjoying a quilting series of whole cloth quilts, like the one in this wholecloth post and this wholecloth post.  As described in those previous adventures, I start with a linear quadrant design like this one: Print the quadrant once, tape it together, and trace it onto the wholecloth four times, or simply print it four times. I opted to just print the full-size quadrant once. Note: This quadrant design is not available for free full-size download. The design is a bonus pattern in the Free-Motion Framework Pattern Package. For more on this style of quilting, using a linear design/framework to accidently stitch a wholecloth quilt, check out Free-Motion Framework. Updated to add: See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here. Since I was using slippery & shifty satin, I decided to use dressmaker’s carbon tracing papers to transfer the design to the quilt’s surface. Of course, I started in right away on the quilting. Some feathers here. Some lines there. A few wishbones in the corners. Then I realized this quilt was WAY too big and to slippery to roll back and forth to work in a symmetrical quilting fashion. Instead, I decided to draw directly on my printed quadrant to serve as a road map for what I was going to quilt when I needed to replicate the top half of the quilt, on the bottom half. I pinned it above my quilt frame as a reference. (I’m going to have lots of holes to patch on that wall if we ever...

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SAMQG Mini Quilt Auction Pieces

SAMQG Mini Quilt Auction Pieces

on Mar 23, 2017 in Blog, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting, SAMQG | 4 comments

The first-ever San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild (SAMQG) Mini Quilt Auction fundraiser is fast approaching! My general plan was to make a satin, wholecloth butterfly. You’ll see… that didn’t quite happen. The auction rules are to create a 16″ x 16″ mini quilt. The quilts will hang at a local quilt shop, Sew Special, and will be in a silent auction which ends on May 11. Very exciting. It will be a mini show and fundraiser for our group. After marking three 16″ squares, a 20″ x 60″ piece of polyester satin is loaded onto my HandiQuilter frame. I started with a practice piece to warm up my arms. (Remember, I’m aiming to make a butterfly….) I LOVE how the heart turned out! It is quilted with Pink Glide thread. Ok, that was fun. Since I had three areas marked off, I went ahead and practiced the graffiti quilting all over the second mini quilt space. I switched to NEON Green Glide thread. WOWSA. This stuff is day-glo for sure. The black light looks really cool, right? Lastly, one square remains. Do I try to make a symmetrical butterfly or try to make an improved heart? Well…… I went NEON Green heart. I ended up taking the whole piece off the frame, squaring up the designs, and binding them all. Here’s how all three mini quilts turned out. Pink Graffiti Quilting Heart And a side view for some fantastic quilty-shadows: Green Graffiti Quilting Heart And another side view of the mini quilt: Random Green Graffiti Quilting The side view: And a close-up just for fun: The butterfly concept didn’t make it. (YET!) For now, I just have to decide which quilt to submit to the auction!!! Cast your votes in the...

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Big Secret Sewing Project – Still Secret

Big Secret Sewing Project – Still Secret

on Feb 15, 2017 in Blog, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 0 comments

My blog has been a bit quieter in 2017. Sorry about that! I have a really good reason, I promise. I’m working on a big project. I thought I’d show you some frustratingly-vague photos until I can share more details. I’m working with a whole handful of quilters. A HUGE thank you to all the folks who are working away on this little idea I have. You guys are making it all possible!!! And I’m working with generous companies! Fairfield Batting Clover USA HandiQuilter Bobbin Central / Fil-Tec And I’m making great progress as the days go on. Quilt a bit. Take some notes. Quilt a bit more. Make some more notes. Snap a few photos. Zoom in on a few spots. Take some more notes. Try to make complete sentences. Quilt a bit more. That is pretty much my process right now. Phew. It is a blast! I’ll still posts sewing projects when I can, but know I’m working really hard to bring you something really really cool. I’ll be sure to share more details as they unfold! Be great...

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Grumpy Cat Quilt

Grumpy Cat Quilt

on Dec 20, 2016 in Blog, Featured, quilt, quilting, SAMQG | 4 comments

Grumpy Cat Quilt Yes, you read that right. It is a Grumpy Cat Quilt. The San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild has a Pop Culture Sewing Bee: everything from Pusheen to Zelda, from Comic-Con to Memes and more! I chose Grumpy Cat as my project for the December meeting. I do not have a pattern for the Gato Gru??n, but here’s how I made him: First, you’ll need an image. I did a google search for “Grumpy Cat Cartoon” thinking the colors and shapes would already be broken down into easy, usable areas. That worked. Save the image Using software, scale the image to the size you want. (I assume you could do this in MS Office/Word, but I used Illustrator.) Print the image using the “tile large pages” or “poster” option. My finished piece is about 18″ x 24″. Tape the image back together. You might find it helpful to outline the shape edges with sharpie. I tried, but the sharpie I was using was on its way out. I taped it to a window (to act as a light board) and traced the outlines of the shapes onto Heat’n Bond fusible web. Label the pieces before you cut them out! If you are making a portrait or image using this method, be advised that the final image will be “flipped” from what you printed. (You can flip the image on the computer before you print, if it isn’t symmetrical – like letters or recognizable places.) Cut out the wacky little heat’n bond shapes and fuse them to the wrong-side of your project fabrics. Now arrange the shapes, using the original printed image as a guide. I worked in little sections. If I had something in the wrong place, I wouldn’t screw up the whole project with one press. Right-side of the Grumpy Cat face Left-side of Grumpy Cat face Nose/Mouth Left ear Right ear Tail and body shadows LAST- eyes. I was nervous about really messing those up. As Melissa Averinos says, the eyes are the most important part of the portrait. Hey, are those cheese-y pigs in a blanket on my plate in the lower right corner (above)? Why, yes they are! You cannot have a sewing...

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