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Woven and Felt Wool Applique

Woven and Felt Wool Applique

on Nov 12, 2019 in Blog, Featured, quilt, recycle, sewing | 0 comments

That’s it! I’ve fallen down the wool applique rabbit hole. I’ve spent a good bit of my sewing time talking about ways to avoid hand sewing and here I am… HAND SEWING. I’m still operating on a thrifty budget. Most of the wool I use comes from thrift shops, with the exception of a robin’s egg blue and a cream color. I shop the women’s blazers and long skirts sections to find fuzzy, 100% wool. Then I go home and break down the garment into flat pieces. I’ll wash the pieces on HOT, koolaid dye any sections for more variety and tumble dry. Improv Being absolutely inspired by Kim McClean and Sue Spargo, I’ve decided to take an improvisational and whimsical approach to my wool and cotton applique. I’ve started to prep shapes with no real vision. Yes, you read that right. Start by identifying shapes that are in traditional applique blocks, traditional Baltimore Album and Basket blocks, leaves, stems, circles of all sizes, etc. Then I start prepping an 8″ pizza box full of shapes. The piece above was all glue based in place when I decided it looked too messy. I ended up taking the elements off and repurposing them in other designs and blocks. (Although, now that I’m seeing it on the computer, I don’t mind it as much. Shame.) Other times, I’ll start with artwork and actually make the shapes to fit the block. This one, above, is from a Scandanavian/Folksy design I created. I appliqued the design onto mens shirt fabric. If you’d like to try to make that design, I have the sketch scanned for you. Feel free to right-click -> save as and print off these shapes below. Quilt Blocks While working with my more random classic shapes, this is how I go about making an improvisational wool applique block: First, I start with a neutral or low volume fat quarter or fat eighth if I have one. Then I arrange my designs with: base (basket, vase, square, trapezoid)stems (made from homemade bias strips)flower tops (anything goes here)leaves and maybe berries Once everything is arranged, I use Dawn Heese‘s method of glue basing my shapes to the background. Maybe it isn’t her...

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Accidental Watermelon Quilt

Accidental Watermelon Quilt

on Jun 18, 2019 in Blog, Featured, pattern, quilt, quilting, tutorial | 0 comments

I accidentally created a Watermelon Quilt. Yep. Sometimes things work out perfectly and a splash of green looks great with a splash of pink, but other times: Oops. Watermelon Quilt. On the upside, I love watermelon. Wait until you see the quilting design, too. You’ll laugh. Here’s How It Happened I wanted to try making the LARGE scale Scrappy Trip Around The World using a rectangle design instead of creating perfect square blocks. It was surprisingly harder. If you missed it, here’s a quick picture of the large square quilt: For my Accidental Watermelon Quilt I used 5″ cut strips, instead of the recommended 7″ cut strips. I chose that size because I had used 5″ squares for something previously and had leftover strips already cut. All I needed to do was fill in the gaps with a couple more fabric colors. Here’s my fabric pull. Laying out as a fabric pull, this didn’t immediately scream “WATERMELONS,” but here we are. The test for this quilt was to create four large-scale quadrants that were rectangles rather than a squares. I learned by making rectangles, that you do not have the luxury of simply shifting your pieced strips to put a different focus fabric on the diagonal. Oops. So, I guess we are going with white. Or I could have opted to stitch the row of squares back into a tube and rip the seam between two different colors. This is one quadrant: Its starting to look a bit more like the festive summer-time snack. The rectangle design also required I to add in a horizontal and vertical row to join the quadrants properly and keep the design. I think you can see the horizontal and diagonal center row/column in the picture below. And yes, guard dog is in full-effect. Finishing the Watermelon Quilt Although I free-motion quilt on a HandiQuilter Avante longarm, I’ve recently dabbled in the computer-guided longarm options. This was the second quilt I stitched on my new-to-me ProStitcher. I kid you not, this computerized pattern looks like watermelon seeds! I figured I should just go for it. Embrace the watermelon! Changing The Sizes I’ve made this Scrappy Trip Around The World in a few sizes. Check...

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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 considerably 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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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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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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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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Disappearing 9-Patch With Layer Cakes BABY QUILTS

Disappearing 9-Patch With Layer Cakes BABY QUILTS

on Nov 9, 2017 in Blog, fabric stash, Featured, quilt, quilting, tutorial | 9 comments

Disappearing 9-Patch is quite popular. My blog tutorial for this quilt style made with 10″ precut squares, Layer Cakes, is one of my most popular. Readers and quilt class students often ask how to create the Disappearing 9-Patch with Layer Cakes in a smaller size. Well, I have great news! This tutorial will show you how to create TWO small quilts from one precut fabric bundle and a small bit of yardage. Don’t you love that bright layer cake? Fabric designer, Patty Young of Mod Kid Boutique, asked a few pattern designer/bloggers to take her beautiful new collection for Riley Blake for a test drive. I’m thrilled to showcase her line Flit and Bloom in this tutorial. Skill Level: Super Easy Beginner Finished Size: Two Quilts approx 64″ x 64″ Supplies: 1 Layer Cake* Flit and Bloom by Patty Young is featured in this tutorial. 2 1/3 y white polka dot yardage (Bloom Scalloped Dot) 2/3 y pink fabric, border of quilt one 2/3 y grey fabric, border of quilt two 1/2 y binding for EACH quilt *Layer Cake is a precut 10″ x 10″ square fabric bundle with at least 40 pieces. 40 pieces are used in this tutorial. The term “layer cake” is a trademark of Moda Fabrics. Cut Quilt Pieces: 32 total white squares From the yardage, cut 8 strips at 10″ wide From the 8 strips, cut 4 squares 10″ x 10″ each TIP: Using a large cutting mat, stack sets of strips to make faster cuts. Construction: Remove two 10″ squares from the precut pack. In this case, I removed the Bloom Scalloped Dot, since it is going to be used elsewhere in the quilt design. These two will not be used. Also count out eight white squares. Set these aside. You will use them. Make eight basic, although GIANT 9-patch blocks using four white squares and five prints. Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Grab a Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide to make sure your 1/4″ seam is always accurate. To assemble the quilt quickly, I used a serger. Here’s why: You can go fast! The serger stitches must faster than my home sewing machine. You don’t need to wind a bobbin. Ever. The...

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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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Blue Flying Geese: Queen-Size Quilt

Blue Flying Geese: Queen-Size Quilt

on Jul 9, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilt, tutorial | 2 comments

It seems I’m currently obsessed with Giant Flying Geese. The newest queen-size quilt in the Giant Flying Geese collection is created from every blue shade in my own fabric stash. Speaking of fabric stash: Smaller scraps (bigger than 2″ and too small to properly fold to store) sorted by color in ziploc bags. The ziplocs are then stored in a plastic tub. Larger scraps  (big enough to fold, but not a fat quarter OR a big piece that has a weird shape cut out of a portion of it) folded, sorted by color in a plastic tub. Fat Quarters (only the square ones, not actual 1/4 yard cuts) sorted by color in two fabric bins in the cubbies. Ok, so now that we’ve gone through the scraps it was time to cut! 56 squares measuring 8-7/8″ x 8-7/8″  NOTE: I created an 8-7/8″ x 8-7/8″ square template from paper to lay over each scrap to determine if it was big enough. Huge time saver! 14 squares measuring 17-1/4″  x 17-1/4″ Since this was scrappy, I knew I wanted scrappy binding. Each time I had a bit extra fabric, I’d cut off a 2-1/4″ x width to use later at the end of the project. I also stored all those in a ziploc bag because I didn’t want to lose them before the quilt was finished. Using the No-Waste Flying Geese Method on this large scale, detailed on the original pattern post, I whipped up 56 flying geese blocks in a weekend. Ok. that is going well. There’s a simple method to planning a quilt this larger without a design wall. 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. Ta’dah – super scrappy with no design wall or stress. THAT is how I can finish quilt tops in a...

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