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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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Fabulous Franny Flamingo Quilt

Fabulous Franny Flamingo Quilt

on Jun 11, 2019 in Blog, charity, Featured, quilting | 0 comments

Finally, let me introduce you to Franny Flamingo! Apologies for having my blog dormant for so long. I had a bit of trouble with WordPress not wanting to save any drafts. Who knows what I clicked or what has been updated to allow me to post today. Just know, this was originally planned for August. Yes. AUGUST and here we are at the end of October. More on Franny Flamingo: The Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild hosted a speaker who shared curved log cabin techniques. Man, this definitely fell in the “I didn’t even know I needed that. BUT I DO!” category. So I made a large blue and white log cabin. I think this curved log cabin presentation was in March or April 2019. Around that time, I purchased a used, second longarm with a computer. This blue and white block was the first thing I pieced to quilt on the computerized frame. The computerized design looked cool, but the fabrics were so busy that you really cannot see too much going on with the quilting. I decided to remedy that with applique. Wool Applique Every applique starts with a drawing, in my mind. Metaphorically and literally. I thought it’d be funny to have the rich winter-y wool juxtaposed with a nice beach-Florida Franny Flamingo. Thanks to a different GSAQG lecture by Dawn Heese, I’m full-on the wool applique movement. She recommends using freezer paper and glue stick to prep your wool applique work. Say no more! My wool is mostly all sourced from thrift shops. I buy women’s 100% wool blazers and skirts to take apart, felt in the washer/dryer, and press. Ok. Franny Flamingo is all prepped. She just needs a few stitches to hold everything in place. I had a great plan to hand-stitch all the wool, but it turns out, I was more successful by using the machine through the quilting layers. I’ll save hand-stitching for a different time. Finishing Franny Franny ultimately needed something to ground her into the space. I’m not sure I achieved that effect, but I was able to add some grass and sunshine to the design, before binding. Those elements are quilter’s cotton, not wool. Prairie points, facing inward,...

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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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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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