New “Twirl Me” Pattern

Here it is everyone! I showed you my polka dot mini quilt on Monday and hoped to have the pattern ready by the end of the week and I made my deadline. Do you want to see the mini quilt again? I hope so, because I’m going to show it to you!

Twirling Star Paper Pieced Chestnut Street Fig Tree Fabrics

The blocks are big – they finish at 18″. That makes it easy to make a nice size quilt without a lot of blocks. I used prints from the Chestnut Street by Fig Tree line for my mini. I think they are such happy prints, and that polka dot binding is my absolute favorite.

Here is an image of a throw size done in the same fabrics. You might notice I switched the two fabrics in the center pinwheel. I like the way that changing them made it easier to see the pinwheel.

Twirl Me Throw Quilt PatternSee how the pinwheels in the center of the block appear to spin? Even the block has a circular motion to it, making the stars look like they are dancing across the quilt.

The pattern includes fabric cutting recommendations to speed up the piecing, as well as a fabric key to help with labeling your fabric selections.

How about a solid version?

Twirl Me PP Pattern

The pattern is so versatile. You could make one block and turn it into a cushion cover. Or make two or three for a table runner.

Here’s a table runner size using Ombre and Spectrum from V and Co. Wouldn’t this be great for Valentine’s Day or spring decorating?

Spectrum and Ombre by V and Co Table RunnerThere are so many fabrics to use – every version would look totally different. Don’t you think a scrappy version would be so fun to make?

The PDF pattern is available for download from my Craftsy and Etsy shops. I can’t wait to see the fabric combinations you come up with. 🙂

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday


Posted in Mini Quilts, Paper Piecing, Patterns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A Lovely {Finished} Customer Quilt

Yesterday I showed you how I attach the binding on a quilt. The project I was working on when I took those pictures was a quilt for a customer. She asked me to quilt a large crosshatch on her top and make and sew on the binding.

Today I am going to show you her quilt.

Finished Quilt-Along Customer Quilt

Isn’t it so lovely? I love the 3D effect of the center medallion seeming to float on top of the rest of the quilt. This top was pieced entirely from stash/scraps. The name of the pattern is Cottage Romance and it was published in McCall’s Quilting over 6 issues as a quilt along. She did state that she changed the pattern a bit. I love what she did, and am tempted to make my own version of Cottage Romance!

Cottage Romance Quilt Pattern

It’s difficult to see the dark blue binding in these pictures, but I think it was the perfect choice. For the quilting, I stitched the diagonal lines 3″ apart. It gives the quilt the snuggly goodness we all love, and doesn’t overwhelm the piecing. It was also good practice for using my longarm rulers.

I was so happy send this quilt off to its forever home – hopefully it arrives on Friday as scheduled!


Posted in Customer Quilts, Machine Quilting | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

How I Hand Stitch Binding

My favorite method for adding binding to a quilt is to machine stitch it to the front and hand stitch it to the back. I love that last little bit of time to connect with the quilt. If it’s a gift, I send a lot of positive thoughts and love while I’m stitching; if the quilt is for a customer, I think about where the quilt will end up living and the person who finally gives the quilt its permanent home.

Dorky? Perhaps.

But I love quilting, and the binding is the last time I will work on a quilt before it’s time to move on to the next one.

Anyway………all this to say that while stitching binding the other day I snapped some quick pics with my phone. I thought it might be useful to someone to see the stitches I use to attach the binding to the back of my quilts. Be advised – these are indoor phone pics on a very grey and cloudy day. But we’ll make them work!

After sewing the binding to the front, I fold it over and clip it in place on the back. I knot the thread in place under the binding and bring the needle through the binding fabric from the back to the front.

Now, insert the needle in the top layer only of the backing fabric, as shown below:

Binding Stitch

Now, slide the needle under the top layer only about a quarter of an inch and bring the needle to the top of the fabric:

Hand Stitching the Binding

I keep my middle finger under the quilt so I can feel if the needle comes through to the front of the quilt. (It will happen once in a while – just take the stitch out and start again.)

At the point where the needle comes out of the fabric, insert it into the binding fabric. Keep the needle in the fabric and move it forward about a quarter of an inch, then bring the needle to the outside of the binding right where the fold is.

The picture below shows exactly how the needle goes under the backing fabric, into the binding fabric, and then out of the binding fabric. Go ahead and pull the needle all the way through and gently pull the thread tight.

Hand Stitching the BindingNow you are ready to repeat these steps for the next stitch. So, put your needle into the top layer only of the backing fabric right under where it came out of the binding and repeat the stitch.

What you end up with are hidden stitches and a smooth, professional looking finish on your binding:

Hand Stitched Binding

Once you get used to the movement, you’ll find that you can move along quite quickly and before you know it, the binding is all finished on your quilt!

If you struggle with hand stitching the binding on your quilts, I hope this mini lesson helps. 🙂

Posted in Tips & Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Happy Mail Day

Last week I was just hanging out on Instagram, doing my thing — you know, looking at all the yummy inspiration I find there and drooling over all the pretty things — when I saw a post by Corey Yoder (@corianderquilts). She was hosting a giveaway of the November Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop.

Usually I don’t enter giveaways because there are just so many hoops to jump through to enter. But Corey’s was easy…..just comment on the things you are most thankful for this year. Now that I could do! I left a comment, and a few days later I got a message that I was the winner! Whoop!! First giveaway I’ve ever won – you should have seen me doing the happy dance.

Look what came in the box:

November Sew Sampler BoxTalk about happy mail!

I can’t wait to use those ‘Olive’s Flower Market’ charm packs, Aurifil thread is always a treat, the pattern from Lella Boutique uses my favorite half square triangles, there’s a cool desk calendar, and that mini cutting mat is going to be so useful in my paper piecing projects. Score!

It was such a fun box to receive and it made me happy – I couldn’t wait to show it to you.

I’ve got more happy mail coming because I’ve been doing my share of Cyber Monday shopping. 😉 Do you have happy mail coming to you?



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MCM #49 – Polka Dot Fun!

Polka Dot Binding Paper Pieced Pattern

In July I participated in the 12 Days of Christmas blog hop (hosted by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict) and made this table topper to share during the hop:

Paper Pieced Table TopperThis was the first project I made where a pin dot fabric was a focal print, and I fell in love with it. I didn’t realize how much I liked polka dots until I used them here, and I think they are scrumptious.

This was also the first paper pieced pattern I had written, so this project held a lot of firsts for me! (You can download the pattern for free from my Craftsy pattern store.)

I am now working on my next paper pieced pattern. It’s a bit more detailed, and I’ve been having fun playing with fabrics and block size. I finally decided to make the blocks big — 18″ finished — because I love the look of big block quilts. Also, one block will make a nice size mini quilt. Here’s the version I’ve made:

Twirling Star Paper Pieced Chestnut Street Fig Tree Fabrics

Look! More dots!! I love the look of the dots here. With the exception of the binding and background, all the fabrics are from the Chestnut Street line by Fig Tree. The colors are so happy and bright, and I am seriously going to make a larger quilt with this pattern and these fabrics.

The binding is perfect – it is from the Riverwoods Collection – Three French Hens. Those dots are not very symmetrical which gives the fabric an edgier look – I really like it a lot.

Polka Dot Binding Paper Pieced Pattern

You can also see I played with the quilting a bit, adding in ghost shapes of the wonky star points. It was a lot of fun to quilt.

The name of the pattern is ‘Twirl Me’. It’s fun and contemporary, and you can probably tell I’m a little bit in love with it. 🙂

I have a few more editing details to take care of in the pattern, and I will have it available by the end of the week. I also have some different color options to share, as well as multi-block layouts. I’m so excited about this pattern, and I just couldn’t wait to show it to you. This is soooo my crush for this Main Crush Monday!

Okay, now it’s time to check in on what you have been working on and loving. But first, a recap of a couple of the links from last week:

Kate of Smiles from Kate has a fun tutorial on making an Origami Christmas tree. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I think it would look fantastic in many different colors.

Photo by Kate of Smiles From Kate

Photo by Kate of Smiles From Kate

Susan of Quilt Fabrication made a beautiful wall hanging that she is calling Blossoms. The flowers are so big, and the jewel tone of her fabric choices make them pop off the background.

Photo by Susan of Quilt Fabrication

Photo by Susan of Quilt Fabrication

Do you guys follow Katy at Katy Quilts? She is amazing in that she publishes a post almost every. single. day. On top of that, she has to be the fastest quilter I know. And, she is always working on something fun and interesting. Last week, it was her tumbler quilt. (I think she since has it sewn together – go check out her blog to see this amazing quilt.)

Photo by Katy of Katy Quilts

Photo by Katy of Katy Quilts

Okay, ladies and gents, it is now your turn to share your crush for this week’s Main Crush Monday. What has you excited to be in your sewing space this week? You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Posted in Main Crush Monday, Paper Piecing, Patterns | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments