MCM #104 – Fabric Prep for New Projects

I’ll admit it, I am not the biggest fan of cutting all the fabrics first when starting a new project. I even went through a stage where I would cut a few pieces and then sew what I could before cutting a few more. I eventually realized how inefficient that method was and now I {usually} do all the cutting before starting the piecing. Even though it’s not my favorite thing to do, I will admit it’s nice to have everything cut and ready to go when I have a few minutes I can spend in my sewing room.

So yesterday I spent a bit of time working on fabric prep for a couple of projects. First up is a sample quilt for our local shop. The store is preparing for a couple of events where they will be vending, and they need samples. When Warren asked if I would make a small quilt for them of course I said yes. I mean, playing with fabric someone else has paid for is so much fun!

The fabrics he chose are from Fig Tree – their Coney Island and Strawberry Fields lines.  I love the brightness of the fabrics, and that blue is so luscious!

Fig Tree FabricsThe second project I’m working on is another quilt using the Card Trick pattern I used when I made my Twelve Year quilt. This version is in shades of blue and I’m making it for my mother-in-law. Below are the fabrics I’m using, and they are all cut and ready for piecing.

Fabric prep card trick pattern

Remember when I made her the Star Blossom quilt?

Star Blossom Quilt PatternWhile I was working on this quilt, my dear sweet hubby convinced me his Mom needed a quilt that was queen size. In my heart of hearts I knew the quilt was too big but the side of me that wants to please everyone decided to listen to hubby. (Insert rolling eyes emoji here!)

In the words of Julia Roberts, aka Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. Huge!”

Next time I’ll just nod while he’s talking and then do what I know is right.

Because the quilt is way too big for her bed. Because the woman sleeps on a full size bed and not a queen size bed. Because now I have to fix it. And there’s no way this quilt can be taken apart and made to fit her bed without a lot of editing. Which means I’m making another quilt.

I’m the teeniest bit irritated with hubby – I spent a ton of time on his mother’s quilt and I *love* the way it turned out. And she doesn’t even get to enjoy it!

This time I’m going with a pattern I know will fit her bed, and one I can put together pretty quickly.

So now I have the fabrics for two quilt projects cut and ready for when I have time to sew. I have to admit, I’m excited the fabrics are cut. How do you feel about pre-cutting your fabrics?

Fabric Prep - Two Projects

This week will be another busy week here – 3 classes, two days at the quilt shop, conference call one afternoon, two quilts to piece, and I’d like to finish two customer quilts. Time management is going to be key!

What do you have on your schedule this week? I hope it’s something fun like spending time quilting! These two projects are my what I’m crushing on this week. Now it’s time for you to share yours – what has you excited to be in your sewing space? Link up now – here’s how:

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Posted in Main Crush Monday, New Project | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

…and a label is born…

I absolutely pinky swear, cross my heart, raise my hand in the Girl Scout pledge, that this will be the last I talk about the Bird Quilt. This week. Maybe. Seriously.

My friend, Leslie, the lucky person who is going to receive the bird quilt said to me “I’m not taking that quilt home until it has a label on it.” She has this notion that ALL quilts everywhere should be labeled. Weird, right?

Okay, maybe not so weird. But I’m lousy at labeling my quilts and she knows it. Recently Leslie’s daughter bought a quilt at a thrift shop and it was labeled with the maker’s name, date, and home town. They both love knowing when, where, and who made the quilt.

So I made a label. Nothing fancy, but all the pertinent info is there. Years from now, someone may find this quilt and know when, where, and who made it. Which is good info to have if they’re interested. It adds to the story of the quilt. And who doesn’t love a good quilt story?

I got to use my embroidery machine, so that was fun. The next label I make (Yes, there will be more!), I want to make the label more personal and themed to the quilt. This one would have looked good with a tiny bird on there somewhere..

That’s it – done with the bird quilt. Although I will tell you, I bought myself one of the panels so I see another one of these in my future. 🙂

In other news, I snapped a pic of the fabric pull for my next project. I’m making a queen size Card Trick quilt in these lovely blues:

I’m excited to start cutting into these. It’s going to be a fun top to make.

Have a great week with lots of quilty fun!

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts

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MCM #103 – More Printed Patterns!

Happy Monday! I’m always glad when Monday rolls around. It’s the start of a new week and everything feels fresh and new. Last week was busy for me; this week is even busier.

I started two sessions of Beginning Quilting 1 last week. Introducing new people to this wonderful craft is always so exciting for me. It’s fun to see the quilting bug bite someone when they’re in class. I love the feeling I get knowing that I’ve just brought them into my world of WIP’s, UFO’s, fabric hoarding, overflowing scrap baskets, and more projects than they will ever have time for. Ha! It’s an addiction!

This week I will have the two BQ1 classes and will also start a three week class (1 session per week) teaching the first pattern I wrote – Floating. You can read about the different versions I’ve made here, here, and the latest Alison Glass one.

You may remember I am in the process of redesigning all of my patterns and printing them in booklet form. The most recent pattern I released “Summer Rain” was the first I had printed and I love the way it looks. Since then I’ve been able to add two others to booklet form – Spinning and Floating.

Spinning was originally written using 3 different fabrics (I used Quilters Linen in shades of blues and greens, my fav!).  The newest version of Spinning has instructions for making an ombre version. I had a lot of questions from quilters who wanted to make an ombre version after seeing the one I made, so it made sense to rewrite the pattern to make it easier to use ombre fabric.

Quilting Detail SLQ

Printing pattern booklets is progress toward my overall goal of marketing and distributing the Cooking Up Quilts pattern line. The booklets are available in my local quilt shop, and I would love for them to be available in yours. If you would like to see your local shop carry any of my patterns, please ask them to get in touch. I welcome wholesale inquiries!

To celebrate the printing of these two popular patterns, I’m offering a 20% discount on all my patterns. Yay! Who doesn’t love a sale? The discount includes PDF or print patterns, and no coupon code is needed – I’ve changed the price to reflect the discount. PDF copies are available through my Craftsy shop. If you would like a print copy, just email me and we’ll work it out (info@cookingupquilts {dot} com)

Along with the pattern printing, I’m also beginning the process of redesigning and updating the blog to reflect my new branding. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I’ve got a fantastic graphic designer leading me through it and, frankly, doing most of the work. I couldn’t do it without her!

As far as quilting progress, I finished another customer quilt and finally put the last stitch in the binding on the bird quilt. All that’s left to do is add a label and then I can give it to my friend, Leslie. She’s going to love it!

Binding on Bird Quilt

I love the stitching on these corners!

I also managed to get the Floppy Feathers video uploaded, but I’m not happy with it. I want to make a better one for you and I plan to get that done this week. I have seen that some of you have been playing with the design on your own projects. Keep it up! Maybe after I get a better video made for you we can have a feather linky party! I always like a good party – how about you?

I also want to remind you that registration for the 2018 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop will open in a little over a week. February 1 is right around the corner!

Wow! That’s a lot to crush on this week, and now it’s time for you to share yours. I love to see the projects that have you excited to be in your sewing space, so link them up! Here’s how:

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Posted in Main Crush Monday, Patterns | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

How I Stitch Floppy Feathers

Floppy Feather FMQ

I promised you I would share how I stitched the floppy feather design on the bird quilt. I drew the design on drawing paper and also made a video for you. However, I’m having difficulty getting the video uploaded. Hopefully I can fix whatever the issue is (I’m thinking it’s my satellite internet and all this snowy weather), and you’ll be able to see it soon.  Until then,  I hope the following makes sense to you.

** Picture Heavy Post Follows **

Are you ready? Let’s go get our stitch on!

First, let me give some credit here. This is NOT my original design. I first saw it on Instagram. Rebecca (@rubybluequilts) uses these feathers on her quilts and I wanted to learn how to do them as soon as I saw them. She also has a short video on how she makes them. If you like to see inspirational quilting, I hope you’ll hop over to Instagram and follow Rebecca!

Okay, now we can get our stitch on! 🙂

Floppy feathers is an easy design, it fits in any space, it’s a good filler or edge to edge design, and it can be stitched in pretty much any size.

So the first thing to do is stitch your first feather. You won’t have a spine to work from, and it doesn’t matter which side you start on. You will want to work from the bottom up, as that is what makes this feather so easy to stitch.

Floppy Feather FMQ

Then, add a second feather on the opposite side:

Floppy Feather FMQThe thing that makes these feathers ‘floppy’ is that they don’t connect. You’ll want to make sure to leave some space between the feathers where the spine would normally be. All you are doing is giving the suggestion of a spine.

Continue stitching until you are ready to change the direction you are traveling in. The feathers need to twist and turn in different directions. You don’t want them all running in a straight line – they will lose the floppy affect.

When you are ready to make a turn, stitch two or three (or more, if needed) feathers on the same side. In the picture below you can see the last three feathers I drew are all on the left side. That’s because I’m getting ready to turn to the right. Hang on, you’ll see where I’m going in a minute… 🙂

Floppy Feather FMQ Now I’m ready to turn so I make another feather in the direction I want to turn (in this case, to the right.)

Floppy Feather FMQ

And now I can just keep going to the right..

Floppy Feather FMQ

When I’m ready to turn again, I just start stitching multiple feathers on the opposite side of the direction I want to go. In the pic below, I want to take the design up (or to the left), so I stitch several feathers on the right side.

Floppy Feather FMQ

As for the path that I followed, I worked with the throat space on my machine. I wanted to fill in the entire area, so I just loosely followed an imaginary wavy line. You can see what I mean in the picture below:

Floppy Feather FMQYou can also see that the row of feathers on the farthest right side is taller than the first row. This design looks best if you let it be organic. You don’t want everything to be symmetrical – that will allow any mistakes to jump out. Just let it ride up and down and go where it wants. When you start the next row, you can fill in any spaces with feathers and it will look fabulous.

Floppy Feather FMQStitch each row in opposite directions. This lets you have feathers running every which way, up, down, right, left.

Floppy Feather FMQIn the above picture, you can see how I stitched three feathers on the bottom right, in order to make the turn to the left. Even though this design looks sloppy drawn on paper, it looks so good when stitched out and gives fantastic texture to a quilt. I hope you’ll try it and share your projects. I’d love to see your Floppy Feather projects!

I’ll let you know as soon as I can upload the video. I think seeing it stitched will be helpful. I know I’m a visual person, and I always enjoy watching FMQ videos.

Posted in Free Motion Quilting, Tips & Tutorials, Tutorials | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

MCM #102 – Crushing on the Birds

I am so excited to share this quilt with you. I almost said ‘share this finish’ but technically it’s not a finish yet. I still have to put on the binding. But the quilting is done and I’m extremely pleased with how it looks.

Front View Bird QuiltI was so excited for you to see this that I braved the 19 degree temps to take a few outside pics. I could only be outside a few minutes and then I was back in the house. It was COLD out there!

If you follow me on Instagram (I hope you do!) you might have already seen a few of these pictures but I have more to share here.

For the quilting I tried a new to me design. I first saw this on Instagram from Rebecca (@rubybluequilts), and I call it floppy feathers. I figured feathers and birds go together, right? It is a really fun and forgiving design to stitch. So fun that I’m using it on the current customer quilt I’m working on.

Floppy FeathersI didn’t do it perfectly, but trust me, no one but the quilting police will know. And since we don’t have quilting police where I live, it’s all okay! Later this week I’ll share how I stitched the floppy feathers.

I used the feather design on the pieced center of the quilt, and treated two of the borders individually. The third (skinny white) border I left unquilted, although I might revisit that decision and add some matchstick quilting there. The inner border has a loose Figure 8 design. It’s an easy go to design that works well in almost any shape and size.

Figure 8 BorderThe outside border shows off the piano key design – one of my favorite border treatments.

Piano Key BorderThere were a few rays of sunshine that hit the quilt as it was laying on the snow and shows off the texture of the quilting. If you zoom in on the picture below you can see the feather design better.

Quilting TextureAnd a back view….

Quilting Texture - backThis quilt is incredibly cuddly and soft, just what my friend wanted. I’m going to take my time putting on the binding, just so I can enjoy the quilt a while longer! Then I’m going to buy myself a bird panel and make one of my own.

Which reminds me, a few people have asked about the panel. I tried to respond to everyone who asked but just in case I missed someone…. The panel was designed exclusively for the quilt shops that participated in the WV shop hop last fall. My local quilt shop, Bolts & Quarters, has a few left and they are $11.99 each. The shop will be happy to mail them, so if you want one just give them a call.

That’s my crush for this week, now it’s time for you to share yours – here’s how:

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Posted in Free Motion Quilting, Main Crush Monday, Quilt Gallery | Tagged , | 23 Comments