Monday, June 29, 2015

Halfa Rainbow Pillow {Sizzix Tutorial}

Hi there!

I have a wee Sizzix pillow tutorial, let's call it the "Halfa Rainbow Pillow", for you today using the 5'' x 2 1/2'' Chevron Sizzix die.

Two of my daughters have these amazing window seats in their bedrooms and I have promised them pillows and window seat cushions. This past weekend we were able to get curtains hung in their freshly painted rooms (check and check, high five, yeah!). It only seemed fitting that I start to make good on my promise.

So I started with my middle daughter who has the ultimate girly rainbow MonStar quilt on her bed. (MonStar is a pattern from my book Modern Rainbow.) And I still have (well had) this delicious fat quarter bundle of Mirror Ball Dots by Michael Miller. So a pillow using these fabrics seems like a perfect fit.

Fabric sammich. Healthier than a Big Mac right? I'm still hoarding this fat quarter bundle of Michael Miller mirror ball dots.

Ok, so choose 3 Fat Quarters and 1/2 yard for background fabric. (You probably could get away with less fabric.) I chose to work with the cool half of the rainbow: purple, blue, and aqua.

Make your Sizzix sandwich - bottom cutting pad, die cutter with blades up, fabric, and top cutting pad. I could have folded my fat quarter more economically. However narrow you cut it or fold it, consider keeping the tail. This will help nest more die cut shapes from the fabric. Also note that for this pattern, you'll need to send half the fabric through the machine right sides up and the other half, right sides down. Cut 8 from each color - 4 from each side. Also cut 8 for the bottom background border and the top background border.

Once you get all your shapes cut out, divide them into two groups. If you were to cut these using a ruler, you would need to cut your 2 1/2'' strips and then use your 60 degree angle line to cut these shapes into groups of 60 degree and 120 degree shapes. It's kinda nice to just run the fabric through the Sizzix die cutting machine without thinking that hard! :) 

Ok, so two groups with 4 of each color in each group. We are going to sew 8 rows of these diamonds together - 4 rows with a forward slant and 4 rows with a backward slant. First lay out your rows - white, purple, blue, aqua, white. Then sew the diamonds together, end to end.

Lining up the diamonds can be a bit tricky. Once you know the trick it's fairly straight forward. Instead of lining up them up, you're going to stagger them by 1/4 inch to align the match points. Match points are where the seams align.

Once you have the 8 rows pieced,  press the seams to the side. Alternate directions as you press. You can see in my picture below that I've got the seams on the very bottom row are pressed to the right and the seams in the top row are pressed to the left. 

Next we are going to sew the rows together into pairs. The pairs will look a bit like an arrow. Make sure the arrows point in the same direction and the colors are also going the same direction. 

Working with two rows, align the seams with the right sides together. 

You can either pin the seams as I've shown in the picture below. 

Or, you can just nest the seams together without pinning as I show in this picture. This is my preferred method. 

Sew the 8 rows into 4 pairs and press the seams open. 

Repeat the process of sewing the rows together and sew the 4 pairs together to get the mini quilt top. Press the seams open and if you want trim the dog ears from the back. (The dog ears are those bits of fabric that stick out from the edges of the fabric and the seam allowances. They sometimes can show through the fabric once the project is quilted.) 

Now square up the top. I trimmed my top down so that the whole thing 
would be square at 16 1/2'' x 16 12''. 

When trimming make sure to leave at least 1/4'' seam allowance 
from the points closest to the edge, as I've shown below. 

Quilt as desired. I quilted echoing zig zags with straight line quilting using my walking foot. 
I also quilted in the ditch between each of the rows. 

Finish as a mini or a pillow. I made a pillow with an envelope enclosure. Then I bound the whole thing with the silver gray Mirror Ball dots. 

I've had this super girly border print type fabric since QuiltCon 2012 and I finally had a chance to use it. So the back is a treat in of itself. Note to self, must buy more fabric for fun pillow backs! 

Here the pillow, all done and ready to be snuggled. :) 

And honestly, this fabric and rainbow combination is perfect for My Little Pony. :) 

And somehow, the pillow has already been put to good use at a tea party. Somehow Merida commandeered Elsa's dress and now is lunching with Anna, hmmmmm. 

Thanks for tuning in guys! I'll answer any questions in the comments. :) 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Choosing Solids {A Work in Progress}

One of my favorite things about vintage quilts are that they pair a solid with a print within a block. I love that. And I love incorporating the same idea into my quilts.

In talking with Pat Sloan a few weeks ago, I was reminded of my love for pairing solids with a print. This week finds me pairing up a solid with this Anna Maria Horner print from her Folk Song fabric line. (This is for a test block that I'm not quite ready to show. Soon though!)

In matching my solids to prints, I always pull a rough draft selection. You can see my initial pull in this pic. As I was making my final choice, I was struck by how many colors matched. If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have told you that only one matched - the matchy match one. But this time I can see that more colors match, but they read in different ways.

It's been a long time since I've matched a solid to a print. It's one of my favorite things to do in a quilt. Some of my favorite antique quilts pair a solid with a print. In talking with @quilterpatsloan a few weeks ago, I remembered and here I am choosi

Had I wanted the EXACT match, I would have chosen the pink at the bottom right. The exact match seemed a little too plain Jane for the quilt I'm making - I guess I'm going for a visual KERPOW! This I'm sure is quite debatable, but had I wanted to go softer I might have chosen the soft pink. Sometimes you need a softness to juxtapose against the KERPOW, but not in this block. Maybe I'll do that later. I think I like to do my KERPOW first. Had I wanted to get a wee bit funky, I would have chosen the really pretty coral toned pink. Maybe I'll work in a funky block pairing later as well.

I ended up choosing the fabric right above the soft pink.

But now that I'm typing all this out and declaring my assessment of these solids, I wonder if I might should have chosen the brightest pink right at the top. Maybe it was a touch too dark. Hmmmm. Oh well, it's only fabric.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I just wanted to drop by to tell you that this week I'm on the Crafty Planner Podcast. Here's the direct link.  Thank you to Sandi for having me! 


Thursday, June 11, 2015

My Huckleberry Skirt {Finish!}

In the months before QuiltCon this past February, I thought it would be so cool if I made my quilt Huckleberry from my book into a skirt.

Hexy fun. #showmethemoda

I set out with the intention of wearing the skirt to QuiltCon, but I didn't order enough background fabric. (The background fabric is Andover's Chambray in Gray.) So the blocks sat on my table until I was ready to do my Spring Quilt Market sewing.

I'm such a mess today. ������

This time I ordered enough fabric and I even remembered to prewash the second batch of chambray. It'd be so like me to forget to prewash only half of the fabric.

Teetering on an experiment. I've got this #huckleberry quilt top all pieced. (Pattern from my book #modernRainbow) But I'm going to try to make it into a skirt for #quiltmarket. I'm not positive it will work. It's only fabric right? Eep!!

Fun fact: the points in the blocks aren't meant to match exactly. I designed it that way purposefully thinking it'd be too complex and stressful for the points to match. So the points float instead.

It worked! Now I can hem it. (I didn't want to cut the outer circle of my huckleberry until I knew for sure it'd work as a skirt.) yah!!

I put off cutting the hem until I was certain I would be able to construct it without destroying the quilt top. It was very stressful. :)

Details: Using Modern Rainbow pages 64-69 as a reference, I made the Huckleberry quilt top as called for but I didn't sew the quilt top halves together. Using the 2 quilt top halves as fabric, I then used Anna Maria Horner's Full Circle Skirt pattern to make the skirt (that is SUCH a great pattern!). I used 5 yards of chambray for the background and cut my background squares at 29'' each.

And it worked! Did I mention it was very stressful?

It's huckleberry skirt day! Pattern is my huckleberry quilt from #modernrainbow and @annamariahorner circle skirt pattern.

Here's me in my hotel room hashtag mirror selfie. :)

Repost: Annie of @vhaberdashery snagged this pic of me in my huckleberry skirt at market. Thanks Annie!

And Annie of The Village Haberdashery in the UK snapped this pic of me at Quilt Market. Thanks Annie!