Saturday, March 25, 2017

Modern By The Yard :: Table Runner

I can now share my publication news!  I am forever grateful for the opportunities I have been given to share my craft.  Modern By The Yard E-Zine Issue #4 is out!  It is aptly named 'Color Infusion', full of color and fabulous projects for everyone!  Oh and its free to everyone! 

Modern By The Yard E-Zine Issue #4
I guess you could say I'm a Cover Girl!  Well, my table runner is!  'Technicolor Rainbow' is bursting with bright and bold colors.  

Originally when I designed this runner, it was with a totally different line of Benartex fabric. When I found out that line was not quite ready to be released it was scramble time!  I ended up going with 'Dreamscape' which has everything I love...color, texture and depth.  Plus, it had the perfect assortment of rainbow colors to work with.

I wish I had pictures of each step, but it was a very tight timeline and I needed to get it done! I'll share my one picture and promise to do better next time!

This is a quick and easy project for beginners or for those who would like to have a quick finish. The pattern is right there between the virtual pages of Modern By The Yard E-Zine!

I was really shocked and jumping for joy when I saw the photo shoot pictures!  They couldn't be more perfect.  Squeal!!

As always I would love to see your take on this design.  What fabrics would use use? Would you take it in the rainbow direction?  Feel free to email a picture: twiggyandopal (at) gmail (dot) com or tag me on Instagram: @twiggyandopal

One last thing, there is still time to enter my giveaway hosted by Needle & Foot!  Click here to enter:  



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Needle & Foot Blog Hop Celebration + GIVEAWAY!

I was thrilled and honored when asked if I would join this Blog Hop in celebration of Needle & Foot Fine Fabrics Grand Opening!  Bernie has been feverishly filling her Etsy shop with all kinds of beauties for you and me!  And to celebrate there will be a funtastic giveaway!!

Needle & Foot Fine Fabrics on Etsy
But first, let's get down to business!  Bernie provided me with a beautiful bundle of Alison Glass' newest line of fabric 'Seventy Six'.  It's rich in color and design, 


Numbered in Grasshopper, Stitched in Violet, Rising in Snow, Sunshine in
Lichen, Numbered in Peacock and Renewal in Opal.  Gorgeous right?!

Wanta Fanta 40" x 40"

I have wanted to make the 'Wanta Fanta' paper pieced block for a long time. (click the link for the free pattern)  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that and showcase this gorgeous bundle.  

The 'Wanta Fanta' block is perfect for a scrappy quilt.  However since I wanted to highlight the prints, I switched it up to do just that. 

I used Kona Celestial for the background and backing on this little quilt.  It is almost a perfect match to the 'Numbered Peacock' blue.

The blue used to 'connect' the blocks and for the binding is Kona Capri.  Not only was it used to connect of the blocks, but it allowed me to pull another color from the prints.   


Once it was all pieced together, the real fun began.  With the blocks and the fabric, I knew it was going to be quilted with geometric designs.  It turned out exactly as I had hoped it would with very little frustration!  


I agree, it's a bit hard to see even on the back!  If you slightly turn your head to the left, squint with one eye and close the can see it better!

I had to use 'Stitched in Violet' for the center because of its electric neon color.  It's a standout and I don't think it would have fit anywhere else!  

Thank you for indulging me with my pictorial!  Now let's talk about that Giveaway!  Bernie is providing the a fabulous giveaway for one of my lucky readers!

How would you like to win Six (6) Fat Quarters or Three (3) Half Yard cuts of your choosing? I would too!

To enter this giveaway, please do one of the following.  Once you have picked an option, let me know in a comment which one you picked.  

Follow Needle & Foot on Instagram:   Instagram

- or -

Follow Needle & Foot on Facebook:   Facebook

That's not all!!  Bernie is also 15% off purchases over $5 using Coupon Code: NANDFREADERS15 
to everyone for her Grand Opening Celebration!
*coupon code good through March 26th only*

Giveaway open until 7:00 PM on Sunday March 26th.  At which time I will choose a winner using Random Number Generator.  If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address in order to contact you. 

And there's even more!! 

Check out the rest of the blogs on this Celebration Hop to see what they created using fabric from Needle & Foot.  They also are having fabric giveaways!

Monday: Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs
Tuesday: Cynthia @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Wednesday: Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal (ME!)

                     Kitty @ Night Quilter
Thursday: Mari @ Academic Quilter
Friday: Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Round Robin :: Round 1

No one said it would be easy!!  The pressure alone is enough to put one over the edge!  I was sure I'd have my round in the bag, feeling confident and sure of my contribution, but it only left me unsure I made the right decision!
Starting Block Size: 15 1/2" x 12 1/2"
I was entrusted with this starting block.  Pretty cool, right?!  I was blow away with what Emily made because first it is cool, second it was her first time making the blocks.  No applique here!  

I went back and forth on what to do.  First I thought I would make circles, then it was half circles, perhaps flying geese.  It was a strike out!  All three didn't feel right.

Mini Trajectory or Boomerang blocks came to mind and so I went to work.  After making a few scrappy still felt wrong.  I still liked the idea, just not the randomness of the block.  I let it stew over night and got back to it in the morning.

The toned down version!  I think I can make these work!  Emily's blocks are 3" and I wanted to keep the scale pretty much the same.  

Much better in my opinion!  Which is to say...I'm still freaked about my contribution!  If it was mine I wouldn't fret, but it isn't and so I shall worry and fret and freak out for a while!
Size After Round 1: 21 1/2" x 18"
I'm going to guess that the first round is the hardest.  You only have the center block to go off. The second round you at least can see what someone else has done...I'm calling it inspiration!  

I could be totally wrong!  But it sure feels good to bet one round under my belt!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Reclaimed Rejects :: OctoMama

That might be a little harsh!  Yes, I had to reject some striped octagon blocks from a project because I wasn't paying attention when I printed templates.  I accidentally printed a batch that was smaller and didn't realize it until it was all said and done.  

A reject could be the result of size, color or design of a block.  It just means it's rejected from a specific project, but can easily be transformed and reconfigured in to something else!

I'm not sure why I call this 'OctoMama', it must be a term of endearment or a little nickname that stuck!  But what can not be called a reject any longer!

17" x 18 1/2"
Most of these English Paper Pieced Striped Octagons were finished, with the exception of outside 'partial' blocks.  When I was brainstorming on what to do in the beginning, I had an idea of having the blocks fade around the edges.  

I made a few more EPP blocks with a lighter shade of color for the stripe surrounded with white. Which I kind of liked!  Then I added a few small blocks scattered around for a little more interest.  

Before I knew it I was quilting octagons and not very perfect either!  I started it, I had to finish it! They weren't too bad to quilt, just slow going.  

After getting feedback on thread color in a previous post, variegated thread was mentioned several times.  I happened to have a pastel spool on hand and decided to give it a try.  If I like it...I'll buy a big spool.  And I like it.  And it blends!  It doesn't stand out on the darker colors and all but disappears on the white.  

I quilted an octagon in the center using 1/4" lines and then switched to 1/2" around the outside.

You probably noticed the two shades of white.  We all know how that goes...not all shades of white are equal!  The photo makes it very noticeable, but real isn't that bad!

A funky concoction of quilting, thread ad binding!  


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Stash :: Impulse Nonessentials

Oops, I did it again!  I was certain I was cured from impulse shopping.  I had it under control for a long time, yet here I am...I fell off the wagon!  Yes, we all have setbacks and moments of weakness.  The difference this time is I don't feel guilty or bad about it...not even one little bit!

My fabric purchases have become more strategic and more thoughtful.  They seem to better suit me and my print stash is slowly coming together.  

When I saw  Pile O' Fabric was no longer going to be carrying prints and was having a big sale, well you know I had to take a look!    

This fat quarter bundle was a deal I couldn't pass up!  I feel like I was lucky to get it.  Fabric was going fast!  

I don't often buy half yards of prints...what is happening to me?!  Still no regrets, no 'what the heck did I just do' moments.

Cotton + Steel, Alison Glass, Art can't regret that!  I'm really pretty much in love with each of these prints!

This one really caught my eye.  All those little windows, doors and staircases!  It should cut up very nicely!  


And I couldn't resist this minty green mummy fabric!  If I never use'll just be fun to look at it's so darn adorable!  

As for impulse shopping, most of the time it results in guilt for not being level headed about it. Then there are times like this when it just felt good!  

These may be nonessential, not absolutely necessary, but it's gotta happen once in a while!  

Are you an impulse shopper of fabric?  Do sales tip you over the edge?


Friday, March 10, 2017

It Takes a Village :: And a Quilting Community

I honestly couldn't resist playing along with this Mini QAL.  It seemed like the perfect diversion and change of pace for me.  

Jen & Jan rounded up a passel of quilter's to participate in making Jen's Mini Quilt called 'Quilter's Laundry Day' for this mini hop. (check out the free pattern!)  What got my attention when Jan asked if I'd like to join the hop, was the little quilt hanging on the line!  The possibilities for that alone were endless.  I would like to thank both Jen & Jan for hosting!

Welcome to my home!  My quilted home that is!  

It does take a village to raise a child, make a community safe and to look out for one another. Our quilting community is also like a village, and especially when you consider how many houses were made for this Mini Blog Hop!  Wouldn't it be fun to see all the houses together?!  (I'll include links to all the blogs participating)


You might be surprised to know that I had this finished well before today!  I've been anxious to share it and excited to see all the other houses!  

My home might be a little ...Gothic?  Spooky?  Between the bird on the door and the 'eye' on the chimney.  It isn't really an eye, it just looks like it!

I started with the quilt.  A mini 4 1/2" unfinished delight.  Originally I was going to do a tiny paper pieced block for it, but in the end I decided I wanted my quilt to be all me!  Improv.  


It began with a slab which I cut up into 1 1/2" blocks and then added sashing.  My intention was to keep the quilt like the first picture, but plans change.  Sewing the sashing to the blocks was ca-ray-zy!!  Some of the seams were bulky and a royal pain in the butt!  

Picking the fabric is always stressful for me.  I mean...what color should a house be? Should I go totally crazy or keep it simple and plain?  

The house is a grey hand dyed fabric.  It has a weathered look and seemed fitting for the outside. The roof fabric reminded me of shingles, the grass fabric reminded me of a well manicured lawn, the sidewalk fabric is like a walkway of tiles and the sky fabric has a touch of silver blotches that are my clouds. 

I knew most of my quilting was going to be some version of geometric.  Tiles, shingles, siding and bricks.  Picking the prints helped that decision along perfectly!

I even quilted a front door design and window sashing!  

I wasn't quite as creative with the quilting on the quilt!  Like I said, some of those seams are bulky!  Not to mention, as you can clearly see, not everything lined up perfectly!  

I did take the time to match up the binding around the mini quilt.  I thought it was a nice touch.  

The back side is like a whole cloth quilt!    

How surprised are you that I have a half way normal house?!  I highly recommend this pattern if you are looking for a fun project where you can use your imagination!

Check out the rest of the houses and mini quilts...links are's possible they will invite you in for tea!  Maybe fresh cookies too!

I've decided to make a Pinterest board for all the houses...I want to build a village...are you with me?!  Here is the link if you want to see our beautiful sub-division:  'Quilter's Laundry Day'.

Pattern:  Quilters Day Laundry 

Blog Hop Hosted by:
Jen:  @A Dream & A Stitch
Jan:  @Color, Creating & Quilting

March 10th:
Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch
Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!

March 11th:
Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps

Mary Marcotte at Fleur de Lis Quilts

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

'Tinker Toys' :: Striped Octagon Quilt

It isn't often that I build a quilt around an English Paper Pieced project, actually I never have!  For some reason I was stoked about this center piece and couldn't wait to expand on it.

47" x 62"
As I was staring at the Striped Octagon center (pattern available from Tierney Barden: 'Striped Octagon'), I had numerous ideas before I settled on the final design.  Which is what I love about quilting!  Nothing is set in stone...things can morph several times before settling on anything. 

I tried to carry the octagon colors through the white.  Some stripes went to the edge, some were abruptly stopped.  Really, I just wanted to have lots of colors and stripes, yet leave some wide open spaces...otherwise know as 'negative space'!

There were a few pitfalls trying to match the stripes with the center.  I didn't expect having to work so hard for it, but I did and it was worth it.


Letting the top stew for a week or two, finally an idea came to me on how I wanted to quilt it. I started with the center panel by making circles in each white square and in the center of each octagon stripe.  Making pebbles is fun, trying to make one perfect circle is not fun, nor is it easy! I did my best!

Each stripe is quilted in a matching thread using 1/4" straight lines, with some extend through the background.  

The rest of the quilting combines straight lines and circles.  Which...led me to the name of this quilt...'Tinker Toys'.  

These are Tinker Toys!  Wooden spool like circles and lots of colorful sticks that can be made into all kinds of amazing things!  An imagination toy!

'Tinker Toys' is a seemingly complex design, but has a childlike playfulness that I couldn't resist exploring!  I'm very pleased with this 'out of the box' finish!  Playful, whimsical, rainbow all wrapped together in one little package! 

The binding was interesting to say the least!  I decided well before I started quilting on it that I was going to take the time to add a matched binding.  All the stripes that went to the edges on the top were extended through the binding.  Time consuming and totally worth it!

I used Kona White on the front and Kona Breakers for the back.  Whew!  Tinkering is not a description you would use to describe quilting.  Maybe tinkering on an old car!  It does seem fitting for this quilt! 


Friday, March 3, 2017

Rainbow Connection :: A Table Runner

Early last month I was working on a design for a table runner for a publication.  I fiddled and fiddled some more with it using specific fabrics and settled on a design.  That I can't share, but I will share a slightly similar, yet different design. 

I was scavenging through my scraps and of course, there were plenty of options to choose from. I couldn't help taking the rainbow route once again.  It's effective!  Plus, were coming to the end of winter and color has been in short demand!

14 1/2" x 50 1/2"
I started with a deep dark red and transitioned to a deep dark blue, for a total of twenty-nine different colors.  Hot and cold.  The squares and snowball blocks are 2" finished.  It's been a while since I made a snowball block!  But I liked it!

I machine quilted 1/4" lines around the center panel and added a criss-cross design in between the blocks.

The rest of the quilting I kept simple.  I guess you could call it the 'plaid effect'!  

I choose not to quilt in the blocks.  I wanted to!  If I had, I would have wanted to use a coordinating thread color.  That is a lot of work!

The backing is a print that has been lurking in my stash.  In an effort to use and clear out some 'oldies', I used it for the back.  A spring surprise!

Anytime I make anything rainbow, my first thought is to quilt each color with matching thread. You know and I know it's time consuming.  If I don't do that, I ignore the colors completely and quilt around them.  My brain doesn't seem to ever go anywhere else!

My question is:  What do you do when you have a quilt with so many colors?  How do you decide what color thread to use?  With the white background I guess I would choose white thread, would I?  Would you?

Such a conundrum!