Friday, April 24, 2020

All That and the Kitchen Sink :: Ebb & Flow

No space untouched!  I really went wild with the quilting on this wall quilt!  Once I started I found that I couldn't stop.  It was so much fun coming up with ideas and executing them to the best of my ability using a combination of free motion quilting and my walking foot.

What didn't I throw in?!  There's the ever popular matchstick quilting, pebbles, straight lines, curvy lines, swirls and curls...and let's not forget about the thread!  I think I used 5-6 different colors.  Some sections were one thread color, while other sections have several different colors.  Why not?!  I threw everything in for good measure!

15" X 18 1/2"
I had a hard time getting photos that show the colors accurately for my first go around.  The second time it seems the stars were aligned and the true reveal of color and design came to life!  For the most part.

This color combination is a winner in my book!  Teal, turquoise, aqua, chartreuse, green to name a few.  

I wasn't sure where I was going when I started.  Which is what I love about improv.  You can go one way and then abruptly veer to the left.  The pressure is off when I work this way.  I don't have seams to match, points to watch out for, accuracy is a non-factor.

While quilting I often am at a loss for what designs I can pull off especially when I free motion quilt.  When working with a small quilt like this its a chance to 'practice' and try new things.  

The back shows the quilting in more detail and you can see the crazy things I tried.  I added my usual method for hanging mini quilts.  This is the tutorial I use:  Hanging Mini Quilts, if you are wondering!

I can throw the kitchen sink and then some without feeling like I overdid it.  That is debatable though.  A personal preference.  Large quilts rarely get dense quilting because of the size.  I have a hard time managing and maneuvering on my domestic machine.

But the same is not so with a smaller quilt!  Which is why I often take it over the top!  

This quilt asked that it be bound with a pieced binding.  Do your quilts speak to you?!  It fit the design, colors and overall vibe.

It's going to be hard to reel myself in when it comes time to quilt my next quilt!  Thankfully it's a large lap quilt and my options will keep me in check!


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Heart of the Home :: Pattern Release!

These are trying times for everyone and it isn't always easy!  While we shelter in place it's important that we stay in contact with friends and loved ones.  Maybe that's with a phone call, a letter or video chat.  How ever you reach out, letting someone know you are thinking of them and that they are not alone is so important.

I was thinking how home has been our safe haven these days and social distancing is becoming the norm.  For good reason.  I decided to design a small paper pieced block that captures the home and heart of our current state in which we find ourselves.
I designed two (2) patterns because I couldn't decide if I liked the large heart or small heart best!  

Each pattern has templates to make 4", 6" or 8" blocks.  The choice is yours! 

You could easily pop a 'Heart of the Home' mini quilt into an envelope to surprise a loved one!  Let them know you are thinking about them!

I'll admit...I've made several tiny homes already!  They are so much fun to customize!  

All you need are a few scraps of fabric to build your home to suit your style.  Prints or solids, it's in your hands!

One part that I find super fun to play with are the windows!  You can fussy cut small prints to add even more personality to your home.


After quilting it's on to binding!  I have a tutorial for that:  Mini Mini Binding Tutorial.

I could see an entire neighborhood of tiny houses.  A Utopia!  My imagined place in which everything is perfect!!


You can find 'HEART OF THE HOME' in my Etsy Shop!  Just click on the link!


I'd love to see your custom built homes!   You can email:  jaynebug (at) gmail (dot) com or tag me on Instagram using @twiggyandopal!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Solids + Scraps = A Big Quilt

I wasn't sure I'd ever get back to making something big again!  I've literally been isolated in my home for 34 days, and after a while you start to lose focus not to mention your mind.  

I've made many mini mini quilts, but just could not bring myself to go big.  Happily the drought is over!  It might have had something to do with sitting and making 90 face masks in just a few days.  I think I was ready!

While cleaning my sewing room I came across some pieces from the scrap busting Feedsack Quilt I made last month.  Needless to say it motivated me!  

I rummaged through my scraps and picked the tote that had the most.  Okay, then...aqua, teal, chartreuse, pickle and whatever else I thought might work in the mix.  I gotta say the color combination is pleasing to the eye!

If you've ever made Drunkard Path blocks, you know these little gems are the aftermath of the process.  Never would I ever discard something that has the potential to be worked into another project.  

I gathered the quarter circles (convex) of white, snow, ivory and bone and prepared a concave template.  I knew I wouldn't have the perfect templates for my convex pieces and I certainly didn't want to trim all the pieces I already had. The concave template was traced onto cardstock as I knew I'd need to cut many pieces.

One rule I made myself follow was not to cut from yardage.  This was all about scraps, all about busting the stash.  You'll notice that some of my concave pieces have been pieced with several different scraps.

Doing this helped me stay on the straight and narrow!  I stitched together scraps that only needed to be slightly larger than my template.  Which meant I could use a lot of smaller scraps.

The only way I would have enough Drunkard Path blocks to make a generous sized lap quilt was to supplement!  I could have made circles with four DP blocks, but it would have been a baby quilt size and that was not the plan.  

I did have to cut the squares for these blocks from yardage.  It hurt my heart...but I had to do it!  The good news was I still had plenty of skinny scraps for the edges!    

Each block measured 4 3/4" unfinished and each four (4) patch block measures 9" unfinished.  The quilt should be approximately 51" x 68" when it's all said and done.  

Tomorrow I will figure out the backing, cut the batting from a fresh roll and hit the quilting bandwagon!  

This was one project I didn't have to worry too much about color or block placement.  I slapped it up on the design way in a very satisfying haphazard way with very few changes.  Delightful!

I was literally 3 border blocks short after it was on the design wall!  That's cutting it close!  I didn't want to make more, at this point I was done with piecing, but I did have quite a few Drunkard Path blocks left.  I switched the four corners to have the curve action and that freed up just enough border blocks to make this work!  Now that's what I call close...and it felt great!  

I think it ended up being a fun and gorgeous quilt (top at this point!), and I'm looking forward to moving to the next stage!  Bring on the quilting!

Stay safe and stay home!


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Focused on the Small Things

I've still yet to find enough focus to tackle a large project these days.  It seems it is a common theme with so many people.  It feels like I'm down, but not quite out!  

One of my favorite things to do during a slump, is to go small.  Mini quilts always fit the bill when I'm in a rut, want to sew something or don't have time to make a large quilt.  

I was thinking how home has been our safe haven these days and social distancing is becoming the norm.  For good reason.  I decided to design a small paper pieced block that captures the home and heart of our current state  in which we find ourselves.

5 1/4" x 5 1/4"
This little house is filled with love!  The heart is the focal point, but I couldn't resist adding a little fun with the tiny birds in the windows. 

It's a pretty simple paper pieced block that has five sections.  All of which are easy to assemble with very little precision required.  Which just happened to be exactly what I needed at the time and still need!

Half the fun is picking the fabric for each component.  House color, sky, roof, heart and of course the windows.  It looks like I meant for the two Plus' to line up, when in actuality it was pure luck!

This house was the second version of my design.  Here is the first:

6 1/4" x 6 1/4"
This one is one inch larger than the second version.  It has a larger heart in the center which goes to the roof line to the very bottom of the house.  The windows are a bit larger as well.   

The more I look at this one...I'm wondering if I like it more!!  What do you think?  Large heart or smaller heart?

Each house received the quilting treatment and was quickly bound using my
Mini Mini Binding Tutorial.  There are other minis I've made that I'll share later.  

I can barely put a zipper in a pouch let alone make a garment!  Although I'm feeling like it might be a good time to try a simple shirt or dress since I've got all this time on my hands.  I'm not quite there yet...but I found just enough courage to try a diaper!  A doll diaper to be exact!


I was sure I could handle something like this!  My favorite little girl was turning three and with staying at home a serious situation, she wasn't able to celebrate like she should have.  

I found a super simple pattern from Skip To My Lou on her blog.  Seriously, it's so easy that even I could make one...

Or in this case three!  I picked a few different prints and used flannel on the inside, because doll or not baby needs something soft on her little bum!  

Very simple:  cut two pieces, sew around leaving an opening, turn, press, top stitch, add velcro!  Viola!  I wanted to make a dress for her doll but I couldn't find a pattern simple enough for me to tackle!

If you want to make some doll diapers, this is a free pattern:  Baby Doll Diaper Pattern.

Stay safe and stay home!


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Version 2 :: Positively Spring

Now it's time for version two of my Positively Spring Table Runner!  The only thing is I don't think the name fits this version at all.  

This time I used my medium of choice...solids.  Peppered Cottons to be precise.  I wish I could tell you the exact colors I used in this runner, but my documentation skills are sorely lacking.    

The table runner I designed for Modern By The Yard Issue #13 e-zine is available here:  Positively Spring, and it's free!! 


Both runners are the same design and pattern, but what a difference fabric choices make!  If you are willing to experiment with color/fabric placement you can easily change up the entire vibe of a quilt.  

Most of my Peppered Cottons were purchased at QuiltCon Nashville.  Which means they had plenty of time to sit on the shelf for me to admire.  Sometimes it's hard to actually make that first cut in a stack as pretty as this.  It's was time.  Of course I have plenty left over, so I'm sure more projects will happen one day. 

The quilting is a mixture of geometric lines and 1/2" lines using 50wt Aurifil thread in Light Fern (2882), Bright Turquoise (5005) and Grey (2605).  I love that Aurifil has every color you could ever want and I wish I had one of every color available!  A girl can dream!

When I do geometric quilting, I try to plan out my moves (or lines) so that I can work the entire section without having to stop and tie off the thread creating threads to bury.  It's like solving a puzzle and I might be slightly obsessed!  

There is always plenty of marking when doing this kind of quilting for me.  I almost always use my Hera marker to make the lines, that often depends on what color the fabric is.  Or if I totally flubbed up marking with the Hera marker and need clarity from the chaos I created I'll used a washable fabric marker.  

I nearly had enough of the minty green backing!  So, so close!  I was determined to use it regardless and added a strip of a slightly darker shade to extend the backing to be large enough for the front.  You gotta do what you gotta do, right?!

Half the fun of designing is trying different combinations of fabrics.  Solids or prints, a couple small piece placement changes and it can feel like you used two completely different patterns!