Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas! My Christmas Gumdrops Quilt is Finished!

Happy Almost Christmas, everyone!  I put the last stitch in the binding of my Christmas Gumdrops tumbler quilt last night so that's one less WIP (Work In Progress) that I will be carrying forward into 2023.  Woo-hoo!  Not quite as impressive as the last Christmas quilt finish I shared, but not every quilt needs to take ten years (and ten gallons of blood, sweat and tears) to finish!

Christmas Gumdrops Tumbler Quilt, 51 x 67 After Laundering

This one patch quilt was super easy to put together.  I used the 6" finished Tumbler die from AccuQuilt to cut my fabrics quickly and accurately (this post contains affiliate links).  Accuquilt makes tumbler dies in 3" and 4" sizes as well, but I chose the 6" size to better showcase my novelty Christmas fabrics and because larger fabric patches means fewer seams and a quilt that comes together a lot faster.  If you're interested in adding a tumbler die to your collection, now is a great time to do it because the 6" size I used and the smaller 4" tumbler die are both included in AccuQuilt's current buy-one, get-one-free promotion.  

Peppermint Palace E2E with Masterpiece Cotton Thread in Sage

I experimented with new-to-me thread and batting with this quilt.  The quilting thread is Superior's Masterpiece 50 weight 3-ply cotton thread in Sage, and the batting is Quilters Dream Cotton in the Supreme loft (double the thickness of Quilters Dream Select that is a typical midloft cotton batting).  

Thursday, December 15, 2022

"Ars Longa, Vita Brevis": My Jingle BOM is Finally a Finish!

So, did anyone want to see how my Jingle quilt turned out?  Ta da!  Woot woot!  Bring on the eggnog and pop the champagne!  Party in the streets!!!  Before getting into this, I want to give credit to pattern designer Erin Russek for creating this beautiful patchwork and appliqué design, for teaching me how to applique through her clear, well-written pattern instructions and tutorials, and for releasing this pattern as a mystery Block of the Month back in 2012 so I wouldn't know what I was getting into until I was too far in to give up!  Erin's blog is called One Piece At a Time and that's pretty much how she walks you through this quilt.  First we're going to make one leaf.  Then we're going to make one little bird...  If you just focus on learning one piece at a time, you can do anything, right?  Erin's Jingle pattern is now available in book form from C&T Publishing and you can get it directly from the publisher here or on Amazon here (this post contains affiliate links to defray the cost of the thousands of yards of thread that went into this quilt, wink wink).  Erin has lots of great applique tutorials and free projects currently available on her blog here and I can't recommend her patterns more highly, especially if you're someone like I was who admired appliqué but thought it would be "too hard."

Without further ado, here's my finished Jingle quilt:

68 x 68 Ars Longa, Vita Brevis (Jingle) Totally Finished

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Megan's Knitted Star Quilt + Janita's Wintry Batik Table Runner

 Hello, there, Quilty Peeps!  I hope you are all staying warm (or cool, if you live in a hot climate) and are managing the hubbub of the holiday season with a level head, a grateful heart, and an overflowing glass of eggnog (if you’re into that sort of thing).  I am 95% finished with my gift shopping, the trees are up and decorated thanks to Bernie, and Christmas carols are looping through my brain like jolly elvish ear worms.  How about y’all?

I did finish the custom quilting on Jingle but I’m waiting to share it until it's labeled, bound, and is hanging on my wall.  Meanwhile, I have a couple of clients' quilts with seasonal flair to share with you today.

Megan's Knitted Star Quilt

Check out this striking Knitted Star quilt made by my client Megan!  The pattern is by Brittany Lloyd of Lo & Behold Stitchery, and you can purchase the pattern alone or a complete kit here (this post contains affiliate links).  

Megan's 64 x 64 Knitted Star Quilt with Gems 2 Quilting Design

Megan used a Kona Solids kit pairing Kona White with Gotham Gray.  I've seen other versions of this quilt made up with a white background and red and green snowflakes, red background with green or white snowflakes, which also look great.  Brittany hosted an eight week Knitted Star QAL (quilt-along) on her blog when she released this pattern two years ago, and those step-by-step tutorials are still available here if any of you are interested in making this project.  If you are local to Charlotte, North Carolina, Megan is hoping to offer this quilt as an in-person class at Quilt Patch Fabrics in Matthews.  Call the shop at 704-821-7554 if you're interested.  One more "helpful hint" from me is that this pattern, like many of Brittany's designs, involves cutting and piecing many, many strips of fabric and the accuracy of your cutting (and piecing) those strips will have a huge impact on how easily this goes together for you.  Accuquilt is offering their strip cutting dies at steep discounts right now, and being able to cut 24 perfectly straight, exact width strips in a single pass would not only speed you through the cutting process so you could start sewing sooner, it would also improve accuracy and reduce the possibility of cutting mistakes that can happen when rotary cutting hundreds of strips.  

I quilted Megan's Knitted Star with a pattern called Gems 2 that creates a wonderful illusion of depth, an effect that is further enhanced by the loft of Megan's favorite batting, Quilters Dream Wool.  The thread is Glide in White.

Detail of Gems 2 on Megan's Knitted Star

The thread was chosen to disappear against the white patchwork snowflakes.  Had I used a dark gray or black thread to disappear into the background, it would have detracted from the bold graphic design of the patchwork.  

Friday, December 2, 2022

Christmas Stars and Snowflakes for Janita + Custom Quilting Jingle's Pieced Blocks

Good Morning, Happy December, and Happy Advent!!!  I have one finished client's quilt to share with you today PLUS those of you who are patient enough to read through all of my blah blah blah (or those sneaky enough to just scroll to the bottom) will also be rewarded with a few progress photos of the custom quilting that is still in progress on my Jingle appliqué quilt.  The end is in sight!  But first, let's ooh and aah over Janita's pretty Christmas Star quilt:

Janita's Christmas Star Quilt

Detail of First Snow E2E Stitched in Glide Thread, Color Dijon

This is such a pretty pattern.  I'm always a sucker for a star quilt, and the way the red X at the center of these stars connects to the sashing also reminds me of red ribbons tied around gift packages, with the stars as giant bows!  

Janita's 55 x 71 Christmas Star Quilt

I don't have pattern info for this quilt, but if anyone reading this recognizes the pattern source please share that in the comments and I'll update the post to include that information for anyone wanting to make their own version of this quilt.