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Thursday, February 4, 2016

All Aflutter: A Hint of Spring

February is the perfect time for a breath of fresh air, for a hint of spring. Which makes it the perfect time for Ann Lauer's wall quilt, "All Aflutter," featured in the April 2016 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. Ann designed this quilt using a bargello quilt-as-you-go technique and her Butterfly Forest fabric collection.

"All Aflutter" by Ann Lauer
Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine.
©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
Here's what Ann has to say about her "All Aflutter" wall quilt:


What makes a great bargello design?
I particularly like asymmetrical designs. Skinny rows help to create dramatic impact, especially in a smaller project like this. The wider rows on the right side create a big swoop, which really shows off the butterfly fabrics.

Why do your Butterfly Forest fabrics work so well in this design?
There’s a really nice transition of to move between the fabrics and get from light to dark. The fabrics that appear solid are actually the packed wing design, and then the lighter prints are the stained glass wings. In the stained glass prints you have lots of value and different colors, moving between greens and blues and purples.

What about the appliqued butterflies?
Those come from the large butterfly prints. You can pick and choose which ones you want to use—they’re simply fused on and then edge stitched. The butterflies in this collection are realistically shaped, but we’ve taken creative license in the coloring.

What are the advantages of quilting as you go?
Not only do you save the effort of having to quilt it after piecing, but you don’t add quilting lines over a pieced top that already has a lot of lines. There aren’t any quilting lines to compete with the design.
I recommend using gridded flannel for the quilt as you go technique—I pair it with a thin batt, and the combination is great for table runners and wall quilts. The grid is an easy way to make sure you’re keeping the quilt absolutely straight as you add the rows.

What do you like best about this wall quilt?

I love the fabrics and the way the combinations of the colors flow really well. I think the design is dramatic and gives a really nice composition and backdrop for the butterflies to show up.

Click here to see Ann's entire Butterfly Forest collection.
Click here to find the kit for this project.
Click here to find American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's Groundhog Day!

Will we have six more weeks of winter? An early spring? 

According to Punxsutawney Phil, spring will come early this year! 
(Read the details here)


Find 5 fun facts about Groundhog Day here.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Our favorite Valentine's Day tutorials

It's February 1st and Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Today we're sharing some of our favorite tutorials in case you're feeling inspired to do a little love-themed sewing before the 14th. 

Heart Garland from Sew Crafty Jess
Click here for the tutorial


Hearts on Fire quilt from Debby Kratovil Quilts
Click here for the tutorial



Heart Pillow from Stitched Together Studio
Click here for the tutorial



Heart Shaped Mug Rugs from the Benartex Blog Team
Click here for the tutorial



Fabric Fortune Cookies from Brassy Apple
Click here for the tutorial

Grab some fabric, a little chocolate, and start sewing! 


Friday, January 29, 2016

In Love with Precuts!

If you've ever made a quilt with precuts, you know just how much of a time difference it makes. The cutting doesn't always seem like much, but when much of it is done already, it's really a time saver! 

With that in mind, we're sharing two quilts featured in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting January/February 2016 issue. The first uses 2-1/2" precut strips from E. Vive's Fancy Free collection. The "Louisiana Breeze" quilt, designed by Colleen Tauke, just sings "spring" between the bright, fresh prints and the pinwheel design.
"Louisiana Breeze" by Colleen Tauke;
featured in Quilting Quickly January/February 2014
Photo: Fons & Porter
Click here to find the video tutorial for making this quilt.
Click here to see the Fancy Free collection.
Click here to find the kit for this project.


The second quilt would make a sweet baby quilt. How many times do you hear stories of baby quilts being given to toddlers because they took so long to make? Not so with this quick design by Sue Pfau! "Charms for Baby" is perfect because it will sew up quickly using charm squares! Plus, the soft palette of Greta Lynn's Breezy Baby collection will work for boys or girls. 


"Charms for Baby" by Sue Pfau;
featured in Quilting Quickly January/February 2016
Photo: Fons & Porter

Click here to find the video tutuorial for making this quilt.
Click here to see the Breezy Baby collection.

Click here to find Quilting Quickly magazine.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Oh Fudge!

Helloooooo, chocolate lovers! 

The good news: These Oh Fudge! fabrics by Maria Kalinowski are calorie free. 
The bad news: They're so mouth-wateringly realistic that while you sew with them, you'll be yearning for some actual chocolate. 

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fancy chocolates, chocolate text, and sprinkles...it's chocolate overload! 

These prints would make an adorable fabric valentine, but they'd also be fun for kitchen projects all year long. Yum!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tempting your taste buds...

Did you know that today is National Chocolate Cake Day? 
As if we really need a holiday to give us an excuse to eat chocolate cake...
But we'll take it! 

Photo credit: Robyn @ Add A Pinch
Is your mouth watering yet? Here's the link to the recipe for the delicious-looking cake shown above.

Need a couple more options? 
Click here for a link to the three chocolate cakes featured on Good Morning America today. 

Stay tuned...we'll be continuing this tasty chocolate theme tomorrow!

Monday, January 25, 2016

What's in your pantry?

Here's what's in ours!
You don't have to actually can vegetables and fruits to appreciate their appeal! Maria Kalinowski's new What's In My Pantry collection starts with a focal print of mouth-watering jars of fruits and veggies. These aren't your grandma's canning jars, though--the prints are fresh and modern renderings in bright colors that pop on a black background! 


The rest of the collection is equally fun--bold colors, tasty veggies, bright stripes and homey plaids. Perfect for some kitchen-inspired projects--hot pads, an apron, placemats? 

Or even a fun wall quilt to hang over the kitchen table, like this one: 
Make your own "jars" with Heidi Pridemore's "Pickling Jars" quilt pattern.
Click here to download the free pattern for this quilt.

Click here to see the entire What's In My Pantry collection.
Click here to download the free pattern.