Friday, June 28, 2013

Super Fussy-Cutting Shortcut!

The beauty of a medallion print? You can create a complex-looking quilt with much less work, with just a little fussy cutting. Diane Nagle did just that, making Lili-fied's medallions the star of her quilt, Mandy's Garden, which is featured in the June/July 2013 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts.

"Mandy's Garden" by Diane Nagle;
featured in McCall's Quick Quilts June/July 2013

Diane combined the warm and cool colorways of Greta Lynn's contemporary collection for Kanvas to make an eye-catching design that even beginner quilters can make. Keep reading to learn more about Diane's quilt.

What attracted you to the Lili-fied fabric collection?
I love color!  Blues/greens and pink/corals are among my favorites.  It was a contemporary, happy fabric line.

Why did you decide to mix the two colorways? 
I've always loved to combine warm and cool colors together.  I didn't realize that I was doing it so much until someone pointed it out to me.  I think they balance each other well.

How did you come up with the design?
The large medallion print was begging to be the focus of the quilt; I just couldn't cut through those beautiful images. By fussy-cutting the medallions (shown below), I could keep them whole and use them for the best advantage. I tried to keep the beginner quilter in mind when I designed it as well.  The medallion print meant it could look difficult, even though it was easy enough for a true beginner!

How did you decide on the size/type/color of borders to use?
I wanted to bring in the large pink print, and repeat the darker blue that bordered the five center medallions.  It also gave a nice boundary between the pink and the outer border, which was my favorite print in the line, as well as helped tie the outer border to the center of the quilt.

How did you machine quilt it? 
I am a long arm quilter, and I could have custom quilted this quilt, but the fabrics were so busy on their own, that you would never have seen the quilting. Sometimes an overall pattern keeps the focus on the quilt design better.

See the entire Lili-fied collection by Greta Lynn for Kanvas here.
See more of Diane's work here.
Find another quilt pattern Diane made using Lili-fied here.
Find the kit for this project here.
Find McCall's Quick Quilts here.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to make a modern Log Cabin

Whether you like your Log Cabin patterns wonky or traditional, there are a million-plus different looks when making one. Stephanie Sheridan created "Midnight Blooms," a wall hanging, with modern Asian flair, using a panel for the center and a "sunshine and shadows" (lights and darks) layout for the logs. The fabric? Water Lily by Maria Kalinowski for Kanvas. The finished piece, quilted by Linda Leathersich, was featured in America Makes Fast Quilts from McCall's Quilting.

"Midnight Blooms" designed by Stephanie Sheridan and quilted by Linda Leathersich;
featured in America Makes Fast Quilts Spring 2013 

Just how did this striking pink and navy wall art come together? Stephanie and Linda shared the details with us.

What do you like best about the fabrics?
Stephanie: You don't very often see Asian motifs in these colors, and with the addition of the denim texture it becomes a very interesting and unique collection.

Why did you decide to use the panel?
Stephanie: I love the challenge of working with panels! My mom calls me the "Panel Queen"! With this quilt I simply used the coordinates in the collection as borders to highlight the interesting center panel.

The panel

Can you talk about the Log Cabin aspect of the design?
Stephanie: The contrast between the two predominant colors in this collection lent itself beautifully to a log cabin effect. It was fun to play with the fabric placement to get the sunshine and shadows look. The contrasting strip on each side is a nod to the ying and yang of life ... into every sunny day a little shadow must fall, and when the shadows are darkest there is always a sliver of sunshine.

Can you talk about how the fussy cut borders worked in this design?
Stephanie: The fussy cut borders were added into the quilt on purpose--I knew that I wanted to use the big circle motifs--but the way that they ended up fitting into the quilt so well was a "happy accident"!

Medallion print used in fussy cut border

Talk about the machine quilting on this project.
Linda: The goal with any quilt is the end result – I listen to the quilt and the fabric to find out what needs to be done. I usually have my next two quilt projects displayed somewhere in my studio so that I can look and listen before I start. I used Dream Wool batting and YLI Invisible thread so the flowers would puff ever so gently and the thread would not detract from the beautiful fabric. Each border was ditched to add to the crisp feel. The feathers in the outside border were just fun to quilt.

Find Stephanie and Linda of Stitched Together Studios here.
Find the kit for "Midnight Blooms" here.
See the entire Water Lily collection here
Find America Makes Fast Quilts here.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making the switch!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

...Like so many others, we're moving over to Bloglovin'. Google Reader is going away, but there are other resources out there, like Bloglovin', to make it easy to follow your favorite blogs (including, hopefully, ours!).

Here is a great explanation of how to make the switch, as well as what RSS means, in case you've ever wondered. Her desserts look pretty darn delicious, too!

If you are signed up to receive notification of our new posts by email, no worries! Nothing is changing there, so you're all set.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Giveaway Winners

Last week we held a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 posts here on the blog. To enter, we asked you to let us know what you'd like to see in future blog posts. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us! We appreciate it and will certainly use your ideas as we plan future posts.

Today, we're announcing the winners, selected by random number generator from the comments you left.
Here they are:

Matching up those number to names, here are our winners:

Congratulations! If your name/comment is shown above, we'll be sending you an email to get your mailing address for sending out the bundles. 

Thanks to everyone who entered!  

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Lovin' the Lime!

Lime green isn't only a summer color, but it's sure looking good right now! Sandi Irish fell in love with the lime and navy prints of Catalina, a collection by Greta Lynn from Kanvas that is based on the classic American bandanna.  She used it to create "Calypso," a classic star pattern with a twist.

"Calypso" by Sandi Irish;
featured in Quilt Trends Summer 2013
Sandi shared some of the details of "Calypso" with us.

What drew you to the Catalina fabrics?

I love the fresh colors! Lime green has always been a favorite of mine and it looks like spring!
Catalina in both the lime and red colorways

Why did you design a quilt with this type of star?
I had made this same quilt in the country reds, creams and blues first, but when the chance came to use the Catalina collection for a quilt I knew the design would also work well and create a totally different look.

Love that you made the star without y seams or set-in piecing. What prompted you to make it that way?
I have designed a template set that I used in this pattern (although paper templates are included in the magazine) and as I continue to add patterns to the Quilted Jewel Pattern series, my goal is to keep it easy without set in seams. I might need to do a partial seam at some point but no Y seams allowed! Since the quilt is assembled in rows, avoiding Y seams also came easy.

It looks like you fussy cut one of the fabrics for the stars.
I did fussy cut the bird; it was just a perfect fit for the template. It would be pretty even if it is not fussy cut.

Was it easy to choose the inner and outer border prints?

I tend toward the traditional look of small solid inner border and printed outer border, but the small print in the inner border blends nicely from the white background to the large scale flowers in the outer border.

Learn more about Sandi Irish here.
See the entire Catalina collection here.
Find the kit for the project (and the templates) here.
Find Quilt Trends magazine here.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

100 Posts Giveaway!

(Image: Baker's Delight from Greta Lynn for Kanvas)

We've reached 100 posts here on Benartex's Sew in Love with Fabric blog.
To celebrate, we are (you guessed it!) giving away some fabric bundles.

The Big Apple from Kanvas

The Big Apple in brights from Kanvas

Cabana from Kanvas

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling us what type of posts you'd like to see in future blog entries. 

The giveaway ends Sunday, June 23rd at 11:59 EST. The giveaway is now closed. One entry per person, please. We'll randomly choose five winners from all the comments left below and announce their names here on the blog on Monday, June 24th. 

Check back Monday to see if you've won! And thanks for following our blog! 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Here's a quilt and a vocabulary lesson, all rolled neatly into one blog post. Stephanie Sheridan and Linda Leathersich of Stitched Together Studios recently designed this quilt for Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. Its name? 


"Fenestella" by Stephanie Sheridan and Linda Leathersich;
featured in Quilter's Newsletter magazine June/July 2013 

As in, fenestella (n):
a small window or an opening in a wall

As much a dimensional illusion as a work of quilted art, this design is a modern approach to the classic Attic Window concept, showing Paula Nadelstern's Fabrique-istan and Extreme Colors collections. Stephanie and Linda shared a bit about their stunning design with us. 

The name of this quilt, Fenestella, sounds like a Harry Potter character! Where did the name come from?

Stephanie: Yes, we did name this quilt, but not after a Harry Potter character! The word "Fenestella" means a small window or opening in a wall. With this design being a modern take on a traditional attic window block we felt the name was a good fit ... and it is just a fun word to say!

The fussy-cut squares really pop on the black. How did you decide on the design? Was it inspired by something?

Stephanie: This design originated in Mom's mind and we worked through the design process together ... which means that she drew it with colored pencils on graph paper, then took a picture with her cell phone and texted it to me. That is as far as her technical skills go ... then I took over with EQ7. Our goal was to create a modern design that really showcased the "Prima Donna" fabrics as Paula called them.

Why did you decide to make the squares different sizes?

Stephanie: The feature fabric in the smaller windows is a smaller scale design, so it called for smaller blocks.

Love the contrast of the teal windowpanes with the black background. Was teal your first choice?
Stephanie: We colored this design in several of the Fabrique-istan colorways, but we both love the color teal, so this was definitely our first choice. The Extreme Colors fabrics that Paula designed to compliment the Fabrique-istan line provided us with exactly the shading and contrast we needed to give Fenestella such a modern feel.

Talk about the machine quilting design you used.

Linda: The quilt called for unique, modern-style quilting and the asymmetrical diagonal wiggly lines fit the need. Using YLI invisible thread, I ditched the panes and blocks to make them pop off of the background. In the blocks I simply followed the designs of the beautiful fabrics. Love my older model non-stitch regulated Gammill longarm machine!

People often find Paula's fabric intimidating to work with. Can you talk about why this design works so well with her fabric?

Stephanie: I also used to find Paula's fabrics a bit intimidating, but once I got brave enough to cut it for the first time I fell in love with the versatility of the prints. This design highlights the focus fabrics with fussy cutting and the window frame colors.

Linda: I also use a lot of Paula's fabrics; I love making tote bags with them! I find them easy to work with, whether I am striving for perfect matches, or cutting asymmetrically (or willy nilly). I love the fact that all of the colors blend so well together, even between colorways. Paula's Extreme Colors are the perfect blenders for any project.

What do you like best about the quilt?
Stephanie: We love the clean lines of this quilt and the updated modern twist of the traditional Attic Windows block. 

Find out more about Stephanie and Linda here.
See the entire Fabrique-istan collection here and Extreme Colors here.
Find Quilter's Newsletter Magazine here.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Gift Ideas for Dad: Day 5

It's the last day of our week of Father's Day gift idea series, and today we've got a project for the handy dad. Organize and carry wrenches with a roll-up tool organizer, designed by Jennifer Stern and featured at Craft Stylish

The wrench roll keeps wrenches (or other similar shaped tools) in individual pockets, and then can be rolled up for portable projects or workshop storage. The original tutorial suggests using denim or leather, but we used two themed prints from Kanvas' Man Cave II and Man Cave III collections along with a couple layers of fusible fleece for durability. 

You can customize the roll for the size and number of tools it will hold, and even make one set for standard wrenches and another for metric.

Leather ties finish it off with a masculine touch. 

Find the tutorial for the roll-up tool organizer here

On a roll and ready to go! 

Be sure to check out the entire Man Cave II and Man Cave III collections--great prints for that handy guy!

Thanks so much for stopping by each day this week to check out our Father's Day gift ideas!
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gift Ideas for Dad: Day 4

What does your dad or husband carry his toiletries in when he travels? The ratty canvas bag he's had since he was a kid? Or does he just throw his toothbrush, deodorant and razor into his suitcase? Or worse yet, try to add his stuff to your toiletry bag?

Here's a solution for all of that, and a Father's Day gift idea, all rolled into one. And the best part is, this dopp kit (or toiletry bag, or whatever you'd prefer to call it), can be stitched in just an evening, so you still have time to make it before Sunday!

This Dopp Kit pattern came from a tutorial on Lindsay's blog, The Cottage Home. The bag has a great boxy look, and the wraparound zipper makes it easy to grab what's inside. 

We paired her design with a baseball print on red and a classic plaid from the Who's on First collection by Bristol Bay Studios.

Check out the plaid on the inside and on the handle--such a classic "Dad" pattern!

Find Lindsay's tutorial to make your own dopp kit here.

See the entire Who's on First collection here, and watch the blog this summer for a sneak peek at a quilt pattern using these fabrics appearing in one of your favorite quilting magazines!

Don't forget to stop back tomorrow for our last Father's Day gift idea!
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gift Ideas for Dad: Day 3


We're back with another super easy (and fun to make!) Father's Day gift idea: Grillin' Towels, designed by Kate at Craft Whatever.

Spice up basic kitchen towels with some grill-themed fabric: roasting hot dogs from Kanvas' Snack Attack collection and Tabasco bottles from the Some Like It Hot collection.

 Love these char-grilled hot dogs and super-spicy Tabasco bottles! If your guy would wear one, these would make a great grill apron, too.

Find Kate's tutorial (plus four others for different dad-themed grillin' towel designs) here.

Check out the other novelty prints in Snack Attack and Some Like It Hot (corn dogs, jalapenos, onion rings)--they'd work great too!

And come back tomorrow to see another great Father's Day tutorial made from some of our fabric.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gift Ideas for Dad: Day 2

It's day 2 of our week of Father's Day gift ideas, and today we're showing a more masculine version of Ebony Love's Kindle sleeve using Rock Legends II fabric from Kanvas.

Introducing the e-toy pouch, because men love their electronic toys (and tools, but that's another tutorial for another day)! 

We're calling this an e-toy pouch, because while Ebony originally designed it for an e-reader, with a simple size adjustment, it works great as an iPad case too! (To account for the iPad's larger size, start with a 13" x 25" piece of fabric instead of an 11" x 18" piece.)

 Love the brown-on-brown designs of acoustic guitars! Like Ebony, we machine quilted this with straight line stitching, but for a little twist, it's done on the diagonal. 
The lining fabric is a great tonal squiggle from Kanvas' White Wash/Fade Black collection. 

Find Ebony's original Kindle sleeve tutorial here.
See the entire Rock Legends II collection here and White Wash/Black Fade collection here. And, if your guy is a little less country and a little more rock and roll, check out the original Rock Legends collection here.

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for another quick and easy Father's Day gift idea!

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