Friday, February 22, 2019

The Jolly Bar Bon Bons Quilt

I just completed a fun, new quilt that I'd like to introduce you to today.

The free pattern is available from the The Fat Quarter Shop's Shortcut Quilt pattern collection.  

There's a helpful YouTube tutorial available for you to check out to get some extra information about the quilt if you need it, or maybe you'll just want to watch it because you enjoy watching The Fat Quarter Shop's video tutorials like I do! 

Did you notice the bold background fabric I chose?

It's a beautiful Moda Grunge called Kiwi.

The brighter green background was a little bit of a risk for me.

I tend to stick to more neutral background colors, but lately I've been trying to go a little crazier and experiment with different, brighter, bolder background fabrics.

And if you follow me, you know I'm a huge fan of Moda Grunge!

A few posts back, you'll see that I made the Maple Leaf Quilt, another pattern from The Fat Quarter Shop, with a purple Moda Grunge that I just love!

Don't think I didn't use any neutral fabrics in this quilt though!

I actually reversed what I normally do, and I used the neutral fabrics as more of a focus fabric in my blocks.

As you may have figured from the name of the pattern, this quilt has a Jolly Bar in the fabric requirements.

  A Jolly Bar of Zen Chic's Modern Colorbox Background fabric is what I used here to create the shell and the filling for my Bon Bons in the quilt.

A Jolly Bar is a precut portion of fabrics from a single fabric collection, which measure 5" x 10" that's only available from The Fat Quarter Shop.

There's a lot you can do with this size precut!

If you'd rather use scraps for this quilt, that's not a problem.

You'll just need to gather 36 - 5" x 10" rectangles and then start cutting!

As I was putting this quilt together, I was thinking that it would be a great time to pull out some really cool background fabrics, like some fun text prints, or some other print that you'd love to see as the star of this quilt!

It would also be a great place to use some of those large prints that you've never wanted to cut up into little pieces as a focus fabric, because the blocks in the quilt are pretty big.

In fact, it would make a great quilt for a beginner because the cutting and sewing is pretty simple and the fabric selection could certainly be quick if you just chose your background fabric and a Jolly Bar.

You've only got to choose two things to get started!

Choosing only two things sounds like a dream to me.

We're doing a remodel of our master bath and 
I did not realize how many choices we'd have to make.

That's what we were doing this afternoon, picking out some fixtures, so making a quilt with only two fabric selections sounds like a dream to me!

The fabric selection was quick and easy, but I did make my quilting a bit more complicated.

I took the opportunity to practice some ruler work on my new sewing machine and I did a different type of quilting each time I went around the quilt.

It was so much fun!

I really enjoyed quilting it and I learned a lot in the process too.

I like a quilt that gives me the freedom to quilt it anyway I'd like, and the Jolly Bar Bon Bons Quilt definitely fits that bill.

Traditional quilting, modern quilting, or even something in between, this quilt would look great no matter how you wanted to quilt it!

Well, I hope I've given you some creative ideas about how you can customize this quilt to your own tastes or needs.

It's a fun pattern that goes together quickly and I had a great time making it for the Jolly Bar Bon Bons Quilt Along.

Don't forget to take a look at the YouTube video and check out The Fat Quarter Shop's blog, The Jolly Jabber to see the other quilts that the other participants in the quilt along made to get some more great ideas!  

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tip time!

It's tip time!

And I'm not talking about 'tip off time' as in basketball, or any other sport right now.

I've got sports on the brain as we just watched the Super Bowl and basketball season is in full swing.

With a family full of sports enthusiasts, there's always plenty of sports talk around here, but right now I'm  happy to be talking about quilting and specifically quilting tips.

Can you have too many quilting tips?

I don't think so.

Even if you don't think you can use one, you never know when that tip will come in handy in the future.

This month's Minis and More Parade is all about quilting tips and Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life and I have been collecting the suggestions and helpful hints you've sent in so we can share them with our readers.

Brenda, who blogs at The Quilting Nook, sent in these two great ideas, one about journaling and the other about how to keep your ruler from slipping when cutting long strips of fabric.

Brenda says it best herself, so here is her first tip in her own words -

Quilt Journal Tips

You don’t need anything to get started with a quilt journal except a notebook, but a pretty one makes it more fun. Even if you’re not into the details, having a record of your quilt that has taken lots of time, thought and energy to make will hopefully give you and your family fond memories to look back on. This is my list of a minimum of things to include:
·       Start and Finish Date
·       Pattern Name, Designer, tutorial, blogger, etc.
·       Fabrics 
·       Who the quilt is for or why you are making it (special occasion)
·       Pattern changes or special techniques used
·       Block/Quilt size
·       Picture of the final quilt

 You can take Brenda's tip, or anyone's tip for that matter, and put your own spin on it or modify it to fit your needs. 

For example, I do some quilt journaling, but I'm not quite as detailed in my journaling as Brenda. 

I focus more on my sewing machine and what kind of needles I used during quilting, what tension settings I used, and what worked best for me on that quilt.  That way, I can look back to replicate the results if I'd like to, years later.

Brenda has another great tip for us and again I'll let her explain it in her own words-

The second tip is about cutting fabric using a weight.

I saw this tip in a Jordan Fabrics video and have been using it ever since. To keep your long ruler from slipping when you are cutting strips across the width of fabric, use a hand weight at the top or near the top of the ruler to keep it from slipping. Even with non-slip rulers, I found my ruler could still slip slightly at the far end even while walking my hands to the top. I feel more confident cutting more layers of fabric using the weight now.    

Wow, thanks Brenda!

I've never heard that tip before, and I usually don't cut multiple layers of long strips of fabric because I am worried about the ruler slipping.

After my workout this morning, I'm going to keep out the hand weights and give that a try!

When I had one of my sewing machines on a quilting frame, I was using my hand weights to keep the machine steady on the frame so it wouldn't roll to one side or the other while I was changing the bobbin or cleaning it.

Who knew hand weights could be so useful in quilting?

Brenda has a whole blog post dedicated to helpful hints on her blog The Quilting Nook that I'll bet you'd love to read. You can find it here -  

Another item that you probably have around your house that I've found to be tremendously helpful for piecing is a paper plate!

I have a large stack of thin, inexpensive paper plates that I put beside my sewing machine when I have individual blocks to piece.

Not the most glamorous picture, but this is a tip post so I'm keeping it real.

I put the pieces for each block on a separate paper plate and then stack them up, so the pieces for each block stay together.

 I don't usually ;-) get them mixed up this way.

Sometimes I even scribble a few notes on the plates or write down the size of fabric pieces beside them on the plate, so I can keep track of whats what.

I use a pencil, so I can erase them later (or not) and reuse the plate for another quilt project.

Beside my sewing machine I also keep a scrap of batting or two, like in the picture above, that were cut off the side of a quilt after quilting.

I use it as a thread catcher to keep stray pieces of thread and small scraps of fabric that I toss over there together, so they don't end up on the floor or on me.

Then when it gets pretty full, I just roll it up and throw it away, because it was just a leftover scrap of batting anyway!

I have one beside each of my machines and one on my ironing board too.

Be sure to visit Sherri at A Quilting Life to see the rest of the tips from our readers.

Feel free to add any quilting tips you'd like to share in the comments.

Now lets talk about March!

It's going to be all about pincushions!

Everybody's got pincushion fever right now, so why not make a few of your own?

I've collected some great free tutorials if you don't have any patterns in mind, and 'wow' these are so cute!

The first one is was brought to my attention on a post by Corey Yoder .  It's from a company called Just Another Button Company. It’s adorable!

Here are some other free pincushion tutorial links from the great people over at The Moda Bakeshop-

Scrap Bag Pincushion by LeAnne Ballard

Flirtatious Pincushion by Julie Cefalu

Giant Pincushions by Julie Herman

Charming Twin Pincushions by Vickie Eapen

Sweet As Candy Pincushion by Lisa Calle

Cathedral Windows Pincushion by Kim Niedzwiecki

Sew Simple Star Pincushion by Kimber Van Heukelom 

Moda Love Pincushion by Margot Languedoc

Fabric Strawberries by Vanessa Christenson

Sugar Cube Pincushion by Vickie Eapen

Charming Pincushion #1 by Vickie Eapen

Wait, I'm not done yet...........

This is a link to an adorable pincushion YouTube video that Sherri made for The Fat Quarter Shop. 

This is one that I made using Sherri's video and some scraps from her fabric lines too!

Sherri has other great pincushion ideas on her blog,  A Quilting Life so be sure to go over and visit her to get all the information!

Send in your pincushion pictures before the end of February to see them in the Parade at the beginning of March.

We'd love to have you join us.

Right now, I'm going to grab my hand weights, work out, and then cut some long fabric strips using that new tip I just learned from Brenda!

Have a great day!