About thequiltedcat

Mom to a teenager, wife, quilter, hiker, cat wrangler, dog mom, lover of nature, and tech writer!

Fall 2021 Swatch Service from the Confident Stitch

Are you ready for fall? After a long, hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest, we are expecting our first soaking rain tomorrow. The leaves are beginning to turn brilliant colors, and the evenings are cooler and comfortable.

I’m starting to sew more now that summer is winding down, and I’m thinking about fall and winter projects. This quarter’s quilting cotton swatch fabrics and patterns from the Confident Stitch are absolutely perfect for the season, featuring the gorgeous fall colors.

In this quarter’s package, you’ll receive the following items:

  • (14) individual 5.5″ swatches of quilting cotton fabrics
  • (1) 5.5″ x 22″ strip of bronze solid fabric
  • (1) 5.5″ x 44″ strip of dragon fruit solid fabric
Fall 2021 Quilting Cotton Swatch Service Bundle

What is the best part? You can use the fabric in this swatch set to make the included pattern, Turkey Time Table Topper, which is perfect for your fall table settings. The table topper finishes at 17.5″ x 25.25″, and the Confident Stitch has an accompanying video for you to watch on how to make this project.

You also get an Information Card listing all the fabrics and prices in this quarter’s swatch service. The large project featured is the Faster Fourteen Quilt by Hunter’s Design Studio, and the Confident Stitch has a kit available to order or you can choose your own individual fabrics.

Fall 2021 Quilting Cotton Swatch Service Contents

I’ve used patterns from Hunter’s Design Studio, and they are great patterns that can you complete pretty quickly. Most recently, I’ve made these quilts to give as charity quilts to organizations such as Project Linus. They also make great baby quilts!

If you want to subscribe to quarterly swatch service, the cost is $13 every 3 months. The Confident Stitch offers 3 options: quilting cottons, garment fabrics in warm tones, and garment fabrics in cool tones. You can sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 swatch services. As a quilter, I highly recommend the quilting cotton service to get a nice variety of swatches plus a fun project as happy mail every quarter!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve joined! I plan on making a project with my swatches soon, and I’ll blog about it in an upcoming post.

Happy quilting,

Jen

Tula Nova Flimsy Completed

Hi everyone,

I haven’t blogged much this summer, but I have been doing a little sewing, a little gardening, and a little hiking. I will share some of these experiences over the next few posts.

One project that I did complete is the hand-piecing of my Tula Nova quilt. This quilt is an English Paper Pieced (EPP) design, meaning that all sections are individually stitched together by hand rather than by machine. Hand piecing does take much longer than machine piecing, but EPP projects are portable. I enjoyed being able to work on this project while traveling, camping, sitting in the backyard, or watching TV.

I worked on my last block while in my backyard, with my dog sitting lazily in the grass and my cat snoozing in the chair beside me. Here’s a look at my last block:

Last Tula Nova block!

Yep, that light blue print is really little cat eyes and the white center is a tin of cat food! I decided to do a cat theme for my Tula Nova by using many prints from her Tabby Road line (now out-of-print) that I had in my stash.

Once I stitched in my final block, the main body of my quilt was completed. I took it with me for some photographs while hiking earlier this summer.

My Tabby Road themed Tula Nova quilt at Fort Rock, Oregon (before basting to a background fabric)

See those feet in the photo? I asked my husband and son to hold up the quilt so I could get a picture of it with the rock formations in the background. With a few eye rolls, they agreed.

To finish the quilt flimsy, the pattern instructs you to applique the blocks to a background. I auditioned 5 or 6 different fabrics, but settled on a deep purple Grunge background. I first spray basted the top to the backing, and then machine basted using a very long stitch. I didn’t want the top to shift while I hand-appliqued the blocks.

What you don’t see in the picture below is my cat, Romeo, sitting under the quilt and “helping” me!

Hand-appliquing the top to the background

After I finished the applique work, I removed all of the machine basting stitches. Here’s a look at the completed quilt flimsy:

Tula Nova appliqued to the Grunge background

I really love how this deep purple background accents this quilt overall and pulls out the deep purple stars in the flimsy.

Next, I carefully cut a circle on the backside of the background, about an inch or so inside the applique stitching line. This step is not only to remove the excess background fabric, but also to remove the EPP papers from the last round. Here’s a look at the backside of the quilt flimsy with all the papers removed:

I have not yet quilted my Tula Nova, but this quilt flimsy is first in my to-quilt pile this fall. I will show you pictures when I finish the quilting!

If you want to piece your own Tula Nova quilt, you can purchase the pattern, paper templates, and acrylic templates from the Fat Quarter Shop. I highly recommend purchasing the acrylic templates because they include the seam allowance and make it so much easier to cut out the pieces.

Happy quilting,

Jen

A Not-Too-Sweet Vegan Sourdough Blueberry Muffin Recipe

This muffin recipe is quick and easy, and makes for some tasty blueberry muffins. I wanted a recipe to use up some of my sourdough discard, but also wanted one that is healthy and not too sweet.

I use spelt flour in place of whole wheat flour for both its nutritional benefits and because it is not as dense as whole wheat flour.

Vegan sourdough muffins with fresh blueberries

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (your favorite)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • optional sugar to sprinkle on top

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°.
  2. Use non-stick spray on your muffin pans. This recipe yields about 12 regular sized muffins.
  3. Combine the flours, cornmeal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  4. Add the maple syrup, applesauce, milk, and sourdough starter to the dry mixture, and mix together until just combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries gently.
  6. Scoop into muffin pan.
  7. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

Let me know if you make these muffins!

~Jen

Hello Mr. Scarecrow!

Hi everyone,

In 2017, I joined a block-of-the-month program through a local quilt store. In this program, we made all of the blocks from Lori Holt’s Farm Girl Vintage book over the course of a year. I kept up each month, made the blocks, and then set them aside because I couldn’t decide on a quilt layout.

Later on, I made a few more blocks from Lori’s second book, Farm Girl Vintage 2, because the new animal blocks were so cute! I couldn’t decide which blocks to keep so I decided to combine all of my blocks into a quilt layout. I also couldn’t resist adding the little dog from her book, Spelling Bee, because what is a farm without a dog?

Here are a few of my blocks going up on my design wall. Hmm, what layout should I use?

Farm Girl Vintage blocks on my design wall

I played with a few layouts, turning blocks this way and that way. Then, I decided to sew more blocks!!

My little farm needed a scarecrow out in the fields with the tractor. The Mr. Scarecrow block is from the Farm Girl Vintage 2 book, and is a fun addition to my quilt.

Look at all the pieces! I kept them organized by using Alphabitties, which are little plastic squares that you use to label block components.

Alphabitties – great labels to use while making blocks with many pieces

I use Clover Clips to attach the Alphabitties to the fabric pieces so that I don’t lose them in the chaos of my cutting table.

Here’s a look at my assembled Mr. Scarecrow block:

Mr. Scarecrow block

Hmm, I thought that Mr. Scarecrow could use a little friend so I made him one!

A crow joins Mr. Scarecrow in my Farm Girl Vintage quilt

I will hand embroider Mr. Scarecrow’s facial features before I start the quilting. I plan to add this block in front of the tractor in my final layout.

This quilt is so bright and cheerful, and I’m having a blast figuring out how to assemble it into a unique layout. Stay tuned to see how I finish this quilt.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Running with Scissors! + More

Hi everyone,

I recently made the Take A Stand bag from ByAnnie patterns, and I blogged about it here. I then decided to create the companion tool organizer called Running with Scissors using similar fabrics from Tula Pink.

Isn’t the name fun? This organizer is really a clever zipped tote that you can use to carry your quilting tools to a class or a retreat or use it at home to save space on your sewing table.

I used Tula Pink’s Pinkerville line with its beautiful unicorn as my front pocket centerpieces. This organizer has 2 large quilted fabric pockets with zippers on the outside. You’ll find smaller inside pockets made out of mesh, vinyl, and quilted fabric, all sized nicely to fit a variety of tools.

Here’s a look at the organizer once I had sewn on the outer pockets and the inner pockets, but before I added the center facing to the inside.

For me, one of the tricky parts is attaching the outer zipper and binding. When you purchase this pattern, it comes with a $5 off coupon for the accompanying video from Annie, making it free. I highly recommend the video, and I watched it while attaching the binding so I could pause and re-watch as needed. I also use Clover Clips rather than pins to avoid poking myself and because they are just so much easier to use.

Attaching the Binding

The inside center facing uses clever elastic loops to hold a variety of items from sewing machine feet to bobbins to thread. I had 2 colors of elastic on hand so I decided to use both colors by alternating them on the facing.

Inside Center Facing

Once I had sewn the inside center facing, then I just needed a few finishing details such as zipper pulls to complete my Running with Scissors tool case!

Here’s a look at the front of the completed case:

Completed Running with Scissors Case

I decided to do a little photo shoot with my 2 new ByAnnie bags, along with my foster kitty, Gracie. She provided excellent inspection services!

In the picture where Gracie is sitting next to the bags, you can see my new Running with Scissors tool case folded over my Take A Stand bag. I’m going to use these 2 bags together at my sewing table to keep frequently used tools close at hand.

Another pic of both bags together;

Take A Stand Bag and Running with Scissors Case

I now have more confidence to tackle a bigger bag project! On my to-do list is the A Place for Everything 2.0 bag from ByAnnie. It’s a great bag to hold English paper piecing projects and supplies. I haven’t decided which fabric to use yet so stay tuned!

Do you follow me on Instagram (@nwquiltedcat)? I’m very close to reaching 2,000 followers. I’m going to do a little giveaway once I reach that milestone, and it will most likely feature Tula Pink products. Come follow me if you don’t already!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

A Tula Unicorn Bag!

Hi everyone,

I had some really pretty unicorn fabric by Tula Pink in my stash that I’ve wanted to use for a special project. I didn’t want to make quilt, but I wanted to make something more portable. How about a bag?

Yep, I decided to tackle a bag! I’m mostly a quilt maker and rarely make bags because I struggle sometimes with 3D objects. I had a By Annie pattern on hand called “Take A Stand” that I wanted to try.

For the front and back pockets of the bag, I decided to fussy cut the unicorn. It’s from Tula’s Pinkerville line, and it’s called Imaginarium in Cotton Candy. It’s out-of-print but you may be able to find pieces out in the wild at local quilt shops. These pockets sit on the outside of the bag and are sewn to the main body of the bag. I used a different print for the main bag body called Fairy Dust in Daydream, which is a beautiful purple color with little multi-colored birds, stars, and dots sprinkled all over.

I really like the contrast of the unicorn against the purple bag body. I quilted both pieces using my Bernina and some lovely purple thread in a diagonal cross-hatch pattern. For these little quilt sandwiches, I do use this Soft and Stable foam stabilizer because it just works so well.

For a contrasting pocket detail, I used some green fabric from the Pinkerville line called Serenity Frolic. I used the pink moth from Pinkerville for the entire interior, but the binding is pink stripe from a different Tula Pink line.

The pink mesh is from By Annie in lipstick and the shiny pink material that you see below is fold over elastic from By Annie, also in lipstick.

Once I had all the pieces cut and quilted, I was ready to tackle the bag assembly! First up, the exterior pockets with zippers. These zippers actually went in pretty well. At least, until I noticed on the second pocket that the zipper head had actually fallen off! I just couldn’t get the zipper head back on and so I asked my sister for help. Of course, she was able to reattach it in about 2 seconds.

I love the rainbow teeth on this zipper! It’s from Sew Quirky from Australia, but I was able to find it online at a US retailer for cheaper shipping. The package contained enough zipper tape and zipper heads that I can make another project with the left overs.

The side pieces of the bag went in pretty easily! I definitely recommend using these Wonder Clips by Clover to help keep the pieces in place without worrying about pins poking you.

Once I had finished sewing the sides, I took a break before tackling the binding. The instructions are very text heavy so I did watch the accompanying videos from By Annie to make sure that I knew what to do. When you order the pattern, you get a $5 coupon for the video, making it free. I highly recommend the video, especially if you aren’t an expert bag maker.

Here’s a look at my finished “Take A Stand” bag in the smaller size, which is approximately 8-3/4″ tall x 12″ wide x 6-1/2″D. I took it with me to a local nursery and took some pictures with flowers.

I love it, and now I want to make the companion “Running with Scissors” tool case to go with it. The tool case folds over the top of the “Take a Stand” bag, which is very handy at your sewing machine or to take to quilt classes.

Happy bag making!

~Jen

Sea Glass Quilt Finished

Hi everyone,

I took my completed Sea Glass quilt to the ocean for a few pictures several weekends ago. It was beautiful weather, although the wind made it pretty tricky to get good pictures. We rented a yurt for camping and had a great time! We were so glad to be in a yurt instead of our tent because it did get below freezing at night. Brrr!

I did free-motion quilting using Glide thread in Cool Mint. I used large, open swirls that reminded me of the beach. For the backing, I used Luxe Cuddle in Seal Aqua Sea. My HQ Avante handled the cuddle backing perfectly!

Free-Motion Quilting on My Sea Glass Quilt

For binding, I opted to use a fabric that wasn’t part of the BOM. I had some Zuma High Tides in Aquamarine by Tula Pink in my stash that complements the blues and turquoises in the quilt. I think it really accents and frames the quilt very nicely. Those little anchors are too cute!

Sea Glass Binding

I did machine stitch the binding to both the front and the back because it is pretty difficult to hand sew through the cuddle fabric. I knew that this quilt was going on a bed so I also liked the extra durability of machine stitching.

Here’s a look at the completed quilt with the Pacific Ocean in the background:

Completed Sea Glass Quilt at the Ocean

We found some interesting cliffs a little farther down the coast so I asked my hubby and son climb up on a log to hold the quilt for a picture. It really helps having a teen who is now taller than me!

Sea Glass Quilt Near Cliffs

I have a full size futon bed in my guest room so this quilt will make a nice covering. The luxe cuddle backing is so soft and feels so good against your skin. I’m sure my guest (aka my sister) will love sleeping under this quilt during a future visit.

This Sea Glass quilt finish is the result of a year long block-of-the-month program through Fig Tree & Co. Although the BOM program is over, you may be able to purchase a pattern on their website.

I really enjoyed making a quilt with this soothing color palette, and I’m really glad to have another WIP completed!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Fierce Cheetah Mama

Happy spring, everyone! The days are getting a little longer, bulbs are blooming, and birds are singing. I’m very happy that we’re heading into the warmer spring days because it means more hiking and gardening.

For Christmas last year, my sister sent me the Cheetah Abstractions pattern by Violet Craft. This is a foundation paper pieced pattern that usually finishes at 48 inches by 60 inches, but I decided to shrink it down to 75%. I like to print my foundations using Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper because it is really easy to remove after sewing.

I challenged myself to use only fabrics from my stash. The fabric audition process can take a few days and, for this quilt, my hardest decision was the background. I knew that I’d need about a 2 yard piece in a solid or mostly solid color with enough contrast to make the cheetah body pop. I auditioned creams, grays, grunges, and others until I came across a mottled light aqua fabric. Perfect! It reminded me of a partly overcast day.

Once I had the background fabric, I pulled different solids and lightly patterned fabrics to audition for the cheetah body. I like to use Violet’s included color palette to tape small swatches of my fabrics so that I remember which fabric goes with which symbol while paper piecing.

Cheetah Abstractions – fabric selections

I started with the cheetah face first. I was just so eager to see it come to life in fabric! The head section is the most complicated, especially at just 75% size. If you’re new to paper piecing, just go slow and remember to reduce your stitch length. Here’s the start of the cheetah with the pattern for scale.

Over the next few days, I tackled sections of the cheetah body. I sewed the smaller sections and laid them out before joining sections together. It is much easier to fix mistakes this way! Isn’t her expression great? Her gaze is so intense and focused.

I pieced my cheetah fairly quickly in just a few weeks. I put all my other projects (mostly) on hold. Once pieced, I thought about how to quilt her for a week or two. I didn’t want the quilting to detract from the magnificent cheetah mama.

I decided to do some straight-line quilting all over the cheetah face and body using Glide thread in Sand Dune. For the background, I did some free-motion leaves using Glide thread in Cool Mint. I also used 2 layers of Quilter’s Dream Poly Select batting for extra texture!

The double batting does make this small quilt heavy, but I plan to hang it on a wall rather than using it as a lap quilt. For the binding, I used a dark brown fabric for three-quarters of the quilt and then used a piece of the backing for the remaining one-quarter to accent some of the colors from the cheetah.

The backing fabric is called Kenyan Cats by Alexander Henry Fabrics, which I thought worked so well with the cheetah theme.

I really love how this fierce mama cheetah quilt turned out, and I can’t wait to display her on a wall behind my work desk at home.

Enjoy!

~Jen

Updated Swatch Service from The Confident Stitch

Hi everyone!

One of my favorite modern quilt shops, The Confident Stitch in Missoula, Montana, has recently updated their swatch service. In the past, this quarterly subscription came with a folded brochure and small pieces of the featured fabrics. Beginning with Spring 2021, the swatch service now comes with at least 20 pieces of 5×5 inch fabric swatches and a pattern!

Let’s take a look at what you’ll get in the Spring 2021 quilting cotton swatch packet!

Spring 2021 Quilting Cotton Swatch Packet from The Confident Stitch

When you sign up for the swatch service, you’ll receive this cute wrapped package in the mail. The card on the front gives you a glimpse of the yummy fabrics contained inside. On the back of the card, you’ll find a brief description of the swatch contents plus a special discount code for swatch subscribers only.

Spring 2021 Swatch Service Fabrics and Pattern

When you unwrap the package, you’ll get the following goodies:

  • 5×5 inch swatches, labeled with the fabric name and pricing. These swatches can be a combination of prints and solids.
  • A packet containing instructions for 2 projects: the Scrappy Diamonds Pillow and the Primavera Pinwheels Lap Quilt. You may need additional supplies to complete some of the projects.
  • Discount code for swatch fabrics.
  • Directions for accessing a companion YouTube video.

The subscription costs $13 per quarter, and you can choose to join the quarterly program where the swatches are mailed to you automatically or you can choose to buy just one swatch service. In addition to the quilting cotton swatch service, the store also has a garment fabric swatch service in warm tones or cool tones.

I think this swatch service is a great value, and I love these larger swatches. I enjoy being able to touch these fabrics, to see the scale of the patterns, and to match actual colors in the swatches to fabrics that I already have in my stash.

I plan on using my swatches on a project soon so stay tuned! Let me know if you join the swatch service, and I’d love to see the projects that you make.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Tula Pink Postcard Swap

Hello everyone!

Recently, I participated in a Tula Pink themed postcard swap. The only restriction was that we could only use Tula Pink fabrics. We could use any fabric technique to make the card.

Postcard swaps are really fun to join because they are such quick and easy projects, and you don’t have a long turn around time like you do with a mini quilt swap.

I decided to make a Tabby Road themed postcard for my secret partner, using a mix of foundation paper piecing, traditional piecing, and applique.

I made the kitty applique using 2 pieces of Tabby Road in different colorways and sewing them together. It was a technique that I wanted to try, and I think it added some pizazz to the postcard.

Under the striped fabric in the background, I did stitch in a piece of the selvage from Tabby Road, fluffiness included!

I made a little quilt sandwich, using the postcard top and a stabilizer in the middle. I quilted around the kitty and in the background before attaching the backing.

I used a satin-stitch to go around the postcard two times to secure it completely to the inner stabilizer as well as the light-colored fabric on the back. You can learn more about my postcard technique by reading my free Fabric Postcard Tutorial.

The Tabby Road postcard that I made for my partner!

In return, I received a wonderful EPP postcard from Maureen (@sewhappyquilting), filled with a rainbow of Tula Pink fabrics. These hexies are tiny, just 1/2 inches! I really love it.

The postcard I received! So beautiful!

Maureen mailed this postcard as-is with a stamp on the back through the USPS, and it arrived just fine. If this method makes you nervous, you can always send your postcard in an envelope. It may cost an extra stamp, but it will also be less likely to get damaged.

These bright postcards are a sure way to brighten up someone’s day. I think I’ll make a few more to mail out as random surprises! I’m also thinking of hosting a fabric postcard swap sometime this year?? Would you be interested??

Happy quilting!

~Jen