Tula Nova EPP Progress

Hi everyone,

This summer, I started an English paper piecing (EPP) project so I could have some handwork to do while waiting in parking lots due to Covid restrictions. I blogged about starting the Tula Nova quilt here.

I’ve had a bunch of time in the past few weeks due to my son’s taekwondo classes and surgery follow-up appointments for my dog. We used to be able to go inside, now we must wait in the car. I’m not sure what will happen will we start getting below freezing, lol!

I’ve added some more rounds to my cat themed Tula Nova. I’m using as much of the “Tabby Road” line as possible, but I don’t have many of the coordinating prints so I’ve been trading with people on Instagram for different pieces. I’m also using fabrics from the True Colors line, such as the mineral prints, hexy rainbows, and fairy dust.

Do you see the cute cans of cat food in the star blocks?

Once I complete each round, I audition fabrics from my stash. It’s quite a messy process! I have fat quarters and half yards scattered about the room, until I decide on something.

The next round has 10 stars and 20 medium hexagon shapes. I decided on some purple stars to pull out the purple in the center of the quilt.

I fussy cut a striped print from the “Chipper” fabric line so that the dark purple fabric was more or less in the middle of the star points with some green on each side. I had just enough of the cat eyes print from “Tabby Road” to make enough small hexagon centers for the 10 stars needed.

“♪ ♪ ♪ I always feel like someone is watching me . . . ♪ ♪ ♪”

After I finished hand piecing these 10 stars, I placed them next to the my Tula Nova to decide what color I wanted for the medium hexagons in between each star.

Well, my quilt inspector had a strong preference, which I will reveal in a future blog post! He is really loving this cat themed quilt, and loves to help me “arrange” fabrics.

This is a bright and cheerful quilt, and I’m so happy that I started learning how to EPP.

Happy quilting!

Jen

Scrappy Summer Sew Along + Update on Pepper

Hi everyone,

I posted about joining a scrappy summer sew along a few weeks ago here. This quilt uses your scrap bin to make a 9-patch blocks for a scrappy finish!

I used a bunch of yellows plus pinks/reds to make a “Raspberry Lemonade” scrappy quilt. I started sewing my 9-patch blocks as leaders/enders while working on other projects. Then, a bunch of crazy life stuff happened, and I had to stop sewing for a couple of weeks.

Here’s a look at some of my 9-patch blocks, with sunlight filtering in through a side window:

Scrappy 9-patch blocks

Sunday was the last day to post our finished top on Instagram as part of the sew along. I pulled out the 9-patch blocks that I had completed, and I had just enough for a baby sized quilt. My quilt inspector helped me to sort the blocks into rows and columns.

Romeo inspects the
9-patch blocks

I enjoyed sewing these little blocks together as a sort of meditative time for myself. We had beautiful weather here yesterday so I was able to get a picture of the quilt flimsy, fluttering in the breeze, on a nearby little bridge.

Scrappy Summer Sew Along Flimsy – Raspberry Lemonade!

I’m going to back this little quilt with some soft, cuddly Minky fabric and likely donate it.

You can find other participants and fun quilts from this sew along by searching on the hashtag #scrappysummersal2020 on Instagram.

One of the life events that happened recently is a major (and expensive) surgery for our girl, Pepper. She had the surgery one week ago today, and she is doing pretty well with her recovery. We’re hoping that she’ll be back to hiking with us later this winter or next spring. She needs a full 8-10 weeks for recovery plus multiple physical therapy sessions.

If you’d like to help, I started a GoFundMe to offset some of the cost of the surgery and physical therapy.

Here’s a look at Pepper post-op with her poor, furless leg and incision:

Pepper, resting after knee surgery

Each day, she is getting stronger! We just have to keep this very active dog from running or jumping for 8 weeks. Whew!

Happy quilting!

Jen

Starting a Tula Nova Quilt + Wildfires

Hi everyone,

We are experiencing devastating wildfires here in Oregon, the worst fires seen in over 100 years. We’re in what is called level 1 evacuation, which means stay alert and be prepared. We do not have to evacuate at this time and most likely will not have to evacuate. However, many people just south of us are in the level 3, immediate “get out” zone so my thoughts and prayers are with them!

The fire makes the skies look apocalyptic. Here’s a look yesterday, when the east winds were still blowing:

Wildfires coloring the sky

This morning, the east winds stopped blowing so we have heavy, stagnate air, filled with particulates. It is very dangerous to be outdoors

Heavy smoke in the air

If you want to help the victims who lost everything in the fires, you can donate to the Red Cross.

In the meantime, I started on my first Tula Nova EPP (English Paper Pieced) project several weeks ago. This technique is entirely hand-pieced so it makes for a great project to do in the evenings while watching shows, to take traveling, or to do while my kiddo is in taekwondo class.

I’m using the Disco Kitty fabric from the Quilty Box as my center. I’m also using various colors of 50 weight Aurifil thread for the piecing.

I took this picture several weeks ago while we tent camped along the Oregon coast.

Tula Nova with a Disco Kitty center

When we got home, my quilt inspector decided to help out. He thoroughly approves of my theme for this quilt!

Romeo helps with my Tula Nova piecing

I’ve just finished adding the fourth round, and I went for a purple/pink Tent Stripe fabric by Tula Pink Don’t you love how the stripes add a secondary star around the solid lavender?

Tula Nova – adding stripes

The next round has 10 star points plus 10 diamond shapes to connect the stars. Each round will take longer and longer, but I am enjoying the process and it helps alleviate stress in these crazy times.

Have you made a Tula Nova quilt? I’d love to see it!

Happy quilting and stay safe!

Jen

Sorting My Scrap Bin for a Sew Along

Hi everyone,

I have a very large shoe box, the kind that fits boots, behind my sewing area where I toss scraps from projects that are large enough to reuse. These scraps have been growing and growing until my box was overflowing.

Then, I noticed that @thehomebodycompany and @the.weekendquilter were hosting an Instagram scrap busting sew along called the “Scrappy Summer Sew Along” with the hashtag, #scrappysummersal2020. This sew along uses a free pattern, which contains some different sizing options for using the simple 9-patch block for the quilt.

I dumped out my scraps and started sorting into color groups.

Sorting scraps

Wow, that got tiring fast in my very warm sewing room so I took a little break. When I came back into the room, I found my cat, Romeo, decided to reorganize things a bit.

Romeo reorganizes the scraps

I convinced Romeo to let me continue sorting by color. As the piles grew, I started thinking about how I wanted my scrappy quilt to look. I decided to do a limited color palette by using just pinks/reds and yellow scraps for a raspberry lemonade theme. My background will be a white-on-white fabric from my stash.

I’m making the rectangular throw size quilt so I needed to cut hundreds of 2″ squares from my scraps and hundreds of 2″ squares from my background fabric.

For the background fabric, I used the XL Stripology Ruler by Creative Grids to first cut the 2″ strips, and then sub-cut the strips into 2″ squares. This ruler is a lifesaver! I cut out all my pieces quickly and accurately without any hand fatigue. I highly recommend investing in one of these rulers.

Here’s a look at some of my pretty 2″ squares, just waiting patiently to be sewn into 9-patch blocks.

Pretty 2″ squares

I’m using this project as a leader/ender for other projects that I have underway. I’ll show you some of my 9-patch blocks using these squares soon!

Happy quilting,

Jen

 

A Traveling Quilt Takes an Adventure!

Hi everyone,

Last week would have been the 45th anniversary of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt show. I had planned to take classes the week before with my sister, but the classes are postponed until 2021. We decided to have a mini retreat together for some sewing and hiking.

We had fun sewing on small projects in our hotel room, visiting local quilt shops while maintaining social distancing protocols and wearing masks, and hiking in the great outdoors.

I took my Adventure themed traveling quilt with me. I made the center foundation paper pieced block from a pattern called “Camping” by Quilt Art Designs, but without the road and camper van. I also paper pieced the word “Adventure.” My quilt then traveled for about a year around the United States, where 5 different quilters added sections. In return, I added sections to the other quilters’ traveling quilts, all with different themes ranging from Harry Potter to books to gnomes.

Here’s a look at my center block, with and without the word, Adventure:

Each quilter was free to add her own ideas to the quilt, keeping with my theme of travel and adventure.

  • Marianne added an inner border of foundation paper pieced mountains
  • Katie added the next border of foundation paper pieced arrows, a squirrel, a campfire, a fish, and a lantern
  • Kitty added churn dash blocks (one of my favorite blocks) to the top and bottom
  • Gigi added a mountain range in the day to the top and a mountain range in the night to the bottom
  • Jenn added the final left and right borders of trees

I received the quilt back this spring, and then decided to custom quilt it using ruler work and free-motion.

Here is a look at the finished quilting with my dog quilt inspector:

 

Completed quilting on Adventure quilt with Pepper “helping”

My sister then helped me to photograph this quilt while in central Oregon last week. It was quite windy so it was difficult to hold the quilt still and get a good picture.

We took these pictures at Balancing Rocks, which are volcanic tuffs.

Adventure quilt at Balancing Rocks with Mt. Jefferson in the background

Adventure quilt near a volcanic tuff

I really enjoyed my first experience as part of a traveling quilt/round robin group. I even got to meet one of the quilters in person in July 2019 at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, where she brought me the next quilt in line for my additions. I hope to participate in another one in the future.

Happy quilting!

Jen

Introducing Alfie the Alpaca Foundation Paper Pieced Pattern!

Hi everyone,

I’m so excited to introduce you to Alfie the alpaca! I designed this cute alpaca block for a mini quilt exchange with my sister.

Alfie is foundation paper pieced, suitable for quilters with some paper piecing experience. The block size is about 16.5 inches by 8 inches before adding borders. The pattern does include instructions for adding the same size borders as shown in my finished quilt.

You can purchase Alfie for just $4 on my Etsy store, QuiltedCatPatterns!

Let’s take a closer look at Alfie the alpaca! I based this pattern on a photo that I took of a cheeky little alpaca in Sisters, Oregon during summer 2019. I used Cherrywood fabrics for the alpaca body, and Pie Making Day in Key Lime from RJR fabrics for the background. I pieced each section of the pattern, and then pinned the sections to a design board before stitching them together. This process helps you to catch any fabric placement mistakes before the whole block is stitched together.

The picture on the left shows all of the individual foundation sections pieced. The picture on the right shows the sections as I started to sew them together into units. I love watching foundation paper piecing patterns come together!

 

 

Alfie the alpaca block without borders

After I sewed all of the sections together, I decided to add some off-set borders to the Alfie block. I used a very narrow inner border from a peach colored Grunge fabric on the left side and along the bottom side. This peach fabric matches the peach tone of the blankets on the llamas in the outer green border.

I knew that I would add the dark green outer border before ever designing this block. My sister picked out this fabric as our challenge fabric for our mini quilt swap. We each had a fat quarter to use in our mini quilt somewhere. The llama fabric is called Llama Life Faraway Places by Cloud 9 Fabrics.

I also auditioned many fabrics for the bottom border, and finally settled on a black and white square print that I had in my stash.

I did simple quilting with an all-over meander on Alfie’s face and body using Glide thread in Linen and Bone, free-motion swirls using Glide in Celery in the light green background print, and some diamond shapes in the dark green border. I also free-motion quilted “Alfie” in Glide Apricot Blush on the bottom border.

Alfie the alpaca block without hair

I thought Alfie might be missing something, some integral part of his cheeky self. I figured that he needed some hair!! I went to a local alpaca farm and purchased some alpaca yarn in a shade to match Alfie’s head.

I used a couching foot on my Bernina to sew the yarn to Alfie’s head in little swirls. I love the texture and dimension that the yarn added to this mini quilt. I think it brings Alfie to life!

Adding alpaca yarn to make hair

Here’s a look at my Alfie completed mini quilt from a recent day hike with his fluffy head and shorn body:

Alfie the alpaca mini quilt with avalanche lilies

I hope you enjoy my new pattern, Alfie Alpaca available now for purchase. I’d love to see a photo if you make something using this pattern!

Happy quilting,

Jen

Finished Bubblegum Kisses Mini Quilt

Hi everyone,

Each month, I love receiving the Sew Sampler box from the Fat Quarter Shop with exclusive patterns and notions. I’ve very behind on making the projects, but I finally completed a cheery and happy mini quilt recently called Bubblegum Kisses by Lori Holt.

This quilt finishes at about 23 1/2″ x 27 1/2″ and uses charm squares plus some background fabric. I started this quilt at a retreat in December 2017, pieced the top, and then set it aside in my to-do quilting pile. Yikes!

I pulled it out last week and found a pretty blue gingham fabric in my stash for the backing.

Here’s my quilt inspector, checking it out before quilting:

Romeo inspects my quilt sandwich

For quilting, I decided to do 1″ piano keys around the border. I also stitched-in-the-ditch around each block. I did a little free-motion meandering in between the blocks. I used Glide thread in Linen for all of the quilting. It is a nice creamy color that blended into the background fabric nicely.

Quilting Bubblegum Kisses

The binding came with the Sew Sampler box, and I love the aqua color! I finished the quilting and binding pretty quickly. I knew that I wanted to take a picture of the quilt outside, and I had a perfect opportunity this past weekend.

We hiked about 9 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail, near Mt. Hood. The temperature was perfect for hiking, about 65 degrees. The clouds played peek-a-boo all day with the mountain, but we lucked out and got terrific views.

There are so many wildflowers in bloom right now along the trail from pink rhododendron to white avalanche lilies to tall bear grass.

Here’s a picture of the finished Bubblegum Kisses mini quilt with some delicate avalanche lilies:

Bubblegum Kisses Quilt with Avalanche Lilies

These little wildflowers are just so pretty!

At our turn around point, we had an amazing view of Mt. Hood. I thought this was the perfect location for a quilt-in-the-wild photo!

Bubblegum Kisses Quilt Along the Pacific Crest Trail and Mt. Hood

What a beautiful location and great hike!

I recommended getting on the Sew Sampler wait list if you’re interested in these fun monthly project boxes! Spots do open up regularly. Now to get more projects finished!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Making a Tula Pink Themed Clock for My Sewing Room

Hi everyone,

Have you seen the HomeMade line of fabric by Tula Pink? I really love it, especially because my main piecing machine is a Bernina. I’m making all kinds of projects for my sewing room from this line of fabric.

I decided to make a clock using the Petal to the Metal print, which features a sewing machine and has 3 different colorways (a purple, a blue, and a mint green). I measured one repeat of the sewing machine print so I could pick out the right size for my clock base at my local craft store.

From the craft store, I purchased a round wooden clock base, clock face numbers, a clock mechanism with hands, and some paint.

On the clock mechanism, be sure to purchase one with a long enough shaft to fit your clock base. I initially purchased a mechanism that had a 3/8″ shaft, but I really needed a 3/4″ shaft to fit my base.

I spray painted my wooden base with 2 coats of a pretty teal paint, waiting for each coat to dry. I made a circular template from cardboard, and then used it to cut out my fabric. I adhered the fabric to the clock base using Mod Podge. Once it was completely dried, I used a clear coat spray to seal it.

Once the wooden base dried, I drilled a hole for the mechanism shaft and applied the clock numbers. The numbers have an adhesive back so you just press them onto the clock. I eyeballed the approximate location of each number.

Next, I inserted the clock shaft through the base and attached the hands. The clock mechanism runs on AA batteries, which you insert into the back of the mechanism. There is also a little hanger on the back of the mechanism so you can easily hang it on a wall.

I made 2 of these clocks so that I could give one to my sister. The top clock, in the picture below, is completely finished, and the bottom clock needs the numbers and mechanism.

Tula Pink themed clocks – one finished and one in progress

I really love how cute these little sewing machine clocks are when finished. They are a fun addition to add to any room, particularly your own sewing room!

Finished Tula Pink HomeMade “Sewing Machine” Clock

Enjoy!

~Jen

Summer Swatch Service Card from The Confident Stitch

Hi everyone,

Ahhh, June. While it may be a bit rainy currently where I live, summer weather is finally in the forecast for next. Summer is my favorite season, and the bright, saturated colors of the warmest days of the year tend to influence my fabric selection choices.

If you haven’t heard about the Swatch Service from The Confident Stitch, then you are in for a delicious summer treat! When you subscribe, you will receive a quarterly swatch card in the mail, featuring quilting cottons or garment fabrics, depending on your selection. I do receive a small commission if you sign up for the Swatch Service via my link. I use it to help pay the expenses of running this blog.

Each Swatch Service card contains 8 small pieces of fabric that you can touch! I really love being able to see the colors in person and feeling the hand of the fabric before purchasing. Under each fabric swatch, you will find pricing information.

You also get a unique discount code for purchasing the fabrics featured on the card.

Here’s a look at the Summer 2020 Swatch Service card!

Summer 2020 Swatch Service

Summer 2020 Swatch Service, Outside of Card

Summer 2020 Swatch Service, Inside of Card

I’m also pleased to announce that The Confident Stitch is donating 10% of revenue during the month of June to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (naacpldf.org).

Did you sign up for the Swatch Service? Leave me a comment!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Finished Project Reveal!

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to say that I’ve finished my project in the 2020 Mini Series sew-along, hosted by Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass. Over the past 2 months, we have made 8 tiny foundation paper pieced blocks as part of this SAL plus a 9th bonus block for registered participants!

This SAL was a great virtual quilting community project to work on during COVID-19. We encouraged each other through our posts on Instagram, which you can find using the #MiniSeriesSAL hashtag.

I completed all the blocks and decided to piece them together into a “skinny mini” horizontal quilt. I added a 2-inch border to the top, bottom, and sides. I did not add any sashing strips between my blocks because I had a special place in my quilting room picked out to display this quilt.

For quilting, I used Glide thread in white and did some simple piano keys in the borders using a ruler. I also stitched-in-the-ditch around each quilt block.

Quilting my “skinny mini”

For my binding, I used a print from Tula Pink’s Zuma line that perfectly complemented the Kona cotton colors that I used for my blocks. This is the same fabric line that I used for the little green print with the seahorses, stars, and anchors in my blocks.

I’m displaying my Mini Series skinny mini quilt above a closet door in my quilting room and attached to a shelf holding some of my antique toy sewing machines. I love the beachy pop of color that it provides in that color. It also coordinates well with the Sherwin Williams Sea Salt paint on my walls!

Mini Series SAL Finished Project, A Skinny Mini!

This has been such a great project to make over the past several months. I’m happy that I kept up with the blocks each week, and that I was able to finish a project on time to get a finisher’s pin. When the pin arrives, I’ll add it to my skinny mini! My thanks to both Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass for hosting this sew-along!!

Happy quilting,

~Jen