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

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 8

Hi everyone!

We are now at week 8 in the Mini Series SAL with the last block called Criss Cross! These past 8 weeks have been very surreal, with time warping strangely due to working-from-home during this pandemic. I’m so grateful to Alison Glass and Giucy Giuce for organizing and hosting this great SAL!

The Criss Cross block is one of the more difficult blocks in the series due to the section joins. I took it slow and careful, taking time to pin the seams together and doing a basting stitch test alignment. I love the itty bitty flying geese in this block!

Here’s a look at my Criss Cross block in a field of lupine:

Criss Cross block

I also completed my bonus block this week, called String Block. This block is very easy and comes together quickly.

String Block (bonus for SAL participants)

I love all these little 4-inch foundation paper pieced blocks! We now have 2 weeks to make a project (or projects) to earn a finisher’s pin.

I’m leaning towards making a mini quilt, but I might also make little fabric baskets. Hmm, what to make!

Mini Series SAL, finished blocks

When I took a walk earlier this week to photograph my Criss Cross block, I took my hiking girl, Pepper. We dodged rain clouds, and we had a marvelous time just being outdoors together, taking in fresh air. I wanted to get some pictures of her in the field of lupine, but she had a hard time focusing with several people walking by and smiling at her. A doggie smile has the power to lift people up, even in uncertain times!

Stay tuned for my finished project with these blocks! Are you doing the SAL? Leave me a comment!

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 7

Happy Thursday, everyone!

This week, we are working on block 7 called the “Curved Cabin” in the Mini Series sew-along hosted by Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass.

This block is comprised of 4 tiny sections, giving you the ability to create many different looks from one block depending on your fabric choices and fabric placement. Each tiny section is 2-inches by 2-inches (finished measurements).

I’m continuing my color scheme by using a Kona charm pack in Mermaid Shores with a batik background that reminds me of tiny beach pebbles.

The pieces in each section are tiny! I narrowed my final block assembly to these 3 options:

I think it’s so wonderful how this block can completely transform depending on my layout! I really liked options 1 and 2, but I ultimately went for option 1 because I do enjoy the center circle that emerged.

My Curved Cabin block with a little frog friend!

I think a quilt made just from this block would be a fun project in the future. I could make the blocks all the same, or maybe do an ombre effect.

Here’s a look at my blocks together:

Mini Series SAL, blocks 1 to 7

We now have 7 out of the 8 blocks in the Mini Series completed. There is 1 bonus block available to the participants only, so I plan to make it next week along with the final block.

If you are participating in the SAL, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and let me know your Instagram handle.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

A Finished Tula Pink Jelly Roll Rug!

Hi everyone,

In my post yesterday, I talked about making my first jelly roll rug using the HomeMade fabric line by Tula Pink.

I finished the rug over the weekend, and we had a little bit of sunshine yesterday so I could get some outdoor pictures at lunch.

I absolutely love how this rug turned out! I didn’t experience any waviness or warping that can happen with this rug. I think it may be because my Bernina sits in a cabinet so I have a large, flat surface to support the weight of the rug as I stitch the rope coil rows together. I stitched slowly and carefully, using my widest zigzag stitch with Aurifil 50 weight thread.

I didn’t do any regular pressing, except for pressing each of the beginning tight corners. Those early tight corners were the hardest part for me! I did get a slight bit of puckering, but the pattern did indicate to expect that to happen.

Here’s a look at the finished rug!

 

My completed Tula Pink jelly roll rug!

Of course, as I was taking this picture, my quilt inspector, Cow, came sauntering out from under a bush where he had been napping. He gave the rug a thorough cat scan!

Cow gives the jelly roll rug a cat scan!

I brought the rug back inside where my best girl, Pepper, sat on it. She is a 65-pound mixed shepherd breed dog for scale.

Pepper likes the rug!

I now have the rug in my quilting room. I need to clean up some of my sewing chaos before taking a picture!

I hope that you all have a great day!

Happy quilting,

Jen

Making a Jelly Roll Rug for my Quilt Room

Hi everyone,

This weekend, I made my first ever Jelly Roll Rug using the pattern by RJ Designs. What is a jelly roll rug? It’s a rug that you make using 2.5-inch strips of fabric and batting. This rug is similar to the braided or crocheted types of rugs that quilters and sewists have made for a long time, but updated to use modern materials.

You might notice that not all fabric manufacturers label their 2.5-inch pre-cut fabric strips as jelly rolls. Moda Fabrics uses the term “jelly rolls,” but other manufacturers might call a similar product design rolls, strip sets, or other names.

If you don’t want to purchase 2.5-inch pre-cut rolls, you can always make your own strip sets from yardage.

The batting strips are similar. You can buy pre-cut 2.5″ batting strips by Bosal called Katahdin On-A-Roll in either 25 yard or 50 yard rolls or you can cut your own from batting leftovers.

I used HomeMade Design Roll for my rug. This is an adorable new line of fabric using bright colors and features items that quilters use every day. I thought it would be the perfect collection to use to make a rug for my quilting room. I had purchased 2 rolls of Katahdin back in 2018, but I was waiting for the just the right fabric collection to come along and Tula really delivered!

This pattern takes a ton of bobbin thread! I pre-wound 5 bobbins, but I needed about 7 total. For me, it took the longest to create the fabric “rope,” which is the 2.5-inch fabric and batting strips folded and stitched together. I’d guess that this step took almost 4 hours.

Here’s a look at my jelly roll rug coil. Doesn’t it look fun?

Once I had my jelly roll rug coil finished, I started sewing it to form the rug on my Bernina. I used my widest zigzag stitch, and started going round-and-round.

Look at my rug growing under my needle!

My jelly roll rug is growing!

It took another 2 hours or so to stitch my rug together. I’m planning on taking some pictures of it today in the afternoon sunshine. Come back tomorrow where I will reveal my completed jelly roll rug!

You can purchase all the supplies to make a rug from your local quilt shop or from the Fat Quarter Shop. I get a small percentage of sales from this link to help me with the costs of this blog.

Happy sewing!

~Jen