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

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

Mini Quilt Reveal for COVID-19

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I posted about creating a mini quilt to acknowledge this current pandemic. I wanted a project that I could make quickly with supplies on hand.

I finished the quilting and binding last night so that I can share my completed mini quilt with you today. I used my Oliso mini project iron for each step of foundation paper piecing, and I really loved the convenience!

I used my Bernina domestic sewing machine to do some cross-hatch quilting on the toilet paper roll. To get started, I like to use a piece of Washi tape. This tape gives me the placement for my first line of stitching. I then use my presser foot to guide my along that first line to complete the rest of the quilting.

I used Aurifil 50 weight thread in silver white (#2309) for both the piecing and the quilting.

Use Washi tape for cross-hatch quilting

Cross-hatch quilting on my Bernina

I kept most of my quilting to the toilet roll portion of the quilt. On the borders, I did just a couple of lines of straight-line quilting in Aurifil dark pink (#4020). I also used this same dark pink thread to complete my binding entirely by machine.

If you missed my post yesterday, this mini quilt is a free pattern by Miso Quilty called Keep Calm and Roll On.

Here are some pictures of my completed mini!

This mini quilt comes together very quickly, especially if you have a little foundation paper piecing experience. I think my total time to complete the quilt was about 3 hours. I did speed up the process by doing machine binding rather than hand binding because I’m just going to display this mini in my guest bathroom.

Happy quilting!

Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 5

Hi everyone,

Surprisingly, this week is going by fast for me. I’m balancing working from home with helping my teen with his schooling from home, and fitting in some sewing each evening. I’m also trying to keep anxiety feelings at bay with regular exercise, mostly in the form of long walks with my dog.

The block in our sew-along this week is one of my favorites. It is called Stretched Geese. I really like any form of the flying geese block, and this one is really fun!

This is my 4-inch block in progress:

Stretched Geese block during construction

I decided to alter the block slightly by adding little border strips to the sides of the flying geese using my one print fabric from Tula Pink. I’m working in a little bit of this fabric into each block.

Stretched Geese block, slightly modified

I love my growing group of little blocks! The beachy feel of the fabrics is quite soothing.

Mini Series SAL blocks, weeks 1 to 5

We now have 3 official blocks left to make in the SAL, plus I need to make the bonus block.

On one of my dog walks this week, I saw one of my favorite flowers, lupine, starting to bloom. Isn’t it pretty?

I just realized that the colors in my lupine photo below match the fabric colors in my SAL blocks! What a happy coincidence.

Lupine starting to bloom

I hope you are all staying healthy and making a little time to work on sewing projects other than face masks.

Take care!

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 4

Hi everyone,

The little block for this week is called Hexagon Step. This is another block that took about 2 hours to sew together.

When I first saw the block, it reminded me of radiation danger signs!

Hexagon Step Pattern cover

I decided to change up the look by not alternating my color strips with background strips in each row. Instead, I used full color row around the hexagon shape and then followed it with a full row of the background fabric.

Here’s a look at my Hexagon Step block with one of my antique toy sewing machines. Isn’t the little seahorse cute?

My Hexagon Step block with antique toy sewing machine

I’m enjoying piecing these little blocks each week. There are small but satisfying in these unusual times. We have four more blocks left to sew in the SAL, not counting the bonus block, and then we have a 2 week window to make and finish a project using the blocks.

Here’s a look at my first four blocks together:

Mini Series SAL blocks 1-4

Next week, I’ll post my Stretched Geese block for week 5.

Take care and happy quilting!

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 1

Hi everyone,

Have you heard about the 2020 Mini Series Sew Along hosted by Alison Glass (#alisonglass) and Giucy Giuce (#giucygiuce) ?

It’s a 10-week sew along with 8 tiny foundation paper-pieced blocks plus a bonus block for those participants who sign up on Alison’s website. The SAL is free; however, you do need to purchase the patterns. You can find the patterns on Alison’s website or from various quilt stores that she mentions

Here are my fabric selections for the SAL:

  • A Kona charm square pack called Mermaid Shores
  • A batik fabric for the background that reminds me of pebbles on a beach
  • A Tula Pink fat quarter from the Zuma line with little stars and seahorses

Fabric Selection for 2020 Mini Series SAL

I’m making the 4-inch blocks rather than the 8-inch blocks due to the length of my charm squares.

For week one, we are making the classic log cabin block. I’m an experienced foundation paper piecer so I already had an Add-An-Eighth ruler on hand as well as some very fine 80 weight piecing thread. The 80 weight thread is important with smaller blocks because it is less thick than 50 weight thread so your block presses flatter.

I fuzzy cut a little star for the very center of my block from the Zuma fat quarter. You can see it in the picture with the dime for scale.

Here are some pictures of my log cabin block:

Week 1: Log Cabin Block

Week 1: Log Cabin block with dime for scale

Week 1: Log Cabin Block on Tree

Week 1: Log Cabin block on a stump

I really love these colors together! I’m leaning towards making a small wall-hanging quilt with the blocks from this SAL. I may make a few extra of some of the blocks, but I have’t entirely decided.

Here’s a look at the back of the block. I will keep the paper on for stability until I sew the block to another block or sashing.

Week 1: Log Cabin back of block

Are you participating in the SAL? Leave me a comment below!

Happy stitching!

~Jen

Cadence Court Quilt

Hi everyone!

I saw the beautiful Cadence Court Quilt by Sassafras Lane Designs on many Instagram feeds over the summer and decided that I really wanted to make one using sunset colors.

This quilt is mostly foundation paper pieced with a little bit of traditional piecing to add the background pieces and center pieces. There are 24 paper pieced wedges to make and each wedge took me roughly 2 hours to sew.

For my colorful sections, I used Alison Glass fabrics in 6 colors. Each color is repeated 4 times throughout the quilt. The white background is Alison Glass Sun Print Compass in coconut. The black fabric has tiny metallic hearts that look pretty in person and is called Yes Please Hearts by Riley Black. The gray fabrics are just solids.

cc_all_wedges

I started working on the quilt in August, and I finished it in November. Between working full-time and going on a family hiking trip to the southwest in August, I think that I assembled this quilt pretty quickly!

I used my Handi Quilter Avante longarm with Superior thread to do ruler work around the triangle shapes as well as custom free-motion quilting in the negative spaces. I used the Handi Quilter 3-inch slice ruler to create a beautiful swirl in the quilt center.cc_quilting_closeup

cc_halfcircle_rulerwork

If you live in the Missoula, Montana area, you can see the quilt on display at The Confident Stitch. They carry all the fabrics and the pattern that I used to make this quilt. For other color inspirations, go check out the #cadencecourt hashtag on Instagram!

Here’s a look at my finished quilt. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

cc_finished

Happy quilting!

~Jen

A Modern Star Quilt – Zoomer!

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

I recently finished a modern quilt called Zoomer. This pattern is by Elizabeth Dackson from the book, Rock Solid.

I used mostly solids but added a subtle print from Cotton + Steel in mint green. It adds just a hint of texture when you look at the quilt closely.

The quilt is pieced with Aurifil 50 weight thread in #2800, which is a very light mint color. For quilting, I used a similar light green mint by Omni. It blends in really well with the fabric colors without detracting from the modern design. I did free-motion swirls in the exploding star block, and I used my channel locks to quilt straight-lines in the negative space.

Here’s a look at the free-motion swirls on my HQ Avante:

Free-motion swirls on Zoomer

Here’s a look at the finished quilt in a field of Camas flowers:

Finished Zoomer Quilt

I also just finished another quilt using curved seams so I will blog about that one soon!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Mt. Hood Elevated Abstractions Quilt

Hello quilters!

I love the landscape of the west, particularly in my home state of Oregon. When I saw the Elevated Abstractions quilt by Violet Craft, I just knew that I had to make it.

This quilt is a wonderful abstraction of Mt. Hood. It is entirely foundation paper-pieced using Pure Elements Solids by Art Gallery fabric and Aurifil thread in 50 weight.

I wanted the quilting to take a back seat to the piecing so I took a modern approach with straight-line quilting using channel locks on my HQ Avante.

MtHood_2

Once I took the quilt off the frame, my trusty quilt inspector instantly arrived. How do cats know?

MtHood3

I decided that the quilt needed a pop of bright color for the binding so I dug into my stash and added some orange Notorious fabric by Cotton + Steel. Then, I took the quilt on a 9 mile round trip hike to visit Pup Falls in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Quite the scene for a little photo op! My son took this picture while I balanced precariously on the muddy trail, working hard to keep it out of all that mud!

MtHood_1.jpg

I really enjoyed piecing and quilting Elevated Abstractions. I need to find the perfect spot to hang it in my home.

Happy quilting! ~Jennifer