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 – 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

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 6

Hi everyone,

Happy weekend! We are getting some spring rain showers, which I’m sure the plants are loving. I planted a few color spots in some patio containers recently so all those tender roots are enjoying this mild weather. We are supposed to get some warmer sunny days later in the week, which I will love!

Today is the end of week 6 in the Mini Series sew-along, hosted by Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass. We made the Triangle Geese block this week, and it went together pretty fast!

I’m continuing to use my Kona cotton charm square pack called Mermaid Shores with a lovely batik background that reminds me of tiny beach pebbles.

Here’s a look at my Triangle Geese block with my friend, Victor. He’s wondering where the path might lead him . . .

Victor poses with my Triangle Geese block

Well, in Victor’s case, the Triangle Geese block was going to lead to the other blocks that I have sewn so far in the SAL, but my quilt inspector, Cow, had other ideas.

This picture is what happens when trying to photograph quilt blocks with a curious cat. Of course, as soon as I took the picture, he feigned disinterest and started to take a bath. Victor is quite shocked!

Cow, the quilt inspector, interrupts the photo taking

Eventually, Cow decided that taking pictures of miniature quilt blocks was too boring for him, and he strolled over to the grass to watch birds.

I got another picture of Victor with all 6 of my blocks. Victor is still miffed, but decidedly happier to have the blocks all to himself.

Victor with blocks 1-6

We now have just 2 blocks left in this SAL before creating a finished project. I’m still undecided on my project, but I have a few ideas that I’m pondering.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

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

Using the Oliso Mini Project Iron with Foundation Paper Piecing Projects

Hi everyone,

I started a new mini quilt project yesterday to acknowledge the current pandemic situation. I wanted to make something small and quick, but something a little cheeky to hang in my guest bathroom. Can you guess what it is? Keep reading!

This little mini quilt uses foundation paper piecing, but it is a good pattern for beginners because there are no tiny pieces and only two sections to join together. You can use regular copy paper to print your foundations if you don’t have any “fancy” foundation paper.

I also want to recommend using the new Olison mini project iron for your foundation paper piecing projects. It is small, lightweight, and works great for small projects. I keep my mini project iron next to the left of my sewing machine on a small ironing table. I can flip, press, and trim my foundations without needing to move over to my big ironing station.

These mini irons come in pink or yellow, and Oliso is currently having a sale on them so they are a great deal! You also get a silicone solemate so that you can leave your iron on in the down position. I do get a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through my link, which helps fund the costs of this blog.

Here’s a look at my pink mini iron in action. I do like to use a small wool pressing mat under my irons for crisper seams. Remember, do not use steam when foundation paper piecing because it will shrink your paper!

Oliso mini project iron in pink

This mini quilt is a free pattern available from Mitchie at Miso Quilty called “Keep Calm and Roll On.” She has the block available in 3 sizes, but I selected to make the smallest size at 8-inches by 8-inches before adding borders.

I used fabrics from my stash, digging deep to find just the right background print for maximum cuteness!

  • Ramblings from P&B Textiles for the toilet paper
  • Netorious in Pink from Cotton + Steel for the toilet paper roll hole on the top
  • The Warm Fuzzies by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel (2017) for the background/borders
  • Aurifil silver white #2309 for all the piecing

Keep Calm and Roll On block at 8×8 inch size

I cut my bear borders slightly larger at 3-1/4″ so that I could see more of the bears.

Keep Calm and Roll On, toilet paper roll block with borders

Don’t you just love those bear faces? To me, they are saying, “hey, humans, what’s going on with your toilet paper shortage?”

In my next post, I’ll show you how I quilted this fun little mini quilt.

Until then, I hope you have enough toilet paper rolls! πŸ™‚

Happy quilting,

Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 3

Hi all,

Time sure feels different in this era of “sheltering in place.” I’m happy that, for my job, I’m able to work from home, but I’m missing outdoor activities like hiking and missing friends and family.

The Mini Series SAL, hosted by Alison Glass and Giucy Giuce, is a great help during these times because it is uplifting to be participating in a project with so many other quilters around the world. You can see my week 1 block here and my week 2 block here.

We are now on to week 3 in the SAL with the challenging Pineapple block. This block has many, many pieces, and it took me approximately 2 hours to sew a 4-inch block!!

I’m using a Kona cotton charm square pack called Mermaid Shores for my colors, and a wonderful batik with pebble like shapes for my background. I want to invoke all the beach feelings!

Here’s a look at my Pineapple block in my garden:

Here’s a look at the first 3 blocks all together (Log Cabin, Courthouse Step, Pineapple):

First 3 blocks with a little fairy garden statue

Let me know in the comments if you are participating in the SAL and your Instagram handle so I can give you a follow!

Enjoy!

~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

Elephant Abstractions, Mini Size

Greetings friends!

Last March, I started work on the Elephant Abstractions quilt by Violet Craft during a spring break quilt retreat with my sister. I finished it in August, just in time to display at the NW Quilting Expo in Portland.

The original pattern is quite large and, having made the full-size Giraffe Abstractions, I decided to make the elephant at 50% size. Since this is a foundation paper-pieced pattern, it is easy to scale it by reducing the templates when copying them.

I purchased all my fabrics at the Stitchin Post the summer before in a frenzy of purchasing in the week leading up to the annual quilt show! The background is an Alison Glass Handcrafted Grove in Neon batik fabric and the elephant fabrics are a combination of Moda Grunge, Michael Miller Painter’s Canvas, and some solids.

For the quilting, I did some pretty dense custom free-motion quilting on the elephant body. I used more geometric shapes on the ears and different curvy shapes on the head, body, and tusks. I added pearl hot fix crystals in the center of the eyes. For the background, I wanted the quilting to make it seem like the elephant is running out from the jungle towards the viewer.

Here’s a look at the finished quilt:

Elephant Abstractions Quilt

Here are some close-up pics of the quilting:

I’m very pleased with how this small quilt turned out, and I’m excited to do another one of Violet’s abstraction patterns soon! Maybe even her new one, the Wolf!

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer

Stellar Twist Quilt Pattern and Class!

Hi everyone,

I’ve designed a foundation paper pieced pattern (FPP) called Stellar Twist! This pattern is perfect for beginners who want to learn the basics of FPP techniques. I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be teaching this pattern at a local quilt store, Hollyhill Quilt ShoppeΒ on Saturday, July 29th.

In addition, Hollyhill is having a Grand Opening Celebration at their new location in Wilsonville on Saturday, July 15th. I’ll be attending the celebration, so come out and say hello and register for the class!

Currently, the pattern is only available if you attend the class. At a later date, I’ll likely have the pattern for purchase on Craftsy.

Here is a look at the mini quilt version using the Sunday Supper fabric collection by Sweetwater.

Stellar Twist Mini Quilt

I used my HQSixteen to do some heavy custom quilting on this mini using white Aurifil thread in 50 weight.

Stellar Twist Custom Quilting

Stellar Twist Mini, photo by Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe

The Stellar Twist pattern is very versatile! Add more blocks to create a crib quilt or bed quilt or stitch blocks together vertically to make a table runner. For the class, I’m also making a Halloween table runner sampler and a holiday table runner sampler.

Here’s a look at a Halloween table runner using Moda Grunge fabric. This one will be quilted soon!

Stellar Twist Halloween Table Runner

Next, I will sew the holiday table runner version in time for the meet-n-greet at the Grand Opening Celebration!

Enjoy and happy quilting!

~Jennifer

Giraffe Abstractions Quilt!

Hi everyone,

In July at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt show, I had the opportunity to take the Giraffe Abstractions class by Violet Craft with my sister.

I finished about 1/2 of the quilt top during the week, working on it during the 2-day class and in the evenings at the hotel. I wanted to finish the quilt quickly since I had a visit to my sister’s house in August so I stitched like crazy during the rest of July and early August at home. I also wanted to take the finished giraffe on a little, unexpected journey! The piecing is all done with Aurifil #2000 and the quilting is done with Superior OMNI in light grey.

This beautiful quilt is entirely foundation paper-pieced. I used Violet’s recommended colors for the giraffe body. For the background, I used the modern Me + You Batiks. I love how it turned out!!

Here is my giraffe on her journey to celebrate the National Park Service 100th Anniversary at Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park!

Giraffe at Continental Divide, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Continental Divide, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Biscuit Basin, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Biscuit Basin, Yellowstone NP

Giraffe at Grand Teton NP

Giraffe at Grand Teton NP

I have a large stack of to-do quilting projects to tackle next, including an Instagram mini quilt swap and a Scrappy Skylines Quilt-Along. I may start the Elephant Abstractions quilt next, but who knows? πŸ™‚

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer