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

Finished Catalina Stars Quilt

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to share my completed Catalina Stars quilt with you. In my last post, I talked about receiving this project in my first Little Box of Figs subscription, and I showed my quilt flimsy.

I decided to keep the quilting simple on this project. I free-motion quilted a flower and swirly pattern using Glide thread in white.

Finished quilting the Catalina Stars quilt

I auditioned several choices for binding, but I kept coming back to a red striped fabric. I wanted to accent the reds in the quilt, and this binding helped to pull it all together. Yes, I do wind up my completed binding strips onto an Aurifil thread spool. I add the binding spool to my extra spool holder on my machine, and it slowly unwinds as I stitch.

Because I’m going to use this quilt as a lap quilt and a picnic quilt, I decided to complete my entire binding by machine. This not only saves time, but it holds up better with repeated machine washings.

Here is my finished Catalina Stars quilt next to a rose hedge in my yard. My trusty quilt inspector, Cow, came over right away to give it a thorough test. We had lunch together on the quilt in the sunshine!

I really love how quick and easy this quilt is to make! You can purchase a copy of this pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop. I’m thinking about making another version of it to give to a friend who is expecting a baby boy this summer.

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

Making a Ski Patrol Themed Pillow, Part 2, the Reveal!

Hi everyone,

In my last post, I talked about making a pillow front as part of a special graduation gift for my nephew. Although we are not able to travel to his modified graduation ceremony, I still wanted to make him a gift that he could take with him to college in the fall.

For the pillow back, I designed a foundation paper pieced block based on the logo of the ski resort where he worked as a ski patrol member. I thought it would a fun personal touch!

I used solid Kona cottons in red, blue, and white for the ski resort logo. The background is the same ski lift print from Dear Stella that I used on the pillow front.

For quilting, I used the channel locks on my HQ Avante for hand-guided straight lines. I wanted to keep the quilting very simple. I used Glide thread in white. I did quilt all three of the pillow panels at the same time using solid pieces of backing and batting.

Quilting the ski patrol pillow panels

Once I finished quilting the panels, I cut each panel down to the appropriate size, using the dimensions in the free “Simple Quilted Pillows” pattern by Elizabeth Hartman.

Ski patrol pillow panels after quilting and trimming

I did bind the two back panel pieces using the same red Kona cotton for a nice pop of color on the pillow back. I pre-washed all the fabrics, and washed the red Kona two times with color catchers. I wanted to be sure that my nephew could remove the pillow cover and wash it without worrying about the red fabric bleeding into the other fabrics.

Ski Patrol pillow front, close-up

I really love how this pillow turned out, and I hope that my nephew enjoys it as he starts his college life!

Happy quilting,

~Jen

Alpaca Anyone?

Oh my, I haven’t blogged in so long! I have been working on many quilting projects in my spare time, and you can see more real time progress on my Instagram account.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend some classes at A Quilter’s Affair in the week leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. I usually attend each year, but my sister got to join me after she missed the prior 2 years.

I wanted to surprise her with a fun gift as a memento of our trip. We stay at the Best Western Ponderosa, which used to have a llama herd. The hotel retired the herd and replaced it with an alpaca herd! These alpacas have been at the hotel grounds for just a few weeks so they are still a bit shy.

The lovely Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts recently posted a series of new mini quilts that she designed, including an alpaca! It was fate!! I immediately purchased the pattern and set out to make 2 alpaca minis.

This pattern is traditionally pieced and goes together pretty quickly. Here’s a look at the quilt tops with my inspector:

Romeo inspects the alpaca quilt tops

The solids are hand dyed from Cherrywood, the background is from Karen Lewis Textiles, and the alpaca body is the aqua Fairy Dust print from Tula Pink’s line called Pinkerville. The other prints are various scraps from my stash.

I quilted these alpaca minis 2-up on my HQ Avante. I did a combination of ruler work to outline the alpacas and some free-motion swirls in the background. I used a black and white striped print for the binding.

Quilting the alpaca minis

I surprised my sister with her choice of quilt last week. She picked the alpaca with the orange hair, and I’m keeping the alpaca with the green hair.

I just couldn’t resist getting a picture of the completed mini quilts with the alpacas at the hotel. One alpaca was very brave and came to check them out!

An alpaca inspects the completed quilts

We had such a fun week together! In my next post, I’ll talk about the classes that we attended at A Quilter’s Affair.

Happy quilting!

Jen

Soak Up the Sun Quilt

Hello quilters!

The sunflower is one of my favorite flowers because it is always in bloom during my birthday month. I love how bright and cheerful sunflowers are while dancing in the sunshine.

When I saw the Soak Up the Sun quilt in a new book, Mini Wonderful Curves by Sew Kind of Wonderful, I fell in love and had to make this quilt right away.

I purchased some Pepper and Flax fabric from my local quilt store to use as the sunflower petals. In the book, the petals are all scrappy yellows, but I wanted to use this pretty fabric for all the petals.

The background is made up from 5 different gray and white low-volume fabrics from my stash. The green petals are from 4 different fabrics, and the dark gray centers are also from 4 different fabrics. A great way to use up some stash!

Soak Up the Sun block

This quilt uses the QCR Mini ruler, and it goes together pretty quickly. Don’t let the curves scare you! The ruler makes it easy and fun.

I assembled my quilt top over about a week, sewing most of a weekend and then after work in the evenings.

Here’s my inspector performing his initial cat scan and quality check:

Tiger Inspects Soak Up the Sun Quilt Flimsy

Now onto the quilting! I used my HQ Avante, and did some free-motion flowers and swirls using Glide thread.

Soak Up the Sun Quilt, Just Off the Longarm!

I used a dark gray fabric from the Pepper and Flax fabric line to bind the quilt. My backing material is also from the same line, but I selected a lighter gray with yellow flowers.

Here’s a look at the completed quilt:

Soak Up the Sun Quilt

Soak Up the Sun Quilt

I really enjoyed making this picnic blanket sized quilt! I’m ready for summer with this beautiful quilt.

Happy quilting!

~Jennifer