Monday
Sep182017

happy flower qal week 29

ATTENTION QALers:

The blade template for this block is a smidgen too big.  If you sew the blades together with a 1/4" seam, the dresdan plate will finish too large to fit inside the 6" parameter. 

TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM:

Simply sew the blades together with a 1/3" seam, rather than a 1/4".  That's what I did for mine. Sorry for the messy photo, but now you see that my process isn't always ... "neat". I wasn't worried because I knew the circle in the middle would hide all the inside threads, and I simply tucked all the outside threads in as I appliqued the plate to the background.  Easy fix.  No fuss. :)

(Also, I modified the pointed part of my template so I could finish the tips a little differently than the standard applique method.  If you're not familiar with this method, don't worry about it, just notice how I increased my seam allowance.  It took a few rounds to get it right.)

And then you can also reduce the size of the circle center, if you like, which is what I did.

All that said, I think this is my favourite block so far.  What is it about a wee dresdan that is just so gosh darn cute? The background fabric is from my "First Romance" collection (coming sooooooon!)

If you're sewing along and haven't made this block yet, learn from my mistake and take note that you need to make TWO of the large leaves.  The way the templates are indicated on the sheet in the book make it look like there is only one. :)   I used another "First Romance" print for the background of this block too.  Kinda reminds me of those green plastic strawberry pint containers.

 

Sunday
Sep172017

pretty petal dilly bag

You guys know Lauren Wright, right?  She's the name behind @mollyandmama (or Molly and Mama) and is responsible for some of THE prettiest images of the prettiest things on the internet.  Seriously.

When she invited me to join her book tour for Pretty Handmades, YES PLEASE was my answer. :) (We share the same obsession with pink, btw.)

So.

I chose this absolutely adorable drawstring bag.  Now you may be surprised that I didn't use pink fabric.  I'm kind of suprised myself.  When I first flooked through this beautiful book, I was in heaven with all the pink-ness of it all.  But then I thought maybe I should be a little unpredictable, ya know? And I also thought that the sample in the book is already half pink so maybe you'd like to see it in a different colour.  So I pulled a few yellows and a white from First Romance and ... voila! Cute cute cute, isn't it?

Plus I made it in an afternoon.

There are many more lovely things to see from this book.  Pop over to Lauren's blog to find links to all the other blogs on this tour.  And then be inspired. :)

Friday
Sep152017

one million pillowcases challenge

The wonderful people over at American Patchwork & Quilting, and Quilts and More magazines are having their 4th annual Sew-A-Thon making pillowcases for charity this weekend.  Click here if you'd like more information.  You can find free pillowcase patterns and ways to register your made/donated cases. 

Hope you can join!

xo k

Thursday
Sep142017

happy national jelly roll day ~ & a giveaway

Giveaway closed and winners notified.  Thank you so much! :)

My new jelly roll friendly pattern Clematis was inspired by a print from First Romance. 

It's new in my shop today! (There's also a mini version. :)

As a brand new fabric designer for Moda, it's crazy exciting for me to actually hold - in my bare hands - a jelly roll that swirls with the prettiest colours of "First Romance" (in stores soon for all you lovelies who have been so patiently waiting for months now, thank you thank you thank you).

Even better, Moda has give me TWO First Romance jelly rolls to give away!  PLUS, to help inspire you to make something with a jelly roll, I'm going to email the winner a PDF of my new jelly roll pattern Clematis (see above).

If you'd like a chance to win a jelly roll of my debut collection and a pattern, simply leave a comment here telling me the name of your favourite jelly roll pattern - either one that you've made or one that you'd like to make.  There are literally 743 million jelly roll patterns out there to choose from.  I also highly recommend checking out Moda's Bakeshop - a website chalk-a-block full of patterns designed specifically for precuts, including our celebrated jelly roll.  Oh, and did you know all the patterns over there are f.r.e.e?

Yep.

100% zero dollars ... AND 100% zero calories.

Giveaway closes Sept 16th and is open worldwide.

Happy National Jelly Roll Day everyone!

Monday
Sep112017

happy flower qal week 28

Ok.  This isn't an easy block, for sure.  But once again, the time and effort (and un-picking/re-stitching) that goes into making a tricky block more than pays for itself in satisfaction and a super cool looking block that you can't get with simple piecing. :)

Oh me and my wonky applique placement.  What is UP with that? LOL!  All I see when I look at this block is a silly clown with strippy weird pants, buck teeth (I don't know why, but that's what I see in my mind), and one of those squirting lapel flowers.  My daughters think I'm going a little crazy.  I qualified their theory by suggesting that I'm "cute crazy". Not sure they're buying it. ;)

Monday
Sep042017

happy flower qal week 27

I don't know if my construction for this block would be considered "cheating", but I'm of the opinion that when it comes to making, we are all free to do what works for us.  So I decided to machine piece the 4 patches together, and then I simply appliqued the bowtie "knots".  Super easy.  No inset seams.  It definitely works for me ;)  I actually really like how the appliqued squares have a wee bit of a 3D effect to emphasize the knot in the bow.

This block has three little buttons at the top center of the heart, but I'm going to add them after the quilt has been top-stitched.  And if I can't find buttons that I love, I may just embrodier super big knots instead.

Oh who am I kidding?  It will probably remain unfinished forever. ;)

Monday
Aug282017

happy flower qal week 26

This traditional quilt block is called Honey Bee and I've been attracted to it since the first time I saw it many years ago.  I've wanted to make a big quilt with it for a long time, I just never got around to making it - much like the Postage Stamp Basket block from a few weeks back.  I thought that making just this one block would scratch my years' long itch.  Turns out now I want to make piles and piles of them now more than ever.

 

Yay!  Another "free" block this week. :) This yellow print ... there's just something about this print by Atsuko Matsuyama that - for me - is the epitome of the style and spirit of this Happy Flower Quilt, don't you think?

Saturday
Aug262017

a piece of cake ~ book tour and giveaway (with a twist)

I met Peta Peace at Quilt Market this past spring and I can say with unmitigated joy that she quickly became one of my favourite people with her irresistable Aussie accent and her side-splitting sense of humour.  Wow can that girl ever tell a great story!  So when I learned that her first book was coming out, I practically begged her to let me be part of the book tour.  So happy she let me join in the fun. :)

Peta's quilt designs are just as the name of her book suggests - easy (and delicious) to make. As I went through the beautiful pages of her book - tons of eye candy, by the way - I immediately decided that I NEEDED to make this adorable "LOVE" quilt with the pinks from First Romance.  Such a perfect match, I think. ;)

The quilt in her book is a perfectly sized baby quilt, but I decided to shrink mine to about half the size (maybe a wee bit smaller than that) and it is the perfect wallhanging.

Congratulations on your first of hopefully many great quilt books, Peta! xoxo

*  *  *  *  *

And now for the giveaway.  YOU MUST ENTER ON INSTAGRAM!

The prize is this LOVE quilt that I made.  But there is a twist ... you can't win it for yourself, you can only win it for someone you love. :)  If the one you love wins, YOU will also win a jelly roll of First Romance.

So find me on IG @prettybyhand for more details on how to enter.

Monday
Aug212017

happy flower qal week 25

I really really like this block with dramatic and symmetrical dark/light.  I'm particularly pleased with all the fabrics.  (And we won't mention that one naughty little background triangle in the yellow section that is upside down, will we?  Thanks for your cooperation. I noticed it just as I finished making that yellow section, and considered fixing it for all of about 1.5 seconds ... and then I shrugged my shoulders and went "meh".)

I don't know why I have so much trouble placing/keeping my applique pieces positioned properly.  This flower is ok, but a few pieces shifted so to my eye it looks a bit wonky.  I think I'm going to start using that nifty Roxanne's basting glue instead of pins.  A tip I picked up from Jen Kingwell a few months ago.

And just like that, we are halfway through this QAL ... 50 blocks down, 49 to go!  Whew!  It's never too late to join, you know so if you haven't, come on and join the fun!  You'll find tons of inspiration on Instagram #happyflowerqal and lots of advice on our Facebook Page.

Tuesday
Aug152017

getting chatty with pat sloan

Hey y'all! I had a super fun little chat yesterday with Pat Sloan on her podcast for American Patchwork & Quilting. Wow does time ever fly with I start talking about quilting and fabric!  If you're interested, you can tune in to hear my interview here.

Thanks again Pat, you are such a lovely and gracious host. :) xo k

Monday
Aug142017

happy flower qal week 24

If you asked me to name this block, I would call it "Summer Picnic".  I want to be sitting on a quilt in a sunny, warm, breezy meadow full of flowers, eating cucumber sandwiches and fresh strawberries with cream.  And a glass of sangria would be nice too.

This was one of the first blocks I made for this quilt, back in January, I think.  It is DEFINITELY one of my favourites.  I love these colours.  And she is such a sweet little birdie.

Monday
Aug072017

happy flower qal week 23

This is such a weird block.  It's called "Devil's Claw".  Yeesh!  I've seen this block many times and it always amazes me how different it can look based on colour, value, and print placement.  It's crazy versatile that way.  But this psychedelic-scrappy layout is fun and I love the results.  Totally loving the blue/green/pink combo! I started out using the green strawberry print (lower middle triangle) but then decided I wanted a brighter pop so I switched to one of my First Romance "kelly green" prints. :)

This is the second time I've used this print for a "feature fabric" block ... the other one is pink.  I also have this print in blue and yellow so you may see it again.  Hatboxes were big when I worked at Laura Ashley and I heart them. 

Wednesday
Aug022017

quilter's candy box ~ it's like santa for grown ups ...

... at least that's my opinion.  And I can't imagine any quilter who receives one of these boxes could disagree with me. ;)

If you're not familiar with this amazingly fun, inspiring, useful, AND delicious thing, check out Quilter's Candy Box.  Then treat yourself, treat a quilty friend, get started on your Christmas shopping ...

I can tell you right now my book hungry girls are going to battle over those socks - crazy awesome with one sock featuring redacted titles of formerly banned books, and the other sock with legible titles. I think they will become "communal" property and it'll be first come, first served out of the sock bin.  Or even better, they'll be arguing about who gets to do the laundry! LOL!

xo k

Monday
Jul312017

happy flower qal week 22

Oh my scrappy stars! (I should probably stop describing these blocks as "scrappy" because they are ALL scrappy!

Believe it or not, I machine pieced this one.  Yep.  Wholelotta inset seams.  But it turned out pretty well. :)

 

These lollie flowers are super cute.  HOWEVER, I think I'm going to change the green one to pink.  And the leaves?  Whoa are they every T.I.N.Y!  I think I would embroider them if I did this block again.  I'm also thinking the stems are a bit too light.  I should redo them darker ...

Thursday
Jul272017

when your daughter gets into makeup ...

Remember this cosmetic bag for my then 14 year old who when on a trip?

Well little sister who is now 14 is going on a trip today - not alone, but she's discovered the teenage joys of makeup and ... well ... she finally allowed me to make a cosmetic bag for her too. :). Lucky for her that her mama just so happens to have designed some fabric that she likes (sort of ... I may have nudged her in this direction, but can you blame me?)

Anyhow, she didn't give me as many rules as her sister did, but she wasn't all that flexible either.  No pink, no flowers, no top stitching, no trim ... the lace tab and leather label were hard sells.  And the inside is a plain linen so not much so show there.

But I think it turned out super cute and it put a really big smile on her face.  I even got a hug, which is all the payment I need from her. ;)

I love my girls.  And my fabric stash.

Monday
Jul242017

happy flower qal week 21

This block is the definition of "scrap happy", isn't it?  I honestly don't think you can put a "wrong" fabric in it LOL! (But did I spend twice as much time choosing fabrics as I did cutting/sewing/pressing? Um, yes.)

Deviated from the original colours a bit here.  Just because, I guess. And I feel like my petals are just a smidge too far away from the center. I keep picturing a baby elephant flapping her ears for some reason.  But, this is how it's going to remain ... the elephant eared flower LOL!

Sunday
Jul232017

quilting on the go ... EPP ~ book tour

Hello! Thanks for popping by. Today is my turn for Sharon Burgess' new book "Quilting on the Go ... English Paper Piecing".  I'm always super excited about EPP projects.  Did you know the first ... 5 or 6 quilts I made were ALL EPP hexies?  Yep.  My quilting life began with EPP and 30 some years later I still love the portable, theraputic, and quiet progress of this hand piecing technique.

There are so many great projects in this book, but I couldn't help myself when I saw this sweet little needlebook. (SUPER love the scissor ribbon!). I used most of the aquas from my First Romance collection (available in October) here.

I'm only one of many stops on this blog tour. To find everyone, go to Sharon's blog and check out the entire lineup.  I'm sure you'll find so much inspiration!

Friday
Jul212017

tiny patchwork ~ and trying something new

Attention everyone who is afraid of making something with a hardware clasp ~ I was once like you, but I tried it and now I know that it's nothing to fear!  Honest!

And holy moly is it ever fun to cut up a bunch of small scraps (courtesy of all my First Romance sewing) into 1" pieces and sew them together - on point - to make a scrappy happy case. :)  Although, if I'm being totally honest, the blue border on the bottom is not a deliberate design detail, but rather a solution to make the case long enough because I underestimated (as I usually do) the amount of shrinkage that happens from when you lay out your pieces to when you sew them together.  That seam allowance is greedy! LOL!

Anyhow, I'm super tickled with how well this little case turned out.  It will hopefully save my precription sunglasses from future scratches.

If you want to try a sew-in clasp, Etsy has LOTS! xo k

 

Wednesday
Jul192017

colour confident stitching ~ book review

So you know how much I love embroidering and stitchy things.  I wish I had time to do more of it.  Handwork is - in my opinion - so joyful and rewarding on many levels.

Well I was so excited when I heard about this book, Colour Confident Stitching by Karen Barbe.  It's a wonderfully informative and instructional book about colour theory and how to apply it to ... well, anything creative really, but particularly to stitching.  So clever!  Because let's face it - no matter what we look at, we all see colour first.  I know that when I walk into a quilt shop I head straight for the pink section.

It is just full of pages and pages of beautiful imagery, fun projects, and really helpful guidance on how to understand colour so you can the right ones for you and make your finished project look as lovely in life as you imagine it in your mind.

I admit that I struggled for years transposing colours for my thread work.  If I saw a design that I wanted to stitch, but I didn't like the original colours in the pattern, I would always lean on the experts at the stitching store to help me out.  Experience has made me much better, and more confident in my choices.  (I'm certain this book would have gotten me to where I am a lot faster LOL!)

But we creative types can never had too much information when it comes to making things that express who we are and that make us really giddy happy inside when we see our finished projects.  This book has taught me things and has helped me fine tune some of the knowledge in my tool box.  And it couldn't have come at a better time as I labour to perfect the perfect colour palette for my next fabric collection. ;)

Monday
Jul172017

happy flower qal week 20

A few weeks ago, I commented on how much I love postage stamp blocks - all those sweet little 1" squares. However, this block - with it's 4 baskets and all the handles pointing towards the centre - is also traditionally called postage stamp. I've loved it ever since I bought my first quilt book "Quilts, Quilts, Quilts" back in like 1990.  And I've yearned to make a quilt with just these adorable little basket blocks.  Haven't quite made it yet, but there's still time ... ;) In the meantime, here's my single block. Five of the eight prints are from First Romance (not the yellow basket or it's white background, and not the white basket on the green background). It was a fun and unexpected surprise to see how my aqua oval/pink dot print translates into the perfect basket weave print. :)

Ok.  If you don't like hand appliqueing inside points (who does, really), this block won't be so much fun to make.  But your efforts will be rewarded tenfold once it's done, because it sure is pretty.