Friday, December 1, 2023

Elizabeth Hartman's Legendary Pattern / Beauties Pageant 238

Back in 2017, Elizabeth Hartman released her Legendary quilt pattern, and I was dubious. It was a cool design, but was there really a market for a Sasquatch quilt pattern? 

Six years later, I realized that, with a few palette decisions, I could transform Sasquatch into a yeti, and obviously, I need a yeti quilt in my life.

Yetis, or abominable snowmen, are a running joke between me and my older son. Over the years, I have bought him yeti Christmas ornaments, yeti stuffed animals, yeti washi tape, you name it. As his 15th birthday appeared on the horizon (and by this, I mean it was just three weeks out!), I knew I had to move into high gear and get this project done.

Essex Linen

Thankfully, I had already cut out almost everything, including five different green fabrics for the forest. The dark greens are two prints from Cotton and Steel past and present, and the lighter, brighter greens include a solid, a blender, and a print from Kate Spain’s Grand Canal collection.

For the background I used Essex Linen. It was something I purchased for a different quilt, one that requires a lot of fiddly curve sewing, and I am thankful I used that cut of fabric here instead. 

Now, I am not an Essex Linen novice. I’ve used it a variety of projects, most of which are bags, not quilts (see the links at the bottom of the post). In other words, I know Essex Linen’s lovely, textured hand can be annoying to work with. It’s malleable and stretchy and not nearly as well behaved as quilting cotton. So I took precautions: I washed the Essex Linen (and all the other fabrics, for that matter) and I gave it a good press with starch.

I chain-pieced 12 of the 14 tree blocks right off the bat. As I squared the blocks, though, I realized that I would lose some points when I sewed them into the quilt top. I blamed this (ahem!) on the fact that I did not mark the diagonal seams before sewing them and instead just eyeballed everything. But then I cut and sewed the final 2 tree blocks, diligently marking every diagonal seam with my hera marker, and they were not any more accurate than the first batch I sewed. Sorry, Essex Linen, it’s not me, it’s you!

The Quilting

There was no way I was going to quilt a project with this much Essex Linen myself. On one hand, I think Essex Linen merits a good amount of quilting to stabilize it. On the other, too much quilting could result in a top without much drape.

I decided on a pantograph called Ramble, and I couldn’t like it and the scale my longarmer decided on more. I had considered different designs that played up the forest theme, but this modern geometric seemed more appropriate for its 15-year-old recipient.

I’ve been second-guessing my thread choices of late (remember this quilt?), and Legendary was no exception. My usual rule of thumb is to use the lowest value in a quilt top as the color for the quilting thread. Instead, I went with a medium gray option here, which makes the quilting recede on almost all of the blocks and the background. Don’t get me wrong: I really like it. I can’t help but wonder, however, what Ramble would look like with an off-white thread.

The Backing and Binding

A flannel from Tula’s Holiday Homies collection was the perfect foil to all that Essex Linen. And I finished everything off with a solid binding, also from Tula, in matcha.

I knew I would miss an opportunity to add another layer of texture if I machine-finished the binding, so the time required to sew these chunky stitches was well spent, even if I was still at work on it the day before I planned on gifting the quilt to my son! (For a tutorial on chunky-stitch bindings, click here.)

I divide Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern design into two phases. Her earlier work, including the designs in her two books, is mostly geometric. The ones that do have a novelty feel to them (like these cats, which are freebies on her site) are fairly simple to make. Most of what she designs now is much more complicated. I’ve heard friends talk about all the pieces required to sew her sloths or her dinosaurs, and I cringe. Legendary may be part of her later work, but despite my woes with lost points, it’s pretty easy. If you have a reason to sew a Sasquatch quilt or, like me, a yeti version, I recommend it!

Other quilts from Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns:

Other quilts made with Essex Linen:

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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

10 Quilt Patterns for $19.99 / Beauties Pageant 237

EDIT: This bundle is no longer available.
Calling all crafty gift givers, quilters who appreciate an easy sew, and makers who like a good deal! The Bountiful Bundle is just what you’re looking for ...

This collection from top designers includes 10 quilt patterns for $19.99 (or $2 per pattern). Many of the quilts come in multiple sizes, and all are geared toward confident beginner quilters and above.

Are you looking to ...

  • Start—and finish!—a project before the holidays?
  • Bust through your stash fast?
  • Discover new-to-you pattern designers?

Then this bundle is for you! But hurry ... It’s available now through November 27, and then it’s gone forever. Sorry, this bundle is  no longer available.

I am sure you’ll recognize some favorites in the collection. In the picture at the top of the post, you’ll see (clockwise from upper left-hand corner):

  • My own Irish Twist!
  • Cheryl Brickey’s Broken Frames
  • Yvonne Fuch’s Flight Path
  • Emily Dennis’s Quilty Trees
  • Shannon Fraser’s Etched Diamond
  • Kirsty Cleverly’s Radiant
  • Julie Cefalu’s Arrow Stone
  • Mariana Diaz’s Full House
  • Heather Briggs’s Goodnight Garden
  • Laura Piland’s Exploding Heart

Please note: This is one of the rare situations where I receive compensation when you click through this link and purchase a bundle. (Actually, it’s the only affiliate link on my site.) Thank you in advance for supporting my little pattern business.

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Friday, November 17, 2023

More Pouch Patterns for Gifting / Beauties Pageant 236

So many of you reached out to me here, on Instagram, or in person to share that last week’s post might as well have been written about you. What can I say? We like to complicate things, but our gift giving is the better for it, right? 

In my last post, I sang the praises of Jeni Baker’s Lined Drawstring Bag pattern and an accompanying sew-along that starts next week. Just to make sure you have some ideas in your back pocket, waiting for an opportunity to level up the presentation of a holiday gift (or 12), I have a few additional patterns to introduce you to. 

In true let’s-complicate-things form, you could wait until you have a gift on hand before embarking on your next pouch-making journey. There is something to be said, however, for setting up your own little production line and banging out a few at a time, so there’s always one at the ready.

Sotak Handmade’s Drawstring Bag Tutorial

I first made Sotak Handmade’s Drawstring Bag tutorial back in 2015. The casing for the drawstring is unique and is what I think makes the bag something special. The directions walk you through making a 8-inch by 9.5-inch pouch, but it’s a pattern you could easily modify for the gift on hand. I recommend using a fun contrasting fabric for the casing and finishing these beauties off with a little faux leather cording.

Tinkalong Pouch

Cheri Lehnow’s Tinkalong Pouch pattern comes in two sizes: small and large. During a past sew-along, I printed the small size at 65%, making it perfect for holding a gift card. I used OG Cotton and Steel fabric and black cotton cording in the four bags I sewed to give them a polished look.

Popcorn Pouch

I found Amista Baker’s Popcorn Pouch to be a fast and easy sew, even for zipper newbies (not that I am one, but if you wait long enough between zipper projects, it’s easy to feel as if you’re tackling zipper for the first time again). I’ve been known to make several at a time ... I’ve used my Popcorn Pouches to wrap presents. I’ve slid a card into one, presenting the pouch itself as a small token of thanks. I’ve even packed my charging cords into that blue and mustard beauty, below, as I headed out the door on a quilt retreat.

I think a call to action is in order, so go forth and sew some pouches! And when you’re done, please report back to us about your triumphs. : )

Coming Soon

I have so much to share with you before the end of the year ... my Legendary quilt (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman), my Patchwork Sky quilt (Camille Roskelley), my Sandhill Sling (Anna Graham). So. Many Projects!

I am also participating in a specially curated bundle and wanted to get that on your radar screen today. The Bountiful Bundle will be available next Wednesday, November 22, through Monday, November, 27 (that’s EST, or GMT-5). 

It includes 10 PDF patterns for $19.99 (or $2 per pattern). Each design is beginner friendly and comes from a different designer. I am sure you’ll recognize some favorites in the collection, including Laura Piland’s Exploding Heart, Emily Dennis’s Quilty Trees, and my own Irish Twist. Stop by next Wednesday (or newsletter subscribers, keep an eye on your inbox) to get your bundle!

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  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
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Click here to enter