Friday, September 15, 2017

Anticipating National Sew a Jelly Roll Day

Have you heard? Moda has dubbed tomorrow National Sew a Jelly Roll Day. This is right up my alley. I have a history of stashing those beautiful precuts:


Despite those finishes, all from the past two years, I still have jelly rolls in my stash! National Sew a Jelly Roll Day is motivating me to change that. In fact, I have a jelly roll tutorial that will debut later this month. It’s a follow-up to my Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt, and I’m calling it my Still Pretty Simple Jelly Roll Quilt.

Today, though, I have a jelly roll finish to share with you, my Warm and Cool Coin Quilt ...

This is my own design. If I had to do it again, I would make the
diagonal line thicker. Right now, that line mocks me every time
I look at the quilt!

I cut the strips from a jelly roll of Denyse Schmidt’s Franklin fabrics into shorter 5½-inch lengths. Some of them I used as is, without cutting them down further. I trimmed others width-wise until I had a good variety of shapes. This was all done improvisationally, without measuring or worrying whether I was cutting the fabric at right angles, which created a pleasant wonkiness.

I separated these bits of fabric into warm and cool colors and started sewing them together. After that I paper-pieced the blocks divided by the white diagonal line and assembled the top. Then this project sat for almost a year, without even being basted.

The back features more Denyse Schmidt fabrics. Typical Michelle move!

Usually I procrastinate quilting a project because I love it as a quilt top and I don’t want the quilting to mess things up. In this case, I was feeling pretty blah-de-blah about the project until I started the quilting. I took a cue from Jacquie Gering’s new book—Walk, which I highly recommend—and started with an all-over grid. Then I went back and quilted diamonds inside that grid.

This project, with its vast negative space needed something more than my usual straight-line quilting. The texture that Jacquie’s approach creates is what transforms this quilt into something special.

Well, hello fancy-for-me quilting!

This quilt is going to a good friend. I hope that she doesn’t read my blog and this quilt will be a surprise!

The subtle stripe, also from the Franklin collection, frames this project nicely.

Do you have a relationship with jelly rolls? Fess up: How many are in your stash?!

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social and Finish It Up Friday ...

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Déjà vu Baby Quilt

Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of glorious, merciful silence. It’s the sound that children are in school and not, say, demanding to be played with or asking to be fed. This beautiful silence ensures that I will go six or seven hours Monday through Friday without hearing “Can I have iPad?” or “Rose ate a shoe!” or “Mom, he’s naked!”

I have waited ten weeks for the silence to return, and I deserve some quality time in my sewing space now that it has.

In fact, my first full day of quiet resulted in a finished baby quilt ...

The salmon, yellow, and gray in these fabrics are so pretty.

I’ve sewn this pattern, Cheryl Brickey’s Candy Circle Quilt, before, back in 2014. (See the tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop here.) I don’t usually tackle a quilt pattern more than once, but I had a single charm pack of Corey Yoder’s Sundrops, and it was all that I needed to create the lovely variety in this ring of squares.

The back was a great place to use up some stashed half-yards.

I quilted this project the same way I did my original Candy Circle quilt. I quilted along each side of the center seams and then quilted diagonally along the 2-inch squares. This approach required very little marking, and I love how the diagonals cross at the center of each edge.

The quilting is simple, just the way I like it!

This is the first of five quilt tops of mine that need to be quilted. I want to wrap up another quilt or two before I embark on something new. Time will tell if I am disciplined enough to stick to that plan!

What are your sewing goals for the fall? Did you have a productive summer, or were you, like me, squeezing in sewing time while chasing after kiddos?

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Four Months Until Christmas, People!

When it comes to Christmas decorating, I’m all about the tree. It’s the tree that sets the tone in our house, and I try to keep it lit as much as I can when I’m at home.

I thought that tree satisfied all my holiday-decorating needs, and then I saw Amy Smart’s (Diary of a Quilter) modern Christmas tree quilt block tutorial. It’s quick, easy, and super cute. Soon after its debut, in December 2015, I started setting aside red and green fabrics for my own rendition of Amy’s block, but it took an Instagram quilt-along in the past few months to get me cutting and sewing.


This block is all sorts of fabulous. It produces little waste and is a good way to work through red and green stash. You can get three 8½” squares and the background fabric for the trunk from one quarter yard of fabric (fat or skinny); you can get four 8½” squares and the background fabric for the trunk from a third of a yard. (Those figures presume your width-of-fabric measurement is 40” to 42”. If your fabric is even a little bit wider, you can likely squeeze out another 8½” square.)

Amy’s post offers some good insight on picking fabrics. I took her advice and used some smaller-scale prints as well as some larger-scale ones. I also strove for variety in volume. (I’ll post more detailed pics once I finish the quilt!) The only fabric-related mishap I experienced was forgetting that any color is relative—it can change based on the colors that surround it! I originally slated a more orangey red for this quilt, which looked just fine against the cherry reds I was using. Once that orangey red was sewn up with the greens, though, it looked 100% orange and 100% ick. Those blocks won’t even make it to the back of the quilt. : ( 

I’m so pleased with this quilt, which will be staying here at From Bolt to Beauty world headquarters, that I’ve started a fabric pull for a second Christmas tree quilt to gift to a friend. Instead of the cherry reds and grassy greens from my first quilt, I’m using pinky reds and yellow greens in my second. I can’t wait to see how the quilt turns out!


Are you into holiday quilts? I have Amy Friend’s (During Quiet Time) Baker’s Dozen quilt at the ready, and I own Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays. And I have written a few holiday tutorials, like my Tree Is Trimmed mini quilt and my Gift Bag for Beer Lovers. If there is a holiday quilting project on your to-do list, I would love to hear about it!

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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