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Exciting New Pattern-of-the-Month Club – 2 Months Free!

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Hi friends! Today I’m excited to be posting about an amazing new pattern-of-the-month club called Pattern Drop!

My co-author, frequent collaborator, and good friend Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt created Pattern Drop, which offers a new PDF quilt pattern every month for an amazingly low price—as low as $6.99 per month!

Pattern Drop will be offering high-quality, modern patterns from some of your favorite designers (including me—I’m Miss February!), as well as commissioning brand new patterns that will be available only to subscribers. (January’s quilt is a gorgeous pattern that is available exclusively to subscribers.) Plus you get access to members-only deals, a private Facebook group for subscribers where you can share your progress and chat with fellow quilters, and much more!

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Pattern Drop‘s first quilt of the month is Amy Smart‘s Hopscotch pattern, which will be sent to subscribers in December. Hopscotch is one of those patterns that looks much more complicated than it actually is—which to me is the gold standard for quilt patterns! LOL. So if you sign up for Pattern Drop now, this will be the first PDF delivered to your in-box!

And even better: If you sign up for an Annual Membership, you’ll get 2 months free! Just use coupon code 2FREEFP. You already get two free months when you choose an annual membership, so that means you actually get 4 free months! Four completely free patterns just for signing up now. And the best part of this discount is that it’s a forever discount, meaning that each year you renew, you’ll get the same low introductory rate! But hurry, because this offer expires on December 5, and it will not be repeated at any time after that. Click here to sign up!

For more information about how it works, visit thePattern Drop website or Katie’s website. Happy sewing!

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WIP Wednesday: Decking the Halls

How are you all doing on your holiday preparations? I still need to get out my white Christmas tree for my studio, but other than that holiday prep is on more or less on track at my house. As are my WIPs!
First, I finished knitting that Christmas stocking! And it turned out a normal size and shape and everything! It’s a Christmas miracle! I still need to line it with fabric and rig up some sort of hanging loop, but the actual knitting is done, so we’ll call this one a finish. This is the “Falling Snow Stocking” free pattern by Jennifer Hoel, available on Ravelry—you can get it here.
Also, still plugging away at those Greek Key blocks for my upcoming quilt-along! The quilt-along will start in early January on the Bernina We All Sew blog.
One quick housekeeping note: Don’t forget that you can get a FREE PDF copy of my Sparkler pattern if you sign up for my email newsletter by Monday, Dec. 14! Click here to sign up. Once you confirm your subscription, a discount code will be emailed to you to claim your free pattern. (Sorry, this offer is not available to customers in the European Union.)
And finally, here was the focus of all my energy this past weekend: Two days of Nutcracker performances (and two rounds of performance hair-do’s) for this little one. She’s been an angel in our dance studio’s production of the Nutcracker for three years in a row now. All our fingers and toes are crossed for a different part next year, because I am getting soooo tired of paying for angel costumes (yes, it’s a different costume every year!). She does look (deceptively) sweet though, doesn’t she? LOL.

What are you working on? Let’s see it!

1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the “Add Your Link” button below, then click on the Instagram icon at the bottom of the screen that pops up. You should then be able to select any of your recent Instagram photos. Where it says “Link,” use the URL of your Instagram feed (for example, my URL is Please hashtag your IG post #wipwednesday.
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

Wonky Bow Tie Block Tutorial

Bow Tie Required - a free pattern!
Now that you’ve seen my Bow Tie Required quilt (made with the Business and Leisure fabric line by Allison Beilke for Modern Yardage), I thought I would share a tutorial for making the Wonky Bow Tie blocks featured in the quilt.
Wonky Bow Tie Block

These blocks are so easy and fun—no, they really are! I guarantee even a total newbie can knock these out and make them look great. I’m thinking a block like this would be cute centered on pillows, as a table runner—you name it.

And of course, the full Bow Tie Required quilt pattern is free and can be downloaded right here on Craftsy. So once you’ve whipped up a few of these, head over there to get a full pattern for finishing your blocks. (The pattern does include all instructions and photos shown below.)
Wonky Bow Tie Block

Stack a 6” x 10-1/2” piece of Business and Leisure’s Suncoast print on top
of a 6” x 10-1/2” piece of white solid, edges aligned.

Wonky Bow Tie Block

Cut both pieces diagonally, from corner to corner. This
should not be an exact cut, but slightly uneven and off from the corners, as

Wonky Bow Tie Block

3. Pair the Suncoast print pieces with the opposing side’s
white solid pieces, as shown.

Wonky Bow Tie Block

4. Place a white solid piece on top of its matching Suncoast
print piece, right sides facing. Stitch down the angled edge with a 1/4” seam. (Notice that the white piece is slightly offset from the Suncoast print piece. This is necessary to get the raw edges to align, but since you’ll be trimming the blocks down in a later step, it’s not the end of the world if your pieces don’t quite line up.)

Wonky Bow Tie Block

5. Press seams open. Repeat with the other pair of pieces. You
will now have two pieces that look like this.

Wonky Bow Tie Block

6. Stack these two pieced units together, with Suncoast
print stacked on top of white solid on one side, white solid stacked on top of Suncoast
print on the other side, as shown.

Wonky Bow Tie Block

7. Cut both units diagonally, from corner to corner, with an
uneven and “wonky” cut as you did in Step 2, but this time cut in the opposite

Wonky Bow Tie Block

8. Find the two pieces that look like this. (The
other two pieces can be discarded, saved for another project, or used on the
back. I used mine on the back of the quilt, as you can see in this blog post.)

9. Align the two pieces along the angled edge, right sides
facing, making sure the opposite angled seams intersect 1/4” from the raw
angled edges. Sew with a 1/4” seam along the raw angled edge to complete a
Bow-Tie Unit. Press open.
10. Trim the Bow-Tie Unit so that it measures 5” x 9-1/2”.
Wonky Bow Tie Block

11. Join two Bow-Tie Units together as shown to make a Double
Bow-Tie block. The block should measure 9-1/2” x 9-1/2.”

That’s it! Enjoy the block.

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Bow Tie Required Quilt

Bow Tie Required - a free pattern!

My Bow Tie Required quilt is complete! This was such a fun collaboration with my fellow Milwaukeean, fabric designer Allison Beilke. And now you all can enjoy the fruits of that collaboration with my new free pattern!

Yep, a complete pattern to make this quilt is now available on Craftsy, free of charge. Click here to download the pattern. It’s a fun and very beginner-friendly pattern! And to bring mid-century modern cool to your pad, click here to check out Allison’s fabric line, Business and Leisure, available in four colorways and multiple scales from Modern Yardage.

Bow Tie Required - a free pattern!

If you’ve been hanging around this corner of the blogosphere for any length of time, you know I’m not much of an improv girl. Wonkiness doesn’t come easily or naturally for me. But when Allison asked me to design a pattern for her Business and Leisure line, I took one look and just knew some wonkiness had to be involved somehow. I mean, it would have been borderline tragic to create a pattern for this line that had all straight lines and right angles.

So I took a deep breath and jumped in with both feet. But of course I didn’t want to go too crazy-improvvy on this thing, since that is definitely not my thing. In the end, I think I came up with a good compromise. This design is wonky and improvisational, but within a definite structure, which I love.

Bow Tie Required - a free pattern!

The bow tie blocks were inspired by Allison’s amazing Mad-Men-esque prints. And you guys, these blocks are genuinely fun to piece, even for a wonky-phobe like myself. In fact, they’re kind of addicting. The pattern includes complete instructions for making the bow-tie blocks, of course, and you can also come back on Thursday when I’ll be posting a full Bow-Tie Block tutorial right here.

I complimented the bow-tie blocks with some wonky squares and wonky frame blocks. They’re made in a bit of an odd way in order to give them that floating appearance without too many seams, but again, it’s all 100% beginner-friendly.

Bow Tie Required - a free pattern!
For the quilting, you might remember that I was attempting something new: Boxy, straight-line free-motion quilting. Wow, I found this quilting style very difficult to pull off. It’s challenging to get sharp corners with a free-motion-quilting foot—you have to pause for just a beat or two, or you won’t get a corner at all, and pausing is not something you normally want to do during FMQ! It’s usually all smooth and flowy, while this style was all herky-jerky and kind of robotic. Then there was the matter of keeping the lines from curving, another difficult task. Last but not least, I was trying to keep the lines either perfectly vertical or horizontal—no angled lines allowed. Yeah, right! That last part proved to be the hardest to master. By the time I quilted this entire quilt, I had the sharp corners down pat, and my lines weren’t curving anymore—but they sure weren’t straight 90-degree angles either. LOL. Oh well—again, I think the wonkiness suits the quilt, so I’m calling this quilting style a success and moving on.

Bow Tie Required - the back

You’ll have some pieced scraps leftover from making the bow tie blocks, so I incorporated those as one long strip of wonky diamonds on the quilt back. This pattern gives you such an easy way to make a pieced back, since you have those scraps ready to go, whether you use them in this project or not!

Bow Tie Required - the binding

The final touch was the binding—the Limbo print might become one of my favorite binding prints ever! It’s perfection. I cut this binding on the straight-grain, but Limbo would be a great bias-binding print as well, since the stripes would end up angled. So many fun possibilities!

I want to thank Allison for giving me the chance to work with this fabulous line, and hope you all will check out her work, as she is an incredibly talented designer. She’s got plenty of other collections available at Modern Yardage as well, including her gorgeous new “Autumn Harvest” line. And when you’re done with that, head over to Craftsy to download Bow Tie Required!

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Hey, Look: It’s A Free Pattern!

My first pattern!

You might have noticed there have been some changes around here at Freshly Pieced headquarters. The blog got a whole new look last week, and this week—patterns! In fact, I’m so excited about this new endeavor, the first one’s on me. : )

I did a little tweaking to my “Kissing Fish” tutorial from a few years ago and turned it into a full-fledged baby quilt pattern, which I’m now making available for free on Craftsy and Threadbias. Click here or here to download the PDF pattern.

I hope you’ll enjoy Kissing Fish! If you make this quilt, please upload pictures to the Freshly Pieced Flickr groupCraftsy or Threadbias. I would love to see what you do with this pattern.

And stay tuned: More patterns will be coming soon. I’ll be releasing Cartwheels as a full pattern on Thursday! And I’m hoping to release two more patterns by the end of the year: Chain Reaction (my design for Quiltmaker magazine last year), and a brand-new design called Street View.

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Easy Ribbon-Embellished Placemats

Ribbon-Embellished Placemats
Happy Monday! It’s my turn again this week to share a new tutorial for Art Gallery Fabrics’ Fat Quarter Gang. This time I’m showing you how to make some easy, ribbon-embellished placemats. So head over to the Art Gallery blog to check it out!

Ribbon-Embellished Placemats
These placemats are made using one of my absolute favorite Art Gallery lines: Modernology! Want to win your own stack of Modernology fat quarters, so you can make something just as fabulous? All you have to do is leave me a comment, and follow Art Gallery on your favorite social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest). I’ll draw a winner on Friday. Have a wonderful week!

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Scrappy Rainbow Placemats

Want to make some colorful, summery placemats? Here’s the tutorial for the Scrappy Rainbow Placemats I made for the Make Mine Modern swap.

Before we start, let me again credit Angela, whose amazing Pink Lemonade quilt was the inspiration for these placemats. The original idea was all hers. Thank you, Angela!

You will need:
• scraps in 12 different prints of Color A (I’m using pink)
• scraps in 12 different prints of Color B (I’m using purple)
• 7 – 4.5″ white squares
• 3 – 4.5″ x 2.5″ white rectangles
• piece of fabric for backing/binding, 15″-16″ by 21″-22″
• 14″ x 20″ piece of batting

From six of your pink prints: Cut two 2.5″ squares and two 1.5″ squares from each print.

From the other six pink prints: Cut one 2.5″ square and one 1.5″ square from each print.

From six of your purple prints: Cut two 2.5″ squares and two 1.5″ squares from each print.
From the other six purple prints: Cut one 2.5″ square and one 1.5″ square from each print.

1. Take the white squares and rectangles, and lay them out in a checkerboard pattern, as shown, with the rectangles at the bottom. Be sure to lay out your pieces in a location where they can remain undisturbed until you’re done piecing the top!

2. Now grab some of your unpaired pink and purple 2.5″ squares (so, the prints from which you cut only one 2.5″ square) and start laying them out in a row across the top, between the white pieces, alternating colors, as shown.

3. For your next row, use unpaired squares at each end of the row, and paired squares everywhere else. Again, alternate colors, so that you start to create a checkerboard pattern.

4. Continue laying out your pink and purple squares, following the pattern you’ve established. Be sure to keep your paired prints together, kitty-corner from each other, as shown in the photo above. (Sorry the squares are such a wrinkled mess!)

5. Take your 1.5″ squares and lay them out over the top of your white background pieces. Put a 1.5″ square at each corner of the white pieces, matching prints up with the corresponding 2.5″ squares, as shown in the photo. (You should end up with two 1.5″ squares left over.)

6. Once you’re satisfied with your layout, pin your 1.5″ pieces into place, on top of the white background pieces. Please note that you are not pinning for sewing placement. You’re only pinning them to keep track of where all these teeny little squares go. But trust me, you’ll want to take the time to do this!

7. Last step before you can start sewing: Mark the center line on your sewing machine, if you haven’t already. You will use this as a reference line to sew diagonally across the 1.5″ squares without having to mark all the squares. (This is a tip I picked up from Linda when she participated in the Supernova quilt-along.) I marked mine with a purple sticky note. I used the sticky note because it’s repositionable, so I can put it right over my drop-in bobbin compartment.

8. Finally, you get to sew! : ) Take your first white piece, with the 1.5″ squares pinned onto the corners. Unpin one of the little squares and flip it over, so right sides are facing. (If you’re using a directional fabric, it should be oriented 90 degrees from the way you want it to appear after it’s sewn.) Keep your other three squares pinned, so you don’t lose track of which corner they go on!

9. Using the center line that you marked on your machine, sew a diagonal line across the 1.5″ square, from corner to corner, as shown. Just keep the point of the 1.5″ square on the marked line at all times as you sew, and you’ll end up with a perfect diagonal seam.

10. Do the same with each of the other three 1.5″ squares. You should now have a piece that looks like this.

11. Trim off the excess fabric beyond the diagonal seam at each corner and press your prints out, toward the corners, so you have a piece that looks like this. I recommend pressing seams open here. Repeat the above steps until all of your 1.5″ squares are sewn into corner triangles on your all of your white background pieces.

12. Now for the easy part! Sew together the 2.5″ squares into four-patch blocks. Start by sewing pairs of pink and purple squares together, as shown. Now I recommend pressing the seams to the side, since I find four-patches go together better with side-pressed seams that can be nested together.

13. Sew the pairs together into a four-patch. At this point I went back to pressing my seams open, since it’s no longer important for alignment, and open seams reduce bulk.

14. Now you should have 20 blocks that can be sewn together into a completed top. So go ahead, what are you waiting for? : )

15. Layer your backing/binding, batting, and top, and baste with a few pins. You backing/binding piece should be at least 1/2″ larger than the top and batting on each side.

16. I quilted mine in straight lines, outlining the basic shapes created by the piecing. I also used two different colors of thread to echo the fabric colors.

17. I used Made By Rae’s “Cheater Binding” tutorial for quick and easy binding. This is why the backing piece needs to be larger than the top—you’ll be folding it around to the front and sewing it down to create the binding. The only change I made to Rae’s tutorial is that my binding is narrower, which I thought was better for a small piece like a placemat.

Good luck! Please let me know if you make these placemats, I would love to see them.

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Kissing Fish Baby Quilt

Good news! This tutorial is now available as a full-fledged PDF pattern, totally free of charge, on Craftsy! Click here to download the pattern.