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Summer Sampler 2017: Block 5 – Alchemy

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It’s Monday, so that means Block 5 of Summer Sampler 2017 is here! This week’s block is Alchemy by AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters.

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I did the block in the 6″ size this week, and found it to be surprisingly fun and easy, even in the smaller size! Cool block too—I would love to make a whole quilt out of this one! (Want to make this block? Join the Summer Sampler 2017 quilt-along right now! Click here to join.)

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This week I’ve got a time-saving tip. When you’re making a lot of half-square triangles (as you do in this block), save some time and skip marking the backs of the squares. Instead, put a piece of tape down on your machine bed (I used some fancy orange washi tape, but duct tape or masking tape will work just as well). Make sure one edge of the tape is directly in line with the needle.

Then, as you’re sewing, keep the corner tip of the fabric squares aligned with the edge of the tape as you stitch from corner to corner. If you need to sew directly down the center of the square, leave your needle aligned with the edge of the tape. If you need to sew 1/4″ out on both sides of the center (as is required with this block), move your needle position 1/4″ over.

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Then trim and press as normal!

Happy sewing, and see you next week for Block 6! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #summersampler2017 to share your progress!

 

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Love All Around

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About a week ago, my friend Lee from May Chapelle sent out a call to action—she wanted all of us to help her bring some love and positivity to the world on January 20. The idea is that she’s going to make this block—the Love All Around block—every time she sees an act of kindness in her community in 2017. She’s hoping to end the year with a gigantic, epic quilt.

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I can’t think of a better way to spend this particular day than talking about an idea like Lee’s. There’s so much negativity in the world right now. Anger, defensiveness, and self-absorption are rampant—and I’m not talking just about the political arena. It’s everywhere right now, in all walks of life. There are a lot of ways I’m hoping to help change the world in 2017, but this block is a pretty great place to start, don’t you think?

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Want to make your own? Head over to Lee’s blog for a complete tutorial for making this block. And check IG for lots of other versions of this block, made by many of your other favorite bloggers! Let’s bring the love today!

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Christmas Ornament Mini-Quilt

img_9579Happy December, you guys! If you’re looking for a quick, fun little holiday project, head over to the Bernina blog today for a complete tutorial to make my Christmas Ornament Mini-Quilt!

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It uses super-simple raw-edge appliqué, so no need to worry about curved piecing, and the half-square triangles in holiday brights give it a clean, modern look.

While you’re enjoying that, my goal for the day is to finish the Christmas decorations around my house. Have a lovely Monday!

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 13: Diamond Ladder

IMG_8967 This week’s Summer Sampler block! It’s a skill-builder block, courtesy of Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts. : )

Half-square triangles and a few flying geese—that’s it! But of course those are both units that you see in quilt designs over and over again, so it’s always good to get in some more practice.

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And somehow, these simple shapes add up to a unique design. One of the things I love so much about a block like this!

Still want to join in the Summer Sampler fun? Don’t worry, you’ll get all 13 previously-released blocks immediately, plus the 7 remaining blocks delivered to your email inbox every Monday! Click here to subscribe.

And as always, check the #summersampler2016 hashtag to see everyone else’s beautiful blocks!

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Lady of the Lake Blocks from Sister Sampler Quilts

Happy Monday! I hope all of you out East have managed to dig out a bit, but I hope in the meantime you got some good stay-in-and-sew time. : ) We didn’t get any snow at all (much to my kids’ disappointment), but I got in some quality time with my machine yesterday anyway. And the results of my afternoon’s work: These Lady of the Lake blocks, with which I am now totally obsessed.

Lady of the Lake is a classic block from the new book, Sister Sampler Quilts: 3 Modern Sampler Quilts with Paired Sister Blocks,
by AnneMarie Chaney of Gen X Quilters. I love the flexibility of a good sampler book—make one block, make them all, or mix-and-match to your heart’s content! Sampler books are always a good resource to add to your library, and give you a lot of bang for your buck. (If I do say so myself, having co-written one of my own!)
And AnneMarie’s book is even more flexible than most, offering up instructions for 24 blocks, each in two different sizes (9″ and 12″ finished). I made my Lady of the Lake blocks in the 9″ size. Check those cute little half-square triangles. : ) AnneMarie’s method of making the blocks in “sister pairs” makes things go quickly and efficiently.

 

Another feature that makes this book a great resource are the fun and creative layout ideas for each of the three samplers. This one, the Bonfire Sampler, is my favorite!
I found the instructions for the Lady of the Lake block to be straightforward and easy to follow. As usually happens when I try to make just one or two blocks, I’m now dying to make a bunch more of these. All out of this fabulous Blueberry Park fabric, like the first two!

You can find out more about Sister Sampler Quilts by visiting the website AnneMarie has set up for the book, www.sistersamplerquilts.com, or click here to purchase from Amazon. And go visit the other stops on the Sister Sampler Quilts Blog Tour, listed below!

Monday, January 18  
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters – Introduction
Sara Lawson / Sew Sweetness
Tuesday, January 19 
Leah Day / Free Motion Project
Brenda Ratliff / Just A Bit Frayed
Wednesday, January 20
Faith Jones / Fresh Lemons Quilts
Angela Pingel / Cut To Pieces
Thursday, January 21
Lynne Goldsworthy / Lily’s Quilts
Amy Friend / During Quiet Time
Friday, January 22
Christa Watson / Christa Quilts
Violet Craft
Monday, January 25
Lee Heinrich / Freshly Pieced
Melissa Corry / Happy Quilting
Tuesday, January 26
Karen Lewis / Karen Lewis Textiles
Wednesday, January 27
Sherri McConnell / A Quilting Life
Melissa Mortensen / Polka Dot Chair
Thursday, January 28
Heather Valentine / The Sewing Loft
Friday, January 29
Cindy Wiens / Live A Colorful Life
AnneMarie Chany / Gen X Quilters – Wrap Up
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WIP Wednesday: Steppin’ Out

Happy Wednesday! I took a spur-of-the-moment, completed unexpected trip to South Carolina earlier this week to visit my grandma, so I’m a little behind on all things sewing-related, and have about 8 trillion things to do between today and Friday. So let’s make this a quick one!
These guys are sitting on my cutting table, waiting to be trimmed down and turned into Modern Maples blocks.

But before I get back to my maple blocks, my top priority is making step-outs for a class I’m teaching on Saturday in Minneapolis. Yep, it’s going to be step-out central up in here today.

This week’s WIP Wednesday is sponsored by Lima Sews! Lima Sews owner Linh offers both long-arm quilting and a fabric shop, so it truly is one-stop shopping over there. : ) I love Linh’s taste in the fabric collections she carries, such as Bark and Branch from Cloud 9 and Catnap by Lizzy House.

COUPON CODE: Lima Sews is offering 20% off anything in the store! Just use code FRESH2015, now through Feb. 3.

GIVEAWAY: Lima Sews is also offering a $30 gift certificate to one lucky reader! You could get a lot of Bark and Branch with that. : )

To win, do any or all of the following (each gets you one chance to win):
1. Comment on this post
2. Post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #wipwednesday
3. Link up your own WIP Wednesday blog post or Instagram photo below

LINK-UP RULES:

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 Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #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!

 

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WIP Wednesday: Modern Maples

It’s Wednesday! What’s happening out there in WIP land?
This week I’m breaking out some maple leaf blocks for a really fun, special project. I’ve been working with fabric designer Allison Beilke and AIGA Wisconsin on a fabric design contest—the contest winners’ designs were all printed onto fabric by Modern Yardage. And now for the fun part (for me, anyway): I get to use all the prints in a quilt!

 

The contestants were asked to design prints inspired by Wisconsin’s natural beauty. And yes, that is a mosquito jacquard in the bottom right. : ) (It doesn’t get more Wisconsin than that!) I was hard-pressed to think of a better setting for Wisconsin-inspired fabric than maple leaf blocks.

And I’m still plugging away at my kaleidoscope blocks! They’re coming along nicely.

This week’s WIP Wednesday is sponsored by Marmalade Fabrics. Marmalade now has Melody Miller’s new Playful line from Cotton + Steel! I know you guys are all over that one, because VIEWFINDERS. Some yardage is online now, and FQ and half-yard bundles of the full line will be available soon. Marmalade also has some amazing Cotton + Steel subscriptions, featuring bundles that are available only by subscription because they sell out so quickly, so check those out as well.

GIVEAWAY: This week Marmalade is offering a bundle of Cotton + Steel basics to one random winner!

To win the bundle, do any or all of the following (each gets you one chance to win):
1. Comment on this post
2. Post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #wipwednesday
3. Link up your own WIP Wednesday blog post or Instagram photo below

LINK-UP RULES:

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 Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #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!

 

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WIP Wednesday: A New WIP

This week I find myself in need of a couple of quick baby quilts. So I started with the one for the baby whose gender is already known. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gender-neutral baby quilts are no fun. Mothers who want to be surprised: I totally get it, and I’m sure baby quilts were of very little consequence in this decision, but your surprise is highly inconvenient for quilt-making. LOL.

So anyway, I’ve been sewing upA  HSTs for a baby girl quilt. The cool thing about this quilt is that the baby has two older sisters, both of whom have their own quilts that I made. So I can’t help feeling like this quilt should kinda sorta coordinate with the previous two. Or at least look like it belongs in the same family. Since it will literally belong in the same family. It’s a fun design challenge, and it’s also fun to think about this quilt going to live with two older sisters of its own. : )
Other than that, I’ve been trying to bust out the Christmas decorations. I’m still working on my knitted stockings. Charts and color work are super easy for me, but increasing and decreasing and slip stitches and all that nonsense? That’s where knitting starts to lose me, you guys. So as you can see, I’ve finished the fun part, and now I’m toe-deep in scary things like forming a heel. Wish me luck.
And then there’s the tree. In the past we’ve always put our Christmas tree in the front window of what is now my sewing studio. But since I moved the studio into that room, the tree won’t fit there anymore. We’re contemplating actually moving a leather chair out of the family room to make way for the tree this year. But in the meantime, I decided to splurge on a smaller fake tree for my studio. And it’s white!! I’ve been wanting a white Christmas tree for years. Now it just needs some decorations. That’s another of this week’s WIPs, I guess!
Today’s WIP Wednesday is brought to you by my newest sponsor, Gotham Quilts. Gotham carries the entire line of American Made Brand solids, and offers some gorgeous AMB color bundles. And their newest line is Kotoritachi, a collection from Seven Islands on lightweight canvas. Check out this Bird Faces print—too cute!
Discount Code: Didn’t get your act together for Black Friday/Cyber Monday? Not to worry! Gotham is offering Freshly Pieced readers 15% off any full-priced item in the shop! Just use the code freshlypieced for the discount. Now go give Gotham a big WIP Wednesday welcome by using that code! : )
What are YOU working on this week? Here’s how to link up:

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 Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced.
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!

 

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My Fire Whirl Quilt in Scraps, Inc.

Looking for a way to use up some scraps? Oh, you are? (How did I know that? LOL.) Well, I’ve got a book for you. : )
It’s called Scraps, Inc., and it’s a beautiful compilation packed with scrappy—and modern—quilts. I’m so thrilled to have a quilt of my own in this incredible volume.
My quilt is called Fire Whirl, and, well, it’s a maelstrom of half-square triangles, is what it is. But what better way to put those scraps to use than HSTs?
Also, I’ve got a super sneaky, Thangles-but-better way for you to make all those HSTs. This slick little method requires no squaring up. Let me repeat: Zero squaring up. Sound good? I hope you love this method as much as I do!

I really, really love this quilt. Scrap quilts are always on my to-do list, and there are several other quilts in this book that are calling my name, including these:

My Favorite Things by Amy Ellis

Overcast by April Rosenthal

Richmond by Sherri McConnell (and I admit I’m a little jealous that my quilt didn’t get to hang on that awesome aqua step ladder thingy!).

Discount: Lucky Spool is kindly offering all of you a discount on Scraps, Inc.! The book is currently on sale right here for 20% off, and you can get an additional 10% off using the code SCRAPS30. Check it out! And maybe pick up a few for Christmas gifts while you’re at it. : )

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WIP Wednesday: Convergence

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Happy Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening in my studio this week.

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my next We All Sew project for Bernina’s blog—a quilt-along using Bari J.’s lovely Emmy Grace fabric line.

You know, sometimes a fabric line and a quilt design converge in the best possible way, so that each compliments the other perfectly, and I think this is one of those times. I can’t wait to unveil the completed quilt. I’ll be posting the full pattern in three installments over on We All Sew, starting next Monday. I hope you’ll follow along and make this beauty!

And my first Sew-Off garment is coming along nicely! (Click here to read about the clothing-making challenge I’m doing with my friend Jemellia during the month of October.) My Tiny Pocket Tank is almost done, I just have to add the binding to the neck and armholes (which admittedly might be the trickiest part). So far, I think I really like it. But I’m reserving judgment until that binding is on!

Today’s WIP Wednesday is brought to you by Stash Modern Fabrics. Stash is currently having a Flash Sale of 20% off all Moda fabric, through Oct. 9, and Lizzie House’s Pearl Bracelets (one of my all-time favorite blenders) is 20% off all month long. And for the entire month of October, Stash is accepting orders for quarter-yards! How awesome is that? Very few shops offer the ability to order less than 1/2 yards. Plus free shipping still applies on orders over $50, so hop over to Stash to take advantage of some great deals.

I can’t wait to see what YOU’RE working on this week! Here’s how to link up:
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 Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is www.instagram.com/freshlypieced). Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced.
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!