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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 Quilt Finished

Summer Sampler 2016 quilt by Freshly Pieced

My Summer Sampler 2016 quilt is done!

Summer Sampler 2016 quilt by Freshly Pieced

I’m really happy with how it turned out … which more or less looks like the mock-up you all saw at the beginning of the quilt-along. : )

Summer Sampler 2016 quilt by Freshly Pieced

I finished it off with some straight-line quilting. I don’t know what I was thinking when I put those lines so close together, but it’s done now! And as usual, I bound it in the same color as the background. I just love that look, so nice and clean.

Summer Sampler 2016 quilt by Freshly Pieced

So with that, the Summer Sampler 2016 quilt-along is finished, but not to worry, you can still make the quilt! Click here to purchase the pattern—now that the quilt-along is complete, everyone who buys the pattern will get full, immediate access to all 20 block patterns. And within the next week or two, Katie and Faith and I are planning to put all of the blocks together into one PDF for your convenience. All previous buyers will get access to that combined PDF when it’s released.

I want to thank all of you who purchased a Summer Sampler subscription and quilted along with us! It was loads of fun. It’s hard to believe these 20 weeks have already come and gone—I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with myself now!

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Equilateral Triangles: Easier Than You Think!

Triangle Baby Quilt by Freshly Pieced

Equilateral triangles are easier than you think they are! No, seriously, they are. : )

If you’ve been wanting to make a quilt like this one using equilateral triangles, head over to the Bernina blog for the first post in my three-part series on equilateral triangles.

In today’s installment, I’m talking about the various methods and tools available for cutting equilateral triangles. In the coming weeks, we’ll tackle piecing —the fun part—design!

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Summer Sampler 2016 Block 9: Curves Block

IMG_8872 So, I admit, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy Block 9. It’s beautiful, of course, but I mean, look at all those curves. Ugh, right? But I was pleasantly surprised! These curves aren’t as tight as the ones in the Trail Crossing block, so they’re actually a bit easier to sew, and I had a lot of fun with this one. I still struggled a bit getting things to line up (or at least as close as possible to line up), but eventually I got it close enough. : )

IMG_8873This is also the first time I’ve really deviated from the Summer Sampler quilt block graphics that you’ve all seen. I decided a little color gradient was in order for this block, and went for it. I’m happy I did! I love how it turned out.

Can’t wait to see everyone’s Curves Blocks on Instagram, under the hashtag #summersampler2016. And if you want to join us in making the Summer Sampler 2016, you still can! In fact, you could even start in the middle and catch back up on the blocks you missed later—we’re laid back like that. : ) Click here to subscribe to Summer Sampler 2016 – all new subscribers get immediate access to all blocks that have already been released.

 

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A Scrappy Take On My Picnic Plaid Pattern

Color gradients. Remember when I said I wasn’t going to go there anymore?
Yeah, I went there. Again. I couldn’t help it, you guys! Gradients: So colorful. So orderly. So appealing to both the left and right sides of my brain. : )
So this is my latest addition to my always expanding collection of color-gradient quilts. : ) This is a scrappy version of my Picnic Plaid pattern (available here).
Here’s a shot of the original Picnic Plaid quilt. The original is strip-pieced in a narrower color palette, but I’ve had the urge to make it scrappier for some time now. So when Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter asked me if I would want to contribute a pattern to her 2016 Quilter’s Planner, it was the perfect opportunity to create modified instructions for a scrappier version of that design. (Sadly, the 2016 Quilter’s Planner is now sold out! Sorry!)

 

Of course, Steph was nice enough to quilt this one for me, and worked her usual magic on it. I’ve always loved this loopy quilting pattern, and now I finally have a quilt that makes use of it!

This quilt has what might be my favorite print ever for a quilt back: Zen Chic’s “Notes” print in Charcoal on Fog. You can find it here at the Fat Quarter Shop and elsewhere. The binding is an older Zen Chic print called Barcelona. You can see a chunk of that print in the piecing above as well. I was really feeling the Zen Chic that day, I guess. : )

Regardless of which version of Picnic Plaid you prefer, it’s yet another great demonstration of how much print and color can change the look of any given design. Fun!
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Greek Key Quilt Complete

Just a reminder that my Greek Key Quilt-Along wraps up today on Bernina’s website, We All Sew! Of course, the final instructions post goes live today, but all of the Greek Key posts will be available indefinitely. So you can make this quilt any time you feel like it, whether you’re keeping up with the quilt-along or not. : )

I’ve also got a few simple hints in today’s post for doing the diagonal straight-line quilting that I used above, so go check it out. And don’t forget to hashtag #greekkeyquilt, so that we can all admire your hard work!

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Kitchen Remodel: Final Pictures

Well, it took me a while, but I finally got my act together and got some pictures posted of my big kitchen refresh project from last summer!
And I have to admit, I kind of love looking at these pictures, because the transformation really is amazing. Yes, it was a ton of work, but all totally worth it.
So first, here’s a little “before” action for you.
And here’s the after!
To recap, I made the following changes:
1) Built the existing upper cabinet boxes up to the ceiling (and purchased/installed new cabinet doors that fit the taller dimensions)
2) Painted all the cabinets (upper and lower) white (Sherwin Williams Snowbound)
3) Painted the walls more of a greige (versus the yellow-white that was there before). I would like to have gone even grayer, but thought it might clash too much with the granite.
4) Took down the window treatments, replaced the light fixtures, and replaced artwork.
Countertops, flooring, and appliances all stayed the same.
Obviously, the first change you probably noticed was the white cabinets. But I would argue that the even more impactful change was building the cabinets up to the ceiling. It’s amazing how small and builder-grade the original cabinets look, now that I compare them to the “after” picture! Taking them up to the ceiling instantly made them look more expensive and more custom. It was a major undertaking, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. For more on how I extended the cabinets, click here. I purchased the new cabinet doors from Cabinet Door World—12 new unpainted upper doors ran me about $900, including shipping.

Another before shot, looking toward the breakfast area.


A few other details: I replaced the can light above the sink with a hanging fixture, using this $16 conversion kit. If you’ve ever changed a light fixture, converting a recessed light to a hanging fixture is just as easy! I also swapped out all the cabinet hardware.

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These glass-doored cabinets were a challenge, in that I didn’t feel like painting the inside of them. LOL. So instead I used them as an opportunity to bring some pattern into the room by adding herringbone peel-and-stick wallpaper, which I purchased here. It was super easy to install and it’s repositionable if you screw it up.

Before

I chose Sherwin William’s Snowbound for the cabinets, mainly because all my existing trim and interior doors were already painted that color. The pantry doors you can see next to the ovens in this photo weren’t touched. I thought it made the most sense to keep everything consistent.

Of course there are still a few more things I’d like to do. The biggest is that I would love to take down that small granite backsplash and instead do a subway tile backsplash that extends to the upper cabinets. But I really don’t think I want to take on a tiling project myself, so that’s going to have to wait until we can get a pro. In fact, see the pass-through on the far left? I would love to do subway tile on that entire wall, all around the pass-through. How fabulous would that be?

 

I also feel like there’s more I could do with this breakfast area, but I’m just not sure what. I would love to put in some kind of banquette to make it cozier, but not sure how that would work with so many doorways and windows. Still contemplating.

 

The more I look at the “before” pictures, the more amazed I am that I lived with it the old way for as long as I did. LOL. Funny how that happens!

Oh, and just for fun, since you made it down this far, check out the before before pictures of our kitchen! This is what it looked like 11+ years ago, the day we did our final walk-through before purchasing the house. We gutted it right after we bought the house, making the kitchen work space larger by walling up the exterior door on the right and pushing the peninsula into that spot. We also added the arched pass-through where the refrigerator is in this photo. The evolution of a kitchen—it has come a long way, hasn’t it? Funny though, that we went back to white cabinets in the end!

Thanks for checking out my kitchen refresh! As always, I will update this if I make any additional changes!