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Moroccan Lanterns Quilt


My newest pattern is here! Yay!

Moroccan Lanterns was inspired by a Turkish rug that I saw online. As soon as I saw that rug, I thought, “That looks like a quilt.” Then I thought, “That needs to BE a quilt!” And now it is. : )

No paper-piecing on this one, you guys! Just regular ol’ piecing, with a quarter-inch seam and everything. I did my version in lots of bright, vibrant jewel tones. Most of the prints are from Allison Glass’s Sun Print collection, although I did throw in a few oddball prints here and there.

Once again, the stunning quilting was done by Stephanie from Late Night Quilter. Once again, Steph did it up. All I had to do was tell her the name of the quilt, and from there she came up with a perfect, Moroccan-inspired design that I loved! Everyone—and I do mean everyone—who stopped by my booth at Quilt Market a few weeks ago had to ask who did my quilting! Thank you, Stephanie! : )

And as always, I’m celebrating the release of my new pattern by putting it on sale! Now through Sunday, you can buy the PDF pattern for just $4.99! (ETA: This sale is now over.) Click here to purchase it from my pattern shop, or here to purchase from Craftsy.


Jungle Ave. Quilt

You guys! I made another quilt using Sara Lawson’s Jungle Ave. line, and I never blogged it! Let’s fix that right now, shall we?


I wanted a chance to showcase Sara’s amazing print that brings the “jungle” directly to the “urban.” But this is a classic case of a print I just couldn’t bear to cut up. In small pieces, it would lose its sense of fun and uniqueness. So I made it the background of a single-star quilt design.
I admit, it was a little nerve-wracking using this print for the background of this quilt design. I had to think long and hard about the construction of this quilt, so that it was put together in such a way that minimized the number of seams. Again, I just didn’t want to break up this print any more than I absolutely had to!
That meant triangles. And triangle math. Triangle math is not my forté. But I did eventually manage to come up with a quilt that looked like my sketch. It might not be quite the size I originally planned, but nobody’s perfect. : )
Anyway, I really love how this one turned out. I love how you can take a single star like this one and make it more dynamic, so that the design expands over the entire quilt. And the straight-line quilting on my Bernina was smooth as butter, of course.
Sara’s Jungle Ave. line will be hitting stores in June.

A Safari Moon Quilt

Welcome to my stop on the Safari Moon blog hop! I’ve got a quilt to show you, using Frances Newcombe’s Safari Moon line, of course.

This quilt has been a bear to work on. It went through more design changes than I care to mention—I made changes literally right up until I sewed the last seam! But I think the beautiful colors of the Safari Moon line positively shine when paired with this background color, which is Kona Cotton in Regal (another one of my new favorites, I think!).

But notice anything missing in the photo above? Like, say, half the quilting? I was FMQing along this weekend, all in a groove, and then, bam! My bobbin case somehow unseated itself and went all crooked inside my machine. Broke my needle and everything. Like so:

See those red arrows? They’re supposed to be lined up. How does something like that even happen? Nothing I did would get it back on track and working again. Every time I put the bobbin case back in straight, it would get all whacked again after about every third stitch. So, my machine is headed to my repair guy at the earliest convenience. The whole thing is making me very unhappy.

But hey, check out what I did get done! One of the reasons I don’t use more dark background colors in my quilts is because of the challenge this leads to in quilting. I like my quilting thread to blend, but there’s no single color you can choose that will blend in all the areas of a high-contrast quilt like this. And you guys, I hate burying knots. Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my entire quilting career thinking of ways to avoid burying knots. Fortunately, Katie convinced me to get over myself and quilt with two colors, knots and all. And I’m so glad she did! It was definitely the best choice for this quilt. I’m stippling in the dark blue areas, and I did wavy lines in all the other areas.

I’ll be finishing this one up as soon as my Janome dealer nurses my machine back to health. And I’m definitely writing a pattern for this quilt! I’m cautiously optimistic that I can have it out and available in the next two weeks. (Though that’s dependent on my machine, of course!)

And in the meantime, my back-up machine, the Hulk (ironic nickname courtesy of my guild friends) is back. Oh, Hulk. No offense, but I didn’t want to see you this week.

Thank you, Frances, for having me on your blog hop and asking me to play with your lovely fabric line!


WIP Wednesday Guest Hosted by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Hurry! Hurryhurryhurryhurry!

I’m Elizabeth of OccasionalPiece-Quilt (also known as and as a long-time reader of Lee’s blog, I’m honored and happy to be guest hosting today.

But what’s the hurry? It’s December, and that means Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, birthdays, holiday parties, holiday decorating and if you don’t have your lights up the day after Thanksgiving, the little elf in your ear (not that Elf of the Shelf, but by the way did you remember to move him last night?) is whispering not sweet nothings, but lists and lists of tasks for you to complete all by that magical night. And pretty soon your life begins to be a blur, kind of like an Instagram hashtag, with everything mushed together.

So just for a moment, take a breath. You’ve arrived at Lee’s fabulous blog, where we’re all working hard to create lovely quilts. Stop careening through the holidays just long enough to linger—as that’s really the only way to slow down time, to have a bit of stillness before you remember that you wanted to hit Target, take the returns to Kohl’s, pickupcandycanesatthegrocerystoreand … whoa. Stop. First, just take a few minutes to see the quilts linked up below. And while you’re at it, leave some fellow quilters a little note of encouragement and some holiday cheer.

I don’t know about your elf, but my elf’s been making lists and lists, so I’m here to talk about some of those things I’m working on as part of WIP Wednesday. (That whispering dude is positively manic over here.)

I have two of these. For some reason, I just can’t get excited about Christmas sewing until later in the year. I need to work on that. (Note to self.  No, note to ELF.) I found that set of snowman blocks (above) in the bottom of this bin. What could I do with those old blocks?

This array calls out to be to be a quilt. Can’t decide. Back in the box (I’ve been doing this for a couple of years.)

I bought all of Sweetwater’s Countdown to Christmas line last year, but for a variety of reasons, never got to it, in spite of having terrific directions from Moda’s Bake Shop. This is the year, I say.

So I cut and lay out the stars, arranging them on my pin wall to sew together, right after I mail the Christmas cards.

This wonky wintery quilt really needs to be taken out of its box and put together. I can stitch on them right after I bake persimmon bread with the basket full of persimmons from my neighbor’s tree that I could then wrap up for the mail lady, the grandmother across the street who is raising two grandkids. (See? I can’t help myself either!)

A stop at my LQS provided some encouragement–the snowflakes will be a great backing.

In spite of all that Christmas fabric you saw earlier, I did finish a Christmas quilt for the bed a couple of years ago, and this weekend saw me cut out and start sewing the pillow shams. In the background is Cindy of Live a Colorful Life, because she came and stayed the weekend that we had our quilt group’s holiday party. It was fun to get started on the holiday sewing with friends all around the table!

I finished up the shams last night and here they are on the bed. I blew up the 12-inch block design to 20 inches so as to make it fit the dimensions.

And a some favorite Christmas finishes from the past. This is my Log
Cabin Advent Calendar, which I taught for a class a while back, and
have made several times. More info is available on my blog, so stop by to download the free instructions.

Little holiday-themed buttons are hung on the tree, attached by loops of ribbon.

Remember that without all of us happy quilters, December would just be one more month in the calendar. Whatever holiday celebrations you have planned, whatever magic you are busy making, I hope for you some quiet moments in this season of joy.

Now it’s your turn—let’s see your WIPs! Here are the rules:
1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links. Because what fun is a linky party without comments?

Happy sewing!

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WIP Wednesday: With Guest Host Michelle of CityHouseStudio

Happy WIP Wednesday!

My name is Michelle, and I blog at CityHouseStudio. I’m delighted to be guest hosting WIP Wed this week! Thanks so much for having me, Lee!
I have found that summer is not my most productive season for quilting. Summer in Minnesota is short; we spend every possible moment enjoying the pool, the parks, and our backyard! While I’ll really miss the kids after they start school (the Tuesday after Labor day), I’m giddy thinking about a whole day to myself to sew!
Here’s what I have finished recently:
a Baby Quilt for my cousin’s new baby
(9 blocks of wonky stars, using this tutorial)
My helper, Holly—she loved helping me lay out the design!
She also requested that we make a fish to go with the quilt, but this didn’t go so well. I just couldn’t figure out how to get the tail to look right!
Another “Read” Library Tote—pattern available here.
I need to make a few more of these! Each of my girls has requested one, along with a friend with twin girls, too. Luckily the letters are really fun to paper piece!
I’m close to finishing up these projects:
Asterisk Quilt (tutorial for the scrappy asterisks is here). This was my choice for my last month as “quilter” for the Peace Circle of do. Good Stitches. I quilted this with FMQ loops, but still need to sew on the binding.
I’m working on pattern testing a bag for a friend—more to come on this project soon!
Just started project: Vintage Holiday QAL with Fabric Mutt
I’ve finished 2 blocks so far, and they were QUICK! The QAL is officially on blocks 7 and 8 (out of 12, yikes!), but I don’t think it will take too long to catch up.
These are such fun blocks to make! I’m using red and green fabrics that aren’t necessarily “Christmas” fabrics, with grey seeds from FMF for the ornament tops and binding.
Now it’s your turn to link up. Here are the rules:
1. Link up any post from the past week that features at least one unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, link back here to my blog. (Or grab my WIP Wednesday button for your sidebar.)
3. Comment on at least a few of the other links—because what fun is a linky party without comments?



Bee Blocking It

In this month’s bee block round-up:

Crown of Thorns block for Tiffany
I made this Crown of Thorns block in June for Tiffany in the Stash Trad bee. She asked us to create an “explosion of color” in the outer HSTs, with the color from the inner ring carrying over into the fabric used in the outer HSTs. You can find the block pattern here, and go here to see the finished quilt top that Tiffany made with these blocks! It’s so beautiful and colorful!

Next up, I made two paper-pieced yellow and gray paper-pieced stars for Kati, who had July in both of my bees.

Paper-pieced star for Kati
So here’s my Stash Trad block for Kati, using my own fabric. The pattern is from the book 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars by Carol Doak. This is probably my all-time favorite paper-piecing book—all the stars in the book are done in very traditional fabrics, but if you can look past that, the patterns are, well, fabulous! This is the Pennsylvania star.

Paper-pieced star for Kati
And here’s my {Sew} Beautiful bee block for Kati, made with fabric she provided. This is also from 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars. It’s the New York star.

Swoon block for Erin
And finally, here’s a bright, fun Swoon block that I made for Erin in the Milwaukee Modern Quilt Guild bee. Would you believe this is my first Swoon block? I love it in these super-bright colors!


Christmas in July Block-A-Thon: My Block

Okay, this is the last time I’ll talk about Christmas until December, I swear. : ) But today is the day that my block is featured in the Christmas in July Block-A-Thon on the Free Spirit Fabric blog.

I had a very long, narrow block shape that I thought lent itself to some interesting partial-block designs. In fact, once I started working on this block, I started thinking of it almost as if you’re looking at the night sky through a narrow skylight! That’s why I’m calling this block “A Piece of Sky.” Some of those half-square triangles are on the small side, both other than that, this block is really quite easy to make. Head over to the Free Spirit blog for the full tutorial.

And remember, all of the Christmas in July blocks being featured on the Free Spirit blog will make for one fabulous holiday quilt by the time we’re all done! You can follow along right now to make your own quilt, or Free Spirit will be putting the entire collection of block tutorials into a handy e-book for those of you who want to make it later.

And on top of all this blocky goodness, I also get to giveaway a charm pack of Free Spirit’s Designer Essentials prints. Just to give you an idea of what you can do with a charm pack like this, Faith made this beautiful quilt for Spring Quilt Market entirely from Free Spirit Designer Essentials:

Photo by Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts

To win the Designer Essentials charm pack, just leave a comment on this post. I’ll draw a winner on Monday. Good luck!

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One More Summit Swap

I have one Sewing Summit swap item that I made, but unfortunately didn’t complete in time to actually swap it in person at the Summit. Happily, Elizabeth’s mini is all done now, and she has received it, so I’m free to share it! This was for my “roommate swap” with AnneMarie and Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s mini is the same design as AnneMarie’s (which you can see here), but in different fabric/colors.
As you might remember, each star is from Carol Doak’s 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars, which features stars named after each of the states. So I went for the hard-core symbolism and did four stars: Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and Utah. One for each of our home states, and one for the state where we all met. I really love how both of these minis turned out!
I used yellow thread to quilt Elizabeth’s, a decision I questioned after it was done. But now I like it and I’m glad I broke out of my usual thread rut. : ) And I love love love the stripey binding. I usually like to do striped binding on the bias, but this one just called out for straight-grain, and I’m really happy with the end result.
Here’s the back, with several iterations of Dena Designs’ Tarika. I love these prints.
Yay for roommates, sewing buddies, and friends. Thanks for a fun swap, ladies!