juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

Juki TL-2200QVP Mini Review

I’ve had my Juki TL-2200 QVP Mini for about six months now and thought it was time for a review. I get a lot of questions about this machine and I’m hoping that this post will answer them all for you!

Juki TL-220QVP MiniMy number one priority for a new  sewing machine was that it would give me some extra space for quilting–both free motion and walking foot. I have a Babylock for piecing, but I just don’t enjoy cramming a quilt through that small throat space when it comes to the actual quilting part of making a quilt.

quilting with a Juki

After much research and in-person testing, I ultimately decided on the Juki 2200 QVP Mini. It is the newer version of the ever popular, cult-classic Juki TL-2010Q. It is basically the same machine except that it comes with an extra open-toe quilting foot, and an improved walking foot (which was a common complaint about the 2010Q model), and a few other feet that were less important to me as a quilter. And it has a fancier paint job. Since both these feet were things I wanted anyway, the $200 price difference between the two machines seemed justified. I paid $1200 for the 2200–with full warranty and support from the dealer. This turned out to be more important that I realized.

Before I made my decision, I put the Babylock Jazz, Juki 2010Q, and the Juki 2200 QVP through their paces. I brought quilt sandwiches, quilting gloves, and patchwork pieces with me to the shop. Though I wanted so much to love it–since it has such a huge throat space–I had to rule out the Babylock Jazz because it was missing some crucial features for me: a needle down setting, and a thread cutter. It’s just so hard to go back after you get used to those features. I predict Babylock will add those features in the next model of that machine.

Then it was down to the two Juki’s. I had to figure out whether or not the additional feet were worth the extra $200 (which is about what they retail for) and ultimately I decided that they were. I also just liked the feel of that machine better on the floor of the dealer-but that could have been my imagination. The 2200 QVP usually goes for $1400, so they came down a bit on price for me and that helped make the decision as well. This dealer would actually sell me the 2010Q for the internet price of $999, but they would not handle warranty issues for that price. I would have to deal with Juki directly in Florida. It turns out that I’m really glad that I decided to go with the machine that the shop would support the warranty.

The machine comes with an extension table. It is a bit smaller than the Sew Steady extension table that I had made for my Babylock, but I really don’t mind.

Another cool thing–all the Juki TL-series machines are made to fit the Grace quilting frames–so you can actually turn it into a very afffordable longarm! I don’t have room for that now, but it is an interesting possibility for the future.

Once I got it home, threading the machine and winding the bobbin went smoothly. The manual was great, and there are plenty of YouTube videos showing how to do these things on the 2010Q–and it’s the same for this machine. It took a few tries to get the hang of the needle-threader, but I’ve got it figured out now. This was the most helpful video for that feature.

Ribbon candy quilting kristinesser.com

Lady of the Lake table topper at kristinesser.com

Once it was set-up, I  went straight in for free motion quilting. Since it’s a mechanical, straight stitch machine, it definitely feels different. It’s kind of like driving a new car, it takes some getting used to. The stitches are beautiful and I love all the space and visibility! There aren’t a bunch of features to talk about here–it’s a very simple machine–which I really like. It has a nice big foot petal and a knee-lift, which is another feature that I could not live without anymore.

Juki TL-2200QVP

Then I put it through it’s paces on patchwork. I put my Babylock away and started piecing my current project with it. I tried two different patchwork feet–one with the usual guide and another called a compensating foot–which has a more serious guide on it. I thought I would like the later–but I didn’t. I will try it again sometime though. I really like piecing on this machine–my only issue is the thread cutter is loud! Which reminds me–this machine has a thread cutter on the foot petal as well as on the machine! I didn’t think I would like it–but I love it! If you don’t like it, however, they give you something to put in the petal to disable that function.

Squiggles quilt kristinesser.com

Then it was on to walking foot quilting. This is a straight stitch machine–so no built-in wavy line quilting on it, but it makes beautiful walking foot stitches! I just did a hand-guided organic walking foot curves on the quilt above.  I’d heard that the walking foot was loud, but when I tried it at the store, it didn’t seem too bad. As a quilted my small project, it got louder and louder, and something definitely seem wrong. When the foot eventually got jammed, I knew I needed to take it back to the dealer.

The dealer took a look at it while I waited (which was nice–since it’s about 40 minutes away) and told me that something was off in the alignment of the machine that only became a problem with the walking foot. Sometimes these things happen–as long as between Juki and the dealer they fixed it quickly–I was fine with it. But it really made me glad that I didn’t need to deal Juki myself–it was all handled under warranty.

Now that I’ve had the machine for six months, I will tell you that I had some fits with it a few months ago–something got off with the the needle bar that was causing thread breakage–and I was on a quilt deadline–so it was frustrating. But once again, the dealer and Juki dealt with it beautifully. Since then, I have completed several quilts on it and could not love it more!

So, I admittedly had a bit of a rocky start with this machine, but all was quickly resolved and I highly recommend it. I have a feeling that I would have also been very happy with the Juki 2010Q, but I do love the extra fee that the 2200QVP Mini came with–so I have no regrets. I’ve provided a couple quick links below for the Grace frame and the TL-2010Q, but the TL-220QVP Mini is only available from a Juki dealer. You can find the closest one to you here.

Quick Links:

Juki TL-2010Q
Juki TL-2010Q
Grace SR-2 Quilting Frame
Grace SR-2 Quilting Frame

 

 

 

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

Free Sew Illustrated Project :: Coasters

 

Sewing Illustration Coasters from Sew Illustrated kristinesser.com

C&T Publishing has released one of the projects from Sew Illustrated for free on their blog today. So, if you’ve been on the fence about trying sewing illustration, hop on over to check it out!

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

Free Tea Cozy Pattern and Tutorial

Tea cozy tutorial and pattern kristinesser.com

I have a deep and abiding love for all things tea. From the ceremony of it, to the delicate tea cups and tea pots, to the beautiful utility of the tea cozy. I have several teapots, all different sizes and shapes, and they all need different size tea cozies to keep that cuppa warm while you chat with a friend.

So, instead of a tutorial on how to make a tea cozy for my teapot, I thought it would be more useful to give you some instructions on how to make a tea cozy to fit any teapot. And if you are anything like me, you’ll need more than one.

 Materials

Tea cozy tutorial and pattern kristinesser.com

Note: The exact amount of fabric needed depends on the size of your teapot

  • ¼- ½ yard linen or neutral cotton fabric
  • 25-30 squares of various prints for patchwork, cut to 2 ½ ”  (a mini charm pack is perfect for this)
  • ¼- ½ yard cotton fabric for lining
  • ¼- ½ yard Insul-Bright (insulated batting) or cotton batting (such as Warm and Natural)
  • 1 ½ yards of cotton trim (optional)
  • Freezer paper or several sheets of printer paper

(Seam allowance is ¼”, unless otherwise noted.)

Instructions

 Measure Your Teapot
  1. Measure the width of your teapot around the widest point and jot down the measurement. Mine is 18.5″. 
  2. Measure the height of your teapot all the way around, top to bottom. Mine is 15.5″.Tea cozy tutorial and pattern kristinesser.com
  3. Take the width measurement, divide by 2 and add 1.5″. For mine this is: 18.5 ÷ 2 + 1.5= 10.7
  4. Take the height measurement and divide by 2 and add 1.25″. For mine this is: 15.5 ÷ 2+1.25= 9.
Make the Pattern
  1. Take a length of freezer paper and fold in half. You can also use plain printer paper taped together, but freezer paper has the advantage of sticking to the fabric when you iron it, eliminating the need for pinning the pattern to the fabric later on.
  2. Mark the height of your teapot on the freezer paper. Mine is 9″.
  3. Divide the width measurement by 2 and mark on the freezer paper. Mine is actually 5.375″, so I rounded to 5.5″
  4. Draw a curve from one point to the other. Cut out on the line and unfold. I like to write which teapot this is for and what the formula was, for future reference.Tea cozy tutorial and pattern kristinesser.comTea cozy tutorial and pattern kristinesser.com

Continue reading “Free Tea Cozy Pattern and Tutorial”

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

5 things I’m loving right now

Trim Healthy Mama menu planning
Saturday morning menu planning.

The holidays are headed right for us, have you noticed? Before all the holiday preparations, excitement, and let’s face it, dread, fully envelope us, I thought it would be nice to pause and think about what I’m loving–what is working for me right now, in ordinary time.

  1. Going sugar-free. Yup. I did it. It’s been a couple of months now since I started the Trim Healthy Mama (let’s just call it THM, shall we?) eating plan to get my blood sugar issues under control. It has helped me get  out of pre-diabetes territory, which I find a huge relief.  The plan is simultaneously easy and hard to do. But the one thing that is definitely working is getting off of sugar,  with all its ups and downs and cravings. I do use stevia-based sweeteners, which I used to lump in with all other “fake sugars”, but in fact, after lots of research I have found that stevia is a natural sweetener, and thank goodness for that! I made it through my first Halloween ever eating no candy, and feel like I am free!
  2. All things British TV. I just binged-watched Poldark Season 3 and loved every minute of it. One day I am definitely going to need to read the books that started it all.  Other recent favorites include Victoria and To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters. Long hours of sewing are even more enjoyable when streaming some lovely British TV.
  3. FlyLady. Have you done FlyLady? This one deserves its one post. I have started and abandoned FlyLady half a dozen times in my life. But I keep going back to it, not because I need help getting my house clean each week. I have that down. What I need help with is the deep cleaning. Making space in my schedule for all the little (or not so little) things that I don’t clean on a weekly basis. I’m talking about moving the furniture to vacuum, cleaning out the drawers and cupboards, cleaning the ceiling fans–stuff like that. And her Zone system, tackling one area of your home per week and knocking these tasks off 15 minutes at a time makes a lot of sense to me. I’m still struggling to implement it, but I will keep pushing forward.
  4. Morning Pages. I carry a lot in my head. I’m always thinking, thinking, thinking. And taking time every morning (or even just some mornings–no perfectionism here) to get what is in my head out on paper really helps me make sense of it all. Or at least it get it out of my head. I’m hoping to go into the holidays this with some clarity, purpose, and intention.
  5. The Next Right Thing podcast. I am no stranger to Emily P. Freeman’s writing–but her podcast resonates with me on a different level.  From her podcast intro: The Next Right Thing “is for the second-guessers, the chronically hesitant or anyone who suffers from decision fatigue.” Yes, yes, and yes. At less than twenty minutes per episode, it is just the kick-in-the-pants I need some days.

So that’s it for me. What are you loving right now?

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

How to make a string block

This post  contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase through this link, I will get a (very) small commission, at no additional charge to you. Rest assured, I only link to products that I love!  My disclosure policy can be found here.

I was looking for a quick and easy quilt block to put together to practice some free-motion quilting on and actual quilt. Like many of you, I’m sure, I have some precuts hanging around in my sewing space. I picked up a “sushi roll” (aka jellyroll) and and “origami square” pack (aka layer cake) of some sweet Flower Sugar from Lecien. I quickly decided on a simple string quilt and made a short video tutorial on how to make a foundation pieced string block. So simple and fun!

I think a quilt made with this simple and fun block will be busy enough to take the pressure off “perfect” quilting–which sounds pretty good to me! I’ll keep you updated on its progress. I’ve already sewed up most of the blocks in just three evenings. Plus, my new Juki is so fast, that I feel like such a boss stitching these up.

 

You can check out the Daylight Slimline Floor lamp here.

The seam roller is available on Amazon here.

Flower Sugar fabric is available at the Fat Quarter Shop here.

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

Energy Bites–The Perfect Snack for Kids

No bake energy bars. Perfect snack from growing kids. kristinesser.com

I’ve got two teen boys in the house (ages 15 and 17) and we are at that point in their lives where I struggle to keep food in the fridge. My old weekly grocery shopping habits don’t hold up anymore. The way I shopped for years has us running out of food a couple days before my designated shopping day.

So, the grocery list is evolving, and I am always looking for easy snacks for the boys to pack in their lunch or grab after school. This recipe is a hit on all accounts. Full disclosure, I did not invent this recipe, but I have seen variations of it all over the place, so I feel comfortable posting it here. I often see these rolled into balls, but that is too much work for me. I found that doubling the recipe and putting the mixture in a 7 x 11 glass baking dish (8 x 8 works too) makes the whole thing a lot easier.

No bake energy bars. Perfect snack from growing kids. kristinesser.com

No bake energy bars. Perfect snack from growing kids. kristinesser.com

The boys ask for these every week  and along with lots of fruit, hard boiled eggs, and cut up veggies–they are a welcome addition to our snack rotation.

No bake energy bars. Perfect snack from growing kids. kristinesser.com
Print

No Bake Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Press into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Place in refrigerator to set. Cut into bars.  Or, simply roll into balls about 1" in diameter. Enjoy!

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

Piece and Quilt Hop Along Giveaway + Finished Quilt

Welcome to the final week of  the Piece and Quilt Hop Along, where my friends HollyAnneVicki, and I are quilting along in Christa Watson’s new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Start here, if you want to play catch-up .

scrappy quilts | kristinesser.com

It has been such a pleasure to stitch up two quilts from this book! I can assure you that the patterns are fast, easy, and fun! They are perfect for both gift-giving and a quick, snuggle-on-the-sofa quilt. I am going to have a hard time giving this one away–but I think it is bound for Texas. My aunt and uncle lost just about everything in Hurricane Harvey, and what better way to make a new house a home, but with the addition of a quilt.

Piece and Quilt with Precuts (kristinesser.com)

It was super windy the day we took these photos, so I was lucky to get just a few! I really love the quilt back on this–it makes it such a happy quilt!

Modern Marks fabric by Christa Watson

Once my sewing machine woes were fixed, quilting this was a pleasure. Christa lays out such fun, doable motifs. I don’t usually mix and match motifs in a single quilt, but I did with this one. Breaking up the quilting into small areas makes such a big difference! If all you have to do is quilt a 2″ x 12″ area–how hard can that be? You have a built-in resting place to get re-positioned and gather your wits every few minutes. It really made the whole quilting experience more fun and interesting.

Jelly roll quilts | kristinesser.com

And I think the scrappy binding on this one is just perfect.

Jelly roll quilts | kristinesser.com

I spent much of this week hand sewing the binding on this one (two episodes of This is Us, three episodes of Poldark Season 3, if memory serves), so I don’t have any additional quilting to show. But that’s how it goes. I whole-heartedly recommend both this book and Modern Marks fabric!

And a special thanks to my son (aka Quilt Sherpa), without whom these photos would not have been possible.

boy with quilt

For your chance to win both, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Here are the particulars:

There will be two winners . One winner will receive one copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson. If the winner resides in the United States or Canada, they will have their choice of a physical or digital copy of the book. If they reside outside the US and Canada, the winner will receive a digital copy.

The second winner will receive a “jellyroll” of Modern Marks fabrics (hand cut by me). This is one 2.5″ strip from each one of Christa’s (31) beautiful fabrics! (U.S. only due to shipping costs)

You can enter below anytime between October 9-20, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

Piece and Quilt Hop Along {week 4}: Giveaway!

It’s Week 4 of the Piece and Quilt Hop Along. My friends HollyAnneVicki, and I are quilting along in Christa Watson’s new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. It all started here, if you want to start at the beginning.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

Dot ‘n’ Dash Quilt

This quilt went together so fast! If you start with jellyrolls, you already have such a head start on putting this quilt together. I started with a jellyroll of the background, and cut strips from yardage, and it was still super quick.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

Here’s a little secret–I love nothing more that sewing fabric together. This quilt is chain piecing at its finest. And because it is scrappy, I literally just picked up the scrap nearest to me and started sewing them together. I wondered if I would regret not having a plan when it came time to sew it all together, like would I get stuck with too many of the same fabrics lining up, etc. But it worked out just fine. There are a few places that that I had to let go of my perfectionism and let two patches of the same color touch. Which is what happens with random, right? But I like a little more “controlled random”.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

Another new-to-me technique was pressing seams open. It was a great idea for this quilt because then you didn’t have to worry about which way to press your seams to have them nest. And since it was so random–I didn’t really know how the final layout would go. I have to say–the blocks lie so flat! This little tool really helped to get them opened up before pressing. I had to set my stitch length quite a bit smaller, as I noticed that the edges of blocks would start to come apart–so there was a bit of a learning curve. You definitely need pin to get those seams to line up. But I got pretty good at getting a pin right in the seam line and had good results with it. All in all, I love how it came out.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

The Quilting (Nightmare)

This is where our story takes a dark turn. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but this quilt is headed to Quilt Market to show off both Christa’s pattern and fabrics in the Benartex booth. So, of course, I wanted it to be perfect (sigh). I decided to quilt it pretty much the way Christa showed in the book. It looked perfect for the quilt and very doable.

My newly beloved Juki started breaking thread in a way it never had before. I did all the things. I re-threaded, I cleaned out the bobbin case, I changed the needle. It broke three needles in a row. I started wearing glasses every time I changed the needle, just in case, (I didn’t want to lose an eye over this). If it worked, it would start skipping stitches after a few minutes. This quilt has so many stops and starts in the quilting–something that of course, I was trying to minimize.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com
Skipped stitches, broken thread, stops and starts–every quilting problem you could have!

So, I drove 40 minutes to the Juki dealer. They showed me a place where I was threading it wrong (although it had worked fine the way I had it threaded all summer), and of course, it behaved itself at the dealer, so I took it back home. You know how this goes, right? It started acting up as soon as I got home. I spent hours trying to get it to work. Then I finally pulled the old Babylock out of the closet.

Dot n Dash quilt by Christa Watson at kristinesser.com

It’s amazing how you get used to a new machine! The Bablylock felt so different and I had become so used to having all that extra harp space on the Juki. But, I pushed on. I was quickly reminded of why I wanted the Juki in the first place. The free motion tension on the Babylock is not great. And I wanted the quilting to be great! So I did all the things. Changed the needle. Opened it up to clean out the bobbin area, etc. Then I put it all back together and I couldn’t get the bobbin thread up. A tangled mess!  I got up and ran it to the dealer. Turns out the bobbin hook was broken. Nooooo! Am I cursed or what?!

At this point, I am up against a deadline and I start looking for Plan B. Luckily, my friend Vicki tells me that I can send it to her and she will finish it (God bless you Vicki!). This plan is looking pretty good about now. But, I get up early on Saturday morning and drive the 40 minutes back to the Juki dealer. They understand my plight at this point and the technician sits down with it then and there to figure it out. I won’t bore you with the details–but it had something to do with the needle threader, which resulted in the timing being off.  He fixed it right there. The threader will not be replaced for a couple of weeks–but in the meantime I have a working sewing machine!!

Free motion machine quilting kristinesser.com

I finished up the wavy line motif that I had been struggling with before (because of the machine–the motif is fun!) and then moved onto some simple zig-zags. It was then that I felt my love for machine quilting return. It felt so good to get back in the zone.

Crazy eight machine quilting kristinesser.com

After that nice warm-up, I got up the nerve to start on some crazy eights.  They are so fun and fast! Definitely not perfect, but they keep getting better and the they give the quilt a beautiful texture.

Free motion machine quilting kristinesser.com

The Giveaway!

Whew! If you made it this far, you deserve a giveaway! Martingale has generously provided each of the Blog Hoppers a copy of the book to giveaway, plus we are each throwing in some free Modern Marks fabric as well! So, make sure you also visit Vicki and HollyAnne.

Here are the details for my giveaway:  There will be two winners . One winner will receive one copy of Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson. If the winner resides in the United States or Canada, they will have their choice of a physical or digital copy of the book. If they reside outside the US and Canada, the winner will receive a digital copy.

The second winner will receive a “jellyroll” of Modern Marks fabrics. This is one 2.5″ strip from each one of Christa’s (31) beautiful fabrics! (U.S. only due to shipping costs)

You can enter below anytime between October 9-20, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

Piece and Quilt Hop Along {week 3}: A Finished Quilt

Photo by Minki Kim

Welcome back for Week 3 of the Piece and Quilt Hop Along. For those just  joining–my friends HollyAnneVicki, and I are quilting along in Christa Watson’s new book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. If you need to play catch up, start here.

Squiggles Quilt

I’m so excited to show you my finished Squiggles quilt! As I mentioned last week, the wavy line quilting went quickly and was so relaxing. And unlike so many people, I LOVE to hand bind my quilts. It gives me a great excuse to sit down with a cup of tea (or wine, depending on the time) and binge watch my latest show. During the making of this quilt, I was loving Victoria and our whole family is getting a kick out of watching The Office together. We have actually taken to calling that time our family “Office Hour”.

Squiggles quilt kristinesser.com
Photo by Minki Kim

 

Squiggles quilt kristinesser.com
Photo by Minki Kim

A few specs on this quilt: The pattern is Squiggles from Piece and Quilt with Precuts by Christa Watson, the fabric is Creekside by Moda, the batting is Warm and Natural, and it was pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. color #2000.

Squiggles quilt kristinesser.com
Photo by Minki Kim

I presented my college-bound daughter with a stack of quilts and asked her if she would like to pick one to take to school with her. This is the one she chose. It made me happy to place it, folded at the foot of her bed when we moved her in. When we said goodbye I told her, “Anytime you need a hug, just wrap yourself in that quilt. It’s a hug from me. ” The ultimate in Mama Love.

Modern Marks Fabric

Modern Marks fabric kristinesser.com

Now, on to the next quilt! I was lucky enough receive an early shipment of Christa Watson’s new fabric line from Benartex, called Modern Marks. This fabric so perfectly represents Christa’s style. The colors are spot-on, in this luscious, fully-saturated way. I could not way to cut into it!

Modern Marks fabric kristinesser.com

The next quilt on my list from Piece and Quilt is called Dot ‘n’ Dash. Here is Christa’s beautiful version.

Dot n Dash quilt kristinesser.com
Dot’n’Dash Photography courtesy of Martingale/That Patchwork Place and Brent Kane.

I can’t wait to see this remade in Modern Marks! Instead of the solid gray, I’m using a jelly roll of low volume gray prints on white fabric–I think it will look fabulous!

Modern Marks fabric kristinesser.com

Modern Marks fabric kristinesser.com

Quilting Practice

Honestly, what with finishing up one quilt and starting another, I didn’t do as much machine quilting practice this week. Part of the issue is the mental hurdle of taking the piecing foot off of my machine and setting it up for free motion quilting. I know in reality, it only takes a couple of minutes–but some days it seems like an insurmountable obstacle. My dream is to someday have enough space to have both machines set up at the same time. One for piecing and one for quilting. (sigh)

Piece and Quilt by Christa Watson kristinesser.com

Anyway, I didn’t do a ton of practice, and it shows. I practiced some more crazy eights, because I want to quilt Dot ‘n’ Dash using that motif, and then a flower motif, and some wishbones. Not my best, but it all counts as practice, right? And just like all of Christa’s books, she gives you wonderful instructions on how to do each motif.

Piece and Quilt by Christa Watson kristinesser.com

Piece and Quilt by Christa Watson kristinesser.com

Remember, if you are sewing along with us, remember to use the hastag #pieceandquilthopalong on Instagram to share your work. We’d love to see it!

 

juki-tl-2200-qvp-mini

La Conner Blog Tour :: A Granny Square Quilt

 

Granny Square quilt kristinesser.com
{photo by Minki Kim}

Welcome to my stop on the La Conner Blog Tour! I am so excited to share this fabric line with you! This line is just the sweetest mix of strawberries, florals, and ginghams–and several of the prints have little flecks of gold for an amazing accent. The color palette is so perfect as well, a sweet mix of red, greens, pinks, grays, and blues. Everything mixes and matches so wonderfully. I think the reds and greens are so perfect for Christmas sewing, without being over-the-top “holiday”, if you know what I mean.

La Conner Fabric by Quilting in the Rain kristinesser.com

I’m trying to remember when I first came across  author and  designer Jera Brandvig (aka Quilting in the Rain). I think it must have been when she released her first book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern–which is a fabulous book that I use over and over again. Since then she released her first fabric line, High Tea  (which I blogged about here), and another book: Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage, which I need to get my hands on!

Being the force of nature that Jera is, La Conner is her second fabric line with Lecien. This line is inspired on a quaint little town in northern Washington that Jera visited growing up. And coincidentally, we happened to be vacationing there this summer, so of course, I had to stop by to see the inspiration for myself. And what a charming little town it is!

La Conner is a big, 36 print line, so I had lots of fabric to play with. I’d been looking at Granny Square blocks, thinking that I wanted to try them out, and La Conner seemed to be a perfect fit for this block.  There are a million Granny Square tutorials on the internet, but I used this one, which is a quick strip quilting method that makes two blocks at a time. They come together really quickly, and it was so much fun playing with each different color combo. I made this quilt leisurely over the summer, relishing in the process.

Granny Square quilt kristinesser.com
{photo by Minki Kim}
Granny Square quilt kristinesser.com
{photo by Minki Kim}

I love a fabric line that includes a bit of grey, and I couldn’t resist using this sweet strawberry print for the back, with some classic red binding.

This quilt is also a first for me because I quilted it on a longarm! I am a total longarm newbie, with only one lesson under my belt, but I thought that a nice large, loopy design seemed to be what this quilt called for–and so I just leaped and quilted up this whole quilt in an hour! Longarms are amazing like that. The large-scale design leaves the quilt so soft and drapey–a perfect snuggle up on the couch and read kind of quilt.

Loopy quilting granny square quilt kristinesser.com

Granny Square quilt kristinesser.com
{photo by Minki Kim}

I also had the honor of making a quilt from one of Jera’s patterns, Tiny Tulips (so appropriate, since La Conner is known for tulips) for her booth at Quilt Market. Such a sweet fun pattern–and so perfect for the La Conner line! This quilt included her sweet coordinating lace on the inner border–such a fun touch!

Tiny Tulips quilt kristinesser.com

Tiny Tulips quilt kristinesser.com

La Conner Fabric by Quilting in the Rain kristinesser.com

I had so much fun working with this line–and I’m sure that you will too! Have you been following along the other stops on this blog tour? It is full of the sweetest projects that really bring La Conner to life!

 

La Conner Blog Tour
Monday 9/18:  Ange @alittlepatchwork  https://alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com
Thursday 9/21: Tiffany @tiffanyluann   http://fannyludesigns.com
Monday 9/25:  Dori @redfeedsack   http://theredfeedsack.blogspot.com
Thursday 9/28:  Kristin @kristin_esser   http://www.kristinesser.com (you are here)
Monday 10/02:  Michelle @coleandtaffy   http://coleandtaffy.com
Thursday 10/05:  Katrina @katrinahodgson1969
Monday 10/09:  Clara @claralovestosew
Thursday 10/12:   Samantha @aqua_paisley  https://www.aquapaisleystudio.com
Monday 10/16:  Natasha @ellieshm  https://www.ellieshandmade.com
Thursday 10/19:  Sarah @sarahedgarprettyfabrics  https://www.prettyfabricsandtrims.co.uk
Monday 10/23:  Andrea @willowcottagequiltco   http://willowcottagequiltco.com
Thursday 10/26:  Faith @faithessenburg  https://saranaave.wordpress.com
Monday 10/30:  Mariana @sewmariana