wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: borders

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[photos by Minki Kim}
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It’s finally here! My turn on the Pretty Playtime Quiltalong Blog Tour! I was so thrilled to be asked to be a part of this quilt along for Elea Lutz’s adorable book Pretty Playtime Quilts. There are so many things to love about this book. As you have seen throughout this quilt along–it is filled adorable blocks! Whether you choose to do the sampler quilt, like I did, one of the other five quilts that stick with a single block style–you can’t go wrong. And although this quilt would be precious in any number of fabrics, Elea’s Strawberry Biscuit is just perfect for it.

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I enjoyed piecing these borders (I see them as hearts–do you?). I think they are the perfect complement to the rest of the blocks in the quilt. Here’s a secret: I often skip putting borders on quilts, but there was no way I would skip these! And I can totally envision using these border blocks on other quilts as well.

I love getting into the zen of chain piecing, so these came together quickly over a few nights of sewing, tea, and Netflix. I love that Elea often oversizes the blocks (like these ones) and has you trim them to the perfect size at the end. There was a time that I would have balked at that extra step, but I have learned that taking the time to trim blocks perfectly helps them to go together perfectly. And there is nothing better than that.

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I couldn’t resist making a couple extra of these adorable heart blocks and turning them into coasters with a little hand stitching. I think a stack of these would be a wonderful gift.

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I made quite a few of the blocks during this quilt along–I wanted to make them all, but you know–life! I thought it would be fun to show you a few of my favorites before we wrap this tour up. I am looking forward to stitching all of these (and more) together with the borders to create a quilt that I know will be treasured.

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It’s never too late to grab a copy of Pretty Playtime Quilts and get started on your own treasure. And thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for hosting this quilt along! It’s been a blast!

 

 

wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: butterfly block

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Back to the sewing room for this fun block. Again, I’m amazed at the clever construction of the blocks that Elea has created! As usual, I stitched this beauty up Sunday afternoon, just in time to catch the last of the light to photograph it. One of these days I’ll have my block done early and be able to photograph it in some decent light!

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This quilt along has been so much fun! It’s been really good for my skills and I look forward to making these blocks every week. And this Strawberry Biscuit fabric is so sweet. My favorite print is the little bouquets above.

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Check out Heidi from Fabric Mutt this week. She is one of my favorite makers. And as always, stop by the Fat Quarter Shop to pick up a copy of Pretty Playtime Quilts.
Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast
wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts

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My sewing machine was in the shop this week–so unfortunately, I don’t have much to show. But, to satisfy the sewing itch, I cut out the next block. The good news is, my sewing machine is no longer skipping stitches–which it started doing at a most inconvenient time. And remember when I complained that my quarter inch foot was not really a quarter inch foot? It turns out the needle position on my machine just needed to be adjusted. Whew! It’s all better now.

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This one will be next week’s block: the Butterfly block and I am smitten with it. I’m beginning to think that this will end up being a bit of a smaller quilt, since I have missed a few of the blocks. Still, I think it will be absolutely adorable! And I’m searching for the perfect little girl to give it to. Or maybe I’ll be selfish and keep it for myself.

My week in the quilt along, which is borders, is fast approaching, so I decided that I had better get going on those as well. Sewing time is pretty precious these days–what with my part-time job and getting ready for the launch of Sew Illustrated. So, I’ve been sneaking in some of the border blocks as leaders and enders, and oh my, that adds up to some serious sewing quick!

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I will continue to keep those border blocks moving forward when I meet you back here next Monday to show you my Butterfly block.

But for now, check out Kristyne’s block over at Pretty by Hand.

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast
P.S. Have you checked out the videos for Sewing Illustration that Minki and I have put together? If not, you may want to check out Minki’s YouTube channel to whet your appetite for some sewing illustration.

 

wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: pinwheel block

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Hey there! I was so glad to get back to the sewing machine this weekend to sew up this adorable pinwheel block. Half square triangles are totally my jam these days, so it was a breeze to make.

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I can’t help but stop here to sing the praises of my Bloc Loc ruler. I’m not kidding when I say it has changed my life!IMG_9258 (1024x683)

One of the things I wanted to challenge myself with on this quilt is to improve my accuracy. There are a lot of blocks with tiny pieces–and accuracy matters! Half square triangles are hard to sew accurately and they get stretched out of shape very easily. So, now I just make them a tad bigger and trim them to perfection with the Bloc Loc ruler. And they go together with perfect points (most of the time). There was a time that I would have thought that whole trimming thing would take too long. But now, at my age, in all my wisdom, I realize that quilting is as much about process as product–so what is a few extra minutes trimming when it improves the end product so much? I need to put the Flying Geese version on my Christmas list.

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Back to the pinwheel block–I cut it out and sewed it up on one afternoon. Boom. Done. I love the colors and the simplicity of the block. I think it would make a very cute pillow, but this one is going in the quilt.

Check out Erica’s block over at Kitchen Table Quilting. It’s still not too late to grab yourself a copy of Pretty Playtime Quilts from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast\
P.S. In other news, my book with designer Minki Kim comes out one week from today! Make sure to check back next Monday, August 1!
Sew Illustrated

 

wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: strawberry block


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IMG_9159 (2) (1024x758)Oh my gosh guys! How cute is this strawberry block? I have to admit that the part with the leaves looked a little fussy–but actually was not problem at all. I have to say it again: the instructions in this book are so clear!

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I am using Elea’s Strawberry Biscuit fabric–which is the same fabric that she uses in the book. Up until this block, I’ve been doing my own thing–making my own fabric choices. But on this block, I have to admit that I used the exact same fabric that she did. Because–strawberries! I mean, how could you not use this adorable strawberry fabric on the strawberry block? In fact, I’m in danger of running out of this fabric, because I think I’ve used it on every block.

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This is Debbie’s week on the blog hop. Pop on over to her blog to see what she has done with this block. Are you sewing along? It’s not too late! You can pick up the book and fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast
wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: teapot block

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I’ve been waiting for this block! I am a total Anglophile and love all things tea–so this darling block was right up my alley. I’ve gotten better about being organized with my cutting–carefully labeling each piece with a sticky note. This block has twenty pieces and most of them are small, so it pays to stay organized. But once it is all cut out, the directions are so clear that it went together like a dream.

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I can picture this as a quilt all on it’s own–twelve teapots all done in different fabrics. Or just four teapots done as a mini would be a totally cute table topper. So many choices!

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Pop on over to Amanda’s blog to see what she has done with this block. Are you sewing along? It’s not too late to quilt along! You can pick up the book from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast
wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: star block

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This week’s block was pure pleasure! I’m a lover of straight patchwork and this block was chain piecing bliss! It went together in a heartbeat. I was able to sew, drink tea, and rewatch a couple episodes of the last season of Downton Abbey–so I was in heaven!

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Pop on over to check out Amy’s Star block–I love her fabric choices! And showing off the next block is Renee. It’s not too late to quilt along! You can pick up the book from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast
wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: tooth fairy block


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Isn’t she adorable? I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by this block! There are a lot of little pieces in there! It took a bit of time to cut out, but I finally got smart and started labeling each piece with a sticky note. Each fabric piece is given a letter of the alphabet to help keep them straight. Some Alphabitties would have come in handy, but I don’t have any–so sticky notes it was.

The block was complicated–but the instructions are so clear. I just took it one step at a time and it really wasn’t hard at all. It was really fun to see it come together. The block design is pure genius!

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There were a lot of half square triangles in this block and the Clearly Perfect Angles cling helped a lot to keep my seam allowances accurate. I’m happy with the investment I made in it.

I went with embroidery for the face because I didn’t have any buttons for the eyes and when I saw how cute Anorina’s tooth fairy was with french knot cheeks, I was sold.

I’m learning a lot making this quilt; most of all–slow down and enjoy the process!

How are your blocks coming along?

Hop over to check out Amy’s Star block next!

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast

 

wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts :: bow block

Blog-HeaderIMG_8552 (1024x681)Isn’t this a sweet block? This one came together quite a bit quicker than the Dragonfly block–simply because there were so many fewer pieces.

There was an interesting trimming technique to make the ties, and I confess that my points did not come out perfect. I even remade one of them to improve it, and it came out the same way. 🙁 It must be operator error, because I’ve seen others that came out perfect. Oh well, I’m okay with slightly imperfect, so it stays.

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But in the spirit of the constant quest to improve; I purchased a Clearly Perfect Angles sewing machine cling to continue to perfect my 1/4″ seam and make half square triangles a bit easier. I just installed it today (which was super quick and easy). So far so good, but I will report back after I’ve used it some more.

Are you sewing along? How did your Bow block come out?

Hop over and check out Anorina’s blog today!

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorina from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast
wood grain free motion quilting design

pretty playtime quilts: dragonfly block


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The first block in the quilt-a-long is the Dragonfly Block.  Not gonna lie–this one has a lot of pieces! I waffled on the background fabric. I had originally planned on the light gray dots, but when I saw how many pieces the block had, I was afraid that the dots would look too disrupted. So I bought some white fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. While I was waiting, Erin posted her block and all of a sudden, I knew it would be alright. Yay! (You can never have too much white fabric, right? So no problem on my FQS order. Psst–I also bought some Little Ruby).

I sewed this block carefully and did some ripping out when things didn’t match up as well as I wanted them to. Then the whole block came out 1/4″ too big! (Not a big deal, I can trim up the sashing around it.) But, I wanted to figure out why.

I purchased a new 1/4″ foot for my Babylock sewing machine at QuiltCon this year. I have been thinking that it was sewing TOO scant of a 1/4″, but my HST quilt was working out, so I dismissed the thought. But after playing around with it a bit, and running some tests–it’s quite a bit less than 1/4″. I’m going to take it and my machine back to the dealer and show them.

In the meantime, I  looked up a few YouTube videos and went old school. I measured out a scant 1/4″ from my needle and built up a stack of painters tape to slide my fabric along. I ran a lot of tests–measuring the fabric, sewing a seam, pressing it open, and measuring it again, until I got it right. I think I might add a few more layers of tape to make it the stack a little taller.

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Things seem to be more accurate now, and Block  2: Bows, is coming together easily.

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Are you sewing along? How did your Dragonfly block come out?

Hop over and check out Wynn’s Bow Block today! I’ll post mine next week.

Week 2 – Erin from Why Not Sew?
Week 3 – Wynn from Zakka Art
Week 4 – Anorian from Samelia’s Mum
Week 5 – Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Week 6 – Renee from Sewn with Grace
Week 7 – Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon
Week 8 – Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Week 9 – Debbie from Happy Little Cottage
Week 10 – Tina from Emily Ann’s Kloset
Week 11 – Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Week 12 – Kristyne from Pretty by Hand
Week 13 – Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Week 14 – Brigitte from The Family Hearth
Week 15 – Lorrie from Sew Mod Designs
Week 16 – Kristin from They Grow Up Too Fast