September 15, 2020

How to Sew Drunkard's Path Blocks

 I'm working on a new pattern and it involves some Drunkard's Path blocks. As I was prepping them for sewing, it seemed like a good time to take some pictures and write a tutorial for how I sew my Drunkard's Path blocks.

(Psst! Want to know when the new pattern comes out? Sign up for the Bulletin so you'll always know when new patterns are released 😊)

How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |

If you haven't tried sewing curves before, you might think they're really hard, but they're not nearly as bad as they seem. It takes a little while to prep the pieces, but once they're ready you can stitch them up fairly easily.

The first step is to cut your pieces using a template. You can buy acrylic templates or just print the templates that come with the pattern you're using, which is what I did. A Drunkard's Path block is a quarter circle and each block has two pieces, the outer curve and the inner curve. You'll need one of each to make a block. I'm using prints from the Golden Aster line, by Gabrielle Neil for Riley Blake, for the inner curve pieces. The outer curve pieces are from the Blossom line, by Christopher Thompson, also from Riley Blake. Don't they look fabulous together?

How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
Fold the inner and outer curve pieces in half and finger press to create a little crease in the center of the curve.
How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
Right sides together, match the creases, with the raw edges lined up. At this point, the creases are the only place where the curves will match up. That's okay! It's supposed to look like that 😊 Pin at the crease. There are people who sew beautiful curves without pins, but I'm definitely not one of them. I find pins are a huge help with getting those curves to look nice.
How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
Now match up the edges and pin them.
How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
You want to make sure the sides stay aligned, so I like to make sure the pin is getting a good bite of the outer curve piece. Otherwise that piece likes to tilt out of position.
How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
On these blocks, which finish at 6 ½", I use three more pins between the center and edge pins. On smaller blocks I might only use one or two and on bigger blocks I would use more. I like to keep things really secure. 
How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
Then do the same thing on the other side of the block.
How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
As you can see, there are some ripples in the fabric of the outer curve piece. That's fine! As you sew, just make sure the ripples are beyond the ¼" seam allowance so you don't stitch them into the block.

When you start to sew the curve, be careful taking out the first pin. The corner of the outer curve piece may angle itself right out of position as soon as the pin is out. If possible, I like to put the presser foot down before I take out the pin, so it will hold that edge in place. 

Sew somewhat slowly, remembering to smooth the ripples in the outer curve piece so they don't get stitched into the seam. I use the fingers of my left hand to gently smooth the excess fabric away from the raw edges.

Give the block a good press and you're done! 
How to sew Drunkard's Path quilt blocks |
The seam allowance will naturally want to go towards the outer part of the curve, so I usually just press it that way. Sometimes, if I'm making full circles out of 4 Drunkard's Path blocks, I'll press half of the blocks with the seam allowance towards the inner part of the curve, so the seams can nest.

That wasn't too hard, was it? 😊 I hope you'll give Drunkard's Path blocks a try. There are so many fun things you can make with these pretty quarter circle blocks. 

Remember, sign up for The Bulletin if you want to know when my new pattern comes out. Happy quilting!

September 14, 2020

Time to Work

 Devotion for the Week...

Even though I've been reading the Bible for years, I am still amazed when a particular sentence (that I've probably read dozens of times before) leaps out at me and just grabs my attention. It happened again this week with a portion of a verse in 1 Thessalonians. The full verse reads, "Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone" (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

In this verse Paul is giving four tasks to believers - warn, encourage, take care and be patient. It was the first task that stopped me that morning as I was reading. Warn those who are lazy. My first thought was, "God really wants to emphasize that we're supposed to be working!"

Nowhere in the Bible does God encourage laziness or the shirking of our portion of the work that needs to be done. He encourages balance and rest, absolutely, but the overarching message is that if it's not a time of rest, then we should be getting our work done. Here are just a few verses as examples:

"But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber" (Proverbs 6:9-11).

"A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense" (Proverbs 12:11).

"How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!" (Psalm 128:2).

"A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things" (Proverbs 18:9).

"Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others" (1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12).

Why is Paul telling believers to warn those who are lazy? Warn them about what, exactly? Maybe he was thinking of what he would write to the Thessalonians in a later letter: "Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat'" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). It doesn't get much simpler than that! I remember quoting that particular verse to my boys when they were young and complaining about some chore they were given. It's a great reminder that we all have a role to play in the work that needs to be done and that we can't expect everyone else to do the work while we just reap the rewards.

God values the work we do |
Background quilt is Intersections

God values the work we do, no matter what that work may be. Our contributions to the running of our homes, our places of employment, our communities and causes we believe in, all of that work is needed so we might as well get to it.

And, of course, that way we all get to eat, too 😊

September 08, 2020

Bloom Block- It's a Garden Party Row Along

Welcome to my stop on the It's a Garden Party Row Along! I'm excited to share my Bloom block with you today 😊 Before I do, I have to say a big thank you to Marian Pena, of Seams to be Sew, for all the work she put into organizing this row along.

After I decided to sign up to participate in the row along, I realized I had no idea what kind of block I wanted to do. I've been doing that a lot lately, signing up for things and then figuring out my block or whatever after. I knew I didn't want to design a garden scene or a collection of flowers. Not because I don't like those kinds of rows or blocks (so many of them are beautiful!), but because it didn't appeal to me as a design project. What kept coming to mind was the art of Georgia O'Keefe, except I didn't have any real idea what her art looks like, just the notion that it involved extreme close-ups of flowers. After googling her art, I didn't see any way to translate her style into a quilt, but I still loved the idea of an extreme close-up of a flower.

I also had to take into account the various sizes of rows or blocks that were required for the row along. I knew a block would be better than a row, for what I was thinking, so I decided to make a 30" block. Then I decided to put the flower in the corner, rather than the center, and that's how Bloom was designed 😊

Bloom quilt block |

Northcott Fabrics generously sponsors the row along, providing each of the designers with up to 1 yard of fabric. I chose this gorgeous, marbled blue to use for the background of my block.

Bloom quilt block |

Then I picked out a selection of orange Island Batik fabrics to use for the flower petals. I love oranges/yellows with blue (as evidenced in my Burst mini quilt). I opted for raw-edge machine applique, using a glue stick to hold the pieces in place. It's my favourite applique technique. I love that it's quick and simple, plus it looks great and doesn't add any extra stiffness to the quilt.

When I had the petals glued in place, Zachary looked at it and asked if I was making a turkey! I can see why he would have thought that! I guess I should ask him if it looks more like a flower with the solid yellow (from Northcott, too, I think) there for the flower center.

Bloom quilt block |

You can choose to stitch around the shapes with a matching thread, or go with a contrasting thread to create a totally different look. This time I chose to use matching thread, Aurifil 50 wt in 2390 for the flower petals and 1135 for the flower center. Zig zag stitching around applique shapes is so quick and it makes the pieces look so much more polished. It's also very forgiving - if you move a smidge to one side or the other, it still looks good.

Bloom quilt block |
Bloom quilt block |
You can download the free pattern for the 30" Bloom quilt block here. Downloading it will also subscribe you to The Bulletin, my bi-weekly newsletter, which I hope you will enjoy. In each edition I share a favourite recipe, some inspiring things to make and news from me.

The It's a Garden Party Row Along will be continuing through October 8th, with blocks and rows being shared on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. With the different sizes of rows and blocks being shared, you'll be able to create a garden quilt that is unique to you. There are also prizes to be won! You can enter my giveaway by scrolling down a bit farther 😊

First, though, here's the full schedule for the row along:

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Blue Heron Quilting
Carolyn Butterfield
Made By Marney
Pumpkin Patch BC
The Devoted Quilter

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Bobbin In Quilts Blog
Kissed Quilts
Patchwork Breeze
Songbird Designs/Brenda's Blog
Stitchin’ at Home

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Daughters of Dorinda
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Just Let Me Quilt
Lovingly Lissa
The Quilt Rambler

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Fabric Bash/Carpe Blogum
For the Love of Geese
Kathleen McMusing
Ms P Designs USA

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Heleen Pinkster Quilt Design
Patti’s Patchwork
Quilt Schmilt
Your Sewing Friend

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Charisma’s Corner
Clever Chameleon
Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio
Kathy's Kwilts and More
Mountain Meadow Designs

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Miss Loreen's Schoolhouse
Moose Stash Quilting
Tuning My Heart Quilts
Cheryl LaPlante

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Barbara Dieges
Linda B Creative
Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio
Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting
Ursa Minor

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Bumbleberry Stitches
Charlie's Daughter
Seams To Be Sew
The Quilting Room with Mel
Words & Stitches

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Lynn's Beauty
Quilt Art
Renee's Quilting Addiction
Sew Incredibly Crazy

And now for the giveaway! Everyone likes prizes, right? Use the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $20 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop 😊 This giveaway will close on September 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Electric Quilt is also offering 20% off all products except for EQ Academy during the row along. Use the coupon code GARDENPARTY20 to save. I do all my quilt designing using EQ8, so I can highly recommend the program, if you're interested in designing your own quilts.

Don't forget to download your free Bloom block pattern. I'd also love it if you pinned this image, to help other quilters find the pattern, too. Thanks and happy garden quilting!

Bloom quilt block |

September 07, 2020

There's Always Someone

 Devotion for the Week...

My devotion writing summer break is over and I'm back today with my first new devotion in a while 😊 I may have had to remind myself multiple times this past week not to forget to actually type this up, lol.

I've been reading the Old Testament the past few months. I have to admit that I really struggle while reading the books in which the Israelites are taking possession of the Promised Land, because it means they're waging war against the people who were already living there. I have a hard time reconciling a God of love, mercy and grace with the God who tells Joshua that they are to completely destroy the towns, killing all of the inhabitants and burning the entire town, preserving only some things for the treasury of the Lord's house, as they did with Jericho in Joshua 6. I have no answers for why that happened or why God gave the orders He did.

Regardless of my issues with the story, God did give the orders. No one was to take any plunder from the city of Jericho. There would be opportunity later to fill their coffers and take things they wanted, but Jericho was not the place for it. But, of course, someone didn't obey the orders. It was a man named Achan, who decided that it would be okay for him to keep a few things he found in the city. When Achan's sin was discovered, he said, "It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest." (Joshua 7:20, 21).

There's always someone who feels they are exempt from the rules, isn't there? It doesn't seem to matter if it's a big rule or a small one, someone always feels like it doesn't really apply to them.

I am generally a rule follower, but I have to admit that there have been times I have just ignored a rule that didn't suit me. Have you ever done that? Whether it's because the rule is inconvenient or it just doesn't seem to make sense, some rules are hard (or impossible!) to follow. 

These days there are even more rules to follow, about masks and physical distance and travel and which way to walk through the stores. It's hard to keep up with them all, especially when things change as new information becomes available. It's inevitable there will be rules we disagree with or ones that we feel are silly. 

Sometimes, whether or not we obey a rule might not matter much. Like when the store is practically empty, there's no one in the aisle and I decide to dart halfway up to get the chocolate chips I need, rather than going all the way up the next aisle and back down the one I actually want to be in. Other times, the rules matter a lot - rules against stealing and murder and discrimination, for example.

Achan's sin might seem like a small thing. He just wanted some money and a nice robe, after all. But it wasn't what he kept that mattered. It wasn't even that he disobeyed Joshua, who had given the orders to the people. Rather it was that he disobeyed God, who had given the orders to Joshua to pass along to the people. Ignoring rules is not a great habit to be in, but it's an especially bad idea if the rules we're ignoring come directly from God.

Some of the rules God has given us can seem nearly impossible to follow. Rules like loving each other, forgiving each other and praying for our enemies. It can be tempting to think that we're exempt from forgiving that person who really hurt us, but we're not. Or we might like to think that we don't have to love that person who is constantly rude, but we're not exempt from that one either.

We are not exempt from any of God's rules |
Background quilt is Level Up

Come to think of it, we're not exempt from any of God's rules. "Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). If we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

August 28, 2020

Burst Mini Quilt Top

At the beginning of July, I taught an online workshop about using freezer paper for paper piecing (it's like magic!). During the workshop I made two blocks for a mini quilt using my Burst pattern. You can get the Burst pattern as a PDF or a printed pattern in my Etsy shop. And if you want to know when I'm teaching online workshops in the future, be sure to sign up for The Bulletin.

Burst mini quilt |

I have a counter where I put sewing things when I can't be bothered to put them away and last week the mess finally hit that critical mass where it gets overwhelming and I have to clean it up. At the very back of the pile, I found those two blocks, along with the cut pieces and the fabric pulled but not yet cut and I decided that I'd just finish the quilt top rather than putting the various bits away. Since it's a mini quilt, it came together really quickly. It makes me wonder why I put it aside for so long!

Burst mini quilt |

I love how the bright yellows and oranges look against the Riley Blake solid navy. They just glow against the dark background.

I love working with scraps from previous quilts. These swirls were part of a bundle I bought from Connecting Threads years ago, back when the Canadian dollar was strong enough that ordering from the States was a possibility. I love a good swirl fabric!

Burst mini quilt |

There are lots of Island Batik scraps in this mini, like these circles. This one isn't quite so neon in real life, but I could not get the colour right in the pictures at all.

Burst mini quilt |

This one that reminds me of fireworks is also an Island Batik scrap. The same print in yellow is in the quilt, too.

I can't even remember where this floral print came from, but I know I've had it for years and years. It's fun to mix those older prints in with the newer ones.

Burst mini quilt |

Speaking of newer ones, here's a piece of the yellow from Kristy Lea's Create line. I used it as the center of the plus blocks in my Level Up quilt.

Burst mini quilt |

It was a bit windy this morning when I was trying to get these pictures on the front deck of the Airbnb we're in this week, so I taped the quilt top to the wood. The wind was still trying to take it 😄

Burst mini quilt |
Burst mini quilt |

This is the last week before Paul and I go back to work, so we took the week to go across the province for some hiking and other fun. We took a puffin and whale watching tour - our first one even though Paul grew up in the province and we've lived here now for 15 years. It was amazing! The puffin colony is home to more than half a million puffins, so they were flying everywhere and floating all around the boat. I didn't bother trying to take pictures, because it was so much fun to just take it all in.

As for the hiking, that has been wonderful, as always. I love the ocean views in Newfoundland. We hiked out to North America's most easterly point, the Cape Spear lighthouse. You can drive there, too, but hiking it is more fun. You can just barely see the lighthouses (old and new) on the point in this picture.

Cape Spear hike |

I've never seen so many blueberries on trails before! They're everywhere! It's almost painful to walk past them and not stop to pick them all, lol. I have probably eaten close to my own weight in blueberries this week, just picking them and snacking as I hike along.

Blueberries |

We'll be headed home on Sunday and then I have to decide how to quilt my Burst mini. My original Burst quilt has my first attempt at spiral quilting and I think I want something different this time. I'm not sure yet what that will be, though. 

Burst mini quilt |

Don't forget, if you want to get the Burst pattern, it's available in my Etsy shop in either PDF or print versions. I offer free shipping on the print version, too.

I'm linking up with TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Beauties Pageant.

August 22, 2020

Temperature Quilt 2020 - Playing Catch-Up

 I was doing pretty well keeping up with my 2020 temperature quilt until the summer hit. Then I didn't touch it at all for a while and ever since then I've been playing catch-up. This is what it looks like right now. It's getting easier to photograph now that it's not one 2" by 30 ½" strip.

temperature quilt 2020 progress |

That last block represents June 23 and you can definitely see that it was getting warmer 😊 I love the progression of blues - purples - pinks. There will be some reds added for July and August, once I get them done.

I like how it looks from the back, too. This post explains how I'm making my blocks, if you're interested. Everything is done by hand except, once the rows are finished I'm stitching them together by machine.

temperature quilt 2020 progress |

From June 23 - August 21, the blocks are in all possible stages - from just the circles cut out to finished and ready to be sewn into the rows.

temperature quilt 2020 progress |

The July and August month initials are ready to be embroidered, too, and I figured I might as well get the S block ready for September, since it'll soon be here (how did that happen already??). 

We're headed out of town for a week tomorrow and there will be copious amounts of driving time, not to mention lazy mornings and evenings in our Airbnb house, so I'm hoping to be pretty close to caught up by the time we come home. The listing for the house also shows pictures of blueberries, so I'm hoping there will be some nearby since the berries are ripe now. The house is right on the water and they say it's a good spot for whale watching, so it should be quite the spot 😊 That may interfere with stitching time, lol, so we'll see how much progress I actually make!

August 18, 2020

Allegro Skirt, Allegro Shorts and Harmony Blouse

 It has been a garment sewing few days around here and I've had some wins and one, well, not-win. Not really a loss, just not quite what I was hoping for. But it's all part of the process of learning something new, right?

I used cotton poplin from Riley Black Designs for everything in this post. I had never heard of poplin before I started making clothes, but I quickly learned that it's a beautiful woven fabric that acts just like quilting cotton for cutting and sewing - no slipping around or stretching! - but it has a nicer drape, so it hangs better than quilting cotton, which tends to look boxy when made into clothes. It's the perfect fabric for quilters who are interested in learning garment sewing. In fact, one of my first ever garments was made with poplin. And yes, you can learn to sew clothes, too 😊

I used two new-to-me Love Notions patterns for these garments. I've mentioned before that I love their patterns and these two are no exceptions. Their patterns don't assume you know what you're doing, so every step is spelled out very clearly and there are links to videos that help with trickier parts, which is a great feature.

I started out by making the Allegro knee length skirt. I bought a cheap sheet at a discount store to use for making test versions of these garments so I could check the fit before I cut into the poplin. I almost didn't bother for the skirt, since there's not a lot of areas for fit to go awry in a skirt, but it was still nice to be sure the waistband was going to fit before I cut my good fabric.

The Allegro pattern, which includes two skirt lengths, two shorts lengths and full length pants, uses 1 ½" elastic inside the waistband, and then you stitch right through the elastic, while stretching the elastic out. I had serious visions of snapping all that thread the first time I actually tried to put the skirt on, but it works perfectly. 

Allegro skirt |

I love the skirt! It's so comfortable and light feeling. And the charcoal grey poplin will go with just about everything, so I know it's going to get a lot of wear. I wore it the day after I finished it, actually.

And did I mention that it has pockets???? Oh, how I love a skirt with pockets! These ones are deep enough to hold my phone.

Allegro skirt |

Feeling rather pleased with myself, I moved on to the Allegro 5" shorts. I have had the Allegro pattern for a couple of months and the poplin since mid-July, but I procrastinated because I've heard that fitting pants is a lot more complicated than shirts or skirts. There are so many different factors in play with pants. I'd read in the Love Notions FB group about people 'scooping' the crotch curves, lengthening the rise or shortening the rise. It all seemed a little overwhelming. But I really want to make most of my own clothes and I wear pants a lot, so...

I started out by making a test version. Having made the skirt in a size 12, I knew I'd be good with a 12 for the shorts, at least for the waist and hips, but there were probably going to be other issues. The test version was really tight in the legs, like uncomfortable to walk tight, and looking at the back they were twisting weirdly from the outside of my leg towards the inside. I also had a bit of a wedgie. There are no pictures (you're welcome, lol), but there were definitely some fitting issues!

I posted in the Love Notions FB group, asking for help and one person recommended a video series that covers a lot of common pants fitting issues. It's a great resource! Right away I learned why I'd often try on pants in stores and find they were really baggy in the front crotch area (it's caused by the front crotch curve being too shallow for me). Then I put my test shorts on again to check and, sure enough, they had the same problem, I just hadn't noticed because I had been so focused on the tight legs and weirdness in the back. So, I scooped the front crotch curve on my pattern, in preparation for my second test version. And now I know what it means to scoop a crotch curve 😊

I watched the videos a couple of times, trying to figure out what I needed to do about the other issues. I needed to add width to the leg, which it seemed would also fix the wedgie problem. So I made that change to the pattern and sewed up test version number two. It was better. The front looked perfect and there was no wedgie, but the legs still weren't hanging straight in the back. I added more width to the legs and made test version number three. When Paul told me the backs were hanging straight on that version, I felt like dancing!

I cut the poplin and sewed the good pair. When you make a test garment, you don't do all the finishing details, like cuffs and even pockets, so I was so happy to see this pair of shorts come together. I love how the cuffs finish them off so nicely.

Allegro shorts |

But I can't wear them 😞

When I walk, the legs still feel a little bit too tight and they give me a wedgie when I move. I'm thinking that means I need to do some adjustments to the back crotch curve, but I can't really do that on this pair now that they're finished. I guess I didn't walk around enough in the test version to realize that I hadn't adjusted everything I needed to. Darn! I'm not giving up, though. This pattern is just too cute to abandon and now that I've made the shorts I'm even more interested in making the full length pants at some point. There will be more test versions eventually and I will wear them for an extended period of time to be sure they're comfortable when I move and not only when I'm standing perfectly still. I don't know about you, but I don't stand perfectly still very often, so I need pants that are comfy when I move, too!

These fit issues aren't a problem with the pattern, by the way. It's just a reflection of how every person is shaped differently and patterns can only be drafted to suit one particular shape. If you don't match that shape perfectly, then you will need to make adjustments. This is why trying on clothes in the store can be such an ordeal, since ready-to-wear clothes are also drafted for one particular shape. It also explains why we can sometimes find a brand that fits better than any other brand - it has been drafted for a shape that is closer to how we are actually shaped.

After that disappointment, I moved on to the Melody Dolman blouse. Another thing I've learned since starting to make clothes is that a dolman is a type of shirt where the sleeves are not a separate piece, rather they are part of the front and back pieces. That makes for super simple construction of the shirt. I was a little intimidated by the collar on this one, but I watched the video that was linked in the pattern and I was pleasantly surprised by how easily it came together. I love how professional it makes the shirt look!

Melody Dolman blouse |

I was seriously intimidated by the buttonholes, too. And the worst part about needing to do buttonholes on a blouse is that they are the very last if you mess them up, you've messed up an almost finished project. The automatic buttonhole maker with my Janome (and many other machines, I think) makes creating them a breeze, though I was concerned about getting the position right. I had removed 1 ½" from the length of the blouse (because I'm shorter than the 5'5" the pattern was drafted for), so I couldn't just use the placement guide included with the pattern. No one wants their blouse gaping open, after all! I wouldn't mind adding a 6th button next time, just for a little extra insurance, but it's good with 5.

I do find the shirt hangs pretty much straight down from the bust, so from the side it looks too big. I think that's a fit issue, too, but I'm not sure yet how to fix it. I've mentioned it in the FB group, so hopefully I get some suggestions. I would love to get this pattern to fit just right because I definitely need more shirts that are dressier than a tshirt and this fits the bill.

In the meantime, this one looks cute tied at the front!

Melody Dolman blouse |

Thank you to Riley Blake for sending me this poplin fabric to work with. I had a lot of fun making these garments, even with the fit issues. Learning how to adjust patterns to fit me is a process and I'm having fun learning 😊 

August 12, 2020

Level Up Quilt and Pattern Release

 I have been so looking forward to sharing this quilt and pattern with you today! Meet Level Up 😊 The pattern is now available in my Etsy shop.

Level Up quilt pattern |

These gorgeous, fun fabrics are from Create, Kristy Lea's debut line with Riley Blake, which is available in stores now. I've been following Kristy ever since I discovered quilt blogs, first at her blog Quiet Play, then with Make Modern (that one is an affiliate link - my love for MM is no secret) and Instagram. When she announced her fabric line, I immediately started writing her an email saying I wanted in on a blog hop to promote the fabric...without actually going to the Riley Blake website to see what the fabric looked like first! I just knew that if Kristy designed it, it would be beautiful...and it is! Full disclosure, I did go peek at the fabric before I sent the email, just in case, but I loved it at first sight 😊

Since one of my goals for 2020 is to make more small quilts, I made the baby size of Level Up. The pattern also includes throw and queen size instructions, in case small quilts are not on your list of goals for the year. Everyone likes options, right?

Aren't the geometric, rainbow bees fun? Especially with those hexies floating around them. The bees inspired the loopy meander quilting, which I'm saying resembles the flight path of bees as they meander around from flower to flower. These bees are probably very dizzy, though.

Level Up quilt pattern |
The two stripes Kristy created are fantastic. Both fabrics have the same bright rainbow, with little shapes inside some of the stripes, but one fabric alternates a white stripe with the rainbow colours and the other alternates a navy blue stripe. To me the white one feels fresh and summery and the navy one feels more serious and moody. It's funny what a difference that alternating stripe makes!
Level Up quilt pattern |

The star blocks are made with foundation piecing and the pattern includes tips for getting the stripes going the right way, if you're using stripes like I did. Figuring out how to get everything looking right while foundation piecing took a bit of work, but I'm so glad I did. I love my striped stars! And now you can piece striped stars without having to do all the work to figure it out!

As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun with the quilting 😄 Just look at how it looks on the Confetti Cottons navy background!

free motion quilting in the Level Up quilt |

I used Aurifil thread 50 wt for all of the piecing and quilting. The loopy meander in the background is quilted with white (2024). I used 2024 for the back and forth lines in the white stripe parts of the stars, too, quilting the lines in the same direction as the stripes. Then I used 2785 for the navy striped pieces.

free motion quilting in the Level Up quilt |

I was really on a roll with the back and forth lines, so I did more in the plus blocks, still using 2785. I started out by echo quilting around the yellow center square on the first plus block before I quilted the rest of the plus. Then, halfway through quilting the second plus, I realized I forgot to echo quilt the yellow square, so the quilting went right up to it. There was no way I was going to rip out all that quilting, so I thought 'Design Element!' and then echoed around only half of the yellow squares. I doubt anyone will even notice the difference.

After quilting the pluses, I quilted a square spiral in the yellow centers with Aurifil 1135. All of this is done freehand, so there's not a single line that is perfectly straight, but I love the wobbliness of the lines.

free motion quilting in the Level Up quilt |

I love the texture on the back!

free motion quilting in the Level Up quilt |

The texture is pretty good from the front, too.

Level Up quilt pattern |

Nathan and I took the quilt to the beach for pictures. I wasn't sure how it would go, since white can be so hard to photograph, especially in bright sunlight. The pictures turned out surprisingly well, though. It helps when you have beautiful, Newfoundland scenery as the backdrop 😊

Level Up quilt pattern |
The navy stripe is the perfect binding! I will definitely be stocking up on it...and the white one, too. 
Level Up quilt pattern |

There was a bit of a breeze at the beach, which made getting pictures a little tough. Nathan was a good sport, though.

Level Up quilt pattern |

I send all of my patterns to Yvonne, at Quilting Jetgirl, for technical editing before I release them. She checks the math and cutting directions, checks that all the templates are the right size, etc. This time I sent her a file that was called "Unnamed quilt pattern" because I could not for the life of me think of a name for this one. I told her that if she had any ideas, I was taking suggestions and a little later she sent me a short list of possibilities. Level Up was the first on the list and I knew it was perfect as soon as I read it. Yvonne said the stars and pluses reminded her of new lives and power ups in video games, which was her inspiration for the name. So thank you, Yvonne! Level Up sounds so much better than Unnamed, lol.

Level Up is available in my Etsy shop, as either a PDF or a printed pattern. PDFs are ready for download immediately. Printed patterns are technically a pre-order right now as the pattern file has been sent to the printer  and I'm just waiting for them to get here. I'll ship them out as soon as they arrive, which should be early next week. I offer free shipping on printed patterns, too. 

Level Up quilt pattern |

As I've said before, I'd love it if you'd pin this image to Pinterest, to help other quilters find the Level Up pattern. Every little bit of extra exposure helps 😊 Thank you!

Level Up quilt pattern |

Don't forget to get your copy of Level Up in the print or PDF version 😊

Also, did you know that I'm having a rare sale (50% off!) on a selection of my printed patterns? You can see all the details in this post.

I'll be linking up with NTT, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, TGIFF and Beauties Pageant this week.

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