Monday, April 17, 2017

Baby Beluga Quilt

I'm so excited to share with you a new quilt I finished recently! 

The pattern is from the book Quilts for Kids by Ten Sisters Handicraft.  Carmen Geddes is one of the authors (who happens to live near me) so I have the pleasure of running into her from time to time. She is one of the kindest people I've met and an amazing long arm quilter, pattern designer, teacher, etc.  

This book is full of 16 darling projects for children of all ages.  Each project uses the Ten Sisters Easy Piecing Grids - which are grid panels printed on fusible, lightweight interfacing.  The grids come in 1", 1.5" or 2" squares and in packages of 6, 12 or 20 panels.

I chose the Baby Beluga quilt pattern that uses 6 grid panels (retail price = $26.99) in the 2" finished squares.  I used low volume prints from my stash for the background and lots of blue and aqua prints for the whale and bubbles.  It took a long time to cut out all those squares (about 756 to be exact) but I LOVE how scrappy it is!

The quilt finished at 56" x 56" and was custom quilted by Marion McClellan.  It was my first time using Marion but she is a friend and an amazing quilter.  I knew she would do a good job and she did not disappoint!

I always love "grid-work" and the vertical rows of loops look like bubbles!
I love it!

In case you're wondering about these grids,
I will give you my two cents on them...

It was fun to try them.  It was kind of a different style of quilting and could appeal to people who have a hard time matching up seams or who don't want to pin at intersections.  You won't have to take the time to piece all of those individual squares together or pin but you will have to spend time laying out all the squares in the right places (which I thought was kind of fun) and then ironing the squares to the fusible side of the panels and then clipping the seams at each intersection so the seams will lay flat.  Once you get everything in place you can sew the rows up really quickly!  The cost of the grids adds one more expense to your overall quilt making cost but sometimes it's worth it if it saves you some brain cells, am I right? ;)  Oh, and the interfacing does add a little more weight to the quilt itself, but it's still really soft and I can't even tell it's in there!

I backed this quilt with aqua minky and bound it in a Cotton + Steel gray dot fabric.  It's super soft and snugly!  Also, it's for sale in my Etsy shop if anyone is interested.  It was made with lots of time and love (and favorite fabrics from my stash) and I hope it goes to a good home! 

If nothing else, I hope this post inspires you to try something new - a new technique, a new product, a new color scheme - the sky is the limit!  What is something you want to try or have tried recently that you are excited about?  Please share, I'm dying to know!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Five Fat Quarter Fun - Garden Path

Hello again!  Can you believe it's already April?  
That means it's time for another Five Fat Quarter Fun project!

This month's FREE Five Fat Quarter Fun project is called Garden Path and was designed by my partner in crime Amanda of the blog Jedi Craft Girl.  Be sure to stop by her blog to get the PDF pattern and see more pictures of her beautiful quilt!

Amanda and I both used Cotton + Steel fabrics donated to us by the Fat Quarter Shop!  I love The Fat Quarter Shop.  They were so helpful and they shipped my fabrics super quick without any problems!  Thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our pattern this month!

I've been on a really "traditional" kick lately and I'm loving classic colors that won't go out of style - like blues and neutrals.  Who knew that you could get that feel with Cotton + Steel fabrics?  Usually their fabrics are more modern and whimsical (which I LOVE - don't get me wrong!) but I am really happy with the traditional feel of these fabrics.

I pulled my fabrics from a few different Cotton + Steel collections including their basics, solids, Bluebird, Flower Shop and the S.S. Bluebird collections.

I ordered a few extra fabrics (aside from what The Fat Quarter Shop donated) so that I could have options.    

For the quilting, I chose one of my favorite, go-to patterns - the continuous curve!  Cathy Barney in Alpine, UT quilted it for me and I love how it turned out! 

I love this simple quilt pattern too.  In fact, I love it so much that I wanted to make it bigger!  It's super easy and quick to put together.  But, I decided to stick with just the 5 fat quarters this time.  I don't do this very often, but I'm tempted to make a second Garden Path quilt (just bigger)!!!

Did you notice that my borders and binding are a little different than Amanda's?  

If you're interested in the fabric requirements and alternate border & binding instructions for my version, click HERE. Be sure to stop by Amanda's blog to get the main instructions though, you'll need those too (click HERE).

 We hope you are enjoying these FREE Five Fat Quarter Fun projects!  We are loving the challenge they are giving us to make at least one quilt a month.  Please let us know if you make any of them.  You can tag us on Instagram @jedicraftgirl and @gigis_thimble and be sure to use the hashtags #fivefatquarterfun and #gardenpathquilt.

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

By The Sea Project Tour + Smooth Sailing (A New Pattern)

I've always been a fan of nautical things so when I received an email a few months ago asking if I would like to participate in Dani Mogstad's project tour for her new fabric line, 
By The Sea for Riley Blake Designs, I said, "Definitely!"

The sailboats, anchors and whales mixed with stripes, arrows and text prints are a beautiful combination.  The colors spoke to me too, with subdued blues, greens and a touch of red!

For my project I decided to do something I've never done before and that is to make a sailboat quilt!
There are many sailboat quilts around but I couldn't help but design one with some simple striped sails.  These blocks are very easy and quick to put together.  It's a great pattern for beginners!

It's called Smooth Sailing and it finishes at 55 1/2" x 70 1/2".

Cathy Barney in Alpine, UT quilted the wavy lines for me.  She always does a great job!  And I guess I really like the pattern she did because I've used it several times now.

And my favorite...striped binding.  I love the stripes in this line!  They come in blue, green and red.

I had so much fun working with By The Sea and appreciate the opportunity 
to be a part of Dani's project tour.  

I hope you like my pattern!  
If you would like to purchase a copy of Smooth Sailing or any of my other patterns
click HERE to visit my Etsy shop.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Five Fat Quarter Fun - All Stacked Up

Hey there!  Amanda and I are excited to share another 
FREE Five Fat Quarter Fun pattern with you today!

We chose to design a pattern this month that showcases large and/or directional prints.  I have lots of those kinds of fabrics in my stash but can never find the right project for them because a.) I don't want to cut them up so small that you can't see the cute motifs and b). I don't want crooked/upside down ice-cream cones (or whatever the motif may be)!

Thus, our new pattern - All Stacked Up.

There's no funny business here.  Just super simple blocks that let your darling fabrics do all the talking!

In my version, I got to work with Blend's new fabric line called Flutter and Float by Ana Davis.  I love the hot air balloons and cute little houses.

Be sure to stop by Amanda's Blog, Jedi Craft Girl to read more about her version!

I love her soft colors and no border!

This pattern whips up really quick and finishes at 62 1/2" x 70 1/2".

If you'd like to download this FREE pattern, click HERE for the PDF.

I'm having so much fun designing and making these 5 Fat Quarter Fun Quilts with Amanda.  It's a challenge to make a quilt a month but I love using my stash and making patterns that I wouldn't otherwise make.  If you'd like a little challenge too, come sew along with us!  All the 5 Fat Quarter Fun Quilt patterns can be found HERE.  If you post on Instagram be sure to tag us @gigis_thimble and @jedicraftgirl and don't forget to use the hashtags #fivefatquarterfun and #thenameofthequilt (e.g. #allstackedupquilt).

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Five Fat Quarter Fun - Chains of Love

Is anyone else thinking of that song by Erasure called Chains of Love?
I loved that song when I was a teen!  And I love this pattern that my friend Amanda of the blog Jedi Craft Girl designed for our Five Fat Quarter Fun series!

This FREE pattern is a fun make for this month - or anytime of year!
You just need 2 red fat quarters, 3 pink fat quarters and 
2 yards of background fabric to finish the top!

Above, is a picture of Amanda's version.  Isn't it beautiful?  I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little bit jealous that she lives in beautiful southern California where there are still flowers to be seen!  We've got nothing but snow here in Utah (which is still pretty but some warm weather sounds really nice right now!)

Here's my version of Chains of Love:

These blocks are super easy and fun to make!

The quilt finishes at 51" x 51" - the perfect lap size quilt.  I've been snuggling with it the last few days whenever I feel cold and it has me feeling super festive for February!

If you're following me on Instagram you may have saw my post last week about me getting ready to machine quilt this thing myself.  And then, guess what!?!  I chickened out!!!  I haven't done much free motion quilting before and didn't have time to perfect my skills and get it done in time so I decided to make one last ditch effort to find a quilter that could do a super quick turnaround.  My friend and neighbor Melinda Raven just happened to be available!  I dropped the quilt off to her on Saturday and she got it back to me a few hours later.  I couldn't believe it!  I love the sweet floral/heart design she did.  It's not quite as dense as I usually do and I like how soft it keeps the quilt feeling! 

I used all Bonnie and Camille fabrics (all of which were from their recent fabric line Handmade except for the red fabric with the small flowers on it.  I think that one was from the fabric line Vintage Picnic.)

Be sure to stop by Amanda's blog HERE to see more photos of her fabulous quilt and get the FREE PDF pattern!  

We are having fun (and quilting like crazy! :) to bring you one of these FREE patterns each and every month!  Are you sewing along with us?  We hope you'll join us in making all the Five Fat Quarter Fun projects!  It's a great way to use up your stash and make a small quilt each month!  Be sure to tag us on Instagram if you're sewing along with us!  Amanda is @jedicraftgirl and I'm Amber @gigis_thimble.  Don't forget to use the hashtag #fivefatquarterfun.

Have a great day!
~ Amber

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Brambleberry Ridge Quilt

Good morning!

I'm just popping in for a quick minute to show you a finished project that was in the works for about two and a half years!  Man, how time flies! 

Many moons ago, I won a giveaway on Instagram from Sam (@paeoniasfz).  She sent me a bundle of 16 Michael Miller Brambleberry Ridge (by Violet Craft) fat eighths.  They were darling and I was thrilled.  It's not every day that I win a giveaway!

I worked on these little 8" finished stars a little here and a little there over the years (can't believe I'm saying that!) and finally, a few days before the end of 2016, I got some motivation to finish the quilt top!  I just finished the binding last night and couldn't wait to show you guys!

These soft colors have my heart.  I was a little worried about adding the 8" white filler blocks in-between the star blocks.  I thought it might be too much white/blank space but I actually love the simplicity of it!  Do you like "white" space?  I think it's a great place to show off some quilting.  Speaking of which, the simple floral/leaf quilting was done by my friend Cathy Barney.  She did a great job, as always!

 I wanted to use as much fabric as I could from those cute fat eighths so I made a scrappy binding.  I love scrappy bindings, don't you?  I think they work especially well when the quilt top isn't too busy.  The gold polka dot backing fabric is also from Michael Miller.  I got it recently and was excited that it was such a perfect match!

Well, that's it for now.  I'm off to run a couple errands and then sew for a few hours (at a friend's house) on February's Five Fat Quarter Fun project.  It's going to be really cute.  Can't wait to show you come February 1st!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Friday, January 13, 2017

Five Fat Quarter Fun Presents: Cabin Fever

Hi there!

It's time for round 2 of Five Fat Quarter Fun!

Amanda (@jedicraftgirl) and I are having so much fun creating projects that use just 5 fat quarters (plus maybe a little yardage).  These patterns are free, quick and lots of fun to make!  We hope to keep this up for a whole year and we have some exciting things planned so we hope you'll stay tuned!

This month...

This lap size quilt was inspired by simple snowflakes so I chose 5 wintry fat quarters that I had in my stash.  Of course, these blocks are generic enough for any color/themed fabrics so go ahead and do your fabric pull!

When it came to finishing this quilt, I found the deer silhouette fabric in my stash but I only had a yard - which was not enough!  But you know when you find something you just fall in love with - you just have to have it!  Unfortunately, I was on a super tight deadline so I could get this pattern to you this month, so I didn't have time to search around and/or order it online.  But I decided to try just one local quilt shop (that I knew carried some Art Gallery fabrics) to see if they just might have it.  And guess what!  They had exactly the amount I needed so I took it all!  It was perfect!

Then, a few days later I had a similar experience with the binding fabric!  I had enough of the grey/black dot fabric in my stash to bind it with but my heart was really set on using the red plaid.  Again, I didn't really have time to search around for it and I knew it had been in quilt shops for a several months so my chances of finding it were slim but I decided that I would try just one quilt shop (a differrent one, that I knew carried a lot of Moda fabrics).  I walked into the shop, the woman working there asked me if I was looking for anything particular, I described the plaid, she walked right over to it and I about died!  I couldn't believe my luck!

Cathy Barney quilted it for me using a pattern called "Even Simpler Cable" by Legacy Quilting.  It matches the light red fabric really well and I loved the knit sweater vibe it gave so it was a no-brainer choice for quilting!

This winter has been mild for us (which is weird because we're right at the base of these mountains here in Utah) but I felt like it was fitting to bind and photograph this quilt on this beautiful, snowy day.  I love the snow!

 If you'd like to get this FREE pattern, click HERE.  

Be sure to stop by Amanda's blog, Jedi Craft Girl, to read all about her neutral farmhouse version of Cabin Fever.  It's darling and her living room & dining room are too!!!

And if you're on Instagram be sure to tag Amanda and I at @jedicraftgirl and @gigis_thimble.  We'd love to see your versions of any of our Five Fat Quarter Fun projects!  Be sure to use the hashtag #fivefatquarterfun.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Happy quilting!
~ Amber