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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Five Fat Quarter Fun {Fresh Eggs}

Hello!  Today I have a free quilt pattern for ya!

This pattern was a done in collaboration with my cute friend, Amanda, aka Jedi Craft Girl.  We first met in Salt Lake City at Spring Quilt Market 2016.  I thought she was just the sweetest, cutest gal ever and wished we lived closer so we could hang out more!  When I noticed from Instagram that we were both in St. George, Utah for the Thanksgiving holiday we decided to meet up!  She had my little family over for pie (so sweet) and then we made time for a little fabric retail therapy the next day.

[Amanda and Amber @ Quilted Works in St. George, Utah]

I can't take a whole lot of credit for this 5 Fat Quarter Fun project.  Amanda wanted to do a project using just 5 fat quarters so we picked out some fabrics together while we were in St. George.  Then she came up with the design and wrote the pattern.  I looked it over but was mostly just there for the ride!

I love these big 15" blocks and the happy colors!

 And I just so happened to have had this vintage fabric in my stash that was my grandmothers!  It's a little hard to tell but the fat quarters we used have eggs, chicken wire and milk jugs on them so I just HAD to use this fabric for the back!

I think this size quilt would make a great little baby quilt or wall hanging.  And it whips up really quick!  If you'd like the FREE pattern, head on over to Amanda's blog (click HERE).  We're hoping to do some more of these little 5 Fat Quarter Fun projects in the near future.  Maybe next time it'll be my turn to design!  

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Amber

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pineapple Quilt [Finished]

I just realized that I never showed you my Pineapple quilt!  It's probably my most favorite "make" to date and (if I'm allowed to say this) the one I'm most proud of - only because it took about 100 hours to make so it was a really involved, time consuming project and I love the way it turned out.  I can't believe I haven't posted about it yet...sheesh!  :)

So, let's go back to how it all began...
One day, I was looking around on Pinterest trying to find a good pineapple quilt pattern to work on at a quilt retreat I was about to go to.  When what to my wondering eyes did appear, but the most beautiful pineapple quilt I ever did see.  I tried to contact the maker and get the information so that I could make the pattern too.  All she told me is that it was a pineapple block.  But I needed more.  I needed this quilt.  I needed the pattern!  I just HAD to make this quilt.  Exactly like it.  100%. 

Photo cred: MerryMary10/Flickr

I'm attaching the picture (and the link) that inspired me.  Because in no way, shape or form, am I trying to take credit for this quilt.  Also, I have to preface all of this by saying that I think the original quilt (above) is far better than mine.  I just love it so much.  I hope (I think) this is where the adage comes into play, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".  

 So, I set out to find a pineapple block that was extra large and where all the slices continued out evenly into the corners.  That was a lot harder to find than you would think.  In fact, I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I designed my own.  Each block took me about an hour to paper piece.  And I loved every minute of it!  Do you like to paper piece?  My tutorial for paper piecing these exact blocks is HERE if you'd like to try it!     

I eventually decided to sell these paper patterns in my shop because I thought others might want them too.  They finish at 12-3/8" x 12-3/8" - so they're quite large and make a big impact.  You can purchase the set of 36 papers HERE.

After I got the blocks made, I began working on the outer borders.  I got two sides finished before I realized that the white background I had used was the wrong color!!!  Does stuff like that ever happen to you?  Well, that really set me back.  I had to put the project away and regroup.  Finally, I pulled it back out, gave those two borders to a creative friend (who I knew could come up with some fantastic way of how to use them) and started over.  I just didn't want to have any regrets, ya know?

Finished quilt measures approximately 90" x 90".

I finally finished in time to show it at a retreat I was teaching and presenting at last February.  And I have to admit, I had a little help at the last minute.  I was trying so hard to get all the applique done in time and came to find out that each side was taking me about 10 hours to do.  The thought of doing 40 hours worth of applique in a span of a week had me totally overwhelmed.  So, my sweet friend Aniva came to the rescue.  She appliqued one side of the border so I could get it to my quilter quicker.  What a great friend, huh?!?

Melissa Kelley (@sewshabbyquilting) quilted it for me within a week with some of the most amazing hand-guided long-arm quilting I have seen.  Seriously, breathtaking.  Here are some closeup shots of the quilting...

The back: 

For the life of me I can't remember who the designer is of that fabric.  Anyone know?  I thought the colors were perfect for this quilt and the then the birds just put me over the edge!  I had to get it!

I think sometimes you learn life lessons from creative endeavors, don't you?  I started this quilt in February 2014 and finished it two years later.  Almost one year later, I blogged about it.  So here's what I learned: I never claimed to be 100% on the ball and sometimes set backs come our way.  But if we keep plugging away at things (life) and give it our best and surround ourselves with good friends and family that lift us up, things always have a way of working themselves out.

Well, thanks for letting me share this journey with you. 
Have a great weekend!
~ Amber

Friday, December 2, 2016

Penny Tiles Quilt [Finished]

Do you know the blog, Messy Jesse?
Well I have been a big fan of the author, Jessie Finchman, for a long time.  I've been following her blog forever and her Instagram account for ages.  One day I was just scrolling through Instagram, minding my own business, when I saw a picture of the most amazing quilt.  It stopped me dead in my tracks and I sat there studying that quilt (called Penny Tiles) for a while trying to figure out how she did that!?!  Then, a short while later I get a message from Jessie asking if I'd be willing to test the pattern out for her.  So of course, I was like, yeah (duh :).
And here we are.  Almost a year later.

I picked some of my favorite colors/fabrics and just had fun with it.  Jessie might have thought that I would only make a block or two but I loved the pattern so much I knew I wanted to make the whole thing!

They're really fun blocks to make and I love the secondary pattern 
of the white stars in the corners of the blocks.

As I was making the blocks, I had to trim off lots of little triangles 
so I decided to hang onto those to use for another "side project" later.

Thus, my little Pinwheel quilt.

 It was perfect because I had enough trimmings from each block to make 4 matching pinwheels of the main bright fabric and 2 matching pinwheels of the second bright fabric!  I just sewed a bright and a white triangle together to make a half-square triangle, squared them all up to 2.25" and then made pinwheels.  I alternated the pinwheels with white squares of the same size and made this really simple quilt!  The blocks finished at 3.5" and the whole quilt finished at 45.5" x 60".

These were both quilted by Cathy Barney in Alpine, Utah.  I used two of my go-to patterns, the interlocking orange peel on the Penny Tiles quilt and wavy lines on the Pinwheel quilt.  Cathy always does a fantastic job!

These will be going to a good friend for Christmas.  I hope she likes them!

Are you busy making handmade gifts for Christmas?  They're the best kind!

Have a great weekend!

~ Amber

Monday, November 7, 2016

Quilty Farmhouse Ornament Tutorial

For the last couple of years I have been thinking about changing up our Christmas tree decor.  We've had the same red, gold and white star-themed tree for the past 17 years and I am ready for a change!  I actually can't believe it's been that long!  So this year I decided to take the plunge and give our tree the little makeover it deserves.  It was all inspired by this darling wrapping paper I found on a late night grocery run.  I bought a few other ornaments, as well, and figured I'd try to re-use some of the other things I have.

Some of my favorite ornaments from our last tree were these red and white star ornaments.  I bought them many years ago and always really liked them.  They kind of suit me, don't you think?

But this year I want to use neutral colors so I remade them using some Essex Linen and solid cream fabric I had in my stash.  Also, it looks like the edges of the red were appliqued on and if you're a quilter, you know there's no need for applique here!  So today I have a tutorial on how to make similar ornaments (with no applique, these are traditionally pieced! :)

yield: 1 ornament
2" x 14" cream strip of fabric
2-1/2" x 42" tan strip of fabric
5-1/4" x 5-1/4" square of batting
10" silk cording (1/8" diameter)

Note: RST = right sides together

(1) 1-3/4" x 1-3/4" cream square
(8) 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" cream squares 
(2) 2" x 2" tan squares (cut in half once on the diagonal)
(4) 1-3/8" x 2-1/4" tan rectangles
(4) 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" tan squares
(2) 1-1/4" x 4" tan rectangles
(2) 1-1/4" x 5-1/2" tan rectangles

 1. Fold the 1-3/4" x 1-3/4" cream square in half both directions to mark the center of each side.  Fold the tan triangles in half to mark the center of the long sides.

2. With RST, line up the center mark of a triangle with the center mark on the square.  Sew together.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Press the seam allowances toward the triangles.  Trim excess.  Repeat on the remaining two sides of the square.  Trim the block to 2-1/4" x 2-1/4".  (This should leave 1/4" between the points of the cream square and the raw edge of the block.  See photo below.)  Set center block aside.

 3. Place a 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" cream square on the left end of a 1-3/8" x 2-1/4" tan rectangle with RST. Sew on the square diagonally, as shown below.  Trim 1/4" from the stitching line.  Press the seam allowance toward the triangle.  Repeat on the other end of the rectangle.  Make 4 Flying Geese units.

4. Sew a Flying Geese unit onto opposite sides of the center block.  Press the seam allowances open.

5. Sew a 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" tan square onto each end of the remaining 2 Flying Geese units.  Press the seam allowances toward the squares.

6.  Sew the units from step 5 onto the block.  Press the seam allowances open.

7.   Sew a 1-1/4" x 4" tan rectangle onto opposite sides of the star block.  Press the seam allowances toward the rectangles.  Sew a 1-1/4" x 5-1/2" tan rectangle to each of the other two sides of the block.  Press the seam allowances toward the rectangles.

8.  Place the 10" silk cording on top of the block as shown below (about 1/4" outside each seam on the border).  Stitch ends in place. 

9.  Place the 5-1/2" x 5 1/2" tan square right side up on a table.  Then place the star block on top of the tan square, right side down (make sure the stitches that secured down the cording are at the top edge). Then center the 5-1/4" x 5-1/4" batting on top of the block. Pin the 3 pieces together.  Sew around the pieces leaving a small opening at the bottom.

10.  Clip the corners to reduce bulk.  Turn the ornament right side out.  Use a dull instrument to poke out the corners.  Press the edges.  Stitch the opening shut with coordinating thread.

I can't wait to put up our Christmas tree this year to see my Farmhouse Christmas tree vision come together!  Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you enjoy this tutorial.  Please tag me on Instagram @gigis_thimble if you make some of these Quilty Farmhouse Ornaments!  
I'd love to see them in your home!

~ Amber