Thursday, October 8, 2015

Plus Quilt

After 17 years of marriage you'd think my husband would have a million quilts to call his very own.  But sadly, that wasn't the case (unless one super soft, flannel, tied blanket that I made him for one of our very first Valentine's Days) counts?  No?  I didn't think so. 

Well, approximately 47 weeks ago I got the hair-brained idea that 
I would make my husband a Plus Quilt.  He was on board with the design and this selection of fabrics I pulled from my stash.  
I was thinking Navy with a little bit of grey for the color scheme 
(inspired by his alma mater, Brigham Young University).
I threw in a few more shades of blue and some whites/creams to help give it some contrast.  And then I got to work!

Oh, did I mention that my husband has told me several times over the years that he likes quilts with tiny pieces in them?  Fun, huh?  So I went as small as I could bring myself to go and cut my squares 2" and my rectangles 2" x 5". 

If you've never made a Plus Quilt before let me warn you that it's a very slow and tedious process because you have to lay each piece in each row out and then you have to keep it all in order as you move it over to your sewing machine and then repeat it by 100 rows (just kidding it was only 54 in this case).

But I stuck to it and one day I finally finished. 

It's a big quilt, big enough for my 6'2" husband to wrap up in comfortably.

It's backed in navy blue minky so it's super soft (and heavy!)

Cathy Barney in Alpine, UT quilted it for me with one of my new favorite edge-to-edge quilting designs called Marbled Cake by Karlee Porter.

I love it.  And I think he loves it.  And it's done.
Now he has a quilt to call his very own

~ Amber

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Scrap Quilt Challenge + My Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt + A Free Log Cabin Block Pattern

Have you heard about Fabrics N Quilts annual 
Scrap Quilt Challenge?

It's a great opportunity to bust through some of those scraps that I know you all have lying around (wink, wink).  PLUS, you get the chance to win some fabulous prizes!!!  Simply upload a photo of a scrappy quilt (that you finished this year) to the Scrap Quilt Challenge 5 Flickr Page by midnight on October 15th (that's just two more weeks, friends!) and you could win BIG!!! Click HERE for more details!

As one of the featured designers for this challenge,
I wanted to share with you my recently finished Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt!

I started this fun paper piecing project about 7 months ago 
and loved every minute of it!
♥ ♥ ♥
Now, there are lots of ways to make a Log Cabin block but I decided to go the paper piecing route because... 

#1 I love to paper piece
#2 I didn't have to pre-cut or press my strips
#3 Paper piecing ensures perfectly straight, square blocks!

Here are some details about my quilt:

Finished block size = 7"
Finished quilt size = 70" x 84"
Total number of blocks = 120
Total number of pieces = 1,560
Machine quilted by Cathy Barney in Alpine, UT.
Quilting design = Modern Loops

 Would you like this block pattern?
Click HERE for a free download.

+ check out my tutorial for a paper pieced Pineapple Block 
to help you get started!  Click HERE.


Now go on and get scrap busting!

~ Amber

Monday, September 28, 2015

Orange Peel Mini Quilt [Finished]

Happy Monday, friends!  It's been a while, eh?  
I haven't posted here since mid-July which is probably my longest break between posts since I started blogging back in 2008!  This blog has been a great way for me to document my quilting journey and I love being able to look back on all the projects I've made over the years!  I also love being able to share my passion for color, print and design with YOU and hope that you've found (and will continue to find) inspiration!  The other day I noticed that several of my latest quilt finishes are not on here so it's time to fix that.  Plan on seeing more posts from me, okay?

One of my favorite finishes from 2014 was my hand-appliqued, machine quilted Orange Peel Mini Quilt.

I posted about the start of this quilt HERE 
with a Freezer Paper Applique Tutorial HERE
but really want to share the finished product with you!!!

This may have been my first play with low-volume fabrics vs. bright fabrics and I looooved it!  I used bright fabrics (that as stand alone fabrics I didn't really love) but as little applique pieces with lots of saturation - were perfect!  And the low-volume background fabrics were a great compliment to them.  They added lots of interest but still fade into the background next to the bright hues of my orange peels.

The straight line quilting was so enjoyable (yet time consuming) to do!
I just followed the edges of my orange peels and quilted lines 1/4" apart in the low volume "diamond" areas.  I don't quilt my projects myself very often but since it finished at 28" x 28" I figured I could handle it.  I love the way it turned out - which is kind of rare for me.  Often times I have a little regret or two but I ended up loving this project and have it hanging in my entryway.

The pattern for this quilt can be found in the book, 
101 Fabulous Small Quilts by That Patchwork Place.

Thank you for coming back to visit after my long blogging hiatus!
See you again soon!

~ Amber

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Stars Pattern Winner and Other Exciting News

Hello!  Hello!
Just a couple of things today...

First, thank you for all your sweet words about my new pattern, 
Summer Stars!  I'm glad you like it as much as I do.  It was a really fun one to put together.

Melanie, who said, "I love the new pattern!!!! I think it would be perfect 
for my bundle of Happy Home!" won a free copy 
(and Melanie, I just sent you an email).  

For those of you who'd like to purchase a copy, it's now available in paper and PDF forms in my Etsy shop (click HERE). 

Also, if you're following me on Instagram you may have heard about some other exciting news I have to share (you gotta love that up-to-the-minute stuff on IG!  To follow all my quilty happenings there, just search "gigis_thimble").  I was recently published in Martingale's That Patchwork Place 2016 Quilt Calendar!  So I'm a calendar girl, LOL!  I'm miss June (which is perfect because that's my birthday month! :)  

Well, it's not actually's my quilt, Vintage Vibe from my book, 
Vintage Vibe: Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics!  

The calendar is filled with 12 beautiful projects in a variety of different styles.  These are just a few of my favorites!  Ask for it at your local quilt shop or go directly to to order your own copy.

 Calendar photographs by Brent Kane, copyright Martingale Inc.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Stars - A New Quilt Pattern + Giveaway

I'm so excited to finally announce this new pattern!

Summer Stars has been in the works for a little while now but I got a little held up on this new cover design because I have absolutely NO skills in the graphic design department (I know, I need to work on that).  So I finally decided to hire my friend, Chelsea Barney to put my ideas on paper (thanks Chelsea!) and I love how it turned out!  Do you like the digital quilt or do you prefer an actual photo (there's a real photo on the backside)?

So I knew I wanted to make a star quilt but I also really wanted to show that stars don't necessarily have to equate to a patriotic (red, white and blue) quilt.  I love trying to think outside of the box and I hope you do too!  I think this will be so cute in any color scheme and can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

I had been eyeing Tasha Noel's new fabric line with Riley Blake called Vintage Market and thought it would be the perfect happy, bright combination for these summer stars.

All the prints in Vintage Market are so, so cute but one of my favorites is the mint floral that I used for my back.  It's has a vintagy feel and great colors!

Summer Stars was such a fun pattern to make!  Piecing the star centers was my favorite part because I love how color placement makes each one look a little different.  It was fun to play around with that :)

Some of you may notice that I threw in a few other Riley Blake Basics too.  Just this gold gingham and a few polka dots so that I could add a few more brights to the mix. 

It was quilted by one of my favorite long-arm quilters, Kaylene Parry in Lehi, UT.  I use her a lot and she always does a fantastic job!  Do you like the straight-line quilting?  I'm kind of obsessed with it right now.  I like how it never distracts from the quilt pattern or the cute fabrics. 

Summer Stars comes with instructions for three different sizes (lap, twin and queen) and is now available in paper and PDF forms in my Etsy Shop (click HERE).  Let me know what you think in the comments below and I'll choose one of you to receive a free copy!

Happy quilting!
~ Amber

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Project Teen Book Review

When I was at Fall Quilt Market '15 I met Melissa Mortenson, 
the author of Project Teen and new fabric designer with Riley Blake Designs.  
She was there promoting her darling fabric line called Derby Style.  
I had been following Melissa's blog, The Polka Dot Chair for a long time and knew she was awesome.  I mean, come on - the tutorials she shares are genius!  Seriously, she's the kind of girl that makes me say, "how does she do all that?"

Melissa is so sweet.  Right before it was time to leave Market she kindly gave me a copy of Project Teen and I read it cover to cover on the airplane ride home!  It was so great.  It's full of tips for simple applique, favorite tools, how to print on fabric and even how to trouble shoot problems with your machine.  My favorite part about the book is that it offers 21 quick projects that get me out of my [quilting] box!  Like this monogrammed towel:

With Summer in full swing now, I knew I wanted to make towels for each of my kids.  We always have towels lying around, don't you?  For some reason, at our house, they can't quite seem to find their way to the hooks just two feet away :).  The great thing is though, I was able to whip up two towels in just an hour or two.  And, my kids are LOVING the fact that they're monogrammed with their initials!

I let my son and daughter pick out their monogram colors to accent the HUGE, SOFT 6' long towels I bought (thanks Target!) and the accent ribbon used for the hanger and trim.

I know we won't have any trouble now determining who left 
their towel on the floor!

I love the fact that these were fun and quick to make.  I've been stuck on some long-term quilt projects over here so working with ribbon, fusible web and fuzzy terry cloth (and getting it done the same day I started!) was just the breath of fresh air I needed.  

Next-up on my list of must-makes from Project Teen is the Swiss Flag Zipper Pouch.  I get to try my hand at distressing duck cloth - so I'm excited!

So basically, Project Teen = great book with great projects!
(A lot of them would be great to give as gifts too!)

Happy stitching, 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Simple Charm Quilt Tutorial

I don't know if I've ever made a quilt as simple as this!

This quilt is perfect for beginners, 
perfect for using 5" charm squares and 
it ends up making a great throw size quilt!  

And since I've already done all the math
I thought I'd share the details!

Finished quilt size: 58.5" x 67.5"


97 light 5" squares
98 dark 5" squares 


1 7/8 yards of light colored fabric
3 different dark 6" x width of fabric (WOF) strips 
5 different dark 12" x WOF strips


5/8 yard for binding
4 1/4 yards for backing
1 7/8 yards of 90" wide batting


If using yardage, 
- cut 13 light 5" x WOF strips, subcut into 97 light 5" squares.
- cut 13 dark 5" x WOF strips 
(1 from each 6" strip of fabric and 2 from each 1/3 yard of fabric), 
then subcut into 98 dark 5" squares. 

Lay out the squares according to the diagram below, alternating between dark and light squares.  It should be 13 x 15 squares.

Sew the blocks in one row together using a quarter inch seam allowance.
Press the seam allowances in one direction.  Continue sewing each row of blocks together, pressing the seam allowances of each row in opposite directions and then finally, sew all the rows together and press.

Helpful tip: try using numbered pins to help keep your rows in order!  I found mine at a cute little quilt shop in Preston, Idaho called Suppose Create Delight.  They saved me time and sanity!


Trim the selvages from the backing fabric and cut it into two pieces that measure approximately 42” x 76 1/2” each.  With right sides together, sew the pieces together along the long edges to make the backing.

Quilt as desired.  

It seems so simple but I decided to have my long-arm quilter, Cathy Barney, do straight line quilting on this.  I sometimes do straight line quilting myself but this quilt was a little bigger than I was comfortable with (and had time for) so I had her do it.  I LOVE it!  I honestly have never seen straight line quilting that I haven't liked.  It's always stunning and never takes away from a design!  Even though my quilt is so simple and the quilting is so simple I am really happy with how the whole thing turned out.

After it's quilted, bind your quilt with seven 2 1/2" x WOF strips.

And you're done!   Time to cuddle up with it and enjoy!

Most of the fabrics I used were from the line Happy Haunting by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs.  I just fell in love with that line when it arrived in at the fabric store I work at a few weeks ago.  I also threw in the black check from the line Feed Company by Sweetwater for Moda - just to mix things up a little.  I also used a cream shirting fabric (1158 26) from the line Miniature Gatherings for Moda for my light fabric - just to give it an extra vintagy feel!

Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

~ Amber