Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Spring on Bleeker Street ~ Freebie

Good Day quilting buddies!  Today I want to share another free pattern and quilt along with you.  This one is called Spring on Bleeker Street.  Designed by  Wendy Sheppard.  Click here to get all the details on the sew along and download the free pattern on her blog Ivory Spring.  

As soon as I saw this quilt I thought how cute it would look hanging in my Studio.    It has a little of everything, piecing, embroidery and applique.  For those of you that are looking to expand your quilting knowledge this year and get out of your comfort zone this would be the perfect project.  Wendy will be sharing tips and tricks along the way.  I've been following Wendy's blog for years after seeing her quilt patterns in several quilting magazines.  This is when and where I learned to do fusible applique that actually turns out beautifully.  You can find her tutorials for fusible applique on the right hand side of her blog along with several other tutorials, just scroll down past the many FREE patterns. (over 100 free patterns! Squeal!  Jackpot!)    

And if you would like to see the whole Spring on Bleeker Street quilt finished with some awesome up close eye candy click here.  I hope to see some of you joining in this free sew along.  See you there!

~ Lea Anne ~

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Scrappy Makes me Happy

Happy Monday quilting buds!  There's been a lot of design wall action going on in Podunk this past weekend. 

The Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt "En Provence" has taken over the studio.  If your interested in making one you can find all the FREE quilt clues by clicking here.  Bonnie also has a Facebook page that anyone can join and post pictures of their quilts.  Not just the mystery quilt but any quilt.  Its a fun group with a lot of amazing quilting inspiration.  You can find the Facebook Quiltville Open Studio by clicking here.  Of course you need a Facebook account to join this group.  I highly recommend joining.

En Provence has been quite the new adventure for me.  It's my first and probably my last mystery.  Oh I'll still save the clues to new quilt mysteries I find on the internet, but I'll wait for the reveal before making the first fabric cut.  I found this to fun but stressful.  Bonnie is a wonderful designer so the issue isn't with her pattern but more with me and how I like to quilt.  I need to see the quilt in order to choose fabrics.  That's pretty obvious by the looks of my quilt.

 I'm not saying I don't love this quilt because I do.  Scrappy makes me happy! Below is the first block I've stitched together.  Only 15 more to go!  Should you make this quilt I suggest you press all seams open, I did not.  There's a lot of bulky seams if you follow the pressing instructions in the pattern.  Quilting it is going to be the next big challenge.  But that's what this quilt was all about for me, getting out of my comfort zone.  The best way to handle bulky seams is to avoid quilting over them.  So I'm already playing around with a few quilting designs.  

The quilt is huge 87 x 87 but I'm considering adding to the border.  Below shows the border as written in the pattern.  I may add a thin strip of border followed by more more round of 4 patches....we'll see.

My design wall is completely full and I've still not laid out the top and left border.  Can you see the one lonely pieced block near the middle?  As the block and rows go together it'll make more room for the last two borders to be added to the design wall.   Standing back and looking at a quilt helps you to see the real quilt.  Taking a picture does an even better job.  The yellow in the white circle may need to be replace.  What do you think?  I can also see I've clustered light yellows and dark yellows together.  The picture also shows that even though my blues didn't work out as well as would have liked they still show a flow in the pattern.  Well I wanted a challenge, and I got it....geesh!

While I seem to be complaining a lot about this quilt.  The journey has been interesting.  Getting out of my comfort zone is always a learning experience.  That's what I want to do, GROW as a quilter.  Maybe I will do the next Bonnie mystery quilt at the end of this year just to see what I've learned from this one.  The year is still young and there's plenty of time for more learning before the next one is started.  

~ Lea Anne ~

For those of you that have been following me for a long time the next section of this post is for you.  It's an update on my Mom.  As you know I've spent the last several years helping and taking care of both my parents during their health issues.  Mainly Mom.  Mom's fight with cancer ended last Saturday January 7th.  She died at home, with me and dad.  There were several family members who also helped us along the way. I can't thank them enough for their help and support. I also want to thank each and everyone of you for your support and prayers.  Mom often told the doctors the reason she was able to fight the hard fight was due to all of my bloggers from around the world praying for her.
If you would like to read her obituary click the link below.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

FYI - Another Free BOM

Oh  my goodness friends I've another great Free BOM to share with you today.  I'm a longtime fan of Esther Aliu's quilt patterns.  They're always stunning.  So when she posted her new BOM my heart started pounding.  Take a look at this years FREE BOM called Diamond Hill.  To find out more information and download the first months clue head on over to Esthers Blog.  Don't wait to long it's only free for a limited time.

And you really should take a look at her Facebook page where you'll find a short video of a few different color ways....OMG!...Stunning!

I can't wait to start digging through my stash and making a plan for this fabulous freebie quilt pattern.  So, who's as excited as I am about Diamond Hill?  Hope to see a few of you sharing your progress over the next few months.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

My multi template tool - DIY

Hello quilty friends!  So glad you stopped by Podunk for a visit.  Grab a cuppa whatever and pull up a chair while I show you what I've been up to the last few weeks.   I've been participating in the Bonnie Hunter Enprovence Mystery quilt.  With each clue given I found a need to square up the units.  So the tool you see below slowly evolved.  I've shared in the past how to make your own rotary cutting tools from sheets of Acrylic(or as I like to call it Plexi-glass).  It can be purchased at your local home improvement store. (I wait until it's on sale as it can be quite pricey)  Just make sure you get the kind that can be scored with a razor knife and snapped into shape.  TIP:  score your lines on the template with your razor knife and use a fine tip sharpie to fill in those lines, the black markings will last almost forever.  The red arrow below shows a score mark before using the sharpie to fill it in.  

The first clue in the mystery was the red Tri Recs units, I used the tri recs tool, later came the blue ones. Sewing with a scant quarter inch so so there would be a little wiggle room for squaring up the unit.  Then I needed a quick way to square them up, so the 3.5" template was made and I drew a line 1/4" away from the top of the template.  

And then came the oodles of 4 patches.  Might as well keep sewing with the scant 1/4 inch.  The four patch lines were added to the template.

I was so glad when I realized that all the units were going to be 3.5, I could just keep on adding lines to my template.  Again I followed Bonnie's directions for making the HST's, but my handy DIY tool made squaring up the HST's a breeze!  

The Quarter square triangle(QST's) can be made in several ways.  But I wanted to work with the strips and scraps, so I had to do it the way Bonnie suggested.  No time for shopping, and I didn't want to order another ruler that I may only use once.  So I had to pull out my thinking cap.  And after a epiphany I started cutting for the many QST's.

So how did I do it?  I used my EQ7 program to draw a 3.5 " QST, then printed the template, cut it out and taped it to my 3.5" square.  I scored my line and TADA!

Here's the shape on the template.

And here it is in action, ready to be cut.  How's that for thrifty?!  Whoohoo!

Still stitching together using the scant quarter inch so I can trim to perfection.

And the last unit in the quilt was the yellow 3.5" patches.

I used the one DIY template to square up every unit in this quilt.  So after making all my units and using a couple other rulers I started thinking, is there a way to make the triangle in a square block with the Tri Recs tool?  I'm sure you could use the DIY Plexi glass method if you had the paper templates for your pattern.  The little notch at the top might give you some trouble.  So anyone gonna give it a try?

Well all my units are complete and I'm ready to start placing them on the design wall.  See you in a couple days with a sneak peak!

~ Lea Anne ~
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