Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Halloween Fans Quilt Along - Week 4 is in the books!

They always say Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!  

The past four weeks of the Halloween Fans Quilt Along have flown by!

Video tutorial and download tips & tricks for Week #4 were sent out on Tuesday and we just have ONE MORE WEEK remaining. 

And this is my favorite week - quilting and binding - putting those finishing touches on a project well done and feeling the accomplishment of learning, making and creating.  

If you want to join along, there is still time.  

Sign Up Right Here, Right Now 


Enrollment ends Tuesday August 3rd, so don't want too long.  Even if you aren't quite ready to start on the quilt, you will want to sign up to receive the links to the free video instruction. 

Wrapping up Week 4, here is where we are at - 


One Block pillow top has sashing and cornerstones added. 

Three Block bed runner has pieced and straight borders added 

Nine Block quilt is sashed with borders added.

All three projects are ready for quilting! 


Still on the fence about joining, I'll link you back to the original post with all the details. 

The most frequently asked question is - Do I have to buy the pattern?

No, you don't have to buy the pattern.  (I can't imagine why you would want to - but maybe I'm biased!

The video instruction and downloadable tips & technique worksheets are completely free.  If you want to make the actual quilt, then you will need to purchase the pattern for the cutting instructions and applique templates. 

Speaking of patterns, here are the links if you do want to purchase. 

Print Pattern - Halloween Fans

PDF Digital Download Pattern - Halloween Fans




I hope you will join me!  I'd love to have you make this quilt too. 


Sign Up Before It's Too Late!  

Monday, July 26, 2021

5 Patch Chain Block Challenge - The Reveal

Oh my Goodness!

This month's challenge has taken on a life of it's own and I'm so excited (maybe relieved is a better word)  just to make it to the reveal stage today.   

So - I started the challenge at the beginning of the month (seems like the beginning of the year!) unsure about my colorway - traditional Christmas or contemporary Christmas - voting was so close that I decided to do both ....  What was I thinking?   I know, I was thinking I would make everyone happy, like I always do.  If you need a refresher on the fabric pull, here is the blog post that started it all. 

Well after a couple of sneak peeks (here are the links to Sneak Peek #1 and Sneak Peek #2), we are now at reveal time and I have completed and custom quilted the contemporary Christmas version of my 5 Patch Chain Block Challenge quilt!

Ta Da .... cue the drum roll.


And for those of you who are looking super close, no the binding is not on the quilt yet...  I literally just cut it out of the quilting frame. 

And no, the quilt doesn't have a name..... 

And no, I don't have the pattern written yet..... 

And no, I'm still not happy with the Traditional Christmas version so I'm not showing it to you yet...  

But this version is finished!  (Insert alleluia chorus!)

Here's another photo - it's the best I could do since all my quilt holding people are at work right now.  I will try to get some more photos tonight when the binding is on and I have human helpers.  Ruby, the Corgi, is great at laying on quilts but not holding them! 


There is a lot of texture in the quilting, which I love.  I will write another blog post just about the quilting later this week. 


I can't wait to see everyone's reveals today. Be sure to follow each of the designers so you don't miss their posts during this fun challenge. 

@katecollerandesigns

@swanamity

@ttquilts

@quiterstreasurechest

@southwind_quilts

@patchworkbreeze

@megschoicepatterns

@masterpiecequilting

An easy way to find the posts is using the following hashtags.  Just type them into the search box and the posts will show up. 


#fivepatchchainblockchallene

#fivepatchchainquiltblock

#morethanjustablockchallenge

#designerblockchallenge

#julyblockchallenge

#julydesignerblockchallenge

#quilt

#quilts

#quiltdesigner

#quiltblock

#quiltblocks


If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

5 Patch Chain Block Challenge - Sneak Peek #2

I'm running a bit behind schedule today so this post will be brief and I'll add more to it later today or tomorrow. 

Here is Sneak Peek #2 of my 5 Patch Chain Block Challenge   We have a finished block! 


Last week as part of Sneak Peek #1, I shared the center of the block - which was a 5 patch chain block itself.   You can catch all the details in this blog post


I've taken that 5 patch chain block and used it as the center block of my completed 5 patch chain block.  So realistically, I've created a 9 patch chain block, if there is such as thing.  :) 

To add some visual interest, I've changed the size of the chain patches with the outer patch being larger with it's own frame.  And I added a fun stripe along the sides of the block too!  Trust me these stripes have a place when all the blocks come together in the finished quilt! 

So, here is the reason why I'm behind schedule and why you are only seeing the Contemporary Christmas colorway.   The traditional Christmas colorway isn't popping quite the way I want it to .. which means I'll be having a date with my seam ripper later this afternoon or this evening.  It happens, it's all part of the design process.  Normally, I work out all the kinks behind the scenes and no one knows it - but with these monthly block challenges, you are seeing everything in real time.  

Next week I'll be revealing the quilt layout so stay tuned for that next Monday July 26th. (Now might be a great time for you to follow me on Facebook or Instagram if you don't already, so you don't miss next weeks post.) 

I can't wait to see everyone's sneak peeks today. Be sure to follow each of the designers so you don't miss their posts during this fun challenge. 

@katecollerandesigns

@swanamity

@ttquilts

@quiterstreasurechest

@southwind_quilts

@patchworkbreeze

@megschoicepatterns

@masterpiecequilting

An easy way to find the posts is using the following hashtags.  Just type them into the search box and the posts will show up. 


#fivepatchchainblockchallene

#fivepatchchainquiltblock

#morethanjustablockchallenge

#designerblockchallenge

#julyblockchallenge

#julydesignerblockchallenge

#quilt

#quilts

#quiltdesigner

#quiltblock

#quiltblocks


If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Little Red Barn Quilt in Autumn 2021 issue of Quilter's World Magazine

I'm excited to share my Little Red Barn quilt which is published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Quilter's World magazine.  When I read the submission call and it included "buildings" I immediately thought a barn is a building!  Why not design a barn? 

If you aren't a subscriber to Quilter's World Magazine, be sure to pick up your copy of the magazine on a news stand or you can purchase using this direct link.

Little Red Barn is a combination of patchwork and paper-piecing and is perfect for using up scrap fabrics, especially when making the individual barn quilt blocks that decorate the front of each barn. I used stash fabrics when making the sample quilt as well as Lite Steam A Seam 2 fusible web with paper release and Soft & Bright batting from The Warm Company.  



I grew up on a farm where we raised livestock, so the barn was my happy place.  Some days I spent more time in the barn than the house when I was a kid, so it was only logical for me to pay homage to my favorite building with this quilt.  

The local AM radio station (which we had playing in the barn since it was the only station that would come in!) made popular the song "In a Little Red Barn on a Farm down in Indiana".  I thought that was the perfect title for this quilt.  

I designed the barns on the quilt in the style of Midwestern barns with a traditional white "X" on the barn doors.  While our barn didn't have a barn quilt on it, I couldn't resist adding them to the barns in the quilt. 

If you make your own version of Little Red Barn,  I'd love to see it!  Be sure to tag me #masterpiecequilting when you share on social media.  And be sure to tag #quiltersworldmagazine too. 




Pick up your copy of the Autumn 2021 issue of Quilter's World magazine here and get started today.  Be sure to check out all 17 amazing designs in the magazine.  There are several I can't wait to make.  

If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me. 


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

July's Block - Old School Block of the Month

On the 12th of each month, the tutorial for the Old School Block of the Month is released.  This month the block is called Summer Loving!    


The designer for the month is Kim Niedzwiecki of GoGoKim.com
If you have ever met Kim, you will understand why she is known as GoGo Kim :) 

Here is the link to Kim's Block tutorial for July. 

Kim is giving us a fussy cut option this month and ya know, I had to do that since I found the perfect fussy cut fabric in my stash earlier this month.  Read more about my fabric challenges in this blog post.  Yes, I'm one of those matchy-matchy quilters!  Don't judge!  :) 

Anyway, I'm keeping with my now revised colorway based on the focal fabric and by repeating the pink and blue fabrics this block still works with the blocks I made earlier.  


The fussy cut flowers bring so much depth to the block and create an optical illusion with the color placement. 
This was a fun block to make.  If you haven't tried fussy cutting before, check out my blog post with my Top 5 Tips for Fussy Cutting. 

If you are finding this blog post for the first time and want to join the Old School Block of the Month, we would love to have you!   

If you would like to join it, you can find the Facebook group here



If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me. 

Nancy's Top 5 Tips for Fussy Cutting Fabric

Who doesn't love a good fussy cut?  That single centered motif precisely cut and pieced so perfectly into your project.   



It looks easy enough but then you try it and discover it isn't quite as easy as you think!  Is it worth the extra work? 

Yes, fussy cutting is extra work.  

Yes, fussy cutting takes more fabric. 

But it gives a look you can't achieve in any other way! 

Fussy cutting elevates your work.  It takes the boring and turns it into something spectacular.  It gives your project an artistic flair.  

If you have never tried fussy cutting fabric before, give a try.  It's like eating a new vegetable as a child - try it.  You might like it or if you don't, you can honestly say that you have tried it :) 

For both seasoned and novice fussy cutters, I've pulled together my Top 5 Tips for Fussy Cutting Fabric.

1. If you are purchasing a fabric that you know you are going to fussy cut, buy extra.  

If there is a specific motif in a print that is calling your name, then purchase enough yardage so you can get the desired number of motifs from the yardage you are purchasing.  If necessary, count the motifs while the sales staff is unrolling the bolt.  If purchasing online, leave a comment with your order or reach out in advance to the retailer with your request.  As a shop owner on Etsy, I'd rather have the conversation in advance with a customer than have disappointment after the fabric is cut and shipped. 

2. Press thoroughly, starch and then cut.  If you are fussy cutting straight from the yardage - lightly starch and cut out the motifs.  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cut a precise cut from soft limp fabric. 

Many times achieving that perfect fussy cut will result in edges that are cut on the bias and the starch will help keep those edges from stretching. 

The piece on the right has been pressed and starched and is much easy to work with than the pieces on the left with bolt folds still in them. 



3. Cut an oversized block from the yardage and then starch and trim to exact size. 

That is the process I used in the above photo.  My finished motif needs to be 3-1/2" square and I cut a generous 4" square from the fabric.  After starching, I'll trim it precisely to size. 

4. Sometimes it is easier to see the motif on the back side of the fabric.  I know that sounds weird - but check it out. 


On the left is the right side of fabric and it's a bit busy - which is exactly why I love this piece but the busy-ness can make it hard to see exactly where to cut. When I look at the back side of the fabric, the lines of the motif are more dominant which makes it easier to see exactly where I need to cut. 

5. Use tape on your cutting grid to make it easier to see the motif size that you are cutting.  It helps focus your eye for exact placement. 



When you are finished, admire your work.  I'm just loving these fussy cut flower motifs. 




If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

5 Patch Chain Block Challenge - Sneak Peek #1

It's Monday and you know what that means - it is time for me to share Sneak Peek #1 of my 5 Patch Chain Block Challenge! 


So far the block is looking pretty much like a 5 Patch Chain Block ... ya, boring, I know.  But next week is when all the fun happens when this block becomes ..... wait, you are going to have to wait til next week to find out :) 

If you remember from last week's Fabric Pull post (click here in case you missed it), I shared that I would be making the blocks in 2 colorways (contemporary and traditional Christmas) since the voting was so close between them. 

Here is the Sneak Peek of the Traditional Christmas colorway. 


It always amazes me how the same block can look so different just by changing the fabric placement.  And for some reason, the green in this block photographed really poorly.  It is honestly more of a christmas green than an aqua green. 

Here are both blocks side by side for a better look. 



And yes, I'm gonna keep you waiting until next week to see what theses blocks transform into - so stay tuned for Sneak Peek #2 next Monday July 19th. (Now might be a great time for you to follow me on Facebook or Instagram if you don't already, so you don't miss next weeks post.) 

I can't wait to see everyone's sneak peeks today. Be sure to follow each of the designers so you don't miss their posts during this fun challenge. 

@katecollerandesigns

@swanamity

@ttquilts

@quiterstreasurechest

@southwind_quilts

@patchworkbreeze

@megschoicepatterns

@masterpiecequilting

An easy way to find the posts is using the following hashtags.  Just type them into the search box and the posts will show up. 


#fivepatchchainblockchallene

#fivepatchchainquiltblock

#morethanjustablockchallenge

#designerblockchallenge

#julyblockchallenge

#julydesignerblockchallenge

#quilt

#quilts

#quiltdesigner

#quiltblock

#quiltblocks


If you would like to see more of my patterns, tips and techniques delivered weekly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly Masterpiece Quilting Studio News email.  It's free of charge and I promise your email is safe with me.