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Over at Pattern Drop, I’m hosting a Firefly Quilt Along, which runs July 2-August 24, with a catch-up week in there, because life is busy, especially during the summer!  This quilt was designed by Lindsey Neill of Pen and Paper Patterns, and is new and exclusive to Pattern Drop!

Sign up for Pattern Drop here Purchase the Individual Firefly Quilt Pattern [with Bee directions too]

#fireflyquilt   #fireflyquiltalong    #patterndrop  #penandpaperpatterns

The pattern has a bee option as well, and I just fell in love with it! I *had* to make a few blocks into a baby quilt. My mother in law helped me piece the 4 blocks, and in retrospect, I should have followed the pattern and added a border! But I love how it turned out.

Firefly Quilt Along // Beehive Full of Bees –examples of bee blocks

Firefly Quilt Along // Fireflies at Dusk –examples of firefly blocks

I wanted to share a few bee blocks, in case you might want to make a bee quilt, too! [Or instead, but really, how can you choose!?]

Just 4 of these super sized blocks makes a smaller-sized baby quilt–perfect for a crib or a stroller or a lovey. If I would have included a border, like instructed in the quilt instructions, it would have been just a bit bigger, and the perfect size!  

This jade green binding just made me smile–and did you see the Liberty queen bee in the top left? Every bee quilt needs a queen bee, I think.

There are a lot of pieces to cut, but it isn’t hard to sew!  I loved doing a loop de loop quilting on this cute bee–and using some of my very favorite fabrics. This Cotton and Steel print is from the first/one of their first releases, and I’ve had that Tula Pink ladybug print for ages. So happy to use little bits of favorite prints in this quilt!

See more bee examples in this blog post!

Quilt Along Schedule

Week 1 – July 2-6: Cutting

Week 2 – July 9-13: Piecing the 1st 5 blocks

Week 3 – July 16-20: Piecing the 2nd 5 blocks

Week 4 – July 23-27: Piecing the remaining 6 blocks

Week 5 – July 30-Aug 3: Piecing the quilt top

Week 6 – Aug 6-10: Catch up week

Week 7 – Aug 13-17: Quilting

Week 8 – Aug 20-24: Binding

Week 9 – Celebration and show and tell

BEE QUILT FABRIC REQUIREMENTS
1/4 yard each of two prints for the abdomen
3/4 yard fabric for the wings
7/8 yard fabric for the antenna, head, and thorax
5 yards background fabric
5/8 yard for binding
4 1/2 yards backing fabric

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This week’s block is designed by Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts.  I love the inspiration behind Castillo. Faith and her family travelled to Castillo de St. Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida over Spring Break. This is the bird’s eye view. So interesting, right? I don’t think I’ve seen a quilt block out there quite like it!

Week #8 has us in Florida, and our road trip takes us to yet another interesting historic site. The Castillo’s architecture is unique–it is also the only intact 17th century fort in the United States. Definitely read more about it on Faith’s blog post and the National Park site.

I put together a few different ways that you could color this block. I’m always so inspired by the way participants re-think these blocks! There were some especially great ones from last week’s #7 block, Half Timber. 

As you may remember, Summer Sampler 2018 is a quilt-along in which all of the blocks are inspired by travel desintations. Want to go with us on our Summer Sampler road trip? Click here to get the pattern!  We are on block #8 of 18, so it isn’t too late to join in!

And visit #summersampler2018 to see everyone else’s fantastic blocks!

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Just a quick note to let you know that on Monday, the Firefly Quilt Along is starting!!!

Pattern Drop is hosting a Firefly Quilt Along, using the pattern by Lindsey Neill from Pen and Paper Patterns. Subscribers to Pattern Drop will receive the pattern as part of their subscription.

Pre-order the individual pattern, or sign up or a subscription for a better deal!If you pre-order, You will get a coloring page, fabric requirements, etc., now, and the pattern will be emailed to you on July 2, when it is sent to subscribers. If you order July 2 or later, you will just get the pdf pattern emailed to you!

Love bees? There is a bee variation!  I made 4 blocks last week, and love them so much.

Want to see some of the blocks our testers and friends have made?! 

The blocks are traditionally pieced [there is a paper pieced option for the antennas], and finish around 18”. The quilt is a generous throw size– 72” x 72”.
Sewtopia and Fabric Bubb are both offering Quilt Along kits, in slightly different fabrics! Check it out.

More information about the quilt along here!

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Interested in making your own Summer Sampler? Pattern available here.

This week we are headed to Germany! Lee Heinrich designed this block, Half Timber, inspired by half timber architecture.

Ironically, I had no idea how many half timber constructed houses there were in my neighborhood until I made this block. There are a ton! Click over to Lee’s blog post to see the stunning inspiration photo.

This block is paper pieced–I used two blues that are really similar, but not quite the same. It is hard to tell in photos, but its a nuanced block in real life.

Lee re-numbered this block so that the seams nest, which makes the construction so simple!  This wasn’t my favorite block on paper, but its just stunning when it is actually sewn up. I love blocks like that!

There are quite a few ways to lay out these pieces, and different ways to color the block. Check out the Summer Sampler hashtag to see more.

Enjoy this week’s block! And remember, we’re taking NEXT WEEK OFF, because of the Independence Day holiday in the U.S. Those who have gotten behind can use this as a catch-up week! Or, spend some time enjoying all the eye candy under the #summersampler2018 hashtag on Instagram! Either way, enjoy your week, and we’ll meet back here for Block 8 on July 9. (And don’t forget to click here for more info on Summer Sampler 2018.)

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Summer Sampler 2018, Block #6, Versailles

The Versailles block was designed by Karen Lee from Quiltaposy. Inspired by one of the tile floors at the Palace of Versailles in France, this block is fun to sew and goes together pretty quickly.

If you enjoyed sewing this, Karen has a new pattern coming out!  Follow her on Instagram to be notified when it is available!  She has 3 fantastic patterns for sale here.

My tip this week is that even with simple blocks, make sure to check your 1/4” seam. I had the wrong foot in my machine, and didn’t even notice! Sewing an entire quilt with seams that are even 1/8” or 1/16” off can really impact the quilt.

I wanted to see what this quilt block would look like in an entire quilt–I think it would be a ton of fun to make! Prints, solids, everything.

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The Summer Sampler runs from May-September, 2018. It isn’t too late to join in! More information here and you can sign up here. You can find all of my Summer Sampler posts here.

This week’s Summer Sampler block is called Points, and was designed by Kristy Lea of Quietplay. Are you familiar with Kristy’s many [over 200!] paper pieced block and quilt patterns? Check them out here.

Inspired by the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House, Australia is our next stop on the Summer Road Trip.

A few tips when making this block.

I didn’t love the range of values in this fabric pull when I started, but I persevered because its a stash quilt and I didn’t want to go shopping. I didn’t love the range of values when I finished, either, and unpicked a bunch of blocks and added in different colors and such. If you don’t like it when its fabric, you won’t like it in its finished form, either!!!

Tip #1: Mark each of your fabric choices on the corresponding pattern pieces. If you aren’t following one of the mockups, I would suggest marking the wrong side [blank side of the paper.] The fabric will actually be on that side, so if you mark the front side, you are marking the mirror image, if that makes sense.

Tip #2: Stay organized. Paper piecing generally has a lot of pieces, and this block has so many! Find an organization and identification system that works for you. Some people use sticky notes. I simply use scraps of white fabric and a pen, and clip them together with a wonder clip [not shown].

Tip #3: Embrace [or stay on top of the mess]. Paper piecing makes a mess. All of the fabric, the tiny pieces of paper. Either embrace the mess and clean up at the end, or clean up as you go.

Tip #4: It will all quilt out. Lots of quilters are fantastic at sewing curves. Other quilters, like myself, sew them too infrequently to be really good at it. I chose to do my best, unpick when necessary, and then determine if I cared enough to practice. The jury is still out on that one.

Tip #5: When cutting curves, I like the 28mm rotary cutter so much better! Easier to cut the curves with.

Bonus Tip: You don’t have to sew any block all in one sitting. This block has more pieces than some baby quilts I have made. Its worth it, and you don’t have to sew it all at once!

Tips for Sewing Curves

Faith has a step by step [with pictures] for sewing this block here

Jen Carlton Bailly has tips for sewing curves here

Fellow Summer Sampler Series 2018 designer Angela Pingel also has a video on sewing curves.

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For my local friends especially: I will be speaking and giving a Trunk Show at the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild on Thursday, June 21 at 7pm at Handiquilter in North Salt Lake [501 N 400 W]. Guests are welcome, so plan to bring a friend and come!

I will be talking about traditional and modern quilting, Vintage Quilt Revival, and drawing inspiration from vintage blocks, and the world around us. I’m excited to share my quilts in person, and talk a little bit about how setting and color can completely change the look of a project!

There is a show and tell first, and I would love to have everyone bring a sampler quilt (or 3) they have made. If you have a sampler quilt, or have made anything from the book, please bring it!

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of the book, and a notions pack, so plan to come!

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Welcome to Week #4 of the Summer Sampler 2018! This is Giza, designed by Faith Jones. Make sure to check out her blog post–I love how she took the entrance to the Great Pyramid in Giza and created this block! I also love that she created the block without Y seams!

I have some pictures of the paper piecing and a tip, but before that, I wanted to share some *pretty* awesome photos of myself at Giza. This is the only spot, out of 18 different destinations, that I have actually visited, so I wanted to do some reminiscing. Y2K Katie was pretty great, eh? Lol.

Pyramids in a sandstorm. And my friend Angela was pretty smart–wearing her fanny pack given to us by the tour guide as a sling. Or maybe I was just fashion forward. #cargopants

This photo makes me smile and cringe at the same time. Sigh. 

My friend Elisabeth and I on a camel. If you have never ridden a camel–its is quite the experience.

Ok. Back to paper piecing. I love that you can take pieces that look like this…

And arrange them like this…

Of course these photos don’t show the mess of paper piecing!

And finally, the paper piecing oops! I was listening to the end of a book, and was way too engrossed. So my tip for this week–pay attention! It seems obvious but….

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Do you wash quilts before you gift or sell them? I posted this picture on my Instagram feed last week, and there was a lively discussion about washing quilts, or not! My oh-so-scientific poll (via Instagram stories) with over 1,000 respondents said that 62% washed before sending to new

owners, 38% don’t!

Top Reasons To Wash:

  • wash because quilters love the crinkle after a wash and dry
  • wash so that new recipients don’t think they ruined the quilt when they wash and dry [and the quilt crinkles]
  • wash to get rid of any pet hair, dirt from being basted on a floor, oils from hands, etc.
  • wash to get rid of chemicals in the fabric
  • wash to catch any mistakes–seams popping, binding that didn’t quite get sewed down, etc.
  • wash to catch any color bleeding, and deal with it, so the recipient doesn’t have to
  • wash so that the quilt is ready to use, and then encourage that the recipient actually use it

Top Reasons Not To Wash: 

  • don’t likethe crinkle after a wash and dry
  • don’t have enough time before the baby shower/deadline/etc./
  • love the look of a crisp, unwashed quilt
  • quilt is going for a deadline, publication, to be photographed, etc

I am usually in the “barely got the quilt done in time and didn’t have time to wash” camp, but after having a few bleeding episodes, and the idea shared by many that they don’t want the recipient to think they “ruined” the quilt when it crinkles after a good wash and dry.

What do you think? Will you change if you wash and dry?

The pattern for the quilt pictured above is available here!  It works perfect for that fat quarter bundle that you have in your stash (or really want to buy), but don’t want to cut into a million tiny pieces.

The Pattern has instructions for 2 sizes: 79” x 84” and 42” x 44”.

p.s. Likely you have heard about GDPR, the new EU privacy laws. My privacy policy is available, here.

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You can sign up for the Summer Sampler anytime

I loved making this block, Southwest Highway, designed by Katie Pedersen of Sew Katie Did. Katie was inspired by the colors of the Southwest, especially from her time in Flagstaff, Arizona. You can read more about the block on her blog post here.  Katie mentioned to me that this would be a really cool border for a quilt, and I agree!  Katie co-wrote one of the first quilting books I ever purchased, and Quilting Modern remains a favorite today.

Katie Pedersen made her quilt block into a boxed pouch–such a great idea for orphan blocks! She has a boxed pouch pattern, and its on sale this week. 

photo by Katie, on her Instagram page

This block is paper pieced–I recently made a #loveloudquilt block for Johnny Barfuss [more on that later this week] and joked that I hadn’t paper pieced since last year’s summer sampler. It’s true! I love paper piecing for its precision, and ability to create blocks I could never piece traditionally. I know paper piecing is a little intimidating for some people, so we have put together some links for anyone who might need some pointers or a refresher.

I have two paper piecing tips:

  1. Figure out which fabrics you want to go where, and then mark your templates with the color or fabric names. Because the finished blocks are opposite of what you see (i.e. 1A is in the top right hand corner, but when the block is finished, it will actually be the top left hand corner.]
  2. Buy a scalpel/seam ripper. It is sooo much easier to rip seams if you make a mistake. I love this inexpensive one by Havels.

Have fun sewing!

Paper Piecing Round Up

Faith put together some paper piecing videos here–make sure to check them out if you are new to paper piecing or need a refresher.  Her blog post is also located here. She also has a paper piecing tutorial for new paper piecers here.

This week, Lee shared how she uses prints with paper piecing [and gets them straight!]

Lee also has a super helpful post about paper piecing on the Bernina blog–make sure to check it out, even if you have been paper piecing for a long time. Its an “aha” moment for sure.

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