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The Crafty Quilter by Julie Cefalu - 4d ago

I have so many Wednesday WIP’s (works in progress) that it’s a little embarrassing.  I’m trying to prioritize, but it seems like they’re all tugging at me and saying “pick me!”.

Let me start with my Summer Fun quilt which is under my sewing machine right now.  I have a partial plan for the quilting.  I used my iPad and Procreate (which is a digital illustration App) to draw a quilting plan.  If you have an iPad Pro, you should consider this app.  It costs $10 and it’s worth every penny.  The expensive part is the Apple Pencil which costs about $100.  You need it to draw on your iPad.  Below is a photo of my quilt that I imported into Procreate.  I added stitching lines (in black for visual purposes) and auditioned a few ideas there.

The first thing I stitch for most of my quilts is all of the ditch stitching.   This means I’m stitching right in the seam, and it further stabilizes the quilt and is part of the foundation of my quilting.  Then I can add the other quilting, whether it’s free motion or with a walking foot.  Because of the stitching in the ditch, I can work in any section I want to, rather than having to work from the center of the quilt and then out to the sides.

I stitched in the main row seams and the block seams as well as the stems of the flowers.

Right now, I’m working on the checkerboard row.  I’m stitching lines on the white squares to compress them which allows the red squares to pop up.

My Summer Fun quilt is tied in priority ranking with the busy book I’m making for my granddaughter, Amelia.  She’s turning 3 at the end of this month, and I wanted to have this done for her birthday (you  know that’s not going to happen).  The structure of this busy book is such that I can add or remove pages as she grows into or out of them.  My first page is the mitten.  The inside is lined with minky fabric and it’s so soft!

Many of my ideas for this project came from my original busy book that I made for my youngest daughter over twenty years ago.  Below is the original mitten page.  It’s definitely seen better days.  I used lots of puffy paints back then!

I have more pages in the works and planned out on paper.  I’ve been procrastinating for too long on this project.  I’ll show you more pics and give details of my process later. Is this something anyone else has made and are you interested in more details?

I’m a little behind in the Patchsmith’s Sampler Sew Along.  I love making them each week and I really enjoyed block #16, Jigsaw, and block #17, London Roads.

Last year, I picked up a Sashiko kit and I finally finished the stitching.  Now I’m working on making it into a pillow.  I love this so much!  The stitching is almost meditative and it can be done anywhere – it’s a great take-along project!  If you’re in the Bay Area (California), The Granary Quilt Shop carries some of the Sashiko supplies as well as pre-printed panels.

I’ve had another embroidery project finished for a while.  I’m not sure what will become of it, but I love that’s it’s there waiting for the perfect project.  This pattern is from Jenny of Elefantz Designs.  Isn’t it adorable?  I love the combination of applique and embroidery (I still need to add buttons to the “m” in “home”).  All of Jenny’s patterns have this sweetness about them.

Pattern designed by Jenny @ Elefantz Designs. Made by Julie Cefalu

The last Wednesday WIP that I’m working on is my sewing room.  I’ve been cleaning out drawers and fabric and books.  It wasn’t even safe to walk in there for a while.  I already feel better about it and I’ll take some pictures when it’s all done.  It’s a big job among many of the other summer activities keeping me busy.

I hope you’re all enjoying each moment and “creating” just for the joy of it!

The post Wednesday WIP’s appeared first on The Crafty Quilter.

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Hey everyone!  The Summer Fun Quilt Along is wrapping up with a link up so we can see everyone’s quilt and so you can be entered into the giveaway.  To me, this is the fun part.  I love seeing the different fabric selections and personal flavor that you add to your own quilt.

I know many of you are looking for ideas to quilt your project.  I wish I had something to show you, but I’ve had such a busy week that I don’t even have mine basted yet.  I’ll get to it next week, though.  It’s not necessary to have your quilt quilted in order to add it to the link-up.

There are some great prizes to motivate you!  FIVE of the prizes are an Annual Star Membership to The Quilt Show!  These are valued at $49 each and include instant access to over 250 quilt shows along with free BOM patterns and more.  This prize is open to ALL (international and domestic) entries.

The other prize is a gorgeous fat quarter bundle of Hoffman Batiks in a rainbow of colors.  There are 20 fat quarters in the bundle that have been hand-dyed in Bali.  This prize is available to US entries only due to shipping costs.

This version of the Linky tool is new to me, but it should be fairly easy to add your photo to it.  If it requires a URL and you don’t have one, try adding my website URL:  http://thecraftyquilter.com after you’ve uploaded your photo.  In the description field, you can use your name or just add “Summer Fun Quilt”.  If anyone has a problem, please email me and I’ll help you out.

Link-up Rules
  • The link-up is open to anyone who has made a Summer Fun Quilt using my tutorials.
  • It does NOT need to be quilted and bound; tops only will be fine.
  • You don’t need to have a blog or website to enter the link-up.
  • One entry per person.
  • The link-up will remain open until July 20, 2018.  Six winners will be drawn at random on July 21, 2018.
  • International entries are welcome.

Thanks for joining in the fun!


The post Summer Fun Quilt Along, Link up and giveaway appeared first on The Crafty Quilter.

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{I love the idea of “paying it forward”. I think the world would be a better place if we could spread some joy and acknowledgement of good deeds done by others. I try to do that once a month for my Sew Thankful Sunday posts. I highlight some great content that I’ve found on other people’s blogs that I hope will inspire you and reward the originator by bringing traffic to their site. If your blog has been mentioned without your consent, please let me know and I will take you off the current list of featured bloggers.}


This summer seems to be the season of quilt alongs and sew alongs.  There are so many that I want to participate in – I need a full-time stunt double!  And there’s plenty of red, white and blue projects, too.   Enjoy this round-up of Sew Thankful Sunday, July inspiration!

Note:  If you use Pinterest, please pin from the original source and not this blog post. Remember, you can click on any of the images in this post and it will open up a new tab to the associated link.

  1. The Splendid Sampler 2 is off to a great start with your hosts Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  As of June 14, there will be a free block released once a week (for a total of 20 free blocks).  All of the blocks (100 total) will be available in The Splendid Sampler 2, which ships in mid-October.

2.  I can’t help but be smitten by the Firefly Quilt Along at Pattern Drop.  This cute little pattern by Lindsey at Pen and Paper Patterns is available for purchase, and you have the option of making bees if you prefer!

3.  The Moda Cutting Table is hosting Block Heads Round 2.  If you missed out on the first round, now’s your chance to create some really awesome blocks in several sizes.  All patterns are from a variety of designers and are free.

4.  I know it’s almost here, but I just had to share this round-up of 20 4th of July DIY Projects from Connie at Free Motion by the River.  I think these red, white and blues can be enjoyed all summer long!

5.  Summer is the perfect time to start a hand-sewing project to take on vacation, and Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations has rounded up 9 Embroidery Designs for Summer Stitching.  I love all of these ideas!

6.    I love making quilt blocks, so I was really happy when Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts shared her tutorial to make this adorable Adori Quilt Block.  This log cabin-style block has lots of color options and quilt design potential!

7.  I think monofilament thread is a  little misunderstood.  To help clear up matters, Aurifil Thread posted Thread Matters: a Musing on Monofilament Thread.  I always have a spool of this invisible thread close at hand.

Aurifil 50 wt. and clear monofilament thread from the Sariella Collection @ Aurifil Thread

8.  Check out these Tips and Tricks for Free Motion Quilting on Your Home Machine by Dara Tomasson of Stitched Quilting Co.  Dara is a quilting educator and long arm quilter; she shared this guest post at Diary of a Quilter.

9.  Summer Camp has begun at the Moda Bakeshop, but it’s not too late to join in the fun!  A group of camp counselors will share a different quilt block throughout the summer that will end up in a medallion style quilt.  This is my kind of camping adventure!

10.  It’s time for the Summer Picnic Mystery Quilt by Lindsey at Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  You’ll get free PDF instructions each week to make a 38″ square quilt.  Fabric kits are available, too.  I love this selection of summery fabric!

11.  If you need a quick and super cute baby quilt, then check out this free Baby Heart Log Cabin Quilt from Caroline at Sew Can She.  Such a great idea to make a sweet baby quilt from the versatile log cabin block!

Baby Heart Log Cabin Quilt @ Sew Can She

12.  Zipper pouches are wonderful to make as a gift or keep for yourself.  Join Melissa at the PolkaDot Chair in her Learn to Sew Series and stitch an easy and adorable Zippered Pouch!

13.  I’ve just begun cleaning out my sewing room and I found this blog post, Where Can I Donate Quilt Fabric?, from Bloomerie Fabrics so helpful!  I’m still looking for donation ideas for smaller pieces of fabric, so if you know of anything, please share in the comments!

14.  I have extended the sale price of $6 for my Star Spangled Heart pattern until July 4th.  It only makes sense!  You can purchase this PDF download at Craftsy.  (And thank you!)

If you’re living in the US, you’ll be celebrating the 4th of July this week and maybe there will be some extra time in the sewing room.  Regardless, I hope you’ve found some inspiration to take with you this month.  Thanks always to everyone featured today!  Happy summer!

The post Sew Thankful Sunday, July 2018 appeared first on The Crafty Quilter.

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I have some exciting news about the Summer Fun Quilt Along giveaway prizes, but first, let me share the link to the week 4 pdf:  Summer Fun Part 4  I have updated the Week 4 blog post as well.

Now for the fun stuff!  On July 6, there will be a linky open to share photos of your finished quilt top.  The quilts don’t need to be quilted and bound, tops only are fine.  The linky will be open until July 20 (and I’ll walk you through how to use the linky on July 6).  I will choose SIX entries (randomly) to receive a prize.

The prizes!  FIVE of the prizes are an Annual Star Membership to The Quilt Show!  These are valued at $49 each and include instant access to over 250 quilt shows along with free BOM patterns and more.  This prize is open to ALL (international and domestic) entries.

Thank you so much to The Quilt Show for sponsoring this giveaway!  Many of you know I am a huge fan and video tip contributor to TQS.  If you haven’t already, you should definitely check them out.  You don’t need to have a paid membership to enjoy their website.  There is lots to see and explore just by visiting.

The remaining prize is a gorgeous fat quarter bundle of Hoffman Batiks in a rainbow of colors.  There are 20 fat quarters in the bundle that have been hand-dyed in Bali.  This prize is available to US entries only due to shipping costs.

I have heard from so many of you that are quilting along with me.  I’m excited to see your finished quilt tops at the end.  There’s only five more days until the final instructions!

I’ve been asked about having a quilt along for the other three seasons.  The short answer is “no”.  However, I might create designs that make their way into patterns that I can sell.  It takes a lot of time and effort to put together a quilt along, and I have other commitments that need to come first.  But I DO intend on bringing you more tips and inspiration to keep your creativity going and your quilting skills sharp.  There is always so much to learn and share!

The post Summer Fun QAL Giveaway Prizes and week 4 pdf appeared first on The Crafty Quilter.

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The Crafty Quilter by Julie Cefalu - 3w ago

June WIP’s are here, but can someone slow down the calendar?  June is already more than half-way gone.  The Zen thing to do would be to enjoy this moment.  Yes, as I sip on my green tea and type these words, I am enjoying each day and each click of the keyboard.  I’ll be grilling hamburgers in the backyard in just a few hours!

I’m staying on target with my quilt alongs and block of the weeks, months, etc.  I have three lovely blocks finished for The Patchsmith’s Sampler Sew Along.  I love rummaging through my scraps each week to pick out my fabrics.  Here are blocks, 13, 14 and 15.

This group of blocks is such a happy sight!

The Quilter’s Planner Sew Along is coming along beautifully.  How can you go wrong with Alison Glass fabric and a rainbow color palette?  The color I chose for the month of June is teal.  My blocks are 6″ and 3″ finished.  I’m making two sizes, just because.

When I look at all six blocks together, it really takes me to my happy place!  The black Essex Linen is a perfect contract for those bright fabrics.

I have a little sunshine block to share with you from the Heartland Heritage BOM.   Mine is a little golden sun all the way from California.

And, finally, I’m working on the next set of instructions for my Summer Fun Quilt Along.  I’m loving this little butterfly!

That’s all for now.  Let’s drag a leg through the rest of the month, shall we?  See you Friday!

The post June WIP’s appeared first on The Crafty Quilter.

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It’s that time of the year when red, white and blue is showing up everywhere.  It’s also the perfect time to start sewing with some of that beautiful color combination.  I pulled some fabric to inspire me; I just love this mix of fabrics from my Bonnie & Camille collection.

I recently finished sewing on the binding (using my all machine binding tutorial) on this version of my Star Spangled Heart pattern.  It’s such a quick and fun pattern to make!

Sale alert!  For the rest of the month of June, you can find this pattern on sale for $6 here.  This is a digital pattern only and it includes two different size options:  18 1/2″ square and 11 1/2″ square.  There are also alternate layout and setting ideas if you want to make it into a larger project.  One of the alternates is the nesting sawtooth star shown below.

The other day, one of my neighbors had some old furniture items in their front yard that were labeled “free”.  Most of it was junk, but I spotted this old, white spindle chair that I couldn’t resist.  Mr. Crafty Quilter cleaned it up for me, and now it’s my new photo prop!  I like the weather worn look and it’s perfect for this patriotic duo.

I’m thinking that 18 1/2″ square size would make a great pillow, too.  Something to add to my list, perhaps?

How about you?  Do you have any red, white and blue projects on the agenda?  If you need some ideas or inspiration, check out All People Quilt’s Patriotic Quilt Patterns.  You’ll find something star-worthy for sure!

The post It’s time to start sewing with some red, white and blue appeared first on The Crafty Quilter.

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This is week 2 of the Summer Fun Quilt Along, and we have some pinwheels and beach balls to make today!

I’ve heard from so many of you that are joining me in this quilt along and I’m so glad!  Even if you’re not making this happy summer quilt, it’s worth reading the instructions because I have some great tips for you that can be applied to many techniques.  We’re not just creating, we’re honing our skills, too!

Here are the techniques we’ll be working on this week:

  • Making 8 half-square triangles (HST’s) at a time
  • Trimming oversized HST’s to the required measurement
  • Matching diagonal seams, perfectly
  • Stitch and flip method of adding corners

Quilt size:  30″ x 32″

All seams are made with 1/4″ seam allowance.

You can download the simplified version of these instructions here: Summer Fun Part 2

Supplies for the pinwheel and beach ball blocks:

  • Large scraps (6 1/2″ wide minimum) of the following colors:  aqua, white, yellow, magenta, blue and green
  • Marking tool for fabric (I love Pilot FriXion Pens for this, but pencil or chalk pencil are fine too).
  • Square ruler, at least 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Pinwheels, 4 1/4″ (unfinished)

Note:  We will be making the pinwheels oversized and using the 8-at-a-time method of making HST’s.

Cutting Instructions

  • Aqua:  cut (2) 6″ squares
  • White:  cut (2) 6″ squares

Assembly Instructions

  1. Draw a diagonal line in both directions on the white 6″ squares.  You can also draw cutting lines that will bisect the square horizontally and vertically (see photo below).

2.  Place a marked 6″ white square, right sides together, with a 6″ aqua square.  Stitch 1/4″ on each side of the diagonal lines. Cut apart on the center diagonal lines and then cut the square in half vertically and horizontally (use the 3″ line on the ruler).

TIP:  If you don’t have a 1/4″ presser foot, draw the 1/4″ stitching lines and sew on those.

3.  This will make 8 half-square triangle units.  Repeat for the remaining 6″ squares of aqua and white for a total of 16 HST’s.

4.  Press towards the aqua fabric.

5.  Trim these units to 2 1/2″ square using a square ruler.  I like to trim all four sides, but if you have two sides that are perfectly aligned, then you can trim just two sides.

  • Place the diagonal line of the ruler on the seam.   Make sure there is enough fabric to trim on the other two sides (if needed).  In other words, they should be beyond the 2 1/2″ lines of the ruler. Trim the side and top edges.
  • Rotate the unit half a turn and line up the previously cut edges with the 2 1/2″ lines of the ruler and the diagonal line on the seam.  Trim the remaining two sides.

6.  Arrange the HST units into a pinwheel as shown below.  Sew them into pairs, making sure to nest and pin the diagonal seams.  Press towards the darker side.

7.  Sew the two pairs together to form the pinwheel block.

TIP:  The center of the pinwheel has four diagonal seams that need to line up in the middle.  To achieve this, I like to use a “setting pin”.  Nest your seams together and starting on the top seam allowance, you should see an “x” where the stitching lines are. Place your pin straight down through the “x” (if you turn it over, you should be able to see the accuracy of the pin position) and then straight down into the bottom seam allowance’s “x”.  Leave that pin straight up and down (perpendicular) to the seam. Then pin on either side of your setting pin, close to the seam allowance. Remove the setting pin and sew your seam, making sure your stitching goes through the middle of the “x”.

Check for accuracy.  It should look like this once it’s pressed.

8.  Pressing:  The center of the pinwheel block can be very bulky.  This is a great time to “twirl” the center seams.  Do this by pressing one half of the seam allowance up and the other half down.  You may have to coax the stitches to release in the middle.  The seams should be spinning in a clockwise direction and you’ll see a mini pinwheel in the center.

9.  We still need to trim our pinwheels to 4 1/4″ square.  They definitely need to be trimmed on all four sides.  Here’s how to do it:

  • Place the diagonal line of the ruler on one of the diagonal seams of the pinwheel.  Align the 2 1/8″ marks of the ruler on the center of the pinwheel.  Trim the top and side.
  • Rotate the pinwheel half a turn and line up the diagonal line again on the diagonal seam.  Align the previously cut edges with the 4 1/4″ line of the ruler.  Trim the remaining two sides.

10.  Make four pinwheels that are 4 1/4″ square.

Beach Ball Block

Note:  These are made using the same technique and dimensions as the pinwheel blocks, with the addition of stitch and flip triangle corners.

Cutting Instructions

  • Yellow:  Cut (1) 6″ square
  • Magenta:  Cut (1) 6″ square
  • Blue:  Cut (1) 6″ square
  • Green:  Cut (1) 6″ square
  • White:  Cut (16) 1 1/2″ squares

Assembly Instructions

  • Draw a diagonal line in both directions on the green and yellow 6″ squares.
  • Place a blue 6″ square and green 6″ square, right sides together, and stitch 1/4″ on both sides of the diagonal lines.
  • Repeat for the magenta 6″ square and yellow 6″ square.
  • Cut apart on both diagonals and in half horizontally and vertically.

  • Press the HST’s towards the blue and towards the magenta.
  • Trim each HST to 2 1/2″ square.
  • Arrange the HST’s into a pinwheel as shown.
  • Sew them into pairs, nesting the diagonal seams.
  • Sew the pairs together to create the pinwheel, making sure to line up the center diagonal seams.  Use the “setting pin” tip just as we did with the pinwheel blocks.

TIP:  Before you pin and sew the last seam, you can always pinch the center at the 1/4″ seam allowance and check to see if the seams are lined up.  Then pin and sew.  Sometimes this “pinch test” will save you time and trouble.

The “pinch test”

Press the seams just like you did for the pinwheel blocks.  Trim to 4 1/4″ square in the same manner as the pinwheel blocks as well.

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