Five Fat Quarter Fun {Fresh Eggs}

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hello!  Today I have a free quilt pattern for ya!

This pattern was a done in collaboration with my cute friend, Amanda, aka Jedi Craft Girl.  We first met in Salt Lake City at Spring Quilt Market 2016.  I thought she was just the sweetest, cutest gal ever and wished we lived closer so we could hang out more!  When I noticed from Instagram that we were both in St. George, Utah for the Thanksgiving holiday we decided to meet up!  She had my little family over for pie (so sweet) and then we made time for a little fabric retail therapy the next day.

[Amanda and Amber @ Quilted Works in St. George, Utah]

I can't take a whole lot of credit for this 5 Fat Quarter Fun project.  Amanda wanted to do a project using just 5 fat quarters so we picked out some fabrics together while we were in St. George.  Then she came up with the design and wrote the pattern.  I looked it over but was mostly just there for the ride!

I love these big 15" blocks and the happy colors!

 And I just so happened to have had this vintage fabric in my stash that was my grandmothers!  It's a little hard to tell but the fat quarters we used have eggs, chicken wire and milk jugs on them so I just HAD to use this fabric for the back!

I think this size quilt would make a great little baby quilt or wall hanging.  And it whips up really quick!  If you'd like the FREE pattern, head on over to Amanda's blog (click HERE).  We're hoping to do some more of these little 5 Fat Quarter Fun projects in the near future.  Maybe next time it'll be my turn to design!  

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Amber

Pineapple Quilt [Finished]

Friday, December 9, 2016

I just realized that I never showed you my Pineapple quilt!  It's probably my most favorite "make" to date and (if I'm allowed to say this) the one I'm most proud of - only because it took about 100 hours to make so it was a really involved, time consuming project and I love the way it turned out.  I can't believe I haven't posted about it yet...sheesh!  :)

So, let's go back to how it all began...
One day, I was looking around on Pinterest trying to find a good pineapple quilt pattern to work on at a quilt retreat I was about to go to.  When what to my wondering eyes did appear, but the most beautiful pineapple quilt I ever did see.  I tried to contact the maker and get the information so that I could make the pattern too.  All she told me is that it was a pineapple block.  But I needed more.  I needed this quilt.  I needed the pattern!  I just HAD to make this quilt.  Exactly like it.  100%. 

Photo cred: MerryMary10/Flickr

I'm attaching the picture (and the link) that inspired me.  Because in no way, shape or form, am I trying to take credit for this quilt.  Also, I have to preface all of this by saying that I think the original quilt (above) is far better than mine.  I just love it so much.  I hope (I think) this is where the adage comes into play, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".  

 So, I set out to find a pineapple block that was extra large and where all the slices continued out evenly into the corners.  That was a lot harder to find than you would think.  In fact, I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I designed my own.  Each block took me about an hour to paper piece.  And I loved every minute of it!  Do you like to paper piece?  My tutorial for paper piecing these exact blocks is HERE if you'd like to try it!     

I eventually decided to sell these paper patterns in my shop because I thought others might want them too.  They finish at 12-3/8" x 12-3/8" - so they're quite large and make a big impact.  You can purchase the set of 36 papers HERE.

After I got the blocks made, I began working on the outer borders.  I got two sides finished before I realized that the white background I had used was the wrong color!!!  Does stuff like that ever happen to you?  Well, that really set me back.  I had to put the project away and regroup.  Finally, I pulled it back out, gave those two borders to a creative friend (who I knew could come up with some fantastic way of how to use them) and started over.  I just didn't want to have any regrets, ya know?

Finished quilt measures approximately 90" x 90".

I finally finished in time to show it at a retreat I was teaching and presenting at last February.  And I have to admit, I had a little help at the last minute.  I was trying so hard to get all the applique done in time and came to find out that each side was taking me about 10 hours to do.  The thought of doing 40 hours worth of applique in a span of a week had me totally overwhelmed.  So, my sweet friend Aniva came to the rescue.  She appliqued one side of the border so I could get it to my quilter quicker.  What a great friend, huh?!?

Melissa Kelley (@sewshabbyquilting) quilted it for me within a week with some of the most amazing hand-guided long-arm quilting I have seen.  Seriously, breathtaking.  Here are some closeup shots of the quilting...

The back: 

For the life of me I can't remember who the designer is of that fabric.  Anyone know?  I thought the colors were perfect for this quilt and then the birds just put me over the edge!  I had to get it!

I think sometimes you learn life lessons from creative endeavors, don't you?  I started this quilt in February 2014 and finished it two years later.  Almost one year later, I blogged about it.  So here's what I learned: I never claimed to be 100% on the ball and sometimes set backs come our way.  But if we keep plugging away at things (life) and give it our best and surround ourselves with good friends and family that lift us up, things always have a way of working themselves out.

Well, thanks for letting me share this journey with you. 
Have a great weekend!
~ Amber

Penny Tiles Quilt [Finished]

Friday, December 2, 2016

Do you know the blog, Messy Jesse?
Well I have been a big fan of the author, Jessie Finchman, for a long time.  I've been following her blog forever and her Instagram account for ages.  One day I was just scrolling through Instagram, minding my own business, when I saw a picture of the most amazing quilt.  It stopped me dead in my tracks and I sat there studying that quilt (called Penny Tiles) for a while trying to figure out how she did that!?!  Then, a short while later I get a message from Jessie asking if I'd be willing to test the pattern out for her.  So of course, I was like, yeah (duh :).
And here we are.  Almost a year later.

I picked some of my favorite colors/fabrics and just had fun with it.  Jessie might have thought that I would only make a block or two but I loved the pattern so much I knew I wanted to make the whole thing!

They're really fun blocks to make and I love the secondary pattern 
of the white stars in the corners of the blocks.

As I was making the blocks, I had to trim off lots of little triangles 
so I decided to hang onto those to use for another "side project" later.

Thus, my little Pinwheel quilt.

 It was perfect because I had enough trimmings from each block to make 4 matching pinwheels of the main bright fabric and 2 matching pinwheels of the second bright fabric!  I just sewed a bright and a white triangle together to make a half-square triangle, squared them all up to 2.25" and then made pinwheels.  I alternated the pinwheels with white squares of the same size and made this really simple quilt!  The blocks finished at 3.5" and the whole quilt finished at 45.5" x 60".

These were both quilted by Cathy Barney in Alpine, Utah.  I used two of my go-to patterns, the interlocking orange peel on the Penny Tiles quilt and wavy lines on the Pinwheel quilt.  Cathy always does a fantastic job!

These will be going to a good friend for Christmas.  I hope she likes them!

Are you busy making handmade gifts for Christmas?  They're the best kind!

Have a great weekend!

~ Amber

Quilty Farmhouse Ornament Tutorial

Monday, November 7, 2016

For the last couple of years I have been thinking about changing up our Christmas tree decor.  We've had the same red, gold and white star-themed tree for the past 17 years and I am ready for a change!  I actually can't believe it's been that long!  So this year I decided to take the plunge and give our tree the little makeover it deserves.  It was all inspired by this darling wrapping paper I found on a late night grocery run.  I bought a few other ornaments, as well, and figured I'd try to re-use some of the other things I have.

Some of my favorite ornaments from our last tree were these red and white star ornaments.  I bought them many years ago and always really liked them.  They kind of suit me, don't you think?

But this year I want to use neutral colors so I remade them using some Essex Linen and solid cream fabric I had in my stash.  Also, it looks like the edges of the red were appliqued on and if you're a quilter, you know there's no need for applique here!  So today I have a tutorial on how to make similar ornaments (with no applique, these are traditionally pieced! :)

yield: 1 ornament
2" x 14" cream strip of fabric
2-1/2" x 42" tan strip of fabric
5-1/4" x 5-1/4" square of batting
10" silk cording (1/8" diameter)

Note: RST = right sides together

(1) 1-3/4" x 1-3/4" cream square
(8) 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" cream squares 
(2) 2" x 2" tan squares (cut in half once on the diagonal)
(4) 1-3/8" x 2-1/4" tan rectangles
(4) 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" tan squares
(2) 1-1/4" x 4" tan rectangles
(2) 1-1/4" x 5-1/2" tan rectangles

 1. Fold the 1-3/4" x 1-3/4" cream square in half both directions to mark the center of each side.  Fold the tan triangles in half to mark the center of the long sides.

2. With RST, line up the center mark of a triangle with the center mark on the square.  Sew together.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Press the seam allowances toward the triangles.  Trim excess.  Repeat on the remaining two sides of the square.  Trim the block to 2-1/4" x 2-1/4".  (This should leave 1/4" between the points of the cream square and the raw edge of the block.  See photo below.)  Set center block aside.

 3. Place a 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" cream square on the left end of a 1-3/8" x 2-1/4" tan rectangle with RST. Sew on the square diagonally, as shown below.  Trim 1/4" from the stitching line.  Press the seam allowance toward the triangle.  Repeat on the other end of the rectangle.  Make 4 Flying Geese units.

4. Sew a Flying Geese unit onto opposite sides of the center block.  Press the seam allowances open.

5. Sew a 1-3/8" x 1-3/8" tan square onto each end of the remaining 2 Flying Geese units.  Press the seam allowances toward the squares.

6.  Sew the units from step 5 onto the block.  Press the seam allowances open.

7.   Sew a 1-1/4" x 4" tan rectangle onto opposite sides of the star block.  Press the seam allowances toward the rectangles.  Sew a 1-1/4" x 5-1/2" tan rectangle to each of the other two sides of the block.  Press the seam allowances toward the rectangles.

8.  Place the 10" silk cording on top of the block as shown below (about 1/4" outside each seam on the border).  Stitch ends in place. 

9.  Place the 5-1/2" x 5 1/2" tan square right side up on a table.  Then place the star block on top of the tan square, right side down (make sure the stitches that secured down the cording are at the top edge). Then center the 5-1/4" x 5-1/4" batting on top of the block. Pin the 3 pieces together.  Sew around the pieces leaving a small opening at the bottom.

10.  Clip the corners to reduce bulk.  Turn the ornament right side out.  Use a dull instrument to poke out the corners.  Press the edges.  Stitch the opening shut with coordinating thread.

I can't wait to put up our Christmas tree this year to see my Farmhouse Christmas tree vision come together!  Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you enjoy this tutorial.  Please tag me on Instagram @gigis_thimble if you make some of these Quilty Farmhouse Ornaments!  
I'd love to see them in your home!

~ Amber

Itty Bitty Log Cabin Quilt Blocks - A New Start

Friday, October 14, 2016

I'm always snapping screenshots from my phone of quilty inspiration I see on Instagram.  Do you do that too?  They're usually pictures that inspire me because of a color palette or because it's a beautiful version of a pattern I want to make someday.  So I started an IG hashtag called #quiltyscreenshots to keep track of all of them and let the makers know they've inspired me!  You're welcome to play along too, if you're on Instagram.  Tag me @gigis_thimble if you decide to do a Scrappy Screenshots post.  Below are some pictures of solids quilts that I posted on there recently that really caught my attention.

Photo credit (using their Instagram names)
From top L to R: @claudiashearerquilts, @jeliquilts, @cabbagequilts, @bitsandbobbins, @adeeholcomb, @adeeholcomb, @tarafaughnan, @tarafaughnan

As you can probably see, the second quilt down in the right-hand column really spoke to me.  If you look close you'll notice that the maker, Tricia Royal of Bits and Bobbins had fun playing with color.  I love how she used varying shades of one color in certain areas.  It really gives it a playful "Tetris" feel!  I can't stop looking at it!

With some leftovers I recently acquired from a new "solids" pattern I'm working on, I decided to start a new project inspired by Tricia's quilt.  I decided to go small.  These blocks finish at 3.75".  Since I had a lot of strips already cut and I love paper piecing, I decided to paper piece these little babies.  Some people ask why I would paper piece something so simple?  I just like that I don't have to pre-cut anything with paper piecing!  I just grabbed my strips and my pattern and dove right in!

They whip up in no time!  And I'm having so much fun playing with color!

I have no specific plan of how big I'm going to make this quilt and in what layout I plan to put them in.  But I do know that they're fun to make and I'll try to use up most of my leftover strips!

If you want to sew-along with me, I am attaching the free Itty Bitty Log Cabin Block PDF pattern HERE.  There are two on a page!  Enjoy!

~ Amber  

Wistful Winds Blog Tour

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Good morning!
Welcome to day 8 of the Wistful Winds Blog Tour!

I am so happy for my friend, Shari Butler of Doohikey Designs.  She recently came out with another beautiful fabric line for Riley Blake Designs called, Wistful Winds.  And when she asked me to participate in the blog tour, I couldn't say no.  It's such a cute line.  Plus, Shari is so talented and has such a sweet heart!  

For my project, I decided to make my daughter a new apron.  She had outgrown her other one (she's growing up so fast I can't even take it anymore! :)  I thought I'd try out the free "Amy Apron Tutorial" by Esther from the blog Wholly Kao.  I've had it "pinned" on my Pinterest board, More Sewing, for a while now.  I love putting my "pins" to good use, don't you?

Esther's tutorial is really simple and easy to follow.

I love the little pleats around the edge of the apron!

I did tweak Esther's pattern just a tiiiiny bit.  First,  I used 3 fabrics instead of 2 (because I wanted to incorporate more of Shari's darling prints!) and second, I made two short neck ties rather than one strap that was secured on both sides.  I wanted it to be adjustable for my growing daughter.

I love the aqua stripe.  I thought it paired well with the red floral but there are lots of other great prints in Wistful Winds that I wish I could have incorporated, as well.  There are more florals, geometrics, dots and one with clouds and little girls holding flowers!  So fun!

My daughter chose the red floral and I think it was a great choice!  
She really loves how it turned out!

Thanks again to Shari for asking me to participate in the Wistful Winds Blog Tour.  I had so much fun making this apron and playing with her sweet fabrics.  Wistful Winds fabrics will be available in stores next week.

There are so many great projects being shared on the tour.  I do hope you'll go check them all out! Here's the tour schedule...

October 3rd:
Amy Sinibaldi -
Kristyne Czepuryk -
October 4th: 
Amanda Niederhauser -
Amy Smart -

October 5th: 
Meagan Taylor/Kristi Jones -
Christine Cook -

October 6th: 
Elea Lutz -
Jodie Carleton -

October 7th: 
Sedef Imer -
Jina Barney -

October 10th: 
Elizabeth Evans -
Kimberly Bourne -

October 11th: 
Jemima Flendt -
Nadra Ridgeway -
Amy Chappel -

October 12th: 
Katie Skoog -
Amber Johnson -

Tina -                

October 13th: 
Angie Wilson -
Clare Horsman -
Deanna Wall -

October 14th: 
Melissa Mortenson -
Jessica Stewart  -
Gwen Sager -
Shari Butler -

Happy quilting (and sewing)!
~ Amber