Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 3

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hello!  Welcome to week 3 of the Star Patch Quilt Along!
How are all my quilt along buddies doing?

This week we are making 15 more 9-Patches.  Easy Peasy!  
Are you chain-piecing yours?  It makes them come together so fast!

One thing I need to clarify:

[IMPORTANT, Please Read]
For the scrappy back, you will need eight 9-Patches which are included in the amount of 9-Patches we are making over the next few weeks.  If you aren't going to do the scrappy back you will only make seven 9-Patches during week 5 (not 15).  I will remind you of that in the week 5 blog post.  But I forgot to mention the extra cutting you'll need to do for those eight 9-Patches.  You may as well cut the extra squares now if you're doing the scrappy back.  So cut an extra 40 bright print 2" squares and 32 white solid 2" squares.  I'll remind you of that too, during week 5.  I just wanted to clear up any confusion if you did the math and wondered why we were making a total of sixty 9-Patches when the pattern only calls for 52.

For the next few weeks, I'm going to have you post specific pictures of your 9-Patches 
for the weekly giveaways, just to mix things up and make it a little more fun.  
To enter this weeks' giveaway, take a photo of all your 9-Patches on a cake stand 
(or a plate will be fine if you don't have a cake stand).  Like this:

Post your photo to your Instagram account using the hashtag #starpatchqal by noon (MST) on Sunday, 11/18/18.  I will be drawing one winner from the hashtag pool and announcing it Sunday night.  Please note, your account must be public so I (and everyone else) can see your photo.

This weeks' winner will receive a set of pins from my friend Susan (@quiltypie).  
Check her out on Instagram.  Her pins are sooo adorable!!!

Also, congratulations to Michelle Mack (@mackmt on IG) for winning the Week 2 giveaway.
She will be getting her very own copy of Emily Dennis' new book, Modern Quilts, Block by Block.
And thanks again to Emily for sponsoring that giveaway!  So fun!

I love seeing your progress on the Star Patch quilts!  They're going to be stunners for sure!

Happy sewing!

Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 2

Monday, November 5, 2018

Welcome to week 2 of the Star Patch Quilt Along!

I hope you all found week 1 fun!  Picking the fabrics and planning is one of my favorite parts of quilt-making!  I have been checking the #starpatchqal hashtag on Instagram daily and have been loving what I've been seeing.  You guys are inspiring me!  I hope you'll visit the hashtag too and take the time to leave comments and encourage each other.  It's such a great opportunity to make some new quilty friends!

The winner for the week 1 drawing is Barb Brooks (@bbrooksgram) who won a Perfect 10 book and ruler combo pack from The Fat Quarter Shop!  This book looks so fun!  Click HERE to check it out.  Just a reminder, to enter each weekly drawing you must post the required picture on Instagram using the hashtag #starpatchqal.  I pick the weekly winner from the hashtag pool and announce the winner on my Instagram feed and stories.

Speaking of prizes, I want to give a HUGE thank you to all of our Star Patch Quilt Along Sponsors!

They've offered some really fabulous prizes including fabric, books and even long-arm quilting!  I can't even believe their generosity.  Visit the Star Patch Quilt Along Home Page HERE for all the specifics.

Star Patch Quilt Along
Dates: October 29 - December 22
Duration: 8 weeks

It's not too late to join though! 
Register and sign up for the weekly emails HERE
You can purchase the Star Patch PDF or paper pattern HERE

Fabric Requirements:
260 bright print 2” x 2” squares
(OR a total of  ⅞ yard of assorted bright print fabrics)
2⅞ yards of white solid fabric
2¼ yards of yellow solid fabric
(OR 1-2/3 yards for the star and ⅝ yard for the binding)
3¾ yards of backing fabric
Batting, 67” x 67”

How to participate:
- The Star Patch Quilt Along takes place on Instagram.  Follow me @gigis_thimble on there.
- Use the hashtag #starpatchqal when posting pictures on Instagram so we can all see each other's progress.
- A new blog post will be up each Monday for the QAL.

Week 2

Week 2 is the first week of block-making.  Just make fifteen 9-Patches.  I chose to chain piece mine and they came together really fast!  Or just do a few each day and you'll be done in no time!  

Post a picture of your finished fifteen 9-Patches by Sunday night 11/11/18 to be entered into this weeks drawing.  All you have to do is post the picture on your Instagram feed with the hashtag #starpatchqal.  The winner will receive Emily Dennis' new book, Modern Quilts Block by Block.  This is a beautiful book by an extremely talented woman!  Emily is actually the one who inspired me to host this Quilt-Along!  So a huge thank you to Emily for sponsoring this prize and just being an all-around awesome human, businesswoman and designer!  This drawing is for US residents only.

Have a fabulous week you guys!  Can't wait to see your progress!

Star Patch QAL: Week 1

Monday, October 29, 2018

Hey, hey friends!  Welcome to the Star Patch Quilt Along: week 1!  

If you haven't signed up yet, it's not too late to join the fun!   
We have fantastic weekly prizes sponsored by some of my favorite people/shops
and at the end of the 8-week QAL, you'll have one dang cute quilt top you can be proud of!

 Click HERE to register.
Click HERE for all the Star Patch QAL details.

So let's get down to business.
Week 1 is all about planning and cutting.

If you still need to get the pattern, click HERE.
There are digital and paper versions available in my Etsy shop.
(I am shipping the paper versions out as quickly as I can so there's a good chance 
it will arrive at your house within a few days if you live in the US.)

I think you'll find this week to be a pretty easy week in the QAL.
There's just 3 things you need to do:

2. Plan your color scheme and gather your fabrics.

Originally, I was going to do traditional red and green Christmas fabrics.  
I think this pattern will make a fabulous Christmas quilt.  But then I got thinking, if I do just red and white will be great for Christmas, 4th of July and even Valentine's Day!
So red and white/cream it is!

And finally, the 3rd thing you need to do this week is cut out all the fabrics.

I was able to cut out my background squares really quickly using my Quick Rotary Cutting Tutorial. Check it out, you might learn a new tip or two!

Cutting the colorful squares (red in my case) is what will probably take you the longest.  But it's sure fun to see your pretty, scrappy collection of squares come together! 

I used about 33 different fabrics for the little squares, cutting about 7 or 8 from each fabric. 
I just did mine over the course of a couple days so it was easy peasy!

So that's it!
Post a picture on Instagram this week of your fabric pull or cut fabrics and use the hashtag "starpatchqal" and you'll be entered to win The Perfect 10 Book and Ruler Combo Pack by It's Sew Emma from The Fat Quarter Shop!

I can't wait to see all the different color schemes you guys come up with!!

Star Patch Quilt Along

Saturday, October 20, 2018

I got a wild hair the other day and decided I wanted to make a Christmas version of my Star Patch quilt.  Then I decided that it might be fun to see if any of YOU wanted to join me!  It's always more fun to sew with friends, right?  Of course, you don't have to use Christmas fabrics.  This quilt will be perfect in any color scheme!  

So I've decided to host my first ever quilt along!  This will be an 8-week QAL with weekly prizes and a bonus tutorial for the scrappy back I did on my original version (which will be exclusive to those of you who join the quilt along!)  


DATES: October 29 - December 22, 2018
DURATION: 8 weeks
QUILT SIZE: 58" x 58"

I know this is last minute but I really want to have a finished quilt top by Christmas.  So we are starting in just over a week!  It will be an easy 8 weeks though.  I don't want to have too high of expectations since this is during the busy holiday season!  This pattern is great for all skill levels.  I think an advanced beginner can do it just fine.

Week 1: Gather fabrics and pattern.  Cut out all fabrics.
Week 2: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 3: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 4: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 5: Make (15) 9-Patch Blocks
Week 6: Make Checkerboard and Flying Geese Blocks
Week 7: Construct Quilt Top
Week 8: Piece Back (using exclusive QAL tutorial!)  Quilt or send off to be quilted.

- Follow me @gigis_thimble and use the hashtag #starpatchqal on Instagram
- Be sure to sign up for the weekly emails HERE.
- A new blog post will be up each Monday for the QAL.

Purchase the Star Patch paper or PDF pattern in my shop.  
Click HERE to go to my Etsy shop.

260 bright print 2” x 2” squares
(OR a total of  ⅞ yard of assorted bright print fabrics)
2⅞ yards of white solid fabric
2¼ yards of yellow solid fabric
(OR 1-2/3 yards for the star and ⅝ yard for the binding)
3¾ yards of backing fabric
Batting, 67” x 67”

Note: This is a great stash buster project!

- The Perfect 10 Book and Ruler Combo Pack from The Fat Quarter Shop
- Set of pins by Quilty Pie
- Patterns by Gigi's Thimble (me!)
- Modern Quilts (Block by Block) Book by Emily Dennis
- Notions Goodie Bag and 10" Stacker from Riley Blake Designs
-Tablemat Kit in Swell Christmas Fabric from Sweet Treasures Quilt Shop
- Fat Quarter Bundle from Simply Love Fabrics
-Long arm quilting of one Star Patch Quilt (medium density, edge-to-edge design) from Julz Junk Quilting

* Some drawings/prizes will be for US residents only but everyone is welcome to quilt along! 

Don't forget to register!

All Stacked Up in Swell Christmas

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Oh you guys, if you haven't seen Swell Christmas by Urban Chiks for Moda yet, it's a good one.  It's been in stores for a couple of months now but I was fortunate to win a fat quarter bundle because my friend, Shannon White (@itssewshannon on Instagram) tagged me during a giveaway!  Imagine my surprise when Moda asked for my shipping info!

I've always been a fan of Urban Chiks fabric lines so needless to say I was thrilled when I won!  
It kind of has a vintage-modern vibe don't you think?

I knew I wanted a pattern that showcased these cute, whimsical prints so I chose my FREE 5 Fat Quarter Fun pattern called All Stacked Up.  Although, I used more than just 5 fat quarters because I wanted to use all these beautiful prints!  Click HERE for the link to this free pattern.

I enlarged the pattern by adding on 3 more rows of blocks to the length and 
1 more row of blocks to the side (plus the sashing).  
Now it finishes at approximately 75" x 87" - the perfect size for snuggling with!

The hard part was deciding on which dot to use for the background and what color fabric to use for the sashing!  I ended up using one of my favorite background fabrics.  I bought a small bolt of it a while back so I had a bunch of it on hand!  It's from the line Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics.

Now the sashing, that was a different story.  First, I chose this solid red fabric.  It was an easy match.  But then I started doubting my choice.  I'm not a big fan of red these days and I felt it was a bit stark so I went on the search for something else.

Then I fell in love with this green check from my stash.  It was a close enough match to the greens in Swell Christmas but I didn't have enough and couldn't find anymore online.  

 I finally ended up choosing this pink, again, by Bonnie Christine 
for Art Gallery Fabrics (guess I'm a big fan!)

I have to say, that I'm a little sad I decided to go with pink though.  I feel like it's not as Christmasy as the red or the green.  My ideal color would've been green but it was just too hard finding a green that didn't blend or clash with the other greens and I wanted to stay away from red if I could.  But in hindsight, I feel like if I would've found a red that had a print on it and wasn't so stark, I probably would've liked it more.  I think pink would be my last option.  But, I'm trying to tell myself that a lot of people would probably love the pink!  It's not wrong.  It's just not me.  I'm trying to embrace it and not be disappointed... (can you tell that I kind of am, LOL?)

The quilting was done by Cathy Barney in Alpine, Utah.  I think she was happy when I chose the design, Holly Berry, because I tend to choose the same 2 or 3 geometric designs all the time!  I like how it turned out.  I mean, look at that texture!

I was sure to use minky on the back so it could be nice and cozy this Christmas.  And I used one of the plaid prints for the binding.  It is printed so it looks like it was cut on the bias!

Overall though, I'm thankful to have won these beautiful fabrics.  It was a fun make and I can't wait to use it here in a couple of months.  Bring on the snow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fat Quarter Bag

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I climbed out of my quilting box and tried something new this past week and just loved it so much, I couldn't wait to share it with you guys!  Have you made or seen one of these fat quarter bags? 

 I may be the last person on earth to have made one of them.  I've been wanting to make one for a long time so when someone was teaching a class on it at the little quilt guild I'm in I made sure not to miss out!

This bag only calls for 6 fat quarters, elastic, and some yardage for the lining and handles.  I was trying to decide on my fabric (from my stash) at the last minute and finally decided to use some panel yardage by Lori Holt.  Have you seen these prints that she's included in several of her lines?  It's yardage but it's broken up into fat eighth and fat quarter sections!  Just Google "Lori Holt Panel Prints" to find several different options.  

Anyways, this was a great project to use the panel prints on and it was a fun way to make this cute, scrappy bag even scrappier!   

I just so happened to have a coordinating text print on hand that I used for the lining.
It always feel so good to use up your stash, doesn't it!?!

I used some Lori Holt fat quarters from my stash to piece together enough fabric for the straps (I didn't want to use the lining fabric like the pattern calls for because I thought it was too light and they might get dirty faster).

The only thing I did differently than the pattern was on the straps - I omitted the flannel to go inside the straps.  And instead of sewing two strips of fabric together for one strap, I just sewed one wider strip in half (to make a tube) and then turned it right side out.  That's what the teacher said to do and she's been making these bags for years so I think it will hold up just fine.  
You can find the free pattern from All Free Sewing,  HERE.

This bag is huge and great for transporting a quilt or two!

I'm going on a quilt retreat early next month so I'm excited to use this to transport my projects to and from.  It's an easy enough pattern (that even I can do it!) and you can probably get it done in a few hours.  It's definitely a fun one to make!   Have you made one (or two or three)?  Seriously, tell me.  Am I the last one on earth to have made this bag? 

Have a great day friends!

Quilt Guild Swap & Challenge Ideas

Friday, September 21, 2018

Hi there!

Recently I've been thinking back on some fun swaps and challenges I've participated in over the years (online and through my local quilt guilds) so I thought I'd share about some of them here in case you're in need of some ideas.  I'm always on the lookout for new, fresh swap/challenge ideas too so I'd love to hear your ideas at the end of this post!

You can break swaps up into 2 different categories: fabric swaps and block swaps.

Sometimes block swaps can be a bit tricky (especially if you're the OCD type and are worried about block sizes finishing correctly).  Maybe I'm a little bit this way, so I tend to participate in fabric swaps more often than block swaps.  That way you can you can exchange with your friends but you have more control over the finished product.


Here are a few ideas for fabric swaps:

1. First, plan a year's worth of monthly themes 
(ie. January - Winter, February - Hearts, March - Green, 
April - Swirls, May - Flowers, etc.).  Have 12 people sign up to participate.  Each month everyone brings 1 fat quarter that matches the theme for the month and puts it in a basket as they walk into the guild meeting.  After all 12 fqs are in the basket, draw one of the participants' names to win those 12 fqs.  The next month, everyone still contributes their fq's but the previous winner(s) names do not go into the draw to win.  Each participant will eventually win a fat quarter bundle at some point throughout the year.  You could call this a Fat Quarter Frenzy Fabric Swap.  Encourage the participants to take no more than 12 months following their win to make a project with their 12 fqs.

[example of a red, white and blue Fat Quarter Frenzy Fabric Swap bundle]

2. Choose a theme (ie. low volumes, tiny florals, Disney, etc.).
Have as many people that would like to participate bring a fat quarter, a 10" square, a 5" square or a 2-1/2" x WOF strip for each person participating.  This is a nice way to get out of your comfort zone or simply get a good assortment of prints without having to purchase all of them.  In 2017, I participated in an online swap of tiny floral fabrics.  We were told how much fabric to buy, how to cut it to yield the necessary number of pieces, the hostesses shipping address and when to have it shipped to her by.  She gave very specific instructions and rules and made sure there would be no duplicates.  Then the host of the swap divvied them all up and shipped bundles of 42 assorted tiny floral 10" squares to each person.  A small fee was necessary to help cover return shipping.  Here's the beautiful bundle of fabrics I received:

3.  Present each swap participant with a beautiful photograph featuring an inspiring color scheme.  Have everyone return the following month with enough fat quarters (or whatever predetermined size pieces of fabric) that features one of the colors pictured in the photograph.  They should bring the same amount of fqs/pieces of fabric as there are swap participants.  The assortment of fabrics they receive in the end should be a fun representation of the photograph (it could be surprising, depending on what colors people chose!)  Note, we did this swap in my local quilt guild.  Everyone decided beforehand that they wanted to make my Fall Flowers quilt so after divvying up the fqs we also gave them the pattern.  They chose their own background fabric and made their own quilts but the Fall Flowers were made with fabrics from the swap.

[Image by Lulie Wallace via The Jealous Curator]

Block Swap Ideas

Here are a few ideas for block swaps:

1. Choose blocks that have some room for squaring up, such as these heart applique blocks.  
We swapped 1 large heart and 2 small hearts with each person.  
See THIS post for more details. 

Or these Plus Blocks.  Click HERE for the free instructions
(excuse the note at the beginning about how many we were to exchange, etc.).

There are so many more blocks out there that allow for trimming down.  But, you can swap blocks that don't allow room for trimming too.  Any block will work really, I just find that no matter how much you stress using an accurate 1/4" seam allowance, without fail there will be some blocks that end up too small or too big.  So it's just my personal preference to swap blocks that allow for trimming.  (With that being said, I have seen many beautiful quilts that were the result of a swap and even if points were cut off in the making you can't really tell in the end unless you look close.)

2. Choose a block pattern for the swap.  Have each participant give a colorful scrap of fabric (for inspiration) and the required amount of background fabric of their choice to each of the other participants (given in a ziplock bag with their name on it).  Then each participant makes a block (or two) using fabrics that coordinate with each persons fabric scrap and gives it to them the following month.  That's what we did for these Spool quilts:

[Sassy Stitchers circa 2013]

More info about these Spools quilts can be found in THIS post and THIS post.

3. Try learning a new technique together (such as paper piecing) and then swap the finished blocks.  One night, we each learned how to make a set of identical half square triangles.  We asked that everyone use 1 red and 1 cream fabric for their set.  At the end of the night, we put them into piles and were able to take a couple of each of the different fabric combos.  We went home with a scrappy assortment of HSTs.  HERE is a similar pattern to what we used to make the HSTs.  I ended up making this flag quilt with mine:

Guild Challenge Ideas

1. This next idea was a challenge to try new blocks and test our creativity!  Together, our small guild, picked out several blocks we liked from the book, Around the Block with Judy Hopkins.  Then we each went home and made the blocks in our own time and in our own color scheme.  We put them together however we liked and shared them later in the year.  It was fun to see how different everyone's quilts turned out.  Here's mine:

[More details about this quilt can be found HERE and HERE.]

2. The Mystery Bag Challenge.  I learned about this idea from my grandmother many years ago.  She had done it in her quilt guild and I passed the idea on to my quilt guild.  Put two crayons in a small paper bag and seal it shut.  Make enough bags as there are participants in the swap.  Let each person choose a bag.  The challenge is they have to make a quilt using some shade of just those two colors (they can also add in black or white if they desire). This challenge helps quilters get outside of their color comfort zone and it's also fun to see the inspiration colors turn into a quilt (tell them to hang on to their crayons to show with the finished quilt, down the road).

The next swap my little quilt group is doing is a 4-Patch exchange using 3" bright/low volume squares.  I'm excited to get making!

I'd love to hear your ideas for guild swap/challenge ideas.  Have you done anything creative in your group?  Please share in the comment section below.

Thanks for stopping by today!

American Patchwork and Quilting Radio

Monday, September 17, 2018

Happy Monday friends!
I want to invite you to listen in on a chat I'm having with Pat Sloan later today.  
I'll be a guest on her podcast for American Patchwork and Quilting!

The show times are 
4 pm Eastern
3 pm Central
2 pm Mountain
1 pm Pacific

Click HERE for the link.
It should be fun!

Quilt Samples & Fabric Destash

Monday, August 13, 2018

I thought I would let you all know about a little sale I'm having on Instagram under my destash account - @gigisthimble_destash.  It's time to make room for some new items.  So sadly, it's time to part with some of my samples and fabric that are just not getting the attention they deserve.

I've got a few quilts listed, like this one:

And some fabric bundles, such as this: 

And even some smaller projects like this table runner.

There are a few more items listed, some of which I think you'll be surprised to see!
I do hope you'll check it out!  Click HERE for the link.

Thank you all for your continued love and support!  
I love what I do and couldn't do it with all of you that believe and encourage me!  
Have a great day friends!

Tilda Sunkiss Dresden Plate Quilt

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Good morning.  I finally did something that I've been meaning to do for a while now - 
I took some pictures of my finished Sunkiss Dresden Plate quilt!
I've got so many fun pictures to share with you...I hope you don't mind :).

When Devonstone Square reached out to me to let me know that they are a brand new wholesaler in the USA, carrying Tilda Fabrics by Tone Finnanger (from Norway) and asked if I wanted to collaborate - of course, I said "Yes!!!"  I've been a big fan of Tilda Fabrics for a while now and was excited to get my hands on these beautiful, unique fabrics! 

I wanted to use a pattern that really did these fabrics justice so I chose one of my all-time favorite quilt blocks - the Dresden Plate.  I used the Pretty Petals pattern from my book, Vintage Vibe for the Dresden Plate blocks but omitted the alternate patchwork blocks.

I enjoy making these blocks now...but you need to read the story in my book about how I USED to feel about Dresden Plate quilts.  I used to swear that I would never make a Dresden Plate quilt.  Are any of you currently in that same boat?

Dresden Plates are really not that hard to make and my book walks you through every step of the process.  My book is actually out of print now and I only have a few autographed copies left so click HERE if you're interested in picking up one for yourself.

I do enjoy applique...I just don't do it very often anymore.

You get to spend some good quality time with your fabrics.

And as I always say, "A little progress each day adds up to BIG results!"

Do you like applique?  I think most people either love it or hate it.

My quilt finished at 53" x 53".

It was custom quilted by Kaylene Parry in Lehi, UT.

I love the crosshatching she did in the centers.  Actually, I love everything she did!

I used a light pink solid for the back so the quilting would show up really nicely.
The color is "New Color Petal DV121" from Devonstone Square.

And I decided to do a scrappy binding because I thought it would be a fun touch around the white background and borders.

I had so much fun making this quilt and hope you enjoyed seeing some of the process.

Edited: this quilt is now for sale on Instagram under my destash account.
Click HERE for the link. I'm sad to see it go.  A lot of hours and love went into this quilt but I just don't have a place for it.  It's time to make room for upcoming projects so I've decided to include it in a small destash sale I'm having.  I do hope you'll check it out.

Have a great day friends!
Thanks for stopping by!