Summer Stars Quilt Bee Quilt

Saturday, April 23, 2022

 I finally got some pictures of my finished New Friends Quilt Bee quilt
and today, I'd like to share all the details of this project with you!

In January of 2021, I reached out to a bunch of people on 
Instagram and asked them if they wanted to join a quilt bee with me.
Some said yes and some said no.  In the end, I got 9 people
that wanted to join - for a total of 10 people including me.
I think there are usually 12 people in this kind of bee but I
thought 10 was okay so we wouldn't have to worry
about it during December and we had already missed January.

I assigned each person a month and set up a google doc with everyone's 
names, emails, Instagram handles, shipping addresses, ship dates, and a place for notes/instructions.
Everyone needed to email out their pattern instructions a week or two before their month started.
We started making blocks in February.

I chose my pattern, Summer Stars which you can find in my Etsy shop HERE.

I asked everyone to use peaches and greys to give it a 
nod to Halloween without screaming "Halloween".

I asked the ladies to make 1 Large Star block.

And if they so desired, a small star block center or two.

It was so fun when the blocks started rolling in!

I'm really happy with the way the whole thing came together.

For the back of the quilt, I used Blooming Soul in Nectarine from the line, 
Nectarine Fusion by Art Gallery.  I saw someone post about it on
Instagram and fell in love!  I liked that it had a few shades of peach
and that it looked like an old vintage sheet!

I bound it in this woven gray stripe fabric
(sorry, I'm not sure what it's called - there was no info on the selvage.)

My friend Jen Ostler in Highland, Utah quilted it for me
with straight lines.  She is seriously the best!  She always does a fantastic job and
then trims my quilt, ties it up with a coordinating ribbon, and attaches a chocolate to the
receipt.  What more could you want!?!

I really wanted a label on this quilt so I could capture all the information for
this project: the pattern name, the bee name, the year, and all
of the participants' names.  I ended up splurging and ordering
one from Ever Emblem ($16 + shipping).  They charge by the sheet so it's $16 
whether you get 1 large label or 20 small labels.  It seemed like a lot for just
one label but to be fair they did send a few extra labels with just my name and city 
(which was very nice of them!  I wasn't expecting that!)   My label measures
about 3" x 4".  If you ever order a large, single, custom label from them - 
ask if they can fit some other labels on the sheet to get the most bang for your buck!

This is the queen-size version of Summer Stars.
The pattern includes instructions for a lap and twin size version, as well.
Click HERE to visit my shop.

I'm so thankful to my new friends for participating
in this quilt bee with me!  It was a fun way to try new block patterns and
we even emailed out bio's about ourselves with our pattern instructions 
so it was a great way to get to know each other.  Thank you:

Natalie Jacob (@fijimamaquilts)
Mariana Diaz (@sewmariana)
Andy Knowlton (@abrightcorner)
Jessica Dayon (@jessicadayon)
Deidra McCollum (@quiltyobsession)
Emily Milke (@egmquilted)
Kelli Rummel (@thewillowmarket)
Brittany Davis (@bmariedavis)
Tavia Donaghe (@heytavia)

for joining me on that journey!

Check out the #newfriendsquiltbee hashtag to see
everyone else's bee quilts.

2 Stars A Day Quilt

Monday, April 11, 2022

 At the end of January, I got an itch to play with my
Liberty of London fabric stash again.  It's been a while since 
I made a quilt using Liberty fabrics and it's such a shame to have such beautiful fabrics 
go untouched for any substantial period of time.  (And if you really must see
my first Liberty quilt, click HERE and scroll down.  It's truly one of my favorites.)

So I started playing around but ultimately didn't love the direction I went 
so I set everything aside for a few months to regroup.

As I was eating lunch today (leftover baked penne pasta if you must know...) 
I was inspired to make a Star block; with my Liberty fabrics. 
Which evolved into the idea of making 1 Star block every day for an extended
period of time and to see if you guys wanted to join me!

So I went upstairs to my computer.  Mocked up a 6" Star block in my EQ software.
Made TWO Star blocks.  Liked my Star blocks.
Mocked up a quilt with Star blocks.  And asked if you guys wanted to join me
on Instagram.  It all happened really fast.  When I want to do something I
It's a blessing and a curse...

I thought it might be fun to play with two different color backgrounds for the blocks
but you could go as scrappy or unified as you want!  
You are welcome to use this 6" block anytime, in any configuration, and
to make as many as you want!  You can join me for this Two-A-Day
challenge or if now is not a good time for a new project - you can
save this post/pattern for another time.

Here is the simple quilt I mocked up.  I figured if I upped my original plan from 
1 block a day to 2 blocks a day I could have it done in about a month.
(And if you're going to go to all the effort to pull out fabric and cut said fabric - 
you might as well make more than 1 block.  
But I still wanted to keep this a quick, daily project.)

This quilt finishes at 57-1/2" x 72-1/2".

Here's my plan:

Make: 2 Star blocks a day
Start date: 4/18/22
End date: 5/18/22
Total Star blocks: 63 
(1 is extra - could use as a label on the back?)

Materials needed for the above layout:
Cream background and sashing rectangles: 2-1/4 yards
Tan background, sashing squares, and borders: 2-1/8 yards
Assorted bright prints: approximately 2-1/4 yards
Binding: 5/8 yard
Backing: 3-2/3 yards

Click HERE for the very simple instructions.
Oh, and I just decided I will try to do a lot of the cutting prior to next Monday.
That will make it a lot easier to sew 2 blocks a day!

If you decide to join me on this project, tag me on Instagram @gigis_thimble.  
Be sure to use the hashtags #gigisthimblepattern and #twostarsadayquilt when posting 
about this quilt so I don’t miss your version.

I hope you'll join me and I can't wait to see what you make with your Star blocks!
Let me know if you have any questions.

Boxy - A New Quilt Pattern

Monday, March 28, 2022

Hi friends!
I have a new pattern I wanted to tell you about today.

Meet Boxy:

Boxy is a 5" square-friendly pattern that is very beginner-friendly!
It's a great way to use up some of those random charm packs you 
probably have in your stash!

It comes with instructions for 3 size options - Twin, Queen, and King!
This is the twin size.  It would be a great quilt for gifting
as it is pretty quick to put together and would look great in any
color scheme!

I cut 5" squares from my stash for the main prints and then paired them
with bright, happy solids to give this version a summery vibe!  The binding fabric
is a Tent Stripe from Tula Pink's Pom Poms & Stripes collection (color - Poppy).

I used this colorful print for the back.  
It's called Asian Circles in Pink by Kaffe Fassett.
Isn't it fun!?!

Jen Ostler in Highland, Utah quilted it for me with this new-to-me
echo square design called Symmetry by Patricia E. Ritter.
Jen recommended that design and I think it was perfect 
for this quilt!  Thanks Jen!

I have paper and PDF patterns now listed in my shop.
Click HERE to grab yours!  I can't wait to see your version! 

Happy quilting!

Alpine Paper Piecing Block

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

 Hi friends!
Today I have a little freebie for ya!

My local quilt guild is doing a sampler quilt this year
and they've asked every member to contribute one
9" finished quilt block pattern and sample block.
Every month 3 people will share a pattern.
We can make our own sampler quilt using the patterns
in whatever colors we choose but for the 
sample blocks we are supposed to use bright colors.
Once everyone has shared their pattern we'll put all of 
the sample blocks into a charity quilt to donate. Sounds fun right?

So today I am sharing my block pattern with you!
We're supposed to share a block pattern that represents something we like or a 
quilting method we like to do.  Well, I live in Alpine, Utah
and I'm surrounded by big, beautiful mountains!  
I love to hike and enjoy the beautiful views around me.  
Here's a picture of me and some friends from last summer. 
These mountains are in American Fork Canyon and they're 
just a short drive from my house!

I combined my love of the mountains with my love of paper piecing
and designed this block called the Alpine block.

The green Flying Geese and brown Plus represent trees and the pink
corners represent mountains.  The blue represents the sky.
I think this block would be cute in any colorway though
and when put together with more blocks in alternating colors it creates a cool
secondary pattern reminiscent of a design you would see
in a kaleidoscope!

Basic paper piecing knowledge is required for this block.
I am not going to explain how to paper piece here but I do have some tutorials
that I've done in the past that you might find helpful if you're
new to paper piecing or just need a refresher on this method.

- Elmers washable glue stick
- Scissors
- Rotary cutter, acrylic ruler & cutting mat
- Sewing machine, coordinating thread & iron
- Trash bin
- 4 pink 4" squares (mountains)
- 8 green 2-1/2" x 4" rectangles (trees)
- 2 brown 2" squares (tree trunks)
- 1 brown 1-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangle (tree trunks)
- 8 blue 2-1/2" x 5" rectangles (corner sections)
- 4 blue 2" squares (tree base section)
- 16 blue 3" squares (Flying Geese corners)


Step 1: Print the pattern HERE.
The printed tree sections with trunks should
measure 3-1/2" x 4-1/2" from the outer thin black lines.  
The rest of the sections should all measure 3-1/2" x 3-1/2".
Roughly cut the sections apart.

Step 2: make 4 of the corner sections. 

Trim each completed section on the outer thin black lines.
Each section should measure 3-1/2" x 3 1/2".

Step 3: make 4 of the tree sections
(2 of them have trunks on them and 2 do not).

Trim each completed tree section on the outer thin black lines.
The tree sections without trunks should measure 3-1/2" x 3 1/2".
The tree sections with trunks should measure 3-1/2" x 4-1/2".

Step 4: Sew a brown 1-1/2" x 4-1/2" to the bottom of a tree with trunk section.
Press and trim the excess brown fabric.

Sew the remaining tree with trunk section to the bottom of the above unit 
as shown below and press.

Step 5: Lay out all of the sections as shown below. 

6. Sew the corner sections and trees without trunk sections together
in rows as shown below.  Press.

7. Sew the rows together.  Press and carefully remove all of the paper so as to
not stretch the fabric or pull out any stitches.

The block should measure 9-1/2" x 9-1/2" unfinished.

I hope you enjoy this free pattern!  Please let me know
if you have any questions and if you decide to use this pattern
and post about it on Instagram please tag me @gigis_thimble and
use the hashtags #gigisthimblepattern and #alpineblock.

Happy quilting!

Holly Jolly Block of the Week

Sunday, February 27, 2022

 Hi friends!
Today I want to share a project I finished recently
that was designed by one of my Instagram friends, Jessica Dayon.
I've collaborated with Jessica before HERE and HERE and I'm
always amazed at her proficiency and creativity!
She is so generous with the number of free patterns and quilt-alongs
she offers and she truly has a great eye for design.
Last year Jessica offered this sampler pattern called the 
Holly Jolly Block of the Week.  She used the Holly Holiday fabric line
by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake.  The pattern was offered through a free
quilt-along Jessica hosted and the pattern is still available on her blog HERE.
I decided to go a completely different route than Jessica and use blues, creams, and
browns instead of traditional Christmas colors.  I had in my stash, this Nature's Basket 
layer cake by Blackbird Designs for Moda that I wanted to use.  I love seeing how different 
a pattern can look through fabric/color choice!
I also pulled a lot of coordinating fabrics from my stash 
to make it extra scrappy!
I found it helpful to tape the blocks to my wall so I could
determine color placement as I went.  There were so many fabulous
block patterns included in this pattern.  I would love to make full quilts 
out of several of them.

Sampler quilts provide a great opportunity to learn and stretch our skills!
I seriously LOVED making each and every block!
You may have noticed that this flower block is not in the original version of the
Holly Jolly Block of the Week.  I omitted the 3 tree blocks and used this pattern
that an Instagram follower sent me.  She used one of Corey Yoder's flower patterns with my 
Summer Stars block as the center!  I appreciated her sharing the idea with me and 
think it turned out pretty cute!
Two other changes I made to the pattern -
1. I kept the week 6 Peppermint Bark blocks as Pinwheels (not peppermint candies).
2. I enlarged the outer border from 3" finished to a 5" finished border so I could
use up the last of the light blue floral fabric I had in my stash.
I had my awesome quilter, Jen Ostler in Highland, Utah quilt it with an all-over
swirl and feather design called Citrine.  Sometimes I lean towards custom quilting
on a sampler quilt but I think the all-over quilting keeps the focus on
the quilt blocks instead of the quilting.  I'm really happy with the quilting on this.  Thanks Jen!
For the back of my quilt, I used this tan and white plaid fabric that
I received from my grandmother after she passed away.  I love it and
think it's perfect for this quilt!
(I just have to throw in this cute picture of my sweet dog Molly in front of
my Holly Jolly quilt.  She's my little sidekick.)
I absolutely loved making this quilt and I'm so happy
with the way it turned out.  I highly recommend it if you're looking 
for a way to try out lots of different blocks and expand your skills!
Visit Jessica's blog HERE for this free pattern and many more!
Thanks for stopping by today!