Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Block 1 - Hillside House QAL

Hi everyone! Today I'm releasing the pattern for the first block of the #HillsideHousesQAL . This is House #1 on the coloring sheet.



To download the PDF of the pattern, click here.

Here's a few things to keep in mind when making your block:

1) The placement of this block is on the lower left in the empty space shown below.



2) The quilt has options for three different sizes. Don't get overwhelmed when you see the pattern, just stay in your lane and keep your eye on the prize!!

     a)  Throw size -  60" x 75"; the first block is 20" sq
     b)  Wall-hanging size - 30" x 37"; the first block is 10" sq
     c)  Mini - 15" x 18"; the first block is a tiny 5"

3) The coloring sheet has all the house numbers (addresses) on it, so it's a good reference to keep your pieces organized. I will refer to the house numbers on the pattern. The coloring sheet can be found here.

4) If you are making yours in different colors or arrangement, just take notice that I have used a dark shade on one side, and light shade of the same color on the other side of each house. I encourage you to make yours however you want, I just wanted to point that out in case it was difficult to tell. Don't feel obligated to make yours this way!!

5) Have fun. Have fun. HAVE FUN!!!

Let me know if you have any questions! I will release the next block pattern next Wednesday!







Sunday, 26 April 2015

American Made Brand Fabric Giveaway

Good morning everyone. I have a bundle of American Made Brand fabric to giveway on Instagram as part of the Hillside Houses QAL. If you do not have an IG account, you can leave me a comment here and I will enter you to win. Winner will be chosen on Tuesday and is open to anyone in or on planet Earth. Good luck!!!






Monday, 20 April 2015

Hillside Houses Coloring Sheet

Happy Monday again! I created this coloring sheet to use for the #HillsideHousesQAL to help you decide the placement of your colors if you're making it different than mine. It's also a good reference to use no matter how you decide to make it because it all the houses are numbered  and I'll be referring the numbers during the quilt-along. Enjoy!

To download a PDF copy, click here.


Hillside Houses Quilt-Along

Hello everyone! Today I just wanted to drop a couple of lines to announce an upcoming Instagram quilt along I'm hosting with a pattern I designed called "Hillside Houses". The QAL will begin on 1 May and I will be posting all of the instructions for free. The finished quilt measures 60" x 75" and it will be divided up into 12 blocks, and I will be releasing instructions for 2 blocks a week. The information will be Instagram but I'm also creating PDF printouts that you can download here for all the blocks for those of you who (like me) don't want to stare at a tiny screen to figure everything out. If you want to participate, or just follow along, use the hashtag #HillsideHousesQAL on IG. 

house quilt

I decided I wanted to use American Made Brand Fabric to make my quilt, because ever since I saw this pic of their booth at quilt market I wanted to try it out. Their fabric is 100% sourced and manufactured in the U.S., from the cotton farms to the dyeing process. I love the idea of using homegrown fabric.



Fabric Requirements:

This is a great project for using up your solids but if you decide you want to make yours exactly like I’m making mine here’s what you’ll need: 

1 yd light blue for left sides of blue houses and rooftops (AMB 87, Light Denim)
1 yd light gray for the right sides of rooftops  (AMB 05, Light Gray)

1/2 yard of the following colors: 

AMB 97 - Light Sky (for the sky)
AMB 05 - Light Gray (for right sides of rooftops)  
AMB 33 - Aqua
AMB 34 - Dark Aqua
AMB 23 - Light Olive (light green)
AMB 34 - Olive (dark green) 
AMB 90 - Blue 

Fat quarter of each of the following colors: 

AMB 75 - Dark Raspberry (dark pink)
AMB 43 -  Raspberry (medium pink)
AMB 36 - Orange
AMB 67 - Light Gold (light orange or dark yellow)
AMB 62 - Taupe
AMB 60 -  Dark Butter (beige)
AMB 08 - Light yellow (for windows). 

You’ll also need 1/2 yard for binding and 4yds for backing. 


I hope you'll follow along or join in the fun, and make sure to stop by instagram @prettylittlequilts on 25 April because I have a bundle of American Made Brand solids to giveaway!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Button Up Quilt


Button Up Quilt

It feels like forever since I have been able to take a good picture of a quilt. I was very, very happy that the weather was nice today because I just finished up the binding on this one last night. We jumped in the car for a family outing in Thetford Forest and it was an awesome location for quilt pics. I always feel a little weird when taking quilt pics in public places because everyone stares at me like I'm a crazy person. There was a group of picnic-ers behind me gawking when I snapped this shot.

For this quilt I used Cluck Cluck Sew's Button Up pattern, and it's really a fun and easy top to put together. I'm very excited about this quilt because all the fabric was from my current stash. The yellows and greens in the quilt aren't consistent throughout but I was determined not to buy any new fabric for this project. I've been on a fabric fast lately, and am trying to use as much as I can before the big move.

button up quilt

The backing was actually a temporary-turned-permanent set of curtains in house that I made from Glamping gingham fabric. I felt like Scarlett O'Hara as I ripped those suckers down and used them to back the quilt. But I think the backing is perfect for a "country" look. According to my calculations, making this quilt was basically free because I was so resourceful with my current stash--and everyone knows that fabric purchased over 30 days ago doesn't count;)

Hope everyone else is enjoying the weather and is working on some fun projects. : )

Button Up Quilt

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Military-Friendly Quilt Shops

For U.S. military members and their families, shopping online when you live at an APO/FPO address can sometimes be very frustrating.




For those unfamiliar with APO (Army/Air Force Post Office) and FPO (Fleet Post Office or Federal Post Office) addresses, it is an American address that is used for military members living on a base or post overseas. Many U.S. merchants will not ship to APO, or they will only use couriers that do not deliver to APO, like UPS or FedEx. Or they can magically read your IP address and see that you're ordering from a different country, and as a security measure, will decline processing the order.

Of course, members can always order online within the country they live in (if they have what they need); however, it sometimes proves impossible to enter your payment information because the billing address is US and that isn't an option. It seems like there's one roadblock after another.

For the most part, quilt-shops are far ahead of the game when compared to other online merchants. Most quilt shops will now ship APO, whereas when I started quilting a few years back, I could only find a handful that would, and mainly it was only fabric. I had a very difficult time getting notions, or bigger things, like bags of batting. I'm grateful for the shops that would ship to me, and even more grateful that they offered discounts to military members, or would ship those hard-to-obtain items.

And I would like to share those shops with you today and just say "THANK YOU" to them for helping me out. The list is not all-encomposing, and if you know of any others, please let me know!! I will be adding shops to the list as I find them, and there is a button on the sidebar just in case any military members (or their family members) are out there and need quilt supplies!!

Quilt Shops that offer free/discount shipping to APO/FPO addresses:

Quiltbug.com - Free shipping to all APO/FPO address (and will even ship Quilter's Dream Batting--for free!)

Southern Stitches Quilts - Free shipping to all APO/FPO addresses

Quilting Adventures - Free shipping for orders over $35 to all APO/FPO addresses

Crazy Quilt Girl Fabric Shop - Free shipping for orders over $75 to APO/FPO addresses

Fat Quarter Shop - Free shipping for orders over $80 to all APO/FPO addresses

Donna's Lavender Nest - $5 shipping for orders up to 10 yards for all APO/FPO addresses

Quilt shops that will ship bolts of batting:

JOANN - Offers an in-store 10% discount to military members every day. Will also ship batting by the bolt to APO/FPO addresses for about $20 (and you can still use your 40% off coupon). The shipping is SAM (space available) but finding a merchant that will ship such a large item is worth recognition).

Other quilt shops that ship APO/FPO:

Hawthorne Threads

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Fresh Modern Fabric

UK Fabric shops that will ship to US APO addresses in the UK:

SewandQuilt.co.uk

The Homemakery

The Village Haberdashery

Again, I would just like to say "THANK YOU" to all the quilt shops out there that support their military members, and understand that girls who wear combat-boots to work can still be quilters!!





Saturday, 4 April 2015

Binding



For me, there's only one pro to binding a quilt with a sewing machine--it's quick. The cons, however, are endless. For starters, the process is completely stressful. Days before I even start the binding I'm trying to get myself mentally prepared. I practice lots of exercises in deep breathing, a little music therapy, and as the time to begin gets closer, a motivating counseling session with myself in the mirror isn't unheard of. 

After I've machine-sewn the binding to one side, I start to break out in a cold sweat, because I know it's about to get real. While I'm sewing the binding to the opposite side, I try to stare without blinking, because I know with one flinch my stitches will run up over the binding and all hope will be lost. It's very easy to mess up, and with all the time that is spent on a quilt, I don't want the last step to be the one that ruins it all. 

I've tried many, many different methods to make my machine-binding look as good as possible: sewing it to the front and folding-it over and sewing to the back, sewing it on the back and folding it over toward the front, sewing through the front and back at the same time, sewing it to one side and then folding it over and sewing through both sides. Time and again I've tried to make my machine binding look professional, but I'm almost never happy with it. So, I finally decided to do something different.

I started hand-sewing my binding. I avoided trying it for a long time because I thought it would take too much time. Of course, it takes ALOT longer, but I absolutely love it. There's no crazy talk in the mirror, no cold-sweats, no stressful sewing--just me and the quilt watching TV together. The process is completely relaxing, and it looks worlds better when it's all done. I might not hand-sew the binding on every quilt in the future, but if time allows, I think it definitely worth the extra effort.