Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Color Challenge

Welcome to the March Color Challenge!

Here is block three of the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge. Each month a new block is provided for free.

12" finished

Grab your free March block pattern HERE. Each pattern has cutting instructions for a 6" or 12" finished block. At the end of the year there will be a few different settings provided to you to finish your Color Challenge Quilt.

12" finished

6" finished

Visit these bloggers to see their March blocks, and to get a few extra free patterns.

The Prize

This month's sponsor is Make Modern Quilt Magazine. 

They have provided THREE 6 month subscriptions to their magazine. That means THREE winners! You are not going to want to miss out on this one. Finish something yellow this month and add it to the link up that will start March 24th.

Grand Prize

Plus, each month you enter the link up gives you an entry for the Grand Prize.

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

For every month you enter the link up, you get an entry for the grand prize.

The generous prize provided is you will get your top quilted by her (up to 90" x 90"),  a $202.50 value!

You must provide the backing, 8" longer than width and length. Batting can be purchased from Jen, for $20, if you like.

Return shipping is included for US residents only.
**Please note, the quilt will not be trimmed or bound, those services are extra**

Piecing Hints

Chain piecing is your friend. Even with Flying Geese. Feed them in one after the other and you will be done in no time.

Even after you have cut and pressed the first round, keep chain piecing. In this shot you can see I don't cut my thread after stitching the first seam, I keep the units together and feed them in as a chain.

Find trimming instructions for Flying Geese units HERE.

I stitch with the point of my goose facing up so I can watch where it is and keep all my points.

Before pressing your units, make sure to set your seams. Just a quick press with the iron is all you need, but it helps keep those seams flat.

6" finished block

What's next?

You've visited the bloggers, you've made the block, or something in yellow, and you're ready for the next step. Entering for prizes! On March 24th I will open up a link party. From March 24 - March 31 you can add your yellow "something" to the link up party. One entry per person, please. On April 2nd (April 1st is Easter this year and I will be with family) I will randomly choose a winner. 

**Remember! Every month you enter gives you an entry for the grand prize. If you enter all 12 months you receive 12 entries into the grand prize!**

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Announcing The Border Quilt Quilt Along with Northcott Fabrics

Who is ready for another quilt along? What if I told you it won't start until August, can you be ready by then?

Shown in original fabrics, coming in Enchanted Forest fabrics late spring.

I am so excited to announce The Border Quilt Quilt Along. 

Hello soft gloriousness.

I am even more excited to announce that we will be using The Enchanted Forest Line by Hilltop Designs for Northcott Fabrics, and they have made it into a kit! This brand new line will be shipping to stores in July, BUT shops are ordering the fabric (and the kits) *right now!*

Why is this important to you? If you would like to join the quilt along using the Enchanted Forest Kit, let your LQS (Local Quilt Shop) know, or other fabric provider know. That way you are sure to get it.

We will be using this as the center for this quilt along, but there is enough fabric to make the diamond center if you would rather.

This line is a flannel fabric line, but don't let that scare you!!  Flannel is amazing to work with. I will be sharing tips, plus I will have already made the quilt and will know if there are any issues with any of the blocks.

The quilt along will begin in early August, slightly dependent on when the fabric ships out to stores. We will work on a new border every 2 weeks, which will give those of us in the northern hemisphere a wonderfully cozy quilt just in time for winter, and those in the southern hemisphere all summer to quilt it in preparation for their winter.

A mock up of The Border Quilt in the Enchanted Forest fabrics.

The kit is for the largest size available, but you can certainly join and make one of the smaller sizes. The pattern is available now in three places and fabric requirements are shown:
Etsy (paper and digital)
Craftsy ( digital only)
Payhip (digital only)

If you are a store looking to order the patterns at wholesale, please email me directly!

There will be more information and a clearer schedule coming later, but now is the time to let your shop know you want this kit!

If you have questions, either put them in the comments or email me.

Happy (excited) stitching!!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Monday, February 26, 2018

One Monthly Goal - February Finish

I am joining in with the One Monthly Goal hosted by Elm Street Quilts.

My OMG is going to be the same all year long as I try to keep up with my LQS's BOM program. Find my original post HERE.

This month's color is blue, which ties in nicely with the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge, where the color is blue there as well. PS You can still link up something blue for a chance to win. Get February's block HERE, though you just need to make something blue, not the block provided.

The extra block I pulled from the pile is for December 2017. I'm kind of loving that both extra pulls have been from the same year, so I may decide to stick to 2017 and finish two quilts.

Here is the finished 2018 block. We are using the VBlock Trimmer from Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design. This is by far my favorite block to make, or at least a very close second to the Half Square Triangle.

Here is the finished December 2017 block. I love a good patriotic color way.

I'm looking forward to March and continuing to actually finish one thing each month.
Happy Stitching!

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts and the One Monthly Goal February Finish Link Up.

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Pattern cover update

I decided to upgrade the back of my covers where I list fabric requirements.

Old pattern back

When I first started, my patterns were simple and small enough that I could use a "pretty" font and make them "artistic."

Unfortunately, not only did that make it harder to read (who needs to read when it can look pretty, ha) it became harder and harder to fit in all of the requirements without causing confusion.

Enter the "easier to read" (hopefully) Fabric Requirements table.

New pattern back

Not only should it be easier to read, I can add backing and binding requirements as well. Backing and binding can be personal preferences, do you like having a base to go off of for those? Let me know in the comments.

I have a few patterns left that have the old set up on the back, but with each new reprint the old is becoming new again. I'd love to hear whatyou think of the new layout.

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February Color Challenge Link Up

The February Link up is here!

This is the second link up of the 2018 Color Challenge. Remember each month you enter into the Link Up gives you an entry into the drawing for the Grand Prize at the end of the year.

The link  up starts February 21 at 12:01 AM CST and ends February 28th at 11:59 PM CST. All you need to do to be eligible is make something blue. One entry per person, link up your Instagram, Flickr or blog post. If you don't have any of these email me a picture of your entry. I will post it on my Instagram, with credit to you, and get it entered into the link up.

Email me at patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com

Your entry does not need to be the block provided HERE. It just needs to be something blue you made in February.

This months giveaway is a $25 gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop!

I've added a tutorial to help with linking up your Instagram accounts HERE.
Happy Stitching!

**Instagram users need to use a picture from their files, please take a look at the tutorial above.**

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

The winner is

Melissa!!  Check out her link and why she made Lily's quilt. Congratulations Melissa!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

MiniLove with Island Batik

Do you love mini quilts? If so, this is the month for you!

Introducing Lemon Lime!

I chose to use the red/pink/cream Valentine's fat quarter bundle that Island Batik sent as part of the box for the ambassadors.  This of course changed the look of the mini and she's neither lemony or limey, but she's still pretty!

I found the binding fabric in one of the rolls of the stash builders also sent. This was perfect, because my mini finishes at 14" square and while I had to piece 2 binding strips that were the width of the fabric, it was easier than cutting multiple strips from one of the fat quarters.

While the fabric requirements are given in yardage amounts, a fat quarter works well for all three colors. For the background I simply folded the fat quarter in half the long way (20") and there was plenty of fabric.

Tips for piecing minis

Accurate piecing begins with using a sharp needle. If you can't remember the last time you changed your needle, now is a good time.

I chose to make the pieced units over sized and then trim them down, this also helps with keeping your small points pointy.  I have found that using pins adds too much bulk when piecing the units together. These pieces are small enough that you can butt those seams together, not pin, and they do not shift.

While I have given pressing instructions to help nest seems, you don't have to worry about them once the 4 patch units are pieced, so spin those seams!

When piecing my long strips I pin once in the middle and once at the end. These strips are cut to size, and we aren't trimming them, so we want them to match up on both ends evenly.

I do that when adding the last strip as well.

Pin that baby and quilt! I simply did stitch in the ditch. I had planned on doing hearts in the Square in a Square units, but this little thing fought me all the way and it was time to finish and move on. Have you ever had one of those?

In all her pink and red glory. See how to make a miniature hanging sleeve HERE

Grab Lemon Lime HERE. It is free through February 28.

(Page down a little more and find the rest of the Island Batik Ambassadors. They will all be sharing minis this month! Thank you to Pamela from Pamela Quilts for the full list!)

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


I finished my first Island Batik Ambassador challenge. The GALentines Day Challenge. Whoop!

All the fabrics used for this project were given to me by Island Batik as an Island Batik Ambassador. 

I had never heard of GALentine's Day, and if you haven't either, you will find this video helpful.

I used this tutorial from Red Shoe Ramblings.

**Edited to add: My post office said my GALentines post cards were a "hair to big" and charged me more to mail them. So maybe trim your final size down to 3 7/8" x 5 7/8" and see if that helps.**

My LQS had Timtex, so that is what I used. It comes on a roll, like bolts of fabric. I just bought 1/8 of a yard, it's kind of funky.

Once you add the Wonder Under it flattens up nicely.

I grabbed a sewing machine off the internet for one of my postcards. This one has a definite direction so make sure, if you have an image that is directional, you reverse it.

I chose to just trace the larger areas.

I used Wonder Under for the hearts as well, because the background fabric covered all of the Wonder Under on the Timtex.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and went improv on the background.

I used one of the many fancy stitches available on my machine, and Aurifil thread that I found in my thread stash (side note, who knew one could have a "thread stash"), to stitch the raw edges down. I also discovered my machine has a satin stitch. Who knew??!!  It finished the post cards perfectly.

While my handwriting needs work, I made sure to mark these with POST CARD at the top, as required by the post office.

Now I just need to address them and send them out! This was fun, and you still have time to make up a couple and get them to your girlfriends.

Have you made postcards before? I'd love to hear about them. Share in the comments!

Happy Stitching!

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for daily sneak peeks and updates.