Thursday, May 24, 2018

May Color Challenge Link Up

The May Color Challenge Link Up is now open!




Did you make the free block from Patterns By Jen, or something else in green?




If you made something green *this* month, you can enter the Link Up, open through May 31st, for a chance to win fabric from Island Batik.




They have sponsored May with a fat eighth bundle of their Mountain's Majesty line. It's gorgeous (and perfect for June's challenge. Hint Hint)




If you are having trouble linking up read this post. If you are still having trouble please email me directly; patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com and I will happily get you added.

Don't forget, for each month you enter the Link Up, you are also entered for the grand prize at the end of the year:

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

The generous prize provided is 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**




Good luck and Happy Stitching!
Jen



New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Trunk Shows and Classes

Did you know I do Trunk Shows and Classes?



I love to talk quilting with fellow quilters and share my love of the craft. If your guild is looking for a trunk show or class please feel free to contact me. patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com

My trunk show lasts about an hour and has over 30 quilts to see. Trunk show only fee: $250  Plus travel.




Any of my patterns are available to be taught as a class, but if you are looking for a quilt that can often be done at a one day retreat I have a couple of those to choose from:

Broken Panes




Strip piecing and trimming, along with the big block concept, makes this quilt a great day retreat class. Fee: $500  With Trunk Show: $600  Plus travel. Pattern not included, each participant must have their own pattern.

Spinning Bowties




Trimming HST units is more fun with friends! Make a lap sized quilt and perfect that HST unit. Fee: $500 With Trunk Show $600  Plus travel. Pattern not included, each participant must have their own pattern.




Star Light, Star Bright Sampler won't be finished in a day, but you will have a great start on this gorgeous sampler. Or if you choose one of the smaller projects included in the pattern, maybe you will get a top pieced. Half Day Fee: $350 Full Day Fee: $600 Plus travel. Pattern not included, each participant must have their own pattern.




If you want something more challenging both the Softly Circled and Gradient Stars quilts have smaller sizes that are great for retreats. 




While you may not go home with a finished top, you will have a great start and build your confidence with the specialty rulers or templates. Half day fee: $350 Full Day Fee: $600  Plus travel. Pattern not included, each participant must have their own pattern. Contact me for information on weekend retreats. patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

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

Friday, May 4, 2018

Trimming Layer Cakes Tutorial





I found myself in possession of a gorgeous layer cake, provided by Island Batik as part of their Ambassador program, and needed to find a way to use them.  This tutorial will be going over how I trimmed them down to the size I needed (8 inches square), it will work for all sizes except for the original 10 inches they are supposed to come in.




First I laid out the first square...not square.
(PS Forgive the glare, I was still getting used to the new sewing room set up, I think I've figured out how to avoid it now.)


I am trimming my layer cake down to 8" so I want to line up the ruler making sure I can see 8 all the way around *on* the fabric.




When you are trimming any unit, I think it's important to make the first trim as little as possible.  The less you take of in the first trim the more wiggle room you have for miss cuts.




Rotate your fabric square.




Line up the 8" mark (in this case) along the newly trimmed edge.




Taking the least amount of fabric with my first trim means I have very usable pieces left after the second trim.




This is the second square.  Not square. If you want to use pre-cuts keep in mind that the accuracy can be off, which can throw your pattern off, so just check sizes. Or, if you are more of a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of quilter, just go for it, and know that I'm slightly jealous of your ability to let go.

One thing that is really nice about pre-cuts is the variety you get in each one, so I think trimmed down they are a great way to add to your stash.  I cut my bindings at 2" so a jelly roll would make great scrappy bindings.



The 2 1/2" mini charm packs work perfectly with the 1" hexagons from Paper Pieces. I used a couple packs to make this table runner a few years ago.

Do you use pre-cuts? Do you use them as is, or do you cut them down for different sizes? Let me know in the comments. Be sure to add your email address so I can talk with you!

Happy Stitching!
Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018

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


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May Color Challenge

We've been waiting for it and it's finally arrived, the May Color Challenge is here!




Anyone else feel like they need some green in their life? It's been missing for far too long here, but I noticed buds on the lilac bushes last week, so I think we're in for some green.




Grab your free pattern HERE.. 
**The block patterns, and setting instructions, will be available for free until June 2019, at which point they will be bundled and sold as a full pattern. Settings will be released in December**




Blog Hop

Don't forget to visit the other bloggers. A few of the bloggers have designed their own block for you and they have been pretty great so far. You won't want to miss them.

Joanne of Quilts By Joanne 

The Prize

Island Batik is our sponsor again this month.

At the end of the month there will be a link up and you could win a fat eighth bundle of their beautiful Mountain's Majesty line.

Piecing tips


The square in a square units are over sized for trimming.

Since we will be trimming these down you don't need to worry about matching the centers on any of the pieces for the square in a square. Find hints for trimming the square in a square units HERE.



I find when I'm working with larger pieces for the No Waste Flying Geese units, it helps to lay them out to make sure I see which way the lines are.




Then starting with just one square I start sewing.




I add the second one as I get close to the center. I have found the second square slips around on these bigger sizes and it's distracting. This way I can make sure it's lined up properly when its time to add it.  Find trimming instructions HERE.




Find trimming instructions for the Half Square Triangle units HERE.




This is a pretty simple block, because lets face it, we want to be outside right now. At least here in the northern hemisphere, those of you finally ending your extended summer (as we are finally ending our extended winter) have my sympathies, but that's because winter was so long. I'll be ready for it again come October...or January.




What's next?
You've visited the bloggers, you've made the block, or something in green, and you're ready for the next step. Entering for prizes! On May I will open up a link party. From May 24 - May 31 you can add your green "something" to the link up party. One entry per person, please, and it must be made in May. On June 1st 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!**

Grand Prize

Jen at Dizzy Quilter is providing the grand prize! 

The generous prize provided 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**

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018


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


Monday, April 30, 2018

Looking Back with Island Batik

Welcome to April's Island Batik challenge: Looking Back Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations.




I have always wanted to make a 6 pointed star quilt. There's something about them that draws me. While I love English Paper Piecing, there isn't a lot of time in my world for that right now, so my take on creating something new from vintage was to search for a way to make the 6 pointed star without needing the paper piecing part.  If you do a search, you will see I'm not the only one who has had that thought, but thankfully, we can use their methods and not come up with something new. Frankly, they had me at strip piecing.


Fancy numbering system

I chose to use the method shown here by Carla of Kits by Carla. After watching her video I ordered the shortcut sheet, downloaded it and got started.




I chose to use the bright colors from the Southern Blooms fabric given to me from Island Batik as part of their Ambassador program. I chose the brightest colors from the grouping I received, because I felt they had a less vintage-y feel. Of course, I think I zeroed that out with the yellow background, which always makes me think of vintage.




While she shows you how to trim a 60 degree angle, if you have a 60 degree ruler, save yourself some time and use it. It's just easier. Don't be like me and take 24 hours to remember you actually HAVE a 60 degree ruler.




This time when sewing, and quilting, my batiks I used a 70/10 size needle. My longarmer recommended going smaller, not larger with my needle, as recommended by those that sell the longarm machines. It sewed and quilted fabulously, and didn't sound quite so much like punching through the fabric.




Once your stars are pieced you get to do my favorite thing: trim to size. I love trimming to size for the pure accuracy of it.




Once I had my stars made it was time to decide on a layout. Part of the reason I chose the on-point layout was becasue I liked how it looked, the other part was, I could get away with only making ten stars (per the instructions, though I only used nine)  and still reach the required size. Shhhhhh.




I kind of felt like the plain setting squares were, well, plain.




I added a few colored pieced to them to see if I liked it better and decided against it. I really preferred the plain in the end.




Quilting, as always, was the hard part. I struggle with quilting motifs, and always go back to the good ole walking foot. This time, while I still did "lines" I did do it free hand. I found the perfect yellow verigated thread at my LQS, and just went for it. I didn't quilt the border or the stars, and did a scrappy binding.




I used a piece of the batting given to me from Hobbs Batting through the Island Batik Ambassador program. For this one I used their Heirloom Premium 80/20. It's a very soft batting, that feels a little thinner than the batting I usually get, but I think it would be perfect for a summer quilt, or a baby quilt that you want to be soft and cuddly.




Voila! My vintage inspiration made new.
PS 20 mph winds *will* blow through a fence and mess up your nice quilt.

Would you have added the added color in the setting squares? Let me know in the comments.
Happy Stitching!
Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018


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


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Crossing Borders Quilt Shop Hop 2018

My daughter and I went on our annual shop hop hosted by the shops of SW Minnesota and SE South Dakota.

We hit 8 of the 9 shops in one day and traveled many, many miles. 468 to be exact.




Our first stop was Prairie Quilting in Windom, Minnesota. This unique shop is one side of a feed mill (cute story, you should read the "about us," we should all have a husband so supportive)  and has a great fabric selection. In this shop I picked up two fabrics to make a new cover quilt for my Criss Crossing pattern. I've always wanted to do it in just one color and a background and I think this yellow is going to be perfect.




Next stop was in Sherburn, Minnesota at the Old Alley Quilt Shop. This is a little gem I had no idea was here. If you are in the Southwest part of Minnesota it's worth the stop. Right off Interstate 90 it's convenient, too. Here I started my goal to add to my white/grey/black stash. I love geometric patterns on my black and whites.




Crafty Corner in Worthington, Minnesota was our next stop. Bolts and bolts of fabric and a few more bolts after that. I picked up some blacks and greys here as well.  I got 1/2 yard of each black/grey/white to build up my neutrals.




A hop, skip and a jump later and we found ourselves in Luverne, Minnesota at the Sewing Basket. They had some fun blacks to add to my growing pile. I wish I had more time in each shop, because each one has their own special feel. When you're fitting in 8 shops in one day, though it doesn't leave a lot of time for enjoying.  Luverne is our usual lunch stop, so we grabbed some Subway for the road and kept on.




All the way to Beresford, South Dakota. This shop, Shanty Stitchers, has quilting fabrics as well as many cross stitching designs. I had to pick one up. I loved to do cross stitching and haven't for a long time. This one is a little bigger than I have ever done, but Nativities are kind of my thing, so I had to grab it.




Along with some more fabrics.




The Dutch Rose in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was our next stop. Take a moment to go through each of the rooms they have so you don't miss all of the goodies.




Continuing north on Interstate 29 we stopped at Always Your Design in Dell Rapids, SD. A large, open store, you could get lost in here if you don't pay attention. ;)  We grabbed a few black fabrics here.




Our last stop for Saturday was in Watertown, SD at Dakota Quilt Shop. Head upstairs for a selection of marbles, batiks and more.  Here I switched it up and instead went for a couple of fabrics in my favorite color.  Now I'm thinking instead of keeping those fabrics for my neutrals stash I may need to cut them all up, add these purples and make myself a quilt.




Sunday I ran to Fabrics Plus in Marshall, Minesota, my local quilt shop. I have all the love for this shop, full of thousands of bolts of beautiful fabric, this is my second happy place only behind my sewing room.  Here I ended up purchasing some fabrics to replace some that I lost in a "water incident" that happened in my sewing room while I was shop hopping on Saturday.

While I didn't get any photos of the inside of these shops, I hope if you are in the area you stop in and show them some love.  Without our beloved brick an mortar stores we lose the chance to feel those fabrics, meet face to face with fellow fabric lovers, and get in person support. Love my LQS ladies!


The Crossing Borders Spring Fling 2018 ends May 5th, so head out and visit these great shops. PS you could win a Bernina. What, what!!??


Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.


The Border Quilt Quilt Along is coming August 2018


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