Monday, July 13, 2015

The Great Granny Bag ~ Picked By Jen

Welcome to a new Picked By Jen! Today’s pick is The Great Granny Bag, from Emmaline Bags.

I love mine. This thing will hold everything, including the kitchen sink, but is still so stinking cute.

When I made my bag I combined all of my favorites; flamingos, polka dots, hand stitching and a great bag. It was quick and easy.

I use this bag to carry the pieces I’m sharing at my LQS (Local Quilt Shop), Fabrics Plus, during our Block of the Month Class.

 I also use it to carry quilts that I am binding. There is a great little pocked that is perfect for carrying thread, pins and scissors.

I just don’t think you can have enough bags, and I certainly need to make myself another one, or two or three.

I would love to see any of your finished Picked By Jen pieces. You can share them on my flickr page.

Piece In Joy!

Friday, July 10, 2015


I chose one of my test quilts for Pinwheel Pizzazz to finish this week. All it needed was the binding. I have many projects in various stages of construction, but it was easy to pick this one. 1) It's July and this is Patriotic. 2) Because my Etsystore is new I need to add pictures of various color pallets. 3) This is the most important reason; my family is freezing. Apparently I keep it a bit cold in my house and they are dying. I keep telling them, they can add more layers, they do NOT want me taking more off! Well, now they can snuggle under a quilt. In July. In hot, humid MN... I think they are crazy.

I cut my binding 2" by the width of the fabric. I don't use a biased binding. When I finish the quilt with scalloped borders sitting in my "Needs to be quilted" bin mentioned here. I will cut on the bias. for now, this is quick, easy and works for me. 

Not only was this quilt already quilted, it was squared up. Yeah. Just sitting here for a few years waiting on me. Usually I mark my line, stitch my binding and then trim off the excess fabric, but here you see that was already done. I use my walking foot to stitch on the binding, it really helps keep it from bunching and pulling. 

Once that is done, I get to move on to my favorite part. Hand stitching it down. I love hand stitching. It's calm and rhythmic and you can get into a zone, or just watch your favorite shows. And once that last stitch is taken and knotted off, you have a beautiful quilt to cuddle under or gift.

 I usually choose a thread that matches the binding, not the backing. In this case I had to do a two color binding, because I didn't have enough of one color to do the whole thing. I was lucky enough to have 2 matching threads. I also usually do a diagonal seam on my binding strips, but again not having enough fabric had me changing up what I usually do. Not a bad thing, but that seam on top of itself definitely makes it bulky.

And now my family has a beautiful, warm quilt to snuggle under. They won't freeze to death or turn into ice cubes. It was close though...

Happy Stitching!

Linked up at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Friday.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Picked By Jen

Every now and then I will be posting "Picked By Jen". See my play on PBJ? Yep, I think I'm pretty clever. ;)  I would love to make it a weekly or biweekly thing, but we will see. "Picked By Jen" will feature a tutorial that I have found, tried and love. I will post the link so you can try them yourselves and enjoy the plethora of talent that fills the internet.

The first Picked By Jen is (insert drumroll)...

The The Microwave Bowl Cozy with tutorial from Lisa Lewis Koster at True Hope and a Future. This is my favorite tutorial for this fun project. It explains things so well and is easy to follow.

What? You don't have pink and purple flamingos in your kitchen?
Well, neither do I, but someday...

How about cats?

This is one thing I love about these, you can make them personal for whoever you are giving them to. I have made some with chickens, apples, and kitchen utensils. The choices are endless. 

Two fat quarters will give you two 10" bowl cozies.

**Please make sure you use 100% cotton fabric, batting and thread, because anything synthetic could burn in the microwave.

This is a great chance to use those fancy stitches on your machine if you have them. I need to branch out in this area, but for now I do the trusty back and forth "wave". 

I really like her suggestion to use the first piece as a pattern and save time by not having to draw all of those lines. 

One thing I recommend is using your walking foot. This is a lot of layers for my machine to stitch through, and I had more luck with the walking foot. 

I gave these as teacher gifts at Christmas this year. They are simple to put together, but extremely useful. The teachers loved them.

Enjoy making these and enjoy no more burned fingers when warming things up in the microwave!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, July 3, 2015

First Finish It Friday

Welcome to those coming over from Crazy Mom Quilts. This is my first Link Up, as well as the first time I am participating in Finish It Friday.

The project I chose to complete was a little UFO sitting in my "To Be Quilted" bin, aka 5 gallon Rubbermaid tote. (Yes, I have a 5 gallon tote full of just flimsys waiting to be quilted. Lets not talk about the tote full of UFO's. Shhhhh) But this little patriotic flimsy fits perfectly with the weekend of July 4th. And that means I will have some patriotic decor this year.

This little wall hanging has been waiting almost 10 years to be quilted. Can you imagine? Poor thing. I pieced it when we lived in South Dakota, we moved to MN in 2007... I used the pattern from this book:

Americana Country from Debbie Mumm

Have you ever started your machine quilting, determined to do something different? You make your plan, you stick to the plan, things are looking good...

and then, instead of doing that meandering star pattern you planned, you go right back to your faithful stippling.

I'm not saying that happened to me but it did.

The problem with finishing up a UFO can be finding the right binding. Fortunately, when I opened my fabric bin, there it was, the perfect blue for the binding.

I love this fabric. Love it. I've used it in small doses in other projects and I still have over 2 yards. Love it. I may also have it in red...

The blue also worked with the cute backing fabric I chose. I know you don't get to see the back of a wallhanging/banner, but really, how could I not use this.

It was fun to find this piece and finish it. Now to work on my photo taking skills and presentation.

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Testing. Testing. Testing.

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Testing. Testing. Testing.

I think that is an appropriate title for my first blog post. This month is going to be all about testing. With two more quilts out being tested right now, and three more just waiting for me to give them some love and attention, testing is going to be my July mantra.

There are some firsts going on for Patterns By Jen on this first day of July. This, obviously, is the first blog post for PBJ.  Quilt Woman & Pattern Peddlers has started carrying PBJ's three available patterns here. And my  etsy shop is now open for business! What a crazy, exciting time.

I will introduce you to my three available patterns over the next few days, and then I will have to come up with more things to blog about. I hope to add a free pattern with tutorial on an English Paper Pieced table runner, as well as share some of the fun things, quilts as well as other items, that I have stitched.

Welcome to PBJ!

(Oooo! Look! I added my first photo!)