Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Thread and bobbins

It's our last step in the quilt along prepping phase.




The last thing I want you to do is get your thread ready. I like to use a grey for all of my piecing. It's a nice nuetral color that is easy to see on dark and light fabric both. This is important if you have an opportunity for ripping out stitches. Those moments happen frequently for me and grey is the best choice for me.




I piece with Gutermann polyester, mostly because it is readily available at my LQS (local quilt shop), and have not had any issues with it after years of use in my quilts. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but use what you like and what works for you. I'm sharing what I use, but many quilters only piece with cotton. Or just Aurifil, or Coats. I just want you to use what you want and have available to you.

Once you've decided on your thread, start winding bobbins.  I keep twelve bobbins filled for piecing. Once I go through all twelve I stop and rewind. I hate when I'm in a piecing groove and I have to stop to wind a bobbin. The more wound bobbins I have, the happier I am!

Many quilters use all kinds of colors for piecing, even using mismatched bobbins and spools, so that they can use every last bit. I have no problem with that, my only word of caution would be to try not to mix up polyester and cotton. Tension problems are not something we want to have in the middle of our piecing.

That's it! We're ready for the first week in our Broken Panes Quilt Along! Make sure you have the pattern and your fabric prepped and we will meet back here June 4th!


Find the pattern





Helpful Links




Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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

Sunday, May 26, 2019

May Color Challenge Link Up

It's time to link up your lime green May blocks!




We are nearing the half way point of the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge. Have you enjoyed the blocks so far? This year the link up is available just for you to share your gorgeous blocks, there are no prizes. You will need either an Instagram account, a Flickr account, or you will need to email me directly so I can put your block on my Instagram account and get you added. patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com




If you haven't downloaded your May block yet, it is still free through the end of the month. You can find it in my Payhip store HERE. Each block now comes with a link to a full video how to!


You can also have the block instructions delivered directly to your inbox on the first of each month. Please make sure to add patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com to your address book so you get the email.



If you are having trouble getting the link up to work please read THIS POST.




If you haven't already, you can join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook group to get inspiration for you blocks as well as tips, advice and encouragement from quilters sewing along with you.

If you missed the introduction post you can find it HERE. This post will be updated each month with a link to the new Color Challenge post, so you may want to bookmark it.

I can't wait to see your blocks! Thank you for stitching along with the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge!


Are you interested in a quilt along? The Broken Panes Quilt Along is perfect for beginners, I hope you will join in the fun!

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Needles and Rotary Cutter

Prep week 2!




Last week we talked about fabric prep, today we're talking about needles and rotary cutters.

Needles

Quick question: When was the last time you changed your needle? If you can't remember then it's time to change it. I have found that a sharp needle can make all the difference in the accuracy of your stitching, but what size?




I use Organ needles size 70/10 (no affiliation).In the past I have used Schmetz quilting needles 80/20 or universal. I like the 70/10 size for piecing, especially batiks, as well as quilting.

I like to change my needle after a large quilt, two lap sized quilts, a few smaller quilts/projects or after quilting. As with all things quilting, everyone has their own personal preference and way of doing things. Choose what works for you.




For my needle storage I found this container (no affiliation). The spaces are adjustable and makes it easier to see the needles and if I'm running low. It also keeps my rotary blades handy.

Rotary Cutter

Can you guess what my next question is going to be?

When was the last time you changed your rotary cutter blade? If your cuts are sticking to each other a bit, change that blade. It can get frustrating trying to pick up your cut strips and having them stick and pull. A fresh blade makes the quilting experience so much more enjoyable.




I purchased these blades in October and so far I have had a great experience with them. (No affiliation.)




My go-to rotary cutter is from Olfa. I use the yellow for cutting fabric and use the pink for cutting paper. When the blades on the yellow one get dull I put them in the pink one. I requested the Martelli Rotary Cutter at Christmas, because my wrist is hurting when I do a lot of cutting. They have one for leftys, too! I still haven't had the courage to open it and try it.

Old blades get stored in a case marked old and needles (old and broken) get put in an empty prescription bottle. These go into a Sharps container when full.

To join the quilt along you just need to pick up a pattern and your fabrics, then come back to the blog for weekly updates!

Find the pattern





Helpful Links


Email Reminders

Next week we will be prepping our thread and bobbins.

Grab a button to let others know you will be "Quilting with Jen!"


grab button for Patterns By Jen
<div class="patterns-by-jen-button" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="https://patternsbyjen.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="https://i.ibb.co/YPBJxTt/Grab-button.jpg" alt="Patterns By Jen" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>



Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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






Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along - Fabric Prep

We're getting ready for the Broken Panes Quilt Along!




Are you getting excited to start? Are you prepared? That's what the next three quilt along posts will be all about. This is going to be so much fun!

Before the quilt along starts you need to get Broken Panes:

Etsy Digital

Etsy Printed

Payhip Digital


Fabric choice




I chose to use Big Bang from Northcott.


For Broken Panes you will need a background choice and five colors. I chose to use a different fabric for the border and binding, so I am using seven colors total. Here are the fabric requirements. I'm making the 57" square. Navy is my "red" and yellow is my "blue."


If you want to change the color placement, or color completely, it's really easy to do so in the pattern. It's up to you if you want to find a focal fabric that you want to work off of, or the perfect background, first.




You can also decide to do a dark background and then choose light colors for the squares.




Or you could try a two tone color palette. Pretty sure I now need to make one of each of those options.

BUT!

What about those fabrics that you're not quite sure will give you enough contrast. My favorite tip is to take a picture of the fabrics next to each other and then change that picture to black and white. This will show you if you have enough contrast between the fabrics.

For more thoughts on color you can see this post or this post.


Fabric Prep

You've chosen your fabrics, now what?

Confession. I don't prewash my fabrics UNLESS I'm working with a red in a quilt that I will give away for someone else to wash and care for. Otherwise, I wait until the quilt is quilted and bound before washing.

This is a completely personal choice. You will find many quilters with very strong opinions on whether to wash or not. I choose not to, and I only tell you because some will ask or wonder, but if you are more comfortable washing first, please do so.




Now give your fabrics a good press. I starch all the things. Really. Before I cut anything, even strips that will just be sewn as strips, I starch. I use Best Press, but again, this is one of those personal choices. Note: If you do starch, you want to starch before cutting, because it will cause your fabric to shrink just a bit.

You don't need to starch, you don't need to buy the expensive starch, but you DO need to press. If you aren't using starch, get the tough creases out with a spritz of water. (Shhhh, I also NEVER steam.) Pressing now, and folding nicely, will mean less pressing when we get started on June 4th.




You'll want to fold with the selvages straight. Take a peek at this video to see how to prep your fabric so the grain line is straight for straight cuts when we start.

Next week we will talk needles and rotary cutters!




Don't forget your Broken Panes pattern:

Etsy Digital

Etsy Printed

Payhip Digital



Happy Stitching!
Jen



New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

My chat with Pat

Did you get a chance to listen to my visit with Pat Sloan on May 6th?




It was such a fun experience. She really made it easy to talk, and this star struck girl was so amazed the she sounds like a "friendly, every day kind of person" and not a quilting goddess. Or maybe that's what quilting goddesses sound like....

The time just flew by, but here are a couple of things we chatted about.
PS Links to the actual podcast are below.




We chatted briefly about Minnesota spring, and May 8th gave a perfect example of why we aren't planting spring flowers or veggie gardens yet.




Here is the quilt that was inspired by my very first how-to quilting class, Pinwheel Pizzazz. You'll want to listen to that funny story!




We talked favorite color combinations, and while purple and green will probably always be my favorite, you can see I love a good patriotic colored quilt as well.




If you are looking for the Beginners Unite tab that we chatted about you can find it at the top of the page, or just follow THIS LINK.




The 2019 Monthly Color Challenge is in full swing, but there is plenty of time to join and catch up! Find all of the information HERE or just go grab your blocks on PAYHIP.

To have the blocks sent directly to your email sign up HERE.  This won't give you the past blocks, you'll have to download those separately, but it will starting with the next month.




Are you looking for more information on the Broken Panes Quilt Along? You can find the post HERE. We will be starting June 4th.

For email reminders for the Quilt Along sign up HERE.




We chatted about so much, I hope you take a moment to listen! You can find it in two places:




Let me know what you think!
Happy Stitching!
Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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



Saturday, May 4, 2019

Announcing the Broken Panes Quilt Along

Who is ready for a new quilt along?





I ran a poll in my Facebook group, Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen, asking for the month they preferred for a quilt along. There were two that were almost tied, June and October. We're going to jump right into June, but I'm planning a quilt along in October as well, so if June doesn't work for you, follow along virtually and then stitch along in October!




For June's quilt along we are using the pattern Broken Panes.

Oh I love this quilt. It's soooo quick and easy. This pattern is super beginner friendly, so if you have been wanting to learn or want to improve your piecing skills, this is the quilt along for you.

BONUS! Grab this coloring sheet to plan your colors!




I am using the Big Bang fabric line from Northcott for my version, but you can use any fabric you like.




I am always impressed with the fabric quality from Northcott Fabrics, so it's one of my go to fabric companies.



If you really like the fabric on the front cover, I used Christa Watson's first fabric line Modern Marks. I checked and she still has some listed in her shop! Find it HERE!


See it in Marshall, MN at Fabrics Plus

Broken Panes is perfect for showing off your favorite fabric, or the larger print fabrics in your stash. During the quilt along I will show you how to change the pattern from strip piecing so you can keep directional fabric accurately...directional. It was perfect for the Minnesota fabric from last year.


Helpful links

There will be helpful links throughout the quilt along, but a good beginning would be to take a look at the Beginners Unite Series.


Supplies

The pattern: Broken Panes

Printed

Digital

You can also find it at Payhip.


Fabric (requirements shown below)

Cutting mat

Rotary cutter

Rulers:

24" long ruler for cutting strips

12 1/2" ruler for sub-cutting our strips (but not required)

I have had quilters cut with scissors and stitch by hand, so if that is your preferred method go for it!


Fabric Requirements

I'm making the 57" square. I am using the navy as my "red" and the yellow as my "blue"



Schedule

Here is the plan for the quilt along. I've added a couple of weeks of sewing and then quilting at the end. I hope we can share our tops, quilted or not, August 13th!

May 14th - Fabric Prep
May 21st - Needles and Rotary Cutters
May 28th - Bobbins and Thread June 4th - Cutting
June 11 - Sewing strips and sub - cutting
June 18 - Sewing week
June 25 - Sewing blocks together
July 2nd - Piecing top
July 9 - Quilting prep
July 16 - Sewing/basting week
July 23 - Quilting
July 30 - Finishing touches
August 13 - Some sort of quilt link up or something to show the finished tops (either fully pieced or fully quilted)


Joining in?

If you are stitching along with us I hope you share your progress! Use #brokenpanesquiltalong when you share on social media so I can see your work.

You are also invited to share in the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook Page. We love to ooo and ahhh over your pretty work.

Feel free to grab a button to show you are Quilting with Jen!



grab button for Patterns By Jen
<div class="patterns-by-jen-button" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="https://patternsbyjen.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> <img src="https://i.ibb.co/YPBJxTt/Grab-button.jpg" alt="Patterns By Jen" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>





Email

You can sign up to have email reminders sent directly to you for each new quilt along moment.

Email Sign Up

Are you stitching along with me? What are you hoping to learn, or get, from this quilt along? Let me know in the comments! We've got a month to plan!

Happy Stitching!
Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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












Thursday, May 2, 2019

Visiting with Pat Sloan

I am so excited to announce that I will be chatting with Pat Sloan on Monday, May 6th on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast.


My scheduled time is 3PM CST (Chicago, IL USA) on May 6th. After 5PM CST you can listen to it on Pat Sloan's Blog and later in the week you can find it on American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast.

To find out how to listen LIVE that day go HERE.

I can't wait to visit with Pat, but I am so super nervous, so think calm thoughts on Monday for me!

Have you listened to Pat's podcast before? Let me know in the comments and if you will be tuning in on Monday.

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Color Challenge - Lime Green

Welcome to May!




If you are new to the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge you can hop over quick to read through the introduction and also see the colors coming up in the months ahead.




This month's flower inspiration is the Spider Mum. Other than the fact that I LOVE lime green, this flower is such an amazingly interesting flower. Thankfully it looks nothing like the spiders that usually give me such heebie jeebies.




Are you a beginner? For this month's blocks you might find these posts helpful:




For this months block you will need:

Mat
Rotary cutter
Ruler
Marking pen/pencil

Specialty rulers that are NOT required, but helpful:




A great group of bloggers joins us each month. Please make sure to visit each one and see their blocks and read their stories.

Available May 6th: Linda - One Quilting Circle


Kris - Scrap Dash


This is a great way to meet new quilty bloggers!




I never trim my blocks, but if you are a trimmer I recommend waiting until all of your blocks are pieced and then trimming them all at once. Your goal is to have 12 1/2" unfinished blocks. I don't trim because I don't want to lose my points and since we make the units that makeup the block larger and trim them down, you should be fairly close to the correct size. If you are off 1/8 of an inch or less I really discourage trimming. If you are off 1/4 of an inch then instead of trimming I would suggest taking a look at your seam allowance and cutting, because trimming will definitely cause you to lose the look of the block.




Ready for your free May Monthly Color Challenge block? Find it HERE. Remember there is a change this year and the block is available for free only through May 31st. Use #2019monthlycolorchallenge on social media so we can see your blocks.

**NEW** Each months set of instructions comes with a full video tutorial!

To get the block instructions delivered right to your email sign up HERE.

This will not give you any of the previous month's blocks, you still need to go to Payhip and download those, but from this point on it will come directly to your inbox on the first of each month. Make sure to add patternsbyjen(at)gmail(dot)com to your email address book.

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop.

Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

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