Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Against the Grain Quilt Along - Fabric Prep

 One of my favorite things about a quilt along is picking out fabrics. It's also the most difficult!




For Against the Grain you will only need three fabrics, though you could go with just two if you would like. What I love about Against the Grain is that it really does work well with so many color combinations. In this Fabric Prep post we will talk fabric combos, but we will also talk about how to prep your fabric for a quilt along. Have I mentioned this is my favorite part of a quilt along? Let's get started!



Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Links. When purchases are made through these links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your purchases help support my small business and keep my husband's head from exploding every time a new quilting notion arrives in our mailbox. Thank you for that. Find out more about Affiliate Links Here.



For this quilt along I have chosen to make a quilt for my husband. I have never made one for him and it's probably time. I've chosen to go with light grey for the background, dark grey for main signature blocks and my splash color will be yellow. He is colorblind and yellow is the only color he truly "sees" so I think it's fitting that it is the pop of color for his quilt.


                                                            Aquarius Batiks Seamist Big Tropical


When choosing colors for a three color quilt I tend to go the safe route and choose a neutral and two coordinating colors. While the above fabric is gorgeous, I don't recommend large prints for this pattern as it becomes busy and your eye doesn't have a place to "rest."


Bella Solids Bluebell


If I am stepping out of my comfort zone I will use a "color" as my neutral. This tends to be a light blue or green for me, but recently I was drawn to a light orange for a background color.


Whether you choose to make this for an infant, toddle, child, tween, teen, young adult (hello school colors and graduation!) or adult, the color combination you choose will make it uniquely theirs. See below for the fabric requirements.




You've chosen your fabrics, now what? It's time to get them ready for cutting.


Washing fabric before hand is always a topic that creates discussion. I feel it is truly up the the individual. Everyone has their reasons to wash or not to wash, and it comes from their experiences. For those who would like to know, I don't prewash. I've even stopped washing flannel *IF* I know all of th flannel I'm using has not been washed. If I think it may have been washed then I wash it all to keep the shrinkage the same. Whether you wash or not, pressing the fabric is the next important step.


Best Press


I starch every piece of fabric before I cut. I like the added accuracy it gives me when cutting and stitching. I use Best Press because that's easiest for me. I also use a spray mister. I love my mister. It gives me more control on how much starch I am using and where it's going.  With the mister I no longer over use the starch and I've had the same gallon of starch for 2 years now, and like I said, I starch everything. Don't use the starch on pieces you have already cut and/or stitched. Starch tightens up the threads and can change the size of the unit you just worked so hard to piece accurately.



I recommend using a hot, dry iron for pressing. If you have creases that are tough to get out, spritz them with a bit of water, press, then starch and press again. I don't like to use steam, especially on units and blocks that have already been pieced, because it can distort the pieces.


Once you have starched your fabrics and they have cooled, you can go ahead and fold them and get them ready for the next step. If they end up sitting for a few days, or even a few weeks, just hit them with a hot, dry iron again. No need to use more starch, it's already in the fabric and it will press neatly without much effort.



Once you have your fabric prepped, take a look at your bobbins. If you are running low on full bobbins take a few minutes and fill them now. You will love having full bobbins while you stitch and stitch and stitch! I usually have 10 - 20 filled at one time. When I run out of top thread, I will take some time to wind bobbins again, so I never have to stop and wind bobbins while I'm piecing because I ran out. I piece everything using grey polyester thread and I love my Bobbinsaver for holding my bobbins. 



Next, check your rotary blade. When was the last time you changed it? There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cut fabric with a dull blade and having to go over the cuts again and again. Change it out before you get frustrated! I bought these over 2 years ago and still haven't had to buy another set.


Last, clean your machine! Grab that craft pipe cleaner and give a good cleaning. Change out that needle that has been thumping through your fabric for months now and start your quilt along with a happy little machine.


Now we are ready for the Against the Grain Quilt Along! Come back March 10th to get started and for cutting tips.

Haven't picked up your pattern yet? No problem, you can find them here:

Printed - Etsy

PDF - Etsy

PDF - Payhip


Make something Extraordinary!

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, February 21, 2021

February 2021 Monthly Color Challenge Link Up

It's time for the February 2021 Monthly Color Challenge Link Up

 



This month's block was a little more challenging, but I hope you enjoyed it.




The blocks being shared on Instgram and in the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen group have been so amazing. They have brightened up the whole month. If you are on Instagram follow #2021MonthlyColorChallenge to see all of the blocks.




Quarter 1 Sponsors


Bea Quilter - PDF Pattern

Love to Color My World - PDF Pattern

Designs By Sarah J - Fabric Bundle and Book*

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric - Monty Fabric Bundle*

Benartex - Fabric Bundle*

Quilters Dream Batting - 60 x 46 Dream Angel 100% Flame Retardant Fibers*

Quilters Dream Batting - 60 x 46 Dream Wool*

The Warm Company - 55 x 60 batting 80/20*

Appliques Quilts and More - $10 gift certificate

DayBrook Designs - 2 PDF Patterns

Patterns By Jen - PDF Pattern

Those marked with * are for US residents only. Prize laws vary throughout different countries.





The Link Up is open through February 28th. If you have a problem linking up, please use the "question mark" button next to the log out button. If you are trying from your phone, try it from a laptop/tablet if you have one.




Good luck and thank you so much for stitching along with me!

Missed the block? Find it HERE!




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. 


Please make sure to add your first name!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Introducing Squared Again - Quick and Easy Quilts

 I am excited to introduce you to Squared Again.



The inspiration for this quilted came a couple of summers ago in a place far, far away. Just kidding, it's not that far. It starts with a summer storm, but to hear the rest of the story you will need to pick up the April/May 2021 Issue of Quick and Easy Quilts from Fons and Porter.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Links. When purchases are made through these links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your purchases help support my small business and keep my husband's head from exploding every time a new quilting notion arrives in our mailbox. Thank you for that. Find out more about Affiliate Links Here.



What I love about this quilt is the simplicity and clean lines.



Fabrics used are from Simple Simon & Co for Riley Blake Designs; Bloom and Grow. If you have some large print fabrics they play well with this pattern.



Quilting was done by Tracy Veglahn of Fabrics Plus in Marshall, MN. We chose a soft yellow for the thread and I think it really shows off the pretty quilting pattern while still blending into the the actual design.




Make something Extraordinary!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?




Find paper and digital patterns, gifts and more 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, February 11, 2021

Introducing Aqua Oasis - American Patchwork and Quilting April 2021

 Who is ready for a little calm in their day?




Ahhhhhhh!!!!! There's just something about soft aqua and white that brings me back to the ocean. Which I visited many, many years ago. I should probably go back since it made such an impression.




You can find it in the April 2021 issue of Better Homes and Garden's American Patchwork and Quilting. It "hits stands" February 12! To see all of the patterns included you can visit here.




Aqua Oasis is a large block quilt that, while it may look difficult, comes together quickly. It's the perfect size for enjoying an evening on the beach, or if you live where I do, huddling under with your special someone... or cat.. or dog...or glass of wine.....

Above pictures:
 Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. ©2021 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.




Psssst, did you know the "I sipped" wine/water glass is on sale through February 13th? Just incase you wanted to surprise your bestie, or needed a wine glass to snuggle with under your finished quilts. 😉





Quilting was done by Tracy Veglahn of Fabrics Plus in Marshall, MN. I love that we went with a simple pattern, but used the aqua thread. That's stepping out of my matchy, matchy comfort zone, even if it was a very, very light aqua thread.

Look for the April 2021 Patchwork and Quilting issue this Friday (February 12, 2021)!

Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?




Find paper and digital patterns, gifts and more 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, February 10, 2021

Against the Grain Quilt Along

 Who is ready for a new quilt along?



The Against the Grain Quilt Along will start February 24 and run every two weeks through May 26. This pattern is for quilters of any skill.


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Links. When purchases are made through these links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your purchases help support my small business and keep my husband's head from exploding every time a new quilting notion arrives in our mailbox. Thank you for that. Find out more about Affiliate Links Here.



I will be making this quilt for my husband who always supports my efforts and still doesn't have his own quilt to snuggle under.



Against the Grain makes a simple statement and your choice of color placement makes that statement come alive. We will talk fabrics and fabric prep February 24.

Needed Supplies

Make sure to get your Against the Grain pattern:

Etsy - Printed

Etsy - PDF

Payhip - PDF

Fabric Requirements (shown below)

Cutting mat

Rotary cutter

Rulers:

24 1/2" long ruler

6 1/2" ruler

I have had quilters cut with scissors and stitch by hand and if that's your jam I say go for it!

Schedule

February 24 - Fabric talk

March 10 - Fabric cutting

March 24 - Signature Blocks

April 7 - Strip Piecing

April 21 - Assemble Blocks

May 12 - Quilt Layout and Quilting Prep

May 26 - Quilting, Binding and Label

Joining in?

If you are stitching along with us I hope you share your progress! Use #againstthegrainquiltalong 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.



What are you hoping to learn, or get, from this quilt along? Let me know in the comments!




Want to get a head start on finishing your quilt, but aren't sure if free motion quilting is for you? Check out String and a Story's HollyAnne and her Introduction to Free Motion Mini Class! It's available for you to take at your convenience and is a great way to get ready to finish your Against the Grain Quilt.


Get your pattern and come back here to talk fabric on February 24th!

Make something extraordinary!

Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?



Find paper and digital patterns, gifts and more 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.

Monday, February 1, 2021

February 2021 Monthly Color Challlenge

 It's time for the next block in the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge and it's going to be bright and shiny.




Yellow is such a cheerful color. It was a joy to pull this color and work with it.
We are taking our colors from fruits and veggies this year and throughout the year various bloggers will share recipes with you. 




This month the lemon is our inspiration and if you enjoyed the eggplant recipes shared last month I'm sure you will enjoy the tangy recipes shared this month. This block is a bit more time consuming than the first one, but I love the look of it.

*Don't forget! Each block comes with a How To video right in the instructions.*

February Bloggers

Visit the February bloggers for inspiration and a recipe or two!



Frances - Frances Quilts




Ashli - Quilt2EndAlz

This year two block sizes are offered, you can choose to make the 12" finished blocks or the 6" finished blocks, or both! If you have enjoyed the Monthly Color Challenge, but are looking for a bit more of a challenge, the 6" blocks are for you!




Quarter 1 Sponsors

The Monthly Color Challenge has a great group of sponsors who have given generously to make this year an amazing year for you. Winners are chosen quarterly; April 1, July 1, Oct 1 and Jan 1, 2022. To enter you simply add your block to the Link Up at the end of each month. One entry per quilter and it needs to be the block from the current month. Finish each month and you will have 3 entries each quarter!





Bea Quilter - PDF Pattern

Love to Color My World - PDF Pattern

Designs By Sarah J - Fabric Bundle and Book*

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabric - Monty Fabric Bundle*

Benartex - Fabric Bundle*

Quilters Dream Batting - 60 x 46 Dream Angel 100% Flame Retardant Fibers*

Quilters Dream Batting - 60 x 46 Dream Wool*

The Warm Company - 55 x 60 batting 80/20*

Appliques Quilts and More - $10 gift certificate

DayBrook Designs - 2 PDF Patterns

Patterns By Jen - PDF Patterns

Those marked with * are for US residents only. Prize laws vary throughout different countries.




Tips

When drawing your diagonal lines move the ruler over just a teeny bit, don't line it up right on the corner.




That way your drawn line *will* be right on the corner.




Finger press your strip piecing to reduce stretching of fabric.




Trim off as little as possible when getting ready to sub-cut the strips. Remember to use the seams as your guides for the straight cuts. The "How To" video included in the instructions talks about this.




Chain piece whenever possible.




If you are a beginner and want more tips see Beginners Unite!

Ready to get your pattern? Go to Payhip and download it now! The block is free for the month of February.

To have the block sent directly to your email sign up HERE.

It's too late to have the January or February blocks emailed to you but download it from the link above and get ready to have the rest of the year arrive in your email inbox.

NOTE: If you signed up for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge Emails you do NOT have to sign up again.



Happy Stitching!
Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns, gifts and more 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.