Sunday, December 17, 2023

Announcing the 2024 Monthly Color Challenge

 I'm so excited to announce the 7th Annual Monthly Color Challenge with Patterns By Jen!




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This year we're taking our color inspiration from tropical fish. There is a plethora of color swimming around out there, and we're going to tap into it. Are you in?





I am using fat eighths of Benartex basics line Burlap. I received a box of these gorgeous fabrics when I joined Benartex as an Ambassador for 2023. You can see the fabrics in this unboxing video, at about the 6:56 mark.





2024 Colors

August - Purple Dottyback (Purple)
September - Kuhli Loach (Brown)
October - Wrought Iron Butterfly (Black)
November - Gourami (Teal)
December - Marigold Wag Swordtail (Gold)

The general rule is a fat quarter of light and a fat quarter of dark will be enough. The finished size of each month's block will be 12".  




There is also the option to have all of the same background, instead of using the color for that month. If you are using the same background throughout the year you can download the cutting instructions for the background fabric HERE.

Blocks are available for free during the month. After the month has passed, blocks are available for $1.

Do I *have* to use my stash?

No. If you want to go purchase some new fabrics to play with you are more than welcome to. *I* do, because I don't keep a stash. There may be colors you really don't have, maybe they aren't your favorite to work with, maybe they ARE your favorite, so they get used all the time and your stash is low on the color. I hope you will take a look at what you have on hand and try to use it. 

Here are a few bundles that I think would work for the Color Challenge. NOTE: Most of them will still need a couple of colors added to the bundle, so make sure you take a look at what color we are using so you aren't surprised/disappointed.


Tilda Solids by Tilda Fabrics


Beyond Bella by Annie Brady

Florence's Fancy by Betsy Chutchian




Calico by Lori Holt

Will there be a quilt layout?

Yes!  Early December the layout instructions are given to you and are free until the end of January. A bonus is that the layouts from the previous years work for the current year, so if you don't like the layout, you can find instructions for different versions in the Payhip Shop for only $1.




Here are the fabric requirements for the layout coming in December.



I'm a total beginner, should I even try?


Definitely! This is the perfect time to join! Each block is beginner friendly AND comes with a "how-to" video linked right in the instructions.  The Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook group is full of helpful quilters, too, so make sure you join and ask any questions you may have.

To get started I recommend you check out the link  Beginners Unite. A post that has great information and "how-tos" for beginners.




What supplies do I need?

You will need all the pretty fabric colors listed above, a cutting mat, rotary cutter, rulers, fabric marking tool, pins, and an iron.

To help with squaring up the units we are making, a 6 1/2" square ruler or 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangle ruler will be helpful, but are NOT required. If you have the 6 1/2" x 24 1/2" ruler that will work just fine.


You can find the 6 1/2" square ruler here.


You can find the 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" ruler here.



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

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



Make something extraordinary!


Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?


Find paper and digital patterns, gifts and more in my Etsy shop.

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

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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Benartex Quarter 4 project - Free Reversible Bed Runner Tutorial

 It's the last of my projects as a Benartex Ambassador. What a fun year it has been!


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 was given Xanadu by Ann Lauer to use for this tutorial. This fabric is so beautiful, and fun, Click on the link to get some up close looks at all of the fabrics in this collection.

You can download the free pattern I've designed for this reversible bed runner tutorial HERE. Instructions are for a king size bed runner, but can be sized down by making less blocks.

**This post is going to be picture heavy with tips for finishing the bed runner.**

Recommended Tools





Cutting/Piecing Tips

This pattern uses oversized units and I found the 12 1/2" square perfect for cutting all of the large squares we need.




When trimming for the pinwheel blocks:




Start with the small triangle in the top corner.
Line the 2" ruler mark on the point.



Unit 1



Unit 2

Once you have pieced your runners, place them right sides together. I like to throw a few pins around the edges to keep it all in place.

We will be leaving a 5 to 6 inch opening so that we can turn this right side out when we are done stitching. When I sew a piece like this I like to put two pins at my stopping point so I don't accidently sew it shut.




I recommend using a 1/2" seam allowance to make closing the opening easier a few steps from now. If you are a confident stitcher, you can do 1/4" seam allowance if that is your preference. To help remind myself that my seam allowance is larger, I change out my quarter inch foot for a different size. In this instance the J foot for my Babylock Brilliant.




When I begin stitching I like to lock my stitches. this helps the stitches stay when I am wrestling the fabric and turning it right side out.




Here is a tip my grandmother shared with my mom, who shared it with me. When sewing corners, stop early.




Turn the fabric so you are stitching at a diagonal. Take 3 to 4 stitches.




Turn the fabric again and continue sewing the 1/2" seam allowance. This helps to give you a nice point in your corners.




When you come to the two pins, lock your stitches again. If you don't have a way to do this on your machine, simply backstitch a couple of stiches, and stitch forward a couple.




Clip corners.




We are ready to turn out fabric right side out.






Once you've done that, grab a stiletto, I use "That Purple Thang" and gently push out the corners.




This next part is going to take a bit of time, but it's worth it, I promise. We're going to press around the outside of our bed runner and give ourselves a nice, sharp edge.




To do this, I first finger press all the way around to make sure that I am getting any extra fabric pushed back towards the center of the runner and that it won't get pressed into the seam.




Then slowly press all the way around. Take your time and and make sure that seam looks clean.




When you come to the opening, fold in your seam allowance, then press. I like to press one side at a time.




We're ready to stop stitch. I like to use a longer stitch than my typical piecing stitch. On my Babylock that is a length of 4. I was going to do my top stitching in a pretty purple, but by the time I got to this step I had already forgotten and went with black. I also did a simple straight stitch but you could play around with the fun stitches on your machine if you wanted to jazz it up.




I also switched back to my quarter inch foot.




Typically I start on the opposite side from where my opening is, that way I don't have to worry about missing any fabric when starting and I can treat it like a typical seam.




I do mark the opening with pins, just to remind myself to double check that the seam allowances are still turned in.




From here you can choose to add some fun stitches throughout the runner, maybe add some embroidery, or tie it with thread.




I chose to leave it as is for now. I'll way to see if I'm inspired to add anything quirky and fun to go with the fabric.




Have fun making your reversible bed runner! I would love to see it when it is done!




Make something extraordinary!

Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here for early releases and sales just for subscribers!


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, December 7, 2023

2023 Monthly Color Challenge Final Layout

It's time and I can't believe it's here!




Thank you so much for joining me this year for the 6th annual Monthly Color Challenge. That just blows my mind. Six years! Are you up for year seven? Check back here December 15th.




I have a couple of tips for the Hourglass border. While the side borders go on easily, the top and bottom borders need to be finagled a bit. To get them to fit correctly follow these tips.




1)  Find the middle of Border 1, mark it with a pin.




2)  Match up the middle of the Hourglass border to that pin.




3) Keeping the borders taught pin well.


4) Sew with Border 1 on the bottom.




5) When you set the seam with a hot iron you will see some gathering of the Border 1 fabric, that's ok. Press towards Border 1. Any leftover gathering will disappear when the top is quilted.




Who is ready for the quilt? Here she is!




You can find the finishing instructions, free through January 31, 2024, here: Patterns By Jen Payhip shop. If you have signed up for email notifications you will find it in your inbox.

If you don't think this is the layout for you, you can look through the layouts of past Color Challenges and use one of those. Find them at the Patterns By Jen Payhip shop. Just click on the Monthly Color Challenge Layout button at the top of the page. They are only $1. Any of the layouts will work for your 2023 Monthly Color Challenge blocks.


Look for the 2024 Monthly Color Challenge Announcement December 15!
Thank you for stitching along with me this year.

Make something extraordinary!

Jen

New to Patterns By Jen?

Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here for early releases and sales just for subscribers!


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, December 1, 2023

2023 December Monthly Color Challenge

 I'm not sure how it happened, but we have reached the end of the 2023 Monthly Color Challenge!




I'm loving the look of the December block. It's another easy one, but also has a fun finish.


Photo Credit


This month our classic car color is orange.




As the years have gone by, some more quickly than others, I have grown to love orange more and more.




Our fabrics this year are from Benartex's basic line, Cotton Shot. Dark orange is "orange" and the light is "marmalade."




This year we are doing things differently with the bloggers. There will be just one quilter a month that will be featured. September's blogger is Sandra.  I encourage you to grab your favorite cold (or hot if it's cold where you live) drink and stay awhile to check out what she's working on.



Ready for the block? Here it is! I love the simple pinwheel. This one almost looks like a peppermint candy. Make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the instructions page for the link to the How To Video.



Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook group (make sure to answer the questions so I know you are a real person 😉) where you will get a lot of support and questions answered! If you aren't on Facebook you can also follow Patterns By Jen on Instagram. Use #2023MonthlyColorChallenge when sharing so I can be sure to see your block.


I can't wait to see all of the orange flood my world this month!

Ready to get the pattern? Go to Payhip and download it now! The block is free for the month of December! Each set of instructions includes a "How To" video.

It's too late to receive the 2023 Monthly Color Challenge block instructions through email, but you can still sign up to have the 2024 Monthly Color Challenge blocks (and the layout!) sent directly to your email. Sign up HERE.

Let's make something Extraordinary!

Jen


New to Patterns By Jen?

Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here for early releases and sales just for subscribers!



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.