Boundless Quilt Kits

 

Boundless Quilt Kit by Better Off Thread

How do you feel about quilt kits?  I haven’t used one, myself, but I think they are pretty ingenious.  What’s not to like about getting a snazzy new pattern and all the fabric needed to make it?  It can sometimes take me an hour to pick fabric for just ONE block, so I can imagine that a kit would be a huge time (and angst) saver.

A year ago, Craftsy approached me about designing quilt kits for them.  I almost said no, because my family was in the midst of moving, but it sounded like it could be a really fun and rewarding project. I will say, I was a little worried, because Craftsy was just beginning their foray into fabric so I had never used their product.  What would it look like in person?  How would it feel?   I am a bit of a fabric snob, so the texture and quality of the fabric can really make it or break it for me.  In the end, I decided to live a little and give it a go!

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Boundless Solids and Boundless DECOdent

I was commissioned to design two quilts for Crafty’s Boundless DECOdent line and two more for their Boundless Solids line.  Once the designs were approved, I wrote up the patterns and then waited a handful of months for the fabric to be printed and make it’s way across the Pacific to me.

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Box 1 of 3!

I had my patterns tech edited by Alison Schmidt.  This was my first time hiring a Technical Editor (I normally barter for pattern testers), so I felt very fancy and professional.  Alison has been a friend of mine for about 14 years and she is an amazing TE.  We both went to Carnegie Mellon University, worked in costuming and made the switch to quilting.  She is very quick, and accurate as well as funny and friendly.

When the fabric finally arrived, I was so pleased!  They were gorgeous in person and very smooth and soft.  I would equate the Boundless solids to Kona in texture and weight.  I really don’t think I will be able to tell them apart in my stash.  I washed all of the solids before using them, and there was very little bleeding onto the color catchers.

Yes, yes, I am going to finally get to the quilts!

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Inspired by 1920’s art deco, Boundless DECOdent is not my usual taste, but I love the saturated colors and the metallic gold. As with most metallics, it is SO much prettier in person.  There is no way for photos to do it justice.

Decodent Diamonds

Measures 65″ x 80″

Boundless Quilt Kit by Better Off Thread

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DECOdent Medallion

Measures 46″ x 46″

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The Boundless Solids quilts were a fun challenge.  I wanted to come up with unique designs that showed off the variety of colors in the line and would really brighten up any room.  They look more complex than they really are, so don’t be afraid to give them a try!

Stained Glass Spectrum

Measures 60″ x 60″

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Solar Flare 

Measures 72″ x 72″

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All of the kits are currently available at Craftsy.  If you already have more fabric than you know what to do with, the patterns will be available in my store early next year.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Spin Out

Hello?  Hello?  Is there anybody out there?  No, you are not having hallucinations. You are seeing an actual, honest to goodness, post on my blog! I’m going to attempt to come back to the land of blogging.  As much as I love Instagram, I miss the depth and substance there is to reading and writing blog posts.  It feels much more like a reciprocal, interactive community, whereas Instagram is a quick one-liner and then scroll down to the next eye candy.

What kind of social platforms are you enjoying nowadays; Instagram, blogs, Facebook live, podcasts?  The choices are totally overwhelming, but it’s nice that there is something for every taste!  I’ve started listening to a podcast each morning while I walk the dog and do chores.  I am loving “While She Naps”, “Elise Gets Crafty” and “American Patchwork and Quilting Radio”.  If you have one you enjoy, let me know and I’ll check it out!

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Spin Out
Photo by Latifah Saafir

Earlier this year, Latifah Saafir asked if I would make a quilt for her new fabric line, “Grafic”.  Well, heck yes!  First, Latifah is sweet and supportive and we’ve been in a Bee together for about a zillion years.  Secondly, she’s crazy talented and her fabric is AH-maz-ing!  It’s bold, and gritty, yet clean and fresh.

Graphic Fabric
Photo by Latifah Saafir

Latifah’s fabric features large-scale prints, so I wanted the quilt to utilize over-sized piecing, yet still look intricate and have a lot of visual movement.  I also wanted to explore the idea of the fabric images merging together in a few spots, so there would not be a definite seamline defining the pieces.

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I sent this illustration over to Latifah and she said, “Yes, please!”, so I got to work.  And no, this was not my first design.  I think I did about 10 before I was actually happy with one (I’m very Gemini).

The actual quilt went together pretty quickly, since it’s big pieces and big curves.

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The pattern is available in my Craftsy shop, if you would like to try it yourself!  I designed the pattern specifically for Grafic, but it also works with a variety of fabrics.  How could I not try it in rainbow solids!

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You can check out more Graphic projects in Instagram by using the hashtag #graficfabric.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Quiltcon Magazine: The Ripple Effect Quilt

 

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Quiltcon Magazine will be hitting newsstands on March 1st and I have pattern in it!  I called the quilt “Ripple Effect”:

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The pattern is fast, easy and requires absolutely no templates, curves or paper-piecing (how very unlike me!).

It’s loosely based on a mini I designed for a swap (pictured below).  The mini had TEENY-TINY pieces, so I am happy to say that the full-sized version went together much easier.

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Do you want to know how to submit a pattern for Quiltcon Magazine next year?

The MQG will send out a call for submissions later in the year, so get on their newsletter list.  Last year, it went out in September and here were the submission guidelines.  I wrote up a blurb about the quilt and then attached the PDF below with layout options.  You can see that the block has a lot of possibilities!   In my typical Gemini fashion, I couldn’t narrow the layout down to one option, but I would think one option would be fine too.

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Most of my designs are more modern-traditional, but I submitted one of my designs that definitely fit into the modern genre (it’s a magazine for the Modern Quilt Guild, after all!)

A few weeks later, F+W Media contacted me saying that they would like to include my quilt and pattern!  They liked option 1, 2 & 3, but requested that I don’t use blue (they already had enough of it in the issue).  I decided to go with the aqua in Option 2 (I had fallen in love with it), but I wanted to add more color.  Oh, and they wanted the quilt in their office in three weeks, which was October 30th!

Between September and October we sold our house and the move date was November 8th.  Kristi Ryan came to my rescue by quilting, binding and adding a sleeve to the quilt, then mailing it off to F+W in time to be photographed.  In the meantime, I wrote up the pattern and created the illos (and moved!).

It was all worth it and I feel very honored to be in the magazine.

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I was also very happy to finally get to go to Quiltcon and see one of my quilts hanging on display.

Right Round Medallion Quilt Finish

Is it really the end of summer already?  School starts next week for us!  My family spent five weeks driving across the country (twice), and visiting my family back East.  We saw the Grand Canyon, the Meteor Crater, Amish Country, Las Vegas, hiked waterfalls, scaled the Rockies (in a car), swam almost everyday, fished, caught lightning bugs, and stalked the neighborhood ice cream truck. I’d say it was a pretty good summer!

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Passing through Hays, Kansas

Now we are slowly getting back into the normal routine and I’m finally finding time to sew again.

Just before we left town, I finished my Right Round Medallion and I am so in love with it.  I still need to get up the courage to wash it and put it out on the couch.

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The center medallion is my Right Round Pattern and  I just made up the borders as I went along.  I am happy to give general dimensions for the blocks here on my blog, if anyone is interested, but I am not planning to release a pattern.

Originally, I thought I would write up a pattern, but I really just improvised and made the quilt for fun. As much as I love it, I am not happy enough with the scale of some of the borders to make it into an official pattern.

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After angsting for about a month, I ended up doing my same old meander on the quilt.  I feel a little bad for not branching out, but I just love the overall texture a meander adds without distracting from the design of the quilt. Plus, it’s quick!  I love designing and piecing quilts, but the quilting for me is a necessary evil.  If I could just keep my quilts flat and smooth and well, quilt-less, I would.  Then it would’t be a quilt though, would it!

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Have a great week! I’m going to attempt to catch up on my blogging now that I have more time, so check back!

 

Spring Bloom Makers Blog Hop and Giveaway

Spring Bloom Blog Hop, Spring Bloom By Bella Caronia for Windham Fabrics

It’s my day in the Spring Bloom Makers Blog hop and I’m so excited to reveal the quilt I have been working on!  Bella Caronia’s Spring Bloom is Amanda Caronia’s first fabric line with Windham Fabrics and it is lovely.

I met Amanda at an LAMQG meeting and we instantly bonded over being California transplants and former 705 Costumers (that’s the local union for TV and movie costumers).  I was really excited when she asked if I would design a quilt for her new fabric line.

I love Spring Bloom’s variety of colors and floral designs, and I wanted to design a quilt that represented a bouquet of flowers, or an aerial view of a French Formal Garden.

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.

“Spring Bouquet” measures 84″ x 84″ and is a sampler in the round.  I had a lot of fun choosing blocks and laying them out to best show off these gorgeous fabrics.

It’s hard to see scale in a cropped photo, so here is a behind the scenes shot for size reference.

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.

It fits very nicely on my queen-sized bed (yes, I STILL need to paint the other nightstand…quilts come first!).

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.

I will be releasing the pattern for Spring Bouquet next month, so please check back for details!  I’m thinking it may be fun to have a quilt-along: 12 different blocks over 12 weeks (4-8 blocks per week).

Spring Bouquet Quilt by Better Off Thread featuring Spring Bloom Fabric by Bella Caronia.

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Now it’s your turn to win your own Spring Bloom! Windham is generously giving away a Fat Quarter Bundle of all fifteen prints to one lucky reader.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below.  For fun, why don’t  you tell me what your favorite flower is.  I love Peonies and I’m eagerly awaiting the two weeks that Trader Joes carries them in their store!

The giveaway will be open until midnight EST on Sunday, May 3rd.  I will choose one winner by random number generator. International entries are welcome!

Spring Bloom Blog Hop, Spring Bloom By Bella Caronia for Windham Fabrics

 

Be sure to stop by the other blogs in the hop and see what they have created with Spring Bloom.  Amanda is having an Instagram giveaway, so check out her blog post on how to enter.  You can also check out #springbloommakers on Instagram for more projects.

SPRING BLOOM MAKERS BLOG HOP SCHEDULE

April 20 Windham Fabrics Snip-itsBella Caronia Blog

April 21 Leah and Bea Koch – Wintergreen and the Bee

April 22 Nell Timmer – Nell’s Notions

April 23 Jessica Darling

April 24 Kristy Daum – St. Louis Folk Victorian

April 25 Sherri Sylvester – Thread Riding Hood

April 26 Cindy Wiens – Live a Colorful Life

April 27 Krista Hennebury – Poppyprint

April 28 Felicity Ronaghan – Felicity Quilts

April 29 Casey York – The Studiolo

April 30 ME!

May 1 Deborah Moebes – Whipstitch

May 2 Bella Caronia Blog That’s a Wrap

Thanks for stopping by!

Starry Night Quilt

I was recently asked to design a quilt for Jennifer Sampou’s upcoming Shimmer II fabric line.  I loved her original Shimmer fabrics, and the new colors are even more beautiful.

The metallic print fabrics have a wonderful balance between traditional and modern tastes, so I wanted to design a more traditional block-based quilt with a modern flair.

Starry Night Quilt pattern by Janice Ryan, featuring Shimmer II by Jennifer Sampou

Starry Night measures 51″ x 62-1/2″ and is partially paper pieced.  The piecing is simple, so the blocks go together pretty quickly.  I love the optical illusion created when several blocks are sewn together.

Starry Night Quilt pattern by Janice Ryan, featuring Shimmer II by Jennifer Sampou

The pattern will be available in June as a FREE download from Robert Kaufman, but you’ll have to wait until September for Shimmer II!

Starry Night Quilt pattern by Janice Ryan, featuring Shimmer II by Jennifer Sampou

Happy Wednesday!

Gaggle of Geese Pattern!

IMG_4Gaggle of Geese Quilt Pattern, a rainbow circle of flying geese016

I finally have my Gaggle of Geese pattern available for purchase!

Gaggle of Geese Quilt Pattern, a rainbow circle of flying geese

It measures 44″ x 44″ and would look great on a wall, or as the center medallion for a bed quilt.  The pattern includes step-by-step instructions and printable templates, plus a coloring sheet to plan out your quilt.

Gaggle of Geese Quilt Pattern, a rainbow circle of flying geese

The quilt will take a fair amount of time to make, but it really is not difficult.  You should have some paper-piecing experience, or check out my paper-piecing tutorial.  This is pretty basic paper-piecing, so beginners can surely do it.  Also, you will need to sew set in circles, but they are large and not scary at all (I promise)!  I have provided instructions for sewing them.

It’s the new year, so it’s time to learn something new!

Gaggle of Geese Quilt Pattern, a rainbow circle of flying geese

My 5-year-old son wanted to pose with the quilt, so this will give you some idea of scale.  He asked me to hang it in his room, but I think I want it somewhere more prominent (sorry Liam).

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern, you may go to MY STORE and you will receive the PDF via email, or if you are non-EU, you may purchase from Craftsy.

Have a Happy New Year!

Shimmer Blog Hop and a giveaway!

Shimmer Fabric by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman

 I am very pleased to be a part of the Shimmer Blog Hop to celebrate Jennifer Sampou’s latest fabric release.  Shimmer is fun, sophisticated, textural and the best part…it shines!

Last Spring, I made a quilt for Market from Jennifer’s Studio Stash line and I’ve been using the fabrics in my projects ever since.  I really love fabrics that add visual texture and come in beautiful colors.  The current line, Shimmer, certainly does not disappoint and the projects in the lookbook are stunning.

Shimmer Fabric by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman

I had fun making the Cargo Duffle featured in the lookbook and Jennifer is lucky I didn’t keep it for myself!  The dresses in the book are positively drool-worthy.

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When Jennifer asked me to be in the blog hop and design a project, I jumped at the chance.  I had this image in my head of a quilt with tons of shimmering X’s on a neutral background.

Shimmer X Quilt from Better Off Thread

The block I used is called “Road to Tennessee”, but I changed the proportions to make the X’s thinner and more delicate.  I didn’t realize when I came up with the design that I’d be sewing together 268 3″ squares and 536 2″ squares, but it was well worth it!

Shimmer X Quilt from Better Off Thread

 The background color is Kona Pewter (one of the newest Kona colors) and it is the perfect shade of gray with a hint of warmth.

Shimmer X Quilt from Better Off Thread

 I angsted over the quilting and then decided to sew simple, wavy, lines to add texture.

Shimmer X Quilt from Better Off Thread

Check out those great prints!

Shimmer X Quilt from Better Off Thread

I pieced the back using leftover Shimmer I had from making the Cargo Duffle.  Look at it shine!

Shimmer X Quilt from Better Off Thread

 View from the back.

The quilt measures 47″ x 59″ and it is currently glamming up my living room.

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Be sure to check out all the other amazing bloggers and the fantastic projects they are creating from Shimmer.

 Blog Hop Schedule:

April 1- Robert Kaufman/Jennifer Sampou
April 2- Janice Ryan- Better off Thread
April 3- Alissa Haight Carlton- Handmade by Alissa
April 4- Julie Herman- JayBird Quilts
April 5- Natalie Barnes- Beyond the Reef
April 6- Stash Books- C&T Publishing
April 7- Amanda Jean Nyberg- Crazy Mom Quilts
April 8- Lee Heinrich- Freshly Pieced
April 9- Cheryl Arkinson- Naptime Quilter
April 10- Christina Cameli- A Few Scraps
April 11- Elizabeth Hartman- Oh Fransson
April 12- Faith Jones-Fresh Lemon Quilts
April 13- Gemma Jackson- Pretty Bobbins
April 14- Katie Blakesley- Swim Bike Quilt
April 15- Amy Smart-Diary of a Quilter
April 16- Laura Nownes, Jennifer Rounds, Pati Fried, Darra Williamson- See How We Sew
April 17- Holly DeGroot- Bijou Lovely
April 18- Jennifer Sampou-Wrap Up
April 21- Jennifer Sampou- Announce Winner of Giveaway

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At the end of the Blog Hop, Jennifer Sampou will be giving away an entire fat quarter bundle of Shimmer.  Check out this luscious stack of fabric:

Shimmer Fabric by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman

To enter the giveaway, new readers should sign up on Jennifer’s mailing list and  comment on her blog before the end of the hop.  Be sure to comment about your favorite projects and why. Existing followers are automatically eligible to win.

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I also have a charm pack of Shimmer to giveaway to my readers! 

Shimmer Fabric by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman

 To enter to win the charm pack, just leave me a comment.  I’ll announce a winner by random number generator on Friday, April 4th.

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You can check out Shimmer on the Robert Kaufman Website

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And if you can’t wait until the end of the giveaway, The Cotton Patch is taking pre-orders.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Oregon Coast Mini

I am going to tell you the unbelievable right now.  I actually finished the mini from the contest I held last July! Can you believe it?

The winner was Jill, with her idea for the Oregon Coast/Highway 101, and here is the resulting mini:

Highway 101 mini quilt by Better Off Thread

I was originally thinking I would make something more abstract and less literal, but I couldn’t get the idea of a quilted road sign out of my head.

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I found a sign image in the “Oregon Coastal News” and created a life-sized template in Photoshop for my quilt pattern.  I couldn’t find definite proof that this was ever an actual Highway 101 road sign (I even scanned Google Earth for an hour looking for the current sign.), but it’s art, so I get to take license!

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Since it’s an Oregon quilt, I definitely wanted to use an Oregon based fabric designer.  I chose Madrona Road by Violet Craft.  I love every fabric line she has released and this line is so iconic to the Oregon countryside.  Madrona Road also goes well with my very favorite color right now; Empire Yellow by Art Gallery Fabrics.

Highway 101 mini quilt by Better Off Thread

I love how the hand stitching on the letters looks like dashed yellow lines on a road.  That was a very happy accident.

Highway 101 mini quilt by Better Off Thread

I debated on the quilting and decided to do swirly, floral doodles, to mirror the graphics in the fabric.

I really want to make more of these.  I would love a Pennsylvania Turnpike and California 101 version to hang in my home.

I hope you enjoy your mini, Jill!

A-Maze Finished (and a FREE Craftsy Pattern)!

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

I FINALLY finished my A-Maze quilt!   I wanted to make  a quilt to showcase all those yummy Architextures fabrics by Carolyn Friedander before I used them up in other quilts. I don’t often use one fabric line in a quilt, but I LOVE these fabrics so much.  I wanted something simple and linear, so the fabrics are the focus.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

I decided to do my favorite wavy quilting on it, and I also added in some large pebbles, to echo the curvy lines and circles on the Architextures fabric.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

The binding is scrappy on one side, using each print from the collection.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

The back is one of the ledger prints paired with Kona Peacock.

A-Maze Quilt with Architextures: A Craftsy Pattern by Better Off Thread

The finished quilt measures 60″ x 70″ and it’s really quick and easy to make.  It’s also a great pattern for a man (my husband has already claimed it for his couch at work).  I love sharing with all my wonderful readers, so I wrote up the pattern and it’s a free download on Craftsy.  You can find it here.

Happy Halloween!