April 4, 2014

Bayside Quilting

Just popping in (a little late, as usual) to let you know that several of the sample quilts from my book, Scrap-Basket Beauties, are on display at Bayside Quilting in Olympia, Washington.  If you're anywhere close, stop by and check out this wonderful shop and visit with some really nice people.  You'll find them at 225 State Avenue, N.E. in Olympia.  If you're not close enough to visit in person, you can shop online here.  This probably won't surprise you, but I've already found a lot of fabric I can't live without.  They also have classes, block-of-the-month kits, rulers, threads, notions, and quilting machines, frames, and accessories.  If you need it, they probably have it.      

Brittany sent photos of a couple of the quilts hanging in the shop.  Doesn't this look like a cool place to hang out? 

Stop by and see the other sample quilts in person.  And if you have a chance to visit, please give them all a hug from me. 

Have a great weekend!


January 21, 2014


Thank you all so much for your comments on the Dreaming of Stars Blog Tour, and for coming up with some really fun names for my block.  Sewing is the easy part for me; naming the project is always the hardest.  I've narrowed down a couple of names from your brilliant suggestions, but still thinking about it.  Even though the winner of the fabric bundle was chosen randomly, I think there should be a separate prize for the first person who suggested the name I eventually choose.  More to come about that.    

If you missed any of the stops on the tour, stop by to see the star blocks at each blog (links below).  And be sure to visit Timeless Treasures' blog for a chance to win a 30-piece fat quarter bundle of the entire collection of Dream Basics.  It's just gorgeous!  The winner of the 30-piece bundle will be announced on Friday, January 24.    

Jessica Alexandrakis - Life Under Quilts    
Kim Brackett - Magnolia Bay Quilts  (You're here!)
Nicole Daksiewicz - Modern Handcraft
John Kubiniec - Big Rig Quilting     
Kimberly Einmo
And stop by Peggy's blog to see what she did with her blocks.  She used a dark background fabric, and her blocks are fabulous. 

And finally, the winner of the half-yard bundle of fabrics I used for my block is No. 38, Sandie at crazy'boutquilts.  Congratulations, Sandie!  If you'll send me your mailing address, your bundle of fabrics will be on the way soon. 

Thanks so much for participating in the Dreaming of Stars Blog Tour.  Hope you all have a great week!


January 14, 2014

Dreaming of Stars Blog Tour

Welcome to the Dreaming of Stars Blog Tour hosted by Timeless Treasures Fabrics!  Dream Basics is a new line of gorgeous dotty "basics" fabric in 30 colors.  Each day this week, a different designer will share a tutorial for a star block using new Dream Basic fabrics, and give away half-yard cuts of the fabrics used for the tutorial.  Wrapping it up on Friday, Timeless Treasures Fabrics will give away a 30-piece fat quarter bundle of the entire collection! 

My star block doesn't have a name yet, so if you'd like to win a bundle of the fabrics I used for my block, just leave a comment here with your suggestion.  If you're a "no-reply" visitor, make sure I have a way to get in touch with you.  I'll select a winner using a random number generator and announce the winner on Tuesday, January 21.

Here's the schedule for the tour:

MONDAY, JANUARY 13 - Jessica Alexandrakis - Life Under Quilts    
TUESDAY, JANUARY 14  Kim Brackett - Magnolia Bay Quilts  (You're here!)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15  Nicole Daksiewicz - Modern Handcraft
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16  John Kubiniec - Big Rig Quilting     
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17  Kimberly Einmo

Here is my (nameless) 12" finished block.

And here are the Dream Basics fabrics I used to make it. 


From each of the Turquoise, Lime, Pink, and Citrus fabrics,
     cut a 1 1/2"-inch strip across the width of the fabric. 
From the Stone fabric, cut two strips, 2 1/2" by the width of the fabric.  Cross-cut into:
    4 rectangles, 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"
    12 squares, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"
From the Sun fabric, cut one strip, 2 1/2" x the width of the fabric.  Cross-cut into:
    4 squares, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"

 (There will be extra fabric left from the Stone and Sun strips.  You can use it to make extra blocks.)

Block Assembly:

1.  With right sides together, sew the long edge of the Turquoise and Lime strips together, then sew the long edge of the Pink and Citrus strips together.  Press the seam allowances in either direction.

2.  From each of the Turquoise/Lime and Pink/Citrus strip sets, cut:
          2 rectangles, 2 1/2" x 6 1/2"
          2 rectangles, 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"
          (If you cut very carefully, you should have enough rectangles for two blocks.)

3.  Arrange the rectangles as shown in the photo below.  This step will help you keep the colors in the right place so that your star appears to be woven. 

4.  Sew together a Sun 2 1/2" square to a Stone 2 1/2" square.  Press the seam allowances toward the Stone fabric.  Make 4 for each block.

5.  Sew a Stone 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle to each of the units from Step 4.  Press the seam allowances toward the rectangle.  Make 4 corner units for each block.
6.  Arrange the corner units and rectangles as shown below.  Again, this step will help you keep everything in the right place. 
7.  Sew the 4 1/2"-long strip set rectangles to the corner units.  (Look for the black arrows below that show the corner units sewn to the 4 1/2" rectangles.)  Press the seam allowances toward the strip set rectangles.
8.  Now sew the 6 1/2" rectangles to each of the units.
9.   On the wrong sides of the 8 remaining 2 1/2" squares, use a mechanical pencil and a ruler to draw a faint line diagonally from corner to corner. 

10.   With right sides together, sew two Stone 2 1/2" squares to the units, sewing on the drawn line.

11.  Fold the inside corners of the squares to the outer point, and press. 

12.  Fold back the top layer and trim away the excess fabric 1/4" from the seam line.  Ditto for the other side.   

13.  Press the folded triangles back into place and arrange the block units.
14.  Sew together the top two units and press the seam allowances toward the unit on the right.   Sew together the bottom two units and press the seam allowances toward the unit on the left. 

15.  Sew together the bottom and top halves.  Before pressing, I suggest "rotating" your seam allowances.  To do this, remove the stitching from the vertical seam above the horizontal seam you just made to sew the halves together.  Just two or three stitches -- see the circle in the photo below.    If necessary, turn it over and remove the stitches from the back, too. 

16.  Press the seam allowances in a counter-clockwise direction.  You should see a tiny four-patch like this one in the center of your block.  Doing this will allow you to rotate the block in any direction and still have tidy, nestling seam allowances. 

Even if you make identical blocks, you can rotate them so it appears that you have a different fabric placement in each block.  See?

And here's a digital version of what your quilt might look like. 

I hope you enjoy the tutorial.  Don't forget to visit the rest of the blogs, as well as Timeless Treasures' blog.  Have a good week!     

January 13, 2014

Dreaming of Stars Blog Tour

I hope you'll join us this week for the Dreaming of Stars Blog Tour hosted by Timeless Treasures Fabrics.  Each day, a different designer will offer a tutorial for a beautiful star block using the new Dream Basic fabrics, and give away fabrics used in the block.  And to wrap it up on Friday, you'll have the opportunity to win the entire 30-piece collection!  Here's the schedule for the tour. 

MONDAY, JANUARY 13 - Jessica Alexandrakis - Life Under Quilts    
TUESDAY, JANUARY 14  Kim Brackett - Magnolia Bay Quilts
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15  Nicole Daksiewicz - Modern Handcraft
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16  John Kubiniec - Big Rig Quilting     
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17  Kimberly Einmo

Have fun!

December 29, 2013

Free Motion Practice

Thank you so much for your opinions about the Juki TL2010Q and other machines.  If you are a "no-reply" blogger, I don't have your e-mail address, but want to thank you for your recommendation or opinions.  I did in fact buy the Juki.  I ordered it from Sewing Machines Plus

I finally had some time to play with it this weekend, trying out different threads and practicing free-motion quilting without a stitch regulator.  It's like learning to ride a bike without training wheels all over again, but with a little practice, I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.  I won't go into detail about the machine's features since there are lots of reviews already, but if you have any questions or need to be pointed in the direction of the reviews I've read, just let me know.  I will say that I LOVE this machine.  The tension is wonderful, and it handles any brand and weight of thread I've tried so far. 

I had an issue with the quilting feet that was easily resolved.  I love that the free-motion quilting feet are heavy and sturdy, but they rest a little low and don't "float" over the quilt.  I was having to work too hard to push and pull the quilt sandwich through the machine.  Leah Day is a courageous woman who fearlessly modifies her free-motion feet.  It makes perfect sense, but I'm afraid I would mutilate them and have to buy more.  Then I found this post by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I wedged in a few tiny pieces of cardboard and they work perfectly. 

Here are photos of my practice doodling.  Yeah, I got a little impatient and didn't press the fabric or baste the layers.  I'm thrilled that there are no knots and tension issues.  I think I'll be very happy with this machine. 

Thanks so much for visiting.  I hope you have a fabulous 2014!


December 8, 2013

Do You Have an Opinion to Share?

As if I didn't have anything more important to do, I spent the entire day yesterday reading sewing machine reviews.  My head hurts.  I haven't studied this hard in a long time.  I piece and quilt on a Bernina 440QE.  It's really a great machine, but I spend a lot of time changing the tension settings, adjusting the bobbin case, etc. when free-motion quilting.  Which also causes my head to hurt.  I've had the longarm argument in my head before, and decided that I don't have room for a giant frame.  And I have a full-time job already, so a longarm would be like another "toy" in my mind.  A very expensive toy.

Lately, a lot of quilters have been discussing the Juki TL-2010Q.  It's described as a "semi-industrial" machine with only a straight stitch.

  I read reviews of this machine and closely inspected photos of stitch quality until I fell asleep last night.  (To those of you who have taken the time to write detailed reviews, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Really.)   For the most part, the reviews were very positive.  Aside from seemingly isolated issues with a couple of features, and a more common issue with the needle threader, this machine appears to be exactly what I need -- great tension, dependable, and affordable.   Unfortunately, I don't live close enough to a store where I could test-drive one.   As I was about to click the checkout button at an on-line store, it occurred to me to ask for any opinions about this machine you might be able to offer.  I would really appreciate your thoughts if you have one or know someone who does, and whether or not you love it.  I'm not at all concerned with the lack of bells and whistles -- I'm keeping the Bernina.  I'd just like to know if it's a solution to my free-motion tension issues, and whether or not it's fussy about different threads.  Unless I'm warned against it, I'm doin' this thing.

Thanks so much for any help you can offer.  Hope you have a great week!


November 24, 2013

Lattice Stars

A while back, I shared a picture of some yummy charm squares that I had trimmed for a project.  Seems like three days ago, but it was actually many months ago.  I can show you now what happened to all those charm squares from leftover charm packs and scraps.  Here's the finished quilt featured in Australian Quilters Companion's Quilts From Precut Fabrics No. 3.

  If you love working with precut fabrics, you'll love this issue.  It's full of wonderful quilts, as well as tips and tricks for using precuts.  It also comes with a DVD, Learn to Make a Modern Bargello Quilt with Sarah Fielke.    

Hope you all have a great week.


October 27, 2013

Soho Solids

The only thing more fun than a new fat quarter bundle

is a new fat quarter bundle and a new five-pack of rotary cutter blades. 
Playing with Soho Solids from Timeless Treasures.  Can't wait to see what happens. 
Have a good week.

September 29, 2013

Martingale's Quilt Calendar 2014

The sweet folks at Martingale told me a while back that one of my quilts would be featured in the 2014 Quilt Calendar.  I had completely forgotten about it until it came in the mail.  I stopped what I was doing (can't remember what that was now, but it probably wasn't important), and looked through it, admiring all the beautiful quilts.  The photography is so amazing.  You can see the stitches in most of these quilts. 

Each month, a different quilt is featured from one of Martingale's books.  You can visit Martingale's website and click on the gallery to see all the featured quilts.
Not only will you find lots of gorgeous quilts inside, you'll also find complete instructions for making all twelve quilts!  There are designs by Amy Ellis, Audrie Bidwell, Cheryl Brown, Darra Williamson, Jill Finley, Jolene Klassen, Julie Herman, Kim Diehl, Rebecca Silbaugh, Sally Schneider, and Sue Pfau.  And me.  You can find me in July. 
July's quilt is "Triple Star" from my book, Scrap-Basket Beauties

Don't forget to check out the gallery.  And while you're at it, you can find out more about the contributors by visiting their websites/blogs.

Hope you have a great week!


August 6, 2013

Scrap Quilting, Strip by Strip

You can get the scoop on my new book from Jenny over at Martingale's blog, Stitch This!  I'm a guest there today, so follow me over there, and don't forget to leave a comment with your answer to Jenny's question.  You just might win your own e-book copy.  See you there!

August 4, 2013

My Current Obsession

Recovery from my polka dot problem was slow, and now I've developed another problem.  Text fabrics.  I can spot a bolt of fabric with words on it through the store window from the parking lot.  Not kidding.  Just a few more pieces, and I'll be ready to make a really fun quilt. 

Picked up these (and a few more) pieces of Benartex WordPlay from an Etsy seller, carmenjass

And more Benartex WordPlay from Quilter's Compass.  (Great sale, too.)   

Noteworthy and Lucy's Crab Shack from my stash.

More Sweetwater goodness.

Echo Park and Architextures
New favorites -- Lori Holt's Polka Dot Stitches and Timeless Treasures Wine Lover Words.  This group from fabric.comhttps://www.fabric.com/
And a few that I picked up from my lunch hour hide-out.
Hope you'll stop by Tuesday -- I have a fun surprise for you.
Have a great week!