Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wonderland Quilt Along Block #9: The Cheshire

Hello fellow Wonderland Quilt Alongers! It's been so much fun seeing what everyone is making in the Facebook group and on IG. This time around, we'll be pulling both machine appliqué and paper-piecing techniques overviewed from previous blocks.

Go ahead and grab your paper-piecing pattern and appliqué templates. Make your paper-pieced units. Don't forget to cut the filler pieces for the side of the cat. I cut off the paw unit in this photo since I placed it upside down originally and don't want to lead you astray. Check with the diagram. Do as I say, not as I do.

If you will be placing light fabrics above darker or patterned fabrics within your appliqué work, it is advisable to fuse an extra layer of solid white underneath each shape to prevent shadowing. I apply a section of fusible to the white that is larger than the shape. I peel off the paper backing and fuse it to the wrong side of the intended fabric, grouping shapes by color as you see below. (Both the teeth and eyeballs are together.) I fuse my outlined and bubble cut fusible shapes to the white fabric before cutting out on the line. Confession: Those dark green pupils didn't need lined with the white, as they are darker than the solid white eyeballs. I just got carried away.

I use Steam-A-Seam II Lite by The Warm Company since it is slightly tacky, but completely re-positionable until fused.

Don't forget stabilizer. I like an iron-on tear away. Get it out of there before sandwiching your quilt or it will be crunchy. For harder to remove places, gently scratch the back with a seam ripper. Don't get carried away and jab a hole through. Confession: I did this on the card suits. If you do this, touch up with Fray Check on a cheap watercolor brush. Patch the hole on the wrong side of the block with white fabric that has fusible applied.

I used a fabric marker to draw the teeth lines. As another option, striped fabric may be able to do the work for you.

50 wt Aurifil threads are my choice for the appliqué. Any smaller number for the weight is thicker than you need and will pile on itself when you have such a short stitch length. My chosen beauties are Light Emerald 2860, White 2024, and Light Blush 2420 (Formerly known as Fleshy Pink. However, I will no longer be using this term, with the exception of the Zombie Collection. For the record, I have not secured official endorsement of the aforementioned product.)  Matching the bobbin thread prevents any peeks of a different color from pulling to the top in case the tension isn't perfect. It's also better to have the top thread pull a bit to the back, rather than the other way around.

And there you have it. If you want a curved stripe like my original cat, cut a square 10" x 10" or bigger. Cut a curve across the middle with a Quick Curve Ruler or other specialized equipment (aka dinner plate).  Cut an arc about 3" wide out of the fabric you want to use for the stripe with the same curved instrument. Piece in the stripe. Then use this as if it were a solid fabric for the first piece of the body unit (C) when paper piecing. Make sure the stripe isn't aligned all cattywampus. (You make cheer for my clever little pun. Or groan. Whatever.)

And now...I bring you a clever photo beauty trick. If you don't want me to spoil the magic and leave you a sentiment of disillusionment, this is your warning. Click an affiliate link above and go buy something instead of sticking around to have your world rocked by the deliberate fakeness of my lovely oak backgrounds.

So you're still here, eh? Even after my bad pun. Whoa! In that case, pick out some enticing backgrounds from Dollar Tree. You'll need Con-Tact shelf liner (2 rolls per desired pattern) and Foam Board. Peel the paper backing from one corner of the shelf liner. Start at one corner of the foam board, align the two sides of the liner with the foam board, and adhere the Con-Tact shelf liner. Gently alternate unpeeling, smoothing out any air bubbles, and checking edge alignment. If things get wacky, pull the liner back a little, and try again. It's very repositionable.

Cut a skinny rectangle to fill the space, making sure the pattern goes the same direction. Use a gentle curve to blend in the new piece. Eyes are drawn to straight lines more than curved ones. At least, that's my theory. Peel and apply.

You'll have some overhang (not like my post-pregnancy kind, so don't panic). Flip the board over and cut it off with your rotary cutter.

Now use this as your photo background. Fool everyone into thinking you have well-lit wooden floors, or marble. Except me, that is. And everyone who didn't run off to get some pretty Aurifil threads. Now you can't even look at the following picture the same way, can you? Well, don't say I didn't warn you.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial Weekend Specials

So you don't miss out, here's a run-down of Memorial Weekend saving opportunities. (Affiliate links present.) Wishing you a fun weekend of BBQ, swimming pools, camp outs, and sewing time!

Connecting Threads has 20% off everything with promo code MEMDAY18. Who hoo!

C&T has 50% 0ff all ebooks. Now's the perfect time to pick up Making Connections or Modern Plus Sign Quilts.

Craftsy is offering deep discounts on their branded items. Click the image below while supplies last.

50% Off Any Two Craftsy Exclusives - classes, kits or supplies with code STARSPANGLEDSAVINGS 5/27 - 5/28 at

It's also a great time for those with wee ones to take advantage of unlimited Craftsy classes. To see the latest free goodies included with an annual subscription, click the image. Too bad for my son, I already subscribed. He would have loved this!

Ultimate Family Package - Enjoy Endless Streaming + The Ultimate Kids Project Bundle! Sign up for an annual Craftsy Unlimited subscription and pack your summer with family-friendly shows & classes. Valid 5/26 - 6/2/18 at

At least I can console him by letting him watch "Cooking with MasterChef Junior". Though right now I feel more like:

Michael's is offering 20% off everything with Promo Code 20SAVE2718, $2.95 flat shipping or free shipping for over $50, or (if you want to get started NOW) free same-day pickup in-store for many items purchased online. has a bundle up and save sale. I've picked some of my favorites.

Crimson Tate is 25% off with promo code SUMMERCOOKOUT.

Have you discovered any other irresistible sales?

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Missing Market

While I'm back at home (since I was too scared to bring the whole family on a trip that would be in excess of five hours airplane travel time), I'm going to throw out some Market highlights from afar. I will be missing Voodoo Donuts, but I can still cheer myself with some virtual appreciation. Pictures belong to their respective parties.

Northcott, the company known for super-realistic rock fabrics, is venturing beyond the traditional, and starting up a modern division know as Figo. That's "cool" in Italian. If you're familiar with Aurifil thread or tiramisu, you know Italian is a great way to go.

Inscription Rock by Afton Warrick 2012
The first set of collections have five contributing designers: Pippa ShawNaomi WilkinsonAbigail Halpin, Annie Chen of Lemonni and Isabel Serna of Black Lamb Studio. Check out their lookbooksIG and Facebook

Guicy Giuce has been making very miniature things with Alison Glass fabrics. I do think the littler things are, the cuter they become.

Tula now has seahorses as part of her Zuma collection.

Elizabeth Hartman has gone Arctic with her trademark style of creatures. Her Sasquatch has gone all yeti on us.

Tilda has me awing over this adorable quilt from Bird Pond.

Alison Glass has a vivid collection, Road Trip, debuting in the fall.

The temptation continues with Rifle Paper Company. The big news on the C+S front, however, is that the original designers will no longer be with the RJR-owned brand. 😮 Some are now promoting their new brand, Print Factory Studio.

I've also noticed some Peter Pan (Jill Howarth for Riley Blake and Sarah Jane for Michael Miller) and strawberry themes (Alison Glass and Stacey Bloomfield @gingiber for Moda) going on.

I better get to some sewing (fingers-crossed) and my teething, booty-scoothing, electrical cord fixated  baby. Happy #missingmarket to you all.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

FYI: May 2018

Remodeling is still underway at my home, but I thought I'd pop in and catch you up on some of the fun things going on in the quilty world.

The 2018 Pantone Quilt Challenge is open for entries, in case you'd like to do a little sewing with purple. If you're just getting started, never fear, there's a Mini and a Just The Top category. May 11 is the cut-off.

I've made no secret of it; I adore Angela Walters classes. She has a new release on Craftsy, Quilting with Rulers. It's on sale for $29.99, or watch it free with a week-long trial subscription of Craftsy Unlimited. If that's not enough time to absorb all the great content available, a monthly or yearly subscription is a great value.

Shelley Savannah is hosting a free QAL, Moonlit Paths.

Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland are co-hosting the Community Sampler. It's not to late to join the free fun, and maybe even win a prize. View the action on Instagram by following #communitysampler.

Olfa is hosting a contest for those who'd like create their Splash Mini Quilt.

Piecing the Past Quilts has a free Block of the Week Program, Signs of Spring, available by e-mail subscription. Blocks are available for purchase after their release date. See what others are doing in the Facebook group.

Applications are open until May 11 for the 2018 Aurifil Artisans. Hurry up and apply; just remind them to leave a spot open for me! 😉

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wonderland Quilt Along Block #8: The Teapot

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link, I receive a small commission, but it doesn't affect your cost.

Welcome to the May edition of the Wonderland Quilt Along. Check the tab above for previous posts, and to get all caught up if you're a new arrival.

Grab the pattern if you are ready to jump right in. Since we've covered paper-piecing a few times before, I'll be brief, and share a few tidbits and bloopers.

I've been doing some overhauling on our home, as I come to grips with the revelation that we may as well stay in our 4 bedroom with four kids instead of doubling the mortgage just to add a bedroom. I'd also have to pack up everything if we moved, and I'm no death cleaning guru. This all lead to an additional master closet and faux wood tile. Next will be carpet. I highly recommend Magic Moving Sliders if you have to shove furniture from one room to the next. (Not an affiliate link, though I would love to be an affiliate for Harbor Freight.) This all brings me to quilting out of my son's room temporarily, and using my Omnigrid Foldaway Cutting & Ironing Mat and my old iron on top the ironing board. Cue the disaster reel. So the old iron must have touched the plastic-y ;handle of the mat, and melted it. Then I rubbed it all around my beautiful, finished block. You're supposed to lift directly up and down to press, not what I do, by the way. Well, come to find out, nothing, but nothing will remove black plastic you've melted on your block. Alas, I'll be redoing a few sections. I really should have brought my Oliso upstairs. It pops up on a little platform and doesn't;'t let you singe things. (Download Ebates for 5% off, and use 15FORYOU to get 15% off on the Oliso website  if you want your own.)

Let's get some real advice though, because you're not going to be a doofus like me anyhow. In sections with two pieces, you can actually start with whichever one you want. If you'll be highlighting a fussy-cut section, start with that piece. In this case, print an extra section. cut out the piece you want to use a fussy-cut fabric for, and then cut 1/4" around it to make a window. Use this as a cutting guide, and a window to see what will appear. If you aren't highlighting a print, start with whichever is the lighter fabric to reduce shadowing. When this isn't possible, make sure the darker fabric is trimmed even with or a hair shorter than the lighter fabric when cutting the seam allowance back to 1/4". Also, the bottom piece should be trimmed to 10 1/2". You're printer may want to hack off one edge like mine did.

If you are working with smaller pieces of fabric that you need, sometime you can just seam things together like I did on the green piece above. Probably no one will notice. Unless you point it out, like I just did.

Show me what you're making in the Facebook group and with the #wonderlandquiltalong hashtag on Instagram.

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