Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along - The Quilt

Now that you've got your Sparkle quilt all complete it's time for machine quilting  and attaching the binding.
I've had so much fun making this quilt I hope you have too!
When it came time to machine quilt my quilt I decided to go with an all over, edge-to-edge pattern. I want this quilt to be used and loved in my home each Christmas so something all over will be perfect!


Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along - Putting the Top Together

Today we get to sew our Sparkle quilt tops together. YAY! 
Begin by sewing one 2 1/2"x24 1/2" white strip to the right side of six of the blocks.
Next, sew the blocks together into three rows of three blocks.
Now take your two, 2 1/2"x76 1/2" white sashing strips and sew them to the bottom of two rows. Then sew the three rows of three blocks together.
That's it!
If you wanted to make your quilt larger  you could add a white, red or green border. I am not a border lover so I'm stopping here.

Tomorrow I'll be back to share my quilt after it's all machine quilted.

We're making great progress! If you're just joining in, no worries, you can still catch up. 

Make sure to share your progress over on instagram using #sparklexmassewalong


Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along - Putting the Blocks Together

We are just moving right along. Today we get to put our blocks together, YAY!
First we will make the top and bottom units, take two side units and sew them to the right and left sides of one of the green square-in-a-square units. Sew 18 of these units. Press toward the red corner units.
For the center units you will sew one green square-in-a-square unit to opposite sides of a white 8 1/2"x8 1/2" square. Sew 9 of these units. Press toward the white squares.

Now, we get to put those units together!
Sew a top and bottom unit to the top and bottom of the center blocks. Sew 9 blocks.

Tomorrow we'll put our quilt top together!

We're making great progress! If you're just joining in, no worries, you can still catch up. 

Make sure to share your progress over on instagram using #sparklexmassewalong


Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along - Sewing the Corner Units

Today we're going to make 36 corner units.
Sew 36  half square triangle blocks to the left side of 36 red 4 1/2" blocks. Press toward the red block.
Next, you will sew the remaining 36 half square units to the right side of your 36 white 4 1/2" blocks. Press toward the white blocks.
Now, sew the two units together, creating 36 corner units. 
Set all of your units aside! We get to start sewing blocks together tomorrow! YAY!

We're making great progress! If you're just joining in, no worries, you can still catch up. 

Make sure to share your progress over on instagram using #sparklexmassewalong


Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along - Sewing Half Square Triangles

It's time for some more sewing! Today we're working with reds, yay! I'm having fun with the scrappy Christmas reds that I chose.
Gather up your 36 white 4 7/8"x4 7/8" squares and your 36 red 4 7/8"x4 7/8" squares. You should have already drawn a diagonal line from corner to corner on all of the white squares. If you haven't, no worries, you can do it now.

Now place your white and red squares together, right sides together. Then sew 1/4" on either side of the draw line, repeat on all 36 blocks.

Next, use your rotary cutter, or scissors and cut on the original draw line.
Press the blocks toward the red. You should now have 72 half square triangle blocks. Square these blocks up to 4 1/2"x4 1/2".

We're making great progress! If you're just joining in, no worries, you can still catch up. 

Make sure to share your progress over on instagram using #sparklexmassewalong


Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along - Sewing Square in a Square Blocks

All right, you've got your fabrics picked, and all cut and you're ready to start sewing! YAY! 
Lets start by making the green square-in-a-square blocks! You will make four of these units per block, making a total of 36.
All seam allowances are 1/4"

Begin by sewing one 4 7/8" triangle to opposite sides of each of the green 6 1/4"x6 1/4" squares. Refer to the image above.

Press. I chose to press my fabrics toward the white on these units.
Next, sew a 4 7/8" triangle to the two remaining sides of the square-in-a-square unit. Press. After you have pressed, square up the block to 8 1/2"x8 1/2" square.

Put these 36 units aside, we will use them again in a couple days.

If you're just joining us, make sure to share you progress over on instagram, use #sparklexmassewalong


Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along - Cutting Instructions

Okay! I hope you've all got your fat quarters picked out and are ready to start chopping up your fabric! The pieces for this quilt a big, so the cutting is quick and easy!

Cut your pieces and then make sure to draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on 36 of the 4 7/8"x4 7/8" squares. My favorite marking pen is Mark-B-Gone.
Make sure to share your pictures over on instagram using #sparklexmassewalong

And, just in case you missed it, the fabric requirements are listed here.


Sparkle - A Christmas Sew Along!

I've been in desperate need of a new Christmas quilt for a few years now. My only Christmas quilt has been around for several years, and needless to say it's time for something new. Even though I don't "stash" fabrics, I have been hoarding some fat quarters for the last couple years, and it's finally time to cut them up and put them to use! 
I've sketched out a new quilt and thought it would be fun to sew and share as I go over the next week. You are welcome to sew along with me. I will share instructions here, starting with the fabric requirements today, and then sharing steps in the pattern each day until the quilt is complete.

I'm super duper excited to officially introduce you to my first sew-along, Sparkle!
Sparkle quilt will finish at 76"x76", it's a great stashbuster quilt, and a fabulous lap size!
These are the fabrics that I've pulled for my quilt (plus a few more reds), plus the solid white! I'm so super duper excited about this quilt, I'll be sharing pictures over on instagram using #sparklexmassewalong if you want to join me there.

I'll be back tomorrow with cutting instructions!


Typhoon - Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts

I can't even begin to express how excited I am about our upcoming book; Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts. I know I've said this over and over but I love when you look at a quilt and it makes you think.....now how was that put together?!?  When Kathleen and I came up with the concept for this new book, that was exactly what we wanted to create. A modern twist on traditional Log Cabin style quilt blocks.
This pattern is Typhoon. I love it so much, it might be one of my very favorite quilts from this book. I love that when you look at the quilt you cannot see the Log Cabin type construction. :) 

Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts is now available for pre-order, and you know as soon as I receive my advanced copy, in April or May, I'll be screaming it from the rooftops!

Machine Quilting Patterns

I don't often talk much here about my fun little hobby, designing digital machine quilting patterns and embroidery files. 

Kathleen and I started this fun little journey a few years back and learned the ins and outs of the digital portion of machine quilting and embroidery. For me, this is just a fun thing that I like to do whenever inspiration strikes. I often see designs that I love in nature, architecture and every day life that inspire me, and when I do I love to turn them into machine quilting patterns. 

With my recent move and just busy life in general I just haven't been able to play with designing these patterns in what seems like forever! But this week, inspiration struck, hard! I had to put everything down and just draw, I came up with several new digital machine quilting patterns, and even a few Christmas embroidery files.
Some of the new patterns are:

All of these files are available for purchase in the "shop" or if you want your long-arm quilter to use them we have all of our digital machine quilting files available in most long-arm machine quilting formats.


Free Motion Quilting - An Applique Quilt

My week has had a fabulous start, I hope yours has also! I started the week by custom machine quilting this fabulous quilt made by Nancy, I am so impatient when it comes to hand work, so this type of hand applique is always so amazing, and inspiring to me.
Nancy sent me this beauty and asked me to custom machine quilt it for her. She didn't have anything in mind, just wanted the applique to stand out. 
So, I outlined all of the applique and then machine quilted a small echo with some fun little swirls. Then in the border blocks I added some feathers and some textures in the nine-patch blocks. Even though they don't stand out much in the pictures they turned out gorgeous.
Thanks so much for letting me machine quilt this beauty Nancy! Your work is jaw-dropping amazing!


Coastal Lily - Custom Machine Quilting

Yesterday I finished up the custom machine quilting on this beautiful Coastal Lily quilt made by Gail.
The pattern for this quilt was originally designed by Minick & Simpson, it's a gorgeous pattern and it's so cool to see it with the brighter fabric colors. Actually, I thought it was pretty awesome as I was machine quilting  it to see that Gail had combined so many fabrics, I would have never thought that Vanessa Christenson's fabrics could go with French General fabrics, but in this quilt they do, and they play so well together!
When Gail sent me this quilt she asked me to custom machine quilt it for her. She basically gave me the go-ahead to quilt it as I wanted, she just wanted me to make sure that I added in feathers, she loves feathers! I can handle that, I love feathers too!
We also agreed to use a double batting, one layer of Quilters Dream Wool and one layer of Bamboo. I think this is my very most favorite double batting I've ever used. The texture is amazing, but the two battings stayed very soft, with a nice drape.
Gail chose a nice tone on tone print for the backing, which really showed off the machine quilting. That makes me happy! :)

While I was machine quilting this quilt I decided to dust off the camera and shoot a little video of me free-motion quilting. Now, don't judge my camera skills too much, I am not a videographer by profession, and my new studio doesn't have the awesome lighting that I used to have. But I do think it's fun to see the videos. In this video I did not speed anything up like I generally do, this is real time, me and my long arm. Since I know that someone will ask, the ruler that I am using in the video is designed by Linda Taylor, and yes, I do all of my machine quilting one handed.

Hope you enjoy the little video. :)


Machine Quilting Clams - Edge to Edge

Genny made this super duper cute Zig Zag quilt. After she finished making the quilt she sent it to me and asked me to machine quilt it with an edge to edge pattern.
I thought it would be a fun quilt to machine quilt with edge to edge clams, I love how it turned out. So fun an simple but adds just a little bit of texture.
Thanks for letting me machine quilt your fun quilt Genny!


Tumbling Blocks - Custom Machine Quilting

Genny recently made this fun version of Tumbling Blocks. It's such a quilt pattern, and the fabrics that she used are gorgeous! Genny's going to use this quilt in her home so she asked me to custom machine quilt it for her.
I machine quilted little clams and swirly feathers as the background filler, then I quilted figure eights and a few other custom designs in the blocks, with feathers in the borders. I really love how it turned out.
Most of these techniques are taught in my book; Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting.
The backing was a solid gold color fabric, sometimes solid backings turn out so pretty!
Thanks so much for letting me machine quilt your quilt Genny!


Modern Geometric Machine Quilting

Last week I machine quilted this adorable quilt for Lianne. Lianne asked me to custom machine quilt this quilt for her, she really wanted some cool modern geometric type quilting.
So, that's exactly what I did! I machine quilted straight lines in all of the outside setting triangles. Then machine quilted geometric spirals in all of the solid white blocks.
Next, I machine quilted swirls, figure eights, and an alternating loop and all of the print strips.
Then I machine quilted a little straight line and border around each of the center blocks. I really love how this quilt turned out!
Thanks so much Lianne for letting me machine quilt for you!

For more step-by-step information about machine quilting check out my book; Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting.


Wiggling - A Modern One-Block Quilt: Bonus Give-Away

I did it! In my "spare time" this week, I managed to cut out, piece, quilt and bind.....yes you read that right, I BOUND a quilt! It's nothing shy of a miracle.
Kathleen and I have been working through Modern One-Block Quilts, over the last year, re-making all of the quilts in the baby versions. It's been so much fun to see how different the quilts look from the original versions. So today I'm sharing another adorable quilt from Modern One-Block Quilts; Wiggling. We originally made this quilt using more earthy tones and blue sashing, I do love the original version, but have been dying to make it again using white! I love white!

When I came across this adorable At The Zoo, fat quarter bundle over at Fat Quarter Shop, I knew immediately that I had to use that fabric for my quilt. I love the variety of colors in this bundle, and the scale of the prints is just perfect for this quilt! (keep reading, Fat Quarter Shop is giving one of these beauties away)

After I got the quilt all pieced, I knew it had to be custom machine quilted, so I machine quilted some figure eights in the sashing and then a bud pattern in half of the blocks and a geometric spiral in the remaining blocks. I used Quilters Dream Wool as the batting, it's so yummy and soft!
Aren't those colors so gorgeous! Love it!
So, do you want to make your own version of Wiggling? 
Here's your chance to win fabric! 
Simply leave a comment below telling me your very favorite type of batting and why. On Monday, 11/10/14 I will randomly select one person to win their very own At The Zoo Fat Quarter Bundle, courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop!

Speaking of Fat Quarter Shop, make sure to stop by their YouTube channel, Kimberly is always coming up with something great!
Oh, and if you haven't seen enough pictures today, here's the original version of Wiggling! :)

Signed copies of Modern One-Block Quilts are available for purchase here.

Winner is Shannon Wallace!


Officially Spilling the Beans: Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log-Cabin Quilts

I'm beyond excited today to formally introduce you to our newest baby..... Cabin Fever: 20 Modern Log Cabin Quilts.

Kathleen and I again collaborated on this book and we couldn't be more excited with how it came together. 

2014 started off really crazy, between writing this book and Kathleen having major back surgery not once, but twice, with some pretty crazy complications following, then I moved several hours away. It's truly a miracle that things worked out the way that they did and we were able to create this awesome book.
Kathleen and I have always been inspired by Log-Cabin style quilts,but we also like to make you think when you look at a quilt, together we decided to take the traditional Log-Cabin style and twist it up!

Don’t be square—discover exciting log cabins in varied shapes and formations! Best-selling authors Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting put an imaginative new twist on the classic block with bold colors and dramatic lines. Packed with possibilities, this collection offers 20 quilts each in 3 sizes, with a bonus chapter on throw pillows and shams. Quick-sew techniques (no curves here!) make it easy to stitch big quilts. Whether you've been quilting for months, years, or decades, these fresh layouts with straightforward construction are sure to inspire!
•Bold new styles and shapes for the classic log cabin
•20 quilts in 3 sizes (baby, throw, and coverlet), plus pillows
•Sew big quilts fast! Simple two- or three-color designs
•From celebrated quilters Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting, best-selling authors of Modern One-Block Quilts & Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

Books will begin shipping May 2015 -- pre-order signed copies here.


Paper Pieced Quilt

Last week my grandma traveled from Idaho to Utah, and brought with her this amazing quilt that she's spent the last several months paper piecing! I'm so impressed, she did an amazing job and the quilt is huge!
She's super duper excited about, in fact, she made it for her bed.
She's always been a hand quilter, so she likes to keep with traditional quilting, lots of stitch in the ditch. So, I custom machine quilted this quilt for her, lots of stitch-in-the-ditch, to really make the piecing stand out.
I love how it turned out!
She even made two pillow shams, and I added a little bit of feather flair to them! I couldn't help myself! :)
Love them! Thanks for letting me machine quilt this darling quilt grandma! :)