Friday, November 10, 2017

The Mini Charm Chocolates Quilt



I've picked up lots of Mini Charm Packs over the years.

They're also known as Moda Candy.

Maybe that's why I have so many! Just like candy, Mini Charm Packs are hard to resist. 

Those 2.5 inch candy fabric squares are so cute and compact!







I do wonder how much of our Halloween candy we gave out last week and how much Halloween candy we actually ate ourselves.......

Maybe I shouldn't think about that right now and get back to talking about fabric.......



I've used Mini Charms for lots of small projects like bags and mini quilts and I've used them to simply check out a new fabric line to see if it's one that I'm really going to like. 

They're great to determine if I want to order a little fabric or lots of it.  And they can be helpful in deciding what prints I'm going to like for borders and backings, and what prints I won't use as much of in a quilt.









Recently, I was introduced to a new use for Mini Charms, which was surprising to me, making larger quilts out of Mini Charms!

I had the opportunity to join in the Mini Charm Chocolates Quilt Along with the Fat Quarter Shop and I jumped on it!











Mini Charms Packs are great when you have a few of them, but I was definitely interested in checking out a pattern with a variety of quilt sizes involving either 3, 11, or even 20 Mini Charm Packs! 

And there's a table runner option too!


After opening up 1 of my 11 Manderely Mini Charm Packs and gathering some of my favorite background fabric, Moda Grunge in the color Pool, I started on my lap size quilt.

I was able to start on the sewing part quickly, because the only fabric I had to cut was the background fabric, my Moda Grunge.

Thanks to the Mini Charms most of the cutting was already done for me! 

And you know I loved that, because I have to admit the cutting is my least favorite part.  The less cutting that's involved the more I like the quilt!









I found that the best way for me to make the 24 blocks for the Mini Charm Chocolates Lap Quilt was to only open one Mini Charm Pack at a time and finish it, before opening another. 

That way I would get the most fabric variety possible in a block. So instead of having hundreds of fabric squares to choose from, I only had a few.

Definitely a plus for me!

It forced me to use some of those fabrics that may not have been my favorites, before I moved on to the next Mini Charm Pack and I was sure to have a pretty even amount of each print left as I approached the end of the quilt.

After making 24 blocks, I was ready to start assembling the quilt!








Another advantage to using Mini Charms that I wasn't even expecting, was the small amount of time that it took me to arrange the blocks.

There were so many different fabrics in the quilt that it was a no fuss layout!

 I've been known to ponder and change my block layout way too many times before I start sewing them together,  just ask my family, but this time there was such a large variety of fabrics I could just lay it out and then sew it up! 

I added a few strips of the background fabric to connect the blocks, then added the borders, and I was done.

I now have a fun, bright quilt made with tons of little squares, involving minimal cutting!

You can't go wrong there!








The Fat Quarter Shop made this pattern as a mini Shortcut quilt, a tablerunner, a lap quilt, and even a queen size quilt, so you've got lots of options.

I chose all of my Mini Charm Packs in the same fabric for my quilt, but I love mixing fabric lines too, so I've already pulled out all of my Mini Charms and my wheels are turning with new color combinations. 

The thought that I can mix multiple fabric lines together easily in this quilt pattern really interests me.

  I could make a quilt with a 'scrappy' look without having to spend the time cutting up all the scraps!

Gotta love it!

For more details, head over to The Fat Quarter Shop's blog, The Jolly Jabber where you'll see other Mini Charm Chocolate Quilts, the free pattern, and a video tutorial!










While I'm talking about projects you can do with The Fat Quarter Shop, I want to mention a special opportunity coming up in January, the Clementine Quilt Along benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The Clementine Quilt features bright prints form Mama's Cottage by April Rosenthal by Moda.




Photo used with permission from The Fat Quarter Shop..



This upcoming Quilt Along runs from January through July of 2018, but the Clementine Quilt Kit can be pre-ordered now so you don't miss out on this charitable event.

Moda Fabrics and The Fat Quarter Shop are partners in this Quilt Along with proceeds benefiting St. Judes Children's Research Hospital.

It's something exciting coming up from The Fat Quarter Shop that I thought you might like to know about!


 I hope you find time this weekend to sew!
    


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dashing on to the November Parade


Hello my quilting friends!

Happy November!

The Minis and More Parade is today and before we get started I'd like to announce our next featured pattern and share some exciting news!

Pull out your Christmas fabrics and get ready to make one of Camille Roskelley's newest patterns with us!


This cute holiday mini is made with a charm pack and some extra fabrics. 

It features nine ornaments in the mini, and in addition there are instructions for cute hanging ornaments that can be made for your tree or for display anywhere.

I'm already thinking about my fabric choices!

The timing is perfect on this one. 

You can have it ready for this holiday season! 

And the exciting news is, if you participate in the December Parade by making Camille's Vintage Holiday Mini and send a picture of your finished project to Sherri, or to me before the first of December you'll receive the pattern featured in our next Parade free!

So if you participate and make your Vintage Holiday Mini, you'll be ready for the next month's Parade with a free pattern.

If you've ever thought about joining us, now would be a great time. 

We love to have new participants and we love to see old friends too!

If you have any questions about how to participate, don't hesitate to ask.




And now on with our November Parade featuring Corey Yoder's Mini Dashing pattern.



Karen had a busy month, but she found time to stitch up her cute mini quilt.  She added an extra inch to the border and she's planning to bind it in a dark blue fabric.  Karen commented that she loves how the pattern appears when the blocks are sewn together and I have to agree!  This pattern is so interesting and fun.  The colors that Karen used really makes her mini pop!







Hildy is always so creative with what she does with the pattern and this month is no exception.  She made this gorgeous bag!  So Hildy actually used the pattern twice, once for the front of the bag and once for the back. The darker flower fabric she used for the sides is gorgeous and I love that she used linen for her background.  It's simply beautiful Hildy!  






The rest of the Minis and More Parade is on Sherri McConnell's blog, A Quilting Life, so be sure to stop by and view the other half of the Parade.


Have a great November and thanks for watching the Parade!




Friday, October 6, 2017

Cobblestone Quilt



I'm so glad that today's the day I can show you what I've been working on!

The Cobblestone Quilt!









I did the fabric layout and the cutting for this quilt during our power outage due to Hurricane Irma.

Knowing that because of our location we weren't in any danger from the storm, but we would probably lose power for an extended period of time, I made sure to iron my fabrics the night before the storm hit so I would be all ready to start rotary cutting in the morning when we would surely have no power.

I planned to layout my fabrics later in the day, since I wouldn't need any electricity to do that either.

  It all worked out pretty well until it started getting dark, the power was out, and I wasn't quite finished deciding where everything was going to go.  With the help of my husband and his super powered flash light that he normally uses at work, I was able to get my Cobblestone Quilt layout finished that evening.








Because there's no background fabric with this quilt, the layout was pretty simple.  Just move the fabrics around a little bit until you're happy with the arrangement and you're finished.  Perfect for a project partially done by flashlight!

Before a hurricane I usually have a project planned that doesn't require electricity, and during Irma I decided to cut and layout this quilt.  It's nice to have something to do to keep your mind off of the storm outside and the mess that will be left behind. 

Usually I go for binding in a hurricane, but just recently I've been trying my hand at machine binding, with great success I might add.  But machine binding obviously won't work for a hurricane project.

Forty five hours later, our power was back on, the yard was cleaned up and the sewing began!  Our phone line was still out, but you don't need a phone line to run a sewing machine, so it didn't bother me.








After the piecing I was on to the quilting.


I've been trying to work on my free motion quilting some recently, so I did some flowers and swirls on this quilt.  I've done them in the past and I like how they turn out.  This quilt seemed to call for flowers, since there are so many pretty flowers in the cute LuLu Lane fat quarter bundle by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts that I used.

Using the darks and the lights in the Lulu Lane bundle was so nice. Patterns that require just a fat quarter bundle are great! No background fabric to choose!  I have a few fabric bundles in my sewing room that are waiting for a pattern that includes the dark and the light fabrics from a bundle, just like this one!









 Then it was binding. 

Did I tell you that I've been doing some machine binding lately?  I tried it once many, many, I won't say how many, years ago and it did not go well. Not. Well. At. All. I said I'd never do it again. Never.  

Never say never, right? Now so many people are binding that way I thought I'd eat my words and try it again.  After a little trial and error, I thought it was a great success!  What a difference! I won't say that it's really easy to do, but I do love how it looks and I definitely think it's worth the effort so I can get more quilts finished and in use!


The Cobblestone Quilt was a great quilt for machine binding since there were no pesky points to worry about anywhere near the binding.  In fact, there weren't even any points on the whole quilt, which made it a breeze to piece.








While I was making it, I was thinking that this is the perfect quilt for that fat quarter bundle that draws you in with its gorgeous dark and light fabrics.

Using both the darks and the lights in the Lulu Lane fat quarter bundle was so nice.  The Cobblestone Quilt has several different size options so you can make it big or you can make it small. The interlocking blocks are created with simple strips so the piecing is quick and easy.


I'm glad I could share my latest finish with you today.

If you go over and visit The Fat Quarter Shop at the Jolly Jabber you can get the free pattern, view the video tutorial, and find the other stops on the Cobblestone Quilt Along.

You can also see more versions of the Cobblestone Quilt!   



Monday, October 2, 2017

It's October!


Happy fall y'all!

Welcome to October and the Minis and More Parade!



First, I'd like to announce the pattern for next month.

Corey Yoder's Mini Dashing Pattern caught our attention this time around, so it will be our featured pattern for the November Parade.

You just need a charm pack, a little background, a border and of course your binding and you are on your way to making this cute mini quilt.


Photo from Corey Yoder's shop. Used with permission.  Thanks Corey!


I love the fun secondary pattern that you see here!

You can find the Mini Dashing pattern in Corey's Etsy shop or in the Fat Quarter Shop.




I'm happy to show you Mindy's Berry Baskets Mini Quilt!  The Berry Baskets Mini pattern was designed by our cohost of the Minis and More Parade Sherri McConnell.  This adorable basket pattern is so cute in mini form and Sherri has made a pattern for a large version that is just as beautiful.  Mindy's cheery mini quit was made with a mix of Bonnie and Camille's fabrics and it just says 'happy' to me!  Thanks so much for sharing it with us Mindy! 






Cathy, from the blog Sew Pieceful, has been busy lately but she couldn't pass up the chance to make this Berry Baskets Mini. She had a great time pulling fabrics from her stash for this cute quilt.  The Fat Quarter Shop's YouTube video on mitered borders helped her through the process of adding her own spin on the quilt and I think she did an amazing job!






Sherri has some more Mini Berry Baskets from the Parade on her blog, A Quilting Life, so don't forget to go over and visit.

Enjoy pumpkin spice everything this month, make your Mini Dashing quilts, send us those photos, then be sure to meet us back here and watch the Parade on November first!

See you then!


Friday, September 8, 2017

We're back to school and it's time for the Lady Of The Lake Quilt Along



Hey everyone!

Welcome to my stop on the Fat Quarter Shop's Lady Of the Lake Quilt Along.


  I'll start it off with a little history lesson.

Traditionally, the Lady Of The Lake block is made with only two contrasting fabrics.  

I did change mine up slightly by making my little half square block in the corner out of a different fabric, but I used the same colors and the same fabric line. 

Sweetwater's Elementary is what I went with, and I used Moda's Bella Solid Ivory as my background fabric.

That's one of my favorite go to background fabric choices.  It goes well with just about anything that has an ivory tone to it. 









I thought the Elementary fabric line was especially appropriate, since so many of us are in the 'back to school' mode right now.

I was even inspired to hang a few of my blocks on one of my antique yardsticks from my collection, since I was going with the 'back to school' theme with this quilt.









You might be interested to know that surprisingly the Lady Of The Lake block is one of the few quilt blocks that hasn't been known by a variety of different names.

Many quilters believe the block was named after Walter Scott's 1810 poem titled, Lady of The Lake.

The first Lady Of The Lake quilt blocks started showing up around 1900 and
I guess the name has just stuck ever since!








The Lady Of The Lake blocks are super easy, classic blocks.

The Fat Quarter Shop has even taken some of the math out of the process and made those half square triangles in the patterns easier and more accurate, by including half square triangle paper in their newly released Lady Of The Lake Quilt Kit, featuring The Good Life fabric by Bonnie and Camille.

Visit the Jolly Jabber to see the other stops in the Fat Quarter Shop's Lady Of The Lake Quilt Along.


Thanks for visiting me here at Island Life Quilts and I hope this back to school post taught you a thing or two about the classic Lady Of The Lake block!


Friday, September 1, 2017

It's all about pumpkins!


You really can't go wrong with pumpkins can you?

You can find a type of pumpkin that will fit in just about anywhere. 

There's real or imitation, ginormous or tiny, glass or ceramic, white or orange, and even blue!



In this month's Minis and More Parade we're focusing on the quilted type of pumpkin.


It's adorable and I love that it has all kinds of pumpkins, including different sizes and shapes.

 Some are just one fabric and others are pieced!






My Mini Pumpkins quilt got a little crazy.  I had a great time going through my long neglected batik stash, looking for some fun pumpkin fabrics.  I have some lighter ones in there and I pulled in a few purples too, just to make it a little different than any other pumpkin quilts that I have around.  I think I'll keep the total number of pumpkin quilts that I can see from where I'm sitting right now to myself.  You might even gasp out loud if I told you how many I have. And yes, I do have them out already.....







I love the dark background that Mary from the blog Needled Mom used for her Mini Pumpkins quilt! The bright orange fabrics really pop with that nice background.  Mary completed her mini quilt quickly, knowing that she had a busy month ahead.  If I had to pick my favorite pumpkin in Mary's quilt it would have to be the one with the white and orange chevron fabric. Beautiful, Mary!







This cute pumpkin mini was sent in by Sigi of Little Quiltsong.  She used colors similar to those in the pattern and I can definitely see why!  It's wonderful!  That green binding really frames the whole quilt nicely and makes it look so fresh. Thanks so much for sharing it with us Sigi!








Now on to Mindy's Mini Pumpkins.  She used nice light orange fabrics for her pumpkins and I love that she threw in a blue one too.  Blue pumpkins seem to be the thing right now and Mindy didn't hesitate to include one in her runner.  The light green border is a beautiful touch.







Patty from Elm Street Quilts made her pumpkins in three different sizes and they're all cute! She stuck with the wonderful traditional orange to make an adorable mini that she'll be sure to love for a long time.  After reading Patty's fall post I had to run out to Target to get some of the first crop of candy corn this season!   







This full size quilt was made by Kim!  You can find her at Lily Patch Quilts.  Kim went with a lighter background and used a variety of shades of orange for her pumpkins.  I love that she went big and made the large size quilt.






The rest of the Mini Pumpkins Parade is on Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life.

Don't forget to stop by and take a look.



I'm so excited about the next Parade!

The featured pattern is brand new.

Berry Baskets Mini is a cute basket pattern recently designed by Sherri.


Photo by Sherri McConnell used with permission.


The pattern is available in both PDF and paper form in her shop.

She will be dropping the price of the Berry Baskets Mini PDF to $4 for a limited time, so if you've ever considered joining us for the Parade this would be a great time to do it!


These baskets would be beautiful in any kind of fabric.

We can't wait to see your creative ideas!

The Berry Baskets Mini Parade will be on Monday, October 2 so send your project photos in as soon as you're ready.

It'll be a great Parade!

Questions about how to be involved in the Parade? Don't hesitate to ask!



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mini Tulip Market




Hello!

Everyone is having a busy summer, including me! 

Last month we took a nice vacation to the mountains of North Carolina and we visited Georgia Tech on the way home.

My youngest son will be starting his senior year of high school, so it's time to make some plans and get those college applications filled out.

We're looking forward to a busy, fun fall!

And since fall is right around the corner, are you ready to sew some pumpkins?

The Minis and More pattern for our next Parade is Mini Pumpkins designed by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew.



Used with permission.


I can't wait to get started on this adorable pattern.

Allison has a large version of this quilt too if you're interested.

I don't think you can have too many pumpkin quilts!

 I love pumpkins and I probably have too many pumpkin items for someone who lives in Florida, where pumpkins only arrive on trucks!

Here we have to make our own fall, but I sure have fun with it!



The pattern for this month's Parade is Mini Tulip Market by Corey Yoder.



Mindy could not stop making these cute tulips.  She quickly went from three to twelve!  So she made  an adorable table runner and a pillow too.  She has a few tulips left over for another sweet tulip project!  I can see why you couldn't stop making tulips Mindy!    





Dont forget to see the other half of the Parade on Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life!

Email us your Mini Pumpkin Quilt pictures before the end of August and we will get them in the Parade.

Happy sewing!