Loverly Quilt-a-Long Week 2

Welcome to the Loverly Quilt-a-Long!  If you’re just starting out with us, please see here for the original blog post, and here for the first week’s cutting instructions.

Today we’re going to start piecing our table runner.  If you’re English paper piecing, or sewing by machine, you’ll find lots of helpful information about those methods in my book, Adventures in Hexagons.

If you’re hand-piecing (there’s lots of good information in the book about that too) I’ve created two video tutorials to demonstrate the basics of hand-piecing. And without further ado, here they are:

If these are helpful to you, please consider sharing them with friends on social media.  I’m really excited about delving into video tutorials, and would greatly appreciate subscriptions on my Youtube channel.

And now, a bit of progress on my patriotic themed Loverly table runner.  I like piecing the “single” blocks first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a picture of the backs of those blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re just finger-pressed right now, so not flat yet. I’ll press them with an iron once they’re sewn into the complete quilt, which gives me freedom to move seams out of the way as I’m attaching the blocks together.  You may note that the two star blocks are pressed in opposite directions.  While I did not do that intentionally, it won’t matter in the final quilt.  What matters is making sure all the bigger hexagons are pressed the same way.  I’ll be posting pictures of how that looks on Facebook and Instagram later this week. Creating and editing videos takes a LOT more time than I originally planned, so I’m a little behind this week.

How’s your Loverly quilt progressing? I’d love to see on IG- tag it with #loverlytablerunner and @thecaffeinatedquilter so we can see your beautiful work.  I’ve also created an Adventures in Hexagons Group on Facebook, so please join and share your pictures there as well.

Happy Stitching!

 

Loverly Quilt-a-Long Week 1

Welcome to the Loverly Quilt-a-Long! This post is part of a series, and you can read all about the series here. Hopefully you have your copy of Adventures in Hexagons, your fabrics chosen, and you’re ready to dive into the fun of cutting fabric!!

As I mentioned in my book, this project can be made in multiple different ways.  I’m hand piecing mine with acrylic templates from Marti Michell.  However, you can follow the exact same cutting instructions to English paper piece the quilt!! (Hint:  save time by purchasing the Loverly paper pack from Paper Pieces!)  All of the strip widths in the book yield shapes with a 1/4” seam allowance.  If you prefer a little more wiggle room when English paper piecing, cut your strips about 1/8” wider than the dimensions listed in the book.

For the quilt-a-long, I’m making a fall version of the Loverly table runner.  Here are all my background strips cut and ready for templates.

 

Tips for Cutting Patches

I wanted to share a trick for cutting house-half-hexagons with you.  These shapes are not specifically included in the acrylic template set, but you can cut them easy-peasy with the hexagon template. First, cut a clean straight edge at the end of your strip, using a regular rotary cutting ruler.

Now you have a good clean edge to align with the left side of the hexagon template. Make sure the point of the hexagon just touches the top of the strip.

Cut the remaining side and the “roof” of the house, and voila! A house-half-hexagon!!

Another tricky shape is the jewel. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to fit correctly on the strip, does it?  The strip width in the pattern minimizes your cutting time. First, align the jewel with one long edge of the jewel along one cut side of the strip.

Trim the long edge of the jewel as neatly as possible, and move the strip out of your way.

Next, rotate your cutting mat to cut the remainder of the jewel sides.

Now return that strip to your rotating mat, and line the template up with the long angled cut edge and the edge of the template. Trim remaining sides. Continue alternating the jewel template as needed to efficiently cut shapes from the strip.

 

Other than those two shapes, the cutting for this project is pretty straightforward.  (As you can see here, I still have a bit of that work left to do! Time to make more coffee. . . )

 

Prep Shapes for Sewing

After you’ve finished cutting, it’s time to prep your shapes! If you’re hand sewing or machine sewing, take a few minutes to mark the dots from the templates on the back of each fabric shape.  I do this with a regular, plain ole’ mechanical pencil.  I’ve tried the fancy shmancy quilt marking mechanical pencils, and find those leads break way too often. If you’re English paper piecing, baste your fabric to the paper shapes.  In my book, I’ve included three different basting methods, so check that out if you need help with the basting.

Tune next week as we get this table runner sewn together!!! (Spoiler alert: next week’s post may include the world premiere of The Caffeinated Quilter youtube channel. There. I said it. Now you’ll hold me accountable to make it happen, right?!)

If you’re quilting along with me, PLEASE share your progress on the Adventures in Hexagons facebook page, and tag your photos on instagram with #loverlyquiltalong #adventuresinhexagons, and tag me @thecaffeinatedquilter.  I can’t wait to see your creation!!

Happy Stitching!!

 

Loverly Quilt-a-Long!

Welcome to the Loverly Quilt-a-Long! I am so excited to start this project! For the next month, I’ll be walking you through this design from my book, Adventures in Hexagons, and sharing all kinds of tips and tricks to help you make it.  Best part is, we’ll be finished before the holidays, so you’ll already have a jump start on your handmade decorating or gift giving!

 

 

 

Supplies you will need to participate:

Your own copy of Adventures in Hexagons- I will not be providing fabric requirements or patch sizes in this quilt-a-long. You can get a copy of my book from my online shop, Amazon, or C&T Publishing.  (Digital and print versions available from Amazon and C&T, autographed copies available from my shop!)

Fabric- see below for the color options I’m playing with.  Basically, you will need a main (or background) color, and three accent colors

Templates of your choosing- I recommend From Marti Mitchell Shape Set G for hand or machine piecing, and Paper Pieces’ Loverly Paper Pack for English Paper Piecing.

Fabric choices:

I will be making two versions of Loverly for this quilt-a-long, one patriotic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and one with an autumn theme:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both will be Christmas gifts for family members, double score! Aren’t we going to be smug and hard to live with when we have handmade gifts finished before November?!

 

Quilt-a-long Schedule

September 27- TODAY! Introduction and Materials

October 4- Cutting Tips

October 11- Piecing Tips

October 18- Quilting Suggestions

October 25- Finished Quilt Party- please send me pictures of your finished Loverly table runner, to be included in this blog post!!

 

Any questions, please comment below, or drop me an e-mail, emily@thecaffeinatedquilter.com

I look forward to quilting along with you!!

Happy Stitching!

Millefiori Quilts 3 Book Review

Have you been eagerly anticipating the release of Millefiori Quilts 3?  I have been stalking my mailbox since I received the e-mail that my copy shipped, and this week, it finally arrived!  And boy, was it worth the wait.

Basic information about the book

This is not a method-based book, and if you’re new to hand-piecing complex shapes, or English paper piecing, you’ll probably want to get a basic book on those methods to go along with Millefiori Quilts 3. However, the book is absolutely chock-full of lavish, inspiring quilt photographs, easy-to-follow full color diagrams, and thorough block explanations.  If you’re making your own templates, you’ll appreciate that each quilt’s template set fits on a single page. Just remember to add your preferred seam allowance around each template!

Regardless of your favorite shape, you’re bound to find a quilt that suits your preferences.  All the basic blocks in the patterns are radial. Four quilts are based off of pentagons and five-pointed stars, nine of the designs feature hexagons, four of the patterns are similar to the traditional Jack’s Chain combination of squares and hexagons, and one uses 8-pointed stars and octagons. This adds up to a total of 18 spectacular designs to fussy-cut and piece, a true hand-sewist’s dream book.

 

Differences from Millefiori Quilts 1 and 2

Three main differences immediately set Millefiori Quilts 3 apart from its predecessors, Millefiori Quilts 1 and 2. First, Millefiori Quilts 3 is written entirely in English, while the two previous books have French and English instructions side-by-side. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the mix in the first two books, but the third is undeniably easier to read and follow the diagrams.

Second, Millefiori Quilts 3 comprises quilts that have fewer block variations.  For example, in the first book, the famous La Passacaglia has eleven different rosettes, each repeated in varying quantities throughout the quilt.  In the similar quilt, The Can-Can, in book 3,  there are two rosettes, and a handful of color variations to make from each.

Finally, Millefiori Quilts 3 gives an overall simpler impression than the first two books.  There is minimal instruction on piecing and cutting techniques, placing all the emphasis on the book on the patterns themselves.  It’s like a graduate level course in complex piecing.  The instructor knows the students understand the basics, and provides minimal guidance so the students can have time to explore and create.

 

Starting a project from the book

While you can make your own templates from the pages in the book, all of these quilts have more patches than I can even comprehend cutting individually. Paper Pieces to the rescue! They have already created paper packs and acrylic templates for each quilt in the book. I especially love that they make their acrylics in two sizes, one with a 3/8 inch seam allowance (ideal for English paper piecing) and one with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, perfect for hand-piecers like me!  I think I’m going to make Ietsie Pietsie Pizzicato. Anyone know what that name means?  I stumped google translate trying to figure it out! But I dearly love this amazing combination of 10-pointed stars and Jack’s Chain blocks.

So for me, the only choices left are what fabrics to use? Do I pull from my stash and play with fussy-cuts? Or do I really try to let the shapes shine, and make this all out of, say, ombre fabrics? Which would you use?  Stay tuned for progress pictures!!

 

Happy Stitching!

 

Reflections on Hurricane Harvey

This has certainly been an intense week!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been glued to facebook, searching for news and updates on friends and family.  Most of my family lives on the gulf coast, either in Corpus Christi or Houston.  Having lived both places myself, it has been all the more unsettling to see familiar places underwater.  Thankfully, everyone we know is okay.  Not all of their homes are, but the people are.  For that, I am very, very grateful.

Seems like just last year I was posting about flooding in Louisiana that impacted my husband’s family.  I don’t think I ever posted pictures of the six quilts we made for kiddos in our family who lost their homes, but here is how they turned out:

Just one month ago, we went with my husband’s family for a quick vacation on the beach in Port Aransas. That city is completely gone.  I’m heartsick for all the people who called that city home, and can’t imagine what they must be going through, as they literally seek to rebuild their lives from the ground up.

 

I know as quilters, we often turn to fabric in crazy times like these, creating with our time and our hands a special keepsake to show loved ones, and even complete strangers, how much we love them and are thinking of them.  Seeing all the posts on instagram of quilt drives for those affected by the storms heartens me. That’s the magic of quilts.  You can channel all of your well-wishing, heart sickness and empathy into a gift that the recipient immediately recognizes as having incredible value.  It’s not just money, or essentials, it’s a warm, snuggly treasure they can wrap themselves up in and feel loved. Times like these, I’m proud to be a quilter. Glad to have something to contribute.

Speaking of contributing, I wanted to do something more this time around to help out.  So for now, through the entire month of September, you can buy my Going Places Tote Bag through my online store for $2.  All of that $2 will go to a reputable charity in the South Texas area working to help people rebuild.

 

I hope that you make the tote bag.  Make it for yourself to show your support of Texas. Make it for someone you know who has gone through the storms, as a reminder of our strong state spirit and beloved wildflowers. Fill it with little essential items and pass it on through one of the donation collection facilities.  For an afternoon’s sewing, you can remind someone that we will get through this, together.

 

If you want to make quilts like I made for the kiddos in Louisiana, I used this pattern from Me and My Sister Designs. It’s quick, easy, and a great scrap buster.

I hope your weekend is filled with time to sew.  Here in North Texas, people are going a little crazy over a non-existent gas shortage.  So instead of waiting at the pumps in insanely long lines, I’m going to stay home and stitch.  That’s a great way to conserve gas, don’t you think?

Happy Stitching, my friends!

 

Blog Tour Winner and Announcements!

blog hop winner!

Thank you for everyone that stopped by for the blog tour!  Kathie L, you won a copy of my book, Adventures in Hexagons!  Please check you e-mail for more details. Congratulations!

announcement!

So excited to share a little secret with y’all today. . . .

American Patchwork and Quilting Radio, Emily Breclaw, August 16, 2017

Please tune in next Monday, August 14, to hear all about Adventures in Hexagons and some of my pre-quilting background.  You can listen here. You don’t need a special app, or downloads, or anything, just press the play button! Then please head back here and tell me what you thought about the show.

sale!

This week only,  use the code DIGITAL25 to receive 25% off of all digital downloads, including digital pattern bundles, in my online shop! What a great time to start on a new project as the kids head back to school!!

Happy Stitching!

Adventures in Hexagons- Blog Tour Conclusion and GIVEAWAY!

Hello! What an exciting couple of weeks! I hope you all enjoyed the blog tour and met some new friends. I am overwhelmed by the fantastic response, and wanted to thank each of you who participated in the tour, by writing posts, commenting on the blogs, following on Facebook and Instagram. . . you guys rock!

Design Possibilities with Adventures in Hexagons

In case you missed the Instagram takeover, I wanted to share one image of a class plan I developed for use with Adventures in Hexagons. It’s called Hello, Rosy.  If you’re a shop owner, you can find the directions for this wallhanging on the C&T website.  If you’re a quilter, please ask about it at your favorite local quilt store.

Bright hexagon wallhanging featuring a bouquet of brightly colored flowers and leaves

Also, here’s a fun little quilt I made to show how easy it is to change the scale of the quilts presented in the book.  It’s called mini-Starburst. I made it following the layout diagrams for the Starburst quilt featured on the cover of the book, but using two alternate blocks. This pattern is not included in the book, however, a layout diagram for it is featured in the Design Primer. I won’t say this was a quick finish, but it kept me busy during lots of volleyball practices and piano lessons!

mini-Starburst quilt, featuring blue, orange, white and pink colors, from the book Adventures in Hexagons

 

At the start of the tour, I mentioned a freebie pattern for a block that works with all the others in Adventures in Hexagons.  It’s called Sea Star, and you can download it by signing up for my newsletter, on the right side of this page.

Sea Star mug rug pattern, blue and cream hexagons, free pattern by Emily Breclaw

Stay tuned for more Adventures!

Seeing everyone’s perspectives on Adventures in Hexagons has been so much fun! I just don’t want the party to end with the blog tour. So I’ve created a special facebook page for the book.  Please like and follow to share in even more Adventures! I’m planning a Loverly quilt along, starting in September, so you have plenty of time to get the book before it starts. We will be sharing tips and progress photos during the quilt-a-long on Facebook and Instagram, but you’ll be able to get all the information about the project right here on the blog. Here’s a sneak peek of one of the color options I’m working on for the quilt-a-long:

blue and red hexagons showing an alternate colorway for the Loverly quilt pattern

 

giveaway time!!

We’re giving away a copy of Adventures in Hexagons today too!!  Please comment below for a chance to win: what was your favorite stop on the tour?  I’ll randomly draw a winner on Tuesday, August 8.

Cover image of the Book, Adventures in Hexagons, by Emily Breclaw

 

Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Of course, wordpress would choose today to mess up commenting abilities.  If you don’t see the comment availability below, please click on the title of the post, and then scroll down again, the comments should be available there.  I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience!!

Adventures in Hexagons Blog Tour Update- and Giveaways!!!

Have you been following along this week with the Adventures in Hexagons blog tour?  I hope so! So many fun bloggers, and incredible giveaways.

And we’ve had a couple of updates to the tour, so please refer to the revised schedule below when you’re hopping.  Note especially the revised address for Marti Michell’s stop on the tour.  She’s giving away a hexagon template bundle in addition to the book giveaway, and running a special sale just for the blog hop on the hexagon templates to use with the book quilts. Please be sure to check it out and leave a comment, the odds of winning are fabulous right now!!

 

July 24- C&T Publishing www.ctpub.com

July 25- Generation Q Magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/

UPDATED!! July 27- Marti Michell http://frommartimichell.blogspot.com/

July 28-Clothworks Fabrics www.clothworks.com

July 29- Cathi Godwin, https://quiltobsession.blog/

July 30- Paper Pieces , www.paperpieces.com

August  1- Mary Huey, http://maryhueyquilts.blogspot.com/

NEW!!! August 2- Linda Franz, www.inklingo.com

NEW!!! August 3- Patty Murphy, https://pattymurphyhandmade.com/

August 4- Cheryl Sleboda, www.Muppin.com

August 5- Wendy Sheppard, https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/

August 6- Emily Breclaw, right here!!

 

And, be sure to sign up for my newsletter (on the right of this page) to collect your FREE mug rug pattern.

 

Hope your weekend is full of hexies and time to stitch with friends!!

Adventures in Hexagons Blog Tour Starts Tomorrow!

Oh, boy do we have a fun-filled blog tour planned for you! I am so excited about the wonderful bloggers who have graciously agreed to help me spread the word about my book.  So please join me on the days and sites listed below, it’s going to be a fantastic adventure. And be sure to comment on each post for a chance to win a copy of Adventures in Hexagons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See you on the tour!!

July 24- C&T Publishing www.ctpub.com

July 25- Generation Q Magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/

July 27- Marti Michell https://www.frommarti.com/

July 28-Clothworks Fabrics www.clothworks.com

July 29- Cathi Godwin, https://quiltobsession.blog/

July 30- Paper Pieces , www.paperpieces.com

August  1- Mary Huey, http://maryhueyquilts.blogspot.com/

August 4- Cheryl Sleboda, www.Muppin.com

August 5- Wendy Sheppard, https://ivoryspring.wordpress.com/

August 6- Emily Breclaw, right here at the Caffeinated Quilter

 

 

 

Check out the New Online Shop

After what feels like months of behind-the-scenes work, my online store is now open and ready for business! You’ll find digital versions of all of my self-published patterns, print versions of most of my designs, and autographed copies of my book.

Click the “Shop” tab in the menu above, and have a look around. I’d love to know your thoughts on the design and navigation.

Use the code DIGITAL25 to enjoy a 25% discount on all digital patterns, including the bundles!

Oh, and be sure to sign up for my newsletter while you’re there.  As a thank you, I’ll send you a free copy of my Sea Star Mug Rug pattern!

 

 

Happy Stitching!