Ugly Christmas Sweater QAL

Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt-Along

These are the blocks I stitched for the quilt along hosted by Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts.  Lorna’s pattern is wonderful and honestly, I don’t think the sweaters are ugly.    I love that she used solids for the sweaters and was able to raid my Kona Cottons stash to make most of the sweaters.  I finished the first 15 blocks before running out of Peapod (green) and Papaya (orange) and need to order a half-yard of each to finish the quilt top.

I followed the pattern cover design pretty closely except for changing some of the collar colors.  I also pulled out my From Marti Michell templates and used them to cut the pieces for the 6″ sweater centers, the half-triangles of background fabric for the shoulder area, and to trim the sleeve connector pieces.  They made stitching the diagonal seams quick and easy, plus there was no need to trim afterwards.

Below are all the yummy Kona Cotton colors in my version of the quilt.  Most of the fabrics were left over from the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt or the Bauble quilt.

  • Background –  Sky
  • White – Snow
  • Green – Peapod
  • Red – Cardinal
  • Pink – Peony
  • Light Blue / Aqua – Capri
  • Dark Blue – Windsor
  • Orange –  Papaya
  • Yellow – Buttercup

I haven’t decided on the binding fabric, but the red sure looks nice!

Find this link in the side bar to visit Lorna’s Ugly Christmas Sweater QAL and make a few (not so) ugly sweaters of your own.

Christmas Sweaters button

Happy Quilting!



Smitten quilt top update

Smitten quilt top

Smitten quilt top

I have the blocks and first border pieced, arranged, and ready to sew together.  This is the top size per the pattern, but I have so much fabric left over that I’m going to frame this bit and add another pieced border.  Perhaps with some of those mini Smitten blocks I made using FMM set G.  Hmmm . . .

I offered this quilt as a class in 2015 and don’t know anyone who actually finished the top.  Several people dropped out and some stuck with the classes, cut out some blocks, but didn’t accomplish much sewing.  The quilt top is not hard to piece, even with the Y-seams.  Where the ladies got hung-up was in choosing fabric for their blocks.

*There is a Facebook group that used the English Paper Piecing method to construct the quilt top.  What an awesome idea!  Many of my friends take EPP to their day jobs to work on during breaks and lunch.  I’ve had several quilting friends become EPP lovers.  You can find the post on my favorite EPP tools here.

Some of my blocks are not perfect, color-combination wise, and I did make some replacement blocks giving me a few blocks that will go into an orphan block quilt.  The thing to remember with this, or any quilt, that it is okay to not like your color/fabric choices.  You can change them.  Yes, fabric is expensive, but don’t back yourself into a corner thinking you can’t change your mind.  We’re women!  Of course we change our minds.  Use those blocks in an orphan quilt, put them into a quilt for a women’s shelter, senior’s home, or veteran’s hospital.  Make some funky pillowcases that you can donate to fire departments (they give them to children), or sew some awesome pet beds for animal shelters and rescues.  You’re not wasting fabric, you’re repurposing it and gifting it with love to someone (two or four-legged) who is going to love it.

When you’re on the fence about your blocks, put them up on a design wall, leave them for several days (without looking at them) and then re-evaluate.  If they are not pieced, you can always play with the fabrics.  Again, take time to walk away and come back with fresh eyes.  You may not like them anymore than before, but hopefully, you will stop beating that dead horse and figure out ‘what’ you don’t like, and how you’re going to change it.

I have updated my Smitten quilt gallery if you’d like to see the individual blocks.

Several of my most recent blocks.

The pattern gives you a paper template for the setting triangles on the sides of the quilt.   I didn’t want to make a plastic template, or use a single fabric for the setting triangles, so I pulled out the From Marti Michell templates and found that they can be used to piece the setting triangles.  H52 is the large diamond that is used in nearly all the blocks.  H52b is a shape not used in the blocks.  I used it as the small setting triangles on either side of H52.  You will want the long edge of H52b on the straight grain to reduce stretch.  A 2 1/8″ strip of fabric (cut along the selvage) will give you a enough width to cut the triangles while providing a straight, non-stretchy edge.

Smitten drawing effect

Smitten drawing effect

Happy Quilting!


Temecula Quilt Co – mini Christmas blocks 9 – 12

Mini Christmas blocks 9 – 12 from Temecula Quilt Company’s “We Wish You A Mini Christmas” sew along.

I kept up with the sew along and finished block 12 on the day TQC posted the pattern.  The weather hasn’t been the best for photos and many of the ones I’ve taken ended up in the trash.  The photos above are not the quality I would have liked, but, oh well . . .

mini Christmas runner

TMQ provided three different finishing variations for the mini blocks.  I chose the runner and my husband picked out the background fabric.  After it is quilted, I’m going to add a “faux piping” binding using red and dark blue fabrics.  There is a fabulous tutorial for the faux piping on Little Miss Shabby’s blog (tutorial here).

The finishing instructions called for the setting triangles to be cut from a square, cut twice on the diagonal.  This results in the long edge of the triangle being on the bias, and this edge is on the outside of the runner.  I changed the directions a bit and used a From Marti Michell acrylic template to cut the setting triangles.  After a little math to determine the width of the fabric strip (cut on the lengthwise grain), it was simple to cut all the triangles.

setting triangles 1

  1.  Place the triangle on the left side of the fabric strip.  Cut the angle on the left side of the template and nip off the corner.

setting triangles 2

2.  Slide the triangle down so the top edge is flush with the top of the fabric strip.  Make sure the left side of the template is still aligned with the left side of the fabric.

setting triangles 3

3.  Cut the angle on the right side of the template.

setting triangles 4

4.  Slide the template up and to the left, making sure to align the bottom and right side of the template with the fabric edges.  Nip off the corner.

Easy peasy and you have non-stretchy lengthwise grain edges for the outside of the runner!

My original post on the blocks and a link to TQC can be found here:

 TQC Mini Christmas blocks.

Happy Quilting!