Travel Bag

This week will be my first Quilt Con, and to mark the occasion I made a new carry on bag.

Carry on Bag for QuiltCon 2016 front view

I drew up this pattern to work with a fat quarter bundle that I had of Tula Pink’s Elizabeth line along with some denim scraps that I had from another project.  The effect is unified, yet scrappy.  The front and back of the bag are identical with a zipper pocket and an open pocket behind it.  Behind each zipper pocket is a section of coordinating fabric that was pieced in to help stretch the main bag fabric.Carry on Bag for QuiltCon side view

The bag is quilted in sections to allow all of the raw edges to be enclosed as the bag came together.  The final construction seams attach the bag front and back to the side panel.  These seams are stitched with the seam allowances toward the exterior of the bag which will help to give a bit of extra structure to this soft case.  The raw edges are enclosed using a custom made bias tape from one of the striped fat quarters in the Tula Pink bundle.Carry On Bag for QuitlCon Interior

I am excited to take this bag on its inaugural voyage this week so I will have a better idea of what adjustments I should make if I were to create this design again.  If you are at QuiltCon, I hope to have a chance to meet you and perhaps exchange buttons!QuiltCon 2016 Buttons

Goal #8 is Complete!

Goal #8 is Complete!

Moroccan Star: A Michael Miller Challenge Quilt

This summer, the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG) announced this year’s Michael Miller fabric challenge, and I couldn’t resist signing up.  Those metallic prints are so much fun!  I had an idea at that point, but once the fabrics arrived, I decided to change directions based on the exact prints that arrived.Moroccan Star finished quilt

Glittery metallics made me think of shining stars and opulence.  I typically prefer silver, but for this project I was really drawn to the gold printed fabrics.  To supplement the package of fabric sent by Michael Miller, I purchased some of the white and gold confetti dot also from the Glitz collection, and a Michael Miller black solid.MM Challenge

This design started with the fabric printed to imply interlocking circles.  I started experimenting by creating circles highlighting different sections of the print.  Once the circle sizes were determined, I drafted the motif that would create the final star design. I started the construction by hand appliquéing the circles to the white background pieces.  Those pieces were then added to the solid black background.  Moroccan Star process shot


Moroccan Star finished quilt top

For the quilting, I wanted to break up the background by using different quilting designs on either side of the appliquéd star motifs.  The quilting thread is a very dark grey which added a bit of extra dimension to the solid color surface.  I used the longarm for this quilt and the circle pattern was entirely free-motion using a dot to dot technique.  It is far from perfect, but it was the first time I had attempted this, so it could have been far worse!  I tend to like a hand drawn quality in free motion quilting, so I ultimately decided to leave it in and embrace the character of the piece.  Moroccan Star finished detail A

The lines around the stars and the tightly spaced vertical lines are also free-motion, but for the horizontal lines on the left side of the quilt I did lock the machine on the track before hand guiding the stitching.Moroccan Star finished detail B

This quilt was one of my entries in to QuiltCon, so now I (like many of you!) are waiting to hear which quilts we will see at the show in February.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Moroccan Stars

Size:  41″ x 40.5″

Techniques:  Needle turn appliqué

Quilting:  Free motion and linear quilting done on an A-1 Longarm

Fabric:  Michael Miller Glitz collection and Michael Miller solid

Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 in black

Thread:  Hand appliquéd with Gutermann Mara 100 in white, Quilted with 50wt Aurifil in a a dark grey

Binding:  Michael Miller solid black fabric (to match background) cut in 2″ wide bias strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

Goal #23 is finished!

Goal #23 is finished!


Bits and Pieces

November really flew by this year, particularly with the deadline for QuiltCon entries looming at the end of it!  Here is an overview of the projects that have been happening in the last few weeks.

First, I want to thank everyone who visited during the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy’s Creative Side.  (Thank you for all of your work in hosting this fantastic event!)  It is so exciting to have the opportunity to see so much wonderful work gathered in one spot.  Each time I discover even more talented people to follow.  This time around I was ecstatic to receive the prize for the Mini Quilt Category.  (My quilt actually came in second, but the first place winner had already received a larger prize, so the quilty love was spread around.)Simply Starred front view

Moda sponsored this category and they really outdid my wildest expectations with this box!Moda gift package

Inside the box was a tote bag filled with a large fat eighth bundle, two layer cakes, three charm packs, a tin of more fabric, Aurifil thread, spray baste, pins & needles, and lots of other notions.  I am so excited to start creating with all of these amazing products.  (Actually I have already used some of the fabric!)  Thank you, Moda!

The past week held deadlines for entries to both the Modern Quilt Guild’s (MQG) QuiltCon and the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) show in Paducah.  My entries were similar to both shows, and I will be writing more in depth posts about each quilt in the coming weeks.

Two of my QuiltCon entries were made specifically for challenges.  The first is the Michael Miller Challenge quilt.  It is hand appliquéd and free-motion quilted on the longarm.

Moroccan Star: A MQG Michael Miller Challenge Quilt Entry

Moroccan Star: A MQG Michael Miller Challenge Quilt Entry

The other challenge quilt was for the EZ Quilting triangle challenge.  The entire top is English Paper Pieced triangles and is longarm quilted with ruler work and free-motion techniques.  I also entered this quilt in the AQS show in the category: Small Wall Quilt, Longarm Quilted.

Star Crossed Triangles:  A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

Star Crossed Triangles: A MQG EZ Quilt Triangle Challenge Quilt

My third QuiltCon entry was based on a mini quilt that I made earlier this year.  It was machine pieced and matchstick quilted on my domestic machine.  This was also entered into the AQS show in the Large Wall Quilt, Modern category.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

This quilt was a fairly last minute addition to my entries.  It is a block based, machine pieced quilt finished with an edge to edge computerized quilt design that I designed using AutoCad.  For AQS I entered this in the category: Small Wall Quilt, Pictorial.  This is definitely a representation of an object, but it is also well outside the box for the types of quilts typically entered in this division.

Can You See (m)E Now?

Can You See (m)E Now?

The final entry for QuiltCon is one of my favorite mini quilts and it went into the small quilt category.  It is also entered into the miniature quilt category for AQS.

Rainbow Roundabout

Rainbow Roundabout

I have also (finally) set up a business Facebook page.  I hope you will like and follow along with me there, too.  The link is also available toward the top right of this page.

I hope you have had a wonderful November and are enjoying the rest of the upcoming holidays!  I am looking forward to checking more projects off my WIP list this month and catching up on blog reading as well!

Summer Starburst: A Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop Quilt Block

Summer Starburst Quilt Block is created using foundation paper piecing.  This technique gives you lovely, precise points, resulting in a block with a clean, professional appearance.  If you have never tried this process before, it may sound complex, but I encourage you to give it a try.  Once you have done it a few times, you will develop a rhythm and may even come to love this technique as much as I do!

Summer Starburst Block


I designed this block in conjunction with the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop which is a continuation of this Summer’s New Blogger’s Blog Hop.
2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

There are going to be tutorials for more than 60 different brand new blocks over the next four days!  Not only do you get the directions for all of these lovely designs, but there are also several chances to win a bundle of Fabri-Quilt Prairie Cloth Cotton Solids in the Watermelon Summer color palette we have used to make these blocks.  For a chance to win, check out the daily host’s blog.  Links to all of today’s blocks and all of the host’s websites can be found at the end of this post.  I’m excited to see everyone’s creations, and I hope you are too!

Fabri-Quilt generously supplied each blogger involved in this hop a fat eighth of each of the six colors in the Watermelon Summer palette.  The blocks that have been made from the Fabri-Quilt solids are being turned into charity quilts by our generous hosts.  There will be at least three quilts created and donated to children facing challenging circumstances.

Summer Starburst

Finished Size: 12’’ x 12’’ (This block consists of four 6-1/2” square sections and the finished block will be 12-1/2’’ x 12- 1/2’’ before being joined to other blocks or borders)

Preparing the Foundation Paper

Download the PDF foundation paper piecing template to your desktop or folder of your choice.

Quilt Block Designs-Summer Starburst Paper Piecing

The Summer Starburst pattern along with PDF Instructions are also available on Craftsy.

Print one PDF at 100% scale.  There is a one inch square next to the pattern.  Please take a moment to measure all sides of this square to make sure that there are no scale or distortion issues that occurred in the printing process.  After this check, print three more (4 total) foundation papers.  Double check the 1” square on each print to ensure accuracy.

Note: You may print this pattern on standard printer paper or a specialty foundation paper of your choice.

/Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

Using a ruler to check template scale

Using a ruler to check template scale


To prepare for foundation paper piecing, cut the following size rectangles from the indicated fabrics.  Italicized Colors in parenthesis indicate the color used for block construction in the following tutorial.  Please Note:  By nature, foundation paper piecing involves a certain amount of fabric waste. The rectangle sizes below allow for the easiest construction of this block. It may be possible to save some additional fabric by rough cutting triangle shapes rather than rectangles.  I only suggest this option for experienced foundation paper piecers.

Fabric A (Turquoise):

  • Section 1:  Four pieces 3-1/2’’ x 5’’

Fabric B (Aqua):

  • Section 2:  Four pieces 3’’ x 7’’

Fabric C (Lapis Blue):

  • Section 3:  Four Pieces 2’’ x 7’’
  • Section 7:  Four Pieces 3-1/4’’ x 7’’

Fabric D (White):

  • Section 4:  Four Pieces 3’’ x 5’’
  • Section 6:  Four Pieces  3-1/2’’ x 4’’

Fabric E (Chartreuse):

  • Section 5:  Four Pieces 2-1/4’’ x 6’’

Fabric F (Coral):

  • Section 8:  Four Pieces  2-1/2’’ x 7-1/4’’

Block Fabrics and Color Key


This block is foundation paper pieced in four sections which are joined in the final step of block construction.

Step 1:  Rough cut the foundation paper to be approximately 1/4’’ larger on all sides than the outermost printed lines.

Four templates that have been rough cut for stitching

Four templates that have been rough cut for stitching

Note:  The fabric construction of the paper pieced block occurs on the non-printed side of the pattern.

Step 2:  With the printed side of the pattern facing down, place a piece of fabric A right side up directly over section 1.  (See Figure A)  If desired, you may pin this to the paper.  Hold the paper up to a light source to ensure all of section 1 is covered by the fabric and there is at least 1/4” of extra fabric extending over the section 1 boundary lines into all adjoining areas.

Please Note:  Fabric is placed on the non-printed side of your paper piecing template.  For clarity, the diagrams in this pattern include grey lines that indicate what you would see if the template was held up to a light source.

Figure A

Note:  When foundation paper piecing, section 1 is the only section that the fabric is placed right side up.

Step 3:  Position the fabric for section 2 wrong side up over the section 1 fabric with a small amount crossing the line between the two sections and the main body of the fabric over section 1. (See Figure B)  Pin both fabrics along the stitching line between sections 1 & 2.  Flip the section 2 fabric along the pin line.  Hold the block up to a light source to see if the fabric will cover all of section two.  Adjust the fabric placement as needed.Figure B

Step 4:  When you are happy with the fabric placement, turn the block so the paper is on top.  With the printed side of the paper facing up, carefully machine straight stitch along the line between sections one and two.  I suggest using a small stitch and backstitching at the beginning and end of the stitching line.  You may extend the stitching beyond the line on either end, but it is not required.

Stitching Segment 3

So, I forgot to take a photo of the stitching the line for segments 1 & 2. This is the photo adding segment 3, but you can still see how the paper is printed side up, fabric down, and you are stitching directly on the line.

Step 5:  Flip the section two fabric toward its finished position to double check that all of section two is covered.  Turn the section two fabric back over section one and fold the paper foundation back along the stitching line.  Trim the excess fabric away from the stitching line leaving about a quarter inch to act as seam allowance.

Folding back the template to trim the excess fabric

Folding back the template to trim the excess fabric

Measuring a 1/4" seam allowance

Measuring a 1/4″ seam allowance

Trimming the seam allowance

Trimming the seam allowance

Trimmed seam allowance

Trimmed seam allowance

Step 6:  Carefully press the section two fabric into place over area two.  (See Figure C)Figure C

Segments 1 and 2 pressed


Note:  Now you will work around the foundation template in numerical order following steps 2-6 for each section.

Section 3:  Position the section three fabric wrong side up with the main body of the fabric over section two.  (See Figure D)  Use a light source to check the fabric positioning. Figure D

With the printed side of the paper facing up, stitch along the line between sections two and three, trim the seam allowance, and press the section three fabric into place.  (See Figure E)Figure E

Section 4:  Position the section four fabric wrong side up with the main body of the fabric over section three.  (See Figure F)  Use a light source to check the fabric positioning. Figure F

Stitch along the line between sections three and four, trim the seam allowance, and press the section four fabric into place.  (See Figure G)Figure G

Section 5:  Position the section five fabric wrong side up with the main body of the fabric over sections three and  four.  (See Figure H)  Use a light source to check the fabric positioning. Figure H

Stitch along the line between sections three/four and five, trim the seam allowance, and press the section five fabric into place.  (See Figure I)Figure I

Section 6:  Position the section six fabric wrong side up with the main body of the fabric over section five.  (See Figure J)  Use a light source to check the fabric positioning. Figure J

Stitch along the line between sections five and six, trim the seam allowance, and press the section six fabric into place.  (See Figure K)Figure K

Section 7:  Position the section seven fabric wrong side up with the main body of the fabric over sections five and six.  (See Figure L)  Use a light source to check the fabric positioning. Figure L

Stitch along the line between sections five/six and seven, trim the seam allowance, and press the section seven fabric into place.  (See Figure M)Figure M

Section 8:  Position the section eight fabric wrong side up with the main body of the fabric over sections 1-7.  (See Figure N)  Use a light source to check the fabric positioning. Figure N

Stitch along the line between section 8 and the previous sections, trim the seam allowance, and press the section eight fabric into place.  (See Figure O)Figure O

Completely Stitched Block Section that is ready to be trimmed

Completely Stitched Block Section that is ready to be trimmed

Step 7:  Finish the block segment by pressing it well and using a rotary cutter and ruler to trim the excess paper and fabric along the outermost printed line of the block.  (See Figure P)

Figure P

Partially trimmed block segment

Partially trimmed block segment

Note:  Each block segment will measure 6-1/2’’ x 6-1/2’’ at this stage

Step 8:  This is where you lather, rinse, and repeat steps 1-7 three more times to make a total of four block segments.

Step 9:  Arrange these segments into the block configuration.  (See Figure Q)Figure Q

Step 10:  Use Wonder Clips or pins to hold two segments together while you sew along the stitching line.  (See Figure R)  Press the seam allowances open.Figure R

Step 11:  Sew the two larger sections together and press the seam allowance open to complete the block.  (See Figure S)Figure S

Step 12:  If you are creating a quilt consisting entirely of this or other foundation paper pieced blocks you may leave the papers in place until construction is complete.  If you are combining this block with traditionally pieced or appliquéd block or if this block will be used on its own, carefully tear out the foundation papers now.

Here are just a few of the possible layouts that you could achieve with this block:

This Layout alternates Summer Starburst blocks with Mirrored Summer Starburst Blocks

This Layout alternates Summer Starburst blocks with Mirrored Summer Starburst Blocks

I really like the effect of this layout.  If you like it too, here is the template for the Mirrored Summer Starburst Block:

Quilt Block Designs-Mirrored Summer Starburst Paper Piecing

Summer Starburst Blocks

Summer Starburst Blocks

Summer Starburst Blocks with sashing

Summer Starburst Blocks with sashing

Summer Starburst Mini Quilt with Checkerboard Border

Summer Starburst Mini Quilt or Pillow with Checkerboard Border

Hmm . . . This mini quilt may be in my Mini Quilt Mania future!

Below are links to the rest of today’s original blocks.  I hope you take a moment to discover some lovely new designs!

Today’s wonderful host is Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl.  Remember- she’s hosting a fabric giveaway today!

The rest of today’s blocks can be found on the following blogs:

Kelly @Quilting it Out
Martha @Once a Wingnut
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Andrea @The Sewing Fools
Bernie @Needle and Foot
Silvia @A Stranger View
Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler
Sandra @Musings of a Menopausal Melon
Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts
Jess @Quilty Habit
Diana @Red Delicious Life
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
Margo @Shadow Lane Quilts
Renee @Quilts of a Feather

Tuesday’s Host is Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs

Wednesday will be brought to you by Stephanie of Late Night Quilter

Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination will host the final group on Thursday

MQG Riley Blake Challenge Quilt

Several months ago when the Modern Quilt Guild announced a challenge using these fabulous fabrics from Amanda Herring’s Cottage Garden line, I knew that I had to participate.  I am really excited to share this finished lap quilt today.In the Garden teal side

These prints are Gorgeous!

Riley Blake Challenge Fabric

The Rules are pretty straight forward for this challenge:

  • Make something fantastic that is quilted
  • Make something you have never done before
  • Challenge yourself to learn something new
  • Use only Riley Blake Cottage Garden fabrics and coordinating Riley Blake basics and solids

I was really excited to discover that this line of fabrics also had a pink color way.  With this information I knew that I wanted to do something reversible.  I have been fascinated by potholder quilts lately.  I love the idea of making mini quilts, another current obsession, come together to make a larger piece.  Potholder quilts almost always are constructed from square blocks, but on this project I thought it would be fun to try using hexagonal blocks.  Since each section is bound separately, the binding would highlight the hexagon construction from both sides of the quilt.In the Garden pink side

The front section focuses on the teal and grey fabrics in the collection and is made with six equilateral triangles per hexagon.  Some triangles are a mix of fabrics which were strip pieced together, others were a larger piece which was fussy cut with or without an added border.  In the Garden teal detail b

The back of the quilt highlights the pink fabrics in the collection, and on this side I decided to attempt a directional pattern to draw your eye across this side of the quilt.  For this I did strip piecing like I had used on the front of the quilt.  This time, instead of cutting the strip pieced sections only into triangles, I also created full, half, and third hexagon shapes.In the Garden pink detail a

For all of the hexagons, I pieced them to be larger than I ultimately wanted them to end up.  By doing this I was able to quilt each block and trim it to size before binding them.  The most challenging part was getting the centers to align properly, but with careful pinning and a lot of patience it worked out.In the Garden teal detail a

The quilting is an all over floral pattern which echoes one of the Cottage Garden prints.  This was the first time I dared to quilt a larger piece using free motion quilting.  It helped that I was quilting smaller pieces rather maneuvering a large quilt through a small machine.  The tricky part for me was maintaining size continuity in the quilting design throughout the quilt.

In the Garden pink view


In the Garden teal detail c

The blocks were each bound in pink and/or grey bias that I made using leftover sections of fabric.  The pink text fabric is the dominant binding so I selected a matching thread to join the hexagons.  For this process I used a triple zig zag on the sewing machine and laid the blocks flat beside one another to stitch their edges together.In the Garden photo shoot

Quilt Stats

Title:  In the Garden

Size:  50″x 61.5″ 

Techniques:  Machine piecing, potholder style quilt

Quilting:  Free motion, all over floral motif which reflects the print in one of the fabric designs

Fabrics:  Cottage Garden fabrics by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake and Riley Blake solids

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced using white Gutermann Mara 100, Quilted with white machine quilting thread, and assembled with pink Gutermann Mara thread

Binding:  Bias strips of leftover Cottage Garden fabrics, cut in 2″ widths, machine stitched to one side, hand stitched to the other

What was new?

  • Hexagonal blocks assembled into a potholder quilt
  • Using free motion quilting on a larger project
  • Using only one collection of one designer to create a reversible quilt
Goal #16 is finished!

Goal #16 is finished!