January One Monthly Goal

I was very excited to see the new One Monthly Goal link up hosted by Red Letter Quilts.  I enjoyed participating in the 2015 Finish Along, and am currently working on my goal list for the first quarter of 2016.  One Monthly Goal caught my attention because I sometimes (ok-frequently) get distracted, and I am hoping that this helps me to focus on completing at least one project each month.

For the first month I am going to focus on one of my oldest WIP.  The only reason I’m not calling a UFO is that I have had brief moments of progress on it over the last few months.  Please meet my bauble quilt:

Baubles Quilted Process Shot

Baubles: Quilted and waiting for thread tails to be buried and trimmed

This project started in November 2014 when I made the blocks, and in December 2015 I did all over free motion longarm quilting on this quilt.  I’m in love with it!Baubles Blocks

It has been squared up, and I buried the threads tonight.  The only things left to do are adding binding and embroidering “hanging string” lines for the baubles.


Win a PDF Pattern of Rainbow Rotary for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Update:  This Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations Margaret!

Rainbow Rotary is one of the most popular mini quilt that I have shared this year, and now the pattern is available on Craftsy!  For Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, I am happy to offer a PDF pattern of this quilt in three different sizes!

Rainbow Rotary

Rainbow Rotary

Inspired by my love of the Courthouse Steps quilt block, this quilt reinterprets the traditional block into a wedge shape to create a ring of color. This is the perfect project to show off all of the vibrantly colored fabrics in your scrap box, and a great opportunity to share fabric with friends.

Templates are included to create this pattern in three sizes:

  • Micro Mini:    9.25″ x 9.25″
  • Mini:                18.5″ x 18.25″  (this size is pictured above)
  • Macro Mini:    24″ x  24″

I am currently offering this pattern as a “template only” pattern, which allows for a relatively low price of $4.  General instructions are offered, but detailed written directions and step by step diagrams for foundation paper piecing are not included.  I believe quilters with previous experience paper piecing will enjoy constructing this mini quilt.  (My free block pattern, Summer Starburst, does include detailed instruction on foundation paper piecing if you are interested in learning the technique!)

How to Enter

  • This giveaway is open from Wednesday, December 9 to 11:59pm Eastern on Sunday, December 13th.  I will notify the winner both by email and on the blog by Wednesday, December 16th.
  • This giveaway is open internationally
  • The winner will receive a PDF pattern (Foundation Paper Piecing templates for three sizes of the Rainbow Rotary Quilt and general directions) via email
  • To enter please leave a comment on this post.  I have spent much of the year making mini quilts, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this particular type of quilt.  Love Minis?  Hate them?  Have you made a mini?  Is there a pattern you would like to try? Have you participated in a mini swap?  Have you ever made a rainbow quilt of any type?
  • The winner will be determined by a random drawing.

Good Luck!  Please be sure to check out all of the other fantastic giveaways going on this week on Sew Mama Sew!

Simply Starred Mini Quilt

A few months ago I signed up for my first Instagram mini quilt swap, and it is currently wrapping up.  Now that my partner has received the mini I made, I thought I would share it here.Simply Starred front view

This quilt is also my entry into the Mini Quilt Category in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side./Users/cassandra_ireland/Desktop/Quilting/My Quilts/Quilt Drafti

The pattern for this quilt is an original design that I drafted using AutoCad to create the foundation paper piecing templates.  It is pieced in eight wedge shaped segments and then the corners and borders are added.Simply Starred front detail three

There are 83 different fabrics used in this mini quilt, 80 of which form the star.  Each color is intended to flow into the next which results in a rainbow effect for the central image.Simply Starred front detail two

Simply Starred front detail one

The quilting in the central star is done using a walking foot on my domestic machine with threads which coordinate with the fabric.  Pebble quilting fills the negative space and was done on an A-1 longarm machine.  I love it when I have the opportunity to juxtapose organic elements with straight lines, and I was pleased with how the pebbling creates a delightful textural element.  The multicolored threads transfer a subtle version of the rainbow effect to the back of the quilt.Simply Starred back

Simply Starred back detail

Striped binding cut on the bias frames this piece, and I used the same fabric to frame the handwritten label for the quilt.

Simply Starred back


Simply Starred folded and labeled

Quilt Stats

Title:  Simply Starred

Size:  19.5″ x 19.5″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing

Quilting:  The center star is machine quilting using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008, and the negative space is free motion  quilted using a stitch regulated mode on the A-1 Elite Longarm

Fabric:  83 different quilting cottons

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Pieced using 100wt InvisaFil by WonderFil, quilted with assorted 50wt cotton quilting threads from WonderFil, Aurifil, Mettler, and Connecting Threads

Binding:  Striped fabric in 2″ wide strips made using continuous bias techniques, machine stitched to the quilt front, hand stitched to the back

What was new?

A new foundation paper pieced pattern

Combining domestic and longarm quilting on a single quilt

Goal #19 is Finished!

Goal #19 is Finished!


Summer Starburst: Mini Quilt #32

I had so much fun sharing a new block design last month for the New Blogger’s Block Hop, and I am so glad to finally have the binding on this project so I can share the mini quilt version of this block with you now.  If you would like to make a Summer Starburst block, it is available for free on Craftsy.

Summer Starburst front view

This block was done for practice prior to cutting into the final fabric.  The color palette is very close to what I used for the final block, but I thought it would be fun to incorporate a border to finish off the design.  Checkerboard designs have long been a favorite of mine, and this block really pops with this type of surround.

Summer Starburst detail

This was one of the first projects to go onto my longarm machine, so I decided to quilt each color in the block with a different filler pattern.  I left the black squares of the the checkerboard un-quilted so they have a slight “poof.”

Summer Starburst back view

I went with a patterned fabric for the quilt back, in part because I wasn’t certain of my free motion quilting abilities, but I think that I would have been happier with a solid background for this project.  I think the different colors of quilting thread compete too much with the backing.

Summer Starburst

I still have another practice Summer Starburst block around, so I’m deciding what to do with it- maybe a pillow is in my future!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Summer Starburst Mini

Size: 16.25″ x 16.25″

Techniques:  Foundation Paper Piecing, machine piecing

Quilting:  Free motion quilting on an A-1 longarm

Fabric:  Solid cottons by Kona and American Made

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced with Invisafil by WonderFil, Quilted with assorted 50wt cotton machine quilting threads by WonderFil, Connecting Threads, and Signature

Binding:  Solid black cotton, cut 2″ wide, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched on the back.

What was new?

Using all Free Motion quilting on a longarm

Quilt 32 / 50

Quilt 32 / 50

Goal #9 is finished!

Goal #9 is finished!


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