A New Free Pattern!

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working on a new quilt design with a “Dot Crazy” jelly roll.  These fabrics were designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio.

Sandy and I collaborated over the miles on this design.  Thank goodness for cell phone technology…what would we do without it?  I would send her photos of different layouts and she would give me feedback.

Below is the result of our collective design strategy and we are calling this quilt “Corner Kick”.
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We love these fabrics because they are bright, bold and modern.  The blue and white diamonds help anchor the blocks and bring all these fabrics together in a very easy, beginner friendly quilt.
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We think these bright fabrics make the perfect quilt for sunny day picnics or a casual throw on a cool summer evening.
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Grab a colorful jelly roll and get started on your own “Corner Kick”.
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You can download this FREE Pattern by clicking on this link: Corner Kick 06 06 19

We will also be posting this FREE Pattern to the Fave Quilts website.  This is a great quilting website where you will find free patterns, free eBooks, giveaways, and quilting videos.  Sandy and I both subscribe to their free email Newsletter, “Piecing it Together” and you can sign up by clicking HERE  Lots of quilting inspiration will be delivered directly to your inbox, it’s so easy!

Be sure to share photos of your completed “Corner Kick” quilts with us, we’d love to see them!

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas in Ohio

If you know me at all, you know that I love vintage textiles. One of my favorite things to do is wander through an antique mall touching and admiring old quilts, vintage linens and lace. I cannot say exactly why, but if I’m really stressed out or tense, a trip through an antique store is better than wine for calming my nerves — which is saying something, because, well, there are very few things better than wine!

Now earlier this year I told you about a set of beautiful hand-pieced vintage Ohio Stars that I found in a second hand store: striking plain red stars on a simple muslin background, in absolutely perfect condition and all ready to be made into something special. There were 12 blocks in the set and I was so happy when I found them.

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While I was with Cindy in Ohio this summer, we developed a plan for the stars: a Christmas table runner. We decided to keep it simple to highlight the stars, so we knew that we wanted to set them off with a simple high-quality muslin border. We spent the better part of a week in Columbus looking for the right binding fabric to pull the project together. Alas, no luck. Then on Friday, we headed out to the Cincinnati area to drop in on our friend Tierney from Tierneycreates.com as she participated in the grand opening of a new art quilt exhibit (you can read more about that event here).

It was getting late in the afternoon, but we had the chance to stop at the Fabric Shack in Waynesville, Ohio just before closing time. We only had a little time to shop because we had to get to the museum in time to hear Tierney participate in a panel discussion, but Holy Moly! Score! Eureka! Great Scott! Inside the sale building, literally on the lowest part of the last rack, we found it: The perfect fabric for our table runner (the red check, not the green)!

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Cindy made a pro move and cut the binding on the bias to give our simple design some extra sizzle. I am in love with the final result

May I introduce you to the Gray Barn Designs Christmas in Ohio table runner?

Christmas in Ohio Table Runner

Ohio stars in a muslin field.

 

(I know, I know, the green grass kind of takes away from the ambiance, but we must accept our gloriously long fall weather, as we’ll be complaining about the snow soon enough.)

Cindy’s long arm specialist, SJ, applied a lovely, swirly all-over pattern for the quilting. I hauled out some of my Spode Christmas china to experiment with staging. Swoon…

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You can make this pattern even if you don’t have vintage stars! Here’s how:

Christmas in Ohio Table Runner

I can’t wait to sail past the browns and the oranges of Thanksgiving decor and get on with the glitz and glamour of Christmas decorating! I expect this runner to be the star of my show this year.

You will also find this pattern posted on the FAVE Quilts website soon.  If you are searching for just the right Christmas quilt design, you will be sure to find it on FAVE Quilts.  Stop by to take a look at all the FREE quilt patterns.

 

Apples and Cider and Quilts, Oh my!

So, the local, rustic, real-deal, cider and donuts mill is finally, finally open <insert Hallelujah chorus>! My son and I rushed up there on Saturday morning on opening day, but apparently we were not the only ones thirsting for that tangy, sweet beverage! The demand was so strong that we waited in line for 30 minutes, and then had to leave before our turn — a wrenching experience to be sure — you will have to believe me when I say that  Lain’s Cider Mill donuts are life-affirming.

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Cindy was in town unexpectedly and she snagged some excellent fresh apples. She cans the most delicious apple sauce and apple butter each year.

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I don’t know what is happening atmospherically, but there have been some stunning sunrises and sunsets on the farm. This is Tuesday’s sunrise.

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I’m almost through with my Thanksgiving themed-table topper. I had one more row to quilt and I ran out of thread #wouldntyouknowit. It’s off to Joann on Saturday morning for some matching Gutterman chocolate colored thread.

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I’ve also been having fun experimenting with my Creative Grids Dresden Ruler. I can’t wait to show you the results on Monday!IMG_4350[1]

Sofa Siesta – A Free Quilt Pattern

Got scraps?  An extra jelly roll?  A fat quarter bundle just waiting to be used?  A layer cake languishing in your sewing room?  Look no further…we’ve got a pattern to help you use up some of these fabrics (so you can make room for more, of course!)

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The striped blocks in this pattern use 1 1/4 inch x 10 inch strips of fabric.  Perfect for those left over jelly roll strips or layer cake blocks you are not sure what to do with!

I designed this pattern while vowing to reduce my stash and make good use of some of the skinny scraps I had on hand.  If you prefer a more coordinated color scheme, choose a 40 piece jelly roll from a single fabric line to create your striped blocks.

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Sadie Sue, my Miniature Schnauzer, wanted to show you the green fabric I used for the back of the quilt.  It really shows off the quilting!

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This is the perfect quilt for beginners!  It provides a lot of straight line cutting practice as well as straight line sewing and chain piecing practice.

A Few Cutting and Sewing Tips

Because of all the cutting and sewing practice this pattern provides, Sandy and I want to share a few tips with you.

How to Avoid the “Ruler Slip Problem” When Cutting Fabric

Almost any quilter can tell stories of frustration (possibly tears) when a ruler has slipped right in the middle of cutting fabric.  Yikes!  This has happened to me more often that I care to admit.  One day I was organizing my kitchen cabinets and had a “light bulb moment”…if my dishes won’t slip in my cabinet because of my shelf liner…maybe my quilting ruler won’t slip either!

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I use a very small piece of non-slip shelf liner, roughly 1/2 inch x 2 inches and place it between my ruler and my fabric.  This small piece allows me to easily move my ruler around and place it in just the right location over my fabric.  Because the shelf liner is very thin, it does not raise my ruler too high above my fabric AND my ruler does not slip when cutting…hooray!  Problem solved!

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Give this tip a try and let us know what you think!

Use a “Leader” When Chain Piecing to Avoid “Bird Nests”

I always us little scraps of fabric for “leaders” when I am chain piecing.  I use them to avoid having my bobbin thread get all twisted up creating a “bird nest” of thread on the underside of my fabric.

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Garage Sales Are Great Places to Buy Sewing Room Accessories

I like to have a supply of leaders right next to my sewing machine.  I was using a disposable plastic sandwich container to store these little scraps (really classy!) when Sandy suggested I up my game and spring for something better.

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Since Sandy is a garage sale aficionado, she bought a pedestal bowl at a garage sale for $2.00 and gave it to me for “leader” storage.  Can we all say cuteness factor + 10???  It’s a practical AND charming way to always be ready for chain piecing!

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Free “Sofa Siesta” Pattern

We hope you like our newest pattern!  Be sure to send us pictures of your completed work, we always like to see how others use their stash for greatness!

You can download our free pattern by clicking on this link:  Sofa Siesta 05 02 18

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We’ll also be posting this pattern on FaveQuilts, a website that provides us with a lot of  quilting inspiration.  FaveQuilts has free e-books, videos/tutorials and an entire library of free quilt blocks and patterns.  FaveQuilts has a great e-newsletter, Piecing it Together, that Sandy and I subscribe to.  This newsletter is a great way to keep up to date on what is happening in the world of quilting.  If you’d like to give it a try, you can sign up here.

Thanks for stopping by Gray Barn Designs!