Thursday, April 30, 2015


Half the fun of blogging and being a part of the online quilting community is the joining in. And May seems to be full of opportunities! Here's what I've got my eye on:

My friend Darcy/Modern Cozy is starting a Mini Quilt Monday link-up next week! I do love a mini, so I'll definitely be participating as I can. Darcy is kind of a master at minis - and I'm pleased as can be to have one of hers hanging in my studio. Check out some of her minis here.

Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day is May 6! This bi-annual event is always great fun and I'm mulling over what to give away this round. Plus there's more options than ever - you can post on your blog, facebook page, or Instagram. Watch for hashtag #SMSgiveawayday, and check in here and at Sew Mama Sew next week to see all the giveaways!

Next is the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side. Another bi-annual event, it's a wonderful way to show off one or two of your quilts as well as see oodles from your fellow makers. There's 11 different categories and you shouldn't miss joining in.

So how are YOU joining in?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Little Things

There's several small projects I've made this month that I haven't gotten around to sharing so here goes!

I couldn't resist giving the 1 hour basket a go after seeing oodles of them on Instagram. It was fun to make and considering I didn't really take note of the finished size before starting, it turned out larger than I expected (10"x6"x7"). The tutorial was easy to follow, and I liked the construction technique. Next time I may add some interfacing or batting to the handles just to beef them up a bit. oh, and for the record, it took me 30 minutes to pick out fabrics, 90 minutes to actually sew the basket. All in all, a pretty quick make.

I winged it on this next project, a fabric-covered mini clipboard for grandgirl, who loves to make lists. There are several tutorials on Pinterest, but they all used mod-podge, which I didn't have and didn't have time to go purchase. So basically I made a tight-fitting sleeve after tracing the clipboard on the wrong side of my fabric. Then the top edges were trimmed and tucked in, secured with heavy-duty double-sided tape. Not too professional but I think it'll hold up for quite a while.

Then there were a couple of baby gifts for my friend Marci who is due very soon. First, a couple of quilted bibs from the tutorial by sew she sews. Personally I like the velcro closure - it's easy to sew on, plus easy to use on baby.

Then I made the Travel Diaper Clutch using the tutorial by SewCraftyJess. This little clutch uses a unique Pellon product that I had used just once before, when due to my own error, I applied it to the wrong side of my fabric. I paid better attention this time, and the Vinyl-Fuse worked like a charm, making the clutch water repellent. It's been a while since I was caring for an infant, but if I remember correctly, this will be a convenient little item to have.

Making these baby items prompted me to make a new Pinterest board, Sewing for Baby. I pinned these and other baby projects I've made so I have some ideas for next time.

So there's the last of the littles from the month - a lot of PINK!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Greek Key Block Tutorial

After posting my improv Keychain quilt recently, I had several requests for a Greek Key block tutorial, so here goes! 

Start with several strips of each of 2 fabrics. Consider the gray on the left the 'main' fabric, and the natural on the right the 'background' fabric. Strips can be a variety of lengths and widths at this point, and the widths can even be angled - in fact that's preferred if you want a wonky block. The main thing to remember is you want straight lines, so I'd suggest cutting these with your rotary cutter and a ruler. I was aiming for blocks around 7"-8", so I cut my strips between 3/4"" and 1 1/2" wide.

Cut a few pieces and lay out according to photo below. You'll cut 2 center squares (could also be rectangles), then some strips at least as long as the previous section. All the cutting can be very random, as you'll trim at every step along the way.

Begin sewing by piecing the 2 center pieces. Press as desired.

If needed, trim the edge where you are going to add the next fabric piece to create a clean straight line. It can be angled if you choose, it just needs to be straight. Then sew on a strip of the main fabric as shown below. Press and trim. This will be the routine every time you add on a strip: press and trim. I found that finger-pressing worked ok for a few strips, then I'd go press the whole bit before adding the next few strips, and on and on. As you trim, feel free to trim 'wonky' if that's the look you're after.

Now here's where it begins to get tricky and you'll need to pay close attention from here on out. If you look at the photo above, it seems like you'd want to add another main fabric strip on the right side to start the spiral. But, the top background strip needs to be added first, per the photo below.

Now add the next main fabric strip.

Lay out a few more strips before continuing. Can you see the spiral beginning to develop? Keep adding strips, always careful to look ahead to make sure the next turn is covered, pressed, and trimmed.

You can continue adding strips until your block reaches your desired size. I chose to 'finish' each block with a strip of my main fabric, but that's just personal preference.

Trim edges to straighten, either wonky or 'square'.

In case you missed it, here's the quilt I made with my Greek Key blocks.
If you try the tutorial, be sure and share by adding to the Quilting with A Quilter's Table flickr group or tagging me on Instagram!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Guild Sewing

There have been several projects lately that are guild-related. Besides the Paint Chip Challenge, we are also working on creating a guild quilt - something that's been discussed for a long time. We were each given a packet with 3 of 4 Kona solids (white, ash, azure, cactus) and were asked to create a 5 1/2" block. We could add in the 4th color, so I did, and without really having a firm idea in mind, just started cutting and sewing. Here's what I came up with.

I got quite a few comments on Instagram when I posted this little block about how much they liked the color palette. Well that just happens to be our 'guild colors'!

Also, I've added another row to my Medallion BOM quilt! The color balance is much better in person, believe me. That purple Cotton+Steel print really helps the center block pop. With this most recent border, the medallion measures 32" square.

So with that, I think I've done my homework for our May meeting!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Through the Looking Glass

It's not that often that a final quilting project turns out exactly as I saw in my mind's eye when I began. In fact, I often have no vision whatsoever, but approach my cutting board with fabric and rotary cutter and just see where it takes me. But with my SMQG Paint Chip Challenge quilt, what I see now completed is as close to what I imagined as I could hope for. I call it "Through the Looking Glass," a glance into the mind of a modern quilter, where traditional and modern blocks live happily together.
The whole paint chip challenge was introduced to the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild by Arajane/you know what I love?, and I think everyone immediately thought it would be a great challenge! We were all given paint chips with shades of gray and blue, and some {lucky} folks got an extra little chip of citrine. The added limitation was that our creation was to be exactly 18" square.
As you can see, I was assigned to #teamgray, and I admit I wasn't disappointed one bit, though fabrics to actually match my chip weren't as easy to find as I would have expected. Here's what I finally settled down to work with:
What I started with was a faced inset oval. Then I just started making small blocks to fill up the space. (And yes, the center of that log cabin was removed and replaced!)
Eventually came the time to piece them all together, a little wonky at that.
As you can see, I made blocks that were very traditional, as well as some that were more improv - from a maple leaf that in my state of focus was made incorrectly and even a little "bacon" block as a nod to my Sizzling. I just made what struck my fancy at the time.

For quilting, I used Aurifil 50wt #2600 (light gray) and just echo-stitched the oval both inside and out. A simple "Pearl" frame was the finishing touch.

This challenge was really captivating. And as pleased as I am with the conclusion I came to, I'm equally excited to see all our guild quilts hung side by side at Seattle's Drygoods Design in June!

This is my 2nd finish from my 2015 Q2 Finish-A-Long list! Linking up with the FAL Q2 Finishes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quarter-Cut Baby Quilt Tutorial

The baby quilt I made for the Etno Blog Tour was so quick and fun, I thought a tutorial was in order. Enjoy!

Quarter-Cut Baby Quilt Top Tutorial
finished quilt measures 40" square

Supplies Needed for Quilt Top:
9 coordinating prints - fat quarters are perfect

1. From each fat quarter, cut as shown in diagram.

2. Half of your 2.5”x8.5” rectangles will be used as the center contrasting strip in other blocks.

3. Sew blocks together as shown below (from left to right):
           1 – 2.5”x8.5” rectangle
           1 contrasting 2.5”x8.5” rectangle
           1 – 4.5”x8.5” rectangle that matches the first piece on the left

Repeat to make 24 more blocks, each of which will measure 8.5" unfinished. (You will have enough fabric pieces cut to make 27 blocks, leaving plenty to mix and match until you're happy with fabric pairing in your blocks.)

4. Piece blocks into 5 rows of 5 blocks each, alternating block placement as shown in diagram below.

5. Press seams according to your preference - all seams open, or alternating rows to nest your seams. Sew your 5 rows together, and your quilt top is done!

***If after quilting you'd like to round your quilt corners, find a household object with a generous diameter - 10" to 12". I happened to use a Frisbee this time, but have also used a mixing bowl or dinner plate. No need to be high-tech here! Just line the edges of your 'template' up with the edges of the quilt and mark the corner curve. Trim the corner and it's time to bind! I recommend using bias binding so those rounded corners come out nice and smooth.

See how easy that was?! And fat-quarter friendly even!
click here for pdf tutorial

I hope you enjoy giving this baby quilt a go! If you do, be sure and share. Use hashtag #quartercutquilt on Instagram or add to the Quilting with A Quilter's Table flickr group

Monday, April 20, 2015


I took 2 classes at QuiltCon and began new projects in both. The first finish of the 2 was a mini from the class with the Gee's Bend Quilters, Heart-Speak, and now I have the second project to show, an Emphasis table runner, pattern by Carolyn Friedlander, and fabric all Carolyn's Doe.

I think I've already confessed that when I signed up for Carolyn's class, I didn't realize it was all about this paper-pieced pattern. I'm certainly glad I didn't let that deter me when I came to the realization, as the class was more than enjoyable, and I learned some tips that have served me well.

There's so much I love about Doe - all the geometric prints and the palette itself. It was a no-brainer to use it on the back of the runner as well as the front.

An unexpected photo-shoot in a friend's back yard met with a wildlife encounter of the best sort. And that first photo - crooked door and all - was an instant favorite.

The quilting 'design' was decided while I was still piecing the top, so for once, creating that backing and the dreaded basting weren't too bad, as I was anxious to get to that quilting!

One small problem. It was very hard to see my hera-marked lines on the front, so after a halting start, I unpickd  the several rows I had done, and started again, making sure to do the quilting during day-light and with a strong light over my machine. I actually just marked about every 6-8" and then did improv angles between those guidelines. Dare I say it was downright fun? 
Aurifil 50wt thread #2600 (Dove) was used for both piecing and quilting. In natural in-house lighting the quilting is much more visible on the back than the front, so I was glad to get these photos that show it off pretty well on both sides.

Lastly, I couldn't resist finishing up with angled matched binding. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, right?

So completing this project kind of closes a door on QuiltCon. snif. But on the other hand, it's my first finish on my 2015 Q2 Finish-A-Long list. So there ya go!

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and with the FAL Q2 Finishes.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Scrap Basket

Something new is brewing at A Quilter's Table!
A newsletter is in the works, with the first issue to be sent out Monday, April 20! This is something I've been thinking of doing for a while - a way for interested readers to have more from A Quilter's Table delivered straight to their personal email. The Scrap Basket will be A Quilter's Table in a nutshell - some highlights, but also features you won't find here on the blog. I'll tell more in Issue 1 - coming to your email boxes soon!

     Note that there will always be a subscribe box in the right sidebar.

So stay tuned! A Quilter's Table the blog won't change noticeably. Now there will just be an opportunity for a bit more!

Friday, April 17, 2015


It's finally time to link up our Marsala quilts for the 2015 Pantone Quilt ChallengeI've kept an eye on the flickr group, but have been looking forward to seeing more!

Finishing at 34"x46", my Sizzling fits in the Quilt Category (shortest side must be at least 30"). If you missed her reveal post a while back, you can read it here, complete with lots of photos and all the nitty gritty details.

While Marsala got a bit of a negative rap when it was announced, I'm a fan, and I bet after seeing the challenge quilts, you just might be too!

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ETNO! Baby

When Pat Bravo put out a call on Instagram for participants for her upcoming Etno Blog Tour, I chimed in immediately that I'd be interested, and happily, I was chosen! Pat was looking for quick and fun projects, and asked me if I would make a baby quilt.
The Etno line is ethnically-inspired with a distinctive mix of tan, aquamarine, golden yellow, aqua, dusty pink, and black. I was sent 10 fat-quarters, a subcategory of the line known as "Dainty Folk"
I chose to come up with my own pattern for said baby quilt, and considering how quick it really was to put together, I'm hoping to share a tutorial soon.

For quilting, I just love a serpentine stitch for baby quilts, and I thought it was a light-hearted addition to the Etno.
For the first time ever, I rounded the corners (a Frisbee came in handy for marking!), and I'll totally do this again, especially on a baby quilt.
Pat was kind enough to send a couple of extra lengths of Etno, and the "Angle Inception Polar" was perfect for the quilt's binding. I cut it on the bias which gave a stripey-but-not-quite look, a nod to my standard binding choice in the early days.
You can see just a bit of the backing in the photo below - a delightful Moonlit print by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel. I was pleased how well it suited the Etno.
Definitely check out the rest of the Etno Blog Tour! I have been so impressed with the beautiful items posted each day! Serious!!
Yesterday, Aida Valverde of Aika Maku shared the most darling shirt and skirt which could be worn together or separate for a variety of terrific looks and I'm anxious to see what Lara Bowditch of Scrap Quilt Preach posts tomorrow.
As well as perusing through the blog tour, you'll find some beautiful projects in the Etno lookbook. If you're on Instagram, follow the hashtags #EtnoFabrics, #EtnoBlogTour, and #PatBravoDesigns to see plenty of the lovely Etno used in quite an array of ways. They are all so striking!
Thanks again, Pat! It's been a pleasure sewing with your new line and being a part of the Etno Blog Tour!

This quilt was donated to 100 Quilts for Kids 2015.