Loyal Heights Project Tour

June 13, 2019

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Hi friends! Welcome to my stop on the Loyal Heights project tour for Quilting In The Rain Jera’s newest fabric line. I have been lucky enough to play with a few of her lines in the past as well as contribute a quilt to her second book Quilt As You Go Made Vintage.  This time around I was taken away by the beautiful range of colors, especially those peachy pinks!

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I decided to make a runner using the QAYG method and improv log cabin blocks. I cut my strips 2 inches wide and 1.5 wide placed around blocks of 2.5 inch and 4.5 square for lots of variety to choose from.

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I added bits of decorative machine stitching on each block as well as a couple of the cute salvage bits with the golden umbrellas just for fun. The tiny gold heart prints are some of my favorite prints along with the fruit print and the more low volume floral ones.

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I used all the leftover green prints for the binding to frame it out nicely. If you have yet to try Jera’s Quilt As You Go sewing method, I highly recommend it, whether you are going for a classic look or a more modern quilt block, shes got you covered with both of her books!

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More sparkly umbrellas and tiny gold hearts, such a sweet line!

I wanted to make one more small make to show off these cute prints and was just in time to pattern test for my friend Melissa!

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This tiny Caravan Pincushion was just the right thing to use up the last of my favorite peachy low volume print with tiny leftover scraps for the rest. You can find the pattern from Melissa available soon.

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This runner works well in my sewing room as well and I think it’s just the touch of Spring colors this room needed. Be sure to follow Jera to see all the beautiful projects on this tour.

 

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Anna Maria Horner Showcase

May 13, 2019

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Well this was fun! Free Spirit Fabrics along with Aurifil Thread and Anna Maria Horner teamed up for a special showcase with some of the Aurifil artisans. We were each sent three fat quarters of Anna’s Passionflower line and a coordinating thread, I requested mine to be a 12 weight so that I could add some hand stitching to my project.

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I had no idea what I would make with my fabrics, maybe a tea towel or coasters but when I saw these beautiful fabrics I decided to go big! I fussy cut a large floral collection from one of the prints and machine stitched it to another.

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The striped fabric really spoke to me and I wanted something that would be in and around our home in constant use. It also plays well as a summer patio pillow to brighten up our outdoor space.

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I used the Aurifil 12 weight thread (color 1148) to outline the applique flowers and add some subtle decorative stitching on the stripes. I have been loving working with 12 weight and adding hand stitches to ALL the projects, it’s a simple way to ramp up any handmade project and give it that extra bit of “wow” factor.

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I used the entire fat quarter for the front, only cutting off the salvage so the pillow measures about 21×18 which I was able to use a $2 Ikea pillow insert bunched up a bit. I am so happy with how this turned out that I will have to make more for around our home! Who knew that all it took to make a great pillow was three fat quarters!

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For the back I used all of the third fabric in this beautiful gray and added a panel of the floral for my pillow pocket. I made the pocket extra deep for stuffing that bigger pillow in.

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Detail of my big wonky stitches. The colors in this fabric are simply stunning and a pillow is an easy way to add a pop of color to any room (or patio)!

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I brought the pillow in when it started raining and it goes well with our favorite ratty old chair in the living room as well. Later in the day I found my oldest cozied up with it on the couch which filled my heart FULL. I suppose it can’t be helped in this house, handmade things just seem to travel about from room to room as needed.

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Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed what you see and leave here feeling inspired. Be sure to follow along with Aurifil Thread, Free Spirit Fabrics,  Anna Maria Horner and myself on Instagram for more ideas and inspiration!

 

 

Kindred Spirits Quilt

May 9, 2019

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Anne Of Green Gables has a special place in a lot of our hearts, I believe it was one of the first movies I watched as a girl and the first that I watched over and over and played out the scenes with my sister and our friends when we were a bit older. Later came the Avonlea show and my mom reading the rest of the series to us. I think it’s safe to say that an Anne fabric line would be a must have for a girl like me especially when it includes the perfect shades of green.

IMG_1573 Jill Howarth is an illustrator of all things sweetly adorable and has been designing fabrics with Riley Blake since 2017. For this line I wanted a block that would show off her illustrations as the focal point so the economy block was a perfect fit. I added some solid pink cotton and a leftover blush Linen for the background and hoped it wouldn’t be too much pink.

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In the end I added several solid blocks of the soft pink fabrics to give the eye a place to rest as well as the bright pink blocks to add a pop of color. These solid blocks add another design to the pattern as well but are placed randomly.

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It’s an eye spy quilt of Anne and friends! I added simple quilting in a pale pink (2410) Aurifil thread to frame each center block. The backing had to be a green with white dots and it goes so sweetly with all that pink.

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Green Gables set in a field of flowers, wouldn’t these fabrics make the sweetest Summer dresses for girls?

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Anne and Diana, the original Kindred Spirits! I think this one is them meeting in secret to trade locks of hair or perhaps on a slow walk home from school, stopping to pick flowers along the way.

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And then there are the classic Anne quotes, sweet in childhood and still ringing true decades later.

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My blocks are 6 inches each finishing this quilt at the perfect child size of 42×54, great for keeping handy to snuggle under with a favorite copy of Anne of Green Gables.

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Now I just need to decide which of my many nieces would most love this quilt, after all the joy is in the making AND gifting.

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Be sure to follow Riley Blake and Jill Howarth on Instagram for more beautiful fabrics! I am excited to be working with her next line as well, stay tuned!

 

 

My Heather Ross Norah Quilt

April 10, 2019

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I managed to get some beautiful photos of my log cabin block quilt and thought I would post a gallery here. The #sunnylogcabinsal hosted by my friends at Sunny Day Supply has been so much fun not only to sew with but also to see all the other beautifully inspiring makes. I decided to go with the “Nora” version where the whole quilt is one big block since I had been wanting to make one for years after seeing Mary’s original Norah quilt. I am just so glad I did, it was such a fun easy make and what better fabric to use than my long hoarded Heather Ross collection. I say long but actually by the time I started sewing many of Heather’s fabrics were hard to find and well out of my price range, but thanks to friends for sharing bits and pieces with me over the year I do have a nice stash! I went with 2 inch strips that finish at 1.5 and the whole quilt top is about 74.5 inches square. Since this quilt is just for my family, I took the liberty of using all the tiny parts I wanted to including salvages, tiny scraps and pajama pieces that I took apart with a seam ripper. This quilt is full of happiness for me, my boys keep asking when I am going to finish it as its already their favorite quilt. I plan to take it with me to Vermont this summer to hand quilt while I chat and visit with the dearest group of sewing friends imaginable, then not only will my quilt look beautiful but it will also hold the memories of laughter shared in the stitches.

Enjoy!

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An Unintended Curve: Linen Quilt

April 2, 2019

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I had been dreaming of making a whole cloth linen quilt for a while now, I kept seeing them in home magazines with their perfect diamond grid quilting and just enough wrinkles to give that warm inviting look. When Riley Blake Designs asked about working on a linen project I jumped at the chance to make my own perfectly quilted linen throw for my bed. It’s funny how plans change…

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With the dreamiest soft Blush pink linen cotton blend I set to work, marking out several grid lines in one corner to make sure I was getting the size and look I was going for then decided to use my quilting guide the rest of the way. I used a pale pink Aurifil 40 weight (2410) thread that matched the linen perfectly and set to work, my one problem was a lack of spray baste on one side in which I was basically spraying air for the last half of the quilt. It wasn’t until I was finished quilting that I realized there was a subtle curve to the bottom half of my grid lines! I can just hear my grandma saying “Oh horrors!”. I had intended this project to be a simple quick finish with clean lines but the quilt as it was simply wouldn’t do.

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I made the quick decision with the encouragement of my dear sewing friends to add hand stitching to accentuate the curve. Now not only would I be embracing the flaw in my work, it would now be the focal point OF my work. I chose a modern collection of pink Aurifil 12 weight threads ranging from deep wine to pale dusty and ended with a golden yellow ( colors: 2468, 4030, 4020, 2440, 2445, 5015).

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I added six rows of each color following the grid lines up, not taking too much care with my stitches some being a bit larger and some very tiny for a deliciously handmade look. This also freed me up to just enjoy the process of hand quilting rather than trying for a more uniform look. The stitching went so smoothly through the linen fabrics and cotton batting that it really was a pleasure and I finished it up in just one week, that’s quick even for me.

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The overall look is not at all what I set out for but somewhere along the way, in all those tiny crossed stitches I fell in LOVE. Instead of seeing the shape of my original quilt lines going from square diamond to rectangular diamond to flat sideways diamond-ish shape, the focus is on the texture of the the gorgeous linen, hand quilting and that ever subtle curve.

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It wasn’t until I was almost finished with the hand stitching that I drew the line from this little quilt to my own personal life. We make plans, we draw up lines for how we see our lives going and yet somewhere along the way there’s a curve, a bend in the road, a “flaw” that wasn’t supposed to be there. I’ve been drawing the lines from quilting to deeper thoughts for a while now as I navigate the waters of my life and have found there are so many lessons the art of sewing can teach if I am willing to learn.

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As a self taught/still learning quilter I am usually ready to embrace a change to plan, I almost never unpick stitches and am always eager to see each project unfold before me. I consider myself sort of a co-creator of my work, me doing my part to make something beautiful, the fabric, thread and needle doing their part as well. I suppose it also helps that I am anything but a perfectionist to!

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But when it comes to my own personal life and the curves thrown at me I tend to buck up and resist change from what my original plans were. I can just see it in my mind; me with life’s seam ripper in hand trying to undo the curves that have come my way not wanting to accept them for their potential beauty, only seeing them as flaws; this isn’t how it was supposed to be!

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As I added my last rows of hand stitching on this pale soft linen, seeing this quilt not for what it could have been or SHOULD have been, but seeing it as a beautiful handmade work of art. It dawned on me that I had added beauty, stitch by stitch to a flawed curve in my work and ENJOYED doing it. Had I fought against the curve, spent days unpicking my work in an effort to stick to what I thought it should be, I would never have this beautiful one of a kind quilt. Maybe the lesson here for me is embracing the curves life has thrown my way, adding beauty in the ways I can and stop fighting for what maybe, just MAYBE wasn’t meant to be. Unlike setting down a seam ripper, I have no idea what that actually  looks like in reality, BUT I am willing to learn and just as I am a sort of co-creator in my handwork, I to am a co-creator in my life, willing to try my best and let God work out the rest, curves and all.

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There are so many lessons to learn from needle and thread and I feel I have only just begun.

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The back side of this quilt shows off a simple running stitch, the linen/cotton combo (55%/45%) makes for such a soft finish I almost think this should be a new baby quilt at 43×56 it’s perfect size too! Search for Riley Blake Linen to see their beautiful range of colors. As always I hope you have enjoyed what you see here and feel inspired to try something new of your own, maybe even an unintended curve too.

 

 

 

 

Liberty Pin Cushion Sale

March 9, 2019

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I wanted to drop in over here to let you know about my Liberty Pin Cushion sale happening over at my Instagram shop @faithessenburgshop on Monday March 11 at 10 am CST! I haven’t held a sale in well over a year and I am so excited about all the pretty pin cushions I have for you!

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My Original Liberty egg cup pin cushions that started it all almost exactly two years ago! I just love these little classy cups and I know you do as well!

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I was extremely disappointed to learn I can no longer find this style dish for my double Pinnies, they were perfect for keeping a spool of thread or thimble in the extra cup spot. I will have a few available on Monday and then they are gone! While I was sad to loose these, I have found two new styles that I hope you will love as much as I do.

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This sleek modern dish pairs beautifully with the classic Liberty prints we all love and has an added bonus of being magnetic to hold pins, clips and things while you work!

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I could not love these little dishes more! At just under four inches square and two high, they are the perfect little sewing companion to hold your sewing notions.

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For this Original Liberty Pinnie dish debut I have pulled out some of my rare and hard to find Betsy prints, a few of which are pictured here along with classic Betsy colorways.

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I am also giving this oval style a try and while they are not magnetic bowls, the dish is big enough to hold several clips or even a spool of thread. I think the ridges in the bowl will be handy for getting clips out too.

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Here’s a little custom beauty I made this week for a special order. Pop on over to @faithessenburgshop and follow along so you don’t miss any of the sale information and set your clocks for Monday March 11 at 10 am CST! See you there!

 

 

Gnome and Gardens Tour

March 1, 2019

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Riley Blake Designs has some incredibly cute lines coming out this year and one of them is Gnome and Gardens by Shawn Wallace. Those little old gnomes caught my eye with their happy smiles, little white beards and my personal favorite, the bespectacled one. Also in this Spring collection is a whole slew of perfect for fussy cutting garden flowers and friends, like tiny snails, tulips, bunnies in carrot patches and your pink flamingos.

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My go-to project is a smallish size quilt, perfect for a baby gift or young child’s birthday, this one however will be brightening up the foot of my oldest sons bed, he loves green and all things cute and silly. IMG_0693 (1)

The gnomes bring a playful twist to this classic Irish Chain quilt. I used the main Gnome print and a green Swiss Dot fabric for the low volume parts and a variety of greens, blues, red and even a bit of pink for the “chain” bits. Each block measures 6 inches square and with a boarder to frame it out, I have a nice 48×60 quilt.

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I was a bit shy on the red bubble fabric for the boarder so I searched through my red fabrics and found this older Riley Blake gingham and was so pleased to see it matches perfectly! I think this quilt might also end up coming with us to the park when we get some nicer weather and green grass.

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I’ve done simple crosshatch quilting in a pale mint 40 weight Aurifil thread (2800) to give it just a bit more interest than a solid white, it’s all in the little details, right? Scrappy green binding and this yummy lime green gingham backing pull it all together with a Springy feel!

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As I have said before, our quilts tend to find their way around our old Victorian home, this one is on a window sill nook, waiting for sunshine and a curl up with a boy and a good book. See that tiny lawn mower on the binding? Too cute!

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Make sure to follow Riley Blake for more inspiration and ALL the dreamy fabrics! I will be back here soon with another project and can always be found in my happy place over on Instagram.

Bluebirds On Roses Project Tour

February 11, 2019

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I feel Spring just round the corner and what better way to welcome it than with a Flowering Snowball quilt and Elea Lutz’s newest fabric line Bluebirds On Roses. If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram you have likely seen this quilt blossom over the past month, but just in case let’s start at the beginning.

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Elea has packed this line full of everything that is sweet; bluebirds, daises, kittens, strawberries, tiny floral motifs perfect for fussy cutting and a gorgeous larger scale rose bouquet print. Elea’s fabrics have that special quality that somehow turns a project into an instant heirloom, something to treasure and pass along.

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For such a perfectly sweet line I went with a classic quilt block; the flowering snowball. My friend Mary from Sunny Day Supply has a wonderful tutorial HERE with step by step pictures that made my first venture into sewing the dreaded CURVES an absolute breeze! Really these blocks came together quickly and were a joy to make.

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To top off the classic look of this quilt I just had to go with big hand stitching a la Sunny Day Supply method (can you tell who is my quilting inspiration?). I used a beautiful bold blue Aurifil thread in a thicker 12 weight (number 2735) which is my favorite for hand quilting. My stitches are what I would call “perfectly imperfect”, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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Binding in the beautiful blue rose bouquet print is the cherry on top. Someone pointed out that the blue centers of my quilt blocks resemble my Victorian stained glass windows, I hadn’t thought of that but I just love the idea of subconscious inspiration from my home. Also, this was during the Midwest Freeze of 2019 and this quilt felt like a promise of Spring.

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30 blocks, 12 inches each makes for a lovely throw size quilt. I could not be more in love with this quilt and the beautiful fabrics! I wanted the layout of the blocks to have a very patchwork feel to them without much thought or planning to the placements of colors and light. The result may drive a perfectionist nuts but I got just the look I was hoping for.

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My quilt backing is a beautiful Aqua gingham from Riley Blake Designs and it coordinates perfectly with this line. You can also see my stitches taking their giant flower petal shape on the back of the quilt.

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My husband asked me if plan to enter this quilt into our local fair in September, it’s such a hard choice since I would love to show it off in “showing condition” but even more so I want my quilts to be used and loved and with three boys and a pup you can guess how long “showing condition” lasts in this house. It’s good to know that Riley Blake fabrics will stand the test of time and this quilt will hopefully be passed on in its well loved condition which means more to me than any prize ribbon could.

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And just like that, my Bluebirds on Roses Flowering Snowball hand quilted quilt finds a spot on a bed and our pup finds a spot on top of it. Our quilts have a way of moving around the house, to snuggle under on the couch, tuck in bed on an extra cold night, picnicking on the living room floor with grilled cheese sandwiches, and forts under the dining room table that somehow manage to stay there for days on end. The joy and comfort a quilt brings is something to be treasured.

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To see all the beautiful makes from the Bluebirds on Roses tour, follow Elea Lutz and Riley Blake Designs on Instagram.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy what you see and leave here feeling inspired.

Until next time-

Faith

 

 

Hesketh House Collection Tour

January 8, 2019

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Hi friends, I am so excited to take part in the Hesketh House Tour for Liberty of London and Riley Blake Designs! Hesketh House is the upcoming Liberty Quilting Cotton that is being distributed by Riley Blake Designs here in the US. This means more availability for shops and quilters this side of the pond with the same high quality we have come to expect not only from Liberty fabrics but Riley Blake as well.

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I am a lover of Liberty fabrics and have been sewing and quilting with their classic Tana Lawns for almost as long as I’ve been sewing. Something about the timeless prints and selection of colors gets me every time, I *might* have even named my dog after the iconic brand! Needless to say, when I found out that one of my other favorite fabric brands Riley Blake would be distributing Liberty Quilting fabrics I got really excited. Trying to pick several fabrics from the Hesketh House Collection proved to be too difficult for me and in the end I simply asked them to choose for me.

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My heart skipped a beat at the beautiful green- blues in this colorway and you can bet I’ll be using that Liberty selvage for something special.

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What a treat to see one of my favorite prints, Wiltshire in this lovely tone on tone teal as well as the inspiration for the collection; Hesketh House in a soft sea green version. The fabrics are absolutely  buttery smooth, making them perfect for quilting.

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For my project I went with a runner or table topper but discovered it also makes a really great wall hanging! I made a repeat of four 12 inch quilt blocks from the book Quilt As You Go Made Vintage (which also happens to feature a quilt I made!). I love the design it creates and how it shows off the contrast between the darker and lighter prints.

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I was just shy of fabric for my binding so I added a scrap of a second print and I love how it adds to the character of the project, those little accidents always turn out to be my favorite bits.

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I found some perfect green thread and floss from Aurifil to coordinate and just started stitching. It always amazes me what a bit of hand stitching can do for a quilting project! Now not only is the fabric buttery soft but the stitching is as well.

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I wanted to portray just how soft this Quilting Cotton is, but a picture can only do so much. You’ll just have to trust me on this one and wait until April when they will be available in shops!

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I’ve paired my Liberty prints with a soft neutral solid from Riley Blake and I think they work really well together. This runner will either go on top of my piano or back up on the wall near my sewing room where the colors play so nicely with my green dining chairs.

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Be sure to follow along for the rest of the Hesketh House Collection Tour and check with your favorite shops in April to get your hands on this dreamy Liberty Quilting Cotton fabric.

Sonata Showcase

January 2, 2019

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Happy New Year and welcome to my stop on the Sonata Showcase! As you may know, I am a big fan of everything Amy Sinibaldi, from her gorgeous fabrics to her sweet patterns, she is always inspiring! But even more than her sweetly stitched projects, she is a dear friend, encouraging and supportive through and through! She gave me my first blog tour invite for her Paperie tour a few years ago, I made a sweet simple pillow and some hearts, I had fun thinking about those projects as I tackled my Sonata quilt.

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I know I say this with each of Amy’s collections but this one truly is my favorite, so much so that I kept these hung up in my living room for a few days just so I could look at them! Something that stands out to me with this line; look at all that glorious low volume fabric! So much to work with! Also, those deeply saturated blues have my heart, and I’m not always a blue person.

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I had been wanting to try my hand at a flying geese quilt and I thought Sonata would go perfectly. I used the four at a time method from the book Modern Quilts by Emily Dennis and just started cutting. By the time I was done I had used up almost every scrap of my Sonata bundle which makes me sad and happy all at the same time, after all, fabric is meant to be used!

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My flying geese are mostly pointing down, with a few random blocks pointing up to give a bit of contrast with a diamond shape. I went with straight vertical quilting lines in Aurifil soft white to keep the focus on the fabrics and I really love how it all turned out.

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I tried to make this quilt as big as I could, once I had the bold flying geese all pieced together I used the more subtle pink prints for boarder geese pointing in to frame it out nicely. I think this might be my favorite part of the quilt, those really soft prints. This was made with a fat quarter bundle and just look at all the low volume I had to work with!

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I used two prints from Amy’s Dollhouse collection for binding and I love how well they play together! Actually, all of her lines go together beautifully, which I think gives credit to how well thought out each print is.

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For backing I used this boarder print from Paperie, it took a little trick but I managed to have the salvage show on this corner edge. I wouldn’t usually do this, but since this quilt is just for me I did, and it makes me happy! It’s the little things, right?

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I just have to say that between the four at a time method in Emily’s book and the 1/4 sewing foot on my Janome machine most of my points came out beautifully. That’s not to brag, just wanted to give proper credit, and also if you look closely you can find points cut off here and there, I try not to worry about those and remember the whole thing will be a beautiful crinkled mess soon enough. It’s quite gloomy here in the Midwest but even so, I think Amy’s fabrics just glow!

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One last thing, if you have never worked with Art Gallery Fabrics you really have to feel them! Crisp yet soft which makes them beautiful to work with for any project.

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to poke around and come back again soon for more sewing inspiration and fun!

-Faith