I love love love to design my own quilts. And I ALWAYS do it on graph paper… well, actually MOST of them are on graph paper. Some of my favorite quilt ideas are scrawled on the back of a grocery receipt because creativity doesn’t often wait until you have the time and supplies to let it flow, right? …Do what you have to do!
However, if you can help it… the best quilt planning is done on graph paper!
It doesn’t have t be fancy! Get out those fun markers or colored pencils and have fun with it. Make a rough draft and then finetune it in your final draft.
I’ve made this quick download pack of printable graph paper pages that you can use to work up your own quilt designs!
There are 5 different pages within the PDF that will help you put your most amazing quilting ideas down on paper!
I hope you have fun with these! Please give me a shout out in the comments if you like these! I love to create more useful things for my readers and the only way I know what you like the best if if you TELL ME! 🙂 Happy Sewing!
If you haven’t seen this one floating around Pinterest, I would love to know what rock you live under and visit you from time to time.
This is another baby step pattern to get you through your fear of sewing triangles. Think of it as baby step #2… It comes rigth after baby step #1 which is deciding that a silly little triangel isn’t going to get the best of you and YOU ARE A QUILTING BOSS! You won’t regret it! 🙂
SeeKateSew does a great job in her tutorial too! You can grab this pattern here.
I also have a different version of a Triangle Quilt Pattern that is free as well… just, you know… shameless self-promotion, because I can 😉
Ok, I might be obsessed – Nobody judge me, ok? – CluckCluckSew Can you blame me? Just look at this cute quilt! You can download the Simple Heart Pattern Here.
I could keep going but honestly, someone has to make dinner in this house or we will all starve. — I’m apparently the only one capable of such a miraculous feat, or so I am told… *ah, sweet motherhood*
I hope you enjoy these free patterns! Until next time… Happy Sewing!
How wonderful and sweet the gift of a handmade quilt is! It is the gift that can live on for a lifetime… Today we’re going to discuss how to wash and care for your quilt so that it does last a lifetime!
I’ve also included a FREE printable card with quilt instructions that you can download and print out that you can gift with your quilts! [you’ll find it at the bottom of this post!]
Many quilts can live on to be heirloom/family quilts… unless you don’t care for them properly, in which case it can end up ruined… 🙁 – But don’t let that scare you! The worst care I’ve ever seen for a quilt is being tucked away in a closet where no one will ever see it or use it! *gasp* Absolutely tragic, I tell you!
The fact is that most people who aren’t like you and me… you know… “quilters” simply don’t understand. And we can’t fault them for that, but we can educate them!
There is no way to gently tell the person that you’re giving a quilt to how MUCH WORK goes into make a quilt. Like, so much work. Hours are spent planning and shopping, prepping and cutting before you even put one single stitch into that fabric.
(I created these Honest Gift tags that add a little sass (and a lot of truth) to the handmade gift item that you’re giving! And they’re a free download too!)
Truth is, you are not doing all this hard work to have someone mistreat your quilt!
Here are a few things you need to tell your incredibly lucky new quilt owners.
1) I want you to use this quilt!
The best way to keep a quilt fresh and the fabric bouncy and non-stuffy smelling is to USE it! Keep it out in the open air and touch it. Just walk past it and pet it from time to time. Snuggle it!
This quilt is heirloom quality, meaning it will last a really long time, but please don’t seal it up and stuff it into a closet where it will never see the light of day! That is not what it was made for.
Quilts are best appreciated if you cover up with it and unwind after a long day.
2) If you have to wash it… ask yourself this…
Its totally ok to wash your quilt! (actually, gross if you thought otherwise) I have kids. For years my husband and I joked “this is why we don’t have nice things” when any of us trip or spill things… myself included. Believe me, if a quilt can survive toddler years at my house… you’re going to be just fine
Can I spot clean the quilt?
If you just have a little are where the quilt got some juice on it or grubby cheeto hands thought it was a napkin, try to spot clean your quilt first. (See Below for suggestions on products to use)
When was the last time I washed the quilt?
Unless you’re just a really messy person or using the quilt really hard all the time… you shouldn’t need to wash your quilt more than once a year. (Yes, you read that right.)
By all means, if it smells… please wash it – or hit it with a light spray of fabreeze if you’re just not ready for a single piece more of laundry. I won’t judge.
3) Can I machine wash it?
Yes! If you’ve decided that your quilt HAS to be fully washed, then you can do it by machine.
Set your washer on the most delicate setting it has, usually “gentle cycle”. And only use cold water.
Hot water will encourage those colors to bleed and we don’t want that.
Can I put it in the dryer too?
If you have the time and space, airdrying is preferred.
However, I usually put mine in the dryer on the delicate setting and get it MOSTLY dry. I’ll pull it out while it is still a little damp and then lay it out where it can air dry the rest of the way. It seems much flufflier this way to me.
4) What soap should I use?
Definitely no bleach. I shouldn’t have to say that… but you never know… so again, no bleach! You’ll want to use a mild detergent.
I’ve listed links to a few of my favorite brands and ones that I’ve seen other quilters swear by.
5) What do I do if I am worried about the Fabric Dye Bleeding?
This is never a fun experience to go through! Please make sure that if you have a really bright and colorful quilt (or do it even if you don’t have wild colors just to be safe) throw in a few Shout Color Catchers or Retayne in your wash. It is just a little insurance policy that will save your tail should the worst start to happen while the quilt is washing.
It is always a good idea to make a little quilt care package when you give it away to it’s new home. If you own some of the special quilt soap, add a few tablespoons to a marked container as well as a few color catchers! Your new quilt parents will be much more likely to use them if they have them laying around!
Shout Color Catchers look a bit like a dryer sheet. It catches dye that bleeds into the wash water and traps it on the color catcher so it sneaky bleed into your lighter colors. Retayne helps to seal dye into the fabric.
I’ve also included a “history of your quilt” page as well. It is a wonderful place to explain why you made the quilt or chose certain fabrics and it helps ensure that the story of the quilt will not be lost with you.
I often find that it is really tough to remember what all I wanted to say when I’m giving away a quilt… mostly because I’m just so excited to finally see the quilt in their hands that I get distracted and forget! So I’ve been trying to take a few minutes and write down what I want to say on the card. It’ll be another treasured keepsake to keep with the quilt 🙂
Today, I am going to share with you this Easy Triangle quilt (and a free pattern too!) Do not let the triangles scare you! This is really an easy quilt!
This quilt is one I made for a sweet young girl in my family. The fun colors of Tula Pink’s Fabric and a love of Cats… I knew it would be a winner!
[Quick backtrack in time story] I very vividly remember when I first started quilting, I saw this beautiful triangle quilt and I immediately wanted to make one! (I was – and still am – fearless in the pursuit of learning to make what I love) A friend told me “Triangles are really hard to sew and piece, especially for a beginner.”
*Kill joy*… I know.
But I believed her and put that in the ‘when I feel like I am an expert’ file.
[Yeah, that was a bunch of bologna] Now I know I will never feel like I am an expert because the world of quilting is so vast and people are coming with new and beautiful things every single day! So like… I will never truly know it all, right? And that is awesome because then it means that I can absolutely quilt and do what I love forever.
And I am shouting today because I want to drown out allllll the other voices that might tell you otherwise…
You CAN totally make a triangle quilt! And you don’t have to sew “Y” seams!
Also… you don’t have to be an expert at quilting!
Whew… there, I said it. And I mean it. If you have any reservations about sewing a triangle quilt, pull up your big girl panties and get ready!
Seriously, with just a tiny bit of practice and maybe a test block or two, this quilt is as easy as simple square piecing!
If you don’t believe me…. Get ready because I would never lie to you 🙂
First, download this FREE pattern that I whipped up. It explains step by step how to piece your blocks and it gives you the pattern pieces to print and cut out as well.
All the tips and how to’s are in the pattern download, but I thought I would give you a few extra tips here so I’m not just turning you over completely on your own.
With this pattern, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the fabric placement unless you want it to be a certain way. I made all the pieces with the kitties in them face the same direction – personal preference.
It did take a little more work in the beginning to make sure that I planned ahead.
You’ll see in the picture above and in the one below that I matched some of my side …. parallelograms (Alright! High school geometry coming back into play!)
You don’t HAVE to do this… there are a thousand different ways you could make this quilt depending on your fabric choices.
The fact that some of my end pieces matched up were very randomly placed with no rhyme or reason. And I really like it like that because as if the idea of triangles wasn’t daunting enough… making sure all your fabric is perfectly placed can be added stress.
I encourage you to give this one a shot…. JUST DO IT. Mix and match and have fun with it! Show those triangles who is the boss. (hint… it’s YOU!)
Are you going to give this one a shot? Let me know if the comments, won’t you? I would love to hear from you!
We all have dreams of a big beautiful sewing room that is stocked with walls of gorgeous fabric and beautiful shiny fancy tools. Oh *big puffy pink heart eyes* all the counter space and shelving of pretty threads! ooh! and big glass french doors to close the mess off from the rest of the house! Yesssssss! Chances are that it won’t happen today… but I do have some simple Ideas that can improve your sewing room to share with you!
When you create a space you love, it loves you back by allowing you to create more efficiently and in turn more amazing quilts!
These ideas don’t involve a house remodel or a weekend doing DIY projects pretending to be Johanna Gaines. They also don’t involve a giant budget because well… I’m a mom and honestly, I have never had a big giant budget to work with so, work with what you have, ok?
The key in improving your sewing room is…
1. Clean what you have!
I know, I’m awful, right? That is such a “duh!” thing to say, but when was the last time you REALLY cleaned everything? Do you dream of a spa day? So does your machine!
Your machines could use a good cleaning but how about everything else? The nitty gritty of whiping everything down and dusting? And a little fabreeze to freshen up the place?
2. Go through your supplies and purge your ‘clutter’
As creatives, we hoard. Go on and admit it… You are not alone.
I define “clutter” here as anything that you have hanging around that doesn’t serve your goals or interests right now.
What do you have in your possession right now that you’ve been holding on to for “someday”?
It is time to get honest with yourself and really decide if “someday” is ever going to really happen! (I know, this is tough love speaking)
Go through these top areas of clutter: * Tools * Fabric * UFOs & WIPs (unfinished objects and work in progress) * Decorative clutter – Those things that are precious collectibles and things given to us over the years that are so hard to part with!
Make 3 boxes: Donate, trash and sort Then, get to it. Take no more than 5 seconds to decide on a box to place your items. Clean off an entire area of clutter quickly.
Purge the items you labeled trash and be done with them.
Move the box of donated items to another room. Do it right now. Those items no longer have a place in here. If you leave it by the door, you may be temped to find a place for them again. Take a deep breath and let them go!
3. Clean again!
I mean it. The hidden corners the dark spaces… Really give your space a good wipe down again now that your stuff is moved out of the way.
4. Decide on the storage you need.
[Notice I didn’t put this first – It is important to really see exactly the items that you’re going to be storing before you go out and buy a bunch of random containers!]
This is optional. Some of us quilters are blessed with shelves of storage and have built up our stash of storage containers.
If you’re in need of some ideas… check these posts out!
There are also several products on Amazon that I just LOVE having around my sewing room. I’ll link them here for you 🙂
5. My favorite Part – Organize!
Now it is time to add back in the things that really matter to you – the things that truly bring you joy!
Once you have your bins or shelves or totes… whatever it is you decide works best for your space you can organize your items and make it a space you truly LOVE. It makes such a difference to be surrounded by the things you love.
When you improve your sewing room, you will notice a difference in your creativity too!
What is your favorite part about your sewing room? Tell me down below in the comments! I would love to know!
Do you like to make a difference? Do you like knowing that you’re contributing to the greater good of this world? – I knew that I liked you. 🙂 I really love making things for all my loved ones but I also like what I like to call “sewing for good”.
Sewing for good is: Sewing to spread the warmth of a handmade gift to someone in need.
There are so many different organizations that will gladly accept your handmade quits and sewing projects.
One of my more popular posts is about where to donate quilts. It warms my heart to know that there are so many other quilters out there searching for organizations to donate their beautiful handmade quilts to.
As a family, we sponsor two children in Aftrica through World Vision. Soloman is a little boy in Mali and Cendrine is a little girl in Burundi. My children love our “far away family members” and we write to them and send them little trinkets often. *fun fact – Each of our sponsored family members have the same exact birthday as my children.*
I first met the company that I am going to share with you today at the International Quilt Festival last year and they have a great need for seamstresses!
I was drawn to this happy colorful booth full of these beautiful handmade purses! And I immediately thought of Cendrine and how perfect one of these purses would be for her! I hoped to purchase a pattern or something.
What I found in talking to the woman who was working the booth was a company that had a heart for girls and a mission for serious compassion.
Sew Poweful has a mission to combat extreme poverty.
Sew Powerful trains and equips adults in Lusaka Zambia with good paying jobs. They learn to create school uniforms, reusable feminine hygiene products and soap. Each of these products is designed to keep kids in school and enable academic achievement. Success and greater potential to break out of the poverty cycle is actually attainable with the right system in place.
How amazing is that?
…And all the purses? They are the perfect size package for the reusable feminine hygiene supplies that are distributed to the girls in health classes!
I was immediately in love with SewPowerful. I knew I had to make these bags, for Cendrine and for other girls too.
The pattern for these bags is FREE on their website!
If you’re one of my beloved quilters that is a little skeptical about sewing a purse, you can worry not. They have a video tutorial that goes right along with the pattern to show you exactly how to do everything!
I mean how happy do these purses look? Who doesn’t know a little girl who wouldn’t be over the moon to receive one of these?
I started my purse this weekend and though I fumbled just a little bit (silly mistakes because my brain is not as used to purses as it is to quilts). I found the pattern to be really easy an super easy to follow!
There is an address on your pattern download for you to mail your completed purse(s) to and they will distribute them to the girls in need.
Pictures of my Purse for Cendrine
I thought I would share a few pictures of my purse process so you can see a little bit of the in-between steps. 🙂
It was my daughter’s idea to embroider the front pocket flap. She wanted to make sure Cendrine knew that this was her special purse 🙂
A girl has to have pockets, right? We’re going to fill up Cendrine’s purse with more colored pencils and notebooks because she is quite the little artist.
This is a fantastic use of scrap fabric! If you’ve been looking for a new project to take to your guild or a fun project to teach young sewists… please give this one a shot.