The Sunshowers Quilt

Finally!!!

I have been waiting all month ( and some of April too) to share this quilt finish with everyone!

Way back last year I submitted some designs to the Modern Quilt Guild for the Quiltcon Raffle Quilt. The design they chose was superb and perfect to represent modern quilting. Then I got an email asking if i would be interested in repurposing my submission for the Pattern of the Month program. Of course I said yes!

Meet my newest baby, Sunshowers!

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Sunshowers is my representation of the rainy days in Vancouver, where the sunbeams break through the clouds and you know that it won’t be raining forever. It starte as a QDAD design, but quickly morphed into something more personal as I worked on it.

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Look at all those triangles!

 

I tweaked the size of the design to make it suitable for a child’s quilt. Then I had all kinds of fun putting it together. I freely admit that pressing is my least favorite part of quilting. Thankfully I was at my parents for a weekend and my mom LOVES pressing, so she did it all for me.

IMG_20150405_105727Then when it was all said and done, I loaded it onto the longarm and had at it. I used a lot of the quilting techniques and styles I learned at Quiltcon. I love the varying straight lines, and I threw in some ghost shapes just for fun. I had intended to do just straight line quilting, but I very quickly got bored of it (after about 5 lines). Now I completely understand what Angela Walters mean when she says that she doesn’t fully plan quilting. I changed motifs on a whim, going with what felt right, changing it up when I got bored. Totally works for me. I may never be a Judi Madsen or Marilyn Badger, but “finished is better than perfect!” ( Thanks AW!)

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I am so happy with how the quilt turned out!! Sunshowers is a free download for Modern Quilt Guild Members though the community forum. Members will have the link emailed to them. For those of you who aren’t, I will be able to have the pattern made available for download in a few months!

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I used a selection of Cloud 9 Fabrics beautiful organic solids for Sunshowers. They are so super soft and pretty! And that’s without washing them!

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Photo day was super sunny, but super windy! I tried a couple “in the wind” shots, but they almost turned into “gone with the wind” shots. There was also a 100% chance of Toddler, but I didn’t mind =)

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Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

 

 

 

A different point of view

When you have children, you start to rediscover the world through their eyes.

The last two weekends I have taken H to quilt shows- Sunshine Coast Quilt Show and the Boundary Bay quilt show. At the Boundary Bay show, I let H run wild with my camera. He had so much fun and the show-goers got a giggle or two as well!

I always wondered what things look like through his eyes ;)

2015 Gathering of the Guilds

Two weeks ago in April I was honored to be one of the featured speakers at the 2015 Gathering of the Guilds in Osoyoos, BC. It was an amazing day, filled with laughing, quilting, shopping, and fun. I got to meet so many amazing people!

The Osoyoos Quilters Guild hosted the annual event, and they did an amazing job. From the charity blocks to the table settings, everything followed the theme of “Black Tie Affair”. Everyone who attended wore black and white, the charity quilt blocks were black bowtie blocks, and each table setting had a handmade basket in black and white filled with yummy treats and healthy snacks. It looked awesome!

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I was given a display table right up front. I did not expect it to be so large OR front and center, and had a mini panic attack. Luckily my mom is super awesome (and really should be an event planner) and she helped me pull off a great looking display of patterns, quilts, and little ceramic quails. I am not ashamed to admit I have been coveting those quails for years….

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I handed out buttons, cards, and sold patterns in the morning. I talked with lots of quilters from all over the BC Interior, enjoyed a yummy breakfast of homemade muffins and pastries, and met fellow presenter and Canadian Quilters Association Instructor of the Year, Dianne Stevenson of Black Crow Quilts. She is a very talented, very knowledgable, and very inspiring lady. Dianne was the afternoon presenter, and her lecture, “Feed Sacks and Fancy Things”  was so interesting I forgot to take pictures. She had some pristine feed sacks that looked brand new with her, as well as a collection of vintage quilts, feed sacks, and even an antique barrel label! Also, we found out that Dianne and her husband BIKED ACROSS CANADA five years ago! She learned a lot about Canada’s history in that trip, and it sounded amazing. I can barely bike to work and it’s only three blocks away…

 

 

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Me and my display table

 

I presented my trunk show in the morning. My mom and grandma were in the very front row taking pictures and (silently) cheering me on. I talked about my journey as a third generation quilter, my inspirations, my achievements and my failures (which we all know are just learning experiences). I was able to finally show the quilts from the book that never was and talk about how that experience was a defining point for me as a quilter. I had almost 25 quilts in my trunk show, and as it turns out, all but 2 were made in the last 18 months. There were even quilts that I wasn’t able to show, due to the timing of quilt market, and I realized just how much I actually do.

There is a reason its called a trunk show

There is a reason its called a trunk show

At lunch time I went upstairs to visit the merchant’s mall. I was delighted at the number of quilt shops in BC’s Interior, especially the new ones that have opened in the last couple years. It shows that quilting is alive and well in this part of our beautiful province. I picked up some thread to try on the long arm from Peach Tree Quilts (I also cleaned her out of Mochi), and a curated bundle of fat quarters from Heart n’ Sole Quilts just because it was pretty (Bonnie and Camille with Joel Dewberry is a match made in heaven)!

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I also stopped by to chat with Barb at Poppins Quilt Parlour. Poppins and I have a long history together, and every time I go in there (which is really maybe twice a year) Barb remembers me every time! Poppins chose my quilt, The Long Road Home, to compete in the Canadian Cottage/Trend Tex Challenge. Each shop could only chose one quilt per category, and mine ended up winning first place. Now I am going to be teaching classes there, and she even had these great little cards announcing the classes in her booth! Star of the West and Sherbert at the beach are the two classe I am teaching. You can find more information under the Calendar tab of the blog =)

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The day was amazing, and made a wonderful end to a very, very busy month. Thank you so much Maureen Wood and the Osoyoos Quilters Guild, for having me!

StaceyDay_Logo

 

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge- Marsala Edition

Well, you all know how I felt about Marsala when it was first announced.

BUT I love a good challenge, and I have always wanted to participate in the Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by Anne @Play-Crafts and Adrianne @On the Windy Side. I missed out on Radiant Orchid last year ( I had all the fabric and forget why it never got done), so Marsala it was.

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I wanted to try and use colors that maybe weren’t the easiest to match to Marsala. I wanted to try and bring out some of the other undertones you find with it, while keeping it warm and friendly. I bought a bundle from Hawthorne Threads, and then added colors to my shopping cart until they looked good on screen. Of course thats always a gamble, the screen won’t show how bright or vibrant a fabric is, but I lucked out and got exactly what I thought I was getting. Woo hoo!!

And then it sat. and sat and sat and sat and sat. AAAAAAAAAND SAT. I had too many ideas to try and time kept on slipping away. I started to panic.

When I finally realized I was overthinking things, I took a step back and started looking through some of my books. I came across the pattern “In the Throne Room” from the book Modern Rainbow by Rebecca Bryant and experienced a true blue AH-HA! moment. I didn’t make it exactly, but you can see the influence in the layout.

 

Presenting Trade Winds.

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Trade Winds is 42″x55″. For the background I cut into my huge stash of Cotton and Steel Dotties Cousin in Linen. I think it is the perfect neutral and gives a really natural warm glow to the quilt. I picked eight of the Marsala fat quarters based on their value from darkest to lightest and paired them with the jade and tangerine. Those two hues are very very different, but work so well to pull out the earthy tones in the marsala. I also arranged them by value, so the bars fluctuate from dark to light to dark a pair of times across the strip. In the spirit of doing things that are a challenge for me, I left a TON of negative space. I also decided, after laying the strips out, that alternating the direction of the prints really made the quilt interesting, like a back and forth between the two groups of Marsala at either end. IMG_4457

For the quilting, I took a chance on a variation of a design I saw on 13 Spools. Amy Garro has some great tutorials for quilting, and my favorite is her Matchstick feathers.  I am not quite at feather level on the long arm, so I thought I would do some freemotion large swirls, in part to contrast with the pieced bars, and in part to start getting used to the control it takes to really reign the curves in. As I went, I decided to add some horizontal spaced lines to compliment my spaced bars and add the contrast to the swirls. It isn’t matchstick, but the effect is what I wanted,and the result looks like a cloudy sky with the wind blowing between them. The almost Oriental color theme, the back and forth of the colors,  and the quilting stuck the name Trade Winds in my head. I think it really suits. I used Aurifil 40wt in Sand for the quilting, and the darker thread did wonders for the quilting!

Of course I Marsala bombed the binding with my favorite arrowhead print, which I also alternated the direction of as a nod to the bars.

This quilt is very different for me, with a lot of super bold elements, and I really love it. I am also happy that I was able to use a unique color pairing to bring out the best in the Marsala. I actually kind of like it!

Linking up with the 2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge.

Happy Stitching,

StaceyDay_Logo

The Dress Post

So many of you not might know, but I used to be a seamstress. I have a diploma in Fashion Production from Olds College, where I had the best two years ever! I started out with lofty goals, but as I settled more and more into myself, I realized that I was very happy sewing what I wanted to sew. I worked for a mascot company at the time, which was a fun job. I even modeled for them. Though you wouldn’t know it was me ;) Unfortunately life (and a future husband) happened, and I had to leave the company, but I kept up my sewing skills by quilting more and more. Our small northern town didn’t have a garment fabric place, but there were some amazing quilt shops, one about a block from my house and another that was totally worth the scary drive down the back roads to the barn of awesome quilty goodness.  I don’t know if it is still there, it was basically a plywood sign with an arrow that said Quilt Shop on the side of the highway.

Yup, that says Alaska Highway!

Yup, that says Alaska Highway! The star is an approximation…

Garment sewing is a whole ‘nother thing compared to quilting. If you cut your quilting fabric off grain, you can usually steam it in place and stitch the heck over it to make sure it stays there once its quilted. If you cut a dress off grain, after about 24 hours of hanger time will leave you with an uneven hem. Gah! Hems!! And then there is zippers, buttons, holes, understitching, stay stitching, armholes, sleeve caps, pleats, easing, gathers the proper way….you get the drift. I fell away from garments for a while, picked it up here and there again, but for the most part I gravitated towards quilting.

A couple months ago my best friend started her blog about all the things she sews for herself and her daughter, and it really fed those embers of garment sewing that were laying dormant in my brain. I was super inspired, so just before Quiltcon I reached out to Windham Fabrics. I was making a quilt for their upcoming Flora Collection by Kelly Ventura, and they have a cotton lawn in the main print that I really felt the need to sew with. I was also lucky enough to receive yardage in the new Low Country Indigo linen. I figure might as well jump right back in with both feet. As I was sewing, I decided to jot down some notes, for when I finally got around to blogging about them.

For the Flora fabric I chose a classic skirt pattern that I have had for ages, McCalls M5430 Misses Wrap Skirt. The weight of the lawn was perfect for this pattern. I wore it 4 times on my 5 day trip to quilt con. Thats how much I love it! The pattern is relatively easy, my paper pattern cover says its a 1 Hour Easy project, but it certainly takes longer than that. Especially when cutting it out properly.  IMG_20150205_182210

I made version A with the pockets from C. One day I might make myself a normal C, but I love the front ruffle from A. It definitely takes patience if you aren’t a garment sewing person, the gathering was a little wonky on the pieces (as in, didn’t fit and I think it was a marking issue from this pattern. Again, its an oldie but a goodie!) Windham liked it so much that they took my little skirt and photographed it all professional like and put it in the Look Book for Flora! They have a much more flattering picture of it. I can’t wait to get it back and wear it again!

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The pattern I chose for the Low Country Indigo was from Butterick Retro, B5603. This pattern is one of my favorites, the only problem was how BIG that skirt is. The pattern is made for a crinoline to go beneath it and hold out the skirt. I was NOT making a crinoline (or buying one for that matter) and the linen was a heavier fabric than the recommended fabrics for the pattern. So I had to pull out my more than slightly rusty skills and alter it myself. I don’t recommend altering patterns unless you have either done it before or are with someone who has, it is really easy to jumble things up. You really need to keep an eye on the grain lines, make sure the lengths of the seams still match (not the outside edge, but the 5/8″ in from the edge where you actually do the sewing), and know where its okay to take the extra out. What I did probably constitutes as grading rather than altering, and i was running a lot off the little instinctive voice in the back of my head, but I was successfully able to remove just over 40″ of circumference from the skirt while maintaining the drape and shape of the waist, skirt panels and hemline.  Woot!

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I made version C, I love a crossover neckline. On me though, that particular neckline sits higher than I normally wear, so when I make this again I am going to tweak that as well. I also changed the wrap over back ( which looks just like the front) into a single piece to save fabric.

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I Just love the top print!

 

I have a serger that I used to finish all my seams, and hid the rest by hand sewing the bodice lining over the seam of the skirt join. I love a clean look inside, even if no one will see it but me. I know it there, and along with clean underwear, clean seams are something you want in a garment in case you ever have to go to the hospital. No Sloppy Seamstress Syndrome! My serger was polite enough to ease the hem as I finished it ( a combination of tension tweaks meeting off grain hem) so that took a whole lot of work off the finishing.

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Those hash tags!!! YES PLEASE!!!

 

 

I make a better mascot model, but here you go!

I make a better mascot model, but here you go!

I love my dress and skirt SO MUCH! The Low Country Indigo also comes in quilting cotton on a white background, its pretty gorgeous. And Flora is going to be shipping out soon. I love it a lot! I have two patterns coming out with Flora, and the quilt I made will be hanging at the Windham booth at Spring Quilt Market! I will write about that quilt later, but in the meantime, here are the little notes I wrote while sewing:

-MOCKING!! Mock up are important to check the fit and structure of a garment. usually broadcloth works to mimic the lightweight to sheer fabric, and muslin for the heavier fabrics. Baste the seams of the mock up, and once it fits how you want, transfer the alterations to the pattern.

– Make the pattern for your bust size and then adjust the rest. The bust line dictated everything from where the waistline sits, to the armholes, neck size, and shoulders. So if your bust is a 12 and your waist is a 14, make the 12. Waist and hip are straight forward, you just add an equal amount to each seam to achieve the size you need (remember to split the amount between both sides fo the pattern piece. So a half inch to each seam means a quarter inch to either side of the pattern piece)

-Tissue patterns have stretch. Cure them before pinning by pressing them with an iron on the nlon setting. this adds a little static, so they cling to the fabric, reduces the wrinkles and you don’t get nearly as much stretching.

-If you use a rotary cutter to cut garments, use the smallest one possible and a straight ruler ( I use a 1″x 12″ grid ruler) The ruler will protect your fingers, and the smaller rotary wheel has less surface area, so the fabric won’t be pushed as far off grain as it does with a larger wheel, which has a larger surface area per turn.

 

These are some very basic notes, if you are a first time garment sewer, I would recommend finding tutorials or books to help. I still have all my books from college, but a really great resource is The Sewtionary. Tasia is a local Vancouver designer, and she has a great pattern line that is perfect for first time garment makers, Sewaholic. Each pattern has a how to on the site, as well as a sew along that you can follow to answer any questions. I have a number of her patterns, and I am going to be getting some more Flora to make the dress from for summer.

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

Lanterns- A Tutorial

A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in the What Shade are You Blog Hop by RJR fabrics. I am always up for a blog hop, it gives me the chance to bring some of my Quilt Design a Day designs to life AND give away some great fabrics to a lucky reader!

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Back in December one of our inspiration photos, called Sparks and provided on a weekly basis by a QDAD member, really struck me with its colors and intensity. Taken during Snowmageddon, that particular QDAD design I had flagged in my head as one to do up as a pattern. The timing was perfect, as RJR sent the invite not a week later, and that design came to mind.

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QDAD Spark Photo Courtesy of Alyson@ The Hasty Quilter
Lanterns

Lanterns

I had a lot of fun narrowing down the colors to use from the Cotton Supreme Solids. RJR has 149 solids colors to choose from in the Cotton Supreme line. They have a beautiful drape, weight, and feel to them. They might actually become my new favorite.

I tweaked the design to make it lap sized. The construction is a basic log cabin with a few fun color placements. This design would look great in some of the other color offerings RJR has as well.

Dogwood

Cherrywood- 297, 282, 283, 289, 291, 294

Kelpie

Kelptastic- 342, 348, 349, 327, 328, 300

Patina

Winter Dogwood- 297, 282, 283, 289, 291, 294

Now, normally I wouldn’t just show you a quilt top, I like my quilts to be finished and bound and presentable. However, in this case I am saving this top to be finishe don a long arm. Quite possibly by me. Which is super super super awesome!

Alrighty, on to the good stuff!!

Lanterns


Lanterns Glow Tutorial

Finished Quilt: 54”x 66”

Finished block: 12” square

Fabric Requirements

1/4 yard medium bright yellow (Cotton Supreme 9617-337)

1/4 yard bright yellow-orange (Cotton Supreme 9617-140)

1/2 yard medium tangerine (Cotton Supreme 9617-276)

1/2 yard light blue (Cotton Supreme 9617-327)

1 yard medium blue (Cotton Supreme 9617-300)

2 1/2 yards navy for background (Cotton Supreme 9617-191)

1/2 yard royal for binding (Cotton Supreme 9617-345)

3 5/8 yards for backing

64″x 76″ piece of batting

Cutting

Tip: Use a light spray of starch or starch alternative before cutting to help keep the pieces from shifting and skewing while sewing. Spray on the wrong side and press from the right side of the fabric.

From the medium bright yellow cut:

20 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the bright yellow-orange cut:

20 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the medium tangerine cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 3 1/2”

From the light blue cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 6 1/2”

From the medium blue cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 6 1/2”

40 rectangles, 2”x 9 1/2”

From the navy cut:

40 rectangles, 2”x 9 1/2”

40 rectangles, 2”x 12 1/2”

4 strips, 3″x 42″

2 strips, 3″x 19″

2 strips, 3″x 12″‘

From the royal cut:

7 strips, 2 1/4”x 42” for binding

Instructions

All seams are 1/4” unless otherwise stated. Pieces are sewn right sides together.

Take the medium bright yellow and bright yellow-orange 2”x 3 1/2” rectangles and sew them right sides together. Press the seams open to make the center squares.Take the medium tangerine 2”x 3 1/2” rectangles and sew them to either side of the center squares as shown. Press towards the center square. Take the light blue 2”x 6 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the top and bottom of the block. Press towards the center square.

Lanters Illustrations

Take the medium blue 2”x 6 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the sides of the block as shown. Press towards the center, and then sew the medium blue 2”x 9 1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom. Press towards the center.

Lanters Illustrations

Take the navy 2”x 9 1/2” rectangles and sew them to the sides of the block as shown. Press towards the center, and then sew the navy 2”x 12 1/2” rectangles to the top and bottom. Press towards the center. Trim and square the blocks to 12 1/2”x 12 1/2”.

Lanters Illustrations

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Sew the blocks together into rows of four as shown. In the odd rows the second and fourth block will be rotated, and in the even rows the first and third blocks will be rotated. Sew the rows together into the quilt top.

Sew the 19″ navy strips to two of the 42″ navy strips to make two side borders blocks 60 1/2″. Sew the 13″ navy strips to the remaining 42″ navy strips to make the top and bottom borders 53 1/2″. Sew the side borders to the side of the quilt top, matching ends and centers, and press towards the borders. Sew the top and bottom borders to the quilt top, matching ends and centers, and press towards the borders

Piece the backing together so it measures approx 64″x 76″. Layer the quilt top with batting and backing; baste. Quilt as desired. Join the royal 2 1/4″ wide binding strips using a diagonal seam to make a single long binding. Fold the binding in half and sew it around the quilt top on the right side. Turn the binding to the back and secure in place by hand or machine. Label and enjoy!

Lanterns


You could quilt each color individually, changing threads each time, to hide the quilting and let the blocks pop. Alternately, you could choose a medium blue thread and quilt in straight lines that radiate out at angles from the center of the block to mimic the flow of light, and then use a swirl in the yellow sections to soften out all the hard angles.

If improv is more your thing, you could easily make the blocks using varying width strips for a modern wonky log cabin look. Construct the blocks in the same order, using pieces with varying widths, building the log cabin outwards. Use the indigo round to bring the blocks to just over 12 1/2”, then square. Put them all together for some fun and funky movement to your Lantern Quilt.

I hope you enjoy making your own version of Lanterns Glow. I love to see what your make, so please send me some pictures of your finished quilt, or upload them to the Stacey Day Quilts group on Flickr. You can also tag me in instagram @staceyinstitches #lanternsquilt

RJR has generously donated a bundle of the same fabrics used in my Lanterns Glow quilt to give away to one lucky reader!

Simply comment below with an answer: What color are you and why? Entries will be open until 8pm Sunday, when I will draw a name using Random.org.

winner lanterns

Congratulations Michele!

The Winner was #27, Michele, who said “Beautiful quilt and I absolutely love the name for it!!! My favourite colour would be Aqua so #292, #291, and #289 are my colours!! I would love to make a quilt just like yours and it would be perfect for a gift to my BIL!! Thanks for the chance!!”

Thank you for entering Michele, and thank you to everyone who came by to visit!

*Full Disclosure* When I picked out my fabrics I did so without a color card, and what I thought was Navy was actually that beautiful royal almost purple at the bottom of the bundle. I am using it for the binding and back of the quilt. In the meantime, I found the correct color sku for the Navy and used that in the quilt as well as quoted it correctly in the instructions.

2015.04.03 B 2015.04.03 C

Enjoy your long weekend, I know I will be sewing and spending time with family (and eating chocolate, shh! Don’t tell my diet!)

Happy Stitching,

StaceyDay_Logo

A lot ‘a Lotta! Sneak Peek!!

FINALLY!!!

A couple months ago I had the opportunity to design a quilt with the upcoming Windham Fabrics line by Lotta Jansdotter. I love Lotta! I have a ton of carefully hoarded Glimma in my stash, and have added all of my favorites from each of her lines over the years. (I would show you a picture but no one needs to see the disaster that is my stash). I have been keeping the finished quilt a secret, and finally last week Windham and Lotta started sharing sneak peek photos on Instagram ( @windhamfabrics and @lottajansdotter ).

So now I get to show you all my favorite quilt!!

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Meet Playing the Odds! I love this quilt so much! I had a lot of different design ideas along this theme. My inspiration was the name of the new collection: Lucky. I wanted to try and capture a game of chance kind of feel with the quilt, while using as many of the bright and colorful fabrics as I possibly could. I also wanted to show off Jerry the Cat. The Jerry print is adorable and is one of the signature prints of the collection. At Quiltcon Lotta was handing out Jerry patches to iron on to your clothes. I have a pair of Jerrys put away for something special. Probably a bag =)

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My good friend Joan at Maple Leaf Quilters did the quilting for me. I picked a nice big swirly design to soften out all the angles of the squares. And of course I had to take my Lil’ Lotta paper doll to the photo shoot. I have discovered that the park by my house has a TON of great setting and backdrops to take quilt pictures. As long as it stops raining of course. Usually the sun is setting by the time the rain stops, but we managed to get some nice shots.

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The Hubster is getting really good at holding quilts for me, don’t you think?

I almost cried when I sent this quilt to Windham, but I have enough left over to make another one so the Post Office lady only had to pry the box out of my hand a little bit ;) The pattern will be available on the Windham Website as a free pattern. In the meantime check out Windham and Lottas Instagram feeds or Facebook for more sneak peeks of Lucky and all the great projects you can make with it!

 

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo