Have you heard of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show? It’s not a bunch of relatives hanging quilts together but a town called Sisters in Central Oregon that one day a year goes crazy and puts over a thousand quilts all over town outside! It’s super awesome and this year I was lucky enough to go check it out. Not only that but earlier in the week I took a class by Carolyn Friedlander in a coordinating event called A Quilter’s Affair. Somehow I just found out about this even though it’s been going on for forty years! In addition to all this awesomeness I stayed with a group of awesome women at a legitimate RANCH and sewed all weekend. So pretty much THE BEST THING EVER. Want to see what I worked on?

First of all the light in this place. THE LIGHT. I would challenge you to find people more in love with light than those living in climate’s like the valley in Oregon where there is so little light to be had in the winter (and fall and spring). WE LOVE IT. I whipped up this #RainbowPicnicSewAlong so quickly. I changed it a little bit. I had a 6″ (finished) square die for my Accuquilt so I used that. Making the quilt 10 x 12 blocks (60 x 72). I’m excited for Rachel to post the next steps, I bought my canvas backing today!

Hand-sewing outside. Yes please! I’m making little sweet patches for a much loved thrifted quilt with my new found needle turn appliqué skill.

The Moda Building Blocks was fun for a while (it was a local shops block of the month club) but I had such trouble with my seam allowance. I decided to call this good after making a few filler blocks and will be quilting this and donating it this fall.

Swoon Quilt! I had a bunch of these blocks cut out since the last Craftcation so I made myself sew them up. It actually wasn’t so bad once I got going (and read the directions!). And I really love how it turned out so there might even be more swoon blocks in my future.

  • Becky Taylor - I love the rainbow picnic blanket! Are all the squares unique?July 11, 2017 – 1:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Amber - Yes they are! Rachel has a cool way to sort the colors into 20 color families so it was easy to do, I really recommend checking out her post, it helped a lot. I just changed one thing, making more purple in mine instead of the “cerise” catagory.July 11, 2017 – 3:17 pmReplyCancel

I have been making this style of quilt for a while to highlight a favorite or orphan (leftover from another quilt) block. Sometimes I use four blocks as in this quilt I sold on Etsy. I love the simplicity of these quilts and the ability to showcase large prints (isn’t that alphabet fun??).

Alien Alphabet quilt 41 x 53 for sale on Etsy here.

Elephant quilt 54 x 64 made for my friend’s son.

These simple quilts make trying new things such as quilting techniques (the loop pattern on the elephant one above), different batting (playing with Dream Puff), and different fabrics (I used a “minky” type on the elephant one) less intimidating. If something goes wrong you haven’t spent a ton of time working on a top, and stitches are easier to pull out with less piecing.

This is also a good go to for charity quilting as these tops whip up quickly. I’m working on another type that also pieces so fast (and uses only 9 fat quarters!) that I’ll share soon. It feels so good to bust through the stash and participate in my guild’s charity work.

I have a pair of Hanna Andersson shorts I love so much. I got them at the little outlet near me and of course they are no longer made. I found a pattern I thought I could modify to be similar (Burda Style 6735) and have been working on it for a few days trying to get it right. This is the closest I’ve come to the fit and look being right (the colors are a little crazy on these – the actual shorts were a kind of denim).

I changed quite a few things. First of all my measurements had me at a size 18 (remember pattern sizes are a lot different than ready to wear). I got about halfway through that one before I realized it was going to be way too big. I sized down to a 14 with the length much shorter. Those shorts turned out pretty good but the rise was still too much.

On this version I stuck with the size 14/short length (FYI I’m small/medium depending on fit, 5′ 4″ and 135 lbs). I used this tutorial to add a side slant pocket (only instead of diagonal I wanted a slight curve so I used a flexible curve ruler to make one). I haven’t done this kind of pocket before and I LOVE IT. Very easy. I couldn’t really find anything about making a mock fly so I kinda figured it out myself by looking at a pattern of an actual zipper fly. I did read something about basting the fly in and then stitching around and later pulling out the basting stitches. That worked but then when I walked around the fly looked “open” (even though this was technically not possible since it was a faux fly). I solved this by tacking down the inner layer (invisibly) but I feel like there has to be a better way. I’ll do more research/practice on this and let you know if I come up with something genius.

Adding my tag was a fun touch (I have a thousand after all!). I love them (got them at this etsy shop; GREAT customer service).

I’m calling this a win and will for sure wear these a lot this summer. I have been collecting lots of apparel fabric over the years and really am itching to sew with it. I love having things that fit me and the girls just right. I’m even thinking of a cover-stitch machine to get that professional finish look. Have you ever tried one? Kinda like a serger but doesn’t cut.

***edited*** forgot to say I made the pockets extra deep (all the way to the hem). Ladies my phone goes in and does not fall out! Reason enough to make my own clothes!

This winter I wanted to get a high loft batting to try. I was intrigued by the look of quilting with it and also thought it would feel so light and soft. I did a very basic quilt and went to quilt it, basting as I usually do (totally half assed pins way too far apart) and it was a disaster! Even though I was using a walking foot I got bunching and all kinds of yuckiness. Not a fan. I chalked it up to the batting, bummed I had bought a whole bolt of the stuff (Quilters Dream Puff).

Because I had bought a whole bolt eventually I came around to the fact that I was going to have to use the stuff. I did a little more research and figured my basting was one of the problems. Turns out it was a huge problem! I pin baste and now I place my pins a LOT closer together – 3″ max. I love pin basting. I use my living room floor and life goes on around me as I tape the quilt back, batting, and top sticking pins in whenever I get a chance.

Ombre with floral background – cotton batting $85 in my etsy shop. You can see how crinkly the quilt looks with 100% cotton batting. It really shrinks up. It’s a thin quilt, perfect for a baby play-mat.

Ombre with blue floral background. $85 in my etsy shop. You can see how much more puffy the Dream Puff batting is. It’s really fun. There is less crinkle in the quilt over all as well (both of these quilts were washed together exactly the same). The puffiness makes it such a cuddly quilt. I think I’m really in love with it.

In terms of batting my all time favorite is probably still Dream Wool. I just love the loft, it’s ease to use, the amount you can sew apart. It’s an all time winner in my book BUT some people don’t like wool. And especially for gift quilts I’m just not sure how they will be treated so I tend to stay away from it for that.

I like having some of these high loft quilts under my belt. It’s always fun to experiment and try new things.

If you’ve been quilting for a while you’ve probably heard of the Jelly Roll Race. A Jelly Roll is the name Moda (a fabric company) gives its 2.5″ strip sets. The Jelly Roll Race quilt has been around for a while but I think this YouTube video really made it popular. Basically you take all your strips from the Jelly Roll and sew them together for one long (really long!) strip. Then you fold that strip in half and sew the long ends together, clipping when you get to the end. Repeat over and over and ta dah! A quilt top. This is what I did but decided to add more strips to make it bigger. Well it turns out you can’t just do that. Which is how I ended up with two quilt tops instead of one!

It ended up being a “happy accident” (as my printmaking professor would say). Tuesday has a sweet friend who is always swooning over my work. Well he only had to say how much he loves it so many times before I had to make him his own quilt. This was a lot like one he had book marked in one of my quilt magazines so it was a great fit. His (with the blue and green background) has his named stitched in it and then lots of random patterns. I did more of the same for our quilt (this will go in our living room) and also stitched our names and “2017 love mama” in it.

I used Cloud 9 organic cotton solid for the backing. I am so in love with this material (available at Jo-Ann’s. It washes up as soft as a cloud! I am finishing up a quilt for Bennet right now and am using the same material (in pink).

The final size of each of these is approximately 51×64. If you did want to customize a jelly roll race to a size you want I found a handy PDF (after the fact of course).

This was a really fun fast project and I would do it again, just paying more attention to how much fabric I was using!

  • Nora Griffin - Loved seeing that there were posts popping up from you in my blog feed this morning…love these super cute and colorful projects!June 19, 2017 – 2:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Amber - Awe thanks Nora! I love having access to records of my projects so I figured I better start blogging again!June 21, 2017 – 10:07 amReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou Miller - Such wonderful memories this will bring to Gabriel (?) and your family!June 20, 2017 – 11:18 amReplyCancel

    • Amber - His mom says he takes it everywhere, I’m so glad!June 21, 2017 – 10:08 amReplyCancel