book, make something, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, quilt design, quilting, quilts

100Days100Blocks2018

If you don’t follow me on Instagram – you should, by the way ūüėȬ† – then you might not be aware of the #100Days100Blocks2018 Sew-A-Long going on right now. My friend, Angie, over at Gnome Angel, is the woman in charge and you can find all the pertinent information here.

banner 100 days

Basically, it’s a 100 Day sew-a-long making all 100 blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler book. You will need to book to participate but I¬†can tell you that the instructions are easy to follow and the blocks go together very quickly. It’s a GREAT way to build some skills if you are a beginner and a fun quilt to make for quilters of all ages. Besides, it’s a block a day. You can handle that, right?

I made Block 54 – you can read about that here. Online, you can search using the hashtag #100Days100Blocks2018 to see what quilters around the world are making. It’s been fun to see all the blocks people are making.

You’ll have to follow the appropriate people to win – there are daily prizes and larger sponsors. I’m giving away a copy of my book!

And, between now and the end of the sew-a-long I am offering 20% off at my store using coupon code 100Days100Blocks2018.

 

book, personal, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt design, quilt patterns, quilting, quilts

The Quilt Show!!

Y’all!! I’m SO excited!!! TODAY IS THE DAY!! It’s been 5 months since I flew to Denver to film an episode on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.

I’ll start with the obvious:
Was it amazing? YES!!!
Was it fun?? YES!!
Is it a career highlight? A million times over it is!
Are Alex and Ricky as nice as they seem? ABSOLUTELY YES!! (the entire crew is really fabulous, as well!)
Should I have worn my SPANX? Yep

Now the story behind my days in Denver.

Mom came with me to the taping. She said she’d love to be a fly on the wall and, well, how could I say no??? She and I got to Denver, checked in to the hotel, then took all my quilts and supplies to the studio. I met a few people, saw the set up (it’s cool, y’all), then Mom and I headed out to have dinner with my cousin and his family.

Dinner was great and I loved catching up with my family, but shortly after we got there snow started to fall. And a LOT of it. Now, I know lots of people in the country (heck, the world) drive in snow all the time, but you know who doesn’t drive in snow? Me. Do you know why? Because I live in the South and we don’t do snow here. You see the clips of everyone racing to the store and clearing off the shelves? That’s legit. We don’t have the supplies and equipment to deal with massive snow (any snow) falling. 103 degree days with 90% humidity, no problem but send us some snow and we are out, plus it always turns to ice (I have driven on that and it is NOT fun). In the South we hunker down, make hot chocolate, and sled on ice or snow. We’re not particular if as long as the sled makes it down the hill.

Anyhow, the snow kept falling. For three hours I watched it coming down, and for three hours I enjoyed dinner but was secretly FREAKING OUT about how I’d get safely back to the hotel. Snow is covering the ground and, until March, I had never driven in snow. My cousin and his wife assured me that Mom and I would be fine. It’s a powder. Just go a little slower.

Let me tell you – going slower was NOT the problem. Seeing the road, however, was. I couldn’t see the lines on the roads and cars were RACING past me. I was SO glad Mom was with me to help navigate us safely back to the hotel. No way could I have listened to my phone navigate me to my hotel AND drive in the snow.

We made it safely back and, if I knew the next day wasn’t going to be so busy, I would have headed to the hotel bar for a cocktail. Instead, Mom and I wisely called it a night. Unfortunately, I had trouble sleeping. I was excited and anxious about the next day. Finally around 1:30 or 2, I got to sleep. You know, just in time for giant laundry cart bumper cars in the parking lot.

I kept trying to sleep but there was an awful noise in the parking lot. I tossed and turned and could not figure out why industrial laundry carts were being rolled around behind the hotel at 2am. When I looked out the window I realized it wasn’t hotel laundry cart bumper cars but the snow plow.

You know what I’ve only heard once in my life? A snow plow. And that was in Maine. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my oldest and was able to roll over and go back to sleep as pregnant ladies can often do. Anyhow, Mom stirred around that time and gave me a melatonin and some ear plugs. I fell blissfully asleep.

6 am came early, though, and I definitely needed a few extra cups of coffee. The adrenaline and excitement of the day helped, but wow! I was tired. It also turns out, unbeknownst to me, I was in the middle of a major health crisis that was wearing me down. Short version: my testosterone levels had plummeted and I was exhausted (like first trimester pregnancy exhausted) all the time and couldn’t recover AND, if that’s not enough, I needed to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet – they were causing a myriad of issues for me (5 months later cue the increased energy levels, clear skin, and 15 pounds lost, and yes, I miss both those items of food).

Anyhow, filming was a blast but I was so nervous! I mean, I’m hanging out with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims!!! I had no idea what camera to look at, so there might be a few crazy eyes moments. haha!¬†It was beyond thrilling and I loved every single second. We talked about my book, Piecing Makeover, I show some of the techniques I have in my book, and we briefly chat about my journey as a sewist and quilter.

You can see the episode here: https://thequiltshow.com/watch/current-show

I hope you like it.

Happy Piecing!

book, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, Uncategorized

News(letter) from the Nook Aug. 2018

Can you believe it’s the middle of AUGUST already? Bananas! It’s muggy and hot in Atlanta so I’m happily staying inside, continuing to get my house in order post-renovation and grateful that my kids are already in school so I don’t have to entertain them in this heat. And, yes, we go to school so. early. here;¬†BUT we have lots of breaks, so there’s that. I guess. And also yes, I’d like to retire in the mountains one day.

I have a few things happening in the next few weeks.

The lovely ladies over at¬†Create Whimsy¬†recently reached out to ask if they could spotlight me on their site. Of course!!! The interview will be live today. It’s a Q&A and you can read about it¬†here. It was fun to reply to the questions. If I answered, or partially answered something and you want me to expand, please drop me a line. I’m happy to¬†¬†– I didn’t want to drone on and on and bore people.

My episode on¬†The Quilt Show¬†airs on August 26th.¬†If you are a member at www.thequiltshow.com you’ll have access to the episode as soon as it airs. If not, though the site is FULL of valuable information so you should (hint, hint), don’t worry – you’ll be able to see it a few weeks later. You can read about the upcoming episode¬†here.

At the end of taping, we took some photos (this one is courtesy of The Quilt Show). Here’s a fun out take…

I’m¬†participating in Gnome Angel’s 100Blocks100Days sew along. It began¬†July 7th and will end on October 14th. Angie has ALL the rules on her website (www.gnomeangel.com) or you can click¬†here¬†and get right to it.

I’ll be making block 54 and will share all my tips and tricks on August 29th. I’m excited to participate in this fun sew along and hope you will consider participating. There are a lot of talented quilters and sponsors this year, and I KNOW it’ll be great!

I’ll be teaching a Machine Piecing Hexagons class at¬†Intown Quilters¬†on September 16th.

You can sign up¬†here. If you’ve been wanting to learn this technique, this is a great class. I’ll go over several cutting methods and a give you a LOT of hints and help you troubleshoot.

I’m hoping to add another pattern to my¬†store¬†in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that, too.

Happy Piecing!
Patty

make something, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilting, quilts

Please, Enter a Contest

I know I write and sing the praises of perfecting technique. I think it’s important and I’ve seen far too many quilters give up because of issues they couldn’t navigate. And it’s not that you have to be perfect with your piecing (except me, I admit I have a problem) but because it’s important to know how to trouble shoot and solve problems. I also think if you know how to do something correctly, then you gain the freedom to figure out other ways to achieve your desired end product, either correctly or not; AND that gives you a greater depth of knowledge if your wonky way works, or doesn’t.

That being said, I also think you should put your work, perfect or not,  in shows from time to time.

Seriously.

Judged, juried, judged and juried. I know it’s fairly intimidating to enter a quilt into a show. No one wants to have a quilt rejected from a show OR read negative feedback regarding their work. Heck, I submitted a quilt into Paducah and was nervous they wouldn’t accept it. I was also anxious to read judges comments about my quilt. BUT it’s important to get feedback away from your echo chamber and get new eyes on your work. If you want to improve your quilts, one of the best ways to do it is to get constructive criticism. Even if it’s tough to stomach.

It’s an honor to be juried into a show, and my quilt going to Paducah was no exception. I love my quilt, and AQS liked it enough to have it juried into the show. Big applause, right? My quilt didn’t get any ribbons though, so naturally I wondered what was wrong with it in the eyes of the judges.

When my quilt was returned last week I TORE into the box to see the comments. WHAT DID THE JUDGES SAY ABOUT MY QUILT?

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You can read the comments above but what it came down to was aesthetics. Some of the design elements of my quilt didn’t appeal to the judges and THAT IS OKAY.¬† I like my quilt as it is, and I appreciate the the judges offering their feedback.¬† While this quilt won’t EVER get changed, and I love it the way it is, the comments give me design options to consider in the future.

Will I ever make this quilt again? Probably not. Will I ever have dense border with some kind of intricate piecing? I’m not sure. But if I do, I have points to ponder from an aesthetic standpoint and if I know how to make the pieces fit together (see paragraph 1), then I (or you) have the ability to make your vision a reality. Possibly without a world of frustration, too.

Happy Piecing!

book, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, quilting

Back in Business

My Post

Y’all! First of all, if you don’t follow me on social media (fact: I’m far more active on Instagram than any other platform) you may have missed my big THANK YOU! Thanks to everyone that has supported me and my book. It sold out late fall and I’m happy that it’s back IN STOCK at C&T. So if you’ve wanted to get your hands on a copy, you can do it now.

Spring break ended Friday, and I’m hopeful that I can¬†finally knock out some items on my lengthy to-do list before school is out in May. It’s around the corner, and while I have done a lot this year, it’s not anywhere NEAR what I wanted to accomplish. So here’s to 7 weeks of insane productivity.

Speaking of, let me know if there’s something you’d like to see me demonstrate, or a tutorial and I’ll see if I can make it happen. Also contemplating a give-away of some sort, but I’m not sure yet??? Always happy to hear your suggestions.

Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, quilting, quilts, sewing

This Girl is Headed to The Quilt Show

My first (and currently only) school house was at Market in fall 2016. I was excited about my presentation, and was sharing the time slot with John Kubiniec. John was speaking about his new book, A New Spin on Drunkard’s Path, and had made some quilts using Alex Anderson’s new line of fabric being released at market.

Now, I knew I would be speaking with John, and he and I had spoken on the phone prior to quilt market. What I didn’t know was that Alex Anderson would be there.

Yep!

She was 5 feet from me. In the front row. I was equal parts ecstatic and terrified! You would be, too! Half of what I wanted to say went right out the window.

So, I make it through my presentation, and Alex was as kind and lovely as you think she’d be. She told me I did a nice job and congrats on the book, and so on.

The end.

Okay, not the end. Only the end until fall market 2017. I had a whirlwind trip to Houston that included finding out the hard way I had a sulpha drug allergy. So in addition to spending two days walking around George Brown being incredibly itchy,  I was walking around on Sunday tired from Benadryl.

Anyhow, about halfway through the day, my friend Charlene and I walked into a booth. Alex was sitting at a table helping someone. She smiled at us when we walked in, and Charlene and I continued to peruse. I was particularly interested in the EVA foam Cheryl Sleboda had because I had just made a not so great but kind of okay helmet for my son for Halloween. Charlene was checking out batting.

Anyhow, while I was looking around Alex must have finished what she was doing, walked over to me, smiled, and said hello. We started to talk, and in a complete “this is either a REALLY good idea or a terrible one” kind of moment, I said: so, do you remember….and launched into reminding her about my school house and how nice she was to me last year.

Alex asked about my book, Piecing Makeover, and, of course, I was happy to grab it from my bag and show it to her. She flipped through it and then asked if I’d want to be on The Quilt Show.

WHAT?! Um, yes!! No need to ask twice. I. AM. THERE!

Seriously, though. I am there. Well, I’m there in March and I am SO EXCITED! Y’all! This is ah-mazing!

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I’m super excited to go, and I’ll keep you updated on any fun developments. It’s going to be great!

Happy Piecing!

PM

Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, quilting, quilts

Matching a Fussy Cut Print

I wrote an entire book on precision piecing so it should come as no surprise to anyone that I love fussy cutting and matching prints. It’s been my experience that quilters either love it or hate it.¬† Regardless of your preference, I’m a fan, and think it adds great interest to quilts and blocks. I used it on this quilt border recently, and just love the look!

I’m also pretty keen on matching fussy cut prints in borders. I mean, if I’m going to spend the time accurately, precisely cutting a border strip, I darn well want it to match along the edges! It’s visually appealing, and once the quilt has been quilted you usually can’t see the seam, anyhow.

Here’s my two cents on how to fussy cut a print for a border, or at least this quilt.

First, look at the print. Once you determine your border width you can pick an arbitrary point to use for cutting for both sides of your border. I knew I wanted to have one fussy cut skull running down the center of my vertical pieces (sides) and one fussy cut skull running through the middle of my border (top and bottom). I also knew I wanted an approximately 5″ border.

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The repeat on this print made math simple. I could place my ruler 1″ above the top of the skulls and 1″ below the bottom of the skull that would run horizontally and I’d have a 5″ border.

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Use your rotary cutter, and cut along the edge of the ruler, adjusting as necessary. Here’s the trick: YOU WILL HAVE TO ADJUST YOUR RULER. Several times, usually. That also means, cut a small bit, say 6″ or so, where your ruler is correctly aligned, readjust, then cut more. Prints are almost never perfectly on grain. That also means that your border won’t¬†quite be on grain. That’s okay. You’ll have a 5″ border and make adjustments as you sew and quilt, as needed.

The image below shows you, using an upside down ruler, how the print isn’t perfectly on grain. See how it veers off toward the 5″ mark? No worries. Let your ruler do the work for you and adjust it.

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See how I adjusted the ruler below? If you do that, your print will line up exactly as you’d like and you’ll have perfect fussy cut borders. This technique works for horizontal and vertical borders. Pick a point, and use your ruler to get perfectly cut pieces running the length or width of the fabric.

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While it’s not¬†entirely¬†necessary, I usually use my ruler along the second cut for the border. Under normal circumstances, I’d like up my ruler along the cut edge and cut the border pieces to the size I want. Since this is a fussy cut strip, I want to make sure that the second cut is in the exact right spot. Normally it is, but an abundance of caution here is worth the extra minute or two to make sure your border will have the center skull (or whatever) in the correct spot.

So, what happens when you want to MATCH your fussy cut strips? Let your iron do the work for you!

I have two horizontal cuts.

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I pick a point on the fabric to match. I try to make it easy and somewhat obvious. For this print, I chose to use the center of the skull. I can use the center of the skull and have half the face on each side of my seam. Since the spot in the fabric is busy, it’ll be less noticeable when the top is quilted.

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I ironed the border strip back onto itself to create a line to sew along on another strip.

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Next, place the pieces together, FACE UP,¬† as you’d like them to be sewn together on your border. This one is basted because I forgot to snap a photo of that step, so imagine this without stitches. The skull lines up (almost) perfectly. You will want to sew along that ironed line.

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Gently fold back the top piece. I usually keep my hand on the folded part of the fabric being flipped so it doesn’t move. Here, the fold was big enough for me to keep my hand on it, while flipping the top portion. Then I place my hand/fingers on the other edge to keep it from moving, and let the left side of the fabric all the way out.

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Pin.

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BASTE along the ironed fold line. I like to baste to make sure the pattern is lined up exactly the way I want. If it’s not quite right, it’s easy to take out the stitches, readjust, then try again.

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When you have the pieces lined up as you’d like, sew them together. I usually sew over the basting stitches, and leave them in the quilt. Ideally, I’d have long threads to pull out the basting, but I don’t think it adds enough bulk in the border to cause any problems.

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Trim.

And press.

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Voila! Perfectly matched fussy cut borders!

featured, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilt block, quilting, quilts, sewing

Mimi’s Modern Flower Garden

As usual, I started this with just a concept in my head. For the most part it worked. Until I got to the borders. Then it got tricky.

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And that’s saying something since the borders are just kinda borders, right?

Well, now they are.

If I actually sat down and drew out a plan (either on paper or my computer), I would have seen that extending the hexagons into the borders wasn’t going to work. At least not with this size hexie I was using. I mean, it would have been¬†really cool, and it’s something I might use in the future.

You know, when I have the math all sorted.

After I had the center pieced, and had attached the inner border (which took much longer than expected because I had to variegate it), then I got to move on to the outer borders.

Originally my plan was to extend the hexagons from the center to the outside, but, like I said a few paragraphs ago, it didn’t work because I couldn’t make the corners fit.

bad corner web

See? I’d have to chop off too much of a hexie.

I also wish I’d realized that BEFORE I put on the top border.

top border web

It looked awful because I couldn’t halve the hexagons along the top – I had to have a hexagon at the corners – but I was not going to have ANY of that.

border test

I tried a few different things like having a grey variegated border, but I wasn’t a huge fan of that either.

So, after fussing for a few days.

Daaaayyysss, y’all, daaayyysss….

I decided to get a print that reads as a solid and call it a day.

My hope is that when I (or someone else) quilts it, the borders will have some fun thread work. Perhaps I’ll have the quilting follow the color pattern of the quilt, going from red to pink to purple to blue to green.

Maybe.

I should probably make a plan for that before I start.

featured, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilting, quilts

Little Lone Star {free pattern}

I made this sweet little Lone Star quilt for my friend Sarah to hang at the Intown Quilters booth during Quilt Con 2017.¬†She gave out the pattern during the show and I thought I’d share it here, as well.

The quilt is really quick and easy to put together. Enjoy!

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Lone Star ~43-1/2‚ÄĚ x 43-1/2‚ÄĚ
Designed, Pieced and quilted by Patty Murphy,
based on my book Piecing Makeover

Fabrics*
16 fat eighths
1 yard background fabric (we used Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen in Flax)
1/2 yd binding

*You can buy fat eighth bundles here and Essex Yarn-Dyes Linen here

Cutting Instructions: 
          Fat eighths:
Cut three 2-1/2‚ÄĚ x 21‚ÄĚ strips from each fat eighth.

          Background fabric: 
First cut one 20‚ÄĚ x 20‚ÄĚsquare.
Then cut four 12-1/2‚ÄĚ x 12-1/2‚ÄĚ squares.

Assembly Instructions
1. Sew 12 sets of 4 strips. Press open seams.
2. Cut strip sets on a 45¬į angle. You will get 3 full strips from each set, giving you a possible 36 strips to use for your Lone Star. You will have extra to use.
3. Arrange the strips on a design wall to make the Lone Star. Four strips go into each diamond section.
4. Sew each of the 8 diamond sections together, making sure you off-set the seams to create perfect points. (pg. 110, Diamonds)
5. Once you have 8 diamond sections, sew the top 4 together to make the top of your star then sew the bottom 4 together to make the bottom half of your star.
6. Sew the 2 sections together, making sure you match points in the center and furl your seams to reduce bulk. (pg. 27, Furling Busy Intersections)
7. Using a y-seam, sew each of the 12-1/2‚ÄĚ x 12-1/2‚ÄĚ background squares into each of the corners. (pg. 105, Hexagons)
8. Cut the 20‚ÄĚ x 20‚ÄĚ background square twice on the diagonal to get 4 triangles.
9. Using a y-seam, sew the triangles cut in Step 8 into the quilt along the top, bottom, and sides. (pg. 105, Hexagons)
10. Quilt, bind, and enjoy! See it on IG: #pmlonestar

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book, featured, Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilting, quilts, sewing, Uncategorized

Piecing Makeover Blog Book Tour + Giveaway

What a week it’s been! Wow! Thanks for all the love, y’all! The week was such a success and I couldn’t have done it without C&T Publishing, AnneMarie, Jodie, Teri at GenQ, Sandi, Mary, and Kristin. Really big thanks to each of you!

My biggest tip to share is to ask for help. I mean – How easy is that!?¬†Seriously, though. When I first started to quilt I always asked my mom but not everyone has a mom that sews, or is near. However, ¬†if you are fortunate enough, your local quilt shop has staff on hand to help you work through your problems. Yes, it means another trip out, and you¬†might come home with more fabric but getting inspired while getting help is fun! And¬†I promise they LOVE to help figure out your quilting problems! If the shop can’t help, they will find someone that can. Honest.

If you don’t have a quilt shop near you, go online to see if you can find the answer to your problem, or send a message to a quilter via a blog or read a book – perhaps, mine? ¬†A little time to noodle on the issue might work for you, too. Don’t be afraid to explore possibilities. And if you are worried about messing up your favorite piece of fabric, experiment with some muslin, or old scraps until you’ve solved your problem.

Most importantly, remember it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s how we learn. I have quilts riddled with errors and almost every quilt I make throws me for a loop at some point or another – I really should plan more! But I’ve learned a lot. Some of my (ahem) older friends have been a valuable source of knowledge, too.

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C&T is giving away one copy at each stop along the way and today is your last chance to win a copy of Piecing Makeover  for yourself (printed copy in the U.S. and e-book outside the States). Leave a comment on the blog and we will announce the winners tomorrow.

Here’s the list again so you can check to see if you have won on another page. Winners will be chosen at random using random.org number generator.

9/12 C&T   http://www.ctpub.com/blog/
9/13  AnneMarie Chany http://www.genxquilters.com/
9/14 Jodie Carleton http://vintagericrac.blogspot.com/
9/15 Teri Lucas/Gen Q Magazine  http://generationqmagazine.com/
9/16 Sandi Hazlewood http://www.craftyplanner.com/
9/18 Kristin Esser https://kristinesser.com/
Happy piecing, everyone!

*edited on 9/20 – Congratulations to Sally for winning a copy of Piecing Makeover!