The second UFO that’s been on my list for almost a year…

Robin’s Wreaths,

a 5-part quilt designed by my good friend,

Robin Koehler of Nestlings By Robin.

It was featured in

AQ Magazine 2018-2019.

I had the 6 blocks complete pretty much on schedule

with the release of each of the magazines.

The tiny leaf templates were all cut out

& fused to the leaf fabric.

That’s where I stalled out when I got too busy with market prep this time last spring…

So this is where I began.

Trimming seam allowances & gluing.

Starting with the smallest of leaves,

then the little bit larger, small leaves.

It’s my own fault!

I thought it would be so cute made miniature.

I actually made the templates from the printed

size templates in the magazine instead of enlarging them 200%.

Next, to glue the tiny leaves to the 6 finished blocks.

An issue which came with making a smaller version of this quilt is the fact that I had to improvise parts of the design that were just too small to incorporate into this scale.

Some I turned bias strips into stitched vines & some I left off completely.

The blocks are still very full of applique!

Next, borders!

This was a great opportunity to use my new Cricut BrightPad.

Love this!

I’ve been using a very old & crude (but much loved)

version of a light box that my then college boyfriend

(now husband of 31 years)

made for me to use in my design classes.

Lots of little hearts were next.

Thanks goodness for my Apliquick tools!

These things are a life saver!

It took me all day,

but the borders were soon made

& ready for stitching;

applique by machine then embroidery by hand.

It was nice having some hand work to do while watching TV.

With top complete, it was time to contemplate how to quilt it.

I decided on a grid to complement the block background

so as not to overpower the tiny applique.

These blocks are only 5″ finished.

It doesn’t take much to fill them.

Then binding!

And voila!

It now resides in a place of honor in our kitchen.

LOVE it!

Love that I could finish it in this crazy quarantine period.

What are you working on?

Please share your projects & progress on my Sewing With Susan FB group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SewingWithSusan/

Please stay home & stay safe!

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

I’ve been having lots of fun playing with tiny heart blocks.

By tiny, I mean like 1″ tiny hearts!

Trust me when I say,

Mary Ellen’s Best Press is one of my best friends!

It doesn’t make the fabric stiff, it just gives it more body.

I just spray & press each fabric with Best Press before cutting

& I have no issues working with the tiny pieces.

I had so much fun that I didn’t stop with one…

Both quilts fit onto the Ackfeld 12″ stand.

Eventually I’ll make sleeves,

but I couldn’t resist using some cool (new to me)

vintage clips to hang them instead of a sleeve.

Please forgive me.

If you’d like to make them for yourself or a friend,

I put them on my website today.

Just 1 Tiny Dresden plate

(so easy!!!)

& just $10 + shipping.

You can also find the 12″ stands on my “Notions” page.

Happy early Valentine’s Day!

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

 

The final new pattern that I want to show you is the biggest

(& in my opinion the best!).

Dresden Village.

I love this quilt!

Lots of Tiny Dresden plates.

Lots of little houses.

Some big houses.

Some little dolls.

Some little trees.

Some new blocks, Tiny/Mini Dresden plates.

LOTS OF FUN!

This quilt is a great way to use some of those treasured

fat quarters (24) that you bought & don’t know what to do with.

Just add 4 background fabrics

1 taupe fabric

& 1 black fabric.

What do you think?

Want to make one?

I plan to have a quilt-along with this quilt!

Doesn’t it look like fun?

So, would you like to win one of my new patterns?

Just leave me a comment

telling me which of the 5 new patterns is your favorite.

3 lucky winners will get that pattern free!

I will draw for the winners Friday night by 9 p.m.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

 

There are MANY days that what I am working on isn’t photographable.

Lots & lots & lots of time goes into the process of making a new quilt pattern,

so much so, you have no idea!

Today is a day that I actually thought (& remembered as I was doing…) to take photos.

I’m working on a new quilt idea that has lots of Mini & Tiny Dresden plates (shocker I know).

What I was working on today involved making a single tree.

Yes, a single tree, ALL DAY.

Pretty sure I could have bought & planted a tree much quicker!

Not only that, this is not the first day that I’ve lingered over said tree.

I knew the finished size,

& that it would be a tree,

but I couldn’t get this tree to materialize, LITERALLY!

Today I jumped in and decided it would have templates.

Yes, I hate having to cut templates!

I like to start out running and be able to cut everything with my rotary cutter.

Don’t you?

Not that you can’t cut this tree block out with a rotary cutter, because I did,

not only the paper version, but also the fabric version.

Unfortunately, it’s not a certain size I can relate to you to cut.

I started with a version of a tree that I incorporated into my

“Oh Christmas Tree” pattern several years ago.

These trees are rotary cut,

quickly pieced, then trimmed to size.

I decided to resize this block to make it fit into the parameters of my new design.

I made a paper block.

Then I made another…

I stapled the seam allowance, lol!

How crafty, right?

Then “trimmed” it to the finished size.

Unfortunately I wasn’t crazy about it…

So, literally back to the drawing board…

I sketched out the finished tree that I wanted,

then I added the seam allowance to each piece.

Next I made templates & printed them out to scale.

I decided to sew the paper templates!

Why not?

“Pressing” them was quite accurate!

Next I needed to assemble the sections.

Quite simple.

So far, so good.

The finished block was perfect.

So, I gathered some newly acquired “vintage” fabrics & cut the pieces.

How awesome, right???

I sewed them just like the paper prototype.

And, voilà!

Exactly what I imagined, finally!

Now, after weeks of designing,

I’m looking forward to making the actual quilt.

If only I could decide on the fabrics, lol.

I hope you’re enjoying summer!

I love waking to the sun streaming into my sewing room once again.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

 

I hope you’ll be spending the day doing something fun

with people you love!

My trays of deviled eggs were made yesterday afternoon,

so this morning I am designing/sewing

a new pattern sample

& this afternoon I will be joining family & friends

to celebrate our country’s & my niece’s birthdays!

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

My next & last new pattern that I want to introduce to you is

Susanna.

I know what you’re thinking,

“Why didn’t she put MORE little Dresden plates on this quilt?”, right? Lol

Susanna started with the “Susanna” collection by Betsy Chutchian for Moda.

I decided to start with 2 of the blues to make Tiny Dresden plates.

Chain piecing is the best!

It’s a great time to let your mind wander

or listen to a good movie that you’ve watched over & over again.

The time passes quickly as I watch the Tiny Dresden plates emerge.

Soon I was auditioning more fabrics to join my TD plates.

If I’m not absolutely sure of all of the fabrics

I will make just one center (not even applique it down)

then make fabric decisions.

Once I narrowed that down,

I went to “work” making the center circles for all of the TD plates.

Not work at all, really.

I love to make the TD centers!

I know, how weird am I???

As a matter of fact,

I offered to make Loraine, one of my pattern testers’,

centers for the TD’s she was making to test my Jellyroll Gemstones pattern.

It took less than an hour

since I had the circles already cut in my little canister.

Pressing then cutting them into strips for easy trimming is key.

With a movie on, the time flies by!

Now before the rest of my pattern testers get in an uproar,

I’m happy to make your centers for you too!

Aren’t these fabulous?

Once my design was ironed out I needed to make a few more TD’s.

Have I told you lately that I actually use my rotary cutter

to cut the string apart & to trim the seam allowance?

Yup!

It’s so much quicker that using my scissors, but you better be careful!

Concentration is key…

And it doesn’t hurt to have some nourishment nearby at times.

The mindless making of the center circles also lets

my mind think of the next upcoming fabric decisions.

Oh but wait, there are more!

I actually took this project to our retreat at Rosemary’s the beginning of February.

No TV watching here,

just good conversation & good food too!

Aren’t they lovely???

In the midst of this project, Clare, our youngest daughter, bought me this cute cart.

She thought it would look nice in our booth.

It’ll be going with us to the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival next week,

but for now it’s looking cute in my sewing room with what’s left of “Susanna”.

More decisions….

and auditions….

and decisions…

and cutting!

Then some organizing.

What a treat for me to relive the process!

My camera is my best friend while I make lots of decisions.

Once I finally liked all of the blocks,

and sewed them together,

I had to make the border fabric decision.

And that decision led to

more Tiny Dresdens!!!

They’re just what the corners of this quilt needed.

I love the addition of the corner blocks.

They really add a lot don’t you think?

It breaks up all of the blue

and gives your eye something else pretty to see.

After Tamara once again did a lovely job of quilting it for me

Nemo & I set it up to be photographed by Scott.

I love the process more than actually having the finished quilt.

How about you?

What’s your favorite part?

 

Wanna win one of my 3 new patterns?

 

Your choices are either Dresden Feathered Stars,

 

Jellyroll Gemstones,

or Susanna.

Just leave me a comment telling me

1. What’s your favorite part of the quilting process?

&

2. What’s your favorite of my new patterns?

I’ll give 3 lucky quilters their choice!

I’ll pick the winners Sunday at 6 p.m. CST.

Until then,

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next new pattern that I want to introduce to you is

Jellyroll Gemstones.

The rainbow of color across this quilt can be made entirely

with 1 jelly roll of 40, 2 1/2″ strips.

 

This is Flower Garden Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings for Moda.

 

When I started this quilt I cut all the petals

& sewed them into a long string.

I encharged Betsy to keep them tangle-free.

She did a great job.

You can’t even see her beneath them all!

Next, I sewed & sewed, & sewed some more…

Eventually I had a nice array of plates.

I auditioned many background fabrics to complete my design,

but couldn’t find just the right one so they rested a while.

If you remember, I mentioned

that I picked up this cool Shedd’s Peanut Butter tin in Michigan

while traveling to teach at the Berrien Towne & Country Quilters.

It was the perfect place for the completed plates to hang out

while I did more traveling last fall to teach

& to vend & then attend fall quilt market.

In February at our retreat at Rosemary’s I got them out again

& auditioned more background fabrics & decided on just the right one.

So, I went to work & cut all the pieces for the blocks.

Then I assembled them into little kits for each block

so the color combinations wouldn’t be duplicated.

My new-to-me wooden tray was the perfect holder for the little kits.

& my new-to-me m&m’s (or Dr. Pepper) holder

from my friend & fellow retreater, Chris, now holds my bottle near my machine!

Soon I had a nice stack of blocks ready to have a Tiny Dresden appliqued to the center.

Soon after that I ran out of thread!

I use a lot of Sulky’s Medium Taupe thread!

Fortunately I had more thread, so I was able to finish all of the blocks.

Of course Nemo, my supervisor, was always good at

keeping an eye on me to be sure I kept working!

Laying out the blocks was next

& I soon decided that I had just the right colors in just the right places,

then I added the Tiny Dresden plates at the intersections of the blocks.

 

I decided a small sashing was necessary

to space the Tiny Dresden plates a bit farther from the blocks.

So another fabric audition was necessary.

I decided on a low contrast between the two fabrics.

Next, I went to work sewing sashing strips between the blocks.

 

Thanks again to my friend, Chris,

I numbered the rows with the pins that she made for each of our guild members last year.

 

What a great trick to keep track of the rows.

Nothing is worse than laying everything out & getting it just right,

then getting the rows mixed up & sewing a green block next to another green block!

My numbered pins now hang out in this clip-on pincushion on Betsy’s shoulder.

I don’t have to wonder where I put them!!!

Next, I appliqued the Tiny Dresden plates to the sashing as I assembled the rows.

Notice how the Medium Taupe thread blends well with lots of colors?

This saves a lot of time not having to change thread color for each plate.

Finally the quilt top was complete & beautifully quilted by Tamara,

then photographed by Scott, all being overseen by our late friend, Nemo.

I still have a string of petals hanging out on Betsy

just as they’ve been doing since September 4th as you can see by the calendar!

Eventually I’ll find a use for them too.

For now I just love them hanging out with me in my sewing atelier :)

Jellyroll Gemstones is now available on my website.

One more new pattern to go.

Until then,

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan