30 August 2019

The Finish Line: Moda Blockheads 2

It's taken me a long time to get this baby bound, but here she is! This is the Moda Blockheads 2 sampler--a free block of the month program from 12 Moda designers including me! Mine's a little crazy with all the juicy colors, reminds me of a fruit cocktail.
I used a bunch of my own fabric scraps from collections like Lollipop Garden, Garden Variety, Little Miss Sunshine, Sugar Pie, Nest, Farmer's Daughter, and Olive's Flower Market. 
Quilting by Marion Bott. It's hard to tell in the photography but the pantograph is wavy groups of lines. I'm not sure the exact name of the panto. Looking great as always, Marion!
If you'd like to make one of these quilts, you can access the free basic instructions, block patterns, and finishing instructions below. Pretty neat, if you ask me! Here it is, happy quilting!

22 August 2019

The Art of Quilt Binding

You could say I've bound a few quilts in my life... I have never attempted to count just how many, but I do know I'm well past the 100-quilt mark. When I first learned to bind a quilt, I learned to stitch it by hand--at a nice, leisurely pace. It's a wonderful activity, and while I love (and miss) the process of stitching the binding by hand, I have had to look for quicker solutions as life's gotten a little busier. I've learned a lot over the last few years, and am excited to share my machine binding process with you today.
As is the case with many crafts, there's a learning curve; it takes experience to get better at this quilt binding thing. As you implement these techniques, I'm confident you will see improvement on the next quilt you bind. And greater improvement on the next. It's not likely that yours will look like mine on the first attempt, but don't give up! Again, I've done this a lot and have been able to perfect this aspect of the craft. This is literally an example of practice made perfect.


Do you remember the Homestead quilt from back in April? (It was the $5 Pattern of the Month back then.) Well, if you were following me along on Instagram, I had decided to make a scrappy one using some of my fabric stash... here's how it turned out:
I've mixed my Lollipop Garden fabric with Wildwood by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton + Steel. I think they play pretty well together!
I had it quilted by Natalia Bonner with this lovely Diagonal Plaid Hexies pantograph. The texture is so good! Well done, Natalia! It's living in my studio for now--at least until October when some new stuff will inevitably take over. The pattern can be found in my shop here in PDF or printed options.
While I was binding this quilt, I decided to photograph my machine-binding process and share it in a tutorial found here. I hope you'll check it out!

14 August 2019

Garden of Quilts @Thanksgiving Point

Hey! Just checking in to let you know I'll be teaching at the Garden of Quilts event at Thanksgiving Point (Ashton Gardens) in Lehi, UT September 12-14. I don't teach very often anymore, but I made an exception here for this beautiful venue. I grew up in the area and distinctly remember when it was built. Needless to say, it feels pretty special to be invited to be part of this event. 
My Post Copy 2-5
I have a couple different classes I'm offering--the first is the Dishes quilt. Come hang out with me and learn a bit about the basics of curved piecing. If you've been nervous to piece curves, you are going to love it! The original Friday class (Sep. 13th 1-4 pm) is sold out, so we've added a Saturday 9/14 class 9 am-12 pm. Reserve your spot in the Saturday morning class here. (Registration closes Sep. 1.) Dishes is made with a Layer Cake (precut 10'' squares). The sample below is made with a Layer Cake of Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille for Moda.
Dishes quilt
For this class, I highly recommend bringing the Creative Grids Circle Savvy Ruler. It is AWESOME and makes cutting curves a piece of cake. Your other option is to bring template plastic and prepare your own templates from the pattern.
The other class I'm offering is for the Mini Open Heart Pin Cushion. This class is all about itty bitty piecing and will be held Saturday afternoon Sep. 14th 1-4 pm, registration here. Just grab a Mini Charm Pack (aka precut bundles of 42 squares 2½" x 2½"); and come join in the fun. Each Mini Charm Pack will yield the pieces needed for 3 pin cushions (including a scrappy patchwork back). Sample below uses Lollipop Garden fabric by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics.
Mini Open Heart Pin Cushion
If you'd prefer to talk to someone at Thanksgiving Point about ticket availability and event info, call 801.768.2300. Hope to see you there. Don't forget registration closes Sep. 1!

06 August 2019

Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts from 2 1/2'' Strips

Quilt: Cake Box
Fabric is Le Vintage Chic by AGF Studio for Art Gallery Fabrics
with Bella Solid in Tea Rose  (background) by Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen,  quilting by Marion Bott.
"Of all the places I have lived, New York City literally takes the cake. Weekends were spent exploring the city's vast food culture, indulging in its delicious offerings. I still dream about the decadent waffles from Max Brenner, the rich cookies of Levain Bakery, and the glorious banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery. It's a good thing I did so much walking in that city--many bakery visits ended with a cake box in my arms (and plenty of calories) to take home. Happy memories like these sometimes find a way into my quilting... This quilt reminds me of those cake boxes--open at last, with their sides flattened out as an invitation to partake of the delectable contents inside." 
     -excerpt from Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts from 2½" Squares 
September is just around the corner--which means my newest book will be releasing very soon. Guess it's time for a little preview. The book is called Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts from 2½: Stripspublished by C&T Publishing (Stash Books). Ask your favorite quilt shop to reserve a copy for you--you won't want to miss it! It's a sequel (sort of) to my first book Charm School - 18 Quilts from 5'' Squares, meaning it follows a similar format--but this time around, you'll find 18 quilt "recipes" where precut 2½" strips (Jelly Rolls) are the star ingredient.
Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts From 2 1/2'' Strips 
Jelly Rolls, by the way, are Moda Fabrics' fancy name for 2½" x 40" strips rolled up in a concentric, cinnamon-roll style (just as irresistible as the edible kind). Even though precut Jelly Roll strips are the inspiration for this book, I'll show you how easy it is to make substitutions using what you already have in your fabric pantry. But if you decide to go with precuts, I use Moda Fabrics' brand of Jelly Rolls as the standard since they always contain 40 strips 2½" x 40". (This is important to remember if you use a different manufacturer's version--be sure to check how many strips are in each precut package and make adjustments accordingly.)
Lollipop Garden fabric
Fabric: Lollipop Garden by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics
We'll start with basic techniques, and gradually work our way up to more advanced skills. Whether you are newer to quilting, or have a lot of experience, there is something for everyone to enjoy making.  
Marbled Cheesecake1
Quilt: Marbled Cheesecake
Fabric: Sunnyside Up by Corey Yoder for Moda Fabrics
with Grunge in Vanilla by BasicGrey for Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen, quilting by Allison Black.
Quilt: Sprinkles on Top
Fabric: Catnip by Gingiber for Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by April Rosenthal, quilted by Kaitlyn Howell.
One thing you might not have known about me is I'm a pretty avid baker and have been since I was little. All of the Jelly Filled quilts tie into my love of baking/sweets in some way or another.
Quilt: Cookie Cutter
Fabric: Return to Winter's Lane by Kate & Birdie for Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen, quilted by Natalia Bonner.
We'll explore concepts like strip piecing, easy corner triangles, half-square triangles, log cabins, and briefly touch upon some advanced techniques in the last chapter, just to get our feet wet.
Quilt: Parade
Fabric: Nest by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen, quilted by Marion Bott.
As you thumb through the book, you may recognize one of my oldest designs that has been resurrected from its out-of-print status--Heartthrob!
Quilt: Heartthrob
Fabric: Garden Variety by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen, quilted by Natalia Bonner.
One of my favorite chapters covers log cabin quilts. They're a classic and such a perfect fit when it comes to using up Jelly Roll strips because of that 40" width of fabric. I'm pretty sure I could write a whole book about my love of log cabin quilts and all the bazillion variations... maybe another day ;) 
Quilt: Parfait
Fabrics: Assorted Lella Boutique collections (scraps) for Moda Fabrics
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen, quilted by Allison Black.
The quilts will build upon the concepts covered in previous chapters (for example, strip piecing) to make a traditional idea (like log cabin construction) even more interesting.
Quilt: Potluck
Fabric: Feed Sacks in True Blue by Linzee McCray for Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen, quilted by Marion Bott.

Quilt: In the Mix
Fabrics: The Good Life by Bonnie & Camille for Moda Fabrics.
Pieced by Vanessa Goertzen, quilted by Marion Bott.
These are just a few of the quilts you'll find in the book (18 total!). I hope you've enjoyed this preview. Jelly Filled is scheduled to ship toward the end of September 2019.
Oh and a quick word about fabric choices... Because a book takes such a long time to write, most of the fabric collections shown are not current. While it's not impossible to find them and make the exact quilts you see, it can be a challenge. I find it sometimes helpful to keep in mind that many designers have signature color palettes which means it is likely you'll be able to find a similar collection in look and feel in the future from the same designer. But also, don't be afraid to add your own spin with something completely different than what I've made. That's half the fun! In November, watch for a Jelly Filled quilt parade showcasing some of the book's patterns reinterpreted by my designer friends. Stay tuned for more details.

01 August 2019

Kaleidoscope in August

I blinked and summer is already drawing to a close. August means school is starting + a new $5 pattern of the month is here. This time around, I've resurrected an old favorite made with a Jelly Roll--Kaleidoscope. September is National Sew a Jelly Roll Month; here's a head start for an idea.
The last one I pieced (above) uses Sugar Pie fabric, but has a very similar look to a mockup in Lollipop Garden (below).
Kaleidoscope LOLLIPOP2 
This quilt can be made with 1 Jelly Roll--or with yardage for a single-print version like the one below. I plan to make a solid version for my home very soon--after I figure out just which room will get it, so I can pick a color scheme. 
Kaleidoscope solid 
This pattern is definitely a fan-favorite and has gone through several reprintings over the years. Here's the original circa 2015 in Gooseberry fabric. This is one of those quilt pattern designs looks good dressed in any collection. 
kaleidoscope quilt
Speaking of Jelly Rolls, next month my new book rolls out: Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts from 2 1/2'' Strips. Can't wait to tell you all about it--there have already been a few peeks on Instagram @lellaboutique. Do you like Jelly Rolls? Do you have a favorite Jelly Roll pattern?