designer challenge

Quilt Blocks – (day 6) Miranda, out of my head studio

How are you enjoying the posts so far? Aren’t they all so wonderful? Today we have a mother and daughter duo from Out Of My Head Studio. Denise and Miranda (mother and daughter respectively) took one FQ each and each designed a purse!

The Miss Betty bag on today’s post was designed and made by Miranda, and tomorrow’s Miss Josie bag was made by Denise. I haven’t been able to pick a favourite of the two. I wonder if you will?

Let’s hand over to Miranda for today’s post.


An easy fat quarter friendly bag.

Start by  layering the outer fabric and batting (I used fusible batting) and machine quilting the entire fat quarter of fabric.  The triangle pattern made it easy to stitch along the print of the fabric.   Also I selected a magenta dragonfly  fabric for the lining.  This too was machine quilted to give it more stability.  Once done, I cut all 4 pieces of the purse, two outer bag pieces and two lining pieces.  Stitch across the top of each bag as shown, open and press.

Cut the purse pieces

Stitch one lining and one out bag together at the top

Flip and press seams open

Measure for placement of grommets

Mark circle

Cut out section of fabric and batting where you marked. Mark lining fabric and cut so you have four holes in each section of bag.

Match right sides together pin and stitch bag and lining. On each side.  Leave notched area open.

Next stitch bottom edge, again leaving notched area open and a 5 inch section in the lining for turning.

Make boxed bottom on  outer purse and lining  matching seams.

Turn and match up the outer bag and lining grommet holes, baste to hold all layers together.

Place grommets on each section of purse  – Almost done!

Make handles.  Ours are 64 inches long, on continuous long strip with decorative stitching leaving at least 2 inches at each end.

Feed through Grommets in Purse, making sure to have the best stitched area on the outside, then join as above.  Open seams and press.

Add decorative stitch where you joined.

Your Miss Betty bag is DONE!

Thank you so much to Miranda from Out of My Head Studio for today’s fantastic tutorial using just one FQ of quilt blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker. DOn’t forget to comeback tomorrow to see what Miranda’s Mom, Denise did with her FQ!

Quilt Blocks – (day 5) Katy

Today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. I had forgotten how old I was and added on an extra year, so it was nice to realise I wasn’t 38 this year but 37. It’s only a year, but it’s still better than I thought! It was my mum’s fault – she was sure I was a year older. Nice of her to remember the year her precious first born arrived.

Ellen Luckett Baker's quilt blocks

With the two FQs of Ellen’s fabric I got, I was already well into making my scrappy Swoon quilt with the swoon along support group on Flickr. It was practically set in the stars that a single swoon block was going to be my project.

Swoon Pillow

I pulled a couple of co-ordinating fabrics from my stash (kona cerise and kaufman quilter’s linen in charcoal) and got to work. I added a narrow border of the quilter’s linen and made myself a lovely big pillow, perfect for leaning on when I’m sat watching TV and doing some hand sewing on an evening. The binding was leftover from another project and is a buttery lemon voile – a happy coincidence that it matches so well with the bright quilt blocks fabrics (do you want to know a dirty secret? I haven’t actually finished sewing the binding on – it’s pinned to the back so I could take a photo. I’ve been too busy using the pillow to take it off it’s pillow form and finish sewing that binding down! Isn’t that terrible?)

swoon pillow

When we were at Quilt Market in October I picked up one of the freebies from Ellen’s booth – a roll of 4 layer cake squares – and I’ve been using those to english paper piece a small quilt (very small quilt) in preparation for my class at The Sewing Summit in October (if you are going to Sewing Summit and are thinking of taking my class, this is the pattern I’ll be teaching. At least how to make a start on it!)

ferris wheel

I absolutely love quilt blocks – I think it’s an incredibly versatile line of fabrics. It works well in large pieces, such as the swoon block, but also with very small pieces like the spring carnival english paper pieced quilt above. The large single wedding ring style print would be fabulous fussy cut, and I’m most excited to use the grandmothers flower garden print.

Ellen Luckett Baker's quilt blocks fabric

Quilt Blocks is going to be in stores in April. We’ll keep you posted as to where and when it arrives! I have a feeling this collection will be one of those that people really covet once it’s gone. My recommendation is – stock up whilst you can. As soon as it hits stores I’m buying it all (I may have accidentally pre-ordered a bolt for quilt backs. Oops) This is probably my favourite collection of the year so far (except Lu’s – hers doesn’t count though, it’s a given I’d choose hers as my absolute favourite for the simple reason that we are sisters from different misters). The large scale prints and the areas of negative space in some of the prints may make you think you’d find it difficult to use but I think this series of posts really has shown that it’s incredibly versatile and can be used in all manner of ways. One thing you might not get a sense of from the photos are how fantastic the colours are. It really is a wonderful collection.

More quilt blocks projects to come! Keep tuned to this station – don’t turn that dial!

Quilt Blocks (day 4) – Jacey of Jaceycraft

How are you enjoying the projects so far? Are you getting as excited as I am for Quilt Blocks to be in stores?

Today we are really excited to welcome Jacey to the blog. She’s a wonderfully talented sewist and quilter with huge personality. If you don’t follow her blog already make sure you stop by today where she’ll be sharing a tutorial for making the really handy iPad case pictured in this post.

I’m Jacey of Jaceycraft. I’m so excited to contribute to Fat Quarterly. I instantly loved the Quilt Blocks fabrics, and was inspired to use them in a quick iPad case. I’m sharing a tutorial for it today, and I’m so appreciative for the opportunity!

Many thanks to Jacey for today’s post. Don’t forget to stop by her blog for the tutorial and be sure to bookmark it for next time you need a cute gift! I think it’d make a great project bag for hand sewing projects, or embroidery too. Or as a handy ‘stuff’ pouch for inside your purse. I lose stuff all the time in the cavernous bottoms of my bags, if I don’t have a pouch of some kind for my keys, chap stick and hand cream I’d never find them!

Quilt Blocks – (day 3) Melissa, your handmade home

Fat Quarterly Long Threads Quilt block Challenge

By Melissa Davin-Smith

A huge thank you to Katy for letting me take part in this challenge. I had a lot of fun making this kindle case!! I mixed it up a little by making a cute pocket with the beautiful bright fabric.

You could also make this for your ipad or mobile phone by drawing around you object and adding 1/2” all round (1/4” for space and 1/4” for seam allowance)

Seam allowance: 1/4” or scant (5mm) where shown.

Materials: Lining: Tanya Whelan Grand Revival TW16 Darla Ditty Main fabric

: Vintage French Linen Pocket

: Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker – 2 colours (A and B)

Fusible Fleece 5cm elastic (I used 5mm wide)


Cut: • 2xlining6”x83/4” • 1 x lining approx 6” x 6” (pocket lining) • 2xmainfabric6”x83/4” • 2xA18”x1.5” • 2xB18”x1.5” • 2xfusiblefleece6”x83/4” • 1 x fusible fleece 6” x 6” (for Pocket)

1) Iron on fusible fleece to back of main fabric pieces

2) Cut A and B into 2” strips until you have 8 of each. (pic below) You should have 4 strips left over – you will need these.

3) Place A and B RST (Right Sides Together) and sew with a scant seam allowance. Do this for for all A and B pieces. Press seams to one side.

4) Now sew these A and B pieces to each other so you have 4 rows of 4 rectangles.

5) Sew these together to make a square and press seams. This will be your pocket front.

6) Sew over the top of the pocket piece – I sewed in straight lines.

7) Iron on the 6” x 6” fusible fleece to the back of the pocket front.

8) Place the 6” x 6” lining piece onto the back of the pocket front.

9) Using one of the leftover strips fold over to make into a thin bias binding and attach to the top of the pocket

10)*Take it further – see end of tutorial* Pin pocket to the main fabric piece.

11) Fold the elastic in half and pin to the top middle of the main fabric piece that doesn’t have the pocket.

12) Place front piece and lining piece RST and stitch across the top using a 1/4’’ seam allowance. For added strength zig zag (overlock) too.

13) Repeat for the back of the case and other piece of lining.

14) They should look like this

15)Place these pieces RST matching up the lining together and front/back together and pin all the way around.

16) Leave a gap of 3” on the bottom of the lining.

17) Sew all around excluding the gap and using a 1/4” seam allowance. Cut the corners to remove bulk (not as far as the stitches) Overlock all the way round for strength.

18) Remove pins and using the gap turn right side out – I use the end of a crochet hook to push out the corners.

19) Press well and turn in the end of the gap. Sew together.

20) Push the lining inside the case leaving 1/4” showing at the top of the case.

21) Press well and add your button so it lines up with the elastic loop on the back.

22) Stick your Kindle in it and admire!!

*Take it further* If you don’t fancy having a plain back to your case then you can add in the spare strips to the back of the case for a pop of colour. Apply fusible fleece to the back of them, cut the main fabric into pieces and add the strips wherever you like!

A huge thanks to Melissa for that wonderfully in depth tutorial.

How are you enjoying the projects so far? If you love this kindle case as much as I do, then head over to Melissa’s blog for a chance to win it! International entries are welcome. Don’t enter here – you must go to Melissa’s blog!

Quilt Blocks – (day 2) Jeni, in color order

Today we hand over the blog to Jeni, who can be found most of the time at In Color Order. Jeni is a fantastically talented quilter with a great eye for colour. Her class at The Sewing Summit last year was one of the most popular, and I was really excited to hear she is teaching again this year, which means I’ll be able to attend her class (and pass on her wisdom to you all too!)

When these lovely fat quarters of Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker came in the mail, I was immediately excited about sewing with them. The colors are so bright and fresh, just my taste! Now what to sew with them, I was clueless! I didn’t want to cut them up! In the end, new zipper pouches seemed just the thing! I like big pouches to use for handwork projects like embroidery, cross-stitch or English paper piecing. Plus you can never have too many bags, right?

Zippy Pouches!

I interfaced by bags with fusible fleece and added a little fun quilting before assembling them.  I lined them both with coordinating solids and added little zipper end tabs for an extra jolt of color.
They’ve been getting plenty of use already! :)

Zippy Pouches!

Many thanks to Jeni for today’s post. Aren’t those zipped pouches fun? You can never have enough bags – that’s the truth.

Zippy Pouches!

Be sure to come back in a couple of days for our next project.

Zippy Pouches!

All the details for Quilt Blocks can be found at Ellen’s blog. It is due in stores April, and will available at Fat Quarter shop amongst other stores (we will be sure to keep you posted as it starts to arrive on shelves!)

Quilt Blocks – (day 1) Kim, milkybeer

Ellen Luckett Baker is a wonderfully talented designer and sewist who blogs at the long thread. Her first collection with Moda, called quilt blocks, is due to arrive in stores in April, and it was definitely one of my personal favourites from Fall Quilt Market.

From the moment I saw it I knew we just had to have a designer challenge. Everything about Ellen’s fabrics screamed at me – the designs, the colours, the scale. It was unlike anything else I had seen at Market and anything else I had ever seen. I absolutely adore it, and think it’d be incredibly versatile. The large scale of some of the prints would be wonderful cut into small pieces, like I have done here with some english paper piecing. I added in a couple of solids and polka dots and let the colours shine rather than the patterns (for reference – the squares in this piece are 2″ finished).

ferris wheel

So, I put a call out for some volunteers who would all be sent the same 2 fat quarters from Ellen’s collection and let loose on creating something – anything. I thought it was quite a tricky challenge – just 2 FQs per person. Obviously I should have known better – when you guys are set a challenge you always come up trumps. I was totally blown away by the results, and over the next week or so as we share the different projects I think you will be too!

First up we have Kim with a tutorial for a bedside book pouch. Grab a cup of something hot , sit back and enjoy! I’ll hand over to Kim now….

Greetings from sunny Saskatchewan! (That’d be one of the flat provinces in the western half of Canada if you aren’t well acquainted with our lovely country.) I’m Kim from Milkybeer* and I am absolutely thrilled to be sharing this simple little tutorial with all you Fat Quarterly blog readers today.

When I saw Katy’s tweet about joining in on the Longthread Quilt Blocks Designer Challenge, I jumped at the chance to play along. I’m a huge fan of Ellen’s blog and her book, so I was pretty sure I’d love her new fabric too (and wouldn’t you know it? I was right! I love this fabric!)

I knew right away I wanted to make something that we would actually use around the house. One look into my daughter’s bedroom and I knew exactly what I was going to make – a bedside pouch to stash her pajamas and books.


My little girl is obsessed with books to the point where when I check on her at night, I’m almost sure to trip over any one of a dozen books she leaves laying on the floor! I’m
probably kidding myself that this pouch will solve the problem, but a crafty mother can hope – can’t she?

There are three components to this project: outer pocket (for pajamas), inner pocket (for books) and the anchor (to hold the pouch in place under the mattress). Here’s the cutting list for this project (length x width):

Anchor: cut one lining and one outer piece 40″ x 12.5″ (101 x 32 cm)

Inner pocket: cut one lining and one outer piece 12.5″ x 12.5″ (32 x 32 cm)

Outer pocket: cut one lining and one outer piece 11″ x 15″ (28 x 38 cm)

You’ll also need to prepare enough bias tape or binding strips to finish the two long edges and one of the short edges of the finished pouch.

A .25″ seam allowance is included in these measurements. Metric folk can probably get away with a scant 1 cm.

I went with an array of colours that I thought looked nice with the Quilt Block fabric and mixed them up so that each colour was only used once. Some of the fabrics can’t even be seen on the finished piece because they are lining the inside of the pockets, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding what fabrics to use.


Okay, now, have you chosen your fabrics? Are all your pieces cut? Yes? Let’s begin…

1.  With right sides together, stitch along the top edge (i.e. one of the short edges) of the anchor pieces. Turn the pieces right side out and press.

2.  Repeat the same process with the top edges of the inner pocket pieces.

3.  Stack the outer pocket pieces in front of you with wrong sides together and mark 1.5″ (approx 4 cm) squares on both bottom corners as pictured.


4.  Cut out the marked squares.


5.  Turn the outer pocket pieces right sides together and stitch around the squares and along the top edge.



6.  Snip a notch into the 90 degree corner of the squares so that fabric will lay flat when turned out.


7.  Turn the outer pocket right side out and press. The bottom corners should now look like this:


8.  Fold and press the three flaps of the outer pocket in toward the back/lining of the pocket as pictured.


9.  From the right side of the outer pocket, edge stitch along each fold.


10.  Neatly stack the three components (anchor, inner and outer pockets) aligning the bottom edges. Make sure the outer pocket is centred along the bottom edge!


11.  Baste the bottom edge.

12.  Align and pin the left and right flaps of the outer pocket making sure the bottom edge of the flaps are positioned just above the basted seam from the previous step.


13. Baste along the full length of the pieces on both sides.


Your bottom corners should look something like this once you’re done basting:


14. Prepare and attach binding strips or bias tape as you normally would around the unfinished edges of the nearly finished pouch. Hopefully you’ll be smarter than me and won’t position your binding so that a seam falls on the corner…can you say bulky?!


And…you’re done! Just tuck that anchor underneath your mattress and you’re good to go.

Thanks to Fat Quarterly and Ellen Luckett Baker for letting me play with such lovely fabrics. I hope you all enjoyed my little tutorial! Be sure to pop over to the ol’ Milkybeer blog and say “Hi!”

Thank YOU Kim, that tutorial totally rocks and was such a great idea from just 2 FQs. I told you we had some good stuff coming, make sure you stop by over the next week or so and see what all the other wonderfully talented designers have come up with!

*Want to know where the name comes from? I explain it here on my blog.

Aurifil Designer Challenge with Brioni

I had heard a lot of talk about Aurifil threads so jumped at the chance of having a play.

I had already made the pillow top from a little pack of 2 1/2″ squares stolen from Katy’s Houston Quilt Market haul so couldn’t believe that when i got some threads in the postthat they pretty much matched. A plan by the quilting Gods maybe?  A few more spools nabbed from Lynne when i was at her house at Christmas and i was all set.

I have never used Aurifil threads before so this was a great opportunity to fiddle around, see how my machine liked them and see what effect the different thread weights had on the stitches.

I quilted it by cross hatching the whole thing in the lighter weight thread, used a template and pencil to add the stars and then stitched the stars using the heavier weight threads. My normal domestic machine LOVED the threads without even having to fine tune the tension, and trust me that is quite impressive given my machine hates just about all quilting thread!!

I loved the hairyness (is that really a word?) of the heavier weight threads and loved how smooth the thinner weights were.

I needed more cushions like i needed a hole in the head but my sofa is now proudly sporting it’s new addition.

Aurifil Designer Challenge by Trudi

Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity for a little playing when Fat Quarterly asked for volunteers for an Aurifil Design Challenge!  For me that is equal to ‘Play Time!’  As a regular user of Aurifil, for piecing and free motion quilting both on my New English Quilter frame and in the traditional sense of free motion quilting, I was immediately curious if the heavier weight threads would play as nice as the 40 and 50 weight I’m familiar with.  I had a little scrap of Kona mid grey (not sure of the exact colour) which had been fused with a medium weight interfacing. Perfect! The 12 wt thread is thick, really thick, so I put in a size 100/16 needle and threaded my faithful Bernie to see how it played. I already had a 50 wt in the bobbin, (my choice of piecing thread and bobbin thread) and went for it.

You can see the difference in the needle sizes, it’s important to match the right needle and thread.
So I played a little with the thread, and ended up quilting all over the piece of fabric. What was particularly exciting for me was the texture that the quilting created, adding a whole new dimension to the fabric. Because of this, I was keen to turn it ‘into’ something, rather than just having a sample. And so a little zipper pouch was created.
I’m really pleased with the initial play I had with the 12 wt thread, because this really was just playing. Yes, I had a few issues with tension, but that is because I was using such a heavy weight thread on the top and too fine a thread in the bobbin. My Bernie has the bobbin tension set on the loose side, and the tension on top I adjusted to 0 as this was such a thick thread.

I have a plan for the other threads, and was thrilled the colours are right up my street!   What I really enjoyed was the simple act of ’playing’ with this thread.

Thank you Fat Quarterly team for the opportunity to PLAY!

Designer Challenge – fancy trying a curved ruler?

Are you interested in trying something new to the market?  Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful has designed a ruler called the Quick Curve Ruler.  Over a year ago Jenny discovered how a simple curve shape could make so many different quilt designs and so the Quick Curve Ruler was developed.

Jenny has designed six fabulous patterns using her ruler as well as one free pattern which you can find on her blog.  Here are a couple of her quilt designs:

Jenny has produced up 3 helpful videos on how to use the ruler which you can find on her blog.

Jenny and I are looking for ten willing volunteers to try out her ruler and see what they can come up with.  If you would be interested in trying out the ruler, taking some photos of what you have made for the Fat Quarterly blog and writing up a blogpost or tutorial on what you made, please leave a comment below and Jenny and I will pick ten volunteers and mail them the ruler.

Aurifil Designer Challenge with Julianna

Hi! I’m Julianna and I blog over at Sewing Under Rainbow.

A big thanks to Fat Quarterly team and Aurifil for Fat Quarterly’s Aurifil Thread Challenge!  When I got e-mail telling me that I’ll be participating in this challenge, I was very excited. I haven’t got opportunity to test such threads in the past (I use mainly polycotton threads of local manufacturers).  When I opened my Aurifil package:

I just knew that these threads are different than these I usually use!  I decided to make simple pillow and try machine quilting to show the beauty of hexagons. I used two colors of Aurifil threads (gray 1158 and pink 4020 – both cotton).

I’m really pleased with working with these threads. The details make huge difference! They fit spool pin in my machine perfectly, when I cut it using automatic thread cutter they don’t divide in smaller parts and sewing with them it’s absolutely perfect! Just look at the stitches and you’ll know why I love Aurifil threads:

I got also red wool thread – I’ll use them to hand stitch table runner (too late for this year’s Christmas): I’m sure that my adventure with Aurifil threads just begun!  I hope that soon Polish stores will have it and I’ll be able to buy it (so far only one on-line store has one color of Aurifil threads).