Thursday, September 21, 2017

Meadow Dance Blog Hop: Day 3

Get ready for more Meadow Dance inspiration! We've seen what Amanda Murphy has created with her new fabrics (click here if you missed it), and now it's time for some more fun! This week we'll be featuring four different projects using the gorgeous Meadow Dance florals and coordinates. Enjoy the tutorials, and make sure to enter to win a fat quarter bundle!







Today Sandra from mmm! quilts is here to share her quilt design, Ribbon Stars. Enjoy her tutorial and then head over to her blog to enter to win a fat quarter bundle of Meadow Dance fabrics. 

Here's Sandra:
Hello everyone! I am Sandra of http://www.mmmquilts.com/.  I originally named my blog Musings of a Menopausal Melon, because I'd recently retired early from teaching, was just beginning menopause and was musing about that and the new direction my life was taking, and was also blogging about my quilting. I shortened it to mmm! quilts when I started to gain readership, and the focus became primarily on quilting with occasional diversions, 😉.  So now you know where mmm! comes from. I was super-excited to be asked to take part in this hop for Amanda Murphy's new line, Meadow Dance.


I have been a fan of her designs and her quilting for some time, and I own her book, Modern Holiday, but this is the first time I've worked with her fabric. And what a line!  Love! In fact, I could NOT decide on just a few of the fabrics, and so I got a bit of it all because the quilt I designed is perfect to show how the various prints work so beautifully together.  Here is the quilt, Ribbon Stars, on a farmer's fence, in a meadow!
In case you're thinking, gack! an entire quilt? Rest assured this baby goes together in no time at all because of a very intelligent (if I may say so) construction method that eliminates several seams. The quilt measures 42.5 X 45.5". 

Fabric needed (based on 43" of useable fabric width) 
Background: 1 yard 
Star points: 1/4 yard of each of two different fabrics (Note that the four cornerstones in the border will be cut from the remainder of one of these fabrics.) 
Centre ribbon blocks: a variety of prints to TOTAL 1/2 yard, OR if you prefer to do all the centres the same with four colours only, then a 1/4 yard of each colour will do it. 
Border:  1/2 yard 
Backing: 1 1/2 yards (This means your quilt will just fit across the width of the fabric; if you prefer to have extra allowance along the sides, you will have to piece the backing, so 2 yards will allow for this.) 
Batting: a piece that is approximately 45X50"

Cutting 

Background 

Cut 2 strips @ 7 1/4". Subcut into seven 7 1/2" squares. 
Cut 4 strips @ 3 1/2". Subcut into 12 rectangles 3 1/2 X 12 1/2" and four 3 1/2" squares. 
Cut 2 more 3 1/2" squares from the remainder of the 7 1/4" wide strips for a total of six 3 1/2" squares. 

Star points 
Cut 14 squares @ 3 7/8" of two different fabrics for a total of 28 squares. 

Centre ribbon blocks 
Scrappy look: cut a total of 48 rectangles @ 6 1/2 X 2" which will make 12 centre ribbon blocks. Matching: cut 12 rectangles @ 6 1/2 X 2" of each of four different prints to total 48 rectangles which will make 12 centre ribbon blocks. 

Borders 
Cut two border strips 3 1/2 X 36 1/2" (or the width of your quilt centre) and two strips 3 1/2 X 39 1/2" (or the length of your quilt centre) 
Cut four cornerstone squares @ 3 1/2" from the remainder of one of the star points fabrics.
Quilt centre pieces all cut! No borders cut yet; might be an idea to wait to check your quilt centre measurements before cutting yours.

Sewing

Star points 
Draw a diagonal line on each of the 3 7/8" squares. I like to use my Hera marker. Lay two squares of one colour across the diagonal of a 7 1/4" square as shown below, left. The 3 7/8" squares will overlap slightly in the centre. Sew a scant 1/4" on either side of the drawn line. Cut apart on the drawn line.

Press the seams to the 3 7/8" squares (turquoise in my case). The units look a bit like a heart shape. Now lay a 3 7/8" square of the second star point fabric atop the background fabric at the bottom point of the heart shape unit. Again, sew a scant 1/4" on either side of the drawn diagonal line.

Cut apart on the that drawn line. Press to the star point fabric. Trim to 3 1/2 X 6 1/2".  You will get two of each orientation as shown below. Make 28 of these flying geese units. (Note that the quilt requires 27, so you will have one extra.)

Centre blocks Sew four 6 1/2 X 2" rectangles together to form the centre ribbon block. Tip for scrappy: I separated my rectangles into basically cool and warm colours, and then paired them up. Then I sewed the pairs together. This controlled the scrappiness a bit, and evenly distributed the cool and warm colours as well as the prints. The block should measure 6 1/2" square.  Make 12.

Quilt Assembly

The quilt is constructed in columns, not blocks. Lay out the pieces on your design wall according to the diagram as shown below.

Sew the pieces for column 1: a 3 1/2" square, a flying geese unit, a 3 1/2 X 12 1/2" rectangle, another flying geese unit, followed by one more 3 1/2 X 12 1/2" rectangle. Press the seams toward the background fabric, away from the flying geese units, or open if you prefer. Place column 1 back on the design wall; you can label it column 1 if you wish with painter's tape or a numbered pin. 

Now piece column 2: a flying geese unit, a centre ribbon block oriented horizontally, a flying geese unit, a centre ribbon block oriented vertically, a flying geese unit, and so on, but press the seams toward the centre squares. This will ensure opposing seams nest. 

Continue in this manner until you have all 9 columns pieced. Now sew columns 1, 2, and 3 together, pressing the long seams outward. Set this unit back on the design wall.  Now sew columns 4, 5 and 6 together, and then 7, 8 and 9 together, pressing as before. You will have 3 larger columns now.

Finally, sew these three columns together to make the quilt centre. It should measure 36 1/2 X 39 1/2". Borders Sew a 39 1/2" border strip (or whatever length your quilt centre measures) to either side of the quilt. Press to the border fabric. Sew a cornerstone to each end of the two 36 1/2" border strips. Press to the border fabric (away from the cornerstones). Sew these units to the top and bottom of the quilt. Press.  Your quilt should measure 42 1/2 X 45 1/2".

Quilt, bind and enjoy!  I free-motion quilted wavy flowing lines across the quilt but switched to vertical wavy lines where the ribbon centre blocks were vertical. I did a simple dot to dot design in the cornerstones. In the floral border I did a piano key motif, but just with wavy lines, not sraight! It gives a wonderful texture to the quilt and quilts up in about an hour. I used Floral Blender Turquoise for the binding.

Here's the back. I love pieced backs that are fun and give the viewer a surprise. However, for this quilt, I'd intended to use my favourite print, Wildflowers in white/multi as the sole backing, but when I got the fabrics, I fell hard for this one and so I cobbled together leftovers from the centre ribbon blocks to allow me to have the half yard of fabric I saved grow up into a cushion aka pillow or maybe a bag. So I got my fun quilt back after all!


This quilt has so many possibilities. I've got a rainbow rendition on the go (it was my pattern testing quilt) that has the ribbon centre blocks all the same using some other Benartex fabrics. Check out my blog to take a peek. There you will find links to the other two quilts that I've made from my pattern, one multi-coloured like this one, the other all in blues, as well as a superb giveaway! 

Follow along on all four days of our Meadow Dance blog hop!
Tuesday: Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday: Benartex blog design team
Thursday: Sandra @ Mmm Quilts
Friday: Chris @ made by ChrissieD


Click here to see our original Meadow Dance post. 
Click here to see the entire Meadow Dance collection.
Click here to visit Amanda's website and find her patterns.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Meadow Dance Blog Hop: Day 2


Get ready for more Meadow Dance inspiration! We've seen what Amanda Murphy has created with her new fabrics (click here if you missed it), and now it's time for some more fun! This week we'll be featuring four different projects using the gorgeous Meadow Dance florals and coordinates. Enjoy the tutorials, and make sure to enter to win a fat quarter bundle!


Today we're sharing two strip pillows using the red floral and coordinating red, teal and green prints from the Meadow Dance collection. One pillow features wonky angled strips--a bit of improv piecing--and the other features straight strips. Both are fun to make and both are quilt as you go! 


A look at the fabrics we used: 

You'll Need:
1/4 yard each of 5 prints
3/8 yard of red floral print
1 yard light red floral
Batting
18" square pillow form
12" x 22" pillow form

Cutting:
From each of the 5 prints:
1-2 strips in a variety of widths ranging from 1-1/2" to 3"; then cut each strip into (2) 21" lengths

From the red floral print:
(2) 5" x 14" pieces
1-2 strips in a variety of widths ranging from 1-1/2" to 3"; then cut each strip into (2) 21" lengths

From the light red floral:
(2) 13" x 18-1/2" pieces (for square pillow backing)
(2) 12-1/2" x 14" pieces (for rectangle pillow backing)
1-2 strips in a variety of widths ranging from 1-1/2" to 3"; then cut each strip into (2) 21" lengths

From the batting:
(1) 20" square of batting

(1) 14" x 24" piece of batting

Make the Square Pillow:
Step 1: Position 1 strip face up along the edge of the 20" batting square. Position a second strip on top, right sides together, angling slightly as shown. 

Step 2: Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Fold batting out of the way and trim excess red strip 1/4" past the seam allowance. 

Step 3: Press the second strip open. 

Step 4: Add another strip in the same manner, angling slight in a different direction. 

Step 5: Continue adding strips.

Step 6: Add strips until the entire piece of batting is covered. 

Step 7: If desired, quilt the pillow front. (You don't have to, because the top was assembled using the quilt as you go method.) Ours is quilted using straight lines at a variety of angles. Trim pillow front to measure 18-1/2" square. 

Step 8: Fold a long edge of each 13" x 18-1/2" light red floral strip over 1/4" and then 1/4" again to create a finished edge. Press and then topstitch. 

Step 9: Layer one backing piece right sides together on the pillow front, aligning raw edges. Pin in place. 

Step 10: Layer the second backing piece on top, overlapping the first backing piece. Pin in place and stitch around all sides of the pillow using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Step 11: Clip corners and turn the pillow right side out. Stuff with the 18" square pillow form. 


Make the Rectangle Pillow:
Step 1: Layer two strips right sides together on the 14" x 24" batting piece as shown. 

Step 2: Press strips open.

Step 3: Continue adding strips. Tip: You can pin strips in place on both sides to speed up the efficiency of the project.

Step 4: Here's what it looks like with four strips added. Measure after adding strips and trim strips (not batting!) as needed to keep everything straight. 

Step 5: Continue adding strips until section measures 14-1/2" wide. 

Step 6: Sew 5" x 14" red floral strips both ends.  Quilt as desired (we quilted 1/4" from each seam line). Trim to measure 12-1/2" x 22-1/2", making sure the red floral strips at each end are equal width. 

Step 7: Use the (2) 12-1/2" x 14" light red floral pieces to make the backing, creating finished edges along one shorter edge of each piece. Layer pieces right sides together on the pillow top, matching raw edges, and overlapping in the center. 
Step 8: Sew around the pillow edge with a 1/4" seam allowance. Clip corners and turn pillow right side. Stuff with the pillow form. 

Two pillows, ready to enjoy! 

For a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Meadow Dance fabrics, leave a comment below letting us know your favorite print in the collection. Giveaway is open through Saturday, September 23rd at 11:59 pm EDT. 


Follow along on all four days of our Meadow Dance blog hop!
Tuesday: Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday: Benartex blog design team
Thursday: Sandra @ Mmm Quilts
Friday: Chris @ made by ChrissieD

Click here to see our original Meadow Dance post. 
Click here to see the entire Meadow Dance collection.
Click here to visit Amanda's website and find her patterns.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Meadow Dance Blog Hop: Day 1

Get ready for more Meadow Dance inspiration! We've seen what Amanda Murphy has created with her new fabrics (click here if you missed it), and now it's time for some more fun! This week we'll be featuring four different projects using the gorgeous Meadow Dance florals and coordinates. Enjoy the tutorials, and make sure to enter to win a fat quarter bundle!


First up is Alison from Little Bunny Quilts, who picked a few favorite fabrics to make a Pocket Wall Organizer. Being organized is a wonderful thing, and having an attractive organizer is even better! Follow her tutorial and then head over to her blog to enter to win some Meadow Dance fabric. 

Here's Alison!
I'm Alison from Little Bunny Quilts and I am so happy to be back sharing a new project featuring Meadow Dance by Amanda Murphy! As I might have mentioned before, Amanda Murphy is probably my favorite designer so I feel so lucky to be able to participate in another one of her blog hops with Benartex!



I decided to challenge myself to make something new and am very happy with the results! Rather than being a pieced and quilted project, this project uses quilted sections to build a rather simple wall hanging with pockets!

You will need:
A total of 2 yards for the quilted sections of the wall hanging
     I used 1 yard of the aqua print, 1/2 yard of the large floral print, and 1/2 yard of the aqua/red print
1/3 yard for binding
     I used the aqua/grey print

Note: This is more that sufficient fabric for the wall hanging made below, but in case you want to scale up or make a mistake, I wouldn't start with less fabric than this. I found it was easiest to oversize my quilted sections and cut down to my desired size.



For the main background/base of your wall hanging, you will need a piece of fabric for the "front" and the "back" as well as a piece of batting. My desired size was 12" wide by 32" long, so I cut my pieces all an inch larger.



Layer your backing, batting, and main fabric and quilt as desired. Trim to the desired size of your wall hanging. I quilted mine with loops and trimmed to 12" x 32".



Repeat this process for your pockets. My three pockets are 12" x 8", so I cut my pocket fabrics and batting approximately 13" x 25". I found it to be easier to quilt one larger section and cut it into the three sections I needed for my pockets than to make three sections individually.



Cut four 2.5 inch strips for binding and for finishing the raw edges. Since my pockets are 12" wide, I cut one WOF binding strip into 14" strips for covering the top raw edge on each pocket piece. I sewed the strip to the piece exactly as I would for regular binding and trimmed off the excess. Repeat for each pocket. You do not have to worry about the raw edges on the bottom and the sides as these will be covered by the final binding.





Space your pockets evenly along the length of the wall hanging. For all pockets except the bottom, you will need to sew the pocket to the wall hanging right sides together as you would a regular seam and then press. Along the sides of each pocket and the bottom of the bottom pocket, stitch each directly to the wall hanging using a very scant 1/4 inch seam (my seam was slightly larger than 3/16" -- this will ensure that all of these seams will be hidden in our final binding.)





Don't forget to add some sort of hanging pocket! I used a 11" by 5" rectangle to create my pocket.



Add binding around the edge of your wall hanging just as you would any project -- I needed three strips for my wall hanging. There are times that you will be sewing through 3 layers of batting and 6 layers of fabric -- you will want to consider using your walking foot and sewing slowly! I also found it helpful to try to space my binding seams in places that did not have multiple layers of batting.





Hang as desired and fill with whatever your heart desires! While I made this with bright cheerful fabrics, it would be a great way to make a Christmas card holder as well! It's easy to start with this basic shape and modify it for whatever purpose you desire - you could modify this with smaller pockets to hold jewelry or larger pockets for sorting paperwork.

Follow along on all four days of our Meadow Dance blog hop!
Tuesday: Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday: Benartex blog design team
Thursday: Sandra @ Mmm Quilts
Friday: Chris @ made by ChrissieD

Click here to see our original Meadow Dance post. 
Click here to see the entire Meadow Dance collection.
Click here to visit Amanda's website and find her patterns.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Introducing Amanda Murphy's Meadow Dance collection

Meadow Dance is here! 
Amanda Murphy's new floral line is full of flowers, color, and machine quilting possibilities and we know you'll love it. Keep scrolling down to see the fabric and Amanda's quilt designs, and learn more of the story behind the collection. 

A look at a few of the fabrics: 


How would you describe the style of the motifs in Meadow Dance?
They’re more stylized. They’re the essence of flowers, but not literal—there’s definitely a human hand involved. The leaves don’t look like leaves, for example, and flowers aren’t necessarily shaded like mine are. I’ve said before that I like the push between modern and traditional prints—I think it’s a large part of art—the push and pull between realism and stylization.

Can you describe your color palette?
Grays are so hot right now, so I wanted to use them to play off the flowers. A darker gray to make the colors pop, but flowers that would also work with white. The new colors are the darker gray, oranges, and purples—colors I don’t normally use. Then there’s color continuity from my previous lines with the blues, aquas, reds, and greens. I spend a lot of time trading colors in and out in a design. I like the colors in a print to have a certain amount of push and pull—green in the red print, orange in the gray/green/aqua print. Those pops of color create interest in quilts.




How does your machine quilting play into your fabric design?
If you look at the swirls and scrolls in the Garden Path print, those are the shapes you use when you’re quilting. Garden Path is actually my favorite print—it looks totally different in the different colors. The red looks like a blender with pops of color.



This collection also includes a panel, which was created as a practice piece for ruler work. Ruler work for machine quilting is super hot right now. The panel works with two different rulers from Westalee—a border set and a feather focus set. You can use either one of those to quilt the panel using the guide. The panel also works really well with the Bernina Q-matic.



The crochet lace print is really wonderful.
I had actually drawn that a while back for another collection and realized it would work well here. It’s a great applique background—it has so much quilting potential too. I think it works well because of the contrast with the other prints. It’s very dominant, yet the boldness works with the rest of the prints.


Tell us about the bug print.
It functions like a dot print. I was playing with a round shape. Because it’s more geometric and the other prints are more scattered, it stands out. Some of the dots are ladybugs. You don’t necessarily focus on the bugs—they’re just design elements.



What about your blenders?
They’re all designs you can easily quilt on. You can move around on those swirls and spirals and do an allover quilt pattern that looks good. I also try to always include a geometric pattern that you can use to crosshatch on.



What about the little flowers?
This print has a 70s feel. It really holds up next to some of the dominant colors in the line. What’s interesting about that print is that if you hold the gray background little floral up to a gray tonal versus a contrasting color, it looks totally different. It functions like a bridge to other prints in unexpected ways.





Can you tell us about your Meadow Dance patterns?
“Meadow Paths” – This is the free quilt pattern available on the website. You can choose any blenders you like and it still works. They all coordinate with the border print, and I really wanted to use that border print here because it has so much contrast and drama to it.


Click here to download the free quilt pattern.

“Meadow Blooms” – I made this quilt with both dark gray and white backgrounds. There’s such high drama from the blocks. What’s interesting is the way the floral is functioning. It’s cut into pieces, but it really unifies the quilt. This is actually a very traditional quilt pattern, and it has great negative space to quilt in.





“Meadow Song” – This is a modern take on a Dresden quilt. It’s a pretty simple one block quilt, and pretty scrappy. It’s great for feathers—modern feathers work even better than traditional on this. I also made this quilt with a blue background, and the blue cools off the hotter colors in the collection.



“Meadowsweet” – This is a traditional applique quilt. It’s basically the flowers in the prints of the fabric line blown up. I used buttons for the flower centers.




“Meadow Minis” – This was designed for quilt as you go—you can easily quilt it on your domestic machine. I give you block instructions on one page and tell you how I quilted it on the other page. Each block is like a little project.


 There's also a coordinating thread collection from Aurifil

And embroidery from OESD!




Click here to see the entire Meadow Dance collection.
Click here to find the free quilt pattern. 
Click here to visit Amanda's website and find her patterns.

We're featuring Meadow Dance in a blog hop this week, so come back!


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