Observer Fabrics Preview


Have you ever seen something out in the wild, and wondered how pretty it would be to freeze that shot and frame it forever?  It’s that moment that is just SO good, you take in that extra long gaze and lose yourself a little…  Well when you’re April Rhodes, you take that extra step into permanence and create Observer fabrics.  It’s a collection of patterns seen out in the world…through the eyes of Miss April, herself.


It is such an honor to sew with an unreleased collection.  The initial reveal is always exciting, but I love to hear about the inspiration.  That’s why it’s so wonderful to work with April…as we collaborate together, I get to hear the story behind every pattern and every color.  With all of that information, it then allows me to dig a bit deeper in my design wheel well.


I was immediately inspired by the Homespun print.  It is based off of April’s love of weaving and fiber arts.  The 24″ x 24″ (finished) quilt is paper-pieced  to make every angle and line as sharp as can be. It utilizes mainly 1.5″ strips, making it very scrap friendly.


With Observer, the prints are either monochromatic or duotone and this quilt was designed to really show off the contrast by using the colorways, exclusively, in each quadrant.


As you get closer to the fabrics, you can see the little hints of metallic (yaaas!)  With this collection, April incorporated silver which looks amazing against the deep blues.  It’s always hard to photograph metallic, but you can see it in Triangle Tokens and on the Speck Stardust.


The background is Art Gallery Fabric’s Premium Linen Blend in Soft Sand.  It is such a great texture and color to make the design and colors pop.


With so much negative space in the piecing, a random application of matchstick quilting was in order using Aurifil 2310. The areas were split into quadrants, like the quilt design, itself.


The backing was pulled from April’s Wanderer collection.  Wandering Lands Mineral was the perfect print which really complimented all the tones in Observer and it shows off the quilting beautifully.

Stay tuned…this quilt pattern will be available closer to Observer‘s release in August!!!



April asked if I would help make some baby leggings as well and how could I not?!?  Ya’ll know babies are my business and LOVE the opportunity to make itty bitty gear.  These leggings are made with Overshot Gold in knit and they are so amazingly soft.  The pattern for the pants are from My Childhood Treasures.


I drafted a pattern for the hat from an old one I have.  Make it Love it has a great tutorial and pattern which is similar.


As an added detail, I used the selvage from a woven print on the back of the leggings.  It’s a great way to make a little tag so you know the direction of your hand-made garments.

Aren’t these clothes just perfect for the little bohemian in your life?



Last, but surely not least, is my mini quilt hoop (measuring about 2.5″ lengthwise.)  Making these quilt hoops has become one of my favorite projects and I cannot help myself when I have such amazing fabric laying around.  I love tiny (who doesn’t?) and love being able to use up every little scrap.


Of course, I used Dandelyne hoops and chose an oval to make a piece based of the main quilt I designed at the top of the post.  A little gold embroidery thread made this hoop extra special and I love how it turned out.

I hope you enjoyed my little preview of Observer which is due out in August.  Make sure to check out the full collection here.

Do you have any plans for these fabrics?  Please let me know!  I have a few already planned….maybe an envelope clutch, dresses for my nieces, shirts for my boys, and dresses for myself….I could go on and on!


Happy Stitching, Friends!


Kaleidoscope Quilt and Schnitzel & Boo (R4) Mini Quilt Swap Re-Cap


The Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap was the first swap I followed on Instagram.  I was pouring over the hashtag #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap and trying to figure out what the heck was going on!  This swap has the claim of being the original swap where you are blind partnered (the recipient doesn’t know who is the maker) to make sweet mini quilts and thus, it had over 1000 participants…wow!


I had the pleasure of making a quilt for someone that liked V & Co fabrics and happened to have charm packs of the newest Simply Colorful and Simply Colorful II lines.  With the popularity of this swap, I felt some pressure to make something pretty nice….so I thought a Kaleidoscope design would be perfect.  It’s very striking and is perfect for some rainbow action ;)

The Kaleidoscope is a traditional paper-pieced pattern I got from Quilter’s Cache.  This is an amazing website with tons of FREE patterns!  The original pattern finishes at a 6″ block.  In order to fit the parameters of a mini, I shrank the pattern to 47% of the original to create a 3″ block. (I don’t know why 50% reduction didn’t work, but a little playing around helped me get to the size I wanted.) To plan out the colors and layout, I used this coloring sheet I found by Debbie Kratovil.  I think every quilt designer should have coloring sheets with their patterns.  They make life SO much easier!



TIP: When piecing together the blocks, there is quite a bit of fabric that ends up at the center.  It is quite thick and can be a nuisance to quilt over later.  Initially, I tried to grade the seams and by luck, saw that I could make a little rosette by opening my seams  back a 1/4″ and tuck the seams under as shown above.


To finish, I used gold thread to quilt (insert heart eyes emoji!!!)  I just love using metallic thread whenever I can.  It just adds that extra “something” special and matched with the gold dot backing.  For the binding, what else would be better than MORE V & Co…and in Teal Ombre?!?  The ombre was fun to use and made this design really pop.


Kaleidoscope Quilt – Completed



In return for sending off the Kaleidoscope,  I received this beautiful mini with extras from  @amandafech. Isn’t it so fun with the primary palette and appliqué work?  I am 3 for 3 with great swap experiences….all delivered on time with amazing work!  Hopefully, all of you have had positive swap experiences or will decide to join your first one :)  They are lots of fun!!!

I’m going to be a swap mama soon so I hope these good vibes carry over ;)





Make a Mugrug from the Dwelling Quilt Pattern


When Holly Gets Quilty asked for pattern testers for her newest Dwelling Quilt pattern, I couldn’t help but get involved.  I first became familiar with Holly’s patterns through her Squash Blossom pattern I used in the Squash Blossom Bouquet mini.  She makes the most gorgeous quilts and I love how her patterns are so nice and clean…as well as beginner friendly. And this paper-piecing pattern does not disappoint!


When I received the pattern, I decided to first make the smaller of the two blocks offered.  It measures 4 3/4″ x 5 3/4″ unfinished and I thought it would make for the cutest little mugrug.


As a single block on its own, I wanted to fussy cut all of the pieces and bring out the literal design to resemble a home.  I dug back into the Cotton + Steel archives and pulled out some Homebody and Hatbox.  These fabrics created the most ideal walls, roof, street and even a little garden!


1 1/4″ strips were added all around  the block to give a little more area to the block.  I wanted enough room for my larger mugs and even for a little snack ;)  Riley Blake’s newsprint is my favorite text print (out of print, of course…but if someone wants to share any, let me know!) and it goes with the whole house theme, right?


I used a scrap of cotton batting and more Cotton + Steel for the back to complete the quilt sandwich.  Since you know I’m a straight line quilter, I just cross-hatched the mugrug a 1/4″ apart in a diamond pattern with Auriful 2030 and ….


To finish, you know C + S had to be using in the binding too.  Since this was such a small project, I used Cut to Pieces glue binding method to secure the binding into place without the use of Wonder Clips.  It was fast and I top-stitched the binding all around.  I can never get even amounts of the back binding with “stitch-in-the ditch” method, so I sewed about 1/8″ inward to help me with my OCD…

This was a nice quick project you could have completed in an afternoon.  Holly’s Dwelling Quilt pattern is simple and pre-cutting the pieces (measurements provided!) will help cut down on quilt time.  Are you ready to make your mug rug?!?

Check out these Instagram hashtags for more inspiration: #DwellingQuilt #HollyGetsQuiltyPatterns


Hugs and Stitches,


What to Do When You Forget to Pre-Wash High Contrast Colored Fabrics (in a Quilt)

What to Do When You Forget to Pre-Wash High Contrast Colored Fabrics

After picking the high contrast fabrics for one of my latest quilts AND after cutting into it AND after piecing it…I realized I should have pre-washed it!  How was I going to prevent bleeding on my project???

When I thought to pair magenta, black and white fabrics together in my recent Jacks Quilt, the thought of pre-washing never crossed my mind.  For quilts, I am not a pre-washer and so I went about my normal way cutting and piecing until it hit me…that all the saturated colors could bleed onto all of that white! I wanted to cry in that moment because there was NO way I was going to buy new fabric and start over. My pockets and my sanity wouldn’t allow it since I had cut hundreds of pieces already.  I couldn’t wash all the  small pieces I had because the threads would fray and there would be considerable size distortion…

I know there is a divided camp among those who always pre-wash fabrics no matter what and those who don’t.  Personally, I don’t wash because I DO love that crinkly texture after a quilt is finished and then laundered.  Also, many times I make quilts that will be photographed and need that crisp color that is fresh off the bolt. Which side of camp do you belong to?


So off I went to find out how I could prevent any bleeding from occurring.  I consulted with a few quilty friends and good ol’ Google to see what was out there.  Synthrapol kept coming up as the go-to detergent to help dyes from re-depositing back onto the quilt. I also received many recommendations to Shout Color Catchers for this dilemma and to use in pre-washing going forward.  I decided why not try both products since I didn’t want to chance ruining my new quilt?


I followed the instructions on the bottle of Synthrapol to use only 1 tablespoon for my quilt without any additional detergents.  I did add two Color Catchers into the load as well.  Why two? I figured the magenta and black fabrics held such strong pigments that two catchers might be needed. As you can see, both Color Catchers did their jobs and caught a good bit of dye (Sigh of relief!)


The quilt came out without any bleeding…which I was still astonished to see despite my efforts.  The image about is after washing.  You can see there were no runs with the magenta or the black dyes onto the white.  Hallelujah!!!


I flipped over to the back of the quilt to see if there might be any bleeding there as well.  It was completely clear!  The Synthrapol and Shout Color Catchers worked!

Although I’m glad this all worked out, my lesson has been learned to pre-wash high-contrast fabrics next time.  I plan to still use these products for washing all quilts afterwards…just in case ;)  What do you use to wash your quilts???


Hugs and Stitches,



***I was not sponsored for the content of this post. All opinions and experiences are my own and have not been influenced by third parties.

***This post may contain affiliate links.  The nominal compensation helps keep this site safe and running.

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop – Hanging Flags Tutorial


What’s better than being part of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers? It’s that, PLUS the chance to play with some beautiful Fabri-Quilt Prairie Cloth Solid Fabrics AND take part in a few charity quilts! There are GIVEAWAYS happening today through Thursday!!! (Scroll down for details.)


Our gracious hosts, Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, Stephanie @Late Night Quilter and Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination, along with Fabri-Quilt have provided the opportunity for over 60 of us to develop a custom block with this gorgeous Summer Watermelon bundle of Coral, White, Aqua, Chartreuse, Turquoise, and Lapis Blue.

Fabric Pull

We were all challenged to create a 12″ (12.5″ unfinished) quilt block with only these 6 fat-eighths and use at least 3 colors.  We needed to provide a full tutorial for all of our cyber quilty friends and make them in time for this hop ;)

The task seemed easy enough…until I had to settle down on my plan. Do I go simple or complex? Paper-piece or traditional piecing? Use all of the colors? Maybe not…but which ones then? I had so many ideas but only so much fabric…


But then I came upon this image of vintage dinnerware from a local upscale thrift shop downtown called Grandview Mercantile.  It was screaming, “Make me into a quilt!” and…I said, “Yes.” ;)  I love the idea of stacking the geese (triangles) right on top of one another with the sashing.  It is a simple design for a beginner (both for quilter and for author!)

For this exercise, I decided on a diagonal layout  of the geese since this block was going to be one of many in the charity quilts.  The spaced out color would be more versatile than my initial assymetrical idea.  I still plan to make a full quilt like the dinnerware eventually…


Block instructions:

  • Gather the following fat-eighths: Fabri-Quilt White, Coral, Chartreuse, Lapis Blue, & Aqua  ***It is recommended that you launder these fabrics BEFORE cutting to ensure accurate sizing on your block***
  • Print 2 Paper-piecing pattern sheets (4 Flying geese templates total) –> Hanging Flags Bock_Geese Template
  • Use 1/4″ seam allowance

Cut the following:



  • (1) 3.75″ HSTs of each color (4 total)
  • (2) 3″ x 8.5″ of white
  • (8) 3.5″ Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) of white
  • (2) 3 x 2.5″ of white
  • (2) 3″ x 6.5″  of white
  • (1) 1″ x 12.5″ strip of ea color




Paper-piece with flying geese template


  • Take one color triangle and place it behind the printed “1” so that there is 1/4″ seam allowance all around the triangle. *It’s ok if there extra which hangs beyond the template. It will be trimmed later.


  • Pin in place (This helps the HST from shifting)


  • Take a white triangle and match up to edge of color fabric. Sew into place on line underneath where fabric overlaps. Flip it out and press.


  • Do the same on the other side of the color triangle


  • Trim excess fabric. Flying Geese should measure 3″ x 4.5″ (including seam allowance)


Assemble the block as shown:


  • Attach the sides to the geese to make (4) 3″ x 12.5″ strips.  I still have the paper intact at this point.  You can remove at anytime, but I kept them on to sew the sides to keep the geese more stable.


  • Add the matching sashing to geese strips. *Go slow and stead to ensure nice straight lines


  • Sew all strips together. Iron seams in toward sashing. Give the block a final press.

Voila! You have made the Hanging Flags Block :)





For more information on the Fabri-Quilt New Block Hop:

*There is an additional Giveaway on Fabri-Quilt’s block today. Check them out by clicking the image below.

2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

To see more blocks using this same bundle, head over to the following blogs:

(These are all amazing designs…Enjoy the block hop and the chance to win some of this fabric on Cheryl’s page!)

Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Josi @Avocado Quilts
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Cristy @Love You Sew
Sarah @Sarah Goer Quilts
Shelly @The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts
Jayne @Twiggy & Opal
Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio
Adrian @Making It – Family Food Quilts Crafts
Julie @Pink Doxies
Sarah @123 Quilt
Jane @Jolly and Delilah Quilts
Carrie @The Zen Quilter


***The blog hop was sponsored and fabric was provided by Fabri-Quilts.  All opinions and block design are my own and have not been influenced by outside parties.