The reason I put my name into the pattern testing pool is because I get to try new things.  Sometimes my skills will be tested and tried, like when I do paper piecing or stitching with curves.

I’m definitely NOT a pro at curves.  I can check that box ✔️as done!  Wahoo!  Next time I will be honing a skill instead of learning a new one.

This is Mini Picnic by  Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I love this!  I felt so accomplished when I was done.  This is actually quilted and bound, but not a picture to be found.  I love how this turned out!FullSizeRender

This is the full size version, Chic Picnic.  And yes, this is still laying in a corner of my family room…. But that corner is really pretty!

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There is usually a deadline which helps me stay focused and practice time management.  Most of the time there is a distant deadline and easily achieved goals.  Once in a while there is a ‘quick turnaround’.  I like both challenges, if I can fit them into my schedule.  I love Nicole’s patterns from LillyElla.  This is Litter Blox and is easy peasy!  Floral kittens (who knew they could be so dang cute?)  and my first time sewing with Essex Linen (Steel).      I was able to sneak some of my favorite scraps into this one.

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I experiment with new colors and textures.  Moda has released solids bundles that match designers fabric lines.  I was fortunate to sew a sample for a local quilt shop.  I didn’t imagine how in love  💛💗💚   I would be with the Popsicle quilt by Fig Tree.  I’ve got to sew more often with low volume backgrounds!  And solids too!

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This Spool Sampler was perfect to make a mini and try my hand at these darling designs by Bonnie at Cotton Way.   I got to practice my points and it wasn’t bad when I used my seam ripper- there were only four blocks!  Not a big deal if I made a mistake.  (Perfect Points are my achilles heel!)

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I am reminded that quilting can be fun, simple and a breeze.  This is a new pattern by Samantha Green at For the Love of Fabric called Junction.  My husband was deployed and life was feeling a little large, I guess.  This pattern was so good for me.  It came together quickly and I remembered how enjoyable sewing is.  This block is 30 inches!  It is getting a border and going to a new baby.  (Anything to get to hold and smell a new baby!)IMG_4098

If you have the chance to do some pattern testing…  you should!!  It could be scary and challenging, but how will you know what you like and don’t like?  What a better way to learn new things?  Be brave and give it a shot!!

FullSizeRenderNicole at LillyElla Stitchery made another great pattern, named Love Story.  Love story has two options- Poetry and Prose.  I made the Poetry version in the 10 inch and 16 inch size.  The picture below is from Nicole’s blog, Poetry is the pink and white block, while Prose is the navy and white block.Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 2.10.28 PM

I followed the directions in the pattern and made my blocks in shades of red, pink and aqua.  Then they became the front side of a couple of pillows.

Supplies for the 16 inch pillow:

10 inch block

fabric (estimating 1/2 yard, but this was in my stash)

pillow form (this one is 16 inch)

TIP:  I like to cut my fabrics about 1 inch larger than the size of the pillow form.  This gives me 1/2 seam allowance and a little wiggle room if I need or want it.

In this case I decided to frame the heart with some red Riley Blake fabric by Carina Gardner.  I added four inches to each side, then trimmed down to my 17 inch goal.IMG_1349

The back is done a little differently because I do overlapping flaps. Just in case I ever want to wash the cover, or put a new one on the same pillow form.  For the back I cut 2 pieces of fabric 17 inches x 11.5 inches.  Take them to the iron and press the long side down 1/2 inch.  IMG_1372

Take that same edge and fold it over 2 inches and iron flat.IMG_1373

Stitch this down about a 1/4 inch from the edge.  It makes a nice finish and holds the folded edges in place.

Then take the front side of your pillow and lay it face up.  Then take one of the back pieces and lay it face down, directly on the front.  I put this first section on the bottom half of the project.IMG_1375

Then you take the second back section and lay it face side down, matching corners and over the TOP of the first back section.  Pin in place.  Stitch 1/2 inch around the entire project.IMG_1374

Sniped all the corners, just a bit.  Then when you turn it right side out the corners won’t have the extra bulk. IMG_1376

Stuff the pillow form inside of your freshly minted pillow cover.  Wiggle and push – you know like you are stuffing your post Thanksgiving body into jeans!  (giggle!)   Here is the back- the flaps overlap and hide the pillow form inside.IMG_1377

Here are the two sizes I made…. The blue one moved into our house for Valentine’s Day.  The red one is going to a friend who is having a wedding in a couple of weeks!FullSizeRender

I love pattern testing for Nicole, this pattern has lots of choices- I love choices!  They are easy to follow, so even a newbie can give them a try. :) Go check out Nicole’s patterns, she has some cute ones!!