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I always think its fun to see how different quilts turn out with slight changes.  This is Flirty, by April Rosenthal.  The plus signs are Bonnie and Camille fabrics, from many different lines, including some solid fabrics.

The biggest difference is the background fabrics.  On the left is Essex Linen in black, which is more of a dark charcoal in color.  The texture adds depth to the quilt as well. Some of the threads are chunkier and remind me of a very thin strand of yarn. While others are narrower, small and more threadlike.  It was surprisingly easy to sew on.  I expected more fraying, but I didn’t have any problems.

On the right is the Bella Ice background, the texture is smoother, crisper and naturally brighter. A hint of blue makes this fabric feel fresh, cheerful and summery.  It’s a standard quilting weight cotton that is always easy to sew with.  I expect to use Bella Ice in several more projects.

The left quilt is named Gradient Patriotic because of the red, white and blue gradient or ombré layout.  Color placement is key here because the the reds and navy’s change to lighter tones of pinks and aquas as they progress to the white center.  I never expected to have bold reds and blues converge in a white center.  But, when I was sewing one day it just struck me.  This might just be kind of cool.  :)

The left quilt layout is a scrappy, toss in all the colors kind of layout.  I love scrappy quilts because I don’t need to make sure the colors are the same tones.  I toss in an orange and a limey green, red and whatever tickles my fancy. I can mix and match and use all my leftover scraps from other projects.  Often my scrappy quilts have a memory or two associated with them.  Fabrics left over from a project I did with my daughters, or fabric a friend shared with me.  A story.  I’m also a lover of stories.  Especially quilts with stories.

I love the bright clean look of white backgrounds.  I mean I LOVE them! I consistently return to a crisp, bright white in my quilts.  However, I realize how fun and even invigorating trying new things can be.  To step out of my traditional and comfortable habits and discover new things to love and incorporate into my quilts.

I’m encouraging you to try some new things.  A new color, texture or how about a new designer of fabrics.  You don’t have to give up your favorites, and I know it can be scary.  Do a test block, lay them out on your table to get a feel for things.  Or, imitate someone or something you see on social media.  As the saying goes, “Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.”

Have fun trying new things! :)

 

 

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!!

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I love to be the first person to talk to my children when they come home after school or work.  You know why?  It’s because I love to hear their stories!  They walk in the door full of excitement and life, I love to feel the energy and share in the tidbits and happenings of their day.  When one of our children was small they always seemed to have more ‘bad day’ stories than good or happy stories.  We asked this little person to share as many positive stories as they wanted and called them apples.  The negative stories we started to call onions, and tried to keep those to a minimum.  Over time we started calling those happy stories “pineapples”.  In challenging times we would ask our children to count their pineapples, which can also be translated into blessings or really anything good or positive in life.

I’m feeling a bit sappy because one of those small children is 19 years old now, and getting ready to start some adventures of her own. When she moves out of state in a few weeks I will be sending a pineapple mini quilt with her.  There have been some cute blocks popping up on Instagram that fit our pineapple loving family perfectly!  Jackie Padesky designed a pineapple block and kindly shared her pattern with me.  Thank you Jackie, they are so cute!!  Jackie’s pattern uses strips and has easy to follow directions.

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I ended up choosing scrappy blue fabrics that have memories and sentimental value for my daughter. This way if she ever does have a bad day she will remember to count her pineapples, and will also have a visual reminder of people and experiences to make her smile.  Since I went the scrappy route I had to do things just a little differently than the pattern.

Here’s how I made mine….

White fabric: cut six 3×3 squares; and two 2.5×2.5 squares

Main section of the pineapple: cut four 3×3 squares; and twelve 2.5×2.5 squares (pulled from my scrap basket)

Leafs: two 2.5×2.5 squares; and two 3×3 squares

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I laid the squares out to make sure I was happy with my choices.  You can see the 3×3 inch squares in each of the corners.IMG_5619

On your 3×3 white squares draw a light pencil line diagonally from one corner to the other.

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Take a blue 3×3 inch square and put it right sides together with a 3×3 inch white square.  Then stitch a scant 1/4 inch from both sides of the pencil line.

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Then you separate the squares and carefully cut on that pencil line.  You will now have two triangles.IMG_5623

Take those lovely triangles and trim them down to 2.5×2.5 inches.  You can use whatever ruler makes you happy.  I like this ‘folded corner clipper’.IMG_5625

Iron those cute trimmed squares open.  You will have four extra, which I plan to use for an additional pineapple block.  But they can always go back into the scrap basket for another project.  This is when I did my final layout and stitched all the blocks exactly where I wanted them to belong in the final quilt with 1/4 inch seams.

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I will quilt and bind this for her to take when she leaves.  Now I need to use lots of colors and make tons more pineapples.  This is a great scrap buster!