Monday, November 27, 2017

Quilter #50 - Lovingly, Lissa

Hello, Everyone out there in Quilt World!

I'm Lissa from Lovingly, Lissa.  I am an emerging pattern designer with my first publication happening this January in Make Modern Magazine.  I am also a wife and mother to three, all of whom are wonderful supporters and help as I enter the quilting world.

This week I'm going to share my favorite quilt with you. The Emoji Quilt.  I'll be doing a tutorial on instagram under @52quilters and at the end will have the tutorial on my blog,


Every year the school district has a silent children's art auction.  Each classroom creates an art piece that is auctioned off.  I volunteered to help create my son's 5th grade class piece and thought a quilt would be fun.  The students could design the blocks and then help sew them together.

I offered them a few design choices and they unanimously voted for emoji.  I gave them each a template and ask they draw and color any emoji they want.  Immediately a hand shot up, I looked at the child and before he even opened his mouth said "No poop emoji" he sighed and lowered his hand.  LOL!

The kids were great.  They were surprisingly very excited about creating this quilt.  After I  had appliqued each block I brought them in to show.  The class applauded and cheered as I held each one up.  I told them I would be back to have them each sew a seam or two to put the blocks together.

Sadly, the day I was to start sewing with them I received a phone call that my son had fallen in gym.  I brought him to the urgent care to find out he had a nasty concussion.  He was home for two weeks.  I apologized to the class that since we were on a time schedule I would have to sew the quilt myself.  They were more concerned about my son (especially some of the girls).

The quilt was finished and put up for auction.  I tried to start a bidding war to get the price up and then realized, I wanted the quilt back.  I won the bidding war and the quilt came home with me and now resides on my son's bed.  He was thrilled to have it and made sure to rub it in to some of his classmates who were sure their parents would win it.  ;)

This quilt has to be the most fun quilt I have ever made.  Each child designed three emoji and I picked one for the quilt.  Transforming their drawings to a quilt block brought me so much joy.  Their excitement over the quilt was quite contagious.  And the smile on my son's face when I walked in the door with it was priceless.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial for a 14" pillow to make with a young one you know.  At the end of my week I will post the measurements I used on the quilt.  You can see pictures of the quilt in progress on Instagram with #emojiquilt

You can also follow me on Instagram, @lovinglylissa and my blog,  If any questions about the tutorial come up, feel free to email me, 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Week #49 -- It's Mary Huey's Turn!

Hi, I’m Mary Huey – not just Mary, always Mary Huey even to my closest friends because there have always been so many “Mary’s” surrounding me.  I’ve been planning my takeover of @52quilters for a couple months and am looking forward to connecting with more quilters so thanks for checking out my introduction here at 52 quilters!!

I love to cut fabric up and sew it back together! 
During my 40-plus years of quilt making, I’ve owned a fabric shop for 26 years, taught for over 35 years, and made I don’t know how many quilts for my family, friends, and to bless people in tough situations.  When I’m not making a quilt, I’m watching birds and walking or knitting a small project like socks (love to turn the heel!), or working on my husband’s family genealogy. 

In the early days of my shop, I taught beginners how to quilt using Mary Ellen Hopkins book, It’s Okay If You Sit On My Quilt and since closing the shop, I’ve worked as an educator with Marti Michell’s expansive line of rotary cutting templates and tools.  Now I’m obsessed with set-in seams thanks to a clever student (another Mary) in upstate New York who spontaneously figured out how to chain piece through y-seams and shared her idea with me.  (Did she just say y-seams and chain piece in the same sentence? Maybe you better go back and read that sentence over.) Yep, that's what I said -- chain piece through y-seams!! I’ve spent the past five years perfecting and teaching this skill and will share some of that with you this week!
This is the first quilt I finished using what I have dubbed as the “set-in piecing simplified” technique.  I love scrappy quilts and sourced all of the fabric for this one out of my usually bulging 2½” strip box (the home of most leftovers in my studio).
This is the most detailed quilt I’ve made the technique – a reproduction of an antique quilt I saw displayed locally about 10 years ago. 
That's a lot of 1” hexagons, all machine pieced and machine quilted!!
I love 8-pointed stars and the y-seam technique is perfectly suited for those as well.  This quilt was inspired by the abundant and varied ferns of New Zealand on a long walking vacation there in 2007.
I’m always experimenting to see how the technique works with new block designs and tools so I’ll be sharing several of my recent experiments with you this week on Instagram!  My version of Jen Kingwell’s Glitter is a good example of one of my successful experiments. 
So come along over to @52quilters on Instagram and hang out with me this week!
Mary Huey

#48 Abby Walls: The Modern Fair Isle Quilt

When I was an art teacher, I became really interested in knitting. It was something I could do with my hands while I watched TV and at first I could turn off my brain while I worked. Soon, however, I wanted to learn more and try some new techniques. Fair Isle knitting became my favorite! I loved knitting in the round and watching a pattern emerge. It was so addictive and I had to keep going! Just one. more. row.

This pattern is inspired by those knitting patterns. Each square is like a stitch, each row like a piece of variegated yarn. And putting it together is just as fun as knitting fair isle. Just one. more. block!

I drew up a chart (above) to help me follow the pattern and I'm sharing it in case you would like to try it out! There are 25 numbered blocks and I'm using 4" squares to make a 100" square quilt but this would be easy to size up or down by changing the size of the squares you cut.
First, I cut squares of each color of Kona cotton and lots of white squares. I cut my fabric to 4.5" squares so they would be 4" once they are pieced.

I used the following colors:
Kona Red
Rich Red
Grass Green
Basil Green

I think this quilt would look amazing in icy blue colors or bright colors with a black background!

Next, I laid out and pieced one block at a time and labeled them with a scrap of paper with the number from the chart. Once I got a few blocks done I started putting them together to piece the top.
I wasn't able to finish the top this week 😔 Life got away from me but I'm hoping to have some time after Thanksgiving! If you would like to see my progress, I'm on Instagram @crafty_abby and I'll post pictures there! If you decide to make one, I want to know! tag me and hashtag #modernfairislequilt.

Thanks so much for following along this week!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 Quilter #48: Abby Walls

Hello! I'm Abby Walls and I live with my husband and 3 boys in Xenia, OH. I work full time at a dental office as a Marketing Director and try to find time on evenings and weekends for sewing.
I've always been a "maker" but the desire to create has taken various forms for me over the years. When I was a kid, I spent most of my time learning how to sew, knit, draw and paint. I decided I wanted to teach others to create and went to college for Art Education where I had the opportunity to learn about lots of mediums and ways to make art. While most of my classes focused on fine arts more than functional, I found ways to incorporate fabric into my projects regularly. I always seem to land back in front of a sewing machine!

There's something magical about making something out of nothing. Yarn and needles become socks, beads and wire turn into a necklace, a lump of clay is spun into a pot, and fabric and batting is stitched into a functional and beautiful quilt. It's been the driving force of my life. I always have the next project in mind... and usually the one after that too!

I'm so grateful to be part of this community! The internet is an amazing tool for artists and Instagram has been invaluable for connecting me to other quilters and learning about what's out there and what's possible. Arts and crafts connect us, in so many ways, through history and across the world. I hope to connect with you on Instagram! Come visit me @crafty_abby!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Quilter 47: Melissa Shields - The Quilting Room with Mel

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to be here at 52 Quilters this week.  I love to meet new quilters!  So are you ready to learn a little more about me?

The Quilting Room with Mel is my blog and quickly becoming my life.  The Quilting Room was the name of my mom's business.  She did longarm quilting and custom quilts for people.  Mel is a nickname that I was given in college by a friend's little sister.  It has stuck and I'm OK with it.  I'm more likely to answer to Mel than I am Melissa nowadays.

The other day on Twitter a friend asked me when did I start sewing.  It took me almost two days to form that response.  Some of my earliest memories are of sewing.  My mom or grandma would give me fabric scraps to sew together.  They would also give me plastic canvas and yarn to work on even hand stitching.  I hate hand stitching today.  After my mom passed away I didn't do any more quilts.   Quilting didn't leave my life though.  My uncle and aunt ran a quilt shop and both grandmas were still quilting.  I still sewed garments for 4-H and made home decor items but nothing quilted. I think I knew deep down that I was a quilter but I tried to silence that inner voice.  I took a Craftsy class on how to turn a picture into a quilt a few years ago.  I decided I would make a quilt for a breast cancer, what my mom died from, fundraiser we were doing.  We had taken photographs of the dancers for the first couple of years.  I posted the picture on my old blog and the response was overwhelming.  My email was flooded with questions on how to do it.

This is the quilt that birthed The Quilting Room with Mel.  I knew quilting was more than my craft and cooking blog could handle.  I didn't know how right I was.  I have since stopped blogging about general crafts and recipes and am focused on quilting.  My husband joins me on the blog with posts about maintaining and fixing vintage sewing machines.  We currently have close to 125 sewing machines ranging in age from 1882 to 1982 plus a modern sewing machine, a modern serger, and an embroidery machine.

Click on photo to learn more about vintage sewing machines.

I like to share how to make individual quilt blocks so that quilters can design their own quilts based on those blocks.  I also share a lot of tips to help make your quilting easier.

Click on photo for tutorial

I haven't completely left my love of home decor either.  I like incorporating quilting into my home decor because at some point I know I will run out of beds for quilts.

Click on photo for tutorial 

 Don't forget to follow along on Instagram this week so you can see what I am up to this week!