Jolly Bar Jazz Quilt

I have the distinct pleasure of participating in a blog hop to introduce The Fat Quarter Shop’s Jolly Bar Jazz quilt pattern. If you want to see more examples from the blog hop, you can head over to the Jolly Jabber Blog!

I’d also like to add that

In case you were wondering, a Jolly Bar is a pre-cut exclusively available at the Fat Quarter Shop. It measures 5” x10” or half a layer cake. This pattern uses 2 Jolly Bars and some background fabric yardage. I chose Zen Chic’s True Blue. The colors fit my living room perfectly and the prints are beautiful. For example:

For background yardage, I used Michael Miller’s soft white cotton couture. I already had a bolt in my sewing room!

This pattern was a delight to make. I don’t usually make quilts with big blocks (or big pieces, which you know if you regularly read this blog), but it was fun to assemble 12 blocks 17 inches in size. It felt so fast. Here’s an example of one block:

Yes, that is some spiral quilting in the block there. I did it with a walking foot and it is far from perfect, but it looks good here. I alternated the spiral quilting with some straight lines in the blocks. This is what that looks like:My original plan had been to bind it with the background fabric with the remaining Jolly Bar pieces interspersed. Then I looked into the yardage closet and the first thing I saw was the perfect blue Bella solid.I also practiced sewing my binding to the back and then machine sewing the front with a zigzag. This is the second time I’ve done that and it was better than the first time.

And now, here is the finished product!

The finished quilt measures 65” x 84”. The pattern is available from the Fat Quarter Shop. So,of course, are the Jolly Bars. There is also a YouTube tutorial. It’s quick and gorgeous!

Thank you, Fat Quarter Shop, for this opportunity to take part in my very first blog hop. Remember to check out the Jolly Jabber blog for links to other posts with this quilt. Also, you can find in progress pictures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #JollyBarJazzquilt.

Quilt on!

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Favorite Online Quilt Stores

I admit to being lazy. I live within a 20 minute drive of four different quilt stores (one is about 5 minutes away), yet I love to shop the online quilt stores. There is just something delightful about buying fabric online and having it show up on your doorstep instead of showing up on theirs. (Okay, I know that is a little weird.)

My favorite online quilt shop, almost since I began quilting, is The Fat Quarter Shop. I love the way the orders are packaged and the customer service. One time, very early on, Kimberly Jolly herself called to ask me what I wanted to do about an order I had just placed (about 15 minutes previously) because she didn’t have enough of the fabric to ship me. (I think this was early in the Fat Quarter Shop’s existence, but someone still calls to discuss your order with you – it’s just not usually within 15 minutes. And not usually Kimberly herself.) I’ve watched this store grow over the years and really appreciate the fabric selection and the way it is presented. The annual Designer Mystery Block of the Month is my favorite BOM each year (and since I only let myself do one BOM per year…). Be careful about following them on Twitter or Facebook though, because the specials they tweet about are very tempting. (Yes, I just got caught by one.)

Another online quilt shop with a great selection and great sales is Hancock’s of Paducah. They also have a bricks and mortar store in (where else?) Paducah. They send out beautiful catalogs and tempting emails, but they don’t call and ask what you want to do if they don’t have your entire order. They do have a great fabric selection though!

A quilt shop I just recently discovered thanks to Katie at Katie’s Quilting Corner, is The Quilt Bear. I’ve only shopped there once, but I was very pleased with the service and the selection of Creative Grids rulers (in other words, she had the one I needed available), and the discount that I got for being a listener of Katie’s Podcast. I also bought my first Aurifil thread which I will be trying out in a couple of days. I must admit that one of the things I liked is receiving a package that tells me it and I have been prayed for. One can never be prayed for too much. I need all I can get! (I understand that there are people who will not care about that part, but for me it is big.)

What online quilt shops are your favorites? I’d love to be able to check them out!

Deep Thoughts About Quilts & Quilting

Today we will sew the binding and label on the church quilt! By November 1, I did not think we were going to make it in time for the auction. Here we are a week and a day early! We rock! (I’ll post pictures after it is washed.)

Did you ever notice how much better a quilt looks after it’s done than it did while you were working on it? I’d have sworn there were huge pleats in the back of this quilt, but they don’t look so bad now that it is off the frame and I’m seeing them, not feeling them. (I won’t be able to post pleat pictures – if such exist – we’ll be covering them with scripture labels.)

In other news, I succumbed once again to evil temptress Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop and took advantage of her 25% off Cyber Monday sale. Pictures to follow.

And I have not made any progress on Christmas gifts or Easy Street, but that changes tonight!

Ridiculous Fabric Purchases

Okay, I know that ridiculous is in the eye of the beholder (or spouse of the purchaser), but I do seem to be a bit out of hand recently. I blame it all on the Quilter’s Newsletter Christmas issue! Huh?

As I looked through the Christmas issue, I saw a quilt I wanted to make. It was made with panels of Stonehenge’s Christmas fabric and the pattern said that there was a kit available at the Fat Quarter Shop. By the time I looked, it was gone. (They did have some of the coordinating fabric, which I did order.)

Now, I don’t do much Christmas decorating, but I REALLY liked this quilt – despite the fact that it was made of panels. So, of course, suddenly finding at least the panels became a quest. I found them on eBay and ordered the six I would need for the quilt. I also found more of the coordinating fabric, some gorgeous batiks, and some really pretty peacock fabric in the same shop – needed to save on shipping, right?

The bottom fabric in this picture is the eBay fabric. The top are the two that I purchased from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Then I noticed that Hancock’s of Paducah was having a sale on wide (108 and 120) fabric for backing. I really prefer using the wide for hand quilting, a fact I’ve been remembering as I work on hand quilting my 2009 Designer Mystery BOM, so…

Then to make matters worse, the Fat Quarter Shop had a half off sale on Kate Spain’s Serenade line and I’m expecting that to arrive on Tuesday. I seriously have to stop shopping on line! Or at all!!!!!
So here is a little preview of what I’ve been working on in my basement:

I am probably rethinking the half inch crosshatching, but I’m committed now!

A Little Progress on Something

I am such a slacker lately! Grr! I need to get back to some productivity here! And some blogging! So to start with here is a short post.
Remember back a ways when I changed my rules about completing the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM before even starting the 2012 because I was seduced by fabric? (That post is here if you are interested or have forgotten.) Well, I haven’t made much progress for more reasons than you can shake a stick at (what does that even mean?). Anyway, I got the first block of each cut and did assemble block one of the 2011. And I cut out the blocks number 2 before I went to the Grand Rapids show, thinking that I would feel inspired to piece in the evenings. (Didn’t happen. Too exhausted by evening!) 
But I have finally pieced block one of the 2012! Here it is!
And here it is on my new design wall. (Yeah, somehow I managed to put a couple of the hooks for the design wall too close together, but they are fairly easily movable once I have time. But for now:

Yes, It Has Been Awhile

Yes, blogging was interrupted by the whole quilt sweatshop thing I had going on here for a while. Yep, 8-10 hours a day paper piecing, stopping only to eat. But I did finish the top, got it to the longarmer, and got it back in plenty of time to bind it and wrap it up for this coming Friday’s wedding. I’ll post a picture once the gift has been given. Later this week, I hope.

But I can do a little bit of ruminating on a few aspects of the experience. First, the paper piecing. I don’t ever plan to paper piece a quilt this big again. 256 sections to piece was a little bit of overkill for me. And I’m not sure what I am going to do with all the scraps from this quilt. Maybe more paper piecing.

Another problem was my math error. The original pattern was for a quilt measuring 40″ X 40″. I doubled that (and was going to add borders but it looked so perfect without!) and, instead of figuring on quadrupling the fabric amounts, I doubled them. Yep, forgot I was dealing with area. This meant several fabric store trips and building up my batik stash a bit. (Some of the fabrics I brought home didn’t really work so into the batik stash they went!) But I like the scrappiness of it for a wedding quilt.

My daughter asked me yesterday what is next since I finished my other daughter’s quilt and now my niece’s wedding quilt. I think she thought I didn’t have any plans. Ha! First there is the finishing organizing the former family room into a studio. Then there is the other quilt for the guest room to finish. Then there is the American Beauty BOM to finish. And the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM 2011. And soon I will be getting blocks for the 2012 FQS Designer Mystery BOM. And I plan to hand quilt the 2009 FQS Designer Mystery BOM.

And let’s not forget assembling the top for the church quilt for this year.

I think I have plenty to do! I’ll bet you do too!

Quilt on!

A Little Progress

Yes, today was a work day. Yes, I would have expected that I could finish up Block 12 of the American Beauty BOM, but that did not happen! I had a bit of work to do. (Fancy that! At work of all places!) The work day always goes faster when there is real work to do!

So here are the pictures of the progress.

First I finished these sections:

Then these:

Then these:

And that is as far as I got. Well, not exactly, but I’ll wait to take pictures of the next sections until both are completed tomorrow.
Also, the Fat Quarter Shop is starting to take orders for their Designer Mystery Block of the Month 2012. I keep telling myself that I really prefer to pick my own fabrics. I tell myself that I haven’t completed the American Beauty Block of the Month so I haven’t allowed myself to start the Fat Quarter Shop’s Designer Mystery Block of the Month 2011. Therefore, I have no business signing up for this one! But the fabrics are gorgeous and I’ll bet I do!
What I like about BOMs is that you only cut one block at a time. I hate long cutting sessions. They drive me nuts. Even with my new cutting table my back gets tired. Grrr!
What I especially like about the Fat Quarter Shop’s Designer Mystery BOMs is that the blocks are always gorgeous, the fabrics are gorgeous and you get plenty of fabric in case of mistakes (or hoarding desires).
And no one has paid me anything for this advertisement.