I’m Back!

If you had told me two weeks ago that I wouldn’t be blogging, quilting, or working on the business I would have said, “No way!” But here I am two weeks later and that is exactly what happened.  I decided to take a week off to help my parents get their house ready to sell … but as my parents have told me a number of times in the past two weeks “You acquire a lot of things in 40 years.”  So, my plan backfired and instead of the one week I had budgeted it has been over two weeks, but whew(!) did we get a lot done!

Unfortunately, ripping up carpet, laying new flooring, and throwing things out doesn’t make for a very glamorous post … ahem, see above … but hopefully I can get back in the swing of things and bring you more inspiring things in the future 😉

Be Back Soon!
Megan
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Finish It Up Friday

Hi Everyone!  This is my first time participating in a Linky Party, I’m pretty darned excited!

Please join me and others at these sites I’m participating in today and a special shout of thanks to each of these great sites for hosting:

I’m also pretty happy about the project I finished up … it’s only been on my to do list the past several months … Eek!  The quilt is “Welcome Friends” and is the free pattern you receive when you sign up for our newsletter on our shop’s homepage.  I finished the actual quilt top early in the fall, early enough that I was able to get these glorious shots before the weather turned icky …

Welcome+Friends+Cherry+Valley+Designs

Welcome+Friends+Cherry+Valley+Designs

Unfortunately, this quilt isn’t quilted or bound.  Last week I quilted the top and last night we bound it.  It is so nice to have it finally finished.  It is one of our favorite quilts – both my mom and I designed it and it was so much fun to put together.

With this quilt I decided to branch out a bit and do a little more intense quilting than I’ve done on any of my other quilts.  You may know that I’ve been renting time on a Gammill at my favorite quilt store and since this quilt is smaller (it’s a wallhanging), I thought this would be the perfect quilt to practice on.

Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs

Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs

As you can see, I did a lot of paper practice before I actually went down.  First I traced the blocks on tracing paper and then I traced this onto paper that I could practice my designs on.  For the center block I did my first feathers and they turned out really nicely.  Unfortunately, that can be said about all of my blocks.  For some of my blocks I wanted to do geometric shapes with straight lines, but when I got on the machine the lines I was making were way too wavy.  Does anyone have any advice for long arm quilting straight lines?

Anywho, I’m really pleased with how the overall quilt turned out and am looking forward to hanging it up for display.  Here are the after photos …

Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs
I really like the overall design on this, but it could use some tweaking!
Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs
I came up with this design on a whim, the corners are supposed to be like fans and the nine patches are supposed to be like flowers with heart petals.
Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs
Basic loops, my favorite!
Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs
I need to work on those swirly S’s!
Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs
The feathers on the center block.
Longarm+Cherry+Valley+Designs
The overall finished quilt!
Happy Friday!
Megan

Life’s a Charm: Snowflakes Wonder

Woohoo!  We are really excited about this new series … we want everyone to love quilting as much as we do!  So, what’s this all about you ask?  Well, a quick synopsis (if you want more detail, click here): each month we will be featuring a new, free pattern using either a charm pack or mini charm pack. Why charm packs you ask? Because they’re pre-cut – making life so much easier – and they take the guessing work out of color combinations and figuring out what fabric to use.  BUT(!) if you want to make your own charm pack/mini charm pack you can do that, too!

For this month, we are making a quick table topper inspired by this month’s weather … SNOW!  I was so excited when the weekend before Christmas we got our first snow and it hasn’t left!  I think this is a record for Ohio.  For the charm pack I picked out the soft colors of Bunny Hill’s Windsor Lane by Moda.

Definitely feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions!  We’d love to help and will get back as soon as possible.

Without further ado, we present …

Life’s a Charm: Snowflake Wonder
Cherry+Valley+Designs+Snowflakes


Cherry+Valley+Designs+Snowflake+Applique

Materials Needed:

  • (1) Mini Charm Pack of Your Choice
  • (4) 8.5″ by 8.5″ pieces of Blue Fabric
  • Scraps of White and Tan fabric or wool (we chose to use wool)
  • You will also need fusible material or appliqué glue and a complementary thread
  • 24″ by 24″ piece of batting
  • 24″ by 24″ piece of fabric for backing
  • 1/4 yard of fabric for binding
Step 1: Lay out your mini charm pack fabric on a table in a “+” sign with your 8.5″ squares in the corners.  The center should consist of 4 charm pack pieces, and each side coming out should be 2 by 4. See diagram and picture below.

Step 2: Begin sewing your pieces together in pairs using chain piecing.  

**Tip 1** Chain piecing!  Chain piecing!  Where do I begin?  I â™¥ chain piecing!  Can you tell?  Well, chain piecing is one of the very first techniques I learned when I began quilting.  I was taking a class that involved repeating the same sewing of a lot of blocks.  As I meticulously lined up my pieces, sewed, cut and began the process again and again … the teacher said, “Megan, why aren’t you chain piecing?”  Chain piecing means you simply “chain” together pieces you are sewing.  This works best when you are working with the same pieces that you have to several of.  See pictures below.

Cherry+Valley+Designs+Chain+Piecing


**Tip 2** Another chain piecing tip I just recently learned is in order to keep track of your first pieces, put a pin in the first one.  This way when you have that continuous chain, you’ll know which direction you should be going.

Step 3: Once this is done, begin working on your corner appliqué blocks.  You can find the pattern for the appliqué pieces here. If you use wool, you will want to use freezer paper to trace your shapes on and then iron the shiny side down.  Cut out shapes and center on block with appliqué glue.  If you use fabric, you can follow my appliqué tutorial here.  Finish by stitching around the edges – you can use your machine or stitch by hand.

Step 4: You will now want to sew all of your pieces together so your top is complete.  See picture below.

Step 5: Cut 3 strips at 2.5″ wide and sew together in one continuous line.  You will use these for your binding.  Your quilt is ready to be quilted and bound.


**Tip 3** If you quilt your table topper at home (not long arm), then we’d suggest using Machingers (they’re in our Amazon store).  They help you move the fabric around so much easier!  AND don’t forget to use safety pins to secure your three layers together!



Enjoy!

Sew You’ve Always Wanted to Quilt!

Happy New Year!

In the spirit of the new year, have you always wanted to learn to quilt and not been certain what you might need or where to begin?  Last week Megan and I were on Pinterest (that is so addicting!) and we noticed how many people were pinning quilts with the captions “Things we wish our mom had taught us” and “Things we’ll have our moms make.”  That got us to thinking that there are a lot of aspiring quilters out there. In that vain we thought the first day of the new year would be the perfect time to introduce our new series “Life’s A Charm” and share the absolute necessary tools of the trade.  No fears, this year, 2013,  can be the beginning of your exciting adventure into the wonderful world of quilting!  If you are new to sewing, we will walk you through as much as possible so by the end of 2013, you will be well versed in not only sewing but also quilting!

On the 5th of every month we will be unveiling a new project in our “Life’s A Charm” series.  We will be offering you a free project along with tips and tricks to make it easy for you to complete each project.  Each project can be using either a mini charm pack (which is 42-2 1/2 inch squares) or a charm pack (which is 42-5 inch squares) – always choose 100% cotton fabric.  In addition, should you have any questions along the way, please feel free to leave a comment with your question and we will gladly answer each and every one!

Today, we are listing the basic necessities you will need to begin quilting – while it is a bit of an investment initially, after rounding these items up – you should be good to go for quilting.  The basic things that you will need to get started include:

Quilting+Tools
  1. Basic sewing machine
  2. Straight pins with heads
  3. Good pair of 8″ or 9″ scissors for cutting fabric*
  4. 4″ or 5″ pair of  sharp tipped scissors for cutting threads, etc.*
  5. Seam ripper
  6. 45 mm Olfa rotary cutter*
  7. Resealable cutting mat*
  8. 24″ ruler (and 6″ square ruler, if you want)*
  9. An iron that can be both a dry iron and a steam iron
  10. An ironing board
  11. Starch
  12. Spool of cotton thread in a neutral color (like tan or cream)

* You can find our picks for these items in our Amazon shop!

You see, so far, not too scary!  Again, if you should have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us … we will be glad to help!!

We hope that you will join us on the 5th of each month for a fun filled journey into the wonderful world of quilting!

Until the 5th ~

Penny