I am no longer actively blogging here but I’d love if you could join me at my new creative lifestyle blog A Girl in Paradise.
I hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Giant Dahlia Quilt (Progress in Pictures)

This is what I have been working on for the past week or so, a Giant Dahlia Quilt.  It is one of those quilts that looks unattainable with its curved piecing and set in seams, but looks can be deceiving.


The process has been easier than I thought it would be.  The worst part being the templates.  Tracing and cutting out templates is not one of my favorite things to do.  


The traditional layout and fabrics shown in the book has been one of my biggest hurdles.  So, I am going with a brighter more scrappy approach in hopes of giving this quilt an updated look.


I am using this book here, circa 1984.  A couple of months ago, I picked up this book up at a quilt show, and have been itching to try it out ever since. 


Of course, it is never a good sign when you sew the first couple of pieces on backward, but I guess that is what a seam ripper is for.  Wish me luck because tomorrow I am connecting the center burst (not shown) to the arcs…

Thanks for stopping by, and for all your continued support. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Scrappy Trip Along Quilt


This was a really easy quilt to put together and a quilt I hadn’t planned on making. Well not until I saw all the pictures on Flickr and Instagram. There is nothing like seeing a daily round of quilty inspiration to get you to jump on a bandwagon. Besides I am a total sucker for a great scrap quilt.


Check out the Scrappy Trip Along Flickr page or the #scrappytripalong hashtag on Instagram for your own round of inspiration.  There are so many amazing color and fabric combinations out there.  At first I found it hard to choose how I was going to make my own but ultimately I ended up with blues and greens because I had an abundance of those scraps on hand.

PicMonkey Collage

This was also one of the first quilts I documented the progress thru Instagram.  Above are some of the work in progress pictures I took along the way.  I found it to be a great way to share and to get feed back form others.   My Instagram profile name is agirlinparadise for more of my work in progress pictures.


In the spirit of stash busting for this quilt I ended up using the rest of scraps for the back.  No need for them to go to waste, right? 


The details:

This quilt measures about 50” by 70”  with 24 blocks pieced together in a 4 by 6 layout.  I used this tutorial for the blocks. For the fabrics I used variety of blues and greens from various designers including Denise Schmidt, Michael Miller, Northcott, and Riley Blake. For the binding I used a green dot that is part of the Rainy Days and Mondays collection by Riley Blake. The quilting is a basic straight line on the diagonal that follows the quilt block, using a white cotton tread.

Thanks for stopping by, and for all your continued support. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Free Log Cabin eBook!

I was contacted by Fons & Porter to review and share this free pattern eBook with you.  In the book they feature the 3 most popular Log Cabin block styles: Traditional, Courthouse Steps, and Chevron.  Each style has an antique example and handy charts to make your own.  Along with the quilt patterns there was also instructions on how to do Bobbin Work with Trapunto, Binding with Piping, and Liz’s Lumpless Bindings.

Although the quilts and patterns are traditional, a little imagination and some modern or solid fabrics could give these quilts a contemporary look.  I enjoyed reading through this book and learning about the history of these quilts.  It is clearly written and offers many helpful tips along the way.  This book would be a great addition to any quilters collection of books and patterns. 

 Click here for your own free copy of this book.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Ring Toss Quilt Pattern

This pattern is for a quilt measuring approximately 60" by 70" and uses two of my favorite quilting techniques, half square triangles and partial seam piecing. 


Materials Needed

  • 14 fat quarters, 7 color groups consisting of 1 light and 1 dark
  • 3 1/2 yards - Solid Background Fabric
  • 1/2 yard – Binding fabric
  • Backing Fabric
  • Batting


  • Please read through all directions before you start cutting your fabric.
  • All seams are 1/4”.
  • Fat Quarter is a cut of fabric that is 18” by 22”


Cutting Instructions

Note: cut all strips the length of the fabric, 44” from salvage to salvage.

Fat Quarters

Pair your fat quarters so each color group has a light and dark color combination. For example one pink and one light pink.

From each of the light colored fat quarters cut eight 5” squares. Then cut them into fourths diagonally.

From each of the dark colored fat quarters cut sixteen 4 1/2” squares. Then cut them in half diagonally.

Solid Background Fabric

Cut seven 5” strips. Then recut strips into 5” squares. You will need a total of fifty-six 5” squares. Cut the 5” squares into fourths diagonally.

Cut seventeen 4” strips. Then recut strips into 4” by 2 1/2” rectangles. You will need a total of two hundred twenty-four 4” by 2 1/2” rectangles.

Cut four 2 1/2” strips. Then recut strips into fifty-six 2 1/2” squares.

Binding Fabric

Cut seven 2 1/2” strips out of your binding fabric.


Piecing the Blocks

Each block is made up of

  • Four light quarter triangles
  • Four white quarter triangles
  • Four dark half triangles
  • One 2 1/2” squares
  • Four 2 1/2” by 4” rectangles


To simplify things piece blocks by each color grouping.

Take the thirty-two light colored quarter triangles and thirty-two white quarter triangles and sew them together with the light color triangle on the left and the white triangle on the right. Sew on the short side. Leaving the long side on the outside edge. Press the seam open.

Now sew that triangle unit to the dark triangle half. Piece it with the light unit on the top and the dark on the bottom, making a square unit. Press seams to the dark side and trim to a 4” square.


Then sew the white 2 1/2” by 4” rectangle to your 4” square unit. Sew it along the light colored side as shown above. Press the seams open.


Now we will be constructing our block using the partial seam method.  I like to layout my units in the desired pattern first, thus eliminating confusion later.

PicMonkey Collage5

Take the center 2 1/2” square and line it up to the bottom right hand corner of the first unit.  Then with right sides together sew the first seam, as shown above, starting about a third of the way down from the top of the center 2 1/2” square.  Finger press your seam open and sew the second unit along the short edge of your first unit and the center 2 1/2” square.

PicMonkey Collage3

Then working your way around the center 2 1/2” square sew on the third and forth units.  Finger press your seams open as you go.

When you add the 4th unit, fold back the first unit so you can stitch the length of that unit.  A few pins will help to keep things properly aligned.

PicMonkey Collage2

Then go back to the fist unit and sew the first unit to the forth unit, completing the block.  Press your seams open.

PicMonkey Collage1

This is how the front and back of you block should look when completed.  Press and trim your blocks to a 9 1/2” square. 

*I find that trimming makes all of the blocks consistent and easy for you to line up when putting your quilt top together

Quilt Assembly and Finishing

In a random order lay out and sew together 7 blocks across and then 8 rows down. You will need a total of 56 blocks for this quilt. Press the completed quilt top.


Now that your quilt top is ready, sandwich it with your batting and backing fabric.


Baste with safety pins, or other desired method, and machine or hand quilt as desired.


Add your binding to finish your quilt.


Thanks for stopping by, and for all your continued support. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great day!

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