Monday, October 20, 2014

Aspen Glow QAL - Large Block Assembly


Sponsored by: 




Welcome to the Aspen Glow quilt along!  Over the next three months, we'll be putting together quilts based on our popular Aspen Glow pattern.  Join us any time and share your photos in our Flickr Group to be entered into drawings for fabulous prizes!  You can access any of the previous posts on our QAL Information Page.


Well, after six weeks of some very detailed piecing, it's finally time to start assembling our large blocks!  Now, while we've had very few seams to line up so far, there are two places on this block where seam intersections are very important.


First up, the A Block corner should come into to perfectly line up with the edge of the B Block diagonal.  Now, in a perfect world, this should just happen when the two blocks are sewn together ... but in reality, you'll probably need to give them a little help.

My trick for getting these pieces to kiss where they're supposed to is to stick a pin a 1/4" in from the edge of stitched diagonal line on the B Block.  When you put it right sides together with an A Block, the pin needs to continue right through the print/solid seam, 1/4" down from the edge.

Don't worry if the top and bottom of the blocks are a little off - you can fudge those later.  The important thing is to keep these two intersections perfectly aligned.  Then, when you go to stitch the block together, your seam should go right through the place where you had the pin.

98% of the time, you'll get a perfect match.  Sometimes things can still be a smidgen off, but you can decide at that point whether it needs to be re-sewn, or if it's close enough to call it done! 


The second place you really need to watch is where those C Blocks and E Blocks come together.


Just make sure, here, that despite any wonkiness along the bottom edge of the C Block, your line of stitching goes exactly through the point where the corner of the triangle intersects with the vertical line of stitching.


If you can achieve accuracy in those two places, you'll be in good shape.  Now, that being said, there are a few other places where your seams should technically come together perfectly as well ... but because these intersections (shown below) involve overlapping sections of our background, it's really not critical if they're not perfect.  Once it's quilted, it will just all blend together as Background and you won't even know that it's there!



I am so very, very excited to start seeing your blocks come together!  Be sure to share pictures of your quilt blocks and fabric choices in our Flickr Group and stop by and introduce yourself on our discussion board, if you haven't already!  If you have any questions or would like to share a blog post about your Aspen Glow project, just leave a comment below.  Happy sewing!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A New BOM Club!

Now I probably have about a dozen different projects in the works - most of them are full sized quilts ...

But, when I saw Fig Tree's facebook post from yesterday ... I knew there was room to squeeze in one more project!

Photo from Fig Tree Quilts
I love Fig Tree prints and a sampler sounded too much fun to pass up!  Plus, it's kind of a mystery, which is very appealing to my over-planned brain right now!

Will you join up too?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Aspen Glow QAL - Block F


Sponsored by: 


Welcome to the Aspen Glow quilt along!  Over the next three months, we'll be putting together quilts based on our popular Aspen Glow pattern.  Join us any time and share your photos in our Flickr Group to be entered into drawings for fabulous prizes!  You can access any of the previous posts on our QAL Information Page.

WE MADE IT to Block F!  I don't know about you, but it felt like it took me Fuh-ever to get through those E blocks!  Happily, there were just a few little pieces left in my cutting bin, and the F blocks were done before I realized it!
In fact, they went so quickly that it didn't dawn on me until I was finished that I forgot to take any pictures at all!  Hopefully your blocks are coming together as smoothly!  Next week, we'll start with putting together the large blocks.  I can't wait to see all these beauties come together!
Be sure to share pictures of your quilt blocks and fabric choices in our Flickr Group and stop by and introduce yourself on our discussion board, if you haven't already!  If you have any questions or would like to share a blog post about your Aspen Glow project, just leave a comment below.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spring Zing Runner Gets a Halloween Makeover

Yesterday, we took the boys to Apple Hill - one of our favorite fall traditions!  The area hosts an amazing collection of apple farms, cider stands and bakeries, petting zoos, vegetable stands, and all sorts of fun fall activities.  Even though it's still early in the month, we had to finish the trip with a stop at the local Boa Vista Pumpkin Patch.

While the boys were having too much fun running around all the pumpkins, I managed to sneak in a few pictures of my latest sewing project:


I recently came the fantastic Spooktacular, Too fabric line by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics and immediately knew that the prints would be perfect for a Halloween remake of our Spring Zing Table Runner pattern.

We have kits and coordinating yardage available in our shop.  Mention the code CQspook to  receive FREE SHIPPING!  US residents only, please ... expires 10/14/14.


Happy fall!






Monday, October 6, 2014

Introducing - Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Hi Quilting Friends!  I'm so happy to finally be able to share our latest pattern.  Introducing ... Cold Hands, Warm Hearts!


This pattern was designed as part of Connecting Thread's Gifty Galore series and features their fabulous new holiday line by MaryJo Tuttle, called Snowed Inn.



You can read more about the quilt and bonus mug rugs over in my Gifty Galore guest post today!  Through the holidays, the pattern will be available exclusively through Connecting Threads.





So, back in my DINK days - that's dual income, no kids days - I was rather notorious for last minute holiday gifts.  One year I made something like 10 table runners in the space of about a week for my aunts, sisters-in-law, mom, granny and co-workers.  Another year, I managed 5 Amy Butler Birdie Slings plus a quilt for my granny.

Now that I have the little monkeys running around, this scale of handmade holiday gifts is impossible!  But I do still enjoy {making and} giving them ... and one of my favorites is the mug rug!


These 10" little treasures are quick to whip together and still give you that satisfaction not only have having sewn something, but of actually having finished something!  I love pairing mine with a giant mug and a pretty tin of loose-leaf tea or a mini mason jar filled with hot cocoa mix.

Just for fun, here's my favorite hot cocoa mix recipe - you can view the original here from Sunset.

Photo by David Prince for Sunset

Peppermint Stick Cocoa Mix

{Yields 1 quart mix or 12 servings}
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
Layer the ingredients together in your jar - if using a smaller jar, just keep the ratios the same.

Some people complained in the reviews that the candy canes stayed chunky, even after mixing it with boiling water or milk, so you could always run them through the food processor before adding them to the jar.  Other people added mini marshmallows at the top, just for fun!

Be sure to include a gift tag with these instructions for the recipient: Mix contents in a large bowl.  For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup of boiling water or milk.  Store remaining mix in an airtight container.


If you'd like to make your own version of our Cold Hands, Warm Hearts quilt or mug rugs, the pattern is available exclusively through Connecting Threads until after the holidays.

A big thank you goes out to Parm and Heidi, my fabulous pattern testers.  You can check out their fun versions below!  

Parm @ FiddleHead Quiltz

Heidi @ DIY and Live to Tell


If you've made your own version, we'd love to see it!  Share photos in our flickr group or on facebook, instagram, or pinterest, using #CorasQuilts.  Happy sewing!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Aspen Glow QAL - Block E


Sponsored by: 


Welcome to the Aspen Glow quilt along!  Over the next three months, we'll be putting together quilts based on our popular Aspen Glow pattern.  Join us any time and share your photos in our Flickr Group to be entered into drawings for fabulous prizes!  You can access any of the previous posts on our QAL Information Page.
We're chatting about Block E a day early this week because tomorrow, I finally get to share my fast and fun winter project over on the Connecting Threads blog!  Now, Block E is the most complicated block in our six block series.  There isn't anything technically difficult about it - there are just a lot of steps to go through and a lot of precision is required.



The first step is constructing dozens and dozens of those tiny flying geese units.  I typically prefer to use the no waste method that makes four at a time - check out the tutorial from our Spring Sampler project if you need a quick reminder.

The pattern and tutorial both instruct you to draw lines on the wrong side of the small squares and then sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the line.  Since we played around with the "no-line-painters-tape" method in Block B, I thought I'd give it a whirl here with this block ... because drawing all those lines is seriously a drag.

To get a guide line for a 1/4" away from the diagonal center of a block, you can either draw a line on 1/4" away from the edge of your existing piece of tape (see right photo) or place a second piece of painter's tape exactly 1/4" away from the first piece (see left photo).


I started off with the "drawn line on the existing piece of tape method" but quickly scrapped that idea.  I like having my seam on the right side of my presser foot and didn't feel like re-aligning the piece of tape to flip things around.  Plus, it turned out that for some reason, my brain was having difficulties following the edge of the drawn line rather than the edge of the tape.

I quickly switched to using a second piece of tape and was still finding that things were just a bit wobbly.  It turns out that little fingers had adjusted my presser-foot-pressure and my blocks were all over the place while I was sewing.  


Once I adjusted it ... I was in business!   ... Until it came time to do the stitches down the opposite side of the block.  I find that when I chain piece, things go a lot faster if I don't clip my pieces apart until the very end.  This not only minimizes string clipping, but the fact that the blocks are still attached makes the second pass super fast ...


... unless you're trying to follow the edge of a piece of tape that's hidden underneath everything.  I quickly got irritated with having to sew each block holding the next one out of the way, and then having to stop and re-position everything to get going on the next block.  My tired mind didn't see a ready solution, so I bit the bullet (or the lead...?) and drew all those pencil lines instead.

I made one other little departure from the written pattern when I was piecing my own blocks.  Rather than adding the small blocks to the left and right sides of the flying geese blocks before sewing them together, I pieced the small blocks together, then the flying geese blocks, and then put everything together.


I love having nesting seams, since it means I don't have to use pins, and pressing the seams on the top block towards the flying geese blocks always bothered me a bit.  I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me when I went through all of my testing and writing, but I'm really happy with the results.


You know the old saying about "you can't step in the same river twice?" Maybe it's the same with quilting.  You'll never make the same block twice because each block you make benefits from the experience of all the other blocks {and quilts} you've made before it.  I guess it all comes back to that idea of CRAFT.  I think I may have my word for 2015 ... but that's another blog post.

For now, I'm going to sign off and go investigate the squeals and sounds of the hose spray that's going on in the back yard.  Be sure to share pictures of your quilt blocks and fabric choices in our Flickr Group and stop by and introduce yourself on our discussion board, if you haven't already!  If you have any questions or would like to share a blog post about your Aspen Glow project, just leave a comment below.  Have a great rest of your weekend!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Super Mario Brothers Quilt Along & BOM - Block #7

Welcome to our Super Mario Brothers BOM Club and Quilt Along!  Each month for the next year, we'll be releasing a free quilt block pattern to make this super fun Mario Quilt!  The release schedule and more information about our Block of the Month club is available here.  Fabric kits are available for purchase in our etsy shop and here on our blog.

We've started a second round of the BOM club - more information here - in case you're interested in joining us, but don't want to have to purchase 7 kits at once!


Block 7 already!  We're on the downhill slope!  October's double-sized block is our fabulous Piranha Plant. Coming in at a hefty 18" x 36", this block makes a nice, solid corner-stone to our quilt ... and it's the last bit block we'll have in the quilt!





We're using the fusible backing construction method and it really helped with those teeny, tiny squares.  If you're sewing along with us, make sure that you use a 1.5" grid for this block and the remaining border blocks!!

Kits (with or without the fusible backing) are available below. 




Cora's Quilts Mario BOM - Block 7: Piranha Plant


The quilting gods must have been smiling on me this month, because I actually managed to finish my block ... on time!


A few little tips to pass on this week ...

First - don't start assembling your border blocks yet!  The first blocks to be attached to the center Mario panel are the last blocks we'll make.  I know it's hard to be patient! :)


Second - I actually discovered that it was faster {for me} to sew together my 18" fusible panels first, and then go back and sew all the individual seams.  I had been sewing, clipping, and pressing all the individual seams ... and then going back and and piecing all the panels together.  Lesson learned. :)


If you have any tips or tricks, we'd love to hear them!  Also, be sure to share your fabulous blocks our flick group.  Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Introducing: Tea Leaf - A Mug Rug Pattern

Happy Wednesday!  I'm so happy to pop by and share our newest pattern!  Introducing ... Tea Leaf!


Cute, and lightening fast to finish, this leaf shaped mug rug finishes at 10" x 6.5".  Pattern is available in our shop.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Aspen Glow QAL - Block D


Sponsored by: 


Welcome to the Aspen Glow quilt along!  Over the next three months, we'll be putting together quilts based on our popular Aspen Glow pattern.  Join us any time and share your photos in our Flickr Group to be entered into drawings for fabulous prizes!  You can access any of the previous posts on our QAL Information Page.

I'm a little late getting our post up today - too many weekend adventures - but this week's block is very straightforward, so hopefully I haven't set you too far back. :)  Plus, due to a special pattern release scheduled for next Monday, our block E post will be available a day early, so it all balances out, right?


Block D is a simple square-in-square block. Straight, even stitching and careful pressing will yield nice, even blocks.  It's a great candidate for chain piecing - and keep in mind that you don't have to clip threads between each block after your first pass down the chain.  In fact, keeping the threads in tact from the first round of chain piecing will actually help you go faster as you attach the block to the opposite in your second round.  Plus, then you only have to clip threads all together at once, rather than two separate times.


While you probably starched your fabric when you cut the fabric, adding a bit more while pressing your blocks this week might be a good thing.  It's really important to actually PRESS the fabric with this block.  Moving the ironing in place over the fabric will definitely result in waving, un-sightly borders and stretched seams.  You want everything to be as crisp and even as possible.


As this is the first week we're making blocks in multiple color settings - Winter has 4 versions and Autumn has 3 - it might be a good time to chat about fabric directionality.  If you're using a print with an obvious "direction" like the block below, it's a good idea to spend a minute or two planning or playing around with options before you start piecing.


Now I'm definitely NOT one of those quilters who have to have all the prints going in the same direction all the time - and this pattern is not designed to have a definite top and bottom.  The trick to using directional prints is to just use them uniformly.  If you're being random in your placement, then be random with each block.  If you're fussy cutting your prints so that they all line up, then spend the time to make sure that the blocks all match, and that you place them in the larger blocks the same way.

Personally, I'm not too worried about having chosen a directional print for my blocks.  For my own blocks, I just made sure that even though the text is going in separate directions, all my blocks are pieced exactly like this.  I think they'll blend in with the other blocks quite nicely .  Consistency is key! :)

Be sure to share pictures of your quilt blocks and fabric choices in our Flickr Group and stop by and introduce yourself on our discussion board, if you haven't already!  If you have any questions or would like to share a blog post about your Aspen Glow project, just leave a comment below.  See you on Sunday!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Catching up

Hi friends - I realize that it's been awhile since my last non-QAL post, so here's a little glimpse.

I've been working like a mad-[wo]man to finish up two new wintery patterns that will both be debuting next month.

The first I can't share a whole lot of information about other than it features Snowed Inn, the fun new holiday line from Connecting Threads!  I'll be sharing my fast and fun project(s) in a guest post on the CT Blog in a few weeks, so stay tuned!

Snowed Inn by MaryJo Tuttle for Connecting Threads

My second project features the fabulous Snow Happens line by the amazingly talented Robin of Bird Brain Designs.


I have been diligently working and embroidering my little snowmen blocks for weeks, now and I'm happy to report that I've finished a grand total of ... ten.  Luckily, my mom loves embroidery work too, and gladly allowed herself to be roped into make a few more.  Between the two of us, our little snowman sweatshop, as my hubby calls us, has managed to finish half of the blocks I'll need for my sample.  It's too bad that he practically runs in the other direction when I ask him if he wants to learn how to embroider too.  :)


Hopefully, I'll be able to stitch like mad this week and have some more interesting photos to share soon!