Friday, January 31, 2014

Frozen Friday: Anna!

It may be late, but it's definitely Friday.  Thank God for little miracles, like making it through this week.  :)

So I guess that makes it time to introduce our next Frozen Friday pattern:  Anna!

Frozen Anna quilt blocl
The computer-generated image.

This second block in our series is also a 5" block.  I embroidered the white streak in Anna's hair with a chain stitch, as well as a couple of small nostrils.  You can embroider as much or as little as you like to add details to the pattern.  I simply free-handed it.

Frozen Anna quilt block
The real deal!

I will wait to post the pattern to Craftsy until I have officially tested the redesigned block.  If you would like to download the pattern now, however, you can find it here.

The difficulty rating on this is really based on what you find difficult.  If you find teeny tiny pieces difficult, then this would be rated at a very advanced level.  The eye pieces are the only place where that will be a real issue.  I like to sew slowly, cut my seam allowances to 1/8", and even use a ruler and pencil to extend each line to make it easier to see under my presser foot.  If small pieces don't bother you at all but angles aren't your thing, this is probably more of a mid-range pattern.  It is easily blown up to a 10" block if a larger block makes the pattern easier.

This post is a little unusual, because I totally redrafted my pattern after completing my sample.  I realized after I had stitched all the pieces together and went to assemble it that the original pattern had some itty bitty Y-seams and other strange angles.  Not very easy to paper piece.  So the sample you see here is the old, more complicated version, but the pattern is the new, simplified version.  Because of that, technically you are receiving an untested pattern.  Between the two patterns, the only pieces I changed were the eyes, so it should work out just fine.  If anyone happens to test it out, please let me know and I'd be glad to feature it here!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Frozen Friday: Sven!

As promised, today is our first "Frozen Friday!"  I am really excited to be presenting my first series of blocks.  I know that other designers are working on Frozen blocks as well, but I wanted to be responsible for these start to finish for my daughter's quilt to add to the special, homemade quality.  You can probably expect another short design series this spring as well for my other daughter's birthday. We are thinking dragons, which should be a lot of fun.  Maybe something based off Eragon?

But back to Frozen.  :)  We are beginning with Sven.  Not only is he really adorable, but I wasn't quite ready to design blocks with people's faces yet.  That was a bit of a scary prospect until I actually got down to it.

Sven Frozen Quilt Block
Here's the computer-generated image ...

Here is the completed block!  (Please forgive the terrible lighting, but I had to take the photo after it was dark out.)

Sven Frozen Quilt Block
and the real deal!

The stitches are still stretched a little tight and are a bit visible because I haven't removed the paper yet.  I find that I have better luck with my stitching holding together if I wait to remove the paper until the quilt has been assembled.

The snowflake fabric is Wintersburg, by Abbott Designed (licensed to South Sea Imports), and everything else was scraps.  I actually found other snowflake fabrics that looked more like "Frozen" to me, but I didn't want them competing with the characters too much.  Maybe I will use one of those prints for the backing.  I haven't quite decided yet.

You might recall that I designed these blocks at 5" to fit into Jennifer Ofenstein's Classic Film pattern.  Because of that, this pattern can be incredibly complicated.  I don't personally find small pieces to be an issue, but I know some people do.  There aren't any strange angles that I can remember, but there are lots and lots and lots of tiny pieces.  I suggest that you blow it up to a larger size if you are intimidated.  Another option is to leave the inside of his eyes entirely white and either embroider a pupil or add a small black bead to your design.  You will, until I can convince my husband to get me EQ7, have to compare the pattern pieces to the section key and write in your own colors, but it is very manageable.

You can find the pattern free here or on Craftsy.

I do have all the other patterns (Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf) designed, so I am looking forward to testing those over the next few weeks and releasing them to the public.  If you have a serious preference for which one is released next, be sure to let me know in the comments and I can take that into consideration.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Free pattern: Shaun the Sheep!

I hope you are all huge fans of magic, because I pulled off the most amazing disappearing act this fall!  I was there one moment, and the next:  Bam!  I was gone.  :)

2013 was a little cruel to us here, and the year really ended with a bang.  My husband was deployed to Afghanistan the day before my birthday, leaving me to pretend to hold down the fort here.  School started right before a bad bout of strep throat and other illnesses swept through the house, then my husband's grandmother became ill and we thought we would lose her.  Not long after she recovered, his other grandmother unexpectedly passed away and he came home early to be with the family during our exceptionally crazy holidays.  Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I was volunteering at the kids' school, leading a Girl Scout troop, trying to navigate the medical system for my son, and carting the kids to their activities.  Since I believe that my blog is a way of sharing my craft and not a job, and I never want blogging to become a stressful exercise, I simply let it languish until I was ready to return to it.

Now that life is returning to normal, I am very excited to work on "As You Wish," a fun paper pieced project going on over at Fandom in Stitches.  Jennifer came up with an exceptional book quilt design for the project that I am looking forward to trying out.  I am also back to designing.  First, since some of you have been patiently waiting, I have finished up reworking the pattern for Shaun the Sheep, which you can find here or on Craftsy.

Shaun the Sheep Pattern
The computer-generated image.

Shaun the Sheep Pattern
The real deal!
Grass Fabric

The pattern is for a 10" block.  I made mine 20" to serve as the large centerpiece of a small quilt, and I knew he had to be on a grassy background.  I love this Danscapes fabric by Dan Morris.  I am a huge fan of what I call semidirectional prints, where they have a general direction, but no one will notice if you make a small mistake here or there while piecing it.  The Danscapes line has some really beautiful natural materials in their prints, like bricks, pebbles, and grass.  I know I will be looking for more of those in the future.  Moda has a really pretty grass print in the Modascapes line as well.

Shaun the Sheep Fabric Choices
My fabric choices:  grass, white, and black.
 This is a pretty simple pattern, with only a few really small pieces and not many angles.  It should come together fairly easily, as long as you take care to compare the pattern to the colored key and write the correct colors on the pattern.  You can opt to leave his face as it is here, or you can easily embroider some eyes on him.

A fellow quilter on the Fandom in Stitches Facebook page, Vanda Chittenden of Insanitree, graciously offered to test my pattern last year, so I wanted to take a moment to thank her.  I appreciate her willingness to help and her time, and I do regret that I was not able to release the corrected pattern until now.

Shaun the Sheep
Vanda's Shaun the Sheep.  You can visit him at

Eventually I will design some of Shaun's friends, but that won't be for a while.  We have some other fun things coming up in the meantime, though.

Coming up!

  • "Christmas Reveals" will showcase some of the projects I made for family and friends that I could not post before.  I have some really fun things to share, and I will have links to all the patterns or tutorials I used.
  • This week, we will begin our "Frozen Fridays," where I will share a series of Frozen designs with you.  Since I am working on a wall hanging for my daughter's February Frozen-themed birthday, I thought this would be a perfect time to release these patterns.  I am designing five 5" paper pieced blocks, perfectly sized to fit in Jennifer Ofenstein's Classic Film pattern.  This week, you will be meeting Sven.  Since I am still in the design and testing phase, I cannot commit to a new paper pieced pattern each week, so Fridays may feature tutorials for Frozen jewelry and other goodies instead.  But rest assured, all five patterns will be released by the end of March!
  • "Frozen Fridays" continue until all five patterns are released.
  • With the Superbowl coming up, I thought it might be fun to have a little "bowl" giveaway ourselves.  More information about this giveaway will show up in February, but I do have three prizes, so there's a good chance you could win if you stay tuned!