Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Floating Triangles Table Runner in Modern By The Yard!

I'm thrilled to share my latest magazine project, the Floating Triangles Table Runner. It's available today in the FREE summer issue of Modern By The Yard. The magazine is Benartex Fabrics' exploration of modern quilting topics and patterns.  I designed this project to be beginner friendly and show off a modern aesthetic, from design to quilting!

I used prints from Fresh Bloom by Michele D'Amore for Benartex - I love how modern and bright they are! As half square triangles set up against white, they really shine. Also, I'm pretty sure that "Web Green," the lime green with the random white lines, has become a staple in my green fabric stash. I've already used it in another project.

I free motion quilted an echo inside each triangle, and quilted to emphasis the cascading blue and green triangles. This produced intersecting lines, which I only realized after I started but quilting fell in love it. Walking foot quilting and Aurifil white thread (2024) for the win!

Plus, I got to use that big, beautiful flower print ("Bloom Teal/Green") on the back (photo below for scale).

Benartex also includes instructions for how to make quick coordinating fabric napkins. So awesome! 

Make sure you check out the free magazine today! It also includes projects by my friends Chris of Made By ChrissieD and Jane of Twiggy and Opal! And in case you missed last issue, here's a link to my previous project, Deconstructed Churn Dash.

Linking up to TGIFF, Crazy Mom Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Star Light, Star Dark QAL: Fabric Requirements and All About Color Contrast

Welcome to the first official post of the Star Light, Star Dark Quilt-A-Long (QAL), which runs from June 26 - October 4, 2016. There's plenty of time to join in and make with us - check out all the info here!

June 26 - October 4, 2016

Share your fabric choices and progress!

 Instagram: #starlightstardarkqal

Facebook: Quilty Habit Facebook group

Sponsored by:


I'm so excited to kick off the QAL today! So many of you have joined the Facebook group and/or have emailed me to express your own excitement! There's tons of ways to get involved (see above!) - feel free to start sharing your fabric picks with us all!

(By the way, the winner of the QAL bundle is Martina, who has been emailed! Congrats, Martina!)

So, today's a big day - fabric requirements and contrast. For this quilt to REALLY work (to be able to SEE the stars), you have to have color contrast. You could choose to make this quilt with any colors (and it's going to be BEAUTIFUL!), but I'm going to be instructing based on the version I've made above, which is based on three colors and contrast within those colors (light and dark of each color, or value, hence, "Star Light, Star Dark").

QAL Fabric Requirements
Lap size: 51" x 70"
6 blocks (above picture) - 3 colors
Top Color (sample - green): 7 light fat quarters, 6 dark fat quarters
Middle Color (sample - blue):  6 light fat quarters, 7 dark fat quarters
Bottom Color (sample - purple):  7 light fat quarters, 6 dark fat quarters*

Backing: 4.25 yards - includes overage for quilting
Binding: .75 yard

Baby Size:  51" x 46" 
4 blocks - 2 colors
Top Color: 7 light fat quarters, 6 dark fat quarters
Bottom Color: 6 light fat quarters, 7 dark fat quarters

Backing: 3 yards - includes overage for quilting
Binding: .5 yard

*Please note: This is the MAXIMUM amount of fabric for an ultimate scrappy look, like my quilt above - you WILL have a lot extra. I used fat quarters here because they're more accessible and easier to buy/find than fat eighths. You could also use just fat eighths (typical size 9x21) for most of the requirements EXCEPT for 2 fat quarters in each dark and light for EACH color (for the large star and its background). Let me know if you have any questions!


I put together some color schemes for you to consider - remember - any two or three color combination will work beautifully (yes, you can make the baby quilt with just four blocks, and it will count towards prizes in the QAL!). Thanks for all of your feedback from the bundle giveaway - some of these were your favorite color schemes!

Important Factors To Consider When Choosing QAL Fabrics

*Stick to fabrics that are solid, like-solid or tone on tone (one color featuring a different tone or shade of that same color), and small prints (large prints will detract from the stars you are trying to create). The bundle I curated for the Fat Quarter Shop (which you can buy here) illustrates these points.

*Stick to prints that have less white and more color. For example, the photo below shows two fabrics on the left with a little bit of white (good) - the four fabrics on the right have a lot of white (bad). Too much white washes out the quilt and takes away the focus on color. Stay away from black and gray as accents on colored fabric (they can muddy the quilt). I'm sure a quilt with a dark gray/light gray color scheme would be so lovely, though!

*Create contrast!! Read on!


All About Contrast
These are my thoughts based on years of working with various colored modern fabrics and making this quilt. Hopefully this post will help you think about how you will pair your fabrics together when we start cutting. Feel free to comment if you have any tips or questions!

Contrast is, at its simplest, when one color appears brighter than/sticks out against another. Now, pitting two very different colors against each other is easy enough. Think light pink against bright green (HUGE contrast , below). But what if you're making a quilt (like this one) where you are creating contrast WITHIN the same color? This is called gradation.

 ^1 of the 6 blocks for the quilt - light purple gradation

Let's look at the range of reds I'm using to make my second Star Light, Star Dark quilt. The top row will be my dark reds, and the bottom row will be my light reds (two separate blocks).

We'll examine the dark reds first. I decided to supplement my FQ bundle from Fat Quarter Shop with more fabrics from my stash. The top row contains deep reds, and the bottom is tomato reds.

When I combine them, they contrast! In the picture below, I am using the top fabric as the background for a large star, and the left bottom fabric for the star itself. The solid fabric on the right also provides a great contrast. When you have a busy white print like this background, a solid will always stand out against it, even if it's the exact same shade.

I also split apart my light reds below. This would be for the light red block in the quilt I showed above. On the left are salmony reds, and on the right are lighter, pinky reds. I will use this separation to choose my star backgrounds from one pile, and the stars from another, so they really pop. I could also use the solids with ANY of these fabrics to create great contrast, whether subtle or no.

Here's how I separated my yellows: mustard on top for one block (dark yellow) with bright, lemony yellow on the bottom for the second yellow block (light yellow). You'll notice there's a great range here in terms of saturation (color intensity); this will allow me to really contrast within the dark and light blocks.

This middle solid yellow below will be a perfect large star, and the left mustardy fabric with the white print behind it (from Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis) will be an awesome background (or vice versa). Similarly, the fabrics to the right are both light, lemony yellows, but they make a great contrast due to their differing values and print size/scale.

Here are a couple more color groups to give you more food for thought. Dark orange is on top, light orange is on the bottom. You might think that some of these fabrics could go either way, and really, they could. No stress - just put them where they seem to work for you! (Note: this is my fabric pull but not my final fabric decisions - I will be using less of a number of fabrics than pictured).

Watch when I add red orange in the middle and how much the range grows! I plan to incorporate these into my dark orange block. This color adds so much more contrast! Feel free to PLAY with fabrics and maybe even have a few backups before you decide to cut into them next month.

In sum:
1. Use solids for an easy contrast to prints.
2. Play with saturation (intensity) to achieve contrast between the backgrounds and stars.
3. Be ready to play with fabric to choose your final layout (more on this will be posted on July 18!). Have an open mind and go for it!
4. Organize your fabrics into color groups to help you choose what will work together.  

5. Don't be afraid to use some darker or lighter fabrics in the opposite block to create contrast. 
6. Just a little bit of contrast can make a huge impact (as in, the stars don't have to be on a HUGELY contrasting background).

As you are choosing your fabrics, please feel free to share and/or ask for help on the Facebook group, or post your selections to Instagram under #starlightstardarkqal and tag @quiltyhabit - I'd love to see! Your question could be one that someone else has, and sharing fabric selection is always a great way to interact with the many other quilters who are making the quilt! :) You can also email me here if you want a second opinion - I'm always happy to help.

Now you have a couple of weeks to gather your fabrics, and then a couple of weeks to cut your fabric before we start piecing the blocks in August. I can't wait to see what you make!

 I've since finished quilting my first QAL quilt - I'll share more soon! Here's an in-progress photo.

QAL Schedule:

June 26: Fabric Requirements and All About Color Contrast <<you are here!
July 11: Show Us Your Fabrics Linkup (open through August 1)
July 18: Planning Your Layout and Cutting Instructions
August 1: Piecing the Large Stars
August 8: Piecing the Small Stars 
August 15: Share Your Progress Linkup (open through September 1)
August 22: What Is Alternate Gridwork?
August 29: Piecing the Top Together
September 12: Quilting Suggestions
September 19 - October 3: Final Linky Party - Link up your Finished Quilt - Prizes Up for Grabs!
October 4: Winners announced 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Travels of Babar: A Baby Quilt


I made a new friend early last year, and recently I was reminded of why I LOVE quilting SO much. Besides the obvious a) playing with fabric, color, and patterns, b) designing, c) writing about all of it, d) interacting with the community, e) expending creative energy, and f) therapy. This is g) making stuff for people I love, and surprising them (the best one!).

In February, shortly before the birth of her daughter, Sarah asked if she could commission me to make her a quilt. She described in detail how much she loves Babar the Elephant, a staple in French children's books (Sarah teaches French). Her daughter's color scheme is pink and gray. Time-wise, though, it just didn't work out.

A week before I saw her, I had a brain blast: I was going to make a version of the quilt she wanted! I knew with some dedicated sewing time, I could finish it within a week!

The quilt is based on this lovely free pattern by Shwin and Shwin (but I totally winged it, because that's my specialty, and templates are time-consuming). THAT quilt is modeled after this gorgeous vintage Babar poster. I am so excited about how it came out! See, I even added some cute Paris fabric in the balloon basket! The picture above is all machine applique and a little free motion quilting for the tusk, bow tie, and crown (those little features are really hard to applique! Ask me how I know!).

The quilting was really fun and freeing. I quilted random clouds all around Babar's hot air balloon, using Aurifil #2437, a salmon that really popped against the Cloud9 Cirrus Solid (Petal) in the background (obviously chosen to match baby's room).

The borders, which were assembled using most of the only light pink fabrics I have, were quilted with an easy loopy flower design that Jess @jtlevitt helped me pick out. Finally, I HAD to quilt the baby's name into the bottom right corner of the quilt! I love how Sarah spells her middle name, and I love that I got to use free motion quilting to truly make that quilt Allison's.

I know you want to see the baby's picture (used with permission of course)! It's like she's waving "hi!" :D. The next picture is when I surprised Sarah with the gift. It's so satisfying to gift quilts to people who really, clearly appreciate and use them!! <3 Luckily, I got to meet the little cutie that night. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE babies? Because I do (and even more when they are babies of people I adore).


We used my mom's flower garden as a prop. The first picture in this post was a vision I had, and Mike captured it perfectly. This was to show the steep hill we were working on, as well as another overall pic of the quilt! He took a serious risk standing on a really steep incline to get that first shot.

Okay, and it was super windy here in New Jersey (as usual). I feel like I'm always waiting for DAYS to get a good shot of a quilt... which is why the main picture (the second one in this post) was taken inside. We just didn't have time to wait for a better day outside, where the natural light is always preferable. Well, I can say with confidence that we were having fun!

All wrapped up with a bow! The best way to gift a quilt!

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF (where my quilt matches the post this week!), Crazy Mom Quilts

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Giveaway: QAL Bundle from Fat Quarter Shop!

 *This giveaway is now closed, and Martina is the winner! She has been emailed!*

Hi all! I mentioned in yesterday's introduction post for the Star Light, Star Dark QAL that I curated a special bundle with the help of my sponsor, Fat Quarter Shop.

I chose this colorway for a unique, summery quilt in three colors (light and dark red, orange, and yellow), but this bundle of monochromatic fabrics could be used for ANY project! There just aren't enough "warm" and "cool" bundles out there, amiright? Fat Quarter Shop gave me a bundle to work with on my next SLSD quilt (thank you, FQS!), and I'll be sharing how I paired it with my fabric stash next week during the lesson on contrast! So, you could make a similar quilt, if this combination speaks to you!

Doesn't it just make you think of this?

For the Quilt-A-Long, Fat Quarter Shop is generously offering one of my readers a fat quarter bundle containing 22 fat quarters - worth $60 in value!  You can also purchase the Star Light, Star Dark official bundle right here!

If you'd like to win a bundle (for the QAL* or for other reasons, I won't tell...), read on!


Leave 1 separate comment for each of the following to enter (and PLEASE leave an email if it's not connected to your posting account, or I can't let you know if you've won!):

1. Required: Receive Fat Quarter Shop's newsletter (sign up here). Just leave a comment and let me know you get it.

2. Required: Follow Quilty Habit through Bloglovin, email, Facebook, Instagram, The Wonky Press, what have you (just tell me one way you follow!).

3. Optional: What are your favorite 2-color or 3-color combinations? I'm putting together a little color inspiration for next week's QAL post on fabric selection, and I'd love to hear your favorites. I happen to love navy, purple, and magenta right now. Feel free to get creative!

Details: The giveaway will run from 8 am EST Tuesday 6/21 until 8 am Monday 6/27. The winner will be emailed and announced on the blog. The winner will be chosen randomly using the Random Number Generator. This giveaway is open to everyone in the world!

You can really see all those layers of contrast here! I'm so excited to use these colors... can you tell? So out of my normal go-to cool colors but still so wonderfully bright and modern.

*Please note that these fat quarters are meant to supplement a SLSD quilt; they will not be quite enough fabric. I will be sharing fabric requirements next Monday, so check back for that! I'll also be sharing links to other fabrics that you could buy to go with this bundle, as well as other color schemes to consider!

Thanks and good luck!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Schedule and Sponsors: Star Light, Star Dark Quilt-A-Long

We're getting closer to the Star Light, Star Dark (SLSD) Quilt-A-Long (QAL)! Get ready to explore contrast, alternate gridwork/modern layouts, and traditional piecing. This is a beginner level, lap-sized quilt with a million color options!

June 26 - October 4, 2016

Share your fabric choices and progress!
 Instagram: #starlightstardarkqal

All info for the SLSD QAL can be found on my Community page.

Here's how it works: 

In case you've never done a QAL before, it's super fun and simple - oh, and it's free! We'll all be making a similar quilt together. Every Monday or so, I'll be posting a lesson and/or instructions for the quilt. The QAL takes place over the majority of three months to allow for lots of time to catch up on steps and finished the quilt.

Anyone and everyone can follow along! It would be easiest to subscribe to receive my blog emails (over on the right hand sidebar) or to a reader like Bloglovin or Feedly if you want to receive QAL updates the moment they are posted.

There will be a couple of linkups along the way where you can post your progress. You can also participate in the private Quilty Habit Facebook group (which is brand new!) to post your progress, ask questions, and discuss with fellow QAL participants (by the way, any Quilty Habit reader can join - it will be used for more than the QAL). At the very end, there will be a link up to share the finished top or quilt, and I will draw prize winners randomly. The prizes will be announced shortly - and they are indeed amazing!

Fabric Bundle

To start things off with a bang, I curated a special Star Light, Star Dark bundle for my sponsor, the Fat Quarter Shop, which features a warm version of the quilt! I thought this would be PERFECT for summer. I'm making my second quilt using the bundle, thanks to the FQS!

*Please note that these fat quarters are meant to supplement a SLSD quilt; they will not be quite enough fabric. I will be sharing fabric requirements next Monday, so check back for that, but in case you want to start a warm version, the bundle is available for purchase! I'll also be sharing links to other fabrics that you could buy to go with this bundle, as well as other color schemes to consider!


Please support the fabulous Quilt-A-Long Sponsors! Prizes will be announced shortly!

 Quilt-A-Long Schedule

Check back tomorrow for a special giveaway of the QAL bundle, and check NEXT Monday for fabric requirements and all about contrast! So excited!! Are you participating?


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