Finished Jelly Roll Race Quilt

April Showers Jelly Roll Race

I have a very generous next door neighbor.  She is a retired school teacher who has been a babysitter, friend, swim instructor, and all-around great neighbor for the past almost 8 years.  A couple of years ago, she put a gorgeous pool in her backyard.  Because she had already taught my three kids to swim, she was very comfortable inviting them over to swim in her pool.

Fast forward to now.  She has a standing invitation for them to come swim whenever she is hanging out by the pool.  She even has a big yellow letter “S” sign she puts in her window to let my kids know when it’s ok.  She tells me that I can stay home and have some alone time if I want to, and she will supervise them.  Needless to say, my kids LOVE IT.  And I LOVE IT.  These swim sessions often lead to informal swim lessons like how to do strokes, diving, etc.

For these and a million other reasons, I decided to make her a love quilt.  I think sewing for someone is my love language.  I wanted something super-quick and easy so that I could get this love to her as quickly as I could after deciding to do it.  I chose one of my favorite quickies: a jelly roll race.  Sometimes I buy extra jelly rolls of fabric lines with broad appeal for this very reason.  Bonnie & Camille fabric always fits the bill for lovely, broad appeal.  This time I used their April Showers line.  The backing is a green dot from the line.  The binding is a gray print that I love from Vanessa’s line Color Me Happy.

I look forward to sharing many more wonderful conversations and late afternoons by the pool with her!

 

Free Pattern Tutorial up at the Moda Bake Shop!

I developed a new alphabet tutorial using the Moda Candy squares (or mini-charm squares).  (This is also a good tutorial for making use of leftover jelly roll strips or any other small scraps.  Just chop strips or scraps into 2.5″ squares.)   This alphabet can be used to make banners, initial/monogram pillows, poem quilts, quotes on wall hangings, or any other wordy fabricky item you can imagine.  I hope you enjoy it!

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The tutorial is now live on the Moda Bake Shop site.

Another tutorial I finished will be coming soon at the Bakeshop.   Here is a sneak peek:

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Want to know the funny thing?  We don’t have an elf at the Warnick house.  Our elf “lives with Santa all the time so he can make more toys”.  I love seeing what other people do with their elves and love how much joy they bring to many.  However, they are not for the Procrastinator Who Suffers From A Horrible Horrible Did I Say Horrible Memory.  Also, I worked at Barnes & Noble the first year they were a super-hot selling item (of note: that is The B&N closest to the Elf founders’ homes) and was disgusted that the Elf outsold any single book there.  By a lot.  So there you have it.  My Elf Psychosis.

Having said all of that, I was thrilled when a sewing student of mine wanted to start his classes off by making something special for his Elf.  I came up with this idea to combine learning simple straight-seam sewing, chain-piecing, and nesting seams.  It is an Elfin Sleeping Bag and Pillow (which can also become just a simple placemat by leaving out the last step!).  I will post the link when it goes live.  Hope you enjoy!

Chris

 

Announcing Tinker!

I’d like to introduce you to the Tinker quilt pattern!  This is the third and final pattern release in preparation for Quilt Market next week.  Tinker is definitely one of my favorites because it is quick, easy and fun!

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Tinker comes with instructions on making four different sizes: Baby, Throw, Twin, and Queen/King.

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I giant pink puffy heart this pattern.  It is QUICK to make and oh-so-easy.  Perfect first project for a beginning quilter.  Have you always wanted to make a big queen or king size quilt but didn’t want to work on it for ages?  Make Tinker.  So stinkin’ fun and satisfying.

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So there you have it.  Three debut Frecklemama patterns for Fall Quilt Market next week!  Phew!

On a personal note, some people may be wondering where the heck this all came from.  I was a longarmer right?  Well, I don’t love longarm quilting for others as much as I’d hoped (sorry!).  I thought about other aspects of this industry that I enjoy and I realized that I love sketching, figuring the math, and working up my own quilt plans.  I had developed a couple of patterns for Moda Bake Shop and enjoyed that process.

I set a goal in the Spring to have four patterns ready for Fall Market.  Beginning around August 15th, I finally got to work.  I designed four patterns but dropped the fourth because it wasn’t quite right.  The other three are now all for sale.  It has been a whirlwind of dirty dishes, dog poop, and diet coke.  But it has also been a whirlwind of friendship, generosity of others, and finally feeling like I am on my true path.  This community of quilters is unlike anything I could have dreamed of.  You all are there for me every single day even if you live in South Africa, Hawaii, England, Germany, Australia, Nashville, Dallas, the Bay Area, my own neighborhood, or Washington State.  I love and appreciate every single one of you.  Thank you for being funny, diverse, loving, creative, engaging, and supportive.  *mwah!*

Chris

 

Announcing Cut The Cake!

Today I’d like to introduce the next Frecklemama pattern.  This pattern is called Cut The Cake and uses either a Layer Cake or a Jelly Roll.  It is an excellent way to commemorate life’s celebrations!  Cut the Cake makes a great wedding quilt, baby shower gift, or birthday present.

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Cut the Cake comes with instructions for making four different sizes.  This pattern would also look adorable made from scraps.  Just substitute scraps for the pre-cut pieces.

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This quilt is beginner friendly, begs for chain-piecing assembly, and goes together quickly.  If you made it in holiday fabrics, it would even look like a stack of presents!

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I had a hard time photographing this quilt for some reason.  The light was too bright or it wasn’t bright enough.  I look forward to learning more about quilt photography as time goes on and improving with each session.  In the meantime, I honestly think a quilt looks gorgeous in most conditions.

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Especially in the arms of my family on a beautiful afternoon.

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Cut The Cake is currently available on Craftsy, Etsy and Fat Quarter Shop.  For printed patterns, please ask for it in your local quilt shop.  Thanks!

Chris

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Announcing Paparazzi!

Hi everyone.  Today I am thrilled to announce Frecklemama patterns!  I will be introducing several new patterns in the next month leading up to Fall Quilt Market.  I hope you enjoy them!

The first pattern I’d like to introduce to you is called Paparazzi.

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This pattern came about when I wanted to create a quilt that would show off color, energy and an overall feeling of happiness.  I love stars so I wanted to design a pattern that used two different star blocks.  When this quilt came together the stars reminded me of camera flashes.

This quilt pattern includes instructions for two sizes: a large family sized throw and a smaller baby or wall-hanging size.

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I hope you like Paparazzi as much as I do!  Special thanks goes to Vanessa Christenson of V and Co for designing the gorgeous fabric line Simply Color.  Overwhelming thanks, gratitude, hugs, and (insert ugly cry here) love go to Christina Lane from Sometimes Crafter for doing the amazing design work on the pattern document.  I could not have done this without her!  Well, maybe I could have, but the pattern would be a crumpled up piece of graph paper.

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Paparazzi is available as a PDF download on Craftsy.  For a paper pattern, please ask for it in your local quilt shop!  Stay tuned for the next quilt pattern announcement soon.  Happy Friday!

New Basic Quilting Tutorial Links

I have added a menu tab above pointing beginning quilters in the direction of some helpful links.  Please let me know if you run across any other great ones that I should add.

One of the greatest gifts in this quilt making community is crafters’ willingness to help others.  There is tons of great information out there so don’t let being a beginner hold you back!  Find tutorials and try new skills.  Enjoy!

Under Construction!

Please bear with me while Frecklemama is experiencing testing, a blog re-design and move from Blogger to WordPress.  I am a noob and will require many icy diet cokes in the process.

In the meantime, come see me on Instagram!  My username is Frecklemama and I promise to deliver you one orange cat and a really sweet but air-headed dog.

Thanks for your patience!

Chris

Please Ignore the Dust

Please excuse the mess while I revamp the blog and learn a little (ahem, a lot) about HTML and whatever the heck I’m trying to do here.

And this is how I feel about that:
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But seriously, my goal is to provide more valuable and organized content for my fellow stitchers and fabriholics.

And also, today is the first day of school (cue the fireworks and champagne cork popping!):

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Beloved Middle Child in 4th grade, Precious Princess in 1st grade, and Responsible Oldest in 5th.

I hope your day was as enjoyable as mine was LOL.

The blog should be good as new in about a week!

Several Small Finishes

I know many of you have mentioned this but being active on Instagram makes blogging sometimes seem redundant.  If you follow me on IG you’ve probably seen all of these, but I wanted to blog them anyway.

First of all, I have been loving Anna from Noodlehead’s Open Wide Pouch tutorial.  This is a generously free tutorial offered in multiple sizes.  I even ordered some laminate fabric to line some pouches for leaky toiletries.

The first one is made with a hippo fabric in more of a home dec weight which meant that I didn’t use interfacing.  I should have.  The bag is a little too floppy still.  It is lined with Nicey Jane laminated fabric (Nicey Jane is my all-time most hoarded fabric).  I had trouble with the zipper installation on this one.  For some reason I took this pic before adding the zipper pull fabric too.  Oh well. 

Open Wide Pouch pattern by Noodlehead

The next one uses the most adorable Michael Miller Prom fabric which I always call “Girl Spiking the Punch” fabric.  It is lined in a purple tiny dot fabric from my stash.

Open Wide Pouch pattern by Noodlehead

Open Wide Pouch pattern by Noodlehead

The next one uses a combination of Flea Market Fancy and orange tonal chevron.  Sorry for the awful lighting.  I finish projects at night and can’t wait to take pics!

Open Wide Pouch pattern by Noodlehead

I also made one of Anna’s Divided Baskets which is the perfect size for many things including two rows of pattern packets.  Right now I have my Fat Quarter Shop BOM pattern packets on one side and my Simplicity patterns on the other.

Divided Basket pattern by Noodlehead

Finally with the Anna Noodlehead love, I made another 241 Tote.  This one was for my sister Carrie:

241 Tote pattern by Noodlehead

I also made a hippo from McCall’s M6484 pattern.  This is the small size.  The large must be huge!

Stuart the Girly Hippo.

His name is Stuart the Girly Hippo thanks to my IG friends :-)

Inspired by Terri at Sew Fantastic and using the Zip Pocket Pouch pattern from Michelle Patterns, I made myself a little elephant clutch for vacation:

Zipper pouch using Michelle Patterns pattern

Finally, I fell in love with Amanda Jean Nyberg’s Thread Catcher pattern and made some cute little buckets.  These go together very quickly and are a great way to show off those fabric pairings that just call out from your stash to be together:

Crazymomquilts Thread Catchers.  LOVE this pattern.

Thread catcher pattern by Crazymomquilts

I made my mom one for her needlepoint thread bits:

Thread catcher pattern by Crazymomquilts

And when you make your mom a thread catcher, she’s going to want a mug rug to go with it:

Matching mug rug for Mom

Thanks for making it through the photo gallery today!  For more photos of what I’m up to at the sewing machine, be sure to follow me on Instagram