Category Archives: quilting

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.


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.



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.

Blue A Block

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!

Basting and Quilting Fig Tree Fresh Cottons Quilt

My first target of the February Finish challenge is my Fig Tree Cherry Delight Quilt made with the Fresh Cottons line.  I bought this as a kit.  I love anything Fig Tree and putting this quilt together has been a breeze.  Instead of adding cherries to the center block, I added circles and a flower.  So it’s more of a Fresh Cottons quilt than a Cherry Delight Quilt in my case.  Or maybe a Flowers Delight.

In this case, the top and back were already pieced and ready to go.  I needed to start this week by basting it.  Ugh, I hate basting.  Luckily, I have a nice, big area of bare hardwood floor in my foyer that works very well for basting.  It’s well lit by natural light, there is no furniture to move, and I can easily move around all four sides.  Also, we don’t use the front door that much so it isn’t an area of heavy traffic.

First I use painter’s tape to tape down the backing:

Please notice that I blatantly break the quilt police rule of trimming off the selvage edge when piecing the backing.  I don’t do it.  And so far in making, washing and using qulits, I haven’t noticed a difference.  Please feel free to chime in here and give me some good reasons to change my routine.  I’m open to criticism.

I guess one reason would be to have all of that lovely selvage to make selvage projects with! 

For this quilt I decided to try double layers of batting.  I’m not entirely pleased with how thin my quilts are.  I use Warm & White cotton batting.  I like it and it’s very easy to use.  I just wish the quilts were a little more substantial.  Heavier and thicker but not poofy like with a high-loft polyester batting.  I would love any input about how to achieve these results.  I’ve looked around online and someone recommended just doubling up the batting.  So here goes.  After carefully laying and smoothing out the two layers of Warm & White, I add the quilt top:

Yes, the sides are a bit wobbly.  I’m ok with that.  I can always square it off before binding.

Next I take it to the machine for quilting.  Because I want this quilt DONE, I choose a very simple quilting plan of quilting down the center of each strip.  This will form concentric squares on the quilt back which will mimic the design on the front.

I just eyeball the center and let er rip.  I’m using the walking foot and my machine’s needle down feature.  When I get to the point of needing to make my 90 degree turn, I just stop, pivot, and continue.  Easy peasy.  I’m using a Shmetz quilting needle and Connecting Threads thread in a nice light peach color.  I really like the way this thread looks in the finished quilting stitch.  It looks cottony, if that makes sense.  And it doesn’t end up looking too thin like piecing thread or embroidery thread. 

After an evening of finishing up the quilting, I unfurl the quilt to admire my work and see at little mistake.  See post below for that story.  Next steps, binding, washing and photographing finished quilt.  Only two days left to get this one finished for the February Finish Challenge!

Pinwheels for Dummies?

Ok, I need help from you seasoned pinwheel makers out there. I posted this problem on Sew Mama Sew too.

I just assumed pinwheel blocks were simple. I’m making a quilt inspired by this one at the Moda Bake Shop. So I made two blocks last night and discovered that maybe pinwheel making is more complicated than it seems:Anyone see anything wrong? One is going “clockwise” and the other is going “counter clockwise”. I am desperate for any tips to keep these straight and heading in the same direction while constructing my blocks! I am using the half-square triangle method where you put two 5″ squares right-sides together, sew 1/4 inch on either side of a diagonal line and then cut apart.

Please, please make any suggestions that might help me keep things straight while making my blocks! I feel like I’m constantly checking and double checking to make sure my solids are all marching in the right direction now.

The Brothers

I keep posting about The Princess on here because she is with me all day everyday while the boys are in school. More opportunities to get pics and witness her antics. However, just to prove that she does indeed have two older brothers, voila:

I guess Jamie is trying to be some kind of fierce Superman as opposed to a friendly, easy going one which is the type of Super Hero he would actually be in real life. Ryan on the other hand is looking all sweet and innocent when in reality he has had any number of privileges revoked already today after using his sassy mouth against his parents (ahem) and his kindgertarten fists against his brother. Hence the need for the padded costume on Jamie’s part…

And here is an example of why I have so few pictures of all three of my children TOGETHER:

On a quilting note, I have been working on sashing more blocks for the nine patch quilt. BORING. Does anyone else lose interest in quilting when the weather gets nice?

A Quilter’s Beginning

Alright, here we go. I love all of the quilting and craft blogs I’ve seen lately. They are superfabulous and so inspirational! To think that all of these fresh, new quilters are out there creating new, luscious work is just so exciting. In honor of all of these bloggers, I am going to share my work as well. I hope that you can find a morsel of inspiration from my blog the way I have found so much from yours!

I began quilting over 7 years ago while living in England. My husband’s job transferred us there for two years shortly after our wedding. I was BORED to tears and tried all kinds of things to fill the time. I volunteered at the hospital, at a children’s health clinic, at The American Women’s Club, and I took up bowling. I had never bowled before but this women’s bowling league met weekly at the nearby American military base. The only place around to get my husband his beloved Mtn. Dew!

On my bowling team was a woman named Cheryl. She was raising four outstanding children on a military budget and also created gorgeous quilts on the side. She offered to teach me what she knew about quilting and a new hobby was born. Cheryl moved back to the States and we lost touch. I have thought of her so often in these past 6 years while having my own children, creating my own family’s home, and pursuing the craft of quilting.

Fast forward to today. I have stepped away from the sewing machine for several of these past 6 years. With three kids under the age of 6, it was too risky having the needles, pins, scissors, and rotary cutters out on the table. I pretended it didn’t exist. Several months ago, my husband and I finished our basement. I now have a nice, expansive place to spread everything out and I have enjoyed getting to know my old fabric friends!

In support of this new awakening, my husband agreed to use part of our tax refund to purchase a new, fancy sewing machine. I have had it for less than 6 weeks and I haven’t wanted to turn it off for a minute! I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve been working on!