Author: Lorinda Davis

I’m a sewist, designer and sewing instructor living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. If you have any questions, would like to commission a one-of-a-kind quilt, or are local and would like to set up lessons, please email me at laurelpoppyandpine@outlook.com

Finished Quilt Orange HST Sampler

Last week, I shared some of the quilts I gifted for Christmas. And I have another fun one to show you today!

This quilt uses some of the blocks I made for the Modern HST Sampler QAL hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts waaaaayyyy back in 2016.

   

Yep, this one was a LONG time in the making. The blocks were easy enough, but then they kept getting continually set aside so I could work on other things.

Finally, I pulled the blocks out and created a rectangular, non-gridded layout on my design wall. But something wasn’t sitting right. And it lingered there for another couple of months!

I decided I needed to simplify and put a selection of the blocks in a square grid layout with a simple, straightforward white background. And boy was a pleased with the result! It has such a nice, clean look to it.

Once the top was done, it was only a matter of time before I got it onto the long arm. I did a simple stipple to let the design of the fabrics and quilt blocks shine.

I chose a wide binding for this. It’s a fun technique to really (literally) bring the design of that gorgeous backing fabric (from Mister Domestic) to the front of the quilt.

Thankfully, in the years that it took me to finish this quilt, my recipient has not changed her favorite color! I honestly was a little worried about that. I’m happy to have it out in the world being loved by a special young lady.

You an read past posts about this quilt here, here, here, and here.

That was the last of the ‘secret sewing’ Christmas quilts I’ve been waiting to show! Later this week, I’ll start sharing a bit of the quilts I have planned for 2020.

Happy Sewing, ~L

Finished Quilt: Blue and Purple Hidden Wells

The second quilt I have to show you this week is this my Purple and Blue Hidden Wells quilt.

I wanted a simple and easy block with big pieces for two reasons: First, Christmas was fast approaching and I needed to get it done quickly! Second, I wanted all those amazing fabric patterns to really show. The Hidden Wells block was a great solution. It looks more complicated than it is and I could easily adapt the blocks I was seeing online to make some large quilt blocks.

I had to show my hand a bit to my recipient by asking what their favorite colors were. It is was for my nephew and his new wife and I honestly had no idea what their style is! He told me blue and purple so I went to work pulling fabrics from my stash.

 

It was then that inspiration hit. I remembered that my Arrowhead baby quilt was still waiting for a recipient. It’s blue and purple with chartruse. Oh, and did I mention my nephew’s wife is expecting?! Serendipity! I decided to coordinate the Hidden Wells and Arrowhead quilts and send them both to this sweet little family for Christmas.

 

The long arm schedule at my LQS was completely full in December, so for this quilt I went back to free motion quilting on my domestic machine. Oh boy! I didn’t realize how spoiled I had gotten with using the long arm. I did an easy stipple design- navy in the blue sections and lavender in the purple ones. The quilting looks amazing from the back (although I didn’t get any good photos before I sent it off…. you’ll have to trust me!) Phineas the cat decided to help me by sitting on the quilt as I was working. This is becoming a bad habit for him!

The quilt is bound in solids that also appear in the quilt top.

 I was really happy with how beautiful this one turned out. It was quick to make, but with these gorgeous fabrics, the visual impact was so great!

I have one more finish to share with you next week before moving on to showing you what I have for 2020!

Happy sewing! ~L

 

Edit: I’ll be linking this project up to The Show Me Something Purple Linkup at Sarah Goer Quilts

 

Finished Quilt: The Quilter’s Planner 2019 BOM Pyramid

How in the world are we already halfway through the month of January?! The last month has been a whirlwind of activity with some big changes for me. Besides the usual holiday stuff, at the end of the year I left my job to more fully focus on teaching. It was a hard choice, but my passion truly is in guiding people to the joy of handmade, so this was a good move for me! I am developing some fun classes and now have time to bring on more one-on-one sewing students.

Now that Christmas gift-giving is done and I’ve finally settled into the new year and my new routine, I can share about some of my recent finishes and move onto talking about my 2020 projects. Over the next week or so, I will be showing off some of the things that I sent off as Christmas gifts. After that, I’ll share my ‘to-sew’ list for 2020. In short, you’re going to see a lot of posts from me in the next few weeks!

So, to get started, I’d like to share one of my quilts from The Quilter’s Planner 2019 BOM Sampler!

I started working for The Quilter’s Planner in early 2019 writing blog posts each month sharing tips and tricks for the 2019 Sampler blocks. Helping BOM participants work through their blocks each month has been so much fun. As I said before, teaching sewing is my passion… this was a perfect fit for me! And the bonus was that it kept me on track with finishing not one but TWO sampler quilt tops.

About halfway through the year, I decided that my pyramid layout quilt needed to go to my sister-in-law. The colors are perfect for her, and since she was planning to move across the entire country to Maine, she was going to need some love from home at Christmas!

The fabric collection for the 2019 Sampler was Smitten by Bonnie and Camille. I backed it in Kona Poppy and quilted a free motion swirl design using Aurifil 2250. Right before it was time for me to quilt it, we got the new Bonnie and Camille collection (Early Bird) into the shop I worked at. There was a perfect little red and white polka dot in the collection that I chose for the binding. One thing I absolutely love about their fabric collections is how well they all work together!

Lately I’ve been working on perfecting my machine binding skills. There are a few reasons for that. First, I have arthritis. This is a new development (about a year), and honestly it really sucks. I was dealing with a lot of pain through fall and winter and hand binding was just not a good option. Second, I was pressed for time on several of my more recent quilts to get them out before Christmas. That being said, my machine bindings in the past have always looked pretty messy. So, I’ve learned to take my time and use my quarter inch foot to make a machine binding that looks really top notch! As a bonus- machine binding is very sturdy! I’ll still hand bind when I can, but for baby quilts and things that need finished quickly, this is my new go-to method!

As a bonus to this post, I thought I’d share a couple of pictures of my BOM Snowflake layout quilt top. The second picture is one of my favorite quilty photos I’ve ever taken. My husband was being so sweet trying to hold this top for me, but the wind kept making it billow. We were both laughing and yelling at the quilt to behave. The way the sun was hitting the quilt top creating the stained glass effect was so beautiful, I had to grab a photo! I love that it captures such a wonderful moment in time.

I’m in love with this top too, but it’s going to hide in the cabinet until it’s number gets called on my All People Quilt UFO challenge (more on that later!).

Happy sewing, ~L

What I’m up to: Long Arm

Earlier this year, I took a class on using the long arm machine at my work. It’s been something I’ve wanted to try for years, but being in the shop regularly, I find it easier now to get down there for a day to work on a quilt.

I realized right from the start that it was going to take several quilts (I’m thinking ten?) before I feel like the long arm and I are buddies. And I am totally ok with that. I want to take my time, troubleshoot every problem and really learn the ins and outs of quilting on a long arm. Here is the rundown of what I’ve done so far:

My first quilt was my Scrappy Rainbow and it went beautifully. This project was all about me just getting used to loading and threading the machine… no real expectations. And because it’s such a busy quilt, I knew mistakes would be harder to see! I used a loop design, which is one of my favorites when free motion quilting on my domestic. I was surprised at how natural it felt switching from my domestic to the long arm, but I think it was because it’s an easy motif that I knew really well.

 

 

Next up was my scrappy version of the By Your Side quilt. I decided I wanted straight horizontal lines at random intervals about 1-2 inches apart.

I had a particularly hard time with this quilt. I kept having issues with thread tension, looping and breakage. And then I ran out of time and had to take it off the machine to leave for the day… I was so frustrated. Like, crying in front of my co-workers frustrated. So embarrassing.

Being hungry and in a rush did not help either. I have since learned to EAT before starting and not set unrealistic time expectations on myself! Nevertheless, that quilt had to go into time out.

 

My next project to quilt was the Arrowhead baby quilt. Again, I had relatively few problems with this one. Just little bit of of looping once or twice in the quilt. I’ve since added a thread net to help alleviate that in the future.

 

 

With my palate cleansed, I went back to the Scrappy By Your Side quilt. This time with a full tummy, no time constraints, and a positive attitude.

Unfortunately, none of those things helped my issues! My coworkers and I tried everything- thread net, change needle position, new bobbin, adjusting tension, changing spools of thread, on and on….  nothing helped. Or, I would get one good pass and think, “Awesome! We fixed it!” Only to have the same thing happen again on the following pass. Thank goodness I DID go in with a positive attitude, because the thing was trying my patience. I kept trying to think what was different about this quilt from the two I has done that quilted up beautifully. Why was this one giving me so much trouble?  And then it hit me… my batting was wrong side up. DARN!

Oh my goodness…. all that trouble, just from the batting? YES! In fact, I went to a co-worker who hadn’t been involved in trouble shooting with me and told her I accidentally had my batting backwards, and she described every single problem that I had been struggling with. Well, how’s that for a learning experience?? Certainly won’t make that mistake again! And if you want more information on finding the right side of batting, Suzy Quilts has a fabulous post on the subject!

So, this quilt was mostly quilted by the time I figured out the underlying problem. My best option was to baby it along and fix problems as they arose (and they sure did!). In the next month or so, I will unpick the lines of quilting where the looping was the worst.

 

 

The most recent quilt I finished was my scrappy Kayak Point quilt. This quilt top was originally made (quite a long time ago!) to test my Kayak Point pattern for Quilt Theory.  I love the look of this one- subdued colors, but still bright and happy. My first instinct was to quilt this with white thread since there is so much white in the thing. But, I had almost a full spool of a purpley/pink Aurifil and I was wanting to try Aurifil on the long arm anyway, so I figured “why not?” I’m really happy with that choice, as it adds a lot of personality to this quilt!

I didn’t really have any technical issues with this quilt, which was WONDERFUL! I feel like the long arm and I are becoming friends. I did struggle a bit with accuracy on the straight diagonal lines I was trying to quilt, but I know those are skills that come with time and practice so I was ok with the job I did.

The whole process of learning this new skill has really reminded me how important it is to be willing to be new at something, to not be perfect, and to not be afraid to ask questions. I relied heavily on the expertise of several of my amazing co-workers. They helped me troubleshoot various problems, offered bits of advice that came in handy, and above all encouraged me that it’s ok to struggle. I’m learning to love the struggle because I know it’ll help me get better!

I have several more quilts to finish up before Christmas, so I’m hoping after those, I’ll feel fairly comfortable on the long arm. Definitely worth the time and effort to learn!

Happy quilting!

~L

Finished Quilt: Scrappy Kayak Point

Way back when, before I ever made the cover quilt for my Kayak Point pattern, I made up a sample using some scraps from my studio. The colors of this quilt reminded me of summer heat, beach days and creamsicles. They just make me so happy!

I quilted this on the long arm at work using Aurifil 2515. The purpley/pink color over the white really added a lot of fun to the top. I stippled in the white space and outlined the little ‘kayak’ shapes. I wasn’t super accurate on my outlining, but I’m still learning and decided to extend myself some grace!

   

I will be gifting this quilt, and because I think it will get a lot of washing, I decided to machine bind it. I’ve been working on using my quarter inch foot to help me machine bind with more accuracy. I’ll eventually write a post if I can perfect the technique!

Happy Sewing!

~L

Finished Quilt: Arrowhead

You may remember that earlier this year I participated in a Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Turnabout Patchwork by Teresa Down Under. I had so much fun making that quilt top, but never got around to finishing the quilt… until now!

 

I played with a palette of blues and purples from my stash and then added the chartreuse for a fun contrast. This year, I’ve been slowly learning to use a long arm (more on that in another post!) and I am having so much fun with it. I wanted the quilting on this really open and simple, so I did a wide stipple only inside the purple and blue portions, leaving the chartreuse unquilted.

 

I have a friend having TWINS (yay!), so this quilt will be set aside for her in case it fits her palette. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing a couple more baby quilts from me soon!

Happy Sewing! ~L

How-To: Back-to-School Book Bag

I love this time of year. Foggy mornings, cool nights, apple spice…

After the wonderful chaos of summer play and lack of scheduling, fall is the time to get back on a routine. Days in the sun make way for lovely evenings filled with family time, crafts, and reading.

There is something so nostalgic about fall. Call me crazy, but going back-to-school was one of my favorite things as a kid.

The excitement of a new start.

New school supplies.

And lots and lots of books from the library carried in my favorite book bag.

Remember book bags?

I loved my book bag when I was little. A little tote to carry all my books around everywhere I went? Perfection!

Since the onset of fall has me feeling nostalgic, I decided to make some sewn book bags for a friend’s kids. There are seven children in her family and they home school, so you can imagine that there are plenty of books in their world! And for a little extra fun, I decided the bags should be personalized, so I let each of them color their own picture for the front panel of the bag.

If you have little ones in your world who might like a fun tote that they get to customize, read on to find out how!

 

Making the colored panel:

 Making the colored panels for this project is so easy and so much fun!

 Cut white fabric and freezer paper slightly larger than the intended cut size of your panel (in our bag, that will be an 8 ½” x 8 ½” square). Press the shiny side of the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric. Outline the area you will be cutting and tell whoever is coloring the panel to stay within those lines. Keep your seam allowance in mind and make sure they don’t put important details of their picture within that seam allowance.

Now the fun begins! Let your little ones color to their heart’s content! Encourage them to press hard with their crayons to get lots of vivid color on their panels.

Once the coloring is done, remove the freezer paper. Put several layers of paper towels on your ironing surface before laying your colored panel face down. Place another paper towel on top of your colored panel to protect your iron. With your iron on the ‘Cotton’ setting, firmly press your panel to melt the crayon wax.

The wax of the crayon will transfer onto the paper towels leaving the crayon’s color in your fabric. Keep putting new paper towels under your panel until there is no more wax or color transferring to them.

Trim up your panel to the specified cut dimensions in your pattern. For us, that’s  an 8 ½” x 8 ½” square

Note: Many people choose to pre-wash their fabric to fully prepare it to take in the color from the crayons. I did a test swatch both pre-washed and unwashed. The unwashed swatch (on the right) did lose just a little more color on the ironing step, so if you want really vivid color, pre-washing is best.

 

To cut:

For colored panel:

     (1) 8 ½” x 8 ½” square

For straps:

     (2) 4″ x 27″ strips (your may adjust strap length to best fit your child)

For Exterior front border and back:

     (2) 4” x 8 ½” rectangle

     (2) 4” x 15 ½” rectangle

     (1) 15 ½” x 15 ½” square

For interior:

     (2) 15 ½” x 15 ½” square

 

 

Sew the straps:

Fold your strip in half along the length and press to mark center point.

 

Fold the edges into the center and press along the length of the strap. Once this is done, you can fold again along that center line to make the final width of your strap.

Sew the strap along the open edge to secure.

Sew along the length of the opposite edge to give our strap a nice, finished look.

 

 

Sew the front panel:

Sew your 4” x 8 ½” rectangles to the top and bottom of your colored square. Add your 4” x 15 ½” rectangles to each side. This panel unit should finish at 15 ½” x 15 ½”.

 

 

Cut out squares for the boxed edges:

To give your book bag some depth, you’ll want to add some boxed corners. We’ll cut out for them now and sew them later. Cut a 1 ½” square from the two bottom corners of the following:  your (2) 15 ½” x 15 ½” interior squares, your (1) 15 ½” x 15 ½” exterior back square, and your 15 ½” x 15 ½” front panel unit with the colored square.

 

 

Assembly:

Put front panel of your bag on your work surface face up. Place a strap on top of the panel with the ends two inches from the edge as shown. You may adjust this measurement as desired, but it must be the same measurement on each side. It’s also important to make sure the strap isn’t twisted.

Place an interior fabric piece on top of your front panel and strap with right sides together. The loop of the strap will be between the front panel and interior piece. Pin and sew along the top, making sure the strap doesn’t shift.

Use the same technique to attach the back exterior to the second interior piece.

 

Open the two sewn sections and pin them along all the edges with right sides together, making sure to line up the seams where the exterior of the bag meets the interior.

Sew along both sides and the bottom of the bag exterior, leaving the cutouts for the boxed corners unsewn.

Next, sew a few inches on each side of the bottom of the lining, leaving an opening for turning the bag.

To sew the boxed corners, separate the layers of fabric and fold them back together as shown. Nestle and pin together the seams of the sides and bottom before sewing along the cut edge.

Turn the bag inside out using the opening left in the bottom of the bag interior. Make sure to fully turn the boxed corners for nice, clean lines!

Fold in the edges of the opening used for turning the bag and machine sew close to the edge. You can also stitch by hand for a less visible seam.

Push the interior inside the bag. Press and sew along the top opening.

 

 

Enjoy!

The kids were so excited when I arrived with their bags, so we did a fun little photo shoot to show off their artwork. They’ve also decided I need to make a tiny book bag for their baby sister!

Happy Sewing!  ~L