January 2016 archive

Fat Quarter Shop’s Top Ten Roundup : AGF Stitched Fractal Pattern

By Melissa LeRay


Today’s my stop on the Fat Quarter Shop‘s top 10 of 2015 blog hop! Today I’m sharing with you the mini quilt I created using AGF Stitched’s Fractal pattern.


For my mini, I used my favorite new release – Paperie by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics. I love love love this new collection, and its focus on the essence and appearance of old books and soft colors.


I chose this pattern for two reasons – I love the look of it.  Fractals, tessellations, etc are pretty big right now, and there’s no denying why.  They provide so much eye candy, and I love that they’re not just your standard square quilt block.  Second, I wanted to conquer my fears of working with Y seams.  And this did it.  But not because they’re hard – Y seams were nothing to fear, and I’m not even sure why they have such a bad rap.  One thing to note is that each and every edge is cut on the bias, so you absolutely want to starch your fabric before cutting.  I prefer to use Soak : Flatter. The pattern is free from Fat Quarter Shop, and is available here.


The key to making this as surprisingly easy as it is, is using the Creative Grids ruler specifically designed for it, CGRKC1.  It also includes little holes where you are able to mark your stitch start and end points, so sewing these blocks together is truly a breeze. Kimberly shows you exactly how to tackle this in the FQS Youtube Video : AGF Stitched Fractal, and I found this video invaluable.

For the quilting I just did double straight lines across and I really like how it complements the angles in the pattern.  Hopefully you’ll give this great pattern a try too!

Now that I have yardage of Paperie, and have overcome my fear of the Y seam, I plan to make a throw quilt for our couch as well!

Oh, How Sweet! Fractal mini

This little patch/label just cracks me up – so cute!

Be sure to visit the others on the Fractal blog hop:

Erin of Sew at Home Mummy
Sherri of A Quilting Life
Alison of Little Island Quilting
Caroline of Sew Can She

FQS - Top-10-Videos


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Farmer’s Wife Block 47 – Joy

By Melissa LeRay


Hello and welcome to my stop on the Fat Quarter Shop + Gnomeangel Farmer’s Wife Quilt Along! Today I’m going to walk you through block #47, Joy.  Can you believe we’re already in our 4th month? For this block I used the From Marti Michell templates (specifically set D for this block) for the first time, and I’m kicking myself for waiting as long as I did to try them out.  If you are anything like me, you might have thought “do I really have a need for yet another quilting gadget?” as you look around your sewing space, taking note of all the unitaskers that are collecting dust. I learned that the very thing that I assumed was simply more work is the very thing that makes these templates invaluable.  Those corners.  The beauty of the engineered corners doesn’t show up when you’re piecing simple squares together. But when you are constructing blocks with triangles, parallelograms, etc, the brilliance comes out.  If you’ve been on the fence about buying out these templates, I urge you to try them out.  Aside from not needing to print out each template (hello Macbook users), the usefulness in having far more accurately pieced blocks is worth the cost alone! If you don’t have these templates on hand, you can still follow the templates provided by the book and simply hand cut or rotary cut those pieces and continue on with this tutorial.

If you are using the Marti Michelle templates to construct block 47: Joy, see here for the conversion chart.

I’ll refer to these pieces by their color/shape going forward for simplicity of following along.


(These are just *my* methods – none of these are essential/required for you) I starch all my fabrics using Soak : Flatter, and “press” more than I “iron”.  I use a straight stitch machine, with a very scant 1/4″ seam.  I sew with Aurifil 50 wt thread and a size 80 universal needle.


Starting with all of your pieces cut per the book template or the FMM templates, organize them into their final layout.

JPEG image-FF1B21DA2E72-1

We’re going to begin by tackling the green parallelogram + striped triangles first.  It’s easiest if we break these into left and right sections, and work through all 4 edges this way.  Make sure you note that there are long and short sides to the parallelogram, and place them with the long sides facing upwards toward the edges of the block.

JPEG image-402DA3FF0A28-1Starting with the left side first, add the triangle on the right to the long side of the green piece.  See how perfectly those corners match up?  No more ripping out seams until you get your triangles to line up just perfectly.

JPEG image-4883C40A9C11-1     JPEG image-CB4BD1B805CC-1

Sew along that long edge, and then press the seam open.

IMG_5058     IMG_5059

Then add the left triangle to the short end, sew together and press open.

IMG_5061     IMG_5063

You’ll repeat these same steps for the right group:

IMG_5069     IMG_5070

IMG_5071     IMG_5072

Now you’ll join the left and right sections together, and then repeat for the other three edges.

IMG_5076     IMG_5077

Next we’ll focus on joining the squares (but save the center most square for last) and then adding what will become the four corner triangles to those.  Make sure you keep in mind the original orientation:

IMG_5093     IMG_5094

Here are all your pieces up to this point:


And now we’ll finish off the block.  Laying everything back into its final orientation, we have this:


We’re going to focus on the middle row of squares first, and then join the rest of the components:


Starting with the upper section, you’ll lay the square pieced section on RST to the left triangular block.  Again you can see how nicely these pieces line up because of those engineered corners! {amazing!} Then lay the right triangular section RST to what you just pieced, and your entire upper section will be joined.  Repeat for the lower half.

IMG_5099      IMG_5100

IMG_5101     IMG_5102

Now you’re left with the last two seams! So close to completion!


With RST, lay the center square-pieced section on top of one of the large triangular sections and sew.  Follow up with the other side.  I found pinning helped to ensure that my seams lined up:

IMG_5104     IMG_5105


After a good pressing and trimming to 6.5″ square, you are left with your final, beautiful block!


I hope you found this tutorial helpful.  I thoroughly enjoyed putting this block together, and I can’t wait to catch up on the {cough} few I’m behind on!

The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.



The page with all the Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) in relation to the sew-along can be found by clicking here.


The hashtag for this sew-along is #FQS1930FarmersWife and for this block its #fw47joy

Facebook Groups

The Facebook Group can be found by clicking here.

If you have a problem accessing either of these please let me know.


The Flickr Group can be found by clicking here.

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Monkey Business!

By Melissa LeRay



Fat Quarter Shop has created another adorable mini as part of their Sew Solid Series, and this one is called Monkey Business. This super cute quilt comes together quickly, and is a great size to use as a mini quilt on a wall, or even as a stroller {or carrier} quilt for a new baby, or even as a changing mat.

I chose to use some of my favorite Fog City Kitty by Pam Kitty Morning and Moda Tiny Dottie in Magenta, along with some brown and tan polka dots I had on hand.


I thought it would be fun to accent the monkey with some hand quilting, and I’m so happy with how it turned out!  I used size 8 perle cotton in brown.

For the free pattern, click here.

Monkey Business - Ohhowsweet.com

For the video to walk you through it, click here.

Lastly, here’s a kit that Fat Quarter Shop has put together so you can jump right in!  How do you plan to use yours?

Be sure to check out the other talented ladies in our blog hop:

Jane of Quilt Jane
Afton of Quilting Mod
Anorina of Samelia’s Mum
Gerri of Planted Seed Designs
Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl

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