Archive of ‘Blog Tour’ category

Month two of the Patchwork Quiltalong

By Melissa LeRay

Hi friends! Today is the 15th and that means there’s a new block is released for the Patchwork Quiltalong! This is a charity quiltalong hosted by Fat Quarter Shop to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation; their sole mission is to grant tremendous wishes to kids with terminal or chronic illness.The quilt was designed by Camille Roskelly and Bonnie Olaveson, and I’m continuing to use their newly released line, Basics, for this quilt.

This month’s block is called Diamond Panes and can be downloaded HERE.  Fat Quarter Shop is releasing these patterns for free, though our sincere hope is that you’ll consider donating just $5 for each pattern you download.  If you’d like to donate, you can do so HERE.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I went with a red theme… Here are the Diamond Pane blocks that I made:

Ohhowsweetco - Patchwork Quiltalong

Ohhowsweetco - Patchwork Quiltalong

Ohhowsweetco - Patchwork Quiltalong

Ohhowsweetco - Patchwork Quiltalong

These were such fun and quick blocks to make! Be sure to check out everyone else’s:

Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl (@jedicraftgirl)
Amy of Diary of a Quilter (@diaryofaquilter)
Andy of A Bright Corner (@abrightcorner)
*Bonnie of Cotton Way (@bonniecottonway)
*Camille of Thimble Blossoms (@thimbleblossoms)
Debbie of Happy Little Cottage (@happylittlecottage1)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies (@buttonsandbutterflies)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Pat Sloan of (@quilterpatsloan)
Renee of Sewn with Grace (@sewnwithgrace)
Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Sherri of A Quilting Life (@aquiltinglife)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Taunja of Carried Away Quilting (@taunjalynn)
Tina of Emily Ann’s Kloset (@emilyannskloset)
Carrie Nelson/Miss Rosie of Moda Cutting Table
Please share your progress and creations with us on our Patchwork Facebook group!
Post your blocks using #patchworkquiltalong on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I hope you’ll join us! xoxo
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The Patchwork Quilt Along kicks off today!

By Melissa LeRay


  • Patchwork-Additional-1

Welcome to the first month of Fat Quarter Shop‘s Charity Quilt Along for 2017, the Patchwork Quilt Along! This quiltalong is supporting the amazing nonprofit, Make a Wish Foundation, and if you’ve never heard of them, their mission is to grant wishes to kids with terminal or chronic illness.  Once in a lifetime trips, room makeovers, meetings with celebrities, you get the idea.  I’m so excited to once again be a guest blogger for them, and for such a great cause!  Camille Roskelly and Bonnie Olaveson designed this quilt, and I’m going to be using their newly released line, Basics, for this quilt.


The patterns will be released on the 15th of each month, and they’re free!  Fat Quarter Shop simply hopes that you make a small donation for each pattern downloaded – even $5 helps tremendously!

January’s block is the called the Souvenir of Friendship, and you can download it HERE.

Please consider donating even $5 for this free pattern.  To do so, you can donate HERE.

Here are my blocks: FQS Patchwork Quilt Along FQS Patchwork Quilt Along FQS Patchwork Quilt Along

And here are the links to the blogs of all the other guest bloggers:

Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl (@jedicraftgirl)
Amy of Diary of a Quilter (@diaryofaquilter)

Andy of A Bright Corner (@abrightcorner)

*Bonnie of Cotton Way (@bonniecottonway)
*Camille of Thimble Blossoms (@thimbleblossoms)
Debbie of Happy Little Cottage (@happylittlecottage1)
Greg of Grey Dogwood Studio (@greydogwoodstudio)
Heidi of Buttons and Butterflies (@buttonsandbutterflies)
Melissa of Happy Quilting (@happyquiltingmc)
Melissa of Oh How Sweet (@ohhowsweet)
Pat Sloan of (@quilterpatsloan)
Renee of Sewn with Grace (@sewnwithgrace)
Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (@downgrapevinelane)
Sherri of A Quilting Life (@aquiltinglife)
Sondra of Out of the Blue Quilts (@sondradavison)
Taunja of Carried Away Quilting (@taunjalynn)
Tina of Emily Ann’s Kloset (@emilyannskloset)
Carrie Nelson/Miss Rosie of Moda Cutting Table
Please share your progress and creations with us on our Patchwork Facebook group!
Post your blocks using #patchworkquiltalong on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I hope you’ll join us! xoxo
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A sweet Quilt Petite mini

By Melissa LeRay quilt petite tour

Happy Monday, and welcome to my stop on the Quilt Petite Blog Hop!  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the gorgeous new book, Quilt Petite, by my friend Sedef Imer of Down Grapevine Lane.  It is exactly as I’d imagined – beautiful, meticulous and well thought out.  Sedef has such a signature style where whimsy meets classy, and I thought this was depicted perfectly in her book.


It was incredibly hard to pick just one project to make for this blog hop! At first I planned to make the Dresden Cushion, but then I decided on the Bonjour Pillow, done as a mini quilt, to give to someone special as a Christmas present.  I hope she’ll love it! I am also really wanting to make the placemat, and the pot holders – there are so many adorable projects in this book.


I thought using some of my coveted Posy would be a great fit for this mini, and paired with a few pieces of Bonnie + Camille Scrumptious and Miss Kate, I’m really thrilled with how it all turned out.


Sedef walks you through how to do all the applique, and it was a breeze. All the templates are in the back of the book, and its always refreshing to do raw edge applique – the perfection lies in the imperfections.


I used free motion for “Bonjour!” Lastly, finish it off with some embroidery, and you’re done!


I chose to add two tiny pockets to the skirt, and then thought this little girl would love to have a tiny bunny of her own to bring with her on her adventures.


I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting my stop, and be sure to check out #quiltpetite, #quiltpetitebloghop and #quiltpetiteblogtour to see all of the other amazing makes! quilt petite blog tour

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Farmer’s Wife Block 25 – Crystal

By Melissa LeRay FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

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 #25, Crystal.  This block completes my series of guest posts for this quilt along and I’m so excited that you’ve stopped by to see how its constructed.

For this block, the From Marti Michell templates aren’t the best fit.  The only (easy) way to get this block constructed is by paper piecing, and tough its not a technically challenging block to paper piece, the corners can be tricky to line up.  The CD at the back of the book provides you with the paper piecing templates, and they worked like a charm!

If you are using the few applicable Marti Michelle templates to construct block 25: Crystal, see here for the conversion chart.


(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.


First things first is picking your fabric.  Because this design is visually complex, I thought it was necessary to have one fabric shine, with the other two supporting it, versus competing with it.  I also thought that whatever prints were used needed to be on the smaller scale, and without too much white space (other than the fabric I’m trying to showcase).

This block takes a little planning since there are 32 pieces.  With the paper piecing template, there is a mini block diagram.  I chose my fabrics and then colored in my blocks.  From there, I matched the paper piecing templates with those blocks and placed a color coordinated X on each piece.  Since the floral has a white background, I just left those pieces as is. FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

Next I roughly cut out all of the templates and then organized them into white + red, white + green, and red + green so I could streamline my piecing. FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

And then start piecing! Because this is paper pieced, you are working from the paper’s right side, but the fabrics are place on the wrong side.  Refer to paper piecing tutorials online for help if you’re unfamiliar with the technique.

Here are all the different parts to the block, trimmed to size and place in their final orientation: FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

Now we begin sewing these together. FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

Once I was left with the groups, I think took out the papers, and from this point on, I pressed these seams open.  This does so much to help reduce bulk, which is a common problem when you’ve got a lot of pieces converging to single points. FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

The next step is to join them together in groups of two so you’re left with 4 pieces: FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

And one again, I pressed these seams open: FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

Continuing along: FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

Once again pressing the seams open: FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

And here’s the gorgeous final block (center seam pressed open as well): FQS Farmers Wife 25 Crystal

I am so tickled with how this block turned out, and I am planning on turning it into a Christmas potholder! I hope this tutorial was helpful!

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 #fw25crystal

Facebook Groups

The Facebook Group can be found by clicking here.


The Flickr Group can be found by clicking here.

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Playground showcase, and a new knit dress!

By Melissa LeRay

I am so smitten with Amy Sinibaldi‘s newest collection for Art Gallery Fabrics called Playground! It brings me back to my days on the playground years ago, playing games with my friends, picking flowers, telling stories and even daydreaming about boys. The colors are so lovely and well balanced – I love that a rich plum, gold (sand), and navy were included.  I’m excited to be today’s stop on the Playground Showcase, and to show you what I’ve made!

{image from Art Gallery}

{image credit :: Art Gallery}

I chose to play with one of the knit prints, Buttercup Drops, and it was so fun to create a dress out of this beautiful design.

I recently bought a knit dress for the girls that has a great style and they wear it constantly.  I wanted to try to recreate that style as best I could, and by the looks of it, I think we have a winner.  This also means less fighting in the morning because now they can each wear a similar dress.  Mom win. Playground Knit Dress

I loved the rounded hem, the elastic waist, and the pockets of the original and aimed to incorporate those elements. There was a keyhole opening on the back of the original, but after a strategic design decision, (the lesser experienced seamstress might call this “accidentally sewing the bodice on backwards”) the keyhole moved to the front and I turned it into a v-neck. Playground Knit Dress

I also loved how the original dress had a lower hem on back than the front. Playground Knit Dress

I think knit dresses are the absolute best for kids.  They provide the ultimate in comfort and freedom of mobility, and are so breathable. The AGF knits are great in that they are 95% cotton and 5% lycra, so both the stretch and recovery is fantastic. Playground Knit Dress playground knit dress

I hope you’ll check out the other stops on the showcase, and here’s the schedule:

SEPT    14: Katie Skoog ~

              15: Michelle Curtis ~

              16: Peta Peace ~

              17: Minki Kim ~

              19: Jemima Flendt ~

              20: Tara J Curtis ~

              21: Alexis Wright ~

              22: Melissa LeRay ~

              23: Ali Brorsen ~

              24: Angie Wilson ~

              26: Rachel McCormack ~

              27: Stacy Olson ~

              28: Shannon Fraser ~

              29: Cristi Cooper ~

              30: Guiseppe Ribaudo ~

OCT      1: Kristyne Czepuryk ~

             3: Amy Sinibaldi ~


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Happiness is Homemade Tote Bag

By Melissa LeRay Sewing Illustration Totebag

Welcome to my stop on the #sewillustrated blog tour!  The book Sew Illustrated is the unbelievably gorgeous collaboration between my dear friends Minki Kim and Kristin Esser.  For as long as I’ve been on Instagram I have admired Minki’s work and loved watching as her talent for sewing illustration grew more and more.  I was over the moon to learn that she and Kristin were writing a book and hoped that this would help me to add that charm to my own work!

I think there are so many new sewing books coming out lately, and though many of them are undeniably beautiful, rarely does it feel like we are seeing something NEW.  This book has so many new techniques, and I love that they’ve taken the time to really show us how to do it, step by step.

Sew Illustrated

For my project, I decided to combine two of the patterns in the book (The Long Handled (Libary) Bag and “Happiness is Homemade” from The Drawstring bag) and I am completely smitten with the final result.  IN LOVE.  This may be my most favorite make ever, and its all mine.  As I saw how this was evolving, I knew some of my favorite Liberty of London would be the perfect compliment.   {The Liberty is Claire Aude T, and the linen is Kaufman Wide Essex in Flax}

I took pics along the way of the entire process; I thought it would be fun to share it here…

Step one was printing the design onto Fabri-Solvy, a product that has revolutionized embroidery (I don’t say that lightly!)  It lets you print out designs onto water-soluble adhesive ::: this means no more tracing!  Then I began to fill in all the letters. sew illustrated tote bag

Once that was done, I washed off the fabri-solvy, and let it air dry: Sew Illustrated Totebag

Already looking pretty cute!  Next I created a patch with rounded edges, and sewed it down, adding a little tag flair. Sew Illustrated Totebag

Once that was done I added some hand-stitching around the patch’s edge, using my machine stitching line as a guide: Sew Illustrated Totebag

And finally, all sewn together!  I am so in love with this bag! Sew Illustrated Totebag

I can’t get over how much charm and character the sewing illustration added to this bag!  I love abandoning the perfect, and embracing the perfectly imperfect feel of it – what a breath of fresh air to feel that its not possible to make a mistake!

Be sure to catch the rest of the blog tour! Below is the full schedule, and also be sure to check out the #sewillustrated and #sewingillustration hashtags on Instagram!

August 15: C&T Publications
August 16: Amy at nanaCompany
August 17: Wynn at zakkaArt
August 18: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane
August 19: Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar
August 20: Amy at chick chick sewing
August 21: Stacy at Stacy Olson
August 22: Debbie happy little cottage
August 23: Generation Q Magazine
August 24: Faith at Sarana Ave
August 25: Ayda at  cafenohut
August 26: Melissa at Oh, how sweet
August 27: Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon
August 28: Veronica at Vivid Felicity
August 29: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations
August 30: Nadra at ellis & higgs
August 31: Kristyne at pretty by hand
September 1: Elnora on Instagram
September 2: Jennie at Clover and Violet
September 3: Auribuzz
September 4: Minki at Minki’s Work Table and Kristin at They Grow Up Too Fast

Sew Illustrated blog tour banner


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A Super Sweet Apple Farm Dress

By Melissa LeRay


Welcome to my stop on the Apple Farm blog hop, featuring the newest collection from Elea Lutz for Penny Rose // Riley Blake. This collection is so sweet with a classic and vintage feel.  It reminds me of my favorite time of year – the start of Fall when apples are in season and the leaves are starting to change color. There are 21 quilting weight cottons in the entire range, and three adorable knits.  I love the colors, and the yellow has such a perfect buttery tone! applefarm dress

It just so happens my oldest is starting kindergarten, and I thought the Green Fresh knit print was perfect choice for a first day of school dress! Those darling little apples and tiny florals absolutely stole my heart! For the pattern, I used the adorable Big Joey by Make It Perfect Patterns.  I first saw this made by the talented Gail of Probably Actually and I knew I had to make one as soon as I saw hers. apple farm dress

This knit is perfect for kids wear in that it is a 95% cotton/5% spandex print so it has great stretch AND great recovery.  It has an incredibly soft hand and I was so excited that Elise loved the fabric as much as I did. applefarm dress

Elise loved the dress and was so eager to wear it that I had to bribe her with a ring pop to take it off to save for the first day. apple farm dress

And the big front pocket was a huge hit – though I had to remind her to please try not to rip it off the dress in excitement. apple farm dress

As you can see, the knit has a great drape.  Making knit clothes for the girls is my preference, because they’re so comfortable to wear and easy to care for.  And I love not having to iron! apple farm dress

When I was planning out this dress, I had considered using a contrasting solid for the bindings, but I decided that it would feel less toddler/baby by having it all the single print – I am so smitten with the finished look! apple farm dress

I’d call this dress a hit! My only regret is that I don’t have an entire bolt! apple farm dress

Sedef also has a stop on the Apple Farm Blog Hop today, and tomorrow is Faith and Veronica. Be sure to head over to see what they’ve made!



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