Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fair Isle Sew Along Starts Oct. 23

It's official: I will be starting my Fair Isle quilt pattern sew-along beginning Oct. 23! We all just need a little motivation to finish a project like this by Christmas, right? Well, join up with the sew-along and let's knock this one out together. : )

So we'll kick things off next Thursday, and then I'll be posting about it each Thursday after that until we finish the quilt.


Oct. 23: Cutting
Oct. 30: Make the Poinsettia Blocks
Nov. 6: Make the Fir Tree Blocks
Nov. 13: Make the Reindeer Blocks
Nov. 20: Make the Red Zig-Zag Rows
Nov. 27: Make the Pink Checkerboard Row (this is Thanksgiving, so I tried to pick the easiest section for this week)
Dec. 4: Assemble the quilt top and make the back
Dec. 11: Baste, quilt, and bind

Just eight weeks to a completed Christmas quilt! I've even given you a couple of weeks before Christmas to just enjoy it. (Or catch up if you're behind.) Of course, the idea is to have fun and enjoy this, so don't feel too much pressure to keep up! It is the holidays after all, so give yourself a break here and there. 

The first thing you'll need for the sew-along is, of course, the Fair Isle pattern. You can order a PDF version here or a hard-copy paper version here. 

Got the pattern? Awesome. Now just gather up your fabric and you'll be ready for next Thursday!

Yardage requirements:

• 4 yards white solid (background)
• 1-1/3 yards poppy red solid (Kona Poppy is a great choice)
• 7/8 yard Flamingo Pink solid (I used Free Spirit Designer Solids in Flamingo, but Kona solids in Punch or Melon would be great choices too)
• 3/4 yard chartreuse solid (I used Free Spirit Designer Solids in Chartreuse, but Kona Chartreuse would be wonderful as well)
• 5/8 yard fabric for binding
• 4-3/8 yards fabric for backing

The color choices above are to make the quilt in the color scheme I originally used, but I could see this quilt in plenty of other colorways as well. In fact, for my sew-along Fair Isle, I think I'm going to do a red background, and the design elements will be white, light gray, and maybe pale blue. Fun!

Pattern Update

One final note: Some of you who bought your pattern soon after its release should have received an email telling you that the pattern has been updated, and to please download it again. Please take a moment to download the new version and discard any older versions you may have. I made several changes to the pattern—in one of the diagrams under "Make the Red Zig-Zag blocks," the colors were inadvertently reversed, so I fixed that. There were also two cut pieces that were left out of the cutting instructions, so those were added. And since I was making changes to the file, I decided to tweak the layout so that the PDF page sizes were larger, allowing me to make the quilt top assembly diagram larger as well. I apologize for any confusion, but I hope you'll find the PDF pattern easier to follow now that I've made all of these tweaks! 

If you bought your pattern prior to Sept. 26 and did not receive an email asking you to download it again, feel free to contact me and I can get you a link to download it. (If you bought your pattern before Sept. 26 but you haven't yet attempted to download it, you're fine—when you're ready to download it, just use the link originally emailed to you, and you will automatically get the most recent version. And anyone who purchased after Sept. 26 already has the most updated version.)

Thanks all! See you next Thursday for cutting, cutting, and more cutting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Autumn WIPs

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
It's another rainy fall Wednesday! Here's what's happening in my studio this week.

Skirts! That's what's happening! Flannel skirts, because of the rain and the fall and all that. I hope you all saw my post last night with my finished Tiny Pocket Tanks, and the next pattern that Jemellia and I are doing for our Sew-Off is the Get Up and Go skirt by Deborah at Whipstitch. The flannels above are Robert Kaufman's Shetland and Mammoth flannels, and they are so delightfully soft and delicious.

Also in the works ... my Fair Isle Sew-Along! I hope to have an official announcement post up tomorrow, and we'll start the sew-along the following Thursday. There's still time to get the pattern and order fabric—click here to pick up the pattern. Hard-copy paper patterns are also now available! Yay!

And what's better than one quilt-along? Two! Yes, because I'm just that crazy, my Chandelier Quilt-Along is going on right now too, over on Bernina's blog.  It's is just getting started, and no pattern is needed (all the instructions will be right there on Bernina's blog), so hop over there to check it all out!

This WIP Wednesday is being brought to you by my newest sponsor, Quilt Sandwich Fabrics. First, how could you not love a shop named Quilt Sandwich Fabrics? Seriously, I defy you not to love it. : ) Second, they have a great selection. Quilt Sandwich was started by two sisters who love to quilt and wanted to bring their favorite fabrics to all of you!

Special Discount Code: Quilt Sandwich is offering 15% off just for WIP Wednesday readers! Just enter the code FRESH15 at checkout, through Oct. 22. AND, you can also take advantage of an ongoing deal for all customers—$5 off orders $50 or more, or $10 off orders $100 or more. (The Quilt Sandwich website only allows one discount code to be entered per order, but the girls at Quilt Sandwich will automatically reimburse you for $5 or $10 off on top of the 15% if you are eligible!)

So hit up Quilt Sandwich and show them the WIP Wednesday love. They're the new kids here, so let's make them feel at home! : )

I can't wait to see what YOU'RE working on this week! Here's how to link up:
1. Link up any blog post or Instagram photo from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. To link an Instagram photo, click the Instagram icon at the bottom of the link-up screen, and use the URL of your IG feed as the link (for example, my URL is Please hashtag #wipwednesday and mention me, @freshlypieced
3. If you are linking to a blog post, please link back here to my blog somewhere in your post.
4. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links, either IG or blog—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sew-Off: A Finished Tiny Pocket Tank or Three

Yes! I did it! I made a tank! And then I made another one! And then another one.

Specifically, the Tiny Pocket Tank by Grainline Studio. This pattern is great—very clear instructions and helpful illustrations for visual learners like me. I was not confused at any point in the process, which is more than I can say for other clothing patterns I've attempted. If you're looking for a beginner clothing project, I don't think you can go wrong with this one.

I ended up making a total of three tanks. Here's how it went down.

Tank #1: I'm not showing you this one because I hate the fabric. LOL. It turned out okay, except that the pocket looked really sloppy, and I think I screwed up the neckline somehow because it seemed too low-cut and it was gappy below the arms. Not exactly the look I was going for.

Tank #2: I made this one in a purty red voile from Heather Bailey's Momentum Voile collection. I totally love this fabric and therefore had high hopes here for something I could actually wear. Thinking about the too-large neckline/bust on the Tank #1, I made this one a size smaller, and I shortened the straps. I guess that was an over-correction, because Tank #2 turned out a little too small, especially in the bust. But there was good news too: I experimented with a different way of making the pocket, and this pocket turned out much better than the previous one. (I cut out two pocket pieces, sewed them right sides together, turned it, and then sewed it onto the tank. It looked much cleaner and neater.)

Tank #3: For this one, I debated about whether to make it the same (smaller) size as Tank #2, just without the shortened straps, or to go back up a size, to the original size of Tank #1. In the end I decided to go back to the original size, and I'm glad I did, because this time the neckline and bust seemed to fit better! Weird—maybe I cut on the wrong line when I cut out the first one? This one is still a little gappy under the arms, as you can see, but not nearly as bad as Tank #1. At any rate, I'm so happy I finally got one to fit right, and I think it looks amazing in voile. A tad light for the coming Wisconsin winter, but whatever, it's layerable. LOL.

(By the way, how cool is it that I can use my phone as a remote control for my Canon DSLR? Yes, there's an app for that, and it's so much better than the timer—I can see the DSLR's viewfinder on my phone, for one thing. So if you're wondering why I'm holding my phone in this picture, and probably will be in every future clothing picture on this blog, that's why.)

Overall, I think I'm actually enjoying making clothes! I know I'm enjoying buying fabric for clothes, at the very least. : ) I might come back to the Tiny Pocket Tank at some point in order to really perfect it. But for now I think I can put a check next to that pattern on the Sew-Off list.

Photo by Jemellia

And Jemellia really did it up with this pattern too! Head over to her blog to see the tanks she made—here, here, and here. I had to go order some of that Anna Maria Horner rayon challis when I saw what Jemellia did with it.

Next pattern on the list for the Sew-Off? The Get Up and Go skirt pattern from Whipstitch! Deborah of Whipstitch is introducing a new "Learn As You Sew" line of patterns, and this is the first pattern in that line. (You can read more about it here.) Since "learning as I sew" is exactly what I'm trying to do here, that makes it the perfect project to tackle next! I've got a whole stack of fabric I can't wait to try it out on.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chandelier Quilt-Along Starts Today on the Bernina Blog

I know lots of you have been looking forward to this, and I sure have too—today's the day that my Chandelier Quilt-Along starts on the Bernina blog, We All Sew!

I really love this quilt and am so happy with how it turned out. And I promise it's easier than it looks. : ) It uses the Emmy Grace fabric line by Bari J., which is a beautiful line that I enjoyed using (and it just happens to be on sale at The Intrepid Thread!). This quilt has a lot of half-square triangles and the square-in-square piecing technique, but I've got a few tips to make that easier. And all the instructions are completely free on the Bernina blog

Here's the schedule:
Oct. 20 - Making the blocks
Oct. 27 - Assemble the quilt top and quilting

I've also got a really fun and easy technique for getting the scallop quilting I used on this quilt—no free-motion required! So follow along over on We All Sew, and have a wonderful Monday!
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Can I make a quilt that looks just like one of yours? Of course! You don't need my permission for that. But remember, it's polite (and helpful to others) to credit your source of inspiration.

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